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Hydrastis Canadensis - General symptoms

Golden Seal, Hydras, Hydrast, Hydrastis, Hydr.

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HPUS indication of Hydrastis Canadensis: Sinuses

Below are the main rubriks (i.e strongest indications or symptoms) of Hydrastis Canadensis in traditional homeopathic usage, not approved by the FDA.

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A mucus remedy; hawks up much mucus; mucus in stools, urine, etc

Atonic, cachectic or degenerative conditions

Shallow ulcers

Haemorrhagic or CATARRHAL processes

Thick, yellow, acrid (Sanic---- ), ropy secretions Sense of raw-burning

Weak, dyscrasic and emaciated

Neuralgia of scalp and neck

Thin, yellow, sunken face

Nose; sore; bleeds; bloody crusts

Post-nasal dripping

Dirty, yellow, slimy, flabby, indented tongue (Natrum Phosphoricum Nat-p)

Taste bitter; burnt



Goneness or as of sharp lumps in stomach

Cutting from liver to r

scapula , worse lying on back or r side


Lumpy stool; coated or mixed with mucus

Obstipation; of pregnancy; after purgatives

Mucus in urine

Thick, acrid leucorrhoea

Ulcer of cervix

Loose cough; bloody expectoration

Raises quantities of mucus Senile bronchitis

Palpitation, with weakness

Heat alternating with chilliness; profuse sweating


Hydrastis canadensis. Golden Seal. Orange-root. Yellow Puccoon. N. O. Ranunculaceae. Tincture of the fresh root.

The so-called root of Hydrastis from which the tincture is made is really a perennial underground stem, thick, knotty, and yellow.

The yellow colour is very intense, and it has been used by Indians as a dye.

The plant is the only specimen of its genus among the Ranunculaceae.

It grows in shady woods, in rich soil, and damp meadows.

The fruit is like a raspberry, and the plant is sometimes called Ground Raspberry in consequence.

The medicinal properties of Hydrast. were known to the aborigines of America.

The first mention of it in medical literature is by Rafinesque (Medical Botany, 1828).

Thanks to the excellent provings that have been made by homoeopaths and the careful observations of able practitioners, we are in a position to use the remedy with much greater precision than formerly.

Hydrastis Canadensis stage is generally marked by symptoms of dyspepsia, and this frequently takes the Hydrastis type, which has been well described by A. C. Clifton.

The facial expression is dull, heavy, sodden-looking; yellowish-white in colour.

The tongue is large, flabby and slimy-looking; bluish-white under the fur (which is yellow, slimy, and sticky), and indented by the teeth.

Eructations generally sour, at times putrid.

Appetite bad, the power of digesting bread and vegetables especially weak and causing eructations.

Weight at stomach, with fulness, empty aching "gone" feeling (this is a grand characteristic of Hydrast., and it is constant, not occurring at special times like that of Sulphur Sul., &c.). agg.

After a meal. The action of the bowels is either infrequent and constipated, or frequent with loose, soft, light-coloured stools.

Clifton found this type of dyspepsia occur frequently in phthisical families, and often cured it; and even in cases of actual phthisis this type is not uncommon, the loss of appetite and "goneness" being especially prominent.

In dyspepsia Clifton found the tincture and lower attenuations answer best; in catarrh of nose and fauces the higher were better.

Catarrh of almost all mucous surfaces is caused by Hydrastis─nasal catarrh, pharyngeal, bronchial, gastric, duodenal, intestinal, urethral (gonorrhoea, gleet), vaginal.

The characteristic catarrh is yellow (the leading colour of the drug) or white; tough and stringy.

The action on the skin is no less marked.

Garth Wilkinson found it externally and internally an excellent remedy in small-pox.

Eczema impetiginoides, drying into crusts and burning like fire, has been cured with an application of one part Hydras. Ø to nine of Glycerinum glycerine.

The burning was removed at once. (I once saw a woman, 60, who had been given Hydrast. Ø gtt. v. in water three times a day, after a week come out in a scarlet rash, raised and nodular, exceedingly irritable, especially at night. It was on every part of the body except the face, and was worst on buttocks and elbows. It remained out a week. The patient at the same time became very ill with sickness and general digestive disorder.) The skin may be jaundiced.

There is excessive sweat, especially of armpits or genitals; offensive ulcers; chancroids; fissures.

The female genital organs are very much affected Metrorrhagia, leucorrhoea, pruritus vulvae, scirrhus of uterus; of breasts; sore mouth of nursing-women; sore nipples.

Weiss gave a woman, 31, who had had adherent placenta in several confinements in succession, Hydrast. 3x three drops daily from the fourth month during her last three pregnancies, and each terminated without adherent placenta.

