by James Tyler Kent
Generalities: Aloe, much like Aesculus, has a peculiar engorgement of the veins, causing stiffness and fullness throughout the body, but the greatest disturbance is in the veins of the portal system, with great fullness in the region of the liver, and abdominal, rectal and intestinal fullness.
This is associated with hemorrhoids. It has abdominal pains that drive him to stool like Nux vomica, cutting, cramping pains around the navel.
Pains about the navel that shoot down towards the rectum, cutting like knives. Dysenteric and diarrheic troubles. In the attacks of diarrhea there is gushing of thin, yellow, offensive, excoriating feces, which burn like fire, and the anus is sore.
Stools: He holds the stool with difficulty, does not dare take his mind off the sphincter because as soon as he does so the stool will escape. He cannot let the least quantity of flatus escape, because with it there will be a rush of faeces.
With the Aloe diarrhea the abdomen is distended with gas, causing a feeling of fullness and tightness, and he must go often to stool. Little ones, soon after they begin to walk, will drop all over the carpet, involuntarily, little yellow drops of mucus and faeces. The mother sometimes punishes the little ones, but they cannot help it, they cannot hold the stool, as it is passed involuntarily.
There is a lack of control of the sphincter. This state is not always confined to diarrhea, because sometimes children will go around dropping, involuntarily, little, hard, round marble-like pieces of stool. They do not even know the stool has passed. There is relaxation about the rectum and protrusion of the anus, with bleeding piles. Every mouthful of food hurries him to stool; drinking water will often hurry him to stool.
Diarrhoea from eating oysters out of season. You might be disposed to give Lycopodium because in the text books poisoning from oysters is laid down under Lyc. I do not know that you would be justified in saying poisoning from oysters in season is Lycopodium, and out of season is Aloe, but there is a tremous poisoning effect about oysters in the hot weather and in the breeding season that is not found at any other time.
A great many people become nauseated, bloat up, purge tremendously, vomit everything for several days after eating oysters.
Now, when that group of symptoms is present Lycopodium will cure it and will remove the tendency to get sick from oysters.
But if you notice those who get sick have a cholera-like trouble from eating oysters in the hot season, you will find that that is where Aloe is the remedy.
Relations: This remedy is not well proved, hence I have first referred to the things it is used for clinically. It is more nearly related to Sulphur in its venous condition than to any other remedy. If you study together, side by side, Kali bichromicum, Sulphur and Aloe, you will be astonished at their wonderful relation to the stomach and bowels.
Mind: Among the few mental symptoms we notice,
“She knew she would die in a week.”
“Life is a burden.”
“Disinclined to move.”
Very little is brought out by which we can distinguish it; only a few things common to many remedies are given.
The Aloe patient is extremely excitable when under the influence of pain, and the pains are generally in the abdomen. Colic-like pains, flatulent pains in the abdomen, that drive to despair; be becomes extremely irritable and excited in his attacks of colic.
A little symptom that is somewhat striking is, “Hates people, repels everyone.”
Head: The head congestion, which occurs during the bowel disturbance, is a sort of venous stasis such as is found in the portal system.
“Headache across forehead.”
“Headaches aggravated from heat, ameliorated from cold applications.”
Aggravation from heat and relief from cold runs through Aloe.
He wants to be in a cool room; feels hot and flushed; the skin is often hot and dry; he wants to be uncovered at night in bed; burning of the extremities, hot hands and cold feet, or cold bands and hot feet; these alternate. The head feels hot and he wants something cool upon it. This is from the heat of the surface, not fever.
Sensation of heat in the surface, feeling of congestion and fullness of the surface of the body; fullness and engorged veins all over the body. Bleedings are common in this remedy, venous oozings from the nose, the bowels, the bladder; bleeding in general. The veins become varicose and the skin is hot.
Much heat in the orifices of the body; the eyes, mouth and throat are hot and burn. There is a sensation of dryness, burning and excoriation about the anus.
Stomach and bowels: Under “Eating and Drinking” we find “Soon after supper growling in abdomen.”
There are colicky pains in the bowels from eating and drinking when there is no diarrhea, even when there is a state of constipation.
This remedy is useful for the complaints of old beer drinkers. Diarrhea brought on from drinking beer. In persons who have a diarrhea every time they drink beer you will most likely find that Aloe will agree with the symptoms, but sometimes it will be Kali bichromicum, for these two remedies are very similar as to their stomach and bowel symptoms.
“Belching with oppression of stomach.”
Here is another instance of the tendency to capillary and venous engorgement. “Vomiting of blood” and blood from the bowels.
There is much pain in the hepatic region, burning and heat, etc. Mostly in the right hypochondrium you will find distension and fullness. It is pre-eminently a liver medicine. It is not as deep in its action as Sulphur.
You will often find that Aloe will serve as a palliative when it will have to be followed by Sulphur, Acid Sulphuricum, Kali bichromicum or Sepia, the medicines that follow Aloe and are complementary to it, finishing its work.
Aloe will make a good beginning in these liver troubles when there are great fullness, distension, stitching pains in the region of the liver and a dry, hot, burning skin, with no increase of temperature.
Fever and skin: Aloe has some fever, but this sensation of heat of the skin and dryness is without fever and is such as is found in psoric patients. The proving has not been sufficiently extensive to demonstrate whether Aloe produces eruption to any extent or not, but if such could be proved this would place it among the anti-psorics.
