This remedy is seldom used except in acute affections, but it is a long acting and deep acting drug; it produces a powerful impression on the economy; it relates to the deep-seated miasms.
It affects profoundly the abdominal viscera. It shows its symptoms largely on the abdominal organs, the pelvic organs, and the liver. The abdomen seems to be the earliest seat of attack.
It produces such an impression upon the stomach and intestinal canal that the healthy action is impaired, digestion and assimilation cease. Everything taken into the stomach becomes sour. The glands of the stomach are as if paralyzed; there is no digestion; this goes on until we have vomiting and diarrhoea. During this there is a wonderful disturbance in the abdomen; rumbling; gurgling as if animals were floundering about; clinically, as if fish were turning and tossing in a pond, as we have seen them before a storm. Rumbling and rolling. This is attended with severe, cramping pains doubling her up. Abdomen is sensitive; so sore she cannot endure pressure. The soreness extends to the stomach, intestines and finally to the liver. The whole abdominal viscera are sore, sensitive to pressure. After this comes a gurgling, watery stool, pouring out of the anus. A tremendous outpouring so that the patient wonders where all the fluid comes from, and soon it comes on again. Copious, enormous, and very frequent. This soreness, cramping, and rumbling precedes the stool, but sometimes it continues during the stool. Commonly the patient is relieved by the stool. There is much flatus and spluttering, but not so marked as in Aloe. The colic often comes and goes without stool. Painless stools, in which compare China which has stool coming on at night and after eating. Putrid or not, and of inky color. Podophyllum is rarely indicated when the discharge is not offensive. After a while the abdomen again becomes tumultuous, and this is again relieved by a stool. This process is repeated over and over. It seems as if the blood vessels would empty themselves into the abdominal cavity and then into the outer world. Not unlike cholera and cholera morbus, and these two are the common manifestations of disease for which this remedy is used in routine practice. The cholera morbus coming on in the latter part of the night, especially about 3, 4, or 5 o’clock, resembles Podophyllum. Tumultuous action of the bowels with rumbling, pain, and soreness, and the prostration is so marked that if not relieved in a day or two, it seems he must die. Rice-water stools, jelly-like on standing.
With this tumultuous action, she has an indescribable sensation; an all-gone feeling, a deathly sick feeling, described by some as an emptiness, as if fasting, yet averse to food. An awful, hungry, empty weakness, as if the whole intestines would drop out. No wonder they think so, because this remedy produces an astonishing amount of relaxation. Described by some as a sensation of dragging down. The uterine ligaments become relaxed and there is prolapsus. The rectum protrudes for inches. The sensation of dragging down as if all the parts would be pushed out into the world is a common feature. It seems to begin with the liver, as if all the parts were let down. Weakness attended with soreness.
Dragging down in the region of the ovary and the ovary is congested. The uterus is extremely sore and is enlarged; sore to touch so that light clothing aggravates. Sensitiveness of the abdomen in diarrhoea and vomiting; in cholera morbus; in women when menstruating. Indicated if there is a copious diarrhoea during the menstrual period, and great soreness in the uterus. Much pain in the ovaries, in one or both, extending down the crural region, down the front of the thigh. Pain in the ovaries, especially the right; pain in the ovaries during the menstrual period; griping pain in the bowels during the menstrual period. Great soreness of the abdomen before and during the menstrual period. (Apis, Cimicifuga, Vespa, Lachesis, but these are not so likely to have diarrhoea and, if so, it is not as copious.)
Alternating conditions is a feature of this remedy. If a Podophyllum patient takes cold, has any mental excitement, overexerts himself, eats boiled food, cabbage, fruits, and overloads his stomach with rich food he has a diarrhoea, and following this a constipation lasting for weeks, no stool except in lumps; difficult, scanty stool and as soon as he disorders his stomach again comes a diarrhoea. This alternating diarrhoea and constipation is a Podophyllum state rather than a chronic diarrhoea, which is a continued state found in many remedies. The diarrhoea is periodic, alternating with constipation.
