Homoeopathic Medicines made out of Cucurbitaceae group of plants and their preparation, properties and clinical indications
The plants belonging to this family are usually herbs or undershrubs, usually climbing. Leaves are alternate, petiolate, simple or palmate. Flowers are yellow or white. Fruit usually a berry. Seeds numerous, often packed in pulp. Some of the fruits are edible, some very bitter. Fruits are often laxatives, strongly emetic and cathartic. The roots are occasionally acrid and act as purgatives. The seeds are mucilaginous or oleaginous and often have diuretic and anthelminthic properties.
Medicines obtained from cucurbitaceae
- 1) Bryonia alba
- 2) Cephalandra indica
- 3) Colocynthis cucumis
- 4) Coriaria myrtifolia
- 5) Coriaria ruscifolia
- 6) Cucumis hirsutus
- 7) Cucurbita pepo
- 8) Cucurbita maxima
- 9) Cucurbita citrullus
- 10) Elaterium
- 11) Luffa amara
- 12) Luffa bindal
- 13) Luffa actangula
- 14) Luffa operculata
- 15) Luffa sphaerica
- 16) Momordica balsamina
- 17) Momordica charantia
- 18) Momordica foetida
- 19) Momordica involucrata
- 20) Trychosanthes
1) All act prominently on the alimentary tract
They seem to have in common, a cathartic action. They probably act paralysingly on the vasomotor nerves of abdomen, producing gripping pains, flatulence and gushing watery diarrhea.
2) Action on nerves
a) Sciatic nerve – Sciatica with shooting neuralgic pains.
b) Vasomotor nerves of abdomen – producing colic, dysmenorrhoea etc.
3) action on liver
Enlargement of liver with tenderness & pain in right hypochondrium, jaundice.
4) Action on serous membranes
Producing inflammation and effusion. Shifting pains < by motion. > warm application
5) Antihelminthic action – have been used as curative for worms.
6) Anti febrile action
Malarial fevers, intermitting and remitting fevers, gastric, bilious and typhoid fevers.
7) Mental irritability
Complaints from anger, vexation, mortification
Common name – White bryony, Wild hop
Part used – Root
Nervous slender people with dark hair and complexion adapted to rheumatic or gouty diathesis, prone to biliousness.
Irritable, inclined to be vehement and angry
Insidious onset of complaints.
Complaints when warm weather sets in after cold days, from cold drinks in hot weather, after taking cold in summer, from chilling when overheated.
Stitching pains < from any motion > by absolute rest, pressure, lying on affected side. Worse on right side.
Excessive dryness of mucus membranes of entire body. Tongue dry, cracked with great thirst for cold drinks.
Headache from stooping, ironing, in the morning on first opening the eyes.
Constipation, stool large, hard, dry as if burnt. Diarrhoea during a spell of hot weather, from fruits, in the morning on moving a hand or foot.
Cough dry spasmodic with gagging and vomiting, on entering a warm room, with scanty expectoration.
Mammae heavy hot and painful, of stony hardness, must support them with hands. Vicarious menstruation, nose bleed when menses should appear.
Liver region tender, swollen with stitching pains <coughing, breathing, at night.
Joints red, hot, swollen <on least movement.
< motion, exertion, warmth, warm food, touch
> Rest, pressure, lying on affected side, cold things.
Common name – Bitter apple, Bitter cucumber
Part used – Pulp of fruit
Affections from anger, indignation, mortification. Extremely irritable, throws things out of his hands.
Agonising pain in abdomen causing patient to bend double, with restlessness. Twists and turns with pain. > by hard pressure < eating and drinking, eating cheese.
Sensation on stooping as if eyes would fall out.
Violent dysmenorrhoea. Menses suppressed by chagrin. Pain in ovaries, ovarian tumours, cysts.
Vertigo when quickly turning head to the left.
Sciatica, crampy pain hip, shooting like lightning shocks down the whole limb, left hip, left thigh, left knee in to popliteal fossa. Pains with numbness. Pain in right deltoid.
Dysenteric stools renewed each time by the least food or drink, jelly like stools.
Urinous odour of perspiration.
> hard pressure, bending double, warm application
Alkaloid of Citrullus colocynthis
Neuralgic pains, colic below umbilicus, drawing from hypogastrium to hepatic region. >bending forward. Stitches and sensations of heat.
Burning pains in soles of feet.< evening, motion. > rest.
Rapid and forceful stools with or without tenesmus.
Congestion and pain in male genital organs.
Common name – Pumpkin seed
Part used – Whole fresh plant
One of the most efficient and least harmful of taeniafuges.
Intense nausea immediately after eating. Vomiting of pregnancy.
Common name – Water melon
Part used – Seeds
Painful urination with sense of constriction and backache.
Curative for worms.
Common name – Squash
Worm complaints. Itching of anus.
Pupils dilated. Eyes bright and rolling in the sockets.
Face bloated, livid, foaming in mouth.
Trismus, convulsions of limbs.
Great muscular activity in acute mania, requiring many persons to hold him.
Delirium tremens. Complete loss of memory.
Disagreeable irritating sensation in throat, extending to stomach with pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Diabetes mellitus and insipidus. Profuse urination. Weakness and exhaustion after urination. Dropsy.
Dryness of mouth with thirst for large quantities of water.
Stools with green mucus, tinged with blood. Pain before and during stool.
Morose, fretful, oversensitive, gloomy, disinclined to work.
Common name – Squirting cucumber
Part used – Unripe fruit
Squirting diarrhea – watery, copious, forceful, frothy, olive green. Violent vomiting and purging. Cutting, gripping pains in abdomen.
Gouty pains in fingers, thumbs, great toe; pain extends down the extremities
Urticaria from suppressed malaria. Dropsies
Malarial fevers; chill with much yawning and stretching.
Effects of damp weather.
Vomiting and purging. Passes loose, rice watery stools. Vomits water or bile.
Dry mouth with bitter taste.
Malarial fevers. Enlarged liver and spleen.
Chronic malarial fevers. Enlarged liver and spleen.
Gallstone colic. Dropsy.
Suited to those who are susceptible to cold or change of weather.
Nervous affections; Fainting and faintness.
Indicated in stomach complaints.
Common name – Balsam apple
Part used – Fresh ripe fruit
Rumbling, gripping, colicky pains in abdomen.
Accumulation of flatus in splenic flexure of colon.
Painful and profuse menses with labour like pains.
Pain at small of back coming towards front of pelvis.
Intestines full of yellow watery fluid, discharged explosively. Cholera with cramps, thirst and prostration.
Constipation, Worm affections.
Indicated in stomach complaints.
Diarrhoea with dizziness after every stool.
Pain in liver region.
Dr Lizme Ajith MD(HOM)
Department of Practice of Medicine
Government Homeopathic Medical College. Calicut. Kerala