We will take up the study of Vegetable Charcoal – Carbo veg. It is a comparatively inert substance made medicinal and powerful and converted into a great healing agent by grinding it fine enough. By dividing it sufficiently, it becomes similar to the nature of sickness and cures folks. The Old School use it in tablespoonful doses to correct acidity of the stomach. But it is a great monument to Hahnemann. It is quite inert in crude form and the true healing powers are not brought out until it is sufficiently potentised. It is one of those deep-acting, long-acting antipsoric medicines. It enters deeply into the life. In its proving it develops symptoms that last a long time, and it cures conditions that are of long standing – those that come on slowly and insidiously. It affects the vascular system especially; more particularly the venous side of the economy – the heart, and the whole venous system. Sluggishness is a good word to think of when examining the pathogenesis of Carbo veg. Sluggishness, laziness, turgescence, these are words that will come into your mind frequently, because these states occur so frequently in the symptomatology. Everything about the economy is sluggish, turgid, distended and swollen The hands are puffed; the veins are puffed; the body feels full and turgid; the head feels full, as if full of blood. The limbs feel dull, so that the patient wants to elevate the feet to let the blood run out The veins are lazy, relaxed and paralyzed. Vasomotor paralysis. The veins of the body are enlarged; the extremities have varicose veins.
The whole mental state, like the physical, is slow. The mental operations are slow. Slow to think; sluggish; stupid; lazy. Cannot whip himself into activity, or rouse a desire to do anything. Wants to lie down and doze. The limbs are clumsy; they feel enlarged. The skin is dusky. The capillary circulation is engorged. The face is purple. Any little stimulating food or drink will bring a flush to that dusky face. When you see people gather around a table where wine is served you can pick out the Carbo veg. patients, because their faces will be flushed; in a little while it passes off and they get purple again. Dusty – almost a dirty duskiness. The skin is lazy; sluggish.
Running through the remedy there is burning. Burning in the veins, burning in the capillaries, burning in the head, itching and burning of the skin. Burning in inflamed parts. Internal burning and external coldness. Coldness, with feeble circulation, with feeble heart. icy coldness. Hands and feet cold and dry, or cold and moist. knees cold; nose cold; ears cold; tongue cold. Coldness in the stomach with burning. Fainting. Covered all over with a cold sweat, as in collapse. Collapse with cold breath, cold tongue, cold face. Looks like a cadaver. In all these conditions of coldness the patient wants to be fanned.
Bleeding runs all through the remedy. Oozing of blood from inflamed surfaces. Black bleeding from ulcers. Bleeding from the lungs; from the uterus; from the bladder. Vomiting of blood. Passive hemorrhage. On account of the feeble circulation on a capillary oozing will start up and continue. The remedy hardly ever has what may be called an active gushing flow, such as belongs to Belladonna, Ipecac, Aconite, Secale, and such remedies, where the flow comes with violence; but it is a passive capillary oozing. The women suffer from this kind of bleeding; a little blood oozing all the time, so that the menstrual period is prolonged. Oozing of blood after confinement, that ought to be stopped immediately by contractions. There are no contractions of the blood vessels; they are relaxed. Black venous oozing. After a surgical operation there is no contraction and retraction of the blood vessels. An injury to the skin bleeds easily. The arteries have all been tied and closed, but the little veins do not seem to have any contractility in their walls. An inflamed part may bleed. Feeble heart; relaxed veins.
Again, ulceration. If you have a case, such as I have described, with relaxation of the blood vessels and feebleness of the tissues, you need not be surprised if there is no repair, no tissue making. So, when a part is injured, it will slough. If an ulcer is once established, it will not heal. The tissues are indolent. Hence we have indolent ulcers; bloody, ichorous, acrid, thin discharges from ulcers. The skin ulcerates; the mucous membranes ulcerate. Ulcers in he mouth and in the throat. Ulceration everywhere because of that relaxed and feeble condition. Poor tissue making or none at all. "The blood stagnates in the capillaries," is the way it reads in the Text.
You can easily see how easy it would be fore these feeble parts to develop gangrene. Any little inflammation or congestion becomes black or purple, and sloughs easily – that is all that is necessary to make gangrene. It is a wonderful remedy in septic conditions – blood poisoning – especially after surgical operations and after shock. It is a useful remedy in septic conditions; in scarlet fever; in any disease which takes on a sluggish form, with purplish and mottled appearance of the skin. In Carbo veg. the sleep is so full of anxiety that it may be said to be awful. On going to sleep there is anxiety, suffering, jerking, twitching, and he has the horrors. Everything is horrible. Horrible visions; sees ghosts. A peculiar sluggish, death-like sleep, with visions. The Carbo veg. patient wakens in anxiety and covered with cold sweat. Exhaustion. Unrefreshed after sleep. And thus the whole patient is prostrated by his sleep. So anxious that he does not want to go to sleep. Anxiety in the dark. Anxiety with dyspnea as if he would suffocate. Anxiety so great that he cannot lie down.
