Provings Of Arnica

By E. W. Berridge, MD, London, England

An accidental proving of Arnica. Little is known about Edward Berridge (1844-1920). He worked in Liverpool and London. He came to the USA and received an honorary degree from Hahnemann Medical College in 1869. He was responsible for introducing Thomas Skinner to homeopathy. He was a founding member of the IHA and with Skinner, Lippe, and Swan, edited The Organon, a journal of pure homeopathy that was published in England from 1878-1881.

As usual, the discussion that follows is filled with useful information and some sense of the spirit of the meeting.

Transactions of the International Hahnemannian Assoiciation 1895, pages 177-180.

(1.) June 24, 1893.— Took one dose of Fincke's millionth potency for aching of a tooth that had just been stopped.

June 25th. In evening, when walking, peculiar tingling sensation in right sole, rather posteriorly and towards outer side; it felt as if there were a piece of plaster adhering there, and pulled partly off in the act of walking.

June 26th. Felt the same sensation, though to a less degree, last night in bed, and also to-day, even when at rest.

(2.) Dec. 2, 1893.— Took a dose of the same potency in the evening, on account of a fall.

Dec. 3d and 4th. Had the same symptom several times, both when sitting and when walking.

(3.) Jan. 4, 1894— Had to examine an injured arm; the bandage had been moistened with Arnica tincture, which, therefore, came in contact with my hands.

Jan. 5th and 6th. Had a return of similar symptoms, though in a much less degree.


On the occasion of the second proving, when the symptom first appeared, I had forgotten the dose of Arnica which I had taken the day before. My first feeling was one of disappointment that what I had thought was a proving of Arnica should have re-appeared without obvious cause. My second was one of apprehension lest these symptoms should denote the commencement of some nervous lesion. Later, I suddenly recollected the dose of Arnica taken the preceding day, which explained all satisfactorily. There was, therefore, no imagination about it.

Dr. Baylies: This recalls a recent labor case, it being the fifth child. The previous children had been instrumentally delivered, in one case the head being born several hours before the body, so the woman was accustomed to hard labors. I found her with intense, somewhat irregular, but ineffectual pains— each pain protracted but ineffectual. I gave her Arnica 25m, causing rapid pains and a prompt delivery. I have repeatedly noticed that effect in labors rendered tedious by previous weakness and irritability of the womb, manifested by general weariness, and soreness usually in the cervix, as from pressure of the child's head and with insufficient pains.

Dr. B. G. Clark: I am not a member of the Association and thank you for the privilege of making a remark. A few of the symptoms which seem to me to indicate Arnica are the cold feet and cold nose. Last November there came to me a lady who in the June previous had taken a bath in the ocean, causing the menses to appear next day and continuing until she came to me in November. There were few symptoms, but among them were the cold feet and soreness of the flesh. She seemed to hesitate about giving symptoms, but it was from want of proper ideas by which to express them. I gave her Arnica 40m, and the next week she reported that the feet were much warmer, and during the week following they were so hot she not keep them in bed. Sulphur cm brought the feet to normal temperature. The condition remained unchanged for about two weeks and the only symptoms I could get were severe pain back of the ears and forgetfulness— the latter, I forgot to say, was an early symptom. I hesitated between Arnica and Carbolic acid, but finally gave Carbolic acid 1m, which restored the perspiration of the feet and the flow stopped. The trouble was caused, I believe, by the checking of the natural (to this patient) foot sweat and was relieved only by restoring the former condition.

Dr. Pierson: In listening to Dr. Berridge's paper this thought came to me, that every careful prescriber should make of his cases a record of characteristics, that he may not only outline positive clinical verifications, but also make record of clinical provings of remedies used. We owe a duty to the profession to make the remedies as practical as possible and verifying as far as we can the provings given us by our predecessors. Each and every one of us should remember the obligations we owe to the sick and to those who heal the sick.

Dr. J. H. Allen: We should not lose sight of the developing process of disease. Dr. Clark gave the simillimum and developed the disease. One remedy brought out something new, and that in turn brought something else, until finally the suppressed foot sweat was restored. I have of late years cured morbid growths by this process— cases which would have been incurable by any other method.

Dr. Hoyne: I do not think there is suppressed psora; if a man does a foolish thing, he pays for it. If I sit in a draught while perspiring, I take cold; if I put hot feet into cold water, I am liable to have a diarrhoea in consequence. In the case mentioned by Dr. Clark the girl had perspiration of the feet, and while the feet were moist she took a bath; it is only natural that she should have trouble from it, but I doubt if there was any psora about it. If Dr. Carr eats too much dinner he will have trouble, psora or no psora. (A voice said "Dr. Carr cannot eat too much.")

Dr. J. H. Allen: One is a chronic condition, the other is not. Hahnemann said that sweating feet are a key note of psora and we know that suppression of any discharge or secretion is a serious matter.