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Veratrum Album

Dr. Edouard Broussalian delves into the lesser understood personas and indications of Veratrum Album. Famous personages are offered as examples of the Veratrum personality.

Introduction

With Veratrum album, one immediately thinks of the cholera trio, with Camphora and Cuprum, which brings us back to that glorious episode when Hahnemann, before having seen a single clinical case during the epidemic, managed to establish that these three drugs would be indicated.

I would like to take this opportunity to underline this intellectual achievement, which is to homeopathy what the discovery of Uranus by Le Verrier was to astronomy and classical mechanics. This predictive dimension completes the homeopathic edifice and finally raises medicine to the rank of a true science.

Veratrum album must be studied in conjunction with Hyoscyamus and possibly Stramonium, of which it is the great chronic complement. It has taken a lot of experience to gradually discern its indication, whether in adults or children, and here I owe a lot to Farokh Master who gave us the broad outline.

It is a medicine based on the Jungian notion of mask, so it will be suitable for thousands of cases, all of which may be extremely different at first sight. What will count once again is the general keynote of the drug, its driving idea.

We have seen with Silica the idea of entering a perfect picture, with Thuja to take so many different masks that begin the weird ideas and the crazy. Veratrum lies between the two. At the heart of the drug is an adaptation to the abandonment of the drug. To summarize in one sentence, one could say “I must correspond as perfectly as possible to what is expected of me in order to be admirable so that I will not be abandoned”. Many things follow from this definition.

First of all, we are obliged to bring in two notions: the need for perfection and the fact of being admirable in one way or another.

We are not far from Platinum which can perfectly complete the case. In Platina there will be the additional notion of distinguishing oneself, in both senses of the word: being above the others thanks to something distinctive, this additional something being always perceived as allowing one to be above the rest of the plebs.

Platinum goes even further than Veratrum in the disturbance of sexuality, which often becomes homosexuality or a struggle against latent homosexuality, which then translates into a caricatured hyperfemininity known as “fat bitch”.

From these two notions derive the typical situations that generate Veratrum: the need to hold one’s rank, to be adapted to what is required by one’s social class or parents in a general way. The word is dropped, and we find the famous keynote “despair of his social position”.

Indeed all the efforts of perfection aim at reaching a situation where one will be seen, admired, respected (illusion that he is a great character). Surprisingly, it is not a question of assuming the central position, symbolized by the “king”, but rather of becoming, for example, the wife of the leader, of being close to the one who assumes power, which is reflected in the illusion of being a prince.

This is probably due to the strategy of seduction that is at the heart of the remedy: as all survival is based on seduction towards the one who is admired and/or in a position of power, the idea is to find a position of security by becoming his intimate. The strategy of seduction will push to be perfectly admirable by incarnating the social archetype of the idealized man or woman.

Let’s understand that there is a whole continuum in the cases calling for medication and that, as always, there is nothing insulting about having to take this or that remedy. Veratrum once did me a world of good with an unbearable right knee pain. So, like Platinum, it is important to refrain from making value judgments, remembering that we are treating pathological signs and not the quality of the person.

One of the aspects I have discovered over time is also the prodigious anxiety of conscience, guilt, which is a kind of superego that constantly pushes them to stay on the “right path”, the one that has been inculcated since childhood.

Here again dissociation lurks and we are obliged to evoke Thuja. Basically, Veratrum is very close to Arsenicum, which forms a trio with Staphysagria and Thuja. Of course we also have the close proximity to Phosphorus, which we will discuss again.

 

PCKent 2
V
O
D
Thuj Verat Ars Nux-v Ign Calc Nat-c Psor Puls Sulph
28 28 22 22 19 19 19 18 18 18
9 9 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6
13 12 17 12 14 11 10 12 12 9
+ 3 PSY : ANTICIPATION… 1 1 3 1 3 3 2 3 3
3 PSY : ANXIÉTÉ / avenir… 1 1 2 3 2 1 2 1
+ 3 PSY : ANXIÉTÉ / conscience… 2 2 3 2 2 1 3 1 2
3 PSY : ANXIÉTÉ / peur… 1 2 3 1 3 2 1 3 2 1
+ 3 PSY : CONSCIENCIEUX pour des broutilles 3 1 3 2 3 2 2 3
+ 3 PSY : ILLUSIONS / enceinte… 1 2 1 1
+ 3 PSY : LAS de la vie 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 2 1
+ 3 PSY : LAVE / mains fréquemment 2 1 1 1
+ 4 PSY : OCCUPATION / amél … 1 1 1 2 2 1 2

The above index shows the common core, the syndrome, which brings these two drugs so close together and which are often difficult to dissociate. Thuja is generally calm and looks at you “behind its mysterious eyes”, a bit like Hyosciamus.

