Best homeopathic remedies for Diphtheria from the book Therapeutic Pointers to Some Common Diseases by E.A. Farrington…

Ailanthus [Ail]

      Indicated later, when the patient becomes drowsy and lies in a profound stupor [more profound than Baptisia]. There is a well- marked excoriating, watery discharge from the nose making the upper lip sore.

Alcohol [Alco]

      It in the form of Brandy and water, tends not only to destroy the diphtheritic growth, but also aids in counteracting the terrible prostration.

I frequently employ a gargle of Alcohol and water. This seems to remove the accumulation of phlegm in the throat.

Ammonium Causticum [Am-caust]

      Has been used as a remedy for Diphtheria, appearing in the nasal cavities, with a burning excoriating discharge from the nose and great prostration.

Amygdala Amara [Amyg-am]

      I have myself cured cases of this disease with it alone, when there were present: The dark-red color of the throat (palate,

fauces, uvula and tonsils), the sudden sharp (lancinating) pains (in the swollen tonsils) and general prostration (very great).

Antimonium Crudum [Ant-c]

      I know of one case of this disease cured by it, when the symptoms were these: The child was very cross-whining and crying, simply because he was looked at, this was esp. so on awaking from sleep; and there were crusts around the nostrils and in the corners of the mouth.

It not only removed the crusts, but also cured the Diphtheria.

Apis Mellifica [Apis]

      A magnificent remedy in Diphtheria. It is indicated when, from the very beginning the child is greatly prostrated; he is feverish and drowsy at 3 A. M., and his pulse is accelerated. At first, the throat has a varnished appearance, as though the tonsils and fauces were coated with a glossy, (bright) red varnish. The membrane forms on either tonsil, oftener on the right, than on the left and it is thick, like a wash-leather. The tongue is red and often swollen, later, there are blisters on its border. Sensation of fulness in the throat, necessitating swallowing, but making the act very difficult. Uvula hangs down like a sack of water, and in fact the whole throat is swollen and oedematous, with stinging pains. The rima glottidis is swollen, red and oedematous and the breathing is labored, owing to the narrowing of the entrance of larynx. In some of these cases, the breath is very foetid, while in others it is little or not so in the least. In some cases, a red rash appears over the body, greatly resembling Scarlatina-the characteristic of Apis. The external throat is swollen and oedematous. The skin is dry and hot and the fever runs very high, and inspite of the presence of fever, the child is often thirstless. The pulse ranges from 130 to 140 beats per minute. The patient is restless and very weak.

It has often been successfully employed in Paralysis following devitalizing affections, such as Diphtheria, etc. In all such cases, suppressed or pre-existing exanthemata constitute a leading indication for the bee-poison, and the reappearance of the skin symptoms calls for its discontinuance as long as the improvement lasts. Sulphur is a great aid here.

In Diphtheria, it is to be compared with Arsenicum, Kali Permanganicum and Nat. Arsenicum which are similar.

Arsenicum [Ars]

      In Diphtheria it comes into use as a most valuable drug and is called for in severer cases. It cures when: The throat is swollen very much, both internally and externally [Apis], with intense burning [Arsenicum Iodium, Caps., Mercurius C.] The membrane looks dark and gangrenous and is very foetic [Apis., Caps., Hyd. Ac., Kali bichromicum, Kali Per., Mercurius Cyan., Nat. Arsenicum]. OEdematous uvula. A thin excoriating discharge from the nose and the breath is foetid. The fever is adynamic, with a great deal of somnolence, which is

broken by starts, crying out and jerking of the limbs. The pulse is rapid and weak. The bowels are constipated or else there is an offensive, watery diarrhoea. The urine is scanty. The patient is restless, esp. after midnight and is greatly prostrated; he may be thirsty, drinking often and little at a time.

Arsenicum Iodatum [Ars-i]

      It is indicated, if in addition to the usual Arsenicum symptoms, there is marked enlargement of the lymphatic glands.

Arum Triphyllum [Arum-t]

      It is very similar to Nitric Acid in Diphtheria of the nose. It has like the later excoriating discharge from the nose, making the lips sore; the corners of the mouth crack, so that the child cannot open his mouth. The saliva also is acrid. The patient is restless, tosses about, bores head into the pillow or picks or bores his fingers into the nose or nervously picks at one spot till it bleeds.

Baptisia Tinctoria [Bapt]

      It has proved itself one of our best remedies in Diphtheria, when it has assumed a typhoid type, and the child is very much prostrated and lies in a half-stupid state, as if intoxicated. The face is dark-red and has a besotted look. The mouth is excessively putrid and the discharges from mouth and nose are horribly offensive. The membrane is dark-red and exhibits a gangrenous tendency. Sometimes early in the disease the patient can only swallow liquids, but rejects solid food at once.

