By DR. and MRS. F. J. WHEELER.
ANOTHER very important remedy to add to the medicine chest is Pulsatilla. It is a medicine whose sphere of action chiefly concerns women and girls, yet it is sometimes indicated for the male sex. The type of female for whom the remedy is so often chosen is that known as the “tearful blonde.” To define it more clearly, it is the mild tearful gentle type of girl with sandy hair and blue eyes. Although gentle, she is often irritated, easily irritated; she is not of the pugnacious kind, but rather extremely touchy; easily feels slighted.
In the more extreme cases there is melancholia or despair and a mental outlook full of impulses, excitability, fanaticism, or even religious despair. Another type is that where the patient is nervous, fidgety, changeable, easily led and easily persuaded. (Those who have been studying Dr. Bachs remedies will find that Scleranthus and Cerato have that changeable, easily led type of symptom).
Now some of the marked characteristics of the Pulsatilla patients are:.
They dislike heat; dislike over-heated rooms; feel faint or suffer from nausea in a warm room, especially in a room of the stuffy warm kind. They feel better moving gently about as it relieves their symptoms. The mental, emotional state is relieved by cool air and also the bodily symptoms are often relieved by cool air, cool applications, cold drinks.
It may seem curious that this should be so, yet, as pointed out previously, each remedy has its own peculiar characteristics and it is these that help us to differentiate between one remedy and another. Again, cool foods digest better than hot ones, and that leads us to the digestive system.
A fulness is often present in the stomach for hours after eating, and here again the stomach and abdominal discomfort is relieved by slow walking in the open air. The patient is generally worse from keeping still and trying to rest. Patients suffering from such digestive upsets are said to have a “slow digestion.” She is always worse after eating fats and rich food, such as pork, greasy things, cakes, pastries, etc.
Usually a typical Pulsatilla patient will tell you she “hates fat, never could take fatty food.” Remember that while Pulsatilla hates fat Nux vomica likes fat.
From the love of open air it can be easily imagined that this patient does not like a lot of clothing. This is true, and usually she prefers to wear thin dresses and thin clothing generally, even in the winter. Flannels and woollen clothing irritate the skin and tend to produce eruptions. It is a skin easily irritated and at times may feel hot and feverish, and yet the bodily temperature is normal. Dont forget the Pulsatilla patient is a warm one and cannot stand that while the Nux vomica patient is cold and desires heat.
One of the chief remedies for measles is Pulsatilla, and this remedy and Euphrasia are more often indicated than any other in this infections disease. Euphrasia has a coryza (a cold) characterized by much sneezing, and after a day or so a dry hard cough. This cough is worse in the daytime and better at night when lying down while the cold is better at night.
Pulsatilla complaints are worse in the evening and at night. So if you have a child who has been exposed to the infection of measles and you have the typical dry cough which is better at night you may give Euphrasia and it will be of considerable help before the measles rash appears.
Very often a parent is worried because a child has a dry hard cough which nothing appears to relieve, and then after a few days of this tiresome cough a definite rash of measles appears. Incidentally both Euphrasia and Pulsatilla have a rash resembling measles, hence their use in this disease, together with the discriminating symptoms that apply in any particular case.
Again, in earache this remedy is a wonderful help. A child goes to bed apparently well and wakes later with pain in the ear, and the little patient is miserable, whining and tearful. Pulsatilla, given frequently until relief is obtained, will be indicated here, but if the child is cross, snappy, and generally impatient, Chamomilla is more likely to be the remedy required.
In both cases the patient is better moving about or being carried slowly up and down, but in the one case it will be tearful and sad while in the other it will be irritable and snappy.
In headaches of schoolgirls Pulsatilla is also helpful, especially when associated with the “monthly period”; not necessarily caused by it but associated with it. Very often it is a one-sided headache; it may be of the throbbing congestive type.
Relief will be obtained from cold applications and from external pressure; from slowly moving about and not from keeping still, like the Bryonia patient. Like all Pulsatilla symptoms, the headache is worse towards evening and at night.
As can be easily imagined, Pulsatilla is an invaluable remedy for troubles at the menstrual period, especially of a painful form. Many symptoms belonging to the female sexual organs are helped by this remedy. For example, delayed menses, especially in young girls, or where the menses have been suppressed through bathing or paddling in cold water at a time when the menses were due to appear. Also for girls who should be “developing” and are slow in doing so.
Another infections disease where Pulsatilla is of use is in mumps, and as many of you are aware, mumps may cause trouble in other parts of the body, the breasts or the ovaries for instance, and it is particularly in such instances that this remedy should be thought of.
In all illnesses associated with whatever part of the body and requiring Pulsatilla, the mental outlook characteristic of this remedy will generally be present in some form or other.