The leading characteristic of Digitalis is a very slow pulse. This may alternate with a very quick pulse, and between the two we may sometimes get a very irregular or intermittent pulse.
One day I saw an old but very strong man staggering across the road toward my office. I thought he was drunk, but on closer observation I noticed that his face looked purple, his lips bluish, and I stepped out and helped him in. He sat down and could not for a few minutes speak a word, but say and struggled for breath. His pulse was very irregular and intermittent. When he could speak, he told me that for a number of weeks past he had been having these spells, had fallen several times and been obliged to go into the stores and sit, before he could go along the streets. Auscultation revealed hard, blowing sound with the first beat of the heart. He had had inflammatory rheumatism in his younger days. He had been obliged to give up all manual labor and dared not go away from home on his business, that of a bridge builder. Said he expected to die with this heart disease. I gave him Digitalis 2, a few drops in water. In a few days I saw him shoveling snow from the walk in front of his dwelling. “Hello,” he said, “I have no heart disease;” and I saw him often after that and he told me that medicine cured him of “those spells.”
A young man of good habits was taken with nausea and vomiting. He was drowsy, and after a couple of days he began to grow very jaundiced all over. The sclerotica were as yellow as gold, as was, indeed, the skin all over the body, even to the nails. The stools were natural as to consistence, but perfectly colorless, while the urine was as brown as lager beer, or even more so. Where you could see through it, on the edge of the receptacle, it was yellow as fresh bile. The pulse was only thirty beats per minute and often dropped out a beat.
This was a perfect Digitalis case of jaundice, and this remedy cured him perfectly in a few days, improvement in his feelings taking place very shortly after beginning it; the stools, urine and skin gradually taking on their natural color. The characteristic slow pulse was the leading symptom to the prescription, for all the rest of the symptoms may be found in almost any well-developed case of severe jaundice.
(E.B. Nash, M.D., Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics)