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How I proved arnica prevents bruising

Re-arnica and the paucity of good-quality trials with positive outcome (Answerback, September 22), you might like to hear of a trial I performed about six years ago in New Zealand, especially because it involved arnica in a delivery mode not usually referred to.

I had cause to walk through a poorly-lighted room leading to a clinical area in the hospital. On my way there I did not have any arnica in my pocket and I walked into a table or chair in the dark, striking my shin, which was quite painful.

On my arrival the other staff noticed my limp and said I should use some arnica to prevent future bruising. They supplied a small quantity of what I believe to have been homoeopathic arnica granules. Knowing it to be quite toxic, I did not take it by mouth but put it into my white-coat pocket.

Subsequently, I had to return to the main hospital through the same darkened room, which I did without incident. The arnica prevented me from sustaining any further bruising from any additional collisions.

Although this trial was not blinded, I was certainly a very sceptical subject. However, I was totally converted by the outcome of the trial: without the arnica I collided with an object and got a sore leg, but with arnica in pocket I did not so collide.

Dr David Church

Tywyn, Meirioneth

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