Search:

Home
Search by Author
Newly Added Articles and Research  
Publications  
 

International/National Links and Networking

Contact Us/Send Comments 

Member's Login: Password Required

  Solanaceae
  

<< back

By: Otto Leeser, M.D., Ph.D.
When we make a study of the medicinal plants of a family such as the Solanaceae there is no need to linger over their botanical classification. We can rely for this on the botanists. There is no doubt that they have cor­rectly determined the main relationships of the family from the morphol­ogy and histology of the species. But these gross structural characteristics cannot be correlated to the medicinal actions of the plants. Poetic observa­tions on the exterior of the plants as clues to their medicinal actions in the fashion of the signature rerum may seem very attractive to many, but they have no place in the homeopathic materia medica. The relevant structures are on the molecular level. To understand the actions from structural characteristics of the plants, one must take account of those special chemi­cal products of their metabolism which, being alien, can interfere with the functions of the human organism. In the Solanaceae these substances are chiefly alkaloids, i.e. basic products of the amino acid metabolism charac­teristic of this family of plants. And it is the structure of these alkaloids which leads to a natural grouping of the species we use in medicine.

The most important group is characterized by atropine (or rather hyoscyamine). We shall discuss only Atropa belladonna, Hyosyamus niger, Datura stramonium and Mandragora officinalis from among its members; Duboisia and Scopolia need not concern us here. The second group, charac­terized by nicotine is only represented by Nicotiana tabacum; the third, that of the solanine plants, by Solanum Dulcamara and Capsicum annuum. In the latter, however, other non-alkaloid constituents must also be considered to play a part in its actions.

ATROPINE AND BELLADONNA
Let us begin with the biggest and most important group, the atropine plants. You know everything or at least a great deal about atropine from pharmacology. But perhaps it would be a good idea to recall some of it and establish the context. Atropine is the racemic mixture of 1-hyoscyamine and dextrohyoscyamine. The plants contain only, or almost only, 1-hyoscyamine; the racemic compound is formed on chemical extrac­tion of the alkaloids. As with nearly all the alkaloids, the levorotatory form is the more active. We are only concerned with 1-hyoscyamine. But experimental investigations in pharmacology and the palliative applica­tions based on them have throughout been made with the less active atropine.

In experimental pharmacology, the inhibiting or paralyzing action on the parasympathetic nerve endings in muscles and glands has been put forward as the main effect of atropine. But that is only part of the potential action, just as, and indeed because, the neuromuscular and neuroglandular preparations on which this effect is demonstrated form only part of the living organism. Nevertheless, we may take this as a starting point and see what they have got to say with regard to therapy. First of all we have the well-founded theory that atropine is able to inhibit the action of acetyl­choline, the transmitter or parasympathetic impulses. It may not yet be generally acknowledged, but it is a good working hypothesis that atropine may temporarily take the place of acetylcholine at the nerve end-plates; perhaps because it is structurally similar, so that as a structural analogue it would stop the functioning of the physiological neurohormone. If one looks at the structural formulae of atropine and acetylcholine side by side, a similarity is not easily recognizable. Both are esters. The tropic acid radicle of atropine can be taken as a substituted acetic acid. The atropine radicle, however, is a tertiary compound (derived from NH3), while choline, a quarternary, derives from NH4OH. Tropine could, however, combine with halides in the organism to form a quarternary salt. And it has indeed been maintained that this is responsible for the action. When the large atropine molecule replaces acetylcholine the physiological regu­lation of the transmission of impulses fails because the enzyme cholinesterase is then ineffective; the parasympathetic blockage persists until the atropine is eliminated from the system. If atropine is used for its inhibiting effect, no more than a temporary suppression of symptoms can be expected.

The secretion of the salivary glands is reduced, hence the dry mouth and throat; the secretions of the mucous glands of the esophagus and trachea and bronchi, the production of acid and pepsin in the gastric mucosa, and the pancreatic, biliary and intestinal secretions are decreased to a greater or lesser extent. The most familiar example of the paralyzing action on un­striped muscle is that on the sphincter iridis via parasympathetic branches of the n. oculomotorius. This action is frequently made use of in ophthal­mology; accommodation is paralyzed at the same time through the relax­ation of the ciliary muscle. The forcible widening of the pupil is used reg­ularly, and in my opinion much too regularly, for iritis; it should be care­fully considered for each case. The tearing or prevention of adhesions is a valid reason, but the regular administration of atropine to the eye for pro­longed periods may not only provoke conjunctivitis, but even render the iritis more and more chronic. I have quoted some cases of this type on an earlier occasion, 1 when the inflammation could only be terminated by stopping the atropine and instead using Mercur. sol. 3x. In discontinuing the routine of instilling atropine one must, however, guard against the danger of seclusio pupillae. On the other hand, the danger of increased intraocular pressure through atropine must also be considered. Cases of poisoning with psychotic symptoms and damage to the heart muscle fol­lowing the local application of atropine to the eye have been reported.

Now let us consider the action of atropine on the smooth musculature of the hollow organs. Relaxation of the spasm of the bronchial muscles in an attack of asthma is only rarely attempted with atropine or Belladonna, Stramonium being more commonly used. Acute hallucinatory psychosis has been recorded from overdosage of Stramonium in this palliative use.

Therapeutic doses of atropine have a palliative effect on spasmodic contractions of the smooth musculature of other organs, too: in the gastro­intestinal tract, bile ducts, ureter, bladder and uterus. Particularly sensitive to atropine appear to be the parasympathetic nerve endings on the gall bladder and the sphincter Oddi. The irregular spasmodic contraction in biliary colic often responds well to Atropine 3x; that is of course also a pal­liative action, but after all one does not expect more. It is noteworthy that a preliminary phase of excitation has been observed following the admin­istration of atropine, for instance on the uterus, the ureters and the bladder, and even on the sphincter iridis. My late uncle. J. Leeser, wrote his doctor­ate thesis on the primary miotic effect of atropine. One could claim uti­lization of this primary stimulant action for the homeopathic action on, for instance, the gastro-intestinal canal and the bile ducts, an action which we will have to discuss later for Belladonna and Mandragora. Experimental pharmacology explains a stimulating action on the intestine via Auerbach's plexus which maintains the rhythm of the peristaltic movements. The speeding up of this rhythm does not lead to tonic spasms, so that on the whole the action of atropine is sedative. This might explain why one can observe from atropine not only temporary relief in spastic obstipation, but a beneficial action in certain cases of atonic obstipation as well. With such general statements as that atropine in small doses is a stimulant and in large doses an inhibitor one does not get far towards an understanding of its mode of action.

