Dulcamara | Materia Medica by Carroll Dunham
Dr. Dunham (1828-1877) graduated from Columbia University with Honours in 1847. In 1850 he received M.D. degree at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York.
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VITAL POWER, A. Sensorium. Depressing; signs of anaemia; vertigo on rising, with debility and general trembling.
B. SPECIAL SENSES. A partial action only; vision failing as from paralysis of the optic nerve.
C. MUSCULAR SYSTEM. Acts in such a way as to produce paralysis, or a paralyzed sensation in the tongue and in the back and extremities. These phenomena, however, succeed, except in case of the tongue and the eyelid, paroxysms of sticking and tearing pains, which are indicative of a rheumatic affection of the muscles. Hence the tendency to a rheumatic diathesis may be assumed to be the leading affection of the muscular system as a result of Dulcamara. At the same time there are no indications of a rheumatic dyscrasia, except offensive sweat and urine. These affections correspond rather to the effects of simple exposure to cold and wet.
Action UPON THE ORGANIC SUBSTANCE. The most marked effect is shown by the action of Dulcamara upon the mucous membrane, especially of the alimentary canal and of the urinary bladder producing more or less copious discharges of mucus, altered from a normal condition, but not displaying any evidence of decomposition; and upon the lymphatic system, producing glandular enlargements (their specific nature unknown) both in the cervical and submaxillary, and in the inguinal regions. Clinical records, which are rich in cases of glandular enlargements cured by Dulcamara, teach that the conditions most easily cured by Dulcamara are haemorrhages from the nose, which occur without evidence of decomposition of the blood. A specific dyscrasia, however, is produced, as is shown by the eruptions and by the offensive sweat which allies it to rheumatic affections.
GENERAL AFFECTIONS. As might be inferred from the affections of the lymphatic and mucous systems, a disposition to anasarca is shown by the symptoms of Dulcamara, E. G., general swelling of the limbs and puffiness of the face.
VEGETATIVE SYSTEM. Dulcamara works such an alteration as to produce copious, soapy saliva, with loose and spongy gums. Flat, soapy taste, with loss of appetite, discharge of stringy, tenacious mucus from the stomach, and yellow and green mucous diarrhoea, with griping and cutting in the abdomen before the stool. Burning in the bladder and deposit of mucus in the urine evacuated. (Vesical catarrh.)
SPHERE OF ACTION. The sphere of Dulcamara is not very extensive. Its action is apparently confined to the muscular, mucous and fibrous or serofibrous tissues; and of these tissues the parts most affected are, in the muscular tissue, the voluntary muscles, especially those of the face and extremities and of the thorax; in the mucous tissue, that of the alimentary canal and urinary bladder, the air passages being scarcely affected. The cough is rather excited by stitches in the intercostal muscles and in the fibrous tissue, the substance of the meatus auditorius possibly the pericranium and the tissues about the articulations of the extremities. In addition to these tissues, the lymphatic glandular system and the special sense of vision are especial seats of the action of Dulcamara.
SENSATIONS. For the most part, drawing and sticking pain in the substance of the tissues. The sticking, however, is not so sharp as that of Bryonia, but is as if done with a blunt instrument, and is circumscribed in location. In addition there is pain as after a blow.
PECULIARITIES AND CONDITIONS OF THE PAINS. The pains are universally aggravated by repose ; except the headache in the temporal region, which is a boring and sticking from within outward, aggravated by motion, and is probably due to a congestive condition which accompanies the Dulcamara catarrh. They are relieved or dissipated by motion, and recur when the subject comes again into a state of rest. They occur or are aggravated at night, and in damp, cold weather. When the sticking pains occur in the substance of organs, their direction is universally from within outward ; analogous in this to Belladonna.
TIMES OF DAY. Aggravation in the evening, especially of the cutaneous symptoms.
HEAD. SENSORIUM. Vertigo. Momentary dizziness ; objects appear to stand motionless; black spots float before the eyes; this occurs at noon before eating, also in the morning on rising, and is then attended by debility and general trembling, with flashes of heat in the face.
CONFUSION. Dull and confused feeling in the head, as if after a debauch.
