This drug came into prominence after it was included in Homoeopathic Materia Medica originally by William Boericke, revised and enlarged by Oscar E. Boericke. It finds mention in Allen’s Encyclopaedia, Hering’s Guiding Symptoms and Dr. Ghose’s Drugs of Hindoosthan.
A homoeopathic tincture is made from the whole plants of Acalypha indica Linn of family Euphoriaceae which is an annual weed found throughout the plains of India. It grows about 30-90 cm in height with 4-8 cm length with light green coloured leaves, ovate petiolate gradually narrowing with dentate margins, smooth hairs. It flowers and bears fruit throughout the year1.
It has been used with success in hard rocking cough with blood but no fever, progressive emanations, burning in pharynx, oesophagns and stomach; diarrhoea with forceful expulsion with flatus, and complaints of rectal haemorrhage. All symptoms have morning aggravation.2 Potencies used are 1x in drop dose, 3x and 6CH potencies.
It has been used as a substitute for Senega.3 It contains acalyphine, poisonous hydrocyanic acid, cynogenetic glycoside and care is to be exercised while giving low potencies (1x) for prolonged. It contains in addition to these many other compounds of interest.
The plant and its extracts have attracted attention because of a few recent findings. Leaf extract is useful in wheezing cough, dysponoea, etc. (Clinical study published in Journal of Indian Medical Research 1979) and uses such as for eczema Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Siddha 1981 and anti fungal activity (Indian Phytopathol 1981). Raised eosinophil count came down to normal level (J. of Research in Indian Medicine Yoga and Homoeopathy 1979). Subsequent work has revealed that it has sterols and other compounds.
The recent work if viewed along with earlier homoeopathic provings gives the scientific support to its recorded pathogenesis. Reports on external use by homoeopaths are yet to be evaluated. The drug finds extensive use in eastern India and is worth trying for its value. A very recent study has showed statistically significant (p<0.001) analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of Acalypha indica in mice.4
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