W. E. KINNETT, M. D., PEORIA, ILL.
The physician, who, with the courage of his convictions, does the very best he knows to relieve the sick and suffering, regardless of the dictum of any body, sect, ism or pathy; who searches and researches, and gathers here a little and there a little from all sources, whether it be from allopathy homeopathy, eclecticism, osteopathy or any other pathy or ism under the sun (for there is good in all) and knows what he knows and knows that he knows it "beyond all peradventure" as Prof. John M. Scudder used to tell us, will call no man master, and by such, is this, our great system of scientific and rational medicine raised and perpetuated. All honor to the man who is searching for truth, for it is the truth that makes us free. I have written in the December THERAPEUTIST on some of these remedies and may necessarily have to repeat in this something I have previously written, but repetition of a good thing will do us no harm.
Iron has been studied therapeutically for many years, and there are about as many different ideas advanced as the number of years it has been studied. However, we think within the last ten years there has been as much investigation as there was during all the previous years. From literature on the subject, and from instructions (?) from drug-house agents, we would almost conclude that all one would need in the practice of medicine, so far as medicine is concerned, is to have a good supply of so-and-so's iron compound.
Iron is an oxygen carrier, the best we have, and when properly administered carries oxygen to every tissue reached by the blood stream, and promptly relieves irritation and increases strength. I am now writing especially of ferrum phosphoricum, as I regard it as the best preparation of iron. It should be prescribed in all cases needing iron alone, but if you desire to prescribe an acid with it perhaps the chlorid, or Howe's acid solution may be used, but this is seldom the case compared with the times that iron alone is indicated.
Oxygen is of the greatest aid when battling for life, and more especially is this manifest in diseases of the respiratory apparatus. I do not have much faith in the inhalation of oxygen from the oxygen gas bag, and I very much prefer the ferrum phos. It assists breathing, strengthens the heart and prevents heart failure, and tones up all the blood vessels. If there is sufficient oxygen in the blood we will have very little if any fever, as it is the want of it that causes fever. Hence, ferrum phos. is indicated in all fevers and inflammations, and more especially in acute inflammations, and is one of the safest and best sedatives we have and I prescribe it more than all others. True it will not relieve all fevers neither will any other sedative or combination of sedatives. This drug is indicated in all fevers or inflammations regardless of the coating of the tongue, but as a matter of course there are exceptions to this as with all other drugs. If the fever is caused by an overloaded stomach or engorged bowels the only sensible thing to do is to "clear the ship fore and aft" and the fever is gone. In all hyperemic conditions characterized by heat, pain, redness and swelling, rapid pulse and increased circulation this drug is indicated. This is equally effective in the adult as in the child and in about the same dose, for it is the minute dose we want in any case.
Hemorrhage is usually caused by a weakened, broken down condition of the muscular fibers of the blood vessels, and especially is ferrum phos. indicated in this condition, and it matters little where this hemorrhage is located it will in most cases be relieved by this remedy. I will not take time and space to specify names of diseases for its use, as the careful physician knows that names have little to do with treatment. Suffice it to say that where we have any fever or inflammation this drug is indicated internally and many cases locally. I have treated many cases of erysipelas with this drug alone internally, keeping the parts covered with a cloth wet with a solution of the drug. This is a companion remedy with many other remedies and when this remedy has its most positive indications, often there are also other remedies indicated. I-use this in fresh wounds and abrasions of the skin and use it as we do other dusting powders and with excellent results. The wounds are kept clean and heal rapidly.
Chloride of potassium is a companion remedy with ferrum phos. and in most cases should be prescribed early in all inflammations to prevent plastic exudation. This drug should not be confounded with chlorate of potassium for they are very different in therapeutic effect as well as in composition.
This drug acts with fibrin and prevents the formation of plastic exudates and subsequent organization of the tissues.
There is no drug in our materia medica, that we are acquainted with, that will do as much to prevent this condition as kali muriate.
Chlorid of potassium is indicated where there is white or gray coating on the tongue and mucous membranes of the mouth and throat; a thick white slime or phlegm from any of the mucous membranes; where the skin is scaly, mucous membranes pale, the epithelium easily gives way and there are vesicles, ulcers and erosions to contend with. In these conditions kali muriate is a superior remedy. This drug is our very best remedy to prevent the plastic exudates in pneumonia and all other acute inflammations of the respiratory tract, for these exudates are almost certain to be more or less a concomitant, if not prevented.
I would not attempt to treat a case of pneumonia, diphtheria, croup or in fact any other inflammation whether idiopathic or traumatic in any part of the body without this remedy from first to last as the main remedy. In hepatitis, cellulitis and in cases of that fashionable disease appendicitis or any other it is this drug which if administered early will avert suppuration. I have treated many cases of pneumonia, both in children and in adults, with this drug and ferrum phos., no other drugs being used, from beginning to end, and can say the same in many cases of diphtheria. There is no, trouble to get children to take this medicine, and besides it is very effective. I have used no other remedy for croup for years except these two drugs, and in this disease I usually put a teaspoonful of each of the 3x trituration into a glass half full of water, and administer a teaspoonful every ten minutes until relieved and then every hour till well. It acts promptly and effectually.
I have used kali muriate in edema of the cellular tissues and have reduced the swelling in many cases where other well known remedies for this condition had failed. In one very severe case of edema accompanied with heart disease, where usually apocynum is prescribed and was prescribed and did no good so far as we could determine, I prescribed kali muriate and the edema was all gone in a few days. The indications are just as clear for the administration of this drug as for any other specific medicine we possess, and can be relied upon with as much certainty. I have prescribed this remedy ranging from the crude drug in solution, to the same amount of the third decimal trituration and can say that I am as well pleased with the trituration as with the crude drug, and am surprised often to see what small amount of the drug will accomplish the work. By all means do not neglect this remedy to prevent plastic exudates, for it only needs a fair trial to convince the observer that it will do all that-has been claimed for it.
Think of it in boils, carbuncles, pimples, smallpox, eczema, erysipelas and many other local manifestations and administer it with ferrum phos.
Dose, from ten grains to a drachm in four ounces of water, teaspoonful every two hours, or give it in powder or tablet form from one to three grains at a dose.
What shall I say of this most wonderful remedy? Grauvogle, says: "Kali phos. is a constituent of all animal fluids and tissues, notably of the brain, nerves, muscles and blood cells. All tissue forming substances retain it with the greatest obstinancy, all nutritious fluids contain it, hence we may conclude that it is indispensable to formation of tissue. All the nerves retain their vitality for a long while, and very completely in a solution of kali phosphate. By the diminution of the excretion of kali phos. in the urine, conditions are produced within the organism which may present many sided resistance to the typhus-de composing element, as well as to the extension of the typhus process."
Dr. Carey says: "The gray matter of the brain is controlled entirely by the inorganic cell salt, potassium phosphate. When nervous symptoms arise, due to the fact that the nerve-fluid has been exhausted from any cause, kali phos. is the only true remedy. To my mind this remedy is the most wonderful curative agent ever discovered by man. Let the over worked business man take it and go home good tempered. Let the weary wife, nerves unstrung from attending to sick children or entertaining company, take it and note how quickly the equilibrium will be restored and calm and reason assert her throne."
I can endorse what has been quoted above from many cases treated with this remedy.
Among the direct indications may be mentioned brain-fag from over work; depressed spirits; irritability, nervousness, hysteria; looking on the dark side of life, easy to shed tears and moody forebodings; (some of these symptoms resemble pulsatilla symptoms); insanity; paralysis in any part of the body—the chief remedy; tongue coated brown, dry, with offensive breath; wasting diseases when putrid conditions prevail. This drug covers the whole field of neurasthenia, but there may be other drugs indicated at the same time.
With kali phos. in connection with magnesia phos. I have certainly worked wonders in cases of paralysis, and have accomplished more for my patients who have been so unfortunate as to suffer from this malady, than with all other drugs I have ever used.
