Arnica Montana | Materia Medica by J. T. Kent
The Arnica patient is morose, wants to be let alone, does not want to be talked to, does not want to be approached. He does not want “to be approached, both because he does not wish to enter into conversation, a mental state, and also because he does not wish to be touched on account of the great bodily soreness. These are the two most striking things in this medicine. Irritable, morose, sad, fearful, easily frightened, imagines all sorts of things, especially that he has heart disease, or that he will mortify, or that some deep-seated trouble is upon him. Full of nightmare, dreadful dreams, dreams of muddy water, robbers, etc. Horrors in the night. He frequently rouses up in the night, grasps at the heart, has the appearance of great horror, fears some dreadful thing will happen. A sudden fear of death comes on at this time, rousing him up in the night; he grasps at the heart, and thinks he is going to die suddenly. He is full of dreadful anguish, but finally he comes to himself, lies down and goes off into a sleep of terror, jumps up again with the fear of sudden death and says: “Send for a doctor at once.” This is repeated night after night in persons who are fairly well in the daytime, who have no sympathy because there seems to be no reality in their sickness, only a mental state. It is also seen in persons who have gone through a railroad accident, or through some shock, who are sore and bruised from injury. They rouse up in the night with a fear of sudden death, with an expression of terror; the horrors they really went through are repeated. This is similar to OPIUM, only the OPIUM fear remains, even in the day time. Arnica dreams of it.
When sick in bed afflicted with a zymotic disease, with violent fever, or with fever after an accident or injury, he becomes greatly prostrated, stupid and unconscious. He can be aroused and will answer a question correctly, but goes back into a stupor, or he hesitates about a Word and is unable to find correct words when trying to answer and goes back into the coma. When roused up, he looks at the doctor and says: “I do not want you; I did not send for you; I am not sick; I don’t need a doctor.” He will say this even when he is seriously ill. I have seen an Arnica patient lie back upon his pillow after emptying the stomach of a black fluid like blood, seriously ill, with the face mottled, in zymotic sickness or such as threaten malignant chill, that one would think he was almost going to die, look up and say ? “I am not sick; I did not send for you; go home.” Yet when in a state of health he was friendly, kind-hearted, knew me well, glad to shake hands with me; but now he is irritated at seeing me there and insists there is nothing the matter with him. Such is the “shock” state, almost a delirium. After finishing such a sentence he will lie down in a stupor, will lie in bed drawn up in a heap and merely groan when spoken to. He wants to be left alone, does not want to be bothered, does not want to be “talked to. That state ushers in complaints after a shock that has shaken the whole system, that has disturbed the circulation. When a symptomatic typhoid is coming on, i.e., when an intermittent or remittent is taking on symptoms that are typhoid in character, when the tongue becomes shiny, and sordes appear about the teeth and lips, when there is sinking, and soreness all over the body, there are times when this mental state that I am describing will appear and the patient must have Arnica. Arnica will interrupt the progress and prevent a typhoid state. Arnica is sometimes suitable to the scarlet fever, when the eruption does not come out, in those severe forms when the body is dusky, mottled and covered with red spots; the patient is constantly turning and that mental state is coming on with moroseness, and stupidity. It is a wonderful remedy, a misunderstood remedy, a misused remedy, because it is almost limited to bruises. It is one of the sheet anchors in certain seasons, in the malarial valleys of the West, for intermittent fever. In congestive chills, in those dreadful attacks with prostration, stupor, mottled skin, with congestion that comes on suddenly, with anxiety. The doctors know these fevers, they dread them, and can only cope with them by using such remedies as Arnica and LACHESIS and other deep-acting medicines. It is not true that these patients must have QUININE. For many years I practiced among these cases, and I have seen numerous congestive chills and had no need for QUININE. I would rather have my repertory and a few potencies than all the QUININE in the drug stores. The sugar pills cure safely, permanently and gently, while the QUININE never cures, but suppresses, and there is nothing in the after history of that patient drugged with QUININE and ARSENIC but congestion and violence so long as he lives.
“Horror of instant death, with cardiac distress in night.” Prom that it spreads on throughout the system, but that horror of instant death is a striking feature and it comes on regardless of heart disease. A horror in the night when there is nothing to come upon the patient; a horrible congestion, which affects especially the cerebellum and upper part of the spinal cord.
“Stupor with involuntary discharges.” “Coma, insensibility.” “Lies as if dead.” These symptoms come in the low forms of disease, in the typhoid type of disease. Many of the remittent fevers, if badly treated, or permitted to run their course under bad nursing, will turn into a continued fever. While the true idiopathic typhoid comes on after many weeks of gradual decline, a symptomatic typhoid may come on suddenly, and it has symptoms of graver form than the ordinary typhoid. The idiopathic typhoid will seldom kill and will generally run to a favorable termination, if the doctor stays at home. This remedy is full of delirium in these low types of fever, even delirium like delirium tremens. “Hopelessness; indifference.” “Hypochondriacal anxiety, peevishness.” “Fears being struck by those coming towards him.” That is both bodily and mental.
