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Beyond Flat Earth Medicine - A remedy for all trauma

Timothy R. Dooley, MD, NDA remarkable healing

Most of our children were born at home. Our last childbirth, however, started out at home but ended up in the hospital as a C-section. After the surgery, while the spinal anesthesia was wearing off and my wife and daughter were resting in bed, I hurried home and grabbed a few homeopathic remedies. My wife, Ming, wanted to begin nursing right away and wanted to minimize the use of any conventional medications which could possibly come through the breast milk. The homeopathic remedy I thought would help Ming the most was Bellis perennis. This remedy is known to be indicated after abdominal trauma (which this surgery most certainly was). As an afterthought I also grabbed a bottle of homeopathic Arnica which is the most commonly indicated remedy after all kinds of trauma.

When I arrived back at the hospital we were faced with an unfortunately common dilemma. Namely that conventional medicine is so ignorant of homeopathic remedies that there is rarely scope for the remedies to be given as part of a patient's hospital treatment. As a medical doctor and homeopathic physician, I know that homeopathic remedies are safe for mother and baby and can, if necessary, be safely taken with conventional medications. I also know that it takes a long time to deal with all the red tape before most American hospitals will allow a patient to take homeopathic remedies. Time that we didn't have. So Ming just slipped the remedies into her personal bag at her bedside and began taking them without the knowledge of the hospital staff. As the spinal anesthesia began wearing off Ming took a dose of the Bellis. After about 20 minutes there was no change in her discomfort so she took a dose of the Arnica. After 5 or 10 minutes she noticed that the pain was much more tolerable. A few hours later the same routine was repeated: the Bellis didn't seem to help but the Arnica did. The nurses kept popping in to check on her and repeatedly offered pain medication. ("Are you sure you don't need some Percocet? Don't you even want a Motrin?") After a while Ming stopped taking the Bellis altogether and just took the Arnica.

Ming's recovery was swift and uneventful; she and our daughter were discharged from the hospital early. Incredibly, she did not need even one dose of any post-operative pain medication (other than the homeopathic Arnica).

If Ming had needed conventional pain medication to control her pain she would have taken it. But even when conventional pain medications are needed after major surgery (as they usually are) I still recommend taking homeopathic Arnica every few hours to facilitate faster wound healing, decrease bruising, and reduce the amount of conventional medication needed. This is one homeopathic remedy everyone needs to know.

Arnica for trauma

The herb Arnica montana (the mountain Arnica) grows in mountainous regions the world over. In homeopathy we use substances as medicines based on their similar symptoms—in other words, the symptoms a substance can cause, it can cure when given in subtle homeopathic doses. When Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, studied Arnica he discovered that it caused symptoms consisting of pains throughout the body as if bruised, pains as if sprained, pains as if beaten, pains as if having undergone a violent fall. The symptoms that it causes it can cure. Hence, Arnica can help patients recover from all kinds of trauma: bruises, blows, falls, overexertion in sports, sprains, fractures, etc. It helps with pain and swelling, minimizes bruising, and speeds healing.

Yet Arnica is not a "pain medicine." Pain is a message from your body that something is wrong. Conventional pain medications act by blocking your perception of pain while doing nothing to correct the underlying problem. If Arnica, or any homeopathic remedy, relieves symptoms it means the underlying problem is being addressed, the body is being stimulated to heal itself naturally.

As the story above implies, not all trauma is accidental. Think of Arnica when scheduling such procedures as tooth extractions and surgeries. I usually recommend patients take Arnica once daily for a few days before the procedure, immediately prior to the procedure, and every few hours as needed after the procedure during the days following. Patients routinely state, "My surgeon says he's never had a patient get well so quickly." Remember Arnica also for the soreness following childbirth.

Arnica causes (and cures) other symptoms from those mentioned above. It causes a kind of forgetfulness and absentmindedness and has been found useful not only for mental burnout from overexertion (finals week, etc.) but also for the effects of concussion and other head injuries.

A "new" use of Arnica has been discovered in recent years: jet lag. For many travelers Arnica relieves the physical and mental discomfort associated with rapid transit across time zones and helps re-establish new sleep patterns. Most find it helpful to take just before, during, and as needed after a journey.


Homeopathic Arnica is readily available in stores selling homeopathic remedies. The 30C or 30X potency is desirable, but if another potency is all that is available go ahead and use it. A dose is usually 2--4 pellets melted under the tongue, repeated every 2--4 hours as needed.

Arnica tincture or ointment is also useful. It can be applied topically over sore and injured muscles, sprains, etc., to encourage healing. Arnica is safe on intact skin, but avoid the use of Arnica tincture or ointment on open wounds such as cuts or scrapes as it may cause a rash.


Remember Arnica for bruises, sprains, strains, blows, shocks, overexertion, fractures, surgery, tooth extractions, childbirth, jet lag, head injuries, and mental burnout. Arnica is not the only homeopathic remedy for these conditions but will help most patients most of the time. I can think of no other remedy which has convinced so many people of the amazing efficacy of homeopathy.

I had a friend who was an avid practitioner of Karate. She found out about homeopathy and took a hot bath after practice—with a dropper-full of Arnica tincture in the water. She said she suffered from no aches and pains once she started doing that!—JW

About the author:

Dr. Timothy R. Dooley is a graduate of National College of Naturopathic Medicine as well as Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine. He practices homeopathy in San Diego, California, and teaches at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences. He is the author of the easy-to-read introductory book, Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine. The complete text can be read on-line at For more information, visit He can be reached at (619) 297-8641 or