HOMEOPATHY TREATMENT FOR DIARRHOEA
That excellent and truly homoeopathic work on diarrhoea by Dr. J.B.Bell contains the indications for some one hundred
and forty remedies in this complaint. The following are perhaps the more often indicated. Arsenicum, it may be said, is always
thought of in diarrhoea. Given a case of diarrhoea, and two remedies always come to mind, namely, Arsenicum and Veratrum,
and immediately the distinguishing features of these are gone over much in this way:
Arsenicum. Stools in small quantities. Restlessness, anguish and intolerance of pain. Thirst for small quantities and
often. The prostration and weakness are out the stool, of all proportion to stool.
Veratrum album. Profuse stools. No restlessness, anguish, intolerance of pain. Great thirst for large quantities of cold
water. Great prostration follows not more, however,than profuseness warrants.
The two remedies are easily distinguished, and it would it seem to be the height of imbecility to alternate them. The
grand characteristics of Arsenicum in diarrhoea , therefore, are:
1. The small quantity. 2. The dark color. 3. The offensive odor. 4. The great prostration following.
Another grand feature is the burning in the rectum, which almost amounts to a tenesmus. The stools of Arsenicum are dark
yellow, undigested, slimy or bloody ; they are often dark green and very offensive; they are worse at night and after eating
or drinking. China, Ferrum and Arsenicum all have undigested stool coming on after eating. Among the principal causes of the
diarrhoea calling for Arsenicum, and one which would be an additional indication, is chilling of the stomach by cold food,
ice water or ice cream. It is also the remedy for diarrhoea from tainted food and so-called ptomaine poisoning. It hardly
seems possible that Arsenicum with these characteristics could be misprescribed.
#Veratrum album. [Verb]
The characteristics of Veratrum album are no less well marked than are those of Arsenicum. They are as follows:
1. A profuse watery stool, forcible evacuated. 2. Pain in the abdomen preceding stool. 3. Great prostration following
stool. 4. Cold sweat , coldness and blueness of the body generally.
The stools of Veratrum are watery, containing therein flakes, and are commonly called rice-water discharges. Preceding
the stool is a severe pinching colic in the abdomen , and this pain is apt to continue during the stool. Nausea,too, is often
an accompaniment. Cramps in the feet and legs may also be present.
Jatropha has a profuse watery discharge, evacuated with great force, and the patient is cold as under Veratrum; but with
Jatropha a great quantity of wind escapes. Cuprum is also similar in many respects to Veratrum. Here the cramps are very severe
and extend to the chest; it has the vomiting and purging of Veratrum, but not the cold sweat. Among the prominent general
symptoms of Veratrum is the great thirst for very cold water in large draughts.
From personal experience I believe Veratrum acts better in the higher potencies in diarrhoea ; in the lower potencies
it may produce unfavorable results from too sudden stoppage of the discharges, while in the higher potencies, 12th,30th etc.,
its acts tuto, cito et jocunde.
#Cinchona officinalis. [Cinch]
Arsenicum and Veratrum in a certain case having been excluded, perhaps the next remedy coming to mind is Cinchona. Indeed,
it may come to mind at once if the diarrhoea be a painless one. Cinchona, Podophyllum and Phosphoric acid have painless stools.
Or, if the stool be undigested, it will come promptly to mind along with Podophyllum and Ferrum, which is a very efficient
remedy in painless diarrhoea. The characteristic Cinchona diarrhoea is a painless one, of a cadaverous odor. It is slimy,
bilious, blackish and mixed with undigested food; it is worse at night and after eating , with a rapid exhaustion and emaciation,
and this exhaustion, emaciation and debility at once distinguish the remedy from Phosphoric acid, which is similar, lacking
the debility , but having the following:
1. Rumbling in abdomen. 2. Perspiration of the whole body. 3. Thin watery painless stools. 4. Much thirst.
The Cinchona diarrhoea is worse after eating , here resembling Ferrum and Arsenicum . If it be caused or made worse by
fruit, it is an additional characteristic indication for its use. It is a great favorite in summer diarrhoeas, also Iris versicolor,
when there is much sour vomiting. Cinchona has a similar thirst to Arsenicum, the patient drinks little and often , but it
lacks the burning to Arsenicum. Diarrhoeas coming on after attacks of acute illness areoften met by Cinchona. It also corresponds
to the chronic diarrhoeasof aged persons.
