Analysis of Forty Homoeopathic Remedies.
These forty remedies will be far from the number required in all your cases, and the forty I have included in my list will contain, no doubt, some which you will never use in your individual work, while, on the other hand, some will be lacking which you find of daily use. Any list of so small a proportion of our vast materia medica would necessarily be open to such criticism; but I think that by the arrangement of this list of remedies you will acquire – by giving them a few minutes study each day – a working knowledge of the remedies you use. If it is possible for me to enable you to systemize these few remedies then I am sure that you will arrange those which you find most often indicated, but which absent from my list, so that you may then have a working knowledge of the remedies in which you are personally interested.
Consistent use of the repertory leads us to the study of our remedies in a scientific, rational manner, from center to circumference, from the mind to skin, noting the effect of the drug upon the provers, as given in the pathogenesis, in the will, the intellect and responses to every environment, thus learning to observe the disordered patient rather than pathological changes in the organs or parts.
In trying to have an image of a remedy in mind learn to keep an orderly general picture of its action as a whole, following these generalities through the particular manifestations as referred to parts rather than only a few so-called characteristics of the remedy for your daily use. Kent’s Materia Medica has the remedies so arranged and their pathogenesis is so graphically portrayed that, after reading over a remedy in this book, a picture of the general action of the drug is left with you.
The way I study a remedy and the kind of picture I try to carry in mind, for daily use, are illustrated by the following short study of one of our familiar remedies, Arnica.
The red strand running through this remedy is soreness. A general state of soreness throughout the whole body. The joints become sore, the periosteum is sore, the muscles are sore, and the soreness will continue until stiffness begins and we find the sore, stiff rheumatic pains of the Arnica patient. The soreness is manifest in the skin, so that there are black and blue marks. The soreness is so marked that pressure is painful and the parts lain on are sore, so sore that he wants to move, to change position frequently, for the longer he lies on a part the more sore and sensitive it becomes. He is stiff, so the motion is painful; still the bed is so hard, the parts so sore, that he must move. Therefore, when we see our Arnica patient we must expect to find this soreness; if not, Arnica will not be the remedy.
There is a general relaxation of the blood vessels in our Arnica patients, and this is manifest in the haemorrhages from various organs.
In the subcutaneous tissues this is represented by extravasation of blood under the skin which results in black and blue spots. The Arnica state which is associated with or preceding many acute diseases is manifest by this weakened state of blood vessels, and the patient will wonder how she got so many black and blue marks; even the slightest bruise or pressure will result in this discoloration. Little injuries produce bleeding. On mucous surfaces these result in haemorrhages. Haemorrhages of bright red blood which soon clots. The blood of the Arnica state soon clots, as is manifest by the blood-streaked or blood-flecked sputa which will contain many clots.
Arnica developed in its provers violent chills and fever; the fevers are a low, slow form that is associated with inflammation. From the results of the relaxed condition of the blood vessel all the organs of the body are prone to inflammations and haemorrhages; but with these haemorrhages we will have this general condition of soreness.
With these conditions we have pains, and the general characteristic pains that call for Arnica are, crawling, pricking or paralytic pains as if joints are dislocated. Unsettled pains which shift from one part to another; tingling and tearing pains. With all these conditions are the bruised sore sensations, and a deep, profound disturbance of the economy which is manifest by weakness; great and profound prostration, fatigue and sleepiness.
The countenance in these profound cases will be flushed and dark; there will be a besotted look, as if he was intoxicated, and he speaks and thinks with difficulty.
Many cases of cerebral haemorrhage and the low forms of typhoid will present this typical Arnica picture, and unless these patients receive this remedy they will die. From this you will be led to look for Arnica in your septic condition, and it has many symptoms which correspond to septic processes, such as are associated with typhoid and scarlet fever and other low forms of diseases. In septic diseases of every sort we find our patients running into Arnica conditions.
