(From Pacific Coast Journal of Homoeopathy).
(From introductory lecture to post-graduate course at the Stuttgart Homoeopathic Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany).
Digitalis tincture: Fully developed cardiac insufficiency, The 2x should be used when insufficiency is not fully developed: severe palpitation, restless feeling around the heart with nausea and inclination to vomiting. When palpitation prevents patient from sleeping Digitalis 2x can act as a soporific.
Strophanthus tincture: Beginning cardiac insufficiency.
Apocyanum cannabium tincture to 1x gtt. 5-t.i.d: Is also valuable in severe cardiac insufficiency; if stomach does not tolerate it, give in small rectal injection twice daily. In combination with Digitalis it often performs wonders by decreasing the ascitic fluid. Dr. Scholer in Lepzig reproved Apocyanum on a considerable number of provers and saw oedemas produced and in some cases changes in the electro-cardiogram were noticed.
Adonis vernalis tincture or 1x: Like Stauffer we saw that it acts well in beginning cardiac insufficiency and in high blood pressure of the obese.
Scilla tincture is a great diuretic, while Convallaria and Oleander are valuable in transition disturbances and extra systoles, both given in 1x or tincture. Indication for these remedies are in the sphere of beginning or complete cardiac insufficiency. Aside from these glucoside containing remedies Homoeopathy has a large number of remedies with action on the heart, which are partially known from toxicology as cardiac poisons, but which have not been adopted by the old school. Among them are:.
Veratrum album, which contains a proto-veratrine, which (in the poison picture) has important relation to the heart with slow, weak pulse and sinking of body temperature. Homoeopathy has in this agent a very valuable therapeutic instrument for the treatment of collapse conditions, for the acute attack as well as for the tendency to such symptoms, which again shows the organotrope action (from the toxicological picture); we use 2x to 6x.
This remedy has been useful in cases with or without organic heart muscle involvement; in grave collapse of damaged myocardium I have also learned to appreciate the 2x in infrequent repetition. In dysmenorrhoea forms with regular collapse-like conditions Veratrum cured completely and lastingly.
Aconite is a well known poison to toxicology; the alkaloid Aconitine is supported to be the active principle, but it has also beneficial therapeutic action like so many poisons: Agaricus, snake and spider poisons, etc. In facial neuralgia the old school also has seen occasional favourable action from Aconite; it is supposed to act by paralyzing the nerve endings. In the poisoning and proving pictures disturbed action of hart and peripheral circulation have been observed.
The mistake has been made to consider it a fever remedy; it is a heart and blood vessel remedy. In the hospital we have not often seen its initial indication: fever preceded by chills-that usually takes place before the physician is called-but we have used the heart indications for our therapeutic action. It has anxiety with pain and restlessness of heart with or without organic changes; there is violent heart action and full, hard pulse. If such symptoms prevent sleep or awaken patient, then Aconite 4x produces better results than the often abused soporifics.
Phosphorus in its toxic action is primarily on liver and heart, leading to fatty degeneration. Sometimes heart paralysis is the first toxicologic result. This suggests a special organotrophy of Phosphorus to the heart. In Homoeopathy it is indicated in weak heart muscle, e.g. in myocarditis; in weakening from infectious diseases and in the aged. Also in all forms of pneumonia we give Phosphorus 9x to 12x, and then we need no circulatory stimulants. In constitutional indications it is given as Kali phosphoricum and Calcarea phos.
Kali carbonicum is an often used heart remedy (in large doses a heart poison, paralyzing the heart muscle). In physiologic doses it is an important metabolic agent, according to Eppinger. We usually prescribe the 6x trituration.
It is similar to Phosphorus as both have functionally weakened heart muscle, hence are complementary; but the constitutional type of Kali carbonica differs and is more prominent: full, round, obese bodies of spongy tissues. Characteristic is the often found weakness with desire for support: the patient thinks he must support the heart with his hand to find relief; there is also a “heavy load” on the heart, yet the size of the heart is normal.
A different group of heart remedies is prominent by the contents of Hydrocyanic acid, which poison acts especially on the respiration and gas metabolism of the blood. There is severe cyanosis with quick circulatory collapse. Homoeopathy uses successfully Laurocerasus tincture in engorgement of lung circulation and difficult breathing, cyanosis and so-called heart cough. Hydrocyanic acid proper is recommended in most severe collapse, cardiac and uraemic asthma in 6x. Prunus spinosa is claimed to relieve local engorgement in head, especially of eyes; also engorgement in abdomen.
Crataegus oxyacantha acts very satisfactorily in beginning cardiac insufficiency, especially if high blood pressure is also present, and in senile arrhythmia. In such cases Digitalis is often not necessary. Crataegus tincture has also other disturbances of rhythm, ventricular extra systole.
For the anginoid symptom complex we have important remedies, aside from the nitrates which we also use in severe angina pectoris (Glonoinum), and our first remedy is Cactus with these indications: as if the heart were squeezed with an iron hand, for which we use the first to third potency.
Lilium tigrinum and (for non-smokers) Tabacum 6x are similar to Cactus. If the angina pains run into the left arm, Spigelia and Cimicifuga are excellent. (According to Dr. W.W. Sherwood of Santa Monica, Cenchris contortrix, in high potency, has pains radiating to small of back. -S.W.S.).
Venous disturbances are often treated successfully by homoeopathic remedies, but even they cannot reduce finger-thick veins, because the walls have lost their elasticity. But often enlarged veins can be cured by Acidum fluorica in higher potency. These remedies can also cure the tension in varicose legs.
For capillary disturbances we use Secale cornutum, which has in its toxicological action gangrene in the extremities, and which in potency is indicated in gangrene, paresthesia with sensation of cold. In chronic results from frostbites Abrotanum is indicated.