Pardon me if I cite a case or two.
G. H.—A young man who had been in Cook County Hospital for six months and who had been under the care of a reputable physician all this time for paralysis. The patient was finally pronounced incurable and about to be sent to Dunning, as an incurable, when a lady friend of the patient prevailed on the authorities to allow her to have him sent to Yorkville, Illinois, where I was at that time residing. About a week after he arrived in the village, a neighbor to the family where he was staying called at my office and told me of the case and urged me to go and visit the young man and do for him what I could, and if I would donate my services he would pay for all medicines used, stating that the patient had no means and was an orphan. I consented to go. On arriving I was confronted with one of the most pitiable conditions it had been my lot to see. The patient, poor in flesh, was absolutely helpless so far as doing anything for himself was concerned. His arms and legs were useless to him and seemed to be in the way. His hands and wrists were out of shape as were his legs and feet. He could neither feed nor dress himself. Could move neither hand nor foot and was as helpless as a baby. He could sit propped up but could not in any manner help himself. He could talk some and eat some when soft foods were put into his mouth. It was certainly an unpromising outlook, and I sincerely wished I had not promised to see him. I felt that he was beyond human aid and told him that it was exceedingly doubtful as that I or any one else could help him, but if he would consent to a long period of treatment I would make an effort to help him some, and to this he readily consented; the case of a drowning man catching at a straw.
I prescribed for him kali phos. 3x, five grains every four hours, and magnesia phos. 3X, five grains every four hours, alternating with the kali phos. The medicines were faithfully administered to him from very early in the morning till very late at night. In about a month he could hold knife and fork or spoon and feed himself, or hold a cup, with the handle, to drink from. In two months he could walk behind a chair, pushing it before him, and could dress himself, buttoning his clothes and tying his shoes. Awkwardly, of course, he did it. In ten weeks he was walking wherever he chose—slowly and deliberately—and at the end of three months from the first dose of medicine he went to work and could carry a ten quart pail of water in each hand. While his hands and feet were not yet in perfect shape they did not bother him very much and he could use a pen or pencil to write with. At that time I left the town and I have never seen him since, but I heard, more than a year afterwards, that he was still working and feeling fine. There was no other drug used from first to last of my treatment. I asked him if he knew what he had been taking at the hospital, and he stated that what was written on the piece of paper and left on the stand at the side of his bed, from first to last was "strych. sulph." and did not know what that was but supposed it was some kind of sulphur. I combined the magnesia phos. with the kali phos. in this case because I noticed at times some slight twitchings of the muscles of the face although they were not severe.
Every case of paralysis I have had to treat since that time I have treated with these two drugs with universal success. I have seldom used any other remedy. Not that they will cure all cases of paralysis, for no drug or combination of drugs will cure every case of any disease. But certainly these two drugs will do more than any drug or combination of drugs that I have ever used in this condition. I have treated many cases with universal success. Do not be too impatient as it takes time in all of these cases.
Some cases of paralysis are caused by impingement of some nerve or nerves and must be mechanically relieved. But, I am speaking of medicinal cases. There are many cases of neurasthenia that no medicines will remove. No one would expect to relieve neurasthenia caused by an adherent foreskin or hood of the clitoris, contracted sphincters or lacerated cervix, or any other like condition with medicine, but after mechanically righting these conditions, I always follow up with kali phos.
I always think of kali phos. in all fevers where we have bad odor from the breath and from the discharges which are usually caused by phosphoretted hydrogen set free from nerve fluids. Kali phos. will in most cases correct this condition in a short time. I do not treat typhoid fever without administering this drug from first to last. It moistens the tongue, quiets delirium, strengthens the heart and acts on the general well being of the patient.
This drug is one of my standbys in diabetes mellitus, where the patient is sleepless, nervous and voraciously hungry. I will have cases of this disease to report later.
The dose of this drug is from one to five grains of the 3x trituration in solution, powder or tablet every two to four hours.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.