Surgical septicaemia and blood changes due to surgical shock. Where arnica covers the condition of your patient it will do more to restore the antibacterial power of the blood than any number of vaccines. Arnica represents the surgical septic condition more closely than that of the puerperal type. (This latter condition corresponds more closely to Sulphur.) Wonderful is its action in preventing suppuration. A severe inflammation will be set up in an injury, a severe bruise upon the muscles, there will follow the pain and soreness and induration with final suppuration. A dose of Arnica in the beginning will prevent all this and quickly restore the part to normal.
Bruises. This name at once makes you think of Arnica, and for this condition it has been applied externally by all schools and by all people. The external application is better than nothing, but the administration internally is best of all. It is not the bruise per se, that we can expect to relieve; that has happened and cannot be undone, but it is the resulting effects of the bruise that we wish to prevent and remove, and this came from the center from the internal structure and can best be overcome from the center by the internal action of the remedy.
Injuries to the head, with the resulting nerve and brain symptoms, send the patient into an Arnica state, and they will need this remedy to bring about order no matter how long ago the injury took place. The resulting shock of surgical operations calls for Arnica, and this remedy is given in routine practice by the surgeons of our school. The symptoms following operations which Arnica will remove, are those which are produced by handling and bruising of the soft tissue and no others. That is the reason the results are so often disappointing. Those sharp cutting pains, the results of the needle or the knife, will never be removed by Arnica, but are rapidly dispersed by Staphisagria. Cuts and open wounds never call for Arnica, only as there are shock, bruises and contusions.
Thus we have outlined the general action of our remedy, and these general conditions are always present in a greater or less degree in every case that calls for Arnica. Where there is no soreness never think of Arnica.
The mental symptoms of Arnica are striking, and many of them are symptoms which you would expect to result from shock. Fear, excitement, emotion and horror stand out prominently. The fear that something awful is going to happen, that he is going to die instantly. This is marked and the patient has a horror of death and of the unexpected. In many of the acute conditions we have an obstinate and irritable patient. He will want to fight with you and drive you from the room. This excessive irritability will often be followed by a delirium. Indifference, anxiety and hopelessness run through the mental state. In the low states we find a stupor. He is hard to arouse, and when you do wake him he will be confused and will not know where he is. Mental exertion, motion or physical exertion, all aggravate his condition.
The pains in the head are pressive, cramp-like, darting and tingling, and are made worse by walking, ascending and mental exertion. There is nothing very distinctive about the particular symptoms of the head, but any pains or conditions that arise from injuries will lead one to think of Arnica.
There is a peculiar symptom under this remedy which is associated with the eyes. He must keep his eyes open. They come open spontaneously, he cannot hold them closed himself. As soon as the eyes are closed he gets dizzy, things go round and it makes him sick.
The pains of the nose are sore pains, as if bruised; much nosebleed when first blowing nose in the morning. The coryza of Arnica comes in the evening when going to sleep, but with this will be the general bruised condition, the soreness that will differentiate it from Nux or Pulsatilla.
One of the keynotes of Arnica is manifest in the face; heat and redness of the face with coldness of the body. It seems as if the blood had left the body and gone to the head. The expression of the face is peculiar. We have a deep mahogany redness, with an intoxicated, besotted look; he looks as if his mental condition was benumbed; looks as if he was making an effort to find the right thing to say or do but cannot. He is stupid and looks it. In injuries about the face, especially about the eye and cheek bones, where the periosteum seems to have been injured, we find Arnica will remove the first effects, the superficial soreness, the black and blue condition; but after this has been done away with there will remain a soreness that appears to be in the bone itself. We could give Arnica indefinitely, and these symptoms would not disappear, but Hypericum will follow and remove them speedily.
The general condition of Arnica is exhibited, in the mouth by soreness of the teeth. Soreness at the roots of the teeth, as if they we being pressed out. The gums bleed easily. Haemorrhages from the gums after extraction of the teeth. This is one of our leader in bleeders after teeth extraction. Soreness of the gums after extraction. This remedy will do more to remove the soreness from the gums after extraction that all the mouth washes you ever heard of. (Sepia is another remedy which is useful in this condition, specially in the nervous women who have been made sick by having a few teeth extracted.) The mouth tastes bitter and like rotten eggs. This is from eructations, which are bitter and have the odor of spoiled eggs; this taste remains in the mouth and you can almost smell it on the breath; therefore, the books give “putrid smell from the mouth;” this as well as the eructations are worse in the morning. These eructations burn as they come up and cause a burning from the stomach to the fauces.
