A medical man practising in the Fen District came to see me a year or so ago, to consult in regard to his own health, and before departing he desired to thank me for my little book about Diseases of the Spleen. Said he, I have increased my practice very considerably since using Ceanothus, as I find it readily cures the spleen cases, which abound in my neighbourhood. I cannot, he continued, make use of your little doses, for many of my patients would simply laugh me in the face. So I use an infusion in ordinary doses and cure splendidly.
In order to ascertain whether larger doses than those I had been in the habit of using would cure without causing any inconvenience, I have given latterly in spleen affections five or ten drops, doses of the mother tincture of Ceanothus several times a day, with a very few exceptions, I find it acts curatively, just as well as the smaller doses, and causes no inconvenience. However, in a few cases, I had to go back to my former smaller doses, as the larger ones caused pain in the left side and sometimes palpitation. This is entirely in accordance with all my experience in the use of organ remedy, viz., wherever the degree of homoeopathicity is at all pronounced, the dose must be small. In ordinary cases where there is only specificity of seat, i.e., homoeopathicity of the lowest degree, small material doses are the best and most rapidly curative. The medical man just referred to, promised to give me his experience of Ceanothus. Here is what he kindly sent me:-
“Anything fresh to-day?” I asked, as I sauntered into No. 12 Warwick Lane.
“Yes!” said the genial secretary, handing me Diseases of the Spleen, by Compton Burnett. “I promptly bought the volume, as I knew absolutely nothing about the therapeutics of this terra incognita to the ordinary and extraordinary, orthodox, allopathic, semi-allopathic, and semi-homoeopathic practitioner. It was the best investment I ever made as, all unknown to myself, the Fen District of Cambridgeshire, in which I resided, was full of spleens (abnormal). After pursuing the work I realized my appalling ignorance.
“Let me give one or two cases:-
“Visiting a resident patient one day twelve months ago, I got into conversation with a lady visitor living in Newmarket who informed me that the previous ten years of her life had been spent mostly in bed or on a couch. Heart disease, her family physician had diagnosed, as well as several professors.I informed her after having made a rapid physiognomical diagnosis that she had a very good heart, and that she could be cured, in probably a few months-Tableau!
“After four months’ treatment she was nearly well and stopped treatment for three months. An attack of Influenza brought on the old spleen trouble again, but six weeks’ treatment brought her round again. There was slight ovarian complication in this case.
“I used Ceanothus Americanus with a small dose of Chel, and she liked it flavored with Am. carb and Tinct. capsici.
“I have usually two spleen cases every week-sometimes more. Sometimes the spleen is very much enlarged and always painful- sometimes complicated with tender left lobe of liver, and also the latter enlarged, and Ceanothus has in every instance hitherto removed the spleen trouble, and I have only failed in one case of enlarged and tender left lobe of liver associated with enlarged and painful spleen. Ceanothus has cured the latter, but as yet, this liver baffles me. I put it down to my own ignorance.”
Turning over the leaves of the Homoeopathic Recorder of May 15, 1990, I saw something about my old friend Ceanothus, and which I forthwith proceed to commander.
“I wish to call the attention of the readers of the Medical Century to a very valuable remedy; a remedy very little used by most physicians and possibly never by many-Ceanothus.
“This oversight is not strange, as it has only been used empirically, and no proving has ever been made of it so far as I know. Its principal and almost sole use has been in splenitis, where it has accomplished much good.
“During last summer and this winter I made several provings of Ceanothus. To my surprise the first symptom noticed was a sticking pain in the spleen, and after the continued use of the remedy there was quite an enlargement of that organ, worse by motion, but at the same time unable to lie on the left side; following this, there was pain in the liver, a congestion and enlargement, with sticking pains worse by motion or touch.
“Pain in lumbar region, with a desire to urinate.
“The prover for several days and nights was unable to get any rest, owing to these aggravating pains in the sides; when lying on left side the pain in the spleen was so great I could not lie still, and upon turning over I experienced the same difficulty on opposite side. At this time the urine had a green colour, bile being found in the urine, urine frothy, traces of sugar with an alkaline reaction, sp.gr. 1030.
“Pain and weak sensation in umbilical region. A generally weak sensation. Pain and soreness in muscles on exterior part of thighs, noticed in every power.
“Tongue coated in the centre with a dirty white coating. Loss of appetite. Loss of flesh was noted in one prover, with general weakness, and paleness of face.
