ARNICA MONTANA: Doronicum plantaginis folio alternum,
Doronicum Austriacum quantum
English: Mountain arnica, Leopard’s bane, German Leopard’s bane, Mountain tobacco.
French: Arnique des montagnes, Arnique, Arnica, Tabac des Vosges, Betoine des Montagnes.
German: Arnika, Wohl-verleih, Woverley, Fallkraut, Luzianskraut.
Dutch: Arnika, Val-kruid, Groot Luciaen-kruid Swedish: Fibler Spanish: Arnica, Tobaco de Montana
Natural order: Corymbiferae, Compositae, Senecionidae.
Family: Jussieu [vegetable substance] Syngenesia polygamia superflua. L.
Mode of preparation: We use the roots, flowers and leaves. Before using the flowers we should clean them of the eggs [musca arnicae] of a peculiar parasitic insect which infests this plant, called Arnica, a species of Staphylinus. We prepare the powder of the root by making three attenuations by trituration or dissolve it in twenty parts of alcohol to make the tincture. Arnica is a perennial plant; we gather the fresh plant when it flowers in July and August and use it to make a tincture. For the fresh plant, we express the juice of the whole plant and then mix it with equal parts of alcohol to make the tincture. We must be careful not to expose the root of this plant too long in air because it loses a portion of its strength, but powdered root may be kept for long periods in well stopped bottles.
The essential features
The main theme of Arnica symptomatology revolves around a deep traumatic experience upon the physical or emotional or mental body. A traumatic experience of the human organism resulting from injuries, falls, blows, concussions, fright, fear, financial loss, etc.
The experience leaves the person with a tremendous fear of coming into physical contact with anything which is hard or penetrating. The whole of the symptomatology develops around this basic fear: Do not touch me, do not come too close to me, physically or emotionally and most of all do not penetrate me, physically or metaphorically. The traumatic experience in Arnica is such that the person is left with a feeling of having been wounded deeply, and of the affected parts being so sensitive after the wounding that the idea of somebody touching them is unbearable.
They can become and act almost paranoically in this respect. From this experience a defensive attitude develops that is then quite understandable.
The symptomatology develops in different stages or degrees. We see in the first stages of pathology an aggressive reaction, where the tendency of the individual is to “attack” in order subconsciously to prevent a “too close contact”. The patient is easily irritated, aggressive, and quarrelsome. He will appear to be fighting with everybody and everything, very opinionated, obstinate and sometimes irrascible and irrational.
The irritability and anger lead to cursing, after which the Arnica patient becomes really furious. He is contradictory, nothing pleases him; he wants certain things and later on pushes them away. In this stage Arnica may also become capricious, not knowing what he wants, unable to tolerate anything which is disagreable and shouts unreasonably. We shall have difficulty in differentiating this case from Nux-v., Angust. or from Cina.
Arnica does not accept anybody’s authority (Caust.) and thinks that he knows better than anybody else (Sulph. or Ars.). He boasts and brags frequently (Plat). He is dictatorial, (Lyc) domineering, dogmatic, despotic and talks with an air of being superior or in command. Similar to Platina.
The above is a provocative, aggressive attitude that we see in these first stages of Arnica’s defensive state. Yet later on in its pathology we will see a completely different picture, a state of passiveness, extreme touchiness (Angustura) and sensitivity. In this passive stage we see that the patient becomes morose, taciturn, wants to be left alone, does not want to talk to anybody. He becomes irritated if he has to give an answer, he seems to want to avoid human contact (much like Natr-mur). If somebody tries to console or pacify him, he will react aggressively. It seems that there is an analogy between the sensitivity of his psyche which cannot withstand the closeness of a contact and the pain felt by his physical body on being touched. Even the idea that somebody may come too close to him is painful. Arnica does not wish to talk to, or to be approached by others on account of this mental, emotional or physical soreness. He may take a walk in the open air and live with his phantasies, and once back from such a walk, he will want to continue to live with the emotions he had on the walk, without talking to anybody: he wishes only to be silent.
Arnica cases are people who may appear to be social, but are so only on a superficial level. They are “loners”, doubtless due to their fear that others may hurt their feelings on coming into close contact with them. They may be compared to wounded animals that want to hide and stay away from any contact. They develop an aversion to sympathy or compassion.
An important point that has to be understood in their symptomatology is that they feel “bruised” all-over and therefore even the thought that something or somebody can touch or even worse penetrate their “bruised” bodies is absolutely unbearable. That is why Arnica is the main remedy when women have an insane fear of being raped. This fear is so great that they think about it all the time, the thought that they may be raped brings on a shudder, they cannot even bear to hear the mere word “rape”. The problem is that they cannot tolerate to have anything penetrating their body.
Women can reach such an extreme state that the logistics of using tampons during menses, the act of insertion into the vagina, take on the proportions of a whole operation. They will sit in a particular position and try for “hours” to insert a tampon so that they may not be hurt. It is mostly the abhorrence of the idea of penetration that causes the problem rather than actual pain. During the sexual act the Arnica woman may be so fearful during the time of insertion that the man may be put off by the overexaggerated reactions. So strong is the fear of penetration that women can abstain completely from sexual intercourse, not from lack of interest but from fear of penetration. The idea of something foreign entering their body is intolerable.
There seems to be a tightness of the vaginal muscles; the walls of the vagina feel extremely sensitive and actually painful to the slightest touch. It may appear also, after many years of abstinence from any sexual contact, that the walls of the vagina are “sticking together”. The woman has the impression that the vaginal walls are so tight that they have stuck together.
These examples are indicative of the peculiar sensitivities of Arnica. In view of these facts it is now easy to understand the different symptoms as they appear in the repertory such as: “Fear of others approaching him, lest he be touched. Has fear, apprehension, dread of being struck by those coming towards him, etc”. The idea of causation because of a “blunt” shock runs through the remedy and affects the mental condition as well. The symptomatology of Arnica will develop after a mental shock such as fright, anger, fury, loss of fortune, overexertion etc.
It is my opinion that, in the near future, we will see proof of the existence of areas in the human brain concerned with the “instinctual mental defences” of humans.
