2011 July August

Christchurch earthquakes; Gelsemium to the rescue

by David Quinn

Christchurch was struck by an earthquake on the 4th September last year (2010) and by a second one on the 22nd of February, plus thousands of aftershocks. Many people in Christchurch have reached a state where each significant after-shock is very distressing and upsetting.

Approximately five weeks ago, on the 19th of May, I began to feels pains in my lower back and I was noticeably restricted in my movements. The next day I could hardly move; when I tried to move there was tightness, shooting pains and spasms. The problem seemed to be mostly muscular with a bit of trouble to the nerves, but not in the spine. I suspected a viral or bacterial infection even though I have not experienced muscular pain like this before; when I am unwell it is always a ‘flu-like condition, a headache and soreness all over. I also began to realise that I had been experiencing a very low level of discomfort and slight restriction in movement in my lower back for months. The next night I had a memorable dream: my nephew had found a crocodile and somehow I was assigned the job of looking after it. I spent the whole night dealing with one shocking and frightening event after the next. The next morning my back was still as painful, if not worse, than the day before. The dream made me think of Gelsemium; because of the characteristic effect on the muscles in my lower back I took a dose of Gelsemium 1M. Over the next few days the pain in my back steadily improved. After two days I took another dose of the same potency. As my back continued to improve, the sense of unwellness became a typical ‘flu-like illness; I felt weak and sick and had a mild, non-descript headache. I took another dose of Gelsemium, and every morning I felt better. Within the space of a week I was feeling well and my back pain had cleared up completely. It seemed that quite a severe illness, which may have become protracted, had turned into something far more simple, for which I hardly had to go to bed.

On reflection, I remember having had a feeling of tightness and restriction in my back for months. It may also be significant that two days before the onset of the severe pains I was driving home and saw that the River Avon (which runs through Christchurch) was very high and was spilling over onto the roads. This was happening because of extra high lunar tides combined with the fact that parts of Christchurch had undergone extensive damage and had sunk. The river Avon spilling over onto the streets is a very frightening thing and driving past, it looked so high and vast, like the sea.

A few days later a friend said that she felt she was getting the ‘flu: her eyes felt heavy and her mouth felt dry. She said that everything felt heavy, especially her legs. From these symptoms I thought of Gelsemium. The next day she was getting bad pains in her left side, pains she had experienced since the first Earthquake in September. After she described the pains I suspected that they were muscular and I recommended a dose of Gelsemium 1M. Like me, she steadily improved over the next few days. She said that her pains “surprisingly” seemed to disappear while some ‘flu-like symptoms of weakness and sickness remained for a few days. I repeated the dose after two days, and after feeling very tired and sleeping deeply, she steadily began to improve. She said that in the past few months since the earthquakes she had been developing a number of worrying afflictions. Her doctor was worried about the pain in her left side and suspected a blood clot in her lungs, but tests showed nothing but a slight infection. At this stage he suspected pleurisy. In addition to this, an ankle which has suffered from several twists in the past became very painful, making walking difficult. After taking the remedy the pain in her side disappeared and the pain in her ankle reduced dramatically. Since taking the remedy she had been dreaming about things related to the earthquakes. She had flashbacks and frightening feelings about the first quake, which had violently woken everyone in the early hours while they were sleeping. Whenever she gets the ‘flu, she always experiences chest complications afterwards, but after taking the remedy she experienced no complications at all. For the past few months she had been experiencing a strange kind of sighing as she exhaled and this completely disappeared as well. This ‘sighing respiration’ is a characteristic symptom of Gelsemium. Another two powerful earthquakes stuck Christchurch on Monday 13th of this month. The pains in her left side returned during the night and were so bad she could hardly move. I repeated Gelsemium 1M and she also took a painkiller. Her symptoms again disappeared in the course of the next day. 

Gelsemium is a remedy which belongs to the Loganiaceae family of plants. It is a well known remedy for flu-like illnesses with symptoms of heaviness, paralysis, spasms. It has a specific affinity for the muscles. It has the characteristic sensation of a dry mouth, though the mouth is in fact not as dry as it feels. The central feeling of this family of remedies is that of having undergone something shocking and upsetting. Gelsemium is specifically for the feeling of a ‘fearful’ (Gelsemium) shock (Loganiaceae). In this instance Gelsemium seems to have alleviated some quite severe symptoms of pain and discomfort in an effective and gentle way.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Aftermath of September 4th Earthquake in Christchurch, NZ; Marin Luff
The Medway Bridge as seen from the true left of the Avon River; Schewde66



Keywords: Christchurch earthquakes, fearful shock,
Remedies: Gelsemium sempervirens


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Posts: 9
addition of remedies after maladies
Reply #5 on : Wed August 24, 2011, 13:27:08
The article gives new direction of using Gelsemium in maladies but I have successfully used the remedy ACID PHOS for such situation & Ignatia for chronic cases
Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 11:07:03 by *  

Posts: 9
Reply #4 on : Mon July 04, 2011, 14:25:50
Yes i agree. Earthquakes are a shocking suprising fearful thing and this is consistent with Gelsemium. I just saw yesterday that Gelsemium is the only remedy and is marked as a three in the symptom "Shivering from fear" in the Synthetic Repertory.

Posts: 9
Christchurch earthquakes
Reply #3 on : Sun July 03, 2011, 00:32:39
Interesting read,
Vermeullen writes " Anticipation, paralyzed and heavy from fear and fright, lack of will power and muscles refuse to obey the will" with Gel. conditions come on slowly and patient becomes weaker and weaker...a good earthquake prescription for ones stress due to the many aftershocks. Thanks for this article

Posts: 9
Reply #2 on : Fri July 01, 2011, 11:24:28
Thanks, I'm glad you found it interesting. Yes, the woman who was helped with Gelsemium here also had episodes of dizziness, which I did not mention, as she put it down to the ground moving.


Posts: 9
Reply #1 on : Fri July 01, 2011, 08:36:51
Interesting to read about this. Thanks for describing the fearful shock of Gelsemium. I haven't used it in this context before, only fear or anxiety with the lethargy & aches (& sometimes dizziness) so I'm glad to read these cases.