Thesis presented to the International Homoeopathic Congress, held in the capital of Mexico from August 10 to 16, 1929, by Dr. Jose Emygdio Rodrigues Galhardo, professor of the Therapeutic Homoeopathic Clinic in the Medical and Surgical School of the Hahnemann Institute of Brazil.
(a) Natural History.
(b) Empiric and Industrial Uses.
(c) Pure Experiments.
(e) Clinical Facts.
To the Members of the International Homoeopathic Congress. DEAR COLLEAGUES:.
The merit of that which follows, if any, belongs to the pharmacist Oswald de Menezes and to Dr. Licinio Cardoso, eminent homoeopathists, not only for the love they dedicated to homoeopathy, but also because of the competency they revealed. Both, unfortunately, are dead, but they will always be remembered in the annals of Brazilian homoeopathy.
Compiling on some points, and copying literally the major part of that written by these two homoeopathists on Cyrtopodium punctatum, I added to this a small personal effort, in order to present, as I do, to the International Homoeopathic Congress, held in the City of Mexico, that which it has been possible for me to collect on the subject of this Orchidacea.
By a happy coincidence, the Cyrtopodium punctatum lives in Mexico and Brazil, my country, and in the beautiful and brave nation where the international meeting of homoeopathists is being celebrated.
This regional circumstance weighed somewhat in the choice of the subject, although my object is to arouse the attention of my studious colleagues to a vegetable which better, investigated, may offer great triumphs to the homoeopathists in the problem of cures.
It was introduced in the homoeopathic therapy by the well remembered pharmacist, Oswald de Menezes, first member to bring to the knowledge of the Hahnemann Institute of Brazil, in 1902, a regular study of this orchid; he was followed by Dr. Licinio Cardoso, first to try it homoeopathically. Dr. Licinio Cardoso published the result of his pure experiment and many clinical cases in which he obtained excellent success, including a digital epithelioma.
I combined all these sparse elements, putting them in the order which seemed best to me, for the presentation to the International Homoeopathic Congress, in the certainty of their usefulness.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 1929.
Helleborine ramossina caulicus et floribus maculosis,. Plunier.
Epidendrum punctatum, Lium.
Cyrtopodium Saint le geranium, Rehb
Sumare, in the capital of Brazil.
Rabo de tatu (tatu tail), Bisturi do Matto (Wild Bisturi). and Lanceta milagrosa (miraculous Lanceta) in Bahia and. other states of Brazil.
There are still the species:.
Andersonii, title which brings to mind the name of J. Anderson, English naturalist, who in 1829 traveled through Brazil and made collections and studies of the plants in the places he visited. ORIGIN.
This plant lives in several regions in America, such as the Antilles, Paraguay and very specially in Mexico and Brazil.
It was discovered by Plunier in the XVII century.
It is extensively disseminated in the Federal District, state of Rio de Janeiro and in the north of Brazil.
Of the trees on which it usually lives, it prefers the palm- trees and amongst these the species acrocomia sclerocarpia, where it acquires a large development. The species andersonii prefers the stones, proliferating abundantly. DESCRIPTION.
Its caulis is divided into sections, filled with a mucilaginous and albuminous juice. It is invaginated, varying in its extension from sixty centimeters to a meter, and breaking out, at its apex, into alternate leaves similar to the embryonic leaves of the coconut trees. Several fusiform stems, covered with membranous veins, some there to four centimeters wide; leaves numbering six to eight, strongly recurved, linear, lanceolated, very pointed, measuring from thirty-five to sixty centimeters long.
Its surface is of a reddish light green, the entire plant forming in conjunction with the bulbs or pseudo bulbs, a species of branch or panicle, having a large quantity of adventitious roots.
Inflorescence in form of corymbs and irregular perfoliation. The braceas are membranous, undulating, of a yellowish green, densely stained, lined transversally with dark red, especially in the lower half; the ones on the base of the branch measuring from eight to twelve centimeters, and the ones on the base of the flower from three to five centimeters. The flowers are from four to five centimeters wide, oval, oblong, sharp and undulating sepals, of a greenish yellow, stained, and with brown transversal lines; petals are oblong, obtuse, undulating, of a light yellow, presenting small red spots in the central part and base, and sometimes spotless.
The labellum is a little shorter than the lateral sepals, a little fleshy, deeply trilobous, lobules obovate, cuneiform, incurved, of a bright red colour.
The anterior lobules are widely recurved, of a yellow lemon colour, having the edges red and finely curled.
The crest of the discuss forms an oblong plate, tuberculous, whitish, and dotted with red.
The stalk is trigonal, lightly incurved and a yellowish green.
It is an orchid despised by the collectors, but deserving of the great attention of the doctors, since it contains therapeutic principles, worthy of study, in order to give us the medical wealth which it has empirically shown. EMPIRICAL MEDICINAL USES AND CLINICAL FACTS
Its caulis crushed, and the paste thus formed applied in a poultice, gives immediate relief from whitlow pains, and consequent suppuration, from which it derives its name of bisturi do matto (wild bistoury) and lanceta milagrosa (miraculous lancet).
The mucilaginous juice, boiled or as a syrup, administered internally, is expectorant, promoting expectoration either in recent coughs or in those of old standing, in bronchitis, in haemoptysis, whooping-cough, suffocation; and in general against all the diseases caused by the irritation of the respiratory tracts. It is also useful to relieve tuberculars. It is administered by spoonfuls every two hours.
The well remembered Dr. Licinio Cardoso, in 1908, brought some interesting clinical cases to the knowledge of the Hahnemann Institute of Brazil, in which he had made use of the Cyrtopodium punctatum in external empirical applications, one of which assumed prime importance: a case of epithelioma in the middle joint of the first phalanx of the little finger of the right hand of a lady, his client, to which neoplasm, after several homoeopathic medicaments had failed, he resolved to apply a preparation of Cyrtopodium punctatum and Natrum muriaticum with lanolin, which application cured the patient. He also applied the mother tincture of Cyrtopodium punctatum, soaked in cotton, to anthrax abscesses, and the results obtained were marvelous, not only relieving the pains, but also promoting suppuration.
In this case, he kept the cotton on the abscess always wet. He also applied it in a clyster, in the proportion of 50 grams of mother tincture to 50 grams of water, in a case of a rectal abscess, which applications presented excellent results.
The author of this work has had in his clinic many observations on the empiric and external application of CYRTOPODIUM punctatum mother tincture in simple abscesses, phlegmons and whitlows, and rare is the case where the results obtained are not excellent, not only relieving the pain but also promoting suppuration.
Cyrtopodium punctatum is widely applied, although empirically, in external uses, by the Brazilian homoeopathists, and they all emphasize the good results obtained from such applications.
The gummy-gelatinous juice of the Cyrtopodium punctatum is widely used in industry. In the joiners trade it is used to substitute glue and starch. It is also used to glue paper, porcelain, and glass and is preferred to any other gum for the binding of books.
The juice mixed with animal or vegetable coal, produces a magnificent paste for polishing shoes. PURE EXPERIMENTS.
Experimenter: Dr. Licinio Cardoso.
The experiment began on March 10, 1906, the date on which the first dose was taken, and ended on the 25th of the same month, the date on which the last dose was taken. Experiments were made with the 3rd, 5th and first centesimal potencies.
EXPERIMENT WITH THE 3RD POTENCY.
March 10, 1906. I took four drops of the medicine during the day. At first there was much sleepiness. While hearing or examining a patient I felt that I must interrupt the work in order to sleep.
Sensation of fatigue. Slight dormant feeling in the sole of the feet. Later, a certain cerebral excitement and disposition for work.
March 11th. I took 20 drops of the substance in 10 doses of 2 drops. Slight heat in the feet. Slight rumbling in the bowels. Slight intestinal colic. Weight on the head, especially when lowering it. Sensation of a great quantity of blood in the cerebral cells. Increase of urine during the night.
