Mark O'Sullivan, 2nd Year Irish School of Homeopathy

Essay: Sycotic Miasm & Remedies 10. Jan. 2006

Compare and contrast any two anti-sycotic remedies to identify and illustrate the fundamental nature of the sycotic personality.
“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing exceeds like excess” - Oscar Wilde

The sycotic miasm, one of the original Hahnammanian miasms, is said to be present as the result of inheritance of suppressed Gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted disease characterised by intense, painful inflammation and profuse discharge of yellow-green pus. The key here from the homeopathic perspective is the profuseness of discharge, accompanied by increased urination. The disease causes the profuse production of pus in order to counteract the infection. The Sycotic miasm is said to be Gonorrhoea, suppressed by allopathic treatment and thereby pushed deeper into the vital force. This mistunement is then passed down the ancestral line, expressing itself in mental, emotional or physical symptoms which have excess and extremes as their keynote. The word sycotic has its roots in the Greek for “fig” (syco) due to the figwarts, resembling figs1, which sometimes accompany gonorrhoeal conditions and along with growths of many kinds, are indicative of a diathesis involving overproduction. Figwarts and other growths feature in the symptom picture of some prominent anti-sycotic remedies, two of which are discussed below. Thuja Occidentalis Made from the Arbor Vitae, or “tree of life”, a species of Cedar tree which grows in damp places. Known to herbalism for its balsamic resin, invaluable for moving catarrh from congested lungs. The Cedar is held in many cultures, quite independently, as a tree which wards off evil spirits and is planted close to dwellings for this reason2. Already we see some Thuja remedy keynotes – susceptible to damp3 and overproduction from the mucus membranes along with a tendency towards spiritualism, including communication with the dead. Small cones, like warts, form on the branches of the Cedar. It is the original sycotic remedy,
1 Ortega, p69 2 Buhner, in lecture at Convergence Festival 3 Vithoulkas, p205 Page 1 Of 4

Thuja Occidentalis

Mark O'Sullivan, 2nd Year Irish School of Homeopathy

Essay: Sycotic Miasm & Remedies 10. Jan. 2006

identified by Hahnemann as a treatment for suppressed Gonorrhoea. Individuals needing Thuja feel as though there is something wrong with them and compensate by extreme strategies of subterfuge both toward themselves and others. Abuse can sometimes be the trigger for this. The more primal drives are guiltily denied expression within the personality. Hence, they can become disconnected from themselves in an elaborately constructed social persona designed to appear virtuous, calm and above reproach4. They can appear open, like Phosphorus5 or very structured, like Kali Carb6 while all the time being secretive and very careful not to expose their “true” natures. They compartmentalise their lives and can be quite different in temperament to one set of friends than to another. While all the time behind this façade they can be filled with doubt, believing themselves to be ugly and contemptuous. This disassociation can lead to their feeling weak and fragile in their bodies. And through an excess of mental control, rigidity in thinking and in the physique can result. Therefore, they can be cruel and obsessive in mind and arthritic in body. The basic drives can be sublimated into religious fervour and relations with the spirit realms. They feel “split” and estranged from themselves. The suppressed vital force, needing expression, can manifest physically in growths, tumours, warts, polyps and moles. Argentum Nitricum Silver nitrate is a poisonous compound which used to be used medicinally for eye infections. It is also used in the development of photographs, due to its sensitivity to light, and in the production of explosives. Photophobia is an Arg Nit symptom, as is epilepsy brought on by flashing lights7. They can have very good, “photographic” memories. A person in an Arg. Nit. state is hurried, anxious and excitable. They feel pressure when working to deadlines and fear failure. They can be riddled with phobias and superstitions, strange ideas that stick in their heads leading them to act in a seemingly irrational manner.
Argentum Nitricum

4 5 6 7

Sankaran, p203 Wallace, p150 Vithoulkas, p207 Vermeulen, p155 Page 2 Of 4

Mark O'Sullivan, 2nd Year Irish School of Homeopathy

Essay: Sycotic Miasm & Remedies 10. Jan. 2006

They are highly loquacious, lateral thinking troubleshooters8 who are intellectually omnivorous. Their performance anxiety can lead to gastric problems, “explosive” flatulence, eructations and diarrhoea9. With all the mental energy firing, nerves can also become frazzled, with heart palpitations and in extreme cases, epilepsy. They are warm blooded and crave sugar. Two key issues for the Arg Nit state are fear of losing control and expanded personal boundaries. The Arg Nit state is one of feeling somehow internally disordered, set apart from others and perhaps even feeling despised. They fear insanity. They can do nothing right and feel that they cannot ever succeed. In the face of this they must maintain control and “hold it together”, prevail in times of crisis or alternatively, just drop everything and leave on a whim if they give in to their escapist tendencies10. They are accelerated and impulsive, getting into everything around them. They can lack a sense of social appropriateness, being extremely direct. Their anxiety can be exacerbated if there are temporal or spacial boundaries set around them, blocking any means of flight. They are better for open spaces. Sycotic Nature of the remedies As already noted, the sycotic miasm is one of extremes on every level of the individual. Both Thuja and Arg Nit exhibit extreme overreaction to negative internal feelings resulting in a flight to the mind, where fixed or obsessive ideas and a desire to maintain control result in disordered mental behaviour which distracts them from that which they would rather not acknowledge – dark inner feelings of somehow being deficient. This is expressed through polish and control in Thuja but Arg Nit distracts himself with frenetic activity. The flip side of this extremity is weakness11 and both remedies experience symptoms of physical weakness along with obsessive worry about the state of their health and low self esteem. Physical overproduction is marked in both remedies. In growths and discharges for Thuja, whereas this is cheifly expressed in flatulence for Arg Nit. Mentally, both remedies are extreme with Arg Nit in particular turning this into a torrent of verbiage. Ultimately, both have an excess of cowardice toward their primal energies which causes one to hide and the other to take flight.

8 9 10 11

Sankaran, p16 Tyler, p81 Sankaran, p17 Wallace, p148 Page 3 Of 4

Mark O'Sullivan, 2nd Year Irish School of Homeopathy

Essay: Sycotic Miasm & Remedies 10. Jan. 2006

References
Materia Medica of Homeopathic Medicines Dr. S.R. Phatak Remedy Notes 1 John Wallace, SRP Press 1999 Homeopathic Drug Pictures M.L. Tyler The Essence of Materia Medica George Vithoulkas, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi, 2001 The Soul of Remedies Rajan Sankaran, Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, 1997 Prisma, An arcana of Materia Medica Illuminated Franz Vermeulen, Emryss, Haarlem, 2004 Notes on the Miasms Dr. S. Ortega, National Homeopathic Pharmacy, New Delhi, 1980 The Lost Language of Plants (Also, lecture as part of Convergence Festival, Dublin 2003.) Stephen Harrod Buhner, Chelsea Green Publishing, VA USA. 2002

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