Aletris Farinosa

Star Grass. BLazing Grass. Colic Root. Unicorn Root. N.O. Haemodoraceae.

Tincture of root.


The essential features

Aletris farinosa is a remedy that should be thought of in cases of prolapsus of the uterus where Sepia or similar remedies seemed to be well indicated and did not act.

The similarities with Sepia go beyond this however as we shall see from the development of the remedy.

This is primarily a woman’s remedy that is suitable for anemic and debilitated females with little stamina in body and mind, where the reproductive organs are at  fault, relaxed and heavy, much like Sepia. There is sterility from uterine atony but if there is a pregnancy you will observe a lot of problems during pregnancy where the fibers must take an extra load and are unsuited for such work. Therefore you will see in the history of the patient frequent abortions, uterine atony, misplacement of the uterus etc. Even when pregnancy is progressing there is a general weakness, there are myalgic pains stimulating false pains and also much suffering from an obstinate vomiting and a distressing feeling in the rectum. There is an uncomfortable feeling in this area as if the rectum were full without the possibility to evacuate.

The uterus feels heavy and prolapses easily; here, as we have said before, we have a striking similarity with Sepia, though in Sepia the feeling that the internal organs are dragging down is much more pronounced. In Aletris we see the woman having a feeling of weight, a heaviness but not the excessive dragging down sensation of Sepia. You will often see leucorrhea, which does not have to be thick and yellowish as is frequently the case in Sepia, but is usually a white stringy leucorrhea, for example in women with habitual abortions. In endometritis or with the prolapse of the uterus or in an irritation of the right ovary there is often a pain in the right inguinal region extending down the thigh.

There seems to be a connection between the disturbances in the reproductive organs and the stomach. The woman easily loses her appetite when suffering from disturbances of her sexual- reproductive organs. She may have profuse hemorrhages from the uterus coming on in the middle of the night, leaving her totally prostrated in the morning and scarcely able to speak.

You may see frequent menses or in anemic subjects total absence of menses. In such instances the least kind of disagreable food will upset the stomach, food stays as a heavy load there, there is a disgust for food and also a lot of frothy saliva and frothy eructations which are characteristics of this remedy.

The Aletris patient loses weight easily, is thin, emaciated and anemic with vertigoes and fainting. When anemic Aletris individuals cannot concentrate, they feel confused, they cannot study, the mind seems to have lost its power; though there are a lot of thoughts, the mind wanders around different things, usually pleasant thoughts, but does not stay for a long time on one subject.

A feeling of discontent, of dissatisfaction eventually arises, though we do not yet have the real mental-emotional picture of this remedy.

Adynamia is the word that mostly suits the picture, adynamia primarily in sustaining a new life, in pregnancy, adynamia of the reproductive organs and adynamia in general.

You may encounter cases of Aletris farinosa during the convalescing period in a patient who does not seem to pick up fast enough after an acute disease, whose appetite does not return and whose stomach is upset with the least amount of food, who feels debilitated but not depressed, suffers with vertigoes and an easy   fainting feeling, is debilitated and feels as if the muscles and internal organs are relaxed and weak. Or you may find a similar condition of weakness, debility and difficulty in convalescing in a woman after a spontaneous abortion.


Some general symptoms and keynotes

Aletris farinosa is an excellent remedy which you will see relatively frequently, particularly in a gynaecological practice, because it is principally a remedy for women.

It has three or four essential characteristics:

The first one is that an Aletris woman feels tired all the time. She wants to do nothing or at least as little as possible. She doesn’t want to work much in the kitchen, to clean rooms everyday, to go out for long shopping trips or indeed do anything else. She wants to stay at home and she prefers to lie down and rest all the time.

She may have a headache on waking in the morning, and on rising from bed she has a nauseous, all-gone feeling in the stomach. She feels so tired, dull, heavy and confused that she is unable to concentrate the mind on anything. All her power and energy are almost gone and after a hemorrhage of the uterus she may even be so exhausted that she is unable to speak.

When she comes to you in the practice and tells you about her weariness and weakness you will probably examine her thoroughly, but most of the time you cannot find a real cause for her debility – no serious organic disease. A blood-test will probably indicate that the hemoglobin and iron are low; this kind of anemia is usually caused by a uterine hemorrhage. Sometimes she has no energy because of a protracted illness from which she cannot recover (for example after an abortion or after she has given birth to a child). There may also be a possibility that the weakness originates from defective nutrition; she often has little appetite, doesn’t eat much and is therefore sometimes very emaciated.

