By Sidgwick R M.


THIS remedy is a preparation of t…


THIS remedy is a preparation of the venom of the Surukuku snake, a South American reptile, It was introduced into the Homoeopathic Materia Medica by Hering as long ago as 1837. Clarke mentions that most of the provings were made with the 30c and higher potencies.

Lachesis has several well-marked symptoms. Perhaps the best known is the aggravation after sleep. The Lachesis patient is pat to sleep into an aggravation. Left sidedness is a marked feature of the Lachesis symptoms. Symptoms moving from left to right is another keynote. Better from the onset of a discharge is another characteristic of Lachesis. This may appear as the relief of symptoms when the menstrual discharge begins. Or the relief of a headache by nasal catarrh.

Or the patient may be worse from the non-appearance of an expected discharge, as in a case of suppressed menses. Another marked symptom is great sensitiveness of the surface of the body. He does not want to be touches, and any constriction is unbearable. It is not, as Clarke points out, that touch is really painful. It is that touch, constriction or pressure causes great uneasiness, particularly in the region of the throat. Lachesis is one of those patients who dislike heat, particularly the heat of the sun. Hot baths do not suit him.

Mentally, Lachesis is apt to be a trying person to live with. He will wake up in the morning in a very depressed state of mind, Her may no reason for his misery. Everything seems wrong. He is full of fears and distrust. These miserable forebodings are less unbearable in the open air. Suspicion, jealousy, and great loquacity are typical of Lachesis. Kent says that religious insanity often needs Lachesis. The patient-he says-will talk endlessly of his or her wickedness which is usually quite imaginary.

The headaches often begin in the morning on waking. There may be nausea, vomiting and vertigo. The pains are often described as bursting or pulsating. The pain may come up from the occipital region, or the back of the neck, and then over the head. Waves of pain, pulsating pains, are typical, usually worse after sleep.

The are many eye symptoms. Haemorrhages, inflamed conditions and photophobia.

The ears may exhibit the Lachesis sensitiveness to touch in the internal ear. There may be catarrhal conditions in the eustachian tube.

The nose is too sensitive to smell. Catarrh with headache. The headache is better when the nose secretes freely. Bleeding from the nose. Lachesis is a great remedy for haemorrhage in a Lachesis patient. The blood looks like burnt straw when it dries.

The typical facial appearance is puffy, mottled and inclined to be purple. But the facial appearance may be anything but typical. “Face pale, wan, wasted and cadaverous” (Clarke).

The mouth may show swollen gums which bleed easily, Nash says: “If the gums turn purple the indication for Lachesis is strengthened.” Nash points out that our very characteristic symptom is found in the tongue namely, “Puts the tongue out with great difficulty, it is very dry, trembles and catches under the lower teeth”.

Lachesis is a notable throat remedy, and a great many symptoms are given in Clarke and Kent. The throat is usually worse on the left side and the symptoms may pass from left to right. The pains run up into the ears, and the colour of the tongue and throat tends to be livid or purplish. The least touch on the external throat cause distress. Empty swallowing is more painful than swallowing food. In the chronic type of throat there is much sticky mucus causing ineffectual hawking and spitting.

The stomach shows a great variety of symptoms. The stomach is tender when touched. The may be gnawing hunger better by eating. Tight garments are unbearable. Cramps, vomiting, nausea may be present.

The abdomen has the Lachesis sensitiveness to any pressure. LAchesis is sometimes needed for gall stones in the right side of the abdomen, and Lachesis may be needed in appendicitis or in liver pains going form right to left, which as Clarke points out is contrary to the usual left to right direction of Lachesis symptoms. But some of the keynote symptoms of Lachesis should be present.

Obstinate constipation with a feeling of constriction in the rectum, or diarrhoea with colic, nausea and vomiting. Stitching pains in the rectum when sneezing or coughing. Haemorrhoids.

Lachesis is often needed by women. It is useful at the climacteric period. There may be flashes of heat, headaches, faintings, and here again the pressure of her clothes makes the patient feel worse. Menses are apt to be suppressed or scanty. All the symptoms are better from the flow.

The child has many symptoms. He wants to draw long breaths and he is apt to feel suffocated when lying down. Dr. suffocating tickling cough. There may be palpitation with cough and a feeling of suffocation.

The neck, back, shoulders and upper limbs are affected by the drug. Clarke gives “Nape of neck excessively sensitive to least pressure”. I remember a patient who complained of violent pain and intense tenderness in the nape of the neck, always worse after sleep. One dose of LAchesis 200 cured in two days. Pain in the shin bones is characteristic.

Lachesis has numerous skin symptoms. Offensive ulcers very sensitive to touch. The skin tends to assume a purple colour. Tenderness and a purple colour of swellings suggests Lachesis.

The patient often feels much better when awake. The sleep brings an aggravation. Clarke notes that in cases of croup needing Lachesis the child will start an attack as soon as he falls asleep.

Lachesis is a great remedy in certain types of haemorrhage. It is a remedy of wide range and the indication for it in the presence of some of its characteristic symptoms, particularly those affecting the patient as a whole. Look for (1) Worse by heat, particularly the heat of the sun. (2) Left sidedness with symptoms going from left to right. (3) Worse after sleep. (4) Better from free discharges. (5) Blue or purplish swellings, tender to touch. (6) Sensitiveness of surface of the body with dislike of touch or constriction. (7) Last but not least the mental symptoms.

R M Sidgwick