ARSENICUM ALBUM

Last modified on February 4th, 2019

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ARSENICUM ALBUM homeopathic remedy signs and symptoms from the Key to the Homeopathic Materia Medica by Alfred Pulford. Find the common uses of ARSENICUM ALBUM

IDENTIFICATION

      Asthenia with irritability of fibre with extreme anguish and anxiety, fear of death and of being left alone and when going to bed, great restlessness even during coma, or if too weak to move the body moves the head, and, when able, wishes to constantly change chairs or beds; children want to go from nurse to nurse or from person to person, or want to be carried fast (Pulsatilla, reverse), saving run, run.

ESSENTIAL

      Sad, depressed, despairs. Anxiety, restlessness, prostration, burning and cadaverous odors are prominent ESSENTIALS and predominate. Peevish, sensitive. Lassitude. Trivial affections produce sudden and complete sinking of strength. Extreme prostration. Face waxy, pale, puffy; expression of genuine agony. Especially aggravation around 1 morning and better heat (reverse of Apis and Secale) Thirst, usually violent, at times ungovernable, especially for little and often, as water molests the stomach (in chronic diseases there may be thirstlessness, the reverse of Apis.). Skin dry, usually like parchment. Urine scanty. All the discharges and excretions are acrid, scanty and putrid; odor cadaverous. Chilly, always freezing, hovers over the fire and is weak after the chill. The pains burn, stitch as from hot needles, or like coals of fire, and are better heat, the reverse of Secale Profound weakness, faintness and rapid exhaustion.

COMMENT.

Mind

      Anguish drives one from place to place; anxiety when anything is expected of one; cares about trifles; delusion that people are beside one doing what one is doing, or, of seeing ghosts day and night, or, that the house and space under the bed are full of thieves; fear of death when vomiting; jumps out of bed from fear; wakens at 3 morning, easily frightened; mania, wants to be held; restlessness alternating with sleeplessness and stupor, during fever; periodical restlessness; disposed to suicide, after fright. (L): Anxiety 3 in the morning and during sleep; avarice; desire to be carried fast (slow: Pulsatilla); thinks she is being watched; despair, during sweat; attempt to change beds; fear of death, when alone; cannot bear to be looked at; restless, after midnight; wants to go from bed to bed; restless, during chill; stupefaction, when walking; unconscious on least motion. Full of suicidal tendency, and if not having predisposition removed, one is liable to commit the act. The restlessness, at first general, decreases to the limbs, then to mere rolling of the head, finally lies quiet in extreme prostration, the prostration taking the place of the anxiety and restlessness, and goes on to a cadaverous aspect. Fastidious, the reverse of Sulph. The restlessness of Arsenicum differs from that of Mag-c. in that Mag-c. must get out of bed to walk the floor to ease the pain. Nearly all the Mind diseases of Arsenicum are characterized by extreme anxiety, restlessness and fear, like Aconite The delirium of Arsenicum is more violent than that of any other remedy except nitricum acidum The greater the suffering the greater the anguish and fear of death. Thinks one is surely going to die, therefore useless to take medicine.

Vertigo

      When walking across an open space.

Head

      Rolls Head, even when too weak to move; periodic pain in Head, 7 morning; pain in frontal sinuses, from chronic coryza; pulsating pain, above nose; burning pain, over eyes, at night, periodic stunning, stupefying pain; tearing, rending pain in forehead, during heat, over eyes, intermittent, amelioration walking about, Head symptoms alternate with the physical (Podophyllum, with diarrhoea; Arnica with mind and uterine symptoms). Desires Head warm and body cold, the reverse of Phosphorus

Eyes

      Degeneration of cornea; inflamed, 4 evening; Eyes alternate with swelling of feet; stitching pain, on opening Eyes; pulsation around Eyes, after midnight; ulceration of one or the other Eyes. Eyes itch, tickle, but especially burn. All the external ulcerations of the eyeballs, and even cornea, are characterized by extreme painfulness (burning), hot excoriating tears, swelling at the lids and great photophobia. The oedema of the lids, especially the lower ones, is not at all like the puffiness of Apis and Rhus, nor is it dependent on infiltration of connective tissue as it may be with Rhus, but is associated with the general Arsenicum cachexia. Eyes symptoms are amelioration warm applications, the reverse of Apis, frequently periodic in recurrence, begin every Fall, and often change from Eye to Eye.