In Carbo veg. indifference is a very prominent symptom. Inability to perceive or to feel the impressions that circumstances ought to arouse. His affections are practically blotted out, so that nothing that is told him seems to arouse or disturb him. "Heard everything without feeling pleasantly or unpleasantly, and without thinking about it." Horrible things do not seem to affect him much; pleasant things do not affect him. He does not quite know whether he loves his wife and children or not. This is a part of the sluggishness, the inability to think or meditate, all of which is due to the turgescence. Sluggishness of the veins. Head feels full; distended. His mind is in confusion and he cannot think. He cannot bring himself to realize whether a thing be so or not, or whether he loves his family or not, or whether he hates his enemies or not. Benumbed; stupid. There is another state – anxiety and nightly fear of ghosts; anxiety as if possessed; anxiety on closing the eyes; anxiety lying down in the evening; anxiety again on waking. He is easily frightened. Starting and twitching on going to sleep. The headaches are mostly occipital. His whole head is turgid, full, distended. He feels as if the scalp was too tight. Everything is bound up in the head. Awful occipital headaches. Cannot move, cannot turn over, cannot lie on the side, cannot be jarred, because it seems as if the head would burst, as if something was grasping the occiput. Dull headache in the occiput. Violent pressive pain in the lower portion of the occiput. Head feels heavy. When the pain is in the occiput the head feels drawn back to the pillow, or as if it could not be lifted from the pillow. Like he cannot lift the head from the pillow. Painful throbbing in the head during inspiration. The Carbo veg. patient takes short breaths, quietly, keeping just as still as possible, until finally he is compelled to take a deep breath, and it comes out with a sharp moan. Headache as from contraction of the scalp. Painful stitches through the whole head when coughing; the whole head burns. Intense heat of the head; burning pain. Rush of blood to the head followed by nose-bleed. Congestion to the head with spasmodic constriction, nausea, and pressure over the eyes. A feeling as of an oncoming coryza from an overheated room. Many of these head aches come on from taking cold, from coryza, from slacking up of an old catarrh. The Carbo veg. patient suffers from chronic catarrh. He is at his best when he has a free discharge from the nose, but if he takes cold and the discharge stops congestion to the head comes. He cannot stand suppression of discharges. Headaches come on every time he takes cold; from cold damp weather; from going into a cold damp place and becoming chilled. Awful occipital headache, or headache over the eyes, or headache involving the whole head, with pounding like hammers. These states are like Kali bichromicum, Kali iodatum and Sepia. Many of these headaches are due to stopped catarrhal conditions.
The hair falls out by the handful. Eruptions come out upon the head. School girls and boys, too, who are sluggish, slow to learn, and suffer from night terrors; they will not sleep alone, or go into a dark room without someone with them. They have headaches, worse from pressure of the hat. A long time after taking off the hat they still feel the pressure. Sweat, cold sweat; particularly sweat of the head and of the forehead. The Carbo veg. patient breaks out into a copious sweat appearing first on the forehead forehead, and the sweat is cold. The forehead feels cold to the hand, and any wind blowing upon it will produce pain; he wants it covered up. Head sensitive to cold. If he becomes overheated and his head perspires, and then a draft strikes that sweating head, his catarrh will stop at once and headaches will come on. His knees and hands and feet get cold, and he sweats without relief.
The eye symptoms are troublesome, and they often occur along with the headache. Burning pain in the eyes. The eyes become lusterless, deep set and the pupils do not react to light. He feels sluggish mentally, and does not want to think. He wants to sit or lie around, for every exertion gives him a headache. Whenever this state is present the eyes show it. You know he is sick because the bright, sparkling look has gone out of his eyes. If he could only get somewhere by himself and lie down – provided it was not dark – he would be comfortable. He wants to be let alone; he is tired; his day’s work wears him out. He comes home with a purple face, lusterless eyes, sunken countenance, tired head and mind. Any mental exertion causes fatigue. Weight in the head, distress and fullness in the head, with cold extremities. The blood mounts upward. Hemorrhages from the eyes; burning, itching and pressing in the eyes. The eyes become weak from overwork or from fine work.
Carbo veg. is one of the medicines for discharges from the ears. Offensive, watery, ichorous; acrid and excoriating discharges, especially those dating back to malaria, measles or scarlet fever – particularly to scarlet fever. A sluggish condition of the venous system. The veins seem to be most affected in all old complaints, especially whenever a patient says of himself, or a mother says of her child, that he has never been quite well since an attack of malarial fever. The daughter has never been quite well since she had the measles, or typhoid fever, or scarlet fever. Carbo. veg. is one of the medicines to be thought of when symptoms are in confusion and the patient has been so much doctored that there is no congruity left in the symptoms. Old ear discharges, or old headaches, when all the symptoms have been suppressed. It is then Carbo veg. often becomes one of the routine remedies to bring symptoms into order and to establish a more wholesome discharge from that car. It brings about reaction, establishes a better circulation and partially cures the case, after which a better remedy may be selected.
Inflammation of the parotid glands, or mumps. When mumps change their abode, from being chilled, and go in the girl to the mammary glands, and in the boy to the testes, Carbo veg. is one of the medicines to restore order; very often it will bring the trouble back to its original place, and conduct it on through in safety. Pains in the ear. Passive, badly smelling discharges from the ear. Loss of hearing. Ulceration of the internal ear. Something heavy seems to lie before the ears; they seem stopped; the hearing is diminished, especially in those cases that date back to some old trouble.
The Carbo veg. patient is always suffering from coryza. He goes into a warm room, and, thinking he is going out in a minute, he keeps his overcoat on. Pretty soon he begins to get heated up, but he thinks he will go in a minute and he does not take off his coat. A procedure like that is sure to bring on a coryza. It will commence in the nose, with watery discharge, and he will sneeze, day and night. He suffers from the heat and is chilled by the cold; every draft chills him; and a warm room makes him sweat and thus he suffers from both. He can find no comfortable place, and he goes on sneezing and blowing his nose. Perhaps he has bleeding from the nose. At night he is purple. The coryza extends into the throat and brings on rawness and dryness in the mouth and throat. A copious watery discharge, filling the posterior nares and the throat. Then he begins to get hoarse, and in the evening he has a hoarse voice, with rawness in the larynx and throat. Rawness in the larynx on coughing; soreness to the touch. The more he coughs the worse the rawness becomes. This condition extends into the chest. Secretion of much thin mucus, finally becoming thick yellowish-green, and bad-tasting. Such is the coryza. Now, with it there comes a stomach disturbance that is commonly associated with Carbo veg. complaints. Great distension of the abdomen with gas. With this coryza he has belching, and sour, disordered stomach. Every time he disorders his stomach he is likely to get a coryza. Every time he goes into an overheated room he is likely to get a coryza, with sneezing, chest complaints, and catarrh.
This catarrhal state in the nose is only a fair example of what may occur anywhere where there is a mucous membrane. Catarrhal conditions with a flow of watery mucus and bleeding. Carbo veg. has catarrhs of the throat, nose, eyes, chest, and vagina. Old catarrhal conditions of the bladder; catarrh of the bowels and stomach. It is pre-eminently a catarrhal remedy. The woman feels best when she has more or less of a leucorrhoea – it seems a sort of protection. These discharges that we meet every day are dried up and controlled by local treatments, by washes, and by local applications of every kind – and the patient put into the hands of the undertaker, or made a miserable wreck. If these catarrhal patients are not healed from within out, the discharges had better be allowed to go on. While these discharges exist the patient is comfortable. It is quite common for the Carbo veg. patient to be feverish with the coryza, but with many other complaints he is cold; cold limbs; cold face; cold body; cold skin; cold sweat. It is not so common for the earlier stages of the coryza, and the catarrhal conditions to have these cold symptoms. He is feverish in the evening and all night. But after he passes into the second stage, when the mucus is more copious, then come the cold knees, cold nose, cold feet, and cold sweat.
The face of Carbo veg. is a great study. In the countenance and in the expression we see much that is general. The patient shows his general state in his expression, especially in the eyes. He tells you how sick he is; he tells you the threatening points. In Carbo veg. there is great pallor and coldness, with lips pinched and nose pointed and drawn in. Lips puckered, blue, livid, sickly, deathly. Face cold, pale, and covered with sweat. As the tongue is protruded for examination it is pale and cold, and the breath is cold, yet he wants to be fanned. This is true whether it be cholera, diarrhea, exhaustive sweats, or complaints after fevers. Sometimes, after a coryza has run its course and ended in the chest, there is great dyspnea, copious expectoration, exhaustive sweat, great coldness – and the patient must be fanned. Cough followed by dyspnea, exhaustion, profuse sweats, with choking and rawness – and he wants to be fanned. Cold face; pinched face. So the sufferings are expressed in the face. The pains and aches, and anxiety and sorrow are all expressed in the face. The study of the face is a delightful and profitable one. The study of the faces of remedies is very profitable. It is profitable to study the faces of healthy people that you may be able to judge their intentions from their facial expressions. A man shows his business of life in his face; he shows his method of thinking, his hatreds, his longings, and his loves. How easy it is to pick out a man who has never loved to do anything but to eat – the Epicurean face. How easy it is to pick out a man who has never loved anything but money – the miserly face. You can see the love in many of the professional faces; you can single out the student’s face. These are only manifestations of the love of the life which they live. Some manifest hatred; hatred of the life in which they have been forced to live; hatred of mankind; hatred of life. In those who have been disappointed in everything they have undertaken to do we see hatred stamped upon the face. We see these things in remedies just as we see them in people. The study of the face is a most delightful one. A busy, thoughtful and observing physician has a head full of things that he can never tell – things he knows about the face. So the face expresses the remedy. In Carbo veg. the face flushes to the roots of the hair after a little wine. This is a strong characteristic. All over the body the skin will become flushed. Sometimes a flush appears in islands, which grow together and become one solid flush, creeping up into the hair. So great is the action of this remedy upon the capillary circulation that sometimes a tablespoonful of wine is sufficient to cause this flushing of the skin.
The old books talk about "scorbutic gums;" now we call it Rigg’s disease – a separation of the gums from the teeth. Bleeding of the gums, sensitiveness of the gums. Separation of the gums from the teeth. The teeth get loose. We hear about "the teeth rattling in his mouth." The Carbons produce just such a state, a settling away and absorbing of the gums. They get spongy and bleed easily, and hence looseness of the teeth with bleeding of the gums, which are very sensitive. Teeth decay rapidly. Bleeding of the gums when cleaning the teeth. Teeth and gum affections from abuse of Mercury. Teeth feel too long and are sore. Drawing and tearing in the teeth. Tearing in the teeth from hot, cold or salt food; pain from both heat and cold. This is in keeping with the general venous condition of the whole system.
Sensitiveness of the tongue. Inflammation of the tongue. In certain low forms of fever, like typhus and typhoid fevers, the gums turn black – that is, they throw out a blackish, bloody, offensive, putrid exudate. If disturbed or touched they bleed; and the tongue piles up that blackish exudate – that oozing of black blood from the veins. This is present in putrid forms of fevers like the typhoid – in zymotic states. This remedy is rich in those zymotic symptoms, such as are described in common speech as "blood poisoning." Carbo veg. is a sheet-anchor in low types of typhoid; in scarlet fever where a typhoid condition is coming upon the case, and in the last stages of collapse; in cholera, and in yellow fever at the time of collapse, where there is coldness, cold sweat, great prostration, dyspnea – wants to be fanned. Great prostration with cold tongue.
The mouth and throat are filled with little purple aphthous ulcers, which were little white spots to begin with, but they have grown purplish and now ooze black blood. These aphthous patches bleed easily, burn and sting. Blisters form. Smarting, dryness of the mouth with bleeding aphthous ulcers. These are common features of Carbo veg. in any of the mouth and throat conditions. Tough mucus in the throat; bloody mucus in the throat. These little ulcers run together, spread, and become one solid mass. A large surface will become ulcerated, denuded of its mucous membrane, and then it will bleed. Little black spots come upon it. Food cannot be swallowed because the throat is so sore. Generally the throat feels puffed.
The Carbo veg. patient has a longing for coffee, acids, sweet and salt things. Aversion to the most digestible things and the best of food. For instance, aversion to meat, and to milk which causes flatulence. Now, if I were going to manufacture a Carbo veg. constitution I would commence with his stomach. If I wanted to produce these varicose veins and the weak venous side of the heart, this fullness and congestion, and flatulence, this disordered stomach and bowels, and head and mind troubles – sluggishness of the economy – I would begin and stuff him. I would feed him with fats, with sweets, puddings, pies and sauce, and all such indigestible trash, and give him plenty of wine – then I would have the Carbo veg. patient. Do we ever have any such people to treat? Just as soon as they tell their story, you will know enough about their lives to know that they are mince pie fiends; they have lived on it for years, and now they come saying, "Oh, doctor, my stomach; just my stomach; if you will simply fix up my stomach." But what are you going to do with him? He has make himself into a Carbo veg. patient for you, and it may be quite a while before you can bring him down to a sensible diet. Now he must begin at the foot of the ladder. I only brought this up to show how a Carbo veg. patient is produced and what kind of a stomach he has, and what he has been living on. He has burning in the stomach, distension of the stomach, constant eructations, flatulence, passing offensive flatus. In reality he is in a fetid condition, a putrid condition. His sweat is offensive. He has heartburn; eructations; the stomach regurgitates the food that he takes.
Carbo veg. has much vomiting at the end of the chill. Vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting and blood; with the vomiting of blood the body is icy cold; breath cold. The pulse is thready and intermittent. Fainting, hippocratic face; oozing of thick black blood. Vomiting of sour, bloody, bilious masses.
There is an accumulation of flatus in the stomach, so that the stomach feels distended. All food taken into the stomach seems to turn into flatus he is always belching, and is slightly relieved for a while by belching. Carbo veg. has cramps in the bowels and stomach; burning pain; anxiety; distension. All these symptoms are ameliorated by belching, or passing flatus. Amelioration from belching seems quite a natural event; but when times even seem to be worse. The Carbo veg. patient experiences a decided relief from eructation. This is a particular symptom, but it becomes almost general, and sometimes quite general. Headaches are relieved by belching; rheumatic pains are relieved by belching; sufferings and distension of various kinds are relieved by eructations.
This abdominal fullness aggravates all the complaints of the body. The fullness, which is described as if in the veins, is sometimes in the tissues, under the skin, so that it will crepitate. This is a feature of Carbo veg., and, in rheumatic conditions, part of the swelling is sometimes of this character. Food remains a long time in the stomach, becomes sour and putrid. It passes into the bowels and ferments further, finally passing off in the form of putrid flatus. There is colic, burning pains, distension, fullness, constricting and cramping pains from this distension. The patient complains of feeling as if the stomach were raw. This is described as a smarting, sometimes from taking food; sometimes from taking cold water.
Carbo veg. has cured ulceration of the stomach. It is a deep-acting medicine, and is capable of curing all disordered conditions of the stomach; such as disorders from eating indigestible things, mince pie, too hearty food.
In Carbo veg. the liver, like all the other organs, takes on a state of torpidity and sluggishness. It becomes enlarged. The portal system is engorged, and hence hemorrhoids develop. Pain and distension in the region of the liver; sensitiveness and burning in the liver, accompanied by a bloated condition of the stomach and bowels. A feeling of tension in the region of the liver; the part feels drawn, as if too tight. There are pressing pains in the liver, and it is sensitive to touch.
Much that I have said regarding the flatulence and fullness of the stomach applies also to the abdomen. Carbo veg. may be indicated in low forms of fever, as in septic fever, when there is a marked tympanitic condition, with diarrhea, bloody discharges, distension and flatulence. Extremely putrid flatus escapes making the patient very offensive. A striking abdominal symptom of Carbo veg. is that the flatus collects here and there in the intestine as if it were in a lump; incarcerated flatus; a constriction of the intestine will hold it in one place so that it feels like a lump or tumor, that finally disappears. Colic here and there in the abdomen from flatus. There is burning in the abdomen. No matter what the trouble is, in Carbo veg. there is always burning. The part burns; it feels full; it becomes engorged and turgid with blood. Diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, when there is a bloody, watery stool. Cholera infantum; stool mixed with mucus; watery mucus mixed with blood. The child sinks from exhaustion, with coldness, pallor and cold sweat. The nose, face and lips are pinched and hippocratic. With all diarrheic troubles the prostration will indicate Carbo veg. as much as, if not more than, the stool. In the diarrhea of Carbo veg. all the stools, no matter what kind, are putrid, with putrid flatulence. The more thin, dark bloody mucus there is, the better is the remedy indicated. Itching, burning and rawness of the anus and round about are strong features of Carbo veg. Soreness – in all diarrheic conditions – soreness to pressure over the abdomen. Round about the anus, in children, there is excoriation. The parts are red, raw and bleeding, and they itch. Itching of the anus in adults. Ulceration of the bowels. This tendency to ulceration of mucous membranes is in keeping with the character of the remedy. Whenever there are mucous membranes there may be ulceration. Aphthous appearance. Ulceration of Peyer’s glands. The patient lies in bed and oozes involuntarily a thin bloody fluid, like bloody serum.
Old chronic catarrhal conditions of the bladder, when the urine contains mucus, especially in old people, with cold face, cold extremities and cold sweat. There is suppression of urine.
In both the male and the female organs there is a weakness and relaxation. The male organs hang down. Relaxation of the genitalia; cold and sweating genitals. The fluids escape involuntarily.
In the woman the relaxation is manifested by a dragging down sensation; dragging down of the uterus, as if the internal parts would escape. The uterus drags down so that she cannot stand on her feet. All the internal organs feel heavy and hang down. Another strong feature of Carbo veg. is dark, oozing hemorrhage from the uterus. It is not so often a copious, gushing hemorrhage – the remedy has that also – but it is an oozing. The menstrual flow will ooze from one period almost to another. The blood is putrid and dark, even black, with small clots, and considerable serum escapes with it. It says in the text: "Metrorrhagia from uterine agony." Atony is a good name for the condition; lack of tone; relaxation; weakness of the tissue. Atony is everywhere present in the Carbo veg. constitution. The muscles are tired, the limbs are tired, the whole being is tired and relaxed. This is in contradistinction to the gushing found in Belladonna, Ipecac, Secale and Hamamelis, where the blood escapes in great gushes, followed quite naturally by a contraction of the uterus, for there is more or less tonicity in connection with it. In Carbo veg., either in connection with confinement or menstruation, or in an incidental hemorrhage, the uterus does not contract. Subinvolution from mere atony; no contraction; no tonicity; weakness and relaxation. After menstruation, confinement and the various complaints that woman is subject to, there is a period of weakness that Carbo veg. often fits. When there is a retained placenta, with scanty hemorrhage – just an oozing, with no tendency to a gush of blood – the physician remembers that throughout the whole pregnancy and confinement there has been sluggishness and slowness of pains, and he says: "Why did I not think of Carbo veg. before?" The woman has needed Carbo veg. for a month. He administers a dose and before he has time to think about it, the uterus will expel that placenta and fix up matters so nicely that he will not need the mechanical interference that might otherwise have been necessary. Now-a-days we hear so much about this meddlesome midwifery, this curetting, and doing this and that and the other thing, that it makes a homeopathic physician disgusted. Just as if those parts were not made by Nature, and could not take care of themselves; as if they must be swabbed out and syringed out. These injections and bichloride, etc., to keep the germs out of a woman are all nonsense. if a state of order is maintained there will be no germs. A homeopathic physician can manage hundreds of these cases, and have no trouble. if he sees clearly beforehand what remedy the woman needs there will be no bad cases; they will all take care of themselves. Irregular contractions that bring on abnormal conditions are all avoided if the woman is turned into order before she goes into confinement. Carbo veg. is one of the medicines that prepares a woman well for confinement, that is, the symptoms calling for Carbo veg. are often present in such conditions. She is often run down, relaxed and tired. Pregnancy brings about a great many unusual conditions. There is the nausea in pregnancy; the flatulence; the offensiveness; the weakness; the enlarged veins. They will tell you that the enlargement of the veins of the lower limbs is from pressure, but it is generally not from pressure, but from weakness of the veins themselves. Suppression of milk; prostration or great debility from nursing. It is not natural for a woman in a healthy state to become prostrated when nursing her child. She becomes so because she is sick. She was in a state of debility before she began nursing, and the weakness should be corrected by an appropriate remedy. Then she can make milk and feed her child without feeling the loss of it. Such is the state of order. Carbo veg. is a friend to the woman, and a friend to her offsprings. You will be astonished, after ten years of real homeopathic practice, that you have so few deformed babies; that they have all grown up and prospered; that their little defects and deformities have been outgrown, and that they are more beautiful than most children, because they have been kept orderly. The doctor watches and studies him, and feeds him a little medicine now and then, that the mother suspects is sugar, to keep on the good side of the baby. She need not know that it is medicine, or that anything is the matter with the baby. So he watches the development of that little one, and grows him out of all his unhealthy tendencies. The children that grow up under the care of the homeopathic physician will never have consumption, or Bright’s disease; they are all turned into order and they will die of old age, or be worn out properly by business cares; they will not rust out. It is the duty of the physician to watch the little ones. To save them from their inheritances and their downward tendencies is the greatest work of his life. That is worth living for. When we see these tendencies cropping out in the little ones we should never intimate that they are due to the father or mother. It is only offensive and does no good. The physician’s knowledge as to what he is doing is his own, and the greatest comfort he can get out of it is his own. He need never expect that anyone will appreciate what he has done, or what he has avoided. The physician who desires praise and sympathy for what he has done generally has no conscience. The noble, upright, truthful physician works in the night; he works in the dark; he works quietly; he is not seeking for praise. He does this when called to the house, and when members of the family bring little ones to the office. In this manner children can be studied and their symptoms observed and enquired into. Whenever the mother brings the child, expecting medicine, she may know that he is receiving medicine, but when she does not ask for medicine let her suspect that Johnnie is getting sugar so the doctor can get on the good side of him. That is sufficient. In Carbo veg. the voice manifests a great many symptoms. I described a part of them when going over the coryza. I explained how it began in the nose, and travelled to the throat, the larynx, and the chest. Now many of the complaints of the larynx begin with a cold in the nose, which finally locates permanently in the larynx – and in that way we bring out the Carbo veg. cases. It is only now and then that the Carbo veg. cold settles in the larynx first; it usually travels through the nose. Most remedies have a favorite place for beginning a cold. For instance, the majority of Phosphorus colds begin in the chest or larynx. Not so with Carbo veg.; its cold generally begins in the nose, with a coryza, and the larynx is simply one of the stopping places. If the Carbo veg. cold goes down into the chest it may have its ending in the bronchial tubes or the lungs. This is a favorite place for it to settle. and it seems as if it were going to remain there. Weakness in the larynx from talking. Tired larynx of speakers and singers, and feeble, relaxed persons. The hoarseness comes on in the evening. The larynx may be fairly well in the morning, but as soon as it becomes evening his voice becomes husky. In more serious forms he may be speechless in the morning, but hoarseness and huskiness in the evening are more characteristic. Huskiness and rawness in the evening. Rawness in the larynx when coughing. Some will say there is burning, some will say rawness. Rawness in the larynx and trachea when coughing. A continual formation of mucus in the larynx, which he has to scrape and cough out. We see the same tendency to weakness in the mucous membranes. No tendency to repair; no tendency to recover. He goes on from bad to worse, with a catarrhal condition of the larynx and trachea. Hoarseness and rawness from talking, worse afternoon and evening. He is obliged to clear his throat so many times in the evening that the larynx becomes raw and sore. Let me tell you another thing about the Materia Medica. Most of the provers were laymen, and hence there is some confusion of terms in the provings. This the physicians must see. Irritation in the throat from coughing nearly always means irritation in the larynx, though the prover said "throat." Now here is an expression, "obliged to clear his throat so often in the evening that the larynx becomes raw and sore." Clearing the throat would not make the larynx sore. Scraping the throat does not scrape the larynx; but he is obliged to clear his larynx so often that the part feels raw. Ulcerative pain, scraping and titillation in the larynx. Irritation in the larynx causing sneezing. Laryngeal phthisis. This catarrhal condition and lack of repair in the larynx goes on so long that tuberculosis begins. Carbo veg. is one of the greatest medicines we have in the beginning of whooping cough. Its cough has all the gagging, vomiting and redness of the face found in whooping cough. It is one of our best medicines when the case is confused; when the cough indicates no remedy or when it remains in a partially developed state. A dose of Carbo veg. in such cases will improve matters very much, and minor cases of whooping cough may be wiped out in a few days. When the remedy does not cure permanently, it brings out more clearly the symptoms calling for another remedy. Most cases of whooping cough, in the care of a homeopathic physician, will get well in a week or ten days under a carefully selected remedy. When allowed to run, they continue a long time, gradually increasing for six weeks, and then declining according to the weather. If it is in the fall, the cough will sometimes keep up all winter; so whooping cough furnishes an opportunity for the homeopathic physician to demonstrate that there is something in Homeopathy. The Carbo veg. patient suffers very much from difficulties of breathing.
Suffocation; cannot lie down. A feeling of weakness in the chest, as if he could not get another breath. Sometimes it is due to cardiac weakness, and sometimes to stuffing up of the chest. The latter is most common. Sometimes the difficulty is asthmatic. The remedy cures asthma. We will see the patient propped up in a chair by an open window, or some members of the family may be fanning him as fast as possible. The face is cold, the nose pinched, the extremities cold and he is as pale as death. Put the hand in front of the mouth, and the breath feels cold. The breath is offensive; putrid. The extremities are cold clear to the body; not only the hands, but the whole upper extremities; and not only the feet, but the limbs clear to the body, are cold. The body only feels warm; even the skin is cold. Carbo veg. has a rattling cough with retching and vomiting. A morning cough, with much rattling in the chest; the chest fills with mucus, and on endeavoring to expectorate he coughs and gags, or coughs and vomits. At any time during the day a peculiar choking, gagging, retching cough may develop from the mucus in the chest. He cannot get it up; it is tough, purulent, yellow and thick. Greatly reduced vitality; great relaxation; worn out persons, old people. Persons worn out from coughing or from prolonged exertion. Prostration. Catarrh of the chest, with copious expectoration. At times there will be a hard, dry hacking cough, but finally, after prolonged coughing, it commences to loosen and he throws up great quantities of mucus. A dry, hacking cough, yet there is rattling in the chest, and the cough does not seem to do any good. He seems to cough and become exhausted, sweats and strangles. It seems as if he would suffocate with the cough. Finally he succeeds in getting up some mucus, and then follows mouthful after mouthful of thick purulent expectoration. Frequent attacks of spasmodic cough in violent paroxysms lasting for many minutes, sometimes an hour. Cold sweat, coldness and pinched appearance of the face. This increases as he goes into the paroxysm of coughing. His face looks haggard, so distressed does he become while in a paroxysm of coughing. This state is present in old phthisical cases, in the advanced stage, when they are incurable. Under such circumstances Carbo veg. furnishes an excellent palliative. It seems to strengthen the muscles of the chest so that the patient can expectorate better. It mitigates the cough; the gagging and retching and dyspnea are relieved, and he is temporarily improved. It is a wonderful palliative in many incurable conditions with dyspnea and weakness of the chest. In Bright’s disease, in phthisis, and in cancerous affections Carbo veg. stops the violent symptoms and mitigates greatly.
This remedy is one to begin whooping cough with. It simplifies the case greatly, and sometimes cures it in a few days. The patient coughs until the chest is sore, as if he had been beaten all over the chest. All night he has paroxysms of coughing. He sleeps into a paroxysm of coughing, like Lachesis. He rouses up from sleep with coughing, gagging, sweating and suffocation. He will go two or three hours without a paroxysm, and then on comes one that will last an hour. He has two or three hard paroxysms of coughing during the night. He commences to fill up, he hears the rattling breathing and he knows that before long he will have a hard time of it. This goes on and on, to the end of his life in asthmatic cases – what is called "humid asthma." Real humid asthma comes on in persons who suffer from contractions of the small bronchial tubes, so that even at the best there are little whistlings in the chest. Every time such patients take cold their whistling increases. They expectorate mucus, at first copious, then tough and finally purulent. During all this there is great asthmatic dyspnea. Carbo veg. is an excellent remedy in all those cases of asthma where the shortness of breath is so marked that there is only a partial oxidation, as a result of which he suffers much from occipital headache and wants to be fanned. Old cases of recurrent asthma. Every time there comes a warm wet spell his asthma comes on. It is common for Carbo veg. asthma to come on in the night. He goes to bed without warning of an oncoming attack, only he says, "I don’t like the weather;" and he wakes up with asthma. He wakes up suffocating, springs out of bed and goes to the window or wants to be fanned.
Carbo veg. is required in old, badly-treated cases of pneumonia, with a remaining bronchitis; in cases where there has been hepatization that was not cleared up, and there are bad places in the lungs and bronchial tubes, a with weakness of the chest. Weakness of the chest when coughing. He feels that there is not enough force in the muscles of the chest to get up a good cough, to help him carry on the breathing. Pneumonia, third stage, with fetid expectoration, cold breath, cold sweat, desire to be fanned. Threatened paralysis of the lungs. This is a combination of clinical states that the remedy covers well. Sometimes these asthmatic cases go on for a while, and then comes in infiltration of tubercle. If Carbo veg. can be given early it will prevent infiltration.
There is pain in the chest and burning. Burning in the lungs; burning in the sides of the chest; burning with the cough; burning behind the sternum – the whole length of the trachea; burning aggravated when coughing; a sense of rawness even when breathing. He feel a load upon the chest, an oppression, a great weight. These are the various words that he uses, all descriptive of the same thing.
