Lime enters very largely into the composition of the solid ingredients of the body and to a less extent into the fluid, there being six pounds, more or less, of lime in the bones, the greater proportion being in the form of the phosphate.
Hahnemann, who first proved Calcarea carb., directed that it be prepared from the inner, snow-white portion of oyster shells, the middle layers being selected so that they might be as free as possible from extraneous substances, as well as to have a preparation of uniform composition and one easily duplicated whenever it become necessary to prepare a new supply.
Hahnemann says, in reference to the preparation of this and similar remedies, “I have endeavored to secure the medicinal material for homoeopathic use, wherever practicable, in the most simple and natural manner, and to give directions of this kind; so that every physician, wherever he may be, may secure the same substance. For this purpose, which was to me most important, I had to avoid as far as possible all directions, by means of costly apparatus, to secure the absolute chemical purity of the medicinal substances used” (Chr. Dis. under Kali carb.).
Our remedy is not a pure calcium carbonate and for that reason. Hering preferred to call it Calcarea ostrearum and you will find it so mentioned in some books; it is, however, usually referred to as Calcarea carb.
Calcarea is a general tissue remedy, or as Dr. von Grauvogl happily speaks of it, a “nutrition remedy.”
Calcarea carb. produces, when taken in excess, a cachectic or depraved state, which may lead to the development of various chronic disorders. The functions of various organs are disturbed, but the lymphatics are most prominently affected, with the resulting enlargement of the glands.
The Calcarea patient, the term used in referring to the type of person calling for Calcarea carb., as the various acids in combination with lime have their own individual markings, the Calcarea patient is light-haired (88), blue-eyed, big, fat and sluggish, or as is better expressed, fair, fat and flabby. It is suited to cases in which there is defective mental and physical growth, is therefore a very necessary remedy in infancy and childhood, and is adapted to various phases of scrofula and marasmus (129).
The Calcarea carb. child or infant is fat and apathetic, with tardy development of bony tissues. The head is disproportionately large and the child is subject to hydrocephalus (119). The bones of the head do not develop well and the fontanelles remain open too long (82). The head sweats profusely while sleeping (185) and the hair and pillow become wet, and the child catches cold in consequence (5). The feet are inclined the stockings are always damp (185).
If the head is out of proportion, the abdomen is more so (11) and the child looks a great deal the pictures of those fed on artificial foods, all fat and no stamina. The intellect is dull, the memory weak and they are inclined to be obstinate.
Eczema of the scalp is common, with thick crusts (66) which are offensive to sight and to smell, the eruption inclined to extend downward over the face. The child is subject to blepharitis and scrofulous inflammations of the cornea (76) with profuse discharge, and to otorrhoea, with muco-purulent discharge (63). The glands of the neck are swollen and hard and yield but slowly to the remedy. The teeth appear late and decay early (186). We may have curvature of the spine (152) and of the tibia and the child is weak and backward in learning to walk (208).
In rachitis and marasmus (129) Calcarea carb. is of great value; there is a general condition of mal-nutrition, although the appetite is great (199), profuse sweats and profuse discharges generally, and cold extremities (71). The abdomen is noticeably large and protruding, pot-bellied (11), with enlargement of the mesenteric glands (83), which have a tendency to break down, leaving fistulous openings difficult to heal. These children are subject to diarrhoea and cholera infantum.
Milk disagrees with them (6) and it is vomited sour (178) and curdled, and while there may be ravenous hunger (119) food does not nourish. The stools are undigested (60) and sour (59), sometimes fetid (59), but as Bell says: “In selecting Calcarea c., the stool is of less importance than the person and the concomitant symptoms.”
The child is older and you are sent for and told that it does not thrive. It may have spasms and you fear epilepsy (66) and Calcarea carb. is valuable for the cachexia which leads to the development of epileptiform spasms.
It may have chronic dyspepsia, with thirst, repugnance to hot or warm foods (177), acid fermentation (178), sour risings and longing for eggs(9); or, with ravenous and unnatural hunger (119) and longing for all sorts of indigestible things, such as coal (9), chalk, slate-pencils, etc., and an “aversion to meat” (Hering).
It may be that you are called because the young patient has a chronic cough that is dry at night and with free expectoration in the morning (45); in addition the patient perspires easily (185) and frequently has enormous appetite though the emaciation is rapid. In these conditions we are apt to find that the patient has been growing rapidly and, if a girl and old enough, that the menses are delayed (134) and that there is general anaemia (15), shortness of breath, easy palpitation (111), perhaps haemoptysis (27) and general soreness of the chest on touch or on breathing, and you fear that the patient will go rapidly into a decline unless something is done to avert it, and Calcarea carb. is frequently indicated in the general cachexia leading to phthisis (149).
In all these conditions the previous history of the patient in reference to infancy and childhood, the long-open fontanelles, profuse sweats, protruding abdomen, time of teething, walking, etc., will be invaluable aids in the selection of the remedy.
Calcarea carb. has a general aggravation from dampness (9), and it is frequently indicated in complaints caused by or worse from dampness, or during damp weather; or from working in water (8).
Mentally there is forgetfulness (133) and misplacing of words, Talcott saying that it is “probably one of the most effective remedies for this difficulty;” we may have melancholia, with fear of becoming insane (120), or that something dreadful is about to happen (132), but generally with a sluggish, apathetic condition as regards the immediate future.
