Aging :: Old age – aspects, diseases and the remedies
Social aspect – Till few decades ago joint family system was in vogue in our country. Most of the younger generation used to adopt and continue the family profession. In the joint family system it was the tradition that the eldest person in the family used to be the head of the family and used to have the governance of the whole family in his control.
Everybody in the family used to obey him used to take his advice in all the family matters. The older people of such status generally used to feel secure even at quite advanced age. Traditionally the whole set up of the society was such that younger ones had sanskaras to respect and help the old not only of their own family but of the whole community. In such a system the sense of loneliness and neglect was nearly out of question for the old people.
Now, the time has changed. Numerous vistas of progress in life have opened, as such the youth of the new generation choose their carrier of life themselves. As such the age old joint family system has shattered. These youth have to live away from their parents. Thus the older people have to live alone in general. Many of such people separated from their young ones used to face various kinds of difficulties including financial aspect. Such old people sometimes have feel lonely and neglected. If any of such people has no source of income like pension etc. the life becomes quite miserable for them.
All the creatures in this world have inherent desire to live on and enjoy the life. The old people also have the same desire even at very advanced age, when they become quite frail. Adi Sankaracharya has very aptly drawn the physical and psychological picture in the following verse:
Angam galitam palitam mundam, dashana viheenam jaatam tundam I
Kara dhrita shobhita kampita dandam, tadapi na munchatyasha pindam II
“The organs of the body have become weak, hair white; the mouth has become toothless, the walking stick held in the hand is trembling, yet the fellow has not abandoned the hope to live.”
It may seem fanciful to some to talk about remedies for old age, but it is not so in reality, for old age may fairly, be treated as a disease, inasmuch as it has peculiar symptoms, the like of which are in the pathogeneses of our drugs.
There are numerous diseases which have special affinity to the old age, some of them are:
– Disorders of digestion
– Cardiac atrophy (Senile heart)
– Muscular atrophy
– Depression of spirits
– Atheroma of advanced age
– Hiatal hernia
– Enlargement of prostate
– Etc. etc.
DUDGEON R. E. says in his “Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Homoeopathy”, The PREDISPOSING CAUSES of disease are numerous. Among these predisposing causes, one of the most important is Age. It may be said, in a general way, that in early life there is a greater proneness to diseases of the head; in middle life to those of the chest; and in old age to diseases of the abdomen. In the period of adult life, woman seems on the whole more disposed to disease; whereas in old age the liability of the two sexes to disease seems to be, if anything, reversed.
In “The Homoeopathic Domestic Physician” Dr. C. HERING, under Asthma says, when old persons suffer from shortness of breath they are very apt to say it is old age, and for this there is no remedy. But this is not the case. There is no reason why old people should not be healthy, or become so, if properly treated. The difficulty in breathing is often caused by the ribs becoming stiffer and not moving so easily, in other words the soft cartilages harden; when this is the case, let the patient drink buttermilk three times a week, for this tends to hinder the hardening of the cartilages, and to soften those already hardened.
Aloe socotrina – This medicine is suitable for melancholic venous temperaments, with a constitution used up from table excesses. It corresponds principally to the female sex, or to men in middle life or old age. (Constipation)
Constipation of aged people, with abdominal plethora; suitable to hypochondriasis, and to persons leading a sedentary life, with a pituitous state of the stomach and bowels; heat, soreness and heaviness of the rectum; urgency as with diarrhoea; only hot flatus passes with sensation as if a plug was wedged between the symphysis pubis and coccyx. [Lilienthal]
Aconitum napellus – Restless insomnia in old age may respond to Aconite. Sleeplessness of old age. Memory impaired.
Aethusa cynapium – Choleric affections in old age.
Agnus castus – Premature old age: melancholy, apathy, mental distraction, self-contempt; arising in young persons from abuse of the sexual powers; from seminal losses.
Agnus is equally applicable in hysterical women suffering from maniacal lasciviousness, although generally it is oftener indicated in cold women suffering from sterility and entire loss of sexual desire. The sexual parts are extremely relaxed and we have a transparent leucorrhoeal discharge passing imperceptibly from the relaxed parts. This decay of one’s sexual life is further portrayed in his/her premature old age, melancholy apathetic indifferent look, loss of power of sight and a constant fear of death. This fear of death is not as in Aconite, due to some catastrophe immediately impending but to a vague and remote apprehension of approaching end.
