Synonym. - Baptisia Tinctoria.
Natural order. - Leguminosse.
Common name. - Wild Indigo.
Habitat. - A perennial herb growing in dry poor soil throughout the United States.
Preparation. - Tincture from the fresh root.
Baptisia acts especially upon the blood, having a disorganizing and decomposing influence, producing a state similar to that present in low forms of fever and typhoid conditions. Through the blood it affects the mucous membranes, especially of the mouth, throat and intestines, and also involves the motor and sensory nerves, giving rise to prostration and to paralysis, both of motion and sensation.
Mind.- Indisposed to think, want of power; mind seems weak and confused (Aeth., Gels., Phos. ac., Rhus tox.); confused, as if drunk. Cannot confine his mind; a sort of wild, wandering feeling. oBody feels scattered about, tosses around to get pieces together ; cannot sleep because he cannot get pieces together; typhus fever.
Head.- Vertigo, and weak feeling of entire system, especially lower limbs and knees. Dull heavy pressive headache (Coni., Gels., Hydras.) . Frontal headache, with pressure at root of nose. (Acon., Kali bi.). oHead feels large and heavy, with numbness of head and face. Soreness in the brain, worse on stooping. oDull, bruised feeling in occiput.
Eyes. - Eyeballs feel sore; sore and lame on moving them. (Agar., Bry., Cimic, Eup. p.)
Face. - Face flushed, dusky, hot; dark-red, with a besotted expression. Heat and redness of face.
Mouth.- oSordes on the teeth and lips (Ailanth., Rhus tox.). Tongue yellow; along the center; first white, with reddish papillae, followed by yellow-brown coating in center, edges dark-red and shining; dry, brown down the center (Plumb.); cracked, sore, ulcerated (Apis, Ars., Rhus tox.); dry on waking, feels burnt. Saliva rather abundant, somewhat viscid, tasting flat. Putrid ulcers of the buccal cavity, with salivation (Merc, Nitr. ac.). Mouth and tongue very dry in fevers (Acon., Ars., Bry.). Putrid, offensive (Arm, Hep. s., Iodi., Kreos., Nitr. ac., Puls.); foecal breath. Flat, bitter taste in mouth (Borax, Bry., Hep. s., Nux v., Puls., Sulph.).
Throat.- Constrictive feeling in throat, causing frequent efforts at deglutition (Ars., Bell., Hyos.). Redness of tonsils and soft, palate: of tonsils with frequent inclination to swallow, which causes pain at root of tongue (Phyto.). oFauces dark-red (Naja); dark; putrid ulcers (Mur. ac); tonsils and parotids swollen; absence of pain, and great prostration; diphtheria, etc. oDifficult deglutition; can only swallow water.
Stomach.- oSinking, gone feeling at the stomach (Cimic, Hydras., Ign., Sep., Sulph.); after typhus. Pain in epigastric region; distress in stomach. Loss of appetite. Nausea.
Abdomen.- Pain in liver, from right lateral ligament to gall bladder; can scarcely walk, it so augments pain in gall bladder. Constant severe pain over gall bladder (Berb.). oRight iliac region sensitive; typhus. Fullness and distension of the abdomen (Bry., Cinch., Caps.); rumbling. (Lyc.). oAbdominal muscles sore on pressure; typhus.
Stool and Anus.- oFrequent small, thin, dark, offensive, and acrid stools (Ars.). oVery foetid exhausting diarrhoea (Ars.). Stool papescent, with large quantities of mucus; no pain. oDark-brown mucous and bloody stools, with tenesmus and typhoid tendency (Ars.). Diarrhoea in the morning (Aloe, Podo., Rumex, Sulph.). Constipation, with fullness of abdomen.
Urinary Organs. - Burning when urinating (Acon., Ars., Canth.). Urine rather scanty, dark-red color (Acon.).
Respiratory Organs.- Awakes with great difficulty of breathing; the lungs feel tight and compressed; must have fresh air (Ars., Carb. v., Sulph.). Soreness of rigirc lung. Constriction and oppression of the chest.
Pulse. - At first accelerated, afterward slow and faint.
Neck and Back.- Stiffness and lameness of cervical muscles. Back and hips very stiff, ache severely. Dull sacral pain, compounded of a feeling as from a pressure and fatigue, from long stooping ; soon extending around hips and down right leg.
Limbs.- Drawing pain in arms and legs; aching in the limbs. Numbness of left hand and forearm, with prickling; also of left foot.
Generalities. - Restless; does not sleep quietly; wants to be on the move (Acon., Ars., Khus tox.). Great languor, wants to lie down. Tired, bruised, sick feeling in all parts of the body (Arn., Cinch.). Weak and tremulous, as if recovering from a severe illness, and as yet incapable of vigorous mental or physical exertion. Great weakness, especially in lower limbs. Prostration, with disposition of fluids to decompose. Indescribable sick feeling over the whole body. Numbness, prickling and paralytic feeling over the whole body, especially left side. Ulceration of mucous membranes, especially of the mouth, with tendency to putrescence. Discharges and exhalations foetid. Sensation all over the body as if bruised or beaten (Arn, Ruta). Feels as if lying on a board; changes position, bed feels so hard, makes him feel sore and bruised (Arn.); as if he would have bedsores.
Fever.- Chilly going into the open air; chills over the back and lower limbs. Whole surface hot and dry, with occasional chills, mostly up and down the back. oTyphoid and cerebral forms of fever. oBeginning of typhus when the so-called nervous symptoms predominate; causes sweat to break out and relieve; critical sweat on forehead and face. oFever originating from confinement on shipboard, without good care or food.
Sleep.- oDelirious stupor; falls asleep while answering a question or being talked to (Hyos., Arn.). Sleeps well till 2 or 3 a.m., then restless till morning. oDrowsy, stupid, tired feeling; disposition to half close the eyes. Restless, with frightful dreams.
Skin.- Great heat and burning in skin (Ars.). oEruption like measles or urticaria (Acon., Ant. crud., Coff. c, Puls.). Livid spots all over body and limbs, thickest on body.
Compare.- Apis., Ars., Arn., Bry., Gels., Hyos., Merc, Mur. ac., Nitr. ac, Op., Phytol., Rhus tox.
THERAPEUTICS. Baptisia is used chiefly in the treatment of typhoid fever and typhoid conditions in general, associated with other diseases, when there is an evident tendency to rapid decomposition of the blood. In typhoid fever Baptisia is most useful in the first week, during the stage of general hyperemia, before ulceration of Peyer's glands has taken place. If properly indicated and given at this time, it will, undoubtedly, abort the disease. The chief indications are: Confusion of mind; mutter- ing delirium; restlessness; dusky-red face; slight sensitiveness in right iliac region; tongue white, with red papillae and red edges; yellow offensive stools, weary bruised feeling all over. In the second or third week of typhoid fever Baptisia may be indicated when the patient is in a stupor; face besotted; sordes on lips and tongue; tongue dry and brown in center, edges red; stools thin, dark and very offensive; putrid breath; profound prostration. The drug may also be useful in any low type of fever, especially malarial or accompanying eruptive diseases. Ship fever. Also where a typhoid state accompanies diseases of the digestive mucous membrane. Diphtheria; fauces dark-red; dark putrid ulcers; horrible odor from the mouth; absence of pain and great prostration; can only swallow liquids; with typhoid symptoms. About the same symptoms may also indicate Baptisia in the stomatitis of nursing women and infants; also in cancrum oris. It is an excellent remedy in diarrhoea accompanying typhoid and other fevers of a low type, the stools being dark, thin and extremely offensive. Typhoid dysentery, dark, brown mucous and bloody stools, with some tenesmus, but little pain.
Maharana Homoeo Reader