COMMENTS ON HOMOEOPATHIC REMEDIES USEFUL IN CARDIAC DISEASES. Where heart pathology is in evidence in older people with definite arterial degeneration, the Barytas are to be thought of, and more especially Baryta mur. Another remedy likely to be overlooked is Tabacum, a remedy which should receive much greater recognition and study and which is of signal value in angina pectoris. Its indications are known to all.

Heart diseases are commonly associated in the minds of physicians with such drugs as Digitalis, Nitroglycerin, Amyl nitrite, Quinidine sulphate, Theophylline, etc.; but Hahnemannian homoeopaths, although employing these drugs, are more likely to use at least three of them in potentized form and with good effects. it is true that, in cases of decompensation, Digitalis in one of its numerous physiological forms is necessary and such use is in conformity with the secondary action of the drug. In arrythmia Quinidine sulphate, given cautiously, will restore normal rhythm, after which a potentized remedy, indicated by further symptoms, will be needed. Stauffer, in his Klinische Homoopathische Arzneimittellehre states:.

Digitalis, given to the healthy in the customary doses, does not cause any appreciable slowing of the hearts activity, even in myocarditis; but given for cardiac dilatation or the disturbance of compensation, it acts. In stronger doses it has a cumulative action and therefore must not be given for too long a period of time. The strong doses, such as the 1st to the 3rd decimal potency, are indicated in dilatation, hypertrophy, valvular lesions with disturbance of compensation, weakness of the heart due to over-exertion, oedemas with swelling of the liver, in weak, rapid, intermittent pulse.

As soon as the pulse has improved and diuresis has set in, one must replace Digitalis by another, suitable remedy. The weak homoeopathic doses, such as the 3rd to the 6th reflect the primary action of Digitalis, a slow, fuller pulse, stimulated cardiac action, anxiety at night, compelling the sick man to move about; these disturbances are more the result of nervous irritation of the heart and are observed in angina and as accompaniments of arteriosclerosis. Then must be given, two or three times, one dose of the 6th potency and possible higher.

I have quoted Stauffer at some length, for he was a very able, experienced homoeopathic physician who has left us a work on homoeopathic practice and, more especially, the valuable work on materia medica from which this quotation has been taken. Edwin M. Hale in his Lectures on Diseases of the Heart, published by F.E. Boericke in Philadelphia in 1889, states among many other valuable indications that, “when the appropriate remedy has been selected, the selection of the proper dose is not any more difficult, if we bear in mind this rule, namely: For primary symptoms, the higher attenuations, or smallest dynamic doses; for secondary symptoms, the lowest attenuations, or largest dynamic quantities.” This observation is true and of definite practical value, but one which, I fear, we have largely forgotten.

I have frequently found that the higher potencies of Digitalis, such as the 200. and 1000. will regulate and slow the pulse, overcoming intermittency; but single doses must be given and not repeated as long as improvement lasts. However, in cases of failing compensation, with the usual distressing symptoms, the crude drug in some form must be prescribed.

Crataegus oxyacantha, the English hawthorn, has never been proved extensively, but has been used in the tincture always and John H. Clarke in his Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica states: “Crataegus is the nearest approach to a positive heart tonic that I know of.” The remedy has no cumulative action, in this respect differing from Digitalis, and may be given in doses of from 5 to 60 drops of the tincture. That manufactured by

Boericke & Tafel has always proved to be satisfactory in my hands, but Lloyd Brothers Pharmacal Company of Cincinnati produce an equally potent remedy in the “Specific Medicine” form, which is of a much darker reddish-brown. Rapid, weak action of the heart, the result of a worn-out body or following over-exertion, will call attention to it. Boger, in his A synoptic Key of Materia Medica, emphasizes “Weak Heart Muscles” and mentions a pulse which is rapid, irregular and small; he speaks of dyspnoea, myocarditis, incompetent valves, cardiac dilatation, angina pectoris and dropsies.

Such indications are, of course, purely clinical, but valuable, nevertheless. I have employed the medicine in rather large doses, with good effect, in conditions of “tired heart”. Pain in the heart and under the left clavicle is stressed by William Boericke in his Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, but this particular symptom need not be present. Obviously, the employment of the remedy is based largely upon empiricism.

Cactus grandiflorus in potency is known to all homoeopathic physicians for its usefulness in the treatment of angina pectoris. Its most important symptom is that of constriction, as though the heart and left arm had been grasped by an iron hand. This description is apposite, but constriction is probably more correct. I myself can testify to the great value of the remedy, for in June of 1950 I was seized by a pain and oppression in the cardiac area, together with a very painful sensation as though a rather wide strap were being tightened about my left upper arm, just above the elbow joint. As the pain increased, I took a single dose of Cactus 200.; within three minutes the pain lessened and at the end of the seven minutes more disappeared entirely.

Rabe R F
Dr Rudolph Frederick RABE (1872-1952)
American Homeopathy Doctor.
Rabe graduated from the New York Homeopathic Medical College and trained under Timothy Field Allen and William Tod Helmuth.

Rabe was President of the International Hahnemannian Association, editor in chief of the Homeopathic Recorder, and he wrote Medical Therapeutics for daily reference. Rabe was Dean and Professor of Homeopathic Therapeutics at the New York Homeopathic Medical College.