Clinical Cases

Homeopathy and Herbals for Support in Cancer Treatment


Homeopath and author Guðný Ósk Diðriksdóttir presents a case of breast cancer in which homeopathy and herbals were used supportively.

Name: GH,  Female, born 1952

First interview: 22.01.2004: GH is working as a financial assistant and her work keeps her very busy and produces a lot of stress. She has two girls from her previous marriage. She divorced her first husband after eight years of what she called an abusive marriage. She had a boy with her present husband. One month ago, she went in for a regular breast cancer check and a lump was found in her left breast. A sample was taken from the lump and analysed. She went for an operation (03.01. ´04). The lump was removed along with 8 lymph nodes from her left armpit.  On 23.01. 04 she went to the hospital to learn the results of the operation.

Presenting complaints: She had ++ pain in her left arm, which was a bit swollen and the pain was worse on moving her arm. She was ++ anxious, while waiting to get the results about whether the lump was malignant or not. She had to go through either chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both.  She was scared and wanted to know if homeopathy could help her cope, if that was what she must do.

My observations : GH is a very easy going and mild woman. She’s very polite and answers every question, but it feels like there is always something more to the answer, like she isn´t saying what’s on her mind. It’s like there is always “but ….” or a pause before she stops. To me it seems there is a more open character somewhere deep inside. She appears to be suppressed and not showing her true self. She is easy to talk to, and it doesn´t seem to be a problem for her to talk about her symptoms or previous operation. She is nicely dressed and has perfect make-up on.
GH complains about coldness while I´m taking the case, even though it is rather warm in the consultation room and she has a thick sweater on. She is sighing a lot.

History: Married to an alcoholic for eight years, who abused her both physically and mentally – divorced. Problems in current marriage – husband had an affair and moved away from home (happened twice). Her biggest grief was when her father died. GH has a history of constipation and piles which started after the birth of her youngest. GH has had some operations in the past: Uterus Laser cut – uterus cell changes. Hysterectomy and blood transfusion –  prolapsed uterus and +++++ bleeding. Gallbladder removed. Lump in L-breast and lymph from L-armpit removed.

GH fears everything new, fears ++ to get injured, fears ++ to get cancer, fears ++ something bad will happen to her family, fears ++ dark, fears ++ height, fears +++ noise from the wind, fears +++ storm, bad weathers. She gets angry with herself if she makes mistakes. She loves to be around people. Cries easily, prefers to be alone when crying. Describes herself as a good listener, “ people come to me for advice”.  She said “I´m a control freak and I´m +++ obstinate”, “I lack self-esteem and feel dependent on others”, “I get happy for others, but can be quite jealous”

Generally, she is feeling her best when waking in the morning. She needs ++ fresh air. She is over sensitive to thunderstorms and when it is +++ windy. “I get a tummy-ache if I hear stormy weather is coming , especially if I know I must go out. That is terrifying “. Sensitive to odours. She sleeps most often on her right side. Sometimes it´s very difficult to fall asleep and she is lays in bed until she falls asleep between 2-3 am. She takes a sleeping-pill almost every night. She likes meat, esp. smoked meat and a steak w/sauce, salt, water, white and red wine. She dislikes fish, coffee, beer and coca cola. She is always thirsty, wants all drinks ice-cold, ice with everything, even her glass of milk and her glass of red wine. She is usually warm, but has been rather cold lately.

Medication: Hormonal patch – 75mg. since hysterectomy, Zobril 1 tablet every night – before sleep
Plendil 1 tablet – high b/p.

Family history: Mother: 71 yrs, arthritis. Grandma died from a heart attack. Grandpa died from a cancer 70 yrs old. Father died in a car accident ´95, Grandma: died recently 92 yrs old. Grandpa is very healthy and 100 yrs old. Lot of cancer in both mum’s and dad’s families, aunts and uncles.

In consultation, I gave a single dose of Arnica 200c – GH was reaching for her glass of water and was obviously hurting. When I asked her if I could help her, she replied quickly “No, I´m fine!” She still has bruises around the operated areas, but said she felt as her whole body was bruised.

GH´s history indicates a high risk of developing cancer. She has had uterus cell changes, along with a history of cancer in both families. She was a very happy toddler. Her father was a sailor and she was raised by her very ++ controlling mother along with 4 younger brothers. As she grew older she had to help her mum a lot, and she never said NO, always did as told! She never had the opportunity to enjoy her teenage years, unless she had finished her duties at home. The way she lived her life was quite suppressed and dutiful. She also got married to her first husband because of a duty. She was pregnant so she should marry the guy even though he wasn’t nice to her. In her second marriage, she went twice through the experience of having her husband to move away from home, because of an affair with another woman. GH took him back both times. Plus, many operations, blood transfusion, medications and anaesthesia’s. A lot of emotional suppression and traumas, and a lot of fears.

