(BHJ. Vol. 81, Jan. 1992)

ABSTRACT:  Lac caninum -  the best-known milk remedy – points to milk allergy but much more to the early conflict in the mother-child relationship.  Any further relationship is ambivalent and unfulfilled.  Likewise, the patient remains insecure towards himself, experiencing many fears.  These eight case histories are intended to help understand this forgotten medicine which has now become really opportune.

         Lac caninum is a neglected and barely understood medicine with a fascinating ‘signature’.

         Milk constitutes the very first earthly food during the period of emotional and physical symbiosis of mother and child – the image of absolute security.  Milk allergy has been recognized in recent years and is now a topic of great interest.

         Dog’s milk is a medicament that comes from animals, the world of physical urges and instincts.  The dog, the tamed wolf, is both a devoted servant and a fierce and unpredictable guardian: a remedy for hidden, ‘tamed’ aggression.

         These themes can indeed be detected in the drug picture of Lac caninum as well as in corresponding clinical cases as confirmation.


Three women Ingeborg H., aged 35

         An insecure, apprehensive, nervous, very delicate woman, full of fears, with a hasty, inaccurate way of expressing herself.  She presents with sudden attacks of fear with trembling and cardiac palpitation.  She is insecure, restless, hasty, indecisive, hypertensive; she is moved by everything, pained by everything, she weeps over her helplessness.  Her fears: of severe illness, of doing something wrong.

         Her anxieties started with an acute illness of her mother.  Her mother dominates her life although the patient is married.

Physical symptoms

         Goitre with a feeling of pressure, difficulty in swallowing, craving for milk, constipation, premenstrual breast swelling, hair loss, hypersensitive sense of smell.

         Lac caninum M, given twice at an interval of six weeks, has helped the patient to self-assurance.  For three days, the Goiter flared up.  For one year now, there have been no more problems; the patient can cope well with life.

Sigrid B., aged 39

         An insecure, timid, worried, gentle woman, mother of three children.  She speaks in a low and strained voice.  She presents with chronic sinusitis, retronasal catarrh and frequent pharyngalgia, alternately occurring on one side.  She has suffered from these symptoms for five years.  She is tired, feeble and has a heavy menses.  She feels insecure, unhappy, discouraged, dejected.  She describes a ‘profound feeling of not being good enough’.  ‘I am worthless’, she feels excluded  from life.

         As a child, she had many fears, found it extremely difficult to make friends, was very shy and ashamed, suffered from enuresis.  Her father was reserved, aloof, reprimanded her frequently.  He had wished for a boy.  Her mother was depressive all the time; nevertheless, the daughter still orientates herself far too much  towards her.

         Lac caninum 12x, then 200, has given her physical and mental stability during one and a half years follow-up.

Gunda C., aged 33

         She behaves like a spoiled, bored, sophisticated lady.  Her face seems tense and like a mask, her answers are short, coquettish, seem rejective , insecure.  She is depressive, discontented, sleepless, sexually apathetic without any apparent  reason.  She is afraid of people, weeps a lot.  Distraction does her good.  She cannot travel enough and has several times been abroad for a year.

         Her father died when she was three years old.  Being the youngest of four children, she had – due  to the cramped conditions they lived in – to share her mother’s bed up to the age of 14.  today their relationship is very distant. Lac caninum 200, then 1M, has changed the patient completely, neither she nor her husband has had any complaints since then.  This has now been the case for nine months.

         These three women reveal the fear of Lac caninum, behind which lies the yearning for security and appreciation.  The striking fact in these cases is the difficult mother-daughter relationship.


Roland J., aged 13

         A quiet, thoughtful, sensitive boy with a concerned face, tense forehead, slack posture, yet of powerful build.  He seems insecure, inhibited.  He presents with Hay fever and generalized Eczema.  His performances at school vary greatly, he is dreamy and slow, forgetful and distracted.  He lacks staying power, makes a lot of spelling mistakes.  He is very wary in all matters, is afraid of everything new, afraid of making a fool of himself.  He is easily discouraged.  At school, he is frequently subjected to teasing as he is extremely quick-tempered and seethes with rage, yet remains helpless and harmless.  He never gets down to action.

         Roland was given three doses of Lac caninum (200, M).  In the course of the last nine months he has become more free, more open, livelier, more self-assured, which has been noticed both by his mother and teachers.  His class-mates now accept him, his skin is clear, the hay fever is much improved.

Patrik M., aged 8

         A pale, adipic child with sad, slack expression.  The boy suffers from chronic Rhinitis, frequent spastic Bronchitis with multiple Allergy and Eczema-proneness.  It is noticeable that the boy miserably and intermediately crouches beside his restless, strained, eloquent mother.  The mother admits her insecurity and conflicting feelings towards her child.  Patrik is timid, reserved, stubborn and sullen.  He is distracted, refuses to do his homework.  Very often one can hear him utter ‘I am bored’.  He does not know how to occupy himself, cannot assert himself.  Occasionally, however, he has fitful outbursts of wickedness and beats his younger brother.  He is afraid of wolves and dogs, particularly in the evenings, and suffers from terrible nightmares which wake him.

         Lac caninum 200 and 1M have totality changed him; after an initial attack of Bronchitis he has had no further problems for one year now.

