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Arsenic alb / Anacardium: A Comparative Study

Last modified on November 21st, 2015

Drs. Yogesh and Sanjay Sehgal do a comparative analysis of the mentals in Arsenicum and Anacardium

We must widen our knowledge of methods to individualize a remedy and distinguish it from another when we end with a rubric having two or more remedies. Suppose from the common symptom of a patient we arrive at the rubric Rest, when things are not in proper place, cannot. Earlier there were two remedies Arsenicum alb. and Anacardium (Now more drugs have been added like Carcinocin, Sepia, & Sulph.). How shall we differentiate between the two drugs Arsenicum alb. and Anacardium Arsenicum alb. we have already discussed in the earlier chapter (No. 5) of this book. Anacardium has the same KING PIN rubric REST, when things are not in proper place, cannot, which is also found in Arsenicum alb. The meaning and the interpretation of the rubric for both the drugs will be the same. The difference will be the way a patient is going to express it. Why can’t he be at rest? For this, the most important aspect is to keep our observation on:




WHEN HE SAYS (a new dimension for the observation of a patient)

This feeling comes when an individual becomes sick.

Anac (a peace of mind) (Cannot achieve rest while disorder is there)

A patient says, I wish to have rest (a peace of mind) which I can’t achieve while this problem is with me (a disorder). If you could remove this disorder from my life, I would be able to get my peace of mind.”

This patient finds so many disorders around him or her, which do not allow him to settle.


REST, desire for

aesc., alum., anac., arn., bell., brom., BRY., clem., coca., colch., eug., haem., kali-bi., lach., lyc., mez., morph., nux-v., op., ph-ac., sabad., stann., vesp.


+ REST, when things are not in proper place, cannot

anac., ars., carc., sep., sulph.

(Differential Study- I could only get settled if you can remove this disturbance. While this problem is causing disturbance I can’t be all right.

(In the above example a patient wants to settle down but the problem is not allowing him or her to settle down) A patient says, “I don’t like this situation of unsettlement. (DISTURBED, av. to being) A patient says, “I have come to you to have a permanent solution of this problem.” “I am tired (TORPOR, feeling) of facing this problem every day.” (EMBARRASSMENT, ailments, after). The medicine for this kind of expression would be Gelsemium

Anacardium has a desire for rest, which he cannot achieve when things are not in their proper place.

A patient says, “Doctor, you ask me to take rest and I also wish to have it, but how is it possible when there is so much disorder in my life. Like my son, he does not listen to me, my husband he never shows any affection to me. Also my problems are not getting cured. It is not possible for me to have rest when I see so much disorder around me.”

A patient says, “I will not rest till I come out of this problem. Please remove this disorder as soon as possible no matter how it could be possible. Any method, any strong medicine, I am ready to go for it.”


CARRIED, desires to be fast

acon, ARS, bell, brom, cham, lob, rhus-t, verat

+ REST, when things are not in proper place, cannot

Although there are many rubrics common and uncommon to the two drugs, for the finer understanding we have selected those rubrics, which show their predominance in most of the cases. (*It does not mean that we can ignore or should not use other rubrics. One should not limit oneself. He or she should keep on working on each and every rubric. We sincerely welcome whatever experiences our friends get in their practice for our future research.)


Some of the selected common and uncommon rubric of Arsenicum alb and Anacardium are :



