THE PSYCHOSMATIC RANGE OF ACTION OF IGNATIA – OBSERVED OVER A LONG PERIOD
Manfred Freiherr von URGERN- STERNBERG
(ZKH. 17, 1/1973)
A lady of about 60 years, spare, friendly, very courteous and cheerful, approached me in 1959, after she had once been helped by my treatment for an abdominal ailment, and said “Every evening if I do not go to bed by 10 o’clock my relations must carry me inside”.
That was her saying about a collapse which came regularly at 23 hrs . which she suffered every evening .
In my Materia Medica under evening agg. Ignatia was found besides others which on the totality of the symptoms appeared to be the suited. I gave her the D200, three globules, with satisfactory result.
In the KENT’s Repertory, under palpitation of heart evening (p.874) Ignatia is not mentioned , and in the two large rubrics Evening (p.1342) and night (p.1342) Ignatia is only in 2nd grade. But at that time 1959, I had no “KENT”. Later I heard that the patient had an incident with her divorced husband whom she frequently saw and whom she had lost to her best friend, and became ill which she did not get over for years.
Three years later I cured with Ignatia D10 a lady with paroxysmal Tachycardia in evening and urina spastica as she had not got over emotionally an incident of rape in 1945. The case was reported in the Liga Congress in Bad Godesberg in detail and Dr VOGT had observed the cure sustained after 10 years. To me the evening appearance at about 23 hours was the reason to enquire further the Ignatia grief and as the disease picture was not sufficient for prescribing the chronic medicine which in this case was Phos.
The Ignatia emotional disturbance, that is the emotional impairment which can be influenced by Ignatia may be mentioned as a mental depression with monosyllabic taciturnity described as after griefs, care, bereavement, chagrin or disappointment. The patient brooded and wanted to be alone. Consolation aggravates. The drug is well-known for the disposition of paradoxical picture, reactions in emotional instability. Well-known is the globushystericus sensation, which easily leads to blocades. It means, that the Ignatia patient weeps easily. In my experience it happens only when forcibly asked about his grief. How often is this sorrow disclaimed first and only then tears come forth. And often this grief is not at all conscious as for example particularly about children.
A man, in mid–forties treated for heart ailments, Tachycardia, and restless-ness with stomach ailments. At the second consultation he revealed his grief about his son who has had a breakdown. He grieved over it and wept as he told the story. Ignatia C6 helped him.
A young, beautiful lady, unmarried, 32 years old, who besides her own responsibilities in her job, cared for her mother suffering from Cancer the whole year, and given Iscador injections till she gently passed away, suffered 6-8 weeks later, with Tachycardia and Discardia with Urina Spastica. The time of occurrence was between 3-4 o’clock morning. She complained of heart interruption, fright, anxiety that she may suddenly be faced with the death of her father . No appetite. She had fear that suddenly she may have to live alone. When I consoled her that she may perhaps get acquainted with a man suitable to her she wept . That she would not at all! Ignatia C200.
As she often got worked up with anger and also dysmennorrhoeal backache and stuck a pillow to her back to relieve it. I prescribed immediately a chronic medicine, Natrum Mur C200, to follow. She came four weeks later once again and was given placebo.
A 60 year old woman with heart trouble and nervous gastric disorders was able to bear the bereavement of a seriously ill friend after a dose of Ignatia C200 and also became free from ailments .
A 19 year old girl-student suffered from nervous heart ailment with continuous Tachycardia of 100-140, for two years consequent upon sudden heart failure of her mother, was cured with Ignatia C200.
Of course every case of grief is not influenced by Ignatia :
A case of 24 year-old lady who suffered a lengthy anamnesis, infected and variable mucous membranes, tonsillitis, adenexitis, kidney stones, gastritis and much excitement with evening aggravations with disposition to collapse and grief due to separation from her husband who was employed in military, was wrongly interpreted. Ignatia helped in the beginning indeed, but four weeks later again collapse. Because of the concomitant ovarian insufficiency, bending double, belching and bitter taste, I gave Pulsatilla and Verat. alb. then a long Viscum prophylaxis because of loss of weight. Only by continuous injections could overall conditions be maintained. A thorough collection of the general symptoms pointed to Silica which in the 200 potency worked very well and quickly and was repeated 6 weeks and 12 weeks later. No further medication was necessary.
