Burning, stinging pains (like bee stings); eyelids; throat, panaritium or felon, hæmorrhoids, ovaries, (especially right one), breasts (mastitis), skin (erysipelas, urticaria, carbuncles).
Great dema; general or local (face, ears, eyelids, especially lower); throat (diphtheria); genitals (especially scrotum); skin (erysipelas and urticaria); everywhere; general anasarca, abdomen. These demas are accompanied with the characteristic pains, or no pain at all.
Stupor, with sharp, sudden, shrill cries in brain disease (crie encephalique).
Thirstlessness, especially in dropsies and during heat of intermittents.
Skin alternately dry and perspiring.
Suffocative; feels as if every breath would be his last, especially in dropsical conditions or hot stage of intermittents.
Modalities: < after sleep, on touch (very sensitive), from heat and warm room; > cold room or air and cold applications.
Bad effects from suppressed or retrocedent exanthemata; measles, scarlatina, urticaria.
Involuntary diarrha, with sensation as if anus were wide open.
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It seems to me that in this remedy also the leading characteristic is to be found in its sensation-burning, stinging pains. They are sharp and quick, like the sting of the bee. These pains are as characteristic of this remedy as are the itching-like chilblains of Agaricus, or the burnings of Arsenicum and Sulphur; but the burning of Apis are relieved by cold, while those of Arsenic are relieved by heat. The stinging appears in many diseases, and kinds of tissue. In the serous membranes or the brain coverings, when we get those "shrill, sudden piercing screams"-"cri cerebrale," which attend such dangerous affections as hydrocephalus, cerebro-spinal meningitis and typhus cerebralis, Apis is the remedy. Again we get these pains in the mucous membranes, as in the throat and hæmorrhoids, and the burning is almost always more or less present at the same time. It is also found very prominent in the ovaries. It has proved a very valuable remedy in cancers, even open ones, when this stinging, burning pain was present; also in panaritium. I have seen rapid cures follow its exhibition in felon. Hering put it -"redness and swelling with stinging and burning pain in the eyes, eyelids, ears, face, lips, tongue, throat, anus, testicles." (> by cold applications ought to be added).
So we see how generally the system comes under the action of this remedy. In skin affections, especially the acute exanthems, this is the grand leading symptom, and is especially indicated in affections of the brain and meninges caused by a sudden suppression of skin diseases.
The next general condition for which this remedy seems to be as near specific as any remedy can be is an infiltrated cellular tissue; and dematous or dropsical condition. This condition obtains almost from the beginning of inflammatory affections and extends to the stage of exudation, and even to chronic dropsical states. In those intensely violent and rapid cases of diphtheria in which the whole throat fills right up with dematous swelling, the vulva hanging down like a transparent sac filed with water (Kali bichromicum, Rhus toxicod.), and the patient is in imminent danger of death by suffocation from actual closure of the throat and larynx, there is no remedy like Apis. The stinging, burning pains may be present in these cases; or what is more dangerous still, because there is no complaint until the case is far advanced, is an absolutely painless condition, Baptisia has painlessness in throat affections, but the swelling is not so rapid as Apis, and there is no dema. A number of years ago I was called to Watkins Glen, N. Y., in consultation in a very bad case of diphtheria. One had already died in the family and four lay dead in the place that day. Over forty cases had died in the place and there was an exodus going on for fair. Her attending physician, a noble, white-haired old man, and withal a good and able man, said, when I looked up to him and remarked I was rather young to counsel him: "Doctor, I am on my knees to anybody, for every case has died that has been attacked." The patient was two rooms away from us, but I could hear her difficult breathing even then. Apis was comparatively a new remedy then for that disease, but as I looked into her throat I saw Apis in a moment, and a few questions confirmed it. I told the doctor what I thought and asked him if he had tried it. He said, no he had not thought of it, but it was a powerful blood poison; try it. It cured the case, and not one case that took this remedy from the beginning, and persistently, died. It was the remedy for the genus epidemicus. See my report of this in Vol. XII, Hahnemannian Monthly.
This dematous condition of Apis may be found in almost any part of the body, but is especially prominent in mouth and throat, eyelids and face, around the eyes (Phosphorus, whole Face); lower lids hang down like bags of water. (Kali carb., upper lids). In erysipelas the swelling of the skin is of this dematous appearance, and generally with stinging pains.
Sometimes the dema increases until it forms large blister-like bags of water.
The dropsical effusion may be general or local. It is found in the thoracic cavity, in ovaries, in abdominal cavity, scrotum, and genitals of females. One peculiar symptoms which helps to choose between it and other remedies in dropsy is the almost absolute absence of thirst (with thirst, Acetic acid, Arsenic and Apocynum).
I will now, in addition to what I have written, call attention to some particular affections and symptoms in which Apis should be remembered. A very important symptom not yet mentioned is tenderness or sensitiveness to touch, as if bruised. This is particularly true in the abdominal, uterine, and ovarian regions, but is not by any means confined there, for we may find the whole surface of the body exceedingly sensitive to touch: even the hair seems sore (China officinalis). The condition is often found in cerebro-spinal meningitis and is a strong indication for Apis. In erysipelas this tenderness is often present, and is found under Hepar sulphur, as well as Apis.
The sleep of Apis is either very restless, or in brain diseases there is deep stupor, interrupted occasionally by piercing screams. Never forget Apis then. In all inflammatory affections and in intermittent fevers, if you find the patient alternately dry and hot, or perspiring, think again of Apis.
No remedy has this alternation so strong as Apis. Sensation as if every breath would be his last is very characteristic, and occurs not only in dropsical troubles of the chest, but seems also to be a nervous symptom. In scarlatina Apis is especially indicated if the eruption is retarded or retrocedent and serious brain troubles result, and it is no less efficacious in post-scarlatinal dropsies if the symptoms do not indicate some other remedies.
Frequent urging to urinate, with straining and cutting, burning pains.
Small unsatisfactory quantity passed at a time, or bloody urine.
Excessive burning pains (eyes, mouth, throat, stomach, intestinal tract; all the mucous surfaces and skin).
Stringy and tenacious discharges from the mucous membranes.
Nearly all complaints accompanied with the characteristic urinary symptoms.
Erysipelas, with blebs or large blisters filled with water and burning pain; useful for surface burns (locally).
