by Dr C.D.G. Johnson
Allow me to indulge in a short spell of make-believe by introducing you to a little-known airline – the “British Homeopathic Airways” or “BHA” for short. It should not be confused with the parent association, or that other airline with a rather similar sounding name, which claims to be the largest airline in the world.
The “BHA” can claim to be the oldest airline in the world, having offered first class service (just the one class I hope you will notice); none of this business-executive, club, or economy – for some 200 years.
It has also one other inestimable advantage over all other airlines, for it offers highly effective treatment for the various ills that sometimes accompany this mode of travel, as part of its service.
Fear of flying
Perhaps the problem that is uppermost in many people’s minds is the fear of flying. This may be induced by a fear of heights, of crowds, of being closed-in, or the fear that inevitably something will go wrong. They may not be sure exactly what will happen, while others may be very precise in their forecast of disaster(s) about to occur. If this fear is shared by you, then fly “BHA” with confidence, for help is at hand, for that and other ills.
In alphabetical order, the following remedies are effective. But please remember to gather as much information as you can before making your choice of remedy. Observation, when detailed and accurate, is more rewarding than asking questions, but do not forget to question the person, to confirm your observations.
They suffer agonising fear of death, for they are convinced they are about to die and know exactly when that will be.
They also fear crowds, even touching passers-by. Fear is etched on their face, be they sitting moaning quietly to themselves, gnawing their fists or biting their nails.
They are frightened by the intangible, the unreal. Their face is pale usually, but can alternate between pallor and redness. Their skin is dry and hot. When they stand up they experience dizziness, which is momentary. They are impatient; therefore any delays in take-off make them restless and worsen their fear. They cannot keep still and they have a marked thirst for sharp acid drinks. There is obvious mental and muscle tension.
All symptoms are worse at night, therefore avoid night flights if possible; and particularly worse for light and sound. They can be quite angry and quarrelsome.
The person requiring Arg nit will start to be fearful a few days before the flight as they have anticipatory apprehension. Invariably they experience frequency of bowel movement, though the motion is not necessarily loose.
In the departure lounge they will be worse for hot, stuffy atmospheres, and will try to find solace in eating sweets: if this is excessive it will result in loud belching, much to their embarrassment.
In the ’plane, they will choose an aisle seat for they need an easy escape-route because they suffer from claustrophobia.
They will sit looking fixedly in front of them, particularly on take-off and landing, for they have a fear of looking down to the ground, from a height, and they have an urge to jump from a height.
They are the “Hercule Poirot” character for they are very neat, dapper, precise people. Their symptoms are markedly worse between midnight and 3am, also from cold and damp.
They suffer a strong fear of being left alone. This is shown when their travelling companion leaves them temporarily; they become restless and anxious. They are plagued with an excessive fear of death, which may be felt to be imminent, but unlike Aconite, they are unable to foretell precisely when death will occur. As a result, they become inconsolable and despondent.
You will notice that they are having some difficulty with their breathing, have a cold sweat and they are liable to faint. Surprisingly, at such times, they can appear stupid and dim-witted.
They have a fear of downward motion, particularly during landing and descent. The “fasten seat belts” sign precipitates symptoms, which may be dizziness, earache, nausea, pain below the left rib-margin, increased flatus and an urgent need to “pass water”.
They are excessively nervous, being startled by the least sound.
They also have anticipatory fears like Arg nit but there is no bowel frequency. This results in forward planning to the “nth” degree, but they are still worried that something will go wrong. As a result of all this mental effort they will be worn out before the start of the journey and will look it.
They are forward planners because of their considerable apprehension and their avariciousness – they do not want to spend 10p where 1p will do. Other remedies are indicated for “forward planners”, but the reasons for this will be different.
Lycopodiums are born worriers; they worry if they are not worrying about something for “something might be wrong”.
They have a pale, sallow complexion with a deeply furrowed brow. They are afraid to be alone, like Arsenicum, but hate crowds. When ill, they are difficult to manage and are liable to be haughty.
