The value of our remedies cannot be measured by pathological anatomy. Natural and drug diseases are two entirely different conditions; the laws of one have no power in the other, nor can they have any, because those conditions, are not only different from, but totally opposed to one another.

Editorial Note: Dr.Deweys Lectures in Materia Medica have been made available for publication during the past year through the courtesy of Dr.Garth Boericke of Philadelphia. A part has been published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homoeopathy as follows:.

August 1930. The Ranunculaceae, including Aconitum, napellus, Staphisagria, Actea Spicata, Hydrastis, Helleborus niger and Clematis erecta.

September 1930. The Ranunculaceae, continued, including Ranunculus bulbosus, Ranunculus scleratus, Pulsatilla and Cimicifuga. The Solanaceae, including Belladonna.

November 1930. The Solanaceae, continued, including Belladonna (continued and Hyoscyamus.

December 1930. The Solanaceae, continued, including Stramonium, Dulcamara, Tabacum., Capsicum annum. The apocynaceae, including Nux vomica and Strychnia.

February 1931. The Apocynaceae, continued, included Nux vomica (continued).

July 1931. The Apocynaceae, continued, including Nux vomica (continued), Ignatia, Gelsemium, Apocyanum cannabium, Oleander, Vinca minor and Spigelia. Curare and Alstonis scholaris were omitted and will be printed in l latter issue of the Recorder.

Through the courtesy of Dr.Linn. J. Boyd, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the A.I.H., the larger part of the Dewey notes, as yet unpublished, have been obtained for publication in the Recorder. This series will run over many months. It is hoped that eventually we may be able to publish the whole series complete in book form for these lectures, with their rather full comparisons are of great practical value.- E.B.L.



The principal drugs of this family are Bryonia and Colocynth. We also have two or three others, for instance, Elaterium and Momordica balsa.

We have several edible substances from the same family, watermelon, squash, muskmelon and cucumber.

Drugs of this family act prominently on the alimentary tract and the first one which we shall consider is one of the principal, oldest and best proved remedies of our materia medica. It is the.


The Bryonia grows in Europe along hedge-rows and fences. It is the white Bryony or wild hops. There is a variety which grows in England called the Bryonia dioica whose action is apparently the same as the alba. Our tincture is prepared from the fresh root and vine.

Bryonia was proved by Hahnemann and his pupils. One of the few clinical cases left us by Hahnemann was a cure by Bryonia. He remarks that the symptoms it excites in the healthy correspond to many affections of daily occurrence and that hence its healing power must be of wide range. And so it is. It is one of our great polychrests. It was also proved by the Austrian society and Allen records some 2,000 symptoms attributed to the drug. In Austria the peasants take the root, excavate it and, filling the cavity with wine or beer, it as a purgative.

GENERAL ACTION. The action of Bryonia is clearly defined and interesting. We infer from its symptoms that it acts especially on the serous membranes and the viscera they enclose, especially the pleura and lungs, then the peritoneum, and , as here the liver is enfolded, we find this organ also affected by Bryonia. Again, the arachnoid membranes, also a serous membrane enfolding the brain, is affected by Bryonia. Bryonia sets up an inflammation in these serous membranes, not like Aconite, with a fever of sharp, well pronounced synochal character, but more sub- acute, a fever of fever of rather a low type, one that comes on after Aconite, when the inflammation has gone on to the stage of serous exudation. This is, them, the place for Bryonia. Have you to treat a case of pleurisy or pericarditis or peritonitis? Has the inflammation localized itself in these parts? Is there exudation? Bryonia is your remedy. It will remove the still existing local inflammation and absorb the serous effusion. Again the synovial membranes are inflamed and the muscular fibre irritated, this gives a close picture of true articular and muscular rheumatism. Bryonia is one of our mainstays in the treatment of serous inflammations, in disease of the lungs, liver and alimentary tract, and above all in the treatment of fevers.


1. Apathy, all pervading, ranging from languor to torpor. There is great disinclination to make any effort.

2. Sharp, stitching pains. You will find these in the head, face, teeth, throat, liver, abdomen and extremities, but especially in the chest.

