Ignatia amara
IACH - Prof. G. Vithoulkas
Ignatia amara ign

(St. Ignatius Bean)
Produces a marked hyperesthesia of all the senses, and a tendency to clonic spasms. Mentally, THE EMOTIONAL ELEMENT IS UPPERMOST, AND CO-ORDINATION OF FUNCTION IS INTERFERED WITH. Hence, it is one of the chief remedies for hysteria. It is especially adapted to the nervous temperament-women of sensitive, easily excited nature, dark, mild disposition, quick to perceive, rapid in execution. Rapid change of mental and physical condition, opposite to each other. Great contradictions. Alert, nervous, apprehensive, rigid, trembling patients who suffer acutely in mind or body, at the same time made worse by drinking coffee. The SUPERFICIAL and ERRATIC CHARACTER of its symptoms is most characteristic. EFFECTS OF GRIEF and worry. Cannot bear tobacco. Pain is small, circumscribed spots. (OXAL. AC.THE PLAGUE. Hiccough and hysterical vomiting.



Changeable mood; introspective; silently brooding. Melancholic, sad, tearful. Not communicative. SIGHING AND SOBBING. After shocks, grief, disappointment.



Feels hollow, heavy; WORSE, STOOPING. Headache as if a nail were driven out through the side. Cramp-like pain over root of nose. Congestive headaches following anger or grief; WORSE, SMOKING OR SMELLING TOBACCO, inclines head forward.



ASTHENOPIA, with spasms of lids and neuralgic pain about eyes. (NAT. M.) Flickering zigzags.



TWITCHING OF MUSCLES of face and lips. Changes color when at rest.



SOUR TASTE. Easily bites inside of cheeks. Constantly full of saliva. Toothache; worse after drinking coffee and smoking.
Feeling of a lump in throat that cannot be swallowed. Tendency to choke, globus hystericus. Sore throat; stitches when not swallowing; better, eating something solid. Stitches between acts of swallowing. Stitches extend to ear. (HEP.) Tonsils inflamed, swollen, WITH SMALL ULCERS. FOLLICULAR TONSILLITUS.



Sour eructation. All-gone feeling in stomach; MUCH FLATULENCE; hiccough. Cramps in stomach; worse slightest contact. Averse to ordinary diet; longs for great variety of indigestible articles. Craving for acid things. SINKING IN STOMACH, RELIEVED BY TAKING A DEEP BREATH.



Rumbling in bowels. Weak feeling in upper abdomen. Throbbing in abdomen. (ALOE; SANG.) Colicky, griping pains in one or both sides of abdomen.



Itching and stitching up the rectum. PROLAPSE. Stools pass with difficulty; PAINFUL CONSTRICTION OF ANUS AFTER STOOL. Stitches in haemorrhoids during cough. Diarrhoea from fright. Stitches from anus deep into rectum. Haemorrhage and pain; worse when stool is loose. Pressure AS OF A SHARP INSTRUMENT FROM WITHIN OUTWARD.
Profuse, watery. (PHOS. AC)



Dry, spasmodic cough in quick successive shocks. Spasm of glottis (CALC) Reflex coughs. Coughing increases the desire to cough. MUCH SIGHING. Hollow spasmodic cough, worse in the evening, little expectoration, leaving pain in trachea.



Menses, BLACK, too early, too profuse, or scanty. During menses great languor, with spasmodic pains in stomach and abdomen. Feminine sexual frigidity. Suppression from grief.



Jerking of limbs. Pain in tendo-Achilles and calf. Ulcerative pain in soles.



Very light. Jerking of limbs on going to sleep. Insomnia from grief, cares, with itching of arms and violent yawning. Dreams continuing a long time; troubling him.



Chill, with thirst; not relieved by external heat. During fever, itching; nettle-rash all over body.



Itching, nettle-rash. Very sensitive to draught of air. Excoriation, especially around vagina and mouth.



WORSE, in the morning, open air, after meals, COFFEE, smoking, liquids, external warmth. BETTER, while eating, change of position.



Compare: ZINC.; KALI PHOS.; SEP.; CIMICIF. PANACEA ARVENSIS-Poor man's Mercury-(Sensitiveness over gastric region with hunger but an aversion to food).
Complementary: NAT. MUR.
Incompatible: COFFEA; NUX; TABAC.
Antidotes: PULS.; CHAM.; COCC.



Sixth, to 200th potency.





Ignatia is frequently required and is especially suited to sensitive, delicate women and children; to hysterical women. You will not cure the natural hysterics with Ignatia, but you will cure those gentle, sensitive, fine fibred, refined, highly educated, overwrought women in their nervous complaints with Ignatia when they take on complaints that are similar to such symptoms as come in hysteria. The hysterical diathesis is one that is very singular and difficult to comprehend. But a woman, when overwrought and overexcited and emotional, will do things that she herself cannot account for. She will do things as if she were crazy in her excitement. Will do things she regrets, while the hysteric is always glad of it. No matter how much foolishness there is in it she has only made an exhibition that she is proud of. But our efforts go out for those who imitate them unconsciously. Those who will to do well.

