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Materia Medica Notes
HOMEOPATHY IN HEART DISEASE. Patients suffering from heart disease are especially suitable for homeopathic treatment. Even where there are organic ailments they will find from it more relief than from continued heavy doses of Digitalis. To give Digitalis, when this is done in rational comparatively small doses, is by no means anti-homeopathic, but our chief remedies are of a different kind. Among them we number especially Kali carbonicum, Sepia, Spigelia, and Aurum muriaticum and natronatum. These remedies, singly and conjointly, do excellent service, with a diet appropriate to cardiac diseases, concerning which see below.
Insomnia especially troubles those who have heart disease. Soporifics like Morphine, and opiates in general, here cause a direct injury; they either excite still more or they induce a sleep ending with great anguish, headache and the feeling, “Oh, that I had done without this gift of the Danaaus!” Without curing the heart, Kali carb. frequently induces a natural sleep of several hours' duration. Intermittent pulse, lancinating pains in the cardiac region, fugitive lancinations, inability to lie on the left side point to Kali.
Sepia, though allopathic pharmacy declares it to be altogether heterogeneous to Kali carb., nevertheless shows analogous properties to Kali carb. when measured by homeopathic therapy. For in this therapy other principles rule, i. e., provings on the healthy. The pathogenic results of Kali carb. and of Sepia agree in many points with respect to heart symptoms, and from this fact comes their successful use in affections of the heart, and especially in insomnia. At the sick-bed it has been proved empirically that these two remedies supplement each other, and one may be substituted for the other. They are by no means antidotes, as has been proved to be the case with Arsenicum and Ipecacuanha, or with China and Arsenicum.
Spigelia and Aurum, however, can do more than merely cure some symptoms. The more stormily the heart beats and the more the palpitations of the heart manifest themselves, the more surely will Spigelia prove of use; this remedy also corresponds to the rheumatic diathesis; it also corresponds most exactly to myocarditis. There can be no doubt as to the frequent connection and etiological relation existing between heart disease and rheumatism. On this account Bryonia also frequently proves to be an excellent intercurrent remedy. It is of great practical use to give these remedies in
alternation every two hours, though this may not be the ideal homeopathic practice. In this method we, as it were, harness two horses to our wagon instead of one, and as they pull in the same direction we thereby reach our goal more quickly; the allopathic “horses” in their manifold prescriptions very frequently pull in opposite directions, and thence do not advance at all.
Digitalis I give by itself as soon as it is indicated, using the first or second decimal potency, ten drops in a wineglassful of water, two teaspoonfuls every two or three hours. It presupposes very quick but weak pulse (weakness of the heart). It is equally useful in the pneumonia connected with influenza. The large allopathic doses of the acrid poison of Digitalis, which are usually continued without rhyme or reason, only aggravate the situation and effect no strengthening of the heart, but an enfeeblement amounting to paralysis. If such a patient afterwards comes under homeopathic treatment, he usually exhibits a pile of prescriptions containing a steady repetition of Digitalis in ever-increasing doses, according to the old maxim, "Where a little won't help, much must do it.” The same continually occurs with Iron in pernicious anæmia.
Aurum is the heart remedy par excellence both in the chronic nervous form of palpitation and also in the affections of the heart appearing in the form of paroxysms, with or without an organic change in the valves. Only Arsenicum disputes its palm. Aurum is also a specific in arteriosclerosis.
Dr. Burnett, that past master in homeopathic therapy, recites among his “Fifty Reasons”' a very instructive case of this kind, which we briefly recapitulate here: Besides the attacks of angina pectoris there was a continual chronic pain in the cardiac region and thence over the chest. For years the patient had applied at various times Spanish fly, giving her occasional relief, until the patient could bear them no more. She was extremely melancholy, sad and dejected - (this symptom is very important for Aurum, though, of course, allopaths will never recognize it. - EDITOR.)
Aurum metallicum 3 cured the constant pain in a week and the attacks returned no more, so that the patient can again enjoy life.
Quite an analogous case I have lately myself contributed to these pages, but without the doubts of our over-modest colleague, who did not ask us to ascribe the cure to Aurum, I ask that the cure be ascribed to it, for if there ever is any cure by remedies this is one.
As to the diet with cardiac patients, first of all the patient must be guarded against all excitement whether in his business, his employment or at home. Visits and much talking are frequently in
jurious. The patient should eat but little at a time, because the expansion of the stomach produces pressure on the diaphragm and thence on the heart. A large meal correspondingly increases the pressure on the heart. Great bodily exertions, quick walking or running must be avoided. Ascending hills with a gradual systematic increase in the exercise, as proposed by Dr. Oerrel in his Cure by Exercise, may, nevertheless, be useful. But of the greatest importance is a lengthy residence in the pure air of forests and mountains rich in ozone. - Goullon, in Leipziger p. Zeitschrift, March, 1904.- Recorder.
TREATMENT OF COUGHS. The remedy which I used most frequently last winter for coughs was Bryonia. It gave splendid results in the dry or partly dry coughs. There is soreness on coughing behind the sternum, it hurts to cough; children cry when they cough; can't take a deep breath; epigastrium and hypochondria sore; sharp pains in chest; chilly feeling; head hot; frontal headache as if the forehead would break open. Patient lies on the affected side in pleurisy or pneumonia.
