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Conium Maculatum







Common Name: Poison Hemlock, Poison Root, Poison snakeweed..


This herb, as the name suggests, is a virlent poison . An old remedy, rendered classsical by Plato's graphic description of its employment in the death of Socrates. It is used  in our day to day practice for the following conditions:


Geriatric and climacteric disorders(of women)  - Fibroids- Tumors - Prostate


enlargement -Vertigo etc.  Polyneuropathy paraplegia .


Action: This medicine is another of the so-called spinal remedies which paralyzes from below upwards, and the poisoning of Socrates with it is adduced in illustration. It ought to be a remedy for locomotor ataxia.


Typical Subjects:- Troubles at the change of life, old maids and bachelorsWidowers- getting bad effects from suppressed sexual desire and those who have been accustomed to coition .


Points and features: 1. Vertigo, especially < on turning the head, or looking around sidewise, or turning in  bed.


Swelling and induration of glands, after contusions or bruises.

Urine flows, stops and flows again intermittently, prostatic or uterine affections.

Breast sore, hard and painful during menstrual period.


Mind:-Mental symptoms, nervous symptoms, trembling, in widows and widowers who have suddenly been deprived of their sexual relations. When in a state of considerable vigor, if suddenly deprived, the woman or the man takes on a state of trembling, weakness, inability to stand any mental effort, and inability to put the attention upon things said by others.  Not so marked or not so common in the woman as in the man.  When this state comes on in a woman who is of unusual sexual vigor there may be severe congestion of the uterus and ovaries, Apis is more likely to fit her symptoms than Conium. But with hysteria and excitablilty Conium is often the remedy. Many of its symptoms come about from such a cause.


Conium has such a deep action that it gradually brings about a state of imbecility.  The mind gives out. The mind at first becomes tired like the muscles of the body. Unable to sustain any mental effort. The memory is weak. The mind will not concentrate it will not force itself to attention; it cannot meditate, and then comes imbecility.  Inability to stand any mental effort or to rivet the attention upon anything , are some of the most symptoms in this medicine. Insanity of a periodical type. Imbecility, though, is far more frequent than insanity. When you come to examine the mental states you will see symptoms that will make you think the patient is delirious, but that is not quite it. It is a slow-forming weakness of mind not that rapid, active state, such as accompanies a fever, it is a delirium not that rapid, active , active state, such as accompanies fever, so as to speak, which is not constant.  Forms of insanity that are passive.  He thinks slowly, and he continues in this stage for weeks and months, if he recovers at all.  Those excitable cases that have more or less violence and activity in mental states are such as will correspond to Bell, Hyos.,Stram;. And Ars. You see nothing of that in this medicine. Conium is of slow, passive character.  Complete indifference; takes no interest in anyting, particularly when walking in the open air. "He is averse to being near people and to talking of those passing him; is inclined to seize hold of and abuse them.".  That, of course, is an insane act "Sad and gloomy. Great unhappiness of mind, recurring every fourteen days," showing a two weeks periodicity. The Conium patient will sit and mope in the corner in a state of sadness and depression, giving no reason only that he is so sad. Everything vexes and disturbs him. Cannot endure any kind of excitement, it bring on physical and mental distress, brings on weakness and sadness. Sometimes Conium symptoms will be found in persons who have suffered from grief; they become broken in memory. This is likely to come first. They forget, never can recall things just as they want them. And so they grow weaker and weaker until they become imbeciles. If it is decidedly mental, imbecility results; if it is taking a physical course the ending is paralysis, and it is not uncommon for a general paralytic weakness to come on, so that body and mind progress toward weakness together until some decided manifestation is made, and then it will be seen to be going toward paralysis, or some decided manifestation is made which will send it toward imbecility, and then the body will  seem to remain stationary.  Here Dr Kent says,

"there comes a time in these cases where there is a sort of division  between the body and the mind. Whenever under homeopathic treatment the physical improves and the mental grows worse, that patient will never be cured. There are such cases I never like to see the physical grow better and the mental grow worse in any degree.  That does not mean the aggravation caused by the remedy. If the mental does not improve it means that the patient is growing worse. There is no better evidence of the good action of a remedy than mental improvement."


