Secale Cornutum | Materia Medica by J. T. Kent
The best provers of Secale, those who are most susceptible to its action, are scrawny people, and they are the ones who will most likely need it as their curative remedy. Of course, it is not necessarily contra-indicated in fat people. Certain constitutions are mentioned in connection with a remedy as being suited to it, but it must not be inferred that no action will result in others when the symptoms agree. Scrawny people are especially related to Secale.
Emaciated, withered, wrinkled, unhealthy appearance of the skin; purplish, bluish skin, general or in spots; purplish spots on withered skin, especially where the circulation is feeble as on the back of the hands and feet and on the tibia. These parts become numb, tingle and wither. The extremities prickle, burn, and tingle; creeping and crawling, as of insects under the skin, as if between the skin and the flesh; numb, dead, wooden sensation in the fingers and especially in the toes. The toes become black, gangrenous. A senile withering, such as is found in feeble old people; the blood-vessels close up; no blood goes to the toes and they become numb and black, devoid of sensation. Hence, Secale improves the circulation of the aged and postpones senile gangrene.
Burning is a feature of this remedy; the skin burns; the extremities burn, sensation of burning when the parts feel cold to the touch and really are cold, a sensation of heat with coldness. Burning, especially of internal parts. Dryness with burning; burning in the stomach and bowels; dryness and burning in the mouth and throat, the nose and air passages; burning in the lungs.
This remedy produces ulceration even to sloughing. Old ulcers take on a strange, withered appearance; dryness with no granulations; a shiny, blackish aspect and all at once blackish granulations shoot out, indolent, and finally forming a black sphacelus which slowly separates; the part is dry; there is no discharge except now and then a little bleeding of black blood.
Oozing of black, liquid blood, oozing when there is no inflammation; nose-bleed of dark, venous, offensive, fluid blood, bleeding from the throat, lungs, bladder, and rectum, of dark blood; urine like ink. Prolonged uterine haemorrhage so that one menstrual nisus runs into another; withered subjects; considerable flow on the first day, fluid, and blackish; this goes on for a couple of weeks and then a dark, watery flow comes on which lasts until the next period. Then comes the thick, black, fluid, horribly offensive flow again. Such a state is found in the woman who has taken ergot to produce abortion, or in sensitive women who have been dosed with it to facilitate delivery. Of course, if the woman is not sensitive you will not get the lingering provings.
Some women are so insane that though they die they will get rid of their offspring. On all hands women say, “I have had no health since I aborted.” The worst state of health is produced by ergot; it establishes a miasm as deep as psora itself. The desire to destroy the offspring is an engraftment on psora and by ergot she takes on a miasm as dangerous as sycosis or syphilis.
I have patients who took ergot to cause abortion, and I can do nothing mere than palliate them. They have Secale symptoms, sequellae, and their psoric symptoms are suppressed, held down, just as syphilis holds down psoric manifestations; only by covering the Secale miasm and getting at the psora can we help the patient. They have placed themselves beyond the help of the physician and the ergot will shorten their lives many years unless they are fortunate enough to have careful prescribing continuously while they live.
The general constitutional state is aggravated from heat; there are only a few exceptions to this. Wants cold though the limbs are cold as ice, wants to be uncovered, wants the windows open; a patient with haemorrhages wants the covers off though the room is cold. A patient with ulcers wants to be uncovered; in inflammatory condition of the stomach and bowels, wants the abdomen uncovered.
At times there is a lingering state of heat of the skin and the patient wants to be covered up; there are also sharp, stinging neuralgic pains, which burn like fire and cut like a knife and are relieved by the application of heat; headache worse in cold air. But the general state is AMELIORATED FROM UNCOVERING, IN A COLD ROOM, AND FROM COLD AIR BLOWING ON THE PATIENT.
Violent inflammation of any part of the body; gangrenous pneumonia ; gastritis; peritonitis; inflammation of the uterus and ovaries. In inflammatory conditions it competes with ARSENICUM. The symptoms are so nearly alike in both that it is difficult to differentiate; both have violently distended abdomen; tympanites; burning like coals of fire; violent thirst; extreme sensitiveness and tenderness to touch, so that motion or jar is unbearable; vomiting of blood; expulsion of blood-clots; horrible, offensive, bloody discharge from the bowels; but they are different in the generals. ARSENICUM. wants to be covered up, to be kept warm, to have hot applications, either wet or dry, while Secale wants to be uncovered, wants the cold air.
Convulsions of single parts or of the whole muscular system; opisthotonos; cramps in the calves, thighs, soles of the feet, and hands; hysterical contractures, a hysterical diathesis. Convulsions begin in the face. Active manias with great excitement; exposes her body and tears at the genitals; puts her finger in the vagina and scratches until the lips bleed; all idea of modesty lost.
The spasms, nervous, and mental symptoms are worse while she is flowing, so that a puerperal convulsion comes on in the midst of a haemorrhage.
From the hemorrhagic tendency and the ability to destroy the red blood corpuscle, there is anaemia. The face looks like dried beef, wrinkled, shrivelled, scrawny, as if it had not been washed; as if grey dirt had dried on the skin, and this especially on the extremities, a dirty, grey appearance.
Catarrhal affections of all mucous membranes; they are dry and bleed; blood oozes from the catarrhal surfaces, liquid, black, and offensive, coagulating slowly or not at all. “Nosebleed, blood dark, runs continually, with great prostration, small thread-like pulse; in old people or drunkards; of young women; from debility.”
Those poisoned by ergot become victims of opacity of the lens as in senile debility; cataract of old persons.
The withered scrawny person with tendency to ulcerations, unhealthy skin and AGGRAVATION FROM HEAT, is striking in both acute and chronic states.
Chronic diarrhoea, exhaustive, watery discharges, cholera. It is related to CAMPHOR. Scrawny people take cholera, skin cold and blue; better from cold. Violent and continued thirst.
Diarrhoea and haemorrhages are likely to come together; diarrhoea of bloody water or dark liquid blood.
Large doses produce such contractures of the uterus that its contents are expelled and an exhausting haemorrhage follows; expulsion of large clots and in the early stages mixed with some red blood, but the most striking feature is liquid, black discharge.
“Asiatic cholera with collapse, sunken, distorted face, particularly the mouth, crawling sensation as of ants.”
Paretic condition; paralysis of lower extremities; of one side; of one arm or one leg; paralysis of the upper extremities with tingling, numbness, and prickling. Numbness and burning down the whole length of the spine; general emaciation or only of diseased part.
Eruptions, abscesses, boils, carbuncles; green pus discharged; a green, purplish appearance; boils small with green contents, mature and heal slowly.
Establishes sterility; so weak is the uterus that it can never hold the foetus, hence the value in sterility and repeated abortions.
Dwindling of the mammae. Absence of milk after confinement.
“Thin, scrawny children with shrivelled skin, spasmodic twitchings, sudden cries, feverishness.”