Mclaren D C
Medicinal aggravation may be defined as the increased intensity of existing symptoms following the administration of the most similar remedy, and is easily distinguished from the production of new symptoms by the exhibition of a remedy not exactly similar. I say “easily distinguished,” but this should be qualified by the remark that careless observes frequently confound the two. As a rule we seem to learn most from our failure.
Some years ago I had to contend with an incurable case of abdominal pain, so violent and agonizing that I could see no other remedy for it but Arsenicum. But this drug instead of relieving added to the existing pain the further suffering of ‘burning’ which had not been present before. At first I was hopeful that this was an aggravation (properly so called) and that the result would be beneficial; but I was soon undeceived to my great disappointment. Afterwards when I related the case to Dr. Ad. Lippe he told me the proper remedy should have been Lachesis.
The experience of the best homoeopaths had had down an axiom that immediate benefit resulting from a remedy in a chronic case will not be lasting, whereas if there be a pronounced aggravation the subsequent improvement will be likely to continue for mouths, for the reason that quick improvement indicates a mere superficial action of the drug, and aggravation shows a grasping power of some depth. This point was brought very clearly to my notice in a recent case of epilepsy of three years standing in a girl of thirteen.
Belladonna was very clearly indicated by the symptoms of the attack; one does of which gave immediate relief which lasted upward of five weeks. The fits then coming on again I gave Calcarea which brought on an aggravation, the spells, being much more severe and more frequent \; this lasted two weeks then ceased, and the girl remained without any attack for over three months. As this case is still in progress I can not say whether I shall succeed in making a complete cure or not, especially as the rest of the family are intensely psoric, the father having died of cancer.
In chronic skin eruptions it is always wise to warm the patient before hand that the first effect of the remedy will be to cause an increase of the surface trouble, and just in proportion to the intensity and duration of the aggravation will be the likelihood of a quick and permanent cure, for the reason that the internal psoric condition must exhaust itself completely through the skin before a cure can possibly result.
A recent case of congestion of the lungs may be of interest. Two years ago the lady, then aged 41, had a severe chill which suppressed the menses and brought on congestion. The allopaths did their best for eighteen months to put her out of the way, labeling the trouble “asthma” and “consumption.” She got Sulphur to begin with and made very rapid and satisfactory improvement; but four weeks afterwards exactly to the day she was congested again with some new feature, showing the climacteric change at work upon her.
It was now a clear lachesis case, which was given in water, 3 or 4 doses of the cm. during a half hour. It was not all taken before aggravation began, and for four or five hours it seemed as if she could hardly live through it, but little by little she recovered and remained without any medicines for 40 days, when she got another dose of Lachesis 2 m. She recognized the remedy a few minutes after taking it! Case still in progress.