(From vol. iii, 2nd edit., 1825.)
(The spirituous tincture of the dry root of Asarum europaeum or the juice of the whole plant mixed with alcohol.)
Even when the ordinary physicicans have taken the trouble, which they but seldom did, to arsenicum by their own experiments the powers of simple medicinal substances, we can see how carelessly they went to workby such an example, among others, as the labours in this direction of COSTE and WILLEMET, who in their prize essay entitled Essais sur quelques plantes indigenes (Nancy, 1778.), pretend to gie uos among others a complete proving of Asarum. And what they discover from the trials they themselves made of it? Nothing of all the remarkable symptoms recorded below, except that when given in doses from twenty-eight to forty grains, it caused vomiting five or six times. But what was the peculiar character of this vomiting, or by what dangerous symptoms it was accompanied, of this they give us no hint. Further, that forty-eight grains given to a porter caused severe colic pains and violent vomiting and purging, which had to be allayed by a clyster of milk. And hence, as they imagine, this root must be regarded as identical in its action with ipecacaunha. And did it do nothing more than this? And is this all the curative action that can be expected from it? How carelessly must they have acted in such an important matter when they observed nothing more and discovered no more medicinal uses for it!
No! asarum is as little adapted for employment as an emeticin the place of ipecacaunha (which also causes many other changesin the health of human beings) as many other substances, which when taken in excess are also rejected from the system by forcible vomiting, such as arsenic, sulphate of zinc, acetate of copper, veratrum album & c. Do all these substances, which when taken in excess cause dangerous vomiting, merely exist in nature in order that we may use them as emetics? What short-sightedness, what dangerous superficiality! And my remarks do not apply only to COSTE and WILLEMET, but the same complaint may be made of all our ordinary (non) observers. Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. They will see, and have seen, almost nothing from the administration of all medicinal substances but evacuations by the skin, kidneys, bowels, &c., for they have always sought to sweep out material morbid stuff that has seldom any existence, and have no idea of effecting cures in any other way.
If we take into consideration what these authors relate about their porter in an offhand manner, as if it were a mere nothing because he did not die on the spot, together with what may be read in the following observations, it would seem to be highly probable that this root, when given in such a large dose as that it shall excite that evacuation upwards of which the saburralists are so fond, is capcable of putting a human being in imminent danger of his life, and that consequently it may actually produce a fatal result, as was, indeed, seen by WEDEL. That would, indeed, be a splendid inestimable remedy which should remove the (imaginary) foulness of the stomach with no other disadvantage than – palpable danger to life! Preserve us from acting so barbarously towards our sick fellow-creatures!
No! the beneficient Preserver of life created this root for much nobler objects. To cure natural morbid vomiting accompanied by threatening symptoms like those of asarum with the smallest dose of the excessively diluted tincture of asarum, this is the first noble employment that we have to make of it- exactly the opposite of that murderous misuse of it in which it was recommended in large doses as an emetic.
What else it can do in the way of homoeopathic help may be seen from its other symptoms detailed below, which, to the thoughtful physician, require no elucidation, nor it is necessary to give any other indication of the diseases curable by it.
The homoeopathic practitioner who does exactly the opposite of that which the ordinary medical school has hitherto enjoined knows how to make a better use of this mighty gift of God: he never misuses it for the production of such involuntary beak-neck upsettings of the human organism; even our domestic animals should be spared those cruelties practised under the name of veterinary medicine.
No, The Creator wished that we might learn to overcome great diseases by means of powerful medicines having similar symptoms (homoeopathically) in doses of the smallest size, and therefore incapable of doing harm. He did not create them in large quantities in order that we should by giving them in large doses inflict injuryon the noble humanrace without affording relief, as is the case in the ordinary allopathic treatment. These substances are ordained by nature for very different ends nad purposes. All of which we do not yet know, and for which they have been produced in great quantities; nothing has been created for one single object; on the contrary, the purposes of their useful production are manifold. And if among these their utility as medicines is included, the large supply nature affords us of them cannot warrant us to misuse them in great doses for diseases. Thus for instance, arsenic has undoubtedly other important uses in the divine economy; for we can only employ a very small portion of the many hundred tons of it which the Saxon Erzgebirge alone can furnish for a useful medicinal purpose.
