Newsletter January, 2011 - Part 2

Dear Reader,

Further to our first Newsletter for 2011 we are adding the following link for reading which compliments the information in relation to our Cholera article below, and further down this page the entire article relating to Homeopathy for Burns and Scalds.

A History of Cholera bu Sue Young, a Homeopath based in London, UK.

1815 – The volcano of Mount Tamboura erupted, the largest known eruption in over 1,600 years, causing the Year Without a Summer in 1816.

In this same year, Cholera sprang from a local problem to become a World Pandemic, and gave homeopathy a real chance to prove its worth: ........ Read entire article here.

Cholera

From our Newsletter January, 2011

Cholera is a life threatening disease and develops very quickly where public hygiene i.e. clean water supplies and sewage systems are disrupted by natural (as well as industrial) disasters such as flooding caused by adverse weather conditions. Commonly occurring as a complication of tsunamis, cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, peoples' lives are threatened and many deaths occur annually as a result of this.

The incubation period is only 2 - 6 days; within 1 week the whole population can be at risk if prompt action to correct the public health systems is not taken. Witness the flooding in New Orleans, the recent disasters in Haiti and now in Queensland Australia where an area the size of France and Germany is flooded. Every year China India and Asia suffer the devastating effects of cholera often despite extensive vaccination programs. Commonly these outbreaks occur in the area of shipping ports. Unfortunately vaccination is not always successful and may actually cause a susceptibility to the disease in some patients.

I recall a case of cholera in a 60 year old man in the UK whose father had recently died - then his father's brother who he was actually much closer to. His wife booked them on a holiday to Singapore and took him to their GP for holiday vaccinations including cholera and typhoid beforehand. He contracted cholera soon after arriving in Singapore and was desperately ill being admitted to hospital for emergency treatment. On his return he came for an appointment and was given Cholera 30 - within half an hour he felt very much better and made a good recovery - up till then he had not despite extensive treatment in Singapore and the UK.

Symptoms of cholera

Characterised by sudden diarrhoea - within an hour mucus flecked watery fluid - rice water stools - may be pouring from the patient. There is also vomiting without nausea, often projectile, severe cramps beginning in the legs, and acute circulatory collapse. The lips become blue, the extremities cold, and an increasing lethargy gives way to terminal coma and finally death. Fever is unusual except in children and the temperature may become rapidly subnormal. Loss of body fluids and minerals causes shutdown and dehydration leading to renal failure and death.

Orthodox treatment is to set up intravenous infusions of glucose and/or saline and the patient monitored closely for any clinical signs of deterioration.

The fatality rate for cholera is around 40 - 50%

Homeopathic treatment should always include Arnica China Carbo veg as general First Aid revival and Camphor Cuprum and Veratrum Album for the profound collapse and cramps affecting the patient. Cholera 30 may be given once the disease is diagnosed - in my own practice I ensure that travelers going abroad carry the appropriate disease nosodes (remedies made from the disease) in the 30c potency. Given daily alongside indicated remedies will really assist the process of healing.

Arnica

No one gets sick unless traumatized on some level of their being. Not all patients in touch with the cholera organism 'comma vibrio' or 'vibrio cholerae' succumb to it. Those patients already elderly, young, handicapped, distressed emotionally (the above recently bereaved patient), or injured, will be more vulnerable as in any illness. Arnica restores the equilibrium to the patient balancing the physical emotional mental and spiritual bodies so that healing can take place.

The Arnica patient has nausea and foetid vomiting, which may be of dark coagulated blood. Constant desire to drink.
Abdominal symptoms are cramps from epigastrium down over the bowels, then foul stools. They may be bloody foamy purulent acrid involuntary. Must lie down after every stool.

Carbo Veg

General dyspepsia rancid eructations, excessive flatulence, colic forcing the patient to bend double; painful diarrhoea in elderly patients, gasping for air. This remedy, known as the 'corpse reviver' will be needed if the patient is in extremis and the respiratory and circulatory systems start to collapse.

