HELONIAS symptoms of the homeopathy remedy from Plain Talks on Materia Medica with Comparisons by W.I. Pierce. What HELONIAS can be used for? Indications and personality of HELONIAS…



      (Helonias-eyes, helos, a marsh, because some species frequent bogs)

A peculiarity about this plant, which does not interest us as physicians, is that botanists seem disinclined to let it retain any one name for very long and have now changed the one that we use and call the plant Chamoelirium lily.

What does interest us is that the ordinary names are common to many other plants, which may o may not have similar medical properties, and the origin of the name, Devil’s Bit, that I remember it by, in the subject of more than one explanation. The version that I accept, principally because it seems to me the most plausible, is based upon a peculiarity of the root which, when cut across, shows the little rootlets freely movable in their channels of foramina (like the thread in the eye of a needle), as though they were disconnected with the rest of the root.

Legend accounts for it thus: The evil spirit angered that to root should have the power to cure all disorders – as was then supposed – bit off a portion of it so as to curtail its usefulness, hence the name Devil’s Bit (from Millspaugh).

Helonias is indigenous to North America.

It was, perhaps, first proved by Dr. Tully, in 1832, who took from 10-30 minims of the tincture of the root at a dose, but it never had the thorough proving to which it is entitled, especially by women.

Dr. S. A. Jones, who published the result of his proving in 1871, thinks that the keynote of the subjective symptoms of helonias is, “amelioration while doing something (8). The headache disappears when the attentions engaged. The pains vanish when one is busied. The sense of profound debility is lost when exercising.”.


      Helonias is essentially a woman’s remedy and it is indicated where there is muscular atony or weakness.

It is adapted to two great classes of women for those who are all tired out from doing nothing and need some new and untried form of excitement to keep them going; and for those who are all worn out from overwork, so used up that they can neither rest (160) nor sleep.

It is of value, in either sex, for the debility following exhausting diseases (156), especially diphtheria. It producers depression both of the body and the mind (155); there is profound melancholia, with “desire to be alone”(Hale) (132); they are irritable and fault-finding and intolerant of the least contradiction.

Many of the symptoms calling for the remedy are reflex and due to some abnormal uterine position or condition and Dr. John H. Demarest aptly calls Helonias ” a nerve detective, on the hunt for nerves that are out gossiping instead of attending to their own business.”

The headache calling for the remedy are usually associated with uterine derangements (103) and there is a burning o the top of the head, a feeling of fullness in the head, “with pressure outward at the vertex” (Hale) (106), or as I have most frequently seen it, a sensation or pressure downward on the vertex (103).

In the mouth it has been used with success for the salivation of pregnancy (155) and for sore mouth of nursing women.

Helonias acts upon the kidneys, increasing the amount of urine and the excretion of urea (193). It has proved of value in diabetes insipidus (56), or polyuria, with great debility, and it is probably of value in diabetes mellitus (56), with thirst, emaciation, restlessness and melancholia.

One of the provers of the drug who had amorphous phosphates in the urine (200), with an alkaline reaction, found during the proving the phosphates disappeared and the urine became acid, and Helonias “is one of the few agents that can render an alkaline urine acid” (Hale).

We sometimes have, in cases requiring this remedy aching and tenderness over the region of the kidneys, with an excessive flow or urine. It is useful in acute and chronic croups nephritis (124), with frequent micturition, increased restlessness and weakness and for corpus nephritis due to pregnancy.

There are many remedies whose sphere of usefulness is limited owing to the absence of a through proving by women. Helonias stands out prominently among this number, for it has been found by clinical experience that it is of especial value in atomic conditions of the female for prolapsus of to uterus (203), with general malnutrition, and in prolapsus following parturition, with general debility and mental depression (155), and a feeling of soreness or sensitiveness of the uterus, the patient “is conscious that she has a womb.”

it is thought of for menorrhagia due to atony, what menses being “too profuse, too frequent (135) and every exhausting” (Minton (138), with increased flow from any motion (134). Before and during menstruation we may have “soreness and tenderness of the breasts and nipples”(Hering) (138).

The leucorrhoea is profuse (126) often associated with prolapsus of the uterus, and it is apt to be offensive (126).

It is to be thought of in pruritus of the vulva and vagina, with heat, soreness and swelling of the parts. and is useful in preventing miscarriage (13), in those cases where from uterine atony “it cannot hold on to the fruit of conception, but allows it to escape at the periods coinciding with the previous menstrual flow” (Hale).

With the local uterine symptoms of displacement, etc., we have pain in the lumbar region, pressure on the top of the head and sometimes a sensation of weight on the chest.

I use Helonias in the tincture.

Willard Ide Pierce
Willard Ide Pierce, author of Plain Talks on Materia Medica (1911) and Repertory of Cough, Better and Worse (1907). Dr. Willard Ide Pierce was a Director and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Kent's post-graduate school in Philadelphia.