Veratrum Album | Materia Medica by J. T. Kent
You will be astonished at the wonderful coldness running through this remedy. Hardly a group of symptoms will arise without this accompanying coldness. Coldness of discharges, coldness of the body.. You would also wonder at the remarkable prostration attending the various groups of symptoms, complete relaxation and exhaustion, coldness. Profuse sweat, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Profuse watery discharges. These conditions occur without apparent provocation. In cholera or cholera morbus, it seems that the fluids run out of the body. Lies in bed, relaxed prostrated, cold to the finger-tips, with corresponding blueness, fairly purple; lips cold and blue, countenance pinched and shrunken; great sensation of coldness as if the blood were ice-water; scalp cold; forehead covered with cold sweat; headache and exhaustion; coldness in spots over the body; extremities cold as death. Full of cramps; looks as if he would die. This state comes out during the menses, during colic with nausea, with mania and violent delirium, with headache, with violent inflammations.
Is it any wonder that Hahnemann predicted that Veratrum, CAMPHOR, and CUPRUM would become remedies in the cure of cholera; he saw in their nature the ability to cure. He saw the similitude.
In cases of this sort which are characterized by superabundance of cramps, CUPRUM is the simillimum. For those with coldness and blueness and scanty sweat, vomiting, and purging, CAMPHOR is the remedy. These are called “dry cholera;” they sink down and die without exhaustive discharges. In proportion as there are coldness, blueness and scanty discharges, CAMPHOR is indicated. In proportion as copiousness, blueness, and coldness are present, Veratrum is indicated. SECALE has something of cholera in it. PODO. has exhaustive stools: ARS. anxious restlessness.
The mental symptoms are marked by violence and destructiveness; he wants to destroy, to tear something; he tears the clothes from the body. Always wants to be busy, to carry on his daily work. A cooper who was suffering from the Veratrum insanity would pile up chairs on top of one another. When asked what he was doing, he replied that he was piling up staves. When not occupied with this he was tearing his clothes, or praying for hours on his knees, and so loud that he could be heard blocks away.
Exalted state of religious frenzy, believes he is the risen Christ; screams and screeches until he is blue in the face; head cold as ice, cold sweat, reaches out and exhorts to repentance.
Exhorts to repent, preaches, howls, sings obscene songs, exposes the person. Fear and the effects of fear; fear of death and of being damned; imagines the world is on fire.
“Mania with desire to cut and tear everything, especially the clothes, with lewdness and lascivous talk. Puerperal mania and convulsions, with violent cerebral congestion; bluish and bloated face; protruding eyes; wild shrieks, with disposition to bite and tear. Loquacity, he talks rapidly. She is inconsolable over a fancied misfortune; runs around the room howling and screaming or sits brooding, wailing and weeping.” Alternate states of brooding, screaming, and screeching. A few such remedies would empty our insane asylums, especially of recent cases. Insanity is curable if there are no incurable results of disease.
Full of despair and hopelessness with approaching insanity. “Despair of his recovery, attempts suicide.” Insane people are not hopeless, those approaching insanity are, but after they become insane, they think that everybody is crazy except themselves. Those bowed down by great grief and despair are likely to go into a state of violent mania. Veratrum carries them through the state of despair. “Melancholia, head hangs down, sits brooding in silence.”
Young girls go on for years with menstrual difficulties, and preceding each menstrual nisus is a state of despair; never smiles, the world seems blue, everything is dark; these are preparing for a marked state of insanity. Veratrum is a remedy that would keep many women out of the insane asylum, especially those with uterine troubles. Girls at puberty suffer with dysmenorrhoea, hysterical mental states, diarrhoea, and vomiting. During the menses they become cold as death, lips blue, extremities cold and blue, dreadful pains, sensation of sinking, mania to kiss everybody, hysteria with coldness at the menstrual period, copious sweat, vomiting, and diarrhoea, etc.
Veratrum has troublesome headaches, neuralgic, of great violence, accompanied with coldness, vomiting of bile and blood, great exhaustion, profuse sweat. Vomiting and retching after the stomach is empty; spasmodic retching and cramping of the stomach; you can see the effort to empty the stomach and every little while a mouthful of bile comes up.
Violent rush of blood to the head, congestion of the head with coldness of the extremities. Head feels as if packed with ice, feels as if ice lay on the vertex and occiput (CALC.), tension in the head as if the membranes were drawn tighter about the brain; compressive pains.
I remember a farmer who consulted me in the Summer. He had a strange sensation when he drank water, as if it ran down the outside and did not go down the oesophagus. It was so marked that he requested his friends to see if it did not run down the outside. Veratrum 2m. cured him. No remedy has produced that sensation, but I figured it out by analogy. Violent thirst for cold water and for ice. “All fruits cause painful distension of the stomach.”
“Vomiting forcible and excessive. Nausea with weakness; is obliged to lie down; hysterical cramps in the stomach; cramps in the muscles of the abdomen like colic. Gastric catarrh, great weakness, cold, sudden sinking.”
Full of rheumatic and neuralgic pains in the extremities; worse from the warmth of the bed; they drive him out of bed at night into the cold room and he must walk the floor for relief. You would naturally suppose that heat would be comforting; so it is at times to the abdomen and other parts when there is coldness, but it aggravates the pains (MERC).
“Painful paralytic weakness in the limbs.”
“Chill and heat alternating, now here, now there, on single parts. Internal sensation of chilliness running from head to toes coming on when drinking.” Many of the complaints of Veratrum are aggravated when drinking.
Burning while in cold sweat. In the chronic mental troubles, the skin is dusky and dry with the exception of that on the forehead. But in acute complaints where physical symptoms predominate, as in dysmenorrhoea, acute insanity, etc., there is profuse sweat.
Gnawing hunger in spite of nausea and vomiting. Empty, all-gone feeling in the abdomen after stool.