Homoeopathy in Germany.- We have just received information that the universities of Frankfurt and Berlin are to establish chairs in homoeopathy; the Prussian Parliament has recently passed a bill to this effect.
This is astounding new and betokens an entirely new era for homoeopathy in a country, which heretofore has looked upon the homoeopathic method of treatment as pure Kurfuscherei. Unquestionably the research work of Hugo Schulz and of August Bier and the courageous, persistent efforts of the little band of ardent homoeopaths in Germany, have had much to do with this remarkable change of attitude of those in authority.
We Americans may, perhaps, pride ourselves upon our “go-getting” abilities, but with our national vice of superficiality, we have very much to learn from our thorough, painstaking, persistent German friends who go to the bottom of things, no matter what the effort may cost. All hail, then, to the dawn of the golden age of homoeopathy in the land of its birth and early travail!.
Useful Remedies in Scarlet Fever.- Belladonna, of course, comes to mind at once, as typical remedy in the smooth, scarlet red eruption of this disease. The patient is likely to be of the plethoric, robust type, in whom symptoms come on suddenly and with turbulent violence; delirium may be a factor and is characterized by much activity, during which the patient attempts to get out of bed, to escape, or makes noisy demonstrations.
The face is decidedly flushed, the eyes brilliant, with dilated pupils, the throat is sore, more often on the right side, with a sensation of a lump in the throat, over which the sufferer must frequently swallow. Dryness of the throat and thirst are characteristic, as is the well-known strawberry tongue, red papillae projecting above a thickly-coated, yellowish or yellowish-white coating.
The pulse is full and round, often bounding and in the neck a pulsating of the vessels may be seen. Headache is of the congestive type, throbbing, worse from motion. A symptom of importance is sleepiness, with inability to sleep.
Ailanthus glandulosa, known as the Tree of Heaven plays a valuable part in the therapy of scarlet-fever, when this is of the adynamic type. The patient is greatly prostrated, dull, stupid and delirious; the rash is mottled, purplish in appearance and is slow in coming out. The cellular tissues of the neck and under the jaw are sensitive and swollen; the parotids are likewise enlarged; the head feels full and is burning hot; pulse is small and rapid; delirium is of the muttering type or the patient may even be unconscious.
The tonsils are much inflamed and swollen, with a purple appearance of the throat. From the nostrils there is a thin, bloody and ichorous discharge. The tongue is dry and cracked, and sordes appear upon the teeth. Altogether the picture of Ailanthus is that of malignancy, hence the remedy should be though of in desperate cases of scarlet- fever, particularly when the throat presents the appearance of diphtheria. Certain it is, that the remedy cannot be mistaken for Belladonna.
Arum triphyllum, Jack in the Pulpit, may at times be needed. Restlessness and irritability are marked, excoriating discharges from the nose are very characteristic, the lips and nostrils are sore, even ulcerated and in spite of the pain, the child picks the ulcerated spots until they bleed; the mouth and throat are raw and sore, the mucous membrane bleeds, the larynx may be inflamed and if so, aphonia with uncontrollable voice will be present.
Desquamation of the skin is in large flakes and may recur several times. The urine is scanty or suppressed and the child is dull and apathetic. The constant picking at the nose and lips is perhaps the most striking symptoms and must not be confounded with a somewhat similar symptom, probably of different origin, found in Cina.
Ammonium carb. should be thought of when the eruption “strikes in” and cerebral paralysis threatens. Cramps and epistaxis will be present, heart weakness is pronounced, with feeble rapid pulse; the breathing may be stertorous, the skin is cyanotic and the rash miliary in character. Stoppage of the nose is pronounced and distressing. The picture of Ammonium carb. is that of a decidedly desperate case.
Hydrocyanic acid is another remedy likely to be called for in desperate cases. Stauffer, in his wonderfully complete “Homootherapie”speaks of it as serviceable when a blue exanthematous and cramps are present. The Guiding Symptoms of Hering mention “scarletina, when the eruption in its early appearance is dark colored and soon becomes livid, only slowly regaining its color when this is expelled by pressure of finger; rapid, feeble pulse; coma and great prostration.” Convulsions and the symptom, fluids enter stomach with a gurgling noise, are characteristic. Opium may be valuable when coma, stertorous breathing, hot sweat, dusky countenance, contracted pupils and uraemia are present.
