Commonly known as ‘Knotted figwort’, it is a smooth deciduous herb up to 1.2 m in height, often foul smelling. It has whitish root beset with fleshy knots. Stem is four blunt angled. Leaves are opposite or upper alternate, often bellucil-punctated. Flowers in terminal cyme, small, greenish purple to yellow; calyx deeply 5-lobed or oblong; posterior two, mostly longer, perfect; stamens 4, didynamous, inserted on the tube, included or exerted posteriorly, staminode at the apex of the tube scale-like or absent; anther-locule confluent transversely into one; style slender, stigma minute or rarely capitate. Fruit a capsule, septicidally dehiscent, valves entire or 2-lobed. Seeds rugose. A homoeopathic tincture made from whole plant1.
The chief authority for Scrophularia is Cooper. Gerard mentions "hard kernels" and painful, swollen haemorrhoids as indicative of the drug. It was proved by Franz and later in America by W. H. Blakeley.2 It is covered by both Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India and German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia.
This remedy is of service in diseases of the skin, especially in eczema, crusta lactea, eruptions of a vesicular character, pruritus vaginae, herpetic ulceration and scrofulous swelling. Indicated when there is a tendency to ulceration following the slightest contusion. Useful in diseases with indication of perverted nutrition.3 It is a powerful medicine whenever enlarged glands are present. Reported to be useful in Hodgkin's disease. It has a specific affinity for the breast; very useful in the dissipation of breast tumours. It is also locally applied to cancerous glands.4 Eczema of the ear and painful haemorrhoids are also covered.2 Epithelioma, nodosities of the breasts, pain in all flexor muscles, pain in liver, colic below navel and asthma in scrofulous patients are other indications covered by William Boericke.4
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