Last modified on January 22nd, 2019

Ledum signs and symptoms of the homeopathy medicine from the Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica by J.H. Clarke. Find out for which conditions and symptoms Ledum is used

      Ledum palustre. Wild Rosemary. Marsh Cistus. Marsh Tea. Labrador Tea. *N. O. Ericaceae. Tincture of dried small twigs and leaves collected after flowering begins. Tincture of whole fresh plant.


Ascites. Asthma. Bites. Black-eye. Boils. Bruises. Deafness. Ear, inflammation of. Eczema. Erythema nodosum. *Face, pimples on. *Feet, pains in, tender. *Gout. Hemoptysis. *Hands, pains in. Intoxication. *Joints, affections of, cracking in. *Meniere’s disease. Pediculosis. Priapism. Prickly heat. Punctured wounds. *Rheumatism. Skin, eruptions on. *Stings. Tetanus. Tinnitus. Tuberculosis. Varicella. Whitlow. *Wounds.


In the preface to his proving of *Ledum Hahnemann says it “is suitable for the most part only for chronic maladies in which there is a predominance of coldness and deficiency of animal heat.” Teste, who is one of the chief clinical authorities on *Ledum, mentions that it is native to damp regions of the North of Europe, and that no animal except the goat eats it, on account of the strong resinous smell of its leaves, which “keeps off lice and prevents flour from getting mouldy.” In Sweden a decoction of *Ledum is used for freeing oxen and pigs from lice. Linneus says that this same decoction, if taken internally, has cured “violent headaches and a species of angina.” The leaves of *Ledum are also used in Sweden in beer to increase its intoxicating power, and also in tanning. *Ledum Is an example of a common article of diet being at the same time a very powerful medicine. Merat and de Lens say *Ledum cures itch and scald-head, which Teste explains by its parasiticide action. This anti-parasitic action led Teste to think of *Ledum as a remedy for bites and punctured wounds, especially as certain symptoms of the proving seemed to agree with it. The success which has attended this use of *Ledum In mosquito-bites, stings of bees and wasps, rat-bits, needle-pricks resulting in whitlows, confirms the observation. “Redness, swelling and throbbing in point of index finger, from prick of a needle:” *Ledum aborted a felon in a few days (***W.P. Wesselhoeft). Teste relates a case of punctured wound: A young lady fell with an embroidery needle in her hand, and the hand was pierced through and through. The wound was serious. There was no hemorrhage, but Teste noticed the *intense cold which accompanies and characterizes Ledum fever. Within a week *Ledum cured the patient. Yingling records (***H.P., x. 400) a parallel case: ***A. J. M., 38, drove a rusty spike through his left foot near the arch of the instep, glancing to the inside of the foot without passing through the bone. This was at 5 p.m. At 8 p.m. this report was brought to Yingling: A few moments after accident the patient felt stiffening pains in the foot, running up the leg, and rapidly increasing in severity. Great chilliness with chattering of teeth followed. Lower jaw became somewhat stiff, general shivering, neck felt stiff, “can’t endure it much longer.” *Ledum 3x was sent, and rapid improvement took place from the first dose. A compress of *Calendula 3 x. was also applied, an attack of tetanus being evidently aborted. *Ledum occupies the second place in Teste’s *Arnica group, in which are also *Croton tiglium, *Ferrum *Mang. *Rhus, *Spigelia The sphere of *Ledum is frequently identical with that of *Arnica, according to Teste, but *led has a special action on the capillary system in parts where cellular tissue is wanting, and where a dry, resisting texture is present, as in the fingers and toes. “It is, perhaps for this reason that it acts better on the small than on the large joints, ” hence its appropriateness in gout. The characteristic skin affection of *Ledum is thus described by Teste: Not so much a boil, as with *Arnica, as a sort of bluish or violet-colored tuberosities, especially on the forehead, and an eczematous eruption, with a tingling itching, that spreads over the whole body, penetrating into the mouth, probably also into the air-passages, and occasions a spasmodic cough, which is sometimes very violent and might be mistaken for *whooping-cough. The same phenomenon takes place with *Rhus and *Croton. “In a gouty subject I have seen cough precede by days the breaking out of vessel on the which could not fail to suggest the use of *Ledum. These vesicles, which had probably existed on the bronchial membrane, before showing themselves in the face, on the shoulders, etc., became quite apparent on the tongue, where they might be traced to its root.” The *Ledum. eczema is frequently concentrated