Bromine, like Iodine, does not exist in nature in a free state. It is found in the waters of many salt springs as well as in sea-water. It is found, together with Iodine, in the ash of sea-weed and in sponges.
Bromine has a powerful affinity for hydrogen, and its solutions are decomposed by sunlight, hydrogen bromide being formed.
For our use it is prepared with distilled water up to the 2nd, then dilute alcohol for the 3rd, and the ordinary 87 alcohol for all higher potencies. If used below the 6th it should be freshly prepared. Probably the 6th and surely the 30th is stable and good until used.
While first proved, perhaps, by others, it is to Hering and his fellow-provers that most of our knowledge of this remedy is due. It seems to be especially useful for those with light hair (88) and blue eyes (Iodine dark hair and eyes); for those of a scrofulous diathesis, with enlarged and suppurating glands, especially the parotid.
It is useful in diphtheria with enlarged parotids, which finally suppurate, and especially when the disease invades the larynx and trachea.
The effects of Bromine upon the larynx and trachea furnish the most useful guides to its use in disease. Whoever has inhaled the fumes of Bromine will remember the sudden spasm or contraction of the throat that it causes and the arrest of the inhalation; one symptom reading, “feeling as if the pit of the throat were pressed against the trachea,” and another, “sudden paroxysm of suffocation on swallowing.” These symptoms are prominent ones when calling for the remedy in croup (52), and to show its position or place in this disease we will quote directly from the Handbook:
“In croup Bromium is rarely indicated in the early stage; but when the febrile symptoms have subsided, the patient is weak, perspiring has a hard, tight cough, which is spasmodic, with suffocative attacks and sometimes rattling of mucus in the larynx; the element of spasm generally indicates the drug. It follows well after Iodium”
You will recall that it is only recently that we knew that diphtheria and membranous croup are one and the same disease, the seat of the trouble alone furnishing the name. As illustrative of a Homoeopaths ability to prescribe accurately in a given case even is a diagnosis is not or cannot be made, Hering, who died in 1880, says: “With apparent great sagacity one of our best authors says: “Bromine could not be a remedy in diphtheria and also in croup, as diphtheria and croup are two diseases entirely different in their nature and character; a chief croup remedy cannot at the same time to be great diphtheritic remedy, because a drug has not only to cover the symptoms, but must likewise correspond to the character of the disease.” Hering’s comment is: “We have nothing to do with the disease, only with the sick
and the characteristics of each case.”
Bromine is of value in spasmodic croup, starting up as if choked, better drinking (40), Lilienthal saying, “better from warm drinks, every inspiration provokes cough” (41).
It is to be thought of in asthma (19) with suffocative attacks, it seems as if the breathing were hindered by spasmodic constriction, and it is said to be of benefit for asthma that is better at sea.
Bromine is recommended for membranous dysmenorrhoea (138), with spasmodic uterine contractions, and in dysmenorrhoea with loud emissions of gas from the vagina (205).
It is to be thought of in chronic inflammation of the ovaries (148), the l. by preference affected (147).
I use Bromine 6th.