AMMONIACUM symptoms from Manual of the Homeopathic Practice by Charles Julius Hempel. What are the uses of the homeopathy remedy AMMONIACUM…


Gummi Ammoniacum. See Homoeopathic Gazette. Duration of Action?.


Ammoniac is the concrete juice of an umbelliferous plant denominated Dorema-Ammoniacum, six or seven feet in height, growing in Persia and Afghanistan. All parts of the plant contain a milky juice. At certain seasons this exudes through punctures made in the plant, and hardens in the shape of tears, which are collected for use. It is exported from Bushire, and usually reaches Europe and this country through the ports of Hindostan. Though usually important from Bombay, it occasionally comes from the Levant.

It is said to be a stimulant, although Trousseau and Pidoux deny that it has any stimulant properties whatever, having taken it in two-drachm doses without observing any such effect. Still, large doses are said to cause congestion, violent pains in the head, especially in the occiput and forehead; pains in the eyes and dim-sightedness, aching in the chest and spitting of blood, restlessness, loss of appetite, relaxation and weakness of the stomach, and diarrhoea.

Wood says, like many other stimulants, it may be given so as to prove diaphoretic, diuretic, and emanagogue, although its principal action is manifested upon the pulmonary, gastric, intestinal, and urinary mucous membranes.

Again, it is asserted, that is not merely a stimulant, but nervous stimulant. although much less powerful and useful in nervous affections (except in those which arise form primary disorder of the mucous membranes) than Asafoetida. Galbanum, and Olibanum.

It is generally regarded as a trivial remedy, but that is only because it is so frequently used in inappropriate cases, and in too large or too small doses, and at improper times and stages of the diseases against which it is suited. J. C. P.


In addition to other properties, it has been supposed to possess those of a nervous stimulant, in a somewhat less degree, however, than Asafoetida and Galbanum. In this capacity it has been supposed to be useful in some affections of the optic nerve, in neuralgic and colicky affections of the bowels, in nervous and asthmatic affections of the chest; but in all these disorders its action on the nerves is probably secondary to that upon the mucous membranes of these parts.

Nerves of Motion.

It probably acts more decidedly upon the nerves of motion than upon those of sensation. It seems to exert a specific action the motor nerves of the chest, abdomen, and limbs, as evidenced by the cramps and pains in the chest and bowels, and the rheumatic pains in the limbs which it removes.


Although, when used externally, it acts as a local irritant, often producing a papular eruption, and sometimes considerable inflammation of the skin, yet it is generally though to exert a very moderate excitant influence over the circulation. In large doses, it often occasions a feeling of heat, weight, or uneasiness in the stomach.


It action on this fluid in unknown; it doubtless tends rather to increase the white than the red globules.


Increased circulation in the capillaries; pulse small, corded, quick, and hard; tendency to chilliness and perspiration.


It has generally been supposed to exert a specific action upon the lymphatics, glands, and absorbents, and has been much used to promote the resolution of scrofulous tumors, chronic swelling of the joints, venereal nodes and tumefactions, and enlargements of the liver. It is said to increase the flow of lymph more than any other gum-resin.


This is apparently the great centre of the action of Ammoniacum; it doubtless acts more specifically upon these parts, and upon the mucous follicles and muciparous glands, than upon any other tissues. It is homoeopathic to catarrhal affections of many of the mucous membranes, and also to catarrhal rheumatic affections, and to scrofulo-spasmodic affections, such as scrofulous ophthalmia, when attended with much spasm of the eyelids; scrofulous bronchitis, when attended with spasmodic or asthmatic affections of the muscular fibres of the bronchial tubes, and in chronic or scrofulous affections of the intestinal mucous membrane, especially when attended with spasmodic or colicky affections of the bowels. Vogt says it acts more powerfully than Asafoetida upon condensed secretions of mucus and lymph, influencing especially the mucous membranes of the chest, abdomen, and genitals. Besides increasing the flow of mucus, it is said genitals. Besides increasing the flow of mucus, it is said undoubtedly to possess the power of rendering a thick and tough secretion more serous, and hence is thought to be more suitable in blenorrhoeas of viscid, than of merely profuse mucus. In fact, it is regarded as mucum incidens et resolvens. It acts much less decidedly upon the serous membranes and cellular tissue. J.C.P.


