There are three main symptoms in the Digitalis pathogenesis which should be borne in mind:
(1) Slow, weak, irregular and intermittent pulse.
(2) Enlarged, sore, painful liver.
(3) White, pasty stools.
Along with these is prostration from slight exertion.
The mental condition is: anxious; low-spirited; tearful, wants to be alone; tries to escape if others force themselves on her. Anxiety as if conscience-troubled. “Anxious and concentrated sadness, with sleeplessness at night, owing to pains at the heart: for instance, from unhappy love, especially in women of brown complexions, firm and obstinate dispositions. In such cases far preferable to Ignatia” (Teste).
Teste classes Digit. with Bryonia and Ignatia.
The stomach symptoms (from portal engorgement) are nausea and vomiting; the mere sight or smell of food excites violent nausea, with clean tongue, thirst for water, absence of fever; the complaints may come either from excessive venery or from high living. In old men there are: enlarged prostate; impotence; lascivious thoughts.
Ballard cured a man of headache and dizziness originating probably in gonorrhœa suppressed several years before. He complained of feeling bad about the head after drinking, and this keynote symptom was elicited: “after drinking cold water the pain would seat itself in the forehead and extend down the nose.” Delirium tremens in high livers, stomach and liver diseases with the mental state of the drug. Nausea by vomiting. The food eaten comes up by mouthfuls, cannot expectorate without vomiting. Every shock, like bad news strikes her in the epigastrium. Deathly sinking in the epigastrium.
The use of Digitalis as a remedy for pneumonia in the old school is well known. It has proved a very dangerous remedy, but it has been used by homœopaths with very good effect in senile pneumonia (E. V. Ross., H. P., xvii. 177). Ross regards the indications as being: “Dry cough with mucous râles and no expectoration or only ‘prune-juice’ expectoration; cyanosis, cold extremities; feeble, intermittent pulse deathly nausea or gone sensation at epigastrium.” Restlessness with great nervous weakness. Lassitude, mental and bodily. Faintness. Convulsions, with retraction of head, syncope, and collapse. Among the peculiar sensations of Digit. are: Sensation as if the heart would stand still if he moved, must hold the breath and keep still (Gels. has “must keep moving or the heart would stop.”) As if the brain were loose; as if something fell forward in the head on stooping; as if the brain were made of fine glass and shattered at a blow; as if something were running out of urethra; as of a weight attached to stomach; as if the internal parts were grown together. As if the lungs were constricted and tied up in bundles. As if heart stood still; as if heart had torn itself loose and were swaying to and fro by a thin thread; as if the stomach would sink into abdomen. Terrible pain at root of nose after vomiting.
Discharged blood coagulates slowly or not at all. Distended veins in eyes, ears, lips, and tongue. Blue skin.
Digitalis is suited to the climacteric period: sudden flushes of heat followed by great debility; least motion = palpitation. Nervous lymphatic constitutions.
Children with very white complexions, light hair, scrofulous. Most symptoms are when stomach is empty; in open air.