A woman has undergone a controversy at home. She has been disturbed, is excited, and goes into cramps, trembles and quivers. Goes to bed with a headache. Is sick. Ignatia will be her remedy. When she has great distress; unrequited affections. A sensitive, nervous young girl finds out that she has misplaced her affections; the young man has disappointed her; she has a weeping spell, headache, trembles, is nervous, sleepless; Ignatia will make her philosophical and sensible.. A woman loses her child, or her husband. A sensitive, delicate woman, and she suffers from this grief. She has headaches, trembles, is excited, weeps, is sleepless; unable to control herself. In spite of her best endeavors, her grief has simply torn her to pieces. She is unable to control her emotions and her excitement. Ignatia will quiet her and tide her over the present moment. In all of these instances where all of these conditions brought on from such troubles keep coming back, where your patient dwells upon them, dwells upon the cause, and the state keeps recurring NATRUM MUR. will finish up the case. It will nerve her up and help her to bear her sufferings. Especially useful in constitutions that have been overwrought at school, in science, music, art. Of course, it is natural for very sensitive girls to go into the arts, such as music, painting, etc. A daughter comes back from Paris after a number of years close application to her music. She is unable to do anything. She flies all to pieces. Every noise disturbs her. She cannot sleep nights. Excitable, sleepless, trembles, jerks, cramps in the muscles; weeps from excitement, and from every disturbing word. Ignatia will tone her up wonderfully. Sometimes it will complete the whole case. But especially in these oversensitive girls is NATRUM MUR. very commonly the chronic. It is the natural chronic of Ignatia. When the troubles keep coming back, and Ignatia comes to a place when it will not hold any longer.

Another place where Ignatia and NATRUM MUR. run close together. A sensitive, overtired girl, after she has been working in music, and in art, and in school, and has tired herself out, is unable to control her affections. Her affections rest on some one whom she would despise. That may be a singular thing, one may not be able to understand it. A sensitive girl, though she would not let anyone but her mother know of it, falls in love with a married man. She lies awake nights, sobs. She says, "Mother, why do I do that, I cannot keep that man out of my mind." At other times a man entirely out of her station, that she is too sensible to have anything to do with, she just thinks about him. Ignatia, if it is very recent, will balance up that girl's mind. If not, NATRUM MUR. comes in as a follower. We do not know half as much about the human mind as we think we do. We only know its manifestations. These little things belong to this sphere of the action of this medicine. The one who knows the Materia Medica applies it in its breadth and its length, and sees. in it that which is similar.

Ignatia has quivering in the limbs. Nervous, tremulous excitement. "Weakness of the body coming on suddenly. Hysterical debility and fainting fits. Fainting in a crowd." It is especially useful in the tearful, nervous, sad, yielding, sensitive minds. "Jerking and twitching. Convulsive twitchings." Children are convulsed in sleep after punishment. "Convulsions in children in the first period of dentition. Spasms in children from fright." The child is cold and pale, and has a fixed staring look, like CINA. "Convulsions with loss of consciousness. Violent convulsions. Tetanic convulsions. Tetanus after fright. Emotional chorea. After fright, or grief." Choreic girls. Emotional epilepsy, or epileptiform manifestations. Paralytic weakness. "Great mental emotion." Nursing; night watching. A loss of one arm with as perfect paralysis as if it had come from a. cerebral haemorrhage. In a few hours this passes off, and the arm is as well as ever. That is a hysterical paralysis. "Numbness of one or the other arm. Tingling and prickling in the arm."

Ignatia is full of surprises. If you are well acquainted with sickness, well acquainted with pathological conditions and their manifestations, you are then able to say whether you should or should not be surprised. You are then able to say what is natural, what is common to sickness. In Ignatia you find what is unnatural, and what is unexpected. You see an inflamed joint, or an inflamed part where there is heat, redness, throbbing, and weakness; you will handle it with great care for fear it will be painful. Ordinarily you have a perfect right to expect it would be painful. But you find it is not painful, and sometimes ameliorated by hard pressure. Is not that a surprise? You look into the throat. It is tumid, inflamed, red; the patient complains of a sore throat and pain. Naturally you will not touch it with your tongue depressor for fear it will hurt. You have every reason to suppose that the swallowing of solids will be painful. But you ask the patient when the pain is present, and the patient will say: "When I am not swallowing anything solid." The pain is ameliorated by swallowing anything solid, by the pressure. It pains all other times.

Mentally, the patient does the most unaccountable and most unexpected things. Seems to have no rule to work by, no philosophy, no soundness of mind, and no judgment. The opposite of what would be expected, then, will be found. The patient is better lying on the painful side. Instead of increasing the pain, it relieves the pain. "Pain like a nail sticking into the side of the head." The only comfort that is felt is by lying upon it, or pressing upon it, and that makes it go away.

The stomach is just as strange in its indigestion. Some day or other you will have a queer patient, vomiting everything taken into the stomach, and you will have her try gentle food, a little toast, and the simplest possible things, because she has been vomiting for days and people begin to worry about it for fear she will starve to death. You try this, and you try that, and she can keep nothing down. Finally she says, "If I could only have some cole slaw and some \ chopped onions, I think I could get along all right." It is a hysterical stomach, and the patient eats some raw cabbage and some chopped onions, and from that time on she is well. Those strange things that are ordinarily hard to digest ameliorate the nausea rather than increase it. While milk and toast, and delicate things, and warm things, such as are usually taken, disturb the stomach and increase the nausea. Cold food is craved, and cold food will be digested when warm food will be disturbing and create indigestion.

