Hughes talks of the SPASMODIC COUGH of Drosera, and how “Hahnemann’;s wanted sagacity led hi to perceive this, and to recommended he medicine in pertussis.”
But we all try to improve on Hahnemann-with consequent loss of power. Hahnemann states that a single dose of the 30th (the decillionth) potency, is quite sufficient for the cure of epidemic whooping-cough (according to the indications given by certain symptoms which he enumerates). “The cure takes place,” he says,” with certainty in from seven to nine days under a non medicinal diet. Care should be taken not to give second dose 9or an other medicine) immediately after the first dose, for that would not only prevent the good result, but do serious injury, as I know from experience”
Hughes, who loves to go one better than Hahnemann, and whose otherwise magnificent book is unfortunately responsible for much of the non-Hahnemannian “homoeopathic: practice of later years, suggests “repeated doses of he 1st, or 1st decimal ” instead of Hahnemann’s decillionth, or 30th) ‘to bring uncomplicated cases of whooping-cough to an end in two three, or four weeks” (instead of Hahnemann’s seven to nine days) “with mitigation of the severity of the attack meantime.”
But Hughes got called over the coals for this, and had to print a footnote to the effect that homoeopaths truer to Hahnemann in their practice,” had recently confirmed the correctness of Hahnemann’s observation” (British Journal, vol.xxxvi, p. 268).
I may say that I have been in the habit, from the first, of curing whooping-cough with single doses of Drosera 30 or 200; and I saw a good deal of whooping-cough during the war when in charge of the Children’s Department of the Hospital. On a few occasions, one thought well to repeat, after a fortnight,m if any cough remained. I can only remember one failure, where I had to work out the cases and give another medicine. It was in a child of 4, brought back a week later, no better-worse-and reeking of camphor, which she was wearing in a bad round her neck. This was not quite Hahnemann’s “no other medicine”; in fact, Hahnemann says of Drosera, ” Camphor alleviates and antidotes its effects.” The camphor was discarded, and after one dose of the indicated remedy, Carbo.veg. 1m, the child was practically well in a week.
I have not troubled to look up my cases of Drosera in whooping-cough, but here is one. David S., an infant.
His father and mother were among our missionary students a couple of years ago.
November Ill. Temperature 102 degree F. Coughing and vomiting. Bry.1m.
November 2- M.B. Better night. Less vomiting.
November 3-Less well, fits of coughing, with (?) a whoop. Dros.1m, one dose.
It was whooping-cough, and the baby was well within fourteen days.
And now a confession!
A couple of years ago I had a personal experience of a violent cough, that, to my amazement, turned out to be whooping-cough. I also, unfortunately tried top go one better than Hahnemann (though on his own late lines), and disregarding his warning about not repeating, I plussed Drosera 30. It did not work. Then after standing about evening after evening, after hospital, in bitter winds, waiting for trams, ill, and here was no doubt as to the diagnosis. I floundered about with one medicine after another and grew worse; and wherein the thing had gone quite beyond a joke, with agonies of coughing all through the night, as well as day, cough that hurt horribly, now here, now there, with loss of voice and hearing, and a big corneal haemorrhage, one single dose of Dros 1M was like oil on the waters-the almost instant peace is indescribable! and I proceeded to get well.
But I got something at least out of my sufferings, and I will hand on the tip. Tell your patients when they wake up in the night with that fiendish tickling at the right side of the larynx, and agonies of cough that hurts horribly, the one thing to do is to shut the mouth, and breathe in slowly and deeply thorough the nose-as we used to be taught to do as children when choking. This has the most extraordinarily-controlling effect on the spasm.
Hughes quotes Jousset as saying that the power of drosera in spasmodic cough is one of the best illustration we have of the efficacy of infinitesimal doses. the precise definition of its sphere of action being, “Cough from tickling in larynx, with vomiting of good.” Jousset quoted 107 cases, of which 101 were cured or relieved.
Hahnemann’s whooping-cough symptoms, from the provings, include:- Cough, coming from quite deep down in the chest.
Cough, the impulses of which follow one another so violently that he can hardly get his breath.
Crawling in the larynx which provokes coughing.
Cough ending in vomiting, & c.
It is interesting to note that Hughes, who questions Hahnemann’s single dose of the 30th potency, quarrels also with Dr. Curie’s crude dosage. when Hughes tried top follow Curie-even afar off! with drop doses of the strong tincture of Drosera four times a day, he only succeeded ” in setting up a most violent spasmodic cough in a phthisical patient, which subsided into the ordinary cough of phthisis when the medicine was discontinued.” Others have had similar experience he ways.
No! Hahnemann’s way of using “this uncommonly heroic drug” is undoubtedly the sagest and most efficacious,as I hope you will presently allow.