Homeopathic ignatia, or Ignatia amara, is one of the better homeopathic remedies used for its calming effect on the nervous system.
It is highly promoted for the treatment of conditions as varied as nervousness, moodiness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and more. In fact, it has such a powerful effect on our emotions that it is often touted as the “Homeopathic Prozac.”
Ignatia is derived from the seeds of the St. Ignatius bean tree (Strychnos ignatii), which is native to the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. These seeds contain strychnine, which is a powerful poison that is harmful to the nervous system when ingested.
Homeopathic ignatia is therefore a perfect example of the homeopathic principle, “like cures like.” This means that substances like St. Ignatius bean seeds that cause symptoms of disease in healthy people will also effectively treat symptoms during an illness when highly diluted and made into a homeopathic remedy.
In addition to its effect on emotions, homeopathic ignatia may also be effective for ailments like sore throats, digestive disorders, nervous disorders, oral lichen planus, and preventing weight loss. Read on to learn more about ignatia, and its many health benefits and uses.
What Is the St. Ignatius Bean?
The St. Ignatius bean tree belongs to the Loganiaceae family, and has smooth, tapering, and long branches. It is also known in the Philippines as aguwason, igasud, or dankkagi. The bean was named after a Spanish Jesuit called St. Ignatius of Loyola—the founder of Kamel’s Jesuit missionary order.
He discovered the beans and brought them to Europe from the Philippines during the seventeenth century. The original inhabitants of the Philippines traditionally wore St. Ignatius bean seeds as amulets to prevent and cure all diseases, but especially cholera, epilepsy, gout, and asthma.
However, it was later discovered that St. Ignatius bean seeds contain strychnine, an ingredient in rat poison, and an alkaloid similar to strychnine called brucine.
When ingested in large doses the beans are fatal to humans, and even in small doses they can lead to appetite loss, cramps, headaches, muscle twitching, trembling, nervous laughter, giddiness, and frightening dreams.
What’s interesting is that the homeopathic process of serial dilution and potentization will eliminate the toxic effects of ignatia, and allow it to be effective therapeutically for many of the symptoms it is thought to cause.
The process of making the homeopathic remedy will create the dried St. Ignatius bean seeds into a powder. The powder is then steeped in alcohol for five days, then filtered, diluted, and succussed to form the remedy.
6 Key Uses and Health Benefits of Homeopathic Ignatia
What are the health benefits of homeopathic ignatia? In the early 1800s, homeopathy founder Dr. Samuel Hahnemann proved the homeopathic remedy ignatia, and would add it to his comprehensive book on homeopathic medicine Materia Medica Pura.
Since then, ignatia has been a go-to remedy for conditions that develop from emotional stress, such as headaches, digestive problems, nervous disorders, hair loss, coughs, and sore throats. The person that requires ignatia also has a great sensitivity to pain, a tendency to sigh and yawn frequently, a dislike of crowds, and a fear of birds like chickens.
Various research studies have also suggested the effectiveness of ignatia in the treatment of emotional and physical effects of menopause, migraines in children, oral lichen planus, weight loss, and other emotion-related symptoms like anxiety. The following is further detail regarding the key health benefits of ignatia.
1. Emotional Conditions
Experts believe ignatia is best suited for people with strong emotional problems. It is reportedly especially useful for disappointment after a breakup, or for grief after a death of a loved one. The person also finds it hard to break the bond with a partner when disillusioned in love.
The patient is often artistic, emotionally fragile, hypersensitive, and prove to mood swings and feelings of self-pity. Crying, laughing, and fainting simultaneously, or hysterical behavior may be due to an inability to express emotions. Ignatia may be needed when insomnia, depression, and anxiety result from an unpleasant emotional event.
A study published in the journal Homeopathy in 2012 found that ignatia may be able to modify emotional responses in animals. Another study published in the journal Homeopathy in 2003 indicated that ignatia significantly improved pain and reduced anxiety in patients injured in a construction accident. Patients reported that the homeopathic ignatia had been 67% effective for their pain and anxiety.
2. Effects of Menopause
Menopause is a transitional time in a woman’s life where she has gone 12 months without a menstrual cycle. Common symptoms will include hot flashes, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and mood swings. A study published in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics in 2004 found that homeopathic ignatia did well for menopausal-related emotional disturbances.
There was improvement in both psychological symptoms and complaints that stem from psychological causes. Ignatia was also well tolerated and would produce fewer side effects than the placebo.
3. Digestive Disorders
Ignatia amara is also a key remedy for digestive disorders and complaints. According to homeopaths, it works well for nausea, vomiting, and indigestion that are relieved from eating. A sore throat may also improve from swallowing solid food.
Ignatia is also used for diarrhea, constipation, and hemorrhoids triggered and worsened from emotional stress. There may also be a prolapsed rectum with a sharp, upward-shooting pain. The person will also experience hiccupping, burping, and bitter-tasting saliva in their mouth.
4. Oral Lichen Planus
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the mouth. A study published in the journal Homeopathy in 2009 suggested that ignatia had a beneficial effect in the treatment of OLP. For the study, 30 patients with OLP randomly received a placebo or homeopathic ignatia, and were treated for four months.
5. Nervous Disorders
The effect ignatia has on the nervous system could be very useful for nervous disorders, including twitching muscles or nervous tics, and startling or trembling.
It is also used for numbness of the limbs or face that may lead to convulsions, hysterical paralysis, or chorea—random and jerky twitches of the limbs or face. Symptoms may be triggered by grief, shock, or other strong emotions.
Homeopathic ignatia is also considered for headaches and migraines, especially when cased from emotional stress. The headache will be a sharp pain that almost feels like a nail is sticking to the side of the head. Other symptoms associated with the headache may include dizziness, numbness, or a heavy sensation.
Head pain is often relieved from lying on the painful side of the head. Triggers will include strong smells of any kind, coffee, and tobacco smoke. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2013 found that homeopathic remedies like ignatia amara were effective for the prevention and treatment of migraine attacks in 168 children.
There was a significant decrease in severity, frequency, and duration of migraines, which resulted in a better overall attendance rate at school.
Final Thoughts on Homeopathic Ignatia
Homeopathic ignatia can be purchased at most health food stores and found in the supplement section. It comes in pellet or liquid form. You can also get ignatia right from your qualified homeopath, if they have determined that ignatia is best for you based on your mental, emotional, and physical symptoms.
In general, the dosage of ignatia is one pellet or five liquid drops every 30 minutes for intense symptoms, or four hours for mild symptoms. Once symptoms have improved, stop taking the remedy, and continue using the remedy only when symptoms return. If there is no improvement after three doses, contact your homeopath immediately. A different dosage may be needed for chronic or persistent symptoms.
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