Insects, Spiders & Snakes – a Comparison

Introduction

(This article is excerpted from Chapter 3: Apis mellifica.)

Insect remedies are potentially huge in number and so studying the themes of many insect families is a challenging but fascinating process, especially as there are so many different types of insects with their own unique behavior. Perhaps the differences between insect remedies are greater than with spider and snake remedies, making the study of this family even more interesting.  it is also important to understand the differences between insect, spider and snake remedies and this article seeks to look at the major themes of all three families.

Insect themes:
Apis is often seen as the default insect remedy, similar to Tarentula for spiders and Lachesis for snakes. It frequently has to be compared with spider and snake remedies as well as other insect remedies. However, it is more difficult to use Apis as a default remedy of the insect family given the complexity of this family, the sheer number of insects and the very different behavior and types of insects involved. However, given that Apis is the most well-known of the insect family it will be used as a comparison with other insects, as well as spiders and snakes.

It is likely that insect remedies are needed in homeopathy much more regularly than they have historically been used. Often spider and snake remedies would be used in their place and therefore a careful distinction is necessary. The concern of survival is common to all three, but the reaction to the survival threat can be different. Also, there is not a well-developed picture of many insect remedies, forcing us to consider the general themes of insect remedies first before looking at specific insects.

However, one has to be careful when making too generalized a picture of what is characteristic about insect remedies. Loose anthropocentric comparisons do not always work. Also, any one person needing an insect remedy will only express a limited number of qualities of the remedy and insect family. Not all insect remedies are busy, for example, nor are they all intensely sexual. One has to be able to move between general themes and specific keynotes.

The key characteristics of many of the insect remedies are as follows:
Quick, fast, sudden.
Busy, industrious, active – effective or fruitless.
Fastidious, order, linearity, communication.
Irritability, anger, rage, violence. Attacking and being attacked.
Sexuality, attractiveness or repulsion, sexual aggression, perversion, impotence, impersonal sexuality.
Appearance, needing to be attractive; beauty, clothing, and the opposite of feeling unattractive. Masculinity in women.
Relationships, struggle with them. Superficial. Needing to be in groups but no strong sense of identity.
Self-centered, demanding, egotistical. Needing attention. Contemptuous.
Low self-esteem. Feeling dirty, shame about the body, self-disgust, self-hatred
Appetite voracious or ability to do without food for long periods.
Aversion to water. Hydrophobic.
Swellings, puffiness, inflammation.
Burning, stinging, biting pains.
Affinity for urinary organs, joints.

Insect remedies can be classified in the following groups:
(Courtesy of Peter Fraser, in his book Transformation between the Realms – Insects)

The Odonata, the dragonflies and damselflies;
Enallagma carunuclatum     Damselfly
The Blattaria (or Blattodea), the cockroaches;
Blatta orientalis        Asian Cockroach
Blatta occidentalis        American Cockroach
The Mantodea, the mantids;
Mantis religiosa         Praying Mantis
The Orthoptera;
Schistocerca gregaria        Plague Locust
The Phthiraptera, the bird lice and true lice
Pediculus capitis        Head Louse
The Hemiptera, the bugs
Aphis chenopodii glauci     Aphid
Cimex lectularius         Bedbug
Coccus cacti            Cochineal
The Coleoptera, the beetles;
Cantharis vesicatoria     Spanish Fly
Coccinella septempunctata    Ladybird
Doryphora decemlineata    Colorado Beetle
Lamprohiza splendidula    Firefly
The Hymenoptera, the ants, bees, wasps, and hornets;
Apis mellifica            Honey Bee
Apis regina            Queen Bee
Vespa vulgaris        Wasp
Cynips calicis (Galla quercina ruber) Oak Gall Wasp
Formica rufa             Ant
The Siphonaptera, the fleas;
Pulex irritans             Human Flea
The Diptera, the mosquitoes, gnats, and true flies;
Culex musca             Mosquito
Musca domestica        Housefly
The Lepidoptera, the butterflies and moths;
Bombyx processionea        Procession Moth
Inachis io            Peacock Butterfly
Lomonia obliqua (Lepidoptera saturniidae)
Pieris brassicae            Large Cabbage White Butterfly
Limenitis bredowii californica California Sister Butterfly
Morpho Menelaus occidentalis  Amazon butterfly

