THE ADDITIONAL GROUP (Heavy Metals).
Ferr. met is characterized by a tendency to rushes of blood, the face changing from pallor to fiery red on the slightest provocation. Red parts may suddenly turn pale, such as the lips, tongue, and mouth. Mucous membranes are pale, and the extremities, especially the legs, are cold. There is a tendency to bleeding, epistaxis and haemoptysis being common. The profound weakness necessitates frequent lying down, and may even progress to a state of fainting. The irritability of the circulation with the attending symptoms are better from prolonged moving about. Many complaints are worse at night and from sitting, nocturnal restlessness urging him on, but the weakness compelling him to lie down.
The congestive hammering, pulsating headache is often relieved by lying down, and also by walking about in the open air. The headaches recur periodically, and are aggravated by coughing, bending or any sudden movement. The headache of Bell. is aggravated lying down and relieved by cold applications, while the modalities of Ferr. are contrary, the headache not being relieved by cold applications but relieved by lying down. The menses are intermittent or there may be amenorrhoea due to the anaemia. Irregular menorrhagia may occur with instability in the circulatory system characterized by fiery red face, ear noises, profuse discharge of fluid or clotted blood with labor-like pains. Varicosities and acne appear during the menses.
Watery or milky leucorrhoea may occur. Other evidences of the excitability of the circulation are cardiac palpitation from nervous causes, the variation in the rate and intensity of the pulse, the congestion to the chest, leading to an intense sensation of oppression, and superficial respiration. These symptoms are relieved on moving about. There may be bloody expectoration on coughing. He coughs only in the day time, and is relieved on eating and on lying down. There is regurgitation of food in mouthfuls.
Ravenous hunger or total loss of appetite may prevail. Vomiting may occur soon after midnight, or may come as soon as food is taken. With one effort he ejects everything, and can then sit down to eat again. The painless diarrhoea containing undigested food comes at night or while eating or drinking. Cramps are felt in the calves at rest and at night. There is a restlessness in the extremities so that they are kept moving about. The relief on walking about slowly is a grand characteristic.
Cobalt has not been too thoroughly proven. In its pathogenesis there is contained states of restlessness, weakness and flushes of heat in parts, although the circulatory changes do not even begin to approach those of Ferr. There is pain in the back (lumbar and sacral regions) worse on sitting, better on standing, walking about and lying down. Frequent seminal emissions are associated with weakness of the extremities and pain in the legs on sitting. The headache is aggravated by bending forward. Pains in the region of the liver and spleen occur as in Mang. Itching from the warmth of the bed is characteristic.
An outstanding feature of Nickel is the periodicity of the migraine attacks which occur every 14 days beginning on the left side and passing over to the right, worse 10-11 am, and decreasing toward evening. This is similar to Plat. whose headache however tends to be right-sided. The erethism of the circulatory system is manifested by sensation of heat in the entire body, great heat and unrest at night, heaviness and fullness in the head with vertigo, and pressure on the forehead as from a hand or nail, relieved in the open air.
Macropsia or enlargement of distant objects is contrasted with the micropsia of Plat. The menses are too early or too late or intermittent, causing great weakness. A watery leucorrhoea appears especially after urination. The throat symptoms recall those of Mang., there being huskiness and dry coughing. With each sore throat, there is great sensitivity of the involved side to touch.
Osm, produces a most violent irritation of the whole respiratory tract, with a secretion of tough, stringy mucus, difficult to expectorate. It produces violent supraorbital and infraorbital neuralgia with lachrymation. It has been reported that glaucoma has been cured by this substance. In this condition the symptoms are iridiscent vision and severe pain around the eyes. There is violent fluent coryza. During the cough, his efforts to expectorate always fail, so he is obliged to swallow the mucus.
The element has not been well proven. The proving brought a numb sensation in the ears and in other parts of the body, cramp-like contraction of the calves and the sole of the foot, showing the alliance with Plat. It has been used in anaemia and states of weakness is rapidly growing children and old people.
This element is quite similar to Plat., this being due to the association of both elements in the natural state, and also because of the close chemical relationship. There is pain in the right ovarian region relieved by pressure, and a mental state similar to, yet differing from, that of Plat., there being great sensitiveness to praise, applause and flattery, and an easily wounded pride, becoming easily irritated and excited which mental state aggravates the ovarian pains. There is also a state of tearfulness and depression. The headache goes from one ear to the other over the vertex. There is fatigue, aversion to bodily labor and relief after sleep.
The sensation of sinking and downward pressure in the pelvis occurs in uterine prolapse as in Plat. The sensation of downward pressure is relieved by rubbing. The special affinity is for the right ovary with pain over the right thigh. With the pain there is frequent urination. Jelly-like leucorrhoea precedes and follows menstruation, accompanied by heaviness and weight in the pelvis. The uterine displacement causes pain in the back and hips, accompanied by cold extremities. The sensation of numbness in the arms, as in Plat., the aggravation from mental effort, from the company of others, and the frequent change in the sensations shows the neurotic character of the Pall. constitution.
