Dr Prathibha K C
Homoeopathic Medicines made out of Fungi and their preparation, properties and clinical indications
Fungi are a very large group of Thallophytes without chlorophyll. They reproduce by means of spores. They may occur in water, in the soil, on other living organisms etc. There are harmful and useful fungi. Some fungi like mushrooms are edible. Fungi are widely used in certain industries. Antibiotic Penicillin is produced from the fungus Pencillium. Fungi cause disease in human beings, animals and plants. The reason why some fungi are so dangerous is that unlike any other living thing, fungi are able to assimilate extremely complicated organic compounds which attack common organs.
The most dangerous of fungal poisons are
- 1) α – amanitin – It leads to the destruction of liver.
- 2) Orellanin – Causes permanent kidney damage.
- 3) Gyromitrin – Acts similar to α – amanitin.
- 4) Muscarin – Acts as a nerve poison and affects the heart and blood circulation.
There are different systems of classification of Fungi. Engler classified True Fungi in to classes Phycomycetes, Ascomycetes, Basidiomycetes and Deuteromycetes.
Important Homeopathic Medicines Prepared from fungi are
- 1) Agaricus emeticus
- 2) Agaricus muscarius
- 3) Agaricus Phalloides
- 4) Boletus laricis
- 5) Boletus luridus
- 6) Boletus satanas
- 7) Bovista
- 8) Phallus impudicus
- 9) Polyporus Pinicola
- 10) Secale cor
- 11) Ustilago
Other rare Homeopathic Medicines prepared from fungi are
- 1) Agaricus Campestris
- 2) Agaricus Citrinus
- 3) Agaricus Pantherinus
- 4) Agaricus Procerns
- 5) Agaricus Semiglobatus
- 6) Agaricus Strecoranius
- 7) Psilocybe Caecrulescens
- 8) Turula Cerevisiae
Also added should be
- Solanum tuberosum aegrotans
- Thalaspi Bursa Pastoris
The drug picture is contributed by the fungi invading these plants also.
This is commonly known as Mushroom. Agaricus comes under the order Agaricales of the Basidiomycetes class. This is a Saprophytic fungus growing on damp rotten logs of wood, trunks of trees and in damp soil rich in organic matter.
Some types of Agaricus are edible. Others are Poisonous. The edible mushrooms are cultivated and these are white in Colour. The coloured types are usually poisonous.
Common Name – Bug Agaric
Habitat – Europe & America
Preparation: Trituration of the carefully dried-up cap or of the fresh fungus
It contains 3 toxic principles
(1) Muscarine – A parasympathomimetic alkaloid
(2) A neutro toxic substance
(3) An alkaloid with atropine like action
This agent produces a state of intoxication and is used in many parts for making an intoxicating drink, thus we find in alcoholism a Sphere of its action & also in all states of delirium. Mania and even idiocy.
The peculiarity of delirium is to make verses and prophesy, also silly merriness, and incoherent talk, with mania; Kisses companions.
There are exalted notions of grandeur and power, hilarity excitement followed by depression, confusion and imbecility.- Accompanying Physical Symptoms are
Vertigo, with Constant impulse to fall backward
Twitching about eyes & face
Redness without heat
Puffy & distorted appearance
Ravenous Appetite with bolting of food
Sexual appetite enormous & enthusiastic with relaxed penis and impotence.
There is involvement of motor nerves.Spasmodic twitching, throughout the body, tremors, Choreiform movements & Convulsions of the epilepti form type. Finally there is relaxation and exhaustion. Twitching is marked in eyes, eyelids, and facial muscles.
Rolling of the head is a leading indication of Agaricus in brain affections and fever.
Peculiar headaches are “ Throbbing headache, with Sensation of stiffness of muscles of face ”
“Dull drawing headache in the morning, extending in to root of nose, with nose bleed or thick mucous discharge.”
“ Pain as from a nail in right side of head ’’.
Pain as if pierced by needles of ice is very characteristic.
Sweat – May be Oily, but is not offensive.
It is a spleen medicine, causing stitch in the left side.
The Symptoms are apt to appear at the same time on opposite sides of the body but diagonally.
Highly sensitive to cold & damp
Many Symptoms appear when walking in the open air- Conversely to sensitiveness to cold, there is Sensitiveness to the rays of the sun & sunstroke is within the Curative range of Agaricus.
There is Symptoms of gastro- enteric irritation.
With these indications, Agaricus is of use in
- A small acrid species found in woods in Europe
- Preparations – Mother tincture from the fresh mushrooms
- The Symptoms of Agaricus Emeticus resembles those of other Agaricus, but they have this characteristic that while cold water < the symptoms of Agaricus Muscarius, it speedily and permanently relieves those of Agaricus Emeticus
- There is violent longing for ice-cold water
- Most marked is the vertigo, which is so severe one must be carried to bed; he is not able to sit or stand.
