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Thuja occidentalis. Arbor Vitae. N. O. Coniferae (Tribe, Cupressineae). Tincture of the fresh green twigs.
Clinical.-Abdomen, distended. Abortion. Angina pectoris. Anus, fistula in; fissure of. Asthma. Balanitis. Cancer. Catalepsy. Chorea. Clavus. Condylomata. Constipation. Convulsions. Coxalgia. Diarrhoea. Disparunia. Dysmenorrhoea. Ear, polypus of. Enuresis. Epilepsy. Epulis. Eyes, tumours of; granular inflammation of. Fatty tumours. Feet, fetid. Flatus, incarcerated. Frontal sinuses, catarrh of. Ganglion. Gleet. Gonorrhoea. Haemorrhage. Haemorrhoids. Hair, affections of. Headache. Hernia. Herpes zoster. Ichthyosis. Intussusception. Jaws, growth on. Joints, cracking in. Levitation. Morvan's disease. Mucous patches. Muscae volitantes. Myopia. Naevus. Neck, cracking in. Onanism. Ovary, left, pain in. Ozaena. Neuralgia. Nose, chronic catarrh of; polypus of. Paralysis. Pemphigus. Polypus. Post-nasal catarrh. Pregnancy, imaginary. Prostate, disease of. Ptosis. Ranula. Rheumatism, gonorrhoeal. Rickets. Sciatica. Seminal emissions, nocturnal. Sycosis. Syphilis. Tea, effects of. Teeth, caries of. Tongue, ulcers of; biting of. Toothache. Tumours. Vaccination. Vaccinosis. Vaginismus. Warts. Whooping-cough.
Characteristics.-The American Arbor Vitae is a "spiry evergreen attaining a height of from 20 to 50 feet, though generally not above 40, and a diameter of about 10 to 20 feet through the greatest breadth of foliage." It abounds in the upper zones of North America, from Pennsylvania northwards, where it "often forms what are commonly known as cedar-swamps. It grows upon the rocky banks of rivers, and in low, swampy spots, blossoming from May until June and maturing its fruit in autumn. The Arbor Vitae assumes a conical form with such true lines as to appear 'clipped,' thus forming one of our most valued high-hedge trees" (Millspaugh). Thuja was introduced to France from Canada in the reign of Francis I. of France, and it has now an honoured place in most of our gardens and shrubberies. The native habitat of Thuja is not without its importance in relation to therapeutics. It loves swamps; it is Hahnemann's typical antisycotic and Grauvogl's hydrogenoid. Thuja is one of Hahnemann's discoveries. Most of the remedies of his materia medica had been known in a fashion before his time. Of the therapeutic properties of Thuja practically nothing was known till Hahnemann proved it. Subsequent observers have only confirmed or added to Hahnemann's pathogenesis. Hahnemann found in Thuja the antidote to the miasm of the condition which he termed Sycosis, meaning thereby the constitutional disease resulting from constitutional gonorrhoea, and having as its characteristic manifestation excrescences, sometimes dry in the form of warts, more frequently soft, spongy, emitting a fetid fluid with a sweetish odour something like herring brine, bleeding readily and having the coxcomb or cauliflower form. Teste remarks that in the period when the doctrine of Signatures prevailed the "resinous callosities of the stems and leaves of Thuja occ. might have seemed an indication that the plant was the specific for sycosis and warts." Teste dismisses this idea, but he asks whether resinous substances which have the power of modifying vegetable juices in a peculiar way may not affect the animal fluids in the same manner. He includes Castor. in his Thuja group, and gives an instance in which it acted on fig-warts. Castor. is the product of an animal which subsists on the bark of resinous trees.-Hering gives this as the action of Thuja (1) on the fluids: "dissolution of fluids of the body, which become acrid, probably caused by Thuja perverting lymphatic secretions; disturbs digestion and sanguification"; and this (2) in the vegetative sphere: "A surplus of producing life; nearly unlimited proliferation of pathological vegetations, condylomata, warty sycotic excrescences, spongy tumours, and spongy pock exudates [which] organise hastily; all morbid manifestations are excessive, but appear quietly, so that the beginning of the diseased state is scarcely known." Boenninghausen found Thuja both preventive and curative in an epidemic of small-pox. It aborted the process and prevented pitting. In veterinary practice Thuja has proved curative in farcy and in "grease." These facts open up another great branch of Thuja's homoeopathicity-its anti-vaccinal action. This extension was made by Kunkel and Goullon following on Boenninghausen's experience with small-pox. On this subject no one has written more forcibly or lucidly than Burnett (Vaccinosis and its Cure by Thuja). "Arbor Vitae: nomen omen," says Burnett on his title-page. And in his hands Thuja has proved indeed