Bryonia Alba

You will see this is also true in Belladonna; it has all of this congestion and pressure; but remember Bryonia is slow, sluggish, passive and insidious in its approach and progress, while in Belladonna the mental symptoms and everything in connection are marked by activity. With the headaches there is more or less burning, and sometimes throbbing.

The throbbing is seldom felt until he moves. After any movement, like going up stairs, walking, or turning over in bed during the headache, he feels the violent throbbing; on keeping still a moment it settles down into a bursting, pressing pain as if the skull would be pressed open.

There are many other pains in connection with the Bryonia headache; in the text it is described:

“tearing and stitching pains.”

“Shooting pains,” sharp pains.

Some of the pressing pains are described as if a great weight were on the head, but the same idea prevails; it is an internal pressure; a sluggishness of the circulation in the brain, a stasis as if all the blood in the body were surging in the head.

“Stitches in the head.”

“Splitting headache.”

“Rush of blood to head.” Threatened apoplexy.

“Headache after washing himself with cold water when face was sweating.”

That is, taking cold from suppression of perspiration.

“Always on coughing, motion in head like pressure.”

The headache is so bad in many cases of pneumonia or bronchitis, in fact in any of the inflammatory or congestive conditions, that very often you will see the patient grasp the head when he knows he is going to cough.

He holds his head because it hurts so from the action of coughing. Many remedies have this, but it is in keeping with the general aggravation of Bryonia from motion, from jar, from any effort.

“The headache is expanding, aggravated by the slightest motion; after eating.”

The aggravation after eating is in keeping with the Bryonia state in general. The Patient himself, in all complaints, feels worse after eating. It hardly matters what the trouble is, it is worse after eating; the cough is worse after eating, the gouty, state is increased by eating.

The Bryonia patient will finally sum up the whole subject and say,

“I am always worse after eating;” so that it becomes a general.

The headaches are often accompanied by nose-bleed.

“Obstinate headache with constipation.”

Bryonia is particularly suitable in venous, sluggish constitutions, with sluggish heart, poor circulation, yet apparently plethoric, apparently rugged, but subject to gouty exacerbations from change of weather.

Dandruff is common; sensitiveness and great soreness of the scalp worse from the slightest touch of the scalp, feels as if the hair were pulled; women must always have the hair hanging down. In the Bryonia headaches, as well as rheumatic attacks, if he can perspire a freely, he will get relief.

Eyes: Bryonia is ameliorated in all its complaints as soon as the perspiration becomes free and general. Catarrhal conditions of the eyes are found in Bryonia; it is not so often thought of as an inflammatory remedy for the eyes when there are no other symptoms, but eye symptoms will be found, redness, inflammation, congestion, heat, enlargement of the veins, burning and smarting, associated with headaches, with coryza, with troubles in the air passages, bronchitis, etc.

Sore aching in the eyes, the eyeballs can hardly be touched, so tender to touch, as if bruised, increased from coughing or pressure.

Such conditions come with chest complaints, with colds and headaches.

“Soreness and aching of eyes when moving them.”

“Pressing, crushing pains in eyes.”

“Inflammation of eyes and lips, especially in new-born infants.”

Think of Bryonia when gouty conditions have left certain parts and all at once the eyes are affected, tumefaction of the lids, the conjunctiva looks like raw beef, so highly inflamed is it, red and oozing blood. You find out that a few days before the patient, an old gouty subject, had rheumatic attacks of the joint, and now he has sore and inflamed eyes.

“Rheumatic iritis, caused by cold.”

Rheumatic inflammation of the eyes, i. e., in inflammatory conditions and congestion with redness, associated more or less with gouty affections. In olden times it was described as “arthritic sore eyes,” which means sore eyes in a gouty constitution,

Nose: Many of the complaints of Bryonia commence in the nose; sneezing, coryza, running at the nose, red eyes, lachrymation, aching through the nose, eyes and head the first day; then the trouble goes down into the posterior nares, the throat, the larynx, with hoarseness, and then a bronchitis comes on, and if not checked it goes into pneumonia and pleurisy, so that the trouble has traveled from the beginning of the respiratory tract, the nose, to the lung tissue.

