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.
The essential sphere for the action of Aconite are the erethic fevers, the inflammatorv erethisms of the' vascular system, and the first stage of catarrhal, rheumatic, and traumatic inflammations; hence that sphere extends from the simple ephemeral erethisms up to the synocha, and from the simple catarrhal and rheumatic fever up to the most intense phlogo-sis, without any marked local affection. Aconite is a true universal remedy, our most charming antiphlogistic, superior to venesection, leeches, and cupping; it cures without depletion, and in a much shorter time than those violent means which weaken the organism and reduce its vital energy. Any one who is acquainted with the physiological effects and the true character of Aconite, must certainly know from experience that Aconite can only do good in the sphere of action which we have assigned to it, provided the dose is proportionate to the susceptibility of the patient's organism and the intensity of the disease. Aconite is a specific remedy in inflammatory fevers with congestion to the chest or head, the pain which the patients suffer, appears intolerable to them, they are exceedingly nervous and restless; this is especially the case with young, lively, plethoric subjects leading a sedentary life. Aconite is especially useful in fevers which are occasioned by raw north-westers or by a current of air, and which are characterized by the following symptoms: great general heat, especially about the head and face; vivid redness of the cheeks, great thirst, stinging, beating headache and excessive painfulness of the whole head, vertigo and nightly delirium, restlessness, moaning, anxiety, tossing about in consequence of the limbs feeling bruised and paralyzed; alternation of chilliness and dry, burning heat, with shortness of breath and dry, hacking cough; intolerance of noise, ill humour, despondency even unto weeping; glistening eyes, roaring in the ears, great irritation of all the senses; dryness of the lips, mouth and tongue; hasty and tremulous speech, burning unquenchable thirst, bitter taste with empty eructations and with a qualmish feeling in the pit of the stomach; scanty secretion of a highly-coloured, hot urine. The dose should be adapted to the age and constitution of the patient. In the commencement of the disease, and in young and delicate patients, the higher attenuations are sufficient; full-grown, vigorous patients, and the later periods of the fever, require stronger doses, sometimes even a drop of a lower attenuation. This kind of fever generally resolves itself into a sweat, which is extremely salutary and beneficient in those affections, and is so much more decisive as its appearance has been speedily induced by the homoeopathic agent. It is highly improper to elicit the sweat by artificial heat, whether externally or internally applied. The best means to cause the sweat to break out is a suitable dose of Aconite, which may be repeated at proper intervals and whose action may be assisted by giving the patient as much cold water as he desires. If the sweat breaks out, and the urine becomes more watery, the fever is broken and no farther medication is required.
If the synochal fever be merely an accompanying symptom of a local affection, our first duty is to moderate the fever, unless we know a remedy which covers both the fever and the local affection. Even in most of these cases, Aconite is the principal remedy, corresponding both to internal inflammations and to inflammatory cutaneous diseases. We refer the reader to the second division of the first volume, where both classes of diseases are treated in detaiL
There are several other remedies, besides Aconite, which may be used for the cure of synochal fever, but they are much less important than Aconite, and can only be employed when the fever assumes a particular form from the commencement, when it is not very violent, when the orgasm is confined to certain regions, and when secondary symptoms occur. The principal remedies, next to Aconite, are: Bell., Bryon., Mercur., Canthar., Cham., Arnica; other remedies which have been placed in the same category with the preceding, do not properly belong here, as they are given in diseases where the fever is merely a sympathetic affection.
Belladonna is the principal remedy, and ought to be given after Aconite, in cases where the cerebral system is principally affected, and the following symptoms occur: burning heat, especially of the head and face, the latter being red and puffed; strong, quick, full pulse, violent burning thirst, intense delirium, especially at night, vertigo and aching in the forehead as if it would burst; red, shining eyes, anxiety and restlessness, and tendency to start.
Bryonia is indicated when the orgasm of the blood is principally confined to the organs of the chest, accompanied with great erethism of the vascular and nervous system; burning, dry heat mingled with chills, violent thirst, headache as if the whole contents of the head would issue through the forehead, anxious sleep, disturbed with moans, short cough and oppression of the chest. In a synochal fever of that sort gastric symptoms frequently supervene and change the syno-cha to a synochus; for many complications of that kind Bryonia is likewise the specific.
Mercurius acts similarly to Bryonia, with this difference, that it is not so much indicated by local symptoms as Bryonia, and it is principally required in inflammatory fevers characterized by erethism of the nervous system, a disposition to profuse sweat, an accelerated, irregular pulse, and excessive thirst with desire for icy-cold water. These symptoms are accompanied by dulness of head, and a pressure in the parietal regions from within outwards, undulations and beatings in the sinciput. The supervening gastric-bilious symptoms likewise indicate a complication or rather the transition of the pure synochal into a gastric fever, for which Mercurius is likewise a specific.
Cantharides are indicated in violent burning fever, especially at night, with accelerated, strong pulse, general redness of the skin, violent thirst and dryness of the mouth, accompanied by painful sensations in the right side of the body, great anxiety, delirious talk about business, etc.*
Neither Cantharides nor Chamomilla can be said to be indicated in pure inflammatory fevers; the fevers for which those remedies are indicated consist rather of attacks of heat having the character of a synochal fever; the fevers indicating Chamomilla are characterized by heat mingled with occasional chills, by bright redness of the cheeks, tremulous and anxious palpitation of the heart, great irritability of temper and excessive sensibility of all the senses, etc. Chamomilla corresponds especially to those fevers which have been occasioned by anger and chagrin (giving first, however, a few doses of Aconite), and are generally accompanied by spasmodic symptoms.
* Especially when there is a frequent desire to urinate.-Hempel.
Arnica corresponds only to such inflammatory fevers as have been occasioned by contusions, tearing of muscles, and wounds of any kind; the violence of the orgasm requires in the first place to be moderated by Aconite. If the injuries are very considerable, dilute tincture of Arnica may be used externally, in the shape of a wash or a poultice.