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

Most of the substances that are used on the table as seasoning in foods will in the course of a generation or two be very useful medicines because people poison themselves with these substances, tea, coffee, pepper, and these poisonous effects in the parents cause in the children a predisposition to disease, which is similar to the disease produced by these substances.

In the fat, flabby, red-raced children of beer drinkers and pepper eaters, with poor reaction, a relaxed and flabby constitution, red face and varicose condition, those that have been over stimulated, children of over stimulated men, we find the sphere of Capsicum very often.

Mind: In those constitutions in which the face looks rosy, but it is cold or not warm, and upon close examination the face is seen to be studded with a fine system of capillaries. Plump and round, with no endurance, a false plethora like Calcarea

The end of the nose is red, the cheeks are red, redness over the cheeks, red eyes, easily relaxed individuals. These constitutions react slowly after diseases and do not respond to remedies, a sluggish state, a tired, lazy constitution.

In school girls who cannot study or work, who get home-sick and want to go home. In gouty constitutions, with cracking of the joints and gouty deposits in the joints, stiff joints, clumsy, weak, give out soon. There is sluggishness of the whole economy. They are chilly patients, are sensitive to air, and what to be in a warm room. Even in the ordinary weather the open air causes chilliness. They are sensitive to cold and to bathing.

In the mental state there is no more striking thing than this symptom: homesickness. A sickness like homesickness runs through the remedy and is accompanied by red cheeks and sleeplessness, hot feeling in the fauces, fearfulness. They are oversensitive to impressions, are always looking for an offence or slight; always suspicious and looking for an insult.

Obstinate to the extreme; it is a devilishness. Even if she wants a certain thing she will oppose it if is proposed by some one else. After emotions red cheeks, yet with the red cheeks lack of heat, even with increased temperature; or one cheek pale and the other red, or the cheeks alternate red and pale. Children are clumsy and awkward.

The Capsicum mind is almost overwhelmed by persistent thoughts of suicide. He does not want to kill himself, he resists the thoughts, and yet they persist, and he is tormented by these thoughts.

There are persistent thoughts in many remedies, and it is necessary to distinguish between impulses and desires.

If he desires to have a rope or a knife to commit suicide, that is altogether different from an impulse to commit suicide.

An impulse is sometimes overwhelming and overbalances the mind, and he commits suicide. You should always find out from a patient whether he loathes life and wants to die, or if he has impulses which he wishes to put aside. Some persons lie awake at night and long for death, and there is no reason for it. That is a state of the will, insanity of the will.

In another patient the thoughts jump into his mind and he cannot put them aside, and the thoughts are tormenting. The distinguishing feature of the remedy is often found by differentiating between the two. Desires are of the will; impulses come into the thoughts.

Head: Headaches as if the skull would split when moving the head, when walking or coughing. Feeling as if the head would fly to pieces; holds the head with the hand. Feeling as if the head were large, aggravated by coughing and stepping, ameliorated by lying with the head high.

Bursting pain and throbbing. Headache with pulsation in the forehead and temples. Headache as if the brain would be pressed through the forehead. On stooping, feeling as if the brain would be pressed out, as if the red eyes would be pressed out on stooping.

The senses are disturbed and are overacute; oversensitiveness to noise, smells, taste and touch, to impressions, to insults. The patient is excited.

Ears: Pains in the ears; itching pain; aching, pressing pain with cough, as if an abscess would burst. It has a peculiar action on the bones of the internal ear and mastoid process. Abscesses round about and below the car and caries; petrous portion of temporal bone necrosed. It has been a frequently indicated remedy in mastoid abscess.

Nose: Old catarrhs. The patient takes cold in the nose and throat and this is followed by a collection of mucus. Very often in stupid patients it is difficult to get symptoms, and you must depend on what you see, the character of the discharge and a few other things, and you will find that some of these cases will be cured and all the other symptoms will go away; but in some of these old catarrhs no reaction seems to come after the most carefully chosen remedies, and all at once the doctor observes that the patient has a red face and it is cold and the end of the nose is red and cold, and the patient is fat and flabby and yet has not much endurance, never could learn at school, and if she exerts breaks out into a sweat and freezes in the cold air.

He has a key to the patient and examines the patient by the key, that is, by the drug, a mad practice and never to be resorted to except as a dernier resort and in stupid patients. When he gives Capsicum to that patient it arouses her, it may not cure; but after it the Silicea or Kali bich. or other remedy which was perhaps given before and did not act takes hold and cures.

In the text it says, “Nose red and hot.”

The skin all over is red and burning, a capillary congestion.

Face: The cheeks are red and hot, and this alternates with paleness. Red dots on the face. Pains in the face like bone pains, from external touch. Pains are worse from touch. Pain in the zygoma, or the zygoma is sensitive. Sensitive to pressure over the mastoid. Swelling in the region of the mastoid.

Taste foul like putrid water. When coughing the air from the lungs causes a pungent offensive taste in the mouth. A hot pungent air comes up from the throat, tasting foul when coughing.

On the tongue and lips, flat, sensitive, spreading ulcers with lardaceous base. The mucous membrane of the lips and various parts of the body if pinched up with the fingers remain in the raised position, showing a sluggish circulation.

This is the flabbiness of Capsicum. It wrinkles on pressure. It is a feeble circulation. The parts you touch are loose and flabby, red, fat and cold. That child will not react well if it has measles, until it gets Capsicum.

The skin is moist and cold, and there is a fine measly condition of the skin due to capillary congestion. If the child is old enough, it will complain of feeling cold. There is slow reaction after eruptive diseases, after glandular diseases, after bowel complaints. The child was fat and flabby, but now does not take on flesh.

He takes cold in the throat and nose, and the throat looks as if it would bleed, it is so red, a fine rash-like appearance – it is puffed, discolored, purple, mottled, flabby and spongy-looking; dark red. Burning soreness with ulceration in the fauces. Uvula elongated. Stitching in throat. Enlarged tonsils, inflamed, large and spongy.

The throat remains sore a long time after a cold or sore throat. Burning, pressing pain in the throat, the throat dark red; relaxed sore throat; pain on swallowing, dysphagia. Throat sluggish for weeks, a do-nothing state, does not get very bad, but gets no better, a lack of reaction.

When the chill begins there is thirst. Thirst after every dysenteric stool, a sudden carving for ice-cold water, which causes chilliness. Craving for water before the chill and when taken it hastens the chill; it feels cold in the stomach.

He desires something warm, something stimulating, craves pungent things. This is seen in whisky drinkers; they crave pepper, and the pepper, on the other hand, turns round and craves whisky. These diffusable stimulants crave some stimulating thing, crave support. Dipsomania.

Let me give you a hint in Arsenic. In dipsomania the sinners who have been drinking a great many drinks in a day sometimes get to that state in which they must get up during the night for a drink or they will not be able to get up in the morning.

In the morning the first three or four drinks will be thrown up, but the next one will stay down; they must take a number until one sticks. They have got to that state in which they must keep on taking it. If they sleep too long the first few drinks will come up, and so they must get up in the night or the whisky will not stay down in the morning until they have taken a number of drinks.

You will see this in lawyers who do a great amount of work on stimulants. Nux vomica, Arsenicum, and Caps. will do something for them if they will co-operate with you. I remember saying to one old toper, who had kept up altogether on champagne, that he would have to stop it. He whined,

“I don’t think it is worth while.”

If he could not get his champagne he didn’t think life worth living. if these people want to get benefit they must co-operate.

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.