Resuming our studies on the venom of the lance headed viper known to us as Lachesis, we note it producing important symptoms in the different regions of the body. We propose to discuss them in a definite order.
Mind: In the mental sphere, there is a brilliant array of symptoms for Lachesis. One of these is weak memory, as you would expect, for it is a part of the general weakness, prostration and depression. The patient makes mistakes in writing; there is great dullness of mind with bodily prostration. The mind is confused and wandering. There is often profound depression. From this depression comes symptoms like these, fear of being poisoned, which you will easily remember by association.
There is mistrust, jealousy and suspicion. Hence, there is a strong tendency to take everything amiss, to contradict and criticise. The patient suspects that whispered conversations are going about her, to her detriment; that people around are conspiring to injure her. They refuse to take medicines, lest they were poisoned. Thinks, he is pursued by enemies.
Fear of death, and the conclusion of being already dead, and of being at the funeral, is also noticed in this remedy.
There is most extra-ordinary loquacity, making speeches in very select phrases, but jumping off to most heterogeneous subjects. There is a rapid change of subject, jumping abruptly from one idea to another. One word often leads into another story. He barely finishes a sentence, when he begins another. This sort of mental state might be seen in the delirium of typhoid fevers, or in conditions like Diphtheria, or other blood-poisonings, or in the puerperal state, when Lachesis is seen to work wonders, if timely administered.
It is full of religious insanity, which is often attended with this sort of loquacity. There is a sort of religious monomania, fear of being damned. They talk out the damnation of their soul, their sins, crimes, and wickedness of every imaginable description. Although known to be sweet and pious, they think themselves full of wickedness, having committed unpardonable sins.
The patient often thinks that she is somebody else, and in the hands of a strong power. She thinks that she is under superhuman control.
A curious symptom in the mental sphere is the derangement of time sense. It also occurs in mercuries (to which Lachesis is an antidote), but is more prominent in this remedy, when a patient is always making mistakes as to the time of the day, often confounding the morning hours with the evening ones.
Besides all these, mentally, these patients are also seen to be sad, anxious, irritable, peevish, malicious, &c.
The mental symptoms are worse in the spring, in the warm weather following a cold spell, after a warm bath and after sleep.
Head: Fainting fits and vertigo on closing the eyes. Vertigo, with nausea and vomiting in the morning on waking up. Vertigo on looking at any object closely. Vertigo, with inclination to fall to left side. Vertigo before menses.
It is full of bursting and congestive headaches. Congestive feeling, as if all the blood in the body were in the head, because with the headache, the head pulsates and there is a hammering sensation while the rest of the body, the face and extremities are cold. Now, this pulsating and hammering sensation may be reckoned as part of the generals, because it is not only in connection with the headache that the patient has this pulsating and hammering feeling, but there is this pulsation in all the arteries and inflammed spots; the inflammed ovary pulsates, and it seems as if little hammers were hammering over it. I have cured fissures and fistulae in ano as well as haemorrhoids of long standing with this remedy, guided by the presence of this pulsating and hammering sensation.
There is rush of blood to the head, and a surging sensation, arising from the back of the head to the vertex. These are aggravated from motion, so that the patient is compelled to sit still; It is worse from lying down, and worse after motion, but not in the act of motion.
There are many inflammatory and congestive conditions of the eyes, cured by Lachesis.
The eye symptoms in this remedy are worse after sleep, thus conforming to the generals. There is photophobia, and the eyes are over-sensitive to light and touch. Also, the eyes are sometimes painful, when the throat is touched. When the throat is touched with a spatula or a tongue–depressor, it seems as if the eyes would be pressed out.
By its action upon the liver, Lachesis produces and hence cures jaundice.
There is also over-sensitiveness in the ears, so much so that a mere touching of its membrane sometimes causes violent tickling in the throat, followed by coughing. There are noises in the ears, specially worse after sleep.
Lachesis is indicated in old drunkards with red nose, or in patients with heart affections, with red knob on the tip of the nose.
Catarrhal symptoms are prominent in spring. Bleeding from the nose, the blood being black or like charred straw. Associated with catarrhal condition of the nose, there is often headache, which is relieved as soon as the discharge is established.
Lachesis is a remedy for old syphilitic affections of the nose, with foetid ozaena, offensive discharge and blackish blood.
Face is pale, wasted and cadaverous; or else, it is purple, mottled very much puffed up, due to venous stasis. Blue circles around the eyes; the eye lids are tumid and eyes are engorged. Occasionally the face is tinged yellow, as in jaundice. It has eruptions over the face, that burn and bleed easily, with hypersensitiveness of the surface. Pale, anaemic, chlorotic appearance of the face.
