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Nux Vomica







Common Names:  Poison Nut, Ratsbane


Medicinal Part:.         The seeds


Description:   This is a moderate-sized tree, with a short and pretty thick trunk. The wood is white, hard, and bitter.  The leaves are opposite, oval and smooth on both sides. Flowers small, greenish-white, funnel-shaped, and have a disagreeable odor.  The fruit is a berry, round, and about the size of a large apple, enclosing five whitish seeds.


 It is an inhabitant of the Coromandel, Ceylon, and other parts of the Est Indies.  The active principles of the seeds are strychnine and brucine.


Properties & uses:  It is an energetic poison, exerting its influence chiefly upon the cerebro-spinal system.  It is supposed to affect the spinal cord principally.  If a poisonous dose is given it will produce spasms like tetanus or lock jaw.  Its range of service is quite extensive and valuable for many indications; but as great caution is required in its administration by the herbologists.

  In homeopathy , it is the greatest of polychrests, because the bulk of its symptoms correspond in similarity with those of the commonest and most frequent diseases. It is frequently the first remedy indicated after much dosing, establishing a sort of equilibrium of forces and counteracting chronic effects.


  Nux Vomica is pre-eminently the remedy for many of the conditions incident to the modern life. The typical Nux patient is rather thin, irritable, careful, zealous persons with dark hair and bilious or sanguine(red, or of the colour of  blood . Having a warm and hopeful nature, confident) temperament. Disposed  to be quarrelsome, spiteful, malacious, nervous and melancholic.  He does a good deal of mental work; has mental strains and leads a sedentary life, found in prolonged office work, over study, and close application to business, with its cares and anxieties.  This indoor life and mental strain seeks stimulants coffee, wine, possibly in excess; or, again, he hopes to quiet his excitement by indulging in the sedative effects of tobacco , if not really a victim, to the stimulating food; wine and women   play their part to make him forget the close  application of the day.  Late hours are a consequence; a thick head, dyspepsia, and irritable temper are the next day inheritance.  How he takes some cathartic, liver pills, or mineral water , and soon gets into the habit of taking these things, which still further complicate matters.  Since these frailties are ,more yielded to by men than women . Nux Vomica is pre-eminently a male remedy. These conditions produce an  irritable, nervous system, hypersensitive and over  impressionable, which Nux will do much to soothe and calm. Especially adapted to digestive disturbances, portal congestion, and hypochondrical states depending thereon.  Convulsions with consciousness; worse touch, moving. Zealous fiery temperament. Nux patients are easily chilled, avoid  open air, etc. nux always seems to be out of tune; inharmonious spasmodic action.  So Nux is oversensitive to the open air, to a draft of air; always chilly, always taking cold and it settles in the nose and extends to the chest.




The mental state is varied, but they all show over sensitiveness, irritable touchy, sensitive conditions.  They are never contented, never satisfied; disturbed by their surroundings, and they become irritable, so that they want to tear things, to scold.  Impulses are strongly marked at times.  The women has impulses to destroy her husband or to throw her child into the fire; the impulse is intermingled with violent temper, cannot be contradicted  or  opposed;   if  a  chair  is  in  the   way he kicks it over; if, while undressing, a part of his clothing should catch on a button he would pull it off because he is so mad at it(Like Nit. Acid) . An uncontrollable state of irritability; it is a weakness and is accompanied by physical weakness; a lack of balance.  For example, a business man has been at his desk until he is tired out, he receives many letters, he has a great many irons in the fire; he is troubled with a thousand little thins, his mind is constantly hurried from one thing to another until he is tortured.  It is not so much the heavy affairs but the little things.  He is compelled to stimulate his memory to attend to all the details; he goes home and thinks about it; he lies awake at night; his mind is confused  with the whirl of business and the affairs of the day crowd upon him; finally brain-fag comes on.  When the details come to him he gets angry and wants to get away, tears things up, scolds goes home and takes it out of his family and children.  Sleeps by fits and starts; wakens at 3 A.M. and his business affairs crowd on him so that he cannot sleep again until late in the morning when he falls into a fatiguing sleep and wakens up tired and exhausted.  He wants to sleep late in the morning.

Oversensitive; to external impressions; noise, odors, light or music(Nux.m) trifling ailments are unbearable (Cham.); every harmless words offends(Ign). Persons who are very particular, careful, but inclined to become easily excited or angered; irascible and tenancious. " Nux is chiefly successful with persons of an ardent character; of an irritable,. Impatient temperament, disposed to anger, spite or deception"- Hahnemann..




