Drug Provings

Salicylic Acid

Written by E. A. Farrington

Homeopathic drug proving of salicylic acid. The proving seems to have established the fact that Salicylic Acid is a powerful antiseptic.

On the 15th of June I began a proving with Salicylic Acid. Not venturing to expose myself to any very serious action of the drug, having had a sufficiently troublesome experience of its power in the 10th potency, I only took a small part of a drop of the 30th, repeating the dose four times at interval of about two hours. Here are the results which I observed for 25 days after, when I started on a vacation trip, from which I did not return until Friday, July 22.)

First day: 2-30 p.m. —About fifteen minutes after the first dose, a burning and scratchy feeling on the tongue. Drawing pain in the calf of the left leg, extending up into the thigh, and then transferred to the left arm. Later, a similar pain for a short time back of the right temple.

4-30 p.m. —Nervous excitement after gentle exercise or walking.

6-30 p.m.—Pain in the knuckles of the right hand.

6-45 p.m.,—Third dose.

8-45 p.m.— Fourth dose. During the night, pain on the top of the head, in one spot, as if struck by a hammer.

Second day: —Swelling under the skin of fingers on both hands; with burning itching on the inside of the left hand. Itching on the back, below the jaw bones, and under the chin. The rheumatic pains feel worse when walking outdoors.

Third day.—–After a good night’s rest, awake dull and nervous, with a ringing in the ears, especially the left, and a fullness in the head. Dizziness. Pains in the bones below the left eye, as if bruised. Rheumatic pains in the upper and lower extremities continue. Nervous headache characterized by a bruised feeling in the head (not aggravated by exposure to a very hot sun). General lassitude and weakness, worse indoor, relieved in open air. Stoppage of the ears, especially of the left. Much sexual excitement.

Fourth day. — Dull headache on the left side of the head. Feel very uncomfortable and indisposed to any exertion, mental or physical. Difficulty in voiding urine—it flows slowly and seems less in quantity. Pain in the sinews of the left forearm extending into the third and little fingers, followed by a tingling sensation. Pain in the left inferior maxilliary bone; the parotid gland is painful when touched by the finger, affecting the inside of the throat. Burning pain inside the joint of the thumb. Scratching sensation in the left side of the throat. After lying down in the afternoon stiffness and aching in the muscles of the back along the spinal column. The morning headache, better during the day is aggravated in the evening. Palpitation of the heart. During the night following an unconscious, profuse and somewhat bloody discharge of se-men (or prostatic fluid) staining the linen a brownish colour, and followed on awaking, by a pain in the genitals, as if overstrained.

Fifth day.—Headache, continuing during the night, better in the morning. Tedious and insufficient stool. Headache returns in the afternoon on the right side. Pressive pain in the forehead, above the right eye. Itching of the left upper eyelid. Itching of the skin after undressing; better in bed. Sexual excitement, more physical than mental. Very restless at night, longing to sleep, with inability to do so.

Sixth day.— During the night, rheumatic pains in the lower limbs and feet. A kind of burning sensation in the ball of the great toe. On awaking in the morning, pain in the right shoulder, as if from a strain, continuing some hours. Still some headache with a dull bruised feeling in the right side of the head. During the day all symptoms disappear, returning again in the evening. Itching of the head, with feeling as if the hair stood on end.

Seventh day.— Awake during the night, with stiffness in the back, so as only to be able to turn with difficulty. Severe pressing pain in the lower abdomen and bladder, without urging to urinate and only small discharge. In the morning, stoppage of the ears returns. In the afternoon a sharp, stinging pain in one of the toes of the right foot. In the evening, sore feeling on both sides of the lower jaw, under the tongue.

Ninth day.— The rheumatic pains and headaches have disappeared. Itching pimples here and there on the body; one on the right cheek.

Tenth day.— The eruption continues. After removing some ear wax from the left ear, pain and feeling of stoppage.

Eleventh day.—Stoppage in both ears, early in bed and after rising. Eruption continues, red pimples here and there; and small whitish ones, the later in groups, itching and filled with water. In the evening, feeling as if I had taken a long walk.

