Comparison Lachesis Naja tripudians Elaps Naja mossambica Bitis arietans with Hemachatus haemachatus


[Lize de la Rouvière]

General characteristics of snake remedies

gloom and fury, apprehensive irritability. There may be anguish and anxiety, which may be unbearable.

Hemachatus haemachatus produced emotional lability, with rapid changes in mood. Provers experienced anxiety, a sense of apprehension and a fear that something terrible may happen,

to the point of experiencing panic attacks.

Thakkar (2007) identifies home and relationships as the two most important areas for Lachesis muta. Great anxiety and care for relatives and friends, and great sympathy and affection

for others. Their involvement with others and their relationships deepen very quickly, and their commitment and care leaves them very vulnerable to hurt and disappointment.

The themes of home and friends also featured very strongly in the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus. There was a need to organise and sort out personal space, and a desire to go home

or remain at home, as it felt the safest place to be.

There was intense sympathy for friends and acquaintances in need, and a desire to reconnect with old friends, as well as dreams of old friends and work colleagues.

Lachesis muta is a remedy for patients whose ailments follow disappointment in love, grief and death of family members. In health, they are communicative, vivacious, affectionate and

amorous, craving amusement and entertainment. This relates to feelings of positivity, capability, joy, enthusiasm and elation seen in Hemachatus haemachatus, with a carefree, bubbly mood,

and enjoyment of the company of friends.

Lachesis muta becomes argumentative, opinionated, domineering, jealous and suspicious when unbalanced, and in the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus, feelings of jealousy and argumentativeness were produced.

Lachesis muta displays clairvoyance, and can feel the energy of others. In Hemachatus haemachatus, we see sensitivity, vulnerability and provers absorbing the mood of others. There was

a feeling of deepened spirituality, of reconnection with themselves, and of transcendence. This contrasts with Lachesis muta, who may become very religious, even dogmatic, moralistic

or puritan (Vermeulen, 2000), praying fervently (Thakkar, 2007).

Lachesis muta sleeps into an aggravation and is aggravated after sleep (Gibson, 1987), with many symptoms being aggravated in the morning on waking. There is a marked tendency to

Insomnia (before midnight) (Vermeulen, 2000). Symptoms are predominantly left-sided. Patients are warm-blooded (Vermeulen, 2000). There is an aggravation from the sun, and

from heat and humidity, and a tendency to hot flushes.

Lachesis mutans crave alcohol but are aggravated by it, and have an aversion to tobacco as well as being aggravated by it (it is one of the remedies listed as useful to increase the disgust

for tobacco). All of these symptoms were also produced in the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus.

Lachesis mutans has a particular affinity for the throat, causing tonsillitis/pharyngitis which is left-sided or spreads from left to right. There is a constricted sensation in parts of the body,

e.g. a sensation of a lump in the throat, which may be painful and returns after swallowing (Vermeulen, 2000).

Hemachatus haemachatus produced sharp, raw throat pain with dryness of the mouth and throat. Also “As if a lump in the throat, or something stuck to the tongue or to the sides of the throat.



produces headaches which are one-sided and spread to the neck and back. Pains may shoot down to the eye, or from the zygoma to the ear, or down the nape to the shoulders (Gibson, 1987).

The pain is bursting, pressing and congestive, and < motion, heat and after sleep.

The headaches of Hemachatus haemachatus were predominantly in the frontal, temporal or occipital areas or around the eyes. Ext. from the occiput to behind the eye, or neck to the temple,

from the temple to the eye, or from the temples to the teeth. Some headaches extended to or from the neck or back, or + neck stiffness or spasm.

Congestive, bursting, pounding head pains were also produced, as well as sharp piercing stabbing pains. Headaches <: light; >: pressure, and icy, cool applications;

The marked photophobia in Hemachatus haemachatus, with itchiness, dryness and scratchiness in the eyes, is also seen in Lachesis, which has intense photophobia with pain, itching, stinging and sensitivity to touch, and a desire to rub the eyes (Gibson, 1987).  

Lachesis mutans produces hard thumping palpitations of the heart, < lying down, associated with a sense of constriction or tightness of the chest (Gibson, 1987). There are episodes of

oppression of the precordium.

Hemachatus haemachatus produced palpitations, with anxiety, felt when pausing or lying down. There was a sense of constriction around the chest, and burning parasternal pain as if fingers dug

into the chest. In the respiratory system symptoms of Lachesis, there is shortness of breath and asthma, with air hunger and < in a closed stuffy atmosphere.

