Gastric Affections

Pulsatilla. [Puls]

      No remedy in the old school corresponds to **Pulsatilla. Dryness of the mouth, putrid taste in the morning on awakening and a sensation as if food had lodged ***under the sternum are characteristics of this remedy. The tongue is coated with thick, rough, white fur, there is acidity and heart burn, food tastes bitter, sour or putrid, there is waterbrash and eructations tasting of food and absence of thirst only a desire to moisten the mouth. There is often a constant taste of food in the mouth as if it had in the stomach a long time after eating it. ***A bad taste is a special indication for **Pulsatilla. There is craving for lemonade and aversion to fats which aggravate. About one or, more often, two hours after eating there is a feeling of fullness and weight in the epigastrium which is relieved for a short time by eating, being here similar to **Anacardium. The characteristic of the flatulence of **Pulsatilla is that it moves about and often cause painful sensations about the chest, and which are relieved by eructations or the passage of flatus. **Pulsatilla, as remarked by Hahnemann, is especially useful for the dyspepsias arising from fatty foods, pork, pastry or mixed diets, being here like **Ipecac, or from chilling the stomach with ice cream or ice water, being here like **Arsenic and Carbo vegetabilis. The circulation is disturbed and the patient is always chilly and, strange to say, worse from heat. After meals there is violent palpitation; the action of the heart is apt to be irregular and it is difficult to convince such patients sometimes that they have not heart disease. Remember its power of acting on mucous membranes and increasing the quantity of mucous formed by them. This mucus in the stomach easily undergoes decomposition and acts as a frequent upon the food; hence nausea, acidity, foul eructations, and the pain arises from the irritating nature of the contents of the stomach rather than from mere bulk and weight which produces the **Nux pain.

Nearly always in dyspeptic troubles calling for **Pulsatilla there will be headache which are supraorbital and worse in the evening and from warmth. The patient is mentally active and this keeps him awake for hours after retiring; the sleep is dreamy and the patient awakes tired and listless. To distinguish between **Nux and Pulsatilla is rather easy; firstly, the mental condition are not at all similar; the patient in **Pulsatilla with digestive troubles in despondent, apprehensive, and lachrymose. **Nux is despondent, but at the same time irascible and domineering.

**Pulsatilla is worse in the evening. **Nux is worse in the morning and after dinner. **Pulsatilla has more heartburn and **Nux more waterbrash. From other drugs **Pulsatilla is easily distinguished. The clean tongue and intense nausea of **Ipecac will separate that remedy. **Antimonium crudum is especially indicated in those who have overloaded the stomach and have eructations tasting of food, vomiting, and especially a tongue thickly coated white, which should distinguish. It pictures atonic gastric catarrh, vomiting predominates, after pickles, sour things etc. It has nausea of a loathing variety, food is repugnant, depressed vitality is always prominent.

Anacardium. [Anac]

      With this remedy there is a sinking feeling which comes on about two hours after eating, and a dull pain in the stomach extending to the spine, and there are often tasteless or occasional sour eructations. The great characteristic of the remedy is the ***great relief after eating, the symptoms returning, however, and increasing in intensity until the patient is forced to eat again for relief. Such patients become true “lunch fiends.” There are three other drugs that have prominent relief from eating. They are **Petroleum, Chelidonium and Graphites. Petroleum has among its prominent symptoms ravenous hunger and gastralgia relieved by eating, and it is especially called for in long-lingering gastric troubles with a great deal of nausea. Dyspepsia accompanied with diarrhoea will sometimes indicate **Petroleum. **Chelidonium is indicated by its prominent liver symptoms. **Anacardium has violent gastralgia, especially at night, and a great urging to stool as in **Nux vomica, but, unlike **Nux vomica, on going to stool the desire passes away; then, too, here we have the characteristic symptom of a plug in the rectum, which **Nux does not have. The gastralgia of **Anacardium is relieved by eating, that of **Argentum nitricum is worse from eating. Mentally **Anacardium has a great deal of hypochondriasis, confusion of mind and loss of memory. The patient is hungry most of the time, and although eating relieves it is only a temporary relief, for really after eating he is worse. Another distinguishing feature between **Nux and Anacardium, is the paretic state of the rectum in **Anacardium, which **Nux lacks. **Anacardium also has some flatulence, and the symptom that the patient has to pound his back to start the gas is sometimes met with.

Sepia. [Sep]

      **Sepia is more often found useful in women, but the symptoms agreeing it may, of course, be used in men. It is a remedy which has the vehemence and irascibility of Nux and the tearful despondency of **Pulsatilla, and also the aversion to household affairs more marked than in **Natrum muriaticum. Then, too, there are hot flashes as in **Sulphur, with hot hands and cold feet, but in **Sepia the face is apt to have the characteristic yellow saddle across the nose. There is a white-coated tongue and a sour or putrid taste in the mouth. The most characteristic symptom, however, is a feeling of goneness in the pit of the stomach, which is not relieved by eating. This is similar only to Carbo animals, for in **Anacardium, Natrum carbonicum, Phosphoricum and Sulphur this gone sensation is always better after meals. There is nausea at the smell or sight of the food, and **Colchicum has nausea at the thought of the food; even mention food and he vomits. The abdomen of **Sepia is flatulent and the liver is sore and has sharp pains in it; but here again **Sepia is different from all others, for it is relieved by lying on the right side. The urine of **Sepia may help to decide between it and **Lycopodium and **Kali carbonicum, in that while it always deposits a lithic acid sediment it adheres tenaciously to the side and bottom of the vessel and is offensive. The Sepia patient is worse in the forenoon and evening, and there is great longing for acids and pickles. It may be useful in dyspepsias from the overuse of tobacco.

Sulphur. [Sulph]

      **Sulphur is a wonderful remedy in dyspepsia, but its value is seldom appreciated. It has bitter or sour taste and putrid eructations, sour vomiting, congested liver, and like **Nux vomica, constipation. It is useful in the flatulent dyspepsia of those who drink heavily, and it has a feeling of satiety after eating a small quantity of food, being in the former symptom like Carbo vegetabilis and in the latter like **Carbo vegetabilis, Lycopodium and Sepia. It is aggravated from starchy food like both **Natrum carbonicum and **Natrum sulphuricum. There is a ravenous desire for sweets which make him sick; only one other remedy has this, and that is **Argentum nitricum, which has a diarrhoea caused by it, while under **Sulphur sweets cause a sour stomach and heartburn. The **Sulphur patient also craves alcohol, and milk, contrary to custom, increases the acidity of the stomach and causes vomiting; he also has aversion to meat. There is canine hunger; the patient can hardly wait for meals and is forced to get up at night to eat, which is like **Phosphorus, and when he eats he feels puffed up; or else there is loss of appetite. If we have the general characteristics of **Sulphur present, the hot flashes, the hot head and cold feet, the early morning diarrhoea, the “cat nap” like sleep, the aversion to washing etc., the choice will be easy.

” Drinks much, eats little,” is a good **Sulphur indication.

**Robinia causes excessive acidity, one of our best remedies in hyperchlorhydria. Vomiting sour. Starch digestion is impeded. It has burning in epigastrium. When stomach is empty frontal headache, frequent acid eructations. Colic sometimes sufficient to cause the patient to double


**Capsicum is very useful in gastric hyperchlorhydria, chronic pyrosis. Dr. Cartier praises this remedy highly in hyperacidity, he prefers the 3 and dilutions.

Phosphorus. [Phos]

      **Phosphorus corresponds to ***rumination and ***regurgitation. Craving for cold food and cold drinks is characteristic of **Phosphorus, and they relieve momentarily, but are vomited as soon as they become warm in the stomach; spitting up of blood without nausea is also common. The gone, weak feeling in the stomach at 11 A.M., which we find under **Sepia, Sulphur and Natrum carbonicum, is also present under **Phosphorus, and here it also extends to the bowels. There are sour eructations, and as a concomitant we have sometimes the characteristic burning of this remedy, between the scapulae. The tongue has projecting papillae, a verified symptom, and is white more along the middle, as in **Bryonia. As in **Sulphur, the patient hungry at night and lies awake until he gets something to eat. It is a useful remedy in the vomiting of chronic dyspepsia; the patient vomits as soon as the food strikes the stomach. **Bismuth also has the symptom that the patient vomits as soon as the food strikes the stomach; with this remedy, too, there is much pain and burning. **Phosphorus has a special relation to destructive and disintegration processes, and hence is one of the remedies for cancers, indurations, erosions, etc.; a burning, gnawing, circumscribed pain is characteristic. Rapid loss of flesh and anaemia are also symptoms. The 3d potency has seemed to act well.

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.