Another alternating feature is the headache. Chronic headache, periodic headache, sick headache, congestive in character, as if all the blood were in the head, as if the head would burst, and the pains most violent in the back of the head, bursting, and then on comes a diarrhoea which relieves the head. Sometimes when the diarrhoeas lag up too suddenly, a headache is the result. It is a common feature after giving a high potency of Podophyllum in a diarrhoea, that a headache comes on after the diarrhoea is stopped. It means that the medicine has acted suddenly and the headache will pass away soon.
Headache alternating with liver disturbances. The patient lies on the side or abdomen. Rending pains towards the duodenum. You will wonder if it is not gall stone colic. Periodic, violent headaches; alternating diarrhoea and constipation; he strokes the region of the liver from behind forward and in this way gets relief, yet the liver is so sore that he can hardly bear the pressure. Liver sensitive to touch. Soreness about the liver; pain through to the back; dull aching pain, finally jaundice; becomes extremely yellow. Uneasiness and distress about two or three hours after eating, with jaundice; horrible nausea; aversion to food; empty all-gone feeling in the bowels. Vomiting, greenish, profuse, watery, vomits everything; vomiting of milk (Calc., the latter sometimes retains water); hunger after vomiting; deathly, overpowering nausea and prostration. Prolapse of rectum and anus during vomiting. (Mur. ac.) A condition commonly called duodenal catarrh; a chronic state; rouses into a Podophyllum diarrhoea every once in a while.
Mental symptoms troublesome. A torpid liver is often associated with a torpid fluctuating state of the mind; also a slow, sluggish pulse; palpitation. Great depression of spirits, melancholia, sadness, dejection; everything goes wrong; the clouds are very dark; there is no light; thinks he may die or that he is going to become ill; that his disease will become chronic; that he has organic disease of the heart and liver ; that he has sinned away his day of grace, and other such delusions. Mind easily fatigued; fidgety and restless; cannot sit still; whole body fidgety.
In this mental state with jaundice, all gone sensation, aversion to food, even the thought or smell of food; stuffed feeling and distension in the region of the liver. The tongue is covered with thick slime; pasty, yellow coating as if mustard were spread upon it; imprint of the teeth upon the tongue; breath foul. For such a condition the ancients gave Calomel.
Gallstone colic; enlargement of the liver; gastric weakness; unable to digest; duodenal catarrh; catarrh of intestines with copious diarrhoea. If you notice the Podophyllum discharge in the commode, you will see a great amount of water, on the bottom a sediment like cornmeal gruel; as if cornmeal had been stirred in. If you see it early it is yellow, muddy, or yellow-green, profuse, offensive, cadaverous; the odor penetrates the whole house; stool gushes away like water from a bung-hole; gurgling and much flatus. With the stool there is very commonly a prolapse of the rectum; a gush of watery stool and a prolapse of the rectum; a soft stool with great straining and a prolapse of the rectum.
Prolapsus of the uterus; prominent are Murex, Sepia, Natrum mur. Sepia is better sitting or lying; worse walking. Aversion to coition; hot rushes; constipation with sense of lump in the rectum, or better by stool. Murex has the following: The only relief is to press on the vulva; not better lying down; she then has pains in the back and hips compelling her to walk, yet this aggravates. Strong sexual desire. Pain in right ovary, which crosses entire body to left breast. Pain shooting up in the uterus.
The word bile is a striking feature in Podophyllum. You must connect the vomiting and the stool with this color. The patient declares he is “bilious;” his “liver is out of order;” bitter taste in the mouth; spitting tip bile and the color is yellow; in diarrhoea it is a green substance.
In children subject to copious diarrhoea, with prolapsus of the anus no other symptom Podophyllum often cures.
A feature of infancy is the following: Child may not have diarrhoea, may even be constipated, but it lies in bed and rolls the head in sleep. Bell. and Apis roll head. Apis lies on back with the head on its side. Chewing motion of the jaws; sometimes a sucking; a grinding of the teeth in those who are old and have teeth; rolling the head from side to side; if you lift the eyelids you will find a strabismus. Provers felt as if the eyes were drawn inward. It has cured such a strabismus in congestion of the brain following a suddenly suppressed diarrhoea.
A child who should have a colored stool has instead a white one like chalk (Calc. c.). In adults, a bileless, white stool.
The body is offensive; offensive sweat; compare Sepia, Merc., Aloe, Sulph., Murex, Nux.
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.