I decided to sing the praises of Agaricus after reading the following message at the Homeopathy Cafe:
“Nancy – my dear lady – your frostbite article [Feb. 04 issue, “ 4 Everyone”] came in handy today when the neighbor-where my oldest daughter was playing-let the kids go outside without boots or hats…her ankles… and her wrists were very red – at first, and then the center area began to turn pale with a dark red outline. The area was very itchy, stinging and burning a little. I went to get my repertory but then just checked your article. – She responded immediately to Agaricus. So cheers.”-Barb
I was elated! Our ezine had actually made a difference, thanks to Nancy’s very timely article on winter woes, and Barb’s ability to make use of it! In honor of this heartwarming story, I decided to devote an entire article to our hero, Agaricus muscarius.
Agaricus is a poisonous mushroom. It has a red top, which may help you think of this remedy when you see red discoloration of the skin in your patient. Another thing you should associate with this remedy is twitching! Twitching, jerking and spasms are big keynotes for this remedy! When you see facial twitching, think of Agaricus first. Think of spinal diseases with twitching, or arthritis of the spine or injury to the spine with twitching. Here’s a keynote: twitches all day, but not during sleep! Twitching and jerking of the eyes, but not during sleep. (Especially the left eye. Agaricus has left sided symptoms.)
This is an alcoholic remedy. Alcoholics who have twitching, jerking, convulsions, DT’s, incontinuity of speech, disordered speech and foaming at the mouth. (Sounds charming, doesn’t it?) Actually, incoherent speech in general, not limited to alcoholism, is another grand indicator for this remedy. You may be confused with Lachesis because they are very talkative and jump from one subject to another.
Spinal disease–arthritis of the spine, the spine is very stiff. Burning up and down the spine as if on fire, tingling, formication, shooting/burning pains. (As you can see from the above frostbite case, burning is a very big indicator for this remedy.) There may be cold spots along the spine or very tender spots that cannot be touched. Slipped disc with spasms, numbness of extremities with spinal problems, paralysis cases with a history of twitching.
Very awkward people. They may be socially awkward. They drop things. In the Repertory, under Nerves: incoordination, limbs–Agaricus is a “2”. (Meaning, a 2 on a scale of 1-3.) Under Generals: gait, reeling, staggering, tottering, wavering–Agaricus is a 3; so, therefore, locomotor ataxia.
Let’s go now to another big indicator for this remedy: night time ameliorates. At night they come alive; they are actually vibrant at night; they feel grand, powerful, like conquerors.
They wake feeling terrible–sluggish, stupid; their problems are at their worst during the day, especially from waking until noon–energy low, spaced-out, awkward, clumsy, confused, sad, foolish–until the setting of the sun. I had a client like this once. He kept repeating how much better he felt at night, how different he felt, his social phobias, etc., gone! Medorrhinum was an obvious choice, but it couldn’t be confirmed–no burning hot feet, no heat in general (Agaricus is a very chilly remedy), nor any other confirmatories for Medorrhinum. Because this person had been a user of psychedelic mushrooms, I looked up Agaricus in Kent’s Lectures, and found this:
“In the morning he is dumb sluggish stupid tired but when evening comes he brightens up becomes warmed up becomes excited poetical and prophetical wants to sit up late at night is brilliant, wants to play games.”
In my opinion, Agaricus should be added to the rubric, Generals: night, amel.
Along the lines of stupidness and awkwardness, think of Agaricus in retarded children when you’ve given Baryta carb. and it didn’t work and the child has twitches.
What else do we have for Agaricus…just a few more indicators:
Sleepy after meals.
Gas and bloating with the smell of rotten eggs. (By the way, Agaricus craves eggs, and the client I mentioned above ate 4 eggs every single day.)
Bearing-down pains in pelvis.
Headache as if a nail driven in the head, especially the right side, even though this is basically a left-sided remedy.
Better from warmth.
Better from motion.
Worse from cold weather and cold drinks.
Worse before a storm.
The sun can cause headaches, as in Natrum muriaticum.
Vertigo with an inclination to fall backwards.
Extremities: As if the blood was cut off to the feet or hands–numbness, tingling, burning, biting. Intermittent claudication, better moving, worse resting, feet like blocks of ice.
Itching without eruption that moves around.
Anxiety about health, especially cancer; you may think you have an Arsenicum case or a Nitric acid case in front of you. He may be very dependent on you for constant reassurance.
A preoccupation with the occult: ghosts, dead people, things associated with dead people like coffins; dreaming about dead people.
In contrast to these morbid and debilitating thoughts about his health is a state of fearlessness. I remember a case of Agaricus where the patient had become proficient and certified in so many fields, including dentistry, the martial arts, and chiropractic, and a long, long list of other things, that it was perceived by the practitioner as an indicator of his anxiety about health; that he needed to make sure he had control over everything so that nothing bad would happen. This over-extension, trying to do too much, overworking, overachieving in order to have control, is indicative of the Cancer “miasm”.
Diagonal symptoms, for example–right knee, left shoulder.
Grimacing before speaking.
Diseases you might look for this remedy in: Bell’s Palsy, Chorea, MS, Phobic disorder, Epilepsy, Sciatica, Disc Syndrome, hay fever where there is itching in the ears and upper palate; oh, and Frostbite!