Last modified on February 6th, 2019

Rhus Toxicodendron homeopathy medicine – drug proving symptoms from Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica by TF Allen, published in 1874. It has contributions from R Hughes, C Hering, C Dunham, and A Lippe.

      Common names: Poison ivy, Poison oak, Mercury vine, Three- leaved ivy, etc.; (G.), Gift-sumac, Wurzel-sumach.


Rhus toxicodendron, Linn. (including its variety R. radicans, L.). Natural order: Anacardiacae. Preparation: Tincture of the plant.


Emotional. Delirium. Though naturally inclined to melancholy, she felt merry and disposed for work as soon as she swallowed the infusion. Grief; inclination to weep; melancholy; extreme irritability even from his own thoughts, or from the slightest cares. Full of sad thoughts, anxious and fearful, wherewith she gradually lost strength, and was obliged to lie down for hours in order to region vigor. (Melancholy, ill-humor, and anxiety, as if a misfortune would happen, or as if she were alone and all about her were dead and still, or as if she had been forsaken by a near friend; worse in the house, relieved by walking in the open air. Sad, begins to weep without knowing why. Sadness; loved to be alone (after ten hours). She seldom had a joyful thought. Satiety of life, with desire to die without sadness.

Involuntary weeping without a weeping mood, with rumbling in the abdomen. Great despondency, for eight years. Feels despondent; don’t like to be spoken to; nervousness; starts suddenly at every slight noise (after seventy-two hours). If disagreeable thoughts came into her mind she could not free herself from them. Extremely low-spirited, with sense of great prostration; she could not prevent herself from crying, every morning after the dose (after some days). Depression and discouragement and dissatisfaction, with the world, in the evening (eight day).

Depression of spirits and indisposition to conversation, with the pain above superciliary ridges (sixteenth day). Depression of spirits with the aching over left eyebrow (twenty-second day). Discouragement and apprehension, followed by short cough, from severe tickling and irritation behind the upper half of the sternum after a siesta, from non to 3 P.M. (sixth day).

Apprehensive, anxious, and tremulous (from tenth to twenty- seventh day). Inexpressible anxiety, with pressure at the heart and tearing in the small of the back. Frightful anxiety with mental uneasiness, with dryness in the throat. Real anxiety at the heart, more in the afternoon than in the forenoon; she did not sleep more than half the night on account of great apprehension, and was so anxious that she perspired (after twelve days). Anxiety; while sitting she was obliged to take hold of something because she did not think he could keep up on account of the pain (beating and drawing pains in the limbs).

Very restless mood, with anxiety and apprehension, that constantly clawed at her heart (at the pit of the stomach), with difficult breathing. Anxiety and hot skin (after eighteen hours).

Anxiety at night; he would flee from bed and seek help on account of an indescribable distressing sensation. Anxiety, with loss of strength, as if he would die, more after midnight then before. Anxiety and apprehension as if he wished to take his own life, for an hour in the twilight, towards evening. Great apprehension at night; cannot remain in bed. (The anxiety which she had before taking the drug disappeared, but at times she was obliged to weep). Fear and despair on account of sad thoughts, which she could not get rid of. He thought an enemy wished to poison him. He is frightened by a trifle (on falling asleep) as if he had dreaded the greatest misfortune. Ill- humored, depressed; could easily begin to weep. Ill-humored, depressed, and in despair. Fretfulness in the open air, he could fall asleep while walking. Fretful. Disposition to criticize and find fault, from 7 to 9 P.M. (seventeenth day).

Impatient and vexed at every trifle; she does not endure being talked to. Intellectual. Impatient desire to accomplish several kind of business, chiefly intellectual, with the fullness and pain in the forehead (twenty-third day). Confusion of mind, he thought he would die. Great aversion to any kind of labor, for eight years. He was averse to every, even slight occupation.

Inaptitude to mental labor, at 9 and 10 P.M., preceding an itching from the middle of left leg to the ankle, more on the skin and outside of it (fourth day). Very slow ideas. Can not satisfied, is indifferent to business. He could control the flow of ideas and un impededly think of whatever he wished without being disturbed by any distracting thoughts. He is able to control his thoughts, and can reflect quietly as long as he wishes upon any subject that pleases him, and then can change to another train of thought, with quiet slow respiration.

Mathematical and mechanical calculations (thirteenth night). Loss of thought; it seems as though he were thinking, yet he has no thoughts. Loss of thought; for example, if he wished to write twelve he put down one, but could not think of the two; when he held the paper in his hand he was first obliged to recall to mind what he really had in his hand. Loss of thought, like a swimming of the eyes, frequently like a vanishing of all thoughts, while walking, after a meal (after twenty-eight hours). He was exhausted, thought was difficult, and talking irksome, or he was quite averse to it. Mental exhaustion for several days, he could not at all collect his thoughts, and was almost stupid. Forgetfulness; he could not recollect what had just taken place. Memory is very dull; he can with difficulty recall things and names, even the most familiar, though sometimes the memory is quite clear and distinct, if he has no chill. Weakness of memory. Considerable coma.


Confusion and Vertigo. Confusion of the head without definite pain. Head confused and dull. Excessive vertigo on lying down, with fear that he would die (after ten hours). Very violent vertigo. Vertigo and dulness of the head. Vertigo while sitting, as if he were elevated. Vertigo soon after eating. Vertigo, as if everything were whirling around with her; worse while walking and standing, also when sitting, but less severe (but not at all while lying down). Reeling, tottering, and staggering of the body while walking, without dizziness of the head. Reeling and staggering while walking, without vertigo. A whirling on walking or stooping, not at other times. He staggers while walking always to the right. She seemed intoxicated, and thought that she would fall, on rising from bed. Her heard was so much affected that she would fall, on rising from bed.

Her head was so much affected that she could not easily stand; could not hold herself up. Dizzy while walking, so that he did not see men immediately in front of him. Dizziness of the head. Dizzy, as if she would fall forward, while walking. Quite dizzy in the morning on rising; he is scarcely able to keep on his feet. Dizziness in the head in the morning on waking, while in bed, disappearing after rising. Dizziness, in the morning. More or less dizziness. General Head. Swelling about the head (fifth day). Swelling of the head in some. Swelling of the head, neck, and chest as far down as the umbilicus. Dulness of the head (immediately); (after half an hour). Dulness of the head, pressure in the right temple, and just above and behind the right orbit a pressing downward, as from a weight. Dulness of the head and disinclination for literary work. Dulness in the head and an intoxicated feeling, in the morning (after twelve hours). Dulness of the head, as if intoxicated, while sitting; on rising, such dizziness that it seemed as if she were going to fall forward and backward. Heaviness and dulness of the head on turning the eyes; even the eyeball hurts. Some constant heaviness in the head, and on stooping a sensation a if a weight fell forward into the forehead and dragged the head downward, whereby the face became hot. The head is full and heavy, with a sensation on stooping as if the brain fell forward. Heat so heavy that she was obliged to hold it upright in order to relieve the weight pressing forward into the forehead. The head seems too full and heavy (with ringing in the ears), with at times stitches from within outward in the left temple. Heaviness in the upper part of the head after walking. Weakness of the head; whenever she turned the head she quite lost consciousness; on stooping, it seemed as though she could never rise again. A stupid feeling; weakness of the head. Sudden weakness in the head and vertigo, so that he thought he would fall forward, while standing after dinner. On shaking the head, a sensation as if the brain were loose and hit against the skull. Sensation as if something were turning around in the head, though without vertigo, while walking in the open air. A swashing in the whole brain at times. Sensation of flapping in the brain while walking. On ascending, it seemed as if the head were affected; she felt every step in it. Feeling of unsteadiness in the head (after six and seven days).

