Veratrum Album.

Veratrum album. White-flowered Veratrum. White Hellebore. N. O. Melanthaceae (of the Liliaceae). Tincture of the root-stocks collected (in the Alps and Pyrenees) early in June before flowering.

Clinical.-Amenorrhoea. Anaemia. Anasarca. Angina pectoris. Apoplexy. Asthma. Bronchitis. Cholera asiatica. Cholerine. Colic. Collapse. Constipation. Coprophagia. Cramps. Debility. Diaphragm, affections of. Diarrhoea. Dysmenorrhoea. Emphysema. Epilepsy. Fainting. Gastric catarrh. General paralysis. Headache; sick; nervous. Hernia. Hydrocephaloid. Hysteria. Influenza. Intermittent fever. Intussusception. Labour, constipation after. Lips, cracked. Liver, hyperaemia of. Lock-jaw. Lungs, oedema of. Mania. Measles. Mendacity. Melancholia. Meningitis. Menstruation, nausea before; diarrhoea before. Neuralgia, palpebralis. Nyctalopia. Å’sophagus, stricture of. Peritonitis. Pernicious fevers. Plica polonica. Pneumonia. Pregnancy, imaginary. Ptosis. Pyaemia. Rheumatism. Salivation. Scarlatina. Sleep, whining in. Spleen, swollen. Sternum. Throat. Toothache. Typhoid fever. Vertigo. Water-brash. Whooping-cough. Yellow fever.

Characteristics.-In his Helleborism of the Ancients, Hahnemann showed that Verat. alb. was the principal agent used at Anticyra and other places in Greece to produce the evacuations which were regarded as an essential of the "cure." Spring was deemed the most favourable season and autumn the next. Among the diseases in which the treatment was employed were "mental derangements, epilepsy, spasms of the facial muscles, hydrophobia, ptyalism of the pancreas, diseases of the spleens, goître, hidden cancer," &c. (Hahnemann quoted by Teste). Hahnemann says (M. M. P.) that doubtless many patients were cured, but not a few succumbed to the enormous doses given. These doses he showed were quite unnecessary, when the symptoms of the proving are taken as guides. The "evacuant" use of Ver. gives one of the keynotes for its homoeopathic use-its discharges are copious; copious stools, copious vomiting, copious urine, copious salivation, and copious sweat. The discharges drain the tissues like cholera, in which disease its pathogenetic effects render it one of the first remedies, ranking with Camp. and Cupr. in Hahnemann's trio. The discharges exhaust the vitality as well as the tissues and cause vertigo; blackness before the sight, fainting, collapse: "Rapid sinking of forces; complete prostration; cold sweat and cold breath." "Skin blue, purple, cold, wrinkled; remaining in folds when pinched." "Face hippocratic, nose pointed." "Hands icy cold." "Face and legs icy cold." This coldness is another of the keynotes of Ver. It is one aspect of the fever-producing power of the drug: "Coldness of the whole body." "Coldness running over whole body soon after taking it." "Feeling of internal chill ran through him from head to toes of both feet at once." "Continued rigor in back and over arms." Very characteristic are: Cold feeling in abdomen;" "coldness as of a piece of ice on vertex;" "cold nose;" "face cold and collapsed;" "cold tongue;" and most characteristic of all, "cold sweat on forehead." Along with the coldness is blueness of face and extremities. Ver. is like cholera in that coldness predominates in its fever, but it has also "heat and redness of face and hands." With the fever there is apt to be delirium and prolonged sleep. The delirium may develop great intensity and violence: "Fury: tears his clothing; bites her shoes to pieces and swallows the fragments; cursing; stamping; wants to run away; makes a great noise." These and kindred symptoms seem to indicate Ver. in acute affections attended with delirium; and also in cases of mental alienation, which was prominent among the affections treated with the drug by the ancients. Hahnemann says of Ver. that it has the power "to promote a cure of almost one-third of the insane in lunatic asylums (at all events as a homoeopathic intermediate remedy)." One of the symptoms taken by Hahnemann from Grading is this: "He swallows his own excrement," which Goullon has verified (Z. Berl. V. H. A., xix. 156): a child had a craze for eating its own faeces, or dung lying in the street. Ver. 2., thrice daily, cured in a month. The mania of Ver. may be of the exalted kind, religious or sexual. Imagines she is pregnant and will soon be delivered; nymphomania; puerperal mania; mania for kissing everybody have been cured by Ver. Generally there will be collateral Ver. symptoms to confirm the choice: coldness, blueness, collapse, fainting, vomiting, or diarrhoea. Ver. is a great fainting remedy. There is fainting from emotions, from the least exertion, from retching, from stool. Sinking feeling during haemorrhage. The gastric conditions are characterised by extreme hunger; craving for cold food and refreshing things; thirst for ice-cold water. This last is very characteristic, and appears in the chill and heat of fever. The copiousness of the stools distinguishes Ver. from Camph. The evacuations are apt to be green, vomit, stool, urine. The characteristic diarrhoea of Ver. is: frequent, greenish, gushing; mixed with flakes; cutting colic, with cramps commencing in hands and feet and spreading all over; prostrating, after fright; < least movement; with vomiting, cold sweat on forehead during stool and prostration after. "Violent vomiting with profuse diarrhoea "is a keynote of Ver. The constipation of Ver. is no less characteristic: no desire; stools large, hard; in round black balls; from inactive rectum; frequent desire felt in epigastrium; painful of infants and children; of women after confinement. Ver. is a great pain producer, and the pains of its neuralgias (dysmenorrhoea, migraine) are often accompanied by diarrhoea, vomiting, cold sweat, fainting, or prostration. This case was reported in P. C. J. H. (vii. 150): Prosopalgia, right-sided, kept an anaemic woman awake and in misery for several days and nights from the crushing paroxysmal pain, causing sweating and prostration. Ver. cured at once. E. F. Watts (A. H., xxi., 317) had this case: Mrs. C. had severe nervous headaches for years. Any over-exertion, as riding or working on hot days, would excite them. They frequently began in occiput, settling sometimes in one eye sometimes in the other. Spi. and Sil. gave no relief. One day Watts noticed that the brow contracted and eyelids nearly closed with the intensity of the pain. Ver. was now given and relieved at once. Gee (M. A., xxv. 22) cured this case with one dose of Ver. 200: Mrs. L., widow, 43, had sciatica four years. Pain sharp, transient, darting upwards and downwards and from both sides to centre. Heat from motion. The cramps of Ver. are part of its general convulsant properties. The convulsions of Ver. may be tetanic, with lockjaw, or epileptic. The eyes are particularly convulsed or the lids paralysed. There may be vanishing of sight or sparks before the sight or night-blindness. Dryness and burning are leading sensations as in other parts. Dryness is felt in nose, mouth, palate, throat. Ver. has a sharp action on the respiratory organs and has cured many cases of pneumonia when the mental and other symptoms of Ver. have been present. A leading local symptom is tickling: Tickling deep in trachea and bronchi. "Tickling in chest, as if it would provoke cough, in middle of sternum." This symptom helped me to the remedy in the following case: Mrs. W. 30, had much pain inside throat. Painful ulcer in mouth. Throat sore and inclined to be ulcerated. Tickling all over inside of chest and throat; outside tender. No pain on swallowing. Has had cold and cough some time, cough hurts chest. Stan. had no effect. Ver. 1m thrice daily gradually removed all symptoms. Ver. meets cardiac debility, following acute diseases; pulse thread-like; faints in morning; face red when lying down or sitting up, deadly pale; hands cold, clammy. Ver. is Suited to (1) the extremes of life-children and old people; (2) lean, choleric, or melancholy persons; (3) young people and women of a sanguine or nervo-sanguine temperament (of mountaineers.-Teste); (4) people who are habitually cold and deficient in vital reaction; (5) persons of gay disposition; (6) of fitful mood; (7) anaemic persons. Peculiar Sensations are: As if pregnant or in throes of child-birth. As if he had a bad conscience, or had committed a crime. As if in a dream. As if things whirled in a circle. As if a lump of ice on vertex. Burning in brain. As if head would burst. As if heat and cold at same time on scalp. Hair as if electrified. Eyelids as if rubbed sore. As if inner surface of lids too dry. As if hundreds of fine needle-points were thrust into eyelids. As if ears were stopped. As if alternate current of cold and warm air coming out of ear. As if nose dry. As if teeth were filled with lead. As if tongue too heavy. As of dust in throat. As if mouth lined with mucus. As if something alive running from stomach into throat. As from ravenous hunger, pain in stomach. Radiating pain from abdomen. Distress over heart and epigastrium. Sinking, empty feeling in abdomen. As of knives cutting bowels. As of hot coals in abdomen. Pinching as with pincers in abdomen. As if intestines twisted into a knot. As if cold water running through veins. Arms as if bruised or broken. As if bones of l. forearm were pressed. As if arms too full and swollen, feel cold when raising them. As if hands had been asleep. As if a heavy stone were tied to feet and knees. Limbs pain as if exhausted by excessive fatigue. As if she would have to fly away. Electric pains occur in various parts. The symptoms are: < By touch; pressure-shock of injury. Slight wounds = fainting. Rest > palpitation. Horizontal position > vomiting, cough, and general condition. Stooping < headache; = rush of blood to head. Motion asthma. Walking > jerks in limbs; neuralgia of arms and legs; pain in feet and knees. Least exertion = fainting; cough; sweat. < Night; and morning on waking. Warmth