THE effect of drugs tested called forth most “peculiar symptoms and expression on the part of our “provers”. Such expressions are met with in everyday practice, and they are the expressions of Nature is disease, as affecting you or me, clearly for some of a particular drug in order to get well. The more peculiar such expressions are, the greater the aid to our choice for your service, and there is nothing to laugh about in it.
You will notice the peculiar variations of disease when we come to set forth some drugs for dysentery. The broad diagnosis is the same in all cases, but how the symptoms vary! Not a lay reader can mix any of the remedies up, so it should be quite easy for any orthodox doctor. This matching of drug and disease symptoms is a easy as many a crossword puzzle, and far more useful and interesting.
The numerals given after each homoeopathic drug are suggestive only. Experience has proved that it is better to work toward the higher numerals (potencies). They contain less and less of the actual drug. You must stop all medicine when “curative reaction” is noted. Allow Nature to cure undisturbed.
Review symptoms afresh before again taking medicine. Should any change in symptoms be seen, then match these symptoms with some other drug more nearly like the new symptoms. It may be that it is best to continue the first choice of medicine, in which case lengthen the period between doses, say every four hours apart or even thrice daily (twenty-four hours).
In severe cases the patient had better remain in bed with warmth applied to abdomen, axillae (armpits), and feet, even if the weather be hot. If not rubber bottles are at hand, use any sort of bottle as container. The attendant should wrap all such in a cloth to prevent burning the skin. In severe cases the patient often fails to note the serious degree of heat of hot water bottles, and any resulting burns are quite serious and hard to cure.
The greater the weakness or collapse, the more should the bodily heat be kept up artificially. The hotter the climate, the greater nursing aid must be undertaken. If the patient feels collapsed after stool, then a bedpan or some makeshift must be insisted on. Avoid sudden standing or sitting posture in severe cases. Some hearts have stopped by too rapid movement from lying to sitting or standing. The exertion overtaxes the heart already weakened by disease.
Beware of relapses. Beware of checked perspirations. In dysentery use a cholera belt of roughest flannel, with two thicknesses over abdomen, and one fold over kidneys. Use this precaution if nights are chilly or cold after great day heat, especially if one goes to bed without even a sheet over one.
Cut out meat of every description. Stick to rice mixtures and strained gruels (pap). Avoid fruits, though I have heard that water acidulated with lemon juice has been well borne, especially where craved. Better go on the hungry side. Nature will crave food ultimately. Allow all fluid a patient will drink without causing bad effects, but boil all water. Milk is borne well by some, but this also must be coiled.
Suspect bought ice. Better chill from outside if milk is wanted cold. I have just come back from Mallorca where we found that they had two qualities of ice, being quite unsafe. We did not find this out at first, but nothing happened, fortunately. I just hate to think of the best suited food for dysenteric case, but meat ought to be taboo. The liver is nearly always unbalanced in hot climates where this disease is worst, but I will take up this subject later and remedies therefore. Ailing livers are prevalent enough right in Great Britain.
Now for a comparison of a few homoeopathic remedies suited for dysenteries. “Personal symptoms” take precedence over any consideration of this or that microbe or amoeba and laboratory finding, and such “personal symptoms” become all-important where laboratory aid is impossible to obtain, or too expensive.
SOME HOMOEOPATHIC DRUGS USEFUL IN DYSENTERIES
(I) IPECACUANHA (3x, 6x to 30).
You may say, “But Emetine is made from this drug.” I admit it, and thus Ipecacuanha is a good drug spoiled by splitting up that which Nature has compounded. It will do everything that “Emetine” will do, and very much more, without any “back-kick”. especially as we employ such minute doses. Our 3x represents but one grain in a thousand grains.
The chief indications in dysentery calling for this drug will be very clean tongue and moist mouth, with much saliva secreted. CONSTANT NAUSEA must be present and this is the “keynote” for the use of Ipec. Much vomiting of food, bile or blood and much mucus. Stomach feels relaxed and heavy, as if hanging down. Vomiting DOES NOT RELIEVE NAUSEA. Whilst straining at stool the abdominal pain is so great that it immediately induces nausea and vomiting again.
With the stools there will be a desire to strain (tenesmus) but Mercurius corrosivus (compared next) has this STRAINING in a much greater degree. Ipec. stools vary a great deal from slimy with white flecks, and mucus tinged with blood, to actual haemorrhage of bright blood. Stools are sometimes like fermented molasses, bubbly, or frothy brown, or even like spinach, puree, mucus, to watery. There is much flatulence, cutting colic, worst round the navel, and stools are very offensive.
The stools of amoebic dysentery are generally more profuse in semi-solids and fecal matter than in the bacillary type. Amoebic attacks have a have a vague or insidious onset, and very little or no fever. This is a generalization to be observed when no diagnosis is possible or certain.
(2) MERCURIUS CORROSIVUS (3x to 30, with preference for the 6x (sixth decimal) potency).
For this drug to be most beneficial the stools are incessant, persistent, and with GREAT STRAINING (tenesmus), which straining sensation is NOT RELIEVED WITH THE STOOL PASSING. It has much more tenesmus than the dysentery type as found to be cured by Ipecacuanha, which easily differentiated the two drugs. At times the individual stools here may be very scanty. Nearly all stools will be described by the patient as hot, burning and excoriating the anus.
The straining is incessant. Much blood is found in the stools, which are slimy or filled with shreds of mucous membrane, these being actually shreds of the lining membrane of the intestines. The pains are terrible, cutting and colicky. All stools are offensive. Abdomen is bloated with a bruised feeling, with specially outlined pains worse in caecal (round appendix) region and in the transverse colon (right across abdomen under ribs). The rectum may every (turn inside out) from continuous straining.
Blood passed often pure and bright, showing acute ulceration and fresh haemorrhage from low down in gut. If blood is dark it comes from higher up in the bowel. All evacuations are putrid and corrosive to anus. They may change their colour quickly from green to yellow-frothy, or be mostly followed not and again by small hard lumps. There is nearly an increased desire to stool the moment every evacuation is over. “Must-go-again-one” style. Taste in the mouth either very salty or every bitter.
If vomiting is present it is green, bilious. Very often these cases complain of pains in bladder, with almost suppression of urine. Has to strain to pass water, which burns form bladder to orifice. May urinate in drops; blood in urine, known by there being smoky streaks, and much brown or brick-dust sediment after urine settles.
The old-fashioned doctor could differentiate these two types. amoebic and bacillary dysentery, even if he did not know the names of the “bugs”; now it needs a laboratory, and this is not always certain.
The onset of this Merc. corr. type of dysentery is generally very acute and sudden, and with some fever, and the stools are much more frequent than with the amoebic infection, besides which these stools are more offensive. In this bacillary infection the body has a cadaverous odour, never to be mistaken, once met with. In the late stages these stools, become more fluid (serious) and of a dirty brown opus-like nature, smelling most putrid.
If the patient is thirsty, encourage drinks, as the evacuations are taking pints of fluids from the body; some can take normal saline water well. If you are near the ocean (clear of a river exist), pure ocean water up to a pint a day, divided into three or four doses and well spaced apart, has had some remarkable and beneficial effects. At another time I shall have something to say of the curative effects of “pure sea water” in malaria and dengue fevers.
The employment of Merc. corr. for dysentery has a little history attached which is instructive and very interesting. At one time Homoeopathy was forbidden, by royal edict, from being practised in Austria. A certain general was losing scores of soldiers daily from such a epidemic, and having been brought up on Homoeopathy, he had some private talk with his old family doctor (a homoeopath) who the general that this Merc. corr. would stop the disease and his losses, so the drug was tried surreptitiously, with complete success, no further cases being lost.
This general laid the matter before his Emperor, with the result that the edict was recalled, and Homoeopathy was permitted within that country. Nota Bene-Dont use Merc. corr. stronger than the 3x (third decimal) strength as prepared by our own homoeopathic chemists.
(3) ARSENICUM ALBUM (6x to 30. Many homoeopaths prefer to go higher than the 30th potency).
Here again we have a very marked difference in the disease-picture, although the disease is diagnosable as dysentery. For this drug to be of any use the patient MUST complain of BURNING SENSATIONS throughout the body. Burning abdominal pains, evacuations which BURN as voided, burning thirst without wanting to drink much, the bed burns the body, etc. With every Arsenicum patient the vital forces are depleted very fast, and they will always be in great mental anguish and FEAR.
The patient will be excessively restless, thought almost too weak to move more than some extremity, such as the hands or feet. They FEAR they are not going to live; they cannot be cured, they are sure they are going to die, very often using these exact expressions (as also did the “provers” of this drug). It is rather strange that so many of the “provers” expressions are duplicated in disease. This makes the choice of the curative drug all the more easy. The rapid sinking of the vital force is apparent often the first day of the disease. STools are very offensive; each stool is followed by greatest prostration.
This type of patient is always worse at night with still greater aggravation of symptoms just after midnight (how curious or silly many will think, but this does not destroy facts). Stools dark, bloody, putrid, and with abdominal pains which are complained of as agonizing and “burning”. yet the body will often be cold as ice to the hand of the attendant, and very often covered with clammy to icy sweat. Urine is very scanty, involuntary (often) and “burning” as voided.
The great” keynotes” for this drug are the fear and anguish, burning sensations, with most rapid loss of body strength. Are you able to see what differences there are in dysenteries?.
(4) ALOE SOCOTRINA (3x to 6x or 30).
This drug is in most compound cathartics, but we homoeopaths only use its curative action by employing it in minute doses. Does this strike you as funny or cleaver? To be curative, the patient will tell you that his abdomen feels full, heavy, hot, and that it is very bloated (which last you can see yourself). Pains are worse round the navel, worse from slightest touch of clothes, or pressure.
There is a fullness in the region of the liver, and pain under the right ribs. There will be loss of power of muscles controlling the rectum. Stools dribble away without power to stop same. There will be much gas passing downwards. The following symptom will easily differentiate Aloes from all other remedies. Whilst there are excruciating cutting and griping pains before and during stool, all pains cease after stool (until next stool is forthcoming).
The patient is left extremely weak after stool and is bathed in profuse sweat. Aloe stools are more solid or semi- solid than with the foregoing types, but they are streaked with blood and much mucus, and they are often involuntary.
(5) COLOCYNTHIS (3x to 30).
The common name of this drug is “squirting cucumber” because even naughty boys know of its power and action on the bowels and have used it as a practical joke on innocent companions. This type of patient will report most violent colic, with the pain better temporarily from bending double (i.e.from pressure of thighs on abdomen). Complains of intense internal shivering and chill.
Tongue coated white. Pains are worse at each stool, they pass much blood and jelly-like mucus, which is always worse after taking food or drink, Stools forcibly gushing. Odour of stools is of a most peculiar mustiness, once met with, quite recognizable again. Patient very agitated, with chilliness at every stool.
(6) LEPTANDRA (1x to 6x).
Cures such dysentery where stools vary from profuse dark brown to a black-tarry (old blood) character. Stools very fetid, mucus mixed with much blood alternating with flocculent masses or watery bile; sometimes there will pass shreds of mucous membrane, at other times even pure blood. Unlike all the foregoing examples of dysentery, here there is No STRAINING AT ALL, but there is considerable pain in the bowels AFTER each stool. Tongue heavily coated yellow. Pain in liver which extends right through to the spine, with chilly shivers.
You will easily see from the foregoing why the homoeopaths don;t easily to get one medicine (called by the orthodox a “specific”) to cure every case diagnosed as dysentery. Above I have portrayed six very different types of dysentery, which we homoeopaths cure scientifically, each with its particular and exact medicine.
We have some other remedies for still other variations of this disease but there are limits set by this Journal. I have pictured enough to start you thinking. Can you imagine orthodoxy curing many such cases with “Emetine” which, after all, is a half-baked denatured Ipecacuanha stolen from Homoeopathy, without the graciousness of any acknowledgment, and with its lesson but imperfectly learned, to your loss.
Homoeopathy needs careful study, but with its aid your stand a reasonable chance of curing with out driving dysentery back into the liver, lungs or heart. As the orthodox are not trying to help you with Homoeopathy, let the laity take it to heart and try it.
The above six drugs are not interchangeable. They must be given each for its own particular and peculiar symptoms, when they are curative.
If you find “Emetine” curing a given case, it does so because it is homoeopathic to that case, but when going to use “Emetine” remember the words of warning issued by the orthodox about this very drug.
Some British readers are sure to have friends or relations working in tropical countries. They deserve some help of you, and you can render same by calling on a homoeopathic chemist to put up a case of “dysentery” remedies, but I beg you only to purchase your medicines as saturated PILLS, which will preserve the drug for years, even if they appear “sugar-of-milk dry”.