Agaricinum – It is useful in dilatation of the heart, when complicated with pulmonary emphysema, fatty degeneration, and weakened heart action from acute diseases and old age, when attended with profuse perspiration and erythema.
Agaricus muscarius – Heaviness of mind; imbecility (reaction of the organism in old age).
Alcoholus – Old age descends to the exuberance of youth. Premature old age; face becomes pale and wrinkled, features relaxed, eyes dim; lips pale; the hands and the rest of the limbs tremble; gait unsteady.
Ambra grisea – Ambra Grisea is another valuable remedy for senile pruritus. It is especially adapted to cases of general senility; old age is the keynote for this sperm whale product. An additional indication is a pseudo-sexual craving that manifests itself in a desire to be examined, and a certain gratification derived from an examination.
AMBRA GRISEA 15C – Nervous, oversensitive; timid; hysterical spasms; old age: one dose, as needed.
Comprehension slow has to read everything three or four times, and then does not understand it. Is not able to reflect upon anything properly, feels stupid. (Often indicated in old age; Asthma; Colds.)
Antimonium tartaricum – Old age: orthopnoea; bronchitis; trembling; paralysis.
Argentum nitricum – Appearance of old age; the skin in the face is more tightly drawn over the bones, hence the muscles are more distinctly delineated.
Aurum metallicum – Great depression of spirits. Attacks of oppression at heart at night, with palpitation and great debility. Visible beating of carotids and of temporal arteries (Heart affections in old age). Weak pulse. Great debility (Heart affection in old age). Patches of a brown hue and some like albugo. ? Old age.
Dr. J. C. BURNETT says in his book “Gold as a Remedy in Diseases” there is some truth in Geber’s praise of Gold as a materia laetificans et in juventute corpus conservans. Of course it is not literally true, but it has something in it. Gold will not make an old organism young, but it will do an old organism good, and, pro tanto, it rejuvenates.
– Last week I saw a lady of some seventy odd summers. She had great oppression at the heart, cardiac difficulty of breathing, weak pulse, and great depression of spirits. Her skin showed large patches of a brown hue, and again patches like albugo. She was unable to rise. I gave her the third centesimal trituration of Aurum foliatum in four grain doses every three hours. Yesterday I found she had left her bed for a few hours; her spirits were bright, appetite better, her breathing easy, and the oppression at the heart much relieved. “I am quite cheered, mamma is so much better,” said the daughter. Six weeks later: She is downstairs, still weak, but very much improved.
– The elective affinity shown by, Gold for the blood-vessels might make one think of it in incipient atheroma of the arteries in middle and advanced life. I am much impressed with the visible beating of the carotids and of the temporal arteries in its provings. In many heart affections, especially in the aged, one sees this.
– Before leaving the question of Gold in the conditions of the aged, I will note that I lately prescribed it in a low trituration for an old gentleman of eighty-five who had severe attacks of oppression at the heart at night with palpitation and with great debility. I sent him twenty-four powders, but before they were finished I received the report that “My father is so much better that he is now only taking one powder a day.”
Baryta carbonica – Want of clear consciousness. Groaning and murmuring. Immovable pupils. Apoplexy. Eyes dull, somewhat reddened. Circumscribed dark redness of cheeks. Constipation. Frequent micturition. Pulse generally accelerated, but weak. Cold hands with blue spots. Sopor. Suitable for affections of first childhood, but more particularly for old age, with mental or physical weakness.
– General physical and mental weakness, simulating old age.
– Hides when strangers come home; slow; indecisive; infant and old age: . one dose, as needed: BARYTA CARBONICA 15C [Timidity].
– It suits the two extremities of human life – the childhood and the old age. Many of the complaints at these stages find in Baryta a ready help. It is an invaluable remedy in that dread disease of old age, the hypertrophy of the prostate gland. Only those know what it is to suffer from this that really go through the tortures of the enlarged and indurated prostate. Baryta carb. is almost a god-send to those people. There are various other conditions of old age where Baryta carb. is equally indicated. It is quite an important help in old age, where due to atrophy of the cranial matters the patient goes into his second childhood.
– Baryta corresponds to scrofulous conditions in children and old age; dwarfish children and childish old people.
Calcarea phosphorica – Calc. phos. corresponds to defective nutrition, whether of childhood, puberty, or of old age.
– In old age, where the regenerative function decreases in the nervous tissue. Vertigo in old age; headache ameliorated by sudden sneezing, leaving a sense of soreness in the nostrils; a cold feeling in the head; the head feels cold to the touch.
