Name, species, and habitat Daphne mezereum, commonly known as mezereum, February daphne, spurge laurel or spurge olive, is a hardy, deciduous bush,growing to 1.5 m tall and native to most of Europe and Western Asia. It is generally confined to soils derived from limestone. Since the flowers are produced in early spring, sometimes in snow, this remedy seems to help more often in January and February. The flowers have a strongly lilac-scented smell and grow in groups of mostly threes on last year‘s branches. Only after bloom in April, the spear-like, soft, short-stemmed leaves grow. The whole plant, including the berries that grow in June to July, is very poisonous. The berries are popular food for birds, who are immune to the poison.
In addition to ethereal oils and resin, the plant also contains the compounds daphnin and mezerein, which are said to cause cancer. The consumation of 6-10 berries and other plant parts causes severe poisoning symptoms, including nausea and dyspnea. The sap of the fresh bark causes—according to Hahnemann—a long-lasting, very painful burning sensation. Its caustic effect causes, similarly to cantharides, a severe inflammation with erythema, forming of pustules, blistering, and even necrosis. mucous membranes are irritated in a similar way: sneezing, severe burning in the neck, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes even damage to the uric organs. A state of irritation similar to Cantharis results. The nervous system contributes with headaches, dizziness, delirium, and cramps.
Traditional folk medicine
Daphne seeds were mentioned first as „knidic grains“ in the Hippocratic Corpus around 400 b.C.. The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of around seventy early medical works collected in Alexandrian Greece. In the first century a.d., Dioskurides, a greek doctor and pharmacologist, described the plant in his „materia medica“, a compendium consisting of five books of occidental medicine. Daphne was also known north of the Alps early on. The old germanic name, „Zeidelbast“ or „Zeiland“, is attributed to the germanic god Ziu, whom the bush, called „Ziolinta“, was dedicated to. In past centuries, it was used as vinegar spice and laxative, against dropsy and melancholia, and against ulcers. The dried fruit was taken against sore throat. The name „Chellerhals“ is still used in Swiss German, and „Kellerhals“ in southern Germany, because the plant leaves a burning, retching, excruciating sensation in the throat and on the tongue. A powder made from the bark was used as a vesicant due to its epispastic properties, or as an antidote in mercury poisonings because of its connection to the periosteum. (According to Mezger, the modalities of worsening in the cold and at night are similar to Mercurius)
Fresh bark, collected in early spring before bloom, is used. It has a faint, aromatic smell evocative of bitter almonds. The yellowish-gray bark is chopped and the strained sap mixed with ethanol. The resulting mother tincture is a brown to green-brown liquid with no special scent, but with—according to HAB—bitter taste and wooly aftertaste. The mother tincure and dilutions are manufactured according to regulation 3a. „The drying and grinding with lactose of the bark is better than the straining of the sap.“ (Tyler)
Mezereum affects skin, mucous membranes, nerves, and bones. It is mainly used in a multitude of skin diseases: From intense itching and burning even in normal skin, to the most severe skin afflictions with pus, scabs, and ulcers, that worsen at night and under warmth. Since skin afflictions are always a part of the complete picture, Mezereum counts as a Psora remedy. It brings the physical evils to the surface, so that patients fell well when the rash has broken out.
If the rash is suppressed, „catarrhal afflictions are caused:
unusual psychic symptoms,
joint problems“ (Kent)
Mezereum disposes of these inflammations, the rash reappears, and can at last be healed by this remedy.
*** Allen comments that epidemics appearing in January and February often call for Mezereum.
Remedy picture in humans
The human‘s body surface needing Mezereum is in a constant state of irritation. Light-haired, indecisive, phlegmatic persons, often hypochondric and disheartened, are most often afflicted. They don‘t care about anything, but can still get angry about vanities, which they regret (literally „suffer“). They suffer for example from intense headaches after slight anger, as everything else is marked by intensity, according to Tyler: Intense pains, itching, hunger. Extreme burning in the mouth, pain in stomach and esophagus. Frequent urge to cough, extreme and high fever. The intensity increases at night.