Hemachatus haemachatus produced a feeling of shortness of breath.

In the female reproductive system, the most striking symptom of Lachesis muta is severe PMS which is markedly > by the appearance of the menses.  Menses is thin, dark, scanty and offensive.  Provers taking Hemachatus haemachatus experienced irritability and snappishness which was compared to pre-menstrual tension. Menses was dark, fluid, muddy or sandy, with an absence of clots, and a decrease in the usual pain. Both remedies have pain in the ovarian region. During menopause, Lachesis patients suffer from hot flushes, headaches, palpitations, dyspnoea, night sweats and severe mood changes (Gibson, 2007). These symptoms were also produced in the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus.

Abdominal bloating is common in Lachesis muta, > loosening the clothes round the waist (Gibson, 1987). There may be much ineffectual urging to stool. Bloating and flatulence were strong features

in the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus, and there were also other digestive disturbances such as heartburn, abdominal pain, acidity, and constipation.

There is a tendency to frequency of urination in both remedies, and in Hemachatus there is also lower abdominal pain likened to provers to that of cystitis, and incontinence.

Low back pain in Lachesis muta, as if the back was dislocated, + weakness, fatigue and trembling.  In Hemachatus haemachatus, lumbar pain was sharp shooting, stabbing, as if stretched or a

tight, stiff, strained pain. The pain was aggravated by movement or a change in position, and was relieved by lying down and by a bath.


Naja tripudians

Highly neurotoxic venom with hardly any cytotoxic or haemorrhagic effects. Ross (2007) identifies the fundamental conflict in Naja tripudians as that between the duty and responsibility they feel due to life circumstances, and their own needs as a human being.

Naja tripudians has strong maternal instincts, with a strong sense of duty and dedication toward their children, younger siblings and family members (Thakkar, 2007). Their duty is carried to the

point of domination, and they may become bossy, impatient, controlling and dictatorial, which leads to conflict and disappointment, felt intensely by Naja tripudians. There are feelings of being disappointed in love, of being neglected, alone and forsaken, not being appreciated  and betrayed by the loved one. Thakkar (2007) thus sees this conflict between the anxiety of neglecting their duty, and the apprehension of doing something wrong as the core issues in Naja tripudians. This is reflected in dreams of not protecting siblings or children or pets.

Sankaran (1997): the qualities of nobility, morality and responsibility seen in Naja, are often in conflict with the feeling of being wronged, with anger, malice and an impulse to harm the offending person. The comparative extraction shows rubrics which support this interpretation.

There is a lack of self-confidence in Naja tripudians, with a feeling everything they do is wrong, and that they cannot succeed. There is a tendency to sadness, introspection, and specifically brooding, even over imaginary troubles. There may be thoughts of suicide, and a feeling as though they are not worthy of the gift of life.

Naja tripudians has a fear of being alone with a corresponding desire for company, fear of accidents, and fear of death during heart symptoms.

Naja tripudians patients display mildness and timidity, with a loss of will-power. They are sensitive, secretive and sentimental.

There is an alternation in moods. There are delusions that they are being deceived, injured or wronged, and a delusion of being trapped.

Hemachatus haemachatus produced feelings of sympathy for others, especially those in need. There were dreams of protecting the weak and abandoned, such as animals or babies. There was however a sense that the object of affection had something wrong with them, either it was deformed or had some offensive disease, and there was a sense of being trapped into looking after it.

Hemachatus produced much greater irritation than Naja, even with members of the family, and there was an aversion to company, with a need to be alone in a quiet, restful, safe space. There was sometimes an effort to control the irritability and concomitant violent impulses, but often provers were snappish, shouting at offenders. Provers experienced a sense of not being good enough, (in the realm of personal relationships, and easily felt rejected or not appreciated). There was also dwelling on past relationships with a deep sense of longing or yearning for love, and a sense of something or someone missing in their lives.  The lack of self-confidence was also expressed as a feeling of being unable to cope, of not managing. Provers felt sensitive and vulnerable, with a need to be appreciated, to be worth something to the world.

In the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus there was a sense of being harassed, picked on, persecuted, and purposefully annoyed. There were dreams of others being mean to them. There was intense frustration with a feeling and dreams of being trapped or stuck, and a need to get out. Irritability was much more marked in Hemachatus haemachatus, and this was specifically directed at inefficiency, incompetence, others being slow or slack.

