THE LADY’S MANUAL OF HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT by E.H. RUDDOCK, M.D.
1. – HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICINES
The medicines prescribed in this Manual may be procured either in a case or chest complete, or in single bottles as required. For persons not having easy access to a homoeopathic chemist’s shop it is very desirable that they should be provided with a full stock of the medicines. For residents in towns, who can at any moment have their medicinal wants supplied, not more than dozen or twenty-four of the more frequently indicated remedies need be obtained at first, although we would strongly urge upon all who purpose taking this book as their guide, to be prepared to meet every emergency, however sudden and urgent it may be, without incurring the delay incidental upon sending a messenger to a chemist for the necessary means of treatment.
The medicines should, if possible, be procured from a person who is exclusively occupied with the manufacture and sale of homoeopathic remedies, and on whose character will afford some guarantee for their purity, and the mode and accuracy of their preparation. Unless otherwise unobtainable, they should not be bought from allopathic chemist-at all events not from one who does not keep them in an apartment or case from which the injurious influences of the strong-smelling drugs of his shop are most carefully excluded. When the patient’s case is not an urgent one, and time is an element of no great moment, the medicine may be sent for by post to any homoeopathic chemist, who will execute the order at once. Failures in homoeopathic practice have often been traced to the improper or careless preparations relieved upon, and every precaution should therefore be taken to guard against the employment of any but the purest and the best.
The medicines used in homoeopathic practice are prepared in different forms, namely, Globules, Pilules, Tinctures, Discs, Tablets and Triturations. Globules are now almost wholly superseded by Pilules, as being less handy than the latter, but when properly prepared the one is equally efficacious with the other. In this volume all the forms are referred to except globules. A description of the various forms will be found in the “Homoeopathic Vade Mecum,” p.83 of the new and revised edition.
2. – DIRECTIONS FOR MIXING AND TAKING THE MEDICINES
ADMINISTRATION. – Triturations are usually taken dry on the tongue. Pilules may be taken in a similar manner, or dissolved in watery. Tinctures are invariably mixed with water,. If the dose of the tincture has to be frequently repeated it will be found very convenient to put a certain number of doses, with the necessary quantity of water, into a glass or earthenware vessel; otherwise, each dose may be mixed with water as required. Tinctures may be readily and accurately dropped by holding the bottle in an oblique manner, with the lip resting against the middle of the wet end of the cork, and then tilting up the bottle carefully; the liquid will descend drop by drop from the lower edge of the cork.
Or it may be still more easily done, even by the most timid and nervous persons, by introducing a piece of solid glass, about 3/16 of an inch in diameter, bent at a right angle, into the bottle, and tilting as before; the medicine will fall from the free end of the glass rod drop by drop.
The medicine should always be put into the glass first, then the water should be added in the proportion of a table, dessert, or teaspoonful, as may be preferred by the patient, to each dose of the medicine. When the mixture has to stand some time after being made, the vessel should be covered with a saucer or clean sheet of writing paper; or it may be poured into a clean bottle, particular care being taken that the cork is new and sound. But the graduated earthenware medicine cups, with covers, which are now especially made and sold for the use of homoeopaths, possess many advantages over ordinary glasses and bottles, and should be always employed when obtainable. The spoon after being used should be carefully wiped, and put away in a clean and dry place until again required. Fine glazed earthenware or glass spoons are in all cases preferable to mental ones for medical purposes.
THE DOSE. – In determining the size of the dose several circumstances may require to be taken into consideration, such as the age, habits, and temperament of the patient, the organ affected, and the nature of the disease. Persons accustomed to much outdoor exercise, and the young, and the highly sensitive, are affected by much smaller doses than are required for the indolent, the aged, and the apathetic. Chronic diseases are often more amenable to minute quantities of medicinal agents than are acute diseases. It is, however, almost impossible to lay down any rule that shall be applicable to every patient. Whilst acting in accordance with the following general directions, which will be found to meet the great majority of cases, the prescriber’s intelligent perceptions will soon enable her to decide as to the advisability of departing from a strict adhesion to the average doses here given.
FOR AN ADULT. – From one to two drops of an tincture, three or four pilules, one disc, one or two tablets, or one grain to two grains of a trituration may be administered; FOR A YOUTH FROM TEN TO EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, about half of the above quantities; AND FOR CHILDREN UNDER TEN YEARS OF AGE, about a third or less may be given.
A pilule or a drop may be easily divided into two or three doses, by mixing the one or the other with two or three spoonfuls of water; one spoonful of the solution will contain a half or third of a pilule or drop respectively.
HOURS. – The most appropriate times for taking the medicines are, generally, on rising in the morning, at bedtime, and, if oftener prescribed, about half an hour or an hour before, or two or three hours after, a meal.