Uncontrollable anguish, furious rage, frenzied delirium; strong sexual desire, both sexes.
Disgust for everything; drink, food, tobacco.
Dysenteric stools, bloody and shreddy, like scrapings from intestines, with tenesmus in rectum and bladder.
* * * * *
If I were to select the one remedy with which to prove the truth of the formula similia, etc., I think this would be the one. There is no remedy that so surely, and so violently, irritates and inflames the urinary organs, and no remedy so promptly cures such irritation when it puts on, the Cantharis type or form, which it often does.
H N. Guernsey wrote: "It is a singular fact, though known to most practitioners, that there be frequent micturition attended with burning, cutting pain, or if not so frequent and the cutting, burning pain attends the flow, Cantharis is almost always the remedy for whatever other suffering where may be, even in inflammation of the brain or lungs." He might have added in the throat, and mucous membranes all through the intestinal tract, even to the rectum and anus, and in the pleura or on the skin.
He also wrote: "Cantharis should always be remembered and studied in treating affections of the air passages when the mucus is tenacious." (Hydrastis, Kali bichrom. Coccus cacti, etc.) I had the pleasure of verifying the truth of this in the case of a lady who had suffered a long time with bronchitis.
The mucus was so profuse, and tenacious, and ropy, that I thought of Kali bichromicum, and thought it must be the remedy; but it did not even ameliorate, and she got worse all the time, until one day she mentioned that she had great cutting and burning on urinating, which she must do very frequently.
On the strength of the urinary symptom, for I knew nothing of its curative powers on the respiratory organs at that time, I gave her Cantharis. The effect was magical.
It is needless to describe the mutual delight of both physician and patient in such a case, for it was astonishing the rapidity with which the perfect and permanent cure of the case was accomplished.
Let us notice still further the effects of this remedy upon the urinary organs by calling attention to a few symptoms that have been both produced in proving and cured ab usu in morbis.
I have learned to place the highest estimate upon such symptoms. To be sure there are many symptoms in our great Materia Medica that have come to us through clinical sources only, and very valuable ones, too. But they cannot be received with such implicit confidence on short acquaintance as those that are both pathogenetic and clinical. They should always be separated when possible, as they were in "Hull's Jahr" of old. Here are a few of them. "Violent pains in bladder, with frequent urging to urinates with intolerable tenesmus." "Violent burning cutting pains in the neck of the bladder." "Before, during and after urinating fearful cutting pains in the urethra" "Constant urging to urinate; urine passed drop by drop with extreme pain." "Urine scalds him; it is passed drop by drop."
No homopathist meeting these symptoms in a case would fail to think of Cantharis at once, no matter what else ailed the patient, as it has cured the most diverse and varied diseases when occurring in conjunction with these urinary symptoms. How any physician of any school can deny the truth of similia similibus curantur in the light of such testimony of proof can only be accounted for on the principle of "none so blind as those who will not see."
Cantharis has also very decided action upon the skin. In erysipelas it is sometimes the best remedy, and choice has to be made between it and Apis, which also sometimes has great urinary irritation in such cases. In the Apis cases there is apt to be more dema; in Cantharis more blistering. In Cantharis the burning is more intense than under the Apis, while in the latter there is more stinging. The urinary symptoms, if present, are very much more intense under Cantharis.- Again, the mind symptoms of the two remedies are quite different. In the Apis cases, aside from the stinging pains which make the patient cry out sharply at times, especially if the eruption inclines to "go in" and attack the membranes of the brain, the patient may not be so very restless and complaining; but in the Cantharis case the patient is uneasy, restless, dissatisfied, distressed, sometimes moaning or violently crying; wants to be moved about constantly. The mind symptoms actually make one think of Arsenicum album, and when we take into account the intense burning it is doubly so. So that it would be very easy to get confused between these two remedies, as well as Cantharis and Apis. If great thirst is also present it would make us think of Arsenic, And now we are upon the skin, Cantharis is a great remedy for burns, both locally as an application and internally for the more chronic conditions and sequelæ. In all skin troubles where blebs or watery vesicles form, which burn and itch, or when touched burn and smart, we do well to remember Cantharis, and look further to find more symptoms, if present, to corroborate it. Hering used to challenge skeptics to burn their fingers, and then cure them by dipping the fingers into water medicated with Cantharis. So great was his faith in it.
I will call attention to a sensational symptom of Cantharis which I believe is underestimated in practice. It is the sensation of Burning. If any remedy deserves to be placed alongside Arsenicum for burning it is this one. I will quote so as to bring all together, in a way to impress upon our memory the burnings of Cantharis. "Inflammation of the eyes particularly when caused by a burn." "Burning in mouth, throat, and stomach." Great thirst, with burning pain in throat and stomach. "Violent burning pain in stomach in region of pylorus." "Violent burning pain and heat through whole intestinal tract." "Passage of white or pale-red tough mucus with the stool like scrapings from intestines, with streaks of blood; after stool colic relieved, burning, biting, and stinging in the anus." "Great burning pain in the ovarian regions." "Peritonitis with burning pain, abdomen sensitive and tenesmus of the bladder." "Burning and stinging of the larynx, especially when attempting to hawk up tough mucus." "Burning in the chest."
We have already spoken of the burnings connected with affections of the urinary organs, and also of the burnings of the skin in erysipelas and other eruptions upon the surface.
This seems to me to be sufficient to impress upon the reader the value of this symptom belonging to this remedy. I will close by calling attention to its effect upon the membranes to increase their secretion. This action is positive and is a valuable indication for its use.
This spider poison has like other spider poisons very positive nervous symptoms. It acts upon the uterus and ovaries, and upon the female sexual organs generally. "In case of hyperæstesia or congestion of these organs, which set up a general hysterical condition, states simulating spinal neurasthenia, sensitive and painful back; excessive restlessness, and impressibility to excitements, music, especially, where there is constant inclination to keep the hands busy (Kali bromatum), and again especially if accompanied by sexual desire or pruritus of the genitals, Tarantula is able to accomplish much." Choreaic conditions, which are often the outcome of an advanced stage of the above described nervous condition, are peculiarly amenable to this remedy. Twitching or jerking of the muscles in conjunction with other troubles should always call to mind this remedy, with which such jerkings are so characteristic. It has a restlessness in women similar to the restlessness in men of Phosphorus, viz., cannot keep quiet in any position; must keep in motion, though walking < all the symptoms. This remedy is not yet as thoroughly understood as it should be. Another spider ought to be mentioned in this connection, viz., the Tarentula cubensis.
