Arnica montana. (Arnica.)
Preparation.—Prepare a tincture from the recent flowers, ℥viij. to Alcohol 76° Oj. Dose, the fraction of a drop.
It is not necessary to refer to the common local use of this agent, or discuss the question whether a tincture of Arnica is preferable to Alcohol alone as local application. Every one has employed it in this way, and each has formed his own opinion. I think its local use valuable, but greatly over-estimated.
Can it be employed as an internal remedy with advantage? I am satisfied that it can. It is a valuable stimulant in many grave diseases where a stimulant is most required. But if used as a general stimulant, like Alcohol, it would be as apt to do harm as good.
It is a specific stimulant to the spinal nervous system, and will be found useful where there is want of innervation from this. I have seen most marked benefit from it in advanced stages of disease, where there was feeble respiratory power; difficulty of sleeping from impeded respiration; want of control over the excretion of urine and feces, etc.; evidences of impairment of spinal innervation. In such cases its beneficial influence may be noticed in a few hours.
I have frequently prescribed it for lame back, back-ache, and feelings of debility, soreness, etc., in the small of the back. It is only useful in those cases where there is feebleness, with deficient circulation; but in these the influence is direct and permanent.