The Cayce Herbal 
 A Comprehensive Guide to the  
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce

Botanical Name: Strychnos nux-vomica

Common Names and Synonyms: Nux-Vomica, Bachelor's Buttons, False Augustura

Background: Native to the tropics and subtropics of southeastern Asia and Australia, the strychnine tree is known for the poisonous substance derived from its disk-shaped seeds. The tree can grow up to forty feet tall.  The leaves are oval, shiny, and the flower clusters are greenish-white. The yellow tennis-ball sized fruit and seeds, the bark, and  the roots, all contain strychnine.  Medicinally, strychnine is a stimulant and convulsant rarely used by modern physicians.  When used, it is selectively administered in small doses to increase muscular activity; or as an antidote for depressent drug or alcohol poisoning.  Sometimes strychnine is used in minute controlled doses in homeopathy.

Strychnine in the Cayce Readings
  • Edgar Cayce prescribed strychnine as a stimulant to the heart and circulation.  A few readings suggest that strychnine may also have medicinal effects to the digestive system.
  • Edgar Cayce typically advised that strychnine be taken under the supervision of a physician.
  • Strychnine was often recommended in conjunction with other therapies to maximize therapeutic efficacy while minimizing negative side-effects.  Osteopathic manipulations and laxatives were advised in several readings to minimize reactions to strychnine.  Other cardiovascular stimulants (most often digitalis) were also sometimes recommended in the same readings with strychnine.
  • Edgar Cayce sometimes recommended commercial preparations to provide small amounts of strychnine in combination with other substances.  Notably, Alophen, a laxative compound, was said to contain strychnine.
Cayce Quotes on Strychnine

    We will take first phosphate of soda, alternate it say every other day with bicarbonate of soda.  This will produce an alkaline condition.  Follow this with mild doses of strychnine, not enough strychnine to produce an over stimulation, but just enough to mildly stimulate the digestive functions and also the nerve force.

Give nitroglycerine and strychnine.  They force the blood out from the heart, heart action, into the circulation and into the body.

    Then, to bring the relief to the body at the present time, to assist in throwing off these conditions, we would, under the direction of physician, take small quantities of a heart stimulant, in that of strychnine, see?
    Then taking also with this, manipulations, osteopathically given, to equalize the circulation as is stimulated by the taking of the strychnine in the system, else we will overcharge one portion of the system and make an excess in eliminations in various portions, see?  Then this should be under that supervision, as given, of one in medicine and in osteopathic forces, for they must apply together.  Do that.

    Well, too, that small quantities of both Heroin and of Strychnine be given the body, see?  These will be for the stimulation of the circulation.  Strychnine for circulation and heart's action that is impaired by congestion, and Heroin for the pulmonaries or lung, and throat and bronchials, see?   Very small quantity - one eightieth to one hundred twentieth of a grain of Heroin - sixtieth to eightieth of the Strychnine.  Strychnine once - twice a day.  Heroin once every second or third day, see?

(Q)  Any other suggestions other than the hot packs, to be done?
(A)  Take these in connection with that as has been outlined for the general building up of the body.  Stimulation of the heart's action; that is, given properties that stimulate same, as that in strychnine - with digitalli; iron for the blood supply.

    We would, then, give the mixture or alternations of that in Digital and Strychnine, and we would equalize the emanations and the pressure as is produced, by either those of the manipulations - gently given - that the circulation may pick up the better, and the activities of the nerve energies be relieved ...
(Q)  How often should the Digital and Strychnine be given, and what doses?
(A)  Only when this [is] NECESSARY to relieve the pressures, or pain as comes, and then in very small doses.  Under thesupervision of physician, sure.

    Yes - already there is the tiredness of the physical to leave the physical, and little may be accomplished unless there may be aroused more within the physical the DESIRE to keep life and body together.  The heart's action low, slow, the movements are automatic, rather than in any form of resuscitations.  Only by the stimuli, and by the awakening of the desire, may these be aided.  Not by drugging, but by stimulation - as that in those of the heart's stimulus - Digital and strychnine, and massaging with oil and myrrh, and awakening the desire; but the body is weary - the soul is well, and tired, and seeks rather the release from the tired conditions.

    We would use, primarily, for the heart's action, that of a stimuli in the nature of very SMALL quantities of strychnine - one-sixtieth of grain.
(Q)  How often should strychnine be given?
(A)  Oh, once or twice a day - and that will only necessitate one or two doses.

    As for the matter of diet, be mindful that eliminations are kept near normal.  When necessary for cathartic, or for the use of the properties to make for assimilation, use alternately Milk of Magnesia, Milk of Bismuth, and Alophen. This carries the proper amount of strychnine that would be well for the body.  These should not be taken regularly, but when taken take the whole course one after the other.

    A stimuli to the heart's action externally will be necessary with the passage of the tumor at this time.  This should be rather under the supervision of a physician with both Digital and Strychnine, that there be both the activity to the aorta and to the valves of the heart, not dilated too greatly by  the use of the Digital alone.

(Q)  Would there be any value in the use of strychnine for the blood?
(A)  VALUE; but it may be applied in so MANY more ways, for - as has just been given - the pills, which include a portion of this, have NOT been beneficial but are a STRAIN upon the system.  Strychnine in small quantities is a tonic, a blood builder, a blood purifier at times; but with a body already in the position where the blood pressure and the heart's action are involved, and where there are the tendencies for the accumulation or segregation of conditions in soft tissue from an injury, it CAN'T be helpful!

    Then immediately (after finishing the Castoria) take two Alophen pellets, which carry with same sufficient quantity of the strychnine to make for a change in the activity of the circulation.

    Also we would keep the heart stimulant, especially if there should be any further indication of the affection of affectations spreading.  In these particular conditions the Strychnine would be better, but it should carry with same an eliminant - or an eliminant taken soon afterwards.

(Q)  Should the strychnine and iron tablets be continued?
(A)  These would be well.  They are necessary to make for the increased circulation.

    If there continues to be a tendency for nausea or weakness, or dizziness, it would be well to increase the circulation with strychnine; but under the direction of a physician, to be sure.


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