Vitex Agnus Castus, or Chaste Tree. Stapf’s Additions. Duration of Action; from eight to fifteen days in some cases.
Bovista, Cuprum, Natr.-ac., Oleand., Platina, Selenium, Sepia
RATIONALE OF ITS ACTION.
Dioscorides says that it increases the flow of milk, brings on the menses, thins the spermatic fluid, produces pain in the testicles, and brings on sleep. He recommends the seeds against poisonous stings, dropsy, and enlargement and disease of the spleen; a decoction of the leaves and seeds, in a bath, in inflammations and other diseases of the womb. It is said to be useful in lethargy and frenzy, when applied to the head. It was thought to cure the bites of serpents; to remove hardness of the genital organs, fissures of the anus, bruises, and wounds. Hippocrates recommended the leaves steeped in wine against metrorrhagia, with wine and oil to expel the after-birth; the seeds in diseases of the spleen; also against ascarides; to increase the secretion of milk in nursing women; the fresh leaves to be put on inflamed organs, and plasters of the same for ulcers. Roth says it has cured; Whiteness of the tongue, bitterness of the mouth, loss of appetite, sensitiveness of the abdomen to pressure, swelling of the abdomen after eating, occasional pains in the lower abdomen and in the kidneys while urinating, great accumulation of wind in the bowels, hardness of the stools, and redness and muddiness of the urine. Also when the menses last from ten to eighteen days, being preceded by headache, vertigo, and dimness of sight accompanied with pains in the pelvis and loins. Also oppression of the chest on going up- stairs cough, with raising of blood, followed by copious mucous expectoration, with paroxysmal attacks, especially in the morning, of palpitations and bleeding of the nose; also when there is a deficient secretion of milk in child-bed women; when the legs are much fatigued and swollen towards evening, with sallowness of the skin and disturbed dreams. It has cured quartan fevers of six months’ duration, marked by slight chilliness towards evening, followed by heat and headache, without thirst, but with slight delirium, the paroxysm terminating in profuse perspiration. According to the homoeopathists, the spirit of the action of this drug may be expressed by stating that it produces a condition which counterfeits marvellously that which obtains in old age, marked by dullness of the intellect, weakness of memory and hearing, blear-eyedness, trembling and feebleness of the limbs, decay of the sexual appetite and power, suppression of the menses and secretion of milk, and prevalence of urinary and arthritic complaints. It is also homoeopathic to that premature old age which arises in young persons from abuse of the sexual powers, marked by melancholy, apathy, mental distraction, self-contempt, general debility, frequent loss of prostatic fluid, – J.C.P.
ON THE NERVOUS SYSTEM Nerves of Motion. – It seems to exert a more decided action upon the motor nerves, and upon the muscles and joints, than upon the nerves of sensation.
ON THE VASCULAR SYSTEM Chilliness, without thirst or subsequent heat. Constant trembling of the whole body, from internal chilliness, the body feeling warm to the touch. Chilliness of the whole body, without thirst, although the hands are the only portions of the body which feel cold to the touch. Frequent alternations of chilliness and heat, without thirst. Heat of the whole body, with coldness of the knees.
PULSE The pulse is apt to become slower and less perceptible 60 per minute.
SKIN This remedy is especially remarkable for the sensation of corrosive itching which it produces in various parts, without its being attended with any marked eruption. It i homoeopathic to corrosive itching upon the scalp, especially in the evening; also upon the forehead and eye-brows, in the eyes and upon the lids, about the ears and chin; itching and scratching sensation in the throat, with irritation to cough; about the groins, perinaeum, genitalia, and arm-pits. – J.C.P.
