This symptom has been variously expressed and interpreted; clinically,it is unquestionably dependable and has many times been verified. Presumably the remedy is palliative in angina and in cardio-vascular conditions in general. Severe palpitation of the heart is frequently present, occurs both day and night and is aggravated by lying on the left side.

The Use of Homoeopathic Remedies in Cardiac Pain-Pain which is apparently cardiac in origin and nature, may not in reality be due to cardiac conditions alone or even in part, since cardiac pain may be simulated by other clinical states; it is not, however, within the scope of this dissertation, to trespass upon endeavor to present in a purely practical manner the homoeopathic therapy of cardiac plain; the latter will therefore, be considered in a broad rather than in a narrow technical sense.

If we consult an index of homoeopathic provings, in other worse, if we turn to a reliable repertory of the materia medica, we find some seventy-six remedies which are alleged to have produced cardiac pain: of these nine have the symptom “pain in the heart.” in the highest degree; they are as follows: ACON., APIS, CACTUS, CEREUS BON, KALMIA, LITHIUM, PULS, RHUS TOX & SPIG. Thirty-four have the symptom in a lesser degree and need not be here enumerated; the rest, thirty-three in number, are credited with the symptom, but in the lowest degree.

Even if we eliminate these thirty-three remedies from consideration altogether, we still have forty-three remedies likely to be of service in the relief of cardiac pain. The busy physician, in the active, daily routine of his work,is unlikely and perhaps can hardly be expected, to keep the indications for these forty-three remedies in mind., Neither can he draw fine differentiations by consulting his repertory, for as a rule, there is neither time nor opportunity for him to do so. He may, therefore, be perhaps excused, if he resorts to measures unhomoeopathic in character. This is in fact, just what many homoeopathic physicians do and the non-homoeopathic remedies employed, vary from those frankly physiologic in character, to the ever-alluring combination tablet of our own homoeopathic pharmacies.

We do not here presume to criticize this departure from the strict Hahnemannian path, neither do we question the justification for the use of physiologic remedies so-called, upon occasion. We realize that there are occasions when the law of similars does not apply, such for example, when a lack of reaction must be resorted to. Under such circumstances cardiac pain may and is indeed, likely to be a factor.

Nevertheless, there is an important sphere of action for the purely homoeopathic remedy, if we will only seek a closer acquaintance with the latter and study more intimately, its characteristics. Hence let us glance at the indications for the nine remedies already mentioned as prominent, in the therapy of cardiac pain.

Aconite presents the symptom, “Intense pains (cardiac) in all directions, especially down the left arm, with numbness and tingling; anxiety, fear of death, coldness, cold sweat, feeble pulse.” This complex is of course suggestive of angina pectoris. Stitches in the heart region are likewise found, but it is the typical Aconite restlessness and fear which all our attention to the remedy. The pains of endo or of pericarditis come within its range.

Under Apis mellifica we find, “Much pain about region of heart, with sense of fluctuation when turning on her side.” The symptom is credited to the clinical condition of hydrothorax. We also find “sudden attack of acute pain just below the heart, soon extending diagonally towards the right chest”; likewise “several stitch-like pains just below the heart.”

Concomitant symptoms such as, “great anguish,restlessness; feels as if each breath would be the last” are characteristic and likely to the present. But no homoeopath would think of Apis in its relation to Cardiac pain unless he had a typical Apis case in general,which means, one of nephritis, hydrothorax or of erysipelas, rheumatism or pleurisy. The general indications for Apis must be present.

Cactus was long ago thrown out of the official list of accepted remedies by our friends of the orthodox persuasion. We more simple-minded homoeopaths persist in looking favorably upon it. Bastedo. Cushny and Wilcox, do not mention the drug at all. Certain proprietary pharmaceutical firms exploit it as of great value. Homoeopathically, in the light of its provings, we find, “SENSATION OF CONSTRICTION IN THE HEART, AS IF AN IRON BAND PREVENTED ITS NORMAL MOVEMENT”.

This symptom has been variously expressed and interpreted; clinically,it is unquestionably dependable and has many times been verified. Presumably the remedy is palliative in angina and in cardio-vascular conditions in general. Severe palpitation of the heart is frequently present, occurs both day and night and is aggravated by lying on the left side. Acute stitching pains in the heart area also occur, causing the patient to cry out and obstructing respiration.

Violent irregular beating if the heart is noted, also sensations of pressure and heaviness in the cardiac region. Stauffer, in his most excellent “Homoopathische Arzneimittellehre,” speaks of its use in valvular disease of the heart, endocarditis, pericarditis, disturbances of compensation, such as dilatation and hypertrophy. Angina pectoris with dyspnoea. Basedows Disease. Certain it is, that cactus does play an important part in homoeopathic therapy and we would be badly off without it.