The alternation in moods was marked, with moods changing rapidly.

The conflict between duty in responsibility in Hemachatus haemachatus manifested in an avoidance of responsibilities, which was coupled with great lethargy and lack of motivation. Responsibilities were perceived to be regarding work, and the aspect of duty toward the family did not arise in the proving.


Elaps corallinus

is the Brazilian coral snake, a member of the Elapidae family.

It is known in homeopathy primarily for a few leading or keynotes:

a desire to play (in the grass), a need to get into the country away from people, black discharges, a craving for oranges, salads, ice and yoghurt, and dreams of falling (Vermeulen, 2000).

Thakkar (2007) has provided greater insight into the remedy. She identifies a feeling of isolation, of being separate and not belonging to the world as central to the remedy. There is a strong sense

of independence, a need for freedom, with an aversion to being domesticated, held back or obstructed.

Elaps displays intolerance to the pretence, dishonesty and lies of humanity, an inability to live in the city for too long, and a deep connection with nature and the outdoors. They are critical of themselves and others, and intolerant of others who are unaware and careless, hurting others because they are not mindful of their actions. They may feel rage, as of the blood boils, with a need

to shriek or break things, together with a fear of losing control.

Elaps may also be fastidious, and particular about cleanliness and order.

The comparative analysis in RADAR (Appendix H) identified some emotional characteristics unique to Elaps corallinus.

There is a strong aversion to company, they cannot bear even the sight of anybody, with a need to get into the countryside away from people. At the same time, there is a fear of being alone, due to

a fear that something may horrible happen. There is moroseness and taciturnity, and a tendency to sit wrapped in thought, dwelling on past disagreeable occurrences. There is anger and irritability,

felt (when disturbed or spoken to).

Hemachatus haemachatus produced intense irritability, but this was caused by perceived inefficiency, incompetence and poor planning. There was disgust with hypocrisy.  There was anger with violent impulses to harm the offender - to punch them in the face, or rip their heads off, but these were controlled, and frustration was mostly vented by shouting. There were feelings of frustration, and of being deliberately harassed or picked on. Provers had a feeling of being trapped, and a need to get outside, into nature or go for a walk on a field.

Hemachatus haemachatus displayed and aversion to company and a need to be alone, in a quiet restful space, but home was identified as that safe space, and provers retreated to their homes or rooms to pursue their own interests.

Provers experienced a sense of anxiety, as if something bad, such as an accident, might happen, or as if something was just not quite right. There was a fear of driving, a sense of danger on the roads, even dreams of a massive accident.

The playfulness seen in Elaps corallinus is echoed in the carefree, bemused, happy, bubbly feelings of Hemachatus, the enjoyment of the company of friends and the irritation felt by one prover at

that fun being spoiled by a member of the group. Joyfulness, vivacity and a desire for entertainment seem, however, to be qualities common to all the snake remedies.


Naja mossambica

is the Mozambican Spitting Cobra, an Elapid indigenous to the north-eastern parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  The proving by Smal and Taylor (2004) produced symptoms in

the mind section very similar to those produced by Hemachatus haemachatus.

Naja mossambica has the symptoms alertness, mental clarity, increased focus and concentration. There is increased energy and enthusiasm and motivation to get things done. Provers felt carefree, relaxed and light-hearted. There were feelings of not caring about tests and work, just wasting to have fun. Very similar feelings were seen in the Hemachatus haemachatus proving.

In Naja mossambica, we see heightened emotions, even emphasized to the extreme, with mood swings and a sense of being unbalanced. Provers felt somewhat manic and mad, with bouts of uncontrollable laughter and giggling and acting in a silly manner. There was restlessness and hyperactivity, a feeling of being rushed. While Hemachatus haemachatus also produced sudden changes

in mood, the unbalanced, manic quality was absent.

In Naja mossambica there was a feeling of being spaced out, light-headed, dazed or stoned, which seems similar to the spaced-out feeling of Hemachatus haemachatus, which had the feeling „”As if

taken tranquilizing drugs‟. There was however a spiritual element of transcendence, of reconnecting to themselves or of observant spaciousness in Hemachatus haemachatus, while in Naja mossambica the feeling seems more out of control and dazed.

