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

History: This drug as used by the Old School has done more mischief than any one drug in their Materia Medica. Every patient who had a fast heart, or anything the matter with the heart, was given Digitalis.

It has caused more deaths than any drug. If administered when the heart is going fast it will soon produce a peculiar kind of paralysis; the heart then having lost its balance-wheel, compensation gives out, the patient sinks and finally dies.

They do not know that many patients would have lived through fevers, pneumonia and other acute diseases if it had not been for this medicine, used as they have used it in the tincture, in many-drop doses, until the heart was slowed down.

They call it sedative; yes, it is a sedative. It makes the patient very sedate. You have seen how very sedate a patient looks after he has been in the hands of an undertaker and has on his best garments. That is what Digitalis does. In that way it is a sedative in the hands of the allopath. A homoeopathic physician never prescribes to bring down the pulse. He prescribes for the patient and the heart’s action takes care of itself.

Digitalis is a very poor fever medicine. Instead of being indicated when the pulse is fast, the proving says it is indicated when the pulse is slow. The allopath gives it when the pulse is fast to make it slow; if given to a well person it will make the pulse slow, and when indicated in a sick person the pulse is slow.

Liver: It produces a great disturbance of the liver.

“Congestion and enlargement of the liver.

Soreness of the liver.”

Tenderness about the liver-but during that time the pulse is slow. It makes the bowels very sluggish, produces inactivity of the liver, and stools are bileless, light colored, putty-like-and the pulse is slow.

Add to that jaundice and you have a grand picture of Digitalis: jaundice with slow pulse, with uneasiness in the liver, pale stool, and even if you have never seen or beard of Digitalis before you will scarcely miss it. Now, you might add a myriad of little symptoms, but it does not change the aspect of things. It is Digitalis.

Stomach: Another group of symptoms that belongs with the Digitalis heart, the Digitalis liver and the Digitalis bowels, is a gone, sinking feeling in the stomach. It seems as if be would die, and he does not get better from eating. It is a nervous, deathly sinking that comes with many heart troubles.

You would not be surprised to find in Digitalis much nervous prostration. Restlessness and great nervous weakness.

“Feels as if would fly to pieces.


Feels that something is going to happen.”

Seems as if his whole economy were full of anxious feelings and restlessness. Lassitude, faintness exhaustion and extreme prostration. Faints on the slightest provocation. It begins in the stomach; an awful sensation of weakness in the stomach and bowels.

Sleep: His sleep is full of horrible dreams, nightmare, fright. Dreams of falling, that is very common with cardiac affections. When the pulse is too slow, when it is irregular, the brain is irregularly supplied with blood during sleep, and there is a turbulent state.

A shock goes through the body like an electric shock, like internal jerkings, twitchings. Sudden muscular movements, as if a current of electricity passed through the body. This, with slow pulse, with a sense of faintness, and great weakness. Bluish paleness of the lips in persons who suffer at times with cardiac spells – it seems at times as if the pulse would cease. Face becomes blue, the fingers become blue. Wants to lie on the back. Frequently startled in sleep; jerking at night.

The heart symptoms are numerous, but none is so important as the slow pulse. The pulse is slow in the beginning of the case. It may now be flying like lighting.

Pulse: He is anxious, restless, has horrible dreams and sinking in the stomach – that sounds like the advanced stage of Digitalis – but I want to know if in the beginning, the pulse was slow.

The patient himself seldom knows, but someone says that in the beginning the pulse was 48; that is Digitalis. If the pulse in the beginning was rapid do not think of Digitalis, for it will not do any good.

The Digitalis pulse is at first slow and perhaps remains so for many days, until finally the heart commences to go with a quiver, with an irregular beat, intermits, feels as if it would cease to beat, and then we have all these strange manifestations.

Weakness is the very character of the Digitalis pulse, and all these characteristics go along with it. First it is slow, and sometimes strong. Slow, strong pulse when rheumatism is threatening the heart.

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.