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 Rhus Toxicodendron







       The poison ivy's range reaches from as far North as Nova-Scotia, as far west as Utah and British Columbia. It is climber and begins to blossom in May and June . Its flowers are small, fragrant and yellowish green and arranged in densely clustered spikes. Toward fall these develop into smooth, white wax like berries.

The poison of the Poison Ivy is a powerful , non-volatile oil which penetrates the pores of the human skin and develop hosts of  tiny itching blisters, followed by burning swelling of the affected parts.


            Rhus tox effects on the skin, rheumatic pains, mucous membrane affections, and a typhoid type of fever. Rhus tox  effects the fibrous tissue markedly- joints, tendons, sheathes - aponeurosis, etc. producing pains and stiffness. Post operative complications. Ailments from strains, over-lifting, getting wet while perspiring. Septic conditions, cellulites, and infections, carbuncles in early stages. Rheumatism in cold season. Septicaemia.

            It is the third remedy for our so called restless trio- Aconite., Arsenicum and Rhus tox. This restlessness of Rhus is on account of the aching pain and soreness which is temporarily relieved by movement. There is  also an internal uneasiness which is purely nervous, which causes the patient to want to be on the move, even when there is no particular pain present; but not nearly to the degree that we find it under Aconite and Arsenicum(IT IS OPPOSITE OF Bryonia which is < movement). With Rhus the change relieves, while with the other two it does not.

            In Bryonia, the more the patient moves, the more he suffers, while with Rhus tox, the more and longer he moves, the better he feels, until he is exhausted.

            In Acute affections, ,like Scarlatina(scarlet fevers)and typhoid fevers, and even in hot stage of intermittent fevers, constant movements seems to be the patient's only relief. With chronic diseases like chronic rheumatism, the patient must move, suffers on first beginning to move, but as he continues to move, or as he express it, "gets limbered up" he feels better .[ But he cannot lie long comfortably, in either the acute or chronic trouble, for the aching comes on and he must move even if it does hurt him, at first.] The pains causing the restlessness of Rhus Tox are not so agonising as they are under Aconite and Arsenicum, nor is the prostration so great as under Arsenicum Album nor the excitement so great as under Aconite.  

In fevers it is frequently indicated in catarrhal fevers. It commences with weakness of the whole body with desire to lie down, soreness or bruised sensation in the limbs, aching of limbs and bones, great pain in the back, restlessness, < lying still, sickness at the stomach, loss of appetite, repugnance for food, great thirst, dry with triangular red tip of tongue and mouth. It is useful on that borderland  where cases merge into a typhoid conditions-whenever in fevers or even inflammatory diseases the sensorium becomes cloudy(smoky) with low grade of muttering delirium  which may mild in form but regular and persistent. Of course, the Rhus restlessness is present, and the patient tosses or turn from side to side, even without knowing of it, or of anything going around her. She will answer questions and perhaps correctly, but afterwards does not know anything that transpired while she was sick, may be for days or weeks. Rhus Tox, Baptisia and Arnica closely resemble each other and choice is difficult sometimes but we will try to differentiate them when we come to write upon the 2 later.

            Cough during chill in intermittents is a characteristic-as given us by Carrol Dunham, and is very reliable, verified by Dr. Nash.

            Rhus tox acts particularly on fibrous muscular and cellular tissues. The muscles are stiff and sore. This may be of a rheumatic character, or may have been induced by straining, by heavy lifting or severe muscular exercise of any kind, or it may have been brought on by exposure to cold, especially wet cold.

            This strained condition may not be confined to the muscles alone, but may involve the tendons, ligaments and membranes of the joints. Several affections of the muscles of the back and even the spinal membranes(myelitis) may come from sprain, or by exposure, by sleeping on damp ground, or in bed with damp sheets(babies), or getting wet in a rain storm, especially while  perspiring.  Indeed Rhus tox is one of our best remedies in lumbago. But it makes no particular difference what muscle are strained or exposed so as to bring on tht lameness and soreness, the remedy is same and if the great characteristic-"lameness and stiffness and pain on first beginning to move after, or on getting up in the morning, relieved by continued motion", is present , Rhus tox is the first remedy thought of. 

            Rhus tox is also often a remedy for glandular swelling of paraotid(mumps) or sub maxillary glands, during scarlatine, cellulites, in diphtheria.

            This is also one of our best remedies in skin diseases. No one who has been poisoned by it will doubt that Rhus has power to produce skin diseases, and of course, in accordance with our law of cure, we would expect cures by it. The eruption of Rhus poisoning is vesicular. Erysipelas of the vesicular variety accompanied by the restlessness and sensorium of this remedy is quickly cured by it.

            If in variola(small pox) the eruption turns livid and typhoid symptoms supervene, we may  rely in RhusTox.


Probably no remedy is oftener found useful in herpes zoster than this. Also in urticaria with rheumatic symptoms.  Rhus tox is a very good remedy in chronic troubles. Eczemes of the vesicular type and there is much itching not relieved by scratching. Eczematous eruptions tendency to scale formation. In all such cases the constitution symptoms weight as much as the local.       

Modalities:- < during sleep, cold wet rainy weather and after rain; at night, during night , during drenching, when lying on the back or right side; > warm, dry weather, motion, walking, change of Position, warm application, rubbing from stretching out limbs.

Complimentary: Bryonia; Calc Fluor, Phytolacca(Rheumatism) In urticaria follow with Bovista.

Inimical: Apis mellifica.

Dose: 6-30c. The 200 and higher antidotal to poisoning with the plant and tincture.

SUMMARY OF INDICATIONS:- Rheumatism - soft tissue injuries-allergy-urticaria-skin disorders -herpes zoster.



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