Apis Mellifica

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

Skin: This remedy has so many symptoms on the surface of the body we will study the outer aspect first. All over the body is found a thick rash, sometimes of a rose color.

It is rough and can be felt as a rough rash under the fingers. The patient at this time is greatly distressed by heat and the skin is sensitive to touch with the rash or without it. Nodular swellings here and there come and go.

Then comes an erysipelatous inflammatory condition, in patches, here and there, about the head, with great tumefaction about the face, eyes and eye-lids.

Erysipelas may occur anywhere, but it more commonly belongs to the face and runs to a high degree of inflammatory action, with stinging, burning and oedema. In the extremities we have a marked dropsy, swelling with pitting upon pressure.

A general anasarca may appear. The face is greatly swollen at times, the eyelids look like water bags, the uvula hangs down like a water bag, the abdominal walls are of great thickness and pit upon pressure, and the mucous membranes in any part look as if they would discharge water if they were punctured.

Puffing or oedema, with pitting upon pressure, is a general condition that may be present in any inflammatory state, There is a general amelioration from cold and aggravation from heat. The skin symptoms and the patient are aggravated from heat.

This prevails also in the mental state, in inflammatory conditions; in cardiac conditions, in dropsy, in sore throat, etc. Sometimes this aggravation amounts to aggravation from warm drinks, warm room, warm clothing, warmth of the fire, etc.,; if it is heat the patient is greatly disturbed.

Brain: In brain troubles, if you put an Apis patient with congestion of the brain into a warm bath he will go into convulsions, and consequently warm bathing is not always “good for fits.”

It is taught in old school text-books so much that the old women and nurses know that a hot bath is good for fits, and before you get there just as like as not you will have a dead baby.

This congestion of the brain, with little twitchings and threatening convulsions, makes them put the baby in a hot bath, and it is in an awful state when you get there. If the baby needs Opium or Apis in congestion of the brain the fits become worse by bathing in hot water.

If the nurse has been doing that kind of business you have learned the remedy as soon as you enter the house, for she will say the child has been worse ever since the warm bath, has become pale as a ghost and she was afraid he was going to die.

There you have convulsions worse from heat, pointing especially to Opium and Apis. That is the way with Apis all through. It is not laid down in the books that Apis is worse in the throat symptoms from warm drinks and wants altogether cold things, and will not take warm things which aggravate, but one of our graduates wrote me that by making use simply of the generals, as he had been instructed, Apis conforming to all the rest of the case, he made a beautiful cure of a case of diphtheria which had the relief from cold, which shows how generals are continued into particulars and how they can be made use of.

The generals continue to build and enlarge our Materia Medica. Upon the outer surface then we see that Apis is full of dropsy, red rash, eruptions, urticaria, erysipelas, which inflammations extend to the mucous membranes.

The outer part of man is his skin and mucous membrane. When we are dealing with man from centre to circumference, we think of the innermost as the brain and heart and internal organs that are vital, while their coatings and coverings are external.

Apis affects the things that are external; it affects the envelopes, the coverings. You notice how frequently it affects the skin and the tissues near the skin, and it also affects the envelopes or coverings of organs; for example, the pericardium. It establishes serous inflammations with effusion. Apis produces an inflammation of the membranes of the brain. In the serous sac which encloses the heart, pericardium, and also in the peritoneum it produces the same kind of inflammation.

Thus we see that the coverings are especially affected by Apis, viz., the skin and mucous membranes and the coverings of organs; and with these we get dropsy, catarrh and erysipelas.

In all of these inflammatory conditions there is stinging and burning; burning like coals of fire at times, and stinging as if needles or small splinters were sticking in.

Mind: The mental symptoms of Apis are very striking, and the most striking thing throughout the mental state is the aggravation from heat and from a warm room,

The symptoms themselves are great sadness, constant tearfulness without any cause, weeping night and day; cannot sleep from tantalizing thoughts and worrying about everything.

Depression of spirits with constant weeping. Sadness and melancholy; extreme irritability; borrowing trouble about everything. Foolishly suspicious and jealous. Absolutely joyless. Absolutely indifferent to everything that would make her happy or joyful.

No ability to apply things that would make her happy to herself, they must mean someone else. Foolish, silly, childish behavior in a woman in confinement, in a woman in advanced years; talking foolish twaddle, such as a child would talk, on serious, occasions.

Another aspect of the mental state is the delirium, which comes on in serious forms of brain affections in children. The child gradually goes into a state of unconsciousness.

Lies in a stupor, one side of the body twitching the other side motion less, rolling head from side to side; head drawn -back rigidly; pupils contracted or dilated, eyes very red, face flushed, a stupid state or state of semi-consciousness. Child lying with the eyes partly, closed, as if benumbed.

It is suitable in congestion of the brain, meningitis or cerebro-spinal meningitis with opisthotonos when all the symptoms are aggravated from heat.

Child: The child puts on a more dreadful state if the room becomes overheated; become extremely death-like or pale if the room becomes overheated.

If the child is able to do so it kicks the covers off. If it is in a position where it can look into a large open grate it will be much aggravated. I have seen Apis children who had to be removed from near an open fire.

They will cry, to get away from the heat that comes upon them from the register or open fire. The heat increases every symptom, and sometimes causes them to break out in a cold sweat all over the body, which does not ameliorate their fever nor the burning heat.

Very often the head is rolling and tossing, the teeth gnashing, and the eyes flashing with threatening convulsions, the child carrying the hand to the head at times, a state of semi-consciousness, and the child screams out with that peculiar scream which is known to mean congestion of the brain Рcri enc̩phalique Рthe brain cry.

The shriek is a very strong Apis feature. The child cries out with this shriek in sleep when going into brain troubles. It says in the text:

“Sopor interrupted by piercing shrieks.”

We must be able to see in the general beginning of provings the disease which they resemble, for we do not always see the remedy in the advanced state.

We see the diseases in a state of progress, and must be able to see it in its beginning. As was the disease in the beginning so was the remedy in the beginning. Things that have similar beginnings may have similar endings.

Apis also has muttering, delirium and loquacity. All kinds of screaming and shrieking, shrill and otherwise, violent and less violent. Premonition of death, dread of death, fear of apoplexy.

“Very busy, restless, changing kind of work, with awkwardness.”

Awkwardness is especially found under the fingers, toes and limbs in Apis. The whole nervous system shows a disturbance in co-ordination. This disturbance in co-ordination runs through the remedy, awkwardness, staggering with the eyes shut.

Dizziness when the eyes are shut.

“Ailments from fright, rage, vexation, jealousy or hearing bad news.”

“After severe mental shock paralyzed on the whole right side.”

Violence and rapidity: The complaints of Apis are attended with violence and rapidity. They come on with great rapidity, rush on with violence, until unconsciousness is reached. It has been my fortune to see many violent cases of poisoning from the sting of the honey-bee.

When the over sensitive patient is poisoned by the sting he is dreadfully sick. The majority of people in the course of their life have been stung by the honey-bee and a mere little swelling occurs in the region of the sting, a swelling as big as a robin’s egg or 4 hen’s egg at most, without constitutional states; that is, when the individual is not sensitive to Apis.

He may have been stung in half a dozen places, and each one gives him a little lump.

But you meet one who is sensitive to the sting of the honey-bee, and if he gets one little sting on any place in his body, he comes down with nausea and anxiety that makes him feel that he is dying, and in about ten minutes he is covered with urticaria from head to foot; he stings and burns and wants to be bathed in cold water; he fears that he will die if something is not done to mitigate his suffering, rolls and tosses as if he would tear himself to pieces.

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.