Ranunculus Bulbosus | Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke

Ranunculus Bulbosus

Ranunculus Bulbosus | Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke

Ranunculus Bulbosus. Buttercup. Bulbous Crowfoot. N. O. Ranunculaceae. Tincture of whole plant.

Clinical : Alcoholism. Breast, pain below. Chest, pains in. Chilblains. Corns. Delirium tremens. Diarrhoea. Dropsy. Dyspnoea. Eczema. Epilepsy. Feet, pains in. Gastralgia. Hay-fever. Herpes zoster. Hiccough. Hydrocele. Jaundice. Liver, pain in. Neuralgia. Nyctalopia. Ovaries, neuralgia of. Pemphigus. Pleuritic adhesion. Pleurodynia. Rheumatism. Spinal irritation. Warts. Writer’s cramp.

Characteristics : The caustic and pain-producing properties of the Ranunculaceae reach their highest expression in the Buttercups themselves. R. bulb. forms a constituent of some arsenical plaisters used to disperse cancers. R. bulb. was proved by Franz, and some effects of its external application have been observed, and results of inhaling the fumes whilst preparing the plant, or when it has been burned. The last caused headache, and in one instance epilepsy, followed by cachexia, nodous gout, headache, and death. In a child who was cured of ague with subsequent dropsy and hydrocele by applying R. bulb. to the wrist, ulcers of the fingers penetrating down to the flexor tendons were produced. In one prover the effect of expressing the juice with the fingers was to cause a long-lasting and recurrent eruption of vesicles on the fingers, a characteristic feature of which was the blueness of the vesicles and the horny nature of the scabs: “Small, deep, transparent, dark blue little elevated blisters of the size of an ordinary pin’s head, crowded together in oval-shaped groups of the size of a shilling, with intolerable burning itching, emitting when opened a dark yellow lymph, afterwards becoming covered with a herpetic, horny scurf”;-a complete picture of herpes. The pains as well as the appearance of herpes are met with in the pathogenesis of R. bulb.-Pains in nerves, serous membranes, muscles, tendons, joints, eyes, and internal organs. The pains are lancinating, pressing and out-pressing, jerking and sticking, as if bruised with external sensitiveness. From the acrid vapour arising whilst the juice of the plant was being prepared these symptoms arose: “Smarting from eyes as from smoke in evening. Smarting in eyes, nose, and fauces; the eyes run and are very painful, so that he has to stop using them for half an hour because he cannot see anything; whites slightly inflamed; mucus runs in torrents from nose; fauces painful as if sore during an inspiration, less during deglutition “-symptoms which have led to many cures of hay-fever with R. bulb. The “< during inspiration” is part of the general sensitiveness of R. bulb. to air, to cold air, and to change, which is the grand keynote of the remedy, and which will serve to indicate it in a large number of the cases to which it is otherwise appropriate. Another keynote is sensitiveness to touch: sore, bruised sensation; soreness of parts affected. These symptoms make R. bulb. an important vulnerary. Hering mentions “hemeralopia” as having been cured with R. bulb. in a woman during pregnancy, and in her three-year old son. The word “hemeralopia” has been used to denote both day-blindness and night-blindness. Hering uses it in the latter (and rarer) sense, for he says of the woman, she “can see well during the day.” H. C. Allen speaks of “day-blindness” as an indication, probably, translating “hemeralopia” literally. The concomitant symptoms were: Heat, biting, and pressure in eyes; redness of conjunctiva and lids, especially inner surface of lower lids; lachrymation; pus in canthi; pustules on eyes; eyes look weak; pupils dilated; candle-light appears as a bright circle; can see well during day.” With the concomitant symptoms R. bulb. would probably cure either day- or night-blindness. “Pressure and smarting in eyeballs” is very characteristic. R. bulb. causes a very painful form of indigestion: White-coated tongue; bitter, sour, or sweetish taste, with accumulation of saliva; scraping burning in throat; spasmodic hiccough; spasmodic feeling in oesophagus and pharynx, ascending; eructations; nausea, pressure