Debility and other complaints after excessive loss of fluids, blood-letting, etc.
Hæmorrhages profuse, with faintness, loss of sight and ringing in the ears.
Great flatulence, with sensation as if the abdomen were packed full; not > by eructation or passing flatus.
Painless diarrha (yellow, watery, brownish, undigested).
Periodical affections, especially every other day.
Excessive sensitiveness, especially to light touch, draft of air; hard pressure relieves.
Modalities: < from slight touch, least draft of air, every other day. > by hard pressure on painful part.
Dropsy following excessive loss of fluids; great debility, trembling, aversion to exercise; nervous; sensitive to touch, to pain, to drafts of air; unrefreshing sleep after 3 A. M.
Face pale, hippocratic; eyes sunken and surrounded by blue margins; pale, sickly expression, as after excesses.
Hæmorrhages; from all outlets (Crotalus, Sulphuric acid, Ferrum). Blood dark, or dark and clotted, faiths ringing in the ears, loss of sight, general coldness and sometimes convulsions (Fer. phos.).
General shaking chill over whole body.
Sweat, with great thirst; sweating during sleep, on being covered:
This remedy is used by both schools of medicine for conditions of great weakness and debility. The old school, as they always do, prescribe it for all cases of debility, on general principles, under the name of tonic. It remained for Homopathy to indicate its exact place here. Hahnemann expresses it: "Debility and other complaints after loss of blood or other fluids, particularly by nursing or salivation, bleeding, cupping, etc., or whites, seminal emissions, etc." I would add profuse suppuration and long continued diarrhea. If the depletion has been sudden, as from a hæmorrhage from the womb, lungs, bowels or nose, there will be faintness, loss of sight, ringing in the ears, etc. For this state of things we have a "friend indeed" in China, and it should be given in frequently repeated doses, not too low, until reaction is established; then at longer intervals, as occasion demands. If the debility is the effect of a slow and long-continued drain the symptoms that might indicate it must be sought in the Materia Medica; our space forbids trying to note them here, but prominent among them are pale, sallow face, sunken eyes with dark rings around, throbbing headaches, night sweats, and sweats easily on least motion or labour. It is always well when a patient comes to us in a very debilitated condition to think of China, and to make careful inquiry for some debilitating waste that would account for it; for if it is a woman she may be suffering from a very profuse leucorrha, which from delicacy she will not mention, or if a young or even married man, he may be suffering from seminal losses, of which he would not speak if not encouraged to do so.
Again this remedy has its sphere of usefulness in disorders of the alimentary canal. It has loss of appetite, but canine hunger is more characteristic. It is a great flatulent remedy, the choice often remaining between it, Carbo veg. and Lycopodium. H. N. Guernsey expresses it about right in these words -"Uncomfortable distention of the abdomen, with a wish to belch up, or a sensation as if the abdomen were packed full, not in the least relieved by eructation." Such patients are troubled with slow digestion, and as they express it: sometimes it seems as if the food all turned to gas. They feel so full and oppressed they can hardly breathe and still will feel hungry at meal-time.
That the process of digestion is seriously impaired is shown by a tendency to diarrha, especially from eating fruit. The stools are watery, yellow, brownish, or light colored and undigested, and what is not generally found under other remedies they are painless. The stools are also accompanied with large discharge of flatulence (Calcarea phos.). This is in accord with the windy condition of the bowels generally. This condition of abdomen with attending diarrha is often found in children, and the child is weak, pale, with dark rings around the eyes. Here China is the remedy, not Cina on the theory of "worrums," and it is astonishing what improvement follows in a short time.
Now as to this remedy as an anti-periodic. The popular use of it by the old school, and the laity under their instruction in this sense, or as a panacea for all so-called malarious diseases, is a curse to the race. That it is a great remedy, when indicated by the symptoms, for periodical affections, whether of malarial origin or not, is true, and so it is true of Eupatorium Perfoliatum, Ipecacuanha, Natrum muriaticum, Arsenicum album, and a host of other remedies. Affections that do not come strictly under the head of malarial, if they are worse every other day, should call attention to Cinchona.
I remember a bad case of inflammatory rheumatism, which had been treated by an eclectic physician with local applications until the disease had been driven to the heart, which I quickly relieved by China, being led to its choice by this every-other-day aggravation of the symptoms. Of course, there were other indications for the remedy, but this was the key that helped to unlock the case.
Those who depend on China or its alkaloid as a general cure-all for intermittents will meet with disappointments all along the way, for while it may have the power to suppress the paroxysms in many cases it has the power to suppress the paroxysms in many cases it has the power tocure in comparatively few. I have seen a case suppressed time and again with it, return as often, for over a year and a half that I cured with a single prescription of Eupatorium perfoliatum. And so with Natrum muriaticum and Arsenicum album. With all its vaunted power over malarial affections, especially intermittent fever, the indications for its use are not so clear cut as for many other remedies.
I once had three cases of intermittent fever in one family, living in the same house and exposed to the same influences. Quinine failed to cure any one of them, and a different remedy, as indicated by the symptoms according to the homopathic law of cure, was required for each case and promptly cured it. The respective remedies were Eupatorium perfoliatum, Ignatia and Capsicum. Now any good homopath can tell you the leading symptoms for all three remedies.
That is science.
I once knew a druggist who told me that he had at last discovered one thing that mothers-in- law were good for. Of course I asked him what it was. I wanted to know. He answered, to try patent medicines on. she died (the mother-in-law) shortly after. Well, there is one thing that quinine in the hands of the average old school physician is good for, and that is to make patients for homopaths, for we find more patients to treat coming from its abuse than we find calling for its use as a curative, and from a purely business standpoint we are greatly indebted to them (the allopathic) for a good bit of practice. But how in the name of gratitude; we can ever pay them out of the poisonous results of our little pill practice I don't know.
Now what are the best remedies for what is called the Quinine cachexia? Here, as ever, we must answer, the indicated one. Ipecac., Arsenicum, Natrum mur., Pulsatilla and Ferrum are often indicated, but they do not cover all cases any more than do Hepar Sulph., Nitric acid or Kali hydroiodicum, all cases of chronic mercurial poisoning. It is nonsense -worse than nonsense- it is old-schoolism to say I gave Nux vomica because the patient had taken pepper tea, or Pulsatilla for Quinine, or Kali. hydroiod. for Mercury. We do not prescribe Aconite because the patient has fever (the old school does), but because the patient has with the fever other symptoms which enable us to choose between Aconite and many other remedies that have fever also, and this to the exclusion of all the rest. This is science again.
China is one of the best remedies in chronic liver troubles.
There is pain in the right hypochondria, and often the liver may be felt below the ribs, enlarged, hard and sensitive to touch. The skin and sclerotica are yellow, the urine dark colored and stools light, lacking the color due to a proper secretion of bile. Now if in addition to all this we have in part or whole the abdominal symptoms so characteristic of this remedy China; will do excellent service. It is equally good in splenic diseases which closely resemble the splenic troubles resulting from the abuse of Quinine. I have found the 200th do better than lower potencies in these troubles.
I wish to say in addition to what has already been said of China for hæmorrhages, that the bleeding may come from any or every outlet or orifice of the body. Carbo veg., Ferrum, Crotalus horridus, Phosphorus and Sulphuric acid also claim attention here.
China has excessive sensitiveness of the nervous system. The special senses seem too acute; the mind is unpleasantly affected, and nothing as more characteristic of this remedy than its extreme sensitiveness to touch. (Asaftida, Hepar and Lachesis). It affects the skin all over the body, even the hair feels sore (so says the patient) because moving the hair hurts the sensitive scalp, and in addition to this, one peculiar thing is that while the lightest touch will increase to an extreme degree the pains of the diseased part, hard pressure relieves. That seems impossible, but is true nevertheless. The sensitiveness is so extreme that a current of air blowing on the part will cause great pain and suffering.
Plumbum also has this excessive hyperæsthesia, and I once cured a very obstinate case of post-diphtheritic paralysis, being led to its administration by this symptom. Capsicum also has it. The patient can hardly bear to be shaved on account of it.
Plumbum also has this excessive hyperæsthesia, and I once cured a very obstinate case of post-diphtheritic paralysis, being led to its administration by this symptom. Capsicum also has it. The patient can hardly bear to be shaved on account of it.
Vital force nearly exhausted; complete collapse.
Blood stagnates in the capillaries; venous turgescence; surface cold and blue.
Hæmorrhages (nose, stomach, gums, bowels, bladder or any mucous surface), with indescribable paleness of the surface of the body.
Mucous membranes break down, become spongy, bleed ulcerate and become putrid.
Excessive flatulence, pressing upward, stomach and abdomen.
Hunger for oxygen, decarbonized blood; cries, "fan me, fan me hard!"
Anæmic, especially after acute diseases, which have greatly depleted the patients; chronic effects.