These would open and close automatically once fear or shock are over. In our contemporary society however, once these areas are triggered by a fright (mental shock), they remain in a state of permanent “excitability”, that is to say, open. The person thus suffers chronically as though there were a repetition of the frightful experience every day. Why this should happen is not a question that we are in a position to answer today in detail. I have given some suggestions on this point in my book “A New Model of Health”. The fact remains that, in today’s world, people suffer far more frequently and easily from mental symptomatology than was the case in the past.
As the mental pathology travels deeper, we get severe anxiety states that originate from such shocks or overexertions. There is fear and anxiety that could be called hypochondriacal. In the Arnica anxiety states it seems that fear goes quickly into the subconscious mind and emerges every night during sleep in the form of a crisis, often several times a night. The symptomatology is similar to that of Aconite, Argentum nitricum or Lachesis and you will have to make a differential diagnosis. There is a tremendous fear of imminent death during the night, on waking up from sleep, which is triggered by a feeling that something is wrong with the heart. These states appear especially after an accident. There is a kind of cardiac distress, an anguish that originates from the heart region, a feeling that the heart will give in suddenly and he will die instantly. The idea of dying instantly is characteristic of Arnica.
Kent describes the state beautifully: “Horrors in the night. He frequently rouses up in the night, grasps at the heart, has the appearance of great horror, fears that some dreadful thing will happen. A sudden fear of death comes on at this time, he grasps at the heart, and thinks he is going to die suddenly. He is full of dreadful anguish, but finally comes to himself, lies down and goes off in to a sleep of terror, jumps up again with the fear of sudden death and says: “Send for the doctor at once”. The fear of death is very much exaggerated if he is alone.
From such an experience his whole organism is affected, there is a horror that overtakes the patient and there are congestions that affect mostly the upper part of the spine.
He becomes forgetful, absent minded, cannot concentrate, loses all interest in his work, reads something and forgets immediately what he has just read, does not remember if he has just turned off the gas and goes back to check it etc.. Oversensitive, cannot bear pain. Restless because of pain and soreness.
Then we have a mental picture of Arnica which is characteristic during high fever, in serious diseases like typhus, malaria, scarlet fever, when the eruption does not appear, or in brain damage from extravasation of blood due to a concussion, or in subarachnoid haemorrhages, in apoplexy etc.
In such instances there is a profound prostration followed by delirium and finally stupor, unconsciousness and coma. Stupor with involuntary discharges of stool and urine.
During such states the Arnica case may see delusions, imaginations, or hallucinations. He may imagine the following: high walls and buildings falling upon him; that he is about to be arrested; that he visits a churchyard; that he is holding a council; that he is seeing a mutilated corpse, black images and phantoms. He dwells upon seeing these images and phantoms; he sees black forms of spectres, ghosts and spirits when dreaming; has fantastic visions.
Arnica will have constant muttering in brain damage (Lach.) and delirium like delirium tremens. Arnica cases may also have delusions that they are well while in a severe precarious condition, close to death. They may look at the doctor and say “I do not need you, I am well”, refusing to take the medicine.
Eventually the Arnica case may go into a semi-comatose state, from which, though he can be aroused and answers correctly if he is asked a question, as soon as he finishes the sentence or even before finishing it, he falls back into a stupor. This is a grand characteristic of Arnica and the remedy will definitely be indicated if the pathology is similar to the ones described above. If he becomes unconscious he will lie there as if he were dead.
In the aftermath of a brain haemorrhage, and after the severe symptoms have subsided, we may observe an indifference, an apathy. Has dullness, sluggishness, difficulty of thinking and comprehending, torpor after dreams. He is in a state where he does not take notice of his surroundings, in a dreamy state. Talks loudly in his sleep. Makes loud speeches in his sleep.
Arnica will prove to be a very helpful remedy for alcoholism as it contains the peculiarities of it in its symptomatology.
It is important for the student of Homeopathy to understand that the symptomatology that is described above for the different stages of pathology occurs predominantly, though not exclusively, in the particular stage described here. Similar or identical symptomatology occurring in the acute conditions can appear in the chronic conditions as well, and vice-versa. What the student is required to perceive is the remedy’s underlying trend and its characteristics
Arnica children are capricious, sensitive to pain, with a tendency to shriek every time their mother touches their hands or legs. They shout in their sleep with a weeping, tearful mood, especially after eating, or after coughing. In their fevers they look like belladonna with hot heads and cold bodies. Child cries before whooping cough attack. Angry and irritable from coughing. Shrieking, screaming, shouting aggravate their cough.
As we said in the beginning this remedy will be indicated primarily when there is an injury that has resulted from a blow upon the organism with a blunt instrument. If the result of such a blow is a bruised, sore feeling all over the body then the remedy is Arnica. But if the same kind of feeling has resulted from another cause like the overexertion of an organ, or a strain, or an acute disease, Arnica could still be prescribed with success.
If the injury has resulted in lysis of the continuation of the tissues and blood flows freely Arnica is not indicated any more.
You have to have the significant characteristic where a part or the whole body is bruised, as if it had been beaten badly and is black all over. Arnica produces a restless state due to the soreness, to the bruised feeling, that is much like Rhus-tox.
Kent again describes the restlessness with his characteristic vivacity: “If you watch an Arnica patient in order to get the external manifestations of his state, you will see him turning and moving. You will at once ask yourself why he is restless and if you compare remedies in your mind, you will say, He is like Rhus-tox, he stays in a place for a little while and then he moves. No matter if he is only semi-conscious, you will see him make a little turn, part way over, and then a little further over, and so on, until he is over on the other side. Then he commences again, and will shift a little and a little, and so he turns from side to side. The question is why does he move so, why is he restless? It is an important matter to solve.
We notice the awful anxiety of the Arsenicum patient that keeps him moving all the time. We notice the painful uneasiness felt all over the body with the Rhus-tox patient so he cannot keep still.
The Arnica patient is so sore that he can lie on one part only a little while, and then he must get off that part or to the other side. So if we ask him,”why do you move so?” he will tell us that the bed feels hard. That is one way of telling that the body is sore….. The soreness increases the longer he lies, and becomes so great that he is forced to move. With Rhus- tox the uneasiness passes off after moving, and with Arnica the soreness passes off if he gets to a new place.”
