Last modified on January 10th, 2019

A.C. Cowperthwaite

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

      Synonym. Lactuca Foetida. Natural order. Compositae. Common names. Poisonous Lettuce. Lettuce Opium. Habitat. A biennial herb, native of Europe. Preparation. Tincture from the fresh plant.


The physiological action of this drug is chiefly upon the brain and nervous system, diminishing the force and frequency of the pulse, and disposing to sleep; unlike Opium, producing no excitement either of brain or circulation. Secondarily., it affects the vegetative sphere, and the respiratory mucus membrane, as is show by its symptoms, very few of which, however, have been verified by practice.


Mind. Ill-humored; fretful;peevish. Disinclination to mental labor; mind confused power of thought diminished (Gelsemium, Nux v., Phosphorus ac.).

Head. Confusion of the head; vertigo. Dull headache.

Eyes. Pupils very much dilated (Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Stramonium).

Stomach. Pit of stomach retracted, with slight pain in stomach; aggravated by pressure. Feeling of warmth in stomach, accompanied by nausea rising into the throat, and flat taste at root of tongue, soon changing to icy coldness of stomach and throat. Tightness in pit of stomach, followed by true praecordial anxiety.

Abdomen. Feeling of fullness in abdomen, especially in right side, which impedes respiration; relieved by discharge of flatulence upward or downward.

Urinary Organs. Increase secretion of urine (Ambr., Phosphorus ac.).

Respiratory Organs. Incessant spasmodic cough, which threatens to burst the chest; always caused by a peculiar tickling in fauces, which, in turn, seems to be produced by a sensation of suffocation in the throat;; followed by copious expectoration. Dry cough in short paroxysms, with shaking of the chest and occiput. Tightness of chest wakens from sleep, with anxiety (Aconite). Cramping, pressive pains in various parts of the chest. Pinching, dull, sticking pain in upper left side of chest. sharp stitches beneath short ribs of left side of chest. Sharp stitches beneath short ribs of left side.

Generalities. Great weariness and exhaustion. Unusual feeling of tightness of the body. Slight shivering.

Sleep. Sleeplessness; sound refreshing sleep. Stupid sleep at night. Restless sleep at night.

Compare. Coffea, Drosera, Opium


Has been used but little in homoeopathic practice. According to Hughes, it seems indicated in some forms of hepatic and pulmonary congestion, of clavus, and of cerebral weakness, with somnolence. Has been found useful in catarrhal laryngitis and bronchitis with the symptoms above mentioned. Whooping cough. Hydrothorax. Angina pectoris.

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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