- O. Umbelliferae
The essential features
Whenever you think of Asafoetida, your mind naturally goes to fat, plethoric, hysterical individuals, with a purple face and a lot of hysterical symptoms. The central idea of Asafoetida is unsteadiness and changeability; it is a remedy that swings from excitement to stagnation. You can call it an alternation of states or an unpredictable behaviour, but the idea underneath is that these people are not steady at all, they are simply hysterical.
Aside from this trait, there are of course other areas of pathology which will help you to think of this remedy as you meet them. These areas are laid out in points 1. to 4. below:
Think of Asafoetida when you have a case where there is deep ulceration with fÔetid discharges and a threatening septisemia, an excitable ulcer that spreads fast, or a stagnation in an ulcer that develops into a passive malignancy. A small point of infection may fast develop into an ulcer that has no tendency to close, but that on the contrary progresses rapidly to a kind of malignancy -not cancer- where the ulcer soon takes on a blackish colour. This remedy is also indicated in cases of endarteritis or diabetis where ulcers do not heal and a necrosis is taking place, as well as in inflammatory conditions of the periosteum, periostitis. They give you the idea of neglected syphilitic ulcers that spread constantly.
In all these cases we have a diminished flow of blood to the area due to a venous stasis. Watery and bloody discharges from deep ulcers that are horribly offensive. The emphasis here is on the offensiveness of the ulcer, the decomposition that takes place so soon. The ulcers are deep with high, indurated edges and bluish in colour. Varicose veins surround the ulcers. When old sores break open and turn black, especially on the stump of an amputated limb, with neuralgic pains, you should have this remedy in mind.
Asafoetida is indicated whenever you have a deregulation of the milk flow in women, for example when a flow of milk appears in non pregnant women or when the milk supply in nursing women diminishes, and especially when the flow suddenly becomes scanty and the milk is thin, poor, and has a bluish tinge.
Keep Asafoetida in mind in cases of flatulency with rancid and explosive eructations that smell like garlic. Kent writes “if you have ever seen a typical case of Asafoet., you will wonder where all the air comes from; it comes up in volumes ….expulsion of wind like the sound of a pop-gun going off almost every second. It is a condition that the patient has no control over.” The emphasis here is on expulsion of the wind from the stomach primarily, and not from the rectum. While the wind comes out so impressively from the stomach it seems that there is pain in abdomen from incarcerated flatus.
Asafoetida should not be forgotten in cases of violent hard throbbings with a red puffed up, dusky face where you suspect a venous stasis.
Asafoetida people are super-sensitive individuals, easily excited for insignificant reasons, and equally easily turning to indolence and apathy. One can readily perceive that they do not have a strong constitution, and the pathology will run soon to the deeper regions like their central and peripheral nervous system.
Asafoetida is mostly connected with deep syphilitic cases. In its pathology we see much of what appears in syphilis.
These patients are hypochondriacal people who develop a kind of hysterical anxiety. Little things tend to bother them a lot and their anxiety and concern is great. They keep to themselves all the turmoil that is going on around them involving their social, professional and erotic life, until one day they cannot tolerate the pressures any more. Then they break out into a hysterical or nervous behaviour, consisting of unintelligible speech, frequent rhythmic motions in arms and legs, constant chewing, convulsions, chorea or even paralysis.
It is still perhaps inconceivable even for us, homeopaths, to connect an acute febrile polyneuritis like Guillain-Barré with the inner stress of an organism, but that is the type of reaction that you may get from an Asafoetida constitution.
You can feel that the nervous system is on edge, and that if pushed a little further by adverse circumstances the Asafoetida patient will break down. It is easy to perceive in these constitutions the inherent weakness and the inability of the defense mechanism to throw out the disturbance and find relief. It is one of the main remedies that will develop complaints of a hysterical and hypochondriacal nature once they have an eruption or a discharge suppressed by allopathic medicine. Hysteria-like symptoms appear after suppression of emotions, eruptions or discharges. It is similar to Lachesis in this respect. Indeed, due to this and other similarities, there may be a tendency to prescribeLachesis instead of Asafoetida. Asafoetida has a hysterical rising in throat, as if a ball or large body ascended from stomach to oesophagus, or even pharynx, obliging him repeatedly to attempt to swallow it, causing difficulty in breathing. The patient may start having nervous headaches of a hysterical nature. The throat or oesophagus will be involved; they have severe globus hystericus; spasms of lungs, etc. But the most characteristic is a sensation as if the peristaltic motion was reversed in oesophagus and the food, instead of going down, came upwards, drawn from the stomach up towards the throat. Sometimes this state will progress towards paralysis.
