Below are the main rubriks (i.e strongest indications or symptoms) of Lachesis in traditional homeopathic usage, not approved by the FDA.
Have you ever used Lachesis? Yes No
Feels very sad and despondent, worse after sleeping, or in the morning.
Enemy of all constriction; must loosen everything (neck, chest, throat, abdomen, etc.)
Left-sided affections generally, especially throat, chest, ovaries.
Inflamed parts very tender to touch and of bluish or dark color.
Great weakness and trembling; tongue trembles when protruding it; catches under the teeth (lower).
Blood decomposes, breaks down, haemorrhages; blood uncoagulable; ulcers and even slight wounds bleed profusely.
Modalities worse at climacteric; touch, constriction or pressure, sun-heat, after sleeping; better after discharges (suppressed or delayed discharges).
Many complains connected with the menopause hot flushes, hot sweats, burning vertex headaches, haemorrhoids, haemorrhages.
Great physical and mental exhaustion; trembling in whole body; would constantly sink from weakness.
To Dr. Constantine Hering belongs the honor of introducing and developing the wonderful medicinal properties of this Bothrops Lanceolatus snake poison. If he had never done anything beside this for medicine, the world would owe him an everlasting debt of gratitude. It alone would immortalize him. All this, and more; notwithstanding, Chas. Hempel wrote in his first volume of Materia Medica "In spite of every effort to the contrary, the conviction has gradually forced itself upon my mind that the pretended pathogenesis of Lachesis, which has emanated from Dr. Hering's otherwise meritorius and highly praiseworthy efforts, is a great delusion, and that with the exception of the poisonous effects with which this publication is abundantly mingled the balance of the symptoms are unreliable." Hempel modified his views somewhat, I think, in later editions.
Now, it is interesting to note that in Allen's Encyclopaedia of Pure Materia Medica, the verified, and especially the black-typed symptoms, almost all of them, are verifications of provings made with the 30th potency. It is also significant that the provings of Hahnemann's polycrest remedies, mostly made with the potencies, are among the most useful and reliable we have to-day. Some have sought to destroy confidence in the provings of all remedies which are made with the 30th potencies and upwards; not only that, but in their power to cure even when the provings were made with cruder preparations. With us, who know the value of these potencies, all such efforts only excite pity. But many who do not know are misled and prejudiced so as to never dare to test for themselves. To all such we say take no man's ipse dixit, but prove all things, "hold fast that which is true." .
Lachesis is a remedy of wide range of action. It has an alternate action on the mind and sensorium, that of excitation and depression. Illustrative of the former are the following symptoms "Quick comprehension, mental activity with almost prophetic perception, ecstasy, a kind of trance. Exceptional loquacity, with rapid change of subjects; jumps abruptly from one idea to another." This kind of excitation may be found in acute chronic complaints.
Lachesis has some prominent head symptoms where no other remedy can take its place. It is one of our best remedies for sun headaches; of course it does not compare with Glonoin Glonoine for the immediate effects of sunstroke, but does come in well after the first effects are overcome by that remedy. The patient is troubled with headache every time he is exposed to the sun's heat, and the trouble has become chronic (Natrum Carbonicum Nat. carb.).
Lachesis is another characteristic symptom, namely weight or pressure on the vertex. (Cactus Grandiflorus Cactus, Glonoin Glonoine, Menyanthes Menyanthes). This is found mostly in women suffering at the menopause, and coupled with it in such cases there is sometimes burning on the vertex. Sulphur Sulphur has this symptom, but if it occurred at the menopause the remedy would oftener be found in Lachesis, unless, indeed, there were some marked psoric complications. Lachesis has a variety of headaches, but I know of only two characteristics that have been of very much value to me in prescribing for them, namely, with then headache very pale face, and the patient sleeps into the headache; dreads to go to sleep because she awakens with such a distressing headache. These two are very valuable indications, otherwise I would expect to get my indications outside of the headache itself. "Headache extending into the nose, comes mostly in acute catarrh, especially when the discharge has been suppressed or stops after sleep. This kind of headache is often found in hay fever, with frequent and violent paroxysms of sneezing. Now if the hay fever paroxysms of sneezing are decidedly worse after sleeping, even in the daytime, Lachesis 2000th may stop the whole business for the season." Being an old hay fever subject myself, I am authority on that statement.
We now come to the action of Lachesis on the alimentary tract; first the gums are often swollen and spongy, easily bleeding.