The chronic picture of Apis and insects:
The main quality seen in people needing Apis constitutionally is a tendency to allergic reactions, with swelling, redness and puffiness, all the characteristics that indicate its use acutely. There may be a history of inflammatory processes, with burning, smarting, stinging pains, especially in the joints and the urinary tract region. Any history of chronic UTI conditions with intense acute flare ups should make one think of Apis and other insect remedies, especially Blatta, Cantharis, Cimex, Coccinella, Doryphora, Lamprohiza splendidula and Vespa, and mental characteristics such as great activity and busyness, a sense of being driven and of emotional intensity. There can be an intense emotional nature – fiery, argumentative and easily angered with often a quite highly developed sexual interest. However, there can also be a state of feeling inadequate and lacking appreciation, leading to the jealousy and envy seen in the remedy and the hyperactivity to compensate for this lack of recognition.

Insect Comparisons:
Other insect remedies that most closely resemble Apis are Cantharis, Doryphora, Formica rufa and Vespa. All can have much irritability and have similar physical symptoms with stinging, burning and redness of parts. They all have an affinity for the bladder and kidneys with characteristic burning and stinging pains, often associated with inflammatory processes. Cantharis, both physically and mentally has the most frenzied state, feeling tormented by their physical and/or emotional situation. They can curse and become intensely angry and despairing. Formica rufa has a tendency to violence, anger, rage and cruelty and can have great physical activity and endurance. Physically it has a greater affinity for the joints, with a rheumatic diathesis, often found with hard nodes in the affected part. Vespa and Apis are very close in their pictures, with similar pain symptoms – burning, stinging, “as if pierced by red-hot needles”. Both have an affinity for the ovaries, though it is said Vespa affects the left ovary more, whereas Apis affects the right. Both can have low mental states, a stupor, even unconsciousness, which would be associated with more severe physical conditions. Both remedies are effective in inflammatory states of many parts, especially sharing an affinity for the eyes, with chemosis, edema of the eyes, hot lachrymation and suppurative processes. Vespa can be more aggressive and more jealous than seen in Apis. Apis may feel more basically secure and while still feeling the need to work hard, keep busy and active to prove themselves and show that they are being productive, they do not have the same level of insecurity and compensatory violence that we may see in Vespa. From an observational point of view, the bee is a social insect working within a strict hierarchy of function, whereas the wasp (the proving is really on the European hornet) functions more autonomously though still within a social framework. Hornets are highly defensive of their home and contrary to the bee, can sting many times in succession if so inclined.

The bee, along with ant (Formica rufa) function in groups. They are part of a group think, that rely on one another for survival. Survival of the group is much more important than that of the individual. This distinguishes them from other insects. Organization, order and structure is therefore all important for these insects and therefore will often be seen in the context of the homeopathic picture. The uniqueness of these social insects has been written about in an article on insects in LINKS magazine 1/11, by Patricia Maher. To quote: “Eusocial insects comprise 2% of the approximately 900,000 known species of insects in the world, but comprise over half the biomass. They are incredibly successful from a biological point of view because they beat out solitary insects for resources.” One essential theme is that this form of collective cooperation gives the group more intelligence than individual members. Even the Queen bee is merely performing yet one more role, albeit very important. She is not ruling the colony though in a strict hierarchical sense. The collective dynamic of eusocial insects also leads to the incredible industriousness, seen more clearly in the bees and ants than in other insects. In the article by Maher, she contemplates the possible homeopathic connection to the ‘group think’ of eusocial insects. To quote: “The binary decision-making algorithms utlilized by eusocial insects is reminiscent of the binary code of computer functioning – the ultimate in linear thinking. Communication, sensory sensitivity, and memory are focal – regardless of the role the bee or ant plays in the colony. We would look to these remedies for people who need bureaucratic strategies to survive; for those who exist in highly organized monocultural organizations, such as the military or corporations; for people with dementias or other cognitive disorders who live in group quarters. Along these same lines, remedies of bees and ants would be indicated for people with cognitive and memory disorders, and for people who have an intolerance for chaos.”

