Tremblings, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis


Senile tremblings have some symptoms very similar to Paralysis agitans or Parkinson’s disease. Theoretically Baryta carbonica is one of the best remedies because it acts in sclerosis accompanied by senility. But we should also think of Phosphorus because of the medullar-cortico degeneration….


Before studying the Homoeopathic treatment of tremblings, we will draw up a general semiological picture in order to fix our ideas and classify our medicines according to the clinical basis.

General picture of tremblings:

They may be accidental or permanent.

We will eliminate from our study the tremblings associated with paralysis.

1. Accidental tremblings. We may relate them easily to their general cause. They may be emotional pyretic or frigorific.

2. Emotional tremblings. They are due to a fright or a strong emotion: fright, sudden contradiction sometimes joy. Thus they may not be pathological and may happen to any person who is not absolutely phlegmatic and master of his nerves; or it may happen very frequently, or very violently and for a long time in nervous and overworked persons, in emotional and anxious persons, moreover, in hysteria or in psycho-neurotic persons.

We will specially mention here the value of Ignatia and Gelsemium.

Ignatia: Emotional tremblings following or in course of deep sorrow, cares, contradictions or other emotions. This remedy is specially indicated in women or in hypernervous men having the temperament of a woman. Paradoxal symptoms.

Gelsemium: An important remedy for the fright of students during examination; of persons who give lectures or of actors who present themselves before a public. The person, habitually calm, even sometimes slow in a state of torpor, as if asleep, becomes all of a sudden very much excited as a consequence of a sudden emotion or a bad news. This emotion is often translated into diarrhoea not always into tremblings.

Very often the tremblings are not seen outwardly, because they are of very small frequency, but the patient feels it very violently within his body, and feels the trembling throughout the whole body.

2. Pyretic tremblings.

Very great tremblings or tremblings that come in the first phase of fevers specially in the beginning of an acute infection or in malaria.

Gelsemium. Here still Gelsemium is a remedy. Very intense trembling. Must be held on the bed. The bed cracks and tremblings without thirst along the vertebral column. Fever without thirst.

3. Frigorific tremblings.

Gelsemium: This should be the first remedy to think of. There is a case where Gelsemium acts very well. In the case of a swimmer who has sudden tremblings when coming out of water inspite of warm towels, and the movements that make him hot or even when in hot sun.

II. Permanent tremblings.

There may be two kinds of trembling: In movements (intentional or cinematic) or in rest (static tremblings)

Intentional tremblings. Multiple sclerosis is a typical cause. We will study later its treatment.

Hereditary tremblings: The cause is not well known ( hereditary syphilis?). It would be necessary to treat them by Syphilinum and Aurum metallicum, Gelsemium, and also by the remedies that we will study for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease and by endocrinal glands.

Toxic tremblings: Homoeopathic antidotes are to be used in this case.

Alcohol: Gelsemium and Absinthium are the two important remedies. We have already studied Gelsemium.

Absinthium: A remedy of delirium tremens. Intense trembling, acute and violent tremblings, convulsive movements, agitations.

We should not forget to antidote systematically alcohol with Spiritus Quercus Glandium, which acts very well in lower dilutions ( 5 to 10 drops in water after meals).

Coffee: The antidotes are Nux vomica, Ignatia or Chamomilla.

Tea: Ignatia will be required. Two more important remedies are to be mentioned here: Thuja in dyspeptic troubles of tea drinkers and Selenium which acts well in the vertigo due to the drinking of tea.

Lead: Tremblings from lead poisoning is to be treated by Opium or Nux vomica when there is an inveterate constipation with retraction of the belly. When there is no desire for stool use Opium, for ineffectual desire use the second one.

In other cases Mercurius solubilis should be thought of; it is indicated by tremblings, stomatitis, gingivitis and salivation.

Alumina may also be a remedy when there is dryness of the mucous membranes, possible paralysis of the lower limbs, and a constipation due to intestinal atony, constipation even for soft stools.

Mercury: Poisoning from mercury will require Hepar sulphur when there is suppuration. Mercurial tremblings are very well antidoted by Thuja and Nitric acid.

Tremblings in rest. Parkinson’s disease is one of its type. We will study its treatment later on.

Senile tremblings have some symptoms very similar to Paralysis agitans or Parkinson’s disease. Theoretically Baryta carbonica is one of the best remedies because it acts in sclerosis accompanied by senility. But we should also think of Phosphorus because of the medullar-cortico degeneration.

Baryta carbonicum: Cerebral or arterial sclerosis with hypertension and mental troubles. Diminution of intellectual activity and weakness of memory. The persons do not desire society. Palpitations and troubles of the heart, aggravation while thinking of it.

Phosphorus: Evolution of sensorial degeneration which may last for months or even years followed by depression as well as of sexual function (weakness) and of the sense organs ( diminution of sight and hearing).

Exophthalmic goitre and Basedow’s disease. In this affection the tremblings are to be treated by Homoeopathic and organo-therapic remedies that correspond to the clinical picture. The remedies of the first importance are Lycopus virginicus. Thyroidea, Spongia, Iodium, Spigelia, etc.

Peduncular tumours: In this case there is a hemi-parkinsonian symptom. Homoeopathy hardly helps.

Post hemiplegic tremblings: Its treatment will be studied with its cause in a separate chapter.

The tremblings of general paralysis: We will not study this case here. We think it is necessary to study here more completely the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Let us be full of humility while taking up the Homoeopathic treatment of these two diseases, because we must admit that the results are very often negative.

In the present state of medicine, Allopathic of Homoeopathic it seems that any nerve cell which is destroyed cannot be restored. A cylindrical-axis may be repaired and its action may be prolonged anew. Also we obtain good results in neuritis and in affections of the peripheral nerves. But what can we do in case of sclerosis and specially sclerosis of nerves? Up to the present time we can only check it.

Still we must be prudent in our affirmations. Multiple sclerosis develops slowly with long status quo phases alternating with the phases of aggravation. They may be only temporary or transitory. As regards Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonian troubles or pseudo- Parkinsonian troubles which is a result of epidemic encephalitis lethargica, let us admit, that we have used classical Homoeopathy in a number of cases, we have cured not a single case, ameliorated only two. But simple amelioration is far from complete cure.

We have tried everything: classical Homoeopathic remedies, isopathy of cephalo-rachidian, osteopathy, sanguin isotherapy, etc……. We also must be sceptic as regards the reports of the cases of great ameliorations or cure reported in foreign countries by Homoeopathic treatment of these two cases.

On the contrary we are persuaded to say that it is often possible to stop the evolution of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease by treating them from the beginning of their disease. The remedies that we are going to study act so long as the sclerosis is not established or old; they stop all new scleroses but they cannot do anything when the sclerosis is already organised. What is destroyed in the architecture of our nervous system, seems to be destroyed for ever and completely. At least we cannot rebuild it.

One may ask if some anatomo-pathological researches will allow to obtain some better results thanks to the conclusion what one may draw out of the researches. Thus, Dr. Pages, professor of the faculty of Montpellier, has said to me that Histamine as well as other toxins may cause degeneration of the mucous membrane of the brain. Accordingly we tried all the dilutions of Histamine. It does not seem to act very clearly. However, we should continue these trials which are still too recent in order to draw any definite conclusion. Histamine 200 may, in some cases, if we believe our personal practice, act as least as a preventive and in the beginning of Parkinson’s disease.

But we must not think that it is sufficient in Homoeopathy to discover similitude between anatomo-pathology of lesions caused by medicine and a given morbid state, so that a remedy might act. The anatomic lesion is but a result, a cross-road where as many remedies and as many diseases are commonly lead to. Our master Hahnemann has based his law of similars on symptoms artificially produced by experiments of the substance on a healthy man. This is not always the case regarding many remedies that we use homoeopathically in classical and routine manner. Thus, Plumbum metallicum, of which we know admirably the symptoms and anatomo-pathology of lesions, is very inconstant in its action on the morbid phenomena accompanied by sclerosis.

With this reserve it is, however, necessary that very often we may get clear preventive effects thanks to Homoeopathy in Parkinson’s disease. Actually it is thought that almost all the syndromes of Parkinson’s disease, thought not all, should be considered as the sequelae of an encephalitis. But an encephalitis well treated homoeopathically will not be followed by a Parkinsonian state. This is quite clear according to our personal practice.

On the other hand, the modern life, continual trepidations, obliging the nervous system a continual overwork for which it is good to fight not only by putting the subject to rest every-time when it is possible but also by giving him some well indicated remedies such as Ignatia, Gelsemium, Nux vomica, and specially Argentum nitricum which are to be placed in the first rank of the preventive remedies of the Parkinson’s disease when the patient is always in haste and since sometimes is running with the clock.

Before studying the Homoeopathic treatment common to sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, let us compare the two diseases, giving as we pass on the names of the remedies that are the most indicated by their symptoms.

Multiple Scleroses:

Anatomo-pathology (Plumbum).

No trembling in rest.

Trembling during work (Phosphorus, Argentum nitricum: very emotive, always hasty, Zincum: Pains and spasms, Oxalic acid: Violent pains). Slow tremblings: Six to seven oscillations per second, growing amplitude while working, vertigo.

Apoplectiform attacks.

Occular troubles ( Kali phosphoricum, Magnesia phosphoricum).

Increased reflexes ( Lathyrus sativus).

Sometimes spasmodic paralysis.

Periodic remission.

Parkinson’s Disease:

Anatomo-pathology.

Permanent tremblings in rest. Stops while sleeping, diminishes while standing and in movement (Physostigma).

Slow tremblings, 4 to 5 oscillations per second.

Weak amplitude, coordinated, movement simulating the execution, infinitely repeated voluntary movements.

More and more muscular rigidity (Sarcolactic acid).

Salivation (Mercurius).

Continued evolution.

Treatment:

First of all we must think of the five metals and their salts; Silver, Lead, Manganese, Mercury and Zincum met.

Argentum Nitricum. A good remedy of multiple sclerosis. Trembling of the legs. Tremblings aggravated by the least motion, Tremblings followed by numbness of the hands and feet.

The patient is always in haste, Mania for haste.

This medicine should act in the beginning of multiple scleroses when there is the mania for hastiness ( A remedy of contemporary times and of civilisation, of city life full of trepidations and stress).

Pressing pains (Arms, body and legs).

Plumbum: From anatomo-pathological point of view it reproduces exactly the lesions of multiple scleroses and it intoxication in the tremblings, paralysis and atrophies of the muscles, but it does not act in old sclerosis or sclerosis in evolution. It can only check the progress. Paralytic weakness of the limbs, very great muscular atrophies. Trembling of the legs.

Manganum: Boy has shown the similarity of the intoxication with Parkinson’s disease. The German doctors insist on this remedy. It is also used in dementia precocce. I have used in Parkinson’s disease always with failure.

The patient walks bending forward. Runs after his centre of gravity. Degeneration, pseudo-sclerosis.

Rigidness cramps.

Congested face like a mask.

Bulbar paralysis of workers working with manganese.

Mercurius: Almost “forgotten” by most authors in books of therapeutics. Actions on salivation ( if often aggravates salivation) Tremblings flax swollen tongue, imprint of teeth on the borders. Humid mouth with thirst.

Zincum: Incessant movements of the legs and feet. Tremblings of the legs. Lumber weakness, weakness of the legs while walking. Paralysis of the bladder. Loss of muscular power. Violent tremblings and numbness. Painful tensions of muscles during movements.

Zincum phosphoricum and Zincum oxydatum: Sexual excitation.

Zincum Picricum: Has been very much praised (Medical century). Because of the process of degeneration, Phosphorus should be thought of and also of its compounds which are to be placed in the first rank.

Phosphorus: Cerebral paralysis. Trembling of hands, numbness, weakness. Weakness with tremblings by the least movement. Degeneration and necrosis.

A remedy of senile tremblings.

Kali phosphoricum: Paralytic weakness of extremities, aggravated by exercise. Occular troubles, ptosis, weak eye sight.

Magnesia Phosphoricum: Intense pain. Amelioration by heat. Misty of eye sight.

Strychnia Phosphoricum: It is a very good remedy (Royal). Weakness, stiffness, irregular pulse. Hypertrophy of heart.

Phosphoric acid: Great weakness after sorrow.

Among the remedies of mineral origin there is a very important remedy for pains resulting out of lesions of sclerosis of nerves.

Oxalic acid: Violent lancinating pains in electric shocks (Kalmia), on localised points (Kali bichromicum); periodical pains with periodic remissions.

Sclerosis of nerves. Tremblings of legs. Numbness of fingers and toes. Prostration and muscular atrophies.

Oxalic acid may be a remedy of multiple sclerosis but in my opinion it does not act in Parkinson’s disease.

Among the vegetables we have Lathyrus Sativus and Physostigma (contains Eserine).

Lathyrus sativus: A remedy of athetosis. Action on the pyramidal tract. Lateral amyotrophic paralysis. Affects the antero-lateral chords of the marrow (lathyrism).

No pain: Spasmodic paralysis with exaggerated reflexes.

Physostigma: Insecurity while walking, specially with closed eyes or in darkness (Alumina). Must have a sick.

Fibrillar tremblings: Spinal degeneration; palpitations, weak pulse. Total loss of power of the muscles of the extremities. Has some action on Parkinson’s disease; acts rather on multiple scleroses. The other remedies from the vegetable kingdom are less important. Let us consider Strychninum, Nux vomica and Ignatia.

Strychninum: This remedy is to be tried in these diseases. We have obtained beautiful cures of cramps of writers which are often related to medullar troubles and are similar to some localised sclerosis. The spasms are intense; muscular contraction are often painful.

Compare with Strychnia phosphoricum.

Nux vomica: It should be used as a ground remedy basing on its general symptoms.

Ignatia: To be used like Nux vomica on the totality of symptoms.

Hyoscyamus: Very marked spasms, with troubles of sleep and of the mind specially when there is persecution mania.

Scopolamine: An alkaloid of Hyoscyamus. Generally used by the Allopaths in gross doses in Parkinson’s disease when there is a mechanical irritation of nerves. Its use in lower dilutions is preferable.

Hypericum perfoliatum: Goldsborough speaks highly of this medicine in Parkinson’s disease when there exists mechanical irritation of nerves. The author uses it systematically.

Agaricus muscarius: In some forms of sclerosis Agaricus is to be placed in the first rank, specially for choreic tremblings with stiffness and in rheumatic pains of the limbs. The patient complains of palpitation and has rapid, weak and irregular pulse.

To these cases the habitual remedies of sclerosis are to be prescribed: Aurum metallicum and its salts. Baryta carbonica, or Baryta muriatica, Plumbum metallicum and its salts, Iodium, Silicea. Finally we must insist on Phosphorus and its compounds of which the indications are quite rational in the diseases where the lesions of tissues are preceded by sclerosis.

Nosodes: Finally, because it is necessary always to give a Homoeopathic etiological treatment as in all other methods of therapeutics. We should not forget to try the nosodes in relation to the affection in cause. The Tuberculins. Particularly, Denys, T.R., Syphilinum, everytime when acquired or hereditary syphilis is suspected and Medorrhinum which is very little thought of. In the pathogenesis of this remedy tremblings of disseminated sclerosis are seen.

As a result of old gonorrhoea, or suppressed gonorrhoea the sycotic condition may set in, which may cause in some persons a predisposition to sclerosis of the nerve tissues.

Vaccinations may also give rise to such results.

If we want to get more appreciable results in the future in the treatment of these affections, it will be necessary to re-study the Materia Medica on a really scientific basis, always searching for the evolution of slow intoxications in the animal and studying in a deep manner the medico-legal toxicology, particularly among workers slowly poisoned by such and such substances. We must not lose hope. We will always try to advance our doctrine even when we stumble against obstacle of this type.

Zincum: Incessant movements of the legs and feet. Tremblings of the legs. Lumber weakness, weakness of the legs while walking. Paralysis of the bladder. Loss of muscular power. Violent tremblings and numbness. Painful tensions of muscles during movements.

Zincum phosphoricum and Zincum oxydatum: Sexual excitation.

Zincum picricum: Has been very much praised (Medical century). Because of the process of degeneration, Phosphorus should be thought of and also of its compounds which are to be placed in the first rank.

