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TUBERCULINUM – An important Nosode – Bhuvaneswari Jayashankar

Human or animal tuberculous tissue rendered sterile.

Personality profile
Some homeopaths treat Tuberculinum simply as a nosode, to be given when there is a family history of tuberculosis. The mentals of Tuberculinum constitute a personality profile as distinct and specific as any other type, but unfortunately it is poorly understood by the majority of homeopaths, and this is one reason the remedy is used more as a nosode than as a constitutional remedy.

The remedy is made from tuberculous lymph nodes, and as usual there is some correspondence between the origin of the remedy and the characteristics of the patient who needs it, including their personality. The image of the consumptive writer racing against time to complete his work of intellectual romanticism, living off bread, wine and tobacco, poignantly embodies the spirit of Tuberculinum. Tuberculinum individuals have a kind of hunger to experience a great many things in a short period, as if time were really running out for them. They cannot bear a steady routine, unless it is packed with excitement. More than any other type they are subject to that awful feeling that they are missing out, whenever the hectic pace of their life slows down, and they are left without stimulation.

In previous times the tubercular patient lived with his disease for many years, gradually losing strength and drawing closer to a premature death. This long lingering pattern of disease seems to have produced a ‘miasm’. In other words, it affected every aspect of the health of the infected person, changing them at a cellular level, producing new characteristics which were then passed on to their children. It is the slow nature of the disease which allows it to create a characteristic and inheritable mental picture. The Tuberculinum individual has inherited from his consumptive ancestors a restless hunger to experience more of life before he expires.

Many Tuberculinums find an outlet for their restlessness through an aggressive pursuit of sports. Tuberculinum’s restlessness is not aimless. It is accompanied by a drive for stimulation, which prompts Tuberculinum individuals to aggressively enter into new experiences. Their sporting activities satisfy several needs; the need to remain fit so that they can maintain the hectic pace of their lives, the need for a challenge to stimulate them, and the ever present need of Tuberculinum to play.

Probably the most widely known aspect of Tuberculinum ‘s restlessness is his desire to travel. Many Tuberculinums do spend years traveling around the world, working as they go. The constant variety of such a shifting lifestyle helps to satisfy their restlessness, and enables them to avoid the boredom that they are otherwise prone to experience when life is too predictable.

Tuberculinum individuals are well suited to a nomadic way of life, since they do not form strong attachments to either places or to people. Their detachment reminds one of Sulphur and Lycopodium, but it is generally greater than that seen in either of these types. Lycopodium is very often highly dependent upon his spouse, both emotionally and practically, and the same can be said for many Sulphur individuals. Tuberculinum is more independent, and very often gives the impression that he needs nobody, at least not emotionally or practically. What he does need is stimulation, and hence he likes to surround himself with interesting people. On his travels he meets many interesting people, and he does not miss them when he moves on, since he does not look back, and there are always more people to get to know. Tuberculinum is not closed like Natrum. He is more like Nux, in that he is open about what he feels, but he tends not to feel much personal attachment. He lives for today, and loves for today, and the devil take the morrow.

The lucky few Tuberculinums find work which allows then to travel and still earn a living doing something interesting. They have the light airy appearance of somebody who floats effortlessly through life, playing instead of working. Unlike Natrum guides and instructors (the other commonly encountered type), the Tuberculinums don’t try all that hard to please their clients. They simply play and demonstrate their knowledge and their skills, and they don’t concern themselves overmuch with what the client thinks. The only time they may lose their cool is when their clients are late, or don’t turn up, or are too slow. Tuberculinum is not a particularly tolerant type, and is more impatient than most.

Most Tuberculinums are not so lucky that they can earn a good living seeing the globe, and many will eventually cease their wanderings when they tire of living close to the bread line, and performing unstimulating casual labour. They will then settle for a while and find a steady well paid job, and a regular partner, but all too often it isn’t long before they are restless again, and dreaming of new distractions. Their restlessness can turn to irritability, and a sense of dissatisfaction with everything, until they can bear the stability of their life no longer, and they are on the move again. This restless, nomadic way of life is also seen in most Staphysagrias. There is an important difference between the wandering of Tuberculinum and that of the Staphysagrias. Tuberculinum wanders in search of stimulation, and becomes bored when he is in one place doing the same thing for too long. (Many Tuberculinums can settle, providing their work and their partners are interesting enough.) In contrast, the personality of Tuberculinum is far clearer and less complicated. If he is running away, it is from boredom rather than fear. He is a relatively unemotional type, and is usually very clear-headed, and also confident. Like Nux vomica he goes after what he wants, but unlike Nux he is liable to tire of it quickly when he achieves it. ………………. The individual
On and individual level they get very excited about a new job but soon they feel there is more and want to move on, similarly they get infatuated with a new romance and then it blows over. They feel there is SOMETHING BEYOND. They live their life in a crescendo WITH A DEEP SENSE OF UNFULFILLMENT. They need their expresion, value their art but with every crescendo there is a diminuendo. It is this discontent that leads to pathology. The adolescent with the ‘unsuitable’ boyfriend who is banned from seeing him builds up a romantic picture. They want to run away they cannot tolerate the now. This shows in the Rubric: ‘desire to travel’ or ‘cosmopolitan’. They drive themselves hard, become emaciated and get ‘colds’ three or four times a year…..

Poor concentration. Teenagers who won’t do homework.

The young child
In infants these ideas are expressed on the physical side as a constant runny nose and on the emotional side as the familiar temper tantrums. The temper tantrums are differentiated from CALCAREA CARBONICA by their desire to run away (CALC hangs on to you – clings to your leg in the kitchen) and PULSATILLA runs away and comes back.

