This affection is probably as old as mankind and is often mentioned in the Bible.
The name is derived from the Greek aipoppoises, its chief symptom being a flow of blood. Other names are Haimorosis, Proctalgia haemorrhoidalis, Morbus Haemorrhoidalis, piles, Emerods.
Ancient peoples regarded affections of the genitals and anus as divine punishments, thus. “The Lord will smite thee with the emerods” (Deut. xxviii. 27). But it is clear that many different diseases are meant under the name emerods, or haemorrhoids, such as tumours, the morbus ficarius and the endless ills of the pathici (Hippocrates; Aristotle; Rosenbaum’s Geschichte der Lustseuche)
The piles do not usually get well of themselves.
Heart affections imperfect aeration of the blood; liver affections; congestions in the portal system of veins enlarged spleen; abdominal tumours; great accumulation of fat in the omentum, or of faeces in the intestines; in fact anything that disturbs the reflux of blood to the right heart vena cava inferior vena portae tends to hypostatic hyperaemia of th haemorrhoidal veins. The successful treatment of piles involves an accurate appreciation of the topography and of the anatomical relations from the midriff to the pelvic outlet as first ground work and then a consideration of the etiology of each case.
I cannot enter upon such an interminable path in this little tract as I merely put in a plea for the exclusively medicinal treatment of dilated veins by what name soever they may be nosologically baptized. The bulk of my own knowledge on the subject has already been given and I now being together from various sources the remedies most frequently called for together with, more less accepted indications for the same.
REMEDIES FOUND USEFUL IN THE TREATMENT OF DILATED VEINS PARTICULARLY OF Haemorrhoids.
Besides Gilchrist, Hughes, Hale, and Lilienthal, I have culled from a very able article on this subject in the Transactions of the Homoeopathic Medical Society of the State Pennsylvania, vol. II. The authors are the Alleghany Country Homoeopathic Medical Society, and the names of the special contributors are Drs Childs, Martin, Caruthers, and Edmundson, the last-named of whom says… “For the latest and most successful remedies used by the old school for the treatment of haemorrhoids, we refer you to Naphey’s `Therapeutics,’ where a very full and complete resume will be found; many of them you will recognise as well-known homoeopathic remedies.” Well, we had already previously gone to Naphey’s “Modern Medical Therapeutics,”sixth edition, 1879, but did not find anything of the kind, and on again hunting therein we do not find ever the words piles, haemorrhoids, varices, varicosis, or varicocele, anywhere. So, Probably, there must be another Naphey’s Therapeutics.
ACONITUM NAPELLUS.-When a febrile movement accompanies the piles, with dry skin and cephalic congestion. It is not often called for in practice in this affection, but in plethoric subjects in whom there is determination of blood to the head, a prompt use of this remedy may avert apoplexy. When this is done, see to your patient’s diet.
ACIDUM ACETICUM.- Profuse haemorrhoidal bleeding; haemorrhage from bowels after checked metrorrhagia; constipation malignant disease of rectum.
AESCULUS GLABRA.- The greater pathogenic power of this remedy should lead us to think of it especially when there is a paretic state of the legs and the cauda equina is disordered. Carrying the nut on the person is said to cure piles but I will not vouch for it.
AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM.- Dr Hale is of opinion that the central point of action of this drug lies in the liver and portal system. It is decidedly one of our most powerful remedies for piles and constipation. My own notion of its applicability points to those cases in which there are liver, portal, rectal, and spinal indications for its use. Hale says the absence of actual constipation differentiates between this and other pile remedies: to this I cannot assent my own pretty extensive experience with it leads me to say with Dr. Hughes that it is indicated in constipation, and that very strongly. That it is a great rectal remedy is undoubted. Dr. Hart’s special indication for it is throbbing in the abdominal and pelvic cavities. Lilienthal puts the following symptoms thus: DULL BACK-ACHE, PURPLE HAEMORRHOIDS. Sensation as if sticks splinters, gravel were in the rectum are said to be characteristic of it.