There are hiccoughlike contractions of the diaphragm. In effect we see a behaviour of the central and peripheral nervous system that can be easily classified as hysteria. Asafoetida will relax the spine symptoms that come after the stress of a disappointed love affair, where there are a lot of pains and cramping sensations.
(Ign.) In its behaviour we see laughing alternating with shrieking. Spasmodic laughter. Fits of joy with bursts of laughter. (Merc.)
There is a lot of faintness and faint like symptoms in this remedy. Even the thought of taking a drug that may cause symptoms brings on faintness. Faintness comes easily on many occasions in these excitable people. Patients may suffer fits of faintness in a closed room, a crowded room or street, if the patient has an intestinal colic, or even after having sex. The faintness is ameliorated by deep breathing. Faintness is also brought on during or before a meal, because of over-excitement or after a noise, from pain or from reading or from sleeping on the left side. Fits of faintness with trembling.
Excitability is a constituent of their make up. Excitement of mind. They actually feel better when they are in this excitable state than in a state of stagnation. But then you can see them walking up and down without purpose. This excitable state can appear after suppressed discharges like leucorrhea or suppressed eruptions. Violent palpitations bring on excitement. Sexual excesses cause many symptoms. Excitability is evident in their sexuality. Woman are so excitable that one orgasm will not satisfy them and they will have to have this excitable state constantly satisfied. Yet after the orgasm there is often a sensation of fainting. The effect of the orgasm is such that their organism cannot take it, and it may bring about a state of near unconsciousness. Nymphomania in women. Their vivid imagination causes them to fall in love easily. Due to such behaviour they may appear to be fickle, flirting all the time. They do not keep steady relationships for any length of time. They change their minds constantly, become restless, do not know what they really want. They do not have the stamina or the inclination to persevere in anything. Their emotional state is never steady, they are changeable, fitful, capricious, wanting one thing one moment, and another the next. Suddenly they may remember something that hurt them in the past, and burst into a fit of grief; some other time they may remember something that made them happy which can send them into a state of hysterical joy. One moment sad, depressed and indifferent; the next excited and joyful. Alternating moods. They are easily irritated and at times may fall into a state of indifference. Irritability alternating with indifference. Chaotic, confused behaviour at other times.
Asafoetida cases are people with fears and anxieties, but these fears are not overwhelming. They will keep them to themselves, and will not relate them to you at first, as these symptoms do not seem to bother them the most, though if you inquire they will tell you. The digestive system seems to be a source of their anxiety and we should consider this remedy when a patient relates to you an anxiety arising from the stomach or the abdomen or because of some pain or discomfort in this area. Anxiety, anguish or even fear of death after eating are characteristic. With palpitations or heart symptoms they can develop fear of death. Another fear that keeps bothering them is a fear of paralysis or softening of the brain. They are also afraid of being alone, of being in a crowd, of evil. They have a desire for company. But even in company, if they do not partake in conversation, and if their attention is not diverted they feel uncomfortable, apprehensive and discontented.
Anxious despondency. Asafoetida patients may feel depression after eating, depression from pressure about chest; they may even have a suicidal disposition. They are awkward, complaining a lot and frequently discontented.
The mind also seems to follow the idea of excitement or stagnation: they are absent minded, unobserving and have difficulty in concentration; difficulty in thinking and comprehending that can reach a state of confusion. This stagnation of the thinking faculties is worse when not moving, while sitting: then ideas will not come, and an indolence and aversion to any mental work ensues. Mental exhaustion. Mental symptoms are aggravated from reading or writing. Weak memory. Indifference and apathy.
At other times there is exceptional clearness of mind with excitability, a lot of clear ideas, with a very good and very active memory.
In the same way, the senses can be either very acute or very dull.
Ill-humor can be a characteristic of Asafoetida, with an intolerance of contradiction. They can easily be angered and quarrelsome; at other times, however, they can also be very placid. Finally, one can easily discern an ailment of selfishness in their behaviour.
