Anhalonium notes 
 – Anhalonium notes (P. Herscu) 
 Anhalonium lewinii 

When I first began to study homeopathy, there were a class of large, common remedies that where known mostly by their keynotes or some few symptoms. Medorrhinum and Tuberculinum, were like that for me -thin sketches of remedies that covered very little ground. As I began to practice, I found that there were certain patterns, fairly consistent for patients who needed these remedies. It was by noting them that I began to understand the remedies more and more. The purpose was not to expand the laundry list of possible symptoms, rather to develop an understanding of what the remedy was all about, -what underlying and unifying idea held the remedy together so that the remedy could stand by itself and represent the entirety of the patient’s existence. Indeed, remedies like Tuberculinum and Medorrhinum did have a full materia medica. I began to catalog these cases and wrote the pediatric book and numerous articles, based on clinical cases and observations. Those remedies are so well understood now that it is taken for granted that, of course, they have a full and broad materia medica.
 But the idea persists that some remedies affect say, primarily the mind. In the class of remedies which include Stramonium and Hyoscyamus, it has been mostly the mental symptoms which have led us to prescribe these remedies. Yet, a complete and clinically reliable symptomatology exists. In a soon to be published book on Stramonium, I have written a full description of my experience with that remedy which I hope will expand the breadth of understanding of how that remedy influences the entire being.
 To take this one step further and discuss so called tiny remedies, a remedy like Anhalonium has had only the characteristic mental picture described, with very little more of its full expression understood. I hope to rescue this medicine out of its limited definition as a “mental” remedy and illustrate how it, too has a full and pervasive influence on the entire vital force and how patients who respond to this remedy can be healed deeply at all levels. The reason I chose to discuss this remedy is that there is a pervasive idea that disease is a mental construct and that we should only prescribe upon the mental/emotional spheres. But what of the patient that shows no strong or clear mental emotional symptoms but does have very strong, striking physical symptoms. I think it would be helpful to know that these symptoms fit a particular remedy. I think it could be extremely valuable in understanding remedy to know how it affects the rest of the person, not for the sake of the symptom itself, but for helping to develop a fuller idea of the remedy.
 From homeopathic philosophy, when someone becomes sick, it is the vital force which first becomes “untuned,” and only later that the symptoms land in the mental/emotional or physical planes. By describing a remedy as preferentially affecting the mind/emotions or physical plane, we aim downstream of what is possible; that is, to describe the disease itself and thereby address and cure the underlying cause and then manifestation of the problem.
 In this article, I hope to begin the work of describing Anhalonium so that we may all be better positioned to recognize this patient and prescribe this remedy successfully. If you will go back to your Anhalonium cases, I believe you will not only be able to confirm the symptoms mentioned in this short piece but be able to build on this picture as well, to be able to flush out the picture of the remedy even more.
 Anhalonium is used with increasing frequency in our time. Perhaps this is due to the drug culture of the 60’s. Many people who used hallucinogens, or the children of these parents, may benefit from this remedy. There are other people who did not use recreational drugs who will also fall under its influence. The etiologic stresses that place them at risk for going into this remedy are: times of severe isolation, exposure to frightening visions -such violence or violent movies, illnesses with attendant blood loss and illness that leaves the patient extremely weak. Often it will be a combination of these stresses that create symptoms and lead the patient to your office.
 Perhaps this is a good place to mention that due to these etiologic stresses, Anhalonium provides us with a dichotomy, a dichotomy that will eventually explain most of their pathology. It may also shed some light on the reason why there are often such different views of this remedy reported in our literature.
 What is that dichotomy? On the one hand Anhalonium wants to stay alive, here on Earth, in this existence. On the other hand, they want to leave, “to be done with this phase of the cycle.” This state for me takes elements from Cannabis indica, Hypericum, Stramonium, Phosphorus and Alumina.
 The crevice these people can fall into is that between loving life and craving that which is beyond life. This dangerous dance of life and non-life leads to intense pathology, more vividly than most other remedies.
 I have come to expect several types of patients that may need this remedy. One type of patient will have life-threatening physical complaints. Other Anhalonium patients will have mental or emotional disorders. Others will complain of some extremely minor physical complaint not realizing that their true pathology is much deeper, in the spirit. Another type will come for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And lastly, children with either ADD, autistic traits, or with some sort of processing difficulty may need this remedy. By the time they visit the homeopath’s office, most Anhalonium patients will be fairly ill, or the remedy will be easily missed.
 The child that is brought in for ADD may most likely be confused for Cannabis indica, Baryta carbonica, or Helleborus. The child has two sides to herself. She is ritualistic, liking to wear the same clothes, eat the same foods or mimic certain people. She also has a contrasting side; she appears to be very free, easily transitioning from one event to another going along with any suggestion and, “being so mellow that she is not with the program.” When you ask the parents what they mean, they explain, “She misses a lot of her day. It’s like she is dreaming. It’s like she gets some idea and is so into it that she misses what’s going on around her.” She is confused in actions, as might be Baryta carbonica, yet she is extroverted like Cannabis indica children can be. Just like Cannabis indica, the parents may have had the child’s ears checked to make sure the hearing is intact.
 As a little point for differentiating, the Cannabis indica child that has a processing difficulty will often be much more inward, not shy as much as inward, and much more ritualistic. Autism will need to be ruled out. The Anhalonium child by comparison, may have this side, but they have another side which is more extroverted and more responsive to people and to their own senses.
 Another point of differentiation is that the Cannabis indica extroverted child is more likely to be confused about what their proper role is in any given situation but they still maintain an understanding of their own existence. The Anhalonium extrovert, by contrast, will confuse themselves with their surroundings and lose their individual sense of self in the process.
 A portion of Anhalonium patients will present with grave physical complaints. The most common afflictions are respiratory tract infections, such as bacterial or viral pneumonia and severe life-threatening asthma or digestive complaints such as bleeding ulcerative colitis or Chrone’sDisease.
 There are some common symptoms that occur with this group of Anhalonium patients. I have found repeatedly that the patient becomes chilly, sometimes very very chilly, as if any ability to maintain proper body temperature has been lost or as if they had ‘spent’ their energy. As a corollary, many times either they themselves or their specific complaint, such as pain, may be ameliorated by heat, becoming warm or with warm applications.
 They also tend to produce and be aggravated by losing fluid through some form of discharge such as repeated or severe diarrhea or blood loss. This could be due to injury, or due to bleeding per vagina or rectum. They may also perspire a great deal or have tremendous mucus production, with sinusitis, repeated colds or mucuos diarrhea.
 Another type of patient presents with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS). This group is broken down into two subgroups. One type actually has mental illness and is described more fully below; they only think that their complaint is fatigue. The other group actually has fatigue as a main discomfort. When delving deeper however, it will be found that they do not behave in typical CFS fashion. For one thing they have a history of intense energy expenditure, working many hours a day, for extended periods of time. This type may be so intense that one would think of Medorrhinum or Nux vomica. This side has so much energy, and as fitting, may be either warmblooded or at the very least desire open air or fresh cool air. As they are productive, they use up their energy stores, and become extremely fatigued and with that, more chilly. For a long time, they crave the productive life, the intense work to which they have been wed. They think of their work constantly. They imagine different ways of doing it better and of ways to involve others in their work.
 Eventually they are no longer able to produce, no longer energetic and they begin to yearn for the past. They still have the will and the desire, but become more and more unable to actualize any real work. They spend too much time at home, alone and unable to communicate to others, recalling their free life when they were out among the living, being useful and productive. This depression that they may enter into may actually lead to suicide, as the separation of themselves from the rest of life is too great to bear. They no longer know what they want and are no longer able to say what they feel and why they feel it. In a way, they become separated from others which is painful to them. In another way, they become almost the opposite to insular; they lose their clarity, their ability to act from a strong center, and so become confused, not only in action but as to identity. In this way, Anhalonium reminds me of Alumina, with lack of direction, inability of expression, and confusion of self. This depleted state then begins to resemble the mentally ill Anhalonium patient. Of course I am describing a rapid fall from the active person to the depleted state, but there is are the in-between states and this process of breaking down can take years.
 Another type of Anhalonium is the one most written about. This is the type that basically is missing their barrier, the skin that separates them from the rest of the universe. This type has always been the most exciting for me to treat, as I am awestruck by both the range of potential of the human being to actually experience the connectedness to the rest of the universe while I am likewise frightened, as may be the patient, by how intangible our own ego self is, how seemingly little has to change for a person to stop feeling as an individual. There they are sitting in front of me, yet in some way they are not really there.
 The following are different experiences that Anhalonium patients have shared with me. One women had clairvoyant dreams, dreams of family and friends that always came true. Another women only had clairvoyant dreams when a friend/relative would die. She would awaken at night or in the morning and tell her husband that so and so just died. Another women would tell her husband that the earth is hurting, the earth is shaking, and eight hours later there would be an earthquake. Another person would see the most horrific winds and violence all around her and the next morning be caught in a ferocious storm. Another person would awaken and tell of accidents that would later that day be mentioned in the press. Another person always knew what people around her were feeling.
 Religion may play a significant role in some of their lives. The religious experience has certain common qualities whether Catholic, Jewish, Bhuddist etc. or they may be very spiritual but not ascribe to a specific organized religion. One common feature is that they lose touch with specific texts and the actual teachings rather quickly. They no longer follow such things because they really don’t need it. The idea is almost as if the text is used to help people go into a certain state, but that Anhalonium patients can get into it rather quickly and so have little need for rigorous discipline. (Personally, I think that when many religious folk talk of the reason one needs rigorous discipline, and to stay away from the fast track to enlightenment, as via recreational drugs, they often say that the untrained person delving into the mysteries of life, will be consumed by fire. I think they are talking about a degradation as occurs with Anhalonium.)
