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Flu Season Remedies

With flu season just around the corner, many people may be thinking about what to do to prevent getting sick and how to pass through this time smoothly.

What is Influenza?

Influenza is caused by a viral infection causing symptoms of fever, headache, aching muscles, sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, body aches and pains, chills and/or generalized fatigue. It can also appear similar to a cold from the discharges it produces in the form of fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and possibly more serious respiratory infections.

Duration

The flu infection generally lasts two to three days.

Treatment

Antibiotics should not be taken for the flu since it is a virus and not a bacterial infection. Homeopathic remedies are an excellent way of getting rid of the symptoms and allowing you to recover quickly without any side effects or contraindications with other medication you may be on.

Depending on the type of symptoms being expressed, the remedies most suited from person to person can vary. This is why it is a good idea to have a few of the most common remedies for flu to match it with the symptoms you are having.

Common Flu Remedies

Oscillococcinum

This is a common remedy that you can find in most health food stores. It is most effective for the first 48 hours of the flu, taken at its first signs. It can also be taken as a preventative by taking one dose per week during flu season up to five doses.

Influenzinum

Many health food stores will have one with this year’s strain of Influenzinum (2015/2016) and this can also be used as preventative. Some people may choose to use it in place of a fluvaccination. It is very effective and does not have the same risks and side effects that a conventional flu vaccine carries.If you have the flu and you just can’t seem to kick it, take Influenzinum.

Rhus-tox

This is indicated for those who have aches and pains that are worsened by initial motion but feel better when the motions are continuous. They can be quite restless, easily chilled and have a sore throat and want to sip small amounts of water at a time. They could have a tickling cough and cold sores. If there is sneezing, it is yellow-green, foul mucus. The infection could have been brought on by getting wet, by the cold and by becoming chilled after overheating.

Eupatorium perfoliatum

This is a great remedy for aches and pains associated with the flu. The patient may have chills in the morning, and it may be in the autumn months when these symptoms appear. There is great restlessness, although the symptoms are not improved by motion. There could be chills preceded by intense thirst for cold drinks or nausea, weakness and soreness, but with little sweat. Symptoms are worse with cold air, the morning and motion.

Dulcamara

These symptoms generally appear in damp and stormy weather where you have warm days and cool nights (possibly in autumn). The symptoms include stiffness of neck and back from the cold, irritability, depression and/or mental confusion, coldness and fever from dampness. There may be yellow mucus, a stuffed up nose, chills up the back and sneezing with a lot of discharge. Symptoms are worse from being chilled, too much heat, sudden changes of temperature and damp weather.

Baptisia

This one is good for sore, heavy and aching muscles with a feeling of being too sick to move. There may be mental confusion and may come on in the fall or after humid heat. Heat and occasional chills are also common symptoms. Things are worse from humid heat, pressure, on waking and walking. They feel better with drinking liquids, open air and motion.

Bryonia

The symptoms appear at a slow onset. There may be heat, sweats and/or pain at the root of the nose. Also, there is a dry mouth with an intense thirst, irritability (wanting to be left alone), a frontal headache, dry lips and a dry cough. The person may not like to be moved and is sore with movement. They may be irritable and if it is a child, they dislike being carried or raised up. Symptoms are worse with motion, being raised up, stopping, coughing, exertion, deep breathing, becoming hot, eating and touch. They are better with pressure, lying on the painful part, cool open air and rest.

Gelsemium

This is a remedy for those who feel weak, chills and have a headache. They are also fatigued and tend to have little to no thirst. These flus tend to happen in the spring. There is muscular weakness, dizziness, drowsiness and trembling. Their body may feel achy, tired, heavy and sore. They may not want anyone near them and not wish to speak. Generally thirstless, they may have diarrhea, nervous chills and/or a painful lump in their throat. Symptoms are worse with emotions, dread, shocks, ordeals, humidity and in the spring. They feel better with discharges.

The dose

The key to taking the remedy is to do it frequently. You can take a pellet of the remedy most suited to your symptoms and put it in a glass of water, taking frequent sips from it. Generally, a dose (one sip or pellet) can be taken every 15 minutes depending on intensity of the symptoms. As the symptoms start to decrease, you would reduce the frequency until the remedy is not needed at all.

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Chthonic and Ideogenic Realm

The two distinct realms we’ve learned upon studying Heilkunst are distinguished by these two opposing directional forces. The word “below” makes us think of depth, darkness, the unknown, the murky waters in the deep of the ocean yet to be explored and the fears that hide beneath. We’ve termed this place the “Chthonic Realm“, for the word in Greek means “the underworld, the dwelling between the surface of the earth and nether regions” and to make it even more interesting, there are two currents described as either the “hot stream” or the “cold stream” to differentiate how each is expressed

“Above” represents the “Ideogenic Realm”, which is where the highest diseases are formed from false ideas, beliefs and illusions. They are treated with remedies whose symptom picture includes a false sense of identity and include many such as the states people find themselves in after taking hallucinogenic or recreational drugs. In fact, many of the remedies used to treat ideogenic disease actually come from these substances. If you’ve ever experimented with these types of drugs and/or read about or seen movies where people are using these substances, you’d quickly become familiar with what kinds of mental states they are meant to treat.

I will start with the chthonic realm and the remedies encompassed there.

The Hot Stream 

The “Hot Stream" suggests a state of heat exhibited by someone who seems more physically or emotionally hot and who has a more outward form of expression. Horror films give great examples of these expressions; one of the most obvious being “Carrie” , especially in the scene where Carrie lets out her fury and starts a fire that also represents the inner fury and violence that can be produced from some one in Belladonna state (one of the “hot” remedies). This manifestation is a very obvious state too as its expression is one of instinctual desires catapulted out radially like an erupting volcano.

The Cold Stream

The “Cold Stream” exhibits a more inward, cold and introverted manifestation of expression. There is more of a sense of coldness to their modes of interacting with others and the world. They are less emotional and more analytical (e.g. Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rainman, which depicts a Baryta Carb state) with the tendency to be inward looking. The cold stream is linked more to the mind and the intellect and less to the emotions.

The Cold Stream remedies are

Arnica

Arnica is well known for its use in treating physical shocks and blows but in this case it pertains more to the mental/emotional trauma that can occur. This can result from an initial trauma that caused this patient to feel the need to protect themselves from ever getting hurt again, thus creating walls and making themselves impenetrable. The trauma they endured could be anything from physical blows, concussions, financial loss or anything that could be considered a shock. The Arnica state can be an extremely guarded one, fearing anything that is hard and penetrating. They don’t like consolation and want to be left alone. In essence, they feel like they are emotionally bruised, or wounded souls. There is a general feeling of mistrust of others and a haughty attempt to fend for themselves. They are like wounded animals that want to hide and, if approached, can attack. They never admit that they need help and insist that “everything is okay”, even if it is really is not.

This state is linked to a dysfunction in the physical body causing a physical rigidity/hardness and a sort of bruised feeling. The patient can appear social but they are usually loners and don’t want to talk to anyone or be approached. They may even have a general fear that their heart will stop and they will die suddenly.

Baryta Carbonica

The Baryta Carb state can be described as immature, dependent, insecure, underdeveloped and anxious. The patient may appear “dwarfish” and there can be an immaturity that exists on all levels, such as a single organ or the whole body. There is a disruption in the basic functions which do not allow the person to develop into a responsible adult. The patient may also exhibit a coldness in which this tends to be more in their mind or intellect or they keep to themselves but are dependent on another for their survival. They have a hard time understanding their emotions and can’t feel them. The thought of growing up and becoming a responsible adult where they have to take charge of their own life and do everything for themselves is overwhelming. The patient has an inability to connect socially and emotionally to the world and the people in it, which is the reason they don’t want to be left alone. They have a feeling they are still a child amongst adults. They don’t know how to laugh or to have fun and they can get anxious at the slightest change, such as leaving the house. They feel hugely inadequate in dealing with things on their own and cannot venture out by themselves.

Bufo

Bufo can appear as physically overdeveloped and yet be intellectually underdeveloped. Childishness, lack of control, high sexuality are all characteristics of this type. Every urge must be gratified right away. Typically, they may go off alone to masturbate. They can also get violently angry and can also be described as being low-minded, with a tendency toward obesity, a strong desire for sweets and a predisposition to early senility. They are driven by their hormones and have a huge sexual appetite. They can have big thick lips where their mouth is slightly open with their tongue visible. The tongue can be protruding and can represent the brain and its under-function. There may also be a toad-like appearance since the remedy actually derives from the cane toad. The character “Sloth” in the film The Goonies, is reminiscent of Bufo.

Helleborus

The Helleborus state is characterized by a sense of absence. Similar to an absence seizure state when the person is gazing across the room but they hear nothing and see nothing, it is as if the spirit that animates them has disappeared.

“The lights are on but nobody is home” is the perfect description for this state. They believe that the world is so antagonistic that they need to shut down in order to escape from it. It is as if they stop feeling, hearing and even seeing everything that is going on outside of themselves, so as to retreat into a world of self-absorption. The initial stages can be characterized by one where the patient is indifferent, dull, has no “light” in their eyes and who cannot comprehend what people are saying or feeling.

The Hot Stream remedies are

Belladonna

The Belladonna state comes up when there is a feeling of a sudden threat from outside from which they need to escape. This can give rise to symptoms that are sudden, feverish, red, throbbing, intense, can be violent, fearful, anxious and excited. The Belladonna type has a desire for dancing and they are a presence that cannot be ignored. They have a vivid personality and don’t need strong stimuli or support from other people or require consolation. They are strong character types and don’t have huge anxieties except maybe about their health. Their anxieties can alternate with rage and their menses. There is a fear of animals and a fear of dogs which is interesting because when they are in their angry states they can bark and growl like a dog. They have a huge imagination, are irritable, impatient, have sudden flares of anger and can literally explode with anger. They can have anger alternating with weeping and may struggle with the compulsion to get violent and bite. They can lose control and strike people around them and be very destructive. Belladonna fevers can cause one to be afraid of being touched or jarred and have a lot of redness. They would want to hang or stab themselves if they were to carry out suicide and will set fires.

Stramonium

“I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature”
– Edvard Munch

Abandoned and left alone in the wilderness is what makes you think of the Stramonium state. In this terrifying state, their brain may shut down and they may not recognize any familiar surroundings or people around them. In this state of panic all they want is to be in a safe and secure place. They fear the dark because it represents the unknown and they feel threatened by the possibility of danger. They may imagine seeing ghosts and spirits in the dark and upon closing their eyes, they prefer to be in the light.

The original cause for someone to go into the Stramonium state is sudden shock. It could be an intense scare, fever that affects the brain and/or an emotional shock. They say that in the early stage it is a sign of the unconscious barely controlled with it going to a state of spasms and ending up in a full-blown state of the unconscious being manifested and expressed in violent insanity. It is the most violent realm and in its extreme state, they can be harmful to themselves and others. Their anger and violence can dissipate as quickly as it came and it is a state seen in many horror movies where the victims enter a Stramonium state upon seeing a ghost or fearing that someone is out to get them.

Hyoscyamus

The Hyoscyamus state comes about because the patient suddenly feels let down, betrayed and deserted by someone on whom they are totally dependent. It causes them to be in a state of fear and panic and they have a humongous fear of being alone. They are suspicious and don’t trust others, believing that others are trying to poison them. They can expose themselves, talk to themselves, jest, laugh loudly, swear, expose themselves sexually and act silly, among other things.

