December 2014

A tree can bear anything: a case of Prunus spinosa

by Pavlína Hollá

The patient is an eighty-five-year-old lady. She comes in slowly and heavily. Since she had herpes zoster three years ago, she has experienced an intense waistline pain on her right side expanding from the back to her navel. She feels burning pain when she walks. When she presses on the area, the pain reduces. Sometimes, especially when she moves more, for example after cooking, there is more pain. The pain is better when she sits down for a while.

Personal history
Heart problems, angina pectoris, sometimes, pain in chest near the heart
High blood pressure
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:short of breath, chest pain on the right side, uses steroid spray
Right kidney malfunctioning; followed by a nephrologist for about ten years
Frequent urinary tract infections, burning sensation during and after urination. Frequent urination: she has to get up seven or eight times a night to go to the toilet.
Type II diabetes, under treatment and on a diet
Likes to eat fruits; loves apples

Ten years ago, she had a lump in her breast that was removed, followed by a chemotherapy. Two years later, a ball-size tumor appeared in her bladder; it was removed.

Patient (P): “I worked for forty years and never took a sick leave. I like to walk barefoot, only when I start coughing I realize that I have to put on my socks. When lying in bed for a long time, I have to uncover my feet. My gallbladder has been removed. I postponed the surgery for a long time and only did it at the last possible moment.

“My husband passed away. We had been together for three years. He was young, worked as a radiologist, his body collapsed and he died within two days. It was a very hard time, I could not concentrate. At work, when I was typing on a typewriter, I could not see the letters. About half a year before his death, I lost my baby in the fourth month of the pregnancy. Later, I married my husband's friend. He helped me at the most difficult moments. We have been married for fifty years now.”

Pavlína Hollá (PH): What happened three years ago?

Her daughter interrupts the interview: “She was insulating the house three years ago and my brother did not approve of it even though he did not finance the insulation. He shouted at mum, saying that her and dad were wasting money.

P: (Talking about her son) “He thinks he knows everything better than everyone else. He did not like the way we were doing it. He shouted that we can go on living as pigs. He did not take care of anything. We had to clean everything ourselves. I told him if he did not like the way it's done, he could leave. So, he left. When he came back two months later, he only talked to his father. He thinks he knows better than the others. He was cross because as they laid the tiles on the floor, they were not all lined up. I did not mind the imperfect lines. The way he behaved hurt me. I felt pain and sadness because I had tried to give everything to my children. We used to honor our parents.

“It has been hurting me for a long time although I have been hiding it. I think that my son's girlfriend has a bad influence on him. I do not like her. He lost his own opinion. I ask myself if it is the fate which decides that a person should suffer. I can't understand that a grown-up man hasn't got his own opinion and listens to someone else’s bad advice.

“After that my problems started. I had a sensation as if someone was pulling a thin thread on my skin. It was nipping. It got worse during three days and then a herpetic rash appeared, which lasted for about a week, then it disappeared for a day. Then, it reappeared and lasted for three weeks. After half a year, it reappeared again. The area has been painful all the time.”

PH: Please, describe yourself

P: “I do not know how to argue. I am old enough to tell my opinion but I have never argued. And I have never spread slender either. We are all human, everyone's different and everyone has some flaws.”

PH: Is there anything you would compare yourself to?

P: “To a tree; a tree can bear everything. My favourite tree is an apple tree. When I was a child, I had a classmate with fifteen siblings. They had an apple tree loaded with apples. I used to say that the tree and their mum were alike. Their mum was so good-hearted; she took care of them very nicely. When she died, I asked permission at school to go to the funeral.

“I live my life easily. When my kids were little, I was so delighted with them that I used to sit on their beds. I rather not talk about love matters.”

PH: Have there been any love problems?

P: “I wouldn't say so.” (She is smiling as she answers).


The patient talks about her children a lot, however, I cannot see a muriatic aspect in the case. Her hot feet lead to Sulphur. What is more, she starts talking about her husband's death and about his friend who became her second husband. I believe if the daughter had not interrupted her, the interview would have gone another direction.

We can also see a sulphuric aspect in the fact that she does not question herself as a mother. She is more worried about her adult son being negatively influenced by his wife.


GENERALS - PAIN - herpes zoster; after

BLADDER - INFLAMMATION - chronic cystitis



CHEST - ANGINA pectoris

One of the four remedies that appear in all four rubrics is Prunus spinoza.

The patient has mentioned an apple tree in her story, which belongs to the Rosaceae, the same family as Prunus spinosa. Moreover, she has a desire for apples. I felt as if she wanted to lead me and provide me with a direction, so I would not get sidetracked.

Prescription: Prunus spinosa 30C, two granules diluted in water, two drops daily. I have chosen this dosage method because the patient has various illnesses and takes a lot of (allopathic) medicines. The LM potency was not available at that moment.

Follow ups

After one month: “From the moment I put the drops in my mouth, the pain started to fade away and I felt more relaxed. In the past, I had to sit down when I wanted to turn over in bed. Now, I can turn over even in a lying position. Before the remedy, I could barely walk and I had to sit down frequently. These days, I manage to walk much farther.”

PH: What about your urination problem?

P: “I go to the toilet only three or four times now. It is still burning, but less. I wake up, go to the toilet and quickly go back to sleep. In the morning, I wake up feeling refreshed.

“I had a dream that I was travelling by boat. I liked that. I used to travel a lot, we also sailed to visit Turkey and Bulgaria.

“I still feel burning on my skin. I asked my daughter if there is any rash. The pain was more intense before the remedy, I also used to feel a certain pressure in the area.”

Prescription: continue taking Prunus spinosa 30C, two drops daily

One month later: the patient's daughter called and said that her mum felt very well and had no trouble with her skin anymore.  

Photo: Shutterstock
Tree of abstract swirl; Liliya Kulianionak


Categories: Cases
Keywords: post herpetic pain, urinary problems, family problems, desire apples
Remedies: Prunus spinosa


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rochelle marsden
Posts: 7
prunus case
Reply #1 on : Sun December 07, 2014, 11:41:08
Am not able to access my homeopathic isis software at the moment as I am travelling . Enjoyed reading this case and will study the remedy. However I do wonder what staphysagria would do for this woman?