Bothrops lanceolatus: a deadly snake and its homoeopathic utility

Dr Sunil Arjun Pol

This article is about a deadly poisonous snake, Bothrops lanceolatus found in the island of Martinique. This is one of the ophidian drug of our homoeopathic materia medica. This article reveals the details about the snake, its venom, mental generals, physical generals, characteristic particulars, clinical manifestations, miasmatic background and few important rubrics related to this drug.

KEY WORDS: Bothrops lanceolatus, Ophidia, Crotalidae, Thrombosis, Materia Medica.


  • Bothrops lanceolatus is a venomous snake, found in the Caribbean island of Martinique.
  • The snake is also known by the names, Yellow viper, Fer-de-lance, Martinique lancehead, Lance snake and Martinican pit viper.
  • It belongs to Crotalidae family
  • It measures about 1.5 to 2 m long, colour is brown, black, gray and lives in forests and beside flowing water
  • Each year, approximately 20-30 declared cases of snakebites occur in this island
  • The poison from this snake is triturated, and dilutions are made from the 6x trituration.
  • Studies have indicated these snakes learn to improve their strike accuracy over time
  • Snakes are carnivorous and eat other animals
  • Their diet primarily changes based on how large the snake is and where the snake lives
  • Their hunts include rats, mice, birds, rabbits, lizards, frogs, snakes, bats and more.
  • The name lanceolatus is due to the snake’s flat mouth that tapers off to a point [like a lance].
  • lanceolatus, which is not found elsewhere in the world, is the only indigenous snake present in Martinique.
  • They are extremely fertile creatures; each female gives birth to 70 young at a time.
  • Interestingly, the species was depicted on the unofficial flag of Martinique
  • No actual provings have been carried out with Bothrops.
  • The symptoms are based on the effects of bites from the snakes and on a few clinical experiences.
  • It covers all the three, psora, sycosis and syphilis miasms.


Proteomic studies revealed the following content in B. lanceolatus venom: Acidic phospholipases A2, serine proteinases, L-amino acid oxidases, Zinc-dependent metalloproteinases, and a Specific C-type lectin-like molecule.


  • Bothrops lanceolatus snake venom causes systemic thrombotic syndrome but also local inflammation involving extensive oedema, pain, and haemorrhage.
  • The local effects like oedema, pain, haemorrhage, necrosis and systemic effects like coagulation disturbances, thrombosis, and renal failure.
  • The phospholipase A2, responsible of oedema-formation, myotoxicity, and additional anticoagulant effects.
  • lanceolatus venom induces comparable local and systemic effects with a predominant prothrombotic but a rare necrosis and haemorrhage profile.
  • Development of local thrombosis phenomena is thought to be a result of endothelium injury induced by direct action of the venom on the vessels.
  • Systemic thrombotic syndrome may lead to fatal pulmonary embolism and myocardial and cerebral infarction.
  • This is the only snake in the world whose venom produces significant systemic thrombotic complications
  • The venom of the snake is most coagulating hence on potentisation, it is expected to be useful in thrombosis and thromboembolic, phenomena. It typically affects the intracranial blood vessels and blood vessels of lower limbs and retina.
  • It is one of the foremost remedies in Homoeopathy, for any sort of thrombo-embolic phenomenon in the brain, characterised by right sided paralysis, complete aphasia.


  • This remedy adapts to worn out, broken down individuals with haemorrhagic constitution
  • There is frequent paralysis


  • Confusion of mind.
  • Inability to articulate without any affection of the tongue.
  • Forgets words while speaking and word hunting
  • Makes mistakes while talking; using wrong words
  • Aphasia
  • Dreams of heart troubles and thrombosis
  • Dreadful dreams of suffering anginal attacks accompanied with a feeling of depression
  • The oppression is accompanied by feeling of apprehension which seems to start in stomach
  • There is extreme weariness, lassitude and sluggishness
  • Exhausting weeping from the shock of a fall


  • Right sided complaints
  • Haemorrhage from all the orifices
  • Oozing of dark, thin blood which does not coagulate
  • Deep gangrene, bones laid bare and necrotic.
  • Increase in sexual desire with a sensation of internal heat and trembling
  • General feeling of amelioration in a warm and dark room
  • Slight shivering followed by very profuse cold sweat.
  • Sudden momentary giddiness; tendency to fall to the right side; to the left side; comes suddenly and goes as suddenly.
  • Thermally Chilly
  • Septicemia, Blood poisoning
  • Pains with exhaustion and depression
  • Paralysis due to thrombosis and embolism


