A., a 14 year old boy, came with his mother to see me, seeking treatment for vitiligo spots on his back, shoulder, and forearms .He was of average height, medium built, light complexion, pale face, dry skin, and lusterless dry hair. It was not cold, despite the rain but A. wore a full sleeve, high neck T-shirt, and a jacket, which was puzzling. As I inquired about it, A. kept silent and looked at his mother. After a pause, she replied: “Doctor, he is very sensitive to cold and he suffers from repeated infections, such as colds, otitis, and pharyngitis. That’s why we always protect him from draft or cool air.”
D: “Tell me about the complaints.”
M: “About two years ago, we observed a white
patch over his left shoulder. We thought it might be due to some seasonal allergy,
so we did not consult a doctor. After 3 more months, another patch developed
beside it and the body hairs over this patch started becoming white. Then, we
started taking it seriously and consulted various skin specialists but without
any significant change. They used to give us some ointments to apply over the
patch under sunlight, along with a number of internal medicines, but none of
the medicines were acting. The white patches were increasing gradually and
after one year, they had reached his back and forearms as well. We were quite
anxious and were changing from one doctor to another but without any result. Then
somebody suggested your name.”
I asked for more information about any significant past or family history, but there was none, except for delayed walking and occasional talking in his sleep. On further questioning the mother told me that though he loves dancing, he had never performed. He has terrible stage-fright; he cannot perform in front of strangers. At home, however, he can dance for the whole day.
When inquiring about A.’s nature and about his behaviour with his friends and relatives, his mother told me that he is very shy and sensitive; he even weeps when reprimanded. He is very caring by nature; his grandmother is bed-ridden and he takes very good care of her. At the same time, he is very dependent on his father and cannot go anywhere alone; for doing even a small task, he needs his father’s permission. Regarding friends, he has a very limited circle of friends and amongst those friends he has a ‘good boy’ image. He shares his games and other things with his friends but is afraid of borrowing their things.
On inquiring about his desires and aversions, one particular thing came up. When he was born, he never liked his mother’s milk; he used to refuse it but he could take cow’s milk without any problem.
I thought that I needed to use a deep-acting remedy, matching his whole personality and constitution, in order to get a positive response. So, I set about trying to assess A.’s character. Throughout the interview, I observed that the child was very shy and was constantly looking at the floor. He never answered any of my questions but looked towards his mother, wanting her to answer whatever she thought best. He was very quiet and self-contained. Anxiety was clearly visible on his face and hand gestures.
I decided to prescribe Silicea 1M once, based on the reported symptoms and on repertorising, considering the following rubrics:
* - Ailments from anticipation
* - Anxiety exaggerated
* - Clinging: children, of: mother, to
* - Concentration difficult
* - Dancing: desire for
* - Dependent
* - Oversensitive to mental impressions
* - Indisposed to talk
* - Talking – sleep, in
* - Timidity – public, about appearing in
* - Timidity with other children
* - Want of self-confidence
* - Yielding disposition
* - Aversion to mother’s milk
For the first few weeks, there were no signs of improvement. I repeated Silicea 1M after one month and again there was no improvement. This time, before thinking of changing the remedy, I thought of increasing the potency from 1M to 10M and patiently waited for another month; there were slight signs of improvement. I repeated Silicea 10M after a month and this time the improvements were obvious. Vitiligo spots from the elbows, scapular region, and sacral region started disappearing. There was no change in the small lesions on the dorsal aspect of both hands and on the left forearm. In fact, it was increasing on the left forearm but thankfully downwards, obeying Hering’s law.
The patient was under treatment for a period of 1 year, during which time he was prescribed one more dose of 10M, and then CM was given along with placebo. He is now relieved from the leucoderma. He came to see me again this year for an abscess on the right side of his thigh, which is also responding well to Silicea.
