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Onosmodium Virginianum

NAT. ORD., Borraginaceae.

COMMON NAME, False Cromwell.

PREPARATION.--The entire plant with root is macerated in twice its
weight of alcohol.

(This paper was prepared by Dr. W. A. Vingling for the
Kansas State Homoeopathic Society, and reprinted in
Homoeopathic Physician for July, 1893).

To the homoeopathic physician a new remedy, well proven, is an
acquisition of greater importance than honor or wealth, for his sole
duty being to relieve the sufferings of humanity, he acquires a new tool
with which to accomplish his work. To the degree that the new remedy has
peculiar characteristics its value is enhanced, to the extent that the
pathogenetic effects are different from every other drug its usefulness
becomes the more apparent. Generalities constitute a poor basis upon
which to prescribe. Peculiarities, the unusual symptoms, give certainly
an assurance in every prescription.

We have in Onosmodium a remedy with some peculiarities, and occupying
a sphere unique, a curative range differing from that of every other
drug. The remedy holds within its grasp the power to restore peace to
the disrupted family, and to prevent the truant husband seeking the
sweets of "stolen waters" by restoring the wife to the enjoyable
performance of her wifely functions, and thus gratifying the
dissatisfied husband. This generation of one-child families, Malthusian,
with the long train of misery entailed upon the licensed family,
adultery consequent upon preventive measures, malum in se, has its
remedy in Onosmodium to a very large extent.

We pass to consider the more important pathogenesis of the remedy in
regular course. A great part of this paper is necessarily based upon the
notes of the original author, Dr. W. E. Green, with some isolated
symptoms from the journals and my own experience.

We find marked in the mental sphere a DROWSINESS OF MIND and CONFUSION
party wants to think and not move, so absorbed in thought as to forget
all else and where she is. There is a complete listlessness and apathy
of the mind; she cannot concentrate her thoughts. From this want of
concentration there follows an impairment of the memory, she cannot
remember what is said. In conversation she will forget the subject,
will begin a new one, and then suddenly change to another. There is
great confusion of ideas. This listlessness is so great as to cause
forgetfulness of what one is reading, or that one is reading at all: the
book drops in vague and listless thought. The time passes too slowly,
and minutes seem like hours. There is great irritability of temper.

There is a continuous and ever-present feeling of heaviness of the head.
PAINS IN THE LEFT SIDE OF THE HEAD and over the left eye, extending
round the left side to the back of the head and neck, greatly aggravated
by moving or jarring. Intense pain driving her to bed; relieved by
sleep, but soon returning after waking. There is a constant dull
headache, chiefly centered over the left eye and in the left temple;
always worse in the dark and when lying down. Here we have a
contradictory symptom--always worse lying down. The general symptoms are
ameliorated by lying down. This peculiar feature is also seen in some of
the polycrests. Bryonia alb. has a "pain and pressure in the shoulder
when at rest." Rhus tox. has a "stiff neck, with painful tension when
moving;" Arsenicum alb. has a headache relieved by cold water.

Onosmodium has a DULL, HEAVY PAIN IN THE occiput pressing upward WITH
A DIZZY SENSATION. Pain changing from the right frontal eminence to the
left and remaining there. Darting and throbbing in the left temple. A
dull pain in the mastoid process. She cannot bear to move. A sense of
fullness in the head. Relieved by eating and sleep.

The eyes are HEAVY AND DULL; the eyes feel as though one had lost a
great deal of sleep. The lids are heavy. The eyeballs have a dull,
heavy pain with soreness. A sensation of the eyes being very wide open,
with a desire to look at distinct objects, it being disagreeable to look
at near objects. Distant objects look very large. Picric acid patients
can only see clearly at very close range, often at only five inches from
the eye; Natrum sulph. has impairment of vision for distant objects.
With Onosmodium the ocular muscles feel tense, tired, and drawn. Pains
in and over left eye. Pain in upper portion of left orbit, with a
feeling of expansion. The vision is impaired and blurred.

The hearing is impaired. There is a stuffed-full feeling in the ears as
after catching cold. Singing in the ears as from quinine, but very

The NOSE FEELS DRY. There is a stuffed feeling in the posterior nares.
The discharge from the posterior nose is whitish and sticky, producing a
constant hawking. Constant sneezing in the morning; sneezing when first
getting up. The bones of the nose pain.

Flushed face, with relief from headache. That dry feeling of the nose is
also present in the mouth and lips. Bitter, clammy taste in the mouth.
Saliva is very scant, with the dry feeling in the mouth; cold water
relieves. Sore throat. It hurts to swallow or speak. That dryness
follows down the throat and pharynx, and is accompanied with severe
soreness. Raw, scraping feeling in the throat. When swallowing the
pharynx feels constricted. All the throat symptoms are relieved by cold
drinks and by eating. The voice is husky. The chest feels sore.

Morning sickness like that of pregnancy. Distaste for water, yet there
is a craving for ice water and cold drinks; wants to drink often.
The abdomen feels bloated and distended, which is relieved by
undressing. The pains in the lower part of the abdomen are also relieved
by undressing or by lying on the back. This amelioration from undressing
is observed to run through all the symptoms of the drug. A constant
feeling as though diarrhoea would come on.

The stools are yellow, mushy, or greenish-yellow, stringy, mushy, with
tenesmus. Also, slimy, bloody, stringy stool, with tenesmus. The provers
were hurried out of bed in the morning to stool.

The urine is scanty, highly colored, dark straw and brown, very acid,
and of high specific gravity. The desire is seldom, or else frequent,
with scanty flow.

In regard to the sexual organs we quote from that racy writer, Dr. S.
A. Jones, who says: "Onosmodium Virginianum in its primary action
seems directly opposite to Picric acid. Perhaps provings of it with
smaller doses will oblige me to change this dictum. If they do not,
then Onosmodium will occupy the singular position of a remedy that
primarily depresses the sexual appetite. If this should ultimately
prove to be the case, it will invest this remedy with an unmistakable
significance to physicians who are practicing at the tail end of the
nineteenth century, for, from our habits of life, it is the end that
is showing signs of distress. In estimating the validity of this
suggestion, the reader will bear in mind Hahnemann's dictum that only
the primary symptoms of a drug afford the indications for its
therapeutical application. This is a canon of Hahnemannian
Homoeopathy, and it is true as regards the infinitesimal dose. Then,
this being true (for I will not stop to discuss it), Picric acid will
be indicated for the initial stage of sexual debility and Onosmodium
for the fully developed consequences of sexual abuse; and this,
because the said 'initial stage' is characterized by erethism while the
ulterior consequences are denoted by atony asthenia. The erethism of
sexual debility is plainly evinced in Picric acid, and the ultimate
asthenia is as really discovered in Onosmodium Virginianum."

In the male we find diminished sexual desire. Cold feeling in the glans
penis. Nocturnal emissions. Too speedy emissions. Deficient erections
with diminished pleasure.

UTERINE REGION. Uterine cramps. Soreness in region of uterus,
increased by pressure of the hand or of the clothing; had to remove
the corset. Return of old uterine pains. Dull, heavy aching, and slowly
pulsating pains in the ovaries. Pains pass from one ovary to the other
and leave a soreness which remains till the pain returns. Ovarian pains
increased by pressure. SEXUAL DESIRE COMPLETELY DESTROYED. This symptom
I have verified a number of times, and in every case the parties
prevented conception. The uterine pains are all better when undressed
or lying on the back. Constant feeling as though the menses would
appear. Menses early and profuse, but otherwise normal so far as known.
Leucorrhoea light yellowish, slightly offensive and excoriating;
profuse, running down the legs. Itching of the vulva aggravated by
scratching and from the leucorrhoeal discharge. Aching in both
breasts, but worse in the left. Breasts feel swollen and engorged. Left
breast feels bruised and painful on pressure. Nipples itch. In one case
where this remedy was given for dryness of the nose and throat, the
diminutive almost absent, breasts were restored to their pristine glory,
and resulted in the displacement of the cotton batting pads to the
exceeding joy and delight of the proud woman.

Pains in the neck, running back from the forehead. Dull aching in the
neck. Bearing down pain in the lumbar region. Dull, aching pain in the
lumbar region. In the female provers there was produced a pain over the
feel as if they were partially anaesthetized. The tendons and joints of
the knees have a dull, aching pain. Tremulousness of the legs.
STAGGERING GAIT, he cannot keep in the walk. The sidewalks seem too
high; he must step high which jars him and greatly aggravates the
headache. Dull, heavy pain in the instep of the left foot. Numb,
tingling pain in the outer side of both little toes. THE LEGS FEEL
TIRED, as though they would not sustain the weight of the body.
Sensation of formication in the calves of the legs. Ankles swollen.

Pain in the left scapular region, confined to a small spot. Fluoric
acid and Lilium tig. have pain confined to a small spot in any
location, while Oxalic acid has a pain confined to small longitudinal
spots. Magnesia phos. has a sharp burning pain, about an inch in
diameter, under the border of the left scapula, as from a hot iron (see
also Phos.); with Onosmodium there is a dull, aching pain in the
biceps muscle, also a pain of like nature in the elbow joint and wrists.
The arms and hands feel tired and weak; they tremble. Inability to
co-ordinate the muscular movements of the arms. Pain in the phalangeal

The aggravations are generally from motion or jarring; from pressure or
tightness of clothing.

The ameliorations are peculiar and marked. Better when quiet, when
lying down on the back, when undressed, when in the open air, from
sleep, from cold drinks, from eating.

In the generalities we find great MUSCULAR WEAKNESS OR PROSTRATION AND
TIRED FEELING OVER THE ENTIRE BODY. A feeling as though one had just
gotten up from a severe spell of sickness. Nervous trembling as if from
hunger. The least exertion produces a tremulousness. The muscles feel
treacherous and unsteady as though one did not dare to trust them. A
desire to change position without any definite cause or reason, and
without any change for the better or worse. Later in the proving there
was a desire to lie down and be quiet, with a drowsy, sleepy feeling. A
sensation as if a chill would come on; a tired, aching, stretching,
gaping, disagreeable feeling. All sensations are worse in the left side.

In my own experience I have used the remedy from the mother tincture up.
I got no results from the tincture. Hardly any from the 30th, but a
marked, decided, and very rapid action from the CM. I use nothing lower
than the CM, and prefer the higher.

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