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Phytolacca Decandra: Homeopathic Medicine – Its Use, Indications And Dosage

The homeopathic medicine Phytolacca Decandra is prepared from plant named ‘poke root’ or ‘red ink plant’. It belongs to the family Phytolaccaceae. The fresh root, ripe berries, and fresh leaves of this plant are used to prepare the medicine via the potentization process. Through this process, the medicinal properties of the plant are extracted and intensified into an important homeopathic medicine Phytolacca Decandra. It is highly effective in treating cases of sore throat, tonsillitis, and certain breast complaints among which the main ones are breast inflammation and breast lumps. It is also one of the best medicines for hard nodes/lumps in any of the body part, swelling, inflammation and hardness in glands.

The ‘Phytolacca Decandra’ Constitution

This medicine is most suitable for people who are predisposed to suffer from joint inflammation and have sensitivity to damp weather. It also suits those who have a tendency to develop cancer.

Drug Action

Phytolacca mostly acts well on the throat, tonsils, breasts, and glands. It also acts well on limbs, joints, and muscles, especially on the shoulder, and arms. Besides these, it works wonders on eyes, teeth, and male and female genitals.

Clinical Indications

Tonsillitis, sore throat, breast-related issues, lumps on the breast, breast inflammation (mastitis), painful nipples, gland disorders, enlarged glands, obesity, boils, difficult dentition, mumps, joint inflammation, orchitis (testes inflammation), syphilis and leucorrhoea.

Scope As A Homeopathic Remedy

1. Throat Complaints (Sore Throat, Tonsillitis)

Phytolacca acts best on the throat. It is one of the best-suited medicines to treat tonsillitis and sore throat, especially on the right side. Among those who need it, the patient presents dark red or bluish-red discoloration of throat. The tonsils are swollen, enlarged and appear bluish, dark purple or dark red. Though it works amazingly well in cases of tonsillitis on either side but most importantly its use is indicative for tonsillitis on the right side. There is marked presence of burning pain in the throat. Intense burning is felt as if occurring from the touch of red hot coal or red hot iron. There is roughness, rawness and scraping sensation in throat. Pain in throat radiating to the ears is a characteristic feature. Shooting and excruciating pain is felt in the ear mainly on swallowing. There is extreme pain and difficulty in swallowing, even water cannot be swallowed. A person cannot drink anything hot as it increases pain. A lump or plug-in-throat sensation is felt resulting in a constant need to swallow. Ulcers in throat or on tonsils can be present. There is excessive dryness in throat. Enlargement of uvula may be present. Thick yellow or white mucus is present in the throat with foul breath. Its use is also suggested in cases of Quinsy also known as peritonsillar abscess (refers to pus-filled pocket near tonsils). This medicine is also indicated for managing post-nasal discharge (dripping of mucus from back of nose into the throat). The mucus from posterior nares is detached with difficulty. There is a continuous urge to hawk and clear the throat.

Quinsy

Quinsy

Key Indicating Features

Sore throat with dark red or bluish-red discoloration

Tonsillitis with swollen, enlarged, bluish, dark purple or dark red tonsils mainly on the right side

Intense burning sensation in throat is felt

Throat pain extends to ears mainly when swallowing

Post nasal discharge with difficulty to detach mucus from posterior nares

 2. Breast Complaints (Breast Pain, Mastitis, Breast Lumps, Breast Abscess, Cracked Nipples, Nipple Pain, And Galactorrhea)

It also acts well on breast and has affinity to treat numerous complaints related to breasts. It effectively manages complaint of breast pain, tenderness, breast inflammation (mastitis), breast lumps, breast abscess cracked nipples, pain in nipples and galactorrhea. There is mastitis (inflammation of breast) with pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness, intense burning, and much sensitivity. It has marked tendency to manage mastitis that occurs few days after childbirth. Its use is highly recommended in cases of breast lumps/tumors. Here its use is preferred when nodes are hard, painful and may be attended with enlarged axillary glands. For breast abscess (pus-filled lump), it is used when there is pus discharge. It can be given to manage soreness and pain in nipples among nursing mothers. The nipple pain in such cases travels to the entire body at the time the child is being administered breast feed. It can also manage well hardness of breasts after weaning. It is also suited well to heal cracks as well as ulcers on nipples. Phytolacca Decandra can help manage galactorrhea cases when accompanied with excessive weakness. Galactorrhea is a milky discharge from nipple not related to breastfeeding. Phytolacca can help to alleviate pain in breast felt especially during menstrual period. In homeopathic literature, its use for managing cases of breast cancer is also well recorded. Here it can be used when there is stiffness of breast along with purplish discoloration, with shooting pain, also lancinating in nature along with intense weakness.

