HOMOEOPATHS have obtained their knowledge of drug action partly by experimentation on healthy provers, partly by the records of poisonings. Those who take a drug experimentally discover only the effects of comparatively small doses. The effect of large and very large doses becomes apparent from the sufferings of those who have taken a deadly quantity of the drug and their symptoms and sufferings are of the greatest interest and value to students of Homoeopathy.
In December, 1931, Dr. Carl H. Wintsch, published an article on iodine poisoning in our excellent contemporary The Hahnemannian Monthly. A man of 70 years had swallowed about 2 ozs. of tincture of iodine. His stomach was immediately washed out with starch water at the hospital, but he died after 54 hours of broncho-pneumonia. The symptoms observed were classified as follows.
“MIND. Excitement, together with unusual heaviness. Troublesome mental impressions. Sadness, low spirits, feels stupid, mind feels tired, difficult to collect his senses, feels unfitted for everything.
HEAD. Confusion of the head, cannot concentrate, pain seems to come from through nape of neck, pressing pain in temples. Dizzy, worse on turning the head on the pillow. Headache seems better after eating. Worse by motion, better by pressure.
EYE. Inflammation of the eyes, pupils dilated, heavy with sleep, worse from closing the eyes. Redness and swelling of the eyelids. Profuse lachrymation. Pain in eyeballs, feel hot. Sparks before the eyes.
EAR. Hearing difficult. Roaring in the ears. Ringing in the ears.
NOSE. Discharge of much yellow mucus, great deal of sneezing.
FACE. Melancholy expression. Face flushed and red, second day face very pale. Swelling of the lips, dry and parched.
MOUTH. Corners of mouth cracked and sore. Teeth covered with much mucus. Odour from mouth very offensive. Gums are swollen and painful and bleed. Tongue covered with a thick brown and dry fur and very sore and swollen. Copious secretion of saliva stained from iodine, no taste, speech stammering.
THROAT. Uvula swollen and ulcerated, throat very dry and constricted. Disagreeable scraping in the throat. Tonsils, fauces, pharynx and oesophagus swollen. Swallowing so difficult that a considerable time elapsed between each act, even when drinking water.
STOMACH. Very hungry and thirsty, but could not eat on account of difficulty in swallowing. Second day had loss of appetite. Eructations of air. Vomiting with diarrhoea. burning and pain in the pit of the stomach.
ABDOMEN. Is hard and painful to pressure especially in the hepatic region, irritability in the colon with a great deal of flatus. Burning pain in the colon with a great deal of flatus. Burning pain in the rectum and anus with smarting and itching. On second day had diarrhoea of thin fauces reddish brown with colic and urging.
URINARY ORGANS. Frequent desire to urinate, at times involuntary, with a strong odour of iodine. The colour was dark reddish-brown and contained a great deal of iodine; otherwise negative except for a trace of albumin.
RESPIRATORY ORGANS. Profuse secretion of mucus in the bronchi. Rawness and dryness of the air passages, hoarse with a tickling sensation in the throat causing a constant cough, expectorating a white ropy mucus. Rattling of mucus in the chest with heaviness causing difficult respiration. Sharp sticking pain near the pit of the stomach.
HEART AND PULSE. A heavy oppressive pain in the region of the heart, with palpitation of the heart and weak pulse.
Rheumatic pains in the neck, arms and back. Tremor of the limbs with a sensation of numbness. Swelling of the lower extremities with pain in the joints. The nervous system was much shaken, trembling of the whole body, extreme emaciation, failure of strength and very restless. Skin of a brownish colour, was hot and dry and patient complained of a great deal of itching. His sleep was restless with unpleasant dreams”.
Further cases of iodine poisoning may be found in Vol. II. of the Cyclopaedia of Drug Pathogenesy.
Unfortunately iodine has become a fashionable drug. It is given rather recklessly to patients by allopathic physicians and often with very serious results. Cases of iodine poisoning are met with every day. Iodised salt can be bought everywhere and it is freely purchased by people who have read misleading articles in the press which describe iodine almost as a panacea and which extol the virtues of iodised salt. Some time ago the writer saw a case of goitre.
An otherwise healthy man had developed goitre and he had been given large quantities of iodine by the mouth, he had rubbed the outside of the goitre with iodine ointment and had swallowed large quantities of iodised slat with his food. As a result the goitre had grown to double the size, it had become as hard as stone, and yet the physician continued giving iodine, disregarding the disastrous results. At last the mans mind began to give way. Many of the symptoms described by Dr. Wintsch appeared.
The doctor had told him that there was no other remedy for his trouble except iodine. In despair the patient turned to a homoeopath. Iodine was immediately abandoned, iodised salt was forbidden, an appropriate diet and the indicated homoeopathic remedies led to a great improvement in the patients general health, and the goitre has steadily diminished in size and become soft.