Gelsemium sempervirens

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


Gelsemium sempervirens, Gray. Yellow Jessamine. Nat. Ord., Loganiaceae.


I. JOSHUA STONE, aet.27th, black hair and light skin, am strictly temperate in my habits of life, using no intoxicating drinks of any kind, coffee, tea, or tobacco. I am subject to occasional attacks of indigestion, and suffer much from cold hands and feet. Otherwise than this, I enjoy a very good degree of health. On November 21st, 1852, at 10 p. m., I took 6 dr. of tinct. (prepared from flowers) in water. 22nd. – During last night was quite restless, and much annoyed with unpleasant dreams. During day dull, aching pain in occipital region, much aggravated by movements, especially on bending the head downwards. This pain was much increased towards evening 23rd. – Experienced dull pains in head and extremities. 24th. – No symptoms. At 10 p. m. took 10 dr. of tinct. No symptoms. On 29th took 50 dr. at 10 p. m., 30th. – During night was very restless, with unpleasant dreams after

midnight. Dull pain in bowels, which became quite severe towards morning. Pain of similar character in sacral and lower lumbar regions. Dull, heavy pain in region of occiput. Involuntary emission of semen without section. Urine much increased in quantity. 10 a. m., dull pain in left humeral region, also in lower extremities: these are deep seated in muscles. Have felt chilly all day, particularly in morning. December 1st. – Dull aching pain in back, particularly in lumbar and sacral region, which came on about 3 a. m. Also similar pains (deep seated) in upper and lower extremities and joints generally. Yellowish-white fur on tongue. Sensation as of something wanting in epigastric region. Emission of semen without correction. All pains much aggravated by heat of bed, and are much worse after midnight. The pains spoken of above continued during day but in a much less degree. In evening eyes felt quite sore, and as if there was some foreign substance irritating conjunctiva. 2nd – Very restless during night, especially towards morning. Rheumatic pains in bones and joints of extremities and in the back, as in night previous: also pain in bowels towards morning. Headache of dull aching character in occipital region, occasionally extending to os frontis. At night eyes quite sore; not much pain, but merely soreness with sensitiveness to light and lachrymation. Slight chills during day 3rd. – Awoke about 3 or 4 a. m. with severe pains in both upper extremities; seemed to be deep seated in muscles, most severe in left arm and forearm, and in calves of both legs. General restlessness with chills in morning after breakfast. Rather dull and stupid for some day with disinclination to conversation. This was remarked by my friends, who knew nothing of my taking med. 4th. – Rheumatic pains in extremities as heretofore, but less severe. Soreness of eyes at night 5th. – Symptoms similar to those experienced yesterday. Eyes quite sore at night 6th. – About 4 a. m., awoke with pain of rheumatic character in extremities. After breakfast, experienced dull aching pain in head in region of occiput, which increased in severity as day advanced. At 10 a. m. I went to the Penn Hospital, where I saw a number of severe wounds. I am not usually affected very much by the sight of wounds, but to-day that, or something else, caused some very unpleasant sensations, which were as follows: – I became very weak, and my friend remarked that I was very pale; there was also slight nausea and trembling of lower extremities; these continued some 10 morning, but disappeared on going into the open air. Headache continued to increase in severity until after dinner, when it was much less severe. But at about 4 pain again returned, and was more severe than before, and seemed to increase in severity until evening, when it became excruciating, accompanied with slight nausea; pain seemed slightly mitigated by shaking head. I also felt quite chilly. Went to bed about 9, but recumbent position did not mitigate pain at first; I, however, succeeded in getting sleep from about 10:30 to 2:30 a. m., when I awoke with most intense aching pain in left frontal extending to right occipital region, and occasionally over almost entire head. This continued about 1 hours, and then left me entirely. After this, I experienced dull aching pain in umbilical region, which continued until I got up. Deep-seated aching pains in muscles of extremities, relieved by motion. After breakfast had sharp shooting pain from right shoulder to dorsal vertebrae. 8th. – During last night pains as heretofore, in extremities, which come on mostly after midnight. These pains also continued during day, but in much less degree. Some headache as before in occipital region. Palpitation of muscles of abdomen, which continued about 3 morning. Dull pain in lower lumbar and sacral region. 9th. – During night pains in extremities much as usual, particularly in forearms and calves of legs, also in elbow – and knee – joints. All symptoms of

