To the late Dr. Wilhelm Ameke, of Berlin, we are indebted for the first mention of this remedy. From him Dr. Burnett obtained the suggestion and used the lower potencies with more or less success for several years, a description of which he gives us in his Diseases of the Liver. Unfortunately the remedy was either given in alternation or followed by other remedies in such a manner as to greatly mar the validity of its clinical work.
Swan appears to have taken his hint from Burnett's work and potentized the remedy, using a gall-stone for his preparations. Like many of the rest of the nosodes originally introduced by Swan, the work was necessarily empirical, yet he affirms after much experience that it is "almost a specific for gall-stone colic ; relieves the distress at once." And this after failure with Nux, Cinchona, Carduus, Podophyllum and other apparently well-selected remedies.
Yingling reports some cures of gall-stone colic and other diseases of the liver in the Medical Advance, page 549, August, 1908, and arrives at the following conclusion :
In gall-stone colic the patient suffers so severely that it is almost impossible to obtain symptoms. In such a case, when I cannot give a well-selected remedy, of late I rely on Cholesterinum, and thus far it has never failed. It should have a proving. Until then it can be used instead of Morphine in cases where the symptoms cannot be obtained for the proper selection of a remedy. Where a case of routine work is necessary, as it is sometimes, I believe the homœopathic guess should be given the preference. It is very improbable that a person suffering from gall-stone colic will wait very long for the physician to study the case.
Clarke says, it is found in the blood, in the brain, the yolk of eggs, seeds and buds of plants, but is most abundant in the bile and biliary calculi. It occurs in the form of crystals with a mother-of-pearl lustre, and is fatty to the touch. It is soluble in both alcohol and ether.
Ameke claimed to have derived great advantage from its use in cases diagnosed as cancer of the liver, or in such obstinate engorgements that malignancy was suspected.
Burnett claims to have twice cured cancer of the liver with it, and "in hepatic engorgements that by reason of their intractable and slow yielding to well-selected remedies make one think interrogationally of cancer." In such conditions, where the diagnosis is in doubt, especially if the patient has been subjected to repeated attacks of biliary colic, Cholesterinum, he claims, is very satisfactory and at times its action even striking.
Yingling reports the following cases :
Woman, age 60.
- Frequent attacks of gall-stones, involving liver and region of stomach.
- Attacks come suddenly and cease suddenly.
- Pain is pushing in region of gall duct.
- Vomits much odorless hot water.
- Very pale, then became yellow.
- Marked acidity of stomach since last attack.
- Erratic rheumatism ; pain < in damp, rainy weather.
- No appetite ; food nauseates.
- Region of liver sore, sensitive to touch or jar, < lying on the sides.
- Before the attacks profuse urine ; scanty and dark since.
- Tongue coated dirty, yellowish white.
- Heart becomes very weak, can hardly feel pulse.
- Very weak, unable to breathe deeply.
- This woman was practically cured in a year, under various potencies of Cholesterinum, from the 2m. to the dmm.
- Man, age 64, for three years has been passing gall-stones.
- Vomits bile and becomes very yellow.
- Has received Morphine which causes such disastrous after effects that he is away from business nearly a week. With one attack was in bed several weeks, and required a long time after to recover from bad effects.
- Liver, very sensitive and sore ; pressure in front or behind very painful, worse in region of gall duct.
- Bending or any sudden motion aggravates.
- Had severe attacks of ague in Wabash Bottoms when young. Is a large, portly man.
- Cholesterinum 2m. not only promptly relieved acute attacks, but has effected a practical cure.