Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica - James Tyler Kent


The action of Silicea is slow. In the proving, it takes a long time to develop the symptoms. It is, therefore, suited to complaints that develop slowly.

Generalities: At certain times of the year and under certain circumstances peculiar symptoms will come out.

They may stay with the prover the balance of his life. Such are the long-acting, deep-acting remedies; they are capable of going so thoroughly into the vital order that hereditary disturbances are routed out. The Silicea patient is chilly; his symptoms are developed in cold, damp weather, though often better in cold, dry weather; symptoms come out after a bath.

Mind: The mental state is peculiar.

The patient lacks stamina. What Silicea is to the stalk of, grain in the field, it is to the human mind. Take the glossy, stiff, outer covering of a stalk of grain and examine it, and you will realize with what firmness it supports the head of grain until it ripens; there is a gradual deposit of Silicea in it to give it stamina. So it is with the mind; when the mind needs Silicea it is in a state of weakness, embarrassment, dread, a state of yielding.

If you should listen to the description of this state by a prominent clergyman, or a lawyer, or a man in the habit of appearing in public with self-confidence, firmness and fullness of thought and speech, he would tell you he had come to a state where he dreads to appear in public, he feels his own selfhood so that he cannot enter into his subject, he dreads it, he fears that he will fail, his mind will not work, he is worn out by prolonged efforts at mental work.

But he will say that when he forces himself into the harness he can go on with ease, his usual self-command returns to him and he does well; he does his work with promptness, fullness, and accuracy. The peculiar Silicea state is found in the dread of failure.

If he has any unusual mental task to perform, he fears he will make a failure of it, yet he does it well. This is the early state; of course there comes a time when he cannot perform the work with accuracy and still he may need Silicea.

Another case is illustrated in a young man who has studied for years and is now nearing the end of his course. He dreads the final examinations but he goes through them all right, then a fatigue comes upon him and for years he is unable to enter his profession. He has this dread of undertaking anything.

Irritable and irascible when aroused; when let alone he is timid, retiring, wants to shirk everything; mild, gentle tearful women. The Silicea child is cross and cries when spoken to. It is the natural complement and chronic of Pulsatilla because of its great similarity; it is a deeper, more profound remedy.

Religious melancholy, sadness, irritability, despondency. Lycopodium is stupid, the dread of undertaking any thing in from a general knowledge of inability. In Silicea it is imaginary.

Silicea is not suitable for the irritability and nervous exhaustion coming on from business brain-fag, but more for such brain-fag as belongs to professional men, students, lawyers, clergymen. A lawyer says,

“I have never been myself since that John Doe case”

He went through a prolonged effort and sleepless nights followed. Silicea restores the brain.

Skin: The remedy produces inflammation about any fibrinous nidus and suppurates it out.

It acts upon constitutions that are sluggish and inflames fibrous deposits about old imbedded missiles. Slow nutrition; if the individual receives a slight injury it suppurates and the cicatrix indurates, is hard and nodular.

Along the track of a knife-cut, is a fibrinous deposit due to inferior and slow nutrition. An old ulcer heals with induration. Where cicatricial tissue forms, it is indurated, shiny, glassy. If Silicea is given in such cases, it will throw out abscesses in these cicatrices and open them out. It will open up old ulcers and heal them with a normal cicatrix.

In ordinary people if a splinter lodges in the tissues, a suppuration will slough it out, but in these feeble constitutions a plastic deposit takes place about it and it remains. This is not the highest state of order. Suppuration takes place about a bullet and pushes it out, that is the best state that can be asked for.

Silicea, therefore, hastens the formation of abscesses and boils. It suppurates out old wens and indurated tumors. It has cured recurrent fibroids and old indurated tumors.

It there is a deposit of tubercle in the lungs, Silicea establishes ail inflammation and throws it out, and if the whole lung be tubercular a general suppurative pneumonia will be the result; hence, the danger of giving such remedies and the danger of repeating them in advanced stage of phthisis. Not only Silicea but many other remedies have the power to suppurate out deposits, the result of poor nutrition.

Warty growths on the skin, moist eruptions, pimples, pustules, abscesses. Suppurating cavities. It establishes healing in old fistulous openings with indurated margins. Catarrhal suppurations; copious muco-purulent discharge from the eyes, nose, ears, chest, vagina, etc.

Suppression: Complaints from the suppression of discharges; suppressed sweat.

These suppressions produce a state in the economy that threatens what little order is left. An offensive foot-sweat ceases after getting the feet wet, and is followed by chills and violent complaints.

Silicea cures long lasting foot-sweat when the symptoms agree, or complaints that have lasted since the suppression of a foot-sweat. Thick, yellow catarrhal discharges.

They say,

“I have had this discharge so many years,” and when you investigate, you find that there has been some, shock, a cold, that suppressed the foot-sweat and it has not appeared since. Silicea will bring back that sweat, cause the catarrhal discharge to cease and in time cure the foot-sweat.

Catarrhal discharges from the nose and other places, indurations, tumors, chronic gastritis, brain- fag, all dating back to the suppression of foot-sweat or otorrheoa, or to the healing up of a fistula.

Head: Chronic sick-headache attended with nausea and even vomiting.

Headache commencing in the back of the head in the morning or towards noon going to the forehead, worse towards night, from noise; better from heat; supra-orbital neuralgias; better from pressure and heat and attended with profuse head-sweat.

Cold, clammy, offensive sweat on the forehead. When a Silicea patient exerts himself he sweats on the face, the lower part of the body is dry or nearly so. It requires great exertion to produce general sweat. A striking feature is the sweat about the upper parts of the body and the head.

Headache once a week (Gets., Lycopodium, Sanguinaria, Sulphur). Headache up through the back of the neck and especially to the right side of the head. Resembles Sanguinaria Weight in the occiput as if it would be drawn back, with a rush of blood to the head, like Carbo veg. and Sepia.

Headache worse from cold air. Psorinum wears a fur cap even in summer. Magn. mur. is better from wrapping up the head but still wants to be in the air. Rhus sweats on the body; the head is dry. Pulsatilla sweats on one side of the head.

Vertigo to fainting; with nausea; vertigo creeping up the spine into the head.

It is especially necessary for the Silicea patient to avoid the cold air, must have the head well wrapped up, especially the part that is painful, and this part perspires copiously.

“Headache worse from mental exertion, excessive study, noise, motion, even jarring from foot-steps, light, stooping, pressing at stool, talking, cold air, touch.”

Skin again: Moist, scaly eruption on the scalp, eczema capitis.

Silicea is suited to the phagedenic ulcers of syphilis, eating and spreading ulcers on the scalp. Inflammatory conditions between the scalp and skull, tumors forming, filled with a grumous fluid; as in infancy, it will remove blood tumors.

Cephalatoma neonatorum, enchondroses. Silicea is especially of use in the treatment of affections of the cartilages, growths about the joints, about the fingers and toes.

The complaints of Silicea are associated with hardened glands, but especially about the neck, the cervical, salivary, and particularly the parotid glands; large, hard parotids. The parotids enlarge from every cold and get hard. (Baryta carb., Calcarea, Sulph,)

Pulsatilla suits the acute inflammation of the parotid, but Silicea is indicated in the more chronic forms due to psora, “scrofulous glands.”

Eyes: Many inflammations and conditions of the eyes.

Ulcers on the cornea; pustules on the lids, falling of the lashes, suppuration of the margins of the lids with burning, stinging and redness. Intense photophobia in all eye complaints.

Scrofulous cases with sore eyes, the most inveterate and chronic cases; suppuration; thin, watery, copious discharge, or bloody, thick and yellow like pus, with ulceration.

Syphilitic iritis.

“Perforating or sloughing ulcer on the cornea.

Spots and cicatrices on the cornea.

Fungus haematodes.

Eyes inflamed from traumatic causes; foreign particles have lodged in the eyes; abscesses; boils around the eyes and lids tarsal tumors, styes.

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.

Leave a Comment