It was one of Dr. Younan’s “Hints” especially applicable to-day in the somewhat trying conditions in which we exist, which drew one’s attention to Ammonium carb. for the cough that may be left by Influenza; which should yield to Bryonia, but may fail to do
He says. “Since my own experience with Ammonium-carbonicum I have used in many cases, especially those of children, with much success. It has cured the cough of Influenza when everything else has failed, and I have more than once not found it necessary to give a second dose.”
Ammonium carb. is a remedy of severe, if not desperate, conditions; one of very great value, but where, having no personal experience, we shall call upon some of our best prescribers to paint its Drug picture for us. On first trying to envisage it, it seemed a bit vague and colourless: but as one persevered, it grew in luminosity, till it assumed definite and unmistakable proportions: while its very vagueness and want of definition as regards symptoms, seem to have led to its successful prescribing. Its salient features are : want of energy, power, strength, tone. Typical Ammonium carb. is weak, tired, played out, mind and body: sometimes without a single apparent or disease to account for the condition : or it may come in at the end of serious and (with out its stimulus) fatal illnesses.
When one studies a little-regarded drug, it is astonishing how often the very patient who needs it, appears on the scene; or how one remembers just the very patient, of long ago, who might have benefited by it. For instance somebody, ill for months, generally in bed, with what is diagnosed (so her people say) “heart failure”–” degenerated heart”–a healthy and energetic middle- aged woman, puts up the Ammonium carb. condition, and ought to cure rapidly. She is “absolutely in despair and cannot go on like this!”–and is, as is so often the case, coming to see whether Homoeopathy can again score one of its triumphs. It should!
Ammonium carb. is one of Hahnemann’s remedies; see his Chronic Diseases. He found it useful where the mental condition was one of fearfulness, disobedience, want of docility, loathing of life: uneasiness, anxiety, weakness.
Chronic headache, as if something would get out at the forehead; hammering headache.
Burning or coldness in eyes. One of the remedies of cataract.
Itching in ear, in nose. Pustules and boils on nose, and nose- bleed especially on washing, in a.m. (all the authorities make a point of this symptom).
Looseness of teeth. Sore, raw throat.
Rawness and burning, oesophagus, after a meal; headache and nausea after a meal. Giddiness during a meal, unconquerable desire to eat sugar. Plenty of stomach symptoms include pain, heartburn, pain in stomach when stretching oneself.
Shortness of breath: asthma, cough–with hoarseness, the body being warm. Cough from tickling in throat: by day : by night; stitches in small of back when coughing. Burning in chest: stitches in chest.
Pain in wrist joint where sprained long ago. Warts. Burning stitches and tearing in corns.
Drowsy by day: sleepless by night. Heat in head with cold feet.
These are merely Hahnemannian extracts, showing to some extent the range of drug action of Ammonium carb. By the way, the salt is triturated, and then the potencies are run up. Hahnemann also says:
“This drug is especially suitable to adynamic, weak, nervous, venous or lymphatic constitutions: to individuals of a torpid phlegmatic, melancholy temperament, to people leading a sedentary life, and to the female organism; in persons who are easily impressed, but react slightly and for a short time; when there is laxity of fibre, disposition to lymphatic accumulation, accumulation of mucus and fat; and to nervous affections.
“It is remarkable that ammonium should be useful against a tendency to gangrene, and that cancerous and mortifying ulcers should evolve a large quantity of ammonium: that ammonium should play an important part in the affections of the sexual organs of the female and that a considerable quantity of ammonium should be evolved through the skin during menstruation; and, lastly, that ammonium should relieve the symptoms of poisoning by fungi, and that ammonium should be a characteristic constituent of these growths. It is well known that a similar relation exists between the itch and sulphur: that the itch vesicle smells of sulphur, and that sulphur is a specific against the itch.”
One notices that many of the symptoms of Ammonium carb. are worse while, or after eating: “the stomach feels over-loaded for hours after eating.” It is worse for cold, wet weather: for washing (Sulphur); during menses. It is better in dry weather; when lying on the painful side, or on the abdomen.