Persons who have never fully recovered from the exhausting effects of some previous illness; has never recovered from effects of typhoid, weak digestion; the simplest food disagrees; eructations give temporary relief.
Bad effects from loss of vital fluids (Caust.); hæmorrhage from any broken-down condition of mucous membrane.
Looseness of teeth, easily bleeding gums.
In the last stages of disease, with copious cold sweat, cold breath, cold tongue, voice lost, this remedy may save a life.
Coldness of the knees, even in bed (Apis); of left arm and left leg; very cold hands and feet; finger-nails blue.
Persons who have never recovered from effects of some previous illness or injury; suppression by Quinine or drugging; typhoid or yellow fever.
China is its great complementary.
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In our remarks upon China we said that for flatulent conditions the choice lay often between it, Carbo veg. and Lycopodium. Carbo vegetabilis also ranges alongside China for debilitated states. The weakness of Carbo vegetabilis is not surpassed by any other remedy. This, with Arsenicum and Muriatic acid form a trio of remedies which according to well-known indications has snatched many a patient from the very jaws of death. Picture of Carbo veg.: Vital forces nearly exhausted, cold surface, especially from knees down to feet; lies motionless, as if dead; breath cold; pulse intermittent, thready; cold sweat on limbs. This is truly a desperate condition. Then add to these symptoms, blood stagnates in the capillaries, causing blueness, coldness and ecchymoses; the patient so weak he cannot breathe without being constantly fanned. Gasps: "Fan me ! Fan me !" Carbo veg. has saved such cases. This is a picture of a case of typhoid fever, and in one case we saw added still to this, hæmorrhage of dark, decomposed, unclotted blood; could not clot on account of its broken down condition; blood oozing from gums and nostrils, and an indescribable paleness not only of the hippocratic face, but also of the skin of the whole body, yet Carbo veg. restored to health, and in an aged woman at that. I have here, as faithfully as I can, portrayed the wonderful power of this remedy in such a desperate case. Of course no remedy can raise the dead, no matter how strong the indications before death; but no remedy can come nearer than this and the dominant school know little or nothing about it, and never can until they will consent to use it in the homopathic form and according to homopathic indications.
The sphere of this remedy is not by any means limited to low or weakening states in connection with acute diseases. To give an idea of its use when indicated by the symptoms in chronic ailments, I can do no better than quote from Henry N. Guernsey: "No truer remark was ever written than that Carbo vegetabilis is especially adapted to cachectic individuals whose vital powers have become weakened. This remark is made particularly clear when considered in the light of those cases in which disease seems to be engrafted upon the system by reason of the depressing influence of some prior derangement. (Psorinum). Thus, for instance, the patient tells us that asthma has troubled him ever since he had the whooping cough in childhood; he has dyspepsia ever since a drunken debauch which occurred some years ago; he has never been well since the time he strained himself so badly (Rhus tox., Calcarea ost.); the strain itself does not now seem to be the matter, but his present ailments have all appeared since it happened; he sustained an injury some years ago, no traces of which are now apparent, and yet he dates his present complaints from the time of the occurrence of that accident; or again, he was injured by exposure to damp, hot air and his present ailments result from it. It will be well for the physician to think of Carbo vegetabilis in similar cases which are numerous and may present very dissimilar phenomena, as these circumstances being suggestive of Carbo veg. it in all probability will be found to be the appropriate remedy which the agreement of the other symptoms of the case with those of the drug will serve to corroborate." This is from the pen of one of the best prescribers that ever lived, and I feel justified in quoting it entire.
This remedy seems to affect deeply the whole alimentary tract, and the same broken down, weakened condition appears. The gums break down, become spongy, bleed on touching or sucking them or become retracted from the teeth, lower incisors and are painfully sensitive or sore on chewing or even pressing the teeth hard together. The stomach also becomes weak. acidity and pyrosis is frequent; the plainest food disagrees, fat foods especially. Here Carbo vegetabilis succeeds when Pulsatilla fails.
The most marked and valuable place for this remedy is in its power to relieve complaints from excessive flatulence in the stomach. "Great accumulations of flatulence in the stomach." "Stomach feels full and tense from flatulence." Great pain in stomach on account of flatulence, worse especially on lying down, should always call attention to this remedy. All this may occur in different affections ranging from a simple dyspepsia to incurable cancer of the stomach. In the latter case, and even in cases not so serious, we may have added burning in stomach. This flatulence is also generated in the abdomen, but, in the Carbo vegetabilis cases, is most troublesome in upper part; yet may extend so far as to cause great meteoristic distention, especially in typhoid fevers, dysenteries, etc. It is a remedy of inestimable value in hæmorrhage from any broken down condition of mucous membranes. This action upon the mucous membranes does not stop with the alimentary tract, but attacks those of the respiratory tract also. Beginning with the larynx, it causes and cures great hoarseness, which is characteristically worse in the damp air, especially of evening. It may be very bad even (if the air is damp) in the morning; but morning hoarseness is oftener reached by Causticum. This condition may go on extending and increasing until it reaches the bronchia.
This is particularly true in case of elderly people of broken down constitutions, venous system predominating. It is a great remedy for the bronchitis of old people; also for asthma of the same, in very desperate cases where the patient appears as if dying. Here the choice must be sometimes made between this remedy and China.
In the chest there is sometimes "burning as from glowing coal" and again, "weak, fatigued feeling in chest," where the choice may fall between it and Phosphoric acid, Stannum and Sulphur.
It has been found very efficacious in desperate cases of pneumonia, and comes in quite naturally after Tartar emetic has failed to assist the patient to clear his lungs of the great quantities of loosened mucus, when cyanosis and paralysis threaten from weakness. Its sputa then is apt to be ftid with cold sweat and breath and the characteristic wanted-to-be-fanned condition.
Before we leave this remedy I want to emphasize its power over hæmorrhages, which may occur from lungs, nose, stomach, bowels, bladder or any mucous surface. No remedy can take its place in broken down, greatly debilitated constitutions where the surfaces from which the blood oozes seem too weak and spongy to hold the blood in them. Their vitality is gone with the patient's nervous vitality. The patient's face and skin is very pale, even before the hæmorrhage has occurred. China and Carbo vegetabilis are decidedly complementary.
Before we leave this remedy I want to emphasize its power over hæmorrhages, which may occur from lungs, nose, stomach, bowels, bladder or any mucous surface. No remedy can take its place in broken down, greatly debilitated constitutions where the surfaces from which the blood oozes seem too weak and spongy to hold the blood in them. Their vitality is gone with the patient's nervous vitality. The patient's face and skin is very pale, even before the hæmorrhage has occurred. China and Carbo vegetabilis are decidedly complementary.
Depression of mind and sensorium, stupid; lower jaw drops; chronic conditions, memory fails; uses wrong words to express himself; mixes up things; failing brain power.
Right-sided complaints, or begins on right and travels leftward; throat, ovaries, uterine region, kidney and skin troubles; hernia.
Sense of satiety, or hunger, but soon fills up.
Great flatulence with rumbling, mostly intestinal and pressing downward.
Lithic acid diathesis; red sand in clear urine; > pains in back or kidneys after passing.
Dark-complexioned people; emaciated in face and upper parts, bloated or swollen in lower; keen intellectual but feeble muscular development.
Modalities: < 4 to 8 P. M., after eating, in warm room; > in cool open air, on motion.
Irritable; peevish and cross on waking; ugly, kick and! scream; easily angered; cannot endure opposition or contradiction; seeks disputes; is beside himself.
Complexion: Pale, dirty, unhealthy; sallow; looks. Older than he is.
One foot hot and the other cold.
Great thirst after the sweat.
Chill on left-side of the body (Caust., Carbo v.).
Sour vomiting between chill and heat; must uncover (Lach.).
Perspiration immediately after the chill. Thirst after sweating stage.
In intermittents, the flatulence, sour eructations, sour taste, sour sweat, sour vomiting.
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The remedy with Sulphur and Calcarea forms the leading trio of Hahnemann's anti-psoric remedies. This makes a good starting point, as the boy said when he set a pin in a vacant chair. They all act very deeply. Each finds its affinity in a certain class of people or temperament. Lycopodium acts favourably in all ages, but particularly upon old people and children. It acts upon persons of keen intellect, but feeble muscular development; lean people, leaning towards lung and liver troubles. Such people are apt to suffer from lithic acid diathesis for which this is also great remedy. The Lycopodium subject is sallow, sunken, with premature lines in the face; looks older than he is. Children are weak with well-developed heads, but puny, sickly bodies. They are irritable, and when sick awake out of sleep ugly and kick and scream and push away the nurse or parents. These temperament remedies are not always appreciated by those who do not understand the true spirit of our own art of healing; but when appreciated the skillful observer can often see the picture of the right remedy in the face and build of his patient before he speaks a word. A remedy must not only be well proven, but extended clinical use and observation is necessary to develop it and indicate its true sphere of usefulness. I have known temperaments so intensely Aconite or Belladonna that they could not take these remedies except in the high and highest potencies, and then only in single doses at long intervals. Why should this be thought incredible? Carpenter, in his Physiology, tells of a person who was so susceptible to Mercury that she was salivated by sleeping with her husband, who had taken Mercury.
