Agaricus Homeopathy Remedy – Amanita (the name under which its symptoms appear in Hering’s Guiding Symptoms)-the Fly Agaric (or fungus)-the Bug Agaric-the “fou” fungus of the French, has its own peculiar place and very distinctive symptoms in homoeopathic Materia Medica. Its proving by Hahnemann appeared in Stapf’s Archives, a contemporary periodical, with his provings of some other drugs-notably Psorinum, of which we have, I believe, no translation. But that of Agaricus is to be found in Vol. II of his Chronic Diseases.
Here Hahnemann describes the fungus as “surmounted by a scarlet- coloured top, which is studded with whitish excrescences, and white leaflets”. He says it is to be first triturated, then dynamized in the usual way to, as he suggests, the 30th potency.
One associates Agaricus especially with chorea: but its notable twitchings and jerkings are only a small part of its drug picture. One remembers Dr.Blackley of old in the London Homoeopathic Hospital, who used Agaricus for things where, to one’s profound ignorance, it seemed strangely inappropriate: but he probably knew its uses better than most of us!-For instance, it seemed a curious drug to give for pneumonia!-and yet, this is what KENT says about it:-
“Agaricus is a great medicine in chest troubles, though seldom thought of. It has cured what seemed to be consumption. Catarrhal condition of the chest, with night sweats and history of nervous symptoms. Violent cough in isolated attacks ending in sneezing. Convulsive cough, with sweats toward evening, with frequent pulse, expectoration of pus-like mucus, worse in the mornings and when lying on back. Add to this the symptoms of Agaricus as described, and Agaricus will take hold of that case. Cases of incipient phthisis. It closely relates to the tubercular diathesis.
“I remember starting out to* prove Tuberculinum on an individual I suspected would be sensitive to it from his history and symptoms. The first dose almost killed him and, considering the use that that substance is put to in diagnosing the disease in cattle, it seemed to stir him up. He became emaciated and looked as if he would die. I let it alone, and watched and waited patiently and the symptoms of Agaricus came up and established the relationship between these two remedies, and confirmed Hering’s observation of the relationship of Agaricus to the tubercular diathesis. Agaricus cured him and fattened him up.”
Among HERING’S symptoms are, “Chest feels too narrow. Oppression, constriction of chest. Convulsive cough with anxious sweat. After each cough violent sneezing; sometimes so rapidly that he does not know if he coughs or sneezes. Inflammation of the lungs. Tuberculous consumption.”
This poisonous fungus affects the digestive organs. Turmoil in abdomen-full of colic; everything ferments. Horribly offensive flatus. Tympanitic abdomen. Violent urging to stool. Sensation as if the rectum would burst-even after stool. Straining after stool (Mercurius cor.).
Homeopathic Agaricus has its own severe backache, especially sacral, and especially worse when sitting. (But here look out for a possible mechanical cause-sacro-iliac subluxation.) One has seen it curative in a difficult case of rheumatism where the indication was “diagonal pains, as left forearm and right thigh, or right knee and left hand”. And here Agaricus is worse at rest an sitting, and better moving about.
But much of its malignancy and its beneficence centre round the spine and the nervous system. As Kent says, “the most striking things running through this medicine are twitchings and tremblings. Jerking of the muscles and trembling of the limbs. The twitching of the muscles becomes so extensive that it is a well developed case of chorea. Difficulty in co-ordinating the movements of the muscles of the body. Inco-ordination of brain and spinal cord. Clumsy motions. Drops things. Fingers fly spasmodically open while holding things.” Kent says “you may sometimes cure Bridget in the kitchen, when the trouble is that she is continually breaking dishes by letting them fall, with Agaricus or Apis.” And he adds this distinction between the two drugs, that whereas Agaricus hugs the fire, Apis wants to get out of the kitchen!
One remembers the classical description of the onset of chorea. “The child gets scolded for making faces: then it gets smacked for dropping and breaking the cups and saucers”; then at last it dawns on the most unobservant that it is no case of original sin, but St. Vitus’ Dance, and the victim is hurried away to the doctor who takes the temperature, listens to the heart, and orders “Bed!” -and, if a homoeopath, prescribes Agaricus, or whichever of these jerky medicines most resembles, in its drug- picture, the individual symptoms of this particular patient.
As Kent says, “All remedies are full of freaks, and it is the figuring out of these peculiarities that enables us to do good prescribing.”
Agaricus affects the heart also, with stitching pains; with oppression of heart, as well as lungs; with shock and palpitation: but several other remedies, Hyoscyamus-Stramonium-Mygale- Ignatia, and so on, cause even greater (choreaic) distortion of the face.
GUERNSEY (Key Notes) says of Agaricus Homeopathy Medicine.”This homeopathy remedy is exceedingly rich in symptoms on almost every organ and function of the body. I am always well rewarded in its study and use when I find cropping out, itching, redness and burning on any part of the body, as if frost-bitten; or burning and itching of internal parts.” While NASH, who does not have a great deal to say about Agaricus, while recording the tenderness of spinal column, extending into lower limbs, and the twitchings of eyelids, face and extremities which cease during sleep, is more obsessed with the skin symptoms. “Ears, face, nose and skin, red and itch as if from chilblains.” He says this itching, redness and burning, as if from being frozen, “may lead to the choice of this drug in many different disease”.
And of course most people know Agaricus, if for nothing else, as a homeopathy remedy for chilblains. Agaricus, suffers intensely from the cold, and its chilblains are terribly painful when the hands, or feet, are cold. Pulsatilla chilblains, on the contrary, “terrify” (as they say of cattle when the flies are at them in the hot sunshine) when they get warm. The chilblains of Agaricus are dreadfully sore when cold; those of Pulsatilla itch and burn to distraction when hot. These are the remedies that especially occur to one for chilblains and Rue! One remembers well the days of rue ointment for a nephew, whose chilblains were so bad as to confine him to bed from time to time during his schooldays. His mother, finding that nothing but rue ointment helped, used to spot off her annual appeals for fresh supplies.
But there is rue ointment, and rue ointment. It was one of our gardeners who supplied the pharmacology:-he always grew rue in the garden in order to make an ointment for the cows when their udders were sore. And we still grow rue, that ancient “Mithridate”; only one is often too lazy to turn it into ointment-and misses it accordingly. Rue should be prepared from the fresh plant-always; and this is the way of it. Heat lard till liquid (a tall soup bottle is excellent for the purpose) and plunge into this a good bunch of fresh rue with its flowering tops at their best. Leave it to extract for some hours in a warm place, till the rue is pale and the lard green and smelly; then lift up the bunch, and let it drain. Cover the pot when the ointment is cold and solid. It is useful application for bunions, for synovitis of knee-but here Ruta in potency will act as well, and is not greasy-for sores, for chilblains, for broken chilblains. But in those days one had not made the acquaintance of Agaricus and Pulsatilla in this connection, whose action is longer-lasting and far more curative.
But the “Mad Fungus” of course affects the brain and senses:-in the its milder stages with ill-humour, indifference, does not want to work, or to answer questions: when in full blast with delirium-which knows nobody-throws things at people-sings and talks but won’t answer. It is one of the medicines of delirium- even raving delirium. “It is used by tribes of Asiatic savages in the form of a real intoxicating drink.” It is so like alcoholism that it has taken its place as one of our remedies for delirium tremens. And certainly Boger’s terse description of Agaricus suggests not only chorea but intoxication,-“it had irregular, uncertain and exaggerated motions: he reaches too far- steps too high-things with indistinct and jerky speech.
BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS of AGARICUS
Delirium with constant raving.
Dull, drawing HEADACHE in morning, extending into root of nose, with nosebleed or thick mucous discharge.
Headaches of those who are subject to chorea; or who readily become delirious in fever or with pain; twitchings or grimaces.
Redness, burning itching of EARS, as if they had been frozen.
Very drowsy after dinner, quite unusual; he SLEEPS very deeply and gets awake with pains in all limbs.
Sudden convulsive COUGHS, ((<)) forenoons, or during day.
Pain in LUMBAR REGION AND SACRUM; and while sitting; pain, sore aching; back not sensitive to touch.
Burning itching on both HANDS, as if frozen; parts hot, swollen, red.
Trembling of hands.
Stiffness in fingers from gout.
Twitching of gluteal muscles.
Pain in bones of lower LEGS, sometimes as if in the periosteum.
Pain and inflammation of frost-bitten toes.
Tearing in limbs (<) in rest or sitting, (>) moving.
Pains in limbs with lameness and numbness.
Uncertainty in walking, tumbling over everything in the way.
Twitchings; of eyelids and eyeballs; of cheeks; in chest posteriorly: in abdomen.
Involuntary movements (especially with children) while awake; ceasing during sleep.
Spasmodic motions, from simple involuntary motions and jerks of single muscles, to a dancing of whole body. Chorea.
Paralysis of upper and lower limbs. Incipient softening of spinal marrow.
During sleep, one does not notice any motion of eyes whatever in clonic spasms of eyes.
Chilblains, frost-bite, and all consequences of exposure to cold, particularly in face.
Shiverings over body, run from above downward.
Shudders; with bitter vomiting after supper.
Sweat when walking, or with slightest exertion.
Burning, itching, redness and swelling, as from frost-bites.
Drunkards, especially for their headaches.
PECULIAR OR ITALIC SYMPTOMS of AGARICUS
Agaricus is one of the few homeopathy remedies of diagonal symptoms: they may appear at the same time on opposite sides of the body-but diagonally.
Cold sensations: icy cold feeling on small place, left chest near shoulder-blade.
Formication and burning in gluteal muscles.
Neuralgic pains as though sharp pieces of ice touched the parts or as if cold needles ran through the nerves. (Arsenicum hot needles.) It seem as if the whole body would dwindle to nothing.
Itching and burning all over with great distress.