Elizabeth Adalian MCH
Cushioning the Blow - Release from (Medicinal) Drug Dependence with Crocus Sativa.
When I read this week about the lack of research concerning safe withdrawal from antidepressants (1), I was reminded of an article I wrote in Autumn 2008 in context of withdrawal from allopathic medication - ‘Crocus Sativa - Cracking the Code of Co-dependency’ (2). In fact, England is currently reported as one of the countries in the world with the highest use of antidepressants with more than seven million people taking them. This stands in stark contrast to only 22 randomised controlled trials carried out throughout the world to look at how the drug could be removed safely from the patient.
It was as a herbal remedy in Iran where research has shown that Crocus Sativa is as effective as antidepressants such as Imipramine and Prozac in the long-term treatment of depressive illnesses (3). After withdrawing such drugs, the highs and lows one so often sees - especially in manic-depression, (currently known as ‘bi-polar disorder’) become exaggerated and are a very distinctive feature of this particular remedy, which is emblematic of its quintessential sycotic aspect.
It would appear as we move forward into 2021, the anti-anxiety drug - Pregabalin - is the one reaching epidemic levels in this post-Covid age, as revealed in a recent article published in the journal Addictive Behaviours (4). The authors include Mike Kelleher, a consultant addictions psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and David Taylor, a professor of psychopharmacology at King’s College London and director of pharmacy at Maudsley Hospital. They call upon the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to re-evaluate the support for use of Pregabalin in anxiety, in view of its known harms. I would suggest that Crocus Sativa would be the main homeopathic remedy to assuage the variable mood swings unleashed by the withdrawal of this drug alongside the drugs originally mentioned when the article was first released.
The Sativa in the name of this remedy indicates neurosis and hysteria, as well as possible drug use. These elements in Crocus Sativa compare with other Sativa remedies such as Avena Sativa and Cannabis Sativa. The former often has a history of drugging, either medicinal or pleasure, and is used to wean the patient off the drug. In Cannabis Sativa, there is often experimentation with drugs leading to de-personalisation. Trauma alone can induce the picture in this remedy (5).
Crocus Sativa is more violent in its mood changes than Pulsatilla. As such, it may not only be ideal to wean patients off antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, but often has an overlap with the theme of the case based on its marked instability. The instability is mirrored in such rubrics as:-
‘Quarrelsome, alternating with cheerfulness/laughter’,
(Lachesis and Staphysagria are the other main remedies),
‘Rage, alternating, with affectionate disposition’,
(Crocus Sativa is the only remedy),
‘Remorse, repents, quickly’,
(Anacardium Orientalis is another remedy of polarity in this rubric),
‘Singing, alternating with anger’,
(Crocus Sativa is the only remedy),
(This is a more marked state than seen in Pulsatilla) (6)
Of course, many remedies may be indicated to bridge the gap between allopathic drugs and constitutional treatment. However, this remedy can be a stepping stone in releasing the dependence on the drug in question. Its effectiveness is based on the ability to address the unleashing of an untamed reaction otherwise impossible to curtail. In this process, it can save the patient years of toxic dependence which can continue to dog them as well as any future generations who may vicariously inherit the ‘load’.
Van Leeuwen, Ellen, Dr., et al, April 22nd, 2012, Stopping Long-term Anti-Depressants in People with Depression or Anxiety, cochrane.org
Adalian, Elizabeth, Autumn 2008, Crocus Sativa - Cracking the Code of Co-dependence, Homeopathy in Practice.
Bratman, R., 2007, Complementary and Alternative Health - the Scientific Verdict on What Really Works, UK: Collins Publishers.
Mark Abie Horowitz, Michael Kelleher, David Taylor - Should gabapentinoids be prescribed long-term for anxiety and other mental health conditions?, Addictive Behaviors, Volume 119, 2021,
Adalian, Elizabeth, 2017, Touching Base with Trauma: Reaching Across the Generations - a Three-Dimensional Homeopathic Perspective, Writersworld.
Murphy, Robin, N.D., 2005, Homeopathic Clinical Repertory, Third Edition, Lotus Health institute.