THE COMMON RED ONION
Why should not this peculiar and pungent vegetable, which contains notably phosphorus and sulphur, and of which the juice, even in the form of vapor, acts so promptly and so persuasively upon the conjunctiva and the Schneiderian membrane—why should it not produce physiological symptoms, and prove useful as a remedy?
Dr. C. Hering, of Philadelphia, to whom our materia medica owes so much of matter and of light, published a proving of Cepa in his "Amerikanische Arzneipriifungen, 1857." The symptomatology is preceded by a most interesting RESUME of the history of Cepa. I propose to give a summary only of the action of Cepa upon the conjunctiva and the respiratory mucous membrane.
Biting and burning in the eyes with abundant secretion of tears; the eyes are constantly suffused with them. The burning is particularly felt in the margins of the lids. The tears are bland, not acrid, and do not scald the lid or cheek.
Under Euphrasia, on the contrary, the tears are acrid, while the nasal discharge is bland.
CORYZA. Discharge from the nose watery; it drops from the tip of the nose. There is much sneezing, especially in coming into a warm room. It is worse in the evening.
Arsenic has sneezing in the cool air, after leaving a warm room; and its coryza is not attended by the laryngeal symptoms of Cepa. The coryza of Natrum muriaticum is characterized by entire loss of taste.
The nasal discharge of Cepa is very acrid, excoriating the upper lip, which becomes red and very sensitive.
Mercurius produces an acrid nasal discharge, but it is not so limpid, does not drop, and it excoriates the alae nasi and columna, rather than the lip.
Along with this coryza there are roughness and rawness of the fauces and of the trachea. There is cough, dry and hoarse, or rough, provoked by a tickling in the larynx behind the pomum Adami. It is characteristic of Cepa that when in obedience to this tickling provocation the patient coughs, there results an extremely painful, splitting sensation in the larynx, as though that apparatus would be rent asunder by the effort of coughing. This pain makes the patient wince and crouch, and brings tears to the eyes. No other drug produces this splitting in the larynx from cough in conjunction with acrid coryza.
The trachea feels rough and raw, and there is some dyspnoea, together with feverish heat and some acceleration of the pulse.
Prescribing in accordance with the above indications, I once succeeded in removing in the space of a few hours what I judged from physical exploration to be an extensive very recent congestion of the lungs, resulting from exposure to a cold north-west wind immediately after prolonged and violent muscular exertion.