Among other trials, it has itching at anus, and haemorrhoids which bleed and protrude.
It affects especially the right side: and its bad hour is 3 a.
All the rest one gets, emphasized, in the following extracts and quotations.
BLACK, LETTER SYMPTOMS
Sense of oppressive fullness, pushing as if FOREHEAD would burst.
Nosebleed : when washing hands or face in a. m. NOSE bleeds from left nostril.
Stoppage, nose, mostly at night : must breathe through mouth.
A good deal of hunger and appetite. Rabid HUNGER: yet she is immediately satiated after having eaten little.
Heat in the face, during and after dinner.
One of the best remedies in emphysema.
Cough at night: every morning at 3 a.m.; dry cough from tickling of throat, as of dust.
Right ARM appeared to weigh a hundredweight, and to be without strength.
Spasm in right arm, which drew it backwards.
Panaritium: finger inflamed; deep-seated periosteal pain.
Better for external pressure: headache better: constrictive pain in stomach better: pain in bowels better.
Body red, as if covered with scarlatina
Malignant scarlatina with somnolence, etc.
Body feels bruised.
NASH, quoting Guernsey, says: Delicate women who faint easily and want smelling salts around them most of the time. Weak; with deficient reaction; generally of the lymphatic temperament. Want stimulants, especially such as act through olfactory nerves– Ammonia, Camphor, Musk, Alcohol, etc. A good remedy to excite reaction in the first onset of such a suddenly prostrating disease as cerebro-spinal meningitis. Good for dry, stuffed coryza, acute or chronic; patient is worse at night, has to breathe with mouth open. Very useful in scarlatina, body very red, almost bluish red, and the throat seems the centre where the force of the disease seems to be expended in malignant intensity. The eruption is faintly developed, from inability, owing to weakness, of vitality to keep it on the surface (Zinc). Ailanthus is also comparable here.
We will cull also from FARRINGTON-sketchily.
Vital powers are weakened. Haemorrhages of a dark fluid blood appear. There is degeneration of blood tissue. Muscles become soft and flabby, teeth loosen and decay, and gums recede and ulcerate.
Its symptoms in uraemia are very important, and are not only characteristic in uraemia, but in any other disease in which this remedy may be indicated: as in scarlatina, also in heart disease. They are: somnolence or drowsiness with rattling of large bubbles in lungs; grasping at flocks; bluish or purplish hue of lips from lack of oxygen in blood, and brownish colour of tongue. Its nearest analogue here is Antimonium tart. (Arnica also, in typhoid states.)
With much symptoms remember Ammonium carb. for oedema of lungs and emphysema.
To be remembered also for poisoning by charcoal fumes.
It is useful in the beginning of cerebro-spinal meningitis: when patient is stricken by the violence of the poison, and falls into a stupid, non-reactive state. He is cold, and the body surface is cyanotic. Pulse weak. In just such cases Ammonium carb. will bring about reaction.
Useful again in dilatation of heart. Patient suffers going up stairs, or up hill: suffers intolerably in a hot room. There is often a cough with bloody sputum. Palpitation, dyspnoea and retraction of epigastrium. Perhaps cyanosis.
In pneumonia with great debility, with symptoms pointing to a heart clot.
Indicated in chronic bronchitis, with atony of bronchial tubes, favouring emphysema. Copious accumulation of mucus in lungs, dilatation of bronchial tubes, and oedema pulmonum. He is weak, sluggish in movements, coughs continually, raises with difficulty or not at all. May be drowsy, delirious, muttering.
Then, scarlatina (all the authors speak of this). It is rather a malignant type. Throat swollen internally and externally glands enlarged, bluish or dark red swelling of tonsils. In addition to swelling of cervical lymphatics, inflammation of the cellular tissues.
Then the characteristic obstructed nose, particularly at night. The child starts from sleep as if smothering;or has to lie with its mouth wide open, to breathe. Enlargement often of the right parotid gland. Like Apis: but Apis has more oedema, for instance, of the uvula.
Lastly, to epitomize KENT. “If we were practising in the old- fashioned way and considered the wonderfully volatile nature of Ammonium carb. in some of its forms, we would only look upon it as an agent to relieve faintness. and use it in the form of hartshorn to comfort old maids and some other women. But it is a deep-acting, constitutional medicine, an antipsoric. It effects a rapid blood changes: it disturbs the whole economy. Its fluids are all acrid. The acrid saliva excoriates the lips, so that they crack in corners and middle, and become raw, dry, scabby.
Eyelids fester and become dry and cracked from the excoriating fluids. The stool is acrid and excoriates. There is rawness from acrid menstrual discharge and leucorrhoea. Wherever there is an ulcer the fluids that ooze excoriate the parts around.
It bleeds black blood, often fluid, that will not coagulate. Skin mottled, intermingled with great pallor.
It has violent action on the heart: there is violent, audible pulsation, worse for every motion. Strange that the ancients knew that Ammonium carb. would overcome difficult breathing from cardiac attacks. (When indicated, the single dose, very high, is enough.) He says, the ancients used Ammonium carb. in the low from of pneumonia: it had a homoeopathic relation to some of the cases. Once in a while they would cure the awful stage of prostration with heart failure at the end of pneumonia, and because they relieved such a one, it was established as a remedy for all future use.
It has a state analogous to blood poisoning (as in erysipelas, and malignant scarlet fever), with prostration and great dyspnoea, as if heart were giving out: with patchy surface, dusky and puffy face.
Enfeebled weak heart: absence of symptoms : lack of response to remedies. Patient has to lie in bed and do nothing, for palpitation and difficult breathing on motion.
Such a case, he says, furnished me much amusement for a year and a half. There was a woman, who answered this description. Her state was one of peculiar weakness with dyspnoea and palpitation on motion. I had been treating her, but had not fully studied the case, and as she did not progress, she was put under an able neurologist for a “rest cure”. She was to be well in six weeks, but as, then, she was worse than ever, a heart specialist was called in to examine her. The heart was not vigorous, but there was no organic affection. Then a lung specialist, and all kinds of other specialists, to investigate fully all her organs: but there was nothing the matter with them; yet the poor woman could not walk because of her sufferings and palpitating heart. After three months, steadily failing, Dr. Kent was called to see her again. The case was extremely vague, with nothing but those few symptoms. “Finally I settled on Ammonium carb., and she has been on this remedy for eighteen months: one dose helping her from six weeks to two months. She now climbs mountains, and does everything she want to do. This shows how deeply this remedy acts.”
Exhaustion, every M. P. An attack like cholera coming the first day of each M. P. There may be exhaustion with vomiting, coldness, blueness, sinking dyspnoea. (Veratrum)
Its asthma has this peculiarity, worse in a warm room, till suffocates; as if he would die for want of breath. Yet the headache and bodily complaints are worse from cold.
Bones ache: ache as if they would break. Teeth ache violently from change of weather, or of temperature in the mouth. Hair falls out; nails become yellowish; gums receded from teeth and bleed: scorbutic, or scrofulous constitution.
Hysteria: nervous women carry a bottle of ammonia hanging to their chain. A great similarity between the symptoms of this drug and snake poisonings–where it has a great reputation.
Many complaints from bathing.
In diphtheria and chest troubles, worse after sleep. (Very like Lachesis in many of its symptoms.)
Seems as if all her inner parts were raw and sore.
Full of catarrhal symptoms and cough; rattling of mucus all through chest. Oppression of breathing. A catarrhal dyspnoea. Hypostatic congestion of lungs: chest filling up with mucus difficult to expel. Coldness, prostration and weakness of chest.
Worse 3 a. m.; wakes with cold sweat and difficult breathing. Almost pulseless. Face pale and cold.
“Heart failure. Patient got on well, then the heart failed.” Here Ammonium carb., given in time, would save life.