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China Officinalis | Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke

China Officinalis

China Officinalis | Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke

Cinchona officinalis. Cinchona calisaya. Peruvian bark. N. O. Rubiaceae. Tincture of the dried bark.

Clinical.-Abscess. Alcoholism. Amblyopia. Anaemia. Aphthae. Apoplexy Appetite, disordered. Asthma. Back, weakness of. Bilious attack. Catarrhal affections. Coma. Constipation. Cough. Debility. Delirium. Diarrhoea. Dropsy. Dyspepsia. Ears, deafness; noises in. Emissions. Empyaema. Erysipelas. Facial neuralgia. Gall-stone colic. Haemorrhages. Haemorrhoids. Headache. Hectic fever. Hip-joint disease. Ichthyosis. Impotence. Influenza. Intermittent fever. Jaundice. Labour. Lactation. Leucorrhoea. Lienteria. Liver, diseases of; cirrhosis of. Menière’s disease. Menstruation, disordered. Mercury, effects of. Muscae volitantes. Neuralgia. Peritonitis. Perspiration, excessive. Pleurisy. Prosopalgia. Psoriasis. Pylorus, disease of. Rheumatism. Self-abuse. Sleep, disordered. Spermatorrhoea. Spleen, affections of. Suffocation, fits of. Taste, disordered. Tea, effects of. Thirst. Tinnitus. Tobacco habit. Traumatic fever. Tympanitis. Varicose veins. Vertigo.

Characteristics.-Kina is the Peruvian name for “bark,” and “Kina-Kina” is the “Bark of barks.” The story of its introduction into European medical practice is one of the romances of the Healing Art; as the story of its frightful abuse is one of its many tragedies. “According to Humboldt,” writes Teste, “about 500,000 lbs. of this bark are annually exported to Europe for the purpose of being converted into sulphate of quinine.” Well may Teste add the exclamation, “Poor patients!” As with almost every other good thing that comes into its hands, allopathy has contrived to do an infinity of harm with quinine to make up for the good. Some forms of intermittent fever it will cure, if too much of it is not given; others it will suppress or change from intermittent to continuous. The result of suppression is thus sketched by Hahnemann’s master-hand: “True, he [the patient] can no longer complain that the paroxysms of his original disease occurs any more on regular days and at regular hours; but behold his livid earthy complexion, his bloated countenance, his languishing looks! Behold how difficult it is for him to breathe, see his hard and distended abdomen, the swelling of the hypochondria; see how his stomach is oppressed and pained by everything he eats, how his appetite is diminished, how his taste is altered, how loose his bowels are, and how unnatural and contrary to what they should be; how his sleep is restless, unrefreshing, and full of dreams. Behold him weak, out of humour and prostrated, his sensibility morbidly excited, his intellectual faculties weakened; how much more does he suffer than when he was a prey to his fever!” (M. M. P.) The number of patients who have been consigned to an early grave by quinine probably falls short only of the number that mercury can claim. When first introduced it was (as chloral and hundreds of other poisons have been since) declared on the highest authority to be incapable of harm “in whatever dose it may be taken.” It is only at the end of the nineteenth century that some allopathists are discovering that it is more deadly than the deadliest West African fevers. Every homoeopath knows from experience how true is Hahnemann’s picture of quinine effects from the victims of it he has been called upon to treat.

China is placed by Teste in the Ferrum group with Plumb., Phos., Carb. an., Puls., Zinc, and others, which “have the property of remaking the altered blood, or increasing for the time being, in a healthy person, the relative amount of haematin, globulin, fibrin, &c.,” but also, “after a certain lapse of time, they produce opposite results-impoverishment, discoloration, and liquefaction of the blood. From this antagonism arise their characteristic effects: Short-lasting, sanguineous congestions (primary effect), and later, discoloration of tissues; fulness of veins; torpor of all functions; dryness of mucous membranes; mucous or purulent discharges; engorgement of the glands which are immediately connected with the circulatory apparatus, as spleen and liver; passive haemorrhages; inertia of involuntary muscles (bowels, uterus); oedema, atonic ulcers, &c.; finally, more or less obstinate nervous disorders, from derangement of sympathetic rather than the cerebro-spinal axis.” And it is in cases presenting just such phenomena as these, that China proves its greatest efficacy, as Hahnemann was the first to point out. The glory of Hahnemann and the interest of homoeopathists are inseparably bound up with the history of this drug. It was the first medicine Hahnemann proved; and the one that opened up to his mind the idea of homoeopathy. Cinchona Bark was to Hahnemann what the falling apple was to Newton, and the swinging lamp to Gallileo. Dissatisfied with the explanations of the action of Bark in curing ague that were current in his time, Hahnemann took the powdered Bark himself, being in health, and lo ! an ague attack ensued. A repetition of the experiment produced the same result. Further experiments revealed that action of Bark which is the opposite of “tonic”-positively debilitating, in fact-already referred to.

It is useful to remember that Ipecac. (as well as Galeum and Mitchella) belongs to the same natural order of plants as China, and the relation of the two to intermittent fever, haemorrhages, and gasto-enteric disturbances is very similar. Coffea also belongs to the Rubiaceae, and is nearly allied in many of its nervous symptoms to China. The tincture of China is antiseptic, destroying amaeboid motion and retarding tissue change. It weakens the heart and impairs the circulation, produces congestions and haemorrhages, anaemia and complete relaxation and collapse. The debility in which China is particularly indicated is such as is caused by an excessive drain of animal fluids, as great loss of blood, excessive suppuration, loss of semen; also after prolonged strain of overwork, mental or bodily. A “pumped-out” condition, and the sensitive, irritable state of mind that accompanies such. The typical fever of China is the intermittent from marsh miasm, tertian, or quartan in type. Chill and heat without thirst, thirst occurring either before or after chill. The chill is followed by long-lasting heat, generally with desire to uncover; face fiery red, often delirium; profuse and debilitating sweat following. In the apyrexial period the face is a sallow dingy yellow, the spleen is enlarged and painful, the appetite is totally lost; or else there is canine hunger; the feet swell, and as soon as the patient closes his eyes for sleep he sees figures. Hectic fever is also characteristic of the drug. Typhoid and gastric fever. Periodicity is a leading characteristic both in fever and neuralgias. “< Every other day” is characteristic. Nash cured a case of acute rheumatism with Chi, on this modality. Haemorrhages occur from every orifice of the body. Koch and others have attributed the haematuria of African intermittents to quinine. There is terrible always < at night. Loss of sight, deafness, ringing in the ears. Great sensitiveness to touch. Even a current of air blowing on the part = great pain (compare Plumb.). Everything tastes bitter, even water (everything except water, Acon.). Chi. is suited to persons of thin, dry, bilious constitution; or to leucophlegmatic persons with a disposition to dropsical affections, to catarrhs or diarrhoea; to affections of women. The mental state shows, in addition to the irritability, the following among other symptoms: “Aversion to be looked at.” “Pumped out” (Sil.), unable to think. Delirium from loss of fluids (as hydrocephaloid). Fixed ideas. There is a desire for suicide: “Intolerable anxiety about 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.; he springs out of bed and wishes to take his own life, but does not go near the window or take a knife (compare alum.); with heat of the body without thirst.” The sensitiveness accompanies the headache, which is congestive, throbbing, like many hammers hammering on temples, ringing in the ears, < by slightest contact > by hard pressure); by draught of air; by open air. Weak eyes and ringing in ears, such as follows depletion. The nose, ears, and chin are cold, complexion sallow, dingy, yellow. Neuralgia is generally infra-orbital. Thick dirty yellow coating on tongue; bitter taste on waking. Aphthae of weakly people. Canine hunger, especially at night. Hunger after meals with feeling of emptiness. If a meal is late, he is sure to suffer from it. Total loss of appetite. Full feeling after the least food, but belching only > temporarily. After eating, a lump under mid-sternum. After fruit, diarrhoea. Dyspepsia after loss of fluids. Nausea < on sitting up. Stomach so weak it cannot tolerate any food at all. Very sour stomach. The digestion of Chi. is slow. Chi. is one of the most flatulent of medicines. Guernsey describes it thus: “Uncomfortable distension of abdomen with a wish to belch up, or a sensation as if the abdomen were packed full, not in the least > by eructation.” Gastric troubles of children who are always wanting dainties; irritable on waking, bad taste, white tongue. Tympany coming on early in a case. Spleen aching, sore. Liver swollen, sensitive. Feeling of subcutaneous ulceration. Gall-stone colic; duodenal catarrh; jaundice. Fermentation in bowels, frothy, sour diarrhoea. Yellow, watery, undigested diarrhoea with much flatus and no pain. Diarrhoea of dark, inky fluid; stools frequent at night, only after food during the day. (It is useful in cases where purgatives have been abused if Nux fails to cure.) Excessive seminal losses. Menorrhagia; metrorrhagia; post-partum haemorrhages. Leucorrhoea before period, painful pressure towards groins and anus, fetid or bloody leucorrhoea before period; with contractions in inner parts. The breathing has important characters: Asthma; wheezing; suffocative catarrh and paralysis of lungs in old people. Respiration laboured, loud and stertorous, with puffing, blowing out of cheeks on each expiration. [E. Carleton relates the cure of a case of spasm of the glottis in a middle-aged man. Attacks sudden, 3 a.m., suffocation seemed imminent. At length with one tremendous effort, whilst sitting bent forward, a little air would be forced into the lungs in spite of the epiglottis with a noise audible at a distance. After each succeeding expiration the inspiration would become less difficult. Chi. 200 cured. Among this patient’s other symptoms were: Unhappy, idea that he is pursued by enemies in business. Scalp sensitive. Humming, throbbing in ears. Thirst for cold water. Saliva found on pillow in morning. Stomach sore to touch. Flesh sore to touch.] The sleep also should be carefully noted, especially the dreams: he cannot get rid of his dreams even after waking; the impression continues. He cannot get wide awake; head remains confused and stupid. Chi. corresponds to hectic and to many conditions of the lungs which are attended with hectic. Suppuration of the lungs, especially in drunkards. Weakening night-sweats. Prostration, chilly, wants to be wrapped up but cannot bear the fire. A. Villers cured with Chi. 30 a girl, twenty, who had, after a chill, a pain in right hip, < by every movement, and which she could only describe as being like the pain in the legs which occurred before the menses. She was pallid and had had much hard nursing work. The catamenia were scanty and she was weak. Three days after taking Chi. the pain was gone, after having persisted for five months. With Chi. I removed the dropsy and relieved all the other symptoms of a case of cirrhosis of the liver in a hard drinker. He remained at his work for many months; but in the end his old habits proved too much for him, and he died from an acute illness following a cold. In this connection may be mentioned the effect of the tincture of China (Cinchona rubra especially) in removing the craving for alcohol in drunkards who wish to reform. Ten to thirty drops two or three times a day is the usual close for this, though where the general symptoms correspond the potencies would probably do better. I have confirmed P. Jousset’s recommendation of Chi. Ø in cases of facial erysipelas without vesication. The rheumatism of Chi. is characterised by soft swelling, pale red, very tender to touch. C. M. Boger had such a case in second and third metatarso-phalangeal joints of left foot. The patient said: “With my slippers on I am in agony; but if I put on tight shoes the feet feel pretty comfortable.” The Chi. symptoms are generally < from lightest touch; Whereas hard pressure >. < Periodically: 1 a.m. to 10 or 12 or 1 p.m. from 8 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. Every other day; every fourteen days every night at midnight; during increase of moon; every three months; in autumn. Rest < pains in limbs. Colic > by bending double. Motion > pains in limbs; < vertigo; headache; nausea. Moving eyes < headache. Open air or draught of air In room or from warm applications. Want to be near a stove; but this < the chill. Neuralgic headache < from anything cold in mouth. Summer = diarrhoea. Sun < headache. Windy, foggy, or wet weather

China Officinalis | Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke

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