October 2014

I won't give in to the pain: a case of Eupatorium aromaticum

by Maarten van der Meer

The patient is a twenty-year-old woman with a small build and a sharp, hard look in her eyes, where one reads her distrust. Her voice is also sharp. She places her fingers on the desk and talks clearly and directly. Her face is expressionless, almost a poker face; she tells of all that she has gone through in life with a black humour. Her head seems to distance itself from her body. She has brought a girlfriend with her, a large strong woman who is protective of her, but treats her like an equal.

She has had Morbus Bechterew for several years now. Her blood sedimentation it too high, and due to all the medication she takes, she has inflammation of the stomach and a spastic colon, for which she is not allowed to take medication. She has local prednisone injections. During the day, she takes tramadol and metotrexate and in the evenings, she takes morphine for the pain. She sleeps poorly and is very tired.

The first symptoms started when she was seven years old, with juvenile spondylotrophia. She has inflammations everywhere: all her joints hurt and after exertion, she has swollen knees and ankles. She has a lot of problems with her ankles and her sacro-iliacal joint. Stiffness is worse with cold and wet weather.

Her menses has always been abundant and painful; she now uses a contraceptive injection to curb her menses. She often has bronchitis, bladder infections, and herpes labiales. She often has aphts in her mouth between her lip and her teeth.

Her father suffered from M. Bechterew, too, from his thirtieth on; his wife has always had to look after him. Her parents divorced when she was seven;  when she was thirteen her father committed suicide due to all the problems around the divorce, financial worries, and the fact that no one wanted to have anything to do with him anymore. He had been aggressive and violent towards her as well as the rest of the family. She often saw that he hit her mother and threatened to kill her. When her parents divorced, she felt “freed from that evil”. “I won’t give in to the pain, and I don’t want anyone else to know about it.”

The most prominent feature of the case is the Compositae theme: problems since a young age, violence, pain, vulnerable. Looking for protection and not finding it. A hard appearance in order to mask the pain and feelings of weakness.

Causes: fights, parents fighting. Father plays an important role in her life: Eupatoriaceae.

Within this group, three specimens are known in homeopathy: Eupatorium perfoliatum (which suits people with a “victim feeling”), Eupatorium purpurae (for soft and gentle people), and Eupatorium aromaticum, which I have seen to work well in cases where suicide plays a role. It has “aphts in the mouth” as a keynote.

Differential diagnosis

Lacs: Louis Klein talks of the Lacs, the milk remedies, in problems with nutrition and aggression. People requiring a Lac remedy are more like an “open book”.

Spiders: threat, alertness. These people do not shut themselves off so much; they are very alert to any sense of danger.

Solanaceae: these people are highly charged and the sense of “danger” is quite abstract.

Lanthanides: auto-immune, the theme of the “shadow”, Thulium muriaticum, stage 15, has issues about being cared for; aphts.

Prescription: Eupatorium aromaticum 6C, one dose. This potency was the only one I had on hand.

During the next two weeks, she had a hard time: profuse yellow diarrhoea, fainting, and the need for a lot of sleep. Her temperature was raised and she had spikes of fever. She became very angry because her body was not doing what she wanted it to do. She also panicked because she did not know what to do.

After these tumultuous two weeks, everything suddenly improved. Within three months, her blood tests were normal and her pain medication could be decreased and finally stopped. These days, her pain is controllable. She is supple, less stiff. She is emotionally better as well; much more cheerful than before. “I am opener towards my friends and softer towards myself. I used to degrade myself all the time, saying: ‘You are useless, no one wants you, who do you think you are.’ Now, I feel good about myself.”

Note about potency: in practice, it appears that a well-chosen remedy will work well no matter which potency is given, and it hardly, if ever, needs to be repeated. Many remedies are capable of bringing about a reaction in a given person – if it is the correct remedy, one dose is then enough. The less accurate the remedy is, the more it needs to be repeated and the more tumult it creates. In case of a relapse, it is often better to wait instead of simply repeating the remedy; this gives one the chance to see if the remedy is indeed the right one. If it is correct, the relapse will be temporary or only partial.

Photo: Shutterstock
Woman hold her knee; Poprotskiy Alexey

Categories: Cases
Keywords: Morbus Bechterew, juvenile spondylotrophia, swollen and painful joints, aphtae, suicide and violence in the family
Remedies: Eupatorium aromaticum


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