Proving of Radium Bromide
By GUY BECKLEY STEARNS, M. D., NEW YORK CITY
The Homeopathician, Vol. 1, N°1, January, 1912
One milligram of the 1,8oo,ooo activity of pure RADIUM BROMIDE was weighed out, and the trituration was begun with that quantity. The provings were made from the 6x, 12x, and the 3ox triturations.
A measurable quantity of this active and powerful salt was present in each of these strengths, as was shown by the electroscope and the photographic plate. During the action of the 6x, the urine of the provers was rendered radio-active. All the experimenters developed symptoms, some of which persisted several weeks after discontinuing the drug. All of them experienced sensations which are characteristic both as to nature and location.
The pains were located deep in the joints, and were described as being in the articulations. They were of two kinds:
Dull ache, which appeared gradually and stayed with the prover a long time.
Sharp pains, which appeared and disappeared suddenly, or appeared suddenly and gradually wore away.
These pains changed place, and in some provers alternated from side to side. In two, the right side was more affected than the left.
Invariably occurred within twenty-four hours.
These pains are particularly significant when considered in conjunction with their frequent occurrence in the large-toe joints, and confirm the very evident curative value of RADIUM in gout and chronic rheumatoid conditions.
Nearly all had pains in one or the other large-toe joints.
All had pains at the sacro-lumbar junction, deep in the articulation ; aching was dull and intense.
Its selective action in the lumbo-sacral region should prove useful in acute conditions when lumbago is a symptom.
All the men provers were very restless with the pains, compelled to move about.
Motion aggravated the pains at first, but continued motion relieved them.
They had strong desire for the open air, and all the symptoms disappeared or were better when going out-of-doors.
(These two modalities were absent in the women provers.)
In most cases there was marked aggravation of all the symptoms from the latter part of the afternoon until after dinner.
General symptoms were better after eating,-in most provers.
A strong desire to stretch the muscles, with relief from the stretching, was present.
Intense weakness of the lower limbs, with languor, developed in all.
Numbness, when crossing the legs, occurred in some.
Soreness of the muscles all over the body developed in two.
The foregoing symptoms and modalities were the first to appear in the proving, and were present in all cases.
The tired, weak sensation in the lower extremities, as the provers said, “from the small of the back, down,” was so characteristic as to be considered a key-note of the remedy. This was so pronounced as to make a strong effort necessary in walking, though continued walking gave relief.
Mental symptoms were present in some of the provers, but usually developed some time after the physical.
Irritability and easy vexation first appeared,
Depression, discouragement and dissatisfaction then appeared.
In one of the women provers the depression reached a very distressing point, so that she would waken at night in fear, and desire light and company. Her sleep was restless, and she was troubled by dreams, which awakened her, and for some time she could not be sure whether they were real or not. Dreams were always troubled ; of fire ; of attempting suicide ; of physical exertion. Unlike most of the provers, she was not especially better in the open air, but obtained much relief from a bath.
Apprehension, as though something would happen, with fear in the dark.
Vertigo was a prominent symptom in two provers.
After three weeks, in one, brought on by rising or reading steadily.
Intense, with tendency to fall to the left, necessitating walking with the left hand against the wall, for support, continuing for a day or two, appearing alter he had awakened suddenly with à, sensation- of an electric shock through the body, in the second prover.
Relief in the open air.
Relief after eating and from lying.
Worse when sitting or walking.
These modalities were strongly expressed in this condition.
The physical cause of this vertigo was not apparent from any of the examinations made, though the symptom was distinctly an effect of the drug.
Terrific headache over the left eye, extending to the occiput. Relieved by warmth. Aggravated by cold and pressure.
Aside from the headaches, however, cold was more agreeable than warmth.
Dull, frontal headache, with a tight sensation.
Headache from the occiput up over the vertex.
Extremely dull, frontal headache, in one prover, three weeks after discontinuing the drug.
Aggravation in late afternoon, marked, in most of the headaches.
Relief in open air, also marked in most headaches.
This last amounted, in many experimenters, to an air-hunger.
Pains simulated the neuralgic and rheumatic types, never the gastric; and, in this respect, correspond to the general character of the action of the drug, as already suggested.
Heaviness of the eye-lids was caused by the drug.
Distinct ptosis, in one case, worse in right eye, with lachrymation.
Discharge, thin, yellowish, purulent, stuck the lids together and formed a yellow crust, occurred after three weeks, in the ptosis subject.
Irritation of the margins of the lids, in another.
The respiratory organs were affected by rather violent symptoms.
Rawness or soreness in the throat was the beginning.
Relieved by cold drinks.
Dry, teasing cough, after a day.
Occasioned by tickling sensation in the larynx.
Kept prover awake at night.
Worse lying down, and soon after going to bed.
After beginning to cough, the subject could not stop.
Tickling in the throat was very disagreeable and persistent, relieved by open air.
During the cough, there was distinct aversion to sweets.
Bruised, sore sensation in chest in two provers who did not develop the cough.
In the region of the sternum.
As though the two sides of the chest were pushed together.
Soreness of the throat, with splintery sensation, preceded sore sensation in the chest in one of the provers.
Relieved by swallowing cold water.
Expectoration occurred in only one case, where the irritation began with soreness of the throat, followed by a hacking cough.
Frothy, white mucus, which soon became tenacious.
Constriction sensation was felt principally about the heart, intense.
Cough was so troublesome in one prover that it kept her awake several nights, and had to be palliated.
Spongia, Ignatia and Coccus cacti were given with little relief but Rhus venenata stopped the cough at once.
Rhus venenata, in fact appears to be the best antidote for RADIUM, which is another significant point in relation to its gouty symptoms.
Although the cough symptoms were very severe, they did not appear to be due to any inflammatory condition of the longs, but to a laryngeal irritation.
DIGESTIVE ORGANS were somewhat affected.
Aversion to sweets developed.
Empty, all-gone sensation.
Craving for fresh pork, during and after the proving, in one man.
Much gas formed in the intestines and there was
Some griping, most characteristic modalities being
Relief from walking about, and
Relief from passing flatus.
Sluggishness of the bowels was decided, with
Retarded, though soft stools, or
Alternate diarrhœa and constipation, with offensive flatus.
Stool was clayey in consistency, in one case sticky.
Rectum sore and excoriated during the movement, in cases of diarrhœa.
The total effect on the digestive organs can be characterized as sluggishness and appears to be incidental to the general depressing effect of the drug, rather than to any specific or selective relationship to those organs.
Some atony of the urinary organs was caused, resulting in slowness in starting the urine.
Urates were increased in quantity.
Albumin was found in the urine in most of the provers.
A few granular casts were observed in one case.
The irritative action of RADIUM on the kidneys may be due to its direct irritating qualities during its excretion, for there was enough RADIUM in the 6x to make the urine radio-active and there was enough in the 30x to affect the photographic plate. On the other hand, RADIUM may have a selective action on the kidneys.
METABOLISM of the body was profoundly influenced, as was shown by
Increase in the specific gravity of the urine, and
Increase in the elimination of the uric acid derivatives.
Loss of several pounds occurred in one of the male provers, during the experiment
Sexual functions were at first stimulated in the male, causing
Frequent nocturnal emissions, and
Diminution of the sexual desire appeared later.
Menstrual flow was more profuse in the women,
Less painful than usual.
Headache usually present during menstruation was absent.
The women claim to have been much benefited by the proving, in regard to their menstruation and in their general health.
There were some strong SKIN symptoms.
Small, red papules on the face and chest, developed in some.
Similar eruption between the shoulders, in one.
Itching, worse in early evening and when undressing; better in bed and relieved by scratching.
Sensitive papulæ over entire body, in another.
Scaly, itching eruption on the anterior surface of the thighs and the forearms was caused in another.
