Many of you probably use homeopathic remedies for acute conditions such as coughs, colds, flus, musculoskeletal complaints, and rashes. Reading a list of acute symptoms can be tedious, as well as frustrating, as many of the remedies overlap on the physical level. And if any have visited a homeopath, you’ve probably noticed remedies being prescribed which may not be strongly indicated for the acute problem, but work masterfully. The real art of homeopathy comes when we are able to match deeper underlying components of a patient’s constitution with an acute remedy. I’m not referring to a “constitutional remedy, per se, but rather how to better choose between 2 or more acute remedies with a rudimentary knowledge of how certain remedies present on a deeper, more constitutional level; the mental emotional level. Everyone gets a cold, or a urinary tract infection, but certain remedy states will present with very different mental emotional characteristics. Let’s take for exampleStaphysagria.


Staphysagria is often prescribed acutely for stretching tearing wounds, especially of bodily orifices like the lips or anus. It is a common urinary tract infection remedy, presenting with irritation of the urethra, increased frequency, and it can present after intercourse. But what are some more subtle characteristics which would lead you to prescribe staphysagria for a urinary tract infection, rather than cantharis, nux vomica, or pulsatilla – all remedies which are used far more commonly in UTIs?

Staphysagria Patients

Staphysagria patients are extremely sweet and easy to get along with. They will try to do everything right to earn the approval of others, often at their own expense. They will often have a very sorrowful story, which plays at the sympathy of others.

Suppression Saturates the Complaints of Staphysagria

Underlying many of the complaints of staphysagria will be suppression. The staphysagria patient is very emotionally excitable, though they tend to keep things to themselves, especially when they are bothered. They tread toward anger, however, will suppress it, not wanting others to see them as “rocking the boat,” or being hostile. This internal suppression manifests itself in the physical world as sensitivities to smell, sound, light, and often illnesses will have a fair amount of this hypersensitivity. Often illnesses come on after confrontations during which they needed to stifle their emotional reaction. They will bottle up their emotions, and erupt with some sort of irritable symptom.

A Lifetime of Suppression Emerges in Fits of Rage

When they get mad, they get really mad, they will throw things. When anger manifests, it isn’t anger at one thing, but at a whole lifetime of suppressed feelings, and thoughts, needing to come out.

Sexual  Staphysagria

Sexual fantasies are often a key component of a staphysagria picture, with masturbation perhaps. Not the typical enjoyment of sex, but as if the repressed emotions experienced during other parts of life need to come out somewhere, and it comes out in the bedroom.

Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision. 

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