From Homoeopathic Recorder, June, 1925.
IN Hahnemanns Materia Medica Pura we find provings of snakes or vipers.
To Constantine Hering, my grand old teacher, homoeopathy is indebted for the first proving of Lachesis, in 1827; to him are we also indebted for the first proving of Crotalus horridus, the rattlesnake, in 1837.
Of all the ophidian family, Lachesis is oftener used, many have prescribed Lachesis and seen wonderful, aye marvellous results from its use.
In 1867, when I was a student in the Homoeopathic College on Filbert Street, Philadelphia, I was given three powders of Lachesis CM., by my preceptor, the late Professor J. H. P. Frost, to take home to my mother in Hudson County. She was sixty years old, and suffering greatly from varicose veins in her left leg. The reason he gave Lachesis was because of the bluish colour of the limb where the diseased veins were. Her attending physician had given a gloomy prognosis, and said nothing could be done to relieve her.
But I was young then, and hopeful, and gave her the first powder dry on the tongue. She had a more comfortable night. The next day I gave her the second powder. She rested well that night also, told me she was going to get well, and so I returned to college to pursue my studies. Professor Frost had told me if she improved, to hold the third powder.
I left it with her, with my preceptors direction, not to take it unless she had a return of pain. Two doses of Lachesis 100,000th potency cured her, and she lived twenty-five years after that visit. Nowadays it is considered the proper thing to call these cases phlebitis. As most of the cases I have heard of die, the high sounding name does not help to cure them.
For diphtheria on the left side of the throat, Lachesis works quickly. Back in the seventies when we had no anti-toxin, and had to rely on the homoeopathic remedy, I always gave the 200th potency. Professor Lippe told us to give Lachesis when the trouble was on the left side, Lycopodium on the right side. I have stopped the growth of the membrane and often cleared the patches from the fauces, in three or four days with Lachesis 200. But it always took one or two days longer to remove the exudate when Lycopodium was used.
Lachesis is a wonderful throat remedy and is fine for tickling cough. In cancer of the left breast, and cancer in the stomach, with this guiding symptom, the pain is always relieved after eating, we see excellent results from its use.
Crotalus is called for in diphtheria when the case is complicated with profuse nose-bleed. It is particularly indicated in those cases where there is haemorrhage of black, fluid blood from every outlet in the body, even the sweat is bloody. It is the best remedy in purpura haemorrhagica of the lower limbs, in elderly people, especially if they have cardiac complications.
I only have the sixth potency of this remedy, but I prolonged one mans life eight years, after a prominent Philadelphia specialist gave him up, by administering Crotalus. In cancer of the tongue, with tendency to haemorrhage, also in cancer of the stomach with much vomiting of bloody, slimy mucus, Crotalus is helpful.
Elaps corallinus, the coral viper, is to be considered in short, thick-set bull necked people, who complain of fulness in the head as if all the blood in the body was collected there, with fear of apoplexy. The patient complains of large, red, fiery spots before the eyes. It is good for bleeding from the ear, and discharge of serous, greenish yellow liquid from the left ear, and has continual buzzing in the ear.
The contraction of the throat is more in the oesophagus than in any of the vipers. The passage of fluids is arrested as by a spasmodic contraction of the oesophagus, after which they fall heavy in the stomach. Drinks chill the stomach. Elaps effects the right side of the body, and is good in phthisis and pneumonia, with dark bloody sputa. It is also good when the patient complains of squeezing of the heart.
Naja tripudians (hooded cobra) is to be thought of in diphtheria, when there is impending heart failure, or when there is great prostration and dyspnoea. The patient is blue; he awakes from sleep choking, with thready pulse.
Good in laryngeal cases when the patient grasps the throat, with raw feeling in upper part of trachea. In a case of carcinoma of the right side of cricoid cartilage, in a man forty-six years old, Naja 6th helped wonderfully when Lachesis and Trifolium pratense, the red clover, absolutely failed. For over one year the improvement has continued, the man has gained weight and colour, and he has lost that worried, anxious look he used to wear.