Keynotes to the Ophidia Homoeopathic remedies and doctrine of signatures

Dr  Gurkirat Kaur  Ashna Singh

In the realm of homeopathy, the Ophidia group, derived from the Latin word “ophis”, meaning serpent, presents a captivating category of remedies sourced from venomous snakes and serpent-related substances. This article seeks to unravel the characteristics and keynotes of Ophidia remedies, focusing on their unique healing properties and the doctrine of signatures.

Specific medicines within the Ophidia group, such as Naja tripudians, Crotalus cascavella, Crotalus horridus, Lachesis mutus, Elaps corallinus, and Cenchris contortrix, are examined for their distinctive keynotes. Each medicine presents a unique profile, encompassing mental and physical symptoms, temperament, and environmental influences. From Naja’s chilly disposition with suicidal tendencies to Crotalus horridus’ right-sided symptoms and hemorrhagic tendencies, the detailed exploration sheds light on the nuanced characteristics of each remedy.

This comprehensive article not only delves into the fascinating world of medicines derived from the ophidia group in homeopathy but also provides valuable insights into the distinctive signatures or keynotes that guide practitioners in their selection and application which ultimately aid in prescription thus offering a holistic approach to healing.

In the intricate tapestry of homeopathy, where remedies are derived from various sources in nature, the Ophidia group stands out as a captivating category. Derived from the Latin word “ophis,” meaning serpent, the Ophidia remedies are potent therapeutic agents sourced from venomous snakes. These remedies have long been revered in the realm of homeopathy for their unique healing properties. The mental symptoms of different remedies within the ophidia group share similarities. The following outlines key characteristics of certain important medicines within the group, aiding in the differentiation between them.

Key words: Ophidia group, snake venom, keynotes

Characteristics of snake venom:

  1. Neurotoxic venom: causes muscular weakness and paralysis involving the muscles of the face, throat, respiration, legs etc. It acts primarily on the motor nerves.
  2. Vasculotoxic venom: produces enzymatic destruction of cell walls and coagulation disorders. As a result the destruction of endothelium of blood vessels occurs.
  3. Myotoxic venom: produces generalized muscle pains, followed by myoglobinuria, 3 to 5 hours later, ending in respiratory failure in fatal cases.

The doctrine of signature:

The doctrine of signatures is explored through key points that draw parallels between snake behaviors and patient symptoms within the Ophidia group.

  1. The snake is extremely sensitive to heat, so it lives in deep burrows where it is cooler – the patient of ophidia group is worse from warmth, by hot drinks, in the sun and in summer.
  2. The snake is more ferocious and poisonous when hungry. the patient of ophidia group is, < by fasting and > after eating.
  3. Snakes are poisonous, when we say the mind is poisoned, it means that there is jealousy and suspicion – which are characteristic traits of this group.
  4. The snake coils itself from left to right – symptoms of the ophidia group are preceded from left to right (except crotallus and elaps as they are right sided)
  5. Immediately after a snake bite the blood is let out from that site as a therapeutic measure to limit the extent of damage general relief from bleeding and any other discharges.
  6. The snake is very sensitive to touch and vibrations – the patient is also aggravated by touch and slight sound.
  7. The stools of the snake are black and offensive – the discharges in ophidia group are dark and offensive

Naja tripudians:

  • Chilly + Thirsty + Left sided
  • Broods constantly over imaginary troubles. Suicidal insanity
  • In general, it has typical snake qualities but the disposition is exactly opposite to that of Lachesis. It is not as approaching as Lachesis. Lachesis is loquacious but Naja has aversion to talking.
  • Lachesis is sly and deceitful whereas Naja is more noble and conscientious.
  • Naja has a strong sense of duty.
  • Naja like Natrums broods constantly over imaginary troubles.
  • Naja, like Lach., is < in damp weather.
  • There is trembling of the muscles, a rheumatic diathesis, and tendency of all complaints to settle about the heart.
  • Naja has more nervous symptoms and Lachesis has more septic symptoms. Naja has marked agitation without sepsis, Lachesis has all the nervousness with a tendency to hemorrhage and sepsis; black blood, like charred straw; dark clotted blood.

Crotalus cascavella:

  • Hot + Thirsty + Right side
  • It is commonly called Brazilian rattle snake.
  • The poison of Cascavella is as deadly as that of the other Crotalidae, and the general symptoms are like those of the other members of the group, but the mental symptoms are more pronounced and peculiar. Lancinating pains are frequent, and are worse by cold washings. [Clarke]
  • Right sided snake with clairvoyance will be the indications for Crotalus Cascavella.

