Arnica – Leopard’s Bane

Arnica – Leopard’s Bane

The mother tincture is prepared from the dried roots of Arnica montana L. N.O. Compositae.

Arnica is the best-known folk-remedy for wounds, injuries, contusions etc. of every kind, and may also be used in concussion of the brain, distortions, bruises, fractures, haematomas etc. Likewise damage resulting from over-exertion is an indi- cation, e.g. of the heart (athletes). Arnica patients als complain of a sensation of weakness, tiredness and general exhaustion. A specific symptom is that everything on which he lies feels too hard (Nash), and so he must be constantly changing posi- tion in order to find relief. Even the bed seems too hard. In septic states this is often an indication for Arnica, though Baptisia – another often-used remedy in sepsis – has the same symptom. The Arnica patient relapses quickly into his stupor when aroused from it. Arnica also has – like Baptisia – a dark streak down the middle of the tongue, and also a dusky-red face, such as is found in the course of sepsis and ty- phus. Stools and urine are often passed unawares, and bruises appear beneath the skin. In whooping cough, children who need Arnica or Baptisia, cry before the coughing comes on. All these cases are strict indications for Arnica. As well as with Baptisia, Arnica also has a certain similarity with Belladonna, head and face being red and hot, while body and limbs are cool or cold.

Further noteworthy Arnica symptoms are: putrid smell from the mouth, offensive eructations and distension with flatus smelling of rotten eggs, and a battered feeling in the uterine area, so that the patient cannot walk upright. The presence of many small, painful boils, occurring one after the other, is an indication for Arnica. The Arnica constitution is usually muscular and athletic, plethoric and tending to hyper- tension; however, this is no reason not to prescribe Arnica in septic states, even in weakly, neurasthenic patients, if the correct symptoms are present. This principle of prescribing according to the symptoms outweighs by far any constitutional consid- erations which may be present, and applies for all remedies as a general rule.

Up to now little attention has been paid to the action of Arnica in septic states, where it ranks equally with Baptisia and can often be prescribed alongside or with it, or differentiation made from it. Battered pains occur also in Baptisia, Phytolacca, Rhus Tox., Ruta, Staphisagria, China and others, but in Arnica, however, they are characteristically especially marked. If other typical Arnica symptoms are also pres- ent, then Arnica will be the remedy of choice and prove to act best.

Arnica complements Rhus Toxicodendron well. The latter will follow with advan- tage when the action of Arnica has died down and the case has fundamentally al- tered.

The following is a summary of the important symptoms of Arnica:

  1. Injuries of every kind, such as haemorrhages, injuries to the soft tissues, concus- sion, dislocations, contusions, fractures, subluxations and others.
  2. Consquences of over-exertion, e.g. muscular ache, sportsman’s heart.
  3. Everything seems too hard (the bed is too hard). General battered sensation.
  4. Offensive eructations. Putrid smell from the mouth. Distension, with flatus smelling of sulphuretted hydrogen.
  5. Battered feeling in the uterine area and inability to walk upright.
  6. Coughing with chest pain. Child cries before the coughing paroxysm in whoop- ing cough.
  7. Septic states with a dark streak down the middle of the tongue, dusky-red face and episodes of restlessness, possibility of delirium.
  8. Stool and urine pass unnoticed.
  9. Apoplexy. Ruptured blood-vessels. (Like Aconite, Arnica has a special action on the arterial circulatory system.)
  10. Tendency to extremely painful boils, appearing one after the other.
  11. Hoarseness of speakers and singers.
  12. Neurodermitis and eczema on the forehead, cheeks and face, with itching. (In external application, Arnica may cause skinirritation.)

The German Monograph-Preparation Commission for the Homoeopathic Field of Therapy has, under the Preparation-Monograph for Arnica montana, published the following indication(s) in the German Bundesanzeiger (German Federal Gazette) for arnica: haemorrhages of all kinds; myalgia after excessive strain; disorders of the arterial and venous systems.