Hot Bathing Aggravates

Hot Bathing Aggravates


A hot bath is considered to some as a medium for relaxation; however, for others the opposite can become the reality. The mappa mundi relationship to hot bathing can be described as involving all  four elements. Fire and water creating the heat, hot water and steam. Air reacting with the steam and water and causing a cooling effect and the earth with its dryness which follows the bathing experience. However, looking further into ‘worlds’ associated with the elements within the mappa mundi, ‘aggravated’ by this stimuli becomes further apparent. Fire – world of images, air – world of thought, water – world of emotion and earth – the world of sensation, the homeopath can begin to understand the physical and emotional aggravations of the remedy picture. At any one time or indeed together, the worlds, elements and patient picture can be aroused during bathing and taking into consideration that the ‘bath’ is where people usually associate with relaxing and the physical aspects of a hot bath  it is easy to see how the worlds of thought, sensation, emotions, images and elemental associations can surface.


Doctrine of signatures

A member of the Nightshade family  associated with food sources, medicines, tobacco and poisons with best yields within sunny and dry climates. Affinities with the nerve centres, blood vessels and capillaries and skin.

Mappa Mundi

A dual axis schema with fire and air elements and Choleric, Phlegmatic temperament.

Remedy Keynotes

Marked effects from change of temperatures

Sudden and violent

Heat and burning sensation

Rush of blood to the head and face


Sudden explosion of anger

Violence, delirium, mania and psychosis

Head pains





Having an affinity to the nerve centres, blood vessels, capillaries and skin it is clear to understand how the hot bathing can aggravate the remedy picture on a physical level. Being a hot, violent remedy theme, further heat could, in effect take the individual to a boiling over of symptoms and the marked effects of temperature change is also evident. Physically, a reaction of the body when exposed to heat such as when in hot bathing is as a direct result of blood vessel and capillary physiology. When exposed, the body’s first reaction is to restore the body back to its normal temperature. This is achieved, by the heart pumping faster to bring blood to the surface and disperse body heat into the air. The blood vessels constrict and dilate to deal with the extra pressure placed upon them. The skin may become redder as the blood rises to the surface in reaction. Here, the heat and redness associated with the remedy can become aggravated and the already ‘hot’ constitution becomes hotter as a result.  The physical heat experienced has been described as burning and here the aggravation of submersion in hot water can be understood. Interestingly, the mental and emotional picture linked to both the Belladonna and hot bathing mappa mundi schema demonstrates further the states of aggravation. Fire highlights the hallucinations, visions and alertness that can be experienced whereas the air element can be associated to the individual’s detachment from reality as they continue to live in a world of their own. Choleric, linked to the explosive anger and violence of this remedy and phlegmatic with the fears that can follow hallucination such as dogs etc. The violence of choleric, linked to the divine wrath of Fire or of importance due to the heat of the hot bathing and the dryness of heat despite being submersed in water thus impacting on both fire and choleric symptomology.

In summary the combination of fire and air in this remedy can become the aggravating stimuli affecting the choleric and phlegmatic temperaments.


Doctrine of signatures

Bryonia is a member of the Gourd family that are found in abundance within the tropics and do not thrive in cold or frost due to their high sensitivity to temperature changes. Affinities with the Circulation, Serous membranes, Chest, Joints and abdomen.

Mappa Mundi

A dual axis schema with the elements, earth and water, and the Choleric, Phlegmatic Temperaments

Remedy Keynotes


Adverse to being disturbed

Fear or poverty/ financial ruin

Preoccupation with business/ work

Anxiety about future

Dryness of mucous membranes

Warm blooded

Extreme thirst

for perspiration


Of note is the absence of the hot bath axis of fire and air within this remedy; however, being replaced with the earth/ water mappa mundi axis is of importance. The heat aspect in this remedy may not be the aggravating stimuli but rather the wet and dry polarity. Being aggravated by heat as highlighted in the modality, the patient can be better for perspiration, so perhaps a dry heat would be a more positive experience that that of a hot bath. The individual likes to have control over their business affairs and the fears of poverty/ business failure that can occur drive and motivate them. Having a hot bath makes an individual let go for a while and become somewhat idle, suspended almost in another world than that of the norm, so it is here the aggravation of not tending to business affairs and relaxing could be the precipitating factor. The dryness associated to the earth element can be associated to the world of structure, a solid form that holds a stability and rigidity and practical organisation to the way we live. Water on the other hand has a flow, non-formulaic and non-rigid make up and this aspect of hot bathing is likely to impact on the remedy state. Phlegmatic, in bryonia would exacerbate the fears experienced and in some aspects the sense of failure for not attending to their duty and physically the mucous membranes that are affected in this remedy are associated with this temperament. On the mappa mundi both phlegmatic and water are next to each other which is where the aggravation can come from. In its polarity, the dryness of non-bathing can exacerbate the need for work, irritability of wanting to be left alone and ambitious formality of work and business. The modality of better for perspiration, is clearly a sign of the earth element holding back the flow of water thus perspiration indicating a relief of symptoms once flow has been restored but the caution of the doctrine of signatures of sensitivity to temperatures needs to be applied. The aggravation of having to get out of a hot bath to a colder environment, thus forcing a change of temperature can also be a factor. In summary, the dryness of the theme of Bryonia is reflective of the hot bathing aggravates but possibly for more or a mental/ emotional reason rather than a physical response to the experience.


