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.