That is particularly obvious in the effect of atropine upon the heart. In large doses atropine paralyzes the inhibitory terminations of the vagus; hence the acceleration of the heart action can be seen from atropine or from Belladonna. This stimulation has occasionally been made use of to relieve heart block. Such an action cannot very well be called an inhibition through large doses (as the Arndt-Schulz rule would have it). It is also known since Schroff (1852) that atropine has a preliminary phase with slowing down of the pulse. For this effect another point of attack has been suggested, the heart muscle itself. In a case of toxic psychosis after drops of the usual 1 per cent solution of atropine sulphate had been instilled into an eye, damage to the myocardium was indeed established by E.C.G. 2

From the negative cholinergic actions of atropine on the parasympa­thetic nerve endings we now go on, or rather up, to the actions on neu­ronal centres. About these actions we know less from animal experiments than from what can be inferred from poisonings in human beings. There, too, an antagonism to acetylcholine is suspected, but it has not been proved. It is not an easy thing to prove, since nothing definite is known about the role of acetylcholine in transmitting impulses within the central nervous system. Let us take the vasomotor disturbances to begin with. The scarlatinoid erythema which occurs with atropine and Belladonna poi­sonings has not yet been sufficiently explained. It is improbable that it can be explained by the dilatation of the blood vessels when tissues are irri­gated with atropine solution in animal experiments. A central action would seem more likely. The increase in arterial blood pressure and a 1-3° C. rise in body temperature is almost certainly due to central action of the alkaloids. This stimulation goes hand in hand with the excitation of the respiratory center. Breathing is accelerated and deepened. Hence the at­tempt to stimulate the respiratory center through large doses of atropine in cases of morphine poisoning. ("Strong stimuli enhance life activities", in contrast to Arndt-Schultz's rule!) Stimulation of the respiratory center may also be taken into account for the palliative use of Stramonium for asthma, even if the chief consideration is relaxation of the spasm of the bronchial muscles.

Finally we come to the cortical excitation elicited by atropine. Animal experiments tell us little about this. Herbivorous animals and birds react hardly at all to atropine and Belladonna and experiments on dogs give a very incomplete picture; the only thing which could be shown was the in­creased excitability of the motor centers of the cortex after small doses of atropine. The main psychoso-mimetic symptoms are well established from atropine and Belladonna poisonings. (By the way, why did the so-called psychoso-mimetic action of substances such as mescaline and lyser­gic acid have to be announced with much to-do as a new phenomemon when alcoholic, atropine and numerous other psychoses from drugs had been well known for ages?) The picture of acute atropine or 1- hyoscyamine poisoning is in the main comparable to that of Belladonna. The differences only become apparent in the more gradual unfolding of symptoms by provings on man, and it is fortunate that we have extensive drug-proving records of both Belladonna and Atropine.

If we now sketch the sequence of events in acute poisoning as ascend­ing from the periphery to the center, this does not mean that they always follow the same course. Depending on the sensitivity of the person the central syndromes may occur first or even exclusively, both with atropine and Belladonna.

Usually dryness and rawness appear first in the mouth, sometimes with hoarseness, difficulties in swallowing and nausea; the skin grows dry, hot and raw, often with a scarlatinoid erythema particularly of the head and neck, sometimes with prickling and itching. The difficulties in swal­lowing may increase until swallowing becomes quite impossible. The pulse is usually somewhat slowed down to begin with, but later on becomes much faster and combines with palpitations; the pupil is widened and immobile; the eyes are dry, brilliant, staring, and may protrude slightly. Headaches and dizziness are frequent early symptoms, accom­panied by a feeling of weakness, heaviness and tiredness in the limbs. Cerebral irritation  starts with restless, hasty movements, trembling and staggering walk; this is followed by confused talking, visual and, more rarely, auditory hallucinations, finally delirium with laughter and crying, paroxysms of rage; hydrophobia is marked, reminding of rabies. In the terminal stage the ability to see, hear and the sensitivity to touch may decrease; retching and incontinence of urine and stools may set in; the acute excitement changes into convulsions, and finally collapse, coma with greatly accelerated respiration may lead to fatal asphyxia.

The drug provings have added the finer details and nuances to this toxicological outline. If the stimulus is applied in planned gradations of intensity and time intervals the defense reactions of the organism can un­fold gradually and may be studied in detail. And it is these finer nuances which we use as indications for a planned stimulative therapy. Because of its more elaborate drug picture Belladonna is definitely of more use to us than Atropine. The effects of atropine are too stormy and too violent, the reactive range and therapeutic index are narrow. With Belladonna the ac­tion is modified by the secondary alkaloids scopolamine and apoatropine which are related to atropine. Other substances found in the crude drug may be even more important, particularly the glycoside scopolin. Its aglu­cone is scopoletin (methylaesculin). Such lactone compounds are known to have an action on the smooth musculature, particularly of the intestine and uterus. It may be assumed that additional substances in extracts of the plants slow down the passage of the alkaloid through the organism and allow the gradual unfolding of the reactions to become more apparent. Such a difference in the development of symptoms can also be seen be­tween other alkaloid plants and their respective alkaloids, for instance in the case of Nux vomica and Ignatia on the one hand and their chief alkaloid strychnine on the other. Atropine itself is mostly used on fairly gross pathological indications, for instance in achylia gastrica where one expects a simple reversal to be affected. But when it is a question of adjusting the remedy to the diseased person rather than to the disease, Belladonna is more to the purpose.

Individual sensitivity to Belladonna varies greatly. That has already been noticed in the cases of poisoning; only very few people will react to atropine eyedrops with psychosis. On an earlier occasion I described one case of hypersensitivity to Belladonna 6x. 3 One constitutional type, partic­ularly of women and children, has proved especially sensitive to Bel­ladonna: they react rapidly, often with high body temperature, are very sensitive to all external influences, are erethic, sanguine, irritable, usually fair and full-blooded.

The preliminary stage of sensory and motor excitation has come out clearly in the drug provings and these symptoms provide good indications for the use of Belladonna. The patients, usually children, cannot go to sleep although they feel sleepy, they start up from sleep with fright, moaning and crying; also talking and walking in their sleep, restlessness and twitching of the limbs and throwing about can be observed. Grinding of teeth during sleep has proved to be a particularly good indication for Bel­ladonna. During waking hours, hyperacuity of the senses makes itself felt, particularly that of seeing, but hearing, taste and smelling may also appear oversensitive. It seems that the intraocular disturbances of refraction and hyperaemia of the fundus coincide with excitation of the visual center in the cortex, or pass into each other. Flashes of light appear before the eyes, things glitter and shine, but cannot be clearly distinguished from each other. This excitation progresses into visual hallucinations, usually in the form of swarms of small animals or even large animals coming close, as in delirium. The visions grow more importunate on closing the eyes. In the motor sphere, restlessness, twitching, throwing himself about, incoordi­nation of speech and walking appear. Loquacity and confused talking are forerunners of delirium. More rarely the sudden contractions of the mus­cles of a single limb go over into general convulsions similar to epileptic attacks. With epilepsy in overexcitable, "nervous" children I have seen remarkable improvement from Belladonna.