3. Relief of all conditions by rest, and aggravation by motion. The patient cannot sit up, it makes him sick and faint. He finds relief by lying on the painful side. Why? It prevents motion of the parts, it rests the parts, and he prefers to be quiet and not move about because every part of his body is painful to pressure and motion. This great characteristic of Bryonia you will find in children. They slow to by their dislike to be carried or raised up, it hurts them.

4. Relief of all conditions, except the headaches, by external warmth. There are some eye symptoms which are also not relieved by warmth but his general relief is a characteristic of the remedy.

5. The seat of any distress or irritation is very apt to grow sore and tender to the touch.

6. Dryness of the mucous membranes. The patient complains of dry mouth, dry throat, dry cough, no secretion, scant secretion of gastric juice, a comparative dryness. The same condition is found in the intestines, hence, dry stools difficult to expect.

ENVIRONMENT. Bryonia is more suitable to robust than to weak person,s such as are accustomed to rich living with rich blood, firm and resisting flesh. The fleshy fibre, in other words, the solid element prevails over the adipose in constitutions especially adapted to Bryonia. Dark complexioned. All circumstances that excite the circulation will produce phenomena similar to those of Bryonia, such as vexation, anger, excessive exertions, (diseases of muscles and joints), changes in weather, complaint when warm weather sets in after cold days. Likewise, whatever occasions an obstruction of a venous character, a sedentary mode of life (plethora). These exciting elements invite the best action of Bryonia. Given these, you will find its symptoms acting mostly upon the right side, here they are the most violent, and here their first effect occurs. Symptoms are generally worse by motion, in the evening at twilight, about 3 a.m., and after rising from bed. Most of the complaints increase in a cold air.

They are all better from quiet, lying on the painful side and being generally passive. There is faintness on rising from bed, worse in the forenoon and while walking, so that he drags himself about with weakness in the knees and legs on ascending stairs.


MENTAL. The Bryonia patient is usually of an irritable temper, everything puts him out of humor. Remember that it acts best in dark haired bilious subjects. This moroseness is like that of Nux, only in Nux the patient is ugly most of the time, while Bryonia is good natured except when disturbed.

HEAD. The Bryonia headache is chiefly gastric, rarely neuralgic. It is characterized by vertigo worse rising, heaviness, pressure and soreness. Headaches are often occipital, going from the forehead back to the occiput. Headache commences in the morning when first opening the eyes. The headaches are all aggravated by any motion, even of the eye balls, and by exertion. Rheumatic headaches such as would result from bathing head after perspiring. In such cases opening the eyelids increases the pain. There is drawing in the bones toward the zygoma and tearing pains down the face, temples, neck and arms. Headache from ironing. The ache is also characterized as “splitting,” and it is somewhat ameliorated had lasted for a time the scalp becomes sensitive to touch. As a rule light and noise do not aggravate as in Belladonna.

Gelsemium also has a headache with soreness of the eyes on moving them.

Spigelia has pains darting from behind forward through the left eyeball.

Silicea has pain coming up from the nape of the neck through the occiput over vertex and so down on the forehead.

Carbo veg. has dull, heavy pain extending through the base to the brain from the occiput to the supra-orbital region.

Remember that all the symptoms of the head are worse from motion and exertion.

Natrum mur. has a headache as from little hammers, worse moving head and eyes.

Petroleum has a throbbing occipital headache.

Juglans cathartica has an occipital headache with sharp pain.

On the external head Bryonia develops an oily, greasy perspiration making the hair only, something it has a sour smell from over activity of the sebaceous glands.

EYES. Bryonia may be thought of in rheumatism of the eyes with violent pains shooting through the eyeball into the back of the head or up toward the vertex, worse by moving the eyes. It may be found useful in the disease known as glaucoma. There is increased tension of the eyeballs, lachrymation and photophobia. Eyeballs sore.

W.A. Dewey
Dewey, Willis A. (Willis Alonzo), 1858-1938.
Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College. Member of American Institute of Homeopathy. In addition to his editoral work he authored or collaborated on: Boericke and Dewey's Twelve Tissue Remedies, Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Essentials of Homeopathic Therapeutics and Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics.