BY DR. PLUNDELL.*[Monthly Homoeopathic Review. London, April, 1863.]
The growing reputation of this gum among allopaths, successful as it has been in some most severe cases of chronic dysentery, which had baffled every other known means of relief or cure, will, I trust, be a sufficient apology for bringing it before the notice of your readers. It is well worthy of a thorough proving, from its homoeopathic relation to the above disorder, and its affording a ready illustration of the law of Hahnemann. I regret that no scientific description of the tree producing it can at present be given.
If not identical, there is still a great resemblance between the eucalyptus resinifera of the order myrtaceoe, class icosandria, and the above, the produce of the Australian continent. I may, however, be deceived in this, so far as our present knowledge extends, for there appears to be a remarkably wide family of the eucalyptus spread over the entire continent of Australia. The prevalence, however, of shrubs and trees of the order myrtaceos, especially Melaleucas, in the north and north-western regions of that continent, is a circumstance favorable to its partial identity, at least, with the now almost obsolete kino of Africa and the Indian Archipelago. I have recently applied to a distinguished botanist for a scientific record of this tree, but without success, in consequence of no specimens of the fruit or leaves having been forwarded to him at any time. He furnished me, however, with a small sample of the gum of the eucalyptus amygdalena, the produce of New South Wales; but on testing and comparing this in every way with that in my possession from the coast of Western Australia, on the opposite side of the continent, I found such a marked superiority in the latter, that I should most decidedly give it the preference over the former, or any other I have seen. Indeed, the latter has of late come into high favor in the East Indies, at least among the allopathic practitioners there. The demand in this country has recently vastly increased also, among the same class of practitioners.
I can only, therefore, give a natural description of this gum or sap, from want of scientific knowledge of the tree itself. It is found in large and almost inexhaustible forest lands, on the western and eastern coasts of Australia chiefly, though it is common to the southern and north-eastern coasts. So far, then, unlike the cinchona forests of Peru, the supply of this drug cannot easily be exhausted. We have recently learned, that owing to the reckless practice of completely “barking” the cinchona trees, great fears are entertained respecting our future supplies of that valuable article, so much so, that with great expense and difficulty, plantations of shrubs taken from Peru have been commenced in British India.
The red gum as it were bleeds from the tree, dripping like drops of blood upon the soil closely adjacent to its roots; within the “faults” of the timber (and it is a very “faulty” tree) are large collections of the gum, so that when felled and being sawn up, the saw and trunk appear to be covered with blood, and this remaining upon the ground, speedily coagulates into a laminated friable mass, which when reduced to powder resembles a puce-colored pigment It is, on the western coast of Australia at least, a tree of large size resembling the African oak rather than the family of eucalypti.
In the form of powder it can be readily preserved, and in the first decimal dilution with alcohol. At least, the latter is the number used by myself and a friend, in testing the homoeopathicity of this drug. That its peculiar virtues in chronic dysentery are due to the homoeopathic law, I have long felt convinced, and determined that so good an opportunity of testing that law should not pass without some attempt at a proving. None can say that our armamentarium is complete in all severe cases of dysentery, and I only regret that I have not used it long ago. Its qualities, I trust, may be yet fully proved by some of our more enterprising Workers in the field of Homoeopathy, and I shall always be glad to aid them in every way in my power.
The following are the symptoms most prominently present in the provings to which I have alluded. This as a proving is of course fragmentary, but it is a faithful picture of the effects of the drug upon the healthy body, viz.:
Colicky pains towards evening; bearing-down with inclination to stool, but without an evacuation. This was from taking five drops, first decimal. The pains continued the next day. On the following night twenty drops, in halt a tumbler of water, were taken. The previous symptoms not more violent, but more continuous. On the next morning from ten to fifteen drops were taken, and but little inconvenience felt till towards evening, when most severe colicky pains, with bearing-down of the lower bowel, were developed. These were only relieved by lying flat upon the face; they continued for an hour, and then diminished; and on the following morning a hard, dry evacuation was passed, with a small quantity of blood at its termination. Following this, for four or five days, the bowels were obstinately constipated, the latter terminating in sickness and diarrhea, with extreme giddiness and general debility, relieved by Ipecacuanha.
Under the influence of smaller quantities, such as two, three and four drops, taken in water, the following symptoms were prominent: Evacuations hard, with sensation of turgescence of the mucous lining of the bowels; slight bearing-down, and frequent desire for an evacuation; nausea, headache, great amount of flatulent distension, appetite decreased; lastly, the mucous lining of the bowels became irritable, and the evacuations exhibited a tendency to diarrhea, with bearing-down and greater rapidity of action than usual in health.
One of the chief inducements to ray testing this drug at all, was a fact with which I had for years been familiar, and it was that the practitioners of Australia were or had been afraid of this gum, for its powerful action and reaction; conditions which at the present time appeared to me decisive of there being something like the homoeopathic law in operation, and I feel satisfied this will be yet fully established to be the case.
I have ventured, then, to draw the attention of homoeopathic practitioners to this valuable product, because I think there is nothing like testing some of the most popular of allopathic remedies, and finding out, what I believe will be the case, their decided homoeopathic relations to the diseases in which allopathists believe them specifics. I know of nothing likely to be more serviceable to our cause than success in this way, especially at the present hour, when so much controversy regarding homoeopathic principles and practice is abroad among us. “We are much more likely to increase our own faith in the law of Hahnemann by tangible provings, of which all may satisfy themselves, than by disputing, and oftentimes recriminating, over the dose.
|Source:||The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 01, 1863, pages 33-37|
|Description:||The Australian Red Gum, Or Kino.|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|