THORNY TALE OF THE SPLINTERS, SLIVERS AND NAILS
My thirty year old neighbor just got a 2 centimeter splinter deep into the tip of her index finger. Of course, she tried to pull it out, but it broke off and all she got out was 4 millimeter of it. Naturally, although it would have been easy to pull it out with an appropriate forceps, now that the little protruding end was gone this little simple operation became difficult and more complicated.
Patients who get stuck with a fishbone in their throat, or a splinter under the nail, or sliver in some other place, please don’t touch it go at once to those who know how to do these extractions easily without danger, otherwise you will make it uselessly much harder for them as well as for yourself.
A little incision from within out with a very small scapel or a sickle type lancet will open the wound, and a special forceps for foreign bodies will extract safely this wooden splinter.
A single application of Calendula ointment and some gauze bandage will finish this extraction job. However, the wound and pain will persist!
What remedy fits such a case ?
A good Homoeo should know his materia medica and its modalities. Even before that he doubtlessly remembers paragraph 7 of the Organon regarding the occasional cause as follows:
“ It is not necessary to say that every intelligent physician would first remove the ‘causa occasionalis’ where it exists; the indisposition thereupon generally ceases spontaneously. He will remove from the room strong smelling flowers, which have a tendency to cause syncope and hysterical sniffing; extract from the cornea the foreign body that excites inflammation of the eye; loosen the over-tight bandage on a wounded limb that threatens to cause mortification and apply a more suitableone; lay bare and put a ligature on the wounded artery that produces fainting; endeavor the expulsion by vomiting of belladonna berries,etc., that may have been swallowed; extract foreign substances that may have gotten into orifices of the body ( the nose, the gullet, the ear, the urethra, the rectum, the vagina ); crush the vessical calculus; open the imperforated anus of the new born infants, etc.”
He therefore, will try his best to extract the foreign body. If he feels unequal to the task he will send the patient to an appropriate surgeion or specialist. However, the Homoeo should be able to perform this little operation.
Two eventualities might occur:
1. Either the foreign body can be extracted, or
2. It is possible: The sliver is too small, the iron fragment or wooden splinter breaks as the patient tries to take it out.
We have to push out, so to say, these foreign bodies producing:
Either suppuration, or
Expulsion without suppuration, or
Enhancement of the hyperleukocytosis to reabsorb the little fragments of the foreign body, if phagocytable.
The main remedy which will work here is Silica 200, and at 30th, 200th, and M the same day. The wait.*
Lobelia inflate also comes to mind as an evacuating remedy of foreign bodies, and for wounds from slivers. Such drugs give excellent results in foreign bodies of the oesophagus, either after, before, or duing extraction, according to Dr Cooper, who prescribes them in tincture: 3 to 5 drops.
But we must consider several factors:
1. Hypersensitivity to pain. The patient howls, cries, saying the pain is unbearable. He cannot be touched or even examined. The least contact or slight touch is declared unbearable. We are dealing here with pains out of proportion to the trauma. So here comes Hepar Calcarea Sulfurata 200 to be administered at once, best on XM only.
2. A good indication of Hepar is also when the foreign body or splinter, of which a small fraction remains in the wound and is not possible to extract, ceases to provoke pain but in a few days the patient starts with a shivering then a throbbing pain at the site of the lesion. This throbbing means the onset of suppuration. Then Hepar is definitely indicated at the 200thor preferably at the XM.
If the pain is equally intense to the least touch, but in a patient who also cannot stand his clothes or sheets or anything touching the lesion, think of Apis mellifica XM, a precious remedy for penetrating wounds.
If the traumatic lesion produces spontaneous intense pain and the part is lacerated or crushed, whether a penetrating wound by puncture, by a sharp instrument, scalpel, or splinter, give then Hypericum perforatum at the 200th or even better at the XM. This marvelous remedy is particularly indicated for puncture at the end of the fingers, followed by wallerian degeneration, often with dreadful neuritis,ascending from finger to arm, from foot to thigh. This is a condition which is difficult to control allopathically, but one dose of Hypericum XM will restore order in a few days spectacularly.
Remember that this remedy is a fine preventive of tetanus.
Finally, the hypersensitivity to touch in cases of splinters less acute than described above, brings to mind a lesser known remedy, yet a remarkable one, Cicuta virosa, the famous hemlock taken so courageously by Socrates and used by the Athenians to put the death certain criminals.
We use medically four types of hemlock, all belonging to the Umbelliferae:
1. Cicuta virosa, remedy for opisthotonos and cerebral meningitis.
2. The mottled, big hemlock: Conium maculatum, so precious in homeotherapy.
3. The garden hemlock: Aethusa cynapium, so useful in milk regurgitation of the newborn at the breast or the bottle; the milk comes back liquid, or if in clots, then Valeriana is indicated.
4. The aquatic hemlock is Phellandrium acquaticum, well known in tuberculosis when the cough is constant and suffocating and the expectoration horribly fetid. It offers to the homeo a precious peculiarity: intolerable pains in lactiferous ducts and at the nipple while nursing and for pains in the breasts during menstruation.
Cicuta has another important symptom not to be forgotten. If, while you are tending an uncounscious patient he reacts with a facial spasm or one in the limbs, you have there a good indication for Cicuta.
Of course, for a splinter, if there is contusion and eventually an ecchymosis without laceration, give Arnica XM, one dose. It works beautifully and relieves rapidly the pain, avoiding suppuration; so don’t forget it.
Think also of Plantago major, cited by E. Carleton; Homoeopathy in Medicine and Surgery, page 231, 1912. This is remarkable for a wound made by stepping barefoot on a rusty nail, which is so easily done when camping. Plantago relieves the pain very fast.
If you ask me what remedy cured this patient in 48 hours without the least suppuration and with good results, it is Ledum palustre in one single dose of the XM. This is the remedy for penetrating wounds par excellence, for splinters producing pus; remarkable for punctures made by stepping on nails or tacks; just as good for bites from insects.
It works on anybody, but even better on those, like Silica, who are especially chilly or shivering.
However, you have to remember a precious modality and never forget it: The traumatized part, the end of the finger, is cold to the touch, or maybe the patient feels it cold even while warm to the touch !
So you see that homeotherapeutics is rich in resources, and we should be grateful to Hahnemann for his great discovery.
· It is also very useful in fractures when small bone chips remain in the wound. The Silica patient is always very chilly, mostly in the head, and shows frequent little white spots on the nails, called “ flores unguis” or leukonychia striata, to be found in the Repertory, p.1191; Extremitis: Spotted nails.
Source : The Homeopathic Heritage,
THORNY TALE OF THE SPLINTERS, SLIVERS AND NAILS