ONE of our minor, but very precious remedies. Generally thought of as a remedy of childhood: of babies who cannot tolerate milk: of sudden vomiting: of water, copious; of greenish phlegm: of weakness and drowsiness after vomiting-after ” fearful vomiting”, with or without diarrhoea and extreme colic. Also a remedy of “idiotic children”.
But its virtues extend beyond the times of childhood. It was Dr.Clarke’s great remedy for a form of examination funk, as will be seen later, in a quotation from his Dictionary. The “funk” that Aethusa banishes is portrayed in its provings:- “unable to read anything, after over-taxation of the mental faculties”; “incapacity to think: confused”; “cannot retain any idea”‘ “great anxiety”; “Head confused” brain feels bound up”. In other words, the condition-we have all been through it-when working to out limit for an exam, we find it is useless to attempt further study; a condition of mental repletion with non-assimilation, when the greatest efforts to wrestle with things that may be demanded are a mere waste of time:- they refuse to go in: and when the only hope is to lay aside books and chance it, or- Aethusa. Another form of examination funk asks for Argentum nitricum. Here the condition is not that of “stalemate”, but of acute anxiety, worry, and premonition of failure. The victim is hurried; tormented with anxiety, and with nerves unstrung. Intense apprehension-even to diarrhoea, before the mildest ordeal (Gelsemium). Argentum nitricum is a remedy of great mental strain and apprehension: Aethusa of simple sense of incapacity, that is as we see it. Aethusa more violently upsets the stomach-with its extreme vomiting: while Argentum nitricum bloats the stomach with flatulent dyspepsia: as if it would burst with wind. Both have diarrhoea, with green mucus. Argentum nitricum is the remedy of craving for sweets and sugar, which disagree. Kent gives a case where a nursing infant got green diarrhoea because its mother ate candy. He had prescribed Chamomilla, Mercurius, and Arsenicum, with no relief, till he found out about the candy. Asked, at last, if she ate sweet things, sugar, etc., she said, no. “why, yes, you do,” said her husband. “I bring you home a pound of candy every day. What do you do with it?” “Oh, that’s nothing,” she said. “But,” says Kent, “the baby did not get well until it go Argentum nitricum and the mother stopped eating candy.” He tells us that quite a number of medicines have a craving for sweets, but many of them can eat sweets with impunity. Aethusa is worse from coffee, and has a desire for wine, but the mental symptoms are increased after taking it.
Aethusa should also be remembered as one of the remedies of epilepsy. With this drug, in convulsions, the eyes are turned down, thumbs clenched, face red, pupils dilated; foam at mouth; jaws locked, etc.
And a thing to be remembered in regard to the children it can help is their great weakness; and their inability to hold up the head (Abrotanum). All its symptoms are apt to be worse at 3 to 4 a.m.
“Aethusa cynapium in infants that are red fed every time they cry. Draws up the knees when carried, in the same general position that the Medorrhinum assumes, but Aethusa patients do not sleep in the knee-chest posture, as far as I know. I came across one eighteen-year-old girl who slept in the knee-chest posture and for whom Medorrhinum was the indicated remedy. This is the only time in an adult that I have found this particular symptom. It interested me so much that I asked her why she slept in that position. She said at times she had a feeling in the abdomen as if there were ten thousand worms twisting around in there and when she took the knee-chest position, the feeling immediately ceased.”-DR.UNDERHILL, from a discussion quoted in an old Homoeopathic Recorder (U.S.A.).
ALLEN (Keynotes), draws attention to complete absence of thirst. And, not only the intolerance of milk, but the great weakness of children; even to idiocy.
NASH points out that: “AETHUSA is one of our best remedies for vomiting in children. The milk comes up as soon as swallowed, by great effort, after which the child becomes greatly relaxed and drowsy; or if the milk stays down longer, it finally comes up in very sour curds, so large that it would seem almost impossible the child could have ejected them. If this condition of stomach is not cured, the case will go on to cholera infantum, with green watery or slimy stools, colic and convulsions. The convulsions are peculiar, in that the eyes turn downwards, instead of up or side-ways. He says the sunken face with line nasalis, a surface of pearly whiteness on upper lip bounded by a distinct line from outer nasal orifice to angles of mouth. This symptom is more characteristic of Aethusa than of any other remedy. The absence of thirst rules for Aethusa instead of Arsenicum.”
CLARKE (Dictionary) gives cases illustrating the action of Aethusa, which has not received its name,” Fools’ parsley” for noting. He calls it indeed a medicine for “fools”. There is great weakness of mind or body. One very characteristic symptom is: Inability to think or fix the attention. Guided by this symptom I once gave it to an undergraduate preparing for an examination, with complete success. He had been compelled to give up his studies, but was able to resume them, and passed a brilliant examination. To a little waif in an orphan home who suffered with severe headaches and inability to fix his attention on his lessons, I sent single doses of Aethusa, at rare intervals, with very great relief. The little boy asked for the medicine himself subsequently on a return of the old symptoms.
He says, the symptoms of Aethusa are particularly clearly defined, in fact violence is one of the notes of its action- violent vomiting, violent convulsions, violent pains, violent delirium. Then, idiocy; in some cases alternating with furor. He notices the intolerance of milk. The great weakness and exhaustion after vomiting; the child is so exhausted it falls asleep at once. “Hungry after vomiting”, is a keynote here. Adults complain of a sensation, as if the stomach was turned upside down.
And a couple of peculiar symptoms, we seem to have missed.
Tongue feels too long.
Swelling of glands round neck like a string of beads. In fever, there is complete absence of thirst, though there is great heat.
BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS
A drawn condition, beginning at the ala nasi, and extending to the angle of the mouth, gave the face an expression of great anxiety and pain.
Intolerance of milk: the children throw up their milk almost as soon as swallowed, curdled or not curdled, in from ten to fifteen minutes, by a sudden and violent vomiting; then weakness makes them drowsy for some minutes.
Vomiting curdled milk.
NOTABLE SYMPTOMS, ITALICIZED OR STRANGE
Liable to transports of rage. Fury: frenzy.
Imagined she saw rats run across the room.
Imagined he sees dogs and cats.
Great anxiety and restlessness.
Fretful and cross in open air: better in room.
Stupefaction, as if a barrier between his organs of sense and external objects.
lies stretched out without consciousness.
Vertigo with sleepiness. He cannot keep upright.
Moist tongue, white-coated after milk.
Or, tongue feels too dry. Or, copious salivation.
Aphthae: pungent heat in mouth and throat. Difficulty in swallowing.
Taste: sweet; insipid; bitter; salt; of onions; of cheese.
Slow speech: speech almost prevented.
Inflamed aphthae and pustules in throat: condition almost desperate.
Itching and scraping in oesophagus.
Inability to swallow.
Copious greenish vomiting.
Vomits bloody mucus.
Tearing pain, pit of stomach extending into oesophagus.
Coldness of abdomen, objective and subjective: with coldness in lower extremities.
Sensation of pressure as of a band round chest.
Swelling of mammary gland.
Violent palpitations of heart; resounds in head.
Distressing pain, occiput and nape of neck, extending down spine.
A feeling as if pain in back would be ameliorated but straightening and bending stiffly backwards, as in opisthotonos.
Numbness of arms; heaviness; weakness; cramps: contraction of fingers.
Formication referred to bones of lower limb.
Bloating: whole body becomes swollen and livid.
Violent epileptic spasms, with clenched thumbs, red face, eyeballs turned down pupils dilated, insensible, milky foam from mouth, clenched teeth, small hard, frequent pulse.
Spasms : delirium; stupor.
Stiffness of whole body.
Inability to hold head erect, or to sit up.
Whole body bluish-black.
He cannot bear to be uncovered during the sweat.