Materia Medica

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

The 7th in a series of excerpts from Dr. P.S. Rawat’s book, A Homoeopathic Treatise on Homoeopathic Help, Research and Allied Work. Here he discusses the materia medica of Colchicum and Hepar sulph.

Colchicum Autumnale

Colchicum autumnale is commonly called meadow saffron. The active principal of this plant is colchicine. This homoeopathic medicine is prescribed to persons who are extremely sensitive to the strong odour of raw or cooked food, which causes fainting nausea, gagging, retching and great weakness. Thus, an effective medicine for pregnant women who, despite great hunger for different things, feel nauseated by the mere thought or sight of food. This ultimately leads to loathing and disgust for food and it becomes impossible to eat. At times, such patients are not able to take food for a month or so, resulting in an almost critical condition of the patient.

It is good remedy for great drum like distension (meteorism) of the abdomen, almost like it may be going to explode. This is particularly noticed in cows, goats and other cattle after eating too much clover patch (Tinpatia grass).

Colchicum is a valuable medicine for diarrhoea and dysentery, especially during autumn when the stools are bloody and full of scrapings from the intestine, which may lead to protrusion of the anus. The stools may be full of glairy, jelly like mucus of variable characters. The patient may feel tingling, itching, burning or tearing pain in the anus. At times, he may have a shudder, owing to extreme constriction of sphincters of the anus. The patient may fall asleep at the place of evacuation owing to the great relief from the tenesmus after passing stool.

Colcicum is a splendid remedy for acute rheumatism and gout when trouble starts in the small joints of the fingers or toes. The joints are not often accompanied with swelling or redness, but are excessively painful. The patient may scream with pain when fingers and toes get stubbed. Sometimes the trouble moves from one joint to another, from below upwards or vice versa. The pain generally gets worse from cold exposure, from dampness, towards evening and particularly during fall.

It is a good medicine for the rheumatism of summer, when heat may slack up the flow of urine or increase the quantity of solids in the urine. Thus the urine becomes black or ink like having albumen in it.

Colchicum is useful in wryneck (torticollis) when there occurs severe pressing pain in the neck and the muscles become tense. At times, swallowing may be difficult owing to severe pain in the throat.

It is also indicated when rheumatism and gout leave the joints and attack the heart, producing pericarditis and valvular defects along with muffled heart sounds and a tight feeling of the chest with difficulty breathing. It is also useful for inflammatory irritation of abdominal viscera leading to colitis and resulting diarrhoea.

Dose: A 30 C may be repeated at 4 to 6 hours intervals. For distension, a 200 or 1M dose may be repeated at 5-10 minutes intervals until improvement starts.

Hepar Sulph

Hepar sulph is also known as Hahnemann’s Calcium sulphide. It is prepared by mixing powdered oysters shell with pure flowers of Sulphur in equal parts by trituration.

This homoeopathic drug is suited to patients who are inherently very irritable and whose speech and actions are hasty. They may finish long sentences in one breath. Every little thing that disturbs these patients makes them intensely angry, abusive, and impulsive, even to kill best friend or dear ones. At times, they have the impulse to set themselves on fire, or to do violence or destruction.

Also, suited to dyspeptic patients who have great longing for vinegar, wine, sour and strong tasting things. Such patients are oversensitive to pain. Slight pain may make them faint. They can’t bear even the touch of the clothes. It is useful in painful boils, abscesses, ulcers, felons and inflammatory and suppurative conditions of glands like the tonsils.

This drug is effective for babies who are irritable, smell sour and have sour smelling diarrhoea

It is an excellent medicine for the cough and cold of oversensitive and chilly patients when there is a sudden fall of atmospheric temperature owing to snowfall on the mountains and blowing of icy cold winds thereafter. The patients cough with great soreness of the chest. It is worse in the cold air and from uncovering. There may be a stuffy feeling in the head, face and chest with blocked nose and hoarseness of the voice. Profuse nasal and throat discharges subsequently accompanying pricking pain in throat with or without swelling. The cough and soreness may be worse after eating anything cold. There may be anxious wheezing in asthmatic cases, due to dry cold air and the patients want to be wrapped up warmly, even in hot weather.

Hepar sulph removes weakness of the bladder when urine is voided slowly without any force. It drops vertically with a feeling as if some urine has always remained in the end. The patient feels urging for a while before any urine passes. Consider also in obstinate gonorrhoea, where there is thick, white, cheesy discharge (gleet), of long standing. Due to inflammatory conditions and ulcers of urethra, there is sense of sticking and splinter like pain in the urethra while passing urine.

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


  • Very good, informative write up and the author deserves appreciation and congratulation.I will appreciate if the specific mechanisms involved in the action of these Homeopathy medications to provide the relief to the patient.

  • The author has not made any effort to give some thing original. He has mentioned things that we can find in the Materia Medica. When we write something of a thesis it should contain some information that is new and proved y one’s experience in practice.

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