This is one of the leading trio of flatulent remedies, Carbo veg. and China being the other two. With Lycopodium there seems to be an almost constant fermentation of gas going on in the abdomen, which produces a loud croaking and rumbling. Remember, while China bloats the whole abdomen Carbo veg. prefers the upper and Lycopodium the lower parts. With Lycopodium this flatulent condition is very apt to occur in connection with chronic liver trouble. Again this rumbling of flatulence is often found particularly in the region of the splenic flexure of the colon or left hypochondria.
A feeling of satiety is found under this remedy which alternates with a feeling of hunger of a peculiar kind. The patient sits down to the table very hungry, but the first few mouthfuls fill him right up and he feels distressingly full; in a Pickwickian sense "too full for utterance." This alternation of hunger and satiety is not markedly found under any other remedy.
Constipation predominates under Lycopodium, and like Nux vomica there may be frequent and ineffectual desire for stool, but while that of Nux vomica is caused by irregular peristaltic action that of Lycopodium seems to be caused by a spasmodic contraction of the anus, which prevents the stool and causes great pain.
Lycopodium should be thought of in anal troubles associated with chronic liver troubles, especially if with much flatulence.
Lycopodium is of use in right sided hernia. It has cured cases of long standing without the aid of a truss.
The liver troubles of Lycopodium are more apt to be of the atrophic variety, while those of China are hypertrophic, both being equally useful in their sphere.
Lycopodium has almost, if not quite, as marked action upon the urinary organs as upon the liver. It is the chief remedy for "red sand in the urine." This not simply the reddish sediment which is generally termed "brick-dust sediment," and which is found under many remedies, but is an actual sandy, gritty sediment that settles at the bottom of the otherwise perfectly clear urine. Unless thus condition is removed we have sooner or later renal calculi, or gravel forming, and terrible attacks of renal colic. In children this sand is sometimes found in the diaper after severe crying spells, and in adults much pain in the back in region of kidneys, which is relieved after the discharge of urine containing the sand. (See Borax, Sarsaparilla and Sanicula). No one remedy helps these cases more promptly or permanently than Lycopodium.
Lycopodium is also one of our best remedies for impotence. (Agnus castus). An old man marries his second or third wife and finds himself not "equal to the occasion." It is very embarrassing for the whole family. A dose of Lycopodium sets the thing all right and makes the doctor a warm friend on both sides of the house.
Young men from onanism or sexual excess become impotent. The penis becomes small, cold and relaxed. The desire is as strong as ever, and perhaps more so, but he can't perform. (Selenium, Caladium). I have known apparently hopeless cases of this kind cured by the use of this remedy, high single doses at intervals of a week or more.. Give it low, however, if you want to, but do not blame me if you don't succeed.
Lycopodium affects the right side most, or. at least the troubles begin on the right side. Swelling and suppuration of the tonsils I have aborted more than once in old quinsy subjects by an early dose of this remedy. In fact, I have had such success with Lachesis, Lycopodium, Lac caninum and Phytolacca that some who employ me for nothing else come for those powders that "break up quinsy" so quick. In diphtheria, if the disease begins in the nose or right tonsil and extends to the left, you will think of Lycopodium, but remember that Mercurius protoiodide also begins on the right side, but there is no difficulty in choosing between the two. (Bromine diphtheria begins below and comes upward, just the reverse of Lycopodium). Pains in the abdomen, ovarian and uterine regions also begin in right side, running from right to left; right foot gets cold while the other remains warm, eruptions begin on right and travel across to left side. Sciatica the same; any complaint that begins on right and goes to left makes me think of Lycopodium. The "sides of the body" subject is of more account than some imagine. Drugs have an affinity for particular parts, organs and even sides of the body.
Upon the respiratory organs this remedy also has a strong influence. It is one of our best remedies for chronic dry catarrh of the nose, which becomes completely closed, so that' the patient has to breathe through the open mouth, especially at night. Here the choice often lies between this remedy, Ammonium carb. and Hepar Sulphur., other symptoms, of course, deciding the choice. In infants Sambucus comes in for a share of attention.
Lycopodium has often saved neglected, mal-treated or Imperfectly cured cases of pneumonia from running into consumption. It may even come into the later stages of the acute attack itself, and here as usual the disease is apt to be in the right lung, and especially if liver complications arise. The disease has passed the first or congestive stage, and generally the stage of hepatization, or is irk the last part of this stage, and is trying hard to take a favourable turn into the breaking-up or third stage, the stage of resolution. Just here is where many cases die, neither free expectoration, nor perfect absorption of the disease product taking place. There is extreme dyspna, the cough sounds as if the entire parenchyma of the lung were softened; even raising whole mouthfuls of mucus does not afford relief, the breath is short and the wings of the nose expand to their utmost with a fan-like motion. Now is the tame when Lycopodium does wonders. Again, even when this stage is imperfectly passed, and the patient still coughs and expectorates much thick, yellow, purulent or greyish-yellow, purulent (sometimes ftid) Matter, tasting salty, with much rattling in the chest, Lycopodium is indispensable Here the choice may have to be made between this remedy and Sulphur, Kali hydroiod. or Silicea. The characteristic aggravation as to time, of this remedy is from 4 to 8 o'clock P. M. Colocynth has 4 to 9 aggravation of abdominal pains, and Helleborus Niger, of the headache, with coryza; but the 4 to 8 aggravations of Lycopodium are general, not confined to any one, or one set of symptoms.
Lycopodium profoundly impresses the sensorium. We see by studying its pathogenesis that it depresses. This is found particularly in typhoid. The patient lies stupid, eyes do not re-act to light; lower jaw drops; apparent impending paralysis of the brain.
This condition may also be found in the advanced stage of many different acute diseases such as cerebro-spinal meningitis, typhoid fever, pneumonia, etc. Now if you get the 4 to 8 P. M. aggravation this remedy surely comes in. But this depression of the sensorium is also found in chronic form. you remember what was said of this remedy in the impotence of old men. If you find corresponding failure in the sensorium of old men, the memory fails, they use wrong words to express themselves, mix things up generally in writing, spelling, and are, in short, unable to do ordinary mental work on account of failing brain power, remember Lycopodium Here again Anacardium, Phosphorus, Baryta or Opium may come in for comparison. Also Picric acid and Agnus castus.
Many more things might be written of this wonderful polychrest, but I have given the most important. Its strongest curative powers are not developed below the 12th potency, hence neither the old school nor the homopaths who confine themselves exclusively to the low preparations know much about it. Like Carbo vegetabilis, Silicea and Sulphur its best powers are only developed by Hahnemann's peculiar process of potentization; "prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
Hahnemann's king of anti-psorics; combating all psoric manifestations, as described in Hahnemann's chronic diseases.
Itching eruptions on the skin everywhere; scratching is followed by burning.
Burning everywhere, general and local, especially feet; has to stick them out of bed to cool them.
Redness of all orifices, as if pressed full of blood (lips, ears, nostrils, eyelids, anus, urethra, etc.).
Exudations into serous sacs following acute inflammations.
Weak, faint, after hot flashes, followed by sweat, especially at 11 A. M.
Modalities: < 5 A. M. (diarrha), standing; 11 A. M., close room, open air, bathing, cold damp weather; > doors and windows open, sitting or lying.
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I now come to an attempt to give some idea of the curative sphere of Hahnemann's king of anti-psorics. I do not in this place feel it incumbent upon me to enter into a defense of Hahnemann's psora theory against those who discard it because they do not understand it. With those who do understand and profit by it there is no need of such defense. The truth stands confirmed (with those who have put to the test Hahnemann's rules for the use of Sulphur) that it has power to meet and overcome certain obstacles to the usual action of drugs when indicated by the symptoms, or least seemingly so. That is the reason why the indication as laid down in the books reads: "When seemingly indicated drugs do not cure, use Suphur," because psora is the obstacle to be overcome. If you now ask me, what is psora? I answer in true Yankee style, what is scrofula? Perhaps psora is scrofula, or scrofula is psora. Call it either or neither. Yet it is present, a something named or unnamed which must be recognized and complicates so-called acute diseases. Now there is nothing so very remarkable about this. Syphilis does the same. Once contacted or inherited no matter what ordinary acute disease appears, we are at times obliged to turn aside from its treatment to give a quietus to the old enemy before we can overcome the acute affection. So it is with Sulphur and psora. The orizing and philosphizing, no matter how wise they sound, must go down when facts oppose them. (See case of gastralgia under Arsenicum and neuralgia under Causticum).