HEADACHE. The headache seems to depend in a great degree upon catarrhal or rheumatic affections of other organs. It seldom involves the whole head at once, but only a small spot is affected at a time, either by stickings or as by the pressure of a dull instrument.
The parts of the head most affected are the forehead and the occiput and nape of the neck. The temporal region, sometimes, in connection with the forehead. The pains are chiefly dull heaviness and pressing, and a pressure and a boring from within outward, and stitches and drawing pains from one part of the head to another.
CONDITIONS. We have, in the forehead, heaviness, with occasional stickings, digging and boring in the substance of the brain from within outward, with a feeling as if a board were placed in front of the forehead pressing the pain back. From the left frontal eminence to the point of the nose drawing and compressive pain, aggravated by stooping.
In the TEMPLES. Boring outward, with heaviness in the head, worse on motion, in connection with nasal catarrh.
VERTEX. Drawing, darting from the vertex to the root of the nose.
OCCIPUT AND NAPE. Tense heaviness, worse in the nape, where there is a sense of formication. Pressing outward. Feeling as if the occiput were enlarged. Pressing, numbing headache from the nape upward. (Nux vomica, Spigelia, Silicea.)
The majority of the pains are aggravated on rising in the morning, and they grow worse toward evening, as the catarrh which they attend increases. The heaviness is better in the open air.
In the SUPRA ORBITAL REGION. Pressing, tensive pain on the right side, and boring from within outward. In the orbital region, contractive pain in the margin of the orbit.
(General observations on the peculiarities of pain, E.G., from within outward, etc.)
EYES. APPEARANCE. No special changes in appearance are noticed. On the authority of Starke (upon Bitter-sweet), chemotic ophthalmia is recorded as an effect of Dulcamara; and Noack and Trinks give it the first rank among the eye-symptoms.
SENSATIONS. Pressing pain whether reading or not, but aggravated by reading.
Sensation as if fire sparkled out from one’s eyes on walking in the sunlight; also in the chamber.
SIGHT. 1. AS TO POWER. Dimness of vision; all objects appear as if seen through a veil; beginning of amaurosis with partial paralysis of the upper eyelid. (Ptosis.)
2. ABNORMAL VISION. Sparks before the eyes.
LIDS. Partial ptosis in the upper lid, as if it would fall. Jerking movements of the eyelids and lips (in cold air).
(General considerations, tissues, special sense affected, nerves of motion as in the ptosis; connection with other pathogenetic diseases of Dulcamara.)
SCROFULOUS BLEPHAROPHTHALMIA and ADENITIS; crusty eruption on the margin of the eyelids and swelling and induration of the cervical glands. “Caspari, Archiv,” 3, 3, 68.
EARS. EXTERNAL REGION. Various sensations, involving the zygoma and parotid region, viz.:
Painless pressing on the left zygoma (belongs to the face). Fine stickings in the parotid and in the external meatus. A cramping constrictive pain below the ear down toward the ramus of the lower jaw.
Pains. Meatus. Left. Pinching sticking toward the tympanum; aching, with fine stitches. Earache, with great nausea. Dreadful earache the whole night, preventing sleep; it ceases suddenly in the morning, but leaves a rushing in the ears.
Pricking and feeling as if cold air had streamed into the ear. Tearing in the left ear, with stitches from within outward, accompanied by deafness and rustling in the ear.
SPECIAL SENSE. Abnormal. Clear, loud ringing. Drumming and bubbling before the ear and deafness, with tearing in the left ear and stitches from within outward. On opening the mouth a rustling in the ear, as if something were torn in two there.
(General considerations; seat and tissues ; concomitants, etc. Concomitants are nausea, with earache and stickings in the parotids, with the same in the meatus.)
NOSE. Epistaxis. Profuse haemorrhage; four ounces of bright red and warm blood from the left nostril, with pressure on the region of the superior longitudinal sinus.
ERUPTION. Pimple, with ulcerative pain in the inner left ala nasi; eruption (itching) in the angles of both alae. (Analogous remedies, Millefolium, Ledum, Thlaspi.)
FACE. CHEEKS. Tearing and drawing pains in the whole cheek. Itching in the eruption. (General considerations.)
LIPS. ORGANIC. Eruption, pimples and ulcers on the inner part of the upper lip and on the anterior part of the hard palate; also externally around the mouth, with tearing pain on moving the parts.
FUNCTIONAL. Jerking motion of the lips and the eyelids (in the cold air).
CHIN. Itching eruption.
TEETH. Numbness, as if devoid of feeling.
MOUTH. TONGUE. Itching, crawling in the apex of the tongue.
FUNCTIONAL. Paralysis of the tongue, hindering speech, occurring in damp weather. Actual paralysis of the tongue after long use of Dulcamara, (a symptom noted by three allopathic authorities).
ASPECT. Rough and dry.
SALIVA. Discharge of much soapy saliva. Salivation, with loose and spongy gums. (General considerations.)
NECK. Drawing pain in the muscles of the right side.
FAUCES. Pressure, as if the uvula were too long. Scraping in the fauces and burning in the oesophagus, with copious eructations.
GLANDS. Adenitis. Swollen, often very painful and sensitive ; cervical and sub-maxillary lymphatic glands (with a sub-inflammatory condition), painful on every turning of the head. “Hartmann, Archiv,”
8, 3, 80.
GASTRIC SYMPTOMS. 1. Flat, soapy taste, with loss of appetite. Natural taste, with good appetite, yet soon satiated. 2. Appetite good, yet soon satiated. Hunger, with aversion to food. 3. While eating, repeated gulping up of soup just swallowed. Frequent pinching and distention of the abdomen. 4. After eating, immense distention of the abdomen. 5. Eructations copious, with scraping in the oesophagus and heart-burn, with constant rejection of very tenacious mucus. Empty with shivering, as if before nausea, with hiccough. Frequent during a meal, gulping up soup just swallowed. 6. Nausea and vomiting. Qualmishness and nausea. Vomiting with chilliness, or with heat and anxiety. Vomiting of tenacious mucus, with warm rising in the oesophagus in the morning. (General considerations.)
EPIGASTRIUM SENSATIONS. Distention, with empty feeling in the abdomen. Constant griping on going to sleep. Tensive pain, as from a strain. Pressive as from a blow, worse on pressure.
HYPOCHONDRIA. Left: Sudden cutting. Dull sticking, increased by pressure on the exact spot. Intermitting stitches. Single pulsating stitches when sitting, relieved by rising. Right: Dull stickings which take away the breath.
UMBILICAL REGION. Sticking. Short dull sticking. Just below the umbilicus, griping when sitting bent forward, better on rising. Griping in the morning, as if to stool. Gnawing, throbbing pain just below the umbilicus. Tearing, digging, cutting around the umbilicus. On the left side, below the umbilicus, a pressing outward, as if hernia would ensue.
ABDOMEN GENERALLY. Uneasiness, with frequent flatulent discharge. Dull stitches in quick succession from within outward, taking away the breath; the spot is painful on pressure, as if something would force itself out there. Pinching, sticking in the right side, not relieved by pressure. Violent griping, as if a long worm were creeping and gnawing in the intestine. Griping, as before a diarrhoea. Pain, as from a cold, such as is apt to occur in damp, cold weather.
FLATUS. Rumbling in the bowels, as from a purgative, every time he stoops forward. Rumbling as before a stool, with griping and some pain in the loins. Pain as before a diarrhoea, relieved by the discharge of flatus.
GROIN. GLANDS. PAIN. Pressing pain in the glands, right and left. In the bubo, burning and sticking, worse from motion and touch. Swelling on the left side, hard and painless. Pain in the left groin, not sensitive to the touch, with sensation of coldness in the back, and rumbling in the abdomen.
STOOL. Sudden and imperative desire for stool, with nausea, but a tardy discharge of hard faeces or none at all. Griping and rumbling in the abdomen, with discharge of flatus smelling of asafoetida. Desire to stool, yet no action in the rectum; great straining.
CHARACTER. Diarrhoea with flatulence several afternoons in succession. White, slimy alternately with green and yellow stools, with lassitude. Hard stools in pieces. Time, afternoon. Before stool, cutting pain and rumbling. After stool, lassitude, cutting pain.
