When a patient is slow in recovering from any acute infection certain remedies, such as Sulphur, Psorinum and Carbo veg., suggest themselves, but the prescription must be selected individually. In these circumstances or when prolonged ill-health follows, the nosodes of acute infections may be invaluable. Kent and others have rightly condemned the indiscriminate use of nosodes. The place of nosodes of acute infections is fairly clear. They should be considered:
(a) In the absence of satisfactory indications for a proved remedy and
(b) When remedies apparently well chosen on a symptomatic basis fail to achieve adequate results.
Swan of America was the first to use nosodes extensively and among his followers may be included Alien, Compton Burnett and Tyler.
Dr. Tyler, writing on Morbillinum, said “Swan, pioneer in the use of disease products for the cure of like disease, received the inspiration and prepared from among many such substances, potentized measles, with which he did some astonishing work.” “And now, after these years of dullness and neglect, we are receiving fresh impetus, and are already getting sudden astonishing results.
As a matter of fact we have for years been making play with Variolinum, Tuberculinum, Lueticum, Medorrhinum, Influenzinum: only, as said, Morbillinum, said several others have till now not entered into the picture, and Morbillinum threatens to become the most important of the lot.” “Everybody had had measles” and not everybody has managed to “annihilate the disease” so that nothing latent and threatening has remained. In future we shall do well do taken notice when told of an old acute sickness, never, or very tardily, recovered, from, never well since diphtheria-scarlet fever-vaccination. “Tonsillitis followed by chorea, even rheumatism; heart damaged in childhood by rheumatic fever,” these last put in a strong plea for that might remedy Streptococcin.
Having working with Dr. Tyler for some years, I was able to observe her results at first hand, and they certainly were often remarkable. My impression is that her success was to some considerable extent due to careful constitutional prescribing before giving the nosode. Many of the patients had received her expert treatment even as long as years before hand, but she did prescribe the appropriate nosode at the beginning if there were no obvious indications for a proved remedy, and the results then also were usually very good.
Apart from the probable advantage of careful constitutional prescribing prior to giving the appropriate nosode, there is another reason why these nosodes should be given only after due consideration. That is, that they may work like a charm or not al all. The same applies to administration of a potency of any drug which has adversely affected a patient.
Tyler published a number of her cases in homoeopathy. Here is one under the title “Rheumatism-Scarlatina.” I have abbreviated the notes. “November 1939. Patient sent by her doctor with request for ‘massage for her legs and feet for rheumatism. “She had rheumatic pains for two years. Symptoms were indefinite as regards choice of remedy, but she had scarlet fever as a child and it had left her with a ‘bad ear’. R. Scarlatina 200, three doses 6 hourly (Tyler’s favourite prescription of the nosodes). “no massage.” In December 1939 there is a note: “Walking better. Pain gone from legs. Better in herself.” Scarlatina was repeated in February 1940 and again in October 1940 when Tyler wrote “The nosode was repeated as before. This was her second repeat in eleven months in which she has been practically well for two years’ rheumatism. She has never needed or been given massage.”
I had a case of this sort a few years ago, when no remedy seemed clearly indicated from the start. A University student had been unable to concentrate and suffered from attacks of vertigo when walking. He described this as feeling ” as if he had put one foot in a small boat. “This began after an attack of measles two years previously. The cause of the vertigo was obscure, he had been checked over at the E.N.T. department of a teaching school without a definite diagnosis having been made. Morbillinum 200, first dose, was followed by a short aggravation, then complete cure.
Apart from the nosodes of acute childish and other illnesses, it is worth while to note any tendency to streptococcal, staphylococcal or any bacterial or virus infection.
Tyler mentioned Streptococcin in relation to a rheumatic fever history, meaning that such a history would suggest Streptococcin should there be the indications for a nosode, as a constitutional remedy. Staphylococcal infection is common too, and Staphylococcin may be a useful remedy. A mongol child of eight years suffered from furunculosis of her back and perineum which was sluggish in responding to treatment. Staphylococcin 30 was followed by a rapid clearing of the condition. Several months later there was recurrence and again Staphylococcin 30 cleared it up, and it is still clear after some months.
A lad of 15 years of age had suffered form eczema practically all his life, accompanied by secondary infection on many occasions. It was widespread, and he had been in hospital almost half his life, partly because of the severity of his condition and partly because home conditions were far from good. He responded slowly and unsatisfactorily to homoeopathic treatment, till it was noted that he was always worse at night. A night aggravation is covered by about two hundred remedies, but when this remains an outstanding feature after apparently well indicated remedies have been given, Lueticum is nearly always required.
He was given Lueticum 3o, and this was followed by great improvement. Then a month later he developed widespread furunculosis. Staphylococcin 30 was given and there was a dramatic improvement. Staphylococcin had to be repeated six months later and he has been practically free from eczema and furunculosis for a year. It is, of course, impossible to assess the part played by Staphylococcin in this case, as Lueticum is associated with “successions of abscesses” a point also to remember in utilising the past history for prescribing.
I mention this case as it illustrates the kind of case in which Staphylococcin seems to be indicated, that is to say, when they have been recurrent staphylococcal lesions over a long period of time and when staphylococcal lesions are widespread. At least it 9is worth a trail in these circumstances, when all else fails. It would take a careful analysis of many cases to establish a “clinical proving” of Staphylococcin, which I believe would be of value in respect of many of the nosodes of acute infection.
A clinical proving should be based on a large number of cases, say at least 50. Before publishing the first paper on Carcinosin we had detailed notes of over 200 patients. Some years ago I made a brief study of Streptococcin from about thirty cases. The most definite symptom which emerged was “weepy, consolation aggravates” and this has been of value in confirming several subsequent prescriptions. Another symptom which emerged, although not quite so definitely, was “better in the open air.”
Also Streptococcin has certain rheumatic symptoms indistinguishable from those of Rhus tox, and other remedies which one might expect from its pathological relationship to Pyrogen. “Worse in wet weather, worse on beginning to move, better for subsequent movement.” A woman of 50 had fallen on her knees and had pain which had persisted for some months, although there was no evidence of a fracture or osteoarthritis. She had these symptoms, and Rhus tox helped a little. Arnica and Ruta had no obvious effect. Many years previously she had suffered from quinsy and rheumatic fever. Streptococcin 30, there doses, 2 hourly, was followed by a dramatic and lasting freedom from pain, although she was not completely cured.
Along with these nosodes is a group of remedies with a pathological relationship to certain illnesses including Thuja, Drosera and Lathyrus sativa in respect of vaccination, whooping cough and poliomyelitis. Thuja is well known for its importance in dealing with the after – effects of vaccination, immediate or remote, and it can be prescribed much in the same way as a nosode, that is to sat, when there are no clear indications for another remedy, or when apparently indicated remedies do nor act satisfactorily, even when symptomatic indications are absent.
Failure to take after a first vaccination, and even large vaccination scars, should also lead to consideration of Thuja in these circumstances. Thuja is a valuable remedy when there are no good indications for anything else in cases of acute bronchitis, slow to clear up, as pointed out by Clarke. If the patient has had a bad reaction to vaccination and, or a shiny face, these are excellent confirmatory symptoms.
Drosera is probably a better routine prescription for the aftermath of whooping cough than Pertussin, Drosera being a proved remedy may be symptomatically indicated, but often choice is virtually impossible. Pertussin can be tried later if Drosera dose not work.
A woman of thirty-seven had suffered from migraine since childhood. The headaches were accompanied by an opening and shutting sensation in the head, After two years of prescribing she had fever and less severe headaches. She was difficult, as there were too many “good prescribing symptoms. “Then one day she complained of a cough which on inquiry was found to be paroxysmal and she had had bouts of paroxysmal coughing lasting a few days every years since whooping cough at the age of sight. She did not know whether or not whooping cough had preceded the migraine attacks, which may be was not important in any case. Drosera a 200, 1M and 10M was given. It had to be repeated six months later, since when she has been almost completely free from migraine for three years.
A woman of thirty-eight complained of rheumatism of the left shoulder. “There was some wasting of the muscles of the shoulder girdle which followed poliomyelitis eight years previously. Arsenicum alb. 200 t.i.d. 2 day, b.d. 2 days, was prescribed. She was unduly weak, worse at midnight, she was chilly and had burning pains relieved by warmth. The treatment worked like a charm, but the pains returned immediately it was stopped.
A second course was given with nearly as good a result, then a higher potency was given but with not much effect. Lathyrus sativa 1M, there doses 12 hourly, was given and the pains cleared up for six month, when Lathyrus sativa 1M was again prescribed. She had not further pain for about three and half years, when again Lathyrus was followed by relief. It dose not seem to matter how long after a severe acute infection the appropriate remedy is given.
Shortly after the war I was treating an elderly man for fibrositis of the lumbar region and troublesome paraesthesia of the lower limbs. Despite the fact that careful investigation failed to reveal anything serious, he did not respond to treatment at all until he received Typhoidinum 200 on account of typhoid fever he had in 1886. The following month he came up saying he felt very much better. Glandular fever may be very slow to clear up. Carcinosin may be a useful remedy for such cases.
Pyrogen is sometimes useful when there is a history of septicaemia, severe after-effects of dental extraction, or ill health commencing after an abortion in the absence of any obvious pelvic pathology. Enquiry should always be made, when possible, as to whether or not the mother suffered from any acute infection during pregnancy. The influence of German measles and probably other infections in causing malformation of the foetus has been established, and it is therefore likely that less obvious after- affects occur in the same way that post-natal illness may leave their mark.