[ Read before the Bureau of Materia Medica, I.H.A., June 21, 1951].
K.A. MCLAREN M.D.
We, as physicians, are constantly called upon to decide whether a given patient has real or imagined heart disease. In the majority of cases the decision can be made from an accurate history, from the subjective symptoms, plus what is observed and found with the ordinary means at our disposal. Where this is still insufficient, a cardiologist should use all the diagnostic means at his commands. I believe an older man who has had some years in general practice before specializing is the best one to pass an opinion.
Upon this opinion should rest the future living habits of the patient. Where no organic heart lesion can be found the patient can be relieved by reassurance and given appropriate treatment.
One symptom many patients complain of is rapid pulse-many of these have always had a rapid pulse-some have it only in attacks, or periods, which come suddenly, last for a few seconds or minutes to several hours. When observed in such an attack the patient is frequently flushed. It is probable the mechanism is very similar to that of women in the menopause, and indeed it may be a symptom of change in the male.
The dominant school use quinidine daily to alleviate this and may give it for years. We, of course, use the indicated remedy which may be Lachesis, Strychnia phos., Sulphur, Gels., or Valerian.
In cases where the pulse is rapid all the time and there are no signs pointing to hyperthyroidism, I believe Craetageus, given over a long period, is the best remedy.
Many case of rapid pulse, flushing, and pulsating throughout the body are actually due in large part to a hyperthyroid state. I believe also that a thyroid may be very active for short periods then back to normal for periods- a sort of intermittent hyperactivity. This is seen in very nervous people who blush at their neckline in front. These patients often need Nat. mur., Ferr. met., Phosphorus, Calc. Phos., or Sulphur.
Then we have the ones who are short of breath, bluish lips, sighing, slight puffiness of the ankles, yet on examination the blood pressure, urine, and heart sounds are within normal limits. These patients are frequently a little too stout; they need graduated exercise out of doors such as walking, less to eat and more rest. Remedies for this class are Lachesis, Asafoetida, Digitalis, Ignatia, Calcarea carb. and Sulphur.
Pain in the region of the heart and left chest, front and back, is common and may be due to arthritis of the spinal articulations in the cervical or upper dorsal region, or due to the so-called intercostal neuritis, or may be of rheumatic origin. It may be the cause reflexly of rapid heart action. These pains may extend to the left shoulder and side of neck or to the back. They come frequently when at rest, or when sitting, and are helped most by Spigelia, Ranunculus bulb, Kalmia and Sulphur.
Then we have the people who complain of weakness, weak spells, gone feeling about the heart, or every shock is felt in the region of the heart. Examination may disclose some irregularity in heart action-a sudden jump or jerk-possibly an old murmur which has been there for years following rheumatic fever, diphtheria or scarlet fever. These are more functional than organic and a little medicine and warning about more rest and less exertion is sufficient. Remedies for this class are Digitalis in potency, Pulsatilla, Ignatia, Lachesis, Kalmia.
Next we have the ones with heart pains who say, “It is due to my gas;” they belch and the pain goes. The pain is as if from pressure of wind and is relieved by belching or the passage of flatus. However, this pain comes after eating and then hurrying as for a bus, or when going up a slight incline, i.e., from exertion. These patients are experiencing mild angina and should be so warned. Remedies: chief is Carbo veg., next Lachesis, then Cactus grand, Argentum nit., Valerian, Latrodectus mac., and Sulphur.
Here follows a short case history of heart block treated homoeopathically: Feb. 1, 1949. This man, of between 65 and 70 years, very active, wiry and a great smoker, suddenly felt weak and short of breath. His pulse rate became slow-30 to 40 beats per minute. Electrocardiogram showed heart block. The specialist advised no effort be made to re-establish the normal rate. B.P. 90/60; breath became shorter, smothering attacks on going to sleep. Grindelia, Sambucus, Lachesis and Carbo veg. were given as indicated. By April 26, he was up and about, and from then until Nov. 5th 1950, was O.K., drove his car, moved stones at the cottage, painted, and ate well.