With Veratrum, at one time or another, real anxiety attacks will appear. Thuja desires death, Veratrum often thinks about it, hence perhaps the interest in great metaphysical questions. Where Thuja is lazy and like Sulfur, Veratrum is almost always a busy person, always busy, with an obsession with cleanliness, tidiness and cleaning in women. They are energetic people, with a genuine mania for work.

Veratrum is very < by cooling its head (baths, washes, etc.) while Thuja on the contrary is < by warming its head. Veratrum has a clear photophobia that Thuja does not have.

Briefly I point out a nice pearl on the level of desires. Thuja desires raw onions while Veratrum loves raw tomatoes!

The remedy is associated with collapse and we will talk about this below in the really impressive acute disorders if you don’t know the remedy. But I would like to take the term “collapse” here in a slightly more graphic sense, i.e. it happens that we meet Veratrum subjects who are very decompensated following numerous setbacks and who find themselves in this emotional state that could be described as stagnation or stasis, prisoners of the fear of “doing wrong”, unable to make the slightest decision, all with the famous anxiety of awareness for the slightest actions.

The case of Louis XVI immediately comes to mind. He had been vaccinated and had put on a prodigious amount of weight, which clearly indicated Thuja. Then, with the grief of losing his son in June 1989 in appalling conditions, he probably decompensated into a lethargic Veratrum state.

One can probably also evoke the case of a person as refined as Tsar Nicholas, completely collapsed on himself from the years 1915, and never able to make any decision. This is a very depressive variant which refers us to two very important headings: Absorbed without his thoughts, imagines a misfortune (two remedies in the rubric, the other being Calc-s), and anxiety for the future.

Minute portrait

Veratrum is more often a woman’s remedy because society does not allow them to externalize their violence as much as boys, nor to achieve their ends too directly, so they have to resort to devious means, and this is where Veratrum excels.

Women are generally extremely beautiful and very concerned with their appearance. One cannot help thinking that the idea of seduction pre-exists the physical incarnation, which plunges us into Platonic abysses.

In any case they are going to seduce from the youngest age by attitudes which make everyone crack (indirect glances, untied gestures, coquetry, gifts, seduction), we will see it further in the chapter Veratrum child. The prescriber’s suspicion should be aroused at the very moment when he or she says to himself or herself “but she’s too perfect!”

The perfect big sister who takes care of the little brother like a little mother, the perfect woman of the world so sweet, so sensitive so concerned about all the misfortunes of the world, etc.

And then you will say to yourself that this particular head carriage, and the way she moves her eyes while blinking slowly when she speaks, all this should have already alerted you, but no, you have walked!

Lady Diana will remain for a long time the model Veratrum, and it’s an understatement to say that Veratrum swarm in all the more or less noble or bourgeois families where it is necessary to keep one’s rank and observe the etiquette.

In a more plebeian way, Carla Bruni embodies in her own way the prototype of the Veratrum who has succeeded by marrying “the chief”. Society is now built on top models, real ovaries for the princely families, we can only imagine how it plays elbows in there.

Very recently Meliania Trump is also a typical example: of her own accord, she read an Our Father during her husband’s first speech in Florida, which will remind you that Veratum is always concerned with spiritual notions, the afterlife, etc.

The time before she arrived on the White House steps with a gift that she gave to Obama’s wife, who was embarrassed by the package. We note Melania’s ocular convergence defect, which constantly reminds us of the proximity with Hyoscyamus.

We can consider Hyoscyamus as a more vulgar and agitated prototype of Veratrum. The fear of abandonment is such that everything is good to be seen: showing his buttocks, peeing in front of everyone, etc.. Hyoscyamus will gladly be a model, stylist or hairdresser’s remedy: here an original or flashy color, or affoliant outfits, thighs or shoulders in the air, or vertiginous necklines.

In Veratrum the idea is there but it will often be more suggested than shown, all the jobs that require to present and seduce well will be chosen: actress, singer, real estate merchant, etc.

In the same way, beyond the social considerations, the need for material security allows us to understand the link with Arsenicum album which is never very far. The great family causality that brings out Veratrum is when, for example, a wealthy grandfather has lost everything at the horse races or flambéed with the women. There is a very important idea of loss of social status that pushes the occurrence of the remedy. But in the end, the notion of loss of money is not so far away and Arsenicum is willingly watching.

