By Debra LeRoy, MA, DIHom, FBIH
Web Site: http://medicinegarden.com/index.html

(c) 2001 by Debra LeRoy, MA, DIHom, FBIH. Used with permission.


Smallpox was a highly contagious disease. I say WAS because it was declared eradicated in 1980 by the World Health Organization. The last case of smallpox occurred in Somalia in 1977. Smallpox is caused by the virus Viriolae, and is available in two flavours...viriole major (severe symptoms, and a high mortality of about 20-40%) and viriole minor (less severe symptoms with a low mortality of about 1%). This virus is known to have existed for at least 3000 years and estimates have it killing up to 100 million people during its crusade. The 200 million people it didn't kill, it left blind and horribly scarred. Since smallpox is a virus, there is NO allopathic cure for it, which is why a vaccine was eventually discovered, and used to prevent many more deaths.

Was it really eradicated? Well, yes and no. No human being has contracted it since 1977, but there are colonies of smallpox virus living comfortable, happy lives in labs. Two such labs are known about...one is in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, USA, and the other is in the Institute for Viral Preparations in Koltsovo, in the Soviet Union. Is there more out there somewhere? Realistically, yes, there could be. There was talk of destroying the remaining virus samples in 1999, but from what I was able to determine, this did not happen. If anyone has proof to the contrary, perhaps you will consider taking a bold step, and enlighten the rest of us.

Now the tricky part--CDC confirms having 15 million vaccines available. They can not, under any circumstances, release these vaccines for public use. Granted, in the event of an outbreak that could change, I suspect. That won't do any good to anyone who actually contracts smallpox, though. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, by the time the vaccines were released and dispensed to 15 million people, it wouldn't amount to saving many lives, unless the epidemic was very small, which is unlikely. Immunity after living through smallpox is permanent. Immunity after a vaccine most likely lasts up to 10 years.


Symptoms of smallpox include: sudden onset of fever, headache, backache (the backache associated with smallpox is about the worst backache known to man), vomiting, marked prostration and delirium, and can end in blindness from scarring in the conjunctiva. The early stage may make you very ill. Also early in the illness there may appear (in about 10%) a fleeting rash in the form of a reddening of the skin, not unlike the rash of German measles. There is nothing obvious about this rash to arouse suspicion of smallpox. The incubation period from exposure to the onset of this feverish illness is nearly always 12 days with little variation. (You want to try to catch it at this stage, if possible).

About two to three days after the onset of illness the true smallpox rash appears. The early rash will be fading. This true (focal) rash is normally diagnostic of smallpox, characterized by its evolution and distribution on the body.

It begins as discrete, pink spots (macules), which enlarge and become slightly raised papules. Each of these progresses, and by the third day a tense blister, vesicle, six mm in diameter has developed, deep in the skin. After two more days the fluid inside becomes thick and opaque. In the following days these shrink and dry up to become hard lentil-like crusts in the skin. Eventually they separate leaving a sunken scar. The hard crusts then detach, containing smallpox virus in its substance.


The distribution of the focal rash is characteristic, affecting the head and extremities, the trunk to a lesser degree. These symptoms actually make smallpox easy to diagnose clinically, once the thought of smallpox has entered the mind...but this could take some time.

There is some correlation between the severity of illness and extent of the focal rash. Toxemia may be so severe that death may occur before the rash is fully developed. However, it is more common for death to occur between the 11th and 15th day of the rash, if, in fact, it is going to occur. In severe cases the rash may cover the entire body and the individual lesions will run into one another.

Severe disease may also be hemorrhagic, which can further complicate diagnosis. Since the person is bleeding into the skin and from bodily orifices, it may be mistaken for other hemorrhagic diseases. Another diagnostic difficulty arises from individuals who contract variola sine eruptione in which no rash follows the onset of illness. Even these individuals may very occasionally be infectious through droplets from the mouth.

Infection usually occurs through the respiratory tract and local lymph nodes. The virus then enters the blood (primary viremia). Internal organs are infected. Smallpox then reenters the blood (secondary viremia) and spreads to the skin. These events occur during the incubation period, when the patient is still well. The rash is the result of virus replication in the skin, but there may be an immune component as well.


