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Strengths of Arnica Montana

Strengths of Arnica Montana
Arnica tablets in little glass jars. Photo Credit: ChamilleWhite/iStock/Getty Images

A standard part of any homeopathic first-aid kit, Arnica montana provides relief from and speeds healing of bruising and trauma. Chronic conditions require the advice of a homeopathic practitioner to be sure the prescribed remedy is appropriate for the totality of the patient’s symptoms. For acute injuries, however, Arnica is the remedy of choice for bruises, sprains and strains. Internal dosing of arnica consists of sugar-based pellets, while topical applications include gels, creams and ointments.

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Decimal Potencies

Arnica is diluted on a 1-in-10 ratio in the decimal or “X” potencies. One part of the original substance added to nine parts of the dilution substance and then "succussed," or shaken vigorously in a specific manner, becomes the 1X potency. One part of the 1X remedy added to nine parts of the dilution substance and succussed becomes 2X, and so on. The process of diluting and succussing a substance is called "dynamization"--each level of dynamization is believed to increase the vital energy of the original substance. As a result, although it seems counterintuitive, the more diluted the substance, the stronger the remedy. The decimal potencies are the least dilute and thus the weakest remedies. Topical arnica preparations, such as creams, gels or ointments, use decimal potencies.

Centesimal Potencies

The centesimal or “C” potency is a 1-in-100 dilution; one part of the original substance is added to 99 parts of the dilution substance and succussed for 1C potency. Arnica pellets come in all potencies, but the centesimal potencies are the most commonly available. The 30C potency of arnica montana will meet the requirement for most at-home first aid uses, though the lower strengths of 12C or 6C may also be effective. Stronger potencies, such as 200C, should only be taken with the advice of a skilled homeopath.

50 Millesimal Potencies

The most dilute homeopathic remedies are the 50 millesimal, or LM potencies, and due to dynamization they are also the strongest potencies. The ratio for the LM dilution is 1 in 50,000, or one part of the original substance to 49,999 parts of the dilution substance. Arnica is available in the LM potencies, but again this remedy should only be taken with the advice of a skilled homeopath. Taking a remedy that is more potent than necessary can cause an aggravation of the symptoms, rather than relieving them.

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