This is a field for the complaints of Bryonia. All are worse from motion, all parts are subject to a good deal of burning and congestion; more or less fever, sometimes intense fever; the patient himself worse from the slightest motion and wants to keep still; dullness of mind, pressive, congestive headaches; sore, lame and bruised all over, often worse at 9 o’clock in the evening; increased dullness of the mind after sleep or on waking in the morning.

The cough comes on with great violence, racking the whole body and increasing the headache, and with copious discharge of mucus from the respiratory tract.

“Frequent sneezing.”

“Sneezing between coughs.”

“Loss of smell.”

Bleeding from the nose in these congestions, or with coryzas. During menstruation there is epistaxis, congestion of the head is present at this menstrual period. Epistaxis appears as a vicarious flow in cases of amenorrhoea. If the menstrual flow should be checked suddenly from cold, nosebleed comes on. Dryness in the nose.

Face: The aspect of the face is important; the besotted, purple, bloated countenance is not dropsically bloated, although it has the oedematous face sometimes, but puffed from vascular stasis, not pitting upon pressure; swollen and puffed, purple, with a doltish state of the mind, as if he were drunk.

He will took at you and wonder what you were doing, and what you said; a stupefaction of the intellect; the eyes do not look at you intelligently. When a patient is about to come down with some Bryonia complaint, with a remittent, or with head congestions, or pneumonia, or some other respiratory disease, the family will notice when he awakes in the morning that he has that besotted expression, and he says he has to make such an effort to think or do anything, and his head aches hard, and is worse from motion. Or the face is red and burning,

“red spots on the face and neck;”

“hot, bloated, red face.”

In children, as well as adults, there is gradually increasing cerebral trouble, dilated pupils, besotted countenance, and continual lateral motion of the lower jaw.

This motion of the jaw in a congestive attack is a strong feature of Bryonia. It is not the grinding of the teeth so much that I refer to now, although that is found in Bryonia, but a lateral movement of the jaw as if chewing, but the teeth do not come in contact and they keep it up night and day.

A great many remedies have grinding of the teeth. When intermittent fever comes on with marked congestion, stupefaction of the intellect, violent rigors, even to a congestive chill, the patient lying in stupefaction or a semi-conscious state, without grinding the teeth, yet wagging the jaw back and forth by the hour, Bryonia is often suitable.

Constant motion of the mouth as if the patient were chewing, in brain affections of children; it occurs in little ones when there are no teeth; but they keep up a chewing motion.

In regard to the lips and lower part of the face, that bloated, swollen condition, the sluggish circulation, a venous congestion or stasis will be found in Bryonia, making the aspect as of one long intoxicated; it is not so marked as in Baptisia and is not accompanied by so low a state, so advanced a stupor, as in Baptisia.

Great dryness of the lips; the lips parched and dry.

“Children pick the lips,”

“Lips cracked and bleeding.”

Lips parched, dry and bleeding, such as will be seen in typhoid states, where the whole mouth is dry and brown, cracked, parched and bleeding; dry, brown tongue. Sordes on the teeth.

In Arum triphyllum, there is marked picking of the nose and lips; they pick and pick and bore the finger into the nose.

Toothache: Bryonia has toothache, worse from warmth.

“Tearing, stitching toothache while eating;” from warm drinks, from warm foods, worse in a warm-worn, wants cold foods in the mouth, wants to be in cold air, but worse from motion.

“Toothache > by cold water or lying on painful side.”

Pressing hard upon the painful tooth ameliorate it.

“Toothache < from smoking.”

You see how the relief from cold and aggravation from heat go along with us; we shall keep reiterating these modalities that affect the patient as a general state, and we shall see as we go through that nearly all his symptoms are worse from motion, worse from heat, etc.

He keeps on telling us they are better from pressure in each region we go over, until, finally we come to the conclusion that they are general.

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.

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