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Bufo is a homeopathic remedy made from the poison of a toad, called Bufo rana. The poison is obtained by irritating the toad, which causes it to excrete the venom from glands in its back. Dr. A. Cowperthwaite, of Iowa, in his Materia Medica, first published in 1879, tells us that Bufo "acts upon the cerebro-spinal system, affecting both the moral senses and the motor nerves. It serves to rouse the lowest passions, making man beastly."
     Dr. Henry Clarke comments, "In spite of modern skepticism regarding the poisonous properties of the toad, Shakespeare, who seems to have known everything, was absolutely correct in speaking of the toad as having 'sweltered venom.'"
     A story is told in Dr. Clarke's Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica of an Italian peasant who had been suffering from dropsy (swelling) for a long period of time and showed no signs of ever recovering. His wife became weary of caring for him and decided to hasten his end by putting a toad in his wine. Much to her surprise, her husband was completely cured of his illness. She may not have been a homeopath, but her solution was definitely homeopathic. "Quintessence of toads" was recommended as a "Specifick in Dropsy" in the therapy of Salmon's Doron Medicon (1583). Poisonings by toads have shown and homeopathic experiments have proven that toads cause and, therefore, homeopathically can cure dropsy.
     But the toad poison is more commonly known among homeopaths as a treatment for epilepsy. Some say, after witnessing an epileptic seizure, that the position assumed during the seizure is in fact, a "toad-like" position.
     Dr. W. Holcombe (1825--1893) tells of a 30-year-old woman who "was very much reduced, bodily and mentally, by furious epileptic attacks which supervened several times a week, which had been treated in vain by many physicians and which had been pronounced incurable." Dr. Holcombe was consulted by mail and gave her the homeopathic remedy Bufo to be taken once a day. "For five succeeding days she was free from attacks, and during that time her persistent headache vanished—she had grown stouter and more vigorous; her mental capacities also had improved. According to last reports, she had within one year only one or two light attacks." Her allopathic physician was so impressed that he wrote to Dr. Holcombe asking for homeopathic books and medicines, and consulted him concerning "a brain affection with which he was himself affected."
     Bufo has some very strange, rare, and peculiar symptoms. Some examples are: feels as if the whole body is swollen; as if a peg is in the joints; can't stand the sight of brilliant objects; feels as if cold balls are running through the bowels; objects appear crooked; sensation as if hot vapor rose to the top of the head; heart feels too large and seems to float in water or air; feels as if there is fire in the lungs.
     When indicated and prescribed according to homeopathic principles, Bufo has been known to help in cases of gout, heart disorders, cancer, meningitis, skin disorders, and stammering.
     In homeopathy, even a humble toad is capable of princely deeds.

Materia Medica in Verse
Poor Bufo that lacks control
Not endowed with mental grace
Tongue protrudes, a crack in fold
A stupid look upon his face
Sudden sexual thoughts arise
This sloppy toad cannot abate
He goes off with his desire
For solitude to masturbate
Imagine him a little fat
Angers at the drop of hat
And also laughs so indiscreet
Like a child but not so sweet
Impulsively must satisfy
Every impulse gratify
Has no shame on any sphere
Low of mind, speaks unclear
Fears animals and strangers too
Chilly and could seize for you
Lacks refinement, is that clear?
The toad is made of such, I fear

by Sylvia Seroussi Chatroux, MD, from Materia Poetica, Homeopathy in Verse, published by Poetica Press

About the author:
Diane Fuller, working as an RN, found homeopathy when one of her children became ill and was cured with homeopathy. She studied homeopathy by correspondence with Misha Norland from the School of Homeopathy in England and then did the two-year HMC course with Lou Klein. She lives and practices in Prince George, B.C., Canada. She can be reached at