The Belladonna fever is well characterized. Excitation of the tempera­ture center combines with that of the vasomotor center in producing the active hyperaemia which is one of the main characteristics of the Belladonna picture. The fever comes on suddenly, with dry, burning heat; there is no preliminary stage of chilliness, or only very little. Sweating is generally not profuse and can only be noted here and there on covered parts of the body. Thirst is not marked, it is more a desire to moisten the dry and sometimes cracked mucosa; the drinking of water brings no relief or only a very temporary one. The fever comes on suddenly and rises high, the lack of outlet through sweating and other secretions probably contributing to this. It generally also drops down to normal suddenly. Belladonna fevers are acute.

The arterial hyperemia of Belladonna need not by any means have progressed to inflammation and fever. Similarly as with Glonoin the Bella­donna hyperaemia affects preferably the upper half of the body, particu­larly the head and neck, whilst the feet are usually cold. The face is reddened, the eyes are glazed and staring, the widened vessels of the conjunctiva stand out clearly against the white, and altogether a somewhat wild expression results. The congestive headaches, fullness, pressure and "bursting" lie chiefly in the forehead and temples, mainly on the right, and there seems to be a general preponderance of right-sidedness with Bella­donna. The headaches are often accompanied by dizziness, "like early stages of drunkenness". If in some books you read that warmth and a warm room ameliorate the headaches, you may cross that out. There is nothing in the provings or in clinical records to support this. On the con­trary, I have found that Belladonna headaches are always ameliorated by cold compresses. Cold draughts of air can, of course, produce other troubles with that marked hyperaemia, just as in the case of Glonoin. Both Belladona and Glonoin have the strange indication: Wry neck after haircut, obviously to be interpreted as great sensitivity to cold and draught of the hyperemic head and neck. But this does not mean that a general aggra­vation through cold can be deduced, and even less that Belladonna corre­sponds to chilly persons. If neuralgias, of the n. trigeminus for instance, are ameliorated by warmth, this modality does not signify much for the Belladonna case. Atropine and Belladonna certainly do also have an affinity to the sensory nerve endings, they can even produce anaesthesia; the use of Belladonna plasters as an analgetic was formerly very common. With­out any further indications acute neuralgias rarely lead to the choice of Belladonna.

The other modalities fit well with the hyperemic, congestive nature of the headaches and the dizziness "as if drunk": they are worse on bending down and lying down, from any sudden movement, even from vibration on walking; the Belladonna patient feels better resting in the upright position; headache and particularly the dizziness are better in the open air, but worse from heat of sun. Further modalities arise from the great sensory irritability: touching the head aggravates, the scalp is very sensitive to touch, less so to steady pressure which may even ameliorate; noise, light and strong smells aggravate. An aggravation towards evening and at the beginning of the night applies to Belladonna with regard to the hyperaemia, inflammatory and febrile conditions.

The early stage of inflammation with marked arterial hyperaemia is the main sphere for the use of Belladonna. It acts preferably on highly vascularized tissues. The fauces are frequently affected: violent dark red swelling and dryness, sudden high temperature are characteristic. With extensive inflammation of the tissues one generally finds strong pulsation in the Belladonna case, particularly of the carotids, a full hard, rapid pulse, thirst which is not quenched by drinking.

With iritis, the time during which Belladonna would be effective is brief, the hyperemic stage, before exudation begins; usually one sees cases of iri­tis only in the stage corresponding to Mercury. The purpose of using Bella­donna is to prevent exudation or at least to reduce and shorten it. The same consideration applies with other acute inflammations, for instance an otitis media coming on suddenly with a bright red tympanic membrane, i.e. before such remedies as Mercury, Hepar, Capsicum, and Pulsatilla are indi­cated. In the early stages of acute appendicitis when the patient tosses restlessly in a dry fever, one used to be able to see prompt results from Belladonna; nowadays the reflex from the diagnosis to the knife has become so habitual, both with doctors and relatives, that the attempt is hardly ever made.

The similarity of the erythema and inflammation of the throat to scar­let fever led Hahnemann to recommend Belladonna as the remedy for scar­let fever as early as 1799. It is little known that the Belladonna erythema if severe and persistent also leaves behind a scarlatinoid scaling. During the last 40 years scarlet fever has become so much more benign that the suc­cess of Belladonna can no longer be simply evaluated as "proper hoc." I have no personal experience of Belladonna with the severe, often fatal, cases seen 50 years ago, since at that time I was homeopathically still in a state of innocence. But Belladonna may also be indicated for other exanthemata, such as measles, in irritable children with abrupt fever. It is said that Belladonna is able to bring out suppressed exanthemata in acute infectious diseases and thus to forestall complications, particularly meningism. I have no personal experience of this. For smooth erysipelas, i.e. without pustules and rhagades, Belladonna is foremost as a remedy.

In the action of Belladonna on the hollow organs the symptoms from the mucosa combine with changes in the tone and motility of the smooth musculature. In the upper respiratory tract an irritative cough worse when lying down may be an indication for Belladonna (or Hyoscyamus), whether the irritation comes from the dry mucosa or from the tickling of an elon­gated, swollen uvula. With whooping cough in "nervous" children the cough is dry, produces no mucus, but streaks of blood. In acute laryngitis Belladonna is specified for laryngospasm, but with laryngismus tridulus, children's croup, Spongia has proved more successful.

The syndromes relating to the gastro-intestinal canal cannot be reduced to a simple common denominator such as atonic or spasm. If it is a matter of relieving spasms one approaches the palliative end of the range of action and low potencies of Belladonna or Atropine are required; this has already been mentioned for the bile ducts. Neither constipation nor diar­rhea are characteristic of Belladonna; some provers observed delayed sparse stools without or with unsuccessful urging, but others reported frequent small, thin evacuations with tenesmus, and the greenish color of the stools is mentioned several times. All types of incoordination of secretion and motility do thus occur. For the stomach, cramp-like pains, going through to the back, which force the patient to bend backwards and are ameliorated by stretching are characteristic of Belladonna. In the abdomen meteoric com­plaints predominate and particular sensitivity of the abdominal wall to touch is worth noting.

