Mind & Body

Anecdotes From Homeopathy: Nux Vomica

TIMEJanuary 5, 2014

Nux vomica, a homeopathic remedy made from the poison-nut tree, has been used for more than 200 years as a homeopathic remedy. It was used by the founder of the homeopathic school of medicine, Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., who described the remedy in his work “Materia Medica Pura” in 1811.


A patient of mine was in his hospital room following surgery. He asked why he was in the hospital, didn’t want to be there, and attempted to get up to leave.

On experiencing pain in the leg that was just operated on, he winced and lay back down.

“Open your mouth,” I said. He did, and I put a dose of Nux on this tongue. Within 30 seconds, the patient was sleeping peacefully. What happened?

He had had general anesthesia for his operation. General anesthesia, one of the great contributions of modern medicine, has a side effect—liver toxicity. In this case, the patient was demonstrating liver toxicity by an irritable mood, which was quite uncharacteristic.

Nux antidoted this toxicity, and the patient went to sleep. On waking up later, his mellow demeanor returned.

A Full Night’s Sleep

An elderly physician who liked to drink one to three cups of coffee a day complained that although he got to sleep quickly at night, he would wake up at 3 a.m. and had difficulty getting back to sleep. He would finally fall back asleep, but he would wake up the next morning feeling that he had not had enough sleep.

After taking a dose of Nux for several days before he went to sleep, he reported that his sleep was much improved, despite the fact that he continued to drink coffee.

Coffee is a liver toxin. Waking up at 3 a.m. is a common symptom for people whose liver is not functioning optimally. Nux is a liver detoxifier. During the day, he toxified his liver with coffee, and he detoxified his liver before sleep with Nux.

Going Sober

The wife of an alcoholic physician was distraught and didn’t know how to help her husband get over his addiction. She consulted a homeopathic physician (not Dr. McCoy) who suggested that the wife put a dose of Nux in the bottle of whatever alcohol the husband was imbibing.

She did so, and in a matter of months, the alcoholic physician lost his desire to drink, joined AA, and remained sober for the rest of his life.

Nux has a history of making alcohol less attractive to those who imbibe too much.

Disclaimer: The above are just a few vignettes demonstrating what homeopathic treatment can do. This is not a recommendation or prescription for homeopathic remedies. For any health problem, please consult your physician before beginning treatment.

William Franklin McCoy, M.D., is a homeopathic physician who has been practicing classical homeopathy for more than 40 years. He has a private medical practice in Cambridge, N.Y. His website is homeopathic-md-do.com.