2006 February

Thymolum

by Rob Peters
Case
The following case history is about a woman to whom I gave a remedy exclusively chosen on the themes which came up during the consultation. The remedy had an unexpectedly good result.
Case: Patient: Mrs. V, born 1960. First consultation: 13-02-2002.
Her greatest problems are binging and obesity.
Epilepsy
Beside this she has epilepsy. On the EEG disturbances are registered in the right hemisphere. The epileptic fit is a combination of petit mal and absences. During an attack there is swallowing, she makes gestures with her hands and rubs them together. She is confused and absentminded. Sometimes she begins to sing during the attack (Crocus, Teucrium e.g.). Preceding the fit she sometimes has the sensation of heat in the upper abdomen. Her medication is Trileptal 300 mg, twice-daily 1 tablet. On this medication she is free from fits.
Cause
The epilepsy started ten years ago after she and her husband divorced. She and her first husband have one child: an autistic son with a slowly progressing muscular disease (Becker’s disease/syndrome). She and her second husband have one daughter who is now six years old.
She describes her parental home as being unsafe. Her parents were in to the partner-swap-scene and they were emotionally unavailable for her. She was a nuisance. She was always belittled and told that she was worthless.” Thoroughly belittled” were her words.
Her first husband treated her like her parents did: You are worthless, a good for nothing person. He continually verbally abused her.
She doesn’t dare to make real contact with other people because she fears being hurt once again. “I am so sad and that just continues. I am good at suppressing my feelings but the tears are very near the surface”.
As a child she was very shy: she didn’t dare to assert herself. The main issues she talks about are the grief and the incomprehension she suffered in the past. Now again with her in-laws, she has this same feeling of not being understood/ appreciated. Her present marriage is good.

Observation
A solid, round, obese woman who looks younger than her age. She gives the impression of a child. She is loquacious and apparently very open, but one can feel the tension and grief under the surface. The loquacity is very apparent and I make a note of this as being a striking symptom.

Former illnesses
Recurrent right-sided otitis media.
Since a fall from a staircase at the age of five, she has a fear of heights and of descending a flight of steep stairs (Borax, Sanicula).
In the evening she is hindered by a distension of the abdomen.



Analysis
This is a woman who has been treated like a child for almost all her life. You could say she was mentally abused. Her greatest problem, her binging, has been an obsession (to her) for a long time. The grief about her youth and her first marriage she bottled up inside.
During the consultation she recounts her history openly, but the emotions are controlled and not shared.
Striking symptoms are the singing during an epileptic fit, the loquacity and the grief about the fact that as a child and later as a grown-up she was never acknowledged or taken seriously.
At first I thought of Teucrium because in its symptomatology: it has this ravenous appetite, but in the case history I missed any mention of worms or nasal polyps due to allergic problems. When she told me about her preference for the herbs lavender and thyme, I started considering other members of the Labiates or extracts of them. After doing some research on the family of the Labiates (a report, the Masi-group made on this family and what Jan Scholten told me about this subject) I came up with the idea of Thymolum, an extract of thyme. Thymolum, like Teucrium, has the symptom ‘loquacity’. In this case history we find the theme of not being acknowledged (Labiates), the pent-up feelings of years, the epilepsy and the increased appetite expressing itself in binging. Because in this case the accent of the physical complaints was on the epilepsy, I chose Thymolum, although I had never heard of this remedy and thus certainly knew nothing about the remedy picture.



Follow-up
I gave Thymolum MK one granule on three successive days and after that when needed, which turned out to be before her menstrual period.
Follow-up after 6 weeks: “I now eat three times a day with a couple of snacks in between and I enjoy eating and haven’t been binging. I have been kinder to myself, I even bought myself a bunch of flowers. I don’t punish myself anymore. My whole life I’ve heard what I did wrong, now I want to enjoy life. "I am not allowed to enjoy eating” has changed in to “I enjoy eating”. I lost 3 kilograms without having to exert myself. I have more self respect.”

Observation: She is less restless and more powerful.