China

Is always needed where there is loss of body fluids and in this instance there is simultaneous diarrhoea and vomiting causing rapid dehydration and collapse. It prevents the patient from becoming anaemic.

CAMPHOR

Leading remedy in cholera. In early stages when there is collapse coldness and sudden prostration.

Extreme icy coldness of the skin with sudden and absolute prostration of the vital force. The face is livid purple icy cold. Upper lip drawn up exposing the teeth, (rictus grin) mouth foaming, eyes sunken and fixed, sudden shrinking of strength and collapse; absent or painless stool. Although the body is icy the patient will NOT be covered.

VERATRUM ALBUM

Excessive cold sweat.

Cold sweat on the forehead and a violent thirst for quantities of ice cold water and acid drinks. A craving for fruits. Excessive vomiting and purging. As if cold water in the veins.

CUPRUM

When there are excessive cramps.

Spasmodic cramping pains. Nausea. Vomiting relieved by drinking cold water. Craves cold drinks. Black painful bloody stools. With weakness and cramp in abdomen. Cramps starting in fingers and toes.

I would also include Nux Vomica and Arsenicum Album as both remedies feature simultaneous diarrhoea and vomiting with weakness and exhaustion brought on by rapid loss of body fluids. Use the Nux Vom when the vomiting seems to be worse (Vom) and the Arsenicum Album if the diarrhoea seems more predominant.(Ars)I know this is a crude way of remembering, but who cares in an emergency.

Replacement of fluids may not always be available by intravenous infusion - a rectal infusion can be very effective in these circumstances providing a hollow rubber or plastic tube is available. Generally a half pint at a time is a good quantity delivered slowly into the rectum by keeping the tube raised only slightly above the patient ; otherwise oral fluids given at regular intervals in small quantities 30mls will help.(egg cup) Large quantities will only encourage further vomiting.

Remedies may be put together in the patient's drinking water - they will all potentise the water; the vital force is intelligent enough to decide which of the remedies it will absorb. There is no need for an 'intellectual' discussion about this.30 years in busy Homeopathic practice with a background of clinical experience for 18 years through nursing in all fields in the NHS UK has shown me that the vital force is exactly that - healing is in God's hands, not ours - we merely assist, and our only mission is 'to heal the sick'.

For those not familiar with the Compton Burnett account of giving Aconite to a ward full of  very sick children with Scarlet Fever in the 19th century, here it is.

He had recently discovered, and was very excited by, the treatment of scarlet fever with Homeopathic medicine. He gave the nurse in charge of the ward the instructions to give half the ward Aconite and not to the other half as a scientific experiment. She was not impressed - a girl after my own heart - the patients are more important than some test or the doctor's ego. In the morning he turned up on the ward to find all his patients well, to his surprise. On asking why, the nurse stated that if he thought it would help half the patients, why not all of them? and had wisely ignored his directions. I suspect many of us nurses have been doing this for years; witness Florence Nightingale in the Crimea and her management of cholera and typhoid cases.

Needless to say there have been many cases of cholera reported in the Homeopathic literature over the years but not valued in today's scientific community. Again - who cares? Certainly not the patient. As usual the Homeopathic community has to stand up for itself and uphold the clinical examples we are all familiar with to the public. In Europe the crowned heads were directed to Hahnemann after he saved many people's lives in the cholera epidemic sweeping across the land. The reason why today the Royal Family still uses Homeopathy taking kits wherever they go. Homeopathy is well established in Europe and its former colonies for this reason.

Here are some examples of successful treatment of cholera courtesy of Dr Dorothy Shepherd in her book 'Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases' first published in 1967.

In Vienna in 1836 the practice of Homeopathy was forbidden, but cholera was raging so violently in that city that permission was obtained to open an Homeopathic Cholera Hospital where the results were so favourable that two thirds of the patients treated there survived, while two thirds of those treated in other hospitals died. The then Austrian Minister of Interior repealed the law relating to the practice of Homeopathy in Austria.

In Rheims came the report that of 1, 270 patients treated only 108 died, while the allopathic mortality rate in Russia was between 60 - 70%.Thereafter Homeopathic physicians flourished in Russia.'

