Apis mellifica ... Jealous widow

Dr.C. Srinath Rao
Fr.Muller’s Homoeopathic Medical College
Mangalore - 575 002
Mobile : 0824-3



     Prof. Dr.C. Srinath Rao, vice principal of Fr.Muller’s Homoeopathic Medical College, Mangalore is known to every body in the profession. He has teaching experience of more than fourteen years. He has presented many papers on diabetes, Aids, ENT disorders, various drug pictures and remedies. He is a visiting professor to Canadian Medical Colleges.

Apis mellifica:

     The Jealous widow-title refers to both remedy as well as the person. This re-affirms the basic principle of homoeopathy-the law of similars.

     It’s indeed fascinating to know the therapeutic potentialities of Apis mellifica.

     The literature (Materia Medica source books) provides us the factual database, which needs to be interpreted for proper application. They also allow us the luxury of adaptability of individuals to whom it is best suited.

      We have to thank Dr. Fredrick Humphries, Dr. E.E. Marcy and Dr. Braun for their initiation, introduction and contribution to provings leading from the front and presenting it to the profession.

      Dr’s Guernsey, Kent and Nash gave valuable pictures of Apis.

      Knowing homoeopathic medicine and its therapeutic potentialities is one of the pre-requisite qualifications of a Homoeopathic physician. Homoeopathic literature constitutes the basic foundation.

      If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say, in every individual case of disease (knowledge of disease, indication), if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in individual medicine (knowledge of medicinal powers) and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that the recovery must ensue-to adapt it as well in respect to the suitability of the medicine most appropriate according to its mode of action to the case before him (choice of the remedy, the medicine indicated), as also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity of it required (proper dose), and the proper period for repeating the dose; if finally, he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them, so that the restoration may be permanent: then he understands how to treat judiciously and rationally, and he is a true practitioner of the healing art.

Samuel Hahnemann

Honey-bee—APIS—its virtues we sing
For all manner of pains that burn and sting,
With bad aggravations from all kinds of heat,
With puffings and swellings and tension:-repeat,
Till you’ve got it by heart, that the Bee is the thing,
For all manner of pains that BURN and STING.
Then the Bee for effusions! —the Bee stands first
For dropsies and fevers with absence of thirst: —
Oedema of limbs, or of trunk, or of throat;
Effusions, oedema of membranes: —you’ll note
That its action on kidneys is great, and you’ll see
That you have scored when the urine’s increased by the Bee.
Then the “crie cerebrale!”—at the thrill of that “crie”
You’ll instantly hurry in quest of the Bee:
Or, when swellings and tensions and stiffnesses rule,
Says she’ll “burst!” when she coughs, or when straining at stool.
By the way, you’ll find Apis a wonderful thing
In ovarian diseases, where pains burn and sting.

     When I took up this topic for re-search the survey of literature helped me to see a lot of avenues and created in me a kind of fear of getting lost into the study of nature demanding conscious effort reminding me of the task of study of Apis mellifica proper.

     Each information unravels unique quality, in the study of the order, Hymenoptera, Apis belongs to, with Formica Rufa, Vespa crabro as other family members with more or less similar qualities or its active principles. This information re-affirms the advantage of group study or comparative study and surely will enhance therapeutic utility.

     This certainly reminds us of our limitation of tapping natural resources so readily available at our disposal. This enthuses the learner to take up finer study (in depth) and discover from nature many such unexplored treasures (Avenue for an aspiring research scholar).

Doctrine of signature:

     The habitat/nature of study of Apis helps us perceive the drug better.

      Apis mellifica is said to be highly jealous creature and study of this creature certainly leaves an indelible impression about the nature of creature and the nature of person we are dealing with.

     The way they maintain/regulate temperature of the hive by fetching drops of water and fanning to bring down the temperature and ensure comfort also gives another clue regarding the thermal reaction. Like the bee the Apis personality too does not like heat.

     Study of chemical composition and its effects too give us clues about the therapeutic potentiality. The formic acid, the toxalbumins present in the poison of Apium virus does bring about spectrum of response starting from mild inflammatory response to life threatening response fairly violently qualitatively differing from one another in combinations.

     Effects of bee sting and the inflammatory response at various sites are correlated. (Similar in manifestation though differing in kind).

      Kent says, “The Materia Medica can be learnt by careful study and by using it.

     It can be understood but not memorized. All who would memorize the Materia Medica must ignominiously fail. The Organon, the symptomatology, and a full repertory must be the constant reference books, if careful homoeopathic prescribing is to be attained and maintained.

     All symptoms represented together may not convey the meaning to us but rather confuse us. Symptoms put together logically help us evolve understanding of phenomenon and also the susceptibility state(morbid) and thus help achieve the ultimate objective of restoration of health.


• Clinical Materia Medica - Dr. E. A. Farrington
• Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica - Dr.J.H.Clarke
• Gems of Homoeopathic Materia Medica - Dr.J.D.Patil
• Homoeopathic Drug Pictures - Dr. M.L.Tyler.
• Keynotes and Characteristics with Comparisons - Dr. H. C.Allen
• Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica - Dr. J.T.Kent.
• Organon of Medicine (Hahnemann) - Translated – Dr.Willium Boericke
• Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica – Dr.Willium Boericke
• Systematic Materia Medica - Dr. K.N.Mathur
• Text book of Materia Medica - Dr. S.K. Dubey