“Stools become clay-colored, showing an action on the live.
“One prover who had malaria several years ago developed a beautiful case after a somewhat prolonged use of the drug.
“Every physician using Ceanothus in splenitis following malarial fever knows full well its wonderful action. Where the spleen is affected from any cause, with enlargement, deep sticking pains, worse by motion, but at the same time unable to lie on left side, the case will generally yield quickly to Ceanothus.
“I have at the present time a case of pernicious anaemia, accompanied by spleen pains, rapidly improving from the use of Ceanothus.
“I would suggest the remedy in question for leukaemia pseudo-leukaemia, splenic anaemia, and Hodgkin’s disease. Also, for the so called bilious attacks, the patient having a dirty white coating on tongue, pain in liver and spleen, with or without clay-colored stools, possibly with pains in umbilical region, and with it all a general tired feeling.
“When this drug becomes thoroughly known it no doubt will be a great remedy for malaria and its effects”-Medical Century.
RUBIA TINCTORIA IN SPLENIC ANAEMIA.
Splenic anaemia is often hard to cure, so indeed, is any case of anaemia which will not readily yield to the action of iron in some form. The truth is anaemia is very often effect, and the cause is hard to get at.
A couple of years ago I was called upon to treat a case of splenic anaemia after influenza in a young married lady. It would yield to nothing; eminent physicians tried their hands after the family doctor had in vain done his best. I tried, but also in vain. The late Dr. Swan, of New York, once wrote me that he had found Medorrhinum (high) a good antidote to the ill effect of influenza, which statement I gave very frequently verified. It failed here. When we were all in despair (residence at the seaside had also failed) I bethought me of the fact that pigs fed on modder get their tissues colored red. and on that idea I have Mrs.X. 60 drops of Rubia Tinctoria 0 in water daily. She picked up immediately, the extreme pallor yielded, the dyspnoea lessened, patient and her husband were loud in their praise of the remedy and begged to be allowed to continue it, which was done, and a perfect recovery was the result.
In several such cases of anaemia I have used the Rubia Tinctoria with great advantage. As I have before stated, Rubia Tinctoria was one of Rademacher`s splenics. I call to mind the case of a maiden lady of 52 years of age, who was brought to me in February 16, 1899, for anaemia and debility of a very obscure nature. There had been no period for six months. I prescribed Rubia Tinctoria 0, 10 drops in water night and morning. In six weeks she declared herself nearly well. The medicine was continued, and in another two months she was discharged cured.
CEANOTHUS IN CONSENTANEOUS HEART DISEASE.
Where the heart is perturbed continuously with a spleen affection, the relief obtained from the use of Ceanothus (and other splenics) is often very noteworthy.
The number of cases of spleen affections commonly reported as cardiac is very considerable. And even in cases where the heart it really at fault, the easing of the spleen region by splenics is often a great help to the comfort of the heart.
Thus a patient of mine who suffers from valvular disease these many years consulted me anew in the spring of 1900. The valvular condition was, of course, unalterable, and the heart distress was pretty bad from supercompensatory hypertrophy; the greatest distress was under the left ribs, and patient was often chilly, and, moreover, in his youth he had had ague.
A few drops of Ceanothus two or three times a day brought very great relief, so much so that patient became very loud in its praise, and continued taking it for three months. He told me yesterday that no medicine he had ever taken had ever brought so much comfort to his heart: “The palpitation has almost ceased, I can lie down flat in bed, and can sleep lying on either side, and I pass much more water.” Where the congestive distress lies in the liver region, hepatics play a similar part, as this gentleman`s remark to me moved, when he said, “I remember you used to give me Chelidonium, but that was when the pain used to be in the right side, and that is why I always keep some Chelidonium by me in case.”
Testimony as to the therapeutic value of Ceanothus is coming in from many parts; the following case from Dr. R.T. Cooper, of Wimpole Street, is of very great value:-
“DEAR DR. BURNETT.- The influence of Ceanothus Americanus upon enlargements of the spleen receives such interesting confirmation from the following case, that I am sure it will gratify you.
“A cabman aged 50, living at Boscombe, near Bourne-mouth, who had been operated on some two years back at the Brompton Cancer Hospital for what appears to have been enlarged spleen, wrote to me in the beginning of August under the following circumstances:-
“It seems that this man and Marrell, whose case of cancer of the pylorus I refer to in my work on Cancer and Cancer Symptoms, had occupied adjoining beds in the hospital, and he, having met with Marrell, whose case had been looked upon in the hospital as quite hopeless, immediately started for London to consult me.