extremities similar to those experienced before, but less severe. 10th. – Early in morning sharp shooting in last phalangeal joint of right thumb. Have experienced dull pains in muscles of right arm and shoulder, and some of the time in left arm and lower extremities. 11th. – Slight pains in extremities during night 3 p. m., sharp shooting pain in calf of right leg. 6, sharp pain in right wrist. 7, dull pain in left thigh, and under left scapula. 7:30, severe aching pain in left elbow. Have experienced dull pains of shifting character all day 12th. – Symptoms of last night were not prominent. Some slight pains in muscles of extremities. During day felt extremely dull and stupid, but little pain in muscles of extremities. Dull pain in head in region of occiput. 9 p. m. in right wrist, of dull character, with great weakness of same. 13th. – Pain in wrist less severe, but quite weak. 14th and 15th. – No symptoms. 16th, 10 p. m., took 50 dr. 17th. – During night very restless. During day tendency to headache on movement, particularly on going upstairs. 18th. – Slight pain in left hypochondriac region. 20th. – About 11 a. m., severe aching pain in occipital region for a few moments. Very dull and stupid, with aversion to study. (HALE’s New Remedies, 2nd ed. [*Taken from a thesis presented by Dr.Stone to the Hom. Medorrhinum College of Pennsylvania, communicated by Dr.Nerdhard *])

2. Dr. HENRY, of Montgomery, Alabama, April 3rd, 1852, took 30 dr. of tinct. The first symptoms felt were pains over whole top of head, extending back to occiput, with general dizziness and disagreeable pain in whole head. Melancholy and desponding

mood. Pains of shooting character in frontal sinus extending to eyes and jaw; pain in eye is of pricking character, extending from centre to angles. In right pains seem to wind round eye.. Pain extending from bridge of nose to eye. Pains deep in the ball of left eye, extending from above downwards. Paroxysmal pain left lower extremity. Violent shooting pain in leg, which comes on in paroxysms; every one is more violent; pain is half-way between knee and ankle. Pain in left hip confining itself to the joint; it at times extends down outside of thigh; it is of a drawing, sharp character, and is much worse on motion. Pain in flexor muscles of right forearm, in little and ring fingers, in foot and ankle, with spasmodic contraction and drawing pains in the toes. Pain in neck which confine themselves to upper part of sterno- mastoid muscles, directly behind parotid glands. On right side pain extends from last back tooth up to temples. Short paroxysmal pain in superior part of right lung; on taking a long breath it strikes from above downwards; this pain is one of the most prominent symptoms. Rumbling and rolling in abdomen with emission of flatus above and below. Periodical pains in abdomen, with yellow diarrhoea coming on in evening. Pain in left iliac region. Bowels loose, but great difficulty to discharge anything; there seems to be great strength in sphincter muscles. Yellow coat on tongue. 5th. -Took 30 dr. Experienced pain over whole top of head, extending back to occiput. General dizziness and disagreeable pain in whole head. Melancholy and desponding mood. Pains of shooting character in frontal sinus extending to the eyes and jaw as before, but more severe. Spasmodic pain extending from inner condyle of right arm to axilla. Smoky appearance before eyes, with pain above them. Total blindness ensued in a very short time after taking the 30 dr., with violent dizziness. A band-like pain which surrounds head, with shooting pain in each jaw and parietal bone. Pain in left side of head extending from parietal eminence to mastoid process of temporal, periodically recurring. Periodical pains in pectoral muscles. The med. was now taken for a week, dose being increased daily. There resulted, besides above symptoms, chilly sensation over entire body appearing at same time every day; complexion yellow, also eyes; complete prostration of system with action. (Ibid.)

