WILD OR FALSE INDIGO.
(Baptisia-Battuw, baptizo, I dye, dip, or immerse. Tinctoria-tinctus, dye.)
Baptisia is indigenous to the United States and was formerly employed as a dye. The root, which is taken for out tincture, is brown to black in color, becoming like the rest of the plant, even the canary-yellow flowers, black when dry.
Baptisia was first used by the Eclectics and introduced into our materia medica by Dr. Thompson in 1857. While it has not a wide range of action, it is an important remedy and is always associated with a condition of profound mental and physical depression (155).
“It seems,” say Hale, “to affect principally the blood, impairing is integrity, the nervous system, which it deprives of its normal tonicity, and the mucous surface, which under its influence ulcerates and take sin inflammatory action with a decided tendency to unhealthy, fetid discharge.”
All the discharges and exhalations are offensive; breath, sweat, urine, faeces are fetid and fetor of the whole body is one of the key-notes for the use of the remedy.
Prostration, with disorganization of he blood and tendency of fluids to decompose, is another prominent symptom.
A bruised, weary feeling over the whole body (166), and especially in the lower limbs, in found in Baptisia and in addition to this there is restlessness of both mind and body (160). the body is restlessness; they wan to move but feel too sick to make the effort. The mind is restless, with constant wandering thoughts and muttering (55); the ideas are confused and in delirium, especially in the early morning, there is an idea that the pieces of the body are separated (54) and that one or more of them are lying around loose on the bed and he wonder5s how they got away and what means he can employ, when he can manage to get his body over to where his leg seems to be or if it would not be easier to get his hand over there and pull his leg back into place; but he feels so speak and prostrated that either method seems more than he is able to accomplish.
There is an in disposition to think or to make any mental effort, and Baptisia is of value in brain-fag (93), with a feeling heaviness of the need. With his feeling as if the head were too heavy to hold up or as if it were too larger is often a sensation of a band across the forehead, or as if the skin of the forehead were being drawn backward.
We have already spoken of the general disagreeable odor surrounding the Baptisia patient, and it is especially pronounced when associated with fever. The gums, mouth and throat are often sore and ulcerated the tongue is coated yellow to black, often ulcerated and perhaps with a feeling as if it had been burnt or scalded (140) and he teeth are covered with sordes; the breath, for lack of a stronger term, is spoke of as fetid (24).
It is of value in the sore, mouth if nursing infants (140) and of nursing women, and in the stomatitis of phthisis.
In diphtheria besides the extreme fetor (62), or as allen puts it, “horrible odor from the mouth,” we would have a patient in a very low state (62), with dark, congested face (207) and ability to swallow anything except liquids.
Clinically, thirst is more prominent than the pathogenetic symptoms would lead one to suppose.
In diarrhoea, especially in low types of fevers, the evacuations are usually dark and thin, fecal in appearance but not in odor; often with great soreness over the region over the region of the gall-bladder. In dysentery, we would have some tenesmus, but as with the diarrhoea, the movements are usually painless. Farrington calls our attention to the face that “painlessness may decide for Baptisia”: in many serious conditions, “when the suspicious odor and general weakness offer a dangerous reason for the absence of pain” (quoted by Hale).
It is of great value in low typhoid stated of many diseases eruptive and malarial, and it is frequently indicated in typhoid. Hughes says: “baptisia is capable of exciting true pyrexia in human subject. This is no slight thing, off there are very few other drugs to which we can ascribe such power. And this pyrexia, in the case of Baptisia, is exceedingly like that of the early period of typhoid. the soft and full, yet quickened pulse, the headache and tendency to delirium, to soreness all over and intolerance of pressure when lying are marked symptoms of this stage of th disease.”
While it is not possible to abort typhoid fever, our remedies will so modify the character of the disease was to rob it of half its terrors. This is frequently noticed in reference to Baptisia and one grows to have an especial fondness for it and if the case is a severe one, you feel a great satisfaction when you find the symptoms pointing to this remedy.
One author, Millspaugh, in his enthusiasm says: “Any physician, of whatever school of practice, who fails to use this remedy in typhoid alone where it is so often indicated, allows many an opportunity to save a life to escape him.”
The following symptoms of a case of typhoid calling for Baptisia, will serve also as a recapitulation of the prominent ones of the remedy. Great weakness and exhaustion; sick all over; all parts of the body feel sore, feet painful even from resting them on the floor; sensitiveness of r. iliac region and soreness of abdomen generally; restlessness (193); more or less stupor or muttering delirium, especially with the idea that he is scattered over the bed and must collect the pieces; face congested and dusky; sordes on teeth; tongue yellow in center, red, dry and shining on edges; thirst; fetor of breath body an stool.
I use Baptisia in the tincture.