ARNICA, BELLIS, RUTA, SYMPHYTUM


It has been said that Ruta symptoms are difficult to classify in the repertory. If true, so much the worse for the repertory, but not for Ruta. Which is the more important, the repertory or Ruta? It certainly does depend thorough what channel we arrive at the result if that result is to be right.


This remedy grouping is unfair to at least two important items–Bellis and Symphytum, this is mainly for the reason that these latter are inadequately or incompletely proven. We use them, yes, but in narrow fields, in fields much more restricted than is just, since their widest applications are not known. Hence they cannot be considered in the same category with their companions, Arnica and Ruta, which, on the contrary have come down to us equipped with the unprecedented values of Hahnemanns work, a work that we as an Association have failed to approach, much to our well-earned embarrassment.

The only way in which these facts should be qualified is, perhaps, that if we had been industrious in collecting data concerning Bellis and Symphytum, data which, from time to time, have been contributed to the professional archives, we might at this late hour be in possession for ready practical use of well- rounded information of their widest symptomatology, and that, too, of high rank beyond expectation.

It is now over half a century since Timothy Field Allen published his monumental work, The Encyclopaedia of Materia Medica. In it Symphytum does not appear, for obvious reasons. There is a brief proving of Bellis made by Dr. Thomas and published in the British Journal of Homoeopathy. This was a proving made with the third dilution, and is good as far as it goes. And, in truth, it is about the only proving literature that Bellis has yet acquired. Fortunately, there have been clinical additions made to this record, all of which might furnish substantial material if they were accessible. One of our ex- Presidents, Dr. Franklin Powel, cited an interesting Bellis case last year. All such should be collected.

Symphytum, indispensable as it is, enjoys only a scanty literature. Probably no work of our Association could be more valuable than an exhaustive proving of this remedy in the potencies. I will make but one comment on its present usefulness that is recognized as invaluable, and will hope that further verifications may be forthcoming from others here. That power which Symphytum has of energizing the union of bone fragments after serious fracture, particularly in the aged subject is indispensable in our armament. Obviously, this very item suggests the minor qualities of the remedy, some of which only have been discovered. Such wider utility of application may be determined by thorough investigation.

When we come to Arnica and Ruta the status is different, the conditions are entirely changed in respect to their place in therapy. These two remedies are easily differentiated when one has the picture of each in mind, a picture, visualized by study of the remedy as a whole, which is doubtless the only way in which materia medica can be learned. While with Bellis and Symphytum there is no definitely broad picture that invites a concept essentially unique, a mental grasp that is inescapable on all sides, Ruta and Arnica both provide what the two former lack. With Ruta and Arnica the complete picture exists.

I am not now referring to detailed symptoms but to the remedy individuality. This cannot be expressed in words alone, any more than can some other phases of art be converted into verbal or other terms. Language may begin the description of a remedy, but more than language is necessary to fulfil an understanding of that remedy. Hence, personal knowledge of its proving if possible.

It has been said that Ruta symptoms are difficult to classify in the repertory. If true, so much the worse for the repertory, but not for Ruta. Which is the more important, the repertory or Ruta? It certainly does depend thorough what channel we arrive at the result if that result is to be right. The mental picture we retain of the great polychrests–for all their wonderful comprehensiveness–is the sine qua non of our success.

And so when we come to Arnica alone, what admiration seizes! Here is a remedy that has tradition, the prestige of universally recognized importance and value, and the crowning triumph of some six or seven hundred symptoms of Hahnemanns own observation and provings from the root–Arnica montana radix. Perhaps it is only the homoeopathic medical profession that keeps in mind the danger of employment of the flowers for tinctures, but the British pharmacopoeia has the root as official. The “arnica fly” infesting the flowers renders them unfit for our use, though a separate proving of these flowers is recommended, which might resemble that of Cantharis.

To enumerate the classes of patients to whom Arnica in potency becomes a boon would exhaust Herings thirty pages of its symptoms. It would seem that at some period of life–yes, many periods–the human organism calls for Arnica in no uncertain terms. Far beyond the popular bruise remedy, it is demanded by conditions representing the finer internal disorders of circulation, the vegetative and the nervous systems, functions of the internal organs, no viscus being exempt. In cerebral cases it is sometimes difficult to disregard Opium for Arnica, since the former in highest potency may do marvelous things toward the complete correction of arterial spasm or its threat. However, Arnica cannot be forgotten, particularly if the disorder has culminated in haemorrhage and its accompaniments.

