Introduction: Aconite is a short-acting remedy. Its symptoms do not last long. It is a violent poison in large doses, either destroying life or passing away in its effects quite soon, so that if the patient recovers, the recovery is not delayed. There are no chronic diseases following it.
Like a great storm, it comes and sweeps over and passes away. By a little meditation we will discover what kind of sickness all this is like, and what kind of a patient is most likely to have that short, sudden sickness.
If we think a moment from experience and homoeopathic observation, we will remember that vigorous, plethoric individuals, when they take cold, come down violently, whereas feeble people, sickly people, come down and recover slowly from acute diseases, and do not become so violently and so suddenly sick.
From this, and from examining the sudden effects of Aconite, it will be easy to see that persons who come down with Aconite sicknesses are plethoric individuals.
Strong, robust people, rugged children and infants become sick, not a very slight cold, or from slight exposure, but from more violent exposure. From being exposed with deficient clothing; from (sudden, violent changes; from prolonged exposure to the cold, north, dry wind.
A vigorous person caught out with thin clothing, or remaining out in the cold, dry air of mid-winter, with its sudden, violent changes, comes down even before night with violent symptoms. This is the class of patients, the plethoric and vigorous, who have a strong heart, active brain, vigorous circulation, and come down suddenly from violent exposure, that need Aconite.
Aconite has in its nature none of the results usually following inflammation. The storm is over so quickly that it seems mostly to conform to the earlier condition. In these vigorous patients sudden congestions are likely to be thrown off by good reaction.
The patient seems to be threatened with a sudden and violent death, but recovery is quick. So, as was observed by Dunham, it is a great storm and soon over. Dunham’s discussion of this remedy in his Materia Medica is very poetical and well worth reading.
Generals: Attacks come on suddenly from exposure to a dry, cold wind. In plethoric children we have an illustration of that in, the sudden congestion of the brain with intense fever, or with convulsions.
We get illustrations of its suddenness and violence in any organ of the body, the brain, the lungs, the liver, the blood, the kidneys. It is suited to the complaints that come on suddenly from the very cold weather of winter, or from the intensely hot weather of summer.
It has the lung and brain complaints of winter, and the bowel inflammations and stomach disorders of summer. We know how these plethoric individuals become suddenly overheated and become violently sick.
Their sudden attacks are frightful to look upon. All these inflammatory conditions are attended with great excitement of the circulation, violent action of the heart, a tremendous turmoil of the brain, a violent shock. with intense fear.
Mind: The mind symptoms that are nearly always associated with Aconite conditions stand out in bold relief.
The patient feels the violence of his sickness, for he is under great nervous irritation and excitement.
Fear is depicted upon his countenance, and the heart’s action is so overwhelming the first thing he thinks of is that he must die; this must mean death, which he fears. It stands out upon his countenance.
“Doctor, there is no use; I am going to die.”
Many times he actually predicts the moment or the hour of his death. If a clock is in the room, he may say that when the hour hand reaches a certain point he will be a corpse.
When we see this intense fear, this awful. anxiety, great restlessness, the violence and the suddenness of these attacks, we have a case, perhaps, that is dying from the poison of Aconite, or one who needs Aconite.
One who has a sickness resembling the poison of Aconite needs the smallest possible dose of Aconite. It is a very short-acting medicine, and that must be remembered.
It hardly matters what part of the body we are considering we will find inflammatory conditions. But regardless of the region or the locality of the inflammation, that which I have described is the appearance of the patient. Such are the symptoms that will stand out, that you will observe first – the appearance of the face, the mind symptoms, the restlessness, the intensity.
Now, there are many little mental symptoms that are of much less importance than this fear, this anxiety, symptoms that will be masked by these marked symptoms that indicate the patient. He has lost all affection for his friends. He does not care what becomes of them, he has not the slightest interest in them. It sometimes may be a state of indifference.
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