Major plant remedies

plants have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and the plant kingdom also provides the source for the majority of homeopathic remedies. in this section, some of the most important plant-based remedies are looked at in detail.

Aconitum napellus

ACONITE

KEY SYMPTOMS complaints triggered by shock or exposure to cold winds • panic attacks and fear of death • acute infections of sudden onset

Historically, the deadly juices derived from this plant were used as an arrow poison, hence the name aconite, from the Greek acon, or "dart." Until the homeopathic remedy was proved by Hahnemann in 1805, aconite was used only externally in medicine. Aconite became a popular alternative to the contemporary practice of blood-letting for the treatment of acute fevers and inflammations.

ACONITE This plant is known for its poisonous alkaloids, which are found at their highest concentrations in the root.

Hooded, blue-violet flowers appear in midsummer

REMEDY PROFILE

Homeopaths consider using Aconite for people who are excitable, generally healthy, and strong but develop illness rapidly and exhibit a marked sinking of strength. Physical and mental symptoms are like a great storm, arising suddenly but also subsiding quickly Patterns of behavior are characterized by intense fear, anxiety, and restlessness, with susceptibility to extreme phobias, panic attacks, and a fear of death.

Physical symptoms often develop as a result of shock, fear, or exposure to cold, dry winds or, occasionally, intensely hot weather. Acute infections, such as colds and coughs, can be treated with the remedy, particularly at their onset. Aconite may also be prescribed for anxiety states, and for mothers and infants during or immediately after childbirth.

Acute respiratory infections symptoms Cold or influenza symptoms that set in fiercely and rapidly, especially after exposure to cold, dry winds. There may be catarrh or phlegm and a sore throat, possibly a fever that makes the skin hot and dry. Croup and other acute chest infections may give rise to breathlessness, burning heat in the chest, and a hoarse, dry, barking cough. Sleep is frequently restless and agitated; at such times, the face may be hot, flushed, and swollen, although upon rising it may become very pale. Severe headaches may develop, accompanied by raging thirst, often for cold drinks. The mouth may taste bitter, so that everything except water tastes bad. The skin is hypersensitive, causing a marked aversion to being touched. Symptoms better For warmth; for lying down; for fresh air.

Symptoms worse For heat; for stuffy rooms;

Eye & ear infections symptoms Inflamed eyes with aching, burning pain, typically due to injury or conjunctivitis. The eyes may be oversensitive to light. Ear infections develop rapidly, causing intense pain, bright red ears, and hypersensitivity to noise. Symptoms may be accompanied by a high fever and restless, fearful agitation. Symptoms better For quiet. Symptoms worse For light; for noise.

Fear, shock & anxiety symptoms Acute fear and anxiety accompanied by great restlessness and shocked, staring eyes with dilated pupils. Symptoms may be due to shock after witnessing a violent or frightening event, or may be triggered by phobias, such as a fear of flying, of heights, or of enclosed spaces. The fear or anxiety may trigger recurrent panic attacks, with palpitations, numbness, and tingling in the body They may accompanied by a fear of death and a fear of people, with a strong desire to avoid company

Symptoms better For open air; for rest. Symptoms worse For stuffy rooms; for crowds; at night.

Problems in labor symptoms Strong fear of impending death experienced by a mother during labor. There may be urine retention in either the mother or baby, or in both the mother and baby, immediately after the birth of the child,

Hooded, blue-violet flowers appear in midsummer

Root can cause poisoning when handled

ACONITE This plant is known for its poisonous alkaloids, which are found at their highest concentrations in the root.

FLOWERING STEM

Root can cause poisoning when handled

FLOWERING STEM

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Grows in damp, shady, mountainous regions of Europe and Central Asia. Also cultivated as a garden plant.

BACKGROUND

Used externally, except on broken skin, to ease bruising and joint pain, but rarely used internally due to its toxic nature.

PREPARATION

Whole plant, including the root, is unearthed during the flowering season, chopped, and macerated in alcohol.

COMMON NAMES

Aconite, monk's-hood, wolf's-bane, blue rocket, friar's-cap.

especially if the mother experienced fear during labor.

Symptoms better For open air; for rest. Symptoms worse For feeling overheated; for feeling chilled; for violent emotions.

See also Emotional problems, page 210; Headaches, page 218; Respiration, pages 226, 228; Children's health, page 246

Agaricus muscarius syn. Amanita muscaria

AGARICUS

KEY SYMPTOMS twitching and spasms • chilblains • depression or overexcitement • fear of cancer • complaints that are worse after sexual intercourse

This toxic toadstools common name, fly agaric, is derived from its traditional use as a fly poison. Fly agaric contains hallucinogens that were used by Siberian shamans to induce visionary states, and it may have formed the basis of the ancient Hindu soma drink and the Zoroastrian haoma drink, due to its ability to increase strength and stamina. The fungus has sedative properties in small doses but is highly toxic: a severe overdose can be fatal, while a mild overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, and confusion, although recovery usually takes place within 24 hours. The homeopathic remedy was proved in 1828 by Dr. Stapf, and it remains the only medicinal use of fly agaric.

REMEDY PROFILE

Those in need of Agaricus may be anxious, insecure, or fearful, and have morbid thoughts about death. Anxiety about health may lead to an obsessive fear of having conditions such as cancer. Symptoms typically include great lethargy and an aversion to conversation, or delirium and loquacity to the point of ecstasy, elation, or hypomania, and disturbed sense of perspective.

People for whom Agaricus is most suitable are particularly sensitive to the cold when ill. Some symptoms are worse prior to thunderstorms and after sexual intercourse.

Agaricus is taken as a remedy for disorders of the nervous system that cause trembling, itching, and twitching and jerking of the limbs. Such conditions include epilepsy, chorea, and multiple sclerosis. Agaricus can be prescribed for the treatment of the delirium tremens associated with alcoholism, and for the effects of senile dementia. It is also used to treat chilblains.

Nervous-system disorders symptoms Twitching and spasms in almost any muscle group in the body, caused by degenerative neurological disorders such as senile dementia or multiple sclerosis. Symptoms tend to manifest themselves diagonally from one side of the body to the other, and may be accompanied by pain that is out of proportion to the clinical condition. There may also be sharp, shooting pains, with possible convulsions and spasms. Movements may be very shaky, with clumsiness, awkwardness, and a staggering gait. Further symptoms may include facial tics or Bell's palsy, fainting, chorea, neuralgia, and sciatica. Symptoms better For slow movement; for sleep; at evening. Symptoms worse For cold air; before thunderstorms; after sexual intercourse; for touch.

