Of all the medicines that have lately been introduced to the notice of the profession, there is not one that, in a surgical point of view, should hold so important a place as Apis mel. Its varied, prompt and efficient action in various acute diseases is daily becoming more widely known, is filling as it were an important void in our Materia Medica, in many diseases, the treatment of which has hitherto been extremely unsatisfactory. I may here allude to hydrocephalus and intermittent fevers. Its action in the former, when exhibited immediately before the stage of exudation, is often so prompt as to be surprising, while in the latter disorder I know from certain experience that it will cure when all other agents have failed.
It is now nearly ten years since I first became acquainted with Apis. Dr. Hering presented me with a vial of the first attenuation from the administration of which were developed upon myself some symptoms which I recorded and handed to him. Since then I have prescribed it frequently and with excellent results. The first case, however, that forcibly impressed upon my mind the great power of this agent, in surgery, was one of dropsy of the right ovary. The patient presented herself at the Philadelphia Homoeopathic Dispensary in the early part of 1855, when I was attending physician to that charity. The accumulation of fluid was very great, and the allopathic physician who had previously had the case under treatment had pronounced it perfectly incurable. Apis mel., in the third dilution, three times a day, continued for three months, restored the patient to her wonted health, the swelling entirely subsided and from being unable to move without great inconvenience, she was enabled to resume with ease the usual avocations of life. In the half yearly report of the Dispensary rendered May 1st, 1855, and published in the Philadelphia Journal of Homoeopathy, allusion is made to this interesting case.
From that period to the present I have used the medicine continually, and have observed its beneficial action in many of the so-called surgical disorders. A few of these it is my intention to notice here.
In the first place, then, in erysipelas that occurs in wounds, whether accidently inflicted or purposely made by the surgeon, no medicine in our Materia Medica equals the Apis. I lately removed an encysted sebacious tumour from the occiput of a gentleman in this city. On the evening following the operation, he was seized with a severe chill which lasted three hours, and was followed by high fever with all the accompanying symptoms of great vascular excitement. Upon examining the wound it was found much tumefied, with the blush of erysipelas extending for two inches around it, with great sensitiveness of the scalp and swelling of the cervical glands. Around the ligature which was applied to the artery an unhealthy suppuration had commenced, and upon the whole the case had rather an unfavorable appearance. Apis was prescribed as follows: Apis mel.3, twelve powders, one every two hours. The next morning the symptoms were all ameliorated, and on the following day had almost entirely disappeared.
In another case of erysipelatous inflammation following a slight operation upon the scrotum, a similar effect resulted. For the idiopathic form of erysipelas, the curative action of the medicine is well known to the whole homoeopathic profession, and need not be alluded to in this place.
An important sphere of its action is upon the extremity of the digestive tube. There are certain cases of prolapsus ani accompanied with hemorrhage from the bowels, with burning pain, excoriation of the anus, with constant tenesmus, that Apis mel. very promptly relieves. I have in my mind at this moment four cases, two in adults and two in children, that were cured by the medicine in question. In conjunction with the remedial agent I use, in adults, the prolapsus ani truss to support the part during exercise, having it, however, always removed at night or during quiescence, and applied again when the patient is about to walk, stand, or use other exertion.
I have, however, yet an important sphere of action to record, and that is upon the prostate gland. No medicine in our Materia Medica has an action at once so powerful and so prompt as Apis. Strange as it may appear, the case that elicited this fact, was that of an allopathic physician, who having resorted to all the known means of relief possessed by his school, resorted to Homoeopathy for relief. It is unnecessary in a paper like this to enter into any minutiae respecting the disease. The excessive pain in the vesical region; the strangury; the agony in voiding urine; the constipation; the peculiar nature of the discharge, etc., are too well known, to need any comment. I tried the medicines. that appeared to be indicated, Thuja, Phos. acid, Canth, etc., and finally resorted to Apis, empirically, guided only by a general knowledge of its powerful action over the urinary and genital organs. From the time the first dose was administered improvement began and continued steadily, until in six weeks the patient was cured. I trust others will observe and try the medicine in this affection.
|Source:||The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 03 No. 10, 1863, pages 459-461|
|Description:||Apis in Surgical Diseases.|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|