Of the following collection of provings of Stramonium and cases of poisoning with the same plant, some have been furnished by Dr. C. Hering, one came under the personal observation of the writer, and the balance have been gatherered from various medical journals.
21st. Out of temper; irritated all day; the headache was in both temples, shooting to the back of the head, with considerable thirst; drank much more water than usual; eyes inflamed, and weep much, particularly the right eye. Face slightly swelled and eyes puffed (the skin below them); head all day wet with perspiration.
22d. Violent headache; great confusion of ideas; very irritable; right eye weeps very much, left eye a little; hardness of hearing much better, hear better today than for a long time; dryness of month; drink a great deal. A kind of burning pain in the stomach comes and goes, lasts for half an hour, then intermits for an hour or more, and mouth full of saliva; unable to pass urine freely, had to strain; dryness in throat; pains in lumbar region, like rheumatism; back very stiff, but not very painful, pulse usually 72, was, at nine p.m., 84; skin felt hot.
September 23d, 24th and 25th. All the above symptoms continued in a decreased degree until the morning of the 26th. In addition, on the 23d and 24th. hands, and feet up to the knees were effected with slight spasms or jerks, especially the fingers of the left hand, which jerked repeatedly and without pain; numbness and stiffness of left leg, with a tickling creeping feeling under the cutis, which passed off by rubbing and stretching.
23d, 24th and to 29th: Headache and stiff neck, gradually wearing off; pain in right leg, worse at patella; has much saliva in mouth and throat, feels sore with neck stiff, during the whole time. On October 1st, had only slight pain in the right temple and sore throat, which disappeared on the 3d of October.
October 8th, 1846. Dan Beidelman, Jr., five years old, ate two or three seeds of Stramonium at seven o'clock in the evening, and in half an hour his face and breast were of a coppery red color, somewhat mottled, similar to the color of the skin of the North American Indian, the sclerotic coat of the eyes was of a pink color. I saw him at nine o'clock, and noticed that the left eye was most discolored and the eruption was visible on the left knee, but not on the right one; an old cicatrix on his forehead was very red; he complained of his head hurting him; the eruption was on the decline, the also nasi and space around the mouth and a spot on each temple were white; he was inclined to smile and jest; pupils were dilated; restlessness with itching of the skin; pulse quick, hard and frequent; great restlessness with moaning; tossing about the bed; throwing of the arms and legs but most with the arms, with opening and shutting of the hands and many motions of the fingers; repeatedly said there were “big sores” on him; starting in sleep with rising up in bed and vacantly looking around with incoherent talking; in spells of restlessness he would drink when it was offered to him, but did not ask for it; complained of being tired on waking up in the morning: got up and went to bed again two or three times; swelling of the left cheek and that side of the face generally; no appetite for breakfast; very irritable and quarrelsome with his brother and sister; exceedingly irritable and fretful, nothing pleases him; very passionate; feebleness; spasmodic cough worse in the evening and again in the morning with dark color around his eyes; dry cough; his irritability and fretfulness still continue for six weeks.
A mechanic, about forty-four years old, whose health had suffered greatly in consequence of a severe bilious remittent ever and the heroic doses of Calomel prescribed for its cure, had been under my care several weeks for large irritable ulcers upon both legs. I was called in haste, early one morning, and informed that my patient was “not right in his mind.”
I found him dressed and lying on a lounge. He recognized me and immediately apologized for not rising, stating that his limbs were not under his control; and, in fact, I found afterwards that they were paralyzed. His face was covered with patches of an irregular shape, not elevated above the rest of the skin and of a brilliant fiery red color. The conjunctiva was injected, the pupils immensly dilated; the whole expression of the eye was brilliant, restless, suspicions and roving. The brow was corrugated. The appearance of the patient suggested mania and I might at once have pronounced it a case of delirium tremens, had I not well known the temperate habits of my patient. The tongue was moist, the papilla enlarged and projecting through a soft white fur. The limbs were motionless. The arms on the contrary constantly reaching forwards and upwards with an uncertain tremulous motion, as if the patient were endeavoring to size some object which he indistinctly perceived in the air. As I hat observing him, he suddenly turned towards the wall, exclaiming, “there are those bugs! help me to catch them!” “What bugs?” I asked. “There,” he replied, “a long train of bed bugs — and after them a procession of beetles — and here comes crawling over me a host of cockroaches.” fie shrank back in much alarm. Then suddenly he turned to me, saying,“ I believe I know they are not really hugs; but, except once in. a while, they seem real to me! “This scene was many times repeated. For some time I was at a loss to account for the condition of my patient At length the peculiar, almost convulsive, motions of his upper extremities while the lower extremities were nearly paralyzed, together with the aspect of the face and the mental condition, suggested Stramonium to my mind. His family knew nothing of his having used it, but when he heard me mention the name, he pointed to his legs, where, on examination, I found a quantity of the bruised green leaves which he had applied to the ulcers, it seems, the night before, in the hope of relieving pain.
