Gastric Affections

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

Nux vomica [Nux-v]

      Is a remedy influencing both in glandular secretion and muscular tone of the digestive organs. Among causes of dyspepsia are mental overwork, sedentary occupations, high living and dissipation, and these are all keynote symptoms of **Nux vomica.

This drug will be thought of when the patient is “cranky” and irascible, when he is drowsy and stupid in the evening, feels miserable in the morning and has a dull frontal headache. This headache is a constant element in Nux disease. With **Nux the food and drink taste normal, and the gastric and abdominal disturbances do not commence immediately after eating as under **Lycopodium and Nux moschata, but come on half an hour or so after meals, especially the dinner. There is often nausea, empty retching, scanty, sour or bilious vomiting, water brash, sour, bitter, metallic or putrid taste, and there is vertigo. All these symptoms are aggravated in the morning, and there is also an after dinner aggravation. Headache usually attends the gastric disturbances of **Nux. In the flatulent and pituitous dyspepsia of drunkards **Nux usually precedes **Carbo vegetabilis and Sulphur. **Kali bichromicum is more often indicated in the dyspepsia of beer drinkers. It is well indicated in dyspepsia when there is a feeling as if digestion had stopped after a meal eaten with relish and the food lies like a load; the distress comes sooner than the with **Nux vomica.

The appetite is impaired, the patient does not want even his accustomed stimuli, or there may be an abnormal hunger, and this abnormal hunger usually precedes an attack of dyspepsia, which attack may sometimes be avoided by attention to diet as soon as this symptom of abnormal hunger appears, which it usually does some twenty-four to thirty-six hours previous. This is a symptom of a misused stomach. The eructations of **Nux are painful, bitter or sour. The nausea is especially after a meal. The stomach is sensitive to pressure and to tight clothing, and the patient will say:”If I could only vomit I would feel much better.” In the distress after eating we must compare **Nux with Abies nigra, which has a pain coming on immediately after eating, and with **Kreosote, which has the symptom that three or four hours after eating the patient vomits. **Nux has also gastric irritability with pains radiating in various directions from the epigastrium which are worse in the morning. **Bismuth has burning and lancinating pains of a purely nervous character, a pure gastralgia, with spasmodic vomiting. **Nux has an abnormal thirst, and there is distension even after a light meal and a very characteristic sensation of a lump or a load in the stomach. This oppresses the brain and soon develops flatulence.

**Mercurius has a deathly faintness at the pit of the stomach.

**Calcarea carbonica has a tenderness at the pit of the stomach.

**Lycopodium has a pain in the pit of the stomach when the hypochondria are pressed and a pain in the hypochondria when the pit of the stomach is pressed; there is fullness even after a light meal, but **Lycopodium does not have the intestinal irritability of **Nux.

**Sepia, Sulphur and Natrum carbonicum have an all gone sensation at the pit of the stomach worse at 11 A.M. The pains of **Arsenicum are burning and the dyspepsia of **Pulsatilla is especially after rich and fat food. Waterbrash is more characteristic of **Nux vomica, while heartburn is more characteristic of **Pulsatilla. Atonic dyspepsia with a putrid taste in the mouth in the morning compelling the patient to rinse out the mouth, with a desire for beer and bitters, and an aversion to coffee will strongly indicate **Nux vomica, and when **Nux fails to act perhaps the best remedy is **Carbo vegetabilis. The tongue of **Nux is coated, white usually, and this coating is more on the posterior part; the front half of the tongue may be clean.

Dr. Dyce Brown finds that when the gastric symptoms are prominent the lower dilutions act better, but if constipation be present the higher ones are to be preferred. It acts better when given in the evening.

Carbo vegetabilis. [Carb-v]

      This is a putrid remedy, and will be found most useful in the putrid variety of dyspepsia. **Carbo is putrid and **Sulphuric acid is sour. When **carbo is indicated the patient will be below par, the digestion will be slow and imperfect, there will be a weight in the stomach and intestines and a faint, gone sensation in the stomach not relieved by eating, but after a few mouthfuls there is a sense of repletion. There is a ***burning in the stomach extending to the back and along the spine to the interscapular region. There is great distension of the stomach and bowels, which is temporarily relieved by belching. The flatulence of **Carbo vegetabilis is more in the stomach, and that of **Lycopodium more in the intestines. The eructations are rancid, sour or putrid. There is heaviness, fullness and sleepiness after eating, but not so much as in **Nux moschata and Lycopodium. The symptoms are worse from fat, fish, oysters, ice cream, vinegar or cabbage. Coffee disagrees, and milk increases the flatulence. There is violent ***burning in the stomach, chest and abdomen, with paroxysmal and crampy pains which force the patient to bend double; the stomach feels heavy.

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.