Nux Moschata was proved by Dr. Helbig in 1833. Many of the symptoms have been obtained from poisonings. The nutmeg tree grows to thirty feet high, begins bearing fruit in the seventh or eighth year, and then continues to do so for the next seventy or eighty years. The ground nut is used in cooking and a distillation of the oil, Myristica oil, has been used in medicine as a flavoring agent, carminative, and as a local stimulant to the gastrointestinal tract. The main active ingredient, Myristicin, is a poisonous narcotic.
In the spring of 1996, I became aware that an acquaintance of mine was having one accident after another. The accidents became more and more serious, including one that almost cost her life. Later she began to have strange physical symptoms-severe gas and bloating-and went from one doctor to another, receiving no help or even a clear diagnosis. I couldn’t stand to see this anymore and suggested that she come in for homeopathic treatment.
The reason for the accidents and the confusing digestive problems soon became clear. She was in a Nux Moschata state-a state where the mind is disassociated from the body. No wonder she was having so many accidents. A few doses of 200c helped a lot. I lost track of her and thought very little about this remedy until I met Melissa.
In November of 1997, Melissa, a 36-year-old married woman, came to me with the complaint of “hormonal sensitivity” and high blood pressure. Melissa was a lively strawberry blonde, very personable and friendly, speaking quickly and laughing a lot, even at serious matters. She also seemed overexcited, very jittery, and tense. She has two children.
Melissa’s symptoms included: Joint pain before menses (Searing, penetrating, sharp pains. A nerve-type pain. Like being really cold and then warming up. amel. movement. agg. in knees, but could be in any joint); Dry eyes before menses; Weeps easily and becomes depressed and sympathetic before menses; High blood pressure (160/100. Taking low dose of beta blocker. agg. evening. agg. before menses. Pounding in blood vessels, jittery and on edge.)
Melissa is very sympathetic and loves animals. She faints easily, especially in warm, stuffy rooms. She craves chocolate, sweets, spicy food, and cinnamon. She has an aversion to fried foods, greasy foods, and white bread. There is a tendency towards hypoglycemia. She also has a history of terrible morning sickness during both her pregnancies; she threw up the whole nine months. The only thing she could eat was meat and potatoes, with a craving for potatoes. Even during labor, she was still throwing up.
Melissa had postpartum depression after her second child; she became very anxious and worried. She weaned the baby early and went on birth control pills and antidepressants. She went off birth control pills a year ago because of her high blood pressure.
Actually, Melissa has had periods of depression since she was 19. As a child, she worried a lot. She couldn’t sleep from worrying. She was always afraid of disappointing her parents, who were very controlling. Her father was very health-oriented and controlled her diet very strictly-allowing no fat or salt.
“They are into being skinny, exercising, and eating a low fat diet.”
“I’m the only one who is married and on my own. There’s a real tradition of not going out on your own”.
“I just wouldn’t make any waves-never disappoint them.”
“I rebelled in college and paid the price with inner turmoil.”
“My parents say it’s important to have a real job-a doctor or a lawyer. Any time I mentioned any other career, my parents went ballistic.” (She became a physician).
The dryness of the eyes, symptoms worse before menses, the extreme giddiness, and severe vomiting during pregnancy led me to Nux Moschata, along with a few polychrest remedies. What really helped me see the full picture was Gina Inez’s article, “My Advice on a Spice,” in the Spring 1994 issue of The American Homeopath. Gina mentions the case of a brilliant woman who blossoms after taking Nux Moschata.
“One wonders about the “classic woman” of this remedy type in the nineteenth century. Did she need this remedy only because she was so prone to fainting on the hot days she was being fitted for a tight fitting corset? One wonders about her dreams, her creativity, her artistry, and her sense of being able to be comfortable and true to herself in a social environment which she may have found as restrictive as the tight garments she wore.”
Dorothy Sheperd tells us more about the use of nutmeg by society ladies:
“A drink which was concocted by our great-great-grandmothers for domestic requirements was nutmeg tea. One crushed nutmeg would make a pint of tea, a small cupful of which produced a sleep of several hours’ duration.
It was fashionable for society ladies to carry a silver grater and a nutmeg box suspended from the waist on their chatelaines. Naturally, as it was so commonly used, it led to some abuse, and ladies often developed the habit of drinking nutmeg tea in order to go to sleep easily and quickly.”
Why did they want to go to sleep all the time? Perhaps we can understand this more deeply by looking further at Melissa’s case. Her story reveals the pressure that was put on her to live her life the way her family wanted her to live it. I began to think that many of the symptoms of the state, especially the fainting, the sleepiness, and the “out of body” experiences of Nux Moschata, were an attempt on the part of the vital force to leave a situation that was unacceptable to the individual. Such is the situation of a woman (and most cases of Nux Moschata are women) who is unable to express her creativity and intelligence, to know herself, because of family or societal pressure.
Remedy: Nux Moschata 200c, split dose.
4 months after first prescription. After a brief aggravation she was much better. Could exercise without feeling tired. No longer needs to nap. Blood pressure normal-120/80. No pains in the limbs. No depression before menses.
6 months after first prescription. She reports that after eating a eucalyptus candy the blood pressure went back up.
Repeat Nux Moschata 200c.
7 months after first prescription. Blood pressure went back to normal after last dose of 200c. She reports being much calmer. The hormonal pains and mood swings are gone. “I can’t believe it’s this easy to get well. Is this all I have to do?” But blood pressure has gone up to 140/90.
Assessment: Needs higher potency-Nux Moschata 1M, split dose.
9 months after first prescription. She feels great. No depression, no pains in the limbs. She feels much stronger emotionally and physically. Feels stronger about confronting people when she needs to. She has been able to visit her parents without being upset by them. Blood pressure is completely normal except for slight rise just before menses. Assessment: Doing well, Nux Moschata 30c before menses, if needed.