back Ignatia Amara

Synonym. - Strychnos Ignatia. Natural order. - Logani- aceae. Common name. - St. Ignatius Bean. Habitat.- A large shrub or small tree, climbing in habit, found growing in the Philippine Islands and Cochin China. Preparation. - Tincture or trituration from the powdered seeds.

GENERAL ANALYSIS.

Acts upon the medulla oblongata and the spinal nervous system, giving rise primarily to tetanic convulsions and dyspnoea, which may end in death. Secondarily, the entire nervous system becomes morbidly excited and sensitive, so that we find an intense acuteness of the nerves of sensation and of special sense, and an increased susceptibility to external impressions, both mental and physical. The co-ordination of functions is perverted. We may also find convulsive twitchings and spasms, or these alternating with torpor and depression. The leading expression of Ignatia is a finely sensitive mood, with tendency to sadness and silent grief, and continually brooding over imaginary troubles.

CHARACTERISTIC SYMPTOMS.

Mind. - Desire for solitude (Card, an., Hyos., Rhus tox.). Changeable disposition; jesting and laughing, changing to sadness, with shedding of tears (Acon., Aur., Nux m., Phos.). Anxiety as if he had committed some great crime (Coccul., Verat. alb.). Finely sensitive mood; delicate conscientiousness (Sil.). Slight blame or contradiction irritates and excites him to anger (Aur., Bry., Ferr., Nux v.). Fearful, timid (Acon., Aur., Bell., Cinch., Phos.). Inconstant, impatient, irresolute (Baryt. c). Taciturn, sad, melancholy (Nux m., Puls.). Howls, cries, and is beside himself on account of trifles. Unreasonable complaint about noise, indifference to everything. Boldness. Busy and restless; after exerting brain, worse mornings, unable to do anything as rapidly as he wishes, whereupon anxious behavior, mistakes in writing and talking and awkward motions. Weakness of memory (Anac). o Anger, followed by quiet grief or sorrow. oFull of suppressed grief (Cimic.); seems weighed down by it; broods over imaginary troubles (Naja). oGreat grief after losing persons or objects that were very dear. oChildren get sick from being reprimanded or scolded and sent to bed.

Head. - Heaviness of the head. Yertigo. Headache, like a pressure with something hard on the surface of the brain. Head- ache, as if bruised or beaten in the morning on awakening (Nux v.); on rising changes to toothache, as if crushed or shattered, then to bruised, beaten pain in small of back; worse when thinking about it (Cham.). Jerking headache on ascending steps; aggravated by opening the eyes. Throbbing headache, with every beat of arteries, worse on stooping. Pressing headache in right half of forehead, involving the right eye, as if ball would be pressed out. Pressing p^ins in forehead and root of nose (Kali bi., Hep. s.); must jend the head forward followed by inclination to vomit. Pain as if a nail were driven out through the side of the head (Agar., Anac, Ars., Coff. c); relieved when lying on the painful side. Pain in right side of occiput. oHeadache from coffee, tobacco or alcohol; aggravated in mornings; from moving the eyes; from stooping; from noise; better from changing position; when lying on painful side.

Eyes.- Photophobia (Acon., Bell., Merc, Sulph.). Flickering zigzags before the eyes (Cycl., Lyc.). Pressure in the eyes; as from sand (Ars., Caust., Ign., Phyt., Sulph.). Burning and watering of the eyes (Ars., Euphr.). Convulsive movements of eyes and lids (Agar.).

Ears. - Itching in the ears. Ringing.

Nose. - Fluent coryza. Dry catarrh.

Face. - Convulsive twitchings of muscles of face (Agar., Ant. tart., Cic, Strain.). Lips dry, cracked and bleeding. Inside of lower lip painful, as if raw.

Mouth.- Twitchings of corners of mouth (Op.). Stitches in palate extending to inner ear. Spasmodic closure of the jaws (Cic, Hyos., Laur. ,Nux v., (Enan.). Accumulation of acid saliva; of mucus. While chewing or talking bites inside of cheeks easily (Nitr. ac). Sour taste in the mouth (Calc c, Cinch., Nitr. ac, Nux v., Sep.).

Throat. - Sensation of a lump in the throat; more when not swallowing. Constriction in middle of oesophagus, worse .vhen not swallowing. Sore throat; sticking and stitches only between the acts of swallowing; better from swallowing solid food. Crawling in throat. Pain in the submaxillary glands.

