Translated by P.W.Shedd, M.D.
Chelidonium majus (Greek, chelidon, the swallow) is so named because the plant develops its folliage with the coming of the swallows and withers when they fly southward. It grows chiefly on calcareous soils, walls, rubbish heaps, etc., and hence more commonly near dwellings. The most important constituent of the plant appear to be the non-toxic alkaloid, chelidonin, with acids forming salts such as chelidonin, with acids forming salts such as chelidonin sulphate, which in dosage of 0.1-0.15 grams, twice daily, cured a carcinoma of thee stomach. The patient had the typical cachexia, marked emaciation, violent pains in the stomach region, irrepressible vomiting of coffee ground sediment. Nutritional processes were already so impeded that rectal feeding became necessary; the liver was noticeably swollen, and a well-defined nodule was apparent in the left lobe. The B produced speedy amelioration; pains and vomiting vanished in twelve days; the hepatic swelling alone did not completely disappear.
Chelidonium is used homoeopathically chiefly in the following conditions:
In mental diseases, especially with depression, gloom despair, i.e., in melancholia and hypochondria sis, particularly with hepatic complications. Sense illusions are also dissipated by it. A girl was speedily cured by Chel., who suffered from peculiar audatory illusions, viz, she declared that her head was full of musicians, who, by their continual playing, gave her no rest night or day. The Chel. Pathogenesis also shows disturbances of smell, e.g., the environment is redolent with the odor of faeces- a symptom confirmed in a reproving by Dr. Nebel. That such states are met with is shown by Dr. Kirn, who treated a patient complaining that his whole body smelled faecal. Sul. And Psor. Were prescribed with no result; the indivldual later committed suicide. It is not improbable that Chel. Might have led to cure.
In neuralgia’s it is much praised. Dr. Buchmann (Alvensleben), who, with seventeen others, made a valuable and instructive proving of the drug for nine months, emphasizes its analgesic powers. He cites numerous cases of facial, occipital and cervical neuralgia’s. Dr. Gohrum made a brilliant cure of neuralgia in the neighborhood of the ear with a high potency of Chelidonium.
Ophthalmic disease frequently calls for it, especially in catarrhal conjunctivitis, in cataract, in glaucoma. In such conditions the fresh juice of the plant, used internally and externally, was a well-known remedy before Hahnemann’s time.
Liver troubles more frequently demand Chel. Than do other diseased conditions. In gall stone the tincture has often rendered good service when Morphine has failed. In homoeopathic literature a case is reported where after a brief use of Chel. Over 300 calculi were passed. But in higher potencies, even the 30th, it has proved analgesic in many instances. As it possesses not alone analgesic, but decalcifying properties, it may be commended as a prophylactic. In the most varied manifestations of hepatic disease, but especially in the cirrhotic or alcoholic liver, it often produces rapid amelioration and cure. (Cf. Card. Mar., Phos., Lach., China, Nux vom., Sul., Lyc., Lept.)
In gastro-intestinal disease it is indicated with yellow tongue, bitter taste, crampy and gnawing pains, yellow or whithish diarrhoea, or constipation with clay-colored stools.
In pulmonary complaints, especially in the pneumoniss of children, it is a reliable remedy, recommended by Test in every inflammation of the lower right lobe, Chel. 12th, at first every half hour, later every 1-2 hours, frequently aborting such conditions. In phthisis with hepatic complications it is also of service.
Heart disease, especially with inflammation of the valves, muscle, and pericardium, also comes within its sphere. The author cured a cardiac case with arthritis with Chel.I, after Acon., Bry., Spig. and Kali carb. had been used ineffectually. The fever dropped, the appetite returned, thee cardiac trouble gradually vanished.
In febrile diseases, as influenza, measles, diphtheria, Chel. is to be considered. Especially if it be an epidemic remedy. Even in grave typhoid it has cured, given its characteristic indications.
In skin lesions it has been used by allopaths with results. The cure of an epithelioma in the nasal region with dressings of Chelidonium extract is mentioned. Dr. Puhlmann used a 5-10% Chelidonium unguent in psoriasis; lupus, epithelioma, first thoroughly cleansing the area with soft soap. In scrotal eruptions the internal use of Chel. is recommended.
KEYNOTES of the remedy are: Right subscapular pain; motion of the ale nasi with every breath (Lyc. Not synchronous); our foot cold, the other warm (Lyc.); inclination to sweat (Merc.); tendency to eruptions and liver troubles. According to Burnett Chel. is specific in right lobe hepatic disease; Card. Mar., left lobe.