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Bryonia dioïca Notes
Bryonia dioica (Cucurbitaceae)
By Philip Charpentier, Herbalist
Identification
Bryony is used in European folk medicine and by modern herbalists with knowledge of the ancient use of plants. Although it is widely used by homeopaths, it is used rarely by experienced herbalists. It is a creeping plant, entwining and killing trees, shrubs and bushes along the coastal parts of Europe. The males flower first with little white flowers, the females flower slightly later, in August.

Wherever Bryony grows in the world, a specific species of bee can be found. The species is Andrena florea, one of Europe's smaller wild bees.

Parts Used
Young shoots as a laxative asparagus. The sliced root for tincture and poultices.

Dosage
Dosages are complex and working with Byronia can be dangerous. See instructions below or contact Phillip Charpentier about his complete workbook.

Forms / Preparations
Bryonia is used in both tincture (taken orally) or in poultices (used externally).

Medicinal Uses:
Cough, obstinate dry coughing, chronic hoarse coughing, throat cramping (with Colocynthis 30k homeopathy and belladonna 30k homeopathy), fevers, diseases of mucous membranes within the whole body(!), dysentery, as diuretic, laxative, bronchitis, colic, cramps, nevralgia (in poultice), wounds and winterhands/feet (in poultice with Calendula), for haemorrhoids (in poultice).




Tincture

The making of the tincture is in itself a whole study. Other herbalists commonly prepare the tincture 1 to 1 with the fresh root in pure alcohol. I have developed the use of a more dilute, safer tincture that is equally effective while avoiding some of the extremes caused when patients "just take a few more drops" than their herbalist recommends.

ALWAYS ADD DEATH'S HEAD LABEL WITH NAME ON YOUR BRYONIA TINCTURES AND OTHER STRONG DILUTIONS. KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN'S REACH. I SACK MY STUDENTS THE SECOND TIME THEY OMIT TO PREPARE THEIR LABEL BEFORE STARTING WORK!


1. Raw Tincture Recipe:
  1. Cut fresh root into fine slices (wear protection glasses, the juice is highly corrosive!).
  2. 4 parts high-proof alcohol (90-94%)
  3. Macerate (soak) one night.
  4. Add 4 parts mineral water .
  5. Macerate 3 further weeks, filter, press.
Raw Tincture Dosages:
Never use the straight Raw Tincture when treating people, always dilute. See the Home Tincture Recipe below. I always mix it with Melissa and Urtica, Yarrow, or in honey tincture. The Raw Tincture isn't impossible to use safely, but the taste will be better and the treatment will not feel as drastic.

  • Up to 25 cg (12 drops) strong diuretic, will cause perspiration.
  • 25 to 50 cg (25 drops, always gradually within 3 hours): laxative, abundant perspiration.
  • 50 to 75 cg: laxative-purgative (diarrhea).
  • .75 to 1gr: strong purgative (strong diarrhea).
  • 1 to 1.5gr: purgative-drastic (with vomiting). Never used except in life threatening situations, causes blood in stool.
  • 1.5 to 2 grams: DRASTIC (emeto-cathartic) Dangerous, causing extreme inflammation of complete digestive. tractus, destroys and evacuates mucous membranes of the rectum, causes dilation of pupils with. hallucinations. At this "ancient" dosage dormant cancers were sometimes awakened.

2. Home Tincture Recipe (best for domestic use):
  1. Take 30 gram brown bottle with drip-lid.
  2. Put in 27 grams of Urtica dio´ca (stinging nettle) and Melissa officinalis tincture.
  3. Add 3 grams (150 drops) of Bryony Raw Tincture.
3. Homeopathic Preparations for Children and the Elderly

D2 Tincture Dilution: (see Workbook)
  1. Take 30gr bottle of Calendula tincture
  2. Add 25 drops of raw tincture of Bryonia in it.
  3. Shake savagely for five minutes.
  4. Use table below for children. Also for very elderly people.
Home Tincture & Homeopathic Ticture Dosages:
Maximum single dosages indicated to be fractioned in 4 to 6 times according to severity. The dosages for adults and elderly people are for the Home Tincture (27gram/3gram) dilution described above.