Stomach. - Aversion to tobacco-smoking; to warm food and milk; to spirituous liquors. Eructations of bitter fluid; of food. Hiccough; alter eating (Bry., Hyos., Paris) and drinking; from smoking. Nausea from smoking. Sensation of emptiness in the stomach (Cimic, Hydras., Petrol., Sep., Sulph.). Sensation of weakness and sinking in pit of stomach (Hydras., Sep.). Pressure in pit of stomach and in region of spleen.

Abdomen.- Drawing and pinching in the umbilical region. Fullness and tension in hypochondria. Throbbing in the abdomen. Humbling in the abdomen. Difficult expulsion of offensive flatus. Colic pains, first griping, then stitches in one or the other side of abdomen. Intermittent pain in region of spleen and pit of stomach.

Stool and Anus. - Prolapsus of the rectum, from moderate exertion at stool (Podo.). Contractive sore pain in the rectum, as from Mind piles; for one or two hours after stool. Sharp, pressive pain in the rectum. Sharp stitches from- the anus deep into the rectum. Itching and crawling in the rectum, as from thread worms. Constrictive sore pain in anus after stool (Natr. mur.). Fruitless efforts and urging to stool. Stools large and soft, but passed with difficulty (Carb. v., Cinch.); frequent; thin involuntary, with flatus. Painless contraction in anus. Blind haemorrhoids, with pressure and soreness in anus and rectum; painful sitting and standing, less painful when walking.

Urinary Organs. - Frequent discharge of much watery urine (Phos. ac).

Male Organs. - Erection during stool. Soreness and ulcerative pain, combined with itching at the margin of the prepuce. Itching about genitals, in bed; worse on scratching. Complete loss of sexual desire.

Female Organs. - Menses too early. Menstrual blood black, or putrid odor, in clots (Amm. carb., Croc, Cycl., Plat.). Violent labor-like pains; followed by purulent corrosive leucorrhoea.

Respiratory Organs. - Constrictive sensation in larynx and trachea (Ars., Ipec). Inability to talk loud. Snoring inspiration during sleep. Desire to take a deep breath (Lach.). Frequent sighing (Agar., Calc. phos., Sec). Dry spasmodic cough (Dros., Hyos.). Provocation in larynx to hacking cough, in evening after lying down, better from suppressing cough. Hollow spasmodic cough, especially in evening, caused by a sensation as from fumes of sulphur (Ars., Cinch., Lyc.), or from dust in pit of throat. The longer the cough continues, the more the irritation to cough increases. Every time he stands still during a walk he coughs. Sleepy after each coughing spell (Ant. tart.). Spasmodic constriction of the chest {Asaf., Laivr.). Inspiration impeded as from a load in chest, expiration just so much easier. Stitches in left chest.

Heart.- Palpitation of the heart (Acon., Ars., Asaf.).

Neck and Back.- Stiffness of the nape of the neck (Agar., Kali c, Lach., Ehus tox.). Pain in the sacrum, also when lying on the back; mornings.

Limbs. - Single jerks of the limbs on falling asleep. Pain as if sprained or dislocated, in the shoulder, hip and knee joints. Convulsive jerking of the arms and legs (Stram.). Crawling, asleep sensation in the limbs.

Upper Limbs.- Quivering jerks in deltoid muscle. Pain in the joints of the arms, when bending them backward, as after violent exertion, or as if bruised. Sensation of a mouse crawling under the skin in the arm, in evening after lying down.

Lower Limbs.- Tearing pain in tendo Achillis and calf, as though parts would be cut off; worse when standing, walking or exerting the muscles.

Generalities.- Jerkings and twitchings in various parts of the muscles, here and there (Calc. c, Hyos., Stram.). Convulsions alternating with oppressed breathing. oConvulsive twitchings, especially after fright or grief (Gels., Op.). oConvulsions during dentition; after punishment; from fright or grief (Gels., Op.). oParalysis after great mental emotion, or night watching. Over-sensitiveness to pain (Aur., Coff. c, Cham., Sep.). Pressing pains from in to out as from a hard pointed body. Frequently changing position at night in bed (Rhus tox.). Hysterical debility and fainting fits (Nux m.). Great weakness and exhaustion (Ars., Cinch., Ferr., Phos., Sec). Pain in small, circumscribed spots.

Sleep.- Excessively frequent spasmodic yawning. Restless sleep, very light sleep, hears everything. Dreams of one and the same object the whole night through.

Skin. - Itching relieved by gentle scratching. Excoriation of the skin (Graph., Hydras., Lyc.).