It is not a deep long-acting constitutional remedy like Sulphur, and yet it is not so short-acting as Aconite or Belladonna. Complaints come on only with a moderate degree of rapidity. It may be associated very well with Bryonia. Bryonia does not go so deeply into the life substance as Sulphur.
Fullness and distension: Perhaps one of the most striking features of the abdominal state is the fullness, distension and rumbling. It seems as if the abdomen would burst and the rumbling is so great that it can be heard by anyone in the room. It keeps on one continuous gurgling. The stool gurgles out with a noisy rumbling, like water out of a bung-hole.
The text of the earlier writers speaks of it as a sputtering, for while the stool is passing out it is accompanied by much flatus which gurgles and sputters. The abdomen seems to be as much distended as ever even after great quantities of flatus have passed. There is no relief. The pain is especially felt across the abdomen, about the hips.
Great distension as if the abdomen would burst across the transverse colon, and also in the ascending and descending colon; pain, gurgling, rumbling, heaviness, and feeling of pressure outwards.
“Twisting and griping pain in the upper abdomen, around the navel, compelling him to sit bent up which relieves.”
“Feeling of weakness in abdomen as if diarrhea would result.”
The weakness is sometimes very great, so much so that he is compelled to go to bed with the diarrhea, and you will often mistake it for Podophyllum, so great is the exhaustion. Podophyllum has great distension, tremendous gushing, much flatulence, great rumbling in the bowel and the trouble comes on at 4 o’clock in the morning.
Aloe is like Sulph. again, in that it drives him out of bed in the early morning with diarrhoea, and there are times when be puts the feet out from beneath the covers to cool them off; the soles of the feet burn and he uncovers them. Griping in the abdomen, feeling of weakness in the abdomen.
“Painfulness in whole abdomen, especially in sides and along both sides of navel.”
So sensitive is the abdomen that he can find no comfortable position.
“Dull, abdominal pain as after taking cold, morning and evening repeatedly.”
Female: Now here are abdominal symptoms that relate to the condition of the woman and not to diarrhea.
“Feeling as if a plug was wedged in between symphysis pubis and os coccygis”
“Labor-like pains in the groins and loins worse when standing.”
Aloe has cured prolapsus of the uterus of long standing when it was associated with fullness, heat of the surface of the body, tendency to morning diarrhea, dragging down of the uterus and sensation of a plug wedged in between the symphysis pubis and coccyx.
The outward pressure of the uterus causes that sensation. Dragging down as if all parts of the pelvis would push out.
A funneling sensation in the vagina, in the pelvis.
“Urging to stool, only hot flatus passes, giving relief, but urging soon returns.”
The idea is that it compels him to go to stool, but when upon the commode nothing but wind passes. It is useful also in old chronic sufferers from this trouble, those who suffer from constipation, who go many days without a stool, but feel every little while, or several times in the day, that they must go to stool, and then only a little wind passes.
Natrum sulph. will commonly overcome that state very.
“Lumpy, watery stool.”
That is a strong feature of Aloe; hard lumps mingled with a watery stool; the lumps are in the water or in the liquid faeces; little hard lumps looking like marbles or sheep dung.
Rectum and stools: In the constipation the stool is lumpy, like marbles. Sometimes these little nodules remain in the rectum a long time without any urging to stool, and finally escape unconsciously, being found in the clothing. Entire loss of sensation in the anus, an anesthesia; no feeling during the passage of the stool.
Much of the Aloe trouble is dysenteric in character, with a sharp, inflammatory condition of the rectum and lower portion of the colon; bloody discharges and yellow, jelly-like mucus. Sometimes the Aloe patient will pass nothing but large quantities of this catarrhal, jellylike mucus.
Don’t forget Aloe for hemorrhoids that form like a bunch of grapes.
“Itching and burning in anus, preventing sleep.”
He is compelled to bore with the finger into the anus; so violent is the itching that the patient cannot let it alone; it seems it will drive him to distraction.
He gets relief only from applying something cold. A common feature of Aloe is that ointments increase the burning. There is increased burning of the skin round about the ulcers after applying an ointment. The Sulphur patient also cannot bear any application; it is poisonous to him and he breaks out in eruptions.
Wherever a mucous membrane is inflamed there is formed a deposit of thick, jelly-like mucus. If there is an ulcerated spot or aphthous patch or inflamed surface, thick, jelly-like cakes of mucus may be peeled off almost as thick as leather at times. At times the lower portion of the rectum is in this state and the patient will say that the lumpy stools are caked in jelly.
The lumpy stools in Graphites look as if embedded in coagulated white of egg. Sometimes the Aloe patient, before having a stool, will expel a teacupful of thick, jelly-like mucus which has occupied the lower portion of the rectum.
Aloe cured a case of stricture of the rectum in which it was indicated by this symptom. The stricture prevented nearly all the faecal matter from getting down to the anus, but the rectum would fill up three or four times a day and compel the patient to expel a quantity of jelly-like mucus.
The fames that could be forced through were scarcely larger than a pipe stem. It has been said that our medicines are not capable of curing strictures, but they sometimes do cure strictures. If they can cure the patient it is marvelous how nature will take up all that inflammatory tissue and the canal become normal. This thing has been seen many times in stricture of the urethra and stricture of the rectum.