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You are viewing: Homeopathics - Dulcamara - Contemporary - Level 3

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Dulcamara

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Author
Dr Peter Darashah

Dulcamara

Introduction
Since the time of ancient Rome nightshade has been used to treat a wide range of ailments. One such ailment, abscesses called felons on the fingertips, inspired one of the plant's common names, felonwort. The 18th-century Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus prescribed the plant to treat fever and inflammatory infections.

In the symptom picture of the remedy Dulcamara the mental traits are outweighed by the physical symptoms of extreme sensitivity to cold and damp aggravated by rapid temperature changes or cold, wet weather. Susceptibility to respiratory infections causing thick, yellow mucus is typical. Hay fever and other allergic reactions are also common, as are head and joint pain, eczema, and diarrhea. These sensitive patients also frequently develop other complaints such as conjunctivitis, cystitis, a wheezy cough, or diarrhea, as well as skin conditions including itch, urticaria, ringworm with crusty eruptions on the scalp and face.

It is a favourite remedy for employment at the end of the summer and the beginning of winter where hot days are followed by cool nights. For example an adult out in the hot sun by day divests himself of clothing may be slow to revest himself and so catches a chill. When the cool draft of afternoon air surreptitiously arrives he suddenly realizes his bones are chilled. Or in the case of an infant who is kept in an over warm house all day because of the excessive heat of the mid day sun when finally taken out and introduced to the cool fresh evening atmosphere catches an immediate cold. Or when in the case of a fitness fanatic who exercises to the point of profuse perspiration cools down far too quickly in the chilly evening air results in a respiratory cough and conjunctivitis. Or in the case of a professional cold store worker who repeatedly go to and fro from a warm into a cold atmosphere and vice versa without adequate protective clothing find themselves subject to bowel, diarrhoea and sinus affectations. Dulc is an ideal remedy for symptoms that arise from all such a states as overexertion, overheating, throwing off of clothing, becoming chilled and suppression of sweat.

Dulc patients go through the summer very comfortably; their catarrhal conditions to a great extent pass away; the warm days and warm nights, because of the even temperature, seem to agree with them, but as soon as the cold nights come on and the cold rains come, all their difficulties return; there is an increase of the rheumatism and of the catarrhal discharges. An outline of some of the more salient symptoms is provided below.


Symptom Pictures
Catarrh
Infants and children have constant sniffles in cold damp weather whilst adults suffer copious yellow mucus discharges of the nose and eyes. In the case of the latter conjunctivitis may result. A typical patient complaint is Doctor, in cold, damp weather I cannot breathe through my nose; my nose stuffs up; or, When there is a cold rain about I must sleep with my mouth open.

The coryza may take one of two froms: a dry form or a wet/ lose form with a thick, yellow discharge from the nose and the eyes. In the cae of the latter conjuctivitis may result. However the Dulc coryza whether dry or fluid is worse during rest, by the slightest exposure, and in cold air. On the other hand it is relieved by motion and in a warm room in that it is more fluid in the warmth, and less fluent in the cold air and in a cold room. With the Dulc coryza if the patient should go into a cold room pain will commence in the nasal bones. In extreme cases the patient with a Dulc coryza will sit in a warm room with cloths, wrung out of hot water, over the face and nose to relieve the distress of the catarrhal state of the eyes and the stuffing up of the nose. Heat is essential for relief. In contradistinction the Nux-v and All-c coryzas are worse inside and prefer motion outside in the open air.

Headache
The Dulc headache is congestive occasioned by cold, damp weather. There is an accompanying catarrh which is dry in nature. This is very different from the normal catarrhal expression of Dulc which commences with sneezing followed very soon by a copious, thick, yellow flow from the nose. A patient with a Dulc congestive headache has instead of the more normal fluid discharge a dry catarrh accompanied by neuralgic pains in the occiput which spread over the whole head. These headaches are very severe and accompanied by tremendous pain so much so that the patient will very often ignore the symptoms of the accompanying catarrh. It seems of little consequence the head pain being so great. However the headache is the direct result of the dryness of the catarrh for as soon as the flow starts the headache disappears. 

