2006 January

Tussilago petasites, _A case of

by Pieter Kuiper
This is a story of a man born in 1958. He is tall, extravert, outgoing, enthusiastic and strong.

Case history
He came to me for homeopathic treatment from 1988. Originally he used to have migraines and used Sandomigran and Sibelium for this. But nausea and vertigo were the price of using these drugs and he therefore stopped using them.
At that time he was very busy with sports, especially running, and he wanted to live healthy.
His main complaints at that time were the headaches, which were right sided pain in the forehead, extending to his right cheek and teeth. He had all his fillings changed and also used antibiotics quite a few times. He couldn’t stand noise during his headaches and was very much bothered by light in his eyes. Sitting still or lying quiet > and sudden movements <. After the headaches he has the impression that he hears everything distant. His complaints were < during the weekend and < night between 4-6 a.m. Pressing his eyes will make him feel >, he presses a pillow on his eyes.
He used to grind his teeth at night.
During his hours of sports he noticed that his left arm and hand were getting cold (one-sided) during the running and that the right arm and hand were very warm.
In bed, on going to sleep he notices he has cold feet.
Often he felt his heartbeat in his head. When rising it may be a kind of pulsating even.
Other complaints are burning in the stomach, < eating fatty things and cabbage.
Regularly has aphtae and boils.
During the consultations he talks very enthousiastically and is very expressive. He is rather long and lean as you expect a sportsman of that type to be.

In the beginning I started the treatment with Belladonna 1M with 2 repetitions in 8 months. In the years after he became >. Nevertheless I noticed during the later consultations that, when he was tired in the evening, he heard himself talk and mentioned a feeling that he was beside himself. He could also feel as if his head is in a kind of cocoon after using other remedies like Natrium muriaticum, Sanguinaria canadensis and Coca
Coca improved him considerably, because it may have covered the sort of heroic drive he has in life in sports. Moreover he has spent every holiday with his family high in the mountains to enjoy nature.

But when we treat our patients for a period of many years, we are confronted with many sorts of problems and complaints. We cannot always afford to wait or try to apply different theories.
In the beginning of November ’01 he comes with the complaint that he has continuous fever for about 6 weeks. The fever varies from 37.6 to 38.5 C. He has dry lips.
He also relates about a recurrent otitis externa on the right side, which is rather painful. At the same time he has inflammations at the side of his tongue with indurations and the fraenum of the tongue is inflamed as well.
He has sudden weakness with trembling, shiverings and vertigo. Constantly has a weak feeling in his stomach with frequent and loud eructations.
After cycling or running he perspires profusely.
Wandering pains in joints: knees, shoulders and elbows.
Frequent urination. Thirst and appetite are normal.
Glowing heat of cheeks and zygomae. He feels the heat inside, not outside.
His right tonsil is always inflamed and swollen.

During the following month I gave him 3 different remedies, which didn’t do virtually anything. He also had all kinds of examinations by his G.P. and in hospital who all concluded he was perfectly healthy...
The 3 remedies he received were:
- Mercurius iodatus flavus (inflamed tongue and fraenum, right sided, profuse perspiration)
- Sulphuricum acidum (weakness, headache and glowing heat, inflamed tongue)
- Eupatorium perf. (continued fever, sinuses inflamed, periodicity, cough)

During this month his sinuses became inflamed and he tried antibiotics for it, which didn’t improve anything. Sometimes he got a very red face. But in spite of these remedies and whatever treatment the fever stayed. Together with that he now mentions also extreme headaches in his forehead, stitching. It extends to his face as if the right side of his face is numb. Has the sensation that his face radiates heat.
Coughing, can choke from coughing.
Constant high sounds in his ears, right and left.
All complaints < in the afternoon at about 14 to 15 h. Evening >.