March 12th. I took five drops at one time. During the day I felt a weight on the head, as if surcharged with blood. Other symptoms were salivation; cough caused by accumulated mucus in the larynx and in the trachea; pasty tongue, and a certain difficulty in the difficulty in the articulation of words. All these phenomena, salivation, accumulated mucus, cough, glossoplegia, seemed to me to be caused by the paresis of the muscles of deglutition, and the word articulation muscles, which, in view of the excess of pressure that seemed to be present in the brain, must have corresponded to some loss of energy of at least some cranial nerves.
In addition to the above there were also vesicles scattered over the body like small chicken-pox.
March 13th. I did not take the medicine, but still felt something of the phenomena of the day before. I understand that the observation was at a very interesting point, which justified its continuation, but the disturbances felt were sufficiently troublesome, so that I suspended the experiment until the 17th.
EXPERIMENT WITH THE 5TH POTENCY.
March 18th. Ten drops of the 5th potency in a glass of water, taken during the day. There was a weight on the head as if surcharged with blood.
March 19th. The same dose of medicine was taken. The symptoms felt were the same as those of the day before, with pronounced indisposition towards work.
March 20th. Interrupted.
March 21 st. I took ten drops of the 5th potency. Sensation of weight on the head.
March 22nd. Ten drops of the 5th potency. Unconquerable somnolency, but the sleep was disturbed by dreadful dreams which awakened.
March 23rd. Ten drops of the 5th potency. Head very heavy. Indisposition towards intellectual work. Pain in the corner of the right shoulder blade such as that of Chelidonium. At times this pain was felt on both sides. Great pains in the inter- scapular space. Pain in the lower thorax region, as if it were on the outside, spreading to the stomach. Pains in the fingers, especially in the outer edge of the left thumb.
March 24th. Fifteen drops in 5 doses of three drops. The same sternum pain, continued however, and aggravated at times of taking the medicament. Dormancy in the thumb of the left hand. Deadening of arms and legs.
EXPERIMENT WITH 1ST POTENCY.
March 25th. Three drops of the 1st potency in three doses. Great heat felt on the skin of the entire body. I, who avoid the currents of air, on the night of that day, felt a very agreeable sensation upon receiving them. Great heat on the feet and hands such as that given by Sulphur.
Experimenter: Dr. Galhardo.
Potency employed: mother tincture. Experiment from January 2 to 10, 1929.
January 2nd. On the twenty-third hour I took 5 drops of the tincture. I slept well, and experienced no abnormality.
January 3rd. At six oclock I took 5 drops of the tincture. At half past seven I was writing with great attention when I felt a small pain in the right orbitary region, aggravated by the attention given to the work I was doing. The pain, however, was weak and could be borne perfectly well.
On the twenty-third hour I took 10 drops. I slept well without any abnormal reactions.
January 4th. I awakened in perfect condition. At six oclock I took 10 drops of the tincture. I passed the day perfectly well. On the twenty-third hour I took 10 drops of the tincture.
January 5th. I awakened in the morning with a desire to stool, but the intestinal discharge was deficient and difficult.
After taking breakfast, the bowels again moved freely and well. I passed the day in perfect condition.
On the twenty-third hour I took 10 drops of the tincture.
January 6th. I awakened in the morning with a sore body and indisposed, having no desire to abandon my bed, which fact was in direct opposition to my habits. I felt the bed and a short time afterwards felt very well. Again in the morning I had a desire to stool, but the evacuation was deficient and difficult. After having had breakfast, I again evacuated freely and well. Once again during the morning the bowels moved.
On the twenty-third hour I took 10 drops of the tincture.
January 7th. I slept well, but awakened at 5 oclock in the morning with a pain in the stomach and a sensation of emptiness. I slept again at 7 oclock and when I again awakened I no longer felt the pain in the stomach. During the morning I had a desire to stool but the intestinal discharge was deficient and difficult. From 9 oclock on I felt a sensation of impatience, accompanied by weakness in the upper limbs. During the day this sensation of impatience and fear remained, as if I awaited a disagreeable event or notice.
On the twenty-third hour I took 10 drops.
January 8th. It was customary for me to get up during the night several times to urinate, which manifestation is perfectly pathologic, but I had not yet regarded it as important; after however, starting the experiment of the Cyrtopodium punctatum this manifestation ceased, thus confirming the principle of similarity in the experiment of Dr. Licinio Cardoso.
