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Mahes Visvalingam
Post-retirement postings

Please note that this site is under construction.


Some Experiences with Natural Medicine
and related observations


Nutcracker oesophagus


In a separate page on gastritis, I described how I managed the gastritis and reflux caused by extreme cold weather.  Although the ginger etc. were a great help, they were just panaceas.  I would occasionally get crippling chest pain either if I got too cold or when over-stressed by my caring role. In December 2015, I called 999 when I could not swallow, breathe or talk and was bent over.  They found nothing wrong but said that I should be checked out by A & E.  I declined their offer to take me to hospital since I had no emergency plans for the person I was caring for.


Nutcracker oesophagus

I tended to ignore the occasional spasms, which would settle down although they left me feeling whacked.  But in September 2017 I had another severe spasm after a stressful morning trying to get the  person I care for to hospital on time.  Since I was in the hospital, I decided to go to A & E.  After spending 7 hours in hospital, I was given the all clear.

So, I did an internet search and decided that my symptoms seemed to fit what was termed a nutcracker oesophagus
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutcracker_esophagus).  In desperation, I consulted my Guide using a pendulum.  The usual method of soliciting yes/no answers and choice from a menu is very limited since there is no way in which you can search outside your own mind set.  So, I had been experimenting with use of alphabet+number charts. Although I got gobble-de-gook most of the time, I had received the correct pointers a few times. 


This time I got the word squill.  At first I thought that the word did not exist (like many others I get) but looked it up and found that it was a Mediterranean bulb. So, I searched for its uses and found that squill extract was used in cough syrups - Buttercup Syrup and that by Cavonia.  Since they had preservatives and colourings I did not want to take them.  The recommended dose was 2 teaspoons four times a day.


Further dowsing specified just one teaspoon at bed time for three days.  I decided to try this with Buttercup Syrup.  The chest pain eased the very next day and was gone after the third dose.  But, that evening, after dinner, the food just shot up into my mouth when I bent down. So, the spasm was, as I suspected, the body trying to prevent food coming up the gullet until the cardiac valve healed, if at all it does.  Both conditions are poorly understood and attributed to acid reflux. I doubt that this is the only cause. In my case, it was caused by injury to the oesophagus and cardiac sphincter as I explained under gastritis.


I think the spasm causes the stomach to build up gas in an attempt to clear the spasm. This causes additional sharp pain, which can move. Taking strong ginger tea, relieves the spasm and allows the gas to escape immediately providing much relief. Bicarbonate of soda has the same effect, as does Indian Tea Masala and some other carminatives as I have already noted (gastritis).  You learn to manage the persistent dull ache in the chest and sharp shooting pains but the chest spasms became excruciating and incapacitating  when I am exasperated and stressed.


Initially I thought that my Guide had merely confirmed what the cause was.  The spasm was there for a purpose to keep food down.  Perhaps I just had to live with the pain like many people live with arthritis, IBS etc. Over the next few days, the pendulum gave a NO to a further dose of Buttercup Syrup.  Four days later another one teaspoon dose at bedtime was indicated.  By the time I finished the bottle taking the occasional one teaspoon doase, the pain had eased, no food was coming up, and I did not have to keep taking ginger tea, peppermints etc, although they do ease the dull residual ache.


I have bought a bottle of Buttercup Syrup for the winter.   Strained muscles can revert to a spasm when triggered.  But, I now know that I can manage this problem.  I feel a lot more energetic now, especially since I can now practise some Pranayama (breath yoga) which used to trigger spasms in the chest. 


I took a risk of getting irritable bowel syndrome (caused by additives in proprietary medicines) but in the right dosage Buttercup Syrup worked for me without any side effects.


Mahes Visvalingam, 11 Oct 2017
Last updated on 03/11/17