Analyzing the pyromaniac

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In the wake of the many wildfires that repeatedly torment our planet in the summer seasons, frequently reported so in the media from Canada, the US, Australia and Southern Europe, it becomes obvious that quite often what ignites such fires is malicious arson.

 

Where there are no commercial interests driving such arson, it is likely to be a mental derangement. Who is the pyromaniac that has the impulse to start such horrific destruction? The repertories have only few remedies in the specific rubric looking at the desire of setting something on fire.

 

Murphy’s repertory [1] and Schroyens’s Synthesis [2] have listed the following remedies in the rubric “Mind – Fire – set things on fire; wants to”:

Alco., Ant.t.. – [1]

Alco., Ant.t., Bell., Carc., Hep., Hyosc., Phos., Staph., Stram.. – [2]

 

 

Below is a collation of mind symptoms of these remedies, which may reveal some insight into the personality of such pyromaniac personalities. These are taken from the Materia Medica of Boericke [3], Clark [4] and Allen [5].

 

 

Alcohol:  There is an inclination to quarreling, cursing, frenzy and mania with this remedy. Within the manic outbreak this individual has a disposition to commit murder or incendiarism, that is, maliciously setting things on fire. There is a heightened self-esteem and self-importance, loss of judgement, grief and sadness, and depression. In a state of melancholy there may be the inclination to commit suicide.

 

Antimonium tartaricum:  In this individual there is great despondency and agitation. There is anxiety about the future and fear of being alone. He or she may be peevish, and quarrelsome. His or her actions may be the consequence of anger or vexation. There may be a tendency to suicidal mania.

 

Belladonna: This person lives in a world of his own, has visions and is oblivious to his surroundings. Illusions and hallucinations and an acuteness of his or her senses are present. There is a fear of nearing death, melancholy with grief, and mania with rage and fury. Fearfulness and suspicion, and a desire to escape torment this individual.

 

Carcinosin [6], [7]: There is a marked sensitivity and tender heartedness to this individual. He or she has very low self-esteem, feels lost and abandoned, and is emotionally very needy. In stress there is anxiety which leads to an emotional shut-down. This character is easily influenced and shapeable, and there is a destructiveness, rage, and cruelty about him or her. There may be mania and thoughts of suicide.

 

Hepar sulfuris: Extreme apprehension, anguish and sadness may at times point to suicidal tendencies of this individual. This character reacts extremely to irritation and vexation. There may be fury, anger, dejection and ferociousness.

 

Hyoscyamous: Great suspiciousness, anguish and fear are marked, as is a fear of betrayal and of being poisoned. This individual is peevish and quarrelsome. There is rage, perversion, melancholy and lascivious mania.

 

Phosphorus: Sadness and melancholy, apathy and anguish are part of the picture of portrayed by this individual. There is much fear, about his or her future, of darkness, of death. This person may have a disgust of life, is low spirited, indifferent, easily vexed and angered. In great anger there may be violence.

 

Staphisagria: This character may have sadness, grief, peevishness and fear of the future. He or she may suffer of violent, yet passionate outbursts. There is anxiety and agitation, and a desire for death.

 

Stramonium: Characteristics of this state are hysteria, mania, melancholy, sadness and great anguish. He or she has fixed ideas, suffers of mental derangement, has visual and auditory hallucinations, and fears he is losing his senses. This individual may be violent and lewd, may have delusions about who he or she is.

 

 

There are numerous characteristics that these remedies have in common, as such the loathing of life, ie. the suicidal aspect. They all have an element of fear, melancholy and sadness. Many have hallucinations and are peevish, quarrelsome, and have a deficiency of self-esteem.

 

 

 

References:

[1] Murphy, R. (1998) Homeopathic Medical repertory, 2nd edn., Delhi: B. Jain Publishers.

[2] Schroyens, F. Synthesis 9.0 (English), Radar.

[3] Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

[4] Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

[5] Allen, T. F. (2000) The Encyclopedia of pure Materia Medica Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://www.homeoint.org (Accessed: September 2016).

[6] Nissen, M. (2016) Carcinosinum: A Clinical Materia Medica, Available at:https://homeopathy.org (Accessed: September 2016).

[7] Mehta, N. (2013) Materia Medica CARCINOSIN, Hpathy, [Online]. Available at:http://hpathy.com/materia-medica/carcinosin-2/ (Accessed: September 2016).

Some rare symptoms and their remedies – according to H. Leers

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Removes blanket despite being cold – Mur. ac., Camph., Carbo veg., Sec., Tab.

Acne following the ingestion of cheese – Nux vom.

Allergy / Intolerance to Strawberries – Coff., Fragaria, Nat. mur.

Breathing, as through a sponge – Brom., Spong.

Feels observed – Calc., Meli.

Beer ameliorates – Aloe

Disgust at sight of food – Colch.

Disgust at talk of food – Ars.

Extra-systole – Adon., Cact., Conv., Crat., Dig., Gels., Spart.-sc.

Believes does everything wrong – Aur., Sil.

Extremities as if separated from body – Bapt., Bar.-c., Op., Stram., Thuja

Smiles without reason, always – Sumbulus

Music ameliorates, despite intolerance to noise – Aur.