Four other cases of habitual adherent placenta were successfully treated in the same way.

There is much backache of severe character in connection with many of the Hydrast. conditions.

Sometimes it awakens patients in the night.

Like many other "yellow" medicines, it has a marked action on the liver, causing jaundice and liver enlargement.

Fulness, goneness, and constipation are the leading indications.

The constipation of Hydrast. is a leading feature of the pathogenesis.

There is torpor of the bowels; stools lumpy, covered with yellowish tough mucus; with the constipation continual pain in head, bad taste in mouth.

Hydrast. has been a good deal used in bronchial catarrhs with the characteristic tenacious secretion.

In one case an over-dose brought on a characteristic attack of asthma (H. W., xxxiv. 293).

The dose was gtt xx of the liquid extract, and Miodowski, who reported the case, thought there was pulmonary oedema secondary to cardiac weakness induced by the drug.

It is worthy of note that most remedies which powerfully act on the skin will also cause an asthmatic state.

The symptoms generally are agg. at night.

Skin symptoms are agg. from warmth; from washing, &c.

The catarrhal symptoms are agg. from harsh, dry winds; out of doors.

Rest amel.; motion agg.

There is agg. by touch; clothing feels uncomfortable about groins.

Pressure amel. many symptoms.

Orange root. - Golden seal. Burt. Ranunculaceae.

Hydrastis is a slow, deep acting remedy, required in many trophic disturbances. where there is emaciation, catarrhal conditions and ulceration, even malignant ulceration. Defective assimilation.

When it is noticed that the stomach is the center of most of the symptom complex. The desires and aversions often give the key to a very complex totality of symptoms. In Hydrastis Canadensis the sinking empty hunger with loathing of food is striking, strange, rare, and therefore Peculiar. It is characteristic because it is a general of the remedy, and is predicated of the patient. Great weakness prevails at all times.

Catarrhal symptoms with thick, viscid, ropy, yellow mucus, sometimes white, from any mucous membrane, with or without ulceration. Deep eating spreading ulcers upon the skin or mucous membrane, with thick, viscid, yellow pus. Induration in glands, in base of ulcers. False granulations that bleed much and easily, on the slightest touch.

Hydrastis Canadensis has been very useful in the treatment of malignant ulcers. In such ulcers it is often a great comfort to the patient, even when it does not cure, as it removes the offensiveness, modifies the pain and restrains the destructiveness.

The burning so commonly found in such ulcers is a strong symptom of Hydrastis When the weakness and emaciation have progressed together for months and years in chronic stomach disease, fainting comes on, and this is also found in Hydrastis In chronic cases, when the tissues have suffered and not the mind.

The astonishing absence of mental symptoms except the general discouragement incidental to long suffering and weakness is striking. If it were carefully proved, most likely the mental loves and hates would come out. The symptoms are better during rest. Small wounds bleed and suppurate.

The headaches are only such as generally belong to stomach disorders, and prolonged nasal catarrh. They are not distinctive. It has cured eczema with thick crusts.

The eyes and face jaundiced. Ulceration of the cornea. Thick, yellow, viscid, mucous discharge. Chronic inflammation of lids. Inflammation, thickening, redness of margins of lids.

Otorrhoea with thick, viscid, purulent discharge. Copious mucous discharge. Catarrh of the Eustachian tubes with many noises in ears. Ears red, swollen, covered with scales; fissured behind where connected with head.

The nose is obstructed with stringy, yellow or white mucus. The air feels cold in the nose, and the membrane is raw and ulcerated. Ropy mucus is drawn from posterior nares into the throat. Rawness in both nares with constant urging to blow the nose. Coryza with discharge, scanty in room and profuse in open air. Bloody, purulent discharge from nose. Thick, white, or yellow mucous discharge. Large crusts constantly form in the nose.

The face is sickly, shrunken, pale, waxy, cachectic, jaundiced. It is of great service in epithelioma of face, nose or lip.

The tongue is yellow, large, flabby and spongy. Feels as if burnt. Ulceration of mouth, gums, tongue; spreading and burning. Aphthae in children and nursing mothers. Excessive secretions of ropy mucus; golden yellow. Excoriation of mouth. In old mercurial cases.

Catarrhal sore throat of long standing, granulated and ulcerated excoriated and burning. Thick, viscid, yellow mucus that can be drawn out in ropes.

No appetite; no thirst; loathing of food. Nearly all foods disorder the stomach. Spitting up the food by the mouthful (like Phosphorus Phos. and Ferrum Met Ferr.). Vomits all food. Retains only water and milk. Eructations, sour, putrid, of food eaten.

