[Presented to the I.H.A., Bureau of Obstetrics and Pediatrics, June 1930.].
EDWARD R. JOHNSON, M.D.
“Unusual Homoeopathic Remedies Indicated During Gestation.” That word “unusual” is provocative of what, to any one of even a cursory acquaintance with the Repertory, is to be termed the “usual”. To homoeopathic philosophy of healing, dealing as it does, so intimately, so analytically with the spiritual, mental and materialistic complexity of the individual patient there can be no “usual” and therefore, as Einstein would see it, no “unusual”.
While the period of gestation, with the average woman, is one in which it is to be hoped and fortunately is, as a rule, an interim-given proper hygienic and environmental surroundings- independent of remedial measures, at the same time it is a period so fraught with pathological potentialities, eliminative and metastatic embarrassments, that any homoeopathic practitioner cannot but recognize the advisability of seeking out the composite picture or prodrome of the expectant mother on the occasion of his first interview with her, quite as much as making the routine urine analysis and determining the blood pressure findings.
In this search for the similimum I am often reminded of Schopenhauers comparison of his jasper vase to the organism of an animal, a man. “I looked at the two of them”, he says, “and both were heavy, symmetrical and beautiful. The vase had a golden rim and golden handles; the other was an organism, an animal, a man. When I had sufficiently examined their exterior, I asked my attendant genius to allow me to examine the inside of them; and I did so. In the vase I found nothing but the force of gravity and a certain obscure desire, which took the form of chemical affinity. When I entered into the other-how shall I express my astonishment at what I saw? It is more incredible than all the fairy tales and fables that were ever conceived”.
One finds himself in a maze in the search for the similimum. Analysis, synthesis and deletion parry empiricism and precedent. Constitutional psora or dyscrasia should be detected, latent tubercular or rachetic tendencies ought out and a few doses of Sulphur, Calcarea iodata or Medorrhinum prescribed as early in the period of gestation as possible, and occasionally throughout. Personally I seem to be in a Sulphur locality.
From the nervous standpoint, particularly among those women of antecedent puerperal mishaps, suggestions does a great deal in overcoming morbid fears and harrowing prognostications of dearest friends and relatives. In seeking by suggestion to dispel these fears I try to convince the woman that she is passing through a period of increased vital resistance rather than one of disease, and should progress as normally as a plant blossoming and nurturing its product.
Cimicifuga with its clouds of depression often clears the mental atmosphere when suggestion has failed to do so. A trace of albumin in the urine can often be cleared up by Merc. cor. 6x, a few days of a milk diet and occasional doses of Citrocarbonate to act physiologically as an eliminant.
Vomiting of pregnancy in the early weeks of gestation is frequently relieved by Cerium oxalicum 3x or a few doses of Anacardium, especially in highly nervous, anxious patients who are relieved while eating but worse after having taken food. Again for heart-burn and sour vomiting in patients especially prone to neuralgias, infections of the teeth, etc., during gestation Magnesium carbonate 6x is often effective. One will also think of Spigelia in these cases, especially if sensitive to the slightest touch, with recurring pains of spasmodic character worse during morning hours.
Cocculus indicus is another remedy which, particularly in hysterical primipara, weakened through nervousness and loss of sleep, will be found most sedative throughout the whole period of gestation and in first stage of labor.
For false pains and threatened abortion in women of frequent abortions, particularly in thin, weakened women, there is no remedy superior to Caulophyllum thalictroides, and again during labor when the pains are short and ineffectual, evidently due to a rigid os. For prolonged lochia one thinks of the same remedy.
For haemorrhages after labor I have had remarkably good results from the use of a preparation of Trillium pendulum of Trillium concentratum which I obtain from Messrs. Carroll Dunham, Smith & Co., of East 34th Street, New York City. For the relief of metrorrhagia, haemorrhoids of pregnancy and the enlargement or varicose conditions of the veins of the lower limbs I have found it practically infallible.
Lobelia inflata is another remedy which I should have mentioned for the relief of vomiting of pregnancy, especially among blond women inclined to be fleshy. The nausea of Tabacum is accompanied by more perspiration about the head, also a feeling of retraction of the navel. The vomiting of Veratrum album is marked by more prostration and intestinal irritation.
Swelling of the feet and limbs encountered during the final weeks of gestation and especially if accompanied by pains of a prickling, burning character, also numbness about the body are relieved frequently by Apis mellifica.
For suppression of the lochia with bearing down pains I would suggest Aralia racemosa, 10 drops of the tincture in wineglassful water every three hours, or he sixth trituration, depending upon the sum total of symptoms. At the same time, for its physiologic action, should the temperature have risen, I prescribe one ounce of Oleum Ricini for its oxytoxic and eliminative action.
I have mentioned but a few of the many usual and unusual homoeopathic remedies which, in many years of practice, I have found highly serviceable for the disorders of the gestation period. As the majority of my deliveries are those of unmarried women who enter my nursing home several weeks or months prior to delivery, I have the advantage of close clinical observation from a homoeopathic standpoint. So far in a period of ten years I have had no fatalities, either of mothers or infants, with the exception of two infants born with prenatal deformities, and no cases of sepsis. I now have about 75 illegitimate children who, through legal adoption, we being brought up in the good environment of well to do homes.
I cannot but regard the private nursing home of homoeopathic standards a field very much neglected. If physicians throughout the land would only regard the unfortunate girl from the standpoint of her unborn child hundreds of children would be saved from herding in orphan asylums, where, although physical conditions are most credibly looked after, unfortunately individual psychology, upon which the whole future of the child depends, cannot be individually fostered. Criminal records of a few years back showed that a very large percentage of the inmates of our penal institutions were of illegitimate birth or reared in orphan asylums. From the baby farm to the prison is a way of least resistance.