The biographic anamnesis reveals the connection with the growth psychology crisis and life history strains. Conflict during the childhood, disturbances and illness during the growth stages, wrong developments in professional and personal careers are clinically relevant in these days as causative factors of disease, when the emotional variability the individual characteristics of the life history and the extreme situation of life do not find place as essential consideration for therapy. The concept of the masked depression will be seen in the foreground and the large consumption of psycho drugs proves really the great incomprehensibility rather than the understanding of the changeableness from psychic to clinical physical symptoms. Restlessness and anxiety furnish clue to homoeopthic medicines. Anxiety and fear - for what! Let us look in the KENT ’s Repertory. Here we find rubrics, which are worth interrogation. The vegetative misdirections have many possibilities of expression which are amenable to Ignatia because of griefs and sorrow. The Ignatia state can manifest itself naturally on other organ systems also other than the heart. For choice of the remedy the symptoms of the drug are the considerations. GAGLIARDI narrates a model case cure of a case of tuberculous cavity of the size of a fist, with Ignatia D30 followed by 3 doses of Natrum mur. D30
A 15 year-old girl, who consulted because of hip dislocation indicated need of Ignatia. During the journey in the car to the clinic she vomited due to the excitement. She complained of restless sleep, and a further exploration revealed troubles because the other children excluded her from their circle.
A ten years old outstanding boy who suffered from difficulties in going to sleep, wrongly handled began to become excited, wept easily in the school, had fits of rage, overaesthetic feelings with vicarious gratification by watching T.V continuously and who threatened to commit suicide – he needed Ignatia. He was jealous of his younger brother, a very talented child. Ignatia C6 worked well. But C200 brought about an uninterrupted improvement and new orientation. The chronic medicine, namely Phosphorous , could then follow.
A lively 2 year old did not sleep despite specialist medication. He woke up regularly at 23 hrs. and cried. He had been in hospital for 6 weeks and since then suffered from the sleep disturbance. The crying was better only in the presence of the parents who characterized the child as self–willed, meticulous, jealous. To me the 6 weeks separation from the parents was the indication for Ignatia, which in C6 I gave and followed by Calc. phos LM6 as constitutional medicine for sweating head and wet pillow. Three weeks after the medicine again crying relapsed for which Ignatia C9 repeated.
Nine year old Martin was relieved of his abdominal pain with Ignatia C6, gaining a new realationship with his teacher.
Jorg, born in 1952, Phosphorous type, suffered from dyspepsia, nervous disorders with sensation of globus which was ameliorated by swallowing solid food strong aversion smoke which accompanied the inability to eat when least excited. Ignatia C200 helped him and soon thereafter there problem was over, he was allowed to leave his school and enter Academy so that he could dedicate to his study of Violin playing. The young man with disposition to paroxymal Tachycardia who could not lie on the left side and who felt unpleasant during thunderstorm could be cured of the nervousness and the nerves strengthened with Phosphorous.
A 58 year old teacher of language complained of a Dumping Syndrome feeling of lump and depression (caused as a result of an existence - crisis, since the son had married and would not go to school) went away through Ignatia C6 and after overcoming the acute phase the chronic medicine followed, which because of the general symptoms such as, disposition to blue spot, agg, by change of weather and thunderstorm, feeling of weakness of heart with compulsion to sit and rest and desire to lie raised up, inability to lie on left side was Phosphorous (C200). The negative stance against her daughter-in–law necessitated later Ignatia which again did well.
Ignatia worked as a life-saver in the mentally retarded Martin T. Because of his debility all the more sensitive, and who belied the often declared point: that Ignatia patients are always far from being pleasant: one who consider him as a quiet person . This little fellow came to me for the first time, about 7 years ago for spasms of Pharynx, choking while eating and some other vegetative symptoms. The cause: after the death of his mother, his laughter was suppressed because his sister who was married and was of a somewhat despotic turn of mind took care of him touchingly;
Ignatia D6 caused him to vomit after his meals whatever was in mouth. The subsequent C6 helped. He came some years later to the hospital, for Pneumonia, and there came again the nervous swallowing and stomach spasms and he could not simply eat anything. After 4 weeks in the Clinic and 3 weeks following Psychiatric treatment he became thin as a skeleton and the family called me in. I have not seen such a total inanition. After Ignatia C6 he was able to take food the same day . To the general exhaustion is associated a heart muscle weakness, for which I was obliged to give Adonis Q + Chinin. ars. C2, and injections of Levico com. (WALA), by which he quickly recovered and after 14 days was in a position to come to the clinic by himself. After some upset he came 3 years later once again for vomiting and pharyngeal spasms, for which again Ignatia C6 helped, and after which I immediately followed with C200 . Until now he has not called again so that the chronic remedy (Natrum mur.) has not been taken .
The essential influence of occurrences of childhood upon character development and the preparedness for neurotic disturbances have been discussed since Siegmund FREUD. If we take the sociological aspect besides: What is surprising is when we observed the so called dual symptoms between two different family members. I can cite some examples, in which Ignatia – reaction between mother and daughter occurred everytime .
A 29 year old beautiful young woman complained weeping over her inability to work, weakness, nausea from stresses to the extent of vomiting and pressure in stomach since the holiday vacation the family took 4 months ago. She is better when alone, weeps much, was very cheerful previously, she has the lump sensation
The depressions were caused by the worry over the behaviour of the scientifically ambitious husband, who after promotion did not any more strive for the Professorship not with bad intention. But he is not considered as a good family man. Since months her sleep is continuously disturbed. The 8 year old son clamours anxiously at nights for the mother, is jealous of the sick little sister. As a result of these continuous restlessness she has rotating vertigo and nausea with evening vomiting. Among others she complained of vertigo by travel and mist before the eyes. She dreamed much and slept better if she did not read anything .
She recovered quickly from Ignatia C6 in daily alternation and next time she brought her 5 year old Beate, a golden child with long tale of woe, which made one think much. In the first year of the life, she was for 7 months ill, out of that 6 months in hospital. Because of the so called constitutional hyperthermia she was treated with anti–biotics. In the fourth year she had measles. Then in June a summer – grippe, on account of which she was in the hospital till December while she reacted continuously from acetonaemic vomiting. Now she was again in the hospital for 2 months with acetonaemic vomiting and Pneumonia. Two days earlier she vomited again. She has anxiety, if the mother goes away and she vomits from anger. I thought about the comment from Karl Anton KASS about the Ignatia action in acetonaemic vomiting and a case of mine which I cured 10 years ago with Ignatia. Here I followed the the Ignatia C6 with a dose of Sulphur D30 and symbiotic control and a prompt reaction came, namely 10 days later Angina in the hypertrophic tonsils and Otitis thrice in two months with later relapse twice at long intervals. The chicken–pox which came in the last winter absolved without a doctor and the acetonaemic vomiting did not recur again .
The mother on the other hand needed again Cocculus and Sepia as well besides Ignatia because she suffered from continuous stress caused by the repeated ailments of the child, and sleepless night. As her own mother suddenly got metastasis of a breast cancer operated an year ago, she came with indications of a decompensatory hypertension (RR 165 /110) and total exhaustion–but repeated Ignatia took care and Iscador injections supported .
Now Beate reacted again with abdomen pains and increased desire for motherly attention – and again Ignatia soothed, and this time I gave a single dose in C200 to the Calcarea child.
Another familiar Ignatia–symptom dual ran as follows :
The 9 year old Doris, had been put in the children’s hospital for every infection, since years, because every time she reacted with acetonaemic vomiting, lastly 14 days before I saw her first . She had anginas, often there was Enuresis nocturna with chronic pyelitis. Ignatia C6 brought a good recovery of the weakened girl with in 3 weeks. From phosphorous 10 days later came out the focus of disease: right pelvis of the kidney . She had fever once 39 and much anxiety, and she had to be again brought to Clinic. And as I arrived she demonstrated the vomiting from my comforting words again. But after some drops of Camphora D3, which I always have in my pocket, the vomiting did not come again. Due to some domestic crisis she had to be given Ignatia 200 once more and now received her chronic remedy Phosphorous C30, in infrequent doses, to cure the Pyelonephritis.
The 44 year old mother had a masked depression to decompensatory Hypertension and heart rhythm disturbances due to latent Diabetes. Her curative medicine was Ignatia and later Phosphorous. The reason: Because of a strong catholic upbringing she had sexual conflict with the thought that by sexual participation she would be committing a grave offence. The husband so repelled sought a girl friend. Although hardly even once a kiss had been exchanged, she became ill because of that, so that the husband despaired into a severe Natrum mur . depression. The result was the 7 years family drama briefly stated here. By the way it was observed that the brother of the girl, older by two years, was cured of his vegetative ailments by Phosphorous alone.
Less dramatic turned out the symptoms – dual between the 11year old Manuela and her 40 years old mother: The girl suffering from infection, and weeping easily received Ignatia in repeated doses and recovered fully. The mother herself came thereafter for treatment for her depression which were not relieved by sedatives. She complained, that the children were legas-thenic and husband was a teacher loaded with correction job and therefore engaged till late evening—she sat always alone. Ignatia C6 helped to bring a positive life adjustment and because of nausea during journeys and a fungus infection of the vagina Cocculus C6 was given to follow for stabilization. The family is happy and sent me new patients continuously.
Ignatia comes into consideration as an Angina tonsillitis medicine. The indications are: the paradox symptoms as for example empty swallowing food, therefore the well-known globus feeling, salivation and eventually irritative cough which gets aggravated the more one coughs.
Such an Angina – patient was the young Hubertus, son of a German diplomat , who had not reached the goal in the studies in Washington and now in a delicate age of 20 years was put in secondary school by a family friend. During weekends before opening of the school he suffered from a rather prolonged angina with relative temperature, it was the Ignatia –state which made him ill, just as HAHNEMANN pictured: Distress following terror, vexation, the displeasure of which brings about grief, or shame. He could however, go to his new school on Monday. (after Ignatia)
Let us consider once the role of the tonsils in the warning focus. For many chronic heart ailments, joint Rheumatism and kidney problems angina is the portal of entry. In 1935 Victor VON WEIZHACKER demonstrated that angina is a consequence of a conflict situation – it is emphasized that this conflict does not in all cases correspond to Ignatia – state – and it is in the daily medical experience that an angina may be found in almost at all times in consequence of inability to come to terms with the outer world. Frequently it happens that it deals with manifestations out of the (subconscious) instinctive living which these flared up metabolic processes arouse.
Let us look at the results of the so-called physical problem: DUNBAR described the imbalanced mental state of the rheumatic as a yearning for the childhood, as a need for moulding oneself and force of form:
He has often smooth, carefree face, with a childish, often angelic expression. Aggressive tendencies are too far for him. He expresses timidity, conciliatory and low self-confidence, strives to please .
For the heart such an acute disease represents a serious strain, be it an angina, a Diptheria, a Scarlet fever–Rheumatism or some other infectious disease. Every time the whole man is called upon and fights according to the organ. Is it a wonder that the classical homoeopathy has since all times dedicated particular consideration and attention to the general and mental symptoms for the choice of the remedy ?
The unsurmounted conflict stands out as the starting points situation of the chronic heart disease. How are the patients with the organic inflammatory or noninflammatory heart disease? They frequently complain only of some exhaustion and incapacities, their troubles often serious heart ailment do household work and do not realize how ill they are. They bear the burden calmly and resignedly. In the functional heart disease it is different. These highly nervous men suffer severely from their heart troubles and anxiety, from its rhythm disturbances and dyscardia. How is it with the conflict?
In the (unpublished) address to the annual meeting of the National union NRW in DZVHA Duisburg in 1965 the psychosomatic situation of patients with different diseases, in whom heart troubles had been experienced as premonitory disease symptoms were depicted by me. In some cases the patients were treated for a whole year for paroxysmal Tachycardia, Stenocardia, Dyscardia, Infarcts and their succession stages. From these repeatedly thoroughly examined cases it was observed that the so-called functional heart troubles or earlier Infarcts as the case may be as precursor of later Carcinomata diseases. The organotropically treated homœopathic therapy could certainly do well every time but the pre-cancerus situation was not recognized at the right time and was not removed by the remedy employed.
Some of these patients could – difficult to prove retrospectively considered – have been Ignatia patients as for example the former highly placed chief of the German Red Cross in Leipzig whom after the war times the post of ‘Sanitätshausvertreter’ made it difficult to adjust. Not until few weeks before his death was found Carcinoma of the stomach.
Or the tragically disposed woman with zest for life, who during the third Reich was not allowed to marry her lover, a half-jew: one year after the heart infarct she got a breast Carcinoma 15 years after the war. These two are examples similar.
I recall my experience in 1965 of the treatment of heart troubles often with an injection of Viscum album because Viscum album is a medicine for fighting three modern problems: Cancer, chronic joint Rheumatism and heart circulatory diseases and certainly I chose Iscador, Iscusin, or n.s.p. and Viscum album potencies as the case may be whether to stimulate the metabolism or whether I wanted to check the functional heart troubles. Depending on the case I carried through a line of so-called pre-cancerous tests like the Carcinoma test, the serum copper and iron values, the electrophores and so on, to control the course and to obtain the guiding criteria. The success were really gratifying. It may be the work of a separate monograph to outline this problem.
Like the brilliant illumination by a lightning I recall an experience of mine, the course of treatment of a breast–amputated 45 year old Carcinoma patient who had been treated much clinically for metastasis.
She was a lively, elegant, sociable lady pampered as a child already, and married to a 12 years older, much successful legal representative who however felt least pleasure at home, associated with much social work and with the greatest pleasure kept himself busy with his 3 cars in the country, while the wife, hungry for life, waited with sadness at the well - laid coffee table. Often she discussed it with me, lamented over her life situation, her unsatisfied love. To replace the trauma, the physical disfigurement of the removal of the breast was involved. I gave her Ignatia C30 repeatedly. After the first time she said spontaneously at the next consultation: “The globule which you recently gave in the evening , it has worked wonderfully. I am quite composed. You have made a new person of me!’’ She emerged through Ignatia, indeed, out of her confident but she herself said, “Now it is too late” and the dissemination of the metastasis could not any more be checked. She does not live any more now.
Another woman 70 years with breast Carcinoma which she supposed to be “all over and forgotten” and which made her tremble while narrating it; adultery of the husband and separation. She felt very well after Ignatia and now received in infrequent doses Natrum mur-C30 in addition to her daily Iscador which she injected herself.
A third Breast Cancer patient, 49 years married, to a man with brain injury, through whose now and then quarrelsome unpredictability which darkened the harmony at home, has an Ignatia–grief in a Natrum mur. constitution and coexistent Ignatia symptom, dual with her 18 year old daughter.
C.B.BAHNSON reported in 1968 in a conference of the New York Academy of Sciences on the introverted neurotic wrong behaviour of his tumour patients, who as a consequence of a lack of capacity to wipe off experiences, had a negative life adjustment. Thoroughly observed patients had a bad, unsatisfying and mechanical relationship to their parents. The Vegetative, the Endocrines, the metabolism and immunological processes were influenced clearly by the psyche. To speak graphically, the unsurmounted, the untransformed problems are carried around and finally physicalised .
A Breast Cancer operated patient, who was well compensated could not get over the disappointment, that her daughter who was living in West Germany did not make the visit for which she had prepared and actually moved thrice, and again postponed. She failed quickly and within few weeks died due to a general metastasis and heart-failure.
L.L. LE SHAN proved statistically, that the loss of life’s essential relationships - a basic disposition of painful insulation, despair and hopelessness leads to outbreak of carcino-matous diseases .
In the Moscow Cancer Congress 1962 these frequent year long conditions occurring first of all in the psychic and later in the organic-functional region, which later become localized precancerous and invasive, growing tumours were pointed out. Gion CONDRA quotes in his book “Psychosomatic treatment of Women” over 40 authors to show the above mentioned mental attitude, where in ROOKITANSKT and VIRCHOW also become noteworthy. Also D. BRUCK admitted of similar view in 1970.
Of course, let us once read Samuel HAHNEMANN’S “Chronic disease” – how modern it appears to us, what we find there! “External influences, strains, and privations do not cause outbreak of Psora which lies concealed and lurking in the background to break forth into significant chronic diseases or aggravate a chronic disease as the case may be, any more than living certain months with complete physical comforts in an unhappy marriage with a gnawing conscience.” The route of a possible psoric disease is determined from the primary physical constitution, a way of life adopted, mental tendency developed by education or a locus minoris resistentiae. To one observing him superficially, he appears healthy throughout the year, until adverse life circumstances gives the shock which the friends, the physician, or even the patient himself could not comprehend how his once good health could go to ruins so quickly. HAHNEMANN quotes many examples how emotional upsets particularly early upsets, bring out the latent Psora and causes weaknesses with medical help also. He writes: “If the patient does not have that much philosophy, religion and mastery over self to bear his fate with patience and calmness, even masterly medical management cannot have success with a chronic patient subjected to such continuous assaults of sorrow and vexation .”
Specially the Breast Cancer. Relapses and metastasis even 23 years after the initial appearance have been observed.
Therefore, we require the medicine for emotional disturbances so as to break the vicious circle arising from wrong mental .
So I treated a 40 year-old women, with Ignatia C6, who complained of globus sensation, agitational Tachycardia, throat pains with am. by swallowing of solids. Since 5 years she has been having a marriage crisis. Her husband was an Insurance representative and was always on the move. The medicine did her good for a long time. Then she again came with new Ignatia- symptoms, agitated, since she had been sent for Mammography by the Gynacologist. After Ignatia C30 she was in top condition for 2 years, then came again with renewed apprehension about her breast. Because of nightly anxiety in heart, a small, mobile, hazel-nut size, tender tumour, I gave beside 20 ml. Phytolacca C2, a single does of Ignatia D200. One year later I met her in the street – cheerful.
The breast pains of a 30 year-old Lycopodium woman, who was treated for Kidney stones after Nephropexie and chronic pyelitis and with interval doses of Berberis C30 and Chelidonium C30 had been encouragingly improved. Her husband who had studied partly out of her earnings as teacher, obtained divorce, after passing his examination. Ignatia D200 helped the sadness over the unreciprocated desires and the mastodynia disappeared.
Let us not forget: There is a whole lot of medicines for grief. In “KENT” (P.50) there are 32 and it does not take into consideration all the rubrics. Lachesis for example suffers very much from grief. I remember two Lachesis women patients with operated Breast Cancer, who indeed had mental predicament, but not a Ignatia emotional disturbance. Lachesis does not incline towards Ignatia .
The chronic medicines, which followed my Ignatia doses, were besides Natrum mur. and Phosphorous, Calcarea, Silicea, Pulsatilla, Lycopodium, Sepia, all these were arrived at by repertorisation and could therefore be given in single doses in high potencies. When we know why we prescribe a medicine, we can give it in higher potency – certainly not from pure clinical indications.
Have you observed the action of a high potency Natrum mur. in a case of Goitre? If we clearly read Georg GRODDECK, the first FREUD’S hypothesis, its full meaning on the domain of organic diseases, that Goiter is not anything other than a fantasied pregnancy (GRODDECK himself suffered from a Struma as a young man, which recovered spontaneously, as the problem became clear to him) – then we lend our ear once to the indication “deprivation of love, silent grief” in Natrum mur., which we have till now perhaps taken uncritically .
The psychosomatic is modern knowledge, but Homœopathy has the medicinal alternative possibility. If the emotional disturbance medicine is clearly indicated, it should go ahead of the chronic medicine – eventually again expounded later – and it arises therefrom, that the choice of the chronic medicine must be according to the classification of the case, the general and characteristic, particularly taking into consideration the mental symptoms, if one wants to cure and not merely palliate with organotropic medicines. Then, the diseases are, as HAHNEMANN has written in the Introduction to his Organon, dynamic derangement of our spirit-like existence in Sensations and Functions, that is to say immaterial discords of our state of health. The means of a complementary therapy, like literature, discussions, instructions, respiratory exercises, therapeutic arts, and others increased the moral power of the sick person and understanding ability in his destiny.