Immediately on opening the eyes after sleep a sudden violent headache, at first in the forehead behind the eyes, as if the brain were torn to pieces, as after intoxication by brandy, aggravated by moving the eyes, then in the occiput, as if the cerebellum were bruised, with a pressing outward in the temples.

Violent headache, preceded by internal heat of the head only, with dry lips an thirst; sensation as if the forehead would be pressed asunder, with extraordinary heaviness in it, especially on coming from the open air into the house or on waking from the midday nap; as soon as she lay down in bed, in the evening, the headache disappeared. Incessant headache (thirty-fifth day). Violent headache (seventeenth, twenty-first, twenty-second, and twenty-third days). Severe headache in the morning, immediately after rising, for eight years. Violent headache with the constipation. Headache. Dull headache, in the forenoon (after two days). Headache, in the forenoon, with sleepiness (after ten days). Bursting headache, aggravated by motion; she was obliged to hold it perfectly still. Headache, like a crawling, after walking in the open air. Headache, as if the eyes would be pressed out of the head, with yawning and chilliness, without thirst. Headache behind the left eye, pressing forward. Headache, as if stupefied, with tingling in the head. A reeling headache that occupied the whole head; while writing, thought and memory vanished and he could not collect himself. Headache soon after eating. Headache immediately after eating (tension in the whole sinciput).

Headache after drinking beer. Headache, as if the brain were compressed from both temples. (Headache, as from a disordered stomach). Mounting into the head on drinking beer, that seemed to cause heat in the head. Pressive pain in the right hemisphere of the cerebellum, after intellectual labor, in the forenoon, at 11.30 A.M. (after three days). Paint at the right hemisphere of the cerebellum and over the right eye at the eyebrow (after six days). Tearing in the upper part of the head soon after eating; the same spot was also sore externally; at times a drawing pain through the whole head. Tearing and pressive headache. A simple tearing transversely across the scalp. A real tearing from side to side in the head, worse on stooping, from 5 P.M. till going to bed. Painful dull tension in cerebrum, with languor and coldness, on waking at 6 A, M, (after ten hours). Slight pain in the head. Sharp pain proceeding from left orbital region right through the head to back of neck, relieved by pressure (after some days). Burning in the head and a fine throbbing or beating pain. Stitches from within outward in the head. Twitching in the spots on the head on which he was lying, at night. A painful crawling in the head, like a digging with a needle, a fine sticking digging. Throbbing and compression about he brain. Violent throbbing-tearing rending pains in the head (after thirty-six hours). Dull throbbing pain in the head at intervals (fourth day). Forehead. Headache across the forehead. Dull pain in the forehead, temples, and occiput, at 6.30 and 7 A.M. (third day). Fullness and dull pain in the forehead, especially in the region of causality, with i patient desire to accomplish several kinds of business, chiefly intellectual, at 11 A.M. (twenty-third day). Pressive headache in the forehead, as from a dull point, on violent motion of the arms (after twenty-five hours). A pressure upon the frontal bone that constantly increases and suddenly ceases. Pain in the left side of the forehead (after forty-one minutes). Pain at the right superciliary ridge now and for some days past (eighth day). Pain at the left angle of the forehead and in the left temple (twentieth day). A dull drawing on the left side of the forehead, extending through the left cheek and down the lower jaw through the muscles and teeth, as if toothache would develop. A burning-crawling sensation in the forehead. Transient and painless burning at the inner extremity of the left superciliary ridge (after three-quarters of an hour, twenty- second day). Intermittent and remittent pains immediately above the superciliary ridges, over both eyes, attended with depression of spirits, indisposition to conversation, and weakness of the legs; these symptoms occurred during the latter part of the forenoon, were less during the afternoon, and returned in the evening (sixteenth day). A single in the head above the eye, from within outward, lasting four minutes, while eating followed by nausea and fullness; a sensation of warmth rising upward internally. Shooting inwards and throbbing in left forehead. Temples. Heaviness in the temples, as if they were painfully pressed downward. Pain in the right temple accompanied the pain in the little finger (fourth day). Pressure in the temples. Pressure streaming upward into the right temple, in the evening, in bed, worse during rest; in order to relieve it he was obliged at one time to sit up, at another to rise from bed. A burning pressure in the right temporal bone. A sticking jerking in isolated jerks extending from the temple into both jaws an the teeth, at 7 P.M., with which he became quite weak, with a bruised pain in the left temple; he yawned, but could not fall asleep for fear the pain would return. Tearing pain in the right temple (after half an hour). Some very fine violent stitches in the right temple, extending inward. Shooting inwards and throbbing in the left temple. Vertex and Parietals. Woke next morning with weight in vertex for half an hour, as if something were inserted between skull and brain at that spot. (Headache in the left side and in the occiput, as if sore, extending into the teeth). Fine beating in the right side of the head. Occiput. Headache in the occiput, that disappears on bending the head backward. Headache; single jerks in the occiput; in the afternoon. Headache; drawing in the occiput and temples, with pressure in the eyes, so violent that it drove him from bed; aft 4.30 A.M. Dull pain in the right side of the occiput, with constipation (seventh day). Dull pain in the occiput, on waking, in the morning (twenty- second day).

