ON first consideration it would seem that nursing were the same under any system of medicine. Yet, there is no doubt that the people who make the best homoeopathic nurses are calm people of cheerful, sympathetic strength. I have known many nurses who although very efficient and reliable in the operating theatre and so-called surgical work, were too found of gadgets and fussing about antiseptics and sterilizing to be very helpful in homoeopathic nursing.
I think in such cases the patients do better in a general ward where the nurses have only a minimum of time for each patient, thus ensuring for the patient the maximum of peace and quiet required for the action of the remedies and the recovery of the normal balance.
I will endeavour here to deal, one at a time, with the various minor accidents and illness which occur in most households in the way which I consider ideal from the point of view of the patient who like the simple ways of homoeopathy which are so devoid of exciting interference and display.
We will take first, burns and scalds, of which at some time or other most of us have had some experience. The most painful of all are the burns of first and second degree, that is the more superficial ones in which all the nerve endings of the skin have been injured but not destroyed. An extensive superficial burn can be very serious indeed.
At one time many households used to keep Carron oil for such emergencies, I have also seen people sprinkle the affected part with flour, starch, and even apply soap. The modern orthodox treatment recommends Picric acid and Tannic acid.
I have seen many cases of burns during the War, and I have had also to deal with men who had suffered from extensive burns from star shells and were sent home to recover. I have never seen anything that Urtica urens (the little vicious stinging nettle) drops to half a cup of water of, what I consider even better still, a 3x potency in spirit, which is used diluted to half its strength with water.
It is my firm belief that all lotions and dressings should be applied comfortably warm just above blood heat. That to my mind is the best way of helping the body to rehabilitate the injured part and prevent further shock.
If anyone in the house contracts a burn, I run immediately for my bottle of Urtica 3x, of which I always keep a stock handy and, according to the extent of the injury, I pour a small amount of the potency into a egg cup or large vessel, dilute it to half its strength with hot water then dip some cotton wool first in this lotion and dab gently the whole of the injury surface.
Then I take some simply white gauze or white lint or clean old linen, soak it in the lotion, wring it out, apply as a dressing and bandage firmly enough for the dressing to remain in position. Needless to say, it is very necessary to wash ones hands well first and to make sure that the vessel used is quite clean. When the amount of lotion required is only small, it is well to rinse out first the vessel used in very hot water so as not to chill the lotion. For the same reason a metal bowl is not very advisable because it does not retain the heat.
It is necessary to keep the part moist all the time, for this purpose sometimes all that is needed is to keep the lotion warm and wet the bandage on the outside. In more serious cases the bandage must be removed and the dressing changed every hour or every two hours. A point of importance, when applying a dressing, is to make sure that no fluffy material is used. For instance, lint cotton wool should not be applied except as an outer layer over a dressing to keep the dressing warm and in order to bandage the part more firmly without direct pressure on the injured part.
Now if a person has received an extensive injury from burns, there is bound to be a certain amount of shock and it is well to give immediately a few doses of Arnica internally, such as Arnica 6 or 3 for four doses, with an interval of a quarter of an hour between each dose. After this the healing process can be very much accelerated by giving Urtica internally also. For this purpose it is enough to put two drops of the Urtica 3x in half a tumbler of water and give the patient one teaspoonful every hour.
With this treatment it will be found that a burn which might easily have taken from four to six weeks to heal, will easily disappear within a week or ten days at the most, leaving a minimum of scar.
If the patient is very sensitive and miserable with the pain, Dr. Bachs new remedies will be found most valuable. In the case of a fretting patient, Impatiens would be of great assistance. The remedy could be given instead of Urtica. Four drops of Impatiens in a tumblerful of water of which a sip can be given at frequent intervals, continuing for some time after the patient has obtained relief.
Should the shock, however, have made the patient drowsy and languid, Impatiens could well be followed by six or eight doses of Clematis given in the same way.
I have also found Urtica very useful in sunburns. Once on a holiday during a spell of intense heat the children and I were badly burnt by the sun. Unfortunately I had no Urtica with me. I went out into the lanes and gathered a good handful of the small very stingy nettle, chopped it then strained the contents through a clean white handkerchief and sponged the parts affected.
As a result of this treatment, we soon stopped the blisters that were already forming and had a peaceful night, which we certainly would not have had otherwise. The blisters soon dried up and the whole of the arms and neck peeled but without giving further trouble. Needless to say, I have never again forgotten to take Urtica 3x with me on holidays.