The second characteristic is a feeling of heaviness or of a weight.

Not only does she feel tired and heavy but this sensation dominates in many parts of the body too: she has the sensation of a weight or pressure over the eyes. Her eyelids feel as if pressed down.

Possibility of heaviness in the vertex.

Heaviness as if a weight would draw the occiput backward which the neck does not have the strength to prevent (together with a feeling as if the scalp were  contracting/drawing the sides of the occiput together.) This sensation often appears in the morning and is sometimes ameliorated during breakfast. This “heavy-occiput-feeling” is not at all rare in women with uterine diseases.

Even a little amount of food lies heavily in the stomach.

Sensation as if all the intestines had sunken down to lower abdomen.

Heaviness in the region of the uterus, the uterus feels heavy.

Backache with dragging in the sacral region.

The third and probably most important characteristic is that the main problems are central in the female genital organs. All other disorders are also more or less  associated with the uterus.

In the region of the uterus Aletris women have a bearing down sensation as if the contents of the pelvis were attempting to escape. This sensation is much aggravated while walking and often connected with the dragging in the sacral region. Aletis is an important remedy for prolapsus or displacement of the uterus because of the weakness and relaxed state of the genital organs. In addition these women often have a leucorrhoea which is usually colorless or white and stringy. The above-mentioned sensation of a heavy uterus is at least partly caused by an engorgement, congestion of the uterus with too much blood. The exit seems to be closed by clots and the hemorrhage from the uterus -menorrhagia- begins often with dark or black clots followed by a copious bleeding. The hemorrhage may last quite a long time, not ceasing even after the normal end of the menses, but changing into watery oozing interrupted by sudden gushings with clots or coagulated blood. This kind of hemorrhage together with the debility of the patient may often be seen before or during menopause.

The menses are too soon and too profuse with labor like-pains and most of the time, they are connected with the bearing down sensation or prolapsus of the uterus. But also scanty, almost black menses and even amenorrhea can point to Aletris, if associated with general weakness and anemia.

A bruised feeling in the right ovary or a griping, clutching pain in the right inguinal region extending down the thigh may occur in the time of menses in an Aletris case.

Her abdominal cramping pains are worse by bending forward and she bends herself backward to relieve the pain. These colics may also occur independently of the menses, during a constipation for instance, and are often ameliorated by a scanty diarrhea. (By the way, a pain in the trapozious * muscle is worse bending the head forward and better bending backward.)

Before the menses Aletris women may have a peculiar symptom. It is a continuous, dry, hard almost spasmodic cough which is immediately better as soon as the menses appear.

Another interesting symptom is a sharp pain in the left breast as if a knife ran into it extending through the back to the left side of the lower part of the right scapula. (A sharp pain from lower point of the left scapula through to left breast can also be possible.) A very important time for Aletris is during pregnancy because this time gives rise to many symptoms.

Very often these women can either not get pregnant because of the atony of the uterus or they have a great tendency to loose their child. These abortions are also due to the weak and relaxed condition of the uterus. After an abortion you will often see a hemorrhage from the uterus with the above described peculiarities. But if a pregnancy should occur nevertheless, the weakness and the anemia and frequent disorders of the stomach become more prominent. Usually the Aletris case has  a disgust for food, suffers from stomach troubles after eating a little and at the mere sight or thought of grease tends to gag, feels nauseous and retches. She  has copius frothy eructations with great accumulation of frothy saliva and must vomit a lot. This obstinate vomiting prostrates her additionally.

But sometimes the nausea may be better after dinner, and the faint, all-gone feeling in the morning is sometimes ameliorated after eating.

The fourth characteristic of Aletris is that the weak, relaxed state may also be present in the other organs of the lower abdomen (it is not restricted to the uterus). The bladder is weak and can not hold back the urine. The Aletris woman may suffer from incontinence every time she is taken cold and loses urine while walking fast, when coughing or sneezing and even during sleep.

The rectum in particular is so weak that it is almost paralysed. The constipation of Aletris is as bad as the constipation of Alumina. The rectum is loaded with feces and can only be evacuated with great effort, and at the same time she often has terrible pain as if something were being pressed through the closed rectum. She may have to strain so much that pains emerge in her head, particularly in the vertex. The stools are usually very large and hard.

This kind of constipation, together with the general tiredness and one or two symptoms of the genital organs are usually enough to justify the prescription of Aletris Farinosa.