Miss R., a Russian Jewess, was brought to my office by her intended husband and a Jewish rabbi, with the following interesting history :
One afternoon some five or six months previous, while walking across Brooklyn bridge with her intended husband, she suddenly stopped and, clapping her hands to her head, declared that “his mother had struck her over the head with a wooden club.”
The intended husband remonstrated and tried to show her that they were quite alone, but she kept reiterating that “his mother had struck her with a wooden club.” She was brought to her home and physician after physician was summoned, but all failed in disabusing her mind of the peculiar hallucination, or in any way improving her health, which continually kept growing worse, until finally their little savings were all used up, after which she was taken to the various city dispensaries, but in every instance without any improvement or amelioration of her condition, either mentally or physically.
The family physician was again consulted, and on his advice the papers were all made out for a commitment to an institution. Before taking her away, at the final request of the rabbi, she was brought to my office “to see if homœopathy might do anything” in her case.
On being led into my office I noticed the following : She immediately sank into a chair, and was in a few moments asleep : her hair was disheveled. Shaking her I asked through the rabbi, who acted as interpreter, if her mouth was dry and if her tongue seemed to stick to the roof of her mouth, and she nodded assent.
On turning to consult my Hering Condensed Materia Medica, and while the intended husband and rabbi were looking over the volumes on my library shelves she slipped from the office and was gone. The two men hastily picking up their hats hurried out of my office and caught her almost a block away, and pulling and dragging finally brought her back. She then began to cry. She looked thin and frail, and her face wore an expression of much suffering. I was informed that it was next to impossible to get her to take food in any form of any kind. I had noticed as the men led her into my office a staggering gait. But I thought I saw enough to pick as her remedy Nux moschata. Accordingly I made up three powders of Nux mosch. in the 1,000th potency (B. & T.), one of which I placed on her tongue in my office, and, giving the other two powders to her intended husband, ordered that one powder should be placed on her tongue in just seventy-two hours, and the other on the third day following.
The following is the report of the rabbi : Miss R— seemed to gradually improve from the moment you put the powder on her tongue.
Indeed she seemed so much improved in seventy-two hours that we thought it hardly necessary to give her the second powder, but decided to obey your instruction, which, on doing, she clapped her hands to her head and “declared that something had snapped on the inside.” Immediately she was her old self again ; declared she had never had any such silly hallucinations as her friends informed she had been suffering from for seven months ; began to eat, and in two weeks gained seven pounds, in three months was happily married, and is at last accounts perfectly well and happy. (Bailie Brown).
What was the pathological condition here ? Was it a thrombus ?
If so, what had the Nux moschata to do with the removal of the obstruction ?
Seven months would seem to have been long enough to have set up irreparable changes in the brain tissue or substance. One thing we do know, that well known symptomatic indications led to the prescription, and as in many other instances the cure took place notwithstanding our inability to explain everything. I will not stop here to report my own experience with this drug, for my work is drawing fast to a close, and I desire to give some other cases with other remedies. I am sure this remedy is neither understood nor used as often as it might be with great advantage, especially in the potencies.
A case from the clinic of Dr. Nash