Nux Vomica | Materia Medica by J. T. Kent
Everywhere in this remedy we observe the striking oversensitiveness of the patient; it is brought out in all the symptoms. Irritable; oversensitive to noise, to light, to the least current of air, to his surroundings; extremely touchy in regard to his food; many kinds of food disturb, strong foods disturb; he is aggravated by meat; craves stimulants, pungent, bitter, succulent things, something to brace him up. Oversensitive to medicines. One reason why there are so many Nux patients is because people have been overdrugged by the old school. When a patient comes from the old school and bad prescribing, having had stimulants and tonics to brace him up, wine, and stimulants of all sorts, it is sometimes impossible to get reliable symptoms, to get the patient settled down, until we give Nux as an antidote.
It is useful in those overdrugged by tea, coffee, wine. Old coffee drinkers become sensitive, oversensitive to noise, their symptoms are flitting; they do not give their symptoms well. Such patients will do well for a few days on Nux; some of their symptoms will drop out and they will settle down.
The mental state is varied, but they all show oversensitiveness; irritable, touchy, sensitive conditions. They are never contented, never satisfied; disturbed by their surroundings, and they become irritable, so that they want to tear things, to scold. Impulses are strongly marked at times. The woman has impulses to destroy her husband or to throw her child into the fire; the impulse is intermingled with violent temper, cannot be contradicted or opposed; if a chair is in the way he kicks it over; if, while undressing, a part of his clothing should catch on a button he would pull it off because he is so mad at it. (Like NIT. AC). An uncontrollable state of irritability; it is a weakness and is accompanied by physical weakness; a lack of balance. For example, a business man has been at his desk until he is tired out, he receives many letters, he has a great many irons in the fire; he is troubled with a thousand little things; his mind is constantly hurried from one thing to another until he is tortured. It is not so much the heavy affairs but the little things. He is compelled to stimulate his memory to attend, to all the details; he goes home and thinks about it; he lies awake at night; his mind is confused with the Whirl of business and the affairs of the day crowd Upon him; finally brain fag comes on. When the details come to him he gets angry and wants to get away, tears things up, scolds, goes home and takes it out of his family and children. Sleeps by fits and starts; wakens at 3 A. M., and his business affairs crowd on him so that he cannot sleep again until late in the morning when he falls into a fatiguing sleep and wakens up tired and exhausted. He wants to sleep late in the morning.
Melancholy, sadness, but all the time he feels as if he could fly to pieces, jerks things about, tears things up; wants to force things his own way. Driven by impulses to commit acts that verge upon insanity—the destruction of others. NATR. SUT. has a strong impulse to destroy himself. ARG. NITR., also, particularly by jumping from a height, but he avoids placing himself in such a position.
He is oversensitive to the open air, to a draft of air; always chilly, always taking cold and it settles in the nose and extends to the chest.
Skin oversensitive to touch, to draft. Full of pains and aches. He sweats easily on the slightest provocation. Brain fag, fatigue, neuralgias; on the verge of insanity and this goes on to convulsions. Convulsions of single muscles and those of the whole body; muscular twitchings; weakness, trembling, and paralysis. This paralytic weakness and disordered state of the activity of the muscles and nerves are prominent.
Another state running through Nux is that actions are turned in opposite directions. When the stomach is sick, it will empty its contents with no great effort ordinarily, but in Nux there is retching and straining as if the action were going the wrong way, as if it would force the abdomen open; a reversed action; retches, gags, and strains and after a prolonged effort he finally empties the stomach. The same condition is found in the bladder. He must strain to urinate. There is tenesmus, urging. The bladder is full and the urine dribbles away, yet when he strains it ceases to dribble. In regard to the bowels, though the patient strains much, he passes but a scanty stool. In the diarrhoea at times when he sits on the commode in a perfectly passive way, there will be a little squirt of stool, and then comes on tenesmus so that he cannot stop straining, and when he does strain there comes on the sensation of forcing back; the stool seems to go back; a kind of anti-peristalsis. In constipation the more he strains the harder it is to pass a stool. In diarrhoea and dysentery there is straining without relief, but as soon as he passes a little stool there is relief. In dysentery, MERC. has the constant urging; MERC. COR. tenesmus with great desire to urinate. The reversed action of the various functions shows the spasmodic nature of this remedy. Pains shoot from the rectum up; burning.
Neuralgias about the eyes, face, and head; neuralgic headaches; the pains stick, and tear; they cause weeping, fainting; they burn and sting. Pains in the head and face and in the extremities, that sting and tear, but especially draw. Sensation of tension in the muscles. A drawing in the back like a pulling or tension in the muscles. The pain feels as if drawing, a spasm of the muscles; a drawing pain in the back; drawing pain in the back of the neck, forcing the patient to let the head go back; drawing pain down the spine; lumbago. Backache worse as soon as she lies down (pregnancy) as if it would break (BRY., PHOS. — as if broken, KALI C.) must get up and walk. Neuritis with great soreness of skin. Pains in the regions of the kidneys and liver. Pains draw so that he cannot turn over in bed, and the only way he can get over is to lift himself up by his hands and then turn over and lie down. Drawing pains in the sacrum and hips; drawing pains in the sacrum in connection with dysentery. Rending pains in the bowels and every PAIN CAUSES DESIRE FOR STOOL. Such is the characteristic of all the abdominal pains. Drawing pains in the extremities, causing spasms in the calves, feet, and toes. Cramps in the abdomen CAUSE DESIRE FOR STOOL; after pains in the form of cramps urge to stool; menstrual colic, with urging to stool; pains in the stomach, after eating, urge to stool. After much straining no stool passes, but after going several times a small stool passes with relief. It is scanty and with reversed peristaltic action.