Climate at sea, ameliorates – Med., Nat.mur.

Climate at sea, aggravates – Nat.mur.

Talks to self, in old age – Stram.

Toothache, cold water ameliorates – Clem., Coff.

Reaction to pain is delayed  – Alum., Cocc., Mang., Plb.

Hallucinations upon waking – Cina

Senility, asks questions without awaiting a response – Ambra

Strawberry tongue – Ant.t., Arum, Bell., Fragaria, Lach., Tub.

 

 

 

 

Reference:

Leers, H. (1973) Sammlung seltener Symptome, 2 edn., Heidelberg: Karl F. Haug Verlag GmbH.

Some recommendations for heart and circulatory health

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In order to maintain a healthy heart and blood circulation it is not wrong to occasionally take supportive measures. Sufficient movement in fresh air, moderate exercise, such as walking or swimming, or hot / cold alternating baths, are true restorers and preservers of a healthy heart and blood circulation. Proper hydration and healthy eating do the rest for good circulation.

But there are also other methods to support the system.

 

Red wine is good for you!

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Scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated that red wine is good for your heart! However, only in moderation! With a moderate consumption of red wine, which means no more than 150ml per day, such consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease by about 30%. The reason for this, researchers have found in the composition of the wine. The ingestion of flavonoids and resveratrol, the main constituents of the wine, results in dilation of the blood vessels and thus increase blood flow. Blood clotting is reduced and the formation of clots thereby limited. This in turn reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Incidentally, more recent studies have provided evidence that white wine too has these properties.

 

The Hildegard heart tonic

By Miniatur aus dem Rupertsberger Codex des Liber Scivias., Public Domain, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=1718595.jpg

By Miniatur aus dem Rupertsberger Codex des Liber Scivias., Public Domain, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=1718595.jpg

Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 17.09.1179) already ascribed a healing effect to red wine. The abbess recommended the ingestion of ‘Heart-wine’ to strengthen the heart and the revitalization the circulatory system. This recipe however, not solely consists of red wine, but is a concoction of wine, parsley and honey. The relaxing and calming effect of the Heart-wine potion on the cardiovascular system may, apart from the wine, come from the vitamin- and mineral- rich composition of the parsley, and the antioxidant properties of the honey. Together these ingredients cause the coronary arteries to expand, lower the blood pressure and strengthen the heart.

 

 

Hildegard heart-wine:

* 10 parsley stems

* 2 tablespoons wine vinegar

* 1 litre of red wine

* 200 – 250ml Honey

 

In preparing the wine, the parsley stems, vinegar and wine are placed in a pot to boil. The concoction should simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Then the concoction should be strained and left to cool. The honey should only be added once the mixture has cooled to merely lukewarm. Adding the honey to the hot brew is likely to ruin the effective ingredients contained in the honey.

It is recommended to consume a liqueur-glass of this ‘Heart-wine’, up to three times a day, to relieve said heart problems, and strengthen the heart

 

Hawthorn – Crataegus

 

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Crataegus is the Latin name for Hawthorn.

It grows as a low tree, rather a bush, whose white flowers bloom in spring. Its fruits ripen towards late summer and autumn, and are of a fiery red colour. Hawthorn belongs to the genus of the rose family, and there are between 100 and 200 different species. It grows along roadsides and in hedges.

Its potential as a medicinal plant is focal on, in particular, the weak, and elderly heart. Accordingly, preparations of hawthorn are recommended for patients with decreasing cardiac output or cardiac insufficiency, the senile heart, arrhythmia, and the sensation of a narrowing or pressure in the region of the heart. Crataegus also has a stabilizing effect on blood pressure, and helps to regulate low and high blood pressure.

There is evidence that hawthorn promotes the contraction of the heart muscle and improves the hearts’ pumping force. The circulation of the coronary arteries is increased. The heart is thus strengthened and its efficiency increased.

A treatment with Crataegus can be drawn into consideration if the following symptoms are noted:

– Low exercise capacity

– General lassitude

– General rapid fatigue

– Palpitation, fatigue and / or shortness of breath after only slight exertion

There are no known adverse effects of taking Crataegus.

 

Circulatory complaints in the legs

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When legs suddenly feel heavy or painful, when ankles are swollen, the leg cramps, and the skin shows discoloration or varicose veins, a circulatory issue is often the cause. In such cases the blood circulation in the lower extremities may be limited, and often some simple measure suffice to bring about relief. For example, movement, massage, stretching exercises, or elevating the legs may reduce the symptoms.

 

Other measures included the use of various creams and preparations, containing for example, Aesculus (horse chestnut) or Hamamelis (witch hazel). These may be taken into consideration in the prevention and treatment of such circulatory disorders.

In homeopathic form, Aesculus and Hamamelis may be used in low potency, for example 6X.

 

Aesculus is indicated if:

– The legs are heavy and tired.

– The skin on the legs feels tense, and swollen.

– The veins appear jammed or inflamed.

– This ‘Aesculus’ circulatory disorder is not necessarily painful.

– The patient has is a tendency to thrombosis.

 

Hamamelis is indicated if:

– There is a sensitivity to touch, pressure and heat.

– Varicose veins are painful.

– There is a prevailing feeling of exhaustion in the legs.

– The veins shine through the skin, in a dark bluish colour.

– Water accumulates in the ankles.

Contusion – a common sports-injury

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One of the injuries most frequently acquired during sports is a contusion, so to speak bruising to the muscular tissue. While most such bruising is of little concern and will quickly resolve on by itself, more severe contusion that involves deeper lying tissue, may be a complication to athletes, causing them to have to refrain from any physical activity for quite a long time.

Damage to tissue beneath the skins surface may involve the crushing of muscles and connective tissue, and the rupturing of small, peripheral vessels, leading to the leakage of cellular fluids and blood into the surrounding tissue. The blue or blackish discoloration of the affected is a sign of such fluid leakage. The skin is usually not broken.

Contusions occur when an injury is produced by a direct, blunt, forceful impact to the body’s soft tissue, such as a blow, falling or jamming. At the located area there may be swelling and pain. There may be weakness and stiffness of the affected part. In some cases there may be the formation of a hematoma (blood collected at the point of impact that may be felt as a lump on the site of injury).

Complications to this type of injury are deep contusions impacting internal organs or bones.

Conventional 1st aid: RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate; Medication for pain relief.

Major 1st aid homeopathic remedies for contusion are:

Arnica: For all types of contusion. Great pain relief remedy

Bellis perennis: Follows well after Arnica. Rapid onset of healing.

Hamamelis: Indicated where Arnica fails to do something.

However there are other remedies for such injuries: Aconite, Calendula, Conium, Echinacea, Hypericum, Ledum, Rhus tox., Ruta, Symphytum to mention a few.

 

 

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (2016)Muscle Contusion (Bruise), Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/ (Accessed: June 2016).
  • Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
  • Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
  • Morgan, Lyle (1988) Homeopathic treatment of Sports Injuries, Rochester: Healing Arts Press.
  • Walker, Brad (2007) The Anatomy of Sports Injuries, Chichester: Lotus publishing.
  • WebMD LLC (2016)Contusions Treatment & Management, Available at:http://emedicine.medscape.com/ (Accessed: June 2016).

Must have … Arnica!

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Arnica

Arnica is an all-rounder in the homeopathic home-kit, and definitely a must have! It is indicated for all those injuries, bruises and traumas that may well occur in the household, while conducting household chores, gardening, or out at play or recreation. It may be the muscular bruise from bumping into the table corner, or that from handling a garden tool; it may be the soreness following an over-exertion form work, exercise or play, all are handled very well with Arnica.

 

Pain that shouts for Arnica is one that feels as if bruised or beaten, or has the sensation of a sprain or dislocation. The soreness of muscles of Arnica may be followed by swelling or stiffness of the affected area, and damage to the skin, such as hematoma, contusion or trauma, may leave the injured area red, bluish, green, yellow or even blackish.

 

For fever, Arnica may be the right choice if there is shivering and cold all over the body, but the head is red and hot, or where there is coldness of the extremities, but internally the sensation is one of heat.

 

Arnica has a broad spectrum of indications, for example the symptoms of arteriosclerosis, often accompanied with hypotension, coronary sclerosis, muscle and joint rheumatism, stiffness of joints, rheumatoid pains, and others. It is a remedy indicated following surgery, as it helps speed up the healing process. As such it is also ideal for treatment after tooth extraction or during child birth. It is for nosebleed after coughing, for swelling of the throat in acute tonsillitis, and the hoarseness of the voice after extensive talk. It is one major remedy for cases of angina pectoris, concussion and apoplexy. Such severe health concerns though, belong into the hands of a capable professional homeopath or other health care provider.

 

 

References:

Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

 

Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

 

DHU (2011) Homöopathisches Repetitorium  Karlsruhe: Deutsche Homöopathie Union.

 

A short differential comparison of the Barium remedies

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Of the Bariums there is an infantile type, and one of old age. The infantile is characterized by a torpid scrofula, the ‘old’ affections by changes in the vascular system.

For both types there are symptoms of chilliness and sensitivity to cold. There is aggravation from thinking about symptoms, and from lying on the painful side.

 

 

Barium carbonicum: Acts on the heart, vessels and glands. Aneurism & Atheroma. Indicated for scrofulous glandular affections, arteriosclerosis, tonsillitis & hypertrophy of the heart. Senile heart. Multiple sclerosis.

Involves less the mucous membranes, but the glandular parenchyma.

Indicated for physically and mentally poorly developed children. Dwarfed, learn to speak and walk very late, dull, disinclination to play, learn poorly. There is a general tendency to angina (also with suppuration) Swollen tonsils after exposure to cold.

Childish old people. The aged that are weak and tired. Disturbed cerebral circulation. Weakness of memory. Marked action on the heart and its vascular system, also on the vessels of the central nervous system. Arteriosclerosis of the CNS. Chief remedy for end-results of cerebral sclerosis, for the manifestations of a typical apoplexy; aneurysm.

Sarcoma of neck with burning. Fatty tumors, especially neck and occiput, swelling and induration of glands.

Paralysis of mind and body. Palpitation with soreness of heart. Acute sense of smell. Outstandingly offensive foot sweat.

A slow acting remedy, needs to be given over a longer period of time. Requires 2 to 3 weeks to produce an effect. To be given in lower attenuation.

 

 

Barium muriaticum: Acts on affections of the heart and arteries, the peripheral circulatory system, indicated for the senile heart, coronary sclerosis, arteriosclerosis. Abdominal / aortic aneurism (!). For recurrent affections of the nose, throat, larynx, ear, tonsils. There is a tendency to catch a cold. Disposition to tonsillitis.

Palpitation, Hypertension, but also Hypotension. In hypertension Bar.mur . should be given in the higher potencies, in hypotension in the lower potencies. Weakness and heaviness in the lower extremities. Weakness and the sensation of emptiness in the epigastrium.

Convulsions, periodic attacks with excessive twitching and tossing about of limbs. Swelling of salivary glands. Parotid glands, hard and swollen (esp. right side). Acts also on pancreas.

 

 

Barium iodatum: Arteriosclerotic hypertension (!), exudative diathesis. Glandular enlargements and new growth. Bar. Iod. is very similar to Bar. Carb., but has a more marked impact on glandular affections.  Treatment with Bar. Iod. requires a long term therapy, 2 to 3 months.

 

 

 

 

References:

[1] Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

[2] Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

[3] Lesser. O. (1983) Textbook of homeopathic materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

 

Watch out !  – Taking the case of a child

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Taking the case of a child is nowhere near the same as taking the case-history of an adult patient in the homeopathic practice.

 

Whilst an adult consultation sees most case-relevant information extrapolated from directed questions about the health history and presenting symptomatology of the patient, the details about the state of well-being of a child requires the inclusion of information shared by parents of the little patient, and observed by the practitioner within the therapeutic space.

 

The parent, most engaged with the child throughout the daily routine, will probably be able to aid in ‘drawing up’ the patient history, but the homeopaths own observation during the consultation will be paramount in the analysis and must complement what the parent is able to describe of the child´s symptomatology. Yet, much care has to be given with even a parents’ description. Are the statements reliable, or are there restrictions? According to Imhäuser [1] such care must particularly be given where parents must give an account of the character traits of their child, and his or her mental capacities.

 

For the homeopath therefore, observation requires a skillful perceiving and recognizing of most subtle nuances in behavior and comportment, in appearance and presentation of the child patient, and, in a way, of the parent.

 

Children’s mental states, as they may be noticeable in the homeopathic consultation [1]:

 

 

The affection needy child:

The child snuggles up to Mum and keeps body contact, holds hand.

Ignatia, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla.

 

 

The shy / coy child:

Seeks protection by keeping body contact with Mum, may cry silently.

Puls., Carc., Phos., Silicea. Calc. Phos.

 

 

The rejecting child:

Dislikes that Mum talks about his or her condition, does not like to be looked at. Wants to be left alone.

Nat. mur., Ant. Crud., Magn., carb..

 

 

The fidgety / restless child:

Does not sit still, walks about, touches everything, sits on Mums lap, gets down, back up, then wants to get down again and so on…

Aconite, Agar., Ars. Alb., Calc. hypophos., Calc. phos., Cham., Kal. brom, Zincum.

 

 

The fearful / anxious child:

Restless due to fear, cries, cannot be calmed.

Aconite,  Ars. alb., Bell., Cham., Lycop., Nux vom..

 

 

The cheeky / naughty child:

Hits at Mum or practitioner

Bry., Cham., Cina, Ign., Lycop., Nux vom.

 

 

The approachable, kind child:

Is interested in the proceedings of the consultation, participates, answers questions

This child is NOT Acon., Ars., Cham., Nux vom. or Lycop.

 

 

The passive child:

Cares not about what is going on around him/her. Lacks interest.

Calc.carb will wake this child.

 

 

 

The following questions may be helpful in the appraisal of a child’s case [1]:

 

  • How was the child’s birth? How well or not did the child take the birth?
  • How was the child’s development following birth?
  • Was the child vaccines? Which jabs did it get?
  • Did the child have any infections or illnesses?
  • Is the child intolerant to medicine, food etc.?
  • Has the child had recurrent ailments?
  • What is the child’s normal constitution? Is it a quiet, restless or cranky child?
  • Does the child want warmth or cold?
  • How is the child’s sleep?
  • How does the child eat? Cravings, rejections, intolerances?
  • Is there a tendency to constipation or diarrhea?
  • At what times of the day are symptoms better / worse?

 

 

 

Reference:

[1] Imhäuser, H. (1970) Homöopathie in der Kinderheilkunde, 3 edn., Heidelberg: Haug Verlag.

The Auto-nosode

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A nosode, by definition describes a homeopathic preparation made from a pathologic excretion. An auto-nosode is a remedy made from such material that is derived from the particular patient him- or her-self, who is to be treated with the auto-nosode [1]. The auto-nosode is therefore an isopathic substance [1].

 

The idea of treating patients with isopathic substances is not new; it is first mentioned in the writings of Hippocrates. Yet in homeopathically potentised form it was Wilhelm Lux, a homeopathic vet who first employed this concept in 1820 [1]. The underlying idea uses the ‘aequale’ (the same) as opposed to the ‘simile’ (the similar) of the homeopathic principle of ‘like cures like’, to treat a disease.

