Pulsatilla nigricans belongs to the Rannunculacae family, commonly known as wind flower. The homeopathic medicine is prepared from the fresh plant when in flower. Wind flower, this name keeps the characteristic symptom of the Pulsatilla in it is as “fickle as the wind”. Changeability of the symptoms is characteristic of the drug. All mental as well as physical symptoms have a fickle nature. All discharges whether stools or menses continually change their appearance.
Pulsatilla Materia Medica
It is one of those remedies which we are apt to select by the predominance of the mental symptoms. It is well known to all homeopaths that Pulsatilla is best suited to the typical blond, blue-eyed, mild and tearful females. But one should be very careful in prescribing as sometimes sophistication teaches the patient to compensate or hide their natural tendencies.
The central essence of Pulsatilla is “changeability with softness”. There is fluid yieldingness. Pulsatilla’s ideas are soft, not definite, easily changed and shaped. The Pulsatilla patient is easily dominated and influenced; she moulds herself to what others want. She has not a strong sense of self identity. So one must be very careful and avoid leading questions with the Pulsatilla patient as she will easily tune in to what you want. It is malleable, changeable, but basically simple, not complex. Pulsatilla is like a river shaped by its surroundings. Due to such type of changeability whether on physical or mental plane, we find great problems in getting modalities from her.
One of the main characteristic of its patient is the ease with which she weeps. Pulsatilla is tearful, she weeps easily when telling about her problems. Pulsatilla women are sad, melancholic and tearful but not very introspective like Ignitia. A Pulsatilla patient makes her grief known to everyone near her. She seeks sympathy. The patient is unselfconscious in her desire for and acceptance of comforting and consolation.
There is often a strong desire for tenderness and reassurance in the typical Pulsatilla patient; that’s why we find the symptom consolation ameliorates. The family of the Pulsatilla patient may note that she often asks, “Do you love me?” This dependency will also be projected on to the doctor; that the patient wants extra attention, affection and reassurance from the doctor. Basically she desires and gets amelioration by consolation.
Again the shyness and timidity is very characteristic to Pulsatilla. The patient blushes easily and feels embarrassed from slight causes. But here also is a strong desire for affection and reassurance is hidden.
On physical plane, it acts mainly upon circulatory system and hormonal system. In the circulatory sphere, Pulsatilla patient is often plethoric and congested. Farrington in his clinical material medica wrote that “whatever weakens the venous portion of the circulation, whatever retards the return of blood to the heart, must of course provoke just the class of symptoms for which Pulsatilla may be indicated”. For instance, a warm close room where temperature is too high will provoke these symptoms, because veins will become tortuous and there will be some oppression about the chest and at this time open air acts as a stimulus to the venous circulation and improves the symptoms depending upon the sluggish flow of blood. And from here comes the important physical general character of the Pulsatilla-“craves or ameliorated by open air or in breezes.”
Pulsatilla on the hormonal sphere particularly affects the female menstrual cycle. In homeopathy, Pulsatilla is one of the main remedies which covers almost all forms of menstrual problems, from premenstrual syndrome to amenorrhea to menopausal hot flushes. It is also one of the most important remedies in pregnancy related disorders.
In Pulsatilla, a female’s first serious impairment of health is referred to the homeopath at the age of puberty, as “never been well since”- anemia, bronchitis, phthisis. Farrington said that “we find Pulsatilla is indicated in girls at the age of puberty, when the menstrual flow has not established itself normally, or has not appeared at all. It is especially. at this time that you may find soreness of the apices of the lungs, calling for Pulsatilla, and you know unless you remove this symptom and establish the menstrual flow, your patient will have some form of phthisis.”
It is especially suitable for chlorotic or anaemic women, with a constant feeling of dullness. But it is especially. indicated for the cases where chlorosis or anaemia has been complicated by the abuse of iron and quinine, even years before.
Another important physical general for Pulsatilla is thirstlessness with nearly all complaints.
It produces a catarrhal inflammation on mucous membranes, which ends in the production of bland yellow or yellow green mucus. And this indication we may apply to any mucous membrane:-
Conjunctivitis calls for Pulsatilla, when the discharge is thick, yellow and bland; hence Pulsatilla is not indicated in the beginning of the disease. Again it is invaluable in opthalmia after measles and in opthalmia neonatorum where generally the discharge is thick and bland.
It also affects the nasal mucous membrane, where it is best indicated in advanced stages when nasal catarrh ripened and nasal discharge is thick, muco-purulent and yellowish-green in colour. That is why Pulsatilla is mainly suitable for the cases of chronic nasal catarrh.
We next come to the ear where it is invaluable for both otitis externa and otitis media. In otitis externa, the ear is hot, red, and swollen with darting, tearing, pulsating pains, which are worse at night. In otitis media, it is useful when there is profuse thick yellow or yellow green discharge from the ear.
In the gastrointestinal tract, where the catarrhal affection of mucous membrane causes usually diarrhea, only or usually at night, watery, greenish yellow and very changeable. There is an “All- gone” sensation in the stomach, the tongue is coated with a thick rough white fur, the mouth feels dry, yet there is no thirst. There is nausea also with vomiting, a bad taste in mouth especially. in the morning which thus shows the weak digestion of Pulsatilla. But all these gastric troubles have arisen after partaking of fatty, rich food, pastry, or some mixed diet such as turkey, vegetables, coffee, etc.
The Pains of Pulsatilla are very characteristic – drawing, tearing pains, rapidly shifting from one part to another which are accompanied with a constant chilliness; the more severe the pain, the more severe the chill. Pains appear suddenly, leave gradually. They are usually worse from warmth, are relieved from cold and are worse in the evening. With these characteristics, it is indicated in rheumatism of the joints, gout and traumatic synovitis.
So Pulsatilla is very important medicine. If the symptoms match, it gives wonderful results in both acute and chronic ailments. One should always keep in mind all the characteristic features of Pulsatilla while prescribing it.