Hahnemann, to whom we are indebted for the pathogenesis of rhus, says that the effects of this drug and those of bryonia are analogous. It is, indeed, true, that except the differences which Hahnemann indicates, this analogy exists if we simply compare their symptoms according to the regions, organs and tissues that are respectively affected by these drugs. But, in order to reduce this analogy to its proper value, it suffices
to contrast the symptoms of these two drugs with reference to the mode in which they develope themselves. If we succeed in fixing the true starting point and mode of development belonging to the respective series of their symptoms, we cannot fail to recognise that they develope themselves in
opposite directions as it were. Let us remark, in passing, that the same observations are applicable to spigelia and digitalis, which, in my first attempts at systemization, I endeavored to unite under the same general view.
There are few drugs whose effects are better and more characteristically known than those of Rhus. Every symptom almost reveals the action of
a corrosive caustic, which, on account of its extreme subtlety, shows a tendency to invade large surfaces, rather than to penetrate deeply into the tissues. Hence the acute pains and the ataxic effects caused by rhus, and which constitute phenomena that so frequently accompany the affections
which resemble those occasioned by the action of rhus, such as burns, erysipelas, erythematous enteritis, etc. Although rhus, like arnica and ledum, acts principally upon the head and the organs of locomotion, yet it differs from arnica in this, that it affects the integuments and membranes, rather than the cellular tissue and the muscles, and from ledum in this, that its effects tend to spread, instead of confining themselves to narrow spaces.
The following are the pathological conditions, which, according to the pathogenesis and the clinical observations of the Homoeopaths, this drug has the best chance of curing.
Sense of fulness about the head, worse when stooping, sensation in the brain as if bruised or fluctuating. Stupefying headache, such as exists in acute fevers, or as is caused by intoxication with brandy, with redness or livid paleness of the face, margins around the eyes, pointed nose, comatose drowsiness, occasional reveries, delirium, coldness of the body, numbness of the limbs, general sinking of strength, frequent and depressed pulse.
Acute hydrocephalus ; serous and sanguineous apoplexy.
Tingling in the hairy scalp, at the forehead, nose, and in the whole face. Cracking and ulceration of the vermilion border of the lips. Hot swelling of the upper lip. Burning pustules around the mouthy followed by crusts which resemble dried honey. Heat and smarting all over the face. Bloating
and deformation of the face. Parotitis. Enormous swelling of the whole head. Itching of the skin of the trunk and extremities, especially of the hairy parts ; it is at first a tingling, afterwards a burning itching, and is made worse by scratching.
Burns; chilblains. Consequences of sunstroke, (even in cases of meningitis, as we know from experience). Erysipelas, pemphigus, zona,
eczema, Hot and painful engorgements of the subcutaneous glands. Rheumatic pains, which are sometimes very violent, and always spread over a large surface, at the nape of the neck, loins and extremities.
Gout, (especially when characterized by cutaneous symptoms.) Hydrarthrosis.
Warts on the hands. Red or colorless infiltration of the extremities with burning pain. Erythematous gastritis and gastro-enteritis, with hot mouth, as if burnt, keen desire for cold drinks, red and dry tongue, and covered with a sort of false membrane, beneath which vesicles are perceived;
tingling m the oesophagus and stomach ; sense of burning at the stomach, nausea, vomiting, dull colic, or pinching pains,* or prickings in the abdomen, which is hot, tense, tympanitic, but only moderately sensible to pressure; constipation followed by, or alternating with, serous diarrhoea ; scanty and red urine ; frequent and depressed pulse, nosebleed ; coma and other ataxic phenomena.
It is quite natural that this drug should be successfully employed in certain forms of very acute enteritis, complicated with ataxic symptoms. But these forms of enteritis, which are falsely termed typhoid enteritis by modern Allopaths, differ essentially from true typhus. In the former, the
ataxic symptoms constitute sympathetic effects of the acute inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes, when this inflammation affects a large number of the nervous papillae, which are spread over these surfaces ; whereas, in typhus, adynamia, coma, etc., seem to constitute the fundamental
character of the disease. It is, therefore, only now and then, that rhus will be found really indicated in typhus.
What I have said of ledum (see page 78,) concerning its use in acute affections of the air-passages, is likewise applicable to rhus and croton tiglium ; cases may occur, however, where these drugs may be specifically indicated in what is vaguely termed angina, bronchitis, or pneumonia.
Rhus is often indicated after arnica, as spigelia, zincum, and colchicum, are often indicated after rhus.
The maladies to which it is best adapted, are such as occur most frequently in the spring, rheumatism, gout, erysipelas, eczema, etc.
Most of its symptoms, like those of arnica, ledum, etc., are aggravated by artificial heat, sometimes by motion, but more frequently by rest ; they are most fully manifested in the evening and at night.
Rhus is antidoted by Bry., Camph., Coff., Sulph., but especially by Ledum.
Reference: Homeopathic Materia Medica, Arranged Systematically and Practically. Teste