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Getting away from home can be a true relief for some people, a break from both routine and wearisome demands. But for others, leaving home – and separation from home and family – can be very difficult; and can affect both adults and children.
There are quite a few remedies to help relieve the feelings of homesickness, and the following are some of the most common:
- Arnica: Though not usually thought of as a homesickness remedy, Arnica addresses shock of many kinds, and every emergency kit should keep this on top. If the separation is shocking, hugely upsetting, repeated in the mind (“I can’t stop seeing them come to take me away…”), or an emotional “blow” to the heart and soul, consider Arnica.
- Aurum metallicum: Literally the gold standard of remedies for sadness, longing, and melancholy, this remedy appears in the repertory rubric, “Mind, Sadness, pining in boys.” The child who needs Aurum feels profoundly forsaken and responds with despondency and self-reproach, believing he has done something horrible to deserve the abandonment. The child might desire open air and can be irascible, unyielding, and taciturn.
- Belladonna: This remedy can be useful for the person whose homesickness symptoms are vigorous and volatile. Are acutely sensitive, have nightmares, and be surprisingly agitated, even violent without clear cause. Symptoms come and go suddenly. The person may experience and demonstrate an urgent need to escape (a child at camp may try to run away, for example). The person may crave lemons or lemonade and cold food. They tend to be averse to water, to be aggravated by light, noise, and touch, and to have right-sided symptoms, spiking fevers, and redness of the face. This remedy may need to be differentiated from Capsicum.
- Capsicum annuum: This is one of the most important remedies to consider when a person’s homesickness is accompanied by sleeplessness and red cheeks. The person may want to be alone. They may be cross and unable to concentrate. Often, children who need this remedy cannot study or work and will unceasingly complain that they want to go home. The person may look a bit like they need Belladonna, but they are more obstinate and sullen, and they show a diminishing of reaction. The redness of Capsicum is cold to the touch (“false plethora” as it’s called in the old books), whereas the flush of Belladonna is burning hot.
- Gelsemium: This is a wonderful gift for a person who is terrified of having to perform, an issue that may surface strongly when a child is away from home for the first time or an adult is traveling on business for an important engagement.
- Ignatia: The premiere homesickness remedy, it is indicated in people who are agitated, overwhelmed, and upset; sometimes to the point of “hysteria” (e.g., fainting or dramatic mood swings). Worse from stress, coffee, and cold air and may have fevers, headaches that feel like nails driven into the skull, or other physical symptoms that can be traced back to a disappointment, separation, grief, shock, or trauma. They sigh a great deal and feel disconnected from what is going on. For that reason, they may be heard saying, “I just can’t believe…” Do not like consolation, but are not made angry by consolation.
- Phosphoricum acidum: The homesick person is prostrate with grief and hopelessness. On the surface they may seem apathetic and mentally unfocused, although the longing is right under the surface. The person may speak and respond quite slowly. Their pain results in a sad kind of resignation, and they appear to be what people commonly call “depressed.” Low spirited and anxious about the future, they may lose their appetite.
- Pulsatilla: This is an effective remedy for those who feel lonely, forsaken, and weepy. They are as sad as sad can be and give homesickness a truly poignant cast. They cry easily, and they feel better from consolation, touch, company, and sympathy. They may develop a cold with a thick or yellow nasal discharge. They feel all alone in the world and may elicit in others a need to nurture and protect them. They may be indecisive and reach out for help and reassurance.