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Chionanthus Virginica

NAT. ORD., Oleaceae.

COMMON NAME, Fringe Tree. Snow-flower.

PREPARATION.--The fresh bark is pounded to a pulp and macerated in two

parts by weight of alcohol.

(The following is the only proving, we believe, ever made

of this drug; it was the thesis of Dr. John W. Lawshe,

Atlanta, Ga., on his graduation, and was published in

North American Journa
of Homoeopathy, May, 1883).

This being the first and only proving of this drug, Prof. Lilienthal

requested a copy of it for publication, which I cheerfully agreed to

give him.

Monday, July 10, 1882, 9:30 A.M., I took one drop of the tincture,

after having taken the 12x and 6x potencies, one day each, without any

effect. I continued taking the tincture each hour during the day,

increasing each dose one drop till five were reached, then increased

each dose five drops till twenty-five were reached, but without any

effect whatever.

Tuesday, July 11th, I began with thirty drops at 9 o'clock A.M., and

increased the dose five drops each hour till I reached one drachm, and

took three doses of one drachm each. I retired at 10 o'clock feeling

perfectly well.

I awoke at 4:10 A.M., Wednesday, July 12th, with a severe

headache--chiefly in the forehead and just over the eyes--especially the

left eye. Eyeballs exceedingly painful, feel sore and bruised.

Cutting twisting pains all through my abdomen.

I turned over and lay with my face downward, which seemed to relieve the

abdominal pains some, and after awhile I went to sleep. I awoke again at

8:20 feeling very sick and badly all over. Head feels very sore all over

and through it; heavy dull feeling in forehead and a drawing or pressing

at the root of my nose. I felt so weak I had to sit down awhile before I

could finish dressing; never before felt so sick at my stomach. Bitter

eructations, great nausea and retching, with a desire for stool.

I finished dressing and looked at my tongue, which was heavily coated

and of a dirty, greenish yellow color. I started down stairs and had a

violent attack of nausea and a great deal of retching before I could

vomit. It seemed as though there were a "double suction" in my

abdomen, one trying to force something up and the other sucking it back,

till finally, by quite an effort, I vomited a teacup full, or more, of

very dark green bile, rather ropy, I think, and exceedingly bitter.

The bile came up with a single gush and I was through. Immediately a

cold perspiration broke out and stood in beads on my forehead, and I

felt very weak. Desire for stool gone after vomiting.

I have a sore, weak, bruised feeling all over the small of my back;

feels very weak when standing or moving about; better sitting or lying


No appetite for breakfast, but my stomach felt so weak and empty that I

drank a cup of coffee and ate half a biscuit, which relieved to some


9 A.M., am so nervous I cannot keep still and can hardly write down my


9:30 o'clock, my back in lumbar and sacral region is so sore and weak I

could hardly walk from the car to the office, every step seemed to jar

my whole body and made my headache worse.

10 o'clock, have been quiet for half an hour and feel some better; have

a pressing or squeezing sensation in the bridge of my nose; sore

constricted feeling in the temples, with throbbing temporal arteries.

10:30 o'clock, just came from stool; the first passed was watery, but

the last was more solid in appearance; stool terribly offensive, like

carrion. Heavy, all-gone sort of feeling low down in hypogastrium;

color of stool was dark brown with pieces of undigested food in it.

11:30, just got home and feel very bad and weak. My head and back ache

considerably, and I feel "played out" generally.

12 o'clock, forehead and cheeks very hot and dry, radial pulse 114,

chilly sensation darting through body from front to back, causing a sort

of shivering or involuntary jerking, forehead feels like a hot coal of

fire to my hand; headache in forehead and over eyes relieved by pressing

with my hand, but I cannot bear it long for my head seems to get hotter

from it; am exceedingly nervous, cannot lie still, involuntary jerkings

in different parts of the body. Roof of mouth and tongue feel very dry,

although there seems to be the usual amount of saliva present. No thirst

at all.

I went to sleep about 12:20 P.M., and was awakened at 2 o'clock for

dinner. Couldn't eat anything; I tried but it nauseated me; could only

drink a cup of coffee; headache worse after waking; pulse 88; head not

quite so hot, body feels chilly, and I had a shawl thrown over me; went

to sleep again about 3:30.

I was told that at 4:15 my face and head were covered with a profuse

perspiration, and my carotid arteries pulsated very hard and rapidly; I

got up at 5 o'clock and bathed my face in cold water and felt somewhat

better, though my head and back still ache considerably and feel quite

sore; eyeballs feel bruised.

6:30. Weak, empty feeling about stomach, which was relieved for awhile

by eating some crackers and drinking a cup of coffee. Pulse still 88.

At 8:15 had an action from my bowels; during stool griping and cutting

pains in abdomen, about and below umbilicus; stool thin, watery,

blackish-brown color and very offensive. I retired at 9:30 and had to

have an extra covering thrown upon me, I was so chilly, while my

room-mate lay without any covering at all. My head feels sore and

bruised all over, and the small of my back is exceedingly weak and

feels, when I touch it with my hand, as though the skin were all off.

Thursday, July 13th. I was very nervous and restless last night after

going to bed; didn't go to sleep till after 12 o'clock, and woke up

several times before daylight with pains in my head, abdomen and back.

Got up at 8 o'clock. My head feels sore and bruised; the bruised feeling

seems to go into my brain now; every time I move, cough or laugh it

seems as if my head would split open and fly in every direction; my

back is not so painful this morning; I couldn't eat much breakfast;

stool this morning was quite copious, watery, dark brown and not so

offensive as yesterday.

9:30. Headache better; several times this morning I have had attacks of

cutting or griping pains in my intestines, in and about the umbilical

region; my tongue is very heavily coated in the centre with a thick

yellowish fur; the tip is slightly red, and on each side of the tip

there are several little places that look as though blood was about to

ooze forth from them; my tongue feels drawn and shriveled up the centre.

4:30. The only symptom at 11 o'clock was a dull, sore, aching feeling in

the umbilical and iliac regions, occasionally changing for just a minute

or so to a severe griping, which was relieved some by emission of

flatus. My face has a yellowish appearance; from the outer to the inner

canthus there is a reddish-yellow streak, about one-quarter of an inch

wide, in the whites of both eyes; the blood vessels of the sclerotic

coat are very much enlarged and distinctly visible.

Friday, July 14th. I suffered considerably after 5 o'clock yesterday

afternoon and last night with pains in my abdomen, and they are more

severe this morning than yesterday; it feels just like a string tied in

a "slip knot" around my intestines in the umbilical region, and every

once in awhile it was suddenly drawn tight for a minute or so, and

then gradually loosened; stool this morning was very thin, watery and

rather flaky; the flaky portion was dark yellow, the fluid portion

dark green, with a light green foam or froth on top, streaked with a

white, mucus-looking substance; flatus and faeces passed together; some

pain in my bowels during stool, and a hot, scalded sensation in anus,

which lasted fifteen or twenty minutes after stool; during stool a cold

perspiration broke out on my forehead and back of my hands; took quite a

while to pass stool, and then only a small quantity passed; eyeballs

feel bruised and the whites have a yellowish cast all over, though the

"bands" are still very distinct; my skin is quite yellow to-day and I

feel very much fatigued generally.

Saturday, July 15th. Stool about natural this morning; some feeling in

my abdomen, though not so severe; no new symptoms.

Sunday, July 16th. The only thing unusual which I noticed to-day was the

passage of considerable offensive flatus; a greater quantity after

retiring than during the day.

I noticed no more symptoms after Sunday night.

(The following is from a letter of Dr. E. M. Hale):

Some time ago I received a letter from Dr. F. S. Smith, of Lock Haven,

Pa., in which, referring to Chionanthus, he says:

"For the first time to-day I read your article on Chionanthus in the

last edition of your Materia Medica of 'New Remedies.' I have been using

this drug for over two years, as a specific for so-called sick headache.

It has done wonders for me in that disease. I had been a victim from

early childhood, and have suffered terribly. I have not had an attack

for two years. If I am threatened, a few drops, timely taken, dissipates

it at once.

"Dr. B., a dentist, aged 35, dark complexion, a victim to sick headache,

had an attack on an average once in three weeks. Since taking

Chionanthus, has not had more than two or three attacks in over two

years, and then owing to a neglect to take the medicine. I have failed

in but one case, and that was a menstrual sick headache.

"I prescribe it as follows: In cases of habitual sick headache, 5 gtts.

of the 2x dil. three times a day for a week, then twice a day for a

week, then once a day for a week, after which the patient only takes it

when symptoms of the attack show themselves. I regard it almost a


(Chionanthus is also, by some physicians, regarded as a

specific in jaundice, either acute or chronic, and the

proving seems to justify the belief.)