“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents– except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets, rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” This is the opener in the 1830 novel “Paul Clifford” by Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (25 May 1803 – 18 January 1873), an English politician, poet, playwright, and novelist.
The weather does affect our health- some get emotional symptoms, e.g. SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. Many get a lot of physical symptoms including flu-like symptoms or just colds and breathlessness.
Let us look at the four different seasons that people in different parts of the world are exposed to and how it can affect the health. We shall also see how homeopathy helps to regain the state of health.
The new year also is the time when it is winter in all the countries in the northern hemisphere. In most parts of the world, there is a dry and cold wind blowing across the land, bringing with it a lot of health problems. When the colds and fever are as a result of dry and cold winds a number of homeopathic remedies come into use. (We suspect Santa Claus must be carrying a set of homeopathic remedies to deal with the cold drafts and the attending colds since he always seems to be in fine mettle.)
Aconite is for the sudden and violent onset of a cold or fever that begins very soon after the exposure. When given at this time, it will abort the cold. If there is a fever the skin is dry and hot, the face is red, or pale and red alternately, there is a burning thirst for large quantities of cold water and an intense nervous restlessness.The symptoms become intolerable towards evening and on going to sleep.
Hepar sulph is indicated when some time has elapsed between the exposure to the dry, cold winds and the onset of the symptoms. The person is extremely sensitive to cold air; imagines he can feel the air if a door is opened in the next room; must be wrapped up to the face even in hot weather. He cannot bear to be uncovered and takes cold from slightest exposure to fresh air. There is a cough when any part of the body is uncovered. It is croupy, choking, strangling- a deep, rough, barking cough, with hoarseness and rattling of mucus. The tonsils can be inlamed with a sensation of a splinter, fish bone or plug in the throat.
Causticum has a cough with rawness and soreness in chest, with inability to expectorate- the sputa must be swallowed. The cough and irritation in the throat are relieved by swallowing cold water and on expiration (breathing out). They develop a hoarseness with rawness, and a loss of voice in the morning.
The next season that many dread is Spring. The flowers start blooming and it is the season of allergies.
Allium cepa stands out for spring catarrh. There is an acute inflammation of the respiratory mucous membranes, with increased secretions. The eyes are burning, biting, smarting as from smoke and they must rub them. The eyes appear watery and suffused; capillaries are enlarged and red and there is excessive lachrymation. There is a profuse, watery and acrid nasal discharge, with profuse, bland lachrymation. The acrid, watery discharge drops from the tip of nose.
Summer follows Spring and the heat brings with it it’s own set of woes.
Bryonia is for complaints when warm weather sets in after cold days; from cold drinks or ice in hot weather; after taking cold or getting hot in summer; from chilling when overheated. The cough is dry, spasmodic, with gagging and vomiting with stitches in the side of the chest. There is a headache as if it would fly to pieces. There is a thirst for large quantities of cold water at long intervals. They are usually constipated with no desire to pass stools; the stool is large, hard, dark, dry, as if burnt. However a diarrhoea is also common during a spell of hot weather. All complaints of Bryonia are aggravated from any motion, and relieved from absolute rest, either mental or physical.
Podophyllum is also very important for summer diarrheas. Diarrhoea starts early in the morning, continues through forenoon and is followed by a natural stool in evening. It is accompanied by a sensation of weakness or sinking in abdomen or rectum. The stool is green, watery, foetid, profuse; gushing out with a yellow meal- like sediment. There could be a prolapse of the rectum before or with stool.
Natrum carb is indicated for great debility caused by the heat of summer. It is very useful for the chronic effects of sunstroke, and they suffer from headaches with the return of hot weather. The head feels too large, as if it would burst. They are also prone to attacks of anxiety and restlessness during a thunder storm.
In many regions, especially the tropics, Summer is followed by the rainy season (sometimes called the monsoons).
Rhus toxicodendron is for the bad effects of getting wet, especially after being over-heated. This remedy is useful when the musculo-skeletal system bears the brunt of the damp weather. They have pains as if sprained; as if a muscle or tendon was torn from its attachment; as if bones were scraped with a knife. The symptoms are worse after midnight and in wet, rainy weather. The affected parts are sore to touch. There is lameness, stiffness and pain on first moving after rest, or on getting up in the morning. This is relieved by walking or continued motion. Hence they appear restless and cannot stay long in one position. They may also complain of pain and stiffness in the small of the back which is worse sitting or lying and better by motion or lying on something hard.
Rhododendron is useful in persons who are worse in a thunderstorm. They are nervous persons who dread a storm and are particularly afraid of thunder. Acute inflammatory swelling of joints, wandering from one joint to another; severe at night; worse from rest and during rough stormy weather. The rheumatic drawing, tearing pains in all the limbs are also worse at rest and in wet, cold windy weather.
Dulcamara is indicated when symptoms are brought on or aggravated by exposure to cold, damp, rainy weather, or sudden changes in hot weather. There is a complete stoppage of nose. It stuffs up when there is a cold rain. Thick, yellow mucus or bloody crusts may be seen in the nose. Profuse coryza. Wants nose kept warm, least cold air stops the nose. They may also develop a diarrhea from taking cold in damp places, or during damp, foggy weather or change from warm to cold weather.
Natrum sulph is a remedy for ailments which are worse from or which depend upon dampness of weather. Breathlessness with a desire to take a deep breath during damp, cloudy weather. Humid asthma in children; with every change to wet weather; with every fresh cold; always worse in damp, rainy weather. The sputum is greenish and copious. They may even develop a pneumonia involving the lower lobe of the left lung. Then they will complain of great soreness of the chest. While coughing, he has to sit up in bed and hold the chest with both hands.
Autumn or fall is the time when the days are hot and the nights are cold.
Colchicum is the remedy for the “autumnal dysentery”. The discharges from the bowels contain white shreddy particles in large quantities; white mucus like “scrapings of intestines”. Arthritic pains in joints. The affected parts are very sensitive to contact and motion and the patient screams with pain on touching a joint or stubbing a toe. Pains are drawing, tearing, pressing; light or superficial during warm weather but affect the bones and deeper tissues, when the air is cold.
Rhus tox and Bryonia are two other remedies that might be used with good results for complaints that appear in fall.
Note: A detailed history followed by constitutional treatment by a good and qualified and the best homeopathic doctor is necessary to treat the complaints that appear. It is not advisable to resort to self-medication for any disease. The above mentioned remedies are mentioned solely to create awareness homeopathic medicines in dealing with disease conditions.