In the urinary passages, too, all types of incoordination in emptying the bladder occur; Belladonna has proved particularly helpful for enuresis nocturia in easily excited, "nervous" children. However, other remedies like Equisetum and Tuberculin have given more permanent successes.

In the same way, successes with dysmenorrhea in hyperexcitable young girls are often prompt but only short-lived. The following may serve as indications for Belladonna: period too early and too profuse, men­strual discharge bright red and hot; downward pressure, as though every­thing were going to fall out, at the same time severe pain in the small of the back, as though it would break, aggravation of pains from movement.

Even with an acute remedy such as Belladonna the constitutional type of the patient is more important in the selection of the remedy than the articular organ syndrome and in selecting the potency the known or estimated sensitivity of the patient has to be considered. I have mostly used the 6x.

HYOSCYAMUS AND STRAMONIUM
If one has a knowledge of Atropine and Belladonna, there is little to be added in respect of the other plants of the tropane group, Hyoscyamus, Stramonium and Mandragora. Their actions and use differ from those of Belladonna only in minor points of emphasis. In Hyoscyamus and Stramo­nium the influence of scopolamine (1-hyoscine, an oxidation product of hyoscyamine) is more noticeable, although compared to hyoscyamine the scopolamine content of these plants is still small. But the differences in their action may also partly be due to the other alkaloids they contain and to volatile amino bases, with scopolamine and stramonium the actions on the cerebral cortex are prominent, while with Mandragora present evi­dence points mainly to peripheral actions on the smooth musculature of the gastro-intestinal tract and bile ducts.

Scopolamine is best known from its use in psychiatry. There it is much used to quiet excited patients and make them drowsy, the dosage being about 1/2 mg. In some cases hallucination precedes the sedation even with this dosage. But generally scopolamine in small quantities reduces excitement of the motor centers. While large doses produce strong motor excitement in man as well as in animals. In sensitive persons doses of 1 mg. may produce a state of confusion, unrest and visual hallucinations with delirium; with larger doses this is always the case and the excited condition grows longer and more severe and may lead to convulsions. In a case of habitual scopolamine injection of up to 2 mg. continuous delir­ium with visual hallucinations and persecution complexes was observed. 4 And those are the very indications on which the plants containing scopol­amine, Hyoscyamus and Stramonium, are generally used in Homeopathy in preference to Belladonna.

Hyoscyamus and Stramonium are leading remedies for severe states of excitement in psychoses or delirious fever. In Hyoscyamus the motor unrest is particularly marked; the patients are "wild", with staring eyes, they cry, gesticulate and grimace and hit out wildly, make unintelligible speeches. The manic condition often has a strong erotic emphasis which finds expression in the speeches, gestures and sometimes in exhibitionism. The paranoiac syndrome also comes out most strongly in Hyoscyamus. The delusions go from jealous obsession to out-and-out persecution complexes; the patient thinks he is being poisoned or has been poisoned, or shows other variants of delusion. In the case of one hebephrenic with manic attacks I thought that an extended remission may have been due to the Hyoscyamus he was given; similar cases have also been quoted by other observers. But one should not speak of "cures" in such psychoses. With puerpural psychoses, where the prognosis in itself is a better one, the posi­tion is, of course, different.

The hyperemic and inflammatory symptoms of the Belladonna picture are almost absent with Hyoscyamus. The peripheral hyper-reflexia of the smooth musculature with all its modalities is described in the same terms as for Belladonna. Some prescribers prefer low potencies of Hyoscyamus to Belladonna for the spasmodic attacks of tickling cough which are worse at night and when lying down. Hyoscyamus is also greatly praised for sin­gultus; my own experience does not confirm this. If Hyoscyamus is given for spasm of the bladder of central origin, the low potencies used in this instance suggest that one finds oneself at the palliative end of the range of action.

As far as we know Hyoscyamus and Stramonium are not distinguishable by the type of alkaloids they contain; the relative amounts do vary anyway in the different parts of the plants and at different times. Stramonium also matches Hyoscyamus in its main action on the cerebral centers. The states of excitement are no less violent with Stramonium. Delirium and halluci­nations are stronger, but the paranoiac syndrome is less marked than in Hyoscyamus. Again, as in the case of Belladonna, the visual sphere is parti­cularly affected, the hallucinations are throughout of a visual nature. The syndrome is most similar to delirium tremens: the patient shows all the signs of terror, sees wild animals approaching, tries to escape. It is stated that strong light stimuli, looking at glittering objects or the reflections on water, may produce convulsions. On the other hand, desire for light and company has come out as a leading indication for Stramonium, and perhaps fear and terror of the visions play a part in this. The illusions of Stramonium often refer to the subject's own body, for instance "sees himself double, in two parts". Gross motor unrest and the manic syndrome with unceasing incoherent talking, singing and crying occur with Stramonium as well as Hyoscyamus; likewise the erotic excitement, and Stramonium has a particular reputation in satyriasis; the bright red head, especially the red ears, may in that case serve as a clue. The scarlatinoid erythema has also been described for Stramonium, and some prefer Stramonium to Belladonna when in acute infectious diseases exanthemata are subdued while cerebral irritation (meningism) is marked.

Incoordination of voluntary movements is also often described for Stramonium. But its usefulness in chorea minor is no better proved than that of Hyoscyamus. Stammering is given as a particular indication for Stramonium; but that could hardly apply to old-established speech distur­bances with a psychic motivation.

MANDRAGORA
The alkaloids of Mandragora are also stated to be hyoscyamine and scopol­amine; their relative amounts in the root or herb are not known. A pro­ving was made in 1951 with potencies of the tincture from the root. 5 The most striking result was that no definite symptoms were noted of the cen­tral stimulation which is so characteristic of the alkaloids, be it then that the statement of one prover (5th day after 2x): 'Irritable and nervous, very sensitive particularly to noise" is taken as pointing in this direction. No widening of the pupils was observed, and definite visual disturbances only in one case where they were perhaps connected with the strong congestion to the head and swelling around the eyes. The cardiovascular symptoms as well as their modalities were similar to those known from Belladonna, as were also the sensory disturbances. Incoordination of voluntary move­ments was noted by one prover only; he was unable to control the walking movements; the same prover also observed torticollis.

The greatest part of the provings is taken up with disturbances of the motility and of the secretions of the gastro-intestinal canal and bile ducts. These again are very similar to those known from Belladonna, as for instance the amelioration of gastric pain by stretching and bending backwards. It is remarkable that apart from Belladonna and Mandragora only Dioscorea has this modality and that dioscorine is also a tropane alkaloid (a tropine lacton). Two Mandragora provers referred to this modality as a hunger pain which was ameliorated by eating. Much more significant, however, is the, to my knowledge, singular modality which has been brought out by the Mandragora provings, that the sensation of fullness, pressure and eructations are ameliorated by eating. On the advice of one of the provers who had observed this peculiar syndrome on himself Mandragora 6x was given to a patient with all the signs and symptoms of almost complete cicatricial stenosis of the bulbus duodeni. The improvement was impressive and lasting over the many months of subsequent observation. Just as with Belladonna so with Mandragora one cannot speak one-sidedly of spasms in the smooth musculature. Colics certainly do occur, but atonic comes out just as much in the symptoms; for instance in that "soft stools are evacu­ated only with difficulty and with much pressing". But this is a symptom which occurs with many remedies and hence is not very distinctive. One peculiar modality, like the one mentioned above, makes up for a whole register of commonplace symptoms in the selection of the remedy. Heart symptoms which were very frequently noted in the proving, oppression, pressure, palpitation, stitches, constriction and dyspnea, appear to be part of the gastrocardial syndrome.

TABACUM
In Nicotiana tabacum we find a new type of alkaloid in the form of nico­tine which is the principal alkaloid among a great number of similarly structured minor alkaloids in the plant.


The difference between nicotine and the tropane alkaloids is not as fundamental as it first looks on paper. The methylpyrrolidine component of nicotine is also found in the tropane alkaloids. There is a biogenetic connection between the two types. This is also suggested by the fact that in some species of Duboisia hyoscyamine is the principal alkaloid, in others scopolamine, and in Duboisia Hopwoodii (Pituri plant) nicotine. Although Tabacum contains many minor alkaloids right down to simple pyridine bases, the actions of the crude drug largely correspond to those of nicotine. Nicotine is a volatile alkaloid and Tabacum probably owes its rapid and direct action on bulbar and brain stem centers to this. Recently a temporary antidiuretic action on the posterior part of the hypophysis via the hypothalamo-hypophyseal system has been discov­ered as well. On the other hand the peripheral action of nicotine on both the parasympathetic and sympathetic synapses is more emphasized in experimental pharmacology. Nicotine interrupts the transmission of impulses at these synapses and this is used to distinguish the pre- from the post-ganglionic fibers in the autonomic nervous system. But in this peripheral action as well as in that on the centers the paralyzing phase is preceded by one of stimulation. Reflex actions from autonomic ganglia, such as those on the sinus aortae and the carotid plexus, combine with those on the respiratory, vasomotor and vomiting centers to form a very complex picture. Added to this, the discharge of adrenaline from the adrenal glands is stimulated. No wonder then that the actual symptoms vary greatly with the dose given and from species to species. In the acute action on man, however, it is the vagal excitation which dominates the first state: bradycardia, lowering of the blood pressure, "deathly" nausea with retching and vomiting, dizziness, salivation and increased intestinal peristalsis, then irregular cardiac activity, weakness as if fainting, paleness with cold sweat, shaky weakness in the legs with sudden lowering of the blood pressure; the breathing is at first deepened and quick. If the action is prolonged the blood pressure rises which, partially at least, must be ascribed to the increased amounts of adrenaline in circulation. In the long run nicotine may produce atheromatosis. It was possible to demonstrate calcareous degeneration of the aorta in animals after repeated injections of nicotine. Another end result of the chronic action is known to be amauro­sis due to atrophy of the optic nerve. Just like arteriosclerosis this is no longer responsive to a stimulative therapy with Tabacum. But the preced­ing stages, the visual disturbances which are similar to those in some cases of migraine, do belong to the picture of stimulative actions. The carcino­genic effects of smoking, particularly of cigarettes, apparently must be ascribed to other pyridine bases rather than to nicotine.

The homeopathic indications follow quite straightforwardly from this picture of the toxicological actions. Even Rademacher's former use of tobacco water for cholera-like conditions can be regarded as homeopathic: symptoms of collapse with paleness, cold sweat, shaky weakness, inter­ruption of heart beat, and vehement diarrhea. The Tabacum diarrheas are accompanied by meteorism and burning in the abdomen, and at the same time desire to have the abdomen uncovered. Apart from the symptoms of collapse, deathly nausea and vomiting, dizziness is one of the cardinal symptoms of Tabacum. This is a true rotatory vertigo, or "objects moving up and down in front of the eyes". I was not able to confirm the statement that the vertigo grew worse on opening the eyes when I made some invol­untary provings with heavy cigars; on the contrary, the up and down movement only became definite on closing the eyes, and very much so. Amelioration in open air and probably also from sour things can be con­firmed; in my own experience the condition improved by eating an apple. This type of vertigo, nausea and general prostration, with indifference towards life or death, is characteristic of the syndrome of seasickness, for which Tabacum has been recommended. Cocculus, containing picrotoxin which also stimulates the vagal center strongly, is, however, more commonly used. Rotatory vertigo accompanied by tinnitus has also served as an indication in Meniere's syndrome, but in that I had such good results with Chininum salicylicum that I never tried Tabacum. It has however proved helpful in arteriosclerotic attacks of vertigo with cerebral retching and vomiting; of course, one cannot expect any lasting effect on the struc­tural changes of arteriosclerosis. The same applies to attacks of angina pectoris which are characterized by fear, with symptoms of collapse, icy coldness and cold sweat, tachycardia and arrhythmia. Tabacum does not have the feeling of constriction as in Cactus, the attacks resemble more those of Latrodectus. There seems to be little clinical experience on its use in migraines with visual disturbances. In that case a patchy redness of the face is said to precede the paleness. And finally Tabacum has been recommended, to my knowledge first by Emil Schlegel, as a euthanasi­acum, similar to Veratrum album, when collapse of the circulation with cold sweat and great fear of death require a sedative.

The modalities of Tabacum are not very characteristic. Amelioration of vertigo in the open air has already been mentioned. Vertigo and migraine are aggravated by any movement. "Aggravation in a warm room in spite of a feeling of inner coldness" may point to an increased desire for oxygen when the circulation is failing. If it is stated that vomiting relieves, this is probably based on the observation that the attacks which indicate Tabacum often end with vomiting. It will be noticed that these modalities refer to the acute syndromes and not to the patient as a person.

With Tabacum the action of nicotine on the autonomic centers develops rapidly; only a short span is available for defense reactions to be stimu­lated before the toxic effects set in. That is probably the reason why Tabacum has found only limited use, and chiefly only in acute syndromes occurring in attacks.

DULCAMARA
There remain two species of the sub-family Solaninae for us to consider, Dulcamara and Capsicum. The Solaninae include by far the largest num­ber of Solanaceae and among them are the potato, Solanum tuberosum, the tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, and the common weed Solanum nigrum.