3. Mr. FRANKLIN BIGELOW, aet.24, sanguine, nervous temperament, took 2 dr. tinct. Effects at first were so slight that he did not think them worth nothing, but 8 days after taking it he experienced sensation of heaviness and oppression of head; severe and oppressive pains in forehead and vertex; headache, very distressing; gloomy and indisposed to exertion of any kind; became tired and greatly exhausted very easily; headache comes on after dinner and continues till evening. At same time excessive drawing and crampy pains in lower limbs, extending from thigh to toes; pains seem to proceed from bones as well as the muscles. Excessive crampy pains in whole right foot. During and after a walk symptoms are all much aggravated; it seemed as if limbs could not be made to move another step. When the pains are felt above knee they are not felt below, and vice versa. Excessive drawing and contracting pains in left gastrocnemius. The other pains in the limbs all abate while sitting; this does not, – no position seems to relieve it. Drawing and aching pains, which seem to come from bones. Heaviness and feeling of weight in the limbs. But little inclination to sleep; when it does come on dreams much of business, etc. Eyes much inflamed and weak, with great flow of tears at intervals. (Ibid)

4. I commenced my proving of this drug in 1858. I have since proved it on at least 50 persons. The tinct. of the root was employed, in doses of 1-5 dr. A few provings were made with the 3x dil. (in all these the characteristic eruption was developed). The following is a brief digest of its pathogenesis:

4 a. Pain of head is a very constant symptom, generally dull, stupefying, and pressive; most frequently in forehead and temples; bruised pain above and at back of orbits; tightness of brain; often more or less nausea with headache; giddiness pretty constant; an intoxicated feeling and tendency to stagger, often with dizziness or imperfection of vision. The head symptoms are aggravated by smoking; they are felt very soon, sometimes within 5 morning.

4 b. Mind irritable, impatient; incapacity to think or fix attention; confusion; stupid intoxicated feeling; dulness of all mental faculties. In one case, great and almost uncontrollable mirthfulness, but it is not said at what stage.

4 c. Great heaviness of lids; difficulty of opening eyes or keeping eyes open; eyes close in spite of him, on looking steadily at an object; fulness and congestion of lids. Diplopia when inclining head towards either shoulder, but single vision when holding head erect (I case); objects seemed double upon raising head from stooping position or on looking sideways, but not when looking directly at them (I case). Dryness of eyes. Misty or glimmering appearance before eyes. Pain in orbits, sometimes excessive.

4 d. Mawkish taste in mouth; clammy, feverish feeling and taste; great hunger (I case); feeling of emptiness and weakness in stomach and bowels; eructations; hiccup; slight pain in transverse colon, with yellow colour of face (I case) gnawing pain in region of transverse colon all afternoon; slight pain in left iliac region (2 cases); frequent sharp darting pain through left hypochondriac region; after experiencing chills, headache, fever, and prolonged sweating 17 hours after taking drug was awakened by severe moving pains in lower abdomen, soon followed by a very large but natural stool, without relief of pain, and soon after by a deeply bilious discharge, with instant relief of pain, – 19 hours after, another bilious evacuation, without pain, rumbling in region of umbilicus.

4 e. Urine increased in quantity, clear and watery; frequent micturition, – as often as every 1/2 hour.

4 f. In a few cases, watery discharge from nose; paroxysms of hoarseness, with dryness of throat; voice seems weak; stitching sensation in region of heart; stitches in chest; shuddering pain in right breast; constrictive pain round lower part of chest.

4 g. Pain in back, as in cold stage of ague (many cases); coldness of extremities, especially feet (often seven); feet felt as if in cold water. This symptoms occurs early, and is generally accompanied with heat of head and face, and with headache, with anguish feeling, pain in and between bones of left leg; not able to go downstairs, without holding on to something. Pain under right knee when walking. Pain in lower limbs (very common).

4 h. Febrile chilliness, with cold extremities and heat of head and face, with headache (an early symptom in most cases). Pulse very uniformly depressed, and down by 10-20 beats, within first 5 or 10 m., if subject remains quiet, but liable to great variations from exercise. In one case pulse rose from 60 to 70 in first 5 morning, but in next trial fell 10 beats in same time. In man cases, pulse soon becomes very feeble, sometimes scarcely perceptible, with chilliness, cold feet, heat, heat and pain of head, etc. After 1 to several hour chilliness subsides, general hat supervenes, mostly about head and face, with full pulse of 80- 100. In most cases, perspiration follows, sometimes profuse, lasting a few hour to 2 hours, with thirst, languor, and prostration. One feels as if he had had “a fit of sickness.” Another speaks of “every symptom of ague; would have thought he had the ague.”

4 i. Disposition to yawn; a sort of stupor; cannot keep eyes open; is obliged to lie down and sleep. Sleepiness, and long and sound sleep, are very general symptoms.

4 j. The drug produces a peculiar and very marked eruption in most of the provings. It appears chiefly on face, less frequently and less conspicuously on back, between shoulders, etc. It is papular, of much the same colour as that of measles, but the papulae are larger, and more distant and instinct. They are attended with little or no sensation, the subject being unaware of their existence until he happens to see himself. This eruption generally appears the 2nd or 3rd day of the proving, and continues one or two weeks, or more.

4 k. General symptoms were-weakness and trembling through whole system; listless and languid; great lassitude; feeling of lightens of body and sense of instability of whole system; feeling of danger of stumbling or falling; fugitive or fixed pains here and there; easily fatigued, especially in lower limbs, general feeling of illness, as in fever. (J. S. DOUGLASS, M. D., United States Journ of Hom. i, I bis[*In a later communication(Nov., 1861) Dr.Douglass writes:

a. My experience does not perfectly coincide with your remark upon the action of G.upon the nerves of sensation. It does not, certainly, “cause the numbness, tingling, prickling, and crawling sensations” of aconite, but in my individual experience, it causes the pains. In my own provings I have frequently experienced a succession of acute, sudden, darting pains, evidently running along single nerve branches in almost every part of body and limbs, sometimes so sudden and acute as to make me start. At one time a quick succession of these acute sudden pains coursed down the outside and front of the tibia for 1/2 hour leaving a lime of considerable tenderness marking its track.

b. You remark that you have not been able to elicit such marked symptoms in your provings as were experienced by me. The symptoms particularly referred to are the chills, the reactive febrile heat with headache, and the sweat. You suggest that I am probably very susceptible to the action of this drug. This remark suggests an important fact which has gradually unfolded itself in my successive fragmentary provings on some seventy persons, and on myself. It is that the degree of chill, of febrile reaction, of headache, and of neuralgic pain, bears a very uniform ratio to the nervous sensitiveness of the patient….In several highly sensitive subjects the chill has been equal to a respectable fit of ague the reaction and pain of head corresponding, and the sweat profuse. These symptoms have been most marked in some female provers of this temperament, taking 1/2 dr.doses(Monograph on Gelsemium, by E.M.HALE, M(>)D(>), 1862*]

5. Dr. W. E. PAYNE proved fluid extr. in 1859.

5 a. April 7th, 9:30 p. m., took 4 dr. in water; on 8th, 5 dr. in morning and 6 in forenoon; on 9th, at 5 a. m., 6 dr.; and on 10th, at 6:30 a. m., 10 dr. At 2 p. m. on 10th, when lying down, pain under left floating ribs, suddenly, as from thrust with a sharp instrument. In an instant pain disappeared but appeared as suddenly in left temple, causing involuntary contraction of brow. At 2:30 there was full and crowded feeling in whole head, and sensation of feverish heat in face; nevertheless temperature of skin did not appear augmented. At 3 took 6 dr. on sugar. In 1/2 hour pulsative pains in left hypochondrium, continuing 1 hour 11th. – At 9 a. m. 6 dr. In 1 hour, while sitting, sensation as if galvanic current were passing down forearms and hands; same also in feet. At 2, when lying down, pulsative pains in left hand and finger – joints, and at same time in right foot, more severe in ball of great toe, continuing for 2 hours. 12th. – At 6 a. m., 6 dr. Fulness about head. 13th. – At 9 a. m., 10 dr. 14th – At 3 p. m., 10 dr. Feverish heat in face; full and crowded feeling in head, with pain as if brain were bruised, and accelerated pulse (90); general fatigue; aching in loins; soreness of trapezius muscles on moving. At 6, sensation if galvanic current were passing through forearms, continuing for 1/2 hours. The sensitive and bruised feeling of the brain continued for 2 days., the aching and soreness in muscles of neck and shoulders for 4 days.

5 b. May 8th, at 9:30 p. m., took 3 dr.; on 9th, at 6 and 10 a. m., 5 dr, and at 9:30 p. m., 6 dr. 10th. 0 At 6 a. m., 8 dr. One hour after, confusion of sight; light-head and dizzy, much worse from sudden movement of head and heat in face. At 9:30, violent cramp-like pains in epigastrium, causing a momentary cry, lasting but a moment and then subsiding, leaving a constricted sensation for 1 hour. This was followed by sensation of heat and burning in stomach. At 2:30 p. m., 8 dr. At 3, pressive pain in right temple, with dizziness and blurred vision, such as may follow use of intoxicating liquor, but without exhilarating effects. The dizziness and blurred vision were attended by nausea, and continued for 3 hours. There were also pains in left elbow, wrist, and knee, and in both ankles; and pulse remained accelerated. The sensitiveness of brain continued for several hour, and it appeared as if every step and sudden movement of head would excite. pain; but this did not occur. 12h. – At 6 a. m., 6 dr. and at 2:30 p. m., 8 dr. At 3:30, dizziness and blurred vision returned, and gradually increased so that all objects appeared very indistinct till 6:30, when it as gradually abated. Face was flushed and hot to touch; eyes suffused. (Amer. Hom. Rev., ii, 80).

6. a. I have at various times, when in health, taken a few pellets saturated with the tinct. dry on the tongue. No symptoms save some fulness of anterior part of head, felt within a few morning of each dose, and soon disappearing.

6 b. April 3rd, 1864, just before going to bed, took 4 dr. of tinct. on tongue. In 15 morning, stitch traversing right eyelids vertically; afterwards, sense of contraction in scalp at centre of forehead. Sound sleep till 8 a. m. On rising, again 4 dr., and same at 11 a. m. Insufficient stool at 10 a. m. Walking and other exertion easily induced perspiration. At noon, slight heartburn and pain at cardia, while reading. At 8 p. m. 4 dr. and at 11 p. m., 5 dr. In afternoon and evening some irritability of right testis, and, afterwards, dragging pain in same, extending to both groins and hypogastrium, followed by escape of flatus, and relief of pain. At 11:30 p. m., eructations of wind and bland fluid; intense but transient itching of small points on face and at edge of hair at several spots; itching about elbows and forearms; aching in left rectus femurs, and drawing in right calf; sneezing, followed by tingling and sense of fullness in nose. At midnight, 6 dr.; sound sleep till 7 a. m., difficult weary waking. 5th. -After rising, 7 dr. General vivacity; at breakfast, dull ache on right side of head; gastric oppression had to loosen waist-bands, after which colicky sensation to left of navel as if stool would shortly pass. After breakfast, transient vertiginous sensation, followed by confused vision, especially of distant objects; when turning eyes, sense of sight is tardy in following movement, things appearing for several seconds to be blurred, and eye remaining unfixed in its new direction (no sensation of gauze or film). This gradually wore off by night. Sound sleep during most of night 6th. – At 8 a. m. took of a new specimen 5 dr. General vigorous filing. After breakfast, marked renewal of confusion of sight, with heavy- looking eyes. Found this symptom much less when holding a finger vertically beyond nose, also when either eye was closed. When reclining some languor throbbing in right side of head (previously, at breakfast, transient and slight cutting pressure on left side). Some heat and dryness of hands at 10 a. m.; at 11, pulse, sitting, 76. P. m., languor and drowsiness on attempting to study in reclining position; slept an hour, and on being aroused felt at first unwilling to move, eye transiently bloodshot. After moving about awhile has languor. Pulse, lying, 54-60, sitting up, 64-68; hands, especially palms, hot and dry. E., pulse 72, when sitting – always full and strong, as usual. Wakeful till 1 a. m., with desire to study. Irritation of small spots on mucous surface of prepuce with surrounding congestion. Sound sleep latter part of night; weary waking. 7th. – At 10 a. m., 5 dr., and at 2 p. m., 7 dr. At 4, swallowed a dessert- spoonful of red wine. Directly after, for first time to-day, return of confusion of sight, lasting but an hour, but so extreme that it seemed as if someone must suspect inebriation. Previously, depression of spirits with dull uncertain pains in head; coincident with intoxicated feeling gastralgia and colic. During evening, colicky pains below navel, extending to testes, and caused by flatus, being relieved by its expulsion. 8th. -At 8 a. m., 8 dr. Sight more or less confused all day. At 11 cardialgia, while riding. Dulness of head. at 3 p. m., whilst reading excitable news, transient chilliness in upper half of body, especially back and nape of neck. AT 11:30, 9 dr. At 12:30, rising of tasteless, semi-solid matters in esophagus with flatus and a sense as of something lodged therein, slightly painful, while sitting at study. Sound sleep. 9th. – Found sore pimple on left side of neck. Took 10 dr. Exciting news caused urging to stool; stool was deep yellow and papescent (as it was yesterday). Dull pain in right head; transient cramping pain in inner thigh when walking; eye symptoms as before. At 5:30 p. m., 15 dr. In an hour rheumatic pains in right knee and left neck-latter while lying down, former when walking; soon passed off. Confusion of sight much increased during evening. At 9:30, sneezing and dull headache; continued cardialgia and eructations while sitting; pulse 72. Pimple is sore, with areola, altogether size of pea, quite red and inflamed -an eruption not previously experienced. 10th. At 8:30 a. m., 21 dr. Till 4 p. m. disturbance of sight was great; mind listless and incapable of reflection, with dull (not severe) headache all day, and digging in right ear all p. m. at 9:30, soft bilious stool, preceded by threatenings of diarrhoea – latter renewed at noon by exciting news and afterwards in walking. When walking so, feeling in knees joint as of partial luxation. Several times during day saliva was found yellowish as if from blood; and all latter part of day bad, sour, spoiled taste and breath, with frequent need to rinse mouth or spit, light whitish coat on tongue. At 5, contractive sensation in right neck; afterwards while writing headache, first on vertex, then in left occiput, subsequently on both sides, in upper cervical region, and again on top-all in a few morning. Finally, settled, dull, dragging headache, mainly in occipital, mastoid, and upper cervical region, extending to shoulders, relieved while sitting by reclining head and shoulders on a high pillow. Early sleep after dinner. When roused some headache still; mind composed and clear (11:30 p. m.). After writing a while, pulse 64- 68; palms dry and hot, as also lips. 11th. – Three more pimples, like minute boils. No more med. was taken; and prover’s normal condition being disturbed by a professionally broken night, his symptoms to-day are not recorded. Pimples were not disappearing by 15th. (J. C. MORGAN, M. D., in Hale’s New Remedies, 2nd ed.)

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.