Oversensitive to stimulants. It is a routine remedy in men trying to sober up; even in delirium tremens. Old debauchees, broken down with stimulants, sexual excesses and the worry and fret of business; they work half an hour and then go out and get a drink, and this goes on until finally they must give up, go home and go to bed. He is on the verge of insanity, irritable, fatigued, sweats much, is aggravated from the air, sensitive to noise and light; broken down. He must have Nux, rest and no stimulants.
In those drinking too much tea, coffee and stimulants, they stay awake day and night until the end must come; there is tension in all the nerves; he feels as if he must fly, as if he could no longer hold together; his muscles and hands tremble; there is jerking of the limbs on going to sleep and in sleep.
Full of anxiety, despair, and hypochondriasis; “oversensitive to impressions;” all the senses are in this condition; “cannot bear reading or conversation; irritable, and wishes to be alone.” Everybody displeases or does something to annoy him. Everybody that attempts to soothe only angers him. He dreads the business affairs of the day. Finally this state comes on—”he quarrels, reproaches, scolds, insults from jealousy, mingled with unchaste expressions; soon afterwards howls and weeps aloud.”
Patient is broken down sexually because he is unusually endowed with sexual desires and he indulges until broken down; sexually exhausted, impotent. Mental erethism, but relaxation on intromission. Driven to suicide.
Nux is an old dyspeptic, lean, hungry, withered; bent forward; premature age; always selecting his food and digesting almost none; aversion to meat, it makes him sick; craves pungent, bitter things, tonics. Weak stomach; after meals pain in the stomach, nausea, retching; stomach sinks in; withers and loses flesh.
Tendency to take cold; gets coryza. Colds settle in the nose, throat, chest and ears. Takes cold from the least provocation; perspires easily and the least current of air causes headache with coryza. If he is in a heated room and is disturbed in his equlibrium he gets a coryza. CEPA coryza is also worse in a warm room. Much stuffing up of the nose in the house at night; nose feels completely filled up, particularly out of doors, but fluent in doors; thin, watery discharge during the day. Sensitive to the least draft; sneezing caused by itching in the nose. This itching goes to the throat and trachea. Cough; burning in the air passages; all the mucous membranes in a state of irritation; nasal tone to voice; loss of voice; sore throat; tickling cough. Dry, teasing cough with great soreness of the chest, like BRY., the head feels as if it would split. Coryza goes to the chest. Qrippe with fever and bone pains; must pile on clothing; the only relief is by keeping unusually hot, yet a warm room aggravates the coryza before the fever comes on; but after the fever comes on he must have heat; aggravated even from the movement of air under the bed clothes; lifting the covers aggravates the pains, cough, etc.
Sharp fever and sweat, or a hot sweat like OPIUM (but OPIUM in a hot sweat wants the covers off, while Nux cannot raise the covers) Chills and fever; heat and sweat intermingled. In chills the fingers and hands are cold, and purple; cold from head to foot; the chill begins in the extremities or back, and extends over the whole body and the patient must be covered up. Shortly there is a reaction and heat and sweat come on, but he must be covered through all the stages. Thirst is not a marked feature; sometimes it is found in the heat.
Tendency to jaundice in all the febrile states. Sclerotics become yellow. Skin becomes very yellow. Old intermittents with yellow skin. Runs close to BRY. in abdominal complaints with jaundice.
Nux suffers from a disordered stomach. A stasis of the portal system is present, portal congestion; stasis in the haemorrhoidal veins with haemorrhoids; constipation; dysentery; paralysis of the rectum. Stomach symptoms like PULS.; worse in the morning; foul mouth in the morning also like PULS. Bursting sensation in the head as if a stone crushed the vertex after disordered stomach.
Full of paralytic conditions. The bowels are in a state of excitement but this passes away and the time comes when the faeces remain in the rectum with no warning. This extends to the bladder, so that it becomes full of urine which cannot be voided; dribbling of urine in old men with large prostate, or in gonorrhoea. Paralysis of the extremities; of the face; one arm; one hand; single muscles; facial paralysis not uncommonly cured by Nux. The sticking pains in paralysis are important.
At times false plethora, with flushed face; excitement of face; blushing; great weakness and exhaustion, with irritability and the mental condition. When under no exertion with nothing to think of, patient appears to be well, but the thought of doing something exhausts him in a moment.