This remedy is full of discharges from different places, and all of them horribly offensive. Abscesses with chronic suppurations of thin, greenish, fetid pus. Caries of periosteum. Fistulae of the bones or skin ulcers. Reopening of old wounds. Old scars turn purple, threaten to suppurate, take on a venous aspect, become painful and turn black. Osteitis, periosteitis, perichondritis. Induration of glands.
Parts affected by analgesia or at other times extreme sensitiveness to pain.
Syphilitic pains that come on during the night. Crushing pain regularly worse from evening till 2am. Attacks of pain that appear suddenly and disappear gradually. Pain that moves upward and outward. Pain in bones as though they had been scraped, also as though bruised. Sensation of internal plug.
In the nervous system we have several problems: Nervous affections in general after suppressed discharges. Chorea ameliorated by holding on to something.
Chorea in puberty. Chorea so strong that he misses laying hold of anything. Epileptiform convulsions caused by worms.
Twitching and jerking of muscles. Clonic convulsions, also internal. Excessive physical irritability with jerking of muscles. Trembling in the whole body in the afternoon. Pulsation both external and internal, also in bones.
Blackness of external parts in the cold. Dry sensation in internal parts.
An interesting feature that can guide you to the selection of this remedy is the numbness that appears in various unexpected parts. Numbness of glands, of eyes, of bones and in general of suffering parts. There is a sensation of deadness of suffering parts that feels like numbness. Obesity. Odor of perspiration like garlic.
Most of the complaints come on during rest or are aggravated while lying down or sitting and are better by slow motion. Symptoms aggravated afternoon, evening and night. Warmth aggravates. Crossing of limbs aggravates condition.
Ailments after eating.
Desire and amelioration in open air, aggravated indoors. Better after gentle rubbing with hand, pressure. About midnight violent pains through left half of body from top to toe.
Nervous headache of hysterical or tubercular origin. Syphilitic headache. Congestive headache. The most characteristic headache is one that has a sensation of a plug pressing in. A sudden pain in left temple, like an inward pressing pointed plug. Pain as from a blunt tool being driven in. Pain in right parietal, as from a deeply penetrating plug. Headache better on rising in the morning, also after bowel movement. Headache appears and disappears suddenly, also disappears gradually. Condition better when touched, worse in warm room.
Waves of pain. Pressive pain in forehead and left side of head from within outward.
Bursting feeling as though head would fly to pieces. Single, sudden, and deep penetrating stitches under left frontal eminence, like shocks. Stupefying, tightening headache. Bubbling sensation in the head. Heat alternating with chilliness. Heat with coldness of hands. Heated forehead during chilliness.
Prickling sensations as from needles. Rush of blood to head. Sensation of wearing a skullcap. Numbness of the scalp or deep in the head. Sensation as of water splashing on head. All headaches worse towards evening, in room, while at rest, sitting or lying; better when rising or moving about in open air.
Deep seated inflammation of eyeball, attended by ciliary pains. Inflammation of the iris. Syphilitic iritis. All these conditions are worse at night. Amelioration in the open air. Inflammation of the retina. Extensive superficial ulceration of cornea, with burning, sticking or pressing pains, from within outward, rest and pressure relieve; also better in open air; numbness around eye. Sensation as of cold air blown in. Coldness in canthi. Boring pain above eyebrows; burning, especially at night. Nocturnal, throbbing pains in and around eye and head.
Dryness as from sand; stitching. Loss of vision during vertigo. Vision gets blurred while writing. Worse from exertion. Sharp pains extending through eye into head. Sharp stitching pains that come from within outwards. Periodic smarting pain. Smarting pain in canthi.
Hardness of hearing, with thin, purulent discharge of an extremely offensive odor. Suppuration of the left ear with sharp shooting and violent throbbing, radiating pains with anorexia and sleeplessness. Aggravation at 4 pm and all night. Otorrhoea with offensive discharge and diseased bones. Threat of caries. Sensation of heat after eating, in left ear. Pain in meatus. Drawing in about, above and behind the ear. Stitching around and above the ear. Hearing impaired in the morning.
A horribly offensive discharge from nose; stench from nose. Discharge of very offensive matter from nose with caries of bones. Ulcers high up in the nose.
Epistaxis during headache. Sense of fullness. Inflammation, also numbness of bones.
Obstruction riding in a vehicle. Putrid odours, imaginary and real. Syphilitic ozaena. Bursting pain in right wing. Painless tension over nasal bones.
