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Apr 11, 2012

CYCLAMEN By C. L. Olds, M.D.

This Article originally published in: 

Vol XXXIV CHICAGO, JULY 15, 1895. No. 2
Materia Medica and Therapeutics

The lectures on Materia Medica by PROF. J. T. KENT, of the POST 
GRADUATE SCHOOL OP HOMOEOPATHICS, have proven of such practical value that they will continue to be a leading feature of this Department. Original
provings and verifications will appear from time to time as they may be secured.
To these will be added other papers of value from prominent
teachers of Materia Medica, making
THE MEDICAL ADVANCE one of the most valuable mediums through which our
Materia Medica may be studied.

C. L. OLDS, M. D.

When a patient comes into our office, one of-the first things
that we do is to note his or her actions, to consider the aspect, to
scrutinize closely the external of the patient, knowing that the
external appearance will often give us the clew to the remedy
needed; we can often say, this looks like a Calcarea patient,
this a Sepia, this a Pulsatilla, this a Thuja patient, and so on.
Bat should we prescribe on the actions and aspect of the patient
only, our conclusions would often be unwarranted.
   Imagine before you a patient, a woman with clear complexion
and blue eyes—a blonde. She seems to be absorbed in
thought and weeps while giving her symptoms. You learn
that she is fond of solitude, and often weeps; worse in the
evening; thirstless; aversion to fats, which cause nausea; a few
mouthfuls of food fill her up; she has many menstrual symptoms.
Pulsatilla will probably come into your mind, but
wait! you now learn that she is a cold patient, one that is alwaya
chilly; that whenever she goes out of doors she is made
worse thereby, but is pretty comfortable in the house where it
is warm; and further you learn from a companion that she is
the most cranky and irritable person in the world. This will
in some measure show you the necessity of a careful examination
of the patient, for all the symptoms related are quite characteristic
of Cyclamen. And now as we take up the study of
Cyclamen, you will see that it has many symptoms in common
with Pulsatilla, you will see that it has essentially the same
sphere of action, yet certain of the generals of the two remedies
separate them widely.
   The Cyclamen patient is sluggish in both mind and body;
torpid; there is relaxation of the whole body. She weeps and
wants to sit in the corner and think of the future; this state
may alternate with one of irritability, in fact there seem to be
many symptoms that alternate; weakness and exaltation of the
memory, joy and sadness, good and ill humor, peevishness and
serenity. In the eye double vision that comes and goes,
Strabismus that comes and goes, dilated pupils that come and
go. The appetite is also variable, sometimes there is ravenous
hunger and at others complete loss of appetite. The heat and
the chill symptoms alternate.
   Ill humor seems to predominate. She thinks that she is deserted
and persecuted by everyone, or she may feel that she
has committed a great sin and grieves over it until she cannot
sleep at night. The least trifle makes her angry (Pulsatilla is
hurt by every trifle, almost breaks her heart over it.)
   The vertigo is < in the open air and > in the house.
(Pulsatilla vertigo > in open air). There is a motion in the
brain as from riding in a carriage, a sensation as if the brain
was in motion when leaning the head against anything. There
is dullness of all senses. (Pulsatilla is oversensitive).
The headaches are violent. They usually commence with
an obscuration of the sight and flickering before the eyes; the
brain feels as if bound or enveloped with a cloth. The pains
are chiefly in the left temple. (Pulsatilla headache all over
head). The headaches are < motion, < in the evening and
< in the open air, but > from cold water applied. This relief
from cold water is an exception to the general of the remedy.
The patient is generally > motion, > warmth and > weeping;
and < evening, < open air, < before the menses.
   There is itching on the scalp, great itching which changes
place on scratching, > moving about, < in the evening.
   There are all sorts of sensations before the eyes; flickering,
mist-like appearances, yellow and green colors and obscuration
of sight, nearly all of the provers had sudden vanishing of the
sight, especially with the headaches.
   At the time of the menses, or at any time when there is
uterine trouble, the eye symptoms seem to come out in full
force. It is at that time that you will find the strabismus,
the dilated pupil and the obscuration of vision most prominent.
This remedy furnishes an illustration of the sympathy that
exists between the eyes and the sexual organs.
   The menstrual periods come too early, and the blood is
black and clotted, the flow is too profuse. Before the menses
she is sad, melancholy, full of fears, irritable. When the
flow comes on, the mental state is relieved, she feels better
generally. During the flow you have pains that start in the
back. They go down across the abdomen to the pubes, and
then go down the thighs. These pains are violent, and while
they are present the flow ceases, but on the pains ceasing the
flow starts again. Again, we may find that the menses are
scant, or even suppressed and as a result of this suppression,
the mental symptoms will come on; the sadness, desire to be
alone, melancholy, irritability. The menses are scanty; first
there will be black clots with thin blood, later, simply a scant
watery flow, similar to what we see in Pulsatilla. While she
is moving about, the menses cease, but on sitting down or
lying down they come on again. With these menstrual symptoms,
we will have the eye symptoms that I spoke of, the head
symptoms and stomach symptoms. She is very apt to have
nausea and vomiting during the menses, with a left-sided
headache. The head feels as if it were bound, she feels confused.
The eye symptoms are < in the evening < from going
out of doors. The menstrual conditions are < from the open
air, > from a close room, and although she is > from a close
room, i.e., a warm room, she feels as if the room were too
small, she can hardly bear to sit in the room, it seems so
small, and yet she is averse to going into the open air. Before
the menses there is bloating of the abdomen with great sensitiveness;
after the menses, there is swelling of the breasts,
and perhaps the secretion of milk and a peculiar sensation as
if air were streaming through the nipples. Now, usually if
there are any breast symptoms with the menses, they will be
before the menses, swelling of the breasts before the menses,
> at the coming on of the menses, but with the Cyclamen
patient, this comes on after the menses.
   We might also expect this remedy to be useful in Chlorosis.
No menses for a long time, the patient looks exsanguinated—
as if there were no blood in her. The lips are pale, coldness
of the extremities and of the prominent parts of the body, with
the other general symptoms that I have described.
   There is a great deal of sneezing in this remedy, sneezing
with fluent coryza, and this coryza is >in the open air; there
is another exception to the general conditions, something like
Nux Vomica and Kali Carb. Both these are chilly remedies
and yet their coryza are > in the open air. This remedy
should be remembered when colds come on accompanied by
obscuration of sight.
   All sorts of tastes in the mouth, flat, putrid, fatty, salty,
and like the taste of Pulsatillabitter. This salty taste is
not only in the mouth while eating, but at all times. The saliva
tastes salty, the food tastes salty and everything tastes salty.
There is a great deal of saliva; very profuse, always having
this salty taste.
   In the throat there is rawness, scraping, soreness. Nothing
very important.
   Like Pulsatilla, there is indigestion; the digestion is slow,
the food lies in the stomach like a load, it takes a long time to
digest it. There will be passing of gas up and down. If she
has an appetite at all a few mouthfuls seem to satisfy her, she
fills up with a few mouthfuls. (Pulsatilla has this also, as
well as Sulphur and Lycopodium.) After she has taken a few
mouthfuls, there is nausea, nausea that seems to be referred
to the throat. Disgust of food, disgust for anything. She
dislikes even the mention of pork, or of anything fat. She
seems to have a craving for certain indigestible things only.
She wants sardines; she wants sour things. Anything that is
indigestible she may have a craving for, but the ordinary articles
of food, she will dislike. She cannot bear the sight of
bread and butter, cannot bear the sight of the ordinary articles
of food.
   In the abdomen we find this same state of inactivity. There
is a feeling as if a lump were there, as if the food did not digest,
as if it stayed for a long time in the intestine, causing
colic, gripings of various kinds. Sensation beneath the liver
as if there were a great ball there, rather a peculiar sensation;
a feeling in the intestine as if something were alive, as if an
animal were there, creeping and crawling about. This com-
pares with Thuja and Crocus, which have a sensation as if
something were alive in the abdomen. The abdomen becomes
distended, exceedingly sensitive to pressure. With the colic
there comes on a diarrhoea that has little or no odor. The stools
of Cyclamen seem to be almost odorless. The first part of the
stool seems to be crumbly and the next pappy and all shot
out at once. So it is with the urine. He will want to go directly
to urinate and he will worry and tease and suddenly
there will be a flow of dark reddish or yellowish urine. “He
can only urinate while hearing someone whistle”; this is a clinical
symptom I believe. Cutting, stinging, rending pains in
the urethra, with great desire to urinate, with the sudden
gushing out of urine.
   Throughout the extremities there are pains of various kinds,
rending, tearing, lancing, bruising pains, cramp-like pains in
different parts. Sensations as if the bones were dislocated,
and particularly in the fingers do we find cramps like the
cramps that writers have, and clinically it has been found
useful in writer's cramp.
   There are a few chill symptoms. The chill predominates.
With the chill there is great coldness. The chill starts in the
prominent parts of the body, as in the fingers and toes, in the
nose and ears; with this, great aversion to covering up. No
thirst with the chill. After a long chill, then comes the heat
—no thirst then. Following the heat there will be sweat,
sweat which is offensive—rarely any thirst at that time. So
that you see this somewhat competes with Apis, as a thirstless
remedy in chills and fever. (With Pulsatilla there is thirst
during the heat). The chill usually comes on in the evening.
There is a general aggravation in the evening.
   I did not mention the sleep symptoms. She falls asleep
very late. Does not seem to get asleep ever before midnight,
and the sleep is full of vivid dreams, and she rolls and tosses
about. After she has gone through a number of the earlier
hours of the night with this restlessness, she will wake up very
early in the morning and will feel so tired and dragged out,
will seem to be completely exhausted; she does not want to
get up, does not want to do anything.
   There is an aggravation of most of the symptoms by the
use of coffee.
   Another distinction that I want to give you between Pulsatilla
and Cyclamen, is that in Pulsatilla the stomach symptoms
are < in the morning; although Pulsatilla is generally < in
the evening, the stomach symptoms are < in the morning;
with Cyclamen the stomach symptoms are < in the evening,
following the general of the remedy.

* Notes from lecture at Post-Graduate School, reported by S. Mary Ives, M. D.

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