Homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-18 (EDT)

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Homeopathic Rhus Toxicodendron is an important polycrest remedy. It is often associated with arthritic conditions, but it is also beneficial for mental conditions, and deep pathologies of the nervous system, the heart and almost all other organ systems.[1]


  • Plant: Rhus toxicodendron, also known as Poison Ivy
  • Short Form: Rhus-tox; Rhus-t


The following are the main indications for Rhus-tox.[2], [3]

Acute Conditions

  • Sprains and Strains, acute or chronic sprains of ligaments or tendons. Tearing, burning pain. Extreme restlessness, stiffness during rest. Weak, trembling after exertion. {Give after Arnica.}
  • Low Back Pain and Sciatica worse due to injury or over-doing it, stiffness which is worse sitting, better motion and massage
  • Eczema or itchiness which is better very hot water
  • Influenza with Fever and chills from drafts, uncovering. Tickling cough. Cold sores. Sneezing, thick yellow-green, foul mucous. Tip of nose red; nosebleeds. Severe aching, stiff muscles, must stretch. Anxiety, extreme restlessness. Typically a fall and especially a winter remedy.
  • Shingles with burning, itching blisters. Red, swollen, inflamed lesions, crusting over. Thickened skin. Crusty eruptions. White coated tongue.

Chronic and Constitutional Conditions

  • Arthritis/Rheumatism Inflamed, red, hot, cracking joints. Stiffness and pain after resting, better from limbering and getting warm. Tearing, drawing, burning pains, heavy limbs, weakness. Restlessness.
  • Fibromyalgia with restlessness, painful and stiff muscles and joints. Feels beaten. Heavy limbs. Tearing, drawing, burning pains. Weakness, numbness, trembling. Restless but weakened.


  • Chickenpox with large vesicles, surrounded by red, inflamed, swollen tissue. Burning, itching, prickling. Gets infected with pus, even ulcers. Speeds crusting. Extremely restless. Feels stiff, aching. Desires milk. Fever and lethargy.

Other common conditions: Burns, Eye inflammation, Herpes, Hives, Knee and Wrist Conditions, Low Back Pain, Mumps, Neck pain, Sciatica, Parkinson's disease


  • Triggers: damp weather, getting wet, chilling after over-heating, frequent sprains or injuries, over-stretching, over-exertion
  • General: arthritic conditions characterized by stiffness, restlessness
  • Worse: getting cold or wet, cloudy weather, change of weather, or before a thunderstorm, morning or on rising
  • Better: warmth, moving around, warm bath, motion
  • Psychological: the psychological state of the person depends on how progressed the illness has become. Initially the characteristic is one of cheerfulness and liveliness and someone who is busy, active and a good humoured person who likes to make jokes. As the illness progresses the personality is typically more restless and irritable and is easily frustrated. With chronic progressive symptoms the personality is more likely to mirror the physical with stiffness and rigidity on both the emotional and physical levels. superstitous
  • Other symptoms: strong effect on the nerves, mucous and serous membranes, and the skin, cracking of the joints, red tip of tongue or a triangle of redness on the tongue
  • Food and drink: strong desire for cold milk, restless sleep

Prescribing Considerations

Homeopathic remedies are prescribed based on homeopathic principles and after a detailed case taking. The prescription recommendations below are provided only as a guide. It is always recommended to consult with a naturopathic doctor or homeopathic practitioner prior to taking any homeopathic remedies, especially if your health is compromised or if your symptoms do not resolve in a timely fashion. The general recommendations for Rhus-tox include:[4]

  • The 200th potency and higher are antidotal to poisoning with the plant and tincture.
  • Complementary: Bryonia, Calcarea fluorica, Phytolacca (rheumatism). In Urticaria, follow with Bovista.
  • Inimical: Apis
  • Antidotes: Anacardium, Croton, Grindelia, Mezereum, Cypripedium pubescens, Graphites
  • Compare: Rhus radicans (almost identical actions, characteristics are burning in the tongue, tip feels sore, pains are often semilateral and various parts, often remote and successive. Many symptoms are better after a storm has thoroughly set in, especially after an electric storm. Has pronounced yearly aggravations. Headache in the occiput even pain in nape of neck and from there pains draw over the head forwards), Rhus diversiloba - California Poison Oak - (antidote to Rhus-t, violent skin symptoms with frightful itching, much swelling of face, hands, and genitals, skin very sensitive, eczema and erysipelas, great nervous weakness, tired from least effort, goes to sleep from sheer exhaustion), Xerophyllum (dysmenorrhea and skin symptoms), Arnica, Baptisia, Lachesis, Arsenicum album, Hyoscyamus, Opium, Mimosa - Sensitive Plant


  1. Morrison Roger (1993) Desktop Guide, to Keynote and Confirmatory Symptoms Hahnmann Clinic Publishing.
  2. Hershoff Asa (1999) Homeopathic Remedies: a quick and easy guide to common disorders and their homeopathic treatments Avery Publishing Group, New York.
  3. Ullman Robert, Reichenberg-Ullman Judyth (1997) Homeopathic Self-Care, the quick and easy guide for the whole family. Prima Publishing.
  4. Boericke W (1997) Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory, a Chapter on Rare and Uncommon Remedies, B. Jain Publishers, India.