(I have a family of Russian patients here in Australia who are very well versed in the use of Homeopathy.)

'And 1 Homeopathic doctor in the South of France had a mortality rate of 5 - 7% while the allopathic death rate in the rest of France was 90%'.'

(I have a home in France - every chemist has the word 'Homeopathie' in the window - our village GP is well versed in it and most French people have a good understanding and working knowledge of Homeopathic medicine.)

'Cholera was raging in London in 1854 and 25 beds were devoted to the treatment of cholera patients in the London Homeopathic Hospital, with the satisfying result that only 16% of cases died, while the fatality rate of Chelsea under orthodox treatment was 54%.'

'Dr Rubini had remarkable results in the Naples epidemic of 1854 - 1855.He treated 225 cases of cholera without a single death in Alberge and 166 soldiers of a Swiss regiment stationed there with the same success.'

Modern day Homeopaths would do well to read our old journals - a lot of them are not on - line - current academic qualifications are all very well, but it is the clinical assessment and practical application of Homeopathic knowledge that really counts for our patients.

Nursing Care of patients with Cholera (Dr John H. Clarke - The Prescriber)

Nursing patients carefully with regular observations taken assists immeasurably in the successful treatment of any illness. Medicines will always help, but human touch, empathy, and support with effective procedures carried out with the minimum of fuss, are essential for recovery. (my comments)

'The patient should be kept at rest and as warm as possible; hot flannels being applied to the abdomen, and hot water bottles to the feet. No solid food whatsoever should be given. Water may be given and small pieces of ice to suck. Milk is the best food if it is tolerated.

Movement is to be avoided. It is better to treat patients at their own homes if at all possible, as the very fact of moving a patient into hospital may make the difference between death and recovery.'

Bibliography

A Short textbook of Medicine - Houston Joiner and Trounce - all Physicians I learned from as a student nurse at Guy's Hospital London in the late 1960's.They were all down to earth hardworking consultant physicians with their patients' best interests at heart. Guy's Hospital founded the British Holistic Medical Association and we were always taught to put the patient first - 'if you don't know enough about the illness nurse, ask the patient - he knows more about it than any doctor' something I have found to be absolutely true. Of course in Homeopathic Practice that is exactly what we do - take the case in the patient's own words as far as possible.

Homeopathy in Epidemic Diseases - Dr Dorothy Shepherd
Her books are all based on a deep knowledge and respect for her patients - and sound observation and clinical experience. They are few but essential reading for all interested in Homeopathy whether patient or practitioner.

The Prescriber - Dr John H Clarke
What a great little book this is - written in the 19th century after years in practice John H Clarke writes a great introduction to prescribing in Homeopathy with the same humility and respect for the patient that should be present in all case taking. He was a Consultant Physician at the London Homeopathic Hospital. His introduction is a joy to read and so helpful in illustrating 'how'. Interestingly in the reference to the treatment of cholera he refers to 'Rubini's' tincture of camphor - the doctor who is referred to in Dorothy Shepherd's book. 'The Prescriber' was generously given to me by a Brighton (UK)GP who had done a Homeopathic course at the Faculty of Homeopathy London - the doctors' place of training, after hearing that I was about to do a 4 year course at the College of Homeopathy London for lay practitioners. I had taken my elder daughter to see him regarding her frequently bursting eardrums - she was 3 at the time - now 33. I have found it invaluable as the years have gone by as a quick reference to confirm prescriptions.

Phatak's Materia Medica
As always a reliable source of information for remedies and easily understood.

The World Travellers' Manual of Homeopathy. Dr Colin Lessell
An invaluable resource for anyone traveling anywhere. It is clear concise and easily understood with descriptions of the various diseases - their symptoms - orthodox treatment and the Homeopathic remedies needed in each case. I always advise patients to take this book with them.

Equipment to take on travels.
Helios Traveller's kit - this 36 remedy kit includes the remedies mentioned above.
A comprehensive first aid kit as supplied by St John's Ambulance or similar organization.
Calendula and Chelidonium tinctures to put in daily water supplies to keep blood and liver clean.
Water bottle(s) and water filters. Good reliable ones available from the YHA shops.
Rehydration sachets containing electrolytes and minerals.
Water sterilization tablets.
Mosquito nets


Homeopathy for Burns and Scalds

By Kate Diamantopoulo

In the light of recent events in Bali and the bush fires in the Eastern States of Australia, information about the use of Homeopathy for burns is knowledge that should be shared. This article could even be distributed to your patients.

Peer reviewed article printed in Similia the Journal for the Australian Homeopathic Association Volume 15 No 1 2002.

Below is a brief summary of how Homeopathy can help in these tragic situations.

DESCRIPTION OF BURNS
There are differing degrees of severity in burns from the most superficial, where there is reddening of the skin, to severe burns involving deep tissue and bone. Orthodox treatment is always necessary but anyone with a few remedies could make a difference to, and may save a life through the use of a few simple homeopathic remedies before medical assistance arrives. In enlightened hospitals, homeopathic remedies may be written up by the medical staff and given alongside the orthodox treatment. This is a normal occurrence in hospitals in India and Norway, and in some hospitals in the United Kingdom. More to the point-there is often significant delay to the arrival of medical aid and it is in the first hour that the management of the treatment of burns needs to be started.
The reason for this is that of all injuries, burning is one of the most painful physical injuries. It accounts for many deaths every year and for thousands of disfigured disabled casualties.

PAIN
The degree of pain is severe and unremitting.-there is no distinction between primary and secondary shock.

PRIMARY SHOCK
This is an immediate and temporary episode. There is sudden collapse revealed by a dramatic drop in blood pressure and a weak or temporarily absent pulse. It is accompanied by a feeling of nausea or actual vomiting, and a short period of either dizziness or unconsciousness. Recovery in the course of a few minutes always occurs.It may follow a sudden painful injury such as breaking a bone or blow to the solar plexus, or it may follow the hearing of totally unexpected and shattering news, or the sight of some terrifying or horrific happening. It is a brief episode of collapse following sudden and severe pain, be that pain of physical or psychic origin.

TRAUMATIC SHOCK
This is characterized by a delayed onset and a progressive increase in severity of the condition. As a result of tissue damage caused by the trauma, substances are released from the injured cells and get into the circulation. Time is taken for them to be absorbed-this accounts for the delay in the onset of the condition. Traumatic shock is potentially a lethal sequence of events.

APPEARANCE OF A PERSON IN SHOCK
This results from a fall in blood pressure and the progressive collapse of the circulatory system.

  • Skin is pale and grayish
  • Cold and clammy to touch
  • Extremities of the body become tinged with blue
  • Pulse rate is raised but is feeble
  • Respirations are usually rapid and shallow
  • Mentally there is restlessness, anxiety, dizziness, and sometimes mild delirium
  • As the degree of shock increases there may be loss of consciousness, lips, ears and extremities become increasingly more blue, the pulse weaker and feebler, and respirations become deep gasping inhalations.

With patients suffering from burns there is no clear distinction between primary and traumatic shock. There is absorption into the circulation of the products of burned tissue, which can cause toxaemia (Poisoning)which may last from 7-10 days. This prolongs the degree of shock far beyond the period associated with any other injury.

There may also be destruction of the blood which in turn can cause jaundice (liver) and renal (kidney) failure.

The final possibility is that extensive burning may cause ulceration of the duodenum (small bowel) which may proceed to intestinal haemorrhage or perforation and peritonitis (infection and inflammation of the abdominal cavity) and eventually gangrene of the tissues.

HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES OF USE IN SHOCK

ARNICA MONTANA
This is the leading remedy for all trauma and shock in all its varieties, mental or physical, and their effects recent or remote. It is also a remedy for poisoned blood and infection and will prevent or modify these conditions. If there is only one remedy that you have ARNICA will do a lot of the work, and may be given throughout the time of the patients’ illness and recovery.

CARBO VEG
This remedy supports the circulation and respiration and will prevent shock turning into a profound collapse. It will enhance the oxygen uptake in the blood however damaged the tissues are. It is known as the ‘corpse reviver’. It will be useful given regularly throughout.

