Baptisia has gained its greatest reputation as a remedy in typhoid fever, to the symptoms of which its pathogenesis strikingly corresponds. But it is only when it is used strictly in accordance with its symptoms that it will give successful results.
When given as a matter of routine there are sure to be failures. Another disease in which it has proved specific in a large number of cases is epidemic influenza. The besotted countenance, bleary eyes, aching head, sore throat, pains and soreness all over the body, and profound prostration which are present in all typical cases indicate Baptisia before any other remedy.
Among the chief symptoms of the remedy are the following:
Stupor, falls asleep whilst being spoken to, confused as if drunk.
Cannot keep his mind together, a wild wandering feeling.
This scattered feeling is further exemplified in the illusion that the body is double; limbs separated and conversing with each other; can’t sleep because body seems scattered about and cannot collect pieces.
There is a dull heavy sensation in head with drowsiness and heavy eyelids.
The head feels large, with a numb feeling of head and face. Bruised headache; soreness as if in brain; bruised feeling in occiput; heavy feeling at base of brain with drawing in cervical muscles. Frontal headache with pressure at root of nose.
The neck is tired, cannot hold head easy in any position.
The eyes cannot bear light; burn; are weak; painful on reading. Weight on eyes; eyeballs sore, lame on moving. Blear-eyed. Lids partially paralysed. An illusion of smell “as of burnt feathers” has been caused and cured by it.
Pain in left parotid gland. Flat, bitter taste.
Tongue swollen; feels numb; speech difficult. Is coated whitish yellow, and feels burnt or scalded. Dry, parched, brown centre; cracked and ulcerated. Canker sores in mouth.
The sore-mouth of sucklings.
Painlessness is a feature in the sore throat; putrid, painless, dark ulcers. Œsophagus feels constricted down to stomach; can only swallow liquids; cases of convulsive contraction of œsophagus and cardiac orifice, with regurgitation of food, have been cured by it.
In one case, that of an old man, food could be swallowed and retained some days, but not on others. He had always liked very hot food. The œsophagus was red and granular. Bapt. 12 cured. Nausea, retching and vomiting. Sinking, gone feeling. Pain in liver; and especially in gall-bladder; in spleen; in right iliac region; in groins; glands swollen. Soreness of abdominal muscles and right iliac region. Fetid exhausting diarrhœa; dysentery in autumn or hot weather. Worms. The urine is high-coloured, scanty, alkaline, fetid. Orchitis, squeezed pain in testes. Hale considers it specific in threatened miscarriage from mental depression, shock of bad news, watching, fasting, or low fever. Patients in these conditions often complain of “dreadful sinking at the stomach,” fetid breath and other symptoms of Baptisia.
Many cases of phthisis are relieved by this remedy when the symptom and type of fever correspond. Lumbar backache. Feels as if lying on a board. Pain in sacrum. Weakness of lower limbs. Left foot much prickling and numbness. Numbness and soreness are very general in Baptisia patients. It has cured hysteria with prostration, numbness and fear of paralysis, wanted to die, rubbed hands continually, restlessness. The bed feels hard. There is excessive drowsiness. < On waking; < walking; < open air; < cold wind; < autumn or hot weather. Reference: The DIctionary of Practical Materia Medica. J. H. Clarke