Causes

In this country, this form of fever is most violent, and prevails to a greater extent in the southern and western states. It is the endemial fever of warm climates, particularly where the soil is marshy, the country new, and the vegetation rich. It is by no means rare however in more temperate climates, particularly in the autumn or during a summer of great heat; it sometimes develops itself in the winter and spring. In addition to causes already named, we may mention dissipation, either in eating or drinking, exposure to changes of temperature, anger, fear, or grief, and in fact, any of the numerous causes by which the digestive organs are disturbed.

Diagnosis

This fever holds perhaps an intermediate place between the intermittent, and the Typhoid, into which, either from bad treatment or the weakness and temperament of the patient, it often runs. There are generally premonitory symptoms, such as headache, unpleasant sensation of the stomach, and general uneasiness. A chill, more or less severe, is followed by flushes of heat; mouth clammy and dry; thirst, nausea, and occasionally vomiting; pain in the head, back, and limbs, with hurried respiration and frequent, small, and sometimes irregular pulse. These symptoms are speedily followed by great febrile heat. There is a dry skin, violent and throbbing pain in the head, flushed face, full and rapid pulse, and sometimes delirium. The tongue is white, there is a tenderness of the epigastrium, with occasional vomiting; the urine is high-colored, and the bowels generally constipated. In twelve or fourteen hours a remission of the symptoms generally takes place, although the fever does not entirely subside. After a calm of two or-three hours the exacerbation again takes place, becoming shorter in duration, and less violent as the disease abates. In the more severe forms of fever the remission may be scarcely perceptible, yet there are certain indications always present, - viz., gastric irritability, a sense of oppression, and distress of the epigastrium, pain in the head, back, and limbs, and prostration of the strength early in the disease. Convalescence is indicated by the remissions becoming more distinct, the pulse full, soft, and less frequent, and the bowels and stomach more regular and healthy in their action. The disease may continue fourteen days or even longer, although under the judicious use of homoeopathic remedies, it not unfrequently disappears in a very few days.

Treatment

As we have before stated, there are generally premonitory symptoms, before the fever sets in, indicating a derangement of the stomach and bowels, sometimes lasting several days. Taken in hand now, a few doses of medicine will often remove every symptom of disease, and thus prevent a sometimes long and tedious fever.

In cases of indigestion, where there is fullness and weight of the stomach, nausea and vomiting, Ipecac, and Pulsatilla are the prominent remedies. Pulsatilla is particularly indicated where these symptoms arise from the use of fatty food. The latter remedy, if nausea still continues after a short time, can be followed by Ant.erud.

Where the disease is occasioned by changes of temperature, Bryonia, Rhus and Stibium are indicated. Chamomilla when occasioned by anger, and Ignatia if by vexation, grief, or shame.

Aconite

Is strongly indicated on the setting in of febrile symptoms, where there is high fever, rapid pulse, great thirst, yellow coating on the tongue; bitter taste; bitter, greenish or slimy vomiting, painfulness in the region of the stomach and the liver, and severe headache. Either Bryonia, Belladonna or Pulsatilla may be indicated in alternation with Aconite.

Dose

Mix two drops or twelve globules in a tumbler of water, and give a tablespoonful every two hours, until the fever is relieved or the symptoms indicate other remedies.

Bryonia

Where there is aching or tired sensation in the head, back, and limbs; constipation; bilious vomiting, especially after drinking; great heat, or shivering with heat in the face; great desire for acids, and aversion to food, bitter or insipid taste; dry, brownish-yellow tongue.

Dose

Same as Aconite, with which if fever is present it may be alternated one hour apart.

Belladonna

Violent pain in the head, particularly the forehead; dry mouth; yellow or white tongue; heat about the head, with thirst, alternating with chills; vomiting of sour or bitter substances; sopor in the daytime, and sleepless nights.

Dose

Same as Aconite, with which it may be alternated. Pulsatilla. - Whitish tongue; flat, pappy, or bitter taste; bitter and offensive belching; aversion to food, and desire for acids; nausea; vomiting of food, mucous or sour or bitter substances; pressure in the stomach, and difficult breathing; inclination to diarrhoea, and frequent shivering.

Dose

Same as Aconite, with which, if fever is present, it may be alternated, two hours apart. More generally indicated in females.

Chamomilla

Bitter taste, fetid smell from the mouth; loss of appetite; nausea, and sour or bitter vomiting; anguish, tightness, and pressure in the stomach; flatulent colic; constipation; diarrhoea with greenish or sour stools; restlessness, and ill-humor; heat of the face and eyes, with red cheeks, or heat with shivering.

Dose

Two drops or twelve globules in a glass half full of water, a teaspoonful every two or three hours.

Veratrum

Great debility after a stool; bilious vomiting and diarrhoea; pain in the abdomen, and coldness of the extremities.

Dose

Dissolve three drops or twelve globules in a glass half full of water and give a teaspoonful every hour or two hours, according to symptoms.

Ipecac

More particularly in the first part of the disease, where there is loathing of food, nausea, ineffectual efforts to vomit, or vomiting; pressure and painful fullness in the pit of the stomach; diarrhoea; aching in the forehead; heat with thirst or shiverings.

Dose

A powder or twelve globules in a glass full of water, a table-spoonful every hour or two hours until relieved, or another remedy is indicated.

Nux

vom. - Dry and white or yellowish tongue; bitter taste; nausea, and vomiting, particularly when in the air; tightness, and pressure in the region of the stomach; spasmodic colic; constipation with frequent and ineffectual urging to stool, or with slimy or watery stools; aching in the forehead with vertigo; ill-humor; heat with shivering; bruised sensation in the limbs.

Dose

A powder or three globules every three hours.

Mercurius

Moist, white, or yellowish tongue; pain-fulness of the stomach and abdomen, particularly at night, with anguish and restlessness; sleepy in the day, and wakeful at night; ill-humor.

Dose

Same as Nux.

Arsenicum

Great debility; burning sensation and sensitiveness of the stomach, often with nausea and vomiting.

Dose

A powder or three globules every two hours. Colocynth. - Violent colic, particularly after eating, sometimes with diarrhoea; cramp in the calves.

Dose

Same as Arsenicum.

Stibium

A prominent remedy in bilious fever, generally in alternation with Bryonia. Nausea, gagging and vomiting, aching pain in the forehead, bruised sensation in the limbs; oppression of breathing, dry heat and rapid pulse.

Dose

A powder in alternation with Bryonia, one or two hours apart.

Rhus is often indicated in alternation with Bryonia; for its particular indications as well as for those of Sulphur, see Materia Medica.

Diet And Regimen

See general remarks further on. If constipation of three or four days' standing it may be necessary to give an injection. For the manner of preparing which, see Index.