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

Abnormal painlessness.

Want of susceptibility, trembling, lack of vital reaction. Blunted morals, Worse liars in the world.

Reversed peristalsis and faecal vomiting.

Fright; the fear of the fright remaining.

Sleepy but cannot sleep. Hears Sounds not ordinarily noticed.

Very hot skin with sweating; perspiration.

Profound stupor with dark red face and stertorous breathing.

Bed feels so hot she cannot lie on it; moves often in search of a cool place; must be uncovered.

One of the worst abused, because frequently used, remedies of all schools of medicine. I must explain. I said all schools The true Homoeopath does not abuse it, but many members of the school calling themselves homoeopathic do. A teacher in one of the Homoeopathic colleges defended its use in narcotic doses in many cases to produce sleep and relief from pain. I will say just here that any homoeopathic physician that feels obliged to use OPIUM or its alkaloid in this way and for this purpose does not understand his business and had better study his Materia Medica. and the principles of applying it according to Hahnemann, or else go over to the old school where they make no pretensions to have any law of cure. In the first place OPIUM in narcotic doses does not produce sleep, but stupor, and it only relieves pain by rendering the patient unconscious to it. How many cases have been so masked by such treatment, that the disease progressed until there was no chance for cure?Pain, fever and all other symptoms are the voice of the disease, telling where is the trouble and guiding us to the remedy. The true curative often relieves pain even more quickly than OPIUM, and does so by curing the condition upon which it depends. And even in cases where it does not so quickly stop the pain, it is often far better to suffer a while until the curative can get in its work. Probably ninety-nine in hundred of those suffering from the terrible habit of morphine eating are first led into it by physicians who prescribe morphine to “relieve pain and procure rest and sleep.”And when we take into this account the abuse of stimulants, under the name of tonics, habitually prescribed by the same class of physicians it is no wonder that they are often heard to say, i don’t know whether I have more good or harm.

It is this very narcosis which presents the leading characteristic indication for the Homoeopathic, use of this drug. No remedy produces such profound stupor, and it is expressed in our Materia Medica as follows: “STUPID, COMATOSE SLEEP, wITH RATTLING, sTERTOROUS BREATHING.” In addition to this the face is red and bloated, the eyes blood shot and half open and the skin covered with hot sweat. Now this condition, which is nothing more or less than such a fullness of the vessels of the brain or head that, from pressure, a paralysis or semi- paralysis of the nerves which carry on the act of breathing, keep the lower jaw up(which drops), and close the sweat glands, takes place. There are many diseases in which this state of things may appear, such as typhoid fever, where the patient becomes totally unconscious and oblivious to all around. There is no response to light, touch, noise or anything else, except the indicated remedy, which is OPIUM. So in pneumonia, where OPIUM has made remarkable cures in Homoeopathic hands; while in massive, or what they like to call heroic, doses of the old school (given to stop pain and procure sleep) it has sent many a poor victim to his long resting place. In many other diseases, in fact in any disease where these symptoms are found, we may confidently expect OPIUM either to cure the case or to so change the condition that other remedies will follow it to a perfect cure. Other remedies may vie with it, for instance in typhoids, such as LACHESIS or HYOSCYAMUS. These two remedies will often claim attention in typhoid pneumonia. It often requires close discrimination to choose between them. Apoplexy often calls for OPIUM, but here as elsewhere the symptoms must decide.

The fact that OPIUM is capable of banishing pain, or, rather, I should say, rendering the organism incapable of sensing pain, is one of the chief indications for its use in homoeopathic therapeutics. There is not only complete absence from pain, but as complete unsusceptibility to general drug action. You know that we are told that when the seemingly indicated remedy does not act give SULPHUR. Now it may be that OPIUM is a better remedy to give, if all there is of the case is that there seems to be no vital reaction. SULPHUR would be likely to be the best remedy if the lack of reaction were due to some psoric taint; but even here all the symptoms must be taken into account. LAUROCERASUS is another remedy to arouse reaction when it seems to depend upon excessively low vitality. PSORINUM may succeed in psoric obstructions to vital reaction when SULPHUR FAILS. There is nothing to be more condemned in homoeopathic prescribing than ROUTINISM. This same paralyzing effect of OPIUM is seen in the intestines. Their irritability is lost. Peristaltic action is entirely suspended. There is no DESIRE even for movement. The faeces lie there in the convolutions of the intestines, form into hard, black balls, which must be removed by enemas or purgatives.Again the urinary organs come under the same action. The urine is retained from paralysis of the fundus of the bladder; can’t pass water from blunting of the sensitiveness of walls of the bladder, etc. Or the other extreme, involuntary urination or stool from paralysis of the sphincters Everywhere OPIUM is a producer of INSENSIBILITY and partial or complete paralysis and, other things being equal, is homoeopathically indicated there.

Now we find an exactly opposite state of things under OPIUM to that we have been describing as indicated by the following symptoms: “Delirious, eyes wide open, glistening: face red, puffed up.” “Vivid imagination, exaltation of the mind.” Nervous and irritable, easily frightened.” “Twitching, trembling of head, arms hands;jerking of the flexors, even convulsions.” “Sleeplessness (CIMICIFUGA, COFFEA), with acuteness of hearing;clock striking and cocks crowing at a great distance keep her awake.” These are the secondary or reactionary symptoms of OPIUM. Nature has been pushed like a pendulum, clear to one side of the perpendicular or normal condition. Now, nature endeavoring to undo this mischief, like the law of gravity with the pendulum, pulls back with such force that the pendulum swings not only to its normal state, but clear over to the other extreme, and then it left to herself will continue to oscillate back and forth until the normal place is found and natural law again reigns supreme. It must be remembered here that the first class of symptoms are DRUG ACTION, the later action nature’s effort against the drug; so that such excitement, irritability and spasm never come under the homoeopathic action of OPIUM as a remedy unless this state has been preceded by drowsiness, stupor and insensibility, etc. It cannot be the homoeopathic remedy to the case without this, for its perfect similarity is not to be found there. This is the reason why the Homoeopath can make his sleepless patient sleep a natural sleep with OPIUM in the little dose, while the allopath forces his patient into a stupor (not a sleep) with his big dose. The one is curative, the other poisonous.

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.