Of cereus bonplandii we know comparatively little; it is a member of the Cactus family and might, therefore,be expected to produce similar symptoms. Allens Encyclopedia, volume III, gives a proving of it by Dr.John H.Fitch of New Scotland, N.Y., who in 1892 presented a proving to the International Hahnemannian Association. The I.H.A. transactions for 1892 contain the pathogenesis of this drug. In Allens presentation of the proving we find, characteristically marked, “PAIN AT HEART.” Convulsive, agonizing cardiac pains are spoken of, also a sensation as though a great stone lay upon the heart. Symptoms are worse at night and from the pressure of the clothing. Clarke, in his “Dictionary of Materia Medica,” gives the modality, “Heart symptoms worse lying on left side.” This we have more than once verified clinically and know that it is dependable.

Kalmia latifolia, finds of course, no place in Old School Medicine, but homoeopathic physicians appreciate its usefulness and think of it more particularly when rheumatism, by metastasis, affects the heart. Wandering pains are spoken of,in the cardiac area, extending down the left arm; also shooting pains, extending down the left arm; also shooting pains, extending through the body to the scapula, by the “Guiding Symptoms” of Hering; the proving as presented by Allen, says nothing at all about cardiac pain, but does not as characteristic, “PALPITATION OF THE HEART,” fluttering of the heart and slow pulse, even as slow as forty beats per minute.

Stauffer speaks of severe sharp cardiac pains, and notes and value of Kalmia in hypertrophy of the heart with disturbed compensation. He like wise mentions a rapid, weak and intermittent pulse, a system which should not be forgotten, in view of the fact that we look upon this remedy as having characteristically a slow pulse.

Lithium carbonate usually the carbonate, has produced in its proving a pain in the heart, even a violent pain in the heart and sometimes a sudden jerk or shock in the heart. The remedy is to be thought of in metastasis of gout to the heart, especially when there have been tophi and gouty pains in the small joints of the hands and feet. Farrington speaks o rheumatic soreness and valvular deposits of the heart. Certain it is, that this remedy is deserving of study and development.

Pulsatilla, that fickle, gentle, yielding little wind- flower, would scarcely be credited with the capability of producing cardiac pain; yet the proving says otherwise, for we read “Catching pain in the region of the heart, subdued for the time by pressure of the hand.” “Dull stitches and constant pressure in the praecordial region, with anxiety that impedes respiration; relieved by walking.”Palpitation, anxiety, etc. Kent gives, palpitation of the heart, worse when lying on the left side; this is of course, similar to Natrum mur, Phosphorus, Cactus and some other remedies. It takes a Pulsatilla patient to make us think of this remedy in cardiac conditions; we do know that it affects the right side of the heart and the venous system in general and that it is unlikely to be of much curative value in actual organic cardiac lesions. Anaemia is more apt to be its sphere.

We all believe and think we know, that Rhus tox. is useful in cardiac pain, more particularly in cardiac disease the result of rheumatic fever; yet the original provings give very little symptomatology with emphasis upon cardiac pain. “Palpitation so violent while sitting still, that the body moved with every pulse” is found in Allen, and “some violent, pulsating stitches above the praecordial region,” are spoken of. The latter symptom was noted by Hahnemann himself, in himself, in his “Materia Medica Pura” and is numbered symptom 540. The “Guiding Symptoms” speaks of “Stitches in the heart with painful lameness and numbness of the left arm,” likewise “ORGANIC DISEASES OF HEART, WITH STICKING PAIN AND SORENESS; NUMBNESS AND LAMENESS OF LEFT ARM,” “MYALGIA CORDIS”.

Allan D. Sutherland
Dr. Sutherland graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia and was editor of the Homeopathic Recorder and the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy.
Allan D. Sutherland was born in Northfield, Vermont in 1897, delivered by the local homeopathic physician. The son of a Canadian Episcopalian minister, his father had arrived there to lead the local parish five years earlier and met his mother, who was the daughter of the president of the University of Norwich. Four years after Allan’s birth, ministerial work lead the family first to North Carolina and then to Connecticut a few years afterward.
Starting in 1920, Sutherland began his premedical studies and a year later, he began his medical education at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia.
Sutherland graduated in 1925 and went on to intern at both Children’s Homeopathic Hospital and St. Luke’s Homeopathic Hospital. He then was appointed the chief resident at Children’s. With the conclusion of his residency and 2 years of clinical experience under his belt, Sutherland opened his own practice in Philadelphia while retaining a position at Children’s in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.
In 1928, Sutherland decided to set up practice in Brattleboro.