Materia Medica

A Homoeopathic Treatise on Homoeopathic Help, Research and Allied Work ‘“Part VIII

The author discusses the materia medica of Lachesis and Lycopodium.


Lachesis is also known as the Bushmaster or Surukuku, a deadly poisonous snake of South America. The venom of this snake is being used as medicine. This homoeopathic medicine is mostly prescribed for new and old inflammatory conditions and other troubles which generally begin on the left side of the body and later spread to the right side whether it is sore throat, tonsils, mumps, headache, eye, ear, kidney or ovary problems, even arthritis, paralysis, etc.

Also, for persons who are unable to swallow warm liquids like tea, etc. owing to choking or clutching at the throat. Normally empty swallowing or swallowing liquids is more painful than swallowing solids.

They may have sensitiveness of the body for touch and light pressure of clothes, while hard pressure may be agreeable. Such persons cannot bear collars, scarves or ties around their neck.

Lachesis is effective in dry hacking cough of children caused by tickling in the throat, particularly the voice box. The cough is always worse on going to sleep, during or after sleep, but it does not wake the child from sleep. At times, there may be loss of voice (aphonia) owing to paralysis or the oedematous swelling of the vocal cords.

Lachesis is a life saver in very bad cases of heart disease when there is a purple and bloated face. As soon as the patient goes to sleep he rouses up with palpitation, difficult breathing and suffocation. So, the patient is afraid of going to sleep for fear that he will die before he wakes up. The palpitation of the heart may also come after going into a warm room or after a warm bath.

Lachesis is very effective in overcoming insane jealousy and suspicion. The patient suspects every one without reason; the servant, wife and the children. He may not take medicine even from the doctor, owing to suspicion that he would be poisoned.

Sometimes, the husband suspects the fidelity of his wife. The wife too may have the suspicion about her husband, children or friends that they are trying to damage her, that they are going to put her in a mental asylum.

We find a most extraordinary talkativeness when one thought leads to another, jumping off to most heterogenous subjects. At times, the patient is compelled to hurry in everything. He wants everybody else to hurry and sentences are sometimes only half finished.

It is a good medicine for pressing, bursting headache particularly of the left temple, due to heat of the sun in summer months but mostly due to the stopping of the body’s natural discharges like the menses, nasal discharge or sweat. The headache may also be experienced in the morning after waking from sleep, especially in heart and chest problems.

Lachesis is useful in erysipelas gangrene, the affected part being purple or mottled in appearance. If there is ulceration, it bleeds black charred straw colour blood owing to false granulation. In gangrene of parts that have been injured, the tissue turns black and starts sloughing with great offensive smelling discharge. It is effective in fistulous openings, fissures and piles when associated with a feeling of being continually hammered.

It is equally useful in whitlow (felon), carbuncles, abscesses, malignant pustules, pemphigus, herpes, chickenpox, malignant ulcer such as epithelioma etc. The discharge is watery but putrid (offensive) and there is burning pain. The patient has to rise at night to bathe it with water in order to get relief of pain.

The eyes too may be inflamed and congested. They are sensitive to light (photophobia), violent pain in eyes from touching the throat. The vision may be dim or flickering. It may be lost either during headache or chest and heart problems. Lachesis stops the progress of optic disc vasculitis (O.D.V.) beginning from the left eye and improves the lost vision.

The passage of the external ear (meatus) is also very much sensitive when anything is introduced into it, there will be violent spasmodic coughing and tickling in the throat. It is useful for old drunkards who have a red rose. Sometimes the nose may be red owing to heart problems.

It is also effective in paresis (semi-paralysis) of the tongue when the tongue is dry, leathery and the patient is unable to articulate the words. It is so swollen that it leaves little room in the mouth and protrudes very slowly. At times, the tongue may be protruding in and out from the mouth like that of a snake.

Lachesis is a leading medicine for menopausal disorders of melancholic females when the periods stop and all sorts of troubles make their appearance, such as hot flushes, headache or mania etc. In painful menstruation where pains are relieved by the flow of the blood, the suffering may be greater before and after the flow. The menses flow for one hour every day, the discharge may be generally black. At times, the ovaries are swollen. It has also cured suppurative conditions of the ovaries, fallopian tubes etc. Where the uterine region is very sensitive to touch or the slightest contact of the clothes over the waistline is unbearable. It removes the putridity from the stools when the patient has suffered for a long time from bowel trouble.

In general, troubles needing Lachesis have aggravation in the spring season.



Lycopodium clavatum is a low creeping perennial herb which grows everywhere in Europe and Asia. The medicine is prepared from the fine, mobile, yellow powdery spores of the herb.

This homoeopathic medicine is recommended to all age groups particularly for persons of low body vigour owing to feeble muscular development. They may be dark complexioned, lean, sallow, with sunken face. Wrinkles may be seen over the face and the forehead may be frowned. The patient may look older than he actually is.

