Below are the main rubriks (i.e strongest indications or symptoms) of Bryonia in traditional homeopathic usage, not approved by the FDA.
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All complaints worse on motion.
Dryness of mucous membranes generally (lips, mouth, stomach, wants drink in large quantities, at long intervals; intestines, dry hard stools as if burnt).
Effusions in serous membranes (meninges, pleura, peritoneum, etc.).
Constipation (no desire) or diarrhoea, worse mornings on beginning to move.
Stitching pains, especially in serous membranes and joints.
Sitting up causes nausea and faintness.
Modalities worse from motions, warm weather after cold. better from quiet, lying on painful side.
Suitable to dry, spare, nervous, slender persons, of irritable disposition; rheumatic tendency. Complaints in hot weather, or exposure to dry, cold air, in wet weather (Rhus Tox Rhus tox).
Cough, dry, hard, racking, with scanty expectoration; with splitting headache.
Vicarious menstruation; nose bleeds when menses should appear (Phosphorus Phos.).
Mammae heavy, of a stony hardness; pale, but hard; hot and painful.
Rheumatism of joints, with pale swelling, great paint worse on touch or least motion.
As in Pulsatilla Pulsatilla, so in Bryonia, the leading characteristic lies in its "modality." Three words express it -aggravation from motion.
What is aggravated on motion? Sufferings of almost any and every kind. We will not undertake to enumerate them. All that Hering says in his cards on that line is -"Joints red, swelling, stiff with stitching win from slightest motion," and this so far as it goes is genuine, but it is only the beginning of all the ailments that are worse on motion.
Look in "Guiding Symptoms," under "Motion," and see the long list of symptoms aggravated by motion, and even these do not cover all. Now we begin to realize the value of this modality.
It makes no difference what the name of the disease, if the patient feels greatly better by lying still and suffers greatly on the slightest motion, and the more and longer he moves the more he suffers, Bryonia is the first remedy to be thought of, and there must be very strong counter-indications along other lines that will rule it out.
Nor does it make much difference what organ or tissue is the seat of the disease, mucous, serous or muscular, the same rule applies.
Another very valuable modality of Bryonia is again expressed in three words -amelioration from pressure. This is the reason the patient, much to the astonishment of the nurse, wants to lie on the paintful side or part. (Opposite Belladonna Belladonna, Kali Carb Kali carbonicum).
No one can realize the value of these two modalities until he has often met them at the sick bed and witnessed the prompt relief from the use of Bryonia.
When writing upon Pulsatilla Pulsatilla, we noticed the characteristic action of that remedy upon the mucous surfaces. Here Bryonia acts just as characteristically, but it is so different. With Bryonia it is excessive dryness or lack of secretion in them. It begins in the lips, which are parched, dry and cracked, and only ends with the rectum and stools, which are hard and dry as if burnt. The same condition is undoubtedly present in the stomach. which is evidenced by the excessive thirst; which can only be satisfied by large draughts of water.
The same condition obtains in the lungs and bronchia, which causes hard, dry cough with little or no expectoration, and with soreness and pain in the chest when the patient coughs. (Natrum Sulphuricum Natrum sulphuricum has loose cough with soreness). The urine is scanty and only exceptionally (or as I would express it reactionally) copious. We must remember that every remedy has a dual action. These two actions are termed primary and secondary. I think that the so-called secondary action is only the reaction of the organism against the first or primary (so-called) action of the drug. For instance -the real action of Opium is to produce sleep or stupor, the reaction is wakefulness; of Podophyllum Peltatum Podophyllum, Aloe Socotrina Aloes, etc., catharsis.
Bryonia has also a very decided effect upon the serous membranes. It is very useful in the second stage of inflammation, after the stage of serous effusion has set in. In most of these cases the first stage has been attended by symptoms calling for the exhibition of such remedies as Aconite Aconite, Belladonna Belladonna, Ferrum Phosphoricum Ferrum phos., etc., but not always; and right here let me call attention to the most characteristic pains of Bryonia. They are stitching pains. Now observe, the characteristic pains of inflammatory affections of the serous membranes are stitching pains.
A word right here in regard to interpolating Sulphur Sulphur, when, as we express it, "the seemingly indicated remedy does not act." Some would stumble over that, and ask -as they would have a right to do- how about your similia, etc., in such a use of Sulphur Sulphur? I answer -Sulphur Sulphur is a remedy of wide range of action, and covers more perfectly those conditions and symptoms which are the outgrowth of psora than any other remedy; so it does meet the case complicated by psora very often, and either cures it or removes the complication so that the other remedies may act. But remember it will not always do it, and other antipsoric remedies must be chosen. It must be the simillimum for the psoric condition. .
Bryonia stands alongside of Nux Vomica Nux vomica and Pulsatilla Pulsatilla for disorders of alimentation. All three remedies have a sensation as of a stone in the stomach, Bryonia and Nux Vomica Nux vomica more so than Pulsatilla Pulsatilla. Bryonia leads in thirst, Nux Vomica Nux vomica less, and Pulsatilla Pulsatilla little or none. All have bad taste in the mouth.
The gastric derangements of Bryonia often occur as a result of dietetic errors, especially when warm weather sets in after cold. Those of Nux Vomica Nux vomica more from continued over-eating and inactivity, the abuse of drugs, coffee, tobacco or alcoholics.
Pulsatilla Pulsatilla from too rich foods, pastries, fat foods and ice cream (in excess); a little ice cream feels good in the Pulsatilla Pulsatilla stomach, but much overdose the matter, because it is too rich.
Bryonia diarrhoea is worse in the morning, on movement, and open occurs as an effect of over-eating in the heat of summer. Nux Vomica Nux vomica diarrhoea is also apt to be worse in the morning, is mostly caused by over-eating and is apt to put on the dysenteric type. The Pulsatilla Pulsatilla diarrhoea is more apt to occur in the night, from causes above mentioned, and is attended with great rumbling of the bowels.
All have white, sometimes very thickly-coated tongue, but taking into account the causes of these gastric and bowel troubles, temperament and modalities there should not be much difficulty in choosing the right remedy for any case.
So far as temperament is concerned, Bryonia is like Nux Vomica Nux vomica, but Bryonia has much more of the "rheumatic diathesis." Both are easily irritated or angered, and are oftenest found indicated in spare, dark-complexioned subjects. Both are aggravated generally on motion, by Bryonia very much the more so, while Pulsatilla Pulsatilla is sometimes like Rhus Tox Rhus toxicodendron relieved by motion.
Now a few special indications for Bryonia and we will have it
"Bursting headache, as if it would split the head open, aggravated by stooping; coughing; ironing; opening or moving the eyes; moving any way; in hot weather. Nausea and faintness when rising up, relieved when lying still."
"Epistaxis instead of menses (vicarious menstruation), also blood spitting."
"Mastitis; breasts pale, hot, hard, heavy and painful."
"Suppression of lochia with bursting headache."
"Suppression of milk, menses, measles or rash of scarlatina, or where all these are slow in appearing; of course the other Bryonia symptoms must be present."
"Cough dry, worse after eating, sometimes math vomiting; worse moving; worse coming from open air into warm room. (Natrum Carbonicum Nat. carb)."
"Cough hurts head and chest, holds them with hands." (Eupatorium perf., Natrum Sulphuricum Natrum sulph.).
These are some of the peculiar symptoms which cannot be ranged under any general head, and are excellent leaders to the consideration of Bryonia, all and each of which will be found associated with the more general characteristics already noticed.
The dominant school do not know what they have lost in not being acquainted with the virtues of Bryonia, as developed in our provings and clinical use, but we know what we have gained.