Clinical Cases

Expanding Nature of the Ergot

Last modified on August 15th, 2017

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Ghanshyam Kalathia

Cases highlighting the symptomatology of Ergot remedies.

– In this article we discuss two cases in which I collected some important notes and we try to understand them during analysis of the case.

– The cases were taken and analyzed using Dr. Rajan Sankaran’s method of levels and sensation.

Case: 1

First consultation on 6th August 2007

38 years old house wife came to my clinic for treatment of allergic bronchitis and psoriasis, these are her statements verbatim…(editing done for language issues)

[D: = Doctor, author; P: = patient; HG = hand gesture and my comments are in (brackets).]

D: What are your problems?

P: I have allergy to dust and get breathlessness on little walking. I feel suffocated when I have this problem.

– Since a long time a I don’t get enough sleep and sometimes, I didn’t sleep the entire night.

– I have psoriasis as well.

– I used to get headaches as well but not any longer. Whenever I take sour things I feel a tightness (She pointed to the right temporal region) in my head and it mostly happens when I take vinegar.

D: Which problems bother you the most?

P: I think it is the allergy to dust. When it happens I don’t get enough air. Mostly it occurs at night so I take black coffee for relief. I am not able to walk whenever it occurs because I get so breathless.

D: Tell more about breathlessness.

P: I am not able to take a breath, I feel as if I don’t get air deep in my lower back. Sputum is thin like a thread and sometimes I pull it out by hand.

D: Tell me more.

P: When this problem occurs I feel so tired, I feel a total emptiness inside and I can’t take breath. Thin sputum comes out whenever I try to lie down. I feel like I don’t get enough air deep inside.

D: What do you feel when you don’t get enough air?

P: At that time you can’t feel your breath inside, I mean, you don’t get enough air inside as if you missed a breath. I feel something completely different when I get this suffocation. (Pause)

I think it is complete emptiness (Local term “Khalipo”) inside. Whenever this happens I neither like to lie down nor do I like to sit and I get a muddy smell from the sputum. It is like the long-standing smell of fungus from dust of an unclean basement.

D: You feel an inside emptiness, right, so please tell something more about it.

P: I feel as if my inner activities are slowing down or stopping and at that time I feel a tremendous tiredness inside. In short it is a total emptiness inside. (HG- contracting all fingers)

D: Total emptiness?

P: My body didn’t perform any activity inside as if you get totally loose (HG- expanding both the hands) from inside.

D: Please make me understand these things?

P: How can I make you understand? (She thinks) Whenever we are normal we feel our breath till the feet, right, but when this happens I can’t even feel it till my lower back. In short I feel that activities are getting slow inside as if complete looseness inside.

D: Tell more about activities getting slow inside.

P: At that time I feel a tremendous tiredness inside as if there is total emptiness inside. At that time I feel anxiety inside and I can’t feel my breath like I normally do. In short I don’t feel inspiration and expiration inside. At that time I feel tired even to take a breath because I take and remove air forcefully instead of spontaneously as we do normally. I think my respiration is abnormal.

Important points:

  • Allergy to the dust with breathlessness and suffocation
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tightness in right temporal region
  • Headache < by vinegar
  • Suffocation > black coffee
  • Sputum is thread like a thin and removed mechanically
  • I don’t get enough air deep inside and I feel total emptiness inside
  • I don’t feel my breath inside
  • Complete emptiness inside
  • I used to get muddy smell from sputum. It was like the smell of long-standing fungus from dust of an unclean basement .
  • I feel as if my inner activities are slowing down or stopping and at that time I feel a tremendous tiredness inside.
  • You get totally loose (HG- expanding both the hands) from inside.
  • I feel the activities are getting slow inside ,as if complete looseness inside

Till this stage we see tightness, looseness, emptiness, slowness running throughout. Let’s examine same phenomena on another area of her life.

D: I think you have psoriasis also. (I think she also gets tired to speak about her respiration so I change the topic.)

P: Yes, I do. I suffered from it in the past but now it is rare, but after our tour to Kulu Manali it started again. Probably because in Kulu Manali we lived in a cold environment and suddenly we shifted to the hot environment of Delhi so it started. Whenever I moved from cold to hot environment it started immediately. During initial phase some itching started on one point and then some dry scales came out and finally it started to ooze blood. It increased enormously within two to three days, (HG- spreading fingers) and cleared up also within a short time.

D: I didn’t understand, please make me understand?

P: For example… these spots (She points to her skin) are cool now, right, but when they get active they start oozing blood and spread enormously within a short time. (HG- spreading fingers)

D: They spread means what?

P: They increased from one to so many. Initially it had some itching like little burning inside and then a spot of psoriasis came out. It had not much burning but a feelign like an ant bite. These phenomena happen inside and suddenly it comes out with a spot. (HG- She pointing downward and then spreading her fingers upward)

D: Make me clear for inside and outward?

P: If you put anything in boiling oil then what happens first? The thing goes inside and then it comes on the surface. (HG- Fingers spreading upward) Same thing happens in my skin – you sense that something happens inside and it comes out within 2-3 days and then the spot spreads from small size to bigger and bigger. (HG- Spreading fingers)

D: Tell me more about spreading?

P: Spreading means increase in size but it didn’t spread like any disease.

D: How does disease spread?

P: How virus spreads everywhere, like that. (HG- expand) It spreads one to one but my problem is different, it stay at the same place and increases in its size. It never goes from one place to another place. (HG -She points finger from one hand to another)

D: Tell me more about how it spreads at one place?

P: It spreads and increases in size at their place only but it never goes from one place to another place.

Important points:

  • Whenever I moved from cold to hot environment psoriasis started immediately
  • Initially itching started on one point and then some dry scales came out and finally it started to ooze blood.
  • It increased enormously within two to three days
  • Cool spots when getting active they start oozing blood and spread enormously within short time
  • These whole phenomena happen inside and suddenly it comes out with the spot
  • The spot spread s from small size to bigger and bigger
  • It didn’t spread one to one but it stays at the same place and increase in its size
  • You dig deeper and deeper (HG- digging) and it comes every time and finally it starts to ooze blood

D: You say that this was so much in the past, so please tell me everything about how it begins? (I try to dig on her most raw area.)

P: Whitish spots come within a short time, it was tremendous and then afterwards it starts scaling. Whatever you dig it comes every time. You dig deeper and deeper (HG- digging) and it comes every time and finally it starts to ooze blood.

D: What do you feel when all those things happen?

P: At that time I feel really scared, I feel as if it is incurable. I am scared because it may be infectious.

D: When you feel scared what do you feel at that time?

P: I am scared because I feel that… What will these people do? What do they think about me? How will our communities react about me? Is this leucoderma? If so, then how will people react to me? (She does dirty facial expression) I am scared that this is an incurable disease.

D: What do you feel at that time?

P: I think people will not live with me; they may not even touch me. I think they are also right because they believe it might be infectious. If people are not staying with you and even not speaking with you then obviously you feel bad.

D: Tell me more about what you feel at that time?

P: What will happen? What will I do? You stay alone at a different place and if people try to escape from you then obviously you feel bad. From the beginning we live in a joint family so now I didn’t like to stay alone. In short you feel loneliness and you feel inferiority about yourself.

D: Inferiority?

P: I don’t like to show myself inferior and low. If you are different from the others then you feel inferior. Because of this disease people pity you and this is shameful for me.

D: What is your experience when you feel inferior?

P: I feel as if nobody wants to talk with me. I feel something is missing in me. I feel an emptiness from inside. (HG- Contracting fingers) In short I feel that there are some faults in me or I’m at fault.

D: Fault?

P: Some kind of fault or something missing in me. I used to think negatively a lot, it’s as if because of my fault people won’t talk with me.

D: What is something missing in you?

