N.O. Ericaceae. A tincture made from the whole plant- Chimaphila umbellata.
CHIMAPHILA has been chiefly used in genito-urinary cases, and there are few provings accessible, the drug depending on clinical experience for its reputation.
It produces vulvitis and vaginitis and is correspondingly useful in some of these cases-not very acute ones. Association of these with urinary symptoms, such as scalding pain in the urethra, frequent urging to pass water, which may contain mucus or muco-pus, is an indication for chimaphila.
The dysuria and tenesmus are worse from sitting and better from walking. Dysmenorrhoea has been helped by this drug, though no precise guide can be given for its prescription, but here again the presence of urinary symptoms and leucorrhoea will assist in the choice. At the menopause it may be useful for the flushes common at that epoch, and especially in plethoric women with large, painful breasts. It has been recommended for painful mammary tumours, but of what variety is not stated-probably chronic mastitis is intended. One case, however, quoted by Clarke (loc.cit., p. 473), which had many signs typical of advancing carcinoma of breast, was cured while taking chimaphila in 10-drop doses after other homoeopathic remedies had failed.
In men the urinary symptoms are more pronounced than in women. Muco-purulent urethritis and scalding and straining during micturition are marked, the flow of urine is long in being established and the pain lasts after the flow has ceased. Two striking symptoms suggest that chimaphila may irritate the prostate- they are pain deep in the rectum on the left side and a feeling on sitting down as if the perinaeum were pressed against a tender ball. It accordingly may be indicated in subacute or chronic prostatitis, which may cause retention of urine after a chill, such as sitting on cold and damp stones or grass, or from an overdose of alcohol or from going too long without passing water. It has been used empirically in gonorrhoea, nephritis and vesical calculus with relief of symptoms. Catarrh of the bladder, with a scanty flow of urine, which is high-coloured, turbid, offensive and contains ropy mucus or even blood, may be present. In other words, it is useful for the chronic cystitis from stricture or of old men with enlarged prostates. Rheumatic pains in the shoulders, in the right arm, and in middle thigh, with tenderness on pressure in last-named part, even on lying down, are chimaphila indications.
The kind of patients most susceptible to the influence of this drug are plethoric subjects, whose ailments are worse in damp weather; women who are chimaphila subjects are said to have large, pendulous breasts and are restless and sleep badly at the menopause.
Left-sided headaches, with lachrymation, pain in the left eye and a halo about artificial light may go with any of the other symptoms, also toothache after eating, from fatigue and relieved by holding cold water in the mouth.
Chimaphila has been recommended for enlarged lymphatic glands (superficial and mesenteric), for renal and hepatic dropsy and glycosuria, but there are no salient indications for the drug in these conditions.
(1) Plethoric subjects sensitive to damp weather.
(2) Enlarged prostate, prostatitis, cystitis, urethritis with pyknuria or retention of urine.
(3) Vulvitis, vaginitis and dysmenorrhoea.
(4) Flushes at the menopause.
(5) Chronic induration in large, pendulous breasts.
Damp weather, the use of cold water (except toothache), sitting on cold, damp grass or stones (cystitis, prostatitis).
Holding cold water in the mouth (toothache).