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

Generalities: Baptisia is suitable for acute diseases. It is principally a short-acting medicine, suitable for complaints that are not long lasting. So far as we know it is not an antipsoric, does not go deep into the life.

All of its acute diseases and complaints have the appearance of Zymosis, like scarlet fever, diphtheria, typhoid, and gangrenous complaints. There is one thing that is unusual about it, it brings on this septic state more, rapidly than most other remedies.

The zymotic complaints of Arsenicum, Phosphorus, Rhus, and Bryonia, are much slower in their pace. But Baptisia is suitable for typhoids that come on rapidly, and hence it is not so often suitable in idiopathic typhoids.

When an individual comes down suddenly from cold, from malaria, from drinking poisonous waters, and from any zymotic or septic cause he is hurled into bed in a few days, instead of going through a period of four, five or six weeks. The old idiopathic typhoid fevers come on slower.

Baptisia is suitable for those blood poisons that are highly septic such as the puerperal state, such as scarlet fever. He comes down perhaps with the appearance of a sudden violent break down, with a remittent fever.

But all at once it turns continued, and takes on septic symptoms. So much for its progress and its pace. Every medicine must be observed as to its velocity, as to its pace, as to its periodicity, as to its motion, and its wave.

Looking and smelling: We get that by looking at the symptoms. You take an individual who has been down in a mine, in the swam, down in the mud, in the sewers, who has inhaled foul gases, who goes into bed with a sort of stupor, from the very beginning he feels stupid. It is not gradual, but he goes down very suddenly, and he is stupid.

He is prostrated. His face is mottled. Sordes begin to appear on the teeth much earlier than in the regular typhoid. The abdomen becomes distended much earlier than in a regular typhoid; that is one who is accustomed to observing those things knows they are postponed for a number of days; while with this remedy the third day the abdomen is distended, his mouth is bleeding, and is putrid.

His odors are horrible; and he is in a marked state of delirium, such as would not be expected until the typhoid is out for many days. So it has rapid running diseases. It has velocity.

That is, he is going down toward death rapidly. He is increasing in his prostration more rapidly than usual. It is not a gradual decline of days and weeks.

He goes into a state of stupor. When aroused he takes on delirium. It does not matter whether it is scarlet fever, or typhoid fever, or a septic surgical fever, or a puerperal fever, or what.

He has fever, and if you look at him, and talk to him, and turn him over, and rouse him up, and make him realize that you want to say something to him – which is difficult – he gives you the impression that he has been on a big drunk.

That is the first thought you will have in a Baptisia case. His countenance is besotted. It is bloated and purple and mottled. Blood oozes from the mouth. You have seen the besotted countenance of drunkards, and it is like an old drunkard.

Mind: His mind seems to be gone. He does not know what be is talking about lie is in confusion, and when aroused be attempts to say some thing, and utters a word or two and it all flits away, and he is back in his state of stupor again.

No matter what disease that comes in, no matter what inflammation is present, no matter what organ is inflammed, if that state of the blood that can give rise to such symptoms and such sepsis is present, if that state of the mind is present, it is Baptisia.

Discharges: All of the discharges are putrid. The odor is cadaverous, pungent; penetrating. His perspiration, if he has any, is sour, foetid, pungent, and penetrating.

If he has no sweat the body gives off an odor that is unaccountable. The odor is so penetrating that on going into the front door the whole house, if the room is open, is filled with the odor. The odor from the stool is putrid and so penetrating that it can be detected on first going into the house.

Now, a strange thing that runs through the remedy is a peculiar kind of mental confusion, in which he is in a constant argument with his parts.

Delirium: He seems to feel that there are two of him. He realizes a dual existence whenever he is roused up. He will begin talking about the other one in bed with him.

It is said clinically that

“his great toe is in controversy with his thumb.”

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.