Arnica is made from a little flower in the daisy family. This is the remedy that most people discover, sometimes only as an ointment but it’s also wonderful taken as a remedy if you have had an injury, or in fact have any pain where you just feel bruised. It is our number one trauma remedy, but it is also so much more.
Take breast feeding as an example, if your breasts feel bruised – that’s the remedy that will help – or if you’re pregnant and the kicking makes you feel bruised try Arnica. Again, if you have fibromyalgia, or influenza, or a tooth extraction and the feeling is similar to being bruised or beaten, Arnica may well help you. Although Arnica is not the first remedy to think of when you’ve strained your muscles, it’s the one to use if your muscles feel bruised after over exertion. It’s also excellent for shock – I’ve given it to patients when they come to me and they have just been told they’ve got cancer for example. They are in shock and Arnica is sometimes the best remedy for that.
Every homeopathic remedy has a mental and emotional picture. It’s why we as homeopaths ask so many questions – tying up the physical complaints with the emotional picture of a person. The Arnica state is typically ‘I’m fine – don’t touch me’. A very common feeling if you have a bad bruise, sore breasts, a tooth out or any injury. If you think of how you feel when you are complete shock, this ‘I’m fine, leave me alone’ feeling is also very typical and there is always some shock after any injury, however minor. It is part of our coping mechanism to ignore the pain & keep going until we get to safety.
I have very occasionally given Arnica as a ‘constitutional’ remedy (a remedy aimed at the individual for chronic pathology, whereas usually it is only used in acute situations). One man who did very well on Arnica was into extreme sports and kept telling me he was ‘fine’ although he did have some quite serious problems. They weren’t injuries, although he’d had many of them in the past but the way he described his problems was as though they were injuries and he told me he often couldn’t sleep because his body felt bruised after an hour or two in bed – that’s a typical Arnica symptom too.
Another fabulous thing about Arnica is its use in childbirth. Taken afterwards of course it helps with the soreness, speeds up healing whatever sort of a birth you’ve had, but it’s been scientifically proven (by non-homeopaths) that if taken before birth the mother loses less blood and is less likely to haemorrhage during/after birth.
Arnica is also a great remedy for jet lag. If you take Arnica 30c on the day you fly and another one when you get home you will see an improvement.
I’m sure there are many other uses for Arnica, maybe if we only had one homeopathic remedy in our kit, this should be the one to choose!
- Arnica is useful after all accidents and falls, black eyes, or concussion
- Nearly all women benefit from taking Arnica during labour. It reduces exhaustion, and speeds recovery, alleviating that battered and bruised feeling. You could also use it for shock, when someone claims to be alright but clearly isn’t and it can reduce excessive bleeding where the birth was traumatic or unusually long or short. .
- Arnica is useful if you are having surgery (give a dose of 200C before and after surgery and repeat every 2-3 hours as needed)
- Arnica should be considered after any bad shock, (differentiate between Aconite (complete terror) and Opium (glazed look, lights are on but no one’s home).
- It can help Fibromyalgia pain (also consider Symphytum or Rhust tox)
- Arnica is helpful after dental work. (One study showed that when Hypericum was given in alternation with Arnica to people after a tooth extraction, they experienced significantly less dental pain as compared to those given a placebo.
- You could consider Arnica after food poisoning (the main remedy is Arsenicum) if the patient has a hot head, cold body and their gas or vomit has a bad egg taste or smell.
- Arnica could be helpful for strains and sprains, or tired overworked muscles (the main remedies are Rhus-tox or Ruta)
- Arnica helps jet lag or shift workers changing shift and re-setting their body clock.
- Arnica is used as part of a homeopathic support program for IVF
- Arnica encourages healing; controls bleeding; reduces swelling and the likelihood of pus formation, and it has antisepsis qualities.