The results which have been observed from the action of this remedy, when administered according to its specific indications, strictly, have been so satisfactory, that it has slowly gravitated into an important place, with specific prescribers. When, at any time, but more especially during the course of protracted fevers usually of a septic character, there is a full and purplish face, with a dusky discoloration of the tongue and mucous membrane, the tongue dry and thin, with perhaps a brownish coat; or when the tongue is sleek, having the appearance of raw beef; or when there are dark, tarlike discharges from the bowels, with a fetid odor; or prune juice discharges, this remedy is directly indicated.
This train of symptoms is present, of course, in typhoid conditions. In fact that condition is often designated as typhoid, from these symptoms, when the real classic elements of true typhoid may not be present.
There is a dynamic influence exercised by baptisia upon the entire glandular structure of the body when adynamia is present, but more especially upon the glandular structures of the intestinal canal, which directly antagonizes the disease influences existing there, and re-enforces the blood in its inclination to throw off disease.
These facts render it valuable in stomatitis, putrid sore throat, scarlatina maligna, inflammation of the bowels, and other ulcerative inflammations of the internal organs. Especially in severe cases of severe dysentery, with offensive breath, and in phagedena with gangrenous tendencies. Sepsis, really, is the underlying element which demands this remedy, but more particularly, if present with the indications which have been named.
Active acute conditions do not respond to baptisia as promptly as those of an asthenic character, when the tissues are full, and there is sluggish capillary circulation with a tendency to death of the parts, or to necrosis or disintegration. Some cases of diphtheria are benefited by it. Tonsillitis, and scarlatina are included at times in the category. The older writers dwelt strongly on the fact that the face had a swollen appearance, was of a dusky color, as when long exposed to cold; the patient inclined to be drowsy and dull. If diarrhea was present, there were the so-called prune juice discharges, or as the washings from raw meat.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.