This is the first installment for The Mauimama’s ABC’s of Homeopathy for Parents and children’s home healthcare. In this series we will explore a remedy for each letter of the alphabet, with an emphasis on how to use the remedy for acute home health care for you and your family.
A is for Arnica Montana
Arnica is our first remedy, and rightly so, as this is the first remedy to give for any kind of accident or shock, from children falling down and banging themselves to more serious trauma. Arnica is a great remedy for any shock to the body and is one of the most used remedies in the medical field for pre and post surgical procedures. This also makes Arnica a great remedy for childbirth, both natural and c-section deliveries.
Arnica Montana -Arn- belongs in the daisy family and is found growing on the mountain slopes at an altitude of 4000-9000 feet in certain north-eastern parts of the United States. It is documented that originally mountain climbers would pick the herb and chew it as they climbed to relieve muscular aches and pains. Today Arnica is used for aches and pains as well as to reduce inflammation in the muscles.
Structurally Arnica is a great remedy for bone fractures when used in the first stages, where there is swelling and bruising.
Miranda Castro in her book, The Complete Homeopathy Handbook states, “Arnica promotes healing, controls bleeding, reduces swelling and prevents pus forming and is therefore an essential ingredient of your first-aid kit. People needing Arnica will usually feel sore and bruised and will not want to be touched or jarred. People needing Arnica will deny that they are ill and will say they are fine when in fact they are (sometimes) very sick.” I have seen this before in patients involved in car accidents where they are standing in front of me at the accident scene covered in glass and blood and telling me they are fine, they are of course not fine and are having a delayed shock. Arnica works very well in these cases.
Arnica is also a great remedy after a visit to the dentist, which may have been traumatic, and is great for any soreness or bleeding of the gums, even after tooth extraction. In fact, Arnica is so effective in stopping bleeding it is routinely used in the treatment of nosebleeds as a result of injury.
Arnica is the best remedy, I know of, for speeding up the healing of a bruise and taking away the feeling of being bruised, which is often felt after childbirth. For this reason Arnica is great for toddlers as they gain their balance walking and discovering where their bodies end and the universe starts. Arnica can be effective given before a bruise and may even prevent a bruise from forming.
However note: one caution with Arnica is to not use it topically where there is broken skin. If your child has fallen down and scraped their knee do not apply Arnica topically to their skin, but rather give to them internally to help reduce the pain and swelling of the soft tissue and muscles. Arnica is also great for the use of sprains like sprained ankles, feet and wrists where there is swelling.
Arnica is available in homeopathic pill form and in cream and gel form. Typically a 30c potency is sufficient for first-aid kits. For use in surgical pre and post use and more serious injuries 200c is now available at the health food store like Mana or Hawaiian Moon. For higher doses such as 1M, which would be indicated for more serious surgeries and injuries, you would need to consult your homeopath to obtain it.
It is a really good idea to keep Arnica in your first-aid kit and use this remedy when needed. However, if you are having a medical emergency please know to contact your Doctor or hospital, as homeopathy is not intended to replace medical care, but is a great healing modality to have on hand.