LEOPARD’S – BANE.
The origin of the word arnica is not known. Another term is the mountains tobacco of central Europe, but it is used as a medicine simply.
Hahnemann advised the making of the tincture from the whole plant when near its flowering time (Mat. Medorrhinum Pura). The Am. Homoeo. Phar. directs that the tincture be made by using two pars of the root and one part each of the leaves and flowers, after having removed from the latter the larvae of the arnica fly.
Hering says that “one of the first provings of Hahnemann was made from the Arnica root” and that the most wonderful results were obtained from the root. He also says, the “many reports so- called poisonings have been given in the journals” that probably” were the result of tincture made from the flowers, containing the arnica fly. Nearly all flowers in the shops contain eggs, worms, or the excrements and other remains of the worms or the pupae; and all this acts similarly to Cantharides.”
Neither the insect nor the eggs have been proved by themselves.
The best known effect of Arnica is its remedies action in mechanical injuries. Hahnemann tells us that this property was known two hundred years before he proved the remedy and that the result of his proving simply corroborated it.
Arnica for injuries (26) is the most prominent symptom and it is of equal value whether the injury is of recent origin or when it is remote, such as affections of the head or mind, appearing long after a blow or fall involving the head, or in children suffering from some paralytic or other condition, due, perhaps, to the application of forceps at the time of birth.
A sore, bruised sensation (166), over the whole body or over a single part, is another pronounced symptom. This sensation is similar to that resulting from an injury, and we would think of Arnica whether it was a sensation simply or a reality.
While the application of Arnica for the results of injuries covers a wide range; a few of the recent conditions only will be mentioned, as a guide in its selection : Blows, concussions and injuries by blunt instruments; muscular soreness; after operations, from manipulation of the parts; muscular pains and soreness after over-exertion and where unused muscles have been brought into play; palpitation and pain about the heart the result of excessive straining; meningitis and meningeal irritation the result of concussion; toothache after a filling or from a wedge; haematuria, uterine disorders and haemorrhages after mechanical injuries, including coition; threatened abortion (13) after a fall or a blow; after childbirth, especially if the forceps have been used, for the sore, bruised sensations and conditions.
Hahnemann says : “The best preparation of this medicine for internal use is the decillionth development of power ” (30th). He also says: ” In severe and extensive contusion-injuries the cure is very much promoted when in addition to a small dose of Arnica taken internally….the parts are also for the first twenty-four hours externally moistened” with a solution of five or ten drops of Arnica 1st to a pint of water. (Ask surgeons concerning the bad effects of a too strong solution of Arnica locally and note if in part it is not due to drug-store tincture.) While it is perfectly right to use a remedy locally that we are giving internally we must keep i mind that if we use Arnica locally and another remedy internally, we are not practicing homoeopathy any more than if we should alternate remedies.
Arnica has a pronounced effect upon the blood where there is a general tendency to disorganization, with the resulting haemorrhage of dark venous blood; and it is to be thought of not only for the condition that will result in easy bleeding, but also as a remedy to hasten the absorption of the blood, for example, in apoplexy (18), haemorrhage in the conjunctive or retina (74), purpura haemorrhagica (158), etc.
Mentally, while we must give Arnica first consideration in conditions that can be traced back to some mechanical injury, recent or remote, we will also find it useful in delirium, with easy fear, especially of being struck by persons coming near him, or with muttering (55), or complete stupor, foul breath 92) and involuntary putrid discharges. It is of especial value when this condition accompanies low types of fever, malarial or typhoid (193).
In apoplexy (18) we have stertorous respiration, involuntary stools, no cerebral excitement, but heavy stupor and foul breath. In any of these conditions, the Arnica patient, if sufficiently conscious, will complain of the hardness of the bed, or of lumps in the mattress, of an aching soreness (166) over the whole body and will dread having anyone touch him or even to have you come near him for fear of being hurt.
Arnica has a headache with a sensation as if the head were being distended from pressure within (106) and with great sensitiveness of the brain internally (91). It has neuralgic headaches, with sharp pain as if a knife or nail (106) were being driven into the head and with aggravation on moving the head (96). There are, also, intermittent neuralgic pains, associated with malaria and neuralgias following injuries to the nerves (142).
Hot head with cold body is another symptom calling for the use of Arnica.
Meniere’s disease, with vertigo and inclination to fall to the left (207), salivation and vomiting, leads one to think of Arnica. (For further information refer to Dr. G. W. McDowell.)
The nosebleed of Arnica, when not due to mechanical injuries, is of dark (142) fluid blood and is especially noticed during low fevers or in whooping cough (47). Another prominent condition calling for the remedy in whooping cough is, that the paroxysms are so violent as to cause haemorrhage (47) in the conjunctiva as well.
The face is usually cold and pale; in low fevers it is congested and dark red (207).
The tongue in fever is dry and sore, sometimes blackish, but thirst is not prominent.
The diarrhoea calling for Arnica is associated with a state of great prostration. The stools are putrid (59) and during sleep they are involuntary and are accompanied by eructations and flatus, tasting (182) and smelling like sulphuretted hydrogen (82). It is of value in the diarrhoea of low fever sand in haemorrhage from the bowels during typhus and typhoid fevers (193) of dark venous blood. In dysentery, the “most marked indication,” says Hering, “is the long intervals between the stools, namely, from four to six hours”.
Soreness of the walls of the chest (30) as if bruised, with some sharp, stitching pains (30), is an indication for Arnica in rheumatism of the pectoral muscles, while the same bruised pain about the region of the heart leads to its affections of the cardiac muscle, hypertrophy (110) and fatty degeneration (109).
In muscular rheumatism, besides the sharp pains and great loss of power or even paralysis, the chief characteristic would be the bruised sensation and the great soreness of the muscles to touch. In gouty inflammation of the joints this symptom amounts to a fear of being approached, and as you enter the room the patient notifies you that you are expected to keep your distance and not to come near enough to touch him (84). Arnica is of value in erysipelas (68) with tendency to ecchymoses (65) and great prostration; in varicose veins and ulcers (205); in bed-sores (21); in gangrenous appearance (82) of contused wounds; in tendency to boils, especially appearance (82) of contused wounds; in tendency to boils, especially in diabetes (56).
Farrington speaks of its use “in boils and abscesses which have partially matured, but which instead of discharging, shrivel up by reason of absorption of the contained pus. Arnica given internally and applied externally re-develops the abscess” (22).
In eczema and psoriasis (158) it is to be thought of with “sym-metrical eruptions” (Deschere), where the eruption in one part or side of the body has its fellow on the corresponding part on the opposite side of the body and “clinically,” says Dearborn. “symmetry has been found to be a very good indication for Arnica.”
It is a valuable remedy in fevers of a low type, especially when malarial of typhoid in origin. Among the symptoms already mentioned as calling for the remedy, in typhoid especially, would be a general aching soreness of the whole body, with complaints of the hardness of the bed and inability to find a soft or comfortable spot on which to lie. Normally of a stupid, non- restless (193) type, with added consciousness there comes increased knowledge of the soreness of the flesh (166), with restlessness (193), and constant desire to move or to be moved.
There would be passive haemorrhages from the nose and bowels (85), offensive involuntary stools and putrid breath (24), bedsores, heat of head and coldness of the lower part of the body.
I use Arnica 3d or 30th, according to whether the injury is recent or remote.