The cough has similar features in it. An irritation will come in the throat, as a rule, that is why people cough. People cough from smarting in the larynx and trachea, from irritation, from tickling, and from a sensation of fulness or a desire to expel something, and this is better by coughing. But when the irritation in the larynx and trachea comes in the Ignatia patient you have the unexpected again; because the more she coughs the more the irritation to cough is observed, until the irritation is so great and the cough is so great that she goes into spasms. It has been known of an Ignatia patient, that the more she coughed the greater the irritation to cough, and she was drenched with sweat, sitting up in bed with her night-clothes drenched, gagging and coughing and retching, covered with sweat and exhausted. When you are called to the bedside of such a patient, don't wait. You cannot get her to stop coughing long enough to say anything to you about it, only you will see the cough has grown more violent; Ignatia stops it at once. Without any provocation whatever a spasmodic condition will come on in the larynx. Any little disturbance, a mental disturbance, a fright, or distress, or a grievance, will bring a young, sensitive woman home and to her bed, and she will go on with a spasm of the larynx. It is a laryngismus stridulus that can be heard all over the house. Ignatia stops it at once (GELSEMIUM, MOSCHUS).

Nervous affections and troubles of all sorts come on at the menstrual period. The mind is always in a hurry, in a state of excitement. No one can do things rapidly enough. The memory is untrustworthy. The mind flies all to pieces. It is a sort of confusion. No longer able to classify the things that have been classically put into the mind. Cannot remember her music, and her rules, and her scholastic methods. They have all vanished, and she is in a state of confusion. She is a worn-out, nervous person.

Then come fancies, vivid fancies, that are like delirium. Without fever, without chill. Just after excitement. She comes home from some great disturbance of her emotions, and goes into a state that, if looked upon, PER SE, would appear to be a delirium such as appears in a fever. But upon close examination it is not a delirium. It is a momentarily hysterical excitement of the mind, in which the balance is lost, and she talks about everything. Sees every manner of thing; it is a hysterical insanity, because after she rests or the next morning it has vanished. But these spells come oftener and oftener after they have once begun, and she gives way to them easier and easier, and, if they are not remedied, she becomes a lunatic, a confirmed mental wreck, so that excitement, grief, insanity, all intermingle together as cause and effect. These come first at the menstrual period, and then they come at other times, until they come from every little disturbance. Whenever she is crossed or contradicted. "She desires to be alone and to dwell on the inconsistencies that come into her life. Sits and sobs. At times she is taciturn; again, she prattles and is loquacious, and talks to herself." She comes into a state in a little while where she delights to bring on her fits and to make a scare. The natural hysteric is born with that, and Ignatia will do her no good. But when this is brought on from conditions described, Ignatia is of the greatest benefit. It runs closely along by the side of HYOSCYAMUS. "A feeling of continuous fright, or apprehensiveness that something is going to happen."

With all these mental states she has a feeling of EMPTINESS IN THE STOMACH and abdomen. Emptiness and trembling. "Melancholy after disappointed love, with spinal symptoms." "Great grief after losing persons or objects very near! Trembling of the hands disturbs her very much in writing. Dread of every trifle." She goes into a state where she is utterly unable to undertake anything, even to write a letter to a friend.

The Ignatia patient is not one that has been a simpleton, or of a sluggish mind or idiotic, but one that has become tired, and brought info such a state from over-doing and from over-excitement. From going too much. If rather feeble in body, "from too much social excitement. Our present social state is well calculated to develop a hysterical mind. The typical social mind is one that is always in a state of confusion. Asks questions, not waiting for the answer. A good many remedies have this state; a lack of concentration of mind, that is what it is, but this is a peculiar kind of lack of concentration of mind. Dread, fear, anxiety, weeping, run through the remedy. "Sensitive disposition; hyperacute." Overwrought; intense.

Ignatia has another thing: "Thinks she has neglected some duty." That is very much like PULS., HELL. and HYOS., only AURUM believes that she has committed a great wrong. "Thinks that she has neglected some duty." Dwells upon that much. "Melancholy after great grief."

It is full of headaches, and they are all congestive, pressing headaches, or tearing headaches, or headaches as if a nail were sticking into the side of the head or temple; ameliorated from lying upon it. The headaches are all ameliorated by heat. The patient generally is ameliorated by warmth and aggravated by cold. Wants cold things in the stomach, but warm things externally. Jerking headaches, throbbing headaches, congestive headaches. Headaches in nervous and sensitive temperaments. Those whose nervous system has given way to anxiety, grief or mental work, "Headaches from abuse of coffee, from smoking, from inhaling smoke, from tobacco or alcohol." Headache from close attention. "Headache ameliorated by warmth and rest; worse, from cold winds and turning the head suddenly; worse when pressing at stool, or from jar, from hurrying, from excitement." Looking up increases the pain; moving the eyes; worse from noise, from light. "Pain in the occiput; worse from cold, better from external heat. Headache better while eating, but soon after it is worse."