Sore Throat
People who in every cold damp spell suffer coryza from getting overheated, throwing off the wraps, getting into a cold place, very often also suffer from sore throat as a follow on. The cold which first attacks the nose, follows on with a post nasal drip, progresses to a sore throat and gradually creeps on until the whole chest is affected with catarrhal inflammation.

The sore throat takes on two forms. The more common one is a lose phase in which the sore throat fills with yellow mucoid slime which is hawked up (at night) in great quantities. Alternatively the throat may be dry, red, inflamed with a tenacious expectoration.

In either case several remedies such as Bell, Bry, Ferr-p or Ars may initially appear to fit the symptom picture. However a cure will not be effected (though temporary relief may be obtained) until the constitutional remedy is supplied which in this case is Dulc.

Hayfever & Asthma
The Dulc patient is very sensitive to newly mown grass and drying weeds in the autumn of the year as opposed to the more normal springtime hayfever allergies. However if the environmental conditions in the spring suit Dulc then it is the remedy of choice even if outside its normal autumn season of activity.

As a result of acute sensitivity to autumn hayfever there can be nasal congestion with constricted breathing giving rise to symptoms of asthma accompanied with profuse, watery discharge from the eyes. Again Dulc is the remedy of choice for asthma treatment occurring in such circumstances.

Scalp Eruptions
Another feature is the production of dry, brown, humid herpes-like vesicles on the scalp. These multiple little boil like eruptions are extremely sore and itchy an irritation which is not relieved by scratching even when continued until bleeding and rawness takes place. Indeed the vesicles are so much like impetigo that Dulc has been frequently used to treat this condition. Accompanying symptoms are very often hardened glands

Skin Eruptions
Dulc has a long history of use by rural mothers who made ointments out of it for skin ulcers, rash, itch and all types of skin irritation occasioned from a change in the weather.  It is astonishing to see how soothing it was when applied externally to smarting wounds, whether in solution or salve or any other way.

The eruptions start as nothing more than a spreading herpetic eruption but then a yellow pus forms which prevents the skin from healing. There are raw areas especially along the shin bone which even extend into the periosteum producing necrosis, caries and bleeding ulcers. Arsenicum is the normal remedy of choice in such situations but where the special conditions pertaining to Dulc are present the latter remedy is to be preferred.

Kidney/Bladder
Sometimes a patient may say Doctor, if I get chilled I must hurry to urinate or If I enter a cold place I have an urge to urinate." From these remarks it is evident that the symptoms are aggravated in the cold and ameliorated by warmth. Any catarrhal trouble of the bladder that is better in the summer and worse in the winter needs Dulc.
A bladder catarrh in which there is copious discharge of mucus, or pus in the urine; when there is a a thick purulent yellowish white sediment, with a constant urging to urinate every time there is a little cold, or the frequency of urination is increased with a burning sensation in the urethra whilst urinating and all the symptoms are worse getting chilled in cold, damp weather and better from becoming warm then the remedy of choice id Dulc.

Similarly in cases of albuminuria arising from the patient being exposed to the cold too soon or from a sudden change of weather, damp and cold conditions in which typical symptoms exist of albumin in the urine, waxy limbs, waxy sallow face with and constant urging to urinate Dulc. will be suitable.

Diarrhoea
Diarrhea - slimy, yellow or green stools, maybe with traces of blood. There may be nausea, and pain before passing stools. In children, symptoms may be triggered during teething.

Rheumatism
Rheumatic lameness and stiffness in the back as a result of taking cold, better by motion worse at night, extending to the lower limbs and neck. There is a sore, bruised feeling all over the body. Warts on hands, fingers and/or face.

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Solanum dulcamara
Solanum dulcamara 

Kingdom: Plant
Latin Name: Solanum dulcamara
Common Name:Woody nightshade
Homeopahtic: Dulcamara 

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