A small stinking fungus it is a poison of great intensity & fatality. Toxins are cytotoxic alpha amanitine & Phalloidine. These toxins inhibit protein syntheses it causes Necrosis, Oedema and haemorrhage in liver, kidney, GIT and brain…. Symptoms observed in poisoning give a complete picture of Asiatic cholera
- Extreme prostration with cold sweat, chilliness thirst, cold extremities etc.
- Crampy pain in abdomen
- Small intermittent pulse:
- Finally – Circulatory collapse, hepatic and Renal failure:
Synonym – Polyporus officinalis
Its active principle is Agaric Acid or Agaricin
Tincture is prepared from the dried fungus
Symptoms of gastro- intestinal irritation (Chronic diarrhoea.)
- Poisoning effects show delirium
- Sunken features
- Violet colour of nose & lips
- Intense thirst
- Violent pain in epigastrium
It produces gastro intestinal disturbances.
Common Name – Warted Puff-ball
Bovista comes under Basidiomycetes
The entire fungus is used to prepare the
- Bloatedness, Puffy condition of body surface
- A sense of “Enlargement”
- Flatulent distention & noisy passage of flatus are leading features of the Bovista Pathogenesis.
- This agent has an action on the circulation, predisposing to relaxation and haemorrhages – haemorrhages from menstrual irregularities, from traumatism etc.
- Menstrual flow occurring only or chiefly at night, haemorrhage between the periods
- Menses preceded & followed by diarrhoea.
- Acrid corrosive leucorrhoea, following at night only, follows menses
- With these symptoms it can be of use in ovarian cyst.
- There is stammering speech.
- Awkwardness, misapplies words in speaking & writing.
- The puffy, expanding properties of the remedy are shown as a puffy condition of the body surface; instrument indents the fingers in an unusual degree.
Useful in colic causing the patient to bend double.
Action up on the skin producing an eruption similar to eczema
Itching at tip of coccyx is another characteristics symptom
Useful in c/c urticaria
Sweat in axilla smelling like onions
“We may always think of Bovista when we see a use very ‘tettery’ person, one who has tetters here & there , all over the body. There utters may be either moist or dry”.
Symptoms generally are < Morning ,cold food. . Hot weather
Tincture or infusion of whole fungus
There is a general resemblance to the effect of the Agarici- Vertigo, disordered vision, gastro -enteric disturbances & viscid sweat. Associated with great feebleness of whole body.
Pine agaric , Tincture of Fresh plant
- Aching distress in many parts
- Stiffness of muscles
- Diarrhoea or constipation & piles
- Useful in Malarial fevers
- The symptom < Motion,> rest
Tincture of the fresh mushrooms
Some species of Russula are edible others causes severe poisoning
Muscular tremors & clonic spasms
Eye symptoms are pronounced; complete blindness lasting many days, with this peculiarity of pupil that it was sometimes normal, sometimes dilated sometimes contracted.
Common Name – Ergot
A fungus growing on the seed bud of rye & several other cereals.
Ergot Alkaloids are highly variable mixtures of toxins the most important being ergotamine. When ingested, the toxin produces either Cardiovascular or neurological manifestations.
Cardiovascular Manifestations – Vasoconstriction and Peripheral gangrene.
Neurological – Mental Confusion & convulsions.
One of the alkaloid – lysergic acid lathylamide is a hallucinogen
It acts upon the Parturient uterus as a stimulant to its contractions & increases their & force & frequency till there is tetanic Contractions of the organs.
1) This drug is especially adapted to thin scrawny women with sunken features.
2) Women of very lax muscular fibre, where everything seems loose and open.
3) Haemorrhagic diathesis – The slightest wound causes bleeding for weeks. Discharge of liquid blood with a strong tendency to putrescence.
4) Debility & emaciation, though there is unnatural ravenous appetite. Craving for acids, lemonade
5) Burning in all parts of the body as if sparks of fire were falling on the part.
6) Skin feels cold to touch; yet the patient cannot tolerate covering, there is burning hot internally, < external heat: > Cold applications
7) The nervous symptoms are convulsive- the body is rigid, at times alternating with relaxation. This is especially seen in hands-, which is either clenched, or have the fingers spread widely apart.
1) Great Haemorrhagic remedy – from any out let, but generally from Uterus – It takes place from atony of uterus, especially after abortion or protracted labour.The flow is black, fluid, non-coagulable & offensive.
2) Secale is one of the few remedies for patients suffering from habitual abortions.