A proving of the queen bee, Apis regina was done by Mary Piper. A differentiation between Apis regina and Apis mellifica was described in the article. In Apis regina there was more confidence and courage. There is more emphasis on communication: desiring communication, being clear, and able to confront people (this may reflect in the different role of the queen and worker bee). There is more jealousy in Apis mellifica. There is less emphasis on reproductive symptoms (the worker bee’s sexuality is suppressed, whereas the queen exerts reproductive dominance). Other themes in the proving included: Energy – increased, lots of ideas, thoughts, busy etc; Organization, order; cleanliness, fastidiousness; busy, industrious, positiveness; increase in confidence/alternating with lack of confidence; communication; weakness/dullness/memory loss/drugged; intoxicated; confusion, out of control; concentration difficult; memory loss and mistakes; anxiety; sensory organs; eyes; vision; ears; nose; smell; mouth; taste; skin.

Other insects may not show very much the characteristics of Apis and other Hymenoptera. This would especially be the family of The Lepidoptera, the butterflies and moths. Of the following categories described, one would see the need for attention, the sexuality and child-like themes more often. In the proving of Morpho Menelaus occidentalis, there are alternating states of cheerfulness, carefree pleasurable feelings and the opposite, of feeling heavy and overcome by emotions, sad and irritable, wanting to be alone but feeling isolated. There were not the signs of busyness and activity as strongly seen in the Hymenoptera. There was aggression, as seen in dreams with fighting with knives and wounds, dreams of animals and in dangerous situations there is no guilt or worry, more an indifference (maybe reflective of the fluttering nature of butterflies). There were dreams of money and fancy things (image) and dreams of children or becoming a child again. The impression one may get is of a child without responsibilities, looking for pleasure and satisfaction. Physically there was increased sensitivity, to vision, colors, to odors, taste of food, neuralgic pains, sharp, lightning like, worse cold, and pains in the thorax area, with stiff neck. Spasmodic abdominal pains with diarrhea were seen. The author of the proving states the following of the remedy image: “Morpho Menelaus is a light-minded, careless, irresponsible and cheerful figure who flutters here and there according to his desires. He is standing very close to his childhood, caring about how to get immediate satisfaction and how to deal with fears of abeing abandoned or abused. He compensates his defect of emotional support with a hedonist and selfish behavior because he cannot reach the emotional and physical sharing of the accomplished adult.”
Suddenness, Reactivity, Aggression:

One of the key qualities of Apis and other insect remedies is the suddenness of experiences, both physical and emotional. There is reactiveness to situations, a sudden inflammation or sudden emotional explosion. They can often feel under attack and will defend themselves by being verbal, even to real abuse. There can be rudeness and a quarrelsome nature.

Cantharis is perhaps the most violent of all the insect remedies, with a feeling of frenzy and uncontrollable emotions. They can feel persecuted and are intensely restless and feel driven to destroy things, to be physically violent. It is a similar feeling to the Cantharis cystitis, a violent, cutting, burning, and intolerable state. Cantharis is indicated in hydrophobia, with an aversion to water and bright lights and therefore will be compared with Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Lyssin and Stramonium in such states. It is also indicated in inflammations of the pleura, kidney, brain and pericardium.

Other insect remedies which are aggressive with verbal abusiveness are Blatta orientalis, which shows easy anger, irritability and abruptness, but which may feel remorse afterwards; Culex, which can go into a rage over trivial events, becoming totally rude and abusive; Formica rufa and Vespa, which looks very much like Apis. Formica rufa can show great anger and be full of anger and rage.