 

Constantin Hering started using homeopathic nosodes, in application of the simile-rule in 1831 [1]. First mention of the nosodes in Hahnemanns Organon is in the 4th edition, § 56 [1].

 

In 1895 a Parisian Dr. named Collet first mentions the use of homeopathic preparations derived from the tears, urine, sweat, and blood of sick patients for their treatment [1]. Auto-nosodes can also be made from sputum, pus, leucorrhoea, secretions from skin affections, and cultures of microbes or virus of a patient [3]. Dr. Collet potentised these auto-nosodes the Korsakovian way (explanation of Korsakov-remedies can be found here: https://talkndiscuss.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/korsakov-remedies-a-stand-alone-approach/), using the 1C & 6C in acute cases, and the 6C, 15C and 30C in chronic diseases [1].

 

Hedwig Imhäuser has used the blood nosode in her treatment of various illnesses in childhood. She describes the production of potentised blood as follows [2]:

 

The process of producing a blood-nosodes requires some 10ml bottles and alcohol of 25-30% strength. Each bottle is filled with 100 drops of the alcohol. One drop of patient blood is added to the first bottle, is then vigorously shaken, and one drop from this bottle is added to the second bottle which is then in turn succussed. This process continues with more bottles up to the desired potency.

 

Imhäuser [2] uses the blood nosode in 5C or 7C potency in acute infections where the similimum is difficult to derive or shows no effect, where a child is severely weakened, or complications have arisen.

 

In acute high fever Imhäuser suggests administering 2 to 3 drops of 5C of the auto-blood-nosode once daily, followed by one dose of 7C every 2 to 3 days. This is to be done until the fever has subsided. In recurrent infections, Imhäuser gives the 7C once every 8 days for 6 repetitions. Following the same pattern she then continues with the 9C, 10C and 12C. As such the patients will not have recurrence of the infection for up to a year, she explains [2].

 

Auto-nosodes may be viewed somewhat controversially in that they cannot be ‘derived’ following an individualized case-appraisal, and are commonly chosen on account of their patient origin. They are however, another tool in the hands of capable homeopaths, and may have healing potential that has not yet extensively been investigated.

 

 

References:

[1] Julian, O. (1960) Materia medica der Nosoden, 3 edn., Heidelberg: Haug Verlag.

 

[2] Imhäuser, H. (1970) Homöopathie in der Kinderheilkunde, 3 edn., Heidelberg: Haug Verlag.

 

[3] Master, F.J. (2010) Isodes, Nosodes and Sarcodes in Homoeopathy,Available at: http://www.drfarokhmaster.com/Editorial/2010-2011%20Editorial%20%20Feb%202010.pdf (Accessed: February 2016).

A short differential comparison of the Ferrum remedies

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Iron in the body acts as a transporter of oxygen to the cells. The constitutional type of the Ferrums is thin, sensitive, and irritable, with delicate, transparent skin. They are easily excitable and quickly get exhausted, are weak. There is pallor, a tendency to blushing. Mucous membranes are pale and the extremities feel cold. Their veins shine through the skin. There is fever, bleeding and anaemia in their case-histories. There may be ovarian dysfunction, with irregularities of menses. Digestive disturbances are marked, as are rheumatism, congestive headaches and neuralgic pains. A leading symptomatology is the aggravation at night, on sitting and lying down, with a need to lie down; a periodicity is given, and a worsening of state during and after eating. Aversion to meat.

 

 

 

Ferrum aceticum.:

Rapid growth. Pallor & rapid exhaustion in children. Epistaxis. In acute disease urine is alkaline. Pain in deltoid on right side. Varices on feet. Expectoration copious, of greenish pus. Asthma that is aggravated by lying or sitting still. Haemoptysis, Phthisis with coughing consistently. Vomiting after eating.

 

 

Ferrum arsenicosum:

Anemic, weak children without appetite. Chlorosis. Cachexia. Albuminuria. Pernicious anaemia. Enlargement of spleen & liver, with fever (without fever Ferr. Iod. is indicated). In fever face is flushed and sweaty. Severe blood diseases. Malaria. Nephritis. Undigested stools. Albuminuria. Dry skin. Eczema, psoriasis, impetigo.

 

 

Ferrum bromatum:

Weak, anemic people with depression. Pressure and heaviness in eyes & head. Scalp feels numb, dead. Dryness of nose & mouth, ameliorated by sneezing. Sticky mucus. Diarrhoea with bloody mucus, tenesmus & the feeling of an intestinal prolapse. Excoriating, sticky leucorrhoea & unpleasant sensation of heaviness & sinking in the uterus. Spermatorrhoea with anemia, debility & depression.

 

 

Ferrum cyanatum:

Irritable weakness & hypersensitivity in periodical neurosis. Cardiac pain with symptoms of nausea, constipation alternating with diarrhoea, flatulence. Chorea. Epilepsy.

 

 

Ferrum iodatum:

Acute nephritis following disease, debility from lack of vital force. Glandular enlargement, and tumorous growths. Sensation as if peristaltic of oesophagus were reversed in throat. Affections of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory system. Mucous membranes are red and there is burning. Taste is sharp, burning, metallic, bitter, pasty. Goitre.

Photophobia, Headache with confusion and heaviness. Lancinating/cutting pains in eyes, ears, from nose to occiput.

Feeling of satiety after only little food. Great thirst, no hunger.  Feeling of oppression about the chest, beneath the sternum. Sudden, sharp, sticking pains in chest. Heart beat increased with sensation of throbbing in blood-vessels. Sensation of crawling in urethra & rectum; urine of dark colour & sweetish smell. Incontinence in anaemic children, cannot retain urine.

Sensation of ‘bearing down’ of uterus, prolapse. Suppressed or scanty menses. Febrile sensation with increased pulse, but without actual rise in temperature. Sleep is restless. Worms, enlarged liver & spleen.

 

 

Ferrum magneticum:

Self-sufficiency, assuming an “air of importance”.

Pulsating headache with sudden attacks in eyes & nose. Darkness before right eye, halo-vision that is improved by eating. Itching mouth & nose.

Affections of intestinal tract are marked. Movement & grumbling in abdomen, particularly on left side. Urgency of urination and evacuation. Flatulence while eating & after meals, followed by lassitude and the sensation of heat & pain in the epigastrium. Loose evacuations with much flatulency. Flatulence is fetid, frequent & abundant, can be with liquid evacuation. Itching of anus.

Sleep not refreshing, awakening at 3 am. Prompt sleeping on lying down, with drowsiness.

Small warts on hands. Gums bleed upon slightest pressure. Facial heat followed by redness. Scalp itchy, painful scabs. Loss of hair. Increased salivation; sensation of mucous sticking to uvula. Paralytic weakness.

 

 

Ferrum metallicum:

Young, weakly individuals, anaemic & pale, pseudo-plethora, blush easily, fiery red. Major remedy for female puberty. Cold extremities, over-sensitiveness, worse following exertion and activity. Weakness from mere speaking or walking. Weakness is not visible, individual looks strong. Pallor of skin, mucous membranes, alternating with blushing. Blushing of face from slightest exertion or emotion. Flabby, relaxed muscles. Sensitivity to slightest noise. Irritability. The sight of flowing water causes vertigo; sensation of falling forward.

Headache stinging, hammering, pulsating, congestive; can extend to teeth. Ringing in ears prior to onset of menses. Pain located in back of head. Scalp painful; if hair is tied up, it must be let down. Headaches reoccur periodically.

Tendency to nose-bleed. Photophobia, vision is cloudy, reading causes letters to blur. Pain in teeth, ameliorated by icy cold water.

Great appetite or lack of it; aversion of all things sour. Vomiting directly after eating. Bloating in stomach after eating, with the sensation of heat and burning. Intolerance to eggs. Meat lies heavy in stomach. Hardness of abdomen. Heaviness in epigastrium.

Stools hard, urging is ineffectual. Backache & cramping in rectum following evacuation. Vegetative diarrhoea that is painless, watery, corrosive or slimy, undigested; at night, after, or during eating. Burning at anus. Tickling in urethra, involuntary day-time urination. Constant urge to urinate.

Menses irregular, too early, profuse, copious, long, intermittent or delayed. Pale and watery, stop for 1 or 2 days & then come back.  Release of big black clots. Pains birth like. Amenorrhoea, menorrhagia with anaemia. Appearance of varicose veins & acne during menses. Menses are exhausting & accompanied by headache.

Cardiac palpitation, throbbing & oppression in chest, worse by motion, readily comes on from  nervous causes. Breathing superficial.

Rheumatism in shoulder, shooting & tearing. Cracking in shoulder. Pain in hip-joint, tibia, soles and heel of feet, tearing, violent lancination. Lumbago, ameliorated by slow motion. Extremities are cold, palms of hands and soles of feet are hot.

Prolonged motion ameliorates. Nocturnal restlessness urges to movement is paired with weakness that urges to rest.

 

 

Ferrum muriaticum:

Loquacity. Pale face & red spots on cheeks. Blushes easily.

Inspiration is difficult. Dyspnoea from slightest exertion. Coughing causes pain in occiput.

Throat, severe sense of burning, mouth dry. Sour eructation, bilious after fatty foods, vomiting after eating.

Bruised pain & stitching in chest.

Weakness of limbs. Paralytic tearing in shoulder-joint, arm. Acute inflammatory rheumatism of right shoulder-joint. Right elbow. Like Ferr. Aceticum indicated for pains in the right shoulder.

Great piercing pains along whole length of colon. Diarrhoea with pains in limbs. Dark watery stools. Obstinate constipation.

Diabetes, enuresis, enlarged prostate. Metrorrhagia. Arrested menstruation. Copious urination & seminal emission in puperty. Vertigo & severe neuralgic pains. Bleeding. Diphtheria. Haemoptysis of clotted, dark blood. Pyelitis. Phlegmonous erysipelas. Cramps. Urine contains bright crystals. Anaemia.

 

 

Ferrum pernitricum:

Indicated in feeble & nervous women that have diarrhea. Glandular enlargement & obstinate ophthalmia.