Chorea symptoms Twitching, erratic, unpredictable limb movements and a sensation that the limbs are detached from the body. Symptoms better For slow movement; for sleep; at evening. Symptoms worse For cold air; before thunderstorms; after sexual intercourse.

Parkinson's disease symptoms General weakness with trembling and twitching limbs that exhibit the typical nervous symptoms (see left). The spine may be particularly sensitive to touch. Further symptoms may include a mental decline into great anxiety, despair, fear, and hypochondria. Symptoms better For slow movement; for sleep.

Symptoms worse Before thunderstorms; after sexual intercourse.

Chilblains symptoms Chilblains with burning and itching. The skin shows signs of redness and swelling. Symptoms better For heat. Symptoms worse For cold air; for cold compresses.

Bright-red cap with white flecking fades to orange when fungus is dried
FLY AGARIC This fungus was once crumbled into milk to make fly poison. It has also been used as the toxic component in flypaper.

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SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Grows in dry pastures and woods during summer in Scotland, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe, as well as in Asia and the US.

BACKGROUND

Has been used throughout history as a hallucinogen, as a method of contacting the spirit world, and as a means of increasing human strength and endurance.

PREPARATION

The whole, fresh fungus or the dried cap is washed thoroughly and ground into a mash. It is then steeped in alcohol before being strained, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Fly agaric, bug agaric.

Alcoholism symptoms Delirium tremens with marked giddiness and an impulse to fall backward. The face is puffy and red, but not hot. There may be a marked increase in appetite. Symptoms better For slow movement. Symptoms worse For cold air; before thunderstorms; after sexual intercourse; after eating.

See also Multiple sclerosis, page 179; Palpitations, page 186; Twitching eyelids, page 220; Chilblains, page 230

Allium cepa

ALLIUM CEPA

KEY SYMPTOMS burning catarrh • bland discharge from the eyes • splitting sensation in the throat • phantom pains • person feels worse in warm rooms

In ancient Greece, the onion was esteemed and eaten in vast quantities. One of the oldest cultivated plants, its decongestant, diuretic, and other medicinal properties have been utilized by many cultures over the centuries. In the Middle Ages its strong smell was thought to prevent infection, and it was hung outside houses to ward off the plague. Onion causes the eyes and nose to water, and is used homeopathically to treat conditions that cause the same reaction in the body, such as colds and influenza. The remedy Allium cepa was proved in 1847 by Dr. Constantine Hering.

REMEDY PROFILE

Melancholy, anxiety, fear of pain, and dullness of mind are not uncommon in individuals who respond well to Allium cepa, but there are no marked emotional symptoms indicative of the remedy

Allium cepa is used primarily for the treatment of coughs and colds characterized by profuse, watery catarrh that leaves the skin irritated and sore. Symptoms usually develop following exposure to cold weather and damp winds. They may be associated with hay fever, especially if accompanied by sensitivity to the scent of flowers. Allium cepa is also used to treat burning neuralgic pain that alternates from one side of the body to the other.

Catarrh symptoms Profuse, watery catarrh that burns the skin of the nose and upper lip, causing it to become raw, red, and painful. The nose may literally "drip like a faucet." Constant, violent sneezing is common, as is congestion that alternates between nostrils or affects only one nostril. Allium cepa is used for these symptoms in influenza, colds, and hay fever, but further remedies are needed to treat any actual susceptibility to hay fever itself. Symptoms better For being in the open air. Symptoms worse For warm rooms; in the evening.

Eye irritation symptoms An irritating discharge that causes an urge to rub the eyes. The eyes are red, swollen, and itchy, and possibly extremely sensitive to light.

Layers of papery skin enclose volatile oil that stimulates tears

Layers of papery skin enclose volatile oil that stimulates tears

ONION The antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties of this plant are used worldwide to treat colds, coughs, and influenza.

Symptoms better For being in the open air. Symptoms worse For warm rooms; in the evening; for rubbing the eyes; for coughing.

Throat & chest infections symptoms Laryngitis with hoarseness and a raw, sore throat, or a cough characterized by a splitting, tearing sensation in the throat. There may be an urge to repress the cough, as it constantly irritates the throat. Pain may extend to the ear. Symptoms may develop rapidly on exposure to cold air, or after a cold accompanied by labored, wheezy breathing. Symptoms better For being in the open air. Symptoms worse For warm rooms; in the evening.

Neuralgic pains symptoms Sharp, burning pain on alternating sides of the body, mainly in the face, head, neck, and chest. It may be due to an earache, headaches behind the brow, or a toothache in the molars. Allium cepa is also used for phantom limb pains after amputation. Symptoms better For being in the open air. Symptoms worse For being in a warm room.

ONION The antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties of this plant are used worldwide to treat colds, coughs, and influenza.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to the Northern Hemisphere, and cultivated for centuries in the Middle East. Now grown worldwide as a vegetable.

BACKGROUND

Widely used in traditional medicine: as a poultice for chilblains, infections, and arthritis; internally for gastric and bronchial infections; and to thin and purify the blood.

PREPARATION

The whole, mature bulb is gathered in summer and chopped finely. It is steeped in alcohol for ten days and shaken repeatedly, before being filtered, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAME

Onion.

See also Allergies, page 206; Hay fever & allergic rhinitis, page 224

Aloe ferox 'Miller'

ALOE

KEY SYMPTOMS involuntary stools • diarrhea with sudden urging, especially at 5 a.m. • insecure feeling in the rectum • headaches that are better for cold compresses

The medicinal properties of the various species of aloe have been exploited for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans considered aloe to be a valuable tonic and purgative. The purgative quality of dried aloe gel is still valued today in herbal medicine but the plant is probably more familiar now as the source of a soothing and effective skin lotion. The Aloe remedy was proved by Buchner in 1821 and by the homeopath Dr. Helbig in 1833, and is used today mainly for digestive complaints, particularly diarrhea

REMEDY PROFILE

Homeopaths consider Aloe when the psychological traits exhibited include weariness, a reluctance to work, and great irritability, especially in cloudy weather. Dissatisfaction and anger are commonly directed internally, possibly producing constipation. Moreover, the person may dream about stools or involuntary soiling. Beer is a typical craving, despite the fact that it usually exacerbates any physical symptoms.

Aloe is most frequently prescribed for disorders of the large intestine. It may be taken for congestion in the pelvic organs and the head, and is also thought to counter fatigue, hemorrhoids, and the possible consequences of a sedentary lifestyle, particularly in the elderly.

Diarrhea symptoms A sudden urge to pass stools, which is at its strongest particularly early in the morning, possibly forcing an early rise from bed at around 5 a.m. Accompanied by hot, explosive gas, the stools may contain mucus or jellylike lumps. They may be passed involuntarily, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity in the rectum (this may also be an indication of colitis). Diarrhea may alternate with constipation. It is marked by incomplete, unsatisfactory stools and heavy pressure in the lower abdominal area. Symptoms generally tend to be worse prior to menstruation, or may primarily affect the elderly or those with sedentary habits. Symptoms better For passing gas; for cool.

Lance-shaped leaves contain

Symptoms worse First thing in the morning; for walking; immediately after eating; for oysters; for beer.

Hemorrhoids symptoms Hemorrhoids that resemble small bunches of grapes and protrude from the anus. They are typically accompanied by soreness and tenderness. There may be a painful, burning sensation in the rectum and anus, and flatulent diarrhea. Symptoms better For bathing in cold water. Symptoms worse For heat; for jarring movement; upon sitting down; after eating or drinking.

Hepatitis symptoms A sensation of congestion and heat in the liver. There may be rumbling and distention in the abdomen, causing it to feel full, heavy, bloated, and hot. An accumulation of gas may accompany this feeling of distention, as well as strain and tension that is felt in the area between the pubic bone and the coccyx. Symptoms better For cold; for open air. Symptoms worse For heat; after eating or drinking.

Headaches symptoms Severe, painful headaches that seem to trigger a sensation of congestion in the face and in the head. These headaches frequently appear to alternate with the occurrence of hemorrhoids or diarrhea, or may be associated with pain in the lower back. Symptoms better For open air; for cold compresses on the head. Symptoms worse For heat.

Lance-shaped leaves contain

ALOE The gel of this plant has a long history of medicinal use as a skin lotion.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to southern Africa, particularly the northern, eastern, and western Capes, but now cultivated throughout the world. Found in fertile, well-drained areas with sandy soil and direct sunlight.

BACKGROUND

Traditionally, aloe gel has been used as a laxative and purgative. Various research trials conducted between 1979 and 1995 found that extracts from the plant boost immune-system functioning, and may even help to treat cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.

PREPARATION

The juice is extracted from the plant and dried to make a hard resin, which is then powdered and steeped in alcohol. The mixture is left to macerate for at least five days, after which it is filtered, and then repeatedly diluted and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Aloe, Cape aloe.

See also Diarrhea, page 238

Anacardium orientale syn. Semecarpus anacardium

ANACARDIUM OR

KEY SYMPTOMS lack of self-confidence • conflict of wills • sensation as if there is a plug in the anus, gut, or chest • poor memory • itching, burning skin eruptions

The Latin name of this shrub derives from the ancient Greek kardia, or "heart," inspired by the plants heart-shaped, shiny, black nut. The nut yields a milky juice that turns black after it is exposed to air. In southeast Asia this juice is combined with chalk to make an ink for marking patterns on fabric, hence the plants common name, the marking-nut tree. The homeopathic remedy Anacardium or. was proved by Hahnemann in 1835. It is prescribed for both psychological and physical disorders.

REMEDY PROFILE

Anacardium or. is traditionally used for memory disturbance and a disturbed psychological state. It is considered especially apt for those who feel they are experiencing a conflict of will or are trapped between extremes of good and evil, sometimes described as "a demon sitting on one shoulder, an angel on the other." These individuals are typically prone to low self-esteem, or may exhibit hard, angry, cruel behavior. They may suspect that they are being pursued, or experience dreamlike states. Typical physical symptoms include a feeling of constricted pain, as if bands are wrapped tightly around the body, or as if the gut or anus is plugged. In this connection, the remedy is used for certain conditions of the digestive tract. It is also used for skin irritations marked by severe itching and burning, and for minor chest pain.

Psychological problems symptoms A state of inner conflict expressed in contrary and changeable behavior. This conflict may provoke behavior that is cold-hearted, violent, and cruel, with a compulsive urge to curse. Exaggerated affection toward a person or pet may be followed by cruelty or violence. An inferiority complex may be evident (see above, right). There may be an extremely poor memory, a lack of concentration, and general absent-mindedness, especially at times of stress— for example, when studying for exams. In extreme cases, symptoms may be linked to a mental illness, such as depression, manic depression, or schizophrenia.

Symptoms better For lying in the sun; for hot baths; in the late morning; for eating. Symptoms worse For mental exertion; for anger; for fright; for stress; for studying.

Low self-esteem symptoms Great feelings of unworthiness, irresolution, and low self-confidence, possibly with an inferiority complex, due to an inner conflict of will. Depending on the severity of the mental state, there may even be infrequent or ongoing self-abuse. Behavior patterns may be associated with prior subjection to abuse, violence, humiliation, or oppression. Symptoms better For lying in the sun; for hot baths; in the late morning; for eating. Symptoms worse For mental exertion; for fright; for stress; for humiliation.

Digestive disorders symptoms Hemorrhoids, indigestion, and constipation with a painful constricted feeling, as if the gut or anus were plugged and the body wrapped by tight bands. The pain may stop after eating but resumes a few hours later.

Symptoms better Immediately after eating. Symptoms worse For a hot bath or compress; at midnight; a few hours after eating.

Skin conditions symptoms Eczema and possibly patches of blistered skin, often on the forearms, causing intense itching and burning. The skin is highly sensitive. Warts are also treated with the remedy Symptoms better For the application of very hot water.

Symptoms worse For stress, for scratching the affected skin.

MARKING NUTS In India the juice of the marking nut was traditionally used as a remedy for burning off warts.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Indian subcontinent, and found growing in dry, mountainous forest areas.

BACKGROUND

Arabian physicians traditionally used the juice of the marking nut to treat mental illness, memory loss, paralysis, and spasms.

PREPARATION

The ripe, dried fruit is macerated in alcohol for at least five days, before being filtered and then repeatedly diluted and succussed.

COMMON NAME

Marking-nut tree.

Chest pain symptoms Sharp or pricking pain in the heart, possibly with a sense of pressure in the chest, as if it is bound by tight bands or weighed down by a small plug. An uneasy sensation may develop in the chest, possibly involving palpitations. Symptoms better For inhaling fresh air outdoors.

Symptoms worse A few hours after eating.

See also Indigestion, page 234; Hemorrhoids, page 238; Constipation, page 238; Eczema, page 240

Arnica montana

ARNICA

KEY SYMPTOMS trauma • bruising • postoperative care • tendency to deny illness

0 J J Flower causes

• bruised, sore feeling • bed seems too hard sneezing when freshly crushed and inhaled

The healing properties of this aromatic perennial have been recognized for over 400 years. Arnica is anti-inflammatory and promotes tissue repair. It has been used extensively in European folk medicine as an external remedy for muscle pain, and was once also prescribed as an internal treatment for dysentery and gout. Potentially toxic, its internal use is now largely limited to homeopathy. Proved by Hahnemann and published in his Materia Medica Pura (1821-34), Arnica is used to promote healing and help control bleeding It is used mostly for shock, injury, and pain.

ARNICA Climbers used to chew arnica leaves to relieve aching muscles, or drink an infusion following injury.

FLOWERING STEM

SOURCE DETAILS

REMEDY PROFILE

People who respond best to this remedy may actually deny that they are ill, ignoring the severity of their condition. They generally prefer to be left alone and tend to be agitated, restless, and morose. Poor concentration and forgetfulness are typical, as are nightmares and a morbid imagination.

Arnica is usually given as a first-aid remedy following an accident, surgery, bereavement, childbirth, or dental treatment. It is also used for joint pain, fever, and some skin problems.

Shock, injury & postoperative care symptoms Acute and chronic consequences of shock, injury, or surgery, particularly bleeding, bruising, swelling, and aching pains. The body may feel battered and highly sensitive to discomfort, to the point where even a bed seems too hard. Arnica may also be prescribed to treat injuries such as a black eye or a foreign object in an eye, concussion, and nosebleeds. Symptoms better For lying down; for lying with the head lower than the feet. Symptoms worse For cold; for damp; for touch; for rest; for movement; for wine.

Post-childbirth pain symptoms Bruised, aching pain in the vagina that may be especially distressing at night. Symptoms better For lying down with the head lower than the feet. Symptoms worse For cold; for touch; for movement.

Tooth & gum pain symptoms Pain in the teeth or sore, bruised, and bleeding gums following injury or dental work may be treated with Arnica. Symptoms better For lying down. Symptoms worse For the slightest touch; for movement.

Joint & muscle pain symptoms Arthritic pain, sprains, T /!"

or strains to the joints, which feel bruised, sore, and sensitive. Arnica is also taken to ease swelling, bruising, and pain after a ligament tear or bone injury. Alternatively, it is used for aches in the muscles due to cramps, unaccustomed exercise, or overexertion. Symptoms better For lying down. Symptoms worse For the slightest touch; for movement.

Fever symptoms A hot head, cold body, and exhaustion. Stools, flatulence, and perspiration tend to have a characteristic odor of rotten eggs, and there may be incontinence of stools and urine. Arnica is also prescribed for recurring fevers such as typhoid or malarial fever. Symptoms better For lying down; for lying with the head lower than the feet. Symptoms worse For cold surroundings; for damp; for the slightest touch.

Skin conditions symptoms Hard, dry, swollen skin due to insect bites, bed sores, small, painful boils, red, blistering skin eruptions, or varicose ulcers. Symptoms better For lying down. Symptoms worse For cold; for damp; for touch.

FLOWERING STEM

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Grows in alpine pastures and woodlands of the Pyrenees, Siberia, and central Europe, especially Switzerland and Germany.

BACKGROUND

Traditionally used externally as an ointment to improve local blood supply and speed healing in the treatment of bruises, sprains, and muscle pain.

PREPARATION

The whole flowering plant, including the root, is steeped in alcohol, filtered, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Arnica, leopard's bane, sneezewort, mountain tobacco, mountain daisy.

See also Circulation, pages 184, 230; Breast problems, page 201; Grief, page 213; Men's health, page 264; Dizziness, page 266

Artemisia cina syn. A. maritima 'Linn'

CINA

KEY SYMPTOMS teeth-grinding • irritability and touchiness • temper tantrums • ravenous appetite • desire to lie on the hands and knees • itchy nose that is constantly rubbed

Purportedly named after Artemisia, the queen of Persia in the 4th century bce who was renowned for her botanical skills, this family of plants has been valued by many medicinal traditions, from ancient Roman to Chinese. Artemisia cina was identified as a remedy for intestinal worms by the ancient Greeks, and its active constituent, santonin, is still used in worm medicines. In 1829 Cina was proved by Hahnemann, who felt that the plants "valuable curative properties" went well beyond its traditional role in herbalism.

REMEDY PROFILE

Cina is typically perceived as a children's remedy, and is given for intestinal worms or muscle twitches, associated with great irritability when scolded or in discomfort. Those affected cannot bear to be touched, held, or even observed— they often consider themselves ugly Restlessness, a frantic state of mind, picking the nose, and grinding the teeth are typical symptoms in those for whom Cina is appropriate. Sleep is often fitful and plagued by night terrors. All symptoms may be worse at night.

These people may have an "anxiety of conscience," a groundless feeling of having done something wrong, which manifests itself as touchiness and obstinacy. They may be survivors of childhood abuse.

In addition to its primary use for worms, Cina has also been given to treat convulsions and seizures in children. Today it is still given as a treatment for worms, as well as for temper tantrums, violent coughing, muscle twitches, and sleep problems in children.

Intestinal worms symptoms Worms evident in whitish-colored stools. Cutting, pinching pain is felt in the belly, which may be bloated. There is an urge to grind the teeth at night, and to pick the nose and scratch the rectum, which are both itchy. The appetite may be nonexistent, enormous, or changeable, with potential cravings for sweet foods. There is often intense irritability and great restlessness. Symptoms better For movement; for bending down.

Symptoms worse For heat in summer; at night; for touch.

Temper tantrums symptoms Extreme irritability in children, especially chubby ones with variable appetites. Tantrums may be due to being scolded or to worms (see left). Typical Cina symptoms such as teeth-grinding may be present. Symptoms better For lying on the abdomen; for being carried.

Symptoms worse For touch; for being stared at.

Coughs & colds symptoms Whooping cough or severe, gagging cough, with limb spasms before a coughing fit. The chest feels constricted, making breathing difficult. Speaking or sudden movement may trigger coughing. In children the body tends to stiffen prior to a coughing fit. Violent sneezing may cause pressure build-up in the head, and the nose may be alternately blocked and runny. There may be an urge to pick the nose, and nosebleeds often result. Intense ill-humor and irritability are often evident. Symptoms better For being still; in the daytime. Symptoms worse For getting up; for walking out of doors; during sleep; at night.

Twitching muscles symptoms Jerking muscles and spasms, especially in the hands and feet, associated with irritability. Cina is often used if twitching or convulsions are triggered by touch or by being scolded.

Symptoms better For bending down. Symptoms worse For touch; at night; for heat in summer.

Sleep problems symptoms Difficulty in falling asleep, or restless sleep with twitching, jerking limbs.

LEVANT WORMSEED The bluish gray leaves of this aromatic plant give off a strong scent when crushed, but have a very bitter taste.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to a wide area ranging from the eastern Mediterranean to Siberia. Prefers semi-arid growing conditions.

BACKGROUND

Dried, unopened flower heads have been used since ancient times in preparations for expelling intestinal worms. The bitter plant has also been used as a digestive stimulant.

PREPARATION

Unopened flower heads (called "seeds") are harvested in fall, coarsely powdered, macerated in alcohol, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Levant wormseed, European wormseed, Tartarian southernwood.

Symptoms better For being rocked violently; for lying on the hands and knees. Symptoms worse For night terrors; for being turned over.

See also Temper tantrums, page 246

Atropa belladonna

BELLADONNA

KEY SYMPTOMS hot, flushed, red face • high fever • delirium • desire for sour things • sensitivity to light, noise, and movement

This deadly genus is named after the Greek Fate Atropos, who held the power of life and death over mortals. In the 16th century, Italian ladies used deadly nightshade to make their eyes sparkle, hence bella donna, which is Italian for "beautiful woman." Belladonna was one of the first homeopathic remedies, developed in 1799 by Hahnemann for scarlet fever, after he observed that symptoms of deadly nightshade poisoning closely matched those of scarlet fever.

REMEDY PROFILE

Belladonna is a major remedy for acute illnesses of sudden, violent onset. It is usually given to people who are generally fit and energetic, but restless and agitated when ill. They are prone to sudden, explosive anger, marked by the desire to strike out or even to bite.

Typical symptoms linked with Belladonna include high fever, dilated pupils, flushed, dry skin, and throbbing pain, particularly in the head, due to rapid blood circulation. There is often hypersensitivity to light, noise, and touch, and also to rapid temperature changes.

Belladonna is typically given for acute pain, inflammation, or infection, chiefly of the upper respiratory tract. It may also be used to treat menstrual pain, sunstroke, febrile convulsions, cystitis, nephritis (inflamed kidneys), teething pain, and mastitis during breast-feeding.

Acute fever & pain symptoms Sudden onset of high fever and hypersensitivity in all the senses. The face may be hot, flushed, and dry, with bright eyes and dilated pupils. Although the lips and mouth remain pale, the tongue is often bright red. Any inflammation is red, radiates heat, and throbs painfully. Fever is commonly followed by perspiration, and may develop into delirium. There is little thirst, or just a craving for sour drinks.

Other symptoms include throbbing pain in the eyes, which are swollen, red, and

Leaves have weaker effect than root, and for this reason are preferred for herbal medicines

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE Despite this plant's poisonous nature, it has been used as an antispasmodic, relaxant, and sedative in herbalism, and for acute inflammation, pain, and fever in homeopathy.

SOURCE DETAILS

Leaves have weaker effect than root, and for this reason are preferred for herbal medicines sensitive to light; a tearing, pounding pain deep in the ear; and a pulsating headache (see below).

Symptoms better For warm rooms; for sitting or standing erect; for rest. Symptoms worse For noise; for touch; for movement; for lying down; for drafts.

Sore throat & dry cough symptoms Constricted, dry, burning throat, a tender neck, and red, swollen tonsils, notably on the right side. There may be a painful, racking cough and fever (see left). Symptoms better For warm rooms; for rest. Symptoms worse For cold drafts; around 3 p.m.; for swallowing foods or drinks.

Headache & migraine symptoms Violent, throbbing pain. During a migraine, pain starts in the back of the head, radiates to the right brow area, and settles behind the eye.

Symptoms better For pressure on the head; for lying in the dark; for cold compresses. Symptoms worse For light; for noise; for movement; for wet hair; for menstruating.

Menstrual pain symptoms Menstrual flow is extremely heavy and painful. The blood is hot and may be bright red or clotted.

Symptoms better For standing or sitting erect. Symptoms worse For the slightest movement.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE Despite this plant's poisonous nature, it has been used as an antispasmodic, relaxant, and sedative in herbalism, and for acute inflammation, pain, and fever in homeopathy.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to Europe, western Asia, north Africa, and North America, but now cultivated worldwide. Thrives in chalky soil, woods, and wasteland.

BACKGROUND

Used traditionally for swelling and inflammations, colic, and ulcers. It formed part of a sleeping potion in Chaucer's time and, six centuries later, provides an anesthetic still used in conventional medicine.

PREPARATION

As it comes into flower, the whole fresh plant, including the root, is dug up. It is chopped and pounded to a pulp, then the juice is expressed. This juice is steeped in alcohol before being filtered, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Deadly nightshade, belladonna, dwale, devil's cherries, sorcerer's cherry, witches' berry.

See also iosacea, page 193; Influenza, page 224; Children's health, page 246; Breast-feeding problems, page 262

Baptisia tinctoria

BAPTISIA

KEY SYMPTOMS severe infection • confusion and stupor • sensation that the body is scattered in pieces • aversion to open air • offensive-smelling discharges

The famous indigo dye obtained from this plant is reflected in its name, tinctoria, from the Latin tingere, "to dye." Wild indigo was used medicinally by American Indians and by New World settlers, primarily as an antiseptic wash for wounds. Modern herbalists use it internally and externally as an antiseptic and immune-system stimulant. The homeopathic remedy was proved in a small-scale trial in the 1850s by Drs. Douglas, Hadley, Burt, and others, and introduced into the repertory by Dr. Thompson in 1857.

New root shoots form with purple ti ps

REMEDY PROFILE

Baptisia is prescribed almost exclusively for acute feverish illness with a characteristic set of symptoms. These include confusion or even stupor, as though drunk. The lethargy or exhaustion brought on by illness is so profound that the person even falls asleep during conversations. Nightmares and delirium are common, notably a sensation that the body is scattered in pieces. This feeling can lead to difficulty in falling asleep, as can sensations of suffocation or breathlessness.

Typical physical symptoms include foul breath, a yellowy-brown tongue, and a bitter-tasting mouth. The face may be swollen and flushed dark red, with drooping eyelids.

First developed for typhoid fever, Baptisia is now used mostly for acute fever, severe influenza, and gastrointestinal infections, as well as for sore throats and septic infections.

