(From Pacific Coast Journal of Homoeopathy). THIS member of the family Liliaceae was used as remedy as early as two to three thousand years B.C. in northern Africa (Somaliland), as a tonic and laxative. Hippocrates did not known the Aloe; it seems she came to Europe (Greece) during the time of the Ptolemies, because the Greeks and ARabians praised her much. Celsus, Dioscorides and Aeius lauded her astringent, laxative and homeostatic action. The sainted Hildegard used Aloe in vesicatory plasters to open abscesses.
Hecker praises her for eyewashes in asthenic ophthalmia. Externally she is used even to-day to encourage granulation. Long ago she was used as an important wound dressing (powder). Important is her action in bee stings, where a drop of the tincture relieves the pain immediately, and the usually following itching is prevented. (Dr. Haehl).
In household medication the juice is applied to wound; a piece of the leaf gives by squeezing a healing juice. Lately a salve from Aloe leaves is used successfully in X-ray dermatitis, (Dr. Haehl.).
In literature we find very few provings of Aloe on healthy individuals. Gaicomini reports after taking a few doses: eructation with increased hunger; 8 to 10 hours after taking the medicine prickling sensation in intestines followed by several large evacuations with flatus of a peculiar odour. Mathiolus and Tabernemontanus remark about Aloe: purging of bile and mucus, cleaning and strengthening of stomach and dispersing jaundice. Buchner-Munich published a proving in 1841: stitches in left temple and left ear; dryness of mouth and throat with much thirst.
Fullness of stomach with empty eructations. Pressure in right epigastrium; bloating of stomach and abdomen with boring pains in umbilical region. Bloody and thin stools with severe abdominal pains. Urging to urinate. Obstipation with burning anal pain after passing hard stool,. Itching piles. Kurtz in 1847 wrote: the most pronounced and constant action is on the intestines, and shows not only from internal use, but also from application of Aloe to abscesses, and does not disappear where the remedy has been used for years; however, in some cases a long use of strong doses the purging action is followed by constipation from dryness of intestines.
Evacuation began 5 to 12 hours after taking Aloe; from strong dose only watery stools, frequently preceded by pinching in intestines with flatus, and occasionally tenesmus. Soon or later after taking Aloe in many cases we find: affection of lower bowel and pelvic organs of heat, heaviness in rectum, especially in women, also in uterine region with pain in inguinal region, small of back, increased leucorrhoea and menses with colic. Sexual excitement, erections, burning and frequent urination. He recommends Aloe in: constipation from torpid atony of intestinal tract (sedatory habit), glassy mucus from intestines, in dysentery, in worms, painless haemorrhoids, in delayed and scanty menses.
DR. WATZKE. Vienna in 1967 published a proving summating the Aloe action thus:
1. Difficult evacuation of even soft stool;
2. Annoying tenesmus and fullness of abdomen, worse at times;
3. Severe cutting pains in intestines of short duration;
4. Urging to stool at unusual times, early and often during the day, continuing even after evacuation, at times with stitching, cutting pains in rectum;
5. Feeling of heat and swelling in rectum, worse while walking.
6. Sphincters are weakened, closing, worse while evacuations.
Lately two article have appeared about Aloe. Dr. Stiegle in Hippokrates, 1934/12, an exceptionally fine proving. The Aloe picture is especially well fitted for the understanding of the simile rule. Aloes prominent symptoms are nocturnal; early morning diarrhoea. The clinical analogon is a certain form of proctitis with weakness of sphincters.
Let me bring a few cases from literature and practice.
1. Dr. Stiegle a few years ago treated a women for chronic cholecystitic; but what troubled her more were frequent involuntary acrid stools night and day, up to 20 in 24 hours. Her former physician had advised constant use of Opium, which she took daily. After disappointing use of other remedies Stiegle cured this desperate case in a short time with Aloe D. 6.
Dr. Dunham stated that in few years he had treated about 35 similar cases, and given a few examples:.
2. A young man had suffered from diarrhoea for two weeks. In spite of using Calcarea, Bryonia, Nux vomica and Arsenicum there was not improvement. The stools were light-yellow, pasty, foamy and copious, preceded by borborygmi and pinching hypogastric pains. They awakened him at 3 a.m., and till 9 a.m. he had six such evacuations, then cessation till 3 the next morning.
As soon as he felt urging, he “had to run”; this was not tenesmus, but more a feeling of weakness of the sphincter ani. After school there was not more pain, only weakness. From 3 a.m. till 9 a.m. patient had to avoid all physical exercise, especially pressing to urinate for fear of involuntary stool.
At 10 a.m. when he consulted me gave him Aloe 200 dry on the tongue, and from then on he had no more diarrhoea, slept the following morning till 7, and at 9 he had a normal stool like when he was well.
3. A man of 70 consulted me during several winters on account of a dull frontal headache which made him unable to do any kind of mental work. He could not give me any characteristic description of his sickness except that the pain appeared immediately after wakening and lasted all day.
From such a description it was impossible to choose a remedy with any hope of accuracy, hence I delved into his previous condition (Hahnemann and von Boenninghausen considered this important) in the hope of getting some hints for action. I elicited the information that his headache of many years standing was always worse winters, but always better during the summer. No peculiarity in his diet or mode of living could explain this condition.
But I learned that in summer time he had diarrhoea frequently, appearing suddenly, awakening him at 2 am.m. with pinching flatulent colic. He then had to go to stool hurriedly, From then till 10 a.m. he had four or five pappy, copious, light- yellow stools, always of the same urgent character. This urging was caused by eating. Involuntary evacuation also occurred during urination. When the headache let up a little the diarrhoea set in, and vice versa.
It had long been my conviction, that in treating chronic ailments it is very important the the physician consider all ailments from which the patient had suffered at different times, even if the time periods and affected organs are far apart, and do n to seem to have any close connection. And I think that this is often the only method that enables us to select the remedy.
Following this conviction in the present case, I considered the winter headache and summer diarrhoea as complementary symptoms which constituted the total disease picture for which I had to find a corresponding remedy in our materia medica.
The winter headaches did not offer anything characteristic indicating a single remedy. Carbo vegetabilis, Sabadilla, Sulphur, Aloe, Nux vomica. Carbo vegetabilis, Sabadilla, Sulphur, Aloe, Nux vomica, etc., all could he considered equally suited. But as soon as I added to the winter headache the summer diarrhoea, considering both as belonging to the same totality, Aloe presented itself as the simillimum. And when I studied Aloes head symptoms I found them corresponding to my patient as well as any of the other remedies. I therefore gave Aloe 200, which brought more relief than any previously used remedy for the headache alone. That headache recurred a few times in a much milder form and was each time overcome by Aloe. Lately my patient has been entirely free from the headache and diarrhoea.
4. In another case I gave Aloe to an elderly man for incontinentia urinae, accompanied by enlargement of the prostatic gland, because he had a diarrhoea characteristic for this remedy. Also his incontinent symptoms corresponded to Aloe, and the result left nothing to be wished for. Since the patient has been under my care only a few weeks, I cannot yet give a report as to a final cure.
5. A case from Ruckerts Klinische Erfahrungen, Vol. I, page 859. H. had such a severe attack of dysentery that the evacuations could hardly be counted, and they were accompanied by most painful tenesmus; he fainted during stool and seemed to be near death. Aloe, one drop in much water, of which patient was given a swallow, cured him without any repetition of medicine or diarrhoea. (Dr. Rau, 199).
6. A man of 55m thin, had suffered from diarrhoea for 16 months. His appetite was good, and he was not weakened. Stools were watery, fetid, painless, four to five daily between 3 and 9 p.m., preceded by loud borborygmi. Much flatulence. Importancy during past year. Aloe D. 3 cured in four weeks including the impotency. (Dr. Macdonald. Clinique.).
7. Man of 35 had had diarrhoea for seven months especially mornings, better from rest and warmth, worse from meat and change. Much borborygmi before stool. Stool was bloody in the beginning, but, now it is more mucous and fetid. Before evacuation there is pain in left side of abdomen along course of colon. Clinical diagnosis; Chronic colitic. Remedies used were unsuccessful till Aloe cured in one week. (Dr. Janson.).
8. Man of 67 has suffered from prostatic hypertrophy; catheterization has frequently to be resorted to. Lately involuntary evacuation of thin stool with every urination. Aloe D. 3 cured completely in a week. (Dr. Schiersen.).
9. A lady of 34 has had diarrhoea for six months forcing her out of bed every morning between 5 and 6, preceded by crampy abdominal pains. No trouble during the day. Eating does not influence. Has lost 10 pounds. Podophyllum D. 4 did not help. Colocynthis D. 4 stopped the diarrhoea for three months. Then eating a cold apple caused again four to five daily evacuations with much borborygmi and colicky pains. Aloe D. 3 cured promptly (Dr. Ferger in Hippokrates 1933-3.).
10, Dr. Smith of Chicago cured a diarrhoea of twelve moths standing, which was preceded by borborygmi and accompanied by passing much flatus. Aloe D. 3 cured in two weeks. (Dr. Goullon.).
11. A boy of 6, rachitic, but very bright (can read fluently though he has not yet attended school), had involuntary evacuations. Aloe D. 3 cured immediately. (Dr. Quilisch.).
Aloe is especially indicated in colitis with painful muco-watery stools accompanied by weakened sphincters; also in gall bladder troubles with pressure in its region; colicky flatulence with diarrhoea.