Pressure pain in the left side of the occiput, at fifty-six minutes P.M. (first day). Burning pain at times in the occiput, at times in the forehead. Stitches in the occiput on stooping. External Head. Headache, seeming to be external, as if the skin were contracted, or as if she were pulled by he hair, yet the head was not painful to touch. Head as painful to touch as a boil. Scalp very painful to touch on stroking the hair backward. Pressure and drawing in the left side of the scalp, extending from below upward. Pressive drawing in the left side of the scalp. Creeping and crawling across the forehead and nose while sitting upright, disappearing on stooping.

Biting itching on the scalp, forehead, face, and about the mouth, with eruption of pimples like nettle rash, Itching in the anterior part of the hairy scalp, walking in the open air with the head uncovered, at 10 P.M. (fifteenth day). Crawling on the scalp (after seventy-two hours). A crawling in one spot on the occiput, in the afternoon, as if suppuration would take place.


Inflammation of the eyes. The white of the eyes is red in the morning, with burning pressure in it; the eyes seem to protrude.

Eyes suffused and watery. Eyes dull. Itching in the eyes, on exerting vision. Aching in the eyes. Aching as from as inflammation of the left eye, that is red in the inner canthus, and agglutinated by matter, in the evening. Her left eye felt enormously swollen and enlarged, though on looking into the mirror this was not the case (after some days). Feeling of sand in the left eye, first about center, then towards outer canthus; worse by rubbing, with discharge from left outer canthus hardening and causing lids to adhere, on waking, in morning.

Pressive pain in the eyes. Pressure as if dust were in the eye.

Pressive and contractive pain in the eyes, in the evening.

Burning pressive sensation in the eye, from evening till morning, disappearing in the morning after rising. Periodical cutting pain in the eyes; it is difficult to open the lids, in the morning. Sometimes sharp pains run from the eyes into the he.

Biting as from something sharp and acid in the right eye. Biting in the eyes; in the morning the eyes are agglutinated with matter. In the eyes pricking and itching and redness by turns.

Biting pressure in the left eye (after thirty-six hours). Brow an Orbit. Sensation of painless heat, as from some stimulating application, at the left eyebrow; followed in a few minutes by pain there. Pain simultaneously over the right eyebrow and in the region of the right hemisphere of the cerebellum (twenty-fifth day). Aching over left eyebrow, with depression of spirits and yawning, with lachrymation, at 1 P.M. (twenty-second day).

Pain, slightly burning, just above the left eyebrow, immediately after washing the hands and rinsing the mouth with cold water (twentieth day). Drawing and tearing in the region of the brows and in the malar bones. A bruised pain in the bone on the inner side of the orbit towards the nose. Pain over the left eye at the eyebrow (after seven days). Soreness returned around the left eye; left eye sore and swollen, as if bruised; upper lid much swollen, and severe itching (fourteenth day). Very sore around the right eye (tenth day).