Since we are citing Arsenicum, we are also obliged to speak for a moment about Phosphorus, which is guided by the fear of connection, hence the need to seduce and contact. This drug constitutes here what I could call a “trap for assholes” by homage to Audiard. Indeed, you will inevitably prescribe Phosphorus (or Pulsatilla) instead of Veratrum, in which case it means that you have been trapped by the seduction strategy.

And of course the third one here is Thuja which could correspond to more decompensated cases for example if the religious idea ends up winning. And further still Silica. So the play of complementaries allows you to think in 3D.

In short, it is this “too much” (so sweet, so perfect, so nice) that will lead you to the track and allow you to gradually get used to not falling in seduction. You will have to do as well as Ulysses and the sirens. The myth is not so far from reality since Veratrum has an aversion for her husband.

Many times the seduction strategy will remain a powerful tool to control the spouse sexually. In transactional analysis, this is called wearing a T-shirt: on the front with a smile it says “I’m available”, but on the back it says “but not for you”. This is the whole game of keeping your prey while having titillated it thoroughly. All this is of course perfectly unconscious, and explains why Veratrum is in the 3rd degree in the hysteria section.

We thus see the authoritarian aspect of the remedy, but which will always be something indirect, either through seduction or through a strategy of victimization. Such a grandfather can shine in front of a crowd of friends but play the poor unfortunate in front of his relatives.

Or “he made love to me every day”, the thing being described as what she had to endure. In this context, it is common to encounter all kinds of rape stories: sexuality is not assumed, and very often seduction leads to accidents when the victim has been a little too heated.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not in any way advocating for rapists whose only place is in prison or in front of a firing squad. I’m talking about situations where the rapist is a person already well known to the future victim, invited to the movies for example, invited to have a “last drink”, etc.

We could call this “chronicle of a rape foretold”. The occurrence of the incident will be useful to “explain” all the sexual disorders, frigidity, aversion to intercourse, etc.

A note here concerning certain cases where people actually live through terrible stories in the form of an accumulation or succession of catastrophes: well, this provides yet another indication for Veratrum. For example, the case of the woman who lost her husband and her son on the same day, and whose daughter committed suicide shortly afterwards, etc.

Veratrum is one of the first orthorexia drugs: for example, it gives them the fixed idea that only bananas are digestible for them, so for years they will only eat bananas, etc. This fixity of ideas also explains the incredible perseverance in work or in the goal they have set for themselves (marrying such and such): this notion of work combines the idea of social success and power.

This is where the male subjects shine: bankers, financiers, lawyers, company directors, etc. They are also usually very well dressed, a bit like Hyoscyamus with the famous pointy shoes that should alert you. When burn out occurs, it is often Hyoscyamus, which should be completed by Veratrum. All this is a sign of more or less latent madness, more or less compensated.

Hering said that he took 30% of people out of the asylum with Veratrum album! But in his time, society was not yet built on empty speeches and appearances, the number of Veratrum cases became exponential. It is when their great aspirations are frustrated that they will decompensate, a bit like an Aurum. Depending on the level of health, pathologies will then set in.

Generally speaking, the physical disorders are those that one would expect: insomnia since childhood, migraines, stomach aches (Veratrum is a great remedy for Crohn’s disease). Each time the incident leads them to unconsciously play the perfect sick person (preferably when there are spectators), the one who arrives at the door of death, so it is a great medicine of collapse, where everyone panics in front of the gravity.

Usually the seizures occur at critical moments: visiting friends at the weekend, on the eve of a vacation, etc. This reveals the absolutely intense level of underlying anxiety, and the desperate need to attract attention in order to survive, even when the machine goes haywire and you could die… for real.

In these acute disorders (gastroenteritis where Verat rivals Ars), very quickly the face decomposes, it becomes intensely tense and hippocratic. The pains are unbearable, with numerous cramps, and above all coldness either general or very localized. It is therefore sometimes the acute episode that allows us to find the chronic drug, I am not teaching you anything.

I will now move on to the description of pediatric cases, because this is a drug that absolutely must be detected as early as possible in the life of the patients.

 In children

We are now going to see the indications of this remedy in children, in all kinds of situations, from the most common in chronic, to the most urgent in an abdominal context.

Little Romane, born on July 5, 2002.

