Synonym. Cactus Grandiflorus. Natural order. Cactaceae. Common name. Night blooming Cereus. Habitat. A flowering plant, native of Mexico and the West Indies. Preparations. Tincture from the fresh flowers and youngest twigs.
Acts especially upon the circular fibres of the heart and arteries, causing irritability, hyperaesthesia, neuralgia, spasm, palpitation of the heart. Through the pneumogastric nerve it acts upon the heat, lungs, and stomach, causing in the latter indigestion and excessive acidity, and, in the lungs, constriction and asthma. It also produces an intermittent fever with regular periodicity (Cedron). Its chief characteristic is a constrictive sensation of various parts of the body, especially in the region of the heart, as if bound with an iron hoop.
Mind. Sadness, taciturnity, hypochondriasis; irresistible inclination to weep (Lycopodium, Natr., Nux moschata, Platina, Pulsatilla). Fear of death (Aconite), belief that his disease is incurable. Love of solitude.
Head. Heavy pressing in the head as if a great weight lay on the vertex (Aloe); better from pressure; worse from noise and light (Belladonna). Intense pulsating pain, with pain in right side of head.
Nose. Profuse nosebleed (Belladonna, Hamamelis).
Face. Paleness of the face. Chronic prosopalgia, right side, worse from slightest motion.
Stomach. Copious vomiting of blood. Acrid sour fluid, rising into the throat and mouth, making food taste acid. Burning; pulsating in stomach. Heaviness. Gastro-enteritis.
Stool and Anus. Copious haemorrhage from the bowels. Sensation of great weight and urging to evacuate a great quantity, but nothing passes.
Urinary Organs. Frequent urging; at night, with a copious flow each time; constant irritation in urethra. Urine reddish, turbid, straw- colored. Haematuria; urination prevented by clots.
Female Organs. Menses too early. Very painful menstruation (Chamomilla, Cimic., Cuprum, Nux v.). Scanty menstruation, ceasing while lying.
Respiratory Organs. Spasmodic cough, with copious mucous expectoration. Oppression of breathing in going up stairs (Aconite, Ammonium carb., Arsenicum, Calcarea c.). Catarrhal cough with much viscid expectoration. Much rattling of mucus (Ant. tart., Ipecac.). Cannot lie in a horizontal position. Difficulty of breathing; continued oppression and uneasiness as if the chest were constricted (Arsenicum, Lilium tigrinum, tig., Phosphorus) with an iron band. Oppressed breathing from a weight on chest. Periodical suffocation, with fainting, and sweat on face and loss of pulse (Digitalis). Congestion of the chest which prevents lying down; palpitation; constriction as from a tight cord around false ribs. Sensation of a great constriction in middle of sternum, as if the parts were compressed by iron pinchers, with oppression of breathing; worse on motion.
Heart and Pulse. Sensation of constriction in the heart, as if an iron band prevented its normal movement (Arnica). Very acute pains and stitches in the heart (Aconite, Arnica, Bryonia, Kali carb., Natr. mur.). Palpitation of the heart (Aconite, Arsenicum, Spigelia, Sulphur), day and night, worse when walking, and at night, when lying on left side. Palpitation in small irregular beats, from slightest excitement or deep thought, with necessity for deep inspiration. Pains in apex of heart, shooting down left arm to ends of fingers; feeble pulse; dyspnoea. Endocardial murmurs; excessive impulse; increased praecordial dullness; enlarged ventricle. Irregularity of the heart’s action; at times frequent, at others slow.
Fever. Coldness in back, and icy-cold hands. Quotidian intermittent fever, which occurs every day at same hour (Cedron), for many successive days.
Compare. Aconite, Camph., Cedron, Convallaria, Digit., Spigelia, Magnol.
Antidotes. Aconite, Camph., Cinchona
Cactus has been used chiefly in cardiac diseases, both acute and chronic. Acute inflammation of the heart, endocardium and pericardium. Hypertrophy. Functional disorders of the heart. Cardiac dropsy. Angina pectoris. Cardiac asthma. Cactus may be useful in any cardiac trouble where its symptoms are found, especially the characteristic of an iron band constricting the heart and preventing its normal movement, also oppression of breathing, etc. Cactus is an excellent remedy in bronchitis, asthma, and other pulmonary troubles where its characteristic constriction, oppressed breathing, etc., are present. Haemorrhage of the lungs with violent action of the heart and oppressed respiration. Congestion of the chest. Also useful in haemorrhages of the bowels or bladder, especially with heart symptoms. Diaphragmitis, with constriction about false ribs, as if tied with a cord. Cactus may be useful either in menorrhagia, amenorrhoea, or dysmenorrhoea, the symptoms agreeing, and especially if there be any characteristic cardiac disturbance. Neuralgic and congestive headaches; intermittent. Intermittent fever; paroxysms every day at the same hour; coldness predominates; anguish; oppressed breathing; even convulsions and intestinal haemorrhage.