When Acute Illnesses Strike Under Constitutional Care


An acute illness is transitory. Symptoms begin quickly, the illness builds and then subsides. It is self-limiting. Usually the person can recover on her own. Colds and influenza are examples of acute illnesses. They are caused by a virus or bacteria. Injuries can also be considered acute illnesses.

A chronic illness develops slowly. Symptoms gradually increase in intensity and number, slowly reducing a person’s general health and vitality. Symptoms don’t go away, and compound with accompanying ailments. Examples of chronic diseases are high blood pressure, allergies, arthritis, heart disease, and migraine headaches.

A homeopathic remedy used in an acute illness is one that most closely matches the symptoms the person is experiencing during the illness. Some symptoms that a homeopath would use to determine a remedy would include the location where the illness is experienced, the sensation the person is experiencing, the time of day the person feels better or worse, and what makes the symptoms subside or become more severe.

For example, consider the complaints of a person who has a sore throat. This person’s throat is dark red in color. The pain is worse on the left side. The throat feels better when the person swallows solid food, worse while swallowing liquids, and the person’s tonsils and glands under his jaw are swollen. The person may require the remedy Lachesis muta. In contrast, the remedy Lycopodium clvavatum may be needed for a person with a sore throat that started on the right side, is worse in the morning on waking, and feels better when the person has warm drinks.

A remedy addressing a chronic illness takes into account all the symptoms the person is experiencing whether or not they have to do with the diagnosed disease. Any physical symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, skin eruptions, as well as mental/emotional symptoms would be considered. Is the person irritable, tired, or sad? Preferences about food and weather will be taken into account. A homeopath would also want to know what the person’s life was like when the symptoms began. Remedies for constitutional care address the totality of the symptoms, and the person should begin to experience well-being throughout.

Once someone has started a constitutional remedy, repeating that same remedy will usually take care of the acute illness because the constitutional remedy addresses the whole person. I generally start with a lower potency of the same remedy. The lower potency gently stimulates the body back to its previous state of well-being.

To illustrate these principles, I would like to share with you the case of Sandi D. A beautiful, intelligent young woman with her own business, Sandi came to me over two years ago complaining of low energy and allergies. At the time, she was engaged, but not certain about marriage. Together we were able to resolve her allergies, and she regained her energy. She decided that marriage was the right step for her.  She was doing very well.

Over a year after I had seen her, Sandi called because her allergies had returned and she had developed a rash. She had taken antibiotics and started taking nutritional supplements, but was not getting better.  I determined her chronic picture was reappearing, and she needed take another dose of her constitutional remedy. Sandi repeated the remedy at the same potency I had given her a year before. She called that weekend to tell me her rash had almost cleared up and her allergies were gone.

About a week later she called me again. She was very nervous about a presentation she had to give at school, and asked for a remedy to help her get through the presentation. I asked her to repeat her constitutional remedy, but this time I recommended a lower potency. She was hesitant because she knows a little about acute care and wanted to take a well-known remedy for stage fright. However, she followed my instructions. Her confidence restored, Sandi gave the best presentation in the class.

The following week Sandi called because she had dropped a heavy skillet on her big toe. She wanted to know if she should take arnica or hypericum, two logical acute remedy choices for this type of injury. I told her to first try repeating her constitutional remedy using the same low potency she had taken before she gave the presentation. She did. Her toe was instantly 85% better.

In Sandi’s case, repeating a low potency of her remedy helped her through her acute situations while not interrupting the action of the constitutional remedy. Sometimes there are exceptions and a constitutional remedy will not act on an acute illness. Your homeopath will know the best way to address an acute illness if you are under constitutional care.

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©  2010 Myra Nissen.
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This article was brought to you by Myra Nissen, CCH, RSHom(NA), Board Certified Classical Homeopath. Myra teaches women how to recognize their body’s unique needs and cues and uses Homeopathy to help empower women to take control of their bodies, health and well-being. Find out more, she regularly publishes articles with home care tips for health and well-being in several venues. Visit her blog www.myranissen.com/blog.