ONE remembers well one’s first introduction to Collinsonia, performed by a hospital gynaecologist in whose clinic one worked for many years, and to whom one is indebted for much good training. He had an enormous opinion of the value of the drug in “gynae” cases with haemorrhoids. And this is where it seems to have been found invariably useful: but the drug seems never to have been adequately proved.
A single proving of the crude drug is to be found in the Appendix to Vol. X of Allen’s Encyclopedia by an American doctor who took two and a half teaspoonfuls of the powdered root. And Clarke (Dictionary) records another proving, of the tincture. Also a number of writers have described its value in Constipation during gestation, Prolapsus ani, prolapsus uteri, with pruritis and dysmenorrhoea, in Dysmenorrhoea with menstrual convulsions; even Sympathetic aphonia, and Pulmonary haemorrhage. Hering’s Guiding Symptoms from which we take Black Letter symptoms, and curious symptoms, seems to ignore the proving of the powdered root: which we will, however, quote extensively, since it gives a curious picture of its drug action, suggestive of the rather trying conditions (at times) grouped under “nettle rash”, and “angioneurotic oedema.”
We quote rather at length, because the curious symptoms of this proving are not to be found in Clarke, or in Hering.
First was experienced a warmth in lips, and pain at a spot where the left supraorbital nerve emerges. Some ten minutes later, an increasing warmth spread along internal surfaces of both lips, which rapidly enlarged, with a sensation of the pricking of innumerable needles, darting back and forth. Then face, cheeks, forehead and hairy parts under chin, from ear to ear, were involved, the numbness and needle-like darting to and fro spreading down to the breast-bone. There was no burning, ever, in throat pit or gullet. While inner lips and whole cavity of mouth were experiencing an intensity of excitement, the face seemed to grow broader and broader: the mind being pleasurably excited.
Now the right forearm grew numb and heavy: then the left arm and its fingers: the balls of both thumbs being worse than the fingers. Then came a sense of nausea, almost to vomiting, not better in open air; while the lips seemed growing larger all the while, and mouth seemed to stand open, like a huge catfish’s: lips dry, no saliva. While lying, the pulse under the finger would become a mere thread, then return with more volume. Hot things seemed to intensify the effects of the medicine. It was as if Aconite or Arum triph. had been taken: Nux vomica proved the antidote and the effects of the Collinsonia seemed to pass away like a vapour or aura from above downwards. First relief was felt in forehead: then cheeks lost their grotesque largeness; then lips lost their pungent glow, and arms, down to finger tips were severally bettered. But the balls of thumbs persisted in their numbness and felt unnatural even the next day. When walking in the cool open air, feet and limbs felt strangely light, as if he could run like a deer. Then the lower limbs were affected, as if asleep. Nux. Ic, sipped, felt like removing a swaddling cloth that embarrassed nervous action by its tightness and weight.
BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS.
Mucous or black and faecal stools, with colic and tenesmus (after confinement).
Haemorrhoidal dysentery with tenesmus.
Obstinate constipation with haemorrhoids, stools very sluggish and hard, accompanied by pain and flatulence.
Piles with constipation, or even with diarrhoea, bleeding, or blind and protruding: feeling of sticks, gravel, or sand in rectum: evening and night: better in morning.