The heart comes in for a great deal of trouble. It appears to be struggling. Of course it is the venous side of the heart that is in distress. The veins are engorged. It is a venous condition of the whole patient; the veins are performing their labor with great difficulty. A state of relaxation, struggling, and there are orgasms of blood – described by some of the authors as an orgasm, by others as a tumultuous action of the heart felt throughout the body. Pulsation felt all over the body. Flushes of heat mounting upwards, ending in a sweat. Suitable sometimes for women at the turn of life. Especially suitable to persons in advanced years.
Carbo veg. complaints come on in a weakly state in young people;- as if it were a premature old age – in the middle-aged people; or in the breaking down that naturally belongs to old age. It is a great comforter for aged people with enlarged veins, or fullness of the veins and coldness of the extremities. Oozing of blood, with palpitation – tumultuous action of the heart. The pounding goes on like a great machine, shaking the whole body. The pulse is almost imperceptible. It seems as though the volume of blood ought to be tremendous, but it is not. Weakness of the whole Vascular system. Pulse irregular, intermittent, frequent. Blood stagnates in the capillaries. Complete torpor; impending paralysis of the heart. Burning in the region of the heart. With this there is an awful feeling of anxiety in the chest – in the region of the heart – as if he were going to die, or as if something were going to happen. He feels that tumultuous action and tires out under it.
In going over the remedy I have said so much about the limbs, their coldness-and the cold sweat, that I have practically covered most of the symptoms that belong to the extremities. Carbo veg. is an excellent remedy for the general constitutional disorder where there are indolent varicose ulcers upon the lower limbs the legs above the ankles. There is no activity in these ulcers; thin watery discharge or it is thick, bloody and ichorous. Burning indolent ulcers; varicose ulcers; swelling of the limbs. A gangrenous state from the extremely feeble circulation. Gangrenous condition such as old people have, senile gangrene. The limbs wither; the toes and lower parts wither and look dusky. There are blisters upon them and they ooze a bloody, watery fluid. Burning like fire. Loss of sensation. Stiffness in the joints. Excoriating sweat between the toes, and numbness. Numbness in the limb lain on. If he lies on the right side, the right hand gets numb. It he turns over on the left side, the left arm gets numb. The circulation in the part is so feeble that if there is any pressure the part becomes numb. The surface is cold. The extremities are cold. He is indolent, weak and always tired, with an aversion to mental and physical work. Every little exertion brings on a feeling as if he would faint and collapse.
The sleep is full of dreams. He wakes up with dyspnea, wakes with cold limbs, especially cold knees. Legs drawn up during sleep. Unrefreshed after sleep. The dreams he has are the kind that most of these patients have where the remedy acts so violently upon the veins, upon the basilar portion of the brain, and upon the voluntary system. They are awful. He dreams of fire, burglars, fearful and horrible things. Anxiety, restlessness and congestion of the head prevent his going to sleep. Rush of blood to the head. His head feels hot, but to the hand the skin feels cold. The inner chest feels as if burning, but the outer chest feels cold to the hand. So it is in the abdomen. The feeling of internal heat and burning, with external coldness, is a common feature of Carbo veg.
The fever is violent; it has a violent rigor or chill. Of course during the chill he is cold, but there is one strange feature, he wants cold water during the chill, and when the fever comes on he has no thirst. That is strange; it is uncommon. It is common for patients to be thirsty when they are hot with fever, and when cold not to ask for water. It is common not to ask for water during sweat. But in this patient you observe coldness, rigor, cold breath, and even in the chill sometimes a cold sweat, and you say that it is peculiar that he drinks so much cold water. It is strange; it is uncommon; rare. Hence it is one of the strong features of Carbo veg. febrile conditions.
With the chill of this remedy one side of the body frequently feels in its natural state of heat, that is, naturally warm, while the other side is cold. One-sided chill. Chill with icy coldness of the body. Chill with great thirst. Sweats easily, especially about the head and face, Exhausting night or morning sweats. Sweat profuse, putrid or sour.
Low forms of fever like yellow fever, and a very low type of typhus and typhoid fevers. After the fever has somewhat subsided he has prolonged cold spells with lack of reaction. He does not seem to rally, but he is cold, his knees are cold, his breath is cold, cold sweat, a sort of paralytic weakness. Cadaveric aspect of the face. Cyanotic face. Coldness of the limbs. Yellow fever in the last stage, the stage of hemorrhage, with great paleness of the face. Violent headache, trembling of the body; collapse with cold breath, cold sweat, cold nose. Nose and face pinched. Vital powers very low, tells a great deal of the story of Carbo veg. Lack of reaction after some violent attack, some violent shock, some violent suffering. In weakly persons who give right out, with dyspnea, coldness, copious sweat, exhaustion, collapse and cadaveric aspect, Carbo veg. must be given.
Carbo veg. is indicated after surgical shock, when the patient goes into collapse, and is in danger of dying from the shock of the operation. This is before inflammation sets in, for there is not vitality enough to arouse an inflammation. The heart is too weak to establish reaction enough for an inflammation. Inflammation comes after a reaction. But if reaction does not take place, Carbo veg. is one of our most important remedies.