"Disturbance of vision. Zigzags. Confusion of vision." Excessively nervous eyes. "Acrid tears. Weeping."

The face is distorted, convulsed, pale and sickly. Pains in the face. "Violent rending, tearing pains in the face." Let me put it this way: Some of these overwrought girls that come back from Paris, that I described, overworked in their music, will have violent face-ache, pains in the face, or some other hysterical pains. Others will come back with violent headaches; others with the mental state and confusion; others with all the hysterical manifestations. Prolonged excitement. Musical excesses. Yes, other girls come back fairly crippled with painful menstruation, ovarian pains, hysterical conditions, displacement; prolapsus of the vagina and of the rectum. "Tearing, shooting pains upwards from the anus and vagina up into the body towards the umbilicus."

Strange antipathies run through the remedy. It will be impossible for you to ever form any conclusion what one of these sensitive women will think of any proposition that is presented. You cannot depend upon her being reasonable or rational. It is best to say as little as possible about anything. Make no promises, listen, look wise, take up your traveling bag and go home after you have prescribed, because anything you say will be distorted. There is not anything you can say that will please.

Thirst when you would not expect it." Thirst during chill, but none during the fever, if she has a feverish state. It is suitable in intermittent fever. Excitable, nervous children and women with intermittent fever.


Ignatia amara, or, more properly speaking, STRYCHNOS IGNATIA, is a large climbing shrub growing in the Philippine Islands and in Cochin-China. The fruit is spherical or ovoid, about four inches in diameter. Its shell is smooth and brittle, and incloses some twenty or thirty seeds. Its name is attributed to the Jesuits, who called it St. Ignatius' bean, in honor of its virtues. Though chemically and botanically similar to Nux, the Ignatia differs materially from that remedy in symptomatology, and that too despite strong family resemblances.

Ignatia is preeminently a spinal remedy, as is also Nux vomica. Like Nux vomica, it seems to intensify the impressionability of all the senses, perhaps even more than that remedy does. Under Nux, this over-excitability is exhibited by anger, vehemence and irascibility; in Ignatia, by melancholy with tendency to weeping. Now, while there is this melancholy with the tearful mood, yet the patient smothers his or her grief. The Ignatia patients nurse their sorrows, keep them from others; while with Nux vomica, the patients are vehement and angry ; they strike any one who may oppose them; they are so overbearing that one can scarcely live with them. You must separate this melancholy mood of Ignatia from that of Pulsatilla.

The PULSATILLA woman is tearful, sad, and melancholy like Ignatia, but there is not that introspective mood that there is in the Ignatia patient. She makes her grief known to every one who comes near her. She seeks sympathy. She is timid and yielding in her disposition.

We find Ignatia indicated in nervous women who are laboring under grief, especially when of recent origin, particularly if the patient dwells upon her troubles in secret. Such cases then, find relief in Ignatia, if not of long standing.

For the chronic or long-lasting effects of grief, we have PHOSPHORIC ACID. Often where this remedy is indicated, the patient complains of night sweats, not from organic disease, but from sheer exhaustion. She has little or no appetite, and complains of a sensation as of heavy pressure on the top of the head, as though a great load lay there.

Ignatia we find then to be useful for the consequences of grief, and also, by reason of this great sensitiveness to external impressions which it produces, we find it indicated in hysteria, especially when the patient alternately laughs and Cries, in other words, exhibits a changeable mood. The face flushes at every emotion. Sometimes the laughing becomes spasmodic and ends in screams and even spasms of the chest with blueness of the face. We have also globus hystericus or feeling as if a ball were rising into the throat. This is often relieved by belching, while drinking water causes an aggravation of the convulsive action in the throat. The patient may fall into a half unconscious state, with thumbs clenched and face blue as we find under CUPRUM. Finally a sigh and a long-drawn breath announce the return to consciousness. Now let us consider some of the concordant remedies of Ignatia in these hysterical states.

PLATINA is indicated in hysterical women with marked mania.

HYOSCYAMUS is called for when the mental condition of the patient exhibits marked jealousy. She is full of suspicions. She fears that she will be poisoned, and may on that account refuse all food and medicine.

ASAFOETIDA, like Ignatia, has the globus hystericus; flatus accumulates in the abdomen and, pressing up against the lungs, produces oppression of breathing. It is especially useful in hysterical convulsions after suppression of discharges.

MOSCHUS is particularly suited when the patient faints readily. She sits down to her meals and faints dead away from the little extra amount of food taken into the stomach. She also has violent spasms of the chest in which it would seem that she must almost die. She turns blue in the face and foams at the mouth. She may be of scolding disposition and even this causes fainting.

VALERIAN is useful in these hysterical women, when the slightest exertion causes violent headache. They often complain of a sensation as if a string were hanging down into the throat. In the latter part of the evening, they exhibit a tendency to flushes of heat. The slightest pain causes fainting. They complain of a warm sensation rising from the throat into the stomach with the globus hystericus. You will often have to use Valerian for pains which simulate those of rheumatism in the limbs. They are worse while the patient sits and better when she walks about.

