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 typhus, with erethic congestions of the head, Bryonia is likewise a most valuable remedy, when the following group of symptoms occurs: after a slight cold the patient complains of a pain as if bruised in the whole body, everything upon which he is lying is too hard for him; the beating, pressing pain, in the forehead, from within outward, is especially distressing to the patient when looking up or moving his eyes; the scalp is painful to the touch, and the head burns like fire, in spite of which the forehead is sometimes covered with cold sweat; debility, weariness and weight in the limbs, which obliges him to sit or lie down, with dread of the open air; the night's rest is disturbed by erethism of the circulation, heat and anxiety, especially in the hours before midnight; the patient moans during sleep, and is waked by anxious and frightful dreams, which continue even after waking. A characteristic symptom in the commencement of the Bryonia typhus is the alternation of heat and chilliness, the former in the morning, the latter in the afternoon, and on going to bed; the thirst is moderate, but there is vertigo, increase of headache, and excessive erethism of the nervous system. Gastric symptoms are manifestly present; the patient complains of bitterness in the mouth, dryness and yellow coating of the tongue, aversion to food, nausea, with inclination to vomit, pressure and stinging in the pit of the stomach, sensation in the hypochondria as if they were distended, difficult stool.
As the disease progresses the violent heat becomes permanent, and is accompanied with violent delirium, without the patient complaining much of his illness; the distortion of the features, and the grasping at the head, are the only signs of the continuance of the violent headache; the continued moaning, even when the patient is awake, points to an approaching rash, which frequently breaks out in the shape of a white miliary eruption, and sometimes in the shape of petechias. The delirious talk of the patient in most cases turns about the patient's business, which gives him so much anxiety that he endeavours to escape. The thirst becomes more intense, the tongue drier and parched; the face is red, bloated, the dry lips are cracked; the alvine evacuations cease entirely, and the urine looks brown-red. Bryonia ought to be repeated every two or three hours.
Mercurius is an important remedy when the fever has the character of erethism from the commencement. Mercurius is best adapted, especially in the commencement of the disease, to puffed leuco-phleg-matic individuals with soft and spongy flesh and predominant inclination to catarrh and profuse sweats, and affected with bodily and mental weakness. It is certain, that Mercury deserves a preference over many other remedies when catarrhal and rheumatic fevers turn into typhoid. Mercurius is indicated by the following symptoms: a long while before the typhoid symptoms set in, the limbs go to sleep when the patient sits or lies down, with numbness, insensibility, and tingling in the same; the patient finds it hard to drag his limbs along, sweats or is affected with palpitation of the heart Upon the least movement; nevertheless the uneasiness which he experiences in his limbs, compels him to move his limbs constantly. Although the patient does not yet complain of any thing in particular, yet he is so debilitated and feels so ill all over that he is obliged to lie down; he is scarcely inconvenienced by any thing, except slight heat, erethism of the blood and trembling, which occasions a constant starting and jactitation of the limbs during sleep; frequent watery stools, with moist and coated tongue, bitter, putrid, pappy taste, slight thirst, sensitiveness to pressure in the pit of the stomach, in the umbilical and hepatic region, distention of the abdomen. The mental and physical debility gradually increases, fainting turns supervene, and the patient is attacked with paroxysms of spasmodic contraction of the limbs occasioned by the sudden paroxysms of vascular erethism; henceforth he finds it impossible to leave his bed.
If, in the progress of the disease, the following symptoms should occur, Mercurius is still indicated: general erethism of the nervous system; the delirium is not altogether inconsiderable; the chills which, in the commencement of the fever, were interrupted by flushes of heat, have yielded to a constant burning heat with excessive desire for iced water. The patient complains of fulness, painfulness in the epigastrium; symptoms of a general plethora, especially in the portal system, make their appearance; frequent bleeding from the nose, from which we may infer, that the blood begins to be decomposed; excessive restlessness, anxiety, vascular erethism, pulsations, violent headache, as if the head would burst, preventing sleep and frequently interrupting it by causing the patient to start. Little by little the patient becomes more indifferent, he is desponding, does not care about life; he is frequently unable to collect his senses, he loses his memory, which loss is probably a continuance of the previous dizziness and dulness of the head. His face becomes livid, the eyes grow pale, the nose blackish, the gums swell and bleed readily; a putrid smell from the mouth makes its appearance, and colliquative secretions of various kinds occur, among which the watery, copious, colourless, serous or white flocculent stools are the most characteristic. Under certain circumstances Mercurius corresponds to all the varieties of typhus, from typhus erethicus to typhus putridus.
We have now mentioned the principal remedies which correspond to the typhus inflammatorius, without, however, intending to convey the idea, that they cannot be used in the succeeding stages of typhus. This would be contradicted by the symptoms which show, that all the above mentioned remedies may be serviceable in any stage of typhus. We shall now indicate the remedies which correspond more especially to the nervous phenomena in typhus, whether it exist as a primary disease, or a disease which has been developed out of other diseases. First in rank, is Rhus toxicodendron. Upon the setting in of the precursory symptoms, the patient complains of chilliness even near the warm stove, with colic and diarrhoea, pains as if bruised in various parts, as if the flesh were beaten off the bones; the tongue is coated white, the patient feels an inclination to vomit, resulting in vomiting of mucus, he complains of vertigo; the parts upon which he lies, go to sleep and feel numb, he complains of an exceedingly troublesome stinging, drawing, and rigidity in the nape of the neck and back; he feels worst when resting and at night, for at such a time he experiences a lameness and stiffness in the limbs, beside the other symptoms. As the disease progresses, he feels extremely weak to such an extent, that he is unable to remain out of his bed, from which an apprehensive anxiety and a disagreeable feeling of heat constantly impel him to escape; his sleep becomes restless; he tosses about and uncovers himself constantly, the uncovered parts feeling so chilly, that it makes him wide awake, and sleep is prevented by the excessive erethism of the circulation and by a variety of fancies; if he should, however, fall asleep, his sleep is disturbed with the most troublesome dreams.