Chapter III. Special Remedies for the Organs of Respiration.
Coryza. In the early stage of coryza with fever, thirst, great restlessness, nose feels "stuffy," cannot breathe through it, with headache, aconite is the remedy, and the best results can be obtained by placing five drops of Tr. aconite in a glass of water, teaspoonful once in half an hour. In the fluent form of this disease, eyes water all the time, they are stuck together in the morning, margins red and swollen, profuse acrid lachrymation, watery discharge from the nose, euphrasia officinalis is the remedy. Prescribe Tr. euphrasia, ten drops once an hour.
With watery discharge from the nose, constant sneezing, sore round the nose, loss of smell, worse from contact with cold air, natrium mur. is the remedy. Give three tablets of the first decimal trituration once in two hours. When there is soreness, a raw feeling in the chest, and tickling in the throat, with phlegm, hawking of mucus from the posterior nares, kali mur. third decimal is the remedy. Give three tablets once in two hours. It is an ideal cough remedy with the raw feeling in the chest and tickling in the throat. This indication is worth golden crowns.
Influenza—La Grippe. For the headache, red face, throbbing brain and carotids, head feels bigger than it ought, head feels compressed, the whole top of the head feels sore, belladonna is the remedy. Add gtts. xxx of the third decimal dilution of belladonna to a glass of water and give a teaspoonful every hour. When there is great soreness all over the body, bones pain severely—as if they would break, hoarseness and cough, soreness in the chest, is obliged to support the chest with his hands when he coughs, eupatorium is the indicated remedy. Put twenty drops of Tr. eupatorium perfoliatum in half a glass of water and give a teaspoonful every hour. Kali mur. third decimal trituration will be indicated if there is a cough with tickling in the throat and a raw feeling in the chest. If the pulse shows a weak, discouraged feeling as the acute symptoms pass away, prescribe one-thirtieth grain of sulph. strychnia before each meal and at bedtime. If the case is properly treated there should be no unpleasant sequel to it. Patients should not be obliged to tell us that "I have never felt well since I had that attack of la grippe." Be sure that your patient is entirely rid of all the symptoms of the malady before they leave your care. Many cases of la grippe develop into various forms of catarrh, bronchitis, phthisis, or a general weakness of the whole system. The coal tar products, and various kinds of dope, often used in these cases lessen the vitality of the patient and prolong the duration of the disease indefinitely. Beware of them. From my own experience with this disease I believe it can be cut short with proper treatment and leave no trace behind.
Catarrh (nasal). In my experience in treating nasal catarrh from different parts of the country, I find that the worst cases come from Northern New England and from the vicinity of the Great Lakes in Ohio and Michigan. Those who work in machine shops and inhale the fine dust have the disease in its worst form. There are really two kinds of nasal catarrh—the moist and the dry. Some cases are complicated with syphilis where the bones of the nose are partially eaten away, and the patient must be treated for that disease if you expect to get any benefit from your treatment of the catarrh.
In the fluent, watery catarrh, I like the following:
Rx Calcarea Phos., 3d x.
Natrum Mur., 3d x.
Ferri Phos., 6th x.
Kali Mur., 3d x a. a. ʒi.
Mix. Make into tablets of two grains each and give three tablets once in two hours. Locally I have received the best results from the following:
Rx Sol. Nitre.
Chloride Sodium a. a. ℥i.
Mix and pulverize fine, then add
Oil Gaultheria, ℥i.
Aqua Pura, Oiv.
Mix the oil and the alcohol with the water and then add the pulverized salts. Let it stand forty-eight hours, then filter and it is ready for use. Pour some of the liquid into the palm of the hand and snuff it up the nostrils until it can be tasted in the back of the throat. Spit it out and gargle the throat with the same liquid. Do this three times a day.
Chronic Catarrh. For patients troubled with chronic catarrh the following will be found convenient and curative:
Carbolic acid, a. a. ʒi.
Aqua ammonia, ʒiii.
Tr. Camphor, ʒiv.
Mix. Sig. Fill an ounce vial half full of absorbent cotton and drop ten drops of the liquid on the cotton in the bottle and inhale three times for ten minutes.
