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.
Among the symptoms of Hepar sulphuris we discover a catarrhal fever, characterized by internal chilliness, and ill humour, or heaviness in all the limbs. This remedy is on a par, and constitutes a group, with Euphrasia and Nux; it is most frequently indicated when the mucous membrane of the eyes is affected, when the patient experiences a painful pressure in the eyes, when the conjunctiva looks puffy and red, and the lids are swollen. Hepar is likewise indicated when the respiratory organs are affected, the patient suffers with a moist cough and rattling of mucus in the chest,whenthe cough is accompanied with an intense pain in the larynx and roughness of voice, and when the patient complains of weakness of the chest which scarcely allows him to speak. The vascular and nervous systems are but moderately irritated.
Lachesis is said to cure a kind of catarrhal fever characterized by heat, fulness of the head, drawing in the teeth and facial bones, glistening eyes as when one feels exhausted, irritable disposition, restlessness, malaise, some discharge from the nose. We have used this remedy with success in a few cases, when, after the slightest and scarcely perceptible cold, a violent fluent coryza would set in with sneezing, confusion of the head, great warmth in the internal parts of the forehead, hot nose, and general disagreeable warmth over the whole body, with great heat of the hands and feet. In using Lachesis for those symptoms, we have 6* even seen the great sensitiveness for external atmospheric influences disappear entirely.
One of the most .distinguished remedies in violent catarrhal fevers is Arsenic. The Arsenic fever is characterized by great heat, intense thirst, yawning, stretching, and a prostrating sensation of weakness through the whole body, lancinating pains in the limbs and head, oppression of the chest. The local irritation of the mucous membrane frequently ceases during the night, especially if the patient perspire some; next morning, however, it returns, a profuse quantity of watery mucus flowing from the nose, with burning from the nose and a sensation as if the nose were enlarged, and as if it were swollen in the region of the root; accompanying those symptoms the patient experiences a feeling of dryness and burning in the larynx, the irritation occasioning a continual dry cough.
No less important in catarrhal fevers than any of the other remedies is Ruta graveolens, when the following symptoms appear: general shuddering over the whole body, even near the warm stove, with coldness of the hands and feet to the touch, dulness and warmth in the head, violent thirst which disappears, however, after drinking. Ruta is moreover indicated by the sneezing, lachrymation, and by a pain in the eyes, as if they had been fatigued by exerting them too much; a characteristic symptom of Ruta is a contusive pain in the region of the larynx and a crowing cough which wakes the patient about midnight, is rarely accompanied with expectoration and then only in small quantity, induces vomiting when it lasts too long, and excites a pain in the sternum.
Pulsatilla corresponds to catarrhal fevers characterized by the following group of symptoms: huski-ness, scraping in the throat, occasioning a dry, spasmodic, titillating cough, which is especially violent toward evening and when lying down, is very debilitating during the night, prevents sleep, abates when sitting up, commences again after lying down, and sometimes increases unto suffocation, retching, and even vomiting. The chilliness is principally felt toward evening; the heat appears only by dint of coughing, and then becomes excessive and continues all night, even after the cough abates.
Rhus is likewise useful in those fevers when the titillation and cough are not felt in the larynx, but in the bronchial ramifications, when the cough shortens the breathing and is especially violent in the morning, thereby preventing the patient from falling asleep again. In general Rhus is indicated when the catarrhal affection extends over a large extent of the bronchial ramifications. As regards the fever, this remedy corresponds to Pulsatilla, except that the evening exacerbation is characterized by a predominance of heat, drawing and stretching in the limbs, and slight creeping chills.
Bryonia corresponds to catarrhal fevers accompanied by cough, which produces retching, and sometimes vomiting of the ingesta, with sensation as if the chest would fly to pieces, and with profuse, violent fluent coryza, and pain in the forehead which is relieved by pressure upon the forehead; the right side of the body is colder than the left, and the patient complains of great thirst.
Ammonium carbonicum should be resorted to in catarrhal fevers characterized by hoarseness and profuse, fluent coryza, especially when an acrid, burning water flows from the nose; by morning cough with titillation or retching, and with alternation of chilliness and heat. Causticum may be used when a sensation of soreness and excoriation is experienced in the trachea (All. horn. Zeit. XXVI. 93).
Sepia is indicated in catarrhal fevers where the chilliness is continual and occurs upon every movement in the warm room; the heat is merely incidental; the Sepia catarrhal fever is moreover characterized by a nightly spasmodic cough, which increases even unto vomiting and suppression of breath; sneezing, violent fluent coryza, ulcerative pain in the occiput and drawing in the hips and thighs are likewise present.
Among the remedies which we have so far indicated for catarrhal fevers, the following require particular consideration, when the dry cough is accompanied by a sort of spasm in the larynx which does not abate until the patient has thrown off a quantity of mucus after a good deal of gagging: Ipec, Nux, Pulsat., Rhus, Bryon., Bellad., Sepia, Ammonium carb., Drosera, Mercurius. The whole group of symptoms is sometimes at once removed by the homoeopathic specific; or, at any rate, the cough is changed to a simple catarrhal cough which will be easily removed by one of those remedies which have been mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.
For a dry, spasmodic cough, or a cough occasioned by a simple irritation of the throat, the principal remedies are: Hyosciamus, Drosera, Lactuca virosa, Conium, Ipec, Bell., Magnes mur., Phosphorus, Ambra, Iodine. Such an intolerable, racking, spasmodic cough, arresting the breathing on account of a titillation in the upper part of the windpipe which is unencumbered by phlegm, and rousing the patient from sleep at 11 o'clock in the night, has frequently been cured by a single dose of Belladonna.
The hoarseness accompanying catarrhal fevers, no matter whether there is a cough or not, or whether it is dry or moist, yields to: Puls., Mercur., Drosera, Spong., Dulcam., Sulp., Tart, emet., Manganum carb. or acet., Lachesis, Phosphor., Natrum mur., Sepia, Carbo veg.; the latter remedies are especially indicated if the hoarseness increase in the evening hours.
Nux is very useful for a morning cough with titillation and difficult expectoration, remaining after a catarrh; Iodine and Kal. hydriodicum will still more frequently be found useful.
Chronic catarrhs are akin to phthisis, and require the same care as the latter; there is no essential difference between chronic catarrhs and phthisis, for the same remedies are used for either: we therefore take this opportunity of referring to the phthisical affections in the second volume, where we shall treat of them more in detail. We will here simply state, that the following remedies have been found useful in chronic catarrhs, the last of them principally, when the expectoration seemed loose and yet could not be thrown off': - Tart, emet., Drosera, China, Dulcamara, Stannum, Manganum, Carbo veg., Iodine, Bromine, Amm. mur. According to. Goullon, Lycopodium corresponds to those obstinate catarrhs where a lemon-coloured and frequently bitter phlegm is thrown off, accompanied by a violent tearing beating pain in the frontal cavities, with afternoon or evening exacerbations.
It is well known that catarrhal fevers frequently unite with gastric or typhoid symptoms, inflammations, and cutaneous eruptions; in such cases the remedy has to be chosen in accordance with the symptoms of that affection which are most marked.