Common names: Poke, Garget Weed, Pigeon Berry, American Nightshade, Chongras, Cocum, Northern Jalap.
This indigenous perennial plant has a large branching root, brownish externally, and within it is white. fleshy and fibrous. From it ascends annually a stem an inch or two in diameter, and frequently reaching a height of six to eight feet. The stem is smooth, round, and branching, and when mature is purplish in color.
The fresh root is chopped and pounded to a pulp and weighed, then two parts, by weight, of alcohol is taken, the pulp is mixed thoroughly with one-sixth part of it, and the rest of the alcohol is added. After having stirred the whole well, pour it into a well-stoppered bottle, and let it stand eight day in a dark, cool place. The tincture is then separated by decanting, straining and filtering. Drug power of the tincture 1/6.
APPEARANCE-Face sunken, pale, hippocratic; yellowish complexion; looking blue at times, especially around the eyes; expression of suffering.
RESEMBLANCE-Phytolacca resembles Mercury very much and is an antidote to Mercury.
Phytolacca is often indicated in old lingering mercurial bone pains, especially where the patient has been salivated; pains come on at night from the warmth of the bed; body aches; a chronic sore bruised state; soreness of the periosteum where the flesh is thin as over the tibia; joints with soreness of muscles; drawing and cramps of the muscles of the back; patient suffers from these symptoms in cold damp weather.
A similar to Mercury, as is also the tendency to pains in the bones of the head and face especially at night. Swelling around left ear, and face adjacent thereto, like erysipelas which may extend upward over the scalp; very painful. There is soreness and lameness of the muscles; pains seem to fly about; are worse at night and in damp weather.
Phytolacca is inclined to fat formation, so may be useful in fatty tumors as well as hard nodosities. Fatty degeneration of the heart; sensation as if the heart leaped into the throat; shock of pains in cardiac region alternating with pain in the right arm; awakens with lameness near heart, aggravated during expiration; heart action weak with feeling of exhaustion and is often accompanied by constipation. Pains are often darting and tearing and worse from motion. This is the right sides remedy.
GLANDULAR SYSTEM-Is especially upon by Phytolacca, particularly in the throat and mammae. It also acts on the fibrous, mucous and osseous tissues, and its action resembles Mercury and Kali iodatum on the syphilitic poison.
Glands become inflamed and hard, it produces sore throat and inflammation of the glands of the neck, especially the submaxillary and parotid.
The remedy seems to center its action in the mammary glands. Soreness and lumps in the breast, worse when the weather is cold or damp; becomes chilled and soreness in breasts results; a nervous nursing woman is exposed to cold, the breasts inflame and the milk becomes stringy and hangs down from the nipple; coagulated milk; milk becomes thick and scanty or thick and unhealthy; tends to dry up too soon.
Almost any excitement centers in the mammary glands; fear pr accident may cause lumps to form, with pain, heat, swelling and tumefaction. No other remedy centers so strongly in the breasts, although Mercury is similar. If every tribulation causes the glands to become sore in a nursing mother, given her Phytolacca. The breasts may be so sore that, when she nurses the child, she almost goes into convulsions on account of the pain, which extends down the back, the limbs and all over the body.
The formation of malignant growths or glandular tumors that become hard and scirrhus may be delayed and sometimes cures by Phytolacca.
Tendency of breasts to cake and suppurate. Nipples are very sensitive, crack and may become excoriated.
Ulcers on lips; ulcerated sore mouth.
SPASMODIC CONDITIONS-This may extend to vomiting, spasms, opisthotonos; sometimes the cervical region is affected and the head is drawn back; jerking and twitching of muscles; drawing of various muscles; tingling and numbness of right arm.
INFLAMMATIONS-Especially in the throat which is dark red, or almost blue, with thick, tenacious mucus; swelling of the tonsils; diphtheria; with great tumefaction of throat; swelling of glands of the neck; parotid; submaxillary; aching in the bones; very offensive breath with heavily coated tongue; great aching in the back; epistaxis and soreness of the muscles. Phytolacca is closely related to Mercury in diphtheria. Pain on swallowing, extends to ears especially on the right side.
This remedy has many eruptions, squamous eruptions, pityriasis; psoriasis; ringworm, herpes circinatus. Rashes on the body like measles; scarlet fever; to this add the sore throat and glandular involvement and there appears a picture of scarletina, which will be cured when these symptoms are present.
Long-lasting nasal catarrh with destruction of the bones of the nose; nose completely obstructed; when riding must breathe through mouth. Coryza with cough and redness of eyes; with lachrymation; photophobia; a feeling of sand in the eyes; with soreness and burning. Phytolacca is similar to Graphites in that it seeks out cracks or fissures where inflammation, induration and eruption may develop. Where circulation is weak there is a tendency to establish induration.
Old gouty and rheumatic limbs; or in acute rheumatism which is prolonged; worse at nigh, from the warmth of the bed or from warm applications. He wants cool things.
Urine is often albuminous.
It has been said that Phytolacca is a specific for boils.
So when a patient appears with lumps or tumors which may be either fatty or indurated; right sided sore throat with pain extending to right ear; generalized pains over the body, all of which is aggravated in damp, cold weather, think of Phytolacca decandra.