CONCISE MATERIA MEDICA


Medicines with their indications. A note of precaution to be kept in mind before a prescription is made. …


In this part we have only pointed out a few of the leading indications for the use of about fifty remedies including those in the list (see pages 69, 70), and a few others which are often useful. Many, such as Aconite, Nux Vom., Arsenicum, Sulphur, etc., are termed polycrests or many-healing remedies medicines possessing curative power in many diseases. For a fuller description of each, the reader is referred to the Author’s Text-book.

In prescribing for so many complaints from such a limited list of remedies, it is necessary to remark that the Homoeopathic Materia Medica now includes several hundred medicines; domestic practitioners, therefore, who restrict themselves to these forty or fifty must not, in cases of failure, conclude that they have exhausted the resources of Homoeopathy, nor despair when so wide a range of appliances is available to the professional man.

Many missionaries in foreign lands, as well as persons at home, desirous of spreading the benefits of Homoeopathy among the poor, or in districts distant from a physician, have sought instruction from the Author of this Manual, and during the number of years that have elapsed since the first edition of this little work was published, not a few have been actively engaged in restoring to health multitudes from those classes who need and claim such aid.

1. Aconitum Napellus. The English names of this plant are Wolfsbane, because it proves exceedingly poisonous to wolves, and Monkshood, because its beautiful flowers resemble the hood which monks used to wear. “This medicine,” writes Hempel, “constitutes the backbone, as it were, of our Materia Medica;” there being scarcely an acute disease in which it is not more or less required.

The prominent uses of Aconitum are as follows: All feverish and inflammatory affections, chiefly at their commencement, and often during their course. Its especial indications are thirst, and dry, hot skin; chills and shiverings, succeeded by burning heat; strong, rapid pulse; restlessness, anxiety, flushing of the face; pain; quick or laboured breathing; dry cough, with fever; deficient, hot, and high-coloured urine; first stage of cold-in- the-head, etc. It probably surpasses all other known remedies in its power of controlling the circulatory system, and triumphantly supersedes the lancet and the leech. “To enumerate,” says Dudgeon, “the diseases for which it is suitable would be to mention the acute inflammation of every possible order and tissue of the body; and if it be not for all of these the sole remedy, it is almost always useful either previous to, or in alternation with, another remedy which has perhaps a more specific relation to the part affected.” Had Hahnemann’s labours been limited to the discovery and demonstration of the wide curative power of this great remedy, they would have entitled him to the gratitude of countless myriads of his fellow-creatures in every succeeding generation. He most appropriately ranks it as first and foremost in his Materia Medica, not because its name begin with the first letter of the alphabet, but because of its transcendent power and extended sphere of action; he terms it a precious plant, whose efficacy almost amounts to a miracle.

2. Antimonium Crudum. This remedy is chiefly valuable in affections of the mucous membrane and the skin, and more especially when they are concurrently diseased.

It is indicated when the mucous membrane of the stomach and alimentary canal is loaded with mucus, producing eructation, foul, bitter, or tasting of the food; in nausea, with occasional vomiting; foetid flatulence; loss of appetite; constipation, alternating with diarrhoea; mucous discharge of the anus; secretion of tenacious mucus, with much hawking for its removal; milky-white tongue; slow digestion, with drowsiness, loss of strength, etc. It corrects that unhealthy condition of the digestive organs which favours the production of worms.

Its skin indications are pimples or blotches; rough irregular eruptions on the nose or cheeks; ill-conditioned, unhealthy appearance.

3. Antimonium Tartaricum. The chief sphere of action of this medicine lies in the mucous membranes, the lungs, and the skin. In large doses it produces a kind of catarrhal inflammation, beginning in the lining membrane of the throat, and extending to the trachea and bronchial tubes, and even exerting its irritant influence on the lung tissues themselves. Clinical experience has amply proved its value in certain inflammations involving these parts, especially in Catarrhal Croup, Bronchitis, and Pneumonia.

On the skin it causes a pustular eruption resembling that of Small-pox. It also produces vomiting, and that peculiar alteration of the blood, which are characteristic of Small-pox. As it might be supposed, then, Antim tart. has been found a remedy of the first importance in this disease, and if timely used, scarcely requires the aid of any other medicine. The vomiting to which this remedy is homoeopathic is nervous and sympathetic rather than gastric, and is attended by nausea, cold and pale skin, and great prostration.

4. Apis Mellifica. Rapid swelling (oedematous) of various parts; Erysipelas, with great oedema: Nettle-rash, and itching-stinging eruptions, with swelling; stings; hoarseness and dry cough, with urinary difficulties, frequent urging and inability to pass water; Dropsy after Scarlet-fever, etc.

