A few days ago, both my brother and my father had surgery. Without any prodding from me, they already had planned to take their pellets of homeopathic Arnica montana before and after the procedure.
As a side note, they both live in France where the distribution of homeopathic medicines is quite different: first of all, you can only find them at the pharmacy and they are not available over the counter (OTC). Even though you do not need a prescription for most of them, you still need to talk to a pharmacist or a tech to get them. By the way this is the same procedure for buying vitamins and supplements. You cannot find any vitamin stores in France. I actually enjoy how it is here. I can spend time looking at all the boxes and studying the formulas and shop for what I think are the best products.
I have to explain that I do get lots of positive feedback about Arnica and surgery since I have met with many surgeons over the years, mainly plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills. Many of them have their patients take Arnica pre- and post-surgery to minimize bruising and swelling. It even has an action on pain. For obvious reasons, the facial plastic surgeons are particularly fond of it. Dr Andrew Ordon, MD, who has the TV show “The Doctors” and whom I have known for many years, puts each patient on Arnica pellets before and after the procedure. He even did a segment about it on the show. He has a very deep practical knowledge of Arnica because he has been using it for so long. But its benefits are not limited to plastic surgery patients. My brother and father did not get their nose fixed although… (I am just kidding.) Anybody who undergoes a trauma, which would include events like various surgeries and dental work, will benefit from Arnicare. I personally always use it right after dental work, even a simple cleaning. Oh, I have a story about this: a few months ago, I went to my dentist—who is wonderful—and while giving me a shot to anesthetized the tooth in question, he hit a capillary and made the area bleed. It happens from time to time, especially if your face does not have a lot of fat tissues. Anyway, right away he said that it was nothing but that I would feel like someone punched me in the face (nice) and that I would be black and blue pretty soon. He felt there was nothing we could do at this point to minimize it. That felt really great, especially when not only was I supposed to explain the wonders of Arnica to doctors, but I also had to appear on Internet radio (which is live and also filmed) a few days later. Well, I took 5 pellets of Arnica every 15 minutes first and then every hour, then finally 3 times a day for at least a week and I also applied the gel. I did have a cheek slightly bigger than the other one and the area was a little yellowish for a few days. I could feel it was slightly swollen and every morning I was expecting the hematoma to show and “hang” below my jaw line, but it did not! Only people who knew me well and who paid attention noticed it but I know it would have been much worse without Arnica.
So now, a little bit of information: Arnica montana is the Latin name for Mountain daisy and is a very popular homeopathic medicine all over the world. If you happen to mention it to people from Mexico, for example, most of them are very aware of it as it is part of their traditional medicines. If there is one medicine that you should have in your cabinet for first aid it is Arnica. It exists under different forms, as a topical that you apply on your skin and as pellets (sublingual) and tablets for a systemic action. So when do you use it? You can use it on bumps, and bruises, and will use it often for those reasons if you have kids. It’s great for overexertion (such as after going to the gym, moving, gardening) as well as trauma and injury such as sprains, surgery. Do not use the topical forms (gel, cream or ointment) on broken skin though because it can cause some irritation. Use the pellets instead. Kids like to take the pellets because they taste sweet and they apply the gel gladly since it has no strong smell. They will soon ask for it every time they hurt themselves. By the way, there is no risk of over dosage with homeopathic medicines so even if a child eats all the pellets in a tube of Arnica (not that I recommend it) there is no danger and that’s another thing you do not have to worry about. Just go get another tube!
So when you have a surgery scheduled, I would encourage you to take 5 pellets of Arnica 12C or 30C, 3 times a day, at least 2 days prior to the procedure and then carry on for 5 to 10 days according to how you reacted to the surgery. Why before? It seems Arnica has a protective action on the capillaries. Additionally, you well know that after an anesthesia, for example, it is going to take time for you to get back to your normal state and taking your pellets when you are still in a fog might not be the first thing you think about. So if it is already in your system, you will start receiving the benefit sooner.
You are all eager to know how my Dad and brother are doing, right? It seems they are recuperating quite fast, thank God. My Dad took a long walk the next day and my brother is fine. (He did not tell me much yet since he had to be intubated during the procedure and it made his throat pretty raw so it was difficult for him to talk. But again, Arnica is a good indication for this type of sore throat, and there are other homeopathic medicines as well. Plus being a physician himself he knows what to do). We will see what the surgeons think in a few days.
Here are some key points about the Arnica products that Boiron manufactures, which I obviously use:
- Unlike many other over-the-counter pain relief gels, Boiron’s Arnicare Gel not only treats muscle aches and stiffness but it also safely relieves swelling and discoloration from bruising.
- The active ingredient is Arnica montana, also known as Mountain daisy, a perennial plant commonly found in the Northwestern parts of the U.S. and Central Europe.
- Arnica has been used for centuries as a natural pain reliever. Today doctors and pharmacists recommend Arnica in more than 25 countries throughout the world.
- Increasing numbers of plastic surgeons and other medical professionals are turning to the healing benefits of Arnica to relieve post-procedure bruising, swelling and pain in their patients.
- Arnicare Gel contains 7 percent Arnica tincture, a concentration that will not trigger side effects but will relieve pain and inflammation from trauma or muscle overexertion, as well as swelling and bruising.
- The gel quickly absorbs into the skin without leaving behind a greasy or sticky residue. It has no artificial colors or perfumes so there is no medicinal smell.
- Arnica is also available in cream, ointment and oral pellets or tablets.