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Arsenicum album: An Holistic Look

If you read the last post, you may have wondered at my description of arsenic poisoning and its similarity to some cases of the flu. Rather than just
giving the physical symptoms you would suffer if you ate arsenic, I also talked about how you would feel (scared to death), about what types of pain
you would experience (burning) and what time of the day you'd feel worst (after midnight).
These are the types of detail that holistic practitioners seek out. Not just the objective, verifiable physical symptoms (thirst, blackened vomit, diarrhea,
fever with sweaty chills, weakness), but also the person's subjective and mental experience of the illness (fear, restlessness, burning pains) and general
symptoms that effect the entire person (unquenchable thirst, aggravation at 2 a.m.). Having this level and variety of detail assures that the homeopath
will give Arsenicum album rather than one of the dozens of chilly, sweaty flu remedies with vomiting and diarrhea.

Arsenic trioxide, photo from

Wikimedia Commons.

Even though many homeopathic remedies may have these physical symptoms, the remedy that works will be the one that matches the sick person as
closely as possible, including that person's mental and general state.
A side note for those not used to hearing a homeopath talk about remedies: When I say a remedy "has" a certain symptom, I mean that remedy given
often enough would cause that symptom in a healthy person. Hence, it would also remove that symptom from a sick person if given in a homeopathic
dose. We often speak of remedies and people as if they are one, and this is because we are always looking for the remedy most similar to the person.
From a symptom perspective, therefore, the remedy and the patient look a lot alike.
So, what does a person look like who needs homeopathic arsenic trioxide? The picture of arsenic poisoning above is a good representation of an acute
complaint that needs Arsenicum album. We think of fevers with chilliness, often with sweating, shivering and a desire to wrap up, difficulty breathing,
burning pains, blackened or green discharges, constant thirst for cold water in small sips, headaches worse from covering the head (so that the body
may be wrapped, but the person sits by the open window with her head uncovered), vomiting with diarrhea, sudden overwhelming weakness, mental
and physical restlessness, an acute fear of death and a general aggravation of symptoms after midnight. The two most peculiar physical keynotes for
Arsenicum album are burning pains that are better from heat and an extreme feeling of weakness with a desire to move around, which of course
aggravates the weakness.
These symptoms may show up very strongly in an acute complaint like the flu. But we also see these symptoms in a milder form in chronic ailments,
and that's where the mental and emotional character of the remedy shines forth.
My instructor at the Caduceus Institute described the Arsenicum album personality as a thoroughbred racehorse. We usually think of "Arsenicums" as
being intelligent and high-performing and fastidious. They are good at what they do, but they are finicky and delicate and become worn out by their
high level of performance. They are very confident of their intellectual capacities and will often seek out a doctor who agrees with all the diagnoses they
have already decided upon.
But their neat and competent exterior covers an underlying insecurity. They feel very deeply alone and are afraid of being alone. This aloneness stems
not, as in some other remedies, from a feeling of being forsaken by others, but from a mistrust of others. They feel as if the world and the people
around them are terrifyingly chaotic. They respond to this unpleasant feeling by keeping their environment carefully ordered. They tend to keep a very
clean house and be phobic about germs and unhealthy foods. They are very careful not to scare people away with their appearance or their hygiene.
This state can extend to suspiciousness and obsessive-compulsive behavior. They often feel they do not have enough food or enough money and can be
very possessive of things.
Those needing Arsenicum album are often afraid of being poisoned by others, of contracting a fatal disease, of impending death and of beingalone. Not
surprisingly, their dreams are full of cares and fears, fire and darkness. Like other acid remedies (oxides produce acid when dissolved in water), they
also have dreams of dead people.
The general symptoms of Arsenicum album include a desire for sour foods and ice water in small sips, general symptom aggravation around 1 a.m., an
aversion to meat and fats, and bad reactions to fruit, ice cream and foods that have gone bad. It's the number one remedy for food poisoning. Also,
people who need Arsenicum often display a lot of right-side-only symptoms.
Jan Scholten, a Dutch homeopath who has worked his way through the periodic table describing the existential feelings behind each element, describes
Arsenicum as a person who feels her career is about to end and is afraid of being discarded by society, left a beggar on the street, alone and at the
mercy of robbers. Only by being very precise and perfect can she prevent this happening, keep her job and her livelihood, and continue to earn respect
and money.
Another prominent homeopath, Rajan Sankaran of Mumbai, emphasizes the conflict in Arsenicum between the fear of people and the desire not to be
alone. If one truly does not trust others, then being alone is to make oneself at the same time safer (from potential robbers) and more vulnerable
(because you have no one to protect you). There is no way to resolve this state until the underlying insecurity and mistrust have been removed.
Cue homeopathic Arsenicum album! This is what a homeopathic remedy does in a constitutional, or chronic, case. Over time, it reveals to the person
these core feelings that were keeping him ill-at-ease and unhealthy. The remedy relieves in this way the constant anxiety and fear that increase his
suffering. When these are removed, we see the person's physical complaints whither away and his life potential blossom. Healthy Arsenicums make
great musicians, accountants, surgeons -- any profession where precision makes for good performance.
Quotes from Adrian Monk of the tv show, Monk, played by the wonderful Tony Shaloub (transcriptions from Wikiquote):
"Unless I'm wrong ..., which, you know, I'm not."
"Yes... he's scared of stuff. Stuff... and things."
"Snakes trump heights. It goes: germs, needles, milk, death, snakes, mushrooms, heights, crowds, elevators..."
"I can't sleep with a crooked shelf in the room."

Finally, the theme song of Monk, sung by Randy Newman:

It's a jungle out there
Disorder and confusion everywhere
No one seems to care
Well I do
Hey, who's in charge here?

It's a jungle out there

Poison in the very air we breathe
Do you know what's in the water that you drink?
Well I do, and it's amazing
People think I'm crazy, 'cause I worry all the time
If you paid attention, you'd be worried too
You better pay attention
Or this world we love so much might just kill you
I could be wrong now, but I don't think so
It's a jungle out there

Arsenicum Album, angustia e inseguridad

La persona Arsenicum Album cuando est equilibrada es precisa y meticulosa, ahorradora, puntual y planificada, escrupulosa en la realizacin de su trabajo y responsable, exigentes con
su moral y su presencia, respetuosas con las reglas establecidas, inteligentes y sagaces.


En Homeopata este remedio suele corresponder a personas con gran inseguridad, con ansiedad continuapor la salud y por s mismo. Se muestran inquietas a pesar de su apariencia
delicada.Tristeza y sensacin de que la muerte les acecha sin remedio.

Tiene la percepcin de ser vulnerable y estar indefenso, lo que le lleva a desear lo que los dems poseen. Puede ser egosta y posesivo con las personas de su entorno.

Obsesionado con los hbitos de limpieza y orden.

Normalmente estos pacientes visten de color negro.

Arsenicum Album presenta un sntoma sngular: no quiere que se le hable, pero se defiende si se leexpulsa de la habitacin.


- Dolores de cabeza peridicos, cada 7 o 14 das, congestivo y pulstil, con sensacin de embotamiento, que empeora con el calor y mejora con el aire fresco.

- Otitis supurantes o tras la vacunacin.

- Fiebre del heno o resfriado con estornudos que se inician con cualquier cambio de tiempo. Mucosidad acuosa muy irritante que afecta a la nariz y labio superior.

- Asma que obliga a permanecer sentado, con dolor punzante en la parte derecha del pecho.

- Adecuado para intoxicaciones alimenticias, con vmito y diarrea, as como dolor de estmago y gastroenteritis. Tambin estreimiento.

Nuseas ante el olor o visin de la comida.

- Estados de ansiedad y depresin.

- Agotamiento, cansancio extremo.

- Insomnio motivado por angustias, con mucha inquietud.

- Miedo a la muerte, a las enfermedades, a la pobreza, a estar solo.

- Enfermedades de la piel crnicas: eccemas secos, piel con escamas, zonas inflamadas con fuertepicor y sensacin ardiente que, no obstante, mejora con el calor, fornculos, infecciones
cutneas, vitligo, etc. Sabaones.

- Psoriasis en el escroto y/o en las piernas.

- Dermatitis atpica, eczemas.

- Cistitis con dolores ardientes.

- Indicado para picaduras de insectos y de medusas con escozor, dolor, picor y zona caliente que se alivia con aplicaciones calientes .


- Existe una alternancia entre distintos sntomas, de forma peridica.

- Pacientes extremadamente frioleros, con las manos heladas y escalofros con tiritonas.

- Empeoran con el aire frio, pero lo desean en la cabeza y la cara.

- Agravacin a medianoche y al medioda.

- Reaccin psicolgica exagerada ante cualquier sntoma.

Arsenicum Album es un remedio de accin muy profunda que debera ser prescrito por un homepata.

Arsenicum Album es un policresto y, siempre que coincida con el cuadro del paciente (tipologa, sntomas y caractersticas) puede curar muchas otras dolencias.

Nio Arsenicum alb

El Dr. D.M. Borland en su libro Tipos de Nios, describe de forma grfica y precisa, 30 tipologas distintas de nios y nias, 30 comportamientos y formas de ser, correspondientes a 30
remedios homeopticos, con sus sntomas y caractersticas.

A continuacin te mostramos un resumen del Nio Tipo Arsenicum Album:

- Son nios demasiado tensos, nerviosos, de constitucin bella con cabello y piel bonitos.

- Frioleros, les gusta que les tapen si bien quieren mantenerla cabeza fresca,especialmente en los casos que presentandolor de cabeza congestivo.

- Sudor fro y pegajoso.

- Muy temerosos, sienten miedo ante cualquier cosa fuera de lo normal, a la oscuridad, a estar slos, asalir a la calle solos.

- Su imaginacin es muy vvida.

- Tienen terrores nocturnos.

- Son nios que quieren ser consolados, tener alguien alrededor de ellos.

- Despus de realizar una actividad manifiestan un repentino agotamiento, se ponen plidos, quieren estar acostados sintindose enfermos y atemorizados.

- Son nios pulcros, no les gusta el desorden, el cual los tensiona de forma totalmente desproporcionada.

- Muy propensos a coger resfriados. Normalmente comienza en forma coriza, estornudos, con secrecin nasal acuosa y ardorosa, con tendencia a desarrollar rpidamente bronquitis,
frecuentemente con ronquera entre el episodio de resfriado y los sntomas respiratorios.

- Presenta una espectoracin espumosa y blanquecina.

- De modo repentino, presentan un cuadro asmtico, ante el cual estn aterrorizados.

- Acontece la crisis bien a entre las 1 y las 3 de la tarde o bien en la madrugada a cualquier hora.

- Son nios muy sensibles al fro, el cual les lleva a padecer trastornos respiratorios o gstricos.

- Sufren malestar gstrico despus de coger fro o bien tras la toma de frutas o helados. Los dolores se alivian con el calor y por ese motivo prefieren tomar bebidas calientes.

- Pueden sufrir ataques de diarrea de aparicin repentina, llegando en pocas horas al colapso (paralizacin absoluta de la actividad). El nio est inquieto y se queda agotado despus de
cada deposicin. Tiene aspecto grisceo, est fro y sudoroso. En estos casos, el beb solamente puede estar moviendo la cabeza hacia delante y hacia detrs.

- Hiperestesia, son sensibles a los olores, al ruido, al contacto o a la excitacin: los olores les producen malestar, el ruido les pone nerviosos, y la excitacin les ocasiona pesadillas

- Son nios que si se les presiona en el colegio desarrollan dolores de cabeza de carcter peridico cada 7 o 14 das, con una duracin de uno o dos das , sintindose
completamente postrados; son dolores de cabeza de tipo congestivo que se empeoran con el ruido, la luz o al molestarles, y a pesar de ello se alivian con el aire fro o la aplicacin de un
pao fro.