a tree of life to numberless sufferers from the vaccinal taint. By "vaccinosis" Burnett means the disease known as vaccinia, the result of vaccination, plus "that profound and often long-lasting morbid constitutional state engendered by the vaccine virus." To this state Thuja is homoeopathic, and therefore curative and preventive of it. Burnett makes the profound observation, which I can confirm, that the vaccine virus does not need to "take" (that is, to set up vaccinia) in order to produce the vaccinal dyscrasia: that "not a few persons date their ill-health from a so-called unsuccessful vaccination." So that vaccinosis may exist apart from vaccinia. The antivaccinal action of Thuja is part of its antisycotic action: vaccinia is a sycotic disease. Burnett gives the case of an infant ten weeks old, whom he was called to see as it was supposed to be dying. He found it ghastly white and in collapse. There was nothing to account for this except that the baby had had its wet-nurse changed two or three days before. The wet-nurse was questioned and declared herself quite well and looked it; but "her arm was a little painful." She had been revaccinated in the Marylebone Workhouse the day before she took charge of the patient. Burnett found the vaccine eruption just turning into the pustular stage. He concluded that the infant was sucking the vaccinal poison with its nurse's milk. He gave Thuja 6 to both infant and nurse. The baby gradually improved the same day, and next morning was, though still pale, practically well, and the vaccinal vesicles on the nurse's arm had withered. Burnett quotes a case of vaccinal rash in an infant following the vaccination of its mother, who was nursing it. The effects of chronic vaccinosis are protean. Prominent among them are neuralgias (of which Burnett gives many examples), morbid skin disorders, indigestion, and constipation; warts and new growths of many kinds. In these effects a favourite method of Burnett's was to give a course of twenty-four numbered powders, only three or four of them medicated with Thuja 30; one to be taken at bedtime. With the same prescription he cured many cases of paralysis, his indications being: Left side of body; very chilly; < in morning, in wet weather, and in cold: with these indications present he also found enlargements of the spleen to dissolve. In 1889 I was consulted by Mr. A., 38, about a lump, or rather two lumps, in the right breast, which was like that of a girl approaching puberty, the left breast being quite flat and normal. There was a hard, not sharply defined lump to the right of the nipple, and a smaller one to the left of it, but freely movable, the larger somewhat tender and irritated by the pressure of the brace. The tumours had existed eighteen months and came on at a time of much anxiety when his wife died of consumption. His paternal grandmother and two aunts had died of cancer. He had been twice vaccinated, but on the second occasion the arm did not "rise." As a small boy his hands were covered with warts.-At eight he had shingles. On August 15th Thuja 10m F. C. was given. October 21th.-If anything tumours a little less. Thuja 10m continued at intervals. February 4, 1890.-Tumours can only be felt with difficulty. No pain. The medicine was repeated and when next seen some time later the patient was absolutely well. A very much vaccinated lady developed at the climacteric indurations in both breasts, especially the right. Menses were accompanied by severe neuralgic pains. Thuja was given in 1m, 10m, and cm F. C. potencies. The last set up attacks of angina pectoris of such intensity that I did not repeat it. The indurations disappeared, but in the course of the cure an eruption closely resembling small-pox developed over her breasts on more than one occasion. The first case I treated homoeopathically was one of new growths-a cluster of small warts on the forehead of a boy which had lasted eighteen months and followed the scratch of a cat. Thuja Ã˜ in fractional doses and Thuja Ã˜ painted on cured permanently in three weeks. A gentleman, about 50, consulted me recently about a wart on the right side of his head. He was bald, and the wart was black and unsightly. It had been growing some months, and he was somewhat anxious about it as his father had had a similar wart develop in the same locality at the same age, and it had never left him. My patient had been twice vaccinated. Thuja 30, twenty-eight powders, one in seven medicated, one at bedtime. In one month there was much reduction; Thuja was repeated, and in little over two months the wart was gone. Burnett says Thuja is the remedy for fatty tumours, which he regards as sycotic in nature. Thuja not only produces symptoms of the secondary