The diarrhoea of sulphur is very characteristic. It has changeable stools, yellow , watery, slimy, and in scrofulous children
may contain undigested food. It is worse in the morning about four or five O'clock, when it wakens the patient and drives
him out of bed in great haste. For these early morning diarrhoeas we have a number of remedies. Bryonia is one , but the stool
of Bryonia comes on after the patient has been up a while and has moved about, here presenting the worse-from-motion symptom
of that drug. Natrum sulphuricum is another; it has morning stool associated with a great deal of flatus, and it comes on
usually as soon as the patient stands on his feet in the morning, or sometimes during the forenoon. Rumex crispus is another
and it has exactly the same symptom as Sulphur, but it is usually associated with cough. Podophyllum is another and perhaps
the most similar to Sulphur in this respect. It hurries the patient out of bed and it has changeable stools,but it is more
apt to continue throughout the day and is associated with soreness in the liver. There is with Sulphur a tendency to rectal
soreness, there is itching and soreness at the anus, the stools being acrid and excoriating.
Phosphorus has a morning painless stool and so has Dioscorea, but the colicky pains of this remedy starting from the umbilicus
and radiating to all parts of the body should be easily distinguish. Petroleum has early morning stools associated with emaciation.
They differ from Sulphur in occurring also throughout the day. Kali bichromicum has also a watery gushing stool coming on
in the morning and followed by tenesmus. The stools of Sulphur are offensive and the odor of the stool follows the patient
about as if he had soiled himself.The stools often alternate between constipation and diarrhoea, and if haemorrhoids be present
it is an additional good indication for Sulphur. A diarrhoea of mucus streaked with blood, preceded by colic, is also often
found under the remedy.
Aloes is a remedy whose chief action is on the rectum. It produces a constant desire to stool, and the passages are accompanied
with a great deal of flatus. The great characteristic of the drug feeling of uneasiness, weakness, and certainly about the
rectum; there is a constant feeling as if stool would escape, the patient dares not pass flatus for fear of the escape of
faeces. This condition is met with in children sometimes, they pass faeces when passing flatus. Aloes resembles Sulphur, Thuja
and Bryonia in having an early morning stool; like Sulphur wakens the patient and hurries him out of bed to the toilet. It
is worse from eating but it seldom continues during the day. The weakness of the sphincter ani is also found under Phosphoric
acid, where we have also stools escaping with the flatus. The Aloes patient will also pass stool when urinating. Haemorrhoids
which are characteristically swollen and sore accompany the Aloes stool. The stool themselves are yellow and pasty or lumpy
and watery, and before the stool there are griping pains across the lower part of the abdomen and around the navel. These
pains also continue during stool and passage usually relieves them. The essentials are:
1. The lumpy, watery stool. 2. The intense griping across the lower parts of the abdomen before and during stool, leaving
after stool. 3. The extreme prostration and perspiration following.
#Croton tiglium. [Crot]
Croton tiglium is one of the great homoeopathic remedies for diarrhoea , which might readily be imagined from the prompt
action of the drug in the minutest doses of the crude substance in the intestinal canal. Its characteristics are a yellowish,
watery stool pouring out like water from a hydrant, and especially associated with nausea and vomiting and aggravated by eating
and drinking. There are a number of drugs which are very similar to Croton tiglium and they may be mentioned here. The first
is Elaterium. This is a remedy for frothy, copious, forcible diarrhoeas preceded by cutting in abdomen, chilliness, prostration
and colic. They are always gushing and may be olive-green in color. The second is Gratiola; this has a gushing watery diarrhoea
coming out like water from a hydrant; the stools are yellowish green and frothy and there is associated with them a cold feeling
in the abdomen. The third is Jatropha.