With this large amount of gas in the stomach we have a loss of appetite.
A loathing of food; even the sight of food is repulsive and nauseates. Meat, milk and broth are especially repugnant, and even his tobacco nauseates. Aversion to tobacco, to even the smell of tobacco smoke, stands high in this remedy. (What does a peculiar symptom like this mean and what weight shall we place on it. We cannot place all the ladies and others to whom tobacco may be offensive a dose or two of Arnica and make them lovers of the weed, but where a man has become a user of the weed, where the habit has become fixed so that his tobacco is a necessity, and then have some disturbance of his economy so effect him that what he desired and craved he now dislikes, and has such an aversion to it that even the odor is nauseating, we have what we are justified in calling a peculiar condition, and when this arises we will give it a prominent place in our symptom picture.)
The generals are still with us when we study the effects of Arnica on the stomach. The sore, aching extending through to back. The stomach is so sore it feels as if it rubbed the spine, and as if the spine was made sore by this pressure. Pressing pains in the stomach; as it was pressed by the hand. This pressure continues until it seems to rise to the neck; then he feels nauseated and bitter water comes into the mouth. The stomach is so sore that everything seems to press against it as if the xiphoid process was pressed inward; as if a weight was on or in her stomach; as if a stone laid in the stomach. Nausea; retching; ineffectual retching; they retch and retch and try to vomit, and after straining for some time they vomit blood and bloody mucus. The blood will be dark and coagulated. After this the stomach will be more sore and burn.
Inflammation of the liver and spleen often taken on Arnica symptoms. Shooting and stitches in the spleen and pressure as if from a stone in the liver are found under this remedy; with this condition we have a distended tympanitic abdomen with passage of much foul flatus smelling like rotten eggs. The soreness and bruised sensations are stronger in all the abdominal symptoms.
With a condition in the stomach and bowels which led to the above symptoms you would expect to have trouble with the stools; you would look for a diarrhoea, and under Arnica we find slimy, mucus stools; brown, fermented, like yeast; undigested; bloody; purulent; dark, bloody mucus; large fetid, faecal; yellow, offensive and sour.
A peculiar stool symptom of Arnica is the involuntary stool during sleep. The rumbling and colic in the abdomen are relieved after stool. Another of the peculiar symptoms of this remedy is that the diarrhoea is aggravated, as well as the accompanying bowel symptoms, by lying on the left side. During the stool there is urging, tenesmus, sore bruised pain in abdomen; cutting in intestines; rumbling and pressure in abdomen. Tenesmus in rectum and bladder. After stool they are weak and prostrated and are obliged to lie down.
From the low state that the Arnica patient represents we would look for its counterpart in typhoid, where its general soreness and weakness resemble Baptisia, Pyrogen, and Rhus; but where the general and characteristic symptoms of Arnica are present it will be curative in cases where vaccines and other remedies fail.
The peculiar urine of Arnica is dark brown, with brick dust sediment; the urine is full of urates and uric acid that we find associated with rheumatic cases. From the general relaxed condition of the blood vessels we get bloody urine, haemorrhages from the bladder. “Urination involuntary when running” is peculiar to Arnica.
The symptoms of Arnica referring to the female sexual organs are distinctive, here we find the character of the haemorrhage changed to a bright red flow mixed with clots. The flow feels hot as it passes the vulva. Menses are profuse, especially after a blow, a fall or a shock to the system. The general soreness is marked, and the pelvis is so sore it prevents her from walking erect. The uterus is sensitive, bleeds easily; discharges of blood between perios, with nausea. Bleeding after coition. Arnica is especially useful in nervous women who cannot stand pain.
