(From: Transactions of the 45th Session of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania – September, 1908 )
Study of Medorrhinum and of the children whose condition calls for this remedy impresses upon the physician that “the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generation.”
Such study forces upon our attention the very widespread results of what Hahnemann described as the miasm, sycosis, impoverishing the very vitality of the best intentioned people living and blighting the homes of the most virtuous.
Much as we may attempt to ignore or to ridicule the idea of regulating the treatment of patients by what has come to them by inheritance, much as any one of you may scorn the suggestion that a constitutional disturbance underlies the acute manifestations of disorder, however ridiculous it may appear, to talk about a constitutional remedy that will be required to clear out a variety of ailments which an individual may suffer, the study of remedies justifies all that.
Study of patients and nosodes reveals that if we would do for our patients all that is expected of physicians, if we would free them of recurrent disturbances, we must recognize just what Hahnemann taught after twelve years of investigation.
When he had succeeded repeatedly in dispelling promptly and mildly, many acute troubles and found them recurring and finally not yielding to the remedies previously beneficial in the same disorder in the same individual, he sought an underlying disturbance. Then he discovered and revealed the scope of the three chronic miasms.
Medorrhinum is one of the remedies to be considered when apparently homoeopathic remedies do not give proper results or do not hold results gained, when the same disorder takes different forms in successive recurrences in the same individual, when convalescence fails to occur after acute disorders or no definite image can be formed, in children of gouty, rheumatic or catarrhal parents. In such constitutions compare the symptom-image with provings of Medorrhinum.
CONSTITUTIONAL AND CHARACTERISTIC
The following are the symptoms of Medorrhinum provings which have been observed in children. Many symptoms belonging to the remedy have not been included because only the children are under consideration in this presentation:
Head disproportionate size for the body, in infants. Child cross during the day, exhilarated, wants to play at night; irritable over trifles, impatient. Fretty, moaning, crying, good only when asleep. Mental anxiety, evidenced in fretty restlessness and expression of discomfort and unhappiness, even in infants.
Sensitive to criticism and correction. Imagines has been harshly treated, morbidly over- conscientious over trifles, weeping disposition, can scarcely speak without weeping. Fear of the dark.
Skin colorless, marked pallor, transparent appearance, waxy, fingernails pale, sclerotic blue. Anaemia, leukaemia, blood whitish from excess of leucocytes. Mucous membranes and gums pale.
Eruption of single, white, desquamating spots, often on red base, clustering at the edge of scalp, on front and back of thorax, on thighs. Superficial raw spots on infants’ faces, as if a sharp fingernail had dug out the cuticle, moisture oozes, crusts over but the child picks at them repeatedly and they may continue for years.
Perspiration copious, especially on head, especially on exertion and during sleep. Sensitive to drafts, disposition to effects of cold, aggravation from bathing, also at sea shore, in damp weather and in spring. Dwarfed in development, dentition, locomotion and speech delayed.
Enlarged lymphatics, glands swollen, painless, hardened, especially cervical, jugular, axillary and inguinal. Catarrhal condition with greenish discharge. Bone affections through periosteum and soft parts, with repair of tissue, not destructive caries, rachitic condition.
Hungry, even after eating. Weakness, too weak to stir, infants many months old, carried on pillows. Lazy, averse to motion and activity. Awkward legs, restless legs. Travels all over bed, from head to foot. Sleeps with hands over head, reclining on back; sleeps with knees drawn up, back hunched up with face in pillow. This has been observed in no other remedy. Cough and other symptoms ameliorated in this position.
Emaciation, marasmus. Digestive and nervous disorders. Lack of reaction to carefully selected remedies. Coryza with constant white, watery discharge, recurrent corvza. Nostrils sensitive to inhaled air, post-nasal obstruction, mucus thick, white, yellow or greenish.
Adenoid development. Laryngeal disorders, dryness of larynx occasions spasms of glottis and cough on beginning sleep. Cough dry, rattling in thorax, almost incessant; aggravation at night; on beginning sleep, reclining. Ameliorated reclining on abdomen or forward with knees drawn up. Thorax- sore to touch, worse from motion or respiration.
Diarrhoea, evacuations of mucus and serum, jelly form of mucus, mostly mucus, bilious, greenish yellow, thin cream colored, often becoming green after evacuated, as of chopped greens or chopped. Boiled potatoes and greens, offensive odor as of old cheese, decayed meat or eggs, scanty or copious.
