alternative medical modality of holistic,
individualised, side-effect-free and affordable health
Hermes once separated two
serpents entwined in mortal combat to bring about peace. These
serpents were later included in the medical Caduceus as a sign
viewing: Homeopathics - Opium - Contemporary - Level
3 to Homeopathics - Level 2
Brought to you
Author Dr Peter
Background A plant of
extremes the poppy is the source of both morphine, one of the
strongest painkillers, and heroin, one of the most addictive
substances known. It has played a dramatic role in history,
prompting wars and huge social problems. Opium and heroin, derived
illicitly, have produced devastating drug problems, while morphine
and codeine are produced legally to play a vital role in
conventional medicine. The homeopathic remedy was proved in 1805 by
Typically opium is given to
the type of person who exhibits extremes in their moods and
behaviors, and these can be on either end of the spectrum. On one
end is a sort of apathy towards life and a dulled sentiment towards
pain in general. On the other end of the spectrum, opium is given to
those who exhibit extreme hyperactivity to the extent where their
sensitivity may even cause insomnia. As a result of the fact that
opium may be helpful to people at both ends of the spectrum, there
is a wide range of personality types that it may be helpful towards.
People may also turn to opium after
extreme medical issues or life events such as recovering from a
brain injury or paralysis occurring as a result of a stroke, or even
those going through alcohol withdrawal or experiencing delirium.
This goes to show that it is most useful in the extreme instances
and therefore these make up the typical remedy profile, that may
very well be anything but typical in nature.
However in the early days of Homeoapthy Opium did not enjoy
widespread use. This was because of Hahnemann's idea that the
"Primary State" alone of any drug provided the symptoms on
which to prescribe homoeopathically, According to his view only the
primary effects of a drug are available for its homoeopathic
applications. Opium is almost the only medicine that in its primary
action does not produce a single pain. Every other known drug
produces in the healthy human body pains in its primary action, and
hence is able to cure and remove (homoeopathically) similar disease
pains. Opium however is unable to homoeopathically subdue a single
pain (i.e., permanently cure) because it does not cause pain in its
primary action. It can therefore only palliate.
subsequent experience exposed the inaccuracy of the doctrine of the
"Primary State" being the only one which can be taken for
homeopathicity. What is a "primary" response for one prover becomes
a "secondary" reaction with another. There is no consistency of the
order in which the symptoms appear. It is therefore impossible to
determine which symptoms are primary and which are secondary. All
that can be said for certain is that opposing symptoms are present
in the one drug picture and whether they are "primary" or
"secondary" is a matter of opinion. The doctrine of the "Primary
State" is therefore discredited and today Opium enjoys its own
unique place in the Homeopathic remedy arsenal due chiefly to the
presence of its many alkaloids including:
Morphia (used principally
in the form of the sulphate) which is probably the best understood
alkaloid. It is used in conventional medication for the relief
of pain. Homeopathically it has been used for pain relief in cancer,
convulsions and muscular twitching and jerking of the limbs. Under
these circumstances Morphia works homeopathically as a palliative
according to the law of homeopathy and not as the opiate which
stupefies the patient.
Codene is another of the
alkaloids used in the treatment of phthisis. It is indicated by a
dry teasing cough which annoys the patient night and day. It has
also cured twitching of the muscles, especially of the eyelids.
cures cerebral vomiting of the brain and should not be confused with
the gastrointestinal vomiting of Ipecac. It is a condition brought
about by intracranial pressure examples of which would be
seasickness and vomiting due to unpleasant odours or tastes or even
There are many many
other alkaloids which are largely used in allopathic practice
by way of cough mixtures and soothing syrups and for which very
little information is available in the form of homeopathic provings.
An idea of the multiplicity of opiates present in opium can be
obtained from the table below.
Mentals & Generals The conventional opium picture is one where one thinks of
dimly lit rooms filled with fumes where people have smoked
themselves into a stupor. They are only semi conscious, are unable
to stand firmly or talk coherently. They demonstrate a state of
peace with great spoor and desire only to be left alone. They say
that there is nothing wrong, that they are perfectly well and happy,
have no pains or aches; want nothing and have no symptoms to report.
reveals however that they have a high temperature, are covered
with a scorching hot sweat, have a rapid pulse and are
delirious. The face looks besotted, bloated, purple; the eyes
are glassy and the pupils contracted. The mind is in a state of
confusion with occasional loquacity but in the main they only talk
when aroused, a condition of general stupor in which the patient
says nothing and does nothing prevails.
forgoing there is an alternative state of opposing symptoms which
may even be present simultaneously in the same patient and
includes:- mental sharpness and acuteness, intense sensitivity to
pain both mental and physical , sleeplessness, inquietude, nervous
excitability; anxiety, fear, fright, anger, rage, fury, propensity
to jump out of bed and roll on the floor, mirth, hilarity,
liveliness, diarrhoea, delirium, hallucination, spasms, convulsions,
increased sensitivity to sound so that they can hear the distant
sound of bells from a steeple or even the proverbial sound of a fly
crawling up the wall.
