| Gelsemium is characterized by the "D's": drowsy, dopey, dizzy, dumb, disoriented and dull. You can see right away why it is such a classic flu remedy. The person feels all of the above "as if a truck drove over me." He has chills going up and down the spine, he feels so tired that he thinks he cannot even lift a finger to take something and he even has aching upon moving his eyes. Yet he can't fall asleep. Curiously enough, in spite of the fever, he has absolutely no thirst and a slow pulse! Symptoms are made worse by motion, light, noise and stuffy rooms. There is trembling although the person is listless and has low stamina. The flu is accompanied by a headache. Gelsemium was the main remedy for the 1996-97 flu epidemic!
Besides being good for flu, Gelsemium is a great remedy for "hearing bad news" : the person reacts to hearing bad news (for example a doctor saying that your mammogram is positive and it might be cancer) as if she is paralyzed, she can't move, she just sits trembling.
It is also effective for fright with trembling after earthquakes and in case of anticipation anxiety (like Argentum nitricum). However, unlike with Argentum nitricum (where the anxiety can start weeks in advance), with Gelsemium the anticipation anxiety starts just before the event takes place; for example, you have a speaking engagement, everything seems to be all right until you have to start speaking, then you are overcome with fear and trembling.
Gelsemium is the #1 remedy for fear of the dentist, and I give it to my dog when he has to go to the vet. It is greatly indicated in headaches, especially ones precede by an aura of blurred vision and improved when the person passes great amounts of urine. In the past, acute cases of polio were cured by Gelsemium.