May 2005|Volume 2|Issue 5



Dr.J.D.Patil, MD(hom)


Dr.J.D.Patil, PG Director, DKMM Homoeopathic Medical College is well known to every body by Gem series of Books published by him. He had lectured on various topics for post Graduate students on group study of Materia Medica. He holds many positions in Dr. Baba Sahib Ambedkar Marathwada University and recipient of many awards in his career. Here he shares his writings on group study on snakes.

Animal kingdom one of the large family contributing various drugs to the Homoeopathy is ophidia group. The ophidia group contains serpents or snakes proper. The snake is one of the most ancient and most grandiose mythological characters. The snakes have been playing greater role in medical history and Hindu philosophy since ages. Snakes are a fascinating part of nature. Their colour, movement and secretive habits make them more mysterious than other animals. For people who are especially interested in wild life, snakes are a wonderful introduction to the world of nature.

There are more than 2,600 species of snakes in the world, of these about 216 species are found in India of which 52 are poisonous. The snakes are world wide distributed. Majority of snakes inhabit the warm parts of the world. Most of the snakes are non-poisonous and harmless, only few are poisonous. The poisonous snakes cause a major medical problem in the tropical countries like Africa, India, Brazil, Burma, Sri Lanka Pakistan and in Australia. According to an estimate by WHO about 60,000 to 70,000 persons die of snakebite every year in the world. In India 18,000 to 20,000 persons die of snake bite every year. The poisonous snakes are Cobras, Vipers, Kraits, Coralsnakes and Seasnakes. Aquatic snakes inhabit sea and fresh water media; terrestrial snakes are generally fossorial (living in burrows) while a few are arboreal (living on trees).

Uses of snakes

  1. Snakes eat rats and thus prevent spoiling of the crops and grains.
  2. Snake venom has many toxins, proteins, and enzymes. Important use of snake venom is to manufacture anti-venom serum, the remedy for snakebite.
  3. In various cultures snakes are eaten for medicinal purposes, like, to cure gangrene, cholera, tuberculosis, meningitis and in haemorrhagic disorders.
  4. Snakeskin has ornamental value.

Properties of snake poison
Constituents of Snake poison

  1. Fibrinolysins
  2. Proteolysins
  3. Neurotoxins
  4. Cholinesterase (Elapid viper)
  5. Haemolysins (Viper venom)
  6. Thromboplastin (Viper venom)
  7. Cardiotoxin
  8. Coagulase hyaluonidase
    (Helps to spread)

Physical properties:

  1. It is an odorless and tasteless, viscid fluid of pale yellow colour.
  2. Specific gravity ranges from 1.03 to 1.07.  

Chemical properties:

  1. It contains peptides.
  2. It is acidic to litmus paper.
  3. It also contains inorganic phosphorous and metallicions like Na+, K+, Zn+, Ca+, Mg++, Fe++, and Co++ etc

Medicinal value:

  1. Cobra poison used to relieve pain due to neural leprosy.
  2. In Ayurvedic medicine snake venom is used as antidote in the form of certain Rasas against Tuberculsis.
  3. Viper venom used as hemostat. Used in hemophilia, during major surgery, to stop hemorrhages.
  4. Poison of Rattlesnake is used as medicine for epilepsy, nerve exhaustion.
  5. Certain snake venoms are used as a local agent to treat rheumatism, inflammation of joint and neuralgic condition.

Important Homoeopathic Remedies of the Snake Group

  1. Lachesis trigonocephalus - surukuku snake
  2. Naja tripudians - cobra venom
  3. Elaps corrallinus - coral snake
  4. Crotalus horridus - rattlesnake
  5. Crotalus cascavella - brazilian snake
  6. Cenchris contortrix - copperhead snake
  7. Bothrops lanciolatus - yellow viper
  8. Vipera berus - german viper
  9. Hydrophis cyanocintus - sea snake
  10. Toxicophis - Moccasin snake 

Doctrine of Signature

  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 Hot Weather, By Hot Drinks, By Sun And By Warmth In General.
  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 Jealously And suspicion. Suspicion And Jealousy are the characteristic symptoms of the patients.
  4. The snake coils itself from left to right. Symptoms Of The Ophidia Group are proceeded 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. Patient is also aggravated by touch and slight sound.