Calcarea carb. is of value for headache due to brain-fag (93) and is frequently called for in headaches of school children (95); a good indication is where after slight mental effort the head gets very hot (95). We have congestive headaches, with violent surging of blood to the head (103), which feels hot and heavy, but with pale face and cold feet (71).
It is also to be thought of for chronic headache, with vertigo, the latter worse on suddenly turning the head (207) or on going up stairs or up a hill (207).
Going up stairs or up hill bothers the Calcarea carb. patient in another way, for we find “respiration short,” or extreme dyspnoea, “on going up the slightest ascent” (24); here we might speak of the sweat of the remedy, which is profuse and brought out “on the slightest exertion.” The word profuse is a good one to apply to the discharges under Calcarea carb., including sweat, urine, diarrhoea, menstruation and leucorrhoea.
There is easy fatigue of the eyes (72) from reading and writing, with aggravation “in damp weather” (Hering) and associated with cold and sweaty feet (185); and cold and clammy palms and feet are good indications pointing towards the remedy. It is to be thought of for inflamed eyes due to working in water and to superficial inflammations and ulcerations generally (77); but here as in most other states the build or cachexia of the patient must receive first consideration when prescribing the remedy.
In the ear it is useful for deafness due to bathing, from getting cold and wet or from working in water, with singing and roaring in the ears (65), for otorrhoea, for polypi (65) which bleed easily, as well as for nasal polypi (145).
Where there is a tendency to epistaxis in fat children, Calcarea carb. will probably be your remedy.
It has toothache worse from cold air (187) or from cold drink (187) and it is useful in the toothache of pregnancy (188) with these conditions of aggravation.
Calcarea carb. has proved of value in cases of true goitre or bronchocele (83) and it is one of the remedies indicated for swelling of the submaxillary (83) and inguinal glands (82).
The gastric condition we have already spoken of, with its acid dyspepsia (178) and sour eructations.
The liver is enlarged and sore to touch, with intolerance of pressure or tight clothing (12) and associated with ascites (11) and jaundice (122).
It is of undoubted value in gall-stone colic (123) and in renal colic, with terrible darting pain and profuse sweat, and in both conditions it has seemed to act as a prophylactic.
There is in Calcarea carb. a decided tendency towards increase of abdominal fat (80).
It is remedy to be thought of for cystitis, with profuse mucus, in persons of a Calcarea habit, and for irritable bladder, with increased desire after urinating and at night, and much urine of a sour, disagreeable or fetid odor. Bell says: “The smell of the urine cannot be described, but once smelled it is never forgotten.” We are safe in calling it disagreeable.
In the male sexual sphere it is of value for hydrocele in children (119), while in the adult, especially in those whose thoughts or actions have dwelt too often on one subject or object (167), there is an increased desire, which Farrington speaks of as being “more mental than physical” (167), erections are slow and only by artificial stimulus, and the discharge premature (167), with the natural result, as given in the pathogenetic symptoms, of “discontent, anger and giving way of the knees.”
In the female sexual sphere Calcarea carb. is frequently indicated. In conditions other than those previously spoken of, too early and too profuse menstruation is the rule (135) and we have metrorrhagia at the climacteric (135). The flow is too prolonged (135), it seems difficult for it to stop, and “the least excitement brings on a return of profuse menstruation” (Dunham) (136).
Hahnemann says: “If the catamenia usually come several days before the period and are excessive, Calcarea is frequently the indispensable curative, and the more so, the more abundant the flow; but if the menses always appear at the right period or later, even if the menses are profuse, Calcarea is yet but rarely useful” (Chr. Dis).
The leucorrhoea, which is apt to precede and follow the menses (126). often flowing gushes (126), especially during micturition. Lilienthal speaks of Calcarea carb. as useful for leucorrhoea “of infants (126) and before puberty” (126).
The milk of a nursing woman of the Calcarea habit is profuse, but thin and not sufficiently nourishing to satisfy the child; it may even be disagreeable to the child who will refuse to nurse.
In phthisis Calcarea carb. is useful even even after the formation of cavities, with soreness of the walls of the chest, profuse, purulent, often sweetish expectoration (70) and haemorrhages (27); we have also, thirst, hectic fever, night- sweats (185), especially about the head, and cold hands and feet.
In rheumatism it is to be thought of for all sorts of pains in joints and muscles the result of working or a long continuance in water (8), the pains worse from any change of weather to damp (9). Lilienthal says it “is the chronic Rhus, and often comes in where the latter fails.”
It is useful in rheumatoid arthritis (161), especially of the fingers (161) and in chronic inflammations of the larger joints (161), including tuberculosis of the hip-joint (117) and of the knee (125). It is useful for gouty knees and for cramp in the bend of the knee, in the calves of the leg (52), soles of the feet and toes, especially when extending or stretching the leg.
Calcarea carb. is to be thought of in insomnia from mental activity, “that long wakefulness which is the precursor to some diseases and the accompaniment of others” (Farrington), they start at every noise and fear they will go crazy if they do not get some sleep. Dreams are anxious and frightful, especially of falling.
The intermittent fever calling for the remedy would be of a chronic form and caused by prolonged standing in cold water or handling of damp earth or clay. There is no especial hour that is characteristic for the onset of the paroxysm.
I use Calcarea carb. 3rd and 30th.