Now upon this symptom -"When carefully selected remedies fail to act favorably, etc.," as we said when writing of a certain group under Nux vomica -this is putting it in too wholesale a fashion. Let no one understand that Sulphur is the only remedy capable of removing psoric complications, but simply that Sulphur will be likely to be oftener indicated here, because it oftener covers the usual manifestations of psora in its pathogenesis than any other remedy. There are anti-psorics, like Psorinum, Causticum, Graphites, etc., which may have to be used instead of Sulphur. And we know which one by the same law which guides us in the selection of the right remedy any time. Another thing must not be forgotten. All the anti-psoric remedies have their own individual sphere of action outside their anti-psoric powers; and often a close study of the case in hand, where other remedies have failed, as we had supposed, on account of psora, will reveal that the anti-psoric remedy was the true simillimum from the start, independent of any psoric element.
To undertake to go over the whole range of action of Sulphur would be simply to give its whole symptomatology. That is riot the object of these notes, but we can notice only the red line indications which lead the careful prescriber to its further study in the Materia Medica.
One of the chief characteristics of this remedy is found under the head or rubric of sensation, viz., that of Burning. Burning on vertex (outer and inner head); burning in eyes, painful smarting; burning water from nose; burning in face without redness; burning pain in tongue; burning vesicles in mouth; sore throat with great burning and dryness, first right, then left; burning in stomach; burning and pressure in rectum; burning and itching in hæmorrhoids; burning in anus; burning in urethra; burning in vagina, scarcely able to keep still; nipples burn like fire; burning in chest, rising to face; burning between scapulæ (Phos. and Lycop.); burning of hands; burning of feet; puts them out of bed to cool them; hot flushes and burning all over; burning skin of whole body; itching eruptions burn after scratching.
After reading such a list of burning in the cured and characteristic symptoms of Sulphur one does not wonder that hell is represented as being heated by this substance, for it seems by its pathogenesis as though it were eternally burning. Arsenicum album, Phosphorus and Sulphur lead the list in our Materia Medica for burners. These burning sensations are found in both acute and chronic diseases. Of course there are several other remedies that have this symptom in an intense degrees and must be chosen if the other symptoms come in to complete the picture of similarity. Among these of first importance may be named Aconite, Agaricus, Apis, Belladonna, Cantharis, Capsicum, Carbo animalis and Phosphoric acid. I think Arsenicum leads in all acute diseases, while Sulphur leads in chronic affections We, as homopathists, do not yet fully appreciate the value of sensations.
The action of Sulphur upon the circulation is to cause and cure local congestions and a chronic tendency thereto. In other words, it seems to have the power of equalizing the circulation in persons subject to such local congestions and inflammations. These, either acute or chronic congestions, may manifest themselves in boils, swellings, felons, abdominal or portal congestions and inflammations, and here it is especially indicated if caused by suppressed hæmorrhoids; congestions to the head may result from the same cause; the chest becomes congested, when there is great difficulty of breathing; feels so oppressed that he wants doors and windows open. This rush of blood seems to fill the whole chest, the heart feels as if "too full," palpitates and labours, as if trying to rid itself of a burden.
The orifices of the body are red, as if pressed full of blood. The lips are red as vermilion, ears very red; eyelids red, anus red, urethra red. All these are manifest indications for Sulphur. Especially is the true if these symptoms follow, or are consequent upon, the suppression or retrocession of some eruption or skin trouble. If inward affections work outward towards the surface there is not usually cause for alarm, but it they go the other way look out for breakers, there is shipwreck ahead. No one need tell me that there is no relation of skin to internal troubles. I have seen too much of it, and have cured many cases of that character, where a restoration of the skin disease relieved the internal which had followed its retrocession or suppression.
There is one thing about Sulphur that it often under-estimated by the profession in general, viz., its power of absorption. It is after the stage of effusion has set in or even later when this stage is passed and the results of the inflammatory process are to be gotten rid of; like the enlargement of the joints in rheumatism, exudations into serous sacs, pleura, meningeal membranes, peritoneum, etc. Bryonia is one of the remedies first thought of in these cases, and we have another remedy that is making a record for itself here, viz., Kali muriaticum; but when the case is complicated by psora and, especially, when the characteristic burnings stand out prominently Sulphur is almost sure to be needed before the case is finished. Bryonia and Sulphur complement each other; but, of course, the symptoms must decide and may decide in favor of neither of them. Right here it may be well to speak of that power possessed by Sulphur of arousing or exciting defective reaction. Your former remedy was well chosen and seemed to help the patient in a measure, but the case relapses, lingers or progresses slowly to perfect recovery. It is on account of a depression of the vital force, as Hahnemann would call it. It may be on account of psora or not. Now give a dose of Sulphur and let it act a few hours if in an acute case, or number of days if chronic. Then you may return to your former remedy and get results which you could not before the Suphur was given. It clears up the case and prevents its becoming chronic or a lingering unsatifactory convalescence.
No remedy has more general, positive and persistent action upon the skin than Sulphur. With or without eruption, itching and burning, are the characteristic sensations attending the skin symptoms. If any one doubts the itch-producing power of Sulphur let him work a day or two in the bleaching room of a broom factory. I have tried the experiment, and we all remember the fact that our mothers and grandmothers used to cure or rather over-cure itch with it.
So strong is this affinity of Sulphur far the skin that it seems bent on pushing everything internal out on the surface. Especially is this true if it is something that naturally belongs there. Over twenty-five years ago I had a case that illustrates this. A lady (maiden) had been an invalid for fourteen years. Her trouble seemed to center in her stomach. So that for all that long period of time she could eat nothing but at little Graham bread and milk, hardly enough to sustain life and in the earlier part of her sickness for a long time was able only to take a teaspoonfull of milk at a time. She was an almost literal walking skeleton. I found, after much questioning and several failures to relieve her much, that about fifteen years before she had with an ointment suppressed an eczema of the nape and occiput. She boasted that she had never seen a vestige of it since. I gave that lady Sulphur 200th and in three weeks from that time had that eruption fully restored and her stomach trouble completely relieved. The deacon of her (Presbyterian) church exclaimed as she came walking up a long hill to service, "Here comes Susan F., who has been dying for the last fourteen years and lo and behold, she is the biggest, fattest one among us!" Now how about the relation of skin to internal trouble? I can report a number of as convincing cases in my own practice cured with Sulphur, Arsenicum, Causticum or other remedies. One thing must be recognized and never lost sight of, viz., that symptoms weigh whether we can give the pathological interpretation of them or not. Here are a few of that kind from the pathogenesis of Sulphur:
"Particularly efficacious with lean, stoop-shouldered persons, who walk or sit stooped; standing is the most uncomfortable position."
"Dirty, filthy people, prone to skin affections."
"Children cannot bear to be washed or bathed."
"Voluptuous itching; scratching relieves; after it burning."
"Complaints continually relapsing."
"Congestion to single parts."
"Pain in heart, extending to back."
"Scrofulous (psoric) chronic diseases that result from suppressed eruptions."
"Discharges from every outlet acrid, excoriating and reddening."
"Offensive odor of body despite frequent bathing."
"Hot flushes with spells of faintness, or debility passing off with a little moisture, faintness or debility."
"Weak, faint spells frequently during the day."
"Burning in feet, wants to find a cool place for them; puts them out of bed to cool them off." (Chamomilla, Medorrhinum, Sanicula.)
"Feels suffocated; wants doors and windows open, particularly at night."
"Diarrha after midnight; Painlessly driving out of bed early in the morning, as if the bowels were too weak to retain their contents."
"Weak, empty, gone or faint feeling in stomach about 11 A. M."
"White tongue with very red tip and borders."
"Bright redness of lips as if the blood would burst through." (Tuberculinum).
"Heat on crown of head; cold feet; frequent flushing."
Every true homopath knows the value of these and many more symptoms of this remedy. No one else appreciates them. Again, none but those who use the potentized Sulphur can ever know what it is capable of curing.
Deficient or irregular bone development. (Fontanelles open, crooked spine, deformed extremities.)
Fairs fat, flabby, obesic.
Coldness, general and local, subjective and objective, especially as if had on cold, damp stockings. Affections from working in cold water.
Sweats general (night sweats and on exertion). Local; head (children), axillæ, hands, feet, etc.
Digestive tract sour (sour taste, eructations, vomiting, sour curds, diarrha).
Great debility: cannot walk far or go upstairs for short breath; easily strained.
Modalities: < cold air, ascending, or exertion; straining from lifting.
* * * * *
This is another of Hahnemann's constitutional remedies which, as Farrington says, "may come into use, in almost any form of disease." We may say come into use because it may be on account of certain idiosyncrasies. which come under the remedial power of Calcarea that the disease, whatever it is, is made less amenable to ordinary treatment.
The temperament of Calcarea is altogether different from that of Sulphur. You remember the lean stoop-shouldered Sulphur subject. Calcarea is on the contrary what cannot be better expressed than in the term used by Henry N. Guernsey viz.; Leocophlegmatic temperament.
