My experience with Dysentery compound is based on the “provings” of Dr. Thomas M. Dishington and his collaborators published in England and distributed here by Boericke and Tafel. Their spread out of symptoms is not an original proving but a “clinical proving”; that is, according to Dr. Dishington, “a disappearance of symptoms from within outward after prescribing the medicine and accompanied by an increase of vitality.” Because of the danger of producing incurable dyscrasiae with morbific products perhaps we should be content with this method of proving them. We are not all Sherbinos nor should be. Nevertheless, we cannot but think that many peculiar distinctions must be lost and the saltiness of characteristics dulled when the method of taking away symptoms is substituted for the unlimited possibilities of producing them. This must be doubly true of such diffusive remedies as we know the nosodes to be.
In making original provings for individual prescribing so much depends on perception; on the degree of care to follow up distinctive features; on the receptivity of the human nature instinct; on the insight and sympathy necessary to appreciate latent or active emotions and temperament; on recognizing the significance of what the observer sees or heats; and not the least of these activities, the discrimination to express it all in phrases fitting to the individual instead of the general category. But when these difficulties are realized as opportunities the quest becomes quite romantic.
Not so with the clinical proving. Even to approach this ideal with a clinical proving would require still more care and sifting. Considering the avoidable shortcomings of the retrograde method it appears that Dr. Dishington and his workers did well with Dysentery compound. but no clinical proving can express the originality of the drug as well as provings induced for that certain purpose.
I first began to prescribe dysentery about seven and a half years ago and to date of this writing have prescribed it one hundred and sixteen times. Twenty-eight or about one-fourth of these prescriptions were failures although the twenty-eight does include a few from which there was no report. One probable reason for so many failures is the fact that I crowded the selection of this remedy for awhile so as to become acquainted with it and find out what it would do. Considering these facts eighty-eight successful prescriptions out of one hundred and sixteen may save me from being pointed at without pride.
I find that I prescribed this remedy for bronchitis, nocturnal enuresis, colitis, gastric ulcer, renal calculus, gallstone effects, remote effects of shock of motorcycle accident, “nervous indigestion”, feeble digestion, spongy bleeding gums, anginal pains, arterial hypertension with headaches, gastric ulcer, flatulence with faintness (many instances) heart disturbances functional and chronic, lumbago, sciatica, patients with a multiplicity of symptoms and diagnoses, decompensated heart, nasal fissure, colic, vertigo, arthritis, herpes zoster, melancholia, ovarian irritation or worse, acne, chorea, relaxed stomach, vertigo relieved by closing the lids, sinusitis, heat flashes of menopause, eczema rubrum, epistaxis, and -I think we had better stop here before I am questioned as to how many of these conditions were cured.
I will answer that question before it is asked. In the first place, it is now realized more or less that diagnosis began on the adolescent notion of arriving at a name that would dictate the treatment. Of course this may be more or less necessary for surgical conditions but mostly injurious……
for the purpose of medicinal treatment. Medicine has not yet entirely emancipated itself from this practice.
Diagnosis is too much the art of arbitrary nomenclature and too little the art of discovering intrinsic influences and tendencies. And so many regular physicians have the physicians instinct for the more humanistic details! If they could but free themselves from the notion of force, from gross therapeutic measures-but this is pulling us still farther from the subject of Dysentery compound. Arbitrary nomenclature at best has no relation to individualistic medication and is always being questioned and disputed. One could double the list of diagnostic terms pertaining to these one hundred and sixteen patients with no enlightenment as to the individual remedy needed by any of them. On the other hand, the perception of general influences and tendencies points toward similars and curative remedies.
Dysentery compound, like other nosodes, more often proves to be a pivot remedy, swinging the symptoms into another remedy picture. In some instances though, for instance sciatica, Dysentery alone made brilliant cures. The following symptoms were satisfactorily relieved or cured. Most of them will be found in the published clinical proving although not always in the same phrasing.
MIND: Fear; fear of various things; fear, even slight, “hits stomach”. Frightened by the weak spells;restless, up and down. Fear to be alone though prefers to be. Headache caused by fear. Anxiety about trifles. Restless at 4 p.m.
depressed, unhappy. Downhearted. Gloomy. Weeping; weeping before menstruation. Weeping easily. Tries to weep because it relieves. Has to “weep it out” after any bad news. Weeping even when looked at, doesnt know why. Excited. Felt too good, excited. “Dont care” attitude. Studies slipping. In a fog. Averse being talked to or to talking. Thoughts and talks of dying. Thoughts of dying suicide, by jumping off a roof (Nat. s.). Became ugly,
grabbed chair to smash things. Irritable. Impatience, wants others to hurry. Noise aggravates.