 Another quality in their religious experience is that they lose themselves. Just as most religions have a state of ecstasy attached to them, a state that many spent years striving for, yet few attain -and for a short period of time at that, the Anhalonium-like person easily slips into this state. It is as if they live there permanently. After asking one women about this, she said it quite succinctly. “It is not that I am really religious. It is just that every so often when I need to, I align myself with the rest of the universe. It isn’t so much praying or actively doing anything, as much as alignment. I become part of life, part of the whole and in a way, I stop being me.” This state is complete for the Anhalonium; there is no holding back!
 The dichotomy mentioned at the beginning of the discussion, plays an increasing role for this type of Anhalonium, a role that eventually is their undoing. Originally, there is no apparent difficulty with being this type of Anhalonium. Others love them, love their perceptions and ability to be empathic. They have the enviable meditative, ecstasy side, the side that sees, hears, and feels beauty, the side that suspends time and feels like they are one with God. However, over time, the ability to maintain themselves, to maintain their own desires, their own ego sense, disappears. Now they are affected by others too much. Now everyone needs to be careful of how they act around this person. Now the Anhalonium is too perceptive. The process of self degradation continues. Whereas before, the patient felt love and joy looking at scenery, at life and nature, music, and loving different aromas, they are now accosted by these very same stimuli. Now all these external stimuli are too much to bare. They stop feeling the border where they end and the rest of the universe begins. They are one and the same as the rest of the universe.
 This state then is what leads to the famous symptoms of Anhalonium. Given enough time and stress, the disorganization of the mind begins and confusion of self, confusion of self with nature, entering into a state where they no longer know themselves, their thoughts, and eventually wanting to end it all and die. After all, “death is no big deal, it is just a continuation of what was before life.”
 So, the dichotomy emerges. Like all people, the patient wants to live, thrive, and succeed. Yet they want to align themselves with where they feel they came from, from before life and where they are going to after death. This side though, even though we all desire, we all want to touch this spark of existence, or peek into the beyond -this side can not support life. It is a thing to touch but not a place to stay at, not a place to live in. It can not support life.
 I have often showed video cases of Anhalonium patients where the participants observing thought that the mental state described was great and healthy. But we are not meant to live in such a state, only to experience it temporarily, and that is why Anhalonium becomes sick. That is why they develop either extreme mental disorganization or why they develop life-threatening disorders. Living in that state uses up the fiber of which the physical body is made.
 Anhalonium is similar to Stramonium in that Stramonium goes into the evil and darker side of existence-into Hell itself, whereas Anhalonium goes in the other direction. But they are both going towards places that the self can not exist.
 As the pathology continues the desire, or rather the ability, to maintain the difference between themselves and the rest of creation is diminished. Mentally, this manifests with confusion. Physically, this is shown by the diarrhea, the bleeding, the fatigue, the perspiration. It is as if the patient’s skin dissolves or becomes permeable offering no natural and essential barrier to the world. Instead they slip inexorably to become part of all, part of the past, of now, and of the future.
 Perhaps this is the reason for the common etiologies mentioned at the beginning. These etiologies all have a similar net result, they use up energy, and rip up the protection of the person to their environment.
 As a reaction to disorganization, they may develop symptoms to keep them whole, similar to Platina and Anacardium, For instance, a band sensation around the head, or the chest or the abdomen. Despair fills the person. They can no longer function and they can no longer work, paralyzed by life and life’s stresses. Confusion, desperation, insecurity and, fearfulness now rule their life. There can be tremendous fear of death. As the pathology continues, they no longer see the reason why one should live, what the ultimate purpose is, it is all so painful. If seen at this point, I do not think anyone would envy them. At this point the well known idea of a duality, of dual existence is easy to perceive and understand, given the dichotomy of desires.
 Early on, the Anhalonium patient is in an enviable position, really feeling the “charge” of the universe. But as time continues that part of them grows and they begin to lose the necessary borders. The part of themselves that is alive, that wants to live despairs and fights back. We find the two sides described by other homeopaths. The one side that works so hard and the one side that is indifferent to work. The side that fears death and wants to live and the side that is not bothered by death. But really it is all a continuum. You may not see a ‘way out’ person. There may be the diarrhea, sweating and weakness with hints of sensitivity to the environment. It can be Anhalonium even at this point if you can see the pathology progressing in that direction. The urge may be to give Phosphorus or China. but if Anhalonium is what is needed you can go a long way to helping that person avoid a break with reality.
 Please take this information and add to it, so that our understanding of this remedy can be broadened. By gathering our perceptions and experiences, together we will build a stronger and more reliable materia medica.
 Paul Herscu, N.D.  is the author the The Homeopathic Treatment of Children. He teaches extensively and is the editor of The New England Journal of Homeopathy. His book on Stramonium will be out later this year. 

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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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