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Sycotic compound

Sycotic compound
Homeopathic Drug Picture by Frans Vermeulen

SPECIES: N mucosa Syc-co
GENUS: Neisseria

from "MONERA" - Frans Vermeulen


Moraxella Catarrhalis & Neisseria Mucosa


John Paterson described the bowel nosode Sycotic Compound as Gram­negative non-lactose fermenting diplococci. Julian thinks it is Streptococcus [= Enterococcus] fecalis, whilst according to Gaier it concerns Diplococcus [= Streptococcus] pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and/or Neisseria meningitidis.

Julian's and Gaier's conceptions conflict with the bacteriological characteristics of the organisms. Both Enterococcus and Streptococcus are Gram-positive and lactose positive [i.e. they ferment lactose], whilst Neisseria spp. are Gram­negative and part of the normal flora of the oropharynx, nasopharynx, and genitourinary tract rather than being intestinal bacteria. What does fit with Gaier's suggestion, on the other hand, is that gonococci and meningococci are positive for glucose and/or maltose, but negative for lac­tose [non-lactose fermenting]. They also have been isolated from the stools of patients with proctitis.

However, both the gonococcus and the meningococcus can be excluded given Paterson's remark that "this nosode is prepared from an organism close­ly related to the meningococcus." And: "Ir will be evident that this coccal organism of the intestinal tract is related morphologically and clinically to the Gonococcus. Hahnemann related what he called 'The Sycotic Miasm' to the disease, Gonorrhoea, but this disease is only one form of catarrhal infec­tion of the mucous membrane of the urinary tract. There are many other non-gonorrhoeal organisms associated with the symptom picture of'catarrh' and I suggest that the miasm 'Sycosis' may be considered synonymous with 'Catarrh'. Gonorrhoea is an infection of mucous membrane [i. e. it is a sycotic manifestation] but catarrhal manifestations [Sycotic] are not all due to gonorrhoeal infection."

Two other species are suggested by their very names: Neisseria mucosa Veron et al. 1959 [synonym: Oiplococcus mucosus von Lingelsheim 1906] and Moraxella catarrhalis (Frosch & Kolle 1896) Bovre 1979. The former is a normally saprophytic diplococcus, the latter is a member of a separate genus o.f cocci in the family Neisseriaceae. The dimorphic Moraxella appears as elther rods or cocci. These organisms are normal inhabitants of the human nasal cavity and nasopharynx, occasionally associated with meningitis, conjunctivitis, otitis media, sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Speculative by definition, attempts to accurately determine the origins of Sycotic co. are bound to fail since bacterial cultures in the 1920-30s were performed with non-selective media, which neither inhibited the growth of other bacterial species nor permitted differentiation between colonies of Neisseria and related species. MacConkey agar, as used by Paterson, is employed to detect Salmonella and Shigella from stool specimens, but is less selective for the recovery of enterococci.

The division into cocci and rods appears to agree with Paterson's observation that the diplococcal organism isolated from stool cultures of 22 cases, together forming the basis of the nosode Sycotic co., is pleomorphic. In the words of Paterson: "By variation of media it was found possible to change the morphological appearance under the microscope from diplococcus to bacillus [rod] and vice versa." However, Paterson's finding that "each agar plate yielded a bacillus and each MacConkey culture yielded a diplococcus" is more likely to have its explanation in the change of media - each allowing the growth of different organisms - rather than demonstrating the pleomor­phism of the "sycoccus."

Any doubts about the involvement of Neisseria spp. in Sycotic Co. will be taken away by the following:

His [Paterson] success in gonorrhoea, using his own bowel nosode Sycotic Co., caused him some embarrassment. He remarked that during the war, No. 923, where he lived, was not so much a bacteriologist's consulting room, as a v.o. [venereal disease] clinic. At all hours of the day people, usually from the Foreign Forces he added, would present at the door, and Mrs. Paterson would show them in. He used to tell ruefully how on one occasion he lost his temper and sem one away, amid the reproaches of Mrs. Paterson, who said, charac­teristically, you could not treat suffering humanity so. Half an hour later there was a telephone call from a senior Medical Officer of one of the Foreign Forces Conringenrs, asking for an appointment, and along he came with precisely the man who had been turned away. We recall him saying, "He had all the pain an acute epididymitis can give, and all the inflammation."

