The Copperhead, being native to North America, especially to the Eastern half of the United States, should have special value to the ills of the people who reside in the same area. No doubt, if its characteristic symptoms were better known, it would be more commonly used with advantage. Lachesis having been so well- proven and widely known is doubtless often prescribed when Cenchris is really the similimum.
Years ago, under the direct supervision of Dr. Kent, a proving of Cenchris was made and the symptoms are to be found in Kent Lesser Writings. This proving is a good beginning, but there is much which can only be confirmed and accentuated by clinical use. So far as I know or can discover Cenchris has been used very rarely.
I shall try to give you a synopsis of its characteristic symptoms and signs and hopes that you may find more occasions to use it. This synopsis is from Pulfords Graphic Drug Pictures, as follows:
Is dreamily absent with marked alteration of moods; has, like Kali carb., swelling below the eyebrows, but apparently not the puffing on coughing or the 3 a.m. aggravation of Kali carb.; is restless; must lie with the head drawn back or one will choke and suffocate; the upper lip is swollen; the discharges are offensive; tight clothing around the waist is unbearable; often, while riding in a carriage, one has the sense of a bottle of water shaking up and down in the left hypochondrium; sighs frequently; palpitation; the nates are cold at night in bed; has a sense of a cord around the hips; lascivious dreams, especially of seeing rape and sexual intercourse; the whole body seems enlarged to bursting, especially about the heart; the heart is weak; the feet cold; she has a feeling of throbbing in the arms and vulva on waking after a dull aching in the sacrum which is better walking about, and a yellow leucorrhea with pain in the right ovary.
The more detailed symptoms as brought out in Kents proving are as follows: He has anxiety with feeling that he will die suddenly and is restless and walks the floor. Time passes too slowly. he is suspicious and angry and wants to be alone. he is dreamy and absent minded; indecisive; selfish; easily slighted; envious and alters his mood and desires.
He is dizzy and has fainting spells.
He thirsts for cold water and craves salt bacon.
He has pain and aching at attachments to diaphragm. Belt around his waist is unbearable and clothing makes it even worse, as does deep breathing or laughing.
Face besotted, mottled, purple, deep red. Bloated above and below the eyes.
Nose and throat a if taken a severe cold. Coryza, worse on left. Burning as of pepper. Nose obstructed. Mucus yellow and blood-tinged. Hawks thick, tough, stringy mucus difficult to raise. Loss breath and strangles raising it. Throat sore and full; must swallow often to breathe. Full of blood-tinged mucus on waking in A.M. (K.BI., Lach.). Pain on empty swallowing (Lach- empty and liquids). No pain on swallowing food and liquid. Scraped throat better from warm drinks. Dilated vessels, uvula. fauces and pharynx.
Teeth and gums ache from hot or cold drinks.
Taste that of copper.
Constriction about neck with choking feeling-worse with clothing. Suffocates on lying down in evening. Dyspnoea as if dying from anxiety. Stops breathing on going to sleep. Frequent sighing. Must lie with head drawn back. At 3 p.m. dry mouth, intense thirst, choking, and sensation as if chest filling up causing constriction and difficult breathing.
Dry barking cough after 3 p.m. through evening. Cough from exertion and after retiring at night. Hopeless, helpless feeling with cough. Expectorates dark bloody mucus. Bright blood from throat.
Anxiety about heart after lying down as if about to die. Palpitation. As if heart were distended to fill chest. Fluttering of heart at 3 p.m. followed by feeling of heart falling into abdomen. Sudden sharp stitches. Drawing pain right chest. Better with head drawn back. Better lying on right. Worse lying on left.
Cramping in stomach better from belching. Ice relieves nausea.
No stool, but strains until rectum feels prolapsed. Diarrhea with tenesmus. Involuntary stool with flatus. Stools frothy, foamy, yeasty, black sediment.
Loses urine with cough. Frequent desire after retiring with little amount. Large amount when doing mental work.
Soreness of gluteal region. Throbbing in buttocks, vulva and anus followed by ache in sacrum, better by walking.
Pain in right ovary. Shooting pain in left ovary on motion. Menses profuse, bright red with clots. Severe cramps. Yellow or white leucorrhea.
Hands and feet numb, cold, sweat; hands chapped, hot and cold. Wants feet crossed or up.
Faints from nervousness. Restless during night. Must move constantly.
Dreams of drunken, dead, or naked people; indecent conduct of men and women; rape; voluptuous dreams; dreams of snakes and robbers and of being chased by winds animals.
Chilly all day, better if wrapped warmly. Chill and fever at 3 p.m. to midnight. Icy hands and feet.
Most symptoms appear at 3 p.m. and when lying down-fever, chill, thirst, dry mouth, constrictions at neck and waist, suffocating, heart symptoms and urinary symptoms. Most symptoms better in a.m.
Symptoms worse evening and night. Better with heat, motion, and head drawn back. Worse with clothing.
General anxiety, bloated feeling, and throbbing through entire body.
DR. O.O SINK [Smithfield, Ohio]: Having had a case of this a number of years ago with no after symptoms, I feel I have little right to speak.
This child was bitten by a copperhead in a copperhead district. They immediately tore open a chicken, a live chicken, and placed that right on the bite, and it turned the entrails of the chicken all green.
When I got there I immediately gave 2 cc. of hypodermic Echinacea by Luyties, using Echinacea cerate locally. The child recovered completely, without any after effects.
DR. T.K. MOORE [Sharon Center, Ohio]: Do you use this chicken much in your practice?.
DR. SINK: No, sir. They had used that before I got there. It is also useful in tetanus.
DR. ARTHUR H. GRIMMER [Chicago, III.]: It is a good deal like Lachesis in much of the symptomatology. Sore throats are more often right-sided, whereas Lachesis is left-sided. I think they do get some relief from warm drinks rather than cold drinks, which is typical of Lachesis. It probably doesnt have as much of the irritability or the terrific sensitiveness we find under Lachesis, but it has changes in the blood, more than under Lachesis, and Lachesis has plenty of that, too.
It has to be compared with the other snake poisons, Naja and Lachesis chiefly, in those two groups.
DR. CHAS. R. DIXON [Akron, Ohio]: I remember several years ago listening to a report of an analysis of this snake remedy by R.S. Faris, published in the Recorder. When Faris got up to greet us there, I thought he was going to talk about it, but I think Faris hunted up all the authority there was on that because he gave us a great, long list of them. I have used it several times.
DR. R.S. FARIS [Richmond, Va.]: I was severely criticized for the length of that paper.
DR. HARVEY FARRINGTON [Chicago, III.]: I have had only three cases with this remedy in my fifty-six years. The outstanding one was Dr. Case of Cleveland. I got his symptoms through Dr. Guild so probably I didnt get a complete picture or I didnt get all the symptoms that he had, but they were suggestive of this medicine. The leading one was the sensation of the enormous enlargement of the heart, but he also had dyspnoea and palpitation, sensitiveness to anything touching the throat and to his belt or clothing about his abdomen. All the symptoms disappeared, but he had been an invalid, had a number of different ailments.
Kali. carb. was the remedy that had helped him for a long time before this occurred. I dont know what happened in the year or so after he was helped by this remedy but it certainly made a distinct improvement, for one thing. He was the most bull-headed fellow I ever met. You couldnt make him do this or that. Tell him to stay in bed, he would get up and walk around more than if you hadnt told him. He is now a very nice chap.
DR. RAY W. SPALDING [Dedham, Mass.]: You will find rather a nice account of Cenchris, Dr. Gladish, in one of the early copies of the Homoeopathician, with a case there by Dr. Kent in some detail. It is worth looking up and reading.
DR. A.W. HOLCOMBE [KOkomo, Ind.]: I think you will find one in Medical Advance about thirty-five or forty years ago. I have forgotten what number.
DR. SPALDING: I know it definitely is in the Homoeopathician. You will find some very good papers by Dr. Grimmer in those Homoeopathicians.
I have seen this remedy very efficacious in what Dr. Kent speaks of as euthanasia.