By Hwaa Irfan
I. Previously, we explored the female connection via the homeopathic remedy Natrum muriaticum, depicting a woman who is very much a product of the Industrial Revolution. Raised in a family where mother bonding is interrupted. Natrum muriaticum has grown up in an environment where there is no time for deep bonds to unfold; a family as a result is emotionally distant in a manner that deprives the bonding and participation that this type of woman needs to flourish in her life.
II. Then we explored the feminine face of Natrum carbonicum, more down to earth and open than Natrum muriaticum who fears rejection, a rejection that began as a traumatic experience from her past. She prefers to stay closer to home – her comfort zone, which draws upon to define her place in the world, with anxiety as the obstacle she must overcome. Thrown off-balance by anything that is not common to her comfort zone, develops a level of anticipatory anxiety about anything new feeling unworthy of love.
III. With Natrum phosphoricum her obstacle is grief, as a result of a more volatile nature that is sensitive to external influences. Natrum phosphoricum reacts to her pain with fear that suppresses her internal communications, emotions, and the normal functioning of their bodies out of a deep sense of worthlessness as her survival mechanism.
IV. Pulsatilla is a vibrant person who moves with the flow of events. She has an innate sense of human relations, and God’s plan for human society. Unlike the Natrum sisters, Pulsatilla’s problem is not one of grief, or inner suppression, but of external censorship. She expects fairness, and when that fairness is missing, they become distressed, and instead of moving with the flow, they become tossed by the wind of events. This dissipates their life force, becoming weakened without ongoing environmental support and love. She hides her vulnerability by becoming more sophisticated out of a desire for space, and self expression; this marks an imbalance and separation between their inner world, and their outer world.
V. Staphysagria is a born intuitive, who likes to stand above the crowd. Their level of intuition makes them sensitive to external influences, and combined with their desire to be noticed they feel deeply hurt if ignored. With a lifetime of rejection Staphysagria reacts in a variety of ways the result of which is a struggle of suppression vs. expression.
Belladonna, Atropa belladonna is an ancient herb that was widely used in Europe. It was in the eyedrops of Italian women (bella = pretty donna = lady) to increase their physical beauty as it dilates the pupils bringing attention to the eyes.
Atropa belladonna is a perennial plant native to Central and South Europe. The plant likes to grow in undisturbed places like waste land, rubbish dumps, and quarries – places forsaken by man. It will grow under the shade of a tree on woody hills, with a preference for calcareous soils. Dwarfed varieties grow in environments exposed to the sun, and the more exposed to the sun Atropa belladonna is, the more poisonous it is, and the more likely it is to be attacked by insects under wild, and natural conditions.
The root is thick, fleshy and off-white with a tendency to branch off. The stems are annuals, which are purplish in colour. Growing to a height of 2 – 4 ft. The plant remains undivided at the base, but divides above the ground into three or more branches with each in turn branching freely.
The leaves are a dull darkish green of various sizes, with the lower leaves looking rather solitary, and the upper leaves alternating at opposite sides of the stem – of the paired leaves one will be much smaller than the other, oval in shape, and acute at the apex. The stems when young are downy haired along with the leaves, which display prominent veins on the under-surface, and are depressed on the upper surface.
The delicately scented bell-shaped purple flowers (tinged in green) bloom from the axils of the leaves June – September growing in singles with a five-lobed corolla. A five-cleft calyx supports smooth berries which ripen in September turning black and shiny like small cherries (each cherry contains several seeds). The berried are full of a dark inky sweet juice that is very attractive to children. The juice can cause a complete loss of voice, and make one inclined to bend forward with agitated movement of the hands and fingers, as the eyes become dilated.
Containing poisons: atropine, hyoscynanine, and scopolamine gives an indication of its Latin/botanical name Atropa from the Greek Atropos, one of the three Fates who cuts the thread of life. Atropine, hyoscynanine, and scopolamine all are sedatives that induce relaxation of the smooth muscles of the body. When Atropa belladonna is ingested there is a disruption of the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates respiration, the heart rate, and perspiration for example. There is an inability to urinate, a rapid increase in the heart beat, and sudden fits of laughter. As well as dilating the pupils, the mouth becomes dry, followed by spells of nausea and sudden vomiting. Muscles no longer respond as desired, and delirium sets in. One them becomes physically and mentally, which is accompanied by hallucinations, paralysis of the body, coma, and death by respiratory failure.
