Nitro-glycerine, a mixture of glycerine on nitric and sulphuric acids was discovered by Dr. A. Sobrero, while a student in Paris, in 1847, but it is only since 1862 that it has been manufactured on a large scale.
Dr. C. Hering, who first proved Glonoine (he published the proving within a year of its discovery, 1848-9), was unable to obtain it for experimentation until a Philadelphia chemist, Morris Davis, succeeded, under the direction of Hering, in making a sufficient quantity for proving.
Hering in naming it, took the first two letters of the word glycerine and the symbols O and N; then because there was an excess of oxygen in the mixture, or for the sake of euphony, he added another); completing this by the terminal ine, he gave us the word Glonoine.
One part by weight of pure nitro-glycerine is dissolved in nine parts by weight of 95alcohol, making our strongest preparation the one-tenth or 1x.
You all know of the dangers associated with the handling of nitro-glycerine, and that its mixture with something that will hold it in suspension, such as infusorial earth, renders it comparatively sage it treated with respect and not subjected to much cold. Nitro-glycerine is soluble in alcohol and the solution is non-explosive; but to keep it so, even the one-tenth solution most not be exposed to a temperature of less than 60 degree F., otherwise part of the nitro-glycerine separates and falls to the bottom.
The word Glonoine, as used by use, is not accepted by the old school, who prefer to call it by its commercial name. As they use it much oftener than we do, this is to their advantage, in as much as by so doing they are not obliged to acknowledge openly any homoeopathic source for their information concerning the drug.
I was surprised in looking in a copy of Dunglison’s Medical Dictionary to find that under nitro-glycerine I was referred to the word glonoine. The reason why was evident when I noticed that the book was published in 1874, or twenty-five years after Hering had told all the world, who cared to read, about its value as a remedy. How long it took the old school to learn about nitro-glycerine I cannot tell you, but in two of their standard works on Materia medica and Therapeutics (Bartholow and Ringer), published in 1878 and 1876, no mention is made of it.
Dr. R. N. Foster, of Chicago, says of Glonoine: “By means of the homoeopathic proving its precise sphere of action was determined before it had been tested by any clinical experiment. Many years after Hering had announced this remedy, the Academy of Medicine in Paris bestowed special honors upon a French physician for “discovering”the same long-published face. In so doing, that distinguished body of physicians crowned Hering, Hahnemann and Homoeopathy, and covered themselves with dishonor”(Am. Inst. Hom. Trans., ’86).
Glonoine is identical in its physiological action with Amyl nitrite, although more lasting, paralyzing the peripheral vaso motor nerves and causing dilation of arterioles and capillaries, and rapid and violent action of the heart. A very prominent symptom., therefore, under glonoine, and one that we usually find when prescribing the remedy, is of an increased blood supply to the part, head generally included, with great is the pressure of the blood.
Mentally it has proved valuable for the after effects of traumatism, fright, fear (80), etc., which show themselves in sudden attacks of tenor, or confusion of mind, so that he is afraid to go out into the street along. We also have confusion of ideas so that he cannot tell where he is when on the street; a loss of the places cannot tell which side of the street his house is on; places that should be familiar seem strange, and if he turns the corner, is unable to find his way home. This condition is accompanied by an increased blood supply to the head.
In epilepsy (67) it is of value when there is a great rush of blood to the head (102) and vascular excitement generally. In acute mania or insanity it is useful when the head is hot, fill and throbbing (102), eyes staring, pulse very rapid and with pulsation in the carotids, and often with short outbreaks of frantic maniacal excitement.
Glonoine is a most valuable remedy for headache, hemicrania (99) and supraorbital congestions from a great variety of cause, including excessive heat (98) and suppressed menstruation (95), wit rush of blood to the head and strong pulsation there (102), or throbbing with every beat of the heart.
This throbbing is very noticeable in the carotids, which are raised and feel like whip-cords, and is even felt in the tips of the finger. There may be a sensation as if one were hanging with the head downward and there was a great rush of blood in consequence; a feeling as if the skull were too small and the brain were trying to burst through (104). These various sensations are accompanied by violent action of the heart and pulsation over the whole body. Intense, violent, frightful and terrible are some of the words used in our Materia Medica to describe the headaches calling for this remedy, while miners, in their usual picturesque manner, speak of the headache caused by the inhalation of the fumes after the explosion of nitro- glycerine as “the damnedest headache you ever had.”
Dunglison’s Dictionary 1874, says of Glonoine: “Little is yet known of its therapeutic effects. A drop, brought in contact wit the lips, or even the vapor, is said to have caused the most distressing headache; hence it has been used in headache by the homoeopathists.”
It is this same dictionary that gives these definitions of Homoeopathy: “A fanciful doctrine, which maintains that disordered actions in the human body are to be cured by inducing other disordered actions of a like kind, and this is to be accomplished by infinitesimally small doses, often of apparently inert agents. It has been called Globulism.”
If, as some philosophers maintain, happiness is dependent upon ignorance, the old-school practitioners should be a jolly set.
Gloninum is to be thought of in cerebral congestion during pregnancy and in threatening apoplexy (18). It is of value for those who work “steadily under gas-light, so that the heat falls on the head” (Hering) and who have a throbbing headache in consequences, and it is very frequently indicated for the effects “headache begins with warm weather and lasts all summer, increases and decreases every day with the warn (95); great sensitiveness to the rays of the sun, and to pressure from covering of head.”
It is of value in congestion of the head, with symptoms of cerebro-spinal meningitis (133), pains along the whole length of the spine, rising up to the occiput.
It is to be thought of for supraorbital neuralgia, with pulsating pain and for congestion of the retina, due to exposure to a bright light (74).
Glonoine is of value for suppression of the menses (134) from excitement, or at the climacteric (32), with intense congestion of the head and flushing of the face, or where the menses do not appear at the proper date by with intense congestion of blood to the head (95) in their piece. It is also of value for puerperal convulsions(155).
The circulation is especially affected in Glonoine and we have palpitation with violent beating of the heart (112), the pulsations felt all over the body even to the tips of the fingers. In angina pectoris (107) we would find a sensation of rush of blood to the heart (113) and then to the head; at times with fluttering of the heart (109), then violent beating (112) as if it would burst the chest open, with labored breathing and pains about the heart radiating in all directions, even into both arms (110), with loss of power in the arms.
I use Glonoine 6th.