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NAT. ORD., Polygonaceae.

COMMON NAME, Buckwheat.

PREPARATION.--The fresh mature plant is pounded to a pulp and macerated

in two parts by weight of alcohol.

(The following paper was published in the Transactions of

the Homoeopathic Society of Maine in 1895. It is by Dr.

D. C. Perkins, of Rockland, Me.)

There is, perhaps, no well proven r
medy in the Materia Medica, of equal

value to that of which I present a brief study, that has been so wholly

overlooked by the homoeopathic profession. There certainly is none

which possesses a more marked individuality, and which more fully fills

a place by itself. It is safe to say that not one in ten of those who

practice the healing art has ever used it or is familiar with its

pathogenesis. Having not unfrequently cured cases with it, which had

refused to yield to other remedies apparently well indicated, I have

come to regard it as among the important drugs in our super-abundant

Materia Medica. Its effects upon mental conditions are marked by

depression of spirits, irritability, inability to study, or to remember

what has been read, bringing to our minds Aconite, Bryonia,

Chamomilla, Coffea, Colocynth, Ignatia, Lachesis, Mercury,

Nux vomica, Staphisagria, Stramonium, and Veratrum. Its effects

upon the head are deep-seated and persistent. There is vertigo,

confusion, severe pain in many parts of head, with upward pressure

described as of a bursting character. The pain may be in forehead, back

of eyes, through temporal region on either side, but always of a

pressive or bursting nature. For congestive headaches it is as valuable

as Belladonna, Glonoine, Nux vomica, or Sepia.

In and about the eyes there is itching, smarting, swelling, heat and

soreness; the itching being especially marked and usually regarded as

characteristic. The last named symptom is no less prominent in

affections of the ears, as has often been shown in the efficacy of

buckwheat flour in frost-bites, or erysipelas of those useful organs,

from time immemorial. Here the similarity to Agaricus will readily be

recognized. The nose does not escape. It is swollen, red, inflamed and

sore. There is at first fluent coryza with sneezing, followed by

fulness, dryness and the formation of crusts. Nor is the burning absent

which has been elsewhere noted. There is much soreness and somewhat

persistent pain from even gentle pressure.

The face is pale or unevenly flushed, with dark semi-circles below the

eyes. Later, the face becomes swollen, hot and dry, as though severely

sunburnt, and the lips are cracked and sore. The mouth feels dry and

hot, and yet saliva is not wanting. There is soreness and swelling of

roof of mouth, and the tongue is red and fissured along its edges. The

bad taste in the morning reminds us of Pulsatilla.

In the throat, there is soreness with pain just back of the isthmus of

the fauces, a feeling of excoriation and soreness extending deep down in

the pharynx. The uvula is elongated, the tonsils are swollen and red,

there is a sensation of rawness in the throat strikingly reminding us of

Phytolacca. Externally, there is scarlet redness of the neck below the

mastoid process, throbbing of the carotids, the neck feels tired, the

head heavy and the parotid glands are swollen and painful. It is

unnecessary to name the remedy having similar symptoms.

While the symptoms produced on the digestive tract are not characterized

by that intensity noted elsewhere, they are still valuable. There is

persistent morning nausea which should lead us to study this remedy in

the vomiting of pregnancy. Contrary to Lycopodium and Nux moschata

the appetite is improved by eating. The empty or "all-gone" feeling at

the stomach is like that of Sepia.

In the abdomen there is fulness and pain but no rumbling. Discharges of

flatus are frequent and annoying. The region of the liver is painful,

tender and there is aggravation from pressure, compelling the patient to

lie on the left side. The stools are pappy, or watery, profuse,

offensive and followed by tenesmus.

On the male genital organs there is profuse perspiration of an offensive

odor. The urine is scalding, and pain extends from testicles to abdomen.

In females the drug acts with force upon the right ovary, producing pain

of a bruised or burning character, noted particularly when walking.

There is pruritus with slight yellow leucorrhoea, the discharge being

more noticed when at rest than when exercising. So far as known this

latter symptom does not occur under the action of any other remedy.

In the chest we find a heavy, pulsating pain extending to all its parts.

This is persistent, and is worse from a deep inspiration. Around the

heart there are dull pains with oppression and occasional sharp pains

passing through the heart. Pressure with the hand increases the

oppression. The pulse is increased but is extremely variable. There is

reason to believe that Cactus grandiflora, or Spigelia are often

given in affections of the heart, where Fagopyrum, if given, would

accomplish better results.

On the muscular system the action of the remedy stands out in bold

relief. There is stiffness and soreness of all the muscles of the neck,

with pain, and a feeling as if the neck would hardly support the head.

Pains extend from occiput to back of neck and are relieved by bending

the head backward. There are dull pains in small of back, with stitching

pains in the region of the kidneys. Pains with occasional sharp stitches

extend from the arms to muscles of both sides of chest. Rheumatic pains

in the shoulders of a dull aching character. Stinging and burning pains

extend the whole length of fingers, aggravated by motion. Streaking

pains pass through arms and legs with sharp pains extending to feet.

Pains extend from hips to small of back, and these also frequently run

down to the feet. In the knees there is dull pain and weakness, while

deep in the limbs there is burning and stinging. There is numbness in

the limbs, with dragging in the joints, especially right knee, hip and

elbow. Stooping to write causes constant severe pain through chest and

in region of liver. This group of symptoms gives Fagopyrum a striking

individuality and establishes it in an uncontested position among the

long list of remedies prescribed for rheumatic complaints.

Scarcely less important are the symptoms of the skin. There is intense

itching of the arms and legs, becoming worse toward evening. Blotches

like flea-bites appear in many localities, sometimes all over the body,

are sore to the touch and are multiplied by scratching. These eruptions

are persistent and the itching is intense. Blind boils may be developed

and attain a large size. The itching of the face is especially marked

about the roots of the whiskers. Itching of the hands which is "deep in"

is persistent and annoying, this condition being supposed to be the

result of irritation of the coats of the arteries.

The sleepiness is unlike that of Belladonna, Nux vomica, Sepia or

Sulphur, occurring early in the evening and characterized by

stretching and yawning. It is not profound, and when the mind is

diverted the patient gets wide awake, but soon relapses unless

conversation is continued. In bed, sleep is disturbed by troublesome

dreams and frequent waking. Aggravations occur after retiring, ascending

stairs, from deep inspiration, walking in bright sunlight, lying on

right side, riding in cars, and when stooping or writing. Ameliorations

occur after taking coffee, from cold applications, from motion in cold

air, and from sitting still in warm room.