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.
In this variety likewise, the treatment ought to commence with the removal of the inflammatory symptoms by means of Aconite, after which the specific remedy in this variety, Mercurius corrosivus, may be exhibited.
This remedy is indicated by a succession of small muco-sanguinolent evacuations, continuing day and night, with constant cutting pain in the bowels, and an insupportably painful tenesmus in the rectum; or when the stools are mixed with fetid green or brown bile; the patient has lost all appetite, suffers with an unquenchable thirst, his tongue, the edges of which have a whitish coating, inclines to dryness, he feels anxious, hot, and is deprived of sleep in consequence; the pulse is small, feeble, frequent.
The Colocynthis dysentery has the following symptoms. The greenish-yellow and frequent evacuations, consisting of a watery slime streaked with pure blood, are accompanied with the most violent colicky pains in the region of the hypogastrium; these pains disappear with every evacuation, and the tenesmus is entirely wanting. The appetite is not entirely lost, but all desire to eat is counteracted by the offensive, bitter taste in the mouth; there is a great desire for drinks without much thirst; every time the patient eats or drinks the colic and the evacuations are excited again. The temperature of the skin is moderate, the pulse is full and not too quick.
Bilious dysentery, especially when epidemic, may assume a form requiring the use of Colchicum autum-nale. This remedy is extremely valuable in dysentery consisting of a mere white mucus, with violent spasms in the sphincter ani, these spasms setting in frequently when there is no evacuation, in which case the patient experiences slight chills over the back. Bilious vomiting leaving a bitter taste in the throat, and an aversion to food, generally belongs to the Colchicum dysentery. The perspiration which exists in the commencement of the disease, disappears afterwards, and the pulse becomes accelerated and small.
Veratrum has been employed by us several times with success, where portions of faeces were distinctly seen in the watery-sanguineous, flocculent discharges. These evacuations were more frequent at night than in the day-time; they were accompanied and succeeded by colic, but not so much tenesmus; chills were likewise present. Veratrum is still more suitable when the dysentery is accompanied with vomiting of the ingesta, great debility, as if one could not support one's-self, bland delirium, and lentescent fever. It is of the utmost importance to repeat the remedy in that disease, provided the remedy which had been selected was homoeopathic to the symptoms.
In pituitous dysentery the inflammatory character disappears more and more; the phenomena denoting an irritation of the mucous membrane become more and more prominent, establishing a similarity between the dysenteric disease and a mucous fever. The precursory symptoms of mucous dysentery are the same as those of a mucous fever. The disease itself is slower than any other kind of dysentery, if the remedies be not well-chosen; the febrile symptoms, as well as the local affection, are indeed violent, but not as violent as in the other varieties of dysentery; the frequent evacuations from the bowels are without colour or smell.
This kind of dysentery is principally occasioned by catching cold in the damp, wet, and cold fall weather; hence it is that the pituitous or white dysentery occurs more frequently as an epidemic and endemic, than as a sporadic disease; it prevails in October and November, whereas bilious dysentery is more prevalent in August and September.
Mucous dysenteries are cured the most easily in the precursory stage; Mercurius, Pulsatilla, and Dulcamara being the principal remedies. Pulsatilla is frequently the best remedy even when the dysentery has become fully developed. Colchicum autumnale seems to correspond principally to mucous dysenteries; Merc, corr. is likewise an excellent remedy for that disease, if the stools be mixed with blood. The preparations of Sulphur ought to be resorted to after the characteristic symptoms of dysentery have been greatly subdued, but would not yield beyond a certain point, or became worse again after a temporary improvement had been effected. In many cases of that description Acidum sulph. will suffice, unless Sulphur should be more specifically indicated. It is principally adapted to those forms of dysentery where the symptoms are more violent in the night, and the patient passes blood, mucus and pus, accompanied with fever, loss of appetite, cutting colic, and a desire to lie down; the colic is frequently so violent that it causes sickness of the stomach, and the patient is drenched with sweat. The fever consists of a dry heat, generally flushes of heat, without any particular thirst. Hepar sulph. comes next to Acidum sulph.
Aloes is undoubtedly one of those remedies which will prove valuable in dysentery, inasmuch as it possesses the peculiarity of causing violent colic, with bloody stools.
Cantharides is indicated when the patient discharges a white mucus from the bowels, which looks as if it had been scraped off the bowels; the discharges are accompanied with burning pains in the abdomen and bowels, occasioning moaning and lamentations. The fever is generally very violent, burning, with dryness of the mouth, thirst, anxiety, and a small, hard, and intermittent pulse.
Capsicum deserves especial consideration after the violent cutting pains have been removed, and an intensely painful feeling of pressure remains in the region of the stomach and duodenum, accompanied with discharges of a greenish frothy matter, or flocks of bloody mucus; the pulse is full, strong, and particularly frequent from evening until midnight.