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You are viewing: Homeopathics  - Guaiacum - Contemporary - Level 3
to Homeopathics - Guaiacum - Level 2

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Dr Peter Darashah


The tree (Guaiacum officinale commonly known as Lignum vitae) is found in the warm latitudes of America, from which the guaiacum of medicine is procured. Guaiacum wood has been an article of trade since 1508, when it was introduced, via Spain, to the medical profession of Europe as a specific for many of the most serious diseases of mankind.

The name lignum-vitae (wood of life) originated from the supposition that the material was possessed of extraordinary remedial powers. Numerous learned treatises were published and served to establish the reputation of the wood so firmly that it was nearly 200 years before it was seriously questioned.

Natural Uses
In addition to its medical uses the many natural properties of strength, toughness and density (it readily sinks in water) lent itself to the exploitation of various mechanical applications.

In the sporting realm its density ensured that cricket bails particularly "heavy bails" used in windy conditions were made of lignum vitae. Hardy Greenheart Brothers of Alnwick's acclaimed fly fishing rods were also made from it as were lawn bowls, croquet mallets and skittles balls.

The wood has seen widespread historical usage in mortars and pestles and for wood carvers' mallets. It was the traditional wood used for the British police truncheon due to its combined density, strength and relative softness when compared to metal. Master clockmaker John Harrison also used lignum vitas self lubricating properties for the critical parts of his all-wood clocks.

The belaying pins (device to secure rigging lines) and deadeyes (device to tension sails) of sailing ships were made from lignum vitae. Its natural oil ensured that they rarely required replacement despite the severity of typical marine weathering conditions.
For this same reason it was widely used in ship shaft bearings up to the 1960s when sealed white metal bearings were introduced. Even the aft main shaft strut bearings for USS Nautilus (SSN-571, the world's first nuclear powered submarine were composed of this wood.

After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the urgent need to rebuild the streetcar system and the inability to obtain porcelain for electrical insulation resulted in the use of Lignum vitae for insulation. Many of these lasted into the 1970s with a small number remaining in service for over 100 years up to 2009 when underground wiring was introduced.

Constitution -
Mental & Emotional
Guaiacum subjects typify that of the Phlegmatic which on the positive side is relaxed and quiet ranging from attentive to shy and sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant all qualities which make them able administrators.

The strengths of the Phlegmatic are that they are very sensitive, imaginative, sympathetic, adaptable, peaceful, tolerant, gentle, placid, soft, receptive, considerate and calm.

On the negative side they can be passive-aggressive which involves characteristics such as (1) procrastination, (2) sulking and argumentative when asked to do something they don't want to do, (3) working inefficiently on unwanted tasks, (4) complaining without justification (5) "forgetting" obligations, (6) believing they are doing a much better job than others (7) resent useful suggestions, (8) fail to do their share, or (9) unreasonably criticises those in authority.

Their weaknesses are that they become easily attached and are prone to be sad, tearful, indecisive, vulnerable, unsure, fearful, timid, envious, hesitant, changeable, submissive, indifferent, silent, reticent, unforgiving, mournful, pitiable and stubborn.

Guaiacum is counter indicated for cholerics (those with ambitious leader like qualities) and sanguines (those with impulsive, pleasure seeking, emotional, social qualities)

Phlegmatics make very strong emotional connections with their loved ones and sexual partners, and suffer greatly from loss if these relationships do not work out. They suffer deeply from a sense of abandonment if they feel they are not appreciated and are easily hurt.

They are worse when exposed to too much excitement, over stimulating environments, and when forced to do things in a hurry. In their own private way they can be stubborn, irritable, and easily suffer from inward grief with silent peevishness.

When an individual breaks down under stress the phlegmatic temperament becomes more insecure, indecisive, cold, careless, listless, apathetic and suffers from nervous exhaustion. As a result of which they may even become completely dull, blank, slow and stupid and appear like an idiot.

Constitution - Physical 
The body of the phlegmatic temperament is large boned, well rounded, and has soft tissue with flaccid muscles that tire easily. They move with leisurely graceful motions and have difficulty doing things quickly because rapid motion makes them feel confused.

The phlegmatic constitution has a round face, soft features, and deep watery eyes that swim with emotion. The sclera and the iris of their eyes often have grayish white spots and the iris may show a white ring around its outer edge called a lymphatic rosary in iridology. The tongue of a phlegmatic is pale, swollen and may be watery or coated with a white coating.

The hands of the phlegmatic are cold, thick, soft, humid, swollen, and plump and their skin is white, pale and puffy. Their fingers are often short with thick tips with relaxed joints. Their nails are often wide, white, pale, and soft and the moons are not very predominant. When they shake hands their palm feels soft, wet, and cold, and their grip is weak. Phlegmatic women tend to hug softly and often do not offer a kiss as a greeting. If they do kiss it is usually on the cheek which causes them to blush and look sideways

They suffer from skin diseases that are accompanied by swelling and clear discharges that may change from bland to more irritating clear or white secretions. They also have a tendency to form lesions with white scales.

The phlegmatic may like open air because it stimulates but they do not like cold wind. They have a tendency to have cold clammy perspiration which may be aggravated by emotions as also it is by cold food and drink. They easily suffer from water retention that makes them look and feel heavy, fleshy and fat. This is related to many of their predispositions to hypofunction, coldness, cold stomachs, insufficient secretion of digestive juices (such as hydrochloric acid), poor assimilation, anemia, and flatulence. As a result they easily put weight on the hips, sacrum and thighs and are consequently prone to oedema. They are prone to taking cold with watery discharges and chilliness with flushes of heat. They easily accumulate water in the lungs and have much phlegm and mucus that produces complications. Von Grauvogl called them the hydrogenoid type because of their tendency to hold water, weight and to be worse by damp cold atmospheres, watery foods, or living near bodies of water. Physiognomists of the past have called the phlegmatic constitution such names as the venous, lymphatic, abdominal and thymus types.

The phlegmatic is prone to poor circulation, lymphatic stagnation, non-inflammatory swollen glands, watery swelling, autointoxication, glandular swellings, increased mucus and serous secretions and watery discharges of clear or whitish color. They have a tendency to disorders of the genito-urinary system and their urine is frequent, pale and in large quantities with a tendency toward urinary infections and yeast infections with watery milky discharges.

Their arthritic problems manifest with cold white swellings that are worse for cold and damp and often better fro warm applications and dry weather.

All complaints are worse by cold, feels cold easily, cloudy weather, winter and damp cold aymospheres.
Both cold and heat affetcs them as their temperature control is extremely unstable.
Watery foods or living by water.

Warmer, dry climates, warm food and drink, and warm influences


Guaiacum tree
Guaiacum tree

Guaiacum leaf
Guaiacum leaf

Guaiacum flower
Guaiacum flower

Kingdom: Plant
Latin Name: Guaiacum officinale 
Common Name: Lignum vitae 
Homeopahtic: Guaiacum  


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