Follow-up after 3 months: During the last months she again lost weight (7 kg), no binging sessions, she felt wonderful. “I am going to follow a chiropody course”.
She gave up her job as a chairwoman. Again she starts talking about the fact that she feels much stronger and that she has more self-respect. “I feel like a different person, I am more open towards others. I don’t let people hurt me. Why should I visit people I don’t like? I don’t want to be disappointed any more!”
Every time she takes the remedy, which is mostly pre-menstrual, she has for a short time the urge to binge and to weep, her pent-up grief surfaces. During the treatment the weeping became less. “I feel stronger than ever”.


Follow-up in September 2002:
She called to tell me all is well. She is feeling great and doesn’t think it is necessary to come for a consultation. We agree that she will ring me if she has a setback. She takes the Thymolum once a month. During the treatment she has lost 17 kg. On the next visit to the neurologist she will bring up the subject of cutting down on the anti-epileptic medication. In retrospect it is possible to bring out Thyme in the repertorization. But actually it didn’t happen in that way. I was acquainted with the themes of the Labiates and thus stuck to that plant family and found Thymolum.



The Labiates
The most important representatives of this family or their derivatives in homeopathy are: Collinsonia Canadensis, Glechoma Hederacea, Hedeoma, Lamium Album, Lycopus Virginicus, Melissa Officinalis, Mentha Pulegium, Ocimum Canum, Origanum, Satureia Hortensis, Rosmarinus, Scutellaria, Thymolum, Thymus Serpullum, Teucrium Mare Verum and Teucrium Scorodonia.
The following is additional information on the Labiates as assembled by the Masi-group and Jan Scholten.
Applications of the Labiates.
The Labiates belong to a large family that are found growing over the entire planet. For their habitat they prefer the open fields. Because of their lovely smell and delicious taste many species of this family are used in the kitchen to the great joy and satisfaction of the cook and the gourmet. We are all acquainted with the merits of basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary as smell- and taste-enhancers in the various Mediterranean dishes. The relief-bringing quality of thyme to break up mucus in the common cold is well known to most of us. In anthroposophical medicine the warmth qualities of the Labiates are praised. And because of these qualities the oils are used internally as well as externally, e.g. the oil of Rosemary is used as additional therapy in diabetes. According to the Anthroposophists the Labiates have an incarnating effect on the psyche because of their warmth quality.


Chemistry of the Labiates
The Labiates contain aromatic carbohydrates in the form of phenols, which have an antiseptic- as well as an aromatic- action. With the aid of the Terpenes, which the plants contain, they protect themselves against insects, fungi and bacteria. Other constituents are: Phosphorus, Vanadium, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Lithium and Molybdenum.
The themes of these elements are well described by Jan Scholten in his books: Homeopathy and the Minerals and Homeopathy and the Elements.


Themes of the Labiates
The patients are full of emotions but can’t express them; they find it hard to put their feelings into words. They are ambitious and have a great need of acknowledgement. Lots of people need recognition. When this need is distorted and is a main issue in the case history it becomes a theme. This theme together with the holding-on to and pent-up of feelings brings the Labiates into the picture. The lack of acknowledgement is felt in a variety of settings: at work, at home in the family, with friends and with parents, but most of all in the lack that is felt in the relation to the father who is very often dominating. Patients who need a Labiate suffer from the fact that they aren’t recognized for their own qualities by their parents or partner. The lack of acknowledgement is very strong in the prototype of the orphan (proving Wad-stories 2): No parents and thus no recognition of his biological descent.
All members of this family probably need acknowledgement, but all in their own specific way.

The following presumptions need to be verified (confirmed) in daily practice:
Teucrium wants to be acknowledged at (in) his work.
Oregano tries to find acknowledgment/ gratification in the sexual field.
For Ocimum Basilicum the field of acknowledgment lies in the religious sector.
The tender point of Collinsonia is pregnancy. She doesn’t recognize her own pregnancy!!
Patients who need Melissa Officinalis feel powerless when not acknowledged and become angry.
Ocimum Sanctum patients are afraid of accidents (dream of accidents) and try and find acknowledgement in managing or joining a first-aid-group.

So we see that these Labiate patients look for gratification of their deep need for acknowledgement in those around.
It is wonderful to see that in my patient the reaction to Thymolum results in a greater self-assertion and self-recognition: “I buy myself a bunch of flowers”.
The projection of the fulfillment of her need on to those around her dissolves and her delusion evaporates.


