– Bitter Sweet
This medicine seems especially to affect the mucous membranes. It appears to have a tendency to establish or ultimate discharges, both acute and chronic.
Modalities: The Dulcamara patient is disturbed by every change in the weather, from warm to cold, from dry to moist, and from suddenly cooling the body while perspiring. He is ameliorated in dry, even weather; cold and damp aggravate all the conditions. He is worse evening and night and during rest.
Diarrhea: Dulcamara produces catarrh of the stomach, intestines, nose, eyes, cars, and inflammatory conditions of the skin with eruptions. If you go through any of these in detail, you will be astonished to find how disturbed is the constitutional state of this patient by weather changes.
It is a medicine wonderfully useful in diarrhoea, at the close of the summer, hot days and cold nights, with changeable stool; diarrhoea of infants. There seems to be no digestion; yellow, slimy stool; yellow-green stool, with undigested stool; frequent stool, blood in the stool and quite a mass of slime, showing a marked catarrhal state.
This gets better and worse; this gets better under ordinary remedies; it will often get better from Pulsatilla, because Pulsatilla symptoms seem to predominate, and sometimes it is relieved by Arnica; but every time the child takes cold, it comes back again, and soon the physician will realize that he has not struck the remedy belonging to all the symptoms. It is very often an annoying condition, because the symptoms are not recognized until two or three attacks have come. It is not easy to discover that the attacks come on from cold.
Babies: Every year women bring their babies back from the mountains, at the end of the season, and then we get some Dulcamara cases. One needs to be in the mountains at the close of the summer season to know what the condition is.
If you go into the mountains at such a time, either in the North or West, you will notice that the sun’s rays beat down during the day with great force, but along towards sunset if you walk out a draft of cold air comes down that will chill you to the bone.
This will make the baby sick; it is too warm to take the child out in the middle of the day, and so he is taken out in his carriage in the evening; he has been overheated in the house during the day, and then catches this draft in the evening.
Dulcamara is suitable for conditions that would arise from just such a state. So with an adult who has been out in the beat of the sun and catches the cold draft by night, which means hot days and cold nights, such as occur in the fall of the year, at the close of the summer and coming in of the winter; this intermingling of hot air and cold drafts.
You go up towards the foot of the hills after a hot day, you will walk through a stratum of air that will make you perspire and the next minute a cold air that will make you want your overcoat on, and then again a stratum of hot air and so on.
Such a state will bring out a sweat and then suppress it. The symptoms that come from Dulcamara seem to be like symptoms that arise from just such causes. And we are free, then, to infer from such an experience that Dulcamara cures these cases.
I have been puzzled in times past over these babies that have been brought home from the mountains, and have prescribed upon the visible symptoms, until I thought about the matter carefully and figured it out that they had come from these hot and cold regions.
Babies have to be hurried home at times, because of the diarrheas that cannot be cured in the mountains, but a dose of Dulcamara will enable them to stay there and live right in that same climate. Chronic recurrent dysentery from cold. If they have a dose of Dulcamara it fortifies them against the continual taking of cold.
Diarrhea: There are people in a certain kind of business that really constitute a Dulcamara state. Suppose we look at our ice-cream men and our ice handlers and cold storage men; in a cold room they are handling ice; the summer weather is hot, they must go out and take some of the heat, and then they go back into their cold rooms and handle the ice. I have seen these things and have had occasion to follow them out. These men are subject at times to bowel troubles, and other catarrhal affections, but generally to diarrheic affections.
Their business cannot stop because it is their means of living. Dulcamara cures such chronic diarrheas when the symptoms agree. Arsenicum is a medicine that would be suitable for such patients if the symptoms agreed, but the symptoms at times agree with Dulcamara, for that is the nature of the remedy, to take cold from cold, damp place flora suppressing a sweat, from going out of a hot atmosphere into an ice house, into icy rooms; into cold rooms; in this climate such complaints as come on from overexertion, overheating, and then throwing off the clothing and becoming chilled, suppressing the sweat; fevers may come on, aching in the bones, trembling with the aching, trembling in the muscles, and as the fever goes on, he is in a distressed state, cannot remember, forgets what he was about to speak of, forgets the word that would naturally express his idea, and he enters into a dazed state, a state of confusion.