Chinese sumac is a deciduous tree that grows up to a height of anything between 25 m and 24 m and bears spreading boughs and large, pinnate leaves. This tree is said to have derived from the Ambonese term ailanto denoting 'tree of the gods' or 'tree of heaven' and belongs to the Simaroubaceae family.
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Although this genus is indigenous to East Asia, especially China, presently it is found growing all over the world. In fact, the growth of Chinese sumac is significant in the region spreading from East Asia to Australasia. This tree is also known to be invasive in North America and Britain.
Chinese sumac bears tiny flowers that have a yellowish or green hue, which become reddish after some time and ultimately turns brown. These flowers remain on the tree for a prolonged period and the male flowers have a very potent smell that resembles the foul smell of cat's urine.
Even touching the leaves of the tree leaves a horrible smell on the hand. All these notwithstanding, the fresh flowers of Chinese sumac are used to prepare a very useful homeopathic medicine called ailanthus.
Incidentally, an American homeopath was the first to discover the remedial properties of the Chinese sumac flowers sometime in 1953. This homeopath not only recorded the remedial benefits of the flowers, but also noted that anyone inhaling the nauseating smell of Chinese sumac flowers is likely to suffer from an assortment of ailments, especially digestive disorders.
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The homeopathic medication ailanthus is particularly beneficial for people who have been suffering from lower types of infectious ailments (also known as low zymotic forms of sickness). For instance, such illnesses comprise scarlet fever, diphtheria, blood poisoning and symptomatic typhoid - particularly the cases which are distinguished by congestion of capillaries resulting in reddish speckled spots.
Malignant scarlet fever is perhaps the most prominent sign of this kind of low sickness. People suffering from such low type of sickness do not experience the usual rashes, but instead reddish spots resembling roseola emerge on the body. When the normally consistent spread of the rashes or eruptions fail to appear or when they are suppressed, patients may experience bleeding from the nose and gums.
In addition, such conditions may also result in appalling swellings or tumefaction in the throat. The appearance of the face becomes purple and confused, while there may be congestion in the eyes. Sometimes, when the condition deteriorates, the patient may also bleed from the eyes. Moreover, such patients experience extreme debility and are really in the state of a stupor.
In other words, the patients become dim-witted and always feel like sleeping. If one examines the throat of such patients, he or she will notice that it is coated with somewhat purplish patches that are combined with an edematous (accumulation of excessive fluids) look something that is common in Baptisia patients.
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Ailanthus is said to be good for a low type of sickness that sets in depression or disheartens the patients. When any individual is suffering from this ailment, his or her blood continues to decompose very fast and the blood that comes out of the body is black in color.
During this period the patients, especially suffering children, continues to be in a state of unconsciousness or stupor and it is a big problem to stimulate them. At times, patients suffering from such low type of sickness find blisters forming on the tips of their fingers and also on other parts of the body. Ailanthus people also have a rotten or foul smell coming out from their mouth and nose.
Ailanthus child is said to be progressing very fast into a type of malignant ailment. Occasionally, this disease occurs as a mild febrile or feverish attack and when the patient takes anything cold, it holds back some of the common symptoms and the ailment take the form of low form typhoid.
While the child initially suffered from a remittent fever (high body temperature showing fluctuation every day, but never falling to normal), the ailment has taken the form of a condition of incapacitation accompanied with a very fast heartbeat, nauseating smell (fetor), a passive congestion accompanied with purple blemishes on the skin, the skin turning purple or bluish resulting the body to appear speckled.
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In fact, when the ailment takes such an abrupt turn, the patient suffers from blood poisoning and eventually he or she suffers from a condition called symptomatic typhoid. The best instances of such low type sickness is perhaps a remittent fever that progresses into a sharp infectious condition within 24 hours of falling sick or a case of diphtheria (a feverish, infectious disease caused by the bacillus) which assumes this form and is accompanied with lack of common sense and blotched skin.
While the physical conditions associated with this type of sickness are painful as well as frustrating, the mental symptoms that accompany ailanthus patients too are exceptional and, thus, often interesting. The patients endure a constant pensive mental condition even when they may be awake.
In addition, the child is mentally perturbed and cries continually. Some children may even be frightened as they may have a sensation of a rat or any other small animal crawling up their limbs or all over their body. The patients also suffer from a continuous loss of memory and they seem to forget even something that they might have said just moments back.
It becomes very difficult for them to remember anything as they suffer from continuous lack of memory. What is interesting is that all events of the past seem to be erased from their mind. Even if some of the past events come to their mind, they only remember them to belong to some other person or something that they might have read somewhere.
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While still discussing the dreamy condition of mind of such patients, it may be mentioned that everything of their past seems to appear as untrue to them. In other words, an even thing that they did or said in the past appears to be like something they had actually dreamt. People who suffer from such low type of sickness are also unable to focus their thoughts on any particular thing and also lack any type of mental effort.
Even when they are aware, such patients seem to remain in a semi-conscious mental condition all the time and are unable to provide answers to questions appropriately. From such a semi-conscious mental state, they gradually sink into absolute unconsciousness. However, in the initial stages of such zymotic condition, the patients suffer from immense nervous anxiety as well as restiveness.
In due course, as the disease progresses and the patients' condition worsen, they are in a state of total unconsciousness and become indifferent to all things related to or around them.
The other symptoms of such zymotic condition include continuous sighing and depression of the mind. The patients also become very tetchy, always remain in a semi-conscious state and eventually become totally unconscious. They suffer from trance, confusion as well as insensibility and keep muttering something while they are in a trance.
In addition, these patients also suffer from lack of sound sleep and are restive all the time. Their mental condition is like what occurs to patients who endure zymotic ailments caused by some kind of infection. It is a state as if a patient has not been cured from his or her chronic illness.
The homeopathic medicine ailanthus is effective in treating a number of conditions. It is very useful in curing glandular fever (a severe, contagious variety of mononucleosis associated with Epstein-Barr virus, distinguished by unexpected fever and a gentle swelling of lymph nodes).
Apart from mild swellings, patients enduring glandular fever also have white mucus, redness of the tonsils and an extremely painful throat which makes it difficult to swallow food and fluid. In brief, glandular fever is very painful for those who have been suffering from this infectious ailment. In addition, people suffering from glandular fever may also experience headaches, persistent exhaustion as well as throbbing muscles.
Chinese sumac tree is native to eastern regions, especially China, but now grows in almost all parts of the world. As mentioned earlier, this tree can be found growing right from East Asia to Australasia. It is also found growing in North America and Britain, where the tree is said to be intrusive as well, breaking into the gardens cracking walls.