Mind and emotional state
Very indifferent, rejoices in nothing. Sad and distraught mood. Scatterbrained, head numb and a feeling of vertigo (Mezger) hypochondric and disheartened, angered over vanities. (Allen) Very cranky mood. Displeased with everything, wanting to escape. (Tyler) Fear and anxiety in the stomach, as if expecting something unpleasant. Experiencing fear in the stomach (Calc., Kali-c., Phos) Depressive psychoses, sadness in connection with a history of rashes that would have required Mezereum. (Kent)
Neuralgies and Neuritis (Mezger) Abruptly appearing neuralgies with a feeling of cold and frigidness, mostly half-sided, very painful, followed by a feeling of numbness. Ciliarneuralgia (Stauffer) Trigeminusneuralgia (Mezger) Intercostal neuralgia, often after Herpes zoster. Twitching sciatica, shooting from hip to knee. Sudden, dragging, stabbing pain, shooting longitudinal to the nerves in rump and limbs (Stauffer)
Strong sensitivity to cold air. (Boericke) Itching and burning of the scalp. (Tyler) Biting sensation on the scalp, like lice. (Tyler) Scaly rash, white barks. (Boericke) Seeping, itching rash on the head or behind the ears. (Graph.); Scabs on the head, chalky, spreading to the brows, the neck, and the throat. (Tyler) Eczema of the head, thick, hard scabs that eject pus under pressure; the head is covered by a thick, leathery scab, covering thick, white pus, that glues together the hair. (Tyler) The hair is matted. The pus turns ichorous after some time, stinks, and promotes vermin (Allen) The sharp pus eats away the hair (Kent) Intense headache after small annoyances. (Tyler) „Imbecile, intoxicated, bleary-eyed in the head.“ (Tyler) Skull pains, aggravated by touch; Pain down to the foot through pressure against the frontal bone. (Tyler) bone caries. (Tyler)
Sudden, intense facial pains while sleeping. (Tyler) Strong neuralgia radiating to the ear, especially when at the heated stove (Boericke) Facial neuralgia, when pains through eating or other movement of the jaw are considerably worsened, for example by radiating warmth. (Nash) Incessant scratching of the face until bleeding. (Allen) Face covered with scabs, appearance of big, fat pustules at the injured areas. (Tyler) Twitching in the right cheek muscle (Tyler)
Inflamed, with pressure pain like from dryness. Eczemas on eyelids with scabs that exude pus when compressed. Muscle spasms of the left upper eyelid. (Tyler) redness of the conjunctive tissue with burning sensation and light sensitivity. Feeling of dryness, debility of sight. (Stauffer) Rashes on the face and eyes. Fissures in the corners of the eyes. Red scars around the eyes in the areas of past rashes. (Kent)
A feeling of congestion (Tyler) Ear pain after suppressed rashes. (Kent) trophic degeneration of the mucous membranes (Kent) Itching in the ear, hard of hearing. (Stauffer)
Constant soreness of the nose (Aurum, Sulfur). (Tyler) Pustulous rash on the nose with the formation of thick scabs. (Nash) Runny cold, soreness, and scabbing in the nose. (Tyler) Adenoid growths in the nasopharyngeal zone. (Boericke) Atrophic degeneration of the mucous membranes. (Kent)
Honey-like mange around the mouth. (Tyler) Salivation, mouth and tongue painfully inflamed and sore, with blisters and ulcers. (Mezger) tooth aches, when pains through eating or other movement of the jaw are considerably worsened, for example by radiating warmth. (Nash) Tooch aches in teeth afflicted with caries. (Kreos.) Especially when opening the mouth or sucking in air. (Allen) Tooth ache piercing, worse at night, better when breathing in cold air. (Stauffer) Pain when gnashing the teeth or by breathing in free air. Heavy burning in the mouth. (Tyler) Teeth rot suddenly above the gums. (Tyler) Tooth crowns intact, roots decaying. (opposite Merc.) (Allen)
Sensation of heat and scratching in the gullet; Burning sensation in the throat, tickling in the throat, little mucus. (Tyler) Eating causes coughing that doesn‘t lessen until regurgitation. (Mezger) Spasming, violent whooping cough. (Tyler) Atrophic degeneration of the pharyngeal mucous membrane. (Kent)
