ONE of our minor, partly proved remedies, which we have found most useful in its special sphere-haemorrhoids and sufferings of rectum and anus. But besides its great province in fistulae, fissures and piles, it is said to be generally curative in varicose conditions. Its chief action is shown in its black letter and italicized symptoms, which we will proceed to quote: Biting itching in the anus that provokes scratching; the orifice seems somewhat swollen. A small ulcer on the perineum, near the anus, that constantly oozes moisture of offensive odour. Haemorrhoids with fissures in anus, intolerable pains during and after stool. Very painful and sensitive ulcers and rhagades in rectum. Very painful ulcer partly in integument; round; sharp-cut edges, exuding much moisture. Fissures of anus. Atrocious pains, with and after stool, recurring after an hour or two, and lasting twelve hours, preventing sleep; must walk the floor nearly all night; exudation of offensive moisture. NIGHTMARE.
Sleep: very much disturbed by anxious dreams that amount to real nightmare, even with a dream of a distinct figure sitting on the chest, and making respiration very anxious. The prover adds in a footnote: “At the time I was ignorant of the fact that both Dioscorides and Plinius had stated that nightmare could be cured by this drug.” Dream of a ghost who was sitting upon his chest and oppressing his breath, so that he frequently woke groaning. Anxious: afraid to talk with anyone; much affected by bad news. Vertigo; on every motion, with constant reeling and staggering. Burning heat; in eyes, face, throat, anus. Pressure in pit of stomach, as from great anxiety. Complete loss of voice. Violent shootings from collar bone down through heart to diaphragm. We are told that Paeonia compares with Hamamelis in varicosis, Silicea in ulcers, and Sulphur in diarrhoea. Paeonia has proved very curative in chronic non-syphilitic ulcerations, as evidenced by cases quoted. Here is one: Eighteen years of haemorrhoids and ulcerations of rectum, after several operations. Patient constipated, nervous and emaciated; disagreeable smell from body. Anus and surroundings purple and covered with a thick crust. At verge and entrance of rectum several fissured ulcers with elevated and indurated edges, exquisitely painful. Whole mucous membrane at verge and higher up studded with ulcers, cracks and rhagades. Rectum purple and congested. CULPEPPER (1610-1644), in my “old” copy-it is only dated 1819, but it is large and square, solidly leather-bound and looks ancient-talks of MALE and Female Paeony. He tells us that physicians say, Male Paeony roots are best.: “but Dr. Reason told me Male Paeony was best for men, and Female Paeony for women, and he desires to be judged by his brother, Dr. Experience.” Culpepper asserts (we will condense): “The roots are held to be of more virtue than the seed; next the flowers, and, last of all, the leaves. The roots of the Male Paeony, fresh gathered, having been found by experience to cure the falling sickness (epilepsy); but the surest way is, besides hanging it about the neck, by which children have been cued, to take the root of the Male Paeony, washed clean, and stamped somewhat small, and laid to infuse in sack for 24 hour at the least, afterwards strain it, and take it first and last, morning and evening, a good draught for sundry days together, before and after full moon; and this will also cure old persons, if the disease be not grown too old, and past cure. He says it helps women after childbirth, and such as are troubled with the mother (the womb). The black seed also taken before bedtime, is very effectual for such as in their sleep are troubled with the disease called Ephialtes, or Incubus, but we do commonly call it the Nightmare: a disease which melancholy persons are subject unto. It is good against melancholy dreams.” (Quaint and nice! Modern renderings of “Culpepper” do not give all this. They boil him down. They give his clinical tips, but extract the man’s soul.) PARKINSON : a still earlier London Herbalist (1567-1650): In my copy of Clarke’s Dictionary, above “Paeony” I once wrote a quotation from his great old folio, which I no longer possess: “The male paeony root is far above all the rest; a most singular approved remedy for all epileptical (sic) diseases. Green root better than the dry.” So we see that Paeony, besides its common uses with us, had a very ancient reputation for the cure of epilepsy: but this seems to have dropped out. DR. OSCAR HANSON, of Copenhagen, in his Rare Homoeopathic Remedies, gives us Paeonia officinalis, with its anal symptoms, and painful ulceration in that region. Also its therapeutics, so concisely told that, with our restricted space, they are worth quoting. Pasty diarrhoea, followed by burning in anus and internal chilliness. Haemorrhoids with ulceration; the anus and surrounding parts purple, covered with crusts; painful ulcers in ano; fissures of anus. Stool followed by burning and biting; exudation of offensive moisture. (Ratanhia). Abscess below the coccyx. Nightmare. CLARKE tells us that Paeonia belongs to the great order of the Ranunculaceae (the Buttercups), which includes the Aconites, Actaeas and Hellebores. “Its proving brings out many symptoms of congestions, rush of blood to head, face, chest; burning, itching and swelling of anus. Ulcers in general; ulcers from pressure, as bedsores and from ill-fitting boots. It has intolerable pain during and after stool.