Pain over the right eye, after intellectual labor, in the forenoon (after three days). Stitches below the eye. Lids. Eyes nearly closed. The eyes are closed or greatly swollen and inflamed (fourth day). Left eye closed (tenth day). Left eye closed from swollen lids, with feeling as if a piece of glass or sand was in it (fourth day). Inflammation of the lids. A red hard swelling, like a stye, on the left lower lid, toward the inner canthus, with pressive pain, lasting six days (after forty-eight hours). Great swelling of the lids (fourth day). The eyes are red and agglutinated with matter, in the morning.

(The drooping eyelids can be raised higher, and remained longer open that it ever did before her sickness), (after sixteen days). Relaxation of eyelids, with puffiness of lids and hot flushed face (after seventeenth hours). The eye are agglutinated with purulent mucus, in the morning. Twitching of the eyelids, with a sensation of dryness, with a febrile chill. The lids are dry and always drawn up, as from sleepiness, in the evening. A sensation consisting of twitching and contraction in the right lower lid. Jerking sensation in the left upper lid (after forty-eight hours). Sensation of swelling in the right inner canthus. The right upper lid seems swollen, with pressure, disappearing in the open air (after twenty-six hours). Heaviness and stiffness of the lids, like a paralysis, as if it were difficult to move lids, about 8 P.M. The eyelids seem sore in the cold air, as from salt biting tears. Sensation of dryness in the lids, especially in the inner canthus. Sensitiveness of the right external canthus to pressure and to closing the eyelids, the pressure on the vesica (eighteenth day). Pressive pain in the inner canthus of the eye, and the left side of the root of the nose, as 9.30 A.M. (third day). Violent burning, itching, and prickling in the swollen eyelids and lobules of the ears (after thirty-six hours). Burning in the inner canthus of the right eye, before 8 P.M. (seventeenth day). Burning, with stinging pricking in the inner canthus of the left eye, at 6.30. (twenty-third day). Pricking itching in the inner canthus of the left eye, between the eyebrows, an in the thighs (seventeenth day). Biting and itching in the external surface of the lid, below and around the left eye, also on the cheeks and nose; nose feels sore, as if abraded (after thirty- six hours). Biting itching on the right upper lid (that disappeared after some rubbing). Biting on the inner surface of the lower lid (after two hours). Itching of the right outer canthus (after twenty-six hours). Lachrymal Apparatus. Profuse discharge of tears in cold wind. Lachrymation in the evening, with burning pain. Weeping eyes. Ball. When he turns the eye or presses upon it, the eyeball is sore, he can scarcely turn it.

Pain in left eyeball. Intense itching in the eyeball (after seventy-two hours). Pupil. Pupils dilated. Vision. Weakness of vision; objects seem pale. Dim-sightedness; appearance of a gauze before the eyes (after thirty-six hours). Sensation of veil before the eyes, she could not see well. Extreme confusion of sight commenced at 8.30 A.M. (ten hours after a dose), and lasted for one hour, and was attended, especially in the right half of field of vision, with an appearance of irregular lines having a wavering motion; tendency to hemiopia (and presbyopia?), (sixteenth day). Great obscurity of vision for half an hour, till 6 P.M., followed by aching at the left eyebrow, with eruption near the left commissure of the mouth (eleventh day). Objects were seen double, and sometimes only one- half could be seen; objects appeared to be remove only one half of the real distance (after seventy-two hours). Objects do not appear of the right color.


Lobule of the left ear swollen (after thirty-six hours). Earache.

A sudden drawing pain in the ears, as if a thread were being drawn through them. (Itching crawling as from something alive in the ears; she was obliged to bore in with the finger). Fine painful tearing behind the left ear. Shooting inwards and throbbing behind left ear. Painful throbbing within the ear at night. Sensation as if something were blowing into the right ear, or stooped it up. Ringing in the right ear, while walking (after one hour and a half). Singing in the head like a locust; increased by close air, disappears in the afternoon. Twittering like young mice in the ears. (Roaring in the ears). Loud sound like that of cascade in the left ear, or like that of a heavy shower of rain striking on the ground (within an hour). Two violent cracks in quick succession in the left ear, as if the drum burst, while lying asleep during the midday nap, so that he started up each time and trembled, but soon fell asleep again (after four hours).


Swelling of the nose, ears, and neck. Median edge of right nostril inflamed, without coryza, at 7 A.M.; a tough and irritable pimple formed at the upper part, which became incrusted next morning (after fifteen days). The tip of the nose is red and painful to touch, as if it would suppurate (after eight days). Nose pointed for three days. Frequent, very violent, almost spasmodic sneezing. Violent sneezing (after four hours).

Sneezing (soon). Before 3 P.M., repeated sneezing, with fluent coryza, during the siesta (nineteenth day). Nosebleed on hawking and clearing the throat. Frequent nosebleed, almost only on stooping. Nosebleed in the morning (after forty hours). Nosebleed at night (after four hours). Nosebleed. Large quantities of nasal mucus run involuntarily from the nose, as in the most severe coryza, although he has no coryza, in the morning, after rising from bed. (Nose at times obstructed, as in dry catarrh, less in the house, better in the open air). Nose dry. Sensation of hardness and swelling below the nose, that disappeared when touched. Hot burning beneath the left nostril, so that the breath seemed to come out of it hot, that disappeared in the open air. Tension beneath the right nostril. Sensation of soreness in the nostrils. Nose feels sore, as if abraded (after thirty-six hours). Sore feeling in the left nostril (after thirty-six hours). Sharp pain from the nose, extending into the cheek-bones.


Great swelling of the face. Swelling of the face, especially of the eyelids and of the ears. Swelling of felt face, and slightly down left neck. On the next day her face and neck became swollen; this increased much towards evening, and her eyes were nearly closed; the itching, burning, and smarting were intolerable; all these symptoms increased by the following day.

The next morning he found his face much swollen, and the swelling continued to increase until his eyes were completely closed. Face and hands so swollen that he could not open the eyes for eight days, and his face did not look human. Red swelling of face in the morning. Tension and swelling of the face (third day). Redness and perspiration of the face, without thirst (after one hour). Face yellow and brown. Sallow complexion for eight years. Paleness of the face. The face is sunken and drawn; the left side seems drawn up shorter; the right side seems elongated (after twenty-two hours). Sickly expression, sunken face, blue rings around the eyes (after eighteen hours). Violent burning in the swollen face, lids, and ears. A pressure, with the stitches, in the zygoma. Transient burning, semilateral pain just above the zygoma, and in the occiput of the same side, at 3 A.M. (tenth day). Cutting contraction in the right cheek. Cutting pain in one point in the cheek, followed by itching and sticking in it, that disappeared after scratching (after ten and eleven hours). Sudden needle like stitches in the right cheek. Burning contraction in the right cheek, with pressive toothache in the crowns of the three upper back teeth. A five burning cramp in the right cheek, in the afternoon, as if everything, would suppurate; therewith the skin of the afternoon, as if everything would suppurate; therewith the skin of the cheek was very hot and rough, as if an eruption would appear; was obliged to rise from bed, and was very thirsty. A pinching point in the right side of the lower lip, in the morning, on rising, with a sensation as if it were bleeding (after forty-eight hours). Cramp like pain in the articulation of the lower jaw, close to the ear, during rest and motion of the part, relieved by hard pressure upon the joint, and by the application of warmth.

About the author

TF Allen

TF Allen

Dr. Timothy Field Allen, M.D. ( 1837 - 1902)
Born in 1837in Westminster, Vermont. . He was an orthodox doctor who converted to homeopathy
Dr. Allen compiled the Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica over the course of 10 years.
In 1881 Allen published A Critical Revision of the Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica.

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