Clever H
Winter 2017 - Addiction & Cravings

“I used to think that normal was overrated, but I’ll never think that again.”

“I used to think that normal was overrated, but I’ll never think that again.”





One of my core philosophies as a homeopath is that I am approachable and easy to talk to. There is nothing that I feel uncomfortable talking about and my consultations are entirely confidential. I make this really clear on my website and in my client-therapist agreement.



I have a lot of people come to see me for issues with sleep. I am always keen to figure out the underlying cause, which is often multi-faceted.



In a world that is ‘always on’ it can be incredibly hard for people to switch off. Working late means eating late, and when screens are used as a form of relaxation, our pineal gland is overstimulated and our body gets out of sync with its circadian rhythms.



During a consultation I am always looking for a deeper underlying cause. I find that while stress is the main reason for insomnia, in some cases there is anxiety and in others there’s trauma such as grief.



Nobody wants to rely on pills to help them sleep but sometimes people are desperate. Melatonin is an increasingly popular option nowadays and so is Cannabis. They’re seen as more ‘natural’ options than pharmaceutical drugs.



In helping people sleep well, I want to help them to be free of anything that they are dependent on. I always want to know what they are using and how often they use it.


I never use the words ‘addicted’ or ‘addiction’ as they can be quite ‘loaded’ and judgmental. Addiction can be perceived as something that can be really hard to overcome.



At follow ups we evaluate progress carefully. I will ask, ‘Have you needed anything to help you sleep?’ in a friendly and non-judgmental way.



Every insomnia case is different but in all cases I give remedies to support the nervous system alongside acute, constitutional and miasmatic remedies. Adrenal support remedies are calming and allow the nervous system to repair itself.



A case of grief, pain and insomnia



I started seeing a 41 year old woman in February 2016. She was referred to me by a psychotherapist in my practice for her insomnia.



Appointment 1

At the first appointment she told me she had been having psychotherapy for six months. She had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and wanted to avoid taking anti-depressants. She had not been able to work for 2 years.



I learned that her childhood had been difficult. Her father loved her sister but she was despised. She had been estranged from him for most of her adult life.



Five years ago she had got in touch with him. For eight months they spent time together and got to know each other. He then died of cancer.



After her father died, her sister and mother told her that she was a beneficiary of her father’s will. Some time later they told her she wasn’t. This was a huge shock.



Spending time with her dad made her feel she was loved by both of her parents. Being told by her sister and mother that she was not included in the will made her feel like she wasn’t.



This was the cause of her trauma.



She described her life as, ‘Tormented, anxious, pained. I’m isolated completely. I love my dog and he is what keeps me going.’



Her current symptoms were:


Terrible sleep.


Terrible period pain. Crippling, doubled up. Two weeks a month she feels tearful and can’t cope. Feels hormones pumping through her body.






Loves chocolate and cherries.


Dislikes mushrooms, peppers and bananas.


Her diet isn’t great.



Medical history:


Earache and colic as a baby


Tonsils and adenoids removed


Contraceptive Pill for period pain age 12 – 23


Abusive relationship and abortion age 27 -> ‘blood filled cyst’


Pre-cancerous cells on her cervix -> 3 or 4 colposcopies


Skin cancer removed 3 years ago



Family history:


Mother – pancreatitis


Grandmother – breast cancer


Grandfather – died old age


Father – stomach and lymphatic cancer


Grandmother – died young


Grandfather – died old age (not blood relative)


Uncle – died car crash





Carcinosin 10M at bedtime for 5 days


Narayani Calming 3 x daily.


The remedy selection was based primarily on personal and family medical history; having tonsils removed, 10 years of the contraceptive pill from an early age, pre-cancerous cells on her cervix plus skin cancer. I felt that cancer was an active miasm and needed to be addressed. Carcinosin is a major remedy for ailments from abuse and grief.


Narayani Calming contains a number of nerve support remedies including Ignatia. I wanted to offer this support alongside the deeper acting Carcinosin.



Appointment 2


At the second appointment she reported that she was feeling more calm.


‘I went home after the last session standing prouder.’


She feels she has more clarity.


She also told me she hadn’t bought any more weed.


She told me she’d smoked weed since being a teenager. She called it a ‘crutch’.


She had also taken Diazepam the previous week to help her sleep. It had made her feel numb. Retrospectively she felt should have taken half a sleeping pill.


She told me, ‘Weed allows me to think about what is going on without it breaking my heart. Smoking stops me caring.’ I told her that drugs keep us in the place we were in when we first started taking them and we talked about what that meant for her.




Rarely has pain beforehand. Feels like she’s being ‘slowly scraped’. Has 2 x painkillers. Has low level endometriosis. Used to have PCOS. Feels a sharp pain on ovulation.




Narayani Calming 3 x daily.




Appointment 3


At the third appointment she told me, ‘I’m an absolute bloody convert!’


She’s sleeping better, and her days are feeling more productive and energised.


The remedy has been ‘incredible’ for giving her respite during the night. Her dog isn’t waking her so much.


She’s having toast and marmite before bed and is no longer craving chocolate so much.


She is still not smoking weed.


‘I don’t want to go back to where I was when I started taking it.’


She worries about ‘Not doing the right thing.’


Her period is due.




Lac Caninum 1M at bedtime for 5 days.


Narayani Calming 3 x daily.


Passiflora/Valeriana/Coffea 30C at bedtime.


Colocynthis 200C to hold for period pain.


I had Lac Caninum in the margin from the first appointment. Her detailed description of family life had included that her father was illegitimate. He had been born as the result of an affair during the war. His mother’s husband came back from the war to find that he had another ‘son’ who was not his own. He’d been ostracised and treated as ‘the bastard’ all his life. My client’s description of how she’d been treated by him was clearly related to how he’d been treated. Her love and devotion to her own dog confirmed the prescription for me. I felt the remedy would follow Carcinosin well.




Appointment 4


She has had a couple of conversations that she’d been putting off. Both had gone well.


The sleep remedies were incredibly supportive.


She’s still not smoking weed. Our conversation about it ‘keeping her there’ had ‘completely changed everything’.


She used to send emails to her mum saying how much pain she was in. Now she doesn’t want to show her ‘victim side’. She realises how much there is to ‘unravel’. She was treated so unfairly.




Less pain. Cramps on alternating sides.


Some discharge in between her periods.




Colocynthis 200C, Tuesdays/bed


Causticum 30C, Thursdays/bed


Syphilinum 100C, Saturdays/bed


Passiflora/Valeriana/Coffea 30C at bedtime.


This new prescription was at the time when I was introducing Triad prescribing into my practice.


There is a relationship between Colocynthis, Staphysagria and Causticum. I could see a need for Staphysagria but felt that Causticum fitted better with the feelings of injustice and still complemented Colocynthis which was well-indicated for her period pain. Syphilinum was the most appropriate nosode to follow Carcinosin based on family history.




Appointment 5


At the fifth appointment she told me she’d been having flashbacks to her childhood. She was trying not to think about it. She would like not to remember what happened. She sobbed all through her session with her therapist. She hates herself. She can only think what a ‘waste of space’ she is.


She’s been thinking about weed.




She took 3 Colocynthis per day for 3 days and found it helpful during the day but needed painkillers at night.




Staphysagria 10M at bedtime for 10 days.


Narayani Calming 3 x daily.


Passiflora/Valeriana/Coffea 30C at bedtime.


Colocynthis 200C to hold for period pain.


I felt that Staphysagria was clearly indicated, following the previous triad prescription.




Appointment 6


She feels everything is pointless. She has this negative feeling inside that she ‘Isn’t worth it.’ She doesn’t feel she has any power.


She’s a good dog-owner, a good land-lady, a good friend, a good professional.


She’s sleeping better, and has had a few nights of deep sleep.


She is still not smoking weed.




Colocynthis is really helping. She took painkillers at night, twice. There has been a lot of clotting.




Staph 10M, Tuesdays/bed


Sea Salt 200C, Thursdays/bed


Med 30C, Saturdays/bed


Narayani Calming 3 x daily.


Passiflora/Valeriana/Coffea 30c at bedtime.


Colocynthis 200c to hold for period pain.


This triad prescription was to extend the action of Staphysagria, while supporting the emerging grief with Sea Salt. Medorrhinum was nosode needed for the physical symptoms of the case.




Appointment 7 (acute)


Severe period pain. Feels like she has appendicitis. Her right side feels sharp and swollen. It hurts when she moves. She’s really dehydrated.




Bryonia 30c 3x daily for 3 days.


Narayani Female Balance 2x daily for 2 weeks.


Narayani Calming 3 x daily.


Passiflora/Valeriana/Coffea 30c at bedtime.




Appointment 8


She’s been receiving random texts from her mum. Waking up crying. Wants to regain her self-respect. Hasn’t replied. Wants her family to know her pain.




Nit Ac 10M, Tuesdays/bed


Ignatia 200C, Thursdays/bed


Syph 100C, Saturdays/bed


Narayani Calming 3 x daily.


Passiflora/Valeriana/Coffea 30C at bedtime.


Colocynthis 200C to hold for period pain.




Appointment 9


Told me she started smoking age 11 hoping to get cancer. She eventually got skin cancer. Sometimes feels she wouldn’t mind having cancer. Would make sure it wasn’t discovered.


As a child she banged her head against the wall. She self-harmed by scratching her skin. She tired to overdose by taking paracetomol.


It’s the anniversary of her dad’s death this weekend. She could cherish the memories. She wakes up weeping in the morning.




Pulsatilla 200C 3 x daily


Narayani Calming 3 x daily.


Passiflora/Valeriana/Coffea 30c at bedtime.


Colocynthis 200c to hold for period pain.




Post script


At her next appointment she told me,


‘I feel like a bloody oak tree with a solid trunk.’


This was her last session.


She is up and busy every morning from 6am, keeps going until she goes to bed at 10pm. She feels productive. She’s cleared out 6 bags of clothing from under her bed. She feels more confident at dealing with challenges.


She’s significantly better.


‘I used to think that normal was overrated. I’ll never think that again.’


Looking back through the case I see how each remedy played a part in her recovery. Each prescription took her back through layers of emotion back to the remedy that she needed as a little girl.


I feel that the Narayani Calming, Colocynthis and the Sleep combination remedies offered support so she could discontinue sleeping pills, Cannabis and painkillers.


The Bryonia acute was really dramatic and made a big difference to her menstrual cycle going forward.


I would have liked for us to continue working together, but she felt so much better that she was ready to stop and I respected that.


Writing up this case I feel I would like to get in touch and see how she’s doing, which I will do.




Further Reading:

The Triad Method by Hilary Fairclough






About the Author:


 Tracy practices from a clinic in Bethnal Green, East London.


You can find her at


She also has a range of on-line courses and seminars for homeopaths to learn business skills and strategies they need to create an authentic, heart-centred thriving practice.


Find out more and join her free newsletter at 


She’s recently joined Southern Homeopathy College as a lecturer.


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