Considering that the festive season is arriving, it is time to take a look at the options that homeopathy has available to help us out when our diet gets spiked with the delicacies and goodies that Christmas and New Year may traditionally bring.
The supermarkets are usually starting early, at least in the northern hemisphere, from what I know, sometimes as early as late September or early October, to supply us with the traditional European advent and Christmas bakery. Stollen, gingerbread, and all those other spicy goodies now join our meal-plans, whether we buy or home-bake those pies, cookies, cakes or have celebratory seasonal drinks, mulled wine, glogg or other. With the festive days approaching then, meals are adapted to the occasion, and frequently foods and dishes become more extravagant, rich and less conform to our usual diet. After all, it is the season of indulgence, and over-indulgence.
The following is a collation of remedies, aimed at treating such over-indulgence caused by food.
Nux vomica: – The patient feels worse after eating. Spices and stimulants make a sour and bitter taste in the mouth. Eructation is difficult. There may be nausea in the morning following such over-indulgence. The stomach feels painfully heavy. The stomach is bloated, with the sensation of a stone/lump in the epigastrium, several hours after eating. There is flatulence and heartburn. The stomach feels out of order. There may be a sensation of phlegm in the throat; that becomes worse after eating. Drinking strong coffee causes dyspepsia.
Carbo vegetabilis: – With this remedy there may be eructation, heaviness, fullness, and sleepiness after eating and drinking. Eructation only causes temporary relief. The taste may be rancid, sour, or putrid. There may be a burning sensation and distension of the stomach. Eating causes much flatus. There may be a sensation of fullness with cramps, burning pains, and constriction in the bowels and stomach. Such distress can set in about half an hour after eating. There may be nausea and a faint, gone feeling in stomach. The individual is worse from fatty food, butter, coffee, milk, wine.
Lycopodium: – Fullness sets in after eating only little, causing a sensation of pressure/bloating in the stomach, and a taste of bitterness in the mouth. There can be sour eructation, food tastes sour. There is the sensation of rising from the stomach that does not come to eructation, but can burn in the pharynx for hours. This may come from eating heavy foods like cabbage, beans, and bakery foods. Digestion is weak, there is flatulence. There is a constant sensation of food fermenting, and the bloating makes breathing difficult and causes faintness. This distension also causes symptoms of palpitation. These make the individual nervous and sensitive to noise. Oysters make him sick.
Pulsatilla: – The individual experiences heartburn and bloating that requires him to loosen his clothing. There is a bitter taste, and massive eructation of sour, rancid, and bitter fluid. There is distension and pain in the stomach setting in as early as about an hour after a meal. Digestion is slow. There may be rumbling, and the sensation as of a stone or lump in the stomach, still, as late as the morning after a heavy meal. There is increased salivation. The individual is thirst-less and has an aversion to fatty, greasy food, pork.
Ipecacuanha: – There is an increased salivation, and the individual is pale. There is an urge to vomit with continuous gagging and a sharp pain in the stomach that radiates to the back. There may be the continued feeling of nausea with great exhaustion.
Natrium Phosphoricum: – There is fullness and bloating following a meal, with a sensation of acid rising, heat, heaviness and pressure. The disturbance of the stomach may be caused by greasy, fatty foods and milk products. There is a sensation of emptiness in the stomach that becomes worse by eating. This is a painful, cramping, gnawing, gurgling, with soreness and stitching in the stomach. There may be eructation that is of a sour taste. The individual may be flatulent and there is great thirst.
Arsenicum Album: – The individual is very sensitive to the sight or smell of food; he cannot bear it. He is very thirsty, drinks only little quantities at a time. He may experience nausea, with eructation, and the urge to vomit following a meal or drinking. Pains are experienced as burning; as such heartburn feels like a rising of acid and bitter substances that seem to excoriate the throat. The stomach is irritated and distended; the sensation in the stomach is one of rawness and rupture. The œsophagus seems inflamed, feels closed and food gets stuck.
Zincum: – There is a feeling of burning in stomach. Acid rising is induced by sweet foods or drink. The individual has a feeling of collapse in the stomach, yet is greedy when eating; eats very rapidly. There is pain after only a light meal. The stomach is distended and there is gurgling and a sensation of griping.
Bryonia: – The individual experiences a sense of pressure, as of a stone, in the stomach. There is soreness and sensitivity to touch. The individual feels nauseous and faint, with great hunger, but aggravation comes from eating. There is loss of taste, and an inability to digest food, and as a consequence the individual develops an aversion to food, in particular fatty foods. There may be vomiting of bile and water directly after the ingestion of food. The individual desires large quantities of water. The symptoms of the stomach are improved by warm drink, but there is desire for cold water.
Calcium Carbonicum: – Digestion is slow; food stays long in the stomach, and does not digest, but turns sour; as such all food upsets the stomach. There is distension and fullness after eating. There is sour rising, much sour eructation, and cramping in the stomach that is sensitive to the touch. Milk disagrees, and there is a great desire for eggs.
Phosphorus: – All meals make a sour taste, and cause large sour eructation. There is sensation of burning from the throat to the bowels. There may be vomiting of undigested matter, and water is thrown up as soon as it gets warm in the stomach. There is pain, and nausea in the stomach that is improved by cold food, and ice-cream. The feeling in the stomach is one of sinking, pressing, burning, tearing. There is flatulence and much distension. Eating too much salt causes ill effects. There is renewed hunger soon after eating.
Alumina: – This individual may develop heartburn with a sensation of constriction that are experienced as sour or bitter. They have no desire to eat, and can only swallow small pieces. The simplest of foods cause indigestion. There is distension and the development of much flatulence. There may be nausea and vomiting.
Sulphur: – There is either a complete loss of appetite, or excessive appetite. Eructation is sour, acidic, and foul tasting. In the stomach there is painful burning, soreness and a weight-like pressure. This may come on after eating just little, meat, or foods that are generally difficult to digest. The smarting pain and the sensation of rawness may be followed by acidic and bilious vomiting.
Kent, J. (2000) LECTURES ON HOMŒOPATHIC MATERIA MEDICA. Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://homeoint.org/books3/kentmm/ (Accessed: November 2015).
Boericke, W. (2000) HOMŒOPATHIC MATERIA MEDICA. Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/ (Accessed: November 2015).