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Ferrum phos [Ferr-p]

      Inflammatory earache from cold, with burning, throbbing pain. Sensitive to noise. Congestive stage of otitis. Earache, with sharp, stitching pain. Noises in the ears, arising through blood-pressure from relaxed conditions of the vessels not returning the blood properly. Inflammatory conditions, radiating pains, sensitiveness, especially in affections of the ear in anaemic subjects. A clinical symptom is: “Noticeable pulsation in the ear; every impulse of the heart is felt here, beating in the ear and head; the pulse can be counted.” (Houghton.) Chronic non-suppurative catarrh of the middle ear, where the membrana tympani is thickened, and there is probably anchylosis of the small bones.

The following are also indications for its use: “1. A marked tendency for the inflammatory process to be diffused instead of circumscribed. 2. Dark, beefy redness of the parts. 3. A muco-purulent discharge and a tendency to haemorrhage. 4. The complete establishment of the discharge is not followed by the relief of the pain. 5. The paroxysmal character of the pain.” (Wanstall, American Institute Transactions, 1886, p. 389.) Also, the absence of exudation, the radiating pains and sensitiveness, and the general anaemic and debilitated condition of the patient. Deafness from inflammatory action, or suppuration, when there are cutting pains, tension, throbbing or heat, tinnitus aurium from excessive flow of blood to the part. Inflammation of the drum, especially when the membrane is dry, and its vessels engorged. Diffuse inflammation of the external auditory canal and acute affections of middle ear. (H.C.F.) Catarrhal affections of Eustachian tubes. “For earache after exposure to cold or wet I have no better remedy.” (R.S. Copeland).

Kali mur [Kali-m]

      Earache, with white or gray-furred tongue and swelling of the glands, swelling of the throat. Eustachian tubes swell, cracking noise in the ear when swallowing. Deafness from swelling of the Eustachian tubes. It is also the principal remedy for deafness from swelling of the external ear. Deafness with swelling of the glands or cracking noises on blowing the nose, tongue white. Chronic dermatitis. Moist exfoliation of the epithelial layer of the tympanum. In ulcerations, where pus is whitish; granular conditions of meatus and of membrana tympani; excessive granulations. “One of the most effective remedies we have ever used for chronic catarrhal inflammation of the middle ear, especially the form designated `proliferous.’ Stuffy sensation, subjective sounds, deafness, naso-pharyngeal obstruction, granular pharyngitis, closed Eustachian tubes, retracted membrana tympani, etc., walls of external meatus atrophied. Seems to affect more decidedly the right Eustachian tube. In chronic suppuration it reduces proliferation, checks granulation and hastens repair.” (H.C. Houghton).

“Kali mur. is chiefly suited to the second or later stages of catarrhal states of the naso-pharynx and Eustachian tube which, by continuity of the mucous membrane, extend to the cavity of the middle ear itself. The condition of the pharynx, as seen by simple inspection, is that of a thickened mucous membrane, with inflammation present in subacute or chronic form and usually centering around the follicles, giving a coarsely granular appearance to the surface. It is not so much an intensely red membrane as one pale in appearance which indicates its use, as if the more active hypertrophic condition were passing over into a less active or passive atrophic state. The presence of small spots of whitish exudation would be a further indication for its selection, and also the condition of the tongue if coated white or gray. The accompanying nasal condition is characterized by swelling of the lining membrane, obstruction, and thick, yellow discharge, or later on by thick, whitish mucus. Its use is said to lessen susceptibility to these catarrhal states.

“This same condition extending up into the Eustachian tube gives rise to such thickening of the lining membrane that the tube, for a time, is partially and sometimes wholly occluded. The aural symptoms resulting from this condition of the tube are well understood, consisting of deafness of varying degree, subjective noises in corresponding degree, and those sometimes startling and disagreeable snappings in the ear which arise from the sudden partial opening of the tube during deglutition, whereby the air is allowed to rush forcibly through the tube into the tympanic cavity, relieving thus the partial vacuum which always ensues when the tympanum becomes a closed cavity, and rarification of the contained air takes place. Of course, if specular examination be made at such times, more or less retraction of the tympanic membrane will be visible. In this condition of the tube the remedy applies less to those states which are recent and acute than to their later effects, or to the less active forms of inflammation from the outset, and its action is said to be greater upon the Eustachian tube of the right side than upon that of the left.

“In the tympanic cavity itself the process of slow proliferation, with interstitial thickening and consequent slowly progressing deafness, with or without subjective noises, and without pain, seems to constitute the indication for this remedy. It is also especially useful at the termination of more active and painful attacks, to clean up the remains of inflammation and prevent, as far as possible, its evil effect in inducing thickenings in the tympanic mucous membrane and permanent changes in the delicate structures contained within the tympanic cavity. In suppurative disease of the ear this remedy is less frequently required than for the catarrhal process, but in cases where granulation is excessive it is sometimes employed to check the exuberance of their growth and favor resolution, while its usefulness at the termination of suppurative attacks in the middle ear has been found very great in modifying those tendencies to adhesions which constitute one of their chief dangers.

“Finally, in the external ear the use of this remedy has been hitherto comparatively infrequent, its indications being chiefly a dry and scaly proliferation of the epidermis of the external meatus, with tendency to atrophy of the walls. A swollen condition of the glands about the ear, the angle of the jaw, and the neck would further indicate its selection.

“My own experience with Kali mur, has been largely confined to chronic catarrhal conditions of the middle ear, and after keeping a careful record of its action in nearly two hundred of these cases, in private practice, I am convinced that it is one of the most useful agents we possess in their treatment. It will even aid us efficiently in holding in check many of those inveterate cases of years’ standing which go persistently from bad to worse upon the slightest provocation, and which no man living can hope to cure. Its most satisfactory results are obtained in those cases which may have been gradually progressing for months, or even for two or three years, but which have not yet given rise to those permanent tissue changes which are sure to follow in the later course of the disease.” (Prof. H. P. Bellows, M.D.) Otitis external, with thickening and narrowing of the meatus and thin, flaky discharge from ear.

“Kali mur. favors the opening of the Eustachian tube. After its use inflation becomes easy.” (R.S.C).

Natrum mur [Nat-m]

      Deafness from swelling of the tympanic cavity, with watery conditions. Roaring in the ears, tongue covered with bubbles saliva profuse, etc. Catarrh of tympanic cavity and Eustachian tube, purulent discharge from ears. Itching and burning in the ear. Stitches in the ear.

Kali phos [Kali-p]

      Dulness of hearing with noises in the head. Deafness from want of nerve perception, noises in the head with weakness and confusion. Itching in the auditory canal; hearing supersensitive, cannot bear any noise. Weakness, general exhaustion of the nerves or nervous system. “Ulceration of the membrana tympani, suppuration of the middle ear, pus being watery, dirty, brownish and very foetid. Ulceration angry, bleeding easily, showing little tendency to granulate or secrete laudable pus. It is especially valuable in old people. Atrophic conditions in old people, tissues dry up, become scaly, showing lack of vitality.” (Houghton.) If the humming and buzzing in ears are not removed by Kali phos., though indicated, follow with Magnes. phos.

Calcarea sulph [Calc-p]

      Discharge of matter from the ear, sometimes mixed with blood. Deafness with middle ear suppurations, swelling of gland, etc. Sensitive swelling behind ear, with tendency to suppuration.

Calcarea phos [Calc-p]

      Cold feeling of outer ears. The bones around the ear ache and hurt. Earache with rheumatic complaints, associated with swollen glands in scrofulous children. Chronic otorrhoeas in children associated with painful dentition. (H.C.F.) Perforation of tympanum with deafness and otorrhoea. (Cooper).

William Boericke
William Boericke, M.D., was born in Austria, in 1849. He graduated from Hahnemann Medical College in 1880 and was later co-owner of the renowned homeopathic pharmaceutical firm of Boericke & Tafel, in Philadelphia. Dr. Boericke was one of the incorporators of the Hahnemann College of San Francisco, and served as professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. He was a member of the California State Homeopathic Society, and of the American Institute of Homeopathy. He was also the founder of the California Homeopath, which he established in 1882. Dr. Boericke was one of the board of trustees of Hahnemann Hospital College. He authored the well known Pocket Manual of Materia Medica.
W.A. Dewey
Dewey, Willis A. (Willis Alonzo), 1858-1938.
Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College. Member of American Institute of Homeopathy. In addition to his editoral work he authored or collaborated on: Boericke and Dewey's Twelve Tissue Remedies, Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Essentials of Homeopathic Therapeutics and Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics.