(The freshly expressed juice of the plant at the time of the commencement of flowering mixed with equal parts of spirits of wine.)
Although the following symptoms do not express the whole significance of this most valuable plant, still they reveal to the thoughtful homoeopathic physician a prospect of relieving morbid conditions in which traditional medicine has hitherto employed its most dangerous methods, e. g. copious blood-letting and all its complex would-be antiphlogistic treatments, often ineffectually, and almost always with disastrous consequences. I allude to the so-called pure inflammatory fevers in which the smallest dose of aconite enables us to dispense with all the traditional antipathic treatments, and relieves rapidly and without evil effects. In measles, in purpura miliaris, and in the acute pleuritic fevers, &c., its curative power is marvellous, when, the patient being kept rather cool, it is given alone, all other medicinal substances, even vegetable acids, being avoided, in the dose of a thousandth part (That is, a small globule the size of a poppy-seed moistened with it, of which more than a thousand are moistened by one drop of spirits of wine, and which are so small that 300 of them weigh only one grain.) of a drop of the decillionth development of power. It is seldom that a second similar dose is required thirty-six or forty-eight hours after the first.
But in order to remove from out conscientious treatment all that routine practice which is only too apt to regulate its treatment in accordance with delusive names of diseases, it is indispensable that, in all morbid conditions in which aconite is given, the chief symptoms of the malady, therefore also of the acute disease, should be found accurately reproduced among the symptoms of aconite.
The effect is then astonishing.
It is precisely in the great acute inflammatory fevers in which allopathy chiefly plumes itself as alone able to save life by means of bold, frequent venesections, and imagines that here it is superior in curative efficacy to all homoeopathic treatment-it is precisely here that it is most mistaken. It is precisely here that the infinite superiority of homoeopathy is manifest, that it needs not to shed a single drop of blood, that precious vital fluid (which the allopath recklessly draws off in streams, to the often irremediable disadvantage of the patient), in order to transform this dangerous fever into health in as many hours as the allopathic vitality-diminishing treatment often requires months for the perfect restoration of those who are not carried off during the process by death, or, at all events, in the chronic after-affections artificially caused by the means employed.
In these acute cases of disease sometimes a homoeopathic intermediate remedy is required for the morbid symptoms remaining after twelve or sixteen hours’ action of the first dose of aconite; but it is very rarely that a second dose of aconite is needed after this intermediate remedy.
By means of aconite carefully administered in this way in a disease of the above mentioned character all danger is removed even in four hours, and the excited circulation resumes its tranquil vital course from hour to hour.
Although aconite, on account of the short duration of its action (which in such small doses does not exceed forty-eight hours), might seem to be useful only in acute diseases, yet it is an indispensable accessory remedy in even the most obstinate chronic affections, when the system requires a diminution of the so-called tension of the bloodvessels (the strictum of the ancients). On this subject, however, I cannot enter more fully in this place. Its utility in such cases is shown by the symptoms it produces in the healthy subject, which are partially recorded in the following pages.
Aconite is also the first and main remedy, in the minute dose indicated above, in inflammation of the wind-pipe (croup, membranous laryngitis), in various kinds of inflammation of the throat and fauces, as also in the local acute inflammations of all other parts, particularly where in addition to thirst and quick pulse, there are present anxious impatience, an unappeasable mental agitation, and agonizing tossing about.
It produces all the morbid states similar to those seen in persons who have had a fright combined with vexation, and is also the surest and quickest remedy for them.
In the selection of aconite as a homoeopathic remedy particular attention should be paid to the symptoms of the disposition, so that they should be very similar.
Hence it is indispensable after fright or vexation in women during the catamenia, which without this excellent soothing remedy are only too easily, often instantaneously, suppressed by such emotional disturbances. For this purpose a single momentary olfaction at a phial containing a globule the size of a mustard-seed, moistened with the decillionth potency of aconite (which may be kept for this use for years in a wellcorked phial without losing its curative power) is quite sufficient.
Most of the apparently opposite aconite symptoms recorded below are merely alternating states, and it may be curative by means of both; but it is most so in respect of those which have a tonic character.
Vegetable acids and wine antidote its effects, and so do other medicines which correspond palliatively or homoeopathically to some of it’s troublesome symptoms (produced by too large a dose or unhomoeopathic selection).
[The names of Hahnemann’s disciples. who assisted him in this proving are: AHNER, GROSS, FRIEDRICH HAHNEMANN, HORNBURG, RUCKERT senior, STAPF, WAHLE
The authorities of traditional medicine quoted by him far some of the records effects of aconite are:
ABANO, PET. DE, De Venenis, cap. 30, 1496.
BACON, VINC., Philosoph. Transactions, xxxviii.
DURR, Hufel Journ., ix, 4.
GMELIN. EBERH., Nov. Acta Nat. Cur., vi.
GREDING, Vermischte Schriften.
HELMONT, J. B. VAN, Demens Idea, § 12. (Orteus Medicinae 1652.)
MATTHIOLUS, Comment in Diosc, io. iv, cap. 73.
MORAEUS, Konigl. Vetensk. Acad. Handl., 1739.
RICHARD, CLAUD., in P. Schenck’s Obs. Medorrhinum, lib. vii, obs. 136.
RODDER, in Alberti’s Jurisprud. Medorrhinum, tom. vi.
STOERCK, ANT, VON, Libellus de Stramonium, Hyoscyamus et Aconite
In the Frag, de Vir. the symptoms of aconite are 213, in the first edition of the R.A.M.L., they are 314, in the second 429, and in the third 541.]