REPETITION OF DOSES. – On this point the prescriber must be guided by the acute or chronic character of the malady, the urgency and danger of the symptoms, and the effects produced by the medicines. In violent and acute diseases, such as Flooding, Miscarriage, Convulsions, internal inflammation, etc., the remedies may be repeated every fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes; in less urgent cases, every hour or three or four hours. In chronic maladies the medicine may be administered every six, twelve, or twenty-four hours, or even at more distant intervals. In all cases, when improvement takes place, the medicine should be taken less frequently, and gradually relinquished.
3. GENERAL DIRECTIONS
ALTERNATION OF MEDICINES. – Homoeopaths do not follow the objectionable practice of mixing several drugs together and trusting to the discriminating powers of the stomach to discard the unsuitable and appropriate the suitable one. They endeavour to prescribe with precision, by administering one medicine only at a time. In some acute diseases, however, all the symptoms are not covered by a single remedy. In such cases two medicines may be given in alternation; that is, one medicine may be followed by another at certain intervals of time, and in a regularly recurring order of succession. It is, however, rarely advisable to give more than one medicine until its effect or non-effect has been observed.
DRUGS. – Persons under homoeopathic treatment are particularly cautioned against taking herb-tea, senna, salts, castor-oil, pills, or other allopathic drugs, and using leeches, blisters, etc. These things disturb and annoy the patient, if they do not prove positively injurious. The extent to which patent drugs, declared to be potent to cure nearly every disease, are now advertised and sold in every part of the country, doing an incalculable amount of injury, by causing irritation or inflammation of the delicate lining of the alimentary canal and lowering the tone of the digestive organs, seems to justify this caution. Religious and general periodical publications teem with these advertisements, and by giving a virtual assent to
2 the efficacy of the drugs they advertise are lending themselves to the propagation of unprincipled quackery and its attendant evils. But the love of gain, alas! too often overrides all other considerations, even in those with whom higher motives might be supposed to prevail.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS. – Patients are recommended to sponge themselves all over quickly in cold water, and thoroughly dry themselves with a large coarse towel or sheet every morning on rising. During the monthly period, tepid water may be substituted for cold, if the latter is found to disturb the healthy function. The bidet or hip bath, described in the next Section, is strongly recommended for general adoption. Patients should also, if possible, take moderate exercise daily in the open air; or, when the weather is unsuitable, in well-lighted and properly ventilated rooms. They should abstain from undue indulgence in any passion, and guard against all excessive motions, such as grief, care, anger etc. The active requirements of the household, as well as its cares and anxieties, should be controlled and moderated so as not to overtax the body or overburden the mind. And lastly, the excellent and healthy habit should be formed of going to bed, and rising, early.
These hints are of vital importance, alike for those under treatment and for all others who desire the inestimable blessing of a healthy long life.
4. THE BIDET OR HIP-BATH.
A hip-bath may be procured of any respectable iron-monger; but in its absence any wide vessel about twelve inches deep will answer the purpose. Having poured water into the bath to the depth of five or six inches, removed the nightdress as far down as the waist, and tied the hair back, the lady should leave the entire face and hands with the water; then soap the hands well, and rub the face, neck, chest, and arms; and immediately afterwards bathe these parts with a sponge squeezed out of the water, drying rapidly by means of a large towel. Then, after throwing a covering over the shoulders and back, and removing the dress from the lower part of her body, she should sit down in the water, her feet resting on a warm mat, and being covered, together with her knees and legs, with a rug or flannel petticoat.
Whilst in this position she should rub the abdomen and loins with her wet hand or with a bath-glove. Having sat a sufficient time in the bath, she should stand up in it for a moment, and sponge the feet and legs, and then stepping out on to the warm mat, at once commence drying herself by means of a bath- sheet thrown over the shoulders, and using brisk traction till the whole body is in a comfortable glow, when dressing should not be delayed an instant. After the bath, she should take active exercise, if possible in the open air, to promote reaction and render it lasting.
Temperature of Water and Duration of Bath. – When the bath is used as a derivative it may be taken at first tepid, or a little under that temperature, and be always prolonged from ten to twenty minutes; but when it is used as a tonic, or as a means of maintaining the system in health, it must be taken cold, and not longer than from two to ten minutes.
If the reader is unaccustomed to a morning bath such as that just recommended, and especially if weakly, she may not at first be able to bear the water cold, and should commence by using water at about seventy degrees, gradually reducing the temperature for three or four mornings, after which, in nearly every case, she will be able to use it cold. The use of cold water every morning on rising form bed, in the manner just pointed out will wonderfully contribute to health of body and cheerfulness of spirits. During menstruation, it is not always necessary to suspend the bathing, but tepid water may be used if cold injuriously affects the discharge.
Precaution – In the use of cold bath it should be remembered that the water is very likely to be colder in winter than in summer, and that consequently there may be greater difference between its temperature and that of the blood. This difference should be tested by a thermometer. If the temperature of the water be found to be below 64* Fahr., it should be raised by the addition, of a little hot water. In attention to this matter may be followed by disagreeable sensations, or by a slight attack of muscular rheumatism.
Addition of Sea-Salt to the Bath. If sea-salt be added in such quantity to a bath that the mineral ingredient is about equal to that contained in salt-water, the bath will be found far more efficacious in many cases than a simple fresh-water one, on account of the stimulus imparted to the skin by the saline matter which it holds in solution. Another advantage resulting from the addition of salt is, that it tends to prevent the chill which fresh water sometimes gives rise to, and so enables persons of feeble circulation – weak heart and pulse, and cold hands and feet – to use cold bathing who could not otherwise do so. Sea- salt 1 (1. “Worcestershire Brine Crystals” and “Tidman’s Sea-salt are convenient forms of this) can now be very generally and cheaply obtained, and thus persons residing at a distance from the coast may enjoy the advantage and luxury of salt-water bath. In the absence of sea-salt, a handful of bay-salt, or of common salt, may be added to the water.
Bath-Sheets. – These form a very necessary appendix to the bath- room. They may be procured from most drapers’ establishments for from eight or twelve shillings, according to size. If only a towel is used, much vital heat necessarily passes off during the exposure, and the benefit of the bath is often lost from inattention to this point alone. A sheet thrown over the whole body prevents the too rapid radiation of heat from the surface, and aids reaction.
The process should be quickly performed. – The bath should be taken quickly, and the contact with the water boldly encountered, as it is the shock thus given which does so much good, by imparting tone and health to the nervous system. The entire process, including the drying, should be performed by the patient herself, as the exercise renders the reaction more complete and lasting; but a weakly person should have an assistant to rub her back whilst she herself rubs the front portion of her body. When assistance is needed, a person of robust constitution should be employed as a shampooer.
The universal adoption of such a bath as we have described would prevent may of the nervous, fancied, and real ailments of invalids, secure large exemption from skin affections, and remove the excessive sensibility to cold and disease that often dims the sunshine of life, and cripples the efforts of many who would gladly be usefully employed. Probably there is no hygiene habit inculcated in this volume commensurate in value to the cold bath; and although it is much neglected by the illiterate and the poor, we are glad to know that it is now largely and increasingly adopted by the intelligent and well-to-do classes. If the Author’s labours in the production of this book lead to no other result than the habitual and extended use of the morning bath, he will not have labored in vain.
5. SPINAL HOT WATER AND ICE BAGS
In many female derangements, in conjunction with appropriate remedies, the spinal hot-water bag is of great advantage in Menorrhagia, Dysmenorrhoea, and also for the relief of pelvis distress arising during the course of uterine or ovarian disease. In many cases of profuse menstruation, especially in patients of relaxed muscular tissue, or in those suffering from the effects of imperfect involution of the uterus, the application of a ten- inch spinal bag, filled with water of the temperature of about 110* Fahr., to the lower part of the spine, is a powerful help in arresting the excessive loss. The bag should be worn for not less than two hours at a time. In cases of Dysmenorrhoea, especially if they are of inflammatory or congestive origin, suffering is often greatly mitigated by wearing the hot-water spinal-bag for two hours at a time at intervals through the day.
It is equally applicable and beneficial to patients with pain in the back, above the pubes, over the ovaries, or along the margin of the false ribs, in ovarian or uterine disease. “The treatment of uterine diseases by the application of cold to the spine, best effected by means of ice-bags, requires to be carried out with greater caution than does that by means of the spinal hot-water bag. The latter injudiciously applied, may aggravate suffering or be altogether useless, but is not likely to be decidedly injurious. The ice-bag, however, may, without doubt, if used in unsuitable cases, prove exceedingly so. The ice-bag is useful 1st, In certain cases of Amenorrhoea in which the cold hip-bath is not suitable; 2ndly, In relieving the sickness of pregnancy 3rdly. In certain forms of disease in which severe pelvic and lumbar pains are experienced, together with, and apparently depending on, the condition known as Spinal Irritation” (Dr. L. Atthill). It should, in the first instance, be used only fifteen minutes at a time. If well borne, its application should be prolonged, but it is better to carry out this treatment by repeated application of the ice-bag made at intervals of some hours than by prolonged applications made once or twice a day. In pregnancy, great caution is necessary, when only a moderate use of ice-bag is recommended.