Examples of some remedies for PTSD with excerpts of their symptom pictures

The symptom complex of PTSD, post-traumatic-stress disorder, exhibits a specific and individualized symptomatology. Homeopathy has a number of remedies at its disposal, with which this particular symptom complex and its individual expression can be treated. Some of the remedies that may be useful in treating PTSD are listed below.

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Absinthium: The patient needing this remedy may experience nervousness and sleeplessness, has visions and hallucinations that are frightening and terrifying. The patient may have the urge to walk, distressed by the visions of all sorts of demons. He or she does not care whether he or she lives or dies. He or she does not want to engage with others. There may be a tendency to brutality and violence. This may alternate with stupor.

Aconitum:  There is great and uncontrollable anguish, fear and anxiety; irritability, sadness and gloom. Much worry, uneasiness and fear accompanies even ordinary sickness. He or she fears there will be no recovery from illness. He or she may predict the day of his death. There is nervousness and weakness. The individual may have fear to leave the house, of being in a crowd. Complaints may come from situations of fright or fear. In states of deliria the patient needing Aconitum is unhappy, worries, raves and despairs over the fearful anticipation of his or her death. There is sadness, maliciousness, a high disposition to anger, fear and conflict. There is a sensitivity to noise, a dislike of communication, a vexation over trifles. Great irritation, nervousness, restlessness and excitement are characteristic. A fear of spectres, the dark, forebodings and a tendency to start are also prevalent, as is the disposition to run away from the locality. Aconite is a short-acting remedy for the acute states.

Agaricus: This remedy is characterized by great changeability, irritability, and depression. There is a state of delirium with confusion of the mind. The individual wishes not to engage in communication with others.An indisposition to mental or other labour. There may be timid or violent mania with persistent delirium in which he or she recognizes no one and throws objects around. The individual is morose and stubborn.

Anacardium: This remedy has fixed ideas and hallucinations. He or she is easily offended; contradiction makes him or her furious. The individual expresses anxiety over somebody following him or her when moving about. There is deep melancholy and hypochondriasis. There is depression, sadness and despair over health. The patient is suspicious and distrusting. He or she can be malicious with an absence of moral restraint. Absent mindedness, dullness and sluggishness of mind may be prevalent. He or she may be hearing voices and may have hallucinations. There is anxiety, despair over the future, even fear of nearing death.

Anhalonium: In this remedy there is distrust and resentment. The individual is confused, and delusional.  There may be a depersonalisation taking place within the patient. He or she may be dissociated from his or her nearest environment. Likewise there may be over-identification with that environment. The feeling for time and reality is lost.

Ambra grisea: Ambra dreads the company of people and wants to be alone. He or she is shy in the presence of others. The individual can despair over life to the extent that he or she loathes life. He or she is restless, excitable and loquacious.  Concentration is difficult for this individual. There may be confusion of thoughts. He or she is ‘forced’ to dwell on disagreeable things. These things can be fantastic hallucinations images, grimaces, fancies, visions, or imaginations. They are annoying to him or her and keep the patient from sleeping. The company of others is experienced as disturbing. There is the feeling of embarrassment, with nervous excitement, flushing, and trembling. The individual imagines that he or she is losing his or her mind which causes melancholy, great sadness and despair to the extent that the patient desires to die. He or she considers life unworthy of living. Ambra is the distinctive picture of an individual who used to be a vital, vigorous and strong person, and since the causative experiences is a broken, nervous, quivering, trembling wreckage.

Arsenicum album: A remedy that is indicated for great anguish accompanied by restlessness. There is fear is of death, of being left alone. The fear is also accompanied by cold sweat. The individual takes no medicines as he or she thinks these are useless. He or she may have olfactory and auditory hallucinations, may be delusional with a tendency to mania and delirium. He or she is sensitive to confusion and disorder. These make him or her anxious, prostrated, fearful and restless. The restlessness keeps the person in movement. He or she does not stay still. As the individual may be of selfish character, lacking courage, being miserly may incline him or her to be malicious or suicidal. This individual may be extremely sad, melancholic, and such a state may make him or her weary of life, loathing it, wanting to die, and this character may actually commit suicide.

Aurum metallicum: The patient needing Aurum exhibits feelings of self-condemnation, utter worthlessness, deep despondency, and a deep disgust for life. These make him develop a tendency to want to commit suicide. He or she truly loathes life, is weary of it even desires to die. This is a deep depression, a profound melancholy that robs the individual of all that is joyous in his or her environment. He or she fears death. He is grumpy, broody, and extremely sensitive to noise and commotion around him or her. He or she cannot handle contradiction, is quarrelsome. He is a very dutiful character and sees criticism as consequence of a sin, a neglect he or she has committed. Therefore he or she thinks him or herself as unworthy of salvation. He or she is a pessimist, expects things to go wrong, and sees only the negative, never the positive. The future is negative; there is only trouble, turmoil ahead. This makes him or her irritable, worried, and easily angered.

Gelsemium: This is a remedy for the ill effects coming from the exposure to fear, fright, disruptive news or other emotional excitement. There is languor, dullness, apathy, lethargy, deliria. He or she wants to be alone, quiet; is irritable, sensitive, depressed. The individual cannot concentrate; the mind feels empty, dull. There is a strong tendency to suicide. This individual has the urge to throw him or herself out of a window or from a height.

Kalium bromatum: In this remedy there is a deep delusion of being morally deficient and of conspiracies building against him or her, feels singled out. Fears of getting poisoned, has frightful nightmares, horrible illusions, is depressed and melancholic.

Natrium muriaticum: In this remedy ailments are produced by mental disposition; anger, grief, fear and fright. The individual is irritable, tearful, sad, and even hysterical. He or she can get into a rage about trifles, and can be tragically moved about little unimportant things; can be inappropriately joyful. There is anxiety and anguish concerning the future. The individual prefers solitude to company, is unable to conduct regular intellectual work, is indifferent to his or her surroundings. Depression and melancholy induce recollection of unpleasant incidences. There are gloomy forebodings to him or her. Patients become tearful, yet attempts of consolation worsen the state. They fly into a rage easily and hold a grudge against people that have previously wronged them. There is weakness of memory, forgetfulness, and patients are tired of life.

Opium: Opium has frightful visions with fear, anxiety and uneasiness. The individual starts easily and is easily excitable. There is inquietude, irritability, and anxiety. There may be alternating phases with pleasant reveries. The individual may express symptoms of stupidity and imbecility. In delirium these individuals do not recognize their surroundings, cannot judge what goes on around them. Morphium (derivative of Opium): This remedy is one for states of shock that have been caused by experiences of terror. He or she is as in a dream-like state. Yet they may be irritable. There is a deep depression and the individual may be hysterical.

Nitricum acidum: This is a headstrong person, who can be hateful and vindictive. He or she may be indifferent to all. There is a sense of hopelessness and despair over his or her health. He or she fears death, yet is tired of life, and takes no joy in anything. He or she is obstinate, wishes not to be consoled; is depressed, sad. Great melancholy and fits of anguish are prominent. Can become enraged about trifles, curses, is obstinate and resentful. He or she is easily startled and frightened, sensitive to noise, touch and pain; weeps easily. This individual becomes angry over his or her own mistakes. He or she does not want to engage in communication with his or her surroundings. This person may have a great weakness of memory and intellectual capability and may be unfit to conduct work.

Stramonium: This individual can be deluded about who he is. He or she cannot be alone or in the dark. He or she needs company in an illuminated environment. There is rage, frenzy, fury, uproar, violence, and tumultuousness. He or she curses, is lewd and abusive in his or her language. There is fear and anxiety. Joy and sadness can alternate quickly. There are hallucination and delusion that the patient considers true and cannot release him or herself from. The sadness and melancholy of this remedy can be tearful and with great anguish. He or she is inconsolable, and trifles irritate much. The individual is obstinate, choleric, self-willed. He or she, in phases of fury, may be inclined to hit, bite and even kill. This is a mania caused by shock. The individual may be indifferent to matters at one time; feeling incapacitated at another, and may have the desire to run from it all.

*** This record serves as an illustration of what remedies are in use in the treatment of PTSD. The list is NOT exhaustive. None of the remedies should be used for self-prescribing. Please see a homeopath to identify the best matching prescription for you! Homeopaths have been trained to identify subtle differences in symptoms and remedy pictures and these subtle differences are important to identify the best possible remedy for a patient.***

References:

Abc Homeopathy (2017) Homeopathic Remedies, Available at: https://abchomeopathy.com (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

Boericke, W. (1999) Homeopathic Materia Medica. Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://www.homeoint.org (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

Clarke, J.H. (2000) A dictionary of practical Materia Medica. Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://www.homeoint.org (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

Cowperthwaite, A.C. (2003) A textbook of Materia Medica. Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://www.homeoint.org (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

Guernsey, H.N. (2000) Keynotes to the Materia Medica. Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://www.homeoint.org (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

Hpathy (2017) Materia Medica, Available at: https://hpathy.com (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

Kent, J.T. (2000) Lectures on homeopathic Materia Medica. Homeoint [Online]. Available at: http://www.homeoint.org (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

National Center for Homeopathy (2017) Materia Medica & Repertory Database, Available at: http://www.homeopathycenter.org (Accessed: 24th September 2017).

Blepharitis – there is homeopathy for that!

Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyelids, or the margins of the eyelids. Blepharitis is frequently recurrent, and can affect the outer or the inner eyelid.

If located at the anterior side of the eyelid, bacteria nestled between the eyelashes, or dandruff of the scalp, are the cause of the characteristic inflammation. If located on the posterior side, at the inner side of the eyelid, the side which is in direct contact with the eyeball, issues of the Meibomian glands (sebaceous glands at the margin of the eyelids responsible for providing the oily humorous liquid keeping the eyes lubricated) are responsible for its formation. This form of blepharitis is caused by other conditions, namely acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis (scalp dandruff).

Characteristic symptoms of blepharitis are irritation, redness, itching and burning of the eyelid and eye, crust formation and agglutination, and the sensation of sand grains in the eye.

Homeopathy has a vast range of remedies available for the treatment of blepharitis. The appropriate prescription should be selected depending on the specific case symptomatology presented. Some major remedies for blepharitis are listed below.

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Alumina: There is redness and thickening of the eyelids. At the angles of the eye there is much itching. Characteristic are dryness and redness. The lids easily become agglutinated, and eyelashes may fall out.

Antimonium crudum: Eyes are sunken in their sockets. Lids are swollen and covered in pustules. There is redness, soreness and itching of the inflamed lids. The corners of the eyes are raw and fissured, and there may be oozing. Overnight the lids can become agglutinated.  This remedy is particularly indicated in chronic blepharitis.

Argentum metallicum: Swollen and reddened eyelids; itching principally at the angles.

Argentum nitricum: Swollen, sore and blood-red at the inner corners; chronically ulcerative at the lid margins, with the formation of thick crusts. Lids get agglutinated with the secretion of yellowish greenish mucus.

Apis: Eyelids are swollen, edematous, red and everted. There is burning, stinging and itching. The upper lids hang over like sacks. Agglutination is possible.

Clematis: Chronic blepharitis with soreness and swollen Meibomian glands. There is ulceration with biting and smarting in the margins of the lids; stitching and itching in the angles of the eyelids.

Euphrasia: Characteristic are redness, aching, gnawing on the margins of the eyelids. There is copious lachrymation and swelling, particular of lower eyelid. Ulceration on the lids is common, as is agglutination of eyelids. Smarting and the feeling of a grain of sand on the eyelid.

Graphites: Lids are heavy and hang down. There is an aching, sandy feeling. Lachrymation occurs. There is dry eczema on the lids and in the lashes with swelling and redness, and the formation of dry agglutination in the eyelashes, particularly in the morning.

Hepar sulfuris: Thick red margins of the lids with small erysipelatous pustules in the lashes. There is bruised pain from ulceration and nocturnal lachrymation and agglutination.

Lycopodium: Ulceration and redness of eyelids, with twitching, gnawing, burning and shooting pain are characteristic for this type of blepharitis. The lids are dry and there is swelling. There is nocturnal agglutination and lachrymation.

Medorrhinum: The lids are irritated at the edges, aching, and hardness is perceived on the upper lid. There is redness and dryness.

Mercurius: Lids are thickened and red. There is profuse, burning and acrid discharge, particularly in the evening. The lids may twitch, and are ulcerated at the margins and covered in scabs. There may be agglutination during the night.

Natrium muriaticum: Agglutination of red and ulcerated eyelids. There is much lachrymation and a sensation of grains of sand in the eyelids.

Petroleum: Marginal blepharitis with itching, jerking and quivering of everted lids is characteristic of this remedy. The edges are fissures. The skin is dry and scurfy. The patient rubs the eyes.

Pulsatilla: Mainly on the margins of the eyelids. Dryness and feeling of sand in the eye are common. There is also burning, swelling and redness, and agglutination during the night.

Psorinum: This remedy is indicated for recurrent blepharitis, where there is a sandy feeling, agglutination and swelling. There is also lachrymation. The lower lid itches at the inner corners. Pimples, like sty, may be present on the margins of the upper lid.

Rhus toxicodendron: The lids show edematous swelling with redness and pustules. Lids feel heavy. There is smarting, jerking, quivering and nocturnal agglutination.

Staphisagria: The margins of the eyelids itch and ache. There is smarting, burning and biting at the inner angle of the eye. There is dryness  and the formation of little nodes.

Sulphur: Characteristic for this remedy are the sense of friction (sand grain), burning, and tickling, itching. There is a bruised, wounded feeling and quivering of the lids. Secretion may be profuse. Lids are ulcerated, and are heavily hanging down.

Tellurium: Lids are thickly swollen, edematous, and scrofulous. There is lachrymation, and a feeling of pressure. Ulcerative pustules are itching and oozing. Touch is painful.

References:

  • Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
  • Boger, C. (2008) Boger Boennighausen’s Characteristics & Repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
  • Boyd, K. (2017) What Is Blepharitis?, Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-blepharitis(Accessed: 09 March 2017).
  • Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
  • National Eye Institute (2009) Facts About Blepharitis, Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/blepharitis/blepharitis(Accessed: 09 March 2017).

Anxiety, shock and Homeopathy

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What to do if things fail to go to plan, and troubling incidents, disturbing experiences or startling events cause disquietude, shock or feelings of anxiety?

Even worry can lie heavily on the mind, and may cause emotional upheaval and distress. In such cases it is good to know that there are homeopathic remedies at hand that may be helpful in calming the mind and easing the symptoms.

Below are a number of homeopathic remedies that can help restore balance where feelings and emotions related to anxiety or shock have disrupted the inner calm.

Aconitum napellus: In the event of sudden and very severe onset of a state, Aconitum is the first remedy to give. This can be the case where an incident shocks, or produces great anxiety, as for example following an accident, an injury, or an uncomfortable experience. Any event that happens without a warning calls for Aconitum. The individual is tense, anxious, greatly nervous, restless, excited and irritated. There is a disposition of the individual to want to walk away from the situation or place of anxiety.

Arnica montana: Arnica is indicated for the effects from mental strain and shock. As such also for shock that come from injuries, in particular those to the head. It is also a remedy that can be useful when someone is fearful of and easily frightened by nightmares, and when shocking incidents lead to nightmares. The individual may act gloomy, wants to be left alone, not to be talked to, not to be touched.

Gelsemium sempervirens: Shock, fright, fear or other emotional excitement, as from the receipt of bad news for example, can lead to ill effects, even physical ailments. There is great weakness, on the physical and mental level. Ahead of any challenges, upcoming exams or anticipated excitement, as for example in stage fright, the individual may exhibit symptoms such as weakness, an increased need to pass urine, diarrhoea and trembling. In this state it is difficult to think or concentrate. Quiet and to be left alone helps an individual most in such a case.



A common OTC remedy helpful in bringing about calm and ease to the mind is :

*Rescue-remedy: Rescue-remedy is not a homeopathic remedy. Rescue is the most widely known remedy of the Bach flower essences. A complex preparation of 5 different flower remedies: Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, and Clematis. This combination is an emergency formula intended to provide relief, and enable immediate treatment in cases of crisis, trauma and stress. It is indicated in states of impatience, frustration, agitation, shock, fear, and panic. As such it can be used to relief of anticipated fear, nervousness, tension, tantrums, confusion, or trauma. It relaxes, calms, lowers stress, and revitalizes. It is a distinct Bach-flower essence combination that can be purchased at health food stores. For directions of use, please consult the package insert!

The role of uric acid levels in Gout

Gout is a very common form of arthritis that is characterized by inflammation of, usually, one of the smaller joints. Most commonly it is the joint of the big toe that is affected. Gout occurs principally in individuals that have increased uric acid levels in their bloodstream. This excess of uric acid, deposits in the joints forming needle shaped crystals that inflame the locality. This causes paroxysms or episodes of severe pain, swelling, redness and warmth in the affected joint, generating great discomfort in the sufferer.

Why do uric acid levels increase in the blood?

Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines, a type of protein. Purines are building stones of our DNA, present within each and every cell of our body, and play important roles in our cardiovascular and digestive system. Purines are naturally present compounds in many of the animal and plant foods we eat.

There are diverse factors that influence uric acid levels in the blood. With Purines naturally being part of our food chain, there are implications that our dietary habits can have on the uric acid levels in our blood. However diet appears to be only a small factor promoting the development of gout. Dietary management much more is a tool to control attacks and diminish the frequency of inflammatory flare-ups. Cutting down the consumption of alcohol, meat, certain types of fish, and sugars, particularly fruit sugars, and instead upping the intake of vegetables can markedly reduce the incidence of acute gout attacks. However, diverse conventional medications, such as diuretics, immune-suppressing drugs and certain vitamins can likewise cause gout. Health issues also play a role. Obesity, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and certain tumors can promote the formation of gout.

A separate focus has to be taken on the kidneys. The kidneys, as in an insufficiency, can be cause and victim of elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. An insufficiency of the kidneys can promote the increase of uric acid in the blood since the excretory function of the kidneys is impaired. Likewise, this insufficiency, leading to the decreased filtration function of the kidneys, promotes the accumulated uric acid to form stones in the kidneys.

However, gout is foremost, a metabolic disease, whose cause is genetic.

The symptomatology of gout:

The pre-stage of gout is referred to as Asymptomatic hyperuricemia. This describes the time before the very first attack, when the individual is not aware that he will ‘get’ gout. He has no symptoms, but uric acid in the blood is high and crystallization is taking place at the specific joint.

When however an acute attack happens, the inflammation at the affected locality causes pain, warmth, tenderness, swelling and redness. The pain can be severe, and while commonly affecting the joint of the big toe, can affect the joints of ankles, knees, elbows, wrists or fingers. The acute flare up commonly begins at night, can take up to 12 hours to peak, and can take several days to subside before finally wearing off. While some people only ever experience one single attack, it is more common for people to have repeated attacks.

There is a stage or phase, that is termed Interval gout. This refers to the pain free period between flare ups. During this time, albeit being free of pain, the gout is advancing in the form of low-level inflammation that is progressively damaging the affected joint.

Gout becomes chronic if a patients uric acid levels remain high for an extended period of time, for numerous years. The damage caused in this time can lead to loss of mobility in the affected joint.

Can attacks be prevented?

Yes. Avoiding triggers is paramount. There are lifestyle changes can help reduce the incidence of flare ups. Alcohol, fatty foods, meats, sugary drinks are all known to be high in purines and thus increase uric acid levels. Using healthy plant oils, eating more vegetables and increasing fluid intake can help prevent attacks.

