Bichromate of Potash. (K2Cr2O7).
KALI BICH. is a corrosive irritant and acts prominently on all the mucous membranes of the body, producing, firstly, inflammation with tough, adhesive mucus of false membranes, perforating. In the kidneys it causes acute parenchymatous nephritis, or in chronic poisoning interstitial nephritis. Haemorrhages may be produced in various organs, especially in the wall of the heart. Its corrosive action causes ulceration of the skin.
THE ACTION OF KALI BICH. on the mucous membrane marks out its therapeutic sphere, which is mainly the alimentary and respiratory tracts. But other areas are affected, probably secondarily.
Head.-It causes a peculiar headache, which begins with blindness that passes off as the headache comes on; the headache is often over one eye, or may shoot from the root of the nose along the left orbital arch to the extreme angle of the eye. The bones of the head feel sore.
Eyes.-The conjunctiva is inflamed and the ocular conjunctiva and sclerotic are traversed by dilated vessels, the lids are oedematous and covered with granulations. Ulcers on the cornea, distinguished by an absence of photophobia, pain and redness, and, on the contrary, conditions of rheumatic sclero- iritis accompanied by great pain and photophobia are both amenable to this drug. It is for the above conditions and for interstitial keratitis and episcleritis that kali bich. has been found valuable.
Nose.-It has been much used in chronic nasal catarrh, when there is thick, tough secretion or the formation of adherent scabs or “clinkers,” and also for ulcers perforating the septum naris. Similar ulcers of the soft palate and pharynx such as are caused by syphilis are cured by it.
Digestive Tract.-The characteristic tongue of kali bich. is smooth, as if glazed, red and cracked (“mapped”), the mouth dry and the saliva viscid. Or the tongue may have a thick, yellow coat and indentations at its edges. The uvula may be oedematous. Much tenacious mucus is hawked from the throat. A sensation of a hair in the fauces, and of a plug in the throat are additional symptoms pointing to it in throat complaints.
The stomach affections for which it is useful are those where there is burning pain and much heaviness coming on immediately after food, vomiting of sour fluid, mucus and bile, or of bright yellow water, accompanied by loss of appetite but great thirst for beer and acids. It is a good remedy for the dyspepsia of drunkards, especially of beer drinkers. Its power of causing ulceration of the gastric and duodenal mucous membrane makes it a suitable remedy for gastric an duodenal ulcers.
The rectal symptoms indicating this remedy are burning in the rectum and anus after stool, and the passage of either a profuse watery, yellow of brown diarrhoea, or more characteristically, dysenteric stools, bloody, with strings of mucus, “scrapings,” and jelly-like lumps.
It is suitable for a periodic dysentery occurring every year at the beginning of the summer, and also for dysentery when it alternates with rheumatic symptoms.
In the respiratory sphere kali bich. is the most effectual remedy we have for laryngeal diphtheria, when the tough membrane is blocking the larynx and extending down to the bronchi. It is the remedy always to be thought of for bronchitis when the sputum is glutinous, difficult to detach, and is expectorated in long adhesive strings. The cough is worse when undressing, in the early hours of the morning, and after eating. A pain often shoots through from the sternum to the back on coughing.
Back and Limbs.-The rheumatic pains for which kali bich, is suitable are wandering pains, crossing from one side of the body to the other, or from one part of the same side to another part, or they may alternate with diarrhoea. Other symptoms are sciatic pains, pains in the coccyx while sitting, and in the hips and knees, which are usually relieved by walking.
(1) Toughness and adhesiveness of mucous secretions (hydras., lyssin, iris v.). The formation of false membranes.
(2) Discharges of jelly-like mucus, or dry hard lumps.
(3) Round, punched-out character of the ulcers.
(4) Wandering character of the pains (Benz. ac., kali carb., led., puls.)
(5) Pains cover a small spot which can be covered with the point of a finger (ign., thuj.).
(6) Alternation of symptoms (act., benz. ac., psor., plat., podoph.)
(7) Sensation of a hair in fauces and left nostril (on tongue nat. mur.).
(8) Indigestion from beer drinking.
(9) Syphilitic ulcerations whether of skin of mucous membranes, especially of nose and throat.
(10) Most suited to fat, lymphatic, lethargic people.
(11) Complaints worse in early summer and autumn.
From eating (gastric pains and cough), coffee, 2 to 3 a.m. (croup and cough,) 9 a.m. (headache), open air (gastric complaints), uncovering, cold weather, rest, stooping (head), sitting, autumn and spring.
From eating (rheumatic pains), open air, wrapping up, warmth, pressure, moving affected part.