When you have read through the provings of this remedy you should be able to see a picture of sickness just a little different from that produced by any other medicinal substance. All medicines are capable of producing one or more images of sickness, which they alone can cure in the shortest possible time, and no two can produce images that are exactly the same. However, we do have a few materia medica twins, such as Ferr. acet, and Ferr. met., Merc. sol. and Merc. viv., mang, acet. and Mang. carb., and others that our fathers thought looked so much alike that they always kept them together, and they never seemed to know which was Jack and which was Jill.
Yet there was and is a difference, a difference which, perhaps, may be best expressed by the word similia, so familiar to all of us. The two are similar, most similar, and yet they are not the same; but in a given case one is always more similar than the other, and the more similar of the two will produce curative action more quickly and more thoroughly than the other. Twins may look alike, they may even be of the same sex, as frequently happens, and all marriages should be as cohesive as possible, not merely adhesive. That is what real prescribing brings about, a marriage, a satisfying of a craving, abnormal though it may be. When the similimum is given a dynamic union is consummated.
If we can judge by the small amount of clinical material found in our journals and transactions, Kali phos. has not been largely used, and yet we have quite extensive provings of this substance in the I.H.A. Transactions for 1890-91. In the Guiding Symptoms and in Kent the symptoms are detailed in a more workable form, though they do not give as much evidence of having been clinically confirmed as do our older remedies.
The Kali phos. subject is pale, sensitive, nervous, irritable and disposed to weep. She is worse after eating and while at rest, which in a measure foreshadows the nightly aggravation, although she is also worse in the morning and in the evening. That looks something like the Puls. make-up, but no reputable Kali can live in the same atmosphere with Puls. Most of the Kalis hate cold and are made worse by it, and Kali phos. is no exception, while Puls. is a homoeopathic symbol for all that is of the open air.
There is great lassitude in this medicine, and with it great depression. She complains of feeling so tired. She is tired, weak and depressed, both mentally and physically. Great depression with sinking vitality with anaemia and emaciation or not, is one of the great characteristics of this remedy. Here and in several other features it is remarkably like Amm. carb. The two should be closely compared.
The provers of this drug became tired and nervous, so nervous that their hands trembled, so weak tired that life was a burden, and they lost much flesh; they were nervous, restless, fidgety. Does this not correspond well with those mothers who are worn out physically with nursing and caring for babies, and mentally driven to distraction with the ailing demonstrations of the sick and nervous infant; or of the worn-out man, emaciations and tired to the limit with his own particular worries. Clarion mentions the modality “worse after coition” as being quite characteristic of this remedy. Does it not fit in perfectly with the mento-physical conditions that have just been mentioned?.
Along this same line of exhaustion and failing vitality, and other prominent use for this medicine is strongly suggested, and the suggestion is borne out to some extent by its clinical use refer to its obstetrical indications. When labor has been until exhausting and progress seems to have come to an end, when it seems as if the patients powers and vitality had reached their limit, and the forceps must be used, do not forget Kali phos.; it will save both you and the patient much anxiety and will often make the use of the forceps unnecessary.
There is too great a disposition with physicians generally to regard the symptoms attendant upon labor as something normal, or at least as a condition to be merely watched without medical interference. I think this is wrong. If the woman, during labor, has symptoms connected therewith, and she usually does, she should have the indicated remedy, and that often may be Kali phos. Let us look at the symptoms again, beginning with those that would naturally come before the stage of utter exhaustion above mentioned.
Nervous, sensitive, irritable, weepy, jumpy, trembling, so fidgety she could not control herself, she wants her hands held by someone, and her mouth is so dry that the tongue cleaves to its roof. The pains are weak, and the patient is weak. She says: “I have no strength. I cannot bear down”. Do we not often see these symptoms! Are they not common and frequently met during labor! Certainly they are suggestive, and should place this remedy high in our obstetrical repertory.
Again, after miscarriage, or infection after child-birth, when in addition to the sinking vitality and other symptoms already given, we have a scanty uterine discharge of a most terrible odor, an odor that penetrates the whole house, it is well to study this remedy as well as Sulph., Pyrogen and Gunpowder. Here, then, we add another characteristic expression of this remedy, horribly smelling discharges. Therefore we might expect to find it useful in diphtheria that has gone on to the putrid or gangrenous state where the mouth odor pervades and sickens the whole room.
Putrid discharges from any outlet of the body are characteristic. We see this in the hot, putrid stool with much very offensive flatus. Offensive, undigested stool of a golden- yellow color after each meal, followed by insatiable urging to stool like Nux vom. This reveals another characteristic, golden or orange-colored excretions.
