Pulsatilla Modalities and General Symptoms:
Pulsatilla is considered a warm remedy, like Sulphur. Both remedies can uncover their feet in bed. Pulsatilla can be aggravated by any form of heat. Chilliness, however, is also in the remedy, but the aggravation from heat is a guiding symptom.
Pulsatilla can be aggravated from wearing a lot of clothing. They want to dress lightly even in cold weather. Their skin can also be irritated by wearing wool and flannel (Sulphur).
Pulsatilla complaints are often relieved by cold or ice cold applications (Ledum and Secale).
Pulsatilla is aggraved by wet cold, like getting the feet wet while walking in a cold rain.
Pulsatilla loves to keep the windows open in the house and loves the fresh air.
Pulsatilla is known for its amelioration from walking in the open air, and can be ameliorated by gentle motion and walking slowly in the open air.
Pulsatilla can be very restless and frantic when trying to keep still. They are worse during rest and ameliorated by slow, moderate activity.
Pulsatilla has an aggravation in the twilight hours when the sun is setting, like 6 and 7 p.m. It can also have a morning and night-time aggravation.
Pulsatilla sleeps on the back with hands over the head.
Pulsatilla can have wandering pains. Arthritis or rheumatism jumps from one joint to another; neuralgic pains fly here and there. Inflammations go from gland to gland.
Pulsatilla can have symptoms on one half of the body, while the other side is unaffected. For example, they can have one foot hot and the other cold (Lycopodium), or perspirtion only on one side of the body.
Pulsatilla Food and Drink:
Pulsatilla is thirstless, but the presence of thirst should not discourage you from prescribing the re
medy, if the overall picture fits. Parents often have a hard time to get Pulsatilla children to drink water.
Pulsatilla has an aggravation from rich, fat and creamy foods, like ice cream and pastries and they can also crave these things. A Pulsatilla child can get a stomach ache after eating birthday cake. Pulsatilla can be aggravated by rubbing creams and ointments on the body. They cannot tolerate fat internally or externally.
Pulsatilla has an aggravation from hot food. This is what Kent says, “Cold foods are digested while hot foods make the body warm from which symptoms are worse.”
Pulsatilla is listed in bold for its pork aggravation.
Pulsatilla’s digestion can be disordered by butter, coffee, fats, fruit, meat, onions, from overeating and from t
he simplest food.
Pulsatilla is often indicated in the ear aches of children (Chamomilla). The earaches may come on at night or during the twilight hours. They are aggravated by heat, amelioratd by open air, and the child is weepy and wants consolation, and may want to be carried and walked gently about. The ears have the characteristic Pulsatilla discharges: thick, bland, yellow, green, bloody, or purulent. Pulsatilla, Mercurius and Hepar are the main remedies for ruptured eardrum.
Pulsatilla is a well-known women’s hormonal remedy, and is often indicated during pregnancy and labor, menopause and for menstrual disorders where the Pulsatilla characteristics are present. Nervous manifestations can be present with the menses, such as fainting spells, or spells of blindness, and twitching.
Pulsatilla can have headaches associated with the menses. It can have violent headaches and one-sided headaches. Pulsatilla headaches can be ameliorated by cold applications.
Pulsatilla is listed in italics for varicose veins. They can be painful, distended and engorged (Hamamellis). Ulcers surrounded by varicose veins are common in this remedy.
The stomach is the seat of many Pulsatilla disturbances. They can have slow and weak digestion, and can feel worse after eating.
Pulsatilla has an affinity for the eyes, and has catarrhal affections of the eyes. It can form styes about the eyes, and have inflamed eyelids.
Pulsatilla can be a good remedy for hayfever when the Pulsatilla picture is present.
Pulsatilla is often an acute remedy for children who need Silica or Calcarea carbonica constitutionally.
Pulsatilla has catarrhal affections. Pulsatilla colds are often characterized by thick, bland, yellow or green nasal discharges (the ripe cold). Pulsatilla can also have chronic nasal discharges with the above characteristics. They can have stoppage of the nose at night.
Pulsatilla can have acrid discharges wherever there are mucous membranes, such as acrid leucorrhea. The discharges are also thick, yellow, green bloody, purulent and copious.
Pulsatilla Emotional Symptoms:
On the emotional level Pulsatilla children and adults can be shy or timid (Silica, Baryta carb, Lycopodium).
Pulsatilla is known for its weepy disposition, and being easily moved to tears. Their tears can inspire sympathy in others and a desire to console them. The weepiness does not have to be present if other symptoms fit the case.
Pulsatilla can have changeable moods: crying one moment and laughing the next.
Pulsatilla loves consolation, and is affectionate by nature, but they can have difficulty giving consolation or affection to others.
Pulsatilla is one of the big remedies for forsaken feeling, or the feeling of being unloved (Magnesium carbonicum).
Pulsatilla is emotionally sensitive and can have ailments from: shock, grief, in a crowd, disappointment, excitement, fright, grief or sorrow, indignation and jealousy, mortification, the rudeness of others, sexual excesses, and mental work.
Pulsatilla is well-known for its mild and yielding disposition (Silica), and the desire to please. Anger, is however, not a stranger to Pulsatilla. It is listed for anger at trifles, sudden anger, temper tantrums, and they can be indisposed to talk when angry. This side of Pulsatilla is often not mentioned in the materia medicas, so people may overlook this remedy if they see anger in the patient.
Pulsatilla can have a rigid mind set, and be fanatical in their religious beliefs.
Here are some of the other emotional symptoms of Pulsatilla that I found listed in Roger van Zandvoort’s Repertorium Universale:
Affectionate children: kiss and caress
Anguish, Anxiety, Confusion, Restlessness, Sadness – all aggravated from heat, ameliorated walking in the open air, aggravated in bed, or driving them out of bed.
Answers no to all questions, monosyllabic
Anxiety: must loosen clothing and open a window
Anxiety: hypochondriacal, mania to read medical books
Avarice: wants all for himself.
Aversion to everything
Aversion to men
Aversion to certain object
Aversion: persons, to: unaccountable dislikes
Aversion to sex
Aversion to opposite sex
Aversion to women
Aversion to answering.
Blackmail, emotional, says, “you do not love me,” when refused.
Boaster, braggart: squanders through ostentation
Capriciousness in children
Carressed, desire for being.
Carried: desires to be: carressed, and
Change, desire for.
Clinging to mother
Clinging: grasps at others: bystanders
Fears: in the evening at twilight, in a crowd, driving him from place to place, with a desire to escape, before examinations, in a warm room, lifelong fears, overpowering fear with panic attacks, agoraphobia, fear of being alone, fear of animals, fear of the dark, fear of dogs, insects, snakes, fear of apoplexy, fear crossing a bridge, fear of death, fear of delivery, parturition, fear of going to the dentist, fear of being taken by the devil, fear of disaster, impending disease, fear of ghosts, fear of homosexuality, fear of high places, fear of insanity, fear of girls in men, fear of mirrors, fear of people, fear of poverty, fear to lose his lucrative position, claustrophobia, fear of suffocation, fear of trains and closed plaes, fear of boys in women,
Flattery, gives everything when flattered
Harshness, rough; affectionate, yet
Helplessness, feeling of.
Hide, desires to: pregnancy during
House, aggravated in.
Marriage, aversion to
Religious horror of the opposite sex.
Relgious: affections; narrow minded in religious questions
Runs about streets at night in insanity
Servile, obsequious, submissive
There are hundreds of mental and emotional symptoms listed for Pulsatilla besides the ones that I have listed above. Pulsatilla is one of our great polychrest remedies, meaning remedy of many uses. Pulsatilla was introduced into homeopathy by Samuel Hahnemann.
Quotation from James Tyler Kent’s Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica:
I would like to conclude with a quotation from James Tyler Kent’s Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica, which was a source of a lot of the above information:
The Pulsatilla patient is an interesting one, found in any household where there arc plenty of young girls. She is tearful, plethoric, and generally has little credit for being sick from her appearances; yet she is most nervous, fidgety, changeable, easily led and easily persuaded. While she is mild, gentle and tearful, yet she is remarkably irritable, not in the sense of pugnacity, but easily irritated, extremely touchy, always feels slighted or fears she will be slighted; sensible to every social influence. Melancholia, sadness, weeping, despair, religious despair, fanatical; full of notions and whims; imaginative; extremely excitable. She imagines the company of the opposite sex a dangerous thing to cultivate, and that it is dangerous to do certain things well established in society as good for the human race. These imaginations belong to eating as well as thinking. They imagine that milk is not good to drink, so they will not take it. They imagine that certain articles of diet are not good for the human race. Aversion to marriage is a strong symptom. A man takes it into his head that it is an evil thing to have sexual intercourse with his wife and abstains from it. Religious freaks; an especial tendency to dwell on religious notions; fixed ideas concerning the Scripture; he misuses and misapplies the Scriptures to his own detriment; dwells on sanctification until he becomes fanatical and insane; thinks he is in a wonderfully sanctimonious state of mind, or that he has sinned away his day of grace. This goes on until he becomes insane on other subjects, and then the tendency is to sit day after day in a taciturn way. He will not answer questions unless hard pressed, when all he will say is “Yes” or “No,” or he will merely shake his head. Puerperal insanity in a woman who was mild, gentle and tearful, later sad and taciturn, and then she sits in her chair all day answering nothing or merely nodding her head for “Yes” or “No.”
Some Pulsatilla Cases from my Practice
Case 1 Girl with severe cough: The first case is of a girl who was four year old when I first met her in January 2006. She has been my patient to the present (2014). She receives a single dose of Pulsatilla once a year or every other year during allergy season. Her presenting complaint was an endless cough that begin in 2004. The cough led to infections and antibiotics. She took Azmacort inhaler at night for the cough. Her colds would turn into severe coughs that would not go away. The doctors started to claim that she was asthmatic.
She had severe separation anxiety, and would lay on the ground, scream and cry when left at school or with a baby sitter and this went on for months. She would be very clingy to one of her preschool teachers to feel more secure. She was very clingy as a baby.
Her food cravings were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (peanut butter is a Pulsatilla craving) and ice cream.
Her mom says that she cries all the time, especially if she does not get what she wants. Her cry is a woe is me cry. It is an I feel sorry for myself cry.
She is fearful of strangers. she has a fear of going under water. She is very shy. She sucked her thumb and played with her hair since she was a baby.
Rx. Pulsatilla 200C was prescribed for her on 1/2/06, which has kept her in good health.
Case 2 Yound Woman 18 years old with Stomach Cramps, and Weakness while on her Period: This petite young woman complained of stomach cramps and weakness while on her period. She would be totally out of commision when she got her period and miss two days of school every month. She was not sure if this was connected to her diet. “If I gain weight I get sick. Then my weight falls and I also gets sick. It is a cycle. I gain my appetite the week before my period, but when I am on my period I will lose my appetite and won’t want to eat.”
She says her stomach is churning and that is what prevents her from eating. She is afraid to put food in her stomach because she is afraid she is going to vomit.
She gets nauseous the day before her period starts, and she feels like she is going to throw up on the first two days. Sometimes she throws up. “It depends on whether I ate something really heavy that I knew I shouldn’t have eaten. She stays away from dairy products, or foods that are made with dairy products like brownies. “Frosting could upset me.”
She has back aches with her period. She gets headaches at school. The headache is usually dead center between the eyebrows or the temples. Her ankles hurt in the cold weather. She has knee pain. If someone has a cold, she inevitably gets it. She has trouble with her sinuses and it affects the ears as well. She is constipated with her period.
She does not tolerate seafood or pork well. She likes salty snacks. She is thirsty, and drinks lots of juices. She sleeps with the fan on, because, “it is too hot and suffocating without the fan.”
Her mother says that she gets more attention than all of her other children.
Rx. Pulsatilla 200C was prescribed for her on 12/1/12, and she has needed one dose since then. The Pulsatilla helped with all the symptoms around her mestrual cycle, the headaches and digestive symptoms.
Case 3 Woman 46 with Homesickness: Her physcial complaints were extremely painful periods with cramping 3 or 4 days before the actual flow; hearing loss; chronic constipation; insomnia; lumbar pain; and restless legs in bed at night. Emotional symptoms: grief, depression, loneliness and crying a lot after marrying her husband and moving to another state. She also suffers from lack of self-confidence, apathy and anxiety.
Homesickess was her chief complaint. ” I have lost all joy and am terribly homesick…I have left all my friends and professional contacts behind…I miss my parents, my family….I feel fragile at times and I feel ungrounded like I am living a dream and that I am in the world but not of the world…like I am a ghost! There are days when I feel I can have a nervous breakdown without any reason.”
“When I was a little girl I had such terrible separation anxiety. If my parents told me they were going on vacation, I would wake up screaming at night. I was so afraid they wouldn’t come back. Some of that is playing out now. I think that little girl in me has that fear. I think she is still there. The thing with my parents…That anxiety that they wouldn’t come back. I thought it was because I was bad. I am working on forgiving myself. Being so far away, I feel like I have been dropped down at an orphanage. I am waiting for my mom and dad to come and pick me up. If I am good they will come. I don’t know what to do about it. I can only focus on me. I can’t change where I live right now. I can change the inside.”
“I get so claustrophobic. I hate cold and snow. I like to sleep with my arms on top of my covers. I sleep on my back. I cross my hands in front of my chest. I like to have my arms out.”
Rx. Pulsatilla 200C prescribed on 4/27/14. At her follow up appointment eight weeks later her periods had normalized, her depression lifted. She said, “I don’t feel the homesickness like I used to. I don’t feel abandonment by my family anymore. I don’t feel like they have forgotten me anymore.” Her nightmares stopped, the restless legs were gone, her sleep had improved, and her hearing loss had also shown improvement. Two symptoms that she had not mentioned before came to the forefront after the Pulsatilla, pointing the way toward a nosode, which she may need to further her case along.
I know that I have presented a lot of information here. I hope that by posting this article on the World Wide Web, people who need this remedy for their healing will discover it, and that homeopaths will have a better understanding of Pulsatilla nigricans, so that they are inspired to prescribe it to people whose symptoms match the symptoms of the remedy.
In love and service,
Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)
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Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)