Last modified on January 10th, 2019

A.C. Cowperthwaite

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

      Synonym.-Cephaelis Ipecacuanha. Natural order.-Rubiaceae. Common name.-Ipecac. Habitat.-A small shrub abounding in moist shady woods in Brazil. Preparation.-Tincture from the dried root.


Acts especially upon the ramifications of the pneumogastric nerve, producing spasmodic irritation, mostly in the chest and stomach, giving rise in the former to asthma, and in the latter to nausea and vomiting. It also irritates the mucous membrane of the respiratory and digestive tracts, causing catarrhal conditions of these parts, pulmonary congestion, and even hepatization; it also produces emphysema, and through the same sources of irritation has the power of producing haemorrhage from mucous surfaces. The principal feature of Ipecac is a persistent nausea and vomiting, which is its chief indication in all diseases.


Mind. Peevish; irritable (Bryonia, Chamomilla); impatient, cries constantly. Morose, scornful mood. Ailments from anger, mortification or vexation, with indignation.

Head. Headache, as if bruised, all through bons of head and down into root of tongue, with nausea. Semi-lateral headache, with nausea and vomiting. Sneezing; violent; in paroxysms; discharge of thin mucus.

Nose. Coryza, with stoppage of the nose and nausea. Epistaxis of bright blood (Dulcamara)

Eyes. Dilated pupils. Hardened mucus in the external canthi.

Face. Pale and puffed or sunken; with blue rings around the eyes (Cinchona,Secale,Sulph.). Periodical infra and supraorbital neuralgia, with photophobia, lachrymation and smarting eyelids; malarial.

Mouth. profuse accumulation of saliva (Cinchona, Mercurius). Constantly obliged to swallow saliva.

Stomach. Aversion to food (Antim crud., Coccul.). Eructations with rumbling in the abdomen. Empty eructations with rumbling in the abdomen. Empty eructations (Phosphorus, Mercurius); with nausea. Distressing nausea and inclination to vomit, with almost all complaints. Nausea as from the stomach. Vomiting, thirst, sweat, and bad breath. Vomiting, with distended abdomen; after vomiting inclined to sleep. Vomiting, worse from stooping. Gastric catarrh from indigestible food or from ice cold things. Distressing feeling, as though the stomach were hanging down relaxed (Tabac.).

Abdomen. Pinching pain in both hypochondria, and in region of pit of stomach (Belladonna). Griping as from a hand, each finger seemingly sharply pressing into the intestines; better during rest, much worse by motion (Belladonna) With every movement a cutting pain almost constantly running from left to right.

Stool. Diarrhoea; stools as if fermented, green as grass (Agaricus), with nausea and colic. Frequent stools of greenish mucus (Apis, Argentum nit., Arsenicum, Belladonna, Pulsatilla). Bloody stools (Euc.). Autumnal diarrhoea; much griping about the navel.

Urinary Organs. Red, scanty urine.

Female Organs. Hemorrhage from the uterus (Aconite, Erig., Hamamelis, Mille., Secale); blood bright-red, profuse, clotted; nausea; breathing heavy, oppressed; stitches from navel to uterus. Dragging towards the uterus and anus. Menstruation too early and too profuse; blood bright-red, with colic and nausea.

Respiratory Organs. Rattling noises in the air passages during respiration (Ant.tart., Phosphorus, Stannum). Dyspnoea; attended with wheezing and great weight and anxiety; about the praecordia; with constriction across chest, violent and convulsive cough. Violent constriction of the throat and chest, with shortness of breath and wheezing respiration; gasps for air at thee open window; face pale; worse from least motion; threatened suffocation; asthma (Arsenicum).. Severe and convulsive paroxysms of asthma. Oppression of the chest in the forenoon, with shortness of breath, as from inhaling dust. Cough caused by tickling from upper portions of larynx to lowest extremity of bronchi. Cough causing inclination to vomit, without nausea. Suffocating cough, whereby the child becomes quite stiff, and blue in the face (Coral. rub.). Whooping cough, with nosebleed, bleeding from the mouth, vomiting, loses breath, turns pale or blue, and becomes rigid. Cough with expectoration of blood. Haemoptysis; from the slightest exertion.