When Or. John still refused to treat, the Medical Officer stated they did not know what Or. Paterson gave, but his cases were cured and gave no more trou­ble, whereas their practice merely suppressed. Or. John gave him a supply of 5ycotic Co. [one would assume in high potency because it was an acute attackJ, and information as to where he could get as much more as he wanted.

Thereafter, he told us, his house was no longer a VD. clinic.

He did not use Sycotic Co. for this purpose alone. He regarded it as an all pur­pose remedy where there was a background of catarrh, whether of the respira­tory, intestinal or sexual systems. It has been remarked that he appeared to pay more attention to sycosis and psora than to the third miasm. He certainly used Sycotic Co. a great deal, and two of his rather surprising prescriptions were of its near relative Medorrhinum. Both came from his days in the Children's Department, where he used it in the infantile diarrhoea that runs through such places. He regarded it as specific for both this disease and Pink disease. [Knee ­chest posture and the pink colouring, and the foot symptoms.]

... In human diseases where the subject was Grauvogl Hydrogenoid type, Sycotic Co., Thuja and Natrum sulphuricum were the foremost in mind .... He frequently used the nos ode high, and the related everyday remedy low. He would give Sycotic Co. 1M, a single dose, and Natrium sulphuricum 6, twice daily.

[Geoffey Brown, Drs. John and Elizabeth Paterson; British Horn. Journal, Ocr. 1967]


Materia Medica Sycotic Compound




[l] The drug picture of 5ycotic Co. is based on clinical observations. The symptoms come from John Paterson's The Bowel Nosodes and Elizabeth Paterson's summary of 53 cases [43 females, 10 males] in A Survey of the Nosodes. [EP]

[2] Louis Klein, Clinical Focus Guide to Homeopathic Remedies, Vol. 1. [LK]




  • Irritability & irritation of mucous and synovial membranes.


Mind [EP]

  • Nervous irritability. Bad-tempered. Blinking of eyelids; twitching of facial muscles. Bites nails.
  • Excitement = loose stools.
  • Fear of dark; of being left alone; of animals and dogs.
  • Dreams of dead people.
  • Cannot sleep till 3 a.m. Insomnia.


Fear of obscurity [LK]

  • "One of the key rubrics is 'fear of obscurity.' In understanding this remedy it is important to make some subtle distinctions concerning Sycotic-co. individuals. They have a nature driven by the desire to be in the limelight and to create a distinct and conspicuous personage. Inversely, you could describe this, as so me authors have, as a 'fear of obscurity.' This fear drives the child or adult to be a 'star' or to stand out.
  • Ir is not so much a question of ego as in Platinum, but they have a great fear they're going to be obscured by other people around them. Their con­spicuous presence is not necessarily related to how they look but more through their actions ...
  • As older children and young adults, they may choose to participate and perform in competitive sports such as tennis, swimming, gymnastics or in the entertainment field with activities such as singing or playing a musi­cal instrument. The key is that the activity requires individual excellence and the ability to attain distinction. Ir is not so much the competition that drives them, but the need to be the best and excel in order to maintain atten­tion and distinction.
  • This desire to be in the limelight and be distinct can start at a young age, particularly if they have a great deal of sibling rivalry similar to Hyoscyamus. Children feel that their sibling 'obscures' them and then they deme atten­tion. They are frequently, but not always, the first-born and desire to main­tain a leadership role. It comes more from not wanting to be obscure then a fear of loss of social position as in Veratrum. It may be more subtle m some individuals, even to the extent that they are not into sports or enter­tainment. In any case, they will feel that they are not 'seen' and will there­fore take pride in and protect something that makes them distinct. If they lose this, they are devastated.
  • On the surface and in the interview, they appear and maintain a subdued and polite element. They may even seem to want to please. Underlying this can be some contemptuousness and irritable touchiness along with being very demanding. They can be tense and nervous perfectionists like Nux vomica, but there is the 'sycotic' changeability and extremes. They weep when irritable [which is much of the time] and they can have quite a wild side like Medorrhinum."


Frans Vermeulen was born in 1948 in Den Helder, Holland. From 1976-1983 he pursued his homeopathic education. In 1979 he opened his own practice. During his career Vermeulen wrote many notable books. He now lives in California, USA.