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

The general constitutional state of Chamomilla is great sensitiveness; sensitive to every impression; sensitive to surroundings; sensitive to persons; and, above all, sensitive to pain.

The constitutional irritability is so great that a little pain brings forth manifestations as if the patient were in very, great suffering. It naturally belongs to the woman’s nervous system, when she is wrought up and extremely sensitive and in pain.

Mind: The mental state goes along with this. Sensitiveness of the mind. Great irritability. These two run through Chamomilla so closely that they are inseparable. Sensitiveness to pain. Easily affected by mortification, by chagrin, so that the nerves become extremely sensitive from these causes, and pains, convulsions, colic, headaches and other kinds of nervous symptoms set in.

The nervous child when punished will go into convulsions. The oversensitive nervous woman will suffer from chagrin. Jerking and twitching of muscles from mortification and excitement. Excessive sensibility of the nerves, so excessive that only a few remedies equal it, such as Coffea, Nux vomica and Opium.

Of course, without hearing a lecture on Opium you naturally think of Opium as capable of producing stupor. Those of you who have seen, the awful state of mind and distress that follow the administration of the crude Opium will understand what I mean by the Chamomilla sensitivity. Convulsions of children.

Convulsions: It is not an uncommon thing, even now-a-days, and especially when practicing in the country, for the young mothers and the nurses to give for baby Camomile tea for colic, and the baby goes into convulsions. No one attributes it to Camomile tea, but the doctor will see at once, if he knows Chamomilla, that these convulsions are due to Camomile.

Then you see the jerkings, the convulsions, the hot head, the great sensitivity; sensitiveness, to noise, and to persons, and the great irritability between the convulsions, convulsions of children; they become stiff; roll the eyes; distort the face; twitchings of muscles; throw the limbs about; clinch the thumbs; bend the body backwards.

Such is the natural appearance of the Chamomilla convulsions; those convulsions that come on in oversensitive children, when they have suffered a good deal of pain from teething. Teething ought to be a perfectly healthy process, but it is really looked upon as a disease, and many doctors carry medicines for “teething children,” and administer them; first one and then another.

Chamomilla has fallen into that bad use of being given “for teething”. It is true that many children suffer from irritability of the brain, convulsions, stomach disorders and vomiting about the time of dentition, but I say dentition should not be a diseased state, it should be normal.

If they were in healthy they would cut teeth without sufferings. But slow teething we have to contend with, and that irritable state, that oversensitiveness, so that he child does not sleep. Wakes up as if it had awful dreams. Wakes up in excitement, vomits, has diarrhea with teething.

These symptoms come at this time when the child has not been properly looked after. Or perhaps the mother has not been properly qualified for parturition.

“Tetanic convulsions.

Twitching in the eyelids.

Pain in the limbs.

General prostration, faintness.”

Neuralgic pains all over the body with numbness. Twitching, darting, tingling pains. The pains are mostly ameliorated by heat, with the exception of the teeth and jaws. Toothache, pain in the teeth ameliorated by cold, and made worse by heat. But the earaches and pains in the extremities are made better by heat.

You will see in the text under “Temperature and Weather” the symptom:

“Pains are worse from heat,” with two black bars as if it were the most important symptom in it, and then below, without any bar,

“Sensitive to cold. Chilly,” and “Better from heat;”

but the fact is the pains that are worse from heat are about the teeth and jaws, and it is decidedly a particular symptom relating only to a part; whereas it is true that the patient in the general state, entirely contrary to what this says, is better by heat.

The pains in general are better by heat. The patient himself is better by heat. Consequently, this being a particular, it should state that the pains that are so commonly worse by heat are of the teeth.

The most important part of Chamomilla is the mental state. It pervades the whole economy and you will see that every region that is taken up, every part that is studied, brings into it the mental state of the patient.

This remedy has more mental symptoms than symptoms in any other part. Crying.

“Piteous moaning. Irritable.”

The irritability is so great that it manifests itself sometimes in a very singular way. The patient seems to be driven to frenzy by the pains, and she forgets all about her prudence and her diplomacy.

Loss of generosity: she has no consideration for the feelings of others. She will simply enter into a quarrel or dispute regardless of the feelings of anybody.

So, when you go into practice, do not be surprised when you go to the bedside of a patient in labor, who is full of pains and sufferings, if she says:

“Doctor, I don’t want you, get out.” just such an one will pass under other circumstances as a lady. The awful pains that she is having drive her to frenzy, and this frenzy, this oversensitiveness to pain, is coupled with the mental state.

Inability to control her temper, and the temper is aroused to white heat. Now, in the child, the child whines and cries and sputters about everything. It wants something new every minute. It refuses everything that it has asked for. If it is for something to eat, for something to play with, for its toys, when these are handed to the child it throws them away; slings them clear across the room.

Strikes the nurse in the face for presuming to, get something or other that the little one did not want, yet had asked for. Capriciousness. It seems that the pains and sufferings are sometimes ameliorated by passive motion, this very particularly in children.

The pains seem to be better when the child is carried, so the child wants to be carried all the time. This is true in the colic and in the bowel troubles. It is true with earache; it is true with the evening fevers, and the general sufferings from cold and conditions while teething.

Children must be carried. The nurse is compelled to carry the child all the time. And then there is the restlessness and capriciousness about the members of the family. The child goes two or three times up and down the room with the nurse, and then reaches out for its mother; goes two or three times up and down the room with her and then wants to go to its father. And so it is changing about. Never satisfied. It seems to have no peace.

When it has earache the sharp shooting pains cause the child to screech out. Carries the hand to the ear. The pains often cause that sharp, piercing tone of the voice. Adults in pain cannot keep still the pains are so severe; it is not always that they are decidedly ameliorated by moving, but they seem to be. But they move because they cannot keep still.

So the Chamomilla patient is tossing in bed, if in bed; not an instant quiet. And along with all of these the same irritability; becomes violently excited at the pain angry at the pain; irritable about the pain; will scold about the pain the pain is so torturesome. Aversion to talk, and snappish. The patient is constantly sitting and looking within herself when pains are absent.

Chamomilla has melancholy, and has suffering of the mind, without pain. Then the Chamomilla patient sits and thinks within herself a sort of introspection. Cannot be induced to say a word. Sadness. The Chamomilla child cannot be touched.

Wants to do as he pleases. Wants to change; wants to do something new. The answer from both the adult and the child are snappish. Complaints come on from contradiction; from anger. Convulsions come on from anger.

If the child is suffering from, whooping cough it will have a coughing spell, a spasmodic cough from being irritated. Goes into a spunky state, gets red in the face, and then gets to coughing. Peevishness.

“Quarrelsome. Easily chagrined or excited to anger.

Bad effects of having the feelings wounded.”

Such is the mental state, and, as I have remarked, that mental state will be found wherever there is an inflammatory condition that Chamomilla fits. In pneumonia, in bronchitis, laryngitis, inflammations of the ear, erysipelas, headaches, fevers, Chamomilla. is capable of curing when the mental state is present, and the symptoms, in particular, are present.

Headache: The headaches of Chamomilla are found in sensitive people, sensitive women, nervous; overstrained; overtired. Fidgety. Excitable women that suffer from pain. A little headache seems an enormous thing. Throbbing, tearing, bursting pains. Congestive headaches.

Worse when thinking of the pain, or when thinking about the sufferings. The headaches are worse evenings. A particular time in the evening for many complaints to be worse is 9 o’clock. Sometimes 9 o’clock in the morning, and sometimes 9 in the evening.

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.