Alcoholism :: Alcoholism in the eye of homoeopathy

By nature all the creatures fall prey easily to the temptations. The man is not an exemption. So, human beings have an enormous capacity to damage themselves in pursuit of pleasure, whether through alcohol, drugs, fast driving, smoking heavily, etc. But this pursuit of pleasure does them immense harm.

Generally when one realizes the harm after becoming addict to some intoxicant, it becomes very difficult to abstain. This applies in case of addiction to alcohol too. After falling prey to the drinking habit, if one desires to stop it, it become extremely difficult to stop the habit because the insidious effect of alcohol diminishes the will power, which is essential to stop the habit of drinking.


According to the homoeopathic philosophy the miasms are the stigmas whether inherited or acquired, pervert the will of their victims in their own peculiar manner. They affect the desires and aversions of the individuals or in other words they produce peculiar cravings in their victims. According to Dr. J. H. Allen, M. D. ?The tubercular patients who have never taken stimulants, often have a longing for them, especially for beers, wines, ginger ale, or hot aromatic things. (CHRONIC MIASMS)

He further writes, ?There is another thought that I wish to bring forward and that is that the desires and cravings for the unnatural things to eat, together with the desires and cravings for narcotics, such as tea, coffee, tobacco or any stimulant for that matter, have often their origin in Psora and Pseudopsora, that is , the miasm so weakens the organism or so lowers the vitality that the great life centers are unable to supply the necessary nerve force: hence the call for those things which temporarily fill force in these central impulses to increased activity, and for a while the demand is satisfied, until a reaction comes, as it always does in time. Then follows a lagging of these centers as they no longer can respond to the stimuli, which has to be increased, but the time comes when it fails and a new stimulant has to be selected and so on until stimulants fail entirely. Thus a patient may begin with meat and follow with tea, coffee, then tobacco and finally end with intoxicating liquors, partaking of greater, as the lesser fails to satisfy, fails to bring the nerve force upto the desired standard. (ibid).
In our society it has been seen that those who have acquired the habit of drinking, normally instigate others to accompany them or advise others to take to take liquor to ward off their sickness or to find solace under the influence of liquor instead of advising to consult the proper medical aid. Those who are already victims of the aforesaid miasms easily fall prey to such instigations or advices.


There are two kinds of effects of the alcohol,

Acute or immediate effects
Chronic effects.

Acute effects:

After consuming alcohol it depresses the function of the living cells. As the brain is more sensitive than other organs, so, from the first drink to the stage of unconsciousness, the effect of alcohol on this organ is to lessen its activity. Some drugs have a double action, first stimulating and then depressing; but alcohol is not one of them. First to last it is an anaesthetic like chloroform.

The most refined faculties are first to suffer judgment, concentration and self control. It enlivens conversation by relieving shyness. (Long ago there was a gentleman in my village, who was very gentle, sober and sensible in normal state, but soon after consuming liquor, which was his daily routine, the gentleness, the soberness and the sensibility used to melt into an opposite character; he used to become quarrelsome, abusive and loud, he was nicknamed Guldar (leopard).
Reactions are slowed and muscular coordination is impaired, but alcohol makes a man less critical of his own performance.

Chronic Effects:

Chronic alcoholism is a state in which a person is unable to control the amount he drinks and in consequence develops physical, psychiatric and social handicap. Everything absorbed from the stomach passes first to the liver by way of the portal vein and the liver bears the brunt of the habitual drinking.

Physical effects include malnutrition and Vitamin deficiency, which can cause Wenicke?s encephalopathy, hepatic cirrhosis, pancreatitis and gastritis. In due course of time, the kidneys and heart muscles are also affects, the heart by deposition of fat.
Vitamin (mainly Vitamin B1) deficiency is common, partly because alcoholics neither attend to their diet nor digest properly what they do eat and partly because alcohol makes special demands on the supply of Vitamin B1. Because alcohol supplies ready energy and takes precedence on normal fuel, so the fat and carbohydrates are stored instead of being burnt and the drinker puts on weight.