SENSITIVE, external impressions, to all


AILMENTS, from mortification

MOOD repulsive

ABUSIVE, insulting

CRUELTY, brutality, inhumanity



ANGER, contradiction from



1) ANTICIPATION, complaints from

2) ANXIETY, health about

3) ANXIETY, hypochondriacal


5) ASKS, for nothing

6) BEGGING, entreating, supplicating


8) CARES, others about

9) CARRIED, desires to be fast

10) GREED, cupidity

11) INDIFFERENCE, recovery about his


13) PLAY, passion for gambling

14) QUIET, wants to be

15) REVERENCE, lack of


17) SHRIEKING, pain with the

18) WELL, says he is when very sick



1) ANTAGONISM, with herself

2) BUSINESS, averse to

3) CARESSED, caressing, husband and child, then pushes away

4) CONFIDENCE, want of self

5) CURSING, restrain himself in order not to curse, has to

6) DELUSIONS, right, does nothing

7) EGOTISM, self esteem

8) FORSAKEN, isolation, sensation of

9) GODLESS, want of religious feeling

10) HELPLESSNESS, feeling of

11) INDIFFERENCE, religion to his


13) RELIGIOUS, feeling want of

14) QUIETED, carried, only by being

15) REFUSES, treatment, every, sick, in spite of being very

16) SHRIEKING, must shriek, feels as though she

17) TALKING, agg. all complaints

18) THOUGHT two trains of thought

19) WILL, contradiction of


In the new repertories, under some rubrics, Arsenicum alb. has been added which originally was not present in Kent’s repertory, as in “helplessness. “


HELPLESSNESS, feeling of

aether, am-c, anac, ant-t, arg-n, ars. bamb-a, calad, cench, gels, germ, hecla, hell, hydrog, jasm, kali-br, lith-c, LYC, med, ozone, petr, phos, puls, rhus-t, sang, sep, stram, tax


If we study Arsenicum alb’s helplessness it comes when he feels helpless to manage the situation anymore, and then he has no other option but to take help – which otherwise he does not like to take from someone or from any therapy, to come out of the situation.

Whereas Anacardium feels helpless due to his health, which he thinks is not coming under control and he fears paralysis – total stagnation of mobility.

Another rubric, which is common to both, is:



alum, anac, androc, arg-n, ars, asar, aur, aur-ar, bar-ar, bufo, calc-p, calc-sil, CARC, con, cupr, graph, iod, kali-ar, kali-bi, kali-c, lac-ac, lac-c, lac-eq, lac-h, lob, med, morg-g, nat-ar, nat-c, nat-m, nat-p, nat-s, nux-v, oro-ac, phos, pip-m, plat, plb, PULS, sep, sil, sulph, thuj


An Arsenicum alb. patient is fastidious about maintaining the civil code – means they are very much conscious about their way of living in the society. (A standard which Chamomilla does not have). Like they feel that their house should be neat and clean, as it will carry a bad impression among people who visit them if they see their house in a bad condition. Arsenicum alb. is not eccentric. They believe in following the norms of living in a society. They become fussy about law and order. They bring to the notice of others their mistakes or errors, even if they are very minor. And they want others to amend their mistakes or errors immediately. They cannot tolerate any nonsense around them. They see much disorder around them (DISORDER, objects appear).

It does not mean that they want to project themselves to a higher position but they feel that it is the right conduct. They are highly conscious about their dignity. Nobody should come to know that they are sick; they feel bad about moving about in society with a sick face. It affects them badly and can cause depression in them with the fear that their status will be harmed if someone will come to know about their problem, so they hide. We have studied the Hiding of Belladonna Bell hides but they don t mind if they get exposed. They don’t feel depressed or have any kind of fear or consciousness about their status and morals. They believe they should not bother others, nor ask for any help for their problem. They feel guilty if they couldn’t maintain it or have to ask for help from others).

Anacardium is fastidious about his mobility (free movement). When he gets sick he is mainly concerned about MOBILITY of his body. He fears that due to the problem there can be danger to his mobility (meaning not been able to move freely or easily). (FEAR, paralysis of)

anac, am, asaf, bapt, bell, kali-p, med, syph

He has apprehension about his survival in the future once he becomes immobile. He suspects that no one will help him when due to the problem he gets bedridden or not able to help himself. He has lack of trust for his family members. (SUSPICIOUS, mistrustful)

ACON, act-sp, ambr, ANAC, anan, androc, ang, anh, ant-c, apis, arn, ARS, ars-s-f, aur, aur-s, bapt, bar-acet, BAR-C, bar-m, bar-s, bell, bor, BRY, bufo, cact, cadm-s, calc. calc-p, calc-s, CANN-I, cann-s, canth, caps, carb-v, carbn-s, carc, CAUST, CENCH, 1 cham, 1 chin, chin-ar, CIC, cimic, coca, cocc, con, crot-h, croto-t, cupr, DIG, dros, dulc, eup-a, graph, hell, hydrog, hyos, ign, ip, KALI-AR, kali-bi, kali-br, kali-p, LACH, lap-gr-m, 1 lap-mar-c, LYC, lycps, macrin, med, meli, meny, merc, mez, morph, mur-ac, nat-ar, nat-c, nat-p, nat-s. nit-ac, nux-v, op, pall, ph-ac, phos, plat, plb, psor, PULS, RHUS-T, 1 ruta, 1 sanic, sarr, SEC, sel, sep, seq-s, sil, spig, stann, staph, still, STRAM, sul-ac, sul-i, SULPH, syph, thuj, thyr, verat, verat-v, viol-t


