First Case – My left thumb was accidentally caught between a door post and the door, the sharp edge of the latter pressing violently on the thumb back of the nail. The pain was very severe and the jammed part soon grew black, but the skin was unbroken. I applied at once a cloth saturated with Hamamelis and kept it wet for several hours, also occasionally took a few drops of the Hamamelis internally. After about ten minutes the pain subsided. After dispensing with the wet I occasionally merely moistened the injured part with the Hamamelis Next day there was only a slight soreness left and the blood-extravasation was so much less that the thumb required no further attention. Some six or seven weeks later to my great surprise the nail began to come off and a new one appeared.
Second Case – Some 20 years ago while making one morning professional visits on horseback I passed a wheelwright shop. Wishing to speak to the owner, at work in his yard, I rode up to him. The yard was considerably littered up, therefore I picked out the cleanest part for my horse. After a short conversation I rode home about four miles at a lively gait, and after arriving and tying the mare in yard I noticed that she kept kicking with one or her hind feet, and therefore examined her foot and found that a nail had entered close to the frog, about at the middle between the forward and back end of the frog; it also had perforated at the top of the hoof, about one-half inch below the hair and protruded about one-half an inch. It had gone right through the middle of the whole foot. I carefully removed the nail and succeeded in getting it out unbroken. It was over four inches in length. A small roll of cloth, saturated with Hamamelis, was applied to the frog where the nail had entered, then the whole foot wrapped in several layers of cloth, all well saturated with Hamamelis, and over all some dry cloth to prevent evaporation. Hamamelis was poured on the inner cloth several times during thee day, the last time at ten o’clock P.M. Some Hamamelis was also poured on her oats. The next morning on examining the foot, as moderate pressure seemed to cause no pain, I led her a few steps and found that she did not walk lame. The same treatment was continued the second day. On the third forenoon her foot was again examined, and as she showed no pain on hand pressure and rapping I rode her carefully about one mile. As this ride seemed to have no bad effect, I rode her on the fourth day several hours as usual, but favored her somewhat.
I described the case to an old blacksmith, asking how long it would take to get over such an injury. He replied one month at least.
Hamamelis is the more effective the sooner it is applied after an injury. If the skin is unbroken, use the full strength, also take internally a few drops; but if the skin is broken, use half Hamamelis, half water.
After the birth of a child we have had the mother cleansed with half Hamamelis and half water, lukewarm, and afterwards a compress saturated with the same solution applied to the pudenda It removes the soreness quickly.
We have several remedies, like Arnica, Calendula, Hypericum, Ledum, Rhus, Ruta, Symphytum, etc., Which have proved of great value in external injuries and which would often achieve a quicker cure than the routine antiseptic treatment. Dr. F. G. Oehme