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.

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.