Drooping of the eyelids or ptosis is a marked feature and is in its paralytic nature.
The muscles are relaxed, they do not hold the lids tip. The lids close when he is looking steadily; they simply fall down over the eyes.
The patient in general is thirstless, and it is the exception that there is much thirst. It has a profuse, exhaustive sweat and is aggravated from motion, or rather motion seems to be impossible. It seems that he is unable to move, that be is too weak to move, and this runs through all complaints. At times it is a remedy for coryza, with sneezing and running of water from the nose, with coldness in the extremities, and the trouble will go down into the throat and produce sore throat, with redness, tumefaction, enlargement of the tonsils, hot head and congested face.
With this, as with the other febrile conditions, there is heaviness of the extremities. The red face, the heaviness of the extremities and sore throat that has come on gradually, a little worse from day to day, until it has become a severe throat, will lead you to Gelsemium, especially if there is paralytic weakness all over, and as the throat trouble progresses the food and drink come back through the nose.
This is due to a paralysis of the muscles of deglutition. The tongue also becomes paralyzed and don not perform its work in an orderly way. There are times when the paralytic weakness is not sufficiently marked to account for things seen, but there is an incoordination of muscles and he is awkward. He undertakes to, take hold of an article and takes hold of something else. When he does grasp his hands feel weak. He is awkward and clumsy and the muscles do this and that and something not ordered to do.
The trembling incoordination and paresis are especially noticed during high excitement and afterwards, and these states occur with the febrile condition and remain sometimes after. Useful in paralytic cases that begin with fevers. Tearing is felt in the nerves all over the body and seems to be due to an inflammatory condition. It has cured sciatica, with tearing pains, associated with great weakness of the limbs.
Loss of sensation is sometimes found; numbness of the end of the nose, of the ears, of the tongue, of the fingers, of the hands and feet, numbness, here and there, of the skin.
In the male, the sexual organs arc in the same condition as the patient in general. The semen dribbles away; there is impotency, no ability to perform the sexual act; the sexual organs are relaxed.
The sleep is greatly disturbed. He cannot go to sleep; every excitement keeps him awake. During marked febrile conditions he has a profound sleep or coma. When he is not in this comatose sleep during congestion he is in a state of nervous excitement in which he lies awake thinking, and yet thinks of nothing in particular, because his!mind will not work in an orderly way.
The symptoms of Gelsemium may be present in inflammation of any organ, uterus or ovaries, stomach, the lungs and of the rectum. It has congestion of organs, but it has also high grade inflammation. There is nothing peculiar in the inflammation itself that would indicate Gelsemium, neither should Gelsemium ever be given because there is inflammation, but when the mental symptoms are present, the delirium, the flushed face, the determination of blood to the head with the cold extremities, the great heaviness of the limbs, the disturbance of sensation, the paralysis of sphincters, then Gelsemium would be good for inflammation of any organ of the body.
In a most distressing and violent, rapidly spreading erysipelas that seems destined to cause death in a few days all the symptoms point to Gelsemium, and though Gelsemium may not have produced erysipelas, it will stop the progress of the disease in a few hours and the patient will go on to a quick recovery.
Many times when erysipelas has spread over the face and scalp and in the most dangerous manner with the dusky red color that belongs to Gelsemium, and other symptoms such as I have described in a general way, Gelsemium has taken bold of the erysipelas and cured. If we master thoroughly the Materia Medica we do not stop to see if a remedy produces certain kinds of inflammation, etc., but we consider the state of the patient.
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