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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 p
oven, 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.