Lucky for us, many great homeopaths lived through the onslaught of smallpox, and we can use the knowledge and remedy information they have left behind. Some people are concerned that smallpox used in biological warfare would be mutated, rendering any treatment method ineffective. Granted, no one can tell this for sure. However, I have spoken "unofficially" to a couple of MD's and even a vet. All agreed that they found this doubtful. There would be no need to mutate smallpox, due to its high mortality rate, and the fact that it is unlikely that anyone is immune anymore.

Unfortunately, by the time it would probably be realized that a smallpox outbreak was occurring, the only treatment option for those already infected would be by means other than allopathic. Homeopathy can play a role in this. Hahnemann taught us that it is okay to use nosodes in the event that one finds oneself in an epidemic situation, as a preventative. That is one option. If you find yourself at "ground zero," smallpox speaking, taking either Variolinum, Malandrinum, or Vaccininum nosodes would be a great idea (do not take them all though). Failing that, you need to treat the symptoms, and that needs to be accomplished via the Law of Similars, or the Simillimum. This requires repertorizing. However, since the symptoms follow a more-or-less specific pattern, the most likely remedy candidates can be determined ahead of time. Other remedies to consider are Antimonium Tataricum, Baptisia, Bryonia, Carbolicum Acidum, Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum, Kali Bichromicum, Mercurius Sulphuricus, Rhus Toxiocodendron, and Thuja.

To recap: VARIOLINUM, MALANDRIUM and VACCININUM are NOSODES (this means that it is made from disease material-smallpox in the case of Variolinum, Malandrinum is grease in horses, and Vaccininum is vaccine matter). It is sometimes argued that this treatment method takes the form of Isopathy, which is using the exact remedy for a specific condition, rather than a similar one. This is a debate that will continue to pop up. I believe that the current thinking follows that Isopathy is, in fact, a nosode made from the individual, strictly for their own use. These definitions are not important, however, to our mission at this time.


In discussing nosodes, it is important to reiterate that you should NOT take any of them just because you have them. Though true that they can be used as a preventative, they should be taken only if the threat of infection is real...such as would be if smallpox epidemic occurs. Vaccinia, Smallpox, and Grease of Horses are inter-related diseases, and the nosodes of each are available for the treatment or prevention of all three.

Malandrinum (Grease of Horses)

I could not find a lot of information on Malandrinum. However, homeopaths of yesteryear found it to be effective in the prevention of smallpox. A.L Marcey (H.R., xiv 530) vaccinated himself and also used Maladrinum 30C morning and night during a smallpox epidemic. The vaccination never took, even after being repeated twice, but he remained free from smallpox with the nosode. He also used Malandrinum to effectively cure smallpox in a very short period of time. (only a few days!) In other documentation, Vaccininum 6C in water, for one day, repeated after 8 days, acted as a preventative in 600 cases.


Mind/Head: Crying, ill-humour, restless sleep, nervous, impatient, morbid fear of getting smallpox. Frontal headache, forehead felt as if it would split in two from root of nose to top of heaf. Stitches in right temple, eruption like crustea lacteal (crusty, milk-like).

Stomach: Aching in pit of stomach, with short breath.

Respiratory: Short breath with aching in put of stomach, and pressure in the in region of heart.

Skin: A general eruption, similar to cowpox. Red pimples or blotches in various parts, most evident when warm. Eruption of pustules with a dark-red base and a roundish or oblong elevation, and filled with pus of a greenish yellow colour, some as large as a pea, without depression in the center, coming with a round, hard feel in the skin, very itchy. Tingling and burning in skin over whole body.

Fever: Fever, with heat, thirst, tossing about, crying, aversion to food. Chill with shaking.


KEYNOTES: The cardinal symptoms of smallpox are the keynote symptoms for Variolinum.

Mind/Head: Delirium with initial fever. Vertigo, loss of consciousness when attempting to rise, forehead very hot, face red and bloated, carotids pulsating violently. Headache with, or right after a chill, all over head, particularly in forehead; severe in vertex, as if a band tightly encircled head. Intolerable pain in occiput.

Stomach: Soreness in pit of stomach and across epigastric region. Frequent vomiting of bilious and bloody matter. Vomits milk immediately after drinking it.

Respiratory: Oppressed respiration, troublesome cough, with serous and sometimes bloody sp[uta. Hawking up thick, viscid slime, smelling bad.

Skin: Exanthema (eruption) of sharp, pointed pimples, usually small, suppurating, dry, resting on a small red areola, frequently interspersed with spots of red colour, sometimes severe itching.


Antiimonium Tataricum, Baptisia, Belladonna, Bryonia, Carbolicum Acidum, Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum, Kali Bichromicum, Mercurius Sulphuricus, Rhus Toxiocodendron and Thuja are remedies made from various sources. Certain remedies have specific keynotes in their symptoms that can be of great value in determining the correct one. I will include mental symptoms in this article, too, although in the eventuality that we need to repertorize, the physical symptoms will probably be more important.

Antimonium Tartaricum (Tartar Emetic)

KEYNOTES: rattling of mucus with little expectoration, drowsiness, debility, and sweat, chills and pains in the muscles.

Mind/Head: Vertigo alternating with drowsiness, great despondency, and fears being alone. Band-like feeling over forehead, headache as from a band compressing.

Stomach: difficulty swallowing fluids, vomiting in any position, except lying on right side, nausea, retching and vomiting, especially after food. Thirst for cold water, little and often, and desire for apples, fruits, and acids generally.

Respiratory Organs: Burning in chest, which ascends to throat. Breathing is rapid, short, and difficult; feel like they are suffocating. Pulse rapid, week, trembling.

Back: Violent pains in sacro-lumbar region. Slightest effort to move causes retching and cold, clammy sweat. Sensation of heavy weight at coccyx, dragging downward all the time.

Skin: Pustular eruption, leaving a bluish mark, smallpox.

Fever: Coldness, trembling, and chilliness, Intense heat. Copious perspiration. Cold, clammy sweat, with great faintness.


WORSE: in evening, from lying down at night, from warmth, in damp weather, from all sour things and milk.

BETTER: Sitting erect, from eructation (belching), and expectoration.

Baptisia (Wild Indigo)

KEYNOTES: Septic conditions of the blood, indescribable sick feeling, great muscular soreness and putrid phenomena.

Mind/Head: Wild wandering feeling, inability to think, mentally confused, thinks s/he is broken broken, or double. Vertigo, pressure at root of nose. Skin of forehead feels too tight, seems drawn to back of head. Soreness of eyeballs.

Stomach: Can only swallow liquids, vomiting from spasm of esophagus, constant desire for water. Sinking feeling in stomach. Pain in epigastric region. All symptoms worse from beer.

Respiratory: Lungs feel compressed, breathing difficult, seeks open window. Fearws going to sleep due to nightmares and sense of suffocation.

Back: Neck tired. Stiffness and pain, aching a drawing on arms and legs. Pain in sacrum, around hips and legs. Sore and bruised.

Skin: Livid spots all over body and limbs. Burning and heat in skin. Putrid ulcers with stupor, low delerium, and prostration.

Fever: Chill, with pains and soreness all over body. Heat all over, with occasional chills. Chill about 11 am. Adynamic (causing a lack of strength or function) fevers.


WORSE: Humid heat, fog, indoors.

Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade)

KEYNOTES: Sudden and violent onset of symptoms, loss of consciousness, delirium, rage, oversensitive in all senses, bleeding from inner parts, exanthemata (eruptive disease) of a scarlet colour.

Mind/Head: Vertigo, with falling to left side, or backward. Sensitive to least contact. Much throbbing and heat in head. Pain and fullness especially in forehead. Pain worse form light, noise, jarring, lying down, and in the afternoon. Headache worse on right side and when lying down.

Stomach: Loss of appetite. Averse to meat and milk. Constriction: pain runs to spine. Nausea and vomiting. Great thirst for cold water. Empty retching. Dread of drinking. Uncontrollable vomiting.

Respiratory: Dtyness, tickling short, dry cough, worse at night. Larynx feels sore. Cough with pain in right hip. Barking cough, whooping cough, with pain in stomach before attack, with expectoration of blood. High piping voice, moaning at every breath.

Skin: Dry and hot, swollen, sensitive, burns scarlet, smooth. Eruption like scarlatina, suddenly spreading. Glands swollen, tender, red. Boils, suppurative wounds, alternate redness and paleness of skin. Indurations after inflammations.

