THE MEDICINAL TREATMENT OF ACUTE COLDS
The medicinal treatment of colds divides itself naturally into three parts,-Treatment of the acute attack;treatment of the condition when it has become chronic, and treatment of the constitutional tendency to be affected by chills.
GOLDS IN THE ACUTE STAGE- Among the remedies for a cold in the incipient stage, two stand our prominently from all the rest Camphor and aconite.
There is no remedy that has made more converts to Homoeopathy than Aconite and its beautiful effect in dissipating the consequences of a chill is one of the most striking of its virtues. In a certain proportion of patients Camphor has an equally marked good effect; but Camphor has no such a wide range as is sister drug. Still, camphor must not be neglected. The chill of Camphor is more marked than that of Aconite:and if a pilules (one of the large pilules sold in stoppered bottles by homeopathic chemists) is taken every fifteen minutes from the moment that the chill has been experienced, and continued for a few hours until the reaction sets in, a cold will almost invariably be warded off.
Later on,Camphor, thought it may prove useful, is not so likely to do so as is Aconite. In choosing a remedy it is not necessary that the case to be cured should have all the symptoms put down as characteristic of it. It will be sufficient if a few of the leading features of the cold correspond with those of the drug. For instance, a patient suffering from an ordinary cold in the head in the freely running stage took Mercurius, and the following day his cold had vanished. It will be found that under Mercurius many other symptoms are put down. These are all characteristic of the remedy and will guide to the choice of it when found in any patient but it is not necessary to have them all before prescribing the drug. may be taken every hour, in doses of one drop or six pilules, for the first five or six hours, and afterwards every two hours. this may be kept up for forty-eight hours.
The use of these two drugs as indicated-Camphor when the chill is first taken, Aconite if this stage has passed-may be followed, unless there are special reasons why they should not be used, as a routine practice. The great majority of colds will be cut short by them. If Aconite causes perspiration, care should be taken to avoid another chill whilst the perspiration is going on. Other wise, no special precautions need be observed.
It is useless to cite examples of the triumphs of these two medicines, for they are to be found in nearly every family throughout the land;-for the use of Aconite in colds is by no means confined to homoeopathic practice.
The allopaths have in some mysterious way discovered the virtues of the drug, and made free use of i. Many patients of mine regularly cut short their colds with Aconite since they have learned how to take it. If a cold has lasted more than two days, other medicines must be thought of. Among these Gelsemium, Mercurius, Arsenicum, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, Sanguinaria, Cepa, Natrum muriaticum hold the first rank, and will be given according as the healthy correspond to the symptoms of the cold.
Sometimes the fever following a chill does not yield to Aconite, and then Gelsemium is generally successful. the symptoms which call for Gelsemium are :-chills creeping up the back, fullness of the head,. hear of the face, beating of the arteries in the neck, hot, dry hands, feeling of languor and drowsiness. the restlessness is less intense than that of Aconite, and it often subsides without inspiration, and returns again (of the a”remitting” type, as it is called). The chilliness if often accompanied by a profuse flow of urine, which relieves the head. With this these is sneezing, fullness at the root of the nose, and flow of clear water from the nose and eyes. dose:3x, one drop or six pilules every hour.
When the nasal discharge is thin and irritating, with hot burning sensation in nose and eyes, Arsenicum is the remedy;and it, in addition, there is burning thirst, red tongue, headache, sleeplessness, anxiety, and prostration, all he symptoms being ameliorated by warmth, the indications will be still stronger. the medicine should be given in the 3rd dilution, two drops (or two.
Arsenicum is the best remedy, in a general way, for the “influenza cold,” which produces a good deal of prostration, with free, irritating thin discharge from nose and eyes.
Mercurius is to be given in most common colds when there is an abundant flow of serous mucus from the nose, which is often swollen and red; fetid smell of nasal mucus; heavy frontal headache; deafness; nightly sweats with febrile chill and beat; great thirst; pains in the limbs; low spirits and longing for solitude, all the symptoms being increased both by heat and cold. Dose: No. 6, two drops or six pilules every two hours.
