Lac caninum is a sycotic remedy. It is prepared from the milk of the dog (bitch). This remedy has in it the nature of the dog, an animal that has been totally controlled and civilized so that it has to suppress its basic animal nature and can only express its controlled, civilized side. It is dependent on its master for food and so it is out to please him. Its survival depends upon keeping its master happy by its performance, its affection, etc. It has to perform or it won’t be wanted anymore and its master will kick it out. This need to please is the animal side of Lac caninum, but the dog knows that no matter how much it tries to please, it will never be equal to the human. It feels inferior, knows that it is at the bottom of the hierarchy. The animal side is also malicious (if you pull a dog’s tail, it will bite you). Lac caninum persons are very passionate, very lascivious. They can be quite aggressive and defensive.
The main theme in Lac caninum is dominance (the bigger dominating the smaller) and who is going to be on top. Lac caninum persons can be irritable and ferocious, but if someone is more irritable and ferocious, they give up, they submit. Then arises the conflict within themselves: “Do I want to be what I am?” They develop a feeling of low self-worth: “I am not good enough. I feel dirty and horrible”, and become contemptuous of themselves. This dirty feeling is also common to animal remedies, and it is similar to the feeling of Ambra grisea (prepared from the sperm whale). But while Lac caninum simply feels: “I am not good enough, I am despised and looked down upon”, Ambra grisea feels “like shit”. Lac caninum patients suffer by comparison with others. They try hard to please, to be liked, cared for and accepted because they feel left out and rejected. They can develop malice and hatred because they hold somebody else responsible for their condition. These feelings can sometimes be accompanied by a history of sexual abuse.
The Lac caninum situation is that of a dark-skinned girl child in an Indian home. Her sisters are fairer than her. She tries hard to get fair-skinned, but knows she will never be fair-skinned. She is constantly being compared to her “better looking” sisters, and she soon begins to hate herself. People bring clothes only for her sisters. Nobody listens to her; she is just not clever enough – everything she says is stupid and foolish. She feels she is uncared for and neglected because her body looks bad. She starts feeling dirty, and washes herself frequently. People disturb her almost as if they were snakes and vermin (“Delusion snakes in and around her”). She starts lacking in confidence, becomes totally irresolute and believes that all that she says is a lie. She loathes life and goes into tremendous depression, and nothing can be done to make her feel better. She feels worthless and is disgusted with herself, thinks she matters little, feels unimportant, like an untouchable. She is sure she has an incurable disease and she will die. She wants to commit suicide and put an end to her suffering. She blames others for her condition and can get angry with them for treating her the way they do – she can develop hatred, and become revengeful. She feels she has been given a raw deal, and she becomes mean (“Writing meanness to her friends”).
Jurgen Becker tells me that a common expression amongst African-American blacks is “Mofo” – surely a Lac caninum expression. The feeling of a black person in the U.S. even today must be: “I am unlucky, I have been born with a black skin. I will try to perform, but I know that ultimately I will still be black”. This is also a Lac caninum situation.
— Contemptuous, self, of.
— Delusion, despised, is.
— Delusion, dirty, he is.
— Delusion, diminished, short, he is.
— Delusion, looked down upon, she is.
— Delusion, thinks all she said is a lie.
— Delusion, snakes in and around her.
— Moral feeling, want of.
— Rage, fury.
— Writing meanness to her friends.
— Anxiety, success, from doubt, about, of.
Phatak’s Materia Medica:
— Thinks himself of little consequence.
— One’s own body seems disgusting.
— Imagines he wears someone else’s nose.
— Every symptom seems a settled disease, which is incurable.
— Desires highly seasoned food.
— Pain, mammae, menses, before.
— Craves condiments.
— Dirty, he is.
— Fear of falling downstairs.
— Lactation, milk absent.
— Mammae before menses.
— Self loathing.
— Taste salty, only salty food tastes natural.
— Thinking himself too little.
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies