BUFO | Materia Medica by James Tyler Kent
The little glands along the back of the toad’s neck, when squeezed with forceps, ooze a secretion which is soluble in alcohol and has been proved; this is the subject we will now consider. Bufo satyhienis is the one I use in practice. Bufo is a wonderful medicine; it profoundly affects the mind and especially the intellectual faculties, including confusion of mind and loss of memory until the patient gradually goes towards a state of imbecility. The greatest use of this medicine will be found in nervous conditions, throbbings, jerking and spasmodic condition of muscles, ulceration of the skin and mucous membranes, and all this in such patients as are tending towards a state of imbecility, a state of confusion or weakness of mind. This imbecility is more frequent in Bufo than the active states of insanity or mania, yet these appear occasionally through the remedy.
The first symptom in the text reads, “Desire for solitude in order to practice masturbation.” This alone throws a flood of light upon the nature of the remedy; the lack of government, the lack of control over the sexual longing, and the low-mindedness whereby he is willing to abandon himself to the lower things that are in the human race, to perverted practices and vices. It tells a great story. “Whimpered, then cried, until he fell into a state of coma.” These states, as brought out clinically, are manifested in adult people who act as if they were children. An aspect of child-like simplicity is present and the mind returns to a state of child-like innocence. An adult takes on the ways of a child, as a state of imbecility. This mental state is especially found under Baryta carb. in adults who have never developed beyond childhood, who have always remained children. A person reasons like a child, talks like a child, whimpers like a child, cries like a child, wants to be petted like a child; so it is in Baryta carb. We find this state of mind in children who have developed epilepsy, but we do not prescribe this remedy on account of the epilepsy; the child has not developed properly, and the epilepsy is only one of the manifestations. The cause is far back, and is really the psoric condition. Thereby the mental state has not developed, the child has not grown into a man or woman in intellectual attainments or wisdom, and remains as a whimpering, screaming child. This lack of development is found in Bufo and in Baryta carb.; they are related to each other in that the child-like state remains while the body grows. We see in these medicines the fear and simplicity that belongs to the child; always sickly, deficient, never reaching adult fullness or growth, always a child. “How much like a child that woman appears,” or “How much like a child that man is.” We say that of some old people, they are so childish. The old routinists have said of those people who are prematurely old or have taken on senility, that they need Baryta carb. This medicine also stands out in bold type for those prematurely senile; the man at fifty acts like an old broken-down man of eighty; he has lost all he had five or six years ago, and has taken on a child-like simplicity and innocence, an appearance of imbecility. Then it is that we think of this medicine. Baryta carb. has hitherto been the leading one, but Bufo is also very important. “Left his bed after apathy and ran like mad through the house.” There it branches off from the condition of imbecility to that of excitement of mind. Most of the Bufo patients will be passive, placid, not in a state of excitement or mania, but passive in everything. Feeble-minded, simple, child-like. “Weak memory and idiotic.” “Longs for solitude, yet dreads being alone.” “Angry, bites at surrounding objects.” “Easily laughs or cries.” It has been used in delirium tremens, during the stages of excitement and mental prostration, biting and grasping things. “Titters;” now that is more expressive than to say she laughs, she titters at every little thing that is said. Titters and says foolish things; titters over things that are not laughable; everything said seems to be funny to this simple, child-like woman. You know a child laughs and is merry, but we do not expect such things in adults except when what is said is particularly ludicrous. These symptoms are sometimes met in epileptics. “Easily laughs or cries;” easily affected, an extremely sensitive, nervous nature. Again, the most extreme anxiety, night and day, wringing the hands and talking about something awful that is going to happen when there is nothing to happen; some awful event, some terrible thing in the future, it is all darkness and despair, walks the floor and wrings the hands and says over and over the same awful things that are going to take place, when in reality the future is safe and there is nothing to be anxious about. This occurs in cases of insanity. Such as are approaching imbecility are passive, they have a lack of comprehension of things around; but those that are going into insanity have an increased imagination of the things that surround them. Where these symptoms have been induced by secret vice.
“Become angry if misunderstood.” This is approaching insanity. It is well known to medical men and to the courts that these conditions of insanity intermingle in the human race with epilepsy, and that an epileptic is not always held responsible for murder, because it is : so well known that the epileptic state of the body is not confined merely to the spasms of the muscles, the sudden falling, foaming at the mouth, clonic spasms, biting of the tongue, etc. These alone do not constitute all of epilepsy. The epileptic suffers from an underlying psoric state, which in one is a state of imbecility and in another a state of epileptic manifestation, and in another a state of insanity. Those who inherit this peculiar constitution, even in one family, exhibit it in different ways; one will be insane, another one imbecile, another will die of cancer and another will be an epileptic. Bufo underlies such a constitution; it is an antipsoric, it is a deep-seated, vital remedy; it goes to the very heart and interior of man’s physical nature, and from this mental state it may manifest itself in his ultimates, the fingers and toes, eyes, ears, etc., so that even the touch is disordered. There are patches upon the skin that have loss of sensation and others with increased sensations. Spasms of various muscles, sometimes local spasm and sometimes complete epileptic spasms with bleeding at the mouth, unconsciousness, falling down.
Besides such grave state, it has milder states that may be called mere dizziness or vertigo. The milder conditions of dizziness have gone on to sudden falling and collapse, a sudden state of unconsciousness with spasms and biting of the tongue. In the proving we find attacks of apathy and partial coma; numbness of the brain. So we see in the text that we have conditions ranging from mere dizziness to a complete and profound epilepsy. The study of this remedy may reveal to you something of the nature of epilepsy. From the allopathic treatises on epilepsy you will only get the appearance of the fit, and the fit is treated as epilepsy. They hunt for remedies to subdue and control the fit, thinking when they have done that they have cured the patient. They feed these patients Bromides in large doses and now and then they branch off into some side issue, but go back to the Bromides and stupefy and make imbeciles of their patients. Prescribing for the fit has never cured the patient.
“Congestive headaches.” Again, its action on the circular fibers of the abdominal aorta furnishes a key-note in epilepsy. An awful sensation of anxiety is felt in the abdomen and then there is a sudden loss of consciousness; the aura or warning is first felt in the abdomen. Some writers have described it as in the solar plexus. The awful sensation occurs as an anxiety and then he falls.
“Cannot bear the sight of brilliant objects.” “Amaurosis,” etc. “Pupils largely dilated and unaffected by light before attack.” “More acute vision.”
It has spasmodic conditions of the eye, but increased vision and diminished sensation, and lastly a tendency to profound trophic disturbance. Little blisters form upon the eye. These little blisters also form upon the skin, and the integument is thrown off and there is no healing. Ulcers will form upon the cornea. “Eyes become highly injected.” Paralytic conditions of the lids and muscles of the eye. There is disturbance of all the senses. “Music is unbearable.” One who is in a natural state is expected to enjoy beautiful music, whereas in this remedy music brings about a state of anxiety. The sense of hearing is so violently exaggerated that every little noise is distressing. “Purulent otorrhoea.” “Swelling of the ears, of the parotids.” “Phlegmonous erysipelas about the face.” “Falling out of the teeth” in the peculiar disease known as Rigg’s disease.
“Stuttering and stammering; gets angry when incoherent speech is not understood.” “Biting the tongue.” “Tongue cracked, bluish-black.” “Mouth wide open before an attack,” showing that the spasm is coming on; and this condition increases so that when the attack is not on, he drops the jaw and looks stupid as if he had forgotten everything. Bufo often corresponds to lesser attacks resembling vertigo. In this state people do not fall, and for a few seconds everything is a blank, or sometimes they do things automatically in these moments. A person, in this mild form of epileptic vertigo, will hardly show anything, but he will sometimes come to a perfect standstill and then go on as if nothing had happened. What occurred during that attack he knows nothing of. Sometimes he will continue right on doing what he was doing, and nobody will know of the spell. Sometimes when driving he will turn his horses around, and when he comes to himself he will know by this that he has had one of his attacks. Quite a number of medicines have produced that condition of the mind, a state in which he goes on doing things automatically.
“Vomiting after drinking.” “Yellow fluid in vomit.” “Vomiting of bile or blood.” “Spasms end by convulsive movements in abdomen.” It says in the text, “The attack originates in abdomen;” that is, he has a feeling of anxiety in the abdomen previous to the attack.
“Haemorrhoidal tumors.” “Urine passes involuntarily.” The urine passes involuntarily in such as are becoming imbeciles from the epileptic attacks, in approaching softening of the brain, which is really what is taking place, a form of softening, a lowered form of integrity.
As you might suppose, there is great disturbance of the sexual organs; this is usually the case in insane people. Sometimes the sexual organs are in a state of excitement and sometimes in a state of impotency; but the patient is low-minded; inclination to carry the hand constantly to the genital organs. “Semen is discharged too quickly without pleasurable sensation.” Spasms or epilepsy comes on during coition. It has also inflammation of glands, especially about the groins, such as are found in syphilis.
