arnicaArnica montana is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies that can sometimes be underestimated for its wonderful curative power! Once referred to as the “patron saint of muscles and bruises,” Arnica relieves everything from bruises and muscle tightness to inflammation and sprains. But there is much more healing from this wonderful plant that is unknown to many people.

Why is Arnica the Patron Saint?

The power of this radiant yellow plant lies in the many substances that make up its flowers. A German study identified Arnica’s active ingredients as sesquiterpene lactones, mainly helenalin and its derivatives. These substances influence many inflammatory pathways in the body, which might explain why Arnica reduces swelling time in injuries. Helenalin also inhibits blood clotting, hence can improve blood flow which in turn reduces bruising, congestion and inflammation. Arnica also stimulates the immune functions of the mucous membranes. The powerful pain-relieving properties of Arnica make it a valuable remedy for relieving pain resulting from sprains, bruises and other injuries.

Not Just for Bruises and Injuries

Samuel Hahnemann, pioneering a system still used by homeopaths today, experimented with Arnica on hundreds of subjects and discovered its powers were vast, particularly in the realm of emotional trauma. He asked his human subjects – unaware of what they were taking – to note the effects of Arnica over a long period of time. He found it helped heal a wide range of conditions which have also been proved by other practitioners over the years, including:

  • Bruising
  • Muscle cramps
  • General soreness and pain
  • Abscess
  • Hematoma
  • Stroke
  • Heart conditions
  • Baldness (often seen in dogs who may have suffered a past trauma/emotional stress)
  • Incontinence (may also be related to fear/anxieties from past trauma)
  • Travel sickness
  • Insomnia
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatism
  • Very useful at the start of elbow hygroma or bursitis in dogs
  • Emotional shock and trauma caused by present and past incidents

Arnica was made into a homeopathic remedy in the 18th century following Hahnemann’s research. Today, Arnica montana is the first remedy used by homeopathic practitioners to heal those affected by shock, trauma or injury to the body, and is as appropriate for mental, emotional or spiritual shock as it is for physical injuries.

Emotional Trauma

I have used Arnica in many cases for dogs in rescue situations where the emotional state has been deeply affected by traumatic events, whether physical or emotional. The dog may be suffering from severe mental stress or shock and is displaying fear and anxiety relating to past trauma.

The dog may display certain behaviors:

  • Fear of approach by anyone
  • Fear of being touched
  • Signs of anxiety/trembling/panting
  • Twitches/restless sleep/dreams of past trauma
  • May freeze with tense muscles, feeling threatened.
  • May crouch with body close to the ground and sometimes display submissive behaviour causing involuntary urination

Arnica can help by working to release the fear which has become a deep seated emotion that they are holding onto. Arnica has that power to unlock this fear and help settle the physical and emotional symptoms allowing the dog to become more balanced and at peace to enjoy life again.

How to Use Arnica

You can use Arnica in acute situations in a 30C or 200C potency. In classical homeopathy the guidelines for administering homeopathic medicines are to give a single dose and wait and see how the dog responds. This is fine in many circumstances but in my experience, in acute situations, the medicine should be given more frequently based on the injury, shock or trauma and can be used repeatedly every 30 minutes until there is improvement of symptoms. If you are unsure always seek advice from a professional homeopathic practitioner.