“Here is another active, hardworking type, who will fall apart when it is time to retire, since his work is his life. This produces a sudden break in the balance, and nothing seems enjoyable anymore, everything seems too burdensome.”Dr. Didier Grandgeorge, The Spirit of Homeopathic Medicines
Latin: Prunus Laurocerasus Common: Cherry Laurel, Kirschlorbeer
This article is focused on the cardiac and respiratory symptoms of Laurocerasus.
Particular & Strange Characteristics
Laurocerasus is homeopathic remedy with substantial role in the treatment of sudden heart failure and respiratory arrest. The great debility and lack of reaction in heart affections are to be remembered about this remedy. Another particularity about it is the painlessness of most complaints. And another one is the contradiction in the sensations.
Laurocerasus resembles Psorinum in one queer modality: the suffocative attacks in the chest are not better from sitting upright in bed, but on the contrary: lying down ameliorates the respiration. In the same time however, the lying down gravely aggravates the cardiac cough, and the patients keep their hands on the heart. As D.M. Borland writes in ‘The Treatment of Certain Heart Conditions’, the position of choice of these patients is semi-prone.
Another curious modality of this remedy is the excessive coldness of the head, body and extremities, which is not ameliorated by external warmth. The patients are quite chilly and yet they feel retching every time when they approach source of heat. When in a warm room, their forehead is heavily sweating, and still the forehead is cold. However, if they go outdoors the sweating seizes and the forehead warms up.
Vegetative Nervous System
Laurocerasus acts on the brain, spinal cord and nerves; especially affected are the respiratory nerves and the ganglions. It therefore produces many twitching, convulsions, cramps and spasms, nervous apoplexy with slow pulse, unnaturally deep sleep (sopor) with loud respiration, and suffocative attacks.
The affection of vegetative nervous system leads to loss of energy and to inability for reaction and complete loss of sensation. Consequently all ill conditions following this stage are painless; these are comatose conditions, parasysis of lungs, larynx and extremities, spasmodic gasping for breath, irregular slow pulse.
Heart & Respiratory Arrest
The heart failure requiring Laurocerasus occurs quite suddenly; heart insufficiency, mitral regurgitation, respiratory arrest. The outlook of these patients is rather striking, frightening. Their face is bluish-grey, eyes are sunken, tongue is numb and cold, they gasp for breath, facial muscles are twitching, mouth is distorted.
If apoplectic stroke follows, patient falls into a coma which looks more like a deep sleep (sopor). This is a desperate condition with apparently little amount of vital force left, at the edge between life and death.
Heart pulse is slow, small and irregular; it is scarcely hard to find it. The rhythm of the heart goes irregular, the vital organs and the heart itself suffer for oxygen. Dry hacking cardiac cough appears, stitches in the heart region, gasping for breath, moist bluish cold skin. Sometimes patients feel is spasmodic pain in the cardiac region, accompanied by fear of sudden death. Dry cough appears every time they lie down and continues all night. They feel excessive weakness and fits of suffocation.
In this state Laurocerasus resembles Carbo vegetabilis and Psorinum, and also China officinalis. The choice of remedies must be careful and adequate, and the treatment should be conducted with low potencies, the better from the decimal homeopathic scale of dilution.
As If Falling Down
There is sensation of falling down in these patients, which is apparent in the entire body.
In the head they have the feeling as if their brain would fall down to the forehead on stooping.
In the chest, when lying down, they feel as if their lungs are falling down to the spine; as if the lungs cannot be stretched and filled up with air.
They also feel as if they have a lump in the upper abdomen, above the navel. They have sensation as if this heavy lump had fallen from pit of their stomach to back, whenever they attempt to rise from a lying position.
*Bibliography: C. Herring, Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica; J. T. Kent, Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica.