ACONITE. The remedies so far considered have been those in general homoeopathic use for minor accidents and injuries. We will now turn our attention to some of the Medicines for small ailments, or early symptoms of illnesses, where the timely use of the remedies may possibly avert serious sequelae. The first and a very important remedy we will consider is Aconite.
Aconite in its crude form of tincture is a poison; used in the homoeopathic form of dilution or potencies it is a very valuable medicine. To many of you it is probably known as very useful in fevers, but it is by no means the only remedy for feverish states. Many other homoeopathic medicines are indicated for such conditions according to the symptoms presented by the patient.
Apart from the feverish state present in many chills, etc., there are usually other indications which help in the choice of the remedy. If you study any illness you will find that some mental change, however slight, is discernible such as depression, anxiety, fear, irritability. Now the provings of medicines have brought out that any drug tested on a healthy human being, according to the rules laid down by Hahnemann, produces certain definite mental symptoms which vary with each drug. For example, with Aconite we have restlessness, anxious, impatience, fear, fear of death, etc. Now you will probably say, “How is that going to help?” Let us consider conditions where Aconite is indicated, and by studying your cases you will gradually observe how the mental symptoms fit in.
Nothing is more alarming for a young mother than to find her child is feverish. The face is probably flushed, the skin hot and dry, the child restless, and possibly an anxious expression will be depicted in the face. If the child is old enough to talk it may further add to the mothers anxiety by asking, “Mummy, am I going to be ill?” Such remarks are by no means fanciful, they have actually been said, and will be said again by children.
We remember the instance of a child of six years old, feverish, restless, anxious, saying, “Mother, am I going to die?” Suppose you meet such a case, there is no need for alarm; give Aconite and gradually the feverishness and anxiety will subside. Dont give your Aconite lower than a 3x; a 3 or a 6 is better. Give it hourly until improvement sets in, then administer it two hourly until improvement sets in, then administer it two hourly or at longer intervals if further doses are needed.
A condition likely to cause considerable anxiety to the parents is that where a child suddenly wakes up at mid-night or a little later with what is popularly called croup. The childs breathing is difficult, the voice husky and it has a harsh barking or croupy cough. The difficulty and distress in breathing for a time look very serious, and sometimes the flushed face becomes dusky and bluish. With it all the face has an anxious expression. This croupy condition is one that follows exposure to dry, cold winds, particularly east or north-easterly winds. Here the first remedy to be thought of is Aconite. Give it half hourly to begin with and then as improvement sets in give at longer intervals. If the Aconite does not appear to relieve the distressing symptoms, give Spongia 6 at frequent intervals until the child settles down to sleep.
Years ago a series of powders were kept in the home in readiness for cases of spasmodic croup. These powders were Aconite, Hepar sulph., Spongia, Hepar sulph., Spongia, and they were to be given in that order and at hourly or two hourly intervals according to the urgency of the case. If any readers decide to keep these powders in readiness for such an emergency as croup they should always be stored carefully away from strong smelling scents and above all from Camphor. The latter renders many of the delicate homoeopathic preparations inert.
There are many other uses for Aconite, among them that of relieving pain. The pain to which Aconite corresponds is often described by the patient as unbearable. Like many pains it appears to be intolerable, and is generally worse in the evening and at night. Sometimes it is accompanied by tingling and numbness. Toothache is very often eased by a few doses of Aconite.
We have mentioned that fear often accompanies illnesses where Aconite is indicated. A sudden fright in the dark often produces a state of fear that tends to recur. Aconite will help to alleviate and remove the fear. Not only fright in the dark but a sudden shock such as happened to a sensitive person in the street with whom a dog collided unexpectedly as she emerged from a shop. The after results, fear, trembling and giddiness were all removed by a few doses of Aconite. Another instance was that of a sensitive little girl who was standing on a station platform with her parents, when a train emerged suddenly and noisely from the tunnel at the entrance to the station. The state of fright that resulted led to sleepless nights and a general state of fear which was cured by Aconite.
Sometimes you will find people giving Aconite and Belladonna alternately for feverish conditions. There is no necessity for this; each of those remedies has its own definite indications and its own group of symptoms as we shall indicate in the account of Belladonna which will follow this article.