Mid-West Hom. News Journal, Nov., 1932.
The typical Graphites patient suffers as a rule from some from of skin trouble. Even when there are no eruptions, the skin is rough, dry and poorly nourished. Every little scratch or abrasion tends to ulcerate and healing takes place slowly. It become raw and irritated in the folds and creases; the hair becomes dry and falls out, especially on the sides of the head; the nails become brittle, thickened and deformed.
The skin everywhere is lacking in pliability. Hence cracks and fissures from, particularly about the body openings, on the edges of the eyelids and in the corners of the eyes, the wings of the nose, the corners of the mouth, behind the ears, about the bowel exit, between the fingers and toes, in the bends of joints and creases everywhere.
Eruptions rang from a simple reddening of skin or herpes to undertones, crusty eczema and chronic, migrating or suppurative erysipelas. Wens and nodosities are also of frequent occurrence.
Although the skin is dry and function of the sweat glands depressed so that the patient seldom perspires, when ever the continuity of the outer skin is broken, a watery, sticky serum oozes forth. As a result the Graphites eruption is wet and sticky, the eczema and other forms of skin manifestations are always moist, accept perhaps in their early stages.
They itch and burn, especially at night and from the warmth of the bd. If removed by external measures, such as zinc ointment or lotions containing Sulphur, internal troubles result, particularly asthma. The graphites asthma many times alternates with some kind of eruption of the skin.
Dryness, then is a general characteristic of this remedy. It affects the mucous membranes as well as the skin. There is painful dryness of the nasal passages, the throat, vagina, and bowel. The reverse may also be true for, in chronic catarrh there may be an increase of the secretions from these parts.
Graphites cures chronic catarrh and foetid ozaena (stink nose) associated with eruptions of the skin; bronchitis and asthma with much rattling of mucus; colitis and proctitis with hard, knotty, mucous-coated stools; and Leucorrhoea (whites) which is thin, watery and acrid and comes in gushes which run down the things.
As a rule, however, the discharge of Graphites are scanty. This is especially true of the menstrual periods, which are delayed, scant and of short duration.
It is said that the discharges of Graphites patient is fat, chilly and costive. The chief causative factor here is the action of this remedy on the heart and blood vessels. At first the flow of blood is quickened and the patients gonorrhoeal tone is apparently unaffected. But this soon give place to weakness, languor, relaxation of tissues and disturbed heart and arteries function, with consequent irregular distribution of blood, pallor of the skin and mucous membranes, hot flushes, easy fainting and general venous plethora.
As with Sepia, Pulsatilla and other vein remedies, sluggish capillary circulation results in faulty nutrition of the skin, varicose veins, numbness of the limbs and other parts and chilliness. Deficient oxygenation of the blood induces giddiness as intoxicated on walking or getting out of bed in the morning, inability to withstand cold and tendency to the formation of unhealthy fat. Relaxation of connective tissue combines with portal engorgement to produce sagging of the abdominal organs, of the womb and other ailments of the female sex organs.
The Graphites patient frequently complains of bearing down as if the womb would protrude through the vagina. But, unlike the Sepia subject, she is not relieved by vigorous exercise. Although she is chilly, gloomy, foreboding and tearful, and her menstrual flow is late and scanty, she differs from the one who needs Pulsatilla in that she is worse in the open air and is seldom without some form of skin affection. Moreover, warmth is usually grateful to her.
But Graphites has a peculiar modality which distinguishes it from Pulsatilla and other similar remedies, namely, relief after eating. This applies to the patient in general but is most strikingly illustrated by its effect in cases of stomach pain and spasmodic asthma. Although there may be hiccough, bitter or putrid belching, nausea, vomiting, headache and other symptoms after a meal, the gnawing, burning or cramping pains in the stomach are relieved at once by talking little a warm food or drink; an asthmatic attack may be stopped, temporarily, by eating a crust of bread.
Symptoms like these mark the essential character of a remedy and enable the physician to prescribe quickly and accurately.