“As he arrived too late, he subsequently wrote me a letter, which I received when on my holiday, and which I answered on the 13th August by forwarding a prescription of Ceanothus Americanus ) gtt. vii; aq. 3ij, five drops four times a day in water.
“From his letter, as well as from an interview with him on 12th September, I gathered these particulars.
“He had been dragged forward by a bolting horse when driving, and the bar of the phaeton had pressed heavily upon the diaphragmatic region, and this was followed by severe pain, especially in the splenic region, which swelled up and became more and more painful. After suffering in this way for a year, he was admitted to the Cancer Hospital, and after being there for a month, was operated on for enlarged spleen. Before the operation the pain was very great, and certainly the operation relieved this, but after the operation relieved this, but after the operation he continued to get weaker and weaker, and his weight went down; in the two years since then he has lost two stone, and is becoming more and more enfeebled. His face is florid, and blood rushes to his face and head, making the face scarlet and the eyes blood-shot and dim, and he staggers with weakness. He has to hold on to things when standing, and then lower part of his body and legs gets cold and his hands and fingers numb. a vein running up the right temple enlarges, especially in the morning, to the size of his little finger. The local sensations are thus described in his letter:-
“Now as to the place where the operation was, it seems to bubble up, relief coming from pressure, and if it do not work like this, I am worse. Then under my ribs the left side is like a bird fluttering.”
“On 12th September he came up from Boscombe to see me, having taken two bottles of medicine. His testimony then was that he was better in every possible way, and that whereas, before taking the medicine, he could not do the lightest yard work for three hours together, he could now keep at work all day. The vein on the right temple had not shown up since he began the Ceanothus, and the urine, which before had been thick and scanty, was now clear and free. The bowels were acting naturally, though sleep was poor. On examining the side I found a dull hard mass posteriorly and immediately below diaphragm, and a hard 2 in. by 2 in. in front, just above the extensive scar of the operation and below the diaphragm.
“The inference from local examination would be either that the entire spleen had not been removed, or that new growth had taken place since the operation. Anyway, the distinct and pronounced relief given by the Ceanothus could not be questioned.
“I may mention there was no history of anguish seizures or chills and perspirations at any time of the disease.”
URTICA URENS AS AN AGUE MEDICINE
The stinging nettle is a splenic of very high order, as I have elsewhere proved. I will content myself with giving one case of ague cured by it.
CASE OF AGUE CURED BY URTICA URENS.
A young officer, 22 years of age, was invalided home from Burma with malarial fever and swelled spleen in the spring of 1893. He had quinine, arsenic, and iron, but was not improving or free of fever.
March2.-R. Urtica urens 0 ten drops in water night and morning.
March26.-No fever at all; much sediment in urine (quite normal).
May 20.-No fever.
June 22.-No fever. Discharged cured.
As I have entered so largely into the question of the value of Urtica urens in my booklet, entitled Gout and its cure, I will refer my readers from further information hereanent to its pages.
DR. CLARKE’S CEANOTHUS CASE
One Sunday morning about a year ago an American lady brought her daughter, aged 14 to me, complaining of a severe pain in the left side. They had just arrived in London, having landed at Liverpool a day or two before, and the history of the case was this: During the voyage, as the patient lay in her berth, she stretched over to reach something in the cabin, and was immediately seized with a violent stitching pain in the left side. It was thought at the time that the pain would soon go away, but it did not. And after landing, the pain persisted and grew rather worse, so that the plans of the family, which were to proceed to the Continent in a few days, were jeopardized.
As it is always well to localize exactly a pain or an ailment whenever possible, I asked the patient to undress, and I found that the pain was not in the chest wall or abdominal muscles, as the history would rather suggest it to be, but was deep in-in the spleen, in fact. Moreover, percussion showed that the spleen was considerably enlarged. The pain was (>) by lying on painful side.
As it was Sunday and the pharmacies were likely to be closed, I put a powder of Ceanothus 30 on the patient`s tongue there and then, and gave her a prescription for the same medicine to be made up later on, with instructions to come and report on the Tuesday following. She came in due course, and reported that in two hours from receiving the dose the pain had gone-before the prescription was made up. I again examined the side, and the splenic dullness had gone back to normal.
So we see that my original claim for Ceanothus Am., that it is a homoeopathic remedy in the ordinary sense is substantiated.