Limbs. Coldness of on hand while the other is hot. Pain as if bruised in all the bones. Pain in all joints, as if limbs were asleep..

Generalities. Great weakness (Arsenicum, Camph., Phosphorus). Body rigid, stretched out stiff (Hyoscyamus); followed by spasmodic jerking of the arms. Haemorrhages bright-red. Miliary rash on skin. Epileptiform spasms; opisthotonos. Dropsy of internal parts. Chlorosis menses scanty; skin and mucous surface pal, anaemic.

Fever.. Backache, short chill, long fever; hat usually with thirst, raging headache, nausea and cough, sweat last. External coldness; internal heat; followed by sweat. Shivering at 4 P.M.; then chilliness without thirst. Intermittent fever when gastric symptoms predominate; also after abuse of Quinine; in beginning of irregular cases, especially if there is much nausea; also like Natr. mur., chill, fever and sweat, with frontal headache.

Compare. Ant. tart., Arsenicum, Belladonna., Calcareac., Cact., Chamomilla,Cinchona, Cuprum, Eupat., Ferrum, Lobelia, Mag,c., Nux. v., puls.,Phosphorus, Sulphur, Tabac., Veratrum alb.

Antidotes. Arnica, Arsenicum, Cinchona, Nux v., Tabac.

Ipecac Antidotes. Alumina, Antim crud., Arnica, Arsenicum, Cinchona, Cuprum (vapors), Dulcamara, Ferrum, Opium, Tabac


The chief indication for thee use of Ipecac is nausea and vomiting, whether resulting from simple irritation of thee stomach from deranged digestion, gastric catarrh or reflex disturbances, or associated with other diseases, especially of the respiratory tract, or haemorrhages from various parts. Nausea and vomiting are present in nearly all complaints where Ipecac is to b employed. There is also aversion to all food, and usually a perfectly clean tongue. In gastric catarrh the tongue may be coated while. Especially useful in gastric catarrh from indulgence in rich foods, pastry, pork, etc. (Pulsatilla) or from candy or ice cream (Arsenicum). Haematemesis, pal face, feeble pulse, great sense of nausea. Often indicated in diarrhoea and dysentery, with symptoms already mentioned, specially with frothy, green stools, nausea and colic. Cholera infantum. Ipecac is especially valuable in respiratory diseases. Coryza with much sneezing. Epistaxis of bright-red blood. Spasms of the glottis. Asthma, with constriction of the chest. Wheezing respiration, worse from the least motion, rattling of mucus when breathing and coughing, but none is expectorated. Only second to Ant. tart. in the capillary bronchitis of children, the symptoms being quite similar as to rattling of mucus in chest, etc., but there is less prostration and collapse; the cough is usually spasmodic, recurring in paroxysms, and followed by vomiting. Also useful in bronchitis of adults with similar symptoms. Whooping cough, spasmodic, with haemorrhage, blood bright-red and frothy, worse from the least exertion. Ipecac is one of our most valuable remedies in uterine haemorrhage, blood bright-red; faintness; oppressed breathing and persistent nausea. Menorrhagia. Morning sickness of pregnancy. Haematuria, with nausea, oppressed breathing and cutting pains. Sometimes useful in neuralgia of the head, face, eye-balls, periodical, with photophobia and copious lachrymation; malarial; pustular conjunctivitis of scrofulous children. Often valuable in intermittent fever with thee symptoms already given (see Fever). Very similar to Eupat. perf., though it has more nausea and no bone pains. Alien says “the paroxysms of Eupat. are only partially developed, while those of Ipecac. are, as a rule, perfectly developed.

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).

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