They love sweets, like Arg nit, and hot dishes but not coffee. They are forever hungry but easily satisfied, for they are easily bloated, particularly from bread, which then leads to painful flatulence.
Their worst time of day is 4 to 8pm, so try to avoid late afternoon flights. Long-haul flights are a problem to them for they are unable to “cat nap”, and will be bad tempered if woken from sleep.
They lack vital heat so are chilly people. But you may well see them loosening their clothing when uneasy, for tight clothing aggravates them.
In addition to my previous comments, they experience a bitter taste in the mouth after any food or drink, with frequent eructations, even to regurgitation of acid matter, accompanied by nausea, which is better for lying down. They have an unquenchable thirst for cold water, acid drinks (eg fruit juice or coffee), but they drink it in sips.
After food or drink they may experience violent vomiting, with burning abdominal pain (better for extra warmth) and this may often be accompanied by diarrhoea, which is usually simultaneous to the vomiting.
The person needing Belladonna is agitated, restless, tossing about, mentally excited, mistrustful, and fearful of approaching death. Despite this they may sit looking dejected.
They experience a loss of taste and appetite, but are excessively thirsty though unable to swallow even a drop of liquid. They have nausea and an inclination to vomit on beginning to eat (more so at night) or retching or violent vomiting, or retching but unable to vomit, much as they might like to.
This is indicated for nausea and vomiting during descent, or flying through turbulence.
(Editor: this can only be obtained from a specialist homeopathic pharmacy) It is indicated for altitude sickness, which may occur soon after reaching cruising height, or during the flight at this altitude. The sickness is accompanied by a tight headache, a band across the forehead.
They can feel faint, have ringing in the ears, can become aware of their heartbeat; they may even be deaf. Despite a diminished appetite and a dry mouth, they crave alcohol. The stomach feels empty but there are very forceful and painful eructations.
They complain of a “sick headache”, with nausea and perhaps vomiting, with lightheadedness and feeling faint.
They have a loathing for food; even the thought of food or smell of food cooking produces nausea (Colchicum autumnale also has this).
They need time to think, act and move. They are worse for least movement (Bryonia), being jostled, bumped or jarred.
The Nux vomica patient has a very marked sensitivity to noise, light, smells, draughts (they are easily chilled), food and to people’s behaviour. In fact, very little pleases them.
Their stomach action is erratic resulting in excessive retching and eventually vomiting.
This situation is often brought about by overwork, with shortage of sleep, and over-indulgence in both food and drink prior to the journey. Therefore, on the flight, they should have only light meals and very little alcohol. Observe, rather than ask questions, for the reaction to the latter is likely to be hostile!
The person appears dazed (Cocculus). They have an occipital headache, and following take-off, with looking at the tarmac and other objects moving by, they will experience dizziness. There is an “all gone sensation” in the stomach.
Travel may well produce a daytime diarrhoea.
They are better for warmth, and a darkened room, and particularly, if surrounded by warm air. The movement of the plane aggravates their symptoms.
Those needing Tabacum are exhausted, deathly pale, have a cold sweat and severe nausea.
They are very much better for open air, if possible, dark, and peace, with fresh air (from overhead ventilation), and eyes covered (eye mask).
Cocculus 30c, one tablet twice a day for the two days before and after the flight, and every two hours the day of the flight.
It definitely works, as my family and I can testify, as can many of my patients.
30c for all the suggested medicines.
It is according to need, except for Cocculus in treating jet-lag, as outlined above. The need may be once every 15 minutes for three doses, then two-hourly for 24 hours, followed by three times a day for three days; or only three times during the journey and the day following.
I hope you can see now how much help homeopathy can be for some of the trouble that may attend flying, and that you will fly “BHA” in the future.
Editor: “BHA” travellers note – drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages; eat modestly – don’t take everything put before you; and move about on long-haul flights, when possible.