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Date posted: March 15, 2012

Dr Lizme Ajith

Homoeopathic Medicines made out of Apocynaceae group of plants and their preparation, properties and clinical indications

The order APOCYNACEAE includes a number of plants which offers us many varieties of medicinal substances. The members of the family are usually trees or erect shrubs, rarely herbs. They grow mostly in tropical areas and a few in temperate regions. The leaves are simple, opposite or whorled. Flowers are hermaphrodites. Fruit, a dry or fleshy drupe or berry. The leaves have cathartic properties, the roots emetic and the barks bitter and astringent.

Medicines belonging to apocynaceae

  1. Apocynum cannabinum
  2. Apocynum androsaemifolium
  3. Alstonia constricta
  4. Alstonia scholaris
  5. Aspidosperma quebracho
  6. Carissa schimperi
  7. Cymarinum
  8. Echites suberecta
  9. Holarrhena anti dysentrica
  10. Oleander
  11. Quabinum
  12. Rauwolfia serpentina
  13. Strophanthus hispidus
  14. Strophanthus sarmentosus
  15. Tanghinia
  16. Thevetia
  17. Toxicophlea thumbergi
  18. Vinca minor

Alkaloids

  1. Aspidosperminum
  2. Ditain
  3. Reserpine
  4. Strophanthinum

The plants of this order are very poisonous. They depress the nervous system causing prostration, narcosis and paralysis. The flowers and leaves may even cause death in weaker animals.

Common characteristics
1) DROPSICAL AFFECTIONS- Renal and Cardiac dropsy, Anasarca,  Dropsy of serous membranes. Increases the flow of urine.

  • Apocynum cannabinum
  • Apocynum androsae mifolium
  • Strophanthus
  • Aspidosperma

2) ACTION ON HEART- Cardiac dropsy, Fatty degeneration, Arteriosclerosis, Hypertension, Cardiac asthma, Myocardial debility. Cardiac Depressants.
Strophanthus
Rauwolfia
Aspidosperma
Apocynum cannabinum

3) ACTION ON MUCUS MEMBRANE OF GIT-Producing diarrhoea and vomiting. Stools copious , watery , discharged with an expulsive force, escapes while passing flatus, paralysis of sphincter ani. Empty all gone sensation in stomach.
Alstonia scholaris
Astonia constricta
Holarrhena anti dysentrica
Tanghinia
Thevetia
Oleander
Apocynum cannabinum

4)ACTION ON CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM- Depressing and sedative action. Weakness of memory, slowness of perception, trembling externally, weakness and debility.
Apocynum
Oleander
Rauwolfia
Alstonia constricta
Alstonia scholaris
Tanghinia

5)ACTION ON SKIN- Violent itching eruptions, bleeding and oozing especially of the scalp, behind ears and on face, Crusta lactea. Oozing hardens in to a crust beneath which vermins breed.
Vinca minor
Oleander

Apocynum androsaemifolium

  • Common name – Dogbane
  • Part used – Root
  • Rheumatic affections with stiffness and wandering `pains, go from above downwards.
  • Dropsy with swollen sensation of face and body.
  • Trembling and prostration.
  • Everything smells and tastes like honey.
  • Expells ascarides and other worms.

Apocynum cannabinum

  • Common name – Indian hemp
  • Part used – Whole fresh plant including root
  • Dropsical affections acute or inflammatory, renal or cardiac, after typhoid or scarlatina, cirrhosis, dropsy of serous membranes
  • Dropsy with thirst, but water disagrees and is vomited out.
  • Excretions diminished especially urine and sweat.
  • A sinking all gone feeling in the stomach.
  • Hydrocephalous, forehead projected, sight of one eye lost, constant motion of one arm and leg.
  • Amenorrhoea in young girls with dropsy.
  • Metrorrhagia fluid or clotted, nausea, vomiting, fainting when raising head from pillow.
  • Cough, short and dry or deep and loose during pregnancy.

