OF nutmeg, Kent says: “A little remedy, but, when needed, nothing will take its place.” It so happens that one has come across this remedy several times, in rather dramatic circumstances, and has witnessed its rapid and wonderful action. Therefore it is a drug one is greatly tempted to write about-probably little known-one of those remedies that will never “work out” unless one takes only its own peculiar symptoms-which are entirely distinctive. A FIRST EXPERIENCE Many years ago, in a state of greatest anxiety in regard to a patient of 80, with cerebral thrombosis, paralyzed and comatose for nine weeks, where the coma had become so deep that it was almost impossible to get a mouthful of anything down, one went off late at night to ask advice of a certain homoeopathic doctor in the south of London. Absolutely the right man to go to! for he had a curious tale to tell. He had himself had bouts of indifference and automatic conduct after rather frequent attacks of influenza (and influenza was severe in those days!) in such sort that he would carry his letters about for days unopened; took interest in nothing, and was pretty useless to his patients, who nevertheless trusted him greatly, and made allowance for his post-influenzal state, and waited for it to lift. It was Nux mosch. that had proved the magic remedy and restored him to usefulness. He was therefore able to point out its “virtues” and its applicability to the case in point. And it worked-just a dose of the 200 (so far as one remembers) and all anxiety in regard to the patient was at an end. She promptly woke up, and thereafter made a marvellous recovery, living on for another five years, in full possession of her faculties. Other remedies (notably Zinc. in very high potency) helped later; but it was Nux. mosch. that, humanly speaking, saved her life. After such an experience, one never forgets a remedy. Here is another memory of nutmeg. Some years ago a girl of 22 came, in a curious state, for help. Eight months previously, for boils, she had eaten a nutmeg; had ground it up and eaten it with bread and butter. This interesting experience had already cost them L100 in attempts at treatment, she said. She described what had happened. She became sleepy: eyes only half-open. Felt she was losing consciousness: felt paralysed; numb. Took castor oil, and salts. Repeated attacks of unconsciousness. They tried to make her sick, and she vomited the castor oil. They thought she was “gone”. Her heart was affected. Felt she was slipping down to one side. Was in bed for one month, and never well since. Very nervous. Now-if tired, feels frightened (? of what?). Easily gets tired. Has had fear of death. Dreams -nightmares: aeroplane crashes: is chased. Indigestion. Skin oily, all over head, face, back. Greasy. She gave a number of symptoms, among them: Axillae pour with sweat. She had been vaccinated twice, first took slightly, second did not take. One was tempted by Thuja, and by Nux mosch. high. But she got Thuja 1m, 10m, 50 m on three following mornings. In three weeks’ time, “Distinctly better; no more nightmares; giddy attacks less frequent. It (the medicine) has put fresh life into me and I feel capable of doing anything now.” And in another month, “I am a different person, and you’d hardly recognize me. Playing tennis daily, and except for a qualm here and there, almost my old self.” But some indigestion still for which she got Nux mosch. 200 and 1m on two succeeding mornings, and was not heard of again for eleven months. Kent says, It is better to do nothing than something wrong. In this case, a dose or two of Thuja would have cured the boils, and she might have saved her L100. Nux. mosch. has been used to promote abortion. Its action is specific here, see symptoms. One remembers one or two such cases, long ago; in all of them there had been the extreme sleepiness and comatose condition. But the effects have seemed to wear off quickly, in such cases. CLARKE (Dictionary) gives one or two interesting instances of the effects of nutmeg: interesting and important because what nutmeg can cause, that, and that only, it can cure. A young man ate two nutmegs one morning. In afternoon was exhilarated, able to do more than usual, to argue on any subject. At dinner mouth dry, great thirst, felt could not drink enough to quench it. After dinner head felt strange, as if in a dream but he joined a small musical party, as he had intended. He seemed to be two persons, and his real conscious self seemed to be watching his other self playing. He could not play well: had to desist: seemed lost, and when spoken to would come to himself with a start. Hearing for distant sounds much more acute than usual. A woman who ate two nutmegs with the idea of bringing on abortion had a hallucination that she had two heads. Another woman, when consciousness returned kept hands to her head “to prevent it falling off”; was obliged to move her head with her hands, it being “too large and heavy for her body”. Clarke also emphasizes three great keynotes of Nux mosch.-Drowsiness: Chilliness: and Dryness. “The saliva seems thick, like cotton.” Another keynote, Tendency to fainting. Clairvoyant state: answers questions accurately quite out of her sphere, and on returning to consciousness knows nothing about it. For dual personality compare, Bapt., Petrol., Pyrog.
BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS
MENTALLY: Stupor and insensibility: unconquerable sleep. Vanishing of thoughts while talking, reading, or writing. Weakness and loss of memory. Uses wrong words (during headache). Surrounding seems changed; fanciful, dreamy images; does not recognize the known street. (Opium) Inclination to laugh at everything, more in open air. Sensation as if all vessels were pulsating, especially in HEAD; a throbbing, pressing pain, confined to small spots, principally to left supraorbital ridge. Severe tearing in occiput, towards nape of neck. Dryness of EYES: too dry to close lids. TONGUE paralysed: difficult to move tongue: dry, feels as if gone to sleep or leather covered. At night dry, as if it would fall into powder; sticks to roof of mouth; great complaint of its dryness; in reality not very dry. Mouths so dry that tongue sticks to roof, yet no thirst (evening). Greatly troubled with dryness of mouth and throat while sleeping: always wakes with a very dry tongue, but without thirst. STOMACH: No thirst, with dry mouth. Eating a little too much causes headache. Vomiting: spasmodic; during pregnancy; from irritation of pessaries; from acid stomach; flatulence. Fullness in stomach impeding breathing: during pregnancy. STOOL: soft but difficult rectum inactive; slow; undigested; with great sleepiness. MENSES irregular in time and quantity: too early and profuse; too late, preceded by pain in back. Flow generally dark, thick pain in small of back, as if a piece of wood were lying crosswise and being pressed out, unconquerable drowsiness: mouth dry: hysteric laughter. Threatened abortion; hysterical females disposed to fainting; feel chilly and catch cold easily; fears she will abort; continued and obstinate flooding. Hoarseness from walking against wind. Difficult inhalation: hysteric asthma. Dyspnoea with feeling of weight in CHEST. Stitches in chest: tightness; splitting of blood. Pains now in BACK: now in sacrum: knees very tired: worse during rest. Lumbago. Pain in sacrum when riding in a carriage. HANDS cold as if frozen: tingling under nails, on entering a warm room. NERVES. Drowsiness: torpor: lethargy. Spasms: hysterical in inner parts: chronic hysteric fits: convulsive motions. Hysteria: exhausted from least effort. Complaints cause sleepiness: irresistibly drowsy; sleepy, muddled, as if intoxicated; coma, lies silent, immovable: eyes closed: strange feeling on walking. Want of sweat: skin cool and dry.
As if drunk: limbs floating in air; head feels as large again. As if brain struck against side of head. As if all vessels were pulsating. As if head would burst. Brain as if loose. Jaws as if paralysed. Teeth as if held in grip: teeth as if loose. As if tongue would stick to palate. As if she had eaten herring. As if a piece of bacon were in throat. Food forms lumps in stomach. As if it were full of knots: a lump in abdomen. As if a piece of wood stretched across small of back were pressing from within outwards. As if heart would be squeezed off. (Cact., Lil. tig.) As if heart stopping. (Gels., Dig.) Chest too narrow: a knife plunged into chest. As if heart were stopping: blood rushing to heart, thence to head and all over body. Heart grasped. (Cact., Dig.) Grasping sensations, heart, upper arm, knee. Sensations of a blow from a fist: lumbar muscles, calves. Parts on which he lies feel sore. (Arn.) As if bone from knee to ankle has been smashed from a blow. Dryness of eyes, nose, lips, mouth, tongue, throat; or at least a feeling of dryness. Limbs as if floating in air. Among the symptoms of poisonings by nutmeg given in the Cyclopedia of Drug Pathogenesy one notices also again and again its effects on the pelvic organs-ovaries and womb much swollen and tender to touch: many of the symptoms went on or recurred for months. The head is described by one after the other, as heavy: “would put hands to head to prevent it from dropping off”: it felt greatly enlarged: “obliged to use her hands to move her head, it being too large and heavy for the body.” “Head felt much too large, and drawn back.” Everything too large: hands double their size in one case objects grew smaller. Respirations were greatly affected, “the power of breathing was leaving me.” In one case, attempts to separate the hands brought on convulsions. “Dared not sleep, lest she should die.” “Hand red: covered with red spots, and enlarged.” Floating sensations. “Heart seemed to beat in a vacuum: felt numb and cold: as if it dripped: as if it actions were suspended,” and so on. Nux mosch. is “sleepy and COLD” -DROWSY, CRY, but with NO THIRST. GUERNSEY’S summary of Nux mosch.: Drowsiness; very sleepy; stupor-like sleep. Complaints causing sleepiness. Chilliness without thirst: heat without thirst: want of perspiration: no thirst. Very dry mouth, so dry that tongue may adhere to roof of mouth, but no desire for water, rather an aversion to it. (Merc. on the contrary, has tongue very moist, perhaps dripping with saliva, and there is great thirst.) Headaches with very dry mouth and no desire for water. Worse cold, wet weather; in open air; in cold air. When weather changes (dry to wet, or vice versa, until it becomes settled). Worse wet weather: windy weather. FARRINGTON says: Nux moschata exerts a very novel influence upon the mind. The state varies form a bewilderment, in which the surroundings are strange, dreamy, or fanciful, to a condition of absent-mindedness, sleepiness, and finally deep stupor, with loss of motion and sensation. Mental states may alternate. At one time she laughs, as if everything partook of the ludicrous. She jests even about serious subjects. Suddenly her mood changes to sadness, with weeping and loud crying; or her expression grows stupid, all ideas vanish, and she appears as if overwhelmed with sleep. There are, likewise, errors of perception; a momentary unconsciousness she regards as having been of long duration. Her hands look too large. Objects gradually diminish in size as she looks at them steadily. The bodily functions come under the same influence; great weakness and bruised feeling in small of back and legs; knees feel as after a long journey; prostration; tendency to faint; oppressed breathing, rush of blood to the heart, skin cold and dry. So relaxed that pulse and breath are scarcely discernible. Head drops forward, the chin resting on the breast. Head rolls about as if bulky. Bowels enormously distended with wind, as from weak digestion. Even soft stools are evacuated with difficulty. It is this mental and bodily atony which has led to the excellent cures made with Nux moschata, not only in hysterical weakness, but in typhoid and cholera infantum. The hystero- spasmodic symptoms of the drug are intimately co-mingled with the above symptoms; head jerked forward; jaws clenched; heart as if grasped; sudden oppression of the heart, with choking sensation; tonic, followed by clonic spasm; unconsciousness or fainting. Accompaniments are: Great dryness of mouth and throat, which, with her tendency to magnify, she complains of extremely. The least emotional excitement renews the symptoms, increases the distension of the abdomen, etc. Skin cool and dry, no disposition to sweat. KENT has a small article on Nux mosch. He says it is not a very great remedy, but is often overlooked when needed. We get into the habit of relying entirely on the polychrests. The root is much stronger than the nut in the same proportions, and contains the real medicinal qualities. Dazed: automatic a wonderful state of mind. Goes about performing her duties, but if interrupted forgets what she has done, forgets that she was in conversation with her son. Has no recollection of past events. Lies with eyes closed: knows what is going on, but remembers nothing. Seems in a dream. Seems not to know her friends. She is always ready to go to sleep in season and out of season. Useful, he says, in the coma of typhoid and intermittent fever. Answers slowly after a long interval, then looks confused again. The answer may have no relation to the question asked. The sleepiness and the dazed state combined are difficult to cover with a medicine: this state is somewhat like Opium. Faintness on long standing, as having a dress fitted. Dry mouth: sleepiness and automatic conduct: has cured petit mal. Especially suitable for lean women, who have lost flesh; the breasts are flat. I remember a woman of thirty-five whose breasts once well-rounded, became perfectly flat. Nux mosch. restored the breasts. A little remedy, but when wanted, nothing will take its place. We will end with a quotation from Neatby and Stonham’s Manual: “As with all other medicines, when given according to the law of similars, Nux mosch. will give relief and effect cures in diseases, no matter how named and classified, if the correspondence between drug and disease is sufficiently close.”.