(From Hippokrates. Translated for The Pacific Coast Journal of Homoeopathy by S. W. Staads.).
WE can connect to what all physicians in their student days learned about quicksilver. In the treatment of syphilis a stomatitis of distinct character is common, unless great care is exercised. Three distinguished marks are characteristic for this Mercury stomatitis : much swelling of the mucous membrane, foul breath and salivation, which symptoms are the warning signals when using the orthodox course of Mercury inunction. No other remedy has these symptoms so pronounced.
The gums are spongy, swollen and bleed easily. There may be pyorrhoea and loosening of teeth. The tongue is also swollen and shows the imprint of the teeth. The mucous membranes are less red, more livid in this condition; the ulcers have a gray base. The tonsils are much swollen, and have a gray, ulcerating coating. In this condition of the mouth and throat it is no wonder that there is an intense, foul odour, which fills the entire room, and is caused by the decomposition of mucus and saliva.
To this is added another typical symptom: constant desire to s wallow in spite of resulting stitching pains. We meet the same tenesmus in Belladonna in which it is, at least partly, caused by the dryness of the mucous membrane aside from the swelling. Contrary to the Belladonna dryness, Mercurius has salivation. Also in other organs there is tenesmus and pointing to the choice of this remedy, viz. urethra and rectum.
When in a diarrhoea there is constant tenesmus not relieved by evacuations, so that patients hardly get away from the toilet, then Mercurius promises a sure cure of the intestinal catarrh. The cause of this tenesmus in the swelling of the mucous membrane. Even if a tumour of the rectum should cause this tenesmus, Stiegele saw relief from this aggravating symptom through Mercury, thus proving the pathological-functional action of quick-silver. A cure of the tumour, of course, is not to be expected by the use of Mercury.
Mercurius solubilis (Mercuramidonitrat NH 2 Hg 3 NO 2) can be considered the prototype of the Mercury preparations in use, and in its remedy picture,it hardly differs from the metallic quick- silver. When the acrid secretions and the spreading of the ulcerating processes become most prominent, which also increases the tenesmus, then Mercurius sublimatus is often preferred. The necrotic action is the basis of its remedial action.
In Mercurius cases we also may expect a chilly and feverish condition; Hahnemann mentions a “Mercurial fever”. The perspirations are peculiar in that they do not relieve, but rather aggravate the patients condition. Therefore, it would be contrary to good practice to make such a patient perspire, and he will soon tell us that he does not like to perspire for it makes him so weak.
These perspirations are usually of bad odour and stain the linen yellow. Furthermore, Mercury has distinct nocturnal aggravations of many symptoms, including the perspirations. If we meet such perspirations we may confidently give Mercury and it will reward the effort, no matter what the disease is diphtheria, bronchitis or arthritis.
All diseased mucous membranes under Mercurius are characterized by swelling and acrid secretions, which later may become bland and muco-purulent. Such secretions are very copious. Therefore, as to the eye, we find acrid lachrymation with spastic lid closure and ulceration; the nose is swollen, and the nostrils are sore with copious watery acrid or muco-purulent secretions.
In infectious urethral processes we again find, aside from swelling and acridity also the painful urging to urinate with the sensation of “not getting done”. In gonorrhoea of the urethra, vagina or rectum Mercurius can be of great benefit. It must also be used when the inguinal glands or testicles are involved. Mercurius iodatus rubber has a very good reputation in the treatment of acute involvement of the adnexa from gonorrhoea or other infection.
Mercurius is also indicated in threatening suppuration of glands or cellular tissue. No other remedy has this quick inflammatory infiltration accompanied by swelling and redness and threatening suppuration, not even Belladonna nor Hepar. The severe swelling from bee sting is edematous, hence of a different kind. Mercury is also a valuable remedy in acutely swollen glands of the neck, and may prevent suppuration. These swollen lymph glands are not especially painful, while Belladonna and Hepar are very sensitive.