(From the Journal of the American Institute of Homoeopathy).
Hypericum is a common weed known as St. Johns wort, and grows in both Europe and America. Hypericum has usually been considered a remedy of minor importance; but I am convinced that it should be accorded much more attention than it generally receives. Constantine Hering was convinced of its importance; for he devotes five pages to recording its symptoms in his condensed Materia Medica.
It needs to be considered in every case of accident, discriminating, of course, between Hypericum and such remedies as Arnica, Rhus tox, Ledum, Ruta, Calcarea carb., and Strontia carb. But I propose to show before I am through with this paper that Hypericum has a much wider sphere of influence bordering on the domain of Ignatia, Passiflora, Spigelia and Magnesium phos.
First, then, let us inquire regarding its use in injuries. Accidental or surgical injuries where there is much bruising of the tissues, especially of muscles or of subcutaneous tissue, with or without ecchymosis, would call for Arnica. This may be given in the 1x up to the 30x in acute condition and in the higher potencies in more chronic conditions. The Arnica patient usually complains of a sore bruised feeling and does not complain of sharp pain.
The same sensations in tendons or muscles sheaths would call for Rhus tox. If there is an injury to bone or cartilage with these same symptoms, use Ruta grav. A puncture would such as is made by stepping on a nail or being bitten by a dog not afflicted with rabies calls for Ledum, which is said by Kent to be the best prophylactic against tetanus. I confess that I use the antitetanus serum, but I would like to hear the experiences of others who may be using Ledum.
If, however, we have a patient who has been injured by stepping on a nail or from a dog-bite or from a cut in an auto or train wreck, and there are sharp pains running up from the injury toward the trunk of the body or toward the head, even in fracture of the skull with meningitis supervening or threatening, let us not forget Hypericum.
If, following an accident, the patients nerves are jerky, if there is inability to rest, most doctors would reach for their hypodermics. Dont do it. Try reaching for a few tablets of Hypericum 200x instead. Laugh at me if you wish, but try it anyway. If you have your patient dissolve the tablets on his tongue, see if you dont get action within five to ten minutes; and that is faster than an hypodermic.
Furthermore, if your case has been neglected or has not reported to you until tetanus symptoms are already developing, try your Hypericum. It is too late now for your antitetanus serum to do any good. I knew of one such case, not my own, that was given one hundred thousand units of the antitetanus serum and yet the woman died quite promptly. Hypericum is your one big hope. Give it a trial.
What has been said about Hypericum in accidents applies with equal force following surgical operations. You can scarcely perform a major surgical operation without cutting or injuring some nerves. The Hypericum patient will complain bitterly of pain. He will be nervous and fidgety, many times failing to be relieved even by morphine. In all such cases use Hypericum.
The 30x and the 200x are the potencies I employ most frequently, although at times I get very satisfactory results with the 1,000x and the 10,000x. In cases where a wound gapes and refuses to heal, or where an old cicatrix is injured or strained, and sharp pains ensue, against think of Hypericum. If the strain or hurt is very chronic, Calcarea carb. may be your remedy; while in injuries from passing gravel or introducing a sound, Staphisagria is your best remedy.
In these days of multiplied auto accidents, we have many injuries to the spine. In cases of difficult labour where there are instruments employed to terminate labour, frequently there is some injury to the coccyx. Whether the injury is of minor or major importance, even in those cases where there is partial or total paralysis of parts as the result of injury, do not despair. Give Hypericum.
Finally, I have found from experience that even when we have no injury if a patient has the nervous symptoms we have noted, give Hypericum. In cases of diarrhoea of nervous origin, give Hypericum. If diarrhoea drives your patient out of bed in the morning, dont forget that Hypericum as well as Aloes should be consulted. When you have leucorrhoea in a nervous little girl, she may need Pulsatilla, but dont forget that Hypericum is very often indicated.
Remember Hypericum in whooping-cough and in asthma whenever nervous symptoms predominate. Think of Hypericum in arthritis where the knees are especially affected and are enormously swollen. There is such sensitiveness to pain that the slightest motion causes the patient to cry out. It is like Bryonia aggravation from motion only raised to the nth power. Hypericum is useful in bunions with this same hypersensitiveness. Use it locally as well as internally.
You will need to differentiate carefully between Hypericum and Ignatia as well as some other nerve medicines. In Ignatia you will have the weeping and the globus hystericus and many bad effects of grief. In Hypericum you will have the bad effects of fright or the after-effects of an accident. The Hypericum patient may be somnolent while the passiflora patient us usually sleepless. Sometimes the Hypericum patients gets boisterous. She sings and screams and then she may lie with flushed face and dilated pupils in a state of total unconsciousness.
In darting lightning-like neuralgic pain think of Spigelia or perhaps of Magnesium phos., but when the pains are burning or excruciating and poorly borne, always give Hypericum. Sometimes there is a throbbing pain in the vertex such as we have in the Cimicifuga patient, but intolerance of the pain should help us to select Hypericum. Where the patient is forgetful, starts to say something and forgets what she wanted to say, remember that Hypericum has that symptom very prominently.
I gave Hypericum to a woman in the final stages of miliary tuberculosis. These are the symptoms on which I made my prescription: nervousness, restlessness, pains in face soon leaving and appearing in shoulder or arm or chest, but always poorly borne, sweating of the head. One dose of Hypericum quieted her and put her to sleep. I thought it might have been a coincidence, but I tried it on the other nights when the same symptoms appeared an it always gave her relief. With such repeated results even the most sceptical would have to believe.
Give Hypericum a chance and it will become one of your most valuable remedies.