(From vol. vi. 2nd edit., 1827.)
(Ambergris, sometimes Ambra ambrasiaca, L )
This substance, often adulterated on account of its high price, we can hope to get genuine only in the first-class drug stores. The true ambergris, developed in the intestines of the sperm whale, as was proved by SCHWEDJAUR, and probably a fatty excretion from its gall-bladder, is obtained of the best quality from the sea, especially after stormy weather, off the coasts of Madagascar and Sumarta. It consists of small, rough, opaque masses, which are lighter than water, of spongy consistence, and can easily be broken up into rough, uneven pieces, externally of a brownish-grey colour, intenally permeated by yellowish, reddish, and blackish fibres intermingled with whitish, very odorous points, somewhat greasy to the touch, and of faint but very refreshing fragrance.
By the warmth of the fingers it becomes soft as wax, by the heat of boiling water its melts into oil, at the same time exhales a strong, very agreeable fragrance and on heated metal burns quite away. On applying a light to it it quickly takes fire, and burns with a bright flame.
Alcohol dissolves it very spatingly, but sulphuric ether dissolves it almost completely, and on adding alcohol a white wax-like substance is thrown down. Its feeble odour is much increased by this solution, as also by triturating it with other substances.
A grain of such genuine ambergris is triturated for an hour with 100 grains of milk-sugar in a porcelain mortar (every 10 minutes divided between 6 minutes of trituration and 4 minutes of scraping). Of this powder a grain is again triturated with another 100 grains of milk-sugar for an equal length of time, and in the same manner; and lastly, of this powder so obtained one grain is again triturated with a similar quantity of milk-sugar, in the same manner, and also for an hour. This furnishes a potentized millionth attenuation of ambergris, a small portion of a grain of which is not only sufficient for a dose for most homoeopathic purposes, but is often found to be quite so powerful; in which case its effects may be moderated by several small doses of camphor, but in many cases, according to the symptoms developed, by nux vomica, and in rarer cases by pulsatilla.
The duration of the action of such a dose is, in chronic cases, at least three weeks.
(The symptoms indicated by the letters Gff. Were observed by the State- councillor Freiherr von GERDOREF.).
[ None of the symptoms are derived from old school sources. Ambra first appears among Hahnemann’s medicine in the 2nd edition.]
Extraordinary, even dangerous vertigo.
Vertigo while walking in the open air, in the forenoon and afternoon.
On account of vertigo and weak feeling in the stomach she must lie down (afternoon, aft. 72 h.).
5. He is always as if in a dream.
He cannot think of anything properly; he is as if stupid (the first 24 h.).
Bad memory; the thinking power is very feeble; he must read everything therr or four times over, snd even then cannot take it in.
Great weakness in the head, with vertigo.
Weakness in the head, and a kind of chill in it.
10. Every morning headache, like emptiness, as if he had been drinking overnight.
Confusion in the occiput. [Gff.]Tension in the head, making him stupid.
Squeezing headache from both temples. [Gff.]
Squeezing confusion of the head. [Gff.]
15. Aching confusion in the head immediately after eating, especially when moving.
Pressure in the forehead ( with anxiety lest he should go mad) (aft. 48 h.).
Aching pain in the forehead. [Gff.]
Aching pain in occiput and nape. [Gff.]