Last modified on January 17th, 2019

Dr. S.R. Phatak describes the clinically confirmed symptoms of the homeopathic remedy Causticum in his Concise Materia Medica, published in 1977.


      The chemical composition of Causticum is still uncertain though it is considered to be potassium hydrate or Caustic potash. It is a great polychrest remedy, acting upon NERVES, motor and sensory and on MUSCLES voluntary and involuntary; of BLADDER, larynx and limbs. Weakness; progressive; loss of muscular strength, causing increasing uncertainty of control over the muscles, finally ending in PARALYSIS; of single organs or parts. Paralysis; from exposure to cold; post-diphtheritic; from lead. Chronic rheumatic affections cause contraction of tendons and deformities about the joints. Pains are tearing, drawing, burning, of the part grasped by hand. Soreness, rawness. Trembling, convulsions, chorea, in nervous girls worse during menses. Sympathetic jerkings, twitching, startings and restlessness are other characteristic symptoms. Cramps here and there. Emaciation; due to disease, fright, worry, grief, and of long lasting illness. Children are slow in learning to talk and walk. Anaesthesia. Epilepsy, runs in circle, then falls down; at puberty. Patient is susceptible to both cold and heat. Joints stiff. It is adapted to broken down, worn out senile persons or to dark complexioned rigid fibered persons. Restlessness at night, esp. the legs are constantly on the go. Ill effects of burns and scalds, fright, grief, worry, sorrow, night watching. Ulcers maltreated with lead. Warts. Cold water tones the paralysis. Fissures; from least provocation, about wings of nose, lips, anus etc. Motion as of coition; chorea. Awkward at talking, chewing, walking. Mental effects; convulsions, from suppressed eruptions. As if cold water was running from clavicle down to toes.


      DRY COLD or raw air. Winds. Drafts. Extremes of temperature. Stooping. Suppressed eruptions. Coffee. Fats. 3-4 a.m. or EVENING. Exertion. Change of weather. After stool. Motion of carriage. Twilight. Darkness. Taking hold of anything. Sour things. Bathing in river in summer.


      COLD DRINKS (even chill). Damp wet weather. Washing. Warmth; of bed. Gentle motion.


      Hopeless, despondent, wants to die. Ambitionless. Mental fatigue. Anxious forebodings worse in twilight. Reticent. Over sympathetic. Child does not want to go to bed alone; least thing makes him cry. Thinking of complaints worse them esp. haemorrhoids. Weeps, laughs; chorea. Laughs before, with or after spasms. Conscious-stricken as if she had committed some crime. Sadness. Whining mood. Suspicious, mistrustful; absent minded. Looks on the dark side. Lacks control, balance. Spoonerisms, confounds letters and syllables. Vexed with business worries.


      Painless commotion in the whole head. Sensation as of an empty space between the forehead and brain, better hot application. To and fro or nodding motions, or turning to right. Tight scalp. Stitches in temples on mental exertion. Nausea and vomiting or blindness during headache; then paralysis. Vertigo; during sleep; at night; in the morning, while lying down, on stooping; at menstruation; looking up. Small soft round nodes on scalp or glabella.


      Sparks and dark spots before the eyes. Paralysis of one eyelid (right). Heavy drooping eyelids. Ptosis. Weakness of recti muscles_ diplopia better looking to right. Continuous eye pain with inclination to touch and rub the eyes which seems to relieve the pressure in it. Vision obscured as from gauze; on blowing nose. Objects look large. Profuse acrid tears. Cataract. Rolling of eyes; epilepsy. Eyelids quiver. Warts on eyebrows. Fissures in canthi. Eyes remain open; without winking; paralysis.


      Ringing, roaring, pulsating, with deafness. Words and steps re-echo in ears. Burning in ears, they become red. Much foul ear wax; brown. Meniere’s disease. Thick gluey purulent discharge.


      Coryza with hoarseness. Pimples on tip of nose. Old warts. Sneezing in the morning. Thick yellow or greenish-yellow discharge. Nosebleed, during spasms.


      Prosopalgia better cold water. Facial Paralysis (right) worse opening mouth. Pain in jaw, cannot open the mouth. Face yellow, sickly looking. Cramps in lips. Feels furry. Eruption on.


      Bites inside cheek, while chewing. Paralysis of tongue, with indistinct speech, words seem to jerk out. Swelling at root of tongue. Gums bleed easily. Recurrent abscess in gums_dental fistula. Fatty taste. Gums spongy, receding. Teeth; feel loose, elongated; ache; worse from cold or warmth. Swelling of inner side of cheek; or induration. Tongue; red in middle, sides coated. Painful vesicles on tip.


      Urging to swallow continuously as if the throat were too narrow. Swallows the wrong way, or comes through nose. Throat symptoms worse stooping. Difficulty in swallowing, from paralysis of throat; unable to hawk out mucus, swallows it. Scraping, burning, rawness in throat.


      Greasy; taste, eructations. Waterbrash, salty. Aversion to sweets. Feels as if lime were burning in stomach. Pain in stomach from ice water. Sensation of a ball rising in the throat. Sour vomiting followed by sour eructations. Fresh meat causes nausea; smoked meat agrees. Feels hunger but appetite vanishes at the sight of food or with thought or smell, during pregnancy. Vomiting of blood at night. Acid dyspepsia.


      Enlarged in children. Colic, spasmodic. Pain radiates to back and chest, better bending double, worse least food. Stools; hard, tough, covered with mucous, shines like grease; soft and small, size of gooses quill. Stool passes easily when standing. Cramps in rectum on stooping, with desire for urination. Anus prolapses on coughing. Itching in anus better cold water. Small hard pustules around anus. Large piles impeding the stools worse walking, standing and when thinking of them. Fistula; with pulsation and pain in perineum. Rectum insensible to solid stool. Diarrhoea from cold. Painful swelling of the navel. Constipation, with frequent ineffectual urging.

Urinary Organs

      Paralysis of bladder, from long retention of urine, and consequent incontinence (as in sleep or in school girls) INVOLUNTARY PASSAGE OF URINE; ON COUGHING, walking, blowing nose, sneezing. Retention of urine; after labour, after surgical operations. Burning in urethra when urinating, worse after coition. Urine dribbles or passes slowly. Insensibility of urethra while passing urine. Urine is passed better sitting. Bed wetting, during first sleep, at night. Urine; black, cloudy, white. Itching of meatus.


      Increase of smegma about the glans. Semen bloody, during coition. Red spots on penis. Bruised soreness in testes.


      Aversion to coition. Menses; flow only during day; with clots; scanty, with prosopalgia. Leucorrhoea; profuse, flow during night, with great weakness. Uterine inertia during labour. Smarting in the pudendum after urination. Nipples; sore, cracked, surrounded with herpes. Leucorrhoea smelling like the menses. Disappearance of milk; from fatigue, night-watching, or anxiety. Dysmenorrhoea, with tearing pains in back and thighs. Anxiety, sadness and weakness, during menses. Dreams during menses. Menses late and profuse. Sticking pain below left mammae; dysmenorrhoea. Violent itching about mammae in nursing women.

Respiratory organs

      Aphonia; or hoarseness; with pain in chest; worse a.m., of speakers, singers worse stooping, better talking. Cough; hollow, hard, dry, during pregnancy, from tickling in throat pit or larynx; incessant; dry, night and morning; worse stooping, heat of bed, cold air, better sips of cold water. Cannot cough deep enough; expectoration; slips back again; scanty; greasy, ropy, like soapsuds, must be swallowed. Sore streak in larynx. Chest tight sore, vest seems tight. Short breath, before coughing. Purring in chest. Wandering chest pains better pressure, worse sneezing. Pain in the larynx worse blowing nose. Oppressive breathing while talking and walking. Tightness or scraping in chest.


      Palpitation, with pain in chest, burning and languor.

Neck and Back

      Stiffness of neck, or back on rising from a chair. Stiff neck, could scarcely move the head. Back pain goes forwards or to the thighs. Pain in spine worse swallowing. Pain in hips worse coughing. Torticollis. Bruised, darting pains around coccyx. Cramps in lumbar region and buttock.


      Paralytic feeling in the right hand, with paralysis of tongue. Paralysis of deltoid, cannot raise hand to head. Trembling of hands. Writer’s cramp. Numbness of hands. Fulness of hands while grasping anything. Bursting in finger tips; warts on. Cramps in calves, feet, toes and tendo-achillis. Unsteady walking and easy falling; of children. Weak ankles. Tearing rheumatic pain in limbs better warmth; of bed. Cracking and tension in the knees. Disposition to stretch, bend or crack the joints. Stiffness in the hollow of the knees, worse sitting better continued walking. Burning in joints. Tendons contracted. Twisting and jerking in limbs; chorea. Arthritis deformans. Cracking in knees worse walking and descending. Restless legs at night. Pain like electric shocks, in legs. Cannot stand on heels. Whitlow of great toes.


      Cracks, ulcers. Soreness in folds of skin. Warts; seedy, large, jagged, bleeding easily, ulcerating; on tip of fingers, nose, lids, brows. Itching. Deep burns and their effects. Cicatrices reopen. Skin prone to intertrigo during dentition.


      Frequent movements of arms and legs during sleep. Laughs and cries during sleep. Very drowsy, can hardly keep awake. Yawning and stretching. Nocturnal sleeplessness with dry heat, inquietude. Wakes with slightest noise. Yawning; when listening or paying attention to others.


      Coldness not better by warmth. Sweat about 4 a.m.; profuse, on slight exertion, open air. Heat from 6 to 8 p.m. Coldness; left sided, of diseased part, with pain. Flushes of heat followed by chill.


      Gels; Kali-b; Phos; Rhus-t; Sepia


      Carb v; Graph; Lach; Stann; Staphysagria

About the author

S.R. Phatak

S.R. Phatak

A pioneer of Homoeopathy in Maharashtra, Dr Shankar Raghunath Phatak was born on 6th September, 1896. He did his MBBS from Grant Medical College, in 1924. Started his practice but somehow not satisfied with Allopathic Treatment.

He was convinced about Homoeopathy while going through Sir William Osler's writings on 'History of Medicine' so switched over to an entirely Homoeopathic Practice in 1932. He also started working on Homoeopathic literature along with his Practice.

He has contributed immensely to homoeopathic literature. He was an ardent follower of Dr Boger. His Repertory is based on Boger's ''A Synoptic key to Materia Medica'.

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