Having read with interest DR. Wesselhoeft's article on Diseases during Lactation, I was surprised to find him saying: “But it has often appeared to me that treating a patient for an individual case of broken breast has many features in common with the treatment of a patient suffering from periodical convulsions, the least benefit can be afforded during the attack; more might perhaps be done previously or subsequently by proper homoeopathic medicines.” Also, that “the majority of cases, particularly in scrofulous patients, have terminated in suppuration, many without indicating any effect from the remedies.”
My own experience, in twenty-four years of practice, has differed so widely from this, that I am at a loss how to account for such a statement from so skilful a physician. During my early practice cases often came under my care, which had been attended by allopathic physicians, and poulticed until the suffering had become so intolerable that anything that promised relief was hailed with joy, and the universal result was that the patient was delighted with the change, and the relief experienced by the substitution of a few spoonfuls of water, medicated with the little pellets, for the disagreeable poultice and increasing pain up to the period of opening the abscess which, under the homoeopathic treatment, could be left to nature, thereby preventing the injury to milk vessels that arises from the use of the lancet. The sufferings were so much lessened by the medicine that the patient willingly awaited nature's process.
I have never seen a case of inflammation in the mammae that I thought called for Aconite. Perhaps Aconite might be useful at the first moment of disturbance in the system, but the physician is not called until the trouble is located in the breast, and then it is too late for benefit from Aconite, and valuable time is lost in using it. It will lower the circulation, but the local trouble will go on increasing, and if the doctor sees his patient but once a day, by the time he returns, all possibility of preventing suppuration may have passed, whereas had he commenced with Bryonia, if the breast was only hard and painful, without redness, or Belladonna if with, by the time of his next visit, if the nurse has faithfully done her duty, and kept the milk as much as possible out of the breast, the doctor may find his further services unneeded.
If in consequence of the scrofulous character of the patient, or the neglect of the nurse, the inflammation still goes on, the pain and enlargement may be kept in check, and oftentimes very greatly lessened - in some cases almost wholly removed - during the formation of the abscess, and the milk preserved by the action of the medicine, whereas the milk is generally lost in the breast affected or in both, if nothing but poultices are used.
After Bryonia and Belladonna have each done all they will, Phosphorus is generally all the medicine needed, unless Hepar sulph. may be, if the other medicines do not keep down the pain, or when rapid closing of the abscess does not follow the discharge of pus.
In a few cases, Mercurius sol. has appeared to hasten the opening and relieve the pain in the breast. In the cases when Merc. sol. did good there was profuse perspiration or other symptoms for Mercurius.
I should think that nineteen out of twenty cases which I have seen, had been dissipated by the above course without suppuration, and I do not remember a case where the discharge charge continued more than a week, generally not more than two or three days.
In my opinion, the use of Aconite in the early stages of inflamed breast renders suppuration inevitable, by the loss of time, and its depressing influence on the economy, as is the case in threatened typhoid fever; it is almost sure to develop the fever, although it seems for a few hours to make the patient more comfortable, whereas Bryonia used at first might have prevented its development.
The great sympathy I feel for my sex in their peculiar sufferings, must be my apology for presuming to lay before the readers of the Review my own views on this matter, without wishing to detract in the slightest degree from the value of others' opinions on this interesting subject.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 06 No. 06, 1865, pages 226-228
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