The headaches often occur in conjunction with gastric, hepatic, abdominal and haemorrhoidal affections.  Here also the modalities, more than the character of the pain, decide the choice.  The aggravations are: from mental exertion, chagrin or anger; in open air (Opposite Pulsatilla), on awaking in the morning, after eating, from abuse of coffee or spirits sour stomach, in the sunshine, on stooping, from llight and noise, when moving or opening the eyes (Bryonia), from coughing, high living or highly seasoned food , in stormy weather, after drugging, from masturbation, from constipation or harmorrhoids.


These headaches may or may not localize in any particular part of the head.

The patient is just as apt to say in one part of the head as another, and will often say, in no particular part, "it feels badly and aches all over."


Headaches in the sunshine (Glon.Nat.carb.)Vertigo with momentary  loss of consciousness.




Neuralgia about the eyes. Photophobia; much worse in the morning . Paresis   of  ocular muscles; worse, tobacco and stimulants.




Itching in ear through Eustachian tube.  Auditory canal dry and sensitive.  Otalgia; worse in bed .  Hyper -aesthesia of auditory nerves; loud sounds are painful, and anger.



Catarrh: snuffles of infants(Am c , Samb.);Stuffy colds, snuffles after exposure to dry, cold atmosphere. coryza, dry (stuffed up)  at night and outdoors or alternates between nostrils; fluent by day; < warm room, > in cold air; from sitting in cold places, on stone steps. Acrid discharge but with stuffed up feeling.




Small aphthous ulcers, with bloody saliva. First half of tongue clean; posterior covered with deep fur; white, yellow, cracked edges. Teeth ache < cold things. Gums swollen white and bleeding.




Sour taste, and nausea in the morning, "after eating(Kali bich, Nux Moschata). Weight and pain stomach; worse eating, some time after(an hour or two afterward with  hypochondriacal mood, pyrosis(heartburn), tightness about waist; must loosen clothing (Lachesis, Calcarea and Lycopodium), confused, cannnot use mind two or three hours after a meal, epigastrium bloated, with pressure as from a stone in the stomach."

  This is a group of symptoms as given in "Guiding Symptoms".  There are so many symptoms given under the digestive organs that it shows that Nux Vomica has really a very wide range of action in gastric troubles.  And there are no really characteristic and peculiar symptoms to mention, unless it be the peculiar aggravation of stomach symptoms "an hour or two after eating.", instead of immediately after, as is the case with Nux moschata and Kali bichromicum.  The pressure as from a stone occurs also under Bryonia and Pulsatilla. Loves fat and tolerates them well(Pulsatilla opposite). Desire for stimulants. Dyspepsia from drinking strong coffee.  Difficult belching of gas.  Wants to vomit, but cannot.


More stress may be placed upon the cause of the stomach, liver, and abdominal complains for which Nux vomica is the remedy. For instance, coffee, alcoholic drinks, debauchery, abuse of drugs, business anxiety, sedentary habits, broken rest from long night watching (Cocc.,Cup.met, too high living etc.  So we find that Nux vomica is adapted to complaints arising from these causes, which is abundantly verified  in practice.




Bruised soreness  of the abdominal walls(Apis, Sulphur).  Flatulent distention, with spasmodic colic.  Colic from uncovering. Liver engorged, with stitches and soreness .  Colic, with upward pressure, causing short breath, and desire for stool.  Weakness of abdominal ring region, Strangulated hernia(Op.). Umblical  hernia of infants.



Constipation with frequent ineffectual urging, incomplete and unsatisfactory; feeling as if part remained

Un- expelled. Constriction of  rectum.  Irregular, peristaltic action; hence frequent ineffectual desire, or passing but small quantities at each attempt. Absence of all desire for defaecation is a contra-indication; ;Alternate constipation and diarrhoea-after abuse of purgatives.Urging to stool felt throughout abdomen.  Itching, blind harmorrhoids, with  ineffectual urging to stool; very painful; after drastric drugs.  Diarrhoea after a debauch; worse, morning Frequent small evacuations .  Scanty stool, with much urging .  Dysentery; stools relieve pains for a timeConstant uneasiness in rectum.  Diarrhoea, with jaundice.(Dig.).




Irritable bladder; from spasmodic sphincter. Frequent calls; little and often. While urinating, itching in urethra and pain in neck of bladder.


Male: Easily excited desire.  Emissions from high living. Frequent masturbation- makes person feels better.  Bad effects of sexual excesses.  Constrictive pains in testicles(Hama; Puls.).  Orchitis.  Spermatorrhoea, with dreams, backache, burning in spi e, weakness and irritbality.


Female:Menses too soon; too long; flow copious; more strikingly prolonged; flows and dribbles just enough to stain the linen, starting up now and again with clots.  One menstrual flow is prolonged into another.  This will be accompanied with the mental state; excitable oversensitive to medicines. "Menses too early, lasts too long; always irregular, blood black (Cycl; Lach; Puls) with faint spells.  Dysmenorrhoea with pain in sacrum, and constant urging to stool. Desire too strong. Metrorrhagia, with sensation as if bowels wantaed to move.

Full of hysterical manifestations.  Europeans develop symptoms more often calling for Nux in their hysterical manifestations, while Americans oftener need Ignatia.(KENT).




Asthma, with fullness in stomach, morning or after eating.  Shallow respiration. Oppressed breathing.  Tight dry, hacking cough; at times with bloody expectoration.  Cough brings on bursting headache and bruised pain in epigastric region.



The pains at the back are more  peculiar.  The patient is apt to have the backache in bed, and must sit up to turn over; as turning or twisting the body aggravates (when standing :Sulphur)(worse when sitting, Kobalt, Pulsatilla, Rhus toxicod., Zincum), or sitting is especialy painful.  The pain is mostly located in the lumbar region, though it may be in the dorsa, and is often in connection (like Aaesculus Hip) with haemorrhoids.  Aesculus is especially < from walking or stooping.  Backache, caused by masturbation (Kobalt,<sitting, Staphysgaria,  lying at night) finds one of its best remedies in Nux vomica

Burning in spine <3-4a.m..  Bruised pain below scapulae.




Arms and hands goes to sleep.  Legs numb; feel paralyzed; cramps in calves and soles. Partial paralysis, from overexertion or getting soaked (Rhus) Crackling in knee-joints during motion. Drags feet when walking. Sensation of sudden  loss of power of arms and legs in the morning.

It has most  violent convulsions with opisthotonos; convulsions of all muscles of the body., with purple face  and loss of breath from the movements; conscious or semi-conscious during the whole spasm, aware of the sufferings and contortions  which are horrible, worse from the slighter draft of air; tickling of the feet, the merest  touch of the throat causes gagging.




Cannot sleep after 3 a.m. until towards morning ;awakes feeling wretchedly.Drowsy after meals, and in early evening.  Dreams full of bustle and hurry.   Better after a short sleep, unless aroused.




Body burning hot, especially face; yet cannot move or uncover without feeling chilly.Urticaria with gastric derangements. Acne; skin red and blotchy.




Cold stage predominates.  Paroxysms anticipate in the morning. Excessive rigor, with blueness of finger-nails.  Aching in limbs and back and gastric symptoms.  Chilly; must be covered in every stage of fever.  Perspiration sour; only one side of body. Chills are not better from any amount of covers, Ign. Chills are better from uncovering.  In intermittents, the chill and heat intermingle, the heat is short and dry, and followed by hot sweat and intense heat; worse in the morning, but the chill comes at any time.



Aggravation:- Morning: waking at 4 a.m.; mental exertion; after eating or over-eating, touch noise, anger , spices, narcotics, dry weather, in cold air.

Amerlioration: In evening, while at rest; lying down and in damp, wet weater(Caust.)


Relations:- Complimentary : Sulphur in nearly all diseases.

                   Inimical to Zinc; must not be used before or after.

                 Follows well : by BRY. PULS,SULPH.




Diseases due to spicy foods, drinks and lack of exercise.  A good remedy to commence treatment of ptinetns who have had an excess of allopathic medication.  This remedy is best administered before bed time.  One of the mot commonly used polychrests.


Antidotes:  Aconite napellus;  Camphora;  Chamomilla;  Cocculus indicus;  Cofffea Cruda; Ignatia; Pulsatilla..


NOTE:  Nux vomica antidotes mot homeopathic and allopathic remedies.  It is especially indicated for the fastidious worholic-alcoholic individual.



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