Viburnum opulus

Viburnum opulus signs and symptoms of the homeopathy medicine from the Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica by J.H. Clarke. Find out for which conditions and symptoms Viburnum opulus is used…

      Viburnum opulus. High Cranberry Bush. Cramp Bark. Water Elder. (The Gueldres Rose, or Snowball-tree of our gardens, is the cultivated and sterile variety.) *N.O. Caprifoliaceae. Tincture of the fresh bark.


After-pains. Cough, of pregnancy. Cramps. Dysmenorrhoea, spasmodic, neuralgic, membranous. Ears, painful. Epididymitis. Headache. Hysteria. Labour pains, false. Lumbago. *Menstruation, *painful. Miscarriage. Ovaries, pain in. Paralysis. Uterus, cramps in, bearing down in.


*Viburnum opulus, a native of Great Britain, is widely distributed over the northern parts of the continent and America. In America (says Hale) the wild species is called “Cramp bark,” and the knowledge of its curative virtues in painful spasmodic diseases, especially in dysmenorrhoea, is derived from the American aborigines. The tincture has a strong odour of *Valerianic acid (as also has that of *Vib. tinus). Hale derived his knowledge from domestic sources. He gives these indications and directions: (1) In spasmodic dysmenorrhoea he gives a few drops of O to 3x thrice daily for a week before the period, every hour when the pains set in, or every fifteen minutes if the pains are severe. (2) False pains preceding labour (3) After-pains, a dose after each pain. (4) Cramps in abdomen and legs of pregnant women. (5) To prevent miscarriage when the pains are spasmodic or threatening. Hale considers it acts like galvanism, he cured with it cases exactly resembling a series cured with galvanism by Neftel. The first provings were by *H.C. Allen, assisted by eleven provers, male and female, with O and Ist and 30th dilutions. Their symptoms constitute the basis of the Schema. Dr. Susan J.Fenton, of Oakland (*Pac. C.J.H., reprinted *New Eng. M. Gaz., xxx. 405), proved *Vib. o. on six provers. One of the six took the tincture up to drachm doses without obtaining a single symptom. One prover was cured of a number of symptoms, but developed no new ones. The other four had very pronounced symptoms, which I have marked in the Schema (F1), (F2), (F3), and (F4). They were (1) Mrs. A., 49, tall slender, rigid fibre, dark hair and eyes nervo-bilious, (F1). (2) Miss B., 21, short, plump, dark hair, grey eyes, phlegmatic, (F2). (3) Miss D., 24, nurse, short, plump, dark hair and eyes, bilious, good health, (F3). (4) Miss E., 21, nurse, medium height, dark-brown eyes, dark hair, bright, lively temperament, (F4), All took potencies at first without eliciting any symptoms. Taking the tincture all had these symptoms with variations: severe backache going through to the front or round the abdomen to uterus. Cramping pelvic pain. Temporal headache. Three had nausea with the pains. All had “sick feeling all over.” One had omission of a period, two had menses too early. The cured case was the following: Miss F., 25, housekeeper, medium height, rather slender, blonde, sanguine, was strong till late in 1891 (i.e., 3 1/2 years before the proving), when she had severe pelvic congestion and was fifteen months under treatment and most of the time in bed. In June, 1892, double oophorectomy was performed with great relief, but attacks of pelvic congestion with severe pain still persisted, at first every two to four weeks, later less frequently, causing impairment of general health and strength. The symptoms were: excruciating pains through lower abdomen, with bearing-down sensation and a feeling as if the body from the waist to lower part of pelvis would collapse, an indescribable sick feeling all over with severe aching in rectum, great depression of spirits, symptoms better when lying down. *Vib. o. O was taken in three- drop doses thrice daily. After taking it for three days she lost all her symptoms and felt “perfectly well for the first time in over four years”. It is evident that “sick feeling all over” in connection with pelvic complaints, and “worse from movement, better by rest” are keynotes of *Vib. o. Peculiar Sensations are: As if she could not tell where she was or what to do on awaking. Crushing pain in head. Opening and shutting in left parietal region. As if stabbing with a knife in eyes and ears. Ear as if bruised, as if pinned to head. As if she could not live, sick feeling at stomach. Sick feeling all over. Goneness as if stomach empty. As if body from waist to lower pelvis would collapse. As if a hot fluid running through splenic vessels. As if urine continued to flow after urinating. As if menses coming on. As if pelvic organs were turning upside down. As if parts would be forced through vulva and she must support the part. Pain in back and across lower abdomen. As if breath would leave body and heart would cease beating. Bruised feeling in back as after severe exertion. Buzzing in hands as if they would burst. Left side as if strained or bruised by over-lifting. The *left side is much more powerfully affected than the right. *Vib. o. is Suited to tall, slender, dark-or fair-haired hysterical subjects. The symptoms are: worse By sudden jar. better By pressure. worse By motion. Rest, lying down better. Lying on left side impossible. Straining at stool worse headache. Stooping causes dizziness. Rising causes fainting, nausea, and dizziness. worse At night. worse In close room. Open air better.