1. Insomnia/ Narcolepsy/ Apnea/
Convulsions: An increased
sensitivity can result in insomnia (sleeplessness) and narcolepsy
(inability to sleep despite fatigue) with intermittent brief periods
of sleep which are light, restless or easily disturbed. Hearing
becomes so acute that they seem able to detect even the faint sounds
of insects' movements or the crow of a cock from a great far off
distance. They are sleepy but unable to sleep. The sound of their
own breathing disturbs them. The bed seems so hot that they must
jump out of it and roll on the floor to cool down. Breathing becomes
very heavy and deep (stetorous) and may even become irregular or
even momentarily stop (sleep apnea).
They also have
convulsions in which the body is held in an abnormal posture
with the head drawn back (opisthotonos) It usually involves rigidity
and severe arching of the back, with the head thrown backward. If a
person with opisthotonos lays on his or her back, only the back of
the head and the heels would touch the supporting
Any of these sleep conditions can pose a true
disruption and even a danger to an individual's life and mental
state. Opium often offers the relief that other solutions fail to
provide. Taking opium in this capacity allows sleep to be regulated
and continuous so that it is neither interrupted nor unusual in its
In addition to increased
sensitivity opium can benefit those sleep deprived individuals where
insomnia is caused by a major life disruption, fear or trauma.
Finally for those who can't
seem to get to sleep or stay asleep, opium offers an answer for a
peaceful slumber. So called light sleepers who remain wide awake for
a long time after going to bed with acuteness of all sensations,
hearing especially; the least unusual noise will awaken and it is a
long time before they can go to sleep again.
Constipation/ Diarrhoea/ Retained Urine: Constipation due to gastrointestinal paresis with no urge to
pass stools for an extended length of time resulting in fecal
impaction. The digestion is sluggish and weak, and there is no
appetite. Stools are dark, small, and very hard, like black balls.
Though constipation may not seem like a life altering or pressing
health condition, it can be in its most extreme forms.
Constipation from fright,
shock and birthing trauma in which a newborn baby requires help with
constipation issues also call for opium. Here the gastrointestinal
tract or sphincter muscle may be partially or completely paralysed
or rendered insensitive requiring much straining for
A persistent Diarrhea may also be present on its
own or alternate with constipation notably after shock.
Opium also causes retention of urine, "perhaps, chiefly,"
says Dunham, "by blunting the sensibility of the lining membrane of
the neck of the bladder, so that the fullness of the bladder is not
recognised by the patient" Opium may be of use for retention or
urine which "may occur in fever, in acute illness" (Dunham) or
following fright or parturition The basic cause for urine
retention is similar to thast of constipation (ie complete paresis
of the urinary organs or paralysis of the sphincter.)
3. Shock and
Injury: Shock and injury may display
such opposing symptoms as emotional and sensory shutdown, or
overexcitement and hypersensitivity or sluggishness and
indifference. Conversely, the person can be overwrought, possibly
with insomnia or even convulsions. Either or both of these states
may occur in response to shock, grief, or injury.
the Opium patient is overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. They are
thrown into convulsions, have diarrhoea, fits of some sort, and it
is days and weeks before that fear is gone. These complaints stem
from when fear remains, or the idea of the fear remains, or the
cause of it comes before the eyes. For example a pregnant woman is
frightened that she will have a miscarriage and the object of her
fright continually looms up before her eyes. Or again a case of
epilepsy dating back to a fright and the fear remains in the mind
and comes up before the eyes just before an attack comes on.
Associated symptoms include hysterical attacks, physical
shock with diarrhoea and sometimes constipation; retention of urine
or return of the menstrual flow or the stop of menses results
for months. In these situations there is great fear and the object
of the fear remains before the eyes.
Opium may be a very
helpful homeopathic remedy to turn to in such times. In addition it
also offers relief if a great injury is suffered within the body.
Therefore, not only does it help with mental health issues, it also
helps an individual cope with the emotions and reaction suffered
from a state of shock.
Opium is an effective homeopathic
remedy that will treat the primary issue of the actual shock or
injury and then help to heal the symptoms that come about as a
result of either condition.
Paralysis: Those who suffer in this
way find that paralysis is an unfortunate but very common side
effect. Post-stroke paralysis involves paralysis of the limbs
together with dullness and stupor resembling that experienced after
shock. There may be blackouts, a blue-tinged face, and labored
When this is the case opium may be looked to as a
homeopathic remedy for helping to heal or lessen the actual
paralysis suffered. As the limbs become dull and listless, opium can
offer the revitalization that they need to work
Delirium Tremens: Delirium tremens
is when extreme apathy or hypersensitivity is accompanied with
tremors, or even convulsions. There can be frightening visions, and
possibly blackouts. It may be suffered at anytime in and of itself
as well as a consequence related to something else such as alcohol
Homeopathic Opium works on the hypersensitivity
that delirium may cause and the symptoms that it may present along
with it. Not only can opium help to make the delirium subside, but
it can also help to rid the body of symptoms such as tremors,
convulsions, or even blackouts.
6. Remedy Resistance The physiological use of Opium or of its alkaloids is well
known to deaden pain. Its administration is not supposed to be
curative as it simply "destroys", as Allen succinctly puts it, "the
consciousness of suffering pain." Not only does it destroy the
consciousness pf pain but in so doing it destroys both the action of
any Homeopathic remedy as well as the manifestation of the disease
symptoms. Thus the Homeopathic physician is unable to observe
symptoms properly and is consequently in a difficulty to determine
the correct simillimum.
Poppy seed exuding
latex from a cut.
Poppy seed field
Kingdom: Plant Latin
Name: Papaver somniferum Common
poppy Homeopahtic: Opium