Spigelia anthelmia

Spigelia anthelmia is a common weed in South America.: S. Marylandica, “Pink-root” or “Worm-grass,” is a native of the Southern States of North America. Spigel. anth. is an acro-narcotic; ie it is both an irritation and has a narcotic effect. It was known in Europe in Hahnemann’s time as an anthelmintic, this property of the drug having been learned from the men of the Antilles.

Hahnemann says: ” Yet let one only reflect that the accumulation of lumbricoides in the intestines is never an individual independent disease, but only a symptom of some other fundamental disease in man, and unless this be cured, the worms, although some may be driven away will yet perpetually re-appear in the intestines.

“It would therefore be foolish to use so extremely powerful a drug as Spigelia merely for the expulsion of worms, if this plant did not, at the same time, remove the disease which lies at the foundation of the existence of the worms. This it can do, as many cases show, in which the patients recover, even without having passed a single worm.

1. The chief indications are in semi-lateral neuralgic headaches involving the eye, chiefly the left side.

2. In prosopalgia, involving the eye, the zygoma, the cheek, teeth and temple.

3. In rheumatic sclerotitis.

4. In pericarditis and endocarditis with stitches and violent pulsation.

Violent stitch in the left side, just under the heart, recurring periodically ; stitch ” in the diaphragm” on the left side, so violent as to arrest respiration.

Kent says : Pulsating and stitching in the head; sometimes better lying with the head high; worse from stooping, motion, and from noise.

Sometimes better from washing in cold water when the pain is about the eyes and head, but worse after washing; better while the cold water is applied. With these headaches and neuralgias there is stiff neck and shoulders, an apparent stiffness in that he cannot move on account of pain.

He sits in a chair as if transfixed, is aggravated from noise, light, from seeing things move in the room, which he must follow with his eyes.

“Fine burning, tearing pains in the brain.”

It seems to be in the brain, but is more likely in the nerves of the scalp.

“Violent pain in the left parietal bone on motion or walking or making a misstep; toward evening-violent pressure and pressing outward in the forehead, worse from stooping, worse from pressure with the hand; tensive tearing pain in the forehead, especially beneath the frontal eminence, extending towards orbitis.”

Notice the intensity of the pains. Burrowing, tearing pain in the occiput, in the left side of the vertex and forehead, worse from motion, from loud noise, and when he speaks loudly or even on opening the mouth slightly; better when lying down.

Pressive pain in the right side of the forehead, involving the right eye, in the morning in bed, but still more after rising; pain deeply seated, unaffected by pressure, very acute on motion, on suddenly turning the head, the brain seemed to be loose; worse from every joy, step, or straining at stool.

When moving the muscles of the face, there is a sensation as if the head would burst. Sensation as if a band were about the head. Neuralgic pain settles in and above the left eye, or below it, from cold in damp, rainy weather; hyperesthesia of the filaments of the fifth pair.

On the pain first beginning there is not so much hyperesthesia, but as it goes on this increases and the eye becomes congested. I have seen the pains so severe that they produced perfect prostration, cold sweat, vomiting.

An peculiar mental symptom which Hering in one of his cases mentions: “Helminthiasis: dilated pupils; strabismus; putrid smell from mouth, itching of nose, griping pain in belly; throat inflamed, swallows often, pale redness in throat and swelling of mucous membrane; palpitation.” Masses of lumbrici have been expelled and also threadworms. Fetid breath and fetid flatus are marked features of Spi. There is both constipation and diarrhœa. I have found it especially useful in heart cases where constipation has been a troublesome complication. The bodily sensitiveness of Spi. is paralleled by the mental irritability. But the most peculiar mental symptom is “fear of pointed things as pins, etc.”
Meninger (A. H., xx. 282) had a severe case of nausea of pregnancy which he cured with Spi. The only leading symptom in the case was this: She was afraid of pointed things and asked her husband to take away a fork, crochet-needle, etc.

It comes after Aconite ; competes with Bryonia ; precedes Spongia and Lachesis, Arsenicum and Lithium.