Ambition
To get recognition the Labiates throw themselves ambitiously into their work (Potassium) and try to make a good impression (Calcium).
They do their best, but that is never good enough. Massimo Mangialavori has added to the rubric "Ambition" the following Labiates: Mentha-p, Oregano, Thyme, and Scutellaria.
In the context of the theme of the Labiates, ambition has the connotation of: “It is my duty to do my best”. We also find this theme in the iron group: Vanadium, Ferrum, Manganum, Cuprum and Chromium.
As we have seen above these minerals are, like Phosphorus, important constituents of the Labiates.
Bottling-up.
Labiates express themselves insufficiently and don’t show their vulnerability.
The cause of this situation can be found in their youth: parents who don’t show their own feelings, who don’t tell the truth etc. The patients are talkative but don’t convey their feelings.


Repertory Rubrics
Loquacity: oci., teucr., thymol.
Indisposed to talk: lycps., orig.
Quiet disposition: scut.,Aphasia oci.c
Desire salt: lycps., teucr., (nat-m)
Thyroid problems (for bottling-up the Dutch say “op-kroppen and krop=crop= goitre).
Goitre: lam., lycps,. scut.
Pain throat: menth., oci-s.
Spasms Restrain, retain (Cuprum) Head, pain, cramping: teucr.,
Temples, cramping: rosm.,
Stomach, pain, cramping: coll., teucr.,
Abdomen, pain, cramping: coll., lycps.,teucr.,
Congestion Nose obstruction: menthol., teucr.,
Haemorrhoids: coll., lam., lycps.
Abdomen, distension: coll., lam.
Constipation: coll., hedeo., lam., lycps.
Hemorrhage: coll., lycps., hedeo.,
Metrorrhagia: coll., lycps., oci-s., rosm.
Chest, hemorrhage: coll., lam., lycps.,
Anus, hemorrhage: coll., glech., lycps.
Sedative, tranquillizing and sleep-inducer Restlessness: coll., lam., menth-pu., menthol.,Oci-c., orig., scut., thymol.,
Irritability: lycps., oci-c., orig., teucr., thymol.
Sleeplessness: lam., lycps., teucr.,
Antiseptic, inflammation: lycps., teucr.
Sinusitis: menth., teucr.,
Inflammation kidney: coll., lycps., oci-c.,
Bladder, morbid urging: hedeo., lycps., oci-c., scut.

The Labiates act upon the mucous membranes which are situated between the exterior and interior: nose, bladder, uterus, anus and lips.


Thymolum
As the last item some information on Thymolum.
The chemical formula for the substance that is extracted from the Thyme species and the Monarda species is C10H14O.
Name: THYMOLISOPROPYL CRESOLM-THYMOL5-METHYL-2-ISOPROPYLPHENOL.
The structural formula is: ( CHC(CH3)CHCHC(CH3)2)COH).
Thymol was first discovered by Caspar Neumann in 1719. It was purified by M Lalland in 1853 and he named the substance Thymol.Thymol is found in Thyme, Horsemint and Carum Ajowan. Thymol is used as an antiseptic and disinfectant and as such is considered superior to carbolic acid.
Its applications: externally for wounds, ulcers and abscesses- as a preservative
for inhaling during infections of the air-passages and in diphtheria to the patient.
When in contact with the mucous membrane it has an irritating effect and a nasty taste. When taken orally in a large dose the pure substance will bring about nausea, which hardly ever results in vomiting. Some of the testers experienced a transitory (passing) heat in the stomach region accompanied by diarrhea resembling typhoid fever. Here I bring to mind the feeling my patient had before an epileptic fit: heat in the stomach region. Other striking symptoms of the use of Thymolum are: an increase in urine production, and the urine had a greenish color (this is also mentioned in the repertory: URINE, color, greenish, on standing).
Still larger amounts of Thymolum bring about a coma. Thymol can also be used as a remedy for expelling tapeworms. The use of Thymol as an external ointment in various skin affections like scalds, eczema, psoriasis, lichen etc and its use as an inhaler (see above) are the most important medical applications of this substance.


Acknowledgement
I could not have written all of this without the help of my colleagues who made an in-depth study of the Labiates.
So again I thank the Masi-group and my always inspiring friend and colleague Jan Scholten.

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: thymolum, lamiaceae, labiatae, obesity, epilepsy
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