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A PROVING OF SARCOLACTIC ACID

William B. GRIGGS

(JAIH. Vol. 59, Nos. 3-4 1966)



         THE ONLY EXCUSE for publishing this Proving, which was begun in 1918, is that it is a new substance proved on healthy human beings, and to partially answer the pertinent question put to me by students who say all the new and advanced preparations in medicine come from the old-school pharmaceutical houses.    Well, that may be true, but here, in Sacrolactic acid, there is something new and useful when properly used, and comes on finally from the HERING Laboratory of the HAHNEMANN Medical College of Philadelphia


         Lactic acid represents one of the three great acids of fermentation, but research work of Van RONKE brought to light the Sarcolactic acid from a chemical physiologic standpoint.  It is apparently formed in muscle tissue during the stage of rigor mortis.  The wonderful use of this substance, which is chemically a type of lactic acid, agrees in all its reactions with fermentation, and must therefore, have the same chemical structure, but it differs from ordinary lactic acid in its relation to polarized light, in as much as it it turns the plane of polarization to the left, whereas ordinary lactic acid is optically inactive.  Hence it is inferred that the two modifications, though chemically identical, differ from one another in physical structure. These instances may not appeal as strongly to the general profession as they will to those who may be interested in physiologic Chemistry.


         Sarcolactic acid represents a much broader and more profoundly deep-acting drug than does the normal lactic acid, and its pathogenesis is quite dissimilar from the normal acid as is its therapeutic value.  I have frequently been astounded by its action in the most violent form of epidemic Influenza, particularly in those few rare cases that began with violent uncontrollable vomiting and retching with the greatest prostration, when Arsenic though apparently well indicated failed.  Here, a second prescription was never necessary in my cases or in those of my co-worker, Dr.O.S.HAINES.  The symptoms here are given in the language of the Prover whenever possible, and the repetition of the symptoms recorded has been done by the Prover because the said group of symptoms were so constantly persistent and he repeated them in his day book.


         The Proving was first conducted by myself, as director of the Hering Laboratory, in the Hering Laboratory at the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia.  The Proving, as presented, represents verifications covering a period of nearly twenty years.  The Provers were carefully examined before the Proving began, by specialists in the various departments, as heart, lungs, eyes, nose and throat, nerves, blood and urine.  The blood picture in one instance at the close of the Proving showed a marked leukopenia.  Curiously, one Prover was not affected in any apparent way by any potency above the second.  The controls in the Proving were used only as checks on the Provers.  The Proving represents the work on nine male and two female Provers and controls.  Several students were forced to discontinue Proving owing to violence of the symptoms.


         Sac. lac. was given for fifteen days before taking the drug to study the Provers’ characteristics.  Potencies used: 4X for two weeks; 6X for two weeks; 15X for three weeks; 30X for one week. Most marked action came while taking 15X.


GENERAL THERAPEUTIC RANGE, SARCOLACTIC ACID


         Sarcolactic acid has proved itself valuable in spinal neurasthenia,  muscular weakness, dysphonea incident to myocardial weakness, vomiting due to the toxemia of Influenza.


GENERAL SYMPTOMS FREQUENTLY CONFIRMED AND PATHOGENIC SYMPTOMS


         A most severe tired feeling with muscular prostration, always aggravated by any exertion progressing to an aching soreness and almost paretic weakness, especially of the muscles of the calves of the legs and the back.  This then extends itself to the thigh muscles which feel very sore.  Following this, there comes a cramp feeling in the calves going on to a tightness which persists and which was accompanied in two Provers by a severe contraction of the throat muscles, and in two others by extrteme sensitiveness of the dental nerves.  Both mind and body seemed to present weakness.


MIND AND NERVOUS SYMPTOMS


        All Provers except one experienced a tired weak feeling, worse on exertion.  “Feeling of extreme weakness and trembling on climbing stairs”; “Tired feeling at end of the day, accompanied by great weakness and trembling of the whole body”; “Tired feeling upon getting  up in the morning”; “Tired, dull feeling, with restlessness at night”’ “Tired feeling all over”; “Lazy, dopey feeling with no ambition”; “Sore feeling”; “Hard to get up in the morning; must push himself to keep going”; “Drowsy, lazy, tired feeling”; “Soreness all over the body, worse in afternoon.”  when the tired feeling would wear off it was followed in a number  of cases by a depressed feeling with a lack of energy, or, again, by one man feeling “discouraged, irritable, easily offended and hurt.”


SLEEP


         These conditions were manifested early in the Proving, and were marked when they did occur.  One Prover, who previous to the  taking of the drug was restless at night, slept better and became less restless. “Tired feeling upon getting up in the morning”; “Restlessness at night, and very easily awakened, very unusual”  “Restless at night, and kicks around”’’ “Difficulty in getting to sleep”’  “Sleep full of dreams, unconnected”; “Takes a longer time to get to sleep”; “Hard to get up; weakness in the morning”; result of absolute physical weakness, not laziness. 


