Inflammation of cardiac lining, pericardium may be acute or chronic. It may co-exist with myocarditis and may produce pericardial effusion that may be fibrous, serous or even purulent or hemorrhagic, depending upon the etiology.
The causes may be viral infections, uraemia, blunt chest injury, myocardial infarction, rheumatic fever, chronic diabetes, tuberculosis or even bacterial infections.
Signs and symptoms-
Restrosternal pain radiating to the shoulders and neck is often the presenting symptom. The pain is mostly aggravated by movement, deep breathing, change of position, exercise, swallowing, etc. Low grade fever and other constitutional symptoms like bodyache, lethargy are common.
Clinically, percarditis can be diagnosed by hearing the pericardial friction rub during the held inspiration and expiration with the stethoscope diaphragm. ST elevation with upward concavity is often diagnostic of pericarditis along with T-wave inversion if myocarditis is also present.
In primary stages it is important to diagnose this condition for any physician to be able to treat efficaciously and not let it convert into chronic constrictive pericarditis.
Homeopathic medicines chosen after minutely considering the characteristic symptoms often help the patient to get relieved in the acute stage itself. Complete rest during the treatment is mandatory. Good, nutritious but light diet is necessary too.
Now let’s see some of the important homeopathic medicines and their application in cases of pericarditis-
(1) Aconite- fever +
- Fear and worry
- Excessive restlessness along with the pain
- Decreasing pulse rate
- Helpful in 200 and higher potencies when symptoms match correctly
(2) Bryonia alba- If pericarditis is coupled with pleural or pericardial effusion
- Post-pneumonic pericarditis
- Excessive irritability during pain
- Pain aggravated by movement (though this is the common symptom of the disease, in Bryonia, this is increased multifold)
- Wants to lie down
- Enhanced cardiac rate
(3) Cimicifuga- If pericarditis is associated with myocarditis
- Thrashing pains as if someone is kicking chest
- More pain towards left side
- Associated with headache and pain in eyes
- Patient is lethargic and giddy
(4) Cactus- Pressing pains as if someone has clasped the heart
- Cannot move due to clutched feeling
- Pain aggravated to a great extent by slightest motion
- Fast pulse rate
- Cannot lie on left side
(5) Digitalis- Reduced heart rate
- Comparatively no severe pains
- Deficient pulse that does not match the cardiac rate
- Fever, fear without restlessness
- Sometimes associated with vomiting, stomach upset, cyanosis
(6) Colchicum- Ailments from rheumatic fever, renal problems
- Inefficient cardiac action
- Excess thirst
- Coated tongue
- Nausea, vomiting
- Little work leads to giddiness
(7) Spigelia- Out of proportion pains
- Pricking type of pains that occur suddenly
- Irregular pulse
- Can sleep only on right side
- Better by lifting the shoulders
- Breathlessness by movement
- Worrisome attitude
These medicines thus should be used according to symptom similarity to be effective. For any type of cardiac pain Mag phos is said to be extremely efficacious when used in 200 or 1000 potency. The biochemic remedies like Calc phos, Kali phos, and Kali mur are also very effective in dealing with such types of cardiac maladies!