The effects of Coffea cruda have to be considered separately from those of Coffea tosta, since the roasting converts much of the Coffeine into Coffeone or Methylamine, which gives to coffee its aroma. But the effects are scarcely distinguishable, and I have not attempted to keep them strictly apart.
The provings of Coff. c. were made with the raw berries. Coffea belongs to the same family as China, Ipecacuanha, and like these remedies has many symptoms of intermittent fever. It has been noticed that coffee-drinkers who do get ague are more difficult to cure than those who do not drink coffee.
The great characteristic of Coffea is exaltation of the senses and sensibility in general. Sight is improved, fine print can be read easily; hearing is more acute, and noises are intolerable. The sense of smell is heightened. All kinds of pains are intolerable; and are accompanied with fear of death. The mental activities are exalted. Sudden emotions, especially joy, produce dangerous symptoms. Great sensitiveness to touch or contact.
These symptoms will recall Acon. Guernsey places it in the front rank of remedies for irritability. He compares four others with it, all of which have irritability in high degree, but have different concomitants: Acon., “fearful and anxious; dreads things”; Aur., “suicidal, will thrash around in bed (as females in confinement) as if wishing to injure or kill themselves”; Cham., “spiteful, uncivil”; Coff., “wakeful, on the constant move”; Nux v., “sullen, keeps the eyes shut; doesn’t wish to speak or have anything to do with any one.” Staph. and Coloc. deserve mention also. Teste groups Coff. with Causticum. He remarks that dynamised Coff. crud. prevents or neutralises, in many persons, the effects of roasted coffee. This quasi-isopathic action, as Teste truly remarks, is by no means confined to Coffea; dynamisations of many other drugs being antidotal to secondary effects of the crude substances. Hahnemann describes the migraine of coffee-drinkers thus: “It comes in the morning after waking, increasing little by little. The pain becomes intolerable, and sometimes burning, integument of head very sensitive and painful on slightest touch. Body and mind excessively sensitive. Patients look exhausted, retire to dark places, close their eyes to avoid light of day; remain seated in an armchair or stretched on a bed. The least noise or motion excites the pain. They avoid talking, being talked to, or hearing others talk. The body is colder than usual though no chills are experienced; the hands and feet are especially cold. They loathe everything, especially food and drink, on account of a continual sickness at the stomach. If the attack is very violent a vomiting of mucus takes place, which, however, does not relieve the headache.
This kind of megrim scarcely ever leaves before evening. If the paroxysm is less violent, a little strong coffee which was the first cause of such a headache will produce a temporary palliation of the pain, but the disposition to relapse becomes so much greater. The attacks come irregularly, every fortnight, or every few weeks, without any apparent cause, and quite suddenly, so much so that the patient often does not feel a single unpleasant symptom the evening preceding the attack. Such a headache has never been seen by me except in real coffee-drinkers.” It is well to inquire carefully into the dietary of patients who come complaining of headaches of this kind. More recently Dr. Gilles de la Tourette (Lancet, July 20, 1895) has described the effects of coffee. In his opinion they are very frequently mistaken for the effects of alcohol: “morning vomiting of glairy mucus, pain in the pit of the stomach, thickly-coated tongue, loss of appetite. The disgust excited by even the idea of solid food is such that these patients eat nothing else but bread soaked in their poison-coffee. There supervene then nausea, vomiting, and painful acid eructations.” The pulse is slowed. Insomnia is common, and if there is sleep it is disturbed by dreams of a terrifying nature, like those met with in alcoholism.
The effects of coffee are less deep than those of alcohol, and quickly disappear when the habit is discontinued. Peculiar symptoms are: as if head too small; as if something hard pressing on surface of brain; as if head would burst and fly to pieces if she moved; as if intestines were being cut; as if body would burst; “tight” pain; sensation of warmth. Coffea is suited to tall, lean, stooping persons, with dark complexions. Sanguine choleric temperament, complaints during infancy and dentition. Diarrhœa in housewives who have much care and trouble in managing their households. The symptoms are > by warmth, and ). Touch by cold water.
Sore throat; with great and painful sensibility, and swelling of the velum palati;