THE DISEASES OF THE LIVER
THE issue of a second edition of this treatise on Diseases of the Liver affords me an opportunity of adding somewhat to the clinical demonstrations already contained in Part II.
Particularly would I call attention to what is here related of the sphere of action of Chelone glabra of which no mention is made in the first edition, because I was, at the time of its issue, not clear on the subject. At this place I would also take the opportunity of pointing out the omission by Dr. Dudgeon of a very important point in regard to the clinical use of Carduus marioe. Some time since Dr. Dudgeon translated and published in one of our journals some very important cases of pulmonary disease and coughs as cured by Carduus. The impression conveyed by this eminent writer’s translation is that Carduus in these cases acted as a pulmonary remedy whereas the cases were really considered by their author as of hepatic origin: the pulmonary manifestations being consentaneous, or secondary to primary liver affections in all the cases narrated. This point is of the highest importance as Dr. Dudgeon’s translations give one the impression that Carduus is a lung medicine which I think is entirely erroneous: the lung affections that are curable by Carduus have their starting point in a primary affection of the liver. All the clinical writers on Carduus with whose works I am acquainted are of this opinion, and Rademacher, the greatest of them all, is very clear and positive on the subject. *I am very well aware that Dr. Dudgeon does not share in my organopathic views, but as translator he is bound to faithfully render the original. I will now relate a case of hepatic disease of great interest which had baffled some of the best physicians in London and which very clearly exemplifies the therapeutic range of Bellis perennis and again of Carduus marioe. It is one of:
ENLARGEMENT OF LIVER REMAINING FROM HEPATITIS AND PERITONITIS.
The wife of the Vicar of St.B. brought a young lady, about 24 years of age, to me on February 20th, 1893, for considerable swelling of the abdomen and such severe varicosis of lower extremities that the patient had been confined to her couch for nearly a year. Patient had had thrombosis of the veins of her lower extremities repeatedly and the swelling in the right side of the abdomen dates from a severe attack of peritonitis and hepatitis. All idea of a cure had been abandoned. Percussion and palpitation revealed an enlargement of the left lobe of the liver and a painful lump lying between the liver and the navel about the size of a small first. Glands in the groins feel like marbles, lower extremities large and unshapely, clearly the remains of the original thrombosis. In as much as the whole series of phenomena-thrombosis, peritonitis, hepatitis-began with getting a chill (cold, wet) six years ago, I ordered my old friend Bellis perennis ten drops in a tablespoonful of water night and morning.
March 20th.-Very greatly improved, indeed, lump nearly gone and the lower extremities are now shapely. The left lobe of the liver however remaining enlarged, I ordered Carduus marioe seven drops in water night and morning.
April 28th.-Patient at this date was walking about like other people, and the only thing that remained was a little transverse swelling of the liver and this was removed by a short course of Chelone glabra.
In the fall of the year 1893, a slight relapse occured which was quickly righted by Bellis perennis. The Vicar’s wife was with me on October 15th, on another matter and mentioned incidentally that Jessie’s cure had proved complete and lasting.
The common sunflower is an old horticultural as well as clinical friend of mine that has here and there helped me in splenic affections. Here I use it more as a liver remedy:-
Helianthus Annuus AS A LIVER MEDICINE.
Although I regard the sunflower as specially a spleen medicine still it has a distinct action across from the spleen toward the liver and possibly it influences the liver also.
I have lately cured a stubborn case of a throbbing swelling in the pit of the stomach involving the left side of the liver and the spleen and the tissues lying between the two organs.
No defined epigastric tumours could be satisfactorily distinguished but the whole epigastric region was very tender on pressure and patient could not bend down with out getting giddy and feeling much distress at the epigastrium. The particular interest in the case lay in the long duration of the ailment and the pulsating epigastric mass.