Aesculus Hippocastanum

James Tyler Kent describes the symptoms of the homeopathic medicine Aesculus Hippocastanum in great detail and compares it with other homeopathy remedies. …

Introduction: A peculiar kind of plethora is found running through this remedy, a vascular fullness which
affects the extremities and the whole body, and there are symptoms showing that the brain is
similarly affected.

Modalities: The conditions of Aesculus are worse during sleep, hence symptoms are observed on waking.

He wakes up with confusion of mind, looks all around the room in confusion, bewildered, does not know the people, wonders where he is and what is the meaning of the things he sees.

It is especially useful in children that rouse up in sleep frightened and in confusion, like Lycopodium.

The remedy produces great sadness, irritability, loss of memory and aversion to work. There are times when there is a sense of bodily congestion, fullness of the veins, and then these symptoms are most marked.

It is a general venous stasis, and is sometimes worse in sleep, worse from lying, better from bodily exertion.

The symptoms pass away after considerable exertion; moving about, doing something, keeping busy relieves.

You will find it useful in persons who suffer from palpitation when the pulsation extends to the extremities and the throbbing of the heart in sleep can be heard; an audible palpitation.

Mind: Now, as the mental symptoms are the most important in a proving, so are the mental symptoms in sickness
the most important.

Hahnemann directs us to pay most attention to the symptoms of the mind, because the symptoms of the mind
constitute the man himself.

The highest and innermost symptoms are the most important, and these are the mind symptoms.

Aesculus has not been brought out in the finest detail, but we have the key to it.

Extreme irritability is the very general state from which ramify a great many mental symptoms.

Irritability and mental depression run through a great many remedies, and form the centre around which revolve all the mental symptoms in some cases.

The reason that these are more interior than some other symptoms of the mind is that these relate to the affections themselves.

The mental symptoms can be classified in a remedy. The things that relate to the memory are not so important as the things that relate to the intelligence, and the things that relate to the intelligence are not so important as the things that relate to the affections or desires and aversions.

We see in a state of irritability that the patient is not irritable while doing the things that he desires to do; if he wants to be talked to, for instance, you do not discover his irritability while talking to him.

You never discover he is irritable if you do the things he wants you to do. But just as soon as you do something he does not want, this irritability or disturbance of the will is brought on, and this is the very innermost of the man’s state.

That which he wishes belongs to that which he wills, and the things that relate to what he wills and the most important things in every proving.

You may say that an individual is sad, but he is sad because he lacks something that he wants; he desires something which he has not and becomes sad for it; sadness may go on to such an extent that the mind is in confusion.

Confusion of mind and vertigo. Make this distinction, vertigo is not confusion of the intelligence.

You have only to meditate upon it a moment and you will see that it is not.

Confusion of the mind is a disturbance of the intellect, not disturbance of the sensorium; you will make a distinction between staggering when walking and a period of disturbance of the mind, with inability to think clearly.

Vertigo is a sensation of rolling, and belongs to the sensorium. A great mistake has been made in some of our repertories, in that confusions of mind are placed with vertigo under sensorium.

These things must be thought out carefully, so that we are clear in our own minds as to what symptoms mean when they are given to us by patients.

A patient may state that when walking in the street he is dizzy or that it appears as though everything interiorly were turning around, yet he may be perfectly able to add up a column of figures; his mind may be clear.

If we ourselves are perfectly clear as to the meaning of these expressions, we will commonly glean the meaning of the patient. It is important to record the language of the patient, yet often a patient will say something which you can see he does not mean at all, and it then becomes necessary to put in a parenthesis what he really means. For instance, a patient says:

“I have such a pain in my chest,” with the band on the abdomen, or a woman when menstruating will say the pain is in the stomach when you know it is in the uterus.

Patients must be questioned oftentimes as to their statements, or requested to place the hand upon the painful part. In the same way, therefore, patients talk about dizziness when they are not dizzy at all, but feel a confusion of mind, or they speak of confusion of mind when they mean that they stagger in the street.

It is in the nature of this remedy to have flying pains all over the body, like Pulsatilla and Kali carb., flitting, sharp,
shooting, tearing pains, flying from one part to another; they seem at times to be scarcely more than skin deep. Sometimes they fly along the course of the nerves.

Head: This remedy is full of headache. It has also dull aching pain, when it seems that the brain would be pressed out. But especially are these pains felt in the back of the head, as if the head would be crushed; hard aching pains, violent aching pains, fullness of the brain.

“Dull frontal headache, from right to left, with constrictive feeling of skin of forehead.”

Fullness of the head, with dull, heavy pains, aching in the forehead; pain over the right eye.

“Neuralgic pains in the right supraorbital region.”

“Shooting in left parietal bone, later in right.”

Formication of the scalp. If you examine the skin you will find formication, tickling and shooting and itching all over the body, so what there is in the scalp is only what belongs to the remedy in all parts.

Eyes: Aesculus is a wonderful eye remedy, especially when the eyes have “hemorrhoids”. Does that convey any idea to you?

By that I mean particularly enlarged blood vessels.

Great redness of the eyes, with lachrymation. burning eyeballs and vascular appearance.

This increased determination of blood is more or less painful; the eyeballs feel sore and ache; sharp, shooting pains in eyes.

In almost every rubric of Aesculus we shall find stitching and shooting; little twinges; wandering pains with fullness; almost every kind of disturbance will intensify e fullness.

Fullness of the hands and feet, not the fullness that pits upon pressure, that we call oedema, but a tenseness.

Medicines having much trouble with the veins are often disturbed by hot bathing, weakness after a hot bath, weakness in warm weather, aversion to heat and desire for cold.

It is the state of Pulsatilla. The Pulsatilla veins contract in cold weather, and the shrivelling up makes the patient
feel better, but the veins fill and become engorged in the warm air and after a hot bath.

A tepid bath sometimes makes a Pulsatilla patient feel better, but a Turkish bath is generally distressing. Many of the complaints of Aesculus are of this sort; Aesculus often feels better in cold air.

The symptoms of Aesculus are often brought out, by temperature, especially the little stinging pains. It is characteristic of these superficial pains that they are nearly always ameliorated by heat, while the deeper affections are oftentimes ameliorated from cold.

Now, in Pulsatilla, the stinging pains of the scalp and those over the body, here and there, are often ameliorated by the local application of heat, while the patient himself wants to, be in the cold; in the same way Aesculus stinging pains are better from heat, while the patient is often better from cold, although at times he is aggravated from cold, damp weather in rheumatic and venous conditions.

Again, in Secale, we see that the little sharp pains that follow the course of the nerves are better from beat, but the patient himself wants to be in the cold air, or to be uncovered, except the spot of pain, which he wants kept warm.

We notice the same thing running through Camphora; during the twinges of pain he wants the windows closed and wants hot applications; but as soon as the pain is over he wants the windows up and desires to be uncovered so that he can breathe. These are general things, things that are to be observed in analyzing symptoms.

Aesculus then is a venous remedy, engorged and full, sometimes to bursting. Now, there is another feature I want to bring out. You will notice where congestion takes place that it is purple or blue in color.

Throat: This remedy produces inflammation of the throat, the characteristic being that it is very dark. It has the tendency to produce varicose veins and ulceration, and round about these we have marked duskiness.

Aesculus cures varicose leg ulcers with a purplish areola.

When we study the hemorrhoidal state we see the tumor is purple, looking almost as if it would slough. The remedy is not active in its inflammatory state, it is sluggish and passive.

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.