Clinical Reminiscences

Clinical Reminiscences. HEADACHE (SICK) LAC-DEF., LAC-CAN.

1886, July 10th-Mrs. R. S., widow, aged thirty-five, “I have had sick headaches many years.” Had perit…


1886, July 10th-Mrs. R. S., widow, aged thirty-five, “I have had sick headaches many years.” Had peritonitis had typhoid fever, and was down in bed four months. These headaches have been coming ever since, now five years.

Headache back of eyes.

Sunlight brings on the headache.

“If I go without eating I have headache.”

“If I eat too much I have a headache.”

“Excitement brings on the headache.”

“I have lain three and four days in a dark room, not able to endure any light.”

Milk brings on the sick headache.

Eating never relieves the headache.

“When sick with typhoid fever I was fed on milk until I vomited whenever they brought it to my bed.”

“I am never free from headache, but I am able to be at my desk about one-half of my time, much of which I suffer intensely.” Seldom vomits, but much nausea.

“When I vomit it is of the food eaten, sour and bitter.”

Here are the symptoms. What is the remedy?

It was evident that I had no ordinary case on hand, as two good prescribers had failed to help and told her so. Many whom I do not regard as careful physicians had treated her also. If the remedy must out, here it is: Lac-def. cm.

July 16th.-She returned. “Just finished one of the most violent headaches ever had. So sleepy while writing my letters that could hardly hold my eyes open. Had to quit work two afternoons and go home. I am greatly discouraged when the headache is on.” Sleepy while writing is new. Sac. lac.

July 23d.-No headache since last call.

July 30th.-A short headache, but feeling better. Lac def. cm. dry, one dose.

August 2d.-Headache came, lasted two days, but has heretofore generally lasted a week. Improving generally. Lac-def. cm.

August 10th.-Improving.

August 26th.-Improving; has just finished a headache, but went three weeks.

September 11th.-Headache in two weeks. Symptoms about as usual. Sulph. cm. one dose.

September 12th.-Headache is on full force, started in left eye, sunlight makes it worse. “I felt the headache this time from delaying my dinner.” Gnawing, hungry feeling, not relieved by eating. Everything I eat makes me worse but fish.” Cold brings on headache. Headache worse from weight of hat. This headache began in left eye and has extended to occiput. “The thought of milk makes me sick.” No palliative was given, but watching the symptoms seemed to be the only way of finding the remedy.

September 13th.-Reports that the afternoon of yesterday, the 12th, headache went over to right eye and side of head, but now it is back in my left eye. Lac-can. mm was given, and immediate relief followed, and it was three months before another headache came, and it was very short and did not compel her to leave her desk.

February 10th.-She had a slight headache and took another dose of lac-can. cm. She has been compelled to lay aside all her clothing and procure larger size. Can eat anything, and enjoys life like other people.


Periodical conditions often trouble a young prescriber and sometimes an old one. A young physician once brought me his patient who was suffering from periodical congestive headaches which came on every seven days. Many remedies had been given but no change had been made in the case. The rubric in the repertory that had been consulted was “weekly headaches.” The patient was then more carefully examined and it was found that regularly Sunday evening and night he suffered from this headache. The modalities were confusing and contradictory but after a careful questioning as to what he was in the habit of eating on Sunday that he did not eat at other times it was found that he ate plentifully of “roast of beef” for his midday meal and at no other time. It was soon seen to be not a periodical headache, but one that came after eating beef. Staphysagria covered all his symptoms and cured.


A middle aged woman suffered from Sunday periodical headaches and none of the remedies in the rubric for weekly headaches helped. It was subsequently discovered that she had these headaches always after ice cream and then it was seen that Pulsatilla corresponded to her other symptoms and that remedy cured her.

All the facts in the case should be gathered before prescribing. Hasty conclusions are as dangerous as any form of negligence. Our remedies will cure when they are similar to all the symptoms in the case.

Some years ago it was necessary to listen second hand, through a well-disposed woman, to the complaints of her sick sister. The sister was under the care of an eminent Old School specialist for some deep seated uterine trouble, which was called, in a letter from the doctor to his patient endometritis. Local treatment had gone on many months and still the sister failed. Then came the story: “Oh, Doctor, you should hear her complain of these awful headaches at night. She says there is a feeling as if she had a stone on the top of her head and she cannot rest or give me any rest from that pressure until the gas is lighted; then she goes to sleep. The odour of the room is awful from her feet.”

This good woman took one powder of Silica, which she was to give her sister on the sly. The patient never needed a light in the room at night again. It cured.

Here was a supposed periodical headache, but it was a headache worse in the dark. It was supposed by the eminent specialist to be due to endometritis, but as a fact the woman was sick; her uterus did not make her sick. What a profound thought, when the doctor tells his patient that the uterus makes her sick.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.