Case histories and comments on Capsicum annuum

IL MEDICO OMEOPATA n. 37 (April 2008)
Dr. Gustavo Dominici

SUMMARY

This paper shows some successful cases of Capsicum annuum (sweet pepper or chili pepper). The well-known effectiveness of this remedy for the treatment of acute otitis and mastoiditis was confirmed. Its therapeutic action on subjects showing a tendency to obesity, gastric and intestinal complaints, indolence, surrender of his/her activity, melancholy down to depression, nostalgia, irritability was also proved to be effective. We suggest that a suitable use of this homeopathic remedy could utterly change the evolution of these pathologies and bring the patients back to their normal life.

KEYWORDS

Red pepper – Capsicum annuum – Otitis and mastoiditis – Obesity – Nostalgia

INTRODUCTION

Four years ago, during Classic Homeopathy classes, we allowed the students to prepare three different remedies: the first was an animal remedy: Apis mellifica, the second a plant remedy, Capsicum annuum, and the third a mineral remedy, Natrum muriaticum. I used, so far, Capsicum just in acute cases, basically almost only in otitis and mastoiditis, otherwise I didn’t know it very well. A student of my class used the remedy Capsicum 5CH just prepared to successfully treat a severe sore throat of her child1. I then resolved to closer investigate this remedy, learning more on its use as constitutional remedy.
Capsicum has been described by G. Vithoulkas (2), who well focused its main features. I already knew its obesity, nostalgia, awkwardness, much less its capriciousness, quick temper, sluggishness, inclination to delay, depression and many more prominent symptoms. The following cases show some of the results obtained studying this valuable homeopathic remedy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Capsicum annuum was prepared and tested according to the Classic Homeopathy Method. Characteristic symptoms were collected through a conversation with the patient and, with the assistance of Homeopathic Repertory (3), they were compared to the remedy’s pathogenesis. The only potencies we used were Centesimal Hanhemannian (CH) and Korsavovian (K), in rising sequence.

Otitis and Mastoiditis

CASE 1
Male, 51.

The following case shows the commonest use of Capsicum for the treatment of otitis and mastoiditis, even severe, where the antibiotics themselves are often failing.
The patient was a man who was earlier successfully treated by homeopathy for allergic rhinitis and asthma. I hadn’t see him since long time. He went back in his birthplace, on vacation, when he started to suffer from otitis media in his right ear. He took antibiotics, but the improvement was just partial and temporary and he had a relapse. When I saw him, I noticed he was looking exhausted; I realized his symptomatology must be fairly severe. He said:

• I feel like I’m living in the clouds… that makes me nervous… everything makes me nervous!
• I feel a rustle in my ear… a little red blood came out of it.
• I don’t ear any sound on this side, my voice is booming.
• I’m sweating a lot, too much as regards to the temperature, mainly at night.
• I have to do a lot of things, but I’m not able to, in these conditions.
• Then, my mouth is drying up and my tongue is white.

His tongue was very furred; his right eardrum was inflamed and perforated. The patient had a deep pain in his whole ear, and a sharp pain at touch in his whole mastoid apophysis. I diagnosed a suppurating otitis and mastoiditis, modified by the use of antibiotics, but still with infection in progress and worsening.
CAPSICUM ANNUUM 30 CH – 3 grains every 4 hours. I asked him to let me know how he was in 48 hours.

The patient called me up, excited, to say he had a dramatic improvement. I asked him to continue 48 hours more, 4 times a day.
He called me again to say all ailments were gone.
CAPSICUM ANNUUM 200K
He came back 3 years later because of some different troubles.

CASE 2

This case illustrates the major characteristics of the remedy: obesity, awkwardness, ailments of the digestive tract, extreme irritability and stubbornness, sudden flush and redness. The symptom nostalgia is absent, though the patient shows a strong need for his mother to come as a matter of urgency, to relieve his pains or simply to help him to fall asleep. Diarrhoea in overweight people, Vithoulkas 2 writes in bold type. These words look perfectly in keeping with our case.

Boy, 13.
Before the examination, I talked separately to his mother. Clearly worried, she told me that his son suffered since three years from stomachache and diarrhoea, constantly worsening. He had been examined by many physicians and underwent many tests, included allergy tests, without any positive results. He was also been treated unsuccessfully by many homeopaths. Among the more frequent prescribed remedies there were Colocynthis and Antimonium crudum. Because of his ailments, he was absent from school for long time and he was not going to school right now, too. At school he always had very good results. His mother then said:

• He lacks of coordination (movements and handwriting)
• He is overweight, sedentary, doesn’t go in for a sport.
• He gets troubled and blushes every time he carries out an activity, also just playing a
computer game, he’s too engaged, he gets extremely nervous.

At this point I let the young patient come in. He was a guy slightly overweight, quiet, easily annoyed, restless, irritable. I tactfully succeeded in make him talk. He said:

• I’ve got a pain in the middle of my abdomen, strong, almost constant. It hurts very much, I cannot either study or write (while he’s talking he blushes, he looks like he’s about to cry). Often my mother comes and picks me up at school, because I’ve got diarrhoea (every time he has that pain he’s looking for his mother).
• At night, I can’t fall asleep, even for long time, I shift endlessly, I want mom to come, otherwise I can’t sleep.
• I often feel hot, I’m sweating a lot, mostly at school.

Every time his parents tried to say something, even just to specify what he just said, the boy reprimanded them nastily. They repeated he’s quick-tempered: even for trifles, even for a simple observation about him, he retorts and doesn’t speak too much. He gets angry with them even for jokes or harmless attitudes. I understood from their words that intestinal troubles were appearing slowly, then settling down and persisting for long time. I also noticed he had very red lips.
Because of the general picture, and particularly his obesity and awkwardness, I prescribed CAPSICUM ANNUUM 200K.

FOLLOW-UP
Thirty days later the mother called me to tell that the pains and the diarrhoea were quickly gone. His son went regularly to school, but since few days the digestive tract complaints reappeared, slight, but growing. She was almost terrified thinking everything will turn back.
Rx: CAPSICUM ANNUUM MK.

40 days later the mother told me everything was going well. No prescription.
In the following months the boy did not suffer anymore from his troubles and went regularly to school.

Nostalgia, tears, stubbornness

CASE 3

This case shows very well the distinctive nostalgia of Capsicum. This girl cannot part from her close relatives, even for short time; she is rejecting school, she is sad and eats too much. She is overweight.

Girl, 8.
She received homeopathic treatments ever since she was born. She recovered from recurrent cystitis and acute diseases of childhood. Yet she kept waking up at night, at least twice, calling her mother, to be reassured. During the day she is constantly fearing that she might lose her mother, if she just can’t see her for short time. She eats a lot and tends to put on weight. She has fair complexion and blond hair, she is seemingly very delicate, but, effectively, she is very determined.
Her mother said she suffers from frequent melancholies, up to crying, because her homesickness, even if leaves home for few hours, for instance when she goes and plays to her friend’s house. She is suffering excessively from any separations, she is sadly recalling her grandma, who left just few days before, she’s thinking back (suffering) on her little bird dead long time ago and remembering when he was alive. She can’t stand the school: every morning she is trying not to go to school, crying in desperation. Mainly because her homesickness, I prescribed: CAPSICUM ANNUUM MK

FOLLOW-UP
Two months later, since she did very well, I prescribed CAPSICUM ANNUUM XMK.
Three months later I found a huge change in the girl. She was skinnier and more relaxed. She recently suffered from a prolonged fever, during which her mother, anguished, decided to give her antibiotics. Since then she didn’t want to go to school again, woke up at night and started again to eat too much. All symptoms disappeared after the homeopathic treatment. CAPSICUM ANNUUM LMK

Three months later the girl grew taller and lose weight. NO PRESCRIPTION

Three months later the girl was very well. Her mother said she was more self-confident, open, incisive.
CAPSICUM ANNUUM CMK
After one year and a half: no need of any remedy.

Abulia, nostalgia, gastritis

CASE 4

This case gives a confirmation of the refusal of take on commitments, which is one of the peculiarities of this remedy, together with a longing memory of events of the childhood, excess of food intake and frequent gastric troubles.

Boy, 19.
He’s lazy, apathetic, doesn’t commit himself, especially in school, and he already failed. Now he’s trying to make two years up and soon he will take examinations. It seems impossible to make him study, even for a short time. He’s a boy very intelligent, sensible, very generous with friends. He eats too much and is overweight. He suffers frequently from acute gastric ailments, with vomit and pains. His mother says he often asks her about his childhood and he’s very pleased to ear his stories.
He’s not strictly a patient of mine, I never saw him, but he asks my advise every time he gets an acute disease, so in the last two years he just assumed homeopathic remedies, if necessary. I chose to help him and, on the basis of those few symptoms, I decided to make him assume: CAPSICUM ANNUUM MK, and shortly after XMK.

