This remedy is deep enough and broad enough in its sick making power to include all the chronic miasmata of Hahnemann. It must be strongly sycotic, as Hering states that warts on the dorsum of the penis have been observed, and Clarke verified this statement with a cure of the same condition. It has also cured gonorrhoeal ophthalmia.
About the most pronounced general feature of Ant. tart. is the state of weakness prevailing throughout its entire proving. Another prominent characteristic is the tendency to produce catarrhal conditions everywhere throughout the economy. While no mucous membrane is exempt to the action of the drug, the bronchial tubes and lungs are more markedly and more frequently affected than are those of other parts.
The characteristic discharges and exudates are copious, white viscid and are frequently expelled from the body with difficulty. This is especially true of the expectoration. The bronchial tubes and lungs may be loaded with a loose rattling expectoration which, owing both to the viscid nature of the mucus and to the insufficient expulsive power of the lungs, can be dislodged only with extreme difficulty, and only in scanty amounts if at all.
This remedy affects the vitality so profoundly that the reactive powers of the body are depleted and weak, causing a feeble response to the action of the curative remedies. Perhaps for this reason, we find it frequently a needed remedy for both extremes of life, infancy and old age.
The next most important center affected is the gastro-intestinal tract. Nausea, gagging and retching are strong characteristics; also vomiting of copious, ropy, white mucus, sometimes mixed with bile or blood. The digestion, like the general organism, is weak and especially sensitive to acid fruits, which may be the only thing desired. Most food is repugnant, even the attempt to eat or the sight or thought of food cannot be tolerated. Milk, the natural food of the infants, cannot be taken or used, even cold water which at times may be desired will irritate and upset the highly sensitive stomach. Inflammations of mucous membranes go slowly on to ulcerations which are equally slow to repair.
With the weakness already mentioned there is an accompanying coldness. And cold, wet weather brings on or aggravates all complaints, the catarrhal affections of the respiratory tract, and the symptoms of the stomach and bowels, also the rheumatic and gouty states, which make up the third important center to be involved.
The pains of the limbs and back are severe and constant, and associated with great weakness and heaviness, even going on to a paralytic weakness.
The fourth point of note is a copious sweat that does not relieve the other symptoms as in Merc. and Hep., the patient sweats without relief. And with this weakness and coldness and sweating the patient is mentally irritable and sensitive to a high degree. Complaints especially of children are often brought on by becoming angry, like Cham., Coloc., and Staph. Another therapeutic symptom of real value frequently met with, is a febrile state occurring with no accompanying thirst.
Next in importance is the action of the remedy on the skin. Eruptions of various kinds are produced by this remedy, herpetic, pustular and ulcerative, and they are slow to heal.
From this brief sketch of the general aspects of the remedy we may glean somewhat of the conditions requiring its homoeopathic use.
A novice in the application of the homoeopathic law would know that lung and respiratory conditions of a serious nature might require this medicament. Remember it in the pneumonias of the aged, weak, cold, with broken constitutions, who have suffered from chronic catarrhal troubles and weak, impaired digestion. Remember it for these affected by gouty and arthritic conditions aggravated by every change to cold, wet weather. The inability to expectorate the load of mucus that rattles and chokes the patient until he becomes cyanotic, cold and sinking. It is also very useful for the bronchial pneumonias of infants of a sickly, weak constitution, who have been unable to assimilate their food because of a faulty digestive tract.
The child needing this medicine is desperately ill, because of its weakness and poor reaction to remedies. Ip., Ant. tart.s nearest analogue, likely has failed or only palliated for a time. Then it is that this medicine may save a life. In a typical Ant. tart. picture where the remedy acts only feeble or slowly, a dose of Sulph. will wonderfully strengthen and hasten curative action in these infantile pneumonias. Another place for this remedy is in the new born, where cyanosis and asphyxiation have occurred as a result of the pressure and delay incident to a difficult birth. Life can sometimes be saved with this remedy after all other methods fail.
It also acts as a great palliative and comfort in many cases of late tuberculosis, when the exhausted and partly destroyed lungs can function no longer, yet the patient continues to live and suffer. Ant. tart. will give such a patient a painless death, if it does not prolong his life. Also it will serve you well in the pneumonias of high bred dogs, especially the short-necked, blooded bulls, which inevitably die after a few days under other forms of treatment. Ant. tart. is almost a specific for the pneumonia of dogs. And experimentally the dog has proven highly susceptible to its action, taking on the pathological findings of pneumonia from its administration in so-called physiologic doses. It is surprising how happy you can make your patients by saving their pets, that is why this feature of the remedy is mentioned.
Certain forms of bronchial asthma, very intractable, chronic and resistant to all kinds of treatment respond to it, also those catarrhal cases loaded with mucus which cannot be expectorated but fills the bronchial tubes and rattles and chokes and gags the patient, producing a more or less irritating cough, which only brings up a little mucus with difficulty. And all these conditions are worse in cold wet weather and are met in those of weakened broken states.
The stomach symptoms have led to its use in the complaints of old drunkards, those who have ruined their stomachs with excessive indulgence in alcoholic drinks, where symptoms of ulcerative irritability supervene. These patients become so weak that nothing is tolerated and there is gagging and vomiting of viscid mucus, blood and bile.
This remedy has proven of great use in the treatment of smallpox and even prophylactic properties are claimed for it. There is a strange thing about this drug that might be suggestive. If you scarify a small area on the skin and rub in a little tartar emetic, in the 1x triturate you can produce a typical vaccination scar, one that will satisfy the most bigoted health officer anywhere. The pustular eruptions, the dreadful back and limb pains, the disturbed digestive symptoms and the great weakness, all could well make it a splendid medicine for certain cases of smallpox. Clarke says Ant. tart. develops the smallpox pustule and that Thuja drys it up.
Kent says that the sufferings and symptoms of the Ant. tart. patient show on the face, which may be dusky pale and even cyanosed. A marked symptom is the flapping of the wings of the nose like Lyc., to which it must be compared in some cases of late pneumonia.
The infant is very fretful and wants to be let alone, even does not want to be looked at or touched, and convulsions at times come on from anger. Much of this looks like Cham. and Cina. Another feature that is quite marked is a drowsiness that maybe part of the weakness. At times this lapses into almost a stupor in children. This aspect will lead you to compare Aethusa, especially in the intestinal conditions.
Such a paper as this cannot do justice to this wonderful remedy. An attempt to bring out the general features and high lights is all that we expect to do, so that interest might be awakened for further and deeper study.
A summary reveals a few cardinal symptoms and states that will prove helpful to the busy practician:.
First, is the marked weakness everywhere?.
Second, is the general coldness and the aggravation from becoming cold and from cold, wet weather? There is also an aggravation from external heat and from the heat of a close room, especially the respiratory symptoms.
The extremely weak and irritable digestive tract presents symptoms of nausea, retching and vomiting. Thirstless during the fever. Copious sweat without relief of symptoms. Rattling of much mucus which comes up with difficulty and only in small amounts. Flapping of the alae nasi in respiratory complaints. Pallor and cyanosis complete a fairly full list of important symptoms of this drug.
A few of the most marked modalities will serve to complete our too brief study of a great medicine.
The cough is aggravated by warm drinks, on becoming warm while lying in bed, from cold and dampness. Ant. tart. has aggravation sitting down, and on rising from a seat, sitting bent forward. It is ameliorated sitting erect, aggravated lying on affected side, aggravated by motion and on every effort to move. A characteristic of Ant. tart. in lung affections is, lies with head back. Clarke says there is not the amelioration from rest which is apparent in many symptoms of Ant. crud. Ant. tart. headaches are aggravated by rest, also the earache and respiration.
The cough is aggravated at 4 a.m., ameliorated by eructation. Clarke recommends this remedy as being one of the best for cases of lumbago.
Teucrium SCORADONIA is mentioned because it has cured a case with strong Ant. tart. symptoms on a tubercular base, where Ant. tart. was given without relief of the constant rattling cough or of the emaciation and general weakness present.
In Teucrium, the cervical glands of the neck are more pronounced than is generally found under Ant. tart. Teucrium scorod. has cured a case of advanced tuberculosis with a cavity of the left lung.
A case of chronic, periodical headache, very severe, occurring at the menstrual period of a young unmarried woman, who also suffered from very profuse flow and almost unbearable cramps all at the same time, yielded promptly and permanently to this remedy given in potencies of the 10 and 50M, each dose at long intervals apart.
This remedy needs a proving, as its empirical applications show great possibilities in curative energy. These can only be developed by a good proving.
Helix tosta is another lung remedy of undoubted power. Tubercular cases with haemorrhage may find this the needed remedy. Cough with blood spitting and continuous hoarseness. Cough at night preventing sleep. Dyspnoea aggravated ascending stairs. Two cases, mentioned by Clarke, were cured with the CM potency. One, a man, had frequent attacks of hemoptysis, continuous hoarseness, dry tickling cough aggravated at night preventing sleep, dyspnoea aggravated climbing stairs. He had all the usual remedies, Helix tosta, CM, three powders given. There was no more haemorrhage. A few weeks later a return was feared and a few more doses given. Four months later the patient was greatly improved in health and remained well.
Second case: A lady of tubercular diathesis, developed the disease after confinement. Several well indicated remedies failed to check its progress. At length haemorrhage set in. Helix was given, as in the other case, with prompt effect. Haemorrhage ceased, cough and expectoration gradually improved, and in eight months the patient was well, and remained so.
These cases, quoted from Clarke, indicate the value of this remedy and the need of a proving of it, that we may better apply another weapon in our fight against the great “white plague”.
The key, as we see the remedy now, is the haemorrhagic tendency it has cured, and remedies that are valuable for this phase of tuberculosis are especially desirable, because such cases are noted for the difficulty of curing them.
CHAIRMAN PULFORD: This very interesting paper is now open for discussion.
DR. C. R. MILLER: What strength Antimonium?.
DR. GRIMMER: Everything from 30 up. I generally prefer the ten- thousandth.
DR. ALFRED PULFORD: I want to thank Dr. Grimmer very cordially for this paper. When I saw the heading, it made me want to come all the more.
Once I tried to prescribe Teucrium scoradonia, but I didnt know anything about it and when I saw this heading, I realized that Dr. Grimmer has always had something good to tell us and teach us and I do thank him for this paper because I want to see it published just as soon as it can be.
DR. M. I. BOGER-SHATTUCK: Regarding Antimonium tartaricum, I had a perfectly remarkable experience this past winter. I was called to see a baby which had been undergoing regular treatment for pneumonia. When I got there, the baby was lying back perfectly white, looking almost like marble, with these rattles in the chest, the temperature 106 degrees, and they had told the parents everything possible had been done by regular medicine. I was called because they thought the child was going to die. I, too, thought the child was going to die and I happened to have some Antimonium tartaricum and I put three or four pellets in a quarter of a glass of water and told the mother to give it to the child every fifteen minutes until he seemed to breathe better and then once every hour or two hours.
When I went back the following morning, much to my surprise, the child was apparently all right, sitting up in bed laughing and playing as though nothing had been wrong and all the rattles were gone. I had seen the child at ten oclock the previous night.
The family was poor and they told me I didnt need to come again, that the baby was all right. Four weeks later I was called to the child again. Apparently the child was having a typical case of pneumonia. The child was thin, very florid and was coming down and had all the symptoms of pneumonia and I gave the child Ferrum phos. at first, and three days later I had to give the child Antimonium tartaricum again, which cured.
I believe that first potency of Antimonium tartaricum did nothing but palliate that pneumococcus because it was in one month and a day that the child came down with the second pneumonia.
DR. A. H. GRIMMER: I merely wish to answer some of Dr. Boger- Shattucks questions about Antimonium tartaricum. I think the child was an Antimonium tartaricum patient and the remedy ran out in about thirty days, as they sometimes do. The child needed another dose, and probably that child will go on and need Antimonium tartaricum in successive doses for some time. That is often the case. I think all who are good prescribers will confirm that observation.
Men of letters, anxious to distinguish themselves, have tried in vain to trip up the great poet, Shakespeare, in error; these men have all been extinguished. The same fate awaits every medical man who will attempt to distinguish himself by charging Dr. Samuel Hahnemann with uttering erroneous statements. Paragraph 138 of the Organon is not an error, and its correctness is self- evident. If the organism is affected by any sick making power, be it a drug or miasm, or any other dynamic influence, material or immaterial, that organism, holding in suspension, in virtue of its own constitution, some special tendency, will show this latent constitutional condition during the development of the sickmaking power now invading it, and symptoms he has complained of at times long ago will appear again and leave again without medication.- AD. LIPPE, M.D., 1887.
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A true physician will beware of forming a predilection for any particular remedies which chance may sometimes have led him to administer with success. This preference might cause him to reject others which would be still more homoeopathic, and consequently of great efficacy.
He must, likewise, be careful not to entertain a prejudice against those remedies from which he may have experienced some check, because he had made a bad selection, and he should never lose sight of this great truth, that of all known remedies there is but one that merits a preference before all others, viz.: that whose symptoms bear the closest resemblance to the totality of those which characterize the malady. No petty feeling should have any influence in so serious a matter. -HAHNEMANN.