DRUG PICTURES : 74.
Kali bichromicum is a remedy with some very marked and characteristic features, all its own. It is a corrosive irritant poison, deeply destructive to the tissues it attacks. Therefore, acting gently and healingly in the potencies, it soothes and stimulates repair in certain, often terrible, conditions of mucous membrane and skin – i.e., where natural and drug-sickness match. “Drug are sick-making and sick-curing, and the sickness is the same”.
One spots Kali bich. by its stringiness, its spottiness, its yellowness.
In Crocus the haemorrhages, from whatever source, draw out into long black strings; but with Kali bich. it is the purulent, or mucous discharges, from whatever source, that draw out into long strings- strings even “from mouth to floor”. Stringy discharges from nose, throat, ear, eye, chest, vulva, urethra – “urine alkaline and ropy”; vomit of like character, even the milk looking like “Stringy matter and water”, suggest Kali bich. Though the drug also tends to produce “lumpy masses” (mucous), tough-and of all degrees from bland to very offensive; white- yellow – green.
Its most characteristic pains appear in spots. The characteristic pains of Berberis radiate from a centre: those that suggest Kali bich. occur in small spots which can be “covered with the tip of a finger”. Such pains occur in some of its headaches, – “semilateral headaches in small spots”; “dull pain or stitches in right chest over a circumscribed spot” – in right hypochondrium: just to left of ensiform cartilage: in sacrum. Though it has also shooting and stitching pains.
Its ulcerations, also, are typically round-deep-looking as if punched out. They occur in mucous membranes, especially stomach: in skin: in eyes: even in bones. And the scars they leave are of like character-depressed, round, “as if punched out”.
Then its yellowness:- yellow vision (Cina), yellow sclerotics (Chel., etc.), yellow discharges, yellow vomit, yellow sputum. Yellow discharges from ear, nose, eye, while the tongue may be glazed, red, cracked, or “coated as with yellow felt”. Clarke (Dictionary) makes a great point of its usefulness where large quantities of yellow watery fluid are vomited (these occur in the provings) and he gives cases.
HERING gives a case of the vomiting of pregnancy cured by Kali bich. “Sudden nausea; yellow coated tongue; inward coldness and heat of face; constipation; violent abdominal pains; faintness.” Again, “Long, and continued vomiting during pregnancy; can retain no food in stomach; great emaciation and debility”.
KENT (Lesser Writings) details a stomach case cured by Kali bich., where “There were no catarrhal symptoms of nose or chest, and no thick, ropy discharges, therefore Kali bich. was neglected. The stomach symptoms alone guided to its use, as he had no other symptoms of importance.” “Here the patient looked over the provings, and underscored such symptoms as he had suffered from”.
Among them, “Weak digestion; stomach disordered by mildest food (as with chrome washers). Incarceration of flatulence in stomach and lower abdomen. Feeling of emptiness in stomach, with want of appetite at dinner. Wakes in the night with great uneasiness in stomach, and soreness and tenderness in a small spot to left of xiphoid appendix. Sudden violent burning constrictive pain in anterior surface of stomach. Repletion after a mouthful of food, not helped by Lycopodium. Also, cutting as with knives: unable to digest potatoes or starchy foods”.
Among other characteristics of Kali bich. are its rheumatism: wandering in type: or alternating with catarrh, or with stomach troubles.
Kali bich. has been found especially useful in diseases of mouth and throat, in tonsillitis, diphtheria, croup; in asthma, bronchitis, whooping-cough, and in stomach troubles, especially in ulceration – the round variety. But everywhere it cures specifically mucous membranes affected in its own peculiar way, and finding them thus, proceeds to mend them.
Effect on the workers in chrome. “For the first few days there is discharge of clear water from the nose, with sneezing, chiefly on going into the open air; then soreness and redness of nose with sensation of fetid smell. Then they have great pain and tenderness, most at the junction of the cartilage, and the septum ulcerates quite through, while the nose becomes obstructed by the repeated formation of hard, elastic plugs (called by the workmen clinkers). Finally, the membrane loses its sensibility and remains dry, with the septum gone, and frequently loss of smell for years. HUGHES (Pharmacodynamics).
HUGHES: A fully proved and largely tried medicine.
KENT (Lectures): Its principal use is in diseases of mucous membranes catarrhal affections with its peculiar symptoms. It has been able to bring out in its provings symptoms from all the mucous membranes of the body. Slow, but intense inflammations of mucous membrane wherever it attacks. Of course he gives the thick, ropy or stringy, yellowish or yellow-green discharges eye, ear, nose, throat, trachea, etc.
Pains are aggravated by cough.
Mouth, often foul odour: teeth loose; gums sore, oozing blood. Tongue ulcerated, becomes thick, dry, smooth, red, cracked, shines like glass bottles. Tongue, thick, dry, bright red.
Pains wander, shoot, tear: wander form joint to joint and bone to bone, sometimes felt deep in the bones.
Worse beer: morning diarrhoea, worse beer.
Besides the round ulcers, Kent notices, ragged, eating ulcers: especially useful in old leg ulcers. The peculiar feature being that when the old ulcer heals in heals with a depressed surface, deep in, as if it had had a false healing.
Stomach like a leather bag. Digestion seems to have ceased. Food lies in stomach like a load.
Pains most violent in a spot you could put your finger on. Headache of that spot: patient says it is all there-at that spot – or that it begins there, or spreads from there.
Alternation of complaints, or complaints that move. When rheumatism in on, the other complaints cease. As the gouty state increases the catarrhal state of diarrhoea disappears.
FARRINGTON is especially illuminating in regard to Kali bich. We will extract and cull.
While there are evident general resemblances to the Kalis, there are decided differences arising from the acid combined with it. Chromic acid is a highly irritating acid: a powerful escharotic destroying animal tissues very rapidly, and penetrating quickly into the part, producing a deep ulcer.
Acts especially on fat persons, on fat, chubby children more than on adults.
Possesses great virtues in inflammations of mucus surfaces, with tendency to plastic exudation and pseudo-membrane. Causes on mucous membranes first violent inflammation with much redness and swelling, and produces an excessive amount of mucus rapidly turned into a fibrinous exudate: tending to formation of false membranes. This character of exudation gives us the well-known characteristic of Kali bi. – discharges ropy and stringy.
Ropy and stringy discharges, in pharyngitis, laryngitis, in coryza, in the vomited matters of gastric catarrh: in leucorrhoea and discharges from urethra. In the children it helps, where there are tenacious, stringy and purulent ear discharges, with stitching pains shooting into head and down into neck: glands, especially the parotid of that side swollen, while pains shoot down into that parotid gland.
Useful in diphtheria, with thick, yellow-looking membrane like wash-leather, and stringy discharges.
Specific ulcers on the fauces, which tend to perforate, surrounded by coppery-red colour.
Nasal catarrh: first dry with tickling and sneezing; worse in open air: the secretion ropy and stringy, collects in posterior nares: may or may not be offensive.
Or in ozaena: with plugs, or “clinkers”. Lumps of hard green mucus are hawked form posterior nares especially in the morning. Or, ulcers which carry out the penetrating character of Chromic acid, and tend to perforate.
Croup in light-haired, fat and chubby children, with smothering spells which wake them from sleep, choking. Membrane forms thickly in larynx, narrowing it. Expectoration tough and stringy with pieces like boiled macaroni. Worse from 3 to 5 a.m. May extend down to bronchi: not common but very dangerous. Farrington says he remembers a patient who, after taking Kali bich. expectorated pieces looking like vermicelli and having numerous little branches – probably casts of the ramifications of the bronchial tubes. (Ipec.) See HOMOEOPATHY, 1937, P. 321.
Then the effect of Kali bich. on the mucous membrane of the stomach. The drug is so irritating as to produce gastritis. Its symptoms vary in severity from those of simple indigestion to those of malignant disease. Dyspepsia with supra-orbital headache, or with a peculiar headache. The patient is affected with blindness-objects becoming obscured and less distinct, and then the headache begins. It is violent: worse for light and noise, and sight returns as headache grows worse. He says, there are a number of remedies having blinding headache Caust. (but it does not diminish as headache increases), Nat. mur., Iris, ver., Psor., and Sil.; but with Sil. the blindness comes after the headache.
With this headache, Farrington says, the face is apt to get blotched and bloated and covered with pimples or acne. It is also sallow and yellowish, as if the patient were bilious. The stomach seems to swell up after a full meal, like Lycopodium.
Gastritis: the vomited matter sour, mixed with clear mucus, or bitter, from admixture with bile. Renewed with every attempt at eating or drinking, with distress and burning rawness about the stomach. With this kind of vomit you may give Kali bich. in the vomiting of drunkards, and in the round, perforating ulcer of the stomach.
He notices the rash like measles, for which it has been used. May follow Pulsatilla, useful in the milder cases. “Kali bich. is one of the best remedies we have for measles” with the catarrhal symptoms of Pulsatilla, eyes, ears, mouth, with watery, yellowish-green secretions, only worse, and advancing to ulceration.
It produces papules, hard; tend to develop into pustules, and even into ulcers.
Pulsatilla is indicated in measles. I think that it is often given in the wrong place. It is indicated when the catarrhal symptoms are prominent and we have coryza and profuse lachrymation.
Kali bich. is to be used when, instead of simple catarrh of the eyes, you have pustules developed on the cornea. The throat is swollen and pains go from the throat into the ears, the salivary glands are swollen, and there is catarrhal deafness.
BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS.
NOSE. Septum narium completely ulcerated away.
Entire cartilaginous septum destroyed, and the whole nasal mucus membrane in a state of purulent inflammation: the disease had been mistaken for syphilis.
Nose very dry with a feeling of pressure in the nasal bones.
Dryness of nose.
Formation of plug in nostrils.
Pressive pain in root of nose.
Nose stuffed up, especially upper part; difficulty in detaching thick mucus, which more readily passes by posterior nares.
Clinkers in nose; if allowed to remain a few days can be easily detached; if pulled away too soon, leave soreness at root of nose and intolerance to light.
Discharge of tough green masses, or hard plugs.
Mucus tough, ropy, green, bloody; in clear masses; violent pain from occiput to forehead if discharge ceases.
Fetid smell from nose.
Chronic suppuration of EAR; membrana tympani perforated; secretion is often more mucus than pus; discharge yellow, thick, tenacious, so that it may be drawn through perforation in strings; lancinations, sticking sensations.
Tongue smooth, red and cracked.
Dryness of MOUTH.
Syphilitic affections of mouth and fauces.
Hawking of thick gelatinous mucus in the morning.
Hawking of a considerable quantity of tenacious mucus in a.m.
On root of uvula, right side, an excavated sore, half the size of a split pea, with a reddish areola, containing a yellow tenacious matter.
Deep-eating ulcers of fauces, often syphilitic.
Diphtheria: pseudo-membranous deposit, firm, pearly, fibrinous; apt to extend downwards to larynx and trachea: bladder-like appearance of uvula, much swelling, little redness.
STOMACH. Complete loss of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting of drunkards.
Diarrhoea-like stool consisting of brown frothy water (with excessively painful pressure, urging and tenesmus.
Bad effects of over-indulgence in beer; great weight in pit of stomach; flatulence;.
Prolapsus uteri, seemingly from hot weather.
Rough, hoarse voice.
COUGH (especially in a.m.) with expectoration of which mucus “as tough as pitch”, which could be drawn out into strings.
Expectoration of very tough mucus, so viscid that it drew in strings down to the feet.
Cough with pain, from mid-sternum through to back; severe stitching, or weight and soreness in chest.
Cough in a.m. on waking, with dyspnoea; better by lying down.
Cough hoarse, metallic, in croup (membranous) or diphtheria; expectoration of tough mucus or fibro-elastic casts.
Expectoration is very glutinous and sticky; adhering to fauces, teeth, tongue and lips, finally leaving mouth in long, stringy and very tenacious mass.
Sharp, stinging pain in region of kidneys.
Pain in coccyx while sitting.
Neuralgia every day at the same hour.
Pains appear rapidly and disappear suddenly. (Comp. Bell.).
Pains in small spots which can be covered with the point of finger.
Pains attack first one part, then reappear in another.
Affections of any mucous membranes, with discharges of tough, stringy, adherent mucus, or can be drawn out into long strings.
Ulcers; deep yellow, dry, oval, edges overhanging, bright red areola; base hard, corroding; becoming deeper; blackish spot in centre; cicatrix remaining depressed; deep as if cut out with a punch, edges regular.
Complaints worse in hot weather.
SUGGESTIVE SYMPTOMS AND SENSATIONS.
Milk, as it flows from breasts, has appearance of being composed of stringy masses and water.
As if head would burst: as if nose would burst.
Nose feels too heavy.
As if loose bones rubbed against each other in nose.
As of a hair high up in left nostril.
Insular large patches on tongue.
A hair on back of tongue.
Pains in spots, can be covered with finger tip.
Or pains mostly stitching and shooting.
Burning headache with vertigo, during which all objects appeared to be enveloped in a yellow mist.