CAUSTICUM 5C – BOUKO LEVY M. says in his book “Homeopathic and Drainage Repertory” under the Heel – Tendon contracted and stiff, in old age: . 3 granules, 1 to 3 times a day.
Coca – Becoming old very early, with imbecility in old age.
– Abuse of Coca causes signs of premature old age, unsteady step, and yellow skin, want of brilliancy of eye, and general indifference or apathy.
Carbolicum acidum – Flatulence of old age depending on imperfect digestion. Diseases incidental to old age; varicose veins.
Conium maculatum – The ascending paralysis it produces, ending in death by failure of respiration, shows the ultimate tendency of many symptoms produced in the provings, for which Conium is an excellent remedy, such as difficult gait, trembling, sudden loss of strength while walking, painful stiffness of legs, etc. Such a condition is often found in old age, a time of weakness, languor, local congestions, and sluggishness.
– For complaints of old age, and especially for complaints of old maids, corresponding to the change of life.
Crotalus horridus – Old age nutritional troubles.
Drosera rotundifolia – Bronchitis of old age, in connection with emphysema or bronchiectasis; nocturnal paroxysms; agg. lying down; cough seems to come from abdomen, shaking all the muscles of chest and body, with much exhaustion after attack; expectoration of yellow mucus or pus; paroxysms of cough from one to two hours apart.
Ferrum picricum – We must not forget another specification of Ferrum picricum, and it is seen in its action on the prostate gland. There is generally hypertrophy of that organ in consequence of which the patient experiences a frequent desire for micturition at night and a feeling of fullness and pressure on the rectum. Senile hypertrophy of the prostate gland, a very common complaint of the old age is thus amenable to the influence of Ferrum picricum.
Fluoricum acidum – This remedy is indicated in the complaints of old age, also premature old age, in consequence of syphilitic-mercurial dyscrasia, drunkards with weak, distended blood vessels sallow skin, emaciation.
Gelsemium sempervirens – Weak, slow pulse of old age.
Graphites – Graphites while not especially adapted to old age, will occasionally he found useful in senile pruritus when the vulva is covered with vesicles and is oedematous. The eruptions are moist and the discharge is very excoriating. The vaginal lymphatics and follicles are swollen. The skin cracks easily and is difficult to heal. The Graphites patient tends to obesity.
Kalium phosphoricum – Epistaxis in weak, delicate constitutions from debility, weakness or old age, predisposition to bleeding of the gums, nose, etc.
Ledum palustre – Tremor of hands when seizing anything and when moving hands, as from weakness of old age.
Lycopodium clavatum – Lycopodium is the remedy for cases which have gone on to complete impotency; the erections are absent or imperfect and the genital organs are cold and shriveled. Exhausting pollutions without erections. Lilienthal termed Lycopodium “the old man”s balm”. It corresponds especially to the impotence of old age where there is great despondency.
Magnesium carbonicum – May be said to be for deafness of middle and old age what Calc. is for the deafness of childhood.
Mercurius dulcis – Eustachian tube closed; deafness of old age, Kali m.
Mercurius solubilis – Mercurius will be thought of chore for its general indications than for any characteristic of the local pruritus. It is a remedy that suits well the diseases of old age, and is adapted for light-haired persons, with lax skin and muscles. The digestive functions are depressed. The eruptions are moist and the secretions are foul smelling. Cold and cold bathing notably aggravate all the symptoms of Mercurius.
Murex purpurea – Murex Purpurea. The change of life rather anticipates senility, but frequently conditions that develop at that period are carried over into actual old age, just here Murex will be of service and will greatly assist in controlling senile pruritus. A general pelvic engorgement-characteristic of Murex with great sexual excitement and pruritus vulvae at the change of life, may continue beyond the completion of the folding tip process. In this ensemble Murex will be thought of and will almost always afford relief. It is rather characteristic of this drug that whatever mental condition may be present is relieved by a return or increase of the leucorrhoea.
Nux moschata – Weakness of old age; dyspepsia of old people. Persons with cool, dry skin, who do not easily perspire.
Nux vomica – Nux Vomica is not peculiarly, suited to old age. Pruritus vulvae is not marked, but when present, together with the characteristic mental condition of extreme hyperaesthesia and constipation from defective peristalsis, etc., will be thought of. The Nux vom. patient is choleric irritable, of vigorous habit and tense fiber.
Phosphorus – || Tendency to atrophy of brain in old age.
