Iron: We will take up the study of Ferrum metallicum. The Old School has been giving Iron for anaemia throughout all tradition. They have given it in great quantities in the form of the tincture of chloride, and the carbonate.
Whenever the patient became anemic, pallid, waxy and weak, Iron was the tonic. It is true that Iron produces anemia, and it would be astonishing to any one who ever read the provings of Ferrum of the allopaths did not create additional bloodlessness with the doses of Iron they administer.
It is true that under the provings, and under those circumstances where Iron has been given in excess, the patient becomes greenish, waxy, yellow and pallid, with a sickly and anemic countenance. The lips become pale; the ears lose their pink color; the skin of the body becomes waxy, and there comes a tendency to hemorrhage, at times with clots, but commonly with copious, thin, liquid blood, very dark.
The clots will separate and the fluid parts look brown, dirty and watery. The patient gradually emaciates. He is pallid and waxy; his muscles become flabby and relaxed; he is incapable of endurance. All the muscular fibers become tired from any exertion. Rapid exercise, or, any unusual exertion. is impossible. Any rapid exertion or motion brings on weakness, dyspnea, sinking and fainting.
A strange thing running through all the constitutional conditions of Ferrum is that the pains and sufferings come on during rest.
The palpitation sometimes comes on during rest, the dyspnoea comes on during rest, and even the weakness. The patient is ameliorated by moving gently about, but any exertion tires and causes faintness.
Any rapid motion aggravates the complaints. The pains are ameliorated by moving about the house slowly, so that the exertion does not excite or fatigue. In many cases the patient is dropsical. The skin pits upon pressure and is pale, yet the face shows an appearance of plethora. From every little excitement the face becomes flushed.
During the chill the face becomes red. From taking wine or stimulant the face becomes flushed, and the patient, though flabby, relaxed and tired, does not get credit for being sick.
She fails to get the sympathy of her friends. She is feeble, she suffers from palpitation and dyspnoea, she has great weakness with inability to do anything like work, she feels that she must lie down-yet the face is flushed. This is called a pseudo-plethora.
The blood-vessels are distended, the veins varicose, and their coatings relaxed. On this account bleed ing takes place easily; capillary oozing; hemorrhage from all pass of the body, haemorrhage from the nose, the lungs, the uterus.
Women suffer much from haemorrhage from the uterus, especially during and after the climacteric period. Ferrum will be found of great value when the symptoms agree in that wonderful anemic state called “green sickness,” that comes on with girls at the time of puberty and in the years that follow it.
There will be almost no menstrual flow, but a cough will develop, with great pallor. So common is this sickness among girls that all mothers are acquainted with and dread it. In a large practice you will have a number of cases of chlorosis.
Sometimes the early menstrual period is attended with a copious, and then occurs, and this goes on for a number of years before anything like menstrual regularity is established.
In these cases the Old School always used to feed their patients Iron in great quantities, but the more Iron the patient took the worse she grew.
Congestion, tending upwards, with red face, hot head and coldness of the extremities. But the heat of the head and face is not at all in proportion to the red appearance. It will be found that this congestion upward in Ferrum will take place during a chill, in septic fevers or in other forms of fever, and the head is not always hot, but sometimes cool. The face may be red and cool.
Face: Another grand feature of Ferrum is that, like China, it has complaints from loss of animal fluids; from prolonged haemorrhage, with weakness remaining a long time. There is no repair, no assimilation. The bones are soft and easily bent; they take on crooks. Emaciated and feeble children. Dryness of the joints, causing cracking on motion. Sudden emaciation, with false plethora.
Redness of face – a healthy looking bloom – in one who is unable to walk fast on the street, or to stand any exertion. Yet some of the complaints of Ferrum are better from occupation, from doing something, from taking a little exercise, because the complaints come on during rest.
Over-excitability and sensivity of the nerves; oversensitiveness to pain. The sensitive woman who needs Ferrum has a flushed face and is often complaining because she gets no sympathy. She does not look sick, yet she puffs on going up stairs; she feels weak and wants to lie down.
Restless when keeping still; must keep the limbs moving. Rending pains in the limbs; dull aching in the limbs. These pass off when moving about quietly and gently, like Pulsatilla. But Ferrum is a very cold remedy, and is ameliorated by warmth, except the pains about the neck, face and teeth, which are ameliorated by cold. But most of the pains are ameliorated by heat; the patient wants to keep warm and dreads anything like fresh air or a draught.
Weakness and prostration; weakness even from talking. Prostration with irregular pulse and rapid pulse, or with too slow pulse; palpitation. And then comes paralytic weakness; the limbs give out. Paralytic conditions from anaemia or haemorrhage. Fainting spells from haemorrhage. Jerking and twitching of the muscles; chorea; catalepsy.
Mind: You may easily imagine something of the character of the mental symptoms, for they are like the physical. The mind is confused and the patient tearful. Depression of spirits; mental weariness and depression. The highest degree of depression and despondency. Anxiety from the slightest cause; irritability.
The least noise, like the crackling of paper, sets the patient wild. It brings on nervous excitement and restlessness; she must get up and move.
Excitement from the slightest opposition. Any sudden or rapid motion, or the least hurry, causes blackness before the eyes; dizziness; things turn in a circle; she must sit down. And with all this the face is red. When alone and at rest, the face becomes pale and cold, but the least excitement brings a flush to the cheeks.
Headaches: The headaches are congestive in character, with mounting of blood upwards. There is a sense of fullness and distension, with red face.
Fullness and distension of the eyes; fullness of the neck. Palpitation of the heart. Exophthalmic goitre. The headaches are ameliorated by pressure. Ferrum wants to be pressed to support the veins. Throbbing like hammers in the head.
Every quick motion aggravates the headache. Coughing aggravates the headache; pain in the head and occiput from coughing. These pains are sometimes ameliorated by walking gently. Going up stairs, sitting down, rising from a seat unless it is done very deliberately – will arouse all the pains of Ferrum.
Any sudden motion will bring on hammering and a feeling of great expansion in the head. And then will come more or less shooting, tearing pains. Beating in the back of the head from rising or from coughing, because coughing is a sudden motion. Confusion of mind with hammering headache. Rush of blood to the head. Congestive headaches from excitement; from taking cold; from exposure; lasting three or four days or a week. The face is gushed and perhaps cold, the head somewhat hot, but not as hot as would be expected.
Redness of the eye; engorged vessels. Great weakness, dyspnoea and palpitation. Writing – a mental operation – causes the headache to reappear. Great sensitiveness of the scalp. The patient must let the hair hang down. Mental disorders and headaches accompanying or following haemorrhages, and in lying in women.
Bloated appearance about the eyes. All sorts of disturbance of vision from congestion. Venous stasis; swelling of the eyelids; pus-like discharge. Over-sensitiveness to sound; ringing in the ears.
The symptoms of the nose are numerous. Colds and catarrhal troubles, ending in nosebleed. Nosebleed on slight provocation, with headaches at the menstrual nisus.
Scabs form in the nose. Extreme paleness of the face; face becomes red and flushed on the least emotion. Flushed face with dropsy of the lower limbs; flushed face with chill. Thirst during the chill is a striking feature of Ferrum. During the menstrual period there are violent pains, and as soon as the pain starts the face becomes flushed.
Nothing taken into the stomach digests, and yet there is no special nausea. It is the exception to find nausea in Ferrum. Food goes into the stomach and is vomited without nausea-simply emptied out. Sometimes there are eructations of food by the mouthful, like Phosphorus.
Food: Phosphorus was the remedy with all the old masters for spitting up of food by the mouthful until. the stomach was empty.