Gelsemium Sempervirens Materia Medica
The featured article this month is about the materia media of Gelsemium sempervirens. The reason I chose this remedy is that it is the remedy that has helped me with COVID long-haul symptoms.
While I was working on this article and studying the mental symptoms, I was struck by what a wide scope this remedy has, and how many people it has the potential to help. If everyone reading this article, could see the picture of one person in the image of this remedy, think of how many people could benefit.
Going down the list of mental symptoms alphabetically, I was surprised to see: shrieking, shouting, children, fever, during. My eight year old grand-daughter came down with a fever, headache, vomiting and ear pain a few days ago. She had similar symptoms when she had COVID a month and a half ago, and was helped with Belladonna 30C at that time. Since these symptoms returned, we decided to repeat Belladonna 30C but a day later she was still not feeling well. After learning about this symptom while studying Gelsemium, I was prompted to test Gelsemium for her and we gave her a 200C as a remedy for this acute illness. She felt much better the next day.
Gelsemium is the remedy that all homeopaths are trained to think of for people who have never been well since a flu. In the modern age you can substitute the word COVID for flu.
I got sick with COVID on January 14th, 2022. I am writing this article on March 1st. The three remedies that helped me through the sickness were:
Dysentery Co – a bowel nosode.
Natrum carbonicum – a constitutional remedy
Morgan Bach – another bowel nosode, which is often indicated for congestive conditions.
What I found with my COVID19 experience is that the remedies I took helped tremendously, yet there was a tendency to relapse. This reminded me of having a fruitfly infestation in the house. You may think you have gotten rid of the infestation, but if there are two fruitflies remaining, it will come back.
At the end of the battle I thought of Gelsemium. I had tested myself earlier on for this remedy, but it did not test well for me in the earlier stages of the illness. I thought of Gelsemium this time with the idea that I have not been well since getting COVID. The symptom that was not clearing was a cough that originated at the base of the throat. This is a target area for Gelsemium. It is also a target area for COVID19.
The other symptom that prompted me to think of Gelsemium was that I experienced ailments from anticipatory anxiety, which is one of the big guiding symptoms to Gelsemium (as well as to Dysentery Co. and Argentum nitricum). The Gelsemium dose helped me globally – I saw improvements in energy, the gut microbiome, creativity, and the lingering cough cleared. It took about ten days for the cough to totally clear.
My feeling about COVID19 is that it creates a comorbidity in some people. This means that side by side with their constitutional state there now exists a new entity that occupies the illness landscape within the person.
If you give the constitutional remedy, it should help with the constitutional (chronic) symptoms, but it may not have an impact on the COVID long haul symptoms. This is where Gelsemium, or another indicated remedy can come in to resolve the illness. I want to stress the words, ” another indicated remedy. ” Gelsemium will work when it is indicated, which means that the symptoms of the patient match the symptom profile of the remedy. When they do not match, the remedy will not be effective. This is why good case taking, repertorization, and materia medica are important.
GELSEMIUM SEMPIRVIRENS MATERIA MEDICA
Gelsemium was the number one genus epidemics remedy for the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. I believe that we should also consider it as a major remedy for COVID19 and for people who have never been well since contracting this illness.
Now I would like to go to the classic materia medicas and piece together a picture of Gelsemium sempervirens for you.
Gelsemium was introduced to homeopathy by E.M. Hale, an American homeopath. The common name for Gelsemium is yellow jasmine. The remedy is made from the tincture of the bark of the root.(Murphy)
The remedy has a massive field of action. I am not going to tell you about all the conditions it addresses, but I am going to tell you how to identify it through its remarkable mental and general symptoms.
Let’s start with the mind symptoms. Here the important symptoms to remember are:
Anticipatory anxiety. It is this symptom which prompted me to take Gelsemium for myself. I had made an appointment to meet a prospective tenant for a commercial building that I manage for my father at 8:30 a.m. My psyche interpreted this as a new situation, an ordeal, an unusual event with an unknown person. The anxiety this produced caused me to have insomnia. It also made me get out of bed and test Gelsemium for myself. This event was a blessing in disguise, because it gave me the information I needed to resolve my COVID symptoms. I interpreted my insomnia to ailments from anticipatory anxiety.
