Apis Mellifica

by James Tyler Kent

Skin: This remedy has so many symptoms on the surface of the body we will study the outer aspect first. All over the body is found a thick rash, sometimes of a rose color.

It is rough and can be felt as a rough rash under the fingers. The patient at this time is greatly distressed by heat and the skin is sensitive to touch with the rash or without it. Nodular swellings here and there come and go.

Then comes an erysipelatous inflammatory condition, in patches, here and there, about the head, with great tumefaction about the face, eyes and eye-lids.

Erysipelas may occur anywhere, but it more commonly belongs to the face and runs to a high degree of inflammatory action, with stinging, burning and oedema. In the extremities we have a marked dropsy, swelling with pitting upon pressure.

A general anasarca may appear. The face is greatly swollen at times, the eyelids look like water bags, the uvula hangs down like a water bag, the abdominal walls are of great thickness and pit upon pressure, and the mucous membranes in any part look as if they would discharge water if they were punctured.

Puffing or oedema, with pitting upon pressure, is a general condition that may be present in any inflammatory state, There is a general amelioration from cold and aggravation from heat. The skin symptoms and the patient are aggravated from heat.

This prevails also in the mental state, in inflammatory conditions; in cardiac conditions, in dropsy, in sore throat, etc. Sometimes this aggravation amounts to aggravation from warm drinks, warm room, warm clothing, warmth of the fire, etc.,; if it is heat the patient is greatly disturbed.

Brain: In brain troubles, if you put an Apis patient with congestion of the brain into a warm bath he will go into convulsions, and consequently warm bathing is not always “good for fits.”

It is taught in old school text-books so much that the old women and nurses know that a hot bath is good for fits, and before you get there just as like as not you will have a dead baby.

This congestion of the brain, with little twitchings and threatening convulsions, makes them put the baby in a hot bath, and it is in an awful state when you get there. If the baby needs Opium or Apis in congestion of the brain the fits become worse by bathing in hot water.

If the nurse has been doing that kind of business you have learned the remedy as soon as you enter the house, for she will say the child has been worse ever since the warm bath, has become pale as a ghost and she was afraid he was going to die.

There you have convulsions worse from heat, pointing especially to Opium and Apis. That is the way with Apis all through. It is not laid down in the books that Apis is worse in the throat symptoms from warm drinks and wants altogether cold things, and will not take warm things which aggravate, but one of our graduates wrote me that by making use simply of the generals, as he had been instructed, Apis conforming to all the rest of the case, he made a beautiful cure of a case of diphtheria which had the relief from cold, which shows how generals are continued into particulars and how they can be made use of.

The generals continue to build and enlarge our Materia Medica. Upon the outer surface then we see that Apis is full of dropsy, red rash, eruptions, urticaria, erysipelas, which inflammations extend to the mucous membranes.

The outer part of man is his skin and mucous membrane. When we are dealing with man from centre to circumference, we think of the innermost as the brain and heart and internal organs that are vital, while their coatings and coverings are external.

Apis affects the things that are external; it affects the envelopes, the coverings. You notice how frequently it affects the skin and the tissues near the skin, and it also affects the envelopes or coverings of organs; for example, the pericardium. It establishes serous inflammations with effusion. Apis produces an inflammation of the membranes of the brain. In the serous sac which encloses the heart, pericardium, and also in the peritoneum it produces the same kind of inflammation.

Thus we see that the coverings are especially affected by Apis, viz., the skin and mucous membranes and the coverings of organs; and with these we get dropsy, catarrh and erysipelas.

In all of these inflammatory conditions there is stinging and burning; burning like coals of fire at times, and stinging as if needles or small splinters were sticking in.

Mind: The mental symptoms of Apis are very striking, and the most striking thing throughout the mental state is the aggravation from heat and from a warm room,

The symptoms themselves are great sadness, constant tearfulness without any cause, weeping night and day; cannot sleep from tantalizing thoughts and worrying about everything.

Depression of spirits with constant weeping. Sadness and melancholy; extreme irritability; borrowing trouble about everything. Foolishly suspicious and jealous. Absolutely joyless. Absolutely indifferent to everything that would make her happy or joyful.

No ability to apply things that would make her happy to herself, they must mean someone else. Foolish, silly, childish behavior in a woman in confinement, in a woman in advanced years; talking foolish twaddle, such as a child would talk, on serious, occasions.

Another aspect of the mental state is the delirium, which comes on in serious forms of brain affections in children. The child gradually goes into a state of unconsciousness.

Lies in a stupor, one side of the body twitching the other side motion less, rolling head from side to side; head drawn -back rigidly; pupils contracted or dilated, eyes very red, face flushed, a stupid state or state of semi-consciousness. Child lying with the eyes partly, closed, as if benumbed.

It is suitable in congestion of the brain, meningitis or cerebro-spinal meningitis with opisthotonos when all the symptoms are aggravated from heat.

Child: The child puts on a more dreadful state if the room becomes overheated; become extremely death-like or pale if the room becomes overheated.

If the child is able to do so it kicks the covers off. If it is in a position where it can look into a large open grate it will be much aggravated. I have seen Apis children who had to be removed from near an open fire.

They will cry, to get away from the heat that comes upon them from the register or open fire. The heat increases every symptom, and sometimes causes them to break out in a cold sweat all over the body, which does not ameliorate their fever nor the burning heat.

Very often the head is rolling and tossing, the teeth gnashing, and the eyes flashing with threatening convulsions, the child carrying the hand to the head at times, a state of semi-consciousness, and the child screams out with that peculiar scream which is known to mean congestion of the brain Рcri enc̩phalique Рthe brain cry.

The shriek is a very strong Apis feature. The child cries out with this shriek in sleep when going into brain troubles. It says in the text:

“Sopor interrupted by piercing shrieks.”

We must be able to see in the general beginning of provings the disease which they resemble, for we do not always see the remedy in the advanced state.

We see the diseases in a state of progress, and must be able to see it in its beginning. As was the disease in the beginning so was the remedy in the beginning. Things that have similar beginnings may have similar endings.

Apis also has muttering, delirium and loquacity. All kinds of screaming and shrieking, shrill and otherwise, violent and less violent. Premonition of death, dread of death, fear of apoplexy.

“Very busy, restless, changing kind of work, with awkwardness.”

Awkwardness is especially found under the fingers, toes and limbs in Apis. The whole nervous system shows a disturbance in co-ordination. This disturbance in co-ordination runs through the remedy, awkwardness, staggering with the eyes shut.

Dizziness when the eyes are shut.

“Ailments from fright, rage, vexation, jealousy or hearing bad news.”

“After severe mental shock paralyzed on the whole right side.”

Violence and rapidity: The complaints of Apis are attended with violence and rapidity. They come on with great rapidity, rush on with violence, until unconsciousness is reached. It has been my fortune to see many violent cases of poisoning from the sting of the honey-bee.

When the over sensitive patient is poisoned by the sting he is dreadfully sick. The majority of people in the course of their life have been stung by the honey-bee and a mere little swelling occurs in the region of the sting, a swelling as big as a robin’s egg or 4 hen’s egg at most, without constitutional states; that is, when the individual is not sensitive to Apis.

He may have been stung in half a dozen places, and each one gives him a little lump.

But you meet one who is sensitive to the sting of the honey-bee, and if he gets one little sting on any place in his body, he comes down with nausea and anxiety that makes him feel that he is dying, and in about ten minutes he is covered with urticaria from head to foot; he stings and burns and wants to be bathed in cold water; he fears that he will die if something is not done to mitigate his suffering, rolls and tosses as if he would tear himself to pieces.

I have seen all these symptoms come on after Apis. The antidote for that is Carbolic acid. I have seen Carbolic acid administered in that state, and the patient described the sensation of the Carbolic acid going down his throat as a cooling comfort.

He says:

“Why, doctor, I can feel that dose go to the ends of my fingers.”

When you administer an antidote under such circumstances listen to what your patient says. When you get the true natural antidote, and, at times, when you get the true curative medicine in a case, no matter how high the potency is, the patient will say:

“I feel that to the roots of my hair and to the ends of my toes.”

Such is the feeling it gives when the true antidotal medicine goes to the innermost portions of his economy, and that is the way we want to get our medicines always, to be guided by the symptoms of our patient that they will tell us what medicine to administer, and when the medicine is administered its highest reaction is of that sort.

Eyes: If we are well acquainted with the symptoms of Apis we can many times get along without having a specialist to treat the eyes. They make more people blind with their lotions, caustic solutions, etc., than they benefit.

The old-fashioned way was to cauterize with copper and silver nitrate solution, and the modern things are not much better. At the present day, the homoeopathic physician who is not capable of taking eye symptoms as well as lung symptoms and symptoms of any part of the body is not competent to practice medicine.