on sternum with laboured breathing; violent burning in cardiac end of stomach; hunger early in morning, thirst in evening.” Conversely R. bulb. has proved one of the most effective agents for removing the bad effects of alcoholic drinks: hiccough; epileptiform attacks; delirium tremens. In the last case the quarrelsome, angry mood on the one hand, and the abject fear of ghosts on the other, further point to its appropriateness. Pains in liver and spleen region < by touch. In pleurisy, pleurodynia, intercostal neuralgia and spinal neuralgia and herpes the pains are-sharp, stitching, shooting, come in paroxysms, are induced by atmospheric changes, sudden exposure to cold or heat, < in wet, stormy weather; from touch, motion, or turning the body. The chest is particularly the seat of these pains. “Muscular pains about margins of shoulder-blades in women of sedentary employment, often burning in small spots, from needlework, typewriting, piano playing” (H. C. Allen). “Jerks and shocks; and sudden tearings in right forearm and between thumb and index finger while writing,” point to R. bulb. as one of the remedies in writer’s cramp and professional neuroses. Sensations of R. bulb. are: Confusion of head as if intoxicated. As if head would be enlarged. As if head pressed asunder. Hypochondria in lowest ribs painful as if bruised. As if everything in abdomen sore and bruised. As if there were subcutaneous ulceration. Burning in left side of chest; in region of short ribs. As if something tearing in chest. As if cold wet cloths applied. As if a full breath could not be drawn. As of a knife thrust through side and into back. Muscles as if pounded. The “cold-water feeling” occurred in a patient of Burnett’s (quoted by A. C. Pope in a lecture reported H. W., xviii. 308). A woman, 30, had had a fall two years before Burnett saw her, and ever since had this peculiar sensation: Whenever she goes out of doors she feels as if wet cloths were applied to three different parts of the anterior walls of thorax-both infraclavicular fossae, and under left breast. Never felt indoors, but constant as long as she is out. Guided by this symptom, “Unusual chilliness of outer parts of chest when walking in open air,” with the general “< in open air” and “< walking in open air,” Burnett gave R. bulb. In two days the patient was better; in three weeks the sensation had completely gone and the general health very much improved. Dudgeon reports this case (B. J. H., xxiv. 160): Lady, 27, three weeks after confinement went for a drive. The day was cold, and an accident occurred to the carriage which frightened her. In the evening she had a slight rigor, and complained of pain in left side about sixth and seventh ribs. < Slightest movement; > sitting rather bent forward and leaning a little to the left. Pulse 120, no heat of skin. No signs of lung or pleural involvement. Bry., and later Arn., gave no relief, and for two days the symptoms grew worse; the patient having to be propped up with pillows, leaning forward and to the left, her head resting on her breast, not daring to breathe at all deeply. R. bulb. 1 relieved her in ten minutes, when she “felt a wrench in her side and the pain was gone.” She was able to lie down, slept all night, and made a rapid recovery. There were some slight returns of pain, now on one side, now on the other, but R. bulb. Soon removed them. The symptoms are < by touch; by pressure (consequence of falls). < Motion; walking; lying down; lying on side (affected); sitting up; change of position; < evening and morning. < Change of temperature; sudden exposure to cold or heat; open air. < Inspiring. < When temperature becomes lower; draught of air; rainy, stormy weather. < After eating. < From anger.

Relations : Antidoted by: Bry., Camph., Puls., Rhus. Incompatible: Sul., Staph., Nit. sp. d., Alcohol, Wine, Vinegar. Compare: R. acris, R. scl. Smarting and pressure in eyeballs, Pho. Burning in spots in back, Aga., Pho. Spinal irritation, Agar. Exposure to cold or heat, Aco., Arn. Corns sensitive, smart, burn, Sal. ac. < Touch and motion, Bry. (Bry. > lying on painful side, R. bulb.

Ranunculus Bulbosus | Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke


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