Exploring bambusa arundinacea (bamboo) for bamboo spine

Dr G Jaysee John 

BAMBOO (Bambusa arundinacea) is emerging as a major remedy in Ankylosing spondylitis which is commonly known as Bamboo Spine; an auto-immune destructive inflammatory condition of the spine with excessive stiffening and calcification of the spine. Bambusa is similarly effective in all rheumatic disorders where stiffness is the main complaint. Bamboo has been used medicinally since ancient times in cancer, leprosy, tuberculosis, menstrual problems and disorders of the spine.

BOTANICAL DISCRIPTION: This is a large bamboo whose shoots grow rapidly to eight metres. It is a tender plant and needs heat to survive – it will die if the temperature falls to 50°C. It lives many years (often over a century), flowers only once but for many years and after flowering, it dies.

CLASSIFICATION:

Kingdom-              Plantae

Class-                     Liliopsida

Order-                    Cyperales

Family-                  Poaceae

Genus-                   Bambusa 

Species-                 Bambusa arundinacea

DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURE: Bamboo stem is straight and cylinder formed and stems have nodes between two internodes.It is strong, straight and having flexibility to bend all side likewise the spine is made up of 33 individual bones stacked one on top of the other. Spine is central main support of body and theme of support appears to be central to the Bamboo remedy state. The patient desires support from others. They feel responsible for everything and no one helps them. They desire change and freedom but feel helpless and stuck in their life situation and become irritable, jealous, restless and sad. After prolonged anxiety and suffering they eventually become overwhelmed by despair.

HOMOEOPATHIC DISCRIPTION:

Berndt Schuster conducted a proving of a species of bamboo, Bambusa arundinacea in 1997.He discovered many proving symptoms, showing  markedly related to mind ,spine and extremities and menstrual etc.

MIND: Aversion to everything and want to remain in bed. Desire for change. He is fond of solitude; quarrelsome and cursing. Delusion as alone in the world. Despair; everything is controlled by destiny and needs support. Forsaken feeling with weeping, feeling of helplessness. Impatience and irritable towards children Time passes too quickly. Weeping from exhaustion, during pains. Yielding disposition.

Proving symptoms:

  • A view of the complex heart of this fascinating remedy is seen in the proving, rich in “sensations as if”:
  • Deserted, forsaken, alone in the world;
  • She is poor and helpless in the world;
  • Everything is insecure, meaningless, wrong and everything will fail;
  • Held captive by a life situation;
  • Desires change and support

PARTICULAR SYMPTOMS: 

  • SENSATION AS IF OF “STIFFNESS”: The key physical “sensation as if” is of stiffness and in bamboo, the stiffness mainly affects the spine and joints near the axis of the body – shoulders and hips. It  is painful, profound and prolonged – like wood or a heavy weight – felt in the bones, in the joints and in the muscles. This painful wooden stiffness is very much worse after a night in bed, from becoming cold, , cold weather, before and during menstrual periods and during a headache and eased by applied heat – a hot shower or bath, a heat pad. Biggest impact of this remedy  is on the neck, the back and the extremities.
  • Painful STIFFNESS of NAPE of NECK.Turning head is difficult, painful, or results in cervical spine. < Change of weather [to storm and rain]. < Cold; > heat.Pain extends to head and/or shoulder.
  • Limbs Awkwardness, hands, drops things , lower limbs, knocks against things. Sensation of heat in feet, but cold to the touch.

  “With almost clinical certainty, Bamboo relieves a stiff neck even in 6c and12c potencies. It should be tried for acute disk problems.”[Schuster]

  • SNSATION AS IF OF “WEAKNESS: Other physical “sensations as if” are: of looseness and weakness and cannot support the body (the opposite of stiffness) and of pulsation. 
  • STITCHING PAINS: Appearing and disappearing suddenly. Pains mainly in the extremities, particularly in the hands and the feet. Wave-like sensation. Waves of burning heat along the spine. Wave-like pain in head. Wave-like earache. Feeling of swelling/ distension. As if cranium were swelling from eyebrows upwards[‘hot-air balloon’]. As if eyes were bulging out of head Feeling of swelling/ distension. As if cranium were swelling from eyebrows upwards[‘hot-air balloon’]. As if eyes were bulging out of head.
  • FEMALE GENITIALS: Bambusa is an important remedy for disorders of the menstrual periods including endometriosis. The menses can be painful, heavy, bright red and gushing, late and clotted. There can be pain in the ovaries before the periods and pain in the womb before. Painful tension of breasts;before menses. [Clinically verified].An important remedy for ‘ailments after parturition’.

The Bamboo patient is usually very chilly – a cold felt deep in the bones – and made less painful with heat. They desire open air and feel better in the open air but are worse from a

draft of air on a sore stiff part. Desire for: chocolate, cheese, spices, sweets, sour, alcohol and warm drinks before menses.

Bamboo has similarities to several well-known remedies: Silica, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox, Sepia, Carcinosin, Calcarea carbonica, Belladonna, Phosphorus and Tuberculinum.

REFERENCES:

  • Bamboo:A Homeopathic Proving by Bernd Schuster. (https://www.homeopathycenter.org)
  • Bamboo.  (https://www.britishhomeopathic.org)
  • Bambusa arundinacea Homeopathy Remedy.(https://homeoresearch.blogspot.com)
  • Churchil N. A Reading of Bamboo. (http://www.homoeopathie-online.com/materia_medica_homoeopathica)

Dr G Jaysee John 
1PG Scholar, Dr.MPK Homoeopathic Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre ( under Homoeopathy University), Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

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