COMPARATIVE STUDY OF LACHESIS AND RAUWOLFIA*

By Dr. JULIAN. M.D.

We have published in the Archives Homoeopathiques de Normandie. No.5 of March 1957, a study on the pathogenesis of Rauwolfia and its indications along with some clinical cases

Since then we have continued our clinical studies and we are convinced that Rauwolfia has a vast field in homoeopathy. Its action remarkably constant in homoeopathy and, moreover, it has no such side-effects in homoeopathy that have been experienced in its allopathic use.

In a therapeutic confrontation in the Necker Hospital we find that because of some psychic side-effects, the treatment had to be stopped and that the tolerance of the patient was so .mediocre that he complained more about the treatment than about his disease. As regards the good effects, if one doctor thinks that he has got favourable results in 50% cases, another replies, “The deuce! 50% favourable results!” and he is more reserved and eclectic in his prescriptions.

The hornoeopathic pathogenesis of Rauwolfia has been established by Leeser of the German school and by Templeton of the English school.

Our clinical experience allows us to place Rauwolfia in line with Phosphorus, Lachesis, and Arsenicum.

Phosphorus often moves towards Arsenicum and on its way it may meet with Rauwolfia as complementary. But Phosphorus and Arsenicum often evolve towards Lachesis and then we may find Rauwolfia as an intermediary.

Thus Rauwolfia has the mind characterised by alternate excitement and depression. There are times when the power of work and the feeling of well-being of the patient increases, this alternating with some phases of fatigue and weakness. Lachesis has more mental prostration with increased nervous hypersensitivity. Everything fatigues the patient of Lachesis and everything irritates him. Mental work is painful. Lachesis is proud and jealous with a  melancholia, full of anxiety and a fear of death (Kent) like Rauwolfia which has a state of anxious apprehension and internal torment. Lachesis is mor~ anxious and loquacious. Lachesis believes nothing while Rauwolfia does not care for anything and cannot concentrate itself to anything. Rauwolfia has some ideas of suicide while Lachesis believes itself dead.

Lachesis has insomnia before midnight while it is difficult for Rauwolfia to sleep; it remains awake for hours after midnight: There is cerebral congestion in Rauwolfia with a frontal headache extending to the occiput, with amelioration by cold air. The headache is accompanied by flushes of heat with a general lameness and pains of the extremities .

  • Original published in French in L’Homoeopathic Francaise, Februry 1959.

Lachesis has also some headaches with a pale face like Rauwolfia but the headache of Rauwolfia is accompanied by bursting, hammering, beating or by the sensation of a ‘hard ball formed of painful waves,so violent that the patient thinks that he is going to die.” These headaches are generally seen in melancholic patients in

consequen e of the stoppage of a nasal flow or because of a sinusitis.

But these headaches of Lachesis as well as of Rauwolfia are symptoms related to h~art troubles.

“The heart troubles of Lachesis have the following characteristics: Sudden sensation of suffocation while lying down with short, sudden and dry cough. The patient cannot tolerate any constriction of the neck, chest and the body aggravation by heat. Rauwolfia is also a remedy of the heart with cramping precordial pains, radiating towards the neck with vertigo, extra systoles, sometimes followed by sticky perspiration of hands and feet with a sensation of suffocation, ameliorated by open air.

. Angina, stenocardia, arrhythmia, rhinitis, sinusitis, lipothymia are found in

Rauwolfia and Lachesis.

Respiratory spasms, hay-fever, rhinitis or acute sinusitis require Lachesis if there is aggravation when lying down or haying something tight around the neck;” Rauwolfia, if the cramping sensation is ameliorated by fresh air.

The digestive troubles of Rauwolfia are characterised by a fullness of the stomach with pyrosis flatulence, and nausea, and diarrhoeic stools accompanied by the expulsion of offensive flatus, it is a remedy of the dyspeptic.        ”

Lachesis is a remedy for alcoholic “liver having alternate anorexia and bulimia, a desire for oysters and wine; with aversion to bread. The liver is painful, soft and big. There is nausea, hiccough and great sensitiveness in the epigastric region Rauwolfia has pains in the joints of the backbone and of the limbs while Lachesis has trembling because of weakness worse in the morning after sleep. Lachesis is indicated in purple, dark and bluish skin with bleeding ulcers while Rauwolfia is indicated in pale skin, with sticky offensive sweat in the exillae, on hands and feet. In the male genitalia of Lachesis, there is an increased libido with diminution of physical Sexual power. ” . In Rauwolfia there is psychic and physical weakness in both the male and the female.

The Rauwolfia woman has menses before time with cramping pains and has besides the menstrual symptoms, an incontinence of urine.

Rauwolfia is remarkable medicine for fibroma. Lachesis is specially an important remedy for menopause with some flushes of heat, intolerance to all constrictions with the characteristic excitation and depression. The urinary troubles of Lachesis are less important except the tenesmus of the neck of the bladder. But the flow of urine drop by drop at the end of micturition in the male is a faithful characteristic of Rauwolfia.Lachesis has amelioration by a moderate temperature and especially by the appearance of a flow, while Rauwolfia requires open air and movement. Lachesis has left-sidedness but according to Kent there is left laterality of the upper part of the body and right laterality of the lower part of the body. Rauwolfia has not a predominant laterality, but it is seen that in many cases the
left side is affected.

Lachesis is aggravated after sleep, in the morning when waking up, by hot wind, hot dnnks and hot bath. Rauwolfia is also aggravated as Lachesis.             . Thus a comparative study helps us to establish the value of this new-comer to the
homoeopathic materia medica. Rauwolfia seems to us to be a poly-chrest, clinical experiences of which will
confirm its use in homoeopathy.

(Jounal of Hornoeopathic Medicine’, Bombay)