With greater use other features of this remedy will undoubtedly come into prominence, but in this paper it is thought best to bring out largely the striking and peculiar symptoms, the character lines which determine the form and strength of the picture. We have, then, the following:
Mental and physical irritability.
Aggravation from cold, from rest, after eating and after coition; also in the morning, evening, and particularly at night.
Depression, lassitude, sinking vitality.
Anaemia and emaciation.
Putrid discharges from any outlet of the body; also golden- yellow or orange colored discharges or excretions.
Let me add a few striking particulars: Pain at the base of the brain, better by belching, and better by eating. Always hungry with the headache. The relief by eating, a particular symptom, is opposed to the general aggravation after eating and relief from fasting.
Toothache alternating with headache.
Colicky pains in the hypogastrium with ineffectual urging to stool, better by bending double. (Coloc., Nux vom.).
CHAIRMAN J. HUTCHINSON: This very interesting paper is open for discussion. I would like to say at the outset that it would please me very much if Dr. Olds, in his answer to the discussions, would differentiate a little bit-between Pulsatilla and Kali phos. Of course, we have in Pulsatilla the chilly habit as well as the longing for fresh air.
DR. P. BROWN: I have enjoyed this paper very much because it brought back very pleasant memories.
In 1890 while in Chicago I had the honor of being a member of H.C. Allens proving class and Kali phos. was one of the remedies we proved at that time. There was one striking symptom that in accord with what Dr. Macfarlan said this morning has made a lasting impression on me, having had it myself. That was a peculiar, fluttery feeling over the stomach, very, very characteristic, that was most persistent and most annoying all the while we were making the proving.
PRESIDENT C. STEVENS: What was the adjective you used for that feeling in the stomach?.
DR. P. BROWN: A fluttering, a peculiar, fluttering, waving feeling.
DR. A. PULFORD: I believe that one of the characteristic features and a distinguishing difference between Pulsatilla and Kali phos. is that one is a sluggish remedy, the Pulsatilla, and the Kali phos.is one of the most profound inertia remedies we have.
DR. A.H. GRIMMER: The paper gives us a picture of a remedy that corresponds to deep, wasting, chronic diseases especially tuberculosis and those diseases dependent upon it, even cancer itself. There is one point the doctor made that I dont think he brought out as fully as he might have. All the Kalis do not come in the same classification as Pulsatilla. There is one exception and that is the Kali sulph. The Kali sulph is sensitive to heat and is the chronic of Pulsatilla. Dr. Kent stresses that very fully.
DR. GRIGGS: I remember a case of criminal abortion that was brought into the hospital Pyrogen had been given with mediocre results. The patient was wasting, and this very foul discharge from the uterus. Kali phos. seemed to restore and regenerate the nervous system. The patient recovered very nicely after the failure of Arsenic and some other remedies. For this excessively tired feeling and occipital headache, I have often, after Picric acid failed, given Kali phos. Picric acid and Kali phos. to my mind run very close together in some of those neurasthenic conditions.
DR. H.B. BAKER: Kali phos. is a remedy that I use a great deal. The special indications are that tiredness that runs all through, and a feeling of worry. I had a case very recently, a young business man. His father had died not long before, and the responsibility of the business tell on him. He went to a prominent clinician who lived near every few weeks, and was told there was nothing the matter with him, that he should just stop worrying. This advice didnt help very much. Finally he came to me and I couldnt find anything much the matter, except this worrying condition, and a very nervous man. He was really a bit overworked. I gave him Kali phos, and he came back in two weeks and said that was the first medicine he had ever taken that did him any good. He is in pretty good shape now, just from that one remedy.
DR. H. FARRINGTON: Dr. Olds paper gives really the essentials of this remedy. I dont know how we would get along without it. It seems to me that the weakness of kali phos, is not that due to overwork or over-fatigue alone, but must have something of brain and nerve strain associated with it. So as Dr. Baker has pointed out, worry is one of the essential factors, worry and overwork at the same time.
I have a patient who has been under my supervision for a good many years, having had various remedies, with improvement in her general health. Her husband failed in business and she took up a side line to help out, buying and collecting antique furniture and selling it. That, together with her worries over finances, brought on a peculiar state. She had occipital headaches. She had the weakness and weariness, and a peculiar mental state of flying into a rage over little things and then weeping. Kali phos. cleared up this state completely.
DR. H.A. ROBERTS: Kali phos, is one of the Schuessler tissue remedies, and until a few years ago we had no proving of it, but under the direction of Dr. Erastus Case of Hartford the I.H.A. made a proving of Kali phos. It is a very good one and it is in the Transactions. It is only authentic proving that we have of this remedy, and it is to the credit of this Association that it has been put into print.
