IMPURE CALCIUM SULPHIDE.
(Hepar, liver)Hepar sulph, is prepared by fusing the calcined middle layers of oyster shells with flowers of sulphur.
It was first proved by Hahnemann, who says of it, “I have found a very small portion of a grain of the million-fold attenuation” (3d) “quite sufficient, often too large, for a dose” (Mat. Medorrhinum Pura).
Hepar sulph, is a tissue dug with a wide range of action, and Allen speaks of it as follows: “It simulates Mercury in its action on the liver and kidneys, sulphur in its action on the skin and mucous membrane of the intestinal tract, Calcarea in affecting the respirator tract, and all the foregoing in its general action on connective tissue.”
It is one of the remedies, as pointed out to us by Hahnemann, the thought of for patients who come to you after having been dosed with mercury 9139). Hughes in commenting on this says that Hahnemann at first used it to neutralize mercurial influence chemically, as converting the mental into an insoluble sulphide; and gave largish doses accordingly,-in one bad case three grains every hour. Later, however, he seems to have been so frequently acted upon the success that there seems little doubt of their being well founded” (Hahnemann’s indications are for the use of Hepar sulph, to remove “all affections rising from the long continued irritation of mercury, the pains in the limbs, the low fever and night sweats, and the exhausting salivation” (Lesser Writings).
After speaking of its use in this condition into the 6th, Hughes continues: “Now for a drug to be a dynamic antidote, in minute doses to a chronic medicinal disease, it must act upon the principle of similarity; and the symptoms induced by Hepar sufficiently resemble those of mercury to support the inference drawn from therapeutics.”.
Oversensitiveness of the nervous system (166) to external impressions is a prominent symptoms of Hepar sulph, and the affected part is very sensitive to touch (166), out of proportion to the actual pain.The patient, in general, is extremely sensitive to cold air (5) or to the slightest draft ()5), with relief not only from warmth (10) but from wrapping up warmly, and as Allen puts it he: wears an overcoat in hot weather, ” with the collar all ready to be turned up on the slightest provocation.
It is not that he does not feel that the day is warm, for he does and perspires freely (185), but partly because of his sensitiveness to cool air and partly because of easy perspiration he is afraid to have the least breath of air touch him.
There is also general aggravation from cold dry winds. Two other characteristics of this remedy are, profuse secretions, and tendency for all inflammations to terminate in suppuration.
Let me reverse the order in which a remedy is usually considered and speak first of the skin and supportive tendencies as these conditions will be found in many of the subdivisions, and what we say here will apply top what is to follow.
The pains of Hepar sulph, are sharp., sticking, splinter- like, with extreme sensitiveness to touch and soreness of the inflamed parts as if it were about to suppurate.
The sweat, which is easily excite, is sour and there are more or less offensive exhalations from the body; the skin seems to be unhealthy and even slight injuries suppurate (183), with tendency to small badly. Dearborn Says: that the characteristic lesions is the papule prone to suppurate, or the primary foci of inflammation may begin in a less circumscribed form that the papule, but it extends by progressive involvement of continuous skin and the outbreak of other discreet lesions in the surrounding tissues.
Pimples, boils abscesses, etc. that suppurate or that you fear will go on to the formation of pus, lead you to think of this remedy, especially when there is the sensitiveness to touch and to cold air or to cold applications. I believe that Hepar sulph, has a double or two-fold action in these conditions and that it should be used in different potencies according to the effect that you are trying to produce.
If suppurate is inevitable and you wish to hasten the process give it low, below the 3rd (I prefer the 1x). It is to be used low, not only in those cases where suppuration is progressing and you wish to hurry it along, but also where too such progress has been made to enable you out to abort it but which hangs fire and refuses to get “ripe” (183).
If you see the case at the onset and fear that it well-off on to suppuration if left to itself, but giving Hepar sulph. 6he or higher (1 prefer 30th), you will often be able to abort the whole trouble; again, after the abscess is opened and the pus discharged, you will often prevent new pus formation and promote dealing by giving the 30th.