We may find the symptom of lameness, soreness, of feeling bruised and the feeling that the bed is hard, full of bumps, in any chronic disease requiring Arnica but especially in rheumatic or arthritic conditions.
Aggravation of pains in the evening and night in bed, from movement and from noise. Aggravation from lying on a hard bed. Damp cold aggravates Amelioration when lying with head in a low position.
Clonic convulsions from commotion of the brain; Clonic convulsions after drugs; Clonic convulsions from head injuries. Trembling alternating with convulsive movements of limbs. Traumatic clonic convulsions that have tetanic rigidity. Twitchings as from electricity. Epilepsy after injuries to the head.
If you see a case after pregnancy where the recovery is slow with a lot of symptomatology, especially if the labour was very strenuous for the woman, then Arnica will probably take the consequences and bring a speedy recovery. Neonatorum asphyxia.
General weakness resulting from injuries. After every stool he must lie down. Asphyxia after injuries. Ailments from using the catheter.
Trembling on exertion. Fainting from shock in injury; from pain in heart; after perspiration. Faintness, fainting in angina pectoris; during fever.
Tendency to hemorrhages. The blood vessels seem to be relaxed and extravasation of blood is easy. Internally there is easy bleeding of the mucous membranes. Parts that are inflamed bleed. Hemorrhage is watery mixed with clots.
Body is cold while the head is hot. Has sore, bruised pain in spots. Sensation of deadness in the bruised part [injuries]. Feels numbness externally in the bruised part. Numbness of parts, suffering in bruised parts. Pulse is faster than the heartbeat. Perspiration stains the linen red.
Vertigo from injuries to the head. Vertigo while reading too long. As if high objects leaned forward and would fall on him. Objects seem to turn in a circle while walking. Giddiness on getting up after sleep, on moving the head or in walking. Vertigo on closing the eyes. Vertigo in old age.
Arnica is full of headaches, especially if dating from a blow on the head or after a fall or an injury that caused concussion. It must be appreciated that the constitutional types of Arnica will develop such headaches very easily, as this remedy is exceptionally sensitive to the effects of blows or falls where a concussion results in chronic symptoms, whereas in other constitutional remedies we do not see such sensitivity. The headaches of Arnica are characterised by angiokinetic disturbances where we observe heat or coldness in different parts or spots of the head. Whenever a headache is accompanied by such concomitants as coldness or heat in spots or parts think of Arnica. Also if you see contrasts in body temperature like: “burning headache while the body is cold”. Headache which feels as if a knife was cutting, darting and stabbing the head followed by a sensation of coldness.
Aggravation of headache in forehead, above eyes, from the heat of a stove. Head feels cold and chilly after breakfast. Head is cold and chilly internally.
Vertex of head is icy cold. Feels coldness and chillness on his forehead, as if a cold finger were touching him in certain small spots. Heat in head during cough. Has stitching headache in forehead, during chill. Heat in head while lying down. Head is hot, face is red while body is cold. Heat in spots on vertex. Headache during perspiration. In all these examples we observe the angiokinetic nature of the headaches.
Another characteristic of headaches is their extreme sensitiveness to any kind of touch or motion and the feeling that there is a nail going through the head. “Brain feels sensitive from brushing of the hair. Pain as if a nail was driven into the brain, feels as if a nail was imbedded in the temples. Sore, bruised headache, sensitive to pressure and sneezing. Headache worse coughing. Contraction of the brow brings on headache in forehead, above the eyes.”
The Arnica headaches that come mostly in the morning after waking and last up to 10 a. m, sometimes in the afternoon from 3 to 8 P.M. are stunning, stupefying. Many of the headaches of Arnica are located above the root of the nose or in the frontal eminence. Headache alternating with prolapse of the anus. Arnica is one of the remedies we have to think of in cerebral haemorrhages. Peculiar symptoms of the head are: Bores head in pillow during sleep. Jerking of the head during sleep. Great desire to scratch anything especially the head. Must bend head backwards while walking. Pain as if head were distended from within outwards. Stitches in left frontal eminence with a sensation as if extravasation of blood had taken place. Sensation of contraction and constrictiom on head and forehead. Crackling sensation on side of head. Sensation as of a lump or a tumor on the head.
In the eye we have a real picture of what is taking place in the mucus membranes of this remedy under pressure. We see the sensitivity of the vascular system and its tendency to break down and let the blood ooze out. So we see: Ecchymosis of the eye from coughing. Ecchymosis of the lids with swelling. Retinal hemorrhage.
Bleeding eyelids. Redness in eye after injuries. Acute inflammation after injuries.
Another characteristic is an aggravation of the eye condition from heat. So we see: heat brings on iritis. Warmth brings on stitching pain in eye. Warmth aggravated eye pain. Walking in open air ameliorates pain in eyes.
Exerting the eyes causes problems. Sore, bruised, tender pain in eye after doing close work. Eyes feel tired after sightseeing, seeing movies, etc. Chronic pain in the eye from a blow. Has staring gaze on waking. Right eye protrudes and looks bigger than the left. Cataract from contusion; after operation. Eyes are painful at night in bed. Tearing pain in eye is aggravated when person is in bed. Has diplopia on looking downward. Diplopia from hemorrhage of retina; from injuries; from paralysis of muscles. Has flickering vision while reading; while writing. Sees black spots.
In the ears we have results of injuries to the head with many times an impairment upon the hearing. Hearing is diminished or lost from concussions; the right ear is more affected. Pain in ears from injuries to the head. Has acute hearing during chill. Has noises in the ear caused by rush of blood to the head. His own voice seems distant to him. Redness about the ear. Pressing pain which begins in the left ear and then goes over to the right ear. Suppurative inflammation with bleeding. Cartilages of ears are sore, as if bruised.
In the nose we have mainly symptoms indicating again the tendency of the remedy for easy bleeding and ecchymosis. Epistaxis from a blow, with every fit of coughing, during typhoid fever, from washing face. Epistaxis from blowing the nose in the morning, from exertion, from straining at stool. Blood is dark. A great characteristic here is that the tip of nose is cold. Though the environment is warm the nose feels cold to the touch. The nose is cold on one side while the other side is hot. Formication, tingling in the nose. Violent sneezing from overlifting.
Paroxysmal pain in root of nose. Burning, smarting pain in margins.
Again here we notice the circulatory disturbances of the remedy: Face and hands are cold on one side while the other side is hot. The nose is cold on one side. Sensation of burning heat on lips. Face is red while body is cold. Heat flushes in the face in the evening. Red discoloration of face while shivering. Red swelling of the face. Black and blue spots on face. Tingling of cheeks and lips. Picks his lips.
Eruptions under nose. Pimples on upper lip. Pimples inside nose. Pustules inside nose. Herpes with spasmodic cough. Erratic erysipelas on face. Pain in face is aggravated while lying on affected side, from noise, from yawning, from a jar. Has trembling of lower lip. Paralysis of right side of face.
In the mouth we have a great offensiveness with a characteristic taste like that of rotten eggs especially in the morning. This taste is very characteristic of Arnica and we shall see it in eructations as well. Anyhow the smell is offensive, putrid, especially in intermittent fever. Bitter taste in mouth during apyrexia. Mouth has a sickening odor.
Arnica could be indicated after dental work only if the person has really received a shock through it and is in great pain or distress. It is not to be given routinely after any dental work. Still we will require certain conditions like: Toothache after filling has been put in. Toothache that feels as if teeth are sprained. Toothache that feels as though roots of the teeth were scraped by a knife. We can however keep in mind the peculiar symptom of having toothache after a concussion. This is a great keynote. Another keynote is toothache while eating dinner which is ameliorated after the dinner. Stooping ameliorates toothache. Other kinds of toothaches are: Pressing toothache as if blood were forced into them. Toothache feels as if roots were scraped with a knife. Stitching, stinging toothache in upper right. Pain in teeth with swelling of the cheeks and tingling in the gums. Pain in gums while chewing. Profuse bleeding of gums after extraction of teeth. Gums are sore after extraction of teeth. Sense of pulsation in gums. A crawling sensation in gums.
Tongue is brown in the center with white and moist sides. Tongue dry, very dark, almost black. Stitching pain in root of tongue. Salivation during sleep
Some peculiar symptoms of the throat are: Sensation of food lodging in throat. Gurgling in esophagus when drinking. Bitter mucus in throat. Pain in throat during menses. Has stinging pain when not swallowing. Swelling of soft palate.
The great keynote in the stomach is: Eructations in early morning that smell like spoiled eggs. Eructations bitter after anger. Eructations of mucus. Retching at night. Empty eructations during nausea. Pain in stomach extending over abdomen. Has pressing pain, as from a weight, in stomach – extending to neck.
Other peculiarities are: Stomach tension in the morning, in bed. Sensation of ball rolling in stomach. Disordered stomach from mental exertion. Indigestion after mental exertion. Stomach pain from strain. Stomach pain before cough attack.
Pain in stomach extends transversely. Pressing pain in stomach, as from a weight, extending to neck. Feeling of a lump in the back part of stomach. Gurgling when drinking. Aversion to brandy and whisky in habitual drinkers. Aversion to broth, to meat, to milk. Aversion to meat in soup. Loathing of food with a feeling as if stomach is full. Desires vinegar. Constant desire to drink but does not know what as all drinks seem to her offensive. Vomiting from movements of fetus. Vomiting of dark clotted blood; of milk.
We can say in general that in every pathological condition or activity (pregnancy) that is centered in the abdomen we shall see this peculiar tenderness, soreness, bruised feeling, a great sensitivity with aversion to being touched. There is pain with every cough, with every step or jar.
The movements of the fetus are felt intensely and keep the woman awake the whole night. Movements of the fetus cause nausea and vomiting.
A keynote of Arnica in the abdomen is a feeling of sore, bruised, tenderness in the inguinal region that forces the patient to walk in a bent position. It has the same sore bruised tenderness in the abdomen during stool. Dull pain in inguinal region on coughing. In inflammatory conditions of the abdomen, liver, intenstines, appendix etc there is a lot of tympanitic distension with frequent urging for stool with prostration, uneasiness and great sensitivity. Distension of abdomen after supper.
Anxiety felt in the hypochondria. Twitching and jerking in hypogastrium. Abdomen has crusts; scales; vesicles.
Arnica is one of the main remedies for retention of urine after exertion, after injuries like concussion of the brain or a violent accident. Suppression of urine from concussion of spinal column. Inflammation of bladder after injuries.
Some of the labor after-effects could be: Dribbling of urine [by drops] after labor. Involuntary urination after labor. Has dribbling of urine, night and day after labor.
Involuntary urination while running. Retention of urine in chill; during colic. Chilliness after urination. Ineffectual urging to urinate during chill. Itching sensation in anterior part of urethra. Brown sediment in urine. Urine is black like ink.
Genitalia – male
Arnica in the first stages seem to overexcite the sexual passion in men and to make the person quickly aroused sexually while at the same time taking away the power to hold an erection for some time. The overexcitation can bring on an easy and premature ejaculation, so much so that an orgasm can take place even in the stage of carressing and kissing. For the same reason we find daytime seminal emissions and also nightly seminal emissions which come too easily. Eventually we may find impotency.
Sexual erections in morning after waking. Erections without erotic thoughts
It has been observed to increase the sexual passion in an old man with continuous erections. Aching pain in testes. Inflammation and swelling of testes from contusion. Hard swelling of penis. Bluish red swelling of penis. Hydrocele caused by a bruise. Painful swelling of the spermatic cord, with shooting in the testes, extending to the abdomen. Has eruptions on scrotum that look like blotches.
Erysipelatous inflammation of scrotum. Pimples on penis, prepuce. Blotches on scrotum. Hematocele
Genitalia – female
As we have described already Arnica patients have tremendous sensitivity and tenderness in their sexual organs; they do not want to be touched there, they feel extremely painful and therefore prefer to avoid coition. The idea that the penis will enter their body is unbearable. Tremendous fear of rape for this reason. The soreness and tenderness in ovaries is so great that it is aggravated by walking.
Arnica is frequently indicated in all stages of pregnancy, during labor if the pains though severe are ineffectual. During pregnancy if the mother experiences pain or vomiting from the movements of the fetus, or if the fetus lies in an abnormal position, for instance crosswise, in asphyxia in a newborn infant where the baby comes out bluish red and you may feel that it will not survive, especially after a laborious labor. After labor where there is slow recovery from pregnancy and its consequences, if she has pains after instrumental delivery, if there is great haemorrhage after parturition. During the time of nursing if she has after-pains when nursing child or if there is pain in uterus while nursing the child. Alternation of uterine with mind symptoms. Threatened abortion from injuries, falls, shocks. Metrorrhagia after coition; after concussions. Walks bent over in prolapse of uterus. Shocks from copious menses. Foamy menses. Hot menses.
Shooting stitching pains on both sides of chest that prevents breathing is a great keynote for Arnica. Stitching pain when walking, aggravated by sneezing.
Pressure ameliorates this pain but also pressing aggravates a kind of sore, bruised pain in chest.
He has to hold the chest with both hands during cough to prevent pain, much like Bryonia. Has bruised, sore pain in chest upon respiration. Pain, as from a sprain, is aggravated by deep breathing. Inflammation in mammae from bruises. Induration of right mammae. Inflammation of nipples. Costal cartilages feels sore and bruised. Arnica is one of the main remedies for a heart enfarct as well as for angina pectoris or other cardiac problems. The peculiarities of this remedy in this respect are expressed through the following symptoms: Angina pectoris with pain extending to the elbow of left arm. Has stitching pain in heart with fainting. Has sore, bruised pain in region of heart. Heart strain from violent exertion. Palpitation during anger. Icy coldness of heart during chill. Constriction, tension tightness of chest after eating. Touch aggravates constriction, tension, tightness in chest. Grasping sensation in heart. Cardiac dropsy with distressing dyspnea.
Red perspiration. Offensive perspiration. Tickling cough in the morning after rising. Cough at night during sleep without been awakened. Cough begins one hour after going to sleep.
Asphyxia in newborn infant where they can come out bluish-red and you may feel they are not going to survive, especially after a laborious labor.
Children who are coughing after they had been weeping and sobbing because of some ungratified caprice or because they were refused something they wanted. Children cry in whooping cough as they feel that an attack is coming.
It is interesting that in Arnica like in Cuprum there is a definite effect of the mind or emotions upon the respiratory system where we see: Cough from mental exertion or from grief or from lamenting. Coughing causes blood shot eyes or epistaxis.
Dry morning cough which is loose in the evening. Dry, tickling cough coming from low down in trachea. Noise aggravates cough. Spasmodic cough with facial herpes. Whooping cough in the evening until midnight. Hoarseness worse from exertion, or from exposure to cold and wet. Asthmatic respiration from fatty degeneration of the heart. Difficult respirationa fter anger; cough with heart affections; irregular respiration while standing. Expectoration glairy. Blackish expectoration with lumps in center. Bloody expectoration at night. Hemorrhage that’s coagulated and dark. Hemorrhage after exertion. Hemorrhage is frothy and foaming in character.
Inflammation of lungs approaching paralysis
There is a sore bruised pain all over back, patient is weak and tired, wants to lie down yet bed feels too hard. There is a weakness of the muscles of the neck and the head tends to fall backwards. It is of course indicated in injuries of the spine. Has sensation of sore bruised pain during shivering. Important modalities are:
Stitching, shooting back pain on breathing; when inspiring; on walking.
Pain in the lumbar region while lying. Pain in the lumbar region extending upwards made worse on stooping. Stitching, shooting pain extending to knees.
Has back pain on retaining urine. Back pain in cervical region when sneezing. Back pain in sacral region extending to groin during menses; extending down legs to great toe. Involuntary jerking pain when pressing on dorsal vertebrae. Back spasms while nursing
Again we must stress here that in Arnica we may find the hands or the legs cold while the head and the face are hot. There is coldness of hands with internal heat of the whole body. Pain in extremities before chill. Thigh is cold in the morning.
The extremities feel sore and bruised especially when in contact with the bed.
Pains of the joints, especially wrists and ankles after injuries. Feels pain as if the wrist is dislocated. Tearing, sticking pain in wrist. Cracking in wrist. It feels as if wrist is dislocated when in motion. Has pain in ankle when in motion. Pain in joints of toes. Foot feels heavy after walking.
Drawing pain is felt in the hip while sitting with the thigh extended. Lower limbs feel as if they are sprained. Tearing pain in hand is ameliorated by letting arm hang down.
Arnica affects the peripheral nervous system causing a lot of peculiar symptoms such as: Sensation of paralysis in joints. Paralysis of shoulder while walking. Sudden twitching of extremities. Twitching of the inner side of the thigh near genitals. Twitching of second finger. Shaking of extremities after faintness. Has shuddering of the shoulder and thigh shivering. Convulsive motions alternating with trembling of the body. Painful jerking of the ulnar side of the hand. Painful jerking of the shoulder. Weakness in upper limbs when taking hold of something. Weakness in the foot while walking in open air.
Perspiration of inner side of upper limbs. Painful and symmetrical eruptions are the characteristics of Arnica on the extremities together with the ecchymosis:
Varices on lower limbs during pregnancy. Varicose tumors of the leg. Has blue spots on thigh. Has blue marks on thigh; yellow marks on thigh. Carbuncles on the thigh. Painful eruptions. Painful eczema on fingers. Painful eruption on the knee; Erysipelatous inflammation of foot.
We see much of the excitation of arnica in their sleep. Sleeplessness for two or three hours until midnight, during climacteric period. Has sleeplessness because bed feels too hard. Has sleeplessness from painful motion of fetus; from mental and physical overfatigue. Wakes in the morning from the heat. Wakes during night with head hot and is afraid to go back to sleep because is scared that he will have a brain stroke. Wakes with soreness.
In Arnica we see a lot of vivid anxious dreams or nightmares: of being buried alive; of suffocation; of funerals; of graves; of mutilated bodies; of black dogs; of black animals; black cats; of black forms; of lightning. Has repeating dreams. Dreams seem true on waking.
Sleepiness in cholera infantum. In brain stroke we observe a very restless sleep with much drowsiness. He answers a question and during answering is falling back to sleep. His head is hot and the face flushed. Bores head into pillow
Has continued, petechial fever, typhus, typhoid, with foul breath. Violent congestion of the head, with body cold. Fever is accompanied by chill from uncovering. Chilliness on slightest movement of the bed-clothes; from putting hands out of bed. Chilliness on the side on which he is lying. Chilly with heat and redness of one cheek. Feels burning heat in one spot which is cold to the touch. Vomiting during fever. Fever in affected parts. Fever comes in paroxysms, is changing. Fever occurring at night, 4 A.M. without chill. Before the fever there is a dragging sensation in all the bones. Sour perspiration at night. Musty odor. Stains the linen red.
Ecchymosis, black and blue spots is of course the great characteristic, but also crops of small boils can be considered a keynote. Symmetrical skin eruptions. Acne indurata that are symmetric in distribution. Green spots on skin. Blackish spots. Shiny, hot and hard swelling of the parts that are affected. Ulcers with bruised pain. Dirty ulcers. Ulcers have mottled areola. Skin is mottled during chill Small pimples. Purpura miliaris.
Abscess. Bed sores. Boils. Bruises. Carbuncles. Ecchymosis. Excoriations. Sore nipples. Stings. Wounds.
Back pains. Paralysis. Lumbago. Rheumatism. Sprain. Exhaustion.
Fetid breath. Diabetes. Disorders of taste. Thirst. Hematemesis.
Bronchitis. Chest affections. Pleurodynia. Nose affections. Whooping cough.
Pyemia. Heart affections.
Dysentery. Impotence. Labor. Miscarriage. Hematuria.
Purpura. Splenalgia. Traumatic fever. Tumors. Sore nipples.
Mechanical injuries. Traumatic experiences on all levels physical, emotional or mental, fright, fear, financial loss, etc.
It is complementary to: Aconitum napellus, Ipecacuanha, Veratrum album, Hypericum and Rhus toxicodendron.
It is followed well by: Aconitum napellus, Apis mellifica, Arsenicum album, Baryta muriatica, Berberis vulgaris, Belladonna, Bryonia, Cactus grandiflorus, Calcarea carbonica, China officinalis, Chamomilla, Calendula, Conium, Curare, Hepar, Ipecacuanha, Nux, Phosphorus,Ledum, Pulsatilla, Psorinum, Rhus toxicodendron, Ruta, Sulphur and Veratrum album.
It follows well: Aconite, Apis mellifica, Ipecacuanha and Veratrum album.
It antidotes Ammonium carbonicum, China, Cicuta, Ferrum, Ignatia, Ipecacuanha and Senega.
It is antidoted by: Camphor, Ipecacuanha, Coffee, Aconite, Arsenicum, China, Ignatia. Alcoholic stimulants, wine and coffee are inimical to it.
Arnica should be given in the highest potencies especially in conditions arising from traumatic experiences.
In a case of whooping-cough, in a boy five years old, with light complexion, sandy hair, and sanguinous temperament. The paroxysms were attended with a great deal of “whooping” and bleeding of the nose; the eyes were blood-shot. A single dose of three pellets of Arnica montana 30, was given in the evening, and he never whooped afterwards. He coughed occasionally for a few days, but in the course of a week, he was entirely well. There was but the one dose given.
Effects of a blow, Concussio Cerebri. — A. C., a boy three years old, of lymphatic-sanguine temperament. The child had been healthy at birth and remained so till a year ago, when he was found paralytic on one side, without any known cause or previous illness, as reported. Under the use of blisters and leeches he had recovered in three months and seemed well up to the present time, except that the affected limb seemed smaller and colder than the other.
A fortnight ago he received a violent blow on the nose and soon after was seized with headache, fever and sickness, which have continued since. His present symptoms are, –
He complains constantly of pain in the head, great heat in the head. In the morning coldness and shivering, followed about 2 P.M. by heat and dryness of the skin all over the body, not succeeded by perspiration.
The heat continues during the greater part of the night, attended with great thirst, sleeplessness, restlessness and sickness and towards morning he falls into a heavy sleep with sonorous breathing.
No appetite – foul tongue and breath. Does not pass urine during the day, but at night passes a considerable quantity of strong smelling, high colored urine. Nothing remarkable was observed in the state of the pupil.
The first symptom, “pain in the head,” is too indefinite to lay any stress on; the next, heat in the head, is of more importance and is one of the characteristic symptoms of Arnica.
The shivering in the morning and forenoon, followed by heat without perspiration, the heat with thirst and restlessnes and sleeplessness, and the heavy sleep with loud breathing, are quite homeopathic to the action of Arnica. Also the foul tongue and breath, and likewise in a marked manner the dysuria.
The Arnica being then perfectly homeopathic, both in respect to the etiological condition and the existing affection, was accordingly administered in the 6th dilution [billionth], to be taken night and morning. The result was, that in a few days the child was perfectly relieved from all the above symptoms.
Cases 1 – 2: The Journal of Homeopathic Clinics, Edited by C. Hering, M.D. and H. N. Martin, M.D., Philadelphia, 1869.
… A stout, strong young man was helped into the room almost bent double with severe pain. He worked for the Union Transfer Company, handling trunks and a trunk had fallen off the delivery truck, the corner of it striking him in the left lower ribs. His face was drawn with pain and he could not help groaning. I put a dose of Arnica 2C. on his tongue, gave him three or four to take home with instructions to put one in 1/4 glass water and take a teaspoonful every 15 minutes for four doses. This group was to be repeated in two hours and again in four hours if necessary. I charged him to come back anyway on next clinic date, three days later. At that time he burst into the room demanding to know the name of that stuff. I told him it was Arnica. Then he told me excitedly that by the time he was half way home, he could straighten up and breathe much easier and by night the pain was about gone; none since. He had taken two groups of doses but no more.
A neurasthenic young lady consulted me for fatigue of the vocal organs in the upper register. There was a suspicion on my part of hysterical paralysis of the vocal cords. Repeated examination did not confirm this view and my treatment was in vain for ten days. I then had her sing the scales and vocal exercises to me. I immediately perceived that on account of deficient voice culture, she was compelled to strain her voice in singing the upper register. On consulting her teacher my opinion was corroborated.
I gave her Arnica cc a dose every day for three days and requested her also to take a similar dose after each lesson.
In the five months which have elapsed there has been no new attack of fatigue of the voice…
Male, aged 17. First, second and third toes of left foot crushed. Amputation performed. Three unhealthy ulcers remained. Great pain at night, preventing sleep. No improvement in three months from Bichloride of Mercury, Creolin, Balsam of Peru, Ichthyol, Calendula and Aluminum acetate externally; Hepar sulph., Nux vom., Silica and Calendula internally, and Morphine hypodermically, prescribed by attending surgeon and his assistants. Re-amputation was considered by the surgeon, a man of great ability in his field. When called in the case I prescribed Arnica 30th, internally and a dilute Arnica dressing, externally, on the following characteristic indications: Great soreness with fear of being struck by those approaching the bed. He improved at once, slept the first night after receiving the remedy and was completely cured in nineteen days.
Mr. H. Right nostril bleeds on washing face, and sometimes when straining at stool. Arnica m.m. [Fincke] one dose, cured at once…
A man living twenty-five miles in the country was taken suddenly with unconsciousness. He does not remember getting out of bed, or eating breakfast. Left the table and went out to a wagon. He leaned his head upon a trunk-rack for a moment, then suddenly straightened himself up and fell backward in a perfectly rigid state striking his head upon the hard ground.
He came to his senses about noon and was brought home. I saw him in the evening. He complained of terrible pain throughout the back of the head, and all through the brain, of a bruised character. I gave him Arnica cm, one dose, and nothing else. The next morning the pain was all gone from the back of the head. He was ever so much better, only had slight pain in the frontal region. Next day entirely well. I have no reason for reporting the case further than for the potency used. One dose did the work. I want to put it on record for the benefit of the weak and not let it die an ignominious death in the dark.
An officer, some 30 years old, came to see me February, 1892. He had been ill since October, 1891, when his right inguinal gland had swollen suddenly and began to suppurate. In his garrison the military surgeon had made an incision, but the gland did not stop suppurating and though the skin closed again, there was a fistula left and after every long walk, more pus came out and the irritation of the gland was shown by pains all through the right leg. The officer could do no service and was practically an invalid. Having had homeopathic treatment in his boyhood, he came to see me on the 11th of February. I gave Arnica 30, because I heard that the initial irritation of the gland had started after a very long military march. After nine days the gland could be palpated and the cicatrix, which was deep in the flesh, could softly be massaged. This was done up till the 27th of the same month and then I dismissed the patient with some Arnica in his pocket, to take in case of need.
When I saw him ten months later on his Christmas leave, he told me that from the 5th of March he had done service all the time.
A student of twenty-one had been struck full in the left eye with a tennis ball. He came to me an hour after the accident. I found ecchymosis extending to the peri-orbital region, which was tumid and painful. One drop of 2% cocaine made it possible to examine the eye, which was photophobic and lachrymating abundantly. The upper and lower lids were swollen and painful. The lower palpebral conjunctiva had been torn and there was widespread ecchymosis. There was muchcircumcorneal injection and the superficial layer of the cornea had been torn. The corneal wound involved the whole of the pupillary area, forming flakes which could easily be detached. The patient felt smarting pain and a very unpleasant sensation of scrat ching under the eyelids. The anterior chamber was normal, tension good, pupil reacting well; examination of the fundus showed nothing in particular. Sight normal.
Treatment: Bathing with sterilized water and a few drops of Calendula [mother tincture]; then a damp, aseptic, occlusive bandage with a few drops of mother tincture of Arnica; and to be taken internally, Arnica 10M [Skinner], one dose.
Twenty-four hours later the cornea was glossy and the epithelium had already healed. The patient had slept perfectly well, and after four days of occlusive, sterilized, daily bandages soaked in a little Arnica, all the symptoms disappeared and the patient was completely cured…
Some years ago a doctor wrote for help. He had had distressing breathlessness after running 80 yards [a month previously]. Heart had continued weak, with slight pain, and pulse slow. Awoke in the night with oppression of chest, anxiety and fear. Can’t run up stairs without breathlessness. Legs heavy – head fuzzy.
Heart-sounds normal; weak: no heart disease. “Heart’s weakness suggests early death, yet calm and not anxious.”
Arnica was sent, and he wrote, “Arnica had the desired effect. All symptoms went within 48 hours. I’m all right now.”
We are often perplexed by those paralytic conditions that come into our offices from time to time. In January 1926 one of our real estate men, who had been apparently always in good health, came into my office dragging his left foot. I noticed too that his left arm swung rather helplessly, the left eyelid was closed, and he had it suspended by a little strip of adhesive plaster. His tongue seemed to be pretty thick, he was unable to articulate distinctly, the muscles of the pharynx functioned backward so that when he attempted to swallow the food it would regurgitate through the nose; that was especially true with drink. Solid foods he could not swallow.
He was a man sixty-five years of age and my first thought when he came in was, “Well he belongs to that overworked class that naturally drifts into these paralytic conditions.”
In talking with him a little while, I really forgot the significant feature of the trouble, as we often do. I prescribed for him Causticum, but as days and weeks went by, results were negative. He thought he was doing fairly well, but I did not think so. The latter part of February, his sister, an old friend, came into my office and asked me if this man had ever told me about his accident. “No.” Then she told me herself, and she repeated later on, that on the Christmas previous, his son-in-law, who had become demented, was taken into his home, as he was unable to support his family. They had two little girls. On of the little girls did something that displeased him on Christmas day and he took the child by the shoulders, lifted her up and bounced her down on the floor as hard as he could. This old grandfather objected to such procedure. The son-in-law is a very robust man, and he struck Mr. Wolfe on the right mastoid, knocked him down and the old man lay unconscious for an hour and a half, and after he was able to get up, these things came on.
I was very glad to know that. In the latter part of March, I think it was, when I got the secret of the matter, I gave that man a dose of Arnica 10M. In about ten days he reported feeling a little better. I let him rest, I think something like thirty days, on that one dose of medicine. Then I repeated my remedy when I saw that the symptoms were about at a standstill and he bobbed up again and began to improve quite rapidly so that I dismissed him practically cured in April. He was so that he could eat solid food, he could drink without regurgitating through the nose, he could keep his left eye open and instead of dragging his left foot he walked very well.
Last summer, after a year’s absence he came into my office walking like a soldier. “Good morning, Dr. Dienst, I came in to let you see how I could walk,” and he has walked that way ever since, for I saw him the other day on the street, feeling fine, attending to his work and with his left eyelid, his left foot and his tongue all normal…
Mrs. S., 48, corpulent, of healthy appearance, states that in the last six years she has suffered twice from uterine hemorrhage. During the last three months she has had small hemorrhages for a day after every intercourse with her husband. But now it happens not only after such acts, but also from slight pressure at evacuation; she is not costive and her kidneys function normally. The hemorrhage is of bright red color and sometimes slightly coagulated; it is accompanied by pain in knees and hands.
Examination with speculum shows nothing abnormal in vagina nor on cervix.
The remedy selection is based on the cause occasioned by sexual intercourse and pressure at stool and we know that both involve slight traumatism or force. It is clear that in this case every slight effort produces the hemorrhage. Consequently we thought of Arnica Montana and it was given in the 6x potency, eight globules three times daily. On the second consultation the patient states that she has been free from the hemorrhage for six days. Gave placebo.
Here we see confirmed all we have heard and experience in our practice that the bad effects of force almost always fall under the action of this grand remedy and that its internal use generally shows its great therapeutic value in traumatism, even of the minimal sort.
Mrs. R. Y. complained of spitting blood, and during the consultation there was proof of it, thick and slightly foamy, red. It was easily ejected without cough. There was slight pain in chest, but much agitation and fear showed in her face. She was not nauseated, nor faint. Arnica 6x. every ten minutes was prescribed and complete rest ordered. Soon the cure was complete.
Mrs. J., 48, nurse. Diagnosis: Prepatellar bursitis on both knees for half a year. Tincture of iodine, aluminum oxide had been used without result. Aspiration had helped only temporarily.
Prescription: Arnica 30 every evening, seven globules to be sucked. Night knee-pack with dry arnica flowers.
Course: After four weeks complete cure. Patient reports that her fear complex and cardiac weakness, which she had not mentioned previously, were very much improved, and her superintendent has remarked upon it too. It is to be regretted that she did not have the courage to report the homeopathic cure to her chief physician.
Mrs. S., aged 58 years, on March 6, 1913, had an operation for complete procidentia with ulcerated cervix, considered possibly malignant. Complete hysterectomy and appendectomy were done. Her recovery at the hospital was uneventful and she returned to her home after three weeks. It was following this that she became a patient of mine.
Mental confusion began after being at home about one week. Desire to sleep nearly all the time; heavy unnatural sleep.
Became indifferent to her surroundings, especially as to her personal appearance [naturally very neat.] Dazed at times; unable to remember what she had been doing at home.
Physically, appeared stronger each day, which she laid to the relief from the mechanical condition that had existed previous to operation. Became childish, irritable, feelings easily hurt and especially so with her husband. When asked how she was, always said, “I feel fine!”
Talked incoherently; began things and did not finish them. One day turned on the gas in her cooking range and then went away without lighting it.
At another time went out on the street in night dress and kimono to a nearby store, returning a bag of coke, telling the storekeeper it would not burn. Dreamed of fire at night and wakened with a start.
Head hot, especially occiput and feet cold.
General aggravation in morning; in afternoon remembered some of her strange actions of the morning.
April 24, 1913 – Became violent, rave, screamed, cried, and threw herself violently on and off the bed. Talked incessantly; saw weird lights; devils, strange people, her dead children and numerous other things.
Rubbed her hands and feet back and forth until they hurt, but could not stop herself.
Was so much upset that a consultation of doctors was held, during the same afternoon and she was able then to give a fairly clear account of things, seeming to remember how she had acted in the morning. Usual afternoon amelioration. During this time, I had prescribed Sulphur, Sepia and Natrum mur., with little, if any, result. the consulting doctor was an allopath and advised no medicine; simply rest, outdoor air, and happy occupation for her mind. So I was still left to prescribe any remedy I thought indicated. That evening, in thinking the case over again, it occurred to me strongly that the entire condition appeared to be the result of the operation and so I gave her Arnica 30th, three powders.
April 25 – In the morning, showed a slight indication of excitement, but was easily quieted.
From that time she steadily improved and has had no return of any such mental condition since…
Margaret Tyler in her book Homeopathic drug pictures mentions some representative cases of arnica:
She was taken ill one night with stitching pains in the chest that made breathing a proposition. Her husband tried to help her with various remedies probably Aconite, certainly Bryonia, but in vain. Then in a “Domestic Homeopathy” he discovered “batrd pleurisy” with its remedy arnica; and he gave her a few globules. They were scarcely swallowed when, with a long sigh, and “that is the first breath I have been able to draw tonight!” she was fast asleep in a moment.
He was a doctor who wrote that for more than a month he had had distressing difficulty in breathing, since running eighty yards. He would wake at night with “oppression in chest anxiety and fear.””Heart weakness suggests early death.”.he said, yet he was “calm and not anxious..” “legs heavy; head fuzzy; could not run upstairs. Heart sounds weak, but no disease.” Arnica was suggested and he wrote back: “Arnica had the desired effect! All symptoms went within forty-eight hours>> I am all right now.”
A doctor, overfatigued mentally and physically lost all interest in work. His usual self-confidence disappeared, so that he began to doubt his prescriptions and wonder whether he had prescribed too much of this, or even the wrong medicine. He was never sure whether he shut the door or turned off the lights; had to go back and see. He was naturally keenly alert, and this change of mentality worried him. Arnica 1000 put him right in a few days, restoring perfectly his memory and self-confidence.