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

Introduction: This remedy in olden times was frequently abused for man and beast. Our grandfathers supposed it was a protection against disease and hence they used it in the stables.

Lumps of “foetty,” as they called it, where put in the corn for the horse, to keep off distempter.

What it has accomplished I am unable to say, but it is certain that these farmers looked upon Asa foetida as a great protective against disease.

It has been used also by the laity as a medicine for fainting, for hysteria, and all sorts of nervous symptoms and complaints.

The use is justified by the proving. These things are scarcely worthy of note, but it shows the general use among the people, as a domestic medicine, in crude form. It has been used more extensively in this form than in professional practice in a legitimate way.

Aspect: There is one class of patients you will find who will trouble you. Those cases that come into your office with puffed, venous, purple faces; they have an appearance of plethora; the face looks puffed, bloated and dropsical at times; it is a dark red, dusky face; such a face we shall cure sometimes with Asa foetida. Carbo animalis, Aurum, Carbo veg. and Pulsatilla are also related to this kind of face, but it is a very troublesome face, it shows more or less cardiac disturbance and venous stasis.

The venous side of the heart will often be involved, or be about to be involved, when you have this kind of face.

I never like to see them come into my office, for they are hard cases to manage. They have deep-seated troubles, with bleeding, they are subject to sudden inflammations, and they do not rally quickly.

Constitution: In this constitution we have ulcerations; a little place will ulcerate and suppurate, and the ulceration will burrow; this is just what this remedy does.

Another thing this kind of constitution will do is to set up an inflammatory condition of the periosteum with swelling, periostitis of the tibia for instance, where the circulation is not very active; inflammation of cartilages with tumefaction and purple skin, stitching pains and dropsy, ulcerations and fistulous openings. This medicine is good for just such states.

“Ulcers with extreme sensitiveness.”

Patients often say,

“I get no sympathy when I am sick because I look so well;” fat, flabby and purple.

This remedy will seldom be thought of in lean persons; they seem to be free from complaints like those of Asa foetida, but in fat, flabby persons, extremely nervous, extremely sensitive to pain, full of hysteria.

Purple when out in the cold, purple when excited. In other words, you see before you the venous constitution, and these people get the worst kind of hysteria; they go off almost from no cause into fainting; from a close room, from excitement, from any disturbance; sometimes cramps come on, but more especially fainting.

They are subject to stitching pains from the bone to the surface; that is, from within out. The periosteum, becomes irritated, and glands become swollen.

Syphilis sometimes produces this kind of condition. Vascular disturbances in the body; periostitis, necrosis, induration of glands, nerve syphilis and head pains. in old syphilitics with this kind of venous face, subject to bleeding, ulcers turn black or become purple. In this there is a similarity to Lachesis.

Old scars turn purple, threaten to suppurate, take! on a venous aspect, become painful and turn black. Ulcers form at the site of old scars in old syphilitic patients and sometimes in psoric patients. Most complaints come on during rest and are better by slow motion.

There is another grand feature running through this remedy; it is full of discharges, catarrhal discharges, discharges from ulcers, watery discharges from different places and even watery stool; and all these discharges are horribly offensive and ichorous.

Deep, flat ulcers from bone and periosteal affections give out a watery, bloody discharge that is horribly offensive, with pains shooting outwards. Get the idea of the venous stasis well fixed in your mind and with this syphilitic state added to it.

There are many pains running through the remedy and they are night pains like those of syphilis, nightly bone pains, and pains in the periosteum.

The ulcers are deep, with bluish edges. Varicose veins surround the ulcers. Inflammation of the bone and periosteum, with blueness all around the ulcers.

When there has been an inflammatory condition of the periosteum, somewhat passive in character, the skin adheres to the bone, glues down to it by adhesion. It is too feeble to ulcerate, it does not get up a likely inflammation, but only a passive state, The glands all over the body are hot and throbbing, with shooting, jerking pains, in syphilis or old psoric and scrofulous complaints.

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.