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To watch a slide show about Ledum palustre, please click here.
I want to keep this issue short and sweet and just tell you about the wonderful homeopathic first aid remedy, Ledum palustre. In the summer months when the insects are out in numbers, this is a good remedy to know about, as one of its uses is to help relieve painful insect bites. Here is an extract from my book entitled Homeopathic First Aid Remedies and Creams about Ledum and its uses.
Ledum palustre or Marsh Tea is another one of our leaders in homeopathic first aid treatment. The genius of Ledum lies in its effects on puncture wounds, animal and insect bites, and in certain rheumatic or arthritic conditions. To understand when to employ this great remedy instead of one of the other first aid remedies or another constitutional remedy, we need to know the characteristics that should be present to make Ledum the remedy we are seeking.
The most striking characteristics of Ledum are:
The patient is extremely chilly or cold to the touch, but he wants to be uncovered, feels ameliorated from cold application, or even desires to put his feet in ice cold water. The chilly Ledum patient may also perspire profusely at night, but cannot bear to be covered.
The amelioration from cold is so strong in Ledum that when the patient is suffering from stiffness, his joints will loosen up from cold bathing. This is the opposite of Rhus tox, which is better from hot bathing.
1) Another striking characteristic of Ledum is that in rheumatic or
arthritic conditions the pain begins in the extremities and extends upward. The pain is also much more severe in the lower limbs. In painful wounds the pain originates at the sight of the wound and ascends.
2) The next area in which Ledum has dominance is in puncture wounds.
Think of Ledum for someone who has stepped on a sharp object, or has a splinter under the nail. In such injuries there is not much bleeding at the wound, but there is a lot of pain. James Tyler Kent, the great homeopathic teacher, says to think of Ledum “after puncture wounds when the part becomes cold and then pale, paralyzed and mottled.” The amelioration from ice or cold applications has to be present. He says that Ledum is one of the remedies surgeons should know about, for just such conditions. Ledum and Hypericum are the two remedies that you would think of to prevent tetanus or lockjaw. Think of Ledum for a horse who has stepped on a sharp object.
3) Ledum has to be remembered as one of our principal remedies for the effects of animal bites, from cat and dog bites to the bites of poisonous snakes. Ledum has to be thought of for snake bites, partly because many of its symptoms are so similar to Lachesis, with which it can be confused.
4) No less important is Ledum’s positive effects on insect bites, especially mosquito bites, but also spider bites, tick bites, wasp and bee bites, and scorpion bites. In animal and insect bites Ledum, must be compared with Hypericum and other remedies. Here the characteristics which I have already mentioned should be present to help select the remedy, such as inflammation at the site of the wound, amelioration from ice and the ascending pains. The injured part is also often swollen, purple and mottled. In serious animal and insect bites Ledum should be administered in high potency.
5) Ledum should also be thought of for negative local effects from vaccinations, such as induration or hardening at the sight of the vaccine. For constitutional effects of vaccinations, think of remedies such as Silica and Thuja.
Ledum has many other uses, one of the principal ones being its positive effects on acute and chronic arthritic or rheumatic conditions. As I said above, here the guiding characteristic would be that the rheumatism begins in the feet and travels upward. For arthritic pain Ledum runs the gamut from helping with functional pain, to the pain from arthritic nodosities in the fingers, feet and other joints. Ledum is good for the pain of gout. The patient is cold, but he is aggravated from the heat of the bed and the pains are worse at night. The joints are swollen, pale and hot, and the peripheral joints will be affected first. The patient will want to uncover, and the part feels better from ice or cold applications. The feet and the small joints are often affected.
Here is a list of some of the other conditions that Ledum can help with when its characteristic indications are present.
6) Wounds that are very painful to the touch.
7) Abscesses and septic conditions that are very tender and relieved by cold.
8) Like Hypericum, it can help with crushed fingers and toes, but here the pain shoots up the limb and would be better from cold applications. The fact that it is better from cold applications is what would lead you to Ledum over Hypericum in injuries to the extremities.
9) Long lasting discoloration after injuries.
10) It can antidote poison oak when the characteristic indications are present.
11) Pain from spinal injuries, and muscular rheumatism of the shoulders.
12) When Arnica does not work sufficiently to clear up bruising or ecchymosis, Ledum can complete the cure.
13) Some people believe that Ledum can clear up a black eye better than Arnica. If the injury is to the eyeball itself use Symphytum.
14) Ledum also helps when there is a tendency to sprain ankles, and with ankle swelling, and painful soles of the feet. Remember the characteristic indications of Ledum need to be present to use it for these conditions.
15) Ledum is a member of the Ericaceae family of plants, and the common sensation of this group of plants is a need to move from one place to another, or to wander. This is interesting as I have seen some books describe the mental state as restless, and it also has ascending pains. Other words used to describe the mental picture are cross, surly and disagreeable.
In conclusion I would like to tell you about a woman I treated about two years ago who had severe pain in her shoulders. She had been suffering with this pain for ten years. The thing that helped her deal with the pain the most was applying cold applications or ice packs to the shoulder. Based on this indication I asked her to see if the Ledum cream would help. The cream relieved her shoulder pain tremendously, but she would have to apply it frequently to sustain the positive effects. I decided to move her to a 200C dose of the remedy, and that single dose took away her shoulder pain.
I have given you a good picture of Ledum here. It is up to you to decide when it will be more appropriate to use the internal potentized remedy or to apply the cream topically.
To watch a slide show about Ledum palustre, please click here.