Let us pray for more provings like the one of Arnica. Also let us secure more provings like that of Ruta, a remedy inspiring the physician by its breadth of power veritably assured by one of the best pathogenetic outlines in all materia medica. Even a brief study of its text, and certainly any apt employment of the potency impresses most favorably. The longer one uses the remedy, the greater the reward. It would be difficult to name any organ or region in which it does not excel in harmony with its symptomatology. Experience has favored me with many fine results. The eyes and the nerves in general respond with promptness and with permanence.

Both Ruta and Arnica have great control of the mental sphere. The mind rubrics have been verified in actual cases in numberless instances, as would be expected of the Hahnemann records.

Undoubtedly it should be admitted that the task of securing the correct proving in this age is far from being an easy one, or a simple one. Our life is beset with trivialities, with the superficial things that lead nowhere in particular. Our attention is constantly diverted by the radio, the airplane, and things in general of which jazz is a symbol. In fact, what might be used for benefit is abused intemperately, so that there is no time nor inclination left for the conservative attention entailed by devotion to the intensive study of the healing art. However, the first paragraph in the Organon will never be trite. It is fraught now with meaning that we cannot neglect.

NEW YORK CITY.

DISCUSSION.

DR. I. L. FARR: This is an unusual paper and one which brings home to each homoeopath the fact, that had it not been for the thorough work done by Hahnemann and his immediate followers, there would be no homoeopathy today. And as the doctor says, very little, during recent years, has been added to the materia medica, hence the lesser remedies, because of their scant provings, are little used.

Dr. Hutchinson has grouped Bellis and Symphytum because of their brief literature. How would it do to follow the title and compare Arnica with Bellis? Each is similar to the other in action, and both are called into action following trauma. With this strong resemblance and with the action of each called forth by trauma. our provings of Arnica give the key to what should be expected from Bellis. Bellis may well be considered the chronic or deep acting Arnica.

Achings, lameness, and weakness, of long duration, in joints, conditions reminding one of rheumatism or neuritis, which conditions may be traced to an old injury, as their cause, clear up under Bellis. The writer has seen several such cases, one especially, in which all indicated remedies failed to relieve the pain and lameness, until one day the patient remarked that she had had trouble with the joint in question, ever since she had fallen upon the ice. A few doses of Bellis cleared the case.

An Englishman, Dr. J. Compton Burnett, in his book, Change of Life in Women, page 130-131, in part says, “Bellis is our common daisy; it acts very much like Arnica; it causes pain in the spleen and a feeling of being very tired. It acts on exudates, swellings and stasis, therefore in varicose veins, patients are loud in its praises; it is a grand friend to commercial travelers, for in railway spine, of moderate severity, it has no equal, for stasis lies at the bottom of these ailments. In the higher dilutions it cures the symptom, “wakes too early in the morning.”

Dr. Burnett again speaks of Bellis as useful for the treatment of tumors especially if left sided and of traumatic origin. In his book, Curability of Tumors, pages 85-95, he cites the case of a man with a very large, painful, left sided abdominal tumor, which had been seen by six other physicians, previously. Their diagnosis varied from a tumor of left kidney or spleen or connected to both, or cancer. For treatment they could advise nothing except operation and the tumor was too large and the patient too weak to operate. The history showed that the probable origin was from a fall the patient had sustained eight years before.

On above history, left sided location and apparent stasis, Dr. Burnett prescribed Bellis tincture, drops five, every four hours. There soon occurred a great reduction in the size of the tumor and the patient passed vast quantities of urine. In about ten weeks the tumor had disappeared; the glands of the left side which had been much enlarged were non-palpable and the man bade Dr. Burnett good bye, to report at frequent intervals for a long period, and he continued well.

In this quartette of remedies under discussion, this fact is pertinent: The whole body of mankind is serviced, as we have proved above as to the locations of Arnica and Bellis. Now we find that Ruta relieves the symptoms from trauma to tendons, ligaments and periosteum while Symphytum goes to the bottom of things and aids in repair of the bony structure.

DR. B. C. WOODBURY: I have had under my care, since Dr. Patchs death, a woman who had the left breast removed, probably about 1913. The thing was diagnosed as malignant by microscopic section. Six months later if appeared in the other breast. Despairing of all hope from surgery, she sought Dr. Patchs advice, and the remedy he found for her was so successful in changing that whole condition, not only to one of palliation but one of apparent cure, that she has been all these years practically free from any very marked trouble. I have seen her at least two or three times a year.

The interesting thing about it was that Dr. Patch gave her in a sealed envelope the name of the remedy which had been beneficial in her case. She told me only the other day, “I know what that remedy is, Doctor, and Dr. Patch told me if I at any time could not get hold of a homoeopathic physician, and I could obtain some of it, I could take it myself.” That remedy was Carbo animalis. He gave her the 200th potency. I have a record of the case and know the times and seasons in which he gave it to her. There came a time, soon after I saw her, when Carbo animalis no longer did her any good. She was apparently at the end of the rope. She had severe bronchitis that started the old breast trouble, and every cough was torture.

