This section is from the book "Hartmann's Theory Acute Diseases And Their Homoeopathic Treatment", by Charles J. Hempel. Also available from Amazon: Theory of acute diseases, and their homoeopathic treatment.
Carbo. veg. ought likewise to be recommended for dysenteric discharges of bloody mucus; it ranks next to Cantharides, as regards the pain in the abdomen, especially about the umbilicus, and is distinguished from Cantharides by the burning pain being accompanied with cutting. Carbo veg. is indicated in dysentery when the following group of symptoms occurs, after the evacuation from the bowels: pushing in the direction of the small of the back and the bladder, with pressure on the rectum, and burning in that part; feeling of emptiness, want of tonicity, anxiety, tremulous weakness; frequent attacks of burning heat, especially at night, disturbing sleep.
A distinguished remedy in that variety of dysentery is Rhus tox. It is especially suitable when the disease is slow to get well, and, in spite of some slight improvement, all the original symptoms are yet remaining; when the patient appears weak and falling away, the plasticity of the blood is greatly diminished, the organic activity threatens to become extinct, and typhoid symptoms set in. The symptoms indicating Rhus being very various, we content ourselves with barely mentioning that fact, leaving the reader to compare the symptoms of the case with those recorded in the Materia Medica.
Next to Rhus, Staphysagria deserves to be mentioned. It is employed in dysentery with frequent discharges of a yellow mucus, tenesmus, cutting pain in the abdomen, the whole body feels painful as if bruised, and the muscular tone is greatly diminished.
Nitri acidum is probably the best remedy when there is a constant pressing in the rectum without any evacuation; or else the patient evacuates mere mucus, after which the tenesmus continues, followed by a painful tension, with pressure in the whole of the head, constant heat, great dryness in the throat, violent thirst, and an unequal intermittent pulse.
Plumbum corresponds to dysentery of the most violent kind, the patient discharging nothing but blood; the accompanying symptoms are, violent fever, severe cutting in the stomach and abdomen, burning in the anus during the evacuation, and continuation of the tenesmus even after stool.
The worm dysentery is different from the worm fever and the worm colic; the symptoms vary suddenly, and seem dangerous without any real danger being present. That kind of dysentery can only be looked upon as a secondary affection, which must necessarily disappear with the cure of the primary worm disease. The term "dysentery "is not a proper appellation for that disease, inasmuch as the characteristic symptoms of dysentery are not sufficiently prominent; it might be considered a sort of dysenteric diarrhoea. As regards the treatment, we refer to our remarks on worm fever.
For the sake of completeness, we will likewise mention the putrid variety of dysentery. According to authors, it is both secondary and primary. The secondary variety results from the slow development of pituitous dysentery; its existence is recognized by great debility, profuse, colliquative, and excessively fetid stools; dry, brown, cracked tongue, extremely rapid and scarcely perceptible pulse.
A secondary putrid dysentery cannot possibly occur under homoeopathic treatment, unless the physician be utterly incompetent. If a pituitous dysentery be properly treated, it ought to improve four or five days after the treatment has commenced, it ought never to last three weeks, or even a fortnight, as is stated in pathological books.
A primary putrid dysentery has all the symptoms of an epidemic and contagious malady. Beside the pathognomonic symptoms of dysentery, there is this peculiarity, that its phenomena set in with the utmost rapidity and violence, and with a considerable sinking of strength. At first a putrid dysentery has an inflammatory character; the stools are not so frequent as afterwards, but are so much more painful, and are accompanied with violent colic. At this stage of the disease it ought to be treated like an inflammatory dysentery. If the symptoms of a local affection of the intestines should become more prominent; if decayed, fetid masses should be discharged from the bowels without any very great pain, and sometimes involuntarily; if the patient should frequently vomit bile or mucus, and should complain of great loathing, and a putrid taste and smell; if the symptoms of a general status putridus should develope themselves, such as: hemorrhages, aphthae, petechias, blue spots and serous vesicles on the skin, a burning hot skin; turbid, floccu-lent urine, having a cadaverous smell; sunken, stupid expression of countenance, indifference to surrounding things, soporous condition, etc., Nux, Arsenic, Petroleum, Carbo veg., Acid sulp. and nitr., Kreosot, China, are the best remedies to be used; these remedies, especially Sulphur, Nitric Acid, and Petroleum, ought likewise to be employed when the disease improves but slowly in spite of the best selected remedies, or when it threatens to get worse again after an improvement of some days; in one word, when the disease is protracted, which is usually the case in persons with a depressed vitality, debilitated, nervous, sensitive, scrofulous, and disposed to chronic maladies.
In this disease the diet is of the utmost importance. Errors in diet may be extremely detrimental to the patient. The patient ought to abstain from fruit and green vegetables, both during and for Some time after the malady. Slimy soups and beverages are the most suitable nourishment, especially salep, oatmeal-gruel, and the white of an egg with sugar and water; and lastly, boiled water, which agrees with the patient better than anything else, and aids in restoring the process of sanguification to its normal standard. We know from pathological anatomy that the blood undergoes a morbid change in dysentery, which, in its turn, favours the development of the disease.
§ 68. If typhoid symptoms should be developed in the course of a pituitous or putrid dysentery, which happens in the colliquative stage, the same rules apply which have been laid down for the treatment of a secondary putrid dysentery. A typhoid dysentery never exists as a primary disease, and has to be treated with remedies which correspond both to the typhoid and dysenteric symptoms. (See the chapters on typhoid fevers.)