NAME, ORIGIN OF NAME, DESCRIPTION.
Name: Stellaria media, or Alsine media, Origin of name: Stellaria, from stella, a star, in allusion to the star-shaped flowers; Alsine, from the Greek for grove, the habitat of some species. Description: Annual, naturalized from Europe. Everywhere in damp ground, April-December. Stem weak, branching, procumbent or ascending. Leaves ovate or oval, small, white, solitary or slightly clustered. Calyx: Sepals five, oblong, longer than the petals. Corolla: around the pistil. Pistil: Ovary one-celled; styles three. Fruit ovoid capsule, several seeded.
The chickweed is our one plant hardy enough to live and bloom throughout a northern winter. It probably could not do this in New England, possibly not in New York, but on the southern shores of Lake Erie During those winters that not unfrequently occur, when no ice is gathered from the lake, it grows and blooms all winter long in protected places.
Because of this hardiness its distribution is world-wide. A striking story to illustrate this is told by Sir Joseph Hooker, who says: “Upon one occasion, landing on a small uninhabited island, nearly at the antipodes, the first evidence I met with of its having been previously visited by man was the English Chickweed, and this I traced to a mound that marked the grave of a British Chickweed, and this I traced to a mound that marked the grave of a British sailor, which was covered with the plant, doubtless the offspring of a seed that had adhered to the spade with which the grave had been dug”.
The blossom is very small and under the glass very pretty. The five petals form a very perfect star; the petals are curiously two-cleft making five look like ten, these are rounded at the apex and shorter than the sepals. The stamens are a variable number; when things are going well with the plant there are sure to be five and maybe more, but in late autumn or early winter the pinched little blossom may afford only two.
The chickweed is an example of the meekness that inherits the earth. It foes what it can, it lives where it must. A blossom usually terminates the stem and from the axils of the newest leaves spring branches with a flowers proves it capable of self- fertilization.
In the proving of Stellaria medica, Dr. D.T.P., his wife and I took part. We attempted to prove the 1x and CC potencies since the former provings were attempted by the tincture of the drug.
In the proving we are sorry to be compelled to state that Mrs. P. had no result whatever, which was quite a disappointment to us as we wished to see how it would affect the female, especially the menses. Dr. John H. Clarke thought perhaps that “shifting pains would be proven to be characteristic”. Neither Dr. D.T.P. nor I was able to confirm this. Nearly all the symptoms produced by the 1x were almost promptly reproduced by the CC two months later. The first symptoms were produced in the abdomen. The most prominent and persistent symptoms were the color and consistency of the stool and the skin eruption, the latter after disappearing leaving the skin smooth and velvety.
These should prove Stellaria media of inestimable value in both those conditions, to which your attention if especially called. The stool was almost persistent in color and consistency. The eruption began between the thumb and index finger of the right hand extending to the left. There was a feeling of pimples under the skin which finally broke through, the skin cracked in small sections and was flaky. It looked as if flour had been sprinkled in the cracks, the edges of the cracks turning up, and the knuckles were rough like nutmeg graters. This condition lasted about four weeks with both of us.
The attached schema is one amended from that of Clarkes which was the fullest to our command. The symptoms in Roman type are from Clarke and other sources; the ones in italics are the ones there stated and verified in our own provings, while those in parenthesis are our own additions. The activity of this drug in the CC potencies, pathogenetically, causes us to believe that its curative powers will be best demonstrated and brought out by using the higher potencies.
HEAD: Irritability of scalp. Rheumatic pains: over right sided of head, especially at back, sore to touch; darting through head, worse right side; darting through left half of forehead, over eyes, sore to touch. Dull frontal ache, worse a.m., or in left side with sleepiness. (8 a.m., suspicion of an ache: in forehead, worse motion and turning head, with slight inclination to nausea; in right temple and right eye, all day, no relief, no aggravation, with slight suspicion of nausea).
EYES: Right ball sore to touch. Flushes of heat below right lid. Darting pain in eyes. Vision dim. Soreness of eyeballs.
EARS: (Slight dull pain in left ear and mastoid).
NOSE: Dry nostrils. (On two occasions the usually dry nostrils were moist a.m. on waking).
FACE: Neuralgic pains in right side of face. Burning on lower lip.
MOUTH: Persistent taste of drug with slight acrid feeling. Heat and dryness; lower gums and tip of tongue numb. Incisors as if on edge.
THROAT: Throat numb and dry, followed later by sharp stitches in left tonsil. Dryness of pharynx.
STOMACH: Slight nausea with eructations tasting of drug. Stomach and bowels sore, worse touch.
ABDOMEN: Navel sore to touch. Soreness and dragging pain in lower bowels. Wandering pains around navel, settle between navel and liver. Liver: as if too large for body; burning pains all over, left side sore to touch; burning pressure in region; torpid. bilious sense. Pain in right groin. (First symptoms appeared in bowels. Rolling and passing of flatus. Painful abdominal flatulence with eructation tasting of drug. Dull pain edge of left pelvic bone, two inches back of crest of ilium. Cramping pain above navel, 11 p.m., after going to bed, lasting 45 minutes).
