Preparation. – Causticum is a drug made according to Hahnemann’s directions, by mixing Caustic Lime and Bi-sulphate of Potash. It is probably, both chemically and pathogenetically, a weak solution of Potassium hydrate. The three lowest decimal dilutions are made with dilute alcohol; after that alcohol is used.
Through the medulla oblongata and the inferior recurrent branch of the pneumogastric, Causticum produces paralysis of the vocal organs, together with an inflammation of the mucous lining of the larynx and trachea. It also causes paresis of the portio dura, thus paralyzing all the muscles of the face, paresis of the sphincter vesicae, and of other single parts. The condition is rather one of paralytic weakness and thus exhibits the general weakness so characteristic of all the potash salts. Its main sphere of clinical application has therefore been in paralytic affections and laryngeo-tracheal catarrh, aphonia being its chief indication in the latter affections.
Mind. Weakness of memory. Melancholy mood; apprehensive, despondent; with exhaustion. Melancholy; before menstruation; with prostration. Anxious, uneasy; unwilling to go to bed; preventing sleep; after stool. Peevish, fretful (Calcarea phos., Chamomilla, Cina.). Inattentive and distracted. Disinclined to work.
Head. Vertigo; forward and sideways; at night in bed, on rising and lying down again; on looking fixedly at an object; during menses, worse on stooping, better afternoons. Painless digging in the whole head. Throbbing and stitches in vertex. Pressive pain in the right frontal eminence. Pain at small spot on vertex as if bruised, only on touch . Stitches in the temple. Itching of scalp (Graphites, Nitr. ac., Phosphorus, Sepia, Sulph). Tension of the scalp (Asarum europaeum, Phosphorus).
Eyes. Inflammation, with burning, stinging; dryness and photophobia. Pressure in eyes as if sand were in them (Arsenicum, Ignatia, Natr. mur., Sulphur). Lachrymation; worse in open air. Itching of the eyes, especially of the lids (Calcarea, Sulphur). Inclination to close the yes, lids seem heavy (Coni.), even paralysis of upper lids. (Gelsemium, Plumb., Sepia, Zincum met.). Weakness in the recti muscles. Photophobia with constant necessity to wink. Burning and itching in inner canthi (Arsenicum). Flickering or sparks before the eyes (Cyclamen, Mercurius, Phosphorus). Light obscured; as from gauze (Baryta, Croc., Rhus tox., Sulphur); as from a thick fog or cloud (Nux v., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla); momentarily, on blowing the nose; as from swarms of insects.
Ears. Roaring or buzzing in the ears (Belladonna, Cinchona). Words and steps re-echo in her ears (Mercurius, Phosphorus). Stitches in the right ear.
Nose. Dry coryza, with stoppage of the nose (Nux v.). Frequent sneezing, in morning. Pimples on tip of nose. Profuse nosebleed. Old warts on nose.
Face Transient, violent drawing pain in right cheek, and then in the ear. Sensation of tension and pain in the jaws, so that she could only with difficulty open the mouth, and could not eat well because a tooth seemed too long (Mercurius). Paralysis of one side of the face. Rheumatic pains in lower jaws.
Mouth. Painful looseness and elongation of the teeth. (Lycopodium, Nitr. ac.). Burning pain in lower molar, extending to nose and eyes. Tearing, stitching toothache (Pulsatilla). Gums painfully sensitive (Carb. v., Mercurius). Painful vesicle on tip of tongue. Greasy, putrid taste (Chamomilla, Pulsatilla). Epidermal coating of mouth and fauces abraded; mucous membrane swollen and loose; tongue, palate and uvula swollen and red; sensation of glowing coals; disposition to swallow and hawk, increasing pain; much saliva and mucus; hoarseness; fever with rapid pulse and unquenchable thirst. Sore, painful spot on hard palate. Stuttering, difficult, indistinct speech (Hyoscyamus, Stramonium). Speechless from paralysis of organs of speech (Dulcamara, Gelsemium, Hyoscyamus, Naja, Nux m).
Throat Mucus collects in throat; cannot be raised by hawking; is obliged to swallow it. Dryness, rawness, scraping, tickling in the throat (Ammonium carb., Carb. v., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla).
Stomach Eructations, burning hot (Lycopodium); empty; tasteless; as from undigested food in stomach. Pains in stomach, relieved by lying down. Pinching, clawing in pit of stomach on deep breathing. Pressure in pit of stomach. Sensation as if stomach were disordered.
Abdomen. pains in abdomen, causing her to bend double (Aloe, Coloc., Iris); worse from eating or tightening the clothes. Stitches in hepatic region.
Stool and Anus. Haemorrhoids, large, hard, stinging, burning; painful when touched; walking unendurable. Fissures in anus; pains worse when walking. Frequent loud emission of offensive flatus. Pressure in the rectum. Frequent sudden piercing pain in the rectum. Itching and sticking in the rectum. Itching in the anus (Chamomilla, Sulphur) and genitals. Frequent ineffectual urging to stool. Stool passes better when standing. Pain in perineum with pulsation. Stool tough and shining, as if greased (Ammonium mur.).
Urinary Organs. Paralysis of the bladder from long retention of urine. Involuntary passage of urine at night when asleep (Arsenicum, Cuprum); when coughing (Colch), sneezing, or blowing nose (Natr. mur., Pulsatilla, Zincum met.). Burning in urethra when urinating (Apis, Aconite, Cantharis); sudden at night. Retention of urine, with frequent and urgent desire; occasionally a few drops or small quantity may dribble away (Aconite). Urinates so easily, not sensible of the stream (Argentum nit.) Urine dark-brown (Bryonia), turbid and cloudy on standing.