CURES OF DIARRHOEA. Case of one month’s duration. Cause, cold; continued during cold, damp weather, night and day, worse at night, preceded by violent cutting in the abdomen, chiefly around the navel. Then nausea, profuse cold sweat and thin liquid stools of yellowish or greenish bilious matter; sometimes, simultaneously, vomiting. In the rectum and anus, sensibility and biting, such as are caused by salt. A dose of Dulcamara 30. In one day the patient was cured and remained so. Gross, “Archiv,” 1, 3, 169.
BLOODY DIARRHOEA. Duration, three and one-third years. The patient was a shepherd who had been in the habit of watching his flocks by night; hence, the causes were cold and damp exposure. The symptoms were violent cutting around the navel, at night chiefly. Immediately bloody diarrhoea, almost uninterrupted, and consisting almost of pure blood. On account of the pain and diarrhoea he had no sleep the whole night long. Unceasing, unquenchable thirst. The rectum protrudes; biting at the anus, as from pepper. One drop of Dulcamara, mother tincture. In four days the patient was cured and remained so. Sonnenberg, “Archiv,” 4, 1, 12.
URINARY ORGANS. 1. Pulsation in the bladder from within outward. Painful urination ; burning in the orifice of the urethra while urinating.
2. Copious discharge of urine, at first clear and tenacious, then thick and milk-white; first clear, then turbid, with gluey deposit. Turbid and offensive with offensive sweat. Slimy deposit, red or white.
SEXUAL ORGANS. Heat and itching of the sexual organs. Papular eruption on the labia majora.
MENSES. First increased, then diminished.
NASAL MUCOUS MEMBRANE. Sneezing. Mucous membrane dry. Dry coryza, with confusion of the head.
TRACHEA. Short, irritated cough, excited by a deep inspiration. Much coughing, with expectoration of tenacious mucus, excited by violent stickings in the right or left side of the chest. Expectoration of blood. The exciting cause is deep inspiration ; stickings in the right or left side.
THORAX. EXTERNAL. STERNUM. Painful stickings, which subsequently feel like blows, upon the sternum. Tension and drawing upon the anterior parts of the sternum on a deep inspiration. A sticking, tearing pain in the middle of the sternum, going through the whole chest to the spinal column while sitting, but ceasing on rising.
SIDES. Pain as if struck by fists on both sides under the shoulders. Painful pressing as with a dull instrument when sitting bent forward, on the left side, just above the ensiform body.
AXILLA. Pulsating pain in the left axilla, disappearing on motion. Same in the right axilla.
INTERNAL. ORGANIC. Soreness, like a digging or from a strain or injury. Pinching pain in the whole chest, increased by inspiration.
CLAVICULAR REGION. Benumbing, dull stitch under the right clavicle into the chest. Deep cutting pain in the left chest, close under the clavicle, relieved by pressure.
STERNAL REGION. Jerking and drawing under the sternum. Pressure in paroxysms under the whole surface of the sternum. Painful sticking in the region of the sternum.
COSTAL REGION. Violent stitches, now in one side, now in the other, provoking frequent cough, with sputa of tough mucus.
RIGHT SIDE. Dull sticking in the region of third rib, especially on pressing thereon, when the pain withdraws to the loins, thence rises to between the shoulders; a sticking on the internal margin of the left scapula on inspiration. Digging pain, relieved by pressure. Sudden and quickly disappearing stitch between the fourth and sixth ribs.
LEFT SIDE. Slow intermitting, dull stitches. Painful stitch, as from a dull knife, between the fifth and sixth ribs. Sticking pain in the region of the sixth rib. A feeling as if something were pressing out from the chest (aggravated from within outward).
HEART. FUNCTIONAL. Palpitation violent, externally perceptible, especially at night; one seems to feel the heart beat outside of the thorax.
BACK. SACRO-LUMBAR REGION. Pain as after long stooping. Dull sticking, from within outward, on every inspiration ; in both loins when sitting bent together after a walk. Pain as if the body were cut in two in the lumbar region above the hips; the pain is so severe as to keep the patient in constant motion to and fro, which yet gives no relief.
LEFT SIDE. Digging, sticking pain near the sacrum. Digging over the left crista ilii, relieved by pressure. Close to the lumbar vertebrae, pain as from a blow previously received there. A digging, sticking pain in the loins above the left hip, relieved by walking, but returning on sitting down. Dull stitch from within outward, on each act of inspiration.
RIGHT SIDE. Deep cutting pain in the loins over the right hip, ceasing on pressure, but soon returning. Darting single stickings, as if with a fork, close to the lumbar vertebrae.
DORSAL REGION. Single, painful stitches in the middle of the vertebral column on respiration.
LEFT SIDE. Intermitting, dull stitches, like sensitive throbbing, near the vertebral column. Intermitting pressure near the vertebral column, near the cervical region, when lying on the back in bed.
SCAPULAR REGION. Right: Tickling stitch in the middle of the right scapula. Drawing, tearing pain on the external margin. Left: Intermitting, tearing shocks on the external side of the left scapula.
CERVICAL REGION. Painful stiffness in the cervical muscles on turning the head to either side. Stiffness. Pain in the nape, as if the head had lain awry. Contractive pain, as if the neck were getting twisted. (Torti collis.)
EXTREMITIES. Drawing, tearing in the right shoulder, above the right hip, and above and below the right knee. Upper extremities. Inability to move the arms forward and backward ; the attempt produced jerkings in them. Jerkings in the muscles of the upper arm on flexing the arm and moving it backward ; on extending the arm, stiffness of the fingers and inability to flex them.
SHOULDERS. Jerking and pulsating pains in the axillae.
ARMS. Pain in the evening in bed, and in the morning on rising. Paralyzed pain in the left arm, as from a contusion, almost only during repose; less during motion; the arm not sensitive to the touch, and having its usual power. In the whole right arm, a dull violent pain as from apoplexy, with lead heaviness, immobility and sensibility ; the arm was icy cold to the touch; the muscles tense, even in repose ; the arm paralyzed, could not raise it nor grasp a pen; the attempt to do so produced a sharp pain in the elbow-joint, which was also painful to the touch, as if beaten. The same icy coldness returned in twenty-four hours.
ELBOWS AND FOREARMS. Frequent painful drawing in the left ulna. Dull drawing from the left elbow to the wrist, worse on pronation in the evening. A turning, boring pain slowly descending from the elbow-joint to the wrist, ceasing during motion, but instantly recurring on repose. A sudden jerking, griping, tearing in the middle of the left forearm. Left forearm powerless, as if paralyzed, with a similar sensation in the elbow-joint.
WRISTS. Right. Sticking as with a dull point, relieved by motion.
HANDS. Trembling in damp, cold weather. In the left thumb, cramping drawing; one scarcely dared move the thumb. Jerking, sticking in the first phalanx of the middle finger.
LOWER EXTREMITIES. Hips. Stitches and drawing, tearing pain in the hips. Drawing, sticking pain in the left hip joint, extending to the groin only when walking, as if at every step the hip would be dislocated; relieved by forcible extension of the thigh, the whole leaving a pain as if beaten in the parts, for fourteen days.
THIGHS. Right: Sticking, tearing pain, not relieved by pressure. Drawing sensation on the anterior part of the right thigh. Drawing tearing in the posterior part of the thigh, from the middle to the knee-joint. Paralyzed sensation on the anterior part. Left: Fine sticking, posteriorly, close to the knee. Both: Constant sticking, throbbing or griping pain, ceasing on walking, but developed again when sitting. Here and there drawing in the flesh of the thighs, which is sensitive to the touch. The thighs go to sleep and are very weak.
KNEES. Great weariness, as after a long walk. Tearing in the knee-joint when sitting. On the internal side of the knee a rhythmic, throbbing, pressing pain.
LEGS. Left. Cramp-like drawing pain down through the leg. Swelling of the leg and calf (not of the foot), with tensive pain and feeling of extreme fatigue toward evening. Gentle tearing from within outward in the shin-bone. Pain in the shin-bone, as from fatigue by walking. Pain down the posterior part of the calf. Tearing in the calf, relieved by motion of the foot. Sudden stitch in the calf, as from a needle, followed by a sensation as if blood or water flowed from the spot. Painful cramp when walking. Sensation of numbness in the calves in the afternoon and evening.
FEET. Burning in the feet. Intermitting, sticking, burning in the toes.
LEFT. Tearing from the external malleolus forward. Pulsating, tearing pain in the great and second toes.
RIGHT. Violent cramp in the inner ankle bone, wakes one at night; relieved by getting up and walking about. Drawing tearing about the interior malleolus. Cutting pain in the middle of the right sole, not relieved by stepping.
GENERAL SYMPTOMS. Convulsions and spasmodic affections of the muscular system. Jerkings in the hands and feet. Convulsion, first of the facial muscles, then of the whole body. Trembling of the limbs. Cramp pains here and there, especially in the fingers. Dull stitches here and there in the limbs and body generally, from within outward. Pains in various parts of the body, as from a cold. Great lassitude and feeling of fatigue; heaviness and fatigue in every limb, compelling to sit and lie. Great lassitude and heaviness in the limbs and debility, sometimes sudden, like syncope.
SLEEP. Sleepy the whole day, with much yawning. Sleeplessness. Sleep disturbed by distracted dreams, with much sweat during sleep. Restless, interrupted, anxious sleep, with many dreams. In the evening, just on dropping asleep, starting up with fright. Sleep with loud snoring, with open mouth. After midnight, anxiety and fear for the future. Sleep restless ; after four A. M. cannot sleep again; stretching and turning, with great fatigue, and feeling as if the posterior cervical muscles were paralyzed and he could not lie on them. Wakes up as if called, and sees a ghost, which constantly enlarges and then vanishes on high. Toward morning no sleep, with fatigue in the limbs, as if paralyzed. Sleep disturbed by itching on the chest, abdomen etc. ; heat and stinking sweat.
SKIN. Eruptions (see NOSE). Pimples in the angles of the alae nasi; painful.
CHEEKS. Moist eruptions ; itching.
LIPS. Pimples and ulcers around the mouth and inside the upper lip.
CHIN. Itching eruption.
SEXUAL ORGANS. Papular eruption on the labia majora; heat and itching.
ARM. Right. Burning, itching, compelling to scratch, and relieved thereby for a time ; a burning vesicle appears. In the hollow of the elbow a red eruption, visible in a warm room in the morning and evening, compelling to scratch, which is followed by burning.
HANDS. Covered with warts. On the back of the hand burning red eruption on going from a warm place into the air. A papular eruption.
THIGHS. Burning itching, provoked by scratching.
LEGS. On the outer side itching and itching stitch, relieved for a time by scratching.
GENERAL. Itching in various parts of the body; violent itching eruption of red spots with vesicles; nettle-rash; itching, sticking, and after rubbing it, burning. Fine eruption on the chest and abdomen, with moderate itching. Red spots on the body. Dryness and heat, with constipation and painful retention of urine, with the pulse soft, slow and elastic.
SWELLING. Sudden swelling of the body and puffiness of the limbs, which are sometimes painful and sometimes feel numb and go to sleep.
NETTLE-RASH. Itching and burning after being scratched, and, before each eruption of it, needle-stickings in the whole body. Dulcamara 24 cured. Sonnenberg, “Archiv,” 4, 1, 115.
PEMPHIGUS. Child, of thirteen months, with no teeth, old-looking face, great emaciation. Great hunger, yet refuses food. Great thirst; slimy, brown, liquid stools; urine offensive, turbid when passed, and excoriating the skin which it touches. Restless, impatient. Lax, tired, cannot stand. Vesicular eruption, large as a pea, containing yellow, translucid fluid, and on a red, inflamed base, covering the whole body except the face. Sleep little and restless. Dulcamara one dose cured. Bethmann’s “Archiv,” 3, 2, 119.
WARTS. On the hands. Dulcamara second only to Rhus toxicodendron. Stapf, “Archiv,” 2, 3, 118.
CRUSTA LACTEA. Right cheek, with important symptoms of a cold. Dulcamara 30. J. Romig, “Archiv,” 15, 3, 156.
IN ABDOMINAL TYPHUS. Dulcamara produces good results when patients distinctly remember having taken cold; tongue is clean, no gastricismus; stools yellow, liquid, with rumbling, cutting, digging and griping pain in the umbilical region or whole abdomen. Administration followed by sweat. Bartl, “Archiv,” 20, 3, 69.
MEHLFLECHTE. On the knee ; old, obstinate, size of a dollar. Cured by Dulcamara 100, several weeks continued. Gross, “Archiv,” xvii, 2, 52.