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Homeopathy and the City II: The Poison Nut

by Elizabeth Kaye(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 114 - August 2005

Sunday afternoon, the bar is crowded. I'm waiting for a friend. Perched on a stool, sipping my earl grey, I feel quietly superior to the drunken punters who surround me. Bright young things with money to burn and the world at their feet. Is it the tea causing me to think in clichés, or am I just tired?

A familiar face emerges from the gents. Someone I know vaguely from my clubbing days. He's celebrating, just won a big contract. Swaying slightly, he squints over my shoulder and beckons. "That's my brother," he says proudly.

A man lurches towards us. Handsome, wearing an expensive suit, he's looking at me like I'm lunch or possibly, by this time, dessert. I can tell he's having trouble focusing.

"Hi," he says, holding out his hand. " I'm Tiny."

He thrusts his face and body into the area I regard as my defensible space. I smell alcohol, tobacco and something spicy.

"What you drinking, babe?"He gestures aggressively to the barman.

"Oi, Cicero, We'll have another round of Bellinis, pronto, my man and… a cup of tea? Hang on, I could do with an espresso myself, yeah, cool babe. Coffee, it's my saviour, know what I mean? Homeopathy? What's that, massage and stuff? Have you thought about expanding your client-base? Here's my card. Maybe we should get together. Crucial, y'know. I'm vibrating."

He takes his mobile phone out of his back pocket, reads a text, grins at me.

"My broker," he explains.

In the meantime, his brother has disappeared after a woman in a particularly short skirt and black spiky boots. I'm trapped..

Tiny? I think to myself. Does that denote penile insufficiency, brain capacity, an excess of confidence or what? By now he's holding a drink in each hand, two phones and a cigarette.

"Don't tell me," I say, "You've got a red car, double-parked."

"Right outside, babe. It's ready to go, just like me. You wanna come for a ride?" He looks deep into my eyes and adjusts his crotch.

"And you're having trouble with your …" I wave my hand across the region of my stomach, "…insides."

"How did…?"

"Your stomach is inflamed. You have terrible indigestion"


"An ulcer?"

"Hon, you're good. What was it you said you did? Astrology?"

As Tiny leans his body further towards mine in a blatantly sexual but somehow absent way, a man carrying a tray of drinks accidentally knocks his elbow.

Tiny whirls round, the end of his cigarette nearly stubbing itself out in the eye of a passing waiter. He is deeply affronted.

"Sorry, mate," the man says

"You will be," Tiny snarls. "Moron." He turns back to me, baring his teeth. The friend I've been waiting for materializes at my side, shaking raindrops from his glistening black hair.

"Sorry, I'm late." He gives me a hug. Tiny laughs.

My friend is a bio-chemist from Pakistan. Lithe, relaxed, beautiful, he emanates a watery presence which flows over me, dampening the onslaught of Tiny's fire and allowing me to relax a little too. He can tell what needs doing straight away.

"Look, there's a table." He points to the far side of the bar where two women are getting ready to leave. "Nice meeting you."

"Later, man." Tiny drools, "Know what I mean?"

Nux Vomica, the poison nut, is a remedy which has been encountered by many who are not regular users of homeopathy. This is because it is a fantastic cure for hangovers. It is also to be spotted manifesting its energy all over the inner and outer city. Wherever there is noise, bustle, commerce, competition, deadlines, targets or traffic jams, Nux Vomica will be present.

Think road rage. It is indeed a driven state. There is an irritation of the nervous system which can produce, or be caused by, a craving for stimulants.

There is hurriedness and impatience, a feeling that time passes too slowly, which can lead to explosive anger. The mind is over-active and excitable.

There is egotism and a tendency to blame others, overt sexuality and performance anxiety. The functional disturbances and pathology it causes centre mainly around the digestive system. The heat of all this burning impatience and desire inflames, corrodes and ulcerates. Tiny's prescription was easy. Nux Vomica.

"So why don't you give him some?" asks my friend. "I bet you've got a bottle in that little bag of yours, haven't you? Just for emergencies." He nudges me, winking. "Know what I mean?"

"It's my day off," I snap. Hell, this Nux Vomica energy is catching.

"Anyway, he hasn't asked me. You know I gave up proselytizing years ago."

"You could slip it into his pink fizz. Spike his drink with its very antidote.

"From a bio-chemical point of view…"

"Don't bring science into this, please."

"I wasn't. Knowing how to deal with the toxins in your life is a vital step towards self-realization." He takes my hand and traces the lines of my palm.

"You're just being patronizing," I mutter, retrieving my hand which has begun to sweat. "A person's got to want to heal."

"Yes," he says,"but sometimes we don't know what we want until someone points it out to us, do we?"

"I think Tiny likes being Tiny. Look at him."

By this time, the man in question has wrapped himself around a leggy blonde, leering into her cleavage and drumming his fingers on the base of her spine.

She's teetering on the edge of a bar-stool, tossing her golden mane and running her scarlet nails down the inside of his thigh. The clichés fill up the space inside my empty cup.

"Now you're being patronizing," my friend says.

"Nonsense!" I retort "We're all nuts full of poison in one way or another."

Besides, I happen to understand addiction. "Oi, Cicero, another cuppa, pronto!"


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About Elizabeth Kaye

Elizabeth Kaye qualified as a homeopath in 1998 and works in London, both in private practice and as part of a team delivering low-cost complementary therapies through a publicly funded agency. She can be contacted on

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