Empty, faint feeling in stomach with loathing of food and obstinate constipation with no desire for stool, is a combination that must generally have Hydrastis Pulsation in the stomach. Ulceration of the stomach with burning. For suspicious lump in region of pylorus. Weight in stomach after eating. The stomach seems to be only an ordinary sack.

digestion is slow, and tedious. Fullness after eating, lasting a long time. The empty, sinking feeling is not ameliorated after eating. Sour vomiting. Chronic gastric catarrh. Slow digestion.

Hydrastis Canadensis must be a useful liver remedy, for the following reasons The skin is jaundiced; the stool is light, even white, showing the absence of bile, and there is distress in the region of the liver. In chronic derangement of the liver. Liver enlarged, hard and nodular.

Cramping pains. Colic, Flatulence and distended abdomen. It has cured many of the usual conditions that generally attend bad digestion and torpid liver. Intestinal catarrh and ulceration. Sharp pain in region of spleen.

It has cured obstinate piles, ulceration and fissures of anus. Relaxation and prolapsus of anus. Chronic diarrhoea with yellow, thin faeces, even watery. Inflammation of anus. Stools, bileless, white, soft, acrid, greenish, much viscid mucus. Hard, nodular stools. Most obstinate constipation; no desire for stool for days.

Paresis of the rectum. It cures constipation, when the stomach symptoms agree. In old cases when enemas no longer act, when the faeces remain high up, or do not come down into rectum to excite desire, Hydrastis Canadensis has been of great service. In constipation or diarrhoea with "goneness" in stomach, trembling in the abdomen and palpitation.

Catarrh of the urethra. Chronic gonorrhoea when the discharge remains yellow in spite of time. Copious, painless discharge. Relaxed scrotum and testes. Offensive sweat of genitals.

Thick, yellow, viscid leucorrhoea, sometimes white, sometimes offensive. Excoriation of vagina. Soreness in vagina during coition. Bleeding after coition. Uterine haemorrhage. Menses copious. Relaxed, dragging feeling in pelvis. Intense itching of vulva. Epithelioma of mamma.

Most obstinate catarrh of larynx, trachea and bronchial tubes, with copious, thick, ropy mucus and ulceration. Rawness in air passages. Catarrh of chest in old people.

The cough, is dry, hard; from tickling in larynx. Rawness in chest. Rattling cough. Thick, yellow, viscid, sometimes white, expectoration in old people, or when very chronic.

Palpitation from slowly progressing weakness. Weakness and stiffness in back in lumbar region, must walk about before he can straighten up the back. Must use the arms to rise from a seat.

Rheumatic pains in upper limbs. Weakness and rheumatic pains in lower limbs. Ulcers on legs and about ankles, with stinging, burning pains; high, hard edges; painful at night in warm bed; sensitive to touch. Oedema of feet.

Warmth and washing aggravate ulcers and eruptions. The skin, excoriates easily. Urticaria over body, aggravated at night. Fissures about mouth and anus.

Ulceration. Bed sores. Lupus evedens.

Pain and very weak, faint, gone feeling in stomach, which is sometimes actually sunken.

Affections of the mucous membranes, where there is viscid stringy discharge; stomach, bronchi, uterus, etc.

Chronic constipation, that is remarkable for its absence of any other symptoms.

Hydrastis Canadensis is more celebrated remedy with the eclectics than with us. They especially value it for what they call its tonic properties and its specific action in the way of healing ulcerations in mucous membranes. We have also found it useful in such cases, but we have more decided indications for its use. For instance, in stomach troubles, where they attribute it curative powers to its tonic properties, we find it especially valuable only when we have this symptom present "Dull aching pain in stomach which causes a very weak, faint, gone feeling in the epigastrium." The stomach is sometimes actually sunken (objectively). There are two other remedies that have this symptom to a degree almost equal, viz., Sepia Sepia and Ignatia Ignatia, but Sepia Sepia is generally in connection with uterine affections while Ignatia Ignatia is purely nervous. Hydrastis is a good remedy for chronic constipation. E. M. Hale taught that it must be used in tincture or very low dilution. I have found it most efficacious in the 200th. (B. & T.). I once cured a case that was of years' standing, had worn cathartics out, and all the way she could live (her words) was to swallow a spoonful of whole flaxseed with every meal. I have used it in infantile constipation successfully, and it is almost useful when all other symptoms aside from the constipation are conspicuous for their absence. Again, Hydrastis is indicated in affections of mucous membranes where there is a viscid stringy discharge. This is like Kali Bich Kali bichromicum, but the other symptoms of these two remedies are not much alike.

Chronic bronchitis of old debilitated people is sometimes greatly relieved by it; also leucorrhoea, with the stringy discharge as above described.


Tincture, to thirtieth attenuation. Locally colorless Hydrastis Canadensis, mother tincture, or fluid extract.