In presenting the following cases of practice to the readers of this REVIEW, the writer wishes to draw the attention of the Homoeopathic physicians to the fact, that those medicines which are indigenous to this country, might become most valuable in the treatment of diseases if they did not meet with such undeserved neglect on the part of the profession. To judge from the very limited use, which the writer has made of some of them, they seem to be destined to become as valuable medicines as any of our polychrests, if we only will use them oftener and record our experience in some medical journal.
EUPATORIUM PERFOLIATUM.-The first use I made of this plant was in two cases of intermittent fever, where I used it in the form of an infusion, not having the tincture or any other homoeopathic preparation at hand. The patients were a German and his wife, both of whom were attacked every morning about 7 or 9 o'clock, with the most violent chills, attended by vomiting and followed about noon by heat with headache, which lasted till 5 or 6 o'clock P. M. No sweat followed. I had given them several medicines without any effect whatever. At last having seen Eupatorium growing in a neighboring pond, I went there, pulled out a few stalks and gave them to the patients with directions to make a tea of it and drink it. They did so and were perfectly cured in two days.
On perceiving the good effect of Eupat. perfol. in the above mentioned cases, I prepared forthwith the tincture, and potentized it up to the 3d and 6th, and cured a number of cases of intermittents with those potencies. All those fevers cured by Eupat., came on in the morning, were quotidian or rather double tertian, the hour of the commencement of the chills being the same every alternate day. Chills preceded or attended by vomiting, shaking very hard-even the bed would shake-during the heat, more comfortable; thirst, violent and lasting through chills and heat; no sweat.
Eupat. answered at that time (1853) so well in almost all cases of intermittent fevers, that I considered myself very fortunate in having found so valuable a remedy. But when the fever season commenced next year, it did not answer at all, not one solitary case having any resemblance to the Eupatorium fever. I used a number of different remedies that year, but did not succeed in finding one which answered so well, to almost all cases of intermittent, as Eupat. did the year before.
During the years 1854-'55 there was especially one kind of intermittent fever which baffled so completely, all my efforts, to cure it, that I came at last to the conclusion that there was no remedy for them, to be found in our Materia Medica. These fevers commenced like continuous fevers, became remittent on the third or fourth day, and intermittent after about a week. Then they commenced every day at or shortly after noon, with little or no chill, but most violent fever; headache, and very often delirium. No remedy seemed to have any effect on them, till at last I tried Sanguinaria canad. I administered it in three cases in the fall 1855 with the most happy result, but have not found any occasion to use it since; there being no cases of intermittent fevers during the following years, up to the time I moved away from that neighborhood.
PODOPHYLLUM PELTATUM-Of this remedy I can only say, that it has become quite a favorite with me for the last four years. I could relate more than fifty cases where it acted like a charm. In dysentery I seldom use any other remedies than Aconite, Mercurius, and Podophyllum, having been more successful with them than with any others recommended for that disease. In summer-complaint it has become the medicine with me. Why such a sovereign remedy is never mentioned in the journals, is a mystery to me, for though this remedy is not mentioned in Jahr's Pocket Manual, or in the Domestic Physicians with which we are blessed, we have a very good pathogenesis of it among the American Provings, which gives all the indications that are necessary to employ it. Only this much I would say, that the diarrheic discharges which indicate Podoph., are generally worse in day time, and especially in the forenoon.
KALMIA LATIFOLIA is another medicine which has been most undeservedly neglected. The first use I made of it was in 1850, in a case of inflammatory rheumatism. The rheumatic pains were of that kind which shift about from one place to another, for which Puls. is generally recommended by the books without, however curing them-at least so far as my experience goes. Puls. was duly given in this case and Rhus., Bry., Acon. and some others, till the patient became tired of Homoeopathy, and desired to have something “to rub on,” without which she thought she could never get well. In this dilemma I gathered some of the young leaves of Kalmia latifolia (it was in the spring before the flowers had come out) made a weak tincture of them and gave it to my patient, to rub herself with. The first application soon gave relief; however, as the rheumatic pains shifted about, almost every joint of the body had to be rubbed in turn, before the disease was subdued.
In the month of August, 1852, during a sojourn of a few weeks in Philadelphia, I became acquainted with a young German who had been attacked in the spring with inflammatory rheumatism. When I saw him he was not able to walk, his ankles were swollen, but the pains, though mostly confined to his ankles, would shift about from one joint to another. He had had both homoeopathic and hydropathic treatment without receiving any permanent relief. I gave him Kalmia 3d in tincture, one drop to be taken every evening, and in about six weeks he was able to work again at his business. Last summer I saw him again, when he told me that he had not had the rheumatism since.
In May, 1853, I was called to see a boy of about 12 years of age, who was laboring under a most violent attack of inflammatory rheumatism. He had a very high fever and every attempt to move was attended with the most excruciating pains. Every joint and every muscle of his body seemed to be affected. I gave him Acon. 3d, in water for one day without any effect; Bry. 3d on the second day with no better result; Kalmia lat. 3d, in water on the third day, which was followed by an abatement of the pains in a very short time. Kalmia was continued for eight or ten day, after which time the pains had ceased altogether, but-both arms and legs of the boy were paralysed. However, under the continuous use of Kalmia he recovered the use of his limbs, first of his arms, then of his legs, and in three or four weeks his limbs were as strong and as nimble es ever.
In the fall of the same year, I was called to see the captain of a canal-boat, who had been attacked with what seemed to me at first an inflammation of the lungs, but which, upon closer examination, turned out to be rheumatism of the muscles of the thorax and the back. He had a very high fever, his breathing was very much oppressed, had to lie quiet on his back, every motion of the body being attended with violent pains on the thorax, back and axillary joints. He received Acon. and Bry. for the first three days, without any apparent benefit. Kalmia 3d in water, a teaspoonful every three hours, relieved him very soon. On calling to see him on the sixth day I found his bed empty, he having gone out to see some friends.
Kalmia like Rhus tox. seems to be a remedy which is especially adapted to the rheumatic diseases of this country, especially to those cases where the pains shift from one place to another, for which Puls. is recommended. But also in those cases of muscular rheumatism, where Bry. is indicated, it will often effect a cure, when Bry. disappoints us.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 07, 1859, pages 323-326
|American remedies - Eupatorium perfoliatum, Podophyllum peltatum, Kalmia latifolia, Sanguinaria canadensis.
|Eupatorium perfoliatum, Podophyllum peltatum, Kalmia latifolia, Sanguinaria canadensis
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