I saw her on March 23, 2007.

She is very small, a little bit like a little doll and very agile, her movements are very graceful. She was brought to me for an asthma declared as such, if I dare say, since December 2006. In reality, since she was little, she only had bronchiolitis and asthmatic bronchitis.

I find her very mischievous and talkative. As her mom explains her allergy checkup, cat hair, pollens and other bugs, she interjects and says “that’s not true!”

She had a lot of eczema, which was treated with steroids. Oddly enough, as the eczema disappeared, the bronchial problems started to occur. This is probably just a coincidence since medicine has not yet been able to prove a correlation!

During the interview, she was very curious about everything, she kept picking up objects on the desk and asking “what’s that?

Very quickly I am struck by her extremely harsh and breaking tone with her mother. She really speaks to her in a tone of authority and contempt.

She gets involved in matters that do not concern her, gives her opinion on what her mother says and does. Very jealous, she interferes in all conversations.

The parents have been separated for three and a half years. According to the mother, her father is a sickly jealous person: he would leave the house and come back, scaring me, he harassed me, he would put me down.

Romane eats a lot of yoghurt, she likes good hot chocolate. Finally, her mother agrees, after I asked her, that Romane likes to be “naked at home”.

STRAMONIUM 200 KENT.

 Comments.

The situation experienced by the mother is worth noting. It is a common strategy that should be applied in all cases. What the mother experiences during pregnancy is more or less deeply imprinted on the child, depending on her personal sensitivity. Thus, there is no systematic relationship, but here we will note probable causal factors:

– Following a disappointment in love

– Suite of disappointment

– Suite of fright

– Suite of humiliation

– Or a continuation of grief

Of course, Veratrum appears in all the headings.

►In the aftermath of disappointment in love, and their repercussions on the child, I emphasize the frequency of the indication of Tarentula hispanica in very agitated, disobedient, daredevil, fighty, untenable children. Often the mother’s history is marked by the aftermath of unpaid love.

Get used to exploring this situation delicately and you will be amazed at the number of times mothers have been madly in love with a man who did not look at them or led them on while she clung to the hope that one day he would deign to consider her…

Only once did I get caught. In front of a splendid case of Tarentula, I say, sure of my fact: “and I suppose that there was at home a sentimental affair which went wrong? The mother says to me “Oh no, it is not likely! It’s quite simple, if I feel that I’m falling in love, I’m capable of resigning from my job to avoid meeting him again!

Attitude already for the least strange… But this was not what I was looking for. So I explained to her the purpose of my questions and she said “haaa, but that’s the situation my mother had. She was madly in love with a man who never wanted her, and she always explained to us that she married our father out of spite. That’s why I’m careful not to fall in love.

Terrifying, isn’t it?

The striking signs are the following:

CURIOUS, questioning: agar., hyos.5, lach., lyc.5, puls.5, sep.5, sulph.5, verat.5

This is a good heading to which we can add Carc.

AUTHORITATIVE, dominant: apis.7, arn.3b, ars.90, aur.88, camph, caust, cham, chin.7, con, cupr.3+7, ferr, lach.88, lyc, med.88+90, merc, nux v.88+90, phos.90, plat.3+7, puls.90, sep.88+90, verat.3b+7

The little one needs all the time to impose its own point of view. Compared to Lycopodium, what is striking here is that she does not hesitate to position herself as dominant even in front of a stranger, in first intention.

Criticize severely, inclined to / only come out of silence to criticize: verat.

Veratrum is also present in the mother heading, but this sign is very characteristic, it is a keynote. Initially observed in psychiatric cases, this rubric is useful for people who only criticize, so think Veratrum.

EGOTISM, cult of the self (See Megalomania): arn.5, calc, lach, lyc.5, med, merc, nux v.5, pall, plat, sil, staph.5, sulph, verat.5

The attitude of the child is finally extremely centered on her own person. The heading Egotism is self-evident.

SPIRIT, teasing (with a background of malice) (See Player): agar, aloe, anac, arn, ars, bar c, calc, cann i, cupr, hyos, lach, merc, nux v, stram, tarent, verat.

The “soft” version of the symptom is this Espiègle heading, with a kind of seduction, a kind of titillation of the spectator.

HAUTAIN, arrogant (see contemptuous): agar, alum, anac, arn, aur, cann i, caust, chin, cic, con, cupr, dulc, ferr, ferr mag, gran.3b, guaj, ham, hyos, ign, ip, lach, lil t.3b+7, lyc, merc, nux v, pall, par, phos, plat, rob, sabad, sec, squil, staph, stram, stront, sulph, thuj, verat.

The “hard” version is the heading haughty, arrogant, which the child presents with everyone around her. She needs to be recognized by everyone to be the center of interest.

INSOLENCE (See Impoliteness, Impertinence): bell, canth, graph, hyos, lac c, lyss, nat m.5, nit ac, nux v, pall, petr, phos, plat, psor, stram, verat.

Finally, his attitude with his mother is very Insolent, a good rubric that I like to use.

LOQUACITY (See Elocution): … hyos., iod., ip., kali i., lach., lachn., …., stram., … verat., viol o., zinc.

I asked if Romane liked to undress, which made her mother laugh. Here the cross-references and Pckent’s index get us out of trouble:

NUDE, desires to be (See Impudent, Indifference-Naked): bell, camph, cham, hyos, merc, merc c, phos, phyt, sec, stram.

INDIFFERENCE, abulia, apathy, etc / naked in public, to be (See Impudent, Naked): hyos.1, phos., phyto, sec., stram., verat.

IMPUDENT (See Indifference, Nude): anac.3, bell, bufo.7, calc, camph.3, cann s.3, canth, cub, cupr, hell, hyos, lyc.5, merc c, mosch, murx.3, nat m., nux m., nux v., op, phos, phyt, plat.5, sabin.3, sec, stram, tarent, verat.

Folly / shamelessness (exhibitionism), with (See Nude): cupr., hyos., stram., verat.

Results

I note on April 20, 2007: Was very relaxed the first days, then opposite effect. She was less likely to stick her nose in everything. Did not systematically look for conflict anymore. After the return of the mental signs, we renewed the catch, there she tipped over very quickly in better net.

Appears more relaxed, her mother says that she is finally receptive when we try to explain something to her. She is willing to listen to arguments.

When her mother scolds her, or tells her no: before, she used to get very upset or upset very strongly, now she externalizes everything, expresses that she does not agree and why. In short, a relationship is established and it is no longer a perpetual power struggle.

She hasn’t had a single asthma attack since we met. She no longer takes any medication other than Veratrum.

Romande is still willing to talk, but no longer to say anything. Her mother says “but we have nice discussions”. She likes meat “she is a carnivore”. She loves fish, shrimps, prawns, etc.

The signs of appeal of the remedy

What is striking in Veratrum album is this aspect of a born chef, with an ambition (Nux-v) out of the ordinary (often children know what they will do later, with a lot of conviction).

Right from the start of the interview, the child not only does not allow himself to be imposed upon, but seeks either to show his ascendancy over one of the parents, often reduced somewhat to slavery, or to seduce the doctor. This bipolarity is found everywhere in the cure: an angel with those he cannot control, a demon with those he has been able to subdue.

Here we have the famous Veratrum symptom of becoming the chief’s buddy. I remember the case of a little girl who had the nerve to go to every restaurant where she was taken and ask to see the chef, and once she had calmed down and got to know the man who was running the store in her childish eyes, she could sit down to eat.

Veratrum album is therefore both a child who is curious about everything, even precocious, with the impulse to fiddle with everything that interests him, but also an extremely agitated child. Veratrum album can also have a precocious interest in religious matters, which is even more unusual in today’s society, when this symptom is encountered. The Veratrum child is very creative, he likes to write, draw or paint.

►Phosphorus, is here very close to Veratrum, especially since the desire for salt or fish is very marked in both remedies. Although one may meet with some cases of Phosphorus somewhat haughty, this never reaches the stage of Veratrum. The hemorrhagic tendency of Phosphorus makes it possible to decide very quickly.

►China, resembles in this respect Veratrum, with also the desire for salt very marked in both remedies as well as aggravation by fruit and a devouring appetite. The Veratrum child is very fond of milk, sometimes to the point of wanting only milk.

The China child is aggravated by milk and often has an aversion to milk. Another similarity is that the China child likes to lash out at others, to draw sharp lines at them, like an impulse to say something unpleasant. The little Veratrum is much worse, he loves to make fun of others and put them down. Both remedies are afraid of dogs (add Veratrum here). Here again the difference is easily made on the very elitist and egotistical behavior of Veratrum.

The opposite pole is found when the child on the contrary is very destructive, when he takes pleasure in breaking things (add). There are cases where the child destroys his clothes, lacerates them, as well as his notebooks, pencils, furniture, etc.

Their ambition, their determination, pushes them into certain weaknesses such as vanity, a haughty attitude, addressing with great arrogance all those who have capitulated before them. Often these children are very provocative (addition). As everything is good to get what they want to achieve, lying, manipulation, pretending to be sick are common strategies. That’s why we also find Veratrum under the heading :

TROPHER, deceiver (See Liar): arg n., ars.5, bell.5, bufo, chlol, coca, dros, fl ac.7, lach.5, nat m.5, nux v.5, op.3, tarent.3, verat.3

Farokh Master points out the indication of Veratrum in children who have behavioral disorders after a grief, a fright. These circumstances are also those of pregnancy, to which we must add humiliation; I would even say a very particular humiliation where the loss of social rank is associated. This circumstance is often found in the family history. It is the famous symptom

DESPITE / social, about his position: calc.5, ign.5, puls.5, rhus t.5, sep.5, Staph.5, sulph.5, verat.

Because of this constant fear of being outclassed, the Veratrum child is very jealous. This jealousy is typical when a new child arrives in the sibling group, because the child feels threatened in his status as first.

All strategies are good to get noticed and to get reprimands (in transactional analysis this is called getting negative strokes):

– Walking around naked, it’s a real exhibition,

– Disobeying and provoking,

– Running around,

– Performing antics and other antics,

– Laughing stupidly,

– Putting your fingers in your mouth (addition) or biting your nails,

– To chip endlessly what he has on his plate and thus establish an unhealthy relationship with a mother who becomes “goat”. We see children who, during the meal, start to run around with their mother at their heels to try to catch them. The whole operation can of course take hours…

– To take crises of uncontrolled rage, with screams, pulling their hair (addition),

– In these fits, some children spit on those who approach them,

Other times, we have the opposite picture of a very nice and affectionate child, who needs proof of love, especially with the need to be carried in the arms.

Bipolarity obliges, either the child is very coquettish, even extravagant in the way he dresses, or he may hate washing and behaves badly (addition).

In the fears, we have:

– Fear of the doctor (Ign, Phos) (Farokh added)

– Fear of dogs (addition) (Stram, Chin, Lyc, Tub)

– Fear of water (added)

– Fear of black objects. This is reported by Farokh, who reports that the child is afraid of black toys (addition). I have not yet encountered this.

Veratrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Clearly, Veratrum is indicated as a routine remedy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, as pointed out by Farokh Master, whose text I translate here:

 Hyperactivity with disobedience

Foot tapping

Infernal agitation, expressed in the form of repetitive behaviors: cutting clothes or sheets of paper into tiny pieces, eating gum, putting lots of things in the mouth, eating the collar of his clothes, pens, etc.

The child wants to be responded to right away, immediately.

Constantly tries to hug or kiss everyone in order to gain favor.

Anger associated with violence.

Attention spans are short and short; can’t sit still for a minute at work; also disrupts others in class.

Very talkative.

Runs around.

Unashamed, immodest.

Shouts easily.

Strong frustration in the child, due to parental discord, sudden change in socioeconomic status, or too little attention from parents too concerned with succeeding in their professional careers.

This feeling of frustration leads the child to never be happy, hence the need to disobey and provoke.

Lying and manipulation.

Fiddling with food.

Clinical case1

Little Tamara is seen at the age of 5. She suffers from TDHA. In the evening she refuses to go to bed, we spend the evening chasing her.

Her parents describe her as very hard-headed. She does not listen to anything or anyone. She gives instructions to others. Etc…

At the time of its crises of anger, it starts to howl, and rolls on the ground. We can’t do anything with her.

At the age of 2 and a half she was hospitalized for a very violent gastroenteritis, to the point where her mother says “I was scared to death”.

If she can’t be the boss, then she becomes the boss’s copy, and submits to his authority to the point of doing whatever the boss demands of her.

Strong desire to add salt to dishes.

Veratrum album LM1, 2 shakes, 2 glasses of dilution, twice a week leads to a real transformation of the child in less than a month from October to November 2006. To this day (September 2007), she continues to do very well with a real revolution in her schooling. Patient not seen since 2007.

 Clinical case 2 or the story of a failure

Yoann was born on September 1st 1996. I have been following him and his whole family for 10 years, and have known him since he was an infant. I will tell you how I missed the indication of Veratrum album for almost 8 years!