Headache from sweating; in wine drinkers; in those staying out at night; from night watching. The greatest relief in headaches is from perfect quiet. Headaches as if a stone pressed upon the vertex. Most symptoms better from heat, but the head is worse from heat. Acne from eating cheese.
It has most violent convulsions with opisthotonos; convulsions of all the muscles of the body, with purple face and loss of breath from the movements; conscious or semi-conscious during the whole spasm, aware of the sufferings and contortions which are horrible; worse from the slightest draft of air; tickling of the feet; the merest touch of the throat causes gagging.
It is given as a routine remedy for loss of appetite. It will increase the appetite but do dangerous work to the patient. “Aversion to meat, usual food and drink, and customary tobacco and coffee, to water, ale, food just eaten.”
Pains particularly of the abdomen; pains cutting, causing the patient to bend double, with nausea from overeating; bearing down; spasmodic pains in the abdomen, often extend into the limbs, but more often towards the rectum; colicky pains which urge to stool and urination ; renal colic, especially when each pain shoots to the rectum and urges to stool. Renal colic is caused by a stone in the ureter, which by its irritation causes a spasmodic clutching of the circular fibers of that canal; the proper medicine relaxes these fibers and the pressure from behind forces these calculi out at once. The same is true of gall stone colic. The remedy that ameliorates, or some of its cognates, will overcome the tendency to form stones. Healthy bile dissolves gall stones in the sac; healthy urine does the same to a stone in the pelvis of the kidney. Nux runs close to BRY. in abdominal complaints with marked yellowness of the skin. BRY. is worse from motion and not better from heat—Nux is both and is more suited to portal congestion, the neuralgias, etc.; is worse from slightest pressure (COLOC. is better from the slightest pressure, — MAG. PH. is better from pressure and heat). BRY. indicated more in peritonitis, lies with limbs drawn up. Haemorrhoids, portal congestion, cutting pains to rectum causing urging to stool. CUPR. has cutting pains from front to back as if transfixed. Abdomen sunken in Nux, while in CALC, and SEPIA it is engorged. INULA resembles Nux; has colic with urging to stool and to urinate.
“Milk sours on the stomach.” “Heat in the head when eating.” Bad effects from coffee, alcoholic drinks, debauchery. Sensation of phlegm in the throat; worse from eating. ALOE has diarrhoea from leaving off beer. Nux has diarrhoea from leaving off alcoholic drinks. Sensation of a lump in the stomach (BRY.). In chronic cases SEPIA is more apt to be indicated and follows Nux well, but quarrels with BRY.; associate this with the pressure in the vertex and you have the typical Nux condition. Sensation of stone comes an hour after eating, showing that there has been an attempt at digestion, but in ABIES NIG. it comes at once. KREOS. pains do not begin until three hours after eating and then the food is vomited.
It is closely related to SULPHUR and often antidotes the overaction of SULPHUR. It seldom goes to the bottom and antidotes the constitutional action of SULPHUR, but it will remove its exaggerated action, its superficial action.
Menses too soon; too long; HOW copious; more strikingly prolonged; flows and dribbles just enough to stain the linen, starting up now and again with clots. One menstrual flow is prolonged into another. This will be accompanied with the mental state; excitable; oversensitive to medicines. “Menses too early and too profuse; occur too soon and last too long; flow dark.” At times attended with violent pains, cramps in the uterus, extending over the body, ameliorated from heat and pressure; aggravated by the slightest current of air or cold; pains and spasms ameliorated by the hot water bottle, clothing and heat. Labor pains with soreness like AM
urging, etc. Bearing’ down as if contents would protrude, with teasing to urinate and urging to stool. The flow may be scant and fitful. Itching of the vulva is prominent.
Full of hysterical manifestations. Europeans develop symptoms more often calling for Nux in their hysterical manifestations, while Americans oftener need IGNATIA.
Has troublesome asthma. Useful in. persons who say they have asthma from every disordered stomach. They may go free for a year after Nux is given, and then they eat something that disagrees, and they sit up all night with asthma. They need Nux. Asthma associated with cough; rattling in the chest; chest fills up with mucus; cough with gagging, retching; appears as if he had taken a fresh cold.
Coryza every time he disorders his stomach. I have a patient who has a coryza every time she eats sausage; there is no cure for her because she places her coffee, wine, and social matters above her health. She can eat steak; some cannot eat any meat. After a disturbed stomach coryza which goes to the chest and then asthma comes on.
Palpitation and excitement of the heart and circulation. Much throbbing.
Worse in the morning—mentally and physically. The coryza and some head symptoms are worse from the warmth of the bed like MERC. yet worse uncovering; worse from eating and from motion; head is worse from heat.
Pressure and sense of weakness in the left inguinal ring—hence cures hernia in babies (LYC., right side). AM. relieves soreness, etc. CONIUM also—it competes with Nux in sense of goneness in the groin.
Chills are not better from any amount of covers; IGN. chills are better uncovering. In intermittents, the chill and heat intermingle, the heat is short and dry, and followed by hot sweat and intense heat; worse in the morning, but the chill comes at any time.