The effect of alcohol proceeds in the following manner:

The capillaries become engorged and distended, the heart action weak, soft, the pulse easily compressed, the muscles of the heart soft or the action of the heart becomes imperfect, the face flushed easily and the blood piles up in the lungs and brain when they exercise, attempt climbing heights or run fast such as running for a car or for a train.

Psychiatric disorders associated with alcoholism include depression, paranoid reactions, delirium tremens and alcoholic dementia.

SOCIAL EFFECTS: The hard drinkers become social misfits. In our country (India) most of the middle class and the poor people who become habitual drinker ruin their families in all respects.
The lethal dose is no higher for a habitual drunkard than an abstainer. I know a number of drunkards who died suddenly while asleep.

Methyl alcohol is a highly poisonous substance.

Some alcoholics become dipsomaniacs. This is a condition in which one develops morbid and insatiable craving for alcohol, occurring in paroxysms. I know of one dipsomaniac, who used to keep away from alcohol for weeks and then used to go on a drinking spree for weeks together drinking liquor day and night, making the life of whole family and the neighborhood miserable during such episodes.


Dr. Allen says,? The cravings, desires, likes and dislikes of our patients are symptoms that stand high in therapeutic value in making a selection of our remedy, as they are basic miasmatic symptoms, next in importance to the perverted mental phenomena in disease. They all however belong to the phenomena of perverted life action, and I am glad to know that they cannot be attached to pathology and do not come under any of its forms.?

The Homoeopathic Materia Medica contains numerous drugs which have affected the desires and aversions of the provers. They have produced desire for alcoholic drinks and stimulants in provers and as such are capable of curing the perverted desires according to the law of Similia. Therefore, these remedies are listed in Repertories by different writers, namely ? Knerr, Boger, Kent, Boericke, H. Barthel (Synthetic Repertory II Volume), etc., etc.

In Boenninghausen?s Characterstics and Repertory under the Section Appetite, Boger has given the Rubrics, Aversion to different alcoholic drinks pages 283 to 285 and Desires for alcoholic liquors, beer, wine, etc. pages 285 to 287.

C. B. Knerr, Repertory of Hering?s Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica in Section 14, Appetite, Thirst, Desires and Aversions, pages 395, 396 and 398.

Boericke, Materia Medica with Repertory, page 769 under Appetite, things that disagree, pages 770-771.

H. Barthel?s, Synthetic Repertory, Vol. II under the heading Food and Drinks, between pages 216 to 282.

Dr. S. R. Phatak?s, A Concise Repertory of Homoeopathic Medicines, under cravings, Alcoholic drinks for: page 75.

And so on so forth.

To treat such desires and aversions is not an easy job, it requires:-

Accurate selection of the indicated remedy.
Strict management of the case.
Full co-operation from the patient.

According to Dr. Burnett ? Quercus (Spiritus Glandium Quercus) diminishes the craving for alcohol and antidotes the alcoholic state.

I have seen a number of times Nux Vomica working remarkably in bringing down the intoxication in a short time.

I am quoting a case showing that how sudden and total abstinence of alcohol can cause alarming trouble and how the homoeopathy can save and restore the health.

In one case of a chronic drunkard who abstained alcohol totally abruptly. Consequently he suffered from acute abdominal pain and severe and frequent vomitings. Nux Vomica 200 restored him in a short time. Hereafter he remained a teetotaler for a year; then he again started drinking heavily. After continuing drinking he again abstained drinking at once. As a consequence he was attacked by persistent vomitings. After about four days of suffering my help was sought.

By this time he was vomiting coffee colored matter and was completely prostrated. This time Crotalus Horridus stopped his vomitings and sufferings. To compensate the lost body fluids and exhaustion transfusion of fluids (Glucose and saline) transfusion was resorted to.

?Doon Ratna? Dr. S. K. MAMGAIN Gold medalist
218, D. L. ROAD, DEHRA DUN ? 248001 (INDIA)
Phone No. 91 135 2656578
E-mail: drmamgain@

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