A lean, hungry, emaciating individual leads us to the group of remedies which contains Nitric Acid. If the face is sickly, doughy-looking, or sallow and bloated; if there are decided excoriations in all the outlets of a body; if there is a tendency to suppurations and ulcerations with slow healing; if, on top of these characteristics, the patient is sad, broken-hearted, disgusted with life, we almost surely have a Nitric Acid case to deal with. But we must hunt for more detail to corroborate this opinion.
To put this search into the framework many physicians follow in studying a remedy – we look first to the highest realm of general symptoms – those affecting the innermost of man, his perversions of will, his moods, his loves and hates, his emotions – and we find:.
This sad, broken-hearted person thinks he is deserted, without friends; the whole world is against him.
Fancies he will die soon; desires to die, but has a real fear of death.
Anxious; sleepless; has frightful dreams and imaginations.
Violently irritable; insensible to apologies and excuses.
Violent about trifles all day and then has to laugh at himself.
Disappointed; vexed at the least trifle, vexed at himself for his own mistakes.
Resorts to cursing, swearing and generally feels no regrets.
Easily startled; frightened.
Taciturn; inclined to weep.
Greatly better by riding over smooth surfaces, in a carriage or an automobile.
To come now to the next lower class of generals, those in the mental or intellectual sphere:.
Thinking becomes difficult.
When collecting thoughts to reply, he drops what he was holding.
Weakness of memory.
Thoughts vanish on trying to concentrate.
Aversion to mental exertion and exhaustion from it.
Then physical generals, those predicated of the body as a whole; first those of very high grade:.
Physical exhaustion; too weak to work; desire to go to bed.
Lack of vital heat, a chilly individual:.
Worse cold, raw weather; raw winds.
Pains come suddenly and go suddenly.
Twitchings here and there all over the body.
Excessive hunger associated with weakness and emaciation.
Then a little lower grade physical generals:.
Worse hot weather but better application of heat.
Worse milk and fats.
Bone pains which are gnawing; diseased bone.
General character of pains;.
Sticking, jabbing, like splinters or sticks.
Offensive odor to body and discharges, a strong pungent odor.
Tendency to haemorrhages in many parts:.
Profuse; bright red blood.
Tendency to excoriation at all orifices of the body.
Tendency to ulceration in general; to indurated glands; boils; fissures; fistulae.
Tendency to figwarts.
Discharges a dirty yellow-green.
So much for general symptoms predicated if the patient as a whole. Now for particular symptoms, those predicated if a part or a group of parts but not the whole; characteristic particulars only:.
Head: feels hot; as if tightly bound; scalp sensitive in headache, cannot be touched. Worse weight of hat. Eczema of scalp; hair falling easily.
Eyes: Diplopia; photophobia marked; sensation of cobwebs before the eyes; sore in corners, fissures there; tears excoriate. Vision becomes dim while reading. Dryness beneath upper lids.
Ears: noises in ears; hearing blunted; Eustachian tubes obstructed; deafness better while riding.
Nose: tip red, scurfy, feels full of splinters; fissures of alae nasi, sensation of sticks, bloody crusts. Nasal diphtheria.
Tongue: sensitive even to soft food, fissured down the middle, blisters on it, bites it when chewing.
Mouth: fissures in corners; saliva acrid, excoriating, producing red spots; rawness lips.
Teeth yellow; gums detached, bleeding; teeth loose.
Cankers, aphthae, yellow patches; jaws crack while eating.
Throat: purple; exudate like diphtheria with area surrounding purple; sticking like a fish-bone.
Face: eruption pustular with ulceration.
Stomach: pains pressing, gnawing, pulsating, burning.
sensation of a heavy weight.
Abdomen: liver enormously enlarged.
Rectum: constant pressure as of a weight; haemorrhoids, fissure of anus, fistula, constriction of anus.
Stools offensive, green, slimy, clay-colored, bloody, pasty, sour.
Urinary: retention of urine; involuntary urination.
Urine of strong odor like that of a horse, sometimes bloody.
Urethra: sticking pains.
Sexual organs, male: burning in testicles; brown spots glans; itching scrotum; Condylomata.
Sexual organs, female: leucorrhoea excoriating, bloody, brown stain. Tumors of vulva.
Chest: rush of blood to chest; dyspnoea when walking slowly. Cough violent, gagging with face red or blue. Expectoration greenish, offensive, sometimes white casts from lung cells.
Extremities: drawing pains in small of back and all limbs.
Pain in hollows of knees with stiffness.
Numbness of hands, feet.
Nails misshapen. Felons.
Rheumatic pains cease suddenly and other symptoms take their place.
Skin: unhealthy, itching violent, yellowish-brown spots.
Eruption moist, pustular; warts sticking, pricking.
Ulcers offensive, irregular in outline, profuse exuberant granulations, bleed from slightest touch.
Discharge dirty yellow-green.
Perspiration: night sweats profuse, worse parts lain on; on feet offensive with blisters on toes.
Accompanied cold hands, blue nails.