Acute fever symptoms A high fever or influenza, often of sudden onset, alternating with severe chills. The face may be darkly flushed; the tongue tends to be deep red or even brown in color, and is possibly coated and dry down the center. Great lethargy may accompany these symptoms, with the body feeling tender and bruised and the muscles sore, stiff, and heavy. The bed may feel too hard, resulting in bouts of restlessness and curling up tightly in order to try to ease discomfort. Symptoms better For being indoors.

Symptoms worse For being in the open air; for cold, wind, fog, and humid heat; upon waking; for walking.

Intestinal infections symptoms Exhausting attacks of diarrhea, with acute fever (see below, left) and possibly even delirium. The tongue may have a yellowish coating and there may be a bitter taste in the mouth. Stools are particularly foul-smelling and cause painful irritation around the anus. There may also be blood in the stools and a pink rash on the abdomen, possibly indicating typhoid fever. Symptoms better For being indoors; for rest. Symptoms worse For walking in the open air.

Throat infections symptoms Stupor, flushing, and fever (see left). The throat is sore, and the tonsils may be dark red and swollen. The gums and throat may be affected by ulcers, which are not necessarily painful. The lips may be blue, cracked, or bleeding. Swallowing solid food without gagging may be impossible, but drinking small amounts of liquid is bearable. A marked thirst and copious drinking may be followed by the scant passage of urine. A related ear infection may be quick to set in, especially in the right ear. Symptoms better For being indoors; for rest. Symptoms worse For walking in the open air.

Septic conditions symptoms Foul-smelling ulcers in the mouth and throat, with a foul-smelling discharge. The breath, sweat, and urine may have an offensive odor. The symptoms set in

New root shoots form with purple ti ps

WILD INDIGO This root has traditionally been harvested as a source of indigo blue dye, although it is considered inferior to the dye produced by the tropical species of indigo plant.

Root can cause nausea and vomiting if taken in excess

WILD INDIGO This root has traditionally been harvested as a source of indigo blue dye, although it is considered inferior to the dye produced by the tropical species of indigo plant.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to eastern North America, growing from Canada down to North Carolina. Generally found in woods and clearings, and prefers dry, hilly terrain.

BACKGROUND

Traditionally used in North America as a decoction for fever and infection, a wash for wounds, a poultice for snake bites, and a gargle to soothe sore throats.

PREPARATION

Fresh root, including the bark, is pulped and left to steep in alcohol for eight days. The resulting tincture is then repeatedly diluted and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Wild indigo, indigo weed, horsefly weed, rattleweed.

rapidly, with stupor and fatigue, and may be due to an incomplete miscarriage, or to septicemia or other septic states marked by acute fever.

Symptoms better For being indoors; for rest. Symptoms worse For walking in the open air.

See also Influenza, page 224; Sore throats, page 226; Mouth ulcers, page 232; Diarrhea, page 238

Berheris vulgaris

BERBERIS

KEY SYMPTOMS colicky kidney pains • radiating pains • colicky pains in the region of the gallbladder lethargy and listlessness

This strongly astringent and healing plant was used by ancient Greek and Arabian physicians to cool the blood during fevers and to treat jaundice and gastrointestinal disorders, while American Indians used it for peptic ulcers. Western herbalists give barberry for liver problems caused by drug or alcohol abuse, and Ayurvedic doctors advocate it as a detoxicant and liver tonic. In traditional Chinese medicine it is taken for diarrhea. Barberry contains alkaloids that are thought to inhibit cancer. It exhibits a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. The homeopathic remedy was proved by Dr. Hesse in 1835, and is taken largely for urinary and digestive disorders with sharp or colicky pain.

REMEDY PROFILE

People who respond well to Berberis are prone to lethargy, inertia, and listlessness. They can find it difficult to sustain any mental effort or to think straight. They can be especially anxious at twilight, when objects may appear larger than life and distorted so that they may be mistaken for monsters.

Typical physical symptoms for those who need Berberis include pallor, hollow eyes and cheeks, and dry mucous membranes. Berberis is given for a particular type of pain, typically described as deep, sharp, neuralgic or colicky pain radiating outward, and often shifting from one part of the body to another. This type of sudden pain is often linked with kidney infection, arthritis, or gout. Berberis has a strong affinity with the urinary and digestive systems, and is used mainly in the treatment of kidney disorders.

Kidney disorders symptoms Kidney infection with tenderness and pain in the kidney area, as if water is trying to bubble through the skin. Urine is dark yellow or green with a reddish, branlike sediment. Berberis may help kidney stones with severe, sharp, neuralgic or colicky pain radiating from the kidneys to the bladder and down the legs. Symptoms better For rest; for lying on the painful side.

Symptoms worse For standing; for movement; for sudden jarring or jolts.

Cystitis symptoms Burning or sharp, cutting pains from the bladder to the urethra, with green or dark yellow urine that contains a reddish, branlike sediment. Pain from the spermatic cord to the testes may make sexual intercourse painful. Symptoms better After urinating. Symptoms worse On urinating; for standing.

Gallbladder problems symptoms Sharp, radiating, tearing pain in the area of the gallbladder, extending toward the stomach. Colic may cause a stabbing, stitchlike pain that radiates from the liver area. There may be an inflamed gallbladder or gallstones with associated biliary colic (pain in the upper abdomen), which may sometimes develop into jaundice with pale stools. Symptoms better For rest. Symptoms worse For pressure on the upper abdomen; for standing; for movement.

Lower-back pain symptoms Pain in the lower back that radiates outward or down the thigh, accompanied by stiffness and possibly by a stitch in the abdomen or the side of the body. Symptoms better For rest. Symptoms worse For lying; for sitting; for standing; for movement; for treading heavily while going down stairs.

Joint pain symptoms General joint and muscle aches in the arms and legs, with sharp pains radiating

BARBERRY The astringent and antiseptic properties of this bitter herb make it an effective digestive tonic for gastrointestinal infections and peptic ulcers.

All parts of barberry plant are harmful If eaten, except red berries

Berries are extremely sour and were used in the past to make preserves and pickles

BARBERRY The astringent and antiseptic properties of this bitter herb make it an effective digestive tonic for gastrointestinal infections and peptic ulcers.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to Europe and naturalized in North America. Grows wild in woods and hedges, and on bushy chalk hills, and is commonly cultivated as a garden plant or herb.

BACKGROUND

Traditionally used in many cultures to treat digestive and gallbladder complaints, and also thought to lower fever, control bleeding, and reduce inflammation.

PREPARATION

The bark of the small or medium-sized root branches is dried and chopped, then steeped in alcohol, filtered, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Barberry, pipperidge bush.

outward and down the limbs. Gout and arthritic pain may also respond to Berberis. Symptoms better In the afternoon. Symptoms worse For movement; for treading heavily while going down stairs.