Eye cases can be prescribed for by the physician. In Homoeopathy there is no such thing as treating the eye and other organs of the body, but the patient with all his organs, not the patient with one or two organs.

Apis is a great remedy for the eyes. It has deep-seated inflammatory complaints of the eyes as a result of disease. Inflammations that are erysipelatous in character, that leave thickening of the mucous membrane and lids, and white spots over the eye; opacities.

Inflammation with opacities very extensive or in patches. Enlarged blood vessels.

Face: When the inflammatory condition is active it is attended with oedema of the lids, both upper and lower, and the whole face is sometimes in a state of oedema, such as you would expect to see after a bee sting.

The swelling of the mucous membranes of the lids is so enormous that they roll out, looking like pieces of raw beef. The fluid will run out over the cheeks in great abundance. Burning and stinging like fire, better from washing, from cold applications, worse from heat.

Chronic eye troubles that are worse from looking into an open fire, worse from radiated heat; wants something cold applied. Chronic granular lids. The results of chronic inflammation are numerous and extensive. Worse from looking at white things, worse from looking at the snow.

Pain in the eyeballs, pain deep in the eyeballs, stitches, burning, stinging and shooting. Chemosis. Apis is often suitable for old scrofulous affections of the eyes. Vascular. affections, the veins are enlarged.


“Congestion to the eyes, blood-vessels injected;” whole conjunctiva inflamed.

Photophobia. Rheumatic ophthalmia, that is, a high grade of inflammation of the eyes in rheumatic subjects. Catarrhal inflammation of the eyes; scrofulous inflammation of the eyes. Hot tears gush out of the eyes; burning in the eyes.

Erysipelas of the eyes and sides of the face, extending from the right to the left. This direction is an Apis feature in many other respects.

Erysipelas commences on the right side of the face, extends over the nose to the left side.

Inflammation commences in the right side of the abdominal viscera and extends over to the left. In inflammation of the ovary the right is preferred to the left. The right side of the uterus is preferred. Pains in the whole right side of the pelvis extending over towards the left. Burning stinging here and there extending from right to left.

Inflammation of the middle ear in connection with or after scarlet fever.

Throat: Now we come to the throat troubles of Apis. We have much throat trouble.

Apis cures diphtheria, especially when there is a high grade of inflammation and the membrane is scanty or comes slowly or insidiously, and it is somewhat of a surprise the gradual progress it makes; the parts are oedematous and the soft palate is puffed like a water-bag, and the uvula hangs down with a semi-transparent appearance like a bag of water.

All around the throat and mouth there is an oedematous condition looking as if it would flow water if pricked. Burning, stinging pains in the throat ameliorated by cold and aggravated by heat. Aversion to all warm substances and drinks.

The tongue swells until it fills the mouth, worse on the right half of the tongue, or involving the right side first. Raw beef appearance, denuded appearance of the tongue and buccal cavity and throat.

Various kinds of swelling in the throat; benign swellings, with burning, stinging and redness. Ulcers in the throat that come as a result of this inflammation. Apis is suitable in the severest forms of sore throat accompanying scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever: It cures scarlet fever when the symptoms agree, and it is not an uncommon thing for Apis to be suited to scarlet fever, though the rash is sometimes rough.

The scarlet fever rash is not always smooth and shiny. When the rash does not come out at all the face is very pallid, with a high grade of inflammation of the throat; the scarlet fever is in the family, and the skin is red without any rash; in those cases that are worse from heat, want the covers off, and are sensitive to the heat of the room.

The patient desires a low temperature in the room, is worse from heat, wants cool things, worse from radiated heat especially, or hot air that comes from a register or fire.

He suffocates when a little warm air is radiating over the body. He is disturbed from heat even in the chill of an intermittent fever; if in a warm room when having a chill, he suffocates. So it is with the scarlet fever, with the sore throat, and in diphtheria; from the least whiff of radiated heat he suffocates.

He wants the doors and windows open, wants something cold. Sometimes the scarlet fever patient will go into convulsions because the rash fails to come out.

Apis is sometimes a suit able remedy and must be compared with Cuprum, Zincum and Bryonia. A warm bath will intensify the convulsion.

“Sensation of constriction and erosion in the throat in the morning.”

Throat sore and swollen; stinging pains.

“Could not shallow solid food.”