Now, with this mental state thoroughly in mind, we are prepared to take up the general physical state, which has in all complaints, all over the body a feeling as if bruised. It is not strange that Arnica is used for bruises, but it is very foolish to put it on the outside and to rub it on in the form of the tincture. It produces in its pathogenesis mottled spots, like bruises. If you take Arnica internally, in large doses, you will have mottled spots, bluish spots, which become yellowish, due to ecchymoses, from extravasations of the smaller capillaries. This is, to a certain extent, what takes place in bruising. It is an extravasation of blood from the capillaries, and sometimes from the larger vessels. But all over the body he is sore and bruised, as if he had been beaten. If you watch an Arnica patient in order to get the external manifestations of his state, you will see him turning and moving. You will at once ask yourself, Why is he restless? and if you compare remedies in your mind, you will say, He is like RHUS TOX.; he stays in a place a little while and then he moves. No matter if he is only semi-conscious, you will see him make a little turn, part way over, and then a little further over, and so on until he is over on the other side. Then he commences again, and he will shift a little and a little, and so he turns from side to side. The question is, why does he move so, why is he restless? It is an important matter to solve. We notice the awful ANXIETY of the ARSENICUM patient that keeps him moving all the time. We notice the PAINFUL UNEASINESS felt all over the body with the RHUS patient so that he cannot keep still. The Arnica patient is so SORE that he can lie on one part only a little while, and then he must get off that part or to the other side. So if we ask him, “Why do you move so?” he will tell us that the bed feels hard. That is one way of telling that the body is sore. A more intelligent individual will say it is because he is so sore and feels as if bruised and beaten, and he wants to get into a new place. This state of soreness is present if it be a symptomatic typhoid, an intermittent fever, a remittent fever, or after an injury when he is really bruised all over. You get the same continual uneasiness and motion, moving every minute. He moves and thinks that now he will be comfortable, but he is comfortable only for a second. The soreness increases the longer he lies, and becomes so great that he is forced to move. With RHUS TOX. the longer he lies the more restless he grows and the more he aches, until he feels as if he will fly if he does not move. With RHUS TOX. the uneasiness passes off after moving, and with Arnica the soreness passes off if he gets into a new place. With ARSENICUM you see him moving about and look wild, and he is anxious, and this anxiety forces him to move, and he gets no rest, for he keeps going. The RHUS TOX. and Arnica patients get better from every little motion.
The Arnica patient bleeds easily; his blood vessels seem to be relaxed, and extravasation is easy. Blue spots come easily upon the skin, and internally the mucous membranes bleed easily. The parts that are inflamed bleed. He is subject to catarrhal conditions, and if he has a cough he bleeds easily. The mucus that is hawked out of the chest and throat is streaked with blood, or dotted with tiny pin-head blood clots. His urine contains blood and there is bleeding from the various orifices of the body. There is not sufficient tone in the fibres of the vessel to hold the blood within the vessel walls and they ooze.
All over the body there is a lameness, and soreness, and a feeling as if bruised; a rheumatic lameness; the joints are swollen, sore and lame. If an acute disease becomes more severe, we shall find the mental symptoms as described, and there will be an increasing soreness in the muscles. Arnica is very suitable for that sore, bruised condition of the body, therefore Arnica is a very important remedy in injuries, bruises and shocks, injuries of joints, injury of the back with lameness and soreness. In such conditions Arnica becomes one of the first remedies, and unless there are general decided symptoms calling for other remedies it should be the first remedy. Arnica will very often take all the soreness out of a sprained ankle and permit him in a few days to go walking about, to the surprise of everybody. The black and blue appearance of sprained joints will go away in a surprisingly short time, the soreness will disappear, and he will be able to manipulate that joint with surprising ease. I have seen a sprained ankle when it was black and blue, so swollen that the shoe could not be put on, but after a dose of Arnica, the swelling disappeared in an astonishing way, the discoloration faded out and the patient was able to stand on the foot. No such result can be obtained with the use of Arnica lotion externally. A high potency of Arnica is most satisfactory in bruises, and when no decided contra-indication is present Arnica is the first remedy; but for the weakness of tendons that follows such a condition Arnica is not always sufficient, and then RHUS TOX. is its natural follower. If the weakness and tenderness remain in the joints, follow the RHUS with CALCAREA. One will not, of course, give these remedies all on the same day, and not in the same glass, but will wait until all the good has been gotten out of the Arnica before following with RHUS. It is quite a common thing for aching and restlessness and weakness to come into a part that has been injured, and RHUS is then a suitable remedy; and it is quite common for a joint that has been badly treated to remain gore and weak, and then CALCAREA comes in as a natural follower of the RHUS. Now and then we have to resort to CAUSTICUM, STAPHISAGRIA, and other remedies, because of some peculiar feature in the case, but these remedies are all related more or less to Arnica, RHUS and CALCAREA. For another class of injuries compare LEDUM and HYPERICUM.
Arnica is useful in some chronic cases; especially in old cases of gout. It is quite a common thing for old cases of gout to rouse up into a new soreness of joints, with great sensitiveness. You will see the old grandfather sit off in a corner of the room, and if he sees little Johnnie running towards him, he will say, “Oh, do keep away, keep away.” Give him a dose of Arnica and he will let Johnnie run all over him. He does not want to be touched or approached; he feels that anything that is coming towards him is going to hurt him. He is extremely sensitive, his joints are sore and tender, and he is afraid they will be hurt.
