Homeopathy Papers Materia Medica

A Homoeopathic Treatise on Homoeopathic Help, Research and Allied Work – Part IV

The 4th in a series of excerpts from Dr. P.S. Rawat’s book. Here he discusses the materia medica of Baryta, Belladonna and Bryonia.

Dedicated to my late parents and other family members who reared me and the teachers who taught me to help mankind.

This book is the outcome of my association with the Homoeopathic System of Medicine as a teacher, practitioner, and researcher for nearly 25 years. Although most of the text of the book has already been published in the past in various journals and dailies, it was imperative to compile all the published and unpublished work in book form. I am therefore pleased in presenting the same to you. The contents have been bifurcated into two parts. Part I deals with the description of 30 drugs. Part II contains mainly research and other Allied work.

In the end I am grateful to Mr.Upendra, Ravindra, and Mrs. Shashi Kala who are my son, daughter and wife for helping me directly and indirectly in bringing out this small contribution of mine for Homoeopathy.

Baryta Carbonica

Baryta carb is also known as Barium carbonate. This homoeopathic medicine is particularly recommended to children who are mentally backward and at the same time intensely shy and timid. They hide themselves somewhere in the house or outside out of fear when a stranger comes to the house. Sometimes they keep their hands over their faces and peep out through fingers when brought to doctors.

Such children generally do not grow properly, resulting in short stature or stunted body growth (dwarfish) with swollen belly, bloated face, emaciated limbs and enlarged glands of the neck and groin. They cannot be taught, as they cannot comprehend owing to a weak intellectual faculty.

This remedy is also, for old people who are physically worn with weak memory and childish behaviour, mental retardation (senile dementia).

Baryta carb is an effective medicine for enlargement of the prostate gland in older men. At times, the ageing process leads to premature wasting (atrophic degeneration) of body organs especially the brain and genital organs of both sexes. The aorta may also show these changes and become dilated (aneurism).

It is an excellent remedy for cerebral haemorrhage (apoplexy) of old persons resulting in one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia) etc. Baryta carb is said to act wonderfully as curative as well as preventive medicine for chronic enlarged tonsils and cough in children who are sensitive to cold and get frequent attacks of tonsillitis after getting exposure to cold.

It overcomes the difficulty in swallowing the bolus of food, especially in old, nervous or broken down people when it goes down a little way and then causes choking. The patient is able to swallow liquid or soft food without any problem.

Baryta is a good medicine for hardness of hearing of these persons when they feel reverberating (re-echo) sounds in the ear while blowing the nose. Baryta carb has been found effective in curing fatty tumors (lipomas), cysts, lumps, tuberculosis outgrowth and sarcoma. It often prolongs the life of the patient by mitigating pains of cancerous growth.

It is a useful medicine for long-established constipation of the aged when due to sluggish rectum, where the stool is hard and knotty. Piles may sometimes protrude while evacuating the bowel or the bladder.


Belladonna is a perennial herb which grows in the sandy parts of Europe and Asia. The tincture is extracted from the entire plant before flowering time. It was historically used by Venetian ladies as a cosmetic to brighten the eyes and flush the cheeks. The medicinal value of this plant is due to its alkaloids, Atropin and Belladonnin.

This is the principal homoeopathic medicine used for relieving blood congestion, whether it be in the head, chest, uterus, joints, skin, etc. Owing to congestion of the brain, there is a sudden and violent throbbing (pudpudi) pain on stooping forward, bending down and lying down.

Belladonna is especially useful for plethoric and vigorous persons particularly young children, who are sensitive to changing atmospheric temperature (worse after having the hair cut). They go to bed hale and hearty but wake up with sudden fever, which may be very high (i.e. 104 or 105F) and flushed face, red eyes, widely dilated pupils and rolling of the head from side to side. At times, the child may be delirious and may have fear of all sorts of imaginary things or perform violent acts. There may be convulsions due to high temperature along with strabismus (squinting of eyes). The child starts in sleep, as if frightened and wakes up with shudders, after a feeling as if he was falling down.

Belladonna is a good medicine for pregnant women who married late in life. During labor the uterus does not relax owing to the deficient, ineffectual and spasmodic nature of labor pains hindering the expulsion of the foetus. It also checks the bleeding after delivery when the blood feels hot. It is also indicated in the caking up of the breast (mastitis) of nursing women when red streaks radiate from a central point and the pains are agonizing.

Belladonna is helpful in sore throat with inflamed tonsils when swallowing is difficult particularly for liquids owing to dryness and spasmodic constriction of the throat. There may be a feeling of a lump in the throat. Belladonna is also useful in acute inflammatory conditions of stomach and bowel, when there is burning pain, great distress and distension. The inflamed part is sensitive to the slightest motion, touch and pressure, whether it is from appendicitis or any other condition.

