Read before I.H.A., Bureau of Materia MEdica, June 7, 1935.
H.R. January, 1936.
In presenting a brief sketch of this wonderful remedy my object is to bring out an image of sickness that will not tax the memory with a few scattered symptoms, however valuable they may be.
A long painful list of symptoms must fail to hold interest, for such a list can easily be obtained in any of our many works on materia medica as the need may arise for it. In such a group of symptoms there is a lack of continuity and spirit that relegates it to the category of dead inanimate things.
When pictures of sick individuals are presented to our minds eye, living, breathing although suffering, and clothed in the aspects of death, there is that subtle indefinable force that grasps and impresses our consciousness with a lasting imprint; no effort of memory is required to recall the needed remedy of a sick individual when we have absorbed the spiritual, mental and physical aspects of each medicine as an entity. Materia medica then becomes an intensely fascinating pastime and ceases to be a difficult and laborious pursuit.
Carbo. veg. is one of our many-sided remedies of broad range, corresponding to both acute and chronic states of disease and indicated alike in the complaints of the infant, the child, the adult and the aged. It is a consolation and a boon to the suffering along lifes highway from the cradle to the grave.
Often in the delayed or hindered respiration of the new born, where weakness and cyanosis are present rather than the excessive mucus that occurs when Ant. tart. is needed, Carbo. veg. will give the magic touch to start the tides of life pulsating on in the rhythm of health.
And in the early marches of lifes battle, when acute diseases or food disagreements have weakened the nutritive side of the organism or the sequelae of acute disease, especially whooping cough, has left the patient weak and sick, then Carbo. veg. is the most likely remedy to raise the vital tides to health.
Then later, when the adult has fallen victim to his appetite and dissipation has weakened the body stamina so that, every little strain, every little indiscretion in eating and drinking fills him with suffering and weakness, he becomes sensitive to his environment and cannot adjust his nervous mechanism to even the slightest changes, this remedy has the power to rehabilitate that broken constitution and bring back warmth and strength and hope.
And at the end of lifes journey, when racked with suffering and anguish, cold, pulseless, blue and gasping for breath, he wants to bee fanned, that more of the life-sustaining oxygen may be wafted to his air-hungry tissues, what a comfort and power is released in the administration of this remedy!
Even the most desperate states of sickness at the brink of the grave may be restored : surgical shock; loss of vital fluids; exhausting debilitating diseases, protracted fevers with exhaustion; pneumonia with gangrene of the lungs, prune-juice expectoration, cold sweat, cyanosis, complete exhaustion, almost pulseless a nd wants to be fanned; this is a picture of one of the worst aspects of Carb. veg., yet this picture of terror often is magically changed to one of hope and health by this wonderful remedy.
Carb. veg. is an antidote for many poisoning conditions. Food poisonings from tainted foods, especially tainted fish; with extreme burning pains, flatulence, extreme distension, weakness, cold sweats, weakened pulse and blueness, yet craves the air and is relieved by fanning. Gas poisoning and noxious fumes of all kinds are likely to need this remedy; the patient may be unconscious, pulseless and blue, and still Carb. veg. can save.
The Carb. veg. patient is sensitive to even a very little alcohol, becomes dizzy and flushed with burning at the stomach, and later weak and depressed from only a small amount of wine.
This is one of the remedies for patients having very feeble reactive power. Their weakness is such they cannot respond to remedy action.
Carb. veg. must be thought of along with Opium for the effects of shock and fright and with Psor. in the sequelae and weakness of long lasting chronic or subacute illness; it may be compared also with Arnica and Rhus tox. from the ill effects of injuries, strains and bruises. Cuprum, Camphora and Veratrum alb. in cholera-like conditions, are all to be compared with Carb. veg.; China should be compared with Carb. veg. for the weakness that follows haemorrhage and the loss of other vital fluids, with Sepia where the woman has never been well since the birth of her child.
The chronic aspect of Carb. veg. is very distinctive. An individual slowed down mentally and physically; sleepy and tired even to a state of exhaustion. A venous patient with engorged capillaries giving the face a dark flush or even a purplish hue. One who is sensitive to the two extremes of temperature, whose feet and knees are icy cold and whose head and face hot, except perhaps the nose, which may be cold and dark red with engorged capillaries showing.
Kent calls the Carb. veg. patient a venous patient, and varicosities with burning pains is a marked feature. And as one might expect, the heart of the Carb. veg. subject is weak and irregular in function, the flabby heart muscles may go on to dilatation either acute or chronic. Acute dilatation following acute digestive troubles with great flatulence and distention with weakness, collapse and even unconsciousness and death may close the scene if this remedy is not recognized and given soon enough.
There are some striking mental symptoms. Timidity, especially the fear of darkness, is very marked. Darkness also aggravates some of the physical states, as the difficult breathing. We have mentioned the mental sluggishness and memory weakness. Fixed ideas, fear of ghosts, especially in the dark. Some of the general aspects of this remedy will remind us of the snake poisons, of Opium and Am. carb., especially the sleep aggravations, awakens out of sleep, suffocating and frightened.
This synopsis of this truly wonderful remedy is designed only to stimulate study and research into the materia medica. Such study will be amply rewarded, because this medicine is not used as frequently as it should be by the average prescriber.
DR. V.E. BALDWIN: Some years ago I made a trip to California and visited a friend who was supposed to have tuberculosis. Along with many of the symptoms the doctor
2 mentioned, there was one he didnt mention, and that is painless hoarseness. When I met him at the train, he was not able to speak and I said, “Does your throat feel as bad as it sounds?” He answered me in a whisper.
Largely on that symptom I gave a dose of Carbo veg., and that is ten years ago. He got well of his consumption and has made good since.
DR. A. PULFORD: Dr. Grimmer spoke of some symptoms of Carbo veg. and their relation to the snake poisons.
A little while ago I had a lady come to the office with prominent varicose veins at the tip of her nose. It was quite disfiguring to her and made her look as though she were a chronic toper. The doctor didnt happen to mention that symptom along with the others; but what few symptoms I could get led me in that direction, but failed and I replaced Carbo veg. with Crotalus horridus.
DR. WAFFENSMITH: In conjunction with this remedy I want to call attention to Medorrhinum. Medorrhinum often comes in as a very useful complement to Carbo veg. and very often we overlook this valuable remedy in conjunction without study of Carbo veg.