on one leg, less frequently on both at once. [Ingalls (*Amer. Hom., xxv. 2I0) commends a light paste of *Ledum (equal parts of *Led O., alcohol, and water) as an application for carbuncles, giving *Ledum Ix internally at the same time.] Dr. R. Hilbert, a German physician, has obtained very satisfactory results from the use of an infusion of the leaves of *Ledum palustre as an expectorant in bronchitis. He states that the feeling of pain along the trachea, which is characteristic of the early stages of acute bronchitis, disappears after a few doses of the remedy. The fever rapidly subsides, especially in the case of children. In chronic bronchitis the infusion facilitates expectoration and lessens cough. It is particularly useful in bronchitis with emphysema of the aged, because of its action in rendering the bronchial secretion less viscid, in these cases, moreover, it lessens dyspnoea, stimulates the circulation, and lessens cyanosis (Cooper). Guernsey points out that *Ledum is appropriate to the remote no less than the immediate effects of punctured wounds: e.g., as when a patient says: “Ten years ago I stepped on a nail, and every since then have had a pain running up to the thigh.” The pains of *Ledum shoot upward (of *Kalm. downward). A very notable condition of *Ledum is worse from warmth. This is at times so great that the patient can only get relief to his rheumatism by sitting with his feet and legs in cold water. Warmth of the bed is intolerable, he must get up and walk about. An octogenarian had rheumatism of left arm, chiefly elbow and wrist, coming on in the night or early morning. There was no more sleep for him unless he rose and *took a cold both, after which he could sleep. I cured him *led. 30. As with *Mercurius the symptoms are worse at night, but with *Mercurius there is “sweat without better, ” and the characteristic tongue and offensive mouth. The eye-symptoms of *Ledum are marked, and Nash says *Ledum 200 is unequalled as a remedy for “black-eye” from a blow, if there is pain in the eyeball itself *Symphyt. will be necessary. Ecchymoses of conjunctiva. Slight injuries cause ecchymoses. Inflammation of ear, with deafness from getting cold (as having hair cut). The haemorrhages of *Ledum are red and gushing, uterine, *respire day haemoptysis alternating with attacks of rheumatism. (Rue puts it “coxalgia alternating with hemoptysis.” Stens cured a young man who had violent stitch pain in right hip, followed by hemoptysis, this in turn followed by rheumatism of hands, with *Ledum 200 when the case was apparently on the point of sinking into rapid phthisis.) Suffering parts waste. Discoloration remains long in contused parts. Many cases of whooping-cough have been cured with *Ledum Lembke (quoted by Hoyne, *H. W., xiv. 66) gives these indications: *Before the paroxysms: Arrest of breathing. *During: Epistaxis, shattered feeling in head and chest, rapid respiration. *After: Staggering, spasmodic contraction of diaphragm, sobbing respiration. worse Evening. The pains are sticking, tearing, throbbing. Pricking, biting sensations. Sensation of torpor of integuments, especially after suppressed discharge from ears, eyes, and nose. Sensation as if something was gnawing in temples, occiput, and ears. As if eyeball would be forced out. As if sand in eyes. Noises in ear as from ringing of bell, or from a wind-storm, as if ear was obstructed by cotton. Itching as from lice on chest, as of lump in throat. As of boiling in hip-joint. As if muscles of thigh in wrong position. As if knee beaten. Pain in ankle as from sprain, limbs as if beaten and bruised. Hot, tense, hard swellings. *”Ledum has often been given to horses when they go lame and draw up their legs. The pains move upward” (Hering). ***E Carleton (*Medorrhinum Adv., xxv. 293) completed the cure of a case of primary syphilis, in which *Aurum had done good, where these symptoms appeared: Feet held to the earth as by a magnet when attempting to move, when moving felt as if pricked with needles, the pain rising gradually from feet to head, every joint and muscle of body and limbs stiff and sore, sore night-sweats, great emaciation with loss of appetite. *Ledum 200, in water, cured completely and speedily. *Suited to: Pale delicate persons. Complaints of persons who always feel cold and chilly. Rheumatic, gouty diathesis, constitutions abused by alcohol. Sanguine temperament (Teste). There is worse from moving, especially moving joints, while walking, when stepping, better from rest. Symptoms are worse evening and night, and before midnight. worse from taking wine, worse by covering, better by application of ice-water. worse By warmth, (“the limb is cold, can’t get warm, and gets worse when it does become warm in bed”).