I waited with further remedies, until the results from the hospital were clear.
Does she have to go through chemo/radiation or what will the doctors decide to be her next step?

23´01. ´04 Phone call:  GH met with the doctors today. The lump was malignant and she should have both chemo and radiation. She had decided to do so and will start chemo in 3 days. (doctors’ advice is to stop using the hormonal band-aid, but keep taking the blood pressure medication)

I sent her Aconite 200c to take as needed, as she was ++ afraid that she will die and was traumatized from this BIG news, ++ palpitation and her voice was trembling. She almost couldn´t talk because of shortness of breath.

It is clear, she has developed cancer and she has decided to start chemo. She will need support in the coming months, both mentally and physically. She will need liver and kidneys support, remedies for any side-effects she might get from the injections and remedies for her mental and emotional state to help her to deal with her situations as gently as possible.

Remedies: Arnica 200c one before and another after every injection, for trauma and bruises. Proteus 200c single dose the day after the injection, to support her bowels (this situation might make her body feel as in a war zone.) Pyrogen 30c single dose the next day, to prevent any septic condition and general toxicity and a support for both liver and kidneys. Asteria Rubens 6x (low and often) three times a day. It’s a fabulous remedy, specific for breast cancer. It is left sided, and it´s the main remedy when lymphedema -lump is removed and axilla and the arm gets swollen. Cadmium sul. 30c, to use if nauseous. It is a specific therapeutic remedy for cancer and the biggest one in the rubric, Toxicity, chemotherapy, treatment, for side effects, of in Murphy´s repertory. I asked her to contact me if she was nauseous and Cad. Sul didn´t help as there are many more helpful remedies for nausea. Then we use her matching symptoms, if needed.
Berberis tincture as a kidney support (5 drops in a glass of water, twice a day)
Carduus mar. and Hydrastis tinctures as a specific liver support for the liver (5 drops of each in a glass of water, once a day)

General advice and support: Water – drink as much water as possible, it helps the body/kidneys to clean out toxicity. Drink a cup of hot water with a tablespoon of Royal Jelly, half an hour before breakfast. Royal Jelly is great for the immune system and is good for reproduction of new cells. Rest as much as possible, allow the body to use its energy to heal. Call me, if you have any questions, if in need for a support or a chat.

GH called – she is +++ restless, +++ scared and 100% sure that she is dying. She has had ++ diarrhoea for two days and ++ chilly. Sent her Arsenicum 200c to take every two hours until the evening and call me later that night. She called around 19:00 – she feels much better, but very tired. I asked her to stop the remedy and get some rest. She promised to call right away if she started to feel upset again.

15.02 ´04 (10 days later) – first follow up in the clinic: GH will have her second injection in two days. She said Arsenicum did save her life. The diarrhoea had stopped after she had taken the remedy for the second time and she said “I felt so good, very tired, but felt so good and very relaxed.”
After the first chemo-injection GH felt tired and a bit nauseous, so she took Cad.sul for two days. After that she didn´t feel nauseated. She felt good and asked if she shouldn´t just go to work as she was feeling fine, but bored. I reminded her of how she felt 10 days earlier and suggested she rather take it easy and enjoy the days and meet up with friends until next injection. No changes in her remedy intake.

29.03 ´04 second follow up: GH has had two injections since we last met, (she is done with 3 of 6). She did fine after both injections, is still taking the same remedies. Cad.sul for two days after each one. Now she talks about her sleep, as she has difficulty falling asleep and lays in bed for a long time before she falls asleep. She tells me she decided to stop taking the sleeping pills after our first meet up in January, and she does not want to start again. She said she has been taken Arsenicum and it helps her relax and fall asleep.

GH seems to be coping well – except for her new complaint, difficulty falling asleep. I considered the rubric, Sleep, falling asleep, late in Murphy´s repertory. The three top remedies I thought might be helpful in a cancer case with sleeping problems, were Arsenicum, Carcinosin and Conium. Arsenicum has been helping her a lot emotionally, and is graded with 3 in the previous mentioned rubric in the repertory. Carcinosin is a big remedy in sleeping problems and fits her cancerous state and her picture of suppression from the first interview, but is not listed in that rubric. Conium is a big cancer remedy, has difficulties, falling asleep until after midnight, and it is graded with 2 in that rubric.  I decided on Arsenicum 200c once a week, as it is the remedy she claims is helping her to relax. She has already been taking Ars and will probably do so again. It is graded with 3 in the rubric and fits other symptoms she´s been showing, such as chilliness, restlessness, controlling, perfectionist and more, so why change it. We also decided to take a break with the tinctures.
16.05 ´04 third follow up: GH had her 6th injection yesterday and is now done with all her 6 injections. After injection 4 and 5 she called both times and was doing well, except her feet started to swell a bit after the 5th one.  I added Berberis tincture again 2 times a day, 5 drops in a glass of water, (specific support for the kidneys) to help her to deal with the water retention. She did not need Cad. Sul after the last 3 injections (no nausea). She starts radiation on the 31st of May and will go 5 days a week.

GH has handled chemo extremely well, even though she was very anxious and frightened in the beginning. Her positive attitude and optimism has helped. No changes to the remedies for a week. After next week she should stop all remedies until radiation starts, except for Berberis tincture, as the oedema is not completely gone, though it is a lot better.
04.06. ´04 fourth follow up: Radiation started 5 days ago. L-breast hurts, is red, a bit swollen, sore and itching ++, she scratches and it makes it worse. GH is restless and anxious, feels everything is just too much. Tincture of Berberis should still be taken for a week or two (finish the bottle) to support the kidneys. I advised her to use a cabbage leaf. Wrap the leaf around the swollen breast (an old advice from my granny), it reduces the swelling, cools down the area and diminishes the itch.

Remedy: Sol 3x once a day after every radiation, her breast looked as sunburned after the radiation. Radium brom. 12c, once every evening on a radiation day. Radiation affects every cell of the body; she needs all the support she can get and we choose to add Schlüssers Cell Salts into her daily intake. Combination of three Cell Salts in 6x to be taken 2-3 times daily. Calc. phos. 6x supports blood cell development, normal growth and nourishes all tissues. Ferrum phos. 6x increases oxygenation of the blood and supports iron uptake. Kali mur. 6x influences the blood, nerve cells and works deep into the tissues. It is helpful if there is any inflammation in the body. Cad sul 30c to hold if nausea will be a side effect, but only to be used if needed and Arsenicum 200c to hold if needed.

19.06. ´04 GH called: GH is doing well, feels irritated from time to time and gets tired. Breast is red, not as swollen or itchy. “The cabbage leaf is great” she said, “It really helps! – I´m teased about it at the hospital, I´m called “The cabbage lady”, but there are more ladies now who have started to use it as well. They are also very happy with it.” GH hasn´t taken any Cad. Sul, she hasn´t felt nauseated at all! I sent her some more of the same Cell Salts.

20.07. ´04: GH has finished hospital treatments. Scans look good and she is happy. She will be finishing the rest of the Cell salts. Her sleep is a lot better, b/p is normal and she has stopped taking Plendil, blood pressure medication. She takes Arsenicum 200c single dose, every other week.
Today (2016)

GH still sees me, occasionally, she took Arsenicum for a while, until her sleep started to worsen again, then changed the remedy to Carcinosin 200c, with great results.   Nowadays she is doing wonderfully on Phosphorus whenever she develops a cold, gets the flu or feels she is not in balance, usually that is the only remedy she needs. Her fears aren´t holding her back anymore and she is living her life like a butterfly, colourful, happy and full of joy J
Phosphorus came up when re-evaluating her case a few years back. GH had somehow changed in herself, how she dressed, how she spoke and how her eyes sparkled. Looking through her files, this symptom (… wants ALL drinks ice-cold, ice with everything, even her glass of milk and her glass of red wine) got my attention – * ice in red wine * –

GH is still cancer free, blooming and healthy. – she keeps on saying “Homeopathy saved my life”

About the author

Gudny Osk Didriksdottir

Guðný Ósk Diðriksdóttir, is an Icelandic homeopath, married, a mother of six, with one grandchild. She studied homeopathy at The College of Practical Homeopathy, UK and graduated in 2003. She has been a board member of Organon, The Icelandic Society of Homeopaths in Iceland and of ACAMI, the Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Iceland. Gudny participated as an administrator of Homeopathy World Community for two years. She is an active writer and runs a website about holistic health in Icelandic. She has written and published two books on Homeopathy in Icelandic, and soon the first one “Pregnancy and Childbirth with Homeopathy” will be published in English. She runs a thriving clinic in Iceland.,

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