STOOL: Loose, dark brown, with slight pain; or clay colored. (Light yellow, soft, formed, smaller in circumference than usual; followed by an uncomfortable feeling in lower abdomen and rectum as for more to come, only passing off on leaving vessel. Large brown, first part large and very heavy, often breaking in two, the first part sinking like a stone to the bottom of vessel, latter part softer, lighter and floating; if stool did not break it would float perpendicularly in the water. This was the most persistent character of the stool. Ineffectual urging to stool. Brownish stool, hard to expel).
URINARY ORGANS: Sore over kidneys, to touch, (Rose twice one night to urinate, urine retarded, prostate irritable. Dull pain over left kidney).
RESPIRATORY ORGANS: Short cough from tickling on upper chest, worse deep inspiration. Hawks viscid, saltish mucus.
BACK: Rheumatic pain across small of back, worse bending. Sore, stiff lions. Dull pain under right scapula. Sharp rheumatic pains across small of back over kidneys, worse bending and in gluteal region extending down thighs. (Dull pain in left nates, buttock and hip especially while sitting. Dull lumbar ache worse motion).
LIMBS: Bruised feeling. Joints sore; stiff. (Wakened 5 a. m. with itching on outer sides of both legs and hips, not better scratching. Dull ache in buttocks and hip, left side). UPPER: Darting rheumatic pain: down right arm, and in middle of index finger of left hand. LOWER: Rheumatic pain in right hip; right knee, in left knee gradually extending along thigh, and below right knee cap; in calves which are sensitive; in ankles. Synovitis. Bruised feeling over thighs. (Skin over balls of feet very sore while walking).
SLEEP: Unrefreshing a.m. Restless. (More sound and prolonged. Overpowering p.m. Wakeful until 2 a.m., then semiconscious sleep until 6 a.m. Sleepless all night).
FEVER: Pulse slightly accelerated, temperature normal.
SKIN: Psoriasis mostly on joints. (As of pimples under skin. Backs of hands and especially backs of fingers become dry, crack and peel off in spots, knuckles feel rough like nutmeg graters. Pimples begin between index finger and thumb of right hand, felt under skin, skin then cracks, edges raise and look as if flour had been sprinkled between the cracks; the epithelial layers are apt to pile up like those of psoriasis; this condition extends to left hand. The skin and hard brown stool as stated above seem to be among the most persistent and longest lasting to all the symptoms produced).
GENERALS: Pains worse motion; parts sore to touch. Symptoms come on rapidly after taking the drug; next a.m. bruised feeling or rising, all over thighs as from overexertion.
CHAIRMAN A. H. GRIMMER: You have heard this splendid description of what is undoubtedly a valuable remedy. It is now open for general discussion.
Dr. W.W. WILSON: I have read the proving of Stellaria media in various books. Of course, it is very common in greenhouses, and oftentimes those of us who have canary birds go to greenhouses or somewhere else and pick up a handful for the canary.
One of my patients works in one of the greenhouse and with the florist at his home. One day when I came out with a handful of chickweed he remarked that some German woman of the town made tea of it and used it for bronchitis. There isnt anything of that kind in the provings as given, and Dr. Pulford doesnt mention any kind of cough or chest symptoms.
CHAIRMAN A.H. GRIMMER: I want to add my confirmation of the wandering pains which Dr. Pulford mentioned that he was not able to bring out. I recently had a case of rheumatic fever in a young child, a seven year old girl, which had the classical symptoms of Bryonia at first, but Bryonia failed to do any good. Stellaria came in over her blood. The pain did wander around, that is, it went from joint to joint. She got a little better in one joint but would have another joint involved. Stellaria cleared it up very promptly in the 10000th potency, one dose.
Stellaria is undoubtedly a deeper remedy than you probably think it is, and it may be possible that some of the deep effects of a long proving will bring out the bronchial side of it.
Why do we potentize our remedies?.
The potency question has been and still continues to be the stumbling block in the way of the embracement of homoeopathy. If homoeopathic physicians could use the remedies in massive doses and crude forms and achieve the same results as with the potencies thousands would flock to their standards who now hold them up to scorn.
Why then is it necessary to potentize?.
1. We potentize for the purpose of awakening life in the crude material.
2. To develop this awakened or dynamic force of the remedy and place it upon the plane of the dynamic force of the body.
3. In order to effect a cure in the most harmless way possible by eliminating all poisonous or drug effects consequent upon the administration of a remedy in the crude form.
4. In order to secure the minimum dose; for it is evident that the vital force, being deranged by an inconceivably small amount of the morbific agent, is consequently affected by an inconceivably small amount of the remedial substance. E.EARL FREEMAN, M.D., 1908.