Antimonium tartaricum was perhaps the remedy most frequently used after Bryonia. Its sphere of action is in bronchitis down to pneumonia. The sixth decimal potency was used mostly. In children particularly Antimonium Tart. is worth its weight in gold. “Praise Tartarus, Thee, Emeticus!”' the old style allopaths used to exclaim when they used it for its expectorant qualities. Many times it got the best of them on account of its depressing after effects when used in crude form. We use it for the following characteristic symptoms: coated tongue, drowsiness, rattling of phlegm in trachea and bronchial tubes, labored breathing, difficult expectoration, nausea, vomiting and general depression.
Kali bichromicum from the first to the sixth decimal potency relieved the croupous form of cough. Children who took cold and became croupy; stringy expectoration; hoarse, barking cough; pharynx red; voice hoarse; tickling in pharynx and larynx as of vapor; aggravation after midnight till morning.
Ipecacuanha for a loose, rattling cough; profuse expectoration; clean tongue; nausea and vomiting; hot sweat; dyspnea; asthma.
Phosphorus; dry cough ; dry feeling in larynx; larynx sensitive; sensation of weight on chest; expectoration scanty ; bloody; can't lie on left side or back; great prostration and weakness; dyspnoea ; hoarseness ; cough halting.
Hyoscyamus; to quiet a dry, irritable cough, going to bed, lying down.
Hyoscyamus is a good preparation to use. For those dry, constant coughs, with no intermission and which tire out both patient and doctor codein in 1-10 of a grain doses will help to bridge over the worst times.
Herpin may be used for the same purpose. An excellent preparation of the same nature is the Syrup of Lactucarium, recommended by the late A. M. Hale.
Allium Cepa will help where the cough is painful; it feels as if the larynx were torn to pieces; the patient dreads to cough; the nose discharges an irritating mucus while the discharge from the eyes is blond. Useful after exposure to cold, wet, weather.
Antimonium Iodide, low, was used for a loose, rattling cough, expectoration moderate, marked soreness of the chest walls.
Antimonium Arsenicosum has the well known Antimony symptoms with the restlessness, thirst and prostration of Arsenic.
Sanguinaria made a quick cure in a cough where the only obtainable symptom was “Crawling like a worm in throat.”
Yerba Santa is a frequently indicated remedy in those coughs which remain after bronchitis or pneumonia cases that have been neglected. There is a purulent expectoration, more or less profuse. The respiratory tract has become infected with septic germs. There is a thirst, loss of appetite, loss of flesh, sweat, chills and fever, weakness and a general hectic appearance. Patient appears to become consumptive. The fluid extract in 5-10 drop doses was used in syrup every three-quarters of an hour.
Ammonium Bromide is another useful remedy in irritable coughs. The seat of the malady seems to be in the larynx and upper trachea. There is great hoarseness, difficulty in using the voice which is a mere whisper.
Lycopodium relieved the afternoon and evening aggravation of a distressing laryngeal cough.
As important as the use of the indicated homeopathic remedy is, in the treatment of coughs we must supplement it by the proper hygiene. The patient should only inhale air, which is pure, moist and warm. He should wear comfortable, warm clothing. He should avoid the drinking of very cold fluids. If the cough is accompanied by chilliness and cold skin after suppression of perspiration or inhaling cold air we do well to begin our treatment with Aconite which will help materially toward equalizing the circulation and will clear the track so that the remedies mentioned above can carry the case through to recovery in a pleasant and sure and quick manner. – Greiner, in Med. Counselor.
NAIL DISEASES. I have often been asked by patients whether Homeopathy can also cure diseases of the nails. I was able conscientiously to answer yes, as I have for many years treated ingrown toe-nails with the best success. My treatment is as follows: If the nail is very thick I direct scraping off with a sharp piece of glass as much as seems necessary, then I get the patient to put Terebinthina veneta on the diseased nail every evening before retiring. Internally give in brief intervals Hepar sulph. 5, Silicea 5, Acidum fluoricum 5, and Calcarea flour. 5.
If the nails on the fingers or toes are crippled from neglect the patient must apply Terebinthina veneta before retiring and take, according to the attendant symptoms, Alcohol sulphuris 3 or 5 C, or Arsenicum alb. 5, or Vinca minor 2.- Dr. Lukowsky, Divinsk, Russia. -Envoy.
Among the Journals.
PHILISTINE PHILOSOPHY. The world bestows its big prizes, both in money and honors, for but one thing.
And that is Initiative.
But next to doing the thing without being told, is to do it when you are told once. That is to say, carry the Message to Gomez: those who can carry a message get high honors, but their pay is not always in proportion.
Next, there are those who never do a thing until they are told twice: such get no honors and small pay.
Next, there are those who only do the right thing when necessity kicks them from behind, and these get indifference instead of honors, and always a pittance for pay. This kind spends most of its time polishing a bench with a hard-luck story.
Lower down in the scale we get the fellow who will not do the right thing even when some one goes along to show him how and stays to see that he does it: he is always out of a job, and receives the contempt he deserves, unless he has a rich Pa, in which case destiny patiently awaits 'round the corner with a stuffed club.