The benefits of Arnica

Arnica is a common, readily available treatment that few people realize is homeopathically prepared.

Arnica is easy to find in ointment form for application to areas where bruising is anticipated or has occurred, or for injuries similar to those that cause bruising. It is used in this form for people, horses and other animals. But Arnica injuries are not always limited to blows to the body, nor are they necessarily only physical in nature.

This remedy has many uses

Arnica is a substantially useful homeopathic remedy, with a full cycle of expression and a much broader base of application than is generally known. It can be given orally (in pellet form) for physical traumas, such as falls, blows and contusions, as well as to accelerate the healing of compound fractures and to reduce the trauma from surgical procedures. It is also useful for other types of trauma, including grief from sudden loss, rough handling or abuse.

Signs it might be helpful

Whatever the trauma suffered, an animal that needs Arnica will show signs of chronic shock, often in the form of persistent apathy, slow responses or an overall lack of alertness. Pain can have a paralyzing effect and the whole body may show signs of oversensitivity. Most notably, the horse develops an aversion to touch or a fear of being approached. The slightest touch may cause pain. In this case, sympathy is not reassuring and the animal prefers to be left alone rather than doted upon. She may also show signs of oversensitivity to sound or other stimuli. You will also see signs of confusion, lack of presence or other indications of weakness. The horse might seem drowsy, have delayed reactions or show sudden weakness at the joints when merely standing. Simply walking can lead to inflammation, and overexertion can cause excessive soreness. Even standing quietly may cause sudden pain in the spine. Specific muscle groups, particularly in the neck, will show sustained weakness, regardless of conditioning. If left untreated, a trauma “event” will occur repeatedly in various forms and the horse will seem to be “accident prone”.

Because Arnica traumas are similar in nature, the need for this remedy is easy to spot. I would urge you to try Arnica whenever it seems fitting and to keep it on hand at all times in a 30c or 12c potency.


Susan Guran is a Homeopathic Practitioner and Therapeutic Riding Instructor living and working in Vermont.