The Calcarea patient is constitutionally fat, over-fat or strongly inclined to obesity. The color of the skin is white, watery or chalky pale. Of torpid disposition (especially children), sluggish or slow in its movements. The Sulphur is almost the exact opposite, quick, wiry, nervous, active. There is none of the bilious, swarthy, yellowish appearance in Calcarea that we find in Lycopodium. These three remedies Calcarea, Sulphur, Lycopodium are a trio that find each their counterpart in many persons the world over. Of course we find the tendency to obesity under other remedies, as for instance, under Graphites, but with this obesity we almost always find accompanying it the peculiar skin troubles of Graphites. Sometimes we seem to find a condition that seems to simulate each remedy in some one feature; for instance, the obesic temperament of Calcarea and the eruptive tendency of Sulphur. This may combine so as to make a case that will be covered by Hepar sulph. Such cases are more difficult to cover with a perfect simillimum. But when we do find a purely Calcarea, Sulphur or Lycopodium subject the fact is inestimable as a help to a brilliant result in many cases.
Malnutrition is one of the disorders calling for the exhibition of this remedy.
"Tardy development of the bony tissues with lymphatic enlargements."
"Curvature of the bones, especially spine and long bones."
"Extremities deformed, crooked."
"Softening of the bones; fontanelles remain open too long and skull very large."
These symptoms are quoted from "Hering's Guiding Symptoms," and show the lack of, or imperfect, nutrition of bones. They are nourished irregularly, or unevenly. One part of a bone, the vertebræs for instance, is nourished while the other is starved. While all this irregular bone development is going on the soft parts are suffering from over-nutrition. Thus we have recorded in the pathogenesis: "Tendency to obesity especially in children and young people."
"Nutrition impaired with tendency to glandular enlargements."
"Granular vegetations: polypus (in nose, ear, bladder, uterus, etc.)."
This is a fair picture of the general or constitutional use of Calcarea ost., and it remains to give some of the characteristic or peculiar symptoms guiding to its selection.
When writing of Sulphur we called particular attention to the sensation of burning under that remedy. Calcarea has characteristically the opposite, viz., Coldness (Cistus.).
"Cold, damp feet."
"Sensation in feet and legs as if she had on cold, damp stockings."
"Coldness of legs with night-sweats."
"Internal and external sensation of coldness of various parts of head as if a piece of ice were lying, against it; with pale puffed face."
"She feels a sort of inward coldness."
"Aversion to open air, the least cold air goes right through her."
All this is so directly opposite to Sulphur that any confusion between them seems impossible.
Sensations of coldness in single parts should always call to mind Calcarea, as well as general coldness. (Cistus and Heloderma.)
If Calcarea has one symptom that not only leads all the rest, but also all other remedies, it is found in the profuse sweats on head of large-headed, open fontanelled children. The sweat is so profuse that during sleep it rolls down the head and face wetting the pillow far around. Many a little child has been saved from dying of hydrocephalus, dentition, rachitis, marasmus, eclampsia, cholera infantum, etc., where this sweating symptom was the guiding symptom to the use of Calcarea. It is also especially indicated, other symptoms agreeing, in sweats of male organs, nape of neck, chest, axilla, hands, knees, feet, etc. Partial sweats. It is also a remedy for night sweats generally when they occur in connection with consumption or other debilitating diseases.
In all these sweatings of Calcarea the surface is characteristically cold at the same time, and especially would we find the lower extremities cold.
Calcarea has characteristic symptoms in the digestive tract. One is that everything in the whole length of the tract seems soor. Eructations sour; sour vomiting of large curds (Æthusa); sour diarrha. And then there is a sour smell of the whole body. This is not like the offensive odor of the body that Sulphur has.
Then there is a peculiar symptom of the appetite that has often been verified -"Longing for eggs, particularly in chhildren in sickness or during convalescence, even before they are able to swallow. The stomach externally is swollen or seems distended, standing right out like an inverted saucer. Abdomen is also much distended from hard and swollen mesentery, even when the rest of the body is emaciated."
The diarrha, which may vary as to color and consistence, instead of being aggravated in the morning, like Sulphur, is worse in the afternoon. The patient is generally better when constipated.
Calcarea has not so positive and unvarying action upon the skin as Sulphur, but is indispensable in skin affections which seem to depend upon some constitutional dyscrasia that it covers in its general action, for instance, in eczema capitis or milk crusts. in children of the Calcarea type. Here, of course, no remedy can take its place. Indeed all skin troubles in Calcarea subjects disappear when through its action the system is set right, showing that the skin troubles after all were only secondary. The skin of the Calcarea subject is generally cold, soft and flabby.
We must not omit to notice the action of Calcarea ost. on the respiratory organs, for the reason that it is of great importance in its use in that dread disease, pulmonary consumption. Whether, as Professor Bennet believes, this disease be essentially one of faulty nutrition or as Virchow believes, one of inflammation, or if Professor Rindflesch's theory relegating it to the class of diseases known as infections, be true, or whatever its primary cause may be, we know that Calcarea ost. is one of the most effective agents, if indicated by the temperament and symptoms, in the cure of this malady, and if applied at a stage when a cure is at all possible.
Very many cases in the incipient stage come within range of Sulphur or Calcarea. As we have already given the leading indications of Sulphur, we will now give some of them for Calcarea:
"Middle and upper portion of right lung." (Sulph., upper left.)
"Chest painfully sensitive to touch and on inspiration."
"Shortness of breath on walking, especially on ascending."
"Painless hoarseness, < in the morning."
"Especially in women who have always been too early and profuse in menstruation, and who have habitually cold feet to the knees."
"Tendency to looseness of the bowels, < afternoons."
"Appetite failing and emaciation progressing."
Here are a few of the prominent indications, and on them many a case has been cured. Of course this is generally cough, and it may be tight or loose, yet the case rests mainly on the symptoms outside the cough. This remedy in this disease and the success attending its use is one of the illustrations of the soundness of Hering's advice when he says "treat the patient, not the disease."
Tardy closing or re-opening fontanelles in slim, emaciated children, with sweaty heads.
Diarrha or entero-colitis; stool passes with much flatulence and spluttering noise.
Rheumatic troubles which are < in fall or spring, when the air is full of melting snow.
* * * * *
When on the subject of Calcarea we may as well notice this other combination.
The Phosphorus element in this preparation seems to change the temperament, for while it retains its wonderful remedial power over tardy bone development it acts best in spare subjects instead of fat. So that if we find a sickly child with fontanelles remaining open too long or re-opening after once closed, the child being spare and anæmic, we think of this remedy.
We would also think of Silicea in one of these poor subjects, but in the Calcarea phos. the sweaty head is not a prominent symptom, while with Silicea it is markedly so. Calcarea phos.
also has a very peculiar desire, the little patient instead of wanting eggs wants "ham rind," a very queer symptom, but a genuine one. (Magnesia carb. craves meat in scrofulous children.) Diarrha is very prominent, and the stools are green and "spluttering;" that is the flatulence (of which there is much) with the stool makes a loud spluttering noise when the stool passes. I have made some very fine cures in such cases where there seemed little hope for the child and hydrocephaloid seemed impending. The little patients were shrunken, emaciated and very anæmic. Marasmus.
(Calcarea phos. is an excellent remedy in rheumatic troubles < spring and fall, especially when the air is cold and damp from melting snow.)
Calcarea phos. is an excellent remedy for broken bones where the bones refuse to knit (Also Symphytum.)
I have found Calcarea phos. very useful in the headaches of anæmic school girls. Here we sometimes have to choose between it and Natrum mur.
Feels complaints more when thinking of them (Oxalic acid, Helonias).
Weak, puny children; not from want of nourishment taken, but defective assimilation.
Inflammations tending to end suppuration or refusing to heal; becoming chronic.
Coldness, lack of vital warmth, even when taking exercise; must be wrapped up, especially the head, which >.
Suppressed sweat, especially of feet, which is profuse and offensive.
Weak, nervous, easily irritated, faint-hearted; yielding, giving up disposition, "grit all gone." Constipation; stool protrudes and then slips back again, again and again; week expulsive power.
Modalities: < from cold or draft, motion, open air, at new moon; > in warm room, wrapping up head; magnetism and electricity.
Scrofulous, rachitic children with large heads; open fontanelles and sutures; much sweating about the head, which must be kept warm by external covering; large bellies; weak ankles, slow in learning to walk.
Diseases, caused by suppressed foot sweat; exposing the head or back to any slight draft of air; from vaccination (Thuja); dust complaints of stone cutters, with total loss of strength.
Vertigo; spinal headache ascending from nape of neck to head, as if one would fall forward; worse looking upward.
Unhealthy skin; every little injury suppurates.
Promotes expulsion of foreign bodies from the tissues, fish bones, needles, bone splinters.
* * * * *
Silicea is another of our invaluable constitutional remedies, and also one which is of little or no use except as developed by Hahnemann's process of potentization. Like Calcarea, it is especially useful in sweaty-headed children (Sanicula) with defective assimilation. It is not in the fat, torpid, obesic patients, over-nourished in one part and insufficiently so in another, like Calcarea that Silicea is indicated, but in the over-sensitive, imperfectly nourished (generally), not from want of food, but from imperfect assimilation. The Silicea child is not larger than natural anywhere except in its "big belly," which is due to diseased mesentery. Its limbs are shrunken, its eyes sunken and its face pinched and old looking. It does not increase in size or strength, learns to walk late; in short, if not actually sick in bed, everything seems to have come to a standstill so far as growth or development is concerned. Now if this state of things continues the bowels become very constipated, and a peculiar constipation it is, too. The little fellow strains and strains, the stool partly protruding and then slipping back (Sanicula and Thuja), as though the general weakness of the patient affected the expulsive power of the rectum, or else the bowels become very persistently loose, especially during dentition or the hot weather of summer. The stools are changeable, but Pulsatilla does no good, almost every kind and color of loose stool appearing. The child takes nourishment enough, but, whether vomited or retained, goes on emaciating and growing weaker and weaker until it dies of inanition, unless Silicea checks this process. Many such cases have I saved with this remedy and made them healthy children. I have always used the 30th and upwards, hence cannot speak of the lower preparations. (Silicea also has constipation < before and during menstruation).
Silicea ranks among the first of our remedies for inflammations ending in suppuration. It seems to make no particular difference whether the suppuration takes place in the soft or hard parts, for it is equally efficacious in glandular or bony ulcerations. It seems to come in at a later stage than Hepar sulph. or Calcarea sulphide which expedite the discharge of pus already formed, while Silicea comes in for healing after the discharge has taken place. Cellular tissues with deep-seated suppurations, including tendons and ligaments, also come within the range of its healing powers. In these cases the constitution of the patient has an important bearing in the selection of this remedy. The Silicea subject is weakly, with fine skin, pale face, lax muscles. Even the mind and nervous symptoms come into the general picture of "weakness." He is nervous and irritable, weak, faint-hearted, yielding, giving-up disposition, "grit all gone." (Pulsatilla). In such a case Silicea is grand. I hate to use the term, but as the old school would say, "it builds them up," and so it seems, for under its action the patients spirits rise, hope revives, the weakness and depression give way to a feeling of returning strength and health. It makes no difference whether the ulcerations are in the tissues already named, in the lungs, intestinal tract, or mammæ, or elsewhere, the effect is the same, and the improvement in the local affection generally follows the general constitutional improvement. This condition of weakness seems to attack the general nervous system, affecting the spine, and so we get those cerebro-spinal headaches, or headaches beginning in the nape of the neck and running forward over the head to the eyes, for which Silicea is so useful. Vertigo also ascends from the nape to head, < looking up. (Pulsatilla).
There seems to be lack of nerve power to resist outward depressing influences. He is cold, or, as Hering puts it, there is "want of vital warmth, even when taking exercise." He is sensitive to cold air, takes cold very easily, especially when uncovering the head or feet. On the contrary, he is relieved by "wrapping up the head" (Magnesia mur.), or, in other words, supplying artificially the warmth that he lacks naturally.
I have several times found a Silicea child suffering from epileptiform spasms which were always worse at new moon. A few doses of Silicea 200th set them all right.
Silicea subjects are often afflicted with offensive foot-sweats (Sanicula, Psorinum, Graphites), which are easily suppressed by getting the feet cold. Such suppression must be remedied, the sweat restored and cured by proper medication or serious results often follow, such as convulsions and other spinal troubles, even locomotor ataxia. Silicea is the remedy to restore and cure such sweats by correcting the conditions upon which the sweats depend. (Baryta carb., Graphites, Psorinum, Sanicula).
The Silicea patient desires to be magnetized and is relieved thereby (Phosphorus).
This is one of the remedies of which, like Sepia, Lachesis, Lycopodium and others, the old school knows little or nothing, because their chief virtues are only developed in potencies above the 12th.
Silicea is the chronic of Pulsatilla.
Fear: of death; of crowds; of going out. Anything, always fearful.
Complaints from exposure to cold, dry cold.
Congestions and inflammations, acute, first stage with great anxiety, heat and restlessness; tosses about in agony; throws off covering. Inflammatory fever.
Pains insuppressable < at night, especially in the evening; neuralgic.
Face very red and flushed, but turns pale on rising up.
Favorite points of attack: Larynx (crop), bronchi (bronchitis), lungs and pleura (pneumonia and pleurisy), joints (rheumatism), heart and circulation (erethism).
Modalities: < in the evening (chest symptoms and pains); lying on left side; in warm room or warm covering.
> uncovering; kicks the clothes off.
* * * * *
We will now take up what I call the trio of restless remedies; viz: Aconite, Arsenicum and Rhus toxicodendron.
All are equally restless, yet all are so very different that there is no difficulty in choosing between them. The Aconite restlessness is oftenest found in a high grade of synochal or inflammatory fevers. There is no better picture in a few words of the Aconite fever than is given by Hering -"Heat, with thirst; hard, full and frequent pulse, anxious impatience, inappeasable, beside himself, tossing about with agony."
The custom of alternating Aconite and Belladonna in inflammatory affections, which so widely prevails is a senseless one. Both remedies cannot be indicated at a time, and if a good effect follows their administration you may be sure that the indicated one cured in spite of the action of the other, which only hindered; or that the patient recovered without help from either. There are many cases of this kind where the doctor is congratulating himself on a cure which was only a recovery, for which he deserves no credit at all. Let us look for a moment at some of the diagnostic differences of these two remedies.
Both have great heat of the skin, but Aconite has characteristically dry, hot skin and no sweat; Belladonna has even greater surface heat, but sweats on covered parts.
Aconite tosses about in agony with great fear of death; Belladonna often has semi-stupor and jerks and twitches in sleep. Aconite has great distress in heart and chest; Belladonna everything seems to centre in the head. Aconite fears death without much delirium; Belladonna fears imaginary things, with delirium. Thus we might continue to give points of difference. No man who understands the homopathic art of healing will ever alternate these two remedies.
Aconite is also a great pain remedy. If we were to name the three leading remedies in this respect it would be Aconite, Chamomilla and Coffea. The Aconite pains are always attended by the extreme restlessness, anxiety and fearfulness of this remedy. The patient tosses about in agony, "cannot bear the pain, nor bear to be touched, nor to be uncovered." Well, you say, all remedies have pain. Not all, and not many so intense pain. Opium and Stramonium have painlessness oftener than pain. The Aconite pains are intolerable and generally worse in the evening or at night. Then we have often alternating with or sometimes even in conjunction with the pains numbness, tingling, or formication.
In this it resembles Rhus tox., but with Aconite the pains predominate, while with Rhus tox. the numbness, with dull aching and soreness, leads. The pains of Aconite are tearing, cutting pains, which drive the patient to desperation. Right here we may as well speak of the leading characteristic of this remedy, for it is almost always present when Aconite is clearly indicated. Just one word expressed it: Fear -fear of death especially, but fear to cross the street, fear to go into society, fear something is going to happen, ever present, undefinable, unreasonable fear. No remedy has it in such a degree as this one. It is the fear as much as the pain that makes the patient so full of that agonized restlessness. The Arsenic restlessness goes with extreme prostration and reduced vitality. Rhus tox., on account of the aching pains, which make him want to move for the temporary relief he gets from the movement. Arsenic wants to move from place to place, but is not relieved. Neither Aconite nor Arsenic get such relief from movement, nor does Arsenic fear like Aconite, or at least in any such degree. Aconite, as a fever remedy, has been greatly abused. Even the old school, astonished at the results of homopathic treatment, so superior to their so-called anti-phlogistic treatment, and finding Aconite so highly recommended and frequently used in inflammatory affections, concluded in accordance with their usual way of reasoning that Aconite could be squeezed into their pathological livery and made to do service in all kinds of fever simply because it was fever. But they soon found that however useful it might be in some cases of inflammatory fever, it was of no use in typhoids. Thus was generalization from a pathological standpoint again doomed to disappointment, as it always must be. Now many so-called homopaths have fallen into similar error by concluding that because Aconite did quickly cure in some cases having a high grade of fever, that therefore it was always the remedy with which to treat cases having high fever. They even fell into the routine habit of prescribing this remedy for the first stage of all inflammatory affections, and follow it with other remedies more appropriate to the whole case further on. If Aconite were the only remedy having inflammatory fever, perhaps we could do no better than to zig-zag the case to a cure this way. Dunham writes: "Aconite is never to be given first to subdue the fever and then some other remedy 'to meet the case,' never to be alternated with other drugs for the purpose, as is often alleged, of 'controlling the fever.' If the fever be such as to require Aconite, no other drug is needed. If other drugs seem indicated one should be sought which meets the fever as well, for many drugs besides Aconite produce fever, each after its kind."