The intense physical reactiveness will be seen in the inflammatory states seen, described below in Inflammations etc.
Busy, Activity:
Physically, Apis will tend to become very active, doing lots of things, both productive and not, the classic symptom of being fruitlessly busy (Mind, busy, fruitlessly). In this rubric, one also finds spider remedies such as Tarentula and Theridion and also Lachesis. The only other insect remedy mentioned is Cantharis. However, it can be said to be a keynote of many insect remedies, such as Cantharis, Cimex, Culex, Formica rufa, Pediculus, Pulex and Vespa. In Blatta, the busyness is mostly to do with wanting to work so that one can be appreciated and recognized for the work they are doing. They need recognition and can get angry when that is not being given to them, so the busyness is not so much just to be active but to be appreciated. (The desire to be appreciated, praised and noticed comes from a proving by Divya Chabra). Other qualities revolve around feelings of being cheap, crude, vulgar, messy, repulsive, dirty, stupid and dumb, compensated by wanting to be sophisticated and to have high status. This quality is also strongly found in Culex but it could also be a more general characteristic of insect remedies, as often they do want to connect to people, as they can feel isolated and inferior. They want to feel appreciated but are quick to anger if this is not given to them. In Blatta there can also be an indifference and emotional numbness toward family and friends and are easily angered and irritable if disturbed.  In Schistocerca gregaria (plague locust), the activity may be due to feeling of pent up energy that cannot be released easily. There is a need to be active, to do exercise, to run or dance. Or there may be a need to release this feeling through sexual activity. In Lamprohiza splendidula (firefly), there can be great energy, with a need to dance or clean the house. There can be great restlessness with a need to work or to travel, easily bored and also there can be an antagonistic attitude to others, always getting into verbal fights.

The quality of busyness and activity can also seem to observers as if the person is lost, not really knowing where they are going or why they are doing what they do. Often it is based on a need to connect, to belong, to have an identity, to be appreciated and the only way they know how to do this is by being active. It may be seen as the opposite, an orderly ‘militaristic’ type of busyness, a relentless activity for very specific goals.

In Doryphora there is a tendency to want to talk of business all the time (mind, talking, business of) and a general more garrulous nature. This may be seen along with urinary conditions, or gastric problems with burning etc and bloody stool.
Disgust, Poor self-value:
Another key symptom associated with some insect remedies is a very poor sense of the self, with a lack of confidence and a more visceral feeling of disgust, both for themselves and others. Insect remedies likely to describe this emotion are Cantharis, (Spanish fly), Cimex (bed bug), Culex (mosquito), Musca domestica (fly), Pediculus (head lice) and Pulex (flea). Most of these insects are parasites, which would also account for the feelings of disgust in these remedies. They can all also have variations on anger, irritability, even rage and the increased activity and excitability. One other similar remedy for that last quality is Hirudo medicinalis (leech), also a parasite. Their personality may be selfish, unpleasant and greedy. The parasite insects in particular can be selfish, narrowly focused on their own lives, often hungry and focused on their basic needs.

Culex and Apis can seem particularly alike, in that physical conditions often have a puffy, edematous quality and the mental state can look similar. In Cimex, this feeling of disgust also is seen in the foul discharges experienced, from urine, feces and general odor of the body. This is also found in Pulex but Pulex tends to have discharges that leave an indelible stain, that doesn’t wash out. Pulex may not express a lack of self worth so easily. They may in fact present more haughtily as opposed to Cimex and Pediculus, which are more demanding and needy. In both Cimex and Pulex, however, their behavior may often be of anger and impatience, where they have generally poor relationships with most people. They can be irritating and demanding to other people.  Blatta may have a poor sense of self but this is more likely to be covered up and disguised by dressing well, looking good or also being active and successful (see above). In Musca domestica (housefly) and other insects, this feeling of poor self-esteem, even disgust, is compensated by being very clean and fastidious. They may also feel they are being taken advantage of but they internalize these feelings. In Culex, they may be more likely to fight back if they feel this is happening.

The quality of disgust may be projected onto their own body with associated issues with food, including anorexia/bulimia, which is also commonly seen in spider remedies. In insect remedies, particularly parasites, there may be alternating states of being able to starve themselves for long periods, followed by a voracious appetite.