During the morning there was again the desire for the bowels to move but it was deficient and difficult. I took 10 drops of the tincture during the morning, and after having left my residence, I felt a slight dizzy sensation in the street. From 10 oclock I started to feel a disagreeable rheumatic sensation in the right elbow with a tired feeling when I extended the arm. At half past ten I had a sensation of emptiness and slight indisposition. I experimented a lack of coordination of ideas. Disturbed ideas. Cerebral laziness.
January 9th. I took 10 drops of the tincture at the twenty- third hour, having passed a perfectly good day.
January 10th. In the morning, at 9 oclock, I felt strong prickings on the back of the right foot, quick prickings that rapidly ceased. At 10 oclock I felt rheumatic pains in the right forearm and in the left shoulder blade. PATHOGENESIS.
MENTALITY. Indisposition towards intellectual work. Impatience. Sensation of fatigue. Fear, as if one awaited disagreeable news or as if an accident were impending. Indisposition towards material work. Lack of coordination of ideas. Difficulty in the articulation of words. Disturbed ideas. Cerebral laziness. Agreeable feeling in currents of air.
PAINS. Pain in the lower angle of the scapula, felt, at times, on both sides. Strong pains in the inter-scapular space. Pain in the lower region of the thorax, spreading to the sternum and stomach. Pains in the fingers, principally in the outside edge of the left thumb. Pain in the sternum aggravated by the taking of food. Muscular pains over the whole body, principally in the thorax and legs, as if they were bruised. Right orbital pain, aggravated by mental attention.
HEAD. Cerebral excitement. Sensation of weight in the head, aggravated when lowering it. Sensation of weight in the head, as if it were surcharged with blood. Sensation of large quantity of blood in the cerebral cells. Dizziness.
EYES. Dilatation of the pupils.
EARS. Loud noises in the ears.
EXTREMITIES. Dead feeling in the sole of the feet. Rheumatic pains in the right forearm. Heat in the feet and hands. Prickings on the back of the right foot. Deadness of the left thumb. Rheumatic pain in the right elbow, with tired feeling when extending the arm. Deadening of arms and legs. Weakness of the upper members. Rheumatic pains in the left scapula. Sore body in the morning.
GASTRO-INTESTINAL SYSTEM. Salivation. Pasty tongue. Pain in the stomach with feeling of emptiness. Intestinal colic. Desire to stool in the morning, but deficient and difficult. Normal bowel movement after breakfast. Rumblings in the bowels.
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM. Cough caused by accumulated mucus in the larynx and trachea.
URINARY SYSTEM. Increase of urination during the night, obliged to get up several times to urinate. Abundant diuresis. Paresis of the bladder.
SKIN. Vesicles like pock marks scattered over the body. Great heat felt on the skin of the entire body.
SLEEP. Sleeping during the day. Unconquerable drowsiness, but sleep interrupted by dreadful dreams.
1. Cyrtopodium punctatum, by the results shown, should arouse the attention of homoeopathists.
2. Experiments should be made internationally, the tincture being prepared with the entire plant, gathered at the time of inflorescence, which, in Brazil, is in the month of October.
3. The rudiments of pathogenesis now presented reveals its important action on the renal and intestinal apparatus.
A cardinal principle has been so much overlooked, at least so little literature written about, it and yet notwithstanding without it our art of healing would be a most imperfect one. This is the bright and morning star that enables the true Hahnemannian not only to cure the most obstinate chronic diseases, but also to make certain prognosis when discharging a case, whether the patient will remain cured or whether the disease will return like a half-paid creditor at the first opportunity. viz.: Symptoms recently developed are first to disappear; other symptoms disappear last. Here we have one of Hahnemanns general observations, a plain, practical rule of immense importance.
It might seem very natural that recent symptoms should disappear first and that older ones should disappear last, and that it ought to have been observed by all physicians at all times. But not so; we never knew it before Hahnemann told us. -D. S. KISTLER, M.D., 1895.