Related entries: Stiff Joints

Editor Ellingwood's Therapeutist:

I am come to you for assistance in what, to me, is a very peculiar and stubborn case.

Mr. E., age 38, photographer; blood poisoned by photo chemicals three years ago; has been treated continuously for rheumatism by all the medics here, and those whom he has consulted in six different states, where he has gone for climatic change, have treated him without benefit. I took him in charge eight weeks ago.

My diagnosis was that the man never had rheumatism, but had anterior poliomyelitis, which of course produces complete muscular atrophy. This diagnosis I made public, for the case has occasioned much comment. The man suffers with intense stiffness and soreness and during his treatments he has used aspirin freely (25 gr. per day). This is the only thing that has given him any relief at all, from the stiffness. Before I began treating him he was taking all kinds of dope to make him sleep, morphine, Dover's powder, powdered opium, etc. For eighteen months he has not been off his back or side, having to be turned every hour.

My treatment began as follows: Gelsemium, echinacea, crataegus, cactus, and nux; lactopeptin elixir as vehicle. Instead of the dope he was taking I gave him large doses of passiflora with half a dram of hyoscyamus and cannabis 20 drops, (passiflora 1 oz.) in four-ounce mixture. In teaspoonful doses at night as required. This treatment has done wonderful things for the patient, so much so that after six weeks treatment I got him into an invalid chair and out into the open air and sunlight. From that time he has been able to sit bolstered up in bed and out in his chair every day that is pleasant. I have put him on a nutritious diet, taken every two hours. He sleeps quite well, about two hours at a time, when he must be turned. It is necessary that someone turns him because his knee bones slip out of the socket giving intense agony. He eats well and his voice is better.

The one thing that bothers me is his continuous stiffness, the aspirin has worn out its effectiveness. Now I have given the details and beg that you will be able to tell me what to give to relieve this stiffness and soreness instead of aspirin. I might add that when I saw him first I could not find the radial pulse at all, now the pulse is fairly full and strong. His improvement has been a surprise to everyone as they have all been waiting to go to his funeral.

This is a great health resort and many unfortunates who come here are addicted to the use of morphine, cocaine, etc. I find that in every case spec. passiflora 4 to 8 drams, hyoscyamus ½ to 1 dram, cannabis 10 to 30 drops in a four-ounce mixture given in dram doses gives satisfactory sleep and rest. This is talked about, to my advantage.

If you think any of this matter is of value to the family put it in the THERAPEUTIST. I get untold benefit from its pages.


Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.