Understanding the disease.

Case 1.

From the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital
One has seen that in one extreme case, in especial, the sort of case one does not forget, and which one quotes to show what Carbo veg. can do in the most desperate conditions, where the symptoms agree. It was a small girl with heart disease, and an acute exacerbation supervening that was abruptly ending her young life. She had a pneumonia with pleural effusion. An endocarditis with pericardial effusion, and one morning, when the Physician was going his round accompanied by several other doctors, she was found lying forward on the supports that had to be provided, because she could not rest otherwise, cold, white, unconscious; just alive, because she was still giving the infrequent sharp gasps of the dying. Carbo veg. (I think 200) was quickly administered, while one of the doctors of wide experience exclaimed, “I’ll eat my hat if that child lives!” But before the ward round was finished she had regained warmth and consciousness — death had passed on! And, under Kali carb. (the complementary remedy, by the way!) she got well, so far as the damaged heart would permit. It is such experiences that have gained for Carbo veg. the name “corpse reviver.”
(Dr. Margaret Tyler, Homeopathic Drug Pictures)

Case 2

From the practice of Dr. E. B. Nash
I once had a case of very severe gastralgia caused by suppression of eczema on the hands. I knew nothing of the suppression, but prescribed Arsenicum because the pains came on at midnight, lasting until 3 a.m., during which time the patient had to walk the floor in agony, and there was great burning in the stomach. She had but one slight attack after taking Arsenicum, but, said she, when I visited her, “Doctor, would that remedy send out salt rheum?” Then I found out about the suppression which had been caused by the application of an ointment, and told her that she could have back the pain in the stomach any time she wanted it, by suppressing the eruption again. She did not want it.
(E. B. Nash, M.D., Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics)

Case 3

From the practice of Dr. E. B. Nash
This remedy [Colchicum autumnale] has one of the most positive and reliable characteristic symptoms in the whole Materia Medica, and one which cannot be accounted for from any pathological standpoint that I know of…

“The smell of food cooking nauseates to faintness.”

To illustrate the value of this symptom I will give a case of my own practice; it was also my first experience with a potency as high as the 200th. Patient was a lady, seventy-five years of age, who was suddenly seized with icy coldness at the stomach and vomiting of blood in large quantities; then bloody stools followed, which were at first profuse, then became small and of bloody mucus. There was great tensness and pain in the bowels. Aconite, Mercurius, Nux vomica, Ipecacuanha, Hamamelis and Sulphur; all tried as well as I knew how to select them at that time, but no relief came, and at the end of twelve days my patient was rapidly going down and it looked to me as though she must die. She had become so weak that she could not lift her head from the pillow. By actual count the number of stools passed on cloths in the bed was sixty-five, in twenty-four hours, the pains, number of passages and all symptoms were aggravated from sundown to sunrise.
Now during all this sickness this patient had been so nauseated and faint at the smell of cooking food that they had been obliged to keep the doors closed between her bedroom and the kitchen, which was two large rooms away. I was not so well acquainted with Materia Medica then as now, and while I did not overlook the symptom did not know of any remedy that had it. But I had my Lippe textbook of Materia Medica in my carriage and I went out and got it and sat down by the bedside; determined to find that peculiar and persistent symptom and “fight it out on that line if it took all summer.” I began at Aconite, and looked at the stomach symptoms of every remedy, until the first time I remembered ever having noticed it, there it stood in plain English under Colchicum. Then I looked in my medicine case for the remedy. None there, and I was four miles from home. I had a box of Dunham’s 200ths under my carriage seat that had been there for over a year, but which I had never used for want of confidence in high potencies. It was the best I could do for the present, so I dissolved a few pellets in a half-glass of cold water, and directed to give one teaspoonful after every passage of the bowels. On my way home I stopped my horse two or three times to turn around and go back and give that poor suffering woman some medicine. I felt so guilty, but I said to myself this is Lippe’s Materia Medica, and these are Carrol Dunham’s potencies, and here is a clean-cut indication for its administration, and the other symptoms do not counter-indicate. Well, I got home. But I started early the next morning to try and make amends for my rashness (if the patient was not dead) of yesterday. Imagine my surprise as I stepped into the sickroom when my patient slowly turned her head upon the pillow and said, with a smile, “Good morning, Doctor.” I had been met with a groan several past mornings. I felt faint myself then. I dropped into a chair by the bedside and remarked, “You are feeling better.” “Oh, yes Doctor.” “How much of that last medicine did you take?” “Two doses.” “What!” “Two doses; I only had two more stools after you left.” “Don’t you have any more pain?” “Pain stopped like that” (putting her hands together) “and I feel well except weakness.” She took no more medicine, quickly recovered, and was perfectly well for five years after, and finally died at eighty years of age. I never got over that surprise.
(E. B. Nash, M.D., Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics)

Case 4

From the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (a “spoilt” case with commentary”)
  I have always regretted, and never forgotten, a spoilt Lachesis case — spoilt for want of (then) knowledge. It was a huge cavity in a woman’s calf: one of those big excavated ulcers one used to see so often in student days. Lachesis was her remedy, and was prescribed. The second time she appeared, there was most amazing healing in the ulcer. But instead of waiting to let the vital reaction carry on towards cure, it was interrupted, by repetition of the remedy. When she came again, it was much worse — and then she came no more. It was a tragedy. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Work is not always easy: but the spoiling of good work is easy and deplorable. When things are going well, past all expectation, let them get on with it. Solomon says, “there is a time for everything.” But the time of rapid and extraordinary improvement is not the time to “butt in.”
(Dr. Margaret Tyler, Homeopathic Drug Pictures)

One response to “Understanding the disease.

  1. Case 4

    This is what Hahnemann meant by the minimum dose. Only what is needed to cause a healing reaction in the body. But I don’t agree with the spoilt case, a la Kent, that becomes incurable from one repetition too soon. It might aggravate if it was the right remedy. A different remedy was probably needed when she returned and the ulcer was worse after the initial improvement. Kent preached, ” give one dry dose and wait and wait and wait and then wait some more”. That’s not what Hahnemann taught. Nash made fun of the approach in his Leaders if I remember correctly. What are others experience on the “spoilt case” theory?

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