In Naja mossambica there is anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed and not able to cope. There was depression, a feeling of being low, and anti-social feelings. Similar emotions were experienced by provers in the Hemachatus haemachatus proving. Depression was also described as a feeling of being low or flatness. Both remedies show tiredness and lethargy and a lack of motivation, perhaps more strongly seen in Hemachatus haemachatus.

While there was a need for private space in Hemachatus haemachatus, we also see an effort to connect with old friends, and dreams of old friends and work colleagues. The sentimental longing or yearning seen in Hemachatus haemachatus, as well as the sense of vulnerability and insecurity, was absent in Naja mossambica.

Naja mossambica produced irritability and frustration, with a desire to just be at home by themselves, a need for space and quietness. The irritability was directed at family, and everything they did irritated provers. It was also felt towards authoritative people pushing them around, as well as when driving.

The irritability produced by Hemachatus haemachatus was more central to the proving, as it was experienced more intensely by a greater number of provers.

It was either causeless or triggered by trifles, or specifically felt in response to incompetence, inefficiency and poor planning; on the road towards incompetent drivers; when provers felt harassed by others; or when they felt emotionally hurt or neglected. There were many similarities in the dreams of the two remedies: dreams of fighting, being bothered or harassed by a man and then punching

or attacking him, attack on one‟s house, ships, strange but familiar places, sleeping or bathing in excrement, rescuing animals, vivid dreams, frustrating dreams about difficulties in communication, dreams of snakes, being pursued, being stuck.

Physically, there are many points of similarity between the two remedies. Naja mossambica has feelings of lightness of the head, as well as light-headedness.

Hemachatus haemachatus also has vertigo, and a feeling of heaviness of the head, as well as various strange sensations: as if the head wrapped in cotton wool, made of feathers, or is under water.

The headaches of Naja mossambica were felt in the forehead and temple, those of Hemachatus in the frontal, temporal or occipital areas or around the eyes.

Many headaches in Hemachatus haemachatus extended from one area to another: from the occiput to behind the eye, or from the neck to the temple, from the temple to the eye, or from the temples to the teeth. Some headaches extended to or from the neck or back, or were accompanied by neck stiffness or spasm.

Both remedies affect the eyes.

Naja mossambica caused burning, redness, marked swelling, difficulty in focusing and even purulent discharge from the eyes, while in Hemachatus haemachatus, itchiness, scratchiness, a gritty

feeling and photophobia predominated. Both remedies caused sneezing and coryza, as well as dryness of the mouth and lips, and a tendency to formation

of vesicles in the mouth. Both remedies caused sore throat – sharp raw scratchy pain in Hemachatus haemachatus, scratchiness in Naja mossambica.

Both have the sensation of a lump in the throat, which we saw earlier is a common symptom in snake remedies.

Both remedies have increased thirst and an increase in appetite.

Naja mossambica had intense cramping in the stomach and abdomen, with mild symptoms of nausea and flatulence.

Hemachatus haemachatus produced cramping, heartburn and marked nausea in the stomach; and cramping, burning or stabbing lower abdominal pain, and much flatulence. The lower abdominal pain produced by Hemachatus haemachatus, likened to provers to that of cystitis, the urinary frequency and incontinence, and the hot and viscid urine, were absent in Naja mossambica.

Both remedies produce pain in the ovarian region.

Hemachatus has dark red, almost black menses, with an absence of clots and pain,

Naja mossambica has scanty menses, late in appearing, also with decreased pain.

Hemachatus haemachatus showed increased libido in both sexes, not mentioned in Naja mossambica.

Naja mossambica produced sharp pains in the chest, while Hemachatus had a sense of constriction, or a burning pain as if fingers dug into the chest.

Both remedies have painful enlargement of axillary lymph nodes. The symptoms corresponding to mastitis seen in Hemachatus were absent in Naja mossambica.

Both remedies low back pain and pain in the extremities, but more strongly so in Hemachatus haemachatus.

Itchy, dry skin, with eruptions and redness, was also a more pronounced feature of Hemachatus haemachatus.

Both remedies had in increase in body temperature, with provers feeling hot.

In Hemachatus haemachatus, it was experienced particularly at night, preventing sleep, and there were flushes of heat to the face. Sleep was either restless and disturbed or deep, in both remedies.

The intense lethargy and sleepiness seen in Hemachatus haemachatus was not as pronounced in Naja mossambica.


