(Seeds of Strychnos nux vomica.)
(Ten grains of nux vomica seed, finely triturated in a warm mortar, are macerted with 1000 drops of alcohol, without heat for a week, to make a tincture. Of this one drop is raised to the decillion-fold potency through 29 other diluting phials, each filled to three quorters with alcohol, by mens of two succussions given to each phial after the dilution is made.The same medicine is prepared is a simpler and almost more powerful and uniform manner, by taking one grain of the powdered nux vomica seed, and treating it like, other dry medicinal substances, by triturating it thrice with 100 grains of milk sugar (according to the directions for the homeoeopathic preparation of medicines in the second part of the book on Chronic Diseases) up to the million-fold powder attenuation. One grain of this is dissolved in 100 drops of diluted alcohol, and the dilution and dynamization is brought further (as taught in the same book), by means of 26 more phials filled three quarters full of good alcohol, up to the ,decillion-fold potency.
One small sugar-globule, 300 of which weigh a grain, moistened with this las dilution, serves as a dose.
There are a few medicines, the majority of whose symptoms correspond in similarity with the, symptoms of the commonest and most frequent of human diseases, and hence very often find an efficacious homoeopathic employment. They may be termed polychrests.
To these belong particularly the nux vomica seed, which it was formerly feared to employ, because it had hitherto been administered in enormously large, doses (a whole grain or several grains) in unsuitable cases of disease, consequently with injurious effects. But it proves the mildest and .most efficacious remedy in all the diseases whose symptoms correspond in similarity to the effects nux vomica is capable of producing in the healthy human being, when administered in the small doses above indicated.
Some practical instructions may be use, deduced from the results of the careful experience of many years.
Among these .may be mentioned, that it is more frequently required by those persons who are of an anxious, zealous, fiery, hot temperament, or of a malicious, wicked, irascible disposition.
If the menses usually come on some days too soon, and are too copious, the ailments remaining or occurring after their cessation are quite suitable for nux vomica.
It has been found that this medicine, administered some hours before bedtime, acts more gently than when given at other times of the day; but there are exceptions to this rule in cases of urgent necessity. Its administration in the morning on an empty stomach is attended with the most inconveniences in very sensitive persons, for it displays its most frequent and most severe symptoms immediately after walking in the morning.
Next in frequency its symptoms occur soon or immediately after eating and during mental strain. Hence we should do wrong to give it immediately after a meal if we can avoid doing so, and hence, also no mental labour, no meditations or declamations, no reading or writing should be engaged in immediately after taking it (and the same may be said of the administration of all other medicines ).We ought to wait for at least a couple of hours if we would avoid giving its action an improper, injurious direction.
Among other affections, many chronic maladies, also the evil consequences arising from drinking much coffee and wine, especially when the usual mode of life is a sedentary one in close rooms, and those affections caused by prolonged mental labour, find their remedy in this seed; as also several epidemic diseases and other acute fevers, especially such as have heat before the chill or mixed up with it.
Serious ailments from catching cold are often removed by it.
So, also, this medicine is more especially suitable when the patient’s state is worst in the morning and when he wakes up about 3 a.m. and must lie for several hours awake with intrusion of irrepressible ideas, and only involuntarily falls into a sleep full of oppressive dreams when the morning is far advanced, from which he wakes more fatigued than when he lay down at night, and is lazy about getting up; as also for those who several hours before bedtime in the evening cannot forbear sleeping, even while seated.
In this, as in some other medicines, we meet with symptoms which seem to be completely or partially antagonistic to one another, alternating actions, which at the same time are primary actions, and which make nux vomica very applicable and efficacious for a number of morbid states.