PERITONITIS Notes on Treatment


In the treatment of peritonitis, local symptoms must be carefully compared with the general condition, especially with the state of the circulation, the bodily temperature and what is of equal importance, the mental state….


IN no disease is it more important to observe strictly every Homoeopathic rule of prescribing; for the vital forces are quickly and profoundly depressed, and a mistake in the choice of the remedy may precipitate a fatal termination. Local symptoms must be carefully compared with the general condition, especially with the state of the circulation, the bodily temperature and what is of equal importance, the mental state.

Mucilaginous drinks acidulated with tamarinds of or lemon juice are are often grateful and soothing to the irritated stomach. If the lemonade be made hot and then allowed to cool it is less likely to cause intestinal griping. Effervescing drinks may increase the tympany, and should usually be avoided. During the early stages, when the fever runs high, farinaceous foods may he given; but if the liver is so diseased as to interfere with biliary secretion, starch and oily foods will not be readily digested, and must be mainly substituted by mutton, beef or chicken broth. In such a contingency the broth should be allowed to cool first, that all the fat may be skimmed off. In large cities poultry is brought to market so poorly and improperly, fed, that great care is needed in its purchase.

Alcoholic drinks should be interdicted except in advance cases, in which vitality is very low, or where blood-poisoning demands them.

ACONITE.- Burning-cutting pains, worse from the slightest motion and from lying on the right side; hard, frequent pulse; skin hot and dry. Abdomen hot and sensitive to touch. Face anxious; restlessness; fear of death. Caused by checked sweat, exposure to dry, cold winds, drinking ice-water while fatigued and hot. Puerperal cases especially in full-blooded women, when violent, emotions seem to have caused a checking of the lochia. Hahnemann’s advice here is imperative, not to give Aconite simply because there is fever or because there is synochal fever, but to be guided by the infallible accompaniments of restlessness and mental agony.

VERATRUM VIRIDE. has come into fashion as a rival of Aconite. It is selected in the beginning of inflammations by the pulse, which is said to express great arterial excitement. But the two remedies are really not at all similar. The Veratrum rather pictures asthenic fever of a low type. Congestions and inflammations are accompanied by delirium, great prostration, and, what is very characteristic, a red streak down the centre of the tongue. It has no action on serous membranes, like Aconite.

BELLADONNA.- Abdomen distended, hot, and exquisitely sensitive to touch or to the least jar of the bed; pains in sudden attacks, which come and go suddenly; or less frequently, gradually increase and gradually decrease (see Allen, Vol.II P.102). Sometimes Enteritis co-exists, with clutching as from nails at the navel; bloody, slimy diarrhoea. Bodily temperature very high. On raising the bed-clothes a hot steam rises. Head very hot and dry; or hot and yet bathed in sweat. Feet cold, head hot. This is not the coldness indicative of collapse, but of upward congestion. Urine scanty and sometimes golden- yellow. Delirium, varying from simple starts in sleep to furor, with red, congested face and throbbing carotids. The face instead of being red, may appear pale, hot, and expressive of deep-seated distress. There are drowsiness, and stupor, but is easily aroused.

Belladonna especially attacks the uterus and ileo-caecal region, and should be studied in Metritis with Peritonitis, and also in Typhlitis. In the former case the lochia will be checked or hot, and occasionally in offensively-smelling clots. There is also backache; she feels, as if her back was broken.

E. A. Farrington
E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.