Mountain Arnica. Mountain Tobacco. Nat. Ord. CompositAe. Linn. Syst. Syngenesia Superflua. Hab. Mountains of Europe, America, and Siberia.
Med. Prop. and Action. The leaves and flowers, in doses of gr. v. - x., are narcotic, stimulant, and diaphoretic; in larger doses, emetic and cathartic. The root (offic.) is aromatic and stimulant; but, in over-doses, it proves, like the leaves, an acro-narcotic poison, producing vomiting, purging, vertigo, tetanic twitchings of the muscles, and convulsions. Its active principle is asserted by Mr. Bastick to be an alkaloid, arnicine; by others, a bitter acrid extractive matter, cytisin. It has attained a high character in Germany as a nervine, but in England it is rarely employed. The powdered leaves are errhine. Externally applied, in the form of Tincture, it is used as a sedative and deobstruent, in glandular fuellings, rheumatism, and bruises. Dose of the Infusion (drs. iv. - Aq. Oj.), fl. oz. iss. The infusion, when prepared for internal use, should be carefully filtered; a neglect of this precaution is likely to produce much gastric irritation.
Offic. Prep. Tr. ArnicAe (Arnica Root in powder oz. j.; Rect. Sp. Oj., prepared by maceration and percolation). Dose, fl. drm. ss. - fl. drm. iss.
Contra-Indications. 1, an inflammatory diathesis; 2, a predisposition to haemorrhage; 3, internal congestions. (Duncan.)
In Paralytic and Nervous Affections, it has attained a high character in France and Germany. Alibert* speaks favourably of it. It is rarely employed internally in England. The indication of its favourable action is a pricking sensation in the paralysed limb.
Meyer considers that the plant is too much neglected. He relates a case of two months' duration, which disappeared after three days' use of the infusion of Arnica; and when the disease recurred at the end of two months, it again yielded to the same remedy in the same space of time.
* Elemens de Therap. vol. i. p. 141.
Brit. and For. Med. Rev. April 1845.
M. Maunoir, * of Geneva, relates an obstinate case, which completely yielded to the following formula: - Ext. ArnicAe ij., StrychniAe Sulph. gr. xij., Conf. RosAe q. s., ft. pil. cxl. Dose, one every night, gradually increased, until five are taken daily. The latter dose created much irritation.
392. In Bruises, Sprains, and Lacerations, Tincture of Arnica, used as a liniment, or diluted as a lotion, is held by many to greatly quicken the reparative process, and to afford almost immediate relief. It would, however, appear from the experiments made by Dr. Garrod on ecchymoses produced by dry cupping, that the good effects derived from the Tincture as an external application depend mainly on the spirit of which it is composed. The addition of the Arnica to the spirit appeared to produce no appreciable results. It is, nevertheless, as an external remedy that it is chiefly employed in England.