*Antidoted by: Aconite (epididymitis), Verbascum (Diarrhoea). *Compare: Botan., Sambucus, Vib. p., Vib. t. Chemical, Valer. Nervous, rheumatic diathesis, Actea r. cramp like abdominal pains and menstrual symptoms, Caulo. Threatened miscarriage, pains go down into thighs, Chamomilla (with Chamomilla pains are intolerable, and there is flow of dark blood). Pains coming round pelvis to uterus, goneness, bearing down, feeling that organs will escape from vulva, and wants support, nervousness, Sepia (with Vib. the bearing down is more violent and culminates in uterus in cramps). Uterine cramps, Caulophyllum, Secale, Actea r. Aching eyeballs, Actea r. Bearing-down pains, Belladonna, Calcarea, Gossyp., Lilium tigrinum, Pul., Sul. Left ovarian and left inframammary pain, Lilium tigrinum, Lachesis, Caulophyllum, Sul., Ustil. better Menses coming on, Lachesis



Exaltation of spirits, in some cases followed by depression.- Depressed.- Irritable, wishes to be alone.- Very nervous and excessively irritable, lasting all day (F3).- Confusion, and inability to concentrate thoughts.- Stupid feeling as if I could not tell where I was or what to do in morning on waking.- Inability to perform mental labour.


Vertigo: in afternoon on closing eyes, worse descending stairs or walking in a dimly-lighted room, with inclination to turn to left, as if he would fall forward on rising from a seat.- Head hurt by every cough.- Pain in head: beginning about 3 p.m., worse at night, with red face.- Throbbing in head, all the evening, so severe on retiring that I felt sick all over.- Heavy headache, over eyes, worse left side, at times extending to vertex and occiput (worse when delayed menses should appear), worse a sudden jar, bending over, false step or movement.- Dull, heavy pain right side of head, throbbing on movement, better by rest, with dizziness and nausea (F2).- Very painful shootings from temples (worse r.) to base of brain (F3). Head dull and sluggish. Frontal headache: over left eye, in right supraorbital region, in forenoon over eyes on opening them, the soreness extending back into head, with occasional vertigo, almost incapacitating him for study, with profuse and frequent micturition, and in supraorbital region, with profuse, clear, watery urine.- Headache beginning over right eye and extending to vertex, with fullness in head and pressure on vertex.- Throbbing pain in forehead, extending to eyeballs, worse by mental exertion., better moving about.- Terrible crushing pain in head, worse left parietal region where there is sensation as if head opening and shutting, worse by motion, by mental exertion, better by rest (F1). Confusing, dull frontal headache extending to temples as after night-watching, compelling cessation of mental exertion. Pain in left temple, with pinching. Pain in left side of head. Sharp pain in parietal region penetrating into brain, worse coughing, moving head, and at stool. Pressive pain in right supraorbital region.- Hair feels as if pulled.- Scalp sensitive to touch.


Swelling about right eye with induration.- Sclerotica streaked with blood.- Sensation of sand in eyes.- Pain in right eye with congestion.- Sore feeling on closing lids.- Burning and lachrymation.- Heaviness of eyes, feels almost sick enough to go to bed.- Heaviness over eyes and in balls, at times had to look twice to be sure of seeing an object. Eyeballs feel sore, (also F1).- Lids swollen.


Stabbing in ears.- Pains in bone waking at night.- External ear sore as if bruised, cannot lie on affected side of head, had to rub ear and it seemed as if I must straighten it out, sensation as if pinned to head, lay on other side, and was awakened by same feeling in that ear, in consequence compelled to change position often.


Sneezing.- Watery coryza.


