DRUG PICTURES : 78.
ONE of Hahnemanns precious medicinal legacies. He says the juice, when touching the skin, produces a very painful burning, which lasts for a long time; and he tells us that, since the medicinal power of this drug is not volatile, it is better to dry the plant and triturate it like all other dry substances. The bark, root and stem are used for making the tincture.
Mezereum is a hardy shrub, native of Great Britain and northern countries : flowers early in spring, sometimes in the snow. Was introduced by Stapf, and extensively proved by Hahnemann and his band. The proving appears in his Chronic Diseases.
It powerfully affects skin, bones, mucous membranes. Its action is characterized throughout by VIOLENCE. Violent pains : violent itching : sudden, violent pains in face during sleep; violent sensations of hunger; violent burning in mouth; violent pains in stomach and oesophagus; violent inclination to cough, lower down than can be reached by cough; “violent acute fever”.
And all its violence is more violent by night. It is one of the remedies that may be needed in the treatment of syphilis; also may be needed in a variety of skin conditions-very severe skin lesions, characterized by violent itching, and worse at night; from heat of bed : the one drug that has go into the Repertory, as “eruptions itching, worse warmth of fire”.
It has annoying twitchings : twitching of eyelid; twitchings and jerking of muscles of right cheek; twitching of muscles in pit of stomach.
It is one of the few remedies that love and crave fat ham; Mez. finds relief in drinking milk, and eating fat bacon. (Compare Tuberculinum.).
Some of its pains are violently burning :”peppery” burnings (compare Caps.) ; and it has fiery taste; salty and peppery taste; bitter and sour taste-especially beer tastes bitter (not water), and causes vomiting.
The stomach conditions (it has a reputation for gastric ulcer and even induration and carcinoma) are curious. Without hunger, there may be constant desire to eat and take something into stomach, whereby he has less pain. (Compare Graph., Chel., etc.) Constant longing for food. Nausea disappears after eating. (Compare Sepia).
In regard to its “skins”, one never forgets a recurrent experience with Mezereum cm., when doing childrens and casualty works at the hospital during the War : the children being ill- nourished, probably lent themselves to such miserable conditions. The experience was with the many cases of kerion (tinea kerion), thus described in text-books : “marked inflammatory symptoms with circumscribed boggy tumefaction of the scalp, which is covered with pustules, or with gaping orifices from which exudes viscid pus”.
And one remembers vividly, how some of the cases were “running with lice.” One is told that kerion may fluctuate, and give the idea of abscess, but when incised, instead of a pocket of pus, a number of pus points merely exude, the individual hair cells being the seat of innumerable small abscesses. Anyway, Mezereum never failed to rapidly cure the condition. So much so, that when appealed to from the country in regard to some children thus affected, one sent Mezereum cm., a few doses, which, as one was told, rapidly cured.
Specifics ?-how dare you teach specifics ? Is this the Homoeopathy of Hahnemann, which you profess to teach ?”.
As a matter of fact, it is. Hahnemann tells us, if we would only heed, that for “miasmatic” diseases, acute or chronic, i.e. for diseases caused by parasitic organisms, which have in each case the same origin, the same symptoms, the same course, “a specific should be found”.
And doubtless kerion is a specific parasitic infection, caused by micro-organisms, and having the same origin, the same symptoms and the same course; for which, so far as epidemic experience with a dozen or so cases is concerned, Mezereum is the specific; and it proved itself so by acting magnificently in the single dose of the highest potency one had been able to lay hands on.
Therefore let us once again quote Hahnemann, in regard to “Infectious diseases, caused by a peculiar contagium (a miasm of tolerably fixed character such as small-pox, measles, true scarlet fever, etc. . . . These seem so fixed in their course as to be always recognized as old acquaintances. They can be named, and we can endeavour to lay down some fixed method of treatment suitable, as a rule, for each of them”.
We may here, with advantage, give in extension Dr. Carroll Dunhams classical case of the cure of an almost lifelong deafness, with Mezereum. He traced it back to a severe attack of just such tinea capitis, in childhood; and, by treating that ancient condition-all those years later-he managed to restore hearing, utility and happiness to a boy whose life had, till then, been blasted. It was a case, evidently, of what we may venture to call, “chronic kerion”.