We will take up the study of Vegetable Charcoal – Carbo veg.
It is a comparatively inert substance made medicinal and powerful, and converted into a great healing agent, by grinding it fine enough. By dividing it sufficiently, it becomes similar to the nature of sickness and cures folks.
The Old School use it in tablespoonful doses to correct acidity of the stomach. But it is a great monument to Hahnemann. It is quite inert in crude form and the true healing powers are not brought out until it is sufficiently potentized. It is one of those deep acting, long-acting antipsoric medicines. It enters deeply into the life, in its proving it develops symptoms that last a long time, and it cures conditions that are of long standing-those that come on slowly and insidiously.
Generalities: It affects the vascular system especially; more particularly the venous side of the economy, the heart, and the whole venous System.
Sluggishness is a good word to think of when examining the pathogenesis of Carbo veg.
Sluggishness, laziness, turgescence, these are words that will come into your mind frequently, because these, states occur so frequently in the symptomatology. Everything about the economy is sluggish, turgid, distended and swollen.
The hands are puffed; the veins are puffed; the body feels full and turgid; the head feels full, as if full of blood. The limbs feel dull, so that the patient wants to elevate the feet to let the blood run out. The veins are lazy, relaxed and paralyzed. Vaso-motor paralysis. The veins of the body are enlarged; the extremities have varicose veins.
Mind: The whole mental state, like the physical, is slow. The mental operations are slow. Slow to think; sluggish; stupid; lazy. Cannot whip himself into activity, or rouse a desire to do anything. Wants to lie down and doze.
The limbs are clumsy; they feel enlarged. The skin is dusky. The capillary circulation is engorged. The face is purple. Any little stimulating food or drink will bring a flush to that dusky face. When you see people gather round a table where wine is served you can pick out the Carbo veg. patients, because their faces will be flushed; in a little while it passes off and they get purple again dusky – almost a dirty duskiness. The skin is lazy; sluggish.
Running through the remedy there is burning. Burning in the veins, burning in the capillaries, burning in the head, itching and burning of the skin. Burning in inflamed parts. Internal burning and external coldness.
Coldness, with feeble circulation, with feeble heart. Icy coldness. Hands and feet cold and dry, or cold and moist.
Knees cold; nose cold; ears cold; tongue cold. Coldness in the stomach with burning. Fainting. Covered all over with a cold sweat, as in collapse.
Collapse with cold breath, cold tongue, cold face.
Looks like a cadaver. In all these conditions of coldness the patient wants to be fanned.
Bleeding runs all through the remedy. Oozing of blood from in flamed surfaces. Black bleeding from ulcers. Bleeding from the lungs; from the uterus; from the bladder. Vomiting of blood.
Passive haemorrhage. On account of the feeble circulation a capillary oozing will start up and continue. The remedy hardly ever has what may be called an active gushing flow, such as belongs to Belladonna, Ipecac, Aconite, Secale, and such remedies, where the flow comes with violence; but it is a passive capillary oozing.
The women suffer from this kind of bleeding; a little blood oozing all the time, so that the menstrual period is prolonged. Oozing of blood after confinement, that ought to be stopped immediately by contractions.
There are no contractions of the blood vessels; they are relaxed. Black venous oozing. After a surgical operation there is no contraction and retraction of the blood vessels. An injury to the skin bleeds easily. The arteries have all been tied and closed, but the little veins do not seem to have any contractility in their walls. An inflamed part may bleed. Feeble heart; relaxed veins.
Ulcers: Again, ulceration. If you have a case, such as I have described, with relaxation of the blood vessels and feebleness of the tissues, you need not be surprised if there is no repair, no tissue making.
So, when a part is injured, it will slough. If an ulcer is once established, it will not heal. The tissues are indolent. Hence we have indolent ulcers; body, ichorous, acrid, thin discharges from ulcers.
The skin ulcerates; the mucous membranes ulcerate. Ulcers in the mouth and in the throat. Ulceration everywhere because of that relaxed and feeble condition. Poor tissue making, or none at all,
“The blood stagnates in the capillaries,” is the way it reads in the text.
You can see how easy it would be for these feeble parts to develop gangrene. Any little inflammation or congestion becomes black or purple and sloughs easily that is all that is necessary to make gangrene.
It is a wonderful remedy in septic conditions-blood poisoning, especially after surgical operations and after shock. It is a useful remedy in septic conditions; in scarlet fever; in any disease which takes on a sluggish form, with purplish and mottled appearance of the skin.
Sleep: In Carbo veg. the sleep is so full of anxiety that it may be said to be awful. On going to sleep there is anxiety, suffering, jerking, twitching, and be has the horrors. Everything is horrible. Horrible visions; sees ghosts.
A peculiar sluggish, death-like sleep, with visions. The Carbo veg. patient wakens in anxiety and covered with cold sweat. Exhaustion. Unrefreshed after sleep.
And thus the whole patient is prostrated by his sleep. So anxious that he does not want to go to sleep. Anxiety in the dark. Anxiety with dyspnoea as if he would suffocate. Anxiety so great that be can not lie down.
In Carbo veg. indifference is a very prominent symptom. Inability to perceive or to feel the impressions that circumstances ought to arouse.
His affections are practically blotted out, so that nothing that is told him seems to arouse or disturb him.
“Heard everything without feeling pleasantly or unpleasantly, and without thinking about it.”
Horrible things do not seem to affect him much; pleasant things do not affect him. He does not quite know whether he loves his wife and children or not.
This is a part of the sluggishness, the inability to think or meditate, all of which is due to the turgescence. Sluggishness of the veins. Head feels full; distended.
His mind is in confusion and he cannot think. He cannot bring himself to realize whether a thing be so or not, or whether he loves his family or not, or whether he hates his enemies or not. Benumbed stupid.
There is another state anxiety and nightly fear of ghosts anxiety as if possessed; anxiety on closing the eyes; anxiety lying down in the evening; anxiety again on waking. He is easily frightened. Starting and twitching on going too sleep.
Head: The headaches are mostly occipital. His whole head is turgid, full, distended. He feels as if the scalp was too tight. Everything is bound up in the head. Awful occipital headaches. Cannot move, cannot turn over, cannot lie on the side, cannot be jarred, because it, seems as if the head would burst, as if something was grasping the occiput.
Dull headache in the occiput. Violent pressive pain in the lower portion of the occiput. Head feels heavy. When the pain is in the occiput the head feels drawn back to the pillow, or as if it could not be lifted from the pillow.
Like Opium; he cannot lift the head from the pillow. Painful throbbing in the head during inspiration. The Carbo veg. patient takes short breaths, quietly, keeping just as still as possible, until finally he is compelled to take a deep breath, and it comes out with a sharp moan.
Headache as from contraction of the scalp. Painful stitches through the whole head when coughing; the whole head burns. Intense heat of the head; burning pain. Rush of the blood to the head followed by nose-bleed.
Congestion to the head with spasmodic constriction, nausea, and pressure over the eyes. A feeling as of an oncoming coryza from an overheated room. Many of these headaches come on from taking cold, from coryza, from slacking up of an old catarrh.
The Carbo veg. patient suffers from chronic catarrh. He is at his best when he has a free discharge from the nose, but if he takes cold and the discharge stops congestion to the head comes. He cannot stand suppression of discharges.
Headaches come on every time he takes cold; from cold damp weather; from going into a cold damp place and becoming chilled. Awful occipital headache, or headache over the eyes, or headache involving the whole head, with pounding like hammers.
These states are like Kali bichromicum, Kali iodatum and Sepia. Many of these headaches are due to stopped catarrhal conditions.
The hair falls out by the handful. Eruptions come out upon the head. School girls and boys, too, who are sluggish, slow to learn, and suffer from night terrors; they will not sleep alone, or go into a dark room without someone with them.