Homeopathy Papers

Emergencies of General Practice

An excerpt from Emergencies of General Practice by Dr. Douglas Borland

Essence of a lecture Dr. Douglas M. Borland gave in 1946

(Submitted by Marc VanWijk)

Acute cardiac failure:


Arsenicum:  – extreme fear, anxiety

– restlessness

– constant thirst for ice cold water

– extreme cardiac pressure, great weight on chest

– cannot get enough breath

– fear to die

– coldness

– anxious look

– sudden onset

Remarks:      – use the highest potency you have with you

– the response to the remedy should be quick, if no response

within 15 minutes, it is not an Arsenicum patient.

– after the acute phase is gone, you should not repeat Arsenicum,

but look for the complementary remedy


Antimonium Tartaricum:

– tendency to cyanosis (finger nails, hands, feet…)

– down, hopeless and depressed

– no thirst

– < heat

– likes a fresh room but no stream of air

–  tendency to edema of lower extremities

– tongue coated with thick white coat

– feeling of fullness in chest with rales in lower parts of chest


Carbo Vegetabilis:

– cold, sweaty skin

– mentally dull

– air hunger, want the air blowing on them

– paler rather than cyanotic

– great abdominal distension with flatulence

– < eating or drinking ; no thirst

– ice-cold extremeties

Remark:        If a patient respond well up to a point on Carb-v, don’t go to a

higher potency to carry on the improvement.  Look for a

complementary remedy.


Oxalic acid:  – most intense exhaustion

– sensation of numbness, as if having no legs

– cold and clammy skin with mottled cyanosis

– wants to keep absolutely still

– sharp precordial pains



Gradual Cardiac Failure with Tendency to Dilatation


It’ s difficult to distinguish between snake poisons; the most common being Lachesis and Naja.


Lachesis:      – purplish, bloated appearance

– feeling of tightness or constriction

– sensitive to heat

– < after sleep

– suffocative attacks when falling asleep

– < when turned over on the left side

– tremor

– mentally becomes fogged, confused


Naja:              – mostly same symptoms but with a pronounced numbness of

mainly the left arm and hand.

Remarks:      – if stitching pain is more marked: give Naja

– if feeling of constriction is more marked: give Lachesis


Lycopus:       – heart is just starting to fail

– pulse becoming a little irregular

– pale appearance

– restlessness

– complains of a tumultuous sensation in cardiac region

– tendency to cough

– < when turned over to the right side

– dislike of any food, particularly the smell of food


Laurocerasus: – picture of a congenital heart

– bluish-red appearance

– clubbed fingers

– extreme dyspnoea, < sitting up, > semi-prone position



Anginous attacks


Aconitum:    – absolutely overwhelming fear

– is certain he is going to die

– unable to keep still

– < any movement


Cactus:          – fear of being incurable and dying

– sensation as from a tight band round the chest

– feeling of increasing tension


Arsenicum:  – feeling of constriction in the chest

– anxious, worried

– very chilly

– burning sensation in the chest


Iodine:          – feeling of constriction and tension in the heart

– anxious

– uncomfortable in heat

– flushed appearance

– underweight


Spongia:       – progressive sensation of swelling in the heart region

– < lying  down

– chilly

– numbness of left arm and hand

– face and neck look congested


Lilium tigrinum:

– symptoms as if angina but no cardiac lesion

– stabbing, radiating pains

– hyperesthesia of the chest wall

– depressed, irritable

– sensitive to heat

– < movement

– associated with pelvic lesion – history of gynecological illness



Pain Killers


Acute earache:


Aconitum:    – very sudden onset

– after he has been out in very cold north-east wind

– restless

– pains are violent, burning

– irritable, scared

– extreme tenderness to touch


Chamomilla:- pain even more intense

– patient beside himself with pain

– cross and irritable

– nothing satisfies


Capsicum:    – tenderness over mastoid region

– ear looks more prominent

– redness of external ear

– acute stabbing pains

– slight amel by hot applications

– patient feels extremely sorry for himself



Facial neuralgias:


Magnesium phosphoricum:

– acute trigeminal neuralgia

– sharp stabs

– < any draught of air

– extreme superficial tenderness of nerve

– mostly right side

– > applied warmth

– > firm pressing



Colocynthis:- same conditions but affecting the left side


Orbital neuralgia:


Spigelia:       – sharp stinging pains (as from red hot needle)

– pains radiating along the course of the nerve

– pain is burning but after being touched, a strange cold sensation

is felt (only spigelia)


Post herpetic neuralgia:


Magnesium phosphoricum:

– acute burning along the course of the intercostal nerve


Ranunculus:- history of herpes

– sharp shooting pains

– very sensitive to touch

– conscious of any weather change


Mezereum: – same pains and modalities as Ranunculus

– < wet weather

– affected area extremely sensitive to any cold draught; sensitive to

bathing with cold water

– < night




Magnesium phosphoricum:

– acute pain down sciatic nerve

– < any movement

– sensitive to cold

– > rest; warmth

– right sided


Colocynthis:-  same symptoms but left sided


Kalium iodatum:

– warm blooded

– < warmth

– > moving


Rhus toxicondendron:

– chilly

– sensitive to damp; cold

– > moving


Gnaphalium:- if associated with marked numbness

– tenderness over sciatic nerve


Plumbum:    – numbness associated with pain over sciatic nerve

– extreme constipation


Acute colic:


Useful in case of acute colic, renal, hepatic or intestinal.


Acontium:    – usually the first attack which is frightening, terrifying

– drives the patient crazy

– patient feels frightfully cold

– very anxious

– cannot bear a hot room


Belladonna: – repeated attacks; short duration

– feeling of fullness in epigastrium

– < any fluids

– accompanied by flushed face and dilated pupils

– full, bounding pulse


Chelidonium:- patient with liver problems

–  fullness in right hypochondrium

– flatulence

– pains shoots through to the back, to angle of right scapula

– > very hot applications

– > drinking very hot water


Berberis:      – colics from renal or gallstone

– pain radiates in all directions


Magnesium phosphoricum:

– severe colic pain

– > external pressure (rubbing)

– > bending double

– > heat

– in distress from the intensity of the pain

– clean tongue

– result of exposure to cold


Colocynthis:-  severe colic pain

– > external pressure (steady, hard pressure)

bending double

– irritable, frightened, impatient

– violently angry

– slightly coated tongue

– sometimes follows on an attack of anger

– from over indulgence of cheese


Dioscorea:   – violent, spasmodic colic

– sudden onset, rising up to the head, then subsiding

– > applied heat

– >hyper-extended position


Ipecacuanha: – cutting pains

– accompanied with intense nausea

– clean tongue

– feels hot and sweaty

– < motion


Lycopodium: – colic accompanied by abdominal flatulence

– irregular areas of distension

– pains likely to start on the right side

– < 4 to 8 pm

– rumbling and gurgling in abdomen

– tendency to eructations

– sour taste


Raphanus:    – colic accompanied by abdominal flatulence

– paralytic conditions after abdominal section; postoperative colic

– pain remains more or less localized in one area

– pockets of wind in irregular areas

– patient gets a little flushed


Opium:          – colic accompanied by abdominal flatulence

– paralytic conditions after abdominal section

– definite area of distension; everything is churned up to one point

– likely to be in the center of the abdomen

– patient becomes very flushed and hot

– paralytic ileus

– extreme hyperesthesia to noise during attack


Podophyllum:  hepatic colics

– associated with diarrhea

– some degree of infection of the gall-bladder

– maximum temperature in the morning

– patient feels miserable, disgust of life

– pain in epigastrium as a whole

– < taking food

About the author

Douglas Borland

Douglas Borland M.D. was a leading British homeopath in the early 1900s. In 1908, he studied with Kent in Chicago, and was known to be one of those from England who brought Kentian homeopathy back to his motherland.
He wrote a number of books: Children's Types, Digestive Drugs, Pneumonias
Douglas Borland died November 29, 1960.


  • Dear sir,,
    Very good article and it will help to every one very much. but one thing which is very much important for Homeopath that potency of each medician must be appear

  • very good snopsis. acute treatment is really a challenge, as it gives no time but chronic disease.very helpful to new homeopaths

  • Very informative an good synopsis. I will request to all Physicians to give the potency for each remedy with open hearted that will help to others .

    Thanks n best regards.

    • @ Elaine – If you read this book, Dr. Borland actually preferes 10M & higher. Only in a few cases of severe pathology, he goes for 1M.

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