Face looks puffed up, dropsical. Dark red, dusky face. Purple when out in the cold or when excited. Numbness of bones of face; painless tension in various places.
Swelling of lower lip. Spasms of the jaw, cramp while chewing. Discoloration, bluish or red, on the left side. Pimples on tip of nose. Heat of face early in the morning. Heat after eating. Cold to the hands on one side, hot on the other.
Grinding of teeth. Speech unintelligible; tongue white, swollen. Constantly chewing, frothy slime out of mouth. Sensation of dryness in the morning. Exostoses on roof of mouth. Nodosities on palate. Salivation during chill. Fatty taste, taste of garlic, beer tastes slimy.
Spasms of esophagus. Hysterical and choreic affections of the esophagus. Sensation as if peristaltic motion was reversed and esophagus being drawn from stomach up towards throat. A hysterical spasm of the esophagus as if a ball or large body ascended from stomach to esophagus, or even pharynx, causing difficulty in breathing. Spasm of glottis, alternating with contraction of fingers and toes. Burning in trachea, as from sulphur vapour. Tickling in the air passages at night.
Asafoetida has a lot of symptoms appearing after eating: dejectedness, hypochondriacal. Great depression, with epigastric pressure after eating. After eating anything sour, griping pains in region of navel.
After drinking: diarrhoea; heaviness and cold feeling in intestines. Thirstless.
Explosive eructations: smelling like garlic; tasting rancid, sharp, or putrid; smelling like faeces; tasting like carrion. Flatus passing upward, none down. Hiccoughlike contractions of diaphragm. Pressing, cutting, stitching pains in spells, not regular; full of wind. Dyspepsia, with much pulsation in pit of stomach. Pulsation in pit of stomach, perceptible to sight and touch. “Gone”, empty feeling in pit of stomach, not a pain, but “it hurts there;” pulsations after eating; faint feeling. Distension at night on waking. Pain extending to the liver. Great disgust for all food.
Gastric and abdominal sufferings, accompanied by pulsations in epigastrium.
Heaviness at sides after drinking, as from a load. Stitches in the sides of abdomen after eating. Wind colic, with abdominal pulsations; very painful distension of abdomen with incarcerated flatus, relieved by passing wind. Abdomen soft, distended. Aching in region of umbilicus from sour food. Dull, drawing pain while sitting and walking. Tenderness in the morning. Tension after eating.
Watery, liquid stools of most disgusting smell; pains in abdomen and discharge of fetid flatus; painful diarrhoea. Blackish-brown, papescent, offensive stools, which relieve. Pain in perineum, as from something dull pressing out. Diarrhoea after drinking water and on slightest indiscretion in eating. Pain in tenesmus during constipation.
Urine warm and of a pungent, ammoniacal smell. Spasms during and after urination. Pressing pain in prostate gland. Burning pain in anterior part when not urinating. Color brown. Ureters sore and bruised.
Genitalia – male
Genitalia – female
Irritability during menses. Bearing down in genitals, worse when riding in a vehicle. Uterine ulcer, sensitive and painful, with offensive discharge. Kent says that this medicine has been very useful in palliating uterine cancer in such constitutions as described; those with purple faces, never the very pallid ones. Women of feeble, flabby, venous constitutions that are subject to haemorrhages and miscarriages. Menses too early, too scanty, and last but a short time. Leucorrhoea profuse, greenish, thin and offensive. Swelling and inflammation of genitals.
Swelling of mammae with secretion of milk. Agalactia, diminished milk in nursing women. Mammae turgid with milk, like in ninth month; without being pregnant. Deficiency of milk in pregnant women, with oversensitiveness. Milk had disappeared within three weeks of her delivery. Tendency to abortion in flabby, feeble, venous women. Sexual desire increased. Nymphomania.
Asthmatic feeling in trachea, dry cough; spasmodic dyspnoea as if lungs could not be sufficiently expanded. Hysterical asthma. Oppression of chest with hurried breathing; contracted small pulse, or frequent pulse. Asthma after too hearty a meal; after too great exertion. Asthmatic attacks at least once a day all her life, brought on by every bodily exertion, coition, especially by every satisfying meal. Difficulties in breathing during coition. Compression of chest, as from a heavy weight. Pressive pain in right side of chest, from within outward. Stitches in chest from within outward. Burning in chest, runs through both arms and through lower limbs down into toes. Absence of milk, also presence of milk in non-pregnant women. Burning sensation under sternum. Pressure in the middle as from a load. Stitching pain in nipples extending outward.