MENTAL SYMPTOMS OF GELSEMIUM SEMPERVIRENS
Searching through the Mind section of the Complete Repertory by Roger Van Zandvoort I found the following additional guiding symptoms. This is not a complete list.
before an exam
before a doctor or dentist appointment
going to a new place
before any new experience
nervous dread of appearing in public
stage fright in speakers and singers
anger and vexation with anxiety, fright and shock
anger with silent grief
bad news, shock and surprises
disappointment or deception
embarrassment, indignation, mortification, humiliation, chagrin, reproaches
fright or fear
grief or sorrow
loss of a child, brooding constantly over this
Clinging children. Child will always take the hand of the parent.
on attempting to has a vacant feeling
studying, reading, while (these were my son’s symptoms)
Confidence, want of self
Confusion, there are lots of symptoms relating to mental confusion.
during fever, muttering, paroxysmal, during sleep, delirium tremens
animals, snakes around her.
about to die.
enlarged, falling, errors of identity, phantoms
he is incorporeal, immaterial
has been poisoned
someone else is sick
that he cannot succeed, does everything wrong
heart stops beating when sitting
body parts lighter than air
Dullness, sluggishness, difficulty thinking and comprehending
of being alone, yet aversion to company
of the dark
fear of failure
in work or business. (Similar to Bryonia, another great remedy for COVID19)
fear of falling (very important guiding symptom).
in children while being carried.
something bad will happen
heart will cease beating
of being injured
of insanity, losing his reason
of motion, downward motion (Borax, Argentum nitricum)
of public places
approach of thunderstorms (Phosphorus, Rhododendron, Rhus tox)
Forsaken feeling (Pulsatilla, Mag carb, Aurum, Argentum nitricum)
during pregnancy and delivery
Indifference, apathy (Phosphoric acid, Sepia)
to his illness
Indolence, aversion to work
Jumping, impulse to from a height o a window
Lack of courage; cowardice
Loathing of life
Looked at, aversion to being
Memory, weakness of
Morose, sulky, cross, fretful, ill-humor, peevish
Prostration of mind, mental exhaustion, brain fag
Sadness, despondency, depression, melancholy, lassitude
Shrieking, screaming, shouting
in children during fever (Aconite, Belladonna, Chamomilla, Cina)
with the pain
Singing alternating with talking
Sits still, silent
Spit, desires to
Spoken to, averse to being
Starting, startled and screaming
Stupefaction, as if intoxicated
Talking, indisposed to, taciturn
from thickness of tongue
rush, flow of thoughts
disconnected, vacant, vanishing, wandering
appearing in public
in persons of sedentary habit, in hot weather
if not constantly talking
Will, weakness of
LET’S USE THIS LIST TO BENEFIT SUFFERING HUMANITY.
GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF GELSEMIUM SEMPERVIRENS
Doing the same thing I did for the mind section, I will go down and pick out the big themes in the generals section. Generals are symptoms that pertain to the whole person and not just a part of the person.
Periodicity (this refers to a pattern of symptoms coming back at certain intervals)
summer, spring, annually (China, Arsenicum, Natrum muriaticum)
Abscesses (Hepar, Silica, Mercurius, Calcarea sulphurica)
Apoplexy (another word for a stroke or cerebral hemorrhage)
Ball sensation internally
Barometer changes aggravate
Bathing, washing, aggravates: hot
Binding up, bandaging ameliorates
Blood: circulation sluggish
Children, complaints in
Chorea (jerky, involuntary movements)
from nervous complaints, during pregnancy, hysterical
tendency to take cold
blood, internal, in bones
Constriction as of a band
infectious diseases after
when eruptions fail to break out (Zinc)
from excitement of mind
head: apoplectic origin
dentition during, in children
BEFORE EPILEPTIC PAROXYSM, AURA; EXTREMITIES FEET AND TOES
epileptic paroxysm, mouth froth foam from
Coordination disturbed, affected.
Dentition, ailments from
Discoloration, blackness of external parts, gangrene (Secale, Arsenicum, Lachesis)
Dryness of usually moist internal parts.
Exertion, physical aggravates
Gait: reeling, staggering, tottering and wavering
Hard bed, sensation of (Arnica)
flushes of (alternating with chills)
lack of vital
becoming heated aggravates
becoming heated while walking in open air aggravates
Heaviness: internal and external (This is a major Gelsemium guiding symptom).
