This paper was written by Antonie Peppler, the developer of Creative Homeopathy, in which she gives an overview of aging from a homeopathic perspective. She also offers a selection of homeopathic remedies related to this process of becoming older and how to counter specific symptoms connected with that.
The Aging Process from
A Homeopathic Perspective
A short while ago, I came across an article that reported that the rate of disease in people over the age of eighty is considerably lower than that of people between the ages of twenty and thirty. Centenarians, it seems, are more fit than the youth of our age, to the results of a study by Harvard researcher Margery H. Silver.
“In our culture, illness and age are woven tightly together.”
This statement was the impetus for me to look at the theme of aging from the perspective of homeopathy. I fundamentally follow the views of the ancient native Indians that illness, weakness, and age have nothing intrinsically to do with each other. The Indian who felt his moment of death approaching said his goodbyes and withdrew to meet his death. In our culture, illness and age are woven tightly together.
The expectation that we will become ill in old age is practically a compulsion today. The reason for this is undoubted that most people in our society see illness as something accidental. Our usual thinking pattern is that we must “hold our position.” In our younger years, we are still stable, but later the bacteria and viruses that continually threaten us will take the upper hand. We will go down sooner or later!
Just as the Indians, concerned with natural medicine, have a different way of thinking about these things, so do those knowledgeable in homeopathy. The thought that we create illness ourselves, that in illness, we bring something to expression that does not fit into our daily consciousness, is not a part of society’s usual mindset.
Are Illness and Aging a result of boredom?
Often enough, illness is the result of boredom. People, who have not created any content for their lives, simply have to have something to do. Eventually, the usual patterns of conforming and imitation have been sucked dry. It has become boring just doing and having everything everyone else does and has. Some excitement is needed.
“The one who’s the sickest wins.”
What could be more exciting than rivalry? Becoming better through one’s own performance is risky. You could be taken down. But being competitive in the role of the victim is highly attractive. You could think that older people are often playing the game: “The one who’s the sickest wins.” Every conversation revolves around this topic. Illness has become the content of their life. Apparently, life has nothing more to offer once the children’s education is finished.
Disease just may have something to do with our motivation in life. The person, who has found a satisfying purpose in life, is also healthy in old age. If this is so, then illness and weakness are a matter of the “type” of person. The person who has fun in life and whose life is a challenge has to be healthy – he needs his energy for living. This could explain the study mentioned above for the person who is curious in life remains so from the time of just beginning to walk up into old age. Samuel Hahnemann, the homeopathic researcher, would be an example of such a person. He had a purpose in life: homeopathy.
Searching the repertories for aging
It is worth the time looking through homeopathic rubrics for clues to the riddle of sickness in old age. In the repertories, we find the rubrics: “Old age, premature” (Kent as well as Synthetic Repertory), “Dementia senilis” and the general rubric “Old people” (both Synthetic Repertory). The rubric “Dementia senilis” seemed to me to be the most interesting. Especially in this rubric, can we expect to find those remedies that describe a possible negative orientation to life?
The analysis of the above-mentioned rubrics taken together yielded 112 remedies. Therefore I have limited myself to those remedies that cover the most symptoms with particular emphasis on the rubric “Dementia senilis.” These remedies are Agnus castus, Barium carbonicum, Lycopodium, Argentum nitricum, Cannabis indica, Conium, Acidum fluoricum, Kalium carbonicum, Ovininum, Selenium metallicum.
Most important anti-aging Remedies in Homeopathy
Agnus castus, the Chasteberry
Agnus castus is normally used for impotence, sterility, tachycardia, and with pregnant women to activate the flow of milk. The symptoms of this remedy describe a person who chastises himself and withdraws. The morning weakness of the ankles points to the lack of tautness, a lack of dynamic in one’s life. Fibrillary twitching in the elbow expresses the desire to defend oneself. The lascivious hysteria speaks for an intense suppression of one’s sexuality. These are, of course, only a few exemplary symptoms selected from Agnus castus.
“Sacrificing oneself for a supposedly higher goal.”
Psychological Meaning of Agnus castus
Patients who need Agnus castus do not know their own needs. They have taken in “foreign values,” perhaps from another person, which have little to do with the possibilities of their own purpose in life. These people do not really live their own lives, but a foreign one that doesn’t suit them. The more they feel this, the more they fight against their own feelings.
Applied to the aging process, we can see how the Agnus-castus-patient feels compelled to fight against every pleasure or impulse for one’s own life. There is no possibility of motivation for life here. It’s not worth living. Life becomes a sacrifice, becomes suffering.
Barium carbonicum, Carbonate of Barium
Barium carbonicum remedy is used for diseases of the glands, swelling of the tonsils, and weakness of memory, and is also known as a remedy for small children and old people. The symptoms of this remedy describe a person who makes himself small. He has had the experience that he can get through life better by appearing as a tiny, helpless creature. This triggers the father and mother instincts of those around him.
The headache that comes when hearing a man’s voice clearly shows the fear of those in authority and their repression. Sleeping like in a coma during the day and at night shows the longing to be able to disappear finally. The feeling of having a ball in the liver says that the personality has isolated and withheld parts of itself like resentment, irritation, or creativity.
The psychological significance of Barium carbonicum is:
“Retarded development out of fear of life or self-responsibility.”
Psychological Meaning of Barium carbonicum
The patient who needs Barium carbonicum has never left his childhood role. Into old age, he plays the role of the docile, helpless person who cannot defend himself but actually just doesn’t want to. Confrontations with others and accepting the responsibility for himself seem to him to be just too much of a risk. And so, his impulse for life and his personal dynamic is continually suppressed. Life loses its charm.
Lycopodium clavatum, Common Clubmoss
Lycopodium clavatum is used for gout, flatulence, kidney stones, varicosis, etc. This is a remedy that has many symptoms, especially right-sided symptoms.
The right side stands for the suppression of the will. To put up with a situation that one has chosen to experience, one’s own activity, which would create a change, must be held back. Cowardliness describes the condition of unwillingness to set the situation right again. It could be embarrassing to admit one made a mistake. Waking every half hour with palpitations shows that he is counting any moment on discovering his wrong decisions.
“The rotten compromise.”
Psychological Meaning of Lycopodium clavatum
The patient who needs Lycopodium has made wrong decisions in his life that he does not want to admit. He probably paid too little attention to his innermost needs and just decided and acted in his “macho” way on everyone’s behalf. In this situation, any correction seems to him to be taking on too much blame. For this reason, almost his whole life is one stubborn (gout) lie.
This situation also does not allow for any pleasure in life. It is always tiring to have to keep a check on oneself. The Lycopodium patient may be stronger and more active than the representatives of other remedies, but the problem of not living out his individual nature is the same.
Argentum nitricum, Nitrate of Silver
Argentum nitricum is a well-known remedy for an upset stomach, anticipatory anxiety, and chronic diarrhea.
The symptoms of Argentum nitricum describe a person who is constantly checking himself to make sure he meets the demands of others. He fears that he might not measure up to everyone’s expectations: anticipatory anxiety. He is afraid in a small room: which shows that he knows the feeling of being confined by the wishes of others but doesn’t like it. He also has no desire for pleasure whatsoever, for he seems to have become so used to fulfilling obligations, being determined by others, and keeping himself under constant control that no joy is possible.
“Demands a cozy nest.”
Psychological Meaning of Argentum nitricum
Most of the time, the patient who needs Argentum nitricum has had a difficult childhood. He wanted to be understood and acknowledged. But since this never happened – his parents were different than he is – he blames himself for this situation and attempts to meet others’ expectations through stringent self-control. This is an arduous undertaking that blocks all joy and motivation for life. It can seem that death is more pleasant than life.
Cannabis indica, Indian Hemp
In homeopathy, Cannabis indica is used for bladder infection, incontinence, and fits of laughter.
The symptoms of this remedy describe a person who does not trust his own feelings. Fear of using his voice is a symptom of a person who feels uncertain. The same is true for someone who has to prove himself. Someone who thinks that the walls around him are crumbling down believes that he is losing his protection.
“Suppressed emotions manipulate conscious perception.”
Psychological Meaning of Cannabis indica
The Cannabis-indica-patient has perhaps experienced in his childhood his parents’ different points of view. But when he questioned further, he was never given an honest answer. Parents who never argue in front of their children rob them of the experience of reconciliation. This is the one result, but the more essential is that this child has learned to strictly separate his personal perceptions and judgments of a situation from the superficial pattern that is the only thing permitted.
That which is told him matter-of-factly disagrees with that which he feels. From this, there arises the compulsion to suppress his feelings. “Everyone else is right. The logic is right. My own feelings are not worth anything.” Unfortunately, the quality of our life and our joy have a lot to do with feelings. A matter-of-fact life is not a genuine one.
Conium maculatum, Poison Hemlock
Conium maculatum is known for treating the induration of the glands, breast cancer, and vertigo.
The symptoms of this remedy describe a person who has a deep longing for intimacy but has either not found it or has renounced it for ideological reasons. The vertigo is an indication that this person is deceiving himself. The breast tumor is an expression of surrendering to caring for others without demanding something for oneself. The weakness, which is worse with the slightest effort, shows the extent of the resignation in which this person finds himself.
“The connection to one’s own basic needs is lost.”
Psychological Meaning of Conium maculatum
The patient who needs Conium maculatum is so steeped in ideologies that he has lost a feeling for himself. The inner voice can be drowned out by the voices of foreign concepts. Communication with other people is difficult because the inner orientation of those who are really close and those who are not has become confused.
With this irritation of the emotional realm, there can hardly be a natural reaction. The flow of energy and the therewith of life itself is blocked. One’s dreams are never fulfilled because they tend to be rational rather than emotional.
Acidum fluoricum, Hydrofluoric Acid
Acidum fluoricum is known for the treatment of abscesses, baldness in circular patches, and dental fistula.
The complete symptom picture of this remedy describes a person who lives in the feeling of not being understood. His surroundings would like to see him differently than he is. He is uncertain whether he should follow the desires of others or not. The headaches, which are better after urinating, express that the problems can only be solved by expressing emotions.
Scars becoming red signifies that old hurts have not been healed, and emotional issues have not been addressed. The coryza, which is better when excited, means that the emotional expression of an almost entirely resigned situation brings improvement.
“The “chemistry” doesn’t match; cannot live and let live.”
Psychological Meaning of Acidum fluoricum
The patients who need Acidum fluoricum are always ready to go to battle. They are in doubt about whether they are allowed to be like they are. They defy manipulation by others, but always with the feeling of self–doubt. This brings with it the ever-present preparedness for battle. This makes the development of the individual difficult and wears out one’s motivation for living.
Kalium carbonicum, Carbonate of Potassium
Kalium carbonicum works well for bronchitis, pneumonia, sciatica, and swelling of the upper lids.
The symptoms of this remedy describe a person who does not know his own needs. Vertigo, which comes when looking into a mirror, says that this person is deceiving himself. Dreams that a stone is lying on him signifies that he is carrying the burdens of others on his shoulders. The knee, which feels like it is twisted when one stands up, expresses that the person is going in a direction that is not his own.
“Ignorance of one’s own needs.”
Psychological Meaning of Kalium carbonicum
The patient who needs Kalium carbonicum was most often conceived for a purpose: either as a family heir or, as is often given as a reason, so that the parents don’t stop communicating entirely and, for this reason, stay together. Children that are conceived during a crisis in the relationship are Kalium carbonicum-patients. They were born already having a task to fulfill. Their own desires, needs, and the development of individuality get left behind. This leads to continual inner dissatisfaction, the cause of which remains hidden from the person.
Ovininum, Extract of the Ovaries
There is relatively little known about this Ovininum. However, it is very effective as a nosode made from the human body.
The symptoms of this remedy describe a person who, for many reasons, has held back the progress of her individualization. The infantile genitalis expresses that the development of an independent personality has not occurred. Blushing in climacteric points to the uncompleted puberty and great uncertainty in communication with others. The acne rosacea means that this person doesn’t allow herself to show her real face and, at the same time, is angry about not doing so.
“No courage to show her potential.”
Psychological Meaning of Ovininum
The patient who needs Ovininum has undergone much suppression. His energy flow is inhibited at the least, if not completely rigid. In my experience, a nosode should not be given alone. This is because the nosode brings up too much stuff, and it is then necessary to deal with it. Here are the follow-up remedies to round off this treatment: Conium maculatum, Lachesis muta, Argentum nitricum, Jodum, Sepia, Barium carbonicum.
As a matter of principle, I always take the remedies I am studying, and I recommend trying Ovininum. There was with me very quickly a feeling of lightness and movement present. This condition applied very specifically to all old suppressions that then demanded attention.
People who suppress the movement of their life force become lethargic and unmotivated. Life is, after all, dynamic movement!
Seleniummetallicum, The Element Selenium
This remedy is used for loss of hair, neurasthenia, diminished libido, and general weakness.
The symptoms of selenium describe a person who has resigned himself completely. He no longer has any connection to his creativity. The emaciation of the calf means that his standpoint has no solidity or stability. Ailments, after walking, says that this person does not allow himself any individual movement or development. Sleeplessness due to pulsations in the entire body expresses that the entire life force of this person has been held back.
“Comes to terms with the lingering illness because of weakness.”
Psychological Meaning of Selenium metallicum
The patient who needs this remedy has always tried to meet the expectations of others perfectly. Naturally, the expectation that others will eventually give him free rein to do what he wants never happens. So he waits his whole life and becomes more and more resigned. Life becomes more of a plague than a challenge.
These were a few critical remedies from which it becomes clear that the process of illness and aging is significantly connected with the person’s attitude towards his life. When life becomes an exciting challenge, one’s motivation is quite different.
Those who have been reading between the lines will have noticed that the remedies described above have a relationship to each other and show the varying intensity of the problem. This can easily be seen with the remedies Acidum fluoricum, Argentum nitricum, and Selenium.