FOLLOW-UP
The boy faced well his exams and passed them. Effectively he gave all himself to the study, but a doubt is crossing my mind, whether my triumph was due to the remedy or to a chance. I’ll wait for a confirmation.
I prescribed, anyway, Capsicum MK, for two more years. The remedy always showed to be effective, either on fever or on different ailments. Family members noticed often a general improvement after every administration: a drop in laziness, irritability and more helpfulness toward people.

Lazyness, blunting, gastralgia

CASE 5

A loss of intellective faculty, together with a deep discontent are the main symptoms of this case. The patient has a remarkable introspective capacity, a gentle nature, but he is unable to stay active and productive in his every day tasks, which are often postponed. His symptomatology looks close to a real depression. Excess of food and gastric ailments are present in this case, too.

Man, 45.
He was affected by hypertension, treated by Belladonna. He’s a stout man, with tendency to plumpness, dark complexion, lazy, thoughtful, romantic. I have not see him since long time. On March 2007 he came because of some problems which were hindering his work commitments. I actually thought he was very slowed up, numb. He gave me a very detailed description of his symptoms:

1. I’m lacking of mental brilliance, as if the ideas would not come out.
2. I have a feeling of confusion, as a hairdryer sound in the background.
3. I feel terribly sleepy, my eyes are very heavy, when I get up and after a meal.
4. I’m not satisfied, with everything, job, sociality. I lose every prospects, except survival. My laziness is growing: a do something, but without brightness.
5. I feel heavy, all over my body and mind. My physical heaviness, which is going up, reflects the psychic heaviness and vice versa, with a feeling of obstruction of my mind, my arteries, joints etc. Everything is slowed down, as in slow motion.
6. Stomachache,in the pyloric area, burning, or as a hookin my stomach. If I touch that region I feel a bruising pain, as a sore.
7. Some times a dizziness, with feeling of empty stomach, as my body was taller and hard to “steer”

I noticed his detailed symptoms but I couldn’t pinpoint a remedy. I let him talk for a while, then he told me he’s recently craving for pepper. The symptom:

• GENERALS – FOOD and DRINKS – pepper – desire

includes four remedies 3: Caps., Lac can., Alco., Carc. Because of his whole symptomatologic picture, I chose:
CAPSICUM ANNUUM MK

FOLLOW-UP
Ninety days later he told me:
The days after I took the remedy I was gloomy. Then I suffered from a violent and prolonged rhinitis, with cough and fever. Then I got better. The stomachache and piles pains (I didn’t know about them) are gone. I’m much more determined and constant. I even lost 5-6 kg, my appetite is less unrestrained, I’m not so ravenous. I had the greatest benefit on the second and third month, though many domestic problems. Since seven days I’m plodding on, I feel numb, drowsy, irritable, the feeling of empty stomack is coming back, together with appetite between meals and a desire to delay. I’m slowing up again.
CAPSICUM ANNUUM MK and, a month later, XMK.
All the symptoms disappeared.
Few months later he asked my advice for an acute urogenital trouble, calling for a different remedy.

CONCLUSIONS

As every homeopathic remedy, Capsicum annuum, can be used either to solve acute problems or as constitutional remedy, or Simillumum. In the first case we can be successful in several situations, as severe otitis with a mastoiditis complication. In the second case we can have brilliant results in individuals prone to eat too much, with a resulting overweight or true obesity, or inclined to gastric or intestinal troubles, even severe. Both these characteristic features are seldom absent. Furthermore, they often are nostalgic, melancholic and even depressed subjects, with a tendency to laziness, they delay their assignments, give up a career, show an excessive need for affection. Nevertheless they often show irritability, capriciousness, stubbornness. They can have a real difficulty in coordinating their body and use their mind. They are introspective, emotionally delicate, easily discouraged, and tend to seek refuge in longing memories, even very distant. Capsicum can really modify this condition and reactivate their metabolism, reducing their overweight and their disposition to indulge in eating.
It is unusual that Capsicum could be considered a Simillimum in a case. It could be confused with a number of different homeopathic remedies. The more frequent comparisons, on my experience, could be Calcarea carbonica and Antimonium crudum.

REFERENCES

1. G. Dominici – Storie di quotidiana Omeopatia. Il mal di gola di Giuseppe – Il Medico Omeopata n. 28, FIAMO, 2005.
2. G. Vithoulkas – Materia Medica viva. Vol. 7 – International Academy of Classical Homeopathy, Alonissos, Greece, 1997.
3. F. Schrojens – Synthesis 8.1 – ARCHIBEL, Assesse (Belgio), 2002.

Download the document in PDF format