Archive | May 12, 2012

Behind the Masks of the Feminine XIII: Nux Vomica

Behind the Masks of the Feminine XIII: Nux Vomica – Strychnos nux-vomica


By Hwaa Irfan

We began with 3 Minerals of the natrum group…

I. Natrum muriaticum is a woman who is very much a product of the Industrial Revolution. She has grown up in an emotionally distant environment depriving her of what she 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, but thrown off balance by a past traumatic experience making her vulnerable to any perceived form of rejection.

III. Natrum phosphoricum’s sensibility is grief. In a state of dis-ease she is volatile and sensitive to external influences. She feels worthless and reacts to her pain out of fear which suppresses her internal communications, emotions, and the normal functioning of their bodies.

Three Flowers

IV. Pulsatilla is vibrant and 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, she is distressed as she becomes tossed by the wind of events.

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.

VI. Belladonna has abundant life force and gives out a lot of energy. Complete within herself, she is in no need of external stimulation, and desires little company. As creator and destroyer they work towards the nurturance of humanity by destroying the false ego, but Belladonna’s sensibility is one of shock. As she loses sense of a true self, it is replaced by a false-self filled with fear and anger.

Three Marine Remedies

VI. Sepia is independent by nature like Pulsatilla and Natrum Muriaticum. She likes to be away from people, and withdraw into nature. She celebrates her freedom, her connection with her own body, and her connection with the earth. Independent, ambitious and career minded, it is her love of independence that becomes the means by which she falls into a state of dis-ease.

VII. Calcarea carbonica has a lustrous nature and is full of the creative power of the female principle, and as a nurturer. When things go wrong, she withdraws and is unable to cope without someone providing a sense of safety and protection, and when missing, they develop serious anxieties…

Three Remedies of the Mineral Group

IX. Sulphur is about appreciation, and so it should be. They are pioneers, and adventurers not fearing the unknown, and always questioning and seeking answers, but fall from grace when they are not appreciated enough.

X. Phosphorus emits light from within, is seductive, gratifying, and yet ensnares – the price of intellectual arrogance. She is a warm friendly extrovert, but also enjoys solitude to pursue artistic and intellectual endeavours. There are no secrets for such person; whatever is on her mind she shares freely. However, the phosphorus person needs structure, as they struggle between stability and freedom.

IX. Arsenicum Album dresses pragmatically or can be the one who dresses chic, but both types are fastidious about their appearance. They are conscientious and persevering, good organizers, ambitious hard workers who are never satisfied. Their vulnerability is physical insecurity, and become emotionally stuck , and very stubborn with it.

Three Remedies from the Tree World…

XII: Thuja (Cedarwood) is in touch with their physical, and psycho-spiritual selves, in a state of balance. In synchronicity with the sacred geometry of the 8 -12, ovoidal/pyramidal shape of the cones it produces, and the form that the tree takes on, the Thuja child is open to the invisible world and can come across as quite dreamy, but if suffocated by those around them there will be adverse affects on the child’s development and the formation of their own identity.

XIII: Nux Vomica  (Strychnos nux-vomica): To understand the nature of a person in need of nux vomica as a homeopathic treatment one needs to take a look at the element.

Nux Vomica  is more commonly known as Poison Nut, Quaker buttons, or Bachelor’s Buttons.

A member of the Loganiaceae family of the plant kingdom, Loganiaceae’s carry a specific signature, one of which is the more commonly known poison Strychnine. The Loganiaceae family has 15 members all of which are flowering plants (angiosperms). A Loganiaceae can be a herb, shrub, or tree that tends to grow in temperate climates that can be sub-tropical – tropical like Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand.

The leaves are connected by stipules (the base of the leaf – an appendage), and has 4-5 divisions, and 4-5 male flowers (with stamens) with the ovary free from the calyx. The young stems tend to be cylindrical, and the plant tends to be hermaphrodite, or dioecious (either male or female).

The qualities of the Loganiaceae family in imbalanced human expression tend to demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Over sensitive
  • Irritable, depressive states
  • Paralyzing actions
  • Neuralgia
  • Fevers with chills
  • Aggravated due to summer+/- change of  weather

 These impressions run through many members of the Loganiaceae family.

Nux Vomica is the fruit of a medium-sized tree that has a short, crooked, thick trunk. The wood is white hard, close grained, durable, and the root very bitter.

The branches are irregular, and are covered with a smooth ash-coloured bark. The young shoots are deep green in colour, shiny, and the leaves are opposite to one another. The stalks are oval, shiny, and smooth on both sides bearing small funnel-shaped green-white flowers. The flowers bloom in the cold season, and have a disagreeable aroma. The fruit is a smooth with a rind that is hard that turns orange when the fruit ripens. About the size of an apple, the fruit has a soft jelly-like pulp, and contains the Nux vomica seeds which are removed when ripe, cleansed dried, and sorted before they are exported for trade.  The flattened disk-shaped seeds are covered with satin-like hairs that radiate from the center. The bitter tasting seeds have no aroma, but are very hard, dark grey in colour, and contain the embryo.

Native to Tropical Asia, Nux Vomica is the most common source of the poison Strychnine, which is a stimulant, but can be lethal causing muscular convulsions that lead to asphyxia, or exhaustion. In medicinal amounts, Strychnine helps in cases of insomnia, digestive problems.


Seemingly reckless to others, Nux Vomica is essentially the opposite – always cautious but courageous in their endeavours. This makes them high performers at school, potential leaders/adventurers, and CEO’s, because their mind is quick and can assess situations and calculate the risks as they evolve. Because of these qualities, Nux Vomica is usually successful, and Nux knows it!

