Therapeutic symptoms of homeopathic remedy Bryonia Alba, described by E.B. Nash in his book, Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics, published in 1898….

All complaints worse ON MOTION.

Dryness of MUCOUS MEMBRANES generally (lips, mouth, stomach, wants drink in large quantities, at long intervals, intestines, dry hard stools as if burnt.)

Effusions in SEROUS MEMBRANES (meninges, pleura, peritoneum, etc.)

Constipation (no desire) or diarrhoea, worse morning on beginning to move.

STITCHING PAINS, especially in serous membranes and joints.

SITTING up causes nausea and faintness.

Modalities:worse from motions, warm weather after cold. better from quiet, lying on painful side.

Suitable to dry, spare, nervous, slender persons, of irritable disposition; rheumatic tendency. Complaints in hot weather, or exposure to dry, cold air, in wet weather (RHUS.TOX).

Cough, dry, hard, racking, with scanty expectoration; with splitting headache; delirium, about the business of the day; (typhoid) headache; worse stooping; ironing; hot weather; coughing; motion, vertigo; with nausea, and faintness; worse from sitting up after lying down. Pressure, as from a stone, at pit of stomach, better by eructation.

Vicarious menstruation; nose bleeds when menses should appear (PHOS).

Mammae heavy, of a stony hardness; pale, but hard; hot and painful.

Rheumatism of joints; with pale swelling, great pain, worse on touch or least motion.

As in PULSATILLA, so in BRYONIA, the leading characteristic lies in its “modality” Three words express it—AGGRAVATION FROM MOTION.

What is worse on motion? Sufferings of almost any and every kind. We will not undertake to enumerate them. All that Hering says in his cards on that line is—” JOINTS RED, SWELLING, STIFF, WITH STITCHING PAIN FROM SLIGHTEST MOTION”. stitching pain from slightest motion, ” and this so far as it goes is genuine, but it is only the beginning of all the ailments that are worse from motion.

Look in “Guiding symptoms, ” under “Motion, ” and see the the long list of Symptoms worse by motion, and even these do not cover all. Now we begin to realize the value of this modality.

It makes no difference what the name of the disease, if the patient feels greatly better by lying still and suffers greatly on the slightest motion, and the more and longer he moves the more he suffers, BRYONIA is the first remedy to be thought of, and there must be very strong counter indications along other lines that will rule it out.

Nor does it make much difference what organ or tissue is the seat of the disease, mucous, serous, or muscular, the same rule applies.

Another very valuable modality of BRYONIA is again expressed in three words –AMELIORATION FROM PRESSURE. This is the reason the patient, much to the astonishment of the nurse, wants to LIE ON THE PAINFUL SIDE or part.(Opposite BELLADONNA, KALI-CARBONICUM.

No one can realize the value of these two modalities until he has often met them at the sick bed and witnessed the prompt relief from the use of BRYONIA.

When writing upon PULSATILLA, we noticed the characteristic action of that remedy upon the mucous surfaces. Here BRYONIA acts just as characteristically, but it is so different. With BRYONIA it is EXCESSIVE DRYNESS or lack of secretion in them. It begins in the lips, which are PARCHED, DRY and CRACKED, and only ends with the rectum and stools, which are HARD and DRY AS IF BURNT. The same condition is undoubtedly present in the stomach, which is evidenced by excessive thirst; which can only be satisfied by LARGE DRAUGHTS OF WATER; a little does not satisfy.

The same condition obtains in the lungs and bronchia, which causes HARD, DRY COUGH with the little or no expectoration, and with SORENESS and PAIN IN THE CHEST when the patient coughs.(NATRUM SULPHURICUM has loose cough with SORENESS). The urine is scanty and only exceptionally (or as I would express it reactionally) copious. We must remember that every remedy has a dual action. These two actions are termed primary and secondary. I think that the so-called secondary action is only the reaction of the organism against the first or primary (so called) action of the drug. For instance-the real action of OPIUM is to produce sleep or stupor, the reaction is wakefulness; of PODOPHYLLUM, ALOES, etc., catharsis; the reaction constipation, and I think that the truly homoeopathic curative action must be in accord with the primary (so called) effects of every drug in order to get the best and most radical cure, but if given for the secondary (so-called) symptoms, the primary ones having passed by we should carefully inquire for all the symptoms which have preceded those which are present; and taking both past and present, let them all enter into the picture whose counterpart is to be found in the drug which is to cure. Any other method is only palliative and not curative.

Bryonia has also a very decided effect upon the SEROUS MEMBRANES. It is very useful in the second stage of inflammation, after the stage of serous effusion has set in. In most of these cases the first stage has been attended by symptoms calling for the exhibition of such remedies as ACONITE, BELLADONNA, FERRUM.PHOS, etc., but not always; and right here let me call attention to the most characteristic PAINS of this remedy. They are STITCHING PAINS; this is the reason why BRYONIA comes to be such a regal remedy in pleuritis, meningitis, peritonitis, pericarditis, etc. The subjective symptoms corresponding to the remedy must go down before it, and the objectives must as surely follow. Only one remedy can equal BRYONIA for stitching pains, viz., KALI-CARBONICUM. (Stitching pains in the chest are particularly found under BRYONIA, KALI-CARBONICUM, NAT-MUR, SQUILLA and MERCUR.VIV.). And there is this difference between them:The BRYONIA stitches come on or are worse by the least motion, while those of KALI-CARBONICUM will occur whether the patient moves or not.(BRYONIA better by pressure, KALI-C. Not.) But in both remedies they cry out sharply with the pains. APIS has pains which cause the patient to cry out sharply, but they are stinging pains-LIKE A BEE STING. All these three are great remedies for effusions into the serous cavities, and SULPHUR precedes and follows equally well anyone of them.

A word right here in regard to interpolating SULPHUR, when, as we express it, “the seemingly indicated remedy does not act. “Some would stumble over that, and ask-as they would have a right to do-how about your similia, etc, in such a use of SULPHUR?I answer–SULPHUR is a remedy of wide range of action, and covers more perfectly those conditions and symptoms which are the outgrowth of psora than any other remedy; so it does meet the case complicated by psora very often, and either cures it or removes the complication so that the other remedies may act. But remember it will not always do it, and other other antipsoric remedies must be chosen. It must be the simillimum for the psoric condition.

BRYONIA stands alongside of NUX-VOMICA and PULSATILLA for disorders of alimentation. All three remedies have a sensation as of a stone in the stomach, BRYONIA and NUX-VOMICA more so than PULSATILLA. BRYONIA leads in thirst, NUX-VOMICA less, and PULSATILLA little or none. All have bad taste in the mouth; BRYONIA and PULSATILLA bitter and NUX-VOMICA sour. All have nausea and vomiting; BRYONIA worse on motion, as rising up, NUX- vomica. in the A.M. and after eating, PULSATILLA in the evening and also after eating.

The gastric derangements of BRYONIA often occur as a result of dietetic errors, especially when warm weather sets in after cold. Those of NUX-VOMICA. more from continued over eating and inactivity, the abuse of drugs, coffee, tobacco or alcoholics; PULSATILLA from too rich foods, pastries, fat foods and ice- cream(in excess); a little ice-cream feels good in the PULSATILLA stomach, but much overdoes the matter, because it is TOO RICH.

All three remedies have attacks of diarrhoea, although constipation is most characteristic of BRYONIA and NUX-VOMICA, and is only exceptionally found under PULSATILLA.

BRYONIA diarrhoea is worse in the morning on movement, and often occurs as an effect of over-eating in the heat of summer. NUX VOMICA diarrhoea is also apt to be worse in the morning is mostly caused by over-eating and is apt to put on the dysenteric type. The PULSATILLA diarrhoea is more apt to occur in the night, from causes above mentioned, and is attended with great rumbling of the bowels.

All have white, sometimes very thickly-coated tongue, but taking into account causes of these gastric and bowel troubles, temperament and modalities there should not be much difficulty in choosing the right remedy for any case.

So far as temperament is concerned, BRYONIA is like NUX VOMICA, but BRYONIA has much more of the “rheumatic diathesis. “Both are easily irritated or angered, and are oftenest found indicated in spare dark-complexioned subjects. Both are worse generally on motion, but BRYONIA very much the more so, while PULSATILLA is sometimes like RHUS TOX. better by motion.

Now a few special indications for BRYONIA and we will leave it:

“Bursting headache, as if it would split the head open, worse by stooping; coughing; ironing; opening or moving the eyes; moving any way; in hot weather. Nausea and faintness when rising up, better when lying still.

Dr. E.B. Nash 1838- 1917, was considered one of our finest homeopaths and teachers. He was Prof. of Materia Medica at the N.Y. Homoeopathic Medical College and President of International Hahnemannian Assoc. His book Leaders in Homoeopathic Therapeutics is a classic. This article is from: :The Medical Advance - A monthly magazine of homoeopathic medicine - edited and published by H.C. Allen, M. D.