Asiatic Cholera

Sources: An Epitome Of Homeopathic Healing Art

I was practicing in Cincinnati during the prevalence of Cholera in the

years 1849, and 1850, and in Northern Ohio in 1854, and had abundant

opportunity to observe and treat it. The disease generally begins with a

diarrhoea, which may continue for several days, or only a few hours

before other symptoms set in, such as vomiting, then cramping in the

stomach and muscles of the legs, arms, hands and feet, followed by cold

sweats, great prostration, restlessness, excessive and burning thirst,

drinks being immediately rejected. These symptoms continue, the patient

sinking rapidly into _collapse_, when the skin looks blue and shriveled,

the eyes sunken, the surface covered with a cold, clammy sweat, the

extremities, nose, ears, tongue and breath cold, the voice hollow and

unnatural. This condition continues from two to eight or ten hours, the

patient regularly failing, sometimes becoming delirious before he dies.

In some cases the vomiting and diarrhoea set in simultaneously, and

the other symptoms follow, as above described, in rapid succession. In

others the cramping may be the first symptom, the others following it.

In a large proportion of cases, the disease takes the course first

described above, the diarrhoea, called the _premonitory symptoms_, or

sometimes _cholerine_, coming on several hours, if not a day or more,

before any other symptoms.

The diarrhoea is not usually painful, hence the patient may not be

alarmed so as to attend to it until the more dangerous symptoms appear.

It begins in some cases with pain and some griping, the discharges

rather consistent, having a bilious appearance, so that the patient

supposes it to be an ordinary bilious diarrhoea, which is not

dangerous, his fears being thus quieted. But however the diarrhoea

begins, it becomes sooner or later, copious, watery, and light colored,

(rice water) painless but rapidly prostrating.


In the early stages of the diarrhoea, _Veratrum_, taken about twice as

often as the evacuations occur, will frequently arrest it in a few

hours, especially if the patient lies down and keeps quiet. But if not,

and it increases in frequency, or becomes more copious, or any sickness

is felt at the stomach, the patient should, at once, be laid upon a bed

and _strong tincture of Camphor_ should be given in drop doses, once in

five minutes, for one hour or more, and as the symptoms abate, once in

ten, fifteen or twenty minutes, for six or eight hours.

A teaspoonful of the _Camphor tincture_ may be put into a tumbler of

cold water, ice water if at hand, and the water agitated until it

becomes clear, giving a teaspoonful of this camphorated _cold_ water as

a dose, stirring the water each time. I think this is better than to

give the pure tincture. After the patient becomes quiet and easy,

_Veratrum_ should be given in alternation with Camphor, a dose in four

to six hours for several days, or oftener if he feels any symptoms like

a threatened return of the disease. These two medicines serve as

_prophylactics_ (preventives) of Cholera.

If, however, the disease continues in spite of the Camphor and Veratrum,

in the first instance, or later, (as the Camphor may be given in many

cases with success in the advance stage,) you must resort to other


If vomiting comes on with burning in the stomach give _Ipecac_ and

_Arsenicum_ in alternation as often as the vomiting occurs, and if the

diarrhoea continues give _Veratrum_ between the doses of the other

two, in a violent case, as often as every ten to fifteen minutes, and at

longer intervals when the disease is slow in its progress. If the

vomiting and diarrhoea, or either, occur with a kind of explosion, the

vomiting ceasing suddenly for the time, after the first _gush_, or the

discharges from the bowels are involuntary, _Secale_ is the specific


For the cramping, _Cuprum_ and _Veratrum_ are the remedies to be given


If, however, the _cramping_ comes on as the first symptom, which is

sometimes the case, the patient being suddenly seized with it before any

other alarming symptoms occur, _Camphor_ is _the great remedy_, and in

this case it may be given in doses of double or treble the quantity

before directed.

If he sinks into the _collapse_ and lies quiet, indifferent to

everything, the pulse sinking, or he is pulseless, _Carbo Veg._ will

sometimes arouse and restore him, hopeless as the case appears. It

should be given once in half an hour until the pulse begins to rise. If,

however, instead of being quiet he is restless and thirsty, give

_Arsenicum_ in alternation with _Carbo Veg._, repeating the dose as

above directed. In some cases, after all the active symptoms cease, the

patient will become quiet and drop to sleep, and instead of the pulse

rising, as it will if he is recovering, it sinks, or does not appear if

he has been pulseless, and the breathing becomes irregular and

feeble--he is sinking. If aroused, he sinks back into the stupor in a

few moments as before. _Laurocerasus_ is a specific for this condition.

It should be given once an hour until he is aroused.

If, however, besides the stupor, the head is hot, the face red, the

breathing oppressed, the pulse slow and sluggish, _Opium_ is to be

used, and may be given in alternation with _Laurocerasus_.

For the irritation of the brain, and furious delirium that sometimes

sets in after the cessation of cholera symptoms, _Secale_ and

_Belladonna_ in alternation will prove specific.

Let the patient have warm or cold drink as he prefers, and let his

covering be light or plentiful as is most agreeable. As soon as he gets

easy, and the vomiting and purging cease, and his pulse begins to

return, keep him quiet as possible, let the room be darkened and

everything still, so that he may go to sleep, which he is inclined to

do, this being the surest restorer. I am quite sure I have known several

patients carried off by a return of the disease, after it had been

effectually arrested, in consequence of sleep being prevented by the

rejoicing officiousness and congratulations of friends, disturbing and

preventing that early and quiet slumber which nature so much needs, and

must have, or hopelessly sink. The diet for two or three days after

recovery, should be a little oat meal gruel or rice.