A mother brought her 13 year old daughter for consultation in February 2006 due to complaints after mononucleosis. Two months previously, she had become ill with a sore throat and high fever and was tested positive for mononucleosis. After that, she remained tired and could only follow the first three hours at school due to difficulties with concentration, whereas she used to be a good student.
She has become very dizzy, “as though the world is spinning”; it is worse going downstairs, reading or bending. She has pain in her muscles and bones, which are worse while sitting. Her back is sensitive to touch and she has pains in the liver area.
She suffers from frequent headaches – a pounding feeling in her head – as though she feels her heart pulsing in her head. She has poor appetite and is very thin. She has grown in height but has not gained any weight. After contracting mononucleosis, her menstrual cycle stopped for two months and is now irregular. She has become irritable and contrary, and she sits apathetically on the sofa.
Desires: Italian food, hutspot (mashed potato with vegetables and sausages), chicken, gravy, beef sausages, spinach with egg, eggs.
Aversions: fatty meat, stringy meat, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, brown beans and white beans, citrus fruits, fruit juice.
Thirst: low to medium.
Stools: once every two days; normal consistency, with no worms (her sister has worms).
As a toddler she was prone to coughs. She could have temper tantrums, where she would stretch backwards. She was very keen on rules, on the proper way of doing things. She reacted well to Cuprum.
At 9 years old, she contracted whooping cough: coughing with thick stringy chewing gum-like mucous. She improved after taking Coccus Cacti and Cuprum Phosphoricum.
Colour Preferences (Ulrich Welte):
An important remedy for tiredness after mononucleosis in puberty is Phosphoric Acid. Before becoming ill, this girl used to be a good learner, energetic and alert but in her decompensated state, she has become slow and tired, and cannot concentrate. I prescribed Phosphoric Acid in 200K then MK.
After this remedy her energy and her mood improved, and after 2 months she is again attending school fulltime, with good levels of concentration. Her mother is still concerned, however, wondering about a possible anorexia since she is still very underweight and has poor appetite.
Her appetite and her weight having not improved with Phosphoric Acid, it is time for a second remedy. Jan Scholten notes that the remedies from the plant family of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) are important remedies in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and tiredness after mononucleosis. A confirmatory symptom is her aversion to brown beans and white beans (from the same family). As second remedy, I chose Alfalfa (Medicago), a remedy from the Fabaceae family, which has “poor appetite” as a key symptom. In Boericke’s Materia Medica, we can read the following:
From its action on the sympathetic, Alfalfa favourably influences nutrition,
evidenced in “toning up” the appetite and digestion, resulting in greatly improved
mental and physical vigor, with gain in weight. Disorders characterized by
malnutrition are mainly within its therapeutic range, for example, neurasthenia,
splanchnic blues, nervousness, insomnia, nervous indigestion, etc. Acts as a fat
producer, corrects tissue waste.
The Fabaceae family (Leguminosae)
This is the family of the butterfly flowers: peas, beans and clovers. Homeopathic remedies: Astragalus, Baptisia, Cassia, Cytisus scoparius, Desmodium, Dolichos, Galega, Genista, Gymnocladus, Haematoxylum, Indigofera (Indigo), Laburnum, Lathyrus, Medicago (Alfalfa), Melilotus, Mimosa, Onosis Spinosa, Oxytropis, Phaseolus vulgaris, Physostigma, Robinia, Senna, Tamarindus, Trifolium pretense, Trifolium repens.
Themes of the Fabaceae family (Jan Scholten and Marguerite Pelt):
- Poverty: fear of poverty, thrift, too little at home to fulfill all the needs (also figuratively)
- Butterfly-like: desire for freedom, desire to escape a difficult existence.
- Duty: working too hard
- Split: between pleasure and duty
- Tired: achieved more than one can manage, done the “impossible” for those in need, dizzy, not able to take in information,
making mistakes, oversensitive to criticism and touch.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic encephalitis (M.E.)
- neurological complaints, paralysis, M.S. with vision impairment (Physostigma)
- post-mononucleosis, i.e. loss of appetite (Medicago= Alfafa)
- polio and post-polio syndrome (Lathyrus, Oxytropis)
- dizziness (Genista, contains scopolamine)
- digestive tract: liver (Dolichos: pruritis gravidarum), typhus (Baptisia), diarrhea after visiting the tropics (Baptisia).
Note: many Fabaceae contain Manganum.
I gave her Alfalfa 200K, to be repeated after 4 weeks. She consulted, at the same time, with a pediatrician. Over the next two months her appetite improved, she gained 2 kilos in weight and her menstrual cycle returned to normal. Her mother is relieved. The pediatrician findings show no parasites in the stools, no gluten intolerance, and no indications for anorexia.
Keywords: mononucleosis, weight loss, phosphoric acid, alfafa