Gnaphalium is a remedy with but a fragmentary proving. Its sphere of action is wide in painful states and its power effective. It stands high in the group of remedies for pain, therefore it should be studied and compared with Coloc., its nearest analogue in periodical intermittent nerve pains or in gastrointestinal pains and in diarrheic conditions.
Coloc. is relieved by pressure, Gnaphalium is not. Coloc. has at 4 P.M. < like Lyc. and Hellebore, which has never been observed with Gnaph. with exception of the headaches which may occur at three or four P.M.
Cham. must be compared in painful states because of the marked irritability occurring in both remedies. Both Cham. and Gnaph. have numbness with the pains; Graph, more often has numbness alternating with the pain.
Cham. is relieved by walking or is compelled to walk, with great irritability and anger and with many pains, toothache especially, is < by applied heat.
Gnaph. is > sitting in a chair with painful leg drawn up and its headache is > by cold bathing or applications.
In both these remedies the nerve pains are < at night.
The mercuries, especially Merc. cor. in dysenteric conditions, should be studied and compared.
Mag. phos. has intermittent, severe, neuralgic pains which are > by heat and pressure and rest.
Rhus tox. must be thought of in painful conditions where motion and heat relieve; it, too, has numbness with the pain.
Clarke mentions other remedies for comparative study: Ipec., Merc., Puls., Lyc., Caulophyllum and Xanthox. Another remedy to think of for comparison is Nux v.
Gnaphalium’s most marked mental characteristic is irritability; especially that coming on several days after a diarrhea and during the severe attacks of neuralgic pain. Vertigo may be present while rising from the bed. There is fullness about the temples, also a dull, continuous pain in the occiput with shooting pains in the eye balls; the headache comes on or is worse at 3 to 4 P.M. or on walking; it is relieved by washing in cold water or bathing the head with bay rum.
The face presents a dull, heavy, bloated appearance. Intermittent neuralgic pain in both upper maxillary bones. There is a flat, sweetish, sickening taste and the tongue is covered with long white fur which can be removed by thorough washing with cold water. Mouth feels parched and tastes badly. The stomach and abdomen are distended with much flatus and there is nausea, windy eructations and hiccough, colicky pains in various parts with sensitive caecum; borborygmus with emission of much flatus. Rumbling in bowels with stool before breakfast (Nat. sul.).
Looseness of bowels with passage of pale-colored faeces.
Diarrheal discharge in the morning and during the day with irritable temper. Pain in bowels of children; dark colored liquid offensive stool in morning followed by pain in bowels all day. Vomiting and purging like cholera morbus in the night and all next day.
Pain in the kidneys with frequent slight pain in prostate gland; sensation of pain and fullness in bladder even when just emptied.
In the male, the provings brought out an increased sexual passion with an irritation of the prostate gland.
In the female, dysmenorrhea, menses scant and very painful the first day, sensation of weight in the pelvis, or of fullness in the pelvis. Numbness of lower part of back with lumbago is a strong characteristic, pains often extending down over gluteal regions and along the course of the sciatic nerve to the foot.
In the upper limbs feeling of weakness as if unable to lift the slightest weight, rheumatic pains in the elbows and shoulders.
In the upper limbs the pains are the first dull then darting or cutting from the right hip joint extending posteriorly downward to the foot. Worse lying down, from motion, by stepping, relieved sitting in a chair with painful limb drawn up. Intense pain along the sciatic nerve causing the patient to toss and roll and cry out in great agony. Numbness at times alternates with, or takes the place of, the pain. Exercise is very fatiguing.
Cramps in calves or feet, at night in bed.
Gouty pains in the large toes.
Fever and night sweats.
A frequent characteristic symptoms is pain extending along cord to testicle.
This remedy has cured severe sciatica after Rhus, Coloc. and Sulphur failed.
It likewise has affinity for the anterior crural nerve.
The nerve and rheumatic symptoms are worse in cold, damp weather; from exertion and strain, at night and in the early morning; better sitting in a chair with painful limb drawn up.
The headaches are relieved by cold bathing.
There are two reasons for bringing this fragmentary sketch to your attention. First, because Gnaphalium is one of the greatest medicines not only for the relief of pain but for its
cure as well. Second, it is a far deeper remedy than most homoeopathic physicians suspect it to be because it has cured very chronic and obstinate cases of arthritis after the failure of some of our best proven and successful polychrests.