Homeopathy is gaining acceptance in the medical profession among surgeons in North America and worldwide–even locally in Vancouver among plastic surgeons–as studies show homeopathic medicines like Arnica alleviate bruising, pain and speed recovery, while others, like Aconite, minimize pain and anxiety, with less complications. Homeopathy is an ideal complementary medicine because its medicines work fast, and the unique micro-doses in homeopathy do not interact with medications or anaesthetics. Unlike herbs, homeopathy can be absorbed in the mucous membranes of the mouth rather than through the digestive system. An added benefit is that homeopathy always works holistically—this is important because by stimulating the constitution, symptoms are alleviated from the inside out improving healing and health overall–including the mind, body and spirit–rather than just locally.
Arnica 30ch Speeds Recovery
Anyone with a little experience with homeopathy will be familiar with homeopathic Arnica 30ch to minimize bleeding, bruising, swelling and pain. Homeopathic Arnica is prepared from a flowering plant called the mountain daisy but once it becomes a homeopathic remedy, the elements of the herb are eliminated while increasing its ability to trigger the body’s own power to heal itself. While Arnica is available in both pill form and as a cream, research shows that Arnica in pill form, as Arnica 30ch pills taken orally for instance, is much more powerful and better suited to alleviate pain and promote healing after surgery. On the other hand, Arnica cream or oil is better suited to alleviate bruising locally for instance after a bump or injury; avoid it on broken skin as it may contain more herb than the Arnica in potency, which then causes irritation.
The Research: The beneficial effects of homeopathic Arnica are relatively well studied. “Arnica montana is more effective than placebo when used for the treatment of several conditions including post-traumatic and postoperative pain, edema (swelling), and ecchymosis (bruising)“ was the conclusion of one study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics (2016) Another clinical trial posted in Archives for Facial Plastic Surgery (2006) assessed bruising alone, with the conclusion that there was statistically less bruising compared to the placebo group. In 2006, another study evaluated Arnica for knee surgery in particular, showing benefits and published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.
While Arnica is recommended as the first remedy to help minimize bleeding and alleviate pain after surgery, it is by far not the only anti-inflammatory medicine in homeopathy, as all remedies are carefully selected according to the unique symptoms and characteristics of the problem at hand–in other words, they are personlized. Know that if the remedies aren’t working as they should, there is likely a better one.
Added Homeopathy Support
For breast surgery and reconstruction, Bellis perennis 30ch is typically recommended after Arnica or even instead of Arnica because of its affinity to the breast and soft tissues. Both Bellis perennis and Arnica are daisies, but the former is the common daisy and the latter, the mountain daisy. Because they are so similar and Arnica is much easier to find at your local holistic pharmacy or health food store, they are often used interchangeably. In fact one recent study, published in the European Journal of Plastic Surgery in January, 2020 concluded: “Arnica montana and Bellis perennis have been shown to reduce seroma formation and opioid intake following mastectomy and reconstruction. As this treatment lacks side effects and is inexpensive, it should serve as a valuable treatment adjunct in patients undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction.”
When surgery involves one or more tendons, start with the Arnica 30ch for a few days for the soft tissue injury, then add Ruta graveolens 30ch instead. Ruta is the common rue plant and has a strong affinity to the tendons, from healing after surgery to repetitive strain. As tendons take time extra to heal, avoid taking the 30ch potency daily for weeks at a time. Instead, adjust to 2-3x weekly as symptoms improve.
Another remedy to keep in mind after Arnica is Phosphorus 30ch as it’s the primary remedy for nausea and vomiting after surgery with an intense thirst for cold water, possibly due to the effects of anaesthetics. If bloating, gas and weakness appear after abdominal surgery, with a craving for fresh air, give Carbo vegetabilis 30ch instead, as Carbo veg is known as the great reviver. One last mention goes to Nux vomica 30ch as it is often resolves symptoms if the anaesthetics cause nausea and retching without relief (see Phosphorus for vomiting).
For the ache and bruising of biopsies and puncture wounds Ledum 30ch is recommended instead of Arnica. For wounds which have a lot of nerve involvement or more pain than expected, add Hypericum 30ch, as Hypericum is known as the Arnica the nerves. Hypericum can be given for soreness after a spinal tap, or after surgeries to the coccyx (tailbone). I recommend it routinely after wisdom tooth surgery alternating with Arnica. Also consider Hypericum if Arnica is not minimizing pain after surgery. With dosages, remember to repeat every 2 hours for 3 or 4 doses when the symptoms are more intense and you should notice an improvement.
Soothe Anxiety and Fear
If fear and agitation before or after the surgery is what ails you, Aconite 30ch will help. Aconite 30ch offers quick relief for a state of panic in any situation—a person may suddenly fear that death is near, feeling agitated, sweaty and restless. One study published in the French medical paediatric journal Pediatrie showed a 95% improvement for children suffering from postoperative agitation with the comment: “Aconit is an amazing cure when well prescribed, as much for the speediness of its action as for its efficiency. This remedy has a place in the recovery-room and should be in every physician’s emergency case.” The study also pointed out that a typical placebo response—believing in your treatment—typically has improvement rates of 30%. In fact, homeopathic medicines are perfect for children, as they are non-toxic and have a remarkable safety record.
Some people experience a more generalized anxiety about the upcoming ordeal of surgery rather than a fear of dying or panicky feeling. If your upcoming surgery fills you with apprehension and dread, then Gelsemium 30ch could be the better fit. In homeopathy, the medicines are chosen according to the symptoms a person experiences rather than by medical diagnosis, and as a result there is more than one medicine that helps anxiety. If the anxiety causes dread, exhaustion and occurs before an event, such as surgery, then Gelsemium is the better choice.
Always start with Arnica 30ch pills after surgery and dissolve on or under the tongue. General dosages are every 2 hours for 3-4 doses and then 3 times daily for 3 days after surgery, then once a day for the rest of the week. Homeopathy is highly personalized medicine, so we must always pay attention to how the body responds to a remedy and adjust the dosage accordingly. For intense symptoms repeat frequently, for less intense symptoms continue 1-2 x daily and then depending on the intensity of lingering symptoms, re-evaluate and give 3x a week until there’s a full recovery. For specific dosages according to the type of surgery and individual need–or when in doubt as to what is needed–see your local homeopath. While other potencies are available, Arnica 200ch or Arnica 6ch for instance, the 30ch is the most widely available and works well in my experience. I’ve been told countless times that the surgeon was impressed how quickly they recovered after surgery when Arnica was given even when the patients are afraid to tell their surgeons they are taking homeopathy! It’s such a shame that our two medicines can’t be better integrated in my opinion, especially when there are no interactions and the benefits are clear.