Face: About the first thing we see in the study of an Antimonium tart. patient is expressed in the face.
The face is pale and sickly; the nose is drawn and shrunken; the eyes are sunken and there are dark rings around the eyes.
The lips are pale and shriveled. The nostrils are dilated and flapping, and there is a dark, sooty appearance inside of the nostrils.
The face is covered with a cold sweat and is cold and pale. The expression is that of suffering. The atmosphere of the room is pungent, more pungent than foetid or putrid, and makes you feel that death is in it.
The family is disturbed; they are going hither and thither, and the nurse is in an excited and busy state, and you enter upon this scene to make a homoeopathic prescription.
It is one of excitement and one that you cannot act rapidly in, but one in which you must make a very quick prescription.
These things will interfere somewhat with your thinking at the time that you must do the best thinking and the most rapid thinking.
Now, in what kind of cases do we find this state and appearance, where all the features and symptoms conform to the nature of the remedy?
Catarrhal patients: First, in catarrhal patients, in broken down constitutions, in feeble children, in old people.
Catarrhal conditions of the trachea and the bronchial tubes. Our ears being open we hear coarse rattling and bubblings in the chest.
If you have ever been in the room of the dying you have heard what is called the death rattle. It is coarse like that.
Now and then there is expectoration of a mouthful of light-colored, whitish mucus. The condition is one in which the chest is steadily filling up with mucus, and at first he may be able to throw it out; but finally he is suffocating from the filling up of mucus and the inability of the chest and lungs to throw it out.
Lungs: It is a paralytic condition of the lungs. It may occur in cases of grippe. At first it may be a case that comes on quite rapidly, running a rapid course.
It may be a case that produces early prostration, that is, in three or four days or a week. The first few days of the sickness will not point to Antimonium tart.
So long as the reaction is good and his strength holds up you will not see this Hippocratic countenance, sinking, and coldness and cold sweat.
You will not hear this rattling in the chest, because these symptoms are symptoms, that indicate a passive condition.
Antimonium tart. has weakness and lack of reaction. Hence we see that it is suitable in those cases that present this state, or in such patients as are so feeble, when they are taken down, that they at once enter upon a passive or relaxed state.
Bronchitis: In cases of bronchitis with pneumonia, inflammation of the trachea, inflammation of the air passages in general, the inflammation is likely to be attended with dryness or a scanty flow of mucus.
If this be violent in a few days it will reach a state of relaxation and weakness. But the first state does not indicate Antimonium tart.
Such medicines as Bryonia and Ipecac. come in for the first period, and your impression is, when administering those medicines, that they will be sufficient for the whole case, and they will be, except in those states wherein this weakness is present from the beginning, or where there is lack of ability to react sufficiently from your remedy to recover under it.
Then comes in a second remedy, and that is the time when this medicine begins its operation.
Ipecac. has some of this coarse rattling, but it is attended with great expulsive power of the lungs.
This medicine has the coarse rattling that comes after many days. Ipecac. has it the first days of the sickness. This remedy has the coughing and gagging and retching, but in the stage of great relaxation, prostration and coldness. It seems as if he will die.
When you hear him cough you are at once impressed with the idea that there must be some profound weakness in his lung power. We know that it is in the power of the lungs to produce an expulsive action with the deep inspirations.
They have no such power in Antimonium tart. The chest is full of mucous and it rattles; the cough is a rattling cough, but the mucus does not come up, or only a small quantity comes up, but it does not relieve him.
His chest is full of mucus, he is suffocating and he is really passing away, dying from carbonic acid poisoning due to a lack of expulsive power.
Pneumonia: In cases of pneumonia; when first coming down with a chill, it may be a very violent attack, such an attack as from its violence produced prostration early, that is, after three or four days.