In the dry form of nasal catarrh we have remedies that are especially indicated. When there is burning pain in both nostrils, nose obstructed by mucus, voice thick, altered, thick yellow mucus from the nose, constant hacking cough, raw sore feeling in the throat, nitrate of sanguinaria is the remedy. Give one grain of the sixth decimal trituration once in two hours. When there is much pain at the root of the nose, greenish colored slugs and clinkers form in the nose and must be blown out every morning, there may be ulceration of the septum, with punched out ulcers, they have a foul breath and general loss of smell. In this condition bi-chromate of potash is the remedy. Give three tablets of the third decimal trituration once in three hours. As a local remedy you can depend upon sulpho carbolate of soda. Dissolve one-half teaspoonful in a pint of warm water twice daily. Use one-half as a gargle and the other in an atomizer. I have cured some cases in my practice where the patient had not been able to smell anything for several years. Three out of five of our people have catarrh in some form and every doctor should know how to treat it successfully, and, thereby, add just so much to his income as well as doing good to suffering humanity.
Nasal Polypus. I have had good success in this disease with pulv. sanguinaria. Add one drachm of the sanguinaria to nine drachms of sugar of milk. Triturate thoroughly and have the patient use it as a snuff three times a day.
Epistaxis. In some cases of nose bleed caused by women taking cold at the menstrual period, the flow stopped. I have given ferri phos. third decimal trituration, five grains in half a glass of water and directing the patient to take a teaspoonful every half hour. It checked the hemorrhage from the nose and re-established the menstrual flow. In epistaxis preceded by very red face, congestion of the head, throbbing of the carotids, blood hanging in clots from the nostrils like icicles, melilotus alba is the remedy. Put ten drops Tr. melilotus in four ounces of water and give a teaspoonful every hour.
In one case where I was called in consultation various remedies had been tried to check the bleeding. I applied pulverized geranium maculatum on cotton, pressing it well up into the nostril. It stopped the hemorrhage.
In thin weak persons, anemic, easily exhausted, who suffer from epistaxis, the third decimal trituration of ferrum aceticum will prove very beneficial. Give three tablets once in three hours.
Pharyngitis. In the acute form of pharyngitis with difficulty in swallowing, aching and fullness of the throat, I have found the following prescription the best of any:
Rx Tr. Gelsemium.
Tr. Phytolacca a. a. gtts. xx.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful once an hour.
With this I use a gargle made as follows: Chlorate potash grs. xxx, sulph. zinc grs. v, make one powder. Put this in a glass of warm water and gargle the throat with it once an hour. This is an ideal gargle for soreness of the throat. I have used it since I first began the practice of medicine.
In pharyngitis when there is a stiffness and dryness of the throat, swallowing is painful, burning in the throat, guaiacum is the remedy. Dose three grains of the resin in tablet form once in two hours.
In chronic pharyngitis with feeling of splinters in the throat, rawness, soreness and scraping with hawking of thick mucus in trying to clear the throat argentum nitricum sixth decimal trituration, three tablets every three hours is the remedy indicated.
Tonsilitis. In tonsilitis I depend upon the following prescription:
Rx Tr. Aconite, gtts. v.
Tr. Phytolacca, gtts. xx.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour.
Apply a slippery elm poultice around the neck over the throat. Use the same gargle as given under pharyngitis.
In tonsilitis when first one tonsil, then the other is affected, give lac caninum thirtieth decimal dilution. Place twenty drops in half a glass of water and give tablespoonful every half hour.
When the tongue has a white coating and there are grey patches of exudates on the tonsils kali mur. third decimal is the remedy. Add five grains to a cup of hot water and give a teaspoonful once an hour.
In children who grow too fast, or in adults who take cold very easily, the tonsils are apt to suppurate. In such conditions the third decimal trituration of baryta carb. is the remedy. Give three tablets once in three hours.
Chronic Tonsilitis (enlarged tonsils). When there is a husky voice, obliged to keep the mouth open to breathe, deafness, difficulty of swallowing, spongy hypertrophy of the tonsils, calcarea phos. second decimal trituration is the remedy. Give three tablets every three hours. In enlarged, indurated tonsils I like iodide baryta third decimal as a remedy. Dose. Three tablets every three hours.
Laryngitis. In the first stage of laryngitis with fever, hot skin, extreme restlessness, difficulty of breathing, aconite is the remedy. Add twenty drops of the third decimal dilution to a glass of water and give teaspoonful doses every hour. In cases of croup I always apply an onion poultice on the chest. Then I give the following prescription:
Rx Fl. Ext. Eucalyptus.
Fl. Ext. Jaborandi a. a. ℥i.
Mix. Sig. Ten drops on sugar once in half an hour.
Many of my families kept this remedy on hand. I have used it for a good many years and have learned to depend upon it.
In membranous croup we have a remedy that we can rely upon.
Rx Pulv. Sanguinaria, gr. i.
Mix. Steep it to form a syrup. Sig. one teaspoonful as often as indicated. With the above remedy I have cured a good many cases of membranous croup. The acetic syrup of sanguinaria is one of the old reliable remedies handed down to us by the fathers of the Eclectic school. In my own practice I have never lost a case of croup and I have seen it in the worst forms. I have met with this disease in adults and treated it in the same general way and cured them. The Comp. Tr. oil stillingia is a good local application. A few drops rubbed on the child's throat and one or two drops given internally on sugar will produce good results.
Some physicians prefer the Comp. Powder of Lobelia (see American Dispensatory) as a local application. For myself I prefer the onions to any local application for croup.
Chronic Laryngitis. When the throat feels sore, pain in the larynx, hoarseness, excessive accumulation of mucus in the throat, voice of public speakers uncontrollable—breaks when trying to speak or sing in a high key, as found in clergymen and opera singers, Tr. arum triphyllum is the remedy. Add ten drops to four ounces of water and give a teaspoonful every hour.
When there is partial paralysis of the vocal cords, muscles refuse to act, rawness and tickling, throat dry, a feeling of fullness in the throat, must keep swallowing secretion that cannot be raised, the urine passes easily without the patient being aware of it, causticum third decimal trituration is the remedy needed. Dose. Three tablets every two hours.
When there is a sensation of a lump in the throat, a dry spot in the throat, must keep swallowing and hawking when there is no secretion to expectorate, only a constant tickling and irritation in the throat, lachesis sixth decimal is the remedy indicated. Dose. Three tablets once in two hours.
Edema Glottidis. When the throat looks intensely red, with burning, stinging pains, throat looks as though a bee had stung it, apis mel. is the remedy. Add twenty drops of Tr. apis mel to four ounces of water and give a teaspoonful every hour.
Acute Bronchitis. When there is fever, great restlessness, soreness in the chest, dry cough, this prescription will prove helpful.
Rx Tr. Aconite, gtts. v.
Fl. Ext. Asclepias Tub, ℥i.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful once an hour.
In the subacute stage with a feeling of rawness in the chest and tickling cough, tongue coated white, give kali mur. third decimal, three tablets once in two hours. In the stubborn cough of chronic bronchitis, when the irritation is in the trachea and bronchi give this prescription.
Rx Tr. Inula helenium, ʒii.
Tr. Asclepias tub., ʒii.
Simple Syrup, ℥ii.
Aqua q. s., ad. ℥iv.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every half hour.
In patients of a strumous diathesis, where the irritability is in the upper part of the respiratory tract prescribe the following:
Rx Tr. Stillingia, ʒiv.
Syr. Wild Cherry, ʒ120.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every two hours. When there is soreness of the chest, takes cold easily, cough loose and rattling, respiration hoarse and wheezing, perspiration sour, hepar sulph. is the remedy indicated. Give three tablets of the third decimal every two hours.
Chronic Bronchitis. In chronic bronchitis where there is great weakness in the chest, patient so weak he cannot talk, sing or read aloud, cough deep, hollow, strangling and in paroxysms, expectoration sweetish, putrid, yellow green pus, stannum is the remedy. Use the sixth decimal and give three tablets every two hours. Should the pulse have a weak discouraged feeling to it give sulph. strychnine one-thirtieth gr. before each meal and at bedtime. Also give the medicated bath of Epsom salts and warm water, three times a week.