Involuntary evacuations, oozing of green, watery discharge, odor of fish-brine. Diarrhoea and vomiting, with intense emaciation. Desperate condition in intestinal disorders. Cholera infantum with opisthotonus, rolling head on pillow. Constipation with dry, round, hard lumps ; masses resembling clay, much straining to evacuate rectum. Leans back to strain.
Mouth ulcers, offensive odor, offensive odor in morning, teeth serrated. Thirst. Vomiting mucus, bile, sour, bitter without nausea. Urine frequent, copious, offensive, dark, cuticle on surface, acrid leucorrhcea in small girls. Constipation, with dry, round, hard lumps, masses resembling clay. Much straining to evacuate rectum. Leans back to strain.
The following cases, treated during the past year, serve to illustrate how these symptoms are grouped in individuals, and also illustrate the action of the remedy in actual use:
Case I. — Girl, 2 ½ years old. Head large, in proportion to body since birth. In early months, much digestive disturbance, intestinal pain, lack of nutrition, general anaemia, pallid, transparent skin, blue-white sclerotics, face sometimes gray with red eyelids and lachrymation, especially in open air.
Head drawn back during sleep. In early weeks, rolling head on pillow and generally restless when awake. Later, restless during sleep, all over bed from head to foot. Perspiration copious over entire body, during sleep, pillow-naked from it.
Weight at birth between eight and nine pounds. At five months had gained but two pounds. At age of one year, anterior fontanelle open to length of one inch, no teeth erupted, no efforts to use feet, even to press upon them, flesh flabby. Eruption about buttocks of clusters of red rash, at times dry and scaly. Cervical and jugular region enlarged.
Respiration obstructed by adenoid development. Fed at that time on cow’s milk modified with malted milk. Mentally alert and inclined to be precocious. Sensitive paroxysms of nervous weeping. In this first year there was no practical, continued improvement in her condition, carefully observed and treated with what appeared to be homoeopathically indicated remedies.
In July, 1907, Medorrhinum was administered. This was followed by diarrhoea of yellow, mushy, offensive evacuations and later, eruption in large splotches, spread from head over entire body. These led to an error in prescribing, when the action should have been permitted to continue.
After Calc. ost. and Silica, the gland on right side of neck suppurated, discharging thin, green and thick curdy masses without pain. The tumor on left side of neck continued to increase to the size of 2 1/8 X 3 7/8 X 3/4 inches protrusion from surface of neck.
At this time, January, she had six teeth in front of mouth, four back teeth on left side and no teeth on right side. She weighed 25 pounds, was able to stand, but fearful about walking alone, chattered much unintelligibly, speaking a few words clearly and presented a very irritable, fretty disposition.
The mother reported at that time, that she reclined much on the abdomen and frequently with knees drawn up and face in the pillow. Review of the record revealed that the first real reaction occurred after Medorrhinum and this was repeated.
Decided activity in the glandular tumors followed, accompanied by improvement in the child. By softening, absorption and suppurative discharge of greenish yellow, offensive, partly bloody, fluid and white, curdy masses the entire mass was reduced so that no swelling was observed by inspection, in May, some slight swelling revealed by palpation. An irregular, dull red scar gradually fading in color marks the site on each side of the neck.
On the right side there is a small, softer enlargement posterior to the old one, though not increasing now. The child is far from complete restoration to health, but vastly improved. In May, brain manifestations led to the use of Lycopodium, which proved beneficial as an intercurrent.
The mother of this child was under observation and treatment all during and at times before her pregnancy. Both parents are especially fastidious. Careful investigation into the family history reveals no evidence of sycotic infection in either of the parents nor in the grandparents on one side.
From all that could be learned, the conclusion was drawn that the miasm was transmitted in this case through three generations. The nosode has changed the: physical condition of the child, which presented anything but a hopeful prognosis for her future life.
Case II. — A sister of the first, has presented less defined image of disorder, having profited by the lessons gleaned from the older child. She has suffered from the intestinal disorder, having had one serious siege of cholera infantum in her second summer and presents general slow development.
She has afforded an opportunity to observe a variation in the characteristic posture of Medorrhinum. when too young to assume that. Her characteristic sleeping pose, in infancy was on the back with the legs flexed at thighs, feet high in the air and legs erect.
This position was maintained in spite of all efforts of her mother to induce her to change. Many of the characteristics of the sister exist, but less of disorder manifestations.