Chest – heart
Sensation of bursting heart at night when lying on back, ameliorated by sitting up. Pressure in region of heart, as if heart was too full and expanded. Fluttering while sitting, and after faintness. Palpitations of the heart after emissions, after excitement and exertion and also during deep inspiration. Pulsation when lying down after eating. Palpitation, with faintness, rush of blood to head, flushing of face, anxiety and slow breathing, palpitation from excitement. Acute rheumatic heart disease, with tightness across chest. Slight palpitation of heart, more like a tremor, several times when sitting. Nervous palpitation, with small pulse; from overexertion or suppression of menses. Small, infrequent pulse.
Chest – cough
Obstinate, titillating cough, worse at night. With whooping cough, rattling breathing, anxious and restless, chest and abdomen hot, urine pale. Expectoration greasy, onion-like taste.
Paroxysmal pain in back worse after stool. Pain in the cervical region better after stool. Pain in dorsal region extending to left nipple. Pain in sacral region a while after sitting. Paroxysmal pain in dorsal region, scapulae and on right side. Ache in lumbar region on bending, particularly forward. Fine burning stitches in and behind right scapula, extending towards ribs. Chill while walking. Coldness in the sacral region during a chill. Spinal symptoms after the stress, pains and cramping sensations. Cutting under scapulae. Stitching in sacral region extending to anus. Perspiration in lumbar region.
Asafoetida has a lot of rheumatic and arthritic symptoms. Aching, drawing in wrist joints. Arthritic nodosities in toes. Gouty pains in joints. Rheumatic pains in joints of upper limbs. Intermittent pain in upper arm. Pain in anterior part of forearm, moving to wrist, index finger and joints of thumb. Pain in lower limbs from feather beds. Pain in knee while walking and sitting. Pain in back of foot while sitting, also in sole. Toes gouty, first toe pulsative. Swelling around ankle joint, cannot use foot. Hip joint disease. Cold swelling around ankles. External condyle of upper arm aches. Burning thigh. Painful throbbing in tip of great toe.
This remedy has a lot of cramps, twitchings, contractions etc. Cramps in toes, alternating with spasms of glottis. Contraction of muscles and tendons in toes. Cramps in thumb. Constant convulsive tremor of limbs, better by laying of hands of another person. Twitching of muscles of arms and legs. Chorea. In chorea child always missed laying hold of anything she wished. Trembling in shoulder and upper arm and thigh. Cramp-like twitching in forearm during rest. Intermittent twitching in thigh in the afternoon. Sensation of paralysis in foot on stepping. Toes knock together. Shaking after faintness. Stiffness during convulsions.
Whitlow, violent nightly pains, threatened necrosis. Ulcers on lower limbs, black based. Carious ulcer on tibia, extremely sore around, discharge offensive; skin adheres to bone. Pain as if a splinter of bone was sticking in right fibula, just above outer malleolus. Ulcerative pain in kneecap. Caries of bone. Coldness of hands during fever, with hot face, head and forehead. Coldness and swelling in lower limbs. Heat in hands during evening chill. Heat in toes in afternoon.
Awkwardness in fingers. Discoloration of fingernails during chill. Felon beginning in nail, panaritium. Burning in the roots of toe nails. Numbness in leg while walking.
Sleeplessness after midnight. Comatose in the evening. Bodily restlessness from dreams. Sleepiness with perspiration. Dreams of future events, continuation of previous ideas, feasting; vivid prophetic dreams.
Ulcers with extreme sensitiveness; patient flinches from even the softest dressing, or from near approach of anyone. Ulcers with jerking pain, also pulsating and with red areola with sensitive surrounds. Ulcers with high, hard, bluish edges, sensitive to touch, easily bleeding; pus profuse, greenish, thin, offensive, even ichorous.
Shooting pain around ulcer. Bleeding ulcers, deep and burrowing, discharging albuminous, bloody, greenish, ichorous, thin and offensive liquid. Fistulous ulcers. Ulcers grow black. Old scars open and turn black. Black cicatrices. Blackish discoloration. Blackish blotchy eruptions. Flat, painful eruptions. Cold gangrene, from burns or gangrenous sores. Itching ameliorated by scratching.