A papular eruption is frequently caused by the application of Ammoniac plaster, which occasionally increases to a quite considerable degree of inflammation of the skin. Dr. Duncan has described a fatal case of diffuse inflammation following its use in a case of diseased knee-joint. J. C. P.


It is homoeopathic to the dullness of mind and relaxation of body which so often arise in persons suffering from chronic mucous affection; also to some of the nervous and irritative phenomena which occur in like subjects, although less useful than Ambra, Asafoetida, and Moschus. It is homoeopathic especially to headache arising from disease of the nasal passages and frontal sinuses.

The specific action of Ammoniacum and Galbanum on the optic nerve is undoubted. Schwartz recommends it in amaurosis, although he refers to Wichmann’s observation, that it causes dimness of sight. It would seem most homoeopathic to affections of the eyes, when attended with derangement of several or many of the mucous membranes. The tinctures of Ammoniacum and Galbanum are said to have been used locally, with great success, in various disease of the eyes, such as scrofulous ophthalmia, ocular debility from prolonged reading, spasmodic motions of the eye-lids, weakness of the lachrymal duct,. A compress, moistened with the tincture, has been applied over the eye for one hour, then removed for several hours, and reapplied again. A burning heat is first felt; it lessens gradually, and cases within an hour, when the compress becomes dry. Richter says he has used it with much benefit in amaurosis, and adds that he has frequently performed a complete cure in cases where he hardly expected it, and in some where the disease had actually been present for several years. J. C. P.

It seems to act specifically upon the mucous membranes of the ears, and doubtless will prove a better local application than many others more frequently used. It is far more homoeopathic to influenza, and acute and chronic catarrh of the nose, than many other remedies which are more frequently used. It is homoeopathic to some neuralgic affections about the lips and cheeks, which arise form a catarrhal affection of the sinuses, and other nasal passages. It is homoeopathic to may catarrhal affections of the mucous membrane of the mouth and pharynx; also to many cases of chronic dyspeptic sore throat, the so-called clergymen’s sore throat, or chronic pharyngitis, which is so mistaken for chronic bronchitis.

Both schools advise it in weakness of digestion. Noack says it is remarkable that Wibmer says it causes weakness of digestion, yet calls it a stomachicum. It is homoeopathic when there is a thin yellowish coating on the tongue, tastelessness, or insipid sweetish taste in the mouth in the morning, or nauseous bitter taste in the mouth, disappearing after eating, loss of appetite, eructations after eating, nausea almost to the point of vomiting, and great weakness of digestion. In short, it is homoeopathic to may gastric and bilious states, especially when occurring in scrofulous subjects. It has been used in disturbances of the biliary secretion, and in swelling, inclination to induration, and already formed induration of the liver. Schneider advises it in chronic jaundice, in old obstructions and infarctions of the liver, spleen, and pancreas. It is most homeopathic when there is a thin yellowish coating upon the tongue, and nauseous, bitter taste in the mouth, disappearing after eating. Still, Wood says, it has only been prescribed in obstructions and engorgements of the abdominal viscera, from a vague notion of its deobstruent power, although Paris found it valuable in mesenteric affections, by correcting the viscid mucous secretion of the intestines; hence it may be most useful and homoeopathic in those affections of the liver and other abdominal organs which commence in disease of the mucous membrane of the duodenum, and are propagated along the ductus-communis to the biliary ducts, gall-bladder. It deserves attention in scrofulous affection of the gastro-intestinal and biliary mucous membranes. J.C.P.

Charles Julius Hempel
Charles Julius Hempel (5 September 1811 Solingen, Prussia - 25 September 1879 Grand Rapids, Michigan) was a German-born translator and homeopathic physician who worked in the United States. While attending medical lectures at the University of New York, where he graduated in 1845, he became associated with several eminent homeopathic practitioners, and soon after his graduation he began to translate some of the more important works relating to homeopathy. He was appointed professor of materia medica and therapeutics in the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1857.