Bryonia Alba 30 Usage, Benefits – Bryonia Alba Materia Medica

  • Pains – stitching, tearing; worse slightest motion, at night; better absolute rest, pressure, lying on painful side
  • Excessive dryness of all mucous membranes of the body
  • Great thirst for large quantities of cold water at long intervals
  • Mammae – heavy, very painful, stony hard, hot; worse least motion; better support
  • Dry spasmodic cough with stitching pain in the chest, better pressure
  • Headache- severe, bursting, heavy; fronto-occipital headache; worse ironing, when constipated
  • Painful part pale, swollen, worse least motion, better rest, pressure, worse hot fomentation

Source: Vegetable kingdom
Synonyms: Wild hop, White bryony
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Prover: Dr Hahnemann in 1816 and reproved by the Austrian Society of Homoeopaths
Duration of Action: 7 to 21 days
Miasmatic Background: Psora
Temperament: Irritable and bilious
Diathesis: Rheumatic and gouty
Thermal Relationship: Hot patient

Introduction and History: It is a right sided, short acting, acute polychrest remedy. It is so important and useful, without which, as Dudgeon says; ‘We might indeed shut up our shops.’ It is a domestic medicine for the treatment of various kinds of ailments.

The word Bryonia alba comes from a Latin word. Bryonia means ‘growing rapidly’. This remedy was mentioned by Dioscoroides and was introduced into homeopathic practice in 1816 by Dr Hahnemann.

Habit and Habitat: It is found in central and southern Europe. It is a perennial climbing herb with a fusiform, branched root, alternate leaves, bright green in colour. Flowers are small, greenish-yellow and appear in axillary racemes. They bloom in June and July, The berries are globular and black.

Preparation and Parts Used: Mother tincture is prepared from fresh roots before the tree is in flowering condition.

Constitution and Physiognomy: It is best suited to people who are tall, slender, dry, lean with dark hair, complexion and strong fleshy muscular fibres. The patient has a gouty tendency.

Aliments From: Mortification, anger, fright, chagrin, iced or cold drinks in hot weather, cold dry wind, draught, overeating, suppressed eruptions and discharges, alcohol, etc.

Seat of Action (Pharmacodynamics): Blood circulation, serous membranes, pleura, pericardium, brain, meninges, synovial membrane, peritoneum, nerves, muscles, right side, cellular tissues, liver, fibrous tissues and respiratory system.

Active Principles (Chemical Constituents): It contains different alkaloids. The main alkaloid is ‘bryonin’ which is intensely bitter and amorphous with a dark brown resin, both having purgative properties. It also contains various fatty acids.

Physiological Action

  1. When applied to the skin, it causes blisters.
  2. When taken internally in poisonous doses, it causes gastrointestinal inflammation with profuse vomiting and uncontrollable diarrhoea, dilated pupils, reduced temperature, colic, collapse and death.
  3. In some cases the serous membranes are inflamed and covered With an exudate.
  4. The lower portion of the lungs shows hepatization without bronchitis.
  5. The mucous membrane of the large bronchial tubes is irritated, resulting in cough with pain and distress in this region.
  6. The muscles are intensely irritated and congested.

Physio-pathological Changes (Pathology)

  1. It acts upon the mucous and serous membranes causing inflammation and dryness with lack of secretion.
  2. It acts on blood and circulation, increasing the flow and power of heart’s action.
  3. It acts on synovial membranes and viscera, producing an ache in every muscle.
  4. Delirium or drowsiness, worse at night. Desire to escape from bed, wants to go home although the patient is at home.
  5. Weakness of mind, ideas disappear; fainting at the time of rising from bed.
  6. Patient is very ill-humoured and morose without any cause, apprehension about the future.
  7. Obstinate and passionate; bad effects of violence and anger.
  8. Vertigo as though all objects were reeling.

Characteristic Physical Guiding Symptoms

Dryness: Dryness everywhere; dryness of mucous membranes, especially of mouth, stomach and alimentary tract.

Thirst: Excessive thirst, thirst for large quantities of water at along intervals, mouth is always dry.

Constipation: Excessive dryness of alimentary tract, rectum; thereby produces dry, hard and knotty stool, as if burnt.

Right-sidedness: It is purely a right sided remedy. Symptoms always start on the right side and then go to the left side.

Hardness: Breasts are heavy, of stony hardness, must support them with hand to prevent least motion which causes pain

Swelling: Dropsical swellings, swelling of legs and abdomen, joints are red, swollen and stiff.

Fever: It is useful in almost all kinds of fever; for example, typhoid and remittent fevers, and intermittent fever with great thirst during chill.

Sluggishness: In acute conditions, complaints develop very slowly. Delirium is mild, all complaints advance very slowly.

Rheumatic pains: Muscular rheumatism, muscles sore to touch, swollen, worse from least motion, with sticking, tearing pains.

Aversion: Aversion to rich and fatty foods, milk, greasy food and vegetables.

Desire: Desire for oysters, coffee, cold acid drinks, sweets, etc.

Vicarious menstruation: Nose bleed, haemoptysis or blood spitting instead of menses.

Metastasis: Of rheumatism to the eyes. Shooting pains through eyeballs into the back of head.

Headache: Bursting headache, soreness of distant parts. Heaviness in the head as if everything would be pressed out, worse form stooping and motion.

Hastiness: Hastiness in breathing, very rapid in typhoid conditions. Drinks water hastily. Speech is hasty.

Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea in hot weather, bilious, acrid with soreness of anus, stool like dirty water, of undigested food.