See also Gastroenteritis, page 236; Cystitis, page 260

Bryonia alba

BRYONIA

KEY SYMPTOMS pain upon the slightest movement • dry mucous membranes • great thirst • anxiety about financial security • irritability

Dioscorides, the famous Greek physician of the 1st century ce, >

advocated bryony for gangrenous wounds, and the ancient Greeks and Romans also used it for epilepsy, vertigo, paralysis, gout, and coughs. In 17th-century England the herbalist Culpeper found bryony useful for phlegm, coughs, and shortness of breath. In 1834 Hahnemann proved the homeopathic remedy, which is used mostly for slow-starting ailments accompanied by pain on the slightest movement

REMEDY PROFILE

Bryonia is mainly used for people who are highly irritable when ill. Often clean-living, meticulous individuals, they can be contrary and capricious if ill, wanting things that, when given, are promptly rejected. They may feel tired, taciturn, languid, and angry if disturbed. Anxiety is common, especially about financial security.

The chief physical symptom treated by Bryonia is pain felt on the slightest movement. It is often accompanied by infrequent spells of great thirst, and dry lips, mouth, and eyes. Illness sets in slowly, typically after overexposure to heat or cold. Bryonia is useful for chest inflammation, pneumonia, bad headaches, and rheumatic pains. It may also be taken for some forms of constipation and breast pain.

Dry coughs symptoms Great dryness in the mouth, throat, chest, and mucous membranes, with a tickly cough and sharp chest pains. Pressing the chest during a coughing fit may alleviate pain in the head, chest, or rib cage, as may lying still and breathing gently. Coughs may be linked to colds, pleurisy, or bronchitis. Symptoms better For rest; for lying still; for pressure on the chest. Symptoms worse For warm rooms; in the morning; for deep breathing; for movement; for eating and drinking.

Colds & influenza symptoms Red, sore, swollen nose, a hoarse, constricted throat, and a dry cough (see above). The lips are often cracked and itchy,

Fresh root can cause severe skin irritation

WHOLE ROOT

SOURCE DETAILS

WHOLE ROOT

Fresh root can cause severe skin irritation and the mouth is dry, with a white-coated tongue. Sharp, shooting ear pains may develop, as may sore eyes with sensitivity to movement and heavy eyelids. There may be an intense, aching headache (see below), raging thirst, and copious perspiration. Symptoms better For rest. Symptoms worse For bending forward; for movement.

Headaches symptoms Bursting, splitting headache over the forehead or left eye, so that even moving the eyeball hurts. Pain extends to the back of the head, then the whole head, often lasting all day. The mouth may be dry, and there may be great thirst.

Symptoms better For cold compresses; for pressure on the head; for closing the eyes. Symptoms worse For eye or body movement; for drinking while hot; for overeating.

Joint pain symptoms Joints and muscles are hot, swollen, stiff, and prone to stabbing pain, usually due to gout, tenosynovitis, or arthritis, or after an injury.

Symptoms better For heat; for pressure on the affected area.

Symptoms worse For cold compresses; for the slightest movement; for jarring.

Constipation symptoms Large, hard stools that look black or burned. The rectum may be particularly dry,

BRYONY The root of this plant, which is a member of the gourd family, has a bitter taste and unpleasant smell. In excessive amounts, it can cause death within hours, usually from inflammation of the digestive tract.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Grows mainly in hedges and woodlands of southern England, and in central and southern Europe.

BACKGROUND

Used traditionally for shortness of breath, coughing, and the clearing of phlegm from the chest.

PREPARATION

The fresh root is unearthed before the plant flowers, chopped, pulped, macerated in alcohol for ten days, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Bryony, white bryony, wild hops.

with burning pain after passing a stool. Rumbly, colicky pains in the abdomen are common. Symptoms better For rest. Symptoms worse For hot weather; in the morning; for movement; for cold drinks.

Breast problems symptoms Breasts are pale, hard, and hot, with sharp pains, particularly in women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Milk supply may be excessive.

Symptoms better For heat; for rest. Symptoms worse For movement.

See also Breast problems, page 201; Bronchitis, page 228; Coughs, page 228; Constipation, page 238; Breast pain, page 258

Cannabis sativa 'Indica'

CANNABIS IND

KEY SYMPTOMS moods swing between overexcitement and paranoia • out-of-body experiences • burning pain in the urethra • "opening and shutting" sensations in the head

First mentioned in a Chinese herbal dating to 2700 bce, marijuana has long been an important medicine in the herbal repertories of many cultures. By the 19 th century, marijuana had become a standard painkiller in Europe. More recently, it has been prescribed as a conventional medicine in some countries to relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy and spasms due to multiple sclerosis. The plant is also an illegal recreational drug, and its prohibition extends to medicinal uses in many countries. The homeopathic remedy Cannabis ind. was proved by the American Provers' Union in 1839 and introduced by Dr. Trinks in 1841.

Leaves are long and deeply serrated

CANNABIS The active ingredient in this plant, tetrahydrocannabinol, causes mild euphoric effects when ingested or smoked.

REMEDY PROFILE

The behavior of those who benefit most from Cannabis ind. alternates between sweet and gentle, and desperate or even paranoid. Typical physical symptoms include a marked increase in appetite and thirst, especially for sweet foods and cold drinks.

Cannabis ind. is prescribed primarily to treat abnormal psychological states, such as confusion, disorientation, loss of memory, overexcitement, unwarranted fears, or paranoia. The remedy is also given for physical conditions such as headaches, urinary-tract infections, and pain in the legs.

Disordered mental states symptoms Marked swings in thought and mood between a gentle state and paranoia. The gentle state is marked by mild euphoria, an overactive brain, and headstrong views, particularly about esoteric subjects such as astrology and UFOs. Wonderful and enlightening ideas occur in rapid succession, but they are equally quickly forgotten. The slightest thing may trigger hysterical giggling. Prophetic dreams, out-of-body experiences, or an apparent ability to predict the future may also be experienced. In the paranoid state, there is generally fear and anxiety, particularly a fear of losing control and becoming insane. There may be disorientation, memory loss, and confusion, even when in well-known environments. Travel or relocation may cause distress. Hallucinations that distort time, space, and distance are not uncommon.

Symptoms better For open air; for rest; for walking.

Symptoms worse For the dark; for tobacco; for coffee.

