(From Journal of then American Institute of Homoeopathy)
(Continued from last month.)
MERCURIUS. This remedy is best suited to light-haired people with lax skin and muscles; there is a tendency to glandular swelling and cold abscesses. Nearly every complaint under this remedy is accompanied by profuse sweating and by unusual flow of saliva, which may pour from the mouth during sleep. There is marked weakness and even trembling from the least exertion, and breath and body smell foul. The conversation is hurried, so fast that the listener can scarcely understand what is being said.
The discharge from the nose when afflicted with a catarrh is thick and yellow or yellowish-green, with a great deal of sneezing; and the discharge from the nose may excoriate the parts. The nose feels raw and is ulcerated. The nasal bones are swollen and worse in damp weather and at night.
The tongue is flabby and large and shows marks of the teeth.
In diphtheria the tonsils are inflamed, uvula swollen and elongated, causing a constant desire to swallow. The diphtheritic membrane is thick and gray, with the flow of offensive saliva. In diphtheria the red iodide of mercury is preferable to Mercurius vivus.
The stools in dysentery are slimy and bloody and there is great straining after the passage. He feels as if he could not get done. In this disease Mercurius corrosives has given me better results than the Mercurius vivus. The more blood the patient passes with the stool and the longer he sits and strains, the surer you can be that this is the right remedy.
The breasts may be very sore at each menstrual period.
The cough may be either moist or dry. If the latter it is fatiguing and racking and paroxysmal, worse at night and from warmth of bed. There are ulcers on gums, tongue, throat and inside of cheek with the same profuse flow of saliva. In this condition, too, I prefer the Mercurius cor.
This remedy is sometimes useful in paralysis agitans.
Aggravations of this remedy are at night; in damp weather; in autumn when the days are warm and the nights cool and damp. From perspiring.
I man say that the characteristic symptoms calling for Mercurius vivus are found in the mouth: spongy gums, which are swollen, and sometimes bleeding. Tongue also swollen and flabby, taking imprints of the teeth; it is usually moist and offensive saliva runs from the mouth.
I recall a lady whose child was fiend for strawberries in season. Every year she would get a sore mouth from eating them to excess. This lady had a few homoeopathic remedies which she tried to prescribe and sometimes with good results. She was visiting and wrote her husband that the little girl, who was two or three years old, had a sore mouth, but that she was giving her some medicine and she thought she would be all right in a few days. The husband telegraphed her at once to take not chances, but to hunt up a homoeopathic doctor at once.
She obeyed instructions and I examined the child, and it was a clear case for Mercurius vivus, with swollen, flabby tongue and gums and foul saliva. I gave her the medicine and as she was going she turned to me and said: “Oh, Doctor, I forgot to tell you that I was giving her Mercurius vivus; will that interfere with the medicine you have given her now?” I told her it would not, but to give her any more of it now, as she was taking my medicine. At any rate, I thought the young mother was doing some pretty close prescribing.
I recall a case of typhoid fever where I used this remedy quite successfully: a young man with a severe attack, who presented a good picture of this remedy. It was the latter part of the first week when I was called to see him. He had been ailing, but as he said, “Tried to work it off”; but finally had to give it up, go to bed and seek medical aid. His tongue was so swollen that it almost filled his mouth and it was very sore. His gums were in about the same condition and bleeding slightly, or rather the blood with the horrible-smelling saliva was oozing from the gums.
His mouth certainly looked as though he were salivated. Tongue had a dirty white coating. The odour from his mouth was nauseating. His liver was sensitive to touch as was also the ileocaecal region. The tongue showed imprint of the teeth. He has frequent passages from the bowels which were slimy. Pulse was 120 and temperature 1042. He wanted to sleep most of the time and was ill tempered when disturbed. Mercurius vivus every three hours made a wonderful improvement in his condition, and if memory serves me right it was the only medicine he received throughout the course of the disease.