 

 

Ferrum phosphoricum:

Remedy is indicated for the early stages of all inflammatory affections, peritonitis, cardiac disease, febrile states and inflammation prior to the formation of exudate. Also indicated after surgery on throat or nose to provide relief from soreness and to control bleeding. Laryngitis, acute, spasmodic cough. Inflammation of eye with redness and burning, Sensation as if there were a grain of sand under the eyelid. Vision blurred.

Sensitivity of head to touch, cold & noise. Congestive headache ameliorated by cold application. Hammering pain in forehead & temples, fear of apoplexy. Supra-orbital neuralgia on right side. Blinding headache, photophobia. Nose-bleed relieves headache.

Ill effects from exposure to sun, throbbing, vertigo. Dizziness, as if head pushed forward; all surrounding swims.

Heat, dryness and soreness of face, also palms of hands, neck & upper chest. Flushing of face. Acute otitis, if Belladonna fails to act. Ringing & buzzing in ear.

Hard, dry cough with soreness in chest. Palpitations. Intolerance of clothes touching abdomen  chest. Dull, aching pain  at heart.

Menses profuse with pain on top of head.

Stiffness of neck, violent drawing & tearing rheumatic pains in shoulder and arm, worse from movement. Semi-paralysis. Sub-acute & acute febrile joint rheumatism; attacking one joint after the other. Joints are puffy. Rheumatic affections ameliorated by warmth and covering. Pain and soreness of hip.

Sour eructation & vomiting of undigested matter. Restlessness & sleeplessness. Incontinence. Frequent urgency to pass urine, diurnal enuresis. Emission of urine with every cough. Hemorrhoids. Stools watery, bloody, undigested. Green stools. Hot flatus. Habitual constipation.

Poor appetite with attacks of sickness. Great thirst. Aversion to meat & milk. Symptoms aggravated at night, 4 – 6 am, by touch, movement & on right side. Amelioration from cold applications & continuous movement. Ferr. Phos. may fall into consideration in cases where belladonna is indicated.

 

 

Ferrum phosphoricum hydricum:

Malaise, as if not had enough rest & sleep. Affinity to complaints of right side. Sensitivity to cool air. Dull headache on right side. Every concussion is felt as a dull, painful sensation at base of skull. Drowsiness. Rising from stomach, most intense at 9.30 pm.

 

 

Ferrum picrinicum:

Gout, where there is chronic deafness & tinnitus, humming in ears. Deafness prior to menses, crackling in ears and voice is low pitched.

Pain along entire urethra, frequent nocturnal micturition, with feeling of fullness of bladder and pressure in rectum.

Right sided pain in neck and down right arm. Impaired movement of arm. Pains in shoulder girdle that are sticking & tearing; aggravated at night. (Ferr. aceticum more right sided; Ferr.met. more left sided).

Tearing & sticking pain from hip-joint into leg. Hip painful as if bruised, on touching, prevents walking. Aggravated evening & lying down, must rise & move about to lessen the pain, up until midnight.

Cramping in calves while resting & at night. Limbs must be moved, cannot be kept at rest. Restless sleep with unpleasant dreams.

Prostatic hypertrophy. Exhaustion. Impaired hearing. Dental neuralgia with radiation to ears & eyes. Indigestion & headache after meals. Icterus. Enlarged prostate. Warts & corns.

A great remedy to complete the actions of other prescriptions. Key-symptom: Failure of an organ-function under exertion.

 

 

Ferrum protoxalatum:

Anaemia.

 

 

Ferrum pyrophosphoricum:

Headache of a congestive sensation, brain congestion, from loss of large amounts of blood. Tarsal cysts.

 

 

Ferrum sulphuricum:

Morbus basedow. Anaemia. Bulimia, eructation of food with acidity. Flatulency. Loss of appetite. Pain in region of gall-bladder. Painless watery diarrhoea. Constipation. Severe vertigo with diarrhoea. Pressing throbbing headache. Violent tearing toothache. Copious menstruation; headache, frequently between periods. Metrorrhagia. Menorrhagia. Leucorrhoea. Erethism.

 

 

Ferrum tartaricum:

Feeling of great load lying on the entire upper portion of head which leads to gloomy apprehensiveness & congestive apoplexy. Sensation of heat from or at the cardiac orifice of stomach, unaffected by food or drink.

 

 

 

References:

[1] Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

[2] Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

[3] Lesser. O. (1983) Textbook of homeopathic materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.

What´s up with placebo?

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Only since recent time, is the scientific sphere increasingly diverting some of its attention to the placebo. While an established element in the conduction of research, and an embedded entity in the ‘gold-standard’ random controlled trial, the placebo remains a controversy.
Since its establishment as part of research methodology, it has “received inadequate attention, poor methodology, and a-priori assumptions” [5]. Yet, while being considered an inert medication or intervention that resembles the active drug or procedure, placebo, in fact, has specific effects of its own [1].

 

Prior to the use of placebo in research, a medical intervention was deemed effective if outcomes provided such evidence, yet since the introduction of placebo, the legitimacy of an intervention was only granted if outcomes of research showed superiority to a designated placebo [5]. A placebo control has since been employed to reduce bias on account of “ancillary effects” of a trialled intervention or regimen [6]. Its aim has been to “challenge, debunk, and discard ineffective and harmful treatments” [2].

