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Apr 3, 2012


Following article published in THE MEDICAL ADVANCE AND  Journal of Homeopathics VOL XLII CHICAGO, JANUARY, 1904. No. 1

Proceedings of the Central New York Homeopathic
Medical Society


ROCHESTER, N. Y., June 11, 1903.

Dr. A. C. Hermance read the following paper In the quarterly meeting of the Central New York Homeopathic Medical Society


My knowledge and use of this drug is of necessity empirical. However, from reports read of its action and my own clinical experience, I am inclined to think it destined to take a prominent place in our materia medica. Particularly will it be indicated in diseases arising from a depraved state of the blood; in poisoned
wounds, stings and bites of poisonous animals or reptiles; in erysipelatous conditions, septic infections and blood poisoning generally.

From my limited source of information I can only say that this remedy is obtained from an American plant indigenous to our Western prairies, the common name of which I do not know. However, my purpose in this paper is not to discuss the botanic characteristics of this remedy, but in a few clinical cases to relate its action and the general results obtained by its administration.

CASE I.— Mr. C., aged sixty-five years, a paper box maker by occupation, while working with some colored paper, cut his right thumb slightly on edge of the paper. The injury caused him little inconvenience until next day, when the finger began swelling rapidly, accompanied by intense lancinating pain, and much discoloration, purple in character. The day following I was called and found the following conditions:

Finger greatly swollen, dark blue or purple in color.
Lancinating, burning pain, running up the arm arterially.
Veins distended and swollen; arteries like red streaks running up arm, and very painful to touch.
Axillary gland swollen and very painful.
General muscular soreness, "seems as if pounded."
Vertigo with deathly sick feeling all over.
Trembling of lower limbs, cannot walk.
Dull, stupefying headache, with sense of weight on vertex.
General and extreme prostration.
Face drawn, haggard, deathly pallor, cold moisture on forehead.
Nausea and vomiting.
Diarrhea with frequent, offensive stools.
Throat swollen, fauces dark and purplish in color, with ulcerated patches.
Inability to swallow. Raises bloody mucus when coughing.
Tongue swollen, bluish color, very sore to touch.
Temp. 103° F. Pulse 100.

Lach. 200, in solution, was given every two hours. This was at 9 A. M.; at 8 P. M. there was no improvement. Hand and arm swelling rapidly; profuse watery diarrhea; stool every hour, very offensive; cannot retain nourishment. Flaxseed fomentations ordered applied to hand every half hour. Lach. continued, 11 P.M. condition was unchanged.  Ars. CM, one dose.

9 A. M. next morning. Patient had a very bad night. Heart action is now irregular. Hand and arm terribly swollen. Diarrhea, pain and prostration marked. Slight delirium. Temp.103 2-5°. Pulse 110.  Echinacea, Q twenty drops in half a glass of water, a teaspoonful every hour. Dressing, same remedy, I dr.to pint warm water.

4: 30 P. M. Diarrhea lessened. Hot milk retained, other symptoms unchanged. Echinacea continued.

9 A. M. Following morning. Pulse regular, Temp. 101° much less pain, purplish color fading. Had two hours sleep during night, nourishment retained. Echinacea continued.

4: 30 P. M. Continued improvement; tongue moist and better color; throat clean and swelling reduced.

9 A. M. Third day. Patient rested well, temperature and pulse normal, Diarrhea ceased, swelling gradually subsiding, purplish color not so marked, pain much better. Echinacea continued.
The patient continued to improve daily. In one week from the time he went under treatment the glandular involvement had disappeared. The hand and arm had assumed a healthful color, pain and swelling almost entirely disappeared. Taking regular nourishment, and gaining strength rapidly. In ten days he was practically well, with the exception of some muscular soreness.

CASE II— Mrs. C, aged twenty-two years, while breaking up some boxes, accidentally ran a rusty nail in the palm of her hand.
The next day after the accident, she presented the following conditions:
Hand much swollen.
Purplish areola around wound.
Red streaks running up forearm, muscular soreness, continued burning pain shooting up arm, swelling in axillary gland, severe frontal headache; nausea and vomiting. Tempt 102°, Pulse 101.

Echinacea 1X in solution every hour.
In twenty-four hours there was marked improvement, the 3x was then given every three hours for two days, with continued and rapid improvement. In five days patient was discharged cured.

CASE III— Mr. M., aged fifty years, scratched his leg just above the knee with a rusty nail while packing some furniture. This was followed next day with swelling, burning, lancinating pains through wound, nausea, vomiting and offensive diarrhea, frontal
headache, rise of temperature, purplish areola around wound, general prostration, marked thirst. Arsenicum was given in different potencies without results. This was followed by Lachesis without improvement. The wound began sloughing badly, pains so severe patient could not rest day or night. A marked symptom
in this case was sensitiveness to touch of the affected part, he being unable to bear the least pressure. Echinacea Q twenty drops in half a glass of water, a teaspoonful every hour was given and a dressing of the same applied externally. The result being immediate
improvement and complete recovery in two weeks.
The special sphere of action of this drug seems to be upon the fluids of the body. It might be termed an internal antiseptic. We have records of it as greatly relieving the pains of carcinoma, and in malignant carbuncles its action has been quick and curative:
also in septic diarrheas, and septic peritonitis from retained placenta, we have clinical evidence of its great efficacy.

Among the drugs whose pathogenesis correspond more closely to the symptoms exhibited in these cases are perhaps: Arsenicum, Arnica, Crotalis, Pyrogen and Lachesis. The latter remedy, as I have stated, was given by me with the result here given; also
the Arsenicum.

Under Lachesis, we have the swollen, purplish, ulcerated throat, the marked systemic weakness, with offensive diarrhea, the burning lancinating pains, and purplish areola at seat of injury. Affected parts are bluish in color. Carbuncles with purplish surroundings,
gangrenous ulceration with purplish areolae.

Crotalus Hor: With its purplish erysipelatous inflammations. Stings of insects turning blue, felons and abscesses when parts are bluish, septic poisoning, purpura hemorrhagica, etc.

Arsenicum: With its burning pain, malignant pustules with livid areola, septic diarrhea and glandular affections.

Arnica: With its muscular soreness, ecchymosed spots, and septic states generally. Whether or not I should have accomplished thesame results with one or the other of these remedies I do not know, but my desire to prove the efficacy of Echinacea, led to its
exhibition with the results here recorded. I would suggest, when, in these cases of septic origin, our well-selected remedies fail, that we do not forget Echinacea Augustifolia.


[Anthracinum and Pyrogen may also be compared in carbuncles, malignant pustules, septic poisoning, etc., with purple or bluish areola and intense burning pain.—ED.]

Dr. Hermance's paper was presented for discussion.
Dr. Rowland' thought the case suggested Natrum sulph.
Dr. Graham was inclined to believe that one of several remedies might have cured the case.
Dr. Leggett thought that from the standpoint of a treatment of the disease, the last assertion might be true, but from the standpoint of the individual expression of the sickness, the one remedy only had power to complete the cure; else, why so many partial
cures ?
Dr. Graham had used Echinacea in wounds and injuries, with success, when indicated by the symptoms.
Dr. Hermance related a case of blood poisoning following the extraction of a tooth with a local anesthetic, that had exhibited, the color, sensitiveness, etc., and yielded quickly to the prescription
of Echinacea.
Dr. Leggett asked if the extreme sensitiveness was a strong indication. Dr. Hermance said, "Yes."
Dr. Graham recommended the remedy in puerperal sepsis.

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