An absence of pain and of subjective symptoms generally, should lead us to think of Opium; the latter is, so to speak, a “do nothing” remedy. Lack of reaction is the characteristic. Tympanitic distention of the abdomen is frequently marked, together with a total lack of peristaltic action of the bowels and absolute constipation. The patient demands nothing and makes on complaints, his attitude being apathetic and soporous in the extreme. Opium has an aggravation during and after sleep, likewise from warmth in these respects resembling Lachesis. Drowsiness with inability to sleep, is another characteristic, similar to Belladonna which remedy is, of course, diametrically opposite, as well s a physiologic antidote. Carphologia is found in Opium as well as in Hyoscyamus and some other remedies.
Pyrogen is to be considered, along with Arsenicum, Baptisia, Echinacea, Crotalus horr. and Chininum ars. in septic cases. Restlessness, aching bruised pains, offensiveness are marked, but the chief characteristic is the marked disproportion between in temperature and pulse; the former is usually low while the latter is likely to be extremely high. Putrid taste in the mouth may be spoken of.
The bed feels hard; this is reminiscent of Arnica and Baptisia. In heart complications, with reminiscent of Arnica and Baptisia. In heart complications, with threatened myocardial degeneration, Kalmia and Digitalis are to be primarily thought of. Both have impending heart block, as evidenced by a slow, weak pulse which goes down to sixty, fifty, or even as low as forty. In Kalmia we find sticking, shooting, or darting pains in the cardiac area, extending downwards, together with numbness of affected parts; pains extend to the left shoulder and down the left arm.
Occasionally a rapid, weak pulse will be found, and should not contraindicate Kalmia if other indications be present. Pains are often rheumatic in nature, shift about from one part to another and eventually affect the heart.
In Digitalis, faintness < form attempting to sit up, goneness at the stomach, with nausea aggravated by the odor of food or of cooking, will be present. A cyanotic hue to the skin and finger nails will be in evidence. The pulse is irregular and intermittent; when weak, rapid and irregular (fibrillation) physiologic doses of Digitalis tincture will be required; potencies will be of no service here. In Digitalis cases, there may be encountered at times, the symptoms, sensation as though the heart would stop beating if he moved. Incidentally this symptom is the direct opposite of that found under Gelsemium. Digitalis is often of service in postscarletinal dropsy. Here, of course, Apis mellifica, Hepar sulphur and Kali chloricum should also be thought of.
These few remedies, portrayed so briefly, are apt to be of great value at times; the ordinary simple case will, with the exception of Belladonna, not require them; they should, nevertheless, be kept in the storehouse of ones memory and their more exact indications can always be found by consulting the Materia Medica itself. Study, constant study, is necessary to the success of the homoeopathic prescriber; he cannot know too much of materia medica and although it is not necessary or even desirable that he burden his mind with countless symptoms, it is of great advantage for him to retain a general outline of the broader characteristics of many remedies. To do so, means the avoidance of pit falls and of senseless routinism in prescribing.
Effect of Sodium Arsenic on Blood Sugar- “Van Dyke shows that sodium arsenite, intravenously administered in doses considerably below the lethal, causes a distinct but variable hyperglycemia in the rabbit. Accompanying this hyperglycemia there is a reduction in the blood alkali reserve; there is no significant alteration in blood concentration as indicated by determinations of corpuscle volume or percentage of hemoglobin. The hyperglycemia still appears after bilateral splanchnotomy or right splanchnotomy and left suprarenalectomy. Sodium arsenite, therefore, acts peripherally in all probability by increasing hepatic glycogenolysis. The hyperglycemia may be checked or prevented by insulin.
Intravenous injections of sodium arsenite in the dog cause a reduction in the whole blood alkali reserve often with a slight hyperglycemia.”-J.A.M.A.
This fact is of interest and may be of value of us homoeopaths in the future, when drug proving advances along modern lines of scientific thought. It will always be true that patients, and no diseases or diagnostic entities, are to be prescribed for. Subjective symptomatology will always be our most important guide in the search for the similimum; nevertheless, drug proving upon humans, which takes into consideration such modern methods as blood chemistry, for examples, will greatly facilitate our therapeutic efforts, if we wisely supplement the subjective with the objective. Furthermore, “objective” proving will explain many peculiar subjective phenomena which we cannot at present explain and which we take on faith, as it were.
To know the pathology or perverted physiology behind a given symptom, would strengthen our reliance upon the dependability of that symptom. Why, for example, does cold ameliorate the symptoms in one case and aggravate those of another? What happens when a skin eruption is produced or removed by a remedy; why does a wart appear and what makes it disappear under the action of Causticum, Nitric acid, Thuja or some other remedy? To say that such appearance or disappearance is due to the inscrutable activity of the vital force is not doubt true, but is the same time unsatisfactory, because it does not explain the physiologic or pathologic process. What actually happens and why does such change occur? What activates it, both in disease and in drugs?.
