Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica - James Tyler Kent


Anxiety: This remedy in all of its complaints whether acute or chronic, has a peculiar kind anxiety that is felt both in mind and body.

It seems also that this state of anxiety is attended with a thrill that goes throughout his frame unless he removes it by motion or change of position. The anxiety comes on when trying to keep still, and the more he tries to keep still the more the anxious state increases. While attempting to keep still, he is overwhelmed with impulses, impulses to tear things, to kill himself, to commit murder, to do violence.

He cannot keep still and so he walks night and day. This remedy carries the same feature with it into the Iodide of Potassium, so that it makes the Iodide of Potassium patient walk. But there is this difference, the Kali iod. patient can walk long distances without fatigue, and the walking only seems to wear off his anxiety, whereas in Iodine there is great exhaustion; he becomes extremely exhausted from walking and sweats copiously even from slight exertion.

Iodine corresponds to those cases in which it seems that there is some dreadful thing coming on; the mind threatens to give out. Insanity threatens, Or the graver forms of disease are threatening, such as are present in the advanced stages of suppressed malaria, in old cases of chills, in threatened phtysie, especially abdominal.

Hypertrophy: runs through the remedy.

There is enlargement of the liver, spleen, ovaries, testes, lymphatic glands, cervical glands, of all the glands except the mammary glands. The mammoe dwindle while all other glands become enlarged, nodular and hard.

This enlargement of the glands is especially observed among the lymphatic glands of the abdomen, the mesenteric glands.

There is this peculiar circumstance also in Iodine, viz., that while the body withers the glands enlarge. That is peculiar and will enable you to think of Iodine, because the glands grow in proportion to the dwindling of the body and the emaciation of the limbs. We find this state in marasmus. There is withering throughout the body, the muscles shrink, the skin wrinkles and the face of the child looks like that of a little old person, but the glands under the arms, in the groin and in the belly are enlarged and hard.

The mesenteric glands can be felt as knots. We see the same tendency in old cases of malaria coming from the allopaths in which Quinine and Arsenic have been extensively used and the chills have kept on; the face and the upper part of the body are withered, the skin looks shriveled and yellow; a diarrhoea has come on, the liver and spleen are enlarged and the lymphatic glands of the belly can be felt. Even in the earlier stages, when these states are only threatening, we may look forward and see that the case is progressing toward an Iodine state.

Now take a patient that is suffering from intermittent fever brought on from malaria, or damp cellars. The patient grows increasingly hot; it is not always a febrile heat, but a sensation of heat; he wants to be bathed in cold water, wants the face and body cooled by cold sponging; he suffocates and coughs in a warm room, dreads heat, sweats easily and easily becomes exhausted. It is in this kind of a constitution that acute complaints will come on, such as acute inflammatory conditions of the mucous membranes and gastritis, inflammation of the liver, inflammation of the spleen, diarrhoea, croup, inflammation of the throat.

The throat even becomes covered with white spots and is tumid and red, and ibis extends down into the larynx; it may even have a deposit upon it like diphtheria. Iodine has cured diphtheria, when the exudation resembling the diphtheria exudations, was present in the stool. A constitution tending this way may bring on croup with an exudate, and we can see that it is going towards Iodine. In every region of the body peculiar little things come out. If we do not see to the full extent the constitution of the remedy, we will not recognize the tendency of the patient, when progressing unfavorably.

Mind: The mental state of this patient is that of excitement, anxiety, impulses, melancholy; he wants to do something, wants to hurry; he has impulses to kill. In this it is very closely related to Arsenicum and Hepar.

The Arsenicum and Hepar patients also have impulses to commit murder without being offended and without cause. The sensitiveness to heat will at once decide, for while Iodine is warm-blooded the Arsenicum and Hepar patients are always chilly.

The impulse to do violence is sudden. There are remedies that have peculiar impulses, impulses without any cause. These impulses are seen in cases of impulsive insanity; an insanity in which there is an impulse to do violence and strange things, and when the patient is asked why he does these things he says he does not know.

The patient may not be known to be insane in anything else; he may be a good business man. Remedies also have this. These things are forerunners. It is recorded under Hepar that a barber had an impulse w cut the throat of his patron with the razor while shaving him.

The Nux vomica patient has an impulse to throw her child into the fire, or to kill her husband whom she dearly loves. The thought comes into her mind and increases until she becomes actually insane and beyond control and the impulse is carried into action.

A Natrum sulph. patient will say,

“Doctor, you do not know how I have to resist killing myself.

An impulse to do it comes into my mind.”

Iodine has the impulse to kill, not from anger, not from any sense of justice, but without any cause. An overwhelming anger is often a cause for violence but the impulses are not of that sort in Iodine.

While reading; or thinking placidly at times a patient may have an impulse to do himself violence, and this finally grows until the end is a form of impulsive insanity.

The Iodine patient becomes weak in mind as well as in body; he is forgetful, cannot remember the little things, they pass out of the mind. He forgets what he was about to say or do; goes off and leaves packages he has purchased.

The forgetfulness is extensive. But with all these states, do not forget one thing, that the patient is compelled to keep doing something in order to drive away his impulses and anxiety.

The anxiety is wearing and distressing unless be keeps busy. Though mentally prostrated, he is compelled to keep busy and to continue the work, which increases the prostration of mind. You tell a man who is threatened with softening of the brain, from overwork, from anxiety and labor in literary work,

“You must stop working, you must rest.”

“Why,” he will say,

“If I do I would die or go mad.”

Such a state comes under Iodine and Arsenicum, but there is one grand distinction by which the two remedies are seen to part company at once.

The Iodine patient is warm-blooded, wants a cool place to move in, and to think in, and to work in, whereas the Arsenicum patient wants heat, wants a warm room, wants to be warmly clothed, and suffers from the cold.

Iodine suffers from the heat. So that while the restlessness and anxiety, which are both of body and mind in each remedy, loom up before the mind as one, if the patient is a hot-blooded patient we would never think of Arsenicum; if a cold-blooded and shivering patient we would never think of Iodine.

Among the generals we first mentioned was the tendency to enlarged glands. Iodine has often cured a group of symptoms coming in the constitution that I have named, viz.; enlargement of the heart, enlargement of the thyroid and protruding eyeballs.

Now, if you have one of these patients (suppose it has been sent to you by somebody who knows no better than to call it exophthalmic goitre), those things that are so essential to the name of the disease, as they call it, would not be an indication for the remedy, but the indications would be found among those circumstances that I have given you that are outside of the projection of the eyes, the enlargement of the thyroid, the hypertrophy of the heart and the cardiac disturbances.

If the patient is emaciated, is sallow, suffers from heat, has enlarged glands, and the other symptoms of this medicine, you may expect after its administration an ultimate cessation of the group of symptoms that are selected to name the disease by. Brain troubles, acute and chronic, sometimes call for Iodine.

Head: The head throbs, the body throbs, there are pulsations all over, and the throbbing extends to the finger ends and the toes; throbbing in the pit of the stomach, heavy pulsations felt in the arms, pulsations in the back, throbbing in the temporal bone. There are congestive head aches with violent pain.

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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