5. Arnica Montana. Its chief uses are in affections resulting from injuries, tingling of the skin, convulsive and spasmodic affections, Lock-jaw, active discharges of blood, vomiting and spitting of blood, and other complaints from bruises, falls, etc.; severe concussions, such as often occur in railway accidents, or in the hunting fields, without leaving external marks of violence; pains, supposed to be rheumatic, from long, heavy, physical toil; concussion of the brain; immediate treatment after operations and childbirth; rheumatic pains; stitch-in-the-side; fatigue; chilblains, with hot swelling and tingling; swelling of the breast, soreness of the nipple, etc.

EXTERNAL USE:

Bruises, concussions, incisions, fractions, sore nipples, after extraction of teeth, etc. The discoloration, stiffness, swelling, and soreness consequent on bruises by blows or falls, may be almost entirely prevented by the prompt use of this remedy. Its striking and rapid remedial effects, however, depend greatly upon the promptitude with which it is applied after the injury.

Formula. For a lotion. Ten to twenty drops of the strong tincture to about half a teacupful of water; the bruised parts should be bathed with this lotion, or cloths, saturated with it, applied and covered with dry cloths to prevent evaporation. Generally Arnica, as prepared for internal use, will hasten the cure, and should be administered at the same time.

CAUTION:

In some constitutions the application of Arnica-lotion produces a very troublesome eruption closely resembling Erysipelas. For such constitutions, Ruta Grav., or Hamamelis Virg., is a safer and better remedy. Arnica should never be applied when the skin is broken.

6. Arsenicum. Cold, Influenza, Asthma, Bronchitis, with difficult expectoration, wheezing breathing, etc.; fevers Intermittent, Typhoid, and putrid, with great thirst, debility, etc.; diseases marked by depressed and almost exhausted vitality; Cholera, in the more violent forms of the malady; diseases of the stomach and bowels, especially when accompanied by great prostration or burning pains; severe vomiting, Diarrhoea, with watery, green or dark, burning motions; skin diseases, particularly those of a scaly nature; eruptions about the mouth and other parts, attended with burning, and the discharge of a thin, watery fluid; old or obstinate Ulcers, with burning or itching, or with a bloody, thin, or foetid discharge; and dropsical complaints.

7. Baryta Carbonica. Quinsy; chronic enlargement of the tonsils.

8. Baptisia Tinctoria. Influenza, chronic Dyspepsia, Gastric or Enteric Fevers, and Dysentery in aged persons.

9. Belladonna. This medicine almost ranks in importance with Aconite in inflammation diseases, characterized by bright-redness of the parts, pain, intolerance of light and sound, and other brain symptoms. It is often required after Aconite, or in alternation with it, in Inflammation of the eyes, with dilated pupils, dread of light, etc.; Sore throat with redness and sense of rawness; Toothache with throbbing, and congested face; complaints marked by congestion in the head, or with Convulsions, Neuralgia, and Delirium. Affections of the brain and nervous system; eruptive fevers, especially simple Scarlatina (for which it is often specific) and Erysipelas (not vesicular); violent Headache, especially frontal, with throbbing and redness, aggravated by movement; rheumatic inflammations with hot swellings, and swollen glands. Its power in preventing attacks of epidemic Scarlatina, as well as of curing that disease, has been abundantly established by facts.

10. Bryonia. Pleurisy; Pneumonia; dry, severe cough, with a sensation of tickling under the the breast bone; cold-in-the- chest; stitches, and shooting pains in the chest, acutely increased by coughing, a deep inspiration, or even movement; derangements of the liver and bowels; Lumbago, Sciatica, Rheumatism of the joints; and all rheumatic affections in which the pain is aggravated by movement; bilious headache, rheumatic fever, Jaundice, etc. The prominent gastric symptoms are water- brash; bitter or sour risings; pressure on the stomach, or sensation as if a stone were there; and constipation from inertia of the bowels. An irritable temper, and a gloomy depression of spirits, are additional indications for Bryonia.

