Generalities and modalities: Belladonna is a remedy that takes hold of the system with great violence. It is especially suitable to plethoric, vigorous individual, and intellectual people brainy people have complaints coming on suddenly, providing they are in a substantial state of health, and are reasonably plethoric and vascular.
The complaints of Belladonna come on suddenly, run a regular course, and subside suddenly. The pains and suffering come on suddenly and with great violence, and subside suddenly.
Colds ultimate rapidly, run a sharp course, a course of great violence, and subside sudden. Belladonna especially affects the whole vascular system, the heart, lungs, brain and nervous system.
Among the earliest conditions to examine is the heat. It has inflammations of all the organs, especially the brain, lungs, and liver.
The intestines are also involved as well as the other organs. These inflammations are always attended by violent heat; the heat is some thing unusual.
It is more marked in Belladonna than in almost any other remedy. When you put your hand upon a Belladonna subject you will suddenly withdraw it, the heat is so intense.
The memory of the heat is carried in the hand and fingers for some time.
Pains, inflammations, and sufferings, nightly attacks of delirium, violent attacks inflammatory in character are attended with that kind of heat.
No matter where the inflammation is, there is that same intense heat, There are times, though, when that kind of heat is present, and it is not Belladonna, and that is when the fever is of the continued type.
Fever: Belladonna has no continued fever in it. It is true the older books tell you about Belladonna for this violent heat in typhoid and some other continued fevers, but if you examine Belladonna from beginning to end you will find nothing continued in its fever.
Its fever is remittent. It never comes on in its complaints gradually like typhoid. It has not the gradual rise and the gradual fall like a continued fever.
I only mention that so that you will not be lost.
Our lamented Hering, one of the ablest teachers the world ever had, classes Belladonna for typhoid fever when the delirium and the heat are somewhat like Belladonna, but let me tell you just what will take place.
When you give Belladonna for the delirium in typhoid fever – for such a delirium as looks like Belladonna – you may subdue the delirium, but other manifestations will rise in that fever.
You will not subdue the fever, but you will subdue the patient. The patient will be sick longer, will go into a greater state of prostration than if you had let that delirium alone.
But Stramonium fits perfectly Hering’s description of a case in which he says Belladonna should be given.
The idea of that heat must be well fixed in the mind.
Heat, intense heat, violent heat.
There is another phase of Belladonna that runs all through these inflammatory complaints and its fevers.
The inflamed parts, and very commonly the skin, are very red, and, as the inflammation advances, grow dusky; as the fever advances the face becomes mottled; but the first representation of Belladonna is bright red, and the skin is shiny.
An inflamed part than can be seen will be red. In inflammation of glands the skin over the glands will be bright red in spots.
Hence red spots in the neck over inflamed glands. Inflammation of the parotid glands, inflammation of the sub-maxillary glands, inflammation of the glands of the neck, there will be a spot as red as fire over each.
The throat is as red as scarlet. The mucus membrane is inflamed, and red as scarlet. After a little it grows dusky, finally mottled; showing the character and direction of the Belladonna constitution.
It travels gradually towards a zymotic state, such as we see in scarlet fever, in low inflammatory conditions; at first intense congestion, but vaso-motor paralysis follows.
Intense congestion and blueness, or purple and mottled.
Burning: Another grand feature of Belladonna is present in its inflamed parts, and in its painful parts, whenever Belladonna brings out anything like a decided action, it has burning; intense burning.
The burning in the throat with a Belladonna sore throat is like a coal of fire. Inflammation of the tonsils, burning like fire.
The skin burns, and it is burning hot to the sensation of the patient, and intensely hot to the doctor. The skin burns in scarlet fever. He says,
“It burns so, doctor, it burns so;”
in bilious or remittent fever. In inflammation of an organ, the skin burns, there is a burning fever, and the part itself burns.
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