NUX MOSCHATA is indicated in hysteria, associated with frequent emotional changes and enormous bloating of the abdomen, after a slight meal. The patient complains of excessive dryness of the mouth even when that cavity exhibits the normal degree of moisture.

BELLADONNA is indicated in hysterical states, when the patient is boisterous and wild, with red face, etc.

The VALERIANATE OF ZINC, I have used for a common symptom of hysterical persons and of nervous persons generally, and that is, what has been termed the fidgets. They cannot sit still, or they must keep the legs in constant motion. I have used it and I do not remember to have failed to cure in a single instance. This uneasiness of the feet is not an uncommon symptom in old cases of uterine disease; I usually give the remedy in the second or third potency.

The headache of Ignatia is usually situated in one spot in the head, just as though a nail were being driven into the spot. Any little mental work, or in fact any work that is irksome or more severe than usual, any strong odor whether pleasant or otherwise, any emotion which would be borne without trouble by one whose nervous system is in a natural state, may bring on this headache. The attack often ends with vomiting. These headaches are often periodical, returning every two days. They often terminate with a copious flow of pale, limpid urine. Several other remedies have this last-named symptom, headache, relieved by copious urination. They are: ACONITE, GELSEMIUM, SILICEA, and VERATRUM ALBUM.

The power of Ignatia to produce increased excitability, renders it useful in spasms, not only of hysterical origin, but also in those occurring in delicate women, who are not hysterical, and also in children. The spasms are excited by emotions, such as fright or fear, E.G., the child after punishment has a convulsion. Then, too, when the child goes to sleep, there is whimpering in the sleep. This, too, Ignatia cures. Under ordinary circumstances the child will get over the trouble without any treatment; but if the child is an extremely delicate one, or if the trouble occurs during the period of dentition, or there is some reason for fearing convulsions or hydrocephalus, Ignatia may prevent a great deal of trouble. During the convulsions, when Ignatia is the remedy, you will find the face pale, or else at times flushed up, but usually deathly pale. There is twitching of individual muscles, those about the eyelids or the mouth, and the child stiffens out. Especially is Ignatia the remedy when the convulsions have appeared after grief, fright, or some violent emotion.

Nervous women in labor may require Ignatia for spasms. These spasms, however, are to be distinguished from those calling for BELLADONNA, STRAMONIUM, etc., by the absence of fever or severe congestion, and from Hyoscyamus by the unconsciousness or mania which the latter causes.

In these convulsions produced by emotions, unless you have perfectly in your mind the distinction between several remedies, you may not make as prompt a cure as you ought. OPIUM, like Ignatia, is a remedy for the sudden effects of emotions. It does little or no good for the protracted effects. It, too, is worse after punishment, fright, or fear. The body stiffens out, and the mouth and the muscles of the face twitch. Thus far, it is exactly like Ignatia. The distinction lies in this particular : Under Opium, the face is dark red, and bloated. The spasms are usually associated with loud screams, more frequently so than under Ignatia.

GLONOIN produces sudden violent congestions to the head as does Opium. Like Opium and Ignatia, it may be used for the sudden effects of violent emotions. In the convulsions, the fingers are spread asunder and extended, a symptom which you also find under SECALE.

VERATRUM ALBUM also suits for convulsions after sudden violent emotions. But you find the face cold and blue, with cold sweat on the forehead.

HYOSCYAMUS has sudden starting and twitching of the muscles, more so than Ignatia; one arm will twitch and then the other. The motions are all angular. There is a great deal of frothing about the mouth. The patient seems to be wild.

BELLADONNA is probably more frequently indicated than any other remedy for convulsions following violent emotions, anger, etc., with bright red face, wild straining eyes, hot head, and spasms of the glottis.

OPIUM is probably the best remedy when, from fright of the wet-nurse, the child gets retention of urine.

CUPRUM is indicated in convulsions where the fingers are clenched. There is marked blueness of the face and mouth. Any attempt to swallow fluids causes gurgling in the throat.

CHAMOMILLA is useful in convulsions of children after any emotion. It is easily distinguished from Ignatia by the petulant angry disposition of the child. One cheek is red and the other pale, and there is hot sweat about the face and head.

There is a sore throat curable by Ignatia. The patient complains of a sensation as though there was a plug in the throat, worse when not swallowing. Examining the tonsils, you find them studded with small superficial ulcers having a yellowish-white color. There is a constricted feeling about the throat with a great deal of nervousness and insomnia.

IGNATIA may be used in chills and fever when there is thirst during the chill and when the warmth of the stove or artificial heat relieves the chill. That is not a common symptom. This is very diiFerent from NUX VOMICA, which finds no relief from covering up or from the heat of the stove.

The action of Ignatia on the genital organs must also be mentioned, as we find it indicated in dysmenorrhoea, associated with what is termed menstrua) colic, that is when there is a great deal of bearing down in the hypogastric region. The patient exhibits hysterical symptoms. The pains are of labor-like character, and are seemingly relieved by pressure, by lying down, and by change of position. The menses are dark.

