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Digitalis purpurea (Dig.)

Foxglove-Digitalispurpurea_zps3dbd76b6Digitalis purpurea, known commonly as foxglove, is a flowering plant native to most parts of Europe. It is the original source of the heart medicine digoxin, (also called digitalis or digitalin).

Digitalis, during its homeopathic provings slowed the pulse rate of those who took it. As a result it is used homeopathically as a ‘similar’ to treat an abnormally slow heart beat. Allopathically, which treats by ‘opposites’, it is used as digoxin for fibrillation (when chambers of the heart beat rapidly). Mental-emotional symptoms that may also be present and indicate its homeopathic need are fear of death, remorse and guilty feelings, tearfulness, and aversion to talking. The liver and prostate gland may also be affected.

Common Uses

When the remedy matches the symptom profile, Digitalis has the ability to treat conditions such as angina, arrhythmia, congestive cardiac failure, hepatitis, prostatitis, and rheumatic heart disease.

From the Old Masters

Nash says:

Extremely slow, intermittent pulse; weak heart; or rapid, very irregular pulse.
Respiration; irregular, difficult, slow, deep or performed by frequent deep sighs; sometimes stops on dropping off into sleep.
Excessive jaundice, with slow, weak heart, and ashy-white stools.
Faintness or sinking at the stomach; feels as if he would die if he moved.
Blueness of skin, eyelids; lips, tongue; cyanosis. Distended veins on lids, ears, lips and tongue.

Lippe says:

Great anxiety and inclination to shed tears ; apprehension about the future.
Gloomy and peevish.
Indisposed to speak ; inclination to lassitude.

Faintness and debility, with perspiration.
Attacks of great debility, especially after breakfast and dinner.
Great nervous weakness.
Gray nodosities.
Prickling pain in the muscles of the upper and lower extremities.
Dropsy of internal and external parts.

Hering says:

Dulness of head as from inebriation, with increased mental activity.
Overworked mind, pulse being weak.
Lascivious fancies day and night.
Tearfulness, low-spirited.
Internal anxiety, like from troubled conscience.
Anxiety, with great fear for the future, worse at 6 P.M.

Piercing pains in the joints.
Distended veins on the eyes, ears, lips and tongue.
Flabby, Ĺ“dematous swelling all over ; with fluttering, weak pulse, cold legs.

During the climacteric, sudden flushes of heat followed by great debility, irregular pulse ; least motion brings on palpitation.


While above self-limiting or acute complaints are suitable for home treatment, see your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or fail to improve. Chronic or persistent complaints, which may or may not be mentioned above, require a different treatment and dosage protocol so are best managed by a qualified homeopath for good results.

More Information

Guidelines on which potency to use


Textbook of Materia Medica by Adolph Lippe M.D. 1886 Publishers: AJ.Tafel
Constantine Hering. 1877. Condensed Materia Medica. Publishers: Boericke and Tafel
E. B. NASH. 1899 Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics. Publishers: Boericke and Tafel