Thuja occidentalis. Arbor vitae. N.O. Coniferae. Tincture of the fresh green twigs.
THUJA acts principally on the mucous membranes of the mouth, upper respiratory tract, urethra, genital organs and on the skin. It also affects the nerves, causing stitching, drawing or tearing pains in all parts of the body.
Thuja was introduced as a drug by Hahnemann and has been extensively proved. It was Hahnemann’s chief “antisycotic” that is to say it was his principal medicine to counteract the effects of the “sycotic” poison which he conceived to be the result of impure coitus, manifested locally by a urethral discharge and by the appearance on the genitals of warty excrescences of condylomata, and constitutionally by various symptoms, such as skin eruptions, papules or pimples, called “tubercles” in the old terminology, warty growths on the skin and rheumatoid pains and swelling in the joints and muscles. “Sycosis” thus corresponds to gonorrhoea, and with syphilis and “psora” completes the triad of the poisons or “miasmata” that Hahnemann considered to be the foundation of most chronic constitutional diseases.
Urine.-Thuja produces in the provers a discharge from the urethra, which is first gleety and then yellow,with swelling of the urethral mucous membrane, causing the stream of urine to be split, and its passage to be accompanied with a burning sensation. In some cases heat is felt in the kidney region, and in most there is a sensation of fulness and tension over the pubes, as of the bladder being distended, with constant urging to urinate. The urine is increased in quantity, is limpid and clear,though, when the provings are pushed to excess, it becomes scanty and clouded with sediment. Stitches and soreness occur in the glans penis, and fine stitches in the fossa navicularis, also a voluptuous itching in the fore part of the urethra, and a sensation as of a drop of viscid fluid pressing forward along it.
Sexual.-A painful burning occurs between the glans and prepuce and inflammation with burning and itching on the inner surface of the latter. These parts become bathed in secretion, and “pimples,” surmounted by vesicles form upon the sore surfaces. The sebaceous glands of the prepuce become swollen, excrescences form on the hinder part of the glans, and painful elevations on the raphe of the perinaeum. Dull, bruised or stitching pains are felt in the testes, which are sometimes spasmodically retracted. Violent itching occurs in the hollow in front of the os coccygis. The genitals and inner surface of the thighs are moist from a sweat of sweetish or pungent odour. Haemorrhoids, painful to touch, and stitching pains in the rectum and anus, with itching in the anus, accompany the manifestations in the genital organs. Seminal emissions are frequent in some provers, but in the majority the drug produces a total indifference to sexual intercourse amounting to impotence. In women a similar eruption of warty excrescences on the genitals occurs, with yellow-green leucorrhoea, burning, itching and biting in the vagina, and scanty and short-lasting menstruation.
Skin.-The skin looks dirty, has brown patches on it, and brown or white spots. Seedy pedunculate warts may occur on any part, but are found mostly on the hands, forehead and face. Moist, mucous elevations are seen round the mouth,at the nostrils, and round the anus. The hair splits and becomes thin. Round, red, itching spots, with vesicles upon them, which burst and pour out a clear lymph and leave a yellowish crust, occur on the forearms and other parts of the body. Fine prickings, as of needles, which change to burning, and violent itching without eruption may occur on any part of the skin.
Digestion.-The tongue becomes swollen and covered with painful ulcers and burning vesicles; the tip is painfully sore to touch. There are aphthae and ulcers in the mouth. The teeth decay at the roots, the crowns remaining sound,they ache and the toothache is worse from taking tea and in a warm room, and better from inhaling cold air. The taste in the mouth is sweet or putrid and food does not taste salt enough. The throat feels raw and dry, and much mucus is secreted in it, and is hawked up with difficulty. There are mucous elevations on the fauces. Swallowing is difficult, especially of saliva, which is unusually copious. In some cases there is an inordinate appetite, but more often a distaste for food. Thirst is common, especially at night, and cold drinks are desired. There is much flatulent eructation and there may be vomiting of mucus or greasy substances. The abdomen is distended with flatulence, which causes much rumbling and croaking, and the sensation of there being something alive in the abdomen; the abdominal wall protrudes here and there as if pushed up by the arm or knee of a foetus; these movements are unattended with pain. Stitching pains occur in the hypochondria, colicky pains are felt in the umbilical region, there is pressure in the hypogastrium, and a forcing down in the groins, where the glands are swollen. The bowels discharge a watery diarrhoea of bright, yellow stools that are forcibly expelled, together with much noisy flatus, producing a sound that has been described as like water gurgling from a bung-hole. The action occurs with or without abdominal colic, but is very often painless. There are haemorrhoids which are very sensitive, burn and itch, and are accompanied by stitching pains in the anus and rectum which shoot up towards the small of the back. Sometimes there is constipation, with hard stool, and painful contraction of the anus during defecation.