Fever. - Shaking chill, with redness of the face. Chill, espe- cially in posterior portion of the body; relieved by external warmth (Ars., Kali c). During the chill, thirsty; desires external warmth; during the heat no thirst, external warmth intolerable. Heat of the whole body in the afternoon, without thirst (Puls.). External heat and redness, without internal heat. Hot knees with cold nose. One-sided burning heat of the face. Very little sweat, or only on the face.

Aggravation. - In morning; immediately after waking; in the evening after lying down; from slight touch; from smok- ing tobacco; from coffee.

Amelioration. - When lying on the back or on the painful side, or from change of position; from hard pressure.

Conditions. - Especially suitable to nervous, hysterical females of mild but easily excited nature; to nervous children.

Compare. - Ars., Cham., Coccul., Coif, c, Gels., Hyos., Ipec, Lach., Lyc., Nux m., Nux v., Puls., Silic, Staph., Stram.

Incompatible: Coffee, Tobacco.

Antidotes.- Arm, Camph., Cham., Coccul, Coff. c, Nux v., Puls. To large doses : Coff.

Ignatia Antidotes.- Zinc, effects of Coffee, Cham., Puls.; also Brandy and Tobacco.

THERAPEUTICS.

The mental symptoms of Ignatia are extremely important, and indicate the use of the drug in a great majority of instances, especially in diseases of spinal origin, in which class of cases it is most frequently useful. Ignatia closely resembles Nux vom. in its action, yet at the same time presents wide dissimilarities, and the two should be carefully differentiated. Doubtless Ignatia should be often prescribed where Nux vom. is given. The mental sphere of Ignatia is one of melancholy and silent grief, brooding over her sorrows in secret, while in Nux vom. there is always a vein of irascibility and anger, which is plainly manifested on slight provocation. Puis, has sadness and melancholy, but the patient is tearful, and makes known her sorrows. Ignatia is also characterized by a singularly contradictory action in its symptoms, both mental and physical, which is found in no other remedy - the alternate laughing and crying; during fever no thirst and wants to be covered; during chill thirsty, does not want to be covered; sore throat, pain worse when not* swallowing; toothache worse when not chewing; irritation to cough worse from coughing, etc. Bearing in mind these peculiarities of the drug, in which also the emotional always predominates, we find it useful in ailments from mortification, bad news, grief or suppressed mental sufferings; bad consequences of disappointed love (Hyos., Phos. ac); melancholy, hysteria, convulsions, cramps, spasms, neuralgias, nervous headache. In all phases of hysteria it is invaluable, being one of the most often indicated remedies; the patient has globus hystericus, oppressed breathing with deep sighing, face flushing at every emotion, and the mental symptoms already mentioned. Hysterical spasms. Hysterical paralysis. Hysterical aphonia. Spasms in children from fright or fear, from punishment, from worms, from teething, convulsive twitchings. Chorea from same causes. Spasms of nervous, hysterical women during parturition. Epilepsy originally caused by fright. Nervous spasms of the glottis. Often useful in nervous headaches, especially with pain as if a nail were driven out through the side of the head, better by lying od the painful side. Neuralgia, especially facial, from fright or emotions. Sciatica, with coldness; has to get up and walk about, and characteristic mental symptoms. Sore throat-tonsilitis, diphtheria, etc., pain better during the act of swallowing. Frequently useful in dyspepsia of nervous origin, with eructation and hiccough after eating, desire for indigestible food, weak, empty, sinking feeling in stomach, better from eat' ing; also with mental symptoms. Gastralgia. Prolapsus and Fissures in anus. Haemorrhoids. With anal and rectal trou bles, deep sharp stabbing pains are present. Constant itching and crawling in rectum causing great nervousness. Diarrhoea- from fright or emotion: fruitless efforts and urging to stool. Alternate diarrhoea and constipation. Menorrhagia, blood black and clotted. Suppression of menses from grief or fright, with characteristic mental symptoms. Dysmenorrhoea. Ovarian neuralgia. Purulent corrosive leucorrhoea, preceded by labor-like pains. Premature labor pains from grief or fright. Morning sickness of pregnancy with empty sinking feeling at stomach, better after eating. Nervous cough; better from suppressing the cough. Sympathetic cough, especially from uterine or ovarian irritation. Sometimes useful in intermittent fever, with the contradictory symptoms above mentioned, and especially when mental symptoms of the drug are present. Nervous types of fevers.


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