2007 Novembre

Squilla Maritima

de Deborah Collins
The patient is a professional woman of 43 years: tall, sturdily built but not fat. She has long dark hair and dark brown eyes, and is well-spoken.

Complaints: Continual tiredness to the point of almost blacking out from exhaustion. This has apparently been a familiar feeling off and on for most of her life, more so during the past year.
A feeling of being “not quite here”. She experiences a sensation of white light at the top of her head: “it is not uncomfortable, I could surrender into it, but I’m afraid that I won’t come back.” It reminds her in some way of the sensation of anaesthetics from her youth (tonsillectomy): no fear to go under anaesthetics, simply no desire to come back. Clumsiness, bumping into doors etc. (Concordant: vertigo, cloudy dizziness in the head).
Continual sadness. “This is not the same as depression, which I know from my past, but a feeling of grief that I cannot put my finger on.”
Urinary frequency: sometimes has to urinate every ten minutes, worse around menses. Slight urine loss on coughing or sneezing. “But the problem feels more in my kidneys than from bladder weakness.”
Fluid retention, extreme swelling of the whole body, especially around the menses. “I gain 3-4 kilos without any change in diet or fluid intake.”
Kidneys feel cold, and go into spasms. ("I need to have a shower to calm them down.”)
Headaches, as though there is a rise in blood pressure, thumping. Blood pressure normal. Better from neck adjustments.
Chest pains, fullness.
Nausea, especially from cheese, rich things.
Bowels: either constipation or diarrhea.

She tells of a history of family violence, where she felt continual fear. Her father used to beat her mother, and her mother would in turn beat her. “I could never do anything right.” She tells of much anger towards her mother, but has never been able to express this towards her directly. It all seems to remain bottled up inside her, and she seethes quietly, while placating her mother, who she sees as being rather childish and selfish. On the surface she is calm and collected; just below the surface she seems explosively angry.
She has been to various natural health therapists, and warns me that she is very sensitive and reacts strongly to remedies. She is very in tune with meta-physical matters. At my suggestion she agrees to simply hold a bottle of the remedy in her hand to see how it feels to her. “It warms up my kidneys straight away.”

I gave one dose of Squilla Maritima 30C due to the extreme fluid retention, and the dizzy, out of body feeling. Her problems seem to center around her kidneys, which in Chinese medicine is the seat of unresolved fear.
Two weeks later, telephone. “I am bickering with my husband all the time, with whom I usually get along fine, as long as I don’t voice my discontent.” The deadening tiredness has gone; the clumsiness is still there to some extent. Still a lot of urinary frequency around the menses, but somewhat less at other times. Feeling “incredibly sad”, but cannot cry.

One week later, consultation. The tiredness is gone; headaches have not returned. Frequency remains the same. Achy all over (an old complaint). “I don’t like to drink water unless it is pure. I am very particular about how it tastes. I love good water.”
“I’m more aggressive, I notice it when I’m driving.”

We do some work around mother-related issues.
Rx: Squilla 200C

Two weeks later. “I am feeling better about my mother, I can be with her now.”
Has stopped the afternoon naps, which she had had for years previously. No headaches. Frequency slightly improved, but still noticeable. Breast tenderness (not mentioned earlier) has diminished. Feeling restless, gets up earlier, wants to be busy (in comparison to earlier apathy). Applying for a job (she had been unable to work for 2 years due to tiredness).
“I have a constant preoccupation with my appearances. I feel too heavy and ugly.”

Two weeks later: “My energy is really good.”
No headaches. No more coldness in the kidneys. Frequency is lessening slowly but surely. “I don’t have to get up at night to wee anymore, and I can get through my day more easily.” Emotionally more stable; sadness and fearfulness are gone. “I used to have the feeling that the car was moving too fast, or that things around me were moving too fast, and that I would fall, for instance in supermarkets. I recently had a flashback of a time when I was three years old, and I had crept into the family car at the top of the driveway and pulled off the brakes. It went faster and faster all down the driveway, and I crashed into the garage, absolutely terrified. Now I can look back at that image and console the little girl in me who has always been so terrified, even though I put on a brave face.”
Feeling very good on all levels.

On hearing that Squilla is the sea onion she remarks that she has always had an extreme desire for onions, especially raw onions, which she would eat like apples. Also desire for fish of any kind.

Follow up telephone half a year later: still feeling well and happy, with no repeat of the remedy.

Figure: 199-False-sea-onion-ornithogalum
Figure: 199-sea-onion2

Squilla is a "sea onion", indigenous to the Mediterranean region. Its name is derived from Scylla, a monster with six heads and the body of a dog, who lived on a dangerous rock opposite Charybdis. The saying "between Scylla and Charybdis" indicates the struggle of sailors having to maneuver between two deadly dangers, the avoidance of one meaning the almost certain destruction by the other. (Frans Vermeulen, Synoptic Materia Medica 2).
The bulb is like an onion, only half immersed in sand. The fresh bulb is full of a viscid, very acrid juice, capable of causing dermatitis. There is a tremendous propensity of the dried plant to absorb water, and it has to be kept in well-stopped bottles to prevent the powder being turned into a hard mass.

Figure: 199-Sea-onion-flowering

Squilla is known as a spleen remedy, also important in heart and kidney complaints.
Many proving symptoms pertain to water, and to swelling.
Dreams, body is swollen.
Generals: Water: Watery discharges from all outlets.
Involuntary squirting or urine when coughing. Gushing of tears when coughing or sneezing. Complaints accompanied by an excessive flow of urine. Coryza and increased micturation. Involuntary urination during asthmatic attack.
Nausea and vomiting with profuse salivation. Dropsy. Thirst with choking sensation, can take in no more fluids: or thirstless.

Physicals: Water. Swashing sensation in head on shaking head. Sensation as if eyes were swimming in cold water.
Bubbling in sides of abdomen. Gushing sensation in abdomen.
Bubbling beneath scapulae. Pain in the spleen area, but not the liver, with asthma. Pain in spleen extending to throat, creating a cough reflex, worse on drinking cold water.
Pain in stomach, better lying on left side.
Angina pectoris with pain in liver, and profuse urination.
Pleuropneumonia with pain in left thorax, and dry cough, frequent urination but little urine.
Hay fever: acrid, watery discharge from nose, with itching of eyes and lacrymation, with sneezing and coughing and squirting of urine.
Arij Vrijlandt describes Squilla as following: General tendency to absorb water in the tissues. Edema that is not necessarily from heart decompensation or kidney problems. During inflammation of an organ, much thin, acrid mucous. Swollen feet of shop attendants (always on their feet). (Air travel?)

Figure: 199-Sea-onion-Urginea-drawing

In general,
the remedy is characterized by a tendency to retain fluids, and to "squirt, bubble, swash, drip", with fluid discharges from eyes, nose, mouth and bladder, and a feeling of being awash with internal water.

In this case,
the patient's physical complaints centered around her "water works": her tendency to retain so much fluid around her menses, and her extremely frequent need to urinate.
She noted spontaneously that she was very aware of "water" in that she only wanted "pure" water to drink. An added bonus, though not part of the decision to give the remedy, as she only mentioned it after the remedy had worked, was her desire for onions. Possibly this food desire could be added to the repertory in the future, if there are more confirmations of this.

Deborah Collins

Please take note that the sea onion is not to be confused with the sea animal squilla
Figure: 199-squilla

Mots clés: squilla

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