Undoubtedly there are many partially expressed cases in which objective symptoms are more pronounced than subjective ones, or where pathologic change is altogether predominant. Can any thing be done for such cases, from the purely homoeopathic standpoint, or are thy all incurable from this same standpoint? How far must pathology prevail to render a case homoeopathically incurable? There are many of us who are groping in the darkness of therapeutic ignorance, who would like to know the reasons, the whys and wherefores.
Drug proving, earnestly engaged in with these questions in mind and supplemented by a study of industrial poisonings, as well as judicious animal experimentation, will go a very long way to clear up existing doubts and to increase our power for good. Furthermore, in an age in which cold reasoning from hard facts, is the rule, it will do more than anything else to attract the best minds to the study of homoeopathy. We must combine the philosophy of homoeopathy with modern concepts and thought, we must explain it in modern scientific terminology; we cannot forever drift along, upon the consecrated raft of blind devotion to a glorious, yet uncompleted past.
Senega.- Snake-root.- We probably do not use this medicine as often as we should and by our neglect, miss its great advantage in a number of important diseases. Senega comes down to us from the Indians of New York Stake, who used it as an antidote to the bite of the rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). But the provings and clinical experience have shown a very much wider field of usefulness. Pierce, in his “Pain Talks on Materia Medica with comparisons,” gives a good practical account of it; Nash, in his “Leaders,” says comparatively little, but what he says is of much aid and value.
Allens “Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica” gives some ten or more pages to the proving of Senega and among the numerous symptoms recorded are many of great importance. For example, among the eye symptoms we find, “Weakness of sight and flickering before the eyes when reading, obliging me to wipe them often, but which were aggravated thereby.” Also, “When walking toward the setting sun he seemed to see another smaller sun hover below the other, assuming a somewhat oval shape, when looking down, DISAPPEARING ON BENDING THE HEAD BACKWARDS AND ON CLOSING THE EYES.” “Flickering and running together of letters when reading.” These symptoms are supposedly suggestive of hyperphoria, a condition in which Senega has been of signal benefit.
“Paralytic feeling in the left half of the face” is suggestive and may be helpful in facial nerve conditions. Ptosis of the upper eyelid is found under the remedy, with paralysis of the left oculomotor nerve and of the recti muscles. In short, the symptoms of Senega as related to the eyes will repay careful study.
Throat, stomach and urinary symptoms are numerous, “diminished secretion of urine” is noted in the proving.
The respiratory organs present many symptoms of importance and it is here that Senega has a wide range of usefulness.
Thus we read “an irritation in the larynx inducing a short hacking cough”; organs of blood and oppression of the chest, with flushes of heat in the face, and ad frequent pulse, in the afternoon.” “Aching pain in the chest”; burning pains, compressive pains, stitches, etc., are all spoken of by the provers. “Cough with expectoration of tenacious mucus,” also “expectoration of white mucus, which is easily loosened by a little hawking,” are further symptoms, likewise “burning sensation under the sternum extending as far as the back”.
Clinically we have found this remedy of much use in bronchial affections of older people, with a loose rattling cough, as though much mucus filled the chest, but which it is difficult to raise. By way of comparison we think of Antimonium tartaricum, Ammoniacum gummi, Ipecac and Kali carb., but these remedies are easily differentiated by their concomitant symptoms.
In Senega we find that the cough is worse in the open air; during sneezing there is a sore pain in the chest and the chest is sore to touch. During cough there are stitches in the left half of the chest. The remedy has great debility, restless sleep and relief of many symptoms by perspiration, which is often profuse. Profuse diaphoresis is in fact a symptom produced by Senega, but one which is, unfortunately, missing in Kents Repertory.
We recently head occasion to prescribe Senega 200, in a case of subacute bronchitis, in a man of fifty-six years, who complained of a constrictive sensation in the chest, worse when lying on that side, loose cough and great debility. His breathing was labored and of the asthmatic type, on exertion. The remedy brought very prompt relief. The proving, however, speaks of pains in the left side of the chest, more particularly. Unquestionably the remedy needs verification of its symptoms through wider clinical experience, as well as through wider clinical experience, as well as through reproving. Farrington states that Senega acts best in fat persons of lax fibre. Our own experience bears out the correctness of his observation.
Jahrs “Symptomen-Codex” gives an excellent account of the remedy and among the chest symptoms, we find, “When sneezing, the experiences an extremely violent sore pain in the chest as if it would fly to pieces, although the sneezing does him good and relieves the chest.” Jahr speaks of an increased secretion of mucus in the lungs after inflammatory or catarrhal affections.