Just Scratching an Itch

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Our emerald green, leaf sitting friend above is known for Homeopathic purposes as Cantharis vesicatoria (commonly known as the source of Spanish fly). He has a rather intersting past, as you may have heard.

Used from Hippocrates until the present to raise blisters, for stink bombs in ancient China and of course to “encourage mating” in livestock.

Boericke says, “This powerful drug produces a furious disturbance in the animal economy, attacking the urinary and sexual organs especially, perverting their function, and setting up violent inflammations, and causing a frenzied delirium resembling hydrophobia.”

It sets up a violent inflammatory state with a crazy itch in the genitals that just begs for a scratch. At the same time it excites the sexual desire and voila - the encouragement to animal husbandry.

Hering puts it this way. “Pruritus: with strong sexual desire”.

A wide understanding of this symptom lead the Marquis de Sade to do a kind of involuntary proving(?) with prostitutes at an orgy. He freely distributed pastilles containing a rather unhealthy dose of Cantharis. Underestimating the toxicity of our green bug, one of the ladies violently died and our good Marquis was charged with murder.

Now to our patient!

Hannah is a lovely, intelligent lady in her mid thirties and not at all green. Despite this she did, in the course of treatment develop an abcessed tooth and became the proud owner of a brand new root canal.

As occasionally happens she developed a post surgical infection and was then blessed with antibiotics.

Her tradition in dealing with these meds is to develop a resounding vaginal discharge. It gets to be persistent and very uncomfortable (lots of past history).

“There is a burning inside and an itch on the outside. The discharge is pasty white/cloudy.”

I repeated her words back to her using a mirroring intonation and tagging the statement with “..and is there anything else about that experience when it’s just like that?”

Questioning in a skillfull way is vital in drawing out the full experience of illness.

Homeopathy is the medicine of experience - the altered experience of life that illness actually is. Hahnemann says that vitality confers “feeling (sensation/emotion) and function” to the organism. Disease symptoms ultimately express themselves as altered (experience) feeling and function.

The goal of a well taken case is to characterize that altered experience to a depth of expression which clearly identifies the proving of the needed medicine - the language of nature.

OK enough philosophy.

Hannah just spontaneously looked down and then back up at me after a slight hesitation and said, “I would love to have intercourse just because of that itch inside.”

This was a recurrent problem I had unsuccesfully prescribed for in the past but somehow this statement hit my thick head creating a thud that managed to jar a memory of Cantharis.

My critical mind woke from a long stupor saying NO Cantharis is for UTI’s and not this. However Boenninghausen tells us that a genius symptom of a remedy can recur across tissues and complaints.

This needs a bit of looking into.

Allen says “Burning in the vagina, with a thick, white discharge.”

All this based on the declaration of the patient in terms of the most emphatic changes in her life experience regarding this trouble.

Cantharis 200 2pellets and a repeat in 2 days if no marked improvement.

The trouble vanished within a few days. To quote the patient “It worked like a charm”. I could have added that it was a little green charm.

These days most of us Naturopaths are seeking out “protocols” and “evidence based medicine” (for more protocols). We want substantiation of our prescription in “science”.

What could be more scientific than this? What could point more precisely to the needed medicine in view of the “Law of Similars” ? This symptom has been known as peculiar to this remedy since antiquity.

After all it worked for the Marquis!