AdultElderlyChildren
(Home Tincture)(Home Tincture)(Homeopathy D2)
ManWomanManWoman2 - 5 yrs5 - 10 yrs
.25 - 1 gr0.2 - 0.5 gr0.1 - 0.2 gr0.1 - 0.2 gr0.3 gr0.5 gr





Poultices

1. Wound Poultice Recipe
  1. Take 60 grams of base cream (Cetomacrogol, Beehler-basis, Cetylmacrogol -- a bit too biting for my liking).
  2. Add 20 grams Calendula tincture (1 on 5 and not 1 on 20 as sold in most pharmacies)
  3. Add 2 grams of Bryony Raw Tincture.
Best wound-healing cream, even for wounds of mucous membranes (rectum-fissures, wounds inside the nose, haemorrhoidal wounds, etc.).

Apply up to 6 times per day, including on serious haematomes and highly serious bruisings. Also for septic, open wounds. I've used this cream for years now, and it has never failed me.

Extreme Case Report:
A farmer was caught in one of the locking pads [steel doors] of a cow pen while repairing machinery. His right leg was frightfully bruised, with a dark blue haematome spread along the entire length of his inner calf, from crotch (he was very lucky) to knee. He also had damaged, inflamed capillaries and bruised skin along the full girdle of his calf, from buttock to knee.

He applied 60 grams of cream over 4 days and then stopped "because it was a lot better." I saw his leg seven days after he started using the cream (three days after he'd stopped). All that was left was slight capillary inflammation where the huge dark-blue haematome had been, the bruised and superficial wounds were all covered in a healing crust.

2. Neuralgia / Nevralgia & Haemorrhoid Poultice Recipe

WARNING: NEVER APPLY ON HEALTHY ORGANS. NEVER APPLY ON THE KIDNEYS OR ALONG THE URINARY TRACT. WILL CAUSE EXTREME CRAMPING. NEVER USE ON WOUNDS. See poisoning report, below.
  1. 60 grams of base-cream
  2. 10 grams of Calendula
  3. 10 grams of Raw Bryonia tincture
  4. 10 grams of Propolis tincture (black poplar button tincture made 1/5 with 94% alc. minimum)
  5. 10 grams of fresh, smashed Henbane (Hyosciamus) leaves.
Apply to painful parts (carefully avoiding organs, esp. kidney and heart!): 4 grams per application. Double the dosage at night.

This Neuralgia Poultice is meant for small surfaces only, like wrist-pain, ankle-pain, elbow pain, shoulder pain. Avoid the trunk of the body. For neuralgia/nevralgia of the trunk, including intercostal nevralgia, and much more, see complete workbook, or wait for Erowid's next set on Charpentier files on... Datura stramonium.

Poisoning / Envenomation Report
Poisoning is more common with poultice since envenomation with my Home Use Tincture dilution is almost impossible if one doesn't drink from the bottle.

I had a nerve blocked between sacrum and hipbone, with inflammation of the cartilage: very painful. Because of the serious pain this caused, I smeared 80 grams of Wound Poultice with a different Nevralgia Poultice I make with Aconitum napellus, Datura stramonium and Hyosciamus niger. I also added an extra 10 grams of Raw Bryonia Tincture to the lot. At first it brought great heat and easing of pain. After the third application I had smeared too much cream on the area near my right kidney and I had shooting kidney-cramping that lasted for almost 24 hours. The Nightshades caused complete cessation of gut function for 36 hours. Be extremely careful with extracts of Bryonia.

I took the following homeopathic preparations to help end the nephritic colics (kidney problems): Nux vomica 30k homeopathy, Colocynthis 30k homeopathy, Lachesis 30k, and Apis 30k. Within 16 hours and using 5 x 3 granules of each only.



Workbook

Phillip Charpentier is an experienced herbalist who offers training and has a workbook which he offers to his student herbalists. In early 2002, he is also finishing a new book on the topic but is not yet available. Several of his herbal descriptions refer to the "Workbook" for more in depth descriptions, but those are not available online.