It is useful for persons who are very nervous and emotional. They may often weep in the act of receiving a friend or meeting an acquaintance, in receiving a gift, at the slightest joy, or when thanked.

Lycopodium is beneficial in the failure of intellectual functions (sensorium) of so called old men, as their memory fails. They may use wrong words to express themselves, mix up things generally in writing ot spelling on account of failing brain power. There may be aversion to undertake anything new, aversion to appear in any new role and aversion for his work. The patient dreads lest something bad would happen, lest he will forget something or be unable to reach his destination. A continually increasing dread of appearing in public comes on. There may be feelings of incompetence, a feeling of inability to undertake the task although he has been accustomed to it for many years. Thus, it is a good medicine for lawyers, lecturers, ministers and other public men who show lack of confidence in themselves. The subordinates too may have lack of courage in meeting with their boss or the high-ups in the office.

Lycopodium is an effective medicine for children who dread Mathematics. Also, for dyspepsia resulting from recent or old liver trouble. The patient may have insatiable hunger (bulimia) with much bloating after eating, particularly after lunch hours or in the evening. There may be burning, eructations rising only up to the gullet and there it burns for hours. At times, there may be the feeling of satiety which may alternate with a feeling of hunger of a peculiar kind, where the patient sits down to the table very hungry a but few morsels fill him right up to the throat pit, and he feels distressed afterward.

Sometimes the patient starts fasting or missing one or two meals. Such condition has generally been observed in those patients who are either suffering from diseases like arthritis, gout or stone problems or are likely to develop such things in the near future.

There is rolling of flatulence due to fermentation in the abdomen with loud grumbling, croaking especially in lower abdomen, the fullness being relieved by passing flatus. The rumbles of flatulence may often be observed particularly in the region of the left flank (hypochondrium).

At times, the patient feels pain in the back, hips, legs owing to blocked gas in these parts or in diseases where symptoms run from right to left side, like inflammation of the throat, including tonsillitis, chest, abdomen, liver and ovaries. It has cured many cases of hernia in children.

At times, the trouble descends downward as seen in emaciation, where the victim emaciates about the neck while the lower limbs are well nourished. This is particularly seen in the pinning boys and old people owing to their liver complaints. It is also helpful in the swelling of the legs which may sometime lead to ulcerations.

Lycopodium is effective in snuffles (obstruction of nose) of children where the breath frequently stops during sleep, sometime for 15 seconds or so, even when the mouth is open. The eyes may at times remain half open during sleep. It is also, useful in dim vision or night blindness.

Lycopodium helps the patient with neglected pneumonia when there is difficult breathing from accumulation of serum in the pleura. It cures cases of pneumonia where the disease is in the right lung and when liver complications arise.

It has been found useful in all types of fevers particularly Malaria, where attacks of chill may come on between 4 to 8 p.m. with shaking chill and incessant yawning and nausea. The patient feels as if he is lying on a piece of ice. Between chill and heat he vomits extremely sour fluid.

Lycopodium has been found an excellent medicine in kidney stones where the pains occur in the kidney area, whether right or left and there is a bubbling sensation and red sediment in the urine owing to calcium oxalate or other crystals. These crystals settle at the bottom of otherwise clear urine which is occasionally passed after terrible attacks of renal colic. In children this gritty sediment may sometimes be found in their diapers after severe crying spells. The colic in many instances is relieved after urination.

It is one of the best remedies for the impotency of young men due to masturbation, exhausting night pollutions, sexual excesses leading to a cold and relaxed penis. The desire may be strong as ever or perhaps more so, but he cannot perform the act. Erections are feeble and at times the patient falls asleep during embrace.

It is equally useful for females when they have dryness of va-gina leading to burning pain during and after coition. Sometimes bleeding takes place after evacuating the bowel. At times, gas emits from the va-gina (physometra) owing to fermentation of its secretion.

Lycopodium has been found effective when there is greying of hair in early age, and for baldness of the top of the vertex in males and falling of hair after delivery in women. When the foetus seems to be turning somersaults within the womb of the pregnant mother, she may need a dose of Lycopodium.

About the author

P.S. Rawat

Dr. P.S. Rawat B.Sc., B.M.S.,(Lkw.), B.H.M.S. (JPR.) is Assistant Professor and former Principal, Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Sector-26, Chandigarh
Professor Chandola Medical College and Hospital, Rudrapur


    Eruptions on the scalp, extremities, genitals and abdomen. The eruptions are yellowish brown, moist, purulent. Itching and burning sensation is worse by warmth and better by cold application, especially itching while burning is better by local application of heat. GIT concomitants like weak digestion, craving for sweets, flatulence should help one to prescribe the drug.
    For persons intellectually keen, but physically weak; upper part of body emaciated, lower part semi-dropsical; predisposed to lung and hepatic affections; especially the extremes of life, children and old people. Deep-seated, progressive, chronic diseases. Pains: aching-pressure, drawing; chiefly right-sided, <. four to eight p.m. affects right side, or pain goes from right to left.

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