In studying the materia medica, special attention should be paid to what are termed characteristic symptoms. Characteristic symptoms are those which distinguish each drug from all others. Taking two or more drugs, capable of producing nearly the same general effects, you will find among them some dissimilar feature which serves to distinguish each one; this dissimilar feature is its characteristic.

From original manuscripts.

Ovi gallinae pellicula was prepared by Dr. Swan by triturating the fresh pellicle or lining membrane of eggshell in alcohol of 95 degrees, and then allowing it to digest for several days before potentizing it.

Some of the following provings and cases were published in an abridged form in the first volume of the Transactions of the I. H. A., but the record was not only incomplete but contains several errors. The following is copied from the original daybooks sent to me by the provers.

(1). Proving on a young lady by J. C. Boardman, M. D. Miss I. V., aged about 29, small, little, elastic figure, nervo- bilious temperament, has never taken much medicine, rather below medium height, thin in flesh, in excellent health except for the following symptoms: At the age of 16, during menses, shovelled snow, and while doing so felt something give way in left groin causing great pain extending down thigh to knee and thence to foot and toes, compelling her to keep her bed. These symptoms always appeared after slight exercise or walking, lifting, using arms, as in sweeping, dusting, reaching upwards, and especially when menstruating, which added severe bearing-down pains and increased pains in left ovary. Since age of 16 has also been constipated, going a week or more without stool, or sometimes a partial movement every four or five days.

She had also a pressure against spinal column, which while it is caused no pain, suggested in connection with the dysmenorrhoea, retroversion. In connection with menses, the abdomen would become greatly and painfully distended; this would begin a week before menses, continue all the time, and continue for a week after menses; it would rise and then fall, and so on. In this long period, she says if she keeps quiet, walks or stands very little, lives well, and amuses herself with light reading and music, she feels perfectly well; but any extra efforts, or exercise in walking or standing, causes her to break down with pain in the left ovarian region, thigh, knee and foot, followed by deep melancholy.

Last menses commenced March 21st; on the first day they were pale; on second day there was a decided red color for about 24 hours, but they were scanty; on third day they entirely ceased. Her regular menstrual period is on the 23rd of each month; but this time it was two days earlier. Has never had what is called a “backache”, her pains being all in the left groin, sometimes extending down left leg.

April 4th, took one dose of Ovi gallinae pellicula CM (Swan) just before retiring. That day she was suffering severely from left ovarian region to left foot, arising from a little extra exertion. In about an hour after the dose, the pains suddenly left her and did not return.

April 5th. This morning, two or three slight piercing pains in left ovarian region. In afternoon she took a very long walk on business, but without bringing on the pains which uniformly used to occur under similar circumstances since the age of 16.

April 6th. The slight piercing pains in left ovarian region returned this morning, but not subsequently. Today she went into regular house-cleaning, but there was no return of the pain or prostration, as was usual under such circumstances.

April 7th. Feels perfectly, well this morning, the piercing pains not having returned. In the morning she was at real work, and in afternoon went out for a long walk shopping, but without return of pain. Urine this morning of sp. gr. 1020.

April 12th. On April 8th or 9th left off one of the light articles of her underclothing, and the result was a severe cold, but today (april 12th) it is almost entirely over; notwithstanding this severe cold, there was no return of her left ovarian pain, not even when assisting in house-cleaning, and within these three days she has taken several good walks. The coryza came on suddenly, continued two or three days, and then ceased as suddenly as it came on; it was accompanied by an usual discharge of nasal mucus, filling three or four handkerchiefs daily, and there was also tightness across chest, a great oppression, and violent cough. This was an abnormal condition with her, as she does not easily catch cold and when she does, she is not severely affected, and it passes away gradually after many days, the chest not being much, if at all, affected, the nasal discharge quite moderate, and the cough not so severe.

April 20th. Menses commenced at 1 a. m.; menses were as usual, but there is a characteristic peculiarity–she has an exceedingly and peculiarly offensive breath at that time, and for several days preceding menses, and also after menses. A lady in the house says that when she happens to be near her, the breath is so offensive that it seems to enter her mouth and she feels it passing down directly to her uterus; she cannot tell what to compare the odor to; it is a great and terrible smell, and it comes from her breath, not her body. Bowels are now regular, or nearly so; perhaps she passes over a day once or twice.

April 23rd. Menses continued only twenty-four hours, of proper color, but very scanty; more scanty and of shorter duration than the average of previous months. Since last menses, has had occasional fits of melancholy without any appreciable cause; it passes off suddenly, like sunshine after a storm, without any apparent cause. Today she cannot bear the least pressure from her clothing, and for that reason does not wear corsets, but has her underclothing supported by straps from her shoulders, and wears her dresses as loosely made as possible; this passed away in a few days. This morning, had a return of the small shooting pains in left ovarian region; they passed off in a few minutes; such pains have appeared at intervals since taking the medicine.

The night preceding last menses was awakened about 1 a. m. with a pushing downward sensation in lower abdomen, as though the blood might rush out in torrents; the suffering was intense and continued about one hour, but no blood or fluid really escaped; during this pain, abdomen, was distressingly distended, a feeling as if she must burst. The following night at the same time, menses appeared, of normal color and more scanty than usual, and ceasing altogether in 24 hours. These premenstrual symptoms are quite new. There was no enlargement of abdomen before last menses, except that which occurred during the pushing down pain; neither was there any even on the day of the menses, till the evening, and next morning on rising it had passed away, and did not return.

April 24th. At 11:30 a. m., while playing on banjo, was suddenly seized with strange feelings, a whirling sensation in head, sense of depression, weakness, and a giving-way feeling; felt most in legs, particularly in knees; this was followed immediately by a profuse flow of blood which came rushing out, flowing freely for about an hour, and then ceasing; as it flowed, the other symptoms passed away.

There was no fullness or enlargement of abdomen all this time, nor any pains except the downward pushing and rushing. These symptoms are quite new to her.

April 26th. At 8:30 a. m. was seized with a pain in epigastric region which passed downwards in middle line of body; then pain in left ovarian region, then in left hip, then down posterior side of left thigh to hollow of left knee; at the same time, a sense of great weakness in left side and particularly in left leg; then began another discharge of blood from uterus, which continued moderately for about fifteen minutes. These flows seem to be an affair of every other day ; for instance, April 20th at 1 a. m., (the regular period); then April 22nd, morning, moderately; then April 24th, morning; then April 26th, morning.

April 27th. At noon, a heavy pressing-down sensation in lower abdomen; had the same pressure in abdomen the day before the menses of April 20th.

April 28th. A feeling as though menses were coming on, but they did not.

April 30th. At 8:30 a. m., a very sharp pain passed from epigastric region in a direct line to left ovary; this was repeated at intervals three or four times during day, each time the pain being only momentary. Since menses ceased has had leucorrhoea, thick, white, cream-like in consistency, preceded by sharp pains in uterus as during menses; the leucorrhoea continued about as long as the menses had done during last week; but it occurred every morning, whereas the menses last week were every other day. She never had leucorrhoea before, except once in a very great while after some unusual exertion and fatigue, when there would be a very slight momentary appearance of something like it. It is now considerable in quantity, when it comes on, but does not cause any sense of debility.

About May 4th, suddenly felt a sharp pain in left lower abdomen; and at or about the same time, felt as if something had tumbled, rolled or fallen over in the uterine region to the left; she thinks her uterus turned over; it occurred when in the stooping posture. No symptoms followed; no pain, blood, or leucorrhoea.

E W Berridge