Hepar sulph- When Mercurius is indicated, but does not respond, or when the patient has already had too much;when each draught of cold air produces fresh cod or a headache, only one nostril being affected, and he headache being made worse by movement.
Dose: No.5, two drops or pilules six every two hours.
Cepa (made from the red onion).
Fluent coryza; tightness at root of nose’ constant sneezing; pain in back, and chills, melancholy, anxiety, restlessness. Symptoms worse in a room, better out of doors. Dose: No. 3, two drops or six pilules every two hours.
A case of violent cold in the head with streaming eyes and nose, in a gouty patient, who had also a troublesome irritation of the skin, was cured completely by a few doses of Cepa. Usually her attacks, when occurring in the beginning of winter, went on to bronchitis, and in this instance the bronchial tubes had already become affected when I gave the Cepa, which cleared off everything.
Pulsatilla:- Discharge of yellowish-green fetid mucus from the nose; loss of appetite and sense of taste;head heavy and embarrassed, especially in the evening and by the warmth of a room, with stoppage of the nose; no thirst; tearful humour; chilliness al the evening; amelioration in the open air. Dose: 3x, two drops or six pilules every two hours.
Nux vomica is the remedy when the cold is “dry” and the nose blocked; or it may be dry in the morning and fluent in the evening. There is heaviness of the forehead. an angry, quarrelsome humour is characteristic of Nux. Aggravation of symptoms occurs from mental exertion; in the morning after retiring, especially after dinner; from motion; from slight touch; in the open air (in his contrasting with Pulsatilla, as it does in so many points); and in dry weather.
Sanguinaria or Nitrate of Sanguinarin-Profuse fluent coryza; or dry, with frequent sneezing; dull, heavy pain at the root of the nose; odour of roasted onions in the nose; dryness of lips; tongue feels as if burn; throat full, swollen, and constricted; sharp stitches in chest; depression and irritability. Aggravation: morning and evening; from light and motion. Dose of Sanguinaria: No.1, two drops or six pilules every two hours. Of Nitrate of Sanguinarin, 3x trituration, one grain every two hours.
Natrum muriaticum-Fluent coryza in chilly subjects; chills along the back; great thirst; vesicles on he lips or tendency to them; constipation; weight in forehead on rising in the morning; sadness, depression, tendency top weep. Aggravation of symptoms in the morning, and periodically. Dose: 3 trit, two grains every two hours; o No.6, two drops or sic pilules every two drops o six pilules every two hours.
I take some credit to myself for bringing forward Natrum as a remedy for colds. About sixteen years ago, when Dr. Burnett’s work on the drug appeared, I made a study of it, and was struck with the number of cold-symptoms it possessed.
Having pretty severe cold myself at the time, I took a few doses of No.6, and intensely delighted to find my cold quite cured in the morning. I soon repeated he happy experience on several patients; and then my partner, Dr. W. Roche, gave it on my recommendation to a patient of his own who was suffering from a very severe cold. This patient declared he had never got rid of a cold so quickly in his life., At that time I thought that the range of the drug was so wide that it was equal to curing almost any cold. Subsequent experience did no justify that, but it did confirm me in my opinion that it is one of the most valuable remedies for cold we possess.
It was whilst reading up the literature of this drug that I was struck by the coincidence of its being also recommended, from the old school point of view, in the shape of salt baths or douches; and also by the popular use of the drug in salt food I shall have to refer to it again as a remedy for chronic colds and the cold-constitution.
Kali hydriodicum (Iodide of Potassium)-Profuse flow of clear water from eyes and nose; discharge of greenish black or yellow matter of foul smell; nose-bleed; discharge of decomposed greenish-red blood.
Sensation of fullness and tightness at the root of the nose;swelling and redness of the nose; sensation of fullness in the nose; with beating pain in the nasal bones; throbbing and burning in nasal and frontal bon with swelling; after abuse of mercury. Aggravation: at night: in cold air; at rest; better from motion. Dose: No.3 or 30, two drops or six pilules every two hours.
These are the chief medicines that will be required for the cure of ACUTE COLDS.