The Toad. (The common variety, proved by Mure).
N.O. Bufonidae, Batrachidae.
Preparation: Solution in rectified spirit of the poison expressed from the cutaneous glands.
“In spite of modern scepticism regarding the poisonous properties of the toad, Shakspere, who seems to have known everything, was absolutely correct in speaking of the toad as having “sweltered venom”. The poison is excreted by glands in the skin of the back.
“Quintessence of toads” figured largely in the therapy of Salmon’s Doron Medicon (1583), where it is commended as a “Specific in the Dropsy.” Homoeopathic experiments and poisonings have shown that this reputation is founded on fact. But the chief laurels of Bufo have been won in the treatment of epilepsy. Bojanus has cured many cases; and no medicine has served me better in the treatment of this disease. Few people who have witnessed a characteristic epileptic seizure can have failed to notice the curiously toad-like aspect assumed by the subject. The epileptic seizure and the status-epilepticus give the clearest correspondence to the Bufo range of action. Again, epilepsy is often found among the effects of self-abuse in the young, and Bufo provokes the tendency to the practice, and even causes impotence. The Indian women of Brazil are aware of this last property, and administer the venom to their husbands in food or drink when they wish to free themselves from their marital attentions.”
The essential features:
1. The poison of this toad has a remarkable action on the nervous system, sexual organs and skin. A suppressed skin eruption will bring about symptoms in the central or peripheral nervous system, usually taking the form of convulsions or epilepsy.
2. Mental retardation, immaturity, childish behaviour, while the physical body is overly well-developed.
Bufo is a remedy that can be confused with Bar-car., as both feature mental retardation in their symptomatology; however, while both are immature intellectually, an important difference must be pointed out. The Bar-carb. mental retardation is usually accompanied by physical underdevelopment, while the Bufo mental state is usually to be found in a well developed, strong muscular body that is almost overdeveloped. The Bar-carb. cases generally look small and sometimes dwarfish, while the Bufo cases are large in the physical body and “small” in the mind.
3. Arousal of the lowest passions: the person becomes a slave to his sexual desires, which are excessive and usually perverted. Excessive masturbation is practiced with no limits. The person, usually a boy or man, seeks solitude to practice masturbation. Bufo provokes the tendency to the practice, and sometimes causes impotence. It also causes a desire for intoxicating drink.
The tendency of Bufo is to “bring down” the person to the most basic or primitive instincts — to bring the whole being down to earth, or rather to muddy waters. As well as a low level of intellect, the Bufo individual exhibits the lowest type of passion, particularly in the sexual sphere. Here the patient shows no sign of refinement; on the contrary, a basic unstoppable sexual urge will drive him to seek satisfaction under any circumstance.
You may for instance be faced with a muscular boy who looks large for his age, and who behaves strangely, as though his mind were far younger than his body; the only thing on his mind is how to satisfy his sexual appetite. The boy is not really interested in you or the environment, but in his inner drive which is ruled by his hormones. In the text we read: “seeks solitude to practice masturbation”; this is symbolic of Bufo, but you will never gather such information from the patient. Kent writes that this symptom “…alone throws a flood of light upon the nature of the remedy, the lack of government, the lack of control over the sexual longing, and the low mindedness whereby he is willing to abandon himself to the lower things that are in the human race, to perverted practices and vices.”
This symptom has to be taken as symbolising the patient’s state, a state in which it is apparent that he is driven by his hormones. It may serve as a guide to the kind of morality or intelligence you may expect to find in a person who is so driven by his sexual appetites. This behaviour has to be understood in the general context of the patient in order to guide you to the selection of Bufo.
In conjunction with this description, it is interesting to observe the appearance of such a boy. His lips are thick, and usually half open. The tongue is visible through the half open mouth. As the inner pathology progresses and the mental weakness becomes more and more apparent, the tongue also extends more and more, until you have the full blown picture of Bufo where the tongue actually protrudes from the mouth. The tongue is peculiarly connected with, and appears to represent a large portion of, the brain. The more the brain is paralyzed, the more the tongue goes out of control and falls out of the mouth. That is why we have the typical picture of the buffoon in this remedy.
Care should be taken not to be confused by this picture and prescribe this remedy to any young boy who is interested in masturbating. The majority of young boys practice masturbation at one age or another, but of course not all of them need Bufo.
The practice of masturbation in this remedy is really quite impressive. It is indulged in frequently, without any reservations, be they moral or other. The Bufo individual is interested only in the pleasure to be derived from masturbation; nothing else matters. The frequency of the practice can be so excessive as to exhaust the vitality, causing states of epilepsy or even insanity. Bufo is similar to Anantherum in this respect.
The Bufo patient cannot prevent himself from indulging in perverted practices of whatever kind. He does not recognise the importance of the perversion, and does not feel that he is doing anything wrong. Even if such a feeling should cross his mind, or even if he admits his error, it is not enough to make him control himself. He is quite shameless, utters obscenities, and may suffer from erotic insanity due to masturbation.
4. Epileptic attacks that usually occur at night, and are followed by a deep sleep like a coma, with a headache on waking. Epilepsy as an after effect of self-abuse in the young. Since this is a remedy that covers a considerable area of the pathology of epilepsy, the different modifications of this disease are dealt with in detail below.
Author: Dr Devendra Kumar
The Toad. (The common variety, proved by Mure).