Materia Medica Tips – 10
© Dr Saurav Arora
This remedy is one of everybody’s favourite remedies. It has an important place in our first aid kits, chest boxes, and clinics. It’s one of the polychrest medicines which has equal importance in constitutional as well as acute conditions. It is characterized by important keywords like:
- Dull, dizzy, drowsy.
- Muscular prostration, paralysis.
These keywords define the inherent character of the whole remedy.
Majority of us know the right name of the medicine – Gelsemium. Yes, it is Gelsemium! One is one of the favourite remedies when it comes to clinical practice. It covers an array of symptoms from both mentals as well as a physical point of view. When we talk of its characterizing points we can sum up this remedies in keywords like Dull, dizzy, drowsy; Muscular prostration, paralysis; Thirstlessness; Anticipation etc.
Clinically we must keep certain things in mind – not everytime patient comes with all classical symptoms (keynotes), therefore, we must be able to differentiate the remedy from other key remedies and keep in mind that
- Gelsemium has muscle incoordination, prostration and not necessarily this lack of strength originates simultaneously form the mental and physical spheres (as in Acid remedies). The weakness is physical at initial stages whereas in maximum acid remedies the weakness is mental as well physical from the early stages. Thus Gelsemium can be easily differentiated in acute conditions and when Gelsemium acts as Simile the inner strength is gained back to normalcy as soon as possible. Whereas, in chronic conditions, it must be differentiated cautiously, because the long continue prostration shall be apparent on the mental level too! In such case, the Gelsemium works at par with acid remedies.
- When the stage advance as in paralysis, the majority of the symptoms of patients are common symptoms of paralysis pathology. But in Gelsemium, it can be transient paralysis without any obvious cause. Therefore, it must not be prescribed on the name of paralysis only but on the basis of other generalities which differentiates Gelsemium from other medicines.
- When it comes to mental symptoms of Gelsemium ie depressive states – it is like a vacuum and not a deficiency. This is the reason Gelsemium has ailments after bad news. This can be an important differentiating point to rule out medicines like Aur metallicum, Sepia etc. (long continue mental exertion leading to kind of indifference, depression etc.). The depression of Gelsemium may present without apparent cause but is reflected in the physical level most – prostrations, aches, incoordination, muscles refuse to obey will. Here also, we need to be cautious in selecting the deep acting remedies like of metals and acids.
- Anticipation – Anticipation is a common symptom of many medicines like Argentum nitricum, Arsenicum, Lycopodium, Medorrhinum and Acid phos (Kent’s Repertory). What differentiates Gelsemium from all these remedies is the causation and expression, ie Arsenicum and Argentums are anticipated, restless and then prostrated ie they have drained out their energies in movement, thinking, etc. whereas, Gelsemium is prostrated since the beginning; Acid phos has causation due to loss of vital fluids; Lycopodium and Argentum nit is anticipated due to gastric issues; Medorrhinum exhibit anticipation with other sycotic symptoms.
- Thirstlessness remains a mainstay to differentiate similar remedies. This is found in the majority of the patients and hence can be PQRS to be relied upon.
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