The predominant alkaloids in the sub-family are peculiar glycosides, and sola­nine may be taken as representative of the type. Several modifications of this type occur in the Solaninae species. The aglycone of solanine is solanidine, a fusion of a steroid structure of the cholesterol type, with a methyl piperidine or a methyl pyrrolidine. It is quite possible that there is a biogenetic connection with nicotine and the tropane alkaloids. The alkaloidal component is probably responsible for the actions of solanine on medullary centers, particularly the respiratory center. Potatoes also some­times form excessive solanine, most of it directly under the skin and at the germination points. Cases of poisonings from such potatoes have been reported occasionally, with vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. 6 A number of experiments have been made with solanine and solanidine on both animals and human beings. A detailed discussion of the alkaloid actions involving respiration, cardiac frequency and body temperature is not called for in this context as they have not so far proved significant for the picture of Dulcamara or of Capsicum. A much more definite influence from solanine has come out in a proving of Solanum nigrum which pro­duced some symptoms strongly reminiscent of Belladonna. But Solanum nigrum is hardly ever used. It is interesting that the aglycone solanidine applied locally produced widening of the pupil while solanine had no effect; furthermore, that a central motor excitation was observed from solanine, while in the sensory sphere drowsiness, stupefaction and dizzi­ness and at the same time hypersensitivity to light, noise and touch were noted.

What is new and important about solanine is that it is a steroid alka­loid. It is thus close to the steroid alkaloids of Veratrum album and Sabadilla. These, however, are more toxic than solanine and that is probably due to the fact that the Veratrum alkaloids are mostly esters of steroid alkaloids and not glycosides like the solanines. The greater toxicity shows itself with Veratrum in the stronger action on the circulation and in the cholera-like and collapse symptoms. The similarity between Dulca­mara and Sabadilla will be seen chiefly in the action on the mucosa. It appears that it is not so much the alkaloid component as the steroid which is responsible for this affinity. At this point we must take a look at the substances which are called saponines. Many saponines are steroid glyco­sides, so that solanine differs from this group solely by having the alkaloid component in addition. It is a likely assumption that through an antago­nism to cholesterol solanine, like the actual saponines, unfolds an irritant or toxic action on the cell surfaces. Cholesterol has an important function in the cell membranes. When a foreign steroid alkaloid takes its place this protection may be lost to the cell. The entering of allergens or even micro­organisms is facilitated. This would explain the allergy-like syndromes we meet with Dulcamara and Sabadilla. Extensive painful and itching ede­mata have been observed also from the handling of tomato leaves (containing the glyco-alkaloid tomatine) and from Solarium nigrum. Besides solanine (or rather the very similar solaceine) Dulcamara contains a mixture of saponines, called dulcamarine. As the glyco-alkaloid content of Dulcamara has been found to vary greatly, the saponine mixture may be more significant, perhaps in that one irritant substance makes it easier for the other to enter through the cell membranes. The constitutional formulas of the two constituents of dulcamarine, a glycoside dulcamaric acid and the non-glycoside dulcamaretinic acid, are not yet known. The saponines and solaceine are responsible for the taste of the Dulcamara herb which is bitter at first and then sweetish. Sugar is liberated from the bitter glyco­sides by the saliva. This change in taste has given the bittersweet its name in all languages.

Here we cannot go fully into the centuries-old history of the medicinal use of Dulcamara. It is, however, remarkable that even in old herbals (for instance, Conker) the herb was recommended as a remedy suitable only for persons of a cold and humid nature, and the particular effectiveness of Dulcamara in patients who were exposed to cold and wet has been emphasized already before Hahnemann (for instance by Carrere 7 in 1789). Hahnemann had several times concerned himself with the action of Dulca­mara before he did his proving in 1811. One of these passages I cannot resist quoting 8 : "If, as v. Haller (in Vicat) assures us, the bittersweet has cured cough developed from chill, this is because in cold and damp air it has a marked tendency to produce all sorts of catarrhs, as Carrere and de Hahn observed. The reason why just the bittersweet has so effectively cured a type of eczema and herpes (under the eyes of Carrere, Fouquet and Poupart) is sought in vain in the sphere of fanciful conjectures, since simple nature herself puts it right under our noses, namely: the bittersweet excites for itself a type of eczema; Carrere saw a herpes spread for two weeks over the whole body from its use and on another occasion eczema develop on the hands. Can there be a more natural connection between potential action and effect?"    

In Hahnemann's proving of Dulcamara 8, the action of solanine (or of solaceine) on the central nervous system appears insignificant compared with that on the skin and mucosa and on peripheral muscle and nerve. The main actions may be summarized as of the allergy type; but that is not to say that Dulcamara itself contains an allergen, like for instance Rhus toxicodendron, the actions of which resemble those of Dulcamara in many respects. It is more likely that the solanine or the saponines of Dulcamara make it easier for any allergens to enter through the mucous membranes. Though this is at present only a hypothesis, it is conducive to an under­standing of the actions on which we base our homeopathic use of Dulcamara.

Dulcamara's affinity to the skin, which has been known since ancient days, has had a new light thrown upon it by the provings: at first there is a burning and itching which is worse at night. The subsequent eruptions a urticaria-like, 'like flea bites or nettle rash", or in the form of red pimples and vesicles which later on may become purulent. In some cases sudden swellings "similar to acute articular rheumatism" have been observed (by Rockwith) in the region of the wrist, with pain along the ulnar nerve. Moreover, severe inflammatory edemata have been seen in cattle who had eaten Dulcamara. 9

The skin symptoms of an allergic type must be seen in connection with the catarrhal and rheumatic symptoms. Indeed, the alternation of syn­dromes, now from mucous membranes, be it of the respiratory or the gastro-intestinal tracts, now from the skin or as "rheumatic" from the neuro-muscular system, has become one of the main indications for Dulca­mara. The basic observation was: aggravation of skin eruptions or their re­appearance when Dulcamara had been given for rheumatism or diarrhea. This alternation of syndromes is not of the type to qualify Dulcamara for inclusion among the constitutional remedies in the narrower sense of the word, the so-called anti-psoric remedies. The symptomatology of Dulca­mara points rather to acute reactions to environmental agents and influences.