– Essential remedy for old age vertigo (5C); with faintness: . one dose, daily (or more often): PHOSPHORUS 9C
Rhus toxicodendron – In head we notice a form of vertigo, common in old age which gives our patient a sensation of confusion and dullness. It is aggravated from movement as of rising from a sitting posture and is associated with a feeling of heaviness and dullness in the brain. It is particularly useful in harassing cough of old age where there is a great accumulation of phlegm in the chest causing a great deal of rattling and wheezing noise.
Selenium metallicum – A remedy particularly adapted to old age; easy exhaustion, mental and physical.
Senega – The leading indications of Senega everywhere are, firstly, a great accumulation of clear albuminous mucus difficult to get rid of; secondly, a great soreness of the walls of the chest and finally a pressure on chest, as though the lungs were forced back to the spine. It is particularly useful in harassing cough of old age where there is a great accumulation of phlegm in the chest causing a great deal of rattling and wheezing noise. Thus it greatly resembles Ammon. carb., Ant. tart., Caust., Ipecac, Kali sulph., and Sepia. Many interesting cures have been reported on these indications. With a few doses of Senega 30 Dr. Clarke relieved a fairly serious condition in an elderly stout lady of phthisical taint, who had pneumonia on both sides. Violent paroxysms of cough with expectoration of ropy blood-tinged mucus disappeared under its action in an incredibly short time.
Stramonium – Symptoms as from old age, sight becomes dim, has to use glasses, mind gets weak, cannot complete sentences, avoids people and suspects them; wakes with right arm over his head and cannot get it down again (produced. – R. M. Theobald.) – (Restlessness of old age; she constantly wakes up those about her. – (R. T. C.).
Thiosinaminum – Suggested by Dr. A. S. Hard for retarding old age.
Thuja occidentalis – Trembling of the hands, as from the weakness of old age, when writing (after twenty hours).
Uva ursi – An old man, to be more precise, a man about to verge into old age, who looked sallow, emaciated, wane and oedematous came to me for relief. He was ailing, as he said for years and had every sort of treatment, but nothing brought him any relief. His trouble was located in his bladder. He had very frequent urination, and this left him hardly any time for rest. Even at night time he had to get up 3 or 4 times every hour to pass urine and each time it took him 10 to 15 minutes to finish, although the quantity of urine passed was very meager. Urination was preceded by continued spasms of the bladder. Great straining, burning in the glands, depression of mood, and dribbling of urine were some of the other symptoms. The urine passed was muddy and foul-smelling, and there was always a great abundance of grey slimy sediment and a big quantity of membranous flaky deposit. Chimaphila, Cannabis indica, Canth. and a few other remedies were tried, but none seemed to bring him any lasting relief. I was feeling quite disheartened, till at last my attention was directed to one symptom which had escaped my attention all along. After careful study of the symptom I was prompted to use Uva ursi. It was administered and the result more than surpassed my fondest expectation. Fully 75 per cent. of all his symptoms disappeared within 24 hours. The urination became free and less frequent. He kept on passing huge quantity of foul-smelling sediment but without much pain or hardship. Appetite returned, the wane sallow complexion disappeared till after few months he looked his own self again. The symptom on which Uva ursi was prescribed was the comparative ease with which urine was passed in a lying-down posture. I had seen him several times in all sorts of postures and attitudes, but it never struck me till the last that every time he wanted to pass urine he had to lie down. Observation is a great thing in homoeopathy. Its importance cannot be overrated. The physician, that watches everything and takes proper valuation of every symptom presented, is the one that will score in the long run. (CHOUDHURI N. M., A study on Materia Medica)
VERATRUM ALBUM 5C – Chronic bronchitis in old age; cough agg. drinking cold water: 3 granules, as needed.
These are some of the remedies for various complaints of the old age compiled from numerous sources. But as a rule any remedy of our Materia Medica may prove curative according to the basic rule of homoeopathy – SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURENTUR – irrespective of the age bar. Every homoeopathic physician knows that to cure any case it is essential to take the case history properly, evaluate the symptoms according to their weightage i. e. the their intensity and frequency, the past history of the patient and then searching out the indicated remedy which is to be prescribed in most appropriate potency watchfully repeating the dose at proper time.
“Doon Ratna” Dr. S . K. MAMGAIN Gold Medalist
MAMGAIN HOMOEO CLINIC
218, D. L. Road, DEHRA DUN – 248 001
Phone No. 0135 656578 (R)
E-mail – email@example.com
Old age – aspects, diseases and the remedies
by Dr. S. K. Mamgain