Cough: Cough is dry, spasmodic with gagging and vomiting, with stitches in the side of the chest.

Important Characteristic Features

Fever: Bryonia is very useful in all kinds of fevers for example, remittent and intermittent fevers. Onset of fever is very slow and insidious, chilliness before fever. During fever, the patient lies very calmly and quietly on the bed, does not want to move even, does not want to speak or open the eyes. Cause of fever may be taking cold in hot summer weather, from exposure to a draught of cold wind, getting warm or after taking cold.

During fever there is low muttering delirium. Patient talks about his daily business, desire to get out of bed and go home although he is at home. Pulse is full, hard and quick with profuse perspiration, Cough is dry and hard with stitching pain in the chest.

Gastric and bilious fevers; fevers pertaining to wounds are also covered by Bryonia.

Intermittent fever: In intermittent fever, chill is mixed with heat. During chill, head is hot, checks are deep red and there is decided thirst. Gastric symptoms predominate with intense headache. Hot stage is most tormenting (all the pains and aches aggravate at this time). During the sweat, all symptoms abate and fever goes off.

Constipation: An excellent remedy for constipation; inactive rectum as there is dryness of the mucous membrane of the alimentary canal and rectum which produces a very bad constipation. Stool is large, dry, hard and knotty, as if burnt. There is no desire for stool. Headache with constipation. Thirst for a large quantity of cold water at long intervals. Tongue is dry and coated,

Rheumatism and rheumatic fever: Muscular rheumatism, score to touch.

Diarrhoea: Bryonia produces an alternate action, a kind of diarrhoea by colic, occurring especially at night. Diarrhoea in the morning after the patient gets up from bed and begins to move. Diarrhoea from suddenly checked perspiration during hot Weather. Certain vegetable foods may bring on diarrhoea. Stools are dark green.

Bronchitis: Dyspnoea; difficult or laboured breathing. Cough is generally dry. Bursting pain in the head with every cough. Cough is aggravated after eating or drinking or after a deep inspiration or after entering a warm room. The cough is worse after a meal and may even end in vomiting. Sometimes a little blood streaked sputum is raised. During cough the patient presses against the sides of his chest to relieve the stitching pain. The same symptoms appear in whooping cough. Palpitation of the heart with oppression of the chest (carditis).

Pneumonia: Bryonia comes in after Acon, Ferr-p and Verat-v. The fever continues, but the skin is not as hot and the patient is not as restless as in Aconite. The cough of Bryonia is loose and more moist than that of Aconite. Inflammation of the lungs, Sharp, stitching, pleuritic pains.

The cough of Bryonia is hard and dry at times; the sputum is scanty and rust coloured, so typical of pneumonia. Coughs which hurt distant parts of the body call for Bryonia (Caps). Circumscribed redness of the cheeks, slight delirium and apathy, Tongue is dry, lies quite. It is a right sided remedy and attacks the parenchyma of the lungs. The patient holds his breath to prevent the pain it causes; it seem as though the chest walls would fly to pieces. The pains in the chest, besides being worse by motion and breathing, are relieved by lying on the right or painful side, because this lessens the motion of that side, in pneumonia complicated by pleurisy, Bryonia is a remedy par excellence. Phosphorus is complementary to Bryonia.

General Modalities

Aggravation: Evening, warmth, before falling asleep, stooping down, from slightest motion, touch, warm food and drink, exertion, warm room, at 9 pm, by suppression of discharges, in summer, lying on the painful side, etc.

Amelioration: On going down, lying on the painless side, complete rest, eating cold food and cold drink, by pressure, when sitting, in a dark room, etc.

Remedy Relationships

Complementary: Rhus-t, Alum.

Follows well: Rhus-t, Nux-v, Op, Acon, Bell. Phos, Puls, Sulph, Hyos, Kali-c.

Antidotes: Ign, Puls, Rhus-t, Acon, Alum, Camph. Chel, Nux-v.

Incompatible: Calc.


Vomiting immediately after drinking: Bry, Ars, Bism.

Headache across the forehead, worse by every footstep: Bry, Bell, Aloe.

Toothache better by holding cold water in the mouth: Bry, Puls, Coff, Bism.

Vertigo when rising after stooping: Bell, Bry, Petr.

Vertigo as if intoxicated upon rising in bed or by motion of a carriage: Bry, Cocc.

Gastric and nervous headache of sedentary persons: Bry, Nux-v, Anac.

Desire many things; but rejects everything offered: Bry, Cham, Cina, Anti-t.

Child is afraid to speak or move during paroxysms of coughing: Cina, Bry.

Rheumatism from exposure to draught of air while being heated: Acon, Bry, Nux-m.

Every motion aggravates pain: Bry, Puls.

Pain better from lying on the painful side: Bry, Ign, Puls.

Potency: 6x, 12x, 30, 200, 1000.

Bryonia Alba Dosage: It acts in lower as well as in higher potencies. Lower potencies are indicated in gout, rheumatism, and inflammatory troubles. Higher potencies are indicated in diseases of gastrointestinal tract and in cases where its constitutional symptoms are present.

Repetition: It is a short acting remedy and bears frequent repetition.

Therapeutic Value: Alcoholism, Asthma, Bilious attack, Brain affections, Bronchitis, Constipation, Cough, Dropsy, Dysentery, Enteric fever, Epistaxis, Gastric disorders, Headache, Heart affections, Influenza, Measles, Meningitis, Myalgia. Pleurisy, Rheumatic fever, Toothache, Vertigo, Vicarious menstruation, Whooping cough, etc.

Note: Bryonia is acute of Alumina.

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