In short, the science of human nutrition cannot be built on attractive theories and wish fulfilment fantasies; it must have its roots in observed facts, it must aim at finding out what sort and quality of food promotes the best kinds of men and women, both in mind and body. The food that makes the uncivilized Zulu or Masai a fearless but blood-thirsty fighter is not likely to be such as will make the Englishman cool-headed and intelligent.
One can discover a great deal by interrogation. It is frequently quite unnecessary to examine the patient. However, it is advantageous to follow up the interrogation by a physical examination of the body as a whole. The patient complaining of rheumatism is, let us say, a man aged 48. He has told the prescriber all he knows, answering the numerous questions put to him.
A very toxic man who had been an office patient in Buffalo, and who could not seem to alter his way of living, was assured that if he were suddenly to develop an acute crisis, such as an attack of pneumonia, he would very likely fail to come through. He was taken with a severe cold, soon a violent chill, high fever, pain, inability to breathe sufficiently, and a rapid development of catarrhal pneumonia.
Dr. Clarke, however, gives another explanation of the derivation. He claims it comes from hypo-below or sub-and erica- meaning heather- therefore sub-heather, indicating its relation to Ledum-the marsh heath-which is also of great use in certain types of wounds. I am not an authority on derivations of words, or a philologist; so I prefer the more romantic explanation of the fear this St. Johns Wort was said to cast over evil spirits.
In cases of severe chills Aconite should be taken every five or ten minutes. If the chill is very severe, Camphor in the form of Camphor pills or Camphor spirit should be taken. The latter may be taken in hot water, or a few drops should be taken on lump sugar at intervals. Another useful chill remedy is Ferrum Phosphoricum 2x or 3x, which is one of the tissue remedies.
Alcohol is germicidal. The Ancients cleaned wounds with wine and spirits. Even now in hospital practice wounds are frequently cleaned with alcohol. Alcohol is not only a good outer germicide in the case of wounds, etc., but is apparently also an excellent internal germicide. In many countries where the water is unwholesome the natives pour wine in the water to destroy the disease germs.
Anaemics sometimes complain of headache. If the tongue and gums be pallid there is no difficulty in selecting the correct remedies. Although I have treated numerous cases I have never been disappointed with Ferrum phos. alternated with Calc. phos. These two remedies tone up the whole system and prove of infinite value to those whose blood is thin and watery.
The higher potencies are usually marked on the centesimal scale. Aconite 1 means that one-hundredth of a grain of Aconite is contained in a grain of the medicine. The indication Sulphur 3 means that there is a millionth of a grain of Sulphur in a grain of the medicine. The indication Ferrum 6 means that there is a billionth of a grain of iron in a grain of medicine.
While the form of rheumatism which is relieved by sitting down, keeping still and by pressure, calls for Bryonia, the form of rheumatism which requires you to walk up and down the room and is relieved only by movement, calls for Rhus tox. I wanted to make sure that I was right, so I asked him whether he felt worse in dry weather or in damp. He said he could not stand damp weather at all, so I sent him a box of Rhus tox. 3x.