CHARLES DOWDELL, M. D., TEXAS
Concerning the physiological action of this remedy I will say briefly that it possesses acrid properties. In large doses, it causes burning or heat in the throat, nausea, vomiting, gastric pains and loss of appetite. It may excite diarrhea, spasmodic contractions of the limbs, difficulty of respiration, and depression of the heart's action. It dilates the pupils, interferes with the powers of locomotion, causes muscular paralysis, collapse, coma and even death. There is no known antidote to its poisonous influences.
In small doses it accelerates the pulse, by increasing the power and force of the heart's action, increases the activity of the capillary circulation; excites the flow of urine; increases respiration; promotes diaphoresis, and appears to exert a specific influence over the nervous system.
It is indicated in diseases characterized by debility, torpor, and inactivity. In low forms of fever, as typhoid or typhus, with dry tongue and great depression; in prostrating diarrhea, if delirium of a low muttering character be present, it is a good remedy. It is a specific stimulant to the cerebro-spinal nervous system, and is of value in severe fevers where the nervous force has abated. In those cases where there is marked depression, it acts as a nerve restorative and tonic, and through this influence controls the fever.
In extreme prostration from fevers, or other diseases, where there is present excessive night sweats, colliquative diarrhea, or incontinence of urine or of the feces, feeble respiratory power, difficulty of sleeping from impeded respiration, it is a specific. In such cases its beneficial influence may be noticed in a few hours. It is useful in some forms of paralysis, some forms of mania, and delirium tremens. It is frequently prescribed for lame back, back-ache, and feeling of debility and soreness in the small of back, aching as from a severe cold, or as if bruised, or strained. It is only useful in those cares where there is feebleness, with deficient circulation; but in these cases the influence is direct and permanent. Where the patient has suffered an accident, and has been crushed or bruised, or the muscular structure injured, or when the soreness of violent and excessive muscular action is present, as that following excessive labor, if given internally, in connection with its local application, it will hasten the healing process most satisfactorily. Arnica has been employed in pneumonia with good results. In typhoid-pneumonia, with dry tongue, great depression, and difficult expectoration it will be found valuable. In idiopathic anemia, with weak pulse and feeble circulation, arnica is indicated. In nervous headache, with marked debility, give it in small doses. In gout, with skin cool, pulse weak and slow, feeble circulation, arnica is one of the best remedies. In rheumatism with the above indications arnica will be found a good remedy; its direct influence over the eliminating and restorative functions of the system are of great service here. In exhaustion from sexual abuse, as a stimulant, where there is a weak pulse and feeble circulation, give arnica. It is contrarily indicated by increased temperature. Locally to injured parts arnica stimulates the removal of waste, and encourages repair. For sore nipples, take arnica, drs. 2; aqua, oz. 2. Mix and apply to the part several times per day.
Arnica is recommended as a stimulant to the vascular and secretory organs, when the action of these is languid and requires to have their energy increased.
It gives good results in prostration of the system from injuries and in concussion of the brain in promoting reaction. In fact it is a valuable remedy in many diseases, where there is debility, torpor or inactivity of functions.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 3, 1909, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.