Belladonna the person is somebody with an abundant life force who gives out a lot of energy. They extremely healthy looking, and very robust, are the key terms used to describe the physical characteristics in homeopathy, and they are also very intense. Homeopath Vithoulkas describes them as people who are not easily ignored, and stand out in a crowd as their eyes glisten. Atropa belladonna has five-lobed corolla, and five-cleft calyx – under the Doctrine of Signature the number 5 relates to choice, the period of adolescence, and the five senses. Homeopath David Lilley gives an analogy of Mother Goddess symbology reflected in the Doctrine of Signature of Belladonna, at once creator, and destroyer working towards the nurturing of humanity, and destroying the false ego.
Vithoulkas refers to Belladonna as having so much “substance and richness” that they do not require that they do not need to seek out company as they are not in need of “extra stimulation” externally. Their intelligence is apparent, and have vivid emotions, thoughts and imagination, and can be quite excitable. If they are suffering in any way they prefer to keep it to themselves.
Atropa belladonna is a member of the Solanaceae family of the plant kingdom, which is also known as the Nightshade Family, which can be trees, herbs, shrubs or vines. Some of those contain poisons the common manifestations of which are: Delirium, cheerfulness under extraneous conditions, and sensitivity with fear. When they fall into dis-ease Vithoulkas tells us that it is accumulative over years, and manifests suddenly and disappears suddenly probably because of the high vitality of the Belladonna person. Homeopath P. Bailey, found that many of his Belladonna patients had deep interest in spiritual matters, and some professed psychic abilities.
Belladonna fall into dis-ease as a result of shock, disappointment in love, fear or too much sun. The causal factor is symptomatic of its Solanaceae ancestry, and that is described by Lilley as a predicament whereby :
“… those whose eternal qualities and awareness have been forgotten and whose true-self has been replaced by a false-self filled with fear and anger.
“The Shadow, or personal abyss, grows apace with the development of the false-self and is filled with all the characteristics we are ashamed of and therefore repress, all our unresolved emotions, dating back to our conception, and our unrealised, divine aspects. This is particularly true of those who fail to feel and live out their emotions.
“In the Shadow lurks also the personal devil or “beast” structure, a proud, selfish, destructive, hateful, dark energy, which resides in varying degrees within us all, easily recognised in a Hitler, but difficult to own and face in ourselves.”
These are characteristics symbolic of a modern secular society whereby self gratification, and the impulse to satisfy the senses are so prolific whatever is done is driven by the senses, and disguised as virtues, and always seeking solutions that allow the senses to reign. Belladonna the nurturing divine mother is lost, to the senses that know no boundaries.
Atropa belladonna has an affinity with the nerve centres (the chakras), blood vessels, capillaries, the mucous membranes of the eyes, the mouth, and the throat. The plant also has an affinity with the skin, the organs, the right side (the emotional-feminine side), and to some degree the left side.
Imbalance sets in as represented by the Doctrine of Signature, one signature of which is the #5 – the five senses. The senses become most disrupted during the stages of puberty when cognition is at a slower rate of development, and any sudden changes in the body: menses, pregnancy, labor, menopause etc. In Belladonna, she develops an uncontrolled appetite for sex (which results in a low libido after time), recreational drugs, and has destructive emotions like jealousy, hatred, pride, aggression, viciousness and malice. The afflictions comes and goes in phases, gaining momentum over a period of time if she does not return to a state of balance – at-ease. They become aggravated by heat/sun, like Atropa belladonna, which dwarfs in the full sun, which makes them go red. They will be bursting with so much heat that whoever is near can feel. Belladonna will suffer from fevers, inflammations of the eyes, the tonsils, the appendix, skeletal (arthritis), skin (perspiration) and hot flushes arising from their menstrual cycle. The sudden rise in heat, leads to vulnerabilities to sudden drafts, sudden changes in physiological temperature catching colds easily.