It is the first remedy to think of where there are midline abnormalities. (In the early development of the foetus the flat cells form a tube around the developing spinal cord). Anomalies here later produce hydroceles, umbilical hernias and cleft palate. Also children can be born with mental retardation and TUB should be added to Rubric: ‘Retardation’. Often when normal they will still develop slowly (late walking and talking) – cf. BARYTA CARBONICA which has the mental backwardness but not usually the other accompanying symptoms. Both remedies both have fear of new situations and fear of being observed.

TUB children are born irritable and angry, crying and being very fussy, especially on waking. Tubercular children born placid develop these traits and need discipline and even punishment.


They bang their heads on floors and walls. They can also curse and swear (ANACARDIUM. STRAMONIUM. HYOSCAYMUS.). They can be destructive to themselves and others. They can hit and kick their teachers and parents. Violence may begin after an acute disorder (or vaccination. Vaccination tends to push tubercular children more into the sycotic miasm – see article on DPT). They break things.

Babies and toddlers who burrow their heads in the pillow, grind their teeth, irritable especially during dentition, perspire at night, long eyelashes and born with long hair on scalp and along spine. Teeth erupt too soon and are painful. They like milk.

Diarrhoea accompanies many illnesses, especially lactose intolerant children who drink milk. They often loose weight with diarrhoea. They are typically born thin or plump and thin down in early childhood to become tall frail anaemic children, even if they eat a lot. It is hard for them to gain weight. Hyperactive but tire more easily than MEDORRHINUM or SULPHUR. The opposite growth pattern is also possible – stunted growth, failing to develop teeth on time or fontanellles that remain open.

Fear strangers, cats, dogs, (can hate cats or have allergic reaction to them, this can be a strong indicator). Fears also include monsters, thunder, the doctor, dentist or medical personnel and examinations, both medical and otherwise. There is claustrophobia that may be expressed as a fear of being buried alive. This issue with being confined shows up in the Modalities of being worse in a close room. On all levels they need freedom to express themselves and open spaces. The very nature of mining would encourage physical tubercular symptoms.

Restlessness – particularly at night in bed, like to go out with parents on errands, plays with many toys, bounces on the furniture (cf. MED masturbates on furniture. This may be playing horse or cowboy games – if they still do!)

Answers monosyllabically. Breaks things that they wanted, curses, stamps feet in a rage. Holds breath until passes out (IGNATIA CALCAREA CARBONICUM). They may display an abundance of ideas. Can run away from things and this may happen suddenly, they are impulsive. This can show in their speech were they may be loquacious, or shout, or change from one subject to another. Quarrelsome, argues over trifles.

They are sensitive which may be expressed with SIGHING or as oversensitive to pain. Distress out of proportion to the pain. Shamelessness in children (taking clothes off (PHOSPHORUS).

Often very bright but the opposite is again possible with idiocy and slow comprehension in new situations. Often industrious but again can have aversion to work.

They display ritualistic behaviour. Courtships and love letters as part of a romantic entanglement. They may go for ballroom dancing or Salsa rather than the more animal rhythms of MEDORRINUM or the individualistic dancing of CARCINOSEN. Although CARCINOSEN could manage all three.

MENSES: too early, too profuse – history of very heavy periods, migraines with period, tendency to haemorrhage.

Hot flushes in CLIMATERIX

TUB loves pregnancy and blossoms SYPHILLINUM hate it

The physical level

Take colds easily. Emaciation rapidly, even though eats (IODUM) – use HYDRASTIS to replace weight loss after TUB.

HEADACHES: Right extends to occiput. Like an iron band, School girl’s headache. worse from studying or mental exertion, meningitis.

DIARRHOEA: early morning

SLEEP: grinds teeth, nocturnal hallucinations, nightmares. Shrieks during sleep – especially before menses. Profuse night sweats

Perspire with weather changes, sensation clothes are wet on back

ECZEMA: itching worse night and worse undressing. worse bathing (cf. SULPHUR PSORINUM) Ringworm, warts especially on knees

TONSILLITIS that goes to quinsy (MERC-CY in acute TUB/MED inter-current; MED with suppuration TUB if none)

FOOD: likes meat especially spicy – salami, pepperoni and sausages in general

Likes cold milk likes ice cream but can be worse dairy products

Likes pickle, likes vinegar, likes ketchup (HEPAR SULPHUICUM, BACILLINUM)

MODALITIES: better dry clear climates, better mountain air especially pine forests, sensitive to extreme heat.

Worse cold wet weather and worse heavy sea air

Better moving gently and worse over exertion (PULSATILLA and RHUS-TOX)

BELLADONNA often in acute attacks

THUJA often precedes prescription of TUBERCULINUM and results in better effect from TUBERCULINUM. The way in which THUJA intertwines with TUBERCULINUM, pregnancy and in life is discussed more in the lecture on THUJA.

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About - Hussain Kaisrani

Hussain Kaisrani, The chief consultant and director at Homeopathic Consultancy, Lahore is highly educated, writer and a blogger He has done his B.Sc and then Masters in Philosophy, Urdu, Pol. Science and Persian from the University of Punjab. Studied DHMS in Noor Memorial Homeopathic College, Lahore and is a registered Homeopathic practitioner from National Council of Homeopathy, Islamabad He did his MBA (Marketing and Management) from The International University. He is working as a General Manager in a Publishing and printing company since 1992. Mr Hussain went to UK for higher education and done his MS in Strategic Management from University of Wales, UK...
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