Common name. – Carbolic Acid. Preparation. – Solution in alcohol, from which dilutions are made.
Acts primarily upon the cerebro-spinal nerve centers, destroying their vitality, and thus producing a tendency to deterioration of the solids and fluids of the body, even causing the presence in the latter of animal and vegetable organisms, and from the disorganization of the blood haemoglobinuria (black urine) results. Thus is readily understood not only its therapeutic action when administered internally, but also its important property both as a therapeutic and preventive agent, in its destructive influence over the lower grades of organic life, whether vegetable or animal. In very weak solution it instantly destroys vegetable mold, both plant and spores, and operates with equal destructiveness upon minute or microscopic animalcules. Through this power it checks the different fermentations, including putrefaction, and thus acts powerfully as an antiseptic or disinfecting agent. It operates with wonderful efficiency in correcting or preventing putrefaction in animal substances, produces the same effect in the living human subjects, and through the same influence corrects or suppresses those fermentative processes in the body which often lead to the most serious results, as purulent infection, poisoned dissecting wounds, carbunculous disease, and hospital gangrene (Arch. Gen. 1873). Carbolic acid produces paralysis of the heart and respiration. Either locally or internally it causes inflammation of the mucous membranes with hardness, whitening, shriveling, and tendency to ulceration and membranous exudation. It causes a vesicular eruption upon the skin, and applied locally causes anaesthesia.
Mind Disinclination to mental exertion; very irritable.
Head. Dull, heavy headache, as if a rubber band were stretched tightly around the forehead (Ant. tart., Chelidonium, Mercurius, Nitr. ac., Sulphur). Feeling of tightness across the forehead, above the frontal sinuses. Small pustulous vesicle at left to vertex. Itching of the scalp (Causticum, Graphites, Sepia, Silicea, Sulphur).
Eyes. Orbital neuralgia over right eye.
Nose. Ozoena, with great foetor and ulceration.
Face. Face pale or flushed, and burning.
Throat Sore throat, worse on the right side. Hawking of clear white mucus. Fauces red and covered with a mucous exudation. Spasm of carotid artery, while walking rapidly after dinner. Uvula whitened and shriveled. Spasmodic contraction of oesophagus.
Stomach Total loss of appetite. Empty eructations. Desire for whisky (Asarum europaeum). Constant belching of large quantities of wind. Excessive nausea, and inclination to vomit; while eating a little, after breakfast.
Abdomen. Pain in right hypochondrium; also in iliac region of both sides. Rumbling and rolling in the abdomen, with a sense of distension (Cinchona, Lycopodium)
Stool Cholera infantum, with putrid discharges like foul eggs.
Urine Urine dark; dark greenish-brown; almost black; dark smoky color; alkaline.
Female Organs. Menses profuse and dark colored. Pain in region of left ovary when walking in the open air, soon subsiding. Puerperal fever, with putrid symptoms. Ulceration of the cervix uteri (Hydras.)
Respiratory Organs. Stertorous respiration (Opium). Short, hacking cough, with tickling in the throat. Feeling of narrowness in the chest, as if the diaphragm depressed the lungs.
Back. Soreness of the muscles of the back and limbs. Pain in the loins; worse when straightening himself and by jolting while riding.
Upper Limbs. Constant tired, heavy feeling in left arm. Soreness of the muscles of the right arm. Aching pain in left forearm.
Lower Limbs. Lower extremities feel heavy as lead. Aching soreness beneath left patella; feel as if it would be stiff and sore to move it, but it is not felt at all during motion. Aching pain in left shin bone. Sharp pain in left shin bone.
Generalities. Great languor and profound prostration. Easily fatigued by the least walk. Faintness, causing sweat and nausea, the heart seems to almost stop. Aggravation by reading, especially of the pressing at occiput, unfitting him for study.
Skin Itching of the skin on various parts of the body (Sulphur). Vesicular eruption all over the body, which itches excessively; better after rubbing, but leaving a burning pain (Sulphur).
Compare Arsenicum Baptisia, Gelsemium, Kali chl., Kreosotum, Lachesis, Acid Muriaticum, Acid nitricum, Petrol., Phosphorus, Picric ac., Rhus tox., Sulphur
Antidote. Saccharate of lime in solution.
As may be readily inferred Carbolic acid is a remedy in diseases having a putrid tendency. Malignant diseases such as diphtheria; scarlet fever; typhoid fever; tendency to destruction of tissues. An invaluable remedy, both locally and internally, for unhealthy putrid discharges from any mucous surface; nasal catarrh; aphthae; leucorrhoea; erosions and ulcerations of the os and cervix; epithelioma, etc., also, in like manner, on the skin it is useful in irritable ulcers, ulcers following burns, vesicular eruptions; epithelioma; especially useful in pruritus and prurigo. Confluent small-pox. Has been used in diabetes and Bright’s disease. Often useful in laryngitis, bronchitis, whooping cough, phthisis; with offensive purulent expectoration. Dyspepsia. Vomiting of drunkards. Morning sickness. Sick headache. Dysentery with putrid, bloody mucus discharges, also with vomiting of a dark green substance. Carbolic acid has characteristic headache as if a rubber band were stretched tight around the forehead and temples, and which is apt to accompany dyspepsia and other conditions when the drug is indicated. On account of its germicidal properties Carbolic acid is a valuable remedy for diseases arising from bad drainage, defective sewerage, etc.