Opium is our 15th letter of the alphabet in The Mauimama’s series, ABCs of Homeopathy for Acute Home Healthcare for you and your family.
Opium is a plant remedy from the Papaveraceae family. This is a herbaceous annual native to Asia Minor. Also known as Papaver Somniferum, or white poppy, its flower color ranges from white to reddish purple and it grows to about 30 inches with urn-shaped seed pods. The homeopathic abbreviation for Opium is Op. The dried juice of the green unripe seed capsules is actually where the Opium is extracted from. The juice contains twenty-two different alkaloids and two acids.
Morphine is Opium’s most important active ingredient. The word Opium comes from the Greek work opos which means “juice”. Morphine gets its name from the Greek God Morpheus who was thought to have discovered the poppy with its pain relieving and sleep inducing benefits. Morpheus was the God of Sleep.
Around 4,000BC we find the first written reference to opium in an ancient Sumarian text. It is described as the “plant of joy,” that brings sleep and an end to pain.
Opium in its crude form has an extensive history in its trade and uses and today we see modern medicine facing an Opioid crisis. Although this plant was recognized as highly poisonous, during the times of Hipprocates (the “Father of Medicine”) preparations from the plant were used as medicine when administered with great care.
Miranda Castro in her book, “The complete homeopathic hand book” states; “It was used as a sedative and a pain reliever, externally for gout, earache, headaches, internally for dysentery and certain types of cough.” She goes on to say, “in small doses opium acts as a stimulant, ideas flow, exhilaration is experienced, as well as a capability of greater exertion and a great ability to endure, but this is also followed by a loss of mental and physical power, an irresistible desire to sleep, and dependency.”
The homeopathic remedy Opium is made by dissolving opium in alcohol and succussing, and is a remedy that is useful after a particular kind of shock. In the patient we see the appearance of glassy eyes and stupefaction. The patient may feel faint, numb or trembly. There is an abnormal lack of pain as if the senses have been blunted. The face is old looking and drawn, sunken and red, possibly with a bluish tinge. Children are unable to urinate after this shock.
Patients that are in a state of shock, but also in a dream like state that they cannot snap out of are helped by Opium. The post operative “spaced out” feeling may also be helped by homeopathic Opium. Indications for use of homeopathic Opium written by Miranda Castro in her book, “Miranda Castro’s Homeopathic Guides for Mother and Baby” are as follows:
Physical complaints during pregnancy: Bleeding, vaginal, during pregnancy caused by shock.
Effects of drugs taken during or after labour: Drowsy, sleepy, spaced out, caused by general anaesthetic; morphine or pethidine. Patient my feel as if they are on another planet and cannot quite wake up.
Labour: Premature caused by fright and or shock. Labour pains stopping or slowing down; weak. With exhaustion. With red face. Apathetic and fearful in labour.
Retention of urine: Caused by childbirth; shock. After a shock or fright the patient is unable to pass urine.
Insomnia: With sleepiness. The patient sleeps lightly and restlessly and hears every sound. Sleepy but cannot fall asleep; bed may feel hot.
Fever: Heat burning intense, with deep sleep; sweating. Better for uncovering. Worst during sleep; for sweating. If woken, the patient wants to uncover, and is either delirious and excitable or stupefied and semi-conscious.
Constipation: In babies. Desire to pass stool is absent. Stools are hard, black, small balls like sheep droppings, they recede with a feeling of unfinished. Caused by bottle feeding and weaning. Babies may react badly to bottled milk or prepared baby foods and become completely bunged up, going for weeks without passing a stool.
Homeopathic Opium can be ordered through your homeopath. As always please consult your qualified homeopath and Doctor if your symptoms persist. Homeopathy is not intended to replace your medical care.
Wishing you all great health and happiness this summer.