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inflammation of the bladder, enormous thirst, love potions, painful urination

Cantharis (Spanish Fly)

Author: Anja Heij



The Cantharis vesicatoria, or Lytta vesicatoria as the beetle is called nowadays is widely known under its popular name Spanish Fly. Many of us know that this little creature is used in love-potions to stimulate sexual arousal.
Be careful however, since cantharidine taken in large doses is poisonous; it causes vomiting and burning pain of the urinary track.

So knowing this it is easy to understand the homoeopathic keynotes of Cantharis:
All complaints show a burning pain and an intolerable, constant urge to urinate while only losing a few drops of urine!
Cantharis is a remedy for serious and violent complaints; all pains are sore, raw, burning, cutting, biting and smarting.
Especially the urinary organs and the genitals are affected, and intense sexual desire arises from the inflamed pelvic region. The patient is highly aroused, talks dirty and sings obscene songs.
Erections are painful. Priapismus is possible as well as satyriasis and nymphomania, all these symptoms are intensely painful and keep the person from sleeping.
The person can masturbate so much that it leads to bleeding of the genitals.
The urge to urinate is intolerable and constant; before, during and after the painful urination. Probably only a few bloody drops will pass at a time and the pain in the urethra and bladder are intense burning, cutting and itching.

People with Cantharis characteristics don't eat and especially don't drink. They do have enormous thirst, but the sight or drinking of water - and even worse: coffee - increases their urge to urinate immediately.
It is understandable that they loose their temper under these conditions: they are extremely restless and anxious with the constant urge to move. There is great mental excitement as well, with fits of anger and violent insanity. These attacks can be caused by drinking of water, but also by seeing glittering objects or surfaces.

Cantharis is for instance used in case of:


  • inflammation of the bladder or the kidneys
  • inflammation of the genitals
  • any other violent inflammation with burning pain and intolerable urge to urinate all the time
  • acute gonorrhoea
  • burns, blisters and skin-eruptions that burn from touch.


Symptoms get worse by drinking of water or coffee, urination, glittering objects, the sound of water.
The person feels better by warmth, rubbing and massage.

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Can homeopathic remedies help?
Cantharis: Derived from a little beetle known as the Spanish fly, cantharis is said to be good for any burning sensation, from a kitchen burn to cystitis and reflux. Chamomilla: Made from chamomile flowers.