Way back when I first started writing my blog, I wrote a post about coping with change.  You can find the original post from 2018 here.  I find myself thinking about this topic once again as we move into autumn here in the UK, so here are some further homeopathic reflections.

The turning of the year requires us to adapt.  In health, this is effortless, and unremarkable: we go with the flow of life, adjusting to change as part of the natural world.  The human organism adapts to shorter days and longer nights, and damp and cooler air.  We often have different nutritional needs, and require more sleep and have lower energy levels (due to increased levels of melatonin).  

In those who are susceptible, the change of season can be a problem, and highlights their weakened ability to adapt.  Some people find that they are markedly more prone to respiratory infections, or their chronic condition – especially arthritis, for example – always gets worse when the nights become colder and damp.  Others are strongly affected by the shorter days and longer nights, developing low mood and irritability during the autumn and winter months, which is sometimes called winter depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  

In homeopathy we recognise that the symptoms you develop at times of seasonal change are part of a broader individual picture.  When the human organism is out of kilter, the symptoms you develop are part of a stuck pattern.  Difficulties with seasonal change are seen in a wider context, according to each person’s susceptibility.  Remedies prescribed are chosen to match this individual pattern, to stimulate healing.  Here are some examples of remedies that correspond to an aggravation of symptoms in autumn.

Lachesis

This remedy is made from Lachesis muta, the Bushmaster snake.  Those whose symptoms correspond to Lachesis typically feel worse in spring and autumn, and at other times of transition, for example, on falling asleep.  Why is this?  In terms of the source of the remedy, it is the time when snakes are entering or emerging from hibernation.  In those whose symptoms correspond to the remedy, times of transition are when our conscious defences are lowered, and this produces tension and conflict.  While our everyday lives require some suppression of our natural instincts, for Lachesis suppressing these urges is difficult: they need to express themselves, and physical or emotional suppression causes problems.  They feel better for physical discharges (for example, after their period starts), and worse when they cease (it is a well known remedy for menopausal symptoms). 

Natrum mur

This remedy is made from sodium chloride, or common salt.  Sodium is an essential nutrient in the human body, and among its many functions, it helps to maintain the body’s water balance at the cellular level.  Together with potassium, it allows the cells to decide what is retained within the cell or eliminated.  Those whose symptoms correspond to Natrum mur may feel worse in autumn and at other times of transition, because transition necessitates loss.  Any change or transition involves loss, as we must let go of something of the old in order to embrace the new.  Natrum mur is especially susceptible to loss and its attendant grief, so any circumstances which involve it may be difficult.  This might include bereavement: Natrum mur is a major remedy for long lasting grief.  It might also include a difficulty in moving on from past hurts and disappointments.  Following the same theme, Natrum mur corresponds to conditions of water retention or dryness.

Colchicum

This remedy is made from the plant Colchicum autumnale, also known as Autumn Crocus or Meadow Saffron.  The plant is remarkable in that its flowers appear in autumn, some time before the leaves, which appear the following spring.  This is the reason for another of its common names: Naked Ladies.  The remedy made from Colchicum corresponds to a strong aggravation during autumn: those who respond to Colchicum typically feel worse when the weather becomes cold and damp, and worse for changes in the weather generally.  As one might expect from the unprotected state of the flower, those whose symptoms correspond to Colchicum are highly sensitive to external influences, from weather, to odours, noise and light.

If you are someone who struggles with seasonal change, tending to develop symptoms during spring or autumn, homeopathy may be able to help restore your equilibrium.

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