Homeopathic First Aid: Gelsemium

September 16, 2011 Updated: March 25, 2012

Epoch Times Photo

Gelsemium is an important homeopathic remedy for anxiety and flu-like ailments. (Franz Eugen Koehler, Koehler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen/via Wikimedia Commons)


Gelsemium belongs to the Loganiaceae family of plants. According to the Bombay School of homeopathy, the homeopathic remedies in this family experience the sensations: “shocked, shattered, and torn to pieces. The shock is so sudden as to paralyze the person.” They can also experience disappointment and feel ruined.

Once persons needing remedies of this family are successfully treated, Dr. Sankaran of the Bombay School says these people are “composed and calm in the most shocking circumstances.”

The most striking instance of Gelsemium’s effectiveness in my experience was an animal case.

At the time, we were living in a more rural area in the northeast. A neighbor had two donkeys that were to be taken to a nearby fair so small children could ride on them.

To move a donkey, pulling it by its bridle is not an option since donkeys plant their feet and won’t move if they do not wish. So one has to pick up their hind legs and walk forward with them—a comical sight.

When the donkeys were loaded onto the back of a pickup truck, the older donkey began shaking from fright.

I gave the donkey a dose of Gelsemium, and within 30 seconds, the trembling stopped and did not return.

Patients who are especially fearful before dental procedures or before airplane flights report that their anxiety is considerably lessened after taking a dose of Gelsemium.

People needing this remedy frequently experience trembling with anticipation of some ordeal, such as giving a speech or taking an exam. Accompanying this anticipation is also a great sense of weakness, palpitations, and possibly loose bowels. Also, one may experience incoordination and may drop things.

Gelsemium was one of the principal remedies for the 1918 flu epidemic. When treated homeopathically, hospitalized patients had an average mortality rate of less than 1 percent.

Symptoms indicating the need for Gelsemium include a feeling of great weakness, fatigue, and heaviness of the limbs. One does not want to move due to this great sense of fatigue. This may be accompanied by mental dullness, a hot head with dark-red color of the face, dilated pupils, cold extremities, and muscular twitching. One may experience chills going up from the lower back.

Interestingly, if one has a headache, it may be relieved by passing large quantities of urine. There may be a peculiar fear that if one does not keep moving, the heart will stop beating.

Dr. McCoy has been practicing homeopathic medicine for more than 30 years.

Please consult your physician before treating yourself for any illness.

References: Materia Medica of Homeopathic Remedies by James Tyler Kent, M.D., Sankaran’s Schema by Dr. Rajan Sankaran