Alumina is adapted to the prematurely old, dry, thin, spare and scrofulous subjects and to those who very often suffer from chronic diseases.
This remedy is not only deep acting, but slow acting as well. All the deep acting remedies are not necessarily slow- acting, but a few only are so, viz.: Iod., Sil., Sepia and Lach., when abused. It is an antipsoric and, being deep and slow, is required in order to eradicate the deeper tendencies. This is chronic of Bryonia. What is meant of this? The idea is that where Bry. is used in acute group of symptoms, Alumina is to be used in the same group of symptoms, if found chronic. It is a dull remedy both mentally and physically and in the long run this dullness may sometimes bring even paralysis of the various locations.
Dejection, apprehension and hurriedness are the chief mental features of Alumina. The mind is full of sadness, confusions and impulses. He is sad and apprehensive, thinks that his disease is incurable. The essence of his sadness is that he cannot keep quite. He is in a hurry, especially when sad. Through this hurriedness it seems that he wants to minimize his sadness but by so doing gets no relief; moreover the mental and physical functions become sluggish and delayed thereby. Time passes slowly: an hour seems half a day. Suicidal tendency comes on seeing blood on a knife, but he abhors the thought.
Has confusion of ideas and thoughts, cannot reason out a decision. Sometimes he doubts about himself and the things around him as to their reality. “The consciousness of his personal identity is confused.” He is low-spirited, hypochondriacal, irritable and peevish. All these mental conditions are aggravated on waking in the morning and ameliorated as the day advances. A feeling of dryness presents throughout the whole body; this is characteristic. Feels as if the face is covered with dry white of egg or as if a cobweb is there. Burning pains in the back are very characteristic, especially a sensation as if a hot iron is forced through the lower vertebrae. Moreover, it has a peculiar sensation over the skin as if ants are crawling and creeping.
The patient of Alumina from his very childhood shows his miasmatic conditions in the following ways. In childhood he will sit for a long time as if wrapped in meditation and play on. He dislikes movements, even talking and all other exertions however slight they may be, make him fatigued.
The miasmatic mental condition of an Alumina child is specially manifested from his perfectly quiet nature, especially during sleep. It is a sleep which is tantamount of exhaustion, a tiredness so that the child may not have perfect and uninterrupted sleep but he is not inclined to move even when he wakes at intervals–this is only a foreboding of the full- fledged paralysis that may develop during the juvenile or adult age. If a proper cure is intended you should look to this condition and necessarily warn the patient against what is going to happen during the near after-life.
The totality of the symptoms that are to be marked, before you can give such warning is put down here: (1) constipation with ball-like stool the characteristic of which is the difficulty in evacuating, even if the faeces are semi-solid or thin; (2) disinclination to move during the day and one spell of quiet sleep during the night and (3) a desire for frequent bath. These are the three points that are to be guarded against. Alumina child does not appear to realise its surroundings properly after he wakes in the morning. For a while he is in a bewildered state of mind, as if in a semi-waking state.
The patient is chilly and craves some peculiar and indigestible things, e.g. pencil, chalk, starch, charcoal, acid things, cowdung etc., (Bell., Bry., Calc.p., Cic., Cycl., Nit.ac., Camph., Thuja, Nux.v.) Dislikes potato, pepper, meat and salty things (Acet.ac., Corallium r., Graph., Sel., Sep.) which bring aggravation (wants filthy things, eats its own excreta: Sulph.). Alumina likes dry food (Nat.m. and phos. want juicy things; Phos–cold and juicy; Calc.c. intense cold water, if there is thirst; Chel. intense hot water even when thirsty). Its symptoms, except skin disease, though ameliorated by general warmth, yet wants cold bathing as a whole man. This is very peculiar.
Next comes its constipation which is its principle feature. It is not because the feces are hard but because of dryness and inactive condition of the rectum which seems as if paralysed; even soft stool requires a great straining to evacuate, straining brings profuse sweats; there is no desire and no ability to pass it till there is a large accumulation. Blood comes frequently from the rectum after passing stool. Constipation of infants due to artificial feeding. Urine also does not easily start, he must strain at stool in order to urinate. Alumina patient sometimes evacuates bowels easily when standing, like Causticum, but the latter remedy strains far less than the former. Fissure in the anus due to constipation.
Alumina has hoarseness and loss of voice and afterwards comes the sore throat when he cannot swallow; a feeling of contraction and dryness persists there. Sore throat is aggravated in the evening and at night but it is ameliorated in the morning (opposite of mental and head symptoms) and on taking warm food and drink. Has constant thirst, drinks more than eats.
Susceptibility to cold is a prominent feature of Alumina. It is full of catarrh especially nasal and leucorrheic, but in spite of this patient wants to bathe and to drink large quantity of water. The peculiarity of its catarrh is the dryness of the mucous membranes. Nose, throat, pharynx etc. are absolutely dry. It has already been said that this remedy is a chronic counterpart of Bryonia as it has many similar conditions especially aggravation from motion, dryness and constipation. This dryness persists even throughout the whole body and so the patient wants to compensate by moistening it with cold water, though he is really chilly and lacks animal heat.
From a bath or from moistening, he of course feels chilly yet wants it with a view to relieve the dryness that is tormenting. This is the reason why Alumina is particularly fond of damp days and rainy weather; the most troublesome feeling of dryness is relieved from the damp weather. It is a peculiar fact to be noted in connection with this remedy that the drier he feels, the more scratching (even without any eruption) of the skin is required. Dont forget its dryness and sluggishness which are very important.
Due to this dryness he avoids warm room. The sure evidence that he is actually dry may be gathered from the following two points–(1) inveterate dry constipation; and (2) brittleness of the nails and hairs. One thing in this connection must be remembered that in spite of such a dryness an Alumina woman suffers intensely from acrid and profuse leucorrhoea, so much so that the flow runs down to the heels. It is badly excoriating like Kreosote and profuse like Syphilinum. Flow aggravates during the day and exertion or movement. Flow aggravates during the day and exertion or movement. After menses she finds herself disproportionately exhausted. Both male and female have an aggravation after coition.
Skin symptoms of this remedy are very important. The skin is dry as already said. There is hardly any perspiration. Its skin diseases are aggravated in the winter and in the warmth of bed. Though chilly, warm covering is absolutely intolerable which brings intense itching even where there is no eruption. Perhaps due to dryness of the skin, slight scratching causes bleeding and the bleeding spots get healed up and form scabs, when again itching is felt over them and scratching makes them again raw and bleeding.
Has crawling and creeping sensation as if ants are moving over the skin. Its eruptions are dry.
Sometimes it is very useful in intermittent type of malarial fever but like all deep-acting remedies you hardly get fever symptoms per se in Alumina; you are to depend upon the constitutional symptoms. Its inveterate constipation must be a necessary accompaniment in all fever, even remittent. Alumina fever generally comes very alternate day and in the new and full moon. Patients who improve for a time, then relapse, along with severe constipation are a special feature of this remedy.
Worse: in warmth of bed (only skin symptoms); every alternate day and periodically at new and full moon; from open and cold air; in dry weather; eating potato; during winter; from artificial food; from movement; after menses; after waking up in the morning (headache and mental symptoms only).
Better: by cold washing and by moistening affected parts; from warmth food and drink; from dry food; while sitting still and in mild summer weather.