Or the hairy spider. It is one of the most efficacious remedies for boils, abscesses, felons, or swellings of any kind, where the tissues put on a bluish color, and there are intense burning pains. We used to think we had two great remedies in Arsenicum and Anthracinum for these swellings; but Tarantula Cubensis is simply wonderful. I have seen felons which had kept patients awake night after night walking the floor in agony from the terrible pains so relieved in a very short time that they could sleep in perfect comfort until the swellings spontaneously discharged, and progressed to a rapid cure. This remedy should receive a thorough proving. It is a gem.
Is also a spider poison, and has cured cases of chorea. The cases seem to have been of a very violent nature, and the twitching in the facial muscles is predominant. This remedy also ought to be fully proven.
Another spider which Grauvogl classed with his so-called hydrogenoid remedies, i. e., the patient always suffered, with whatever she had, most in wet weather. It is well to remember such positive modalities, for it may narrow down the case to a few remedies from which our curative must be chosen; for instance -Aranea, Natrum sulphuricum, Dulcamara, Nux moschata, Rhus toxicodendron, Rhododendron- all have these wet weather aggravations, and we will be apt to find our remedy there if the patient is characteristically worse in wet weather.
Vertigo, with nausea, on closing the eyes, or the least noise.
Over-sensitiveness of nerves; scratching on linen or silk, or crackling of paper is unbearable.
Pain running through upper left chest to shoulder.
Theridion curassavicum is another spider poison proven by Hering. There is one peculiar and characteristic symptom under this remedy, which has been verified by myself and others -"Vertigo with nausea especially on closing the eyes." Allen puts it -vertigo on closing the eyes (Lach., Thuja), on opening them, Tabacum; on looking upward (Puls., Sil.) from any even least noise; aural or labyrinthine (Menière's disease).
Again "every sound seems to penetrate through the whole body, causing nausea and vertigo" Asarum has a somewhat similar symptom which is worth remembering. "Over-Sensitiveness of nerves, scratching of linen or silk, crackling of paper is unbearable." (Ferr., Tarax.) The vertigo occurs in different affections of the head or stomach, and cures the whole trouble when it is present. It seems like a small thing to "go by," but no smaller than "vertigo, worse on lying down, and turning the head" (Conium), or "vertigo on looking upward" (Silicea, Pulsatilla) and many other symptoms of other remedies which have been verified many times. Another symptom which seems to be very valuable in chest affections is, "pains run through upper left chest to shoulder." (Phthisis florida has been cured on this symptom for a guide, if given early.) This is like Myrtus communis, with which I have helped many cases having that peculiar local symptom. (Sulphur, Pix liquida and Anisum stellatum also have it.) Dr. Baruch says: "In rachitis, caries and necrosis it apparently goes to the root of the evil and destroys the cause."
We now leave the spider family, but as we are dealing with small fry of the insect order we will notice the Coccus cacti, a small bug or insect which infests the plants of the cactus species of Mexico and Central America. It has made its best record in curing affections of the respiratory organs.
Whooping cough with expectoration of much tough, ropy white mucus. This mucus comes in large quantities and is often accompanied with gagging and vomiting, which seems to expel the mucus from the stomach. Sometimes a bronchial catarrh remains after whooping cough, which has this kind of expectoration. Here this remedy will sometimes clear up the whole case. This is all I know of its virtues ab usu in morbis. Now we come to a little pest of womankind all over.
Is another animal remedy often found valuable in whooping cough. With this remedy the aggravations generally come on in the after part of the night or in the morning when the child awakens. The paroxysms are not confined to this time, but the worst one comes then. The paroxysm ends in vomiting of clear ropy mucus in large quantities, hanging in long strings from the mouth. For such a cough Coccus cacti is excellent.
It has one characteristic symptom which has been verified. "Sensation as if the tendons were too short." There is sometimes actual contraction as if the legs cannot be stretched out. This has been verified in intermittent fevers, and only the other day (a short time ago) Dr. Brewster, of Syracuse, told of a case in which he was guided by this symptom.
A man was driving a fractious horse that started to run away with him. Thinking to give him enough of it he let the horse run, and when tired of running whipped him into running more until he had run him up a hill several miles long. The road over which he passed was very rough, and the man was so bruised and sprained about the buttocks and legs that he was confined to the house for a long time in consequence. It finally settled into what seemed likely to be a permanent contraction of the tendons of the lower limbs. No remedy relieved, until the good doctor bethought him of a case of intermittent fever which he had cured twenty years before, being guided by this symptom. He gave the patient a dose of Jenichen's 600th potency of Cimex, with immediate result, and cure of the case. "Honor to whom honor is due," even if it be a bed-bug.
Very irritable mood; snaps and snarls; will not speak or answer civilly; mad.
Exceedingly sensitive to pain, which makes her mad: numbness alternates with, or attends, the pains; sweats with the pains.
Excessive uneasiness; anxiety; agonized, tossing about; will only be quieted by carrying the child about.
High fever with sweating, especially on the head; thirsty; one cheek red and hot, the other pale and cold.
Dentition diarrha; green stools, foul odor like rotten eggs, much colicky pain, abdomen bloated.
Cough dry < at night, when asleep, from tickling in throat pit; < cold weather and every winter.
Especially adapted to children and nervous, hysterical women.
Violent rheumatic pains drive him out of bed at night; compel him to walk about.
Burning of soles at night; puts feet out of bed.
Numbness with the pains.
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Charles J. Hempel called this "the catnip of Homopathy," because it was particularly adapted to nervous affections, especially of children. This is one of the remedies that finds its leading characteristic symptoms in the mind of the patient. To "boil down" all the different ways in which the Chamomilla mind can be and is expressed: "The patient is cross, ugly, spiteful, snappish. She knows it, admits it, and so does every one else. She will return mean, uncivil, spiteful answers to her best friends, and then confess her fault, to repeat it again and again, and stoutly affirms she cannot help it, she feels so." This state of mind is always present in the marked Chamomilla case, whether it be adult or child.