True words, and as one reads them who has proved their truthfulness and remembers they great author, he feels like exclaiming, "Being dead, yet speaketh." Aconite has two very important modalities, viz., fright and dry cold air. We have already noticed the value of the fear of Aconite as a symptom, connected with acute inflammatory ailments. It is no less a remedy for ailments brought on by fright, either immediate or remote. The patient has received a fright in the dark and is always afraid in the dark afterwards. From fright vertigo comes on, or fainting; trembling; threatened abortion, or suppressed menstruation, Jaundice may be induced by it, and become chronic. There are other remedies for fright, prominent among which are Opium, Ignatia, Veratrum album, etc. Now in regard to the dry cold air. No remedy has more prominently acute inflammations arising from dry, cold air. Nineteen out of twenty cases of croup arising from exposure to dry, cold air will be cured by Aconite. I live in a locality where croup abounds and have had abundant opportunity to verify this. Pleurisy, pneumonia and rheumatism also come under this head, and they are, as would be expected, almost invariably accompanied by the high fever, anguish, restlessness and fear so characteristic of this remedy. Any local congestion or inflammation coming from such exposure also comes under the same rule, always providing the other symptoms corresponds The other leading dry air remedies are Bryonia, Causticum, Hepar sulph., and Nux vomica. Here are some wet weather remedies: Dulcamara, Nux moschata, Natrum sulphuricum and Rhus toxicodendron. Such things are well to remember, for one positive indication is worth two or three vague ones.
Great anguish and restlessness, driving from place to place.
Great and sudden prostration, sinking of vital force.
Intense burning pains.
Intense thirst; drinks often, but little, as cold water disagrees.
Dyspna < on motion, especially ascending.
Vomiting and stool simultaneous; < after eating or drinking.
Modalities: < in cold air, from cold things, cold applications; and 1 to 3 A. M. Movement.
> by warm air or room and hot applications, relieved by sweat.
* * * * *
No remedy is more restless than this one. The Aconite restlessness comes in the earlier stages of inflammatory diseases, with fever of a high grade. Arsenicum in the later stages, after the patient has become greatly reduced in strength, or in low grades of fever like typhoids. The Aconite patient tosses to and fro in agony and fear. The Arsenic patient is too wealth to toss as the anguish and restlessness would incline him to. He cannot move himself around as he desires, but wants to be moved from place to place, or bed to bed, while the least exertion on his own part exhausts terribly. He has fear of death, but not like the Aconite fear, but rather an anxiety and a feeling that it is useless to take medicine for he is going to die; he is incurable.
The mental restlessness is as great as the bodily. He has attacks of anxiety that drive him out of bed at night. Even when there is no pain at all he wants to be continually changing place, walking about if strong enough, without any other reason than that he can't keep still. Often the first beneficial effect to be observed in cases calling for this remedy is that the anxiety grows less, the patient lies still, his pain is not so much less, but it does not make him so restless; he can bear it better. This is a good sign and is generally followed by amelioration of all the symptoms. It makes little difference what the disease, if this persistent restlessness and especially if great weakness is also present, don't forget Arsenic.
Arsenicum leads all the remedies for burning sensation, especially in acute diseases. It is not by any means confined to acute diseases, but is often found in chronic affections, especially of a malignant character or tending to malignancy. I think perhaps Sulphur outranks it generally for burnings in chronic affections. There is hardly an organ or tissue in the human system where these burnings of Arsenic are not found. This burning, strange as it may seem, is greatly ameliorated by heat. Hot applications if they can be gotten in contact with the part, also heat of a warm stove or warm room. This is the exact opposite of Secale cornutum, for while the part is objectively cold, it still burns, but hot applications are intolerable; they cannot even bear to have it covered; with Arsenicum, in throat complaints, in connection with acute catarrh, the burnings in throat and from the excoriating nasal discharge ameliorated by hot application. The burning in throat is better from eating or drinking hot things. This is the chief modality which enables us to choose between this remedy and Cepa and Mercurius, for all the three have fluent coryza. I once had a case of very severe gastralgia caused by suppression of eczema on the hands. I knew nothing of the suppression, but prescribed Arsenicum because the pains came on at midnight, lasting until 3 A. M., during which time the patient had to walk the floor in agony and there was great burning in the stomach. She had but one slight attack after taking Arsenicum, but, said she, when I visited her, "Doctor, would that remedy send out salt rheum?" Then I found out about the suppression which had been caused by the application of an ointment, and told her that she could have back the pain in the stomach any time she wanted it, by suppressing the eruption again. She did not want it.
Arsenicum is one of our best remedies for fevers of a typhoid character. So useful is it that Baehr says -"Since Arsenic is, more than any other remedy, adapted to the worst forms of infectious diseases it seems wrong to delay its administration until the symptoms indicating it are developed in their most malignant intensity," and further, "our advice, therefore, is that Arsenic should be given more frequently than has been customary from the very beginning of the attack, and that we should not wait until the disease has fully developed its pernicious character." I do not think this is sound reasoning or good advice, for I have never found any rule by which I could decide from the beginning that a case would later on develop into a case of the pernicious or malignant character which would ever call for the exhibition of Arsenic. While we need not wait for a case to develop to that "most malignant" intensity which calls for Arsenic, we would not on the other hand be justified in giving Arsenic or any other remedy in anticipation of a condition which might never come. Arsenicum is not the only remedy capable of curing these malignant cases, and how do we know after all that it may not be Muriatic acid or Carbo vegetabilis that will be the remedy after the case is developed. There is no safe or scientific rule but to treat the case with the indicated remedy at any and all stages of the disease, without trying to treat expected conditions or future possibilities. It would be out of place here to give all the indications for Arsenic in typhoids, as it would take too much space, and they can be found in Raue, Lilienthal or any good work on practice. Arsenic is also fine of our best remedies in intermittents, especially after the abuse of Quinine. Close individualization is necessary here as elsewhere.
Arsenic profoundly affects the alimentary canal from lips to anus. The lips are so dry and parched and cracked that the patient often licks them to moisten them. The tongue is affected in various ways. It may be dry and red, with raised papillæ; or red, with indented edges; or white as chalk or white paint; or lead colored, or dry, brown or black, especially in typhoids. The mouth is dry or aphthous, ulcerated or gangrenous. The throat the same. The thirst is indescribably intense and peculiar, in that notwithstanding its intensity the patient can take only a little water at a time. The stomach is so irritable that the least food or drink causes distress and pain, or immediately excites vomiting, or stool, or both together. Cold drinks, ice-water, or ice-cream particularly disagree and create distress. Vomits all kinds and grades of substances from water or mucus to bile, blood, and coffee ground substances.
The pains in stomach are terrible and aggravated by the least food or drink, especially, if cold. The abdominal pains also are intense, causing the patient to turn and twist in all possible shapes and directions. Diarrha of all kinds of stools, from simply watery to black, bloody and horribly offensive, and finally the end of the tract is reached and we have hæmorrhoids. Now in every one of these affections, ranging along the whole length of the canal, and from the lightest grade of irritation to the most intense inflammatory and malignant forms of disease, we will be apt to find everywhere present the characteristic burning of this remedy, in greater or lesser degree; and the not less characteristic amelioration from heat, and also, though not quite so invariably, the midnight aggravation.
Arsenicum also has its sphere of usefulness in diseases of the respiratory organs. First, for acute coryza it stands in the front rank, the choice often having to be made between this remedy, Cepa and Mercurius. Arsenicum has the fluent discharge which corrodes the lips and wings of the nose and more burning than the other two remedies. It often follows well after Mercurius if that remedy only partially relieves.
Arsenicum is particularly efficacious in many affections of the lungs, where the breathing is very much oppressed. Respiration is wheezing, with cough and frothy expectoration. Patient cannot lie down; must sit up to breathe, and is unable to move without being greatly put out of breath. The air passages seem constricted. It is especially useful in asthmatic affections caused or aggravated by suppressed eruptions, like pneumonia from retrocedent measles, or even chronic lung troubles from suppressed eczema. I remember a case of asthma of years' standing to which I was called at midnight, because they were afraid the patient would die before morning. Found that her attacks always came on at 1 A. M. Gave Arsenicum alb. 30th, and she was completely cured by it.
The symptom by Rollin R. Gregg, "Acute, sharp, fixed or darting pain in apex and through upper third of right lung," is a gem, and has enabled me to cure a number of cases of obstinate lung troubles. In the last stage off pneumonia of old people, with gangrenous expectoration, if the other symptoms correspond, this remedy has often saved life. The burning is often found here as elsewhere. Arsenicum is also one of our best remedies in pleuritic effusions.
Arsenicum also affects profoundly the nervous system. To the characteristic restlessness, of which we have said so much, is added great Prostration. This prostration is present in most diseases, both acute and chronic, where Arsenic is indicated. For instance, in typhoids there is no remedy that prostrates more. Carbo veg. and Muriatic acid equal it, the difference being that the Arsenic patient wants to move or be moved constantly, while with the other two remedies there is almost utter absence of any such show of life. Even if not confined to the bed, in acute or chronic diseases the patient is so weak that he is "exhausted from the slightest exertion," must lie down. Sometimes this extreme degree of prostration comes on very rapidly.
