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chronic colds, endless longing, history of tuberculosis, strong immune system


Author: Anja Heij

Tuberculinum is made of pus from a tubercular abscess. Although this does not sound very friendly it is a great and important medicine. It is used when there is a history of tuberculosis in the family, in the first stadium of tuberculosis in a patient, or when someone suffers from regularly ailments from the bronchial tubes (like asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic colds or flues, or non-recovery from pneumonia). But: also when the symptoms of a person match with the image of this remedy.

Tuberculosis was a widespread disease in the 19th. Century. This was also the time of the Romanticism in the arts: romantic music, paintings filled with nymphs and books filled with romantic, feeble and longing characters. Many 19th century poets and writers found their inspiration in exotic regions and distant islands.

The homoeopatic Tuberculinum shows many similarities with both the personalities of the victims of tuberculosis as well as the characters in the Romantic arts.

An important feature of Tuberculinum is the endless longing for what is not there. There is a feeling of dissatisfaction with their present state, together with the romantic idea that something different - another time, place, situation, person, whatever...- will bring a change for the better. The famous line in the song "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're only one day away" is a typical Tuberculinum thought. The problem is, however, that tomorrow will always stay one day away. Tuberculinum personalities cannot get hold of their physical strength; a good health with a strong immune system seems to be out of reach. That makes it understandable that they hope that fulfillment of their dreams somehow falls down from heaven, or is already present in another time or place. Another characteristic of Tuberculinum is that they want these changes to happen immediately. "I want it and I want it now!" If the idea of, for instance, a removal to another city has captured their mind, they want to move today or tomorrow, but definitely not wait until next month. They have the feeling that life is too short to gather all experiences it offers. (Keep in mind that tuberculosis killed many young people, who were just starting to make the choices for their own life.)

Now what is Tuberculinum longing for? It can be emotional fulfillment, or the desire to live intense, adventurous and complete. It can be a strong health. But it can also be unclear to the person; it can be some sort of un-easiness, some nervous anxiety that drives him fort.

"I got to keep on walking
to someone I love
my faith in your reality
keeps me walking on

It seems I keep falling
For someone somewhere
One single hope for someone real
Keeps me hanging on."

(Song "Keep on walking" by Gino Vannelli)

Another song-text example of Tuberculinum-thinking is this one:

"On the dock her soul is sinking
but her spirit longs to roar
oh life, she cries
there must be more."

(Song "Oh life" of Alan Parsons, from the CD "Try anything once" - note that also the title of the CD fits in the Tuberculinum picture)

Throughout the whole image of Tuberculinum we notice a strong changeability and restlessness: changing moods, changing philosophies, changing desires, changing symptoms or alternating symptoms, thoughts moving in every direction, inability to concentrate on one single subject, desire for "something different" like exotic food or unusual activities, desire to travel, a desire to move the body and the mind, a change of study, job or profession without really finding satisfaction. Physical complaints often get better if the person moves. Tuberculinum can be very sweet, kind and tender, but - especially when ill - can also be very obstinate and destructive. They show an inconsistency in tempers, enthusiasm alternates with apathy, activity with passivity, etc. Children can have strong fits of temper, destroy their toys and curse, especially when they cannot have things their way.

Often Tuberculinums are fine, romantic, melancholic and artistic types. They are well known as thin, pale, always tired and easily fainting people, but also robust and fat people can need this remedy. After all, tuberculosis was a widespread disease, so there is a big chance of recognizing it in the family history.

Tuberculinum feels better in the mountains, in the woods and in warm dry air, and worse on the moist seashore. They are very thirsty and can eat a lot and still loose weight. They love ice cream, smoked fish and smoked meat. A strange symptom is sweating on their nose. There can be a fear and allergy for cats and dogs. Tuberculinums have a lot of problems with the bronchial tubes, a low immunity, inflammations of the ears and tonsils, chronic skin eruptions, long lasting diarrhea, chronic fatigue and allergies.


Tuberculosis is a slowly developing infectious disease. Most of the times the tuberculosis-bacilli are spread by air through breathing from one human being to another human being. Infected cows through their milk can also carry the disease. Usually the lungs are affected, but the bacteria can also spread to the brains, kidneys or bones. If the immunity-system works correct the bacteria will be destroyed or surrounding connective tissue will isolate them. In that case the disease cannot harm you. In case of a low immune system however, when the person is weak, ill or poorly fed, the disease will develop itself into consumption. In this second stage the symptoms of tuberculosis are damaged lung-tissue causing difficult breathing and a dry cough with bloody sputum, a slight fever, and loss of weight and fatigue. If the disease is present in other parts of the body it will cause infections and loss of tissue there as well.

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