The Strychnos ignati tree, native to the Philippines, is best known for its beans, which are used to make the poison strychnine. However, its seeds are also used to make a homeopathic remedy called ignatia amara.
Sometimes referred to as "the homeopathic Prozac", ignatia amara is said to be of use in relieving depression and anxiety, and in supporting people during a time of grief.
Although strychnine is highly toxic and can kill within minutes, the process of repeated dilution during the creation of a homeopathic remedy means that only a tiny number of the original molecules are still present in the resulting remedy, so ignatia amara is safe to take.
As well as depression and grief, ignatia is said to be effective for the relief of nerves, stomach upsets, tension headaches, irritability, IBS and heart palpitations. Some people like to keep ignatia in their medicine chest as a handy remedy for emotional shock. Some also report that ignatia can help to alleviate insomnia, especially where it is caused by anxiety and over-thinking.
Ignatia amara is available in tablet form at a potency of 30c; it is also sometimes available as a tincture or drops.