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

It is said to be a very good medicine for women, for blondes, especially for tearful blondes.

Mind: It is one of the polychrests and one of the medicines most frequently used, as well as often abused.

The Pulsatilla patient is an interesting one, found in any household where there are plenty of young girls.

She is tearful, plethoric, and generally has little credit for being sick from her appearances; yet she is most nervous, fidgety, changeable, easily led and easily persuaded. While she is mild, gentle and tearful, yet she is remarkably irritable, not in the sense of pugnacity, but easily irritated, extremely touchy, always feels slighted or fears she will be slighted; sensible to every social influence.

Melancholia, sadness, weeping, despair, religious despair, fanatical; full of notions and whims; imaginative; extremely excitable. She imagines the company of the opposite sex a dangerous thing to cultivate, and that it is dangerous to do certain things well established in society as good for the human race.

These imaginations belong to eating as well as thinking. They imagine that milk is not good to drink, so they will not take it. They imagine that certain articles of diet are not good for the human race. Aversion to marriage is a strong symptom. A man takes it into his head that it is an evil thing to have sexual intercourse with his wife and abstains from it.

Religious freaks; an especial tendency to dwell on religious notions; fixed ideas concerning the Scripture; he misuses and misapplies the Scriptures to his own detriment; dwells on sanctification until he becomes fanatical and insane; thinks he is in a wonderfully sanctification state of mind, or that he has sinned away his day of grace.

This goes no until he becomes insane on other subjects, and then the tendency is to sit day after day in a taciturn way. He will not answer questions unless hard pressed, when all he will say is “Yes” or “No,” or be will merely shake his head. Puerperal insanity in a woman who was mild, gentle and tearful, later sad and taciturn, and then she sits in her chair all day answering nothing or merely nodding her head for “Yes” or “No.”

Many of the complaints are associated with weakness of the stomach and indigestion, or with menstrual disorders. Women who abort; various irregularities of the menstrual flow; false conception. The mental symptoms are often associated with the ovarian and uterine difficulties.

With such a mental state the general state of the body is worse in a warm room and, relieved by motion. Tearful, sad and despondent, ameliorated walking in the open air, especially when it is crisp, cool, fresh and bright.

Suffocation and an increase of the pains, and even chilliness in a warm room; a nervous chilliness when the patient perspires from the heat of a room. The inflammatory symptoms, neuralgias and rheumatisms are relieved by a cold, by eating and drinking cold things, by cold applications, or cold hands. Cold drinks relieve, even though the patient is not thirsty. Cold foods are digested while hot food make the body warm from which symptoms are worse. Ice cold water feels good going down the oesophagus, and is retained in the stomach, though there is not thirst.

Modalities: Many symptoms worse after eating. It is often only a lump in the stomach, but the mental and nervous symptoms also are worse after eating. The stomach symptoms are worse in the morning, the mental symptoms worse in the evening. Aggravation from fats and rich foods.

Complaints brought ort by eating fat, pork, greasy things. cakes, pastries and rich things. The Pulsatilla stomach is slow to digest. Hours after eating there is a sense of fullness in the stomach, a lump in the stomach, ameliorated by slow walking in the open air.

The patient is commonly relieved from slow motion in the open air, becomes frantic when trying to keep still, worse during rest, ameliorated by doing something, generally slow, moderate motion. This relief from motion and aggravation from rest, relief in the open air, and aggravation in a warm room give us a good summary of this beautiful remedy.

In Pulsatilla patients the skin feels feverish and hot, while the temperature of the body is normal, There is aggravation from much clothing; she wants to wear a thin dress even in moderately cold weather. Does not need to dress warmly. Much clothing and covering aggravate. Often be cannot wear flannels or woolen clothing because they irritate the skin, causing itching and eruptions like Sulphur, and this is not surprising, as Pulsatilla and Sulphur are antidotes.

There is no remedy like Pulsatilla to antidote Sulphur when it has been used every Spring to “cleanse the blood.”

Some people use Sulphur until the skin becomes red, hot, easily irritated, and aggravated by clothing. Pulsatilla is the antidote. Old cases of psoriasis; little flat, brownish patches about the size of the thumb nail, which itch tremendously, in old Sulphur patients are cured by Pulsatilla.

A general feature of the skin is itching and burning, but a more marked Pulsatilla state is a Lachesis appearance of the skin. It is mottled, erysipelatous; spotted, purplish in spots; veins engorged; capillaries tumid; a vasomotor paralysis of the capillaries or veins producing a mottled appearance. Pulsatilla has an unusually venous constitution.

Veins: The veins are engorged, in a state of stasis, hence there is over-heat of the skin. This unusual fullness, redness and purple aspect of the face is a false plethora. it often goes on to a puffiness and swelling, and especially at the menstrual periods. Considerable bloating of the face and eyes, bloating of the abdomen; feet puffed so that she cannot wear shoes, feet red and swollen at the menstrual period, ameliorated by the menstrual flow.

Many women are late and are preparing for a week or ten days; face purple, red, puffed and bloated; abdomen distended; dyspnoea; and all this is relieved by the menstrual flow. She feels these symptoms perhaps one or two weeks, and is relieved by slow motion in the open air. Cannot breathe in a warm room; wants the windows open; chokes and suffocates in a warm bed at night. This increases until the menstrual flow starts. The stomach is so full and distended that she cannot eat. No appetite or desire for food.

With the engorgement of veins ulcers surrounded by varicose veins are common in this remedy. Ulcers bleed black blood which coagulates early; little black clots; bleeding is not copious; clots easily, dark, tarry, offensive. Ulcers bleed and ooze, discharge a bloody watery fluid or there is a very thick yellow or green flow.

This brings us to the catarrhal state. Wherever there is mucous membrane there is catarrh. The mucous membrane is covered with purple spots, dry spots; tumid, puffed, looks erysipelatous. Wherever there is inflammation of the mucous membrane it looks purple; a venous congestion.

Thick, green, yellow catarrhal discharges are most characteristic. The catarrhal discharges are bland with the exception of that from the vagina, which is excoriating, causing rawness of the parts. From the eyes, ears, nose and chest there arc thick, yellow, green, bland, discharges, but there is thick yellow green excoriating leucorrhoea. Remember, however, that Pulsatilla has a bland leucorrhoea, in keeping with the general state. Discharges are often offensive, sometimes bloody, watery, but even then mingled with yellow green purulent fluid.

Eyes: The Pulsatilla patient suffers from vertigo from affections of the eyes, ameliorated by wearing well-adjusted glasses; attended by nausea which is worse lying down, worse from motion, worse from the motion of the eyes, and ameliorated in a cold room, and by riding in a carriage in the cold air. As soon as she enters a room that is warm she has nausea, even to vomiting. Vertigo with vomiting after eating.

Head: Pulsatilla has violent headaches. Headaches in school girls who are about to menstruate. Headache accompanying menstruation. Headache associated with suppressed menses, with menstrual disorders; not caused from them, but associated with them.

Pains through the temples and sides of the head are common Pulsatilla headaches. Headaches before, during and after menstruation; but more commonly before, when there is a general state of congestion, stasis, and tumefaction of the veins, and amelioration of the headache when the menses set in if the flow is normal.

It is common to have the head and nervous symptoms through the menses, because the flow is so scanty, often little more than a leucorrhoea, and for a single day a little clot of dark blood.

One-sided headaches and one-sided complaints are peculiar to Pulsatilla. Perspiration on one side of head and face; fever on one side of the body; one side cool and normal and the other side hot. I remember a case of puerperal fever with sweat on one side of the body and dry heat on the other and confusion of other symptoms. Pulsatilla was given and the patient recovered.

The Pulsatilla headache is a throbbing congestive headache; much, heat in the head, ameliorated by the application of cold, by external pressure, and sometimes by slow motion, aggravated by lying and sitting quiet, ameliorated by walking slowly in the air; becomes worse towards evening and gradually increases through the evening and night, worse from the motion of the eyes and from stooping. The pains are often constricting, throbbing and congestive. Periodic sick headaches, with vomiting of sour food. Headache when be overeats. Though he likes ice cream, he has headache and congestion of the stomach after eating ice cream.

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.