Nose.-Thuja causes a sensation of warmth and congestion at the root of the nose, and over the frontal sinuses, with bleeding from the nose on blowing it. Ulceration and scabs form in the nostrils, the alae nasi are swollen and have a red, itching eruption on them. The nose is dry and stopped up at intervals; bloody, purulent mucus may be discharged from it, some of which seems as if it came from neighborhood of the frontal sinus. There may be catarrh, often disappearing for hours, and then returning with severity and with much sneezing.
Respiration.-There is a dry sensation in the larynx, and small warts can often be seen in it, and much mucus collects. The voice is hoarse and rough. A dry, short, hacking, interrupted cough, or one that is convulsive and shattering, occurs. Breathing is short and embarrassed, with a feeling that the chest is contracted in all its diameters, and cannot be fully expanded on account of fulness and constriction in the upper abdomen and hypochondria. Many stitching pains occur in the chest walls, and there is oppression from a feeling of great pressure forcing the sternum inwards.
Mind.-Thuja causes the mind to be depressed, ill-humoured, peevish and obstinate, thinking is slow, and the memory impaired. Fixed ideas may be present, the principal being that there is a living animal in the abdomen; that the patient is brittle, as if made of glass, and that he will fall to pieces if touched; that his soul is separated from his body, or that a strange person is by his side. Music causes weeping.
Head.-The head is confused and headaches are common, especially on waking in the morning. They are usually in the forehead and are often unilateral. There is a pressing down towards the eyes as if there were lead in the forehead and relief is experienced by bending the head backwards. Or the headache may be as if a nail is being driven in at a limited spot, which is most often in the vertex,parietal region of frontal eminence (agar., anac., coff., ign.). The scalp is tender and may be covered with small, round pimples. The hair is dry and lustreless and falls out. The headaches are better from exercise in the open air, from looking upwards and from bending the head backwards.
Face.-The skin of the face shine as if greasy.
Boring and digging pains are felt in the face and cheek bones, which are relieved by touch. Intense pain, as if the jawbone had become dislocated, was felt over the glenoid fossa by one prover and was excited by any attempt to masticate. Eruptions of sore, round pimples occur on the face and leave behind them livid spots. The upper lip is sensitive, jerking sensations occur in it and a red, itching elevation is sometimes seen there.
Eyes.-The sight is blurred, flames of light like fire- flies, and sometimes luminous coloured streaks are seen, or moving spots float before the vision; a sensation of a cold stream of air blowing out of the eyes is felt; the sclerotic is red and inflamed, the eyes prick and smart as is fine sand is under the lids, the latter swell and harden with inflammation, and are glued together with secretion on waking in the morning.
Ears.-In the ears there is a creaking sound when swallowing and stitching pains occur from within out wards; there is a sensation in the ear as if filled with water.
Back and Limbs.-Thuja causes tearing pains in the neck, which extend to the shoulders and down the spine, and make it impossible to bend the head forwards or turn it sideways. Tearing and stitching pains are frequent in the extremities, especially in the shoulders, elbows and near the wrists. The finger tips tingle and are numb and cold as if dead. The hip-joint feels loose, the legs are so weak that after sitting the patient can hardly stand on rising. There is offensive perspiration on the feet or it is suppressed, the toe-nails are brittle and crumble, there are swollen veins on the feet and arms, the hands and feet tremble. The pains generally affect the middles of the muscles rather than their tendinous extremities. As happens with many of the symptoms of thuja, the pains come on during rest, and are often present on waking in the morning, they tend to be located in small spots, and to change their position; they are worse in a warm room and better in the open air.
Sleep.-Sleepiness during the day generally occurs but at night, there is frequently persistent sleeplessness, of sleep, if occurring, is disturbed by anxious dreams, of death, of falling from heights, or lascivious dreams with emissions, and these are more likely to occur if the patient lies on his left side.
Chill, Fever, &c.-Thuja causes definite febrile symptoms. Chills occur even in a warm room. During the day there is coldness, especially in the back, with general weakness and a sensation of weariness, in the evening febrile symptoms come on, such as headaches, heat of the skin and a full, accelerated pulse; after midnight relief comes from a general perspiration, or perspiration may be limited to the thighs and inner side of the legs.
Sometimes the night sweat is profuse, offensive and stains the clothes yellow. There may be internal chill with external heat and violent thirst followed by sweat. Copious sweat on undressing or an uncovered parts and during the first sleep are symptoms of thuja.
