By Dr. Stauffer, Munich
1. Vincenz V., a mason, fifty-six years of age, has been sick from a swelling of the cervical glands, which has been developing slowly since 1900. On February 2, 1901, two of his relatives came to me and described his disease. The patient himself has been confined to his bed for several weeks and could not undertake the three hours’ railroad journey required. I determined, even without examining the man, to undertake his treatment, as he could get absolutely no homoeopathic treatment at his home.
The case was as follows: Quite gradually glandular swellings had developed on both sides of the neck, which continually increased in size. These swellings also appeared below the clavicle, later on in the axillas and in the inguinal region. These swelling in some places were as large as a fist; the one in the left axilla was even larger. The physician treating him had diagnosed it as malignant new formations, and had given him Arsenic droops in larger and smaller doses for months, but the patient had become more and more wretched; and since the doctor had given him up, and he was so weak that he could not stand up any more, they came to me as a last resource. I prescribed Calcarea jodata 4, every three hours.
On February 10th the patient came himself and told me that two days after the first dose he felt a great relief and was able to get up, and in the succeeding days his strength increased, the swellings were neither as large nor as painful as before; but in the last days the improvement had made no more progress. An examination showed on both sides of the neck a series of tumors of the size of an egg. They were not very hard and some of them could easily be pushed along, while others were fixed firmly on their base. The skin was everywhere easily movable, but it was tense and of a shiny red. The tumors were very sensitive to pressure, but directly painful in the left axilla, where there was a swelling as large as a fist. He had not much use of his left arm owing to the pains and tension. There were similar tumors in the right axilla and in both the inguinal regions, but these were somewhat smaller and less painful. The patient is also very anemic, bloated, especially in the face. He has no appetite at all and cannot sleep. The organs are sound, only deep in the abdomen he feels similar tumors. The diagnosis was malignant lymphoma and the prognosis accordingly was unfavorable.
Since Calcarea iod. had not acted any more during the last days I decided on Ferrum sulph. 3 trit., three times a day. This he received on account of his anaemia of high degree. The remedy had often acted well in light cases of Basedow’s disease under my care.
February 19. His strength increases, the tension and redness on the neck are diminished; there are less pains, especially in the arm; the appetite is better, he can sleep more quietly and takes a walk every day. He looks decidedly brighter. The glands themselves are unchanged, pretty soft, but as large as before. In studying the writings of Hugo Schulze some time before I had been struck by his recommendation of sal-ammoniac in glandular swellings. I could not find the passage again, but found in his “Sketch of Practical Materia Medica” also a reference to it as follows: “The treatment of glandular swellings, scrofulosis and struma with frequently repeated small doses of sal-ammoniac is worthy of notice.” Well, I gave Ammonium mur. 3d, a dose three times a day, with the most striking effect. On March 6 the glands have decreased by one-third and are less sensitive; his looks and his strength have improved.
March 17. Continued improvement on continuing the remedy. April 2. An interposed dose of sulphur 10; otherwise Ammonium mur. 3.
In may I saw the patient for the last time. He had then pretty well recovered, though, as the tumors had not quite disappeared, he kept taking the sal-ammoniac. Some days ago (Oct., 1904) his employer called on me with his daughter, who is also suffering from tumors on the neck, and he informed me that the man was in good health and hard at work.
This brilliant result was a great surprise to me and I am very thankful to Prof. Schulze for his brief remark, especially as I later on treated Quite a similar case with the same good results.
2. The second case was that of a lady well up in the forties. She had been operated on in the hospital for lymphoma of the throat, but only two weeks after the wounds had healed up, and when her bandages had barely been removed, with incredible swiftness a relapse set in. In a few days the neck was more swollen than before the operation. Being asked my advice, I counseled against a new operation, which the lady had already determined on, and also gave her Ammonium mur. 3d, which at once checked the growth of the tumors and was followed by a gradual improvement. Now, after two years, little vestige remains of these disfiguring tumors and the patient enjoys a general good health. I will not call it a complete cure, but anyway it demonstrates the action of sal-ammoniac.
Now if we compare these cases with our materia medica we find in the prover’s image of Ammonium mur. Swelling of the neck, inside and outside, with pressure on swallowing, and drawing lancinations in the swollen glands of the lower iaw. Pulsating beating in the tonsils with restlessness and anxiety; a rush of blood to the glands of the neck. Swelling of the cervical glands, lancinating pains, mucus in the throat, much rattling of mucus in the morning.
In continuing the pathogenesis of Ammonium mur. Additional symptoms guiding in the selection of this remedy will be found.
It is indubitable that the cure was effected according to the law of similars, although the choice of the remedy was due to another principle, for I was at first quite ignorant of the influence of sal-ammoniac on the glands, and had chosen the remedy, as shown above, merely owing to Schulze’s remarks.