Many non-insect remedies have poor self-value and show the quality of disgust. This is discussed in the chapters on Lac caninum, Platina and Sepia.
Need for Attention, Self-centered:
In many insect remedies, there can be a desire to create attention, to look good and want to be attractive, but also at times express behavior which can have the opposite effect, even repulsing people. Part of that can stem from the demanding nature and a lack of awareness of their impact on others. It is a type of basic egoism or self-centeredness. Everything revolves around them and how their needs can be satisfied. Often this is unconscious behavior. Their lives may seem very busy and they are doing many things but their concern is about themselves. Even when there is more concern about others, a type of benevolence, they want recognition and thanks for it. They want reciprocity. This type of self-centeredness may revolve around their health, with a type of hypochondriasis, which is also seen in various spider remedies. It is a type of victim feeling, as if they are always afflicted by the adversities of life. The world is not a benign place so they have to get what they can when they can in adverse situations.

There may be great difficulty in forming relationships with others, either sexual or just friendship. They may not be able to give much to a friendship so stay on their own. But they may also be demanding and feel the need to get whatever they can from others. On the receiving end of this, one can feel exploited, as if you are being ‘sucked dry.’

Haughtiness, Demanding:
This desire to create attention, to be demanding and self-centered may express itself as a type of haughtiness. This is obviously seen in Apis (and even more so in the Queen Bee as opposed to the basic honey bee, which may feel that in spite of all their effort, they are not getting the recognition they deserve, hence the envy found in the remedy Apis). It is also seen in many other insect remedies, including Blatta, Cantharis (more contemptuous), Coccinella, Culex, Pulex and Vespa. At times, this haughtiness is seen as a basic ambition, a striving for success and recognition. This recognition could be at work, in what they are doing, as in remedies such as Blatta and Culex, or more in just physical recognition of how they look, as in Coccinella, Pulex and others.

It may express itself as a strong self centered, ambitious, controlling and greedy quality. It may be expressed in the need to have whatever they want – food, experiences, clothes etc., a kind of basic acquisitiveness. Coccinella can have these qualities, especially regarding clothes which have to be beautiful. They may have an increased sexual desire. Contrary to other insects there may be a more helpful aspect to the personality, a desire to be liked and for a concern for others in general. There can be a fear of water. Physically we see the affinity for the genito-urinary tract and also the neuralgic symptoms of the mouth, teeth and face, often with profuse salivation.
Sexuality:
Various authors have discussed the theme of sexuality, the pattern being of extreme sexual behavior, often with no emotions involved. The word sexual perversion has been used but one should be careful not to stereotype any group of remedies too absolutely. However, there is definitely a pattern of seeking sexual connections to compensate for the inner feelings of disgust or from a lack of other social relations. Cantharis, as commonly known, has the most extreme sexual feelings, that nothing can satiate, and many of the other insect remedies have an affinity for the genitalia and UTI tract. At times, the sexual intensity is from the need to release the physical tension and restlessness felt in the body. This is found in Lamprohiza splendidula, and a highly developed sexual energy is also seen in Limenitis bredowi californica. In Morpho menelaus occidentalis, there was not so much overt sexual energy, more that pleasure came from all sensations and immediate satisfaction of desires.

While it can be seen that sexual activity may express itself in many ways in people needing insect remedies, and it is by no means always a pathological expression, one overriding pattern is that of using sexuality as a form of compensation for incomplete emotional relations. This is not uncommon human behavior in general so one should not over generalize this in insect remedies but it is a pattern found in many people needing animal remedies, and from every kingdom, whether mammal, snake, spider, sea remedies or insects. In insects however, the need for sexual connection is based on both an emotional need to connect which they may find hard to do, combined often with a need to release physical tension in the body and/or a feeling of irritation in the genital/UTI region. In some women, one may find a masculine quality, the body type similar to Sepia.

