It is well known that Anacardium is one of the routine medicines for pyloric or duodenal ulcers. But, unfortunately, from the homoeopathic standpoint, the knowledge does not help much in being sure when to give it, and, merely for the local condition, it is most disappointing.
It is one of the fascinations, but one of the trials, of homoeopathy, that one case of duodenal ulcer responds to Anacardium but the next one does not-it is one of the things that keeps up one’s interest in the work. One can get a fairly definite picture of the Anacardium make-up, and link it on to the typical diagnostic symptoms of pyloric or duodenal ulcer.
The first thing about Anacardium patients is that they are always intensely irritable, bad-tempered, liable to curse and swear; but, and this is a diagnostic point for Anacardium, they are cowardly. If anyone stands up to their cursing, they simply crumple up, and have got no stuffing at all. It is obvious and very different from the Nux and Hepar make-up.
The next thing about them is that they suffer from an extreme feeling of indecision. They worry about things, they cannot make up their minds, and this worry and nervous fret is liable to bring on an attack of pain. Another point is that any excitement is also liable to produce an attack of abdominal pain.
Then, again from the prescribing point of view, it is helpful to remember that most of these Anacardium patients have a blunting of all their senses. Their sense of hearing is blunted. Their sense of smell is either blunted or disturbed. It is sometimes very acute for particular smells, and they sometimes have a nasty odour in the nose, but often the sense of smell is blunted.
The next thing that is a help in your drug selection is that these patients are rather insensitive to their surroundings. They do not fuss about things, untidiness does not worry them in any way. This is important because so many of the other drugs run exactly the opposite way.
Another symptom of which Anacardium patients complain is that they are liable to get sudden attacks of very profuse salivation. And not infrequently these patients have a rather offensive odour from the breath.
Usually they are moderately thirsty. But any cold food or drink-cold drink particularly-is liable to bring on an attack of acute pain. Another point is that Anacardium patient are all particularly aggravated by soup, which is liable to produce a very acute heartburn.
Anacardium patients often complain of a feeling of nausea in the morning on getting up. They often get a return of this when they begin to get hungry, and it is usually relieved by food. They also complain of a good deal of gurgling in the abdomen, rather than of actual distension. They have a sensation of a hard plug pressed into the epigastrium; this becomes steadily more acute, then they get a gurgle and the pain begins to subside.
As a rule, while these patients are eating they are fairly comfortable, and their comfort may last anything up to a couple of hours after a meal; then the pain begins to return. And it is usually a blunt pain.
Anacardium patients are always chilly. They are very sensitive to a cold draught; not at all keen on being out of doors, and yet there is one oddity about them – they get an astonishing amount of relief from exposure to the heat of the sun.
These patients always get a rather urgent call to stool; very often an urgent desire with inability to expel the stool, or else a good deal of difficulty and yet the stool is quite soft. In appearance, the typical Anacardium stool is pale, colourless, almost bileless. But not infrequently Anacardium patients have typical tarry stools, associated with a leaking ulcer.
The local abdominal pain is usually better for warm food, although any kind of food will relieve it with the exception of cold things. Not every duodenal ulcer calls for Anacardium, and it is only when you get the additional Anacardium symptoms that Anacardium will do good.