Fever: A high feverish state with comparative absence of toxemia. Burning, puingent, steaming heat. Feet icy cold. Superficial blood vessels distended. Perspiration dry only on head. No thirst with fever.


WORSE: touch, jar, noise, draught, after noon, lying down.

BETTER: lying semi erect.

Bryonia (Wild Hops)

KEYNOTES: GROUCHY (Bry. Is THE grouch remedy) Aggravation at 9 p.m.

Mind/Head:Exceedingly irritable, talk of business. Vertigo, faintness on rising, confusion. Bursting, splitting headache made worse from stooping, motion, and opening eyes. Headache becomes seated in occiput. Frontal headache, with frontal sinuses involved.

Stomach: Nausea and faintness when rising up. Abnormal hunger, loss of taste. Great thrist. Vomiting of bile and liquid immediately after eating. Worse, warm drinks which are vomited. Stomach sensitive to touch.

Respiratory: Dry, hacking cough from irritation in upper trachea. Cough, dry, at night; must sit up, worse after eating or drinking, with vomiting and stitches in chest.

Skin: Yellow, pale, swollen, hot and painful.

Fever: Pulse full, hard, tnese and quick. Chill with external coldness. Internal heat. Sour sweat after slight exertion. Easy, profuse perspiration.


WORSE: Warmth, any motion, morning, eating, hot weather, exertion, touch. Can not sit up,gets faint and sick.

BETTER: Lying on painful side, pressure, rest, cold things.

Carbolicum Acidum (Carbolic Acid)

KEYNOTES: Very marked acuteness of smell is a strong guiding symptom to this remedy, as are stomach symptoms: terrible pains that come and go suddenly.

Head: Doesn't like mental work. Tight feeling, as if compressed by a rubber band. Orbital neuralgia over right eye. Headache is better by drinking green tea, and while smoking.

Stomach: No appetite. Desire for stimulants and tobacco. Constant belching, nausea and vomiting. Vomit is a dark olive green. Painful flatulence often marked in one part of the bowel.

Skin: Itching vesicles (fluid filled blister) with burning pain. Burns tend to ulcerate.

Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum (Calcium Sulphide)

KEYNOTES: When handling the involved areas, pain is felt as if from subcutaneous (beneath the skin) ulceration. Great sensitiveness of the affected parts to touch.

Mind/Head: Anguish in the evening and at night, with thoughts of suicide. Irritable, dejected and sad. Vertigo and headacje, when shaking the head or riding. Boring pain in right temple and in root of nose every morning. Scalp is sensitive and sore. Cold sweat on head.

Stomach: Longs for acids, wine, and strong-tasing food. Aversion to fat food. Frequent belching without taste or smell. Distention of stomach, compelling person to loosen clothing. Heaviness and pressure after a slight meal.

Respiratory: Dry, hoarse cough. Cough excited whenever any part of the body gets cold or uncovered, or from eating anything cold. Loose rattling cough, worse in the morning. Suffocative attacks, has to rise up and bend head backwards.

Skin: Abscess. Papules (a small solid usually conical elevation of the skin). Easy bleeding. Ulcers, with bloody discharge, smelling like old cheese. Ulcers are very sensitive to contact. Can't bear to be uncovered, wants to be wrapped up warmly. Putrid ulcers, surrounded by little pimples. Great sensitivity to slightest touch. Smallpox.

Fever: Chilly in open air and from slightest draught, Dry heat at night. Profuse sweat; sour, sticky, offensive.

Modalities: WORSE: from dry, cold winds, cool air, slightest draft, touch, and lying on the painful side.

BETTER: in damp weather, from wrapping head up, from warmth, after eating.

Kali Bichromicum (Bichromate of Potash)

KEYNOTES: Symptoms worse in morning, pains migrate quickly.

Mind/Head: Vertigo with nausea when rising from seat. Headache over eyebrows, preceded by blurred vision. Aching and fullness in glabella (the smooth area between the eyebrows) Semilateral headache in small spots. Frontal headache usually over one eye. Bones and scalp feel sore.

Stomach: Feels as if digestion has stopped. Dilation of the stomach. Stitches in region of liver and spleen, through to spine. Gastritis. Dislikes water. Can not digest a meat. Desire for beer and acids. Vomiting of bright yellow water.

Respiratory: Voice hoarse, worse in the evening. Metallic, hacking cough. Profuse, yellow expectoration, very glutinous (glue like) and sticky, coming out in a long, stringy, and tenacious mass. Pain at bifurcation (branch) of trachea on coughing; from mid-sternum to back.

Skin: Papular eruptions. Ulcer with punched-out edges, with tendency to penetrate and tenacious exudation (oozing). Pustular eruption, resembling smallpox, with burning pain. Itching with vesicular (blister- like) eruption.


WORSE: from beer, morning, hot weather, undressing

BETTER: from heat

Mercurius Sulphuricus (Yellow Sulphate of Mercury)

KEYNOTES: Worse in afternoon, from 4-5 p.m.

Mind/Head: Low-spirited; with chilliness and yawning. Ill humour after eating. Sensationof giddiness while standing, after headache. Fulness in head with occasional stitices. Soreness and heaviness through head (after breakfast and while walking about.)

Stomach: Violent yellow vomit. Stomach is so irritated that nothing will stay down. Pain and weight in stomach, tenderness, vomiting and diarrhea.

Respiratory: Roughness and hoarseness in throat. Sensation of heat in larynx Increased expectoration of mucus from larynx and trachea.

Skin: Induration (hardness, inflammation) of the glands.

Fever: Chilliness running up back, with yawning and depression, followed by a dull pain in the forehead, burning in the face and ears. Light fever. Chilliness, restlessness, and heaviness in upper part of abdomen, frequent yawning and diminished secretion of urine (afternoon).

Rhus Toxiocodendron (Poison Ivy)

KEYNOTES: Red, shiny swellings and vesicular (blister like) erysipelas (inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue). Eczematous eruptions with great burning and itching, tendency to form scales.

Mind/Head: Listless, sad, suicidal thoughts. Extreme restlessness with constant change in position. Delirium with fear of being poisoned. Great apprehension at night, can not remain in bed. Feels as if board were strapped to forehead. Vertigo when rising. Heavy head. Brain feels "loose" as if it were struck against the skull on walking or rising. Headache in occiput, painful to touch. Pain in forehead, which proceeds backward. Humid eruptions on scalp, itching greatly.

Stomach: No appetite, but unquenchable thirst. Bitter taste. Nausea, vertigo and bloated abdomen after eating. Desire for milk. Great thirst, with dry mouth and throat. Pressure in stomach as from a stone. Drowsy after eating.

Respiratory: Tickling behind upper sternum. Dry, teasing cough from midnight until morning, during a chill, or when putting hands out of bed. Oppression of the chest, can not get breath with sticking pains.

Skin: Red, swollen, itching intense. Vesicles, herpes, urticaria (raised, swollen patches of skin), pemphigus (large blisters on skin or mucus membranes, often associated with itching and burning.) Glands swollen. Burning eruptions with tendency to scale formation.


WORSE: during sleep, cold, wet, rainy weather, and after rain. at night, during rest, drenching, when lying on back or right side.

BETTER: warm, dry weather, motion, walking, change of position, rubbing, warm applications, from stretching out limbs.

Thuja Occidentalis

KEYNOTES: One-sided complaints (left side) Aggravation at 3 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Mind/Head: Fixed ideas, as if a strange person was at his side, as if body and soul were separated, as if something were alive in the abdomen. Emotional sensitiveness, music causes weeping and trembling.

Stomach: Complete loss of appetite. Dislike for fresh meat and potatoes. Rancid belching after fatty foods. Can not eat onions. Flatulenc, pain after food; sinking sensation in epigastrium before food, indigestion from tea drinking.

Respiratory: Dry hacking cough in afternoon, with pain in pit of the stomach. Stitches in chest; worse cold drinks.

Skin: Perspiration sweetish and strong. Herpetic eruptions, tearing pains in glands, glandular enlargement, eruptions only on covered parts, worse after scratching, very sensitive to touch, coldness of one side.

Fever: Chill, beginning in thighs, sweat only on uncovered parts, or all over except head, when sleeping, profuse, sour, smells like honey.


WORSE: at night, from heat of bed, at 3 a.m. and 3 p.m. from cold damp air, after breakfast, fat, coffee, vaccination.

BETTER: left side, from drawing up a limb.