This remedy is of interest because of its convulsive tendency. It puts the whole nervous system in such a state of increased irritability that pressure on a part causes convulsions.
The convulsions extend from center to circumference; the head, face and eyes are first affected. An aura in the stomach gives warning of the convulsion.
Some complaints spread from the chest, especially from the heart; the rigors and chills begin in the chest; and there is a sensation of coldness about the heart, and from there it extends to other parts. Convulsions often begin about the head and throat and extend downward. The whole body is in such a state of tension that, after excitement, a fire rages throughout the economy and causes convulsions. Any irritation in the throat or oesophagus will cause violent convulsions in this region. On swallowing a fish bone, instead of only a pricking sensation as would occur in phlegmatic individuals, the irritation is so great that a spasm commences and spreads to other parts. It was the old remedy for tetanus and spasms caused by splinters in the skin or under the nails, competing with Bell. At the present day we find the most frequently indicated remedies for injuries to nerves are Led. and Hyper.
A peculiar feature about some of the symptoms is that they resemble catalepsy. The cataleptic condition may be present or a condition very similar to it. He recollects nothing that took place or that he said during a certain period. He knows nobody, and lies without recognizing anyone, but when asked questions he answers correctly, and subsequently he has no recollection of what took place.
It is a cerebro-spinal irritant; the head is drawn back, opisthotonos; all the limbs are convulsed and rigid. It has cured traumatic tetanus lockjaw, epilepsy, epilepti form convulsions.
With severe pains in the bowels come convulsive movements and convulsions. If the stomach is disordered or chilled, or if he has fear or other mental conditions, convulsions come on. He is extremely sensitive to touch, and touch and drafts bring on convulsions. -The convulsions spread from above downwards, and thus it is the opposite of Cupr. The convulsions of Cupr. spread from the extremities to the center; i. e., the little convulsions, merely cramps, are first felt in the fingers and then in the hands and Iater in the chest and whole body. In Cicuta the little convulsions of the head, eyes and throat spread – down the back- to the extremities with violent contortions. The convulsions of Secale sometimes begin in the face.
At times he knows no one, but when touched and spoken to he answers correctly. Suddenly consciousness returns and he remembers nothing of what has occurred. He confuses the present with the past. He imagines himself a young child. Everything is confused and strange. He does not know where he is. The faces of old friends look strange; he looks at them and wonders if they are the same persons he used to know. His house and familiar places look strange. Voices sound strange. The senses of sight and smell and all the other special senses are disturbed and confused. He is confused as to himself, his age and circumstances. A woman on coming out of the cataleptic attacks often takes on childish behavior. A man thinks that he is a child and acts like one; silly laughter, playing with toys, and other acts of childish behavior. He feels as if he were in a strange place, and this causes fear. Thinks of the future with anxiety. Mental torpor; loss of ideas and sensation extending over a certain period. Memory a blank for hours or days with or without convulsions. Convulsions generally take the place of the ecstatic or cataleptic condition. Natr. in. is somewhat similar to the mental condition of this remedy, as the Natr. in. patient goes about doing all her household work and other functions and next day knows nothing about it. Nux mos. is another remedy that has such a complete blank when going about doing things, a complete abstraction of mind.
This patient has strange desires; desires to eat coal and many other strange articles, because lie is unable to distinguish between things edible and things unfit to be eaten; eats coal and raw potatoes. Wants to be alone; dislike to society. Singing, shouting, dancing; likes toys, jumps about like a child. Lies in bed lamenting and wailing. Great agitation; child grasps at one’s clothing in a frightened manner. This is likely to occur before the convulsion, great horror in the countenance, yet he has no recollection of the horror when he comes out of the convulsion. That state of anxiety and fear comes after the attack has begun, though the convulsions have not yet come on. Between the convulsions the patient is mild, gentle, placid and yielding, which distinguishes it from Strych. and Nux v. convulsions. The Nux convulsions are all over the body and are worse from touch and draft, blueness and purple color of the body, but between the convulsions the patient is very irritable. Of course, when they go out of one convulsion into another you cannot see this, but when out the convulsion the Nux patient is very irritable. The Cicuta patient, out of the convulsion, is full of sadness, anxiety, and darkness, borrows trouble from the future, is affected by sad stories, is pessimistic. He is afraid of society, afraid of company, and wants to be alone. He is suspicious and shuns people; despises others; over-estimation of himself. In this it approximates Plat., but there is no further resemblance between the two remedies. Full of fear; fright will bring on convulsions, like Op., Ign., and Acon.
Full of vertigo. The whole sensorium is violently excited. Things turn round in a circle. Vertigo on walking, glassy eyes, etc. Complaints brought on from injuries to the skull, from blows on the head. Many times there is no trouble in the region of the injury; there may be compression and yet all the pains be in distant parts; drawing of the muscles and cramps. Concussion of the brain and chronic injuries therefrom, especially spasms. Semi-lateral headaches forcing the patient to sit still erect. Headache as if the brain were loose on walking. When thinking of the exact nature of the pain it ceased. It has cured cerebro-spinal meningitis when there were convulsions and the convulsions were aggravated from touch, with fever and even spotted mottled skin. Mind and head symptoms after injuries. On going into a cerebro-spinal meningitis the patient sits in a chair talking as if nothing were wrong, when, quick as a flash, he passes into another state in which he knows no one; he falls over limp, he is put to bed, and though he answers questions he remains in a semi-conscious state, knowing no one. This may change into a spasm. The head is bent back in spasms; jerking back of the head; spasms begin in the head and go downward. Violent shocks in the head, arms and legs. Head hot and extremities cold, like Bell. in its convulsions. Sweat on the scalp when sleeping. Child rolls head from side to side. Hot head.
Convulsive action about the eyes; pupils dilated and insensible; patient lies fixed in one place, with staring, fixed, glassy, upturned eyes, like Cupr. Strabismus may be the only spasm the child is subject to from cerebral irritation. Every time the child is frightened it has strabismus; when touched or when it has cold, or after a fall hitting the head, or coming periodically, it has strabismus.
The nose is sensitive to touch. Touch and jarring bring on complaints, and hence it was so useful in, and was the first remedy for, the result of injuries and irritability and over-sensibility.
It has troubles from shaving; it is useful in such eruptions as come in the whiskers; barber’s itch; a solid crop of eruptions all over the face wherever the whiskers grow. Eruptions on the cheek like eczema. Swelling of the submaxillary glands. Erysipelatous eruptions. It is closely related to Conium about the Iips and lids, in that a small amount of pressure causes induration. It has cured epithelioma of the lips.
The throat troubles are mostly spasmodic. After swallowing a fish bone or stick which lodges in the throat a spasm comes on. After Cicuta- the spasm will cease and it can be taken out. It is useful in cases of injury, accompanied with violent choking, so that he cannot allow an examination to be made.
Cold sensation in the chest. Spasms of the chest. Feels as if the heart stopped beating. Spasmodic symptoms of the back. Opisthotonos. All conditions of the limbs are of a spasmodic character.
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.