Alstonia scholaris

  • Common name – Dita bark
  • Part used – Bark
  • Camp diarrhea, Dysentery, bloody stools.
  • Diarrhoea from bad water and malaria.
  • Painless watery stools , violent purging with cramps,discharged with expulsive force.
  • Diarrhoea immediately after eating, has to leave the table before finishing a meal
  • A sinking all gone sensation in the stomach.
  • Malaria , a tonic after exhausting fevers.

Alstonia constricta

  • Common name – Bitter bark
  • Part used – Bark
  • Symptoms similar to Alstonia Scholaris

ASPIDOSPERMA

  • Common name – Quebracho
  • Digitalis of the Lungs.
  • Removes  temporary obstruction to the oxidation of blood by stimulating the respiratory centres.
  • Cardiac Asthma, severe nocturnal dyspnoea.
  • Want of breath during exertion.
  • Mitral stenosis, Fatty degeneration of heart.

CARISSA SHIMPERI
Debility and general weakness.

CYMARINUM
Pulse frequent

ECHITES SUBERECTA
Trembling externally.

HOLARRHENA ANTI DYSENTRICA

  • Common name – Kurchi
  • Acute and chronic Dysentery.
  • More mucus but blood is less.
  • With fever, loss of appetite, colicky pain around navel.

OLEANDER

  • Common name – Nerium odorum, Rose laurel
  • Part used – Leaves
  • Diarrhoea, stools contain undigested particles of food taken on the previous day.
  • Cholera Infantum, everytime they pass wind they soil their diapers. Rolling and rumbling in abdomen with foul flatus.
  • Violent itching eruptions on scalp, face, between scrotum and thighs, bleeding and oozing, the fluid hardens in to a crust under which vermins breed. Itching <undressing.
  • Headache > by looking side ways and crossing eyes.
  • Weakness and paralysis of lower limbs.

PLUMERIA CELLINUS
Tincture internally and externally for snake poisoning.

QUABINUM
Whooping cough.

RAUWOLFIA SERPENTINA

  • Common name – Sarpagandha
  • High blood pressure with out marked atheromatous changes in blood vessels.
  • Fever during peurperium.
  • Insanity, violent maniacal symptoms.
  • Also acts as a sedative.

STROPHANTHUS HISPIDUS

  • Common name – Kombe seed
  • Part used – Seed
  • Acts on the Heart increasing the systole and diminishing the rapidity.
  • A muscle poison , Increases the contractile power of striped muscles.
  • Heart’s action weak, irregular due to muscular debility and insufficiency. Irritable heart of tobacco smokers.
  • In mitral regurgitation where oedema and dropsy have supervened.
  • Arteriosclerosis of the aged.
  • Nausea without actual vomiting, great loathing of food. Anaemia.
  • Nausea with disgust for alcohol, aids in treatment of dipsomania.

TANGHINIA

  • Part used – Seeds
  • Intense distressing vomiting , first of contents of stomach, then of bile and mucus.
  • Debility and anxiety with vomiting and purging.
  • Numb feeling over whole body, paralysis.

THEVETIA

  • Part used – Seeds
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Irritation in throat and frothy mucus from mouth.
  • Tendency to sleep.

VINCA MINOR

  • Common name – Lesser periwinkle
  • Part used – Whole fresh plant
  • Humid eruptions on scalp with intense itching and oozing of  moisture matting hair together.
  • Plica polonica, Crusta lactea. Crusts underneath which vermins breed.
  • Great sensitiveness of skin with redness and soreness from slight rubbing.
  • Tip of nose gets red or purple easily on slightest excitement.
  • Passive uterine haemorrhages, menorrhagia especially at climacteric.Uterine fibroids.

TOXICOPHLEA THUMBERGI

  • General weakness and debility
  • Pulse frequent.
  • Loss of muscular power.
  • Convulsions.

Dr Lizme Ajith MD(HOM)
Department of Practice of Medicine
Government Homeopathic Medical College. Calicut. Kerala
Email: lizmyajith@yahoo.co.in

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