Asthma. Disease of bone. Chorea. Diarrhoea. Dyspepsia. Flatulence. Headache. Affections of heart. Hypersensitiveness. Hysteria. Iritis. Disorders of lactation. Effects of mercury. Neuralgia. Obesity. Orbital neuralgia. Ozaena. Syphilis. Tympanitis. Ulcers. Whitlow.
Compare: Lachesis, Hepar, Ignatia, Moschus, Sumbul, Valeriana.
Similar to: Arg. nitr. (Better open air); Aurum met. (bone diseases, iritis, etc.); Castor., Cinchon., Caustic., Crot. tig. (pertussis); Hepar (sensitiveness around ulcers; faints from pains) Ignat. (hysteria); Mercur. (syphilis); Mosch. (hysteria, spasms of lungs, fainting, etc.); Pulsat., Thuya, Valer. Frequently indicated after Pulsat. and Thuya.
In the year 1818, on the 12th of August, my wife, forty years old, of strong constitution, choleric temperament, and always well, was stung by a mosquito on the inner side of the lower part of her left leg, in the region of the shin. After several hours the spot was very much inflamed, and the foot swollen. She took a foot bath of bran, after which she had great pain. The suffering part became more inflamed, the swelling increased, and extended half way up the calf. The following day a surgeon was called, who ordered a white plaster, Empl. alb. coct. c. camphora. The second day inflammation increased still more, and small pimples appeared here and there on the inflamed part, which were opened. The same evening these little pimples became ulcers. As I was absent from home at time, a second doctor was called. This one disapproved of the plaster, and ordered aromatic herbs for a poultice and a salve, Ung. Basilic. c. merc. praecip. rub., with which to dress the ulcers twice a day; the poultice was to cover over the whole of the suffering part. These remedies, however, increased the pain in the leg very much, the inflammation extended still further, the ulcers did not heal, but on the contrary, all formed one large ulcer. In this way she was treated for more than eighteen months. As I was obliged to go to Karlsbad with the Count, as the life physician of Count Witzan, I begged an old and experienced military surgeon to take the case. He ordered a strong decoction of Hungarian wine, in which a large dose of sulphate of copper was dissolved; a compress to be moistened with this was to be placed over the ulcer. After the first application, the patient was almost driven to insanity by the pain, yet she bore it in the hope that her leg would be entirely healed when I returned. Under this treatment a spreading ulcer, and at the same time the general health of the patient grew much worse. Several doctors saw the case at that time; a number of salves, poultices and baths were recommended. She travelled to Vienna to get advice from physicians there. Here, too, they gave her different remedies, but, alas! Without any beneficial result. As the patient had now borne her suffering with unequalled patience for six years, and I was able then to remain at home for some time, I resolved to treat her myself, homoeopathically. On the 15th of March, 1826, an accurate examination gave me the following symptoms:
– Stupefying tension in the head, particularly left side; pressure in the temples, and on the outer edge of the left orbit; burning in left eyeball; dimness of sight when reading or writing, as if covered with gauze; piercing, burning pain in left cheek; ringing in the ears; pressure in left ear; toothache; dryness in the mouth; drawing pain along the left side of the neck, downwards, when moving; perceptible pulsation in the pit of the stomach; pressing, piercing pain in the chest, when sitting; little appetite; after eating, sensation of heat in the face, and pressure in the region of the stomach; stitches in the left side of belly when walking; burning in the abdomen; bellyache, with emission of flatus; diarrhoea, with bellyache; dull, pain in the left shoulder-blade; stitches in the muscles of the back; fine stitches, as of a needle, around the left loin; drawing pain along the upper arm down into the elbow; rending pain in the forearm down into the tips of the fingers; pressing, drawing in the left wrist; when moving the fingers of the left hand, rending pain in forearm; rending in left thigh when walking; fine stitches in left knee when sitting; piercing pain running down the left tibia; tensive burning in the left calf; great difficulty in walking; a dark, red, hot swelling on the inner side of left leg, from the calf to the ankle bone; digging pain on inner side of left foot; a large ulcer two and a half inches long, one and a half inches broad, with hard bluish edges, on the inner side of the lower part of the tibia, with visible caries of the bone; the least touch of the edges of the ulcer caused an unbearable pain: a fetid, thin pus was discharged; black, gangrenous flesh above and below the ulcer; cold swelling around the inner left ankle bone; extreme sensitiveness all around the caries; removing the lint or compress caused violent pain; fine stitches in the left great toe; heaviness of the whole body; little sleep, full of dreams; always at midnight violent pain in the left side, from the head to the great toe; fever; ill-humored, peevish, irritable mood.
