Page images

neuralgia of head and face taken from homoeopathic literature might be adduced to almost any extent. Space will only allow us to quote a few more.

Charles A—, aet. 26, a labourer, was admitted 18th January, 1869, with a headache which he has had for five years, the pain shooting from one temple to the other, and at times flying through to the occiput, coming on at irregular intervals, but generally brought on by stooping his head; is worse in front of the head. The paroxysms are preceded by dimness of sight, and accompanied by a feeling of sickness. Not subject to pains in any other part of the body. Food appears to him not to digest properly, and his appetite is very indifferent; does not relish anything. Bowels are irregularly confined and relaxed; relaxation for a day or two, and then constipation for a week. Prescribed Phos., 3rd dec.

January 28th.—Certainly better; headache very slight and wholly confined to the forehead. Bowels have acted regularly, no dimness of sight. Continue.

February 1st.—Once or twice during the week has had a severe headache; but in other respects very much improved. Continue.

17th.—"Well in every respect; has not had any headache. Dismissed cured. (Dr. K. Cooper, Monthly Horn. Rev., vol. xiv, p. 272.)

Fanny C—, aet. 26, a thin, spare woman, was admitted 11th August, 1869, having suffered six months' intense pain in faceand head. Darting pains in different parts of the face, beginning in uncertain places; worst when exerting herself and when nursing, which she is doing just now. The pains move about every month, and are generally protracted and very severe when they commence at night, as well as when she is eating, at which time the face is very tender; but the tenderness does not continue long after. Gums not sore; but teeth decaying rapidly. Much flatulence and weak feeling on the chest. Bowels regular and tongue clean; urine rather thick. Phos. 30 dec.

25th.—Her face has not been so painful, but her chest is extremely weak. The darting pains much relieved in violence, but not yet well. Is never kept awake by them now. Continue.

September 1st.—Very much better; has scarcely felt any pain,

and chest is much stronger. A slight aching on right side over liver. Sacch. lact. for a week, then Phos. 30 for a week. Did not make her appearance any more. (Dr. R. Cooper, Month. Horn. Bev., xiv, 273.)

On the 24th September, 1854,1 was called to see Mrs. E. B—, set. 20; blue eyes, light hair, short stature, thin. When six months pregnant she was taken one day, while getting dinner, with severe pains in her stomach, appearing in paroxysms, continuing in the same form for three days. In a few hours, after leaving the stomach, the Bame kind of pain appeared in her left temple, extending to the eye, teeth, and side of head. The pains were described like sticking the parts with a knife, and were so severe as to make her wholly beside herself. Severity of the pains seemed to be the great characteristic point in the case. For one year she had been under the care of three physicians at different times—one homoeopath and two allopaths—without relief. Remedies given not known. The birth or nursing of her child had no apparent influence in changing the nature of the pains. She had no belief that she could be cured. She got Phos. 30, a dose every six hours. The first dose relieved the pains entirely. Up to this day (1869) she has never experienced any similar pains. (Am. Jour. Horn. Mat. Med., ii, p. 243.)

These instances will suffice to show that Phosphorus has been recognised and employed as a remedy in neuralgia by adherents of both schools certainly long before Dr. Radcliffe employed in such cases the Sodium hypophosphite. While like most remedies brought into use in the old school practice it was soon forgotten, it has always retained its proper place as a neuralgic remedy in the practice of those who acknowledge the homoeopathic principle as a guide in the treatment of disease. The reason of this is sufficiently obvious. The allopathic sect, disdaining a knowledge of the pathogenetic effects of a drug as a guide for its administration in disease, have no method for determining the exact cases for which it is suitable. They consequently rely on the crudest empiricism. Some accident or caprice has led them to try a drug in a disease. If it succeed they immediately set about administering the same drug in every case of the same disease that presents itself, though the cases may widely differ from one another in character while called by the same nosological name. Failure here is inevitable. To take the instance of neuralgia and Phosphorus. This drug is applicable to only a given kind of neuralgia, and if administered indiscriminately to all cases of neuralgia it needs must fail to cure some, and thus its therapeutic powers are discredited, and it falls into disgrace as rapidly as it rose into favour. Such has been the process pursued by Mr. Thompson. He has been lucky to meet with so many-^ises for which the drug is suitable, and probably he is indebted to what is understood by the genius epidemicus for the nearly simultaneous appearance of a number of cases of neuralgia curable by Phosphorus. We venture to predict, however, that if he goes on in this kind of fashion he will soon meet with an equally numerous series of cases of neuralgia in which Phosphorus will be useless.

In our school we escape those fluctuations of opinions with respect to the value of drugs for which our opponents are so distinguished. The provings on the healthy teach us the precise forms of disease in which each drug must be used, and with the sure foundation of pathogenetic knowledge we are independent of accident and caprice in the selection of our remedies, and run little danger of discrediting valuable drugs by ignorantly administering them in unsuitable cases.


By Dr. J. W. Von Tunzelmann.

Having recently had some serious cases of lead poisoning under my care, which occurred under circumstances where one would not have expected to find such a deleterious agency at work, viz. from well water having become


impregnated with lead to a dangerous extent, I report them, as they may be interesting to others. I sent an abstract of them soon after their occurrence to the Medical Times and Gazette* as I considered it my duty to inform my colleagues (of the profession as a whole) in this neighbourhood, of what I found to have been going on unperceived for some time. The chief interest of these cases to us as homoeopathic physicians consists in the assistance which I derived from our law of healing, in its practical working, in arriving at a correct diagnosis before any very serious mischief had occurred.

Case 1. Diplopia.—I was requested at the end of April, this year, to see Miss A—, aet. 23, who had suffered for some days from a troublesome affection of the eyes; she could not see anything distinctly, objects appeared double, except when she was quite close to them. She appeared to be in very good health otherwise, complaining only on being closely questioned of lassitude, and a weary feeling *in the back, hardly amounting to pain; there was also a tendency to constipation, but it was not troublesome; there was no headache, no pain in the eyes, and no photophobia. The only constitutional state that was amiss was a tendency to relaxed throat in clamp weather. The catamenia were generally two or three days before the time, but otherwise normal. The mother of this patient, accustomed to act on her own responsibility, as there has not been, till quite lately, a resident homoeopathic physician at Wimbledon, had given her Gelseminum, on the recommendation, I believe, of Dr. Ruddock, in one of his domestic works; it had not produced any effect. I could not satisfy the anxious questionings of the mother as to the cause of the ailment. Miss A— was fond of study and had been learning German diligently, and therefore it might have been partly owing to fatigue of the eyes and brain, but as there was no photophobia, that did not satisfy me, though I could not suggest any other cause for this state of things. I gave her Belladonna 3, and as all the solanaceae produce diplopia in * Med. Times and Gazette, September 27th, 1873.

large doses, I was at least acting by rule, to which we are sometimes reduced in obscure cases.

I saw her again in three days, and had studied her case meanwhile: there was no improvement and I gave her Conium, as Con. produces diplopia as a pathogenetic symptom, and it is also an excellent remedy in hysteria, and for lack of evidence I could only regard this diplopia as a sympathetic hysterical symptom. She took Conium in different dilutions for ten days, and as there was no perceptible improvement, and there was an opportunity of sending her to Hastings with a relative, I recommended the change and also advised Mrs. A— to let her daughter have the benefit of the advice of a homoeopathic physician of eminence at Brighton, under whose care a sister of my patient had recently been while at school there. Phosph. was recommended, in alternation with Nux vomica, and these medicines were taken for some time, and apparently with some benefit, but as the change had to be taken into account also it was hard to tell what share the medicines had in the improvement. She was away for three weeks, and on returning continued the medicines, but as no further improvement took place, I recommended after three weeks another change, and she went to Chiselhurst, still continuing the same medicines, except that after a while Ignatia was substituted for Nux vom., as she had began to suffer from headache. She remained at Chiselhurst for three weeks, and on returning was able to report a very distinct improvement. While at Chiselhurst she had been able to drive a pony phaeton, which she could not do at Hastings, showing that the vision was decidedly improved. The improvement did not progress after her return, the medicines were therefore discontinued, and Phosph. acid alone given for a time, on account of the continuance of excessive lassitude. While I had been relieved of the immediate responsibility of the "case I had still been considering it carefully, and I felt convinced from the persistence of this one symptom, while the general health was not amiss in any particular way, not more than we constantly find in young ladies of the present day, that

« PreviousContinue »