Conium patients cannot endure even the slightest alcoholic drink. Any wine or stimulating beverage will bring on trembling, excitement, weakness of mind and prostration.  Excitement causes mental depression. [ Depressed, timid, averse to society, and afraid of being alone. ]


Head:  Vertigo: which is much aggravataed by turning the head sidewise.(Coloc., turning head to left.)  Turning over in bed is the same. Some say lying down in bed and turning over. Dr. Nash says,"I have found that it is not so much the lying down as it is turning of the head sidewise, whether in an upright or horizontal posture. Headache, stupefying, with nausea and vomiting of mucus, with a feeling as of foreign body under the skull. Scorched feeling on top. Tightness as if both temples were compressed; worse  after a meal. [Gels,; Atropine]  Bruised, semilateral pains. Dull occipital pain on rising in morning.


Eyes:- There is muscular weakness of all the muscles of the eye,so tht the Conium patient is unable to watch moving objects without getting sick headaches, visual and mental disturbances. Riding on the cars, watching things in rapid motion, and inability to focus rapidly-slowness of the accommodation is what we must cal it-is the cause for many sicknesses.  Inability to follow moving objects with sufficient rapidity and a headache comes on. "Objects look red, rainbow-colored, striped; confused spots; double vision; weakness of sight. Short sighted; cannot read long without letter running together."All this is due to defective accommodation. "Sluggish adaptation of the eye to varied range of vision. Vision becomes blurred when he is irritable. Weakness and dazzling of the eyes together with dizziness. Aversion to light without inflammation of the eyes." Photophobia and excessive lachrymation. Corneal pustules. Dim-signted; worse, artificial light. On closing eyes, he sweats. Paralysis of ocular muscles. [Caust.] In superficial inflammations, as in phlyctenular conjunctivitis and keratitis.


Face: a marked condition is tht of swelling of the glands about the face, ear and under jaws.The parotids are swollen and hard. The same gradually increasing hardness in the sub-maxillary and sub-lingual glands. Enlargement of the glands of the side of the neck in cancerous affections. ;  It has cured epitheolioma of cheek.


Mouth: Ulcers about the lip with induration. Deep under the ulcer there will be hardness, and along all the vessels that send lymph towards that ulcer there will be a chain of knots. It has cured epitheolioma of cheek. 


Ear: Defective hearing; discharge from ear blood colored.


Nose:  bleeds easily-becomes sore. Polypus.


Throat: Paresis extending to paralysis of the oesophagus ; difficulty in swallowing; food goes down part way and stops. As food is about to pass the cardiac orifice it stops and enters with a great effort. "Strange rising in the throat , with sense of stuffing, as if something were lodged there. Sense of fullness in the throat as of a lump, with involuntary attempts at swallowing. Fullness of in throat with suppressed eructations. Pressure in oesophagus as if a round body were ascending from stomach." That is a nervous affection found in nervous women and has been called globus hystericus. When a women feels as if she wanted to cry, and she swallows and chokes, she will have a similar lump in the throat. Nervous, broken-down constitutions; tired of life; sees nothing in the future but sickness and sorrow and paralysis or imbecility. When they have their lucid moments they weep become sad over their enlarged glands and weakness, and have a lump in the throat.


Stomach: There are many stomach troubles; ulceration of thae stomach; cancer of the stomach. Conium is one of the greatest palliatives in symptoms of the stomach when all the symptoms agree. It will palliate cancerous conditions for a while, then on comes the difficulty again, because when the symptoms have advanced sufficiently to indicate Conium many times, there is no hope of cure..Dr.Kent.. Other symptoms of Stomach are: Soreness about the root of tongue. Terrible  nausea, acrid heartburn, and acid eructations; worse on going to bed.  Painful spasms of the stomach. Amelioration from eating and aggravation a few hours after meals; acidity and buring; painful spot the level of the sternum.