Belladonna [Bell]

      It may occasionally be the remedy in the very early stage, when the violence of the attack calls it or if there is congestion of the head, before the membrane has formed. Constriction of the throat, (<) from swallowing liquids.

Note of Warning : When you want to give this remedy in Diphtheria, be certain that it is the remedy or you will lose valuable time. When it is administered in Diphtheria, it must be indicated on other symptoms than those belonging to the membrane.

Cantharis [Canth]

      It has been used very successfully in Diphtheria, when the following throat symptoms and dysuria were present : Severe burning and raw feeling in the throat; great constriction any attempt to swallow water. The debility also is very marked.

Its related remedies are : Arsenicum, Arum T., Belladonna, Caps., Diffen., Mercurius Cor.

Capsicum [Caps]

      It is indicated in Diphtheria when there are : Burning blisters in the roof of the mouth, and an odor from the mouth like that of carrion; the throat feels constricted, as if spasmodically closed. The patient is worse when not swallowing and in extreme cases greatly prostrated. The most similar remedy here is Cantharis.

Carbolic Acid [Carb-ac]

      Indicated in Diphtheria when the putridity is well-marked [Kali Permang.] and is associated with burning pains in the mouth to the stomach or little or no pain, dusky red face, pale about the mouth and nose and rapid sinking of the vital forces.

Carbo Vegetabilis [Carb-v]

      It is indicated in epistaxis or nose-bleed during the course of Diphtheria [Camph., Mercurius Cyan.]. The blood is dark and rather fluid and flows persistently for hours, perhaps for days. The face of the patient is pale and sunken, and almost hippocratic.

Cocculus [Cocc]

      A prominent remedy is Post-diphtheritic Paralysis.

Conium [Con]

      Post-diphtheritic Paralysis-the sensation is but little involved.

Crot. [Crot]

      It is indicated, when the epistaxis is persistent. The blood oozes from the mouth, not merely coming from the posterior nares, but also escaping from the mucous membranes of the buccal cavity.

Gelsemium [Gels]

      A prominent remedy in Post-diphtheritic Paralysis.

Ignatia [Ign]

      Feeling as of a lump in the throat, which is not felt during, but between the acts of deglutition. The lump may feel sore while swallowing, but it is felt markedly between the acts of deglutition.

Kali Bichromicum [Kali-bi]

      It is indicated in Diphtheria when : The membrane is quite thick, and is decidedly yellow-looking, like wash-leather. The tongue is coated yellow or red, dry and glossy. Pain in the throat extending to the neck or shoulder. Swollen cervical glands. Well- defined slough in the throat. The discharges, whether coming from the nose or throat or both, are decidedly stringy and ropy. Weariness, sleepiness and prostration, and at times esp. if there is gastro-enteric inflammation, there are cold sweat, lowered temperature and pale sunken face.

Kali Permanganicum [Kali-perm]

      It is useful when the membrane, as also the breath are horribly offensive- this extreme foetor is its chief characteristic. The throat is painful, and is swollen and oedematous, both inside and outside. The muscles of the neck are also painful. There is a thin discharge from the nose.

Lac Caninum [Lac-c]

      It is very similar to Lachesis, but is readily distinguished from that remedy by its peculiar habit of alternating sides. Starting on one side, frequently the left, the soreness and swelling, and even the membrane, suddenly shift to the right, only to return, in a few hours, to the starting point. The membrane is grayish- yellow and curdy, and if ulcers form, they shine like silver- glow.

Lachesis [Lach]

      An invaluable remedy is Diphtheria from which much can be hoped. It is called for when the membrane forms on the left tonsil, with an inclination to spread thence to the right, and there is an early development of that gangrenous state which obtains in Diphtheria, with the attendant foetid breath and the increased danger of systemic infection. Symptoms for which you will be called upon to prescribe it are : Constant feeling as of a lump in the left side of the throat, which descends with each act of deglutition, but returns again or a sense of constriction, as if the throat were suddenly closing up; when the case is developed, there is rawness and burning in throat and pains in the left side, extending to larynx, jaws and ears; sometimes on waking from sleep, there is a feeling, as if, there were needless in the throat, which creates suffocation; externally the throat is very sensitive to the slightest touch. The fauces are of a dark purplish color. The discharge from the nose is thin, sanious and excoriating. Swelling of the glands of the neck, also of the cellular tissue the swelling may be so great that neck becomes even with the chin and sternum. Swelling of the lymphatic glands, with a dark, purplish hue, which threatens suppuration. Great prostration. The child is drowsy, even though feverish; its pulse is feeble and extremities are cool. Aggravation after sleep.

E. A. Farrington
E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.