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Birds of a Feather Need Ignatia Together

Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M

May 28th, 2018  |  29 Comments

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In twelve-year-old Penny’s case, it started with seemingly innocent hair twirling.

At first, her parents thought it was cute but soon enough, it wasn’t cute anymore; in fact, it became downright frightening.  

The problem that began with Penny wrapping and twirling strands of hair around her fingers progressed to strands of hair she would absently suck on, or even worse, pull out. Penny’s parents started noticing that as Penny struggled with math homework, the pages of her textbook and notebook would be littered with pulled hairs.

For a while, they were able to persuade Penny to twist a ring that her mother bought her to wear in lieu of pulling out hairs, but Penny’s mother was troubled by the fact that the anxiety still remained, regardless of whether the outlet for it was relatively harmless or not.

For ten-year-old Patrick, skin picking was the problem.

Patrick could leave no scab unpeeled. The poor boy’s cuticles were a bloody mess from his pulling and biting at the skin. If he had chapped lips, he picked at the peeling skin with both his fingers and teeth until his lips became more and more cracked and irritated. As a result, Patrick seemed to have chronic chapped and torn lips because he never gave them a chance to heal.

Pat’s parents tried having him wear gloves, but he found the urge to pick so irresistible, he’d remove them, and then feel even more guilty and anxious afterward. No amount of reasoning, scolding or nagging seemed to make a difference.

Unfortunately, in Patrick’s case, his parents agreed to attempt treatment with an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) drug before the disastrous side effects made them abandon that course (under their doctor’s supervision) and look for a solution that was less harmful.

Both repetitive hair pulling (Trichotillomania) and repetitive skin picking (Dermatillomania) can be related to either impulse control disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorders; sometimes both. At any rate, each condition is often linked to anxiety.

Both Penny’s and Patrick’s cases reminded me of another case I dealt with many years ago; that of Poppie. But Poppie was not a pre-teen … Poppie was a parrot.

Some 23 years ago, an exotic parrot was brought into my office.

Poppie remained politely perched on her owner's knuckles throughout the entire 45-minute appointment. Even though her owner whispered in her partially exposed ear that she was a pretty bird, it was a little white lie. Poppie was not a very pretty bird because about a third of her feathers were missing, which left her with noticeably bald patches of exposed skin. To make matters worse, the feathers that remained were tattered and shredded.

It looked like Poppie had fallen into a Vitamix.

Poppie’s owner explained that she had been pulling her feathers out for about a year … in fact, it all started around the time the family had moved.

Assuming that some kind of emotional condition related to the move was the catalyst for Poppie’s problem, I suggested Ignatia 200, which was administered every three days. The next time I saw Poppie, about two months later, she looked more fully dressed. Not exactly pretty, but certainly healthier and a little fuller.

Two months after that, she returned once again. This time, Poppie was a genuinely pretty girl!

Ignatia was halted after about the third month and she remained well.

About eight months later, Poppie commenced pulling her feathers again and the owner reinstated the Ignatia schedule. In short order, she settled down once more. That was the last time I heard from Poppie’s family, so I assume all is well.  

Ignatia would be my first choice for both Penny and Patrick’s cases above as well. We would use Ignatia 200C twice a day and assess after eight weeks. Although we typically think of Ignatia for grief, I have found it covers a wide range of emotional ailments and the various types of symptoms associated, including anxious behaviors like hair pulling and skin picking. And, I might add, even if anxiety is not identified. 

But homeopathy is a generous medicine, and there is more than one potential option. Even though Ignatia would be my top choice, I might also consider Stramonium or Tarantula hispania. Stramonium might be indicated if one were to observe restless sleep, fearfulness, fear of the dark, temper tantrums, violent or aggressive behavior, etc. Tarantula is another great remedy for restlessness and hair pulling or skin picking, especially when the person complains of painful pins and needles sensations, or the feeling that bugs are crawling on the skin.

I’ll be delving into an in-depth discussion of anxiety, grief, and mental and emotional conditions in my new, highly-requested course, Mindful Homeopathy: Practical Protocols® for Mental and Emotional Conditions. If you are interested in learning more about cases such as Poppie’s, or if your family is dealing with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, learning disorders, brain fog, PTSD, addictions or dementia — this course is for you. Homeopathy has a history of uprooting these conditions! Download this free infographic illustrating remedies for nine common conditions and receive more information about the course.



I am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


29 thoughts on “Birds of a Feather Need Ignatia Together”

  1. dhiralalita says:

    So informative as usual. Thanks, Joette. May God bless you!

  2. Debbie says:

    Thank you. Sadly these behaviors, and other even more serious self harm compulsions like cutting, seem to be increasing in our youth to their parent’s bewilderment, horror, and concern.

  3. Vera Sacks says:

    Hi, thank you, Ignatia is great and sometime pulsatilla works well for these symptoms, suppressed anger, broken heart etc. I do feel however that people today respond better to lower potencies like 6c taken more often. I know this is not what classical homeopaths are used to prescribing however when testing the individual it comes up as a better option most of the time

  4. Mama Lisa says:

    Thank you Joette! I am an ardent reader of your blog, and completed the gateway course. We are fully engaged in homeopathy and love this change in our family lifestyle. Would this remedy also work for my 3 year old nail biting? We haven’t trimmed her nails in about 8 months. She also took to biting the skin around her nails. It seems her fingers are always in her mouth – unless she is ballet dancing. 🙂 Thanks so much!

  5. Ranjit Grewal says:

    Thank you for the info- my son 32 picks on eyelashes -i will try ignatia 200- thanks

  6. Sheena says:

    Would these remedies be considered for nail bitting as well?

  7. Victoria says:

    There’s no link to the course.

  8. Victoria says:

    I’d love to know that too!!!

  9. Perviz paroo says:

    May be interested in taking the course. Mindfull Homeopathy Need more details which I cannot seem to find.

    Have an old computer and an I pad.

  10. Mayda says:

    Joette you mention Stramonium. Would that be 30c potency? How many times would it be given to a child?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      It depends on the case. Should you be interested, this will be covered in greater detail in my upcoming course, Mindful Homeopathy.

  11. Mary P. says:

    I would be interested info related to nail biting and biting of skin around nails also. Are you saying nail biting will be covered in your Mindful Homeopathy course?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Nailbiting that is related to doing harm; not garden variety nailbiting.

  12. Val says:

    Hello! I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as to what to read: I see that a lot of classical homeopaths don’t like protocols. They say it is like using a band-aid. That it doesn’t address deeper issues. I don’t agree, but I don’t have proper wording to refute this as I am fairly new to homeopathy. Is there anything I can read that would explain this well? I love the idea of protocols and I already see it helping my family. Thank you SO much!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      I dare say all homeopaths, whether classical or not use some protocols. They just don’t share them outwardly. Nor ever, ever admit it. I’ll bet when faced with a woman who has had a few children and feels overwhelmed with a weakened thyroid, they don’t for a second consider repetorizing and instead run directly to Sepia.

      That is a protocol.

      And is Arnica for hematomas a band-aid?

      Silly old classical homeopaths are as stuck in their bubble as allopaths in theirs.

      You’ll not be able to refute them. Allow them to live in their world and you live in yours.

  13. becsdrm says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve suffered from trichotillomania and dermatillomania for more than 40 years. I haven’t found much information about it in the homeopathic world and so this is great! I have a question about hair growth. When I was younger and in a “hiatus” of pulling, my hair grew back with no problem…many times. Now, there are a lot of places where the hair isn’t growing back. I’m assuming that so many years of pulling have damaged the areas, either the roots or scalp. After using the protocol for stopping the pulling, if it’s successful, is there one that can help regenerate hair growth?

  14. Ashley says:

    What would work for existential OCD?

  15. Carii says:

    Can you give a guideline on how often Ignatia should be given and at what potency? In the article you stated that with the bird you did Ignatia every 3rd day and then you said that Ignatia can be given twice daily. How does one decide on potency and frequency?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      google “Joette Calabrese Ignatia” and you’ll find learn more on frequency.

  16. Sarah says:

    What if the person does not match the ignatia picture? Would this remedy still be followed since the symptoms match?

  17. Rachel says:

    Mrs. Calabrese,

    Can Ignatia 200 be indicated as well as Pulsatilla 200, or are they too similar to use concurrently?

    A 3 year old girl, taking Pulsatilla 200 2XD, seems to be picking up on her parent’s current virus anxiety. She now displays a strong need for Ignatia too. Neither is coming out on top in hierarchy, are they ever used in the same schedule?

    Thank you. You’ve made such a difference in my family’s life.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Both may be used but not necessarily for the same condition. Ignatia is usually a better choice for virus anxiety.

      1. Rachel says:

        Thank you Mrs. Calabrese! That is so helpful. May God bless you in your tireless work to help others and spread the news of Homeopathy.

  18. Katy says:

    We have one chicken that is getting picked on and has several bare spots. Would this be good to administer to all of them, or just the one with all the feathers missing? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      This is how to think this through:
      Who is experiencing suffering?
      That’s who needs to be treated.

  19. Marina says:

    Dear Joette,
    How would you use Tarentula if it fits, please?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Potency and frequency aren’t remedy-specific, they’re condition-specific.

      1. Marina says:

        Ok.I get it.
        Your live video about Stramonium is super helpful as well. Thank you very much Joette!

        1. Jennifer says:

          Hi Marina. I hope you’ll see this. What live video was it on Stramonium that helped you I’m searching through Joette’s FB live videos for Stramonium and hoping I come across it. Thank you.

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