Iatrogenic Diseases & Nux Vomica
- A Face Off (2007)
A lean, old man of 66 years residing in Bangalore came to my clinic. The first thing I noticed was the constant chewing motion of his lower jaw. Later, I understood that he had come to me for treatment of this ailment. He had this problem for many years, which even hindered his sleep. He was unable to control the constant involuntary movement of his lower jaw, no matter how hard he tried. On probing further he told me that he had been taking antacids daily for the past 38 years without the consent of a doctor. He further conveyed his concern whether this present ailment was a side effect of these medicines. In spite of taking antacids daily, he suffered from excessive gas in the abdomen with uneasiness in epigastrium, and he felt better after belching.
Appetite - very poor, with a desire for warm food and drinks.
Bowels - regular, but scanty with ineffectual urge for stool.
Thermal reaction - Chilly
Emotionally, he was a very short tempered person and got irritated by trifles.
This was a clear case of Nux vomica. It is the chief medicine in our Materia medica that is indicated for ailments of gastrointestinal origin. Patient's irritable temperament, flatulent disposition, dyspepsia, history of taking antacids indiscriminately- all of these guided me to Nux vomica. The patient was advised to stop antacids. I gave Nux vomica 30 and 200, 4-6 doses each over a period of one year from 2007-2008. By this time, the patient was cured of his disturbing symptoms of involuntary movement of jaw as well as dyspepsia. To complete the cure, Sulphur, the complementary of Nux vomica, was given in 1M potency.
I have experienced that complex drug diseases caused by indiscriminate use of allopathic medicines are easier to cure than that caused by potentized homoeopathic medicines. I infer that potentized medicines in large repeated doses derange the vital force strongly that the person lacks the vitality to respond to the curative treatment. Any medicine when given in large doses actually causes drug proving. Such a patient coming after overdose presents with a combination of disease and drug symptoms. First step to take in such cases is to wane and stop all the earlier medications. Gradually, the case becomes clearer. Now the totality of symptoms can guide us to the curative medicine.
In my practice, I have experienced that in majority of such cases, the symptomatology of the patient coincides with the drug picture of Nux vomica. Nux vomica has a striking over sensitiveness to external stimuli - mental and physical. Kent says, “One reason why there are so many Nux patients is because people have been over-drugged by the old school.” Nux vomica is one of the best remedies to commence treatment for over-drugging by aromatic or patent medicines, if symptoms correspond. Kent says that, “When a patient comes from the old school after bad prescribing, having had stimulants and tonics to brace him up, it is sometimes impossible to get reliable symptoms to get the patient settled down until we give Nux as an antidote.” With Nux vomica, I was able to give absolute relief to numerous such patients with sufferings induced by over usage of allopathic medicines. Nux vomica is efficacious in antidoting narcotics, mixtures, bitters, vegetable remedies, quack remedies, so called hot remedies, bad effects of aromatics in foods and alcohol, among others. When we read about such features of Nux vomica in our Materia medica, it doesn't sink in as deeply as it should until we experience it in our own practice. It is a bliss to watch the immediate soothing effect that a minute pellet of Nux vomica or a similimum gives to a patient!
I believe that the action of these minute poppy seed sized pellets are magically rapid and gentle. Years ago, Maupertuis, the French mathematician, formulated the Law of Least Action, “The quantity of action necessary to effect any change in nature is the least possible; the decisive amount is always a minimum, an infinitesimal.” It is so convincing that once you experience this rare phenomenon, you will never be tempted to practice polypharmacy. This divine experience should primarily be experienced and passed on by a teacher to his/her students. This will have a more favourable and long lasting impact on the student than just learning from books. Fortunately, I could experience it many a time in my professional life.
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