VERTIGO: Vertigo at menstruation time. Dizzy spells, must stop while driving. Dizziness felt in the eyes, < by opening them. HEAD: Frontal headache begins after dinner. Two headaches per week, relieved by vomiting. H. over eyes. h. day and night, worse after sleep. H. three weeks continuously with dizziness and faintness > by cool air (see text), > by wrapping up, by closing eyelids, by vomiting. Head hot, has to get to fresh air. Blood goes to head with any excitement. H. worse from any excitement. H.> by pressure, < before menstruation. H.> by pressure. Throbbing with headache. Tightness in forehead like a band. Head dull and heavy. Eyeballs tender with headache. EYES: Eyeballs tender (headache).
NOSE: Nosebleeds: Left side; intermittent, clots at intervals. Dry, crusty discharge, bloody. Fissure two months, smarts and stings when yellow dry crust is off. Gluey yellow discharge.
FACE: Candy causes acne. Puffy over lids before menstruation. Face red, flushed in hot weather. F. irritated whenever warm with exercise. Acne on cheeks eight years (brilliant result but recent). Pinkish pallor (Phos.) Lips pale.
MOUTH: Saliva thick and sticky. Sore, red bleeding gums. Offensive taste in the morning. Gingivitis.
THROAT: Sensation of a lump; desire to swallow, with effort pains in sternal region. Choking sensation.
STOMACH: Appetite poor in the morning. Anorexia. Emptiness. Faint spells in stomach; has to sit down; with burning there, shifts of abdomen. Burning stomach and sour taste after eating. Burning in oesophagus < stooping; with full sensation as if about to burst as from gas.
Nausea. Gagged up blood. Nausea during headache. Short spells of nausea. Thirst for cold drink. Indefinite craving for some drink. Vomiting. Bilious vomiting with headache, two per week. Belching gas, begins an hour after eating. Desires cheese; desires cold, tasty food; desires sweets. Gnawing in pit.
ABDOMEN: Full like a balloon after eating, > after belching, < daytime; with an indescribable pain in epigastrium. Full sensation in the umbilical region. Aching in umbilical region; doubled him over; distention, with dizziness and nausea. Aching as in right lobe of liver. Steady aching. Pains in intestines before stool. Griping off and on. Aching in intestines with sensation if there were “a hole there” (small boy). soreness after hard stool. Tired sensation. Sensation of weight, causing excitement. Flatulent rumbling. Pains shift downward as though diarrhoea would come on. Pains < jar > with pressure. Sharp pains over border of right ilium and in right hypochondrium when rotating torso; < deep breath. Pain as along right ureter, extending to genitals (calculus-x-ray). Pain over right ilium extending to left,> lying on abdomen or right side, < by breathing, jar, stepping.
RECTUM: Constipation. Green (formed faeces). Three to four stools per diem < after eating.
STOOLS: Mucous stools. Fuzzy, ragged mucus.
URINARY: See ABDOMEN.
FEMALE GENITALS: Menstruation copious, clots, stringy. Leucorrhoea creamy or whitish; after menstruation.
RESPIRATION: Smothered, catching of breath on falling asleep < after 4 a.m. Dreams she cannot breathe, wakes suffocated. Dyspnoea ascending. Wheezing when first lying down. Desire for deep breath.
HEART: Feels heart skip and flutter when ascending stairs, turning in bed or walking fast; with desire to sigh. Palpitation on waking in the morning. P. like a dull tapping on center of sternum. Smothered at heart. Weak sensation at heart. Pain and soreness inside as of the heart and a smarting through left chest extending to the arm, > by belching gas, with a band sensation hindering respiration. Palpitation when excited. P. with heat of face and choking in throat < by excitement; with slight cardiac pains. Heart pounds in ears during weak spells. Tachycardia when being examined.
CHEST: In anginal pains after Aurum met. had finished its course. pain in arms, first right then both with arteriosclerosis < with any physical activity. Effort pains < walking. Full sensation toward epigastrium. “Feels gas push toward axillae.” Gas discomfort under sternum > with eructations with sensation of congestion < walking. Pains in either side, < lying. Wheezing when first lying down.
COUGH: Cough, < morning, first lying, rising in the morning,> in open air. Fine result in chronic bronchitis. Thick sticky mucus. greenish expectoration.
BACK: Lumbar crick worse on left side extending to leg < rising after sitting, constant dull ache, < first motion, > continuing; the attack preceded by bilious vomiting and much belching. (With this and other sciaticas, brilliant result.) Back and entire spinal area especially, pains so “could scream”, always worse at 9 to 10 a.m., > during warm weather, < mornings until “loosened up”, during damp or cold weather, > lying, (Sulphur failed) – extending to hips. Sciatic pain from right iliosacral joint to leg six weeks, worse 3-4 a.m. < after being about, > heat, hard dull ache in spells, throbbing, > lying on back, > when the thigh and leg is extended. The aggravation begins in the evening about 4-6, > by heat (Kali bi. failed). Stiffness of cervical region.
UPPER EXTREMITIES: Neuritic pain in right arm extending to the hand, shoulder, neck, < during cold, raw weather, mornings and 4 p.m. Pain in joints; shoulder, down arm, soreness of joints. Fingers pain as if blood crowded them. Fingers blanch.