The extreme state of Hyoscamus makes me think of the Joker from Batman for the picture of “mania of a quarrelsome and obscene character.” The Joker exhibits this same inclination to laugh at everything; he’s suspicious, foolish, laughs insanely at everything and is shameless in his behaviour. In the more extreme states there can be violence with a desire to kill. The main fear is of being betrayed by the person they are most reliant on and with this can come jealousy and the ultimate fear of being left alone in the world to fend for themselves. The symptoms can come and go quickly and there is a distortion in the astral function leading to a twisted sense of acting out their desires and impulses, commonly leading to some kind of inappropriate sexual behaviour that involves exposing themselves in public.

Veratrum Album

The Veratrum state leads one to become desperately obsessed with their social ranking because to lose one’s position would mean the death of self. It is linked to a distorted identification with their false ego, believing that they need to do whatever it takes to stay at the top of the social ladder. This can lead the Veratrum type to gamble, cheat, deceive and manipulate their way to the top. The deepest fear is that they believe they are of no significance and so to save themselves they will do all that they can to stay afloat. They may believe they are a religious leader and be deluded in thinking they are the only ones in communication with God, for example.
The delusion is that they had a social position that they lost. To keep up with appearances, they can be very demonstrative about what they have and of their extravagance. Nothing can prevent them from keeping up with this facade and thus they have a profound confusion about their own identity. They have a delusion of superiority and can be overly critical, haughty and think they are better than others. The Veratrum state, to the outsider, is seen as highly out of touch with reality.

The Ideogenic Realm

The ideogenic realm is based on illusions, delusions and core beliefs that cloud one’s mind with what they perceive to be true. They believe their delusions and create a world based on their beliefs. This is where the spiritual diseases originate and are termed the “highest diseases”. They are commonly linked to two original beliefs and fears:

  1. I am alone
  2. I am not in control

Following are the remedies pertaining to this realm.

Agaricus

Agaricus comes from the fly Agaric, often used recreationally as magic mushrooms. This state is characterized by one who has a weak will and who depends on a more dominant figure. There is a fear of taking responsibility for their own life and a hypochondriacal anxiety about dying from an illness such as Cancer. This is interesting because it is related to the Cancer type of a weak will and years of repressing one’s own desires. They have trouble expressing their anger, instead manifesting through involuntary twitches and muscle spasms. They are generally very anxious types, complaining, worrying and moaning. They may be preoccupied with the tragedies of others too, especially if it involves cancer.

Anacardium

The Anacardium state is depicted well by the movie “The Black Swan” where the main character played by Natalie Portman is a ballerina set on being the main star in the upcoming production of “Swan Lake”. While she is perfect for the part of the white swan, she doesn’t quite have what it takes to depict the black swan, which is when she allows her dark side to emerge and the two sides – angel and devil, are expressed perfectly within the movie. The Anacardium state conveys conflict between these two sides – good and evil within the individual. Often they have grown up with tight restrictions of over-controlling parents and are punished easily for following their wills. This oppression leads to a repression and suppression over time, making way for this other side to emerge and in the extreme state can lead to violence, a desire to kill and/or cruelty. With this behavior, too, there may come a sense of absent-mindedness and a lack of confidence.

Anhalonium

Anhalonium describes a person who is lost to their own surroundings where they become one with all. This leads to a loss of boundaries and the confusion between where their identity ends and another’s begins. Many spiritual groups and thinking may include this sort of “we are one” thinking and the other side of the coin to this belief is that ultimately, the “I” does not exist and leads to the feared delusion that “I am nothing”. There is a feeling of isolation and separation, not knowing their own identity, like standing in front of a void ready to merge with everything else, losing any sense of identity in the process.

Anhalonium comes from Peyote or mescal buttons which are used ceremonially or recreationally and can bring about this feeling of “oneness”. It promotes a feeling of being lost without an identity or will of one’s own, making it difficult to find the real meaning and purpose to their existence.

Cannabis-indicus

The Cannabis state evolves from a sense that the world is an unsafe place, but without it life would be a bore. Not being able to control the external world creates a need for seclusion and safety from it. They create the delusion that they are living behind a glass barrier that allows them to see what’s out there, but won’t get hurt in the process. They can be oversensitive, isolated and feel inadequate in facing the world head-on. Within the crystal ball they feel safe and allow their imagination to run rampant with colourful visions and fantasies.

Cocaine Or Coca

The Coca state leads one to be quite ambitious, but it is never enough. They will reach great heights and then more, fearing that if they lose their high position or rank, they will lose everything. There is a desire to be more exceptional, sensational and extraordinary from everyone else, at the same time isolating themselves and causing loneliness. It is interesting that with this comes a fear of heights, as if they think that tumbling down will cause them to lose their identity. Similar to Veratrum’s love to be on top, Coca is deluded into thinking they are already someone great, whereas with Veratrum they believe they’ve lost their position of importance and thus have to do everything they can to gain their position back.

One person described the feeling of being on cocaine as “I’m on top of the world”, with “I am immortal”. This is the Coca state of being deluded into thinking they are more important than anyone else and expected to perform for others.

Hura

The Hura state is the feeling of a leper, an outcast who is isolated from the rest of society; they feel alone, friendless and hopeless. This remedy has been used for cases of Leprosy. Before this state moves into deep hopelessness though, the Hura state can cause the individual to become extremely busy in hectic activity as if to save themselves from the dreadful fate to which they so believe they are doomed. They believe they will lose their friends and be left alone, unwanted, cast out and in despair — hopeless of their recovery. There is a feeling of unluckiness and they try to hide what is most ugly about themselves with the longing to be a part of society again. They may have dreams of death, graves, dead bodies, funerals and mutilation.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is a feeling of having your head in the clouds. It leads to one who is spacey, has a hard time connecting with their physical body, uncoordination, lack of concentration, confusion with highs and lows in mood. When you think of Hydrogen, the chemical element that fills up 75 percent mass of the entire universe, it is a gas that is rarely in its free state, bonding with other elements to form things like water. In this way, the Hydrogen state is like the element on its own wandering around the universe looking for something to ground itself into the earth with, but not knowing where to go or how. It can lead to a deep feeling of being alone in the universe with no identity to grasp onto, no sense of self and a feeling of just floating around directionless and without a home.

Thuja

The common theme in Thuja is a state of fragility. There may be a feeling that they are made of glass in that they are easily broken, containing an inner weakness they desperately try to hide. The ideas they have are very fixed and this rigidity can show up in a very neurotic state with obsessive compulsive traits. They can get stuck in tiny details, fixated on them, unable to let them go and making mountains out of mole hills. They may have peculiar symptoms of feeling something alive in their abdomen, that they will break like glass or that their soul is separated from their body. They seem to be controlled by a stronger will than their own and often have a sense of guilt and think they need to be punished. 

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Miasms

Summer, Fall, Winter and Springtime all affect us in different ways. Each season has a distinct set of characteristics that define it as such. These seasons are linked to symptoms of Chronic Miasms, which are inherited disease tendencies that are related to why specific symptoms come up for many of us during a season and why many diseases run in the family. Some degree of Chronic Miasm affects everyone as they exist latently in each one of us. When we are in a weakened state they become most apparent and show up acutely. By treating for them at the right time, we can be cleared of their influences and live our lives more fully. I often wondered why I felt a certain way during a specific season and related it to the elements and how we are connected to nature. With my studies and treatment in Heilkunst, I was able to understand better why I might be prone to certain symptoms during a specific season. With treatment, many of the symptoms diminished and some I am better prepared for. The eight Chronic Miasms are listed below along with the season that shares their characteristic traits. Let’s begin with Psora that comes into effect generally in the late fall around mid-September to the end of October.

Psora (Sept 15-Oct 30)

“I don’t have enough – money, energy, confidence, resources or anything I need in order to succeed”.

Psora is related to the end of the season when leaves are falling, vegetation is dying and the fruits of our labours have been collected as we struggle to finish projects left unfinished. We prepare for the coming months and get ready for quieter times. It is a time when all the activity of being out and about in the summer working and playing has caught up to us and we are ready to begin reflecting on all the things we did.This is when our immune systems are compromised and we need to take care of ourselves better so we don’t get sick. Things may get under our skin more, leaving a skin irritation that just won’t go away. There may be some feelings of anxiety and hopelessness about the future along with a general sense of pessimism. As the winter threatens to come with the cold winds and shorter days, emotionally we may feel a sense of despair and a chill that comes with the cold. We might catch colds easily around this time and may be slow to recover. After the last of the summer harvest is gathered and put away, there is a fear of whether there will be enough to keep us alive during winter along with the fear of what was once gained is now being lost. There is the feeling that there needs to be a struggle in order to re-gain what is now gone. The essence of Psora is a form of struggle in order to survive.

Malaria (Nov.1-Dec.15)

“I am in danger of being infected and vulnerable to infection”.

Generally, malaria symptoms come into play around late fall to early winter. There is a feeling of threat that comes up in an acute manner that leads one to feel unfortunate. They feel they must accept this fate as there’s nothing left to do. The feeling is that the world is an unsafe place and exposure to it will affect us negatively. We become over sensitive to our environment and become prone to infections at this time. The feelings here are of victimization, persecution, suspiciousness, irritability and pessimism. Physically this makes us more prone to general aches and pains, digestive issues, fatigue, flus, colds, diarrhea and vomiting. Generally, there is some chilliness. The main essence here is that of feeling like a victim and accepting this fate.

Tuberculinum (Dec. 15 – Jan 30)

“I need to act quickly before the walls close in”.

The Tuberculinum miasm sets in when winter is here and physically people are feeling run down and prone to infections of the ear, nose, throat and lungs. There is a feeling of oppression that can be related to the chest as many of us develop coughs and lung infections at this time. We may be more prone to colds and the feeling is of “never being satisfied”. People may want to travel at this time, seeking the high mountains, the ocean or just anywhere to keep them moving and not stagnant. It feels almost like the blanket of snow is more like a thick sheet of ice holding us down and preventing any movement so that the natural reaction is to try and break out of this rut and quickly. This may be a time for rapid changes for some people, both physically and emotionally. There is a huge need to get up and out as quickly as possible to escape this sense of oppression. Some feats may be rash, bold, daring and could be destructive. Symptoms can constantly change and there may be a weariness to life. The essence of the Tuberculinum miasm is that of escaping their sense of being cornered as quickly as possible.

Ringworm (Feb.1 – March 14)

“I keep trying but just can’t overcome this hurdle no matter how much I try”.

There is a feeling of struggle and inadequacy with a sense of “want to but can’t” along with the resignation to accepting this state of struggle. There is an effort to come out of the struggle giving a bit of a feeling of hope, but with this there is a feeling of not being able to do what one wants, of not being able to meet expectations and a feeling of being trapped because of this. There may be procrastination to finishing projects, a certain angry irritability at their circumstances and a motivation to do something but losing all energy to carry out one’s wishes. This in turn creates internal frustration and negativity that makes us look and feel depressed. This is still during the winter when there is still some time before the spring. The hope is there though, knowing that spring will come and the days will start to slowly show more light as they progress. The main feeling here is that there is still some struggle before we can actually make it over the hump and thus the efforts to change things are still there.

Physically there may be issues with constipation, lack of energy and digestive issues. Mentally and emotionally we may feel trapped and irritable.

The essence in Ringworm is of an intense struggle which is not life threatening and a resignation to the fact that there is always going to be a level of some discomfort.

