Homeopathy Papers Materia Medica

Lacs in Homeopathy

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The author describes mental themes and physical symptoms as well as historical and mythological references for the Lac remedies.

Common Themes in the Lacs

What has emerged from the provings and a small but increasing body of clinical experience, are themes of the milk remedies centering around dependence and independence; nurturing and lack of nurturing; a feeling of having suffered wrong and the suppression of natural instincts in order to be able to harmonize with the group to which one needs to belong. Each milk medicine will express these themes in its own way.

The primary function of mammal milks is to nurture the vulnerable, dependent baby. It’s not only a food but also encompasses the child’s need to grow, thrive and be strong. When things go wrong here for the mother and baby, it can lead to issues with food that can manifest throughout the life of the child and on to adult life.

There is also a theme of bonding between the mother and baby and the part that holding the baby plays in the theme is also significant ; it produces wholeness and integration into the world. The remedy pictures represent all the things that can go wrong in the lactation period.

When the milk is sparse or bad, the baby can fail to thrive, resulting in arrested growth. Lac patients can have craving, aversion, amelioration and aggravation from milk. It is also the first food that a baby has and so it can be the first food that causes nausea, contributing to the theme of loathing of self and life. When the baby doesn’t get enough milk it can lead to feelings of lack, poverty consciousness and jealousy.

When the bonding between the mother and baby is not fulfilling for the baby this can result in feelings of separateness, forsakenness, isolation and estrangement. All relationships may suffer into later life, leading to the inability to bear touch and intimacy. This can give rise to fear of narrow or confined spaces. When the holding (representing support and carrying) of the baby is unsuccessful, in some way it can induce feelings of being let down, or falling to pieces and fear of falling.

Another common theme is lack of trust, stemming from a possible lack of bonding or warmth from the mother. There’s lack of trust in life and in the patient herself, and this comes from the lack of feeling of security, occurring during the bonding in lactation.

Mother’s milk allows growth and grounding, so there can be a sense of disconnection and lack of grounding and themes of needing to escape the body, because they feel imprisoned in it.
Many Lac patients are chilly (lack of vital heat, support, security). Also they can have fear of sharp objects or a sharp and critical tongue.
The reactions to this stunted nurturing include: suicidal tendencies; eating disorders (under eating and overeating); cleaning/washing compulsions; themes of indifference or lack of feeling; forgetting, mistakes (writing, dyslexia, speaking); sexuality increased or decreased.

Lac Asinum

Donkeys have a great sense of self-preservation, hence they will not do anything that puts them in danger. This behavior has resulted in donkeys being called stubborn, but this is the result of misinterpretating their behaviour.

The donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, is symbolic of the spiritual kingdom of God. The Messiah riding upon a donkey offers forgiveness and peace with God, whereas Christ mounted upon a horse implies judgment and war.

In time, the donkey became a symbol of those reluctant to believe the Gospel story, including St. Thomas, the Doubter, St. Anthony of Padua, losing his patience with an unbeliever, and declaring that it would be easier to get a wild ass to worship the Sacrament than to convince him of the truth. To the surprise of the people, a wild ass did approach the Sacrament and kneel worshipfully before it. Many who saw this miracle converted, and the kneeling donkey became an attribute of this saint. The donkey was the lawn tractor/wheel barrow in old Ireland.

Themes in the Remedy:

  • Stupidity and Stubbornness
  • Ignorance, darkness, idiocy
  • Humility and Kindness – a little foolish but obedient
  • Curse and Punishment – in mythology the person who is punished is turned into a donkey
  • Indecisiveness
  • Helplessness and Desertion
  • Others seem spiteful, unfair, ruthless
  • Feelings of being an innocent, passive, defenceless martyr; a tragic, passive witness

Physical Symptoms:

  • Pains and sensations around the head and eyes (blindfold)
  • Pins and needles – paralysis of the head, face and trunk
  • Swelling, oedema, sweat
  • Right-sided
  • Stamina – wellbeing, fitness
  • Aggravation from exertion and heat
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasm
  • Heat sensations – face, eyes, stomach
  • Epigastric pain and rumbling
  • SRP – Hot flushes with a need to breathe in deeply


  • Children, pregnancy, water, working, others mocking, knives/murder

Donkey hairs were widely believed to cure a number of ailments, and were often worn in a charm around the neck, to guard against whooping-cough, toothache, fits, and to ease teething pains in babies. Riding a donkey was also believed efficacious, especially if the rider faced the donkey’s tail end. Riding a donkey was sometimes used as a preventative for toothache, measles and other children’s complaints. One cure for whooping-cough and ague stated that the patient should be passed under a donkey and over its back either three or nine times; the trick of feeding an animal some of the patient’s hair to transfer the illness was also used with donkeys. The donkey was also used to help cure the complaints of other animals; letting a black donkey run with mares in a field was thought to stop the mares miscarrying.

Lac Caninum

Dogs evolved from wolves as part of the Canid family. They are thought to have first been domesticated in the Middle East, E

urope and Southeast Asia.They are pack animals, with one leader. To ancient civilisations the dog was associated with death and the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians worshiped the dog-headed God of Death – Anubis.

The Old Testament scorns the dog as “unclean”. Islam associates the dog with all that is utterly vile in creation – the symbol of greed and gluttony. Ambiguity arises with the more common perception of dog as man’s best friend. The alchemists used the analogy of the dog devoured by the wolf for the purification of gold by antimony, the penultimate stage of the “Great Work”.

Themes in the Remedy

  • Dogs
  • Disconnection/hovering
  • Restlessness and Anxiety/Guilt
  • Self destruction
  • Failure
  • Sensitivity/Rage
  • Low self esteem – thinks that whatever she says is a lie
  • Hypersensitive amounting to Hysteria
  • Forgetful
  • Aggression and rage
  • Fears and excitement (fainting, falling, snakes, spiders, insects, ghosts
  • Constant desire to wash hands
  • Hypochondria and fear of disease
  • Dependent victim

Physical Symptoms:

  • Warm patients
  • Alternating sides
  • Ravenous appetite
  • Des pungent things (pepper) and salt
  • > Cold applications
  • < before and during menses
  • Parts glisten/shine
  • Vertigo w/sensation of floating in the air
  • Genital organs easily excited from touch
  • Painful, swollen breasts before menses

Clarke – “This remedy represents a state in which the organism does not have the resources to absorb and contain stress and teeters on the brink of collapse”. The anger and rage in the remedy is directed at the self. They can be introverted, exhibit excessive daydreaming and can seem as if in a daze. The remedy can manifest in one of two ways. In the active type there is great sensitivity. In the passive type there is hysteria.

Lac Caprinum

The goat has long been a symbol in mythological stories. It has a varied significance, with gentleness in one tradition and sensuality in another. Both sexes of the goat symbolize fertility, vitality and ceaseless energy. The he-goat (buck) is the epitome of masculine virility and creative energy, while the female (doe) typifies the feminine generative power and abundance. Symbolically, the goat can be interchanged with the gazelle or the antelope. The wild goat of the Old Testament and Arabic lore is the Ibex.

After the dog, the goat was probably the earliest domesticated animal. Goats grazing or at rest, or being milked by a goat-herder are frequent subjects for idyllic scenes, representing the paradisial state; as such they appear on both pagan and Christian sarcophagi.

There have been many strange beliefs and myths about goats. Oppian says they breathe through their horns, while Varro maintains that they breathe through their ears; Pliny expresses a general belief that they are perpetually feverish. Goat skins were used for water and wine bottles when travelling and camping and as parchment for writing. Goat hairs were woven and the animal provided food and milk. The goat, especially the kid, was a sacrificial animal and was used also as a sin-offering (the Scapegoat.) The he-goat is lust personified, and a goat with a human head depicts depravity.

Themes in the Remedy

  • Controlled individuals, prudish
  • Fright and fear of razor sharp deadly teeth and a vulnerability at the sides of the throat
  • Fear of being taken by surprise, of being jumped at (noise, motion)
  • Fear of being pointed at
  • Fear is internalised and not expressed
  • Shameless sexuality
  • Fear of their own sexual impulses
  • Themes of breasts and oral sex
  • Nervous, frightened children clinging to their mothers
  • Individuals in high social position (safe place on a height) who hide sexual indiscretions and are subject to scandal and disgrace.
  • Fear of falling/losing social place or position
  • Childlike helplessness, timidity and innocence
  • Can become indifferent as a strategy to avoid or internalise the fear.
  • The main theme of the remedy can be found in the fairy tale “The Wolf and the 7 Little Goats”

Physical Symptoms

  • Chilliness
  • Left-sided
  • Wandering pains (sharp/stitching)
  • Shooting pains in throat, eyes, abdomen
  • Cracking in joints
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Strong odours – feet and genitals

Lac Defloratum

The Cow is predominantly a symbol of motherhood. The Cow is a symbol of the moon as many moon goddesses wears the horns of a Cow. The Great Mother Cow exists in many cultures. There is Hathor the divine Cow of Egypt and Europa the white moon Cow that mated with Zeus.

About the author

Aisling Murray

Aisling Murray is a homeopath living and practicing in Dublin. She graduated from the Irish School of Homeopathy in Dublin in 2008. She is on the board of directors of the new homeopathic charity Open Homeopathy, which strives to provide free homeopathy clinics nationwide and learning opportunities for students and practicing homeopaths.

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