Carbo animalis belongs to the group of small remedies and we may rarely think about it, because its sadness and nostalgia are covered by polychrests. With good knowledge of repertory, we can easily use small rubrics to better understand specific states, which lead us to the specific remedy.
We can find many homeopatic remedies that dwell on past unpleasant occurrences. Unpleasant occurrences and experiences can leave a person with deep wounds, which is a main cause of illness for most people. The patients often feel loss, anger, unjustice. Only three homeopathic remedies have the problem of dwelling in the good old times which makes them ill. Those remedies are: Carbo animalis, Carcinosin and Sachharum Album.
Georg Vitoulkas describes Carbo animalis in this way: “The feeling of homesickness is particularly prominent in this remedy. In the repertory we find it in bold letters, and rightly so. Very characteristic of Carbo animalis is a strong emotional attachment to the family, which is the only place he feels secure, and he always returns to this safe place, his home. In Carbo animalis people, there is such a yearning for the childhood love of their parents that was experienced while at home and eventually lost in the challenges of life, that they return again and again to these feelings with an almost irresistible desire to return home. The homesickness of Carbo animalis is so acute that it is painful“.
Clark compares it to Calcarea phosphorica because it consists in itself a high percentage of Calcarea phosphorica and both remedies have indurations and suppurations, while Carbo vegetabilis doesn’t have indurations which Carbo animalis has. He explains the similarity to Cocculus because they have the same weakness and exhaustion, but points out the difference between those two. The weakness of Carbo animalis is caused by the loss of fluid, while the weakness of Cocculus happens as a concequence of the general state of the remedy.
Hahnemann puts it in the antipsoric remedies. Other authors point to the bad, changeable mood, the feeling as if everything has changed and they are forsaken from those dear. They want to be alone and they are indolent and passive. Many authors say that Carbo animalis dwells in the past happy moments, in the morning, when they wake up. However, Carbo animalis has a lot of bad symptoms in the morning, and if we are only looking for the good mood in the morning as a key symptom, we could miss this remedy. For a better illustration, let’s take a look at some of his rubrics:
MIND – ANGER – morning – waking; on
MIND – ANGER – waking; on
MIND – ANXIETY – morning – rising – after
MIND – ANXIETY – morning – rising – on
MIND – ANXIETY – morning – waking; on
MIND – ANXIETY – waking, on
MIND – FEAR – morning
MIND – FEAR – waking, on
MIND – FORSAKEN feeling – morning
MIND – HOMESICKNESS – morning
MIND – VIOLENT – morning
MIND – SADNESS – waking, on
MIND – SADNESS – morning
MIND – MOROSE – morning – waking, on
MIND – IRRITABILITY – waking, on
MIND – IRRITABILITY – morning
MIND – WEEPING – morning
While Materia medica offers the skeleton of the remedy, we still have the hard task in connecting the words with the words of the patient. Sometimes it can be hard to recognize the remedy from the patient’s description. A few cases will help clear the image of this remedy and make it more recognizible in practice.
In the middle of January, an old patient asked me for help. A woman 72 years old, she got a spasm in her chest and complained about having bronchitis. She had the feeling of dry lungs and she felt that if she coughs, her lungs will tear up.
Her constitutional remedy was Platina and it helped her many times, especially in hysterical conditions. In acute states like this she was given Lobelia, because she often had the feeling of spasm in her chest and gave herself the diagnosis of bronchitis without medical consultation. After two or three doses of Lobelia, which had a fast and strong effect, the spasms disappeared and the next day she felt perfectly fine. This time she was given Lobelia again and it helped her at the moment, but the next day the problem returned. The potency was raised to 200C and the patient had a short-term improvement again. After that, she started feeling even worse than she felt at the beginning, and this time it really seemed as if she had the pneumonia.
The next idea was giving her Platina again, but that would be a rote prescription. The patient was asked if something happened before she got sick, and she told me this:
Her daughter got divorced two years ago, got a job abroad and moved away with her children. The children had a hard time dealing with their parent’s divorce and moving to another country and the patient was worried about them. The kids were usually eating fast food and they had digestive problems. She often traveled to see them, took care of them and cooked for them. The daughter complained how she didn’t have enough money, so she took an airplane and brought food for the children. She was more often absent from her job and the number of her clients started to fall.
“I’m very worried about my job”, she told me. “I was walking down the street where my daughter used to live with her children. I saw the house where they lived and the memories came back to me. I remembered when they were younger and they were here. We went everywhere, we were on holidays together, we ate together and everything was alive. In that moment I realised that they were gone and they will never return. I felt crazy from sadness. I was scared of dying on the street. I barely got home. After that, bronchitis appeared. I have nothing left. I’ve lost my perspective. Everything went to hell. I don’t believe I’ll ever have clients again. I wrote myself off.”
“The hardest times for me are the ones when I don’t have enough work. No new clients, old ones go away. I ask myself where would I go, what would I do, I’m worried that I’ll sink. I’m afraid that I won’t have enough money to pay my rent. I’m afraid of poverty.
“One stage in my life is over. I’m alone, useless”.
The key of sensitivity
Nothing recognizable of Platina appeared in that statement. The casehad to be taken again from the beginning. A few things were pointed out as important:
- Patient stated that after recalling the memories of the good old days when her grand children were there, when she had quality time with them, travelled with them and shared their joy. That was the key tof her sensitivity.
- She felt sadness and she was worried.
- She felt abandoned and
- Nothing was the same. Everything changed.
We can easily follow this state through the following rubrics:
Prescription: Carbo-an 30C, split dose.
The next morning she felt much better. Asked how she feels, she answered “Detached”.. I detached myself from the feeling that overcame me.” “The only thing that matters is that we are all alive and healthy. What happened, happened.”
She needed a few more days to physically recover completely, but nothing was prescribed for her physical state. She was asked to take herbal teas and syrups. She wasn’t worried about her physical symptoms anymore, so she took my advice.
A month and a half later, she was in a similar condition. She wasn’t happy because of the way things go, but she accepts that. She said: “The new phase of life cycle has begun. What can I do, it’s normal”. She’s still worried about her grand children and she helps them as much as she can, but she’s not overtaken with fear and worry about them anymore.
Two and a half months later she claims that she feels very well. She slowed her travelling to her daughter’s and she’s not depressed anymore.
Case number 2
A woman nearly 60 years old, long term patient, was given Sulphur constitutionally which helped her in almost every situation. She asked for help when she had herpes which had spread almost over her entire forehead. As she felt very well a few months before, it was shocking to see her in that condition. She complained about exhaustion, sleepiness, headache, forgetfulness. She was asked about the things that happened before the herpes appeared.
This woman was living the high life. Her husband was very successful businessman. Three years ago, her son married a girl she wasn’t content with. At one point of time, she realized that her daughter-in-law is actually a good person and caring mother. She realized that her son is not as perfect as she thought he was before, and she even started to take her daughter-in-law’s side in some situations, but it was too late. They already had divorced. She felt guilty about that.