Thuja Occidentalis (thuj.) تھوجا
It is difficult to find precise words to described the Thuja state. We must resort to poetic descriptions. When you first meet a Thuja patient you sense something which makes you cautious. He or she is very slow to trust others, and you have the feeling that he does not portray truthfully who he really is inside. Of course, everyone withholds information to some degree, but in Thuja you sense that there is more than the usual secretiveness. More than that, you have the feeling that what is being withheld is ugly – not pleasant to bring to view, either to the patient or to the prescriber. The closest we can come to describing the Thuja patient is by the words UGLY and DECEIT.
A Thuja patient is sneaky and manipulative. He or she will purposely withhold information just to test you, to see if you know what you are doing. For example, a woman has a fainting spell; she says, “I felt my soul leaving me, and I was afraid I was going to die”. She gives some more information, but she does not tell you that she ate a lot of heavy food the day before. She asks, “Do you think it could be my stomach”? Having no information to suggest this possibility, you say, “No, it was more likely a drop in blood pressure”. Only then does she volunteer, “But yesterday I ate a lot of heavy food”! In this way, she tries to catch you out.
Thuja patients are always reserved. They take the position of observer – they observe everything while offering nothing of themselves. They do not allow any form of deep communication. They are very closed within themselves, but not because they lack feelings. They are merely reserved and suspicious about what might happen to them if they enter into deep communication.
Thuja patients are hard people. The hardness in their emotional expression manifest even on the physical level – as hard tumours. Just so, the ugliness in their soul manifests as ugliness in the tumours.
Do not be fooled by mere appearances, however. I recall a very nice man who did very well after Thuja, but in whom it was difficult to see the Thuja essence. He as one of the nicest people one could possibly meet – very sensitive a poet. Nevertheless, he himself felt he was distant from people. He felt unable to truly communicate directly and personally, so he turned to poetry as an outlet. To see Thuja in such a case, of course, requires quite a subtle understanding of both the patient and the remedy, but once given Thuja produces great benefit in these patients.
What exactly has the sycotic miasm done to such a patient? At first, early in the person’s history, it stimulates the more base instincts. These then insist upon expression. Society, however, steps in and puts the patent “in his place”. He is punished and learns to control himself. This ten leads to the condition we see in Thuja. He learns to not display his real character any more, even though the tendencies remain inside and continue to cry out for expression. He finds ways to cheat. He becomes very proper. It is as if he has found out that being freely expressive of his instincts does not pay in society, so he becomes very controlled. In this way, he is tuned in to the opinions of others, but it is not a matter of being afraid of what others think, as in Lycopodium. In Thuja, it is a coldly calculated choice, for practical reasons only.
The dullness and forgetfulness eventually progresses into a despondence and dissatisfaction which can be quite deep. This is not as severe as in Nitric acid, which is also very dissatisfied, but specifically over issues of health. Thuja may have anxiety about health, but will face the problem directly. These patients are dissatisfied and despondent, but they are also cold, calculating, manipulative and scheming. They have cut themselves off. You can never know what is in their minds.
For this reason, the symptomatology in Thuja is usually UNCLEAR. You feel there is something there which you cannot quite grasp. Consequently, it is rare that you feel fully confident of a Thuja prescription. The full image is never clear because the patient never opens up enough.
As the mental pathology progresses, they develop fixed ideas. These may take different forms. Most strikingly, they describe a feeling that their legs are breakable. Kent says that their legs feel as if they are made of glass. In my experience, patients nowadays rarely say this directly. They usually described a sensation of fragility, as if their legs are easily breakable. Actually, this is more than a mere sensation to Thuja patients.
Another strange idea they describe is that something is alive in the abdomen. They may go so far as to give elaborately exact descriptions of this feeling, it is so powerful for them. One patient said he felt a small boy inside kicking with the right foot.
Still another fixed idea that I have seen quite frequently in Thuja is the sensation that someone is walking alongside him. This is not a fear, but a delusion. By contrast, Medorrhinum has a FEAR that someone is behind him. Petroleum is close to Thuja in this regard; it has the sensation that someone else is in bed beside him. On the physical level, as mentioned, there are all kinds of over growths of tissue. The tendency to warts, of course, is well known in Thuja. In addition there may be recurrent herpes on the genitals. Women have uterine fibroids (Calc. flour., Calc. carb., Phosphorus). Fingernails and toenails are ugly and deformed.