*Antidoted by: Camph. (according to Teste Rhus is the best antidote). It *antidotes: Effects of alcohol, Apis, Chi. (cinchona bark given for the debility produced by Ledum is very injurious.” _ Hahn.) *Compatible: Aco., Arnica, Belladonna, Bryonia, Nux- v., Pulsatilla, Rhus, Sul. *Compare: Kalm. (bot., Kalm. pains shoot down, Ledum pains shoot up), Arnica (trauma. Ledum follows Arnica when it fails to relieve soreness, punctured wounds), Croton tiglium (skin cold), Hamamelis (traumatic ecchymosis, black-eye), Ruta (bruises, Ruta, especially of periosteum, *Symphytum of bone, Hypericum of nerve), Apis (nightly itching of feet), Am-m., Nat-c. (blistered heels), Zn. Rhus, lo., Nux-v., Selenium, Fl-ac., Ant-c., Pul., Bovis, and Silicea ( worse from wine), Silicea (chronic rheumatism, extending from feet upwards, Silicea better covering up, Ledum better uncovering), Lycopodium ( better uncovering), Bryonia (rheumatism worse motion, Ledum more gout of great toe, scanty effusion, tends to harden into nodosities, Bryonia, copious effusion. Led, hot swelling of hip and shoulder-joints), Aco. (hemoptysis of bright red foamy blood), Rhus (gout and rheumatism affecting small joints (Rhododendron also), Ledum pains travel up, worse warmth of bed (Rhus better ), motion worse (Rhus. better )), Sul. (itch), Staphysagria (pediculosis), Mercurius, (bloody semen).


Alcohol, abuse of. Hair-cutting. Suppressed discharges. Wounds: Bruises, Bites, Punctured wounds, Stings.


Anxiety. Timidity. Tendency to anger and rage. Vehement angry mood, vehemence. Dissatisfied, hates his fellow-beings. Desire for solitude. Imperturbable gravity. Morose and peevish humor. Misanthropy. Dementia.


Intoxication. Stupefying dizziness, sufficient to occasion falling backwards or forwards, worse by stooping or being in open air. Vertigo, head inclines backward. Raging, pulsating headache. Pressing headache when head is covered. A misstep causes the sensation of concussion of the brain. Head bewildered, with painful shaking of brain, on making a false step. Stupefying headache. Pressive headache, as if whole brain were weighed down. Tearing in head and eyes, which are inflamed, with fever in evening. Violent throbbing pains in head. Inability to bear any covering on head. Itching, as if lice were crawling over scalp, and forehead. Integuments of head easily affected by cold. Pimples and boils on the forehead (as in drunkards). Blood-boils on the forehead.


Itching in the internal canthi of the eyes. Aching in eyes, especially in evening, sometimes with burning. Inflammation of eyes, with agglutination and tearing pains. Violent suppuration of eyes, with discharge of fetid pus. The tears are acrid, and make the lower lids and cheeks sore. Burning lachrymation of eyes. Pupils dilated. Confusion of sight, with sparkling before eyes.


Noise in ears. Tinkling in ears. Roaring in ears as from wind. Ringing and whizzing in ears. Hardness of hearing (right ear) as from obstruction of the ears.


The nose in painful when touched. Violent burning in nose. Bleeding in nose. The blood is pale.


Paleness of face. Face bloated, at one time red, at another pale. Redness and tuberous eruptions on face and forehead, like those of drunkards, with shooting pain when touched. Dry and furfuraceous tetters on face, with burning in open air. Pimples and furunculi on forehead. Violent and bearing pains at night, alternating with shootings in one of the teeth, and terminating in shuddering, followed by deep sleep. Engorgement of the gland below the chin.


