Agnus castus

Proving Symptoms of homeopathy medicine Agnus Castus, described by Richard Hughes in his book, A Cyclopedia of Drug Pathogenesis, published in 1895….


Vitex Agnus-castus, L. Nat. Ord., Verbenaceae. Chaste-tree.


1. HAHNEMANN. Frequent hiccup, with cross disposition, inclined to anger; pinching in epigastrium when sitting bent forwards; soft stool for some days, then costiveness; when straining at stool, escape of fluid from urethra; a kind of yellow discharge from urethra; itching all over genitals, compelling scratching; cough in bed at night; pressure on sternum, especially on breathing deeply; she starts sometimes in sleep, as if from affright, and wakes up; anxious, unremembered dreams; disposition as if he had lowest opinion of himself, when he wished to be quit of this feeling and rather to be dead. – at this time no courage to do anything; when not in state just mentioned he is in one of over-excitement, would like to declaim, &c. (Archiv, x, 177.) [This is a schema of symptoms stated to have been “observed” by the physicians mentioned, but without information as to circumstances or mode of proceeding.-EDS.]

2. FRANZ. Contractive pain in head above temples, on reading; first pin-pricks, then pricking itching on hairy scalp and face, momentarily removed by scratching; eyes are misty and as if watery (in room); smarting stitches in right eyeball, going off on rubbing eyes; hard pressive pain, as from stone, from nose to right eyebrow, going off on pressure (30 h.); coppery taste; nausea, first in stomach, then (with sinking) in abdomen, while standing; in flesh near anus, a spot with sore pain when walking, not when sitting; tingling in right index; cramp-pain in left thigh, externally were drawn by a thread; on right tibia, when standing, a pressive pain; violent stitches in left big toe, so that whole limb jerks; sleep very restless, with constant dreaming; heat of face and dryness of mouth for 1 hours, afterwards thirst; before heat, sweat on left hand, especially between fingers, in open air; melancholy disposition all day, self absorbed, discontented with himself, incapable of any occupation, quite insensible to external things, and absent minded over work. (Ibid.)

3. GROSS. Confusion of head, like general drawing there; heaviness of head, with pressure in nape, head feeling as though it would sink forwards; tearing in left temple; tensive tearing in forehead (1/4 h.); pressive tearing in left frontal protuberance; eroding itching on various parts of hairy scalp, face, and throat; horripilation of integuments of head, with simultaneous tension therein, but they feel warm; very dilated pupils, all day; tearing in r zygoma, and formication on right cheek making him scratch; tearing in right ramus of lower jaw; loathing for all drinks; feeling of nausea at pit of stomach; wandering pressure and cutting in upper abdomen, and just above sacrum; quivering in muscles of anus; eroding itching on perinaeum and penis; pressure in ensiform cartilage just above pit of stomach; eroding itching on nape, behind axillae, and in various other places, temporarily relieved by scratching; obtuse or sharp stitches in several regions of limbs; pulse 60 only, and less palpable; constant trembling of whole body from internal chill, while surface feels warm; or alternations of heat and cold, without thirst, hands only feeling cold. (Ibid.)

4. HERRMANN. Vertigo, as if all went round in a circle (some min.); aching tearing in temples and forehead, also within brain, aggravated by movement (2 h.); pressive tearing on I parietal bone, aggravated by touch or movement; thirst, absent after 6 hours, became great after 30 hours; hard pressure in hepatic region, aggravated by touch; urination frequent and copious during whole proving, urine rather light and touch; pressive tearing in r shoulder-joint, a pain as of dislocation, aggravated by movement and inspiration (3 h.); hard pressure in r axilla (1/2 h.), in upper arm (3/4 h.) aggravated by touch; pressure in right elbow, aggravated by movement (13 h.); jerking in same going off on moving arm; paralytic pain in left wrist, only observed when turning hand; paralytic jerking drawing in metacarpal bone of left index, aggravated by touch; pressure and shooting in thumbs; shooting tearing in and about right hip- joint, aggravated by every movement, easier when at rest, and then more a pressive tearing, with exhaustion and weariness which compel him to sit down, – a kind of dislocative pain (36 h.); similar sensations in both knee joints; paralytic jerking drawing in muscles of left leg, extending from knee to foot, unaffected by walking or touch (6 h.); intermittent sharp stitches in ankle (7 h.); sense as of a weight on instep of right foot, pressing it down, in every position; tearing in joints of toes, worse on walking; obtuse intermittent shooting on sole at heel, unaffected by touch or walking; fine shooting tearing in both soles; itching pricking on various parts of body, compelling scratching; chill, without thirst or subsequent heat; after 50 hours chill and shivering, followed in 1/4 hours by heat, and this alternation repeated several times, without thirst. (Ibid.)

