Last modified on January 10th, 2019


Symptoms of the homeopathic medicine COLCHICUM from A Text Book of Materia Medica and Therapeutics by A.C. Cowperthwaite. Find all the symptoms of COLCHICUM

      Synonym. Colchicum Autumnale . Natural order. Melanthaceae. Common name. Meadow Saffron. Habitat. A perennial plant growing in meadows in Germany, France and southern Europe. Preparation. Tincture from the fresh bulbs just before blooming.


Acts upon the cerebro-spinal and ganglionic nervous systems, irritating the nerve centers and producing convulsions, cramps, , neuralgia, paralytic conditions and ability. As a result of this primary action on the nervous system, Colchicum finds its most important action exerted on the periosteum and synovial membranes (especially of the small joints joints(, on the urinary and digestive tracts, and to some extent upon the respiratory organs. The secretions of all mucous surfaces are altered and increase, and the general condition throughout strikingly resembles a violent acute arthritic inflammation. Dr. Allen says (op. cit.3.393) that ‘it is specially interesting to not that it produces symptoms of the acute manifestations of gout,, quite apart from any direct modifications of the excretion of urea or uric acid. Its relief of acute gout seems to be purely a homoeopathic action.” The chief peculiarity of the drug is its tearing pains with intolerable exacerbations at night.


Mind. peevish; nothing satisfies him (Calcarea phos., Chamomilla, Cina). External impressions, such as bright light, strong odors (Nux v.), contact, misdeeds of others, makes him quite beside himself.

Head. Pressure in the head, especially in the occiput, and deep in cerebellum. Boring headache, especially over the eyes (Coloc.). Creeping sensation in the forehead, and over the head (Argentum nit., Cuprum)

Eyes. Inflammation of the eyes, dim sightedness; watering of the eyes; white spots on cornea.

Ears. Earache with lacerating pains (Belladonna, Pulsatilla) Roaring in the ears, they feel stopped up.

Nose. Excessive acuteness of smell (Aconite, Agaricus, Belladonna, Coffea, Hepar s., Lycopodium). Sore pain in the septum. Nosebleed, evening.

Face. Sickly, sad, suffering expression (Arsenicum). Drawing tearing pains in muscle and bones of face. Tingling in face as after being frosted (Agaricus). OEdematous swelling of the face.

Mouth. Tongue coated white (Antim crud., Bryonia, Nux v., Pulsatilla,sulph.). tongue heavy, stiff and insensible (Coni.) Toothache with tearing pains; teeth sensitive. Inflammation of mucous membranes of mouth and throat. Profuse flow of saliva, with dryness of the throat.

Stomach. Aversion to food (Coccul); loathing (Antim crud., Arsenicum) the sight, and still more the smell of it. Great thirst, but no appetite. Eructations,with burning in the stomach (Arsenicum) Every motion excites or renews the vomiting; cannot sit erect (Bryonia) vomiting of food or bile (Antim crud.). epigastrium extremely sensitive to the touch (Belladonna). The stomach feels icy cold (Camph.). Violent burning in the epigastrium (Arsenicum, Belladonna, Cantharis, Phosphorus, Veratrum alb.).

Abdomen. Great distension of the abdomen, as if he had eaten too much (Cinchona, Lycopodium). Griping pains in abdomen (Bryonia, Coloc., Chelidonium, Mercurius). Colic; aggravated by eating; after flatulent food; with great distention of abdomen, until Diarrhoea sets in; better from bending double (Coloc.).

Stool and Anus. Very offensive flatus (Aloe, Bryonia, Graphites). in the evening. Spasms in. the sphincter, with a shuddering over the back. Unsatisfactory urging to stool; relieved by passing flatus. Violent tenesmus (Mercurius, Caps.). Stools bilious; then mixed with membranous pieces; slimy and bloody;frequently orange- yellow, slimy, with bright-yellow flakes; copious yellow coating;l transparent, gelatinous (Helleborus, Rhus tox); very membranous mucus, relieving the colic; very foetid. Discharges contain large quantities of small, white, shreddy particles.

Urinary Organs. Scanty discharge of dark, turbid urine, with tenesmus and burning (Cantharis, Caps., Mercurius cor.). Dark, bloody urine,almost like ink, with strangury (Arsenicum, Cantharis). Whitish sediment in the urine (Calcarea c., Cantharis)

Respiratory Organs. Difficult breathing and oppression of the chest. Night cough, with involuntary spurting out of urine (Alumina, Causticum, Pulsatilla) Lacerating, tearing pains in chest.

Heart. Violent palpitation (Aconite, Arsenicum, Belladonna,Spigelia); with oppression. Trembling in praecordial region with sticking pains. Anxiety and pressure in praecordial region, provoking sighing; sensitive to pressure. Fullness at night when lying on the left side, with oppression as from stagnation of blood. Dull, irregular, suppressed beats of the heart, with indescribable sensation in chest. Impulse not felt and only heard with difficulty,as if at a great distance, or and slow; slow and feeble; quick and thready; irregular; intermittent; scarcely perceptible (Aconite).

