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You are viewing: Homeopathics - Rhododendron - Contemporary - Level 3
to Rhododendron  - Level 2


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Dr Peter Darashah


The Homeopathic Rhododendron (Yellow snowrose or Rosebay) is a Siberian shrub where it grows as its name suggests on the snowy mountainous slopes of the Alps. (The American Rosebay, Great laurel or Rhododendron maximum has not been proved). It was used for centuries by the Cossacks and Mongols as a specific for rheumatism and gout centuries before its first Homeopathic proving by Dr Siedel in 1831. Russian hunters and mountain rangers also used to drink an infusion of it to remove the weariness and pains from their limbs after fatiguing expeditions.

Dr Siedel's Resume
"Although many remedies may produce effects that are in their general aspect quite similar, nevertheless each remedy possesses certain characteristic effects which belong to it alone, and which cannot be imitated, and for which no substitute will avail" wrote Siedel. It is these Rhododendron peculiarities which are summarised below.

The disposition is indifferent, with disinclination to exertion.

Early morning headache drawing pressing pain in the forehead and temporal region extending into the bones with itching of the scalp. 

Eyes, Ears, Teeth, Nose 
Drawing tearing pain which is excited by uncertain (stormy) rainy weather. Early morning nose obstruction.

Respiratory coryza and other catarrhal difficulties. Epigastric pressure and dyspnoea, a kind of splenic stitch in the left hypochondrium.

Tardy evacuation of faeces even though the consistency of the stool is normal. Contains undigested food

Digging, drawing (gouty, rheumatic) pains in the extremities, especially in the bones of the forearms, hands, legs and feet. Drawing pains in the joints; occurrence or increase of the pains during repose and in unsettled, rough weather, and at the approach of storms; Formication and itching in isolated spots on the limbs; weak, paralytic feeling in single limbs.

Menses suppressed. 

Scrotal itch, sweat, wrinkling with soreness between the genitals and the thighs, testes swollen and hard. Feeling of scrotum being crushed.

It is further to be noticed, that the symptoms often intermit for indefinite periods of time, sometimes longer sometimes shorter (two to twelve days), during which nothing will be felt of them; after which they will come again, and be felt for several days. They are most likely to come back when the weather becomes raw and unsettled, and a storm is threatening

Cold, wet, wind, storm and particularly thunder.
Rest, touch & pressure

Warmth, head covered
Post storm quiet

To recapitulate, we find the action of Rhododendron to be eminently upon the fibrous and serous tissues. The pains in limbs and joints affect chiefly the forearm and hand and the leg and foot; they seem to have their seat in the bone or periosteum ; they attack but a small extent of the limb at once; they disappear and re-appear as it were spontaneously and capriciously, nevertheless are always worse on the approach of bad weather. They are aggravated by motion and toward morning. Finally Rhododendron acts also upon the testes; and clinical experience has shown it serviceable in chronic enlargements and indurations of the testes and epididymis, and in hydrocele

The only practical application to which I shall call your attention is that in chronic rheumatism of the smaller joints and their ligaments; to chronic periostitis, and especially to that form of chronic rheumatism which simulates rheumatic gout, but is distinct from it in this respect: that, as I believe, the enlargements of the joints are produced by fibrinous deposits and not by chalky excretions.

In the affection of the great toe joint, often mistaken for bunion, but which is really rheumatic, Rhododendron is of great value. For true bunion from mechanical pressure Silicea is preferable.
The application to affections of the testes and to hydrocele is apparent. It is analogous to and follows as regards the testes, Pulsatilla, Aurum, Spongia; as regards hydrocele, Clematis, Graphites.

Contemporaneous Notes and Observations
Although Siedel's resume was detailed and comprehensive subsequent experience allow us to expand upon some of his original points and conclusions.

Definition of Weather
A Rhododendron patient is traditionally regarded as someone who responds to rapid changes of weather such as wind, storm, cold, thunder, electrical disturbances etc. Whilst this is perfectly correct slower weather changes over a longer period of time should not be disregarded such as seasonal changes from summer to winter. In this respect the remedy could be compared to Dulcamara.
Furthermore it is not necessary for the patient to be actually exposed to the elements in order to develop the indications for the remedy. For example the patient may be warm in bed or in front of a roaring fire when just the thought of a change in environmental conditions could be sufficient to bring on symptoms. As Hering describes "Nervous persons who dread a storm and are particularly afraid of thunder.'

Differentiation with Rhus-t
Rhod and Rhus-t have a lot of similarities in symptomology. Both exhibit aggravation from rest and wet cold weather.l However carefulobservation will reveal the following differences.
- Rhod patients are always better from even the least initial motion. Whilst Rhust-t patients benefit from motion to  their initial movement is painful and only later, after limbering up, does the Rhus-t patient supple out to receive the benefit from motion.
- The Rhod pains are deep and associated with the bone or periosteum whilst those of Rhus-t affect more the ligament and tendons.
- Rhod pains are due to fibrinous deposits whilst those of Rhust-t are associated with fluid excretions. An example of a Rhod fibrinous deposit is evident in gout of the big toe which is often misdiagnosed for a bunion (ie caused through the result of pressure) whereas the actual causation is rheumatic. This can be confirmed by a careful examination of the limbs of a Rhod sufferer which may reveal the presence of hard fibrinous nodosities. These are not a feature of Rhus-t.
-  Rhod pain is chronic whereas that of Rhus-t is acute.
- Rhod patients are aggravated immediately before the weather change and are relieved after the change even though the poor weather may be continuing. Rhus-t patients are aggravated after the weather change and are relived only on return to normalcy.

Dulc, Nat-s, Nux-m, Phos, Sil
Arg-m, Aur, Clem, Puls, Spong


Rhododendron (Snow rose)
(Snow Rose)

Rhododendron (Snow rose)
(Snow Rose)

Kingdom: Plant
Latin Name: Rhododendron chrysanthum
Common Name: Yellow Snow Rose / Siberian rhododendron
Homeopahtic: Rhododendron

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