Of course the young child cannot give vent to its feelings by talking, so it comes as near to it as it can by whining and crying, sometimes it seems without cause, and also when it shows by fever, diarrha, teething and many other complaints that it is actually sick and suffering. It wants this or that thing, puts out its little hand for it, and when it is offered pushes it away and points to something else, to reject it in turn. Now the child does not know what it wants, but the homopathic physician does. It wants a dose of Chamomilla. This peevish disposition in which nothing pleases, takes possession of the child, mother, father or any and all grades and classes of subjects when Chamomilla is the remedy, and it is found in connection with all kinds of diseases. It is also especially adapted for ailments brought on by fits of anger. In short, it is the leading anger remedy of the Materia Medica.
The other leading anger remedies, or, for ailments brought on by anger, are Aconite, Bryonia, Colocynth, Ignatia, Lycopodium, Nux vomica, Staphisagria.
It is also one of the leading remedies for pain, and there is this peculiarity about it, the pain is not always in proportion to the gravity of the case, and we often see, for instance, in labor, a great deal harder pains of which the patient does not complain half so loudly. But in the Chamomilla case the patient is exceedingly sensitive to the pain and exclaims continually, "Oh; I cannot bear the pain." Many times have I met this condition in labor cases, and in the majority of them the cross, peevish, snappish, condition of mind accompanying, and seen it changed in a short time to a mild, uncomplaining, patient state, by a single dose of Chamomilla 200th.
This sensitiveness to pain is not confined to labor cases, but I have often observed it in neuralgias, toothache, rheumatism, etc., and the same happy results follows its use.
This condition of sensitiveness is often found in coffee drinkers, or in those who have been addicted to narcotics.
Chamomilla is very useful here. There is another sensation which is often found in conjunction with, or sometimes alternating with, this pain or sensitiveness, and that numbness.
It is found in rheumatism or paralytic states and is very characteristic. The pains of Chamomilla are oftener aggravated by heat than otherwise, but are not on the other hand, like Pulsatilla, ameliorated by cold. In fact, the patient is often very sensitive to cold, and cold air brings on troubles for which this remedy is specific. I now call to mind a very painful case of rheumatism of the left shoulder in a middle-aged man. It was in my earlier practice, when I was prescribing for names more than I do now, and of course he got Aconite, Bryonia and Rhus toxicodendron, etc., but no relief. A wiser man was called in consultation and the patient was quickly cured by Chamomilla. When I asked the counsel what led him to prescribe this remedy he answered numbness with the pains.
Another condition which is met by this remedy is restlessness and sleeplessness. You will remember that we gave as the great trio of restless remedies Aconite, Arsenicum and Rhus tox That was right, but we did not say that those were all the restless remedies. Here we have another in Chamomilla. Let me quote: "Violent rheumatic pains drive him out of bed at night, and compel him to walk about." (Rhus tox., Ferrum met., Verat. alb) "Excessive uneasiness, anxiety, agonized tossing about, with tearing pains in the abdomen." "The child can only be quieted by carrying it on the arms will not be quiet unless carried." (Opposite Bryonia). These symptoms represent in a few words the restlessness of this remedy. But some will ask, isn't this similar to your trio of restless remedies? It is; but there are shades of difference and concomitant symptoms that decide between them all. And the true Hahnemannian is the man to recognize them. There is no particular overwhelming fear, fear of death, etc., under Chamomilla as there is under Aconite. The patient is maddened; driven to desperation under Chamomilla; does not care whether she dies or not; had rather die than suffer so, and so we might draw lines of differentiation between this and other restless remedies, but it would take too long. Each physician must get a habit of doing this for himself. In his ability to do this lies the superior skillfulness of the homopathic practitioner. Without this he can only hope for indifferent success at most, and will be driven to all sorts of experiments, adjuvants, surgical measures and so forth which might be avoided, much to his own credit, and the advantage of his patient. The sleeplessness of the Chamomilla patient is owing to the pain and excessive nerve sensibility and this remedy procures sleep by overcoming these troubles, which make the patient sleepless. Now there are a few symptoms, when occurring in conjunction with the peculiar mind and nervous symptoms of this remedy, that confirm the choice of it, such as.
"Warm sweat on the head wetting the hair."
"Pressing earache in spells; tearing pain extorting; cries."
"Ears particularly sensitive to cold air."
"One cheek red and hot, the other pale and cold."
"Face sweats after eating or drinking."
"Toothache if anything warm is taken into the mouth." (Pulsatilla).
"Toothache recommences when entering a warm room."
"Teeth feel too long."
"Dentition with diarrha of green stools smelling like rotten eggs."
"Hot and thirsty with the pains; also fainting. " (Hep. sul.).
"Gastralgia in coffee drinkers; constrictive pain, or as if a stone were in the stomach. " (Nux vom.).
"Wind colic; abdomen distended like a drum; wind passes in small quantities without relief."
"Stools green, watery, corroding (Sulph.), like stirred eggs."
"Stools hot, smelling like rotten eggs."
"Metrorrhagia dark coagulated blood, flowing in paroxysms."
"Menstrual colic, also following anger."
"Labor pains press upward, or begin in back, and pass off down inner side of things."
"Rigidity of os, pains unendurable."
"After-pains also unendurable."
"Children have spasms, from fit of anger in the nurse."
"Cough from tickling in throat pit."
"Cough dry, worse at night, especially while asleep, does not waken when coughing." (Calcarea ost., Psorinum.)
"Chronic cough, worse in winter or cold weather."
"Body chilly and cold; face and breath hot."
"Heat and chill intermingled." (Ars. alb.).
"Skin moist and burning hot." (Bell.)
This does not by any means cover all the symptoms which indicate Chamomilla, but when they do occur it is strongly indicated and shows something of the range and usefulness of this remedy when given according to homopathic rules.
All senses more acute; reads fine print easier; smell, taste and touch acute; unusual activity of mind and body; full of ideas, quick to act, no sleep on this account etc.
Affections from sudden surprises, especially joyful surprises; very emotional.
Pains insupportable, drive to despair; exasperation, tears, tossing about in agony; great sleeplessness.
Headache, from over-mental exertion, thinking, talking; one-sided, as from a nail driven into the brain (Ign., Nux); as if the brain were torn or dashed to pieces; < in open air.
