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.
One of the principal remedies against catarrhal fevers is Aconite, especially when they are occasioned by a cold, by dry and cold weather, north-westerly winds or by a current of air, and when the following symptoms occur: Creeping chills with burning skin, hot forehead, great thirst, especially in the evening, accompanied with a sensation of dryness and scraping, slight burning and soreness in the throat, especially in the region of the larynx, or extending even through the whole chest, inducing continual turns of a short, dry cough, which is rather rough and hollow in the night, and interrupts the sleep; this is moreover disturbed by vivid fancies, especially after midnight.
Another remedy, which is frequently indicated, is Nux vomica; it corresponds to the following symptoms: inclination to chilliness, erratic shiverings, as if passing over the bones, now in one, now in another part of the organism, mostly during motion, alternating with flushes of heat, coming on in the afternoon and increasing progressively. These ailments are relieved by remaining quiet, near a warm stove. They are sometimes accompanied with a scraping sensation in the pharynx, which is particulary experienced in the morning hours, and induces a roughness of speech obliging the patient to hawk frequently or to cough. One of the characteristic symptoms of Nux is the titillation which is caused by the scraping sensation below the larynx; the scanty expectoration of tenacious mucus, the light scraping cough in daytime, less in the night, and more frequently in the morning hours, are likewise characteristic of Nux. Nux is likewise the principal remedy when the dry, wearing cough is accompanied with a painful feeling as if bruised in the umbilical region, which is moreover sensitive to pressure.
Conium maculatum, middle attenuations, is the best remedy for fevers characterized by the following symptoms: internal dry heat with much thirst, great lassitude, scraping, itching, and creeping in the throat, inducing an almost uninterrupted dry cough with titil-lation. The urine is whitish and turbid, the sleep unrefreshing, disturbed by many anxious dreams; the patient dreads every little noise or talking on account of the sensitiveness of the head, which is either excited or aggravated by it.
Dulcamara corresponds to catarrhal fevers which have been evidently caused by a cold, by a sudden suppression of the perspiration, and are characterized by roughness and hoarseness of the throat, cough with mucous expectoration, violent fluent coryza, great heat, dryness and burning heat of the skin. In many' cases of epidemic catarrhal fever Dulcamara is likewise indicated by a dry, rough cough.
Drosera is one of the best remedies in catarrhal fevers, when the patient is attacked with a sensation as if all his limbs were bruised and paralyzed, and when the usual catarrhal symptoms are accompanied with frequent shudderings over the whole body, cold hands, and hot countenance. The catarrhal symptoms indicate Drosera when the larynx is principally affected, when there is hoarseness, cough excited by a sensation of roughness and scraping in the fauces; sometimes the inmost parts of the chest are irritated.
Euphrasia is to be employed in catarrhal fevers, when the chilliness is more frequent than the heat, when the heat is merely an incidental symptom, and when the following symptoms occur: inflammatory irritation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, lachrymation, photophobia, nightly agglutination, heat in the head, and painful sensation as if the head were bruised, sensation as if the skull would burst, frequent fluent coryza, painfulness of the inner nose, sneezing; violent cough with expectoration, especially in the morning.
Similar symptoms indicate Mercurius sol.; it is not always easy to decide which of the two remedies, Euphrasia or Merc, is preferable; a sensation of fulness in the head, pulsations in the head reaching as low down as the nose, general heat to which the chilliness is merely incidental, indicate Merc, rather than Euphrasia.*
Mezereum may be employed against the following group of symptoms : violent fever consisting of alternate chills and heat, the chill being more violent out of the bed, the heat more violent when the patient is in the bed, great sensitiveness to cold air, acrid discharge from the nose, cough arising from a burning irritation in the larynx and trachea, and difficulty of throwing off the mucus.
Every observing practitioner is acquainted with the good effects of Chamomilla in catarrhal fever, especially when the following symptoms prevail: synochus, both the chilliness and heat being moderate; the chilliness consists of slight chills which are experienced only in certain portions of the organism, generally in those parts which the patient uncovers; hence, the chills are frequently experienced when the patient lifts the cover of his bed; sometimes the chilliness and heat are mixed: while one portion of the body feels cold as ice, the other is burning hot, the heat being principally felt on the cheeks. The sleep is, of course, disturbed by the febrile condition; starting from sleep as if in affright, and shrieking while sleeping, are characteristic indications for Chamomilla, especially when those symptoms occur during the period of dentition. The catarrhal irritation is principally perceived in the mucous membranes of the respiratory organs, nose, and frontal cavities - hence, the violent dry cough, especially at night, occasioned by a constant titillation in the larynx, accompanied with hoarseness and rattling of mucus in the trachea. When this cough, arising from a titillation in the larynx, exists only in the night, it is generally relieved by Hyosciamus. If it continue night and day without change, Ignatia is the best remedy.
* Such colds are very obstinate in this region of our country. When the nose has not yet commenced running, and feels swollen internally, Hahnemann advises Nux as a preventive. If the Mercurius be required, one dose of Merc. 200, will be found to be sufficient in some cases ; in others, however, we have to use Mercurius 3, in powders, one every three hours. My rule then is, to continue these powders until every vestige of the cold has disappeared, which sometimes requires 10,15, or even 20 powders in succession. To speed the cure the patient ought to live as low as possible, on gruel, weak tea, toast, etc., and avoid all stimulating dishes. The saying, "Feed a cold and starve a fever," implies a vulgar and foolish practice. - Hempel.