Certainly, I was able to relieve the most important symptoms. Certainly, the prescribed remedies helped and improved well, even in acute situations, but each time we finally witnessed an escape of the dose, or a new relapse. Since he has been on Veratrum for two years, the picture has finally changed, he is doing well and is progressing well. He has not fallen ill again, and we have witnessed a real transformation of his psychic state which was only agitation and provocation.

At the age of 2 months, he has a lot of gas and makes soft stools. Argentum nitricum 200 relieves him well during many months.

March 97, teething, salivation which irritates the corners of the mouth, Nitric acidum 200 relieves well each time.

August 97: it is time to look for a remedy more indicated on the bottom. Sweats from the head. Authoritarian. Desire of sweetness. Bloated belly. Lycopodium 200. Much good.

December 97: he consults Rémy Beau who successfully gives Calcarea for abdominal pain.

August 98: not satisfactory result on the term. He answers, sticks out his tongue, he is very jealous, he sleeps on his stomach. Medorrhinum 200. No effect or almost!

December 98. The parents had words with the nurse. Pneumopathy of the right base, right otitis, normal abdominal examination. Lycopodium 200, which gives a very good result.

March 99: He vomits regularly with white stools 48 before the vomiting crisis. He hates anything hot, especially drinks or baths. Eczema of the cheeks. Signs of right bronchitis. I put him on Lycopodium LM5 which is good, but not “transcendentally” and progressively.

August 99: I note persistence of nocturnal enuresis. No effect of Lycopodium.

December 99: authoritarian child, often gropes his willy, his mother needed Lachesis during the pregnancy: Lachesis LM2.

May 2000. Clear improvement of the behavior, but very strong reactions to each intake, that we dilute therefore more (it is the time when I still dilute in a glass of water). He does not support anything tight around the neck.

February 2001. He has no change of enuresis. He comes out from time to time with big painful “buttons” on the scalp and under the left arm. He had another gastroenteritis in November. Lachesis LM4.

October 2001. Nothing to do, the effect of the intakes is very transitory. Yoann systematically opposes his mother. He refuses to eat, fusses in his plate, it makes his mother crazy. He is very agitated, frowning constantly. Sulks a lot, never happy. Sweats from the head. Always too hot. Afraid of dogs. Lycopodium LM1 (to my great shame today…). Approximately 50% improvement in behavior. Removal of warts on the foot.

December 2003. Somehow, he responds to Lycopodium. Less in opposition, sweats less from the head. Likes a lot the sweetness. Scratching all over without eruption. Sulfur LM1 as chronic intermittent remedy.

May 2005. Has been as well as possible, but nothing extraordinary during one year. He speaks very well. Terribly agitated. The effect of Lycopodium was not clear. Sudden abdominal pain, not related to meals. Sleeps on his stomach, hands under his stomach. Medorrhinum LM1 (remedy of his mother).

March 2006. Flagrant failure of Medorrhinum. His parents can’t stand his behavior anymore. Slowness of the second dentition, he had already put his first teeth very late. Yoann is very jealous of the bond between his parents. He never stops interfering between them.

He is constantly touching his sex, which is red and irritated. He loves salt. In fact, his parents do not use salt at the table and we only recently realized this unbridled desire. Yoann likes very much to be complained about for the slightest injury.

His mother, to whom I insist on the conditions of the pregnancy, taps her head and says to me, “but of course it was during the earthquake of 1996, I had the fear of my life”. Veratrum album LM1.

Reviewed in April 2007. It’s going great. Finally… All the signs (behavior, enuresis, digestive problems, etc.) are finally eliminated. He reacts very well to each dose which calms him down as soon as he starts to get excited again. As soon as he takes his dose again, the scabs on the corners of his mouth are clearly visible. Patient followed until 2011 with success, he needed Hyoscyamus in intercurrent.

Physical signs

Acute digestive disorders

In emergency situations Veratrum album should be evoked in collapses with cyanosis, cold perspiration, Hippocratic facies, coldness of the body like ice, small and barely perceptible pulse, impregnable tension, icy extremities, blue coloration.

The forehead is covered with a cold sweat, often the child rubs the forehead with his hands.

Alongside Carbo vegetabilis, whose indication is close, I have seen Veratrum operate surprising cures while one wonders if one should not immediately call the ambulance.

It is an immense remedy for gastroenteritis, with violent cramps of the stomach and a rapid deterioration of the general state which quickly turns into collapse with the procession of signs described above.

The picture is terrible to face, if you dare Veratrum, you will get some of the most spectacular results of your career, believe me. Vomiting with the saddle. Veratrum is suitable for any gastrointestinal condition that is accompanied by cold sweat from the front (Carb-v, Chin, Op) and that progresses very quickly to al severity.

It is a routine remedy in cases of peritonitis following invagination, strangulated hernia or appendicitis. Farokh had shown us a video case that he had detailed at length, whereas in reality the diagnosis of the remedy must be made in a few minutes!

The vomiting is very vigorous, the remedy is full of muscular contractions, the jaws are clenched, there is a tendency to bite the glass while drinking. The patient grinds his teeth while sleeping, this sign seems to be met less often in chronic.

Hiccups while vomiting or after vomiting is a keynote. It is not often encountered, but thanks to this characteristic it is almost always a hit.

Muscular contractions are the hallmark of the remedy without reaching the level of Cuprum, however, so one observes that the child buries his head in the pillow while sleeping, grinds his teeth, or sleeps with his eyes half open, etc.

In addition to all these contractions, there are of course opposite signs: liquids come out through the nose or paralysis of the oesophagus. There is practically an inverted peristalsis (Asaf).

Vomiting readily occurs just after eating or drinking cold water, which they cry out for.

►Phosphorus here resembles Veratrum, without reaching the level of collapse as quickly. What is characteristic of Phosphorus is that the cold water stays in the stomach for about 15 minutes before being vomited. It is traditionally said “as soon as the water has warmed up sufficiently in the stomach” to qualify this sign.

In acute Veratrum, the whole picture is very algesic. The abdomen is painfully retracted by vomiting, the navel area is sensitive to touch, there is often a tenderness to palpation, and a sensitivity to Mc Burney.

Veratrum is thus a remedy of choice for cholera infantile, which is accompanied by cold and abundant sweating. It competes here with Arsenicum album, Camphora, Secale, Silicea and Tabacum. Also consider Veratrum in cases where there is vomiting with teething, in other words when teething is accompanied by digestive inflammation.

Chronic digestive disorders

Food cravings are well marked, especially since the appetite is often ferocious. The need to drink cold, the aversion to anything hot are characteristic signs. Often there is also a desire for meat, and to drink milk, which is good for you.

Other desires often encountered: desire for lemons (Bell, Merc, Sabad, Sacch), refreshing things, cucumbers (Ant-c, Phos, Sulph), ice cream, acid fruits (Ars, Cist, Med, Thuj, Sulph), ice cream (Calc, Elaps, Med, Nat-s), sardines (or herring), salt (Carb-v, Lac-c, Nat-m, Phos, Carc, etc.).

All fruits aggravate and cause painful distension of the abdomen (Ars, Chin, Lach, Merc). One gets painless diarrhea after cucumbers, or after drinking cold water on a very hot summer day (Ant-c), fruits (Nat-s) or just getting wet on a rainy day (Nat-s, Rhus-t, Acon, Calc).

Sudden annoyances such as anger, anxiety cause diarrhea. Here again muscle spasms and contractions in relation to a mental shock.

 Respiratory disorders

The above description must have made you think of Medorrhinum as well as its cousin Natrum sulfuricum. Respiratory disorders follow the same modalities as asthma in humid weather.

In Veratrum the tendency to severity is very early, and you will tend to panic in front of the patient. The “freaking out practitioner” is a call sign for Aconite or Veratrum. A characteristic: the child breathes better by bending his head back.

Of course, emotions cause asthma. Moreover, there is even a tendency to faint with pain or strong motion, which is also not unlike Asafoetida.

The spasmodic nature of the remedy is revealed in the cough which is full of efforts to vomit. The cough is very violent, with a cavernous sound, with attacks of 3 or 4 coughs. It is a remedy for whooping cough with convulsions (Cupr, Kali-br, Meph, Sep).

Farokh cites it as a remedy for neglected pertussis with complications.

 Conclusions

Veratrum album is a great remedy to have in your medicine cabinet, and don’t hesitate to prescribe. I have rarely seen it fail as its indication is quite easy once you have learned to recognize it. It’s up to you!

About the author

Edouard Broussalian

Dr. Edouard Broussalian MD, is a French homeopathic physician graduated from the University of Grenoble, France, now residing in Geneva, he runs a very large private practice in Geneva (Homéolaser Medical Center) and is a member of the organization "Homeopaths without Borders". Celebrated author of many reference books on homoeopathy in French, like the translation of Kent’s repertory, he is considered as one of the most prominent homoeopaths in his generation. www.planete-homeo.org

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