Headaches symptoms An opening and closing sensation at the top of the head, as if shock waves are passing through the brain. The head may shake involuntarily and feel as if it is separate from the body. A stooping posture may be adopted due to a sensation of heavy pressure on the brain or to a migraine. Symptoms better For rest; for deep breathing. Symptoms worse For exertion; for tobacco; for alcohol; for coffee.

Urinary-tract infections symptoms A dull, burning, aching, or stitchlike pain in the right kidney. Urine may be profuse and colorless, with erratic flow due to obstructed urination. There may be urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) with mucus discharge and burning, stinging pain. Symptoms better For rest; for deep breathing. Symptoms worse In the morning; for tobacco; for alcohol; for coffee.

Pain or paralysis in the legs symptoms Shooting pains that rise up the legs when walking. Exhaustion may follow even a

Leaves are long and deeply serrated

CANNABIS The active ingredient in this plant, tetrahydrocannabinol, causes mild euphoric effects when ingested or smoked.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Native to China and central western Asia, but now grown worldwide, although usually subject to legal restrictions.

BACKGROUND

Important in cultures such as ancient Egypt, China, and India, as a strong analgesic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory.

PREPARATION

The flowering tops and seeds are finely chopped, macerated in alcohol for ten days, then filtered, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Marijuana, hashish, cannabis, Indian hemp, bhang bhanga.

very short walk. Alternatively, there may be a sensation of paralysis in the lower limbs. These symptoms are frequently accompanied by a backache.

Symptoms better For rest; for deep breathing. Symptoms worse For walking; during menstruation.

See also Confusion, page 266

Carbo vegetabilis

CARBO VEG.

KEY SYMPTOMS listless behavior • confusion • coldness • collapse • person feels better from fanned air • flatulence • desire for sweets, coffee, salt, and alcohol

Charcoal's hardness and durability have in the past made it a popular material for staking out land boundaries. Its ability to absorb gases and toxins in the body gained charcoal a reputation as a "purifier," and in the 18th and 19th centuries it was used in dressings for skin ulcers and in mouthwashes. Hahnemann proved and published the homeopathic remedy in his Chronic Diseases (1821-34). It became known as the "corpse reviver" for its ability to restore severe collapse.

REMEDY PROFILE

People who need Carbo veg. may be in a state of physical and mental collapse. It is used for debilitated states ranging from a simple faint or fatigue to exhaustion or more serious collapse. Those affected may never have fully recovered from a previous illness. Symptoms include extreme weariness on making the least effort, indifference, and anxiety at night, along with a fear of the supernatural.

Typical physical symptoms include a cold, clammy body, a sallow face, weakness, and numbness or burning pain in the limbs. A tendency to suffer from trapped gas is common.

Despite usually feeling cold, people who respond to Carbo veg. like fresh air, especially if it is fanned over their faces. They may crave junk foods, coffee, sweets, and salt, and long for alcohol although it makes them feel unwell. In common with herbalists, homeopaths often give the remedy for flatulence and weak digestive functioning. Carbo veg. may also be taken for respiratory problems, or for a poor, sluggish constitution, particularly in the elderly.

Fatigue symptoms Weakness, severe exhaustion, or low vitality. The skin is cold and pale, but the body feels hot inside, and there is a bitter taste in the mouth. Carbo veg. can be used for loss of vitality, fatigue, or shock during convalescence.

Symptoms better For burping; for being fanned. Symptoms worse For warm, wet weather; in the evening; for lying down; for rich, fatty foods; for wine; for coffee.

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Aching, burning pains all over the body, and swollen, tender glands. Confusion, difficulty in concentrating, and anxiety may be evident, along with other symptoms of fatigue (see below, left). Symptoms better In the afternoon; for lying down.

Symptoms worse For cold, damp weather; at night; for exertion; for talking.

Indigestion & flatulence symptoms Indigestion and flatulence that occur regardless of diet. Regurgitation of food may be accompanied by sour burps, smelly gas, diarrhea, and bloating so that the skin of the stomach is stretched taut. Overeating may trigger nausea, dizziness, fainting, and morning headaches where the head feels heavy and hot. Symptoms better For cold, fresh air; for passing gas; for burping. Symptoms worse In the morning; for lying down; for rich, fatty foods; for milk, coffee, or wine.

Breathing problems symptoms Spasmodic cough, whooping cough, asthma, and bronchitis in the elderly.

There may be cold perspiration and weakness, choking, gagging, and vomiting of mucus.

A desire for fresh air is common, as is a feeling of suffocation.

Symptoms better For fresh air; for being fanned; for sitting up.

Symptoms worse In warm, wet weather;

for overheating; at night; for rich foods.

Poor circulation symptoms Reduced energy and lack of coordination due to poor circulation

Charcoal is very hard and does not rot like ordinary wood

Charcoal is very hard and does not rot like ordinary wood

CHARCOAL Wood is burned in a sealed environment from which air is excluded to make charcoal.

SOURCE DETAILS

ORIGIN

Made from silver birch, beech, or poplar trees, which grow on moors, heaths, woodlands, and mountains throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

BACKGROUND

Used in traditional and conventional medicine for ulceration, septic diseases, flatulence, and indigestion. Also known for its deodorant and disinfectant properties.

PREPARATION

Fist-sized bits of wood are cut, heated until red hot, and sealed in an airtight earthenware jar. The resulting ash is then triturated, diluted, and succussed.

COMMON NAMES

Charcoal, wood charcoal.

of oxygen around the body. The skin on the face, hands, and feet may be cold and blue. Hoarseness and a cold tongue and breath are common, and there may also be cold, puffy legs with a tendency for bleeding varicose veins to form.

Symptoms better For cold, fresh air; for burping.

Symptoms worse For lying down; in the evening; for milk, coffee, or fatty foods.

See also Chronic fatigue syndrome, page 205; Indigestion, page 234; Bloating & flatulence, page 236

Cephaelis ipecacuanha

IPECAC.

KEY SYMPTOMS persistent nausea and vomiting • clean, unfurred tongue • bright red bleeding • excessive mucus production and a cough • irritability

A Portuguese friar living in Brazil in the early 17th century first recorded the medicinal properties of ipecacuanha, a traditional remedy used by Brazilian Indians. Its name is from the Portuguese for "sick-making plant since in large doses it causes nausea, vomiting, and even cardiac failure. In conventional medicine, drugs derived from the root are used to loosen phlegm in the respiratory tract and to induce vomiting. Ipecac. was proved by Hahnemann in 1805 and is used especially to relieve persistent nausea.

REMEDY PROFILE

Irritability is common in those who respond best to Ipecac., and children suited to the remedy may scream and howl. When unw

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