11. Calcarea Carbonica. This remedy is chiefly used in scrofulous, rickety, and tuberculous affections. Glandular swelling of the neck and abdomen; eruptions around the eyes, and agglutination of the lids; difficult or delayed dentition, with heat and swellings of the gums; deafness, with snapping and roaring noises in the ear, and chronic diseases of the ear; chronic Diarrhoea; incipient consumption of the bowels; swelling of the mesenteric glands; cough, with foetid or bloody expectoration, or difficult breathing; Obesity, from a lax condition of the tissues, or, on the other hand, emaciation; diseases of females, when the menses appear too soon and are too abundant; Sterility; Leucorrhoea; chronic headache; worst in the mornings, from mental fatigue; also in inveterate and obstinate diseases of the bones (Rachitis) and skin. As a general rule, Calcarea is best adapted to affections of women and children, and to chronic diseases.

12. Calendula Officinalis (Marigold). This remedy is used externally and exerts a most favourable influence in promoting the union of wounds with the least resulting scars, and with the smallest amount of suppuration. Cuts, whether accidental or inflicted in operations, or injuries, in which the flesh in much torn, and which do not heal without the formation of matter; wounds penetrating the joints, etc. In such cases it is much preferable to Arnica, especially in constitutions having a tendency to Erysipelas. It controls haemorrhage (but to a less extent than Hamamelis), and relieves the pains attending accidents.

Formula for a lotion. A teaspoonful of the pure tincture to about half a teacupful of water.

13. Camphor, Homoeopathic Tincture of. This remedy is valuable in the invasive stage of Influenza (when its administration will often terminate the complaint); derangements in general with chilliness and shivering; malignant Cholera, in the incipient stage of the disorder; excessive, sudden prostration of the nervous system from any cause; fainting and dizziness; cramps in the arms, legs, or abdomen; severe purging. “It is antidotal to almost all the drastic vegetable poisons; relieves Strangury; procures reaction from cold, congested conditions; is the great anti-choleraic; and quiets nervous irritability, sometimes better than Coffea, Ignatia, or Hyoscyamus This is its whole clinical value and a great one it is in a nutshell” (Holcombe). In sudden attacks, two drops on a small piece of loaf-sugar, repeated every fifteen or twenty minutes, for three or four times; in Cholera, four drops, administered in the same manner, every ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes. The strongest Rubini’s preparation is the best. In consequence of its volatile properties, it must be kept separate from all other homoeopathic remedies.

14. Cantharis. Affections of the urinary organs; pain in the loins; scanty, scalding, and even bloody urine; tenderness about the bladder; Strangury; suppression of urine from acute congestion, etc.

EXTERNAL USE. In burns and scalds, with threatened or actual blisters; for lotion ten drops of the strong tincture to a teacupful of water. Cantharidine pomade is good for recent falling off of the hair after illness, etc.

15. Carbo Vegetabilis. Affections of the digestive organs, with oppression after eating; flatulent distention of the stomach, with acidity or heartburn; burning and contractive pain and emission of foetid flatulence; a burning sensation in the lower bowel; tendency to Diarrhoea; Piles; Worms; Toothache, with spongy or ulcerated gums; hoarseness, loss of voice, and sensitiveness to variations of weather; chronic Nettle-rash; itching and burning of the skin; unhealthy, burning, foetid Ulcers. Carbo Vegetabilis counteracts the injurious consequences of Mercury and Quinine.

16. Chamomilla. Diseases of children and women, affecting the nervous, biliary, and uterine systems. Convulsions, arising from teething, anger, or pain in the bowels; Neuralgia, with tearing, dragging, and lancinating pains. Toothache, the pairs being worse at night, tearing and stitching, with swelling of the cheeks, and a feeling as if the teeth were elongated; difficult dentition, when one of the cheeks is red and hot, the gums swollen and sensitive, the child irritable, and Convulsions are indicated; Diarrhoea of Children, from cold or teething, when the motions are watery, slimy, green, or yellow and preceded by cutting pains; dentition-fever, with crossness, restlessness, and irregular circulation; one cheek being hot, the other cold; catarrhal, cough of children, with hoarseness and rattling of mucus in the throat. The action of this remedy upon the sexual system of women is very marked, especially in Dysmenorrhoea, and in various derangements during pregnancy; after-pains. Also for the consequences of passion, and when pain seems to be intolerable, owing to the extreme sensitiveness of the patient.

17, China, Peruvian Bark. Weakness, with easy perspiration consequent on exhaustive discharges loss of blood, Diarrhoea, prolonged nursing, sexual excesses, etc.; consequences of intermittent and other miasmatic fevers, purgatives, mercury, broken rest, etc. It is specific to many forms of fever of a periodic type; debility marked by disposition to sweat; exhausting night sweats; Diarrhoea, especially summer Diarrhoea, with or without pain, and when the discharges are slimy, bilious, or mixed with undigested food, and very offensive; loss of appetite; bilious taste; flatulence; Jaundice; enlargement of the spleen, with a dirty-yellow complexion; debilitating seminal emissions (Spermatorrhoea) from sexual vices, with undue excitement of the sexual instinct, in patients weak, low- spirited, and dyspeptic.

18. Cimicifuga (or Actea) Racemosa. Rheumatic affections chiefly of the left side, especially when there are uterine difficulties or irregularities; nervousness; pains in the left side below the breast in females; pain in the lumbar region; crick-in-the-back; headache, with aching-pain in the eyeballs; palpitation of the heart; sinking at the stomach (not of gastric origin); Amenorrhoea, Dysmenorrhoea, and Menorrhagia; disorders of pregnancy and the critical age etc.

19. Cina. Homoeopathic to the condition which produces intestinal parasites, and to affections arising from their irritation; especially thread-worms, indicated by picking the nose, grinding the teeth, convulsions and spasms, voracious appetite, alternating with poor appetite, itching at the seat, diarrhoeic motions, discharge of worms, wetting the bed, cutting pain in the abdomen, hoarse, hollow cough in children, and other symptoms from inverminous affections.

20. Coffea. Morbid sensitiveness and irritability of the nervous system, especially the effects of joy; fretfulness and wakefulness of children; nervous Toothache; almost insupportable labour-pains or after-pains; nervous sufferings of highly excitable children or hysterical women.

21. Colocynthis. This drug has not a wide range of action, and is chiefly prescribed for griping, flatulent Colic, with diarrhoeic evacuations; Neuralgia, Sciatica, etc.

22. Cuprum. Derangements of the nervous system, cramps, convulsive movements, etc.; St. Vitus’s dance; Epilepsy, with violent Convulsions, paleness of the face, dizziness, and great debility; general nervous affections, accompanied by spasm and emaciation; cramps and vomiting of Cholera; extreme pain in the bowels, with prostration, sallow complexion, and vomiting; some cases of Whooping-cough, etc.

23. Drosera. Whooping-cough, with suffocative symptoms, vomiting, or bleeding from the nose, especially when the “hoop” has become fully developed, and after the use of Ipecacuanha and Belladonna also in spasmodic cough generally, with a tickling sensation in the throat, vomiting or wheezing breathing, and a feeling of suffocation.

24. Dulcamara. Various affections. Cold, in the head, nausea, Catarrh of the bladder-mucous Diarrhoea, etc. from damp or a thorough wetting; itching and stinging eruptions of the skin, and other conditions following a cold. If taken immediately after exposure to damp, Dulcamara will often prevent the ordinary consequences of a Cold.

25. Ferrum Muriaticum. An excellent remedy for anaemia or bloodlessness. Also for weakness of the bladder, and difficulty in retaining the water during the day time.

26. Gelsemium Sempervirens. This drug, one of the new American Remedies, has a sphere of action apparently midway between that of Aconite and Belladonna Under the nervous system, it is useful in nervous shiverings without chilliness; excitement of hysteric patients; languor, etc., from night-watching; neuralgic faceache, with twitchings of the muscles near the affected part; spasmodic Croup, when Aconite fails or the brain is involved; simple sleeplessness of children, or from mental excitement. In Scarlatina it is useful when Aconite or Belladonna fails to bring out the eruption bright, especially in young children; also in this and other fevers where there is a tendency to remittency. Weakness of sight, with dimness or double vision, with dull heaviness in the head, and dizziness; Palpitation of the heart; pure nervous Toothache (applied locally); many ailments of children during teething, as sleeplessness, pain with sudden outcries, Spasm of the glottis, etc.; wetting the bed; acute pain in the muscles, from over-exertion, etc.

27. Hamamelis. Varicose veins: Haemorrhage from veins; painful and bleeding Piles; tendency to Haemorrhage from various parts; vicarious Menstruation; Dysmenorrhoea from disease of the ovaries; discolouration, as from a bruise.

EXTERNAL USE. Hamamelis is sometimes a good substitute for Arnica when the latter does not agree with the patient. It is a good application for Chilblains, bleeding Piles, etc. One part of the strong tincture to four of water.

28. Hepar Sulphuris. This is a compound of Sulphur and Calcarea, and has points of resemblance to each, influencing the skin like Sulphur, and the glands like Calcarea. It has also an action differing from either of these remedies separately. It is chiefly prescribed in inflammatory affections of the wind-pipe and air- passages, Croup, wheezing breathing, Hoarseness; consumptive Coughs, etc.; also for scrofulous enlarged glands discharging matter; Abscesses; Scald-head; salivation, and other consequences from large doses of Mercury. Like Silicea, but to a less extent, it favours the suppurative process.

29. Ignatia. This remedy is valuable for the consequences of grief, in persons, females particularly of a highly sensitive temperament, who often change from high spirits to a low state of despondency; nervous Headache; hysteric, convulsive, or spasmodic disorders, consequent on grief, disappointments, or ill-humour, with the sensation of a ball rising in the throat (globus hystericus); nervous affections of girls at puberty, and women at the critical period; also come of the symptoms of Hypochondriasis in the male sex; convulsive affections of infants and children from worms; Prolapsus ani; etc.

30. Ipecacuanha. Chiefly used in affections of the respiratory and digestive organs. Spasmodic, suffocative Cough, with tickling in the throat, sometimes with nausea, vomiting, bloody expectoration, or bleeding from the nose; Spasmodic-asthma, especially at night; Whooping-cough, during the spasmodic stage, with rattling breathing; hay-fever, and some varieties of bronchitis. Derangements of the digestive organs, characterized by simple nausea and vomiting, with or without Diarrhoea; Colic, with loose, fermented, or dysenteric stools, especially in children. Haemorrhage from various organs, the blood being bright-red, with anxiety, pale face, vomiting, etc.

31. Kali Bichromicum. Affections of the mucous membrane and the skin. On the respiratory mucous lining it has great power, especially in chronic Bronchitis, with much tough, stringy mucus, difficult to expectorate; Cough, with wheezing, difficult breathing; chronically ulcerated throat; Hoarseness; chronic Catarrh; Croup; Polypus of the nose. It is curative in catarrhal and strumous Ophthalmia, and in syphilitic affections of the eye. In the digestive tract it is valuable in chronic Dyspepsia, with heartburn, eructations, nausea, thickly coated, yellowish tongue, bitter taste, etc. An additional indication for its use is a simultaneous affection of the respiratory and digestive mucous membrane. Affections of the skin, within the sphere of the action of this remedy, are chiefly pustular eruptions. Ulcers of the legs (see also Calendula as an external remedy), especially of a syphilitic character, and pimples on the face.

32. Lycopodium. Atonic affections of the digestive organs; pain, sensitiveness, or distention of the abdomen; waterbrash; chronic Constipation; Gravel and Stone; moist eruptions; Scald-head; glandular swellings; rheumatic complaints; scrofulous Ulcers; loss of hair.

33. Mercurius. There are various preparations of Mercury used by homoeopathic practitioners, but in this Manual we have chiefly referred to two, as under.

1st. MERCURIUS SOLUBILIS. This remedy is prescribed for: Glandular affections, with swelling and sometimes suppuration; Sore throat, with swelling, pain, difficulty in swallowing, and ulceration; profuse flow of saliva from the mouth, with a foetid odour; Thrush; Cancrum or is; Toothache from decay, with aching, tearing pains, extending to the temples and glands, and a tendency to gum-boils; Jaundice, yellowness of the skin and of the whites of the eyes; Ophthalmia; agglutination of the eyelids; Ulcers on the cornea; discharge from the ears, soreness, Deafness; Diarrhoea, frequent desire to relieve the bowels, preceded by chilliness, with green, clay, or various coloured, slimy and offensive, evacuations, especially the Diarrhoea of infants and children; torpid liver, with deficient secretion of bile, as shown by pale, foetid, and costive motions, dull pain in the right side, poor appetite and dejection of spirits; long round worms; syphilitic and scrofulous swellings of the glands in the groins; Gonorrhoea; syphilitic Ulcers, etc. Two marked symptoms indicating this remedy are, aggravations of the pains and several symptoms at night, and profuse perspirations and afford no relief.

2nd. MERCURIUS CORROSIVUS. Dysenteric affections, with tenesmus, burning pains in the abdomen, and discharge of blood and mucus; Cirrhosis; scrofulous, rheumatic, and syphilitic Ophthalmia; Gonorrhoea, in the first stage, with sharp pain on urinating; syphilitic eruptions, etc.

Edward Harris Ruddock
Ruddock, E. H. (Edward Harris), 1822-1875. M.D.
LICENTIATE OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS; MEMBER OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS; LICENTIATE IN MIDWIFERY, LONDON AND EDINBURGH, ETC. PHYSICIAN TO THE READING AND BERKSHIRE HOMOEOPATHIC DISPENSARY.

Author of "The Stepping Stone to Homeopathy and Health,"
"Manual of Homoeopathic Treatment". Editor of "The Homoeopathic World."