STAPHISAGRIA

JOHN HUTCHINSON, M.D.

 

Would it not be well to start a symposium on this remedy? Belonging as it does to the Aconite family, I doubt if we always give it due place in prescribing, for its demand may exceed its employment. If we reread the provings as given in Hahnemanns Materia Medica Pura we cannot fail to be convinced to think that our later books have neglected a good deal of the classic record.

Have we not been apt to think of Staphisagria (stavesacre, larkspur, etc.) as limited to lice, sexuality, and teeth? One may not depend profitably on the trend of his early teaching, for that has ever the great need of extensive amplification as well as revision. In all our hundreds of remedies tried and proven there are undoubtedly scores of them inadequately availed of. I am convinced that Staphisagria is one of them.

Staphisagria is indicated by its peculiar symptomatology in many cases of arthritis, myalgia, bone pains, neurasthenia, anaemia, vertigo, gastritis, and innumerable other conditions that mirror its picture.

It has seemed to me related in character to Aconite without any of the latters distinctive intensive, but a very persistent or obstinate claim on its peculiar ails. In fact, often when Staphisagria is indicated the disturbances are of the nagging order. They have been rather increasingly bothersome up to a fulminating degree.

The symptoms in the Hahnemann record read to me as exact as truth could be. Every line is important. A complex as found in any case may take the prescribers mind back to the possible origin of the patients malady and so develop the medical mans understanding of the possibilities of this great agent for cure.

I hope our members will be generous in supporting a free discussion. NEW YORK.

DISCUSSION.

DR. WOODBURY: I have at hand the original notes taken by my late father from Lippes materia medica lectures, given in the year 1865-1866. It may be of interest to see how much the great teacher summed up in brief space.

He does not tell all about Staphisagria, but what he gives is strictly to the point:

“The muscles are painful when touched and joints when moved; one-sided paralysis from anger; great weakness and stiffness of joints in the morning, mostly in the shoulders and hips and small of the back twitches during the night. He cannot perspire even from the greatest exertions but he gets pale in the face and has headache with cold perspiration on the forehead (Merc. has cold sweat on forehead) before and after an attack of intermittent fever.

Excessive hunger, bad effects from anger and grief with indignation (be throws things from him; this is a sure indication for Staph); when angry the face becomes brown or bluish, with pale tips of nose and ears (also Calc. c); excrescences on the gums and other parts as the eyes. Wounds from sharp cutting instruments”.

Lippe often gave his classes things which do not appear in his Text Book; in fact, this book was published the very year (1866) that the above brief notes were taken. I am fortunate in having this whole series of materia medica notes, and this autumn I gave them to out visiting Gurus from India.

DR. ALFRED PULFORD: It will pay every on of us to just urn to Dr. H. C. Allens Keynotes and study the symptoms he gives there. It is surely surprising how we forget so much of what we read. I have used the remedy for tumors in upper eyelids, and black teeth.

DR. FARRINGTON: Such expansion is the function of the Homoeopathic council and its doing it. I too plead guilty of neglecting this useful remedy. I have seen numerous chalazia disappear under its influence. It was a boon to several of my patients who were hard hot by the depression-one in particular after being cheated by a partner and failing in business; harassed by his first wife, hauled into court because he was in arrears with alimony; fear of losing a job with little pay; at swords points with his boss; mind muddled, fits of anger hard to control sensitive to mental or physical impressions. Have confirmed the use of Staph, after operations and in dysuria in newly wedded women.

DR. ALFRED PULFORD; “Canine hunger even when stomach is full of food. Easy anger, sensitive to least impressions, offended at every insult real or imaginary, a sort of mental colic. Peevish a.m., wishes to throw everything away or into fire, temper violent. Irritable, excitable, nervous.” Like Cham., the mind seems to govern the indications for this remedy. It remains one also of Nux. Have finished a case with it, a case of tumor of the upper lid in a man aged 60. The tumor was as hard as stone and as large as a good sized hazel nut. It melted and faded away like magic, and took with it a lot of other ailments, under the IM.

DR. DAYTON PULFORD: All I can contribute is from one of the first papers I wrote for the Council when I reported a case of orchitis and abscess of the scrotum and spermatic cord.

DR. SUGDEN: Recently I have prescribed successfully Staph. 200 for sleeplessness of a hysterical widow. She is naturally a “nagger” and very fretful, but surprised her family by her calmness after the death of her husband and the subsequent breaking up of her home. Two doses, July 14 and Sept.25.

I have used the remedy with quick relief after deep operation.

DR. HAYES: This reminds me that I have used Staph. too infrequently. I have seen it improve the gums and blackened teeth for children who were pale, anaemic and cross; do well for women who have pain in an ovary, usually the right (clinical) and who have a come-back for every trifle; for the mental shock of quarrels, wounded pride or grief; retention of urine of the new wife; styes colic, surgical or from strain; strains within the abdomen from reaching or stretching more often with women, apparently affecting the psoas muscles or ureter; one beautiful result in a quinsy with stitches in the affected part when attempting to swallow. I seem to remember that reading a similar report suggested the remedy for my patient.

These uses could be extended and new ones found by more investigation of the provings. Such expansion is the peculiar function of the Council, I believe.

DR. STEVENS: I fear that I cant offer anything new on this remedy. I have used it in cases that involved hurt feelings, hurt pride, etc., but I have never been very sure of any results.

I am studying the remedy and shall look out for the chance to use it.

Kent speaks especially of its use after the stretching of sphincters, to relieve the nerve pain.

DR. BROWN: Staph. is a wonderful remedy. I have had some very brilliant results in a long train of symptoms following injury to nerves, incision, stretching etc., also prostatitis, styes, itching of margin of eyelids and great lassitude.

DR. HUTCHINSON:It is obvious from a reading of all the papers from our Council that this remedy is not only understood, but is employed successfully in its prominent field. Dr. H.C. Allens Keynotes does give a most comprehensive resume of symptomatology. Lippes Materia Medica on this remedy leaves something to be desired, in my opinion; but the most striking: “He cannot perspire even from the greatest exertions,” according to notes taken from Lippes lectures, and now quoted by Dr. Woodbury, has its counterpart in Lippes book, “Profuse perspiration and disposed to perspire”.

Which reminds one to thrust forward the query:Does not every great remedy show by its proven power that directly opposed symptoms exist authentically? We have a Bryonia patient who has no thirst at all. Pulsatilla often has thirst markedly. There is a cold stage of Aconite and the fever stage. In fact, good prescribers have told me that this very contradiction would often verify the remedy.

It will ever seem, perhaps, an endless problem to identify the patient so that we can identify the remedy. Ah, but the problem is never without its compensating reward when we cease to pin our attention to and the whole of our confidence in the material externals. “What is the heart of this totality?”.

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