Gelsemium In COVID-19


Words: Dr Deborah OLENEV 

Gelsemium sempervirens. This is the homeopathic remedy that helped me with COVID-19 long haul symptoms.

While I was working on this article and studying the mental symptoms, I was struck by what a wide range this remedy has, and how many people it has the potential to help.

If everyone reading this article could see the picture of one person in the image of this remedy, think of how many people could benefit.

Going down the list of mental symptoms alphabetically, I was surprised to see: ‘shrieking, shouting, children, fever, during.’

My eight-year-old grand-daughter came down with a fever, headache, vomiting and ear pain, a few days ago. She had similar symptoms when she had COVID-19, a month-and-a-half ago, and was helped with Belladonna 30C, at that time.

Since these symptoms returned, we decided to repeat Belladonna 30C, but a day later she was still not feeling well. After learning about this symptom while studying Gelsemium, I was prompted to using it for her and we gave her a 200C. She felt much better, the next day.

Gelsemium is the remedy that all homeopaths are trained to think of for people who have never been well since a flu. In today’s context, you can substitute the word COVID-19 for flu.

I got sick with COVID-19 on January 14, 2022. I am writing this article on March 1st. The three remedies that helped me through the sickness were:

  • Dysentery Co, a bowel nosode. A nosode is a homeopathically potentised preparation made from microbes, secretions, discharges, or tissues
  • Natrum carbonicum, a constitutional remedy
  • Morgan Bach, another bowel nosode, often indicated for congestive conditions.

Art Of The Matter

What I found with my COVID-19 experience is that the homeopathic remedies I took helped immensely, yet there was a tendency to relapse. This reminded me of having a fruit fly infestation at home. You may think you have gotten rid of the infestation, but if there are two fruit flies remaining, it will come back.

At the end of the battle, I thought of Gelsemium. I had ‘tested’ myself earlier for this remedy, but it did not work well for me in the earlier stages of the illness.

I thought of Gelsemium this time with the idea that I haven’t been well since getting COVID-19. The symptom that was not clearing was a cough that originated at the base of the throat. This is a target area for Gelsemium. It is also a target area for COVID-19.

The other symptom that prompted me to think of Gelsemium was that I experienced ailments from anticipatory anxiety, which is one of the big guiding symptoms of Gelsemium [as well as Dysentery Co and Argentum nitricum].

My older son, Andrei, who had COVID-19, and had an excellent response to Bryonia alba at the start of his illness, also had some residual symptoms remaining.

His constitutional remedy, which usually helped him with his neck and back pain, was now not touching these symptoms. In addition, he was suffering from fatigue, mental dullness, and an inability to focus on his work. Gelsemium 200C helped him promptly with these symptoms.

My feeling about COVID-19 is that it creates a co-morbidity in some people. This means that side-by- side with their constitutional state, there now exists a new entity that occupies the illness landscape within the person.

If you give the constitutional remedy, it should help with the constitutional [chronic] symptoms, but it may not have an impact on the COVID-19 long haul symptoms. This is where Gelsemium, or another indicated remedy, can come in handy to resolve the illness.

Gelsemium Sempervirens: Materia Medica

Gelsemium was the number one genus epidemicus remedy for the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. I believe that we should also consider it as a major remedy for COVID-19 — especially for people who have never been well since contracting this illness.

Now, I would like to go to the classic Materia Medicas — encyclopaedias of homeopathic remedy characteristics and symptoms — and, piece together a picture of Gelsemium sempervirens for you.

Gelsemium was introduced to homeopathy by Dr E M Hale, MD, an American homeopath. The common name for Gelsemium is yellow jasmine. The remedy is made from the tincture of the bark of the root [Dr Robin Murphy].

The remedy has a massive field of action. I am not going to tell you about all the conditions it addresses, but I am going to tell you how to identify it through its remarkable mental and general symptoms.

Let’s start with the mind symptoms. Here the important symptoms to remember are:

Anticipatory Anxiety

It is this symptom which prompted me to take Gelsemium for myself. I had made an appointment to meet a prospective tenant for a commercial building that I manage for my father at 8:30am.

