Aesculus Hippocastanum | Materia Medica by J. T. Kent
A peculiar kind of PLETHORA is found running through this remedy, a vascular fullness which affects the extremities and the whole body, and there are symptoms showing that the brain is similarly affected.
The conditions of Aesculus are WORSE DURING SLEEP, hence symptoms are observed on waking. He wakes up with confusion of mind, looks all around the room in confusion, bewildered, does not know the people, wonders where he is and what is the meaning of the things he sees. It is especially useful in children that rouse up in sleep frightened and in confusion, like LYCOPODIUM. The remedy produces great SADNESS, IRRITABILITY, loss of memory and aversion to work. There are times when there is a sense of bodily congestion, FULLNESS OF THE VEINS, and then these symptoms are most marked. It is a GENERAL VENOUS STASIS, and is sometimes worse in sleep, worse from lying, better from bodily exertion. The symptoms pass away after considerable exertion; moving about, doing something, keeping busy relieves. You will find it useful in persons who suffer from palpitation when the pulsation extends to the extremities and the throbbing of the heart in sleep can be heard; an audible palpitation.
Now, as the mental symptoms are the most important in a proving, so are the mental symptoms in sickness the most important. Hahnemann directs us to pay most attention to the symptoms of the mind, because the symptoms of the mind constitute the man himself. The highest and innermost symptoms are the most important, and these are the mind symptoms. Aesculus has not been brought out in the finest detail, but we have the key to it. Extreme irritability is the very general state from which ramify a great many mental symptoms. Irritability and mental depression run through a great many remedies, and form the centre around which revolve all the mental symptoms in some cases. The reason that these are more interior than some other symptoms of the mind is that these relate to the affections themselves. The mental symptoms can be classified in a remedy. The things that relate to the memory are not so important as the things that relate to the intelligence, and the things that relate to the intelligence are not so important as the things that relate to the affections or desires and aversions. We see in a state of irritability that the patient is not irritable while doing the things that he desires to do; if he wants to be talked to, for instance, you do not discover his irritability while talking to him. You never discover he is irritable if you do the things he wants you to do. But just as soon as you do something he does not want, this irritability or disturbance of the will is brought on, and this is the very innermost of the man’s state. That which he wishes belongs to that which he wills, and the things that relate to what he wills are the most important things in every proving. You may say that an individual is sad, but he is sad because he lacks something that he wants; he desires something which he has not and becomes sad for it; sadness may go on to such an extent that the mind is in confusion.
Confusion of mind and vertigo. Make this distinction, vertigo is not a confusion of the intelligence. You have only to meditate upon it a moment and you will see that it is not. Confusion of the mind is a disturbance of the intellect, not a disturbance of the sensorium; you will make a distinction between staggering when walking and a period of disturbance of the mind, with inability to think clearly. Vertigo is a sensation of rolling, and belongs to the sensorium. A great mistake has been made in some of our repertories, in that confusions of mind are placed with vertigo under sensorium. These things must be thought out carefully, so that we are clear in our own minds as to what symptoms mean when they are given to us by patients. A patient may state that when walking in the street he is dizzy, or that it appears as though everything interiorly were turning around, yet he may be perfectly able to add up a column of figures; his mind may be clear. If we ourselves are perfectly clear as to the meaning of these expressions, we will commonly glean the meaning of the patient. It is important to record the language of the patient, yet often a patient will say something which you can see he does not mean at all, and it then becomes necessary to put in a parenthesis what he really means. For instance, a patient says: “I have such a pain in my chest,” with the hand on the abdomen, or a woman when menstruating will say the pain is in the stomach when you know it is in the uterus. Patients must be questioned oftentimes as to their statements, or requested to place the hand upon the painful part. In the same way, therefore, patients talk about dizziness when they are not dizzy at all, but feel a confusion of mind, or they speak of confusion of mind when they mean that they stagger in the street.
