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Nux vomica has a tradition of use for symptoms related to over-indulgence, overwork, sedentary habits, night watching, shift work, travel, and at times when the body clock is upset. Nux vomica may provide symptomatic relief from insomnia that occurs around 3-4 am with thoughts of business in people who tend to be stressed, critical and over-sensitive and are quick to flare up. It’s sometimes called the hangover remedy as it may relieve the symptoms of excesses of food, alcohol, coffee, drugs and mental stimulation.

Always read the label and follow directions for use. Homoeopathic principles should be applied when using this remedy.   If symptoms persist consult your health care professional promptly.

Nux vomica – Poison nut

Remedy picture as described in traditional homoeopathic texts.

Nux vomica is known as ‘the hangover remedy’, as it addresses many of the classic symptoms of over indulgence – irritability, dull headache, dizziness, nausea, or heartburn after drinking too much alcohol or over eating, especially rich foods.

Nux vomica is a great remedy for business travelers and FIFO workers, helping the transition to different time zones, between night and day shifts and adjusting to long working hours. It is the most indicated remedy for the stress caused by overwork, especially when accompanied by irritability and anger, insomnia and a craving for stimulants such as coffee and alcohol. There is a general hypersensitivity of the nervous system.

Nux vomica can assist colicky babies whose mum may have required medication during the birth, by promoting detoxification and improving digestive function.

Mental/Emotional symptoms

This remedy is often suitable for sedentary business types, who carry a lot of responsibility and feel overworked. When under pressure or working long hours, they can be extremely critical, impatient, anxious, easily angered and inclined to pick fights. They cannot bear contradiction and are intolerant of criticism towards themselves, but demand high standards from others. When stressed, they tend to be over-sensitive to stimuli such as strong noises, light or smells. As a child, they hate to be controlled and can throw terrible tantrums. As an adolescent, they are likely to be rebellious and defiant. Conscientious and competitive, they can be sore losers and suffer from jealousy.

Stomach & Abdomen: Digestive symptoms that come on 1-3 hours after consuming too much rich or spicy food or too much alcohol. All symptoms are worse when stressed or tired. Symptoms include: nausea; vomiting or dry retching; heartburn; a heavy bloated feeling of gas in the intestines; cramping or colicky pains. Nausea in the morning after breakfast. A feeling of weight and pain in the stomach after eating, and very sensitive to pressure. Cramps soothed by heat but aggravated by pressure. Feels better after loosening the clothes. Colic in babies after mum eats rich foods, coffee or alcohol. The colic may come in spasms with a tight bloated belly and pain that causes them to arch their back. It is often accompanied with irritability and constipation.

Head & Face: Hangover headaches from excessive alcohol or sunshine. Frontal headaches with bursting or piercing pain and tension in the neck, especially after over work, late nights or over-indulgence. Brain feels bruised and fragile. Feels as if a nail being driven in over the eye, or at the top of the head. Hay fever with smarting sensitive eyes and a stuffy nose that obstructs breathing. Itching within the ears.

Nose, Mouth & Throat: Nose runs during the day but is blocked at night. Hay fever or cold dry weather causes dry, stuffed up nose that may alternate between nostrils. Tickling in the nose which triggers sneezing. Nose feels hot and sore. Breath foul, taste bitter and sour. Uncomfortably dry mouth and thickly coated tongue.

Chest: Dry cough with a sensation of something loose, which brings on a bursting headache. Shallow and oppressed breathing, worse in the mornings or after eating. Tight, dry hacking cough with gagging, or a tickly cough with pain in the larynx.

Female: A tendency to early or irregular periods, with cramping pain, nausea and fainting. Prolapse of the uterus after lifting. During pregnancy, there can be morning sickness, nausea, hiccough, varicose veins and haemorrhoids.

Rectum: Constipation is common, but stools may alternate between constipation and diarrhoea. Diarrhoea which is worse in the morning, after over-indulgence in alcohol. While passing stool, there is frequent urging and straining, but only a little is passed. There is a feeling as if there is always more to come. Haemorrhoids that are very sensitive to touch, itching and bleeding easily.

Skin: Face may appear red, swollen or yellowish, more around the nose and mouth. Skin generally may appear pale or yellowish, or it may appear red and blotchy, with pimples or blue spots. Blueness under the fingernails.

Sleep: Poor sleep from overwork, or after too much rich food, coffee or other stimulants. Often wide awake between 3-5am with thoughts of business. Falling asleep again before dawn, they wake later in the morning feeling unrefreshed and cranky. Insomnia when the normal routine is disturbed due to overwork, travel or too many late nights. Sleepy after meals, and a short nap is always beneficial.

Food: A love of stimulating food and drinks – spicy foods and condiments, beer, rich fatty foods. Very fussy about the freshness of foods. When ill, finds bread, meat, coffee and tobacco distasteful. Loves fats and tolerates them well. Feels worse for coffee, excessive alcohol, cold food or cold water.

Temperature: A tendency to feel chilly and shivers if uncovered. Even during a fever, they insist on staying covered up, and feel chilled if they move around or uncover themselves. Cannot get warm in bed.

• Pains, cramping and spasmodic, better from heat
• Hangover, nausea, travel sickness
• Bloating, flatulence and pain 2-3 hours after eating, food heavy on stomach
• Angry, irritable, stressed
• Insomnia 3-5 am
• Hayfever, one nostril blocked and the other runs
• Snuffles in babies
• Constipation with haemorrhoids

Exciting causes – Overwork; high living; change in routine; loss of sleep; cold, dry wind.

Better:      Warmth; rest; damp weather; dry, cold weather; hot drinks; firm pressure; solitude.
Worse: Cold and drafts; on waking in the morning; stimulants, spices; overwork; anger; 3-5 am.
Desires: Coffee; rich, spicy food; alcohol; fat; milk.
Aversions: Beer; coffee; meat; milk; water; bread; tobacco; cold foods.

Compare to: Mercurius, Phosphorus, Lycopodium, Arsenicum.

© Owen Homoeopathics


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