Abdomen:  Severe aching in and around the liver. Chronic jaundice, and pains in right hypochondrium. Sensitive, bruised, swollen, knife-life pains.  Painful  tightness.


Stools: Frequent urging; hard; with tenesmus. Tremulous weakness after every stool. [Verat.; Ars.; Arg-n.]  Heat and burnin in rectum during stool.


Urine: Much difficulty in voiding. It flows and stops again. [LedumInterrupted discharge. [Clematis]. Dribbling in old men .[Copaiva].


Male:- (Important):   Weakness of the sexual powers of the male; impotency. He may have most violent sexual desire yet he is impotent.[Desire increased; power decreased] "Great sexual desire with partial or complete incapacity. Emissions without dreams.  Painful emissions and painful ejaculations."  There is a catarrhal state of the seminal vesicles atttended with much soreness, so that when ejaculatin takes place there is cutting like a knife, as if the semen were acrid. Bad effects from suppressed sexual desire in widowers and those who have been accustomed to coition. Testicles hard and enlarged.


Female(Important):-Dysmenorrhoea, with drawing-down thighs.  Mammae lax and shrunken, hard, panful to ouch. Stitches in nipples. Want to press breast hard wth hand. Menses delayed and scany; parts sensitive. Breasts enlarge and beocme painful before and during menses. [Calc.c; Lac.can].  Rash before menses. Ovaritis; ovary enlarged indurated; lancinating pain. Ill effects of repressed sexual desire orsupressed menses, or from excessive indulgence. Leucorrhea after micutrition. It has restrainedcancerous growth of the cervixand also highly indicataed in Uterine fibroids and tumors. Many cancerous affections of breasts (Asterias rubesn), uterus have been cured by Conium. Conium and Silicea both have hardness of mammae. Conium right, Silicea left nodules (Carbo anmalis, Conium Silicea.); acute lancinating pains. (Asterias).


Respiratory: Dry cough, almot continuous, hacking; worse, evening and at night; caused by dry spot in larynx with itching in chest and throat, when dlying down, talking or laughing and during prenancy. Dyspnoea on taking the least exercise.


Back: Dorsal pain between shoulders. Ill effects of bruises and shocks to spine. Coccygodinia.. Dull aching in lumbar and sacral region.


Extremities:-  Locomotor Ataxia. Dr. Nash has quoted a case cured of this disease, "The patient had been slowly losing the use of his legs; could not stand in the dark; and when he walked along th street would make his wife walk either ahead of him, or behind him, for the act of looking  sidewise at her or in the least turning head or eyes that way would cause him stagger or fall. Conium cured him."   It was a c.m. dose- which gave aggravation first with improvement following. Other important symptoms are:  extremities are heavy, weary, paralyzed; trembling; hands unsteady; fingers and toes numb. Muscular weakness, especially of lower extremiteis. Perspiration of hands, Putting feet on chair releive pain.


One of the other important characteristic of Conium is that The sufferings and conditons are better by letting the limbs hand down. It is common for pains and aches to be releived by putting the feet up on a chair, by putting them up in bed. But the patient with rheumatism, with the ulceration of the legs and other strange sufferings of the legs will lie down and permit his legs to hang over the bed up as far as knee. That is something that somebody ought to underftake to account for, so we could have at least one thing we could prescribe for under pathology. But as Dr. Kant says, upto date we have no explanation. Tottering gait in middle-aged men.


Skin:  Axillary glands pain, with numb feeling down arm.   Induration after contusions. Sweats copiosly as soon as one sleeps, or even when closing eyes. Night and morning sweat, with offensive odor and smarting in skin.


Modalities:-   WorseAt nightLying down;  Turning in or rising up from bed;

                                      Celibacy (Or excessive sex).


                               Better: While fasting;    In the dark;   From letting limbs hand down;

                                             From motion and pressure.




Coffea Cruda;   Dulcamara;   Nitricum acidum.



N.B. This poison administered to Socrates. (400 B.C).



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