One of the most striking evidences of the truth of my doctrine occurred to me quite recently in the case of a man who was in the habit of treating himself, and who, on a rather cold day was suddenly attacked with a very violent, at first painless diarrhoea. Thinking he had taken cold, he first took a dose of Dulcamara which had no effect and even brought on undigested stools, after which he took China, then Phosphorus, and lastly Bryonia with the same bad result, since all he accomplished was to bring about a change in the appearance of the stools, the violence of the diarrhoea remaining the same.
Fancying, however, he had noticed a favorable change after Phosphorus, which had removed the undigested substances from the stools, he laid his want of success to the smallness of the dose, and consequently took Phosphorus in larger, more frequently repeated doses, without accomplishing any other change, than a return of the undigested particles of food in the stools.
Another dose of China removed this symptom very speedily, but having been taken in larger and more frequently repeated doses, it made the diarrhoea still worse by complicating it with a troublesome flatulence. He now sent for me, and on my arrival had another passage that spurted out with great force and a good deal of flatulence, had a very foul odor, and in color and
consistence, had altogether the appearance of fermented yeast. This character of the evacuation, together with the previous use of China, decided me at once and unhesitatingly to give Ipecacuana 30th, two globules dry on the tongue, accompanied with a request not to take any other medicine without my advice. The
gentleman being a friend of mine, I spent the evening in his family. Already, one hour after taking the medicine, he said to me: “I believe, doctor, you have hit the right remedy. My bowels feel better than they have done for the last ten days.”
My friend was right. His diarrhoea stopped from the time he took the Ipecacuanha, and was succeeded by a constipation, lasting three days, at which he was much rejoiced. This shows that a single dose of the correctly-chosen remedy is often sufficient to effect a cure, and that an inappropriately selected medicine, will not cure even if it is taken in strong and frequently repeated doses.
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