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Gelsemium

Dr. Sunil Jain

Gelsemium is a remedy made from false Jasmine and is frequently indicated in acute problems such as fever and cold.


Gelsemium sempervirens was first introduced into the homoeopathic canon by Dr. Hale in 1862. Since then this remedy has been of great use in treating many acute as well as sub-acute problems. A homoeopathic medicine chest is quite incomplete without Gelsemium.

The complaints have an insidious onset several days after exposure. These complaints may follow fever, shock, embarrassment or fright. Cold and fever are low grade and not violent. The remedy is suited to warmer climates and milder winters.

Gelsemium is frequently indicated in acute troubles such as cold or fever when the onset is insidious. Gelsemium complaints are largely congestive. Congestive headaches with violent pain in the occiput. There is great determination of blood to the head. The extremities are cold and the back and head become hot.

The headaches are very violent so much so that the patient cannot stand up but lie perfectly exhausted. The headache is better for lying still and by pressure and alcohol. It is worse for mental exertion and heat of sun. Every pulsation in the head feels like the blow of a hammer in the base of the skill. The headache is better by passing copious amount of urine.

The face of the patient is flushed and dusky, the mind is dazed with glassy eyes and dilated pupils. The extremities are cold, the skin mottled with cramps in toes and fingers.

The patient feels dizzy with blurred or double vision. The eyeballs oscillate laterally when using them. Drooping of eyelids is also a marked feature and is in its paralytic nature. It also has paralytic state of sphincters with involuntary stool and urination. There is great weakness of extremities or the patient can be just awkward and clumsy.

Gelsemium is often indicated in high fevers when the head and back are hot and the extremities are cold. Greta coldness and chills run up and down the back and the pains can go up the back too. There is shuddering as if ice was rubbed at the back. Chattering of teeth and great shaking and shivering may be present even without a sense of coldness. High fever may progress with little thirst and marked head complaints, a dazed mind etc. there is a feeling of great weight and tiredness in the entire body and limbs. The patient cannot lift his head from the pillow. There is profuse exhaustive sweat with great weakness.

Thirstlessness is another marked symptom of Gelsemium running throughout all complaints.

Gelsemium is also indicated in coryza with sneezing and watery discharge and cold extremities. The coryza might go down to the throat and produce sore throat with redness, swelling and enlargement of tonsils. Hot head, congested face and heavy limbs accompany it. The onset is gradual, several days after exposure. The throat trouble worsens gradually and may lead to a paralytic state of the muscles of deglutition so that the food comes back through the nose. The tongue may also get paralyzed.

There may be tearing pains in the nerves, sciatica, numbness or disturbed sensations.

Gelsemium also has palpitations and a sense of weakness in the heart region. The pulse is feeble, soft and irregular.

Diarrhoea in Gelsemium is caused from sudden excitement or emotion, bad news, fright or anticipation of some ordeal.

Guiding Symptoms

  • Complaints may follow fear, shock, embarrassment or fright
  • Insidious onset
  • Slow, congestive complaints and headache
  • Congestion of the head
  • Face flushed, dusky
  • Mottled skin
  • Cold extremities
  • Disturbed sensations
  • Paralytic state of sphincters
  • Ptosis
Remedy source
Gelsemium is made from Carolina jasmine, it is also know as yellow jasmine and false jasmine and is a native of North America. The remedy is made from the fresh roots and bark of the plant’s rhizome.

The Gelsemium Personality
The patient is in a state of nervous excitement. They may be dazed and may talk as if delirious, forgetful; worse for mental exertions and averse to speaking or even having company. The patient is too tired to communicate and does not want to make any efforts. There is a feeling of weight and extreme tiredness in the patients. In fevers children may have a fear of falling.

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