December 2014

On the edge of a knife: a case of Acer saccharum

by Adriana Bérešová

In October 2012, a forty-five-year-old woman visited me. Her main problem was urticaria, which she described as a big red rash all over her body. Her lips and the area above her eyes were swollen. It was very itchy and her whole body was burning inside and outside; she could not sleep at night because of this burning. She said she would prefer homeopathic treatment because traditional medical creams did not work for her and she wanted to avoid using more and more allopathic drugs. Her thyroid gland had been removed and she had high blood pressure, treated by allopathic drugs. She tried to have a healthy diet, unsuccessfully trying to find a link between food and her rash.

She is married with two children and has a nice relationship with her husband. During puberty, she felt that her father preferred her older sister and her mother preferred her younger sister. When the children did something silly, her father always beat her and not her sister. When he died, she inherited a part of the house. Her mother lived in one part and her older sister, with whom she did not get on well, in another part. After some time, she moved in her part of the house with her family. Conflicts arose progressively because her mother kept bossing her around and she did not accept it; she felt she was an adult and had her own family. The conflicts became more and more frequent and misunderstandings between the sisters and the mother became so serious that they eventually stopped talking to each other. The patient did not take the attacks from her sister well at all. She said: “I think the urticaria could be a result of the stress that I am experiencing.”

P: “When I’m stressed, my throat is constricted as if I had an apple there that I cannot swallow. My stomach and abdomen hurt; I feel tightness. I feel powerless, as if I was in a blind alley. I try to get over the hatred I feel towards my sister and mother because I allow them to manipulate me. I feel very sad. I feel that my sister hates everything about me. The constant conflicts with my sister hurt me, threaten me; the worst is when she manipulates my mother against me. I want to escape but I do not know where to go. My relationships are like on the edge of a knife. I do not know how to solve this situation. I have to stay in the house; there is no other place where I could go. I feel that I have to constantly conform and back away, mostly from my mother. She is the Lady of the House; she is very dominant. I do not feel insecure but I do not see any other way than to submit. When my sister shouts at me, my heart starts beating so strongly that I fear I might get a heart attack. I do not feel good in her presence. My body goes stiff and I’m scared. I would like to find peace. They can keep the house; I cannot take it to my grave anyway.”

She is sensitive to cold; her feet and hands are always cold, and she sleeps with her socks on. She likes warmth and sun, it charges her with energy. In bad weather, she feels gloomy. She likes sweets and dislikes meat.

AB: What is your relationship to animals and plants?

P: “I love trees! I like to look at them blossoming and then losing their leaves in the autumn. I like how they rest in the winter, so that they can come to life again in the spring. I touch trees when I am in the park, they give me energy. I like to look at the tops from below. When I am with my sister, I feel like a tree in winter – leaves are gone, snow pushes branches to the ground, and the tree might get destroyed.”

The patient made a tough but at the same time fragile impression on me. She was quite open because she felt she needed to tell me everything so that I could help her. I found her very friendly and a little shy. Her toughness and close relationship to trees made me think of this group of remedies. People who need a tree remedy are usually tough, strong-willed, hardworking, and dominant. My patient, however, was not dominant. There was a kind of fragility in her. One of trees that are tough and have a certain delicacy is Acer Saccharum. The proving of this remedy, described by Jason-Aeric Huenecke from Canada, mentions the following rubrics that correspond very well to this patient:
Ailments from disappointment
Aversion, to members of family
Grief, with indignation
Howling, night
Irritability, evening
Quiet, wants to be
Sadness, after quarrel with husband
Sensitive, to all external impressions

As for physical symptoms, the proving mentions itchy and burning rashes, stomach ache because of sadness and conflicts, the feeling of a knot in the throat, and sensitivity to chill. Moreover, the proving mentions the colour red. My patient visited me two times and both times she was wearing a red pullover. She told me that recently, she has taken a liking to red colour, and that she wore it very often.

Prescription: one dose of Acer Saccharum 200C

On the next day, after taking the remedy, the red rash also appeared on her feet and palms, where it had not been before. It was very itchy and burning.
After three days, the rash improved and became less itchy. The rash got worse and then better, with intervals of improvement becoming longer and longer.
After six weeks, the rash stopped reappearing. Physicians recommended the patient to adjust her diet because of her allergy, but she did not follow the instructions, and ate everything she liked.

The relationship with her mother has improved and they can now speak to each other but she cannot reconcile with her sister. She admits that she can have problems too. She talks to her in her mind. Her sister has changed; she stopped using the washing machine and slamming the doors during the night. She said: “It seems to me that now life in the house is easier. Now, I say ‘I’m going home’ instead of ‘I’m going to that house’ as before.”

Two years have passed and the rash has not reappeared.

Photos: Shutterstock
Hunting knife; dien

Categories: Cases
Keywords: urticaria, family conflicts, tough but fragile, tree remedies
Remedies: Acer saccharum


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Adriana Beresova
Posts: 6
Reply #2 on : Mon December 08, 2014, 11:31:44
Yes, the potency was probably not the best suited for this patient.I am more carefull with the potencies now. :)
Francoise DeLaCressonniere
Posts: 6
Reply #1 on : Fri December 05, 2014, 20:01:12
Don't you think the dosage of 200C caused the aggravation?
Would you use the same potency again?