ONE of the invaluable remedies of “smashed and bruised humanity” is Symphytum – Comfrey : “Bone-set,” – “Healing herb.”
For accidents, extravasations and bruises, we have quite a number of priceless remedies ‘ and while any one on the list will be helpful in any and every case, whether in dilute tincture form, or freshly culled and infused, especially at its own season of perfection of growth and intensity of healing virtue, yet each one differs from all the rest in its relation to the several injured tissues.
It may be useful to set forth the marked features of a few of the most common of these God-gifts for pain and disability.
Arnica montana, whose very name emphasizes its habitat and functions. It is the “Fall-krout” of the mountains; and especially valuable for the repair of “soft parts.”
Its great action is on blood, and blood vessels.
It is invaluable for combating the effects of shock, mental as well as physical and jar; besides those of over-exertion and strain, and sprains.
Arnica is so sore all over and so tender to touch, as to be in terror of approach.
It is used internally, always; also externally, provided the skin is not broken; in which case it has acquired an evil reputation for provoking inflammation of an erysipelatous nature. Here it is safer to employ, externally, any one of the others.
Calendula. Marigold, which, in addition to its ample vulnerary qualities, stimulates life mechanisms to the prevention or cure of Sepsis. Greatly esteemed in the surgery, and in the midwifery of homoeopaths.
Bellis perennis. The common daisy; our indigenous Arnica. A grand remedy for injuries and sprains, which are like those of Arnica, very tender to touch.
Again, like Arnica, Bellis affects blood vessels; and, like Hypericum, nerves.
It is also precious for its effects on the mammae, when indurations persist after blows.
Hypericum. Our marvellous remedy for the comfort and relief of pierced, torn, or injured parts rich in nerves; such as lips (we have seen a torn lip with some loss of tissue, heal in a few hours by Hypericum). Finger-tips also whose fine nerve-endings are wound round little hard “touch corpuscles”, in order that the slightest impact shall be registered.
Hypericum relieves nerve pain, often excruciating. It is useful in injuries to spine, even of long ago, and to coccyx, as in a recent case of persistent coccygeal pain, when later enquiry evoked the answer, “Oh! that’s gone!”
Ruta. Has elicited, in provings, bruised sensation all over, as from a fall or blow; with soreness of parts on which he lies (Arnica).
A great remedy of bruises and injuries to bones and periosteum; of sprains; and of periostitis and pains in consequence of external injuries with erysipelatous inflammation. Bone lesions and fractures (Symphytum).
Ruta is also a great eye remedy (Symphytum). Eyestrain, and loss of power in eye muscles.
Symphytum. Specific for injuries caused, not by sharp stabbing instruments, but by blows from blunt masses that damage, but fail to penetrate.
Especially useful for blows on the eyeball.
Symphytum is our very great remedy of fractures, and of fractures that fail to unite,. It has a special mission in regard to periosteum (Ruta) and bone.
In the case of fractures, ensure position and immobility, and Symphytum will take charge.
Urtica urens, the common stinging Nettle, with its marvellous properties in regard to burns, especially the more or less superficial, and therefore the most painful. The manner in which pain is instantly banished and healing starts forthwith, needs to be seen to be realized.
From a thankful heart one is constrained to repeat Hahnemann”s acknowledgment: “God’s great gift, HOMOEOPATHY!”
But you will say, there is a sameness about the indications for all these bruise worts. Happily! because it may be possible to get one or other, but not always the one that appeals to us as the most likely curative agent.
Dr. Robert Cooper, in his Cases of Serious Disease Saved from Operation, gives several of the triumphs of Comfrey (Symphytum). One of these we are minded to reproduce in extenso, being of special interest, as vouched for by the then President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – an unsympathetic and incredulous witness.
SARCOMATOUS TUMOUR INFILTRATING THE BONY TISSUE OF THE UPPER JAWS Dr. William Thompson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, delivered an address in Dublin on November 13th, 1896, entitled “Some Surprises and Mistakes”, in which the following very important case was narrated :
“In the early part of this year I saw a man who was suffering from a growth in the nose. I recommended him to see Dr. Woods, and I saw him later with Sir Thornley Stoker and Dr. Woods. We came to the conclusion that he was suffering from a malignant tumor of the antrum which had extended to the nose. We recommended and exploratory operation, and if our opinion was confirmed, that the jaw should be at once removed. He refused the larger operation. The exploration was made by Dr. Woods. We found that the tumour did extend from the antrum, into which I could bore my finger easily. Dr. O’Sullivan, Professor of Pathology of Trinity College, declared the growth to be a round celled sarcoma. Of that there is no doubt. The tumour returned in a couple of months, and the patient then saw Dr. Semon in London, who advised immediate removal of the jaw. He returned home, and after a further delay he asked to have the operation performed. I did this in May last by the usual method. I found the tumour occupying the whole of the antrum. The base of the skull was everywhere infiltrated. The tumour had passed into the right nose and perforated the septum so as to extend into the left. It adhered to the septum around the site of perforation. This was all removed, leaving a hole in the septum about the size of a florin. He went home within a fortnight. In a month the growth showed signs of return. It bulged through the incision and protruded upon the face. Dr. Woods saw him afterwards, as I had declared by letter that a further operation would be of no avail. The tumour had now almost closed the right eye. It was blue, tense, firm and lobulated, but it did not break. Dr. Woods reported the result of this visit to me and we agreed as to the prognosis. Early in October the patient walked into my study after a visit to Dr Woods. He looked better in health than I had ever seen him. The tumour had completely disappeared from the face and I could not identify any trace of it in the mouth. He said he had no pain of any kind. He could speak well when the opening remaining after the removal of the hard palate was plugged, and he was in town to have an obturator made. He has since gone home apparently well. He told me he had applied poultices of comfrey root, and that the swelling had gradually disappeared. Now this was a case of which none of us had any doubt at all, and our first view was confirmed by the distinguished pathologist whom I have mentioned, and by our own observation at the time of the major operation. Here, then, was another surprise. I am satisfied as I can be of anything that the growth was malignant and of a bad type. Of course we know in the history of some tumours that growth is delayed, and that in the sarcomata recurrence is often late. But this is a case in which the recurrence occurred twice – the second time to an extreme degree, and yet this recurrent tumour had vanished. What has produced this atrophy and disappearance? I do not know. I know nothing of the effects of comfrey root, but I do not believe that is can remove a sarcomatous tumour. Of course the time that has so far elapsed is very short; but the fact that this big recurrent tumour no longer exists – that it has not ulcerated or sloughed away, but simply with unbroken covering disappeared – is to me one of the greatest surprises and puzzles that I have met with.”
Dr. Cooper adds : Dr. Thompson’s common sense leads him into direct opposition to his own observation; were inquiries in other departments of human knowledge to act similarly, there would be little human knowledge worth having. The appeal to common sense is too often evidence of its dethronement. Dr. Cooper gives us one more instructive Symphytum case; this also recorded by Old School incredulity.
He says, “A hundred and twenty years before Dr. Thompson wrote on this subject, we find the then great master of the surgical art, Mr. Percival Pott, referring in an equally sceptical tone to the action of comfrey root, in his celebrated article on ‘The palsey of the Lower Limbs’, in connection with curvature of the spine. The case was one in which Mr. Pott had diagnosed bony disease of the spine, and had applied a seton. Some weeks afterwards he met the patient walking along the street perfectly well. The patient had taken comfrey root and isinglass which, in this innocence, he supposed had cured him but Mr. Pot would have nothing of it. It could have been the seton, and only the seton!”
BLACK LETTER, AND OTHER MARKED INDICATIONS
PAIN IN EYES AFTER A KNOCK OR CONTUSION OF AN OBTUSE BODY
Cured cases (Hering). More than a year ago, fell and struck knee on a stone, wound healed and left scarcely any trace, but there remained an acute stitching pain, felt when clothing touched part, or when knee was bent.
Man suffering a spontaneous laxation of thigh since childhood, fell and fractured affected thigh. After two months fragments were quite movable, an apparatus was made which allowed him to sit on a chair during the day. Symphytum 4, every six hours, brought about complete union in twenty days.
Inflammation of bones. Diseased spinous processes.
Facilitates union of fractured bones, and lessens peculiar pricking pain.”
Favours production of callus.
Mechanical injuries, bad effects from blows, bruises, thrusts on eye.
Peculiar pain in periosteum after wounds have healed.
Irritability of bone at point of fracture.
Dr. Oscar Hanson, in his Therapeutics of Rare Homoeopathic Remedies, m gives those of Symphytum, thus :
Injuries to bones. Non-union of fractures (Calcarea phos.).Irritable stump after operation. Irritability of bone at the point of fracture. Psoas abscess from diseases of the vertebrae. Inflammation of the inferior maxillary bone. Traumatic periostitis. Wounds penetrating in periosteum and bones.