From an excellent and exhaustive article on this subject we excerpt the following conclusion:
According to its symptoms Adonis is especially indicated in diseases of the heart with or after rheumatism; the rheumatic troubles being, according to Dr. Gisevius, the leading indication to choice of the remedy. But it surely is also of use in other diseases of the heart, especially after infectious diseases. When the fibres of the muscles of the heart show coagulation of the albumen showing itself in a turbidity produced by albuminous and fatty grains and little drops, the advance stage of fatty degeneration of the muscle of the heart. The remedy then seems to spuron again the paralyzed muscular cells and to contribute to the absorption of the turbidity. This may appear from the following case:
CASE – 1. Mrs. F., in H., had just passed through a severe infectious disease with a continuous fever of 103 to 104.50 Fahrenheit. All at once after eight days the fever sank to 101.50 , at the same time the pulse, which up to this time had been vigorous and good, became intermittent, the heart-beat also after every third or fourth beat intermittent for a while; this was accompanied by palpitations at the slightest excitement with anguish and oppression. After Adonis 1, two drops given twice in twelve hours, the pulse and the activity of the heart again became quite normal and also remained so during the rest of the disease and re convalescence, without requiring another dose of the remedy.
Also, in myocarditis with a callous degeneration of the heart (infarcts of the heart) it seems to be indicated by its symptoms, anomaly of the activity of the heart, the pulse is frequently irregular with respect to the rhythm and the intensity of the slight beats; its frequence is frequently increased, not rarely it becomes double; increase of the dullness of the sound of the heart. The sounds of the heart are clearly audible, at times pretty loud and like clapping; attacks of dizziness and constriction.
CASE – 2. Mrs. W., a little over sixty years old, says that she has had disease of the heart of twenty years; last year she passed through catarrh of the tips of the lungs, which was almost completely cured by staying in the woods of Bregenz. There is a tendency to feverish diseases (influenza) and convulsive inflammation of the artirics of lighter degree. She came to my office on August 22, complaining of constriction and dyspnoea with headache. Pulse, 108, regular. Next morning I was called to her, as she had been unable to sleep all night. The patient sat straight up in bed, and was excited; the mucous membranes, as far as it could be seen, were bluish; the face was bloated, pale; the pulse was very much accelerated, could not be counted, quite irregular; the action of the heart also was stormy, the sounds of the heart were clear. Adonis 1, ten drops an hour; in ten minutes after taking the first ten drops the pulse and the action of the heart were quite regular and under the continued use of the remedy they have remained so up to this time, although she has since had to pass through a slight feverish disease.
While this case shows to us the magical, quick and thorough action of Adonis on the heart, the first case shows how small a quantity of the remedy suffices to bring back an excited and irregular action of the heart to the normal. In general, it seems to me that the doses, especially, of course, with allopaths, are too large, thereby frequently causing an injury to the diseased muscle of the heart. That even small doses of Adonis are sufficient to allay severe disturbances of the heart may be seen by the following case:
CASE – 3. A.H., sixty years old, a day laborer, haggard and slim; he is a drinker drinking chiefly and, indeed, daily, much whiskey (more than a quarter of a pint besides the usual quantity given to domestics). The face is bluish-red; dyspnoea. The pulse is accelerated, irregular; thee action of the heart intermittent; the legs swollen with oedema. In spite of various remedies given, the condition of the patient became worse, so that the hydropic swellings reached the region of the navel. The sexual origans, especially, were so much swollen that urination gave much trouble. After he was taken to the hospital, he received Adonis 1, ten drops every two hours; thee result being that the quantity of urine was at once increased (he had to urinate so frequently, also at night, that he wished to stop taking the remedy on that account), so that after eight days all the swelling had disappeard and in four days more he could leave the hospital, cured. Since then, although he had again to do hard work and also resumed the drinking of whiskey in its full measure, the activity of his heart has been quite good, as I had occasion to find out only a few days ago.
According to my experience the remedy is often indicated epidemically; so I lately had many cases of attacks of vertigo, palpitation of the heart and anxiety, mostly with accelerated pulse (up to 120), but without fever, in which Adonis I generally gave quick relief.
We may compare with Adonis in this respect:
1. Strophanthus. This also acts quickly (we frequently see an improvement of the dyspnoea within a quarter of an hour). Nevertheless, it has often left me in the lurch of late. Penzoldt reports the same: “I am decidedly of the opinion that it leaces us in the lurch much more frequently of late years than formerly.” Other colleagues also have told me the same.
2. Cratagus. After severe infectional diseases; others again have seen little effect from this remedy.
3. Kalmia. Rheumatic affections of the heart.
4. Digitalis. Violent, but not very rapid palpitation, pulse small, irregular, slow.
5. Kali carb. Attacks of palpitation which take the breath away; the action of the heart is irregular, stormy or weak; but mostly attended with stitches in the heart or through the shoulder blades.
6. Spigelia. Palpitation at the slightest movement, pulse irregular; anguish and constriction; headache.
7. Natrum muriaticum. Ausious, oppressed respiration; dyspnoea, when walking quickly; anxious palpitation with headache in the morning when moving about or exerting oneself.
Dr. Kernler, in Weingarten