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The French call it, the Devil’s Turnip, the Poisonous Bryonia holds Tremendous Therapeutic Value

Dr. S. Varma

Bryonia is a very important homoeopathic remedy that has been used for the benefit of healing many ailments. It has been of special use in treating respiratory ailments, digestive ailments and arthritic conditions. In the healthy person , Bryonia produces inertia, vertigo, frontal headache, hot eyes that feel full of dust, dryness in nose and throat, early morning diarrhoea and stitching, tearing pains.


Bryonia is one of the earliest remedies to be proved by Hahnemann. Procured from a poisonous plant, Bryonia is dynamised for its therapeutic value. It is a very important homoeopathic remedy that has been used for the benefit of healing many ailments. It has been of special use in treating respiratory ailments, digestive ailments and arthritic conditions. In the healthy person , Bryonia produces inertia, vertigo, frontal headache, hot eyes that feel full of dust, dryness in nose and throat, early morning diarrhoea and stitching, tearing pains. Cold drinks and cold climate makes them feel better and heat makes them worse. Muscular effort is impossible and lying still brings relief. The typical Bryonia patient finds comfort in immobility.

Complaints in Bryonia have a slow onset and are continuous and stay for a longer duration of time. The complaints develop slowly and gradually increase into violence. The complaints start after many days of feeling tired. All complaints are worse for motion with a desire to keep perfectly still. Motion brings on misery to them. The complaints are better for pressure and holding the parts perfectly still. The patient is averse to slightest movement, be it the motion of the eyeballs or walking-he suffers. The more and the longer they move, the more they suffer.

Another keynote of the remedy that runs in all the complaints is the extreme irritability-the patient is so irritable that he does not wish to be spoken to or be disturbed.

Bryonia has a sluggish state of mind and they may be confused. Patients may be indecisive and not know what they want.

Most of the complaints are better for cold and worse for heat, though some rheumatic complaints are better for heat.

Most of the complaints of Bryonia are accompanied with headache. The headache is a bursting type and is usually better for tight pressure. It may be accompanied with nausea, faintness, mental dullness and confusion. The patient has a splitting headache with a feeling as if the skull would break. The pain is worse on slightest motion even by the movement of the eyeballs or winking of an eye. The pain is worse in warm stuffy rooms, stooping, sitting up after lying down and coughing. The patient wants to lie down quietly in a dark room perfectly still as the pain aggravates in light.

Pains in Bryonia are of a stitching character and are better by lying on the painful side such as if the patient complains of pain in the left leg, he would feel better by lying on that side.

Bryonia has a marked action on the respiratory tract. It is an excellent remedy for respiratory ailments with dry, irritable cough. The complaints usually start from the nose with sneezing, coryza and red eyes and headache. They may progress to the throat, larynx and down onto the chest.

Coughing is painful and the patient has to hold the chest while coughing and lie on the painful side to keep it still or sit up and cross his arms in front of the chest to ease the pain. The patient has dry cough with scanty or rust coloured sputum. They take short deep breaths because of the pain if they breathe deeply. Cough is worse after eating, motion and warmth.

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