LUNAR CAUSTIC-Ag NO3.
While first proved by Hahnemann, he did but little, contributing only 16 symptoms, it was not until 1845, that Dr. J. O. Muller, of Vienna, gave it a thorough proving. There are 821 symptoms given in Allen’s Encyclop.
It is ancient remedy in the old school; the sticks of lunar caustic were called lapis infernalis, which Hering speaks of as ” a prophetic name, indicating the horrible abuse of it in our age.”.
Argentum nit. is an irritant poison, causing violent inflammation and ulceration of the throat, stomach and mucous membranes generally. It attacks and destroys the red blood corpuscles, causing general malnutrition, especially ecchymoses (65). It depresses the temperature. It produces violent tetanic convulsions followed by paralysis. The pains in all mucous membranes are sharp and splinter-like, and associated with muco- purulent discharge.
From all of this it will be readily seen that silver nitrate is a very different remedy from his sister, metallic silver. Argentum met. might be said to favor her mother, while Argentum nit. has his father’s disposition.
There is general tremulous (192) weakness in Argentum nit., with nervous restlessness and sighing respiration (25).
It is a valuable remedy for the chronic nervous results of alcoholic stimulants (5), or from excessive sexual indulgence (167), with great restlessness, fear of being alone (80), depression of spirits and general aggravation after eating (177).
It is useful for epileptiform convulsions or even true epilepsy (670, with aggravation at night and great restlessness or tremulousness before or after the attacks, and it is especially useful for epilepsy caused by fright (81), or associated with menstruation (67).
Many of the troubles that ask for Argentum nit. as a remedy, will present as prominent features of the case, some of the characteristic mental of abdominal symptoms of the drug, and it will be to your advantage if you keep them firmly fixed in your mind.
Mentally, the Argentum patient is anxious and apprehensive. She is a worrier (132 ) and seems to like it, at any rate she will not allow her mind to be diverted.
While we at times see men who need the remedy, some symptoms reading, “constantly talking about his sufferings; often wakes his wife or child, to have someone to talk to” (Hering), still it is a fact that women exhibit the more frequent need for it.
She is a nervous individual, and if she is going on a short trip she must be ready long before it is advisable to start and will tell you in justification of her hurry, that the only times she ever failed to take the train that she stared for were when she reached the station in season to catch the preceding one.
Her own ailments are naturally a source from which she can extract a great deal of trouble and she anticipates all sorts of dreadful things as the possible outcome. She will not consult a physician for fear that he will tell her that she has cancer, heart disease, Bright’s disease, cerebro-spinal meningitis, or any other complaint that she has read reports of in the newspaper, and when she is finally induced to see her doctor, will not believe what he says because she knows that he is keeping things from her.
She can and does worry herself into a state of great mental depression (132), become very weak and trembling, goes to bed on account of a most severe headache but cannot remain there long on account of hysterical distention of th abdomen (13) and diarrhoea, and diarrhoea as the result of mental emotion (57) is very characteristic of this remedy.
With the mental depression there may be an impulse to throw herself from the window.
They are irresolute and the memory is poor (133) and Argentum nit. is of value in the mental depression or irritability which results from brain-fag (93), with general debility and trembling of the whole body (192).
It is of great value in hemicrania (99). The trouble is periodical, either side may be affected, and it is brought on especially by any depressing emotions or worry. The pain is pressing or boring (106) on the affected side with an enlarged feeling on the other side of the head, or the whole head feels very large and as if the bones would separate (106); the pains are so severe and the attack usually ends in vomiting (97). With the pains there is relief form binding the head up tightly (92)/
The pains in the head may extend down the face (80) and involve the malar bone and zygomatic process.
With the headache we often have great photophobia, with los of muscular coordination and blurred vision (104).
In inflammatory conditions of the eye Argentum nit. is an important remedy and it is especially valuable in purulent conjunctivitis or ophthalmia (76). The discharge is thick and abundant, with agglutination of the lids especially in the morning, with intense redness and great swelling of the conjunctiva, and it is useful even when the cornea is involved and ulceration threatens (77).