P: Something missing means I’m at fault. It means I’m not normal and I’m lower then others. I won’t live with others and that was completely opposite to my nature. I believe that you never remain lower than the others. You live as if you never feel inferiority and lowness; you never feel shamelessness about your fault. I believe that you never remain lower than the others. (HG- Circulating her hand)

According to my nature I never like to sit in the second row. I never like to look like an idiot in the group. I don’t like to stay unknown. I never stay outside the group and I like to be a leader in the group. My nature is like… Spontaneously you learn everything and come immediately to the level of others and mix-up with everybody. (HG- Circulating her hand)

D: How about when you ill?

P: At that time I have tremendous mental stress. I see myself and think how dirty I look! (Dirty facial expression)

D: Dirty?

P: In this disease it spreads only where our parts remain uncovered, so everybody can easily see it that’s why it looks dirty.

D: Tell me more about dirty?

P: It looks dirty. It was something different than the others so it looks bad. It was not like normal and it had scales everywhere so it looks dirty. Then afterwards nobody wants to talk with you so you feel alone, I feel scared to be alone. If I’ll be alone then what will happen? If these people don’t permit me to touch my baby then what will happen?

D: What is loneliness?

P: Loneliness is aloneness after being cast out by everybody.

D: O.k., let’s talk about something new; tell me about your nature?

P: According to my nature I never feel that I don’t like this thing; I get settled in any place. I flourish in any environment. I settle immediately with anybody. I don’t have any choice or favorite place to live in. In short I’m totally flexible and I can live anywhere.

D: Flexible?

P: I get settled everywhere; in short I fit easily in any environment. I like to learn new things.

D: Now, tell me about your dreams?

P: I get dreams of past events but mostly during sleep I’m active. You look calm from the outside but from the inside there are so many activities going on. Mostly I’m tremendously active from the inside.

D: Your desires and aversions?

P: I like yogurt very much but my problems get aggravated from it. Second thing I like – tomatoes.

– I also like fried things.

– Nothing specific in my aversion list, I eat everything.

D: Fermented things?

P: I like Idlee, Khaman (Indian dishes) also.

D: Season wise, do you have any specific preference?

P: During dry season my allergy is gone so I like summer.

Important notes…

Regarding miasm… I’m dirty, alone, cast-out

  • I feel as if it is incurable
  • I am scared because may be it is infectious
  • How our communities react with me? I think people will not live with me; they wont even touch me. If peoples are not staying with you and not even speaking with you then obviously you feel bad.
  • You stay alone at different place than others and peoples try to escape from you then what do you feel? You feel loneliness and you feel inferiority about yourself
  • I don’t like to show myself inferior and low. If you are different from the others then you feel inferior.
  • I’m lower than others
  • I believe that you never remain lower than the others. You live as you never feel inferiority and lowness then you never feel shamelessness about your fault.
  • I look dirty and it has scales everywhere so it looks dirty
  • Loneliness is aloneness after being cast out by everybody

Ergot as a nosode… “I’m not normal and I have a fault within me”

  • I feel something is missing in me
  • I feel that some mistakes remain in me or I’m at fault
  • Some kind of fault or something missing in you
  • Something missing means I’m at fault. It means I’m not normal and I’m lower than others
  • It was something different than the others so it looks bad. It was not like normal

Analysis of case-1

The spreading enormously from smaller size to bigger size is a sensation of “Fungi” and other points that support the selection of fungi are…

  • I use to get muddy smell from sputum. It was like the smell of long standing fungus from dust of unclean basement s.
  • You dig deeper and deeper (HG- digging) and it comes every time and finally it starts to ooze blood
  • I like yogurt very much and also desire fermented things

But still some sensation like Tightness, looseness, emptiness, slowness are not understood so I think these sensations are related to the source, so I search for these sensation in all fungi and I get following beautiful references for Ergot from materia medica.