 

Yet, with recent research drawn to investigate the effects from placebo, it has become evident that placebo itself has the ability of influencing trial participants [2]. Such findings render the placebo a tool that is “unscientific and caused by bias and prejudice” [2], and as such instigate an essential need to redefine placebo and its application [1].

 

Placebo effects are not the effects of the inert drug as which it is frequently defined, but are the alterations patients perceive in their states of health, caused by aspects related to non-medicinal or non-interventional sources. They are “genuine biopsychosocial phenomena” largely attributed to the therapeutic relationship, its proceedings and the patient-practitioner encounter [2]. Yet, such restrictive attribution is inappropriate. Trials have shown that placebo acts even where the impact from the therapeutic relationship and associated ritual are removed, or extended equally to all three trial arms, active verum, placebo and no-treatment arm. Either way, research outcomes have shown that the produced effects of placebo are greater than those reported from the no-treatment arm [3]. Furthermore, research has shown that effect sizes of placebo in conventional research, are as extensive over no-treatment, as verum is over placebo [1], and that placebo responsiveness is higher in trial conditions that use continuous, that is, non-specific, subjective outcomes [1].

 

In this light it is controversial, if not paradoxical, to employ placebo in trial investigations, as it fails to control bias, and impacts the efficacy outcomes [6]. Future studies employing placebo must include a third trial arm that investigates the outcomes from a ‘no treatment’ group, as a control for the placebo arm, and the chosen placebo must be appropriately selected for the particular type of trial to be conducted. It must be devoid of the potential to, itself, impact outcomes [6].

 

While, placebo, according to the current knowledge, is thought to be unable to provide entire cure, it is considered capable of altering symptoms and disease progress. As such it has the capacity to impact the efficacy of medicinal or clinical therapy and regimen [2].

 

Yet, there is the implication that placebo may be positive or negative. Nocebo, the negative placebo tilts patient perception from the positive anticipation of a treatment to a negative one, that is, the treatment results in a lack of effect, or is concomitant to experiences considered as undesired or adverse by the patient [2, 4].

 

Furthermore, the use of placebo in clinical practice is, by its nature, very controversial, as the ethical implication of informed consent is limited by its use. The use of the ‘inert’ pill or intervention becomes a deceptive act [2]. For a prescribed placebo to unfold its effect, this prescription has to be founded on the lie that the patient is receiving an active medication [3]. This is challenging in the medical/healing sphere, where “trust and transparency” are imperative to medical practice [2, 4].

 

Interestingly enough, when researchers investigated the impact on trial participants when these were told they would be receiving a placebo, their reaction to the faux pill was equally as effective as when it was not disclosed to them that they were receiving an inert drug [3]. Following such prior disclosure, the prescription of placebo rules out the ethical objectives of informed consent, and the ethical dilemma is overcome [3].

 

The use of placebo requires to be reconsidered, both for research and in clinical practice. Adjustments to the ethical paradigm are necessary in order to elucidate the use of placebo as a prescription to patients, and research must measure the placebo effect in its trials and studies, in order to identify its magnitude and make correct statements on the efficacy of drugs and interventions trialed in a placebo controlled manner [3].

 

Placebos are of an invaluable worth, as they demonstrate that physical ailment can be impacted psychologically [3]. Yet, it is not a healing response coming from the pill, but actually from the patient upon taking it [3]. The current conclusion on this phenomenon is an interesting one, namely, that the human body has an inherent power to heal itself [3]. Yet, we are nowhere near the end of exploration and explanation of the placebo and its effect.

 

 

 

References:
[1] Howick , J., Friedemann, C., Tsakok,M., Watson, R., Tsakok, T., Thomas, J., Perera, R., Fleming, S., & Heneghan, C. (2013) ‘Are Treatments More Effective than Placebos? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis’, PLOS one [Online]. Available at: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062599 (Accessed: June 2013).
[2] Kaptchuk, T. & Miller, F. (2015) ‘Placebo Effects in Medicine’, N Engl J Med, 373(), pp. 8-9 [Online]. Available at: DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1504023 (Accessed: July 2015).
[3] Silberman, S. (2010) ‘Meet the Ethical Placebo: A Story that Heals’, PLOS Blogs [Online]. Available at: http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2010/12/22/meet-the-ethical-placebo-a-story-that-heals/ (Accessed: November 2013).
[4] Strausz, M (2012) ‘Nocebo: Der böse Bruder von Placebo’, DocCheck News [Online]. Available at: http://news.doccheck.com/de/326/nocebo-der-bose-bruder-von-placebo/ (Accessed: August 2015).
[5] Kaptchuk, T. (1998) ‘Powerful placebo: the dark side of the randomised controlled trial’, The Lancet, 351(9117), pp. 1722–1725 [Online]. Available at: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(97)10111-8 (Accessed: November 2015).
[6] Horn, B., Balk, J. & Gold, J. (2011) ‘Revisiting the sham: Is it all smoke and mirrors?’, Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, 2011, 4 pages. doi:10.1093/ecam/neq074