This has a profuse, gushing, watery diarrhoea; but here there is much wind and flatulence and great prostration. The fourth
is Gamboge. This has a stool expelled "all at once", with much relief following. Stools thin and watery. The characteristics
of the stool of Croton tiglium are:
1. The yellow, watery stool. 2. The sudden expulsion. 3. The aggravation from drink and food; and to this we may add the
quite common accompaniment of nausea, preceded by a little pain in the abdomen.
One symptom always leads to the thought of this drug, and that is sourness of stools and of the whole body, though Rheum
is not only remedy for sour stools nor are sour stools the only indication for Rheum; indeed, they may be wanting in sourness
and Rheum still be the remedy. For sour stools, besides Rheum, we have notably Calcarea carbonica, Magnesia carbonica and
Hepar. Magnesia carbonica is said to follow Rheum well, and, besides sourness, it has the frothy, green, frog-pond scum stool,
and it is especially suitable to infants when the stools are of the above character and accompanied with discharge flatus
and much crying. Debility is also characteristic of the remedy.
Characteristic among the symptoms of Rheum, besides the sourness, is a griping colic often followed by tenesmus. In color,
the stools are brown and frothy, and usually sour; they are worse from motion and after eating. Chilliness during stool is
also characteristic. The continuance ;of the colic after the stool also suggests the remedy.
Podophyllum, as we have seen, has an early morning diarrhoea. The stools are watery, yellow, profuse,forcible and occur
without pain any time from three o'clock to nine in the morning, and a natural stool is apt to follow later in the day. It
occurs, too, immediately after eating resembling cinchona and Colocynth, and it has still another resemblance to Colocynth
in its colic, which is relieved by warmth and bending forward. Following the diarrhoea of Podophyllum is a sensation of great
weakness in the abdomen and rectum, this weakness o;f the rectum being a great characteristic of the remedy. The rectum prolapses
before the faeces are evacuated; here it differs from the prolapses which would call for Ignatia, Carbo vegetabilis and Hamamelis.
Podophyllum has proved useful in the diarrhoea of dentition when cerebral symptoms are present. Sometimes a headache will
alternate with the diarrhoea. This also occurs with Aloes. The stools of Podophyllum are often undigested; and here the remedy
touches China and Ferrum, which are the great remedies for undigested stools. A deposit of mealy sediment further indicates
the remedy in diarrhoeas of children. Podophyllum and Mercurius have some symptoms in common; both affect the liver both affect
the liver, both have a tongue taking the imprint of the teeth, but the stool of Mercurius is accompanied by straining. The
great characteristics of Podophyllum may be thus summed up: 1. Early morning stools. 2. Watery, pasty yellow or undigested
stools, forcibly expelled. 3. Painless. 4. Weakness in the rectum following stool. Podophyllum also resembles Calcarea carbonica
and Phosphoric acid in many respects; the rapid debility and exhaustion distinguish it from the acid, and the absence of general
Calcarea symptoms from the acid, and the absence of general Calcarea symptoms from CALCAREA. It is especially useful in the
obstinate diarrhoeas of unhealthy infants in the 3x dilution.
Straining at stool is the great characteristic of Mercurius, and this is more marked under Mercurius corosivus than under
the solubilis. The former is the great homoeopathic remedy for dysentery. It may be remarked, in passing, that the allopaths
have recently discovered this application of Mercurius corrosivus. The stools of Mercury are slimy and bloody, accompanied
by a straining and tenesmus which does not seem to let up; so we have what is characteristically described as a never-get-done-feeling.
