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The Soul of Remedies by Dr Rajan Sankaran

For a long time I hesitated to write a book on remedies because I am well aware of the dangers
inherent in such an undertaking. In the first place, there is a strong possibility that the reader,
especially if he is a beginner in the field, might become fixed on these remedy pictures and
forget that every remedy has a wider range and greater scope than any one individual can see
or describe. Not realising that these pictures represent only one version, only one view of the
remedy, he might wrongly imagine that he had seen the whole. I also realise that an idea imperfectly communicated which might easily be corrected in a “Live” teaching situation, is far less
easily rectified when it has been committed to print. Finally there is a danger that the reader’s
Materia Medica may be narrowed down to the limited number of remedies described here; it
may create a tendency to try to fit all patients into one of these pictures; thus young practitioners might fail to make the unprejudiced search through the Repertory or the more complete
Materia Medica which the best prescribing requires.
However, in the last two or three years, my books “The Spirit of Homoeopathy” and “The Substance of Homoeopathy” have achieved some popularity. These books, written to introduce students of Homoeopathy to my line of thinking are not, and were never intended to be, texts of
Materia Medica. Nevertheless some readers found the ideas on various remedies presented in
these books useful in practice, though somewhat inconvenient in form, since using the index to
check a particular remedy often obliges one to look in several different places. A number of
readers have attempted to reorganise this material so as to allow for easier reference, and it
seems that some of these attempts have almost made it to publication. However, as I read
through a few of them I found many gross errors which would have conveyed quite erroneous
ideas, incorrectly purporting to be my own.
It was at this point that I decided that I might as well write a book in my own style to convey
my own experience. The material presented here has been observed and confirmed in my own
practice; it is material I am sure of. I have not included remedies of which I have little experience
or knowledge. I have attempted to convey the innermost feeling or the basic delusion of the
remedy while connecting the situation, source, miasm and kingdom. The rubrics and physical
symptoms cited are ones which I have observed repeatedly and often used to confirm the remedy prescribed. These ideas have helped me in my clinical practice and I wish to share them with
the profession.
As mentioned above, most of this material can be found in my previous books: this presentation, however, should be easier to use.
There is a common misconception to the effect that I stress mental and emotional symptoms
to the exclusion of physical symptoms. This is, I repeat, a misconception. If I often seem to speak
exclusively of the mental/emotional state, it is because understanding this requires some degree of insight into the patient as well as into the remedy and it is more difficult than noting
physical symptoms. Nonetheless, in practice I give a lot of importance to the physical symptoms,
to the meaning of the pathology, and to the modalities which have to be matched with those of
the remedy. Giving a remedy solely on a vague idea of the mental picture is a prescription for
failure. Such an approach is risky and certainly not one that I follow nor recommend.
The ideas presented in this book are not superficial: they are not mere hints. I have tried to
bring out the innermost feelings of the remedy and it is not easy to discover these in patients
other than by artistic case-taking which delves deeply into such things as the patients delusions,
dreams, hobbies, etc. What appears on the surface may be quite different from what is actually
inside. For example, I had a case in which the expression was one of stage fright, but I observed
that, in that situation, the patient’s reaction, tremendous panic and fear, was as if he was about
to be killed.
My idea of understanding a remedy is to grasp the connection that ties together its myriad
symptoms: the basic delusion, its source (kingdom), the miasm to which it belongs, its symptoms
– all must be understood as aspects of a single whole if we are to even begin to truly understand
a remedy. It is my attempt to trace out these connections that distinguishes this work from other
Materia Medicas. I believe, for example, that the “connecting link” in Sepia is the feeling that
she is forced to do something against her intention. In the section on Sepia I try to show how
this “link” connects every aspect of the remedy. This has been confirmed by me in practice time
and again – I do not believe it is mere theory… and yet the reader must remember that this is
Rajan’s experience and not necessarily the final word.
Similarly, the understanding of miasms presented here, for example, the theme of sycosis as
being “fixed” is not traditional. It is merely my own understanding and someone else’s view
might well be different. A complete discussion of my understanding of miasms is presented in
“The Substance of Homoeopathy” and is not reported here. In many cases I have described the
“situation” of the remedy under discussion. Let me note here that the situation of the remedy
is not necessarily the actual situation of the patient; it is rather the situation in which he (unconsciously) perceives himself to be. Thus, when I say the Magnesium is an orphan, it means
that the patient feels like an orphan though he may, indeed, still have living parents. People set
up situations according to their perception of reality. Magnesium muriaticum, for example, feels
that his friends will betray him and so avoids people. This only reinforces his feeling of being
I wish to reiterate once again that a good Homoeopathic practitioner does not try to fit the
patient to a particular remedy, but seeks first to clearly understand the patient and then to find
the appropriate remedy through repertorization, the study of likely remedies in various Materia
Medicas and review of the experiences of other homoeopaths with those remedies. Rather than
trying to see what part of a considered remedy does fit the case, he must see what does not fit
and must remain skeptical. The prescriber who would grow in skill must be able to recognise
what does not fit and resist the tendency to “force” a fit. In this way he will be led to consider
another remedy which might look similar but is not. This is what I try to do and if you do the
same you may be able to develop pictures of lesser known remedies.
This book is meant for those who have read “The Spirit of Homoeopathy” and “The Substance
of Homoeopathy” because it is those earlier works that most fully express my understanding of
the Organon and Materia Medica. Without an understanding of my ideas on such things as casetaking, classification of remedies according to kingdom, miasms, etc., this book will not be of
much benefit. This work may be used as an adjunct to the previous works but not as a substitute
for them. The reader who attempts to use this book without understanding the fundamental
concepts may easily find himself lost without a compass.
Finally let me repeat that the reader must bear in mind that this book is based on the experience
of one homoeopath amongst the multitude and should be taken as “notes along the way”, not
as the final word. Used in this way it may be of value.
I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the work done by Dr. Digish Doshi and
Dr. Rashmi Jaising. They are mainly responsible for painstakingly collecting the material from
the earlier two books and putting it into its present form, after discussion with me regarding my
ideas on the remedy.
I am grateful to Mr. Michael Zelnick who has gone through the text and put in finishing touches
and Mr. T.D. Anthony has been patient with us during the typing.
Usually from Synthetic Repertory.
Occasionally from Complete Repertory.
Where marked from Kent’s Repertory
Refers to Phatak’s Concise Repertory.
There are also symptoms from Phatak’s Materia Medica.
The rubrics and symptoms mentioned at the end of the remedy are those I see as the main
rubrics of the remedy and which I use for confirming the remedy.


Aconitum napellus
Aconitum napellus is a plant. The remedy prepared from it belongs to the acute miasm and is,
in fact, the most acute of all our remedies.
The main feeling of Aconitum is of a sudden, intense threat from outside that comes suddenly
and goes suddenly. For that moment the person, who is otherwise calm becomes intensely restless, panicky and nervous. This feeling of a sudden threat is seen in the fear of walking across a
busy street, fear of accidents, of suffocation, in presentiment of death and in the delusion that
he is about to die. Mentally this is expressed as a fear of death, anxiety and restlessness etc.,
while in the physical sphere, we find a racing pulse, palpitation and flushing of face alternating
with paleness, etc.
Aconitum is excitable. The patient can flare up suddenly, can get frightened very easily. Pain
can drive him beside himself and again this excitement will be manifested suddenly and violently, with great restlessness – an acute panic reaction.
Great nervous excitability is the most important component of Aconitum. We must look for an
excitable person and not a calm one, if we are to prescribe Aconitum – one who cannot take
anything easy; everything excites him. Here it comes close to Nux vomica, Chamomilla, Staphisagria, Coffea and Graphites. But Aconitum is also very very restless. There is anxious restlessness.
Pierre Schmidt feels it is the most important remedy for anxious restlessness. Nux vomica,
Staphisagria, Coffea or Ignatia are not so restless. Aconitum just can’t sit still. He tosses about.
This is similar to Arsenicum and Rhus toxicodendron, it is only much more intense, vigorous,
sudden and acute. It is a sudden burst of excitement, fear or anxiety with great restlessness. He
doesn’t know where to go or what to do, his mind is ruled over by tremendous anxiety and fear.
Then this whole state disappears as suddenly as it had come without leaving a trace.
Aconitum avoids crowds, crossing the street, indeed any other situation that would cause excitement of mind. The proving reads: “Fear to go where there is any excitement”. Sudden, intense fear from trivial causes is characteristic. It is not the insecure feeling of Calcarea or the
terror of Stramonium nor the anxiety about health of Arsenicum, Nitric acid or Kali arsenicosum.
It is an intense, sudden, panic state – something severe – the end, death! The rubric “Predicts
the time of death” is a combination of “Clairvoyance” with “Intense fear of death”. But as I said
earlier, this is not the permanent state of Aconitum. Soon the excited state passes off and the
normal state re-emerges.
But even in his normal state, Aconitum is hurried. As the proving reads: “He does everything in
a hurry, runs about the house”. His speech is hasty, jerky and excited: “Great impatience”,
“Wants things at once”, “On attempting to think of one thing, another thought intrudes, this is
soon supplanted by another one and so on”.
Excitability can also make him cheerful, laughing, singing, dancing. But here too, the slightest
trifle can change his cheerfulness to anxiety: “Alternate attacks of opposite states of humour”;
“Fitful moods”. It is this cheerfulness of Aconitum that differentiates it from Argentum nitricum
and Arsenicum. These phases of excitable cheerfulness are not seen in the later remedies.
He can at times become very irritable, violent, intolerant of contradiction, shrieking, censorious
but will cool down soon. It is this sudden excitability that brings on such a state. There can also
be episodes of intense sadness which pass off soon, accompanied by the anguish, restless,
moaning and groaning of Aconitum.
There are also sleep symptoms: somnambulism and talking in sleep. Dreams are anxious and
clairvoyant. Sleep is anxious, restless, with constant tossing and turning, and starting in sleep.
Aconitum is complementary to Sulphur.
Physical concomitants are
– Face expression, anxious, frightened.
– Thirsty, burning.
– Heat, palms.
– Discolouration red cheeks.
– Perspiration, uncovered parts, on.
– Desires: beer, bitter drinks, acids.
– Sleeps on back with hands under the head or sleeps in a sitting posture with head inclined
forward, can’t lie on sides.
– Palpitation with great anxiety.
– Face, red-hot.
– Respiration oppressed.
– Limbs feel weak.
– Moaning, groaning, howling, loud whining or weeping;
– Easily startled by noise.
– Heat and discolouration, red, of face, in anxiety and excitement.
– Beside oneself, being.
– Beside oneself, anxiety from.
– Death, dying, feels as if.
– Excitement, nervous.
– Loquacity.
– Mood, changeable.
– Speech, hasty.
Besides himself, frantic, madness from pain.- –
Alumina is the oxide of the metal Aluminium. In the Periodic Table, Aluminium belongs to group
III-A and is associated with Boron (from which the remedy Borax is made). Alumina is one of the
greatest anti-syphilitic remedies along with Syphilinum, Aurum and Mercurius. In Syphilinum,
there is a total absence of hope which is one of the most essential things to the life of a human
being. Phatak mentions: “Hopeless despair of recovery” – total hopelessness. Therefore
Syphilinum is a remedy of death and destruction, he can be suicidal or homicidal. In Mercurius,
the person’s independence, another thing essential for life, has been taken away, and so he
becomes revolutionary, defiant, homicidal or suicidal. Then you have a need for acceptance in
society, some religious feelings; you take this away from man and you have Aurum – suicide
again. In Alumina, the person’s identity or individuality has been taken away, and there is confusion.
The Alumina person’s identity has been so much suppressed that he doesn’t know who he is
anymore. He is so confused because someone has tried to shape him into something that he is
not. It is one of the most important remedies for confusion of identity in our Materia Medica.
The situation of Alumina may arise as for example from a conflict between parent and child,
where the child is not being given an identity. Whatever the child does, they say: “No, not this!”
His individuality and identity have been broken down. Whatever the child says is not right – “You
are no one, you know nothing!” Then comes despair: “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know
what I am, who I am. I don’t even know what I want, what I want to be. I am so small, so timid
and completely dependent on the parent.”
Alumina is listed under the rubrics: “Irresolution, timidity and fear”, “Delusion, head belongs to
another”. The patient doesn’t even know to whom his head belongs. He feels as if somebody
else thinks for him, and he can’t think for himself. He feels as if someone else heard or said
something when it was he who heard or said it. His real identity is being suppressed, is being
pushed in, so that he has to mould himself according to what other people want. Sometimes
the parental control is so strong that the child loses his identity and becomes impulsive, for
example he may grab someone’s hand, or has impulsive acts of violence. In failed cases of Alumina, there is a tremendous sense of desperation to the extent of suicidal tendencies: “Morbid
impulses to shoot himself”, “Impulse to cut herself even though she abhors the idea”. This shows
the impulsiveness, the destructiveness, irresolution, timidity and fear.
Control is a big theme in Alumina. A lot of his problems have to do with control – control of the
body, of the limbs, impulses, a fear of losing control. As the mental will has been undermined
(symptom: “Weak will”), so also the will is taken away from the muscles too, and he can’t move
properly, he has no balance. At the same time, Alumina likes to be in control of situations. Being
a mineral, there is also an element of organization, of fastidiousness. A man who has lost his
identity has to be fastidious, has to do everything perfectly according to someone else, otherwise he feels completely humiliated and finished.
He feels he needs to be hard and rigid in order to keep up his identity, thus in the coped-up
state the Alumina-patient can be quite hard and rigid.
Hence the rubrics:
– Timidity alternating with assurance.
– Obstinate, resists the wishes of others.
– Defiant.
One case of Alumina that I remember well is that of a patient who spoke of himself as if speaking
of an object, or as if he were reading a weather report. He sounded detached hardly ever using
the personal pronouns “I” and “My”. For example he said: “The itching sensation was almost
wild. It became a permanent feature on the face. There was a lot of sticky fluid on scratching…
It appeared and the face became bright red. It is worse from sunlight.” He also argued a lot,
almost endlessly, as if to establish his own identity by arguing. When someone needs to argue
endlessly, it is only to create and maintain the identity he does not feel he possesses.
Alumina might be a good remedy for left-handed children who have been forced to write with
their right hand. They are forced to lose their identity and become confused as to whether they
are left-handed or right-handed. When you force a child to be something other than what he
naturally is, you encourage the Alumina situation.
– Confusion, identity, as to his.
– Delusion, head belongs to another.
– Delusion, identity, errors of personal.
– Contradictory to speech, intentions are.
– Impulse, morbid.
– Suicidal disposition, seeing blood or a knife, she has horrid thoughts of killing herself, though
she abhors the idea.
– Fastidious.
– Ailments, scorn, being scorned.
– Contemptuous.
– Obstinate, resists wishes of others.
– Choking, oesophagus, swallowing.
– Fear, impulse, of his own.
– Soles soft, furry.
– Talks, through him, other person, as if.
Ambra grisea
Ambra grisea is an animal remedy. It belongs to the sycotic miasm.
Like other animal remedies it has the quality of divided will. It has two wills and has a kind of
contempt for self. It also has traits such as animation, loquacity, sexuality, playfulness, love of
animals, etc.
It is a sycotic remedy; an Ambra grisea woman feels that something is wrong with her that
needs to be covered up. There is an intensely dirty feeling about herself. The expression “I feel
like shit” aptly describes the main feeling of Ambra. The feeling is that something in her is intensely disgusting and that this part should never be exposed or she will be completely forsaken.
Ambra feels a tremendous sense of embarrassment. Other remedies like Silicea, Carbo vegetabilis, Plumbum, Gelsemium, etc., also have something of this feeling, but Ambra feels it intensely
and is acutely conscious of the slightest thing she does. This embarrassment is more when it
comes to personal habits like passing stool and urine.
The symptom of Ambra: “Cannot pass stool in presence of others” describes this feeling exactly
as if to say that “this disgusting part in me should never be revealed to others or they will consider me disgusting”. This symptom means that the patient cannot even have somebody in the
next room when he is passing stool. It means that the sounds that he makes in the toilet embarrass him so much that he cannot bear the thought of somebody standing even in the next room.
He would like to clear the whole house before he passes stool, to see that there is nobody
around. This is the nature and degree of embarrassment in Ambra. Indeed, he cannot even bear
the thought of going to somebody else’s house, afraid he may get an urge for stool. When he
gets the urge for stool, he gets anxious: “Anxiety with ineffectual urging for stool”. This is a form
of anticipatory anxiety in Ambra grisea.
This feeling of embarrassment creates tremendous shyness in company and in the presence of
strangers. Because of its symptoms “Bashful” and “Strangers, in presence of ” it comes quite
close to Baryta carbonica. But Ambra has this very acute feeling of embarrassment which Baryta
carbonica doesn’t have; Baryta carbonica has a tremendous irresolution which represents the
feeling of lack of capability, which is not seen in Ambra.
Young girls with this Ambra feeling, in their embarrassment can talk in a flitting, flighty manner.
They can also become mischievous and play pranks that are very much in keeping with this
theme of shame and shamelessness. Embarrassment about one’s own body is one of the main
themes. Also there is a feeling of embarrassment after doing something she considers disgusting
or shameful.
Among other symptoms of Ambra I have noted: “Fear of night” and fear “As if diabolical faces
crowd upon her to swallow her”. I have also noted in Ambra a love for whales.
– Anxiety, company, when in.
– Anxiety stool before, ineffectual desire for, from.
– Company, aversion to, presence of other people agg. symptoms, desire for solitude.
– Company, aversion to, presence of people intolerable to her during stool.
– Delusion, faces sees, diabolical around, upon him.
– Delusion, faces sees, hideous.
– Fear, strangers of.
– Timidity, bashful.
– Timidity, company in.
– Modern society girls.
– Strangers, presence of, aggravates.
– Embarrassement aggravates.
Anacardium orientale
Anacardium Orientale is a plant. The remedy belongs to the cancer miasm.
The situation of Anacardium is that of a kind of child abuse. Overstrict parents impose all their
desires on the child and do not allow him to think or do anything on his own. He cannot take his
own decisions, to the extent that he is not allowed even to decide what clothes he should wear.
If he starts taking his own decisions or does not live up to the expectations placed upon him, he
will be punished cruelly. So he tries to live up to these expectations by being obedient and angelic in his behaviour, and by being excellent in his work. But he begins to develop a lack of selfconfidence, and becomes nervous. He is irresolute, because the outcome of his decisiveness is
usually a severe punishment. If the domination persists and he is compelled to put up with it,
he starts reacting with cruelty, malice, want of moral feeling, and antisocial behaviour. Here he
may also develop a tremendous overconfidence with contempt for others. But Anacardium can
be very hard and cruel, and at the same time have a lack of self-confidence.
There are thus two sides to Anacardium. On the one hand he is good, angelic, obedient from
fear of punishment. He is very orderly, fastidious, cannot rest till things are in proper place. The
other part of him is hard, malicious, violent, devilish, disgusted with himself. He becomes immoral, develops suicidal or homicidal tendencies, is abusive, stubborn and avoids the company
of people. These two sides of Anacardium are constantly in opposition to each other: should he
be an angel or a devil.
Anacardium could be the wife of a selfish tyrant who rules with an iron fist, and does not allow
her to take any decisions. She becomes irresolute, lacks in self-confidence, is confused – always
has two wills. She becomes dull and very absent-minded (Anacardium has a marked absentmindedness). She may be childish, idiotic and timid out of lack of self-confidence and fear. The
fear can paralyse her thinking as can be seen when appearing for an examination.
Whereas Anacardium is known for its hard-heartedness, cruelty, want of moral feeling, a compensated Anacardium cannot be cruel even when the situation demands. He will, perhaps, be
unable to kill even an irritating mosquito.
Thus, Anacardium has the feeling of an angel sitting on one shoulder, and a devil on the other.
– Will, contradiction of, two wills, feels, as if he had.
– Delusion, that he is separated from the world.
– Unfeeling, hard-hearted.
– Delusion, of being double.
– Delusion, is under super-human control.
– Delusion, sees devils.
– Cruelty, inhumanity.
– Cursing.
– Hatred.
– Moral feeling, want of.
– Kill, desire to.
– Kisses his companions hands.
– Confidence, want of self.
– Timidity, bashful.
– Rage, leading to violent deeds.
– Antagonism with self.
Anhalonium lewinii
Anhalonium is a “drug” remedy. It is prepared from Peyotl the cactus from which mescaline is
extracted. It belongs to the cancer miasm.
The experience of mescaline is often one of merging with one’s surroundings or the feeling of
being one with the whole of existence, seeing oneself without any boundaries. This is close to
the highest spiritual experience as described in Hindu or Buddhist philosophy as oneness or nonduality of Spirit. This experience implies immortality – what dies is the body; as the Self is continuous with the whole of existence, it cannot be mortal.
The need for such an experience arises from the feeling of having no roots, of having no identity,
of feeling totally isolated and separated from other human beings, so that one sees one’s ego
as being separate and being totally mortal. This can create immense fear of losing one’s very
existence which is much more than the mere fear of death.
The easiest way to experience this loss of existence is for a person to ask himself the question:
“Who am I, if I remove my name?” Just imagine that you don’t have a name and you are not
allowed to invent a name for yourself and ask: “Who am I?” There is a tremendous blankness, a
void, an emptiness which is very scary. A void which the patient tries to bridge by connecting
himself to not only his name, but also to some group or society, his family, etc., so that he extends himself beyond body and his larger group identity does not die so easily.
Anhalonium comes from a situation where people experience a total solitude and feel they
could lose their identity. In such a situation the only solution is being in the Anhalonium state,
where they can identify themselves with not only a group or family but with the whole of existence.
I believe that many a well-known spiritual leader/teacher could have had a background of isolation and an absence of roots, which could be a powerful impetus to seek one’ spiritual identity.
Anhalonium belongs to the cancer miasm, where the person has to stretch much beyond himself or he will lose his existence. He starts living inside a bubble, isolated from the rest of the
world but inside it, he creates his own universe.
Anhalonium people speak in terms of universe, space, etc. They have the most fantastic experiences which are often spiritual, and have no fear of losing their ego, identity or losing a dear
Often, I have found that they had tried out drugs and had good experiences with mescaline.
They often try their best to belong to groups but usually feel quite alone. They also react well to
music and can go into trance from rhythms.
– Confusion, identity, as to his, depersonalization, loss of self-knowledge and self-control; disassociation from or self-identification with environment, personal disruption.
– Decomposition, space, of.
– Delusion, immortality, of.
– Delusion, standing by oneself.
– Environmental orientation increased.
– Forsaken, isolation, sensation of.
– Merging of self with one’s environment.
– Reality, flight from.
Antimonium crudum
Antimony is a metal which lies in the periodic table, between Arsenic and Bismuth. The remedies of the group Phosphorus, Arsenicum, Antimonium and Bismuthum shut out or exclude others and isolate themselves.
Phosphorus feels that he is not getting enough attention and feels secure only when amongst
a lot of friends, receiving a lot of attention and love. Arsenicum views the world as threatening
and feels isolated and insecure; he feels secure in the company of only a few. Antimonium feels
that he has been disappointed and needs to isolate himself; he feels secure in the company of
still fewer people. Bismuth feels very alone and will be secure in the company of only one person, i.e. the mother.
Antimonium crudum is the sulphide of antimony. In it, we see the Antimonium feeling of being
let down and disappointed by others, and therefore the need to narrow one’s circle, to isolate
oneself. Also present are the Sulphur symptoms of theorizing and fantasizing. These combine to
make Antimonium crudum a person who has narrowed himself down, and who starts fantasizing.
The patient finds the world around him so disappointing that he simply shuts it out, and conjures up an illusionary, ideal world that he starts living in. He longs for that which he misses or
has been disappointed by: he becomes nostalgic and longs for the past, for his native land, for
the ideal woman – the woman of his dreams. He becomes poetic and sentimental. Poetry often
expresses his inner wishes. He is lost in this idealization. It differs from Cannabis indica or other
drug remedies, because he does not create a fantasy, but only longs for and creates his ideal
and becomes very sentimental. Whereas Cannabis indica fantasizes, Antimonium crudum idealizes. Antimonium crudum’s idea is a perfection of the real, perhaps practically impossible, but
fundamentally reality based. The fantasies of the “drug group” of remedies, on the other hand,
are fundamentally not of this world to begin with. For example he may be disappointed in love
and then projects all his idealizations onto another woman, she becomes his dream girl. He does
not want to face the reality of things because reality is so disappointing that he could become
suicidal. He becomes dull, does not want to be touched or approached, does not want to be
looked at or spoken to, does not like any attention. He is fond of solitude, and especially likes to
be by himself in the moonlight.
The physical symptoms are the desire to overeat, and the aggravation from the same. It also
has ailments from vaccination.
– Ailments from love, disappointed.
– Sentimental in the moonlight.
– Verses makes.
– Fancies, exaltation, of.
– Looked at, cannot bear to be.
– Anger when touched.
– Suicidal disposition.
– Dreams, native country.
– Dreams, seeing again an old schoolmate.
– Desires, woman, ideal.
Phatak’s materia medica
So busy with oneself, one forgets to urinate or defecate, eats only when asked… Nervous, hysterical women and girls who are overcome by mellow light from stained glass windows.
Argentum metallicum
Argentum (Silver) belongs to the second line of metals in the Periodic Table, where it lies between copper and gold. Like other metal remedies, Argentum metallicum sees his survival in
performance and defence.
The metals of the second line are concerned with show. Silver is a showy metal, a shiny metal,
a showpiece of human society. A good orator is called silver-tongued. Funnily enough Argentum
metallicum has the symptom: “Tongue has a silver coating”. It is said “Silence is golden, speech
is silver”. Silver is not the noble one but always the showy one.
There is a strong intellectual component in Argentum metallicum. Kent says it singles out mainly
the intellectual faculty, it scarcely affects the emotion.
The Argentum metallicum situation is one where the person has to perform intellectually and
express himself through speech, singing, writing, etc., and also has to defend himself by intellect,
speech and words. In Argentum metallicum one of the most important symptoms is aggravation
from using voice, aggravation from speaking, singing, mental exertion.
He can argue and fight very strongly and hard, not only for himself but also for others. He has
the ability to convince others and win over the opposition with intellect; hence, the Argentum
metallicum person would make a very good lawyer or salesman.
He sees himself as a weak person internally who will be attacked and finished unless he defends
himself strongly, often intellectually.
The situational Materia Medica of Argentum metallicum is that he has been forced by his parents to perform, to be a performer, to demonstrate his intellect, his skill, his talents, his brain
power. The parent expects the child to show the world how talented he is and the child feels
this as the condition for acceptance by his parents. Given this kind of expectation, the person
tries his best – talks, sings, preaches. But at a point, he cannot do it any longer and collapses: the
voice is lost, power is gone, he can’t live up to the expectation any longer. So he alternates (like
Aurum alternates between “I am highly moral” and “I am highly immoral and have sinned away
the day of grace”) between “I am a high performer” and “I am not good enough, I can’t perform
anymore, I am useless”. Either his intellect is highly developed or he can’t remember, is confused, has loss of mental power. Everything in Argentum metallicum is about mental power. The
child is expected to have high mental power and to demonstrate it, show it, express it. Constant
need to show by using his mental power, and by speech.
When he feels forced to perform, there is both anger and fright; it shares this with Argentum
nitricum which has anxiety before performance. In anger there is rage and when provoked he
can react with striking; it has the symptoms cough from anger or jerking from anger. He can go
out of control, he loses his balance and control. Slowly, over time, the mind and body give up
the struggle and go into deep-seated degeneration. He develops vocal cord nodules, and can
hardly sing or speak. His cartilages and condyles become thick and so he cannot move freely;
the limbs feel powerless, become tired and weak, emaciated, he loses his mental power and
becomes almost insane. The organs that he requires for performance and show are the ones
chiefly affected. Writer’s cramps is also an expression of an ailing Argentum metallicum. In this
failed state, he has no control over his mind, voice or movement, and even does unaccountable
Argentum metallicum make good public speakers, clergymen, preachers – persons who lecture
using logic and intellect, rather than what they really felt or experienced. Musicians, singers,
writers, novelists are also required to do the same, use their intellect and show off their talent
of expression or expertise. They argue well, because they rationally and logically analyze things,
and also present their arguments articulately. Being good speakers, they are often quoted. One
might consider as examples Winston Churchill and Norman Vincent Peale.
There are two opposite sides in Argentum metallicum. On the one hand you have great inclination to talk, his mind is very clear and he argues with facility, is inclined to laughter and loquacity,
and on the other hand you have the opposite: “In society is indisposed to talk”. Also you have
the symptom: “Paralytic weakness”, or “Much inclined to move, feels as if she had more power”.
He can experience himself as very small and sometimes feels pursued by something huge. Here
it can be compared to Argentum nitricum.
Argentum metallicum bears a close resemblance to Medorrhinum, Palladium and Lachesis.
With Medorrhinum it shares the feeling of inner weakness, which he is trying to cover up with
egotism. Both have anticipatory anxiety as in stage fright.
Both Palladium and Argentum metallicum have showiness and longing for the good opinion of
It shares with Lachesis its emphasis on speech and communication and its egotism. The difference between the two is that Argentum metallicum is concentrated exclusively in the field of
intellect whereas Lachesis is a jack of all trades.
As an observation, I have seen that Argentum metallicum either has great love for gold or total
contempt for it, sometimes referring to it disparagingly as the “Yellow Metal”.
Physical symptoms
– Electric shocks.
– Convulsions.
– Cramps.
It also has thickening of the cartilages and symptoms that are deep and penetrating. The closely
related remedies are Alumina, Mercurius, Selenium and other metals. All these remedies have
in common deep, penetrating processes with sudden acute exacerbations, violent impulses and
– Loquacity.
– Loquacity: changing quickly from one subject to the other.
– Talk, indisposed to, desire to be silent, taciturn.
– Exertion, from mental, aggravates.
– Prostration of mind.
– Ideas, abundant, clearness of mind.
– Work, mental, impossible.
– Hawk, disposition to.
Argentum nitricum
It is a mineral remedy belonging to sycotic, tubercular and cancer miasms. It is a compound
silver (Ag), of Argentum whose main theme is performance and Nitrate whose main theme is
the feeling of sudden danger. The two come together in Argentum nitricum, whose main theme
as “Performance in sudden danger or crisis”.
There is a feeling as if the person will be accepted only if he can perform at the time of crisis.
There is a feeling of being neglected and despised if he does not perform at the time of crisis. I
call them “Crisis Managers”. They are troubleshooters of the highest degree and see their role
as that, feeling very much neglected or isolated, and feeling failure if they can’t perform in a
The situational Materia Medica of Argentum nitricum is a situation in which he himself has to
struggle and nobody is going to help him; he is trying but not succeeding.
This situation arose from being trapped alone in some circumstance, and trying desperately to
find a way out, in which case Argentum nitricum would be a psoric remedy. But by examining a
little deeper we find the basis of all these fears. He has a tremendous sense of fault within, which
he is trying to cover up and hence has several sycotic traits such as compulsion about time,
about planning things, about doing things in a particular way and such as obsessions with fixed
ideas that he cannot pass a certain place. So we see fixed ideas and fixed actions.
It is important for him to keep control in a critical situation and find his way out of the problem.
This is shown in rubric “Fear of losing self-control”, which I consider one of the leading rubrics
of this remedy. In whichever situation self-control is needed, he becomes highly nervous, as he
lacks it; for example at the time of performance during crisis as is seen in the rubrics:
– Fear of high places.
– Fear of narrow places.
– Fear when anticipating an engagement.
– Hurry, time, to arrive at appointed.
– Anticipation.
– Fear of failure.
– Diarrhoea from anxiety.
– Fear of falling, etc.
Whichever situation in life reminds Argentum nitricum of a trap aggravates Argentum nitricum
persons and they can act impulsively to get out of this trap. The expression they like to use often
is: “There is no way out” or “I don’t see the way out”. Such situations could be:
– Crowds.
– Closed spaces.
– Bridges.
– Tunnels.
– High places: e.g. buildings on fire.
– Aeroplanes.
– Any place where the exit is blocked.
Another situation is the stage. The patients are anxious to go on stage but when persuaded,
they feel isolated and trapped. They feel as if they are alone and the exit is blocked.
The compensation is to see the way out all the time and to never enter a situation where the
exit is not seen, for example going on journey only after booking the return ticket, sitting next
to the door in a cinema theatre. They are especially particular about planning and confirm their
appointments once or more before arriving, and usually arrive much before their appointed
time. When they come in they sit as if ready to start running. They are quite hurried and impatient.
Argentum nitricum has also a lot to do with suspense. They either crave for suspense or they
can’t stand suspense and sometimes both. They like challenging jobs in order to overcome the
When they feel trapped they almost do suicidal, impulsive things. In physical terms it is like
throwing yourself out of the window, but in psychological terms it means they will impulsively
get out of the situation in which they feel trapped. For example in their business if they feel
anxious or tense, they can impulsively and suddenly drop the whole thing and leave even though
they may lose a lot. So you have the rubric: “Indifferent to business affairs”.
Argentum nitricum can be compared with Gelsemium. They are complementary remedies. If,
for the Argentum nitricum person, the situation reaches the level where he can do nothing
about it, he goes into Gelsemium state. In Argentum nitricum there is restlessness, activity,
hurry, impulsive acts. Gelsemium is slow, sluggish, dull, paralytic and doesn’t want to be disturbed.
Both Argentum nitricum and Aconitum have sudden anxiety attacks. The difference is that in
Argentum nitricum they appear in fixed situations for instance, while passing a certain point, in
closed places, high places, before an engagement or a journey, etc. In short Argentum nitricum
has more of a phobic kind of neurosis whereas in Aconitum there is anxiety neurosis with nonspecific yet intense anxiety states.
Lycopodium is likely to be the psoric counterpart of Argentum nitricum, being involved in a
struggle which is concerned with self-control, high places and success. This correspondence is
seen in the following rubrics in the case of Argentum nitricum: “Undertakes nothing lest he
fails”, and its counterpart in Lycopodium is: “Fear of not being able to reach his destination” and
“Fear of undertaking anything”.
In clinical practice I have seen that Argentum nitricum can create, at the physical level, a feeling
of intense oppression and claustrophobia.
– Ailments from anticipation.
– Delusion, corners of houses project so that he fears he will run against them while walking in
the street.
– Delusion, deserted, forsaken.
– Delusion, despised he is.
– Delusion, place he cannot pass, certain.
– Excitement, anticipating events, when.
– Fear, crossing a bridge or place, of.
– Anticipation, stage fright.
– Fear, diarrhoea, from.
– Fear, failure, of.
– Fear, falling, of.
– Fear, late, of being.
– Fear, narrow places, in.
– Fear, ordeals of.
– Fear, self-control, of losing.
– Fear, undertaking anything.
– High places, aggravate.
– Hurry, time, hurry to arrive, for appointed.
– Hurry, walking, while.
– Time passes too slowly, appears longer.
– Undertakes nothing, lest he fail.
– Anxiety, time is set, if a.
– Suspense aggravates.
Arsenicum album
The mineral Arsenic lies between Phosphorus and Bismuth in the Periodic Table. I found that in
this group, which also includes Antimony, there is a feeling of insecurity, of loneliness, of being
isolated, and of not belonging. Phosphorus tries to make up for this feeling by excessive friendliness and sympathy. In Arsenicum, it manifests as fear and insecurity.
The Arsenicum patient sees the world as threatening, chaotic. He feels that he is old, weak and
defenseless, and that there are thieves all around him, ready to take advantage of his weakness.
He needs people and is dependent on them because of his weakness, yet feels that they cannot
be trusted, that they are interested only in his money. However he cannot do without them,
and hence is very careful that he should not offend them, lest they leave him and go away. He
is mistrustful and suspicious, cautious and anxious in all matters: money, relationships, even
The Arsenicum person has a hypochondriacal anxiety; he fears that he will lose his health unless
he exercises regularly and will avoid many things which he feels are harmful. He will not eat out
in restaurants, etc., and will impose many restrictions on himself in diet and other matters. His
life is full of anxiety. He is extremely fearful that he will lose what he has, unless he is extremely
cautious. This makes him both restless and conscientious. The restlessness drives him from place
to place, he cannot rest till things are in place; anything that seems out of place troubles him.
The patient will show you his hands and ask you to look at both of them. “Doctor, he will ask,
do you see that the veins on my left hand are more prominent than those on the right hand?
Why is this so?” The conscientiousness and carefulness is manifest as an almost compulsive
need for order, making Arsenicum extremely fastidious and hence a remedy of the cancer miasm. I have also seen that the Arsenicum concern for health and security can extend to others,
so that these patients can be caring for the health and security of others as well. I have found
that they write very precisely in very small writing, fitting in much as possible in a very small
– Delusion, sees thieves at night.
– Delusion, that the house and space under the bed are full of thieves.
– Delusion, about criminals.
– Delusion, others conspire to murder him.
– Delusion, is about to receive injury.
– Delusion, that she is being watched.
– Company, desire for, alone, while, aggravates.
– Fear, alone of being, lest he die.
– Delusion, friend has been offended.
– Company, aversion to whom he imagines he has offended.
– Carefulness.
– Desires more than she needs.
– Fastidious.
– Rest cannot when things are not in proper place.
– Anxiety for others.
– Anguish driving from place to place.
– Corrugated nails.
– Taste bitter for water.
– Desires fat.
– Thirst: small quantities for, often.
– Cracks: feet soles.
– Agony, cannot rest in any place.
– Craves condiments.
– Dust aggravates.
– Walk, impulse to.
Aurum metallicum
Aurum is a syphilitic remedy. It is one of the heavy metals of the 6th period. In Aurum the feeling
is that the person must perform tasks which are impossible or much beyond his capacity. He
demands of himself industry and responsibility, conscientiousness and duty of the highest degree, uncompromising principles or goals that are beyond the possible.
He almost destroys himself in trying to achieve these goals, because if he does not achieve
them, he gets the feeling of failure, guilt and despair of salvation. It is as if his very survival
depended on his ability to take on these huge responsibilities. He is afraid of losing the confidence of others and of himself. He has a feeling that he may fall down from this high position.
This can make him suicidal. When Aurum gets suicidal thoughts, he does not have to fight with
himself as Natrum sulphuricum does. Aurum will make a decision and act. He asks himself: “Do
I jump or not?”; if the answer is: “I jump”, he just jumps.
Aurum people are highly moralistic, principled and orthodox. However, sometimes it can work
the other way round, i.e. finding the task too high; Aurum becomes then irresponsible and immoral. Aurum therefore, has the polarity between high morality and extreme guilt and suicidal
tendencies. He alternates between “I am highly moral” and “I am highly immoral and have
sinned away the day of grace”.
They are usually relieved tremendously by music. One of my early observations was that Aurum
patients like to hear Bhajans. Bhajans are Indian religious songs, which are sung with exact meter and with a lot of devotion. The three components:
– Religiousness.
– Music ameliorates.
– Exactness.
are found in combination only in Aurum, and Aurum persons are almost the only people I have
found to be markedly ameliorated from hearing Bhajans.
