As NASH says, “this is one of the remedies that is not so remarkable for its wide range of action, as it is for positiveness within its range”.
Its sensations are, heaviness and lameness, especially in the sacro-iliac regions. Fullness to bursting in fauces, stomach, bowels, rectum and chest: fullness in various parts, as if they contained an undue amount of blood–heart, lungs, stomach, brain, skin. And, as Kent emphasizes, purpleness of congested parts. He says: “Aesculus is a venous remedy, engorged and full, sometimes to bursting. Now there is another feature I want to bring out. You will notice that where congestion takes place it is purple, or blue in colour. The remedy is not active in its inflammatory state, it is sluggish and passive the heart is labouring and the veins are congested. It is one of the most frequently indicated remedies in the haemorrhoidal constitution, as it used to be called.”
While GUERNSEY (Keynotes) lays his finger, as usual, on the spot when he says: “The guiding thread directing the use of this remedy is found in the rectum, haemorrhoidal vessels, sacrum and back.”
Popular use and observations, as so often, point to its remedial uses: as when Hering tells us “that it causes prolapsus ani in cattle which feed on it”–and we learn that “the nuts are carried in the pocket to avoid, or to cure piles”.
The black letter symptoms of a drug, i.e. the symptoms outstandingly caused and cured by it, are pretty strong pointers to its most frequent and brilliant exploits of healing. Glance down them: “Rectum feels full: sore with burning and itching; full of small sticks” (a great characteristic of the drug). Then the usually “blind” haemorrhoids, protruding, aching, burning, purplish, with shooting pains to sacrum and back. And then the dull backache that makes walking almost impossible, and is agony, if one stoops, or rises from stooping. Even the headache appears to affect the sacrum and hips; again worse by walking, and by stooping forwards.
For such backache, one has also to consider (inter alia) Agaricus. In the Repertory both have sacral pain in black type: Agaricus when sitting, Aesculus when rising from sitting, when stooping, when walking, and extending to hips. And Aesculus takes also the sacro-iliac articulations. But–don’t be caught out by a sacro-iliac subluxation, after a fall, a twist, an awkward lift, a confinement, an operation. Here Aesculus, or whatever the drug of the symptoms may be, will palliate, but it will not cure. Don’t lose your faith in the remedy of like symptoms, because it cannot release the catch, and let the joint snap home. Hahnemann warned us one hundred years ago that mechanical lesions must be mechanically treated. They are not the province of medicine. By mechanical readjustments of pelvis a large number of cases of sciatica may be cured; till one is apt to think all cases; and then one comes along, where manipulation fails, and some other operative procedure is indicated, or some simple remedy in which you had lost faith because it did not cure what had been beyond its province, comes in brilliantly. Sciatica may have many causes: one remembers well one hospital case where a bulge on the femur in its upper third was discovered and which X-ray diagnosed as probably sarcoma, but which practically disappeared with– of all things! Ferrum. This was prescribed, not on account of the bone condition, not because of the probable diagnosis, but because of some silly little symptoms, peculiar to that patient with, whatever might be the matter with him! The hospital case books still contain the apparently significant pictures: while the man so far recovered that he was called up for war, and only exempted on the strength of those X-ray pictures; but he remained well, to our knowledge, years after.
But we must get back to Aesculus, and here one remembers in war days a very suffering nurse, who had attended a cold and humid funeral, with the result that she did not know how she was to go on duty, because of the awful pain in the lower part of her back; a pain that would not let her stoop, or rise from stooping. The Repertory was asked for the remedy–Aesculus, and she was given a dose and sent to lie down. In a couple of hours she reappeared happy and ready for work, and one heard no more of the backache. There are people who have an idea that Homoeopathy is slow. Is it! In simple acute sickness nothing can be quicker; only it must be Homoeopathy; i.e. the symptoms in patient and drug most correspond. The worst of working by law is, that it won’t work when it isn’t law! Give it a fair chance if you want to pull it off. But one must allow that it is sometimes difficult. But you will find that “the more you put into it, the more you get out”
By the way, one should contrast Aesculus with Nitric acid. Both afflict woefully, and marvellously comfort rectum and anus.
Aesculus has his rectum full of sharp sticks (Collinsonia also); Nitric acid has a splinter there, pricking sharply during the passage of stool. Nitric acid endures agonies during stool, and for hours after stool: with Aesculus the pain seems to come on some hours after stool. Acid nitricum has fissures and bleeding piles. Aesculus the large, purple protruding piles, with perhaps the sawing knife-pain that will not permit of standing, sitting or lying, but only kneeling. Curious “personalities” these remedies of ours! with their very definite and peculiar characteristics, and where no one will do for another: a very complicated lock, which only the one key of many fine wards will fit. They make Homoeopathy very easy, and very difficult, and very interesting.
But in Aesculus not only the sacral regions, but the whole spine is weak; aches dully, and is worse from motion.
