DRUGS elicit queer and characteristic symptoms, mental and physical, from their provers: and when these match the queer and characteristic symptoms, mental and physical, of sick persons, they cure. The nearer the correspondence, the more certain the cure.
Argentum nitride,-silver nitrate-is the “devils stone” or “hell- stone” of Old School, which has not much use for it, except as Lunar caustic; because in allopathic doses, or when accidentally swallowed during the process of cauterizing the throat, it has turned people permanently blue-a condition known as “argyria.” With us it is a most precious remedy, and no other can take its place.
The earlier proving of Argentum nitricum, given in Allen’s Encyclopedia are, as we shall see chiefly concerned with its physical symptoms, which are very definite and suggestive, and have led to splendid curative work in stomach conditions, etc. But other provings, given in Hering’s Guiding Symptoms, bring out its interesting and unique mental peculiarities; and these are our most precious indications for its use.
Remedies, as we Homoeopaths learn to realize them, step forth as personalities. They haunt us in ‘bus and tram, and confront us in our patients. they become creatures of temperaments- mental and physical. They have likes and dislikes, cravings and aversions: Sensitiveness to meteoric conditions, as well as to human intercourse and environment. We realize their terrors, real or imaginary-their strange obsessions. And in measure as this is so, we are able to apply them with success for the relief of persons of like idiosyncrasies and distresses.
Silver nitrate is a remedy of very vivid personality, quite unlike all others. It has such strange weaknesses and self- tormentings!-and knowing it so well, and having experienced it splendid power to help, it may seem a strange thing to say, but one regards it with something like affection.
Old School has no conception of the wonderful power to strengthen and to comfort, of this remedy. Its mental and intellectual distresses are great.
Let KENT, in his vivid way, detail for us some of the mental inwardness of Argentum nit. which we must condense. He describes, “disturbances in memory-disturbances in reason.” He says, “Argentum nit is irrational: dies strange things, and comes to strange conclusions: does foolish things.
“He is tormented by the inflowing of troublesome thoughts, which torment him till he is in a hurry and fidget, and he goes out and walks and walks and the faster he walks the faster he things he must walk, and he walks till fatigued. He has an impulse that he is going to have a fit-or that he is going to have a sickness. A strange thought comes into his mind that if he goes past a certain corner of the street he will create a sensation perhaps fall down in a fit: and to avoid that he will go round the block. He avoids going round that corner, for fear he will do something strange.
“There is an inflowing of strange thoughts into his mind. In crossing a bridge, or high place-the thought that he might kill himself-or jump off, or what if he should jump off: and sometimes the actual impulse comes to jump off that bridge into the water. When looking out of a high window, the thought comes into his head, what an awful thing it would be to jump out of that window; and sometimes the impulse comes to actually jump out.
“There is a fear of death-the over-anxious state that death is near (Acon). When looking forward to something he has to do, or has promised to do, or in expectoration of things, he is anxious. When about to meet an engagement, he is anxious. Breaks into a sweat with anxiety when going to a wedding-to the opera-to church, the anxiety is attended with fear-even to diarrhoea (Gelsemium)
“So we have a wonderfully queer medicine.
“Mental exhaustion, headaches, nervous excitement and trembling, and organic troubles of heart and liver; in business men, students, brain workers, in those subject to long excitement, in actors who have kept up a long time the excitement of appearing well in public.
“Like Pulsatilla, Argentum nit wants cold air, cold drinks, cold things. Suffocates in a warm room. Cannot go to church or the opera, midst stand at home. Dreads a crowd, dreads certain places.
“And then the physical side. Full of ulceration-especially in internal parts, and mucous membranes. Kent says this tendency to ulcerate seems rather strange; peculiar that it should have in its pathogenesis such a tendency, when the Old School has been using it to cauterize ulcers, and yet it heals them up. It has cured prolonged and almost inveterate ulceration of the stomach, when there has been vomiting of blood.
Do not forget that this medicine is one of the most flatulent medicines in the books. He is distended to burning; gets scarcely and relief from passing flatus or eructations.
“Desires sugar: feels he must have it and it makes him sick. He cannot digest it’; it acts like physic and brings on diarrhoea. So marked is the aggravation from sugar that the nursing infant will get a green diarrhoea if the mother eats candy.” Kent gives a case where nothing helped the baby” till he fund out that the mother ate candy-her husband brought her home a pound of candy every day. The baby did not get well’ till it got Argentum nit., and the mother stopped eating candy.
“Argentum, nit. has the most intense eye symptoms: catarrhal. ulcerative; to opacities of cornea. But all,. worse for heat and relieved by cold. Profuse purulent discharge from lids.”
NASH quotes Allen and Norton in regard to eyes. “The greatest service that Argentum nitricum performs is in purulent ophthalmia. With a large experience in both hospital and private practice, we have not lost of a single eye from this disease, and every one has been treated with internal remedies, most of them with Argentum nitricum of a high potency, 30th or 200th. We have witnessed the most intense chemosis, with strangulated to get hazy and looking as though it would slough, subside rapidly under Argentum nitricum internally. The subjective symptoms are almost none. Their very absence, with the profuse purulent discharge, and the swollen lids from a collection of pus in the eye, or swelling of the sub-conjunctival tissue of the lids themselves, indicates the drug.” (*One may say that such a case, in a child, during the 1914-18War, with Argentum nit.200 and bathing the eye with normal saline, was amazingly better the next day, and soon well. This was impressed on one’s memory, since eye cases have seldom come one’s way)
Argentum nit has some peculiar physical symptoms:Stick in the throat sensation (Hepar, etc. ) simultaneous vomiting and purging- “gushing both ways ” like Arsenicum.
All these things, Argentum nitricum has caused, and can(and has) cured.
Now for more of the physical symptoms, extracted from allen’s Encyclopedia.
“Anxiety which makes him walk rapidly.
Vertigo, general debility of limbs and trembling.
Headache relieved by binding something tightly round head.
Ophthalmia: better cool open air, intolerable inward room.
Ophthalmia with intense pains.
Grey spots and bodies in shape of serpents move before vision.
The canthi are red as blood:The caruncula lachrymals is swollen. Stands out of the corner of the eye like a lump of red flesh; clusters of intensely red vessels extend from the inner canthus to the cornea.
The conjunctiva is puckered and interstitial distended. Vanishing of slight. Must constantly wipe off the mucus which obstructs vision.
Sickly appearance. Appearance of old age.
Pain in teeth:worse when chewing-eating sour things-cold things.
Painful red tip to tongue.
Rawness throat. Rawness and soreness.
Thick tenacious mucus in throat.
Sensation as if a splinter were lodged in throat when swallowing.
Uvula and fauces dark red.
Irresistible desire for sugar.
Nausea after eating.
Constant nausea, and frequent efforts to vomit.
Vomiting and diarrhea with violent colicky pain.
Desire to vomit, with sensation as if head were in a vice.
After yawning, sensation as if stomach would burst. Wind presses upwards.
Painful swelling in pit of stomach with great anxiety.
Abdomen swollen and distended, with much flatulence.
A slight colic wakes him from uneasy slumbers, and he has sixteen evacuations of greenish, very foetid mucus, with a quantity of noisy flatus.
Four evacuations of green mucus, with retching, vomiting of mucus.
(After having eaten sugar greedily in the evening, he was attacked with) scanty, watery diarrhoea about midnight, accompanied with flatulent colic, and much noisy flatulence during the evacuation.
Violent diarrhea, like spinach flakes.
Palpitation and irregular action of heart.
Staggering and paralytic heaviness of lower limbs.
Rigidity in calves:great debility and weariness in calves, can scarcely walk.
Tremulous weakness. Trembling and tremulous sensation.
Peculiar discoloration of skin, from grey-blue, violet or bronze- coloured tinges to the real black.
Skin brown, tense, hard.
As said, Argentum nit is one of the great remedies for the terrors of anticipation. It has Examination funk. Its nervousness in anticipation of a coming ordeal will go as far as diarrhoea- (Gelsemium).One of our doctors makes great play with his “:Funk Pills”-Argentum Nit. The Anticipation remedies are rather scattered through Kent’s repertory, but we have collected the following, which should be inserted as rubric.
ARG-NIT., Arsenicum, Carbo veg., GELS., Lycopodium, Medorrhinum, Plb., phosphorus a., SIL.
Arg nit. has also claustrophobia. Wants the end seat in a pew: to be near the door in church or theatre needs an easy escape. :Even in the street the slight of high houses always made him giddy and caused him to stagger: it seemed as if the houses on both sides would approach and crush him.” Arg-nit cannot look down-and cannot look up.
Here are some cured symptoms. When walking becomes faint with anxiety, which makes him walk faster.” Often wakes his wife or child, to have someone to talk to.” “Fears to be along, because he thinks he will die.” ” When walking becomes faint with anxiety, which makes him walk the faster.” “When walking, fears he will have a fit, or die, which makes him swell, faster.” “Distressing idea that all his undertaking must and would fail.” “Does not work thinking it will do him harm, or that he is not able to stand it.” “Fears, m if passing a certain corner or building that he will drop down and create and sensation; is relieved by going in another direction. ”
A poor little school girl of six in such terrors of anticipation that, when the school bell rang, she put her head in her hands, and vomited. Argentum nit. finished that trouble promptly and entirely, and sent her happily to school, to do well there.
A wee boy of 4 3/4 was curiously ill-mentally. The history was: Measles before he was two; then double pneumonia and (?) meningitis. He “rolled his head:” and had evidently marked opisthotonos (“was bent like a bow, backwards, between head and heels”) “When he began to walk, walked backwards” Now had “terrible nights, with much screaming,” and “mad” attacks by day. Was in terror of his father, by night-“Daddy might look at me!” He said of people. “They make me bleed, and I’ll make them bleed.” He said the next house was “going to fall on him”: that “the clouds were coming down on him” Great fear of noise.
The first medicine did not help much. But, after a couple of doses of Argentum nit., the next report was.” very much better. Lost the things coming down on him. Fears all gone.” Later he needed a few doses of Belladonna, and then its “:chronic” Calcarea” and ion a few months he was well and normal. But for a wee boy to put up such a plea for Argentum nitricum, by such very peculiar and characteristic symptoms, was curious.
Homoeopathy can do wonderful things in making children happy and normal.
A youthful dyspeptic, with almost daily severe flatulence and bursting sensations, worse for afternoon tea and long into the night, relieved protem by either Pulsatilla or Carbo veg., but always recurring, took Arg-nit. in potency. Results, the gastric symptoms ceased to trouble, in fact,. never again did trouble to the same extent. Puls and Carbo vegetabilis had been palliative only- Arg-nit. had proved curative.
But, the Arg-nit having proved such a boon, was continued for some to me, till a new, most distressing symptom appeared numbness in the forearms at night. The wristbands of the nightdress had to be cut, everything pulled away from arms; nothing must touch or press them. This was only a proving of Argentum nitricum, and, when this was discontinued, was soon forgotten, never to recur. Since when, when patients have, from time to time, complained of such numbness in the arms at night,Argentum nit. has cured them.
The symptom is found in Clarke’s Dictionary., He says, “In a proving by myself, one of the most marked symptoms was a kind of numb sensitiveness of the arms-a hyperaesthetic-anesthetic state; increased sensitiveness to touch, but diminished power of distinguishing sensations”
Symptom-groups often lead one to a particular remedy. Desire for sweets, desire for salt, can’t stand heat, makes one think of Argentum nit. And if you find the a patient cannot look down from a height, you may be sure. No other remedy has just that symptom complex.
One may note here, that Dr.Clarke’s remedy for Examination funk was Aethusa cynapium, “fool’s parsley:-well named! One of its characteristic symptoms is :Inability to think, or fix the attention.” He says,” guided by this symptom I gave it to an undergraduate preparing for an examination, with complete success. He had been compelled to give up his studies, but was able to resume them, and passed a brilliant examination. To a little waif in an orphan home who suffered from severe headaches and inability to fix his attention on his lessons, I sent a single dose of Aethusa, at rare intervals, with very great relief. The little boy asked for the medicine himself subsequently on a return of the old symptoms.”
With Argentum nit. the condition is apprehension:-ill with anxiety in regard to what is before him:-fear of failure. With Aethusa, it is simply inability to fix the attention or to think.
Homoeopathy is very definite: and one remedy, even of you label both “Funk pills”, will not do for the other!.