Is Arnica Your Default Remedy For Trauma?
We had an interesting discussion in one of my Argentum Mentoring Sessions a month back.
One of my members had a query on managing a case of Trauma.
Her friend’s teenager son had fallen off a cliff. He suffered multiple fractures, but remained in a stable condition in the hospital.
She wanted ideas on what could be done homoeopathically to best help the boy.
What followed were some wonderful inputs from members on the Arnica protocol. However for me the main criteria was to look beyond the use of Arnica as a default medicine of choice in every injury and trauma. While sharing some key injury groups the main focus was knowing when not to prescribe Arnica and what to do instead.
Personally I have always hesitated giving Arnica before ruling out other indicated remedies in trauma.
I still believe Arnica is one of the most overprescribed remedy in homoeopathy today and more often than not it is prescribed when nothing actually needs to be given.
Looking Beyond Arnica, Aconite and Calendula….
Hence this time I want to present a case of Severe Concussion after a Car Accident. I used the Boger’s Approach. This is the perfect approach when you have common pathological symptoms but you can still find the genius of the remedy at deeper levels in a few minutes.
In the process I discovered an extremely useful but rarely used group of remedies. For me many remedies in this group could well be used as a near specific for cases of concussion.
I promise it will offer you a fresh insight for your next case of trauma and inspire you to look beyond Arnica, Aconite and Calendula….
Case of Concussion
A 19 year old girl came to my clinic in 2003. I worked as a medical GP then. She had been in a severe car accident and suffered severe concussion. There was also L4-L5 Compression.
She had been hospitalized for a couple of days.
Severe Vertigo since the accident. Her left eye was red. Her Back and neck were painful and she had bad headaches all through the morning and in the evening.
She had this really strong vertigo that was aggravated whenever she looked up or down. More so when she was the shower. It was really unbearable for her. The only position she could be was lying down.
She could not travel or walk on the roads. She maid, “Suddenly everything goes round and round in circles. I have to sit down or I fall suddenly. My mind goes completely blank whenever I am giddy. I cannot think. I want to sleep all the time”.
She also had tightness in her chest and sudden sweating. Back of her head was heavy all the time.
I observed there was this constant blank look, as if she was still in a daze. A staring as if she was looking into some blankness.
So I asked her – How did the Accident Happen?
I was intuitive just before and suddenly it happened. I got very giddy. I felt either I will live or die and I slept.
I went totally blank. I was unconscious. I felt as if my soul went up. Like I was lifted high up as the car tumbled down.
My eyes were bleeding and the flesh in my hand had come out. It was so painful. I could not get up on my feet. I felt, forget it. I could just sleep”.
They found her unconscious and then she remembers the hospital when she was being taken to the X Ray room and her Aunt touched her and she fainted again. She felt the ceiling turned around and I slept. It was a similar during vertigo when I go blank and suddenly fall.
This was all the information I got.
Her Mum gave some past history –
As a child she fell off the lounge. She had 8 stitches on her head. She saw a lot of blood and she suddenly fainted. She felt she went into a deep sleep. She didn’t remember the incident until much later. Since then she had been very weak in her studies. Nothing goes in her mind. Her memory and retention had been poor since.
Then later in Year 10 she had attempted suicide by consuming poison after a breakup with her boyfriend. She was unconscious for five days and feels she was raped.
There is a central idea that comes up in the case but the symptoms are all very common.
This history of accidents and trauma accompanied by this blankness. This dazed feeling, sleepiness and faintness.
When I see this coming I generally use the Boger’s Approach.
You have a causative modality and then you see a general key idea of the case that is common to the mind and the body. It comes through subjectively, in the mental state, in the physical sensationism the objective expression of the sickness as well as in the organs and system.
There is a link which connects them all. And here I could see that complete blankness in the mind, body, objectively as well as in the organ and systems involved.
Totality of Symptoms based on Boger’s Approach –
Causation – Concussion, Accidents and Injuries
Cerebro- Spinal Axis
So again even though individual symptoms are common, together there is a very peculiar sensitivity there which connects the whole case.
Repertorial and Materia Medica Analysis
I used my HomeoQuest Software here that has the Quest Feature that repertorises both from Materia Medica and Repertory.
Here is the Quest Analysis:
The remedy that came up strongly considering all these symptoms was Cicuta.
I thought it was interesting because I remembered a case of Cicuta by one of my teachers about a young girl who had a psychological trauma and she had regressed into a childlike state.
So this is a strong symptom for Cicuta. This childlike state. I looked into Boger’s Synoptic Key and found. Violent Convulsive phenomenon, injuries to brain with prolonged unconsciousness. Further there is Childishness and Suspicion.
Then I looked into Boenninghausen’s Characteristics Materia Medica and found – “ Childlike Insanity. She does all kinds of foolish things. Confuses past and present. Timidity. Suspicion.
But I liked the whole idea of Cicuta but my case did not have the childishness that was such a core of Cicuta. So I looked into the family of Cicuta. Because further down the repertorization we have Conium that belongs to the same family ie. the Umbelliferae family. Which is the Carrot and Celery Family.
So I wondered if two remedies from the same family come up strongly I should look into that here.
I used a kingdom filter into the Quest Analysis and looked at all the remedies that came up here.
I found well known and well proved remedies like Cicuta and Conium coming up, but I also found some strange small remedies I had never heard of. So I decided to check each symptoms for all the other smaller remedies in there. When I was checking Unconsciousness I found Oenanthe Crocata come up very strongly.
This was important aspect of my case so I read more about Oenanthe Crocata.
Boger talks about the Cerebro Spinal Axis. Mania and Epilepsy related to Cicuta and Belladona.
Boericke talks about pains all over the head and dizziness.
Hering – Vertigo with falling. Nausea Vomiting and Syncope.
Allen – Much confused in intellect. Vacant expression. Consciousness has quite returned but all is a blank since he ate the root this morning. She thought that she was transported to a very great elevation. As if she was flying. This was her exact experience during the accident when her car was tumbling down as if her soul went up and she was raised to a great height.
Absolute Unconsciousness. Complete Insensibility.
So for me this was my case. It was a new remedy for me. I had never heard about it. So did a bit more research. I found in Hahnemann’s Writing in Apothekar Lexicon – The whole plant is poisonous causes vertigo, stupefaction, loss of force, convulsions, delirium, stiffness, insensibility in large quantities. Boecler published in 1729 – Those who ate too much of t were taken with dark vertigoes, going from one place to another, swaying frightened, turning in a circle.
So it gave me enough confidence to use it in this case.
Oenanthe Crocata 200.
Dry Powders, Triple Split dose.
I told the mother to contact me if she did not respond in a day. The mum didn’t call me.
Followup after a month
She walks in as a complete different girl. She was smiling. That blank look had gone.
She responded immediately. The mental state improved straightaway.
The awareness came back soon after the first powder.
There is no giddiness or headache since.
Overall it has been really good.
She was not feeling sick anymore and had been sleeping well.
I did not see her after that. She had just come in for that acute problem so that was the last time I heard from her.
Personally she taught me this great remedy and family that I have used successfully in quite a number of cases of physical and psychological trauma.
I have often found Oenanthe to be a wonderful remedy for absence seizures.
Overall it is a perfect family of remedies for Concussions – Sudden shock with a state of daze and blankness. I often need to differentiate it with Nux Moschata and Opium.
But hope this gives you an insight into another trauma group of remedies to add to your materia medica.
About the author: