Erosion of the stomach 
 Veratrum album 

001-veratrum-album A veratrum case -  Erosion of the stomach

On the 27th of January 1990, I was consulted by a 40 year old woman I shall call Sarah (not her real name) with a presenting complaint of erosions of the stomach. This is her case.
 In September of 1990 Sarah had a sore throat which developed into a common cold. Then, on the 1st of October at 2:00 am she woke up and vomited large quantities of ‘coffee grounds’ with great weakness afterwards. She had to lie down on the bathroom floor until she had gathered the strength to get back into bed. The next day she was admitted to hospital and kept in for three and one-half weeks. Endoscopy showed erosions of the stomach. She lost sixteen pounds in this time (her weight went down to 90 pounds).
 Ranitidine 150 mg BD, increased to 300 mg BD when she relapsed.
 Ferrous sulphate (because her Hb went down to 6.7)
 Sarah came to me with a great fear of her symptoms recurring if she came off the Ranitidine and also a fear of suppression from the allopathic medication. Her general state of health had been poor before the erosions and was worse since. She felt exhausted, looked pale, had marked swelling under both eyes and had no appetite. Mentally she was very low-sad, angry and insecure. She was going through a very traumatic divorce and dealing also with her father (83) who was ill, possibly dying. Her husband had left her one and a half years previously under unpleasant circumstances. She was furious with her ex-husband and angry and worried with what was happening to her father.
 In hospital when she had been so very ill she had written the following poem:
 This poem is a lament, there is a desperate quality, a vivid sense of loss and despair, a woundedness that wants to be healed. I wondered whether this was her case, and I chose the following rubrics from the poem:
 Thoughts of death: I must be well, black thoughts
 Stools, black; bloody: No more black blood, black stools
 Despair of recovery; Lamenting: Please make me well
 Stool, cadaverous, offensive: I’m haunted; smell of cadaverous stool
 Desires company: I long to be held close
 Thoughts disagreeable: I keep my images inside-vivid, sometimes dark
 Taciturn; Desire to Hide: Hidden.
 Inflammation of the stomach: Like the erosions.
 Violent symptoms; Sudden effects: Like the blood that erupted from me.
 Ailments from grief: All the pain, the deaths,
 Forsaken: The aloneness.
 Ailments from disappointed love: The pain of a dying love.
 Religious affections: The blood has flown, And I have been purified.
 The emotional injury of the dying marriage had wounded her. The image of injury to already sore wounds is graphic and speaks of her feeling deeply hurt to the point of contamination. The bleeding then cleansed or purified her-another dramatic image with religious overtones. In this last verse she also expresses the tragedy of the death of a dream. This is a woman whose expectation of a happy and enduring marriage has shattered her, slowly and painfully.
 This is her story. Her husband wasn’t Jewish and she was. He insisted she didn’t practice and wouldn’t allow her to join a synagogue. She cut off from her spiritual and religious roots. When he left her she joined a synagogue: “It made me feel like I belonged.” His leaving was distressing and complex. “I feel betrayed by him, let down.” Sarah felt, above all, distressed that her hopes of a good family life were dashed. She wasn’t interested in material goods, it was building a family life that was most important, one she didn’t grow up with. It was only after the solicitors talked to her of what she had missed out on (because of the money her husband had earned), of the missed holidays and so on, that she felt she had missed out, been somehow cheated.
 Her own father’s family had perished in the concentration camps. He never talked about this. Her own mother was obsessed with her position. She came from an aristocratic background and had married beneath her. She didn’t have much time for the children. When Sarah was four, her brother was born and she felt displaced. Her grandmother looked after her a lot because the baby was ill so often. At age nine her grandmother died. “When I cried my mother said ‘she was my mother not yours’ and told me to stop crying. I felt very alone. I had no-one for me after that.” Sarah felt that she had grown up not feeling part of a family, without a place in the family and this situation had been repeated with her husband.
 Sarah had suppressed many feelings in her life, but it has an active feel to it. She said that she bit back her feelings, “I grit my teeth and carry on.” She looked very alive as she spoke these words!
 After repertorizing, I differentiated between Arsenicum and Veratrum album. Both have the collapse and the sudden, violent symptoms. Although Veratrum album didn’t have the cadaverous stools or the anxiety about health, it had everything else. You will also find it under Ailments from anger with silent grief, with anxiety. Sarah was much better for fresh air, loved being outside and was also better for being busy/occupied. She was still severely anemic and therefore still taking the Ferrous sulphate.
 I decided on Veratrum album because of the focus on her loss of position that came through from her mother and childhood and was still active in her adult life, that had a religious connection. Neither did she have any generals that might have guided me towards Arsenicum. Also, she had an interesting ‘edge’ in the way she told her story; an edge that I have experienced with most of my Veratrum patients.
 29 Nov. 90 Rx: Veratrum album 200
 15 Dec. 90
 Immediate improvement, in energy and emotions. “I feel I’ve come alive.” Sleeping much better. Hospital checks in mid-December were positive: there is no blood in the stools, her Hb is up to 12.4. She is taken off the iron. The past week she has started to feel low again after a difficult conversation with her husband. Is nauseous a lot of the time and full of flatulence.
 15 Dec. 90 Rx: Veratrum album 200
 29 Mar. 91
 Has been feeling a lot better. Had two migraines within two weeks of the last Rx (law of cure). The hospital has discharged her. She has put on five pounds in the last three months and has been feeling really well until recently. She has resolved to have more fun in her life. Is saying ‘no’ to her husband (appropriately) rather than going along with his demands. Starting to dream again, “Healing ones. I can leave the past behind now.” She has color back/pink cheeks. Appetite is fantastic “I can’t stop eating.” Had generally become more easily tired but was pacing herself (not rushing around busily!) until lately when she went back to work and became very quickly “frenetically busy”. Since then she is exhausted but keeping up with the (hyperactive) pace -“I need to be doing things the whole time.”
 29 Mar. 91 Rx: Veratrum album 1M
 9 May. 91
 Many old symptoms returned in the weeks after the last dose of Veratrum; obstructed nose for ten days; a skin rash which was followed by a great sense of well-being. April 15, swollen fingers on waking with itching all over body (recurrence from 1984). April 19, nausea and vomiting for two days. Then leucorrhoea (old chronic complaint) came and went. May 3, sore throat which developed into a cold and lasted a week then cleared. Swellings under eyes are reducing. Work is fine. Getting on well with ex-husband. Is socializing more and has entered into a new relationship and is enjoyed feeling more sexual again.
 Wait/no Rx.
 28 Nov. 91
 Generally very well until the last month. Work going well. MP regular now-normal bleed every 28 days. Weighs 112 pounds again (her normal, healthy weight).
 Emotionally in a very bad place. Having a difficult time with her ex-husband, and her father who has been in and out of hospital. Feeling arrogant, dissatisfied, persecutory towards her children and lover. Abrupt and nasty to those close to her. Getting on her high horse (haughty) a lot. She spent much of this follow up consultation complaining “I don’t want the hassle. Who needs this?” Hard and rejecting (the other side of the Veratrum collapse).
 28 Nov. 91 Rx: Veratrum album 1M
 Spring 1992
 Very well generally. Still has her ups and downs because her divorce isn’t settled. But she is coping really well. Family life is good, her children are beginning to accept the man in her life. “I feel like a woman now”. Her body is rounding out and her breasts have grown. Even when she was formerly well she was always thin and boyish.
 Sarah has developed a sense of herself over the past eighteen months which has included acknowledging the power of her shadow and an acceptance of that side of herself which has led to a deep healing.
 She has gone on to marry happily, someone who accepts all of who she is and who can share in that fully.
 Miranda Castro is a Fellow with the British Society of homeopaths, and is a registered member with the North American Society of Homeopaths for which she acts as the executive director. Miranda lives and practices in Seattle. 

Dr.Devendra Kumar MD(Homeo)
International Homeopathic Consultant at Ushahomeopathy
I am a Homeopathic Physician. I am practicing Homeopathy since 20 years. I treat all kinds of Chronic and Acute complaints with Homeopathic Medicines. Even Emergency conditions can be treated with Homeopathy if case is properly managed. know more about me and my research on my blog
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