Clinical hints: Aconite

ACONITUM NAPELLUS

The convulsions arrested or prevented by Aconite are not dependent upon a chronic constitutional taint, but result from a sudden nervous shock, such as fright, or are of recent origin, as in the puerperal, state; the face is red, hot and sweaty, with other symptoms as above.

In hysterical spasms, neuralgias, congestions, hemorrhages, and effects of shock from injury or fright, the terrible mental distress characteristic of the drug must be the guide to its successful use;also after exposure to sun or great heat, with a plethoric appearance, some anaesthesia or great sensitiveness to touch, Acon. may be used always with mental anxiety and acute sensitiveness to pain.

The pains are usually acute, sticking, and often associated with or followed by numbness.

Restlessness and agonized tossing about are essential in a case requiring Aconite.

In delirium, with ravings about death, hot face and head; effects of fright; fear of crowds or of death, with anguish, etc.

The headache associated with fever is a hot, full, pulsating, bursting pain, with flushed face, etc., reminding one of Bell.; the neuralgia of scalp and skull varies; usually sharp, shooting along nerves (Spig.), drawing, tense, numb (Verbasc.), or pulsating (Glon.).

The anterior portion of head is usually involved.

The peculiar mental distress accompanies all the headaches (clinically).

In the first stage of acute inflammations of various tissues of the eye and its appendages, with heat, dryness and sharp pain, before any exudation has taken place.

Acute inflammation from foreign bodies, etc.

In acute aggravations of chronic disease (catarrh, trachoma, etc.).

In recent paralysis from cold.

In ciliary and orbital neuralgia.

Acute symptoms from overstrain of muscles.

inflammation of external parts, even involving the tympanum, with fever, excruciating pain, caused by a draught of cold air.

Neuralgia, involving ear and parts about it.

Incipient coryza, nares hot and dry, or with hot fluid discharge, with chills and fever.

Haemorrhage of bright, hot blood, with anxiety (Ham., Secale, Phos., Croc., blood dark).

The expression in fever is flushed and anxious, in neuralgia pinched and suffering in tetanus drawn and rigid.

The neuralgia commonly cured results from cold, is of recent origin, and usually associated with tingling and numbness (Verbascum).

Several cases of tetanus have been cured.

Neuralgic toothache.

Teething with hot inflamed gums, great distress, etc.

The tongue often feels swollen with the fever; acute glossitis, with dry hot mouth (Mercur. with salivation).

Acute inflammation of various portions of the throat, with swelling, dryness, sticking pain (rarely, if ever, indicated after infiltration, exudation or ulceration has taken place).

Acon. is indicated in distress at the stomach, retching and vomiting (especially of green substances), associated, with fever (at the outset of an eruptive disease), or without fever following a severe shock, such as fright, or with sudden suppression of menstruation or perspiration, with anxiety and restlessness; occasionally also in infants during dentition when the general state corresponds.

Haematemesis.

In various inflammatory processes, peritonitis; enteritis, in the early stage with severe, agonizing pain, tossing about, high fever, etc.; violent colic from cold; early inflammatory symptoms in the hepatic region; severe inflammation or engorgement of the pelvic viscera when the other conditions correspond, Aconite has been promptly efficacious.

Violent pain in rectum, with chill and fever, inflammation, tenesmus and bloody discharges (dysentery), in early stage.

Bleeding piles, with heat and sharp stitches, blood bright.

Diarrhoea, stools green, watery, after a chill or fright.

Choleraic discharges with collapse, deathly anxiety and restlessness.

Acute inflammation of various parts, with fever, hot urine, great agony at the thought of micturition, etc.

Retention of urine (especially in infants).

In fever the urine is dark, hot and scanty, but with no evidence of nephritis.

Rare cases of congestion of the kidney, with bloody urine; pain in kidneys, fever, etc.

Acute prostratitis, from cold especially, supervening on chronic disease.

Suppressed or painful menstruation from violent emotions (fright), sudden chill, with anguish, fever, etc.

Metrorrhagia, bright and hot, with general Aconite symptoms.

Acute orchitis, with general fever.

The Aconite cough is dry, either short hacking or hard ringing and croupy, it hurts the larynx (in laryngitis) or the chest (in pleurisy or pneumonia).

In the first stage of membranous croup, with high fever, great anxiety and restlessness, it will often abate the attack.

(Iodine is also applicable at this stage of high fever, but the patient is quiet and the exudation has already become plastic; after the fever abates neither Acon. nor Iodine is indicated).

The cough is aggravated by warmth (on expiration) usually.

In congestion of the lungs, with great oppression, distress and anxiety, expectoration of bright, hot blood.

In the hyperaemic stage of inflammations of the thoracic viscera (with the general indications), prior to exudation, Acon. will be found invaluable.

After Acon. either Iodine or Bryonia follows well; both these have high fever without anguish, both seem to be associated with an exudative process.

Acute symptoms occurring during the progress of chronic diseases occasionally require Acon.

Exceedingly valuable in acute inflammations, with fever, stitches at heart, violent beating and anguish.

The febrile pulse of Acon. is full, hard and rapid.

In cardiac inflammations requiring Acon., the patient must lie on the back with the head raised.

Neuralgia, especially of the upper extremities, with numbness of the limb as if the blood did not circulate freely, resulting from a sudden check of perspiration; finds a prompt remedy in Acon.

(Aconitum uncinatum, from Virginia, has made some brilliant cures of this sort.).

Neuralgic pains in the lower limbs point to its use in sciatica.

Acute muscular rheumatism of the back and limbs occasionally demands Acon., but it is rarely useful in true arthritic inflammations.

It will be noticed that the pains are usually drawing, tense and numb and relieved by open air.

While Acon. is not applicable to the cure of diseases of the skin dependent on a constitutional dyscrasia, yet its power to produce vesicles associated with the neuralgic pains naturally leads to its use in the prodromal stage of Herpes zoster (Ram. b.).

The nervous sensations, especially formication and the asleep-sensation,point to its use in certain neuroses.

The Aconite fever is sthenic in type and for the most part not remittent, though the aggravation towards evening is decided.

It is not useful in fever as a symptom of any form of malarial or septic poisoning, nor of a localized inflammatory process, but is adapted to a general febrile state without a pathological lesion (in this respect differing from Iodine, Bryonia, Gelsemium, etc.).

The never-failing characteristic is the mental anguish, without which Aconite is useless; if the patient be quiet and apathetic Acon. is not the remedy, no matter how high the temperature; thirst and restlessness are present.

Frequently there are alternations of chill and fever, but the sweat is usually critical and terminates the attack.

It is valuable in the chilly as well as the febrile stage preceding the development of many eruptions and lesions, but when the preliminary storn has passed and the lesion has become established, the picture changes from Aconite to some other remedy.

It has proved palliative in cardiac dyspnoea (Curare, Phos..) (with “Cheyne-Stokes” respiration).

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One response to “Clinical hints: Aconite

  1. These come from the clinical comments in “Allen’s Handbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics” I always liked it that he called it a Handbook as its about 3 inches thick and weighs 10 pounds! Do you find that it provides a good picture of the remedy? it seems a good general picture of what you might see in a clinic.

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