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

Bromium is one of the routine medicines.

It is one of the medicines that the neophyte will make use of for every case of diphtheria and croup, and laryngitis he comes across; and when it does not work he will “try something else.”

All who prescribe on the name use Bromium as one of their routine medicines; but Bromium is so seldom indicated that most homoeopaths give it up as a perfectly useless medicine.

The reason is that they do not take the symptoms of the case and prescribe in accordance with the individualizing method.

They do not prescribe for the patient, but for the disease. You may see very few cases of diphtheria calling for Bromium; but when you see a Bromium case you want to know Bromium.

There is one underlying feature of the Bromium conditions, they are found especially in those individuals that are made sick from being heated.

It there is a diphtheria epidemic and the mother bundles up her baby until she overheats it, and keeps it in a hot room, and it happens to be a child that is sensitive to being wrapped up, and one whose complaints are worse from being wrapped up, look out.

You are going to have a Bromium diphtheria. It is indicated also in complaints that come on in the night after a very hot day in the summer.

Now, this is as near as you can come to being routine in croup and diphtheria. If the mother has the baby out in a dreadfully cold, dry day, and along towards midnight it wakens with spasmodic croup, you know that it is more likely to call for Aconite than any other medicine.

But if the mother has had the baby out in a hot day in the summer, and that baby has been overheated, with too much clothing, and it is a plethoric child, and towards midnight you are called up, and the child has a red face, and your examinations reveal a membrane in the throat, we will see as we study the remedy that this may be a Bromium case.

“Hoarseness coming on from getting overheated.”

Loss of voice coming on from getting overheated. A turmoil in the whole economy; with headaches, coming on from getting overheated. That runs through Bromium. So it is in the hot weather, and being confined to a hot room, and after going from the cold into the heat.

But after the complaint comes on, no matter where it is, he is so sensitive to cold that a draft of cool air freezes him; but he cannot be overheated without suffering.

Glands: Bromium has running through it a tendency to infiltrate the glands. The glands become bard, but seldom suppurate. They generally remain hard. The glands of the neck, the parotid, the sublingual, the submaxillary, are enormously enlarged and very hard.

The processes of inflammation are slow; they are not that rapid, violent kind like we find in Belladonna and Mercurius

“Parts that inflame infiltrate, becoming hard.”

Inflammation with hardness is the idea. It has been very useful in ulcers with this infiltration; very useful in enlarged glands with great hardness, without any tendency to suppurate.

Glands take on tuberculosis, and tissues take on tuberculosis. Glands that inflame for a while begin to take on a lower form of degeneration, a lower form of tissue making.

It is very similar to these enlarged, hard, scrofulous glands that we find in the neck; enlargement of the parotid and submaxillary. It has cured enlargement and great hardness of the thyroid gland.

Again, we have emaciation, and when we see the tendency to infiltration it is not strange that it has been a curative medicine in cancer and tuberculosis. There is weakness in this remedy. The legs become weak. Growing prostration, with tremulous limbs.

Twitching; tremulous weakness; fainting. In the catarrhal affections there is a formation, more or less, of membrane.

Membranous exudate is a natural course of events. A natural feature of the mucous membrane is infiltration, so that the mucous membrane appears to exude little grayish-white vegetations, and beneath them is induration.

That is true in ulcers, it is true in mucous membrane. And ulcer will form upon the mucous membrane and eat in, and build beneath it a hardened stratum of tissue.

It has febrile conditions along with these catarrhal states. Great nervous excitement.

“Icy coldness of the limbs. ”

“Heat of the head.”

“Dyspnoea, with great sweating.”

Croupy manifestations. Running through most of the complaints there is palpitation.

Mind: Palpitation with nausea, palpitation with headache, palpitation with various kinds of nervous excitement. So weak is be gradually becoming that he has an “aversion to every kind of work; to reading.

Takes no interest in household duties.”

Becomes indifferent. Very tired.

“Great depression of spirits, Low spirited. Sad and discouraged.”

Anxiety with most complaints. Headaches from becoming overheated.

“Noise in the ears.

Throbbing and burning in the ears.”

And then the complaints of the glands that are so closely associated with the ears. With ear troubles, enlargement of the glands; the parotid becomes enlarged and bard.

Ear: Ear affections following scarlet fever, with discharges from the ears. Pains and aches; inflammation; abscess of the ear.

Suppuration of the parotid gland occasionally, but it is an exception.

“Swelling and hardness of the left parotid gland.”

The ovaries, testes, etc., are all affected by Bromium.

Nose: Bleeding of the nose. Ulcerations in the nose. Catarrhal affections of the nose. Much sneezing.

Acute coryza, violent, with much burning in the nose, and a sensation of coldness, as if the mucous membrane of the nose were cold from inhaling cold air.

It is useful for June cold, with the first hot weather in June, or if the first hot weather comes in July. Violent coryza once a year, during the hot season. Fluent coryza, with headaches.

“The nose is sore and the wings of the nose swell.

Scurf forms on it, with pain and bleeding on wiping it.”

Rawness round about the nostrils.

Face: A Bromium patient is one that is likely to have flushed face, especially those due to acute Bromium conditions.

“Flushed face.”

He becomes heated easily. But this is entirely the opposite of the chronic constitutional Bromium condition.

That is true with a good many remedies, especially many of the antipsorics. The old sickly broken-down constitutions, those needing Bromium for chronically enlarged glands, for goitre, for cancerous affections, will have the “gray, earthy color of the face.

Oldish appearance.”

It is a sickly face, an ash-colored face.

“Face ashy gray.”

Then again we have children that are plethoric, with red face, easily overheated. Of course, when the acute condition is on and the breathing has been that of dyspnoea for several hours or many days, then the patient becomes cyanotic, gasping for breath, and choking, the face becomes ashy pale, as it is in diphtheria, in croup, and in laryngeal affections.

“Stony, hard swelling of glands, especially of the lower jaw and throat.”

Throat: We find that repeated in many divisions of the subject. Many of the throat complaints that are laid down in Bromium begin in the larynx and creep up into the throat.

Some of them begin in the throat and go down into the larynx; but the two are so closely associated in Bromium that both are likely to be affected; so that diphtheria spreads from one to the other. Diphtheria begins in the throat and goes into the larynx.

Bromium fits the most malignant type of diphtheria. The membrane grows like a weed, shuts off breathing, closes up the larynx, So severe are the cases, that though be has been sick but two or three days and even when Bromium has mastered the case, the patient is left with great prostration. All those that belong to Bromium are of that type.

Great violence; great prostration. Extremely sick, and with deathly weakness. A great many of the cures that have been performed in the throat have been left sided diphtheria, yet it has cured both sides. You will very seldom see Bromium develop in cold dry weather; but in hot damp weather Bromium cases come on; affections in the spring, and in the fall and summer.

Stomach: The chronic cases that will need Bromium are such as have ulcers of the stomach. Suspicious ulcers in the stomach, and suspicious symptoms about the stomach.

Vomiting like coffee grounds, and vomiting with signs of ulceration. Aggravation after eating; either vomiting, or diarrhoea. Cannot take acids. Diarrhoea or cough worse after eating, or after acids.

“After eating oysters, diarrhoea, and a disordered stomach.

Worse from the slightest inhalation of tobacco smoke.

Vomiting of bloody mucus.


” Foul stomach. Pain in the stomach from warm things, from hot tea, hot drinks. ”

It is a common feature when there is ulcer in the stomach or when the mucous membrane is about to ulcerate, that hot drinks are intolerable.

“Pains from taking hot foods.”

Stools and rectum: In studying the stool and rectum symptoms we find exudation. Membranous formations pass in the stool. Diarrheic stool with membrane.

“Black, fecal stool.” Diarrhoea; must go to stool after eating.”

We have running through the remedy enlarged veins. These are found also in the rectum. Hemorrhoids protrude from the rectum, burning. Smarting day and night.

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.