A few keynotes should be mentioned perspiration in Thuja has a sweetish smell. There is also a particular intolerance to onions – as well as to pungent foods in general to some degree. A rare and peculiar symptoms which I have seen only twice is running of the nose during stool.
There is a strong tendency to catarrhs of all kinds – leucorrhoea, nasal, urethral etc. The discharges themselves offer few distinguishing characteristics, but the patient in general feels relieved whenever the discharge is present.
The headaches are of a particular type. They usually begin in the forehead usually over the left eye, and then sweep back over the side of the head to the occiput. This can happen on either side, but on the right side it may be either Thuja or Prunus. (If it sweeps the right side and settles specifically on the right occipital protuberance, however, the remedy would more likely be Sanguinaria). Being a sycotic remedy, Thuja is strongly affected by wet weather. It has all kinds of rheumatic affections. It should be pointed out however, that Thuja is not very effective in the acute stage of gonorrhoea. It is more indicated once gonorrhoea has been suppressed into a deeper, chronic state. For acute gonorrhoea, better remedies to consider are Medorrhinum, Cannabis sativa or Indica, Sasparilla, and many others. If a gonorrhoea has been suppressed with antibiotics, and the patient develops warts, or worse, a chronic cachexia with diminished mental powers, be sure to think of Thuja.
Thuja also has the typical sycotic instability, but not quite in the same manner as Medorrhinum. The Thuja man may be quite proper, courteous and upright at the office, but he becomes an altogether different person at home. In reality, he is putting on a false facade at the office, but he has enough control to maintain it. Medorrhinum, by contrast, is not so controlled; a Medorrhinum person will tend to explode at any moment. Thuja maintains upright, respectable facade, whereas Medorrhinum can be considered more a “common man”.
In this sense, Thuja actually represents a deeper stage of pathology. This can be seen as well when the sycotic trait is transmitted to the next generation. Thuja is much more commonly indicated in wasted children of sycotic parents. Medorrhinum is more likely to be indicated when gonorrhoea is found in the past history of the patient himself.
The Thuja patient is more deeply sick than Medorrhinum. The idea that their legs are easily breakable is a good image for the health of the Thuja patient in general. It is a very fragile condition, on the verge of breaking down completely after just a slight push.
It is somewhat difficult to provide a good explanation for Thuja’s usefulness after adverse effects from smallpox vaccinations. Such specific prescribing is ordinarily a distinct departure from the laws of cure. However, this is one exception I can confirm in my own experience. First, let me caution the reader that this only applies to smallpox vaccinations; it does not apply to other immunizations despite what Kent indicates. I believe that this is because of a resonance between the smallpox vaccination and Thuja. It other words, a patient who is very susceptible to smallpox vaccination, is also likely to be sensitive to Thuja. The pustules and vesicles common in smallpox are also found in Thuja symptomatology common in smallpox are also found in Thuja symptomatology. The theme of ugliness also applies, because smallpox commonly leaves ugly scars (as does vaccinations itself). The problem appears to be that provings alone cannot provide us with all the phases of particular medicines, hence the precise relationship between smallpox vaccinations and Thuja is not known.
In every medicine, there is always a sequence of events. Pathology begins somewhere and ends somewhere. To fully know a remedy, we must know each stage very clearly. The same remedy will act both in the beginning phases and in the end stages. For example, if you have a patient with chronic headaches dating from a smallpox vaccination, Thuja will likely cure them even though they may not fit the typical left-sided frontal headaches of Thuja. For this to happen, the patient must be in a phase not yet elucidated in the provings. This is why we sometimes must rely heavily on the causative factor in a case. We known that smallpox can cause meningitis, an ailment characterized by the most violent of headaches. Nevertheless, it is important to specify that Thuja will bring about cure on such specific causative indications OFTEN – but by no means ALWAYS. One must always take the full case to determine if another remedy covers the case adequately. If not, then one is justified to use Thuja. Another ROUTINE use of Thuja is in warts which have been suppressed. Here it is appropriate to THINK of Thuja. Caution is again in order, however, because I can testify from personal experience to several mistakes made by just such routine use of Thuja.
Thuja is a very deep acting remedy that can produce some amazing surprises. You may come to a point of desperation in a case. No progress has been made after several prescriptions. The patient is very closed, proper, and correct – you may even think of Kali carb. but it doesn’t work. Finally, you realize that the patient is not really being straight with you; there is this manipulative deviousness. Once you see this, you give Thuja, and you are likely to see dramatic benefits indeed.