Behind the plant kingdom, the second largest group of homeopathic remedies featured in the Homeopathic Materia Medica is the animal group. One of the most popular animal-derived remedies is called cantharis—made from the beetle known as the Spanish fly.
Animal remedies like cantharis often best exemplify the homeopathic principle, “like cures like.” This is where the original substance has harmful effects in certain circumstances, but as a homeopathic remedy, it is considerably safe and effective.
Spanish fly contains cantharidine, which is used in traditional medicine for its aphrodisiac properties. However, in large doses, cantharidine is a poison that attacks the urinary system. It also causes diarrhea, vomiting, kidney damage, burning pain in the throat and stomach, and eventually death. But, when it’s made into a homeopathic remedy, cantharis contains virtually no traces of cantharidine.
One of its main uses is as a remedy for burns, sunburns, and scalding when the skin blisters. Its other main health benefits include providing relief from insect bites and stings, severe cystitis, digestive troubles, and an excessive libido.
This article is a comprehensive guide for everything about homeopathic cantharis, including its history, homeopathic profile, and its various uses and health benefits.
In this article:
Facts and History of Homeopathic Spanish Fly
Homeopathic cantharis comes from the bright green-colored beetle called Lytta vesicatoria or Cantharis vesicatoria. It also belongs to the family Meloidae. The common name is the Spanish fly or blister beetle. This beetle inhabits olive and honeysuckle trees in certain regions of western Asia and southern Europe.
Although the homeopathic remedy is called cantharis, it is unrelated to the cantharis or soldier beetle family Cantharidae. Lytta vesicatoria was classified in the Cantharidae family until Johan Christian Fabricius corrected this error in his Systema entomolgiae in 1775.
As mentioned, the Spanish fly secretes the irritant called cantharidine. Since ancient times, cantharidine has been used for everything from removing warts, baldness, inducing miscarriage, rheumatic problems, and in love potions as an aphrodisiac.
The famous Greek physician Hippocrates was also an advocate for Spanish fly for edema during the 5th century B.C. At the same time, large doses of the substance caused all sorts of problems, including violent vomiting, burning pains, and urinary tract infections.
Homeopathic Spanish fly is made using whole, live Lytta vesicatoria beetles. They are killed from heating, before being macerated in alcohol. Next, the mixture is left to stand for five days, and is then is filtered, diluted, and finally succussed.
Homeopathy founder Dr. Samuel Hahnemann first proved homeopathic Spanish fly in 1805.
How Homeopathic Cantharis Treats Skin Problems
Cantharis is a key homeopathic remedy used for skin problems, especially sunburns, general burns, and scalds when the skin has blistered. The remedy is also used for blisters that resemble burns.
When it comes to burns, homeopathic Spanish fly is often prescribed for second- or third-degree burns, acid or chemical burns to the eyes, and scalds to the mouth or throat. It is also used for all stages of ulceration, infection, or gangrene.
Research published in 1989 also indicated that homeopathic Spanish fly was effective in alleviating pain in 34 cases of minor burns.
Other symptoms include rawness, itching, and a stinging pain. Symptoms worse from coffee, warmth, touch, and scratching. Rest, lying down, or using cold water or a cold compress on the affected area tend to improve symptoms.
Cantharis is also a key remedy when it comes to insect stings or bites. It is used for an unusually sharp pain at the site of the bite or sting, which has a noticeable black center. After the bite or sting, the person may also be aggravated, angry, excited, or restless.
Homeopathic Profile, Other Uses, and Health Benefits of Cantharis
In homeopathy, the remedy profile is considered a significant indicator for determining whether homeopathic cantharis is the right remedy for your symptoms. People that benefit most from cantharis often have a high sex drive that may become uncontrollable during certain illnesses.
The person will also be restless, complaining, and difficult to get along with when they are ill. Moments of disrespect or irritability can even lead to outbursts of rage or violence. In extreme cases, this may even lead to mania, anxiety, screaming, or intense mental confusion.
Cantharis is prescribed for conditions that deteriorate very quickly. Common symptoms will include appetite loss and burning pains in the stomach and throat. There is also extreme thirst with an aversion to drinking. This occurs since even a small amount of water worsens bladder pain. As a result, cantharis is often used for burning cystitis and urinary tract inflammation.
The homeopathic remedy is also used for tenderness or pain in the kidney area, inflammatory kidney disorders like pyelonephritis and nephritis, and other urinary disorders. Other health benefits of homeopathic cantharis include treating digestive issues and an excessive libido.
Let’s take a deeper look at how cantharis benefits these other key health concerns.
1. Severe Bladder Problems
Cystitis is known as irritation of the bladder that mainly affects women. Cantharis is often the homeopathic remedy prescribed when there is a constant and urgent desire to urinate, along with violent and spasmodic pains in the lower abdomen. The woman’s urine is considered scanty, hot, and bloody, and it is passed drop by drop with a cutting or burning pain in the urethra and bladder.
After urination, the person will feel that the bladder isn’t empty. Long-term urine retention may also lead to muscle tone loss in the bladder. And, inflammation of the genital area may lead to excessive libido.
2. Digestive Issues
Cantharis is a common remedy for digestive disorders, such as gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, and dysentery. As a result, the person may experience violent, burning pain along with a distended abdomen, as well as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea with a scalding sensation.
The person also may have an urge to empty their bowels during urination, or while irritated or experiencing a loss of appetite. Drinking will worsen symptoms, whereas symptoms improve from warmth, doubling over, and at night.
3. Excessive Libido
Cantharidine is used as an aphrodisiac. So, it is no surprise that homeopathic cantharis can treat people with an excessive libido. This is where there is uncontrollable or inappropriate arousal.
Genital inflammation from a urinary tract infection may also stimulate sexual activity. A person’s sexual fantasies may be so intense that sleep is disturbed.
Final Thoughts on Cantharis
Where can you find homeopathic Spanish fly? Cantharis can be found online or in the supplement section of a health food store. The homeopathic remedy can be found in pellet or liquid form. It is also possible to get cantharis from your homeopath when they feel the remedy best matches your emotional, mental, and physical symptom picture.
As mentioned in this article, the key health benefits of homeopathic Spanish fly include being a treatment for various skin conditions, including burns and insect bites and stings. It is also used for bladder problems, digestive issues, and excessive libido problems.
The general dosage of cantharis is five drops or one pellet every 15 minutes for intense symptoms or every four hours for mild symptoms. When there is an improvement, stop taking cantharis and only continue use if symptoms return.
If no improvement is seen after three doses, it is then a good idea to visit a qualified homeopath rather than treat your own symptoms. This is because your homeopath will be able to recommend the best potency and dosage of homeopathic cantharis for your particular symptoms. In follow-up appointments, your homeopath will then be able to suggest whether your potency, dosage, or remedy should be changed.
Homeopathic Remedies for Mosquitoes and Other Insect Bites
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