CHELIDONIUM MAJUS

Chelidonium majus

Clarke says: I have often cured with Chelidonium when Lycopodium was apparently indicated and failed to act well. Chelidonium is a predominantly right-side medicine (like Sanguinaria and Lycopodium), and besides the right infra-scapular pain and the action on the liver it has neuralgia over the right eye and in right malar bone, and also an action on the cæcum and right ovary; and on the base of the right lung.

The dirty yellow complexion produced by Chel., with other signs of cachexia, strongly suggest cancer, and the action of Sang., its relative, in cancer of the breast is well known.

The plant yields an acrid, yellow, bitter juice, which, when applied locally, produces inflammation and even vesication. The principal value of Che-
lidonium lies in its action on the liver, lungs and kidneys. The patient is low-spirited, inclined to weep, but knows no reason therefor ; rest-
less, must move from place to place, with mental anguish ; headache, with coldness extending from the neck into the occiput ; the head is so heavy he can scarcely raise it from the pillow ; pressure in the occiput toward the left ear.

Chelidonium may be indicated in many affections of the liver, from a simple congestion to a positive inflammation. It produces pains in the right hypochondrium all the way from a simple soreness to the most aggravating variety of sharp stitches, which shoot from the liver down into the stomach, or down into the back from the posterior aspect of the liver. There is marked pain under the angle of the right shoulder-blade. That is the key-note for the drug in hepatic disease.

In addition to this you have the usual hepatic symptoms, swelling of the liver, chills, fever, jaundice, yellow-coated tongue, bitter taste in
the mouth, tongue taking the imprint of the teeth, as you find under Mercury, and desire or craving for milk, which exceptionally agrees.
There is usually also a craving for acids and for sour things, as pickles and vinegar. The stools are characteristically profuse, bright yellow
and diarrhoeic, or they may be clayey. These are the symptoms of Chelidonium, and they are very definite. Let me tell you how to apply
them. You may use the drug in simple biliousness ; in hepatic congestion or inflammation, and also in pneumonia with bilious symptoms,
in what has been termed bilious pneumonia. The symptoms indicating it in the latter affection I will give you presently.

You may use Chelidonium in neuralgia of the face. The pains go from the right cheek bone into the teeth or into the eye, or the pain
may be located in the supra-orbital nerves. This neuralgia will not yield to Chelidonium , however, unless you have some of the hepatic
symptoms of the drug present. It is a neuralgia dependent on disorder of the liver, and not an idiopathic prosopalgia.

Chelidonium is useful, as I have already intimated, in bilious pneumonia. It is also indicated in the capillary bronchitis of children when
these hepatic symptoms are present, especially when it follows measles or whooping cough. The face in these cases is apt to be deep red.
There is great oppression of the chest, as shown by the efforts to breathe and a fan-like motion of the alse nasi (a Lycopodium symptom,
by the way), one hot and one cold foot (another Lycopodium symptom), and stitching pain under the right scapula. The cough is usually loose
and rattling. The expectoration is not easily raised.

In Teste’s proving he emphasised the following symptoms:

“1.30 p.m.: dull and heavy, deep-seated pain in whole right side of chest and right shoulder, without cough, but with embarrassed respirations. This pain, which is at times accompanied by dull beatings in the chest, does not allow him to draw a long breath; it is not perceptibly aggravated by the motions of the arm. The pain is particularly felt in the axilla and under the shoulder-blade; a sort of numbness of the muscles in the region of the liver, and in the whole right side of the neck, face, and head; apprehension of threatening pneumonia; great anxiety; constant desire to stir and change one’s position (lasts an hour and decreases gradually).”-“Extremely profuse emission of a whitish and foaming urine.”-“2 p.m.: drowsiness which is so marked, even in the open air, that she is near falling asleep while walking; lasts half an hour.”

According to Rademacher Chel. acts on the centre of the liver. Chel. has a strong action on the respiratory sphere. A characteristic cough is caused by a sensation of “dust” in the air passages.