In acne (14) that goes on to suppuration this remedy is frequently indicated. It may be well to use it low at the start in order to bring all the pustules to a head and then to follow with a higher potency so as to heal the old and to prevent new ones from forming.
It is a remedy of value for moist eruptions, which smell badly, suppurated and bleed; for run-rounds (163) and for felons (81), with the sharp, suppuration pains and the relief from heat or hot applications, and for hip-joint disease (117) in the suppurative stage.
Some of the bad effects of mercury that are benefited by the use of Hepar sulph, are melancholia, falling of the hair or headache with a sensation as if a plug or nail were being driven into the head (106), or a feeling as if the eyes were being poled driven into ward into the head (77). In herpes (114) of the supraorbital nerve, requiring this remedy, this sensation as if the eyes were being drawn back into the head may be noticed.
The headaches in general are better from binding the head up tightly (92).
The scalp is sensitive to cold so that they take cold (5) when the head is uncovered, and sensitive to touch (91) so that they cannot comb their hair without causing pain. It is of value for eczema of the head, milk crust, etc., with bleeding and offensive discharge and great sensitiveness to touch.
In the eye, Hepar sulph, is indicted in a great variety of scrofulous inflammation (76) especially ulcerations of the cornea (77) involving the inner layer and accompanied by collection of pus in the anterior chamber. In general the patient is anaemic, with easy and sour perspiration and has taken, perhaps, a good deal of mercury, the inflammation is of a sluggish character, pains worse at night and with great sensitiveness to the open air. It is also of value for chronic catarrh of the conjunctiva, with profuse muco-purulent discharge (76), and for inflammation of the lachrymal sac, with very free secretion of pus in the inner angle of the eye.
In inflammation of the outer and middle ear a similar condition is found, with pain, bloody and offensive discharge (63) and sensitiveness to touch nd to cold air. You will think of it in furuncles of the auditory canal (64), although Calc pic. may be your first choice. In the nose it may be of us in coryza, with swelling and redness of the nose and pain as form a boil, and it is frequently indicated in ozaena (148), with pain in the bones, ulceration and profuse, offensive discharge, the nose very sensitive internally to air and to touch (142).
The teeth are loose (187) and sore sensitive to cold drinks (187) and when drawing in cold air (187), and it is of frequent use when abscesses are inclined to form at roots of teeth that have been filled. The gums are unhealthy, become ulcerated and bleed easily (84), with an offensive odor from them.
In the throat we have sharp, splinter-like pains (190), which extend to the ear on swallowing (197), and with sensitiveness of the throat to cold air (189). I is especially in peri-tonsillar suppuration or quinsy that you will use Hepar sulph.
The first intimation of the trouble is, as a usual thing, a sharp sticking pain referred to the tonsils as if a splinter were being driven into the tissues on swallowing. Of course, if pus has formed when you first see the case, the best thing to do is to call your attention to the power that Hepar sulph. 1x, seemingly has to abort quinsy (158) and other suppurative conditions, if taken at the very onset of the trouble, at the first stab, so to speak. Anyone who has ever had quinsy will know of it beginning, and if our want to try want to try the experiment, let the patient have the remedy to carry with him so that he may be able to take it early and he can report to you as to the truth or falsity of its power of absorption. If you do not care to experiment with a case of quinsy (the patient is nerves willing), give Ba. carb. 30th as a prophylactic.
Hepar sulph, is useful in dyspepsia resulting from the use of mercury of quinine, with a longing for highly-seasoned food (9), for acids (9) or for sour, pungent articles and disgust for fat or fat foods (5).
It is one of the remedies shaving eructations tasting (182), and flatus smelling like bad eggs (82), but it does not occupy as prominent a place in the pathogenesis as the taste of the 1x tablets would lead one to suppose.
The bowels are inactive and the large intestine wanting in peristaltic action so that even a soft stool is passed slowly and with difficulty (34) and only a part can be forced out even by the aid of the abdominal muscles.
In diarrhoea the stools are painless, white or clay-colored (58), green (59) or undigested (60), of sour (59) or decayed odor (59). The diarrhoea is especially a chronic condition (58) and may be worse during the day and after eating (57) and perhaps associated with sweat on the perineum.