According to COSTE and WILLEMET vinegar is an antidote to asarum. Camphor is apparently efficacious in alleviating the injurious effects of its employment in unsuitable cases in large doses.
A quadrillionth of a grain (in the form of diluted solution) of the alcoholic tincture, and the quintillionth dilution of the freshly expressed juice mixed with an equal quantity of alcohol (in the dose of a drop or a small portion of a drop), appear to be the best doses for homoeopathic purposes.
[HAHNEMANN was assisted in the proving of this medicine by O. FRANZ, C. G. HORBBURG, L. RUCKERT, E. STAPF.]
The following old-school authorities are cited:
COSTE and WILLEMET, in Samml. br. Abh. f. pr. A., iv.
HELMONT. J. B. van, Pharmac, mod.
MURRAY, Appar. Medorrhinum, iii.
RAY, Hist. Univ. Plant., i.
WEDEL. G. W., Amoenit. Mat. Medorrhinum
The 1st edit had 268 symptoms; only 2 new symptoms appeared in the 2nd edit.]
Vertigo, as from slight intoxication, on rising from a seat and walking about (aft. 10m.). [Stf.]
He does not notice things about him. [Fz.]
Mental condition as if just falling asleep; a gradual vanishing of the thoughts. [Fz.]
Thoughts so overstrained that they vanish completely. [Fz.]
5. He is quite stupid in his head and has no inclination for anything.[L. Rkt.]
Incapacity for any work, and he can do nothing; his mental powers fail him (before each attack of vomiting, afterwards somewhat better); as a rule his reason is defective all throughout the medicinal disease. [L. Rkt.]
Sensation of vertigo, as if he could not stand very surely, in the evening (aft. 4 d.). [L. Rkt.]
Confusion, like stupidity of the whole head, with tension in the region of the ears. [L. Rkt.]
In the morning, on rising, izzy in the head, with headache in the left side of the forehead (aft. 22 h.). [Stf.]
10. When he wishes to wirk with his head and to reflect, the want of thinking power immediately returns and the drawing pressure in the forehead, so that he must immediately leave off. [L. Rkt.]
As often as he attempte to reflect a little, the head affections and the sick feeling increase perceptibly; he must quickly cease thinking, which would besides be in vain, as he is quite stupid. [L. Rkt.]
Aching, stupefying, dull headache in the forehead, as if he had been wakened too soon from sleep. [Stf.]
Dull headache. (aft. ½ h.) [Hbg.]
Headache, like confusion in the left temple, therafter under the parietal bones, lastly in the occiput. [Hbg.]
15. Confusion of the head, less observable when walking, more when sitting, and pressing in the eyes as with a blunt point from within outwards, especially in the eyes as with a blunt point from within outwards, especially under the right eyelid (af. ¼ h.). [Fz.]
Tensive painful confusion of the head. [Stf.]
The head is heavy and confused, at the same time pressure above the sagittal suture, as if he were intoxicated (aft. 3 h.). [Stf.]
The head becomes heavy, as if there were something that shook or swayedin it, which, after bending it forwards or backwards, lets its weight be felt. [Fz.]
Pressure in the brain, chiefly anteriorly 9aft. ¾ h.). [L. Rkt.]
20. Aching in the left side of the occiput extending towards the side of the head (aft. 3 m.) [Stf.]
Out-pressing pain on both sides of the head. [L. Rkt.]
Very acute headache in the left temple and behind the ears, like compression, which becomes worse when walking and shaking the head, but is alleviated by sitting(aft. 12 h.). [Stf.]
Pressure from without inwards over the greatest portion of the brain (aft. 2.3/4 h.). [L. Rkt.]
Pressure in the brain from above downwards as with a stone, on a spot of the forehead (aft. ¼ h.). [L. Rkt.]