Petroleum, or kerosene, is a natural production, arising, as is supposed, from the decomposition of coal. It is composed of carbon and hydrogen, and is, therefore, highly combustible. As a medicine, it is used by practitioners both of the old and new school. By the former it has been administered, internally, as a vermifuge, and occasionally in cases of asthma; externally, it is used as a liniment in paralytic affections, and in particular diseases of the joints, etc. But in homoeopathic practice, its use has been chiefly confined to internal affections; and, as is well known to those who have adopted the latter system, it is very effectual in various gastric derangements, and is almost a specific in that most distressing complaint, sea sickness. But it is in reference to its external use in burns and exanthemata that I now desire to call the attention of my readers.
A short time since I met with an accident, which might have resulted in serious consequences had it not been for the timely application of this substance. The accident alluded was a very severe burn, which implicated the whole of the inner surface of my hand; the pain was most excruciating, and the contraction was very extensive. Being away from home at the time, and consequently, not having the proper homoeopathic remedy at hand, I had to think of an immediate substitute, and I decided on Kerosene; accordingly, I immersed my hand in this fluid, and in a few minutes the pain had very considerably subsided. Seeing the good effects of the first application, I resolved to continue it, and when I got home I applied a quantity of cotton wool, saturated with Kerosene, and wrapped it up. The next morning (about twelve hours after the accident) my hand was to all intents and purposes well; but, as may be supposed, it was rather tender, so I covered it with an old kid glove, but applied no other remedy.
Kerosene cured my hand: of that there is not the shadow of a doubt; but it remains to be shown that it did so by virtue of its homoeopathicity to the disease, or capability of producing similar effects.
This point is, in my humble opinion, equally proved, beyond all doubt; for on the morning after the accident, on examination, I found that the back of my hand, which was also covered with the Kerosene, but was not actually burned was covered with bright red exanthem or rash, and studded over with innumerable small blisters, which, however, gave me no annoyance beyond a burning sensation when exposed to the air, and they went away of their own accord.
Now this is just what would happen in a case of burn or scald, in which the injury had not penetrated to the true skin; but that which is more extraordinary still in reference to this case is the fact, that on the seventh day after the accident, the epidermis, or scarf skin, commenced to peel off both the inside and the outside of my hand, both the part which had been actually burned, and that which had been simply acted upon by the Kerosene; thereby showing a direct influence, and in my opinion, homoeopathic sympathy between the two surfaces. However, these facts convince me that Kerosene cured my hand by virtue of its power to produce similar effects to those caused by the accident. There was the burning pain on exposure to the air (certainly, much less intense): there was the reddened appearance, and the vesication all symptoms of a superficial burn or scald — and, therefore, I consider that Kerosene is a very excellent, if not the very best homoeopathic remedy in such cases. If these few remarks should suffice to induce any person to further experimentalize in more deep seated cases, or, if they should be the means of alleviating but one case of suffering, they will not have been made in vain; and certainly, in a scientific point of view, the experiment is worth trying.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 11, 1864, pages 509-510
|Kerosene, a Homoeopathic Remedy For Burns.
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