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Abrotanum: A Homeopathic Remedy for Wasting and Rheumatism

Abrotanum is a homeopathic remedy derived from the southernwood plant, a fragrant herb that has been used since ancient times for various purposes. In this blog post, we will explore the history and uses of abrotanum in homeopathy, as well as its main characteristics, symptoms, and remedy relationships.

History and Ancient Use of Abrotanum and Its Introduction to Homeopathy

Southernwood, also known as lady's love, is a perennial plant that belongs to the aster family. It is native to southern Europe and western Asia, and has been cultivated in gardens for its aromatic foliage and yellow flowers. The name abrotanum comes from the Greek word abrotonon, meaning "immortal", because of its long-lasting fragrance.

Southernwood has been used since ancient times for various purposes, such as medicine, perfume, insect repellent, and magic. The Romans used it to preserve meat and wine, and to ward off evil spirits. The Egyptians used it to embalm their dead. The Greeks used it to treat wounds, ulcers, and snake bites. The medieval herbalists used it to stimulate the appetite, improve digestion, and cure worms.

A picture showing a plant of Abrotanum and mnemonics to remember keynote symptoms of abrotanum

Abrotanum was introduced to homeopathy by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, in the 19th century. He proved the remedy on himself and others, and recorded its effects in his Materia Medica Pura. He described abrotanum as a remedy for marasmus, a condition of wasting and emaciation, especially of the lower extremities, despite having a good appetite. He also noted its usefulness in rheumatism, gout, hemorrhoids, hydrocele, and other conditions.

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Words that Describe the Whole Theme of Abrotanum


Abrotanum is associated with treating conditions involving significant weight loss or wasting away of the body. Homeopathic practitioners might consider it for individuals who exhibit a general state of emaciation.


In homeopathy, Abrotanum is used to address joint pains and stiffness related to rheumatism. It's often considered when there are symptoms of arthritis or musculoskeletal discomfort.


Abrotanum is believed to have an influence on metastatic conditions, referring to the spread of disease from one part of the body to another. In the context of homeopathy, it might be considered in cases where there's a tendency for diseases to spread or shift locations.


This remedy may be suggested for individuals experiencing increased hunger. Homeopaths might consider it for cases where there's an abnormal or intense appetite.


Abrotanum is associated with addressing mental and emotional symptoms such as depression. Homeopathic practitioners may recommend it for individuals who exhibit a state of sadness, despondency, or mental fatigue.


In the realm of homeopathy, Abrotanum is sometimes linked to sensations of warmth. This could manifest as a subjective feeling of warmth in the body or may be associated with addressing conditions where warmth is a characteristic symptom.

Keynote Symptoms of Abrotanum

  • Wasting and emaciation of the lower extremities, or of the whole body, with a ravenous appetite and good digestion. The face is wrinkled, pale, and old-looking, with blue rings around the eyes.
  • Rheumatism that alternates or metastasizes to other parts, such as the heart, the spine, or the abdomen. The pains are cutting, gnawing, burning, or constricting, and are worse at night and in cold air. They are better by motion and warmth.
  • Indigestion and diarrhea, with undigested food in the stools. The stomach feels as if hanging or swimming in water, with coldness and weakness. There may be vomiting of offensive matter, or worms.
  • Hemorrhoids that appear or worsen when the rheumatism improves. They are protruding, burning, and bleeding, with frequent urging to stool.
  • Hydrocele and nosebleed in boys, especially with marasmus and worms.
  • Depression, irritability, anxiety, and cruelty in children. They may have a tendency to epilepsy, or a fear of brain softening.

Remedy Relationship of Abrotanum

  • Similar to: Absinthium, Chamomilla, Cina, Gnaphalium, and other Compositae; Nux vomica and Agaricus (chilblains); Bryonia and Barium carbonicum (marasmus).
  • Followed well by: Aconitum and Bryonia (pleurisy); Hepar sulphuris (boils).
  • Antidoted by: Camphora and Chamomilla.

So in conclusion Abrotanum is a homeopathic remedy that is derived from the southernwood plant, a fragrant herb that has been used since ancient times for various purposes. It is mainly indicated for wasting and rheumatism, as well as indigestion, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, hydrocele, nosebleed, and worms. It is also useful for depression, irritability, anxiety, and cruelty in children. It has a characteristic symptom of metastasis, or alternation, of complaints from one part to another. It is a remedy that should be considered in cases of marasmus, especially of the lower extremities, with a good appetite and digestion.

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