The cochineal insect. A tincture or trituration from the dried insect. N.O. Hemiptera.
PATHOGENESIS AND THERAPEUTICS.
COCCUS CACTI has had a thorough proving, but up to the present seems to be used clinically in a limited sphere.
PROVERS.-The provers become irritable and apprehensive, experience a full, dull, frontal headache, or throbbing, shooting pain in the temples and ears. Cracking in the ears on swallowing was noted, and a loud roaring; associated with this is violent sneezing, with nasal secretion which dries into yellow crusts.
The mouth is irritated and the palate and fauces sensitive, so that rinsing the mouth or brushing the teeth cause a reflex spasmodic cough and retching. The tongue and mouth become dry and the prover is thirsty, the taste is altered-sour, sweet, bitter or metallic.
The prover is very hungry and thirsty, there is nausea, vomiting and pressure in the epigastrium, with flatulent pains in the left hypochondrium to the loin and splenic region; also distension and rumbling.
The respiratory organs.-The larynx and trachea, and possibly the larger bronchi are irritated. Extra mucus is secreted which is tough, tenacious and stringy. Hoarseness and a violent tickling paroxysmal cough come on, causing retching or vomiting and choking. The cough is partly reflex from the irritated throat (q.v.); the breathing is oppressed, but is relieved by getting up ropy phlegm. Palpitation results, with irregular pulse, worse after eating.
The urinary organs, next in degree, experience the effect of the poison. Burning and shooting in the urethra are felt, especially during micturition. There is great and frequent urging to micturate, and much clear, pale urine is passed; or a deposit of urates is noticed after the urine is cool.
The genital organs are stimulated, desire and erections are increased and nocturnal emissions occur. Women experience heat and swelling of the labia, and menstruation is profuse and prolonged. Haemorrhages are usually in black clots.
Sleep.-The prover is irresistibly sleepy, but he is disturbed by vivid dreams.
Fever.-There is chilliness followed by heat, worse in the evening. Patients feel the heat excessively and perspire too freely, especially in the morning. Therapeutically coccus has been used for spasmodic cough, from irritation of fauces, larynx and bronchi, with excessive ropy mucus, almost causing vomiting. Simple laryngitis, bronchitis or whooping-cough may be quickly helped by it, if the ropy mucus is also present. In whooping- cough the paroxysm can often be warded off by the patient taking a drink of cold water (cuprum). Hoarseness will often be noted. It has also been used for kidneys and bladder pains, for renal colic and haematuria. It may be useful in coryza, or in any group of symptoms portrayed in the provings.
(1) Spasmodic coughs, with ropy mucus, choking and retching.
(2) Urinary pains and colic.
(3) Genital irritation, both sexes.
Warmth, night and early morning, on waking (cough), entering warm room (cough).
Open air (tickling and cough).