Silphium Lacinatum

or simply Silphium


Is used in various forms of asthma and chronic bronchitis. Catarrh of bladder. Catarrhal influenza. Dysentery; attack preceded by constipated stools covered with white mucus.

Cough with expectoration profuse, stringy, frothy, light-colored. Excited by sense of mucus rattling in chest and worse by drafts of air. Constriction of lungs. Catarrh, with copious, stringy, mucous discharges. Desire to hawk and scrape throat. Irritation of posterior nares, involving mucous membranes of nasal passages with constriction of supra-orbital region.

Compare: Aral; Copaiv; Tereb; Cubeb; Samb; Silphion cyrenaicum (phthisis pulmonum, with incessant cough, profuse night-sweats, emaciation, etc); Polygonum aviculare (has been found useful in phthisis, when given in material doses of the mother tincture); Salvia (tickling cough). Arum dracontium (loose cough at night on lying down). Justicia adhatoda (bronchial catarrh, hoarseness, oversensitive).

Third potency. Lower triturations preferred by some.

Reference: “Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory” by William Boericke
(Silphium laciniatum. Compass-plant. Pilot-weed. Polar-plant. Rosin-wood. Turpentine-weed. N. O. Compositæ. Tincture of fresh plant.)

Clinical.─Asthma. Bladder, catarrh of. Bronchitis. Cancer.

Characteristics.─The leaves of this plant, when they first come up, present their faces uniformly north and south; later on, when the leaves become heavy, the winds carry them in different directions and the polarity is not to be observed. The stem of the plant exudes an abundance of resin, as some of its names indicate. Hale mentions that it has been used in all forms of asthma; and in chronic bronchitis with large quantities of stringy, frothy, light-coloured mucus, and in catarrh of the bladder. Hale made a proving of it, and his symptoms comprise the Schema. He gives this case: Mr. H., 55, had phthisis twenty years. On the slightest exposure or cold he would have congestion of mucous surfaces, followed with copious expectoration of stringy, frothy, light-coloured mucus (from one to three pints in twenty-four hours), causing rapid exhaustion and at times keeping him in bed for weeks. Silph. 2x trit. was used, gr. 2 every two hours. During the next night less than a teacupful of mucus was raised, and its sudden decrease alarmed the patient so much that he left off the remedy until his doctor assured him that he was very much better, and that the remedy had been more successful than he himself had expected. Cooper has used Silph. (in single doses of Ø) with notable effect in cases of cancer of the throat and mouth. The great "goneness" of the proving shows a relation to the cancer cachexia.


Nose.─Irritation extends from throat up posterior nares to nose causing sneezing, followed by discharge of limpid, acrid mucus, attended with constriction and pressure in supraorbital region.

Mouth.─Tongue: whitish slimy coat, with dry sensation as if burned with hot soup.

Throat.─Scraping, tickling, and irritation of fauces and throat.─Desire to hawk and scrape throat and throw off a thin viscid mucus.─Engorgement and thickening of mucous membrane of throat extending down.

Stomach.─Nausea, sick, faint feeling, and a sense of goneness in epigastrium.

Stool.─Stool natural, but covered with slimy mucus.

Urinary Organs.─Urine: high-coloured, scanty.─Frequent micturition, with sense of heat or burning at meatus during micturition.

Respiratory Organs.─Rough cough, attended with expectoration of yellow mucus.

Chest.─Constriction and tightness of lungs, with constant disposition to raise; hacking, spasmodic cough.

Reference: “A Dictionary Of Practical Materia Medica” By John Henry Clarke