That these various symptoms were caused by the salves and otherwise introduced medicines, will be evident to every physician who knows the effect of these drugs upon the human organism. The patient’s diet had always been simple; since eighteen years she had taken neither coffee nor wine. I could not find a more fitting remedy for her case than Asafoetida.
I had the leg for twenty-four hours dressed only with lint dipped in clear water. Besides this I ordered a poultice of Pulv. Hb. Malvae to be spread all over the diseased part, to be renewed every hour. On the 17th of March, in the morning, I gave the patient one drop of the 6th centesimal potency of Asafoetida in a few grains of milk-sugar. On the 18th, the pain in the suffering part was somewhat lessened. The ulcer had a cleaner appearance, the edges grew softer, she felt a sensation of warmth in the suffering part, much pus was discharged, still fetid, swelling and inflammation lessened, and it was evident that a little piece of the shin bone would separate. The pain in the whole left side, from the head to the inner ankle bone, increased about midnight; removing the lint and dressing the leg was now attended by much less pain than formerly. On the 21st, when dressing the leg, I could see a small part of the tibia covered with black specks; the ulcer was dressed twice a day with lukewarm water, and the poultice renewed every hour. The symptoms remained so until the 24th. When the lint was removed, there came with it a small piece of bone corroded by caries half an inch long and one-eighth of an inch broad. The ulcer was carefully washed with warm water, and I saw that a small piece of the tibia had come off. The ulcer now had a clean look, and it was certain that the disease would soon be cured. The smell of the pus had lessened; swelling, redness and hardness of the edges grew less, and one could see that the ulcer became smaller. The general symptoms decreased from day to day, and on the 31st of March the patient could walk about the room without pain. On the 2nd of April, the hard edges of the ulcer, which grew small, and discharged little scentless pus, disappeared. The cure now advanced rapidly, the general complaints disappeared, and the patient gained strength. On the 21st of April the ulcer was entirely healed. Two years have passed since then, and my wife is enjoying the best health, without feeling the least pain in her leg when the weather changes. In this way so serious a disease was cured in thirty-six days by a small dose of the homoeopathically indicated remedy, given in strict accordance with our law. A quick, swift, mild, and certain cure, where allopathic treatment, in the course of six and a half years, had done nothing to relieve, but, on the contrary, had aggravated the evil.
Translated from Stapf’s Archives, vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 110-115. 1827 Syphilis-Rheumatism.
A man (Ramdham), 22 years old, has suffered from lumbago and rheumatism of right hip-joint due to syphilis, who placed himself under the treatment of an allopath who gave him several medicines but of no good. At last despairing of recovery came to my office on the 5th of June last. On enquiry I learned that he has used all sorts of mercurial preparations at the hand of the former doctor. The pain increased at night and relieved by pressure. He was very anxious. Ill humor, great disgust for food, diarrhoea sometimes painful, distension of abdomen with feeling as if peristaltic action were reversed, relieved by passing flatus. Frequent pain from place to place. Under the above circumstances I gave him Asafoetida 30th, one drop dose thrice daily. After three days the bowels were all right. This was continued for a month, and he was cured. No complaint since then. Sitamarbi, India.
A female child, six and a half years old, born of great financial wealth and luxury but of unhealthy parentage. To make a short summary of the case, I will say at three years of age the patient contracted Scarlet Fever. The case was a long, protracted illness, being complicated by an Otitis Media, the Drumheads ruptured. About six weeks after the child was operated on for an acute mastoid, on the left side and about two months following, the right mastoid had to undergo radical operation. The wounds did not heal for nearly seven months and then the ear discharge came back, being temporarily stopped for a few weeks at a time, until I saw the case, which was about three and a half years after the beginning of the illness.
