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Opium - Papaver Somniferum
(Dried Latex of the Poppy)
Hahnemann says that it is much more difficult to estimate the action of Opium than of almost any other drug. The effects of Opium as shown in the insensibility of the nervous system, the depression, drowsy stupor, painlessness, and torpor, the general sluggishness and lack of vital reaction, constitute the main indications for the drug when used homeopathically. All complaints are characterized by sopor. They are painless, and are accompanied by heavy, stupid sleep, stertorous breathing. Sweaty skin. Dark, mahogany-brown face. Serous apoplexy-venous, passive congestion. Want of sensitiveness to the action of medicines. Reappearance and aggravation from becoming heated. Opium lessens voluntary movements, contracts pupils, depresses higher intellectual powers, lessens self-control and power of concentration, judgment; stimulates the imagination, checks all secretions except that of the skin. Want of susceptibility to remedies even though well indicated. Diseases that originate from fright.
Patient wants nothing. Complete loss of consciousness; apoplectic state. Frightful fancies, daring, gay, bright. Unable to understand or appreciate his sufferings. Thinks he is not at home. Delirious talking, with wide open eyes.
Vertigo; lightness of head in old people. Dull, heavy, stupid. Delirium. Vertigo after fright. Pain in back of head; great weight there (Gels). Bursting feeling. Complete insensibility; no mental grasp for anything. Paralysis of brain.
Half-closed, dilated; pupils insensible, contracted. Ptosis (Gels; Caust). Staring glassy.
Red, bloated, swollen, dark suffused, hot. Looks intoxicated, besotted (Bapt; Lach). Spasmodic facial twitching, especially corners of mouth. Veins of face distended. Hanging down of lower jaw. Distorted.
Dry. Tongue black, paralyzed bloody froth. Intense thirst. Blubbering op lips. Difficult articulation and swallowing.
Vomiting, with colic and convulsions. Fecal vomiting. Incarcerated hernia. Hungry; no desire to eat.
Hard, bloated, tympanitic. Lead colic during colic, urging to stool and discharge of hard feces.
Obstinate constipation; no desire to go to stool. Round, hard, black balls. Feces protrude and recede (Thuj; Sil). Spasmodic retention of feces in small intestines. Stools involuntary, black, offensive, frothy. Violent pain in rectum, as if pressed asunder.
Slow to start; feeble stream. Retained or involuntary, after fright. Loss of power or sensibility of bladder.
Suppressed menses from fright. Cessation of labor-pains with coma between paroxysms. Threatened abortion and suppression of lochia, from fright, with sopor. Horrible labor-like pains in uterus, with urging to stool.
Breathing stops on going to sleep; must be shaken to start it again (Grindelia). Hoarse. Deep snoring; rattling, stertorous breathing. Difficult, intermittent, deep, unequal respiration. Heat in chest; burning about heart. Cough, with dyspnea and blue face; with bloody expectoration.
Great drowsiness (Gels.; Nux mosch). Falls into a heavy stupid sleep. Profound coma. Loss of breath on falling asleep (Grind). Coma vigil. Picking at bedclothes. Very sleepy, but cannot go to sleep. Distant noise, cocks crowing, etc, keep him awake. Child dreams of cats, dogs, black forms. Bed feels so hot cannot lie on it. Pleasant, fantastic, amorous dreams. Shaking chill; then heat, with sleep and sweat. Thirst only during heat.
Pulse full and slow. Heat extending over body. Hot perspiration. Fever characterized by stupor, snoring respiration, twitching of limbs, intense thirst and sleepiness. General low temperature with inclination to stupor.
Back and Extremities
Opisthotonos. Swollen veins of neck. Painless paralysis ( Oleand). Twitching of limbs. Numbness. Jerks as if flexors were overacting. Convulsions; worse from glare of light; coldness of limbs.
Hot, damp, sweating, Constant desire to uncover. Hot perspiration over whole body except lower limbs.
Worse, heat, during and after sleep (Apis; Lach.). Better, cold things, constant walking.
Compare: Apis; Bell; Gels; Nux mosch; Morphinum (extreme susceptibility to pain; twitching; tympanities; much itching); Codein (dry, teasing, incessant cough; twitching of muscles, especially those of eyelids); Eschscholtzia-Cal California Poppy--(a harmless soporific).
Antidote: Acute Opium poisoning. Atropin and Black Coffee. Chronic Opium poisoning. Ipecac; Nux; Passiflora. Berberis is useful to counteract opium habit.
Third to thirtieth and 200th potency.
Non-Homeopathic Preparations and Uses
Palliative only in great pain, sleeplessness, peritonitis, and to check excess secretion in diarrhea, diabetes, etc.
Official dose, 1 grain.
Laudanum (tincture)-Dose, 5 to 20 drops. Extract of Opium 1/4 to 1 grain.
Paregoric-Tinctura Camphora Composita. Contains in each dram 1/4 grain of Opium equal to 1/30 grain of Morphine. Dose 1/2 to 1 fluid dram for adults. For an infant 3 to 5 drops.
Dover's Powder consists of Opium, Ipecac and Sulphate of Potash. It contains 10% each of Opium and Ipecac. Dose 5 to 15 grains.
Morphine-1/8 to 1/4 grain.
Magendie's solution-16 grains to 1 oz or 5 drops equal to 1/6 grain.
Codein-1/2 to 1 grain.
Apomorphia-1/20 to 1/10 grain hypodermically.
(Reference: Homeopathic Materia Medica by William Boericke)