This medicine has erysipelatous inflammation. If you have an erysipelas of the face with the mental state described, with soreness, and sore, bruised feeling all-over the body, you need not wait longer before prescribing Arnica. The sore, bruised feeling all over the body, and the mental state, would decide in favor of Arnica against any medicine. In inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, of the liver, and even in pneumonia, the mental state and the sore, bruised feeling all over the body would enable you to do astonishing work in such cases, even though Arnica has never produced pneumonia. It has all there is of the rusty expectoration, with all the soreness of the chest and catarrhal state, the coughing and gagging, and sore, bruised feeling all over the body, and then add to this the condition of. stupor and the mental state that belongs to the inflammatory condition of any organ and is especially strong in this medicine. We do not have to worry about arty particular fineness of diagnosis to settle upon Arnica.
Arnica has aversion to meat, broth and milk. There is great thirst at particular times; for instance, DURING THE CHILL of intermittent fever he has thirst, while at other times he is thirstless. “Vomiting of dark-red coagula, mouth bitter; general soreness.” Vomiting of black, inky substances.
Arnica is a useful remedy in inflammatory conditions of the abdomen, liver, intestines, with tumefaction, tympanites, prostration, tendency to uneasiness, and so sore that he cannot be touched. This state also comes with typhoid. Do not forget the symptoms of Arnica in appendicitis. You do not need to run for the surgeon for every case of appendicitis if you know BRYONIA, RHUS TOX., BELLADONNA, Arnica and similar remedies. The homeopathic remedy will cure these cases, and, if you know it, you need never run after the surgeon in appendicitis except in recurrent attacks. If you do not know your remedies, you will succumb to the prevailing notion that it is necessary to open the abdomen and remove the appendix. It is only deplorable ignorance that causes appendicitis to be surrendered to the knife.
Offensiveness is a feature of Arnica; there is offensiveness of the eructations, and of the flatus. The stool is horribly offensive. “Nightly diarrhoea.” “Stool involuntary during sleep.” “Stools of undigested food, purulent; bloody, slimy, mucus,” Dark blood, very foetid stool. Here we see the tendency to oozing from the mucous membranes. Black watery stools with black vomit. “Retention of urine from exertion,” from overwork, from injury, from concussion of the brain, from some violent accident. The urine is brown, or inky, dark. “Piercing pains as from knives plunged into the kidneys.” “Urine very acid, with increase of specific gravity.”
Another feature of Arnica occurs in pregnant women. The extreme sensitiveness, soreness or tenderness throughout the whole body is especially felt in the abdominal viscera, in the uterus and pelvic region. Sensitiveness to the motion of the foetus, sore and bruised; the motions of the foetus are very painful and keep her awake all night. Arnica will remove that soreness and she will not distinguish the motion of the foetus. It is not an increased motion of the foetus, but that she is sensitive to it. “Constant dribbling of urine after labor.”
A general feature also of the remedy is that the body is cold and the head hot; the whole body and the extremities are cold, but the head feels hot. This is a marked condition in sudden congestive attacks, in congestive chill and congestive intermittent fevers. This, sometimes, is the very beginning of a severe attack when there has been almost no warning except a night or two of bad dreams and distress, fear-fulness and stupefaction, with soreness in the body. If he comes out of this, an increased soreness in the body comes on, which grows worse and worse until he is sore and bruised all over. Children going into severe attacks of infantile fever may threaten convulsions, the head is hot and the body cold. Most physicians will think of BELLADONNA, which has such cold extremities and such a hot head. Do not forget Arnica, especially in those children who seem to have an aversion to being touched, and scream out every time the mother takes hold of the leg or arm. Look into the history a little and you will see that this is a soreness, and if you strip the child you may observe dusky spots, which give an added indication of Arnica.
This is a whooping-cough remedy; you can easily conjure up what the indications are for whooping-cough; aggravation from touch, sore, bruised condition, spasmodic cough with expectoration of blood, or dark blood-streaked mucus, or little tiny pin-head dots all through the mucus. Vomiting of food with black mucus. The mental state of the child can easily be imagined. The child is cross and fretful. “Cough excited by cries in children when accompanied by anger and tossing about.” “Paroxysms of cough at night.” “Whooping cough; child cries before paroxysms as though in fear of soreness.” You can easily . apply that which we have seen in the remedy to the various diseases that come on. Stitching pains in whooping cough, pleuritic pains with catarrh of the chest, with pneumonia or pleurisy, inflammatory conditions. It has also more lingering complaints, “fatty degeneration of the heart.” Stitches in the cardiac region, stitches from left to right. “Weary, bruised, sore, great weakness, must lie down, yet bed feels too hard.”
It will be well to read over all these symptoms; there are numerous particulars in the remedy, many little symptoms that are of great interest.
It follows well after ACONITE.and is complementary to ACONITE, IPECACUANHA and VERATRUM.