Case III. — A boy, who was two and a half years old in March when he first received Medorrhinum. All winter he had suffered from cough, scarcely recovering from one siege of tracheal or bronchial catarrh before a fresh one developed.
Twice during the winter there were serious sieges of capillary bronchitis, promptly responding to Ant. tart. In March his mother reported that he always prefers to sleep on his knees and face, even if he reclines on back on first going to bed.
Review of his record revealed the following features, which are consistent with this peculiar posture. In the first weeks of life, he suffered much from intense flatulent intestinal disturbances. Scurfy eruption on scalp and face persisted for months and clusters of white and red rash spotted the buttocks.
He was of nervous temperament, mentally precocious, fretful and irritable, often screaming much at night. Diarrhoea much during the first year and in its last month occurred a desperate siege of cholera infantum, with green mushy mucous evacuations.
Urine acrid, ammoniacal odor, chafing the skin wherever it touched. Perspiration copious always, awake or asleep on slightest exertion, soaking the pillow in sleep. Catarrhal tendency, developing acute exacerbations without apparent provocation.
Tendency to green, mushy, mucous diarrhoea. This child has pale, anaemic skin, with often highly flushed cheeks. There has been the same unsatisfactory result from treatment usually found when the underlying disturbance is not reached.
Positive knowledge of the parents, both of whom were under observation and treatment before the child’s conception, reveals absence of sycotic infection in the parents. Family history leads to suspicion that it probably occurred three generations before the child under consideration, evidences of inherited miasm existing in the intervening ones. After Medorrhinum this child enjoyed a longer freedom from any cough than he had previously experienced through the entire winter.
Case IV. — A boy of eight years, whose father suffered sycotic infection in early life and supposed himself cured through palliative measures. In his first year this child was the victim of intense marasmus and suffered tendency to diarrhoea, ever since, aggravated by eating fruit.
Evacuations part watery, part formed, yellow, offensive. Subject to enlarged tonsils since five years of age, effects of cold always manifested in increase of size of tonsils, which remained large and reddened between times. Sometimes cervical glands also temporarily enlarged. Perspiration copious on neck and head. Weeping disposition, at times irritable.
Conjunctivae reddened ; appetite very poor. After pertussis, cough remained for months. Child thin, spindling, with pale, anaemic skin. After Medorrhinum cough disappeared, tonsils, appetite, diarrhoea, sleep, disposition, eyes, all improved during the next two months so that “he is quite altered.
Case V. — A girl of three years, whose father supposed himself cured of sycosis before marriage. Eruption of small vesicles in clusters on red base on back, neck, shoulders and upper arms, more prominent afternoon and night, after bathing and at times after sleep; itching. Skin rough, scurfy, mottled after bathing. Face often milk white, always pale. Conjunctivitis with lachrymation, thick, yellow discharge in mornings. Coryza with greenish yellow, thick discharge. Hands cold in morning, lips bluish. Neck glands swollen temporarily, with cold effects. Walking and dentition delayed. After Medorrhinum, improvement was decided, even a siege of pertussis was mild and occasioned no retard in improvement.
Case VI. — A girl, at three years of age, presented history of diarrhea in early infancy, during many trials with artificial foods. Constipation followed and persisted, straining to evacuate large masses of agglomerated balls of various colors.
Appetite variable. Preferred milk, deglutition of solid food appeared impossible after it was masticated. Covers kicked off at night, appeared too warm when covered. Eruption on red base, on nates; at times successive crops of furuncles on nates.
Urination in first sleep, ammoniacal odor. Dentition delayed until eleven months old, then suffered meningitis during dentition. Disposition whiny, fretty, inconsolable, sensitive, screaming when irritated. When not in disorder has a sweet temper.
Tired, cannot be induced to play out-doors, remains indoors from choice. Sepia improved this child for a few months, then its action ceased. She was peaked, tired, cold in summer. Then Medorrhinum carried on the work and in every way improvement was marked. This was given after considering the father’s early life. During a siege of pertussis, Cuprum and later Nux vomica were very beneficial, the constitutional following with excellent results.
All these cases are in good families where every known attention has been given to the rearing of the children and on the surface there appears no reason why the children should not thrive easily. Acquaintance with remedies and transmitted miasms reveals much below the surface and will be of value in dealing with hundreds of children whose complaints rest on just such obscure basis as do these.