stage of gonorrhoeal and vaccinal affections, it also produces urethritis and a variolous eruption. Dudgeon has reported acute urethritis with yellow discharge lasting altogether a fortnight as the result of chewing a Thuja cone. Mersch (H. M., xxx. 686) gave Thuja 3 to a patient as a prophylactic against small-pox. This patient and another who took it for the same purpose developed simple urethritis. Mersch proved Thuja Ã˜ on himself and some others: (1) M. N. had rose-coloured blotches on the back, and several days after leaving off the medicine had warts develop on the outer side of the root of the thumb. These were still present three years after, though smaller and softer. (2) Mersch himself, who took Thuja for fifteen days, had heavy sensation in the head on waking, an eruption of desquamative annular blotches, and from the twelfth day a tearing along the right arm which compelled him to keep the arm flexed for eight days, < attempting to extend the arm; slightly > by heat. A small soft wart appeared at the external portion of right middle finger. This disappeared a month after the proving was ended. ("< By extension" is a characteristic of Thuja; it = cracking in joints. The arm symptoms are also < when the limb hangs down, which is also an extension.) Apropos of the annular scaly blotches, I had a case of psoriasis of the legs in a youth which was benefited by Thuja more than by any other remedy, though the Thuja was given for some other affection. A patient came to Raue (H. R., ii. 162) complaining that his semen had a very offensive smell. Raue did not know of a remedy producing the symptom, but selected Thuja. Two doses of the 200th and one of the 15th were taken. The man was at the time in the hands of an eminent dentist for his teeth, which for five years had been a great trouble to him on account of their extreme sensitiveness to cold; the gums were in a deplorable state and the teeth were encrusted with tartar. After receiving the Thuja the extreme sensitiveness of the teeth disappeared in one night; then the offensive odour of the semen. In four days the patient again saw the dentist, who was amazed to find his gums quite sound. Moreover, the patient had lost an oppression of the chest which had been troubling him some time. Goullon (Leip. Pop. Zeit. f. H., translated Rev. H. Belge, September, 1895) relates the cure of a mental state by Thuja 30x. He remarks that, following the advice of Kunkel, he gives only a single dose of Thuja, one or two drops of the tincture on sugar or milk, at bedtime. When he has given a second dose the following night he has observed new symptoms "Thuja in fact has a very marked action on sleep, and its symptoms appear by preference at night-the headache, for example." This is the case: Miss R., 40; complained of her head, especially at certain moments, when ideas which did not concern her in the least came to her as if some one else was thinking by her side. Thuja produces a confusion in the thoughts which patients cannot rid themselves of on account of great weakness and pain in the head. This patient had for months been attending on a paralysed sister, frequently getting up in the night and worrying herself about numberless things. Her nervous system was very impressionable, and for weeks had reached a point of extreme over-excitement. She could no longer calm herself, and in addition she sneezed and coughed much. The problem was to give her sleep and take away the pain in the head. Even when she was not obliged to getup she could not get sleep. Her eyes were also very much irritated. The patient afterwards described her condition thus: "I felt in the anterior part of the head, principally the forehead, a sensation as if lead were compressing my eyes; these were inflamed, < by light, > in open air. Before going to sleep I felt a congestion in the head with headache; at the same time queer, confused ideas which changed like a flash and fell upon the most odd things. These were > when I opened my eyes or sat up. Before my eyes images and statues arranged themselves. If I wished to think of something sensible, in the twinkling of an eye I lost the thread of my ideas. All this happened at night; during the day the wicked sprites did not appear. My head and eyes pained me when there was much movement, as when several people were speaking at once." The effect of the dose she described thus After having taken the Thuja I tasted a sweet repose; the next morning a complete transformation had taken place in the head, the weight was gone, the eyes were more fresh, the brain free." Goullon cured a lady who had had headache for a year; on waking felt as if a tight hoop enclosed forehead, not passing away till noon. Eyelids heavy as