CAPSICUM symptoms of the homeopathy remedy from Plain Talks on Materia Medica with Comparisons by W.I. Pierce. What CAPSICUM can be used for? Indications and personality of CAPSICUM…



      (Capsicum, so called from the shape of its pod, capsa, a box or case; Dunglison says it is derived from kallTw, kapto, bite. Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana; the pods or berries are known in commerce as “Guinea pepper.”)

Hahnemann, who first proved this remedy, says: “The diseases curable by Capsicum are rarely met with in persons of tense fibre” (Mat. Medorrhinum Pura). He refers to the trillion-fold dilution (9th) as the suitable one to use.


      Capsicum is most useful in older persons who have become debilitated by disease and who react badly; not so often indicated in young people. It is often adapted to people who have exhausted their vitality, especially by mental work, and whose vital heat is diminished (114); in those who do not react, especially from chill, who are fat and indolent, with weary and painful muscles, and who fear the slightest draft (5) of either warm or cold air.

Capsicum is useful for the weakness and debility found in those who are trying to abstain from their accustomed alcoholic stimulants. Lilienthal speaks of ten drops of the tincture “for dipsomania shortly before meals, or whenever depression or craving for alcohol arises” (15). It is good also in material doses, for those who have not abstained. Gtt. x-xx of the tincture in water is often sufficient to enable a drunk to brace up and walk home. Saves the ambulance surgeon the trouble of bringing him to the hospital.

Capsicum produces inflammation of mucous membranes, with bloody mucous discharges (throat, bladder, bowels). It produces well-marked chill and fever, neuralgias and phlegmonous inflammations, with threatening deep-seated abscesses (lungs, ear).

The pains, in general, are spoken of as burning, and chilliness is an almost universal accompaniment. Remember that when we have thirst in a Capsicum condition, that drinking causes or increases the chilliness.

Many of the sensations of the remedy are of constriction, and are noticed especially in the throat, chest, bladder and rectum.

Teste, writing in 1853, says: “Homoeopathic physicians have not yet derived from pepper all the good it is undoubtedly able to accomplish. Until now it has only been employed in certain forms of intermittent fevers, which have resisted the action of cinchona or were caused by the abuse of this drug.”

Capsicum is one of the remedies to be thought of in nostalgia or homesickness (119), with a continuous performance consisting of crying and chilliness.

It is to be thought of in headache, with feeling as if it would burst (104) on moving head, walking or coughing (95), “better from heat” (Lippe) (92). The bursting headaches of this remedy are often the accompaniment of intermittent fever. Capsicum is of value in chronic suppuration of the middle ear, with perforation of the drum and discharge of thick, yellow pus, associated with bursting headache, chilliness, etc., and it is our main remedy in threatening abscess of the mastoid (64), with some external redness and great tenderness to touch.

In the throat we have spasmodic constriction (190) as well as pain on swallowing, as from a swelling. It is especially useful in the sore throats of drinkers and smokers (191), sometimes with tough mucus that is difficult to dislodge, but usually with inflammation, burning and relaxed uvula. The diphtheria calling for the remedy is of a severe type (62); in addition to the spasmodic constriction, excessive burning, chilliness, etc., we would have extensive gangrene of the mouth (141) and throat.

It is useful in haemorrhoids (86) with intense burning, which for our easy remembrance is spoken of as burning as from pepper, with with throbbing and great soreness, and associated with pain in the small of the back.

In dysentery, two symptoms are apt to stand out above all the others; one, the severe pain in the back after the stool (61); the other, excessive thirst especially after the stool, and drinking causing chilliness and pronounced shivering (61). The stools are frequent, small, mucous and bloody, with excessive burning in th anus (61) and tenesmus of both rectum and bladder (61).

In the urinary organs we find tenesmus, strangury (194), frequent and almost ineffectual efforts to urinate. It is useful in gonorrhoea, with the above symptoms and pain in the prostate, and biting, burning pains (194) during or between the acts of micturition (197), and Carleton says, “especially indicated in th fat and indolent;” also of value in gonorrhoea with chordee (31), “which can only be appeased or subdued in cold water” (Hering), with excessive burning and pain in the prostate (155). It is to be thought of in impotency (168), with coldness of the scrotum (164) and tendency to atrophy of the testicles (188).

While hoarseness is mentioned in the pathogenesis of Capsicum, Hering speaks only of this symptom: “Hoarseness from straining the voice, in singers, preachers, etc.” (117).

The cough is violent and explosive or paroxysmal, causing bursting headache, a feeling as if the chest would burst or fly to pieces (49) and pains in distant parts, knees, legs, etc.

Capsicum is of value in threatening or actual gangrene of the lungs (29), when the breath is not offensive but the cough expels a putrid odor from the lungs.

In intermittent fever calling for the remedy, a leading symptom to keep in mind is, thirst and drinking causes chilliness. This thirst precedes the chill (121) and as drinking causes chilliness, the patient gets the idea that the onset of the paroxysm is hastened by the first drink. The chill begins in the back (121), perhaps between the shoulder-blades, and is better from heat. There is thirst during the chill and less thirst during the fever and sweat. During the chill there is great pain in the back and limbs and bursting headache. Frequently we find that the sweat coincides or commingles with the fever or hot stage instead of following it.

I use Capsicum 3d.

Willard Ide Pierce
Willard Ide Pierce, author of Plain Talks on Materia Medica (1911) and Repertory of Cough, Better and Worse (1907). Dr. Willard Ide Pierce was a Director and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Kent's post-graduate school in Philadelphia.