Hard, knotty; Lumpy, covered with mucus.
Torpidity and want of desire; No stool except under the influence of purgative.
Long lasting pain in the rectum; haemorrhoids and fainting.
Depression of spirits. General debility. Headache. Coated tongue. Impaired digestion; sour eructations; dull aching pain in the pit of the stomach, which produces a “gone” or faint feeling of weight in the stomach and epigastrium. Pain in the large intestines and rectum. Colic accompanied with fainting and heat in the intestines. Fetid flatus. Haemorrhoids.
In debilitated and enfeebled subjects, especially in those who have frequent recourse to purgatives. Also when constipation occurs in those who; after an active life, are confined to a sedentary one, or when the condition depends more upon a sluggish state of the bowels than upon any diseased condition of the system.
Dr. Hughes says : I do not know of a remedy which is of greater service in simple constipation than Hydrastis. In very chronic cases it might be better to commence the treatment with Sulphur, and continue it for a short time. Hydrastis having a well-known action upon the liver and having cured jaundice, it may be possible that a great part of its power over constipation is due to its action upon this organ. It is in those cases in which constipation exists alone or is the cause of other sufferings that I find Hydrastis so useful.
Ruddock considers the action of Hydrastis in constipation to be that of a general and local tonic.
The tincture and lower dilutions are recommended.
The accompanying observations show that the field of action of Hydrastis is extensive, and comprehends not only idiopathic constipation, but also haemorrhoidal constipation and that of pregnant women and of infants. The observation of Dr. Rogerson proves also that certain gastro-hepatic disorders do not contra-indicate this valuable remedy, the knowledge of which we owe to Dr. Hale.
M. S., 38 years of age, came to the dispensary in the following condition : For the last eight months, she has been suffering with constipation, and during this times she has not had more than one or two stools a week, and then only with the aid of medicine; she has taken, generally the oil and pills of the Ricinus communis, and in consequence complains of continual pain in the head, more especially in the morning; bad taste in the mouth with coated tongue; pain in the back and shoulders; sensation of constriction in the hypo-gastric region, which was only relieved by means of a purgative; yellow or rather bilious teint, skin smooth and dry, severe pain after each stool, which were hard and knotty, and of a brown or gray color. I gave Hydras. can., morning and evening, and forbade the use of laxatives; at the end of four days, the headache was better, as also the pains in the back and shoulders, she had had one stool; four days later the headache and pains had entirely disappeared; the stools were easy and normal, the face was no longer yellow, the appetite was better, and at the end of four weeks she was entirely well. – Dr. Rogerson.
Mme. B -, 32 years of age, blue eyes, light-colored hair, delicate skin, mother of two children, the youngest of whom was six years old, has had for three years painful haemorrhoids, with paroxysms of headache and constipation; she complained of severe burning, smarting pains in the rectum, before and after each stool; colic pains, with attacks of faintness and heat in the intestines often follow the evacuations, after a constipation of several days. Two physicians of the old-school and one of the new-school have attempted the cure. As I had overcome similar symptoms in another patient, six months before, I resolved to give this one Hydrastis can. Ten days after taking it she had an evacuation without pain, and in three weeks she was cured; the trouble has not reappeared, now one year after recovery. For fifteen years she had used tea and coffee. – Dr. E. B. Brown.
A young married woman, brunette, black eyes, delicate features, but strong and energetic, consulted me in May, 1865, for constipation and haemorrhoids. She was in the second months of her third pregnancy, and under the treatment of the old-school, she had suffered severely from the same troubles in her former pregnancies. She was only able at that time to have an evacuation by the aid of injections. She complained at the present time of severe pain during stool, but no haemorrhage. I gave without success, for four weeks, Nux vom., at first in the 3rd and then in the 1st; Hydrastis can., two drops of the 10th, at night, relieved her promptly, and after using this medicine for two or three months, the intestines resumed their natural functions, which continued until confinement. – Dr. H. B. Clark.
Mme. H -, 26 years of age, blond, pale complexion, delicate constitution, a tea-drinker since infancy; for 10 to 12 years, she has suffered with attacks of constipation with haemorrhoids. Three weeks after birth of her first and only child, she was seized, while at stool, with severe pains in the rectum and anus. These severe, burning, stinging pains, lasted often for 6-8 hours after each evacuation, and were accompanied with a sensation of heat in the intestines, colic pains and fainting. She had every week one or two very hard, but natural-colored, stools. There was no prolapse of the rectum and no pain in this region, except during an evacuation and for several hours after. These symptoms persisted without any modification for two months, notwithstanding the use of Ignatia, Nux vom., Pulsat., Sulph., Nitr. acid., warm water injections, and warm sitz-baths. In seeking for some help among the new remedies, I chose Hydrastis as the most appropriate, and gave it in tincture, not having any other preparation at hand; three drops in a half glass of water, a teaspoonful every six hours. At the end of two weeks, the rectal pains had entirely disappeared and the stools were regular; the colic, faintings and abdominal heat soon disappeared, and the patient was well. There has been no return of the trouble for eighteen months. – Dr. E. B. Brown.
A child of one year of age, of a constipated habit since birth, was radically cured by the tincture of Hydrastis, one drop twice a day, after cathartics and injections had shown themselves ineffectual. – Dr. G. C. Hibbard.
S. H., aged 19 years, complaining of sore neck and throat, the latter much relaxed and inflamed; headache, cough and spit; pain in the side while stooping and rising from a recumbent position; bad breath; tongue foul and coated with a thick, white fur; appetite bad, and bowels for some six or eight weeks very much confined; had been obliged to resort to purgatives every Saturday; the bowels were generally moved three or four times every Sunday; and not again until the medicine was repeated on the following Saturday. Hydrastis (dose not given) was given every morning and evening. At the end of two weeks the cure was complete. – Dr. Robertson in Hempel and Arndt’s Mat. Med.
A stout large-frame man, upward of 60 years of age, an inmate of The Little Sisters of the Poor, had been a few years ago unable to walk in consequence of severe spasmodic, drawing, contracting pains through the thighs and calves of the legs, but which Nux vom., tincture, seemed to relieve, (at least he began to walk and still continues to walk about the house), soon after taking this drug. But constipation has been persistent in his case, accompanied by “severe pains” (underscribed) in the region of the liver and extending around the body. Nux, tincture, Podophyllum, tincture, Dioscorea1, Gelsemium1, etc., failed to relieve. He could only obtain a scanty movement by the use of small pieces of rhubarb. When the bowels were free, the general conditions were better. Hydrastis2, five drops night and morning and continued for several weeks, has caused a movement of the bowels to take place every day, while the pain in the side is markedly improved. The pain in the legs is unchanged and walking is difficult. – T. M. S.