The mental symptoms produced in this case by the Stramonium so closely resembled those of the second stage of delirium tremens, as to strongly point to Stramonium as a valuable remedy in that disease.
“The face became of a deeper scarlet than is ever seen in starlet fever, and the neck and throat, as well as the face, were covered with a multitude of small spots of a brilliant red color, many of which were star-shaped.”
“A woman, twenty-two years old, ate freely of Stramonium seeds, one evening. The seat day, about noon, a half hear after eating, she complained of having had headache and vertigo all the morning; that after eating she had seen all objects double and had nausea. She soon vomited, began to talk widely and to make very rapid movements with the eyes and hands. These symptoms soon increased so that she was regarded as insane. At three, p.m., the physician first saw her. She was in bed; the respiration was slow and deep, the face intensely red the features altered; the aspect staring the eyelids wide open, the eyes protruding, the pupils dilated to the utmost degree, entirely immovable and insensible to light; the conjunctiva was traversed by numerous blood vessels which seemed to be injected with a dirty fluid, giving the patient a very repulsive aspect She recognized nobody, paid no attention even when loudly called, kept continually tuming the head from one side to the other. The head was hot, sweat standing on the forehead; the skin of the rest of the body was reddened, dry and hot; the pulse pretty frequent and hard. There were continual jerkings in isolated muscles of the face and in the fingers and toes; even the whole body sometimes shuddered as from an electric shock.
“An emetic was ordered but could not be given for a long time, it being found that the lower jaw was spasmodically pressed against the upper jaw. Moreover the patient's head was in constant motion, and she strove with both hands and feet to repel the offered dose. When it was finally introduced into the mouth, she evidently swallowed with the greatest difficulty.
“From this time the treatment was vigorous and heroic, and the patient's symptoms are not to be ascribed to the Stramonium alone. Among the symptoms were convulsive movements of the upper extremities, carphologia, distortion of the eyes; effort to grasp at the anterior surface of the throat. During the whole sickness she had great difficulty in expressing herself, was evidently conscious, desired to say something but appeared unable to find the right words. The mucous membrane of the fauces was red, and deglutition was difficult The tongue had a white fur; the patient saw objects but sometimes only a part of each object; sometimes the objects were double;
A boy, seven years old, ate the seeds in the afternoon. At five, p.m., it was noticed that there was some hesitation in % his speech, and his face was flushed. His fingers twitched and the hands jerked as in chorea. On biting a juicy apple he said it was dry like flour and hurt his throat. To a question he replied in loud and violent tones. The twitching increased, he staggered and tell.
At seven, p.m., he was tossing violently in his father's arms and his hands were twitching as if from chorea. The pupil of the eye was enormously dilated, the face and especially the mouth much swollen. The patient was perfectly blind. The heart's action was feeble and not frequent. There was no perspiration. The feet and whole lower extremities were cold and palsied and hung powerless over the father's lap in marked contrast to the rest of the body, which was so much agitated.
Dr. Johnson says, “the points of interest in the case were: 1. The long continuance of the dilatation of the pupils, viz.: from Tuesday evening till Friday morning, and they were not fully restored until Saturday. 2. The picking at imaginary objects and the choreic movements of the upper extremities in marked contrast to the coldness and loss of motion in the lower extremities: 3. The absence of perspiration and the torpor of the bowels. 4. The remarkable expression of the voice which was loud and violent, and the maniacal actions as the effects of the poison supervened and as they passed away. D.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 12, 1864, pages 559-565
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