BY DR. FREDERICK KOPP.
(From The Homoeopathic World, 19..).
IT is the remedy that most closely simulates the symptoms of the disease to be treated that is most successful. If we fail, it is not the fault of Homoeopathy, but ours in that we did not select the remedy that was most closely homoeopathically related to the symptoms we wished to remove. Like must be treated by like, and this is the only scientific method of healing.
It is no surprising, then, that we at times administer remedies, expecting them to act in the usual magical way with which we are conversant, and we are disappointed. With this in view, I have taken the above well-known drug as an example, to show that it is often neglected, and another one substituted, when it would have accomplished all that was desired.
First, I will take the case of Apis mellifica in pleuritis (pleurisy). I know of no other drug in our materia medica which gives more brilliant results when exudation has taken place than Apis. You may say it is slow in its action; but it cannot be denied that it acts more speedily in bringing about absorption than any other drug we possess, and generally effects a complete cure, especially if it is alternated with Sulphur. In this it avoids all the evil after-effects of allopathic drugging and operating. Bryonia alba is the drug generally thought of in these cases, and Apis is forgotten.
Now, again, in dropsy, Apis is a drug that should be remembered. It is indicated when the skin is of a waxy hue, transparent and sometimes of a yellowish tinge. A most important symptom is the absence of thirst. Arsenicum album, which is often administered in cases of dropsy, simulates, I confess, Apis. But, then, it must be remembered that one of the most persistent symptoms of Arsenicum is a most intolerable thirst, and the patient craves for small and frequent draughts of water.
Liquids, in these cases, hurt the stomach, yet the patient is compelled to drink. Let it be borne in mind, then, that Apis has no thirst, while Arsenicum has a great thirst for water taken in small quantities. If we come across a dropsical case, in which there is no thirst, although all other symptoms are alike excepting this, Apis is the remedy that will give the best results.
While speaking of the use of Arsenicum in the treatment of dropsy, Apocyanum cannabium is often administered, when the former drug would have been the more correct. Arsenicum has, as one of its symptoms, an indescribable restlessness, while Apocyanum has not.
Then again, Acidum aceticum is often administered indiscriminately. This is a remedy that, in the treatment of dropsy, occupies a position half way between Apis and Arsenicum. The two latter drugs may be indicated, yet should there be severe gastric symptoms present, Acidum aceticum is the remedy that will give the best results.
Rapid swelling is a characteristic symptom of Apis, and I had, a few years ago, one of the most brilliant successes in my experience, in the case of a young man, suffering from general dropsy, caused by inaction of the heart. The patient was greatly swollen, but Apis, alternated with Digitalis purpurea, rapidly reduced the watery accumulation and restored the patient to a normal condition.
In hydrocephalus, Apis is always indicated. This disease of childhood may be congenital, or be developed in uterine life. Yet, no matter how unfavourable the prognosis may be, if the disease has not been caused by a mechanical injury Apis is the best remedy we possess, and will give more satisfactory results than the many other drugs mentioned for this disease in our materia medica.
In the first stage of tubercular meningitis, Apis takes a prominent part. Its indications are that the child rolls its head from side to side, and bores it into the pillow; owing to pain, it frequently awakes with a piercing cry; convulsions (which may be bilateral) are often in evidence; the pulse is rapid and weak, and the urine scanty. In the above symptoms Apis will act better than any other remedy. Why? Because it most closely simulates these conditions.
In conclusion, Bryonia alba is often wrongfully administered in synovitis, and, for the matter of that, so is Aconitum napellus, Calcarea carbonica, Sepia succus and Belladonna. Undoubtedly the reason Bryonia is given is because of the symptom. The pain of Bryonia is stitching; that of Apis is stinging, and always a stinging pain. Should anyone doubt the latter, a sting from a bee will speedily remove every doubt in that direction.
Now, a stitching pain is very seldom met with in synovitis; all the cases I have come across were of a stinging, sharp, lancinating character. Then why administer Bryonia when Apis is the remedy indicated? In inflammation of the synovial membranes, where the parts are red and shining and relief is obtained from cold applications, Apis is the remedy indicated. Yet how often is Belladonna thought of and selected! Should the same symptoms be present with exception that relief is obtained by the application of heat, Bryonia is the remedy par excellence.
It will thus be seen that the success or otherwise of a case depends greatly on the correct selection of the drug indicated, and I have mentioned Apis only as an example of how one drug may be selected instead of one more closely homoeopathically related in a given case.
Our materia medica teems with others which are often wrongfully administered. It is well, therefore, to remember that the most successful remedy, and that which will achieve the most brilliant results, is that which covers most accurately the greatest number of symptoms to be treated. In this we have the law of Homoeopathy in a nut shell.