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Homeopathic Materia Medica by Farrington


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The Euphorbiaceae as an order contain an acrid principle which in some cases is oily in character, in others resinous; in case it is the latter, it escapes from the plant as a milky juice drying into a gum. These oils or gums have two properties. If applied to the skin, they produce redness and vesication. The vesicles fill with yellowish-white serum and may even suppurate and form scabs of a honey color. They all act more or less intensely as purgatives, producing a watery diarrhoea, associated with colic, tenesmus, flatulence, burning, nausea and vomiting. The medicines we derive from this order are the Croton tiglium, Jatropha curcas, Yucca filamentosa, Euphorbium officinarum, Euphorbia corollata, Mercurialis perennis, Hippomane mancinella and Ricinus communis.

CROTON TIGLIUM produces a diarrhoea with yellowish watery stool pouring out like water from a hydrant, often associated with nausea and vomiting. This nausea is of a very aggravating character, and is attended by faintness and loss of sight. Colic appears and is better from warm drinks. The stool returns with any effort to eat or drink.

The nearest analogue to Croton tig. is JATROPHA CURCAS, which produces a perfect picture of cholera Asiatica, with great prostration and simultaneous vomiting and purging. The vomited matters look like rice-water or the white of an egg. There are also cramps in the calves and coldness of the body.,

The next similar drug is the EUPHORBIA COROLLATA. This produces vomiting and purging, just like the previous remedy, with cold sweat all over the body. It has, more marked than the other members of this group, a peculiar mental state—the patient wants to die.

CASCARILLA has its abdominal symptoms relieved by warm drinks. But it seems to be useful in a different class of cases from the foregoing remedies. We use it when there are knotty stools covered with mucus, and associated with colic and burning just like the others. This remedy also has frequent pale red haemorrhages from the bowels. These haemorrhages do not consist of a simple oozing of blood, such as often follows a stool when haemorrhoids are present, nor is it a haemorrhage from the bowels from hepatic disease, but it comes from disease of the bloodvessels.



YUCCA FILAMENTOSA has a predominance of the bilious symptoms over the gastric and intestinal. It has frontal or temporal headache, frequent flushing of the face, yellow or sallow face, and tongue coated yellow or yellowish-white, and taking the imprint of the teeth. There are also dull aching about the centre of the liver, poor appetite, distended abdomen which is sensitive to the touch, colic or colicky pains, tenesmus with frequent passage of flatus, frequent watery or yellowish-brown stools.

Now let us study the action of these remedies on the skin. When CROTON TIGLIUM is applied to the skin it produces an erythema, which is soon followed by a group of vesicles which are almost confluent, and which burn and itch most intolerably. If the action of the drug is allowed to continue, these vesicles form a yellowish scab much resembling that of milk-crust, in which disease it may be indicated, especially when the bowel-symptoms suit.

HIPPOMANE MANCINELLA was first proved by Dr. Muir. Its power of producing vesicles has been utilized in scarlet fever. Its symptoms are these: Delirium; sore-throat, with inability to swallow on account of the constriction in the throat and oesophagus; burning of the eyes, made worse by closing the lids.

YUCCA produces an erythematous redness of the skin. In two provers it produced a burning and swelling of the prepuce, with redness of the meatus urinarius. An examination of allopathic textbooks will show you that Yucca has been recommended for gonorrhoea.

EUPHORBIUM OFFICINARUM differs somewhat from the others. Like them, it produces an erythematous and vesicular eruption. Its chief value, however, arises from its action on the bones. It is used in diseases of these structures with burning pain, especially after the abuse of mercury.

RICINUS COMMUNIS has the effect of increasing the quantity of milk in nursing women.

It is here similar to URTICA URENS, which is an excellent remedy for absence of milk after confinement.

Castor oil, when abused, is antidoted by two medicines, according to the respective characteristics, BRYONIA and NUX VOMICA ; Bryonia from a specific relation to the symptoms of Ricinus, and Nux from, its relation to drastic remedies in general.