By Margaret Vink
Eva is nearly 13 when she and her mother come to see me. A slim girl, slenderly built, with dark blonde hair and blue eyes. Eva has a quiet somewhat serious look in her eyes.
Eva is in the first year of secondary school. She enjoys school, has fun with her girlfriends and loves to study. She is an excellent student and her marks are very good, academically everything is going well.
However, the reason she has now come to see me is that she often experiences headaches, which make her entire head hurt. They started about six weeks ago, seemingly without any immediate cause - she hadn't been doing anything out of the ordinary.
In addition, Eva has been experiencing nagging stomach aches. She indicates that she feels pain throughout her abdomen, around the navel. These complaints came on during the same period as her headaches, and she experiences headaches and stomach aches alternately or at the same time. Also, she often feels tired. When she is in pain, it helps is she lies down, does nothing and rests. That usually helps her.
Eva can give a clear description of her complaints. She tells me what has been done so far, sometimes with a little help from her mother: an echo has been made of her abdomen, x-rays have been taken of the sinuses, a blood test has been carried out - pretty much everything that could have made clear what the problem is. However, no abnormalities were found, except for the the fact that the blood test indicated a recent cytomegalovirus infection. This could explain Eva's complaints. 'It will need to wear off,' her GP had said.
As Eva tells me this, I am reminded of the Prunus Spinosa, the blackthorn. This is a shrub that blooms lavishly early in the spring, displaying a wealth of blossoms before the leaves start to grow. This helps the shrub to chase away the internal focus of the winter period, in which its development is halted, with reserves being used up. The bloom kick-starts the shrub's metabolism, as is seen in the leaves which start to grow immediately after the blossom has fallen. This shrub is raring to go, that much is obvious. It has a strength with an internal focus - not an outward focus, as the blossoms are numerous, but small and modest.
The blackthorn may be useful for people who have been ill with the flu or who suffer from severe tiredness for whatever reason, as well as for schoolchildren suffering from headaches or abdominal pain. Medicinal use of blackthorn is well-suited to earnest children who take their homework very seriously and who like to keep their marks up, and who tend to succeed in their aim - such as Eva. In addition to Prunus Spinosa drops, I prescribe Ferrum Sidereum: iron.
Iron, as a metal, is associated with deeds, action, the clang of arms. Over the ages, people have gone to battle with the aid of iron. This remedy helps Eva to experience her own strength and to hold her own ground.
And that is exactly what begins to happen, slowly, in the weeks following the consultation. And when we meet again, the girl opposite me is a well-balanced, firm and determined teenager. Eva is no longer troubled by headaches.