I was told by a musician that Tansen had composed Raga Darbari at the request of the Emperor
Akbar, who wanted a raga to alleviate the feeling of tremendous responsibility he faced and the
despair it brought about in him at the end of the day. The raga has tremendous depth, a feeling
of great responsibility and hopelessness, which comes very close to Aurum.
The situational Materia Medica of Aurum is a situation in which his survival is dependent on his
fulfilling his duty. Aurum is the eldest child of the family and his father is no more. Society will
blame him if he does not take charge of his siblings. He raises the family. He is the duty-bound
son, his views are very moral and conscientious. Aurum is concerned about how he appears to
himself; he always checks whether he has done things right since his survival depends on this,
and not on how he appears to other people as is the case with Silicea. Aurum is also very adamant about principles. His value systems are very strict and he imposes the same values on
others; this is described by the rubric: “Dictatorial”. He is intolerant of contradiction.
The first thing you will notice in an Aurum patient is that he is neat in appearance, conservatively dressed in an old fashion, sometimes with a religious mark on his forehead. He is punctual
in his appointments. His case form is very neatly and completely filled in. He brings all his medical reports filed in sequence. On going through these records we find that he has been checking
up on his health very regularly. He has taken the medicines scrupulously, not missing out a single
dose. He describes his ailments correctly, date-wise and talks confidently, not too much and not
too little. In his work he is very meticulous, careful about even the smallest of things; he is a
perfectionist, will work late, check the last file, count the last penny. He is duty conscious and
will never rest until he has completed the day’s work. He is very much trusted and valued by his
employer and colleagues, since he is extremely hard-working, highly responsible and honest. He
does not seek money, power or fame. He is happy to have done his duty. He values appreciation,
but that is not the aim of his work.
He has a strong sense of right or wrong, and the wrong doings of others provoke his anger. He
is thus critical and sets very high standards for himself, as well as others. He will be very punctual
and will expect you to be punctual too. If you delay him in your waiting room, he may burst in
and demand that you keep the time. He can be quarrelsome and reproachful.
Aurum patients have a fixed idea about what their duties are, this generally depends on what
they have been taught by their parents. An Aurum person may have been taught that, after he
has fulfilled his responsibilities towards his family, he should turn to religion or social service; so
having educated and married his children, he devotes his time to religion or helping others. He
does this more from a sense of duty than from sympathy or anxiety for others.
Aurum can develop a very strong attachment to another person, often one much younger than
himself. I have seen such a parent-child relationship develop with a person of the opposite sex,
or it could be with his own child. The attachment is so strong that he must see the other person
everyday, hear that person’s voice, etc. The affection goes hand in hand with expecting the other
person to obey and to act according to his wishes. Such relationships probably represent the
Aurum need to be a parent to someone. It is when the other person rebels, in other words,
refuses to be parented anymore, that Aurum becomes heart-broken. He experiences mortification, anger with indignation, tremendous depression, sadness, forsaken feeling, disappointment
and he feels that life is not worth living any more. He can become suicidal at this stage. He totally
withdraws and becomes highly irritable.
He often talks and answers in questions. He is easily disappointed with others just as with himself.
Physically Aurum persons tend to develop serious chronic problems such as hypertension, heart
disease, destructive pathologies and cancer.
I have observed that many Aurum patients have a knobby nose tip and have fear of high places.
– Delusion, reproach, has neglected his duty and deserves.
– Anxiety, conscience of, as if guilty of a crime.
– Reproaches himself.
– Delusion, affection of friends, has lost.
– Confidence, want of self, others have none, which makes her unhappy, and thinks.
– Anxiety, salvation about.
– Delusion, succeed, he cannot, does everything wrong.
– Industrious.
– Loathing life.
– Suicidal disposition, throwing himself from a height.
– Religious affections.
– Music ameliorates.
– Questions, speaks continuously, in.
– Conscientious, trifles about.
– Increased scruples of conscience.
– Knobby tip of the nose.
Baryta arsenicosa
Baryta arsenicosa is a mineral remedy of the syphilitic miasm. The feeling of Baryta is that of
complete dependence due to personal incapacity. The feeling of Arsenicum is of being isolated
and hence insecure. The Arsenicum person sees the world as threatening and chaotic. He feels
lonely yet feels threatened by people, so he cannot trust people though he needs them. The
main feeling of Baryta arsenicosa is: “I cannot trust the person on whom I am totally dependent”.
In the compensated state Baryta arsenicosa can be very conscientious, independent and responsible. The patient is fastidious, methodical, highly organized, efficient and industrious. He
is very caring for others, very friendly and will not offend anyone. He is very careful about his
own health and also the health of others.
In an uncompensated state the Baryta arsenicosa person can be shy, bashful and nervous, extremely anxious about the smallest thing, especially with respect to health. He can get panicky,
frightened and restless. He does not trust anyone including the physician and often changes
doctors: irresolute, very dependent, yet mistrustful.
Physical symptoms
– Chilly patient.
– Early senility: very deep seated, chronic, progressive disorders. Diabetes, ulcers, hypertension,
etc., coming on at an early age.
– Sudden acute manifestations may be found.
Baryta carbonica
Barium is a mineral belonging to the group IIA of the Periodic Table. The main feeling of remedies from this group is one of dependence, and Baryta carbonica is the most dependent of them
Baryta carbonica is totally dependent on others, almost like a cripple or an imbecile. “Delusion
that he walks on his knees” and “Delusion that a beloved friend is sick and dying” show the
crippled, dependent feeling of Baryta carbonica and his fear of losing this support.
There is a feeling of total incapacity to take on responsibilities or do one’s own work. Baryta
carbonica has anticipatory anxiety because of this feeling of incapacity. The patients are totally
irresolute and depend completely on someone else to take decisions for them. This can work
both ways. I have seen also that Baryta carbonica people can be very independent, even supportive of other people. They can be very responsible especially about family affairs: “Anxious
about domestic affairs”, “Cares about domestic affairs”, “Anxiety about friends at home”, “Anxiety for others”. They can be extremely hard-working (industrious), very organized, conscientious, and they take pains to make sure of everything (carefulness). They consequently occupy
quite responsible, dependable positions in their work and society. They are very methodical and
reliable but lack imagination, art and creativity. Occasionally however, even such coped up Baryta can have bouts of irresolution and self-doubt. There is “Fear of strangers” which extends to
the fear of facing any new situation and anything that is out of the routine, especially the kind
of situation that forces them to make choices or take decisions. They can be resistant to any
changes in their lives, for example they would try and avoid any changes in job or residence.
They don’t like being noticed or brought into prominence, and would hesitate to wear anything
that stands out, for example a shiny shoe. They are the last people to accept new fashions and
are quite conservative in their way of dressing, living, etc. They avoid giving their views or opinions easily for fear of being criticized.
I have seen that Baryta carbonica patients like to confirm every single detail during a consultation, e.g. where and how to take the medicine, what are the food or other restrictions, etc., to
the last detail, often provoking irritation and laughter from others.
They are so dependent, it is childish. Phatak writes: “Children are late coming into usefulness,
to take on their responsibilities and do their work”. The Baryta carbonica patient is very much
afraid that he will lose (or something will happen to) those on whom he is dependent – seen in
the delusion that “A beloved friend is sick and dying”.
I have mentioned in “The Spirit of Homoeopathy” a case of a 35 year old married woman who
developed arthritic problems after the death of her neighbour, on whom she was dependent,
and who was the only one in the neighbourhood who shared her mother-tongue. Due to this
she lost the “crutch” which the neighbour provided, and since she could not actualize her delusion, that “Her legs are cut off” she developed a crippling arthritis which made her lean on others
for support.
This great dependency on others, especially socially and financially, brings it close to Calcarea
silicata. Calcarea silicata feels financially and socially dependent. The Baryta carbonica person
feels both mentally (especially intellectually) and physically dependent like a disabled person.
Often the Baryta carbonica patients will give a history of being extremely shy in childhood and
being unable to mix with others or make friends easily. They feel laughed at and criticized. There
are many fears which are often childish (“Fear in children”). A small thing can make them extremely anxious: “Anxiety, trifles about”, “Delusion, she thinks every noise is a cry of fire and
she trembles”, “Starts easily from noise and from fright”.
In many Baryta carbonica persons I have seen a kind of simplicity, naivety. They are rather credulous.
– Cares, domestic affairs, about.
– Childish.
– Strangers, presence of, aggravates.
– Delusion, as if beloved friend is sick and dying.
– Delusion, walks on his knees.
– Delusion, legs are cut off.
– Delusion, laughed at, mocked, being.
– Anxiety, others, about.
– Anxiety, trifles, about.
– Goes off alone and weeps as if she has no friends.
Physical symptoms
– Chilly patient.
– Premature old age: hairfall, baldness, loss of memory, hypertension, atherosclerosis at a
young age.
– Desires: sweets.
– History of recurrent attacks of tonsillitis.
– May be emaciated.
– Hearing hard in old people.
Baryta phosphorica
Baryta phosphorica is a mineral remedy. The main feeling of Barium is that of a person who is
totally dependent on others, almost like a cripple or an imbecile. In Phosphorus the feeling is of
being unloved and uncared for, to which the patient reacts by being affectionate, friendly and
sympathetic in the hope that this love and care will be reciprocated. So the main feeling of Baryta phophorica would be: “I am unloved and uncared for, or I am treated indifferently by the
person I am totally dependent on (because of my incapacity to stand on my own feet)”.
So we may see a person who is independent, friendly and sympathetic; or one who becomes
very much dependent and anxious, more anxious than Baryta carbonica.
Baryta sulphurica
Baryta sulphurica is a mineral remedy. The main feeling of Baryta sulphurica is: “I am
scorned/insulted by the person I am so totally dependent on (since I am handicapped)”.
The compensated Baryta sulphurica person is self-dependent and makes a lot of effort to be
respected. It is a combination of dependability and dignity. The patients are industrious, dependable and dignified people. A man with these qualities will reach a high position.
The problem starts when Baryta sulphurica comes into a new environment with new people
around him. There is a tremendous fear of being alone or going out alone. He cannot mix easily.
He feels that people will laugh at him, and since he is easily offended or insulted he cannot form
deep friendships. He feels that others avoid him, he feels neglected and weeps and broods about
it. His memory is weak. There is also aversion to work, loss of will and weeping. The dreams are
anxious and frightful.
Physical symptoms
– Cannot bear hunger.
– Craving: salt, sour, pickles.
– Anxiety.
– Cowardice.
– Fear, conversation of.
– Fear, people of, anthropophobia.
– Timidity, bashful.
– Will, loss of.
Belladonna is a plant remedy of the acute miasm. The main feeling of a Belladonna person is of
a sudden threat from outside from which he has to escape in order to survive.
The suddenness is one of the main characteristics of Belladonna. Everything comes in paroxysms with suddenness, and goes with equal suddenness. But while it lasts, there seems to be a
very intense and life threatening situation; the person is beside himself and wants to escape.
Also, there is a certain degree of violence in his sensations and actions.
Belladonna can be quite cheerful. In fact, he can be dancing, laughing, singing and can have a
generally light-hearted feeling and exuberance. But when the attack comes, he becomes crazy
with fear and anxiety, with excitement, with throbbing of the carotids, palpitation of the heart
and a feeling of imminent threat or danger.
One of the Belladonna patients that I had disappeared from treatment suddenly and after
months suddenly called me up from some part of the world and then disappeared for months
again. For Belladonna Dr. M.L. Sehgal points to the rubric: “Unconsciousness interrupted by
screaming”. His interpretation is that the Belladonna patient remains unconscious of his problems and they come up suddenly to his consciousness and make him very excited.
The delusions, dreams and fears of Belladonna have to do with sudden threat, for example:
– Delusion, bulls, of.
– Fear, imaginary things, of.
– Fear, animals, of.
– Fear, impending death, of.
– Delusion, gallows with fear of, vision of.
And he reacts with violence, impulse to set things on fire, attempts to escape and run away.
There is a need to escape, to run away. There is a feeling that he will be pursued, killed. Therefore he runs, escapes, rages.
The difference between Belladonna and Stramonium is that in Belladonna, the specific situation
is like that of one who is about to be taken to the gallows, while in Stramonium it is like that of
a person lost in a jungle. Stramonium looks for somebody to cling on to, seeking light and company, whereas the main action in Belladonna is reacting violently to save himself, e.g. desire to
escape; rage.
Physical symptoms
Among the main physical symptoms of Belladonna are:
– Sudden paroxysmal pains that come suddenly and go suddenly.
– Extremely sensitive to light, noise and jarring.
– Desire for lemonade, lemon juice.
– Pains are throbbing.
– Ailments from fright.
– Beside oneself, being.
– Delusion, animals of, frightful.
– Delusion, bulls, of.
– Delusion, dogs sees.
– Delusion, murdered, he will be.
– Delusion, pursued by enemies.
– Escape, attempts to.
– Exuberance.
– Fear, gallows, of the.
– Fire, wants to set things on.
– Unconsciousness interrupted by shrieking.
– Deeds of violence, rage leading to.
– Fear alternating with rage.
– Involuntary urination during sleep; difficult to awaken from.
– Admonition aggravates.
– Direction of symptoms: increase and decrease suddenly.
Bryonia alba
Bryonia is a plant remedy. It belongs to the typhoid miasm, which lies between the acute and
the psoric. In my experience, the main feeling of Bryonia is the feeling of a loss, which has to be
made up very fast. One of the commonest ways of making up a loss is by business. Here you
invest what you have, take risks and try to increase your wealth. The concentration is totally on
business, so much so that the Bryonia person talks and dreams of business, and in delirium will
mention what money has to be put where and what business transaction has to be completed.
The Bryonia person is very industrious, busy and determined, and works at a feverish pace. He
becomes dry, insensitive to the emotions and feelings of others. He talks little and doesn’t like
to be disturbed. He reads things concerned with his business, converses with business people,
and his attitude in the clinic will also be rather business-like.
As a result, one could mistake Bryonia for Calcarea fluorica, but the theme of Calcarea fluorica
is to preserve what one already has, and therefore Calcarea fluorica does not take any risks.
Bryonia however does take risks. Again, the complaints of Bryonia are more acute and will impede movement, whereas Calcarea fluorica will develop a slow, chronic illness which can make
one dependent.
One may also compare Bryonia with Veratrum album, but Veratrum is concerned more with
the loss of position than with the loss of money. So egotism, extravagance and show become
the theme in Veratrum, but are not so much seen in Bryonia.
– Fear of poverty.
– Talks of business.
– Busy.
– Delirium, busy.
– Delusions, fancies, is doing business.
– Industrious.
– Disturbed, averse to being.
– Talk indisposed to, desires to be silent, taciturn.
– Dreams: business.
– Dreams: being busy.
– Dreams: exertion: mental and physical.
– Dreams: exhausting.
– Avarice.
– Desires warm milk.
– Desires soups.
– Loquacity, of business.
Bufo rana
Bufo is a remedy of the animal kingdom. It is prepared from the toad.
Bufo has symptoms of Baryta carbonica and Hyoscyamus put together. Like Baryta carbonica it
has a childish and naive behaviour, is foolish and underdeveloped mentally. Like Hyoscyamus, it
has shamelessness, high sexuality, loquacity and malice. Like other remedies of the animal kingdom it has an animated nature, a fear of animals and a certain mischievousness. It resembles
some of the remedies of the spider group, as it is sensitive to music, deceitful and destructive,
and also has attractive behaviour. All these elements combine to give Bufo a unique character.
When you consider the childishness, the lack of maturity and control, and the high sexuality,
you have the idea that the adult control over his instincts is absent. Therefore whenever he has
any urge, whether it be an urge to eat or a sexual impulse, he has to gratify it at once. He cannot
postpone pleasure. If he has a sexual impulse, it has to be fulfilled, and so he goes off alone and
masturbates. Hence we have the classic symptom: “Desires solitude for masturbation”.
In my experience, one of the main things you can note about a Bufo person is the combination
of good physical development and a childish mind. Added to these is the shamelessness and the
sexuality. These persons can become very violently angry sometimes, and at other times you
will see foolish giggling. There can be quite a bit of egotism in their talk, but this will appear
Among the physical symptoms I have seen a strong desire for sweets and a crack in the centre
of the tongue. There is also a tendency towards obesity and there are convulsions which are
connected with the sexual sphere.
It is a near syphilitic remedy, with a lot of destructive pathology which includes paralysis and
Phatak mentions, aptly that the patient is “low minded”. He also says: “It arouses the lowest
passions” and “It is a remedy for depravities”.
Like Baryta carbonica and some other syphilitic remedies, it also has early senility. In the Materia Medica we find that Baryta muriatica has some similarity to Bufo with high sexuality and
– Childish behaviour.
– Company aversion to, desires solitude to practice masturbation.
– Deceitful.
– Destructiveness.
– Fear, animals, of.
– Idiocy.
– Imbecility.
– Laughing.
– Malicious.
– Rage, fury.
– Strike, desire to.
– Tongue cracked in the centre.
– Desires sweets.
– Childish, but body grows.
Calcarea arsenicosa
Calcarea arsenicosa is a mineral remedy of the cancer miasm. In Arsenicum there is a feeling: “I
need people but I cannot trust them – they may rob me”. The patient cannot trust anyone. In
Calcium there is a need for security and support. So we see in Calcarea arsenicosa a person who
feels insecure as well as mistrustful. In Calcarea arsenicosa the need for people is almost a dependence, and this along with the mistrust, makes him highly anxious and insecure. He feels: “I
may be cheated, let down (mistrustful -Arsenicum) by the people on whom I depend for protection (Calcium)”.
Calcarea arsenicosa is full of anxiety, extremely insecure. I had a case of a menopausal woman
who came with the complaint of severe palpitation, which came on from the least anxiety, fright
or bad news. She had a son and a daughter. The son went abroad and she got the feeling that
he might never come back. All her complaints were worse when he left, especially after her
husband fell ill. She felt that her future source of support (in case her husband died) had become
untrustworthy. This created extreme anxiety in her, and she would call her son over the phone
every week. I gave her Calcarea arsenicosa on these features of mistrust and insecurity. Also
Phatak’s Materia Medica gives: “Complaints of fat women around the climacteric, when the
least emotion causes palpitation”. Later, they may become extremely sad (Kent’s Lesser Writings).
In the compensated state, Calcarea arsenicosa may be very careful and cautious. He is very
Physical symptoms
– Chilly patient.
– Palpitation from least emotion.
– Breathlessness on ascending.
– Desires soup.
– Ailments from excitement, emotional.
– Anxiety, future, about.
– Anxiety, health, about.
– Heart, palpitations, emotions, slight, aggravates.
Calcarea bromata
Calcarea bromata is a mineral remedy. It is formed from the elements Calcium (group IIA) and
Bromine which is of the Halogen group. The main feeling of the patient Calcarea bromata is he
be pounced upon or punished by the very person on whom he depends for his security. He
should not do anything that is incorrect. If ever his fault is detected, he is in the danger of losing
his security, protection. This feeling shows Calcarea bromata to be a sycotic remedy.
Calcarea bromata persons are constantly seeking a position of security, are inclined towards
financial security. They do not however want to be secure at the cost of honesty. I have found
these people to be very correct, moralistic and honest, trying always to please everyone. At the
same time, they can feel blamed, falsely accused, pounced upon for no fault of their own. This
can result in violent explosions or outbursts of temper on their part, to the extent of striking, or
even cutting. They have dreams of being attacked, of being late for an examination, of being
found in an embarrassing position in public, of being naked.
I have found Calcarea bromata to be indicated frequently in India, where children remain dependent on parents for very long, sometimes even until they are in their thirties. They are very
much afraid of going against the moral values taught by their parents for fear of losing their
Suggested rubrics
(Clinically seen by me, not found in Repertory).
– Ailments from, embarrassment.
– Ailments from, anger.
– Ailments from, falsely accused, being.
– Delusion, attacked, of being.
– Delusion, crime, he has committed.
– Anger, violent.
– Anger, paroxysmal.
– Dreams: embarrassment.
Calcarea carbonica
Calcarea carbonica is a mineral remedy belonging to the psoric miasm. It also has some sycotic
traits. The main feeling of Calcarea is the need for stability and security. Calcium offers protection not only to humans in the form of bone but also in earlier forms of life in the form of shell,
exoskeleton, etc. The central theme of the Carbonates is of a vital reaction.
Thus the main theme of Calcarea carbonica is a need for protection. But in order to get this
protection the person does not need to make any effort – all he has to do is show a vital reaction.
There is a feeling of being too weak to face the cruelty and roughness of the world. So we have
the rubrics: “Delusion, that he is weak” and “Delusion, that he is small”, as the main delusions.
So Calcarea carbonica tries to build a protective wall of defence around himself which will ensure that he is safe, secure and covered like a developing embryo within an egg.
He seeks the protection he needs by expressing a lot of fears. He surrounds himself by a lot of
people who protect him. The Calcarea carbonica persons are people who don’t go out much,
don’t want any adventure in life. Rather they choose for themselves friends and partners who
are protective and on whom they can depend. This protection may be in the form of money,
and the dependence causes the “Fear of poverty”. There is a desire to be magnetized, that is to
allow one’s will to be taken over by another person: “Doctor, tell me what to do, I will do exactly
as you say.” A Calcarea carbonica patient relies completely on another person. I have seen this
especially in children and young people who are usually accompanied by their parents for the
consultation and, never answer a question directly but whisper the answer to their parents.
Even a coped up Calcarea is usually accompanied by some relative. I have seen them use the
expression: “I am happy when everybody is around me”. This represents the need to have people around them for protection and security.
The situational Materia Medica of the uncompensated Calcarea carbonica is that of a woman
completely protected first by her parents during childhood and now by her husband. The need
to cope up does not arise. I have seen girls, cozy in the protective environment of their parents’
homes, hesitate and fear to get married, unable to trust that they will find the same security
elsewhere. They remain unmarried as long as is possible, till they suddenly realize that their
parents are getting old too, and will not be always there to protect them. The same can be seen
in young men much dependent on their parents, who remain bachelors till late and then try to
find a mother substitute for a wife. In the coped-up state, Calcarea carbonica is a home-builder.
Home represents the protective shell he needs around him. He has to cope when he has to face
responsibilities and there is no protection.
Calcarea carbonica children can be very obstinate and can even get aggressive, but this behaviour is confined only to within their home and is directed especially to their parents. Outside,
they are quite timid and fearful, well-behaved, sensitive to rudeness and admonition.
When, despite showing a vital reaction, a Calcarea carbonica person cannot manage to get the
protection he needs, he develops intense fears and “Talks of nothing but murder, fire and rats”.
This rubric represents his fear of human (murder), animal (rat) and natural (fire) elements. I have
seen that besides the dreams of animals, snakes, etc., Calcarea carbonica also has dreams as if
watching a murder. Calcareas also get anxious from watching or hearing about cruelty. On
watching scenes of fighting or of horror on TV, the Calcarea carbonica child either leaves the
room or closes his eyes. There is also intense fear of pain and suffering, fear of the physician,
especially dentists, fear of injections and of surgery which is even seen in adults.
When all attempts to seek protection fail, they become indifferent: “Sits and breaks pins the
whole day”, “Indifferent about recovery”.
When the life situation of a Calcarea carbonica person changes and he looses the security of his
home, he feels as if left alone in the wilderness, thus going into a Stramonium state which is
that of an unprotected person out in the dark night, wanting to come home (in contrast to Calcarea carbonica who is the one inside the house and not wanting to get out).
If the Calcarea carbonica woman coming from the world of security happens to marry a violent
drunkard, she can develop a Rhus toxicodendron state very easily. She can become tense, nervous and can feel the threat of being killed inside her own house. Rhus toxicodendron is complementary to Calcarea carbonica.
When a Calcarea carbonica person comes to the doctor from an unprotected environment at
home, she may weep and ask for his protection, seek support and reassurance – so you have:
“Narrating her symptoms aggravates”. This might seem like Pulsatilla, especially if we were to
only notice the weeping and the seeking of consolation, while ignoring the nervousness and
edginess at home.
A Calcarea carbonica woman may even look like Hyoscyamus or Thuja or Lycopodium, as explained in “The Substance of Homoeopathy”, depending on the way she has to cope with her
Bryonia and Calcarea carbonica are similar remedies. Both have the aversion to movement and
the need for security and stability, and the “Fear of poverty”. They are incompatible remedies.
Physical symptoms
– Physically Calcarea carbonica is usually obese but can be thin.
– Profuse perspiration.
– Desire: eggs, ice-cream, sweets, chocolates, meat and chicken, indigestible things like, sand,
slate, pencil.
– The pathology of Calcarea carbonica generally includes affections of the bones and joints.
– White spots on nails.
– The main modalities I have noticed are:
agg. Ascending (breathlessness, weakness).
agg. Pressure of clothes (cannot tolerate tight clothes).
agg. Exertion of any kind.
– Dryness and chapped skin in winter, especially of feet.
– Anticipation, dentist, physician, before going to.
– Anxiety, cruelties, after hearing.
– Delusion, confusion, others will observe her.
– Delusion, murdered, sees someone.
– Delusion, smaller, of being.
– Fear, dogs, of.
– Fear, ghosts, of.
– Horrible things, sad stories affect her profoundly.
– Magnetized, desire to be.
– Obstinate children, inclined to grow fat.
– Talks, murder, fire, rats, of nothing but.
– Vertigo when ascending an eminence.
– Vertigo from high places.
– Face: greasy.
– Hair, growth of, child’s face.
– Desires eggs.
– Metrorrhagia from fright.
– Pain, mammae, menses, before.
– Skin: cracks in winter.
– Ascending aggravates.
– Calculi.
– Clothes, pressure of, aggravates.
– Hanging limbs aggravates.
– Mammae before menses.
– Religious ideas, in children.
– Squatting aggravates.
Calcarea fluorica
Calcarea fluorica is a remedy of the mineral kingdom. The compound Calcium fluoride is made
from the elements Calcium (Group II A), and Fluorine (Halogen). In my understanding, Calcarea
represents the need for stability and security, while Fluor represents the fear of being let down
and deserted.
Fluoride is contained in tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. The function
of enamel is to provide maximum security to the teeth by its hard, resistant quality.
The main feeling of Calcarea fluorica is that the person’s source of security or support is unstable and unreliable. Hence there is a need to be totally protected and secure by being hard and
resistant. He feels as if there is a gradual erosion of his security; this is noted even in the pathology of Calcarea fluorica, e.g. carious teeth.
“Fear of poverty” is the main rubric of Calcarea fluorica. The Calcarea fluorica person is very
insecure about his financial situation. He feels that he can go into a loss, that his business can
fail, that something can happen whereby he can lose all his money. Money provides him security, and he makes up for all his fears by saving up as much money as is possible, taking the least
amount of risks, and taking lots of insurance.
This feeling that his source of security is unstable and cannot be relied upon can be seen even
in the sphere of relationships. Calcarea fluorica feels that his relationships are not stable, and
fears that the relationship on which he is dependent (Calcarea) will be broken (Fluor); consequently he feels the need to be independent.
I have observed Calcarea fluorica persons to be quite independent, strong individuals, and while
they have many friends and contacts with a lot of people (thus securing themselves against calamities), they depend on themselves. They make themselves self-reliant by industriousness,
and secure a strong base for themselves financially. But they always fear that this security that
they have built up for themselves is getting eroded, and that a calamity will leave them bankrupt.
They are hard-working, quite resolute, firm and strong people. They seem very tough – can
withstand a lot. For example one of my patients who is doing well on Calcarea fluorica has an
ulcerating carcinoma of the breast, but she has not told her family and friends about it, and
bears the pain without showing it.
They are quite organized, and as is shown in “The Substance of Homoeopathy”, their notes are
very systematic, the matter being arranged point-wise, complete with exact numerical descriptions. Also, they would have utilized minimum paper space, and any extra paper would have
been cut away.
They take good care of their property and possessions, and also maintain their health and job
Calcarea fluorica tend to develop problems where they slowly loose the use of some part of
their body, as for example cataract, osteoarthritis. They are constantly calculating what they will
do if they were to lose the use of this part altogether. They are regular in taking their treatment,
and even when they don’t have any problem they continue treatment as a “safety measure”.
They say: “It is okay that so much is gone, but now give us the treatment so that we don’t lose
any further.”
The most important dream of Calcarea fluorica is that of the death of his relatives. This dream
reflects the tremendous fear that the person whom he depends on may leave him. However if
the relative (in the dream) is a person from whom he gets love and care and not money or
protection, the remedy is likely to be a Magnesium salt. Calcarea fluorica also has the dream of
efforts, e.g. missing the train, etc.
When all efforts to secure himself financially or in a relationship fail, Calcarea fluorica becomes
totally irresolute, feeling most vulnerable, and helpless; he can go into a mental depression and
become insolvent – a given up state.
I did a proving of Calcarea fluorica in my seminar in Amsterdam and it brought about a very
strong response. The very theme of Amsterdam with its open sexuality and easy contact, superficial relationships and heavy accent on money, banking and insurance, as well as a certain avarice the Dutch are well known for, made Amsterdam a tempting place to prove Calcarea fluorica.
Physical symptoms
Among the physical concomitants of Calcarea fluorica, I have found:
– Arcus senilis.
– Early baldness.
– Cracks on feet.
– Transparent skin (through which veins can be seen).
– Varices below the skin.
– Cracks in the middle of the tongue which are horizontal.
– Early decay of teeth.
– Hard nails.
– They desire pungent and highly seasoned food.
– Hot patient, but pains amel. heat and constant motion (Rhus toxicodendron).
They develop slow, chronic, progressive pathology: indurations, exostoses, conditions like cervical spondylosis, osteoarthritis, calcaneal spur, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, cataract,
varicose veins, hemorrhoids, bone tumors; some types of carcinomas are also seen in Calcarea
– Anxiety, future, about.
– Anxiety, money matters, about.
– Avarice.
– Delusion, poor, he is.
– Delusion, want, he will come to.
– Fear, misfortune, of.
– Fear, poverty, of.
– Fear, work, daily, of.
Calcarea iodata
Calcarea iodata is a mineral remedy. It belongs to the tubercular miasm. The main feeling in
Calcarea iodata is that he may be terribly disappointed, betrayed, hurt or even starved (Iodum)
by the person on whom he is dependent (Calcarea). There is the dependence and need for security of Calcarea (group IIA), but at the same time there is the need to be very hard and strong,
prepared for this betrayal (Iodum – halogen group).
Calcarea iodata persons are a very pleasant company, always very cheerful, making people
laugh and feel happy in their presence, always smiling and being agreeable, gay and mirthful. At
the same time they can be quite diplomatic. They rarely contradict or go against anyone. They
are very tactful, and have no clashes. I had a case of a doctor who had affairs with eighty women
at the same period of his life. Each woman knew about the others but he was so nice and diplomatic that there was never any problem. He did well on Calcarea iodata.
Calcarea iodata has a marked tubercular element and these people show changeability, desire
for change and activity, and love of travel, as is seen with other remedies of this miasm.
Calcarea iodata persons can be very aggressive, yet they are full of fears. They get angry very
rapidly and are very impulsive, though this aspect may not be seen often.
Physical symptoms
– Very hot patient.
– Usually emaciated but can be very obese. I have found that when prescribed correctly, obese
Calcarea iodata patients lose weight.
– Enlarged, hard glands.
– Thyroid affections, palpitation, increased appetite.
– Sudden violent pains.
– Cheerful, gay, mirthful.
Calcarea phosphorica
Calcarea phosphorica is a tubercular remedy and belongs to the mineral kingdom. The main
feeling of Calcarea phosphorica is: “I am not loved at the place of security (home), so I should
seek love elsewhere (outside of home), and come home for security”. This is seen in the rubric:
– Home, desires to go and when there to go out.
Calcarea persons need to have people around, they want to be protected as they feel insecure.
The feeling of Phosphorus is: “I must prepare to be alone, to be able to live on a distant island”.
Thus Calcarea phosphorica has the need for security, but ability to live alone if the need arises.
The ability to make new connections also comes from the Phosphorus element of Calcarea
phosphorica. Calcarea phosphorica people are friendly and make friends easily. They love to
travel. Calcarea phosphorica persons tend to make a new home wherever they go. The friend’s
home becomes their home. They care even for strangers in such a way that they soon become
part of that family. This may seem like Phosphorus but the difference is that Phosphorus persons
do not make a home wherever they go – this additional element is found in Calcarea phosphorica
because of the Calcarea element, with its need for stability and security.
Calcarea phosphorica is a chief mineral component of bone which not only provides security
and stability to the body but also facilitates its mobility. The Calcarea phosphorica people are
active physically as well as mentally, and are very sensitive. They are often found to be sportsmen. This is probably due to the fact that sports involve friendliness activity and mobility.
The Calcarea phosphorica persons are often of an athletic build – tall, muscular, of rigid fibres.
They tend to be lean, have white spots on nails, and sweaty palms.
There is craving for meat, fish, spices, potato and potato chips.
– Anxiety in children when lifted from the cradle.
– House, desires to go, and when there to go out.
– Travel, desire to.
– Violent, when hearing another reproached.
– Jealousy.
– Taste, bitter for water.
– Desires smoked meat.
– Desires fat, ham.
– Craves condiments.
– Growth, affected, disorders of.
– Mammae, nodes in, walnut-like, in males.
Calcarea silicata
Calcarea silicata is a salt and represents a combination of feelings of both Calcarea and Silicea.
Like Calcarea the person feels insecure, with the need for protection and like Silicea he feels the
need to maintain a particular standard. Hence the feeling of Calcarea silicata is: “I need to keep
up to a particular standard to get the security and protection I need”.
In my experience, the situation of Calcarea silicata is that of teenagers belonging to the middle
class of indian society, especially boys who feel that a lot of expectations rests on them. They
feel the need to come up to a certain standard to get the approval of their parents (whose security they seek).
The Calcarea silicata patient has a fear of poverty and so he has to be careful about spending
money. Being poor puts him at a disadvantage. Therefore he becomes yielding. He cannot stand
up or assert himself, he would rather escape. He is not as obstinate as Silicea.
The need to maintain a certain standard gives Calcarea silicata its sensitivity to reprimands.
Here it compares with Staphisagria in this that both drugs have a high sensitivity. This sensitivity
to reprimands keeps him from confrontation and getting fired and hence maintain the standard
that his superior sets for him. He also becomes timid, bashful, yielding, irresolute, hesitant, since
this will help him. Also, he has a lot of anticipatory anxiety before exams, interviews, meeting
people or before beginning a new job. This is a situation where support is available (unlike Psorinum, who has fear of poverty but no support, so he becomes despairing). So he turns to people
for support, trusts people, gets psychotherapy ( “Desires to be magnetized”: Calcarea, Silicea).
In addition to all this Calcarea silicata is very anxious about health. Teenage boys spend hours
waiting at the clinic worrying about cough, cold or fear of heart disease. Its advantage is that it
gives them an excuse for non-achievement and dependence. This is where Calcarea silicata differs from Silicea and Staphisagria. When he comes to the doctor the patient has the fear of a
serious disease, but subconsciously he uses this fear to do nothing. If he is told he has no problem he can get irritated (“Consolation aggravates”). He wants support but doesn’t want to be
told he has no problem. This sounds contradictory.
It is this great dependency financially and socially in Calcarea silicata that compares it with Baryta carbonica. When the person who supports him dies, Calcarea silicata is devastated and may
go into a shocked state – automatic conduct. He may either sit still and do nothing or, as a survival mechanism, he may imagine that this person is not dead and may talk to him. For example
when the husband expires, the wife who was emotionally and financially dependent on him
imagines that he is in the next room.
Baryta carbonica and Calcarea silicata both come from a disabled state. Calcarea silicata is disabled in a sense that he is not able to achieve what his parents want him to. The really disabled
man like Baryta carbonica does not need an excuse for not achieving but Calcarea silicata consciously looks for such an excuse and this very fact shows that he knows he has to achieve.
Calcarea silicata consciously feels the need to achieve which Baryta carbonica does not feel.
What is expected of him is usually money. Since he finds these goals too high for him to achieve,
he has to remain financially dependent and hence he becomes mild and yielding. The reason
why most Calcarea silicata people are non-achievers is that they come from demanding yet supportive families.
In Staphisagria, Silicea and Lycopodium the survival depends on achieving, whereas Calcarea
silicata has given up trying to achieve and his survival depends on finding excuses not to achieve.
Still, they are not really failures. They do achieve but much less than what was expected from
This feature of struggling for a while and then giving up is characteristic of the ringworm miasm,
to which the remedy belongs.
Calcarea silicata has dreams of anxiety, insecurity. He can have pleasant dreams of being with
his family or talking to dead relatives.
Physical symptoms
Physically they are lean, chilly patients.
– Sweaty palms and soles, especially cold, sweaty finger tips.
– Blue line on gums.
– Suppurative problems like sinusitis, bronchitis with offensive discharge.
– Fear, disease, incurable, of, being.
– Fear, poverty, of.
– Fear, imaginary things, of.
– Fear, work, dread of.
– Delusion, voices, hears and answers.
– Delusion, talking, dead people, with.
– Cowardice.
– Delusion, starve, family will.
– Consolation, kind words aggravate.
– Doubtful, recovery, of.
– Irresolution.
– Sensitive, reprimands, to.
– Timidity, bashful.
– Yielding disposition.
– Unconsciousness, conduct automatic.
Calcarea sulphurica
Calcium sulphate is commonly known as gypsum and is most familiar to us as plaster of Paris,
from which are made the plaster casts used to immobilize a fractured limb, to help healing by
providing stability. In addition to a need for stability of Calcarea, Sulphur introduces an element
of ego and appreciation to the salt. Hence the main feeling of Calcarea sulphurica is that he is
not appreciated at the place of security, for example by his parents. Thus the Calcarea sulphurica
person is constantly trying to do things that will gain him appreciation. There is a constant feeling of not being appreciated or valued, of being put down and suppressed at the place of security.
Although the patient feels pushed down, suppressed, he cannot react with the anger or indifference of Sulphur, for he depends on these people for security. The most he can do is to complain and quarrel: “Lamenting that he is not appreciated”, “Quarrelsome”. On the other hand,
the Calcarea sulphurica person can try to do everything in a manner that makes others appreciate and value him, his work, manners, appearance, etc. In my understanding, it is one of the
main remedies of the ringworm miasm, and is often indicated in the condition.
The situation is that of a man who is not appreciated, who feels that somebody else is more
appreciated; he is jealous and so laments. It shows a situation of dependence: he does not break
away and go, but is dependent and afraid of going away. So we have: “Timidity”, “Fear at night”,
“Fear of dark”.
He is perhaps the second or third child in the family who has not yet learned to struggle on his
own, he cannot be independent but his parents praise other children more than him. So he
laments passionately so that they realize how he feels. If someone tells him that what he says
or feels is not true, he develops hatred towards that person: “Hatred for persons who do not
agree with him”. Thus he can be obstinate, quarrelsome and also malicious.
Calcarea sulphurica could be the third daughter in a family where the second daughter, being
much more beautiful, gets more attention, better clothes and jewellery, and is the one to get
married first. She, the third daughter, can’t break away and so she tries to tell everybody that
she is not being treated fairly, but nobody listens to her. They say she is just imagining things,
and she develops a hatred for them. When they don’t listen to her, she feels sad, mentally depressed, and at times does nothing but sits quietly and meditates. There is a discontented feeling, irritability and despair.
In my experience, a history of sibling rivalry is almost invariably obtained in the Calcarea sulphurica person.
Physical symptoms
– Tendency to boils and suppuration with yellowish pus.
– Desire for fruits and tea.
– Hot patient; desire for cold bathing; children who like to play in water or who will not come
out of a swimming pool.
– Cracks in the feet in cold weather.
– Tendency to fungal infections like tinea and other skin troubles like eczema.
– Fear, dark.
– Hatred persons, agree with him, who do not.
– Jealousy.
– Lamenting, appreciated, because he is not.
– Obstinate.
– Sits, meditates, and.
– Desires fruits.
– Skin: cracks in winter.
– Aversion to persons who do not agree with him.
Cannabis indica
Cannabis is a sycotic remedy . It is a remedy of the plant kingdom and belongs to the addictive
group of “drug” remedies.
As in other sycotic remedies, we see a cover up for a feeling of inadequacy. Like other plant
remedies Cannabis has oversensitivity. It also has a sense of isolation and other symptoms common to the group of “drug” remedies.
The perceived weakness is actually an inadequacy in facing the threats, dangers and risks of the
outside world. The Cannabis person feels unequipped to face them directly and hence observes
the world from within the safe confines of a “glass cage”.
Cannabis indica is the one who is locked inside the house. This is not an ordinary house but a
palace. Thus although he is very well provided materially, he is lonely. There is a total lack of any
kind of stimulus within the confines of this house, but he fears to step out of it, since he feels it
is risky to do so. So he stays within this house, fearful of the dangers outside, and he makes up
for the lack of stimulus by building fantasies and viewing things in a far more exaggerated form
that they appear in reality – his sense of perception becomes exaggerated.
Colours appear brighter, sounds sweeter, distances are exaggerated and life becomes extremely peaceful and beautiful. One of my patients had a dream that he is alone in a huge,
palace-like house, and is looking out of a window. Outside there is a beautiful garden and a very
beautiful lady wearing a blue coloured dress is walking. The thing that impressed him the most
in the entire dream was the blue colour of her dress: “It was the most fascinating shade of blue”,
he said. He did very well on Cannabis indica. From this dream we can understand that stimulation is sought by looking out of the window, the source being present outside of his house (because he is afraid to step outside). Also, all impressions and perceptions are very much increased.
But behind these pleasant fantasies lie fears. Cannabis indica has never gone out of his glass
house into the outside world. Hence when he goes out, it is terrifying for him since the outside
world is too harsh for him, especially with his heightened sensitivity and perception. There is
fear of threatening danger.
The inside bores him while the outside terrifies him, therefore he takes Cannabis inside the
house to keep himself stimulated.
Cannabis is a social drug, i.e. it is taken in groups. Its intake removes any sense of isolation that
a person may feel. It is the drug of the Hippies – they are well off materially,
but isolated, forsaken and bored. They form groups and seek stimulus from music, flowers,
bright colours (they usually dress up in very bright colours), nature, etc.
Gautam Buddha’s is a Cannabis indica story. He was a prince who was never allowed to step
out of his palace. Once, overcome by boredom inside the palace, he went out for a chariot ride
in his kingdom and saw first a sick man, then an old man, and finally a dead man. He found this
outside world too cruel and harsh. He perceived what he had seen with a lot more sensitivity
then a normal person, and could not take it.
California, where I conducted the proving of Cannabis indica, is the place where Cannabis is a
quite popular drug. California is a home of Hollywood, of several television programmes and
soap operas like Santa Barbara. In fact the very theme of television and cinema is the theme of
overstimulation without risk. Inside the safe confines of ones home without any kind of risk one
can get stimulated by watching television. And everything – both the beauty as well as the dangers – is exaggerated in films and in television programmes. Interestingly, television too is an
addictive habit and I believe that somewhere the themes of Cannabis indica and television are
Dreams of embarrassment and dreams of unsuccessful efforts are seen in Cannabis sativa but
not in Cannabis indica, which shows that success and failure are of more importance to a Cannabis sativa than to Cannabis indica.
The intake of Cannabis is not considered a criminal offence which is not the case with Opium
– Delusion, deserted, forsaken.
– Delusion, is leading a vegetable existence.
– Delusion, injury, is about to receive.
– Delusion, beautiful visions.
– Fear, dark.
– Laughing, immoderate.
– Laughing, constant.
– Theorizing.
Cantharis vesicatoria
Cantharis (prepared from the spanish fly) is a remedy of the animal kingdom. It belongs to the
Insect class.
I have had a patient who did extremely well on Cantharis. She had consulted me for recurrent
urinary tract infection, with burning, scalding, cutting pain during micturition. The urine would
be passed in drops and each drop would be excruciatingly painful, so much so that she would
cross her legs and cry out for help, asking her mother to do something. She said the pain was so
bad that she wanted to tear her abdomen, to remove the offending part. She was very animated
in her conversation and was also very competitive. If someone offended her, she would feel like
breaking his head. But she was very sympathetic towards animals and even liked to nurse sick
street dogs. She had fears in the darkness. If she had to be alone in the dark, she would feel that
a witch would come from behind her, and grab her neck with very cold hands; she could almost
feel those hands on her neck.
The rubrics that led me to Cantharis, apart from the physical symptoms were:
– Delusion, choked by icy-cold hands.
– Anxiety, night.
– Delirium, crying, help, for.
– Rage, fury.
– Violent, vehement.
At first impression, it seems to belong to the acute miasm, and seems to be related to Lyssinum.
Other rubrics
– Busy fruitlessly.
– Cheerful, gay, happy, alternating with sadness.
– Contradict, disposition to.
– Delirium, maniacal.
– Delusion, injured, is being.
– Destructiveness.
– Wildness.
– Striking at imaginary objects around him.
– Excitement, convulsive.
– Fear, mirrors in the room.
– Fear, water, of.
– Insanity, madness, strength increased.
– Nymphomania.
– Contemptuous.
Phatak’s materia medica
Cantharis attacks the urinary and sexual organs… Setting violent inflammation and causing frenzied delirium… Inflammations are violently acute or rapidly destructive… Pains are cutting,
smarting or burning – biting or as if raw, causing mental excitement… Convulsions with dysuria
or hydrophobic symptoms.
Carcinosinum is prepared from cancerous breast tissue. It represents the very centre of the
cancer miasm (which falls between the miasms sycosis and syphilis). The main feeling amongst
remedies and persons of the cancer miasm is that one’s survival depends upon performing tasks
which one feels incapable of performing. There is a need to be something that is almost beyond
one’s capacity. The patients stretch themselves to the utmost in the hope of success, because
to them failure means death and destruction. This miasm therefore has the sycotic fixity as well
as the destructive dimension of syphilis.
Carcinosinum people often have a history of taking on too much at a young age, having too
many expectations placed on them, too strict parental control. They try to live up to these expectations and make a tremendous effort to perform exceedingly well. They set for themselves
high standards or goals that are near impossible to achieve and drive themselves to try and
accomplish them. In that sense, they reach out for perfection, and almost finish themselves in
doing so. The cancer miasm has this theme of superhuman effort in order to survive. The need
for control over oneself and over one’s surroundings is tremendous, as is the need to keep order
in the midst of chaos. The disease cancer itself represents a breakdown of all control mechanisms within the body, with chaotic behaviour of the cells. The feeling of a cancer miasm person
is like that of a physician who is trying to bring order and control over the disease cancer. He
knows that it is a very difficult job with very little chance of success. Yet, he has to try with some
hope of success. The cancer patient runs from pillar to post seeking relief, and when all fails,
gives up with the absolute despair, characteristic of the syphilitic miasm. It is a continuous and
prolonged struggle which seems to have no end.
The need for perfection makes Carcinosinum people sensitive to reprimands, and fastidious in
every sphere of life to the point of being faultless. But unlike mineral remedies, which merely
want order in everything that they do, Carcinosinum patients often show an interest towards
artistic things like music, dancing and painting. They are sensitive to and enjoy beautiful scenery,
seashore, thunderstorms and lightning. They show the sensitivity of a plant as well in that, like
Pulsatilla and Ignatia, they are sensitive to reprimands and are offended easily. They can also be
sympathetic, very warm and humane, like Phosphorus, but they are all the time striving for perfection – to be the perfect partner, the perfect one for the job, the perfect parent, etc., so they
are often ideal for others. Out of this need to be perfect arises an anticipatory anxiety. If they
organize a party, it is not enough that the party should get going, rather that everything should
be perfect. Neatness and cleanliness simply are not good enough for them, they must be perfect; the furniture should blend with the surroundings, everything should match, etc. They are
well dressed people with good taste. Carcinosinum children are well-mannered and well-behaved. They can become neurotic about perfection, and sometimes this can be so extreme that
they become suicidal. There is also a tendency to suppression, like in Ignatia. They accept their
disappointments and also their domination with a kind of resignation, and tend to accumulate
all the grief within, without expressing their sensitivity. They have a tremendous anxiety about
health, and a great fear of disease, especially cancer.
Carcinosinum patients show a variety of cravings, for example for eggs, fat, milk, but they especially crave for chocolate. They often lie on the abdomen during sleep, have a bluish tinge on
their sclera, and also many moles on the skin. They are ameliorated at seashore, and by thunderstorm and lightning. A history of infectious diseases, e.g. tuberculosis, mumps, measles,
chickenpox, malaria, typhoid, may be present and a history of cancer in the patient or in his
immediate family could be an additional confirmation.
– Sensitive to reprimands.
– Offended easily, takes everything in bad part.
– Fastidious.
– Ailments from anticipation.
– Dancing.
– Sympathy, compassion.
– Suicidal.
– Consolation, kind words aggravate.
Causticum belongs to the Kali family. It is a sycotic remedy. The main feeling in Causticum is
that the person is the one who has to take care of the group or family. He is facing the threat
from outside and in order to face this threat, he requires that the whole group should fight
together. Being the strongest member of the group, one who is most capable of putting up a
fight, he regards a threat to any one member of that group as a threat to himself. If he doesn’t
forestall the threat, it will affect the whole group and he will be weakened.
The situation of Causticum is of a family where the husband is dead and the wife has to singlehandedly take care of her children. Here she is the strongest member of her group – her family.
So she is very much concerned when there is any problem with any member of the family, for
example when a child falls sick or is late in coming home. The two most important feelings of
Causticum are: “Anxious for others” and “Fear that something will happen”. Interestingly Causticum is one of the few remedies listed under “Fear of dogs”.
It can also be the situation of a man who is the only educated member in a group of illiterate
workers whom the management is pressurizing unfairly. The whole group has to fight back and
if any one worker is threatened, this man takes his side, fights for him, because if he doesn’t and
something happens to the worker, the group as a whole is threatened next. He, being the strongest member of that group, has to take care of the rest of the group, and he becomes very much
concerned if anyone is in trouble. His strength lies in the strength of the group and he is the one
who looks after it.
Like Causticum, Nitric acid too is very sympathetic and both come from a similar situation. The
only difference is that Nitric acid is actually fighting a very hard battle with
an enemy. It is not merely fighting unfairness like Causticum, but a long and unforgiving battle
against a person who has harmed him. For this battle he requires the support from
all his friends. So Nitric acid is very sympathetic to all his supporters. He is sympathetic conditionally. As long as you are his friend, he is sympathetic. Once you offend him he will kill you.
The third remedy listed as sympathetic is Phosphorus and it is the only remedy listed in three
marks. There is a kind of selfishness behind the sympathy that both Causticum and Nitric acid
feel. They stand to gain by their sympathy whereas Phosphorus is genuinely sympathetic. In
being sympathetic Causticum is anxious for others, whereas Phosphorus feels the anxiety of
others. If the child goes out and is a little late returning home, Causticum will be worried even
though the child is enjoying himself. It is not so with Phosphorus. Phosphorus feels the anxiety
of the other person, i.e. when the other person is anxious Phosphorus feels it.
Causticum is always anxious for others, always on tenterhooks, always checking where they
have gone, when they will return, etc. If they are late, Causticum has to keep pacing up and
Both Phosphorus and Causticum are very similar remedies. Both are chilly, both desire cold
drinks and are averse to sweets. Also, both may have paralysis of the right side of face. Hence
they are inimical remedies.
– Anxiety, future, about.
– Anxiety, others, for.
– Anxiety, fear, with.
– Cares, worries, full of, others, about.
– Cares, worries, full of, relatives, about.
– Fear, dark, of.
– Fear, dogs, of.
– Fear, ghosts, of.
– Fear, happen, something will.
– Fear, misfortune, of.
– Weeping, easily.
– Weeping, sympathy with others, from.
China officinalis
China is a remedy of the plant kingdom, and in my understanding it is the main remedy of the
malarial miasm. The malarial miasm lies between the acute and sycotic miasms. Malaria is characterized by intermittent fevers – sudden acute attacks of fever with chills, followed by periods
of relative dormancy. There is therefore an acute phase, which is characterized by a feeling of
threat, followed by longer periods of fixed states of being that are of a sycotic nature, i.e. there
is a fixed sensation of deficiency with the need to cover up.
The feeling in China is: “I am weak and so people attack, trouble and torture me”, a feeling of
being persecuted. The patient feels he is weak, not good enough, that he is persecuted and
hindered at his work by other people, that he is obstructed from achieving his ambition. So he
fantasizes and in these fantasies he makes himself worthy and achieves his ambitions, and in
this way uses fantasies to cover up the inherent feeling of not being good enough. This is the
sycotic, fixed phase. The acute phase in China is characterized by acute fears and anxiety; notable among them is a fear of dogs. It is also often indicated in acute attacks of fever, loose motions, and asthma. The latter can be so bad that the patient may lose his consciousness as he
gets breathless. This acute phase is usually in response to an external exciting factor.
The feeling of being tortured or persecuted can also be reflected in his words. For example he
might say: “This headache troubles me so much, it does not allow me to work.” The patient feels
frustrated, angry and hindered all the time, and develops a contemptuous attitude towards everyone. He does not have the courage to break away. He becomes indifferent and hopeless. He
wants to commit suicide but lacks courage. He is frustrated, being unable to achieve his ambition; so he starts planning, fantasizing, theorizing. Unlike Cannabis indica, who slips into his fantasy world automatically, China is ambitious and plans step by step. He achieves his ambition by
building castles in the air. He feels what he possesses is not good enough and that he would
have possessed better things if he had not been obstructed and hindered. Therefore he fantasizes and imagines that he possesses finer and more expensive things than he actually does. He
never really puts his plans into action. It is mere armchair planning. He is ambitious but indolent
because he feels unfortunate and obstructed. For example he will say: “There are sound tracks
in movies, why can’t there be smell tracks?” So he starts planning to put smell tracks in the films.
In his fantasy world, he does the things he would have done had he not been hindered, but he
knows that planning and theorizing are hopeless.
China is within all of us. We all have plans and goals, but somehow people and things come in
our way and hinder us. We are frustrated but know that nothing can be done. We fantasize
about what would have happened had we not been hindered; we feel unfortunate. China is
probably the remedy for China itself: the students have been so frustrated by the government,
they can do little but fantasize what they would have done had they not been so unfortunate.
Like other plant remedies, it has the sensation of being offended and hurt, and at this point it
resembles Staphisagria. But while Staphisagria feels insulted and angry, China feels hindered in
his ambition and starts fantasizing.
I have found China to be a good remedy in asthma when the symptoms agree. I have also found
it useful in attacks of rheumatoid arthritis which are followed by a fixed stiffness in the joints. In
allopathy, quinine is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
The physical symptoms are all followed by tremendous weakness. It has ailments from loss of
vital fluids, a tremendous weakness following discharges.
Physical symptoms
– Desire for sweets.
– Periodicity.
– H/o intermittent fevers.
– Perspiration staining yellow.
– Bitter taste in the mouth.
– Flatulence and a bloated, distended abdomen.
– Delusion, hindered at work, is.
– Delusion, persecuted, he is.
– Delusion, pursued by enemies, thought he was.
– Delusion, tormented, he is.
– Delusion, unfortunate, he is.
– Fancies, exaltation, of.
– Plans, making many.
– Indolence, aversion to work.
– Indifference, apathy, etc., alternating with vexation.
– Contemptuous, everything, of.
– Unworthy, objects seem.
– Offended easily.
– Suicidal disposition, but lacks courage.
– Face: greasy.
– Food tastes bitter.
– Appetite, increased during fever.
– Desires refreshing things.
– Desires fruits.
– Desires sweets.
– Aggravation from eggs (China-a).
– Gallstone colic.
– Respiration asthmatic, 3:00 a.m.
The profession is indebted to Jeremy Sherr for the proving of Chocolate.
Chocolate is a remedy of the “drug” group and of the sycotic miasm. The main feeling in Chocolate is the want of warmth and affection. There is a need for contact in the Chocolate person.
It is the feeling of a child who was separated from her mother too early, while the need to suck
at her mother’s breast was still very strong. As a result the person feels forsaken, isolated and
estranged from her family. Being separated from her mother makes her feel as if she is separated from her world.
The situational Materia Medica of Chocolate is one where the mother is a working woman. She
breast-feeds the child for the initial few months and then weans her away for her convenience.
After giving her warmth and affection initially, she shows the child her thorny side by turning
her back towards her like a hedgehog; as a result, the child feels completely forsaken. She is
anxious about the future and has a fear of being injured. She feels like a gypsy who has to search
for food every time she is hungry. The child continues to crave for the love and the contact of
her mother that she misses so badly.
There are a lot of fears, especially about animals – dreams of animals. Again, like other “drug”
remedies it can have pleasant fantasies and feelings.
– Delusion, she is a hedgehog.
– Desire to forage for food.
– Delusion, small.
– Delusion, separated, world, from.
– Dream: lost at home.
– Dream: estranged, family, from.
– Forsaken, sensation of isolation.
– Fear, injured of being.
– Craves chocolate (Argentum nitricum, Calcarea carbonica, Carcinosinum, Lyssinum, Phosphorus, Sepia).
Cicuta virosa
Cicuta is a remedy of the plant kingdom. The theme of Cicuta is that the patient has been hurt
so deeply and horribly in the past by another human being, especially a man, that she regresses
into a childlike state, and shuts out the rest of the world. She becomes extremely fearful, hate-
ful, suspicious and contemptuous of men. She gets violent and convulsive when excited or approached, and is especially affected by horrible things and sad stories. This tremendous sensitivity and reactivity of Cicuta, as also its shutting out the world, remind one of Opium, to which
it is closely related.
A Swiss colleague, Dr. Hansjorg Hee, narrated a case to me while he was in India. It was the case
of a child of 8-9 years, who had developed eczema of the face. One peculiarity of the eczema
was that in spite of it being a wet eczema, with oozing and crust formation, there was no itching.
Also, she had become withdrawn and taciturn. The problem had started a few years earlier
when her father told her the story of girl, an angel, who had been buried alive in a coffin, and
on awakening found all sorts of creatures creeping around her. This story shocked the child so
much that her whole attitude and mood changed. I suggested that she be given Cicuta, based
on the following:
– Horrible things, sad stories affect her profoundly.
– Sadness from sad stories.
– Talk, indisposed to, desire to be silent, taciturn.
– Man, shuns the foolishness, of.
– Sensitive to sad stories.
– Company, aversion to, avoid the sight of people.
– Quiet disposition.
– Dullness, sluggishness.
Combined with these, the rubric “Eruptions without itching” from Phatak’s Repertory gives
I heard from Dr. Hee that the patient did very well on Cicuta, both mentally and physically.
Other rubrics
– Delusion, thinks he is again a child.
– Answers when spoken to, yet knows no one.
– Contemptuous.
– Dancing grotesque.
– Delusion, everything is strange.
– Misanthropy.
– Recognize, does not, his relatives.
– Unconsciousness, periodical.
Cina maritima
Cina is a remedy of the plant kingdom and that belongs to the psoric miasm. It is closely allied
to Chamomilla. The main feeling of both these remedies is that they are not getting enough
attention from their parents. Chamomilla reacts to this by loud shrieking and demanding, not
quietened unless carried, whereas Cina reacts with irritability and temper-tantrums such as
throwing things, capriciousness and pushing away her parents (“Touched, aversion to being”,
“Caressed, aversion to being”, “Indifference to caresses”, “Striking in children”, etc.), as if to say:
“Where were you when I needed you?” The need for attention in Cina is therefore seen as a
refusal and rejection of the same, and as capriciousness which involves also demanding many
things without knowing what.
It is a kind of pest-like behaviour, with frequent complaining and demanding of attention, a kind
of behaviour that makes you want to avoid or push away the child, rather than giving him immediate attention. I have often wondered if there is a connection between the pest-like behaviour of the child and the tendency to worms. In any case the worms themselves produce some
constant irritation, causing the child to bore his fingers into the orifices and to become very
The symptom of Cina: “Children refuse hair cutting” is one I have verified. Having a haircut has
to do with touch, caress, nearness and trust, which the Cina child is averse to. Caresses are of
no use – and this is the main symptom of Cina.
Cina often lies on the abdomen or takes a knee elbow position during sleep. It should be included under the rubric: “Lying on hands and knees ameliorates” in Phatak’s Repertory.
– Capriciousness.
– Caressed, aversion to being.
– Discontented, displeased, dissatisfied, everything, with.
– Fear, approaching, of others; children cannot bear to have anyone come near them.
– Carried, desire to be.
– Indifference, caresses, to.
– Appetite, increased during fever.
– Aversion to approach.
– Caresses, proof, against.
– Stiffens out.
Coca belongs to the group of “drug” remedies. Its miasmatic range is between sycosis and cancer.
There are two main feelings essential to Coca. The first is the feeling that it is too risky to get
out of one’s place of security, because of the threat which is there outside. The second feeling
is that one is expected to perform and to reach great heights, far beyond the ordinary. There is
a need to do great deeds. So the person remains isolated in his castle, thinking and trying to
reach the heights which others expect from him.
Like Cannabis, Coca too is a loner in a palace, but he is also one who is expected to perform. He
is an isolated genius. It is very difficult for him to make communication or establish connections
with other people. But his intellect works overtime, all the time stimulated, excited, reaching
great heights. Great intellectuals like Freud were known to be cocaine addicts (even the literary
character Sherlock Holmes is known to have used cocaine). Cocaine is always consumed when
alone, in isolation (unlike Cannabis).
The need to perform and reach great heights, the need to do extraordinary things make of Coca
a good remedy for mountain climbers. Fear of heights and fear of falling are naturally accompanying symptoms. Also Coca could be included in the performance group of remedies like Gelsemium, Argentum, Aurum, etc. Coca has stage fright and bashfulness.
Like Cannabis indica and other “drug” remedies, it has beautiful visions and the feeling to be
spaced out, carried in space, the isolated feeling, etc. But Coca is the only drug remedy that
“Desires grandeur”. It also has delusions of being a great person.
– Delusion, hears unpleasant voice about himself.
– Delusion, criticized, of, being (cocaine).
– Delusion, beautiful.
– Delusion, visions has, beautiful.
– Forsaken feeling, sensation of isolation.
– Timidity, bashful.
– Industrious, mania for work.
– Washing her hands always.
– Fear, falling, of.
– Delusion, greatness of his body parts.
Phatak’s materia medica
“Ill at ease in society”, “Sense of impending death”, “Personal appearance neglected”.
Cocculus indicus
Cocculus is a plant remedy belonging to the sycotic miasm. It is similar to Pulsatilla and Ignatia.
The situation of Cocculus is that of an unmarried or childless woman. In such a situation, she
takes on the role of caring and looking after people, suppressing her own feelings and desires.
Cocculus persons are very sensitive to the sufferings of others. Sympathetic, alert and anxious
for the feelings and health of others, they can stay awake for nights, anxiously nursing the sick.
“Anxiety for the health of others” and “Loss of sleep aggravates” are two leading indications for
this remedy. The loss of sleep produces an oversensitivity of the nerves – they become “raw”
and “on the edge”: “Oversensitivity to noise, to riding in a carriage, to odours, to looking at
moving objects”, “Giddiness, dullness, a sense of imbalance”. As a result, the patients want to
lie down with their eyes closed. They are oversensitive to rudeness and feel hurt easily: “Sadness, as if from an insult”. Their situation is such that they don’t feel so connected to and are
liable to be insulted by the family, and they cannot express their own feelings: “Sadness”, “Sits
with eyes closed, absorbed in sad thoughts”, “Recognizes everything but cannot move”. They
absorb impressions, insults, etc., but cannot do anything about it.
Cocculus may have to be differentiated from Causticum. Causticum is much harder, almost dictatorial and is mainly concerned about the unity and togetherness of the family or the group. It
is not a problem with sensitivity.
– Sadness, as if from insult.
– Anxiety, about health.
– Anxiety, for others.
– Anxiety, from loss of sleep.
– Dwells on past, disagreeable occurrences.
– Recognizes everything but cannot move.
– Sensitive to all external impressions.
– Sensitive to rudeness.
– Sits as if wrapped in deep, sad thoughts and notices nothing.
– Grief, ailments from.
– Talk, indisposed to, desires to be silent, taciturn.
– Car sickness.
– Fear for health of others.
– Romantic.
Coffea cruda
Coffea is one of the group of “drug” remedies. It belongs to the sycotic miasm.
In Coffea there is a need to be industrious, productive and creative, and to do things for the
benefit of others, in order not to feel isolated. The Coffea person feels that he will be accepted
by others only if he is benevolent, doing good things for other people. So he will sit awake at
night, working and creating.
It is as if he finds himself away from home, in an unfamiliar place, feeling forsaken and totally
isolated. His future is uncertain. He becomes industrious, creative, making plans. All this mental
and physical activity, characteristic of Coffea, is not for his success or failure, but out of this need
to do something good for others, so that he is accepted by the group.
He is very conscientious and if anything goes wrong, he feels very remorseful. Aircraft crew and
surgeons take a lot of coffee because they need to be alert in order to avoid any mistake and
the consequent remorse. Also persons who need to be creative – e.g. artists, writers, film-makers, etc. – have a high intake of coffee.
The Coffea person works for the benefit of others and hardly expects any kindness to be shown
to him. He hardly experiences any joy, and then if there is some sudden joy such as unexpected
kindness, he cannot take it – he weeps from joy (“Ailments from joy”).
The difference between Coca and Coffea is that the former has to do something great in order
to be a part of the group and avoid isolation.
– Ailments from joy, excessive.
– Ailments from pleasant surprises.
– Forsaken feeling.
– Delusion, beautiful landscape, of.
– Benevolence.
– Delusion, home, away from, is.
– Charmed with description of beauties of nature.
– Fear, pain, of.
– Remorse.
– Plans, making many.
– Mental activity, increased excessively.
– Mental activity, with sleeplessness.
– Activity, creative.
– Anxiety, future, about.
– Quick to act (Lachesis).
– Weeping, joy, from.
– Sleepless, thoughts and activity of mind, from; the same idea is always repeated.
Crocus sativus
Crocus sativus is a remedy that belongs to the sycotic miasm. It is prepared from saffron. Although it is a plant remedy, it does have some features that are common to the remedies of the
animal kingdom, for example attractiveness and aggressiveness. It also has many features that
are common to the group of “drug” remedies. For example like Cannabis indica, it has cheerfulness, liveliness, hilarity, illusions of fancy, fancies of hearing music, etc.
In Crocus the attractiveness and aggressiveness alternate with each other. At times, the patients can be extremely attractive. This is manifest in behaviour such as very affectionate kissing,
embracing, loving and caring. They are also very talkative, they sing and dance, and they are
often the life of a party. This can resemble Lachesis or Hyoscyamus or even Tarentula. But in
Crocus this suddenly changes into an aggressiveness: they can become very angry, violent, with
biting and shrieking… but this rage is followed by quick repentance. It is as though the Crocus
person feels the need to keep the attention of the other person (especially of the opposite sex)
by his attractive behaviour, but at the same time shouldn’t allow himself to be dominated by
this person. He can be very impulsive.
In my experience, Crocus is indicated more for females. There is a feeling of dependence on the
man, a feeling of being unfit for business, and a need to be attractive for the man. The situation
of Crocus might therefore be that of a woman who is being neglected by her very dominating
husband. There is a threat of his going away because he is no longer attracted by her. In this
situation, her attractive behaviour would serve to keep him drawn towards her, while the aggressive behaviour and rage prevent him from being too dominating. And so the combination
of the need to attract and the rage, which alternate with each other.
Another feature of Crocus is the singing. She cannot resist the impulse to sing, even if she hears
a single note sung at a distance.
Among the strong physical concomitants are the stringy discharges, especially the stringy blood
of the menses and the epistaxis.
– Affectionate.
– Dancing.
– Jumping.
– Kisses everyone.
– Loquacity.
– Singing involuntarily.
– Whistling.
– Cheerful, gay, happy.
– Fancies, vivid.
– Delusion, fancies he hears music.
– Mirth, hilarity, liveliness, etc..
– Laughing involuntarily.
– Laughing loudly.
– Biting.
– Rage, fury.
– Quarrelsome alternating with singing.
– Rage alternating with affectionate disposition.
– Singing alternating with anger.
– Anger alternating with quick repentance.
– Delusion that he is unfit for business.
– Abdomen: sensation of something alive in.
Cuprum metallicum
Cuprum is placed in the first line of metals in the Periodic Table along with Zincum, Ferrum,
Niccolum, and Manganum. It is a psoric remedy. As with the other metals, Cuprum also has the
theme of attack, defence and performance.
The main feeling of Cuprum is that of being attacked. He feels he has to be prepared for a
sudden attack and has to attack back. This feeling comes in paroxysms (in contrast to Zincum
which feels attacked continuously). This is the theme of war, and Cuprum has a lot to do with
war and armies. Cuprum has delusions of being an officer, a great person, a person of rank, a
This feeling of being attacked and the need to defend is also reflected in his hobbies, which
often include the martial arts such as judo, karate, etc. Funnily enough, Cuprum has the symptom: “Fists are clenched during convulsion”.
In children, this feeling is seen in the form of a fear of being approached; the child cannot bear
anyone coming near her and reacts immediately by striking, shrieking, biting, spitting, rage, kicking, attacking with fists, etc. One occasionally sees such children in the clinic.
In Cuprum, we have the theme of performance as well. Cuprum has: “Delusion, he is selling
green vegetables”, “Delusion, he is repairing old chairs”. These are very ordinary occupations
and Cuprum needs to be much more than that, he needs to be a general.
In Cuprum all the symptoms, including the perceived threat of attack, are not continuous but
intermittent, occurring suddenly and spasmodically, in attacks sometimes periodical and sometimes due to an exciting cause. The cough comes in attacks, anger comes in attacks. This is the
main difference between Cuprum and Zincum: the latter feels attacked continuously.
Another theme of Cuprum is that they imitate others, sometimes making fun of others. There
is also a certain degree of egotism seen in Cuprum. They can be good entertainers as well.
Physical symptoms
In the physical sphere we see in Cuprum:
– Cough, comes in long violent paroxysms (asthma). It is a paroxysmal cough, in long, uninterrupted paroxysms with: agg. 3:00 a.m. , agg. moon phases, agg. emotional excitement on the
previous day, etc.
– Ailment from excitement, emotional.
– Anxiety, paroxysms, in.
– Bite, desire to.
– Delusion, arrested, is about to be.
– Delusion, chairs, he is repairing, old.
– Delusion, commander, being a.
– Delusion, general, he is a.
– Delusion, great person, he is a.
– Delusion, officer, he is an.
– Delusion, rank, he is a person of.
– Delusion, pursued, police, by.
– Delusion, green vegetables, he is selling.
– Dictatorial, command, talking with air of.
– Fear, approaching him, of others, children cannot bear to have anyone come near them.
– Fear, strangers, of.
– Imitation, mimicry.
– Rage, biting with.
– Rage, shrieking with.
– Rage, violent.
– Spit, faces of people, in.
Cyclamen europaeum
Cyclamen is a remedy of the plant kingdom.
The situation of Cyclamen is that of a woman who feels that she has done something wrong, or
that she hasn’t done her duty and something bad has occurred as a result. She feels solely responsible for what has happened and feels like a criminal. She cannot reveal the crime to anyone, keeps everything within herself and tries to rectify things as much as possible. She avoids
all social contact, does not talk to anyone and feels totally alone.
The following case may help give a clear picture of Cyclamen.
The patient was a woman aged 45 years. She had a successful career as an Assistant Manager
in a big company in Bombay, where she had been working for the past fifteen years. Her complaint was a very bad eczema on both her legs, oozing and painful, for two or three months. She
was completely disabled, could not go anywhere and had to stay home. On asking her for a
possible reason for the eczema, she replied that it could be psychological. She said that there
was some family problem. She was reluctant to reveal any more details. So I asked her about
her dreams. She said: “I get recurrent dreams of stools, of passing stool, or stool just lying
around.” While saying this, she never looked straight at me. She was looking from side to side,
her eyes were moving quite rapidly. Then I said: “Tell me about the dream of stool”. And she
said: “Okay, doctor, I will tell you the problem. I have a son who is mentally retarded and who
gets convulsions. Everytime he gets convulsions, I get the dream of stools. During pregnancy I
had the dream that there were lots of stools and the head of a child was coming out from them.
Somebody, God knows who, was trying to push the head back. At that time I knew the child was
not going to be okay.” When she was saying this, her eyes were moving quickly. She added in
almost a whisper: “I feel I could have avoided it. I could have done something.”
During her fifteen years in the office, she had never mentioned her son to anyone. She avoided
all social contacts, never went to parties or out on holidays, even though she was entitled to
holidays. She was very efficient at her work. She felt solely responsible for looking after the child,
even though her husband was helpful.
As I understood the case, she felt guilty about the child. She felt she knew he would not be
normal and could have done something during the pregnancy. She felt solely responsible for his
condition. The feeling behind the dream was that the child is suffering because it is immersed
in her own faeces. She felt like a criminal, hence the movement of the eyeballs like a criminal.
She felt completely alone because it was her fault. In symbolic language, the child was drowning
in her own shit, his suffering was due to her own dirtiness. She could not reveal her crime to
anyone and had to keep quiet and atone alone for her crime.
Phatak’s Materia Medica sums it up in three words:
– Terror of conscience.
The rubrics of the case were:
– Grief, undemonstrative.
– Anxiety of conscience, as if guilty of a crime.
– Anxiety about future.
– Company, aversion to.
– Delusion, she has done wrong.
– Delusion, she is a criminal.
– Delusion, she has neglected her duty.
– Talk, indisposed to, desires to be silent, taciturn.
– Going out, aversion to.
Other rubrics
– Delusion, deserted.
– Reproaches himself.
– Reserved.
– Desires lemonade.
Drosera rotundifolia
Drosera is a tubercular remedy. I am not sure if it should be classified as belonging to the plant
or animal kingdom, because Drosera has not only the sensitivity and reactivity common to remedies of the plant kingdom, but also the persecuted feeling, violence and aggression of animal
remedies. Drosera is a carnivorous plant – a plant behaving almost like an animal. I think it is
difficult to obtain this plant without an insect trapped inside it, and this may be a part of the
remedy prepared.
The main feeling of Drosera is that of being persecuted, deceived, trapped, choked and killed.
The reaction is to be aggressive, violent, trying to get out, which is often not possible. The ex-
pression of Drosera is that even a small irritation can get the patients into a tremendous outburst of rage and the inner feeling is of being harassed, cheated, deceived.
They are suspicious. Phatak’s Materia Medica mentions: “Fears being alone and is suspicious of
friends. Imagines being deceived by spiteful, envious people”. In Phatak’s Repertory Drosera is
mentioned under “Delusion, being deceived” along with Ruta.
Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura shows the following symptoms under Drosera:
– All day long, uneasiness of disposition and anxiety, full of mistrust, as if he had to do with none
but false people.
– Silent and reserved, with anxiety, he always feared he was about to learn something disagreeable.
– Anxiety as if his enemies would not leave him quiet, envied and persecuted him.
– He is sad and dejected about the ills of life, which people cause one another and himself,
respecting which he is anxious and concerned; at the same time, want of appetite.
Thus the theme of Drosera is that of being stabbed in the back, of being deceived by one’s own
friends and yet at the same time there is a great dependence on them.
There is a feeling of weakness, due to which he is dependent, but at the same time, he feels his
weakness is being taken advantage of. This is a typical tubercular feeling. Drosera feels harassed
by others and let down by his own friends.
Drosera reacts to this “oppression” violently. In rage he becomes loud, shrieking and violent.
Drosera also has a suicidal inclination.
The Drosera cough too is described as “harassing” by Phatak and is accompanied by irritation,
violent paroxysms.
– Anger, trifles, at.
– Anger, violent.
– Company, desire for.
– Delusion, persecuted, he is.
– Delusion, vexations and offences, of.
– Fear, alone, of being.
– Suicidal disposition.
– Suspicious, mistrustful.
– Violent, vehement.
– Rage, fury.
– Cough, attacks follow one another quickly.
– Dust aggravates.
– Imaginations, being deceived.
Elaps corallinus
Elaps is the coral snake. It has features common to the “snake” group of remedies, like loquacity, jealousy, egotism, deceit, venomous disposition, etc.
I have usually identified Elaps by its very strong physical cravings/concomitants, for example
the desire for bananas (my observation), oranges, salads, sweetened butter milk (in India, a yoghurt drink called “Lassi”), ice, sweet, sour, milk. Its other symptoms which I have repeatedly
confirmed is the burning pain in oesophagus and stomach, commonly described by the patient
as “acidity” which is ameliorated by cold drinks – the cold drink can be felt descending from
oesophagus down to the stomach, where it feels quite cold. Also the pain is ameliorated by lying
on abdomen. This cold sensation descending down the oesophagus and settling in the stomach
is unique to Elaps.
One of the dreams repeatedly seen in Elaps is the dream of falling, sometimes described as
falling into an abyss or a pit.
My prescriptions were initially based on these physical symptoms, but from clinical experience
I have derived some idea of the mental state of Elaps, which is as follows:
I find that the patients have a fear of falling down, losing their position, their image in society.
They like to maintain a very good image and value the good opinion of others. One has to differentiate this remedy from Palladium or sometimes from Platinum.
Their talk is quite animated and egoistic. They are loquacious and have a tendency to put others
down, but not in an egoistic way. They often come from respected families and are multi-talented in the areas of leadership, appearance, cooking, etc.
In one patient I observed a tremendous fear about the well-being of her husband and daughter,
especially if they were a bit late returning home. The fear of high places is very strong. In this
particular case the fears came up mainly when the daughter had gone for rock climbing and the
husband was travelling by air.
To conclude, the most important features of Elaps are the fear of crashing down from a high
place and the anxiety to uphold her image, the fear that her image should stand and not crash
– Stomach, coldness, ice-like, after cold drinks.
