This is merely a reminder that Hellebore is sometimes suitable for the effects of blows to the head. Allens Handbook of Materia Medica, Clinical Section, has “Effects of concussion after Arnica has failed.” Farrington relates a case where Arnica had failed “And the patient became drowsy, one pupil was larger than the other; the patient answered questions slowly as comprehension was imperfect, one leg was dragged in walking.
The pulse was scarcely fifty per minute and the patient in general was worse from 4 to 8 P.M. Helleborus cured the case.” Helmuth suggests Hellebore with Arnica, Bellad., Cuprum or Zinc when there is effusion within the cranium. Hering has “Sensitiveness of the external head from a blow, concussion of the brain.” In Kents Repertory Hellebore is not noted under “Injuries” in the Head section but is found in the second degree under the rubric “Concussion”.
The symptoms in the proving are so similar to those of certain patients who have suffered head injuries that we may well be guided by them. In general we may not prognose a permanent cure with many of these conditions. Slight symptoms of the trouble may persist even after apparently successful medication and when X-ray reports are negative. Personally, my faith in negative X- ray reports is not to strong. There is always the possibility of injury to the softer intracranial tissues, slight in degree but drastic in after effects. Anyhow, I will relate four instances where Hellebore helped in a way that the conventional method could not have accomplished.
Mr. H., 57, had been in bed a year following injuries to the head and other places. He complained of a severe sensation of a band about the head which seemed to be drawing it to the pillow. This was worse sitting up in bed and accompanied with “a throbbing dizziness and sticking in the head.” Speech had been lost for awhile and he had a degree of absence of memory and continuity of thought. He hesitated still in speech as though slow to comprehend. Had attacks of weakness in the right arm.
Visually, objects seemed to be overlapping. He had faintness with sweat from the presence of company or from conversing and if either persisted he would have a chill. There were attacks of tremor without external cause. Mentally he was evidently much retarded. X-rays (bedside) for fracture were negative. A neurologist had given an opinion of severe brain injury and prognosed permanent disability. Four doses of the 9M over the space of eleven months almost made a new man of him, that is approximately, for he had always been a man without either courage or physical stamina.
A little girl fell from an auto when two years old. She is now 5. Since the accident she has rolled her head in sleep with a sort of moaning, sleeps always on her back. She nags her sister but is sensitive to chiding, obstinate, contrary. Picks her nose even while it bleeds. Hellebore 1M was given for four months and she has been normal to the present time.
MRs. J.W.S., 48 came last March with symptoms which had gradually increased since a moderate blow on the left side of the head several months previous. Soreness and burning back of the ear and entire left side of head; stiffness as of the interior of the head if it remains too long in one position. Relieved by lying on the same side, worse form the head becoming cold; quite tender to touch and hot. She felt as if the brain dragged and pulled to the side lain on. Hellebore 9M was given the sixth of last March, the 10M a month later. There have been no unpleasant symptoms since except that the affected area is still tender.
Miss B., 64, fell, four years previously, on the right side of the head and face and according to the doctor who was called, injured a nerve branch. Since the fall she has had a noise like escaping steam which seemed to her to be deep in the brain. There was soreness over both eyes. An osteoma on the right malar where she was hit. She has or had a peculiar, dull, confusing sensation like dizziness in the frontal head when stooping. Hellebore 10M was given May 3rd. All these symptoms have cleared up, at least for the time, except the tinnitus.
Mrs. M., 33, bumped her head over the right eye on the edge of a door. This was some months previous to the call. She complained of desperation, weeping spells, tension in the head as if something would snap. A “hurting” pain behind the eyes. What she called a “real” headache occurs some days. The head is always tender. Helleb. 1M d.u. Three months later sharp pains appeared, the head felt sore inside, and numb, at times confused and dull, at other items hysterical. Numbness of the side of the head lain on. Hellebore 1M three times during four months has helped each time whatever the final outcome. A large hard swelling over the bumped area is decreasing very gradually. One pupil was dilated at first but is reducing since the treatment.
A young woman with a history of several bumps on the head, two of them causing serious concussion. She has had three attacks of unconsciousness with convulsive shuddering and many lesser spells of “blankness.” Severe headache off and on since the falls of years previous. Complains of “dark spells; things grow dark.” Headaches are irregularly periodic, accompanied with nausea.