Sulphuric acid. (H2SO4). Dilution. The sulphuric acid of the British Pharmacopoeia contains 90 percent by weight of absolute sulphuric acid; and 10 gr. by weight of this acid mixed with sufficient distilled water to measure 80 minims constitutes the 1x preparation of the British Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia.
SULPHURIC ACID applied in concentrated form induces complete charring of the tissues and a coal-black slough.
In medicinal doses it causes a condition of general weakness, mental and bodily. The mental weakness is shown by irritability and fretfulness, nothing pleases, continuous weeping and complaining, excitability, a feeling of hurry, nothing can be done fast enough, great impatience. The weakness of body is indicated by a feeling of exhaustion and a sensation of tremulousness. It is an internal trembling without actual visible tremor. The weakness is probably accounted for by a depraved condition of the blood, for there are haemorrhages into the skin and from all the orifices of the body, the mouth, nose anus, vagina and urethra and the related mucous surfaces.
Digestive System.-Sulphuric acid produces salivation and aphthae in the mouth, bleeding from the mucous surfaces of the mouth and gums, bleeding from the nose and throat, which is full of aphthae and covered with spreading ulcers, and the tonsils, palate and throat in general are swollen, rendering swallowing difficult and painful. Violent hiccough is caused by it even when administered as an enema. There is excessive acidity of the stomach, acid eructations and looseness of the bowels.
Urine.-It causes increased elimination of sulphates in the urine, and if its administration is long continued an acute parenchymatous nephritis is set up, with albuminuria and fibrinous casts.
The menses are too early and too profuse, with oozing of dark, thin blood.
The face is pale and sickly-looking and sometimes jaundiced. Bruised, burning and shooting pains occur and a pain as of a dull pressure or as if a plug were thrust in. The pains have the unusual characteristics of coming on gradually and ceasing suddenly (*arg. *m. *puls.). There is easy sweating, especially from taking warm food.
Sulphuric acid has been used in the form of a diluent drink in lead poisoning. It has also been used as a caustic, but is less suited for this purpose than nitric and muriatic acids.
Sulphuric acid is suitable for the complaints of debilitated people, especially babies, old people, and women at the climacteric when the characteristic symptoms of the drug are present. These are exhaustion of body and mind, a hurried feeling, tremulousness without actual tremor, and haemorrhages under the skin and from the mucous membranes, to which may be added sweating, diarrhoea, and liability to bruising from slight injury. It is a good remedy for bruises and follows arnica well for bruises of soft tissues, conium for bruises of glands, and ruta for bruises of bones.
Skin.-It is a remedy for purpura and for scurvy. It is good for nodular urticaria and erythema nodosum with itching and pricking, and for old ulcers of the skin that are indolent, have stinging pain and bleed a thin, dark blood. Also for lichen, prurigo and chronic urticaria with itching, tingling and formication. There have been cured by it round syphilitic spots of a bright red colour of the size of a penny, itching and running into one another, sometimes secreting a humour, and situated generally on the upper and inner surface of the thighs, between the shoulders, on the face and the posterior surface of the arms and forearms.
In babies and old people and in very exhausting illnesses with thrush it has proved valuable.
Sulphuric acid is indicated in diphtheria when there is drowsiness and the exudate is abundant, yellowish or white, and there is bleeding from nose and gums; liquids escape through the nose and stringy lemon-yellow mucus hangs from the posterior nares.
In the gastric troubles for which it is suitable there are salivation, acidity and heartburn, sour eructations that set the teeth on edge (robinia); the tongue feels burnt (*iris, *puls., *sang.), there is great thirst but water cannot be tolerated, craving for brandy and fruit, aversion from the smell of coffee and from cold water, violent spasmodic hiccough, and the stomach seems to the patient to hang down relaxed. Warm food causes perspiration.
With the diarrhoea there are great weakness, a sensation of trembling and a weak, tremulous feeling in the abdomen after stool (e.g., in drunkards), also burning in the rectum with the passage of stools that are excoriating, watery, orange coloured, or of stringy mucus and blood, undigested and smelling like rotten eggs.
Sulphuric acid is useful for the debility and neuralgias that result from menorrhagia occurring at the time of the climacteric, and for the flushes at the menopause accompanied by profuse perspiration, mostly on the upper part of the body.
The menses are too soon and too copious, and between times there is a weak feeling in the abdomen as though the menses were about to appear. Nightmares occurring before and after the menses is a peculiar and indicating symptom. Bloody, acrid leucorrhoea may be present.
In the chest complaints sulphuric acid has been employed chiefly in early phthisis, and is indicated by weakness in the chest and great dyspnoea, with rapid movement of the alae nasi (*lyc.); the cough is dry and shaking, and is made worse by the open air, cold drinks and the odour of coffee. Expectoration of dark, thin blood or a yellow blood-stained mucus occurs in the morning. It has been used after pneumonia when there has been haemorrhage from the lungs of the same kind of dark, thin blood and also for pulmonary haemorrhage during the climacteric.
Headache.-A sensation as of something loose in the head (“the brain”) may develop with the weakness, and is worse sitting still indoors; or a unilateral headache may be present.
Nerve Pains.-In old people and in cases debilitated by diarrhoea or haemorrhage neuralgias are common, and sulphuric acid will then be curative if the peculiar modality of the pains be present, viz., that they increase slowly and depart suddenly. The modality is of importance because shared by one other remedy only-argent. met. and occasionally by pulsatilla. In belladonna (and lycopodium) cases the pains begin and end suddenly; with stannum they begin and end gradually; and with colocy they grow gradually more severe. In pulsatilla they may arise and depart either like sulphuric acid or conversely.
Pains in the ear and trigeminal neuralgia, relieved by warmth and by lying on the affected side having the sulph. acid modality, have been cured by it.
(1) Sensation of internal trembling without actual tremor. Weakness and exhaustion.
(2) Pains increase gradually and suddenly cease (see text).
(3) Irritability and the feeling of being in a hurry.
(4) Bruises from slight injury. Long-lasting blue spots.
(5) Profuse, easy perspiration with great debility, especially with flushing at the menopause (*china, *phos., acid.*phos.).
(6) Haemorrhages of dark, thin blood from all outlets (crotal., mur. ac., nitric ac., tereb.)
(7) Sour eructations, causing the teeth to feel on edge.
(8) Violent hiccough (*bry., *cicuta, *hyos., *ignat., *verat., *alb.).
(9) Aphthae (*borax, *nat. *mur., *kali chlor.).
(10)Children smell sour despite washing (*hep., *mag. *carb., *rheum).
(11) Most useful in light-complexioned, debilitated people, babies, old people and women debilitated people, babies, old people and women debilitated by exhausting discharges, and for inebriates.
By touch, chafing, pressure, mechanical injuries, open air, cold, motion, drinking cold water, wine from the odour of coffee, and sitting still indoors (headache).
From rest and warmth (neuralgia).