Thomas M., aged 3

         The child shows soft, pale, slightly bloated features and tenderly leans against his mother.  Yet his eyes sparkle brightly and he has a mind of his own.  For one year he has been suffering from Neurodermatitis, which started on the legs and is now generalized.  Furthermore, he frequently catches cold.  He has a small appetite, prefers milk and frequently wakes during the night.

         Due to Thomas’ behaviour, the mother is exhausted.  Everything is so unpredictable and contradictory.  He is tender and approachable, but then stubborn and aloof.  He is afraid and on the other hand cheeky.  He does not like dogs.  He is timid, on the other hand unrestrained, beats other children; when enraged he even shouts abuse at adults.

         Since taking Lac caninum 200, his skin and his behaviour have improved markedly.  An acute Bronchitis occurring after two months improved rapidly after a second dose of Lac caninum 200.  For half a year, the child has been well balanced and quiet.  His skin is clear.

         These three boys reveal typical organic manifestations, the anxiety and the failure of Lac caninum.  The behaviour alternating between tender, restrained, guarded conduct and violent outbursts of rage becomes very evident in these cases.


Nada B., aged 12

         The child has come because of acute Tonsillitis, far worse on the left side than on the right, without fever, with a yearning for warmth.  The tonsils are large and show early signs of a suppuration.  This is the third relapse within one month.  Up till now, it was treated with Penicillin.  The history shows frequent sore throat and phases of Neurodermatitis.

         The girl is very fearful, particularly at night, in the dark, thinking that something awful has happened.  When sleeping, she has nightmares and screams.  Her mother says meaningfully: ‘There exists a conflict with the mother’.  Even today, she – the eldest of three children – still sleeps in her mother’s bed every night.  She is extremely jealous; by contradicting her constantly, she makes her mother livid with rage.  She is very ambitious, very strict with herself, excessively clean.

         The mother admits having made a great mistake: upon the birth of this, her first child, she forgot the entire world and even her husband. She clung to the child, nobody else was allowed to come near it.

         Lac caninum 200, three doses on the same day, cleared the Tonsillitis within four days.  The girl has totally changed, she is far more content.  Within one month she has become quiet.  She sleeps well, has hardly any more fears.  With a further dose of Lac caninum 1M, this state has now been maintained for six months; the child has not been ill again since.

Jaqueline K., aged 6

         A pale child with pasty features, in particular around the area of the nose, with eyes lowered and a dreamy, sad, searching glance.  She has been ill all winter long with Otitis, week-long Hypacousia, purulent Tonsillitis; has had frequent doses of antibiotics.

         The mother adds spontaneously:  ‘We have this problem with grandmother’.  During the second and third year of the child’s life, the grandmother took half-day care of the child whilst the mother went to work.  The girl became emotionally dependent on her, only asked for her, spoke all the time of her and when at home, was unhappy, restless and angry, rejected her home.  A further problem was her jealousy of her little sister, three years younger than she.  The mother spoke of a forced separation from the grandmother in order to save the child from her.  Subsequently, the child has changed to an increasing degree: she has become depressed, unusually quiet, is unable to play, unable to assert herself, sulks for hours and is cunning.  She often gives no answer, does not react to comforting words.  She frequently complains about being bored.  The mother describes her as ‘panically inquisitive’, with ‘a compulsive inclination towards or against certain people’.  She has a restless sleep and dreams of animals.

         Lac caninum changed this child within three days.  She became livelier and more cheerful, can occupy herself quite well, replies to questions, and now defends herself.  This has also been noticed in the Kindergarten.  Six weeks later, an ‘unusually acute illness’ occurred with fever and heavy mucous secretion which the mother herself connected with the homœopathic medicine, since it was severe and passed rapidly.  The following day, the child was well again.  Another dose of Lac caninum was given.  The change in the child has now lasted for six months; her expression is open, lively and cheerful.

         With these two girls it has become obvious that Lac caninum as animal remedy has a strong effect on human physical urges.  Both girls show excessively strong ties with a female to whom they relate, in one case with the mother, in the other with the grandmother, this relationship being nothing short of an emotional dependency.  The mothers of both girls describe it as a compulsive, instinctive occurrence where a sentiment renders one compulsive and constrained.  On the other hand, they observe massive fears in their children.

Anxiety – longing – inability

         ‘Believing onself to be held in contempt’: one of the most impressive symptoms of Lac caninum.  People unable to find their place in this world, unable to hold their ground.  People escaping into retreat, into refusal, into depression or traveling.

         Is it the result of an unsuccessful, unhappy first relationship with the mother, the result of a suckling trauma?  Is it an insatiable longing for the symbiotic world of the beginning which has made the person homeless in the here and now?

         Those people tend then to enter into too close an attachment, as is evident in the case of the two girls.  This produces an ambivalence, manifesting itself in anxieties, in jealousy and boredom and in sudden and unpredictable outbursts.

         Lac caninum helps to give a soothing answer to persons whose past is marked by a lack of security and warmth.  It is capable of strengthening them, opening them up to a vision of the future, from where a new impetus, vigour and hope may emanate.

Notes and literature

Potencies used: Lac caninum C 200 and Lac caninum 1M Korsakov, manufactured by Spagyra.

The eight cases mentioned are described in more detail in Documenta 11, Vienna, 1991.

BECKER, J. Lac caninum, tape cassette, Bad Boll, 1988.

GNAIGER, J. Lac caninum, Documenta 10, Vienna 1990.

LIEVEGOED, B.C.  Entwicklungsphasen des Kindes, Stuttgart 4, 1986.

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