The nearest remedies here are, first, COCCULUS INDICUS. This has uterine spasms and dark menstrual flow ; but the backache always enables you to differentiate this drug from others. It has a weak, lame feeling in the small of the back, as though the patient were about to be paralyzed. The limbs tremble when the patient begins to walk. In addition to this, she often complains of a feeling of emptiness, or hollowness in various cavities of the body, especially in the chest and abdomen.

PULSATILLA is at times to be used for this menstrual colic, particularly when the menses are dark in color and delayed. The flow is usually fitful. The patient is apt to be chilly; and the more severe are the pains, the more chilly does the patient become.

CHAMOMILLA is a third drug similar to Ignatia in uterine spasms. It is indicated by the mental symptoms. The patient is very cross, can scarcely answer any one civilly.

I would like you to remember also MAGNESIA MUR., which is indicated in uterine spasms accompanying induration of the uterus, whether of a scirrhous nature or not.

ACTEA RACEMOSA is called for in uterine spasms when the pains fly across the hypogastrium from side to side.

In disorders of digestion Ignatia is useful when the patient complains of the presence of a bitter or sour-tasting mucus in the mouth and copious salivation. He has marked aversion to certain foods. Food may be regurgitated. Gastralgia is present. He has hiccough, aggravated by eating and smoking; and, especially in children, by emotions. There is an empty, gone feeling at the epigastrium, with qualmishness. In some cases there is empty retching relieved by eating. The patient vomits at night the food taken in the evening. The bowels are disordered.

HYOSCYAMUS is one of our best remedies for hiccough occurring after operations on the abdomen.

STRAMONIUM and VERATRUM ALBUM for hiccough after hot drinks, and ARSENICUM and PULSATILLA after cold drinks.

TEUCRIUM MARUM VERUM is useful in hiccough after nursing.

Ignatia is useful in prolapsus ani, which may or may not be accompanied with haemorrhoids. You have as a characteristic symptom sharp stabbing pains shooting up into the rectum. This prolapsus ani may annoy the patient, even if there is soft stool. There is constriction at the anus, aggravated after stool, and better while sitting.

Ignatia produces quite a variety of symptoms referable to the eye, making it a useful remedy in several diseases of that organ. Like AGARICUS, it has nictitation of the eye-lids, with spasmodic action of the facial muscles. There are neuralgic pains about the eyes. These are exceedingly severe and are often associated with the GLOBUS HYSTERICUS. Ignatia may also be used in phlyctenular ophthalmia, when there is intense photophobia and a feeling of sand in the eyes.

The toothache of Ignatia is worse between than during acts of eating. Now this is in perfect harmony with the throat symptoms of the drug ; that is, there is a feeling as of a lump in the throat which is not felt DURING but BETWEEN the acts of deglutition. The lump (?) may feel sore while swallowing but it is felt more markedly between acts of deglutition. This symptom has led to the selection of Ignatia in aphthous sore-throat (the tonsils being swollen and studded with white flat patches), and even in diphtheria.

ZINCUM holds a very peculiar relation to Ignatia and Nux vomica. It follows Ignatia well while it is inimical to Nux vomica.



The seed of a large tree, a native of the Philippine Islands. It contains strychnine, and in poisonous doses its effects are regarded as identical with those of Nux vomica.


The seeds are used in medicine. They are bruised and triturated.


By allopathic writers Ignatia is classed among the spinants, as acting exclusively upon the spinal cord. Containing strychnine, it is regarded as identical in action with Nux vomica.


We shall see that, however great the similarity, there are yet great, and to us, as therapeutists, most valuable differences between these drugs. This is not the first instance in which a superficial use of chemistry has led to error.



General Analysis

Much of what was said of Nux vomica is certainly applicable also to Ignatia. Yet it appears that Ignatia acts less than Nux vomica upon the organic substance of the body, producing appreciable changes in the tissues, and much more exclusively upon the vital power.


Upon the vital power its action is not so much exalting or depressing, although in certain organs each of these varieties of action is distinguishable; but rather disturbing, destroying the harmony of action between different portions of the organism, perverting the co-ordination of functions. Thus, where we find heat of the body, and should anticipate such a condition of the nervous system as would make cool air agreeable, the contrary condition obtains ; where we should, from the fever existing, expect thirst, we find none, and VICE VERSA. The great sensitiveness of the surface, instead of being aggravated by contact and by pressure, is relieved by it, etc., etc.


Now, it would seem as though such results from provings might be fanciful, were they not corroborated by too many witnesses to admit of the idea being entertained.


And yet, singular as this state of things is, it finds its analogy in the natural history of disease. For if you analyze the phenomena of hysteria, you will find this "perversion of the co-ordination of functions" to be the fundamental principle of the malady. And of all our remedies none so completely corresponds to hysteria, and so often cures it, as Ignatia.


In the words of Dr. Wurmb the whole character of Ignatia may be expressed in two words: " ENTGEGENGESETZTE NEBENBESCHWERDEN."


Accessory or concomitant phenomena which are contradictory to or inconsistent with each other.



Special Analysis


HEAD. The headache of Ignatia is aggravated by talking or listening or paying close attention to anything, but not by independent mental action. It is a sensation of heaviness, as if congested, relieved by stooping and leaning forward, not therefore a real congestion (here is a contradiction). There is sometimes a semi-lateral throbbing, sometimes a throbbing over the orbits.