Bryonia did her no good. I was at my wits end. Finally I thought of Bellis and gave it to her in the third decimal. Immediately she was relieved. Finally I went back and looked over the records and found that Dr. Patch himself had evidently been in the same dilemma, for he had given her Bellis in the 30th potency. I never had to give it higher than the 3rd to 4th to her. I always keep the record, and if she ever needs it in a higher potency than the 3rd or 4th, I shall remember that Dr. Patch used it in the 30th. It is a very definite case. The woman is absolutely sure of the fact that Dr. Patchs remedies, particularly the Carbo animalis, saved her from inevitable results in recurrent cancer of the breast.

DR. P. L. BENTHACK: I have a case of a woman with a tumor just above the breast. When I inquired about the history of the case, she said her grown son had hit her there. I gave her Bellis in the tincture three times a day, and inside a month it is only half the size.

This is a very interesting paper, but unless I missed something, I didnt hear much about Bellis. I dont know of any one remedy that covers as many symptoms as Bellis, with a history like this: “I have never been well since I worked in the harvest and got warm and then all at once cooled off.” “I got very warm and then went in the water and went swimming.” I had a woman tell me that during her monthly period she went in the water and never was well again; she had not been well for years. I couldnt get very clear symptoms out of that for one remedy, and I gave her Bellis. She made a wonderful improvement.

I can say one thing about Ruta that I did not hear mentioned. If a school girl or any professional person has trouble with the eyes, Ruta is a good remedy. Many peoples eyes hurt when they read. There are a great many people who will not need glasses if you give Ruta.

DR. B. C. WOODBURY: I have used Ruta, generally in the 50M, in ganglion. It will remove it almost without fail.

DR. J. W. OVERPECK: I would like to ask for some information. I have Bellis in tincture in my office, but never have used it. The only thing I know about it is that it is said to be good for pains resulting from nerve pressure. I dont know whether that can be confirmed or not.

Some time ago I treated a man who had three of his teeth pulled, two lower incisors and the next one to them. They healed up nicely, but he has had pains a good part of the time since in the gum, right where those teeth were extracted, little shooting pains like needle pains coming and going. It is very much like Belladonna, and Belladonna has done him some good, but never cures him. I think I have given it as high as the 10M. He has gone to different doctors since I treated him, and is back with me again, getting some results from Belladonna, in fact very good results, but it does not cure him. Just the day before I came away, I was thinking of giving him Bellis, on account of the pressure of the nerves, which I think is causing the trouble. I would like to have some information as to what remedy to give if Belladonna doesnt cure it.

DR. P. L. BENTHACK: I would give Hypericum.

DR. W. W. WILSON: So would I.

CHAIRMAN A. H. GRIMMER: It depends on the diagnosis in this case, whether it is really the pressure of the nerves or lacerated tissues. That would make a difference.

DR. J. W. OVERPECK: I know a great deal about Hypericum, but I am ashamed to say I didnt think of it.

CHAIRMAN A. H. GRIMMER: Hypericum could be used. If it fails, you could try Colocynthis.

There is another remedy where we have pains after incised wounds, and pains where there is great stretching of the sphincters producing tremendous agony, and that is Staphisagria. It often is a wonderful help.

DR. R. E. S. HAYES: One peculiar thing about Bellis that you might remember is that it has aggravation of sudden cooling, but the local complaints are relieved by cold instead of being aggravated.

CHAIRMAN A. H. GRIMMER: That is a nice distinction between Rhus and Bellis. They both enter in there. Thank you for the point.

DR. A. F. SCHWARTZ: In the case of a bookkeeper, whose eyes were used a great deal of course, Ruta gave great relief, and also corrected some of her medical symptoms and cardiac palpitation. After the effects wore off, I repeated it, and her eyes were in better shape than they had been for some years.

DR. C. WOODBURY: I have also verified Ruta in eye strain, especially from overwork.

Those of our school who insist upon pathology as a basis of therapeutics, who look upon the single objective symptom and its nearest organic origin as the subject for treatment, and who deride the notion of prescribing upon the totality of the symptoms, and claim to be more than symptom coverers, in that they discover and aim to remove the cause of the disease–these colleagues are as false in their pathology, according to the highest old-school authorities, as they are faithless to the doctrines, and impotent as to the successes of the founder of the homoeopathic school.–CARROLL DUNHAM, M.D.

John Hutchinson