The vibrant Belladonna becomes overwhelmed by external stimuli the symptoms of which are described in the affect of the poisons of Atropa belladonna. That feeling of being overwhelmed comes out as bursts of anger, delirium, and superhuman physical strength; they become destructive from suppressed emotions. She is put off centre by light, noise, motion, and become sensitive to touch which reminds her of her vulnerabilities. Her unconscious calls out to her, and she develops a phobia towards water – the emotions of the subconscious that lashes in a rabid hysteria from biting, kicking, spitting, to laughter, and with those symptoms a characteristic fear of dogs, fear of anything that serves as a reminder of the true self left behind in the dark. Will laugh hysterically one moment, and lash out the next!
All things pertaining to the dark come out when the conscious ego is not as active as it is by the light of day. Her dreams are that of falling, and her delirium, and hallucinations are that of snakes, wolves, dogs, and any dark looking creatures like the creatures that attack Atropa belladonna when most poisonous.
The drying symptoms of the poison atropine may transpire in Belladonna the person as:
Thirst without desire for water, drying mucous membranes of the eyes, the nose, constipation, delayed menses etc., and congestions in various parts of the body from lack of moisture: mastitis, haemorrhoids, enuresis, and pains and cramps along the transverse colon for example. The congestive and heat symptoms combine as pulsating, and maddening throbs with headaches,
Belladonna has also a peculiar relationship with the period 11.00am – 3.00pm. This is a period when they will generally feel worse starting at 11.00am, and peaking at 3.00pm or vice versa. For instance they have a tendency to have headaches that begin 3.00pm/11.00am and peak at 3.00pm.
This bears some relationship to the Chinese meridians, that demonstrate the optimum period of activity of the organs if the body.
9 a.m. to 11 a.m – Spleen – organ of assimilation and storage
11 a.m. to 1 p.m – Heart – organ of assimilation and storage
1 p.m. to 3 p.m – Small intestines – organ of secretion and elimination
3 p.m. to 5 p.m – Urinary bladder – organ of secretion and elimination
The meridian of the spleen connects with the heart, which in turn connects with the small intestines, which in turn connects with the urinary bladder, and then to the kidney meridian, so at the beginning of the day there is a problem with assimilation and storage.
A problem with the spleen meridian transpires as anemia, lethargy, indigestion, malabsorption, vomiting, ulcer pain, abdominal distension, and pain in the lower extremities. Belladonna in a state of dis-ease has a problem with
– Pain and cramping along the transverse colon, colic, nausea, and flatulence.
A problem with the spleen meridian reflects worry, anxiety about the future.
A problem with the heart meridian transpires as palpitations, chest pains, jaundice, and pain in the arms. Belladonna in a state of dis-ease has a problem with
– Difficulty in swallowing, and any sudden motions/jerking of the hands, tonsillitis, pneumonia, and mastitis.
A problem with the heart meridian transpires as conflicts with joy and anger.
A problem with the meridian of the small intestines transpires as problems with the neck, shoulder, lower abdomen, sore throat, and ears. Belladonna in a state of dis-ease has a problem with
– Throbbing headaches, migraines, vertigo from turning the head, Meniere’s syndrome, tonsillitis, cramping along the transverse colon, and cholecystitis.
A problem with the heart meridian transpires as insecurity, and sadness.
A problem with the meridian of the urinary bladder transpires as dysuria, enuresis, soreness of the eyes, headache, backache, runny nose, loin and leg pain, and general malaise. Belladonna in a state of dis-ease has a problem with
- Headaches that radiate form the occiput, enuresis in children, right-sided ovarian pains, low back pain with pains extending upwards, herniated discs, arthritis with hot swollen joints, flushes of heat at extremities.
Belladonna in a state of dis-ease has a mixture of emotions, from impatience that transpires as restlessness, and fear.
That fully effervescent person becomes thwarted by their own natural gifts that turn against them until they accept their higher selves as the devil and the angel within competes for the soul.
“Mirth turns into senseless , fits of laughter, the fluent language into garrulity, singing into shouting, the friendliness into rage and fury with attempts to bite those around, to spit at them, to tear everything to pieces.” – Gutman.
This is the abyss that Belladonna has descended into despising and hiding from herself until she chooses to recognize, understand, and accept who and what she really is!
Kumar, S. “Solanaceae Family in Homeopathy.” http://www.similima.com/gp17.html
Lilley, D. “Belladonna: The Mystic Dimension.” Health & Homeopathy Winter 2003/04
Vermeulen, F. “Prisma: The Arcana of Materia Medica Illuminated.” Emryss, Netherlands. 2002.