And not only the rectum but the whole digestive tube, with liver (even to jaundice), has burning distress, with sensations of fullness, flatulency and colicky pain; but probably associated with rectal and haemorrhoidal symptoms.
And with the characteristic backache there may be leucorrhoea, dark yellow, thick and sticky; and Aesculus has caused and cured misplacements, enlargements, and induration of the womb, with great tenderness, heat, and throbbing. But all this with lameness in the lower back, which gives out when walking.
HALE (New Remedies) writes of Aesculus.–“A veritable polycrest, having a wide range of action, but like some other polycrests it has a central point of action, from which radiate a series of reflex symptoms.
“This central point of action is the liver and portal system, and nine out of every ten of its symptoms are due to this action. I have found it analogous in its effects to Aloe, Collinsonia, Nux vomica, Sulphur and Podophyllum.
“I have been most successful with it in congestion o the liver, when accompanied by piles. Indicated by the symptoms–aching, pinching pains in the right hypochondrium, aggravated by walking. The pain extends up between the shoulders.
“Constipation, with hard, dry, knotty stools, which are white.
“Haemorrhoids, if the following symptoms are present, are promptly removed by Aesculus The tumours are protruding, or internal, are usually purple, hard and very sore (not raw as in Aloes, but a bruised feeling), with aching, burning, rarely bleeding. The rectal symptoms are characteristic –very disagreeable sensations of dryness, soreness, constriction, fullness, and a feeling as if sticks, splinters, gravel or other foreign substances had become lodged in the rectum fullness- protrusion, with a desire to strain with, usually, absence of actual constipation.
“The pains in the back which attend its rectal symptoms are quite notable sometimes shooting or cutting, but usually consist of lameness as if strained, extending to hips or legs, or an aching and weakness aggravated by walking, stooping, or any movement.” Dr.Hale adds, “Lake Rhus its pain and stiffness often go off after continued motion.”
He says also, “Dr.Hart claims to have discovered a keynote in a symptoms not found in its pathogenesis-Throbbing in abdominal and pelvic cavities; especially the latter.”
And in Aesculus not only the piles, but the varices and ulcers are purple, or rather their surroundings; dusky and purple.
Even heart and chest are not exempt from the attentions of Aesculus, and probably its real range is wider than we usually realize; for Hering gives it in black type for the” chest complaints of horses”, – hence its same, supposedly, horse-chest- nut. The provings show its action on the lungs-while Nash has found it a second Arsenicum in coryza. This is what he writes:
“I have used Aesculus with very good results in coryza and sore throat. The coryza is very like the Arsenic coryza. thin, watery and burning; but what characterizes Aesculus here is sensation of rawness; sensitive to inhaled cold air. In the throat it has the same sensation of rawness, both in the acute form and also in chronic follicular pharyngitis, for which it is often a good remedy.”
This again the provings suggest, dryness of posterior nares and throat, with sneezing, followed by severe coryza. Stinging and burning in posterior nares and soft palate. Pricking, formication, burning and stinging in fauces; shooting in left side. Violent burning in throat, with raw feeling. Dryness and roughness of throat, as from taking cold. Dry, constricted fauces. Dark congested fauces, with full feeling and irritation. Catarrhal laryngitis; larynx dry and stiff.
But everywhere it will show its peculiar characteristics- fullness to bursting-dull aching back, etc. prohibits movement- and everywhere congestion and purpleness, and dryness, and burning.
By the way, Kent tells us that Aesculus” is a wonderful eye, remedy, especially when the eyes have `haemorrhoids’: i.e. enlarged blood vessels. Redness, burning lachrymation, with enlarged blood vessels. Increased determination of blood to the eyes also”. And he points out that in common with all the remedies of venous plethora, Pulsatilla, etc., the Aesculus patient feels better “when surrounded by cold air”.
BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS
RECTUM feels full : dryness and itching.
Rectum feels full of small sticks (characteristic). (Collinsonia)
Hard dry stool passed with difficulty, with dryness of rectum and heat.
Stool followed by rectal fullness.
Haemorrhoids, blind and painful, rarely bleeding.
Haemorrhoids painful, burning, purplish; generally “blind”.
Pain in haemorrhoids like a knife, sawing up and down: could not sit, stand or lie; only kneel.
“Some carry the nuts in their breeches pockets as a preventive.”
LEUCORRHOEA with lameness in back across sacro-iliac articulations, with great fatigue walking; that part of the back gives out when walking even a little way.
“CHEST complaints of horses.”
Constant dull BACKACHE; walking almost impossible: scarcely able to stoop, or to rise after sitting.
Constant headache affecting the sacrum and hips, much worse by walking, or stooping forwards.
Paralytic feeling in arms, legs and spine.
Heaviness and lameness.
Fullness in various parts.
Mucous membranes dry, swollen; burn and feel raw.
Glandular swellings of bone (whatever that may mean!).
By the way, people carry a horse chestnut about in their clothing ” to cure rheumatism”.