– Chest, coldness, internal, as if ice water were rising and descending through a cylindrical tube.
– Stomach, pain, lying on abdomen ameliorates.
– Company, desire for, happen, as if something horrible might.
– Fear, happen, something will.
– Dreams of falling into a pit.
– Aversion, bananas.
– Desires ice.
– Desires oranges.
– Drinks, cold, as if.
Ferrum metallicum
Ferrum (Iron) lies in the 4th period of the Periodic Table along with the metals Manganese,
Cobalt, Nickel, Copper and Zinc. This line of metals is concerned with performance, and also with
I have conducted a proving of Ferrum metallicum with the help of some students, resident doctors and colleagues. Twelve of us took a single dose in the 30th potency and noted our symptoms. One male and two female provers had dreams with a common theme, that the parent of
the prover is introducing him to someone and is compelling him to marry this person, despite
very strong objections from the prover. When I mentioned this to one of my colleagues, he said
that in two of the three Ferrum cases he had cured, he had found the same problem – the patients were being compelled to marry someone they didn’t want to marry and they had been
opposed to this. Then I understood the meaning of the prover’s dreams. They had the following
– Being compelled to do something against one’s wishes.
– Fighting against it.
– Guilt of not obeying the parents.
On studying the symptoms of Ferrum, I realized that one set of symptoms (“Obstinate”. “Contradict, disposition to”, etc.) suggested going against the parents. The other symptom was “Anxiety, conscience of, as if guilty of a crime”. Ferrum also has: “Ailments from anger” and “Ailments
from scorn”. So one can visualize a situation where the parents are forcing the child into something he does not want to do. In India, one of the things that parents force their children against
their wishes into is marriage. The parents say: “You know nothing; you do everything wrong. Let
us decide what is right for you.” And the child says: “I know what is right for me – who are you
to tell me.” So he becomes strong-willed, determined, intolerant of any contradiction, fights his
own battle. At the same time he feels guilty within himself. Phatak’s Materia Medica gives the
symptom: “Always in the right”. He becomes rigid and stiff in his attitude. He sees his parents
as intruding into his territory and puts up a strong defence to prevent this. This defence itself
becomes a performance. Iron is used in gates, fences, helmets, battle tanks, shields of armour.
All these objects are used to protect, to prevent things from the outside from intruding into
one’s territory. Ferrum patients have to protect and defend both themselves and their families.
And so they perform by defending. It is as though they are always at war, fighting to defend
themselves and their families.
Niccolum is similar to Ferrum with only Cobaltum coming in between both of them. Both defend
themselves and perform to defend their families. This theme of defence and protecting oneself
is also strong in Cuprum and Zincum (which follows Niccolum in the Periodic Table).
They have dreams of battles, of fights, of wars, also of falling into the water, of seeing dead
friends and relatives, of seeing the old school again. Ferrum patients are sensitive and excitable
and are allergic to many substances. The main craving is for tomatoes.
– Ailments from anger, vexation.
– Ailments from scorn, being scorned.
– Anxiety of conscience, as if guilty of crime.
– Company, aversion to, friends or intimate.
– Contradict, disposition to.
– Contradiction, intolerant of.
– Delusion, war, being at.
– Dictatorial.
– Haughty.
– Obstinate.
– Quarrelsome.
– Strength increased, mental.
– Fear, crossing a bridge or place, of.
– Fear, crowd, in a.
– Fear, misfortune, of.
– Fear, evil, of.
– Irritability, from noise such as even from crackling of newspapers, drives him to despair.
– Occupation ameliorates.
– Dreams, of battles.
– Dreams, of fights.
– Dreams, of war.
Fluoricum acidum
Fluoricum acidum is a remedy of the syphilitic miasm. Fluorine, along with other Halogens, belongs to Group VIIIA of the Periodic Table. The Halogens have the feeling of betrayal and hurt,
and in the failed state react in a repulsive manner, by rejecting, throwing off. In the coped state
however, they avoid breaking relationships.
Fluorine is the lightest, most active and reactive of the Halogens. It forms and breaks relationships very quickly. This can be seen in the symptomatology of Fluoricum acidum. Fluoricum
acidum is flirtatious and has many acquaintances, but no deep relationships. The term “Buoyancy” has been used to describe Fluoricum acidum. Its pathological processes however are very
deep and near syphilitic.
The theme of Fluor is that of an incompatible relationship and the need to break off. The theme
of Acids is of a lot of effort and activity followed by weakness and exhaustion. In Fluoricum
acidum we see a tremendous effort in the direction of breaking off the relationship. The situation of Fluoricum acidum is one where an incompatible marriage is causing the patient a great
suffering. He needs to break away from this marriage. Hence he becomes irresponsible and immoral. Like in other Halogens there is tremendous activity: “Increased ability to exercise his
muscles without fatigue, regardless of most excessive heat of summer or cold of winter”, “Impulse to walk fast, necessity to always be on the move” (Phatak’s Materia Medica). The Fluoricum acidum person can perform a lot of feats without rest, and all he needs is a short afternoon
nap to gain back his energy. The specific direction of this increased energy in the person is indicated by the increased sexual desire. He stands in the street and ogles at women. Fluoricum
acidum persons talk very openly about their sexuality. Even in old age, there is increased sexual
desire and excessive enjoyment. The patient becomes irresponsible and indifferent towards his
own family, but is pleasant and animated with strangers and will seem careless, cheerful and
exuberant on the outside. All these features represent efforts that could help him break away
from the incompatible marriage or relationship.
In the coped-up state however, the effort and the struggle are in the direction of not letting the
relationship break. This is seen in the Fluoricum acidum dream: “Sudden death of his son, and
also of the son of one of his friends; thinks that in both cases, he has been the one to blame,
reproaches himself very much” (Allen’s Encyclopedia). This dream shows a sense of responsibility and guilt, and also of caring for their loved ones – the opposite pole of Fluoricum acidum.
Physical symptoms
– Very hot patients – sensation of heat escaping from the pores of the skin.
– Desires cold bathing.
– Craves highly pungent food.
– Cracks in the tongue in all directions.
– Deep-seated, destructive disease conditions, e.g. ulcers.
– Early senility with hair fall.
– Ridged nails.
– Delusion, marriage, must dissolve.
– Delusion, betrothal must be broken.
– Delusion, children out of the house, he must drive.
– Aversion, members of family, to.
– Indifference, loved ones, to, strangers, but animated, to.
– Indifference, relations, to.
– Indifference, business affairs, to.
– Indifference, important things, to.
– Lascivious, lustful.
– Anxiety, walking rapidly which makes him walk faster.
– Buoyancy.
– Deceitful.
– Libertinism.
– Head: hair falling in spots.
– Tongue: cracked in all directions.
– Desires highly seasoned food .
– Cold and heat both aggravate.
– Responsibility, inability to realize.
– Short sleep ameliorates.
Phatak’s materia medica
Inability to realize responsibility… Aversion to his own family, to those loved best. becomes
interested and converses pleasantly with strangers.
Gelsemium sempervirens
Gelsemium is a sycotic remedy. It belongs to the plant kingdom.
Gelsemium has “Ailments from anticipation”, “Ailments from bad news”. The Gelsemium persons get apprehensive in the face of ordeals and develop a lack of self-confidence in such situations. The patients tend to lose their control and balance. So the main feeling in Gelsemium is:
“I have to keep my control when going through ordeals. I have to be able to withstand very
difficult, trying situations, I have to be able to withstand shock and bad news without losing my
control”. So they keep courage when facing ordeals, and are not shaken up even by frightening
situations. This courageous Gelsemium is exactly the opposite of the picture we read in the
books, of the coward who is unable to face any unexpected event. Any exciting or bad news,
shock or anticipation can make the person lose his balance and control. He may develop giddiness and a fear of falling. He may lose control over his bowels. He develops a kind of paralytic
or cataleptic immobile state. He is shocked and is therefore unable to move. In some patients, I
have seen that they give the impression of control on the outside in the face of ordeals, but
inside there is a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, and they panic. They do not like to reveal their inner
Gelsemium may sometimes seem to appear like Stramonium, with clinging and a desire for
support always. But Stramonium is far more acute. Also in Stramonium, the threat is perceived
from outside of him, whereas in Gelsemium, it is the lack of confidence which is the main problem.
I remember one case of Gelsemium particularly well. The patient, a woman, was a dancer who
had developed eczema on her feet. This woman gave me a history that she had been in a very
bad accident and had some of her bones broken. In spite of this, she managed to give a dance
performance though she had to put up with a lot of pain. She also related that on one occasion
her house had been broken into by five men armed with choppers. In this situation too, she
managed to keep her cool and salvage a lot of her valuables. With Gelsemium, her eczema flared
up so that she was unable to move out of bed. This situation caused everyone, including me, to
panic, but she went through it, maintaining her control and balance, and improved subsequently.
– Ailments from anticipation, foreboding, presentiment.
– Ailments from bad news.
– Ailments from excitement, emotional.
– Ailments from shock, mental.
– Excitement, hearing horrible things, after.
– Confidence, want of self.
– Cowardice.
– Timidity, appearing in public.
– Fear, cease to beat, unless constantly on the move, heart will.
– Fear, self-control, of losing.
– Stupefaction.
– Dullness, sluggishness, think long, unable to.
– Fear, falling, of.
– Clinging to persons or furniture, etc.
– Clinging, child grasps the nurse when carried.
– Diarrhoea, excitement, from.
– Catalepsy.
– Fear, ordeals, of.
Graphites is a remedy of the mineral kingdom. It is prepared from black lead, an amorphous
There are two very striking features of Graphites which blend together. The first is an excitement from the smallest possible cause and the second is an amelioration from weeping.
The Graphites woman is excitable, and trifles can create turmoil in her. She becomes restless
and anxious, irritable and despairing, very sentimental. She gets worked up about the smallest
of things and this accounts for her fastidiousness. She simply cannot stay calm. It is as if she has
to be excited in order to survive. One situation that would demand such an easy excitability
would be that of a woman whose family takes things easy. The house is a mess, nothing works,
everyone’s work is undone or half-done, and her husband and children could not care less. They
relax and enjoy themselves. And so the woman is disappointed, and has to be excitable and
Graphites patients are timid and lack of self-confidence. They are cowardly, irresolute and are
always doubting themselves. This creates in them an anxiety. They are dull and cannot concentrate. They become restless when they have to concentrate, to think, to apply their minds to
work. These people will sit hours at a conference, drawing and scribbling, unable to concentrate.
If asked about the conference, they may be able to repeat the events verbatim, but there will
be no precis, because the later involves thinking, comprehending and understanding. They cannot plan, are absent-minded and easily confused. Graphites is one of the chief remedies for
“Ailments from anticipation”. They are always uneasy and fretful with the feeling of some impending misfortune. And any small trouble or problem can drive them to despair.
This excitability from trifles is markedly ameliorated from weeping. Weeping is an expression
and the Graphites patient is much better from expressing her emotions. This disposition to weep
seems like Pulsatilla, but the whole mood of the two remedies is very different. Graphites will
be excited, anxious, apprehensive, sad, despairing and despondent; but the moment she expresses her emotions, she becomes calm and relaxed. She can hardly keep anything to herself:
her doubts, fears, loves and hates; they have to be expressed or conveyed. It is like a tuning fork
that vibrates from a slight jerk and rests only when this vibration is transmitted to something
The excitability from trifles which is markedly better from an expression of the emotions makes
of Graphites a unique personality. An example of Graphites might be one of a housewife who
has received a letter about someone’s ill health or who has had an altercation with the shopkeeper, while her husband was away. She becomes worked up, frets, is excited and restless. She
cannot sit and do her work, but anxiously awaits her husband’s return. And almost as soon as
he opens the door, she pours out the whole story to him. She describes everything that happened, excitedly and with a lot of details, and calms down only when she is finished. Graphites
patients in the clinic also seem excited, and describe their complaints with attention to the
minutest detail. For example the patient will say to you: “Doctor, when I got up in the night, I
found that there was a burning in my chest, burning like a fire, and then when I drank cold water,
I felt better, so much better.”
– Despair over trifles.
– Restlessness while sitting at work.
– Anxiety about future.
– Concentration, difficult.
– Conscientious about trifles.
– Death, presentiment of.
– Dullness, sluggishness from mental exertion.
– Excitement, excitable.
– Weeping ameliorates symptoms.
– Weeping causeless.
– Despondency, she must weep (Allen’s Hand Book).
– Skin, cracks in winter.
– Fidgety.
Helleborus niger
Helleborus is a plant remedy of the typhoid miasm. It is very closely related to “drug” remedies
like Opium but is more acute in its manifestations.
Curiously, it is a plant remedy with a completely opposite manifestation than the usual plant
characteristic of sensitivity. In fact Helleborus is the most insensitive of all the remedies in our
Materia Medica.
The main feeling of the Helleborus person is that the outside is so painful, unpleasant, horrifying
and shocking that he completely shuts himself from the outside world. He remains completely
absorbed. He does not see, even if his eyesight is clear. He can’t hear though his ears are intact.
He is completely indifferent to both pleasure and pain. He takes a lot of time before answering
a question. But in my experience such manifestations represent an extreme stage which may be
seen in conditions like encephalitis.
In normal circumstances, Helleborus persons live with a tremendous dullness; nothing interests
them anymore. They cannot register things in a normal conversation; when they read, it does
not register.
One of the “Ailments from” of Helleborus is “head injury”. Here it compares with Arnica.
Helleborus has many other peculiar mental symptoms and delusions and needs to be studied
and understood better.
– Answers, reflects long.
– Answers, repeats the question.
– Answers, slowly.
– Automatism.
– Indifference, desire, has no, no action of the will.
– Indifference, everything, to.
– Indifference, external impressions, to.
– Will, muscles refuse to obey the will when attention is turned away.
Hepar sulphur
Hepar sulphuris calcareum (the sulphurette of lime, CaS) is a syphilitic remedy. It was first prepared by Hahnemann who used the white interior of the oyster shell; he heated it to high temperature along with pure flowers of Sulphur. Hepar sulphuris is different from Calcarea sulphurica probably due to its mode of preparation; it has elements of both Calcarea and Sulphur, but
has an added element of violence and cruelty.
Like Calcarea, the Hepar sulphuris person has a tremendous fear of being alone and is very
concerned about the health of relatives. But he feels that people upon whom he depends for
support push him down, treat him badly, humiliate him. He becomes very violent, so much so
that he wants to set things on fire, wants to kill. He is very hurried, especially in speech, quarrelsome and very dissatisfied – nothing pleases him. There is in him a great touchiness.
Thus Hepar sulphuris represents the violent extreme of Calcarea sulphurica. Phatak gives:
– Ferocious, wants to kill those who offend him, wants to set things on fire.
Hepar sulphuris has a feeling of being terribly offended. It is the feeling that precedes a violent
revolution, the feeling of being terribly insulted/offended by the person who is supposed to look
after you (e.g. the king). In such a revolution, things are set on fire and people are slaughtered:
arson and murder.
I have seen that in anger, they can get violent, suicidal, homicidal with firearms or a sharp
weapon. Even trifles make them extremely violent. For example I had a patient who found a
stain on a shirt that had just come back from the laundry, in a rage he set the shirt on fire. On
another occasion, out of anger, he poured kerosene all over his house to set it on fire. He improved remarkably with Hepar sulphuris.
Like Sulphur, Hepar sulphuris is also concerned very much with appearance. He feels unappreciated like Calcarea sulphurica. But the feelings are much more intense, as seen by comparing
the symptom “Sits and meditates” of Calcarea sulphurica to that of Hepar sulphuris “Dementia
with complete stupidity, sits silent and speechless in a corner”, “Sad mood for hours, must cry
vehemently”. Whereas Calcarea is fearful, Hepar sulphuris has “violent fright” as is seen in the
– Frightful visions of fire and dead persons.
– Violent fright on slumbering.
The irritability of Sulphur is present but again in a violent form:
– Violent, passionate, fretfulness.
– Wrathful irritability even to the most extreme violence, threatening to end in murder and
Physical concomitants
– Desires: fats, sour, spices.
– Tendency to suppuration, boils, extremely tender.
– Eruptions ameliorated by heat.
– Very offensive odour of discharges.
– Very, very sensitive; oversensitive to noise, pain and draught of air.
– Pains are splinter-like.
– Hasty speech.
– Violent from pain.
– Extremely chilly.
– Abrupt.
– Cruelty, inhumanity.
– Delusion, fire, visions of.
– Fear, alone, of being.
– Fire, wants to set things on.
– Kill, desire, to.
– Kill, knife, with a.
– Kill offence, sudden impulse to kill for a slight.
– Sensitive, pain, to.
– Suicidal, fire, to set oneself on.
– Violent, deeds of violence, rage leading to.
– Desires fat.
– Desires highly seasoned food.
– Besides oneself.
– Craves condiments.
– Touchy.
Hippomanes is an animal remedy. It is made out of a placental secretion or allantois membrane
which is found in the mouth of a newly born foal or calf. It is syco-syphilitic.
The following is the case of one patient who did very well on this remedy.
The patient was a 65 year old man who had among other problems, glaucoma. Ever since, he
had become suicidal and could not “concentrate on anything but suicide”. His hobbies included
reading “sex books”, and he had a history of having indulged a lot in sex in the past; he was quite
shameless in the way he spoke about this.
As a child he would find any excuse to pick up a fight and would fight physically with many of
his schoolmates. He used the word “fight” many times during the consultation. He had also
fought for the employees where he was working. When he was fourteen years old, an elder
member of his family saw him fighting with his schoolmate and punished him by beating him
black and blue. The patient said that from that day he altogether stopped getting into physical
His wife was quarrelsome and he could not oppose her nor fight back though he wanted to.
This made him very sad and withdrawn and he sat for hours doing nothing.
The rubrics of the case are:
– Suicidal disposition.
– Fight, wants to.
– Fancies, lascivious.
– Sexual desire increased.
All these rubrics are covered by Hippomanes. It also has the single symptom:
– Sadness, despondency: sits in the corner and does not want to have anything to do with the
What I understood from this case is that Hippomanes has two qualities common to remedies
of the animal kingdom: sexuality and aggressiveness. but if this aggressiveness is not expressed,
or it is very strongly suppressed, it creates an intense suicidal depression. The same is the case
with sexuality. Even though it is an animal remedy, the animal side can’t be expressed. This is
perhaps the fate of fully domesticated animals like the horse and the cow.
The patient improved vastly on Hippomanes.
Other important rubrics are:
– Company, aversion to; presence of other people aggravates symptoms; desire for solitude.
– Sits still, wrapped in deep, sad thoughts and notices nothing, as if.
Hura brasiliensis
Hura has features that place it exactly between the tubercular and the syphilitic miasms. This is
the leprosy miasm. The main feeling in the leprosy miasm is similar to the tubercular miasm,
only much worse. The feeling is that even with intense, rapid, hectic activity to come out of this
destructive process (leprosy), there is very little hope.
In terms of pathology there are three distinct types of leprosy. There is the tuberculoid type
which, though progressive, has a better prognosis than others – there is hope. At the other end,
there is the lepromatous leprosy which is rapidly progressive and destructive, resembling syphilis. The intermediate type lies between these two. Leprosy, like tuberculosis, is rampant in India.
There is a feeling of tremendous oppression (lepers are often treated worse than animals and
are the objects of loathing) and an intense hopelessness with a desire for change.
I choose to study Hura with the purpose to understand its state, because I had never used this
remedy before. On going through the symptoms, I found that they concentrated around a feeling of being forsaken, with the specific delusion that the Hura person is about to lose his friends
and that his friends have lost affection for him. He feels like a castaway, unwanted; he feels
alone in the world, despised and hated. There is a feeling of being unfortunate, unlucky that
something has happened to him, because of which he has lost his friends and everyone has
started hating him. There is the rubric: “Despair of recovery” which means that it is difficult for
him to recover from this position; the chances of getting back to the original position are slim
and so there is sadness and mental depression. He becomes quite frustrated and can get destructive, even to the extent of self-destruction. He becomes angry with himself, dislikes himself,
reproaches himself, feels unfortunate.
This feeling of Hura gave me a strong impression of leprosy. A leper is a man who, through a
stroke of bad luck, comes into a position (having contracted the disease) where all his friends
have deserted him. They hate him, despise him, have lost affection for him, and how much ever
he may try, he cannot compensate and he cannot get back to where he was before – once a
leper, always a leper.
The situation of Hura is that of a leper. Hura feels like a leper. He feels castaway and despised
without any chance of recovering from this situation. Having got this idea, you can imagine my
joy when I went through Clarke’s Dictionary and found that in the proving of Hura the best
symptoms were brought out in people with a past history of leprosy, and that it was a known
remedy for leprosy.
Ever since I wrote this description of Hura in my book “The Spirit of Homoeopathy”, I have had
cases that confirm this feeling of Hura. They feel unfortunate, castaway, hated, despised, without any hope of recovery. They try to hide their skin spot or acne or skin infection and keep on
looking in the mirror everyday to see whether it is growing or not. They do this secretly as they
don’t want others too see or notice it. They feel unfortunate: “Why did I get this?” They feel
others will find out about it and despise them.
The dreams of Hura reflect this same theme – of feeling like a leper, of being castaway, with a
longing to be a part of normal society, to be among his friends, and the feeling of hopelessness
of coming out of this destructive process that is leprosy.
– Body, parts of, heads, cut off.
– Dead bodies.
– Mutilation.
– Cutting heads of.
– Murder.
– Oxen – putrid.
– Walking among ruins.
– Water-drowning.
– Death.
– Funerals.
– Graves – putting tapers on tombs.
– Prisoner – release of prisoners.
– Delusion, thinks she is about to lose a friend.
– Delusion, lost affection of friends.
– Delusion, she is alone in the world.
– Delusion, his friends have lost all confidence in him.
– Delusion, sees dead persons.
– Delusion, deserted, forsaken.
– Delusion, unfortunate, he is.
– Delusion, despised, he is.
– Delusion, fancies herself lost.
– Delusion, thinks is repudiated by relatives.
– Despair of recovery.
– Despair, religious, of salvation.
– Biting hands.
– Biting himself.
Hyoscyamus niger
Hyoscyamus is a plant remedy. It belongs to the acute miasm and is allied to Belladonna and
Stramonium and also to Veratrum and Lyssinum.
The main feeling of Hyoscyamus is that of being suddenly let down, disappointed, betrayed and
deserted by the person on whom one is completely dependent. This situation causes in the patient acute fear and panic. It also causes a variety of reactions which are, on the one hand, attractive, e.g. loquacity, jesting, sexuality, etc., and on the other hand threatening, e.g. violence,
striking and desire to kill.
There is a tremendous fear of being alone and of facing the danger of the outside world all by
oneself. The acuteness of the feeling creates a kind of insanity, which is foolish. The patient tries
to attract attention by foolish behaviour, behaviour so ridiculous that it can provoke laughter.
Like other remedies of the acute miasm the Hyoscyamus person is very excitable, and the symptoms appear and disappear suddenly.
The situation of Hyoscyamus is that of a man deeply in love with his wife who is having an
extramarital affair. He is afraid that she will leave him and that he will be left all alone. He also
feels threatened by her; she might try to poison him or do him some harm in order to try to get
away. But as he loves her, he has to keep the relationship going. He tries to attract her attention
by joking, talking and sexual behaviour. At the same time, he has to be suspicious and cautious,
because he feels threatened by her. He is also extremely jealous of the other man. So he can
also become angry and violent. All the time, he feels that he is being wronged, that he is being
persecuted. This may appear like Lyssinum, but in the latter, the feeling of persecution and the
resultant violent reaction are episodic. In Hyoscyamus the feeling is very acute and the instantaneous reaction is that of suspicion, a foolish excitability, open sexuality and violence. It may
also appear like Lachesis. But Lachesis is sycotic and is very clever and calculative, whereas Hyoscyamus is acute and his reaction is ridiculous; he tries to attract attention by foolish behaviour
and antics and can also get threatening, with violence and striking.
One of the main features of Hyoscyamus could be a feeling of being sexually unattractive. The
reaction to this is an open, shameless sexuality. He exhibits his lewd sexual desire in an overt,
foolish way through a lot of loud talk, exposing the genitals, etc. It is complementary to Staphisagria which is the picture of suppressed sexuality and aggressiveness, whereas in Hyoscyamus
the same is openly expressed. No wonder then that Hyoscyamus has the delusion of seeing peacocks, which are the most colourful and attractive of birds. It also has the delusion of hens tied
up in chains, which I understand to be the feeling of facing an acute threat.
I have observed Hyoscyamus patients to be loud, excited and animated, so that it may often be
mistaken for an animal remedy. They are quite suspicious and mistrustful, and therefore foolishly keep asking the physician the same questions repeatedly; this can elicit laughter and make
them appear ridiculous. Their talk may be naive and childish, at the same time it is often shameless and they may reveal secrets or intimate details about themselves or others. Again they can
be angry, complaining and threatening. What we can see in certain cases of insanity, which may
need Hyoscyamus, is this inner threat of violence, a kind of suspiciousness which says: “If you
do anything to me, I will harm you”. I have seen it indicated in young persons especially girls
who, due to conservative and strict upbringing, are unable to express their sexuality or be sexually attractive. They feel forsaken and neglected and suddenly go into insanity where they become openly shameless, talkative and excited. The insanity could also take the form of suspicious or persecutory ideas, especially that men are interested in them and are making sexual
advances to them. I have also seen it indicated in old men who lose their control and became
foolishly loquacious and shameless sexually.
In some cases of Hyoscyamus, although the feeling of threat may not seem to be as acute as in
others, their perception of this feeling and subsequent reaction would give them away. For example, I had a patient who was scared of speaking on stage or dancing in public, even though
he was good at dancing. At first, it seemed that it could be a remedy with stage fright, but on
further questioning he said that he had to be dragged by four persons onto
the dance floor and his reaction was one of tremendous panic and fear, as if he was going to be
Another case of Hyoscyamus I remember well was the case of a woman who said she could not
face anyone if she was dressed informally. Even to go to the ground floor of the building she
lived in, she would have to dress up formally. If she didn’t, she would feel as if she were revealing
a secret about herself, which if other persons came to know, she would feel betrayed. She could
not reveal herself to anyone who would not reveal himself to her. She had dreams of the holocaust, and a feeling of remaining underground, of being betrayed, even by her own people. She
did not know whom to trust and whom not to. The fear and panic came up acutely in the dream.
Yet another case that I would like to relate is the case of a woman who said that she was very
dependent on her husband, and lived with the constant fear that he might betray her. On being
asked about the happiest moment of her life she answered that it would be to reveal to her
husband while they were in the middle of a party, that she had nothing on underneath her dress
and to see the look on his face! After Hyoscyamus she informed me that her entire attitude had
changed. She had become less dependent on her husband and could feel free from the fear that
he would leave her. She did not have to spend too much energy worrying about her partner.
– Complaining of supposed injury.
– Delusion, fancies has suffered wrong.
– Delusion, as if he would be sold.
– Delusion, is being injured by surroundings.
– Delusion, that he is persecuted.
– Delusion, pursued, enemies, by.
– Delusion, that she is being watched.
– Delusion, wife faithless.
– Fear of being betrayed.
– Foolish behaviour.
– Reveals secrets.
– Lascivious, lustful.
– Lewdness.
– Shamelessness, exposes the person.
– Nymphomania.
– Singing obscene songs.
– Dancing.
– Laughing loudly.
– Jesting: ridiculous or foolish.
– Suspicious.
– Jealousy.
– Inciting others.
– Destructiveness.
– Escape, attempts to.
– Fight, wants to.
– Violent, vehement, etc.; rage leading to violent deeds.
– Kill, desires to.
– Slander, disposition to.
– Wildness.
– Delirium, wedding prepares for.
Kalium arsenicosum
Kali arsenicosum is a remedy of the mineral kingdom and of the cancer miasm. The main feeling
of Kali arsenicosum is that the people whose support the patient seeks cannot be trusted – they
could even rob him. Like all Kali remedies, he seeks the support of the family or the group. Without them he is weak and dependent. Yet he has doubts as to whether this same family or group
is trustworthy.
He needs his family, and its harmony and integrity become his chief concern. So he becomes
caring for the family and supports them and takes good care of them. He seems confident and
independent. This is the coped up stage. But the Kali arsenicosum person can be anxious too, so
anxious that he can become almost crazy with anxiety. He is very edgy, and the slightest noise
will shake him up. He talks, even looks excited, crazy. He needs the support of his family and yet
he cannot trust them. He feels as if his family or group is out to cheat him, to rob him. He becomes extremely suspicious. His extreme anxiety makes him highly organized, fastidious, careful
and cautious. He is extremely anxious about his health too. So anxious that he cannot trust even
his physician. He avoids people as far as possible. He feels lonely and isolated because he cannot
trust anyone. If his family members differ in opinion or views, he is upset and feels he can’t trust
them. He feels: “I have done so much for them, how can they do this to me?” But at the same
time, he feels weak and needs their support, he feels he cannot be alone. So he becomes quarrelsome with his family. In the failed state, he becomes desperate to the point of suicide. Kali
arsenicosum may have dreams of being pursued.
For a case of Kali arsenicosum the reader can refer to my book “The Substance of Homoeopathy”.
Physical symptoms
– Very chilly, cannot have his legs and feet uncovered.
– Aggravation: 1:00 – 3:00 a.m.
– Develops chronic inveterate skin conditions like psoriasis.
– Ulcers and malignant conditions.
– A sudden noise throws the whole body into a tremor.
– Itching agg. warmth (though the patient is chilly).
– Fear, alone, of being.
– Fear, people, of.
– Fear, death, of.
– Frightened, trifles, at.
– Kill, sudden impulse to.
– Insanity, behaves like a crazy person.
– Suspicious.
– Violent, friends, to his (single symptom).
– Anxiety, health, about his.
– Starting, startled, noise, from.
– Suicidal disposition.
– Respiration difficult, 2:00-3:00 a.m.
Kalium carbonicum
Kali carbonicum is a remedy from the mineral kingdom, belonging to the sycotic miasm. The
main theme of Kali carbonicum is the vital fear and reactivity (Carbo) that is seen when a person
lacks the support of a family or group (Kali).
The main symptom of Kali carbonicum is the fear of being alone and the desire for company. In
the Kali carbonicum woman there is tremendous anxiety and fear when she is alone. She seeks
to belong to a group/family so that she is never alone. This anxiety is seen everywhere. For
– Frightened at trifles.
– Fear of being alone.
– Startled easily, from noise, from touch.
– Dreams of ghosts, of danger, of robbers, of falling from a height, of frightful figures.
There is a strong desire for support which is seen in:
– Carried, desires to be.
– Rocking ameliorates.
– Shrieking for aid.
Her dependence on the group or family is so great that her entire life revolves around her family
– the health of family members, the integrity of her family, the amount of support she gets from
her family, etc.
She becomes anxious if her child falls sick or doesn’t do well in exams and she can become
irritable and impatient with him. Similarly when she feels that her husband is not supporting her
enough, she becomes irritable, quarrelsome and nagging which is expressed as “Shrieking at
“Dreams of dead relatives” in Kali carbonicum shows her extreme concern for her family. One
of the big aggravating factors for Kali carbonicum would be the sickness of any member of her
family, especially the supporting one. She feels forsaken when she doesn’t get the support she
needs. This can make her very irritable, angry, quarrelsome, shrieking at trifles – “Dream of quarreling with dead relatives, of dead persons, as if they were alive and quarreled with her” (Allen’s
– Company, desires for, yet treats them outrageously.
This symptom combines three main components of Kali carbonicum. The first is the desire for
company: she wants company and is dependent on it; she is aggravated when alone, must have
support and always likes to be with people who support her. The second component is that she
treats them outrageously, which means she always shows dissatisfaction with people on whom
she is dependent. The third aspect is quarrelsomeness: when she is discontented she cannot
keep quiet, she has to quarrel.
Hence we find in Phatak’s Materia Medica:
– Quarrels with his family and
– Quarrels with his bread and butter.
In the clinic, the Kali carbonicum person can be a very faithful patient, following up quite regularly and sticking to the same doctor for a long time. But the trouble begins when she starts
considering the physician as a family member. Then she will become truly dependent on the
physician, she will never leave him; but each time she comes she will quarrel and insist that she
is not better.
Kali carbonicum patients speak loudly and are impatient with the progress. They can be quite
nagging with the physician as if he is not paying enough attention to them or supporting them.
They will tempt the doctor by their general sourness and extreme dependence to shirk responsibility towards them – which is similar to the origin of their state, a neglecting and irresponsible
spouse. Often a Kali carbonicum person will bring another member of his family to the clinic for
Peculiar to Kali carbonicum is quarrelsomeness only with family and husband, and not so much
with outsiders (except unfortunately with the physician).
After quarrelling, she can get quite tearful: “Weeping, when telling of her sickness”, and also
can display a more pitiable state of begging, and entreating. When her efforts to get the support
she needs fail, she becomes “Indifferent when in society”, “Averse to husband, to members of
the family”, shows “Disgust”, “Hatred” and becomes “Sulky”, “Repulsive”.
The sycotic aspect of Kali carbonicum is seen in the feeling: “I am too weak to support myself
and need the company of family.” Here it compares with Medorrhinum in sycosis and there are
many rubrics where the two are found together.
Physical symptoms
The physical symptoms accompanying the Kali carbonicum personality that I have confirmed
– Weakness in back, amel. lying flat on back.
– Profuse perspiration all over the body, especially on the upper lip.
– Desires sweets.
– Intolerance to cold.
– Breathlessness that makes her sit bent forwards.
– Aggravation at 3:00 a.m.
– Anxiety, alone, when.
– Company, desires for, alone, aggravated, while.
– Company, desires for, treats them outrageously, yet.
– Discontented, everything, with.
– Impatience, children, about his.
– Shrieking, aid, for.
– Shrieking, trifles, at.
– Starting, easily.
– Starting, fright from and as from.
– Weeping, telling of her sickness, when.
– Vertigo from hunger.
– Perspiration upper lip.
– Perspiration, external throat.
– Respiration difficult, 3:00 a.m.
– Mammae before menses.
– Never well since pneumonia.
– Fingers, working with, using aggravates.
– Quarrelsome with himself and his family.
– Soles painful.
Kalium iodatum
Kali iodatum is a syphilitic remedy of the mineral kingdom. The main feeling of Kali iodatum is
that he may be betrayed, starved, stabbed in the back (Iodum) by those people whose support
he seeks, his group or family (Kali).
Kali iodatum patients are normally very cheerful, talkative and witty. They are communicative
in such a way that they really entertain people with their jokes, etc. No social occasion is complete without them. They can be jesting, laugh easily and make others laugh.
They are very supportive, reliable and do a lot for their family. They are strong, independent
people who take the entire burden of the family on their shoulders (they do it not so much in
the fatherly way of Aurum, but in the sense of doing things and taking care of others). They are
devotedly attached to their family and children. They are active, hard working and very helpful
to others. They are also are quite tough and Kali iodatum women are not very complaining.
But in an extreme situation, Kali iodatum persons can get very irritable, angry, abrupt, harsh,
abusive, violent. The irritability is directed mainly towards their children. They can be quite cruel
to their family:
– Irritable towards children, unfeeling to family.
– Sadness.
– Aversion, devotedly attached children become burdensome.
– Quarrelsome, malicious, violent.
They can be haughty. They are also quite fearful, fear of death, of misfortune, etc. These fears
are also seen in the dreams of danger, of being murdered, of murder, of falling.
Their fear and anxiety is ameliorated by walking in open air and this makes of the Kali iodatum
patient a great walker. The walk is brisk and vigorous. This modality is similar to that of Iodum.
In a completely failed state Kali iodatum can have despair, disgust with everything, and insanity.
I have seen Kali iodatum being indicated in stout women who have a diversity of complaints
(“Symptoms diverse, many”, Phatak). They have symptoms in many organ systems, usually of a
chronic, progressive nature, e.g. diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, etc. They
have diseases of a destructive nature like hypertension, arthritis, alopecia, total leukoderma.
They are hot patients, like walking in open air and are mentally ameliorated by it.
Often they have bilaterally symmetrical complaints – a feature that is found in Syphilinum, Arnica, Lac defloratum, and Thyroidinum.
– Abusive, children and family, to (Phatak’s Repertory).
– Anxiety, walking, air ameliorates, in open.
– Disgust, everything, with.
– Fear, death, of.
– Fear, misfortune, of.
– Frightened easily, trifles, at.
– Haughty.
– Abrupt, harsh.
– Anger, violent.
– Indifference, children, to, her.
– Irritability, children, towards.
– Loquacity, jesting, with.
– Quarrelsome.
– Sadness, aversion, devotedly attached children become burdensome.
– Unfeeling, family, with his.
Kalium phosphoricum
Kali phosphoricum belongs to the mineral kingdom. It is a tubercular remedy.
The central feeling of Kali phosphoricum is: “I am not loved by the very family (or group) on
whom I depend for support”. It is like the situation of a woman who has to take care of her
children single-handedly, while her husband, on whom she depends for support, is always travelling. He is never there for her. She feels unloved and neglected. She feels that she is not getting
the support she needs from her family. If this situation persists and she has difficulties in coping,
she can become nervous and sensitive, affected by trifles, she can be always edgy, and gets
startled by the slightest of sounds. She is tremendously anxious for the children and apprehensive about their health and about the future. On the other hand she may become irritable towards her husband and children. She is angry with them because they don’t support her; she
could become indifferent towards them and manage to be quite independent.
Her mind is full of thought and activity, and she develops insomnia (Kali phosphoricum is one
of the main remedies for insomnia). Ultimately, she becomes tired and worn out. Her senses
become dull and she cannot use her mind anymore. Hence Kali phosphoricum is found under
the rubric:
– Work seems to drive him crazy, owing to the impotency of his mind.
When coped up, Kali phosphorus persons are friendly, especially to outsiders, cheerful, expressive, sympathetic and caring for others. They can be independent and still very supportive of
their family and cooperative.
Kali phosphoricum patients can have very frightening dreams. One patient narrated a dream
where a tiger was knocking at the door of her house, while she was alone with her children, and
her husband was away. She had to protect her children all by herself. This dream shows the
extreme anxiety of Kali, and a very important Phosphorus feature, caring for others.
Another Kali phosphorus situation would be that of a businessman who finds that he has been
let down by his partners suddenly, and he is left to face things all by himself. He doesn’t have
the support he so desperately needs. He tries his best to manage the business by himself, but
soon gets worn out.
Physical symptoms
– Weakness, fagged out, paralytic weakness.
– Oversensitive physical states.
– Chilly patients.
– Careworn look on the face.
– Hungry soon after eating.
– Craves sweets.
– Ailments from cares, worries.
– Sleeplessness, cares, from, daily.
– Starting, touched when.
– Starting, fright from, and as from.
– Starting, noise, from, touched, when.
– Fear, alone, of being.
– Restless during mental labour.
– Aversion to husband.
– Clinging, held wants to be.
– Businessman, worn out.
– Prostration of mind.
– Anxiety, fear, with.
– Anxiety, health, about.
– Anxiety, future, about.
– Delusions, images frightful.
– Excitement, excitable, mental work, from.
– Exertion from mental aggravates.
– Fear, happen, something will.
– Imbecility.
– Memory, weakness of.
– Quarrelsome.
– Senses, dullness of.
– Work seems to drive him crazy owing to the impotency of his mind.
Kalium sulphuricum
Kali sulphuricum is a mineral remedy, a salt. Its range is between the ringworm miasm and the
sycotic miasm.
The main feeling of the Kali sulphuricum person is of being disgraced and insulted by the family
or group whose support he seeks. Therefore he constantly makes efforts to win their esteem
and respect. He wants that his value in their eyes should rise. He is industrious and helpful,
caring towards and supportive of the group. He seems independent of the opinion of others. At
the same time, he has anger towards the family or group, because he feels insulted by them.
As this feeling gets more intense, he becomes discouraged and develops tremendous want of
confidence. He becomes insecure and irresolute. He is fearful and startles easily. Also he becomes very sensitive and is easily offended. Finally, he can become averse to business, indolent
and indifferent.
Physical symptoms
– Very hot patients. agg. Warmth, amel. Open air, even walking in open air ameliorates . This is
very much like Pulsatilla, which is complementary. Also another remedy that comes close to Kali
sulphuricum is Kali iodatum.
– Yellow discharges, expectoration, etc..
– Eczema with thick, yellowish discharge, especially when there is much itching,
agg. night.
– Marked craving for sweets.
– Business, averse to.
– Confidence, want of self.
– Discouraged.
– Exertion, from mental aggravates.
– Frightened easily.
– Irresolution.
– Sensitive, oversensitive, noise, to.
– Starting, sleep, during.
– Timidity.
– Work, mental, aversion to.
Lac caninum
Lac caninum is a sycotic remedy. It is prepared from the milk of the dog (bitch). This remedy
has in it the nature of the dog, an animal that has been totally controlled and civilized so that it
has to suppress its basic animal nature and can only express its controlled, civilized side. It is
dependent on its master for food and so it is out to please him. Its survival depends upon keeping its master happy by its performance, its affection, etc. It has to perform or it won’t be wanted
anymore and its master will kick it out. This need to please is the animal side of Lac caninum,
but the dog knows that no matter how much it tries to please, it will never be equal to the
human. It feels inferior, knows that it is at the bottom of the hierarchy. The animal side is also
malicious (if you pull a dog’s tail, it will bite you). Lac caninum persons are very passionate, very
lascivious. They can be quite aggressive and defensive.
The main theme in Lac caninum is dominance (the bigger dominating the smaller) and who is
going to be on top. Lac caninum persons can be irritable and ferocious, but if someone is more
irritable and ferocious, they give up, they submit. Then arises the conflict within themselves:
“Do I want to be what I am ?” They develop a feeling of low self-worth: “I am not good enough.
I feel dirty and horrible”, and become contemptuous of themselves. This dirty feeling is also
common to animal remedies, and it is similar to the feeling of Ambra grisea (prepared from the
sperm whale). But while Lac caninum simply feels: “I am not good enough, I am despised and
looked down upon”, Ambra grisea feels “like shit”. Lac caninum patients suffer by comparison
with others. They try hard to please, to be liked, cared for and accepted because they feel left
out and rejected. They can develop malice and hatred because they hold somebody else responsible for their condition. These feelings can sometimes be accompanied by a history of sexual
The Lac caninum situation is that of a dark-skinned girl child in an Indian home. Her sisters are
fairer than her. She tries hard to get fair-skinned, but knows she will never be fair- skinned. She
is constantly being compared to her “better looking” sisters, and she soon begins to hate herself.
People bring clothes only for her sisters. Nobody listens to her; she is just not clever enough –
everything she says is stupid and foolish. She feels she is uncared for and neglected because her
body looks bad. She starts feeling dirty, and washes herself frequently. People disturb her almost as if they were snakes and vermin (“Delusion snakes in and around her”). She starts lacking
in confidence, becomes totally irresolute and believes that all that she says is a lie. She loathes
life and goes into tremendous depression, and nothing can be done to make her feel better. She
feels worthless and is disgusted with herself, thinks she matters little, feels unimportant, like an
untouchable. She is sure she has an incurable disease and she will die. She wants to commit
suicide and put an end to her suffering. She blames others for her condition and can get angry
with them for treating her the way they do – she can develop hatred, and become revengeful.
She feels she has been given a raw deal, and she becomes mean (“Writing meanness to her
Jurgen Becker tells me that a common expression amongst African-American blacks is “Mofo”
(mother fucking son of a bitch) – surely a Lac caninum expression. The feeling of a black person
in the U.S. even today must be: “I am unlucky, I have been born with a black skin. I will try to
perform, but I know that ultimately I will still be black”. This is also a Lac caninum situation.
– Contemptuous, self, of.
– Delusion, despised, is.
– Delusion, dirty, he is.
– Delusion, diminished, short, he is.
– Delusion, looked down upon, she is.
– Delusion, thinks all she said is a lie.
– Delusion, snakes in and around her.
– Malicious.
– Moral feeling, want of.
– Rage, fury.
– Rudeness.
– Writing meanness to her friends.
– Anxiety, success, from doubt, about, of.
Phatak’s materia medica
– Thinks himself of little consequence.
– One’s own body seems disgusting.
– Imagines he wears someone else’s nose.
– Every symptom seems a settled disease, which is incurable.
– Desires highly seasoned food.
– Pain, mammae, menses, before.
– Craves condiments.
– Dirty, he is.
– Fear of falling downstairs.
– Lactation, milk absent.
– Mammae before menses.
– Self loathing.
– Taste salty, only salty food tastes natural.
– Thinking himself too little.
Lac vaccinum defloratum
Lac defloratum is prepared from the skimmed milk of the cow, and the remedy does indeed
seem to represent its innermost state. I conducted a proving of Lac defloratum and the following
were the themes that emerged:
– The need to belong to the community.
– The fear of being rejected by the community.
– The feeling of being forsaken.
– The feeling of being separated from the mother.
– The need to be attractive.
– The tremendous sense of injustice.
– The need to bear a lot of suffering.
– Cares for and by the mother.
– Fears and dreams of being pursued, of being beaten.
In my practical experience with cases of Lac defloratum, I found that the person is rather mild,
gentle, yet quite animated, and tries to be attractive. There is loquacity and their talk can be
animated, expressive, vivid. There is a feeling that they have to do a lot for the community, to
work hard physically for others in order to be accepted by the community. Also, they feel they
have to bear silently with a lot of suffering and beating, abuse, extra marital relationships of the
husband, and continue to do their work in order to be accepted. There is a theme of losing their
dear ones, especially the mother, and a theme of adopted children who have been separated
from their mother earlier on, and feel forsaken. Inter community marriages can also be a theme
of Lac defloratum where the person dares to go against the community. Here, we have the double feeling, first the fear of being forsaken by the community, and second one’s own desire and
There is also the feeling of dirtiness in Lac defloratum (which is common to the animal remedies). There is a fear of closed spaces, for example the fear to be shut in the toilet. There are
also suicidal thoughts. The dreams of Lac defloratum are (clinically observed):
– Dreams of animals.
– Dreams of snakes.
– Dreams of being pursued.
– Dreams of being separated from friends.
– Dreams of being beaten.
Physical symptoms
Physically, we often find a strong desire or intolerance of milk; affections of the breast including
poor lactation, pain in the breast before menses, obesity.
– Delusion, all her friends are dead and she must got to a convent.
– Forsaken feeling.
– Irresolution.
– Suicidal disposition.
Lachesis mutus
Lachesis is a snake remedy prepared from the venom of the South American bush master, and
in its miasmatic range, the remedy falls between sycosis and syphilis. It has the qualities of competitiveness, aggressiveness, attractiveness and sexuality common to the animal remedies, as
well as the clairvoyance, deceit and venomous quality common to the snake remedies.
The specific problem of Lachesis seems to be the problem of jealousy, or how to get the better
of (be one-up on) a rival, especially in the situation of male-female relationships or in the sphere
of sexual relationships. It is the situation of someone who has to compete against a person with
better qualities, as for example a menopausal woman whose husband has a young girlfriend.
She has the feeling of weakness within herself as she compares herself to her younger and more
attractive rival. She feels that there are conspiracies against her and this makes her suspicious
of people around her. Her survival depends on her being one-up on her rival, and she does this
with clever, manipulative talk. With her loquacity, she is able to attract and retain the attention
of the listener; she can be witty, sarcastic, loud, animated, vividly expressive, excited. She observes the listener, judging all the time his interest level, and at the correct moment unnoticed
by the latter, she injects the venom that works in him after he has left her presence. Her talk
can be clairvoyant, prophetic. She may tell of going into a trance or being under superhuman
control, or she may relate spiritual experiences or religious theories, all this with enough doses
of sexual suggestibility.
She becomes so engrossed with the competition, so for the time being, she has to shut off from
work (“Business, aversion to”). When her very best efforts to compete fail she may turn religious, spiritual, and may feel that death is near and that she should concentrate on spiritual
things; she then starts meditating. Hence the rubric: “Avoids company to indulge in her fancy.”
Lachesis persons can be interested in the beauty of nature, in amusement, and their speech can
be magnetic. Advertising has a lot to do with Lachesis, concerned as it is with jealousy and oneupmanship: it amuses, entertains and catches attention, pushing its own product up while cleverly pushing other products down, and quickly injects you with temptations for the product being advertised. A lot of the entertainment industry also has to do with the Lachesis theme and I
have observed that Lachesis people often get into the advertising or entertainment industries.
The main theme of Lachesis is show. The ideal situation that would best bring out this feeling
for a Lachesis patient would be a beauty contest. She would try to beat the competition through
any means.
– Jealousy, loquacity, with.
– Loquacity, changing quickly from one subject to another.
– Loquacity, jesting, with.
– Mocking: sarcasm.
– Mocking: ridicule, passion to.
– Jesting: fun of somebody, making.
– Amusement, desire for.
Physical symptoms
– As is well-known, Lachesis patients are invariably hot, and may have hot flushes followed by
– They can’t tolerate tight clothes (around the neck). As is common to snakes, there is always a
fear to be strangled or choked.
– Aggravation from sun.
– Worse after sleep.
Additional rubrics
– Business, aversion to.
– Avoids company to indulge in her fancy.
– Religious affections.
– Doubtful, soul’s welfare.
– Tongue: protruded rapidly darting in and out, like a snake’s.
Lilium tigrinum
Lilium tigrinum (the Tiger Lily) is a remedy of the plant kingdom and of the sycotic miasm. I
understand the remedy to have two parts: a plant part and an animal part. While the plant part
of the remedy has to do with chastity, purity and religiousness, the animal part has to do with
sexuality, with passion. A main theme of Lilium tigrinum is religious fervour alternating with an
increased sexual desire. (Funnily enough, its name also seems to have two components: the
plant (lily), and the animal (tiger)!)
These two sides of the Lilium tigrinum are at tremendous odds with each other. The patients
are very religious persons and consider their high sexual desire as being something sinful. They
therefore try and repress the same by keeping busy all the time, keeping themselves occupied
always. To keep themselves as busy as is possible, they take up several tasks at a time and are
hurried in their work. A characteristic symptom of Lilium tigrinum is:
– Restless: must keep busy in order to repress sexual desire.
Sexual desire may also be extended to mean sensual satisfaction of any kind.
The situation of Lilium tigrinum is one of tremendous religious orthodoxy, as may be the case
in a religious monastery. Here any pleasure or amusement, any sensual satisfaction or enjoyment and definitely any sexual idea will be considered sinful. There is a heavy and constant
repression of sexuality and of sensuality in any form. But sometimes, this repressed sexual and
sensual side takes over and overpowers the orthodox, religious side, leaving the person completely in the grasp of that part of him which he has always considered sinful and tried to repress. The patient develops a tremendous anxiety about salvation, a tremendous religious despair. He believes that it will be sinful to enjoy anything that is sensual, and that if he does, there
will be no salvation for him. He becomes fearful that something bad will happen because of
what he did wrong. Lilium tigrinum persons can also have the instinctive fear that something
terrible will happen; they can almost prophesy that they will be afflicted by some terrible disease
or that some mishap will occur.
So, whenever the sexual, sensual side takes over, they try to repress it by keeping themselves
very busy with a lot of work. They are unable to integrate these two sides of their personality.
Physical symptoms
Physically, they are aggravated from warmth, and are better in the cool, open fresh air.
– Despair, religious, alternating with sexual excitement.
– Concentration difficult, crazy feeling on the top of the head, wild feeling in head, with confusion of ideas.
– Fear, moral obliquity alternating with sexual excitement.
– Amusement, averse to.
– Doubtful of soul’s welfare.
– Fear, happen, something will.
– Fear, disease of, impending.
– Hurry, in occupation, desires to do several things at once.
– Mental symptoms alternating with physical.
– Occupation ameliorates.
– Religious affections alternating with sexual excitement.
– Self-torture.
– Activity fruitless.
– Aversion to amusement.
Lycopodium clavatum
Lycopodium is sometimes called “vegetable Sulphur”. It is a plant remedy and belongs to the
the psoric miasm.
I have been told that several thousands of years ago, Lycopodium clavatum was actually a huge
tree, and that over the the years it reduced to a small fern – the club moss. The main feeling in
Lycopodium is that if the person remains small, his survival will be difficult, he will be humiliated,
he will be nowhere. The main theme of Lycopodium therefore, becomes ambition, a desire to
grow bigger, a lot of effort which is concentrated fully on becoming bigger, being more powerful,
reaching a higher position – the top rung of the ladder.
Lycopodium is a part of the the Calcarea – Lycopodium – Sulphur cycle. Calcarea represents the
human need for stability and security, which translates into having a house, family, source of
income, good health and protection. Stability also entails lack of movement, adventure and
growth. The other need of the human is represented by Sulphur, and that is the need for a name,
for an ego, an image; the need to be somebody important, to matter, to be recognized, to be
counted in; the need to be proud of oneself, to think highly of oneself, to have a good self-image.
In order to reach from the position of Calcarea to that of Sulphur one has to concentrate on
growing, on making an effort to achieve one’s ambitions, on movement – undertaking new
things rather than sticking to the old and the stable, on goal-oriented activity. Lycopodium represents precisely this phase in human life, and becomes a person’s remedy when he/she gets
stuck in this phase and cannot think of anything else.
The original situation from which a Lycopodium state may have arisen is probably that of a
person who feels he has no power. He is therefore aggravated with anything that concerns loss
of power, while anything to do with acquiring power will make him feel better.
Lycopodium is very ambitious and can employ any means to achieve success. He can dictate,
dominate, and will take the help of anyone he can. But Lycopodium people have one big fear,
and that is the fear of undertaking new challenges, facing new situations, meeting new people.
All these situations have to be encountered if he is to achieve success, and in the face of these
situations Lycopodium lacks confidence; he feels incapable. He develops an anticipatory anxiety
from this lack of confidence. This may appear like Silicea, but the difference is that in Silicea, it
is not whether he is actually capable of doing the task that bothers him, rather it is that his image
should be protected at all costs. So Silicea is afraid to go on stage, and Lycopodium is afraid to
speak. In the adult Lycopodium person however, this cowardice may be hidden by an outward
show of bravado. This becomes necessary to protect his ego. He may take recourse to tall talk,
and boasting with bravado, and this may eventually produce in him a fear of being discovered.
An offshoot of this egotism is his censorious attitude towards others. Lycopodium is not unhappy with others, he nonetheless criticizes them in order to establish his own superiority. At
the same time, his conscientiousness does not allow him to be overcritical although he will justify his criticism on the grounds that it is his duty to do so in the interest of the person being
criticized. Lycopodium can thus be subtle in his criticism of others.
The timidity and cowardice of Lycopodium is best seen in children requiring the remedy. They
have a fear of facing new situations, meeting new people, and will try and avoid the same. As a
result of this timidity, and also because of the physical weakness, in Lycopodium children we
find an aversion to play. The Lycopodium adult however, being too egoistic to admit his lack of
self-confidence and fear in facing new situations and meeting new persons, will try and compensate the same by surrounding himself with people whom he can dictate, and therefore need
not fear. He creates around him a world in which he is all powerful, and others accept his authority and can be dominated by him. For example, he will select a woman who is mild and can
be easily dictated over – a Pulsatilla woman, perhaps. The same will be true in his work, play and
social situation. His dictatorial attitude is however confined to within the safety of his domain,
and when he steps outside he is still timid. And so he seldom does venture out of his domain,
rather he seeks only to expand it further, and bring more and more people under his power.
Hence the rubric: “Love of Power”.
Lycopodium thus represents a constant struggle between cowardice and egotism, between lack
of confidence and haughtiness, between timidity and a dictatorial attitude. The person is scared
of those in authority, but to those for whom he can represent it, he is rude and contemptuous.
Lycopodium has a tremendous fear of being alone, amidst unfamiliar people. He seeks out
known persons, wants someone with him “even if in the next room”. He can’t do without people, he needs them. This may make him appear sentimental, affectionate and sympathetic like
Phosphorus, but the contrast is that while Lycopodium depends on and dictates people, he does
not like others to depend on him. He does not like responsibilities and avoids them as far as
possible. Even in his love affairs (a part of lasciviousness of Lycopodium) he does not want to
commit. So when an affair reaches a peak, he backs out. Lycopodium persons very often are late
to marry. But once he does commit himself, he accepts full responsibility due to his strong sense
of duty.
In my observation, Lycopodium is a grateful person. If someone has done something for him,
he is bound to remember and return the favour when the opportunity comes. He is also much
affected by gratitude as well as the ungratefulness of others. Under the irritable exterior he is a
sensitive person and can weep while watching sentimental scenes, of both of joy and sorrow.
Lycopodium can be hurried. The patients do things fast but not necessarily in an orderly manner. This hurried nature could be explained on the basis of the lack of self-confidence. Because
they are anxious to complete the job, they are hurried in their work. In the clinic during the
interview, especially during follow-ups, they are very impatient and want to get away quickly.
This along with weakness of memory accounts for a lot of mistakes especially in speech and
writing. Weakness of memory is especially for proper names, but also extends to dates, events
and other things they have to do.
The situation of Lycopodium is that of a man who feels that he is not loved as he is, but only if
he achieves something in his life. So he must achieve in order to be loved. He must reach a goal
that is not easy, one that is very difficult. When Shivaji’s mother told him to conquer the fort,
he did not have any army and the fort belonged to the Emperor. It was an uphill task. He had to
collect an army around him to achieve what his mother wanted him to. Lycopodium is the child
of a parent who demands achievement, the wife of a husband who demands achievement. So
he has the anticipatory anxiety, the lack of confidence and the “Fear of being unable to reach
his destination” on one hand, and love of power, ambition, egotism and domineering attitude
on the other. When looking for a wife, he may feel that a woman would not love him unless he
is an achiever. He would want her to like him not for what he is but for his achievements, and
so he constantly emphasizes to her that he is achieving, that he is an achiever.
The other remedies Lycopodium has to be compared with are Aurum, Staphisagria, Nux vomica,
Chelidonium, Phosphoricum acidum, Platinum, Medorrhinum, China, Argentum nitricum, Bryonia, Lachesis.
Being a remedy of the plant kingdom, Lycopodium is very sensitive, sentimental. He is also imaginative and intellectual, and can easily make abstractions and theorize. He can generalize and
make up a theory by looking at many facts.
Lycopodium is the most syphilitic remedy of the Calcarea, Lycopodium and Sulphur cycle, all
three being essentially psoric remedies.
Physical concomitants
The physical concomitants of Lycopodium that I have observed are:
– Dilated nostrils.
– Flatulence.
– Cracks on the heel.
– They show signs of premature senility, like greying of hair, baldness, enlarged prostate, etc.
– There is desire for warm food and drinks, and for sweets.
– Hurriedness in eating and drinking.
– Ill effects of overeating.
– Confidence, want of self.
– Egotism.
– Sentimental.
– Cowardice.
– Fear, people, of.
– Contemptuous, hard for subordinates and agreeable, pleasant to superiors or people he has
to fear.
– Dictatorial, command, talking with air of.
– Dictatorial, power, love, of.
– Fear, alone, of being.
– Fear, undertaking anything.
– Hurry, eating, while.
– Timidity, appearing in public, but capable to.
– Weeping, thanked, when.
– Weeps ungratefulness at.
– Cough, bending head backwards.
– Dry cough in emaciated boys.
– Dilated nostrils.
– Appetite: eating increases hunger.
– Desires warm food.
– Axilla: boils recurrent.
– Extremities: cracks in the heel.
– Strangers, presence of, aggravates.
Lyssinum belongs to the acute miasm. It cannot be strictly classified as a remedy of the animal
kingdom since it represents only one aspect of the dog, the tremendous aggressiveness that has
gone out of control.
The saliva of the rabid dog creates a state of pain. It is the state of a controlled animal gone
crazy: the dog that obeyed the master but was treated so badly that it lost all its control, and
jumped on and tore at its own master.
The main feeling of Lyssinum is of having suffered wrong, being tormented, especially by one
whom he has served, has been faithful to and is dependent on, thus creating an intense feeling
of anger and rage, in which the person can bite, strike and even violently mutilate. Often this
rage is followed by a repentance as profound as the rage was violent. Or it may be an impotent
anger which can lead to an impulse to stab himself.
Lyssinum is required in a situation where a person has to lash out against somebody because,
if he keeps quiet, he will be further tormented. But this rage has to be followed by quick repentance, because if it persists too long, it is not good for him as he is, after all, dependent.
The heightened sensitivity of Lyssinum (as for example to light and noise) is a characteristic
feature of its alertness. Lyssinum will respond to any situation in this manner. For example if the
roof is leaking, he may tolerate it for some time, but then get so angry that he will take a hammer
and break the plaster. A few minutes later when his anger subsides, he will get cement and will
fix it up again.
Also frequently seen is an element of praying, of faithfulness which alternates with the violence
and destructiveness.
One of my patients who did well on Lyssinum was a boy aged 10, who presented with a very
severe, chronic skin problem. He had boils on the extremities which were very painful, and were
accompanied by severe itching. Describing the pain and itching, his mother said that it would
get so bad that the patient would shriek: “Kill me! I can’t take it. I don’t want to live. Give me a
knife, I want to stab my arms!” As a child the boy had been very devoted to and dependent on
a particular goddess. He would compose songs in her praise.
But with the itching, he became angry with the goddess. He said: “I have done so much for her
and this is what she is doing to me!” In his anger he tore up the picture of the goddess. His
mother had the history of a severe toothache during pregnancy. Her first child being still-born,
during this, her second pregnancy, she had the feeling something terrible would happen. She
would pray all the time to the same goddess the boy had been devoted to. Her baby was overdue and this made her extremely fearful; she would stand in front of the picture of the goddess
with clenched hands, and would cry out: “Why are you doing this to me ?” She had a fear of
dogs, and a desire for chocolate. The feeling in both, the mother and the child was identical: a
feeling of being troubled by someone on whom one is dependent, of being tormented by the
person he is serving, the reaction in both cases was one of anger and rage.
Thus the Lyssinum situation is one of being tormented by someone or something on which one
is dependent – a torment that is not merely an insult but actually causes physical and mental
pain. It brings about rage, an insane rage, wildness, fury, biting and growling like a mad dog,
attacking and then withdrawing.
Lyssinum is similar to Crocus in that they both have rage, followed by quick repentance, but the
attractiveness, which is a very important feature of Crocus, is absent in Lyssinum.
China also feels tormented like Lyssinum. But in China the torment is less intense and longstanding, a long-standing feeling of being persecuted and hindered at work -something that has
been going on for a long time… The reaction is less violent, never an uncontrolled frenzy. In fact,
China is indolent and cannot do anything but daydream. In Lyssinum, on the other hand, the
torment is very intense, very acute, severe, with rage and frenzy, violence, which is followed by
quick repentance.
Drosera also has in common with Lyssinum, the feeling of persecution but there is also the
feeling of being deceived, cheated and trapped, in case of the latter.
Lyssinum is one of the group of acute insanity remedies along with Belladonna, Hyoscyamus,
Stramonium and Veratrum.
Stramonium has wild behaviour, insanity, the dog-like behaviour and dog-like attacking rage.
But the delusion that he has suffered wrong is not present in Stramonium; there is instead the
feeling of being threatened by something outside and he runs and seeks light and people. Stramonium can escape from its situation of threat, but Lyssinum has no escape. Therefore Stramonium is prominent in “Escape, desire to”, which in Lyssinum is absent. Stramonium also has fear
of strangers, hence he seeks and clings to the familiar. But Lyssinum is tormented by the familiar
person hence there is no question of clinging in Lyssinum.
Hyoscyamus also has the feeling of being wronged and injured, as does Lyssinum, but he does
not have the tormented feeling of the latter. Also absent in Hyoscyamus is the anger followed
by quick repentance, an important feature of Lyssinum. Also Lyssinum does not have the important Hyoscyamus features of jealousy, suspiciousness, fear of being poisoned, and attractive
Often, the complementary remedy of Lyssinum is Lac caninum.
Physical concomitants
– Intolerance of water in any form.
– Profuse salivation.
– amel. Bending backwards.
– Craving for chocolate.
– Aversion to vegetables.
– Toothache during pregnancy.
All its physical complaints come and go in acute paroxysms which make him literally mad.
– Anger, alternating with quick repentance.
– Attack others, desire to.
– Aversion, water, to.
– Barking, growling like a dog.
– Bite, desire to.
– Cruelty.
– Cut, mutilate, slit others, desire to.
– Delusion, abused, being.
– Delusion, attack and insults, defend themselves against imaginary.
– Delusion, dog, he is, growls and barks.
– Delusion, hell, suffers the torments of, without being able to explain.
– Delusion, tormented, he is.
– Delusion, wrong, suffered, has.
– Fear, dogs, of.
– Impulse, stab his flesh with the knife he holds, to.
– Injury, frenzy causing him to injure himself.
– Kill, desire to, injure with a knife, impulse to.
– Praying.
– Sensitive, oversensitive, music, to.
– Toothache of pregnancy.
– Sneezing from dust.
Desires chocolate.
Magnesium carbonicum
Magnesium carbonicum is a sycotic remedy. This salt represents the essence of the Magnesium
group of remedies. The Magnesium feeling is that the person doesn’t get the care, protection
and nourishment that he needs. It is the state of an infant dependent on the mother for nourishment, care, security and support, but who has been abandoned by his parents. It is the feeling
of an orphan. Kent’s famous example of treating orphaned children without any results, until he
discovered Magnesium carbonicum should be read from his “Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica”.
This feeling like that of an infant, i.e. dependent for care, nourishment, security and support,
is very deep in Magnesium carbonicum. In the adult, this feeling seems so out of place that it is
not expressed at all at a conscious level; it is repressed so that the patient is unaware of what
he actually feels. These repressed emotions can be manifest in the form of a tremendous causeless anxiety, especially anxiety or fear that something will happen to the people the patient is
close to. This anxiety usually involves the person on whom he is dependent for care and nourishment, and can be so great as to cause sleeplessness. It could be acute enough to be compared
with the anxieties of remedies like Rhus toxicodendron, Stramonium, Argentum nitricum, etc.
But such an anxiety or fear is found only in some cases of Magnesium carbonicum. In most Magnesium carbonicum patients there is a total repression – they feel that they should not make any
demands on anyone, should not ask anyone for help. In this way, they may seem to be independent. They seem not to need any care from others, and in fact can be quite caring. But they
are generally only superficially friendly, and don’t make emotional contact.
I have seen such patients to have low emotional experience and to be placid. They speak in a
plain, impersonal manner – sometimes almost like a newsreader. Another aspect of Magnesium
carbonicum patients is that they can become very reserved, indisposed to talk, and develop a
very repulsive mood when they avoid people. They usually deny any sort of anxiety or tension
but they may have many physical symptoms, or pathology that comes up for no obvious reason.
For example, they may have psychosomatic conditions like ulcerative colitis or lichen planus,
though there seems to be no major tension in the patient’s life.
Their repressed emotions can also be expressed in the form of dreams and these usually give
the strongest confirmation of Magnesium. Magnesium patients have plenty of dreams. Often
these dreams are symbolic, i.e. the real meaning of the dream is not clear. There may be dreams
of houses, weddings, fruits, etc. Some of the dreams that recur in Magnesium patients are those
of falling, of water, of dead relatives and of the death of relatives.
Some Magnesium patients, I have noticed, may have dreams of dangerous situations, without
any feeling of danger in the dream. For example, they may dream that they are standing near a
flood of water but they feel nothing – they are just watching it.
Another feature of the dreams of Magnesium is that in many of these, there is a feeling of being
alone, of having to face a problem alone. Another theme is that of being left behind. Quite a few
Magnesium patients that I have treated had the dream of being left behind, alone on the railway
platform while the train departed with all their relatives in it. Among the pleasant dreams that
Magnesium patients get are those of being with people, of going on a picnic with relatives, of
meeting friends and relatives, and of being with relatives who are actually dead.
An interesting difference between Magnesium carbonicum and Magnesium muriaticum is that
while Magnesium muriaticum has dreams of being lost in a forest, i.e. outside the house, Magnesium carbonicum has dreams of being lost in his own house. This means that whereas the
Magnesium muriaticum person can find a home outside of his house if he makes the effort, the
Magnesium carbonicum situation is such that despite being in his own house he is homeless,
and no effort is going to help. This contributes to the placid feeling one gets with a Magnesium
carbonicum patient.
Conversely some Magnesium patients will say that they do not dream at all. This is also a strong
indication of Magnesium. A total absence of dreams indicates that there is a strong barrier between the concious and the subconscious parts of the mind – a very severe repression. Patients
who do not have any dreams usually have the most severe pathology. In such patients you may
see two other indications, the first is a sleeplessness without any apparent cause, the second is
an exhausted, unrefreshed feeling on waking in the morning, as if the mind had been active all
night. This latter phenomenon, may also be seen in patients who do remember their dreams.
They will say to you: “I dream so much that I am completely exhausted in the morning.” This is
an almost clear confirmation of Magnesium.
Physical symptoms
– Chilly patients, though their feet may get warm, they have to be uncovered.
– Desires: fruits, meat and vegetables; also, aversion to vegetables.
– Unrefreshing sleep, more tired on waking than on going to sleep.
– Perspiration sour smelling, leaves indelible yellow stains on clothes.
– Menses: black as pitch, indelible stains.
– Children have a tendency to develop boils recurrently and in rapid succession (Phatak’s Repertory, p. 54).
– Fear, happen, something will.
– Besides oneself, being, anxiety from.
– Sleeplessness: causeless.
– Forsaken: beloved by his parents, wife, friends, feels is not being.
– Dream : Bathing in boiling water, child is.
– Dream: Graves, being thrown into.
– Dream: Lost, home, at.
– Dream: Embarrassment.
– Desires meat.
– Desires fruits.
– Desires bread and butter.
– Sleep, unrefreshing, awakes tired.
– Children disposition to boils.
– Constipation, mental shock, nervous strain, from.
Magnesium muriaticum
Magnesium muriaticum is a sycotic remedy of the mineral kingdom. It is the salt of Magnesium
(group-II A) and Chloride (group VII A – Halogen), and combines the Magnesium theme of infantile dependence and forsakenness with the muriaticum theme of betrayal of trust and faith.
The main feeling of Magnesium muriaticum therefore is that his trust and faith in the people
he depends so much upon will be betrayed, and he will be disappointed. Magnesium muriaticum
patients depend a lot on their friends. Friends are people one can trust, and who care for you –
“a friend in need is a friend indeed”. But the Magnesium muriaticum person feels that he will
be let down and disappointed by his friends. He has the delusion of being friendless.
The coped up Magnesium muriaticum patient seems self-dependent (busy with himself), and
friendly; he can go out of his way to care for others. He will do a lot for others, but he always
has the feeling that no matter what he does for others, he will still have no friends. Although
friendly, he is very reserved. He will keep a distance from people and will not reveal his emotions
even to those closest to him, not even to his spouse. But as a friend he can be caring, trustworthy
and dependable.
The feeling that he is friendless, that there is no one whom he can trust can make him morose,
unfriendly, unsocial and repulsive. This stage is seen usually after all his efforts to gain friends
have failed. He can become nostalgic about the time when he did have someone to care for him.
He becomes taciturn, inexpressive, and answers curtly, in monosyllables. He can be irritable and
angry, but will not express his irritability and anger because of his feeling of dependence. Here
it resembles Natrum muriaticum in that both feel disappointed, betrayed, and as a result feel
irritable and angry, but none of these emotions are expressed in either remedies.
I have observed Magnesium muriaticum patients to like the company of small children and animals, they perhaps feel that these are the only creatures that will genuinely respond to their
love and will not let them down, disappoint or betray them. They often take up professions that
involve caring for and looking after small children.
As is the case with other Magnesium salts, they either have plenty of dreams or then no dreams
at all. The dreams of Magnesium muriaticum are of:
– Going astray.
– Robbers.
– Dead, of the.
– Falling into water.
– Fire.
– Lost in a forest.
– Water.
– Unsuccessful efforts, shrieking of.
They also have dreams of doing something really big for others, as for example their whole
family is in danger and they are rescuing them. They also have dreams that their relatives and
friends will go away, e.g. on a train, leaving them behind.
Physical concomitants
– Hot patients; desire for open air.
– Blackish staining menses.
– Acne before menses.
– Oily face.
– Desires vegetables: I have observed that they especially crave cauliflower or brocolli.
– Desires: sweets.
– Delusion, that he is friendless.
– Forsaken feeling.
– Company, aversion to.
– Conversation aggravates.
– Indolence, aversion to work.
– Introspection.
– Talk, indisposed to, desire to be silent, taciturn.
– Unfriendly humour.
– Delusions, sees dead persons.
– Delusions, visions of fire.
– Delusions, that he is on a journey.
– Desires vegetables.
Magnesium sulphuricum
Magnesium sulphuricum is a salt that combines Magnesium and Sulphur. Magnesium has the
feeling of infantile dependence, or of being an orphaned child. Sulphur has the theme of effort,
appearance and ego.
The Magnesium sulphuricum woman has the feeling that in order to get the support that she
needs, she has to make a big effort, do many things, appear proper, etc. She tries her best to be
accepted by others by doing things for them, making a name for herself, trying to appear good.
She feels the need for appreciation by those on whom she depends for love, care and nourishment.
One of the unique symptoms of Magnesium sulphuricum is the dream of unsuccessful efforts
to dress for a party. A party is a place where one meets others on a social basis, and in such
situations the Magnesium sulphuricum person faces the question of his acceptability and feels
that he has to look his best, or he will be rejected, forsaken. This forsaken feeling is terrible for
Magnesium sulphuricum because he feels that his entire existence depends on being accepted.
It is the situation of a girl whose elder sister is severely sick or handicapped. Right from her
childhood, this girl does not feel the love and care of her parents (all of it being directed towards
her handicapped sibling). She feels that in order to be loved by them, she has to do a lot for
them. She tries her level best, sometimes successfully, sometimes failing, before she finally gives
Magnesium sulphuricum belongs to the ringworm miasm along with Calcarea sulphurica. I have
seen these people to be quite organized and well-dressed. They give a lot of importance to their
appearance, even to small spots and blemishes on their skin. They fear that if they do not look
good enough, they will be rejected. The anxiety they feel is very much out of proportion to their
problem, and they are unable to recognize it. They are anxious about their health, and will rush
to the doctor even for trivial ailments, and insist on X-rays and other investigations; otherwise
they appear independent, efficient, conscientious and calm.
Among the general symptoms: they are hot patients and have a desire for salads and fruits.
Like other Magnesium salts, their repressed emotions are manifest in various dreams.
One of the unique dreams of Magnesium sulphuricum is that her neighbour’s house is on fire
and she is trying unsuccessfully to save them. Here we see that she has to make a lot of effort
for her neighbour.
– Content, himself, with.
– Tranquility.
– Anxiety, conscience of, as if guilty of a crime.
– Dream: Unsuccessful efforts.
– Dream: Unsuccessful efforts, theatre, to go to.
– Dream: Drowning.
– Dream: Falling into water.
– Dream: Water.
– Dream: Balls, Banquets; Dancing, Feasting, Weddings.
– Dream: Journeys, difficulty with.
– Dream: Fire.
– Dream: Dead relatives.
– Dream: Death of relatives.
– Desires salads (Synthetic Repertory, Vol. II).
Manganum-act. + -c. (old abbr.)
Manganese lies in the first line of metals of the Periodic Table along with Ferrum, Cobalt, Nickel,
Copper and Zinc. Like these other metals in the same line, its main theme is that of attack and
defence – the feeling of being attacked, and the need to defend oneself. The patient feels dominated or suppressed and wants to retaliate, but is powerless to do so. Consequently, he has to
suppress his anger and violence, and he puts up a wall, becomes embittered, hateful, revengeful. His pent up feeling give rise to a rancour, to extreme bitterness and to the deepest sadness,
that finds relief only in the saddest music. He feels so sad that only music with the same depth
of grief can touch or relieve him. On the other hand, he can become strongly defensive, start
attacking and dominating others, like Ferrum. It is a sycotic remedy.
The Manganum situation is that of a shy child of dominating parents. The child has a lack of
confidence as a result of this domination, and becomes anxious, nervous, tense, jittery and
frightened. He develops a feeling of bitterness towards his parents and is discontent with himself and with his situation. He becomes sad, reserved, taciturn, brooding. Towards his parents
he feels hatred, wants to take revenge, but he cannot. This situation is not an extreme one, as
in Aurum or Mercurius but a situation that is tolerable and so you do not find here the themes
of suicide or revolution, but rather a suppression – he becomes reserved and all his feelings are
pent up. He feels offended, feels harassed and has to defend himself. He has to be strong
enough to put up with things. So we find that the main theme of Manganum is suppression.
One case of Manganum I remember well was of a 23 year old architect who had developed
ankylosing spondylitis and arthritis, and was therefore unable to move. I have described this
case in detail in my last book “The Substance of Homoeopathy”. In brief the patient felt that his
mother was troubling him, dominating him, “imposing” on him. He could not do the things he
wanted to do. He could not speak out what he felt. He felt hatred for his mother – “She is not
my mother!” He felt revengeful towards her. His mother was extremely dominating and in the
past had been dominated by her in-laws. She kept brooding and complaining about the past.
After Manganum not only was there a remarkable improvement in his joint pains, but there was
also a change in the feeling of hatred that he had for his mother. He said: “For the first time I
am feeling that she is my mother.” He had come to terms with the feeling of being dominated
and unable to express himself, and was now able to express himself. He looked, and was, happier and didn’t regard his mother as his enemy any longer. While this patient represents the shy,
reserved, quiet, morose side of Manganum, his mother also with a history of being dominated
and unable to express her anger, represents the strongly defensive and dominating side.
– Discontented, displeased, dissatisfied with himself.
– Hatred of persons who had offended.
– Malicious.
– Reserved.
– Talk, indisposed to, desire to be silent, taciturn.
– Sadness, ameliorated from sad music.
– Music, aversion to, joyous but immediately affected by the saddest.
– Frown, disposed to.
– Morose.
– Sulky.
– Conversation aggravates.
– Embittered.
– Mildness.
– Irresolute.
– Timidity, bashful.
Medorrhinum is a nosode. It represents the heart of the sycotic miasm. The main feeling of the
sycotic miasm is: “I am OK as long as my weakness is covered up. I know my weakness is not
fatal to me, it is not the end. But if it is exposed, I will be criticized, I will lose a lot, people will
take advantage of me and my position will come down. Therefore, I must do all I can to see that
this weakness is not exposed. I may have to be overactive in the opposite direction as a result.”
The fear of being exposed in Medorrhinum is seen in its fears and anxieties. The person is clairvoyant and fears misfortune, always anticipating that something will happen. He has a presentiment of it, an internal feeling, an inexplicable sensation inside. He prophesizes disagreeable
events. He tends to be absorbed in his own thoughts and becomes absent-minded. Therefore
we find under Medorrhinum the symptom: “Loses the thread of conversation”. Also in this state
of intellect, this dreamy state, he finds that the things that he is familiar with look unfamiliar.
Sometimes because of the overactivity of his mind, his thoughts run into each other so fast that
each minute seems like an hour and time passes too slowly.
The feeling of incapacity in Medorrhinum is represented by anxiety of conscience as if he were
guilty of a crime, by fear as if someone was behind him, and a constant inner anxiety and restlessness. The latter is manifest in the physical sphere by signs such as restlessness of feet and
constant biting of nails, while the guilt feeling is evident in his need to constantly wash his hands.
On the other hand, in order to cover up his inner weakness, the Medorrhinum patient can take
the opposite stance, in that he can become quite egoistic, critical, rude, selfish, insensitive, extravagant and can act as if nothing really scares, bothers or affects him. He may speak abruptly
and gives very little away. Internally, he may be fearful of the dark, of ghosts, anxious when a
time is set, and may be very hurried and impatient. Medorrhinum persons also have a very fixed
way of doing things.
I often see the situation of Medorrhinum as that of a young prince whose father, the King, is
about to die. The prince is weak and not yet ready to face the responsibilities that lie ahead. He
is surrounded by uncles and ministers ready to take advantage of his weakness and usurp the
throne. In order to survive, the young prince has to put a very bold, egoistic, rude and aggressive
front, and not let his inner powerlessness be exposed. This situation would also help us understand the unwillingness of Medorrhinum to take up responsibilities and his non-committal
stance; he feels that if he commits and is then unable to fulfil that commitment, his weakness
will be exposed.
– Ailments from anticipation.
– Sensitive, reprimands, to.
– Fear, misfortune, of.
– Anxiety, time is set, if a.
– Hurry.
– Time, passes too slowly, appears longer.
– Washing always her hands.
– Egotism, self-esteem.
– Anxiety of conscience, as if guilty of a crime.
– Delusion, that someone is behind him.
– Fear, dark, of.
– Fear, death, of.
Phatak’s materia medica
Weak memory… Forgets names, word, her errands… Loss of thread of conversation. Cannot
speak without weeping; tells it over and over again… Sad, dismal outlook amel. weeping… Sensitive, nervous, impulsive, abrupt, rude, mean, cruel… Non commital.
Physical symptoms
– Desires ice-cream, sweet and sour, sweet and salt, salt-sweet-sour combination.
– Desires, potatoes.
– Sleep, position abdomen, on, or knee-elbow position.
– Greasy face.
– Yellowish staining sweat.
– Menses: stains difficult to wash off.
– Small, sore aphthae in the mouth, bunched together.
– Soreness feet and soles, especially in the morning (on waking), soreness of soles.
– Perspiration: foot, winter, worse during.
– Very sore mouth, ulcers on tongue and in buccal cavity, like blisters.
– Face: greasy.
– Desires ice.
– Perspiration foot, in winter.
– Restlessness, feet.
– Hair tousled.
– Clairvoyance.
– Ears, lobules: ulcers of the ring hole.
– Forgets, sentence, cannot finish.
– Hair, all over the body.
– Ideas, many, but uncertain in execution.
– Restlessness hands, clutching tightly ameliorates.
– Lying on hands and knees ameliorates.
– Sea air ameliorates.
Soles painful.
Mercurius solubilis
The metal Mercury is liquid at room temperature. In the Periodic Table it lies in the 6th period,
the last line of metals, all of which are heavy metals. Mercurius is closely related to Platinum
and Aurum. It is one of the most syphilitic remedies known.
The main feeling in Mercurius is that of being dominated, suppressed or contradicted by an
extremely dictatorial authority. The only solution in such a situation is to either get away from
or revolt against this domination. The Mercurius person feels viciously attacked from all sides.
He has the delusion that he is surrounded by enemies, that everyone around is his enemy and
he has to fight his way out. This is a desperate situation which necessitates a desperate reaction.
And so with Mercurius as with other syphilitic remedies, the accent is on destruction, either of
himself or of others. While on the one hand he feels dominated and defies authority, on the
other he can become quite dictatorial himself. I refer to Misha Norland’s article on Saddam Hussein and Mercury: “… I have to obstinately fight, even to the bitter end, even if everything in my
country is destroyed.” One of the main themes of Mercurius is violence – suicidal or homicidal.
He has the impulse to kill anyone who contradicts him. He is defiant towards authority to the
extent of killing or being killed. Mercurius is a remedy of extremes. This violence and anger is
very sudden and impulsive. In his violent rage he can kill quite easily, and the very next moment
he may be himself again, as though nothing had happened; in fact he may be quite jovial. Like a
Staphisagria person, he has trembling when angry or enraged. On the physical plane, the violence and destruction are seen in the form of ulcers, with a very foul odour, and a tendency to
Mercurius and many of its salts have a hurry, an impatience, a speed. For example these persons will often stammer because they are hasty in speech – the words simply tumble upon one
another! I have found a lot of restlessness among Mercurius children. I have also found them to
be precocious and defiant. While they can be precocious on the one hand, they can be dull and
stupid on the other.
A case of Mercurius that I remember well was that of a 15 year old boy who was brought by his
father because he was dull and not interested in his studies, or for that matter in learning anything. His father said that in infancy and early childhood, the boy had been well above average.
The problem seemed to have started when the child guidance counsellor had forced him to start
writing with his right hand, whereas the boy was naturally left-handed. After that he lost interest
in things very quickly: he was not interested in studies, current affairs, sports or games, although
I observed him to be sharp and intelligent. He was obstinate. He also had an intense fear of
examinations. Before the exam, he would be confident, but during the exam, he would just go
blank and write nothing. He had failed twice in school as a result, and said he did not think of
the consequences. He was obsessed with cars and garages, and had dreams of the same. He
also had a recurrent dream that a man who seems to resemble his father is standing on a
crowded railway platform, and there seems to be a hand stabbing him in the back. He had another dream of falling down the stairs in a college. If someone argued with him, he got angry
very fast. He did not get along with his mother. She would force him to do things and he would
throw things at her. She would ask him not to eat meat on Fridays; he would buy meat with his
pocket money and go and tell her about it so that she would start shouting at him. He liked to
watch action movies, thrillers and martial arts films. I understood that this was an intelligent
boy who became dull and stupid, and defiant when he was forced to change from his left hand
to his right. He did not like to be forced to do things. This was his sensitive point. He was quite
strong, had no fear. If he failed in school, it did not matter to him. He would defy even to the
point of destroying his own future, his life. This was the attitude outside. He had the dream of a
hand stabbing someone, probably his father, in the back, indicating the feeling of being attacked
and the desire to attack back in return. The potential in this boy was to stab and to be stabbed.
He watched action movies, martial arts films – the violent streak was there in him. This is the
syphilitic miasm, destruction. The most sensitive point about him related to contradiction. He
was contradicted, told to do the opposite of what he might have wanted to do. This gave rise to
the dream of stabbing almost every night. Deep in his subconscious was the impulse to kill the
person who contradicted him. Six to eight weeks after Mercurius 10M he reported having had
the same dream only once. His anger against his parents had reduced. His father said that he
was less sluggish and more interested in his studies. Another month later, he reported that he
dreamed that someone was threatening to attack him. I understood this to be a good sign; the
basic feeling was being connected to him and was coming up into his awareness. His father said
he was more lively, more interested in things and was doing well in exams. His obsession with
motor cars had reduced. Two years later he continues to do very well in all respects.
Physical symptoms
Among the various physical symptoms are:
– Perspiration which stains fast, leaving either yellow stains or a saltish deposit which stiffens
the linen.
– Profuse salivation during sleep.
– Ulcers and enlarged glands; destructive lesions in all parts of the body with suppuration.
– Craves : bread and butter.
– Delusion, enemy, everyone is an.
– Delusion, surrounded by enemies.
– Delusion, murdered, he will be.
– Kill, desire to, contradicts her, the person that.
– Contradict, disposition to.
– Dictatorial.
– Egotism.
– Misanthropy.
– Suicidal disposition, seeing cutting instruments, on.
– Injure himself, fears to be left alone, lest he should.
– Kill, impulse to, herself, for a slight offence.
– Delusion, mutilated bodies, sees.
– Irritability alternating with cheerfulness.
– Speech, hasty.
– Speech, unintelligible.
– Senses, dullness, of.
– Memory, weakness of, for what he has read.
– Anger, trembling with.
– Cold and heat both aggravate.
– Semen, bloody.
– Symptoms diverse, many.
Naja tripudians
Naja (prepared from the venom of the Indian cobra) has qualities common to other snake remedies – loquacity, wandering, attractive talk, malice, venom, jealousy, the feeling of two wills,
etc. Its unique feature however is its feeling of duty consciousness. In my observation, Naja
people have a certain quality of nobility about them, of morality, of responsibility. Often this
feeling is in conflict with the feeling of having suffered wrong and neglect, with intense feelings
of malice and impulse to neglect or harm the offending person. This emotional state is reflected
in the following dream that one of the provers had. The prover, a woman, dreamt that she was
staying as a paying guest in the house of an old woman. Once, around midnight, the latter asked
the prover to vacate her room immediately, without giving her any reason or explanation. In
fact she started to pick up the prover’s belongings and throw them down the stairs, almost
pushing her out in the middle of the night. In doing so, she tumbled down the flight of stairs and
broke her leg. She was shouting for help. The prover was then in a conflict between her duty
and responsibility as a doctor which prompted her to go to the aid of her landlady, and her
impulse to neglect her and make her suffer for the wrong that she had done to her. She woke
up from this dream, feeling this “split” in her mind.
The cobra in India is both revered and respected as a God, as well as feared and killed as a
poisonous snake. I have found that Naja people often threaten to strike, but don’t do it unless
provoked to the extreme. This is rather like the behaviour of a cobra who raises its hood when
approached, but doesn’t do anything if only passed by without being disturbed.
Another feature that I have seen in Naja people is a brooding and suicidal state, a feeling as if
everything had been done wrong and could not be rectified. This could happen in many situations, where there is a split between the feeling of duty and the feeling of having suffered wrong.
An example of such a situation could be that of a daughter-in-law and a tyrannical mother-inlaw, or even of a woman whose husband is having an extra marital affair. In both situations the
feeling is often one of being neglected and wronged, with much anger and malice, but at the
same time she may feel dutiful and responsible, and there is a constant conflict about this. This
can eventually lead her into a depressive state with suicidal thoughts and impulses.
Among the symptoms found repeatedly in the provers and patients are:
– Dreams of snakes, especially of black snakes, with raised hoods (unaccompanied by fear).
– In life, an intense fear of or fascination with snakes. They often refer to snakes as if talking of
– Dreams, of being pursued.
– Dreams, of flying in order to escape.
– Symptoms are often left-sided.
– The patients are often chilly and cannot tolerate cold air or draught.
– The feeling of suffocation from tight clothes is similar to Lachesis and to other snake remedies.
– The physical appearance of the face can often be like a cobra hood. The glasses that are worn
may sometimes resemble the spectacle mark of the cobra.
– In one or two patients, I have noted a tendency to play with fire.
– Also one may find an intense spiritual orientation in Naja patients.
– Clairvoyance.
– Often Naja patients have affections of the heart valves.
– Delusion, troubles, broods over imaginary.
– Sadness, wrong way, as if having done everything, in a.
– Sadness, suicidal disposition, with.
– Suicidal disposition, axe, with an.
– Delusion, injured, is being, head.
– Delusion, injured, is being, surroundings, by his.
– Delusion, neglected, he is.
– Delusion, superhuman control, is under.
– Will: two wills, feels as if he had.
– Will, loss of.
– Wrong, everything seems.
– Delusion, has suffered wrong.
Complaints brood over imaginary.
Natrium carbonicum
Natrum carbonicum is a salt belonging to the psoric miasm. In the Natrum element, we see a
marked desire to form and maintain a relationship, especially on a one to one level. The Natrum
carbonicum woman needs just one relationship and is very dependent on this one relationship,
without which she feels tremendous fear, sadness and a sense of isolation. This is brought out
best in the delusion of Natrum carbonicum: “Delusion, division between himself and others”. It
is this tremendous need for and dependence on the relationship, that makes them very vulnerable to hurt. Natrum therefore develops a fear of people and tries to avoid contact. While on
one hand she tries to avoid company, she also dreads being alone: “Company, averse to, yet
dreads being alone”. The theme of the Carbonates is that of fear of death with a need for a vital
reaction in order to survive, as suggested by the rubric: “Starting from fright”.
Thus the main theme of Natrum carbonicum is of a vital reaction needed by a person who is
alone, i.e. without a relationship on a one to one level with another human being. His forsaken
lonely feeling gives rise to the two basic feelings of Natrum carbonicum, which are ennui (boredom) and apprehension (anxiety). The ennui produces a melancholic, sad, despondent mood
and the anxiety is with regard to the future.
Natrum carbonicum is very sensitive, especially to separation from the beloved and to the
breaking of relationships. When the beloved is not there or has gone away, the patients show
great sadness, reacting to sad music, especially that from the piano. They desire to make contact
but have been unsuccessful in forming relationships and blame themselves for it (“Delusion, he
cannot succeed, does everything wrong”). They become estranged from their family and friends
and bear their grief silently, feeling forsaken.
The Natrum carbonicum woman feels like an outcast and is always at the receiving end of abuse
(offended easily). She feels that society has ganged up in order to pursue her, making her feel
she is abnormal and not a part of the group. Natrum carbonicum people can have a severe inferiority complex, especially in the sphere of forming relationships – they may feel unworthy of
love or of any relationship. I have found in Natrum carbonicum a history of disturbed relationship with one of the parents, especially being forsaken or neglected by father or mother. A
woman may give the history of having being neglected by her father in childhood. She then
develops a fear of people and a sensitivity to certain people. She reacts to this kind of behaviour
with quarrelsomeness, anxiety and courage. She becomes suspicious, violent, indignant, heedless, imagining herself to be sick and seeing no hope in her “no win” situation (therefore inconsolable). She becomes sad and weeps, and in extreme cases can become indifferent and suicidal.
In this “no win” situation there is anxiety about future. She is confused and this confusion gets
worse by dwelling on the problem. There is dullness, prostration of mind, indifference, discouragement and despair. At such times she will avoid the sight of even her intimate friends. However she may turn to a sympathizer for support, in the form of being magnetized (suggestions).
As she feels more and more isolated, alone, she becomes avaricious, developing a fear of robbers. All this naturally keeps her in a discontented, uncomfortable and sad state.
There is also the vital fear seen in:
– Starting at the slightest noise.
– Fear of all mankind.
– Fear of thunderstorms.
– Fear, constant, of everything.
It is interesting to note that Natrum carbonicum does not have any fear or delusions of animals.
She is only afraid of people. Natrum carbonicum is afraid of the human quality of forming a
group and casting people out, if they don’t fit into the expected norms of the group.
Natrum carbonicum people are normally quite independent and self-sufficient, living their lives
alone, though having good contact with others. They are sociable and can be loquacious and
vivacious. I have found them to be organized, sincere, honest, straightforward, non-manipulative people, with strong principles. They can be resolute, persevering, self-possessed and courageous (Allen’s Encylopaedia). They are very responsive to music, sensitive and refined. They
are sympathetic and help others; sensitive especially to the suffering of people who are lonely
and forsaken by society, for example with beggars. They can fight for others. On the other hand
they can be quite quarrelsome, pugnacious.
The dreams of Natrum carbonicum include dreams of danger, of robbers, of murder, of corpse,
of water and flood, while the pleasant dreams are of marrying two women, of parties and entertainment. The pleasant dreams show that the patient is setting up relationships and having
good contact with society, whereas the anxious dreams show fear of death and fear associated
with being lonely.
Physical symptoms
– Chilly, but heat of sun aggravates.
– Feeling of tremendous coldness – icy coldness especially of hands and fingers.
– Heaviness of eyelids.
– Temporal headaches.
– Aversion to husband.
– Aversion to members of family.
– Cheerful, gay, happy.
– Company, aversion to, yet dreads to be alone content.
– Delusion, division between himself and others.
– Delusion, wedding, of.
– Estranged from family.
– Estranged from friends.
– Fear of misfortune.
– Fear of thunderstorm.
– Forsaken feeling.
– Indifference when in society.
– Joy, ailments from, excessive.
– Misanthropy.
– Sadness, aversion to company, desire for solitude.
– Sympathetic.
– Tranquility.
Raga Yaman produces the feeling of Natrum carbonicum. During a proving at my seminar in
Bombay the main themes that came up after playing the Raga were of solitude, being alone in
the world, division between oneself and others, being in a world of one’s own, a solitude without
fears, a lofty feeling as if looking at a city below, a feeling of gaiety and mirth, contentment and
tranquility, anxiety for others, sympathy. Also on the other hand, sadness like that which is felt
on departure of near and dear ones (wedding ceremony), the beloved is going away and his wife
is telling him not to go away, pacifying loved ones, as if waiting for someone, being neglected
by friends, of seeing something black, fearful darkness. A desire to be at mother’s breast.
Natrium muriaticum
Natrum muriaticum is a sycotic remedy. It is a mineral – a salt – and it has the elements Natrum
with belongs to group IA and Chlorine (Halogen group).
The main feeling of Natrum muriaticum is that she will be let down or betrayed or disappointed
by the person her trust depends on, or by the one she loves. The relationship she seeks is not
one of dependence like Calcarea or Magnesium but of friendship or romance, a relation on a
one to one basis.
The betrayal that she feels is the betrayal of her trust or faith. She has a fear of being emotionally hurt or disappointed and hence is reserved, unapproachable. At the same time, there is a
tremendous insecurity with a fear of being alone and a fear of robbers (Natrum carbonicum).
She believes that there is something wrong with her – either she is not good enough, not good
looking enough (“Delusion, she looks wretched when looking in mirror”) or that she has not
done enough, and this is why the other person will disappear or leave her. This makes her do
her best to be nurturing and caring, makes her go out of her way for others. But when hurt, she
withdraws completely; there is great sadness (“Silent grief”, “Weeping when alone”) with aversion to consolation. There is a bitterness, tremendous anger, irritability, hatred and malice. She
dwells on past disagreeable occurrences, is unable to forget them (“Revengeful”). An idea clings,
prevents sleep and inspires revenge. She becomes averse to company, shut off from people
(“Averse to the opposite sex, to her husband”). This again alternates with a desire for company
or relationship. Thus we find contradictory symptoms in Natrum muriaticum people. In order to
avoid the disappointment they enter into a relationship where, from the very beginning, there
is no expectation of total commitment (like falling in love with a married man/servant) – silent,
one-sided love. The Natrum muriaticum woman has fallen in love with someone and it is this
one person she will love and hate. All that matters is how he treats her. Her entire mood depends on this. Having been hurt she blames herself as much as she blames the other person and
her feelings often alternate between these two.
She cares so much for this one relationship, that at times she finds it frightening and may even
behave as if it means nothing to her. She doesn’t want to be hurt.
As with other remedies of the mineral kingdom, Natrum muriaticum patients are very organized. They are independent and dependable. They care a lot about structures like the house,
relationships, date and timings. I have observed that many of them like music, especially the
sad, sentimental type. They are also fond of novels and other literature based on relationships.
I have found that these patients usually relate a history of big problems or quarrels with their
parents. There is almost always a history of disappointment in love. Tremendous grief after the
death of someone dear.
There is a certain reservedness about them which makes them want to express themselves
through art, but there is an organization to their art – it is structured, there is no free flow. They
put up a wall of unapproachability but are externally cheerful. It is difficult to get them to express their real feelings but when they “break” a little, they can get sentimental and there may
be a flood of grief.
Sepia comes close to Natrum muriaticum. Both have the theme of disappointment, both have
the theme of the body being disfigured. But the main contradiction of Natrum muriaticum is not
between relationship and occupation as seen in Sepia, but between making and breaking the
relationship. Therefore there is no contradiction of will in Natrum muriaticum – the whole theme
is of the relationship and not like Sepia, two separate themes of occupation and relationship.
Thus Sepia, the animal, is larger of which Natrum muriaticum, the mineral, is a part. Natrum
muriaticum is a two-sided salt, like a coin.
Since it has the theme of investing everything in one person or one relationship, Natrum muriaticum likes to dwell on grief and nourishes grief. If this grief is “new” or fresh in mind (even
though several years may have passed) the patient will need Ignatia; when it is “old” has become
a scar, provoked only when touched or prodded (even though it might be just a few days after
the incident) Natrum muriaticum will have to be given. Ignatia is the “acute” of Natrum muriaticum.
In terms of Indian classical music Raga Bhairavi carries there a theme of separation or quarrel
with the loved one, especially in a man-woman relationship, hence this Raga is closest to Natrum
muriaticum with its “disappointment in love” and the bitter-sweet memories associated with it.
Physical concomitants
– Hot patient.
– agg. Heat of the sun.
– Emaciation about the neck.
– Crack in the middle of lower lip, especially in cold weather.
– Desires salt.
– Increased thirst.
– Salty sediment in perspiration.
– Headache from exposure to sun.
– Mapped tongue.
– Much trouble around the menstrual period.
– Ailments from disappointment, old.
– Ailments from grief.
– Ailments from love disappointed.
– Anger, consoled, when.
– Anger, talk, indisposed to.
– Anxiety, alternating with indifference.
– Company, aversion to, presence of other people aggravates the symptom, desire for solitude.
– Delusion, thieves, sees, house, in.
– Delusion, wretched, she looks (when looking in a mirror).
– Dwells on past disagreeable occurrence, recalls disagreeable memories.
– Grief, cry, cannot.
– Grief, silent.
– Hatred, persons who had offended him, of.
– Love, married man, with.
– Sensitive, music, to.
– Shameless in bed.
– Desires bitter.
Natrium sulphuricum
It is a mineral remedy and it belongs to the sycotic miasm. Its main feeling is: “I am scorned,
disgraced, insulted or not appreciated by the person with whom I have (or seek) a relationship
and I must make a great effort to gain appreciation or to be valued by the other person.”
This is seen clearly in the following dreams (Allen’s Encyclopedia):
– Vexatious dream that a young gentleman of her acquaintance slighted her.
– Dream that he was very much hurt and provoked because he had been insulted.
– Dream that insults had excited him so much that he began to fight.
In order to be appreciated and recognized by others in a relationship, Natrum sulphuricum persons can be industrious, caring, responsible, helpful and can be confided in. They like to be independent, and have a marked sense of pride. But since they make a lot of effort to maintain
the relationship, they can be dominated or suppressed, taken advantage of, or scorned. Though
they resent this internally, they are so dependent on the relationship that they allow themselves
to be made use of and treated badly, all the while feeling not too good about themselves, unworthy. This can make them quite irritable and angry. But this irritability does not last long and
is followed by guilt and remorse, which alternates with a feeling of indignation and hurt pride.
When the relationship is not successful, they go into a stage of deep sadness and become melancholic, which is usually unexpressed and internal. In this stage they have suicidal thoughts
(“Sadness, with suicidal disposition”). They have no wish to live. “Fear of being left alone, lest
he should injure himself”: this symptom shows that the Natrum sulphuricum person is scared of
such an impulse, is very weak-willed and fears he may not be able to control himself. He has to
use all his power in order to control that impulse. This gives us the features of anxiety, timidity,
irresolution and want of self-confidence seen in Natrum sulphuricum. Also there is fear of suicidal impulses.
Natrum sulphuricum patients feel that nothing ever works: “Succeeds never”. They can be quarrelsome (Dreams of fighting). There are strong feelings of responsibility and guilt, and it is these
features that make of this remedy a leading sycotic remedy.
Physical symptoms
– Hot patient.
– Wet weather agg..
– Asthma in early morning.
– Desire for ice-cold water.
– Sudden diarrhoea in the morning.
– Itching when undressing, especially of the toes as soon as he removes his socks in the evening
(“Itching of toes, evening, when undressing”).
– Fear, suicide, of.
– Injure himself, fear to be left alone, lest he should.
– Injure, shooting himself from satiety, must use self-control to prevent.
– Spoken to, averse to being.
– Estranged from her family.
– Estranged from his wife.
– Sensitive, oversensitive to music.
– Succeeds never.
– Diarrhoea, morning, after rising and moving about.
Niccolum-met. + -c. (old abbr.)
Niccolum belongs to the first line of metals in the Periodic Table, along with manganese, iron,
cobalt, copper and zinc. The remedies in this line (or period) have a lot to do with attack and
defense, and also with performance, but to a much lesser degree than do the heavy metals. Also
common to all of them is the feeling of having committed a crime and the theme of policemen.
Niccolum lies in the same group with Platinum and Palladium, and shares with these two the
qualities of egotism and superiority. When the two factors of attack and defense are combined
with superiority, there emerges the feeling that he is superior to others and must come to their
rescue and defense. I have seen in the proving and in Niccolum patients, the strong need to fight
for others and to protect others from wrong, from antisocial elements, to fight like the policeman or defender of the community. The sense of duty and ego are both exhibited in Niccolum.
They are disposed to contradict, but are themselves intolerant of contradiction. They are antiauthority, self-confident people and have a certain hardness about them.
During the proving of Niccolum, there emerged a recurring theme of policemen, specially the
need for all of us to become like policemen and protect the interests of the weaker sections of
society. A dream that I remember having had myself during the proving of Niccolum is of riding
in a taxi-cab and realizing that the driver has manipulated the fare-meter in such a way that it is
going too fast. When I point it out to him, he corrects it, but I think that this man might do the
same to the next passenger, and hence my duty is to take him to the police. I stop at the police
station and ask the officer to apprehend this taxi driver. The policeman accompanies me in plain
clothes and gives me a rope, asking me to overpower and tie up the hands of the taxi driver, and
hand him over. I know it entails risk, and some violence, but I feel I have to do it. This dream for
me symbolizes the feeling of Niccolum that each of us has to develop this quality of being vigilant
and of fighting against thieves and wrongdoers. In sum, Niccolum feels he has to acquire the
qualities of a policeman.
Physical symptoms
Among the physical symptoms which I have verified are:
– Head, heaviness in the morning after waking, better by rising.
– Sharp, neuralgic, shooting pains which radiate from one spot, and are brought on by touch.
– Contradiction, intolerant of.
– Contradict, disposition to.
– Malicious.
– Quarrelsome.
– Loquacity.
– Parts of the body – teeth falling out.
– Falling from a height.
– Fights.
– Quarrels.
Nitricum acidum
Nitricum acidum is a remedy of the cancer miasm.
The theme of the Nitrates is the feeling of sudden death and danger. This is seen in Argentum
nitricum which has the theme of performance (Argentum) in a critical situation (Nitricum).
The theme of Nitricum acidum is a constant feeling of threat. This threat is perceived in several
spheres: health, work, relationships, and so on. Like other acids there is also the theme of a lot
of effort, a lot of activity, followed by exhaustion. In Nitricum acidum this effort is directed at
fighting off the constant threat or danger that they perceive. The effort takes the form of a hard,
obstinate struggle carried on with an unforgiving, violent, malicious attitude and an internalized
cold anger. It is a desperate, almost superhuman struggle for survival. They are tremendously
suspicious, mistrustful, see danger everywhere and are ever ready to strike back. For example
Nitricum acidum has a tremendous anxiety about health. They feel that anything could go wrong
with their health at any time. Therefore they are on guard against any possible disease. They
see danger from disease not only to themselves but to others as well. This can be seen from the
symptoms: “Sympathetic, cares for others”, “Ailments from night watching”. There is a great
fear of death. The theme of danger is also seen in the delusions: “Delusions about criminals”,
“Delusion, figures, sees”.
The situation of Nitricum acidum is that of a person who is fighting a long, hard court-battle, or
who is involved in a long standing feud with someone who has harmed him. He survives by being
hateful, malicious, hard and unforgiving towards the enemy. It is a desperate struggle. He cannot afford to make any mistake, and for survival strives for perfection; it is therefore a remedy
of the cancer miasm. He is hard and unforgiving towards his enemy but is sympathetic towards
his supporters, because he requires their support for his battle. He cares a lot for his supporters
and friends, and can do anything for them. If he is your friend, he can be your best friend, but if
he is your enemy he will be your worst enemy – a combination of both cruelty and sympathy.
I have observed Nitricum acidum persons to be very reserved and usually even the marked
symptoms like “Anxiety about health”, “Malice”, and their unforgiving nature (“Hatred”, “Unmoved by apologies”, etc.) have often to be elicited by direct questioning. In some of these
patients I have seen a very strong look in the eyes, a look which seemed almost cruel and unfeeling.
Physical symptoms
– Chilly patients.
– Crave butter, fat, fried things, spicy food.
– Deep crack in the centre of the tongue.
– Fissure in ano.
– Tendency to renal calculi.
– Cracks in the skin.
– Warts on external throat, nape of neck or eyelids.
– Worse when half asleep.
– Delusion, lawsuit, being engaged in a.
– Delusion, criminals, about.
– Delusion, die, he was about to.
– Delusion, figures, sees.
– Delusion, sick, being.
– Hatred of persons who have offended, unmoved by apologies.
– Anger, violent.
– Anxiety, health, about.
– Dwells on past disagreeable occurrences.
– Malicious.
– Misanthropy.
– Suspicious.
– Sympathy, compassion.
– Anxiety, from night watching.
– Anger, trembling with.
– Warts on the face.
– Tongue, cracked in all directions.
– Ulcers, mouth, painful.
– Ulcers, mouth, on the edges of the tongue.
– Pain, rectum, after stool.
– Urine, sediment, oxalate of lime.
– Half asleep when, aggravates.
Nux vomica
Nux vomica is a remedy of the plant kingdom, and of the psoric miasm. It is a well-known remedy, its main expressions being hard, zealous, ambitious, impatient. Nux vomica is a person who
gets his thing done by hook or by crook, and who is quite hopeful about getting it done.
He is a hard task master. He is an irritable, passionate person, and very fastidious. If anything
bothers him, he must get it out of the way. For example when he is constipated, he strains and
strains till the stool is out, otherwise he gets no relief; he is ameliorated after passing stool.
Naturally, he is not a very patient person. He can be jealous. He is malicious and, when angry,
expresses himself without much inhibition; in a way, he is like a person who has drunk alcohol.
“Insanity of drunkards” is the rubric that explains the Nux vomica state quite well. Nux vomica
craves for alcohol and for all forms of stimulants, and may also be addicted to laxatives. Nux
vomica also has anger when obliged to answer.
Once a colleague of mine pointed out a couple of rubrics of Nux vomica: “Delusion, bed, evening, someone gets into and no room in it” and “Delusion, bed, someone had sold it”. The impatience, which Nux vomica shows in getting what he wants, can be as if he is trying to get his bed
back, the place of his security and repose. He seeks this security and repose; he wants it and he
wants it fast. Unless he is a go-getter, he will be finished in this world of competition; his bed is
going to get occupied by someone else. This is how Nux vomica sees the world.
Nux vomica is complementary to Lycopodium and Sulphur.
In some aspects Lycopodium resembles Nux vomica with the irritability, impatience and a dictatorial nature. These two remedies may come close but the main difference is that Nux vomica
is not cowardly inside; he is more rash and audacious, more forceful and expressive, more impulsive and explosive. From a young age we can see this difference. Lycopodium has a shy, introverted childhood, while Nux vomica in childhood is daring and mischievous.
In adulthood, when given a job, Nux vomica will do it by “hook or crook”, breaking through all
obstacles in his way, like a road-roller. He can often get violent. Lycopodium is indeed not so
ardent and daring. He weighs each step and does not rush into things. If the obstacle is big, he
hesitates and may even withdraw.
Nux vomica may sometimes follow Sulphur and vice-versa. They are opposite states: Nux vomica is so clean and Sulphur so dirty; Nux vomica is so chilly, Sulphur so hot; Nux vomica is ardent,
vehement and Sulphur is lazy and careless. Hence they are complementary.
Lachesis, Apis, Hyoscyamus and Nux vomica are among the most jealous remedies of our Materia Medica. Apis is busy and restless, Lachesis is sarcastic, Hyoscyamus shameless and foolish,
whereas Nux vomica is quarrelsome along with being jealous.
Chamomilla and Nux vomica are very similar and are inimical remedies. Both are so sensitive,
violent and intolerant of pain that one can easily mistake the two remedies.
Nux vomica is the acute of Sepia, being also concerned with occupation and business, with tremendous irritability and like Sepia being chilly, constipated, etc. Sepia has two separate themes
of relationship and occupation and there is a conflict between these two. In a very acute situation of business failure, a Sepia person may need Nux vomica.
Nux vomica is complementary to Ignatia which in turn is the acute of Natrum muriaticum, which
is complementary to Sepia.
Nux vomica – Ignatia
Sepia – Natrum muriaticum
Physical concomitants
– Perspiration, upper lip.
– Desires fats, spices which agg. him. Desires meat.
– Digestive disturbance from slightest irregularity.
– Sleeplessness – from 3:00 – 5:00 a.m.
– Abusive, drunkenness, during.
– Ailments from business failure.
– Ardent.
– Businessman, worn out.
– Delusion, bed, evening, someone get into and no room in it.
– Delusion, bed, someone has sold it.
– Envy.
– Insanity, drunkenness, in.
– Jealousy.
– Malicious, spiteful, vindictive.
– Fear of poverty.
– Quiet, desires repose and tranquility.
– Besides oneself.
– Irritable when questioned.
– Quiet ameliorates.
– Reproaches others.
– Short sleep ameliorates.
– Zealous.
Palladium metallicum
Palladium is a metal. In the Periodic Table it is placed in the second line of metals, and it is next
to Argentum. The remedies in this line are concerned with show. Also, it is placed above Platina.
It is a sycotic remedy.
The main feeling in Palladium is that if she does not earn the good opinion of others, she will
be neglected and forsaken. These persons lay a great emphasis on what other persons think of
them, and so they always try to get good opinion of others. If they do not succeed in this, they
feel insulted (“Delusion, appreciated, he is not”), and neglected. “Delusion, neglected, he is” is
a very strong feature of Palladium and it reminds one of the Argentum nitricum feeling: “Delusion, despised, he is” or “Forsaken feeling, sensation of isolation”. Palladium persons feel that if
they do not do well enough, they will be neglected, they will not be wanted, and so this deserted, forsaken feeling becomes strong. They therefore always need to do something in order
to win the appreciation of other people. On seeing a Palladium patient one is inclined to think:
“What a nice person she is, how good she looks, how nicely she talks, how well she manages,
how well she works…”
In the case of Palladium her feeling of well-being is subject to having the good opinion of others,
unlike Silicea who wants for others to have a specific, fixed, definite opinion of himself.
Palladium people sit with an air of tremendous authority, yet there is a niceness even in this.
They are strong-willed, yet appear friendly (“Obstinate, tries to appear amiable”). They can be
quite egoistic, although they do not show it so directly.
– Flattery, desires.
– Longing for good opinion of others.
– Delusion, she is not appreciated.
– Delusion, forsaken.
– Haughty, wounded, wishes to be flattered.
– Delusion, insulted, he is.
– Delusion, neglected, he is.
– Delusion, tall, walking, had grown, while.
– Obstinate, amiable, tries to appear.
– Offended, easily.
Paris quadrifolia
Paris quadrifolia is a plant that has an isolated bud with four leaves. It is called “one berry”. One
could correlate the appearance of the isolated bud on the top with the isolated feeling in Paris
– feels solitary.
Paris is the situation of an only child in the family. Everybody else is an adult and they are all
very busy and involved in their own work. They talk strange things which he cannot understand.
Thus, he feels isolated. He gets all his basic necessities like food, toys, etc., but does not get any
attention – not so much in the sense of love and care but in the sense of importance and entertainment; he has no playmate. Nobody really talks with him for long or plays with him. He is
always attended to, pampered and spoiled but has to spend a lot of time alone. As a result, he
often talks to himself.
This lonely child seeks to attract attention by his silly behaviour. When all the adults are sitting
and talking amongst themselves, he goes and speaks in a foolish, funny, ludicrous and egoistic
way, quite like a clown, so that everybody laughs at him. Everybody knows he is joking. For
example he will say: “I put my hand in the lions mouth and then held his tail and turned him
upside down.” He is attention seeking in a quite childish and foolish way, but is quite happy with
his own talk.
An adult in the Paris state feels inferior, so he talks in a way that will be egoistic but foolish in
order to attract attention. He can also be contemptuous, censorious, haughty.
– Ailments from scorn, being scorned.
– Cheerful and foolish.
– Childish behaviour.
– Delusion, places strange and solitary, at night, finding himself in.
– Egotism, speaking about themselves in company, always.
– Foolish behaviour.
– Frivolous.
– Gossiping.
– Haughty.
– Loquacity, cheerful, exuberant.
– Loquacity, foolish.
– Loquacity, self-satisfied.
– Loquacity, vivacious.
– Speech, foolish.
– Speech, wandering.
– Talking, pleasure in his own.
The rubrics seem very similar to those of Hyoscyamus, but while Paris is not suspicious, Hyoscyamus does not have this “left-out” feeling.
Phosphoricum acidum
Phosphoricum acidum belongs to the sycotic miasm. The main theme of an acid is struggle followed by collapse: exertion and exhaustion. The theme of struggle and collapse is clearly expressed in certain symptoms common to all the acids: hurry, industry, the feeling that their efforts are unsuccessful, fear of failure, and also fatigue, indolence and indifference. The main
feeling of Phosphorus is of being unloved and uncared for, to which he reacts by being affectionate, friendly and sympathetic in the hope that his love and care will be reciprocated.
Thus the main feeling of Phosphoricum acidum is: “I must constantly care for others in order to
be loved or accepted.” We see in Phosphoricum acidum a lot of effort in this direction. There is
increased activity and hurry along with his caring for others. But when he has put in too much
effort and does not achieve what he had wanted to, he begins to get quarrelsome, later becoming dull, sluggish, indifferent, or quiet and brooding. The factors that result in such a state are
(Ailments from) grief, care, disappointment, death of a child, i.e. despite all his love and caring,
when he is disappointed by those he cared for he becomes tired and apathetic. Phatak describes
in his Materia Medica: “Apathetic from unequal struggling with adverse circumstances, mental
and physical.” The words “unequal struggle” reflects the feeling of most acids; it is characteristic
to this group of remedies.
