Dr. Dewey discusses the homeopathy treatment of Diarrhoea in his bestselling book Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics….

Arsenicum. [Ars]

      That excellent and truly homoeopathic work on diarrhoea by Dr. J.B.Bell contains the indications for some one hundred and forty remedies in this complaint. The following are perhaps the more often indicated.

**Arsenicum, it may be said, is always thought of in diarrhoea. Given a case of diarrhoea, and two remedies always come to mind, namely, **Arsenicum and Veratrum, and immediately the distinguishing features of these are gone over much in this way:

**Arsenicum. @ **Veratrum

Stools in small quantities. @ Profuse stools. @ Restlessness, anguish and intolerance @ No restlessness, anguish or of pain. @ intolerance of pain. @ Great thirst, but for small @ quantities and often. @ Great thirst for large @ quantities of cold water. @ The prostration and weakness are out @ Great prostration follows @ the stool the stool, of all proportion to [email protected] not more, however, than the @ profuseness warrants.

The two remedies are easily distinguished, and it would it seem to be the height of imbecility to alternate them.

The grand characteristics of **Arsenicum in diarrhoea, therefore, are:

1. The small quantity.

2. The dark color.

3. The offensive odor.

4. The great prostration following.

Another grand feature is the burning in the rectum, which almost amounts to a tenesmus. The stools of **Arsenicum are dark yellow, undigested, slimy or bloody; they are often dark green and very offensive; they are worse at night and after eating or drinking. **China, Ferrum and Arsenicum all have undigested stool coming on after eating. Among the principal causes of the diarrhoea calling for **Arsenicum, and one which would be an additional indication, is chilling of the stomach by cold food, ice water or ice cream. It is also the remedy for diarrhoea from tainted food and so-called ptomaine poisoning. It hardly seems possible that **Arsenicum with these characteristics could be misprescribed.

Veratrum album. [Verat]

      The characteristics of **Veratrum album are no less well marked than are those of **Arsenicum. They are as follows:

1. A profuse watery stool, forcible evacuated.

2. Pain in the abdomen preceding stool.

3. Great prostration following stool.

4. Cold sweat, coldness and blueness of the body generally. The stools of **Veratrum are watery, containing therein flakes, and are commonly called rice-water discharges. Preceding the stool is a severe pinching colic in the abdomen, and this pain is apt to continue during the stool. Nausea, too, is often an accompaniment. Cramps in the feet and legs may also be present. **Jatropha has a profuse watery discharge, evacuated with great force, and the patient is cold as under **Veratrum; but with Jatropha a great quantity of wind escapes. **Cuprum is also similar in many respects to **Veratrum. Here the cramps are very severe and extend to the chest; it has the vomiting and purging of **Veratrum, but not the cold sweat. Among the prominent general symptoms of **Veratrum is the great thirst for very cold water in large draughts. From personal experience I believe **Veratrum acts better in the higher potencies in diarrhoea; in the lower potencies it may produce unfavorable results from too sudden stoppage of the discharges, while in the higher potencies, 12th,30th etc., its acts **tuto, cito et jocunde.

Cinchona officinalis. [Chin]

      **Arsenicum and Veratrum in a certain case having been excluded, perhaps the next remedy coming to mind is **Cinchona. Indeed, it may come to mind at once if the diarrhoea be a painless one. **Cinchona, Podophyllum and Phosphoric acid have painless stools. Or, if the stool be undigested, it will come promptly to mind along with **Podophyllum and Ferrum, which is a very efficient remedy in painless diarrhoea. The characteristic **Cinchona diarrhoea is a painless one, of a cadaverous odor. It is slimy, bilious, blackish and mixed with undigested food; it is worse at night and after eating, with a rapid exhaustion and emaciation, and this exhaustion, emaciation and debility at once distinguish the remedy from **Phosphoric acid, which is similar, lacking the debility, but having the following:

1. Rumbling in abdomen.

2. Perspiration of the whole body.

3. Thin watery painless stools.

4. Much thirst.

The **Cinchona diarrhoea is worse after eating, here resembling **Ferrum and Arsenicum. If it be caused or made worse by fruit, it is an additional characteristic indication for its use. It is a great favorite in summer diarrhoeas, also **Iris versicolor, when there is much sour vomiting. Cinchona has a similar thirst to **Arsenicum, the patient drinks little and often, but it lacks the burning to **Arsenicum. Diarrhoeas coming on after attacks of acute illness are often met by **Cinchona. It also corresponds to the chronic diarrhoeas of aged persons.

W.A. Dewey
Dewey, Willis A. (Willis Alonzo), 1858-1938.
Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College. Member of American Institute of Homeopathy. In addition to his editoral work he authored or collaborated on: Boericke and Dewey's Twelve Tissue Remedies, Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Essentials of Homeopathic Therapeutics and Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics.