SOME CASES OF INDIGESTION.
A YOUNG woman complained about severe burning in the stomach and the burning sensation went up the swallowing tube into her mouth. I was told that this condition became worse when she had eaten or drunk anything warm. She had no thirst and she complained that she had to belch up wind after meals. That was all the information I received.
A beginner who has to deal with such a case will probably select Arsenicum album because of the burning sensation. but Arsenicum is not indicated because Arsenicum patients crave heat and are very thirsty. Another beginner may select Natrum Phosphoricum because of the acidity of the stomach which causes the sensation of burning, or he may choose
Carbo vegetabilis, which is a remedy for heartburn, but it has not the peculiarity that the acid rises up to the mouth. Besides, Carbo vegetabilis is characterized by a foul taste in the mouth. None of the three remedies are fully indicated. Therefore they will avail little, even if we give them in alternation.
The symptom of belching after meals led me to the right remedy. Enquiry elicited the fact that the patient had upset her stomach by eating too much cake and pastries. Hence Pulsatilla was indicated, particularly as Pulsatilla is called for it patients are thirstless, prefer cold food to hot, and belch after meals. The patient was told to fast for twenty-four hours, and was given Pulsatilla 4x and the trouble disappeared promptly.
Another young woman complained about severe constipation. She was very anaemic and complained that after meals she belched up much wind, giving a sour taste. She felt pressure in the stomach, could not digest fat, and was very fond of strongly salted dishes.
She had a cough early every morning, and there was some trouble about the apex of the right lung. Menstrual periods were regular as to time, but they lasted a week, and she lost far too much and the flow was preceded by abdominal pain. She had an eruption with small watery vesicles about the mouth, and she always felt cold.
In glancing at all these symptoms the prescriber may think of numerous remedies, but the principal factor is obviously an unduly great consumption of salt which produced all the symptoms mentioned. The remedy was therefore Natrum muriaticum 4x and correction of the diet. The lady was told to take a dose of Natrum muriaticum every three hours and to reduce salt consumption to the utmost, and in a few weeks she was completely cured.
A CASE OF GASTRIC AND DUODENAL ULCERATION.
A gentleman wrote to me : “My wife has been troubled with her stomach for years and besides she is very anaemic, and she loses far too much at her menstrual periods. She has been ill in bed for four weeks, and has terrible pain in her stomach and abdomen, which attacks her intermittently. The pain is cramplike and is accompanied by violent belching and fainting fits.
The doctors have diagnosed that she suffers from tuberculous ulceration of stomach and bowels. Besides, she is very constipated, she has little desire for food, and she had formerly swollen glands at the back of her head.” What ought to be done in this case ?.
If doctors have diagnosed the presence of tuberculous ulceration in stomach and bowel we may accept the diagnosis, and therefore I had to try Tuberculinum 30 and Argentum nitricum 5, especially as the doctors had given up the patient as incurable. These two medicines were prescribed for the poor woman, but I cannot tell whether they helped her or not. Most patients do not think it worth their while to tell their practitioner when they have been cured. Happily there are exceptions.
TUBERCULOUS ULCERATION OF THE BOWEL.
A wealthy lady sent me a letter, in which she told me that I had cured her, and she enclosed a small sum of money, and asked me to use it for curing some poor person who could not afford to pay. I knew a very poor girl who, according to the diagnosis of her doctor, was desperately ill with tuberculous ulceration of stomach and bowel and her case had been declared hopeless. She was a member of our parish choir. I immediately visited her and found around her bed the whole of our church choir, praying on their knees for the poor suffered.
I gave her Tuberculinum 30 and told her to take a dose every three days and Argentum nitricum 5, of which she was to take a dose every three hours, and I told her that Providence had caused a wealthy lady to send me to her. From that hour she improved and since then I have often met her taking her part in the choir.
GASTRIC ATTACKS WORST AT MIDNIGHT.
A member of our parish complained that he had been suffering for a long time with his stomach and that his trouble was invariably worst about midnight. However, his attacks occurred also in the day time. An hour or two after every meal the food seemed to rise from the stomach and frequently he had to vomit a bitter liquid.
In this case it was very easy to select the remedy, for when the complaint is always worst at midnight, we must, owing to this symptom, always start with Arsenicum album e, while the rising of food and vomiting of bitter gastric juice an hour or two after food points to Nux vomica 2. The patient was therefore given both Arsenic and Nux vomica in this way, that during the first three days he received every three hours a dose of Arsenicum album 2. During the next three days he was to take every three hours a dose of Nux vomica 2. After a week I met the man, who was radiant with joy, for he was completely cured.
DILATATION OF THE STOMACH.