The saponine-like action of Dulcamara comes out even more clearly in the mucous membranes than it did in the skin. All secretions are increased acutely. The catarrhs of the ocular conjunctiva, of the nose, and upper respiratory passages are similar to those of Sabadilla, and as with the latter have led to the use in hay fever. In the lower respiratory passages fewer signs of increased secretion are found in the provings than one might have expected from what animal experiments with solanine have shown. Pain in the chest and oppression were more conspicuous in the proving of Dulcamara. This may be due to action on centers controlling respiration which is more evident from the reports of Dulcamara and solanine poison­ing. Allergic asthma is frequently taken as an indication for Dulcamara, but apart from the alternation of asthma with skin eruptions and rheumatic complaints there are no other more definite characteristics. The long-established and proved modality that cold and wet are causal and aggra­vating factors in Dulcamara complaints is accepted. But for asthma this modality applies just as well to Natrium sulphuricum which in my experi­ence at least has shown itself superior to Dulcamara. Because of the aggra­vation from cold and wet Dulcamara has been regarded as a remedy for v. Grauvogl's "hydrogenoid constitution", but not too aptly; for the second characteristic of this constitutional type, periodicity in the occurrence of symptoms, there is no evidence. With Natrium sulphuricum this second modality is somewhat better substantiated, for there a regular aggravation of asthma in the early hours of the morning and a recurrence of the skin eruptions every spring are mentioned. But then the aggravation from cold and wet in the case of Dulcamara should not be presented simply as proneness to colds, as may equally apply to dozens of other drugs. What is meant rather is that the catarrhal and rheumatic syndromes are of the type which is produced particularly by cold and wet, through sudden cooling after being heated, and suppression of sweat. Dulcamara acts "as if" there had been a "cold".

Earaches and noises in the ears appear so frequently in the provings that one would assume that Dulcamara should be useful for catarrhs ascending along the Eustachian tubes to the middle ear. But there seem to be no records of clinical experience in this condition.

Symptoms of irritation from the gastro-intestinal mucosa do not come out very clearly in the provings, merely as pain and rumbling in the stomach. It was known from Dulcamara poisonings already before Hahne­mann that vomiting and diarrhea may occur. Carrere had described the diarrhea as slimy and yellow or greenish and this statement has been borne out. From clinical observation comes the indication of Dulcamara for autumnal diarrhea, partially also due to sudden changes of weather such as from hot days to cold nights, or moving from the heat of the sun into chilly rooms; a variation of the "catching cold" motif. A better indication is given if the diarrheas appear as equivalents for other syndromes, per­haps alternating with asthma or moist eczema.

Signs of irritation of the urinary passages and the female genital pas­sages with Dulcamara poisoning have been reported particularly by Carrere: cystitis, stranguria, pain on micturition, frequency of micturition, slimy cloudy urine; again as the result of cold and wet; symptoms of irri­tation with eruptions on the external female passages with increased libido, and menstrual disorders of various, in themselves non-characteris­tic, types. If in addition there is premenstrual urticaria and if secretions or eruptions seem to be suppressed through a chill, the case for Dulcamara would be stronger. Hemorrhagic nephritis has been seen as a rare occur­rence in Dulcamara poisoning, but this has apparently not been taken up as an indication for the use of Dulcamara so far. A tendency to hemorrhage may well be due to the action of the saponines. Epistaxis has been reported several times in the provings. Vicarious nose bleeds, in the place of missing menses or after the suppression of other discharges, would be in line with the action of Dulcamara; but there seems to be little clinical experience in this respect.

With regard to the neuro-muscular system which so often manifests the effects of cold and wet, the provings have brought out many symp­toms. Apart from rheumatic-neuralgic pains, stiffness and lameness are frequent, particularly in the back of the neck and shoulder region. Neural­gias have been described particularly in the face, arms and calves, combined with a feeling of icy coldness, lameness, tension, twitching and trembling. The important factor with these syndromes is the modality amelioration from movement; it indicates stagnation in the tissues, an altered turgidity. This modality often brings Dulcamara into the final choice with Rhus toxicodendron which has a similar affinity to muscles, mucosa and the skin on an allergic basis. Dulcamara is often used as a matter of routine when Rhus Tox. has failed. The clinical indications for Dulcamara, "rheumatism alternating with diarrhea" or "rheumatic symptoms follow­ing acute skin eruption," need no further elucidation after what has been said above.

Symptoms from the central nervous system which are marked in the picture of solanine and Dulcamara poisoning are much less significant in the drug picture. Headache and dizziness, slight twitchings and tensions, sensations of lameness, and psychically a discontented, off-putting mood do appear in the drug provings. But no definite therapeutic indication have arisen from them.

The character of Dulcamara comes out most clearly in the alternation of syndromes of the skin, mucosa, and locomotor system, and in the following modalities: causal and aggravating factors are cold and wet, sudden change from hot to cold; amelioration from movement applies particularly to the rheumatic symptoms; the skin symptoms are worse at night.

CAPSICUM
Finally, there is Capsicum annuum, the fruits of which are well known as cayenne or Spanish pepper or paprika.


Capsicum also belongs to the sub­family of Solaninae, but it is doubtful whether it contains the glyco-alka­loid solanine, some say so and others not; it seems at any rate to be of no significance for the action of Capsicum. But there are also traces of another alkaloid which has not yet been identified; being volatile it may be similar to confine or the tobacco alkaloids. But with regard to the actions of Capsicum nothing definite can as yet be said about it. The rich vitamin content of the Capsicum fruits, particularly vitamin C, beta-ascorbic acid, may well have a bearing on its former use, in substantial amounts, for reduced resistance to infections, marasm and dysentery, but for the use of Capsicum potencies a vitamin substitution can hardly be considered. The chief active principle of Capsicum is capsaicin. This is no true alkaloid, but an acid amide, a combination of vanillyl amide with dimethylnonenylic acid. Capsaicin is a strong irritant for the skin and mucosa. It appears to stimulate first of all the sensory receptors, and particularly those for the sensation of warmth. Hence the characteristic burning of Capsicum at any site where it comes in contact with tissues. This is followed by a reflector hyperemia and this again is characterized in that the expansion of the capillaries relaxation of the small vessels persists for a long time. The vessels can then no longer adapt themselves to cold stimuli, hence the general sensation of chilliness and great sensitivity to cold. The contrast with the saponine action of Dulcamara, where increased secretion stands in the foreground, is obvious.

As to the use of Capsicum plasters as a derivative counter irritant for rheumatism, synovitis, chilblains and occasionally also for bronchitis and bronchiolitis, nothing further need be said. More rarely, Capsicum tincture is used as a gargle for torpid inflammation of the throat with an elongated uvula. For homeopathic use the skin affinity of Capsicum has achieved no significance.

The tincture has also been used occasionally as a stomachic for lack of appetite and dyspepsia. Lyon recommended it especially for alcoholism; apparently it not only relieves the dyspeptic symptoms with morning sickness, but the craving itself is said to be abolished. It is also maintained that Capsicum has a calming and hypnotic action in the early stages of delirium tremens; the provings show trembling and disturbances of sleep, but no hallucinations. Possibly the alkaloid of which no details are known may play a part.