Sycosis Medorrhinum ( Mar 15-April 30 )

“No one can know about my weak points. I must show I am strong and capable because it is wrong to be weak”.

This is a time when we’ve had enough of the hibernating and are ready to bust out and live life to the max after a period of winter blues. Extremes are apparent here, making it necessary for people to want to experience everything and fully. After the quiet sleep of winter, trees are budding and vegetation is starting to come through the soil, ready to be shown to the world. “Sex, drugs and rock and roll” is the phrase that describes this state of mind well. There is a need to express all that one is made of to hide the inner weakness felt inside, often leading to a kind of exaggeration of feelings and actions. Mentally this may be seen as a weak memory where people are forgetful and lose the thread of conversation easily. There is a fear that someone is behind them as if they will be caught and exposed of what they fear and are trying to hide. The time feels as if it passes too slowly and one fears that something bad will happen. The main essence here is a feeling of weakness and if found out, the patient will lose all they have worked for and be taken advantage of.

Cancer or Carcinosin (May 1 – June 15)

“I don’t know who I am without my role but must keep going in order to survive”.

This can mean a period of intense and passionate activity, making one over-extend oneself on many levels. Everything has to be perfect. This could be a time when there are a lot of thunderstorms and the excitement over them is well loved and appreciated. The reason for the flurry of activity may be because of a feeling of being unfulfilled and a need to work to satiate this longing because on one level, the patient feels incapable of doing what’s needed in order to survive. Failure would mean death and destruction. We can see this in nature too as bees are busy pollinating flowers, ants are moving busily along trying to make their homes and pack all the food they can to keep them alive for winter, and mayflies are born and live just a day in order to reproduce for posterity. There is a need to begin gardening projects to get as much out of the summer as we can during these valuable months for growth of food. It is as if this struggle to keep going and the work seems to have no end. It may be when dancing, travel, art and music are appreciated and cravings for chocolate especially along with eggs, fat and milk are common. There may also be an anxiety about the future and what it will bring along with related fears. The essence here is of needing to perform tasks that seem impossible, in order to survive.

Syphilis (June 16 – July 31)

“My path is going towards destruction. There’s nothing to do but give in to it with a bang”.

Syphilis is in full force in the hot summer months. Rage, fury, destruction, accidents, road rage – these all represent this time. Emotionally, there is a complete feeling of hopelessness and despair so in order to survive, one needs to act in a manner as if it is their last attempt, even if it means death. This pessimistic outlook is responsible for this feeling that nothing can be done to save oneself and thus must react impulsively. There may be violence that is destructive to the self or others. Physically there may be insomnia due to the long days, exhaustion and violent infections.

In the natural world, this is a time for raging, out-of-control forest fires, heat to the point of exhaustion and death of the flowering period. This may be when people are risking their lives more whether it be from cliff jumping, rock climbing, base jumping or other extreme sports. The main theme here is that the struggle is over and there is only death and destruction left.

Lyme (Aug 1- Sept 15)

“I am alone in the world. Nothing will change this and there is only darkness”.

Lyme is known as the great masquerader in its symptoms because they are constantly changing. One may feel alone, cold, betrayed and separate from others. There is a deep feeling of disconnection, dark hopelessness and a sense of despair coming out of their situation. This is a time when there is a withdrawal into the self and away from others. It is similar to the feeling of Syphilis but it is more inward, deeper and darker in its pathology. There is a deep sense of isolation and victimization to get to this point. Seasonally, this is the time when there is still some hot days left but things are wrapping up and starting to go inwards and die off to get ready for the fall. The symptoms that one may feel during this time can range from pain, depression, headaches, brain fog, light sensitivity, memory loss and cognitive problems along with fatigue. In an extreme sense, there may be a feeling of being trapped within their own body and wrapped up like a mummy without the ability to move or speak and as if the will of the body has been taken over. There is a slow deterioration of the former self in that there is just no way out, leading to feelings of depression. The main essence here is of hopelessness and giving in to the destruction quietly, and in isolation.

The chronic miasms are thus like seasons that exist within each of us. We know when they are here from the state we are in. The symptoms can be uncomfortable but as long as we know what’s coming, we can actually have a hold on them and prevent these bothersome issues from occurring. Heilkunst focuses on treating one for these acute manifestations as soon as they appear and according to season for preventative measures. Through this, we can better enjoy the seasons as they come instead of having to endure them.

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Constitutional Remedies

Constitutional Remedies - Getting to the Core of who you really are…

Have you ever wondered why you crave certain foods, while dislike others, or why some people seem more naturally extroverted or introverted, or why you like more humid climates while others prefer to be in drier ones, or what makes some people tick, or even why some prefer spicy foods while others like more bland dishes?

Well interestingly, there is something called a “Constitutional Remedy”, which refers to one’s inherited predispositions and their “genotype”. This is what one is born with when they come into this world and is essentially what makes up a huge part of their personality. It signifies what a person is like in health. Also, there is what is called the “phenotype”, which is a state of disease that forms from an inability to deal with the shock or trauma at hand and is like a mask that the individual can wear if anything like it should occur again. It can be linked to a defence mechanism that a person employs to protect themselves from further trauma.

Genotypes

There are six genotypes within Heilkunst and include: Calcarea Carbonica, Lycopodium, Silicea, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla and Sulphur. The six Phenotypes are Sepia, Arsenicum, Nux Vomica, Natrum Muriaticum, Lachesis and Staphysagria.

A qualified Heilkunst practitioner has the tools to match you with your constitutional remedy which can help you better understand things about why you are averse to some things and/or prefer others according to your Constitutional type. Taking the remedies under the supervision of a qualified Heilkunst practitioner allows you to peel the layers of defences that restrict you from living your desired life of freedom and gets to the core of who you really are. Taking the right remedy that matches your unique constitution actually strengthens your immunity and gives you the ability to experience a more peaceful state of being by rebalancing the system, like a car ‘tune up’.