An old agricultural labourer had been suffering for years from dilatation of the stomach. He vomited food two or three hours after meals, and it was completely undigested. He did not complain about acidity or nausea. Painless vomiting without acidity points clearly to Kreosotum 2 as the remedy, and I would have liked to have given him that medicine at once, but unfortunately he was insured, and his panel doctor insisted that he should be treated in the hospital.
He was kept there for three months, he was given the usual orthodox treatment, and his stomach was washed out every day. When he was at deaths door he was sent home from the hospital as incurable, and at last I could give him Kreosotum 2, five drops in a tablespoonful of water every three hours, and from that moment onward his vomiting stopped completely to the amazement of all his friends.
Of course I regulated his diet as well. He was forbidden all those things which he knew were likely to disagree with him, he was told to limit his intake of fluid as much as possible and to masticate every mouthful with the utmost thoroughness until the food had become quite liquid. Thus he was cured without difficulty.
CATARRH OF ALL THE MUCOUS MEMBRANES.
Years ago a woman was brought into my house who suffered from a very serious catarrh of the stomach and of the bronchies. She was attacked, particularly in the morning on waking, by a kind of whooping cough of the utmost violence, which continued until she was able to bring up masses of tough mucus, which looked like white of egg, and which produced long strings hanging down to the ground.
In addition she told me that her urine was clouded and that she had pain in the kidney region. These symptoms are the leading symptoms of Coccus cacti. The woman was told to stir twenty drops of Coccus cacti 2x into a tumblerful of water, and to take every two hours a tablespoonful of the mixture, and on improvement take a tablespoonful only every three hours. In a short time she was quite well.
ACIDITY OF THE STOMACH.
One of my friends came to me and told me : “I must ask your advice about the terrible acidity of the stomach which plagues me. I cannot sleep on account of it, my mouth is full of acid, my throat is inflamed with it, and my teeth feel quite blunt.” He told me that, apart from his acidity, he had nothing to complain of. It is a curious fact that the people who tell you. “Apart from such-and-such trouble I have nothing to complain of” require frequently Natrum Phosphoricum 6x. Unfortunately I had that remedy only in the 12x potency, and I gave it to him provisionally. A few doses of that potency vastly improved his condition and the cure was completed by that remedy in the 6x strength.
Of course Natrum phosphoricum is by no means a cure for acidity in every form. It is curative only when the patient has the symptoms which are characteristic of Natrum Phosphoricum. If a heavy drinker complains about acidity of the stomach, it is caused by the consumption of alcohol, which calls for Phosphoricum acidum 2x and for abstention from alcohol. In most other cases Magnesia carbonica is indicated.
CANCER OF THE STOMACH.
Many doctors proclaim “Cancer is incurable except by operation.” I cannot agree with this statement. I think it would be wiser if doctors said : “I cannot cure cancer by medicinal means.” Years ago a pauper woman of my village was suffering from cancer of the stomach. The doctor refused to give her any medicine because he considered the case hopeless, and he refused to visit her because she lived so far a way. I therefore went to see her. The woman complained about terrible burning pains which attacked her suddenly.
They caused her to jump up and she found relief by drinking a mouthful of hot coffee. Restlessness and relief from heat are leading Arsenic symptoms. I put twenty drops of Arsenicum album 4x into a tumblerful of water and told her to take a tablespoonful every two hours. Improvement occurred immediately, and her progress was so remarkable that she and all who knew her thought she would completely recover. However, a day came when she slumbered into eternity. It is true homoeopathy did not cure her, but at least it made her life tolerable. After all it is something to relieve the pain of a sufferer.
In another case of cancer of the stomach Arsenicum 4x was given only as an intercurrent remedy when restlessness and relief by heat called for it. Her principal remedies were Thuja mother tincture, of which she received twice a day a dose of two drops in a tablespoonful of water, and Carbo animalis 12x, of which also she received a dose twice a day. After prolonged use of these medicines she recovered completely.
In a third case a woman had noticed that her motions always contained a little blood and the doctors had discovered that she suffered from bowel cancer. Guided by the leading symptoms, I gave her a dose of Hydrastis 1 three times a day. The bleeding became less, ceased and the woman became completely well. I do not know whether the cure held good because I lost sight of her, and I can also not say whether Hydrastis helps in other cases as well.
CANCER OF THE BREAST.
A stout old woman had a hard swelling in the breast and fluid oozed from her nipple, and the condition had been declared to be cancerous. She was given Silica and Calcarea fluorica in various potencies during a whole year and then she ceased visiting me. A year later she called again upon me and told me that she had ceased calling upon me because she had been completely cured for a long time.