A patient says, “At the time of need your own people with whom you are having blood relation may refuse to help you or support you. They can leave you to die. He fears that who is going to help him. He comments that nobody (even her own children, wife, mother or father) will be there to give him a glass of water. Such feelings make him fearful, which causes a negative thinking towards life and for others. Due to this fear they get over conscious about their problem that even a mild fever makes them very much concerned about their health. (ANXIETY, hypochondriacal)

acon, AGAR, agn, aloe, alum, am-c, anac, arg-n, arn, ars, asaf, asar, bar-c, bell, bry, calad, calc, calc-sil, cann-i, canth, caust, cham, con, cupr, dros, ferr-p, graph, grat, hyos, ign, iod, kali-ar, kali-c, kali-chl, kali-p, lach, lob, lyc, m-arct, med, mosch, nat-c, NAT-M, nit-ac, nux-v, ol-an, ox-ac, ph-ac, PHOS, plat, psor, puls, raph, rhus-t, sep, squil, staph, sulph, SYPH, valer


They immediately call the doctor to ask if some step has to be taken before it aggravates further.

(CAUTIOUS, anxiously cautious)

am-c, bar-c, carc, caust, lyc, puls, sil, sulph


This feeling is there in Belladonna also. They also fear about their mobility – FEAR, paralysis of – but it is not very much constant in their mind. They take this burden immediately out of their mind by thinking that they will see or manage if such a situation will come into their life. Why ruin your present now?



Case of a lady 36 yrs old, a teacher by profession. She came to me with the following complaints:

  1. Joints pain – both knees and fingers – (sometime in shoulder and elbow joints too), though it remains throughout the year but mostly aggravated during winters. Pains started in fingers followed by pains in both knees. Slowly they spread to shoulder and elbow. 8 yrs. R. A. Factor was negative.
  2. Recurrent throat infection, nearly every week. In the beginning it used to happen once in two to three months. Sensitive to pickles, cold air. 6 yrs.
  3. Cyst in the right thigh – approx. 5 yrs Could be earlier than that but it came to her notice only at that time.
  4. Flatulence. Mostly aggravated by slight overeating . 3 yrs. If by chance she ate 1/2 chapati or small portion of vegetable extra then immediately she used to feel the heaviness in the stomach and for two to three hours. she had sour eructation.
  5. Irregular menstrual cycle. Periods profuse only after 2-3 months. 8 months – For these ailments she had taken only allopathic treatment. She left the treatment as there was no relief. Remained without any treatment for the last 6 months. The patient presented herself with the following mental state.


Fearful whether she will get cured or not.

Occupied by negative thoughts throughout the day.

Fear of consequences of her ailments.

Had no interest in her job but doing it only because of the good salary. She desired to remain in bed and gets annoyed if children make any demands.

Annoyed by her son who did not obey her.

Curious to know about her problem but fear to go for investigation as she had apprehension of some serious outcome.


During the case taking she asked repeatedly if, in my opinion, there is something serious and whether she is curable. She always had negative forebodings about her problems. Because of her state she always remains under fear. A slight fluctuation in her problem makes her uncomfortable and negative thoughts again start coming into her mind.

Despite my assurance she kept on asking my opinion about her problem. She told me that the whole day she was occupied in thinking about it. She was very doubtful about her condition, that it may betray her.

I had an idea about this lady. She used to call me for her husband who was my patient. If he used to get some trouble she got more worried than him. She used to ask me many questions related to his ailment. Sometimes she used to accompany him. That time she asked many more questions about his ailment than he did . This time her husband wanted to talk about her. He told me that by nature she gets tense very easily. As soon as something happens to any member of the family all negative thoughts starts coming into her mind.