Thus in upcoming posts, I will go into each remedy and the keynotes of each one so that you can get a better idea of the different types and their characteristics.

In continuation of the last blog post on “Constitutional Remedies”, I will start with the Genotype remedies. Just to recap, these are the ones which represent your inherited predispositions, the ones that represent you in a state of health.

Calcarea Carbonica

I’d like to start off with Calcarea Carbonica. This is the remedy that comes from the oyster shell and you’ll find many similarities between the constitutional type and the actual characteristics of the material to make the remedy itself. For example, Calcareas are likened to the pearl that is protected within a thick white covering (the oyster shell). Like the oyster shell, the Calcarea type has a protective shell around them which can be a thicker layer of fat and/or you may get a feeling that they have a wall around them and may take longer to get to know them. Once you get past the outer covering though, you generally find inside a wonderful spirit of one who is kind, gentle, compassionate, loving and warm. Calcareas are generally the ones that are coined with the expression of being “the backbone of society”. These are people who are dependable, reliable, calm, peaceful and generous with their time and energy. When they do things they like to be organized and often have their way and own pace of doing things, which may be of a slower pace compared to the average person due to their meticulousness and attention to detail. They love to devise their own systems and methods to doing things and can be very set in their own routines. Calcareas are said to be the most stubborn of types, resistant to changes if they can help it, which challenge their sense of safety and security. Calcareas like relatively bland foods like meat and potatoes and especially boiled eggs, and don’t do well generally with much spice or overly spicy foods. They are methodical, pragmatic and intelligent types and are less emotional. They can be highly imaginative and creative and don’t mind spending time alone. They are actually quite happy on their own, but do enjoy the company of people also, especially with those closest to them. One way to tell if someone may fit under this type is to shake their hand. If it is cold and clammy like a cold dead fish, then it is likely that they are a Calcarea type. They may perspire on their forehead and tend to have a sort of pasty white complexion, which is prone to burn in the sun. Many people will say they feel instantly warm and at ease around these types.

*I’d like to note that these are the general characteristics of this type and you may run into situations where people exhibit these characteristics and others. It is possible to move between a few remedy types for some people and generally this includes two triads. One of the triads is Pulsatilla, Silicea and Phosphorus. The other triad is Calcarea Carbonica, Lycopodium and Sulphur. Also, with the addition of phenotype remedies, sometimes it is a difficult process to really find the true constitutional type of an individual until you can peel away some of these other extra layers first. This is why it is necessary for a trained practitioner of medical Heilkunst to assist you in figuring this out as they help you heal the imbalanced parts of yourself to become a healthier you.

Lycopodium

The next Constitutional type I would like to talk about is Lycopodium

When I think of Lycopodium, I tend to think of the story of how it originated. Back in the dinosaur age, Lycopodium or clubmoss was a huge tree, which in modern times has shrunk down in size to a tiny shrub that creeps along the forest floor. In this way, the Lycopodium type has a complex because they used to be big and now they are small so they feel the need to compensate for this lack they feel. Another characteristic of this type is that the spores will ignite if you set fire to them, which characterizes their fiery temperament. Generally, Lycopodiums are rational, intelligent and fair-minded people who tend to gravitate towards careers in politics, science, law and education. They are more sensitive than emotional and have a sweet tooth. They don’t do well with cruciferous vegetables and beans, making them prone to gas and they love starchy foods like pasta, potatoes and rice. They especially care about how they are seen by others and want to be liked by everyone. They can make great hosts and enjoy being around people. Lycopodiums may get very nervous about public speaking, but tend to do very well with it. Lycopodiums may have trouble committing, especially in intimate relationships because of a fear of being vulnerable and insecurities about failure. Generally they are popular people in their work environments and can even be bossy at times to people who have less power in their positions. This type likes to exercise their rational mind, but can appreciate emotional support while they are at home. They like to be alone at times but often want someone to be there in the other room. This represents their like for people around them but not wanting them to get too close.

Silicea

Silicea Types are motivated by their ideals. They have an image in their mind of the ideal world and how they can live their lives following these ideals. They are genuinely quiet about their ideas and are fairly easy going but as soon as you come up against one of their principles, they will stand firmly in what they believe in. However, Silicas don’t care about persuading others to think like them. If you talk to a Silica type about an opinion they don’t necessarily agree with, but doesn’t affect their values, then they will often let it go without speaking up. They don’t like confrontations and if it is avoidable, then they will choose to avoid it in order to conserve energy. The Silica type is an introverted type, needing a lot of time to be alone. They have highly imagined states of what is ideal for them and it is hard for them to bring things into fruition because they get so caught up in the details of how to make it perfect. This results in a highly efficient and detailed product, once they do actually complete tasks. The Silica type does not like to be the centre of attention. If they need to speak publicly, they will do so and quite well, but it is not something they naturally gravitate to. Silica types are one of the colder constitutions and need a lot of “animal warmth”. For this reason they may love to wear hats even while indoors. Also, they often tend to be in their heads most of the time, being more sensitive than emotional and could have a hard time expressing their feelings or even knowing what they are. In an imbalanced state, Silicas can over-analyze everything and feel separate from their emotions. Silica types don’t mind eating the same thing everyday. They don’t care too much about food as they are most stimulated by ideas and being inside physically and mentally in their heads. It could be said that the Sulphur type, which I will be talking about next, is the polar opposite of this type as the direction in which their energy goes are very different. Silicas have a more inward, circular and spherical energy moving towards the centre like a cyclone, while Sulphurs have a radiant sun like energy that shoots out and affects everyone it touches. Thus, you could be in a room with a Silica type and not even know it, while a Sulphur is hard to miss and ignore! Since Silica types are quiet and like to keep to themselves, as children they are really easy to take care of. They can often be “late bloomers” though and for this reason, the challenge to the parents comes later in life.

Phosphorus

The driving force behind the Phosphorus constitutional type is love. They are driven by love, seek love and are in love with the idea of love. A healthy Phosphorus has clear, healthy boundaries except when in love and are able to sustain their level of energy throughout the day. The mineral element of Phosphorus is highly reactive in nature and means “light bearer” in Greek. Phosphorescence refers to the illuminative glow that is given off by this element. Similarly, the Phosphorus type is generally sensitive, reactive, impressionable and prone to burn out. They can be the life of the party and be energized by the people around them, but like a match that quickly burns out, they can use up their energy reserves quite rapidly and end up being exhausted in the next moment. The Phosphorus type generally likes to be around people but it is important for them to have time alone too. They are one of the coldest types, prone to poor circulation and get cold easily. Phosphorus’ don’t like winter and cold places. Their ideal place to travel would be a hot summery place with a lot of sun. Anything shiny and new offers exciting opportunities to be explored for the Phos type and for this reason they love travel, shopping, culture and foods. If they have any physical weaknesses, typically it is in the ears, nose, throat, lungs and digestive system. They are not typically very grounded types, being more in the thinking sphere, rather than the emotive one. The Phos type loves to be in love as I mentioned before and can lose themselves in their partner, losing their sense of self and attaching their sense of identity with their partner’s. Often they just love the idea of being in love and could quickly get bored if they didn’t choose the right partner for the right reasons. You may see or experience a sense of sparkle and excitement in this type when they are inspired and they tend to be more of the creative/artistic types. They are highly sympathetic and empathetic in nature, being able to sense keenly what is happening with those surrounding them and wanting to help. Phos types are grounded in their “soul”, meaning that they are attracted to anything that feeds their soul qualities which are things that stimulate their sense of expression, feeling and inspiration. A sparkler is a perfect embodiment of the essence of the Phosphorus type.

Pulsatilla

The Pulsatilla constitutional type is all about family and finding comfort with the people they are closest to. They seek emotional reward and they are happiest when they are surrounded by their loved ones. Because of this need, in an imbalanced state, Pulsatilla is the one most likely to fall prey and put up with unhealthy, abusive relationships and even be more prone to being attracted to organizations that seek to give this emotional reassurance. Pulsatillas love every kind of physical affection. They don’t do well typically with stuffy rooms and need to have the window open at night. Initially, the Puls type tends to be a little shy but this soon changes once they know they can get some kind of emotional attention. This type loves human connection and gives off this feeling of warmth and loving. They want to be in close contact with their loved ones all the time and if they live physically away from them, this can be very hard for them and they need to communicate with them often. A child to the Pulsatilla type therefore, may feel a little smothered by them, unless they themselves are a Pulsatilla! They love being around people, making great hosts and making sure the house is perfectly clean and tidy before inviting anyone over. The Puls type is driven by their emotions, which can change direction constantly. They can be influenced easily and change their minds easily. If they experience any symptoms, they tend to manifest as something that constantly changes, whether it’s a pain or tingly feeling, it moves to different parts of the body. Since the Pulsatilla type is opposite to the intellectual mind of the Lycopodium type, when these two types are put together in a partnership, they can be very compatible as they complement each other through their opposing elements. The Lycopodium type can understand more about people and emotions, needing much emotional support while at home, which the Pulsatilla type can give them and the Pulsatilla can learn to look at things rationally and objectively, rather than being swayed by their emotions all of the time.

Sulphur

The word to describe the Sulphur constitutional type is PASSION. They have the desire to be passionate about their passions. In a healthy state, Sulphurs have an abundance of energy and are always in motion. Generally, you will be able to tell a Sulphur person right away because they are one of the most expressive types. If you talk to the parents of a Sulphur child, you will know right away from their reaction of asking them how they feel about their child. They will immediately say “It’s impossible! They have so much energy and don’t listen!”. I know from experience as my brother is a Sulphur. He had a charming way with people, but would always push his boundaries to the limits. He never listened to my mother when she scolded him and what was in everyone else’s possession, was his as well. Being my older brother, I often was the focus for his practice in WWF pro-wrestling in which he would practice wrestling moves like the “choke-slam” or the “rock-bottom” on me. Beneath it all though, is this tremendous warmth and generosity. I felt he genuinely cared about me but just had too much energy to handle. Sulphurs like sleeping in until late and don’t do well with getting up early in the morning unless it is to pursue one of their passions. Sulphurs don’t generally get hungry until around 11am or later, often skipping breakfast. When they do eat though, they have Voracious appetites and this does not only refer to food but with every experience they take in. They live in their own time, making them highly unpunctual people and non-comformists. They care about living life to the maximum and need to learn to channel this extra energy into more spiritual endeavours, otherwise in an imbalanced state they can be very materialistic. There are some Sulphur types who are less extroverted though and like to be in their own “quiet genius”, having deep philosophical tendencies. Einstein was likely a Sulphur type, being highly influential, genius and revolutionary in his thinking and work.

Phenotypes

Phenotypes, as I mentioned in the introduction to this series of Constitutional Remedies, are the layers we form when a stressor stimulates the need for it and our genotype (constitutional remedy) becomes imbalanced. They are like the masks we create to prevent getting hurt again or from experiencing the same stress again. They come in a few forms, namely six that we will be talking about here and they include the remedies: Arsenicum, Lachesis, Natrum muriaticum, Nux Vomica, Sepia and Staphysagria. It is possible therefore, to have a genotype remedy along with one or more phenotypes. This is what makes the genotype hard to see in some cases. You could have for example, a Sulphur who is very concerned with cleanliness, orderliness and have anxiety issues of the Arsenicum type, making it hard to see the Sulphur clearly beneath that layer. Remember, the genotypes exhibit people in a state of health and balance, while the phenotypes represent a state that occurs after the individual goes into a state of imbalance and morphs into a diseased state due to exposure to trauma and/or repeated stressors in life.