Itching better from warmth and scratching; worse from bathing.
Itching developed and partly disappeared in a scaly eruption on the back of the hands, one of the provers had developed after working for several years with X-ray and with RADIUM emanations. This always troubled him by cracking and bleeding in cold weather.
A sebaceous cyst developed over the lower part of the sacrum of one other prover.
Intense sensitiveness of the corns was observed in two provers.
Old bunions which had not been troublesome in a long time, became inflamed and painful, in the same provers.
This last symptom is quite striking and shows the relation of the drug to the large toe joint and to irritated epithelial structure. Dr. J. T. Kent gave the 2ooth to an old gentleman on two different occasions, and several weeks after each administration a painful eruption came out on the body, without subjective symptoms. This exfoliated as branlike scales, so that the sheets of his bed were covered in the morning.
The effect on the circulatory system was of lowered tone as was evidenced by lowered blood pressure.
The elements of the blood itself were altered resulting in
An increase of the leucocytes to as much as 30 to 50 per cent above normal. This was confined to the polymorphonuclear neutrophyles, showing an increase in the protecting cells of the body.
The small lymphocytes were decreased.
In the foregoing, I have endeavored to select the most characteristic symptoms and modalities as they were presented by the provers. A detailed recital of the symptoms would be both tedious and confusing. However, a thorough understanding of the drug can be obtained only by studying the complete record which has appeared in the journal of the American Institute of Homœopathy and in the North American journal of Homœopathy.
The experiment was conducted with seven provers, four men and three women, and was due to the scientific spirit and initiative of Dr. Dieffenbach. Every prover was carefully examined before and during the proving, and observations were made on the urine and the blood. Dr. Copeland, Dr. Crump, and Dr. Sayer assisted Dr. Dieffenbach in this task. My work was the lesser one of questioning the subjects and bringing out the modalities.
As far as it has gone, this proving has been conducted as carefully, and as scientifically as modern clinical methods will allow, and is in every way up-to-date. But it can only be considered a foundation, for with the limited number of provers, there have been only hints of many of the possibilities of the drug. Clinical reports are needed also, to confirm and fix the value of the modalities, some of which appear to be somewhat contradictory. These contradictions pertain to the aggravations and ameliorations from warmth and motion, and probably have to do with their relation to local and general conditions; e. g., some local conditions were better from warmth, while the general symptoms were better from cold.
The work has demonstrated, in a way nothing else could accomplish, how wrong is the idea of those who clamor for a boiled-down materia medica. On the contrary, a record of every symptom is necessary for a true comprehension of the complete action of any drug. General characteristics are but the composite expression of the complete record of such symptoms as are grouped about some single function or part of the body, or of all taken together, and no symptom can be omitted.
In this proving, the character of the symptoms; the appearance of certain symptoms, weeks alter the administration of the drug; and the persistence of other symptoms, show RADIUM to be a drug of very deep action, and bear out the experiences of its use in more material doses.
Its well-marked modalities should make it a remedy easy of verification.
Review of Dieffenbach’s Proving
The literature of Homœopathy has recently been enriched by the record of the proving of RADIUM BROMIDE conducted by Dr. William H. Dieffenbach in collaboration with Drs. Royal S. Copeland, Walter Gray Crump, Henry C. Sayre and Guy B. Stearns.
The purest obtainable RADIUM BROMIDE was triturated by Mr. E. W. Runyon, of New York, to the 6x, 12x and 30X potencies. “The provers noted their daily symptoms for one week.” In addition to this, some symptoms were developed in the person who made the trituration. The report was presented in the programs of the American Institute of Homœopathy at Narragansett Pier, and the International Congress of Homœopathy at London, during the past summer, an outline of the same having been. contributed to the Society of Homœopathicians, meeting in Chicago. It has been printed in the journal of the A. I. H. and in the North American journal of Homœopathy. The following résumé is based on that report.