My psyche interpreted this as a new situation, an ordeal, an unusual event with an unknown person. The anxiety this produced caused me to have insomnia.

It also made me get out of bed and take Gelsemium for myself. This event was a blessing in disguise, because it gave me the information I needed to resolve my COVID-19 symptoms. I interpreted my insomnia to ailments from anticipatory anxiety.

Mental Symptoms 

When I searched through the ‘Mind Section’ of the Complete Repertory by Dr Roger Van Zandvoort — a homeopathic repertory is an organised book of alphabetised symptoms of the Homeopathic Materia Medica — I found the following additional guiding symptoms. This is not a complete list though, but would be useful at that.


  • Before an exam
  • Before a doctor, or dentist, appointment
  • Going to a new place
  • Before any new experience
  • Upcoming ordeals
  • Nervous dread of appearing in public
  • Stage fright in speakers and singers.


  • [From] anger and vexation with anxiety, fright and shock
  • Anger with silent grief
  • Bad news, shock and surprise
  • Disappointment, or deception
  • Embarrassment, indignation, mortification, humiliation, chagrin, reproaches
  • Fright, or fear
  • Grief, or sorrow
  • Mental work
  • Loss of a child; brooding constantly over this.
  • Clinging children. Child will always take the hand of the parent.


  • Difficult on attempting to; has a vacant feeling
  • Studying, reading, while [these were my son’s symptoms]
  • Confidence, want of self
  • Confusion, there are lots of symptoms relating to mental confusion.


During fever, muttering, paroxysmal, during sleep, delirium tremens [extremely disturbed state of mind].


  • Animals, snakes around [them]
  • About to die
  • Enlarged, falling, errors of identity, phantoms
  • Becoming insane
  • He is incorporeal, immaterial
  • Has been poisoned
  • Someone else is sick
  • That he cannot succeed; does everything wrong
  • Heart stops beating when sitting
  • Body parts lighter than air
  • Dullness, sluggishness, difficulty thinking and comprehending.


  • Diarrhoea, from
  • Before examination
  • Of being alone; yet aversion to company
  • Of death
  • Of the dark
  • During parturition
  • Fear of failure
  • In work, or business [Similar to Bryonia, another useful homeopathic remedy for COVID-19]
  • Fear of falling [it’s an important guiding symptom] in children while being carried
  • Something bad will happen
  • Heart will cease beating
  • High places
  • Of being injured
  • Of insanity; losing his reason
  • Of motion; downward motion [Borax, Argentum nitricum]
  • Ordeals
  • Anthropophobia fear of people]
  • Of public places
  • Approach of thunderstorms [Phosphorus, Rhododendron, Rhus toxicodendron]
  • Of water
  • Fearlessness

Additional Symptoms

  • Forgetfulness
  • Grief
  • Forsaken feeling [Pulsatilla, Magnesium carbonicum, Aurum metallicum, Argentum nitricum]
  • Hysteria, during pregnancy and delivery
  • Impressionable, susceptible children
  • Indifference, apathy [Phosphoric acid, Sepia officinalis] to their illness
  • Indolence, aversion to work
  • Jumping, impulse to from a height, or window
  • Lack of courage; cowardice
  • Loathing of life
  • Looked at: aversion to being
  • Memory; weakness of
  • Morose, sulky, cross, fretful, ill-humoured, peevish
  • Prostration of mind, mental exhaustion, brain fag
  • Restlessness, nervousness
  • Sadness, despondency, depression, melancholy, lassitude
  • Shrieking, screaming, shouting in children during fever [Aconitum napellus, Belladonna, Chamomila, Cina]


  • [With] brain ‘cry’
  • Sighing [Ignatia amara]
  • Singing, alternating with talking
  • Sits still, silent
  • Spit, desires to
  • Spoken to, averse to being
  • Starting, startled and screaming
  • Stupefaction, as if intoxicated
  • Stupor
  • Suicidal disposition
  • Talking, indisposed to, taciturn from thickness of tongue.


  • Aversion to
  • Rush, flow of thoughts
  • Disconnected, vacant, vanishing, wandering
  • Timidity appearing in public
  • Unconsciousness, coma
  • Delivery, parturition
  • In persons of sedentary habit; in hot weather
  • Prolonged
  • Unobservant
  • Vivaciousness
  • Weeping, tearful.

General Symptoms 

While doing the same thing I did for the mind section, I will go down and pick the big themes in the ‘generals’ section. Generals are symptoms that pertain to the whole person and not just a part of the person.

Periodicity [this refers to a pattern of symptoms coming back at certain intervals], summer, spring, annually [China, Arsenicum, Natrum muriaticum]

  • Abscesses [Hepar sulphuricum, Silicea terra, Mercurius, Calcarea sulphuricum]
  • Apoplexy [another word for stroke, or cerebral haemorrhage]
  • Ascending aggravates
  • Ball sensation internally
  • Barometer changes aggravate
  • Bathing, washing, aggravates: hot binding up, bandaging relieves
  • Blood: circulation sluggish
  • Cancerous affections
  • Catalepsy [loss of sensation and consciousness accompanied by rigidity of the body].



  • Chorea [jerky, involuntary movements]
  • From fright
  • From nervous complaints, during pregnancy, hysterical.


  • Aggravates
  • Tendency to take cold


  • Blood, internal, in bones
  • Constriction ‘as of a band’


  • Ailments, during
  • Infectious diseases, after.

Gelsemium is just as useful in diabetes and hypertension [high blood pressure], especially when undulating symptoms of anxiety are present.

The list is long — too long… This would need another full-fledged article to do justice.

Particular Symptoms

These are symptoms that relate to parts of the body rather than the whole. I am only going to mention one area of the body, the eyes, because much emphasis has been placed on these symptoms in the Material Medicas.


Gelsemium has many important symptoms relating to the eyes.

  • Ptosis, or drooping of the lids
  • Heaviness of the eyes
  • Opening the eyes with difficulty
  • Has to use his fingers to raise the lids
  • Paralysis of the optic nerve.


In a crisis situation, it is not always possible to find a homeopath who is seeing clients and is available to see you, or your family members, so learning a little bit about some of the wonderful acute and trauma remedies in homeopathy can save a life and save the day.

The history of homeopathy is that, in the 1800s, many people in rural America had homeopathic kits and a little Materia Media with a repertory, such as Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book that they referred to.

That is how the pioneer housewife and country doctor often kept their families and communities healthy. We can do the same nowadays. We can order remedies on Amazon, or from reputable pharmacies, like Boiron, Hahnemann Labs, Washington Homeopathics, and

We can buy Materia Medicas and repertories from booksellers like Homeopathic Educational Services and we can help our families the way the pioneer housewives and doctors helped theirs. There are a host of such services and facilities in India that you can contact.

Let’s keep this exquisite system of homeopathic medicine alive and vibrant by studying it, and applying what you learn to the sick. It has now been forty years since I received Kent’s Repertory in the mail and was shocked by its complexity, but I was determined to learn it, because I needed healing, and there were sick people around me who needed healing and it was my destiny to be of service in this way.

During these forty years my passion for this therapeutic art has grown daily. My love for it is boundless. The reason for this is that it works. It is very, very, simple. It works.

On a final note, I want to thank all the compilers of homeopathic Materia Medicas and repertories.  Working on this Gelsemium article took time and energy, all right.

I have to acknowledge the energy and dedication of people who have compiled all this information about thousands of homeopathic remedies in enormous detail, manage to get it published, and put them into books and software. Thank you for your immense service to homeopathy and the people on our living planet.

Dr DEBORAH OLENEV, CCH, RSHom [NA], is a Classical Homeopath based in Mountain View, California, US. She treats people from all over the world via phone and video conferencing. Dr Olenev has had a passion for homeopathy for nearly forty years and has been in private practice since 1991. She has a vast knowledge of homeopathic Materia Medica, and integrates homeopathy with herbal medicine too. She is the owner of First Aid Cream, where she teaches about and sells homeopathic first-aid creams. She has several years of experience treating autistic children and people of all ages for all manner of health conditions.

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