Jerking toothache; relieved by holding ice water in the mouth; returns when water becomes warm.
* * * * *
Coffea cruda, like Chamomilla, acts strongly upon the nervous system. Indeed in nervous troubles, where the patient has not been addicted to the coffee habit, it often takes precedence.
If on the other hand he is a coffee drinker, Chamomilla is the remedy. Doctor Teste, of Paris, used to say that coffee was responsible for a large proportion of the neuralgias of France. The Coffea patient is a subject of very great general exalted sensibility. See Hering's characteristic cards. "All the senses more acute, reads fine print easier, smell, taste and touch acute, particularly also in increased perception of slight passive motions." "Unusual activity of mind and body." "Full of ideas, quick to act, no sleep on this account." "Lively fancies, full of plans for the future." These symptoms portray, as plainly as words can, the nervous conditions calling for this remedy.
It makes one think of Chamomilla, but the mind of Chamomilla is not there. On the other hand, it makes one think of Aconite, but the fear of death is not there. Hering used to recommend Aconite and Coffea in alternation in painful inflammatory affections, where the fever symptoms of the former and also the nervous sensibility of the latter were present, and I know of no two remedies that alternate better, though I never do it, since I learned to closely individualize. Coffea is especially adapted to mental shocks, such as sudden surprises, especially joyful surprises, excessive laughter and playing, disappointed love, noises, strong smells, etc. It is also adapted to variable moods; first crying then laughing, then crying again.
Coffea also vies with Chamomilla and Aconite as a pain remedy. "Pains. insupportable, drive to despair." "Exasperation, tears, tossing about in great anguish." Here again we would not give Coffea in an habitual coffee drinker, but Chamomilla rather.
The particular localities where these pains mostly occur are in the head, where the pain is generally one-sided, feeling "as though a nail were driven into the head." Ignatia has a similar headache, and it generally occurs in hysterical subjects. Then choice may have to be made between these two remedies.
Prosopalgia, which is often traceable to bad teeth, and Coffea has a very peculiar toothache, in the fact that the tooth is easy as long as he holds cold water upon it. Remember Chamomilla toothache is often caused by taking, warm things into the mouth, but is not relieved by taking cold things like Coffea.
Dysmenorrha, with excessively painful colic. If there are large black clots and Coffea does not relieve, follow with Chamomilla. Pains threatening abortion, or after-pains, or very severe unbearable labor pains are often relieved by this remedy. In short, for pains anywhere, which seem intolerable, and there are no other especially leading symptoms, Coffea is to be remembered.
The same over-excitability, so characteristic of this drug, causes great sleeplessness, and Coffea has won to itself great credit as a sleep remedy. In my experience and observation, it works best here in the 200th potency. And there is no more beautiful verification of the truth of Similia than just here, for it causes great sleeplessness in many people when taken in large quantities. Cough and sleeplessness after measles (a very common occurrence) is wonderfully relieved by it, and it is sleep, not narcosis, and never injures or sickens the patient like the stupor of the opium preparations.
Remedy of paradoxicalities. Head better lying on painful side, moody, goneness not > by eating, sore throat < by swallowing, thirst during chill, face red during chill, etc.
Sad, sighing, changeable, moody disposition.
Twitching or spasms, or convulsions from exciting or depressing emotions, fright, etc.
All-gone, weak, empty sensation in stomach not > by eating.
Anal troubles (piles, prolapsus, soreness and pain after stool, pains shooting up into abdomen).
Adapted to emotional, hysterical subjects.
Modalities: < slight touch, smoking, coffee; > lying on painful side; hard pressure; profuse watery urination.
Cough; dry, spasmodic; not relieved by coughing; the longer he coughs the more the irritation to cough increases.
Pain; in small circumscribed spots; over-sensitive (Coff., Hep.).
In most cases Ignatia should be given in the morning.
Ignatia bears the same relation to the diseases of women that Nux does to bilious men.
* * * * *
Ignatia is another one of the long list of our nervous remedies. Its peculiar mental symptoms, like those of Aconite, Chamomilla, Nux vomica and many others, are most characteristic. Like these remedies, it seems to exalt the impressionability of all the senses; but unlike the others, it has in it a marked element of sadness, and disposition to silent grieving. Anyone suffering from suppressed, deep grief, with long drawn sighs, much sobbing, etc., and especially if inclined to smother or hide that grief from others, is just the subject for this remedy. She desires to he alone with her grief. Sighs much and seems so sad and weak. The weakness is complained of right in the pit of the stomach. She feels weak, faint, and "all gone" there. Another equally characteristic state or mind is a changeable mood. No remedy can equal Ignatia for this. Aconite, Coffea, Nux moschata and a few others have it, but Ignatia in the greatest degree. And so this remedy becomes one of our best in the treatment of hysterical affections. The patient is at one time full of glee and merriment, to be followed suddenly with the other extreme, of melancholy sadness and tears, and so these states of mind rapidly alternate. Again, we have in Ignatia an impatient, quarrelsome, angry mood (but not to the degree of Chamomilla) at times. Again the Ignatia patient is, because of her excessive impressibility, easily frightened. Here it becomes one of our best remedies for the effects of fright, vying with Aconite, Opium and Veratrum album. In short, Ignatia may justly be termed Pre-eminently the remedy of moods.
Aside from its mental symptoms, it is a great nervous remedy. Its acts upon the spine as decidedly as Nux vomica, affecting both motor and sensory nerves. It is one of our best remedies for spasms or convulsions, and is especially adapted to spasmodic affections originating in mental causes, as after fright, punishment of children or other strong emotions. In one case of puerperal convulsions, other remedies having failed to do any good, the consulting physician while observing the patient during one of the spasms noticed that she came out of it with a succession of long drawn sighs. He inquired if the patient had had any recent mental trouble, and learned that she had lost her mother, of whom she was exceedingly fond, and whom she had mourned for greatly, a few weeks before. Ignatia 30th quickly cured her. Again, short of actual convulsions, Ignatia has, in a most marked degree, twitchings all over the body, hence it becomes one of our best remedies for chorea, especially if caused by fright or grief on the mental side, or teething or worms on the reflex irritation side. There is only one remedy that comes near it for these twitchings and that is Zincum metallicum. Of course, Agaricus, Hyoscyamus, Cuprum met., etc., come close, and some might think are equal. Veratrum viride, when better known, may lay claim to high rank here. Ignatia is sometimes recommended for paralysis, but will be found, I think, exceptionally useful, and that mainly in hysterical cases, which are not of a very dangerous character. Like Aconite, Chamomilla and Coffea, Ignatia is over-sensitive to pain.