The present status of the case was a child suffering with a high grade of malnutrition with marked debility, anaemic, partially deaf, with a stinking, whitish, watery, purulent discharge from both ears, not very profuse. According to indications, as interpreted by me, I prescribed arsenic album, hepar-s., silicea, sulphur, psorinum, with improvement of some of the conditions but the discharge, though much less, continued. But the patient’s general condition was much better. After a careful study of the case, which was an offensive odor of the diseased bone, a white, watery, purulent discharge from the ear, deafness, aggravation at night, I prescribed asafoetida (30). This was April 1, 1923. I raised the potencies from time to time and by June 1st there was absolutely no odor and by July 1st we had dry ears and they have been well ever since, now about three years. The child is now enjoying perfect health, with the exception of the impaired hearing, after surgery had done its best.
Proceedings of the Forty-seventh Annual Session of the International Hahnemannian Association p. 296.
In regard to mothers’ milk I have had a little experience that may be of interest. One of my patients, the mother of several children, told me that with the first baby the milk failed after six months. The second child she could supply with milk for only four months, and so it kept on diminishing every time. I was called to see her with the fourth child. I found that her mother had been troubled the same way. She was dark, thin; weighed about one hundred and fifteen pounds; she complained of peculiar tingling, creepy sensations in her breast, extremely nervous. I gave her a few doses of Asafoetida, with the result that in two or three days the sensation ceased. I told her to continue to make the effort to nurse her baby. In two weeks the milk was normal in flow and quantity. She had never until that time had milk in both breasts. I would have liked to know what her history was in after pregnancies but she moved out of my neighbourhood and I did not learn. I have used Asafoetida a number of times since but not with such marked success. It is indicated when the milk is thin, poor, bluish and scanty.
Belle Gurney, MD Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Session of the International Hanemannian Association, p. 96.
Asafoetida has such well defined symptoms in connection with ulcers, I often wished to prescribe it, but only one case gave me the opportunity. The result was brilliant. This case was a man giving a specific history. He had a very large ulcer on the leg. The edges were high, indurated, and blue in colour. Both the ulcer and surrounding tissue were exceedingly painful. It also had a thin, ichorous, greenish pus, very profuse and offensive. This description exactly represents that given of asafoetida, in its relation to ulcers, in Hering’s Condensed Materia Medica. I gave daily doses of the 200th. Improvement commenced from the first, and continued very rapidly, until the ulcer was so nearly healed, the man could no longer be retained as a hospital patient.
Proceedings of the Twenty-sixth Annual Session of the International Hahnemannian Association, p. 204.
On the Action of Asafoetida upon the Secretion of Milk in Nursing mothers.
1st Case – A lady of 34 years of age, of robust habit of body, the mother of six children, had never been able to nurse any of them from the disappearance of the milk within three weeks of her delivery. In April of 1843, she was delivered very easily; ten days after the milk became diminished in quantity, and on the fourteenth day only a few drops could be squeezed out with difficulty. Dr. Kallenbach ordered her Tinct. Asafoetida, gtt 1. in a dram of alcohol; 5 drops of this to be taken three times a day. On the second day after the use of this medicine, the flow of milk was copious. As the milk was rendered offensive to the child by the asafoetida, he tried the 3d dilution and found it answer as well. After the medicine had been discontinued for some weeks, the suppression returned, and was again cured by the 3d dilution.
Case 2nd – A healthy female of 21 years old, found a decided diminution of the milk on the 6th week after her first confinement, so that her strong and healthy child could not obtain enough of nourishment. She was ordered Tinct. Asafoet. in the 3d dilution, and after the use of this she continued to suckle her child to the ninth month.
Case 3d – A woman of 34 years of age, who had hitherto nursed her own children, but always required the assistance of the bottle, was confined on the 16th of September, and when seen on the 17th of November, she complained that already the secretion of milk was much diminished, and that she had required to feed the child with the bottle for three weeks. The mamma was relaxed, and only a few drops of milk could be pressed out of the nipple. She got asafoetida in the 3d dilution for eight days without any improvement. She was then ordered it in the 1st dilution, which was at first unpleasant from the smell and taste; but she persevered for 5 days, and at the end of that time, there was an abundant secretion of milk. On the 28th of December there was again some suppression, and now the 3d dilution was administered with such complete success that she was able soon afterwards to dispense with the bottle altogether. She had made no change in her food. By Dr. Kallenbach, of Berlin. (From Hom. Zeitung, Vol 26, no 5) quoted in the British Journal of Homoeopathy. Vol. 2, pp 417-418.