Key Indicating Features

Inflammation of breast with pain, tenderness, swelling, hardness, intense burning and much sensitivity

Mastitis following few days after childbirth

Breast lumps/tumours that are hard, painful  and may be attended with enlarged axillary glands

Sore and painful nipples in nursing women when nipple pain extend to whole body when child is taking breast milk

Cracks on nipples

Breast pain during menstrual period

Breast cancer with hardness of breast along with purplish discoloration and shooting, lancinating pain and weakness.

3. Glands (Swelling, Inflammation And Hardness)

Phytolacca is a great glandular remedy that has marked action on glands. The salient feature for its use are swollen glands with intense hardness and inflammation with much heat and burning sensation. The burning sensation gets worse during the night.  The most common spots for it to act are parotid gland, submaxillary gland, neck glands, axillary glands and mammary gland in breast. Its action on salivary glands is well known. It is very effective in managing mumps (viral infection affecting salivary glands)

Key Indicating Features

Swollen, hard and inflamed glands with heat and burning sensation

Mumps (viral infection of salivary glands)

4. Limbs (Joint Pain, Muscle Pain)

Phytolacca Decandra works magnificently to manage joint inflammation, and joint pain. The most striking feature is shooting, lancinating, electric shock-like pain that travels quickly from one joint to another. The joints are red, and swollen along with pain. The pain in the joint gets worse in the mornings. It is also beneficial in cases of shoulder joint pain, mainly on the right side, particularly, if the pain is shooting. Along with this, stiffness occurs in the shoulders, and the person is unable to raise the arm. It is useful if there is pain in the fingers with stiffness, shiny and marked swelling. It also helps if there is pain in the hip joint, particularly, on the left side. The pain worsens when it is warm, and in damp weather. Apart from this, its use in relieving knee pain is also noteworthy. It is suitable when knee pain is on the right portion of the knee and gets worse when exposed to air. It is also felt more in damp weather. Lastly, it is the best-suited medicine for muscle pain, especially, for shoulders and arms. Muscle soreness all over the body can also be managed with it.

Key Indicating Features

Shooting, lancinating, electric shock-like joint pain quickly shifting from one joint to another

Joint pain in morning

Muscle pain in shoulders and arms

5. Eyes (pain, burning, lachrymal fistula)

This medicine helps manage burning and smarting sensation in eyes wonderfully well. It can also help when there is excessive watering in the eye that feels warm. Gritty sensation under the eyelids or sandpaper-like sensation under it can be felt along with soreness and burning. Its use is also recommended to manage the eye pain that gets worse from exposure to light and upon movement. Besides, it can be administered in cases of lachrymal fistula.

Key Indicating Features

Burning and smarting sensation in eyes

Excessive eye watering that is hot

Eye pain that is worse from light and motion

6. Teeth (Difficult Dentition)

This medicine can prove to be very effective in cases of difficult dentition. Children who require it have a constant desire to grind their teeth or bite on something hard. They are very irritable, feel like crying, and restless, and have fever. Inflammation of gums in also present.

Key Indicating Features

Difficult dentition with a desire to bite teeth together or bite on something hard.

Irritable, restless crying child with fever during dentition.

7. Male Problems (Orchitis, Syphilis)

Males can find this medicine useful in complaints pertaining to orchitis particularly when complications arise due to pus formation. Orchitis refers to inflammation of testis. It can help in both recent as well as long-term cases of orchitis along with pus formation. An important indication is stiffness of testis along with pain. This medicine is well indicated for syphilis (a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria treponema pallidum) cases with ulcers on genitals.

Key Indicating Features

Testis inflammation (orchitis) complicated with pus formation

Hard, painful testis

Syphilis with genital ulcers

8. Female Problems (Vaginal Discharge, Ovarian Pain)

In females, other than breast issues, it can also manage some other complaints very effectively. Among these, is leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge). The discharge is thick, profuse and irritating. It can also deal with frequent and heavy menstruation. Lastly, it is useful for ovarian pain on the right side.

Key Indicating Features

Thick, profuse and irritating vaginal discharge

Ovarian pain of  the right-side

Modalities

Worsening factors: Complaints get worse in damp, cold weather, weather changes and rain, from movement, touch, and after swallowing hot drinks

Relieving factors: Complaints get better from warmth, rest and in dry weather

Dosage

It use is recommended in both low and high potencies which is selected individually on a case-to-case basis. If used in low potency it can be repeated often as per the complaint while high potencies should not be repeated frequently.

Relationship With Other Remedies

It antidotes: Belladonna and Mezereum

It can be compared with medicines Bryonia, Rhus Tox, Merc Sol and Arum Triphyllum

 

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