Crotalus Horridus

James Tyler Kent describes the symptoms of the homeopathic medicine Crotalus Horridus in great detail and compares it with other homeopathy remedies. …


Aspect: The first impression would be to rebel against the use of such substances as Crot., Lachesis, Apis and other animal poisons, and it is true that the lay mind must look with something like horror upon their administration; but when they are properly used and when we consider the dreadfulness of the necessity demanding them, and also when we have ascertained that there can be no substitute when demanded, and again that they are potentized and changed until they are perfectly pure, because reduced to a state of simple substance, the horror passes away from the mind.

It is true that the diseases that call for the use of such substances as Crot. are very grave. When at the bedside of a Crot. patient one feels that death is very near, the subject is horrible to look upon, and the mother in regard to her child, or the husband, would immediately say,

“Doctor, use anything in order to save the life; resort to anything in order to heal this sick one.”

The symptoms are peculiar in Crot.. The remedy stands out by itself. There can be no substitute for it, as there is no other remedy, taken as a whole, that looks it.

The other snake poisons form the nearest resemblance, but this one is the most dreadful of all, excepting perhaps, the Ancistrodon contortrix (Copperhead).

In the case of snake bites we get the most dire effects; we see death itself, we see the ending after a very rapid course, the very highest type of zymosis. These snake poisons are supposed to be cyanhydrates of soda and other salts.

It is known that alcohol is the natural solvent of the cyanhydrates, and because of this alcohol has been used in great quantities in snake bites, and it has frequently prolonged and even saved life. If he lives through the violent attack he goes on forever manifesting the chronic effects, and from these we have collected symptoms.

Dogs that have been bitten manifested the chronic effects of rattlesnake bite, and in them a peculiar periodicity has been manifested, viz., every spring as the cold weather subsides and the warm days begin

I once had the privilege of tracing up a dog that had been bitten by the Cenchris and had survived. It was bitten in the region of the neck, and in that region a large abscess formed every spring as long as that dog lived, until old age, when he died from that disease. The periodicity in the snake poisons is related to the spring, to the coming on of the warm weather.

Another marked general feature in Crot., as in most of the other Ophidians, is that the patient sleeps into the aggravation.

The poison of the Crot. horridus, in its earliest manifestations, is like unto the zymotic changes that we find in scarlet fever, in diphtheria, in typhoid and low forms of blood poisoning, those cases that come on with great rapidity, breaking down of the blood, relaxation of the blood vessels, bleeding from all of the orifices of the body, rapidly increasing unconsciousness like one intoxicated and besotted in appearance.

Prostration: A mental and physical prostration that is almost paralytic in character. Scarlet fever when it becomes putrid; typhoid when it becomes putrid, diphtheria with much bleeding and putridity. The body appears mottled, blue intermingled with yellow jaundice comes on with astonishing quickness, and the eyes become yellow, and the skin becomes yellow and mottled. Blue in spots. Black and blue spots as if bruised, intermingled with yellow. After hemorrhages the skin becomes extremely anemic.

It is yellow, pale, bloodless. The body looks like wax. Hemorrhage from the ears, eyes, nose, lungs, from the mucous membranes everywhere, from the bowels, from the uterus, A haemorrhagic constitution.

Crot. is indicated in disease of the very lowest, the most putrid type, coming on with unusual rapidity, reaching that putrid state in an unusually short time. One who has been poisoned rapidly sinks into, this besotted, benumbed. putrid, semi-conscious state. There is a feeling as if death were coming over him. As the blood oozes out it becomes black, It is sometimes fluid.

An awful state of nervousness prevails. Trembling of the limbs, tremulous weakness. On protruding the tongue it comes out quivering. Tired by the slightest exertion. Sudden prostration of the vital powers. A paralytic weakness prevails throughout.

Twitching of the muscles, trembling of the limbs. Sliding down in bed occurs in the typhoid conditions where this remedy has proved of benefit, the forms of yellow fever with great prostration. This species of yellow fever has been cured by this remedy. Convulsions and paralysis. It has twitching of muscles something like chorea, trembling, localized spasms, hysterical manifestations.

