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The Soul of Remedies: Thuja occidentalis

Thuja is a strongly sycotic remedy. One of its main indications is the feeling of fragility, of being frail – a feeling of weakness within oneself. In my understanding, this is the sycotic feeling of having something wrong with oneself, of being weak; it is also found in Medorrhinum.

I have often found this feeling of fragility in Thuja expressed in the physical sphere, where the patient feels that any article of food or drink is surely bound to cause him problems, and that his system cannot take things such as drugs, allergens, emotional stress or even a draught of air. He tries to avoid all these factors and attempts to keep himself covered from exposure to the same. These avoidances only reinforce the fear, and this vicious cycle goes on, making Thuja one of the main remedies for neurosis, with several obsessive-compulsive traits, fixed ideas and behaviour patterns.

I have found that patients in their follow-up often say that even a single dose (of the placebo) aggravated them so much that they had to stop it completely. On the other hand, some patients insist that unless they take the dose, all their complaints return, and they want to keep taking the doses every so often.

In the emotional sphere, this feeling of fragility is manifest in the fear of losing face in society. The person believes that he has a certain image in society of being a religious, morally upright, clean, honest person, free from human failings such as dishonesty, sexual temptations (especially) when forbidden, etc. Thus he presents an elevated picture of himself and is afraid that any little slip on his part might reveal the real him or the bad part of him which he has tried so hard to cover up.

In this “bad part” lies his dishonesty, sexual desires (which may even be for close relatives), his immoral or irreligious feelings. If this is discovered, he is going to fall down from his imagined elevated position and will be finished. Thus, his survival depends on a complete cover up, and there is a tremendous anxiety of being exposed. Translated into expressions the Thuja person is secretive and talks to the physician as if sharing a secret; he is conscious of the presence of other persons, especially strangers. In rubrics, you have the feeling of floating in the air (“Delusion, body lighter than air”) and dreams of falling from high places which represent his fear of falling from his elevated position.

Thus Thuja seems to come from a situation of religious order in society or from any situation that demands rigidity in thinking, very fixed ideas. Theocracies, like those in the Middle East, would require this remedy. Also, many of the strict religious leaders, with rigid ideas about sin, often have many skeletons in their cupboards, and many times require Thuja. In fact, “Religious fanaticism” is one of the rubrics.

In the physical sphere, you have stiffness, which is a manifestation of the fixity; the eruptions which occur on the covered parts (as if they don’t want to be seen); jerks from sleep as if falling from high places. I have also observed that many Thuja patients have corrugated nails, hair on the middle phalynx of fingers and on other unusual parts (for example the pinna of the ears), strong smelling sweat (especially about the genitals), fleshy pedunculated warts, moles. They sweat from the axillae, and the sweat may leave yellowish stains or a saltish sediment and it may be oily. They are chilly and like a hot bath.

Thuja women can be very afraid of pregnancy, and often have the sensation of being pregnant, with associated feelings of guilt. These women can also be jealous, and may have fixed ideas that the husband is faithless. I have also observed that many Thuja people often exhibit a preference for the colour green.

• Delusion, body is delicate.
• Delusion, body is thin.
• Delusion, body is brittle.
• Delusion, that she is made of glass.
• Insanity, will not be touched.
• Fear, of others approaching him.
• Fear, physician will not see him, he seems to terrify her.
• Fear, of strangers.
• Fanaticism.
• Delusion, body is lighter than air.
• Dreams, falling, height, from.
• Monomania.
• Vertigo, walking, sensation of gliding in air, as if feet did not touch the
ground, while.
• Back: injuries of spine.
• Face: greasy.
• Warts, on the face.
• Warts, on the external throat/cervical region.
• Corrugated nails.
• Pain, rectum, while sitting.
• Urethra: urine remained in, after urinating, as if some.
• Perspiration, genitalia, sweetish odour.
• Axilla: perspiration, frosty deposits (Kunzli).
• Axilla: boils.
• Back pain, standing erect almost impossible after sitting.
• Skin, warts, pedunculated.
• Aversion, to approach.
• Brittle, broken feeling.
• Fanaticism.
• Hair all over the body.
• Strangers, presence of, aggravates.

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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/soul-of-remedies/