Very pale with dark circles under eyes (F4).- Face and lips pale, dark circles under eyes (F2).- Face swollen and congested with dark circles under eyes.- Face flushed and hot.- Lips dry.


Tooth sore on pressure.


Tongue broad and white, with brown center and imprints of teeth.- Dryness of tongue, of mouth.- Taste disagreeable, coppery.


Tickling in right side of pharynx, causing cough.


No desire to eat, stomach feels full (F3).- Nausea: every night, during menses, for ten days after menses, with faintness at stomach, better eating, with faintness, both returning, in pit of stomach, better lying perfectly quiet, faintness always on trying to get up, with faintness, (without inclination to vomit), better eating, then vomiting.- Pain in stomach in afternoon, better stretching body and throwing stomach forward.- Cramp-like pain in stomach and abdomen, doubling him up.- Cramping pain in stomach (F1). Sensitiveness of stomach region.- Indigestion, food lies heavy.- (Dyspepsia, habitual, with flatus, nausea and distension, and general catarrhal tendency.- ***R.T.C.). Goneness.


Rumbling and darting and flying pains in abdomen.- Darting pains, which settle about navel.- Bearing-down pains as during menstruation, with heavy pain over pubes.- Bearing-down pain, with drawing pains in anterior muscles of thighs and occasional shootings in ovarian regions. -Soreness of abdomen (F3). Sensitiveness to pressure, worse about umbilicus.- Pressure of flatus in left side. – Throbbing pain under left floating ribs from 11 p.m. till 3 a.m., better hard pressure and walking about the room.- Throbbing in left hypochondrium when lying on left side.- Sticking in spleen in evening, better walking about the room, with sensation as if a hot fluid ran through its vessels.- Pain in region of spleen causing faintness, better sweat.- Cramping pain in hypogastrium during menstruation.- Sudden cramping pain, as before menstruation, worse night. Constant bearing down from back through to front in ovarian and uterine region (F3).- (Feeling as if the body from the waist down to lower pelvis would collapse.).

Stool & Anus

Stools watery, profuse, frequent, at menstrual period, with chills and cold sweat rolling off forehead.- Haemorrhage of dark red blood during and after stool.- Inactivity, no inclination for stool.- Constipation, with tenesmus, when bowels moved pain in left orbital region.- Desire with much straining.- Constipation alternating with diarrhoea.- Stools: hard, large, with cutting in rectum and anus when passed, hard, large, painful and so difficult that mechanical assistance was necessary, scanty, in balls, long, large, hard and difficult, having a desire to evacuate, but on attempting feels as if nothing were there, evacuation occurs slowly and only after long straining.- Large stool, difficult, with urging.- Irregular.- Omitted two days, then hard stool, with blood and soreness of anus.- Frequent desire for stool with aching haemorrhoids, frequent urination (F1).

Urinary Organs

Sensation after micturition as if urine continued to flow.- Frequent, profuse urination (F1).- Copious urine, in morning, clear, watery, sp. gr. 1019, frequent micturition, every hour in afternoon and evening, at night, and pale, sp. gr. 1021, every hour or two during menses, and clear, light-coloured, and watery, in afternoon, watery, clear, micturition frequent.- Spurting of urine when coughing (***J.C.B.).- Light-coloured urine.

Male Sexual Organs

Pain and swelling of epididymis and testicle of left side, next day epididymis of right side so painful and swollen he was compelled to wear a suspensory bandage.- Emission without dream.

Female Sexual Organs

Leucorrhoea: thick, white, and copious, thin, yellowish white after menses, thin, colourless, except with every stool, when it was thick, white, inodorous, blood-streaked, causing redness, smarting and itching of genitals.- Sudden pain in womb and hypogastrium before menstruation.- Pain in ovarian region. Congested feeling in pelvic organs, as before menses.- Bearing- down pains: in pelvic region, with uneasiness, as before menses, as during menses, with heavy aching in sacral region and over pubes, as during menses, with heavy aching in sacral region and over pubes, as during menses with drawing pains in anterior muscles of thighs, every day after 3 p.m., with occasional shooting over ovaries, later the same, with nervousness, could not sit or lie still on account of the pains.- Menstrual pain, with feeling as if the breath would leave her body and heart would cease to beat.- Crampy, colicky pains in both ovarian regions, extending down thighs (F1).- Slight, deep-seated pain in right ovarian region, extending down thigh and worse by walking or exertion (F2).- Bearing down as if menses would appear (F2).- Whole pelvis feels full and congested (F2).- At 4 a.m., heavy bearing-down pains running from back around abdomen to uterus where pain is cramping, pressure on bladder, surprised to find herself menstruating (eight days after previous period ceased F3).- At intervals, distressing, grinding pains in ovaries and uterus, with sensation as if organs were turning upside down, and as if parts were being forced through vulva, desire to support the parts (F3).- Menses began ten days early (always regular before), pain in back and cramps lasted throughout the period (F4).- Menses: too early, profuse and offensive, too late, scanty, thin, light-coloured, lasting but a few hours, with lightness of head, faintness on attempting to sit up, look like jelly, stain permanently, ceased for several hours, then four large clots of the colour of raw beef, but as solid as liver, for two days flow like normal menses, but with cramping pain and nervousness.- (Dysmenorrhoea excruciating colic through the

uterus and lower part of the abdomen, just preceding menstruation.- After-pains. Membranous dysmenorrhoea.- Cramps in the calves always between the menses, worse just before the period, with scanty, delayed menstruation, dysmenorrhoea.- Cramps in abdomen and legs in pregnant women, & c.).

Respiratory Organs

Hoarse. – Suffocating spells at night.- Cough during second month of pregnancy, worse night and morning and on lying down, urine spurting out when coughing (***J.C.B.).


Shooting over left sixth rib near sternum.- Feeling of oppression over whole chest (F4).- In lungs sensation as if muscles of chest failed to act, causing dyspnoea.


Clutching pain in region of heart worse by any exertion (F4). – Excruciating, cramping pain in heart (F4).- Palpitation, with sensation of lack of air after each severe pain (F3).- Heart’s action increased.


Pain as if back would break during menses.- Lame and bruised feeling in muscles of back.- Wandering, tired pains in muscles, worse left side.- Terrible clutching, cramping pain beginning in back, extending round lower abdomen to uterus with bearing down, as if menses would appear (lasted six days, better only when menses appeared, having missed the previous month F1).- Tired, bruised pain in muscles from point of scapula to wing of ilium, on both sides of spine, better firm pressure.- Pain: in lumbar region, between left floating ribs and wing of ilium, better pressure, but must keep moving, in kidney region, worse working in laboratory, better pressing across back with arms crossed, in left loin and left hypochondrium, causing faintness, better warm sweat though the night was cool, throbbing in left loin, worse lying down, better walking with cane pressed across back, in back, loins, and hypogastrium as if menses were coming on, worse early part of evening and in a close room, better open air and moving about.- Pain in back in region of sacrum, an “unjointed feeling” (F4).


Aching in limbs (F2).- Aching of arms and thighs, feet somewhat swollen (F3).

Upper Limbs

Pain in right shoulder.- Soreness of left shoulder in region of subclavian muscle, worse rest and wet weather, better motion, with lameness.- Pain in left biceps.- Numbness of left arm and hand.- Buzzing feeling in hands as if they would burst.- Swelling of fingers, worse washing in cold water, with numbness.

Lower Limbs

Weakness of lower extremities with heaviness.- Wandering, tired pains extending to hips and knees, with disinclination to move about.- Cramps in legs in pregnant women.- Feeling in feet as from the starting of circulation after constriction is removed.- Cramps in feet after long walking.


Pains flying from one part to another, wandering, tired pains extending to hips and knees.- Felt bloated all over (F3).- Sick feeling all over (F1,2,3,4). Pains causes perspiration, during the pains felt she could not move (F3).- Great exhaustion (F3). – Paralytic condition coming on after convulsions.- Hysterical convulsions from uterine conditions.- Cramps and contractions of limbs, especially during pregnancy.


Retired early, very restless sleep, felt sick all over, when asleep, sensation of falling and awakened frequently with a start (F3).- Desire to sleep between severe pains from exhaustion, but could not (F3).


Chill followed by severe headache.- Dripping wet all over, with the pains.

John Henry Clarke
John Henry Clarke MD (1853 – November 24, 1931 was a prominent English classical homeopath. Dr. Clarke was a busy practitioner. As a physician he not only had his own clinic in Piccadilly, London, but he also was a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and researched into new remedies — nosodes. For many years, he was the editor of The Homeopathic World. He wrote many books, his best known were Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica and Repertory of Materia Medica