Acute Pleurisy. In acute cases where there are sharp stitching pains, worse from motion, very thirsty, can drink large quantities of water, bryonia alba is the remedy. Add gtts. five of Tr. bryonia to four ounces of water and give in teaspoonful doses every hour. Asclepias tuberosa is indicated when there is dry hacking cough, scanty mucous expectoration, parts sensitive to pressure. Here you should give gtts. twenty of the Tr. asclepias tub., every hour in alternation with the bryonia. Locally, to give the patient quick relief I apply equal parts of pulverized ginger, mustard and capsicum. Make a paste with hot vinegar and apply by spreading on a soft cloth and placing over the affected part. Libradol (Lloyd's) is also a good application. Spread it on thin paper and apply to the painful part.
When plastic exudation has taken place kali mur., third decimal, is the remedy. Put five grains in a glass of water and give a teaspoonful every hour.
Chronic Pleurisy. In chronic pleurisy give twenty drops of Fl. Ext. pleurisy root once in two hours. Also add four drachms acetate potash to six ounces of water and give two teaspoonfuls of this mixture four times a day. If the above does not remove the effusion, add carbonate ammonium four drachms to water six ounces and give a teaspoonful every three hours.
In one case where I was called in consultation, a man had been hurt in a sawmill. His ribs were fractured. Later on he developed fluid in the pleural cavity. My advice was asked. I advised the physician attending him to give a certain course of treatment but he called some other doctor in consultation. They advised tapping him and drawing off the fluid. This the patient would not consent to do without my sanction. He came to me after he had discharged the other doctor. I put him upon the same treatment that I had advised his former doctor to use, viz.: Put iodine grs. eighty in an ounce of alcohol. Mix. Sig. Give ten drops in a tablespoonful of milk after each meal. Increase the iodine solution two drops a day until the patient received sixty drops three times a day. The quantity of milk to be also increased with each dose every day. To offset the action of the iodine I gave him five grains sulph. quinine before each meal. I applied locally over the chest on the affected side a Comp. tar plaster (irritating plaster—see American Dispensatory). The plaster was respread every day until I got up a free discharge of pus from the sore. Then I applied simple cerate to heal the sore. In this way I got rid of the effusion and cured my patient. That was thirty-four years ago. He was alive and well the last I heard from him and never had any trouble with his side. This case shows what can be done in desperate cases when we know what remedies to use.
Iodine given as above is a powerful absorbent and the milk keeps it from irritating the stomach.
Asthma. In asthma associated with emphysema, pale face, lips, cyanotic, pulse small and soft, especially in old people, aspidosperma quebracho is the remedy.
Rx Fl. Ext. Quebracho, ℥i.
Simple Syrup, ℥vii.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every three hours.
When there is difficulty of breathing due to a feeling of constriction or weight in the chest. It feels as though the blood was running to the chest. In such a condition lobelia inflata is the remedy. Give ten drops of the third decimal dilution every hour.
In asthma when the breath stops when the patient goes to sleep, and he wakes with a start, gasping for breath, there is a cough attended with tenacious mucus Tr. grindelia robusta is the remedy. Dose. Ten drops once in two hours.
In old people who are asthmatic and have, to sit propped up in bed, dyspnea, great accumulation of mucus with much rattling and wheezing, give Tr. senega. Put seven drops in a half glass of water and give a teaspoonful every hour until relieved. There are two remedies especially indicated in asthma. Sumbul and gelsemium, and I have given them together with good results. In a severe attack of asthma when the patient was pressed for breath and wheezing I gave Tr. gelsemium and Tr. sumbul a.a. eight drops in a tablespoonful of water once in fifteen minutes until relieved. Many a time this remedy has helped me relieve an asthmatic patient.
Aphonia. In hoarseness, as a result of cold, the remedy is bi-chromate of potash. It seems to have an especial affinity for the larynx. Dose. Three tablets of the third decimal once in three hours.