Twelfth day.— Pain in the groin, as if from a strain, on the right side. Constriction in the anus shortly after stool. Much flatulence in the evening. Hacking cough, with scratching in the throat and hawking up small pieces of thick, yellow phlegm, with occasional sneezing and discharge from the nose. Boring pain in the left eyebrow, the place tender when pressed. Pain above the left ear.

Thirteenth day.— Much difficulty in voiding urine in the morning on rising. Itching in the anus, and ineffectual attempt at stool. Six hours after, slimy, insufficient stool. When coughing pain in the groin. Pain in the muscles of the middle of the back, with stiffness. Much itching, especially over the breast and stomach. Burning and feeling of dryness in the eyes. Aching in the left collar bone.

Fourteenth day.— No special new symptoms noted, except stoppage of the ears when walking out, relieved by drawing breath strongly the nostrils, yet almost instantly returning. Sexual excitement. (Coition about once in two months)

Fifteenth day.—     During the night, again amorous dream, with bloody emission, followed by erections in the morning. Dull feeling in the head and oppression on the chest. Sometimes after moderate physical exertion, palpitation of the heart, with intermittent pulse. Pulse continues somewhat higher than the regular beat (62) running up to 74.

Sixteenth day.—As for several days past, much audible rumbling in the bowels, and a feeling of dryness, with itching in the nostrils.

Seventeenth day.—During the night much voluptuous itching of the skin. On scratching, a pimple appears in the place; the itching is relieved by scratching, with, sometimes, a burning of the skin after it. Soreness at the right corner of the mouth. Eruption between the fingers of the right hand; little watery pustules that itch violently.

Eighteenth day.—–A.M.: Bitter taste in the mouth, with tenacious saliva, hawked up with difficulty. Dull feeling in head and general oppression. After mental labor and nervous excitement, great nervous prostration. On lying down to rest, cough as if occasioned by flow of mucus from the Eustachian tube into the throat, which causes a scratchy feeling. A nervous headache seems imminent, but does not come.

Nineteenth day.—-After having eaten some salad at dinner, suffer from weight and oppression of the stomach for several hours (could formerly eat salad without inconvenience). The cough seems to return every afternoon from 3 to 5 o’clock. In the evening, pain and discomfort in the bowels, aggravated by pressure. Flatulence, with inability to expel it. Itching and burning in the inner corners of the eyes.

Twentieth day.— Free from pains all day, but gloomy and depressed; don’t know what to begin. General lassitude; feeling as if I had walked a long distance. Not much itching of the skin during the day; the eye symptoms return in the evening, with severe itching on the toes of the right foot.

Twenty-first day—-Group of little itching vesicles on the little finger of the left hand. Bloated feeling in the bowels towards noon.

Twenty-second day.—-Continuance of eruptions.

Twenty-third day.——-Eruption worse on the left arm, from the wrist to the elbow joint and above; single small itching pustules; the skin becomes rough when scratched. Catarrhal symptoms continue. A burning sensation in the throat after a very plain supper.

Twenty-fifth day.——–The eruption has disappeared. No other special symptoms except fits of frequent yawning several evenings in succession.

REMARKS:-     The proving seems to have established the fact that Salicylic Acid is a powerful antiseptic. A lady of my acquaintance after I had given it to her for bad nervous headaches a year or two ago, and had derived considerable benefit by taking it persistently for several weeks, become affected with an eruption of the skin. I have also read that its external application to ulcers and sores has proved beneficial, and that it has been successfully used in inflammation, if not ulceration of the breasts. Near the close of my first proving with the 10th, I had several pustules on my face and head, but took no particular notice of them; it requires a higher potency, I think, to bring out the psoric symptoms. Probably provings of a lower potency than the 5th would develop little or nothing— as in the case with Natrum Mur and other drugs. Salicylic Acid is freely used in many parts of the country as a preservative for the fruits and vegetables without cooking or boiling and it is claimed that no injurious effects result.

About the author

E. A. Farrington

E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.

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