Work is the greatest thing in the world,
so we should always save some of it for tomorrow.
Arnica montana. Mountain Tobacco. Leopard’s Bane. Wolf’s Bane. Fallherb.
CLASSIFICATION Belonging to the Compositae, or Daisy family, the genus Arnica comprises approximately 50 species of perennial rhizomatous herbs with simple leaves and daisy-like heads of flowers that bear distinct rays. The genus occurs in north temperate regions and the Arctic.
HABITAT Arnica is very much an alpine plant. It prefers open landscapes and a massive flow of incoming sunlight at high altitudes; the higher it grows the more aromatic it becomes. Growing naturally on places where climbing accidents and falls can occur, Arnica has proved effective for circulatory problems and exhaustion from mountaineering, especially in extreme altitudes. Arnica grows best in moist, peaty, siliceous soils. Chalk is its enemy, and harmful to it even in small quantities; artificial fertilizers will kill it.
CONSTITUENTS Volatile oil [0,5-1%]; arnicin; arnisterol [arnidiol]; anthoxanthine; tannin; resin; inulin; manganese [in ashes].
PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION “Arnica is irritant, stimulant, depressant, antipyretic, diuretic, and a vulnerary. It irritates the gastrointestinal tract, and in alcoholic solution excites erysipelatous inflammation of the skin in some persons. In small doses it increases the action of the heart, raises the arterial tension, and stimulates the action of the skin and kidneys. Large doses produce a transient excitement, followed by depressed circulation, respiration and temperature; violent headache, dilated pupils, and muscular paresis. A toxic dose paralyzes the nervous system of animal and organic life, causing collapse and death.”1
NAME The name is derived from the Greek anakis, lambskin, in allusion to the texture of the leaves; the specific name montana refers to its natural habitat in Central Europe, being relatively high mountain meadows around the 1,000 metre mark.
WOLF “Arnica carries the wild nature of the wolf after whom she is named. Her flowers are like yellow wolf’s eyes in which the captured mountain sun glistens. ‘Wolf’s Eye’, ‘Wolf’s Yellow’, Wolfesgelega – these old German names tell us about the wild, self-willed, even dangerous power of Arnica. … And in the leopard names that she attracts in the English-speaking world lie her elegance and wild beauty. … A plant with such strong radiance has always attracted people and inspired different names. Most of them refer to Arnica’s healing properties: Fallherb in English and, in German, ‘Wellbestow’, ‘Prickherb’, ‘Woundherb’, ‘Snuffplant’, the latter addressing the sneeze-provoking effect of the pulverized dried flowers. Used as a tobacco substitute, Arnica has been called Mountain Tobacco, ‘Smokeherb’ in German, and tabaco de montana.”2
TORN “On mountain slopes, at an altitude of about 3000 feet grows Arnica montana. Where trees have been felled, in clearings of the woods, the plant thrives on a specific soil: It seeks an environment of peat-moors where the debris of plants and soil meet to form a layer of decay. There the plant sends its root deep down until it reaches a humus layer below. From this zone of debris, where ‘torn’ parts of earth and plant life mix, it raises its beautiful orange coloured head on a hairy stem of a length of eight to twenty inches. The petals, always very regularly arranged in the relatives of the family of composites, show with Arnica a strange unique irregularity, which gives the appearance as if the leaves of the crown were torn apart. Also in a rather unique way the crown attracts many insects which not only live in it, but also of the plant. One of them a fly, Tripeta arnicivora and its larvae, like larvae of another fly, Tetritis arnicae, live and find their nourishment in the bottom of the crown. In addition, a number of fungi grow as parasites on the surface of the plant. In an environment of the remainders of cut-down trees, with its root anchored in a zone of decay, Arnica montana seems to thrive on debris. Where the soil is ‘torn apart’, where insect life tears and wears the life substance, Arnica apparently develops substances through which it withstands the dangers of injury from below and above.”3
GOETHE The German poet Goethe used Arnica to strengthen his heart. From his deathbed, he wrote: “When life and death began their struggle within me, I sensed how the hosts of life, this flower on their standard, forced the issue, and the stagnating forces of the enemy, the deathly oppressive powers, meet their Austerlitz. Rejuvenated in my recovery I praise this herb most highly, yet in truth it is nature who praises herself, she who is truly inexhaustible, who creates this flower with its healing powers, and in doing so once more proclaims herself to be eternally procreative.”4
COMPOSITAE Structurally, the family of the Compositae is considered the crown of the vegetable kingdom, as it has attained its maximum degree of specialization in its rayed and tubular florets. “Compositae in which the basic theme of the family has been fully developed, have tubular disk-florets surrounded by a circlet of ligulate ray-florets. These look like petals because the corolla tube is slit open and spreads out horizontally, like a tongue or strap. The disk-florets [tubular] tend to be hermaphrodite and have stamens and pistils, whilst the ray-florets are female, with pistils only. If the whole capitulum consists of ligulate florets, these are hermaphrodite. In some species, all the florets are tubular. Thus the thistles produce only tubular florets, chicory and dandelion only ligulate florets. The sunflower, ox-eye daisy, garden marigold and arnica appear to have achieved perfection in this respect, for they produce a distinct periphery and centre, outer circlet and disc, and the whole is in equilibrium. … In all, the Compositae type may be said to be very plastic and variable, with little tendency to harden. It is intimately bound up with the cosmic spheres, the world of light, and shuns darkness and proliferative moisture.”5
CONSTITUENTS COMPOSITAE Compositae do not accumulate aluminium, but many do accumulate selenium. Arnica contains sesquiterpene lactones [helenaline], flavonoids, volatile oil [thymol], polysaccharides [inulin] and mucilage. Inulin occurs in many plants of the family Compositae. Stored in their underground organs in autumn and winter, it partially or completely replaces starch as a reserve food. It is a “strange compound somewhere between the sugar and the starch processes which reminds somehow of ‘liver starch’ [glycogen].”6 Inulin passes unabsorbed through the digestive system, remaining neutral to cellular activity, and thus is used to sweeten foods consumed by diabetic patients. Plant species with the highest amounts in inulin are, in order of importance: Chicory [Cichorium], Burdock [Arctium lappa], Elecampane [Inula], Dandelion [Taraxacum], Coneflower [Echinacea], Costus [Saussurea], and Arnica. These are all composites. Inulin has antidiabetic, gastrostimulant, hypoglycaemic, immunostimulant, lipolytic, and probiotic actions. The ash of Arnica montana contains manganese.
PROVING ••  Hahnemann – 10 provers; method: unknown.
••  Jörg – 11 provers [10 males, 1 female], 1823; method: repeated doses of 1/2 to 8 ounces of infusion of flowers, or of 6 to 65 drops of tincture, for periods ranging from 2 to 16 days.
••  Von Szontagh – self-experimentation; daily doses of 3 drops of 3x for 5 days; daily doses of mother tincture in amounts increasing from 1 drop on first day to 100 drops on 18th day.
 Potter, A Compend of Materia Medica.  Fischer-Rizzi, Medicine of the Earth.  Gutman, Homoeopathy. [4-6] Pelikan, Healing Plants.
BLOOD. BLOOD VESSELS. Nerves. Muscles. Digestive organs.
Worse: INJURIES [BRUISES; shock; jarring; labour; over-exertion; sprains]. TOUCH. After sleep. Motion. Old age. Alcohol. Rest, lying long on one side. Damp, cold. Blowing nose. Sugar.
Better: Lying [with head low; outstretched]. Open air, cold bathing. Uncovering. Changing position. Sitting erect. Wind in face.
M Obstinate and headstrong resistance to other people’s opinions.
Would like to quarrel with everybody. Up against the whole world.
Wants to know better than everybody; no one can take him up.
Disdainful and imperious. Opinionated.
Thinks he has an important task to perform.
• “Inclination to perform greater literary work than can be accomplished without injury to health.”
• “Uneasiness of body and mind, feeling as if prevented from doing something necessary.” [Allen]
• “The need to be able to face an ordeal with the fear of failure behind it. In order to overcome the obstacles placed before them they must be strong and not lose control, acting as if they know better than the other person does. They will even push themselves way past what would be normally required of them. Even when they are unwell they will keep on pushing themselves to finish the task at hand because of this fear of failing. … Consider the situation in which the plant is found, on the mountain side, a place common for trauma and away from any further assistance, the injured would need to be able to rally themselves in those instances to push on for more assistance. Here it would draw on one’s reserves to keep going, even when more than likely you felt it would be best to stop. To stop would be perilous as your survival depends on getting to your destiny and you would have to put on a ‘brave face’ in front of others to show that you are capable. This would also be seen in situations of battle where trauma and injury were common place and again it was important to keep going and be strong.”1
• “Whatever the injury an ‘It won’t really hurt me’ attitude. A reaction of the ‘hero.’ If there is lung cancer, still continuing to smoke, getting on with their normal life. It is a demonstration that they can overcome everything. No surrender. Dictatorial behaviour, with the same weakness of all dictatorial people. Black and white thinking, very rigid. You don’t find them so much in a place of power, it is more apparent in the way they behave and think. This is the way things are and that’s it! They can not deviate from their own way of thinking. The thought that another person might enter this tower, feels like an injury. In our culture we occasionally find this kind of very superficial attitude, for example in single-minded sportsmen. … The main idea is to be conservative and to retain one’s structure. They need to be conservative in order to do so.”2
M The School of Hard Knocks.
• “Arnica corresponds to people who ‘push themselves too hard’ and work themselves to death. They want to be indispensable, and throw themselves into great, heroic activity, where they are certain to receive the maximum number of blows, the greatest amount of distress. If the first marathoner had taken Arnica, perhaps he would not have died at the end of his run. Why did he want to run so fast without stopping? Why did he not pass the baton to another? Arnica must learn that no one is alone on this earth, that we must delegate to others, not sustain them by our effort alone.” [Grandgeorge]
• “This is what I often find in the case histories, a tendency to injure or hurt themselves – Arnica people place themselves in Arnica situations. … Important to Arnica is to be strong in all situations, even when ill. … Doing something wrong and being caught is something they want to avoid, hence they are critical of others doing something they wouldn’t do.”3
M Whole body OVERSENSITIVE; wants to be left alone; says there is nothing the matter with him, sends the doctor away.
Fear of TOUCH.
• “I have seen oversensitiveness of the body alternating with oversensitiveness of the disposition, and even occurring at the same time.” [Hahnemann]
M STARTING FROM SLEEP, caused by frightful dreams, after an accident or injury; awakes in terror; horror of instant death.
• “Patients who are fearful but fear remains at night after an accident [Fear persists day and night: Op.].” [Mathur]
Nightmares after an accident.
M Patients who worry and exaggerate trivial symptoms.
M Ailments from injuries, physical [esp. soft parts] or mental [trauma or grief; remorse; sudden financial loss; fright, anger].
Due to mental or physical SHOCK.
G Mental symptoms alternate with uterine symptoms. [Mathur]
G Bad effects of mechanical injury, even of remote origin.
G < NIGHT. G < Becoming heated; > cold bathing.
G SORE, BRUISED SENSATION all over body, or of affected part.
Sensation as if bed is too hard. Has to change position frequently.
Pain as if beaten.
G OFFENSIVE discharges.
[breath, taste, eructations, vomit, flatus, stool, sweat, smell of spoiled eggs]
G HAEMORRHAGIC TENDENCY; bruises easily.
• “Persons who remain long impressed by even slightest mechanical injuries.” [Mathur]
• “Prevents post-partum haemorrhage and puerperal complications if given just after delivery.” [Mathur]
G Left-sided paralysis.
And Full, strong pulse, sighing, muttering and stertorous breathing.
P Congestion to head, and heat; nose and body cold.
P Meningitis/epilepsy from traumatic injuries.
P Ménière’s disease.
And Vertigo [inclined to fall to the left], salivation, deafness, vomiting, coldness in occiput.
P Hoarseness or cough from overexertion of larynx [singers, clergymen, military men].
P Gout or rheumatism and great fear of being touched.
P Very painful acne and small boils.
 Avedissian, “I am o.k. , are you o. k?”, Arnica montana and its use in constitutional cases, HL 1/97.  Mangialavori, “Someone who doesn’t forget pains”, Arnica montana, HL 1/97  Avedissian, ibid.
Anger alternating with lamenting [1/1], when obliged to answer . Answers, stupor returns quickly after answering . Delirium declares she is well . Delusion is going to have a heart disease and die . Dictatorial, talking with air of command . Fear of others approaching him , lest he be touched [3/1], of death at night , of death when alone [2; Crot-c.*], of sudden death , of touch . Obstinate, declares there is nothing the matter with him . Desire to be useful [1; Aur.*; Cere-b.].
When reading too long [1; Arg-met.*].
Pain on being roused from sleep ; as from a nail during menses ; as if hair were pulled out of occiput .
Diplopia on looking downward .
Noises caused by rush of blood to head [1/1].
His own voice seems distant . Impaired after concussion .
Heat in nose, cold to touch [1/1].
Putrid odour[breath] after anger [1/1]. Taste like rotten eggs .
Pain, > stooping [1/1].
Sensation of a ball rolling in stomach [1/1]. Feeling as if stomach were pressing against spine [1/1]. Vomiting from movements of foetus [1/1].
Constipation after injury [1/1]. Diarrhoea after injury [2/1].
Suppression of urine from concussion of spinal column , with perspiration .
Abnormal position of foetus, as if lying crosswise [2/1]. Menses copious from shocks , foamy .
Sensation of coldness in region of heart .
Pain on retaining urine .
Disturbed, from movement of foetus .
Being buried alive . Dogs ; black dogs [2/1]. Graves . Lightning , and thunderstorms . Repeating .
Eruptions, small boils .
* Repertory additions.
Aversion: : Food; meat; milk; smoking; soup. : Brandy; cold drinks; tobacco.
Desire: : Brandy; sour; whisky. : Alcohol; beer; cold drinks; pickles; vinegar.
Worse: : Wine. : Coffee.
Better: : Coffee.