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Clinical Cases

A Crataegus Heart Case

Three authors present cardiac cases that were aided by Crataegus Oxyacantha (Hawthorne).

                                      A Crataegus Heart Case

C. F. Barker M.D. (Circa 1898)

Something less than a year ago my attention was called to Crataegus as a remedy for heart disease. Unable to believe all the claims made for it, I still had faith and so tried its efficacy in a very bad case of dilated heart after Digitalis and occasionally other remedies had apparently lost their effect. The following case presented the symptoms given:

The heart’s action was very feeble and irregular and the dyspnoea extreme. The patient’s intellect was dull, the feet and hands were cold, and general anasarca existed. Not only did percussion show a greatly extended area of dullness, but the sounds were poorly defined, and there were murmurs present showing incompetency of the valves. Digitalis had once rescued this patient after coma had set in and the end seemed near, but it no longer had any effect though faithfully tried.

At this stage I prescribed Crataegus in five drop doses, to be taken every two hours. Improvement began almost at once, and within a few days the patient was about the house again, and with the exception of some slight relapses has remained much improved up to the present time [March, 1898].

The dropsy is all gone and the strength of the organ is increased. The remedy has been continued part of the time for several months but in smaller doses and only four times a day.  The origin of the heart malady, or rather predisposing cause, was inflammatory rheumatism occurring some years ago. The patient is a woman about thirty-five years of age.

Excerpted from: Hand Book On The Diseases Of The Heart And Their Homeopathic Treatment  Thomas C. Duncan, M. D., Ph. D., LL. D., Published 1898.


                            Crataegus Oxyacantha in the treatment of Heart Disease

                                                              Dr. M.C. Jennings

(The New York Medical Journal, October 10, 1896, published a communication from Dr. M. C. Jennings, under the heading “Crataegus Oxyacantha in the treatment of Heart Disease,” of which the following is the substance)

“Case L was that of a Mr. B, aged seventy three years. I found him gasping for breath when I entered the room, with a pulse-rate of 158 and very feeble; great edema of lower limbs and abdomen. A more desperate case could hardly be found. I gave him fifteen drops of Crataegus in half a wineglass of water. In fifteen minutes the pulse beat was 126 and stronger, and breathing was not so labored. In twenty-five minutes pulse beat 110 and the force was still increasing, breathing much easier. He now got ten drops in same quantity of water, and in one hour from the time I entered the house he was, for the first time in ten days, able to lie horizontally on the bed.

I made an examination of the heart and found mitral regurgitation from valvular deficiency, with great enlargement. For the edema I prescribed Hydrargyrum cum creta, Squill and Digitalis. He received ten drops four times a day of the Crataegus and was permitted to use some light beer, to which he had become accustomed at meal time. He made a rapid and apparently full recovery until, in three months, he felt as well as any man of his age in Chicago.  He occasionally, particularly in the change of weather, takes some of the Crataegus which, he says, quickly stops shortness of breath or pain in the heart. His father and a brother died of heart disease.”

Another case was that of a young woman, who, when Dr. Jennings appeared in response to the summons, was said to be dead.

“I went in and found that she was not quite dead, though apparently so. I put five or six drops of Nitrite of amyl to her nose, and alternately pressing and relaxing the chest, so as to imitate natural breathing, I soon had her able to open her eyes and speak. I gave her hypodermically ten drops, and in less than half an hour she was able to talk and describe her feelings. An examination revealed a painfully anemic condition of the patient, but without any discoverable lesions of the heart, except functional.  Under Crataegus she made a good recovery. Her heart trouble, though very dangerous, was only functional, and resulted from want of proper assimilation of the food, due chiefly to the dyspeptic state and dysentery.”

Another case was that of a woman who “was suffering from compensatory enlargement of the heart from mitral insufficiency,” was taken with dyspnea when Dr. Jennings was called and was nearly dead. Under Crataegus and some other indicated remedies she made an excellent recovery. “In a letter from her, three months afterward, she said she was feeling well but that she would not feel fully secure without some of the Crataegus.”

                                                                My Experience with Crataegus

Dr. Joseph Clements

(The Kansas City Medical Journal, 1898, contained a paper on the remedy, by Dr. Joseph Clements, from which the following pertinent extracts are taken)

About twelve years ago I was suddenly seized with terrible pain in the left breast. It extended over the entire region of the heart and down the brachial plexus of the left arm as far as the wrist. I pressed my hands over my heart and seemed unable to move. My lips blenched, my eyes rolled in a paroxysm of agony ; the most fearful sense of impending calamity oppressed me and I seemed to expect death, or something worse, to fall upon and overwhelm me. The attack lasted a short time and then began to subside, and soon I was myself again, but feeling weak and excited. I consulted no one, took no medicine. I did not know what to make of it, but gradually it faded from my mind and I thought no more of it until two years afterwards, when I had another attack and again nearly a year later. Each of these was very severe, like the first, and lasted about as long and left me in about the same condition. I remember no other seizure of importance until about three years ago, and again a year later.

These were not so terrible in the suffering involved, but the fear, the apprehension, the awful sense of coming calamity, I think, grew upon me. From this time on, two years ago, the attacks came frequently, the time varying from two or three months to two or three weeks between. I took some nitro-glycerine tablets and some pills of Cactus Mexicana, but with no benefit that I could perceive. This brings me down to about fifteen months ago. I was feeling very badly, having had several attacks within a few weeks. My pulse was at times very rapid and weak, and irregular and intermittent.

About this time he got hold of Crataegus with the following result :

After getting my supply I began with six drops, increasing to ten before meals and at bedtime. The results were marvelous. In twenty-four hours my pulse showed marked improvement; in two or three weeks it became regular and smooth, and forceful.  Palpitation and dyspnea soon entirely left me. I began to walk up and down hills without difficulty, and a more general and buoyant sense of security and well-being has come to stay. During the three months that I was taking, the medicine, which I did with a week’s intermission several times, I had several slight attacks, one rather hard seizure, but was relieved at once on taking ten drops of the medicine.

He adds that hypodermic of Morphia does not give relief from these heart pains as quickly and as surely as does fifteen drops of Crataegus. He also says :“of course I consider it the most useful discovery of the Nineteenth Century.”

Excerpted from: New Old And Forgotten Remedies –  Ed. Dr. E.P. Anshutz


About the author

C.F. Barker

Dr. C.F. Barker

About the author

M.C. Jennings

Dr. M.C. Jennings

About the author

Joseph Clements

Dr. Joseph Clements

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