Sepia

The sepia type made from the ink of the cuttlefish, is one that has a “motherly” energy but feels burdened by all the responsibilities. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a woman’s remedy as it can be in men too, but it tends to be more common in females. The Sepia type is invigorated by exercise and exhausted by responsibilities. They feel tired all the time by taking care of everyone else but themselves and have no energy left to do anything to help themselves. The essence of Sepia is prolapse where everything seems to sag, whether physically or in a emotional sense. There is a deep exhaustion and a need for change, but a hopeless depression that things will never change. Life is an exhaustive cycle to Sepia and it is like spinning their wheels. There is one interesting characteristic though about Sepia and that is that they are invigorated by exercise. It is the discharge they are waiting for and the one time they can be alone and work on themselves. They can also be highly creative individuals and career and family orientated, but this soon leads to burn-out after years of taking care of children and everyone else’s needs but their own. They find themselves in a sort of depression where they feel hopeless about this situation ever changing and are not able to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Arsenicum

The Arsenicum type is characterized by the need for perfection. In order to keep this state of desired perfection, there is a need to keep everything neat, tidy, clean, orderly in so they can be prepared for any kind of disaster. There is a fear of disease and any kind of worry they can think of to become anxious about. Underneath all the perfectionist tendencies is an anxiety, which is stimulated by fear of losing control. Thus, all of this fear and anxiety leads to physical symptoms of poor digestion, a lack of warmth, burning pains, diarrhea and skin issues. The constant worrying leads to a stuckness of blood going to the brain and not spreading out to all the fingers and toes. The picture of the Arsenicum type is one who is cutting themselves off from every kind of danger possible, so as to save themselves. There is a fear of death and anything unknown.They can be hypochondriacs, chilly and enjoy sipping on warm drinks. Outwardly, they may wear makeup if they are a woman, be dressed well, making sure to get quality clothing and have everything in place. They do not like to see disorder of any kind and are not afraid to voice it either. The Arsenicum type will like to make frequent visits to the doctor, enjoying making complaints about their health because it gives them something to worry about so they can prepare for it somehow.

Nux vomica

“The Fast and the Furious” is a movie title that is a perfect way to describe the Nux-vomica type. They are the ones who are working endlessly on a million projects, impatient, addicted to coffee, sugar and other stimulants and trying to do everything to the maximum. They like to drive fast and are enraged by slow drivers who get in their way and at the same time with anything or anyone that slows them down. They have an eruptive temper and can be demanding in the workplace especially or to their inferiors. The Nux type lives on the level of attraction. Everything they want and need tends to be based on this principle and they will do anything to achieve what they want. For example, rather than eating the apple they think will be good for them, they will choose the sugary doughnut for quick energy and instant gratification. They do not choose to live by the things that matter to a person most in the healthy regard and will aim to go for the quick answer, with in disastrous results. The addictive and workaholic nature of this type is common in modern times where many people work long hours and are deprived of sleep, making it an important remedy to consider.

Natrum muriaticum

Natrum muriaticum is made from salt, sodium chloride. It is arranged in a rock-salt crystal structure. This hardened structure is a representation of this character type where they are frozen in time to all the hurtful experiences they have experienced, are not able to let them go and are hardened and closed because of it.

Thus, the Nat-mur type is one who has been hurt and has not been able to forget it, losing trust along the way. They learn to wall off their heart in hope that it will never be hurt again and isolate themselves from their friends and family. If you ask them questions about their personal life, they may be hesitant to answer or give you the least information possible. The Nat-mur type is deeply sentimental and might view life as suffering. They can be very serious about everything and take everything you say to heart. When sadness moves into a chronic state, this remedy is called upon. There is also an interesting characteristic of Nat-mur types which is that they feel better when they are by the ocean or bodies of water. They may also dream about water and have chronic sinus issues as a congested sinus can be linked to “uncried tears”. They don’t tend to like being in direct sunlight and will gravitate towards more shady areas. You can often tell when one is a Nat-mur by the way they dress and stand. They may dress in rather drab colours that don’t stand out and stand keeping distance between them and others and may have their arms crossed as a sort of protective mechanism. They want to be loved, but are too scared to allow themselves to be vulnerable because of the fear that they will be hurt again. Rejection and vulnerability is what they fear most, preferring to stay isolated and alone so they can’t be touched. These types crave salt and may have water retention.

Lachesis

The Lachesis type is characterized by an intensity of feeling that is looking for an outlet. For this reason, this type can be highly sexual, volatile and loquacious. They may even flit their tongue out like a snake and many people who could use this remedy are afraid of snakes, interestingly! Another important feature of the Lachesis is that their symptoms are relieved by discharges. They can have intense feelings of passion, jealousy, envy and guilt. Often these types have an intense feeling of inadequacy and it is out of an act of desperation to lash out anything weak in order to feel less of it. Thus, the Lachesis type has a very poor self-image. Lachesis can be responsible for purplish bruising and discharges with the same purplish hue to them.

Staphysagria

Staph types have a victim complex. They believe that the world is out to get them, they have not done anything wrong and that others are to blame. This type does not know how to take personal responsibility for the events in their life and have trouble expressing their needs. This leads to feelings of resentment and a feeling of “life is not fair”, underneath a sweet personality. Some Staph types suppress their anger so much that they don’t even know when it is there and this develops physically as styes, lumps, sore throats and urinary tract infections for example. When they do actually express their anger, it has been building up for so long that there is an explosion and often the people involved are confused as to where all that anger came from. Staph types may be in abusive relationships, having a hard time leaving because they have a deep fear of confronting the truth and taking responsibility for their own lives. For this reason, they are often under the control of a more dominant figure.