No real appetite or hunger, but continuous urge to eat and fill the stomach so it stops hurting (Graph., Chel.); Strong nausea that disappears with eating (Sep.) (Tyler) Feeling better after eating milk and bacon. (Tub.), Craving for fatty ham (Tyler) Craving for mutton fat. (Boericke) Muscle spasms in the stomach area. (Tyler) Hot food and drinks cause coughing and retching up to vomiting; Vomiting, chocolate colored. (Stauffer) Chron. Gastritis, burning, sore pain, nausea. (Boericke) Gastric ulcer with frequent burning. (Boericke) Carcinoma. (Stauffer) Diarrhea with after cramps and burning. (Stauffer) Diarrhea with small, white particles. (Boericke) Geenish defecations. (Boericke) Constipation, sphincter cramps after defecating. (Stauffer) Constipation after delivery, prolaps of the rectum. (Tyler) Feces hard as stone and sizeable. White, shiny grains in brown feces. (Tyler)
Pain in the bladder. Biting and burning pain in the urethra at the end of micturition. Drops of blood after micturition. (Boericke)
Enlargement of the testicles. (Boericke)
Impetigo, pustules on the finger joints, milk crust. (Stauffer) Numbness in legs or feet, pain in the hip and knee. (Boericke) Lower legs covered in thick, yellow scabs that emit thick, yellow pus when compressed. (Tyler) Deep ulcers on the lower leg. (Stauffer) Intense weakness, palsy, spasming and shivering of the limbs. (Stauffer) Pulling and stabbing pains in all limbs. Pains in the periosteum of the long bones, especially in the shin; Worse at night, in bed, at the slightest touch. (Mezger) Worse in wet climate. (Tyler) Periostitis in areas where the skin touches against bone. (Stauffer)
Pruritus senilis, worse after scratching (reliable). (Stauffer) Intense itching, burning, and stinging, even with normal skin; worsened through scratching, changes areas. (Staph.) Skin inflammations with unbearable itching, numerous blisters on red background, later bursting, seeping, with burning pain, building scabs. Sharp pus secretions, crusting like chalk. (Stauffer) Eczemas and itching rashes after vaccination (Allen) Scrofulous eczemas, weeping and sharp. (Stauffer) Rashes with cankerous secretions (Mezger), ulcerating and forming thick barks that seep pus. (Chrysophanicum acidum) (Boericke) Ulcers itching and burning, surrounded by blisters with a shining, fiery red corona (Boericke) „Blisters dry after 8 days and leave scabs. (Ripping them of causes intense pain and delays the healing process). If the scabs fall off in whole pieces, they leave deep red, sore spots that itch intensely, seep a thin, clear liquid, and form thin scabs that collect new pus. The skin around the scabs is dark red, tense, hot, and itchy. Unbearable itching and burning of the rash at night, foul stench. Worsens through bed warmth or fire heat, despite sensitivity to cold.“ (Tyler) Herpes zoster-like patterns. (Stauffer) Neuralgia and burning after shingles. Infantile eczema and different forms of Impetigo: C200 (Tyler)
V.: cold air, at night, at contact (Boericke), cold washing, movement, bad results of quicksilver or alcohol (Allen), under pressure, in warm, dry weather, through any kind of heat (King), thorugh heat or cold (Tyler)
B.: outside (Boericke), food, fresh air (Allen), through movement and in winter (King)
Dosage: C6 - C30 (Boericke), D6 - D12 (Stauffer). Dilutions upward of D6 are generally recommended. Otherwise you can go as low as D3. High potencies in case of long-term consequences after skin rashes. (Mezger)
M.L. Tyler Homöopathische Arzneimittelbilder J. Mezger Gesichtete Homöopathische Arzneimittellehre K. Stauffer Klinische Homöopathische Arzneimittellehre Homöopathisches Taschenbuch W. Boericke Homöopathische Mittel Und Ihre Wirkungen / Materia Medica H.C. Allen Leitsymptome wichtiger Mittel der homöopathischen Materia Medica G. King Veterinärhomöopathie A.H. Westerhuis Homöopathie für Hunde H.G. Wolff Unsere Hunde - gesund durch Homöopathie H.G. Wolff Unsere Katze - gesund durch Homöopathie C. Day Homöopathischer Ratgeber Heimtiere B. und M. Rakow Bewährte Indikationen der Homöopathie in der Veterinärmedizin G. Miller / W. Klunker Beziehungen der Arzneien unter sich DHU Homöopathisches Repetitorium Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon