On November 5th, 1834, I was visited by a Mrs. V.R. She was 71 years old, happily married, and had come to me complaining about glaucoma in both eyes, particularly in the right eye, which had started two years previously. This trouble had become worse and worse, and was accompanied by severe pain. In addition, the lady suffered from a terrible pain in the right side of the mouth and the right jaw. When these pain attacks came on, the mouth felt paralysed, and she had the greatest difficulty in speaking, and the pain spread from the mouth to the eyes, nose and over the whole face. On the tongue she had a nasty dark hard swelling which alarmed me.
The lady, who had consulted a number of doctors and specialist, among them two homoeopathic doctors, had been told by all of them that there was nothing for that trouble but an operation. She was reluctant to have her eyes operated upon, and so she came to me. An operation for glaucoma is not without risk. One of my patients was operated upon. the surgeon was clumsy, or was unfortunate; anyway, the healthy eye was so gravely injured that the sight was lost.
Mrs. V.R. looked deeply depressed by the prospect of an operation on her eyes, and she looked thoroughly unwholesome. She was deeply jaundiced, her eyes were without lustre, and the ye- balls had the typical hardness and were burning hot. For some reason or other which I do not understand, and which probably no specialist understands, there is in glaucoma a considerable flow of blood into the eye-balls, producing congestion and pain and interfering with sight. She looked a typical victim of constipation and auto-intoxication.
The doctors and specialists had examined her eyes. I did not examine the eyes at all. Their condition was perfectly obvious to me from what the patient had said, and investigation of the local mischief would have been absolutely useless other and to me, who desired to help her. So I asked her immediately about the condition of her bowels, having found that glaucoma is practically always accompanied by constipation and auto-intoxication, and is probably due to this condition.
The lady told me that about forty years previously, after child- birth, there was considerable sagging of the abdominal organs, and that ever since she had been terribly constipated. She produced, as a rule, a single motion a week, by means of a strong soap enema. One one day a week she had an artificially produced motion, and for six days she was constipated and absorbed the foulest putrefactive material from her bowel. It seems incredible that a woman, who was well to do, had been allowed to go about for decades in this condition.
I wrote in my directions: “It seems to me incredible that your previous doctors have not dealt with this factor. You were told by your physicians that nothing could be done for your glaucoma except operation. As, in my opinion, the trouble emanates from the bowel, energetic bowel regulation is the first and most important need.”.
In view of her internal foulness, I, of course, forbade all putrefactive foods, flesh, fish and fowl in any form, etc., and gave her an abundance of fruit, vegetables, salads and other raw stuff, large quantities of bran, in the form of bran porridge and bran pudding, three times daily, and large quantities of liquids between meals, to wash out her foul system. Further I recommended her to counteract the congestion in and about the eye-balls by hot hand and warm baths, hot foot baths, hot applications at the back of the neck, etc.
furthermore, I wished her to relieve the pressure on the eyes, not by cold applications, which are mistaken when there is congestion, but by hot applications to the eye-balls as well. As she got hot feet in bed and had all the other symptoms of Sulphur, her Sulphur 3x, first and last thing, Colocynthis 3x, for her eye pain, in alternation with Spigelia 1x and onosmodium 1x, and she was to find out which of these medicines suited her best.
Improvement occurred almost instantaneously. Instead of having three or four bowel motions a month, she soon learnt to have three or four motions a day, and she has remained absolutely regular ever since, and looks, of course, a completely different woman. the violent pain about her eyes rapidly disappeared, and gave place to relative comfort. On November 15th I was visited by her husband, who reported to me on her condition, and I wrote to her:.
“I have just seen your husband, and I am extremely satisfied with you, at least in part. Your husband tells me, to my delight, that your age-old constipation has completely vanished, and, as it is at the bottom of your eye trouble and various other troubles, this change is an immense improvement. Your husband is under the impression that there is a considerable constitutional improvement, and a distinct improvement in the vision of the left eye. Unfortunately there is still much pain, relieved by heat.
I must try immediately to give you relief from those pains. Put your hands up to the elbows frequently in hot water, to draw the blood away from the head and eyes. If this relieves your, as I hope it will, continue with it, being, guided by your impression. Poultice your eyes, either with plain hot water, or better, with very strong black Indian tea, and try also poulticing with the leaves of Indian tea in a muslin bag, and selecting which form of poulticing does you most good, being guided once more by your sensations.”.
On the next day I saw the lady, and I wrote to her:.
“I was more than pleased with your appearance. You have a much better colour, clear eyes, can see better with the left eye, pain is much improved, bowel action is vastly better, but is not as good as it ought to be, and I want you to increase paraffin and liquorice powder as necessary, to clear you out thoroughly, because the whole trouble, including the eye conditions, is principally due to auto-intoxication from the bowel. I was amazed to find that the tongue has cleared up and that the swelling is much smaller and softer. You have worked a miracle, and you must disregard occasional set backs and attacks of pain, which I hope will permanently disappear before long under my treatment.”.
Mrs. V.R. did well and after a time I lost sight of her. I have had numerous cases of glaucoma, and in most cases prompt improvement, or complete cure can be secured by regulating the bowels, with the help of liquid paraffin or some other innocent regulator, and by a cooling non-putre-factive diet, combined with the indicated homoeopathic remedies.