BAPTISIA runs very closely to Gelsemium in symptomatology. Personally, I look at Baptisia as Gelsemium exaggerated, more intense.
In contrast to Gelsemium patients, Baptisia patients are definitely more dusky. They give you the impression that their faces are a little puffy and swollen; their eyes are heavy, but with a congested, besotted look rather than the drooping lids of Gelsemium; and lip congestion, present in Gelsemium, makes Baptisia lips rather blue.
Mentally, Baptisia patients are more toxic than Gelsemium patients; they are less on the spot; they are confused, finding it difficult to concentrate on what they are doing. They grow a little confused as to the sensation of their body; they may feel that their legs are not quite where they thought they were. Their arms may have definite disturbed sensations; some patients feel their arms are detached and they are trying to re-attach them, others say their arms are numb.
Associated with this is the general Baptisia confusion. The patients themselves are not quite clear why they are there, where they are, what they are talking about or trying to discuss; and they are not quite clear whether there is somebody else talking to them, somebody else in the bed. they are simply more fuddled than gelsemium patients
As you would expect with the slightly more intense toxaemia, and the local conditions are definitely dirtier-the typical Baptisia tongue is in a pretty foul state. In the early stages it usually has a central coating of yellow, brown or black with a dusky red margin all round.
The patient’s breath is always foul. With this very foul mouth, there tends to be a lot of ropy, rough saliva which is apt to dribble out of the corner of the mouth when the patient is half asleep. In consequence, the lips tend to crack and become very foul, and may actually bleed.
Contradictions arise. The Baptisia patient is obviously much more ill. He appears to be much more toxic, and more drugged; at the same time he is much more sensitive, with more sensitive arms, legs, back- he is tender all over. He complains of his bed hurting him; any pressure is painful. And, in spite of his toxicity, he is very often restless, constantly on the move, trying to find a comfortable position.
The Baptisia patient sweats a lot, but the sweat, in contrast to the somewhat sourish odour of Gelsemium, is definitely offensive. This is true of anything in connection with Baptisia; it is all offensive. Mouth, breath, sweat, diarrhoea (which Baptisia patients incline to) sputum, all are offensive; much more so than one ever finds in Gelsemium.
Baptisia mouths and throats, as contrasted with those of Gelsemium, are a very much more dusky red-a dusky, dark red. In Baptisia there is a strong liability for definite ulcerative conditions to develop about the tonsils and spread up to the soft palate. And again here, strongly noticeable is the accumulation of this filthy, glairy mucus, and the extreme offensiveness.
Occasionally, you find a Baptisia throat with fairly extensive ulceration that is strangely insensitive. Commonly, however, the Baptisia throat is painful: there is great difficulty and pain on swallowing, a feeling of obstruction, and the swallowing of solids is almost impossible.
As you would expect with this very foul infective condition, there is liable to be an extension into the ears, with a sensation of fullness, obstruction and pain. Very often there is a middle-ear abscess, and not infrequently a tendency to very early development of mastoid infection.
In Baptisia, it is much more commonly the right ear and the right mastoid region which is involved. If a mastoid does occur, the prognosis is very serious indeed. thrombosis occurs very early and I mean astonishingly quickly-and the prognosis becomes correspondingly worse.
In a Baptisia influenza with obvious mastoid developing- tenderness and slight blush over the mastoid region-it is astonishing how the case alters completely within two or three hours of giving Baptisia. The patient, from being obviously toxic-so toxic that all the signs of starting meningeal irritation are developing-it equally obviously recovering, as a result of even the first dose of Baptisia.
In contrast with Gelsemium, Baptisia patients are always thirsty. They have a constant desire for water, but if they take much at a time it often produces a sensation of nausea. Taking a little at a time, they are all right, but their thirst is always one of their troublesome features.
Usually, there is not much of a cough in Baptisia cases. There is a good deal of dyspnoea, a feeling of oppression in the chest, which is very much worse when they are lying down, and rather better for a current of air; when there is a cough it is usually induced by a sense of irritation in the throat rather than a definite accumulation of sputum in the chest.
In their influenzal attacks,Baptisia patients are very liable to have a gastric or liver disturbance. Very often it is associated with acute diarrhoea accompanied by violent tenesmus, a good deal of colic and a bileless stool.
Baptisia patients always have intense aching pains all over. Any part they press is painful and tender; they also have acute pains in their joints, a feeling as if they were sprained or had been bruised; moving is very painful.