Characteristics of ophidia Group

Constitution: Haemorrhagic constitution, skin shows purple or mattled appearance. They are very much restless people. Face is sickly, pale, anxious, bloated, dark, red or bluish.
Miasm: Syphilitic & Tubercular background
Temperament: Melancholic
Diathesis: Haemorrhagic
Thermal relation: All ophidians are Hot patients (except Elaps & Naja which are chilly)
Ailments from: Fright, jealousy, alcoholism, Onanism, loss of vital fluids, suppressed menses, physical trauma. Bad effects of poisons, long lasting grief, disappointed love, vexation, summer and spring.
Sphere of action: Nerves esp. pneumogastric and spinal accessory, cellular tissues, skin, circulation, CVS, brain, liver, glands, throat, muscles, etc

Patho-physiological Action

Neurotoxic venom - Muscular weakness and paralysis It acts primarily on the motor nerves.
Vasculotoxic venom - Enzymatic destruction of cell walls and coagulation disorders.
Myotoxic venom - Generalized muscle pains followed by myoglobinuria.
Haemolytic venom - Break down of the RBC‘s separating plasma and haemoglobin

Characteristic Mental Symptoms

  • Anxiety, mental excitement and fear. Hallucinations are regularly seen.
  • Loquacity, compelled to talk continuously, jump from one topic to the other without any connection.
  • Suspicious, fear of being poisoned, refuse the medicines offered, suspiscious because of survival instincts.
  • Fear, of disease and death.
  • Religious Insanity, religious melancholy and clairvoyance.
  • Delirium, muttering like when drunk.
  • Fastidious, hurried tendency
  • Irritable & Quarrelsome
  • l Competitiveness & attractiveness
  • Double standards, ophidians are known to have two sets of rules one for themselves and the other for others because of egotism and jealousy.
  • Hallucinations, delusions, insanity, delirium.
  • Greedy, jealous, quarrelsome, malicious, always playing dirty tricks.
  • Active, Ophidians have an active memory and a very striking nature.

Characteristic Physical Symptoms

  • Haemorrhagic diathesis, dark red and oozes profusely from every orifice of the body.
  • Dark spots appear on the body and blood settles into ecchymoses. Thus a mottled, purple appearance.
  • All ophidians are left sided (except Crotalus & Elaps)
  • Pains go from left to right (except Crotalus & Elaps)
  • Gangrene, Decomposition of blood with death of tissue.
  • Ulcers bleed black blood, which soon coagulates and looks like charred straw.
  • Congestive pains are felt in the head. Gums bleed easily and blood is seen around the teeth.
  • Hematuria is very often seen.
  • Septicemia, Patient exhibits symptoms like that of septicemia.
  • Hypersensitiveness, especially of slight noise or touch, to motion to cover. The mere touch of a finger or hand is unbearable, cannot wear tight clothes and tight bandages around neck and waist.
  • Debility and prostration leads to collapse
  • Inflammation of cellular tissue, effusion of inner organs and septicemia
  • Paralysis, There is torpidity, numbness, twitching and fornications.
  • Constrictiveness, the ophidians have constrictiveness or choking sensation due to the irritation of pneumogastric.
  • Dryness of the skin, inability to sweat.
  • Discharges, The discharges of ophidians are very offensive, profuse, bloody and dark. Suppression of these discharges gives rise to the complaints.
  • Periodicity of complaints seen during spring, before and after menses.
  • Craving - alcoholic drinks, cold drinks and oysters.

General Modalities

AGGRAVATION: Morning, asleep, noise, jar, suppression of discharges, summer, touch, night.
AMELIORATION: When awake, cold, appearance of discharges.

Clinical Conditions

Angina, Asthma, Alcoholism, Boils, Carbuncles, Cardiac Asthma, Ciliary Neuralgia, Cough, Diphtheria, Endocarditis, Gangrene, Haemorrhage, Haemorrhoids, Heart Hypertrophy And Valvular Affections, Jaundice, Laryngitis, Lockjaw, paralysis, Puerperal Fever, Phlegmasia Alba Dolens, Polyneuritis, Purpura, Quinsy, Skin Affections, Ulcers, Varicose Veins, Vertigo.


Dr.J.D.Patil, MD(hom)
DKMM Homoeopathic Medical College
Guru Ganesh Nagar
Aurangabad -431 004
Ph: 0240-2401051, 2400170