THIS child was born into the family of Eclectic medicine. We Homoeopathists adopted her after her characteristic habits had been pretty well formed. Not only have we assisted in developing and displaying these characteristics but have also assisted in the formation and practising of new habits.
Thomas Eclectic Practice of Medicine is the latest I have on Echinacea. Under “Indications for Remedies,” Page 1003. he has “Echinacea. A powerful antiseptic, locally and internally, in the bite of the rattlesnake, diphtheria, typhoid conditions, blood poisoning, and an alternative of great value in strumous diathesis, syphilis, old sores and wounds. gtt. I to gtt. V.” +Page 1003.
On page 30 while speaking of Aconite in typhoid fever, Thomas says: “Echinacea possesses antiseptic qualities and may be combined with it thus:.
Rx Specific Aconite, gtt. v, Specific Echinacea 3ss to i, Aqua Dest. 3iv. M. Sig. Teaspoonful every one or two hours.”.
On page 32, Thomas speaking of the treatment of typhoid says: “Antiseptics. Very early, antiseptics may be indicated. The dusky hue of the mucous membrane tells of the progress of the poison, and suggests Echinacea and Baptisia. Where the tongue is broad, full, slightly coated, and with a dusky hue, face and tissues full, give:.
Rx Specific Echinacea, 3i, Aqua. Dest. 3iv. M. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour”.
Again, under pyaemia, page 187, Thomas says: “Echinacea in full doses will be used with the usual symptoms calling for this agent”.
On page 549, for cancer of the stomach, he says:- “In the way of special remedies, Hydrastis phosphate, Echinacea, Chelidonium, Arsenicum, and like remedies, should be thoroughly tried”.
For carcinoma of the liver, he says: “Echinacea neutralises to some extent the toxaemia generated in carcinoma and should be given during the course of the disease. The dose will be from five to twenty drops four times per day”.
While giving the treatment of syphilis, Thomas says: “Echinacea, in half-teaspoonful doses, gradually increasing the dose to a teaspoonful, is also an excellent remedy”.
The above from an eclectic authority is of some, though but of little, assistance to us Homoeopathists in acquiring a good working knowledge of Echinacea. Mixing of Echinacea with Aconite in one prescription, for a certain condition; or giving the drug for any condition disease without giving the symptoms, the dose, or repetition of the dose is of but little value to the physician of nay school. We have quoted Thomas simply to give the Eclectics credit for their part in furnishing the medical profession with a very valuable addition to its drug therapy. Let us now take up the study of Echinacea from the Homoeopathic standpoint.
J.H. Clarke, in his Dictionary of Materia Medica, quotes a case taken from the H.R., vol. X, page 527, which gives us our first glimpse of the field in which Echinacea acts, “A remarkable case of vaccinal poisoning is recorded (H.R., X, 527) in a man, 45, cured mainly by Echin. in twenty-drop doses. The symptoms were: vitality ebbed; he became so weak he could not sit up; hair fell out; an eruption of psoriasis appeared on extremities extending to body. The disease advanced rapidly; the nails fell off.
Left iritis supervened, and then keratitis of the right eye. Under Kali iod., and phospho-albumen as a food, the hair ceased to fall off, but other symptoms became rapidly worse. Echin. was now given, and slowly the disease was arrested; then gradual improvement and ultimate cure ensued. The report does not mention if the sight of the left eye was recovered. Homoeopathists have generally followed the eclectics in using substantial doses.”.
It was fourteen years later that my classmate, J. C. Fahnestock, not only superintended but also participated in a thorough proving of the drug. See H.R., Vol. XIV, pages 337 and 386.
Fahnestocks preliminary proving and discussion of the same is recorded in the Transactions of the A.I.H., 1899, pages 693 to 707. The discussions that day were amusing, instructive, and interesting. As I was associated with the chairman of the bureau, Dr. T. L. Hazard, not only in observing the effects upon medical students at Iowa City and Des Moines and took the drug myself, I wish to comment on both the report and the discussion.
