STICTA. Sylvatica vs. Pulmonaria. — In the N. A. Journal of Homoeopathy for Nov., 1863, Dr. Burdick published a fragmentary proving of this lichen as the S. sylvatica, the description of which was taken from Eaton's N. A. Botany A specimen furnished us of the lichen from which the tincture for proving was. made, is the S. pulmonaria and not S. sylvatica. We are indebted to our colleague, Dr. T. F. Allen, for the following description of the two species taken from Prof. Tuckerman's “Synopsis of Lichens of the Northern States and British America.”
“Sticta sylvatica. — Thallus coriaceous-membranaceous laciniate-lobel, upper surface lacunulose, greenish brown, underside tomentose, and brownish, ash colored, with urceolate whitish cyphelloe (cup shaped depressions) lobes somewhat truncate, rounded, crenulate. It is found on rocks, among mosses in Pennsylvania and New York, It is now unknown in the fertile state.
”S. pulmonaria. Thallus coriaceous, lax, lacunose — reticulate, dark green and olive colored on the upper side; the underside tomentose with naked white spots; lobes elongated, separate, sinuate lobed, retuse-truncate; apothecia (fruit cups) submarginal reddish. It is found fertile on trunks in mountains and forests, also on rocks where it varies and is oftener sterile. It is found in New England, New York and Pennsylvania.“
S. pulmonaria may be easily distinguished from the S. sylvatica by the elevated naked spots on the under side, the rest is woolly; sylvatica has depressions; pulmonaria is almost always found on trees, sylvatica never or very rarely; sylvatica has a wet habit, growing with mosses and on damp rocks, while the pulmonaria grows higher up with the dryer Parmelias, which are often bundled up together by the apothecary. Stictas are all leaf-like lichens like the Parmelias, etc., but may all be known by their cavities or spots on the under surface; the pulmonaria is very strongly veined, is ribbed on the upper surface, the veins bordering the irregular depressions.
S. pulmonaria is very common in Massachusetts and most of the Eastern States. It derives its name from its resemblance to the lung, hence also its common name, lung-wort, and its popular use as a remedyin pectoral affections. The lung-wort of the Dispensatories, however, is a different plant, that is the Pulmonaria officinalis, which is not indigenous here. S.
DISCUSSION ON THE HIGH POTENCIES. — At the semi-annual meeting of the Homoeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York, held in Brooklyn, October 13th and 14th, 1883, an extra session was held to discuss the subject of potentized remedies and their use in all cases of disease. The topic was suggested by Dr. Dunham's paper on “High Potencies.”
Dr. P. P. WELLS opened the discussion by stating that it is the living vital force that we have to act on in disease, and this is to be effected by immaterial forces akin to itself. The medicinal power of any substance need not be appreciable by weight or estimated by the laws of mathematics, and cannot be proved to be material.
Dr. P. P. WELLS thought it set free the medicinal force of otherwise inert substances. Pebbles by the pound will not produce ulcers in the system, yet when the medicinal force is set free by dynamization such a result will follow. Let all who feel that something is added by dynamization subject themselves to the action of snow or ice, and they will soon perceive the power of latent heat. Dr. J. BEAKLEY. We all know that crude medicines are not all taken up. What we desire in this discussion is to determine not how they act, but what potency is the proper one in all cases? Can we use the first or the two hundredth with like results, under all circumstances? Or, are we to change the potency in accordance with the phases of disease? Doubtless we reduce or dynamize remedies in order to adapt them to the wants of the system. Systems differ, and so do diseases. Some persons bear drugs in the strongest forms, others only in the highest or not at all. Let us in this discussion have the results of practical experience.
Dr. J. BEAK LET. In some cases the disease develops rapidly and assumes the phagedenic form early. In these he has only been successful with the low potencies. He usually employs the low potencies at first, and the higher, as high as thirty, afterward. In chronic forms of gleet, but not in recent cases, he has used the two hundredth potency, with good result, when the low attenuations failed entirely. In necrosis he has found the thirtieth potency to act much better than lower attenuations.
Dr. L. B. WELLS uses the potencies more and more in practice, especially in chronic diseases. He related the case of an elderly lady suffering from chronic, dry, irritable cough, which was not relieved by Lachesis 200, but was speedily cured by Lachesis 2000. He has employed the high potencies satisfactorily in croup, but his experience in this disease is too limited to give results.
Dr. H. ROBINSON related in detail the symptoms of the case of his father, who recently suffered from a violent attack of Cholera, which did not yield to Arsenicum 6, and Veratrum 6, and afterward 30, but which was promptly arrested by Aconite 0, followed by Phos. acid. Also a case of dysmenorrhea in a widow lady, aged 28 years, which was very severe, so as sometimes to produce convulsions Sepia 200, three doses, one each week afforded a complete cure.
1. Amaurosis, confirmed in the right eye, and commencing in the left. All the prominent symptoms were present. Arsenicum 2000 and Phosphorus 1600 were prescribed, a dose every third morning on rising, in alternation. At the end of six weeks there appeared to be no perceptible change of symptoms. On inquiry the patient stated that he had been almost well, but that since the medicine had all been taken he had relapsed again to his former condition. The same remedies were repeated, and continued until complete recovery of the left eye took place. The right one proved incurable.
2. Neuralgia. Pain in the temples very severe, accompanied with irregular respiration. Two other homoeopathic physicians had previously prescribed Ignatia. The patient desired him not to give that remedy as she could not bear it. He, supposing it had formerly been given in a low potency, prescribed without the knowledge of the patient Ignatia 30. On seeing the patient after a lapse of a few days, she charged him with having administered Ignatia, as the effects were the same as those she had repeatedly experienced. Still believing that it was the proper and only remedy, he gave with her consent the two hundredth potency. She again experienced a similar aggravation of the symptoms. He now began to suspect that a mental influence might have something to do with the result; accordingly he prepared ten powders of Sac. lac., and in the seventh placed a few pellets of Ignatia 200, one of the powders to be taken every morning. On the evening of the seventh day he called, and was informed that there had been no apparent change until since taking the powder in the morning, when there were strong indications of her old enemy. He thought it somewhat singular, but advised her to take the remaining three powders. He then prepared fifteen powders, and in the last one placed a dose of Ignatia 200, which was followed with the same result as before. He now prescribed a few doses of Ignatia 2000, which, in six hours, removed all traces of the disease and the cure remains permanent.
3. Neuralgia of the solar plexus. The pain was very violent at times, usually commencing before daylight and continuing until ten or eleven o'clock. After a careful examination he decided upon Nux vomica, which was administered from the third potency to the two hundredth without any decided improvement. On a through revision of the case be concluded that on account of the lymphatic temperament which predominated in this instance, the medicine had not been given low enough. He now prescribed the first decimal trituration in one grain doses. In a few days the cure was completed.
4. Similar to the last, but of a highly nervous temperament. Had been treated by five or six allopathic and one homoeopathic physician. Having had one unsuccessful trial of homoeopathic remedies, was only persuaded to make another by the favorable result attained in the case just related. He prescribed the same remedy, but with only partial relief, the patient being temporarily better, then again worse than ever. On making a thorough investigation, in view of the susceptible nervous organism, he selected Sepia and Ignatia. He gave the first attenuation, then the twelfth, followed by the thirtieth, with no relief He next gave the two hundredth which was followed by prompt and permanent relief.