Occasional expressions of a want of confidence in the efficacy of Lachesis have lately appeared in the Review, and as you invite testimony, pro and con, I avail myself of the opportunity to say, that no remedy in our Materia Medica has responded more faithfully and promptly to my expectations, and I cannot but feel the conviction that where this remedy has so signally failed, the fact must be attributed either to the employment of a spurious article or to its mal-administration.
The condition, “worse after sleeping,” is never uttered by a patient in my presence without suggesting to my mind Lachesis as chief among the remedies having that characteristic, and its administration has rarely disappointed me provided the other symptoms were covered.
I have employed it with salutary effect, in sufferings incident to criticalage. Delirium tremens, coup de soleit, paralysis, cephalalgia, bronchitis, angina, scarlatina, hemorrhoids, typhoid fever and syphilis.
October 12th, 1859. Saw Mrs. E., aged about 50 years, just passed through a critical period, had been under allopathic treatment for four or five years for uterine derangement. During the last six months had been treated for what had been diagnosticated as schirrus of the anus and rectum.
I found an uneven or tuberculated and indurated mass, surrounding and protruding from the anus, through the centre of this mass was an irregular, ragged and ulcerated fissure, (the outlet from the rectum), from which issued a sanious mucous discharge. It was almost impossible to evacuate the bowels on account of the obstruction and pain; internal exploration revealed soft and yielding tumors (hemorrhoidal) nearly filling the rectum, as far as touch extended. She complained of constant throbbing with itching, shooting and burning in the affected region; all the symptoms decidedly and aggravated after sleep. Prescribed Lach.30, single dose daily tepid sitz baths.
November 10th. Saw and examined patient. Slight swelling perceptible about the anus, sensitiveness absent, ulcers disappeared, says she is well. Continued Sacch. lact. Have seen the patient frequently since, no return of the difficulty.
Another case is reported, not only for the prompt and happy effect of Lachesis but for the peculiar circumstances under which it occurred. In 1860, in conversation with a highly intelligent medical gentleman of the old school engaged in extensive practice, he remarked, “I have lost all confidence in drugging, my patients do better under expectant treatment than when I dose them; the practice of medicine is a humbug; I renounce it and shall in future devote myself to surgery, etc.” Upon being earnestly entreated to investigate the science of homoeopathy, he responded, “let me select two cases, one of syphilis and the other of gonorrhoea; you treat them with your attenuated doses and if successful I will investigate the subject.” His proposition was readily accepted, but an almost insurmountable obstacle arose; one of his test subjects was a sturdy and inveterate hater of Homoeopathy, and any attempt to have induced him to submit to the “experiment” would have proved abortive. Of course it became my duty to decline prescribing for a patient where a personal examination could not be had, but my extreme anxiety to produce a good impression, together with the very excellent description given me of the case and my confidence in the adaptation of Lachesis to it, decided me to prescribe it for the following symptoms:
The patient had been under the usual allopathic mercurial treatment. Secondary ulcerations in the throat extending into the posterior nares, obstruction of the nose, offensive smell from the mouth, stinging and shooting pains in the ulcers, with excessive dryness of the throat, in spots; throat feels entirely “parched up;” upon waking, feeling of or touching the throat produces a sensation of suffocation; sensitive to the slightest movement of the neck; symptoms somewhat ameliorated after eating.
Some two months elapsed, when my friend, with many expressions of astonishment, reported the throat as well. It must be borne in mind that this treatment was carried on under the critical inspection of a prejudiced observer.
I usually administer Lachesis in affections of the throat, when characterized by the following symptoms: excessive dryness, particularly if it occur in spots; sensitive to contact and movement, with feeling of rawness, aggravated by inhalation of cold air, and worse after sleeping.
I remember three cases of typhoid fever which were apparently rescued from a fatal termination by this remedy. The especial indications which determined its selection were (in connection with other symptoms) constant loquacity, low muttering delirium, difficulty in protruding the tongue which was almost paralyzed, and was dry and brown or black, and in two of the patients smooth and shining.
I have repeatedly arrested panaris of the terminal phalanges by administering Lachesis, guided by the symptom “prickings in the extremities of the fingers.” I have rarely employed other than the thirtieth dilution.
Some five or six years ago our respected colleague, Dr. Lyman Clary, remarked that although he had seen favorable effects from Lachesis in stomach ache, “yet the remedy had failed him in so many cases that he was losing confidence in it.” He was furnished with a supply from my own medicine chest, and since reports more satisfactory results. He says, “its employment in some cases has been attended with marked success.”
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 09, 1864, pages 408-411
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