Not only for the resulting shock and effects of the bruising resulting from labor is Arnica useful, but it has a field of usefulness in changing the character of the labor pains. These pains in your Arnica patient will be too feeble and irregular, resulting from fatigue of the muscular tissue. They do nothing, although so severe that they drive her to distraction. Feels sore and must often change her position. Vagina sore and sensitive so she does not want to be examined. Great soreness of the back during labor. Arnica high will often prevent afterpains. It will contract the blood vessels and prevent post-partum haemorrhages. Used in routine practice it does much to relieve the distressing after symptoms, both mental and physical, of labor.
The cough of Arnica is dry and is caused from tickling in larynx and trachea; the cough is worse in evening until midnight, from motion, warm room and after drinking. The expectoration is scanty, difficult, of glairy mucus mixed with tiny clots of dark blood. The general soreness of the remedy is marked in the chest and is shown in whooping cough where the child will cry before the paroxysm. The coughing causes blood-shot eyes, nosebleed and expectoration of foaming blood. With the cough is a burning rawness of the chest, stitches in left chest, which are worse form motion and pressure.
From the general soreness and bruised sensations in the muscles you would be led to think of your Arnica patient as a rheumatic patient, and such is the case. Arnica is full of bruised, paralytic, sore and stiff rheumatic pains. The joints ache and feel as if they were bruised. The soreness is so marked that the Arnica patient is full of fear; afraid he will be touched; afraid of jars; doesn’t want you to come near for fear you will touch and hurt the sore joint or muscle.
In the back we have violent pains in the spine, sore pains; spine feels as if it would not hold the weight of the body. Small of the back feels as if it had been beaten. Pressive pain between the scapulae.
The rheumatic pains in the extremities are associated with heaviness. The legs are so heavy that it seems as if he could not lift them; this heaviness is due to the paralytic pains in the joints, and is constant both when at rest and in motion. Limbs are sensitive to concussions, as the jar of carriage or of walking. In the arms we have violent twitchings going from the shoulder to joints of middle finger. Crackings in wrist joints, worse in right, as if dislocated; drawing pains in wrist relieved by letting hand hang down. Pressing, tearing pains in fingers. Cramps in fingers of left hand. These tearing and drawing pains as if sprained are also found in the lower extremities. The hips feel as if sprained, with a pressive drawing in the left hip, which is worse from extending the thigh when sitting. The tearing pain on right external malleolus and on dorsum of foot with drawing in outer half of foot is peculiar to Arnica. Gout in joint of great toe with redness; pain worse towards evening and from pressure. These pains as if bruised and sprained with discoloration are a picture of sprains and here the remedy administered internally will take the soreness and discoloration from the sprained ankle and remove the first effects of the sprain; those symptoms which remain after Arnica are usually amenable to Ruta and Rhus.
The most severe action of the remedy on the nerves is the paralysis, the prostration, the general weakness and sinking of strength; so weak he can scarcely move a limb. The prostration and general sinking of strength corresponds to the low state found in typhoid and other zymotic fevers.
The Arnica patient has many symptoms during sleep, those symptoms which resemble the stupor of apoplexy and the sleep symptoms of meningitis find their counterpart in Arnica. One of the peculiar sleep symptoms is that the patient will be sleepy all day but cannot sleep at night.
Your Arnica patient is full of chills; chilly, with heat and redness of one cheek; head hot, body cold; internal chill with external heat; thirst during chill (resembling Eupatorium), he will drink and drink, becoming more chilly all the time, and will have the characteristic stomach symptoms, and finally vomit a bitter, sour fluid.
Chilly on only one side of the body, and that of the side lain upon. Many of the intermittent symptoms closely resemble Eupatorium, but the general and stomach symptoms will allow you to differentiate in this disease.
Remember the generals of this remedy and you will find its greatest usefulness after mechanical injuries, no matte what disease name you may give to the condition arising from this source. Arnica will help not only to remove the disease condition, but if given early will prevent many of the resultant symptoms of shock from appearing. Most of the particular symptoms of this remedy can be figured out by applying the general state of the remedy to all organs or parts of the body. Keep these in mind and you will see how often many symptoms or disease conditions can be removed by this remedy alone; given internally and without recourse to any adjuvants. If it has the generals of Arnica it is an Arnica case, and does not require Baptisia, Bryonia, Rhus or anything else to be curative.