CHAIRMAN: J. HUTCHINSON: What year was that?.
DR. C.L. OLDS: It was 1890-91.
DR. C.A. DIXON: I wish to bring out one point a little more distinctly, and a point in homoeopathic philosophy, too. I have given repeated doses of kali phos to a mother who is burdened with an irresponsible son, a spendthrift and a no-account. The condition had been going on, I suspect, for ten years. I cant remove the cause but I can keep fairly placid with kali phos. occasionally.
PRESIDENT C. STEVENS: Have any of the members used Kali phos. in cases of diabetes far advanced?.
DR. D. MACFARLAN: Speaking about diabetes, I think Dr. Griggs proved a drug which is often useful in diabetes and that is Glycerin. It has not only a tendency to clear up sugar but it helps bleeding states. It clears up red blood-corpuscles in the urine remarkably. It also has a disposition to improve their mentally and also to diminish blood pressure. Many of the cases of diabetes, especially those that have been going on for some time, have increased blood pressure. It has a wonderful effect in reducing blood pressure Dr. Griggs can tell you more about it than I can.
CHAIRMAN J. HUTCHINSON: What is the remedy, Dr. Griggs?.
DR. GRIGGS: Pure Glycerin. We have no many of the compounds in materia medica that I have been working for a matter of thirty-five years on getting symbols. And nobody had ever attempted to prove pure Glycerin. So I proved it. My associates never thought enough of it to take it up, but I couldnt practice medicine without it. One of our old homoeopathic physicians was turned down by a life insurance company about twelve years ago, with a blood pressure of about 220 and a marked glycosuria, etc. I gave him Glycerin 200th and higher. He has been perfectly well ever since. He has gone into life insurance since then as a first class risk. He is enjoying perfect health and is still living in Philadelphia.
Glycerin is a deep drug, It is a valuable drug. It is one of those remedies we labored to prove and as I said it hasnt been picked up by the profession yet, I think I have some reprints. If I have I will bring them from Philadelphia tomorrow and give the members what I have left.
PRESIDENT STEVENS: Have you published the proving, Dr. Griggs?.
DR: GRIGGS: The proving was published years ago. As director of the Hering Laboratory I made the proving on twelve men who were thoroughly examined before taking the remedy and who carefully kept all their data very scientifically, such as blood chemistry, urine, and so forth.
CHAIRMAN J. HUTCHINSON: Did Clark use it in his dictionary?.
DR. GRIGGS: No, Clark didnt take it up, but Anshutz did in his Old and New Forgotten Remedies. It is one of the later provings.
DR. C.L. OLDS: In regard to what Dr. Grimmer said about kali sulph. being the chronic of Pulsatilla, I think I made the statement that Kali phos. has the aggravation from cold-most of the kalis have this aggravation. I think there are two of them that are aggravated from heat, Kali sulph., and kali iod.
I am rather surprised that someone hasnt taken up the matter of the use of kali phos. in obstetrical practice. That was one of the big points I tried to make. I have found although I do not do a large obstetrical practice that it is exceedingly useful in cases where it has symptoms such as I have given, along with the general symptoms. It will calm down these nervous cases wonderfully. You can go in and find a case that is all up in the air. She wants to do this that and the other. She wants to hold someones hand and she will say, “Give me a drink of water, I can hardly speak”. That is quite common in obstetrical practice, and Kali phos. will help to ease it.
As to a comparison of Kali phos. and Pulsatilla, of course we have at once that disagreement i temperature. I think that they are on rather different planes. I think that is rather indicated because the Kali sulph.; which is close to Kali phos, is the chronic of Pulsatilla. I would say that was one of the distinguishing features, the difference in the plane.
Hahnemann emphasizes and reiterates this caution (in Vol. I, Chronic Diseases, p. 152) by calling attention to what he terms “the three mistakes” which the physician cannot too carefully avoid, viz:
1. Thinking the dose too small.
2. Improper use of the remedy.
3. Too frequent repetition of the dose.
Whether the dose be large or small, the practitioner who fails to individualize and to match morbid phenomenon closely with drug pathogenesis, will fail to cure, and whenever an improper use of the drug is wilfully persisted in, whether arising from “carelessness, laziness or levity”, as Hahnemann tells us, there is absolutely no hope for improvement, and a decent regard for common ethics should compel such practitioner to abandon the claim to being a homoeopathist.-A.R. MORGAN, M.D., 1895.