Hepar sulph, is frequently called for in children with marasmus (129), with sour stool and general sour sweat.
It will, of course, be indicted in abscess of either the liver or kidneys, and in the latter stage of suppurative or secondary nephritis when you are unable to get rid of the pus that so persistently shows in the urine, Hepar sulph. 30th will often clear up the case. In croups inflammations (124), especially resulting from the abuse of mercury, it is often of value.
In the bladder we have paralysis (22) or atony, with lack of expulsive power (21). He must wait for the urine to start and then it flows very slowly and “drops down vertically.” The bladder does not seem to empty itself and it seems as if he could never finish urinating (200).
Hepar sulph is the only remedy in the handbook where there is clinical mention of an oily film on the surface of the urine (the others that are spoken of at all prominently are only in italics) (199).
On the genital organs it is of value for abscesses of all kinds, with sharp pains and offensive odor to the discharge; it is one of the best remedies to clear up an old gonorrhea (83) and for pyo-salpingitis
The leucorrhoea is offensive (126), of putrid odor.
In membranous (52) as well as in spasmodic croup Hepar sulph. is of great value. It is not to be given early in the disease but later when there is little or no fever, the child is weak and perspires easily and the cough is loose. Allen says it “should be given very cautiously even in a late stage of membranous croup; over-dosing with it is apt to cause recurrence of the more acute symptoms, to lessen the secretion of mucus, rendering the cough dry and tight, and increase the difficulty in breathing.”
I will ask you to look up the differentiations between various remedies as made by Allen under this remedy, as I wish to speak of a method used by Boenninghausen that has been the cause of much misunderstanding. Many people from a distance would come to him to ask that he prescribe for their people at home. In cases of croup it was his custom to give three powders to be dissolved in water.
No.1. Aconite 200th for the beginning of the trouble, with high fever, dry skin, tight cough and the other Aconite symptoms.
No.2. Spongia 200th to be taken after the fever had subsided but with the cough still tight and croupy.
When the cough had loosened and there was an accumulation of mucus, then give No.3, Hepar sulph.200th.
If through any mischance, either that the cough became tighter or that Hepar sulph. has been given too soon and the cough remained more or less tight, they were to go back to No.2, or Spong, until the cough was thoroughly loose and then No.3, or Hepar sulph., would complete the cure.
From this innocent procedure has grown the belief, amongst many, that it is good practice, irrespective of the symptoms, to return to Spongia after giving Hepar sulph., or that Boenninghausen alternated and, therefore, they are justified.
We all know good men who alternate, but I doubt if there is anyone who takes pride in so doing, and but few, who down in their own heart do not acknowledge that the reason they do so is because they do not know enough of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica.
Hepar sulph. is of value in bronchitis and broncho-pneumonia (151), with a good deal of mucus in the chest (45). The cough is loose and rattling, worse towards morning and from cold air (40); so susceptible is the patient to cold that the slightest draft or even putting the hands out from under the bed-clothes is enough to set them coughing (41).
While I find no mention by Hahnemann or Allen of this symptom, Lippe gives, cough caused by “eating or drinking (41) anything cold” (41).
The mucus in all these cases is difficult to raise, although there is so much in the chest, and the effort to bringing it up causes is difficult to raise, although there is so much in the chest, and the effort to bring it up causes nausea and easy perspiration (51); in these respects the remedy is similar to what we find in Ant. tart., but in Hepar sulph. there is the decided aggravation from cold air.
Hepar sulph. is of value in pleurisy with exudation (150), in the late stage of pneumonia and in phthisis, with profuse purulent expectoration, and in abscess of the lungs, with the characteristic indications for the remedy.
It has been used for chronic malarial poisoning that “has been maltreated with calomel and quinine” (Allen), the leading indications being the easy and offensive sweat and the extreme sensitiveness to air. We may have urticaria (121) “preceding” (Hering) or associated “with the chill” (H. C. Allen) and disappearing as the heat begins.
I use Hepar sulph. 1x and 30th.