First, please note the character and position of the men who partook in the discussion. They were E.C. Price, of Baltimore, a college professor; E.R. Howard, also a college professor; A.C. Cowperthwaite, a college professor and author of a text book on Materia Medica and Practice; T.C. Duncan, a college professor, secretary of a provers association; W.A. Dewey, college professor, and also author of Materia Medica and Practice; Chas. Mohr, college professor; C.B. Gilbert, a college professor;
H.W. Pierson, a college professor and director of drug provers; T. F. Allen, a college professor, an eminent botanist, a noted chemist and world known author; Wilson A. Smith, a well known botanist and drug prover; F.W. Hamlin, a college professor, a practical obstetrician, a careful, general observer of the action of homoeopathic remedies. J.C. Fahnestock, a classmate and room-mate of mine at New York, a close student, with a clear, analytic mind, of German descent, inheriting the German habits of accuracy and observation, with a very large practice which gave him an opportunity to verify symptoms, was the author of the paper. T. C. Hazard, chairman of the bureau, was my assistant in the chair of Materia Medica at Iowa State University and in charge of the provers who took part in the provings, the result of which was incorporated in Dr. Fahnestocks symptoms.
Although all the above were well known to me and a brief sketch of them would be interesting to the reader, space will permit me to speak of but one, viz., Prof. Eldrige C. Price.
Dr. Price always felt it his duty to closely and carefully scrutinise everything for the purpose of detecting any flaw and, if any, to point out all defects. As dean of his college he saw the defects of every member of his faculty and tried to correct them. As the leader of the discussion this trait was very conspicuous.
There is one point made in the discussion which can be made in the study of all provings, viz., that idiosyncrasy has much to do with the result on individual provers. To illustrate, I can handle Rhus tox. with impunity, at any season of the year. It has no effect upon me in that form. I can and have taken ten drop doses of the tincture without effect, but the 30th and also 1m afford great relief of the pains in my broken bones, which pains come in damp, cold weather. I also had one patient who developed dryness of the mucous membrane and dilatation of the pupils whenever she took Belladonna 1m. I demonstrated the above fact many times just as an experiment.
Again, there are some forms of the Echinacea plant which seem to be inert.
Let us now take up the study of Echinacea in the schema form as found in the Transactions. I am going to give only those which I experienced personally and which I have verified more than once on my patients.
Please note that my headings will be tissues and organs rather than the old anatomical divisions.
1. Apprehension (fear).
3. Sluggishness (tired).
That the patient was apprehensive has been verified many times by such expressions as the following: “Am I going to get well? Am I in a serious condition? Will I ever be myself again? How long before I can be on my job again ?” etc.
Depression has also been proven by: “Its no use trying to cheer up, everything is against me; Im blue as indigo; Im so gloomy I cry a good deal of the time,” etc.
Sluggish Tired. The first of these synonyms applies to the brain more than the second, which applies to the entire body all tissues and organs. The first is demonstrated by: “What did I say?” “I did not mean that but my mind does not work well; I cant think as fast as I could,” “I seem confused,” etc. The second, tired, by: “It tries me to answer your questions, to talk or read; I am so tired, so tired.” One patient, an athlete, when asked to to be more explicit, replied, “I feel much as I did after a hard football fight, as if I could not move. I am sore in every muscle of my body; it hurts to move; I want to lie still and just dream, not to think of anything.”.
This condition follows and is the result of the other two. It is usually found in the convalescent stage of a disease, but appears in the earlier, sometimes the earliest, stage of the provings.
These symptoms are manifestations of functional changes of the brain mental symptoms which, as usual, should be given the highest rank in the group, as will be given later.
Nerves. Fahnestock says that seven of the provers gave: “Exhausted, tired feeling; five, muscular weakness; two left as if I had been sick a long time; and six general aching all over with exhaustion.” The above is only a repetition and perhaps an elaboration of what has been given under the heading, BRAIN.