Rhus Toxicodendron

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

Modalities: The complaints of this remedy come on from cold damp weather, from being exposed to cold damp air when perspiring.

The patient is sensitive to cold air and all his complaints are made worse from cold and all are better from warmth. In a general way, the aching pains, the bruised feelings over the body, restlessness throughout the limbs, and amelioration from motion are features that prevail throughout all conditions of Rhus.

While he is better from motion and better from walking, if he continues to walk he becomes exhausted. Any continued exertion of the body or mind exhausts the Rhus patient. He suffers from rheumatic conditions with pains in the bones, lameness in the muscles, lameness in the tendons, ligaments, and joints from suppression of sweat, from becoming chilled.

These occur with or without fever. Rhus is suitable in old chronic rheumatic conditions. He is stiff, lame, and bruised on first beginning to move. This passes off on becoming warm up, but soon be becomes weak and must rest.

Then comes the restlessness and aching and uneasiness which drive him to move and which again make him better, but soon he becomes weak and these continue, so that he is never perfectly at ease and never finds rest. Inflammation of the glands and of the mucous membranes; inflammation of the muscles. Cellulitis of the pelvis, of the neck, about the glands with much swelling. Inflammation of the skin that becomes erysipelatous; purple; pitting upon pressure with large blisters that fill with serum, sometimes bloody. It has abscesses and carbuncles and vesicular eruptions.

Glands: Inflammation of glands that are hot and very painful.

They are hot and end in suppuration. Abscesses of the axillary glands and of the parotids. Scrofulous inflammation of the glands of the neck and lower jaw. Inflammation of the periosteum and of the bones. Scrofulous and rickety affections. The prominent projections of bones become sore to touch, especially the cheek bones. Its complaints are more or less periodical. It has cured many cases of intermittent fever, is often suitable in remittent fever, and is a most useful remedy in continued fevers and in a low form of typhoid fever.

Pains: The pains that run through Rhus are aching, tearing, and bruised pains often attended with numbness and paralytic weakness of the limbs.

It has paralysis of the limbs with loss of sensation. In infantile paralysis Rhus is a very common remedy. The nurse-girls at the present time often bring on in the child this paralytic condition and spinal paralysis. The nurses take the infants to the park, take them out of their carriage and put them down upon the cold damp ground and in a few days the child comes down with infantile paralysis. Rhus will cure these cases because the symptoms take the Rhus type. Hemiplegia, especially of the right side. Twitching of the limbs and muscles. It has cured chorea brought on from taking a cold bath.

Mind: Most of the mental symptoms of Rhus are such as prevail during low forms of fever, especially in typhoid.

There is then incoherent talking; answers questions hastily. There is anxiety, apprehensions, and fear. Intense fear at night. The complaints of Rhus often come on in the night. The mental symptoms are worse at night. The delirium is worse at night.

The fears and anxiety are worse at night. The chronic mental symptoms of Rhus are despondency, mental prostration, inability to sustain a mental effort, disgust for life and thoughts of suicide. He wants to drown himself yet he has fear of death. He desires to die yet he has not the courage to commit suicide.

In many instances he is filled with suicidal- thoughts; sadness and weeping yet he knows not why. Irritability and anxiety as if he had met with some misfortune, restlessness, anxiousness and nervous in the extreme in acute and chronic complaints.

Colds settle throughout the body and limbs. He is full of dizziness as if intoxicated; staggers, when walking.

Head: The headaches are commonly such as occur in fevers, in rheumatism, and in inflammation of the bladder.

The brain feels loose or there is an undulating feeling in the head. Pain in the head as if the brain were torn. Stupefying headache with buzzing in the ears. Stitching pains in the head; feeling as if the parts were screwed together; feeling as if the brain were pressed. The muscles of the head are sore.

The periosteum of the cranium is sore to touch. The pain in the back of the head is ameliorated by holding the head backwards. Tingling in the scalp. Rush of blood to the head. Humming in the ears. Formication in the scalp.

Pulsating headaches. Meningitis with high fever. Great restlessness with these Rhus symptoms. Cerebro-spinal meningitis with the anxiety and restlessness. Aching in the bones; amelioration from motion. Eruptions upon the scalp; very sensitive to touch. The scalp is very sensitive on the side lain on. Tearing, drawing pains in the periosteum of the head; pressure in the bones of the skull as if screwed together. From every exposure to cold, damp weather, or from suppressing the sweat upon the head, comes pain in the head; rheumatic headaches.

Headaches are worse from wetting the hair. Vesicular eruptions upon the scalp; erysipelas of the scalp with large blisters; eruptions upon the scalp that suppurate. It is a very useful remedy in the treatment of eczema of the scalp in infants; herpetic eruptions upon the scalp.

Eyes: Inflammation of the eyes in rheumatic subjects from exposure to cold, damp weather, from suppressing the perspiration, with restlessness and fever.

Pustules upon the cornea; photophobia; suppuration of the eyes. Inflammation of the iris of a rheumatic character. There is much swelling and the eyes are closed from swelling. Very acute conjunctivitis; chemosis; eyes red and aggravated in the morning; scrofulous inflammation of the eyes from becoming cold.

The lids are red; oedematous. The pains in the eyes are worse from moving the eyeballs, especially the bruised pain. Paralysis of the muscles of the eyeball the result of rheumatism and exposure to the cold, or from getting the feet wet. Red eyes and lachrymation; erysipelas of the lids; paralysis of the upper lids.

The lids are agglutinated in the morning with a copious, purulent, mucous discharge. The Rhus patient, is subject to styes on the lower lids; neuralgia in the eyes.

Ears: Neuralgia in the ears; erysipelatous inflammation of the external ears with vesicles; inflammation of the parotid gland.

Nose: Haemorrhage from the nose; violent coryza.

The nose is stopped up from every cold; great soreness in the nostrils; discharge from the nose of thick, yellow mucus; green, offensive mucus.

Much swelling of the nose from erysipelas. The tip of the nose is red and sensitive. The nose is puffed and oedematous. Eruptions upon the nose and in the corners of the nose; eczema of the nose and much swelling.

Face: Erysipelas of the face with burning, large blisters, and rapidly extending inflammation which becomes very purple and pits upon pressure.

The erysipelas of the face often extends from left to right across the face. There is much burning, itching, and tingling, delirium, and high fever, and the mental state referred to above. Eczema of the face chronic suppurating eruptions of the face. Stiffness of the jaws rheumatic condition of the jaws and of the joints.

The corners of the mouth ulcerate; fever blisters; lips dry and parched and covered with reddish-brown crusts in typhoid fever; lips bleed. We have many symptoms of the mouth especially in connection with typhoid fever.

The tongue is sore, raw, and bleeding; burning of all the tissues in the mouth; red tongue. The taste is putrid and metallic. The teeth are covered with blood; fever in the gums with blood; blisters upon the tongue and the whole mouth appears to be raw and sometimes bleeding. The mouth is dry and an accumulation of saliva and sometimes bloody saliva in the mouth, which runs from the mouth during sleep.

In Rhus the thirst is often violent, but there is difficulty in swallowing solids from constriction of the throat; painful swallowing; inflammation of the throat; cellulitis of the throat internal and external with painful inflammation of the throat. Enlargement of the neck; swelling of the glands of the neck.

The neck is stiff; sometimes erysipelatous inflammation of the parotids; neck greatly swollen. Rhus has cured diphtheria with these symptoms. Rhus is especially suitable for inflammation of the oesophagus. When it is acute from swallowing corrosive substances, because of the extensive cellulitis that such substances cause it makes the case like Rhus.

This remedy is very freaky. For instance hunger without appetite; hungry sensation or sensation of emptiness in the stomach without desire for food. Dryness of the mouth and throat with great thirst; unquenchable thirst for cold drinks especially at night with great dryness of the mouth. Yet the cold drinks bring on chilliness, bring on the cough.

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.