Sunday, 10 April 2016

Belladonna in Inflammation

For most of us belladonna is synonymous with inflammation. The symptoms of belladonna correspond in similarity to a number of inflammatory states met with in under ordinary circumstances, it being a polychrest. But practising homoeopathy on pathology alone is dangerous. Any drug could be made dangerous in nature when prescribed in unsuitable cases of diseases and in large doses. Though, Hahnemann has given us precise guidelines on the manner of homoeopathic prescription, these are not followed always. We see different methods of prescribing and practising homoeopathy sectioned under new and varied principles. Some of them deviate absurdly from Hahnemann’s philosophy. It's true that progress is in requirement for medical field. But we must never forget that Hahnemann was a researcher and a keen observer who had the brilliance to propose theories ahead of the medical system of his time. His research and studies were not made on the sick alone, he made his provings on healthy men. He was also constantly improvising in his methodology. Diagnostic criteria may change with research into pathology and with latest laboratory investigations, but these provings hold true then and now. It's thus incumbent on all of us to dwelve into the source books and then come to conclusions. This blog is a humble effort on my part to forray into the books of Hahnemann and his closest and able disciples, to learn homoeopathy in the way Hahnemann proposed.

Belladonna is an extremely useful drug and it works even in the smallest doses. It has saved many a life. Hahnemann’s experience with scarlet fever where Belladonna was used as a curative and preventive remedy is a proof of it. He had a special method of preparation for its use. Belladonna has all the classical signs of inflammations like the redness, heat, swelling etc. So does other drugs, which has anti inflammatory action, with more or less of these signs and symptoms. What helps us distinguish Belladonna is its onset, the nature of its pains, the characteristic symptoms and the modalities. Belladonna has a sudden onset.
There are no premonitory symptoms. The pain and all the other complaints of Belladonna begin all of a sudden, run a regular course and subside suddenly.

Belladonna in Inflammatory fever  is characterised by two states, a state of excitation and later a state of stupor. The early part of the fever is its excitation and the latter part is the time of relaxation. These two states can be understood from the symptoms. In fever the state of excitation is characterised by violent delirium, convulsions, flushed face etc. There is bodily restlessness and he changes his position in one way or the other. This is followed by an order of opposite phenomena with great stupor even going to coma, paralysis etc. Another state we find in Belladonna is that of spasms. There is a feeling of constriction of the oesophagus and the larynx. In the urinary tract, the spasm is characterised by painful retention of urine or only a very small quantity of urine is passed painfully. Later, in relaxation state, there is diuresis with other concomitant symptoms and finally involuntary discharge of urine.

The classical signs of inflammation of heat, redness, swelling, pain and loss of function are present in belladonna. The inflammations are attended with fever and the part is hot to touch. The heat is very violent. The inflamed parts that can be seen are very red. The parotid and sub maxillary glands, the throat, the mucous membranes will be red in colour. The inflamed parts usually experience a burning pain, though there are other types of pain associated with respective areas. The onset of pain is sudden and immense, remaining for a longer or shorter period of time and they subside suddenly. The modalities of pain are also important. Belladonna is very sensitive. The patient cannot tolerate any movement, not even the jar of the bed. The pains are also worse from cold. The red shining face, throbbing of carotids and the delirium are unforgettable features of a Belladonna fever, the heat is intense and violent too. With a dry mouth and dry tongue, with thirst. Belladonna is a non antipsoric. It's action do not extend into real suppurations.

Belladonna is indicated in meningitis and encephalitis. In the head symptoms we can find the two states of the drug. The first state of excitation is marked by delirium, convulsions, contracted pupils, the sensitivity to external stimuli, vertigo etc. The other state of relaxation is characterised by stupor, paralysis, dilated pupils, unconsciousness etc. There are different types of pain in head as well. The headache, vertigo and the consciousness show a difference when the deeper pathology is involved. There could be a simple headache in a Belladonna fever. In meningitis there is heaviness of head and is drawn back. Or the patient may draw the head back as it ameliorates the headache. Aggravation by bending the head forward or stooping. In Encephalitis there is deep seated pain with hammering, throbbing pain. There maybe also a sensation as if the head is enlarged, an expansive sensation. These headaches are ameliorated by sitting still or lying down and by gradually applied external pressure. Ailments come from exposure to cold air, from standing in cold air with the head uncovered. Along with the headaches, there is throbbing of carotids. But Belladonna is not indicated in cerebral abscess, as Belladonna do not go into real suppuration. Convulsions are aggravated by light, motion, draft of cold air.

Belladonna is useful in Inflammation of all the tissues of the eyes. The symptoms again vary from redness, burning pain and lachrymation in simple conjunctivitis to dimness or loss of vision, severe orbital neuralgia and protruding eyes when there is inflammation of the retina or the optic nerve. The modalities would be aggravation from motion and from light. Belladonna is useful in Inflammation of ears that do not go into suppuration.

Tonsillitis is another place where Belladonna has proven it's efficacy. With the fever and other general symptoms of tonsillitis, there is a feeling of lump in the throat. The spasms of Belladonna are exhibited in the throat and larynx. Spasmodic constriction of throat, clutching, when attempting to swallow, and swallowing of liquids is more painful. Dryness and burning pain in throat. There maybe little fine apthous patches on the reddened and swollen throat. There is the clutching again in laryngitis. There will be sudden attack of hoarseness here. Every motion or the slightest attempt to talk, the slightest effort to move the larynx or to touch it causes suffering. Belladonna is also indicated in pneumonia, where the chest is so painful especially on coughing. The cough comes at first with sensation of tickling in larynx gradually going to pleurisy with associated chest pain. Motion and pressure also aggravates the pain.

Belladonna has again inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, with oesophagitis, gastritis, pancreatitis, cholecystitis etc., including peritonitis. In the oesophagus, the spasms of Belladonna causes severe clutching pain making it extremely difficult to swallow. The onset, character and modalities of the pain remain same. In cystitis, Belladonna is a very useful remedy as also in the inflammatory diseases of the female genitalia. In the urinary tract, the spasm is characterised by painful retention of urine or only a very small quantity of urine is passed painfully. Later, in relaxation state, there is diuresis with other concomitant symptoms and finally involuntary discharge of urine.

Belladonna is suitable for Inflammation of the joints. The joint pains come on exposure to cold and the sensitivity of the part extends to the red, swollen and hot joints as well. Belladonna is indicated in Inflammation of glands, in erysipelas and it's utility in scarlet fever is already mentioned. The symptoms of all the organs affected are not narrated in detail. But I sure hope that I have conveyed the general idea of Belladonna in Inflammation.

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