Roth says it has cured quartan fevers of six months’ duration, when characterized by slight chilliness towards evening, followed by heat and headache, without thirst but with slight delirium, the paroxysms terminating with profuse perspirations. It may prove useful against the spleen-affections and dropsy which follow quartan fevers. It may prove a useful remedy against pruritus and prurigo. It had an ancient reputation against itching of the anus. Noack recommends it in Hypochondriacal melancholy, melancholia-anoa, melancholia-taedium-vitae. It is homoeopathic to great mental dejection, with fear of approaching death; despair and melancholic undervaluing of one’s self, with desire to be dead; melancholic hypochondriacal humor, with dissatisfaction with one’s self and contemptuous undervaluing of everything; thoughtlessness and inability to work; difficult comprehension of what has been read and heard; great mental anxiety, with excessive mental distraction while reading. It is said to be very useful in purely hysterical and hypochondriacal affections bordering upon fixed melancholy, not depending upon any dyscratic or material cause, but rather upon a misdirection of the mental powers, and occurring in old maids, widows, and widowers. It is allied to Ignatia and Aurum in its action; and while Agaricus produces great excitement of the nervous system, Agnus-castus causes great torpor. Noack proposes it in hemicrania. It is homoeopathic to tearing pains, especially above the right eye and temple, as if one had received a blow upon the eye, attended with soreness to touch, increased by motion, aggravated in the evening, and lasting for several days. it is probably best suited to the headaches of persons with derangements of the womb, ovaries, testicles, or sexual organs in general; in the headaches of those given to sexual excesses or subject to seminal emissions, or of those of unmarried persons suffering from nervous debility. Noack proposes it as a remedy against coma; it is probably most suitable against the drowsiness which arises from nervous exhaustion, rather than from congestion. It may be suited against hydrocephaloid drowsiness. It is homoeopathic to pharyngitis; also to the formation of an excess of uric acid in the stomach. It is a singular coincidence that Agnus-castus has been supposed to exert a specific influence upon the spleen and Scherer has found uric-acid in considerable quantity as a normal constituent in the juice of the spleen. It may prove useful in some forms of dyspepsia and flatulence. Roth says it is homoeopathic against whiteness of the tongue, bitterness of the mouth, loss of appetite, sensitiveness of the abdomen to pressure, swelling of the abdomen after eating, occasional pains in the hypogastrium, great accumulation of wind in the bowels, hardness of the stools, pains in the kidneys and redness and muddiness of the urine. Dioscorides recommended it against dropsy, ascites enlargement and other diseases of the spleen. Hippocrates recommended the seeds in diseases of the spleen. It has been recommended by Noack in chronic diarrhoea. In pruritis-podicis and excoriations about the rectum. It is Homoeopathic to corrosive itching about the groins, anus, and perinaeum; to acute, deep, sharp stitches about the coccyx; to painful spots near the anus while walking, as if there were subcutaneous ulcerations. It has been recommended against fissures of the anus. It may prove useful against the uric-acid diathesis, and also against the oxalic-acid diathesis, as the recent experiments of Wohler and Frerichs – in which the introduction of uric-acid into the organism, by the primae-viae or by the veins, was followed by an augmentation of the urea and oxalate of lime in the urine-afford tolerably strong evidence that the uric acid in the animal organism undergoes a decomposition into urea and oxalic-acid, precisely similar to that which can be artificially produced by Peroxide of Lead. It may prove useful against the melancholy and despondency which
attends the oxalic acid diathesis. To prevent getting children, a man took for three months, morning and evening, twelve grains of the Agnus-castus, by which the parts were weakened to such an extent that, not only did the erections become deficient, but he lost his semen as he intended and never begot children. This drug has received the Greek name Lygon, from the great flaccidity of the penis, which it causes. Dr. Landerer, of Athens, uses the seeds of Agnus-castus with the greatest success in gonorrhoea, curing cases in which even Cubebs had failed. Although it is said to thin the spermatic fluid, and produce pain in the testicles, still an ointment of it will remove pains in the testicles. Roth says it is useful against oppression of the chest on going up-stairs, cough with raising of blood, followed by copious mucous expectoration, with paroxysmal attacks, especially in the morning, attended with palpitations and bleeding of the nose. Noack has recommended it against the after-effects of dislocations. It is homoeopathic to piercing and rending pains in the joints; pains as if from dislocation of the joints, especially in the shoulder-joints; paralytic pain in the wrist-joint, only felt when turning the hand; gouty rending pain, with swelling of the finger-joints; lassitude and tiredness of the limbs, increased by every motion. It will also probably prove useful against gonorrhoeal rheumatism. It had an ancient reputation against bruises and wounds. It is homoeopathic to piercing, aching, rending, and luxation-pain in the hip-joints; piercing, drawing, and dislocation-pain in the knee-joints; weakness of the ankles, with predisposition to sprain them. – J.C.P.
The corrosive itching is relieved by scratching, but returns speedily.
Starts in sleep, as if from fright. Restless sleep. Anxious and voluptuous dreams.
The pulse is slower and weaker, only sixty. Constant trembling of the whole body from internal chilliness, the body feeling warm to the touch. Frequent alternations of chilliness and heat, without thirst. Heat of the whole body, with cold knees in the evening in bed; he feels as if fire were creeping over him. Great weakness, as if from violent anguish, with sensation as if diarrhoea would set in, when standing.
Melancholic, hypochondriac mood. Discouragement and desire for death, followed by exalted feeling. Sadness, with idea of approaching death.
Extreme absence of mind; he is unable to recollect many things. Vertigo. Contractive headache above the temples, when reading; he has to read several things twice, and is unable to chain his attention.
Headache in the upper part of the head, as from staying in a room filled with a thick and smoky atmosphere. Tearing pain in the temples and forehead, more violent during motion. Pain towards the temple, as if she had received a blow upon the eye. Pain in the upper part of the right side of the head, of a smarting and stinging nature, externally, as if it were in the bone.
Corrosive and stinging itching in several portions of the face and scalp. Chilliness of the scalp, which feels warm to the hand, however.
Dilated pupils the whole day. Running of the eyes when in the room. Burning of the eyes when reading. Corrosive itching under the eyes. Pain under the right malar bone.
Ringing in the ears, or rather roaring. Hardness of hearing. Corrosive itching of either cheek.
Illusions of smell; he sometimes smells herring and musk, without either being present. Aching pain in the dorsum of the nose. Corrosive itching of the tip of the nose.
JAWS AND TEETH.
Corrosive itching near the chin. The teeth are painful when touched by warm food or drink. Deep tearing in the right ramus of the lower jaw, below the sockets. Ulcers about the teeth.
TASTE AND APPETITE.
Coppery taste in the mouth, as if the mouth had been galvanized. Aversion to drink, followed by increase of thirst.
Eructations, smelling like old urine. Disagreement of food, with sense of repletion, or feeling of nausea in the pit of the stomach. Frequent hiccough, with ill humor. The mouth is very dry; saliva viscid, and the uvula red. Ulcers in the mouth.
STOMACH AND ABDOMEN.
Loud rumbling in the abdomen. Hard pressure in the hepatic region, increased by touch. Swelling and induration of the spleen. Ascites. Much flatulence.
STOOL AND ANUS.
Loose diarrhoeic stools, followed by inaction of the rectum. Constipation. Itching-stinging in the inguinal region, perinaeum, coccyx, and sacrum.
Urine frequent and abundant, of a dark color.
MALE GENITAL ORGANS.
An absence of sexual desire, with flaccidity and coldness of genital organs. Drawing along the spermatic cords. A kind of yellow gonorrhoea, and crawling itching of the genital organs. The semen runs out in a stream, without ejaculation, followed by increase of sexual desire, with a kind of madness and violent erections.
FEMALE GENITAL ORGANS.
Suppression of the menses, with drawing pains in the abdomen. Leucorrhoea. Sterility. Deficient secretion of milk in lying-in women.
LARYNX AND CHEST.
Sneezing, from dryness of the nose. Tenacious mucus is lodged in his throat, which he is unable to bring up. Pressure on the sternum, especially during a deep inspiration. Dull pain in the chest.
Lacerating pain in the joints, increased by motion. Hard pressure in the axilla and upper arm. Prickings and stitches above the elbow and wrist. Swelling of a finger-joint, with lacerating pain.
Pain in the right hip-joint, violently increased during motion, with debility and weariness. Cramp-pain in the left thigh, when walking. Shooting drawing in the knees and muscles. Heaviness of the right foot; sensation as if a heavy load were attached to the tarsal bones, drawing the foot down. Tearing in the anterior joints of the left toes, more violent when walking. Fine lancinations in the soles of both feet.