LOWER EXTREMITIES: Pains in thighs before menstruation clots pass. Hips ache. Toes sore as if crowded. Feet cold; cold and burning. Legs cold. L. extremities weak as if patient would fall.
JOINT PAINS: Joints pains are < motion but compels to walk though quiet during sleep, < 4 p.m., when rain came; > mornings, warm days; desires warmth but it does not relieve. Feels better walking except the joint pains.
SLEEP: Late falling asleep. From worry; from thoughts. Sleepless after eating hurriedly or too much. Delayed by tight sensation in cardium and below as if hindering respiration with a band sensation. Waking frequently. Sleepiness after meals.
CHILL AND SWEAT: Sensitive to cold and heat. Sun heat aggravates. Spells of heat with exhaustion. Heat flashes. Feels < during hot weather but the evening air chills. hot flashes < after eating. Wakes in a sweat.
SKIN: Red blotches when excited. Eczema rubrum painful, burning, weeping, causes shivering. Papular rash after fish.
GENERAL: Faint spells (frequent with this remedy). Faint spells after dinner. Little weak spells. Little sinking spells. Four or five weak spells per day with heart pounding in ears. Faintness with darkened vision. Quivering; with lifeless sensation in extremities and faintness (calculus pains). Faintness from hot weather, fully conscious. Weak spells from any extra (home) work. Drags about with effort, so weak. Tries easily. Exhausted easily, for instance by talking to a deaf person. languid, desires to lie down. Tired in the morning. Exhausted by any excitement. Weariness in warm weather. Feels better walking except joint pains. Trembling (anxiety). Jerking; always upward, < when excited or tired. Better in general in open air. restless; wants to travel or keep going.
Studying this personal experience a little we find that location is quite marked. More symptoms are here allotted to abdomen or stomach, mind, solar or so-called general effects than to any other regions. next comes heart and head. This accords with the resume given by Dr. Dishington. More often than otherwise the Dysentery patient will complain about abdominal or stomach symptoms and next probably, of heart sensations. This does not mean that these are most significant as to choice but reference to these locations is one of the things to remember.
The mental symptoms as given so marked that Dysentery must be one of the remedies to be compared when any of them occur. We find faint or weak spells, fear, excitability, irritability, low spirits, flatulency and exhaustion, relief from open air in a large percentage of these patients. Fear or anxiety, et cetera, “hits the stomach” is frequently heard.
The spaces taken up by MIND, HEAD, ABDOMEN, BACK, EXTREMITIES AND GENERAL could have been enlarged greatly by including the many repetitions which occurred in my practice. But it will do as well to mention that fact here, separately.
Dysentery, as the reader will have already perceived, is essentially a psoric remedy. It falls naturally into a group to be compared with Sulphur, Calcarea, Phosphorus, Lycopodium, Psorinum and others.
DR. GRIMMER: That is valuable contribution to our literature, bringing this remedy to our attention. We do need to know good remedies or how to select proper remedies in cases of dysentery, especially the amoebic form. I have handled quite a few cases in the last few years, and I have hit on one remedy that has helped me out very much, after other seemingly pretty good homoeopathic remedies have failed. That is Arsenicum bromatum. It has really cleared some cases very promptly after I have failed to find other carefully selected remedies.
I think we are indebted to Dr. Hayes for this excellent presentation of a new remedy. I have not used it, and I know nothing of it, but I shall certainly get some of it and commence working with it.
DR. HURD: I happened to be in England at the homoeopathic National Convention. Of course, these remedies were brought out at that time very specifically in their indications, and people in Glasgow, particularly Dr. Patterson and Dr. Dishington and Dr. Grant, had evidently used it very considerably. So I was interested in the doctors paper. I have not had any great experience with it myself, although in those cases I have used it it is of advantage and benefit to the patient in some peculiar conditions. I was unable to reach that benefit with other remedies.
DR. HUBBARD: I would like to commend Dr. Hayes, not only for having brought this remedy but that he has given us the complete picture of that remedy, and yet it was easy to follow. It makes me think more than ever that he ought to come back and teach materia medica.
As he gave the paper, I instantly saw what I have not seen in a year and a half, that I have a patient who is just screaming for that remedy, and I shall go home and administer it. It is simply uncanny how it fitted in, which shows you that he gave a real picture.
DR. DIXON: I think that is another demonstration of what we gain by coming to these postgraduate courses like our convention here. I, too, like Dr. Hubbard, have written the initials of one of my patients that I am going to hurry home and give a dose of Dysentery compound to.
I have used it rather indifferently, because of ignorance of the real picture of the drug, I think, but I know it is going to help this case, and if I am able to help a desperately sick man, just because I came up here, these meetings are certainly worth while.
DR. HAYES: I am glad if these ten pages have been of any help to anyone.
I began using this remedy in the 30th potency. After while I tried the 200th, then the 1M., then the 10M. I find that the 1M. and the 10M., yes, and the 50M., work much better with this nosode than a lower potency.