ONE of the consequences of chronic irritation of the nasal mucous membrane is the development of polypus, which consists of an immensely hypertrophied follicle of normal mucous membrane. There are also polypi, which consist of new growth, arising independently of chronic irritation or catarrh, but I am only dealing here with the simple and commoner kind. A polypus may exist some time without giving rise to any symptoms; but when it increases so far as to obstruct the passage of air through the nose and into the lungs, a great deal of discomfort and annoyance is occasioned. The patient is often aroused in the middle of the night with distressing sensations of suffocation. Attacks of spasmodic asthma may occur. The nose being the upper extremity of the air passages, the lungs are in intimate nervous sympathy with it, and affections of the nose often produce symptoms in the lungs.
Polypi sometimes have their origin in the anterior part of the nasal mucous membrane, and when of any size they can be seen as red moist masses on looking into the nostrils. Sometimes they are further back, and having into the back of the throat.
They are almost always attended with copious discharge, both front and back, keeping up a continual “cold”.
The usual method of dealing with polypus is to remove it, and the method now most approved is by the electric wire. But polypus is a constitutional affair, and should be right be cured by constitutional remedies. This has been done times our of number, and should always be aimed at by homoeopathists.
A year or two ago I was consulted by letter on behalf of a young lady, aged 20, in the country, who had been troubled for three or four years with an excessive discharge from the nose and dropping of discharge from back of the nose down the throat.
The least cold air aggravated the complaint, and, conversely, it was better in a warm room. She suffered, in addition, from cold, damp feet; faint feelings, and bilious sick headaches
She received Calcarea in very high potencies at rare intervals. From the first the symptoms began to improve. Later, Thuja was given, and afterwards Dulcamara, Silica, and Stannum, her health and the local symptoms steadily improving all the time. About eighteen months from the commencement of the course she passed from the nose a polypus an inch and a half in. length.
The passing was preceded and followed by sharp bleeding. There has been no recurrence since.
It may be objected that the treatment occupied a long time, whereas an operation could have relieved the patient in a few minutes. This is true so far as the removal of the polypus is concerned, but the effect of the medicinal treatment was to bring about a complete constitutional change in the patient, and to work a constitutional change in the patient, and to work a constitutional change in the patient, and to work a constitutional cure. Polypi have an awkward habit of recurring after removal by operation; but when a e is wrought by medicine the tendency to recur is removed. Moreover, operative removal of a polypus does not cure the original irritation which gave rise to the formation as constitutional treatment does.
The remedies chiefly credited with the cure of polypus are Calcarea (which had a leading share in my case), and Thuja (which was also used), Nitric acid, Sanguinaria, Phosphorous, and Teucrium. Lately, Dr. Cooper has introduced a new remedy, Lemna minor, the well-known duckweed, which has effected remarkable cures in his own practice and that of others, and which promises to be very important medicine in nasal cases. Cases of atrophic rhinitis have been reported as cured by it. Aggravation in damp weather is a leading indication for its use.
The indications for the different remedies mentioned above will be found in the Materia Medica at the end of the work.