This remedy was first prepared and introduced to the homoeopathic profession by Hahnemann. It is a chemical entity or compound, and not a mixture of Sulphur and Calcarea; it exhibits some of the chief characteristics of both these powerful drugs, and is, therefore, worthy of study.
It resembles Sulphur in its power to produced offensive odors, discharges, and filthy-looking lesions, and Calcarea in the tendency to produce easy and excessive perspirations, and its deep-seated action upon all the tissues.
Add to the above its individual extreme sensitiveness to cold, and drafts of air, and to pain and touch, and we have indeed an outstanding remedy. It tends to produce suppurations, which is generally of a superficial nature.
Now we have other remedies which produce suppuration, excessive perspiration, foul discharges, and which attack and destroy tissue; therefore, let us examine the characteristic symptoms which will differentiate this drug from all others.
First then, we have the extreme sensitiveness to cold air and drafts of air. This is so marked that even on a hot summer day the patient needing this remedy will place himself beside a hot stove and still feel cold. The proximity to the stove may cause him to sweat profusely, and this sweat is frequently of a vile odor, or it may be induced by the exertions he has made to reach the stove; nevertheless he remains cold.
This state of coldness is so much aggravated by any draft of air that should any one open the door, and be too slow in closing it, he is filled with a violent surge of anger against that offender (and I mean violent). The offense needs to be repeated but once or twice and so great is his anger that the could at that moment inflict severe bodily harm or even murder. This rage rushed upon him like a tornado and leaves almost as quickly, but is succeeded by a morose silent mood which is as easily fanned to fever heat again.
Secondly: This patient is sensitive beyond any ordinary degree to pain, and resists to the best of his power the kindly attentions of the doctor, nurse, or parent, aimed at giving him relief. It is a real task to attend to a dressing in a case which needs Hepar sulphur.
Thirdly: These patients who sweat so profusely, who are so cold, and so vehement at times, must of necessity, be weak physically; any slight exertion tires them out.
Fourthly: The pains wherever felt are generally described as sticking in character. The inflamed ear, abscess, throat etc., all have these sticking pains.
The summing up of these four characteristics, namely, extreme sensitiveness to pain and touch, extreme weakness in general, and in particular parts, and the sticking pains, make this remedy out alone in the field to tissue destroyers. No other remedy has these symptoms all combined.
Mentally, the patient needing this remedy is irritable, impatient, easily angered to an extreme degree, or is morose, saddened, remembering unpleasant happenings, sits by himself, dislikes company, and broods on his misfortunes. HEAD:Stitching pains; pains as from a boil; as from a nail in the brain on one side; eczema capitis with great sensitiveness to touch, and foul discharge.
EYES: Conjunctivitis; redness of the lids; lids agglutinated; ulcerations of the lid margins and of the cornea, with extreme sensitiveness and lachrymation, scrofulous appearance.
EAR: Suppuration of the middle ear; violent pains, recurrent; boils in the external auditory canal; sticking pains.
MOUTH: Looseness of the teeth; gum boils; sensitive; salivation with an offensive odor.
THROAT: A sensation of splinter or fish bone in the throat with pain into the ear on the affected side when swallowing quinsy; fearful of choking; laryngitis; croup with loose rattling cough and easy sweating.
STOMACH: Craving for sour things, especially vinegar.
ABDOMEN: Weakness of the bowels; difficult hard or soft stool.
BLADDER: Inflammation of, with slow discharge of urine; no power to expel the urine in a stream. Pyelitis with chills; sensitiveness to cold and drafts.
LUNGS: Weakness; voice weak; sticking pains in the chest; loose rattling croupy cough with greenish mattery expectoration; empyema.
GLANDS AND SKIN: Suppuration of the axillary and cervical glands with extreme sensitiveness; suppurations following slightest injury or abrasions; eczematous patches with moisture of a foul odor in chilly patients.
As will be seen by the above brief resume the tendency to suppuration affects the mucous membrane, skin and glands, much more so than it does the bones. It would be a grand remedy for scurvy.
In many states it much resembles Mercury, and is its homoeopathic antidote; always useful where the patient has been dosed with Mercury.
It also resembles Silica in its coldness, but Silica patients want the head and shoulders covered with a shawl or blanket. Wherever you find a patient sitting passively with a blanket wrapped about his shoulders and head, it is likely he needs Silica. The coldness of Hepar is more active-he chills with it and needs more active radiated heat.
I will now relate my personal experience when in need of the remedy, which, I think, well illustrates its filed of action.
During one summer at the age of fifteen I was sent to the Laurentian Mountains to live with a French-Canadian family who spoke no English. The object of this trip was for me to learn the French language at first hand. Accompanied my dog, I boarded an ancient railroad train operated by the Pontiac Pacific Junction Railroad, and traveled north-west up the Ottawa Valley for sixty miles, then by stage back into the mountains for thirty more miles to a little town called Otterville. I saw the Ville but no Otter. Another five miles over a terrible road and the little white house on the mountainside was reached. The young g monsieur and his dog were greeted most cordially.
The farm consisted of a small amount of cleared land under cultivation and a large amount of pasturage on the hillsides. Here sheep and cattle grazed. There were several small lakes in the immediate and a beautiful little trout stream in the valley. Needless to say I made good use of the stream.
The food was very primitive; we had salt pork very day, dairy butter which was very salty, few vegetables and very little milk. The standard beverages were water and tea; the only fruit, raspberries and raspberry jam. Mosquitoes and cooties were in evidence. It was not long before I purchased a fine tooth comb from a Jewish pedler who was more conversant with the French language than I. I had always wanted such a comb, and now found that it was needed.
Shortly it appeared that where the mosquitoes and cooties bit, a little boil followed my attentions to the spot, and I was soon covered with nasty-looking festering sores. As these increased in numbers, my ardor for fishing diminished, and I was content to sit out in the sun on the hot rocks. Later, I transferred my attentions to the kitchen stove, wedged a chair in between it and the wall, and spent a great part of my time there.
The farmer had a beautiful daughter whose attempts to express sorrow for my plight irritated me strangely, and her brother developed a most irritating habit of coming into the kitchen and leaving the door open on purpose. He would then advance toward me on tiptoe with his arm outstretched and give me a poke with his finger. With a bellow of rage, and murder in my heart, I would dash through the door in pursuit of this young demon. He always ran to the pasture, and there would follow a long distance battle. I was too weak to catch him, but using dry “Marde de Vache” as ammunition, was several times successful in scoring a bulls eye. In Africa the dried dung of the cow and camel are used for fire wood, but in Otterville we used if for t throwing.
By this time summer was drawing to a close, and Father sent for me. Somewhat shocked at my appearance, he called me into the office; after a few questions he gave me a dose of Hepar Sulphur. The boils healed as if by magic, the chilliness left, but Mother kept the fine tooth comb for a week or so-just for good luck.
DR. GRIMMER: Anyone who hears this paper certainly will not forget Hepar sulph.
The doctor mentioned having a patient who wanted to cover his head. There is another remedy to compare with that. That is Psorinum. That is a remedy that looks the Hepar patient in the offensiveness of its discharge, as well.
DR. ALFRED PULFORD: That was a real description of Hepar Sulph. I had a case I think I have reported. Dr. McLaren described that case exactly. This patient had syphilis for thirty years, under allopathic treatment all the time. I sent him a single dose of Hepar sulph. 10M. and the man is now able to be about and do his work like any other man; he has been so since within two years after he began the treatment.
DR. BRYANT: I am not going to try to add anything to the discussion on Hepar, but I believe where there are chills this differentiation might be called for. I am going to tell you of a form of chill that, if it makes the impression it made on me, you will never forget it.