Out of the 3,000 or so homeopathic remedies available today, the one single remedy that is undoubtedly the most commonly used and well known among professionals and lay people alike is Arnica.
Arnica is well known for it’s affinity for bruised, swollen tissues and sore muscles. It is often referred to as “the sportsman’s remedy” because of its ability to bring relief to injuries, such as those that occur during sports activities.
Arnica is almost specific for bruising. The keynotes of this remedy include physical injuries, trauma, strains and sprains. It is a fast acting remedy and the main emphasis of it’s features is physical trauma. It is also used for exhaustion stemming from physical exertion. It is indicated in neck stiffness from sudden movement or exertion, sprains – especially in wrists and ankles, from over-exertion. It is often prescribed topically in cream, gel or ointment form as well as orally, but it should not be applied to broken skin.
Although physical trauma is definitely the main reason arnica is usually prescribed, there are many other indications for its use as well. Arnica is highly indicated in cases of shock (physical or mental) especially when the lower part of the body is cold, but the head and upper part is hot. It is particularly beneficial for surgical shock when given before and after surgery.
It may also be indicated in cases of gout, rheumatism, constipation and indigestion (if it is due to shock). Inflammatory conditions of almost any nature, such as liver, kidney and lung (pneumonia) inflammation may respond to arnica if the whole picture fits. There is almost always a sore, bruised feeling over the whole body. There is often a fear of being touched - when you try to help them, they may pull back and say “I’m fine. I don’t need help”. People needing arnica often have a very sensitive body. The bed always feel too hard for them. Constitutional symptoms may include: those with a nervous, fearful disposition, especially in women; those with red, full faces, those who may have been affected by an injury of may years previous; those susceptible to cerebral congestion and those who dislike travel.
Far from being an acute remedy limited to bruising and swelling, as you can see, Arnica has a multitude of constitutional and chronic uses as well.