The most characteristic effect of Plat. is the greatly increased sensitivity of the nervous system, so that she cannot even bear the napkin on the sexual parts, and may go into spasms from an examination, these paroxysms being characterized by clonic-tonic spasms, crying out, dyspnoea and so forth, combined with sexual erethism. There are neuralgias, paraesthesias and anaesthesias showing the hysterical make-up. The pains are attended by numbness of the parts. The hysterical patients are alternately gay and sad, with laughing then crying. She is arrogant, proud, “looking down on other people.”
Everything about her seems small, all persons appear physically and mentally inferior. Thus we see its indication in the grandiose ideas of the maniac state. The mental symptoms decrease when the physical symptoms appear, and vice versa. The pains increase and decrease gradually as in Stann., being often followed by sensations of numbness. The menses are too early and too profuse, the blood being dark and clotted. The stool, though soft as clay, remains adherent to the rectum and anus.
This element is similar in action to Iron, revealing its likeness in the anaemia, pale face, great fatigue and weakness relieved by lying down, congestion to the head and restless anxiety. The menses come too early and are scanty. There is also intermenstrual bleeding. The digestive disturbances are similar to Iron. As in Iron, the cough is relieved by lying down. The catarrhal conditions with dryness, roughness and constrictive sensation in the larynx, with deep cough, without expectoration or easy expectoration of yellow-green clumps or bloody mucus without much coughing, are all aggravated when the weather becomes damp and cold.
It is used in the hoarseness of professional speakers, but more for the voice conditions brought on by nervous factors. There are pains in all parts of the body on being touched, as though these parts were sore. There are neuralgias of various parts with numbness, twitching, tension, stiffness, weakness and trembling, especially of the legs.
We know that chronic manganese poisoning brings on symptoms indicative of central spastic paralysis. Thus we see that Mang., acts powerfully on the motor nervous system, producing paralysis, beginning with paraplegia, differing from Merc. in first affecting the lower extremities, tremors not being prominent, and from Lead in the absence of colic and constipation. There are inflammatory swellings over the tibia, with digging pains in the bones and periosteum at night. There are excoriations and fissures in the bends of the joints, with itching and burning of the skin. It is noteworthy that the symptoms which come on indoors are better in the open air and vice versa.
The action of this element is known through the proving of Kali bichromicum, which has a special affinity for fat, light-haired people. The great sphere of its action is on the mucous membranes, from which are discharged tough, stringy mucus which adheres to the parts and can be drawn into long strings. The complaints tend to appear in hot weather. There is pressive pain in the root of the nose, ulceration of the septum with bloody discharge or a discharge or hard plugs.
The voice is hoarse with the accumulation of much mucus in the larynx in the morning. The expectoration yields the tough, viscid, stringy material hanging down to the feet. The cough is always aggravated in the morning. In conjunctivitis there is tenacious yellow secretion from the eyes. Ulceration of the cornea occurs without much pain. There may be improvement of gastric complaints after eating. The gastric disturbances show a tendency to be aggravated between 2-5 a.m. There are dysentery like symptoms, with tenacious stringy mucus in the stool.
There may be persistent constipation. There are pains in the muscles, bones and joints, suddenly appearing and suddenly disappearing, wandering rapidly from the part to another, the pains often being localized in small spots so that they can be covered with the end of the finger. Neuralgia occurs every day at the same hour. There is headache with blurred vision or blindness preceding the attack, during which he lies down, has aversion to light and noise, the sight returning as the headache increases.
This element has not been proven.
Copper, like Iron, finds great use in chlorosis and secondary anaemia. It acts powerfully on the alimentary canal producing colic, vomiting and diarrhoea. It affects also the nerve centers, causing spasmodic affections, cramps, convulsions and paralysis. A great characteristic is that its symptoms tend to appear periodically and in groups. Spasm and cramps run through the picture. The convulsive manifestations go from localized twitchings of single muscles up to the most violent tonic-clonic spasms, in the form of epileptic attacks. There is also spasmodic dysmenorrhoea, uremic spasms, spasms from teething or from worms, and from brain irritations brought on by suppressed eruptions.
Spasmodic constrictions of the oesophagus cause dysphagia, bronchial spasms cause spasmodic coughing, or a spasm of the diaphragm causes agonizing pain. The action in whooping cough can be readily understood from its antispasmodic powers. In this condition there is cyanosis, squinting, twitching, and in the cough the child loses its breath and vomits spasmodically, and lies as though dead after the paroxysm, after which breathing gradually returns. Drinking cold water may abort the attack. The nocturnal aggravation of most complaints applies to the whooping cough. There is spasmodic constriction of the stomach and abdomen, and violent intestinal colic, with gushing, watery green diarrhoea with tenesmus as well as constipation. In the convulsive state there may be coldness, cyanosis, precordial anxiety, cramps in the calves and a tendency to collapse, as in cholera.
ARGENTUM, ARGENTUM NITRICUM.
Silver stands close to copper chemically and pharmacologically. It acts prominently on the mucous membranes of the digestive, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts; also on the articulations and bones, cartilages and ligaments. Its action on the spinal nerves causes pain in various parts, and a tendency to spasmodic action of muscles. Its sphere of influence is also extended to glandular organs and the heart. The action on the central nervous system stands out preeminently. The action is slow and deep. In both Argentum and Argentum nitricum there is blunting of thought, weakness and loss of memory.
All mental and head symptoms are aggravated by mental effort. With Arg. nit., this is expressed as a general trembling, weakness and anxiety, and mental restlessness, with a feeling as though something terrible were going to happen or that death would occur. A tendency for impulsive acts develop and a tendency to do things in a hurry. Time moves too slowly for the Arg. nit. patient as in Cannabis Indica. There is apprehension when ready to go to church, the movies, etc., at which time diarrhoea sets in. A valuable symptom for Arg. in general is vertigo and lack of recollection, as though intoxicated. It is used in nocturnal epilepsy with much vertigo. Transient blindness is observed in the vertigo of Arg. In the peripheral nerve involvement and the vertigo, we can see the use of Arg. in locomotor ataxia or beginning tabes dorsalis.
There is uncertain standing and walking in the dark and after severe mental effort. All convulsions are preceded by great restlessness. In Silver provings headaches are always brought out. They are boring and pulsating frequently in the left frontal eminence. Arg. nit. is a left-sided remedy, for often the left side of the body is weak. At the height of the hemicrania attack, bile is vomited. The attacks of pain are periodic, 11-12 a. m. being the time of aggravation for Arg. met., while the majority of the complaints of Arg. nit. show a nocturnal or early morning aggravation. A feeling as though the head were distended or as though a part of the body were distended is more characteristic of Arg. nit., being felt in the tympanitic abdomen and as the sensation of distention in the ovarian region.
The headache is relieved by pressure and firm bandaging, and aggravated by mental effort. Peripheral pain neuralgia occurs everywhere especially in the face and chest, and is made worse by contact. The severe, cutting lancinating pains go through to the back, along the sacrum, shooting like lightning through the arms and legs. There is crawling as of the insects on the skin, sticking and biting sensations, and feeling as though the parts were going to sleep, while on the motor side there is the tendency to trembling and convulsions, heaviness, fatigue and stiffness especially in the calves. Nervous itching leads to its use in pruritis.
The splinter-like sensation characterizes the action of Arg. nit. on the mucous membranes, particularly the throat and urethra. Art. met. is used by speakers and singers who develop hoarseness and aphonia after over-use of the voice. There is also a dry cough which comes on laughing or tickling in the larynx, or from a sore spot in the suprasternal notch, with much sputum, which in Arg. met. has the appearance of boiled starch. There may be dyspnoea and suffocation with desire for fresh air, worse lying and better moving about. In Arg. there is dyspnoea dependent on meteorism. The chest feels weak as in Stann. In animals there has been paralysis of the diaphragm and of the respiratory center through poisoning.
Asthma and whooping-cough are helped, though less often than by Copper. The gastric complaints of Arg. nit. causes severe pain. A small spot between the navel and xyphoid is sensitive to pressure, or there may be a sticking pain like an ulcer. Belching accompanies all gastric ailments. The distension creates a feeling as though the stomach would burst. There is a craving for sugar which aggravates the diarrhoea. The aggravation of the diarrhoea after drinking is so pronounced that fluids seem to rum right through the stomach and intestines. The diarrhoea of Arg. nit. consists of green mucus like chopped spinach.
Acute granular conjunctivitis scarlet red like raw meat, and profuse purulent discharge and ulcerated lids, agglutinated in the morning, is the picture of the ophthalmia. Both remedies have chronic laryngitis of singers. Arg. nit. is chilly when he is uncovered, yet he craves the fresh air, feeling smothered when he is wrapped up. The constitutional type affected by Arg. nit. is the withered, dried up, old-looking patients, with emaciation progressing from year to year. In children there is a state of marasmus.
Gold acts pre -eminently on the arterial vascular system, producing a sensation of heat with rush of blood, waves to the head, pressure sensation, heaviness, dullness and vertigo, rushing and weaving in the head, noises as rushing and swishing in the ears with decreased hearing. There is sensation of cold over the body, later a sensation of heat, with a sensation as if the blood boiled in the arteries. There may be heat to the face with cold hands and feet. The improvement of symptoms by walking in the open air, the general aggravation by cold as well as through mental effort is understood on the basis of these vasomotor symptoms. Severe palpitation is accompanied by great anxiety. There is congestion to the head and chest on exertion.
