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.
§ 40. The fever is a continuous remittent, the digestive apparatus being principally affected; the fever differs according as it depends upon overloading the stomach, morbid action of the mucous membrane of the stomach, disturbed secretion of bile, or derangement of the whole intestinal canal. This fever is generally ushered in by premonitory symptoms which may be successfully combated by homoeopathic remedies, thus preventing the fever altogether. The fever commences with violent heat, restlessness, oppression and anxiety; the patient feels ill and weak, complains of violent headache. Frequently, but not always, the epigastric region is sensitive, especially when touched, and the following symptoms are present: coated tongue, eructations, disagreeable taste, vomiturition and nausea, increased alvine evacuations, or else constipation; dark, brown-red, saffron-coloured urine, sometimes depositing a sediment, want of appetite, increased thirst.
We shall offer the following classification of those fevers, which has no reference to. the seat, course, and terminations of the disease, for these are frequently modified by epidemic or the prevalent morbid influences; nor has it any reference to the intensity of the fever, which may be of an inflammatory or even typhoid character.
§ 41. Status gastricus, biliosus et pituitosus; gastro-ataxia saburralis, Biliosa et pituitosa, of Schoenlein; a gastric condition without fever. Premonitory symptoms of a gastric, bilious, and pituitous fever.
This condition is characterized by the following symptoms: pressure and fulness in the region of the stomach, inclination to vomit, constant disagreeable eructations, bitter or slimy taste in the mouth, dryness of the mouth or confluence of saliva, aversion to food, coated tongue, debility; weight and drawing, or else an aching pain in the region of the forehead; also, in the limbs, altered complexion, restlessness, low-spiritedness, coldness of the hands and feet. All these symptoms are distinct indications of a derangement of the digestive functions.
Persons whose digestive powers are naturally weak are predisposed to such a state, which may be brought on by over-eating, by heavy or spoiled food, unwholesome drinks, bad, damp air, great heat, anger, chagrin, grief, etc.
It is not difficult to treat that affection homceopath-ically, provided the exciting cause is known. The proper and timely use of remedial agents shortens the course of such diseases, and prevents their running into corresponding acute affections.
If the gastric derangement be evidently owing to overloading the stomach, the best medicine is fasting. The patient ought to content himself with a little water-gruel, and afterwards take some black cof|ee.
If the stomach have been deranged by fat meat or fat food of any kind, with rancid taste and eructations, the patient ought to fast and take Pulsatilla; in a few hours he will feel better, especially in the stomach.
If the gastric derangement be characterized by eructations tasting of the ingesta, by nausea, loathing, inclination to vomit, Nature is frequently competent to relieve itself; but the efforts of Nature, which, if unassisted, are frequently unsuccessful and tormenting, can be facilitated by tickling the velum pendulum palati, fauces and pharynx, with a long feather; if anything should remain in the stomach, a little black coffee is sufficient to carry it off by the route of the intestines.
If the stomach should have been overloaded to such an extent that the power, or even the inclination, to throw off the contents spontaneously should have been suppressed, occasioning great pains in the epigastric region, the dynamic irritability of the stomach is restored by swallowing a spoonful of black coffee at successive intervals, after which the contents of the stomach, were they ever so excessive, will either be thrown off by the mouth, or carried off by the rectum.
If those means should be insufficient to remove the contents of the stomach, or if, after their removal, loathing, nausea, inclination to vomit, should remain, these symptoms yield to Antimonium crudum.*
If the gastric derangement be occasioned by some dynamic cause, violent emotions, etc., the treatment differs. If any of the above-mentioned symptoms of gastric disturbance arise from violent chagrin, a small dose of Chamomilla is sufficient to remove them. If those symptoms and the still continuing chagrin be accompanied by chilliness and coldness of the body, Bryonia alba is the remedy.
Gastric disturbances arising from violent fright and chagrin, are entirely removed by Aconite within the space of three or four hours.+
Gastric derangements frequently occur in persons who are constantly bowed down by grief and chagrin, other morbid symptoms beside those of the gastric affection being likewise present. An indispensable requisite for a permanent cure is the removal of the causes which have brought on the disease. The humane physician will do all in his power to cheer up the patient, and to afford him every opportunity for rational amusement. If these conditions can be fulfilled, which is not always possible, owing to the limited means of the patient, Ignatia amara will be found sufficient to remove the trouble about the stomach; if one dose should not be sufficient, another one may be taken in two hours, either weaker or of the same strength.
If the gastric symptoms arise from taking cold, or from exerting the mind or body immediately after a meal, were it even moderate, Nux vomica is the best remedy. If those symptoms owe their origin to coldness of the stomach, occasioned by a cold drink or fruit, Arsenic and sometimes Pulsatilla are the best remedies; a gastric derangement which is characterized by a good deal of flatulence, and arises from eating cabbage, and other kinds of food containing watery particles, yields to Bryonia.
* Especially if there remain a taste of the food in the mouth; Nux vomica is in many cases superior to Antimony. The spasmodic vomiting of mucus, which sometimes remains for hours after the contents of the overloaded stomach have been thrown off, is stopped by Nux vomica. - Hempel.
+ The most prominent symptom of a gastric derangement, arising from violent chagrin, is sometimes a deep sopor, from which the patient can only be roused by shaking him violently; this condition yields to Opium 18. - Hempel.
If the usual symptoms of a gastric affection be accompanied by the gulping up of an acrid acidity from the stomach, or if the acidity exist without the other symptoms as a chronic affection, which is usually termed heartburn, Nux is the best remedy, provided it corresponds to the remaining symptoms; for chronic heartburn, Sulphuric acid is perhaps more frequently suitable, provided all the accompanying symptoms correspond.
The above-mentioned symptoms, denoting a disturbance of the gastric functions, may all be brought on by the fault of the patient; but they may also occur as a sporadic or epidemic disease while the patient is under treatment for some chronic affection. Under those circumstances the above-mentioned remedies have to be employed, but in as weak doses as possible, lest the treatment of the principal chronic affection should be entirely interrupted.*