CALCAREA CARBONICA


A state of irritable weakness of the nervous system, neurasthenia with its various symptoms, congestive headache, sleeplessness, tendency to cramps and convulsions, epileptic attacks are some other clinical indications. We find calcium in nature everywhere in the water, and in the body in the countless channels with their interposed glands which carry the fluids to and from the cells, forming the lymphatic system.


Calcium carbonicum originates from the fireborn granite rocks which from the greatest part of the earth crust. They are party calcium-silicates (such as plagioklas, amphibol, epidote, pyroxen) containing also alumina and magnesia. Calcium itself, a white shiny metal, cannot exist under natural conditions: wherever it appears it shows a tendency to combine with water and with carbonic acid. The openings of the earth, the volcanoes, exhale continuously carbonic acid, the same as plants and animals; the gas emanates into the atmosphere, and the water vapors saturated with it fall down as rain and snow to start their work of destruction of the silicates.

The countless water threads penetrating through fissures and rifts of the earth and the rocks, the rivers and streams and oceans, they all work unceasingly to destroy the silicates by replacing silicic acid with carbonic acid. Thus calcium is freed and combines instantly with carbonic acid to form calcium carbonicum. In the waters of the earth, containing more or less carbonic acid, it appears at first in its soluble form, as calcium hydrocarbonicum and is held in solution by the free carbonic acid.

As soon as carbonic acid diminishes, partly through evaporation, partly through its assimilation by the green plants, calcium carbonicum precipitates either in its granular form as limestone, or crystallized as common spar or calcite. There it develops a variability of forms surpassing all other minerals, even silicea. 2500 different kinds of calcite crystals are known up to now, demonstrated an extraordinary formative power working in this mineral. Besides, its crystallized form the carbonate of calcium occurs in granular, lamellar, earthy, stalactite, tuberous, nodular and other imitative forms. It is carried in its soluble form by rivers and streams into the ocean. There a new cycle of its circulation begins.

The oceans of a more juvenile epoch had a more acid character due to a larger content of silicic acid and we find silica in the early organisms of the class of the radiolaria and foraminifera. The more the dissociation of the silicates progressed the more calcium was brought into the oceans. Life began to ascend from the depths of the sea and approached the seashore. A new generation of living beings appeared in the course of this development, no more free floating in the softly undulating waves but exposed to the thundering storm of the surf. Life clung with tenacity to the rocky reefs of land and mollusks and myriads of tiny polyps settled.

For the first time a need arose for something to shelter the soft living substance and to provide it with stability. These tiny polyps, called corals, excreted ammonia and carbon dioxide which exchanged with the soluble calcium of the water. In this way calcium carbonicum was precipitated as a layer encrusting the tender animals with a protecting cover and building up a skeleton of life conforming to the inner structure of the corals. The parent layers died off, leaving their skeleton as a foundation for the colony and enormous masses of limestone were accumulated and laid down on the ground of the sea.

In a similar way other inhabitants of the seashore, bryozoa, sea stars, sea-urchins and lilies, also algae built up a skeleton of calcareous plates. One of the greatest groups of the animal kingdom, the mollusks, formed by secretion of their mantle, a fleshy tissue fold, the shell. There are 80,000 different species of this class known, only one of them, the species, conus, counting 650 various forms shells with beautiful shapes, designs and columns, a bewildering array, an amazing outburst of the enormous formative power of nature.

The ocean receded, violent movements in the earth crust displaced the underground of the sea which became land and what has been once a part of organic life entered again into an inorganic cycle. The mighty accumulations of coral skeletons and shells towered as white grayish mountains of limestone. For the first time in the life of the earth, organisms took part in the formation of the landscape, and it was the skeleton of the earth, the earth crust which they shaped and impregnated with the help of calcium carbonicum.

Finally life ascended land completely, and again calcium was needed to built up a firm structure capable to sustain life on the firm ground. Again it entered the organic cycle. The great class of the vertebrata evolved. The formation of the most organized and shaped organ, the brain, covered by the calcareous skull became prominent and the formative power spread downward from the brain as its center into the spine and reached out from there into extremities which could master the earth. With it went calcium to finish the organisms, giving him a definite and enduring structure.

We find the formative forces concentrated in the brain and in the skeleton, and in the inorganic world particularly in the force represented by the element calcium. From this viewpoint it is interesting to learn that brain-tissue has the ability to unite with calcium to a greater extent than other tissues, with the exception of cartilage. It appears like a foreshadowing of future evolution when nature forms a calcium coral so astonishingly similar to the form of a brain that it is called brain-coral.

Following the course of calcium through the world, we find it influencing also the human organism in its characteristic way. It is of the highest importance for the regulating function of the brain; it develops here the same confining inhibitory action which we observe everywhere in the body. The excitability of the brain as well as of the nerves is decreased by calcium, the motor area becomes less irritable. It controls the passage of nerve impulses from nerve to muscle across the myoneural junction and acts also as an inhibitory factor on the transmission of nerve stimuli through the synapses between nerve-fibres and nerve- cells.

