To summaries Hepar sulph. in two words, one could say; OVERSENSITIVE and ABUSIVE. Hepar patients appear as if their nerves are on edge, as if the nerve endings are raw and exposed. IN this state, they feel as if they are going to break apart, that they cannot take the slightest pressure – whether physical or psychological. Then they become angry, nasty, vicious, and abusive of other people.
In the first stage of pathology in Hepar, there is a general weakness and sensitivity. They may become irritable over small things, but this is still controllable situation.
Next, there is a nervous excitement. Everything is done in a hurry. He speaks fast, eats fast, drinks fast, etc. The nervous system becomes would up into a super-excited state. This state of hastiness is most comparable to Sulphuric acid in its intensity. As the nervous system pathology becomes more extreme, the oversensitiveness becomes most evident. At first, this is manifest in the typical Hepar sensitivity to cold. Hepar is aggravated by dry cold air, especially by dry cold winds. Humid, cold weather, which bothers most people, is not so severe for Hepar patients.
A memorable peculiarity of Hepar is its sensitivity to cold surfaces. Touching such a surface with only the fingertips can bring on a general aggravation. Again, in this symptom we see the concept of exposed, oversensitive nerve endings. There is an IMMEDIATE reaction – a cough or a chill – without delay. Even sticking a hand or a foot out from under the covers may bring on these symptoms.
Hepar sulph. is aggravated by open air, any kind of draft, cold dry winds – all these are intolerable to Hepar patients and bring on generalized aggravations. This is why Hepar is considered one of the best remedies for progressed stages of the common cold. It is not wise to give such a deep acting remedy for an ordinary common cold. If you have given Aconite, Bryonia, Gelsemium, etc. but the cold has nevertheless imprinted itself deeply on the organism as a sinusitis or chronic bronchitis, especially when cough is a prominent symptom, then Hepar may be considered. It should be considered a third level remedy for colds and flues.
Hepar patients have an INTOLERANCE TO SUFFERING in general. Whenever there is a physical ailment it manifests on the mental level as an intolerance to suffering or pressure of any kind. Their whole nervous system is in a fret. They become angry, nasty, abusive. They may not be able to find a real reason why they should fly into such anger. A woman is nasty to her husband over the smallest things, and she knows they are small things, yet she cannot control herself. A husband swears at his wife and children, seeming to blame them for his own condition. Hepar patients abuse other people because of their own intolerance to pressures, stresses, or suffering. They seem to hold other people responsible for their own problems.
Such patients fly all to pieces if they experience stress. For example, consider a Hepar woman whose husband is unable to bring any money home. She lives in a constant fret. She cannot sleep. She is anxious all the time over every little thing. When you take her case, however, it is difficult to find the remedy because she talks so rapidly and excitedly. she gives you a hundred tiny symptoms, but no clear picture. She pleads constantly with you to help her. Her suffering is “so great, you MUST help me! I am in so much pain, I cannot tolerate it any longer”. You try to find modalities and characteristic symptoms, but all she does is complain and plead. Finally, what strikes you is that there is such great suffering over relatively minor CAUSES. Then your mind goes to Hepar.
The abusiveness, especially verbal abuse, is the most characteristic situation for Hepar. You may encounter, however, a sub missive woman who is completely dominated by her husband. Because she is forced to control her verbal expressions, her bodily sufferings are proportionately increased.
Another consequence of controlling the anger is the development of impulses to kill. A woman may have a strong desire to kill her child (like Sepia or Nux vomica) especially whenever she holds a sharp knife. I have never seen a patient actually carry out such an act, but the impulse can be quite strong; A small child, however, might actually stab someone while in such a
Another impulse I personally have seen in Hepar patients is the desire to set things on fire.
Finally, as the pathology progresses to a deeper state, a depression comes on. They think about the abuse, the swearing, and the destructive impulses, and they come to view themselves as full of serious weaknesses. This is when they begin to have suicidal thoughts. With Hepar, however, this is not a true suicidal wish – as it is in Aurum. This is merely suicidal thinking – more like Nitric acid. Of course, Hepar patients do not have the anxiety about health or gear of death seen in Nitric acid and other remedies. It is merely a dwelling on the idea of suicide.
On the physical level, there are a few peculiar symptoms. As mentioned, there is the generalized aggravation from touching a cold metal surface, or sticking a part of the body out of the covers; even the draft from an air – conditioner can create a general aggravation. Also, Hepar patients may have an inclination to weep just prior to coughing; this is not because of anticipation of the discomfort, but simply an inclination to weep. There are, of course, the splinter-like pains for which Hepar is famous, especially in the throat; this is a very prominent symptom in Hepar. Finally, Hepar has desire for acids, especially vinegar (not lemon).
Hepar is very famous for suppurations and long-standing discharges. This points up the similarity to Calc. sulph., which is the sulphate of calcium, whereas Hepar is the sulphide. How does one differentiate? Calc. sulph. and Hepar are both intolerant to cold, but Calc. sulph. is not as severely chilly as Hepar. Calc. sulph. is more aggravated by humid cold, rather than dry cold as is Hepar. In addition, Calc. sulph. is not as excitable as Hepar, Even with these points, however, the differentiation can often be quite difficult. Nux vomica can be compared to Hepar. Both can be very irritable, violent, and abusive. Generally, however, Nux vomica is more selfcontrolled. Also Nux vomica patients do not complain so loudly over their sufferings.
Sepia can sometimes appear similar to Hepar, especially in the desire to kill her children. However, Sepia is not so nervous. Her mind is more dull. Sepia represents a condition of stalemate – a balancing of opposing forces. Hepar represents an imbalance – “flying off the handle”.