Potentized cochineal bugs have long been used by homoeopaths for whooping cough. The writer has a vivid recollection of being given sweetened cochineal tea for the same complaint when a boy. Like any other remedy; it is very efficacious when well indicated. But in addition to the well known symptoms I wish to point two others of equal merit.
Coccus cacti suits almost any paroxysmal cough when the attacks are violent but not very close together, and are attended by much redness of the face and a general sense of feeling too hot. If irritation of the kidneys, with scanty, thick, heavy urine, passed pretty often, also attends, it is doubly indicated, and the results will be brilliant.
In Dunham’s translation of Boenninghausen’s “Whooping Cough,” Dr. Ad Lippe contributes the following indications: Whooping cough. Suffocative cough, with expectoration of much tough, white mucus, which accumulates in the chest and throat and is difficult to raise, causing almost strangulation and, from this effort, vomiting of food. The mucus tastes sour. Cough from itching in the chest, back of the lower part of the sternum.
Aggravation. During the night, after going in bed; in the morning in bed while lying in a horizontal position; after remaining long in the same position (sitting or lying); when entering a heated room after having been in the open cold air; from smoking tobacco.
Concomitant symptoms. Vomiting of tough, ropy white mucus and later, of the food, especially in the morning when trying to expectorate the tough mucus.
It racks the system all over when coughing; the head pains and feels as if it should split. Immoderate appetite.
A certain woman, from prolonged exposure to a cold wind, contracted grippe. After a week’s treatment with only moderate success, I saw the patient and elicited the following symptoms:
1. Burnt taste with nausea, (<) drinking
2. Lumbar stiffness and pain, (<) coughing.
3. Aching down the left posterior thigh, with a catching pain on motion,(<) pressure. The urine contained much kidney epithelium.
4. At widely separated intervals attacks of violent cough, causing a general sense of heat and redness of the face.
The coincidence of spasmodic respiratory effects, combined with urinary and lumbar symptoms, was enough to make one think of Coccus cacti, but the general heated state, with redness of the face with each coughing attack, clinched the choice. In two days after taking a single dose of the IM, the cough had about ceased, and in four days the other symptoms left also, so that only great weakness remained.