Miscarriage taking place about 3 rd month with copious flow of black, bad smelling, liquid blood. She gets cramps in her fingers- fingers are spread widely apart.
3) During labour
Irregular pain, too weak with no expulsive action, though everything is relaxed. Everything seems loose & open, but no expulsive action.
It is of use for after pains- too long & painful with hour- glass contraction of the Uterus.
4) Suppression of milk in thin exhausted woman.
5) Puerperal fever with putrid discharge, coldness of skin etc.
6) Cholera – Profuse, watery, offensive diarrhoea
- Empty feeling in Abdomen wants abdomen uncovered.
- In the stage of collapse
7) Raynaud’s disease
8) Ecchymosis, blood blisters etc.
9) Boils – Mature slowly & heal in the same manner with green pus.
Corn smut – A parasitic fungus developed on the fruit of Zeamays
Dr. But who proved ustilago on himself & others introduced this remedy into homeopathy.
1) It has a special affinity for the generative organs of both sexes . In it produces an atonic conditions
Special affinity on left ovary & Uterus
Ustilago congests the uterus & produce haemorrhages passive or in clots
It is in Uterine haemorrhages menstrual, post-partum and climacteric that Ustilago has been powerfully employed
There can be Vicarious menstruation, from lungs and bowels & bleeding between the periods with left infra mammary pain.
Menorrhagia , attended with Ovarian irritation
Hypertrophy of Uterus, Uterus feels drawn in to a knot.
Vertigo, hot flushes of heat, gone feeling epigastrium, Bearing down Sensation,
Backache -(from hip to leg)
Ovarian dysmenorrhoea, tending to abortion etc.
General < during climacteric
2) In male generative organs
Irresistible desire to masturbate
Emissions, even when talking to a woman
Neuralgia of testicles with constant aching
3) Acts on skin, hair & nails- loss of hair & nails
4) Back – Sensation of boiling water flowing along the back
1. Tendency to involuntary movements like twitching and jerking.
Irregular, uncertain and exaggerated motions. Patient reaches too far, staggers or steps too high, drop things etc.
Trembling, twitching, jeking and fibrillar spasms. Twitching ceases during sleep.
Awkward motion, drop things
Twitching of facial muscles before asthma.
Twiching, spasms with fingers apart.
Tetanic spasms with full consciousness.
Twitching in back extending to fingers and toes.
Staggering gait as if feet were dragged along.
Clonic and tetanic movements
2. Tendency to develop paraesthesias.
Sensation as if pierced by cold or hot needles.
Painful twitching followed by coldness and stiffness of parts.
Neuralgia as if cold needles run through the nerves.
Shooting and burning along the spine.
Burning, itching, redness and swelling as if frozen.
Multiple neuritis with tingling and numbness.
Numbness, insufferable tingling, crawling, starting in the face, in the limbs, in the finger tips. > rubbing.
Sensation of burning as if sparks in the whole body.
Formication of skin.
Sensation of boiling water flowing along the back.
3. Tendency to haemorrhages.
Nose bleed, persistent epistaxis in drunkards.
Bleeding dark, offensive and stringy
Espicially during climaxis.
Bleeding – thin foetid, watery oozing contiuously.
Haemorrhage after extraction of teeth.
Congestive, passive or slow bleeding; Dark, Watery or in clods forming large black strings.
4. Tendency to Increased Sexual Desire with Masturbation.
Increased Sexual Desire in males.
Sexual exitement in females.
Increased sexual desire in males.
Irresistible desire to masturbate.
Emissions every night.
Emission even when talking to women.
5. Easy Prostration Especially after Coitus or Sexual Abuse.
Great debility after coition.
Complaints after sexual debauches.
Complains following coitus.
Young hysterical married women, who faint after coition.
Reeling and confusion in head after coition.
Prostration after sexual abuse.
6. Tendency to Catch Cold, Feels Very Chilly Yet Aversion to
Frequent sneezing with flow of clear water on getting cold.
Chilly patient sensitive to cold.
7. Especially suitable for female during Climaxis
Bearing down pains especially after menopause.
Menorrhagia at climaxis
Congestion of various parts especially during climaxis
Irritability during climaxis
8. Tendency to form new growths
Para ovarian cyst.
Boil in the right ear with pain and discharge of foetid pus.
Boils which matures slowly with green pus.
1. Allen, T.F, Encyclopedia of Homoeopathic Materia Medica.
2. Clark, J.H, A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica.
3. Frederic Schroyens, Synthesis.
4. William Boeriche, Pocket Manual Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory.
Dr Prathibha K C BHMS,MD(Hom)
Medical Officer, Dept. of Homoeopathy, Govt. of Kerala