Inflammation: general, internal
Influenza (Eupartorium perfoliatum, Influenzinum, Chelidonium, Arsenicum, Bryonia alba, etc.)
Intoxication, sensation of (Gelsemium is in bold for this).
Knotted sensation internally
Lie down, inclination to
Looking aggravates, straining eyes
half reclined posture
full, waning, decreasing (Silica, Alumina)
aggravates and ameliorates and aversion to
downward motion aggravates (Borax)
Mountain sickness (Coca)
Mucous secretions: burning, thin, watery
Numbness, insensibility (internal, external, whole body)
appearing gradually and disappearing gradually
(The remedy has all manner of pain symptoms.)
Paralysis (This is the symptom that some of the old material medical place great emphasis on).
beginning with fever
from suppressed perspiration
in single parts
Puberty, ailments during
Pulse (There are many symptoms relating to the pulse.)
Reaction, lack of
Riding in cars or wagons ameliorates
Septicemia (blood poisoning)
Shocks, sensations electric-like
Sluggishness of the body
on slight exertion
Weakness, enervating, exhaustion, prostration, infirmity
(There are many symptoms relating to this. This is a good remedy for chronic fatigue).
sudden from fight
with infirmity of muscles
PARTICULAR SYMPTOMS THAT STAND OUT. These are symptoms that relate to parts of the body rather than the whole. I am only going to mention one area of the body, the eyes, because much emphasis has been placed on these symptoms in the material medicas. This article would be excessively long if I were to mention all areas of the body and the particular symptoms relating to them.
EYES Gelsemium has many important symptoms relating to the eyes.
Ptosis, or falling of the lids
Heaviness of the eyes
Opening the eyes with difficulty.
Has to use his fingers to raise the lids
Paralysis of the optic nerve.
In a crisis situation, it is not always possible to find a homeopath who is seeing clients and is available to see you or your family members, so learning a little bit about some of the wonderful acute and trauma remedies in homeopathy can save a life and save the day.
The history of homeopathy is that in the 1800s, many people in rural America had homeopathic kits and a little material media with a repertory, such as Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book, or Boericke’s Materia Medica with Repertory that they referred to. That is how the pioneer housewife and country doctor often kept their families and communities healthy. We can do the same nowadays. We can order remedies on Amazon or from reputable pharmacies, like Boiron, Hahnemann Labs, Washington Homeopathics, and www.HomeopathicRemediesOnline.com. We can buy materia medicas and repertories from booksellers like Homeopathic Educational Services and we can help our families the way the pioneer wives and doctors helped theirs.
Let’s keep this exquisite system of medicine alive and vibrant by studying it, and applying what you learn to the sick. It has now been forty years since I received Kent’s Repertory in the mail and was shocked by its complexity, but I was determined to learn it, because I needed healing, and there were sick people around me who needed healing and it was my destiny to be of service in this way.
During this forty years my passion for this therapeutic art has grown daily. My love for it is boundless. The reason for this is that it works. Very very simple. It works. I have to add a caveat: It works when the homeopathic principals taught to us by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy are properly applied.
On a final note, I want to thank all the compilers of homeopathic materia medicas and repertories. Working on this Gelsemium article took a lot of time and energy. I have to acknowledge the energy and dedication of people who compile all this information about thousands of remedies in tremendous detail, manage to get it published, and put into our books and software. Thank you for your immense service to Homeopathy and the people on our planet.
I want to give a special thank you to Dr. Robin Murphy, who passed away in 2021 for his lifetime of service to homeopathy, and for the materia medicas and reportories that he wrote.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)
Boericke, W., Materia Medica with Repertory, Boericke & Bunyon 1927.
Murphy, R. N.D., Nature’s Materia Medica, Lotus Health Institute, Virgina 2020.
Petrucci, Roberto, Children Homeopathic Materia Medica with Repertorial Symptoms, B. Jain Archibel, Belgium, 2007.
Tyler, M.L. , Homeopathic Drug Pictures, The C.W. Daniel Company, England 1985.
Vermeulen, F, Synoptic Materia Medica, Merlijn Publishers, 1992.
Van Zandvoort, R., Complete Repertory, 2020 (My information came from within Synergy Homeopathic Software).