ANIMAL CHARCOAL–CHARRED OX-HIDE.
Carbo animalis is prepared by placing a piece of ox-hide leather on red-hot coals and leaving it there as long as it burns with a flame. As soon as the flame ceases, the red-hot mass is extinguished by pressing it between two flat stones; otherwise, if left to cool gradually in the air, most of the carbon would be consumed. (Carbo animalis of the old school is prepared from bone.)
The proving of Carbo animalis was first published by Hahnemann in 1827, and he says, concerning the reason for making the proving : “However much similarity there may be found in the effects of animal charcoal and of vegetable charcoal on the state of the human health, there are, nevertheless, so many variations in the effects of animal charcoal from those found in vegetable charcoal, and so many particular symptoms, that I have thought it useful to add here what I have been able to observe” (Chr. Dis.).
Like all the carbons, this is a tissue remedy; but of the four principal ones, from the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, Carbo animalis is the least used.
Carbo animalis is useful in elderly people, especially with venous plethora (207), distended veins, skin of hands and feet blue and blue lips, with great debility. It is one of the remedies where the patient suffers from “cold feet” (Chr. Dis.) (71), there is a general lack of vital heat (114), an “aversion to the open, cold, dry air” (Lippe) (5), and a general lack of recuperative power and it is to be thought of in lack of reaction after debilitating diseases (156).
In the young it is useful for scrofulous subjects, with enlargement and induration of glands (82).
Another sphere of usefulness for Carbo animalis is for indolent tumors with burning pains.
Mentally there is sadness, with desire to be alone (9) and disinclination to talk, and it is sometimes useful in homesickness.
There is deafness and confused hearing, so that he cannot tell the direction of sounds, and bleeding from the nose mornings, preceded by vertigo; but epistaxis is not nearly as prominent under this remedy as it is under the vegetable carbon.
In the stomach we find heartburn and offensive eructations, and there is much trouble from flatulence, but, as with the nosebleed, these occupy a secondary position here and a prominent one under Carbo veg.
In the female sexual organs, Lilienthal gives additional prominence to the pathogenetic symptom that the menses are dark and flow only in the morning. While menstruation is not excessive, it “produces great exhaustion” (Minton). It is to be thought of in troubles following suppression of the menses, with sadness and desire to be alone (9), feeling of goneness in the stomach (179) and general weakness.
The right ovary (147) is the most frequently affected in Carbo animalis, it becoming indurated (147) and feeling heavy like a ball.
It is of value in metritis, with induration of the neck, and in true scirrhus of the uterus (202), with offensive discharges. The pains in the female sexual organs are generally burning, sometimes tearing, with heaviness and pressure downward.
It is of value in scirrhus of the breast (23); at first when we have simply the hard nodule and perhaps stinging pain, and later when the skin around the nodule is blue and mottled (23), the axillary glands indurated and with burning drawing pains through the breast.
Carbo animalis is useful in a late stage of pneumonia, with ulceration of the lungs, purulent and extremely offensive expectoration (69), suffocation and great debility and with burning or a feeling of coldness (29) in the chest.
It has been found of value in syphilis, with copper-colored eruptions (some of the provers got these copper-colored eruptions from taking even the crude Carbo animalis), for buboes which have a blue look (26) or for old buboes which have broken down and will not heal, but instead discharge an offensive ichor, the surrounding tissue being blue and indurated.
It is a remedy to be remembered for redness of the end of the nose (145) from cold.
Carbo animalis has a dragging bruised pain in the coccyx, or a pain there that becomes a burning n touch, which symptoms have been found as valuable indications for the annoying troubles connected with injury (34) or neuralgia (34) of the coccyx.
There are numerous symptoms in the provings referring to pain as if the parts were sprained. Lippe says : “Easy straining (173); great debility and spraining of the joints” (173); Hering adds: “Easily sprained from lifting even small weights.”