It is in the nature of this remedy to have FLYING PAINS all over the body, like PULSATILLA and KALI CARB., flitting, sharp, shooting, tearing pains, flying from one part to another; they seem at times to be scarcely more than skin deep. Sometimes they fly along the course of the nerves.
This remedy is full of HEADACHE. It has also dull aching pain, when it seems that the brain would be pressed out. But especially are these pains felt in the BACK OF THEHEAD, as IF THE HEAD WOULD BE CRUSHED; hard aching pains, violent aching pains, fullness of the brain. “Dull frontal headache, from right to left, with constrictive feeling of skin of forehead.” Fulness of the head, with dull, heavy pains, aching in the forehead; pain over the right eye. “Neuralgic pains in the right supraorbital region.” “Shooting in left parietal bone, later in right.” Formication of the scalp. If you examine the skin you will find formication, tickling and shooting and itching all over the body, so what there is in the scalp is only what belongs to the remedy in all parts.
Aesculus is a wonderful EYE remedy, especially when the eyes have “haemorrhoids.” Does that convey any idea to you? By that I mean particularly enlarged blood vessels. GREAT REDNESS OF THE EYES, WITH LACHRYMATION, BURNING EYEBALLS AND VASCULAR APPEARANCE. This increased determination of blood is more or less painful; the eyeballs feel sore and ache; sharp, shooting pains in eyes. In almost every rubric of Aesculus we shall find stitching and shooting; little twinges; wandering pains with fulness; almost every kind of disturbance will intensify the fulness. Fulness of the hands and feet, not the fullness that pits upon pressure, that we call oedema, but a tenseness. Medicines having much trouble with the veins are often disturbed by hot bathing, weakness after a hot bath, weakness in warm weather, aversion to heat and desire for cold. It is the state of PULSATILLA. The PULSATILLA veins contract in cold weather, and the shrivelling up makes the patient feel better, but the veins fill and become engorged in the warm air and after a hot bath. A tepid bath sometimes makes a PULSATILLA patient feel better, but a Turkish bath is generally distressing. Many of the complaints of Aesculus are of this sort; Aesculus often feels better in cold air. The symptoms of Aesculus are often brought out by temperature, especially the little stinging pains. It is characteristic of these superficial pains that they are nearly always ameliorated by heat, while the deeper affections are oftentimes ameliorated from cold. Now, in PULSATILLA, the stinging pains of the scalp and those over the body, here and there, are often ameliorated by the local application of heat, while the patient himself wants to be in the cold; in the same way Aesculus stinging pains are better from heat, while the patient is often better from cold, although at times he is aggravated from cold, damp weather in rheumatic and venous conditions. Again, in SECALE, we see that the little sharp pains that follow the course of the nerves are better from heat, but the patient himself wants to be in the cold air, or to be uncovered, except the spot of pain, which he wants kept warm. We notice the same thing running through CAMPHOR; during the twinges of pain he wants the windows closed and wants hot applications; but as soon as the pain is over he wants the windows up and desires to be uncovered so that he can breathe. These are general things, things that are to be observed in analyzing symptoms.
Aesculus then is a venous remedy, engorged and full, sometimes to bursting. Now, there is another feature I want to bring out. You will notice where congestion takes place that it is PURPLE or blue in color. This remedy produces inflammation of the throat, the characteristic being that it is very dark. It has the tendency to produce varicose veins and ulceration, and round about these we have marked duskiness. Aesculus cures varicose leg ulcers WITH A PURPLISH AREOLA. When we study the haemorrhoidal state we see THE TUMOR IS PURPLE, looking almost as if it would slough. The remedy is not active in its inflammatory state, IT IS SLUGGISH AND PASSIVE. Certain remedies produce a slight inflammation with a high degree of redness, everything is violent and rapid, but in this medicine things are slow; the activities are reduced, the heart is laboring and the veins are congested.
“Eructations: sour, greasy, bitter.” “Desire to vomit.” “HEARTBURN AND GULPING UP OF FOOD AFTER EATING.” It has a great DISTURBANCE OF DIGESTION, and we can see by these symptoms that we must class it with PHOSPHORUS and FERRUM. As soon as the patient has swallowed the food, or a little while after, it becomes sour and he eructates it, until after a while he has emptied the stomach of its contents. Such is the state of PHOSPHORUS, FERRUM, ARSENICUM, Aesculus and a few other medicines. Aesculus has also a state of congestion and ulceration of the stomach. “Constant distress and burning in the stomach, inclination to vomit.” Such a state as this might be present in ulceration of the stomach.
The ABDOMEN is full of trouble. If we read the symptoms of the right hypochondrium, of the abdomen and of the rectum, we shall see from the study of these that there must be a marked portal stasis. Digestion is slow, the bowels are constipated and there is protrusion of the rectum when at stool. It has most troublesomeHAEMORRHOIDS with FULNESS OF THE RIGHT HYPOCHONDRIUM. The liver is full of suffering. After eating there is distress in the bowels and rectum. Sticking, jagging, burning pains, as if the rectum were FULL OF STICKS. Great suffering with blind haemorrhoids. The haemorrhoidal veins are all distended and ulcerate. The stool becomes jammed into the rectum, against these distended veins, and then ulceration takes place with bleeding and great suffering. This remedy is often supposed to be suitable to haemorrhoids that do not bleed, but it cures bleeding piles also. We find in the text over two pages devoted to the symptoms of the rectum. Great soreness; much pain; urging to stool; dark stool followed by white one, showing the liver engorgement. Chronic constipation.
The BACK is the seat of much trouble, especially low down in the back, through the sacrum and hips; although there is also aching all along the back and pain in the back of the neck. It is a very common thing for patients suffering from haemorrhoids to have pain in the back of the neck and base of the brain, basilar headaches, and when these haemorrhoidal patients undertake to walk they have pain and aching across the sacrum into the hips. THIS PAIN THROUGH THE SACRUM AND INTO THE HIPS,WHEN WALKING, IS A STRIKING FEATURE OF AESCULUS, so striking that you may expect it to be present even when there are no haemorrhoids.
Constant dull backache; walking is almost impossible; scarcely able to rise or walk after sitting. You will see one suffering from the Aesculus backache, on attempting to rise from sitting, make many painful efforts before he finally succeeds. This is found in SULPHUR, PETROLEUM and is also cured by AGARICUS.
Aesculus is indicated oftentimes in the TROUBLES OF WOMEN, with great dragging pain in the pelvis. Many a time has Aesculus cured the dragging-down pain of the pelvis with copious leucorrhoea and PRESSING PAIN IN THE HIPS WHEN WALKING. The woman feels that the uterus is engorged. She says that the lower part of the abdomen feels full, both before and during menstruation. There is much suffering at this time with pains in the hips. “Uterine soreness, with throbbing in the hypogastrium.” “Old cases of leucorrhoea, discharge of a dark yellow color, thick and sticky.” “Leucorrhoea, WITH LAMENESS IN THE BACK ACROSS SACROILIACARTICULATIONS.” During pregnancy there are many complaints, with soreness and fulness and uneasy consciousness of the uterus and pain across the back when walking.
Aesculus is full of GOUTY SUFFERINGS; gout in all the joints, gouty rheumatic affections, neuralgic affections. Especially is this rheumatic tendency found from the elbows to the hands, in the forearm and hands. Rending, tearing pains, flying hither and thither without any particular order, relieved by heat. Varicose veins of the thighs and legs have been cured by Aesculus (FLUORIC ACID). This varicose tendency in the body we have already seen is a striking feature of Aesculus. After the sore throat has passed away, engorged veins are left, which Aesculus sometimes cures. After eye troubles have been cured, varicose veins remain in the eye. With rheumatic complaints there are varicose veins. It is one of the most frequently indicated remedies in the haemorrhoidal constitution, as it used to be called.