Ears

      Discharge of cadaverous odor; rash about Ears; buzzing in Ears, after convulsions, or during sweat; humming, amelioration open air, aggravation warm air of room. Sulph., Calcarea and Arsenicum will be called on whenever discharge has been stopped in broken down constitution.

Nose

      Catarrh, in cold weather; watery discharge, 5 morning; epistaxis, from anger; mucus membrane gangrenous. (L): Burns, smarts, raw, during coryza. In Nose troubles one feels best when the discharge becomes thicker. The sneezing of Arsenicum is said to be no joke, it gives no relief, it starts from a spot in Nose as from the tickling of a feather.

Face

      Brown streaks along lower lip; Face pale, after vexation; crusty eruption, scabby, black, amelioration heat; pimples, aggravation cold air; twitching of lips on falling asleep; wartlike ulcers. (L): Cancer; black lips; dry; dry eruption; mealy herpes; scurf on lips; needlelike burning pains; drawing pains, amelioration heat; stitches, like burning needles; swollen, morning; ulcers. Face painful and puffed, even in fever, and especially in gastro – intestinal troubles. Lips dry, has to lick them to moisten them. Baggy under eyes (Apis, around eyes; Kali-c. over them). Brown streak through vermillion border of lip, as if burnt.

Mouth

      Aphthae, bluish; black blood from gums, after extraction of teeth; tongue white, as if painted. Scurvy, bleeding gums; white tongue, silvery all over; gangrenous Mouth of children; enlarged papillae at tip of tongue; putrid taste, morning; malignant ulcers; vesicles. Taste bitter to water (to milk: Sabin.; to sugar: Sanguinaria; to plums: Iodium: to bread: Pulsatilla). Tongue in fevers red and dry, or brown and black, smooth as if varnished, Mouth generally very sore.

Teeth

      Bite tumbler, when drinking; pain, amelioration heat; jerking pain, amelioration sitting up in bed and stroking head; tearing pain when lying on painful side and before menses, amelioration heat. During dentition, child pale, fretful, weak, wants to be carried rapidly, often says run, run! Teeth amelioration heat and hot applications.

Throat

      Mucus membrane dry, wrinkled, shrivelled (the wrinkling of the mucus membrane in diphtheria belongs to Arsenicum alone, as far as known); scraping throat, on empty swallowing; throat livid externally. (L): Burning pain in oesophagus, on swallowing; paralysis and sense of paralysis of oesophagus. Diphtheria, especially later stages, with profound prostration, especially if mucus membrane becomes dry, burning thirst, irritable stomach, or with albuminuria and dropsy, membrane looking dry and shrunken and shrivelled or wrinkled, adynamic fever, restless, prostrated, fetid breath, somnolence, occasionally starts out of bed. Arsenicum is supposed to kill the microscopic growths that are supposed to cause Diphtheria (Alcohol and brandy).

Stomach

      Anxiety in stomach, night on rising up; appetite increased after chill; stomach disordered from mouldy cheese; hiccough at hour when fever ought to come; pain in stomach, aggravation yawning; burning pain, amelioration warm drinks; cramping, griping pain, after spoiled cheese or sausage; gnawing pain, during chill; burning thirst, without desire to drink. (L): Chilliness in pit of stomach; desires warm food and drink, during chill; nausea, 11 morning and after fever; pain amelioration heat, aggravation ice cream; cramping, after cold drinks; thirst, drinks little an often; vomiting, after ice cream and during sweat, of everything or, immediately after eating and drinking, but it brings no relief, with apprehension of death. Stomach troubles characterized by extreme thirst, irritable stomach, it retains little of anything, extremely sore, burning heat. Injurious effects of fruit, like China, especial – by watery fruit and melons, like Zing. Drinks little an often, eats seldom and much, the reverse of Bryonia Aggravation least food or drink, especially cold, the reverse of Phosphorus Vomits with great effort, like Nux (the reverse of Apomorph.), ejecta scanty. Thirst after chill, violent during sweat, the more one sweats the greater the thirst. Thirstless in chronic cases, the reverse of Apis. Desires just enough drink to moisten the lips and mouth. Thirst is absent during chill generally except for warm drinks, during heat it is for little and often, during sweat it is for large quantities, at the beginning of the heat it increases as the dryness of the mouth increases, and desires only to moisten the mouth until the sweat starts, then the thirst begins in dead earnest, the more one sweat the more one desires water. Stomach troubles, even ulceration, in all cases extreme thirst, irritability causing the stomach to eject everything, or retain but little, with extreme soreness and burning heat. Nausea persistent, like Ipecac., and deathly, like Digitalis, of pregnancy, chronic catarrh of stomach whole inner portion of stomach seems raw, constrictive pain when stomach is empty.

