SARSAPARILLA

3
1656

According to Milne it is “diaphoretic, tonic, alterative. . . . It is given in scrofula and secondary syphilis; and the concomitants of these diseases, such as ulcers, cutaneous eruptions, nodes, indurated glands, caries, necroses, articular swellings, and rheumatism, often improve under a protracted course of it.” Some, he adds, “think it a kind of restorative after an exhausting course of Mercury.” This well summarises the ancient reputation of Sars. as a “blood purifier,” which Hahnemann’s proving has amplified and put on a fixed scientific basis.
Sarsaparilla meets the sycotic as well as the psoric (scrofulous) and syphilitic constitution; and it is “restorative” after over-dosing with Merc. because it is a homœopathic antidote to Merc.
The chief localities of the action of Sars. are: The urinary organs; genitals; rectum; skin and bones; right lower extremity; right lower side; inner semilateral head.
In the urinary sphere there are symptoms which are very severe and also peculiar: There is great pain at end of micturition, just as the urine ceases to flow; inability to pass water freely except in the standing position, when sitting it only dribbles; excessive pain in urethra which may run back into abdomen; passage of gravel which looks like grey sand. Many cases of renal colic and dysuria in infants with passage of sand have been cured with Sars. Gonorrhœa and the effect of suppressed gonorrhœa have also been cured with it; herpes preputialis; spermatorrhœa, with swollen cords. In the female generative sphere it has many symptoms of painful and disordered menstruation. A peculiar symptom is “moist eruption in right groin before menses.” There are moist eruptions also on scrotum and thighs of the male, and offensive odours about genitals in both sexes. The semen may be bloody. In all cases if the other symptoms are associated with the peculiar urinary symptoms of Sars., this will be a strong corroborative indication.
The skin is severely affected by Scars. One of its popular uses is for “clearing the complexion.” When it succeeds it is by virtue of its homœopathicity, for I have seen a very extensive crop of blotches produced by it in a young lady. Sars. produces herpetic eruptions in all parts, and tettery eruptions, moist and dry. Rhagades. Itch-like eruptions prone to appear in spring. Itching eruption on forehead during menses. It causes great emaciation, causing the skin to be shrivelled and lie in folds. It is suited to children with faces like old people and enlarged abdomens; to dark-haired persons of lithic or sycotic diathesis.
Farrington gives these indications:
(1) Sycotic eruption, little spots scarcely raised above the skin, often scaling a little, but looking like the roseola of syphilis and itching intolerably, < in spring. (2) Moist eruption on scalp, the pus from which causes inflammation of any part it touches. (3) Sycotic headache, beginning at back of head, coming forward and settling at root of nose, with swelling of nose. (4) Moist eruption about genitals or between scrotum and thighs.─Sars. has many symptoms relative to the female breast, and scirrhus of the breast has been cured with it. The nipples are soft, unexcitable; they are retracted and cannot be made to come out. Retraction of the nipples is a suspicious sign even when there is no appearance of tumour; and Sars. should be helpful in patients of cancerous history when this condition is present. This shrivelling of the nipples is part of the shrivelling, withering, wrinkling, and hanging in folds which characterises the skin generally. Burnett (H. W., xv. 62) records the case of Miss X., 32, whom he found ill in bed and in great pain. There was vomiting of bitter matter, diarrhœa, and fainting, the initial stage of a painful period. Conjunctivæ yellow, and apparently a sharp upset of the liver. Card. m. Ø removed the pains and vomiting; Chel. 1 relieved tenderness of the liver which remained. The patient had had painful menses for twenty years, that is, continuously from the commencement, except one year when at school at Tunbridge Wells. She used to begin, generally early in the morning, with bitter vomiting; diarrhœa and fainting fits, with exceedingly cold perspiration; the pain in back, thighs, and hypogastrium she described as dreadful. She had to lie down the first day, the second day the pain continued still very bad, and went off on the third. The left nipple was considerably retracted, arising from a fall when patient was a little child, and in addition to the above-named symptoms she had severe pain in left breast extending down left arm, and the breast was so tender that she would often hold her hand in front of it to ward off any contact. Twenty-four powders, each containing Sars 30 gtt. i., were ordered, one at bedtime. The next flow was painless; but the breast was as painful as ever. Twelve doses of Sul. 30 were given in as many days, and then Sars. 30 again. The painful menstruation remained cured, but the breast was unchanged. Twenty-four powders were now ordered, the first, twelfth, and eighteenth containing each ten globules of Sars. 100, the rest unmedicated. Patient reported: The first two or three weeks she thought she had taken a severe cold, as she had such a peculiar pain between the shoulders as if the flesh were taken hold of and twisted round. After a few days it got better, and "there has been scarcely any pain in the part since." The retraction of the nipple seemed to Burnett a little less. With the same remedy Skinner (ibid.) cured many cases of retraction or flattening of the nipple in nursing women. On two occasions with high potencies of Sars. he enabled a lady to nurse her child when it was utterly hopeless without the simillimum. Peculiar Sensations are: As if in a dream. As of a great weight in head. Buzzing as if a large bell had been struck in head. As if he had been hit with a hammer on top of head. As if something pressing on head. As if gauze spread over left eye. As if a grain of sand in eye. As of a needle pricking point of nose. Face as if bruised. Jaw as if being broken. As if he had eaten nothing. [Sars. has the "sinking" sensation of the great antipsorics.] As if diarrhœa would come on. As if bowels were pressed out. As if bound down to bed by a sort of suction. As if breath were stopped by a spasm. Breast-bone as if bruised. As if chest were too short. As if tips of fingers ulcerated, or as if salt were put on a wound. Limbs as if paralysed. There is general sensitiveness. Pains shoot in different directions. Anxiety accompanies the pains of Sars.; and the pains = depression. The symptoms are < by touch, pressure, tight clothes, scratching. Scratching = itching to begin in another place = eruption on forehead to become humid. A dictionary of Practical Materia Medica: J. H. Clarke.

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