Neck and Back. Rheumatic, tearing,drawing pains in neck and back (Puls). Spot on sacrum feels sore an bruised as if ulcerated; very sensitive to touch.

Limbs. Rheumatic pains in joints of fingers,toes, wrists and ankles; in shoulder joints and knees during rest, with uneasiness, in hands and feet, so that she could not beat to have her finger-joints pressed or extended from their semiflexed condition. Joints stiff and feverish. Tearing pains in muscles and joints. Numbness and prickling of hands and feet.

Upper limbs. Paralytic pain in arms, so violent that he cannot hold the slightest thing firmly. rheumatic pains in arms extending into the finger,s especially finger-joints (Bryonia, Caulophyllum).

Lower Limbs. Rheumatic pains in legs extending to toes. Cramps in the legs (Calcarea c. Camph., Nux v., Sulphur). OEdematous swelling of legs and feet (Arsenicum, Apis). Tingling in toes after being frosted (Agaricus).

Generalities. Great exhaustion and weakness,m as after exertion (Arsenicum, Bryonia, Cinchona). Sudden and extreme prostration (Arsenicum, Camph., Secale cor.). Very sensitive to slightest touch. Paralytic feeling with the pains and real paralysis. Tearing, tensive pains, quickly changing location (Pulsatilla).

Sleep. Drowsiness during the day (Nux moschata).

Skin. Tingling here and there,as after being frozen (Agaricus).

Fever. Coldness and chilliness rubbing through all the limbs down the back. Shuddering and creeping in isolated parts. At night, dry heat with excessive thirst (Aconite, Arsenicum). Suppression of perspiration. Copious, sour sweat, suddenly coming and going in rheumatism.

Aggravation. At night; from mental exertion; from rising up in bed; from motion (Bryonia). Better during repose and in the open air.

Compare. Aconite, Arnica, Belladonna, Bryonia, Cimic., Cinchona, Coccul., Mercurius cor., Nux v., Opium, Pulsatilla,Rhus tox., Sepia, Veratrum alb.

Antidotes. Belladonna, Camph., coccul., Nux v., Spigelia, Pulsatilla, To large doses: Ammonium caust., a few drops in sugar water.


Colchicum is of greatest use in rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Articular rheumatism, especially when shifting from one joint to another; great sensitiveness to touch; worse formation; tearing pains, always worse at night; oedema of parts, especially hands or feet, especially small joints, very irritable and easily annoyed by external impressions, such as light, noise and strong odors; gastric symptoms. Gouty diathesis. Metastasis of gout or rheumatism to internal organs, especially, the heart; chronic or sub-acute pericarditis, with hydropericardium; severe cardiac pain; heart’s action weak and indistinct; pulse thread- like, scarcely perceptible; great oppression and dyspnoea. In diseases of the kidneys Colchicum is often a useful remedy. Nephritis, with dropsy, especially hydrothorax; urine black, bloody, and loaded with albumen; pain in back and sacrum. Dropsy in general when resulting resulting from heart of kidney disease and when following as a sequela of eruptive diseases; especially dropsy of cavities and internal organs; hydropericardium; hydrothorax; hydrometra; ascites; anasarca Often a remedy in dysentery,. especially in gouty or rheumatic subjects, with stools or gelatinous or membranous mucus, or containing white, shreddy particles, and accompanied by severe tenesmus, and sometimes tympanitis. Autumnal dysentery. Typhlitis. Rheumatic iritis. Kerato-iritis, with pus in anterior chamber of the eye. Ulceration of he cornea. Opacities of the cornea. Discharges from the ears after measles. Useful in many gastric disturbances, especially gastralgia and other conditions associated with gout or rheumatism, or following suppressed gout; always nausea and disgust for food,the small of food being especially repugnant; the latter symptom is very characteristic and liable to accompany any disease where Colchicum is indicted. Great debility is also characteristic of most disease where colchicum is indicated. Sometimes useful in typhoid fever when the prostration is profound, great tympanitis, cadaverous expression, nausea, cold breath, restlessness, etc.

About the author

A.C. Cowperthwaite

A.C. Cowperthwaite

A.C. (Allen Corson) Cowperthwaite 1848-1926.
ALLEN CORSON COWPERTHWAITE was born at Cape May, New Jersey, May 3, 1848, son of Joseph C. and Deborah (Godfrey) Cowperthwaite. He attended medical lectures at the University of Iowa in 1867-1868, and was graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1869. He practiced his profession first in Illinois, and then in Nebraska. In 1877 he became Dean and Professor of Materia Medica in the recently organized Homeopathic Department of the State University of Iowa, holding the position till 1892. In 1884 he accepted the chair of Materia Medica, Pharmacology, and Clinical Medicine in the Homeopathic Medical College of the University of Michigan. He removed to Chicago in 1892, and became Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College. From 1901 he also served as president of that College. He is the author of various works, notably "Insanity in its Medico-Legal Relations" (1876), "A Textbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics" (1880), of "Gynecology" (1888), and of "The Practice of Medicine " (1901).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *