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 most cases the prognosis is favourable; the complication with typhoid symptoms makes it more doubtful. The convalescence is generally very short.
§ 44. The homoeopathic treatment of simple gastric fevers is generally very easy, and, in most cases, successful. The lighter forms of those fevers, such as saburral fevers, frequently terminate in two or three days. The following remedies deserve a preference in the treatment of those fevers: Puis., Bryo., Nux vom., Ipec, Tart, emet., Antim. cr., Chamom., Coloc, Acid, phosp., and Arsenic.
What we have said of the treatment of the premonitory gastric state, is likewise applicable to the simplest kind of gastric fever, the saburral fever. The same remedies will generally be found sufficient.
Pulsatilla is a specific remedy in that affection when the patient is out of humour and disposed to weep, and when the following symptoms are present: great chilliness, absence of thirst, aversion to food, especially warm, meat, bread, milk and tobacco; slimy, sour, bitter, taste, eructations, vomiting of food, pressure at the stomach, and sensation as if the food were in the intestines undigested, rumbling in the abdomen, nightly green stools, restless night sleep, disturbed with dreams.
Pulsatilla is adapted to individuals with excessive ve-nosity, when a throbbing is experienced in the pit of the stomach, when the patient is periodically affected with stinging pains in the stomach, and the fever exacerbates in the forenoon. Pulsatilla is likewise suitable in that form of gastric fever, which was designated by the older physicians as a febris gastrico-ve-nosa. If a sense of illness, debility, a chilliness in the body, and a want of appetite, should remain after the exhibition of Antimonium crudum, these symptoms will yield to Pulsatilla; the symptoms remaining after An-timony may likewise indicate Nux or some other remedy.
Nux vomica is especially suitable to irritable, lively, plethoric and hypochondriac individuals, whose digestive powers have been weakened by mental exertions, a sedentary mode of life, abuse of coffee and spirituous drinks. Nux is likewise indicated when the gastric fever arose from a violent commotion of the mind by surprise, fright, quarrelling, etc., and the proper specific was not at once resorted to, allowing the fever time to establish itself in the system. If the gastric disease was occasioned by frequent chagrin, and the symptoms occasioned by those mental disturbances do not yield to the specific remedy, Nux ought to be employed (Pulsatilla rivals Nux under those circumstances). Nux may likewise be administered for the following group of symptoms: considerable heat in the face, burning heat in the eyes, dry lips, great thirst, violent lancinating pain in the forehead or hemi-crania, brownish or slimy coating of the tongue, acid taste in the mouth, nausea, tension and distention of the region of the stomach and of the abdomen, with fulness and pressing towards the chest, oppression of breathing, anxiety, violent, spasmodic pains in the stomach, with sensation of griping and tearing away, rumbling and pinching in the abdomen, constipation, flatulence, yellowish tinge around the nose and mouth, general restlessness, great sensitiveness of the organs of sense.
If there should be an excessive tendency of the vital action upward and downward, with vomiting and diarrhoea, cutting pains in the whole of the abdomen, with fetid flatulence and discharges of undigested food, Antimonium crudum is the best remedy even in the most obstinate and dangerous cases. Ipecacuanha corresponds more to a gastric derangement brought on by general causes, such as: weather, etc. (in opposition to a gastric derangement occasioned by specific influences, such as: fat food, etc.), when inclination to vomit is present, or when the nerves of the stomach are excessively sensitive and irritable, and the introduction of the least quantity of food into the stomach brings on the vomiting.
Remedies that affect the healthy organism in a similar manner, must necessarily correspond to similar morbid conditions; this is especially the case with remedies which antidote one another. It is for this reason that Tartarus emeticus, which antidotes both Ipec. and Puls., is a useful remedy in gastric fevers. This remedy deserves a preference when the following symptoms make their appearance: great drowsiness with the fever; reddish, itching rash on the trunk, especially the chest; violent vomiting and nausea day and night, yellow-brown diarrhoeic stools, with excessive cutting in the bowels.
Bryonia is a distinguished remedy in gastric fevers, which depend upon a double cause, cold and chagrin. It is indicated when the gastric derangement is accompanied by great febrile heat, mingled with slight chills, great debility, nightly exacerbation of the symptoms, when the patient is irritable and out of humour, and complains of a pressing pain in the forehead from within outward. These symptoms are accompanied by dry mouth and tongue, violent thirst, desire for acidulated drinks, pressure at the stomach, stinging in the liver when touching the region of that organ, or when coughing and taking a deep inspiration; empty retching, continuing for some time, and gradually increasing to a bilious vomiting after a good deal of hickuping (this shows that Bryonia is a good remedy in bilious fevers), accompanied with pinching, cutting colic, constipation being sometimes present. Bryonia deserves consideration when the gastric fever is complicated with rheumatism, and when the synochal fever threatens to assume a typhoid character.
Colocynth is on a par with Bryonia. It deserves a preference when the gastric fever was brought on by a fit of indignation, by deep mortification in consequence of humiliating treatment, and when it is accompanied with sleeplessness, violent heat, with a hot, dry skin, and a full accelerated pulse. The colocynth fever is likewise characterized by a pressing pain in the forehead, which is more violent in the recumbent posture than in walking. The gastric symptoms are not as intense as those indicating Bryonia. If vomiting be present, it is copious, and the ingesta are thrown off; the colic is generally very violent, is occasioned by eating the slightest quantity of food, and generally consists in a violent cutting, with chilliness and tearing in the lower limbs, and frequent yellow-greenish diarrhaeic stools. Colocynth is an excellent remedy, not only in gastric, but also in bilious fevers.