The headache is sometimes ameliorated by compression; better by a steady even gentle pressure; worse from the slightest jar or noise. The noise of a passing vehicle generally produces great exaggeration of the symptoms, with throbbing as if the head would fly in pieces. Riding on a smooth country road, or the gliding motion of the street cars, ameliorates these headaches.

[A characteristic lecture by Prof. Kent, as originally delivered before the Post-Graduate School of Homoeopathics in Philadelphia. The original manuscript is in the possession of Dr. S. L. Guild-Leggett, of Syracuse, N. Y. who kindly forwarded it for publication in THE HOMOEOPATHIC. RECORDER.–Editor.].

Some medicines make a subject too chilly and some make a subject too warm.

Some are always shivering and some always suffering from heat during the proving. The natural features of the body are to be observed by which to generalize. If a remedy does not produce the changes whereby an individual is affected by heat and cold, they must be generalized in some other way.

Some produce constant chilliness from, first, a chill, fever and sweat, to a chronic condition of chilliness; a condition of the body wherein there is not heat enough; the patient wants to keep warm, wants plenty of clothing. Such a remedy is Nitric acid.

The patient is generally chilly, and susceptible to changes in the weather, especially in damp weather.

He soon loses his mental equilibrium; the least excitement disturbs mind and body; he is easily broken down from mental operations, as slight disturbance throws him out of balance. What he was about to say goes into confusion; the effort to concentrate the mind causes instant confusion and his mind scatters. Vanishing of thought on attempting to apply his mind to a subject.

The loss of a friend is very shocking, somewhat like Ign.

Worse from night watching. Here it is like Cocculus, which has complaints from long night watching. Confusion of mind form night watching, like Cocculus.

Great loss of memory, inability to sustain a mental effort, a general confusion, and with weakness of the muscles and body.

The head has some peculiar symptoms, associated with some rare and unique modalities not generally understood. The headache is as if compressed in a vise. If you could apply the jaws of a vise to fit over the head and compress it from ear to ear, you would have the sensation. The head feels as if it would be crushed.

Nitric acid is closely related to Syphilis. It has the bi- parietal head pains of the syphilitic miasm, the syphilitic neurosis.

The headache is sometimes ameliorated by compression; better by a steady even gentle pressure; worse from the slightest jar or noise. The noise of a passing vehicle generally produces great exaggeration of the symptoms, with throbbing as if the head would fly in pieces. Riding on a smooth country road, or the gliding motion of the street cars, ameliorates these headaches.

There is another feature, whether of the head or spine, Lippe once called attention to it. He said, if he was walking along the street and saw a lot of tan-bark spread around before the house, he would immediately think of the Nitric acid patient within that house. The noise of the street is very aggravating to the patient. The sensitiveness runs through Nitric acid everywhere in the body. The head may be covered with an eruption, and the scalp be so sore that the slightest pressure of the hand causes him to cry out; but in its early formation it was better from gentle steady pressure.

School girls have a headache that is worse from the pressure of the hat. Noise aggravates the headache, also jarring.

The ulcerations and eruptions are extremely sore, also the inflamed parts.

The abdomen is sore to jar and pressure and is distended. The soreness of the throat is extremely sensitive. Coupled with this sensitiveness, is another group of symptoms which I will call up, viz.: stitching pains, sometimes cutting, sometimes described “as if there were little sticks” in the ulceration. The throat feels as if filled with little sticks. Sensation as of a fish bone in the throat or nose. Ulcers in the nose, with a constant feeling as if sticks were in them. Ulcers in the rectum, with a sensation of sticks in them. Even a gonorrhoeal discharge is attended with a sensation as if sticks were in the urethra. (Also think of Hepar and Arg. nitr.).

Arg. nitr., Hepar, Alumina and Natrum mur., have sensation of a stick in the throat. Nitric acid, Hepar and Arg. nitr., with ulcers.

Sensation of a stick in the vocal chords, hoarseness, loss of voice in singers. Nitric acid is always better in a cold room, as to its throat symptoms.

Both Hepar and Nitric acid are oversensitive to pain, they feel these sticks, oversensitive both to pain and cold. Hepar “is so sensitive to pain that she faints.” This is quite common in women. Think of Hepar first; other remedies follow that produce the extreme sensitiveness to pain.