Ignatia, like its male partner, Nux vomica, is a great remedy for headaches of nervous, especially hysterically nervous, subjects. That would be about the same as saying, that while Nux vomica is adapted to nervous men Ignatia is the same for women, which is quite true. You will remember that hysterical, nervous headaches are often one-sided. Hence Ignatia is such an efficient remedy for headaches as expressed in these words: "Headache as if a nail there driven out through the side of the head relieved by lying on it." These headaches come on in highly nervous and sensitive subjects, or in those whose nervous systems have suffered from over-anxiety, grief or mental work. The ever-changeable and contradictory symptoms so characteristic of the drug shows here as elsewhere. Not only does the pain in head change locality but at one time the pain will come on gradually and abate suddenly (like Sulphuric acid ), or, like Belladonna, it will come on suddenly and abate as suddenly as it came. Like Aconite, Gelsemium, Silicea, and Veratrum album, the headache often terminates with a profuse flow of urine. That is often the case in headaches of nervous hysterical women. (Lac defloratum, profuse flow during headache).
Finally the headaches are aggravated by coffee, smoking, the abuse of snuff, inhaling tobacco smoke, alcohol, close attention, from pressing at stool, and, while it is sometimes relieved while eating, is aggravated soon after. The Ignatia headache is sometimes accompanied by hunger like that of Psorinum. It is also < by cold winds, turning head suddenly, stooping, change of position, running, looking up long, moving the eyes, noise and light.
It is ameliorated by warmth, lying on it, soft pressure, external heat and profuse flow of limpid urine. Ignatia has some strong throat symptoms. In the first place it has the so commonly observed symptom called "globus hystericus," or as if a lump came up from the stomach into the throat as if she would choke. She swallows it down but it comes right back and is very distressing. It is especially apt to come if she gets grieved and wants to cry. These are of course purely nervous sensations, but Ignatia goes further, and also cures real serious affections of the throat like tonsillitis and diphtheria. In these cases the real characteristic symptom is, that the pain and suffering in the throat is relieved by swallowing or is worse between the acts of deglutition. (Capsicum). A very peculiar symptom for such troubles, for such cases are generally aggravated by swallowing, hence we would not expect to frequently find a case in which this would be the remedy; but such cases do arise occasionally and baffle us if we haven't the remedy. Here is where Homopathy, as we say in base ball, "scores some of its best runs," and the satisfaction of curing such a case with an unusual remedy is, to say the least, very gratifying to him who performs the cure. With Ignatia cases, in addition to the aggravation when swallowing liquids and relief from swallowing solids. This is like Lachesis, you remember, but is the reverse of Baptisia, which can swallow liquids only; the least solid food gags. It is necessary to keep these correspondences and opposites in mind, for it often enables us to make what are called "snap shot" prescriptions and save much time, study and suffering.
Some of the particularly valuable "guiding symptoms" of Ignatia, in addition to those already noticed, are "extreme aversion to tobacco smoke." This is a general aversion and aggravates many, many complaints. "Weak, empty, gone feeling at the pit of the stomach." In the case of Ignatia this symptom is apt to be accompanied by a disposition to sigh or take a long breath. Two other remedies have this symptom of goneness in the stomach as prominently as Ignatia. They are Hydrastis and Sepia. The other symptoms must decide between them. This weak feeling in the stomach in Ignatia is sometimes described as a feeling of flabbiness, as though the stomach hung down relaxed. Ipecacuanha has a similar feeling. Sometimes we come across very severe cases of gastralgia in women of hysterical tendencies. Here this remedy is the first to be thought of.
Ignatia has as positive action upon the anus and rectum as does Nux vomica. Prolapsus of the rectum is marked. (Ruta graveolens). Like Nux vomica it has frequent desire for stool, but in place of stool, or with it, comes the prolapsed rectum. The patient is afraid to strain at stool, to stoop down or lift, for fear of the prolapsus. A contractive sore pain follows after a stool and lasts for an hour or two. This is like Nitric acid, which has the same symptom only after a loose stool. There is also some pain in anus without reference to stool. Dunham, that prince of observers, gave us the characteristic: "Sharp pains shooting upward into the rectum." (Sepia has similar pains in uterus). It is a gem, and has often been verified. So we see that Ignatia is one of our important anal and rectal remedies.
This remedy is also very unique in its fever symptoms. There is no disease in which we are better able to show the power of the potentized remedy to cure, than intermittent fever. Chronic cases that have resisted the Quinine treatment for years are often quickly and permanently cured by the 200th and upwards. The following symptoms indicate Ignatia: 1st. Thirst during chill and in no other stage. 2d. Chill, relieved by external heat. 3d. Heat aggravated by external covering. 4th. Red face during the chill. Here are four legs to the stool, and we may sit upon it in perfect confidence. No other remedy has thirst during chill and in no other stage. In Nux vomica, you will remember, the chill is not relieved by the heat of the stove, or the bed, and during the heat Nux vomica must be covered, as the least uncovering brings back the chill. So we see that notwithstanding the alkaloid of both drugs is strychnia they differ widely when we come to apply them to the cure of the sick. The red face during chill led me to the cure of an obstinate case, and after I noticed the red face I also noticed that the boy was behind the stove in the warmest place he could find. The 200th promptly cured. Two other cases in the same family, at the same time, and from the same malarious district, were cured, one by Capsicum, 200th. the other by Eupatorium perfoliatum, same potency. The former had chill beginning between shoulders, in the latter the chill in the A. M., great pain in bones before, and vomiting of bile at the end of chill. I do not know but I have mentioned these three cases before; but it will bear repeating, for it illustrates the efficacy of potencies in obedience to our great law of cure. can any reasonable man doubt such evidence?
Weakness of cervical muscles, can hardly hold the head up.
Weakness in small of back as if paralyzed; gives out when walking; can hardly stand, walk or talk.
Hands and feet get numb; asleep.
Headache with nausea and vomiting; gets faint and sick on rising up or riding in carriage or boat.
General sensation of weakness; or weak, hollow, gone feeling in head, stomach, abdomen, etc.; < by loss of sleep or night watching.
Great distention with flatulent colic, wind or menstrual colic; crampy pains, inclined to hernia.
Modalities: < sitting up, moving, riding in carriage or boat, smoking, talking, eating, drinking, night watching; > when lying quiet.
* * * * *
Farrington says: "Cocculus acts on the cerebro-spinal system, producing great debility of these organs. * * * It causes a paralytic weakness of the spine, and especially of its motor nerves; thus we find it a certain and frequent remedy in paralysis originating in disease of the spinal cord. * * * It is especially indicated in the beginning of the trouble, when the lumbar region of the spine is affected; there is weakness in the small of the back as if paralyzed; the small of the back gives out when walking. There is weakness of the legs, and by the legs I mean the entire lower extremities; the knees give out when walking, the soles of the feet feel as if they were asleep, the thighs ache as if they were pounded; first one hand goes to sleep, then the other; sometimes the whole arm goes to sleep and the hand feels as if swollen. These symptoms lie at the foundation of the symptomatology of the whole drug; they all seem to depend upon spinal weakness." Dunham says: "Its sphere of action is preeminently the system of animal life; the voluntary muscular system first, and then the sensorium are the primary seats of action. Nausea extending to the point of vomiting and accompanied by faintness and by severe vertigo when lifting the head is a characteristic symptom." Hughes says: "It influences the voluntary muscles rather than the intellectual powers; with this Hahnemann's provings entirely agree." Pareira says: "It acts rather on the voluntary muscles than the intellectual powers." We have given these quotations from different authors in order to find whether they afforded us much help from a practical standpoint. Dr. Hughes says the provings of Hahnemann corroborate these generalizations. We quote from the provings:
"Weakness of the cervical muscles with heaviness of the head, muscles seem unable to support the head." (Calc. phos, Verat. alb.). "Paralytic pain in the small of the back, with spasmodic drawing across the hips, which prevents walking." "His knees sink down from weakness, he totters while walking and threatens to fall to one side."
"At one time his feet are asleep, at another the hands." "The hand trembles while eating, and the more the higher it is raised." "Now one hand, now the other, seems insensible and asleep." The soles of the feet go to sleep, while sitting." "General attacks of paralytic weakness, with pain in the back."
All these are verified symptoms from Allen's Encyclopædia of Pure Materia Medica. They are in the simplest terms, and while they do agree with the statements of the above quoted learned men, acting upon the spine and motor muscles, could be applied to the cure of the sick according to the directions of Hahnemann by any layman of ordinary intelligence. Thus is the practice of curative medicine simplified, being delivered from speculative theorizings of dreamers, and if it will cure the sick in the case of a Cocculus patient, it will by the same unerring law of "symptom covering" do it in every curable case.
We might sum up the whole action of this remedy upon the nervous system in one word, viz., prostration, but what does that amount to for purposes of prescribing. Many remedies prostrate fearfully, but each one has its peculiar kind of prostration, and when men, like I heard a celebrated surgeon in a homopathic college do, make their boast that they prescribed on physiological ground, without any regard to symptomatology, I can but feel that such know little or nothing of the art of homopathic prescribing, no matter what their other attainments. According to Hahnemann's teachings symptomatology leads in scientific prescribing, no matter what the pathological condition.
Aside from the symptoms which attend the general prostration and spinal trouble, or coupled with them, we have the following which are characteristic. "Confusion or stupefaction of the head, increased by eating and drinking." "Vertigo, as if intoxicated and confusion of the mind." "Whirling vertigo on rising up in bed; which compelled him to lie down again." "Sick headache with nausea and inclination to vomit." "All these symptoms are made particularly worse by riding in carriage or boat." Sea-sickness. (Sea-sickness > on deck in fresh cold air.) (Tabac.). The headaches and vertigo of Cocculus are different from Bryonia, notwithstanding the fact that both are made worse by rising up in bed. In Bryonia and some other remedies the sickness at the stomach precedes the headache which in Cocculus is exactly the reverse. Painful sensation of weakness or emptiness in the head is found under Cocculus and is in keeping with the general weakness. This sensation of emptiness, which is another name for weakness, is a general characteristic of Cocculus, and is found in head, abdomen, bowels, chest, heart, stomach; in short, in all internal parts. The nausea of Cocculus, which is so constant a symptom of the headaches, is something like that which is so characteristic of Colchicum, viz.: "Extreme aversion to food, caused even by the smell of food, although with hunger." With Colchicum there is more pronounced nausea, as well as aversion. The patient is nauseated even to faintness. There is with Cocculus a metallic taste in the mouth.
The sensorium comes under the same profound depression that invades the general nervous system. The patient is sad, absorbed within himself, brooding, moody, silent, sits in a corner buried in sad thoughts, etc. This is particularly the case in nervous fevers. Depression, depression, depression. Cocculus has some very important symptoms in the abdominal and uterine regions.
One is great distention of the abdomen. This is found in both flatulent colic and dysmenorrha. In flatulent colic, for which it is so valuable a remedy, the patient complains of a sensation as if the abdomen were full of sharp sticks or stones. The attacks are often at mid-night. The flatus seems here and there, and passage of it does not seem to relieve much, for new forms again take its place.
Then again there seems to be great pressure in the inguinal region as if hernia would occur. In dysmenorrha, in addition to the distention, there are griping, cramping pains, which are very severe, and also a remarkable degree of weakness. She is so weak that she can hardly stand, walk or talk. This is very characteristic and, so far as weakness goes, resembles Carbo animalis, but in Cocculus it is in line with the general prostration of the remedy, while in Carbo animalis the flow weakens her. In Cocculus the flow may not be at all excessive, but on the contrary may grow less and less and a leucorrha appear in its stead, or even between the menses also. This is the way we have to differentiate between remedies if we are successful in practice.
Now, if I were to give the four great characteristic symptoms of this remedy they would be these:
1. Weakness of cervical muscles, with heaviness of head.
2. Affections caused or < by riding in cars, carriage or boat.
3. Sensation of weakness, or hollowness in various organs.
4. Ill effects from loss of sleep, night-watching or over-work. (Causticum Cuprum met., Ignatia, Nitric acid.).
Vertigo, especially < on turning the head, or looking around sidewise, or turning in bed.
Swelling and induration of glands, after contusions or bruises.
Cancerous and scrofulous persons with enlarged glands.
Urine flows, stops and flows again intermittently, prostatic or uterine affections.
Breasts sore, hard and painful during menstrual period.
* * * * *
This is another of the so-called spinal remedies. I will not, as I did under Cocculus quote what authorities say from a pathological standpoint. All seem to agree that it paralyzes from below upwards, and the poisoning of Socrates with it is adduced in illustration. It ought to be a remedy for locomotor ataxia The strongest characteristic I know, from a homopathic standpoint, it its peculiar vertigo, which is much aggravated by turning the head sidewise. (Coloc., turning head to left). Turning over in bed is the same. Some say lying down in bed and turning over. I have found that it is not so much the lying down as it is the turning of the head sidewise, whether in an upright or horizontal posture.
I once treated a case of what seemed to be locomotor ataxia with this remedy.
The patient had been slowly losing the use of his legs; could not stand at the dark; and when he walked along the street would make his wife walk either ahead of him, or behind him, for the act of looking sidewise at her or in the least turning head or eyes that way would cause him to stagger or fall.
Conium cured him. It would always aggravate at first, but he would greatly improve after stopping the remedy. The aggravation was just as invariable after taking a dose of Fincke's c. m. potency as from anything lower, but the improvement lasted longer after it.
Taking an occasional dose from a week to four weeks apart completely cured him in about a year. It was a bad case, of years' standing, before I took him.
I have often verified this symptom in the vertigo of old people, where it is most frequently found; but it also often accompanies various affections in all ages, and especially is found in ovarian and uterine affections. I know of no remedy that has this symptom so strongly.
There is a form of ophthalmia in strumous subjects which calls for Conium in preference to any other remedy, and the peculiar, prominent and uncommon (as Hahnemann says, Organon, § 153) symptom is, photophobia, intense, out of all proportion to the objective signs of inflammation in the eye. The pains are worse at night and terribly aggravated by the least ray of light, relieved in dark room and by pressure.
There may or may not be ulcers on the cornea. Conium is also one of our best remedies for falling of the eyelids, as are three other remedies, viz: Gelsemium, Causticum and Sepia. "Swelling and induration of glands, with tingling and stitches after contusions or bruises." Many cases of lumps or swellings in the breasts (for which Conium seems to have a particular affinity) have disappeared under the action of this remedy. Even cancerous affections of breasts (Asterias rubens), uterus and stomach have been helped or cured, especially if the trouble seems to have originated in a blow or injury to the part. It is perhaps the first remedy to be thought of in all cases of tumors, scirrhous or otherwise, coming on after contusions, especially if they are of stony hardness and heavy feeling. Conium and Silicea both have hardness of mammæ, Conium right, Silicea left nodules (Carbo animalis, Conium, Silicea); acute lancinating pains. (Asterias). Again it is to be especially considered if at every menstrual period the breasts become large, sore and painful, aggravated by the least jar or walking.
In all the scirrhous affections of the breast, womb or other parts the pains of Conium are burning, stinging, or darting, and may make one think of Apis mellifica. The other symptoms must then decide between them.
Conium has marked action upon the sexual organs. In the male there is great weakness of the organs. He has intense desire and amorous thoughts, but is unable to perform. He has emissions at the very thought or presence of a woman. The erections are insufficient, last only a short time, or "go back" on him in the act of embrace, and he suffers with weakness and chagrin afterwards. This affects the mind and hypochondriasis of the bluest blue takes possession of him.
This condition of mind may obtain in both sexes; as a result of too free, and also especially too infrequent indulgence; or, excessive abstemiousness. Hence Conium becomes a good remedy for old bachelors and old maids. If the vertigo is also present in such cases Conium is sure to be of great benefit.
Intermittent flow of urine is very characteristic (Clematis). One might think that this was owing to a paralytic condition of the bladder. I don't know; but I do know that the symptom often occurs in the hypertrophy of the prostate gland incident to old age and Conium helps. "Sweats day or night; as soon as one sleeps or even when closing the eyes," is a characteristic found under no other remedy that I know of. (Reverse Sambucus).
Dr. Adolph Lippe once made a splendid cure of complete one-sided paralysis in a man 80 years of age with this remedy, and was guided to it by this symptom. I think it would be rather a difficult task to give a correct pathological explanation of such a symptom; but there is a reason, and whether we can give it or not we can cure it if we have a corresponding one appearing under a remedy; where a cure is at all possible.
It is interesting to follow out the connections of symptoms.
Take for instance the single prominent symptom of Conium, vertigo.
Vertigo on turning the head, Con., Calc. ost., Kali c.
Vertigo on moving the head, Bry., Calc. ost., Con.
Vertigo on looking up, Puls., Silic.
Vertigo on looking down, Phos., Spig., Sulph.
Vertigo from odor of flowers, Nux v., Phos.
Vertigo on watching, or loss of sleep, Cocc., Nux vom.
Vertigo on the least noise, Therid.
Vertigo while walking, Nat. m., Nux v., Phos., Puls.
Vertigo while studying, Nat. m.
Vertigo while or after eating, Grat., Nux v., Puls.
Vertigo as if whirling, Bry. Con., Cyclam., Puls.
Vertigo as if the bed turned, Con.
Vertigo with fainting, Nux vom.
Vertigo with staggering, Arg. nit., Gels., Nux v., Phos.
Vertigo with eyes closed, or in dark, Arg. n., Stram., Therid.
Vertigo with dimness of sight, Cyclam., Gels., Nux v.
Vertigo when rising from seat, Bry., Phos.
Vertigo when rising from stooping, Bellad.
Vertigo when rising from bed., Bry., Chel., Cocc.
Vertigo when stooping, Bell., Nux, Puls., Sulph.
Vertigo when ascending, Calc. ost.
Vertigo when descending, Borax, Ferrum.
Vertigo when lying, Con.
Vertigo must lie down, Bry., Cocc., Phos., Puls.
Vertigo occipital, Gels., Sil., Petrol.
Vertigo after sleep, Lach.
Vertigo after suppressed menses, Cyclam., Puls.
A good understanding of such connection often starts the prescriber in the "short cut" route to the remedy in a case.
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