February 10th, 1868.
Mr., the allopathic chemist, has had for about a week a feeling of fullness across the right supra-orbital ridge, as if it were being pushed out from within, gradually getting worse; to-day it has extended to the corresponding part of left side ; soreness on pressure on under surface of right supra-orbital ridge, in the bore, with feeling of warmth there. The fullness was worse to-day after bending the head down for some time. It came on this morning in bed, from 4.30 to 6:30 o'clock, but only on right side, preventing sleep; he fell asleep at 6.30 o'clock, and was free from pain; the pain returned about 10 A. M., forty-five minutes after breakfast. The right eye feels as if it would water; right upper lid hangs down lower than left, and is rather red, it feels warm. Feeling as if something were repeatedly pressing on under the surface of the right supra-orbital ridge, near inner canthus; he describes it by placing a finger on his hand, and repeatedly pressing it in; he distinctly says it is not a throbbing pain. Today the pain was very bad at dinner, better in afternoon; the pain has generally been worse in evening, on sitting down to read. Three weeks ago caught a cold; two weeks ago cough came on, excited by tickling at throat-pit. Now has a cough excited by a tickling behind the sternum, running up to throat-pit; it is worse in the evening when sitting down to read; it comes on also when beginning to eat, especially if he drinks nothing; it is the same in and out of doors. For the last three days (this is the latest symptom) the cough has caused a feeling of a rush of blood from nape into occiput, compelling him to place his hand on occiput, which relieves it ; from the first, though not every day, it has caused a pain from between shoulders through to chest ; there is slight expectoration in the morning from a cough. For some months has had a feeling of the stiffness of the nape on waking, as if he had lain on his back in the form of an arch, going off soon after rising. For many years has had the fullness of vertex and forehead on waking. He eats salt with his food, though he dislikes it because he has understood it is good to eat it! Three years ago was vaccinated for the second time; since then his teeth, which were perfectly sound before, have begun to decay close to the gums. (This is Boenninghausen's characteristic of sycotic teeth; I have found it a valuable indication of toothache for Thuya). He has taken two doses of Pyretic salts, and during the first week of a cough applied mustard plasters, but all without effect.
Diagnosis of the remedy: The totality of the symptoms could not be covered. The most peculiar, and, at the same time, the latest symptom was the rush of blood to the occiput when coughing, relieved by pressure; this symptom, therefore, was, according to Hahnemann, of the greatest importance. Nat. Mur. has a very similar symptom, "A headache from sneezing and coughing, immediately disappearing on external compression;" it has also tenderness of left orbital region; it is also, in a high potency, an antidote to the effects of crude salt, which I considered to be the cause of his symptoms. Some persons are very sensitive to salt and suffer from its pathogenetic action if they take it with their food. It is an error to suppose that raw salt is a uecessary article of food because it exists in the tissues ; iron and phosphorus also exist in the tissues, yet we are not taught to take these substances as we do salt ; the truth is that food, in its natural state, as well as the air we breathe, contains sufficient of all these mineral substances to supply the waste continually going on in the body ; when they are thus taken, in what we may call their organic form, tliey act as foods ; when taken raw, as poisons or medicin s, as the case may be. The common argument that animals eat it is fallacious, as they only take it occasionally, doubtless through an instinctive craving for the remedy for their morbid condition. The arguments derived from the condition of prisoners fed on unsalted food is also deceptive, as other causes were operative. Healthy children never, I believe, eat salt till the taste is acquired through compulsion; but I have frequently noticed a craving for salt associated with serious disease.
It is now more than twelve years since I myself gave up the use of raw salt, and I have not yet suffered the fate of Herod, as a kind friend predicted at the time.
February 11th. Woke with the same fullness and pain across eyebrows, mostly on the right side; did not feel the soreness; lay awake from 5 to 6 A. M. At 8.20 A. M. took one globule of Nat Mur. 1000 (Jenichen); he was also instructed to leave off the use of salt entirely, and coffee while under treatment. This last advice I now consider to have been unnecessary; high potencies are not easily if at all, disturbed by crude drugs, too, which the patient is habituated. After the dose, felt extremely tired, low spirited, out of sorts entirely (effects of Nat. Mur. ?) Head became decidedly better; the usual evening aggravation did not occur. During and after dinner, the pain over eye was bad but less than at the corresponding time yesterday. Cough much better still preceded by the tickling; only once or twice felt the rush of blood to the head; no pain from back to chest. The pain, like repeated pressure in orbit, is almost gone. Cough did not come on at dinner or tea, and only slightly at supper. No feeling of watering of eyes. The stiffness of neck unchanged.
Feb. 12th. Very much less languid; better spirits. Very slight cough occasionally, more in evening ; no concomitant symptoms ; stiffness of neck gone (thus verifying Hahnemann's statement, that the oldest symptoms disappear last in a homoeopathic permanent cure); all day a feeling of slight soreness of muscles of nape when pressing them, and slight stiffness of nape on bending head back (effect of Nat. Mur..?) Bowels open twice yesterday and today, otherwise? natural.
13th. A cough troublesome only in evening, but without the former concomitants; bowels open twice.
14th. A cough slightly increased, with expectoration; he was out of doors last night in the chilly air. Slight soreness of left ala nasi, externally, worse on touching and blowing nose, with heat, redness, and swelling; this he has had before, and he thinks yesterday; it is a marked symptom of Nat. Mur. His expectoration has increased since he took the dose.
15th. Ala nasi better; no other symptoms.
26th. The usual fullness of head on waking has continued as before, up to today. For the last two or three days, a mental feeling, as if something was coming on (effect of Nat. Mur. ?) At 11 A. M., after breakfast, felt something wrong about right supra-orbital ridge, and found it was sore to touch, as before, but to a less extent; not much in evening. (He never had such neuralgia before this attack.) Since he took the dose, bowels act every day; formerly they would sometimes not act for two days. Occasional momentary pains along both sides of the neck, in a direction downward and forward, affecting the whole extent of their course simultaneously (effect of Nat.mur. ?) The neuralgia had returned. "Was the dose to be repeated or allowed to act, or a new remedy given? Sometimes a dose will give instantaneous relief, followed by a return of the symptoms as severe as ever. In this case, it is simply the palliative action of the medicine, and a new one should be selected. (See Hahnemann's Preface to Magnet, and Ad. Lippe in Hahnemannian Monthly, vol. i, p.372.) Sometimes, after the those have afforded more gradual but complete relief, the symptoms will return in a modified or lessened form, after an interval of a few days. In these cases, it is simply an instructive proving of the medicine, which will disappear if left to itself. (See Hahnemann's Chronic Diseases and Ad. Lippe in Hahnemannian Monthly, vol. ii, p. 26.) No medicine is therefore given.
27th. About 10 A. M., after breakfast, pain as if right eye were pressed out; the eye waters, and the lid falls a little; the inner half of the right supra-orbital ridge and the corresponding part of forehead just above it are sore to touch and on knitting the brows, the soreness being in the bone ; feel 3 as if he must often draw the hand lightly over that part of the forehead, which relieves it, The pains prevent him from reading ; they were worse than yesterday, but less than during the first attack; no soreness under right supra-orbital ridge. In afternoon, both before and after dinner, the symptoms were better, but again slightly increased by writing and book work, going off entirely in the course of the afternoon. Has a few pimples on the forehead, one with a vesicular head; has these about every three weeks (effects of Nat. Mur. ?) No fullness of head on waking.
28th. About 10 A. M., after breakfast, the same symptoms as yesterday, but much less; lasting till afternoon; gradually decreasing.
29th. Between noon and 1 P. M., slight soreness along right eyebrow, in the bone, when pressed; gradually lessening; not felt in the evening.
March 1st. About 10 A. M., the same soreness as yesterday; felt slightly all day.
6th. The fullness of the head on waking returned. Several weeks afterward he reported that he had been quite free from neuralgia and the stiffness of neck on waking.
1869, August. Has had no return of neuralgia or stiffness of the neck. No report is given as to the fullness of head.
The patient went on with his avocations, as usual, proving that the inhalation of crude drugs does not necessarily interfere with the action of high potencies.
N. B. After he was cured, he ridiculed the idea that one little globule could have had any effect on him. Subsequently, however, he applied to me for treatment for some other complaint; but I declined to prescribe, telling him that there were plenty of medicines in his shop if he did not believe in what I had done for him. Ungratefulpatients should be punished.