Nov. 5th, 1950, the heart rate, which had varied between 40 to 50, dropped to about 20, and he was again put to bed. This time he had oedema of the extremities and a little fluid in the lung bases. The nightly suffocative attacks returned and Grindelia, Sambucus, Lachesis, and later Digitalis in potency were given. He made a nice recovery and motored to Florida in January of 1951. I have not seen him since.
TORONTO. ONTARIO, CANADA.
1951 SOUTHERN-PAN AMERICAN MEETING.
The 67th Convention of the Southern Homoeopathic Medical Association and the 22nd Convention of the Pan American Homoeopathic Medical Congress was held at Hotel Peabody, Memphis, Tennessee, on October 15-19, 1951. All agreed that we had one of the finest homoeopathic meetings in a decade under the Presidencies of Dr. V.T. Carr and Dr. Ralph W. Bohn respectively. The city of Memphis was an excellent choice since the local medical profession was absolutely free of any prejudice.
Our school of thought in modern medicine was welcomed. the first 3 days were devoted to the scientific program under Southern leadership and the last 2 days consisted of a Congress of STates and Congress of Countries under the Pan American. Latin american delegates cannot be subsidized by their local governments unless such delegates are presenting papers. It was decided therefore that an evening would be devoted to scientific subjects in Portuguese and Spanish.
On Monday the cerebral palsy conference and clinic under Dr. Tufo was a great success. We feel that the only medical treatment for these individuals must follow the law of similars. This was followed by the 2nd National Reunion of Graduates of Homoeopathic Colleges under the chairmanship of Dr. Eikenberry. It was good to hear from our seven old homoeopathic colleges and most important their influence upon modern medicine in various states, President Bohn of the Pan American was principal speaker at the Reunion Banquet.
Modern developments in the field of medicine and homoeopathy features the Southern scientific program on Tuesday. Dr. Amaro Azevedo, physician to the President of Brazils family, was given half a page in the Memphis newspapers as he spoke on smoking as a causative factor of disease with particular stress on angina and arteriosclerosis.
Wednesday, October 17th, was given to Homoeopathic Philosophy under Dr. Dwight Smith and modern developments in the field of Surgery and Obstetrics by Doctors Ferguson and Sunnenblick. Dr. and Mrs. Wilbur K Bond. furnished marimba music for the joint banquet of the Southern and Pan American on Tuesday evening. We are indebted to Dr. Faris for a most interesting biographical history of the Southern. It was announced that Dr. Eikenberry of Indianapolis, Indiana, had been elected President of the Southern for the next year.
The Pan American had delegates from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and the United States. A report on homoeopathy was received from practically every country in the Western Hemisphere. Brazil and Argentina received honorable mention for great homoeopathic advancement during the past year.
DR. W.A. Guild announced his retirement as Executive Secretary due to ill health and asked that Dr. Paul Schantz of Pennsylvania or Dr. Jiminez formerly of Monterrey, Mexico, now of San Antonio, Texas, replace him, Dr. Schantz was elected Executive Secretary by a vote of 18 to 17. Dr. Paiva Ramos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, was elected President and Dr. R. C. Bowie of Colorado, President- elect. The Southern and Pan american jointly decided to hold their next meeting at Miami Beach, Florida, in late October 1951, after seriously considering Havana, Cuba, San Juan, P.R. and Panama City, Panama. Dr. Paiva Ramos Romos suggested that it was easier for Latin Americans to get to Miami than to any other location. It was voted to cooperate with the World Homoeopathic Convention to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in October 1954.
The Latin American delegates showed the wisdom of having an evening program in Spanish and Portuguese with summaries of papers in English. This will be included in the Miami Beach, Florida, program.
The joint meeting was originally scheduled for New Orleans, Louisiana, and many members of both organizations visited New Orleans before returning to their homes. They readily saw that New Orleans is not a Convention City due to the serious overcrowding of their hotels. Each delegate returned to their homes with a new interest in homoeopathy and a fervent desire to encourage the old school in their study of the Law of Similars.