Peculiar symptoms: shocks on going to sleep.
Affinity for border lines between skin and mucous membranes.
Sharp, sticking pains; excoriations; rawness.
Bleeding from all mucous membranes.
Epilepsy starting with sensation of a mouse running up and down the left side.
Relationships: an antidote to Mercury and to Kali iodide.
Follows Kali carb. in phthisis.
Thuja follows well in sycosis.
Nitric Acid, therefore, represents a patient thoroughly miserable with deep-seated ailments.
It is certainly closely related to all three of the chronic miasms, an anti-syphilitic, anti-sycotic, anti-psoric. It deserves careful study and quick recognition when indicated, for it will bring relief and peace to many a sufferer. This may be said to be true of the acid group of remedies in general, but Nitric Acid is much better known than most other acids, having had thorough proving and good clinical testing.
DISCUSSION ON SYMPOSIUM ON NITRIC ACID.
DR. V. TABER CARR: In Dr. Greens paper she gave a perfect picture of the mental symptoms of a case of catatonic excitement that I had several years ago: irritability, and excitability, and swearing, and what-not. This patient under observation was definitely relieved by nosebleed. I looked in Kents Repertory, and there I found “Relief by nosebleed, Nitric Acid 200.,” and that took care of the case.
DR. MARION BELLE ROOD: I should like to ask a question. Dr. Grimmer said in the last sentence in his paper, “Nitric Acid and Lachesis are incompatible,” but almost in the first paragraph I noticed he said, “I once cured a case of epilepsy with Lachesis when Nitric Acid had failed.” When you speak of two remedies as incompatible, do you mean you are dare not use one after having used the other and failed, without giving a different remedy to antidote the first one? In that case what do you do?.
DR. A.H. GRIMMER: Incompatibles and compatibles are, I think, stressed a little bit too much. It may not meet with Dr. Bryants ideas. Dr. Bryant is the one who made that statement, Dr. Rood, not I, but we all are confronted with conditions like that. I have given incompatibles many times when the symptoms called for them and gotten good results. I have helped with apis patients that had had Rhus tox. and didnt get the relief that they should in rheumatic conditions. Apis is incompatible with Rhus. We have an authority in one of our great masters of the past. Dr. Nash, who took this same stand, that remedies could be given, even Causticum and Phosphorus, if they were indicated.
DR. THOMAS K. MOORE: Just a minute on this very point. I want to tell you something from Dr. Boger. I asked him about that, and this was his idea, as he gave it to me: “If you give a remedy and you get no result, then it doesnt matter much what you follow it with, it can be its antagonist or what-not.”.
DR. A.H. GRIMMER: I should like to comment on the symposium for myself. I think Dr. Greens presentation was ideal. She gave us the generals, and in such a way that we can compare other remedies.
The next remedy we will take up is fresh in my mind because I wrote a paper on Thuja, but it is astonishing how many of the general symptoms and even particular symptoms of Nitric Acid are very similar to Thuja. It is sometimes a little hard to differentiate unless you go carefully into the remedy and the character of the pains is one of the things, the sudden, sticking pains, which will make you select Nitric Acid.
Thuja and Nitric Acid have in common growths of warty condylomata, and all these ulcerations are very common and very much like each other. They are also both powerful anti-sycotics and anti-syphilitics, so it will do well to listen carefully to Thuja and see how similar these are.
DR. EDWARD WHITMONT: I should like to hear something said about the antagonistic question – perhaps something dramatic. If the first prescription is wrong, and the other one is less correct, does it get less correct because you gave whatever it may be? The patient who requires Phosphorus still requires Phosphorus, in spite of all you gave her before. Suppose, how, that is where the antagonistic remedy comes in – suppose the first one is the correct one. It has to be followed up.
Take the opposite, the complementary remedies. If you have a case of, lets say, Thuja, Medorrhinum is complementary. It doesnt mean you are going to give Medorrhinum. You will think of Medorrhinum and see whether its symptoms are indicated. You are more likely to think of it, but that is all; and the same with an antagonistic remedy. You might be careful in its choice, but just as little as you would be inclined to give Medorrhinum just because it is complementary, so you should be averse to give an antagonistic remedy because it is antagonistic. The symptoms decide; and if the symptoms strongly demanded it, we would forget the relationship.
I think this point of antagonisms and the complementaries is only a reminder, a repertory point to put our thoughts in one or the other direction, but nothing more. The last decision still will be the safest.
DR. JULIA M. GREEN [closing discussion]: I want to express my strong approval of having symposiums on remedies in these meetings. I think they are very valuable, and most interesting it has been to see one cast a light on both of the others in a symposium.
As to the complementary and antagonistic remedy idea, it seems to me that in the old days there was more thought given to that on the symptom picture than has been done in recent years; and that was done ignorantly of many things that we know now in connection with the way remedies work. When we have the opportunity or the ability to find out exactly how homoeopathic potencies work, then we will have a very definite basis on which to judge these antagonisms and complementary conditions and so forth.