Synonyms. Apis Mellifica. Apium Virus. Poison of the honey bee. Preparation. There are two preparations of Apis. The one usually employed. (Apis mellifica) is obtained by shaking the live bees in a bottle and then digesting them, together with the poison they may have emitted, in dilute alcohol. Triturations of the whole bee are also employed. The second method consists in preparing a tincture from the pure virus (Apium virus). The latter was the preparation employed by Dr. C. Hering, and that from which most or the symptoms were obtained. General Analysis Apis acts powerfully upon the kidneys, producing an acute inflammation. Through this action upon the kidneys we obtain the characteristic effect of Apis upon the cellular tissues, manifested by acute oedema, both of the skin and mucous membranes. Apis also causes an erysipelatous form of inflammation with a tendency to destruction of dermoid tissue, and develops an eruption resembling urticaria. On the mucous membranes it acts as an irritant and produces a mild inflammatory condition. Apis also affects the serous membranes, producing conditions similar to those which are the products of serous inflammations, hydrocephalus, hydrothorax, ascites, etc., but it does not appear to have in itself the power of producing serous inflammation. Apis acts prominently upon the ovaries and the uterus, producing irritation, congestion, mild inflammation, and dropsy of these organs. Characteristic Symptoms Mind Loss of consciousness (Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Opium). Sopor, interrupted by piercing shrieks; tubercular meningitis. Absentmindedness (Anacardium, Carls., Nux-m., Naja, Phosphorus ac.). Awkwardness; lets everything fall; breaks things. Busy, restless; changing occupation. Great tearfulness; cannot help crying (Ignatia, Natr. mur., Nux-m., Pulsatilla). Indifference (Phosphorus, Phosphorus The chief sphere of usefulness of Tartar Emetic is in the treatment of catarrhal inflammations of the respiratory tract, more especially the capillary bronchitis of children, characterized by much rattling of mucus in the chest, oppressed breathing, rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness. Some- times this accumulation of mucus in the chest threatens suffocation, and cyanotic symptoms become manifest. In all cases the patient is at once relieved if it succeeds in expectorating, or if vomiting occur. In all respiratory troubles where there is much rattling in the chest, catarrhal colds, incipient bronchitis, croup, whooping cough, asthma, broncho-pneumonia, pleuro-pneumonia, etc., Tartar Emetic is the chief remedy. A valuable clinical observation in such cases is that the child always coughs on getting angry. In catarrhal pneumonia of old people, where there is a great accumulation of mucus, and but little or no expectoration, great debility, cold perspiration, and threatened paralysis of the lungs, Tartar Emetic is an invaluable remedy. In oedema of the lungs with dilated heart, characterized by great dyspnoea and cyanosis, it is often an excellent remedy. In asphyxia neonatorum, Tartar Emetic is useful where there is much rattling in the chest and cyanosis. Also in the spasms of young children accompanied by cyanotic symptoms, etc. Tartar Emetic is useful in gastric and enteric catarrh. In the former there is continual nausea and vomiting, or efforts to vomit, cold perspiration, great prostration, etc. In enteric catarrh the same symptoms may be present accompanied by sharp cutting colic and watery or grass-green, slimy stools. Tartar Emetic has also been used in lumbago and sciatica, the symptoms agreeing. On account of the similarity of the pustules produced by this drug to that of small-pox it has been successfully employed in that disease, especially in adynamic types, and where other symptoms of the drug are present. It has also been used in varicella and for pustular eruptions on the skin and mucous membranes in general.
The great clinical key-note of Apis is oedema, and the drug is pre-eminently useful in the treatment of oedematous swellings when occurring acutely, as an apparently primary condition, or when associated with erysipelas or any other form of disease. In general dropsy it is an invaluable remedy. It is chiefly indicated by the whitish waxen, transparent appearance of the skin, absence of thirst, and scanty urination. The urine is highly albuminous, and contains tube-casts. Local oedema is usually present, especially about the eyelids. The dropsy generally comes on rapidly, and predominates in the upper part of the body and the face. It is especially indicated when such troubles arise from acute inflammation of the kidneys, whether during or following eruptive diseases or not. It may also be indicated in sub-acute or chronic Bright’s disease. In hydrothorax there is also great suffocation, the patient not being able to lie down, and feeling as if he were going to die. In pleuritic exudations Apis stands next to Sulphur as a remedy to cause absorption. In acute hydrocephalus, especially tubercular, Apis is a valuable remedy in the first stage, and is indicated by the child boring its head into pillow, rolling it from side to side, and uttering shrill, piercing cries. Often one side of the body is convulsed and the other paralyzed. In cystitis, dysuria, and strangury Apis is only secondary to Cantharis in usefulness. In cardiac inflammations and dropsies Apis is a valuable remedy, being indicated by dyspnoea, scanty urine, swollen limbs, etc. The laryngeal symptoms of Apis usually arise from rapid oedematous swellings which may occur in the larynx or glottis. Sometimes there is great difficulty of breathing from oedema of the pharynx and soft palate. Apis may be indicated in any form of erysipelas, and when attacking any part of the body, the swelling rapidly becoming oedematous, and especially when characterized by burning, stinging pains, the mental condition being usually one of apathy and indifference, bordering on unconsciousness. This mental state also often indicates the drug in diphtheria, scarlatina, and other fevers where they assume a low form, even genuine typhoid, or typho- malaria, especially if there be a tendency to oedema. It is an excellent remedy in intermittent fever, the chill occurring about 3 P.M., and other symptoms agreeing as noted in the preceding pathogenesis. In urticaria Apis is indicated by the intolerable burning, stinging pains. Apis is often useful in diseases of the female organs, but should be used cautiously during the first three months of pregnancy, as in low potencies it is liable to produce miscarriage. It is useful in erysipelatous and oedematous conditions of the genitals. Ovarian dropsy, even cystic degeneration of the ovaries has been cured. Ovarian neuralgia, and ovarian and uterine inflammations may call for this drug. The right ovary is oftenest affected (left ovary Cimic., Lachesis). Burning stinging pains and great soreness in right ovarian region are the most characteristic symptoms. Apis may be a valuable remedy in many diseases of the eye asthenopia, staphyloma, any kind of inflammations of the cornea, ophthalmia; in fact in any form of eye disease characterized by serous exudation, oedema and sudden piercing pain. Carbuncles, panaritia, etc., characterized by severe stinging pains. The drug is also useful for ailments from the stings of insects; ailments from the use of iodine, or the abuse of cinchona, turpentine or cantharides. It has been recommended for bad effects from vaccination (Silicea); also from suppressed or delayed eruptions (serous exudations, oedema, etc.).