Doctrine of Signatures

A member of the halogen group of elements it is classed as a rarer element that forms sparingly within seawater after being assimilated in seaweeds especially within salt and oil wells. Although a valuable life source and found in foods, in its elemental form it can be toxic. Affinities with Glands, Thyroid, Mucous membranes, heart and larynx

Mappa Mundi

A dual axis schema with main axis being Fire and Air elements and sanguine, melancholic temperaments

Remedy Keynotes

Excitement and intolerable restlessness



Always too hot

Insatiable appetite

Violent impulses if forced to be inactive


The axis of fire and air can be related directly to the hot bath schema and with the influencing elements within the remedy picture. The restlessness in particular with the fire and the suicidal tendencies that can be present in relation to the air remedy. Here, the hot bath for example with the heat then cold sensations that can be experienced during and after bathing can be aggravating causes. Of particular note is the phlegmatic temperament. Heat and water produces steam and the sanguine temperaments lie between both the fire and water elements. Here the hurried, spontaneity of ideas and intensity of the Iodum personality shines through and could be exacerbated by the steam present in both the physical bath and the sanguine temperament.

The hurried aspect, like a geyser will explode and then suddenly stop before revigorating in effect retreating away and disappearing. Having a tendency to a hot constitutions, hot bathing could aggravate by increasing the central heat of the individual. On a more basic level, the idleness that goes hand in hand with a hot bath can aggravate the restless individual requiring the remedy as a result of the basis of being forced to do nothing.  The remedy source is of interest with regards to the element forming within seawater and becoming solidified by further absorption. Here an aggravation could be due to the element transformation after contact with water coming through to the individual picture. 


Doctrine of Signatures

The bush master snake belongs to the pitvipers family of snakes and inhabits four distinct areas of the tropical rain forest that receives more than 2,000mm of rainfall per year. It is one of the largest venomous snakes. Affinities with the nerves, blood, heart and circulation.

Mappa Mundi

A dual axis schema with fire and air elements and an axis between sanguine and melancholic.

Remedy Keynotes

Sharp tongued

Overactive mind




Vivid Imagination

Anger and aggressiveness



With a similar schema to Iodum it is possible to see the similarities between the fire and water elements causing the steam affecting the sanguine aspects of the remedy picture. Here the overactive mind, sharp tongue and intensity can become further present in the picture as a result of exposure in the hot bath. Likewise with Iodum, the mind is unable to switch off whilst ‘relaxing’ in a bath and therefore an aggravation can be experienced. Physically, and as stated previously, the physiological responses to the hot bath affects the circulation, heart rate and the physical symptoms of varices could be worsened during such activities. The sensory experience of a hot bath is also a neurological response when entering or leaving it. Although the wet aspects may not be a problem, the doctrine of signatures shows that wet environs are where the source originates, the nerve response to the heat stimuli may be too much for the person to handle thus the remedy having an affinity to the nerves. The hyper alertness of the source to sensory stimulation is possibly coming to the fore of the remedy energy here, thus being perceived as an aggravation due to the human form not being attuned to handling such neurological responses in the same way. The response of blood vessels constricting and dilating as part of the physiological response to heat could also aggravate here due to the remedy’s feeling of constriction.  Conversely the melancholic aspects of the remedy could become aggravated with further introversion, suppression of emotions and inferiority becoming aggravated. This could be mainly attributed to the feeling of being cold after hot bathing linking to the exposure of the air element.

Natrum Mur

Doctrine of Signatures

Sodium chloride or salt which is sourced by evaporation of brine from underground salt deposits or from sea salt by solar evaporation. Salt has both a dissolving and crystalisation property. Dropped into water, it will dissolve and by evaporation it will crystallise. Affinities with Nutrition, Mind, Heart, Blood and Glands

Mappa Mundi

Two axis Schema between Earth and Water elements and Sanguine/ Melancholic temperaments. 

Remedy Keynotes

Suppression of emotions


Sad, yet unable to weep

Aversion to company and consolation

Ailments from grief

Unable to urinate in front of others


Here we see the elements of earth and water being the major axis in the mappa mundi schema of the remedy. Of major importance here is the concept of suppression of emotions within the remedy and the earth element with its rigidity and boundaries is of influence. The aggravation could come from the water itself and not necessarily the direct heat, but water is related to the flow of emotions and this could be the main factor of aggravation due to the resistance of internal flow and preference for the boundaries and solidity of emotions linked to the earth element. The sanguine temperament can become aggravated due to the associated steam. In particular the source aspect of evaporation and dissolving. The energy of the source could be activated here and the aggravation could be a manifestation of this in the patient. Areas such as the fear of being rejected and wanting company could become worsened as a result of the sanguine aggravation. The resistance and internal energetic fear of evaporation could cause an aggravation towards the rigidity of the earth element. Here the melancholic temperament of depression, desire to be alone and retreating inwardly could be aggravated. The nakedness of bathing could also be an aggravating factor here as a sense of great vulnerability can be experienced. Being a mainly clothed species, humans can feel extremely vulnerable when in their natural naked form. In summary, the mix of water, steam and innate vulnerability of this remedy could be the main causes of aggravation to the symptoms experienced.