References:

(a) Boericke’s materia medica

  • Produces contraction of the unstriped muscular fibers; hence a constringent feeling throughout the whole body.
  • Dyspnoea and oppression, with cramp in diaphragm.
  • Extremities, Numbness

(b) Clarke’s materia medica

  • The nervous symptoms of Secale are convulsive. The body is at times rigid; at times rigidity alternates with relaxation.
  • In the later stages of ergotism there is anesthesia.

(c) Phatak’s materia medica

  • A vegetable nosode called ergot contracts the muscles at BLOOD VESSELS and UTERUS; decomposes the BLOOD; producing hemorrhage which is thin foetid watery black oozing continuously.
  • Twitching; spasms with fingers spread apart.
  • Gnawing and cramps; with stiffness; in single parts or after the pains.
  • Sensation of deadness; in any part
  • Loss of power of voluntary motion
  • Numbness
  • Everything feels loose and open
  • Paralysis after spasms with collapse
  • Restlessness extreme debility; and prostration

Other important references…

(a) Boericke’s materia medica

  • Hemorrhages; continued oozing; thin, fetid, watery black blood
  • Insomnia with restlessness, fever, anxious dreams
  • Skin, Formication under skin

(b) Clarke’s materia medica

  • Suffocating oppression of chest, with cramp in diaphragm
  • Skin rough and dry
  • Subcutaneous itching
  • One grand characteristic of Secale, which will determine its selection in many cases, is: “< By external heat”. (Her psoriasis aggravated when she moved from cold to hot environment)

References from internet

(a) The first stage of ergot infection manifests itself as a white soft tissue (known as sphacelia) which producing sugary honeydew, which often drops out of the infected grass florets.

  • These spots (She points to her skin) are cool now ,right ,but when they want to get active they start oozing blood and spreads enormously within a short time.

(b) Insects, including flies and moths, carry conidia of Claviceps species, but it is unknown whether insects play a role in spreading the fungus from infected to healthy plants.

  • It didn’t spread one to one but it stays at the same place and increase sin its size

(c) An ergot kernel called a sclerotium develops when a spore of fungal species of the genus Claviceps infects a floret of flowering grass or cereal. The infection process mimics a pollen grain growing into an ovary during fertilization. So you can’t detect it from outside but inside infection processes are going on.

  • You look calm from the outside but from the inside so many activities are going on. Mostly I’m tremendously active from inside.

(d) Rye grows well in much poorer soils than those necessary for most cereal grains. Rye plants withstand cold better than other small grains do.

  • I get settled at any place. I flourish in any environment.

Now I get full confidence so I make the prescription.

Plan: I give one dose of SECALE CORNUTUM 1mk.

Follow ups…

After one month

She was all right inspite of her initial aggravation. Her psoriasis patches were decreased in size. She hadn’t developed new patches. Her mood and general energy had also improved. There was no reason for repetition of dose so I gave her only SAC LAC.

After six months

These are her verbatim…

D: How are you?

P: I’m fine, my patches are almost gone now and only some blackish discolorations remain now. I’m happy with your treatment because I get enough sleep now.

D: What difference do you see as compared to before?

P: I see first improvement in my asthma and this is a surprise for me that I didn’t get a single attack in the last six months! Now I feel more energetic and fresh the whole day.

D: Tell me about your dreams?

P: I get all happy dreams but don’t remember them.

(This is also a surprise for me that her patches are gone because my other cases of psoriasis have taken so much longer time to improve, even with the help of LM potencies.)

After two years

She is all right till today. In all she required ten doses of 1mk. She had nothing that needed treatment so I advised her to stop the treatment. She had one attack of mild bronchitis on 3rd March 2009 and she improved with the same remedy repetition. Now she is free from all patches and discoloration as well.

Case-2

First consultation on 24th December 2008

23 years old, an owner of hair cutting saloon came with me for treatment of psoriasis and this is his verbatim…

D: What’s the problem you have?

P: Two years back, I had this (He points to the patch of psoriasis) then it has developed. Slowly it covered my whole body. (HG- Expanding hands) Only my feet were untouched.