Pain in head at a point.
Periodic attacks of semilateral headaches on small spots that could be covered with point of finger.
Blindness followed by violent headache, must lie down; aversion to light and noise. Slight returns with increasing headache.
Various colours and bright spots before eyes.
Objects seem to be covered with a yellow veil.
Corneal ulcers; tend to bore in without spreading laterally. Twanging like wires in left face and neck.
Tongue coated, as with thick yellow felt.
Pug in throat, not relieved by swallowing.
Ulcers in fauces-in pharynx: discharging cheesy lumps, often offensive.
Dislike to meat.
Longing for beer: for acid drinks.
Secondary bad effects from malt liquors; especially larger beer.
Feeling of coldness, stomach and bowels.
Food lies in stomach like a load. Digestion suspended.
Pains and uneasiness in stomach alternate with pains in limbs.
Choking, as if something hard all down oesophagus: then jumping and shaking, as if stomach jumped up.
Round ulcer of stomach.
Nausea with burning pain in anus.
Nausea and vomiting of drunkards.
Gastric pains relieved by eating and rheumatic pains reappear; when gastric pains reach to any height, rheumatic pains subside.
Curious sensation as if something eating in bowels.
Gulping up of food unchanged, not sour, with pain across middle of back.
Vomiting of greenish, watery mucus in morning.
Dull pain or stitches in right hypochondrium, especially when limited to a small spot.
Spasmodic attacks resembling those accompanying gall stones.
During emission of wind, sweat all over body, especially face, from which it runs in streams.
Urine alkaline and ropy.
Tough mucus nearly strangles him.
Sensation of lump, upper part of trachea and hairs across base of tongue, which neither hawking, swallowing nor eating relieves.
Profuse yellow, stringy expectoration and much sweating.
Violent paroxysms of cough with scanty expectoration of stringy mucus: or much viscid expectoration in grey lumps.
Wakes with heaviness on chest, as from a weight. Sensation of choking, on lying down.
Whooping-cough; mucus so viscid that it stretched in long strings from mouth to ground.
Itching behind sternum, causing violent, racking paroxysmal cough.
Cold sensation about heart; tightness chest; Dyspnoea.
When stooping, sensation as if something cracked across sacrum.
Cannot stoop or move from pain.
Violent aching; pain in a small spot in sacrum. Worse at night.
Pain in coccyx.
Pustules on arms; swelling on arm, turned into large ulcer with overhanging edges.
Dry eruption like measles.
Small pustules over body like small pox disappear without bursting.
Pustules as large as a pea, with small black scab in centre on inflamed parts of skin.
Suppurating, solitary skin tubercles, forming deep holes.
Itching, forearms and hands, then intolerable pain and formation of numerous ulcers, from which above a dozen nearly solid masses of matter fell on striking the arm firmly, leaving ulcers clean dry cavities.
Ulcers on wrist, oozed for several months, left a cicatrix depressed as if scooped out.
Hands completely covered with depressed cicatrices which look as if they had been punched out with a wadding cutter.
Small pustules on roots of nails. Fluid became thickened to a yellow tough mass.
Pains in shin bones (syphilitic periostitis).
Rheumatism alternating with gastric symptoms; one appearing in the Fall, the other in the Spring.
Could hardly sit down: sensation of plug in anus. (Anac.).
Worse at 2 a.m. : 2 to 3 a.m.
Pains fly rapidly from one place to another, not continuing long in any place, and intermittent.
SPECIAL LOCALITIES ATTACKED.
Diphtheritic formations in nose, mouth, fauces, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, uterus, vagina.
Affections of any mucous membranes with discharges of tough, stringy, adherent mucus, or can be drawn out into long strings.
Rheumatic pains, alternating with catarrh: with (above) gastric symptoms.
Bones : joints.
Eruption, covering nearly the entire scalp: consists of a number of minute vesicles, closely crowded, and filled with a transparent viscid fluid, which burst and form thick, laminated crusts of a dirty grey colour; or swelling of skin between patches of eruption: much itching: agglutination of lids and discharge of purulent material from inner canthus: patches on face and thick crusts around nostrils: external ears greatly swollen, red and glazed behind ears excoriated with profuse discharge patches of eruption deeply fissured in folds of neck with sero-purulent discharge fretful sucks with difficulty, from stuffing of nostrils; emaciation; green, slimy diarrhoea.
Eruption began one ar and spread over half the head; greenish crusts, with oozing of whitish, thick matter.