Doctrine of SIgnatures

From the poppy seed that grows in abundance in a north temperate zone. It is considered a delicate flower with wafer thin petals that can be damaged easily in wind or rain. Affinity with Mind, senses and nerves

Mappa Mundi

A single axis schema between the elements fire and air

Remedy Keynotes

Blissful, peaceful, dream like states

Stupor and Coma

Warm Blooded

Face flushed red

Ailments from fright



Having a single axis mappa mundi schema can easily be associated to the mappa mundi of a hot bath in relation to the aspects of heat and the coldness of air; however, I consider Opium to be a complex remedy and further exploration of the elemental influence is needed to explain the aggravations experienced. Obvious to this assignment is the warm blooded keynote to this remedy and the aggravation of heat whilst having a hot bath, however the aggravations to the blissful, peaceful and dream like state also associated with fire could be on two levels. The heat of fire aggravation through the temperature of water and the suspended animation aspects of having a hot bath itself. The aggravation could take the form of further bliss in the patient and dream states in the patient. The withdrawal aspect of the picture could also become aggravated when the change of temperature affects the nerve response on the patient. Here the feeling of stupor, withdrawal and sleep (coma) could aggravate as a result. Ailments from fright which could be considered as being related to both aspects of the polarity of fire and air could become aggravated as the individual relaxes in the suspension of a hot bath as their physical body relaxes and the senses take over, including thoughts or passed disagreeable memories. In summary, the bath which can place some people into a blissfully relaxed state as part of a naturally accepted response could place the patient in the opium picture in further states of detachment from reality.


Doctrine of Signatures

A kingdom fungi which is a parasitic fungi that feeds of living things usually in moist environments. The fungi lays dormant in the soil until conditions and susceptibility of the plant to which they attach is at its optimum for survival. Affinities with Muscles, Blood and uterus.

Mappa Mundi

A single axis schema with an axis between the fire and air element.

Remedy Keynotes


Confusion and Forgetfulness

Censorius, sarcasm and contempt

Burning and heat

Skin feels cold but patient feels burning hot

(one of the hottest remedies in the materia medica)


Mental dullness, indifference


Not surprisingly due to the heat of this remedy a main aggravation can be directly related to the element of fire. WIthin this element the restless may be the key aspect of the case that has aggravated as a result and the patient may state that instead of relaxation, the hot bath caused them to become more restless than usual or extremities, urogenital and gastrointestinal symptoms increase in intensity in relation to the heat and burning that can be experienced. The patient may feel better from cold, however, one could find an aggravation in the air element as a result of hot bathing. The patient may take to too much cold to alleviate the symptoms after the hot bathing experience. Areas such as indifference, concern about losing his/ her sanity may come to the fore as a result of this elemental aggravation. Of note is the concept of hemorrhage. Normally associated with the blood, fire element, the physiological results of fluid loss is one of shock with the body becoming cold as a result in order to channel the remaining blood to the vital organs to sustain life, thus demonstrating the polarity of fire and air which can be associated to hot bathing. The doctrine of signatures is also worth noting in relation to the parasite (fungi) remaining dormant in the soil until the warm moist environment of its soon to be host. The energetic blueprint of the source can be directly related here. The soil (miasm), host plant (human) and fungi (secale state) can be following the pattern of the source itself with the hot bath providing the stimuli for realising the natural processes required for the secale picture.


Doctrine of Signatures

Sulphur is an element compound. Yellow in colour, odourless, tasteless and insoluble in water. It is found in all living organisms including in proteins, vitamins and hormones. Affinities with circulation, membranes, nutritive organs and skin.

Mappa Mundi

A single axis schema with the axis between fire and air.

Remedy Keynotes



Indifferent to appearance




Warm and aggravated by heat

Discharges. Offensive

Skin eruptions


Being of a warm constitution it is easy to see how a hot bath can aggravate the sulphur state. Not only due to the heat experienced but the skin eruptions can become aggravated from the rush of blood to the skin surface as discussed previously. Emotionally, the fire element could become over stimulated and the egotism and extroversion could become more evident in the individual. On the polarity, the laziness, introverted character may come to the fore due to the aggravated state of the air element. The sulphur state does not usually take appearances into consideration on any level be it clothing, hair or even hygiene and the aggravating of taking a hot bath may not be the physical reactions of the bath itself but the concept of having to bath in the first place and taking some interest in their appearance to others.


The concept of ‘hot bath aggravates’ may appear somewhat minimal in the scheme of case taking and prescription as a stand alone modality but as I have shown, through careful analysis of the source, keynotes and mappa mundi one can begin to understand how the modality could be of high importance in a case to decide the remedy for prescription.

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