5. STAPF. Confusion of head over eyes;[This is said to have occurred “in a young man suffering from weakness of genitals.” It does not appear whether other symptoms credited to Stapf were observed on the subject; but some of those of the sexual organs must be taken with reserve on this account.-EDS.] excessive distraction, absence of mind forgetfulness, e.g. when playing cards, which he usually did well, he did not remember what had been played, or know what he ought to do; roaring noise in ears; itching pricking in inguinal region, making him scratch; weakening of the usually very strong sexual power; penis small and soft (some h.); [ To this, in the pathogenesis of A.c. in his Beitrage, Stapf notes, “primary action, in a healthy man.”- EDS] at night testicles feel cold, without inward cold feeling; the usual strong morning erection which desire for coitus does not occur, next day the parts are soft and unexcitable; after 20 hours uncommonly strong erections without cause and without amorous thoughts, accompanied by (for 1/2 hours before rising in m.); on 3rd day erections and sexual desire returned, and later were much increased, with voluptuous sensation in all genital organs; [ To this is noted “Heilwirkung,” and it might be a clinical symptom of patient; but “Heilwirkung?” is appended to the previous symptom, which seems undoubtedly Stapf’s.-EDS.] shooting in spot of left foot externally, when standing still at n. in bed, heat all over body like a flash of fire, at same time cold knee. (Ibid.)

6. HELBIG. Though faeces are not too firm, they are passed with difficulty in spite of all pressing, seeming as though they would slip back again; shooting in fingers of one hand, evening (5th d.); feeling as if bruised in all limbs. (Heraklides, i, 45.) [ This is also a schema without information. – EDS]

7. S. W. There is something before ears, he does not hear well; disordered stomach, – he relishes his food, but feels ill and uncomfortable after it, as though he had eaten too much; much sneezing, with dryness of nose; something like viscid phlegm stands in his throat, he cannot get it up; creaking in dorsal vertebrae. (Ibid.)

8. A. She is in very sad humour, and says repeatedly that she shall die soon. (Ibid.)

9. the following symptoms are anonymous: – Reading is difficult, he has to go over many passages twice, and is only willing to read what is easy to be understood being unable to fix his attention; for several day a pain, rather smarting than shooting, on right vertex. as if in bone, from behind forwards, ending at angle of forehead, chiefly in morning hours, but not absent at night; a pain in temple going towards eye, increased by touch, as if she had had a hard blow; eye burn in evening, while reading; teeth are painful when warm food or drink touches them; mouth very dry, saliva sticky and viscid so that it can be drawn out in threads, velum palati and uvula are scarlet-red, scraping in throat causing him to cough, phlegm expelled with greater force; after micturating, disagreeable sensation of back of urethra; painful erections in morning (14 h.); extreme flaccidity of penis, and insusceptibility to what would ordinary cause erection; the emission of semen occurs without ejaculation, the semen has little smell and is in small quantity (4th d.); his voice is veiled and toneless; dull pain ilii, near spine; tearing in lower limbs for 1/2 hours; feet are easily sprained while walking on pavement (m. of 5th d.); itching over body, especially up back, as from running of fleas; he soon falls asleep in evening, and, contrary to custom, only wakes up in morning. (Ibid.)

10. In order to pass childless married life, a man took for three months, morning and evening, twelve seeds of Agnus castus; thereby he was so weakened that he not only felt an obstacle to erections of penis, but – as he wished – he lost his semen entirely and never begot children. (LINDROW, Venusspiegel, p. 119.)

11. It causes in some very strong sexual desire. (S. PAULLI, Quadr. Bat., p. 189.)

12. Considerable heat in left concha. confusion of head. Agreeable increased heat in left hand and forearm (after 1/2 h.). Weak erections, without sexual excitement musk, sometimes of herring, though neither is near him (1st d.). Crawling feeling in testicles (m., 1st and 2nd d.). Some red itching spots on inner surface of left forearm, which soon disappear. Drawing up along spermatic cords (1st d.) Crawling feeling in testicles (m, 1st and 2nd d.). some red itching spots on inner surface of left forearm, which soon disappear. Drawing up along spermatic cords (1st d.) Diminished sexual appetite, but after coitus feeling of lightness in body (2nd n.). fine pricks in right iliac region (after 12 h.). Painful drawing in region of I parotid gland (after 9 – 12 h.). After dinner slight pressure in upper abdomen (1st d.). Rumbling in bowels without pain (1st d.)(. Drawing pain in metacarpal bones (1st d.). Frequent erections, during which the penis sinks more than usual, with voluptuous sensation (4th 5th, and 6th n.) After coitus the same n. an emission and long- continued erections. (SEIDEL, Archiv, xvii, 2. 186.) [ Also without explanations.-EDS.

Richard Hughes
Dr. Richard Hughes (1836-1902) was born in London, England. He received the title of M.R.C.S. (Eng.), in 1857 and L.R.C.P. (Edin.) in 1860. The title of M.D. was conferred upon him by the American College a few years later.

Hughes was a great writer and a scholar. He actively cooperated with Dr. T.F. Allen to compile his 'Encyclopedia' and rendered immeasurable aid to Dr. Dudgeon in translating Hahnemann's 'Materia Medica Pura' into English. In 1889 he was appointed an Editor of the 'British Homoeopathic Journal' and continued in that capacity until his demise. In 1876, Dr. Hughes was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the Organization of the International Congress of Homoeopathy Physicians in Philadelphia. He also presided over the International Congress in London.