One thing, which is worth mentioning here, is that during the course of his treatment, not only did his vitiligo spots improve but also his behaviour; he is not shy anymore and is more confident. He is answering intelligently and on his own. Even though the anticipatory anxiety is still there, he is doing well at school and is concentrating well in his studies. I think, by the grace of the Almighty, Homoeopathy transformed this young man’s life!
Discussion: Silicea personality
One of the fascinations of homoeopathy is the extraordinary power that is produced in otherwise inert and everyday substances, by the potentisation process. Samuel Hahnemann used the stock in trade of his contemporary pharmaceutical colleagues, by taking herbal tinctures as the basis of his serial dilutions. Insoluble substances were ground and diluted serially with lactose powder up to three times prior to dissolving in the standard alcohol/water mixture and submitting to further dilutions.
When grounded, dissolved, diluted, and potentised in this fashion, ordinary sand becomes the great polychrest, SILICEA, which can influence profoundly any system of the body and has immense and diverse healing powers.
In our texts the summations of Silica often start by likening the need for this remedy with the need for internal "grit". The patient is often refined, delicate, sensitive, and yielding. Generally speaking the emotional level is fairly well-balanced in Silicea patients, except for problems with self-esteem. The self-confidence of the patient is often very poor.
They feel very fragile and are inclined to feel that others will abuse this. As soon as another person voices his opinion or sticks up for his own cause, they feel neglected and humiliated. Criticism makes them feel even worse, causing them to cry or get very angry, and when others show them sympathy they feel humiliated because they believe it is done out of pity for their weakness.
Silicea is usually living up to the image of the father, there is a lack of emotions, and it may be hard for him/her to relate to other people. There is disunion of inner self and personality. Silicea exists very much in this image and is concerned with how others see him/her, wanting to fulfill that image. It is very important for a Silicea child to do well for his parents and he will want to prove to them that he knows everything in school. A Silicea child is insecure and the insecurity comes for the lack of connection to feelings and emotions.
For one reacting from an observed self, his body or doing actions become the centre of attention, and he is extremely concerned with how others perceive him; alternatively, he has a tremendous fear of being observed ( DD Calcarea and Magnesium). This kind of patient is an outsider within himself. He looks at himself through the eyes of other people and acts from what he feels others think. There is no direct participation in life itself and he has an inability to go from sensation straight into functioning.
They will show the world how good they are, how much they give without asking anything in return, which then becomes a means in itself; their self-worth and their image become dependent on this role. Underneath, however, they feel worthless, as if they do not deserve to ask anything for themselves.
They can be very shy, especially when they first meet someone, but they also want to be liked, so they will behave in a kind and pleasant manner.
This remedy is indicated in persons with light complexions, pale face, lax muscles, and fine, dry skin. They are nervous, irritable, and suffer from a lack of nutrition as a result of poor assimilation.
The patient may be mentally sharp and physically in poor shape. If you study the Silicea mind you can see a peculiar combination of timidity and obstinacy. Timidity means lack of courage. So, when you find children with lack of courage, you think that they cannot have will power. The Silicea children prove to be obstinate. Also the child may be stubborn or hard outside but soft or yielding inside like a coconut or an oyster in its shell. The oyster's shell is only the hardened secretion of the oyster and contains of silica (0.17%) and calcium carbonate. Boger uses the word 'Stubborn' in a general sense. The disease may be stubborn, or the patient may have stubborn abscesses, non - healing fistulae, or stubbornness in mind.
Blackwood A.I: A Manual of Materia
Medica, B.Jain Publishers, New
Roger Morrison: Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms, Hahnemann Clinic Publishing, Nevada City, CA, 1993.
Sankaran R: The Soul of Remedies, Homoeopathic Medical Publisher. Mumbai, 1997Scholten J: Homoeopathy and the Elements. Utrecht: Alonnissos, 1996
Dr Navneet Bidani Website: www.drbidani.co.nr email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: Silicea, leucoderma, shyness, lack of confidence, chilly, aversion to mother's milk
Remedies: Silicea terra