ARNICA MONTANA

 

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FIRST AID REMEDY SERIES PART 1

The aim of this series is to provide a deeper insight into the use of homeopathic medicines / remedies in the treatment of First Aid situations.  A word of caution to start do not use this information as a substitute for seeking professional help from a homeopath or medically trained professional suited to the case be that a doctor, dentist, veterinarian etc. First Aid remedies can be used in the time delay between an accident and the arrival of or at professional help and such help should always be informed of their use. Why?  For example Arnica can rapidly improve the appearance of bruising, but this can lead to a professional assuming the initially injury, which they have not seen, was less severe than it actually was and thus not requesting the appropriate diagnostic procedures that might confirm the presence of a life threatening haematoma inside the skull, against which arnica may have given the patient more survival time, but which may still need surgical intervention to remove the pressure off the brain!

Arnica Montana

EMERGENCY USES - BRUISING, SHOCK, SUDDEN INJURY ESPECIALLY WITH A FEAR OF TOUCH OR WHERE THE PATIENT APPEARS TO THINK ITSELF IS OK IN THE CASE OF SERIOUS INJURY. THE INJURED INDIVIDUAL OFTEN SHRIEKS EVEN AT THE THOUGHT OF BEING TOUCHED AS IN THE DOG WHO WHEN INJURED GROWLS WHEN IT THINKS SOMEONE IS GOING TO TOUCH IT.  THERE IS OFTEN A VIOLENT OUTBURST WHEN THE INJURY OCCURS RANGING FROM CURSING IN HUMANS TO SNAPPING, BITING OR KICKING EVEN AT THE AIR IN ANIMALS.  THE TEND TO MOVE THE INJURED PART AS IS SORE TO LIE ON SO EVEN THE BADLY INJURED PATIENT WILL TRY TO FIND A MORE COMFORTABLE POSITION OFTEN WITH MORE OUT BURSTS AS ALREADY DESCRIBED. AFTER TOOTH EXTRACTION WITH BLEEDING.


Homeopathic abbreviation (Arn)1
Family Asteraceae (Previously called Compositae)
Common Names Bruiseworth, Leopard's Bane,Fall Herb (German Fallkraut)

Arnica is one of the obvious homoeopathic medicines to start a series focusing on homoeopathic medicines with a well known application in first aid scenarios.  Arnica Montana is probably the most famous homeopathic in modern day use and also the premier homeopathic remedy in all forms of Trauma.  Arnica Montana is a native European flowering plant and is a member of the 
Asteraceae/Compositae family, which are plants characterised by a daisy like appearance of the flower petal arrangement.  Almost all the Compositae family have a common theme of injury each with a different sensation and depth and this shows in their treatment applications e.g Calendula (Marigold) works exceptionally well at the superficial layer or the body surfaces for example with skin grazes or to heal the outer surface of the ear as in the case of a ruptured ear drum.  While another member of the compositae Bellis Perennis (Daisy) works for deep muscular injury.  

To start a word of caution neat (undiluted) Arnica mother tincture should not used topically particularly on broken skin.  This is due to the presence of cantharidin in the tincture, which can cause severe reactions even to the point of anaphylactic reactions when applied topically especially where the skin is broken.  Cantharidin comes from insects that live in the flower rather than the plant itself. Thus Arnica cream should only be applied to unbroken skin.  Arnica in homeopathic potency is completely safe in these instances. Arnica is pre-eminent in injuries, falls, blows, contusions, fractures compound and non compound.



Arnica is mainly known as a remedy for bruising, thus its common names like Bruiseworth, Leopard's Bane,Fall Herb (German Fallkraut) and there have been many studies on this effect.  As a homeopathic medicine Arnica has a much broader range of action and this can be found by reading Homeopathic Materia Medica* (A materia medica is a collation of provings, toxicity data from material dose (undiluted plant)) clinical cases all of which gives a way of identifying if a patients symptoms are similar to those actions of a particular remedy. ( see remedy selection).



Arnica for bruising but also in many cases where there is the appearence of bruising such as the true case in the photo above when one sees the full picture.






The bruise above is very misleading in terms of the cause as it is actually a septic mastitis where  the changes are due to infection leading to another aspect of Arnica it's use in Sepsis. The bruise above is very misleading in terms of the cause as it is actually a septic mastitis where  the changes are due to infection leading to another aspect of Arnica it's use in Sepsis. 

 Another misleading case is the bruising in the photograph below which had the peculiar characteristic of the patient allowing you to touch the bruise! 




 This is not a characteristic of Arnica so further examination showed that in fact the dog had had access to rat poison, depsite the fact that the owner had been told that the dog had been hit by a car which led to a diagnosis of bruising.  Knowing that Arnica has a fear of touch lead to further investigation where it was discovered that the patient had been in an area where rat bait had been recently laid. So an important further aspect of Arnica is a fear of touch, but equally in the shock state the patient thinks it is ok.  The the statement associated with people in human cases "Says there is nothing the matter with him" (when there obviously is).  That is why an examination of the patient is best carried out before giving arnica, as the patient will rapidly go from unawareness to being very present and thus can suddenly go from tolerating an examination to retaliating in the only ways it knows either by biting or clawing or in the case of humans slapping or punching the offender.  So while Arnica or Aconite should be the first remedies used for shock and traumatic injury account should be taken as to whether the patient may need examination by a veterinarian or similar professional.  Arnica has a reputation as an antidote to anaesthesia and this should also taken into account before it's use. Arnica is also useful for ailments arising from injury such as dental bruising, mastitis after injury, uterine haemorrhage from mechanical injury, blindness from injury, injury from obstruction of urethra, even cancer after injury although another composite remedy Bellis Perennis made from the humble Daisy also has a reputation for treating cancer of the breast following injury.  Always remember in each of the conditions mentioned Arnica will only work where there is a true match for example a dental extraction may well fail to respond to Arnica where the pain is due to the tearing of ligaments that hold in the tooth or where the pain is neuralgic in type.  These are subjective aspects of a patients illness that can be very difficult to assess in a veterinary patient while in a human they can tell you about these very relevant aspects of an injury.

Not all haemorrhage is bruising as in this cats eye where Crotalus Horidalus, a snake remedy, was indicated in this case.  Arnica is more for the black eye as opposed to haemorrhage or bruising of the eye another Composite remedy Symphytum (known as the Arnica of they eye) is better for eye injuries of that sort and will be dealt with in another case of the month.




Arnica is also a remedy for bilaterally symmetrical rashes often seen in septic states or on the ventral chest area in animals

Arnica is the number one homeopathic remedy for pneumothorax following a traumatic injury

It is a most wonderful remedy in fractures for allowing surgery in a field with minimum obstruction to visualization from bleeding into the area.  It also primes the area for the follow on use of other composite to promote healing in their spheres of action.  This is where so often having someone with good homeopathic training and experience can make all the difference in knowing when and where to apply the right remedy.

It is also a great remedy for sprains with bruising and arthritis that follows on injury (in humans they can describe the arthritis as having a bruised feeling.

Arnica also has a use not just in old worm out joints, but also in old worn out hearts often with an accompanying cough sometimes with a collapsed trachea, thus its use in cardiac hypertrophy

Arnica has a use in concussion and cranial haematoma alongside other remedies such as Nat Sulph, Helleborus making it of use in conditions such as Canine Stroke Syndrome.

Bruising of nerves also responds to the action of Arnica for example in cases of Horner's Syndrome




Note the tilted head the left pupil is smaller than right despite being on the side in the dark and the third eyelid is up this can be due injury to the VII Cranial nerved leading to facial paralysis - note the left lip also hangs in this patient and there is ptosis (droopinng of the upper eye lid and protrusion of the third eye lid(the nictitans membrane) These symptoms indicate lesion is peripheral (i.e. related to the middle inner ear and adjacent structures) The head tilt indicates vestibular syndrome related to middle ear problems

Post tooth extraction Arnica can be a wonderful remedy.






Acne can respond especially acne of the chin in animals although other remedies are more frequently indicated 

Arnica also has a use in eruptions on the skin where the distribution is bilaterally symmetrical.

Arnica has an odd symptom that can occur in a perfectly healthy patient with Arnica symptomology and that is a cold nose so bruising with a cold nose could indicate Arnica whereas bruising with a cold breath could indicate Carbo Veg

Boils and suddeness least touch damp cold aggravate Arnica patients whereas lying with the head low eases an Arnica patient

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