Coal Tar Products
I said to Mrs. A., who had summoned me, that the woman must be suffering from coal tar poisoning, probably antikamnia or creosote, and that this must be severe enough to affect her mind. Mrs. A. answered that this was correct--that the patient was mentally unbalanced and also deaf and dumb. Then she explained that the woman had been doing her cleaning and laundry work, but of late had shown signs of mental aberration, and that during the last few days the condition had become acute. A doctor was called to examine the patient. His diagnosis was "insanity from worry over business matters". The friends of the patient had told him that Bessie had lost $1,400.00 by loaning it to dishonest acquaintances. From this the doctor concluded that worry over money matters was the cause of her insanity. He recommended that she be committed to an insane asylum.
Mrs. A. called on the people with whom Bessie had lived and while searching her room they found a number of empty antikamnia boxes. Then both Mrs. A. and her landlady remembered that Bessie had been in the habit of taking medicine for her headaches and neuralgia. This explained the source of the coal tar sign in the iris.
With the aid of Mrs. A. the patient was placed under our care and treatment. For several months she was at times violently insane. Then she began to improve and after passing through the regular healing crises her mind cleared up to such an extent that in the fifth month we entrusted her with the care of our baby. Speech and hearing, however, while somewhat improved, remain to this day very defective. Ever since her recovery under the natural treatment she has been able to make her own living as domestic servant in private families.
Worry over money matters might have unbalanced her mind but surely would not have caused loss of speech and hearing. This could be caused only by some poisonous paralyzing agent. In this case also the diagnosis from the eye proved more reliable than the testimony of the expert alienist. If she had been committed to an insane asylum it would have been for life.
Coal Tar Products
1. Powerful antipyretics acting within one hour.
2. General nervous sedatives, anodyns and hypnotics, "giving complete and prompt relief in nervous headache, neuralgia, ataxia pains, gout, rheumatism, dysmenorrhea, etc."
1. Patent fever remedies, and headache powders.
2. Antikamnia and other proprietary anodyns.
1. Reduction of blood alkalinity and red corpuscles. (This decrease in the oxygen carrying power of the blood accounts for the antipyretic action.)
2. Depression of all vital functions with a special tendency to cardiac failure (due to anilin).
Symptoms of Coal Tar Poisoning:
1. Undue readiness to fatigue.
2. Despondency and loss of memory.
3. Renal irritation.
4. Nervousness, neuarasthenia, paralysis, insanity.
Elimination of Drug in Healing Crises:
1. Excessive perspiration and erythematous eruptions.
2. Catarrhal discharges.
3. Excessive urination.
4. Nervous and mental disturbances.