Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica - James Tyler Kent

Cuprum Metallicum

Convulsions: Cuprum is pre-eminently a convulsive medicine. The convulsive tendency associates itself with almost every complaint that, Cuprum creates and cures.

It has convulsions in every degree of violence, from the mere twitching of little muscles and of single muscles to convulsions of all the muscles of the body. When these are coming on the earliest threatenings are drawings in the fingers, clenching of the thumbs or twitching of the muscles. It has twitching, quivering, trembling, and it has also tonic contractions, so that the hands are closed violently.

In this condition the thumbs are first affected; they are drawn into the palms and then the fingers close down over them with great violence. In the fingers and toes and in the extremities the spasmodic condition increases and extends until the limbs are in a state of great exhaustion. Tonic contractions, the limbs being drawn up with great violence and it seems as if the frame would be torn to pieces by the violent contractions of the muscles everywhere.

Mind: Often the contractions assume a clonic form, with jerking and twitching Cuprum has many mental symptoms. It has a great variety in its delirium, incoherent prattling, talking of all sorts of subjects incoherently. It has produced a variety of mental symptoms; delirium, incoherency of speech, loss of memory.

During its different complaints, such as cholera, some forms of fever, the puerperal state, dysmenorrhoea, congestion of the brain, etc., there is delirium, unconsciousness and jerking and twitching of the muscles.

The eyes roll in various directions, but commonly upwards and outwards or upwards and inwards. There is bleeding from the nose and the vision is disturbed. Between the convulsive attacks there is incoherent talk, delirium, during which the patient is spiteful, violent, weeping or shrieking. They go into convulsions with a shriek. In one place it is spoken of as bellowing like a calf.

This drug has the ability to produce a group of spasms followed by the appearance as if the patient were dead, or in a state of ecstacy. Convulsive conditions sometimes terminate in a state of stasis during which the mind ceases to act and the muscles remain quiet or only quiver.

This is often one of the leading features in whooping-cough when Cuprum is indicated. To bring it down to the language of the mother, the description which she gives of the little one, which will probably make you remember it better than if I use the text, she says that when the child is seized with a spell of this violent whooping cough, the face, becomes livid or blue, the finger nails become discolored, the eyes are turned up, the child coughs until it loses its breath, and then lies in a state of insensibility for a long time until she fears the child will never breathe again, but with violent spasmodic action in its breathing, the child from shortest breaths comes to itself again just as if brought back to life.

Whooping cough: You have here all the violent features of a convulsive whooping-cough. In addition to what the mother says you may also observe a few things, but the whole make up of such a case, its whole nature, shows that it is a Cuprum whooping cough.

If the mother can get there quickly enough with a little cold water she will stop the cough. Cold water especially will relieve the spasm, and so the mother soon gets into the habit of hurry ing for a glass of cold water, and the child also knows, if it has tried once that glass of cold water will relieve it.

Whenever the respiratory organs are affected there is spasmodic breathing, dyspnoea. There is also rattling in the chest. The more dyspnoea there is the more likely his thumbs will be clenched and the fingers cramped.

In the lower part of the chest, in the region of the xiphoid appendix, there is a spasmodic condition that is very troublesome. It seems to be at times a constriction so severe that he thinks he will die, and at others a feeling as if he were transfixed with a knife from the xiphoid appendix to the back.

Some say it feels as if a lump were in that region and others as if much wind were collected in the stomach. It destroys the fullness of the voice, and it seems as if his life would be squeezed out. Sometimes then it takes the form of colic and sometimes of neuralgia.

If you examine the sensation of tightness in the region of the stomach you will see at once how the voice is affected. You will find the patient sitting up in bed; he tells you in a cracked and squeaking voice that he will soon die if he is not relieved; his face is a picture of fear and anguish he really looks as if he were going to die; the sensation is dreadful.

Cuprum speedily cures this complaint. This constriction and dyspnoea occur sometimes in cholera morbus and in painful menstruation. Spasms of the chest are also accompanied by this constriction and a nervous spasmodic breathing. He is not able to take a full breath.

Cramps: The Cuprum patient is full of cramps. There are cramps in the limbs and in the muscles of the chest, with trembling and weakness. In old age, and in premature old age, it is useful for those cramps that come in the calves, the soles of the feet, and the toes and fingers at night in bed.

In debilitated nervous, tremulous old people, Cuprum serves a peculiar purpose. When an old man, who has been single a long time marries, his cramps will sometimes prevent him performing the act of coition. He has cramps in the calves and soles as soon as he begins the act.

It is especially suitable to young men who have become prematurely old from vices, from strong drink, from late nights and various abuses, and these cramps are not unlikely to occur in such subjects.

Cuprum and Graphites are the two remedies for cramps coming under these circumstances, but whereas Cuprum is said to produce cramps that prevent the act, Graphites is said to bring on the cramps during the act. The two remedies however compete closely with each other, and hence if Graphites corresponds to the constitution of the patient, it should be given, and the same in regard to Cuprum. Sulphur also has cured this state.

Menstruation: In spasmodic conditions that come on during menstruation Cuprum is also useful. Painful menstruation with spasms commencing in the fingers and extending over the body. Tonic contractions that look like hysterical manifestations.

They may be hysterical, but that does not interfere with Cuprum curing, if they are only spasmodic or convulsive. Violent dysmenorrhoea with delirium, turning up of the eyes, contortions of the face and epileptiform manifestations.

In epilepsy calling for Cuprum we have the contractions and jerkings of the fingers and toes. He falls with a shriek and during the attack passes urine and faeces. It is indicated in epilepsy that begins with a violent constriction in the lower part of the chest as I have described, or with the contractions in the fingers that spread all over the body, to all the muscles.

Again, it is a remedy sometimes needed in the puerperal state before or after delivery. The case may be of uraemic character, but no matter; the urine is scanty and albuminous. During the progress of the labor the patient suddenly becomes blind.

All light seems to her to disappear from the room, the labor pains cease, and convulsions come on, commencing in the fingers and toes. When you meet these cases do not forget Cuprum. You will look a long time before you can cure a case of this kind without Cuprum.

Cholera: In cholera morbus with gushing, watery stools and copious vomiting, the stomach and bowels are emptied of their contents. The patient is fairly emptied out, becomes blue all over, the extremities are cold, there is jerking of the muscles, cramping of the extremities and of the fingers and toes, spasms of the chest; he is cold, mottled, blue in blotches, going into collapse; the finger nails and toe nails and the hands and feet are blue.

There are several remedies that look like Cuprum in such a condition. In cholera we would naturally hunt for such remedies as produce cholera-like discharges, more or less spasmodic conditions, the great blueness, coldness, sinking and collapse.

We would here refer to Hahnemann’s observation. Hahnemann had not seen a case of cholera, but he perceived that the disease produced appearances resembling the symptoms of Cuprum, Camphor and Veratrum. He saw from the description of the disease that the general aspect of cholera was like the general aspect of Cuprum, Camphor and Veratrum, and these three remedies are the typical cholera remedies.

They all have the general feature of cholera, its nature and general aspect. They all have the exhaustive vomiting and diarrhoea, the coldness, the tendency to collapse, the sinking from the emptying out of the fluids of the body.

About the author

James Tyler Kent

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.

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