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Homeopathy and Sport

John received a blow to the eye from an opposition player in an Australian Rules game one weekend. He took the Homeopathic remedy Arnica immediately, as I had been treating his team with homeopathy that season. He continued taking doses until he went to see a doctor on the Monday. The doctor ordered X rays which revealed that John had incurred an eye socket fracture. The doctor was amazed that there was no bruising at the injury site. John was then subsequently given the homeopathic remedy Symphytum which resulted in rapid healing of the fracture.

Bruising that is carried from today’s football game into next weekend’s game… Sore and aching muscles from overdoing it in the gym… Niggling sprains that take ages to heal from competitive sport, where prolonged rest is not practical.

Sound familiar to all of you who exercise regularly then suffer afterwards? All of the above scenarios are common place every week in sport, recreational and professional. Thankfully, Homeopathy provides a medicine which can resolve such instances rapidly and naturally – its name is Arnica.

An increasing number of sport participants are looking to non-pharmaceutical treatment for injuries and homeopathic medicines fill this niche beautifully. They have a number of benefits over pharmaceutical medicines for management of sports injuries including:

- rapid healing and recovery time

- no side effects

- don’t register in drug-testing protocols

- immediate administration at time of injury

- are inexpensive

The use of homeopathic medicines in elite sport is a testimony to their effectiveness. Australian sport, on the whole, has not yet discovered the wonders of homeopathy but the day is fast coming when they will join their counterparts in other parts of the world. Examples of the use of homeopathy amongst elite sports people are as follows:

  • “I can use it [homeopathy]directly on the soccer field, within seconds of the trauma, and note the results almost immediately .” [Italics mine]                                                                                                                                                                                         Dr. Jean Marcel Ferrett, Physician to French Soccer Team, 1993-2004
  • Golfer Jose Maria Olazabal won the US Masters in 1994 and 1999. He was unable to play professionally in 1996 due to rheumatoid polyarthritis in his feet. Olazabal sought treatment from the famous Munich homeopathic doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt who took him from being a cripple to a Masters winner once again.


  • American swimmer Misty Hyman won the 200m gold medal in butterfly at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Hyman sustained a shoulder injury in 2001 requiring surgery. She stated to the Los Angeles Times that she had replaced her use of antibiotics with homeopathic medicines that are working.                                                                                                                                      (Smith, K. Her Reaction is Priceless, Los Angeles Times, July 5 , 2004, D1)

Arnica Montana (Leopard’s Bane is its common name) has been used for centuries as a healing herb and is native to the mountains of Europe and Siberia. It is the Homeopathic sports remedy par excellence. Saint Hildegard of Bingen wrote extensively about the healing properties of herbal Arnica in the 12th Century!

Homeopathic medicines (often called remedies) are made by a process called Potentisation. This is what turns a substance (a plant in the case of Arnica) into a homeopathic remedy. Potentisation involves both continual dilution (in water or alcohol) and intermittent shaking of the resulting liquid. In the case of Arnica, the whole plant is first grounded up and 1 drop of the resulting solution is used in diluted 1/100. This dilution process continues way beyond there being any physical trace left of the Arnica tincture you began with. As the physical aspect of the substance (in this case the Arnica plant) decreases the energetic aspect increases. Thus a homeopathic remedy is an energetic dose of Arnica, whereas the herb is a physical dose.

Due to a homeopathic remedy being energetic it actually works on a person’s Vital Force (or Chi) to stimulate the body and its immune system to heal itself. This results in both its rapid action and non-detection in drug testing (because there’s nothing physical there to detect).

Arnica specifically treats physical injury where the typical sore, bruised feeling is present. You know, that feeling you get when you are hammered in a tackle from the invisible man you don’t see coming! Or you are knocked over on the netball court and sustain bruising to the body. Pains are worse for the slightest touch (often the person will not want to be touched at the site of the injury) and relief is gained from cold applications such as an ice pack. It is also an effective remedy for sore muscles due to unaccustomed exercise, cramps, bruises and sprains.

Homeopathic Arnica has a two-fold action whereby it both relieves pain and absorbs internal bleeding very quickly. This is why it can be of great benefit when given immediately after an injury. A footballer, for example, may get a cork injury on the field. If he is given Arnica immediately then he will get pain relief but also the bleeding/bruising will be prevented from developing further. The time gap between actual injury and treatment often directly contributes to a longer turn-around time in injury recovery. This time lapse can make the difference between an injury hanging around for a couple of days versus a couple of weeks!

Arnica in its physical/herbal form can also be used in a cream for external treatments of injuries but not on broken skin as it can cause irritation. Homeopathic Arnica given internally, however, will usually work more rapidly and effectively.

Another use for homeopathic Arnica is head traumas. A knock to the head in contact sport is all-too-common. Arnica is the first remedy of choice. Give it immediately. Always have head injuries checked out by a medical doctor/outpatients department. Often in a head-knock scenario a person needing Arnica will have a fear of being touched because of the pain and will say they are alright when they are not. The upper body is hot while the lower body is cool. They may also regain consciousness when spoken to, then relapse into unconsciouness. Old head injuries need to be treated professionally by a qualified Homeopath.

Arnica is not the only homeopathic sports remedy. The story gets even better. There are a range of other homeopathic remedies that are used for specific types of sports injuries which can be added to your first aid kit. Each of these remedies has its own unique symptom picture that serves as a guide for its indication. Often Arnica will be given first to reduce trauma at the sight of injury, then it can be followed up with a different remedy which matches the specific type of injury. Some of these remedies are as follows:

Bryonia is a great pain remedy for broken bones. Broken ribs and collar bones in particular are often painful due to necessary local movement generally, as well as that associated with breathing. Worse for the slightest movement is a main keynote of Bryonia. The person will be also worse for heat or touch and better for rest, pressure and cold. 

Ledum is for puncture wounds. Typically the area will be blue, cold and puffy. It is one of homeopathy's main tetanus remedies. The affected area is better for cold applications.

Rhus tox  is the number one remedy for sprains and strains. The main keynote of Rhus tox is stiffness with restlessness. Pains are often tearing or stitching. Rhus tox is worse for first movement (eg: upon waking), damp weather and cold. It is better for continued movement. A torn Achilles tendon will respond rapidly to Rhus tox.

Ruta grav is a great remedy for injuries to tendons and the outer layer of bone. It will help with this injury which has developed from overuse and stress of the elbow joint, such as in tennis elbow. It is a specific remedy for knee injury.

Staphysagria is indicated in clean cuts, like from a knife or sharp instrument.  These cuts/scars are very painful and sometimes are slow to heal.

Symphytum, commonly know as knitbone, accelerates the healing of fractured and broken bones. The person will experience the sensation of ‘pricking’ in the bones. It heals bones rapidly so broken bones must be first set correctly first by a medical doctor before symphytum is administered.  Also use the tissue salt Calc. phos to help provide the raw materials necessary for bone to heal well.

So if you are looking for an alternative way of treating sports injuries try homeopathic medicines. Not only do they stimulate the body’s own natural healing processes but they give rapid results. You don’t have to take last week’s soreness, bruising and stiffness into next weekend’s game! 

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