Crotalus horridus:

  • Hot + Thirsty + Right sided
  • It is commonly called Rattlesnake.
  • It has a weeping mood; clouded perception and memory; impatient. It can be quite loquacious, with a desire to escape. There are also present delusions of cerebral decay.
  • The low form of delirium, muttering, talking to himself is a peculiar form of loquacity. It differs somewhat from Lachesis. Both have loquacity. The Lachesis loquacity is so rapid that if anyone in the room commences to tell something the patient will take it up and finish the story, although he has never heard anything about it, so active is his mind. No one is permitted to finish a story in the presence of a Lachesis patient. Crotalus does that, too, but Crotalus will take it up and mumble and stumble over his words in a clumsy manner. It is a low passive state like intoxication; in Lachesis it is wild excitement.
  • Haemorrhages from every orifice of the body, even from the pores of the skin. Haemorrhage from the gums, nose, stomach, lungs, urethra, womb, and bowels. Blood exudes from the eyes. Bloody sweat. Epistaxis, blood black and stringy.
  • Blood decomposition, hemorrhages (dark fluid that forms no clots).
  • Very sensitive to light, especially lamp light.
  • Ciliary neuralgia; tearing, boring pain, as if a cut had been made around eye.

Lachesis mutus:

  • Hot + Thirsty + Left sided
  • Nothing stands out more boldly than the self-consciousness, the self-conceit, the envy, the hatred, the revenge, and the cruelty of the man.
  • Great loquacity.
  • Sad in the morning; no desire to mix with the world. Restless and uneasy; does not wish to attend to business; wants to be off somewhere all the time.
  • Mental labor best performed at night.
  • Great sensitiveness to touch: throat, stomach, abdomen.
  • Left side is principally affected; disease begins on the left side and goes to the right side.

Elaps corallinus:

  • Chilly + Thirsty + Right sided
  • It is commonly called the Coral snake of Brazil.
  • Fruit and cold drinks lie like ice on the stomach and cause a cold feeling in the chest.
  • Sensation as if all the blood were collected in head. [Clarke]
  • Icy cold feet.
  • Has very marked black discharges.
  • Cold things disagree.
  • Desire for sweetened buttermilk.
  • Depressed; imagines he hears someone talking; dreads to be left alone.
  • Fear of rain.
  • Can speak, but cannot understand speech.
  • Averse to conversation, being spoken to. Talk indisposed to. Sits still and silent wrapped in deep sad thoughts and notices nothing.
  • Desire to be alone; she takes refuge for days together in a corner of the antechamber. She
  • seeks a retired room to work in. Depression of spirits; desires to be in a deep cavern, where he can see no one. [Alle

Cenchris contortrix:

  • Chilly+ Thirsty + Both sided
  • It is called Copperhead snake and is found in North America.
  • Females who do not like to do house work, refuse to cook at home, want to do outside jobs, avoid routine and domestic work, but they do not mind cooking some delicacies at home. [Dr. Vijayakar]
  • Like the other snake poisons, it affects the system profoundly.
  • Like arsenic, it has dyspnea, mental and physical restlessness, thirst for small quantities of water, necessity for having clothing loose, like Lachesis.
  • Marked alternation of moods; vivid dreams.
  • Ineffectual attempts to recline.
  • Heart feels distended and fills whole chest, as if it fell down in abdomen
  • Hatred for parents, do not care for parents, no attachment for children or parents. They have attachment to themselves; selfishness and ungrateful people. [Dr. Vijayakar]
  • Nausea is better by ice; aggravated by water which causes vomiting.

We as homeopaths can often narrow down if a patient belongs to the ophidia group based on the mental generals of a patient, but differentiating between the remedies in the said group often poses a difficult problem as they all seem to have very similar features both mentally and physically. By delving into the fascinating world of snake-inspired medicines in homeopathy, this comprehensive article has attempted to shed light on the distinctive keynotes of the remedies, thus offering more clarity and guiding practitioners in reaching the similimum faster. As we continue to explore the intricate tapestry of homeopathy, the Ophidia group stands as a captivating category, offering profound opportunities for healing and well-being.


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Author details:
1. PG scholar, Batch 2020-23, Department of Repertory, Bakson Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital.
2. PG scholar, Batch 2021-24, Department of Repertory, Bakson Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital

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