Arnica montana is among the most well-known of homeopathic remedies, as it is used frequently for first-aid of bumps and bruises. Arnica also has many other uses, including treatment for concussions, pre- and post-surgery, sore muscles, and labor and delivery.
The Legend Behind the Plant
Homeopathic Arnica montana is a remedy made from the mountain daisy plant. Legend has it that a sheep farmer first discovered this plant's curative powers after observing his sheep: if any sheep were ever injured on the steep mountain slopes, they would go eat the mountain daisy. When the farmer was injured himself, he ate the mountain daisy and learned that it made him feel better.
Bumps and Bruises
"Arnica montana... is traditionally used to minimize the immediate effects of shock, falls, bruising, bleeding, and injuries caused by blunt objects."
Arnica montana excels at treating bumps and bruises. It is an essential remedy in my first-aid kit. With two young children in the house, I use Arnica montana regularly, and it is the most often-used remedy in my collection.
I use Arnica montana anytime one of my kids has a particularly bad fall. My son typically falls down and gets right back up, laughing it off. I know it is time to give him some Arnica when he falls down and starts to cry hard.
My daughter is a child who is rather clumsy (just like me) and she seems to be hypersensitive to pain. Even the tiniest fall or scratch can cause her to cry and cry. So I don't use Arnica every time that she falls down and cries. But I do use it whenever she has had a particularly bad injury.
For instance, inexplicably, a rocking chair once fell on my daughter's forehead. She, rightfully so, began to cry and scream, and I observed a large bump forming immediately. This was a perfect time to use Arnica, and within a few minutes, my daughter was up and playing once again.
I know from past experience that my daughter can cry for a LONG time after she gets hurt, so for her to be up and playing so soon after a real injury is simply awesome. Arnica montana helps with not only the shock of the injury, but also the pain and bruising that accompanies it. I have been amazed at how little bruising and residual pain there can be if Arnica is used for an injury.
Labor and Delivery
According to Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants, Arnica montana is the primary remedy for the trauma of birth for both the mother and infant.
"[Arnica] is also good for the mother's muscle aches caused by straining during labor and helps to promote proper uterine contraction. It can also stop uterine bleeding during or after labor."
"After the birth... bathing your vaginal area with Arnica solution (10 drops of mother tincture to 0.25 liter [1/2 pint] warm water) will take away some of the soreness and promote healing."
Arnica is also useful in the treatment of concussions. According to Dr. George Guess, MD,
"Both acute concussions and post-concussion syndromes (which can include such symptoms as headache, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, amnesia, apathy, depression, etc.) can benefit from homeopathic medicine... Of course, the use of homeopathy should by no means be used as justification for bypassing standard medical protocols for diagnosing and treating cerebral concussions/head injury. Self or family home treatment of concussion should be reserved for relatively simple cases after medical evaluation. More complicated or long-standing cases remain the province of the homeopathic professional...
Arnica... is the first and major remedy for concussion. Usually bruising or a hematoma accompanies the concussion. The striking peculiarity of this remedy, if the patient is conscious, is that the afflicted will profess that he is well and needs no care; he may recoil from efforts to examine him or touch him. He may be sleepy, going in and out of stupor. If asked a question, he will answer correctly, then go back to sleep. His face may be hot while the rest of the body is cold. Patients with chronic after-effects of head injury needing Arnica are often spacey and seem disconnected, almost as if they aren’t quite in their bodies."
Sore and Pulled Muscles
A lesser known use of Arnica montana is in the treatment of overworked muscles. Arnica can be used for muscles that are cramping as a result of fatigue, for sore muscles, and for pulled muscles. I have used Arnica successfully to ease the pain in my muscles after particularly long hikes or vigorous strength training.
Rather than waiting for muscle soreness to set in, Arnica can also be used during activities that will lead to muscle soreness. For instance, in two double-blind, placebo controlled studies,