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Secale cornutum

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Tabular Materia Media

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Secale cornutum

1. Description

Latin Name:
Secale cornutum
Secale cornutum
Argot, Baldinger; Bauhin, Brunner, Clavaria clavus, Clavi siliginis, Claviceps purpurea, Clavus secalis vel secalinus, Cockspur, Cockspur rye, Ergot, Ergota, Ergot of rye, Ergota, Grana secalis degenerate, Horned rye, Lonicerus, Mater secalis, Pinax, Rye ergot, Secale luxurians, Secalis mater, Secale maternum, Spurred Rye, Thalius, Turgidum vel temulentum;

2. Source & History

Ergot of Rye which replaces the grain of the rye with a dark, purplish sclerotium (or ergot) is a plant disease that is caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea and was the original source from which LSD was first isolated.
Poisoning attributed to Ergot of Rye is referred to as ergotism and is characterised by two sets of symptoms. Convulsive ergotism where nervous dysfunction results in the victim twisting and contorting in pain accompanied with trembling, shaking, wryneck. and secondly Gangrenous ergotism where the victim may lose parts of their extremities, such as toes, fingers and ear lobes, due to constriction of the blood vessels leading to the extremities. Such constriction is accompanied by burning pain and is common in grazing, farm animals.
The occurrence of Claviceps purpurea is associated with the cultivation of rye in the 5th century. The first major outbreak was recorded in the Rhine valley in 857 AD when it was called Holy Fire. Fire because of the burning pain and Holy because it was thought of as a punishment from God.  In 1039, an outbreak of ergotism occurred in France at which time a hospital dedicated to St Anthony was erected to treat sufferers. Thus through this gesture Holy Fire became to be known as St Anthonys Fire.
The Homeopathic tincture is prepared from fresh spurs of the rye plant containing ergot gathered just before harvest.

3. Mentals & Generals

Useful for old scrawny thin patients with shriveled skin of an unhealthy mottled hue.
Emaciated appearance even though appetite may be voracious and thirst unquenchable.
The whole body feels boiling hot  internally. In marked contrast the skin feels icy cold and profuse cold sweats emanate. Even though the skin is icy clothes or covers cannot be tolerated. All conditions are better for cold. Desires to jump into water to cool off.
Weak mind, half asleep stupid. A feeling of great anguish, anxiety, discouragement, sadness, melancholy & timidity.
The patient may also experience by contrast delirious hallucinations with raging and raving and a desire to bite.
Oozy. thin watery, black  non coagulating
 haemorrhages from mucus surfaces.
Blood like ink.

4. Particulars

Violent burning headache extending from the forehead to the occipital region via the vertex.
Severe epistaxsis, spitting blood.
Nervous spasms, twitchings and jerking of the facial muscles.
Abdomen extended like a drum with persistent nausea & vomiting blood
Profuse watery, olive green, foul smelling, involuntary stool.
Paralysed bladder with retention of urine.
Burning pain in uterus, copious menses, not fully ceasing but oozing from period to period.
Threatened abortion in the 3rd month.
Puerperal fever with offensive lochia.
Circulation very bad especially in extremities.

            <     5. Modalities     >

3 am
Touch, exertion, movement


6. Keywords

Thin feeble cachetic appearance.
Face pale, pinched, ashy, sunken with rings around eyes.
Great internal burning heat.
Outer skin cold with cold sweats.
Ravenous appetite without weight gain.
Diarrhoea, watery, profuse.
Enuresis or urine retention.
3rd month abortion, labour weak, after pain long and painful, suppression of milk.

7. Clinicals

Uterine haemorrhage is the main indicated area.
Diarrhoea, cholera
Circulatory problems, Raynaud's syndrome

8. Constitutional Prescribing

Click More above for further information on Constitutional types & treatment

The use of Sec is usually restricted to symptomatic situations However as always it is the patient picture that is important especially the mental & general manifestations that are the key determinants for its Constitutional use.
High potency Constitutional prescription may be used as background together with a concurrent lower potency symptomatic remedy administered according to the Law of Similars in situations where two or more of the main symptoms occur together in the patient. For example
Circulatory imbalance and Epistaxis
Circulatory imbalance and Diarrhoea

9. Relationships

up to 30 days
Ars, Bov, Camph, Ferr-p, Ust.
Ars (burning), Bov (period), Camph (uncovering), Carb-v (labour), Chin (cholera), Cin (ataxia), Colch (ataxia), Con (paralysis), Crot-t (diarrhoea), Lyc (uncovering), Mit (period), Pul (uncovering),Samb (diarrhoes), Sul (burning),  Tril (period), Ustil (labour)
Remedies that Follow Well
Acon, Ars, Bell, Chin, Merc, Puls

10. Posology

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11. Further Information

Click More above for Classical information
Sylvian Cazalet Homeopathe International Reversed Kent's Repertory
Click More above for Contemporary information 


Secale cornutum
Ergot of Rye

Ergot mould (nosode)
Ergot mould (nosode)

Kingdom: Plant
Latin Name: Secale cornutum
Common Name: Ergot
Secale cornutum

Getting the Best from 
Dr Peter's 
Tabular Materia Medica

Materia Medica (MM) is Latin for medical material. MMs are a listing of remedies together with their respective symptoms and differ from Repertories which are a listing of symptoms and illnesses.


This Tabular MM is not presented as an exhaustive comprehensive list of all that is known about a remedy. Rather the opposite. It is intended to be used only as an aid memoire to highlight the foundation upon which by further study and experience a fuller knowledge of homoeopathics can be obtained. Consider the Tabular MM as a word picture showing a black and white sketch of the remedys main essential characteristics upon which colour, shade and tone has still be painted.


Remember to rank case symptoms according to their hierarchy giving first priority to
Mentals & Generals when comparing the MM remedy picture of one remedy against another.

Further information on
The Hierarchy of Symptoms

may be had by clicking
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For more information about evaluating Modalities click
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Remember also that you don't need to match everything listed under a remedy to benefit from the remedy. All that is required is to find the closest remedy match for those case  symptoms which rank the highest and are the most troublesome. The easiest way to find remedy matches is by Repertorisation. 


For more information on Repertorisation click 
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Once the main case symptoms have been captured in say 4 - 6  remedies fine tune the final remedy selection manually by refering to the MM, or clicking the Further Information tabs or looking up any other approriate reference manual.  

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