Note to readers: This is the first post in a series where I delve into uses and indicates for a single remedy. These posts are not intended to be comprehensive, but rather, to be focused on uses for acute scenarios only. For chronic conditions, please work with a qualified homeopath.
Arnica is what I call the Gateway Homeopathic Remedy. Most people that I talk to have at least heard of, if not used, Arnica in some form. And that’s great, because if you only learn one homeopathic remedy in your life, Arnica is the one to know. I carry it with me everywhere I go - it’s THAT useful.
A member of the Compositae (aka Daisy or Sunflower) family, the Arnica Montana plant grows high in the mountains, amongst the mountain goats, who instinctively know the benefits of the plant and are seen eating Arnica after a fall. This is because Arnica is exceptionally useful cases of trauma of all sorts - head injuries and concussions, bruises, and sprains caused by accidents or falls. The patient who needs Arnica will usually say “I’m ok! I’m ok!” and even refuse to seek medical treatment after a bad accident - this is one major clue that this person needs Arnica!
Every pregnant woman should know about this remedy, too. t’s useful when the baby’s kicks feel like they are bruising the inside of your uterus. But where it really shines is in labor and delivery. Birth is a physical trauma for mom and baby and taking Arnica can help speed recovery for a new mom. It’s even useful for retention of urine post-labor (though, so is Aconite - the next remedy I will be teaching you!).
Arnica is useful postoperatively - so useful, in fact, that cosmetic surgeons have repackaged and sell Arnica to their patients to use after plastic surgery. Taking Arnica after surgery, including dental surgery, aids in recovery and can reduce pain and bleeding.
If you know when surgery will be scheduled ahead of time, you can take Arnica in preparation for surgery, and then for recovery. You can start taking it a few days ahead of time, increasing in frequency to the day of surgery, then decreasing in frequency, only taking as needed. The most important day is day-of surgery. Take 4 doses before surgery, if time allows. Post surgery, take a dose every 15 minutes for an hour, then every hour for the rest of the day, modifying as you see fit.
Arnica can even be used in situations where you are feeling sore and bruised from overexertion, not just trauma. It’s also great for giving an extra boost of energy when you need to power through a situation - in fact, the Tour de France riders use it in the race. (Just remember, that energy has to be paid back in the future, with extra rest.)
I recommend Arnica is used for trauma in a 200C potency, but use whatever you have on hand!