Rumex crispus. The yellow dock. N.O. Polygonaceae. Tincture from the fresh root gathered in the spring.
RUMEX is peculiar to the homoeopathic pharmacopoeia; its clinical use has been limited to restricted spheres, but in these its action is definite and its indications clear cut .
Cough and morning diarrhoea are the chief complaints for which it has been so successful.
Cough.-The drug seems to irritate the nose, throat, larynx and trachea, causing: (a) coryza, with sneezing and itching in the nostrils; (b) dryness and later, sticky mucus in larynx and trachea; (c) a spasmodic element, from which feeling of impossibility to take a breath results; (d) aching pain in the larynx and behind the sternum the cough appears to be caused by tickling in the above-named areas; it is dry and gives little relief until after a time a little mucus is brought up. For the most part, however,it is a dry, fatiguing, ineffectual cough- either incessant or i paroxysms, like early whooping-cough.
The cough modalities are very marked:-
AGGRAVATION: From the inspiration of cold air (the patient puts the heads under the bedclothes to warm the air); from entering cooler air or changing room; from lying down especially i the evening; from lying on the left side; from eating; from pressure on the throat.
There are stitching pains in the chest, worse at night on lying down and from deep breathing. Incontinence of urine may be caused by the cough. Cough and asthmatic breathing may be worse about 2or 3 a.m., Kent (loc. cit., p. 827) gives an 11 p.m. aggravation, comparing it with lachesis coughs, in which a child patient is said to cough at that time only if allowed to go to sleep; whereas the child requiring rumex will cough whether asleep or awake.
Hoarseness may accompany the cough (caust., phos.).
Diarrhoea.-The Diarrhoea, for which rumex is rapidly curative, comes o in the morning, sometimes rousing the patient from sleep with abdominal griping, but it is liable;e to last longer into the morning than some forms of morning diarrhoea. The call is less urgent than in aloes cases, and although in both (aloes and rumex cases) an escape of faeces may occur, i the former it is due to sphincter weakness, but in the latter to the violence of the cough. The stool of rumex is brow and watery.
The conjunction of cough and diarrhoea of the kinds described would, of course be a strong confirmatory indication.
A few other symptoms are worthy of note. Itching of the skin is a common symptom of rumex, and it has the modality exceptional for skin irritation of being better from the warmth of bed. Papules and tiny vesicles may be present. This feature is more pronounced in its relative. Arctium lappa, the burdock.
(1) General sensitiveness to cold and cold, damp air.
(2) Cough, see special modalities.
(3) Sudden morning diarrhoea, see modalities.
(4) Change of temperature, even from cold to warm, may aggravate the cough or induce a paroxysm.
(5) Itching of skin, relieved by warmth.
(6) A sensation of a lump in throat, which is relieved by swallowing but soon returns, or feeling of lump rising to throat.
(7) Named diseases:Catarrhs of upper respiratory tract, asthma, phthisis, gastralgia, and dyspepsia.
From cold generally, especially inspiration of cold air (cough), from lying down, and in the morning (diarrhoea and pruritus), in the evening and at 2 a.m. (cough, of. kali carb.), lying on the left side, and from deep breathing (pains in chest), from eating and pressure on throat.
From warm air (cough), and warmth of bed (itching).