THROAT


         Usually during the period when the aching soreness in the limbs was most severe these throat symptoms appeared.  “Gagging during the night, with cough; better in the morning”; “Glands of neck feel sore”; “Tickling in throat.”  Constriction, in Pharynx seemed to be all central; constriction which made it hard to swallow; the Pharynx appeared dry, accompanied by a cough at night, was typically croupy sounding, throat is very sore, better during the day, worse at night, and accompanied by a slight coryza, frontal headache, and nerve twitchings.  “Sore throat, with tightness in Naso-Pharynx; sense of dryness.”


STOOL


         Slight diarrhea.  One Prover subject to constipation reported his bowels more regular, and stool with less urging. “Severe headache over the eyes, relieved by bowel movement.”


STOMACH


         Stomach symptoms were not marked in many of the Provers, except those of Nausea. “Dullness and heaviness in the epigastrium, as of a lump”: “Nausea accompanying aching in tooth, always sore, cramp pain in the umbilical region, at 9:00 P.M., accompanied by dull, aching, congestive pain over the vertex”; “Feels nauseated.”  During the Proving of the 15X, everything was vomited, even water, followed by extreme weakness.  Several students ceased Proving here.


BACK


         As a sequence to the first muscular pains, there developed in all Provers pains of various kinds in the back.  “Stiffness between the  shoulder blades, worse on standing”:  “Aching soreness in the kidney region”; “Pain, aching and soreness over both scapulae”; “Pain in lumbar region after dinner”; accompanied by “severe soreness in the same region”; “Sharp stitch in shoulder muscles came on after very slight exertion, merely movement from shaking a bottle would induce this pain.”  Several Provers developed a more severe aching weakness in the neck and shoulder, amounting to almost paralytic weakness.


EXTREMITIES


         Of all the symptoms, these appeared as the most prominent; eight out of the nine men experienced during the general course they took: “Stiffness of the calves, worse from ascending stairs”’ “Soreness in the limbs; feels weak; legs give out on going up stairs, so that Prover went on his knees”; “Aching feeling in the thighs and calves, especially pain in the muscles below the left knee”;  “Nerves in certain localized areas, such as thigh and above the elbow, twitch and jerk”; “Wrist tires easily from writing”; “Suffers a sort of stiff cramp in the calf muscles, increased from walking down stirs”; “Numbness and tingling in joints of fingers, painful on flexion”’ “Soreness in calves, coming on suddenly and going suddenly”; “Feeling of extreme weakness on climbing stairs”;  “Aching pain in the right thigh muscles just above the knee”: “Cramps, particularly bad in the right thigh after getting up from sitting”; “Constant nerve twitching in the right inguinal region, producing a dull sensation all over the groins, aggravated from any exertion.”  Toward the close of the Proving there developed stiffness in the thigh and calf muscles, with a feeling of numbness as of pins and needles pricking. “Arms feel as if they had no strength in them,” noticed mostly in the morning when raising them to comb the hair.


URINE


         High colored, scanty traces of Albumin, the Prover ceased when this was discovered; pulse rapid, 84, became very rapid on slight exertion, 120. No change in blood pressure.

This drug may be compared with Rhus tox., Carbolic acid, Glycerine, Psorinum, Muriatic acid, Kali carb., Stannum.

         Vomiting - Compare with Arsenic, Cadmium, Sulphur.

         Weakness _ Compare with Stannum, Kali carb., Muriatic acid and Arsenic.

         A few clinical cases and clinical remarks may show the depth of action, and the therapeutic place for this drug.


Case 1: Mrs. H.A very stout, flabby woman about fifty-six years of age, active mentally, but was prostrated  and weak physically; complains of dyspnea, a palpitation on climbing one flight of stairs; no valvular lesion, but very weak myocardial impulse, could not hold her arms up long enough to comb her hair; this had continued for over a year.  After a minute’s combing the hair, arm would give out and fall to her side.  She has received  Calcarea, Stannum, Arsenic iodide,  and Ammonia carb., with practically no  benefit.  After the use of Sarcolactic acid  she climbs stairs with apparently no exertion.  The weakness in her arms has practically disappeared and the myocardial impulse has much improved.  (Presented by Dr. O. S. HAINES.) This case was treated by Dr. O. S. HAINES.


Case 2: Miss F., seventeen years old, stricken with a severe attack of epidemic influenza,suffering most severe pains in the back and limbs, with tremulous weakness of the arms, violent, constant vomiting of everything, even pure water; no marked thirst.  Vomited matter finally became green, watery, and occasionally brownish and bloody, progressively getting worse.  Sarcolactic acid acid stopped this attack without repetition.


Case 3:  Probably one of the most remarkable cures, to my knowledge, under Sarcolactic acid, or any other remedy that I have used in years was a patient, an old man past eighty years, profoundly weak with typical Jaundice, marked failing with Mercury, Chelidonium and Phosphorus. Sarcolactic acid cleared up the Jaundice and the chemist who examined the urine reported negative albumin after six weeks.  This man declares he arose to another life.  The muscle fatigue led me to try the remedy – with  happy results.


I am sure of my given records, and Dr. Oliver Sloan HAINES of Philadelphia can report some marvelous results with this drug in the curing of muscular fatigue.  The profession is asked to put it to the test, and report their failure as well as their successes; only in this way can we determine what is curative in a proven remedy.  I wish here to tender my sincere thanks to the students of the Proving squad who stuck to me during the many trying ordeals necessary to give the profession these therapeutic hints.


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