John H. Clarke in his Dictionary of Materia Medica vol. I, presents what was known at the time of publication in the year 1900 of these remedies. Bradford, in his Index to Homoeopathic Provings, published in 1901, mentions Euonymus atropurpurea only. Allens Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica contains nothing of either, but William Boerickes Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica gives all there is known of both.
Agraphis nutans is the Blue Bell, Wild Hyacinth, Scilla nutans and belongs to the family of Liliaceae; a tincture is made of the fresh plant and growing shoots. The British homoeopathic physician, Dr. Cooper, seems to have been the first to introduce this useful little remedy to our profession; he speaks of it as being helpful in catarrhal conditions, obstruction of the nostrils, especially from adenoids.
Clarke states that he has seen these conditions and “throat deafness” frequently relieved by the remedy; he also says that the plant grows in sheltered places, a fact which led Dr. Cooper to deduce that an amelioration from shelter is a leading indication. This statement will be understood by a Hahnemannian prescriber, but will not make sense to any other physician. The modality is suggestive of Silicea. Dr. Cooper emphasized: “Adenoids with enlarged tonsils; frequently accompanying dentition.” Boericke repeats this emphasis.
All Hahnemannian physicians know the trials and tribulations of treating children who are possessed of enlarged tonsils and adenoids; the trials are often those of endeavoring to find the similimum, the tribulations are presented by over-zealous, officious and homoeopathically ignorant school physicians and nurses; the latter especially, being women, are likely to evince a fanatical zeal in their insistence upon immediate surgical removal, calling down the wrath of heaven upon the moronic homoeopath who is rash enough to oppose them.
Hahnemannians prescribe for individual patients, not for their diseases primarily. They look,for constitutional symptoms, hence take careful histories and endeavor to fit remedies to patients. Such remedies are to be found among the antipsorics especially, as for example, Sulphur, Calcarea carb., Lycopodium, the nosode Tuberculinum, etc. If these and other remedies correspond to the patient, good results may be expected and the tonsils may shrink, whilst the adenoids disappear; however, if marked pathological changes have occurred in these tissues, failure to cure will be the usual result, but with a decided improvement in the general health of patient; operation for removal or one of the electrotherapeutical methods, including the X ray, may then be considered.
There are cases in which the evidence of constitutional disturbance is small or even absent and it is in such instances that we may with profit think of the use of the little, non- constitutional remedies such as Agraphis nutans. These “little” remedies, for the most part, have never received a thorough proving and will, therefore, require wide reading of the materia medica upon the part of the prescriber, as well as imagination. If both have been indulged in, pleasantly satisfactory results may, and frequently do, follow. A recent case comes to mind, though not the first one to be benefited by our sheltered little Agraphis.
This patient was a robust girl, six and a half years old when first seen and examined. She presented a history of mumps at the age of six months and a mild attack of whooping cough at five and a half years, though lasting six weeks. However, she was seen three months after a severe of measles, followed by a lobar pneumonia which was vigorously treated by her orthodox physician with Sulfadiazine. Soon after the pneumonia she was taken with a tonsillitis and these attacks had recurred. Operation was strongly advised, but refused by the parents and homoeopathic physician sought. The case was taken in the usual, Hahnemannian manner, revealing an overly plump, intelligent little girl with an inordinate fondness for sweets and an indulgent mother who did nothing to correct this dietary indiscretion.
This childs weight was ninety-three pounds; bowel movements were normal and regular; she spoke of a pain in both heels at night and on rising in the morning, causing her gait to appear wadling for a short time, until she seems rather unusually bright and independent for her age, in keeping presumably, with most modern children, who regulate their parents rather than are regulated by them. vivid, bad dreams at night; emotional and shedding tears when listing to sad stories. Here no doubt, the radio “soap operas” and late hours played their baneful part. Her feet were inclined to be sweaty, though without any abnormal odor.