Read before the I.H.A., Bureau of Materia medica, June 1929.


I can tell YOU nothing new about an old remedy, but I can be brief, and for that you will commend me. These observations are interesting only in that they are a little out of the ordinary.

Mrs. A.L.: White, widow, now 72 years old.

On December 18, 1923, I had her X-rayed, with a resulting diagnosis of inoperable cancer of the cardiac end of the stomach, and also the discovery of an aneurism of the arch of the aorta.

Some time previously I had made my own diagnosis of cancer of the stomach, from the clinical symptoms, but I frankly admit that I never suspected the aneurism. The X-ray was to confirm, or refute my diagnosis of cancer, and, incidentally, enable the roentgenologist to break the news to the patients daughter.

Her remedies were chiefly Pulsatilla, and particularly Lycopodium. Bear in mind that she had been pronounced inoperable, so that the dependence on remedies was not my responsibility alone. In October, 1924, I stumbled onto a history of much malaria many years before, in Ohio, for which she had received enormous quantities of quinine; whereupon I gave her Natrum mur.

She has had no other remedy since, except an occasional one to meet an acute condition such as a coryza. Oh, yes, she is still living, very much alive, she still goes to church and goes out to other affairs. She was at my office just a few weeks ago, enroute home from a social function.

Of course she still has her symptoms of carcinoma and aneurism, but I am so glad to have her alive that I do not quarrel with mere ameliorations. Six months after the X-ray, I saw the roentgenologist and he was so astonished that she was still alive even then he opined she must have had leather-neck contraction of the stomach instead of the cancer.

So much for Natrum mur. in this particular case. Of course it is not classical or even ideal prescribing. But it has helped in patient.

Some years ago I have a brief report of he good work done by Thuja in clearing up symptoms of many years duration which had supervened upon an old-fashioned vaccination. These symptoms had been obscured by a subsequent fall the might have occasioned the conditions prevailing. Thuja really does not have many symptoms allied to the effects of a all, nor does Natrum mur. readily suggest itself in case of cancer; but may we not assume that in Mrs. L.s case the remedy that is able to correct, at least in some degree, the ill effects of overdosing with quinine, has sufficiently restored order in her economy for her to weather the conditions of her disease thus far.



DR. K.A.MCLAREN: We frequently read of cases where pathology and the remedy run very close. Also, as Dr.Ross has just prescribed, we meet with cases where the pathology apparently has no relation whatever to the remedy that gives the relief. Let me give you an example of such a case. I was called to see a young man with stomach ulcer. He was having the second haemorrhage when I was called in. I couldnt find any remedy indicated.

I gave him Hamamelis but it didnt give him any relief and he soon had another haemorrhage. I was getting pretty worried about him but still couldnt seem to see any indications for a remedy. I went downstairs after I had made the last visit and was talking to his wife and mother-in-law. They said it seemed too bad that this sickness had occurred so soon after his recent bereavement. I inquired about the bereavement and found that his mother had died suddenly about three weeks previously. I went back upstairs and gave him a dose of Ignatia. There were no more haemorrhages and there was a rapid and complete recovery.

In comparing the known pathogenetic symptoms of drugs, e discover very soon a considerable quantity of differences, but they are not all of them equally useful. What is worse, in many remedies we have no point to start from in out comparisons. the drugs have not always been proved with reference to peculiar conditions, or for the sake of comparing their symptoms with the established analogous symptoms of other drugs. This deficiency has to be contrasting the totality of symptoms of various drugs, and by studying the genius of a drug from its symptoms.- C.VON BOENNINGHAUSEN, 1864.

Louise Ross