In Phosphoricum acidum, the mental state is one of sleepiness, brooding, aversion to business,
indifference, hopelessness and despair. Correspondingly in the body there is weakness, lack of
energy and disposition to lie down.
The situation of Phosphoricum acidum is that of a man who has made an effort to climb a
mountain and has become so tired that he doubts his capacity to climb further. He is a person
who tries, but the mountain seems a tough task for him. He feels like taking rest by lying down.
He is totally exhausted. He has no energy left so he sits, sad and brooding about this unattainable goal.
Ignatia is complementary to Phosphoricum acidum. When a young oversensitive woman finds
that time and again her hopes have been belied, she may finally get into a state where there is
no use trying. She needs to become insensitive and apathetic, because at this point her sensitivity is of no use – even her hysteria is of no use – this insensitive state (indifference) is the state
of Phosphoricum acidum.
– Brooding, condition, over one’s.
– Brooding, disappointment, over.
– Brooding, disease, over his.
– Business, averse to.
– Cares, worries, full of.
– Indifference, everything, to.
– Quiet disposition.
– Speech, monosyllabic.
– Desires juicy things.
– Unequal struggling.
– Growth in limbs, too fast.
– Homesick.
– Irritable when questioned.
– Short sleep ameliorates.
Phosphorus lies in Group V of the Periodic Table, next to Silica and Sulphur, and is closely allied
to these two remedies. It is a tubercular remedy.
The main feeling of Phosphorus is of being unloved and uncared for, to which the patient reacts
by being affectionate, friendly and sympathetic in the hope that this love and care will be reciprocated (“Affectionate, returns affection”). He must be sensitive to the feelings of others to win
their affection. The effort of Phosphorus therefore is in the direction of caring for others, being
sympathetic to them.
Phosphorus has wide ranging sensitivity and reactivity. He is sensitive to all emotions – anger,
fear and grief, and has the unique symptom: “Hot flushes from excitement”. He feels alone and
hence very vulnerable to environmental and emotional factors. Hence, we have:
– Fear, of the thunderstorm;
– Delusion, choked by forms, being;
– Ailments from grief;
– Ailments from disappointed love.
Phosphorus is a vital constituent of all living beings. The Phosphorus patient can be very animated, often resembling patients of an animal remedy. The sensitivity and reactivity in humans
is manifested by the sympathetic attitude: sensitivity to the suffering of others, and the desire
to give and receive love. It is this sensitivity and reactivity that allows man to make contact,
establish relationships and to find his place in the world.
My experience with Phosphorus people is that they are very sensitive to those around them.
They tend to attract attention towards themselves, either by their appearance (if you examine
the typical Phosphorus constitution you find that he is lean, fair with long curved eyelashes and
a graceful walk, a physically attractive person), manner of speaking, or the warmth they show.
It is difficult to ignore a Phosphorus person. Yet behind this sensitivity is lurking the feeling that
they are not getting enough attention, care and love. This creates an insecurity in Phosphorus
which makes the person seek more company, more friends, etc. He tries to get the love he
misses. He can do this by caring a lot for others, being helpful to others and going out of his way
for them. Phosphorus can make friends very easily.
The situational Materia Medica of Phosphorus is of a child who does not get attention and love
from the people in his house and therefore makes a lot of friends outside in order to fulfill this
need. Though he may have a lot of friends, yet Phosphorus is often unable to make close intimate friends and most of his relationships are at quite a superficial level.
They are very emotional, very loving, affectionate, sympathetic, caring. At the same time they
can be very easily excited, very anxious, fearful, clairvoyant and restless. In the intellectual
sphere, we find the increased activity expressed as: “Ideas abundant, clearness of mind”,
“Memory, active”, “Industrious”, “Senses acute”. On the other hand we may find indifference,
apathy, deficiency of ideas, weakness of memory, indolence and dullness of senses. This represents the collapsed or failed side of the remedy.
Phosphorus has “Delusion, island, is on a distant”. Such a feeling creates a strong desire for
company. This may be followed by a tiredness or weakness. There is an intense need to get out
of his home – the place of his isolation – where he doesn’t find any love or care.
One can recognize the tubercular miasm in Phosphorus; high energy with emaciation and weakness. And Phosphorus is also an important remedy for tuberculosis.
Clairvoyance in Phosphorus is generally expressed as a feeling of tremendous intimacy. They
may say: “I knew as soon as I walked into the room, there was vibration between us, though we
had never met each other before.” There is a desire to be magnetized and the magnetic waves
can travel. Another way in which the clairvoyance of Phosphorus is expressed is in the anxiety
the patient feels for the other person. One of my colleagues for whom I prescribed Phosphorus
had the feeling, three times, that his father was having a heart attack and each time within one
hour of getting this feeling he received a phone call telling him that his father indeed had had a
heart attack. This kind of feeling for another person is very typical of Phosphorus.
Causticum and Nitricum acidum are also sympathetic remedies. But there is a kind of selfishness
behind the sympathy of these two. They stand to gain by their sympathy whereas Phosphorus
is genuinely sympathetic.
Causticum is sympathetic in the sense that he is anxious for others, but Phosphorus feels the
anxiety of others. In Causticum if her child goes out and gets a little late, even though the child
is enjoying itself, the mother feels worried. Phosphorus is not so. Phosphorus feels anxiety of
others: when the other person is anxious, Phosphorus feels it.
Nitricum acidum is sympathetic conditionally. As long as you are his friend, he will be sympathetic towards you. But the moment you offend him, he will want to kill you. So his is not a
genuine sympathy.
– Affectionate, returns affection.
– Amativeness.
– Children, watchful, who are on the lookout for every gesture.
– Clairvoyance.
– Delusion, choked by forms, being.
– Delusion, island, is on a distant.
– Estranged from her family.
– Fear, thunderstorm, of.
– Indifference, loved ones, to.
– Appetite, increased during fever.
– Desires ice-cream.
– Growth, too fast.
Picricum acidum
Picricum acidum is a remedy of the mineral kingdom. The main theme of an acid is struggle
followed by collapse; exertion and exhaustion. The struggle is constant. It is an effort that, the
person feels, has to be made in a particular direction. At some point in this constant struggle,
the patient is so exhausted that a small setback like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s
back, leads to a state of collapse.
In Picricum acidum we see a tremendous effort in the direction of intellectual achievement. The
main delusions in Picricum acidum are: “Delusion, arms reach the cloud when going to sleep”,
“Delusion, tongue seems to reach the clouds when going to sleep” and in the original proving
we have “Forehead seems to extend towards the clouds”. What do these delusions represent?
The forehead is for thinking, the hand is for writing and the tongue is for speaking. These are
the three organs of intellectual activity and they feel stretched to the limit, extended right up to
the clouds.
Thus the main feeling in Picricum acidum is: “I feel that my intellectual capacity and organs used
to express it are stretched far beyond their limits. So I now need to rest and bring them back to
The situation of Picricum acidum is one where a man has extended his intellect beyond his limit,
has used these organs beyond their limit so that they are stretched beyond the clouds and now
he needs to shut up, cut off and take rest. To help him do this, he gets increased sexual thoughts;
the opposite to the intellectual activity.
Thus in the failed state of Picricum acidum we see dullness, sluggishness, inability to think long,
mental work becomes impossible. Such a state is reached usually in a person who had made a
tremendous mental effort and is now exhausted – brain-fatigue. This may be seen, for example,
in students preparing for highly competitive exams.
Other rubrics
– Concentration difficult, studying, reading, etc., while.
– Dullness, think long, unable to.
– Lascivious.
– Prostration of mind, writing, after.
– Work, aversion to, mental.
– Fear, examination, of (Phatak’s Repertory).
Platinum metallicum
Platinum is a heavy metal, placed in the last line (period) of metals in the Periodic Table between Iridium and Aurum, and below Palladium. It belongs to the syphilitic miasm.
The Platinum feeling is of being humiliated, of being crushed down utterly, as if by some huge
power. The Platinum woman has the feeling of being very small, of having to grow really large
in order to survive. She believes that this growth depends upon her performance and she pushes
herself to reach great heights. The expectation felt by Platinum is to be something special – a
level of performance much above normal: “Ailments from deceived ambition”, “Delusion, that
she is noble”.
Aurum is the “King”, with his high sense of duty and responsibility. Platinum is the “Queen” –
she must carry herself regally, show herself superior. Everything about her is rare, valuable,
spiritual, intellectual. Now she feels big inside. At the same time, being so special and rare, she
feels left out in a world of ordinary people – she cannot mix or mingle with them. She cannot
form relationships with other people just as the noble metal platinum cannot easily form a compound. So there is a feeling of loneliness, of isolation – a feeling of being the “Queen”, yet of
being alone.
There is also the side of Platinum that puts down and holds in contempt everything that is ordinary. She feels she is intellectual and is contemptuous about the instinctive part of man which
includes greed, anger, jealousy, sexuality. She is unable to integrate the intellectual with the
instinctive: she is noble and therefore above the instinctive. But since both are definitely present, the instinctive side emerges as sexuality, which is an important part of Platinum: “Mental
symptoms alternate with sexual symptoms”. Often performance in Platinum is to be expressed
through sexuality. The patients can use this aspect to have things their way. Platinum is the
“Queen”, the power behind the throne. Her power depends on flaunting her superiority over
others. Platinum has the fear that something will happen to her husband and he will never return – or that he will neglect her. Much of the performance and superiority in Platinum has to
do with attractiveness to the male.
She feels that unless she proves her nobility and greatness, people will not come to her and she
will be alone. At the same time, she feels superior and feels there is no place for her in the world.
She is rare. She does not belong to her family. She can become contemptuous and casts off
people even though she may not want to – extremes of behaviour: extreme haughtiness, contempt and superiority or, on the other hand, extreme inferiority. When theses persons take up
something they always take it to the extreme. They are very ambitious and have to prove themselves superior, greater than others. If they see no hope of reaching the top or of achieving their
ambitions, they can become suicidal. The contempt can be directed against herself.
The situation of Platinum is one of a woman who is not being given due respect – she is scorned,
criticized, attacked. Her survival depends on saying: “I don’t care what they think of me. They
are born low and I am born high.” Hell has no fury like a woman scorned! From this scorn and
persecution comes the feeling of pride and nobility. Once she puts herself in the nobleman’s
class, she is isolating herself and has to prove herself extraordinary in order to survive. She is
above the ordinary feelings and reactions of the people around her. She becomes contemptuous, haughty, ambitious. Sometimes, if these persons are not being given the chance to be big
or super-special, they can go into fancies or imaginations of being very big or powerful, of rescuing the planet or destroying it, etc.
Amongst some of my observations of Platinum is that they may have sexual perversions, including sadomasochism. Some patients have shown a tendency to gluttony. Platinum has a rubric:
“Contemptuous, greedy eating, with”.
Platinum has several neuralgic pains that increase and decrease gradually. The pains cause the
patient to really shriek out for aid and demand immediate attention.
– Scorn, ailments, from.
– Delusion, that she is disgraced.
– Contemptuous of everything.
– Casting off people against her will.
– Delusion, does not belong to her own family.
– Delusion, she is alone in the world.
– Delusion, that all person are devils.
– Delusion, everything seems horrible.
– Delusion, everything in the room is diminished, while she is tall and elevated.
– Fear that husband would never return, that something would happen to him.
– Delusion, humility and lowness of others while he is great.
– Egotism.
– Haughty.
– Kill, desire to, something urges to, her husband, of whom she is very fond.
– Lascivious, lustful.
– Libertinism.
– Religious affections alternating with sexual excitement.
– Suicidal disposition, but lacks courage.
– Contemptuous, in paroxysms, against her will.
– Love, own sex, with, homosexuality.
– Genitalia, female, masturbation, disposition to.
– Admonition aggravates.
– Constipation while travelling.
– Direction: Pain increases gradually and decreases gradually.
– Shrieking for help.
Plumbum metallicum
Plumbum is a heavy metal – one of the heaviest in the Periodic Table. The remedy Plumbum is
syphilitic. Like other “metal remedies”, it has the theme of attack and defence, but in such an
extreme degree that the person feels that everybody is conspiring against him. He feels that he
is surrounded by murderers – that everyone is conspiring to murder him. This creates in him an
intense state of anxiety, and he gets extremely fearful dreams.
Plumbum has the feeling that he is no ordinary person – he is a king or a ruler of the highest
order. Hence, what he fears is assassination rather than simply murder.
Plumbum has:
– Delusion, castles and palaces, sees, and
– Delusion, pursued, soldiers, by.
It may be the situation of a person who has absolute power, like Mrs. Indira Gandhi, a former
Primer Minister of India, who was ultimately assassinated.
The Plumbum person feels attacked and has to defend himself against the same. In Plumbum
you have the symptoms: “Striking”, “Violent”. There is also the theme of performance: they are
great performers, leaders, kings. Plumbum has:
– Timidity appearing in public, and
– Ailments from anticipation.
On the physical plane pathology is manifest as paralysis, slowly occurring sclerotic conditions,
degeneration of the nerves, colic. There is destruction with loss of power in the limbs.
Physical concomitants
– Desires fried things.
– Constipation.
– Hard pressure ameliorates.
– Blue line on gums called “lead line”.
– Stretches, especially in abdominal complaints.
Plumbum is related to Thallium and Platinum.
– Ailments from anticipation.
– Delusion, castles and palaces, sees.
– Delusion, conspiracies against him, there are.
– Delusion, devils, all persons are.
– Delusion, murder him, others conspire to.
– Delusion, murderer, everyone around him is a.
– Delusion, poisoned, he is about to be.
– Delusion, pursued, soldiers, by.
– Escape, attempts to.
– Fear, murdered, of being.
– Timidity, appearing in public, about.
– Fear, assassins, of (Phatak’s Repertory).
Pulsatilla pratensis
Pulsatilla is a plant. The remedy belongs to the sycotic miasm. The main feeling in Pulsatilla is
that of softness. It is like the windflower which must bend to every gust of wind in order to
survive. Translated into the human situation, it is the feeling: “I will survive if I am soft and gentle, not hard and rigid.”
It is as if there is an inner weakness in the Pulsatilla woman which is not able to face the hardness of the world. Consequently, she tries to cover it up by finding soft, caressing, gentle people
from whom she can get the tenderness she so badly misses and needs. In a sense there is a kind
of childishness, girlishness in Pulsatilla; she remains stuck at puberty and is afraid of even facing
men, of facing sexuality.
In order to get the affection she needs, she herself can be very affectionate and caring. She can
weep easily, is sympathetic. If she is not able to get what she seeks, she feels extremely forsaken,
as if alone in the world.
Pulsatilla can be servile, mild and submissive. What is less easy to see is the selfish motive behind it. Behind this affection is greed, jealousy and the desire to get all the attention for oneself.
The patients are always ameliorated by weeping and from consolation even though sometimes
they can also have silent grief. There is a tendency to get easily frightened and to suffer ailments
from fright.
In my observation, most Pulsatilla persons seem effeminate. They are very dependent and seem
to invite a warm caress or a hug and words of sympathy. Their moods change easily. They can
take religiousness to the point of fanaticism. Pulsatilla can develop strong fixed ideas regarding
religion (Thuja) or about food.
In the physical sphere, Pulsatilla has pains and aches which are wandering and shifting in nature,
reflecting the feeling in the mind on the body, and never rigid and fixed like the complaints of
Silicea. Therefore Pulsatilla and Silicea are opposite to each other in expression, although the
internal feeling in both is “yielding”. Silicea is so obstinate, rigid in his views and Pulsatilla so
mild and irresolute. Silicea is averse to consolation, Pulsatilla craves it. Silicea is so egoistic and
Pulsatilla so humble. Silicea is hard and Pulsatilla is soft. Silicea is chilly, cannot tolerate a draft
of air and Pulsatilla is hot and cannot live without fresh air. Pulsatilla grows on a sandy soil and
is often indicated as an acute of Silicea.
In Indian classical music, Raga Dhira Shankarabharanam, corresponding to the Raga Alhaiya Bilawal, seems to correspond to Pulsatilla. It brings out feelings of warmth and of losing the
warmth. In the Indian proving of this Raga, the feelings of warmth and love came up strongly,
while amongst the western audiences, the feeling of sadness and loneliness came up more
Physical symptoms
The main physical confirmatory symptoms of Pulsatilla are as follows:
– Desires open air.
– Suffocation in warmth, closed room.
– Thirstlessness.
– Menses, stains, indelible.
– Several menstrual problems.
– Position in sleep is with hands over or under the head.
– They take long before falling to sleep.
– They crave what disagrees with them.
These are symptoms I have seen often.
– Carried, caressed, and, desires to be.
– Delusion, alone, she is always.
– Delusion, world, she is alone in the.
– Delusion, neglected his duty, he has.
– Despair, religious despair of salvation.
– Fear, men, dread, fear of.
– Forsaken feeling.
– Grief, silent submissiveness with.
– Selfishness.
– Servile, obsequious, submissive.
– Yielding disposition.
– Weeping, consolation ameliorates.
– Ailments from jealousy.
– Childishness.
– Thirst: small quantities, for, often.
Rheum palmatum
Rheum palmatum is prepared from Rhubarb, a plant. The Rheum palmatum state in the Materia
Medica falls between Magnesium carbonicum and Chamomilla, and alternates between the
feeling of Magnesium carbonicum, which is that of being an orphan who demands nothing and
can do with very little food or sleep, and that of Chamomilla, extremely demanding, irritable
and violent, seeking immediate attention.
I have seen Rheum palmatum to be useful for children whose parents leave the child and go to
work. While they are away, the child is like an orphan. He is non-demanding and has symptoms
– Indifference to everything.
– Aversion to playing in children.
– Weeping in children.
But when the parents are back, he must immediately get what he asks for. Here the symptoms
– Asks for things vehemently, shrieks and shrieks till he gets it.
– Shrieking in children.
– Rudeness of naughty children, etc.
Physical concomitants
The main physical concomitants are:
– Requires very little food and sleep.
– Sweats on mouth, nose, scalp and upper lip.
– Perspiration sour and stains yellow.
– Asks for nothing.
– Aversion, everything, to.
– Capriciousness.
– Desires impatiently many things, dislikes its favourite playthings, child.
– Impetuous.
– Play, aversion to play in children.
Rhus toxicodendron
Rhus toxicodendron is a plant remedy. It falls in the subacute or typhoid miasm and is known
for such pathology.
Rhus toxicodendron has a constant anxiety, “as if something is going to happen”. The patient
has many fears: fear of evil, fear of being hurt, of being murdered. He is extremely superstitious.
This constant anxiety makes him restless and doesn’t allow him to rest in any position. There is
a feeling of helplessness, of being forsaken by all his friends, a feeling that something bad is
going to happen. And this anxiety is more inside the house and is ameliorated by walking in open
From this I understood that Rhus toxicodendron faces some kind of danger of attack from members of his own family and feels helpless and forsaken by others. Since this threat is from inside
the house, he always has to be on guard. If this threat were from outside, he could turn to
someone for support, but it is not so. Hence in Rhus toxicodendron there is no clinging, no desire
for company. He can’t turn to anyone for help and has to keep quiet. As night approaches the
anxiety grows. Somebody from within the house may harm him, creating fear of murder even
after midnight, when he cannot shout, cannot tell anyone else, and there is no support.
One can imagine the situation of a woman who has young children and is alone in the house
with her violent, drunkard husband who is quite capable of killing her. She has to be on her
guard. She is vigilant, nervous, tense, sad, etc. She is brooding, crying and unable to express her
fears. She is dependent upon her husband and worried about her children. All this can make her
resort to prayers and she may become superstitious. She may also be afraid that her husband
will die and this makes her even more anxious.
In my observation Rhus toxicodendron is a very friendly, timid, mild and very nervous person.
He is very superstitious and this may be expressed by his saying that sour food gives him joint
pains and eating yoghurt/curd causes neck stiffness. Here you see superstition and fear of being
Rhus toxicodendron boys cannot sit in one place. They are always moving around, fidgeting,
always moving one or another part of the body. This is not the desire to pace back and forth like
Arsenicum, nor is it like the restlessness of Aconitum which is sudden, more intense, vigorous
and acute, with intense fear or anxiety. In Rhus toxicodendron it is a constant physical restlessness. Rhus toxicodendron children find it difficult to hold their urine; they often have involuntary
urination or nocturnal enuresis.
Being a poison ivy, Rhus toxicodendron has intense urticaria and allergic reactions on the skin
which in general are ameliorated from heat and hot applications. When skin symptoms are very
prominent, Rhus ven may be more suitable.
Rhus toxicodendron is complementary to Calcarea carbonica and vice versa. Just as Calcarea
facing a threat from outside can go into a Stramonium state, a Calcarea person facing a threat
from her own family can go into a Rhus toxicodendron state. Calcarea persons also may need
Rhus toxicodendron after lifting something heavy or straining and later go back into the Calcarea
carbonica state.
The restlessness of Rhus toxicodendron reminds one of Medorrhinum and Zincum. All three
remedies are superstitious, feeling an inexplicable anxiety manifested by restless feet. Zincum
has “Fear, as if he had committed a crime” but he does not know what. Medorrhinum has “Fear
of misfortune, as if something will happen” and is clairvoyant. Rhus toxicodendron has nervous
apprehension, a dread, but does not know exactly why.
Physical concomitants
– Rhus toxicodendron craves sweets and cold milk. I have noticed also a craving for ice cream.
Other physical characteristic concomitants:
– Chilly patient.
– agg. Damp weather.
– agg. Overlifting anything.
– amel. Very hot bath.
– Another confirmation for Rhus toxicodendron is anxiety, agg. sitting relaxed or bent, amel.
sitting erect.
The patient feels more comfortable sitting stiff and erect rather than loose and bent.
– Anguish, driving from place to place.
– Anxiety, midnight, after.
– Anxiety, air, in open, ameliorates.
– Anxiety, bed, in.
– Anxiety, alone, when.
– Anxiety, house, in.
– Anxiety, sitting bent.
– Delusion, home, away from, he is.
– Delusion, murdered, he will be.
– Delusion, poisoned, he is about to be.
– Delusion, roaming in the fields.
– Delusion, watched, she is being.
– Dwells on past disagreeable occurrences, midnight, after.
– Fear, night.
– Fear, death, of.
– Fear, killing, of.
– Fear, murdered, of being.
– Fear, poisoned, of being.
– Fear, superstitious.
– Forsaken, air ameliorated, in open.
– Forsaken, friends, by his, sensation as if.
– Praying.
– Restlessness, night, midnight, after.
– Restlessness, anxious.
– Restless, bed, driving out of.
– Restlessness, move, must constantly.
– Weeping, causeless, without knowing why.
– Vertigo in old persons.
– Desires milk.
– Involuntary urination in boys.
– Restlessness feet.
– Change of position, ameliorates.
– Chilled while hot.
– Fear, poison.
– Tinea unknown species
Selenium metallicum
Selenium is a mineral remedy and is found in group VI A of the Periodic Table, between Sulphur
and Tellurium. The physical symptoms of Selenium are rather prominent. Premature senility is
the main symptom. It has premature falling of hair, sexual weakness, weak memory; the person
looks much older than his age. The other strong physical symptom of Selenium is its perspiration, which is profuse and leaves a salty sediment that stiffens the linen, a very characteristic
feature that is found in three other remedies: Mercurius, Natrum muriaticum and Thuja. The
perspiration around the genitals is also profuse, stains the linen yellow and has a bad odour.
The main mental symptom of Selenium is anthropophobia or fear of facing people. I have found
Selenium to have features similar to Baryta carbonica and Staphisagria. It has shyness, timidity,
premature senility and poor memory like Baryta carbonica, and it has indignation, insulted feeling, embarrassment, the feeling of injustice, of anger which is suppressed and can come out in
violent outbursts – like Staphisagria. Also like Staphisagria are its lascivious fancies and impotence.
One characteristic symptom of Selenium is that the patient remembers forgotten things when
half asleep.
I have observed that Selenium patients have premature balding, like Baryta carbonica and
– Aversion to certain persons.
– Company, aversion to, of intimate friends.
– Fear, of a crowd.
– Fear, of people.
– Dullness, sluggishness.
– Imbecility.
– Memory, weakness of, for business.
– Memory, weakness of, for mental labour.
– Concentration difficult.
– Confusion of mind after emissions.
– Forgetful, sleep, he remembers all he had forgotten, during.
– Lasciviousness, lustful.
Phatak’s materia medica
– Patient becomes easily debilitated by heat or hot weather; a little mental or physical exertion
makes him sleepy.
– Lascivious but impotent. Increased desire, but decreased ability.
– Sweat: profuse, yellow, leaves a salty deposit; stiffens the linen or makes the hair stiff and
wiry, agg. genitals.
– Semen, dribbling.
– Fear, society, of.
– Forgotten things come to mind during sleep.
Sepia officinalis
Sepia is an animal remedy made from the ink of the cuttlefish. It belongs to the syco-syphilitic
The main feeling of the Sepia woman is that she is forced to undertake things opposed to her
intentions, to do what she doesn’t want to do. It is a chronic situation in which she has been
dominated and not allowed to have her way.
There is a feeling of dependence in Sepia. She feels that her body is disfigured and unattractive,
especially to the opposite sex. In order to keep him happy, so that she is accepted by him, she
has to do what he wishes, not what she wishes. She feels forced to accept situations against her
will, because of her feeling of not being good enough. This makes her miserable and she feels
There is one side of her that says: “Do what you want to do, be independent, occupy yourself.”
And indeed Sepia likes to occupy herself mentally and physically, she likes brisk movements,
dancing, etc. But if she is too independent she will lose her support and will not be able to keep
her husband and children happy. The dependence may be emotional and/or financial (fear of
poverty). So often she is forced to do things she does not want to do. This is the uncompensated,
failed side.
A successful Sepia is one who is independent right from the beginning. But in various life situations she will be dominated or forced to do things that she does not want to. So there is divorce
or separation, or the patients remain spinsters. Many of them also join the Women’s Lib.
But in most cases, she tries to keep her husband and children happy while at the same time
pursuing her career. This can become very strenuous. She becomes miserable and worn out
since she is busy all the time. This situation leads slowly to despair and indifference, to sadness
from which she tries to find some relief by being constantly occupied. She withdraws into herself
and becomes averse to her husband and children. I have seen that Sepia women in this stage
do not even like to take medicine.
Sepia has also the theme of rape (dreams of rape). She is tired, doesn’t want to have sex, but
to keep her husband happy, she does it against her will, thus feeling forced to do it against her
Sepia comes close to Lachesis, with its envy and dreams of snakes, but in Lachesis the emphasis
is more on keeping herself attractive. It is as if there is competition and she has to win. If she
does so, all is well. In Sepia, there is despair, there is no hope in the relationship.
Sepia comes close to Tarentula too, since the theme of Tarentula is unrequited love and the
need to be attractive. The dancing, attractive hysteria and sarcasm are common to both and a
young Sepia can often seem like Tarentula. Tarentula can also be very industrious. But here
again, the emphasis is much more on attractive behaviour, and the contradiction of will as found
in Sepia is not present. Also deceitfulness, mischievousness and speed are much stronger in
Sepia comes closest to Natrum muriaticum. Both have the theme of disappointment in love,
the theme of the body being disfigured. But the dependence of Natrum muriaticum is much
greater. The main problem of Natrum muriaticum is not between relationship and occupation
as in Sepia, it is between the making and breaking of relationships. There is no contradiction of
will in Natrum muriaticum. The whole theme is one of relationship and not two separate themes
of occupation and relationship. Sepia is the larger sphere, of which Natrum muriaticum is a part.
Also Natrum muriaticum has “Cheerful after coition” which is the opposite of Sepia. Coition creates hope in Natrum muriaticum, it creates confusion in Sepia.
The acute of Sepia is Nux vomica. Nux vomica is concerned with occupation and business, with
tremendous irritability and has many symptoms similar to Sepia, e.g. chilly, constipated, etc. In
an acute situation of business failure, the Sepia person can need Nux vomica.
– Undertakes things opposed to his intentions.
– Anger, from contradiction.
– Indifference, loved ones, to.
– Cares, full of, about domestic affairs.
– Delusion, that he is unfortunate.
– Exertion, from mental, aggravates.
– Fear, of poverty.
– Hysteria.
– Indifference to everything.
– Occupation ameliorates.
– Industrious.
– Irritability, consolation aggravates.
– Weeping when telling of her sickness.
– Will, contradiction of.
– Cataract in women.
– Eye, falling of lids during headache.
– Nose, yellow saddle across.
– Skin, cracks in winter.
– Busy, when, ameliorates.
– Sadness over one’s health.
– Lying on hands and knees ameliorates.
– Sadness, domestic affairs, over.
– Desire for bitter drinks (Synthetic Repertory, Vol. II).
Silicea terra
Silicea is a sycotic remedy. It is a mineral, belongs to Group-IV of the Periodic Table, and lies
below Carbon.
The mineral qualities of organization, order and even fastidiousness are prominent in Silicea. It
also has much to do with cover up, i.e. it sees its survival as dependent on covering up its inner
weakness. This makes of it a sycotic remedy.
Silica is flint, crystal, and is one of the main components of glass: this shows its quality of maintaining a specific shape and being inflexible. It can break but not bend. It stands hard and keeps
its shape at any cost.
Silicea people stand defiant, obstinate, and try to retain the fixed image they have created for
themselves. The most important feature of a Silicea person is his concern: “What do others think
about me”. It is not important that people should think of him as a good or a nice person (in
Palladium there is longing for the good opinion of others), but that he is thought of in a particular
way, in a fixed manner. It is a fixed, definite opinion that he longs for, rather than a good opinion.
For example he does not care much whether or not others say: “This man is a very helpful,
sympathetic person”, but if he thinks himself to be a great scientist, then he would want that
others must also think him to be one.
Whenever there is a possibility of this fixed image being lost, e.g. while appearing on stage or
meeting new people, during an interview or at the time of exams, Silicea develops tremendous
anxiety and apprehension with a severe fear of failure. Silicea may appear like Lycopodium because Lycopodium also has lack of confidence. But in Lycopodium, it is whether he is capable of
doing the action that bothers him, while in Silicea it is his image that must be protected at all
costs. Whereas a Lycopodium person’s survival depends upon reaching a particular goal, the
Silicea person’s survival would depend upon fulfilling a particular image. So Silicea is afraid of
appearing on stage, whereas Lycopodium is afraid to speak. Silicea people constantly feel the
eyes of others on themselves and are very conscious of the impression they are creating. This
can make them very fidgety during the interview, and often make the physician adopt the stance
of an examiner at a consultation. They give very ready-made answers, even rehearse a lot of
replies which are to the point and very formal. They have difficulty in being informal.
Silicea comes from a situation where fulfilling a specific image is a necessary condition for acceptance, for example a child is told that he will be accepted and loved if he achieves in a specific
way. This could be his doing exceedingly well in sports, becoming a good cricketer. So it becomes
very important for this child that other people think of him as a good cricketer, even better than
he is. This creates the tension and the timidity in the presence of others.
So, a Silicea woman is actually trying to fulfil an image made for her by somebody else. In that
sense she yields to that image, but she also becomes fixed to it and so in her effort to maintain
it, she is obstinate. This combination of yielding and obstinacy is found in Silicea in a peculiar
way. On one hand there is the desire to be magnetized, i.e. she wants to be completely under
the suggestion of somebody else. On the other hand, she is so fixed in her opinions that if contradicted she can become violent: “Contradiction, intolerance of, has to restrain from violence”.
Silicea does not openly revolt but sticks to her opinion. Samuel Butler used to say: “Convinced
against her will, but of the same opinion still”. She will say “yes” finally so as not to make an
issue, but the feeling inside is still “no, this is all wrong”. Silicea is dependent. She is not one to
revolt but she knows that if she yields completely and gives up her goals and image, then the
one she is dependent on will start disliking her. This is a peculiar contradiction.
One could also imagine the Silicea situation to be that of an uneducated woman whose husband
wanted an educated wife. If she doesn’t become literate, her husband will start disliking her. So
she becomes a student of literature, starts studying very hard and tries to become perfect and
builds up her image that way. She has:
– Ailments from anticipation.
– Anxiety, examination, before.
– Fear, of failure.
– Delusion, fail, she will.
She becomes nervous when people come home to visit because her ignorance may be exposed.
She yields to her man. At the same time, if the man says: “Forget about literature, let’s go out”,
she will become stubborn because if she gives up he will lose respect for her. The man wants
her to be yielding and at the same time he wants her to have individuality. So he is pushing both
messages at her and she responds in this way. She can’t yield too much, but at the same time
she can’t be too stubborn. This is her situation. Her survival depends on constantly proving to
others that she is very good in a specific way: monomania.
Another situation of Silicea could be that of the eldest son of a family, the crown prince, the
one who has to uphold the family name. The focus of everyone’s attention is on him. He has to
talk, sit, etc., in a particular way in public. If he goes to a discotheque no one will care for him
anymore or respect him. Silicea may be confused with Aurum. But whereas Aurum is dutybound, Silicea is image-bound.
It is obvious that childhood, the time when these images are not yet established, is the time
Silicea enjoys the most. In fact, the most important dreams of Silicea are “Dreams of youth”.
Silicea often seems to lack emotion. He is unable to communicate warmth and affection unless
this too is a part of his image. I have seen Silicea people who are social workers, working in
slums, but then this too is part of their image.
Silicea persons do not require company and do not react well to consolation. So they don’t
display much gratitude or affection, and therefore can be quite difficult to get along with. Eventually they become unable to accept affection just as they are unable to give it. They can only
accept acknowledgement and praise that they are excellent in their field. But if you say: “I like
you as you are”, they will run away from you. They can’t accept themselves the way they are.
Silicea people can be late to develop relationships and marry. They may occupy themselves
with books, trying to add more and more degrees to their name. The work they do is precise
and organized but often lacks imagination.
Thus the essential features of the “coped-up” state of Silicea are fixed ideas, obstinacy, fixed
image and rigidity. In the uncompensated state the main symptoms are yielding, irresolute, desire to be magnetized, nervous, timid, self-conscious.
Calcarea silicata’s obstinacy and desire to be magnetized sometimes makes it look similar to
Silicea, but the obstinacy of Calcarea silicata is not as strong as that of Silicea. Silicea has rigidity
along with conscientiousness, which is not found in Calcarea silicata. Calcarea silicata gives an
excuse for the non-achievement and dependence whereas Silicea is a person who will try to
reach high ideals.
Both Silicea and Ignatia are “Conscientious about trifles”. Both these remedies have to live according to a certain image and both have monomania, they think of particular things to the
exclusion of everything else. The difference is that the image which Silicea has to live up to has
to do with ego (“Timidity, appearing in public” and “Fear, of examinations”), whereas the image
which Ignatia has to live up to is to be affectionate and sympathetic.
Pulsatilla and Silicea are two completely opposite states; they complement each other.
Physical concomitants
The pathology in Silicea also often exhibits the qualities of fixity and obstinacy – chronic suppurative processes, keloids, fistulas, etc. They tend to develop problems in single parts like glands,
sinus, headache, keloid, and often Silicea has only one problem. It is as if all their effort is concentrated in filling up that one weak spot in themselves.
– Cold moist palms and soles, tendency to feel cold and relief from heat or hot bath are often
accompanying symptoms.
– Dreams of being pursued by wild animals are often seen in Silicea cases.
– Corrugated nails.
– Perspiration stains yellow.
– Silicea is often indicated and useful in asthma. The characteristic symptom is breathlessness
agg. draft of air.
– Timidity, appearing, in.
– Monomania.
– Egotism.
– Delusion, fail, everything, will.
– Fear, appearing in public, of.
– Fear, examination, before.
– Fear, failure, of.
– Fear, falling, of.
– Obstinate.
– Mind, disposition, fearlessness, daring (Boericke’s Repertory).
Phatak’s materia medica
– Fixed ideas – thinks only of pins, fears them, searches them and counts them…
– Obstinate, stubborn, head-strong children… Fidgety.
– Head: Baldness in young people.
– Appetite vanishing on any attempt to eat.
– Respiration asthmatic, air, draught of, aggravates.
– Coccyx injury.
– Nails, white spotted.
– Fidgety.
This is a syco-syphilitic remedy that falls in the cancer miasm. I have found that Staphisagria
patients have a tendency to develop cancer.
They are morbidly sensitive. The effect of this sensitivity is very deep and long lasting. They set
for themselves a task which is nearly impossible. That task is to maintain their dignity despite
being beaten down, insulted and humiliated. The main feeling of Staphisagria is one of dignity
and honour, like a person of noble birth. He feels that he should live up to his sense of dignity
and honour (which is often far more than needed in a man in his position). He should not do
anything that is undignified, even though others may do so. He should never lower himself to
the other man’s level (and retaliate by acting as he does). He must never lose his control, since
it would be very much below his honour and dignity to do so. If somebody insults him, he has to
keep control as befits his noble birth. He cannot lose his temper and become abusive or violent.
Were he to do so, he would feel very upset and feel that he had done himself an indignity and
this, to him, would be worse than the effect of the insult itself. Hence the sentence in Phatak’s
Materia Medica: “Great indignation about things done by others or by himself, grieves about
the consequences”. This for me is a very significant sentence. He worries about the effect of
such a lack of control on his reputation. The sentence in Phatak’s Materia Medica is: “Very sensitive to what others say about him”. The feeling seems to be that his survival depends upon
maintaining a very high reputation and self-control, of being a very superior, calm and dignified
person who wins the respect of all by his noble actions… a person who is much above the ordinary.
Staphisagria shares with Aurum a “Fear of heights, of falling”. He should bear all the humiliations but must not respond or he will lose his dignity.
At a point the Staphisagria person can find it too much to keep the control. He starts to lose it
and the first signs are found as the suppressed anger begins to surface:
– Trembling in anger.
– Voice lost during anger.
– Face red in anger.
– Weakness after anger.
– Hemiplegia after anger.
– Anger, throws things away.
– Strike, desire to.
These are the first signs of losing control. Later, when the situation has become desperate and
he feels the demand on him is too much, he may throw to the wind all his reputation and honour, and become the opposite, i.e. a person of ill-repute, who is looked down upon and treated
with utmost disrespect. Here we have the rubric: “Libertinism”. On the physical level, there may
be loss of control over muscles. He can get: “Convulsions from being unjustly accused” (Synthetic Repertory, Vol. II).
Staphisagria imposes on himself a very strict code of honour and is very indignant with himself
if he doesn’t uphold it. So he has to suppress a lot of his urges, especially in the sexual sphere.
