Clinical Cases Homeopathy Papers Homeopathy Repertory Materia Medica


Dr. M.L. Sehgal explores some determining aspects of Gelsemium’s mentals and illustrates with numerous cases.

A Bryonia patient fears suffering. Cocculus has fear of sudden events and the Gelsemium patient fears losing his self control.

Losing: Something or someone going away, something or someone slipping away from one’s possession, failing to hold on, not in a position to hold a thing with command anymore, a situation where defeat is inevitable, not able to attract a thing / keep a relationship due to loss of charm or affection.

A cloth loses its color means it has no more strength to hold it or the external agents (soap, sunlight etc.,) robs away its colour.

A mother says, “My children are going away from me, they do not love / listen / respect me as much as they used to.” She feels her grip loosening over them. It could be that they have grown up or she is too occupied to give them sufficient time.

When a wife starts missing her husband’s love she thinks she is losing him.

Self: Pertaining to oneself, limited to an individual

Control: Regulate, to check, balance, to keep under supervision, to guide.

For a Gelsemium patient it is very important to maintain his balance. He will therefore not do any activity (talking / moving etc.), which can upset his balance. It could be physical, mental or both.

For a Gelsemium patient, the balance depends upon his Will. If his will is strong he can keep his balance intact. He can move or talk easily until his mind is away from the body. For example, a sick lady keeps working in the kitchen so long as her mind is away from her problems but the moment she realizes that, she will collapse. If she continues to do so she stops work and returns to bed.

WILL, muscles refuse to obey the will when attention is turned away

To understand it in a better way we can read this rubric as:

-BETTER, feeling of, till the mind is away from the body(s*)

Actually the condition of a Gelsemium is like a pendulum (oscillates to and fro). If his will (mind) gets strong (due to positive light) he gets exhilarated and the body gets tilted towards better feeling but the moment the will gets weakened he gets embarrassed and the body goes into the state of torpor. Now if we look into the whole symptomatology of Gelsemium, the concern for maintaining self control is visible.

There are many kinds of fear in a Gelsemium patient like:

Fear that his heart will cease to beat if he is not constantly on the move.

Fear of being alone

Fear when going to the church or opera

Fear in a crowd, in public places, of appearing in the public, of downward motion, of falling.

Fear of an impending danger

Fear of thunderstorm

It is in a bid to maintain self control that all these types of fears creep up in his mind while facing problems. The impact of the fear on his mind gets so strong that he loses his sense of security. For this reason he cannot live alone. He needs someone around so that if an emergency arises he can be taken care of. For this reason he clings to those near him.

CLINGING, held wants to be

Clinging: Sticking or coming closer by embracing. To adhere closely or firmly as if glued. To have a strong emotional attachment or dependence.

Why doe a Gelsemium patient need to cling? He fears that he may lose self control. For comfort: from someone who can really care for him. Who can understand his needs. Whom does he cling to? To a person who can provide him comfort, give him attention and show him the way.

  • ATTENTION, amel.

    When does he give up clinging?

When the light (attraction) fades or he does not get proper attention.


When there is an apprehension that the person to whom he is clinging may leave.

FEAR, of being rejected (s*)

-FEAR, falling, child holds on to mother

Gels is in:

-CLINGING, held, wants to be

but not in CLINGING, grasp at others

Arsenicum is the only remedy that covers both

Hold: To keep watch, support with hand or arm, adhere to something

A patient who likes to be held wishes that the person providing him support should always be there beside him. It makes him sad to hear that person say he has to leave. On hearing this he will plead / request that the person not leave but stay with him for some more time. Grasp: grip firmly; embrace, to keep in possession once in the grip (physically / mentally).

A patient who shows this behaviour will grip the attendant’s arm or hand not allowing him to go away. Such an action requires an effort from the person. He has to extend his hands or arms to do so. Once a thing / idea come into his grip he does not let it go easily.

For a Gelsemium patient it does not matter who is around him, whether it is a little child or an older person. If asked how he expects to be helped by a small child or an old person who are too weak to even take care of themselves, he will tell you that he does not expect any physical support from them but at least their presence is enough in case something happens to me then they can call the neighbor or phone someone.

-CLINGING to a person or furniture etc.

How and why does a person need to cling to the furniture?

Clinically it has been observed that a Gelsemium patient likes the presence of those persons who can understand him or his needs very well. He does not want those people’s support who have no idea about his needs. A lady suffering from menstrual pain told me that when in pain she felt like resting on a particular chair, which belonged to her mother. She said, “Today I asked my mother to send it to me.” When I asked her what it was that she found so particular about that chair,
she replied, “I do not know but whenever I used to get sick, sitting on that chair gave me a lot of comfort. I feel it is like my mother.”

This is again a case of fear of losing control. The thinking behind it is that if the other person fails to support him then at least an inanimate object can save her.

-FEAR falling of

Falling: To come or drop down suddenly to a lower position.

For this reason the patient takes the support of table / chair near him as he knows they are strong enough to prevent his fall.

What is etc. in the above rubric (CLINGING to person or furniture etc.)

Etc: Other than (a person or furniture) that if he has to walk up to the toilet or get up and move to do something important, he takes the support of a wall.

If we visit a Gelsemium patient we will find only one person sitting beside him as an attendant.

He wants that a person sitting beside him should be absolutely quiet. He should not do anything. He should not move at all. He should not watch television, hear music, read newspaper or do anything else. If he finds the other person indulging in any kind of activity he asks him to leave the room. He wants 100% attention of the person with him. He also does not like artificial or mechanical support / care. He likes natural affection and assurance, which exhilarates him and makes him cheerful.

-LIGHT desires (positive)

The word positive is an addition. It means he loves things in which there is no negativity. This patient asks the doctor if his problem will get better. He wants to hear a positive answer from the doctor. He feels good by reassurance from the doctor. The other meaning of positive is something that has a natural effect, no artificial love, affection or care. A Gelsemium patient likes to have natural light coming from outside his room during the day and at night he likes to have a light which is soothing.

The Gelsemium patient likes to have quietness around him.

-QUIET, wants to be

He cannot tolerate even the noise of a running tap as it takes away his self control. He is indisposed to talk and averse to being spoken to. He does not like to be touched. He wants to avoid every kind of disturbance which can affect his composure and state of balance that he is trying to maintain with so much effort.

-DISTURBED, averse to being

-IRRITABILITY, spoken to, when

-TOUCHED, aversion to being

Events, whether anticipated or of the past, affect this patient both ways. When anticipating she is doubtful of her capacity to face them and after they have passed away, she becomes over conscious about how she could face them and if she will be able to face them if they occur again.

About the author

Madan Lal Sehgal

Madan Lal Sehgal

Dr. M. L. Sehgal took up homoeopathy as a hobby. It later was to become his passion and he conducted research to improve its effectiveness. His method of prescribing has been successful in treating many cases of both acute and Chronic ailments. In 1983, he founded Dr. Sehgal's School of Revolutionized Homoeopathy in India. He authored Rediscovery of Homoeopathy Series, volumes I- VIII - the last series IX co-authored by his sons, Dr.Sanjay sehgal and Dr.Yogesh Sehgal. These give a detailed insight into his method. Written Originally in English these volumes have been translated in other languages, namely German, Italian & Czech. There are dedicated followers of Dr. M. L. Sehgal's Method all over the world.


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