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Rhus Tox – Homeopathic Medicine: Its Uses, Indications and Dosage

Rhus Tox is a homeopathic medicine prepared from the fresh leaves of a plant named Poison Ivy. This poison ivy belongs to a family of flowering plants known as Anacardiaceae. This plant is generally found in the North American region. The leaves of this plant before its flowering time are gathered at sunset and potentized (a process by which homeopathic remedies are prepared). By the potentization process, the medicinal properties of this plant are extracted leaving behind any of its poisonous effects. Rhus Tox is widely used to treat joint pain, muscle pain, back pain, complaint of tendons and ligaments.   Rhus Tox

The ‘Rhus Tox’ Constitution

This remedy is well-suited to people of rheumatic diathesis i.e who are prone to suffer from joint pains. Next, it is adapted to people having sensitive skin prone to allergies, skin rash, eczema, hives.

Drug Action

Among the various body parts, the medicine is most commonly used to treat complaints related to joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is also highly recommended for treating back pain and stiffness. Apart from the above, it is beneficial to treat a number of skin ailments including vesicular (fluid filled) eruptions, urticaria (hives), herpes zoster (shingles), fever blisters and eczema.

Scope as a Homeopathic Medicine

1. Joint and Muscle Pain, Sprain

This medicine yields excellent results in wide range of joint pains. Joint pains from various reasons including arthritis (inflamed joints), gout (high uric acid), osteoarthritis (degeneration of joints) are treated with this medicine. Apart from this one can also use this medicine to ease joint pain arising from injuries, inflamed / damaged tendons and ligaments. A person having complaint of joint pain from sprain (i.e. stretching or tearing of ligaments that connect two bones together in the joints) can also be treated with this medicine. It is effective to reduce pain in joint as well as the attending swelling, stiffness arising in any of the joints in the body. Cracking sounds in joint and weakness of joints also get better with this medicine. It can also be taken in cold weather when the joint pains intensify.

In addition to above, it is also used treat muscle pains (myalgia), bone pain, general body aches, inflamed tendons/ligaments, and injuries. The patients experience extreme restlessness along with above mentioned complaints. They may have worsening of pain while at rest and relief by moving around.

 2. Back and Neck Pain

This medicine is very effective to treat cases of back pain, back stiffness,  back injury, back strains, and neck pain.

It is highly recommended to use this medicine in persons having painful and stiff neck. This pain can further extend to the shoulders, and may increase from exposure to cold air.  This is a major medicine used for treating cervical spondylosis (degenerative changes in the spine of neck region). Whiplash injuries of neck are also best treated with this remedy. Whiplash injury refers to neck injury that arise from rapid forward and backward movement of neck that commonly seen in motor vehicle accidents

It is an incomparable medicine when its comes to treating back pain and stiffness. People requiring this medicine have marked lower back pain and often feels as if back is broken. They majorly complain of  worsening of back pain when at rest, sitting still, stooping and on rising from seat. Relief is obtained by moving about, from exercise and also by hard pressure. Back ache arising from injuries and from lifting heavy weight is also treated with this remedy.

3. Lower Limb Complaints

In case of lower limbs, this remedy effectively treats sciatica and restless leg syndrome

Sciatica refers to a pain that radiates from lower back through the hips  down the leg along the path of the sciatic nerve. It helps to relief violent tearing, lightening like, burning pain in back radiating down to thigh, knee and leg. It also helps to manage numbness and formication (sensation of insects crawling under the skin) that arise from nerve irritation. Persons needing it may have increase of pain at night that cause sleeplessness. They feel the pain more when keeping still and in cold weather. They may obtain relief by heat, rubbing and moving around.

Next, it is of intense help in cases of restless leg syndrome which refers to a condition where a person has an uncontrollable urge to move the legs to relieve discomforting sensations in the lower limbs. Restlessness of lower limbs is manageable with this homeopathic medicine. The person needing it have restless legs in bed at night. They get relief by motion.

4. Skin Complaints

It is a very beneficial medicine to treat skin allergies, eruptions, and rashes.

It is a frequently used medicine for treating urticaria (raised itchy bumps on skin from an allergic reaction). It is used when there are circular elevated bumps (wheals) on skin. The skin surrounding the bumps is swollen. It is attended with burning, intolerable itching, tingling, stinging and stitching pain in the blotches. It is also specific to treat tendency of urticarial eruptions that appear in cold air and from becoming wet.

Secondly it is indicated for treating herpes zoster (a viral infection characterized by a stripe of painful blisters on skin). Rhus Tox helps to heal eruptions in such cases. It also reduces itching, tingling, burning sensation and pain in eruptions. It is also prominent to treat neuralgic (nerve) pains that remain after healing of herpes zoster eruptions.

Next, it is a leading medicine to treat fever blisters, which is a viral infection where tiny, fluid-filled blisters appear on and around the lips in clusters. Rhus Tox helps heal clusters of blisters filled with a watery substance, appearing near corners of mouth and on margin of lower lip. It also reduces the pain, soreness and biting sensation in them.

Another indication to use it is eczema. Here it is used when there are thick crusty eruptions on the skin. The surface is raw, excoriated. There is oozing of fluid which is offensive in nature. The lesions burn and itch and have tingling pains.

Its use is also considered in cases of skin rash. In such cases intolerable itching and terrible burning are present. There is marked restlessness especially at night due to itching in them.

It is also valuable to treat vesicular eruptions that itch and burn intensely. The affected skin area is dark red, burning, hot. The vesicles are filled with yellow watery fluid in cases requiring this medicine. The vesicles eventually dry and skin desquamates.

Lastly, it is useful to treat boils, abscess, carbuncles. These are the skin infections with pus filled lumps on skin. This remedy helps to fight with the infection and clear off pus discharges or blood stained discharges in them. It also relieve the pain, swelling and stinging sensations in them.

5. Throat Complaints

This medicine has a marked action to reduce inflammation of the throat, larynx (voice box) and esophagus (esophagitis).

It is given in sore throat cases when there are stitching pains in the throat. These pains worsen form talking. It is accompanied by dryness in throat, inability to drink or eat . It is valuable to treat inflamed larynx with hoarseness arising from overstraining of the voice. People needing this remedy may experience worsening of this complaint in the evening and also from change of weather. In addition to above, another indication is esophagitis with pain that worsens with eating and drinking. Esophagitis, especially after swallowing corrosive substances is most indicative to use this medicine.

6. Eye Complaints

When it comes to eye complaints, this is a significant remedy to treat iritis, styes, and photophobia.

It works well in cases of iritis (inflammation of iris I.e. the colored ring around the eye’s pupil). It is useful to manage Iritis of traumatic (arising from injury) and rheumatic origin (that follows joint inflammation). Here pain in eyes shooting to back of head are marked. Excessive flow of hot tears is also well noted. Suppuration (pus formation) may also be present.

It also treat cases of styes in an excellent manner. Styes are painful, red bump on margin of eyelid from an infection. In such cases, it treats styes present on the lower lid. It helps to reduce redness, swelling, hardness, and pain of the stye.

Next, it works to treat cases of photophobia (symptom of discomfort or pain in the eyes from bright light exposure). It is applicable for cases of intense photophobia when attended with profuse lachrymation (watering from eyes). It is most worse in morning and in open air in such cases.

7. Female Complaints

It is very significant medicine to treat uterine prolapse and sore nipples in females.

This is a prominent medicine to treat cases of uterine prolapse. Females needing it feel bearing down in pelvis with a sensation as if uterus is lying low down in pelvis. This interferes with walking. Due to this urination is also frequent and painful in them. Prolapse of uterus after delivery, from straining or lifting heavy weight is also well treated with it. It strengthens the muscles and supporting ligaments that keep the uterus well in its place. Secondly, it treats the complaint of sore nipples after delivery. The key features to use this medicine are sore nipples with eruption and itching, burning. Burning appears after scratching the eruptions. Sweating worsens the complaints.

8. Urinary complaints

In case of urinary complaints, it works well to manage  the complaint of weak bladder in females with frequent desire to urinate. It is also indicated for bladder paralysis and bed wetting issues. It is effective to manage complaint of constant dribbling of urine in boys.

9. Fever

In case of fever,  this remedy is considered when extreme body aches, restlessness, with alternate heat and chill is there. In typhoid fever dry cracked tongue with red tip, diarrhoea, restlessness (both mental and physical), mental confusion are present in cases where this medicine is indicated.


Rhus Tox can be taken two to three times a day in 30 potency. Use of high potencies like 200, 1M, 10 M should be taken only on a physician’s recommendation.

Relationship to Other Remedies

Complementary medicines are Bryonia, Calcarea Fluor and Phytolacca. These medicines can be used after Rhus Tox to complete its action when it is no longer acting.

Inimical medicine is Apis Mellifica which means Apis Mellifica should not be used after Rhus Tox.

Antidotes are Belladonna, Merc Sol and Sulphur, which can neutralize the action.

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  1. Ali Hammoud says:

    Hello Dr. Sharma,

    I read all your reports its fascinating. recently I’ve been complaining of stiffness in my hands and fingers, also a pain in the back and joints in general.
    I started taking Rhus Tox. And it worked like magic, I had 3 doses the first day as it was mentioned on the box and I am not sure how much can I take it?
    I also read in your reports i can take Phytolacca Decandra, Bryonica and Calacrea Flour. you mean I can take all of them together or what?

  2. Suhas Randive says:

    Sir Mera Suhas Randive hai..mujhe picchle 15 saalo se torticollis hai..plz mujhe Koi treatment bataye

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