Hydrochloric Acid. (HCL). Dilutions. Ten minims of the acidum hydrochloricum of the British Pharmacopoeia (containing 31.79 per cent. of hydrochloric acid gas by weight) mixed with 21 minims of distilled water make the 1x attenuation of the British Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia. Attenuations after the 2x are made with dilute alcohol.
HYDROCHLORIC OR MURIATIC ACID is less corrosive than nitric and sulphuric acids causes blistering of the skin rather then necrosis. It stains mucous membranes white. Poisonous doses cause convulsions with opisthotonos. Local erosions occur, such as blistering and excoriation of the buccal and pharyngeal mucous membranes and the mucous membrane of the oesophagus and stomach. In smaller but material doses there result salivation, a feeling of warmth in the stomach, flushing of the face as if intoxicated, increase in the flow of urine and a quick, feeble pulse. Muriatic acid in these doses increases the peristalsis of the stomach and lessens excessive intestinal putrefaction, as confirmed by a diminution of the double sulphates in the urine. In the proportion of 1 in 1,000 it prevents lactic fermentation. It increases the coagulability of the blood and renders it prone to disorganization. It produces a general, low, adynamic state of the system.
These pathogenetic effects, though somewhat meagre, define fairly accurately the province for the medicinal use of muriatic acid, and it has been further extended by symptoms gathered from clinical cases in which it has been successfully employed.
It is especially adapted to weak states of the body with disorganization of the blood, characterized especially by great muscular prostration, such states as occur in low fevers, continued fevers where there is extreme prostration, like malignant scarlet fever, typhoid fever, typhus, diphtheria, and low types of remittent fever. The adynamia in these fevers is shows by the patient lying in a stupid semiconscious state and yet being restless, by his great muscular weakness allowing him to be constantly slipping down towards the end of the bed, by his sore mouth, wide open on account of the weakness of the masseters. The lips are dry and cracked, the tongue shrivelled and semi-paralysed, the mouth sore, with bleeding aphthous patches, swallowing is difficult and accompanied with choking, the breath is foul, there are watery, acrid, offensive, involuntary discharges from the bowel, involuntary passage of urine, and a tendency to bedsores.
Mouth and Throat.-The diphtheria for which muriatic acid is suitable is when the fauces are dark red, almost violet, and the throat is spotted over with dead-white deposit. The attempt to swallow causes pain and choking. It would be more suitable for conditions of the throat resembling diphtheria than true diphtheria, though cases of the latter have been reported cured by it. In addition to these fevers muriatic acid is useful for the aphthous sore mouth of infants, and in the similar condition of mouth occurring in the last stages of wasting disease, and also for mercurial sore mouth when there is bleeding from the gums and the teeth fall out.
It is also used for indurated ulcers of the tongue with fungating edges, and for epithelioma of that organ.
Beside these severe affections muriatic acid is a remedy for complaints of a milder type, but there should always be a tendency to muscular weakness or prostration. It is indicated for patients in whom the following symptoms are present:-
Mind and Head.-The patient is taciturn, does not wish to speak on account of the exertion that it involves, he is irritable, peevish and inclined to anger (bry., cham., nux vom.), he has headache, like a heavy weight in the occiput, which is relieved in the cold open air, and giddiness with a whirling before the eyes causing dimness of sight, there is soreness of the scalp and a sensation as if the hair was standing upright. Vertical hemiopia is often present.
Digestion.-The mouth is sore, perhaps ulcerated, and bleeds and feels glued up with sticky mucus. The patient is averse to meat (nit.acid) but craves stimulants (ars., lach., nux, sulph.) and has a sensation of emptiness at the pit of the stomach, which is not ameliorated by eating, together with rumbling in the bowels and pinching pains below the umbilicus, followed by diarrhoea, more or less involuntary, of foetid, fluid stools that cause cutting pains during defecation and burning afterwards. This pain is partly due to piles, which are present in purple clusters, which bleed, itch extremely and burn when touched. They are so sensitive that the patient has to lie with his legs wide apart and cannot bear the touch of the bedclothes. The piles are relieved by warm applications and are made worse by cold bathing (aloes the opposite).
Urine.-There is weakness of the bladder with frequent desire to pass water, but difficulty in starting the flow, so that the patient has to strain, and when doing so the rectum protrudes and some fluid or faeces may escape through the anus.
The symptoms in the genital organs indicating muriatic acid are impotence, itching of the scrotum, not relieved by scratching; ulcers on the female genitals, with putrid discharge and intolerance of the slightest touch. The menses are too soon and too profuse and there is leucorrhoea with backache.
In the chest the only symptoms are oppression of the chest, shortness of breath and rattling breathing after drinking. In intermittents there is thirst during the chill and thirstlessness during the fever, or the chill and fever stages are intermingled, with febrile shivering all over the body; there may be yawning and stretching of the limbs, and rigors without thirst and without fever following.
The hearing may be overacute to the voice or there are hardness of hearing and buzzing or loud cracking sounds.
The muscular prostration, which is such a marked feature of muriatic acid, precedes and is greater than the mental prostration. This is the reverse of what occurs with phosphoric acid, in which the mental prostration takes precedence. It is pronounced in all the muscles of the body but especially in the muscles of the thighs; there is, nevertheless, restlessness, and any muscular pains are better from walking if patient is strong enough to take this exercise. It has been used medicinally to cure the muscular weakness that follows the excessive use of opium. Swelling of the right tendo Achillis is a symptom of muriatic acid (valerian).
Skin.-Muriatic acid has been given for scaly eruptions on the skin, for carbuncles and putrid ulcers on the lower parts of the legs that have burning pains in their margins and are covered with scabs. There are often deadness and numbness in the forehead and fingers.
It has been of service in liver complaints, such as enlargement and tenderness of the liver, associated with vertigo that is worse from lying on the right side. It should be thought of in some tropical, hepatic conditions.
1) Extreme prostration, the muscular taking the precedence of the mental.
2) Diseases in which the blood tends to alternation and disorganization, such as septic and adynamic fevers, where shivering predominates and delirium is quiet and muttering.
3) Tendency to incontinence of urine and faeces and to bedsores.
4) Tongue is dry, shrivelled and trembling.
5) Great sensitiveness to touch (piles and inflamed and ulcerated parts).
6) Oversensitiveness of all senses.
7) Restlessness accompanies prostration.
8) Pains are relieved by movement.
9) Escape of stool on straining to pass water (aloes).
10) Affections, especially in the regions of the mouth and anus (ac. nitric). Aphthae, mercurial sore mouth. Piles.
11) Discharges are liable to be foetid.
12) Persons with black hair and dark eyes.
From touch, cold washing, cold drinks, rest(muscular pains), after sleep, when perspiring, lying on the right side (vertigo), after eating (diarrhoea).
From warmth, and warm bathing, uncovering (during fever), after drinking, walking (muscular pains and headache), cold air (headache).