Bitis arietans arietans

is the Puff Adder, Africa‟s largest viper, responsible for most snake bites in Africa. The venom is haemolytic and cytotoxic. Wright conducted a proving of the venom in 1998.

The feeling of being spaced-out and disconnected was prominent in the Bitis arietans arietans proving. Provers felt intoxicated, trippy, or stoned. There was difficulty in concentrating during conversation or attempting to think, read or write, and easy distraction. Similar sensations were seen in Hemachatus haemachatus.

Provers from felt removed from reality, with everything seeming unreal, even feeling disconnected from themselves, while in Hemachatus haemachatus there was a feeling of reconnecting with their

spiritual side.  The sensation of „cotton wool in the head‟ seen in Hemachatus haemachatus was also experienced in the Bitis arietans proving. Both remedies have clumsiness and a tendency to drop things, trip or bump into things.

Lethargy and laziness were prominent symptoms in both provings, as well as depression and feelings of downness. Provers taking Bitis arietans arietans felt sensitive to the opinion of others, and feelings of being socially left out were experienced.

Strong feelings of being socially embarrassed and humiliated were experienced by one prover taking Hemachatus haemachatus.

We also see strong feelings of not being good enough, specifically in the realm of relationships. The sadness and yearning for love, dwelling on past relationships, sense of someone missing in their lives, and the dreams of old friends and acquaintances in Hemachatus haemachatus, are echoed in the sad, sentimental thoughts of the past of Bitis arietans arietans.

In Bitis arietans arietans there was some anxiety, which was specifically felt while driving, to the point of panic attacks, which is also a feature of Hemachatus haemachatus.

There was an urge to clean and tidy and a need for order in Bitis arietans arietans, but in Hemachatus haemachatus the impulse was stronger, with energy to get things at home sorted out and do major home improvements.

The feature of retreating to the home or private room, seen as a quiet, restful, safe space, so prominent in the Hemachatus haemachatus proving, was absent in Bitis arietans arietans.

Provers experienced irritability in the Bitis arietans arietans proving < crowds or groups of people, and also felt when relatives were staying in the family home. This is similar to the irritation felt in

the Hemachatus haemachatus proving, when friends of provers’ parents, or children of acquaintances, where in the home. Irritation was however a much more prominent feature of Hemachatus haemachatus, specifically felt in response to incompetence, inefficiency and poor planning; on the road towards incompetent drivers; when provers felt harassed by others; or when they felt emotionally hurt or neglected. Sometimes it was causeless or triggered by trifles.

There are similarities in the dreams produced in the two provings. Both have dreams of pursuit, of escaping, of snakes, of children and babies connected to violence, and ambiguous or inappropriate sexuality. There was a dream in Bitis arietans arietans which is similar to a dream in both Naja mossambica and in Hemachatus haemachatus.

It involves being in a swimming pool with a male, and spending time with or being pursued by him, even though the prover doesn’t particularly like him. Bitis arietans arietans produced a decrease

in energy, tiredness and lethargy.

Stiffness was a prominent feature. Provers became more chilly and cold-sensitive, the opposite of the heat and hot flushes of Hemachatus haemachatus. “As if being charged”, with increased static electricity, was a feature of both remedies. Bitis arietans arietans produced throbbing congested headaches, occipital, temporal or behind the eyes, and a heavy feeling of the head was prominent.

The eyes were affected much less than in Hemachatus haemachatus: eyes felt tired, overstrained and slightly itchy. Vision was blurred with difficulty in focusing. Mouth and lips were dry, but no blister formation was noticed.

Appetite was mostly decreased with Bitis arietans arietans.

There is abdominal cramping and a marked increase in flatulence, similar to Hemachatus haemachatus. There was urgent desire to pass stool in Bitis arietans arietans, followed by another loose stool some half an hour later, and also some ineffectual urging. Female provers experienced heavier than normal menses, with dark clots, which came on too early and without the normal warning signs.

In Hemachatus haemachatus, menses tended to be dark, fluid, lighter than normal, with an absence of clots, and generally a decrease in the usual pain, but with pain in the ovarian region.

Respiration was affected more in Bitis arietans arietans, with symptoms similar to asthma produced. Stiffness of the back, neck and extremities was a marked feature. The pain in smaller joints of hands, feet, wrists and ankles seen in Hemachatus haemachatus, was not as pronounced. Sleep was less restless and broken than that of provers taking Hemachatus haemachatus.



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