The pulse is feeble, rapid and irregular with visible beating of the carotid and temporal arteries. There is a sensation as though the heart stood still, and then suddenly gave one hard thump. Aur. is often indicated in conditions of arterial hypertension, with sclerosis of the coronary and cerebral arteries. In cerebral sclerosis there come into play numerous mental symptoms, and symptoms involving the intellect. The typical patient is “heavy- blooded, heavy mentally, and heavy in habit and motion.” The chief eye symptom is the hemiopia where only the lower half of the object is seen. There is caries of the nasal, palatine and mastoid bone, and ozaena, otorrhoea, foetid discharge, and pains which are aggravated at night.
When profound melancholia occurs in arteriosclerosis, in luetics, after misuse of mercury, and in women at the menopause, accompanied by great irritability and a strong suicidal tendency, then perhaps Aur. is the remedy. He is over-sensitive, the least contradiction exciting wrath; he is over-sensitive also to the pain, to orders, to taste, hearing and touch. There is falling of the hair especially in syphilis and mercurial affections. Aur. follows well and is followed well by Syph.
Zinc. acts deeply on the cerebrospinal system, producing an erethism in the brain, medulla and spinal cord, characterized by delirium, spasms, neuralgia, tremors, and hyperaesthesia, followed by cerebral depression and paralysis, the latter being the most important homoeopathic application. It also produces anaemia. There is a great fatigue, yet at the same time restlessness and excitement, with twitching of single muscles or over the entire body, and particularly characteristic is the restlessness of the feet so that he must move them constantly. For insomnia with great unrest in the extremities, Zincum valerianicum is preferred.
Due to central irritation, convulsions may occur, especially in children with pale faces when the eruption in infectious diseases does not appear or when irritative cerebral manifestations appear as from worms or teething, the child rolling the head from side to side or boring the head into the pillow and grinding its teeth. This may occur in hydrocephalus and in meningitis. Headaches are common. There is pain at the root of the nose, as though the nose were pressed back into the head. There is severe migraine, trigeminal neuralgia with spasms, vomiting, nausea, dimming of vision, vertigo and a tendency to fall to the left. The headaches are congestive with redness of the face. All the head symptoms are aggravated after wine.
There is left-sided ovarian neuralgia with boring pain, restlessness before the menses, the pain being relieved by pressure and as soon as the flow of blood appears. The flow of blood relieves all her symptoms, but they return as soon as the menses cease. The trembling of muscles, crawling and numbness in the hands, calves and feet, then weakness and stiffness soon develops into paralysis. There is ptosis or complete paralysis of the upper lids; paresis of the bladder sphincter causes voiding on walking, coughing or sneezing. Often he can urinate only when sitting bent backwards.
There may be spasms in the pharynx or oesophagus, causing spasmodic dyspnoea with a sense of constriction, relieved by expectoration. The bloody sputum on coughing is due to the easy rupture of vessels. The nausea and vomiting is worse from movement, eating and wine. There is ravenous hunger about 11-12 a. m. in which state he cannot eat fast enough. Severe conjunctivitis is produced, the pains being worse in the evening and at night, with a sensation of sand in the eyes, profuse lachrymation, agglutination of the lids and photophobia.
Cadm. has marked action on mucous membranes, especially that of the alimentary canal. It also acts on the mucous membrane of the nasal passage and the ocular conjunctiva. There is nausea and vomiting of acid, black and yellow masses containing blood or bile, with exhaustion, cold sweat, anxiety, restlessness, trembling of lower jaw, icy coldness and thirst suggesting the picture of Ars. especially after the addition of diarrhoea. There is a desire to be left completely alone. It is also useful in ozaena, the inflammation of the nasal mucosa progressing to ulceration and caries of the bones with an odor of ulcer or cancer. It is a useful drug in gastric carcinoma with constant vomiting. Facial paresis has been cured by Cadm. sulph. In the provings are found twitchings, trembling and paraesthesias showing the analogy to Zinc.
Mercury acts on all mucous membranes, especially affecting the mouth, throat, and large intestinal mucosa. Stomatitis causes offensive salivation, looseness of the teeth with nightly aggravation of the toothache, worse from cold and warmth. There are glandular swellings of the mouth and throat especially the salivary glands. The swollen tongue shows the imprint of the teeth, and even with the moist tongue there is a great thirst. There are ulcerations and aphthae in the mouth. There is always a tendency to suppuration. In the coryza there is yellow-green, thick copious acrid secretion and the periosteum may become involved with ulcer formation. The inflamed eyes, with blepharitis, conjunctivitis and acrid secretion, are sensitive to light and the flame of a fire.