About twenty years ago, I fell out with a new patient-an old lady-because I could not agree with her old doctor’s prescription. He had ordered her a case of champagne every month and I thought this was a factor in her gastritis, but she would not stop it, so we parted forever.
Today, I do not think I would be so dogmatic, for there is something in the Biblical adage: “Drink a little for thy stomach’s sake, and for the illnesses that crowd upon thee.”
Human nature being what it is-the trouble starts when we indulge too freely.
I suppose the routine prescriber automatically thinks of Lycopodiurn and Nux Vornica in such cases, but they will only do their best work in the right types; flatulent, pusillanimous (lovely word!) -miserly souls are the candidates for the first, and thin, nervous, irritable, pernickety people qualify for the
second. Accountants for Lycopodiurn and solicitors for Nux Vomica – in short.
There is, however, a variety of drugs to choose from for the various grades of hang-overs, and I will try to give in this paper a short resume of the best ones to consider.
Drunkenness, I believe, is quite a problem in’ modern Russia, where homceopaths use Asarum. Europoeurn- a neglected remedy for the insistent longing for alcohol. A candidate for this
would be the Irishman who ran up and down the corridor of the Irish boat train, shouting, “Is there a priest on this train?”
Eventually, when one did appear, the Irishman said: “Holy Father am I not pleased to be lend me your corkscrew!”
However, we stray from our title. For the bad effects of the morning after, readers of P. G. Wodehouse will remember that Bertie Wooster relied on the “prairie oyster”-a raw egg
in Worcester sauce. He would have been better served with Agaricus Muscarius, which can be used for more than chilblains.
In this group are two other good remedies. Lobelia Inflata and Ranunculus Bulbosus. The first is useful for fat blondes who have indulged too freely at sherry parties-especially when they have spent a lot of time in tobacco smoky atmosphere.
There is marked protration with this remedy, which is good also for old ladies who have drunk innumerable cups of tea, and who are scant of breath.
One of my favorite pieces of advice to young men attending service dinners and the like, is: “Buttermilk before and butter- cup the morning after.” A glass of buttermilk goes a long way to absorbing alcohol from the stomach, while the buttercup is none other than Ranunculus Bulbosus, which helps the inevitable
headache.                                                                                                      .
Once in our dispensary the N.H.S. sent us by mistake a bottle of brandy which got broken in the unpacking. The sister asked the’ doctor in attendance what she should do? His advice
to her was to take a dose of China Officinalis-for the guiding symptom here is “loss of vital fluids!” We don’t seem to have such fun in the dispensary now-perhaps because the attendance
has increased threefold.
Hamunculus Bulbosus has a certain reputation in the treatment of delirium tremens, but for this depressing state Stramonium is better–except when the person sees pink elephants; candi- dates for Stremonium.usually see everything black, and too big.
With regard to the last point, my favourite patient for this drug did so well on it that I arranged for him to get it direct from the chemist when required. He would phone up reporting the fact and invariably referred to the chemist as the apo-apo- apothecary.
He is long since dead; the reason for his weakness was that at the very end of the first world war, he was in the Royal Flying Corps flying a string kite at the age of seventeen. When Hitler’s war started, he dyed his hair and was broken-hearted when they would not take him in the R.A.F. To understand is
to forgive-a simple fact many of us’ forget.
Another case which comes to mind happened in 1942. I was in a Glasgow nursing home about 2 a.m. when the tired and rather prim spinster who ran the place, asked my help to get a noisy soldier silenced.
This was an enormous sergeant in the Gordon Highlanders, sitting outside a room and occasionally bursting into “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” and all the time consoling himself with beer-he seemed to have innumerable bottles in his haversack.
Apparently, his wife was having her first baby, so I told him he was not the first man who had suffered this anxiety, and his reply was classic: “I know, Mister, but it does not often happen to a chap on his honeymoon !”
I hope no one who reads this paper thinks that I am treating over-indulgence in too light- hearted a manner. As Shakespeare said:
Come thou monarch of the vine
Plumpy Bacchus, with pink eyne!
A saying that should remind us that alcohol has been with us for a long time and is a thing we should have learned to live with. Euphrasia and rue (Ruta) can help the pink eye.
In my opinion, brandy should be kept in every house where there lire old people as it is an excellent heart medicine, just as I think whiskey settles most stomach upsets, especially in the old.
Hereditary Tendency
Alcoholism has a hereditary tendency. The thing usually
starts when someone is going through a period of stress and
intolerable strain, and becomes a habit when there is an inborn
weakness in the make-up of the individual.
On the principle that a trouble shared is a trouble halved,
Alcoholics Anonymous do good work but they cannot remove
the environmental difficulties of the victim. Neither can the
doctor, unfortunately. I do not think the breathalyser test particularly fair, for the toleration of alcohol varies from person to person.
I have not touched on all our homeeopathic remedies but I would mention Sulphuricum Acidum for” the shakes’ ‘-a remedy often forgotten.
The main thing is to get to know the patient, and to try
to convince him that you appreciate his difficulties and sympathize with him in his distress.

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