Conventional medical practitioners commonly prescribe drugs such as NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and corticosteroids to keep gout in check.

In the homeopathic sphere, remedies such as Antimonium crudum, Arnica, Belladonna, Benzoic acidum, Berberis vulgaris, Calcarea fluorica, Colchicum, Ledum palustre, Lycopodium, Rhododendron, Sabina, or Urtica uhrens, have been used successfully in treating elevated levels of uric acid, gout and preventing flare ups.

Bibliography:

https://www.medicinenet.com/gout_gouty_arthritis/article.htm

https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/ss/slideshow-gout

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/144827.php

https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/what-is-gout.php

https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/articles/purine-foods-gout-attack.php

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=51

http://www.ukgoutsociety.org/PDFs/goutsociety-allaboutgoutanddiet-0113.pdf

http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/complications/gout/

Mosquito and other stings – Homeopathy to the rescue

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Most of us undoubtedly know what its like to have been robbed of a nights sleep by the incessant attacks of Mosquitoes. Not only do the little bloodsuckers keep coming back, announcing their approach with the so distinctive buzzing sound, but the stings itch, and itch, and itch, and … Mosquito bites can really be annoying. However, aside of the itching of Mosquito bites, generally speaking, all insect bites or stings are a cause of discomfort. The stings of bees, wasps or other insects can cause unpleasant sensations, pain, swelling, and in cases of intolerance, allergic reactions and even infections. In such cases, the ‘little prick’ of the skin can turn into quite severe health issue and should be taken to A&E or a doctor.

For the less extreme reactions to insect bites and stings, homeopathy come in handy. The following remedies are a selection covering many of the symptoms common for such events.

Aconitum: Especially in children the shock of the insect bite may be greater than the actual bite or sting. Kids are naturally fearful and easily shocked following an insect sting. Here Aconitum may help calm the child and can reduce pain and other symptoms.

Apis meliffica: Apis is the best choice of remedy where the bite becomes swollen, burns, prickles, and itches. In the event of redness, eruptions that look like nettle rash, and sensitivity to touch of the area Apis is indicated. Cold applications relieve the pain and associated symptoms.

Cantharis: The sensation insect bites / stings needing Cantharis is intense scalding, burning pain. The affected area appears red, inflamed and may show blistering.

Carbolicum acidum: This is a first aid remedy in cases of anaphylactic reactions. Persons intolerant to certain insect bites or stings may experience severe adverse reactions. This may in extreme cases be a collapse. Therefore, if an individual experiences difficulty breathing, feels weakened and sick, has changes in facial color, breaks out in hives all over their bodywith excessive swelling of face, or the mucous membranes of the oral cavity, in particular the throat and tongue, CALL AN AMBULANCE. While the ambulance is on it’s way, Carbolicum acidum may help alleviate the symptoms.

Hypericum: Hypericum is indicated if the sting or bite is located in nerve-rich body areas. There are sharp, shooting pains which may be accompanied by tingling and the sensation of numbness in the affected area.

Histaminum: This remedy may be a reliever of asthmatic symptoms in hay-fever, hives in allergies in general and symptoms of intolerance from insect bites or stings.

Ledum: This is for wounds that are formed by a puncture, as in an insect bite has occurred. There is much itching, but no swelling. Ledum can ward off an infection of the punctured wound.

Staphysagria: This remedy is a match for violent itching in large bites / stings that show as welts and are smarting and stinging. The pains are relieved by warm applications.

Urtica uhrens: There is a burning, blotchy redness and intense itching following insect bites. These may look like hives from contact with stinging nettles.

Vespa crabro: With this remedy there are symptoms of intense swelling and itching, stinging, soreness and burning. It helps to dab the affected skin with vinegar.

References:

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

Voisin, H. (2018) Materia Medica für den homöopatischen Praktiker, 1 edn., Kandern: Naranaya Verlag.