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

Pains: The principal feature of Colocynth is its severe, tearing, neuralgic pains; so severe that the patient is unable to keep still. Sometimes they are > by motion – at least it appears that they are worse during rest- > by pressure and sometimes > by heat. Pains occur in the face, abdomen, along the course of the nerves.

These pains are often due to a very singular cause, namely, anger with indignation. Hence persons who are haughty and easily offended or chagrined have Colocynth complaints. Anger will be followed by violent neuralgia in the head, eyes, down the spine and in the intestines.

In spite of extreme restlessness there is great weakness with the pains. It patient suffering with chronic diarrhoea, with severe colic, will sometimes become so weak that he can hardly speak. A feeling of faintness, or even fainting, is by no means an unusual concomitant of the pains. Griping occurs along the course of nerves, and in some cases numbness, pricking and tingling, like the crawling of ants in the part affected.

With many doctors Colocynth is a routine remedy for sciatica; and only when it fails to do they take the symptoms of the case in order to find the remedy that is indicated. There is no excuse for such practice. Where the pain is better from hard pressure and from heat, where it is worse during repose and drives the patient to despair, Colocynth will generally cure.

But it is not indicated in all cases. Some remedies select the muscles and tendons, some the bones and periosteum, while others select the great nerve trunks in which to manifest their symptoms. The pains of Colocynth appear, as a rule, in the larger nerves.

The mental symptoms are not very striking. As soon as the prover of Colocynth begins to have pains a long the course of nerves he becomes irritable; everything vexes him; he is worse from vexation.

Screams with the pains. Walks about the room and becomes increasingly anxious as the pain goes on. Disinclined to talk or to answer, or to see friends. His friends irritate him and he wants to be alone. He has all he can do to stand those terrible pains.

Vomiting and diarrhea frequently come with the pains, especially if they are in the abdomen.

Colic comes on in paroxysms that grow in intensity. The patient becomes increasingly nauseated until finally he vomits and he continues to retch after the stomach is empty.

Colocynth produces a state in the nervous system like that found in individuals who have for years been laboring under annoyances and vexations. A man whose business affairs have been going wrong becomes irritable and nervous exhaustion follows.

A woman who must watch her unfaithful husband night and day to keep him away from other women gradually assumes a sensitive irritable state of mind and is upset by the least provocation. This is the state of the Colocynth prover.

You will seldom find this medicine indicated in strong, vigorous, healthy people who have suddenly become sick. It is more likely to be in the constitution just described, and those who are in the habit of overeating.

We find tearing pains in the scalp, brought on by anger; exhaustion, pains that are better from pressure and heat, and worse when not in motion. Constant, gnawing pains in the head.

Head: Painful, tearing, digging through the whole brain, becoming unbearable when moving the eyelids. Intense pain through the whole head; worse from moving the eyes. Severe, pressing, tearing headache, causing her to cry out.

Intermittent headache in those of a rheumatic, gouty or nervous diathesis. Pain tearing and screwing together. Violent periodical or intermittent headache.

Such are some of the expressions in the text. But the particular character of the pain is not as important as the circumstances that are likely to cause it and the conditions in which the patient has been living.

Eyes: Knowing the life of a patient affords much knowledge of the patient himself. The same violent neuralgic pains are found in the eye. Rheumatic iritis, worse in the evening and night. Severe, burning, cutting and sticking pains in the eye. Burning is more characteristic of the pains of the eyes than of other parts of the head and face. Sharp, cutting- stabs; pressing pains.

Face: The faceache is especially important, because Colocynth is one of the most frequently indicated remedies for neuralgia of this region.

There are some remedies which are indicated in faceache more often than any others, Belladonna, Magnesia phosphorica and Colocynth.

The Belladonna pains are as violent as any, and are accompanied by red face, flashing eyes, hot head, and great sensitiveness of the part to touch.

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.