But it is capsaicin which is responsible for the main actions of Capsicum. Wherever this peppery principle passes the mucosa it produces a burning, hot sensation, and a dryness which in turn gives rise to spasms. On elimination through the urine the bladder is irritated until there is tenesmus, the urge to urinate is strong but ineffectual. A sharp burning passes along the urethra and concentrates particularly on the urethral ori­fice; if the irritation is continuous a state of near-paralysis arises. I have found Capsicum particularly helpful for ectropium of the female urethral orifice which can bring with it a distressing irritation. A good indication is chronic urethritis, either non-specific or following gonorrhea, if there is more irritation than secretion: a small amount of creamy secretion is dis­charged with sharp burning and great urging and cramp-like erection, so-called chords. If the bladder is involved the severe tenesmus points to Capsicum. Capsicum seems to be less indicated for the acute initial state of an infection, and rather more when the blood vessels and thus the mucosa are already lax from earlier attacks and a relapse of irritation and inflam­mation supervenes. 

Sharp burning and tenesmus indicate Capsicum also for hemorrhoids, particularly if they occur together with the same symptoms from the uri­nary passages. In such cases the symptoms of irritation are aggravated by the passage of stools. A small amount of slimy secretion, but sometimes also bleeding from the relaxed mucosa serve as a further indication. The old-established indication of Capsicum for dysentery with violent tenesmus has been give a special note by the provings: after every stool there is thirst and if this is slaked with cold water intense shivering will follow. This latter modality is given as a general characteristic of Capsicum: after cold drinks shivering starts between the shoulders, runs down the back and spreads over the whole body. That is but an example of the great sensitiv­ity to cold: cold draft aggravates pain, cough and other complaints, and is anxiously avoided. In this one can see the lack of adaptability to cold on the part of the relaxed and widened capillaries and arterioles. A particular aggravation from cold wetness, as in the case of Dulcamara, has not been noted for Capsicum.

The irritation of the upper respiratory passages is characterized by dryness of the mucosa. The cough arising from this is explosive, shaking, it causes pain not only in the throat and chest but also in more distant parts, such as bursting headaches, pressing earaches, shooting pains into the extremities, especially along the sciatic nerve. Here again cold aggra­vates, and that applies also to a dry laryngitis with hoarseness. In general the attacks of coughing are also worse after lying down, at night, in bed. The provings also record dyspnea, a feeling of fullness and distension in the chest and constriction worse from movement. But Capsicum has no indications for humid asthma like Dulcamara. On the other hand, a ten­dency of the dry hyperemia of the respiratory mucosa towards ulceration can be inferred from the following symptoms in Hahnemann's proving: "Me cough expels an evil-smelling breath from the mouth. The breath coming from the lungs on coughing produces a strange, repugnant taste in the mouth." In fact, Capsicum has been used successfully in bronchitis foetida and even for lung abscesses.

Another strange observation in the proving has led to the frequently successful use of Capsicum for impending mastoiditis: a swelling over the petrous bone behind the ear which is painful on touch. That was probably only an intercellular inflammation of the type which has been seen in one case described in the literature of lethal poisoning from Capsicum; there the swellings appeared on the cheeks, ears and back of the neck after papular eruptions had changed into vesicles. One can merely guess why the tympanum and the petrous bone should be sites of preference for the action of Capsicum. The lax, spongy mucous membrane attached directly to the periost of the mastoid and with a wide capillary bed may well be predisposed for the irritating action of capsaicin.

The widening and relaxation of the capillaries through Capsicum may persist and leave circumscribed areas of redness on the cheeks, the nose or ears. The dilatation of the small blood vessels remains even under the influence of cold, hence the red areas on the face present a contrast to the chilliness and frostiness of the Capsicum type. Relaxation of tissues gener­ally is characteristic of the constitutional type. Hahnemann already noted that Capsicum was less suitable for persons of a tense fibre. The cold, flabby type with circumscribed redness of the cheeks has been described by later authors as sluggish, indolent, fat--probably with some measure of poetic license. It certainly is not a stipulation for the effectiveness of Capsicum in the well-defined pathological conditions in which mostly low potencies are used.

Stiffness and pain in muscles and joints and along nerves also appear frequently in the provings; they are said to be worse when starting to move, better with continued movement, similar to Dulcamara. Capsicum has, however, been little used in this direction.

A number of mental symptoms have also come out in the Capsicum provings: changeable mood, peevish, sullen, timid, indifferent; also offish and even obstinate, carping, taciturn, withdrawn; fearful and sentimental. One prover states that such moods were not over persons or moral issues, but over lifeless objects, having no relation to ordinary causes or events. From this wide scale of unease towards the environment, home-sickness has been picked out as a particular indication for Capsicum; not exactly a complaint for which our medical aid is very often demanded. I do not know whether any remarkable successes have been scored with Capsicum in this field. And when some authors phrased the indication "home-sick­ness with red cheeks" one really does not know whether they wanted to make a laughing stock of themselves or of the homeopathic materia medics.

This survey of the family of Solanaceae was made to show what the drug pictures have in common and where they differ. Without recourse to their active substances, the closer or more distant relationships among the remedies of this family of plants could hardly be conceived. Incomplete though our knowledge may still be, such an approach to understanding their actions serves an intelligent application of the drugs on the homeo­pathic principle.


* Reprinted by permission from The British Homeopathic Journal, 51, 1962, translated by R.E.K. Meuss.


REFERENCES

Provings of Belladonna, Atropine, Stramomium, Dulcamara, and Capsicum--T.F. Allen, Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medico.

Provings of Solanine--Schroff, Pharmakologie, p. 632, and Clarus, Journ, f. Pharmak., I, p.245

1 Leeser, O., D.Z.f. Hom. 1925, p. 134.

2 Baker and Farley, B.M.J., 1958, P. 1390.

3 Leeser, O., D.Z.f. Hom. 1925, p. 139.

4 Van Vleuten, Zentralbl. f. Nervenheilk. u. Psychiatr., 15, 19, 1904.

5 Mezger, J., Arch. f. Hom., I, p. 41, 1953.

6 Wilson, G.S., Monthl. Bull. Min. Health Lab. Serv., 18,207,1959.

7 Carrere, Traitede la Douce-amere, 1789.

8 Hahnemann, S., Hufelands Arch., 26, 2,p. 26.

9 Barrat, Journ. de Med. Veterin., 72, 9, p. 545, 1926.







<< back

Dynamic Content Management by ContentTrakker