Lachesis cures cases of Erysipelas and gangrenous affection which look blackish or blue, with extreme sensitiveness of the surface, specially when they begin on the left side and tend to spread towards the right side.
The tongue is like a leather, and is moved inside the mouth with much difficulty. The tongue is swollen, and denuded of epithelium, hence smooth and shining. It is also red, smooth and shining like Kali Bi; It is dry and when attempted to protrude, it either catches on the teeth or lips, or trembles. Sometimes, there are insular patches over the dorsum of the tongue, giving it the characteristic mapped appearance, like Nat. mur. and Tarax., .
In some patients, it is seen that the tongue is put out and put in succession like a snake, which often becomes a guiding factor for its administration in desperate cases. Inside the buccal cavity, there is copious formation of saliva, of soapy appearance. Saliva, which is stringy and can be drawn into strings. When it is thick, yellowish and ropy or stringy, it looks like Kali Bi.
This sort of copious saliva in the mouth is seen in cases of Diphtheria, sore throat, inflammation of tongue (glossitis), and even in malignant ulcers, when Lachesis is indicated. The affection in these cases often commences on the left side and spreads to the right. There is pain at the root of tongue, inability to protrude the tongue or to expel the saliva, which dribbles along the corners of the mouth in profuse quantity.
In old chronic sore throats, the throat may not be very sore but a great quantity of mucus will stick there and occasion much hawking and spitting to no purpose; the mucus will stick and cant be forced up and down. There is a sensation of fulness at the neck and throat, difficult breathing and a choking sensation, which is specially worse after a sleep.
The patient cannot take warm drinks, not often for the aggravation of pain itself, but there is practically an inability to take warm fluids. Warm drinks will cause a choking sensation in the throat, the patient clutches at it and is terribly distressed. The dyspnoea and distress is also increased on drinking anything warm, which is an important distinguishing factor between it and Lycopodium.
Sometimes, a peculiar characteristic is noticed with Lachesis, and that is a more difficulty in swallowing liquids than solids is experienced by the patient.
Pain in the throat, between the acts of swallowing and on empty swallowing.
With the above symptoms, Lachesis is able to cure acute and chronic sore-throat, tonsillitis, Diphtheria and almost all throat affections.
Post-diphtheritic paralysis, where food materials go to a certain distance, and the stops or ejected out, should be cured by Lachesis in high potency.
Weakness of digestion from abuse of mercury, quinine or alcohol. The plainest food causes indigestion (cf. Hepar sulph).
The abdomen is tympanitic, distended with wind. There is hypersensitiveness, and the pressure of clothing cannot be tolerated. Nausea, vomiting and eructations of very sour fluids. Acids specially disagree, causing pain in the stomach, indigestion or even sometimes recurrence of intermittent fever.
It has either diarrhoea with watery, offensive stools, or constipation with highly, offensive stools. It is useful for chronic diarrhoea that particularly shows a recurrence in spring, with debility and prostration.
Lachesis is indicated in general dropsies, when the urine is dark, almost blackish, containing albumen. The skin over the oedematous part is dark. Urine is generally offensive. In cases of vesical and renal affections, the generalities usually guide us to select this remedy.
Female sexual organs:
Lachesis is a particular friend for females, who never got well from “the change of life”–“have never felt well since that time.”–During change of life, the patient has occasional hot flashes all day, and cold flashes on retiring at night. Also, she gets violent headache, pulsations all over the body, nausea, vomiting, etc. during this period.
Menstruation suppressed or scanty, and the discharge is blackish. Before the discharges, there is pain and distress over the abdomen, which is relieved with the flow. Before and after menses, diarrhoea, with violent colic. Pain in the left ovary, with swelling, induration and other anomalies.
It is a remedy for cancer of the breast, with bluish or blackish appearance.
There is cough and dyspnoea, specially worse after a sleep; Dyspnoea, worse by the least thing coming near the nose or mouth. The patient cannot tolerate anything tight around the neck or chest.
The cough is < during the day; after sleeping, from changes in the temperature; from acids and sour drinks, etc.
Palpitation, with a feeling as if the heart were enlarged; sometimes it seems as if the heart were suspended by a thread.
Besides typhoids and various forms of septic fevers. Lachesis is useful for intermittent fevers, that recurs at every spring. The chill characteristically comes at 1-2 p. m. with severe rigor so much so that the patient is held with great difficulty with clothes piled on him. The fever is marked by burning heat, oppression of chest, loquacity, drowsiness; etc.