This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
Nerve - power is impaired in this affection, the emotions not being under normal control; more or less neuralgia is often concomitant, and altogether it is a condition in which we should expect phosphorus to be useful, and instances of its value are on record. The cases benefited by it have been acute or chronic, dependent on sudden shock, or gradually coming on with increasing weakness and despondency; in either form a period of debility is liable to be followed by convulsive attacks. I do not undervalue moral and hygienic treatment; but, among medicines, phosphorus in doses of 1/100 to 1/20 gr. has proved efficient in my hands. When hysterical attacks are connected with delayed or suppressed menses, pain in iliac and lumbar regions, vomiting, palpitation, and general excitement alternating with depression, I have found this remedy regulate the menstrual periods and cure the hysterical symptoms.
In ordinary cases of hysteria, bromides alone do not give the relief that might be expected. The convulsive epileptiform seizures which sometimes occur may be controlled by them when the patients are fairly strong, but mere emotional disturbance and nerve-debility are better treated by other remedies. The malady is essentially connected with enfeebled nerve-power. Gubler, indeed, compares its paroxysms to convulsions after hemorrhage, and in such cases bromides are not really curative. In combination, e.g., with iron, valerian, or camphor, they may be of more service.
Ammonia relieves several of the symptoms of this disorder, such as the lassitude and tendency to fainting, and the flatulent distension of the stomach. The aromatic spirit is a good preparation in common use. The liquor with asafoetida or valerian is still more effective, but nauseous; it has some power in staying convulsive attacks of hysterical character.
In some cases of hysteria, with general debility, shyness, muscular twitching, etc., marked benefit may be derived from the same treatment.