Conium maculatum (Poison Hemlock)
In ancient Greece Poison Hemlock was a regularly used punishment for criminals. In 399 BC the great philosopher Socrates was killed this way; his crime consisted of teaching people to think for themselves - a great evil in old dictatorial Greece. Thanks to Plato's documentation of this occurrence death by the poison beaker has made history. Drinking pure Poison Hemlock first gives dizziness, later on it causes paralysis starting in the feet and spreading upwards, and it becomes lethal when the paralysis reaches the breathing muscles.
This is one of the many sad stories on planet Earth, but it gives us insight in the nature of the homoeopathic healing Conium.
Conium should always be considered in cases of numbness and paralysis that have started in the feet and ascend to other body-parts. An important origin of the Conium condition is the suppression of sexual desire. It is often found in people who are voluntarily or forced cut off from a sexual life, like widows and widowers, nuns and monks. This brings us to the second great characteristic of the Conium-image: the glands are enlarged and of a stony hardness, with a tendency to tumors. Especially the sexual organs are affected, like the mammae, the testicles, the prostate, the uterus and the ovaries.
Conium is mostly a remedy for older people (although I know some young persons who needed it). The pathology slowly develops itself through the years. It is a remedy for a gradually increasing mental en physical exhaustion. If the symptoms are mostly mental this condition will result in debility (mental paralysis); if the complaints are more physical it will finally end with paralysis.
The nervous system is highly weakened, resulting in trembling and jerking, unsteady walking and sudden loss of strength during walking; from time to time the legs simply refuse to function. Mental exertion and concentration is impossible. These people take no interest in anything anymore; they are sad and easily vexed and excitement results in depression.
There is a strong dizziness, especially when lying down and turning in bed, or when moving the eyes or the head.
Throughout the whole body you can find hardened glands and bumps under the skin, which tend to inflammation and malignancy. Often the affected body parts are numb and painless, but they can also feel sore, hard and painful (breasts).
There is an aggravation at night, by lying down or moving in the bed, and by celibacy.