Everyone knows one. You know—those uncommon people you meet who have joie de vivre oozing from their pores. They have accomplished more in the last year than most of us can in a lifetime. Each time you see them, you have to restrain yourself from asking what they eat, why their skin is glowing, what are the secrets behind their success—basically how they live their lives.
That’s exactly how it is with Sunny. Just one look at her is enough to convince anyone that she must be dabbling in something unknown to the rest of us. However, things are not always as they seem. There was a time when Sunny was really dragging, and she hid it from everyone. She lived a secretive life. It was a struggle for her to get up in the morning and an effort to get dressed. The next battle was to get breakfast for her family and then to do the beastly dishes. Everything was an effort. Life was a protracted, relentless, effortful drag.
MANY SOURCES OF FATIGUE
A naturopath Sunny visited reviewed her test results and offered the explanation: she suffered from adrenal fatigue. Frankly all she remembered was the operative word “fatigue” in the naturopath’s diagnosis. Just thinking about the naturopath’s advice to take numerous supplements left Sunny feeling exhausted. Fortunately, Sunny was an ardent student of homeopathy. She happily eschewed the recommended supplements and instead tasked herself with analyzing her illness through the lens of homeopathy.
Allow me to clarify that in homeopathy (particularly in the method that I employ and teach), we do not identify the adrenals as the cause of fatigue. Indeed, fatigue can emanate from a variety of sources and circumstances. In Sunny’s case, her fatigue could have resulted from having had three babies in four years, from her long career in nursing, or from a trying bout of influenza. In others we might encounter fatigue related to grief or childbirth, fatigue from having too much coffee or chocolate, fatigue as a side effect of conventional drug therapy or even fatigue stemming from low testosterone in men. The homeopath’s analysis of fatigue depends less on how the endocrine system reads on lab reports and more on the individual’s predominating circumstances. Do we need a saliva or blood test to prove the point? Not if we use homeopathy.
Unfortunately, from the late 1940s until recently, the practice of homeopathy has been rather sluggish in North America. You might even say it too has been suffering from adrenal fatigue. Despite its determined advocates, the pharmaceutical industry has beaten up homeopathy in the market square and forced it to take a back seat to allopathic medicine.
But not to worry. Today homeopathy is experiencing a revival! Because of the Internet and the resulting unfettered access to information, you might say that homeopathy has received a much-needed shot of adrenalin. The timely resurgence of homeopathy in the last decade or so has raised awareness of homeopathy’s potential to correct conditions such as adrenal fatigue, food intolerances and chronic allergies.
At just about the time of this homeopathic renaissance, Sunny discovered and embraced homeopathy. She recognized that the fatigue she was experiencing while her last child was nursing was serious—more serious than any she had ever felt in the past. Her baby, Gino, nursed voraciously. Nighttime feedings seemed endless, and during the day it was like a feeding frenzy! Although Sunny did what she could to keep up with Gino’s appetite, preparing nutrient-dense foods for them both, he was a gulch of hunger. (There is a way to correct this with homeopathy. Read on to learn how.) Sunny also noted that her fatigue did not seem to correlate exactly with the birth, because she had had plenty of pep for months afterward, with the immense fatigue only hitting about a year later.
FATIGUE AND FLUIDS
Luckily, Sunny was taking a course in homeopathy and knew that several homeopathic medicines are available to correct fatigue. She learned that the homeopathic medicine China officinalis is specific for fatigue after the loss of bodily fluids, which makes it a particularly useful remedy during nursing. The history of China officinalis is fascinating. It was the very first medicine that Dr. Samuel Hahnemann “proved” (or tested) homeopathically back in the eighteenth century while endeavoring to cure malaria. Hahnemann found that cinchona bark, which had been used with limited success in its gross form, was a reliable and fully capable medicine for malaria when prepared as the homeopathic remedy China officinalis.
Given that Gino’s ravenous appetite was likely depleting her of not only fluids but also corresponding nutrients, Sunny began taking China officinalis 200C every day. Within a week, she forgot that she had been so tired! She skipped her daily nap and forgot that she had previously only wanted to sit in front of a computer screen and vegetate instead of tackling her daily tasks. She forgot all about the fatigue, that is, until her husband noticed (even before she did) that in addition to her usual duties, she had cleaned the basement, made lasagna from scratch and gone grocery shopping—all in one day!
Sunny was incredulous. Despite being enamored with homeopathy, she could not stop wondering whether it was possible that a single homeopathic medicine could put her adrenals into shape in that short amount of time. Just to confirm her experience and understand it more thoroughly, Sunny dug around in her homeopathic Materia Medicas (reference books that provide detailed indications for the application of specific remedies).
From Dr. Frans Vermeulen’s Concordant Materia Medica (which includes the works of ten other homeopathic physicians from the last two centuries), Sunny found this description of the medicine China officinalis: “Debility from exhausting diseases, from loss of vital fluids and nervous erythrism, calls for this remedy. The patient becomes weak. Aversion to all mental and physical effort.” Under the heading of China officinalis in Dr. Roger Morrison’s Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms, Sunny found this list of symptoms: “Anemia, debility, weakness, collapse, pallor, fluid loss such as from hemorrhage, diarrhea, nursing, pus, etc.” All of this information confirmed what Sunny had experienced. She knew that other stressors also could alter cortisol levels, but the Materia Medicas assigned China officinalis’ corrective capacity mostly to fatigue due to loss of fluids. And it had worked!
Not long after that, Sunny’s friend Minnie had a miscarriage and subsequently hemorrhaged while in the hospital. Her doctors decided that Minnie would probably require a blood transfusion. Given what Sunny had learned about China officinalis, it was not a big leap for her to decide to bring a bottle of the remedy to her weakened friend. Sunny told Minnie how to use the remedy and also gave her friend a few jars of homemade liver paté. A few days later, Minnie’s hemoglobin count was closing in on normal with unexpected speed. Surprised, the medical staff sent Minnie home without the planned transfusion. Sunny was elated that she had a hand in her friend’s recovery.
Even now, Sunny will pop a few pills of China officinalis 6C (or 6X) into her husband’s mouth before, during and after he runs marathons—particularly in the hot weather when he perspires heavily. He tells his friends that it keeps his energy consistent. Once again, when fluids are lost, China officinalis to the rescue!
If you met her today, you would find it hard to believe that Sunny once spent as much time as she could on the couch, had little interest in taking on projects and did what she could to bribe her kids to prepare family meals. Today, Sunny’s shiny personality and energetic demeanor are a source of admiration and even envy to many.
As for baby Gino, Sunny gave him Calcarea phosphorica 3X and Lycopodium 200C twice daily for a few months to reduce his voracious appetite. As a result, his hunger was no longer insatiable nor his belly distended. At present, Gino no longer needs to take these remedies, nor does Sunny require China officinalis. Why? Because homeopathy aims to correct conditions, rather than suppressing, supplementing, or even supporting—homeopathy simply uproots the ailment.
Sunny initially learned about China officinalis in one of my courses, where I teach students about the remedy’s utility for nursing mothers. I myself learned the practical use of this medicine in Kolkata, India, from the doctors who work under Dr. Pratip Banerji. There they use the remedy for Indian village women who work tirelessly in the fields under the hot sun. China officinalis is their go-to medicine for physical over-exertion.
China officinalis has become my go-to medicine for any adrenal fatigue condition that arises from fluid loss. No saliva test needed. No blood test required. Just common sense and practical homeopathy.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2017.