In a nutshell two symptoms were more predominant in her case : one was suspicious (about her health and also regarding my careful case recording of all cases pertaining to all members of her family including her own.) and her negative thoughts (which kept her always fearful).


On the basis of above I selected the following rubrics:

  1. SUSPICIOUS, mistrustful
  2. FEAR, betrayed, of being
  3. BUSINESS, neglects her
  4. LIGHT, shuns
  5. BED, remain in, desires to

I prescribed her HYOSCYAMUS. 6 one dose.


The next day I received a call from her. She said, I am sorry Dr. but I wanted to confirm that you have noted down all my problems. This was enough for me to be sure that she was Hyoscyamus I assured her that everything would be fine and that I had noted all her symptoms. After one week she reported that after 3 days of taking the medicine:

Her menses appeared after a gap of three months. The bleeding was profuse.

She felt slight relief in her flatulence.

No change in the size of cyst.

Pain in fingers and knee joints was slightly better.

On the basis of this report I gave her placebo for 2 weeks. For nearly two months the case was static. I kept on giving her placebo. On some days there was relief in one or two symptoms, and the next time the same were worse and other symptoms got better.

I raised the potency to Hyoscyamus 30, one dose.

The first relief she got was that her menses regularized, with normal bleeding.

Flatulence much less.

Pain in joints relieved.

She continued to get recurrent throat infection.

Acidity increased.

General efficiency – no improvement. The case remained on placebo – no repetition of medicine – for another two months. The patient told me again that she had relief but not the well being feeling. That normal feeling lasted for a very short span in between during these two months. After that I raised the potency to Hyoscyamus 200, one dose.

Menses normal.

Pain in joints sometime relieved.

But the feeling was always there. This time I did not wait for long. When I realized that relief was not coming in a proper way I raised the potency to Hyoscyamus 1M. I could have changed the remedy but I did not. From my practical experience I learnt that sometime we change the remedy in haste and don’t look for the right potency. As I was convinced that Hyoscyamus was the right remedy for her, why change?


She was never sure whether she reported her symptoms accurately. She came back nearly every time after taking the medicine to ask me if I had noted down her particular symptoms as she was not sure if she had narrated her condition completely. She often called me on the same day or after one or two days of taking the medicine to inquire whether she had told me about her particular symptoms. She was also suspicious about my careful listening to her story. She called me immediately whenever she had noticed anything new or worse in her symptoms, or if there was some appearance of new symptom or some aggravation. She wanted to know the reason saying it did not happen to her before or this sort of feeling she never had earlier.

Because of the above two strong feelings I was convinced that she was Hyoscyamus I continued with the same medicine and kept raising the potency at shorter intervals. I exhausted the potency of Hyoscyamus from IM -CM. I switched from IM-10M-50M-CM in a time span of 20 days. The patient kept stressing that despite symptomatic relief the normal feeling was missing. Then I concluded that Hyoscyamus had worked but its action was limited. I gave her another sitting and re-analyzed her case.

I probed about her fear and suspicious behaviour which were persisting in her case.

  1. I asked her what kind of fear she was having.
  2. Related to my sickness
  3. What exactly is that?
  4. I have an apprehension that one day it shall render me non – functional. I have fear that one day I will become bedridden. Who will look after me in that event.
  5. I asked her why she did not express this feeling to me before?
  6. I never thought like that before. Before that I was more worried about its consequences, which I think got better by your medicine.

It means Hyoscyamus worked. She told me that the medicine had worked on her but not in the way she had expected. She told me that a normal feeling, which had to come in a patient after the medicine, was missing. Physically and mentally the medicine gave her some relief but not the stability.

About the author

Yogesh Sehgal

Yogesh Sehgal

Dr. Yogesh Sehgal is the younger of late Dr. M.L. Sehgal, the founder of Sehgal School of Revolutionized Homeopathy. He is an internationally well known speaker and a clinician with practice in New Delhi. He is also a co-author of several books of ROH series.

About the author

Sanjay Sehgal

Sanjay Sehgal

Dr. Sanjay Sehgal is the elder son of late Dr. M.L. Sehgal, the founder of Sehgal School of Revolutionized Homeopathy. He is an internationally well know speaker and a clinician with more than 38 years experience. He is also a co-author of several books of ROH series.

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