back Apis Mellifica

Synonyms. Apis Mellifica.-Apium Virus. Poison of the honey bee.

Preparation. - There are two preparations of Apis. The one usually employed (Apis mellifica) is obtained ay shak- ing the live bees in a bottle and then digesting them, together with the poison they may have emitted, in dilute alcohol. Triturations of the whole bee are also employed. The second method consists in preparing a tincture from the pure virus (Apium virus). The latter was the preparation employed by Dr. C. Hering, and that from which most of the symptoms were obtained.

Apis acts powerfully upon the kidneys, producing an acute inflammation.  Through this action upon the kidneys we obtain the characteristic effect of Apis upon the cellular tissues, manifested by acute oedema, both of the skin and mucous membranes. Apis also causes an erysipelatous form of inflammation with a tendency to destruction of dermoid tissue, and develops an eruption resembling urticaria.  On the mucous membranes it acts as an irritant and produces a mild inflammatory condition.  Apis also affects the serous membranes, producing conditions similar to those which are the products of serous inflammations, hydrocephalous, hydrothorax, ascites, etc., but it does not appear to have in itself the power of producing serous inflammation. Apis acts prominently upon the ovaries and the uterus, producing irritation, congestion, mild inflammation, and dropsy of these organs.


Mind. - Loss of consciousness (Bell., Hyos., Op.).  oSopor, interrupted by piercing shrieks; tubercular meningitis. oAbsent-mindedness (Anac, Carls., Nux m., Naja, Phos. ac).  oAwkwardness; lets everything fall; breaks things. oBusy, restless ; changing occupation. oGreat tearfulness; cannot help crying (Ign., Natr. mur., Nux m., Puls.). Indifference (Phos., Phos. ac.);  irritability (Bry., Cham.,  Nux v.).  oIn women : jealousy (Hyos., Lach.) ; mania from sexual irritation.

Head. - Headache with vertigo. Confusion and dizziness, with constant pressive pain above and around the eyes;  somewhat relieved by pressure of the hands; confusion worse when sitting than when walking, extreme when lying and closing the eyes.  Dull pain over the whole head, relieved by pressure.  Brain feels as if tired.  Dull heavy headache from rising until 3 p.m. Aching over right eye extending to right eyeball.  Aching in forehead and temples; in left temple.

oChild lies in torpor; delirium; sudden shrilling cries; squinting; grinding teeth; boring head in pillows (Hell.); one side twitching, the other paralyzed; head wet from sweating;  urine scanty, milky; acute hydro-cephalus.  oHead feels swollen; integuments feel swollen and stiff.

Eyes. - Burning, stinging, shooting, piercing pains in and about the eyes.  Eyelids much swollen, red, cedematous (Ars., Carls., Phos.); upper lid hangs like a sack over the eye Kali carb.), Conjunctiva injected; full of dark vessels; chemosis.  oCornea; thick, having dark, smoky spots; grayish, smoky opaque. Keratitis. Itching in eyes and lids. Weakness of the eyes, with pain, photophobia and lachrymation. Burning in margins of lids (Sulph.), causing lachrymation. Agglutination of the lids. Inflammation of the eye, with intense photophobia and increased lachrymation (Acon., Ars., Bell., Euphr., Merc).

Ears. - oRedness and swelling of both ears (Acon., Bell., Puls.). Erysipelas.

Nose. - Swollen, red, cedematous (Rhus tox.).  Coryza, worse from warmth.

Face. - oOedematous swelling of the face (Ars.) ; waxy, pale.  Face swollen, red and hot (Bell.), with burning and piercing pain (Ars.).  Erysipelas of the face, with fever, coated tongue and thirst.

Mouth.- Lips oedematous; upper lip swollen (Hep. s.), hot and red (Bell.).  Dryness of tongue, mouth and throat (Nux m.); fiery redness of buccal cavity, with painful tenderness (Bell.).  Rawness, burning and painful stinging blisters along the edge of the tongue.  Scalding in mouth and throat (Merc. c.).  Tongue swollen, dry, cracked (Bell.) sore, ulcerated, or covered with vesicles (Ars., Bapt., Rhus tox.).

Throat.- Dryness in the throat with heat, without thirst (Nux m., Puls.).  Burning and stinging in the throat (Aeon., Canth., Caps.). Throat swollen inside and outside; hoarse, sense of constriction; breathing and swallowing difficult.  Ulcers on the tonsils, palate, etc. (Ailanth., Merc.iod.).