RADIUM is a long acting, deeply acting remedy, its pace being similar to that of Sulphur and Silica. Some of the provers observed symptoms appearing or recurring from one to four or more weeks alter the administration of the remedy in the 6x and I2x potencies. This fact is intensely significant, a warning to guide those who prescribe it. When the power of potentized substances is once comprehended, it is clear that in this form it is possible to engraft on the system a powerful drug miasm, creating a sensitivity to its action in those who do not at first present a symptom image of the remedy. Such forced sensitivity and insidious effects are not easily eradicated. When it is homœopathically indicated, if administered in too frequent doses, the first good will be destroyed and followed by disaster through the interfering action of the later doses. The insidious poisonous effects in such cases, progressing in those sensitive to it at the beginning of its administration, may continue throughout the life time and be transmitted as a drug miasm. The substance acts so deeply in the organism, entering the realm of the very construction of tissues.
Those who have worked with it have been impressed with the resemblance of its action to rheumatism, (especially of gouty form), malignant and skin affections, nephritis, pulmonary inflammation and intestinal disturbances.
The remedy has an evident affinity for joints, muscles, skin, kidney and mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, but for the most satisfactory results these tissue effects must not be the chief guide for the prescriber unless he courts disappointment at the outset. Not all forms of such affections, not all patients suffering arthritis, albuminuria, obstinate skin eruptions of eczematous type and malignant disorders are to be assumed proper subjects for this powerful weapon. If it be held as an instrument in our armamentarium to be tried indiscriminately, if possibly it may suit the case, not only disappointment but woeful abuse must follow its employment.
The certain guide to determine what cases should receive this marvelous agent and may be benefited by it, is similar to the guide for all our remedies, namely the symptomimage as revealed in the “symptoms of the patient,” those that characterize the man in disorder. .
The Radium subject suffers INTENSE MENTAL DEPRESSION, for which nothing in the environment or life circumstances appears accountable. (In the prover, depression usually present during menstrual period was absent during the proving.) Sensation as if something terrible would happen may accompany this. She is afraid to be alone, especially in the dark. Painfully IRRITABLE, he is vexed, out of all proportion to the trifling occurrences that call forth his displeasure. Anxiety; RESTLESSNESS AT NIGHT IN BED, when awake with pain or during sleep. Dullness, thinking is difficult. Confused after waking.
WEARINESS; aching through the entire body or of affected parts. INCLINATION TO RECLINE. Loss of springiness in walking.
VERTIGO, with tendency to fall; gradually disappears; AMELIORATED IN OPEN AIR.
CRAVES OPEN AIR; AIR HUNGER; AMELIORATED IN OPEN AIR. Amelioration FROM CONTINUED MOTION; from motion in bed, after eating; after sleep; during menses; from warmth applied; from warm clothing and from bath. COMPLAINTS, INTERMITTENT, PERIODIC. Disappearing gradually (pains and other complaints). Aggravation AFTERNOON; EVENING; night; before menses.
Pains BURNING; INTERMITTENT; soreness, stiffness, STICKING. SENSASATION OF DRYNESS IN -MUCOUS MEMBRANES. Sensation of warmth or heat, internally. Heat in bed, with desire to uncover. Chilliness internally. Perspiration absent or scanty. Succession of chill then heat, perspiration absent. Tickling sensation in mucous membranes.
Blood pressure DECREASED. Blood vessels contracted; Blood altered by increased number of leucocytes; INCREASED NUMBER OF POLYMORPHONUCLEAR NEUTROPHILES (the protecting tells), DECREASE IN SMALL LYMPHOCYTES.
Drowsiness during the day. Sleep disturbed by restlessness and dreams. Dreams vivid; exciting; active; of fire; of suicide. J. C. L.
Eighty per cent of our business men are addicted to “nervous rush,” but it does not spell efficiency. On the contrary, it means waste of energy, loss of time, more mistakes, a dull brain, and a ” tired out” state of existence. The remedy is poise.
C. D. LARSON, in January “Efficiency.”