Chapter XV. Special Remedies for Fevers.
The Exanthemata. In the United States in 1890 there were 27,658 deaths from typhoid fever, in 1900 there were 35,379 deaths from the same disease. The old treatment of calomel and opium was abandoned in some cases for the expectant (do nothing) treatment. In these latter days of coal tar products, dye stuffs, etc., there has been added the wrapping of patients in sheets wrung out of ice water. With the above plan of treatment in the Old School (constantly changing) the mortality has gradually increased until at the present time it is all the way from twenty-five per cent. to forty per cent. under their methods of cure.
The treatment of the Eclectic Practice of Medicine in typhoid fever has never produced a mortality of over three per cent. Please note the difference.
In my own experience while in general practice, out of two hundred cases of genuine typhoid fever that I treated there were only two deaths.
For the fever in the first stage of this disease ferri phos. is the remedy. Dose, add five grains of the third decimal to a cup of warm water and give a teaspoonful every half hour. For the gray white tongue, looseness of the bowels, pain and tenderness of the abdomen kali mur., third decimal is the indicated drug. Dose, place five grains in a cup of water and give a teaspoonful every hour. Over the abdomen I apply a poultice of pulverized flaxseed and slippery elm made light and wet with saleratus water (one teaspoonful of saleratus to a pint of warm water). This poultice should be changed once in three hours. It maintains an even temperature over the bowels and helps to allay any irritation and assists nature in the healing process which is being carried on in the bowels.
Baptisia is my sheet anchor in this disease, when the face has a dark red besotted appearance, eyes are injected, there is stupor and delirium, tongue dry and coated brown, breath is offensive, sordes on the teeth, the body seems to be scattered about and the patient is trying to put the pieces together, give baptisia. Dose, add twenty drops tincture baptisia to four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every hour. Echinacea is indicated in typhoid fever when there are flashes of heat, chilliness of the back, patient profoundly prostrated, and flushings of the face. Dose, add thirty drops tincture echinacea to four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful once in two hours.
Hydrochloric acid is called for when the tongue is dry, shrunken and leathery, stools are fetid and frequently involuntary while passing urine, patient weak, slides down to the foot of the bed. In such cases add twenty drops of dilute hydrochloric acid to four ounces of water; mix and give the patient a teaspoonful once in two hours. For the hemorrhage from the bowels I have always depended upon charcoal. Dose, five grains in capsules once in three hours. For the delirium, when the face is pale and sunken, tongue dry, sensorium so cloudy that if you can arouse the patient to answer a question he immediately relapses into stupor again, this unconscious condition may continue with the eyes wide open, staring around the room, he seems to see flocks at which he picks the bed clothes muttering to himself, the teeth are covered with sordes, lower jaw drops, stools and urine pass involuntarily, the delirium at first is very violent, but is not kept up on account of weakness, stupid muttering predominates, hyoscyamus should be prescribed. Dose, add twenty drops tincture hyoscyamus to four ounces of water, mix and give the patient a teaspoonful every hour. In some cases with brown tongue, patient delirious, great prostration—patient seems to be sinking, I give kali phos. I put ten grains of the third decimal into a cup of hot water and give the patient a teaspoonful once in half an hour until the pulse seemed stronger and the patient more rational.
In one case where I met a young doctor in consultation, I learned that he had been giving tincture chloride of iron, teaspoonful once in three hours. I said to him, "Why do you do that?" He replied, "Because my preceptor always gave it in such cases." The patient had baptisia written all over his face. I told him that he had better drop the iron and give the remedy indicated, baptisia. He followed my advice and the patient recovered. Many patients in this disease have been made subjects for the undertaker by cathartics to move the bowels, and coal tar products and powerful narcotics. These agents all lower the vitality of the patient and thus lessen his chances for recovery. Never do anything that will weaken your patient's vitality, if you wish them to get well.
Typhus Fever. As an antipyretic remedy baptisia heads the list. Dose, five drops tincture baptisia once in two hours. For the mild delirium there is nothing better than the hyoscyamus. Dose, three drops tincture hyoscyamus once in two hours. For the profound stupor, sordes on the teeth, chills in the back, flushing of the face, foul breath and fetid discharges, you should prescribe echinacea. Dose, ten drops tincture echinacea every two hours. Great cerebral congestion with throbbing carotids, flushed face and wild furious delirium calls for belladonna. Dose, add five drops to four ounces of water, mix and give a teaspoonful every hour. Hydrochloric acid will frequently be indicated. (See typhoid fever.)
Remittent Fever. Gelsemium is the remedy most frequently indicated. It should be given when the chills and fever are severe and the patient feels bruised, stupid and sluggish. Dose, add ten drops tincture gelsemium to four ounces of water, mix and give a teaspoonful every hour. The red tongue—tip and edges—demands rhus tox. Dose, ten drops tincture rhus tox and four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful once an hour. As an antispasmodic we have the arseniate quinia. Dose, two grains of the third decimal quinia arseniate should be given every three hours.
