Lac-Caninum – Lac C
Lac Caninum is the remedy from the source of Dog’s Milk and has a wide ranging use in Homeopathy today. The following piece will explore the relationships between the remedy and source, including the mythological and zoological aspects of the canine species in order to synthesise the remedy.
Dogs are members of the canidae family which are part of a wider family known as carnivora which include bears, seals and cats. However, fossils show that the canidae evolved away from the main carnivora approximately 40 million years ago. Canidae, can be categorised into three main zoological types, fox-like, south american canides and wolf-like. The latter, wolf-like is from where the dog as we know it today has evolved. Interestingly the debate of how such wolf-like canides became domesticated with varying theories from person to person. Two trains of thought are of note in this debate, the first being that humans took wild pups away from their dens to raise them in thinking that they were part of a human dominated pack. The second being that as humans evolved away from the more roaming hunter/ gatherer societies to sedentary villages, a new ecological niche was provided for neighbouring wolves by the provision of readily available food scraps, waste and other valuable sources for survival. The wolves, naturally timid and fearful of humans evolved to become more courageous to scavange closer to humans in order to survive as they learned that running away would expel too much energy sources and result in a lack of food. This resulted in the bolder of the species surviving and breeding, thus producing further generations of bolder wolves living in harmony with man. It is here that Darwin’s theory on natural selection is worth noting. In the wolf species, this natural selection resulted in both physical and behavioural manifestations. Some wolves became smaller and more passive, resulting in less food requirements and less confrontation with humans to survive whereas some became bigger and more aggressive. Interestingly, those species that became brightly coloured, thus being more visible and needing to hide died young without offspring. This supported the ‘dying’ off of the traits that posed a threat and those with beneficial qualities, for example, smaller and bolder, without the need to hide continued to flourish
and the population changed, becoming more suitable to its environment. Artificial selection is the process where instead of ‘survival of the fittest’ the human race chooses the traits that are more beneficial to them as a species. Thus supporting the selection of wolves in earlier times to easily domesticate and serve the human needs at the time.
In more recent times, the wolf has become domesticated to the species we know as the dog – Canine Lupus familiaris. Traditionally a pack orientated animal, involving a hierarchy with an intense loyalty being present. in essence the concept of dominance and submission are present at all times. Physically, the submissive pack member will try to make themselves smaller than the other, flattening their ears or placing their tail between their legs, averting eye contact and nervous swallowing to name but a few characteristics. However, the more dominant behaviours include; ‘pinning’ where the dominant member pins down the other in a threatening manner to make them rollover into submission, standing over where they make themselves appear bigger and stronger, ears and tail erect, direct eye contact and circling in order to display and enforce dominance over the other. When isolated, the pack member can display those behaviours associated with seperation anxiety including; howling, digging and chewing. In a human pack these can be displayed as crying, restlessness and comfort eating, smoking or drinking.
Dogs have been referred to in mythology for a long period of time, mainly pictured with gods and wild places. Particularly linked with being the guardians between worlds showing the link between domestication and the wild. During the research for this piece, the association of dogs in mythological medicine were of note. Able to walk the way between wild and domesticated, using this ability to loyally serve and aid in a mutually beneficial relationship. People with Dog medicine often serve in the same way, as caretakers, soldiers, or spiritual community leaders. This half-and-half nature also gives dogs a hypersensitivity and awareness that tend towards the territorial thus supporting the safety of being associated them. Dogs are capable of such deep compassion and sight that they still have compassion and understanding for our species, despite whatever violence and ill treatment may come their way. Well known mythological dogs include:-
Argos – the faithful dog of Odysseus
Hecuba – the gods turned Hecuba into a dog while she was snarling and cursing at Odysseus, allowing her to escape slavery
Laelaps – he dog who always caught his prey, he was gifted to Europa by Zeus, then gifted again a couple more times, eventually being turned into stone.
Within all legends, mythological tales or references, the dog has three traits that are a common thread throughout and virtues that humans cherish within them. These are loyalty, perseverance, and determination.
Lac Caninum – The Remedy
Sankaran, highlights the essence of Lac-c with some accuracy in relation to the remedy source. Describing the main theme of dominance . They can be irritable and ferocious, but if someone is more irritable and ferocious they give up and submit. Here the direct affinity to the zoology is made in relation to dominance and pack orientated hierarchy. As a result of being overpowered, an internal conflict can occur where the individual questions themselves in relation to their self worth and esteem for example with statements such as ‘I am not good enough, looked down upon and despised.’ If left to manifest further, the individual can enter into a deep depressive state, developing a sense of resentment and hatred towards the person they ‘blame’ for their condition. The belief that they are worthless continues and they can begin to become angry and revengeful. The main affinity of Lac-c, can be associated to the nerves and throat. Of interest here, is that the throat on a dog is the first area of attack from a more dominant animal undertaking an attack upon them an innate weakness to that area can be present. Taking into consideration the zoological aspects discussed, the nerves affinity can be a ‘throw back’ to the early times of domestication and natural traits of the wolf encountering humans as evolutionary changes occur.
The remedy has marked low self-esteem, hypersensitivity and aggression. There are marked fears including falling, snakes, spiders, insects and ghosts and constant desire to wash their hands. These characteristics can all be associated with the canine species itself. The hypersensitivity as described in zoology and mythology, and the aggression as required as part of the survival instincts or trying to assert dominance over another.
Lac-c is also referred to as a patient who is excitable, extroverted and hysterical where the imagination is over excited. At times the mental excitement and imagination combine to produce a set of delusions such as others looking down at them as highlighted by Sankaran or irrational delusions about their fears. Here another link to the remedy source can be found. The pack members live within a hierarchical structure with
a strict order and this delusion can be energetically connected with the source of the ‘under dog’ manifesting. Gibson describes Lac-c as experiencing disturbances of the psyches that tend to be severe, prolonged and distressing with the sufferer becoming hopeless and despondent but nevertheless carrying on with the chores. It is possible to make a link to canine behaviour of determination for the task is evident despite their feelings. A patient requiring Lac-c may portray an aversion to solitude resulting in possible anxiety symptoms, similar to those of the dog with separation anxiety discussed earlier.
Physically, the remedy keynotes include being cold but >cold weather, sensations with alternating sides such as headache, pharyngitis and other throat pain, extremities that are sensitive to heat.
Another point of note according to Gibson is the element of an extreme degree of restlessness accompanied by prostration. Referring back to zoological aspects of the source, this can be likened to the hunt or retreat from danger within the animal kingdom followed by rest as a result of the energy expelled and chemical reactions within the body as a result.
The Mappa Mundi of this remedy, shows a direct correlation between the source and patient with regard to the axis lying between Choleric and Phlegmatic. The Phlegmatic temperament being that of the submissive and dominated picture and the Choleric portraying the more dominant, aggressive side of the remedy picture.
Sensitivity to temperature in particular cold. Sensations that alternate sides of the body. Pharyngitis and other throat complaints including being sensitive to touch. Mastitis. Cracking of jaw whilst eating. Sciatica. Arthritis. Vertigo.
cold, cold drinks