A viscous juice, found in a small sack between the heart and liver of the mollusks of the genus purpura, of the family buccinidae, and also of the muricidae. A similar sack and juice are found in several conchiferae belonging to the family limacidae.
When brought into contact with the atmosphere, this juice becomes successively yellow, green, blue, and finally, a reddish purple. It is insoluble in water, alcohol or ether; consequently for homeopathic use the attenuations are prepared by trituration.
The proving which we possess was made chiefly under the observations of the late Dr. Petroz of Paris. Some additional observations have been collected by Dr. Hering; and a resume of our knowledge to the present date was published in the "American Homeopathic Review," vol. iv., 1864.
In its origin, Murex is very closely akin to Sepia; and it will be perceived that its pathogenesis closely resembles that of Sepia, especially in its relations to the female genital organs. What its analogies or contrasts may be, with reference to other organs or apparatus, we can hardly venture to conjecture, for our proving of Murex is fragmentary, and the number of provers was very small.
HEAD. Upon the sensorium, Murex produces a depressing effect. There is confusion of ideas and diminished intellectual activity.
The pains are heaviness and pressure in various parts of the head, chiefly in the forehead, or, in one or the other temple. Heaviness or tightness in the head, relieved by bending the head backward.
STOMACH. A peculiar and distressing sensation of "sinking" or faintness or vacuity in the epigastrium. The patients call it an "all-gone" feeling, something like the sensation produced by excessive hunger. Sepia has the same symptom, but in a less degree.
ABDOMEN. An acute sensation like a sharp point in the left side of the abdomen, which extends, and is felt in different isolated spots. The left side of the abdomen remained painful.
Tension (painful) in the right hypochondrium. Uneasiness in the abdomen like that which is caused by the approach of the menses; which, however, are retarded.
STOOL. Constipation, lasting several days.
ANUS. Pressure upon the anus like painful points.
GENITAL ORGANS. Our symptoms relate only to those of women.
In the right side of the uterus, acute pain, which crosses the body, and ascends to the left mamma. Pain in the uterus as if wounded by a cutting instrument. In the evening, two violent lancinations in an upward direction on the left side of the abdomen. Throbbings in the uterus.
VAGINA. Heaviness in the vagina during the pains in the abdomen.
PUDENDA. Sensation of weight and of dilatation in the labia majora.
FUNCTIONAL SYMPTOMS. Excitement; sexual instinct so violent as to fatigue the reason.
Platina has similar excitement. Hyoscyamus also, but with disturbance and perversion of the intelligence and moral sense, constituting nymphomania.
Venereal desire, increased or renewed by the slightest touch.
DISCHARGES. The menses are delayed. After flowing a few days the menses cease, and after twelve hours re-appear. Sepia has a similar symptom. Kreosote the same, together with irritation of the bladder, and a very acrid discharge from the vagina, causing the pudenda and thighs to swell and become raw, burning and itching.
Thick and greenish, or watery, leucorrhoea.
URINARY ORGANS. In quantity the urine is diminished, but the calls to pass urine are more frequent and urgent than in the normal state, especially during the night.
The urine is fetid, or has an odor like that of valerian. It has a white sediment, and its evacuation is followed by a discharge of blood or bloody mucus. (These symptoms occur in females, and probably this discharge is from the vagina.)
TRUNK. Pains in the loins, burning or excoriating. Pains in the hips and loins when lying down, and especially in bed. Here we have a contrast to Sepia, the lumbar and coxal pains of which are relieved by lying down; and a point of resemblance to Belladonna.
Pains around the pelvis.
EXTREMITIES. Pains and aching in the arms and legs. Feebleness, the limbs give way. Lassitude and fatigue; disposition to lie down. On rising, acute pain in the middle anterior portion of the right thigh. It will not bear to be touched.
SLEEP. Drowsiness in the evening. But the sleep is disturbed by troublous dreams, by pains like menstrual pains, and by an urgent necessity to rise and urinate.
These are in substance the symptoms ascribed to Murex. We gather from them and from clinical experience, that Murex acts peculiarly upon the sexual system of women; although the pains in the right hypochondrium and the constipation point to an action on the liver similar to that of Sepia.
Murex produces general lassitude and feebleness in the body and limbs, as well as in the sensorium ; but the feeling of prostration is most marked in the sinking, " all-gone" sensation in the epigastrium, which is very characteristic of Murex, and which is so frequent a concomitant of uterine disease, especially of prolapsus uteri.
In the loins and hips and around the pelvis, aching, drawing or burning pains, and pains and tenderness in the anterior part of the thighs,— such as often coincide with uterine disease,—are marked symptoms of Murex.
Again, the irritation of the bladder, which does not tolerate a large accumulation of urine in it,— the desire to evacuate being sudden and urgent,— points rather to uterine than to vesical disease.
Most peculiar to Murex, however, are the sensations ascribed to the uterus itself. First among these is a sensation described by one of Dr. Hering's provers as a "consciousness of the womb." Patients sometimes describe it thus: "I feel that I have a womb, and it is uncomfortable; whereas when I am well I am not conscious of the organ." More positive symptoms are the lancination, cuttings and throbbings felt in the uterus, and chiefly on the left side. Finally the sensation of sharp pain passing upward on the right side of the uterus, then crossing the body and extending to the left mamma.
There is leucorrhoea, thick or watery.
It is noteworthy that the sexual instinct is very active, and the susceptibility greatly increased, so as to annoy the subject. In this aspect Murex resembles Platina (and perhaps Phosphorus) and differs from Sepia.
The applications of Murex follow directly upon this statement. In the " American Homeopathic Review," LOC. CIT., cases are given of its successful use in treating prolapsus uteri and other uterine affections.
I have in my records a case of a large cyst, supposed to be connected with the left ovary, which occupied the space between the rectum and uterus and vagina, so as to obliterate the posterior cul de sac and almost occlude the vagina. In addition, it somewhat distended the abdomen. The patient had been confined to her room and bed for more than a year. The subjective symptoms so clearly indicated Murex that I gave the sixth. Whether it were mere coincidence or not I cannot say, but it is certain that within three weeks the tumor discharged a limpid fluid per vagina, and the local as well as general symptoms completely vanished, so that in a month thereafter the patient could walk freely and look after her housekeeping; nor has she since (for five years) been disabled or ailing.