Phosphorus: Cerebral paralysis. Trembling of hands, numbness, weakness. Weakness with tremblings by the least movement. Degeneration and necrosis.

A remedy of senile tremblings.

Kali phosphoricum: Paralytic weakness of extremities, aggravated by exercise. Occular troubles. Ptosis, weak eye sight.

Magnesia phosphorus. Intense pain. Amelioration by heat. Misty eye sight.

Strychnia phosphorica: It is a very good remedy (Royal). Weakness, stiffness, irregular pulse. Hypertrophy of heart.

Phosphoric acid: Great weakness after sorrow.

Among the remedies of mineral origin, there is a very important remedy for pains resulting out of lesions of sclerosis of nerves.

Oxalic acid: Violent lancinating pains in electric shocks (Kalmia), on localised points (Kali bichromicum): periodical pains with periodic remissions.

Sclerosis of nerves. Tremblings of legs. Numbness of fingers and toes. Prostration and muscular atrophies.

Oxalic acid may be a remedy of multiple scleroses but in my opinion it does not act in Parkinson’s disease.

Among the vegetables we have Lathyrus sativus and Physostigma (contains Eserine).

Lathyrus sativus: A remedy of athetosis. Action on the pyramidal tract. Lateral amyotrophic paralysis. Affects the antero-lateral chords of the morrow (lathyrism).

No Pain: Spasmodic paralysis with exaggerated reflexes.

Physostigma : Insecurity while walking, specially with closed eyes or in darkness (Alumina). Must have a stick.

Fibrillar tremblings: Spinal degeneration; palpitations, weak pulse; total loss of power of the muscles of the extremities. Has some action on Parkinson’s disease; acts rather on multiple scleroses. The other remedies from the vegetable kingdom are less important. Let us consider Strychninum, Nux vomica and Ignatia.

Strychninum: This remedy is to be tried in these diseases. We have obtained beautiful cures of cramps of writers which are often related to medullar troubles and are similar to some localised sclerosis. The spasms are intense; muscular contraction are often painful. Compare with Strychnia phosphoricum.

Nux vomica: It should be used as a ground remedy basing on its general symptoms.

Ignatia: To be used like Nux on the totality of symptoms.

Hyoscyamus: Very marked spasms, with troubles of sleep and of the mind specially when there is persecution mania.

Scopolamine: An alkaloid of Hyoscyamus. Generally used by the Allopaths in gross doses in Parkinson’s disease when there is a mechanical irritation of nerves. Its use in lower dilutions is preferable.

Hypericum perfoliatum: Goldsborough speaks highly of this medicine in Parkinson’s disease when there exists mechanical irritation of nerves. The author uses it systematically.

Agaricus muscarius: In some forms of sclerosis Agaricus is to be placed in the first rank, specially for choreic tremblings with stiffness and in rheumatic pains of the limbs. The patient complains of palpitation and has rapid, weak and irregular pulse.

In these cases the habitual remedies of sclerosis are to be prescribed: Aurum metallicum and its salts, Baryta carbonica or Baryta muriatica, Plumbum metallicum and its salts, Iodium, Silicea. Finally we must insist on Phosphorus and its compounds of which the indications are quite rational in the diseases where the lesions of tissues are preceded by sclerosis.

Nosodes: Finally, because it is necessary always to give a Homoeopathic etiological treatment as in all other methods of therapeutics, we should not forget to try the nosodes in relating to the affection in cause. The Tuberculins. Particularly, denys, T. R., Syphilinum, every time when acquired or hereditary syphilis is suspected, and Medorrhinum which is very little thought of. In the pathogenesis of this remedy tremblings of disseminated sclerosis are seen.

As a result of old gonorrhoea, or suppressed gonorrhoea the sycotic condition may set in, which may cause in some persons a predisposition to sclerosis of the nerve tissues.

Vaccinations may also give rise to such results.

If we want to get more appreciable results in the future in the treatment of these affections, it will necessary to re-study the Materia Medica on a really scientific basis, always searching for the evolution of slow intoxications in the animal and studying in a deep manner the medico-legal toxicology, particularly among workers slowly poisoned by such and such substances. We must not lose hope. We will always try to advance our doctrine even when we stumble against obstacle of this type.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.