Chapter XVII. Special Remedies for Diarrhea, Vomiting and Impotence.
FOR the past eighty years the Eclectics have used Syr. Rhei et Potassa (Neutralizing Cordial) as a good all round remedy for diarrhea. Dose, for adults one teaspoonful once an hour; children in proportional doses. It is one of the remedies that helped to give the fathers of the Eclectic School their splendid reputation in the treatment of cholera in 1832 and 1849. Under allopathic treatment the mortality in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1849 was fifty per cent. Of 1,094 cases of cholera treated by Eclectic physicians there were only thirty-six deaths, less than four per cent. (3.28). The Western Lancet (regular) for July, 1849, while the cholera was still raging, speaking in behalf of the allopathic physicians, observes "that of the cases of true cholera, with rice water discharges, at least one-half of the cases in this city, as everywhere else, proved fatal." The above record is a startling contrast between the treatment of the Eclectics and regular physicians in this disease.
In bilious diarrhea, a teaspoonful of the Comp. Syr. Rhei et Potassa once in three hours will usually be sufficient. For mucous diarrhea I like the following prescription:
Rx Podophyllin, grs. ii.
Sacch. Lactis, grs. xviii.
Mix. Make twenty powders. Sig. One powder night and morning.
When there are copious watery discharges we may use this prescription:
Rx Tr. Camphor.
Tr. Opium, a. a. ℨii.
Brandy, q. s. ℥ii.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful in a little hot sweetened water every half hour until relieved.
When the diarrhea is painless, non-debilitating, preceded by flatulence in the abdomen, discharges are watery, white or yellow, may be involuntary, phosphoric acid is the remedy needed. Dose, put fifteen drops of the third decimal dilution in half a glass of water; mix and give patient a teaspoonful every two hours. In the alternate diarrhea and constipation of old people, with excessive flatulence, stools white and lumpy, antimonium crudum should be prescribed. Dose, three tablets of the third decimal every three hours. In diarrhea with severe agonizing, twisting pain, causing the patient to bend double and press firmly on the abdomen, colocynth is the indicated remedy. Dose, put five drops tincture colocynth in a half glass of water and give the patient a teaspoonful every hour. When there is profuse diarrhea with vomiting of watery material with sharp, cutting, colicky pains, and offensive greenish stools, cuprum arsenicum is the remedy to be used. Dose, three tablets of the sixth decimal every hour. In the diarrhea of children during the summer months I have used the following prescription with good success:
Rx Magnesia Carb., grs. x.
Essence Anise, gtts. x.
Syr. Rhei, a. a. ℥i.
Mix. Sig. From ten to twenty drops (according to age) once an hour.
I have used this prescription since I first began to practice medicine with great success. In one case of a child that had been given up to die in one of the hospitals in New York City this remedy saved its life. Many of my families, when I was in general practice, kept it in the house all the time to give their babies.
When there seems to be a sense of weakness in the splincter ani and the rectum, stool passes involuntarily, rectum feels full of heavy fluid, patient must get to the closet at once, jelly-like mucus passes in great masses —large solid chunks, aloes is the remedy that should be given. Dose, three drops tincture aloes every two hours. When there is tenesmus and a "never get done" feeling, stools watery, profuse, slimy, contain traces of blood, tincture heuchera americana is the remedy. Dose, five drops once in two hours. (See chronic diarrhea in Diseases of Stomach and Intestinal Canal.)
Vomiting. In any sickness accompanied with persistent nausea, patient not relieved by vomiting, just as sick after vomiting as before, you should always think of ipecac. Dose, put two drops tincture ipecac in a half glass of water and give one teaspoonful every hour. When large quantities of fluid are vomited, with intense thirst—the water is thrown off the stomach as soon as it is swallowed, although solid food is retained for some time—do not forget bismuth. Dose, three tablets of the second decimal every hour. When the vomiting is violent and forcible, consists of food, mucus, bile and blood, cold sweat on the forehead, with burning internally, veratrum album is indicated. Dose, add five drops tincture veratrum album to half a glass of water and give a teaspoonful of water every hour.
In small children, during the second summer, there may be gastric irritability of which vomiting is the marked feature. In such cases amygdalis persica is the necessary drug to obtain a cure. The tincture used should be made from the fresh bark of the young twigs. Dose, add twenty drops tincture amygdalis to half a glass of water; mix, give teaspoonful every half hour. Five drops tincture amygdalis once in two hours has cured many cases of "morning sickness" in pregnant women.
A painful feeling of emptiness, an "all gone" feeling in the stomach, faintness in the stomach will be cured by the use of the fourth decimal trituration of sepia. Dose, three tablets once in three hours. If vomiting of pregnancy is present with these symptoms do not forget the sepia as described above. Nausea and faintness caused by the smell of food cooking with vomiting of blood and bloody stools call for the third decimal dilution of colchicum. Dose, five drops once in two hours.
In cases of nausea and vomiting I apply a mustard paste over the pit of the stomach and take it off as soon as it reddens the skin. Such patients find that clam broth agrees with the stomach the best of anything and helps also to settle the stomach.
Impotency. The impotent man, the man with "lost manhood" and nervous debility has proved a gold mine to a certain class of physicians. From my book of experience, I will try to tell the reader how cases like the above can be treated rationally and successfully. Had the regular school of doctors been able to treat such cases successfully themselves, we would never have had such things as "Doctors for Weak Men," etc., etc., filling the papers with their "ADS." When we have nervous irritable patients, who imagine they are not competent to perform the duties of a husband, have lost confidence in themselves, have the discharge, too soon, more or less leaking of semen at stool and with the least sexual excitement, they are frequently called impotent—and they think they are—when they are only neurasthenic. We have two remedies which just meet the indications in such cases. First, prescribe Fl. Ext. avena sativa (Parke Davis & Co.) twenty drops after each meal and at bedtime in a little water. The above remedy strengthens the nerves while it calms them at the same time. To give these patients, strychnia, cantharides or phosphorus would excite the nerves and do them harm. Second, in connection with the avena give them the third decimal trituration of kali phos. Dose, three tablets every three hours. Kali phos. is a "nerve food" and the best in any materia medica. Now suppose we have impotence in men who have "gone the pace," men on the down hill grade, who find there are times when they "can't make good" and are clamoring for help, what shall we do to help them? Such patients should be given granules of 1/134 grain arseniate strychnine, two every three hours, in alternation with phosphoric acid dilution five drops once in three hours. Teachers, students and professional men who, through too much study have become impotent, should be given picric acid, especially when there is prostration from any attempt to use the mind, and there is pain in the forehead and back of the neck, the patient feels tired and heavy. Dose, three tablets of the sixth decimal before each meal. These patients should also be given three tablets of the sixth decimal of lycopodium after each meal. The above is an ideal treatment for such cases.
In women who have become sterile through too hard work, too frequent childbearing and a general breaking down of the whole system we should prescribe the Fl. Ext. saw palmetto. Dose, twenty drops after each meal and at bedtime in a little sweetened water. It will put new life and vigor into them and generally restore the sexual passion. In persons prematurely old, those who have suffered from sexual abuse, genital organs, cold, relaxed and flabby, loss of memory, patients sad and fear approaching death, you should prescribe tincture agnus castus. Dose, five drops once in three hours. When any kind of labor exhausts the patient, erections are too slow, too weak and he has the discharge too quick in coition, he is cross and weak afterwards, prostatic fluid oozes while sitting, walking, or when he is asleep or at stool, he is emaciated, especially in face, hands and thighs, you must give the sixth decimal of selenium. Dose, five tablets night and morning.
Tea drinking weakens the nerves and causes an escape of the semen. It must be abstained from or you cannot cure your patient. Coffee and tobacco had also better be cut out of the diet if your patients are anxious to get well.