lead. Thuja 10x, one close at bedtime, permanently cured. A. W. Holcombe (Med. Vis., xii. 225) relates experiences bearing on the sleep and dreams of Thuja. (1) Mrs. E., 48, had a growth, wart-like, about the size of a sixpence, on left temple. It began as a slight roughness and itched at times. Also growth about the same size on a hard palate (left), very sore. Much headache, on left side of the head, throbbing in left temple, and the pains extend into left ear. Cannot sleet after 3 a.m. Dreams much of falling. Feels smothering in a warm room. Thirsty, < noon and afternoon. Feet sweat much, offensive; sweats much about groins. Thuja cm was given on October 25th. By November 15th the growths and all the rest of the symptoms had disappeared. (2) Led by this same symptom, "almost every night, dreams of falling from a height," Holcombe cured a man, 30, of tertian fever with Thuja cm when a large number of other seemingly well-indicated remedies had failed. Robert Farley (quoted A. H., xxiii. 446) relates the case of two children, aet. 5, who had what he graphically terms "urinary tantrums." Two hours after being put to bed they would wake kicking, crying, and refusing to answer a question. This lasted an hour or more. Asked if they wanted to urinate they would refuse to answer, strike at attendant, or even say "No." Finally it was found that if they were taken up and put on the closet they would urinate and then go to sleep readily. One of the children developed signs of incipient inflammation of the left hip-joint. The totality led to the selection of Thuja, which was given in the 200th. After the first night there were no more "tantrums," and in two months the child was perfectly well. This child's father had had gonorrhoea, treated by injection, some years before the patient was born. But the other child's father had not had gonorrhoea. In the latter case, which was exactly like the former, the cure was immediate; in the former case relief occurred on the second night. C. W. Roberts (H. R., xii. 137) found Thuja Ã˜, in five- to seven-drop doses at bedtime, control nocturnal seminal emissions better than any other remedy. "Nocturnal seminal emission" is an emphasised symptom in M. M. P. Epulis is probably a malignant kind of sycotic hyperplasia. Percy Wilde (H. W., xxi. 199) records the case of a young married lady who had a large epulis on the lower jaw, rapidly increasing in size, ulcerating on the surface, very painful, and filling the mouth with an ill-smelling secretion. The entire tumour was removed by operation, and also the subjoined bone. Three weeks later the tumour was as large as before and increased daily. Thuja 1x was now given. The growth stopped immediately; ulceration ceased; the pain disappeared. In three weeks the gum was healthy and remained so permanently. Villers (quoted A. H., xxi. 421) relates a case of scalp tumour in a youth of seventeen. The tumour had existed two years, and had somewhat the appearance of a bean. It was situated about the posterior edge of the parietal bone, was devoid of sensation, and the hair had disappeared from it, making it very conspicuous. Thuja 30 was given, a dose every twenty days. In four months the youth was almost cured, in five months entirely so, the hair having grown again completely over the spot. George Royal (quoted A. H., xxiii. 387) relates a case of persistent cough cured with Thuja. Miss X., 19, fair, had for three months a painless, dry cough. The irritation was only in the throat. There were six small growths at the back of the throat, and one near the vocal cord. She never had a cough before. Has leucorrhoea green and excoriating; menses a little too early. Thuja 30 cured the growths and the cough in about three weeks. Old-school observers (N. A. J. H., xv. 63) have found in Thuja an efficient haemostatic, locally applied, especially after tooth extraction. R. B. Johnstone (H. P., ix. 257) gives some indications for Thuja in hernia: (1) Women of sycotic history who have a tendency to left-side inguinal hernia after labour (Thuja, high). (2) When babies cry much the umbilicus protrudes, growing red and sore; especially when the father has a sycotic history. (3) Left inguinal hernia in infants; child cries all the time, and is only quiet when the left inguinal region is relieved from pressure, or the thigh is flexed on the abdomen. Boenninghausen observed this symptom of Thuja, which bears on the action of Thuja on the sides and roots of teeth (a sycotic symptom), rather than on the crowns: "on blowing nose, a pressing pain in the hollow tooth, at the side of it." The left ovarian pains of Thuja are remarkable. They are severe, sometimes burning, extend down thigh, any attempt at exercise and especially walking