D: Tell me more?

P: I always scratch my body, even during sleep. Initially it was a red eruption and within some hours it becomes like a blister and then afterwards tremendous itching starts. If I scratch then I am satisfied that I scratch but even if I tear it up it would still itch. If I take tablets (Allopathic treatment) then I’m all right but now I have decided to never take tablets. I decided that even if I scratch myself to death, I will not take tablets, because whenever I start to take tablets I am unable to stop them.

D: Tell about something more about this?

P: What can I say? I make you understand… initially it was like red eruption then it became blisters and if you touch from outside you feel its inside is filled with water. If you pull its outer skin then its layer rips off. In this disease initially you see poppy sized eruption and then they blister all over the body. (HG-Expanding)

D: How is this problem bothering you?

P: After so much, what would I feel? I always see myself scratching my body! I must scratch till I rip off the skin. Sometimes I am tremendously tired of this problem. If this thing would rip off by applying acid then I surely would put acid, but I’m sure it wouldn’t go with acid too. My previous physician told me that this is the result of unhygienic food intake and I think he was right because during the whole of last year I took only Idlee and Dhosha. (Indian fermented dishes)

D: Tell me something more? Anything…

P: Because of scratching all the time, I am tremendously tired of this problem. I am not satisfied with any treatment so I get tired of all means. From one side this is not recovering and on another side everybody gives me suggestions so I get tired a lot. I believe this is my fault because I didn’t care when it was like a small spot. One poppy sized spot has spoiled my whole life.

I wasn’t able to care for one spot and then it covered up my whole being. (HG- expand and circulating around) Now totally my body has become their host. Because of my one fault I get this much punishment. I am completely tired of this problem.

D: Yes, I understand; please speak more?

P: My father also gives me a headache. If anybody pokes you daily then how long can you sustain it! One day I will surely explode. (HG-Expanding)

– Yogurt is my favorite, I never eat without it but because of this problem, I am unable to even touch it. I eat neither sweets, pakodi (Indian food dish).

– I believe 110% this is not a contagious disease.

D: Contagious disease?

P: Contagious means it spreads from me to my wife. It is good because it didn’t spread.

D: O.k., now we talk about a new topic, please talk about your nature?

P: I get angry a lot. Because of small matters I get furious and beat anybody. Impulsively I may slap twice-thrice and then I wonder what his fault is. Sometimes in spite of it being my fault I beat anybody, but when I realize, I say sorry. I am never able to control my anger, I dont think of consequences and I hit anybody, at one time I may change the structure of his face. (Disease also does the same thing with him. It also changes the structure of his face.) Because of this kind of nature everybody calls me ‘brother’ in our business. (HG- he does some kind of proud facial expression)

D: What do you do business wise?

P: My original business is of hair cutting, but this is my 10% business only. In reality I do business of ‘two number’ ladies beauty parlor. (He is involved in a prostitution business under the guise of a ladies beauty parlor) I believe this is out of line, but boss… it give me satisfaction by every means. I earn very well with little effort.

D: Let’s talk about something new, tell me about your interest and hobby?

P: My interest is also related to my business, but it has so much risk. I have fears every time that if I get infected with HIV then what will happen? I have also undergone check up twice, but still I have slight anxiety in my mind.

D: What happens if anybody gets infected with HIV?

P: HIV is a kind of disease that can never be cured. It occurs inside and then spread all over. (HG-Expanding and circulating around) After its spreading nobody can live more than 5 years.

D: Tell me more about HIV?

P: If anybody gets infected with HIV then it comes in every spot of the skin (HG- he pointing his skin) and then you get destroyed completely within a short time. It never goes off your body. How would you treat something which is in every spot in the body? If anything occurs in one part then you can cut it off and throw it away but if something comes in every spot of the body (HG- Expanding and circulating around) then what can you do? You only have the option to die.

Analysis of case-2

These are the points…

Sensation related to fungi

  • Slowly it covers my whole body
  • If you pull its outer skin then its layer rips off
  • In this disease initially you see poppy sized eruption and then they blister all over the body
  • One poppy sized spot would spoil my whole life.
  • I wasn’t able to care for one spot and then it cover edup my whole being. Now totally my body has became their host
  • Yogurt is my favorite
  • HIV occurs inside and then spread s all over.
  • If anybody is infected with HIV then it comes in every spot of the skin (HG- he pointed to his skin) and then you get destroyed completely within a short time.
  • How would you treat something which is in every spot in the body? If anything occur sin one part then you can cut it off and throw it away but if something comes in every spot of the body (HG- Expanding and circulating around) then what can you do? You only have the option to die.

Fault within me (Nosode)

  • This is my fault because I didn’t care when it was like a small spot
  • Because of my one fault I get this much punishment.
  • Contagious means it spread sfrom me to my wife
  • HIV is a kind of disease that is never cured

Wild/destructive/impulsive energy

  • Initially it was red eruption and within some hours it become blister s and then after wards tremendous itching started
  • Even if I tear it up still it would itch
  • I decided to never take tablets, even if I scratch it to death.
  • If this thing could get ripped off by applying acid then I would surely put acid
  • I am tremendously tired of this problem
  • Because of small matter I get furious and beat anybody. Impulsively I slap twice-thrice and then I think that what’s his fault
  • I am unable to control my anger, I dont think of consequences ;I only hit anybody, at one time I change the structure of his face
  • After HIV’s spreading nobody can live more than 5 years
  • You get destroyed completely within short time
  • You have only option to die

For above points I search from all fungi and I get beautiful references for secale-cor, but I clearly see that this case is more potent (more active and intensely destructive) then the previous case so I think for alkaloid of secale-cor. These are references for secale-cor…

About the author

Ghanshyam Kalathia

Ghanshyam Kalathia

Ghanshyam Kalathia B.H.M.S is a classical homeopath, practicing homeopathy since 2004 at Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India, using Dr. Rajan Sankaran’s sensation approach. He has been published in homeopathic journals like ‘Homeopathic Links, ‘Homeopathy International, UK’, ‘Similia, Australia’, ‘www.hpathy.com’ and ‘www.interhomeopathy.com’. He is known worldwide for his work on sarcodes. He has taught abroad online for Homeohelp holistic school, Bulgaria for one year. His course on 'Kingdoms in Homeopathy' is just completed and is very successfully teaching 100 homeopaths from more than 20 countries! He did a second course 'Systematic Approach in Homeopathy' https://www.facebook.com/ghanshyam.kalathia

5 Comments

  • Hi Dr. Ghanshyam. These are fascinating cases. I was wondering about the way you dealt with the aggravation. I will often give the same remedy in a much lower dose. Could you explain your method and why it works?
    Chloe

  • I see aggravations in three ways… (1) If the aggravation wish same symptoms with same state then wait till we over comes it… (2) If aggravation with un-usual new symptoms then we have to think of new remedy…. (3) Intense aggravation in present symptoms then we have to go for milder doses in lower categories….

    Usually aggravation occur in those cases where we have high sensitive state and prominent acute like condition. In idiosyncratic like most sensitive cases i use the LM potency with infrequent doses…

    One more thing…. in lot of my cases gets ameliorated from very first moment and then comes with same complain after a weak or 10 days then i think of changing the remedy, because it’s reverse of aggravation what we learn in 12 observations by Kent…

    Hope these info, might help you…!!
    Ghanshyam

  • Hi Dr. Ganshyam – Thank you so much for sharing this article. I believe you have helped me to solve a tricky case which I have been struggling with since last August, through your reiteration of and insight into the Fungi sensation. Hooray!

    I also appreciated your approach to dealing with the aggravation in Case 2. Psoriasis is notably difficult to cure, so I wonder, if someone had given the right remedy but not taken such a bold posology decision, would this patient have appeared to be uncurable?

    Best wishes,
    Oonagh

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