Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica - James Tyler Kent

Hepar Sulphur

Coldness: The Hepar patient is chilly. He is sensitive to the cold and wants an unusual amount of clothing when in cold air. He wants the sleeping room very warm and can endure much heat in the room, many degrees warmer than a healthy person ordinarily desires, He has no endurance in the cold and all his complaints are made worse in the cold. If he becomes cold in sleep his complaints come on or if he is out in the cold, dry wind, complaints come on; inflammatory and rheumatic complaints appear.

The exposure of hand or foot at night in bed brings on symptoms. He wants the covers drawn close about the neck when in bed. This patient is also oversensitive to impressions, to surroundings and to pain. What with an ordinary person would only be an ache or disagreeable sensation becomes with Hepar an intense suffering.

Pains: But the pains of Hepar may be very severe, very sharp. Inflamed spots, eruptions, boils or suppurations are full of sharp pains. This is so intense that it is described at times, as a sticking and jagging like sharp sticks.

The pains in ulcers are often felt like sticks; intense and sharp as if sticks were jagging the ulcer. This sensation is often expressed by the patient suffering from sore throat. Lip feels as if he had swallowed a fish bone, or stick. This is in keeping with the general character, because it is present everywhere, in inflammations, ulcers, pustules, boils and eruptions; all seem to have sticks in them or some thing jagging.

Eruptions are sensitive, to touch. This accords with the oversensitiveness of the nerves found everywhere. The Hepar patient faints with pain, even from slight pain.

Mind: This remedy belongs to patients that are called delicate, that are oversensitive to impressions. The mind takes part in this oversensitiveness and manifests itself by a state of extreme irritability.

Every little thing that disturbs the patient makes him intensely angry, abusive and impulsive. The impulses will overwhelm him and make him wish to kill his best friend in an instant. Impulses also that are without cause sometimes crop out in Hepar.

A man may have a sudden impulse to stab his friend. A barber has an impulse to cut the throat of his patron while in the chair. Mothers may have an impulse to throw the child into the fire or an impulse to set herself on fire; an impulse to do violence and to destroy. These symptoms increase to insanity and then the impulses are often carried out. It becomes a mania to set fire to things.

The patient is quarrelsome, hard to get along with; nothing pleases; everybody disturbs oversensitiveness to persons, to people and to places.

He desires a constant change of persons and things and surroundings and each new surrounding or person or thing again displeases and makes him irritated. With this irritability of temper and physical irritability there is a tendency to suppuration in parts. Localized inflammations incline to suppurate, especially in glands and cellular tissue do we have suppuration and ulcers.

The glands of the neck, axilla and groin and the mammary glands swell, become hard and suppurate. First the hard swellings with the feeling as if they had sticks jagging in them, then it becomes highly inflamed and red over the part and ultimately it suppurates, discharges and heals slowly.

The bone even suppurates and takes on necrosis and caries. Felons around the root of the nail and ends of the fingers. The nail suppurates and loosens and comes off. Sensation of splinters under the nails, even when they do not suppurate.

The nails become hard and brittle. Warts crack open and bleed, sting and burn and suppurate. Hepar is especially useful in felons in such a constitution as described, but sometimes you will have nothing more than the fact that the patient is a scrawny, chilly patient, who is always taking cold and subject to felons. I have often had to give Hepar on no better information and have known it to stop the tendency to felons. It also competes with Silica.

The patient is often scrawny, and has a tendency to enlargement of glands. The lymphatic glands are generally hard and enlarged, They are chronically enlarged without suppuration, and at any cold that comes on some particular gland may suppurate.

The catarrhal state: is general.

There is no mucous membrane exempt, but especially do we have catarrh of the nose, ears, throat, larynx and chest. The Hepar patient is subject to coryza. In some instances the colds settle in the nose and then there will be much discharge, with sneezing every, time he goes into a cold wind.

The cold winds bring on sneezing and running from the nose, first of a watery character and finally ending in a thick, yellow, offensive discharge.

Discharges: These offensive discharges smell like decomposed cheese, and this characteristic runs through the remedy.

The discharges from all parts of the body smell like old cheese. The discharges from ulcers are offensive, and have a decomposed, cheesy smell. It has discharges running through it also that smell sour, and this is also a general because it modifies all things that can be sour.

The babies are always sour in spite of much washing. Or it may be noticed by the members of the family that one of the family always smells sour, has a sour perspiration. The discharges from ulcers are sour, and also discharges from, mucous membranes. The discharge from the nose becomes copious, and causes ulceration in patches.

Throat and cough: The throat has a catarrhal condition; the whole pharynx is in a catarrhal state with copious discharge. Throat extremely sensitive to touch; pain as if full of splinters; pain on swallowing. The larynx also is painful on talking; painful as a bolus of food goes down behind the larynx, and painful to touch with the hand.

There is a loss of voice, and a dry, hoarse bark in adults, especially in the mornings and evenings. Every time he goes out in the dry, cold wind, he becomes hoarse, loses the voice and coughs. It is a dry, hoarse, barking cough. Inspiring cold air will increase the cough and putting the hand out of bed will increase the pain in the larynx or cough.

Putting the hand or foot out of bed brings a general aggravation of all the complaints of Hepar. Putting the hand out of bed accidentally when sleeping will bring on cough, and cause sneezing. The larynx has its catarrhal state, and in oversensitive children this catarrhal state becomes a croup.

Sensitive children that are exposed during the day in a cold, dry wind, or cold air, come down next morning with a violent attack of croup. The Hepar croup is worse in the morning and in the evening; evening until midnight. Sometimes cases that at first call for Aconite run into Hepar.

The Aconite croup comes on with great violence, worse in the evening before midnight. The child wakes up from its first sleep with a hoarse, barking croup. A dose of Aconit may prove entirely sufficient; or it may be only a palliative.

The child goes to sleep and along towards morning, or at least sometime after midnight, there is another attack, which shows that Aconite was not sufficient. Such a case will be controlled by Hepar.

When the croup comes on after midnight and the child wakes up frightened, suffocating, rouses up in bed with a dry, hoarse and ringing cough, which rings like a dry whoop, then Spongia will nearly always be the remedy, and again if Spongia palliates it and it is not sufficiently deep and there is a morning aggravation which shows that the trouble is returning Hepar follows. Aconite, Hepar and Spongia are closely related to each other and they are truly great croup remedies.

Dry, paroxysmal cough from evening until midnight and sometimes lasting all night, with choking, gagging and crouping; some loose coughing in the daytime; rawness and scraping the larynx; worse in cold air or uncovering hand or foot in bed.

The catarrhal state is sometimes lower down in the trachea, and the trachea becomes extremely sore from much coughing. The patient has been coughing days and weeks and has the morning and evening aggravations; a rattling, barking cough with great soreness of the chest in an oversensitive and chilly patient.

The cough is attended with choking and gagging, even to vomiting; it is worse in the cold air, and from putting the band out of bed. He coughs and sweats. There is much sweating the whole night, without relief. Sweating all night without relief belongs to a great many complaints of Hepar. He sweats easily, so that with the cough and on the slightest exertion he is fairly drenched with perspiration.

Ears: It has catarrhal affections of the ear.

A sudden inflammation comes on in the middle ear, an abscess forms, the drum of the car ruptures and there is a bloody discharge and sticking, tearing pains in the inflamed ear. There is first a sensation of stopping up of the ear, then, bursting and pressure in the ear, and then perforation of the drum.

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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