The purpose of this brief paper is to concentrate our attention on a remedy, which, if prepared according to homoeopathic specifications and used only when indicated in accordance with our homoeopathic principle, will demonstrate its value invariably and inevitably.
The above remarks apply with equal force to every remedy in our materia medica, but in Radium bromide we have a valuable therapeutic agent as yet too little understood and too seldom used.
The earliest proving of this substance of which I can find a record was conducted by the late Dr. John H. Clarke in 1904.
The substance of this paper has been drawn from his monograph published by The Homoeopathic Publishing Co., London, and from a most excellent report of provings and clinical verification prepared by Dr. Wm. H. Dieffenbach, and published in The Homoeopathic Recorder of October, 1928.
It was extremely interesting in comparing these reports, published twenty years apart, to notice the same symptoms developing in provers separated widely not only in time but space. No less interesting were clinical confirmations of drug symptoms first recorded twenty years previously.
In his provings, Dr. Clarke used the thirtieth centesimal potency, while later provings were conducted with the 6x and 12x. Dr. Dieffenbach urges, as a result of his own experience as a prover, that no potency lower than the 12x be used in conducting a proving.
From the provings it would appear that Radium bromide produces its most definite effect on the skin and mucous membranes, producing intense itching and burning. This irritation is all but intolerable, and when relief is sought by scratching, the resulting soreness is almost as hard to endure as the itching. It also caused and cured scaly eruptions resembling eczema or psoriasis and greatly relieved a chronic dermatitis as the result of working with X-ray and radium, which had resisted treatment for several years.
Several provers noticed great relief from corns which had been troublesome for many years; on the muscles, fibrous tissues, cartilage and nerves, its action is manifested as myalgia, arthritis, neuralgia, etc. Its effect on the kidney was to produce an irritation of both the glomeruli and convoluted tubules, giving rise to faint traces of albumin in almost every prover, while in one case there appeared a few hyaline and granular casts. There was also a very definite effect on the male and female generative organs.
The chief modalities of this remedy are the general desire for, and > in, the open air; the > from continued motion; the > from extremely hot water (pruritis and skin eruptions); with < after five p.m., and while resting.
The MENTAL symptoms in a case requiring Radium bromide are very apt to resemble those of Pulsatilla or Sepia.
HEAD symptoms are apt to be right sided, or occipital, with decided > in the open air.
EYES: Symptoms of a mild conjunctivitis; > in open air.
NOSE: Red and shiny, irritation marked; crusts forming in nostrils; epistaxis, on exertion (clinical).
FACE: Acne; neuritis in trigeminal nerve (pains stabbing).
MOUTH: Nearly all provers complained of dryness in the mouth, with metallic taste.
ABDOMEN: Much flatus afternoon and evening.
STOOL: Frequent and light in color.
URINARY ORGANS: Increased urination; frequency; faint trace of albumin; increased output of chlorides; decreased output of phosphates.
MALE GENERATIVE ORGANS: Emissions with dreams.
FEMALE GENERATIVE ORGANS: Menses delayed. Several provers experienced decided relief from headache, which usually occurred during the menses.
COUGH: Dry, persistent, tickling < night in bed.
BLOOD: Increase in the polymorphonuclear neutrophiles.
BACK: Severe lumbo-sacral pain.
EXTREMITIES: Pain in muscles and joints, < on beginning to move, > after continued exercise.
SKIN: Eruptions, scaly, wart-like; itching intensely, < night; > very hot applications.
SLEEP: Restless; dreams vivid.
ANTIDOTE: Rhus venenata.
The following cases showed decided improvement soon after the oral administration of Radium bromide in potency.
CASE I. Mr. M.C., age 25 years. PAST HISTORY: Eczema in infancy. PRESENT ILLNESS: Verucca acuminata on penis, appeared in February, 1934. April 13, 1934. Rx Rad. brom. 30. Great improvement in four weeks. Entirely clear in three months. This result was obtained after the failure of Thuja and Nitric acid.
CASE II: Mrs. G., age 34 years. Wasserman 4 +. PRESENT COMPLAINT: Pruritis vulvae. Duration five days; < when heated and when in bed at night. July 2, 1935. Rx Rad. brom. 30. Itching entirely gone in two days.
CASE III. Mrs. E., age 38 years. PRESENT COMPLAINT: Macular eruption on legs, itching extreme, > hot water; burning after scratching. Great swelling of the extremities accompanied with eruption. After trying Ars. and Rhus ven., the former without any effect, and the latter followed by definite but brief relief, on March 16, 1934, Nat. sulph. 50M. was prescribed on the basis of a sycotic constitution and other suggestive symptoms. This prescription produced decided and beneficial results, but required repetition on an average of every four weeks. In April, 1935, there was a decided aggravation of the entire condition. The eruption spread all over the body.
April 28, 1935. Rx Rad. brom. 30, followed by speedy disappearance of the eruption, and relief of all symptoms.
Dec. 30, 1935. Slight recurrence of eruption. Rx Rad. brom. 200.
June 17, 1936. Another slight recurrence. Rx Rad. brom. 200. Prior to receiving this remedy, the patient suffered from severe dysmenorrhoea; she is now free from pain during her menses.
CASES IV and V. PRESENT COMPLAINT: Eczema on palms of hands, the type that forms deep cracks and bleeds easily. One was of several months duration, the other of several years. Both were cured by Rad. brom. 200.
CASE VI. This case received Radium iodide because her symptoms suggested the inclusion of the iodine rather than the bromine radical.
Mrs. E., age 28 years. PRESENT COMPLAINT: Sadness and mental depression, alternating with moods when she was bright and vivacious. Acne vulgaris, duration ten years. Menses one to two weeks late. Swelling and extreme soreness of mammae for one week before menses. Sebaceous cyst above crest of ilium on the right side. April 20, 1936. Rx Rad. iod. 10M. This was followed by marvellous improvement in her complexion; her menstrual cycle became normal; the cyst enlarged rapidly, then opened and discharged its contents on being subjected to gentle pressure, and is now reduced to about one-sixth of its previous size.
Do not forget Radium in a case where Rhus ven., Sepia, Puls., Sulph., Psor., Petr. or Nat. sulph. seem indicated but fail to perform; above all, remember the amelioration in the open air, from continued motion, and from hot water or hot applications.
DR. GRIMMER: Dr. Campbell has brought out all that is known in our literature about Rad. brom. in a fine condensed way. There are a few points I can add clinically. I have been using it off and on for quite a number of years in selected cases. He is absolutely right for those skin symptoms that he has mentioned, and in the neuralgic and painful symptoms it sometimes will be a blessing to go on with your patient. It has the aggravations that you might think of in Mercury, Gold, and so forth, and I have had cases where I gave those remedies without any effect; Syphilinum also; I have given all those remedies that had relief from motion; or getting out of bed and walking, and slightly relieved while walking.
Rad. brom., after the failure of some of these well indicated homoeopathic remedies, will take hold of that patient and cure him. A funny thing about one of these patients that had such a symptom was that she was wearing a radium dial watch. That was one of the things, I think, that might have interfered with our homoeopathic remedies. I am satisfied it will do that. I have tried it time and time again in a number of cases. Dr. Trevino had that experience when he was in my office one time.
He had periodic headache that came on, and Natrum mur. relieved them for a little while, but they kept coming on. He lost weight, and was getting worried about himself. Finally I noticed he was wearing a radium dial watch. I took his watch off and gave him Phosphorus. Phosphorus is one of the best antidotes. Dr. Trevino was entirely cured. Needless to say, he didnt wear his radium dial watch after that. I think if you will look into that you will be delighted at some of the results you will get.
One other point that I want to pass on for your observation, clinically– there is nothing much brought out about it in the provings — I have had three cases, I wont say they were cancer, but they have all the earmarks of cancerous tongue. The tongue had tremendously large black, dilated veins, with some soreness, but not a great deal. Three cases similar to that originated from an injury. A parasol point had run through her neck and lanced the tongue. She had been sick for years, and had been getting worse.
I gave her Kali cyanatum first, because she had no marked symptoms for a remedy and I couldnt see any reaction to it after leaving it on a long time and repeating it. I finally gave her Radium brom. We got marvelous results. She had from 10M. to Cm. potency until she was restored. Two others were restored very promptly that had the same general outline on the tongue. Of course Radium 30th was given in one case, in another case 200th, and they likewise cleared up very promptly.
DR. ALFRED PULFORD: I have never had very much experience with Radium, but I think I can give you something on the other side. It is a very, very deep acting agent. I had a case of a bad throat. He was doing fine under Mercurius 200th, occasional doses. The man was advised to go to Chicago and have a local radium treatment. He was an extremely fine looking fellow. He weighed about 160 pounds. He came to the office and said, “Would you do it?”.
I said, “I wouldnt to it”.
He went and talked to the man again, and he came back and said, “I think you are pretty much mistaken; I have decided to do it.”.
They inserted a tube of radium in his larynx, and about two days later he came into the office and said, “I went, and I am tickled all over to think that I went. I feel immense”.
I said, “Be careful”.
He said, “They gave me twice as much as they gave any other patient they had. I just feel fine”.
He went back twice, I think. The next thing I knew they had recommended him to some allopathic physician there in Toledo. From 160 pounds he dwindled down to 60. They burned out his larynx, and he died the most horrible death of anybody I know.
DR. BENTHACK: Dr. Emil Schlegel says he cannot deny that there is much harm done but very few are cured when they use it locally. Some people can stand a much bigger dose.
DR. MCFALL: I would like to ask if it is dangerous to keep low potencies of Radium with other potencies.
DR. PANOS: The paper was too short. It is self-evident that it took quite a bit of work to bring it down to the most important points.
A few years ago I read a paper near Chicago on the radium dial. I had a luminous watch. I thought if that was strong enough to emanate light, there was a possibility such a strong agent would affect the patient. I sent a patient to Dr. Grimmer for a test, and found it was a very interfering agent both to the action of the homoeopathic remedies and to health.
I wish Dr. Campbell would pay more attention to the matter of dials. It reminds me that I read of experiments conducted in some astern college a few years ago whereby certain individuals could kill yeast by just pointing their finger over it.
The dial certainly will have some effect on the blood.
DR. ROBERTS: Radium is third from the highest elements as to its atomic weight, as I told you the other day. Uranium, thorium and radium is the order; destructive elements all through; destruction to the point where they add to the destruction of things that they come in contact with. In my talk with Dr. Dieffenbach, who undertook the proving of this remedy, he said if you have any friends, dont let them prove the remedy. He proved it almost twenty years ago, and is still suffering from the results of it.
As I said, destruction is the very essence of radium; it destroys the things that it comes in contact with, and it reacts on the individual who retains those troubles long afterward. Therefore, its very essence and deep action comes into the miasmatic classification, syphilitic primarily, which is pre- eminently destructive.
DR. FARRINGTON: I have had some experience with Radium in the last twenty years, having cured three or four cases of arthritis, one of them the deforming type in a woman about fifty years of age, whose hands were affected. The joints were swollen and the tendons contracted. This condition had persisted for two or three months. The first thought was that she needed Rhus tox. because the stiffness was much worse when she got up in the morning, or when she was quiet for a little while and started to use the hand, and relieved by continued motion. It was also worse in damp weather. Radium brom. 30th made a complete cure; her fingers became normal and perfectly supple.
I have used it in one or two cases of skin eruption, one notable case in a girl who had a terrific dermatitis of five or six years duration. At all times her skin was rough and scaly, but she would have sudden exacerbations; without warning she would begin to leak all over the body. The serum seemed to pour right through the skin so as to wet her clothes. At the same time she had intolerable itching, and her only relief was to rush to the bathroom, fill the tub with hot water, and get in. She would sit there and soak for a while and then in a little while the top of the water would be floating with grimy scales. I was there one time when it was almost continuous right straight across.
She also had some thyroid involvement and swelling of the thyroid and swelling of the glands under the axilla. Radium brom. 30th, 1000th, 50,000th, gave her great relief. It did not entirely cure the eruption. I followed with the thyroid in the 30th and higher potency, and which also has a similar set of symptoms, especially on the skin, and that has produced a remarkable change for the better.
Eczema worse in winter I think is not recorded, but you notice in Dr. Campbells paper he mentions that one of his cases which had scaly eruptions and cracks in the palms of the hands was worse in winter.
Where lymphatic glands are greatly involved, you want to think of Radium iodide, as mentioned in this paper. Any remedy that will cure a cyst is important and deserves consideration.
Finally, I would like to ask what experience any of you have had in curing radium burns.
DR. CAMPBELL: What Dr. Pulford said about the use of radium and the way it was given there I think is perfectly true, and what we as homoeopaths know is that the power of any agent to do harm is in direct proportion to its power to do good when it is used homoeopathically.
As to the danger of keeping potencies of Radium brom., with your other remedies, I dont think there is any. We have had Radium brom. that has been right in with the others for a good many years, and it has never affected it.
I deliberately made the paper short and included only the essentials, because it is so well presented in the 1928 copy of the Recorder and in Dr. Clarks little monograph on the subject. They are well worth looking up.
Another interesting feature of that proving, that from the 6x and 12x the urine of all the provers was radio-active when tested electroscopically. It apparently affected not only the blood but the whole organism.
Another use I have made of Radium brom. was in the two cases of diabetes in elderly ladies. When I tested the urine of one of them, it just about turned solid and brick-red. She had had this condition a long time and had all the classical symptoms. I very much doubted my ability to deal with her. She wasnt an easy woman to deal with, but she absolutely insisted that I treat her, and she wouldnt go to the hospital to have her diet regulated, and so on.
It was just after I had been reading the article, so I made some alterations in her diet, but not grave enough to account for the change that appeared later. I merely restricted her intake of carbohydrates somewhat. The next time she came to the office, a month later, her urine was absolutely, sugar-free, and has remained so until this day, and that was, I would say, nearly two years ago.
The other was a very old lady in her eighties whom I was called to see. She had a tremendous abscess just over one eye. It had spread down and involved the upper lid. I couldnt even pry the eye open, and it was away down here on the face. From what her daughter told me, I was very suspicious of diabetes in the case, so I tested her urine also and it was just full of sugar.
Remembering my experience with the other, I gave her Radium brom. 30th, altered her diet somewhat, with the result that the abscess very quickly came to a head and discharged through four or five different openings, and her urine became entirely sugar-free; but on increasing her diet a little more, there were faint traces of sugar appearing. I dont think that the change in diet in either case was sufficient altogether to account for the urine becoming sugar-free.
Dr. Calvin B. Knerr asks the Editors to make the statement that the sketch of his life and work, recently published in the Recorder, was prepared without his knowledge by Ralph Proctor Earle, M.D.
Dr. Earle, during his course of study at Hahnemann College, Philadelphia, came to know and appreciate Dr. Knerrs work for homoeopathy, and to some extent to participate in it.
Dr. Knerrs forthcoming book on the life of his beloved preceptor, that master of homoeopathy, Constantine Hering, throws but a faint shadow of the understanding exposition Dr. Knerr has devoted to the history of homoeopathy in the Hering era.–H.A.R.