5. Tonicardiacs


In this lecture on the drainage and canalisation on the circulatory system, Dr. Bernoville describes a series of homoeopathic remedies acting specially on the heart, remedies that are used according to the law of similars and physiologically as tonicardiacs….


In the 5th and the last but one lecture on the drainage and canalisation on the circulatory system Dr. Bernoville describes a series of homoeopathic remedies acting specially on the heart, remedies that are used according to the law of similars and physiologically as tonicardiacs.

Let us consider these remedies one after the other:

Apocynum canabinum. This remedy is only used in Homoeopathy and it is a valuable remedy used in lower dilutions 1x or 3x. It acts specially on the heart and kidneys and secondarily on the digestive apparatus and uterus. It is used specially for cardiacs and cardio-renal patients.

The patient is weak, Oppressed specially in the Decubitas. He has a sensation of weakness specially localised in the epigastrium (like that of ammonium carbonicum) and has oedema. The oedema may be localised (Malleoral, hydrothorax, cardiac pleurisy, ascites) or anasarca. The patient has thirst (inverse Apis) but drinking aggravates. He has watery stools which seems to compensate insufficient urine. Rapid and profuse vomiting (thus Apocynum comes near to Phosphorous an important remedy of kidneys and has vomiting immediately the liquid becomes hot in the stomach.). Aggravation by cold and aggravation by heat (like Arsenicum another important remedy of cardio-renal patients). The skin is very dry (like that of Petroleum, an important remedy of pre-uremic state). Thus placed among Phosphorus, Arsenic and Petroleum, Apocynum will be indicated in patients suffering from Bright’s disease, from hypersystole, and in rheumatic endocarditis with the menace of cardiac collapse. It is very much related to Digitalis with which it may be alternated with good results. We will give for example: Digitalis 3x or 6x at noon, Apocynum 3x at dinner with Phosphorous 200 as a ground remedy.

Prunus spinosa. Very much related to Apocynum.

Renal deficiency is here very important with marked oliguria, big oedemas, frequent ascites. Prunus spinosa is a satellite of Digitalis specially in Ascites. Boerick advises 3 or 6 but Dr. Bernoville advises 1x or M.T. Let us mention here that Prunus spinosa has some headaches some neuralgias of the right eye ball. Piercing pains going from the frontal bone to the occiput and right sided ciliary neuralgia. We know that it is a remedy of ophthalmic zona.

Now let us consider a group of three important remedies :

Veratrum vivide. In toxic doses it is a congestivating drug. It cause a violent congestion, sudden, either of the brain or of the marrow, of the thorax or of the lungs, by the intermediary of the vaso-motors. It has an elective action on Pneumococcus infection and will act in Pneumonia and generally in fever with great Oscillation; septicemias. In these cases Dr. Nebel uses it in very high dilutions whereas according to Dr. Bernoville it is more valuable than Pyrogenium from cardio- vascular point of view. Veratrum viride has an important action: The patient has strong pulsations throughout the body with systolic stoppage of the heart. There is great Prostration and sometimes Muscular rigidness. Veratrum viride is a good remedy of asthma with hypertension but a deeper study of this medicine is necessary from the point of view of cardiology, specially in auricular fibrillation in paroxysms. We know that the allopaths use it in sclerosis.

From the pathogenetic point of view we must know one of its typical symptom: medial red line along the tongue which is cracked (compare with rhus tox of which the tip of the tongue has a red triangle). The patient of Veratrum viride is Weak and Prostrated: Vomiting and Weakness with hot sweat. He has aggravation while standing up, by cold; Amelioration while lying down with the head bent (inverse Spigelia) and by rubbing.

(About the action of Veratrum viride in pyrexia Dr. Bernoville has given a lecture which is very interesting and one should keep it in mind: Don’t forget that in septicemias Echinaecea, used for the first time in the 19th century by the American electric school. Echinaecea is particularly used in puerperal fevers and in infectious-endocarditis. It should be given in M.T., 15 to 20 drops daily. Dr. Mondaine gets good results by using it in this manner. In very grave cases it may be used by intravenous injections).

Veratrum album. An important remedy of Collapse stage with extreme coldness, cyanosis, weakness, notable hypotension, deficiency of the heart, blueness of the extremities. The patient is very weak, face very pale, thready rapid pulse. Cold perspiration on forehead. Veratrum album is an important remedy of choleriform stage with Camphora, Cuprum and Arsenic. The patient of veratrum album has diarrhoea and vomiting, cramping pains in the abdomen and cramps. It is also a remedy of Post operative shock. It is also a remedy of Drowned persons when artificial respiration is given and the patient is becoming conscious veratrum album and Camphora often give very good result. From the cardiac point of view Veratrum album is an excellent tonicardiac in lower dilution but not always as valuable as Camphora in cardiac collapse. One important fact is to be noted: The value of the mental symptom of Veratrum album: the patient is melancholic and has a stupid and indifferent look. He is hopeless of his fate and tears his clothes. Sometimes he is depressed, sometimes hyperexcited. It is a remedy of puerperal mania.

Veratrin is an alkaloid. It was formerly applied in muscular jerkings as if from electric shocks and fulgurating pains of the type of Kalmia latifolia. A scientific important fact from the point of view of experimental demonstration of the action of Homoeopathic doses: It has been proved physiologically that Veratrin in high dilutions is capable to cause some contractions in the hearts of toads thank to the works of Jarricot of Lyon.

Clinically Dr.Fortier-Bernoville has used Veratrin in 30th and 200th in arrhythmia as a consequence of infractus of myocardia and has received clear effect of the remedy specially on the day following the application. But a deeper study of the remedy is required.

Iberis amara. An exclusively Homoeopathic tonicardiac which requires deeper study. It is used in some cardiac troubles, related to the beginning of hypertrophy or dilatation of the heart. Palpitation, cardiac beating resounding in the throat, vertigo, tachycardia with irregular pulse. Aggravation while lying down on the left side, by exercise and in a warm room. 1x or M.T. is used.

Eel Serum. Its action is more on the kidneys than on the heart. The pathogenesis is due to Pierre Jousset who studied it in 1 ‘Hospital Saint Jacques. He made its experiments by rudimentary methods when he was about 90 years old. It is a marvellous remedy.

Late Dr. Picard who also belonged to 1 ‘Hospital St. Jacques has also done some remarkable studies on Serum of Eel and in the Congress of Budapest in 1935, he presented an extremely interesting report on this remedy. Serum of Eel in 3x is an excellent remedy of acute nephritis (with Phosphorus, Arsenic, Mercurius, Cantharis and Apis) specially in the case of massive albuminuria, and chronic hypertensive nephritis

Let us now study a group of remedies coming from the same field China, the quinine and its two salts Chininum arsenicosum and Chininum sulphuricum. All the three are remedies of cardiac weakness (experimentally quinine dilates the coronary).

China is a remedy of persons who are soon dehydrated, who have troubles after loss of organic fluids (Hemorrhage); hypotension, weak pulse, extreme asthenia, ringing in ears, ocular and auricular hypersensitivity. In many cases China may avoid blood transfusion and its action is very rapid.

Chininum arsenicosum. Very weak subjects, very much prostrated who have palpitations, suffocations, cardiac dyspnoea with fever. It is also a remedy of grave cases of malaria and tuberculosis with cavity.

Chininum sulphuricum It is a remedy of still more grave states. It is also sometimes given in acute articular rheumatism.

Finally Quinidine is important from the point of view of cardiology. It has many points common with Digitalis. It is also used in complete arrhythmia by auricular fibrillation and in cardiac troubles of Basedow’s disease.

Since the observations of Barishac Dr. Bernoville uses Quinidine in Homoeopathic doses (3, 6, X and 20) or a mixture of dilutions and gets a clear action on tachyrhythmia. Quinidine acts well in mitral lesions not yet decompensed and may check the setting off of complete arrhythmia.

We will speak a few words about some remedies which are not properly remedies of heart.

Ammonium carbonicum. A remedy of Lipothymic conditions with Moschus. It is given in 6 or 30. It is also used in 3x or 6x (trit) in preuremic states.

Antimonium tartaricum and Antimonium crudum. When cardiac weakness is related to some digestive troubles one should think about them.

Arsenicum album. It is a remedy of first importance in all grave cases. In all dilutions it may act on the heart. But one should know how to apply it in high dilutions (200, M).

Colchicum. The patient has oppression, digestive troubles, nausea with weakness. The heart is weak and dull.

Oleander the laurel-rose is a remedy used empirical in dermatitis and rheumatism. Leclerc writes in 1888 that it has been used in cardiopathy and as such it is related to Strophanthus.

In Homeopathy we use it in some cases of eruptions on the skin related to hepatic insufficiency specially in asthmatics.

Finally two more important remedies:

Cereus Bonaplandii, related to Cactus, is a Mexican plant discovered in the 17th century by M. Bompland. It is a good drainage remedy for persons suffering from hypertension of the first stage. The patient has the sensation of heaviness of the region of heart and some muscular pains of the left pectoral in case of hypertrophied heart. It is used in 1x or 3x.

Pencedanum: Dr. Nebel has taught us its use in hypertension with renal deficiency and symptoms of anger.

It has also an action on duodenum and it is also used in some dyspeptic troubles. It is used in 3x and very rarely in 30.

Dr. Nebel also used polyganum avicular in the drainage of the heart towards kidney.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.