In one case of partial paralysis of the vocal cords where I was called in consultation, the lady had lost her voice for several months. I advised oil erigeron, five drops on sugar once in two hours, and sulph. strychnine one-thirtieth gr. before each meal and at bedtime. The patient recovered her voice. In another case I saw in consultation the patient had had an attack of laryngitis which had left him with a loss of the voice. The great soreness in the throat and mouth with aphthea made me think of rhus glabra. I advised Tr. rhus glabra in fifteen drop doses every two hours. The remedy made his throat and mouth feel much better and restored his voice. For other remedies, see Chronic Laryngitis.
Pneumonia. In the first stage of congestion or engorgement of the lungs veratrum is the remedy and is only indicated in this stage. Pulse, hard and full, respiration rapid, difficulty of breathing, dry cough, feeling of heavy weight on the chest are the indications calling for this remedy.
Asclepias may be combined with the veratrum to good advantage as seen in the following prescription:
Rx Tr. Veratrum Viride, gtts. x.
Fl. Ext. Asclepias Tub., ℥i.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour.
If it should cause any nausea give it once in two hours. The patient should have a warm Epsom salt bath once in twenty-four hours (one ounce of Epsom salts to one pint of warm water). I usually apply an onion poultice over the lungs, prepared as follows: Slice up the onions, heat them over the fire, then make two bags the size of the chest, fill them with the onions. Use first one bag and then the other, changing them every half hour; put them on as hot as the patient can comfortably bear them. They help to relieve the congestion, they are relaxing and will absorb morbid matter. One doctor in Connecticut practiced for fifty years. He used the onion poultice and never lost a case of pneumonia. As a local application for the lungs it has no equal. In the second stage of hepatization, leave off the veratrum mixture; place ten grains kali mur. third decimal in a goblet of water, and give a teaspoonful every half hour. It not only removes plastic exudation but acts as a thermal sedative. If your patient at the commencement shows a weakened vitality give sulph. strychnine one-thirtieth gr. once in three hours, but ordinarily I give sulph. quinine grs. two with ipecac one-fourth gr. once in three hours. If your patient has been used to stimulants give him one teaspoonful of good whiskey and two teaspoonfuls of water with the quinine. With the quinine powder as directed and the kali mur. third decimal, we have the treatment for the second stage.
When there is sputum that resembles prune juice or of a chocolate color, baptisia is the remedy. Dose, fifteen drops once in three hours. In the stage of resolution when there is great rattling of mucus, lungs seem filled up completely, cannot raise anything, tartar emetic may be given; add one grain of the crude drug to four ounces of water and give a teaspoonful every hour. In my practice I lost one case of pneumonia in my younger days; a man over sixty years old and that was the only case I ever lost. I have seen pneumonia in all its forms in northern New England, New Jersey, and around the lakes in Ohio, and I am not any more afraid of it than of a case of measles. Keep out the coal tar products and any kind of opiates and physic. Don't think that the patient must be physicked the first thing. When Nature needs a movement of the bowels she will let you know. I never give anything of that kind until I am sure that I have the disease mastered, and then only a mild laxative.
In several cases where I have been called to prescribe for patients that have been under the care of other physicains who had failed to help them I had to vary my treatment a little to meet the indications but the main treatment, as given above, is what I depend upon in pneumonia.
Typhoid Pneumonia. In typhoid pneumonia I give the quinine, two grs. once in three hours, with one teaspoonful of whiskey in two teaspoonfuls of water; I also give the Tr. baptisia ten drops once in three hours. In one case a man lay like a dead man for ten days. It seemed that he hardly breathed, scarcely any pulse, could not raise his hand to his head, as helpless as an infant, yet he recovered under the above treatment.
Whooping Cough. When the paroxysms of coughing follow in rapid succession like a "minute gun," usually in the evening or about midnight, cough has a deep trumpet like sound, child raises a large quantity of tenacious mucus; a great constriction of the chest and abdominal muscles, so that the child presses its hands against them, drosera rotundifolia is the remedy. Dose. Tr. drosera gtts. xx, aqua ounces iv. Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour. In whooping cough, when child loses breath, turns pale, stiff and blue, strangling, with gagging and vomiting of mucus, bleeding from the nose, ipecac is the remedy. Add Tr. ipecac gtts. x to aqua ℥iv. Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour. In whooping cough with long continued paroxysms, child turns purple in the face and seems as if suffocated. The perspiration starts, there is expectorated large quantities of mucus, naphthalinum is the remedy indicated. Give two tablets of first decimal every hour. When in this diseased condition there is a short hacking cough during the day like a "minute gun." Not any whooping in the daytime but at night, the cough is worse at night, corallium rubrum third decimal is the remedy. Dose, three tablets once in two hours. I have seen good results from taking children with whooping cough into the gas house for a short time two or three times a week. The odor from the gas-making has proved beneficial in helping to break up the disease.
Bronchocele. When I have used a saturated Tr. iris versicolar, made as follows (fresh root just dug, mash the roots; put eight ounces in a pint of eighty per cent, alcohol. Let it stand fourteen days and filter), I made some fine cures of goitre. The dose was twenty-five drops three times a day after meals. If the doctors would make a tincture of the blue flag root in June when the plant is in flower—make it from the green root—they would find it a great absorbent. Locally apply the following prescription. Tr. Iodine, Tr. Phytolacca a. a. two drachms. Mix. Sig. Paint over the enlarged glands night and morning. Calcarea Iodide, one-third gr. every three hours for a week then double the dose, has also helped me to cure some cases.
Diphtheria. In 1866 when an epidemic of this disease swept over New England and so many cases proved fatal, the regular physicians used to burn out the throat with nitrate of silver and lost about every case they treated. When I was attacked by the disease my father called a Homeopath—Dr. Francis A. Roberts, of North Vassalboro, Maine—to attend me. I had the disease about as bad as any in that part of the country, yet I recovered under his treatment as did, indeed, about all the other cases which he treated. He was one of the finest men I ever met; he has passed over the silent river of death—a man loved and respected by all who knew him, a type of the old school of Homeopathic physicians who believed in Homeopathy pure and simple. In "Marcy and Hunt's Practice" (Homeopathic) published 1865, the authors report "two hundred cases of diphtheria treated and a mortality of less than one per cent."
How is that for some of the modern Homeopaths who claim that they cannot cure diphtheria without antitoxin?
I was taught how to cure diphtheria forty-two years ago in the Eclectic college and now after forty years' practice I can truthfully say that I do not fear to treat the disease in any form. I have been through several epidemics and always had good success with my cases. I never was guilty of poisoning their system with the filthy horse serum called antitoxin that has killed and crippled so many of our children.
In the treatment of diphtheria, not malignant, I give the following:
Rx Tr. Phytolacca, gtts. xx.
Tr. Gelsemium, gtts. xx.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour.
I use a gargle of pulv. chlorate potash half a drachm and sulph. zinc five grains added to a glass of warm water. Stir it thoroughly and gargle the throat once an hour. If the child is too young to gargle the throat have the nurse swab out the throat with the solution every hour. I also apply a poultice of pulverized slippery elm, wet with warm water, round the neck over the throat. This should be changed once in two hours. It feels good and it is good for the patient. As soon as the skin is moist, pulse soft and tongue cleaning off, I begin giving two grains quinine every three hours. If the tongue has a yellowish brown coating I like the effect of sulphurous acid. I add two drachms of the acid to four ounces of water and give in teaspoonful doses every two hours. It is one of the best antiseptics that we have and is often indicated in this disease.
In the malignant form of diphtheria, when the throat fills right up with the edematous swelling, the uvula hanging down like a transparent sac filled with water, the patient in danger of suffocation, throat intensely-red, dry and glazed looking, with burning, stinging pains—sometimes no pain at all, this is the most dangerous symptom,—if you look down the child's throat it looks as if a bee had stung it, apis mel. is the remedy. Add ten drops apis mel. to six ounces of water and give a teaspoonful every hour. In a bad case of this disease which I saw in consultation during an epidemic the child's throat was of a very dark red color; membranes looked like washed leather, breath very offensive, body felt as if it had been pounded, nothing but liquids could be swallowed. I advised baptisia tinctoria as the remedy needed. The prescription reading,
Rx Tr. Baptisia tinctor, gtts. xxx.
Mix. Sig. Gargle the throat once an hour and give a teaspoonful of the mixture internally every hour.
While it seemed doubtful if the child would live another day, yet in twenty-four hours the throat had a healthy look and the child finally recovered. Tr. eucalyptus may be added to the baptisia in these malignant cases and it makes an ideal remedy. The more malignant, the more putrid the case the greater the need of these remedies, both as a gargle and internally. In another case where I was the consulting physician, great nervous prostration was the most pronounced symptom, very foul breath, great difficulty in swallowing anything, throat looked purple and livid. Lachesis was the remedy indicated and we put ten drops of lachesis, sixth decimal in half a glass of water and gave a teaspoonful every half hour. In a few hours we could see a change for the better and the patient got well.
In cases where there are ulcers in the mouth, fauces covered with a deposit, secretions acrid and excoriating, glands of neck swollen and painful, Tr. arum triphyllum is the remedy indicated. The prescription should read:
Rx Tr. Arum triphyllum gtts. x.
Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every hour.
Do not let the name of this disease frighten you but study each case carefully and give the remedy indicated. If tempted to use antitoxin, remember that the fathers of the Eclectic school of medicine made their reputations by curing such diseases as diphtheria, and it would be casting a reflection upon that school of medicine if you had to acknowledge to the child's parents that you did not know how to cure the patient without injecting a filthy horse serum into its little body. Then when the child dies can you truthfully tell the parent that you have done all that medical science can do for their child? Remember there are lots of intelligent people in this land of ours and you "can't fool all the people all the time."
Pulmonary Tuberculosis. In 1900 this disease caused the death of 111,059 of our American people. Why it is on the increase is not hard to determine when we realize the fact that underlying all the other symptoms, and the very foundation of the disease, is a weakened vitality and enfeebled nerve power.
The pulse tells us that when we read it intelligently, and every war in this country, every great disaster, financial crisis, or epidemic of typhoid fever, diphtheria, pneumonia, and la grippe leaves behind them a trail of weakened vitality that furnish recruits to the great army of sufferers from consumption, cancer and Bright's disease.
When we understand the cause of this disease it is not difficult to devise a cure. The regular school, from Watson down to Osier, believed and taught the idea that consumption was incurable. The people have been educated to believe this, hence the great fear and dread of the name consumption.
On the other hand the Eclectic and Homeopathic schools of medicine have had good success in the treatment of this disease for nearly one hundred years. That it is hereditary is a theory not borne out by facts. My mother had eight brothers and sisters die from consumption and she, herself, had all the symptoms of this disease and was considered by the doctors past cure; yet she went to Africa as a missionary for the Society of Friends and when she reached the equator began to feel better. She lived for twenty years afterward and never showed any symptoms of this malady. Neither have any of her children or grandchildren shown any symptoms of this disease. That it is contagious is a myth, too foolish to think of for a moment (... oops. -Henriette). In Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, where so many die from this disease, I had every opportunity to study the disease in all its forms for several years. I have seen patients that sleep in the same bed for years with another person, yet they never took the disease from them. All this talk of contagion is simply to work on the fears of the public. It means more graft for some one.
A patient came to me a few years ago for treatment. She was a married lady, middle age, and had been having children too fast; one every year for five years. As a result the pulse had a weak discouraged feeling to it; hectic fever, night sweats, thoracic pain, a hacking cough, rapid respiration were the symptoms which she presented. By having children so rapidly she had weakened her vitality and drawn heavily upon her reserve force. She had the fear of consumption but a few moments of cheerful, hopeful talk, and a promise that in ten days she would see an improvement in all her symptoms caused her to be more encouraged and hopeful.
For the weakened vitality I gave her sulph. strychnine one-thirtieth grain before each meal and at bedtime; for the night sweats she had two grains of the third decimal picrotoxine at five, seven and nine in the evening. For the cough and raw feeling in the chest I gave her kali mur., three tablets of the third decimal every two hours. Three times a week she was told to take a bath all over of Epsom salts—one ounce of the salts to a pint of warm water, or if the patient had a bath tub to put one pound of the salts into the ordinary amount of water used. The skin should be well scrubbed until all the sticky, gummy substance is removed, leaving the skin smooth as velvet. In a week the patient came to report. The eye, the pulse, the tongue, all showed a marked improvement. She reported all symptoms more favorable. There was less fever, less cough, night sweats not so bad, felt stronger and she was stronger. The treatment was continued with the addition of "Cell salts," two drachms to water one pint, a teaspoonful being given with every dose of strychnine. The patient finally regained her health.
In some cases when there is indigestion and torpid liver, I like this prescription:
Rx Fl. Ext. Euonymus.
Fl. Ext. Ptelia Trifoliata a. a. ℥iv.
Comp. Syr. Hypophosphites, ℥iv.
Mix. Sig. Tablespoonful four times a day, if it acts too freely upon the bowels, lessen the dose.
A case of this kind came to me from one of the large cities of New Jersey several years ago. I put the patient upon the above remedy, giving him other remedies to meet indications as they arose. There was no question about the diagnosis, as other physicians had seen the case and all diagnosed it as tuberculosis. He had night sweats, fever, tubercles in the lungs, emaciation, etc., but he recovered under my treatment and was well the last time I heard from him.
When the cough is spasmodic, worse when lying down, I like the following:
Rx Tr. Drosera, ʒx.
Tr. Veratrum vir., ʒii.
Glycerine q. s., ℥ii.
Mix. Sig. Twelve drops once in three hours.
When there is a copious expectoration of muco-purulent mucus in the second stage of pulmonary consumption myosotis symphytifolia is indicated. Dose. Tr. myosotis five drops once in two hours. I have seen cases of advanced tuberculosis, with hectic fever, night sweats, swelling of the feet and muco-purulent expectoration treated successfully with baptisin. Give baptisin, one-half grain, once in three hours. The greater the debility and the more advanced the disease is, the stronger the indication for baptisia.
To control the diarrhea, the following prescription will prove efficacious.
Rx Sub nitrate bismuth, grs. xx.
Sulph. quinine, grs. xvi.
Pulverized gum arabic, grs. xxx.
Mix. Divide into twenty powders. Sig. One powder once in five hours. When there is a loose, racking, suffocating cough, with copious expectorations of thick, yellowish or greenish mucus, silicea is the remedy. Dose, three tablets of the sixth decimal every two hours.
For a local application to the throat, a compress of Epsom salts and warm water (one ounce to the pint) should be constantly worn around the throat. It will do much to allay the irritation in the throat and relieve the cough. For the night sweats picrotoxine third decimal is the remedy. Give two grains at five, seven and nine at night. For hemoptysis, when there is slight hemorrhage of bright red blood, epistaxis, headache, ferri phos. third decimal is the remedy. Dose, five grains in a glass of water, teaspoonful once an hour. In hemorrhage from injury or over exertion, bright red blood—as from a wound, millefolium is the remedy. Dose, Tr. millefolium ten drops in a little water, once an hour until relieved.
Anodynes, coal tar products, in fact any remedy that weakens the vitality of your patient must not be given in this disease. How can you raise the vitality of your patients when you are dosing them with anodynes to pull down the vitality.
The "Cell salts," as prepared by Dr. Burgess, Chattanooga, Tenn., should be given the patient because they supply nutrient to the cells that are starving for nourishment.
I have had more cases of this disease to treat in my time than usually falls to the lot of the average physician of my age, and I am of the opinion that consumption can be cured. I have cured my cases without any cod liver oil, whiskey and quinine, stuffing them with food until their stomachs rebel against all food, making them sleep on the roof of the house, out of doors in a tent, or any other freak practice. It is cruel and heartless to quarantine such cases or send them among strangers to die.
Hay Fever. When there is violent spasmodic sneezing and lachrymation, a burning watery discharge from the nose and eyes sabadilla is the remedy. Dose, Tr. sabadilla five drops in half a glass of water, teaspoonful every hour. When there is itching of the nose and eyes, profuse acrid watery discharges from the nose and eyes, nose feels stopped up, allium cepa is the remedy. Dose, Tr. allium twenty drops in four ounces of water, teaspoonful every hour.