§ 124. Inflammations in general.

An inflammation, though apparently local, is nevertheless a dynamic disease, affecting the vitality of the blood-vessels through a disturbed nervous action. Inflammations are very similar to fevers, and particularly to synochal fevers. These being easily cured by homoeopathic remedies, it follows that inflammations are likewise readily cured by similar means.

§ 125. An inflammation is an anomaly of the vegetative process; it arises from a disturbance of nervous action, which indirectly affects the vitality of the bloodvessels.

The symptoms of inflammation are: quicker and stronger beating of the blood-vessels than in their normal condition. This redness is graduated, and is most intense in the centre of the inflamed organ. Swelling and hardness are generally likewise present in inflammation, but not unless the inflamed organ contains loose cellular tissue. Inflammations are generally attended with pain, arising from the disturbed nervous action, though neither pain nor redness or swelling is a necessary pathognomonic symptom of inflammation. The painful sensations vary a good deal, hot, burning pricking, itching, aching and tensive, stinging; they are either continuous or periodical, remittent or exacerbating at distinct periods. In inflammations of internal organs, the usual characteristics of inflammation are wanting: in many cases there is only pain attended with an inflammatory fever. In abdominal inflammations the physician ought to press the abdomen of the patient, by means of which he will discover the inflamed part by the pain which the pressure occasions, and which the patient had not been conscious of before.

Although it is Hahnemann's opinion, that the physician needs not to be acquainted with the internal nature of the disease, and ought to select his remedy in accordance with the symptoms, yet it is desirable that the physician should possess the clearest possible notion of the disease he is called upon to treat.* It is important, for instance, that inflammations should be distinguished from internal neuralgic or spasmodic affections. If fever be present; if the local affections have set in with a chill; if heat, thirst, and an accelerated pulse be present, we may safely conclude that there is inflammation. A hard, full, and strong pulse is likewise characteristic of inflammation, although such a pulse is not always present in high degrees of enteritis and pneumonia. One of the chief characteristics of inflammation is the urine: if red, it denotes fever and inflammation; if pale and watery, it denotes spasm.

§ 126. Inflammation may be excited by either of the following causes:

1. Mechanical causes, wounds, splinters, etc.

2. Chemical agents, acids, ethereal oils, poisons, etc.

3. State of the atmosphere, cold, dry, windy weather, northerly or easterly winds, increased action of circumambient influences upon certain organs at particular periods, for instance, of the atmosphere upon the lungs in winter and spring, and upon the abdominal viscera: increased sensitiveness of particular organs in certain conditions of the organism, of the brain during the period of dentition, of the uterus during menstruation, pregnancy, or confinement, of the breasts during lactation, etc.

4. Emotions, such as anger, chagrin, fright, sudden

5. Various ailments of the body, such as accumulation of gastric and bilious matter in the intestines; suppression of the lochia, menses, or piles; suppression of chronic cutaneous eruptions, such as itch, herpes, tinea capitis, etc.

* In reference to this subject, see my essay on the present internal condition of the homoeopathic school. For a new and, as I believe, true theory of inflammation, the reader is likewise referred to that essay. - Hempel.

Secondary diseases, induration, adhesions, suppuration, may occur under homoeopathic the same as under allopathic treatment, though they are much less frequent: in such a case the pain never ceases entirely. They occur most frequently in consequence of violent bleeding, latent psora, and in feeble, scrofulous subjects.

§ 127. The fever which accompanies inflammations is either a synocha, or an erethic or typhoid fever. The prognosis depends

1. Upon the character of the inflammation. Inflammations with a synochal or erethic fever are less dangerous than those with a typhoid fever.

2. Inflammations of noble organs, such as the brain and lungs, are more dangerous than inflammations of less important organs and tissues.

3. Simple inflammations are more easily cured than compound or inflammations arising from other diseases.

4. The prognosis depends likewise upon the constitution of the patient; the more lymphatic the constitution of the patient, the greater the danger.

§ 128. In the treatment of inflammations, the homoeopathic physician proceeds in the same way as in all other forms of disease; he notes the totality of the symptoms, and selects his remedy in accordance with them. It is, of course, of importance to study as much as possible the cause of the inflammation, with a view of removing it by appropriate dynamic, surgical, or chemical means.

The chief remedy with which homoeopathic physicians combat inflammation is Aconite. It should be employed in every inflammation accompanied with synochal fever, continual great heat, quick, full, and tight pulse, burning thirst, scanty and saturated urine. It may be used with children, as well as full-grown persons. It is an excellent remedy for rheumatic diseases, and acts as a prophylactic against angina pectoris occasioned by exposure to east wind.* Aconite supersedes the necessity of bleeding, even in those who were in the habit of resorting to it.

After Aconite are principally indicated, Bellad., Mercur., Bryon., Cantharides, Hepar s., Rhus t., Puls., Nux v., Ignat., Sulphur, Spong., Dig., Cann., Acid. hy-droc, Arn.. Dros., Squill., Seneg., Ars., Kali c, Phosph., Lye. Asa, Cina, China, Mangan., Dulc, Chamom., Mag-nes arct., and a number of other remedies.

Mercurius is an excellent remedy when debilitating sweats, and particularly night sweats, great nervousness, and debility, are present; when internal inflammations threaten to terminate in effusions and suppuration; in catarrhal, rheumatic, arthritic, erysipelatous inflammations, and inflammation of the periosteum. Belladonna is suitable to plethoric persons disposed to phlegmonous inflammations, particularly in the case of children, and delicate, sensitive individuals. Bryonia corresponds to inflammations of serous membranes, congestive inflammations attended with violent fever and great vascular and nervous excitement.

After the inflammation has been allayed, the pain can be speedily relieved by applying one or more dry cups in the neighborhood of the inflamed organs, or, if exudation should have taken place, by resorting to Tartar emet., Seneg., Dig., Am., etc. If, in spite of the abatement of the inflammatory symptoms, the local irritation should still continue, or should point to an increased nervousness, Ipec., Hyoscyam., Laurocer., Pul-sat., Sulph., Nitrum, etc., should be employed.

§ 129. As was said above, the homoeopathic physician does not always succeed in dispersing an inflammation. In such a case the inflammation terminates:

1. In suppuration. This occurs particularly in inflammations of glandular organs, in boils and wounds, and in inflammations that have reached a high degree of intensity. The best remedies for this condition are, Merc., Bell., Puls., Asa, Mezereum, Sulphur, Hepar sulp., Tart, emet., Phosph., Iod., Silicea, every remedy to be, of course, selected with reference to the totality, of the symptoms.*

* The Ea»t wind in Germany is a very dry wind.

2. In induration. The remedies indicated for this state of things are, Sulphur, Carbo amm. and veg., lod., Baryt., Conium, Kali carb., Silicea, Calc. carb., and several others. Sometimes Rhus t., Nux v., Bryon., Dulc, Ranunculus, Spongia, and other remedies, may have to be used previous to the above mentioned an-tipsorics.

3. In adhesion. This does not interfere with the enjoyment of perfect health, and cannot be removed. I ought to state, however, that a cure of an adhesion is reported in the third volume of the All. ho?n. Zeitung, p. 7.

§ 130. In regard to diet, I refer the reader to my previous remarks on that subject, which are likewise applicable to patients suffering with inflammations. Such patients should content themselves with very light food, and should not satisfy their thirst to excess.