Therapeutic symptoms of homeopathic remedy Ipecacuanha, described by E.B. Nash in his book, Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics, published in 1898….

Persistent nausea, WHICH NOTHING relieves, in many complaints.

Headache as if bruised, all through the bones of the head, down into root of tongue, WITH NAUSEA.

Stools as if FERMENTED, or as GREEN AS GRASS, with colic and NAUSEA.

Haemorrhages from uterus; profuse, bright blood and heavy breathing, WITH NAUSEA.

Spasmodic, or asthmatic cough; great depression and wheezing breathing;child becomes rigid and turns blue.

Backache, short chill, long fever, heat usually with thirst;raging headache, nAUSEA; and sweat last; NAUSEA during pyrexia.

Better then Quinine in intermittents, or after its abuse, the symptoms agreeing.

IPECAC leads all the remedies for NAUSEA. Any complaint accompanied with persistent nausea, the patient not being at all relieved by vomiting, just as sick after as before– this is what we mean by PERSISTENT nausea. This should at once call attention to this remedy. It is often found in connection with gastric troubles from dietetic errors, and the choice will sometimes be between IPECAC and PULSATILLA, because both are useful in gastric disturbance caused by indulgence in mixed diet– pastry, ice-cream, pork, fatty food, etc. PULSATILLA may be considered the better, while the food is in the stomach. IPECACUANHA after it is OUT but nausea persists not with standing.

Again, with PULS., the tongue is often coated like ANT-C., while with IPECAC there may be a slight coating, or the tongue may be perfectly clean. This vomiting with clean tongue however, is not an infallible indication for IPECAC, for we sometimes find it in connection with worm symptoms, where CINA has it just as prominently, and is the remedy. DIGITALIS also has it in heart disease. IPECAC affects the whole intestinal tract. One very characteristic symptom is that the stomach and bowels feel as if RELAXED and HANGING DOWN.

There are three kinds of looseness of the bowels, or rather three characteristic stools;

1) Fermented stools–foamy, like yeast.

2) Grass green stools–mucous or watery.

3) Slimy stools–dysenteric, with more or less blood.

All these stools are found very often in children, especially in summer time, often as a consequence of overeating or wrong eating, when a dose of IPECAC 200th will set matters to rights, and prevent the little patient from running into so called cholera infantum or entero colitis, which often becomes a very serious and obstinate affection. The characteristic nausea is a sure indication.

We will also find this nausea present, where this remedy is the “proper caper,” in HEADACHES. Headache, as if bruised, all through the bones of the head and down into the root of the tongue. This kind of headache may be of rheumatic origin, but the nausea is there just the same, if IPECAC is to cure. Then we have a sick headache of gastric origin, the nausea beginning before the pain in the head, and continuing all through. In what seems to be hydrocephaloid with this nausea, IPECAC has often cleared up the whole case in a few hours.

Again, we find the nausea accompanying the cough in the affections of the respiratory organs. Also in the haemorrhages and in the fevers in which it is often indicated. In short, we cannot do better then to use Hering’s expression: “NAUSEA; DISTRESSING, CONSTANT, WITH ALMOST ALL COMPLAINTS,AS IF FROM THE STOMACH, WITH EMPTY ERUCTATIONS, ACCUMULATION OF MUCH SALIVA, QUALMISHNESS and EFFORTS TO VOMIT,” NOTHING RELIEVES.

During the nausea, the face Is generally pale, eyes sunken, with blue margins and often there is more or less twitching of face and lips, and sleepiness after vomiting. We have a great many remedies that are powerful emetics, like ANT-T, ZINC-S., LOB., and APOMORPHINE; but so far as I know, the nausea is not so persistent, nor, is it found in connection with so many other affections. Of course, no single symptom, however strong, would justify a prescription, if there were other symptoms just as strong in the same case.

For instance. If there were burning in the stomach, intense thirst, but could not drink, great restlessness and prostration, we would think of ARS., and it is often the best remedy to follow IPECAC if the case goes from bad to worse.

IPECAC affects the mucous lining of the respiratory organs, almost as prominently as it does that of the alimentary tract.

There is a great accumulation of mucus, which loads up the air cells and bronchi, until there seems to be great danger of suffocation. Note the symptoms;


“Threatened suffocation from accumulation of mucus.”

This excessive accumulation of mucus in the air passages seems to excite spasm like a foreign body, and asthma, or spasmodic cough, or both together, ensue. But the spasmodic cough and asthma do not seem to all depend upon accumulation of mucus, for IPECAC is often our best remedy in the first stage of both asthma and whooping cough, before the stage when the mucus is present.



Infantile pneumonia, with chest loaded with mucus, rapid, wheezing respiration, surface blue, face pale, finds a very effectual remedy in IPECACUANHA. Old people with emphysema from chronic asthma are also better by IPECAC. So that we might narrow down the respiratory troubles to two conditions:

1st. Those in which excessive accumulation of mucus characterized the case.

2nd. Those in which spasm was the characteristic feature.

Of course, all the symptoms must be taken into consideration, in order to differentiate between IPECAC and other remedies having the same objective states and conditions.

The control that this remedy has over haemorrhages deserves honorable mention. It has haemorrhages from the nose, stomach, rectum, womb, lungs and bladder;from all the orifices of the body. So does CROTALUS, but the blood in IPECAC is BRIGHT RED not decomposed. SULPH-AC., also has haemorrhage from all the outlets of the body, but the other attending symptoms are different.With IPECAC, the haemorrhages are active, profuse bright red. It is as better remedy then SECALE ever was or can be for post partum haemorrhages, and it is not necessary to use it in large and poisonous doses, or it will stop them in the 200th potency and is quicker in its action then SECALE. Let us notice a few remedies for haemorrhages:

IPECAC Bright red, profuse, with heavy breathing and nausea.

ACONITUM. Active, bright, with great fear and anxiety.

ARNICA. From injuries, bodily fatigue, physical exertion.

BELLADONNA. Blood hot, throbbing carotid, congestion to head.

CARBO-VEG. Almost entire collapse, pale face, wants to be fanned.

CHINA. Great loss of blood, ringing in ears, faintness.

CROCUS. Blood clots, in long, dark strings.

FERRUM. Partly fluid, partly solid, very red face, or red and pale alternately.

HYOSCYAMUS. Delirium, and jerking, and twitching of muscles.


CROTALUS, ELAPS and SULPH-AC., Black fluid blood the first and the last from all extra outlets.

NIT-AC., Active haemorrhages of bright blood.

PHOS., Profuse and persistent, even from small wounds and tumors.

PLAT., Partly fluid, and partly hard black clots.

PULS., Intermittent haemorrhages.

SECALE. Passive flow in feeble, cachetic women.

SULPH., In psoric constitution;other remedies fail.

Other remedies and indications might be added here, but haemorrhage is only one symptom, and never alone furnishes a reliable indication for any remedy. But IPECAC is one of the best IF INDICATED.

IPECAC is a well known intermittent fever remedy in our school. Jahr recommends it in the beginning of all cases, unless there are special indications for some other remedy, and says, ” By pursuing this course I have cured many cases of fever and ague by the first prescription, thus saving myself a good deal of unnecessary seeking and comparing.”Whatever may be said in condemnation of this loose prescribing, it is certainly preferable to the inevitable Quinine prescription of the old school, and some self styled homoeopaths, for the reason that it will CURE more cases than Quinine, and do infinitely less harm. Ipecac., can cure than Quinine, but both can cure the case to which they are homoeopathic, and that in the potentized form of the drug. We have such clear cut indications for the use of many remedies that we need not fail once where the allopaths do twenty times, with their indiscriminate Quinine treatment.

The whole case generally revolves around one to three guiding symptoms, for instance:

IPECAC.The persistent nausea in one or all stages.

ARS., Irregularly developed paroxysms; thirst intense during heat, for small quantities.

EUPATOR. PERF. Bone pains, vomits bile at end of chill;7 to 9 A.M.

IGN., Chill, with red face, better by external heat; frequent sighing.

CAPS., Chill begins between shoulder blades and spreads.

NUX-V., During heat can’t uncover in least, without chill.

NAT-M., Chill 10 to 11 A.M.;bursting headache during heat;sweat better;after Quinine.

RHUS-T., Cough in chill;restless and dry tongue in heat;tossing about.

PODO., Great loquacity during chill and heat; jaundice.

ANT-T., Great sleepiness during heat and sweat, with pale face.

These characteristics are genuine and reliable, and many more might be added if we had time and space, but they can all be found in H. C. Allen’s work on FEVERS. They show how different the remedies, and how particular the true prescriber must be, when selecting his remedy for this, as well as other diseases. Remittents also often come under the control of this remedy.

Dr. E.B. Nash 1838- 1917, was considered one of our finest homeopaths and teachers. He was Prof. of Materia Medica at the N.Y. Homoeopathic Medical College and President of International Hahnemannian Assoc. His book Leaders in Homoeopathic Therapeutics is a classic. This article is from: :The Medical Advance - A monthly magazine of homoeopathic medicine - edited and published by H.C. Allen, M. D.