Belladonna is equally useful in irritation of the bladder and urinary tract when there is retention of the urine. It is also indicated in dribbling of urine in brain trouble. The patient dreams that he is passing urine at night and involuntarily passes it.

Belladonna is effective in acute inflammatory rheumatism with swelling of the joints, redness and great sensitiveness to motion and jarring.

Bryonia Alba

Bryonia alba is also called white bryony or wild hops. This homeopathic remedy is prescribed for those ailments which develop insidiously as well as passively, whether in the chest (bronchitis, pleurisy and pneumonia), bowel, (thirst, dryness, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, and constipation) or limbs (soreness and synovitis). The symptoms may occur in warm weather following cold days, or from cold drinks or ice in hot weather, when overheated, after taking cold or getting hot in summer or after exposure to cold dry east winds.

Such complaints are worse from any kind of movement of the affected parts. These patients want to keep absolutely quiet and may apply pressure to retard movement or lie down on the painful side.

Very often, the internal bodily sluggishness is due to lack of secretion of the mucous glands of the alimentary canal, sometimes indicated by dryness of lips, mouth, throat, intestine, and rectum. Consequently, there is constipation and the patient expels hard, brown or black knotted, burnt looking pieces of faecal matter with great straining. At times, these patients pass loose motions, generally in the morning on beginning to move in bed or after getting up and moving about. The bowel may become distended, causing colic and driving him out of bed for evacuations. There may be several loose motions in the morning and very few in the afternoon and no stool at night, as he keeps quiet in bed.

There is thirst for large amounts of cold water at long intervals or very often for small quantities, owing to dryness of the whole alimentary canal. However, he may also lose the taste for water and does not want it anymore. You may find a dirty brown or yellow, thickly coated tongue. Such patients may also be dyspeptic and feel pressure as of a stone in the stomach after eating and which is relieved by eructations.

Dryness of the serous membranes of the lung (pleura) and bronchi causes dry, hacking and shaking cough with hoarseness and soreness in the chest. He feels irritation in the upper part of the trachea, compelling him to sit up in bed (mostly at night). The cough is generally worse after eating or drinking anything. He may even press his chest with his hand as a sort of protection against the pain. This is especially experienced by patients who suffer from dry pleurisy and pneumonia; lobar (croupous), or the catarrhal (pleuro pneumonia) with full tense and quick pulse and chill with external coldness. There is rapid and panting breathing with frequent desire to take a deep breath in order to expand lungs. But he cannot do so owing to stitching pain, like needle pricks, mostly in the right lung, compelling him to lie on the inflamed and painful side or on the back to keep the affected part still. There may also be a constrictive feeling in the chest, scanty expectoration, high or low grade fever, profuse sweat, intense thirst and bloody sputa.

Bryonia is equally efficacious in asthmatic attacks with dry spasmodic cough from overheating which are worse in a warm room. The patient may want cool air to breathe. The cough compels him to spring out of bed.

Bryonia is an excellent medicine for the absorbing effusions of synovial fluid within an inflamed knee joints (synovitis), when it is red, swollen and stiff and is worse by the least movement.

It is particularly useful remedy when menstrual flow gets suppressed (amenorrhea) by the slightest provocation, as from being overheated, from exertion, or cold washing a few days before the menses begins. This gives way to a variety of discharges, like bleeding from the nose (epistaxis), flow of milk from the breast, discharge from the ear or spitting of blood. Also, there is congestion of the head with splitting headache, which gets worse even by the movement of eyes, or from light.

Bryonia removes severe stitching pains caused by injury in the region of the ovary, and which may extend to the thigh. The pain is worse by taking a deep breath.

It is an excellent medicine for inflamed mammaries owing to stoppage of milk flow, particularly in the lying in period (the puerperal or post delivery period). As a result, the breasts become stony hard, hot, heavily swollen and painful, leading to milk fever and abscess formation. At times, the patient may be compelled to support them with her hands.

Bryonia alba is a good medicine for low-grade delirium, which usually commences at about 9 p.m. especially in rheumatic, pneumonic or typhoid fever. The patient picks at his dry and parched lips, making them bleed.

We may also see confusion, especially after having been aroused from sleep. The patient talks irrationally about his day’s business and frequently gets up in bed and tries to go out, to go home, although he is already home.

The patient, particularly children, may demand things immediately, which when offered, are refused, as they want something else (but don’t know what it is. At times, they desire things which are not to be had. These patients may dream about household affairs or business issues which they attended to during the day. They may also show irritability when disturbed and compelled to answer questions. Such patients are anxious about their future and about everyday concerns of life.

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

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