Abdomen

      Pain in navel while lying on back, or, in navel region after midnight; burning pain, after ice cream; cramping pain in hypogastrium, during stool, amelioration heat; stitching pain in hypogastrium, to vagina, or, in inguinal region, while sitting bent; spreading ulcers. (L): Gangrene; pain, after ice cream, and during menses, amelioration heat; cramping, griping pain, after ice cream. Abdomen affections characterized by inflammatory diseases of the abdomen viscera, extreme sensitiveness and collapse.

Rectum

      Burning pain, amelioration heat the reverse of Iodium; cutting, during diarrhoea; convulsive prolapsus, after haemorrhage from Rectum. (L): Diarrhoea, after cold drinks, ice cream, high game, or after septic conditions; stinging pain in Rectum, at night on lying. Do not use Arsenicum indiscriminately in summer complaint of babies, or for dysentery or cholera infantum, for it may do much harm if not indicated. Arsenicum is most useful in cholera generally after the gushing period has passed, leaving a state of exhaustion which is extreme, a state like coma appears, the patient looks as if almost dead, except that he breathes, it is then that Arsenicum will establish a reaction. Cholera infantum great prostration, sinking, cadaverous appearance, great coldness, cold sweat, cold limbs, cold as ice of death (Secale, but Secale is aggravation heat).

Stool

      (L): Brown mucus; thin black; black watery. Stool: from every drink, no matter how small; acrid, burn, excoriate, cause redness, like Sulph.

Urinary

      Urine involuntary, while conscious, thought it flatus; urine brown like cow dung with water. (L): Paralysis of bladder, in old people; ineffectual urging, during sweat; urination involuntary after labor, the reverse of Causticum; urine suppressed in cholera. The bladder may lose its power and control after labor, but should Arsenicum fail, look to Causticum In suppression of urine from arsenical poisoning, try Nitr. s.d. in large quantities of water. Urine in all diseases in scanty, thick, sometimes fetid, and in Asiatic cholera, suppressed.

Genitalia

      Painful serpiginous ulcers; copious menses, in rheumatic constitutions; pain in ovaries, amelioration moving feet (Zincum met., 1.), aggravation sitting bent, burning; drawing pain in ovaries, from sitting bent, aggravation motion. (L): Burning ulcers, on penis; phagedenic chancre: leucorrhoea, instead of menses; stitching pain in right ovary. Often useful after morphine, in scirrhus uteri. Valuable in pelvic cellulitis, enlarged uterus, tumor, ulceration, cancer of womb, uterine haemorrhage, etc., in all cases lancinating burning pains. Phagedenic chancres, like Merc-c., livid hue, intense burning, even sloughing, better heat.

Larynx

      Croup, simulating membranous croup, from suppressed or nonappearing eruptions, especially hives or urticaria; as if one had inhaled dust; sudden catarrh, threatens suffocation at night; constriction, after drinking, or, of trachea, evening, on lying down; gangrenous croup; inflamed larynx from suppressed urticaria; as of smoke in larynx, before sleep. (L): Constriction of trachea.

Respiratory

      Asthmatic breathing, from taking cold in summer; difficult breathing, from warm clothing; wheezing breathing, evening, on lying down. Asthmatic breathing, 2 morning, periodic, in old people; deep breathing impossible; difficult breathing at night, in bed, at midnight, at 2 morning, and on turning in bed.

Cough

      In all pulmonary troubles Cough is aggravated after midnight, lying on back, expectoration scanty, and other Arsenicum symptoms. Whooping cough during cholera infantum, arrest of breathing, tough mucus in chest, frothy mucus sputa in lumps, asthmatic symptoms, debility, cold face, palpitation, Cough returns periodically with increasing force, child whines and cries.

Expectoration

      Prune juice. (L): Frothy; tastes salty.

Chest

      Chilliness, evening; dropsy, can lie only on affected side; blood blisters; oppression, in stormy weather, or, when it turns cold; burning pain, midnight to morning; stitches in apex of right lung. (L): Constriction, while walking; oppression, when walking quickly; pain in apex of right lung; stitching, under right clavicle; tearing in axilla; irregular palpitation, 3 morning. Irritable heart of smokers and tea drinkers. Use cautiously in heart troubles of an irritable nature, especially if organic, as it is apt to cause parenchymatous nephritis. Very valuable in weak heart, irritable, rapid on least motion or provocation.

Back

      Icy coldness runs down back, before epilepsy; drawing pain, after sexual excesses, or, between scapulae, amelioration lying; ulcer on sacrum, burning like fire.

Limbs

      Cold hands, cutting and tearing in abdomen; cramp in thigh, evening in bed; finger nails yellow, then black; spots on soles; blisters and vesicles, black, putrid, on upper limbs, and black crusts on elbows; ulcers about finger nails (Borax and Sepia, joints); vesicles on finger tips, filled with blood; tubercles on thumb, and between thumb and first finger; petechiae on thigh; black blisters on legs; vesicles on soles, filled with fetid water; hard thick skin on soles; pain in thigh, posteriorly, amelioration relaxing muscles; hot stitches, in paralyzed parts; sweat of feet, 2 morning; stiff knees alternating with tearing pains; swelling of upper limbs, black putrid blisters; ulcer under finger nail, or, on soles from blisters on feet, they bleed. (L): Hands livid; scaly eruption on upper limbs; itching in hollow of knee; black vesicles on soles, spreading and ulcerating; pain, after midnight, neuralgic, from cold air, and in joint, amelioration heat of bed; pain in upper limbs, amelioration heat; burning pain in leg; drawing, in elbow; stitching burning; burning in thigh; tearing, in upper arm, upward, and in elbow, at night, and in wrist, at night in bed; paralysis of lower limbs, after diphtheria; legs restless, before sleep shock in lower limbs, during sleep; swelling of fingers, from dissecting wounds, and shining swelling of feet; trembling of drunkards; twitching at night, on falling asleep; ulcers on finger tips and feet, burn; weakness of upper limbs, on taking hold of anything, and paralytic weakness of hands and fingers, on grasping anything, and of feet.

Sleep

      Deep Sleep, after chill; dreams of black water; sleepless, from burning in veins or from weariness. (L): Restless sleep, after midnight to 3 a.m.; sleepy, from mental exertion. Cannot go to sleep, until things are tidied up in room.

Chill

      Shaking chill, during pain. (L): Drinking increases the chill, and causes vomiting; shaking chill, while walking in open air, evening, and at night in open air; time: 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 12 to 2 p.m., 1 to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. Blue lips and nails, during chill, like Nux. Sleepy night before chill. Drinking causes chill; Eup. causes chill and nausea: Caps. causes chill and shivering. Chill causes oppression of chest in Apis and Arsenicum, coldness in abdomen in Meny., and blue nails in Nux. The most often indicated drug in “dumb” ague and in afternoon intermittents of nursing children, who never have chill, and where it is impossible to get any indications.

Heat

      Burning outside, cold inside, reverse of Carb-v.; chill absent: 1 to 2 p.m., 1 to 2 a.m.; continued fever, petechial, stools small, putrid, foul, cadaverous, tongue brown, leathery, prostration; incomplete intermittents. (L): Fever at night, thirstless, anxiety; midnight and after; burning Heat at midnight and after (Bryonia, 2.); 2 a.m.; 12 a.m. to 3 a.m.; irritative, slow fever; one stage wanting. Never give Arsenicum early in typhoid, unless positively indicated, if given too soon in a disease tending to become moribund one may create the very result one is anxious to avoid. Rhus often precedes Arsenicum in the last stage of tuberculosis, the restlessness is not an Arsenicum symptom, and Arsenicum will not ameliorate it.

Sweat

      With anxiety, at night; after fever; while sitting; amelioration walking in open air. Cold, clammy. Amelioration; except headache, which is increased: Eup.

Skin

      Itches, a suppressed eruption. (L): Blackish eruption; periodical boils; eruption from cold air; burning pimples; burning pox; rupia; whitish. Graph is the best remedy for chronic skin troubles from Arsenicum poisoning. Suppressed hives causing cramp and croup. Boils or carbuncles, pepper box openings, cutting lancinating burning pains amelioration heat, aggravation after midnight. Arsenicum and Merc-c. are the two principal remedies for spreading ulcers, and such as follow the opening of a bubo, with no tendency to heal. Burning stitches, as from red hot needles (Secale sparks), Cases, as a rule, requiring Arsenicum are dry, scaly, sore, an burn and itch intensely. For parts that suddenly take on erysipelas. For injured parts that suddenly turn gangrenous. Ulcers spread and eat in every direction, like Merc-c., but Merc- c. is aggravation heat, very offensive, burn like fire, Skin cold, bluish, dry like parchment, peels off in large scales. Gangrene, senile, sicca, cold, desires more covering, amelioration heat, the reverse of Carb-v. Great tendency to shrivelling, mucus membranes of mouth, and lips shrivel and become wrinkled, the mucus membranes of the throat looks leathery and wrinkled, these are sure indications for Arsenicum, such cases being very malignant in character, putrid and even gangrenous in odor.

General

      Collapse, during vomiting; epileptic convulsions, aura of warm air streaming up spine; faint, when speaking; must sit up in bed, with knees drawn up, resting head on arms and knees; varicose veins burn at night. Would like to have body in an oven, and head in an ice box. The typical Arsenicum patients is an hydrogenoid one, inclines to anaemia, tuberculosis or scrofula, with a tendency to zymosis, whose irritability of fiber begins and ends only with life itself. Necrosis of bone, like Fl-ac. Enables one to withstand muscular fatigue, like Rhus. Externally cold as ice, internally as if full of fire, the reverse of Carb-v. Cancer, where the pains burn and cut as from red hot needles or a red hot knife. Euthanasia, like Tarant-C., use higher potencies. The prostration of Arsenicum is out of all proportion to the illness. No other remedy has burning in so marked degree, amelioration heat, as Arsenicum Always freezing, wants to hover over the fire, cannot get enough clothing. The liquid trocar, in dropsy. The acute troubles are apt to be aggravation every other or every third or fourth day; the chronic troubles every seventh day or two weeks; according to the chronicity. There is a striking tendency to ulceration wherever a cold strikes the part. Like Thuja and Lachesis, Arsenicum is an antidote to animal poisons, they go right to the root of the evil, especially dissecting wounds. Catarrhal trouble ending in ulceration is a strong feature of Arsenicum At the early stage of the attack, Arsenicum has all the rigors and chills to be found in the Materia Medica, of a violent character, blood flows through the vessels like ice water, in ice cold waves; as fever comes on one goes to the other extreme and the blood flows through the vessels like boiling water, then comes the sweat which is prolonged and does not amelioration the exhaustion that follows and is attended by dyspnoea, coldness, anxiety and restlessness, one’s thirst increases so that one feels as if one could drink a well dry. Complaints return annually, like Lachesis The conditions of time and temperature, especially, are all important with Arsenicum, and unless these correspond in the patient failure will be more frequent than success. Arsenicum acts more powerfully on vegetable eating animals, the reverse of Nux.

About the author

Alfred Pulford

Alfred Pulford

Alfred Pulford, M.D., M.H.S., F.A.C.T.S. 1863-1948 – American Homeopath and author who carried out provings of new remedies. Author of Key to the Homeopathic Materia Medica, Repertoroy of the Symptoms of Rheumatism, Sciatica etc., Homeopathic Materia Medica of Graphic Drug Pictures.

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