  • Ailments from head injury
  • Sensation as of a nail in right parietal bone; the headache returns in the open air
  • Benign positional vertigo due to poor cerebral circulation, especially in old people
  • The room seems to turn around.
  • Blindness (Amaurosis) from hemorrhage into retina
  • Day blindness (Hemoralopia), can hardly see after sunrise; (Night blindness, Bell.)
  • Thrombosis and haemorrhage of central artery of the retina. bleeding from the eyes, dim vision, worse in sunlight.
  • Epistaxis occurring instead of or before menses; < in the morning on waking
  • Speech, stammering or inability to articulate, without any affection of the tongue
  • Posterior of tongue: heavy brown fur.
  • Paralysis of tongue with aphasia
  • Difficulty in swallowing liquids.
  • Persistent high blood pressure even after the stroke
  • All the symptoms of pulmonary congestion
  • Sensation as if the heart might stop beating
  • Sensation of internal trembling
  • Intense haematemesis with black vomiting
  • Shuddering and feeling of apprehension in stomach at onset of menstrual flow.
  • All symptoms aggravate after eating.
  • Bloody stools
  • Loose, watery, yellowish stools; passed in small amounts at a time with no discomfort.
  • Fluid metrorrhagia, dark in color.
  • Menses scanty and watery; onset of flow accompanied by shuddering (without coldness) and a feeling of apprehension in the stomach.
  • Weight in the chest ameliorated by the flow.
  • Swollen, livid, cold with haemorrhagic infiltration
  • A lancehead bite can leave scars for years
  • Gangrene, Necrosis of bones and muscles
  • Malignant erysipelas; Purpura
  • Tendency to carbuncles
  • Paralysis of one arm or one leg only
  • Intolerable pain in right great toe (patient bitten n left thumb).
  • The diagonal course of symptoms is marked.
  • Gangrene of the bones, where the bone becomes bare from muscle and becomes necrotic.
  • The affected parts swell to enormous size, soft and flabby, become infiltrated with bloody serum, skin discolored with black or blue blotches, suppuration sets in, skin and flesh coming off in bits, moist gangrene tend to affect bones, tendons and hard tissues, and ultimately syncope.


  • Day-blindness
  • Necrosis of bones
  • Gangrene
  • Haemorrhages
  • Malignant erysipelas
  • Purpura
  • Anthrax
  • Lungs congestion
  • Paralysis of tongue
  • Cerebro-vascular, thrombo-embolism
  • Pulmonary oedema


Apprehension Erysipelas Necrosis Haemorrhage
Vertigo on movements Thrombosis Gangrenes Epistaxis
Blurred vision Increased sexual desire Aphasia Purpura
< eating after Pulmonary congestion Paralysis Carbuncles
Pain Oedema/swelling Ulcerations Suppuration


  • CHEST – EMBOLISM – Lungs; of
  • EAR – DISCHARGES – blood
  • EXTREMITIES – PARALYSIS – hemiplegia
  • EYE – BLEEDING from eyes – Conjunctiva
  • EYE – BLEEDING from eyes – Retinal hemorrhage
  • EYE – PARALYSIS – Optic nerve – accompanied by – Retinal haemorrhage
  • GENERALS – HEMORRHAGE – blood – non-coagulable
  • GENERALS – HEMORRHAGE – blood – thin
  • GENERALS – HEMORRHAGE – orifices of the body, from
  • GENERALS – INFLAMMATION – gangrenous
  • GENERALS – PARALYSIS – one side – apoplexy, after
  • GENERALS – SEPTICEMIA, blood poisoning
  • GENERALS – SIDE – crosswise – left upper and right lower
  • MIND – APHASIA – apoplexy – after
  • MIND – APHASIA – paralysis; with – one side
  • MIND – MISTAKES; making – speaking, in – words – wrong words; using
  • MIND – SPEECH – inarticulate
  • MOUTH – PARALYSIS – Tongue
  • SKIN – DISCOLORATION – blackish – spots
  • SKIN – ERYSIPELAS – malignant – accompanied by – Lymphatic glands; swollen
  • SKIN – PURPURA – hemorrhagica
  • VISION – DIM – daytime
  • VISION – LOSS OF VISION – daytime

Systemic thrombotic syndrome is caused by the venom of the Bothrops lanceolatus snake. The thrombus can be dissolved by it, if used in potentized form. There have been no formal studies conducted on this drug. Only clinical experiments have given us the symptoms, which could be resulted from a snake bite. To utilize this drug to its maximum potential, rigorous proving must be conducted. If comprehensive clinical and pathological testing is performed, this could be a top remedy for cerebrovascular accidents, including both thrombotic and hemorrhagic strokes, myocardial infarctions caused by coronary occlusions, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, etc. If successfully tested, this drug could replace antiplatelates used in modern therapy for some extent.


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  • Choudhary N.M., A Study of Materia Medica
  • , Synoptic Materia Medica 2
  • Banerjea Subrata Kumar, Miasmatic prescribing, second edition.
  • Schroyens F., Synthesis (Original English version).
  • Resiere D, Mégarbane B, Valentino R, Mehdaoui H, Thomas L. Bothrops lanceolatus bites: Guidelines for severity assessment and emergent management. Toxins. 2010 Jan 22;2(1):163-73.

PG Scholar (In service)
Department of Materia medica
Government Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru.Under the Guidance of

Professor, HOD, Department of Materia medica,
Government Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru.

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