Sexual.-The study of the above symptoms caused by thuja shows how appropriate a remedy it is for gonorrhoea and secondary affections that depend on gonorrhoea, such as articular and muscular rheumatism, iritis, chronic conjunctivitis and warty excrescences on or about the genitals. It is useful for chancroid ulcers of the genitals, epithelioma of the vagina, leucorrhoea and the “cock’s comb” excrescences that are found in the scar tissue of laceration of the cervix uteri. These latter are redundant, red, vascular, bleed at the least touch, and discharge a green or yellow excoriating matter. The vagina is very sensitive during coition. Polypi, whether of uterus, rectum, nose or ear are amenable to thuja. When gonorrhoea has been checked by the use of injections, and articular or other rheumatism, prostatitis or impotence result, thuja will restore the urethral discharge and cure these complaints and finally abolish the discharge also. It is very efficacious for a pain in the region of the left ovary, which at each menstrual period becomes very severe and of a burning character, it is coterminous with the flow (lach. ceases with the onset of the flow), and extends through the left iliac region into the groin and sometimes down the thigh, and is worse on attempting to walk. The menses are short-lasting and too scanty. It is a good remedy to prevent abortion threatening at the third month, and for too violent movements of the child during pregnancy, which cause cutting pain in the bladder and urging to urinate.
It is not necessary for complaints to have a gonorrhoeal (“sycotic”) origin for thuja to be the selected remedy, it will equally serve when similar symptoms arise from other causes, not is it the only “antisycotic” drug, there are others, such as nitric acid, sulphur, medorrhinum, cinnabar, &c. Thuja is to be thought of when there is a history of animal poisoning in the case, such as snake-bite, small-pox or vaccination. In veterinary practice it has proved curative in farcy and grease. As the latter complaint is related to small-pox and vaccinia, the employment of thuja has been extended to the treatment of the former disease, and, if given just as the vesicles are forming, it is said to abort and also to counteract the effects of the latter. There is no doubt that vaccination can cause a somewhat ill-defined constitutional state, a vaccinal dyscrasia or vaccinosis, to which many complaints can be traces; for these thuja is an excellent remedy.
Skin.-It is a medicine for all sorts of venereal warts, but its influence is not limited to them, but extends to warts of all kinds and wherever occurring. The warts should be painted daily with the mother tincture and at the same time thuja is high dilution should be given internally. It has been used successfully for lupus, varicose ulcers, and pemphigus. Its influence over warty growths has led to its employment, and with success, in other growths of the skin and mucous membranes, to ranula, epitheliomata, polypi and naevi. It has been shown to have an influence on fatty tumours and on tumours of the breast; in short, it should always be though of when the medicinal treatment of a tumour is under consideration.
Head.-Thuja is a remedy for the kind of headache mentioned above, a nd especially for neuralgic headaches caused by drinking tea to excess.
Eyes.-It is useful for syphilitic iritis, for ciliary neuralgia,when the pain extends all over the face with great soreness, and for kerato-iritis, with excessive photophobia, for tarsal tumours, for tinea ciliaris, when it is dry and bran-like and the lashes are imperfect and irregular, and for chronic conjunctivitis.
Respiration.-Thuja is useful for chronic nasal catarrh, chronic laryngeal catarrh with warts on the vocal cords or other parts of the larynx or for chronic bronchial catarrh with hacking cough and copious greenish expectoration in the morning. It has also been employed for asthma and has been serviceable in angina pectoris.
Digestion.-Aphthae of the mouth and ulcers on the side of the tongue are curable with thuja and also a toothache occurring in teeth which decay at the roots, the pain of which is made worse by warm drinks especially tea and better from inhaling cold air.
It has been used for left-sided inguinal hernia in infants and for a tendency to the same affection after parturition.
Mental.-The many peculiar mental symptoms that have been caused in the provers of thuja suggest its employment in some mental diseases, such as psychasthenia with delusions of being pregnant, early dementia praecox, anxiety neurosis, melancholia with hypochondriacal symptoms, and Hypochondriasis.
Thuja is a “hydrogenoid” medicine, all its symptoms being made worse by damp. Its complaints are mainly left-sided. It antidotes vaccinosis and abuse of tea.
(1) Pains are localized and wander from part to part.
(2) Symptoms extend from part first attacked.
(3) Frequent micturition accompanied pain.
(4) Sensation of something alive moving in abdomen.
(5) Eruptions that have disappeared leave vivid stains.
(6) Symptoms come on during rest.
(7) Copious sweat on undressing and during the first sleep.
(8) Illusions and fixed ideas: of being brittle, of some one being by his side, of his soul being separated from his body.
(10) Growths and excrescences bleed easily when touched.
(11) Gonorrhoea and its sequelae; results of suppressed gonorrhoea.
(13) Warts and condylomata, warty excrescences.
(14) Tumours, benign or malignant.
(15) Lymphatic temperament in very stout persons with dark hair and complexion, lax muscles, unhealthy skin.
From touch, lying on the left side, extension of limbs, letting the arms hang down, walking, ascending,riding, at night, in the morning, cold, damp weather, overheating, warmth of bed; after eating, from tea, coffee, fat food, onions; from coitus, blowing the nose (causes pain in teeth), sun, bright light.
From pressure, rubbing, scratching, rest, bending head backward (headache), lying on affected side (asthma), looking up, cold (rheumatic pains), cold air (toothache).