In the female sexual organs burning is the most striking feature; burning in the ovaries and uterus. It is one of the most troublesome symptoms you will have to contend with, when a case of dysmenorrhoea has burning in the ovaries and in the pelvis, at the coming on of or during menses. Burning in the genital organs, in the ovaries, and rending, tearing pains that extend down the thighs. This forms a troublesome kind of dysmenorrhoea, especially when there are cysts and hydatids about the ovaries. Some will tell you that these cannot be cured. All these conditions are curable! Burning heat and stitches in ovaries.” “Distending, burning pains or cramps in uterus.” This remedy has been a great palliative for these awful burning pains that occur in carcinoma of the uterus; stitching, rending, tearing pains in carcinoma of the uterus, when the pains run outwards into the legs, with ulceration of the uterus and cervix; tearing, stinging pains and bloody, offensive leucorrhoea. Bufo is full of offensive discharges; bloody, offensive leucorrhoea. You would think you had the odor of gangrene or gangrenous erysipelas in the room from smelling these discharges. “Enormous blisters upon tumefied uterus, discharging a thin, serous, yellow fluid.” This occurs in epileptic states.
“Menstruation suppressed,” “too early with headache,” “burning in uterus and vagina.” “Spasms occur just before menses.” That is, girls who are subject to epilepsy have increase of spasm at the time of menses, sometimes before, sometimes during. “Attacks worse at time of menses.” “During menses contractive pain in liver.” “Yellow fluid leucorrhoea.” When the girl lies in an unconscious condition during the menstrual period and has several epileptic spasms which she has no realization of until told and then she is too much dazed to understand it she needs Bufo.
Bufo has been a great palliative in cancer of the mammal, for the burning pains and for the blisters that form roundabout; large, yellow blisters; blisters that fill with yellow, serous discharge; it has been especially useful when the milk is mixed with blood. It corresponds to the low form of inflammation of the blood vessels, like milk leg, when the veins feel like whipcords in the thighs.
“Burning, excoriation in larynx.” You see how burning runs all through the remedy; it occurs wherever there are inflammatory conditions or where nerves are sensitive and painful, and the nerve sheath becomes painful and sensitive to touch along its course; hence its use in sciatica and other inflammatory conditions of large nerves.
“Violent cough with vomiting.” Cough with gagging and retching. Expectoration is bloody or formed of pure blood. Sensation of coldness in chest. “Burning like fire in lungs.” Burning extending up into the larynx; gangrene of the lungs. “Laryngitis, haemoptysis.” Burning in the chest with all these affections, such as have been described. It has the phthisical constitution when the epilepsy has been turned aside by strong drugs. It has the phthisical constitution when discharges have been suppressed by closing fistulous openings, or by stimulating ointments. It has those low forms of disease which must develop when outward manifestations have been suppressed. The constitution that belongs to the very nature of the individual will come out in epilepsy, in insanity, in imbecility, in cancer, in some one of the low forms of disease. This medicine corresponds to a low type and constitution. The nature of the Bufo constitution is such that it is capable of giving out symptoms similar to those produced by low forms of disease. He is not likely to live to be old, he is likely to break down at forty. She comes to her end by cancer of uterus or breast, or by imbecility. He comes to his end with low forms of disease, malignant manifestations. This medicine, therefore, goes into the very life. Children develop an unusual tendency to low forms of chronic disease; they do not possess a good healthy nature, a good sound brain; but they are feeble, they break out with eruptions, they go into consumption. Persons of twenty-five have a tendency to break down, and when the symptoms look like those of Bufo this medicine will, in a wonderful way make that constitution all over. Such cases as these only get well by a violent turmoil and by tremendous aggravations. When we approach these diseases by easy stages the patient does not get so much disorder or excitement, but is not cured so radically. Old diseases would reappear, old gonorrhoeas would be brought back, and old syphilitic states come up, ulcers attack the mucous membranes, etc. Such turmoil is likely to occur when you get a deep acting remedy, such as brings all the disease out that was lurking within.
“Attacks ushered in by a jerk in nape of neck.” “Swelling of bone size of fist.” “Arms became stiffened before an attack.” “Numbness of left arm.” “Blister in hand, which recurred annually.” “Panaritium.” A great many troubles occur in the extremities; paralytic affections, etc.
A warm room is unbearable; headaches and flushes of the face are made worse in a warm room or when near the stove; better from bathing or in cold air. Complaints better from putting the feet in hot water.
Trembling. Some of the epileptic attacks occur with regular periodicity, others occur irregularly. We have no remedy for epilepsy. Does that mean we must leave the human race to go on and suffer with epilepsy? We do have plenty of remedies for people who have epilepsy. A large percentage of the cases are curable.
After what has been said concerning the nature of this remedy I am sure you will read the symptoms with great interest. When you read the symptoms, they will cling around the constitution and nature of such individuals and such states as have been described. This is one of the remedies that you will need to use for the development of feeble-minded children whether there are spasms or not.
BUFO | Materia Medica by James Tyler Kent
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