He is very timid and cowardly, and has feelings of guilt. He cannot express his increased sexual
desire directly for fear of being hurt and out of a sense of shame, and because of his self-respect
Staphisagria is not one who can ogle at women. He therefore suppresses his desire and we get
the characteristics: “Dwells on sexual matters”. There is also a prominent tendency to masturbation. To control the anger and the passion – to swallow the ego and hurt – becomes a survival
mechanism. This is the situation that can present the maximum problems, for example in the
area of sexuality a person intensely concerned with his honour and reputation will be too embarrassed to express his sexuality openly and this aspect will be suppressed, expressed only in
his fantasy (“Ailments from embarrassment” and “Sexual-minded”). But even these fantasies
can produce intense guilt and fear in a Staphysagria person, guilt that he is indulging in such
fantasies and fear that it may be discovered by others. The whole edifice of honour and reputation that he has built up and guarded will collapse. This leads to an intense state of anxiety, a
neurotic anxiety with the feeling that somebody is behind him, and so he constantly keeps looking back. The need to keep perfect control, to live far beyond his capacity makes of Staphisagria
a syco-syphilitic remedy. The sycotic aspect is manifested in the reserved, almost secretive nature and the constant apprehension that others might find his weakness, which is the losing of
self-control. This need for control is sometimes seen in the struggle to give up smoking.
The main characteristic of Staphisagria is extreme sensitivity and reactivity, both emotionally
and physically. If you touch the Staphisagria patient at his sensitive point, which is his honour,
reputation and self-respect, there will be an immediate intense reaction though it is often suppressed. Kent writes: “A man insulted by someone beneath his station could not react outwardly, went home sick, weak and trembling.” Physically too, Staphisagria is indicated in extremely sensitive conditions like a painful surgical scar or a sensitive tooth. In Phatak’s Repertory
it is the only remedy listed in the rubric: “Sensitive, morbidly”. Also there is hardening, to cover
up the sensitivity as is shown by a tendency to styes and tumours. This sensitivity could only be
found in a plant and not in a metal, salt or animal. In its nature it has the softness of a plant
rather than hardness of a mineral or the competitiveness of an animal.
In my experience, I have seen that with Staphisagria there can be two extremes, one which has
such suppressed emotions where the person will tell that: “I last got angry seventeen years ago”,
and the one who cannot control – as Phatak says: “Violent outbursts of passion”, “Always angry”.
The Staphisagria patients we see in practice lie somewhere between these extremes, and the
common theme which links them all are matters of honour and respect, and the internal feeling
that they have is of a very high reputation to live up to.
Staphisagria can have many fears: fear of being insulted, of being mortified, fear of being killed;
he can be afraid even of his own shadow.
I have observed that Staphisagria is very apologetic during the consultation, as if to ward off
any rudeness of the physician and to avoid being reprimanded by him. He has anticipation because of sensitivity to hurt. The patients apologize for everything – if they missed their turn in
the consultation; or if they have not taken the medicine for a few days and are not feeling better,
they usually blame themselves for it. I recall a patient who when entering the consultation room
paused and asked if she should leave her slippers at the door. We see here someone who is
careful and cautious in finding out what is the norm of the clinic before she does anything, because she does not want a reprimand from me and doesn’t want to be admonished. Behind this
sensitivity to being reprimanded and being admonished, one can perceive the expression of a
delusion, which is that as long as she is following the rules of the person in authority, she is okay.
Her perception of reality is that she is always under somebody whom she has to obey and whom
she has to follow.
It is as if Staphisagria has made a contract with the rest of the world regarding just behaviour.
The problem is, he has signed it, but the world has not.
The situational Materia Medica of Staphisagria is that of a man who comes from an honourable
background, but at present is poor or dependent, or under someone who humiliates him. He
cannot openly revolt or show his anger since he feels he would be belittling himself in doing so.
It is a situation of being unjustly treated by a person on whom he is dependent, so there is:
– The need for justice.
– Egotism.
– Insulted feeling.
– Mortification.
– Suppressed anger.
– Occasional violent outbursts of anger.
But it is not like the rage of Lyssinum with its biting and kicking. It is not a situation of being
tormented like Lyssinum but just being treated unfairly, mortified, insulted. It is not something
active, not taking a stick and poking the ribs. Telling you to get out creates the Staphisagria
feeling, whereas taking a stick poking your ribs three times a day creates that of Lyssinum.
Here I recall the situation of Mahatma Gandhi. He was born in a country ruled by the British,
who had a contempt for those with dark skin. However Gandhi showed such nobility and uncompromising dignity that he won the respect not only of his countrymen, being called Mahatma or Great Soul, but also of the very people who oppressed and insulted him. He did this
by showing self-control, control on violence and by his rigid persistence with truth and morality.
Harilal, the eldest son of Gandhiji, in my view was in a completely given up state of Staphisagria.
He was already born with the Staphisagria state inherited from his father. To add to it he had to
live up to a reputation of being the son of Gandhi. He coped well at first, joined the freedom
struggle in South Africa and like his father was imprisoned several times. But soon, with the
increasing demands on him, both from society and from his father, super-added to an already
Staphisagria state, he gave up completely and took to all kinds of bad habits, bringing much
dishonour to his family.
I have observed that Staphisagria does not have the attitude of Platinum. He is not outwardly
egoistic nor does he put on airs like a king or queen. I have found these persons to be soft, quiet,
reserved, often humble-looking, but have strongly felt in their presence the need to treat them
with honour and respect. Their sensitivity to being spoken to rudely or to being treated disrespectfully is palpable. This very contrast between their appearance and their sense of honour is
the “indication” that I have used time and again to spot the Staphisagria patients, sometimes in
the very first minute of an interview.
Besides Staphisagria, the other cancer miasm remedies belonging to the plant kingdom that I
know of are Ignatia and Anacardium.
Carcinosinum is complementary to Staphisagria but the Carcinosinum situation is caused by
being heavily controlled by the person on whom one depends, whereas that of Staphisagria is
caused by being insulted by him.
The other remedy complimentary to Staphisagria is Sulphur. The Staphisagria state is the one
in which the person feels humiliated and insulted. Naturally this state will arise more easily in
one who originally had pride and egotism than in one who did not. We know that Staphisagria
is often followed by Sulphur. In other words a Sulphur state of egotism predisposes to a
Staphisagria state of humiliation.
– Ailments from indignation.
– Ailments from anger, suppressed.
– Ailments from embarrassment.
– Ailments from honour, wounded.
– Ailments from rudeness of others.
– Ailments from scorn.
– Ailments from sexual excess.
– Anger, throws things away.
– Anger, trembling with.
– Anger, violent.
– Egotism.
– Fear, high places, of.
– Fear, self-control, of losing.
– Lascivious.
– Libertinism.
– Offended easily
– Sensitive, moral impressions, to.
– Sensitive, reprimands, to.
– Convulsions, accused, from being unjustly (Synthetic Repertory, Vol. II).
– Tobacco, remedies to produce disgust for (Synthetic Repertory, Vol. II).
– Voice, lost, from anger.
– Respiration, difficult, anger, from.
– Trembling, from anger.
– Face, red from anger.
– Craves condiments.
– Fear, of financial loss.
– Fear, shadow, of his own.
– Hemiplegia after anger.
– Imagination, of insult.
– Sensitive, to what others say about her.
– Sensitive, morbidly.
– Sleep afternoon agg..
Stramonium is a plant remedy, it belongs to the acute miasm. It is a remedy that tends to be
overprescribed because it deals with one of the most basic fears of man, the feeling of being left
alone in the wilderness.
The Stramonium patient feels helpless, like a child left alone, and there is an impression of danger. He feels abandoned, forsaken, left in a terrifying place – alone in the wilderness. Facing the
sudden realization of this terrifying situation, his brain refuses to work: he cannot recognize who
is around him, he just clings to whoever or whatever is there (“Child awakens terrified, knows
no one, screams, clings to those near”; “Clinging to persons, furniture”). He doesn’t seem to
know anyone around him or recognize anything around him in this situation of terror (“Familiar
things seem strange”). He feels alone, lost and tries to escape from this situation. He is without
support and is crying for help, begging, entreating, praying in his panic. All he wants is to be in
a safe and secure place.
Stramonium has “Fear, of darkness” and “Desire, for light”. Darkness represents uncertainty,
hopelessness, and any such situation is very scary for the Stramonium patient. In the darkness,
there is a possibility of danger and Stramonium has a “Longing for sunshine, light and society”.
Stramonium has delusions of dogs attacking him, biting his chest: a terrifying situation. To the
Stramonium patient all events, situations and even people seem like dogs (“Delusion, dogs,
sees”), like an attack. There is a feeling of being injured (“Delusion, injury, is about to receive”),
as if things around him are harmful and injurious. The patient will tell the physician: “Doctor, I
took your medicine last week, and since then my stomach got badly upset, I cannot tell you how
He gets most frightened when things are dark, gloomy and sombre. When there is no danger,
darkness or gloominess, the Stramonium person may be talking, laughing, singing, full of life,
dancing (“Black and sombre, aversion to everything that is”, “Weeping all night, laughing all
day”). He talks a lot about himself, boasts that he is bold, not afraid of anything (“Delusion, tall,
he is”, “Delusion, distinguished, he is”, “Delusion, divine, he is”). But with the night come terror
and clinging. At the same time, when there is light, there is a fear of being exposed, of being
vulnerable to attack, and then there is a desire for darkness. But when the patients are uncertain
about something they want light – fear of the unknown. Stramonium has the rubric: “Destructiveness of clothes, naked, wants to be”. Nothing should be hidden under clothes, nothing
should be in the dark. Also there is “Delusion, naked, he is”: unprotected, he feels without the
protective covering of clothes, vulnerable to attack.
In his terror and fright, he reacts wildly: “Wildness”, “Destructiveness”, “Violence”, “Striking”.
His whole situation including his ailments frighten him so much that he doesn’t want it to ever
surface again. He wants to finish it off, to eradicate, destroy, exterminate it (“Delusion, that he
is the devil”, “Delusion, devils, sees”, “Kill, desire to”). His problems trouble and scare him and
he wants to finish them. His actions are always total.
Another rubric is “Religious affections, Bible wants to read all the day”. He needs a book of
authority in which he trusts and to which he constantly clings in order to avoid the uncertainty
and darkness which he feels around him. He feels like a child without support and has anxiety
about salvation. He will say: “Doctor, wherever you go, please don’t stay away for more than a
week, otherwise I will be lost. If something happens, where can I go?” Anxiety about salvation
as if they have lost your support, the person on whom they are dependent will leave and they
will be left alone in the wilderness, forsaken. Another rubric is “Delusion, wife is faithless”. There
is a fear that the person with whom he shares a trustful relationship (the basis of his security)
will leave and go away, leaving him alone, helpless, in the dark. This trustful relationship need
not be only with the spouse, it could be with the doctor, with his guru, etc.
Among the concomitants of Stramonium, I have found a desire for or an aversion to the colour
– Delusion, is alone in the wilderness.
– Clings, child awakens terrified, knows no one, clings to those near.
– Delusion, animals jump out of the ground.
– Delusion, of black objects and people.
– Delusions, dogs attack him, of biting his chest.
– Delusion, that she is always alone.
– Delusion, frightful animals.
– Delusion, sees devils.
– Delusion, is being injured.
– Delusion, sees scepters, ghosts, spirits, on closing eyes.
– Delusion, familiar things seem strange.
– Escape, attempts to.
– Kill, desire to.
– Fear, in the dark.
– Fear, of being injured.
– Longing for sunshine, light and society.
– Weeping, weeps all night and laughs all day.
– Company, desire for, alone, while, aggravates.
– Begging, entreating.
– Praying nights.
– Religious affections, Bible wants to read all the day.
– Helplessness, feeling of.
– Black and sombre, aversion to everything that is.
– Delusion, naked, he is.
– Speech: stammering, exerts himself a long time before he can utter a word.
– Religious insanity.
– Shrieking for help (my observation).
– Strangers, presence of, aggravates.
Strontium carbonicum
Strontium belongs to group IIA of the Periodic Table along with Magnesium, Calcium and Barium. It lies between Calcium and Barium. The theme of group IIA is the theme of dependence.
Magnesium represents the dependence of an infant, that is, total dependence for nutrition,
security, etc. Calcarea represents the dependence of a child, i.e. he can walk and move, but still
he needs the protective cover of the house, and he is not willing to take up the challenges that
the environment outside his house has to offer.
Strontium represents the age of adolescence. This is the age when one ventures out into the
new, with the full knowledge that if one is faced with a problem, one could always come back.
What Strontium looks for is guidance, that is, an experienced person’s help to chart out the
unknown, someone to rely on if there is a problem. The relationship with this guide is the most
important thing in his life, and there can be problems if such a person is missing or guides in
excess. New tasks like learning to drive a car or starting a profession, are anxious moments for
Strontium carbonicum and he needs the encouragement and support of an experienced person.
In comparison, Baryta carbonica is for the next age, that is adulthood, where one has to take
up the complete responsibility without anyone behind. In such a situation, the Baryta carbonica
person experiences a sense of incapacity and of complete dependence.
Suggested rubrics for Strontium carbonicum:
– Fear strangers.
– Delusion, things seem strange.
– Fear, understanding new things.
– Fear, dark.
– Delusion, a hand behind him.
– Company, desire for.
– Dreams, snakes.
– Desires, cheese, pizzas.
– Started easily.
– Desires sunlight, which ameliorates.
– Single symptom.
– Guidance, need for.
The rubrics are derived from the proving that I had conducted.
I have also observed among the patients and provers of Strontium carbonicum a strong desire
for cheese.
– Ankles weak.
– Ankles puffy swelling.
Sulphur is a mineral remedy. It is “the King of anti-psoric remedies”.
The main feeling of Sulphur is that of being scorned, suppressed, put down, criticized. The person is made to feel humiliated, his pride is hurt. Embarrassment is one of the main feelings in
Sulphur. There is therefore a constant effort, a struggle to come up again… to be someone, to
know something, to earn respect. He feels that he is expected to be good in his appearance, his
relationships and in his business, and these include his knowledge, talent and capabilities. Failing
this, he will have to face scorn and bear embarrassment. The struggle is for ego and honour. Ego
is one of the biggest themes in Sulphur and effort one of the main actions. The effort and the
feeling are both psoric, in a sense that there is a kind of hopefulness in Sulphur patients. The
task is not too high, and they are often quite optimistic.
There exists in Sulphur patients the desire for business, the desire to make money and to be
financially sound. There is the feeling of being poor, and consequently an effort to make money
so as to overcome the situation of poverty. In the failed state however there is indolence, a lack
of effort, hence the symptom: “Delusion, old rags are as fine as silk”. This is contentment; there
is no more action to try and get out of the situation. These symptoms of Sulphur which reflect
the indolence are very well known.
Sulphur persons may be very concerned about how they appear to other people. They have the
feeling that if they are not perfect in their appearance, they will be scorned. Concerned that
they should not appear dirty, they make a lot of effort to appear clean. On the other hand, they
may neglect their appearance, they may be indifferent to how they look, they don’t give a damn
and appear dirty. This indifference to personal appearance is seen less commonly.
They have the need to know things, to be inquisitive. They feel insulted when they do not know
something and try to make up for what they do not know by theorizing. They need to feel good
about themselves because they have the feeling of being unimportant and of being disgraced.
Very sensitive to criticism, scorn and insult. They live each in their own world, where they can
feel good about themselves by imagining that they possess great knowledge, a lot of wealth and
look good to others. They imagine that they are appreciated by those around them, for what
they are and what they possess. It is a struggle for ego satisfaction; and this being one of the
commonest traits of human beings, Sulphur tends to be over-prescribed or under-prescribed.
The patients feel that they are expected to be good in their relationships with people, and so
they are caring and do a lot for others.
One observation I have made about Sulphur children is that they like to touch everything, as if
only what they touch is real. Among the dreams of Sulphur, I have frequently noted the one of
being pursued by wild animals. I have also found that some Sulphur patients are attracted by
Physical symptoms
Among the well-known physical symptoms of Sulphur are:
– Intolerance of hunger which is especially marked in the forenoon.
– Desire for sweets and fats.
– Heat in the feet, hands and vertex.
– Offensive odour of discharges.
– An almost mandatory history of skin eruptions which itch voluptuously.
– Intolerance of heat and closed rooms.
– Anxiety for others.
– Hopeful.
– Delusion, body, black, is.
– Delusion, thin, is getting.
– Delusion, disgraced, she is.
– Delusion, want, he will come to.
– Ailments, scorn, being scorned.
– Ailments, embarrassment.
– Fear, poverty, of.
– Business, talks, of.
– Delusion, old rags are as fine as silk.
– Foolish behaviour, happiness and pride.
– Indifference, personal appearance, to.
– Delusion, great person, is a.
– Delusion, wealth, of.
– Touch, does not know if objects are real until she has touched them.
– Vertigo from high places.
– Cataract in the left eye.
– Desires meat.
– Desires fat.
– Desires highly seasoned food.
– Desires raw food.
– Skin, cracks, winter, in.
Sulphuricum acidum
Sulphuricum acidum has features common to the Acids and to Sulphur. An acid represents
much effort followed by exhaustion; Sulphur represents the need for effort to be recognized, to
appear good, to earn a position of respect.
The most important thing that can be seen about Sulphuricum acidum is its tremendous hurry.
It is one of the most hasty remedies in our Materia Medica. Sulphuricum acidum is hurried while
eating, in movements, he cannot do things fast enough, he is hurried in walking, in writing and
in occupation. But when we look behind this hurry, we find that there is a constant anxiety to
finish one’s work as fast as possible. The hurry is much more in occupation than in other things.
The anxiety, for example, is more in the morning and is ameliorated in the evening, when the
work is over. It is an anxiety about completing his work and getting the things done.
He is also “Serious”, “Industrious” and “Restless”. On the other hand (failed side), we have
“Weary”, “Speech, monosyllabic”, “Prostration of mind” and “Discouraged”.
– Anxiety, morning.
– Anxiety, evening ameliorates.
– Confidence, want of self.
– Dullness.
– Fear, daytime only.
– Fear, morning until evening.
– Hurry, haste.
– Hurry, eating, while.
– Hurry, mental work, in.
– Hurry, movements, in.
– Hurry, fast enough, cannot do things.
– Hurry, occupation, in.
– Hurry, walking, while.
– Hurry, work, in.
– Hurry, writing, in.
– Impatience, trifles, about.
Tarentula hispanica
Tarentula (the Spanish spider) is in a way representative of the spider kingdom in general, being
the best proved of the spider remedies. It belongs to the tubercular miasm.
As with the other spider remedies, Tarentula is industrious, busy, has high energy, and a love
for music, dancing and colours. There is also the fear of being assaulted, injured, and of getting
But characteristic of Tarentula is the feeling of unreciprocated love or affection. The person has
the feeling that he is not attractive enough and therefore does not get the attention he craves
for. So in Tarentula you have many features that have to do with attractiveness. These include
the wearing of bright-coloured clothes, singing and dancing, as in a discotheque. Also mischievousness, cunning, hysterical behaviour, lasciviousness, shamelessness, exposing himself and
even threatening – all with the intention to attract attention.
The situation of Tarentula is that of a person who wants to be noticed but is not, such as could
happen when a person tries unsuccessfully to attract the attention of another especially from
the opposite sex. This is not a situation of disappointed love, but one of unrequited love. Phatak
gives in his Materia Medica as the causation of Tarentula: “Ill effects of unrequited love”.
Another prominent feature of Tarentula is haste – hurry and impulsiveness. All this gives Tarentula a tubercular dimension and brings it close to Tuberculinum. Indeed it is difficult to differentiate Tarentula from Tuberculinum in a child in whom disobedience, restless behaviour and increased energy are prominent features.
The restless hands of Tarentula are often put to creative use, as in painting, which involves
colour as well.
Not so well known about Tarentula are its intense anxiety states and the fear of being trapped
– attacks of suffocation, must have fresh air.
The desire for music is a strong confirmation for Tarentula indeed it is mandatory to have it in
a very high degree. This love for music can also extend to: “Whistling when passing urine”, “Restlessness of extremities ameliorated by music” and “Stares at one place when listening to music”
or “Irresistible urge to dancing”. The kind of music that Tarentula likes is hard, fast and rythmic.
Sepia comes close to Tarentula, since the theme of Tarentula is unrequited love and the need
to be attractive. The dancing, attractive hysteria and sarcasm are common to both, and a young
Sepia can often seem like Tarentula. Tarentula can also be very industrious, but here again the
emphasis is more on the attractive behaviour while the contradiction of will found in Sepia is
not present. The deceitfulness, mischievousness and speed are more prominent in Tarentula in
comparison with Sepia.
– Colours, charmed by blue, green, red.
– Crafty.
– Dancing, wild.
– Deceitful.
– Delusion, assaulted, is going to be.
– Destructiveness, cunning.
– Hurry, movements, in.
– Industrious.
– Insanity, love, from disappointed.
– Insanity, threatens destruction and death.
– Music ameliorates.
– Desires ashes.
– Restlessness hands.
– Activity, fruitless.
– Constipation, purgatives, no relief from.
– Hands restless.
– Walking, impulse to.
Theridion curassavicum
Theridion is a remedy of the spider group. It is closely allied to Tarentula, and it too belongs to
the tubercular miasm.
It shares with other remedies of the spider group a highly sensitive nervous system and prominent features such as hyperactivity, sexuality, colours, music, dancing and high energy. Also present are fears – of being trapped, caught and of being killed.
The remedy also manifests hurried and hectic activity, and this fits into my understanding of
the tubercular miasm. In fact Tarentula and Theridion often compare with Tuberculinum children because of this intense restlessness. This idea is confirmed by the fact that Phatak in his
Materia Medica mentions Theridion as having a tubercular diathesis. Theridion persons are always very busy, fruitlessly busy.
Very prominent in the Theridion woman seems to be the need to find a mate, because she feels
that if she doesn’t have a mate, she will have to face the danger of the outside world, which is
too threatening. So there is a need to be attractive and a lot of hectic activity to find, attract and
keep her mate. Music, dancing and colours are a part of this attractiveness, whereas fear and
impulsive violence are a part of the threat.
Besides the need for a partner, a peculiar feature of Theridion is that she seems to completely
“dissolve” her identity into that of her partner – thinking and seeing as her partner does, living
completely through the eyes and mind of this other person. Hence, in the event of her partner
leaving her, she feels a tremendous emptiness, and it takes time for her to know her real self
again. Theridion has the delusion that her head belongs to another.
In some cases, I have found Theridion persons to have a fear of people, especially when they
are alone. When approached by people they feel threatened and want to strike or kill, and they
have to control themselves so that they do not. These features I have seen also in Tarentula and
they seem to be common to this group of remedies.
I have seen in Theridion an intense aggravation from noise, startles from noise, nausea from
There is a strong craving for bananas and oranges.
The physical symptom of Theridion that I have verified in practice has to do with its cough:
“Cough, violent, jerking of the head forward and the knees upwards” and “Cough, jerking the
body together”.
– Busy, fruitlessly.
– Confusion of mind, identity, duality, sense of, head separated from mind, as if.
– Delusion, double, of being.
– Delusion, head belongs to another.
– Delusion, separated from body, is head.
– Fear, noise, from.
– Loquacity, busy.
– Loquacity, excited.
– Restlessness, busy.
– Sensitive, oversensitive, noise, to, slightest.
– Sensitive, oversensitive, shrill sounds, to.
– Sensitive, oversensitive, striking of clocks, ringing of bells, to.
– Singing.
– Starting, noise, from.
– Nausea, noise, from.
Thuja occidentalis
Thuja is a strongly sycotic remedy. One of its main indications is the feeling of fragility, of being
frail – a feeling of weakness within oneself. In my understanding, this is the sycotic feeling of
having something wrong with oneself, of being weak; it is also found in Medorrhinum.
I have often found this feeling of fragility in Thuja expressed in the physical sphere, where the
patient feels that any article of food or drink is surely bound to cause him problems, and that
his system cannot take things such as drugs, allergens, emotional stress or even a draught of air.
He tries to avoid all these factors and attempts to keep himself covered from exposure to the
same. These avoidances only reinforces the fear, and this vicious cycle goes on, making of Thuja
one of the main remedies for neurosis, with several obsessive-compulsive traits, fixed ideas and
behaviour patterns. I have found that patients in their follow-up often say that even a single
dose (of the placebo) aggravated them so much that they had to stop it completely. On the
other hand, some patients insist that unless they take the dose, all their complaints return, and
they want to keep taking the doses ever so often.
In the emotional sphere, this feeling of fragility is manifest in the fear of losing face in society.
The person believes that he has a certain image in society of being a religious, morally upright,
clean, honest person, free from human failings such as dishonesty, sexual temptations (especially) when forbidden, etc. Thus he presents an elevated picture of himself and is afraid that
any little slip on his part might reveal the real him or the bad part of him which he has tried so
hard to cover up. In this “bad part” lies his dishonesty, sexual desires (which may even be for
close relatives), his immoral or irreligious feelings. If this is discovered, he is going to fall down
from his imagined elevated position and will be finished. Thus his survival depends on a complete cover up, and there is a tremendous anxiety of being exposed. Translated into expressions
the Thuja person is secretive and talks to the physician as if sharing a secret; he is conscious of
the presence of other persons, especially strangers. In rubrics, you have the feeling of floating
in the air (“Delusion, body lighter than air”) and dreams of falling from high places which represent his fear of falling from his elevated position.
Thus Thuja seems to come from a situation of religious order in society or from any situation
that demands rigidity in thinking, very fixed ideas. Theocracies, like those in the Middle East,
would require this remedy. Also many of the strict religious leaders, with rigid ideas about sin,
often have many skeletons in their cupboards, and many times require Thuja. In fact “Religious
fanaticism” is one of the rubrics.
In the physical sphere, you have stiffness, which is a manifestation of the fixity; the eruptions
which occur on the covered parts (as if they don’t want to be seen); jerks from sleep as if falling
from high places. I have also observed that many Thuja patients have corrugated nails, hair on
the middle phalynx of fingers and on other unusual parts (for example the pinna of the ears),
strong smelling sweat (especially about the genitals), fleshy pedunculated warts, moles. They
sweat from the axillae, and the sweat may leave yellowish stains or a saltish sediment and it
may be oily. They are chilly and like a hot bath.
Thuja women can be very afraid of pregnancy, and often have the sensation of being pregnant,
with associated feelings of guilt. These women can also be jealous, and may have fixed ideas
that the husband is faithless. I have also observed that many Thuja people often exhibit a preference for the colour green.
– Delusion, body is delicate.
– Delusion, body is thin.
– Delusion, body is brittle.
– Delusion, that she is made of glass.
– Insanity, will not be touched.
– Fear, of others approaching him.
– Fear, physician will not see him, he seems to terrify her.
– Fear, of strangers.
– Fanaticism.
– Delusion, body is lighter than air.
– Dreams, falling, height, from.
– Monomania.
– Vertigo, walking, sensation of gliding in air, as if feet did not touch the ground, while.
– Back: injuries of spine.
– Face: greasy.
– Warts, on the face.
– Warts, on the external throat/cervical region.
– Corrugated nails.
– Pain, rectum, while sitting.
– Urethra: urine remained in, after urinating, as if some.
– Perspiration, genitalia, sweetish odour.
– Axilla: perspiration, frosty deposits (Künzli).
– Axilla: boils.
– Back pain, standing erect almost impossible after sitting.
– Skin, warts, pedunculated.
– Aversion, to approach.
– Brittle, broken feeling.
– Fanaticism.
– Hair all over the body.
– Strangers, presence of, aggravates.
Tuberculinum bovinum kent
Tuberculinum is a nosode that represents the heart of the tubercular miasm. The main feeling
in this miasm is that of being shut in, cramped and suffocated and in order to get out from such
a situation, one has to use all one’s energy and work at an intense and rapid pace. Therefore the
tubercular miasm seems to demand a need for rapid change as a condition of survival. The
sensation of suffocation, especially when stuck in a particular place, and the need for hectic,
intense activity are the two aspects of the tubercular miasm.
The feeling of being stuck, suffocated and oppressed is not an acute feeling in Tuberculinum, it
as a chronic feeling. It is as though some weight or pressure will increasingly oppress the patient
and the spot he is stuck in will grow narrower and narrower and he will be suffocated unless he
were to move out. Tuberculinum resents anything which is narrow, rigid and suffocating, for
example orthodoxy, or being stuck to a particular limited occupation, because then the feeling
of pressure grows on him. This feeling is seen in the physical complaints, for example sensation
of suffocation and oppression of lungs from having to breathe within a restricted lung space.
The only way that Tuberculinum sees out of this situation is through hectic, intense activity.
Therefore, if he finds orthodoxy oppressive, he will break free from the bonds of society and
undertake exploits which are rash, bold, daring and at times destructive. He cannot stick to the
straight and narrow, he will not be confined by monotony. He needs to take risks and does so
quite fearlessly. So Tuberculinum can progress to destructiveness, both physically (as evidenced
by cavitations in the lungs), or emotionally “burning out”, at the end of which he feels totally
drained out of energy and drive.
Thus the tubercular miasm seems to fall between sycotic and syphilitic miasms. The sycotic
aspect is seen in the fibrosis – the person has to live for the rest of his life with a fixed, restricted
lung space, and very often has tendencies to recurrent colds and respiratory affections. On the
other hand tuberculosis is also known to have violent, progressive, destructive features which
are almost totally hopeless without medical intervention, e.g. TB meningitis, miliary TB, etc.
A proving of Bacillinum was conducted in October 1993 at my seminar in Spiekeroog. The provers received Bacillinum 200C. Many provers had dreams of intense and quick activity and used
the word “hectic” to describe their dreams. Also some provers had dreams having to do with
trains going up and down mountains, which situations were described as being “dangerous, risky
and fast”. Still other dreams, that brought out the theme of risk and danger, included descending into down an abyss on a rope with a feeling “So what if it is deep”, of being in a narrow
restaurant with a feeling that this was dangerous for her, of being bitten on the neck by a big
dog. Further, dreams of being oppressed by a neighbour in one prover, dreams of concentration
camps in a couple of others and symptoms like nausea and oppression, asthma-like symptoms,
and a relief in open air, brought out the theme of oppression. Other themes that came up were:
a need to help others, especially those in danger, and hopefulness.
The situation of a poor or middle class person in an economically backward country, is similar
to that of Tuberculinum. If he remains stuck or stagnant in that country, financial burden and
inflation will oppress him. What he needs is rapid and hectic activity to get him out of such a
situation. It is hardly surprising, therefore, to find tuberculosis in vast number of Indians.
Even, as homoeopaths, we could get the feeling that if we are stuck with a limited knowledge
of Homoeopathy, the ever increasing number and variety of diseases and problems in the world
is going to crush us. What we need is rapid, quick activity to expand our knowledge and Materia
Medica, beyond their limited confines. Many new provings, and new approaches to provings
and case analysis are needed. This could also be a Tuberculinum feeling.
It is little wonder that one of the chief modalities of Tuberculinum is amelioration in fresh open
air, especially with the wind blowing against the face, as when you drive a motorcycle. The elements of risk, speed and adventure are all part of the Tuberculinum picture.
– Change, desire for.
– Dreams, of being a prude.
– Travel, desire to.
– Escape, attempts to.
– Destructiveness.
– Break things, desire to.
Phatak’s materia medica
– Symptoms are constantly changing… When Tuberculinum fails, Syphilinum often follows favourably.
– Worse: Close room, exertion, change of weather, pressure of a waist band.
– Better: Open air, cool wind.
– Dissatisfied, always wants a change, wants to travel; does not want to remain in one place
long, wants to do something different or even find a new doctor, weary of life.
– Hopeless.
– Changing moods.
– Reckless.
– Desires cold milk and sweets. Aversion meat.
– Patient takes cold easily on slightest exposure, which ends in diarrhoea.
– Sense of suffocation even with plenty of fresh air, longs for cold air.
– Sweat, easy, cold, clammy. Clothes feel damp.
– Teeth grinding in sleep.
– Desires meat.
– Boldness.
– Desire to pull her own hair.
– Hopeful.
– Symptoms diverse, many.
Veratrum album
Veratrum album is a remedy of the acute miasm. Veratrum has the feeling that he has lost his
social position which he must regain quickly by any means or he will be finished. He tries to find
means for sudden gains, e.g. gambling, lying, fraudulent business, etc. Show of wealth and importance are prominent features seen in Veratrum and using these he tries to make up this “lost
social position”.
Social position is a very important factor in human life, for it ensures security, marital prospects
and protection from attacks. A threat to social position therefore is a threat to all these factors.
We see in Belladonna the fear of being attacked, in Stramonium the threat of being alone in the
wilderness, and in Hyoscyamus the threat of being deserted by his partner. That is why it is said
that Veratrum has all these three remedies in it. In addition, it has a lot to do with ego.
As a proving, when I took a dose of Veratrum, I dreamt:
“I was an employee of an old man who was going to retire very soon. Fearing that the retirement would be a blow to his social position, he wanted to arrange a huge extravaganza to prove
that his was still important. So he booked a huge football stadium for his birthday party and
filled it up with his guests. We, the employees were to march in the stadium with the stilts on
our shoes to exaggerate our heights and at the same time play music. Our boss, the old man,
would follow us in the stadium.”
This dream typifies the Veratrum feeling. This man behaves as if he is reacting to a loss of social
position. He is like a king who has suddenly become a pauper. If he is to “survive” he has to tell
lies and make a show of wealth. He has to squander money and speak highly of himself. He
needs to create about him an aura of grandeur.
In cases that require the remedy, we see that if not the patient himself, somebody in his earlier
generations has lost his social position, creating the Veratrum state. This state has been subsequently transmitted as a root into this patient. Often such a history can be traced.
Veratrum can be religious but even there, there is usually a very large element of show in it:
there is much ostentation in his religiousness. Similarly in his speech, extravagance and his ability to lie without any hesitation, you can see that a Veratrum person needs to re-establish his
position in society. I believe it can be a remedy for certain showy evangelists.
In my experience I have seen that Veratrum people can use any means in order to make quick
buck or show their importance, e.g. lying, name dropping, issuing false cheques, doing fraudulent business, large-scale cheating, tremendous show of wealth, etc. Religious, political or business leaders who make a big show may be in the Veratrum state. If caught, they try to cheat
their way out by lies and deceit which include feigning illness, even cancer.
On the other hand Veratrum persons are a joy to be with: talking, singing, jesting, cheerful.
They can have also pleasant fantasies, e.g. being in communication with God.
– Despair, position of, social.
– Religious.
– Delusion, God communication with, he is in.
– Delusion, dumb, he is.
– Busy.
– Restless.
– Industrious.
– Cheerful.
– Loquacity.
– Liar.
– Deceitful.
– Courageous.
– Squanders money.
– Extravagance.
– Praying.
– Shameless.
– Desires ice.
Viola odorata
Viola odorata is a plant remedy. Like other plant remedies, it is extremely sensitive. The unique
feature of Viola odorata is that this emotional nature, this sensitivity is entirely suppressed. It is
as if the person is not permitted to feel or express any emotions and hence leads a life which is
completely based on intellectual decisions.
There seems to be a complete separation between the emotion and the intellect in this remedy.
The intellect dominates over the emotion, not allowing the latter to surface. The person leads
most of his life saying and doing the correct things, taking decisions based on logic and intellect.
But sometimes, there is an upsurge of emotions and, at that time, the behaviour of the person
is taken over by this emotional response.
I have found this remedy to be useful in persons who have had an extremely controlled childhood as in Carcinosinum. Two of my patients of Viola odorata are from Switzerland. Switzerland
is known for its control and especially control on emotional expression.
Even though it is mentioned that Viola odorata has an aversion to music, especially violin, I have
seen quite the contrary: that they can be good violin players. The violin is one instrument which
has to be played with precision and logic; at the same time it can express emotion very profoundly.
– Activity, emotional.
– Activity, mental.
– Emotions, predominated by intellect.
– Sensitive, violin, to.
– Speech, voice, in a low soft.
Zincum metallicum
Zinc (Zn) belongs to the first line of metals in the Periodic Table. The remedy has the theme of
attack and defence, with an accompanying feeling of having committed a crime. I have found
that Zincum patients have a tremendous, constant anxiety as if they would be arrested, as if
they were pursued by someone.
Zinc is next to Cuprum (Cu) in the Periodic Table, and the two remedies are very similar. The
difference is that in Zincum the fear of being attacked is constant, and therefore there is a constant excitement of the nervous system. There is a state of ready alertness which is manifest by
the constant twitching, jerking or by the constant restlessness of the legs. The patient feels all
the while that somebody is after him and this causes the constant restlessness. He is always
fidgety, and in severe cases I found that these people may actually have a criminal look on their
faces and a feeling as if someone may come from behind them anytime – this keeps them alert,
stiff and tense all the time.
In Cuprum on the other hand, the perceived threat of attack is not continuous; it is intermittent,
sometimes periodical and sometimes due to the exciting cause. But in Zincum every stimulus
excites the nervous system.
The other feature is the tremendous repression of eruptions which straightaway affects the
nervous system, causing tremendous excitability and restlessness, for example non-eruption of
exanthemata leads to convulsions and affections of the nervous system. A measles infection
would directly affect the nervous system instead of skin or lungs, thus causing severe complications like convulsions or SSPE.
Repressed emotions can cause somnambulism and suppressed anger cause trembling and
After a period of excitability of the brain and tremendous restlessness, the Zincum patient can
go to the other extreme, which is tremendous dullness, fagged out feeling such that he cannot
even understand a question – he repeats questions before answering them. He is muddled and
suffers a brain fatigue; later he passes on into a state of a total collapse and coma.
The Zincum person can be egoistic but generally comes down in the face of superior attack. Like
Cuprum, you have the desire to become a high-ranked person like an officer or a policeman.
I have heard of a remarkable case of Viral Hepatitis B where the patient, himself a doctor, went
into delirium that was so violent that he had to be held down by many people despite being
given several tranquilizers. Dr. B.N. Chakravorti cured this patient with Zincum which he prescribed on the symptom:
– Delirium, violent, restrained and calmed with great difficulty, is.
Physical concomitants
– Hunger aggravates.
– Aggravation at 11:00 a.m.
– Aggravated falling to sleep, especially twitching and jerking of limbs.
– Naturally Zincum is ameliorated by the appearance of eruptions and discharges.
– Answers, repeats the question first.
– Anxiety, conscience, of, as if guilty of a crime.
– Delirium, violent, restrained and calmed with great difficulty, is.
– Delusion, accused, she is.
– Delusion, arrested, is about to be.
– Delusion, crime committed, he had.
– Delusion, devils, after her, devil is.
– Delusion, murdered, he will be.
– Delusion, pursued by enemies.
– Delusion, pursued, police, by.
– Insanity, suppressed eruptions, after.
– Prostration of mind, mental exhaustion, brain fag.
– Restlessness, anxious.
– Somnambulism, suppressed emotions, after.
– Unconsciousness, coma, stupor, exanthemata slow to appear, when.
– Twitching around corners of mouth.
– Jerks in the body on going to sleep.
– Aggravation from hunger.
– Trembling from hunger.
– Appetite increased, 11:00 a.m.
– Restlessness, hands.
– Restless legs.
– Epilepsy, petit mal.

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