What we can see is that the given remedies present other symtoms which are often called ‘proving-symptoms’. Students usually think that the patient is ‘testing’ a remedy. In fact all the symptoms which arise, together with the old picture are asking for a better suitable remedy. During treatment my strategy was to just stay with the ‘totality’. With the choice of Eupatorium perf. I was already trying out the idea of giving a remedy of the plant-family of the Compositae. All the remedies of the Compositae (in fact all the Asteraceae, which is even a larger group) are homeopathic for the picture of fevers, traumata, wounds, sinusitis, lack of reaction, bruised pains and also hayfever for example.
But because I’m a classical homeopath I thought the picture of the symptoms was really asking for Belladonna again. I still doubted this general idea of a Composita remedy. And because Belladonna had acted well in the past I gave Belladonna M.
However, it didn’t do anything...

When well-chosen remedies fail to act
And, when we’re honest, these situations happen more often. We would like to do something and our ‘well-chosen remedies’ fail to act. Some homeopaths go back to Hahnemann and teach that this is the moment to give Sulphur, Carbo vegetabilis or a miasmatic remedy. This is what theory can offer us as a support. But after all then we cling to what we already know.

Nor head nor tail
To make a long story short, even after treating him for years, I didn’t know what was head or tail in this case. For me this is a familiar experience. This is a moment where creativity may come in...

I had the idea I really had to give Jan Scholtens experience that fever as a main symptom very often is a strong hint for a remedy from the plat-family of the Compositae. Of course there are other remedies for fever in general, but in the last 10 years I have seen many confirmations of that idea. Even in leucemia with fever you may think of it.

A choice of the hundreds of Compositae
The patient also had the inflamed sinuses and I decided to really go for a choice out of the hundreds of Compositae. Although today we have techniques with the computer to match the main symptoms with a recognized plant family or a group of elements, I chose to just look into my seminar notes of two seminars of Jan Scholten on the Compositae whether I would find a remedy with a mental picture which might match my patient as close as possible.
To my astonishment, starting with A, I came to the P of Petasites officinales (Tussilago petasites) and I found a striking resemblance in the following picture:

Restless, want to look macho-like and strong. The macho behaviour covers the insecurity.
They keep their anger inside. Intense anger like Chamomilla.
They have the idea that anger is for always, the end of friendship. Fear that when they get angry, that everything may be over: as well as to others and vice versa: when I get angry I will be thrown out. They also have the delusion to be thrown out of the window.
Furthermore the weakness, the sinuses and the stomach symptoms were covered.

So I gave him the Tussilago petasites 200K in the month of March 2002 and after 2 to 3 months of fever the symptoms improved fast and dramatically and didn’t come back until today (end of 2005). Sometimes he asks for a repetition for whatever situation, because the remedy does him a lot of good. He had a repetition of the 200K in June 2002 and in 2004 I went to the 1M potency, which was repeated only once since then.

It was interesting that, when he heard after some time what plant I had given him, he exclaimed that this was his favourite plant with these big leaves when he was a boy. He used to walk with his father in parks and his father had the biggest butterfly-collection of the whole country. Maybe this is an aspect of this remedy, that everything is big or huge or ‘enlarged’.

All this may illustrate that repertorization doesn’t offer a solution always. Neither the miasmatic theory of the real Hahnemannians will solve many difficult situations. And I shall neither pretend that one can frequently solve a case using a small remedy.
I only see that, and I speak for myself, I don’t like to stick to the well-known remedies. I like to explore new worlds. It helped me and especially my patients to work more systematically with themes of plant-families and the themes of the Elements. It makes homeopathy much more simple. But I realize with these hundreds of Compositae plants our knowledge has also its limitations.

Finding such a remedy is above all a kind of Grace. And apart from our knowledge, our analytical abilities and enthousiasm for our profession we must also be conscious of this given Grace to heal and learn from that.

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: tussilago petasites, asteraceae, compositae, plants


Posts: 1
Reply #1 on : Thu April 06, 2006, 22:56:44
Great work! This reinstates the fact that emphasis must be on mentals(central theme)and lastly we should have an open mind approach. We are but only instruments in the Hands of Grace! :-)

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