"Throat and neck sensitive to slightest touch, or external pressure (Sepia Sepia).." This is very characteristic. Another peculiarity is that empty swallowing, or swallowing of saliva or liquids, aggravates a great deal more than swallowing of solids. The pains in the throat run up into the ears. There is much mucus in fauces, with painful hawking. In tonsillitis and diphtheria, swelling of tonsils begins on left side and extends to the right (Sabadilla Sabadilla). The pains are aggravated by hot drinks (reverse, Sabadilla Sabadilla). All these symptoms are peculiar to Lachesis, and are all apt to be very much worse after sleep. In old quinsy subjects, where the trouble always began on the left side, I have often not only aborted the attack, but cured the predisposition thereto.
If the skin turns purple or bluish, as if mortification were impending, there is no remedy like it. Not only is Lachesis an unusually efficacious remedy for these acute throat troubles, but for those of a chronic form, and the same symptoms are present, even in syphilitic throat troubles. We have placed great stress upon the great sensitiveness of the throat to all touch or pressure; but this does not end it, for, as Lilienthal expresses it, Lachesis is the great enemy of all constriction. "The pit of stomach sore to the touch, or even to pressure of clothes." "Cannot bear any pressure about the hypochondria." In the abdomen there is "Painful distention, flatulence, which is very annoying, can bear no pressure.
Lachesis has some peculiar symptoms of stool and anus. There is an urging, or rather a pressing down, in the rectum, but it is worse when he attempts a stool; hurts so that he must desist. It feels as if the anus were closed. This is somewhat like the constant or rather frequent, though ineffectual, urging to stool of Nux Vomica Nux vomica.
Lachesis is often of great use in that very common malady, haemorrhoids; and here you have the constricted feeling, whether the piles are external or blind, and sometime a beating or throbbing, or as the patient will perhaps express it, a sensation of "little hammers" beating in the rectum. All these symptoms and many more show the affinity of Lachesis for the anus and rectum, as they do also its power over disease of the whole alimentary tract.
The respiratory organs and chest also come under the influence of Lachesis. Paralysis of the vocal chords, causing loss of voice.
larynx is sensitive to least touch; it causes suffocation.
seems to sleep into it. Spasm of the glottis; sensation of something running from neck to larynx, stopping the breath. It has great shortness of breath when walking, especially in old topers and in heart affections, when this condition is always the guide to its use. "The least thing coming near the mouth or nose interferes with breathing.
Now look out for the Lachesis tongue in these cases. Lachesis is also one of our most useful remedies in heart troubles, acute or chronic, the peculiar suffocation, cough and aggravation from constrictions being the guiding symptoms.
No remedy more profoundly impresses the nervous system than this. In the first place it causes trembling, not from fright or excitement, but from extreme weakness. In this it resembles Gelsemium Sempervirens Gelsemium; both have great trembling of the tongue on trying to protrude it. With both remedies the whole body trembles.
There is, however, another place in which I have seen it accomplish much and that is in the languor, weariness and prostration from hot weather. The heat not only aches, but the whole body seems prostrated by sun heat. (Antimonium Crudum Antim. crud., Gelsemium Sempervirens Gelsemium, Glonoin Glonoine, Natrum Carbonicum Natrum Carb., , Nat Mur Natrum m, Natrum Carbonicum c">.)
Worse after sleep, or rather the patient sleeps into an aggravation, is a genuine characteristic of Lachesis, no matter what the enemies of Lachesis say of it. On this line there is one particular symptom to which I wish to call attention, i. e., "As soon as the patient falls asleep, the breathing stops." This is as Hering expresses it. I have oftener found it this way; the patient cannot go clear off into sleep, because just on the verge of it the breath stops and he wakens catching for breath. This is often found in heart troubles, functional or organic, and is very distressing. Grindelia Robusta Grindelia robusta has a similar symptom. (Also Digitalis Purpurea Digitalis).
We find ourselves drawn out to a greater length on this trul; remedy than we had anticipated when we began writing we have also found it a much more useful remedy than we had anticipated from our impressions of it when reading Charles Hempel (for whom we have great respect) in our studenthood. It wears well for those who use it in the 30th potency and upwards. Don't forget that Lachesis is preeminently a left-sided remedy, as Lycopodium Lycopodium is a right-sided one. Left-sided paralysis, ovarian affections, throat troubles, lung troubles, headaches, etc., all make us think of Lachesis first because of its positiveness in this respect. Of course, if the other symptoms were present in right-sided affections we would not hesitate to use it. Lachesis is often a remedy of great value in skin affections.
Now we bid our old and tried friend an affectionate good-by for a time, and heartily recommend all who have not done so to seek his acquaintance.