It is this unusual combination of traits that makes him such an excellent leader, conqueror or big boss. His mind is quick, so he can instantly assess a situation and see what needs to be done. Then he calculates the risk and cautiously decides if it is worth doing, or if his plan needs modification. Therefore, in a war situation, you can always count on Nux to get the job done while keeping his men as safe as possible. This is extremely responsible behavior, and not actually reckless at all. Yes, he is willing to take risks, but it is always carefully calculated risk. Risk without cautiousness is simply stupidity, and Nux is not stupid! Because he is so accurate in his assessments of difficult tasks, he normally succeeds with whatever the task is, and sooner or later, he finds himself in a position of power.

In Dis-ease

Look out for the intense slender type ‘A’ personality with a weak stomach liver, lungs, nerves, and bowels. They tend to have a lot of energy, and are success oriented. They are impatient, competitive, and overly aggressive – a modern day feature of corporate psychology. Any obstacle towards their goal results in outbursts of anger from irritability to being violent. One of the parts of the body that Nux Vomica has an affinity with is the liver, and the flow of the life force through the liver affects all other internal organs. This reflects again in the way in which Nux Vomica interacts with the world.

They are not team players, and prefer power to being told what to do by those less competent, but the problem is, they do not like the responsibility of being in-charge of others. Nux Vomica would rather reduce the risk of the outcome, and take charge themselves. When this is not the case, and has to rely on others, Nux Vomica becomes really bossy.Nux likes being in a position of power because he hates being told what to do by people who are less competent than himself. This explains why Nux has a tendency to think that the world is full of idiots. In his opinion, they are, because he can usually do better if he is in charge. The only thing he doesn’t like about being in this position is to have to be in charge of others. In Nux’s perception, they are still idiots, remember. It is better to order idiots around, than to be ordered around by idiots, but if it were up to Nux, he would rather work alone.

Nux is not a team worker, simply because working with others increases the risk factor. If dangerous assignments have to be completed, and Nux relies on someone who doesn’t have the same ability to assess risk and be cautiously courageous, he can’t determine accurately how the assignment will turn out. So, he prefers to rely only on himself. However, if he has to rely on others, he becomes extremely bossy and controlling. He does this to ensure that the others understand EXACTLY what he wants them to do, so they won’t become an added risk factor.

On a more mundane level, consultant homeopath, William Boericke describes a more sedentary type whose work life is more sedentry, involving mental work. To compensate, Nux Vomica seeks stimulation through coffee, wine, or escapism through tobacco, and drugs along with rich foods, the opposite sex, and wine, being a homeopathic remedy that is required more by men than women, but as women take on the male mentality, so too are women in modern competitive societies found to be in need of Nux Vomica as a rebalancing remedy.

Nux becomes more irritable, fearing failure, death, and loss. They ridicule others, and their irritability manifests through the nervous system, disturbances in the digestive system, physiologically and even hypochondria. They become oversensitive to noise, light, change in the current of air, and the allopathic medicines that now overload the body.

Out of tune with themselves, they become oversensitive to touch, and to the extreme the things that make them irritable, they want to destroy. Now unable to process information at the speed required, Nux Vomica becomes overwhelmed by them, and so their minds becomes overburdened by all the things that remain undone taking it out on the family.

Sleeping becomes a problem, and may even experience insomnia. The sense of paralysis in their work life translates as outbursts of anger, and spasms, like the affect of Strychnine on the muscular system, but also follows through to their digestive system, losing the ability to release what is needed to be expelled into the toilet – both bladder, and bowels are placed under great strain.

Women in need of Nux Vomica tend to have their menses early like their sister Pulsatilla, and their flow lasts too long to the point that one menses can stop when another begins along with oversensitivity to modern medicines. Painful menstrual cramps occur, with cramps in their uterus extending throughout their bodies. They are eased by the situation from applied heat and pressure, and feel worse from draughts. Labor pains result in a sore feeling,

Sexual excesses result in impotence as their body moves towards a state of collapse (exhaustion). Nux Vomica becomes aggravated from rich foods, alcohol, and coffee. They feel worse between 3am – 4am. The seat of happiness and anger in the body physical is the liver, the meridians of which have an optimum function between 1am – 3am with the optimum function of the meridians of the lungs at 3am – 5am. The homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica is most beneficial for those with stomach related asthma.

Very much a remedy of the rat race, The late consultant homeopath  James, Tyler Kent found that Europeans in general are more in need of Nux Vomica than Americans.

Slowing down the never-ending cog-wheels of the rat race, is something we must all learn to do, because the speed at which those wheels turn, turns us away from human being, and turns us into human animals. When we slow down enough to take care of ourselves, our health, and our well being in general, we are all more able to perform better when needed. Here we find ourselves at a point in human history where the cog-wheels are not able to complete their revolutions. Nux Vomica has to learn to allow others to fulfil their potentials, to make their mistakes and learn from them, and then Nux Vomica will be able to have better control over a more productive life.


Kent, J. T. “Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica.” Nalanda Digital Library-Regional Engineering College, Calcutta, India.

Vermeulen, F. “Prisma: The Arcana of Materia Medica Illuminated.” Emryss, Netherlands. 2002.


Related Topics:

Allah’s Medicine Chest

Where Did Compassion Go?

The Importance of Self-Compassion

Is Your Heart as Strong as it is Big?

An Appreciative Heart is Good Medicine