Clinical Cases

Spigelia and Digitalis Cases

Written by Temple S. Hoyne

Dr. Temple S. Hoyne reports on two Spigelia cases and Two Digitalis cases.

Two Spigelia Cases

A Case of Angina – Dr. William Bayes

In angina pectoris, I have seen great benefit derived from Spigelia 3x. Lately, I saw a case of the kind in a gentleman sixty-six years of age, a florid, stout, hale-looking man. He had been so some time under very judicious allopathic care, but was rapidly getting worse. On walking even a short distance, he had catching of the breath, severe, spasmodic pain in the chest, through to the shoulders, which threatened to suffocate him.  He could not take any exercise in consequence. He had flying pains in all his limbs and his pulse was weak and irregular. After a week’s course of Spigelia 3x, he was better. His pulse was 72 and regular. In three weeks, he was able to walk two or three miles without pain. His pulse was then 64, full and strong.  Within three months, he was perfectly well, and remained so. He took the Spigelia in doses of one drop three times a day for the first two months, and then gradually diminished the dose.

In my article on Cuprum, I have mentioned a case of angina pectoris treated by Cuprum, and have pointed out its marked effect in controlling this terrible disease, and in one class of these cases, it is of undoubted efficacy. The indication which would lead me to give Cuprum in such cases is slow pulse, whereas, in weak or irregular pulse, or in full and bounding pulse, I should expect, from my previous experience, to find more rapid relief and more permanent benefit from Spigelia, with or without Aconite


Pain in Heart  – Dr. L.  Kendall.

Mrs. A — had suffered for fifteen years with attacks of severe pain in the epigastric region. She would be suddenly seized with severe pain about the region of the heart. The pain seizes her with such violence that it “almost knocks me down,” as she expresses it. It then passes rapidly around the body, from left to right — seemingly on the inside — to the scrobiculus cordis, where it remains about twelve hours, and then passes away of its own accord. The pain is spasmodic in character, and often induces vomiting of food, mucus, etc., but no bile. These attacks occur every few weeks, but with no distinct regularity. She had tried many physicians, but none of them succeeded in shortening the attacks, or preventing their recurrence.  After trying without success many remedies that seemed indicated, as Cactus, etc., I gave her Spigelia 3d. In a short time she was easier, and in four hours’ completely relieved. A subsequent attack was cut short at once, which was the last she had to my knowledge.


Two Digitalis Cases

Pain in Precordium  – Dr. W, P. Armstrong

March 3, 1875, was called to treat Mrs. L., aged forty- seven, for what her former physician called a case of pleuritis, with lung complication. For several days she had suffered with severe pain in the left half of the chest, worse in the precordium, but extending upward toward the left shoulder, violent, dry cough day and night, and dyspnoea. Although the treatment had not been lacking in vigor, she had not as yet experienced relief from her sufferings. Upon my arrival I found her propped up in bed by means of pillows, a position which she maintained nearly all the time, in consequence of the greater dyspnoea when lying down, although no position was easy. The pain was worse on motion, rendering a deep inspiration almost or quite impossible. On attempting it, the pain would extend upward into the left shoulder. She complained of great constriction of the chest, but more especially about the heart. The skin was moderately cool, there was some thirst, pulse about 120, weak, irregular and intermitting, urine scanty and highly colored, the respiration short and rapid.

Although there was no great amount of flesh, nor much mammary development, yet the apex of the heart could neither be seen nor felt. At the base, tactile fremitus was faintly perceptible at each systole. On auscultation, both sounds of the heart could be plainly heard, although irregular and somewhat enfeebled, but in addition to these, a murmur could be heard, in the third intercostal space, and a little below, close to the left hand border of the sternum, but not audible at the apex, nor transmitted upward along the great vessels. It was of a to-and-fro character, the first element of it being the loudest, and heard during and after the first sound, the second fainter and heard immediately after the second sound. It was a murmur of pericarditis.  Bryonia, a dose every hour.  Nextday no better; all the symptoms about the same. Thinking, perhaps, I had made a mistake, in not attaching due weight to the feeling of constriction, I now gave Cactus 1x, a few drops in half a glass of water, a teaspoonful every hour. After a few doses she began to feel decidedly easier, and in two or three days the pain and soreness had entirely disappeared, while the sensation of constriction was very much less marked, but she was still unable to lie down much of the time, in consequence of the dyspnoea, and the pulse, although considerably lower, was still as weak, regular and intermitting as before. The murmur had disappeared; apex still imperceptible.

Being satisfied that there was considerable serous effusion within the pericardium, and the symptoms corresponding well to those of Digitalis, I gave that remedy, in the first decimal attenuation, every two hours, and before many days had the satisfaction of seeing my patient not only on her feet again, but able to lie down and sleep comfortably at night, the dyspnoea having disappeared, the urine having become normal, the pulse regular, and the apex again perceptible to the touch, even when lying on the back.


Shortness of Breath – Dr. Chalmers

X., age sixty-five, of intemperate habits, has been confined to the house for three months, and subjected to much (allopathic) treatment. He is now as follows: Great difficulty in breathing — at times approaching orthopnoea— with a short, dry, tickling cough, and he has very frequent fainting fits. There is great anasarca, the leg, penis and scrotum being particularly swollen, the latter being the size of a head, feet cold and dark colored, and the legs and thighs pit deeply on pressure, tongue white and moist, bowels easy, urine very scanty, pulse cannot be felt. Heart’s action is very weak and irregular, the usual sounds are inaudible, and he complains much of a sinking feeling in the cardiac region, which is most distressing. Face pale and anxious, lips rather livid, and he can scarcely speak. No appetite, great thirst, respiratory sounds are feeble, but otherwise normal. There is a fullness in the abdomen, but I can detect no fluid, or any tumor or swelling of liver, or any of the abdominal organs. No albumen in urine, great general weakness and prostration. Digitalis, a teaspoonful every six hours. Eighth day, improved. Digitalis morning and evening. On the twenty-fifth day, found him up and dressed, looking about the same as usual.

Excerpted from Clinical Therapeutics Vol II  Temple S. Hoyne, A. M., M. D.

About the author

Temple S. Hoyne

Dr. Temple S. Hoyne (1841-1899) was Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics In Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago. His writings include, Clinical Therapeutics (editor), Hoyne’s Materia Medica Cards, Classification of a Few of the New Remedies, Proving of Carbolic Acid, Monograph On Fevers.

1 Comment

  • Thank you dear Alan, for digging this out,
    I just prescribed Spigelia in a case and its so good to see similar characteristics indicated for prescription.

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