Janipha Manihot: Materia Medica

The manioca which is cultivated, a good deal in South-America, for its nutritious root, is a bush with a round and ramose stem, often growing to the size of three feet high. Its leaves, which are of a sea-green color, and supported by long petioles, are alternate, palmate, with five to seven lanciolate, smooth and entire lobes.

The flowers, which are monoichous, form branching panicles either terminal or axillary; their perianth is calicoid, campanulate, with five deep divisions of a light-yellow color, changing to a brown at the extremity of the divisions. Flowers male, ten stamens, with alternately long and short filaments inserted in a fleshy disk, which, in the female flowers, surrounds the base of a sub-globular ovary, with three uniovulate chambers; no style, but three stygmata presenting six or seven thick, compressed lobes that constitute a thick and sinuous mass.

The roots, which are tuberculous and very big, contain an abundance of milky juice which is very poisonous when fresh, and which is extracted first by pressure and afterwards by the desiccation of the feculent portion that constitutes the chief nutriment of the Brazilian farmer. It is this juice that we employ in medicine.

On the second of July, 1845, a large quantity of this dangerous liquid was expressed before the institute, and an ounce of it was taken by Dr. Jo. Vincente Martins, and several pupils among whom Messrs. Antonio de Souza, Dias and Chedifer, seemed to be the most eager. The symptoms were so violent that most of the provers were obliged to antidote them. We trust that the devotedness of the Brazilian physicians will excite a corresponding enthusiasm among their brethren in other parts.

First day. -1. Eructations, at half past 6 in the morning. Slight feeling of dryness in the oesophagus. Slight weight in the stomach. Drowsy in the day-time. 5. Thirst. Falls asleep late. Stool easier than common. Pain at the velum palati. Pain in the orbits. 10. Pain in the chest. Weakness of the knees in going up-stairs. Sad. Feeble. Dizzy. 15. Acute pain in the left arm, at night.

Second day. Vague pain in the abdomen, while urinating, at 6 in the morning. Copious light-colored, watery, fetid stools. Renewed ineffectual urging to stool, at 8. Appetite when commencing breakfast, it suddenly ceases after taking a little milk. 20. Sense of swelling in the left tonsil. Profuse sweat during sleep, ceasing on waking. Watery, greenish, fetid stools. Slight dull pains in the stomach and bowels, with rumbling. Sudden pain, with lancination in the urethra, above the fossa navicularis, for two minutes. 25. Tenesmus and pressure in the sphincter ani, with pricking, at 3 in the afternoon. Weight in the head, especially high up in the forehead, at 4 in the afternoon. Drowsy, at 4 in the afternoon. Distressing dreams, he wants to save a child from asphyxia, but the parents refuse to have it treated. Dizzy. 30. Wakes in bad humor. Trembling of the knees and limbs, with violent emotion when hearing other persons talk about the malady which he fears he is afflicted with. Pain in the side of the chest and in the shoulders, worse during motion.

Third day. Uncertain and transitory, but very acute pains in the stomach. Fetid sweat in the axillae and about the scrotum. 35. Doughy mouth, with bad breath. Noise in the ears like that of rushing steam. Slight heat in the urethra. Swelling of the ankles, rather less at night. Pain in the back. 40. Pain at the left elbow. Moral and physical prostration.

Fourth day. Heaviness in the stomach, all night, eased by placing the hands upon the part. Optical illusions. Bitter mouth. 45. Pain in the forehead and the nasal fossae.

Fifth day. Pain at the inside of the thigh. Dreams about a fire with little flames like those which were observed during the examination at the institute of Rio Janeiro from the tenth attenuation of the crotalus cascavella, by means of the solar microscope.

Sixth day. Drowsy. Diarrhoea in the morning. 50. Pain at the loins. Icy coldness of the knees.

Seventh day. Icy coldness under the shoulder-blades, in bed, even when well covered. Cold feet and hands.

Eighth day. Rheumatic pain in the right thigh. 55. Icy coldness in the arm, even to the marrow. The whole head, especially the nape of the neck, is cold.


Dizzy. Sad. Bad humor on waking. The whole head and especially the nape of the neck, are cold. Weight in the head. Pain in forehead and nasal fossa. Optical illusion. Pain in the orbits. Whizzing in the ears. Eructations. Thirst. Appetite at breakfast, ceasing suddenly after tasting milk. Doughy mouth. Dry feeling in the oesophagus. Pain at velum palati. Sense of swelling in left tonsil. Dull pain in stomach and bowels. Weight at the stomach. Tenesmus, and pressure in spincter ani, with pricking. Watery, fetid stool. Ineffectual urging to stool. Painful darting in the urethra. Heat in the urethra. Vague pain in the abdomen when urinating. Pain in the side of the cheat, during motion. Pain in the chest. Fetid sweat in the axillae. Acute pain in the left arm. Pain at the left elbow. Icy coldness in the arm. Cold feet and hands. Rheumatic pain in the right thigh. Trembling of the knees and limbs. Swelling about the ankles. Weakness of the knees. Icy coldness under the shoulder blades, in bed. Distressing dreams. Drowsy. Dream about little flames. Sweat during sleep. Prostration.

Written by James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) and published first in his book "Materia Medica" (1905) 

James Tyler Kent was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy.

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