Many homoeopaths and non-homoeopaths came to homoeopathy through use of Arnica. I cannot count how many Arnica “miracle” stories I’ve heard – and instances that I have seen – where the remedy has produced literally incredible results.
Hahnemann re-iterates the importance of Arnica in injuries in his preface to the proving. However, he also reminds us of the importance of Arnica as “an indispensable auxiliary and intermediate remedy even in the most chronic diseases”. He tells us that its action does not last beyond six days, and warns that ” we must never employ it in purely inflammatory acute diseases, with general heat, chiefly external, nor in diarrhoeas. In such cases it will always be found to be very hurtful, the reason of which is obvious from its peculiar mode of action.”
Arnica has a total of 637 symptoms in the most commonly used edition of the proving. (There’s a miscount in the original, so the total shown is 638, but one symptom (534) has been skipped). Since we’re so familiar with Arnica as the miracle first aid for injuries, it’s not surprising that in the list of symptoms from the proving, Lower Extremities comes in highest, with 60 symptoms. Upper Extremities has a total of 37.
But demonstrating Hahnemann’s description of Arnica as a remedy for use in chronic illness – stomach and appetite symptoms are second on the list, with 59 symptoms. And for those familiar with use of Arnica in flu – there are 55 symptoms relating to the chest and respiration/cough, and 45 relating to Generalities, including fever symptoms.
Arnica’s “touch-me-not” fame is seen through the proving as a mix of over-sensitiveness (624) and hypochondriacal peevishness (618). Everything annoys (619), but there is also strong anxiety and fear running through the mental/emotional symptoms. Just looking at the bold symptoms demonstrates this:
617. Hypochondriacal anxiety .
624. Over-sensitiveness of the disposition
635. Easily startled.
Aggravations shown in the proving will have most of you nodding your heads and thinking “I knew that”… . Yes, 22 symptoms tell us that the Arnica patient will feel worse from walking. Given the predominance of the Lower Extremities section – that’s not really surprising. However, for those who believe everyone should feel better from open air – 6 symptoms tell us that for Arnica that just won’t be true. There is one lone hold-out on the open air issue (591) but apart from that the proving jury seem to have come out against. 15 symptoms prove what we know already – movement makes Arnica patients feel worse.
Arnica’s value in cases of injuries is immeasurable and uncontested. However the proving demonstrates that Arnica can be very valuable within treatment of chronic illness when correctly given.