Child-like, Immaturity or Early Independence:
This emotional challenge to sustain meaningful relations may be expressed in a type of naivety, innocence or childlike quality sometimes found in those needing insect remedies. There is a lack of ego development, of the human mammalian experience needed to become fully human. Something is missing here. It may be that the early bonding with mother and family didn´t happen, or that the mother was aggressive and violent toward them. This experience can thwart their normal human development, the person living in an unsafe world. In this situation, one strategy may that of staying young, like a child, feeling dependent. Another strategy would be seeking independence as early as possible, escaping the family, becoming restless, overactive, anything to avoid the horrible feelings they carry underneath but which they can´t acknowledge. This childlike quality can be found in Limenitis bredowi californica where they can feel as if they are lost in the world and other butterfly remedies, including Morpho Menelaus occidentalis. Also in Pediculus there is a tendency to childish laughter and laughing without a cause or childish enthusiasm. In Pediculus, there may be stammering and constrictions in the throat.

This child-like quality is also often seen in milk remedies and is discussed in the Lac caninum chapter.

Irritation, Anger, Easily feeling attacked:
The word “irritation” is a key word for most insect remedies, both physically and emotionally. It often describes the physical symptoms on the skin, along with burning, biting, stinging and is often how they feel emotionally and how people feel being around them. They can be irritating to be around, and even behave in unconscious and obnoxious ways. At other times though, they may be very sweet and helpful, so one needs to be careful again not to over generalize.

One of the common themes of animal remedies is often that of being attacked and having to defend themselves. This is seen in many of the insect remedies. It can be seen in easily feeling attacked and responding in an antagonistic way, often being argumentative, angry, censorious, contemptuous, full of rage, to fears of the dark, of evil, of predators, a threatened feeling in general. It can be seen as a type of immature anger, a sense of easy irritation and reaction to perceived slights when none was meant. “Prickly” can be word used to describe this state.

Insects, Spiders and Snakes:
The main difference between insects and spiders is that the suddenness of the symptoms is more intense for the insects. Both are hurried and speedy, but the insects more so. The activity of spiders tends to be relentless and repetitive in nature, whereas with the insects, it can be random, indiscriminate and less rhythmic, but also at times it can be more productive than spider activity. In the latter, there can simply be a need to move and to do repetitive and rhythmic actions, whether productive or not. Both react instinctively but insects do so more immediately. Spider remedies tend to be aware of themselves and the risks around them (and therefore more easily threatened) whereas those needing insect remedies just react immediately to whatever is happening to them. Insect, spider and snake remedies all have similar ‘animal’ qualities – instinct, threat, possessiveness, suspicious, jealousy, concern over appearance, sexuality, death etc. but each reacts differently to circumstances. Insect remedies tend to have the least amount of self-awareness and self-identity whereas snakes have the most and have a clearer idea of who they are as individuals and the threats they perceive. However, one has to be careful here, as it cannot be said that all people needing snake remedies will be more evolved and more mature than those requiring insect remedies. While this generalization about the differences is true, one may see that the particular qualities indicating an insect remedy may fit very different personality types. The insect or other animal energy is superimposed upon the human character and personality, which may be more or less mature and evolved. However, it is still appropriate to make certain distinctions between insect, spider and snake remedies based on behavior of each of the species and how that may be seen in a human context.

Snakes tend to be more premeditated and controlled in their reactions and do not have the same hurriedness as the spiders and insects. When they do attack, which is mostly verbal in snake remedies, it can be intense and sudden – mocking, sarcasm, anger etc., but it often takes them a little while to get there. Spider remedies tend to become very physically restless (though not always) and then react emotionally and physically with violence. They can be cunning and manipulative, attracting people to their ‘lair’ but also can appear to be very ‘nice’ people. Not all people needing spider remedies are violent, intense and wild. They can appear to be calm and not always agitated. However, one ideally expects to find some feeling of threat and some reactive activity in one form or other. In some cases however, the feeling of threat is sublimated under a general restlessness or a more passive, victim mentality.

