2010 May

Brachyglottis repens: three cases

by Maarten van de Meer

Case one

A 45 year old man comes with spastic colon complaints, which have gradually increased during the last fifteen years. It is worse while eating spicy food, fat food, or too much food. His belly rumbles, he has cramps, and then needs to go to the toilet within a few minutes, with severe diarrhoea; any change in his diet can produce diarrhoea. He is always wondering “will it be alright?” He is tense, holds things in, and tries to find ways to become emotionally more at ease.

He has difficulties going anywhere, to the bus or to a birthday party, as these things bring on tension and abdominal problems.  He feels best with a daily routine and prefers to keep everything under control. Sometimes he does not dare to go anywhere. “Perhaps the tension has to do with getting older, everything becomes more serious.  I never used to worry whether things were in order.” He has no hobbies and he dislikes people who are loud-mouthed.

He has had bursitis of the shoulder and of the back of his hand, and he suffers from hay-fever.

He was given Graphites, which helped somewhat, but which also gave him an inflamed ear passage. Allium cepa was given (Diarrhaea least change of diet: all-c, as well as hay-fever). The remedy improved the situation and it was repeated a year later, then again half a year later.

Two years later, the complaints return. Meanwhile, nose polyps have been removed. He complains of tiredness, pain in his left jaw, and pain in his ear. Allium helped the bowel problems but not the hay-fever or the tension. The ear-ache (infection, children’s complaint) was the reason to look for a composite. The basic idea of the plants system was applied: ear-ache, possibly compositae. Diarrhea, indiscretion in eating, after the slightest: Brachyglottis.

Prescription: Brachyglottis.

After taking the remedy, his bowels rumbled, since then they have been good. Four months later, he reports that he seldom has troubles with his bowels. “I have survived a birthday and a barbecue, it has helped perfectly! It’s only a problem if I eat too much and too quickly, then I get cramps and  I have to go to the toilet. I don’t get so wound up if I have to go somewhere these days.”

He is mild, calm, and at ease; no longer sick. The grass allergy is over (a good thing, since he worked with lawn-mowers!) and he does not have hay fever anymore.

In the course of time, as his bowels continue to improve, his sense of anticipation disappears. “It’s just like it used to be, no worries, eat what you want, do nice things, and go your own way.”


Case two

A ten year old girl has pain in her stomach and constipation. X-Rays show that her bowels are distended. She has had various medications – as a baby she was given dulcolax, and recently the paediatrician has prescribed bioscodyl. 

At school, she gets into a panic if she is under the pressure of time, she does not want to be the last in the class, so she just writes down anything that comes into her head.

She is very enthusiastic and can be very present, jumping, talking, and singing. She has restless legs and she has crooked teeth with white patches on them. She is very emotional, she wants to have a girlfriend, and she has romantic ideas. She loves her father dearly and gets along well with him, even though he is easily angered and talks loudly, often giving commands. While playing, her friends often make misuse of her; she does everything for them, cleans up after them. Later, she wants to become a school teacher, to make sure that kids do not do naughty things!

She has difficulty falling asleep. She remembers a frightening dream with ‘80 hands’.

She has problems with growing pains, sore eyes, and headaches. Her scalp is sensitive; combing her hair hurts. Her hair grows slowly and she has an ingrown toenail.

For a while, she has been very angry and was taken to the youth psychiatry services. She was the youngest in the group at that time and was being teased; being so small, she was hit and kicked.

In her early years, her parents had some problems in their relationship but it is not certain whether or not she had picked up on that, although she is clearly affected by her mother’s moods.

Prescription: Magnesium muriaticum MK

After the remedy, she calms down and the laxatives can be stopped. She has dreams: falling in water; being eaten by a crocodile; a shark is in her bath; a snake is following her.

Six months later, I see her again. She has a hard belly, hard stools, and needs dulcolax again. She is irritable, easily angered, overly sensitive, and takes things badly. The teases of the class call her a ‘cry baby’, she is small and childish. She often crosses her arms and looks angry. During the consultation, she hides in a book, sitting stiffly with raised shoulders, and often looking at me with discomfort, as though she is being reprimanded. It still hurts her to comb her hair. Her feet are sensitive and she walks on the outside of her feet, or with flat-footed steps.   

Childlike, sensitive, shutting down: composites.
Stool, constipation, urging ineffectual: rubrics are scanned for composites: Arnica, Brachyglottis, Eupatorium perfoliatium.

Father, dependent, aggression, threats.
Prescription: Brachyglottis

Within a week, she is much better. Her stools are good and she is easier to be with. She is kind and she understands others better than ever. The pain in her scalp is reduced, she has no more complaints. Half a year later, she has a growth spurt and a recurrence of the problems with her stools but this rights itself with no intervention, and her behaviour remains good. Some four years, later she is still doing well, according to her mother.

Case three

A thirteen year old girl is having problems with bedwetting for the last year. She has difficulty falling asleep, then wakes at about 3 am because the bed is wet. A few times per week, she suffers from nausea, tummy aches, headaches, and tiredness. Blood tests do not show anything irregular. Sometimes, when she comes home from school everything hurts, as though she has the flu. It feels as though she is collapsing and she has pain in her arms, legs, belly and head. Her head pounds as though her blood is not flowing and she has cramps in her belly and nausea. Sips of water ameliorate but eating aggravates. The complaints began when a baby in the family died; she thinks a lot about that. Her father is at home as he cannot work due to a back injury. It is not going well with him at all; he is in a lot of pain, he has diabetes, and he is grumpy and dominant.  She herself is angry and obstinate, and she often fights with her father. She also fights a lot with a girlfriend – apparently she is the one who starts the fights. At home, she is a loud-mouth but at school she hardly dares opening her mouth. She giggles in a childish manner and she is very sad if she is teased at school. She is the second child and she wants to out-shout her older sister.  She tries to do more than she can, complaining that her sister is allowed to do everything and she is not. She has even cut up her sister’s sweater with scissors. Although she clearly wants to present herself as an adult, and to decide for herself what she will do, she is clearly a child, as her nervous giggling behaviour shows.

She first receives Solanum Nigrum, and is friendlier, more open, and has more desire to go to school. A month later, however, she is still wetting her bed and the quarrels at school are starting again. She does not want to go to school anymore and cuts herself while her parents are away. She is in a lot of conflict with her father.

Prescription: Brachyglottis.

A month later, she is cheerful again, no more fights. She is a friendly child once again, not a made-up girl trying desperately to be an adult. Two years later, the bedwetting has still not relapsed, though there have been severe problems in the family; the parents divorced. She started to use drugs and to cut herself, problems which were treated successfully with another remedy.



Keywords: spastic colon, bursitis, earache, father, dependent, aggression, threats, bedwetting
Remedies: Brachyglottis repanda {as Brachyglottis repens}


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