It should be emphasized that most of the distressing symptoms relating to the digestive tract are functional and temporary and not organic or progressive. They are in a large part reflex and caused by improper foods and eating habits. Next to the nervous system, we abuse our stomachs more than any other organ and are apt to try all sorts of tablets and medicine prescribe on a symptomatic basis not only gives relief but many times it is of a permanent nature and avoids the danger which the use of strong drugs are apt to cause.
Inasmuch as the laity is not acquainted with the symptoms of the various diseases of the digestive tract the indications for the following drugs are given by chief complaint and accessory symptoms.
There are three relatively common diseases of the digestive system which the lay person should not attempt to treat. He may not know that he has one of these diseases but the following complaints merit medical consultation:
1. Pains of gnawing character felt in the pit of the stomach and rather constant, relieved by food, by vomiting or by alkalis or soda. Heart burn or acid eructations may be present. Such complaints may be an ulcer and if such be the case medical advice is necessary.
2. Any type of persistent pain together with loss of weight; bouts of vomiting are suggestive of tumor formation and should be investigated for cancer.
3. In women particularly, bloating after meals, nausea, vomiting frequently, headaches, inability to digest rich or fatty food point to gall bladder disease and while homoeopathic medicine may aid the patient, it is wise to consult a physician.
There are many stomach disorders which require professional investigation but if the above three groups are not represented one is justified in using one of the following homoeopathic remedies according to symptoms present.
Nux vomica.: One of our most important remedies for dyspepsia caused by abuses. Improper and irregular eating or by coffee, tobacco or alcohol. The patient calling for Nux is a great one for various cathartics, sedatives, anti-cold pills and headache remedies. He tries to substitute medicine for good habits and hence is in a chronic state of distress.
Mentally, the Nux patient is irritable and over-sensitive to noises, odors, light and so on. There is usually a morning headache, dull and heavy, with a thickly coated tongue, especially at the back, with a disagreeable taste. A nauseous feeling in the morning, aggravated after eating, sour eructations and bloating are present. He wants to vomit but cannot. Much distress felt several hours after eating. Constipation and ineffectual urging is characteristic of the drug.
Kali bich: Discomfort immediately after meals. Feels as if digestion had stopped. Inability to digest meat. Desire for acid drinks, especially beer, which aggravates. Vomiting, if present, is characterized by ropy mucus.
Carbo veg. : Suitable especially for old people, rather sluggish and their chief symptoms and eructations, heaviness, and fullness, chest pain with the above distention. Even the simplest foods disagree. Burning and nausea, particularly relieved by belching. Much gas is passed this way.
Kali carb: The patient is very weak, anemic and intolerant to cold weather. Suitable to flatulence and acidity of the aged, caused by improperly cooked food. Sour vomiting, throbbing and cutting pain in the stomach. General aggravation occur past mid- night from 2 to 3 a.m. Chronic cardiac condition and dropsical condition may aggravate the case.
Pulsatilla: Next to Nux vomica probably the most frequently indicated remedy for dyspepsia, especially in women. Chief symptoms are inability to handle rich food which causes bloating and sourness and a tallow-like taste. Dry mouth without thirst. Changeableness of the taste and foods eaten a long time before can still be tasted is suggestive. Abdomen is tight after meals so that they must loosen the clothing.
The pulsatilla patient objects to a warm room, warm foods and drinks, yet in spite of this is a chilly person and has poor circulation.
Lycopodium 6x: A few mouthfuls fills the patient up though they start out with a good appetite. They like warm food but their chief complaint is a marked abdominal distention and rumbling with much gas passing down. They are apt to crave sweets but have an aversion to oysters. They are generally worse from 4 to 8 p.m. and complain of weakness. They are usually spare and sallow with sunken features and besides indigestion have evidences of urinary difficulties. The urine is concentrated and contains red sand if allowed to stand. (Excessive urates.) Mentally the Lycopodium patient has a fear of failure in new undertakings but when the time comes usually conducts himself well.
Argentum nit. 6x: Violent belching with great relief there upon. A marked craving for sweets is characteristic. Rather neurotic temperament with diarrhoea caused by nervous fear of shock.
For dosage and time of administration, see page 8.