In ophthalmia neonatorum, or the ophthalmia of new-born infants, which is often due to gonorrhoeal infection, you will find frequent call for the remedy, with the profuse purulent discharge, great conjunctivitis and threatening or actual ulceration of the cornea.
The tongue of Argentum nit. is usually heavily coated, with prominent papillae and painful and red tip (192).
In the pharynx and larynx there are several features of interest as calling for this remedy. There is generally dryness, a feeling of burning and sharp, splinter-like pains (190) and the mucous membrane is usually dark red in color (192). It is useful in acute or chronic pharyngitis, with mucus thick mucus, and with rawness and soreness, and a sensation of a splinter lodge in the throat (190), which is felt more on swallowing.
It is of value in the chronic inflammation of the larynx of singers (118), with hoarseness, dryness and sharp, splinter-like pains, and dark redness of the pharynx, and in the dry throat of smokers, with sensation of a hair (190) in the throat cough, and better again by smoking.
We have already said that many conditions calling for this remedy have, as accompaniments, some of its mental, or stomach and abdominal symptoms.
There is distress and distention of the stomach soon after eating (177) and while we may have a sensation as of a lump or load in the stomach (179), or as if the food had lodged there, with ineffectual efforts to eructate, strangulation and purple face, the usual condition is one of enormous distention of the stomach and abdomen, with very free eructations of gas (181). The gas in these cases rises easily and in volumes, and discharges in both directions with noise, and while it must be gotten rid of there is no especial relief from so doing, as it seems to accumulate faster than it can be discharged.
The tongue is thickly coated white (192) as this time and under the remedy there is a craving for and a decided aggravation from sweets (6). If the patient is seen during one of these flatulent attacks, she will be apt to tell you, either, that she ate only the least bit of candy, or that she cannot imagine why there should be all this trouble, for she had not eaten any sweets, for they always cause just such distention.
Allen speaks of Argentum nit. as unrivalled for the gastritis of drunkards (176), with its pain and flatulence, and it is of value in ulceration of the stomach (181), either with the enormous distention and free eructations, or with the feeling of a stone in the stomach (179), which cannot be dislodged, with, in addition, distress from any food or water.
There are usually nausea and crampy pain, or the pains extend from the stomach up to the chest (180) and shoulders and down to the abdomen.
The diarrhoea of green (59) mucus, looking like chopped spinach, sometimes of undigested food (60) and usually of offensive odor (59), and passed with much noisy flatulence and forcible spluttering (59). The diarrhoea is caused by or is worse from sweets, from drinking water (57) and from mental excitement, worry or shock (57).
It is valuable for acute and chronic diarrhoea (58) and dysentery, with the abdominal distention and noisy eructations and flatulence as the characteristic indications.
With the gastro-intestinal conditions the urine is usually very scanty, while in the nervous conditions it is profuse (199).
As we have seen that Argentum nit, is very valuable for ophthalmia neonatorum, so also it is of value for specific urethritis or gonorrhoea, which is frequently the cause of ophthalmia. Of course I am referring to its use internally by way of the mouth and not via urethra. I believe that I am right n saying that even the old school now advice against the use of injections of nitrate of silver early in the disease on account of the additional troubles that it is apt to set up.
It might be mentioned have that Nat. mur. in potency, internally, is a valuable remedy for cases that have been abused by the local applications of nitrate to any mucous membrane.
In gonorrhoea, Argentum nit. is of value when there is profuse, purulent discharge, intense cutting or splinter-like pains (194) and more or less blood in the urine.
It is useful in leucorrhoea, due to gonorrhoeal infection or other wise, profuse (126), purulent and bloody discharge.
Remember it in post-diphtheritic paralyses (62, for paralysis of the diaphragm and in threatening paralysis of the lungs (30), with fear of suffocation, distress in the stomach and great accumulation of gases.
In angina pectoris (107) we want to think of this remedy, when there is great pain, fear or suffocation, with difficulty in breathing, and a feeling of a bar or band around the chest (165).
I use Argentum nit. 6th.