Decrease of calcium produces restlessness, twitching of muscles and finally convulsions. Its function in the nervous system is to keep the reflectory reactions under control and to decrease the excitability to produce a well ordered, voluntarily governed action. The effect upon the autonomous nervous system is generally stimulation of the sympathetic, leading again to contraction and inhibition.

Under the influence of calcium the heart beats faster and comes finally to a standstill in systole, the vascular tonus increases and the walls of the capillaries tighten. In a similar way it inhibits the motility and secretory activity of the gastro-intestinal tract directly or through vagal depression.

The other tissue which attracts calcium to a high degree is cartilages. The slow metabolism of the cartilage produces less carbon-dioxide than the other tissues and therefore calcium is precipitated. With the help of the probably calcium secreting osteoblasts and a ferment, phosphatase, the ossification of the cartilage takes place.

Most important is the influence of calcium upon the body-fluids. We finds its primary solidifying action again in blood, lymph, and milk where it is indispensable for the process of coagulation. As ionized calcium it is the element which acts constantly against the liquefying and dissolving tendency of the other ions, and its chief function is to decrease the permeability of the cells by tightening the cell walls, thus consolidating the cell structure.

Looking back at the circulation of calcium on earth we visualize in all its functions the same force, a solidifying principle through which life materializes, and which at the same time protects the soft and sensitive organs like an oyster-shell, from which Hahnemann took its middle layer, to prepare a remedy which he called calcarea carbonica.

A new cycle started for calcium as it entered for the first time the diseased organism as a potentized remedy. If we look at the personality which needs calcarea carbonica we may well get the impression of an oyster without a shell. There is a pump, flabby, fat and pale individual with a bloated appearance and soft, lax muscles; the hand feels wet, mostly cool and soft as if without bones, a flabby mass. The body surface feels here and there cold and wet, cold sweat breaking out easily at single parts, particularly on head and feet. There is also a subjective feeling of icy coldness of different parts.

The tissues are relaxed every where and seem to have little resistance. There is a general state of lassitude and laxness and the slightest exertion exhausts. This type is extremely chilly and you have to close the windows, because the slightest draft of cool air will bring a cold or a rheumatic pain. As easily exhaustible as the body, is the mind of the person. The least mental effort knocks him out. The memory is weak, the brain like paralyzed. there is no concentration power, the thoughts become more and more confused.

There is a complete awareness of this mental weakness and of the utter inability to overcome it. This brings about fear. Fear that other people could detect his condition, fear that something evil may happen, fear that he could lose his reason. He becomes despondent with a sensitive, irritable mood, excited by trifles, open to every external impression which goes right through this weak and flabby mass. Unprotected as he is, he needs a shell. He needs the forces which are working in the formation of a skeleton or of a shell he needs calcarea carbonica.

Whatever organ is affected, if this constitution is present, calcarea carbonica will be the remedy. Nevertheless there is a special direction towards certain organ system. The formative, solidifying properties of calcium point to its value in diseases of the cartilages and bones and of the nervous system. Softening of the bones , irregular distribution of calcium-deposits in the bones leading to exostoses, chronic inflammation of bones and joints is one field for calcarea carbonica as a remedy.

A state of irritable weakness of the nervous system, neurasthenia with its various symptoms, congestive headache, sleeplessness, tendency to cramps and convulsions, epileptic attacks are some other clinical indications. We find calcium in nature everywhere in the water, and in the body in the countless channels with their interposed glands which carry the fluids to and from the cells, forming the lymphatic system.

The constitution of the person who needs calcarea carbonica is so to speak a watery one, it is unprotected against the overflow of the lymph fluids which transudate already under-normal conditions, producing the bloated appearance. Under the slightest inflammatory stimulus the flood gates of the lymph and blood capillaries open and serum transudates into the interstitial tissue and over the mucous membranes, bringing about lingering catarrhs of the various organs.

Following the inflammations of the lymphatic system the lymph-glands become enlarged, hypertrophic, hard or suppurating. The mucous membranes are bloated and irritated by the chronic flow of secretions and tend to produce polyps. There unfolds the whole pathology of what is called leucophlegmatic constitution, or exudative diathesis. Here calcarea carbonica develops again its tightening, drying, consolidating qualities, protecting the organism against the overflow of fluids.

The provings give us the most important modalities and numerous symptoms, indispensable for exact prescribing in many different conditions, fitting into the outlined general picture.

What remains when life has vanished is the inorganic part of the body, the Calcarea Skeleton, the symbol of death. Wherever in the body necrosis occurs, the dying tissue attracts calcium, and when it is dead, calcium precipitates, calcification takes place.

The less life and metabolism is in a tissue or organ the more does it attract calcium. Looking at man we see the most formed organs and parts of his body, rich in calcium, confining the human figure, putting as it were in end to its development. Through silicea the formative force still works in the softer parts of the structure, in the connective tissue. Through calcium the definite materialization and crystallization takes place the end of the cycle of life.

Journal of the Ame. Inst. of Homoeopathic. Vol. 39 No. 10.

William Gutman