Those needing insect remedies, especially remedies similar to Apis, tend to be reactive, intense and often have a great sense of speed and needing to do things fast. Often they feel small and can even be physically very small. In all three animal families – insect, spider and snake, there may be a history of early disconnection with the family – not being breastfed, sudden cessation of motherly love, not being wanted at all by the parents, a history of physical and emotional abuse etc. That establishes the feeling that the world is not safe and a need to compensate by being speedy, fast, busy, sensual, angry, defensive etc. Snakes feel the most forlorn and isolated (as they are the most evolved) and the least threatened;  spiders are aware of being threatened the most and insects the most active. Spiders are therefore more hidden in their nature whereas with insects they tend to be more open. There is not so much to hide. Spiders and then snakes tend to be cunning and deceitful.

Respiration
The respiratory functions are another area for which some insect remedies have an affinity. These are especially Blatta, Coccinella and Coccus cacti. Another common quality of these three remedies is that there is a lot less busyness and hyperactivity. Blatta has keynotes of asthma, with a hacking, exhausting cough, often found with cold perspiration. Asthma is worse in the rain and damp and better expectoration and when in the knee chest position. The affinity of Blatta orientalis is quite extraordinary and well worth reading about in the old texts. It was first written about extensively by Dr Ray from Calcutta in the Homeopathic Recorder of November 1890. An Indian man with bad asthma was cure by drinking his normal tea, but this time with an unfortunate cockroach in the bottom! Since then its documented cures of asthma have been impressive and used in low potencies is virtually a specific in asthma. A modern proving by Alastair Gray of Australia summarizes this information and in the proving there were significant respiratory symptoms, with constriction in the chest, pressing tightness, and much yawning with the need to take a deep breath. Other features in the proving included great fatigue and heaviness and it temporarily cured a prover’s chronic fatigue symptoms. There was a great heaviness of the body, including the head and shoulders, the shoulders and head being pulled down. The tongue felt extremely heavy along with general heaviness. There was slowness, physically and intellectually with confusion and mistakes. There was a sense of speed alternating with slowness, and mental indifference. Physically there was burning and acidity in the back of the mouth. Coccinella can have whooping cough with a deep hoarse voice and Coccus cacti is one of the major cough remedies, with great spasms of tickling, racking cough coming in paroxysms and coughing up tough, stringy mucus, often along with vomiting and a purple, red face. There can be pricking, sticking pains and a feeling of a foreign body or plug inside throat and stomach. Mentally Coccus cacti can have irritability, like other insect remedies and also a feeling of disgust for what is around them. There may also be a hypochondriacal anxiety, as with other insects and a lazy quality. They are not so prone to activity. Similar to the cacti they feed on, there can be a delusion that he is enlarged (Mind, delusion, enlarged). Coccinella has a keynote of neuralgic pains in the face, mouth and teeth, associated with icy extremities and profuse salivation.

Skin, hives, allergies:
One characteristic skin condition that Apis is known for is hives, the classic allergic reaction. Vespa also has strong skin symptoms similar to Apis, both hives and erysipelas-type eruptions, as also can Cantharis and Bombyx. If a tendency to hives is a chronic condition, then many other remedies can be indicated, but another family that can be considered are remedies from the sea, especially Medusa, Murex, Astacus, Homarus and Sepia. Apis tends to have the strong keynotes of urticaria better for cold applications, which is a general characteristic in the remedy. If hives come with a lot of edema, this helps confirm the remedy, especially with cold applications ameliorating.

Apis has to be considered in any case with strong allergies, in which the symptoms are heat, burning, stinging, and swelling which is ideally worse from heat and better from cold. Ledum is often compared in simple allergic states or stings that have edema better from cold, but one distinction is that the part feels cold in Ledum whereas it feels hot and stinging in Apis. However, this is not always apparent. If the reaction comes from a poisonous creature, then Apis should be considered first. Apis has much more stinging than Ledum. Allergic inflammation of the eyes with great puffiness indicates Apis first. In more serious allergic reactions, especially if Apis hasn’t worked, then Carbolic acid should be considered. In the throat/larynx/trachea, inflammation of the glottis indicates Apis first, along with Kali iodatum, Lachesis, Stramonium and others (Larynx/trachea, inflammation, glottis).

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