Here is a picture that shows a condition of things in chronic trouble calling for this remedy. "From climbing mountains, or other muscular exertions, want of breath, prostration, sleeplessness and other ailments." This shows how weak the patient is, and this weakness may be coupled with various forms of disease. You may say it is common for sick people to be weak. True, but the Arsenicum patient is weak out off proportion to the rest of his trouble, or apparently so; and it is a general prostration, not local like the sense of weakness in the chest of Phosphoric acid, Stannum and Sulphur; or in the abdomen like Phosphorus; or in the stomach like Ignatia, Hydrastis and Sepia. Now I do not see how I can make plainer the value of prostration as an Arsenic symptom.
When we come to the tissues we find our remedy almost universally present.
It attacks the blood, causing septic changes, exanthemata, ecchymoses, petechiæ, etc.
It attacks the veins; varices burn like fire, < at night.
It attacks the serous membranes, causing copious serous effusion.
It attacks the glands, which indurate or suppurate.
It attacks the periosteum.
It attacks the joints; causing pale swellings, burning pains, etc.
It causes inflammatory swellings with burning lancinating pains.
It causes general anasarca; skin pale, waxy or earth colored; great thirst (Apis none).
It causes rapid emaciation; atrophy of children.
It causes ulcerations, constantly extending in breadth. The ulcers burn like fire, pain even during sleep, discharge may be copious or scanty, the base blue, black or lardaceous.
Anthrax burning like fire; cold blue skin dry as parchment, peeling off in large scales.
"Sphacelus," parts look black or burn like fire.
"Gangrene," better from heat (worse, Secale).
"Parchment" like dryness, or dry scaly skin.
The skin troubles of this remedy are mostly dry and scaly, and almost always burning. It is one of our best remedies for affections caused by retrocedent or suppressed exanthemata, also for suppressed chronic eczema, etc.
But it is impossible and outside the scope of this work to mention by name all the affections of the tissues in which this remedy is useful.
Notwithstanding this, Arsenic is not a panacea. It must, like every other remedy, be indicated by its similar symptoms or failure is the outcome. Its great keynotes are Restlessness, Burning, Prostration, and Midnight Aggravation.
Dry or coated tongue with a triangular red tip.
Great restlessness, cannot lie long in one position, changes often with temporary relief, tosses about continually.
Lameness and stiffness on beginning to move after rest; on getting up in the A. M. > by continued motion.
Erysipelas or scarlatina with vesicular eruption and characteristic restlessness.
All diseases that put on the typhoid form with the characteristic, triangular red tip tongue and restlessness.
Stupor and mild, persistent delirium; continually tossing about, with laborious dreams.
Modalities: < when quietly sitting or lying and on beginning to move; wet, cold weather; lifting or straining; getting wet when perspiring. > by continued motion, by warmth, dry air or weather; lying on hard floor (backache).
Muscular rheumatism, sciatica; left side (Col.); aching in left arm, with heart disease.
Great sensitiveness to open air; putting the hand from under the bed cover brings on the cough (Bar., Hep.).
Back; pain between the shoulders on swallowing.
Cough during chill; dry, teasing, fatiguing, but urticaria over body during heat.
* * * * *
This is the third remedy of our so-called restless trio. This restlessness of Rhus is on account of the aching pain and soreness which is temporarily relieved by movement. There is also an internal uneasiness which is purely nervous, which causes the patient to want to be on the move, even when there is no particular pain present; but not nearly to the degree that we find it under Aconite and Arsenicum.
As in Bryonia, so in Rhus, the leading characteristic is found in its modality. The aggravation on movement, in the former, is no less marked than the aggravation when quiet of the latter. The patient tosses and turns from side to side with Rhus the same as with Aconite and Arsenicum. With Rhus the change relieves, while with the other two it does not. In Bryonia, the more the patient moves the more he suffers, while with Rhus, the more and longer he moves the better he feels, until he is exhausted. In acute affections, like scarlatina and typhoid fevers, and even in the hot stage of intermittent fever, constant movement seems to be the patient's only relief. With chronic diseases like chronic rheumatism the patient must move, suffers on first beginning to move, but as he continues to move, or as he expresses it, "gets limbered up," he feels better. But he cannot long lie comfortably in either the acute or chronic trouble, for the aching comes on and he must move even if it does hurt him at first. The pains causing the restlessness of Rhus are not so agonizing as they are under Aconite and Arsenicum, nor is the prostration so great as under Arsenicum nor the excitement so great as under Aconite. Rhus and Arsenicum are often indicated in typhoids, Aconite seldom or never, but all three are equally restless remedies.
If in genuine typhoid Arsenicum, as some think, heads the list, because oftenest indicated, Rhus will put in equally strong claims in all other diseases that take on typhoid symptoms. The literal meaning of the term or word typhus is smoke, stupefaction. Now in all forms of typhus, known as cerebral, abdominal and pneumo-typhus, taking all together, Rhus will be as often indicated as any other remedy. Whenever in fevers or even inflammatory diseases the sensorium becomes cloudy (smoky) or stupefaction sets in, with low grade of muttering delirium, dry tongue, etc., we think of Rhus. Dry or dark coated tongue, with triangular red tip, is especial indication for this remedy. This condition of sensorium and tongue may appear in dysentery, peritonitis, pneumonia, scarlatina, rheumatism, diphtheria; bilious, remittent, typhoid fevers, etc. It makes no difference what the name or locality of the disease is if the symptoms are there. The stupefaction calling for Rhus in these diseases is not so profound as that calling for Hyoscyamus or opium, but is more on a parallel with such remedies as Baptisia, Nux moschata, Lachesis or Phosphoric acid. Nor is the delirium so violent as that calling for such remedies as Belladonna, Hyoscyamus and Stramonium. Both stupefaction and delirium are mild in form, but regular and persistent. Of course the Rhus restlessness is present and the patient tosses or turns from side to side, even without knowing of it, or of anything going on around her. She will answer questions and perhaps answer correctly, but afterwards does not know anything that transpired while she was sick, may be for days or weeks.
Rhus, Baptisia and Arnica closely resemble each other; and choice is sometimes difficult; but we will try to differentiate them when we come to write upon the two latter.
Cough during chill in intermittents is a characteristic given us by Carroll Dunham, and is very reliable, as I have had occasion to prove.
Rhus acts particularly on fibrous, muscular and cellular tissues. The muscles are stiff and sore. This may be of a rheumatic character, or may have been induced by straining, by heavy lifting or severe muscular exercise of any kind, or it may have been brought on by exposure to cold, especially wet cold.
This strained condition may not be confined to the muscles alone, but may involve the tendons, ligaments and membranes of the joints. Several affections of the muscles of the back and even the spinal membranes (myelitis) may come on from sprain, or by exposure, by sleeping on damp ground, or in bed with damp sheets, or getting wet in a rain storm, especially while perspiring. Indeed Rhus is one of our best remedies in lumbago. But it makes no particular difference what muscles are strained or exposed so as to bring on this lameness and soreness the remedy is the same, and if the great characteristic -"Lameness and stiffness and pain on first moving after rest, or on getting up in the morning, relieved by continued motion," is present, Rhus is the first remedy to think of.
Rhus is also often a remedy for glandular swelling of parotid or submaxillary glands during scarlatina, cellulitis in diphtheria, or orbital cellulitis.
This is also one of our best remedies in skin diseases. No one who has been poisoned by it will doubt that Rhus has power to produce skin disease, and of course in accordance with our law of cure we would expect cures by it. We have not been disappointed. The eruption of Rhus poisoning is vesicular. Erysipelas of the vesicular variety, accompanied by the restlessness and sensorium of this remedy, is quickly cured by it. So, also, is scarlatina. If we find the skin red, smooth and shiny, with high grade of fever and delirium Rhus would not do any good, but Belladonna or some remedy having that kind of skin, etc.
Apis, Cantharis, Lachesis, Ailanthus and others have each their peculiar appearance of the skin in these acute exanthemata. Yet, notwithstanding this, it must be remembered that in many cases the leading indication for a remedy will not lie in the skin symptoms, but outside of them.
If in variola the eruption turns livid and typhoid symptoms supervene we may rely on Rhus for a good effect. Probably no remedy is oftener found useful in herpes zoster than this. Rhus is no less valuable in chronic skin troubles than in acute. Eczemas of the vesicular type are often cured by it; there is much itching which is not greatly relieved by scratching. In all such cases of course the constitutional symptoms weigh as much as the local. So far as dose is concerned, I have used it both high and low, and find it useful all along the scale, but I have an M. M. potency made upon my own potentizer which has served me so well, and so many times, that I cannot refrain from speaking of it.
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