The most characteristic pain is that as if a nail were driven into the head. It is generally in the parietal or vertical region. Thuja has a similar pain in the occiput. This calls to mind the clavus hystericus, in which Ignatia is very useful.


EYES. The affection of the conjunctiva is moderate. There is but little congestion. On the contrary, photophobia is sometimes intense, though capricious.


The vision is affected in this way : on one side of the axis of vision is observed a zigzag, white flickering.


EARS. Ringing and noises in the ears are observed.


FACE. The muscles of the face and the lips often twitch and are convulsed.


TEETH. It is noted of the Ignatia toothache that though it consists chiefly in a soreness and tenderness of the teeth, it is felt more in the interval between meals than when eating. (Another contradiction.)


THROAT. The sore throat of Ignatia, which is a sticking sensation, is felt more when swallowing than when the throat is at rest.


The digestive organs are much modified in action. The mouth is full of mucus. The taste is flat; food has a bitter, repulsive taste. There are fanciful aversions to special articles of food. There is sometimes craving for a particular article, and then, after a small portion has been taken with great enjoyment, a sudden and great aversion to it.


Frequent regurgitation of food and of a bitter liquid. Vomiting at night of food taken in the evening. Empty retching relieved by eating. (Contradiction.)


Distention of the abdomen after eating. Sour eructations. Salivation copious, frothy, sour. Hiccough.


In the region of the stomach great emptiness and qualmishness and weakness, with a flat taste in the mouth. Characteristic.


(The above three paragraphs are very important, applying to vomiting in pregnancy.)


There are sticking and soreness in the epigastrium, and moderate flatus, with cutting and griping.


The stool is but little affected. There is a tendency to frequent but scanty stool, as in Nux \ vomica ; but Ignatia acts less on the substance of the rectum and more on its nerves. Thus in the rectum we have a distressing contraction and constriction of the sphincter, most painful after a stool, and when walking and standing, and relieved by sitting. (Contradiction.)


These are very important symptoms; violent stitches shooting from the rectum upward and forward into the abdomen. Along with these soreness, constriction and blind or bleeding haemorrhoids, worse after a stool.


Besides these symptoms of haemorrhoids and of proctalgia, itching and creeping at the anus indicate the presence of ascarides.


The chief symptoms of the urinary system are an increased secretion of clear, lemon-colored urine. (Hysteria.)


Menstruation is too frequent and too copious, and for this state of things, other symptoms corresponding, Ignatia is a remedy.


RESPIRATORY ORGANS. With regard to the respiratory organs, besides the itching of the nose and disposition to ulceration around the anterior nares, I call attention only to the cough.


This is characteristic of Ignatia. It arises from a feeling of constriction in the trachea or larynx, as if drawn together, then a tickling as if feather dust were in the throat; the cough is dry, violent, shattering; the shocks come in quick succession; the tickling irritation is not relieved by coughing. On the contrary, it becomes worse the longer the patient coughs, and is only relieved by a resolute suppression of the cough. (A marked contradiction, this!) The cough occurs chiefly in the evening, after lying down. This cough is unlike that of any other drug ; the contradiction is the characteristic feature.


There is occasional spasmodic dyspnoea.


In the trunk various tearing pains, and lassitude.


There are jerkings and twitchings in the extremities, especially after lying down at night, and startings when just falling asleep.


Sleep is sometimes deep and irresistible, sometimes the patient is wakeful. It is disturbed by dreams.


The fever is partial in all its stages. The peculiarity of the chill is that it is relieved by external heat, and that it is accompanied by excessive thirst; whereas the fever, which is partial, is not attended by thirst. (Contradiction.)


The symptoms of the mind are most important. Anxiety, as though something terrible had happened ; he cannot speak because of it, Hurry, fearfulness, terror, alternating with irresolution and inertness. Fixed ideas; the prover sits still and broods over thoughts and griefs.



Practical Application


Ignatia is indicated:


1. When the bad effects of anger, of grief, and of sudden mental shocks produce still grief, or a disposition to brood over sorrow instead of giving way. But when these emotions and shocks make the patient supercilious or crazy, give Platina; when boisterous and wild, Belladonna.


2. In convulsions. In epileptic attacks, with consciousness: in convulsions from grief; from dentition ; from labor, when without fever or cerebral congestion; not, therefore, where Hyoscyamus or Belladonna is required.


3. In intermittent fever, when there is chill with thirst or fever without. Distinguished from Ipecacuanha, Eupatorium, Rhus toxicodendron.


4. In dyspepsia, for weakness in the epigastrium.


5. In proctalgia, after the stool; it is distinguished by stitches up into the abdomen ; it is not indicated in fissure of the anus, which calls for Nitric acid and Plumbum.


6. For haemorrhoids after labor.


7. For ascarides.


8. For the vomiting of pregnancy, if appetite, salivation, copious lemon-colored urine, etc., be present, and clavus hystericus.


9. In spasmodic cough. Note the sensation oi constriction felt in the rectum and in the trachea.


Ignatia has a general correspondence to hysteria ; to the form characterized by a mental character, which is mild, gentle, yielding though whimsical (else it were not hysteria), and introverted. There is another form represented by Platina, which drug will be the subject of the next lecture.





Especially suited to nervous temperament; women of a sensitive, easily excited nature; dark hair and skin but mild disposition, quick to perceive, rapid in execution. In striking contrast with the fair complexion, yielding, lachrymose, but slow and indecisive, Pulsatilla.


The remedy of great contradictions: the roaring in ears > by music; the piles > when walking; sore throat feels > when swallowing; empty feeling in stomach not > by eating; cough < the more he coughs; cough on standing still during a walk (Ast. fl.) ; spasmodic laughter from grief; sexual desire with impotency; THIRST DURING A CHILL, no thirst in the fever; the color changes in the face when at rest.


Mental conditions rapidly, in an almost incredibly short time, change from joy to sorrow, from laughing to weeping (Coff., Croc, Nux m.); moody.




INVOLUNTARY SIGHING (Lach.) ; with a weak, empty feeling at pit of stomach; not > by eating (Hydr., Sep.).


Bad effects of anger, grief, or disappointed love (Cal. p., Hyos.) ; broods in solitude over imaginary trouble.


Desire to be alone.


Finely sensitive mood, delicate consciousness.


Inconstant, impatient, irresolute, quarrelsome.


Amiable in disposition if feeling well, but easily disturbed by very slight emotion ; EASILY OFFENDED.


The slightest fault finding or contradiction excites anger, and this makes him angry with himself.


Children, when reprimanded, scolded, or sent to bed, get sick or have convulsions in sleep.


Ill effects, from bad news; from vexation with reserved displeasure; from suppressed mental sufferings; of shame and mortification (Staph.).


Headache, as if a nail was driven out through the side, relieved by lying on it (Coff., Nux, Thuja).


Cannot bear tobacco; smoking, or being in tobacco smoke, produces or aggravates headache.


In talking or chewing, bites inside of cheek.


Sweat on the face on a small spot only while eating.


Oversensitiveness to pain (Coff., Cham.).


Constipation: from carriage riding; of a paralytic origin; with EXCESSIVE URGING, FELT MORE IN UPPER ABDOMEN (Ver.) ; with great pain, dreads to go to closet; in women who are habitual coffee drinkers.


Prolapsus ani from moderate training at stool. stooping or lifting (Nit. ac, Pod., Ruta) ; < when the stool is loose.


Haemorrhoids: prolapse with every stool, have to be replaced; SHARP STITCHES SHOOT UP THE RECTUM (Nit, a.); < for hours after stool (Rat., Sulph.).


Twitchings, jerkings, even spasms of single limbs or whole body, when falling asleep.


Pain in small, circumscribed spots.


Fever: red face during chill (Fer.) ; chill, WITH THIRST DURING CHILL ONLY; > by external heat; heat WITHOUT THIRST, < by covering (> by covering, Nux).


Complaints return at precisely the same hour.


Ignatia bears the same relation to the diseases of women that Nux does to sanguine, bilious men.


There are many more Ignatia persons in North America than Nux vomica persons. — Hering.




Incompatible: Coff., Nux, Tab.


The bad effects of Ign. are antidoted by Puls.




From tobacco, coffee, brandy, contact, motion, strong odors, mental emotions, grief.




Warmth, hard pressure (Cinch.); swallowing, walking.




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} .block-pasteboard .icons a:hover { color: #bd2626; } .block-map-3 .block-head { color: #bd2626; } .block-contacts ul li:after, .block-contacts ul li:before { border-color: #bd2626; background-color: #bd2626; } .block-contacts ul li:before { background-color: #fff; } .block-contacts ul li span { border-bottom-color: #bd2626; } .block-contacts ul .active { color: #bd2626; } .block-contacts ul .active:before { background-color: #bd2626; } .block-contacts ol { border-top-color: #bd2626; } .block-contacts ol li { color: #bd2626; } .block-contacts ol li i:after { background-color: #bd2626; } .block-feedback .message i, .block-feedback-2 .message i { color: #bd2626; } .block-not-found h3 { color: #bd2626; } .block-not-found .pic:before { background-color: #bd2626; } .block-not-found .pic div:before { background-color: #bd2626; } .block-not-found-2 .button { color: #bd2626; } .block-not-found-2 .button:hover { background: #bd2626; } .block-coming-soon li:before { background-color: #bd2626; } .block-coming-soon-2 li:after { background-color: #bd2626; } .widget-categories a:hover, .widget-categories a.active { color: #bd2626; } .widget-top-posts a:hover { color: #bd2626; } .widget-text hr { border-top-color: #bd2626; } .widget-text em { color: #bd2626; } .widget-archive a:hover, .widget-archive a.active { color: #bd2626; } .widget-tags a:hover { color: #bd2626; } .widget-categories-filter a:hover { color: #bd2626; } .widget-categories-filter .active { color: #bd2626; } .widget-categories-filter .active span { background-color: #bd2626; } .widget-price-filter .ui-slider-range { background-color: #bd2626; } .widget-price-filter .ui-slider-handle { background-color: #bd2626; } .widget-color-filter .active:before { border-color: #bd2626; } .widget-top-products .pic i { background-color: #bd2626; } .main-nav ul { background-color: #bd2626; }