With these complaints there is often shivering, shuddering, little chills intermingled with the febrile state. Many times you will think to comfort him by covering him up with a warm blanket, but it will make him worse, he will throw it off.

A child will kick off the covert an adult who is shivering while covered up will kick off the covers. These strange and peculiar things are guiding features, things that cannot be accounted for.

Stomach and abdomen: In Apis there is vomiting, nausea, retching and vomiting, with great anxiety. Vomiting of bile and everything eaten. Vomiting of bitter and sour fluids

Apis causes soreness and tightness throughout the abdomen and hypochondria. Sensation of tightness runs through many of the complaints of Apis. The abdomen is distended with gas.

Meteoritic condition, great tension and fullness, hard and drum-like. In all inflammatory complaints, in peritonitis, inflammation of the liver, inflammation of the pelvis, there is great tension, tightness; but this tightness is not always general, sometimes it is local; sometimes it is with little congestion, but tightness prevails throughout the abdomen, and this tightness makes it impossible for the patient to cough for fear something will burst.

The cough makes him feel as if something would be torn. Cannot strain at stool. This is common in the abdominal and pelvic complaints of women. The woman will say she cannot strain at stool, because of the feeling that if she strains something will break loose.

The same state exists in the chest It seems that on coughing something will tear loose, as if the fibres are in a state of tension or stretching.

Hypersensitive state of the liver; inflammation of the liver and spleen. Pain under the short ribs, worse on the left side.

“Pains from below the ribs spreading upward. Obliged to bend forward from a painful contracted feeling in the hypochondria.”

All the complaints are likely to make the patient bend forward and flex the limbs, because the state of tension is painful.

Sensitiveness of the stomach to touch. Over the whole abdomen she is so sore that touch is extremely painful; in all the inflammatory complaints of women the abdomen is very sore and painful. Soreness, distension and stinging burning pains through the abdomen. Burning beat in the stomach.

In the external abdomen there is an oedematous state. Dropsy, sometimes alone, sometimes with anasarca. Limbs swollen to the full extent, pitting upon pressure, the feet and limbs swollen, with burning, stinging and numbness in the limbs.

Feeling as if the intestines were bruised. Watery diarrhea is common in Apis; yellow stools, green stools, olive green stools, watery stools, etc.

Every day six to eight diarrheic stools, which smell like carrion. It is especially useful in a peculiar kind of stool occurring in children and infants, and intermingling of blood, mucus and food, giving the stool an appearance like tomato sauce.

The anus protrudes with stool and seems to remain open, an open anus like Phosph, and Pulsatilla Chronic diarrhea dysentery, haemorrhage from the bowels.

In its constipation it is related more commonly to head troubles. He goes many days without a stool. The bowels seem to be perfectly paralyzed, with congestion of the brain and acute hydrocephalus.

Urines: The urinary troubles are numerous in Apis.

The urine is scanty, coming only in drops. Much straining before the urine will start, and then only a few drops; dribbling a little hot urine, burning urine, bloody urine. As soon as a few drops collect in the bladder the urging comes, constant, ineffectual urging.

Later the urine is almost suppressed. Infants go a long time without passing urine screeching and carrying the hand to the head, crying out in sleep, kicking off the covers. Very often a dose of Apis will be found useful.

It is often called for in scarlet fever when the urine is loaded with albumen. Urinary troubles, with swelling of the genitals, and the swelling is oedematous

Scanty urine in little boys, with the foreskin enormously distended, or in hydrocele. Every time the call to urinate comes he will shriek, because he remembers the pain he had the last time. Inflammatory complaints of the kidneys and ureters, bladder and urethra.

The whole urinary tract is irritated, very much like Cantharis, and these two medicines antidote each other. If you are called to a child that has been drugged with crude Apis you can generally antidote it with Cantharis. If you go to a woman who has taken Cantharis for vicious purposes, you can very often overcome it with Apis. The violent frenzy that has been brought on by Cantharis will be overcome by Apis.

The smarting, burning and stinging along the urinary tract will be found under Apis.

“Flow of urine, unconscious.”

Stitching pain in the urethra with enuresis. Morbid irritability of the urinary organs.

“Strangury. Agony in voiding urine. Retention of urine in nursing infants.”

It is queer how the old women knew, long before Apis was proved, that when the little new-born baby did not pass its water they could find a cure by going out to the bee-hive and catching a few bees, over which they poured hot water, and of which they gave the baby a teaspoonful.