Stomach.- No thirst with the heat (Puls.).  Burning heat in the stomach (Ars.).  Great soreness in pit of stomach when touched (Bry.).  Vomiting with diarrhoea (Ipec).

Abdomen.- Soreness of the bowels and abdominal walls; mornings when sneezing or pressing upon them (Bell., Bry., Nux v.).  Fullness and sense of distension of the abdomen (Cinch.). Pain in abdomen on pressure, touch and horizontal position, with sensitiveness.  Pain in hypochondriac regions extending upwards.

Stool and Anus. - Sensation of rawness in the amis with diarrhoea. Discharge of flatus before stool.

Diarrhoea is copious, blackish-brown, green or whitish, orange colored; greenish, yellow mucus (Puls., Merc, Sulph.); yellow watery; soft and pappy, mixed with serum, thin yellow.  oStools occur with every motion of the body, as if the anus were constantly open; during urination (Aloe).

Urinary Organs. - Burning soreness when urinating (Can. sat.). Frequent desire, with passage only of a few drops (Acon., Canth.). Urine scanty and high colored (Acon.).  Urine suppressed (Acon., Hyos., Stram.).  Frequent and profuse urination (Apoc, Arg. met.).  Burning and stinging in the urethra.

Male Organs. - oDropsy of the scrotum ; hydrocele.

Female Organs.- oEnlargement of the right ovary (Bell.), with pain in the left pectoral region, and cough.  Burning and stinging pain in region of uterus or ovaries.  Pain and sensitiveness in right ovarian region during menses. Bearing down with sensation as before menses.  Sharp, cutting, stinging pain in the swollen ovary; worse during menstruation.  oDropsy of the ovaries (right); of uterus.  Abortion during the early months.

Respiratory Organs. - Irritation to cough in the supra sternal fossa.  Hoarseness.  Chest feels sore as if beaten or bruised (Arn, Cinch., Sil.).  Respiration hurried and difficult;  oedema giottidis.  Great feeling of suffocation; cannot bear anything about the throat (Lach.).  Dull aching pain in the left side of the chest, near the middle of the sternum, with sensation of fullness in the chest, and short breath. Severe cough before midnight, worse after lying and sleeping (Lach.).  Expectoration of copious, transparent, frothy, bloody mucus.  Stitches in left side of chest, and through the back.  Sudden pain just below the heart, soon extending toward right chest, with suffocation.  Melting heat in region of diaphragm, as from running violently.  Burning stinging pain through entire front of chest.

Upper Limbs.- Oedema of the hands. Sensation of numbness in fingers, especially the tips about the roots of nails.  oPanaritium with burning, stinging and throbbing, very sensitive to touch.

Lower Limbs. - Sensation in the toes and whole foot, as if too large; swollen and stiff.  Legs and feet waxy, pale, and oedematous (Ars.).  Burning in the toes, with redness (Agar.); feet cold.

Generalities. - Oedematous swelling of the extremities; of the whole body.  Tired, as if bruised in every limb, and especially in the back, as after exertion; worse on rising after sitting (Rhus tox.). General feeling of lassitude with trembling. Burning, stinging pains, like bee stings, occurring occasionally.  Pricking over the whole body.  Sudden weakness with coldness. oEffects travel from right to left (left to right, Lach.).  Redness and swelling, with stinging and burning pain in the eyes, eyelids, ears, face, lips, tongue, throat, anus, testicles.  Great sensitiveness to touch and pressure.

Skin. - oSkin usually white, almost transparent (ovarian dropsy).  Stinging, burning, prickling, smarting, or itching of the skin;  sensitiveness to the slightest touch.  Urticaria like bee stings, or stings from other insects, with intolerable itching at night (Ant. crud., Arn., Led.).  Eruption like nettle rash over the whole body (Acon., Puls.). Swelling and dry erysipelatous redness. Body covered with large, elevated white wales.  oCarbuncles, with burning, stinging pains (Ars.).  Intensely deep, red rash (Bell.).

Sleep. - Great desire to sleep ; extreme sleepiness (Ant. tart., Nux m.).  Dreams, full of care and toil.  Sleep late in the morning.

Fever.- Intermittents. Chill about 3 p.m.; worse in warmth; from slightest motion with heat of face and hands; runs down the back, with great prostration. oDuring hot stage more or less violent headache; generally a continuous deey sleep.  oSweating stage either absent or of a very light grade. Continuous low fever; no thirst; worse 3 p.m.; id then very drowsy.  oThirst wanting during sweat; may or may not be present during heat; always thirst during chill.  oA pyrexia; pain under short ribs, left side; feet swollen, urine scanty; limbs and joints sore.  Sweat after trembling and fainting, then nettle rash.

Aggravation. - In morning, aching; diarrhoea; hoarseness, sleepiness. Afternoon: (intermittent). Night: headache; pain, eye and chest.  From exercise ; from warmth.  oA general aggravation of all symptoms about 5 p.m.

Amelioration. - Cold water: pain.  Swelling and burning.  Pressing relieves headache.  After sleep.  Those predisposed to miscarry should not receive Apis except in high potencies (Hering).

Compare. - Ars., Apoc., Arn, Bell., Canth., Gels., Lyc., Lach., Natr. mur., Led., Mag. m., Merc, Puis., Phos., Rhus tox., Sec. cor., Sulph.

Antidotes. - Lach., Plantain, Lact. ac. To massive doses: common salt, sweet oil, onions.



The great clinical key-note of Apis is oedema, and the drug is pre-eminently useful in the treatment of oedematous swellings when occurring acutely, as an apparently primary condition, or when associated with erysipelas or any other form of disease.  In general dropsy it is an invaluable remedy. It is chiefly indicated by the whitish waxen, transparent appearance of the skin, absence of thirst, and scanty urination.  The urine is highly albuminous, and contains tube-casts. Local oedema is usually present, especially about the eyelids.  The dropsy generally comes on rapidly, and predominates in bhe upper part of the body and the face.  It is especially indicated when such troubles arise from acute inflammation of the kidneys, whether during or following eruptive diseases or not. It may also be indicated in sub-acute or chronic Bright's disease.  In hydro-thorax there is also great suffocation, the patient not being able to lie down, and feeling as if he were going to die.  In pleuritic exudations Apis stands next to Sulphur as a remedy to cause absorption. In acute hydrocephalus, especially tubercular, Apis is a valuable remedy in the first stage, and is indicated by the child boring its head into the pillow, rolling it from side to side, and uttering shrill, piercing cries. Often one side of the body is convulsed and the other paralyzed. In cystitis, dysuria, and strangury Apis is only secondary to Cantharis in usefulness. In cardiac inflammations and dropsies Apis is a valuable remedy, being indicated by dyspnoea, scanty urine, swollen limbs, etc.  The laryngeal symptoms of Apis usually arise from rapid oedematous swellings which may occur in the larynx or glottis.  Sometimes there is great difficulty of breathing from oedema of the pharynx and soft palate.  Apis may be indicated in any form of erysipelas, and when attacking any part of the body, the swelling rapidly becoming oedematous. and especially when characterized by burning, stinging pains, the mental condition being usually one of apathy and indifference, bordering on unconsciousness.  This mental state also often indicates the drug in diphtheria., scarlatina, and other fevers where they assume a low form, even genuine typhoid, or typho-malaria, especially if there be a tendency to oedema.  It is an excellent remedy' in intermittent) fever, the chill occurring about 3 p. m.. and other symptoms agreeing as noted in the preceding pathogenesis. In urticaria Apis is indicated by the intolerable burning, stinging pains.  Apis is often useful in diseases of the female organs, but should be used cautiously during the first three mouths of pregnancy, as in low potencies it is liable to produce miscarriage. It is useful in erysipelatous and oedematous conditions of the genitals.  Ovarian dropsy, even cystic degeneration of the ovaries has been cured.  Ovarian neuralgia, and ovarian and uterine inflammations may call for this drug.  The right ovary is oftenest affected (left ovary Cimic, Lach.).  Burning stinging pains and great soreness in right ovarian region are the most characteristic symptoms.  Apis maybe a valuable remedy in many diseases of the eye-asthenopia, staphyloma, any kind of inflammation of the cornea, ophthalmia ; in fact in any form of eye disease characterized by serous exudation, oedema and sudden piercing pain.  Carbuncles, panaritia, etc., characterized by severe stinging pains.  The drug is also useful for ailments from the stings of insects; ailments from the use of iodine, or the abuse of cinchona, turpentine or cantharides.  It has been recommended for bad effects from vaccination (Sil.); also from suppressed or delayed eruptions (serous exudations, oedema, etc.).

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