Gelsemium Fever Symptoms

Allen gives the therapeutic indications of the remedy Gelsemium in different kinds of fevers like: Continued, Bilious, Intermittent, Malarial, Remittent, Pernicious, Typhoid, Typhus, Septic fever, etc…


Characteristic – Adapted to children, young people, women of a nervous, hysterical temperament (Croc., Ignatia), irritable, sensitive, excitable, onanists, both sexes (Kali phos.).

Desire to be quiet, to be let alone, does not wish to speak, nor have any one near her for company, even if the person be silent (Ignatia).

Fear of death (Arsenicum), utter lack of courage. Weakness and trembling, of tongue, hands, legs, of the entire body.

Complaints: from exciting or bad news (from pleasant surprises, Coffea), sudden emotions (Ignatia), the anticipation of any unusual ordeal brings on diarrhea, stage fright, nervous dread of appearing in public (Argentumn.), general depression from heat of sun or summer.

Vertigo: spreading from the occiput (Silicea), with diplopia, dim vision, loss of sight, seems intoxicated when trying to move.

Children: fear of falling, seize the nurse, grasp the crib (Borax, San.).

Lack of muscular co – ordination (kali br.), giddy, confused, muscles refuse to obey the will.

Headache: beginning in cervical spine, pains extend over the head, causing a bursting sensation in forehead and eyeballs (Sanguinaria, Silicea, begin in same way, but are semi – lateral), worse from smoking, preceded by blindness (Iris, Kali bichromicum, Lac d.), ameliorated by profuse urination.

Sensation of a band around the head above the eyes (, Platina, Sul.), scalp sore.

Slow pulse of old age.

Great heaviness of the eyelids, cannot keep them open (Causticum, Graphites, Sepia).

Fears that unless constantly on the move, the heart will cease beating (would cease beating if she moved, Digitalis).

Aggravation: Damp weather, before a thunder storm, sudden emotions, bad news, rest, smoking tobacco, thinking of his ailments, spoken to of his loss.

Amelioration: In the cold, open air.

Type: Quotidian, tertian, same hour of the day with every paroxysm (Aranea, Ced., Sabad.). Periodicity extends throughout its entire pathogenesis, all its fevers are of a regular type, but characterized by disorders of innervation. Simple uncomplicated cases. When the remittent takes on the intermittent type (reverse of Baptisia, Eup., Quin. ). Malarial, yellow, typhoid.

Time: Afternoon and evening paroxysm 2, 4, 5 and 9 p.m. Fever without chill at 10 A.M. (Baptisia, Nat.). Daily, at same hour.

Prodrome: Sudden mental emotions, the anticipation of any unusual ordeal, fright, grief, bad news, may hasten chill or produce diarrhea. Could tell when chill was about to return, as incontinence of urine would set in. Thirst, but does not drink much, hurts to swallow.

Chill: Without thirst. Chill commences in the hands and feet (in recent cases – in old chronic cases, Nat. ). Chill ascending from feet, chill and chilliness, especially along the spine, running up the back from loins to nape of neck, and following each other in rapid wave like succession from sacrum to occiput (running up and down the spine, Eup-purp. ). Chilliness with cold hands and feet, headache, and heat of head and face. Chilliness with tired, languid feeling in back and limbs, wants to avoid all muscular exertion. Feet feel as if in very cold water. Coldness is so severe as to be painful. Sleepy as chill is leaving (Apis). Transient chilliness with profuse urination. Nervous chill, the skin is warm, wants to be held that he may not shake so much. Child wants to be held so that he will not shake so hard (Lachesis).

Heat: Without thirst, intense burning. General heat, mostly about the head and face. Warmth over the whole body, as if sweat would break out, then chilly down the back. Directly after the chill comes a flying heat and pricking in the skin, rapidly followed by perspiration, which at times is profuse, and lasting from twelve to twenty – four hours (Causticum). Heat in the face, sleep or sleepy, stupid, besotted, with half waking, muttering delirium, tired, wants to lie still (Bryonia), or great nervous restlessness, sensation of falling, in children, child starts and grasps attendant or crib, and screams out for fear of falling. Semi – stupor, cannot open his eyes or think correctly, vertigo, staggers as if intoxicated. Sensitive to light or noise ( Belladonna – intolerant of noise, Caps. ). Long – lasting heat, far into night, pain in one leg, jerking of the limbs. Loquacity.

Sweat: With thirst. Profuse, which ameliorated the pain. Sweat coming gradually and moderately, always ameliorated the pains (sweat ameliorated all the symptoms, Nat. ). Sweats freely from slight exertion (Psorinum). Perspiration, sometimes profuse and continuing from a few hours to twenty – four, with languor and prostration. Sweat most profuse on genitalia. Freely on slight exertion.

Tongue: Coated yellowish – white, or nearly clean, or with white center and red margins. If coated thickly, breath fetid. Taste: bitter, foul, with blood – colored saliva.

Pulse: Irregular, intermitting, yet full (Digitalis). Small, weak, feeble, almost imperceptible.

Apyrexia: Often wanting, or very short. Heat and perspiration are so extended that many fevers are more remitting than intermitting. Great prostration of whole muscular system Headache aggravated by smoking tobacco ( Ignatia – ameliorated by smoking, Aranea ). Patient is nervous, irritable, easily angered ( Chamomilla – very irritable, Anacardium, Bryonia, Tuberculinum ).

Analysis – Patient wants to be held during the chill (Lachesis), fear of falling, chills along the spine, running up and down the back, sleep throughout heat, thirst during sweat, muttering delirium when half awake, absence of all gastric and hepatic symptoms. Fever apt to end in remittent or typhoid. Convulsions in children, masked ague from abuse of quinine, choreatic symptoms. Must be covered in all stages of the paroxysm.

“For intermittents or remittents which are contracted at summer watering places and ‘wintered over,’ making their appearance in early spring, Gelsemium is a remedy of great value.” – Ludlam. (Arsenicum, Eup., Lachesis)

Gelsemium is one of the few remedies that have the regular periodic fever, without chill. It divides the honors equally with Arsenicum in the treatment of children’s intermittents, from which it is distinguished by the regularity of the paroxysm, absence of thirst, and the burning fever and restlessness. The child is neither so weak and prostrated nor pale and feeble as in the Arsenicum fever. Sensation of falling is a genuine symptom, often occurring in children. Gelsemium is always to be thought of in recent uncomplicated cases, where chill begins in extremities (in chronic cases, Nat.mur. ). Also where a remittent takes on the intermittent type, or vice versa. Tendency to typhoid.

H. C. Allen
Dr. Henry C. Allen, M. D. - Born in Middlesex county, Ont., Oct. 2, 1836. He was Professor of Materia Medica and the Institutes of Medicine and Dean of the faculty of Hahnemann Medical College. He served as editor and publisher of the Medical Advance. He also authored Keynotes of Leading Remedies, Materia Medica of the Nosodes, Therapeutics of Fevers and Therapeutics of Intermittent Fever.