Mind: The mental symptoms are well worth examining. The low form of delirium, muttering, talking to himself is a peculiar form of loquacity. It differs somewhat from Lachesis. Both have loquacity.

The Lachesis loquacity is so rapid that if anyone in the room commences to tell something the patient will take it up and finish the story, although he has never heard anything about it, so active is his mind. No one is permitted to finish a story in the presence of a Lachesis patient. One will commence to tell something. He will say,

“Oh, yes; I understand it and he will go off on another line and finish up with something entirely different.

Crot. does that, too, but Crot. will take it up and mumble and stumble over his words in a clumsy manner.

It is a low passive state like intoxication; in Lachesis it is wild excitement.

“Delirium with languor, drowsiness, stupor.”

That tells it.

“Loquacious delirium with desire to escape from bed.”

It is passive, however. His motions are slow.

“Muttering delirium of typhus.


His thoughts dwell on death continually.

“Excessive sensitiveness.

Moved to tears by reading.

Melancholy with timidity, fear.

Anxious and pale, with cold sweat.

Irritable, cross, infuriated by least annoyance.”

On motion there is vertigo, dizziness. On keeping still there is pain. On going to sleep there is pain, and he is roused by violent pain. The longer he sleeps the more severe that pain in the head.

Sleep: He sleeps into his symptoms. All the snake poisons more or less sleep into troubles. The head troubles come on after sleep. He sleeps into headache. The longer he sleeps the harder are the headaches.

Head: The headache is so hard in the back of the head that it is almost impossible to raise it from the pillow. The muscles become so tired he has to take hold of it with his hands. This belongs also to Lachesis A congestive headache with waxy face, yellow, purple, mottled face, as if there had been bruises.

“Headache extending into the eyes.

Bilious headache every few days.”

Severe sick headache, together with dizziness, throbbing in the top of the head. Dull, pulsating headaches. Dull, heavy, throbbing, occipital headaches or the whole head is in a state of congestion. He is confused and dazed. Head feels too large.

Head feels full, feels as if it would burst. Headaches that come on in waves as if they came up the back, a surging of blood upwards, an orgasm described as if the blood rushed upwards.

Headache with surging in waves and excited by motion or jar, by turning over in bed, by rising up in bed, or by lying down. Change of position will cause this surging. In Lachesis it is described, and I have seen it verified, as beginning away down in the spine and surging upward coincident with the pulse.

Eyes: Hemorrhage from the eyes. Yellow appearance of the eyes.

“Blood exudes from the eye, burning in eyes; redness with lachrymation.”

Pressure in the eyes as if the eyes would be pushed out from the head. Paralysis of the upper lids. Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the lids.

Ears: Surging in the ears.

“Sensitive to noises.”

Dull aching and throbbing in the ears. Foetid, copious, yellow, offensive, bloody discharges from the ears. Blood oozing from the ears in drops in zymotic diseases, low forms of scarlet fever, or of diphtheria where there is oozing from the eyes and ears, and copious bleeding from the nose.

The nose is the most common organ to bleed in zymotic diseases. The rush of blood seems to get relief from bleeding from the nose. In this medicine the congestion to the head is violent with bleeding from the nose. It has cured all forms of foetid discharge. Horrible, foetid, putrid discharges from the nose. Ozoena.

Inflammation of the parotid gland. Blueness and discoloration of the face. Yellow appearance of the face, a marked condition of jaundice. In girls who appear waxy or anemic, yellowish green, have for a long time missed the menstrual period and break out in pustules and pimples.

Mouth: This patient often wakes up during the night grinding the teeth. The taste is bad, putrid. Inflammation of the gums. Bleeding from the mouth. Inflammation of the throat with bleeding of the throat. Burning in the throat and mouth, Trembling, quivering and swollen tongue. Trembling of the tongue when it is put out. Trembling of the hands when they are moved.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.