Common treatment for severe burns often involves oxygen therapy as a life saving measure.

CHINA OFFICINALIS
The remedy that Hahnemann, the father of Homeopathy, used to save many lives from a cholera epidemic sweeping Europe. It made him the toast of Europe and brought the crowned heads in their droves to his clinic in the 19th Century. It is also known more commonly as quinine. This remedy prevents loss of life from profound dehydration, and will keep the body functioning despite severe loss of body fluids. It also prevents anaemia.

HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES SPECIFIC FOR BURNS

FIRST DEGREE AND MILD SECOND DEGREE BURNS
Minor domestic burns
Cover the burns with warmed fluffy cotton wool to keep the air away from the burns. Bandage in place. Minor domestic burns will not blister if treated in this way. Give
URTICA URENS 6C at regular intervals for the pain and healing.

URTICA URENS( STINGING NETTLE)
These are stinging and burning pains. Used externally - 1 teaspoon of the tincture is added to a pint of water (1/2 litre)-or 20 drops to a large cup of water. Soak a pad of gauze in this lotion which must be large enough to cover the burn. Cover with lint, cotton wool, and bandage. Remove the lint whenever it is dry and resoak the gauze by moistening it with a few drops of the lotion. Be careful not to break the blister.

IN SEVERE BURNS
URTICA URENS may have to be applied every 2-3 hours. URTICA URENS 6c OR 30c should be given internally whenever there is return of pain.

In more severe cases where there is great pain and restlessness, blister formation, or a burn of 2nd or 3rd degree, CAUSTICUM (CAUSTIC POTASH) 6c or 30c is helpful. Pain should be relieved in 10 minutes.

CAUSTICUM
The pains of CAUSTICUM are tearing, drawing, burning, sore and raw.

HYPERICUM
In more severe burns, a lotion of HYPERICUM used externally will relieve pain,as it is the remedy for the pain of nerve endings. The lotion is made in the same way as the URTICA URENS lotion mentioned above.

CALENDULA
CALENDULA as an ointment along the edges of the burns, will heal the tissue, and prevent infection from the outside of the wound entering the raw area. It is common practice in cottage gardens in the UK for marigolds to be planted around the vegetables to prevent pests attacking plants and causing damage and destruction.

VERY SEVERE BURNS
CANTHARIS (SPANISH FLY)
There is violent acute inflammation and there may be severe delirium.
There is rapid progressive destruction of tissue and the pains are cutting, smarting,  burning, and biting .

There is also severe kidney involvement, with burning and scalding on the passing of urine. There can be violent burning pain through the whole intestinal tract. There will be a tendency to gangrene with the destruction of the tissue.

It will need to be given frequently at first, and HYPERICUM lotion applied topically.

External application of CANTHARIS 1X in 1 litre of water may also be sprayed on the affected site for pain relief.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Dr. Dorothy Shepherd HOMEOPATHY FOR THE FIRST AIDER
Farrow R.THE NURSING OF ACCIDENTS
Phatak R. PHATAK’S MATERIA MEDICA

Kate Diamantopoulo RGN (Guy’s Hospital London)SCM (St Thomas’ Hospital London)HV MCH (College of Homeopathy Hahnemann House Welbeck St.,London)

RSHom (UK) AHA AROH (Australia) is a Homeopath with 35 years experience in professional health care. She has spent 18 years in the National Health Service UK, and 18 years as a Homeopath including 15 years as a lecturer in all subjects at the College of Homeopathy London UK: Materia Medica, Medical Sciences, Case Taking, and Philosophy.

This article was written in 2002 soon after arriving in Australia and she has since been in full time practice in West Australia commuting twice a year to teach and practice in Brighton East Sussex UK. She is the Assessor for the Australian Register of Homeopaths and President for the West Australian Branch of the Australian Homeopathic Association.

She has also served on the National Council for the AHA representing WA for 3 years.


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Until next time,

Kate Diamantopoulo
www.arnica.com.au

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