CHEMICALLY PREPARED ALUMINUM OXIDE- Al2O3, PURE CLAY.
First proved by, or under the direction of Hahnemann.
Alumina should always be spelled out in full in out books on materia medica, as otherwise we might confuse it with Alumen or alum, the crystallized double sulphate of aluminum and potassium. Alumen is a remedy seldom used and will not be spoken of here.
The action of Alumina is especially directed to mucous membranes, with dryness, and to the spinal nerves.
While Allen does not speak of the type of the Alumina patient, Hering says that it is adapted to “spare, dry, thin” people of scrofulous habit who suffer form chronic diseases.”
It is also useful for infants who are being artificially fed; those who have as a steady diet one of the many kinds of prepared foods, each one of which corresponds closer to mother’s milk than any of the others, if we are to believe the advertisements.
Mentally, the Alumina patient is low-spirited and hypochondriacal, irritable and peevish, and Talcott refers to the symptom of thoughts of suicide on seeing blood or knives, but with aversion to the idea. The mental symptoms are worse in the morning and improve as the day advances.
It is remedy of great value in spinal degeneration, especially in locomotor ataxia (127), having amongst other symptoms, inability to walk, except with eyes open and in the daytime; heaviness of limbs and staggering when walking; feeling in sole as if soft and swollen and numbness of heel when stepping on it.
Boenninghausen, being guided by symptoms of the oxide, cured four cases of locomotor ataxia with Aluminum metallicum.
Dryness is a prominent symptom in many conditions calling for Alumina and in the eyes the most important indications are the burning and dryness, without much discharge and without destruction of tissue; especially useful in catarrhal inflammation of the conjunctiva, with dryness and smarting, and great loss of power of the eyelids, “especially the left” (Hering), so that it is difficult to open the lids (78).
It has been found of benefit for squinting in children during teething.
There is dimness of vision, or vision as if looking through a fog (78) or as if hairs or feathers were before the eyes, with necessity to rub the eyes constantly.
In the nose, it is useful in chronic nasal catarrh, especially of old people, with dryness of the mucous membrane and discharge of indurated masses (143) of mucus, and soreness and ulceration internally; associated with the soreness, the tip is often swollen and red (145). In post-nasal catarrh (143), there would be dropping of thick mucus, pain in root of nose (96) and loss of smell (170).
There is a chronic catarrhal condition of the pharynx, with dryness and irritation on swallowing food, which can be felt “the whole length of the oesophagus” (Hering).
The characteristic sore throat, especially as found in speakers (118), has inflammation of the mucous membrane and great dryness, frequently with a sharp splintery feeling on swallowing (190); associated with this there is relaxation of the uvula (44) which causes a persistent tickling cough, with constant inclination to clear the throat.
As a rule, cases requiring Alumina are also troubled with constipation. This constipation is caused by dryness of the rectum, which is inactive, there being no desire for stool, or as Hering says, “no desire for, and no ability to pass stool, until there is a large accumulation.”
Along with the dryness there is soreness of both rectum and anus. The stools are scanty and consist of small hard balls (35), like “laurel berries” and may be, “covered with mucus” (Hering) (35), and during the movement there is cutting in anus as if it were constricted (158), or as if it were too narrow. The rectum and anus are so dry that the hard stool frequently causes bleeding (34). It is frequently indicated in the constipation of children (34), and infants, especially those that have been artificially fed, with dry and inflamed rectum, the dry stool being followed by blood (34).
The urine under Alumina, is passed while straining at stool or the patient often has to strain as if at stool in order to pass urine (200). There are involuntary emissions (167) particularly when straining at stool, and this is a valuable indication in impotency (168) and sexual weakness, especially in elderly people.
The Alumina woman is apt to be chlorotic (17), with, at puberty, abnormal appetite for indigestible things such as chalk, starch, etc.(9); the menses are scanty and pale, “simply colored
water” (Minton), but followed by great exhaustion (138).
The leucorrhoea is profuse (126), acrid (126) and transparent causing burning in the genitals, which is relieved by cold water; at times the leucorrhoea flows only in the daytime (126).
There is general dryness of the skin under Alumina, frequently with intolerable itching and usually associated with the constipation of the remedy. This itching may be over the whole body, is worse when overheated and from the warmth of the bed (122) and the patient scratches until the skin bleeds (122).
There is also a sensation of tension of the skin of the face or around the eyes, as if the white of an egg had dried there; the chin, it is recorded, feels as if covered with a cobweb (79).
These similar sensations should have the same wordings, but as they were reported by different provers, each one recorded the sensation in his own but unfortunately in different words.
If our materia medica could be gone over by a committee, with power to place the numerous words and expressions that have the same meaning under one heading, it would simplify the study of our symptomatology and reduce the size of our repertories.
I use Alumina 30th.