Stinging in forepart of tongue. Exhalation of a fetid smell from mouth. Mouldy or bitter taste in the mouth. Buccal hemorrhage.


Sore throat, with shooting pain during and after deglutition. Sensation as if there were a plug in the throat, with shootings on swallowing.


Violent thirst for cold water. Want of appetite and speedy satiety. Contractive pain in sternum when eating quickly. Nausea, with inclination to vomit, on expectorating. Water-brash, with cramp-like pains in abdomen.


Pressure on stomach after a light meal.


Pain in abdomen as if intestines were bruised. Sensation of fullness in upper part of the abdomen. Colic as if diarrhoea would set in, from umbilicus to anus (with cold feet). Ascites. Drawing pain in abdomen. Gripings in abdomen, in evening. Dysenteric belly-ache. Frequent discharge of flatus.


Constipation. Diarrhoea, during which the feces are mixed with mucus and blood. Blind smarting piles.

Urinary Organs

Burning in urethra after urinating. Stream of urine frequently stops during its flow. Frequent want to urinate, with scanty emission. Diminished secretion of urine. Frequent and copious emission of urine. Swelling of urethra.

Male Sexual Organs

Violent and prolonged erections. Pollutions of sanguineous or serous semen. Inflammation of the glans. Inflammatory swelling of penis, the urethra is almost closed. Increased sexual desire.

Female Sexual Organs.

Catamenia too early and too copious, the blood is bright red.

Respiratory Organs

Tickling in larynx. Cough, preceded by suffocating suspension of respiration (and opisthotonos). Fatiguing spasmodic cough, which resembles whooping-cough. Tiresome cough, chiefly in morning, with yellowish expectoration and irritation in chest, and palpitation of heart. Cough, with purulent expectoration, especially in morning or at night. Greenish expectoration of a fetid smell, during fit of coughing. Hollow shaking cough, with expectoration of bright red blood. Hemoptysis, bright blood. Phthisis, preceded by history of neuralgia and rheumatism in head and limbs, with inflammatory tendency (Van den Bergh). Tingling of trachea (bronchitis).


Obstructed and painful respiration. Spasmodic and sobbing respiration (double inspiration) as after weeping bitterly. Respiration obstructed when going up stairs. Constructive oppression of chest, worse by movement, and walking. Burning in chest. Pain in chest on breathing, as if there were something alive in it. Shootings in chest, especially on raising or moving arms. Eruption on the chest, resembling sheep-rot. Gnawing itching in chest, with red spots and miliary eruption. Pain, as from excoriation under sternum.


Pushing or pressing inward at left edge of sternum, palpitation, also in hemorrhage.

Back and neck

Painful stiffness in back and loins after sitting. Tearing from loins to occiput, especially in evening. Violent cramp-like pain above hips, with suspended respiration in evening.


Affections of, in general, knee-joint, hip-joints, toe-joints, gouty pain in, when striking the toes there is a coldness in the parts, and a gouty pain shoots all through the foot and limb, cracking of the joints, i.e., on moving them. Heat in hands and feet in evening. Long-continued warm sweat on hands and feet.

Upper Limbs

Tearing and pressive pulling in arms. Lancinating pains in shoulder, on raising or moving arms. Aching pain in joints of shoulder and of elbow, worse by movement. Rheumatism in right elbow joint due to urate deposit, on periosteum apparently. Rheumatic pain in the joints of the arm. Eruption, like sheep- rot, on arms. Tearing pains in hands and fingers. Fine stinging in hands. Boring pain in first joint of thumb. Arthritic nodosities in joints of hands and fingers. Perspiration on palms. Itching, miliary eruption on wrist. Trembling of hands on moving them, or on grasping anything. Panaritium.