There is accompanying, much hepatic soreness, flabby tongue taking imprint of the teeth, and before the stool there is violent
urging and perhaps chilliness. Bayes praises Mercurius in a diarrhoea of yellow or clay-colored stool. A sickly smell from
the mouth is characteristic of the remedy, and if the ready perspiration so characteristic of Mercurius be present the choice
is easy. Prolapsus of the rectum may follow the stool.
Calcarea should never be overlooked in any intestinal trouble; as we have seen, it is one of the great remedies for sour
stools, and for undigested stools. It is one of our best remedies for chronic diarrhoea, its symptoms produced by the provers
are very few, yet prescribed for its general symptoms it has proved very useful, for it is just in a genuine Calcarea patient
that one usually finds diarrhoea.Diarrhoes occurring during dentition in infants with open fontanelles call for Calcarea.
Calcarea phosphorica, too, is a very useful remedy in these diarrhoeas, but the diarrhoea of Calcarea phosphorica is distinguished
by being a spluttering diarrhoea, forcibly expelled, but watery, greenish, or undigested, and with a great deal of offensive
flatus. Calcarea carbonica is more suited to fat children. Calcarea phosphorica to those who are old and wrinkled. Both of
these remedies, as well as Silicea and Sulphur, come in most frequently in the diarrhoeas of scrofulous and rachitic children.
In the Calcarea carbonica patient there is usually a ravenous appetite, and, as in Phosphoric acid, the stools do not seem
to weaken. This is especially true of another of the Calcareas, Calcarea acetica. Prescribe for the patient instead of the
diarrhoea at all times,but more especially if Calcarea be given.
Phosphorous is especially a remedy for chronic forms of diarrhoea. It has green mucous stools worse in the morning, often
undigested and painless. The stools pass as soon as they enter the rectum,and contain white particles like rice or tallow.
Apis has a sensation as if the anus stood open, and the involuntary escape of faeces in Phosphorous reminds also of Aloes.
Chronic,painless diarrhoea of undigested food call sometimes for Phosphorus. It is profuse and forcible and aggravated by
warm food, and the patient often vomits; in fact, one of the characteristics of Phosphorous is the vomiting of what has been
drunk as soon as it becomes warm in the stomach. With the diarrhoea there is a weak, gone feeling in the stomach, and perhaps
burning between the shoulders. The frog spawn, or sago, or grain of tallow stool is most characteristic of the remedy.
#Argentum nitricum. [Arg]
Argentum nitricum is quite similar to Arsenic in many ways. The stools are green, slimy and bloody,like chopped spinach
in flakes. Aconite has a green stool like spinach. With the stool there is a discharge of flatus and much spluttering, as
in Calcarea Phosphorica. The stools are worse from any candy, sugar, or from drinking. The sudden attacks of cholera infantum
in children who have eaten too much candy will often be removed by Argentum nitricum. The children are thin, dried up looking,
and it seems as if the child had but one bowel and that extended from the mouth to the anus. Another characteristic of Argentum
nitricum is its use in diarrhoea brought on by great mental excitement, emotional disturbance, etc.
Gelsemium is one of the most prominent remedies for diarrhoea produced by fright or fear; it appears suddenly and the
stools are yellow and papescent. Opium has diarrhoea from fright and so has Veratrum album. Pulsatilla, too, may be indicated
in diarrhoea from fright; the stools are greenish yellow and changeable. Dulcamara has diarrhoea from changes in the weather
or in temperature, as in those employed in packing house who change frequently from hot to cold, or diarrhoea in the mountains
where the midday is hot and the nights excessively cool.There are a number of minor remedies for diarrhoea , but these very
minor remedies become of major importance when they are closely indicated.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO DIAGNOSE THE CAUSE OF THE AILMENT. IF THE CONDITIONS OR SYMPTOMS PERSIST, CONTACT YOUR PHYSICIAN
REMEMBER, THESE REMEDIES ARE FOR REFERENCE PURPOSE ONLY.