Where there are mucous membranes, you will find catarrhal conditions in Nitric acid. It will produce ulcerations and burn almost like the actual cautery. It is wonderful to think how high potencies cure just such things.

You cannot individualize by the ulcers themselves: Copious discharge from mucous membranes and from ulcerations everywhere, with the peculiar jagged stick sensations.

There is another feature of the discharge in the catarrhal conditions, and that is, bloody, watery. Brownish leucorrhoea, bloody brownish, like meat washings, from the urethra and bowels. These are generally excoriating and cause soreness of the parts.

Now in the ear we have the Eustachian tube swollen and closed. The external meatus is ulcerated, with a watery, offensive, excoriating discharge; deafness comes on if this goes on to any extent of time; deafness, hardness of hearing, or can hear better in a noise; can hear better when riding in the cars. (Also Graph.) The rumbling ameliorates the deafness. We have some peculiar things like that which no mortal can account for.

Phosphorus has a peculiar deafness. While he can hear a noise very well, he cannot hear the articulation of the human voice well enough to understand what is said; he calls for the sentence to be repeated. It is said, “deafness, especially to the sounds of the human voice.” I mention this only to illustrate a peculiar thing in deafness.

Now the nose furnishes us another locality for a great deal of trouble. Nitric acid produces loss of the sense of smell; ulceration of the mucous membrane. The vomer, particularly, is attacked; ulcers, with the sensation as of sticks; incrustations in the nose; bloody crusts are blown out; they are painful when forming, and when they adhere and are removed, bleeding follows and the sensation of a stick remains.

This goes from bad to worse until portions of bone are blown from the nose with the discharge. This is sometimes found to have been produced by syphilis, and where a great amount of mercury has been used. Nitric acid is an antidote to mercury and especially useful for syphilis. It is closely allied to Hepar. Hepar, Mercury and Nitric acid run as a trio. All three have sensitiveness to cold, affections of bones, periosteum and mucous membranes, chilliness.

Any remedy that corresponds to syphilis is an anti- syphilitic. Now in the throat we find this same catarrhal condition, tonsils enlarged, white patches extending to the mouth. Even in diphtheria, with bloody, watery discharge, and sensation of sticks in throat and nose.

In the mouth, we have stiffness of the tongue, loss of taste, looseness of the teeth with receding gums, aphthous patches that are white, ulcers like raw beef, painful, with sensation of sticks in them.

In the chest, Nitric acid will be a very useful remedy in catarrhal affections, with bloody, watery oozing. The cough is attended with gagging, retching and vomiting.

Nitric acid follows Calcarea. When an individual has been for a considerable time on Calcarea, Nitric acid may follow. Instead of running into Lycopodium, after Calcarea, they sometimes call for Nitric acid. Calcarea might have been the remedy in phthisis, and Nitric acid follows well to complete the work. If it had been given in the beginning, it would have caused destruction of lung tissue. It is a vicious remedy to begin with, like Sulphur and Stannum. Strange to say, it follows well almost all of the alkalies.

Now, if we advance to the bowels, we find ulcerations with many painful troubles; stitching, tearing pains, great sensitiveness, extreme distention.

Affections of the bladder, uterus and kidneys, the latter with dropsical conditions and albuminous urine.

A grand “red-string symptom” is “The urine smells as strong as a horses urine.” Sometimes they say it is ammoniacal, but it is the hippuric acid smell.

In the early stages of Brights disease, in the beginning, there is a good deal of burning when urinating, also tenesmus; often scanty, or suppressed urine, and it smells strong, like that of a horse; a great deal of burning in the urethra, and jagging as if sticks were in it when urinating; little ulcers in the urethra, that are sore and inflamed; sore spots along the urethra, and on pressure, there is the sensation as of a stick, burning and smarting, when the urine passes over these spots, causing sticking and jagging. On the outside, burning, smarting, phagdenic ulcers. Phagdenic ulcers of a large size on the labia majora, with sticking and jagging; like Arsenic. Arsenicum has been the most frequently indicated remedy in phagdenic chancre.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.