Lower Limbs

Rheumatic, paralytic pain in the coxofemoral joint. Pressure in the region of right hip-joint, worse during motion: _ Rheumatic pains in hip, knee, and foot-joints. Contusive pain, and pain as from excoriation in periosteum of femur, and in knees. Pressure on left thigh, posteriorly, as if the muscles were not in their right places, like pains of dislocation, in every position, but especially violent when walking or when touched. Tensive stiffness of the knee, which cracks and yields in walking. Cramp- like tension in the knees, calves, and heels. Weakness and calves, and heels. Weakness and trembling knees (and hands) when seated or walking. Hard and tight swelling of knee, with shootings and nocturnal aching and tearing pains, and hardness of whole leg. Swelling of leg, above with shooting pains in instep and ankles, and prickly pains up leg. Pressure above left inner angle, worse by movements. Very severe graving itching on dorsum of both feet, always worse after scratching, only allayed after he had scratched the feet quite raw, much worse by and below knee, with heat and drawing shooting pain. Legs red and swollen heat of bed. Obstinate swelling of feet, with intolerable pain in ankle-joint on treading. Pressure on inner border of left foot. Stiffness of feet. Pain in soles, when walking, as if they were galled, as if filled with blood. Inflammatory or else edematous swelling of legs and feet. Incisive pains in toes, while asleep at night. Swelling of fleshy part of great toe, with pain when treading with it. Fine tearing in (left) toes, podagra.


Arthritic, pressive, and acute pulling pains, or pains merely pressive in limbs, worse by heat of bed in evening (till midnight). Numbness and sensation of torpor in several of the extremities. Tearing or shooting, pulsative and paralytic pains in joints, worse by movement. The pains in the joints are the only ones which are worse by movement. Gouty nodosities in joints. Hard, hot, tense swellings, with tearing pains. Dropsical swellings of some parts, or of skin of whole body. Emaciation of affected parts. Pains change location suddenly. Coldness and want of vital heat. Heat of the bed is insupportable, and occasions heat and burning in limbs, wants to uncover. Sufferings are worse, or come on, after getting warm in bed, compelling the patients to get out of bed, which afford them relief. Leucorrhea. For complaints of people who are cold all the time, in bed, in the house, etc., they always feel cold and chilly. Pale delicate persons. Affections of external forehead, heel, under part of heel, ball under the toes.


Oedematous swellings, also of skin of whole body. Hot, tensive, hard swellings, with tearing pains. Dryness of the skin and want of perspiration. Large, rough exanthema on the face. Dry exanthema. Whitlows or felons on fingers of a seamstress are often caused by needle pricks. Itching worse by scratching. Itching and gnawing in skin, with burning after having scratched. Gnawing itching, as if caused by lice. Miliary eruptions. Eruption, like rot in sleep, with desquamation. Bluish spots over body, like petechia. Ecchymosis remaining a long time in bruised part after pain and inflammation subside. Dry, furfuraceous tetters, itching excessively (burning in open air). Furunculi.


Great inclination to sleep during day, as when intoxicated, a kind of drowsiness with great wish to lie down. Nocturnal sleeplessness, with restless tossing, jerking, fantastic visions and images on closing eyes. Agitated anxious dreams. Uneasy dreams, in which he changes from place to place, and from one subject to another. Lascivious dreams, with emission of semen.


Violent shivering and shuddering, with coldness in limbs. Chilliness with thirst and sensation as if cold water were poured over the parts. Morning and forenoon predominating chilliness with thirst General coldness, with heat and redness of face. Heat without thirst more towards evening.—— Perspiration all night, with inclination to uncover oneself. Night sweat, of putrid or sour smell. Perspiration causes itching. Intermittent fever. Chilliness without subsequent heat, accompanied by thirst, especially desire for cold water. Heat all over without thirst, on waking up, body covered with perspiration, accompanied by itching of whole body. Intermittent fevers with malignant rheumatic pains. Heat in hands and feet in evening. Fever in evening, with pain in head and eyes, _ Sensation of great heat, alternating with sweats. Perspiration easily excited by walking, especially on forehead, and sometimes of a sour smell.

About the author

John Henry Clarke

John Henry Clarke

John Henry Clarke MD (1853 – November 24, 1931 was a prominent English classical homeopath. Dr. Clarke was a busy practitioner. As a physician he not only had his own clinic in Piccadilly, London, but he also was a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and researched into new remedies — nosodes. For many years, he was the editor of The Homeopathic World. He wrote many books, his best known were Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica and Repertory of Materia Medica

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