Bilious Fever. I have been frequently called to cases which I term bilious fever. There will be the full bounding pulse, nausea—patients often complain of the heavy feeling in the stomach, there is vomiting of a substance which is very bitter. In such cases I prescribe the following:
Rx Tr. Aconite, gtts. v.
Tr. Nux Vomica, gtts. x.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour.
Place a mustard paste on the pit of the stomach. This is all the treatment needed and the patient will be all right in a day or two.
Scarlet Fever. In the simple form of this disease I like the following:
Rx Tr. Aconite Rad., gtts. v.
Tr. Belladonna, gtts. v.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour.
Anoint the child all over with vaseline three times a day to allay the irritation. In the scarlatina anginosa I use, as a gargle for the throat, this recipe:
Rx Pulv. Chlorate Potash, ʒi.
Sulphate Zinc, grs. x.
Mix. Divide into two powders. Sig. Dissolve one powder in a cup of warm water and use as a gargle every hour. For the fever and to help in bringing out the eruption ferri phos. is very useful. Dose, add five grains, third decimal ferri phos. to four ounces of water, mix and give a teaspoonful every half hour. Kali mur., third decimal should be given for the sore throat. Dose, two tablets once in two hours. Apply a poultice of pulverized slippery elm round the neck over the throat. Wet it with warm water. This poultice should be changed every two hours.
When in the malignant form there is a thin, ichorous, burning fluid from the nose that excoriates the parts touched, patient is delirious, must breathe with the mouth open, constantly picking at the nose, you should prescribe arum triphyllum. Dose, five drops tincture arum added to four ounces of water and a teaspoonful of the mixture should be given every two hours. Our main remedies in this disease and those I like the best are phytolacca and echinacea. I combine them in the following manner:
Rx Tr. Phytolacca, gtts. xxx.
Tr. Echinacea, ʒii.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every half hour in urgent cases. (The above is for a child five years old.) When the rash is miliary, tonsils dark red or gangrenous, neck much swollen, fetor intense, mouth filled with sticky saliva, tongue sore, patient lies in profound stupor, breathing is stertorous, you should give the third decimal trituration of ammonia carbonate. Dose, three grains every three hours. When the skin has a purplish appearance, eruption has a dusky carmine look, pulse small and very rapid, throat edematous and of a purple and livid color, high fever, delirium and coma, ailanthus glandulosa is the indicated remedy. Dose, ten drops tincture ailanthus added to four ounces of water; mix, give teaspoonful every hour. I have seen this disease in its worst form. If properly treated we will rarely have any bad after effects, as dropsy, deafness, etc.
Measles. For many years, in an ordinary case of measles, I used small doses of aconite for the fever and to hasten the eruption. This with ipecac for the cough seemed all that was necessary.
Finally my little daughter was taken with the measles. I gave her the usual prescription.
Rx Tr. Aconite, gtts. v.
Tr. Ipecac, gtts. x.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour.
Her fever increased, the cough grew worse and there were no signs of the eruption. I then gave her the following prescription:
Rx Ferri Phos., 3x.
Kali mur., 3x. a. a. grs. v.
Mig. Sig. Teaspoonful every fifteen minutes.
I watched her case very carefully as it was the commencement of my using the bio-chemic remedies. I wanted to study their action. In an hour or two the fever had lessened considerably, the skin was covered with a moist perspiration, the cough loose and less frequent and the eruption beginning to appear. I have never during my medical practice seen any medicine work so nicely and quickly as that prescription. Since then I have used the bio-chemic remedies in my practice. They have helped me to make some fine cures. Since treating that case I have used the same prescription in many attacks of uncomplicated measles and always with excellent results.
When the eyes are much affected and the little patient complains that they are sore, the margins of the lids are swollen, the water is constantly oozing from them and is of an acrid character, euphrasia is the indicated remedy. Dose, twenty drops tincture euphrasia, third decimal dilution, added to four ounces of water; mix and give a teaspoonful every hour. For the cough and bronchial irritation during the convalescence kali mur. third decimal is the remedy. Dose, three tablets once in three hours. When the face is pale, cold and hippocratic and there is a retrocession of the eruption, camphor is the needed remedy. Dose, five drops in a little hot water every half hour. If there is a high fever and the eruption is slow in making its appearance you should give asclepias tuberosa. Dose, twenty drops tincture asclepias in a wine-glass of hot water four times a day.
Smallpox. In the winter of 1869 and 1870, while I was a medical student attending college in Philadelphia, I had the opportunity of witnessing an epidemic of smallpox in that city. I was much impressed with the difference in the mortality under Old School treatment and the Eclectic treatment. While the Old School physicians lost a great many cases the Eclectic physicians cured about every case. Even under Old School treatment thirty years later in the smallpox hospital at London, England, the mortality was thirty-seven per cent. This shows how much progress that school of medicine has made within the past thirty years.
I have had considerable practice among the French Canadians of northern New England and from them I learned that they did not fear the smallpox any more than we do the measles. They depend, for its treatment, on warm diaphoretic teas, keeping the patient well covered to make them perspire freely. As a result of this method very few die of the disease.
From my own observation and the statements of reliable medical men I am of the opinion that cream tartar, if taken after a person has been exposed to the disease, will modify the action of the virus even if it does not prevent an attack. A tablespoonful of cream tartar should be dissolved in a bowl of hot sweetened water. Let this quantity be drank during the day in divided doses. It is also good to break up the "boil habit."
Vaccination that does not protect the victim from smallpox, but has killed and crippled many of our children and increased the number of cases of cancer and syphilis in every country where it is enforced, is a disgrace to the medical profession that upholds it. Vaccination is a creation of the old school of medicine and will be upheld by them just as long as there is money to be obtained by vaccinating the people. If it is a prevention then one vaccination should be sufficient. If, as they say, the disease is carried in a person's clothing then certainly the clothing should be vaccinated also.
During the epidemic of smallpox referred to above in Philadelphia the Eclectics depended principally upon the following prescription:
Rx Pulv. Bayberry Bark, ʒss.
Pulv. Ginger, ℥i.
Pulv. Capsicum, ʒi.
Pulv. Cimicifuga, ℥ii.
Mix. Sig. Put in one quart of water and steep for fifteen minutes, strain and sweeten. Drink a wineglass full every four hours. Bathe the surface of the body in lye water and whiskey, three times a day. Give a powder once in two hours composed of one-half grain hydrastis and two grains of quinine.
Five grains of the third decimal ferri phos. added to a cup of hot water and given in teaspoonful doses every half hour will control the fever and keep the skin moist. The best local application, for the eruption, is to sponge the patient all over with warm water and castile soap. Then apply the following:
Rx Fl. Ext. Hydrastis, ℥i.
Mix. Sig. Apply with a large camel's hair brush after the sponge bath. This should be done three times a day to prevent pitting.
In the more severe cases with great prostration, hemorrhages, etc., baptisia is the needed remedy. In seventy-two cases treated with baptisia alone none died. Dose, add twenty drops tincture baptisia to four ounces of water; mix and give teaspoonful every hour. It should never be omitted in smallpox.
For the severe headache, delirium, intolerance to light, belladonna should be prescribed. Dose, five drops tincture belladonna in four ounces of water; give teaspoonful once an hour. When the eruption suddenly sinks in and the pustules dry up you must stimulate the patient with camphor. Dose, five drops tincture camphor in a wine-glass of hot water every half hour. If the face and eyelids swell up and there is redness like erysipelas apis mel is the indicated remedy. Dose, add ten drops tincture apis to four ounces of water; mix and give teaspoonful every hour.
Chicken Pox. If there is, in this disease, extreme restlessness, full bounding pulse, aconite is the remedy needed. Dose, five drops tincture aconite put in four ounces of water and a teaspoonful of the mixture is given every hour. For the soreness of the mouth, vesicles on the tongue and to dry up the eruption kali mur. is the best agent. Dose, place five grains of the third decimal, kali mur. in four ounces of water and give a teaspoonful once in half an hour. For the itching of the skin apply the glycerole of hydrastis. (See smallpox.) As an antiperiodic you should give two grains of the third decimal trituration arseniate quinia once in four hours.
Yellow Fever. In the very beginning of an attack, or where a person has been exposed to this fever, see that a "lime sweat" is taken. (See hydrophobia.) It will modify the action of the virus and render the attack more mild. For remedies we have aconite and belladonna the most frequently indicated to lower the temperature and lessen the congestion. They may be used as follows:
Rx Tr. Aconite.
Tr. Belladonna, a. a. gtts. v.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful once an hour.
For the gastric symptoms ipecac is the most frequently indicated. When there is dizziness, slight chills, pain in the back and limbs, uneasy feeling at the epigastrium, nausea, vomiting and faitness you should prescribe ipecac. Dose, add twenty drops of the third decimal dilution tincture ipecac to four ounces of water and give a teaspoonful every hour. In the cold stage camphor is the indicated remedy. Dose, three drops in a teaspoonful of hot water every ten minutes. When there is violent vomiting and retching, the vomitus is dark green, slimy, may contain blood (black vomit), liver sore, patient cold, cadmium sulph. is the remedy that should be prescribed. Dose, two grains, third decimal cadmium sulph. every two hours. When there are hemorrhages and the disease is malignant crotalus horridus is the remedy. Dose, three grains, sixth decimal, crotalus horridus once in two hours. Our homeopathic friends regard this remedy, "without a peer in actual clinical work in yellow fever." That school of medicine has been especially successful in this disease. In 1853 in an epidemic of yellow fever in Philadelphia, we learn from the official reports that the mortality under old school treatment was eighty per cent. In Natchez, Miss., in 1853 Drs. Holcomb and Davis, homeopathic physicians, treated 555 cases of yellow fever with only forty-three deaths. Please note the difference in the results of treatment by the two schools of medicine.