There is no shortage of books and movies about betrayal. These are the plots that make us gasp out loud at the audacity of the baddies or weep for the wrong that has been done to someone. The Fugitive, Oppenheimer, The Beach (the book was much better), Au Revoir les Enfants, The Kite Runner, Julius Caesar (and many other Shakespeare plays)… spy movies and gangster movies all seem to have some level of betrayal in them. Heck, probably most popular fiction and movies portray disloyalty, backstabbing, treachery, treason and unfaithfulness.
There is a reason why betrayals make for great novels and movie plots and that’s because we have all experienced it at some point in time and we can all empathize with what we’re seeing/reading.
In a movie or book, sometimes we can see it coming. In real life… Boom! We never see it coming; even if we saw it coming in hindsight, we never see it before it’s there.
Betrayals are sometimes big and clear cut, like an extramarital affair and sometimes they are little, like promises broken to a child. Even if it seems like “nothing” from the outside, it can sit heavily on the one who feels they were betrayed. It's not unusual to carry that heavy weight along with them for years.
How can homeopathy help? Well, let’s look at the results for someone who feels betrayed.
Children may display their effects through anxiety, depression, anger, nightmares or even physical pain like stomach aches.
Betrayed adults may suffer from intrusive thoughts or anger or sadness, even deep depression, and, adults, too, may find their feelings translated into physical symptoms like stomach pain or insomnia.
The long and the short of it is, however, these effects can stick around for a long time and homeopathy can help clear out this unpleasantness. (Since the reaction to a betrayal is so individual, I highly suggest working with a professional homeopath so your specific symptoms can be addressed properly.)
Nat mur comes to mind because ultimately what is often experienced after such an experience is sadness. I’ve written a few times about Nat mur and sadness: Happy Pills, Musical Resonance, The Big Goodbye.
Pulsatilla is another remedy that sounds about right. Pulsatilla is known for feeling forsaken and being betrayed certainly falls under the definition of forsaken: to be or feel abandoned.
Calvin Knerr’s Repertory of Hering’s Guiding Symptoms lists: "as if slapped in the face." That sounds about right, too. Pulsatilla is the only remedy listed in that rubric.
Ailments from being alone. Exaggerated anxiety with palpitations or anxiety felt in the stomach. Depression and apathy. Beside oneself. Desires to be carried or caressed. Clinging behavior. A strong need for company and if that company offers consolation, they find that very helpful. (This desire for consolation and company is the opposite to Nat mur, fyi.) Crying makes them feel better and they may feel like crying all the time. Loneliness. Feelings of mourning.
Ailments from being deceived and feeling dejected.
Ailments from disappointments.
Ailments from grief.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross talks about the five stages of grief, DABDA: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Pulsatilla is a bold-type remedy for bargaining.
The betrayal doesn’t have to be fresh. Homeopathic remedies can help clear out old icky feelings, too.
Life is too short to stay focused on the bad. Try homeopathy and see if it can help you re-focus on the good.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
“Do you have anything to help with my love life?” “What do you have in the way of ‘happy pills?’” “Do you have something for…” Fill in the blank. Not uncommon questions to a homeopath as people are looking for a quick fix for what ails them.
The short answer is “sort of.” If someone is looking for a quick fix there are some possible quick answers that don’t involve working with a homeopath (though I highly recommend doing just that). I’ll get to those in a minute.
The longer, more complete answer is homeopathy addresses the whole person and therefore it can help with these bigger issues which are asked about in a throw away question… like happiness.
Happiness. Joy. Joie de vivre. Such a hugely important thing.
Interestingly, some people looking for a quick fix for happiness may not have even considered that they are actually sad. To them, they are just "not happy." But, that's how homeopathy would look at it. A lack of happiness/sadness can stem from a vast variety of reasons… Illness. Anxiety. Chronic pain. Fear. Problems at home. Problems at work. Stress. Poor sleep. Broken heart. The list is practically endless.
One of my favorite aspects of homeopathic remedies is when a remedy hits home, the emotions, the mood, is one of the first things to be affected. This is particularly apparent in an acute situation.
What do I mean by that?
So many times have I heard from clients that when they have given the appropriate acute homeopathic remedy to their unwell loved one that shortly thereafter the loved one still has the symptoms of illness, but they are now cheerier. When you see this change occurring, know that the physical symptoms will most likely follow behind pretty quickly.
What does this look like?
Children are still coughing and sneezing, but they are off the couch and now playing. The adult is still complaining of a stomach ache but they are now able to read a book or watch TV and engage with the world again.
Where would I begin to help someone on a generic level who has lost their joy? With this question, I am attempting to answer generically, meaning, without hearing the details of their symptoms. A practical homeopathic solution to sadness, if you will.
I would begin with some well chosen Bach Flowers. A few Bachs to consider:
Mustard can help with gloom. (I have previously written about Mustard’s marvelous effects HERE.
Honeysuckle can help the person see the happiness in today, rather than thinking the good old days held the secret to their happiness.
Conversely, if the person is dreaming of the happiness that might one day be, Clematis may be a better fit.
Wild Rose can help to reignite a passion for life for those who have become apathetic and resigned.
There are other Bach Flowers which may be more suited to your situation. If you are interested in a Bach-only consultation, click HERE.
Are there homeopathic remedies that are able to address a lack of joy?
There are indeed!
Robin Murphy lists 457 remedies in his rubric for sadness*!
In his rubric for acute sadness, he lists only 3 remedies… One of which makes complete sense to me.
Natrum muriaticum. (For previous articles on Nat Mur: The Big Goodbye; Springing Forward; Dehydration; Balance; Salty Lips.)
Homeopathic Nat mur is made from salt. What else is made of salt? Tears are made of salt, making this an easy remedy to remember to address sadness.
There are many different kinds of sadness — something I never really thought about until I started studying homeopathy. To me, back then, someone was either happy or sad. (That’s such an unbelievably strange way of thinking to me now!)
What kinds of sadness are addressed by Nat mur?
Of course with all things homeopathy, the best way to choose a remedy is based on the compilation of a person’s symptoms. Though Nat mur may be a good place to start, a better fitting remedy may be found in one of those other 457 remedies.
This life we have been given is short. If you are having a hard time finding joy, give homeopathy a try.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* Murphy, R., n.d. Repertory, version 3. Accessed through Radar Opus software.
Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash
The world of homeopathy suffered an enormous, irreplaceable loss this week.
If you have read any of my articles before, then you have unwittingly met Dr. Robin Murphy. I cite him regularly. Dr. Murphy is the man who translated all of the old homeopathy books into every day words and meanings. He brought clarity to all of us homeopaths in explaining the nuances of this artful, intricate science.
I have listened to countless hours of his old lectures. My notes are copious as he so clearly said what needed to be understood. I never met Dr. Murphy nor spoken to him directly, but he did answer one of my questions in his forum (and that one short answer of his gave more clarity and depth to not just the remedy in question, but to homeopathy in general). The bookshelf where I work is lined with 10 sticky notes, 9 of them with Dr. Murphy's words to keep me on track with what is important in taking a homeopathic case.
This fall I enrolled in a year-long class with Dr. Murphy. The 3 live classes we had were fantastic and left me wanting much more. Alas. The classes were temporarily cancelled a couple of weeks ago when he became ill, to give him the time he needed to recover. Last I heard, on Sunday, he was recovering slowly but surely and by Wednesday night the homeopathic chats were filled with the sad news.
Lots of things come to mind for me with the passing of Dr. Murphy. These same sorts of thoughts popped up last year (when another world-renowned homeopath) Dr. Pratip Banerji died. I'm sure I wasn't the only homeopath who thought, “why didn’t they…?” I’m sure they did. As Dr. Banerji’s father Prasanta Banerji is known to have said, (and, I paraphrase), “Homeopathy can cure all conditions, but homeopathy can’t cure all conditions in all people.”
When I pulled Dr. Murphy’s book off the shelf for guidance for this article on grief, it magically opened to Ignatia. The book knew exactly where I wanted to go. Unlike most of the rest of the book, Ignatia is not all highlighted and marked up. I hadn’t tackled Ignatia from Dr. Murphy’s point of view yet. I have written about Ignatia before (PTSD, Homeopathy can make a heavy world lighter, Accidents, and Dystopia). Ignatia is a very powerful homeopathic remedy for emotions and there aren’t many emotions bigger, or more common, than grief and sadness.
Dr. Murphy’s Keynote Materia Medica (Murphy 2015, pp 328-329) are the transcribed seminar notes on homeopathic remedies — with lots of back and forth between “RM” and “Student.” He was incredibly generous with his knowledge. He wanted to make homeopathy accessible to people, and he did!
His commentary on Ignatia begins: “Most of you know Ignatia so we won’t spend much time on it. This is the most often prescribed remedy if someone has an acute sudden shock and grief. Hysteria from grief, hysteria in homeopathy means a loss of emotional control: laughing, crying, weeping, irritability, moody, etc. It's for shock from frights, shock from bad news and it's also a black type remedy for shock from disappointments.” There you have it. Now you know why Dr. Murphy is my go-to guy to learn the remedies. He read through all the many, many volumes of the old literature and summed it all up for us in a nice, tidy package. (Trust me, there are no other books that give this information so succinctly.)
He goes on to explain, "the disappointment was a shock to the system and the person has become sleepless, irritable, angry ever since then. A dose of Ignatia 200c will usually neutralize disappointments.”
“… they’re sobbing and sighing and have catching respiration. The sighing is a keynote of Ignatia… They have a lump in the throat, and a tight feeling, and all the acute symptoms of grief, or signs of suppressed grief. They can also have an all-gone feeling in the chest or the stomach since a grief, they have an empty feeling."
“Crying from grief with the inability to stop, uncontrolled crying spells with choking and spasmodic crying.… it’s like a ratching [sic] that’s tearing them apart inside, agony, really acute emotional agony and pain from emotional loss. That’s Ignatia.”
I dare say, that you, too, now have a good idea of the understanding of homeopathic Ignatia.
Like all homeopathic remedies, there is more to it than this. There are deeper levels and further physical manifestations but for today’s purpose, after the homeopathic community lost an absolute giant, that’s all that needs to be said for Ignatia.
Thank you Dr. Murphy for your generosity in sharing your vast knowledge. You will be sorely missed by many.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
image by: TonisPan
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.