Male Organs. Pressive pains, as if crushed, in right testicle (Aconite, Argentum nit.). During coition, blood discharged from urethra with the semen. Itching of the scrotum.
Female Organs. Biting in the pudenda, as from salt, after micturition. Aversion to coition. Menses too late, but profuse; no discharge at night; offensive odor; cause itching of the pudenda. Cutting colic and diarrhoea during menses. Pain in the back during menstruation. Leucorrhoea profuse; flows like the menses, and has same odor.
Respiratory Organs. The laryngeal muscles refuse their service; cannot speak loud word (Arum., Phosphorus). Great hoarseness, worse mornings and evenings, with scraping in the throat (Nux v.); could not speak aloud for several days (Pulsatilla).
16 Dry sensation in air passages. Pain in larynx on blowing the nose. Frequent need to hawk and clear the larynx.
Cough violent, hollow, at times dry, with pain in right chest; night and morning, with tightly adhering mucus in chest; soreness in chest; tickling in paroxysms, with sore sensation in a streak down along trachea, where every cough pains; wakes from sleep; caused by crawling in larynx or from stooping; always from speaking. Cough, with pain in hip and involuntary discharge of urine (Alum). Cough relieved by a swallow of cold water. Shortness of breath precedes the cough. Arrest of breath when speaking or walking rapidly; must suddenly catch for breath. Rattling in the chest when coughing. Tightness of chest; must frequently take a deep breath. Soreness in chest (Arnica, Baryta). Burning soreness in a streak under the sternum, with cough, etc. Stitches in the chest (Bryonia, Kali carb.). Sensation as if the clothes were too tight. Painful compression from both sides towards sternum, with oppression of breath and weakness of voice.
Neck and Back. Painful stiffness and tension of neck. Sharp stitches in left lumbar region. Pressing, cramp-like pain in region of kidneys. In coccyx, dull, drawing pains; bruised pain.
Limbs. Paralytic weakness of the limbs; trembling. Intolerable weariness in limbs in evening. Arthritic pains in all parts of the limbs.
Upper Limbs. Trembling of the hands. Drawing pains in finger joints.
Lower Limbs. Bursting pains in left hip when coughing. Cracking in knees when walking. Bruised pain in the thighs and legs; mornings in bed. Tension and stiffness in hollow of knee when walking. Cramps in the calves in the morning; in feet. Stiffness in the ankles. Tearing in tendons beneath the right calf. In ball of great toe, crawling, burning, severe pressive pain; burning stitches.
Generalities. At night cannot get a quiet position or lie still a minute. Uneasiness of body while sitting, with anxiety about the heart. Parts upon which he lies feels bruised (Arnica, Baptisia); bruised pain when touched. Tearing in joints and bones. Trembling. Faint-like sinking of strength. Sour smelling night sweats all over (Silicea). Profuse sweat when walking in open air. Hemiplegia after cerebral haemorrhage or softening. Epileptic attacks during time of puberty; also worse during new moon (Silicea). Convulsions, with screams, gnashing of teeth, and violent movement of limbs, with feverish head and coldness of hands and feet. Chorea, even at night; right side of face and tongue may be paralyzed. Haemorrhages of very dark blood. Painful varices, ulcers, or warts; net-like appearance of capillaries.
Skin. Itching over the whole body. Intertrigo during dentition. Excessive itching; moist tetter on the neck. Eruption of pimples on tip of nose. Injuries of the skin which had healed become sore again.
Sleep. Uneasy, restless sleep. Yawning and stretching. Many motions with arms and legs during sleep. Intense sleepiness; cannot resist it; must lie down. Startings from sleep.
Aggravation. Generally morning and evening; in open air.
Conditions. Persons of dark hair and rigid fibre most affected.
Compare Ammonium mur., Bromium, Calcarea c., Gelsemium, Ignatia, LAch., Nux v., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox., Spongia, Stannum, Sepia, Sulphur, Zincum met.
Antidotes. Asafoetida, Coloc., Coffea, Nux v., Sp. nitr. d.
Causticum Antidotes. Mercurius, Sulphur
The most important clinical use of Causticum is in the treatment of paralytic conditions of single parts; facial paralysis, especially from exposure to dry cold winds; paralysis of upper lids; paralysis of the lips, tongue; larynx (difficult speech); glosso-pharyngeal muscles (difficult deglutition); bladder (enuresis), etc. Paralysis following rheumatism, diphtheria, etc. Hemiplegia after cerebral haemorrhage or softening. Causticum is a valuable remedy for aphonia, which may result from laryngeal paralysis, as is usually the case . it is indicated, but it is also useful in catarrhal aphonia, from taking cold, even acute laryngitis, the hoarseness and aphonia being always worse mornings and evenings, and accompanied by rawness and scraping in the throat. The cough of Causticum is hollow and spasmodic, worse form warmth of bed and better from sips of cold water. There is also oppressed breathing, soreness, etc. thus often indicating the drug in phthisis, especially laryngeal or bronchial. Epileptiform attacks during puberty. Chorea, especially affecting the right side. Neuralgia. Intertrigo in folds of skin. Unhealthy skin. Warts and horny growths (Antim crud.). Varices. Ulcers. Net-like appearance of capillaries. Haemorrhages of very dark blood. Acid dyspepsia. Gastralgia. Haemorrhoids, painful. Constipation from partial paralysis of the parts; stool passed better when standing. Fissures of anus. Pruritus ani. Causticum is a useful remedy in rheumatic and arthritic inflammation, with contractions of flexors and stiffness of joints. A sort of rheumatic paralysis, so frequently observed, often finds in Causticum an excellent remedy. Indeed in almost any trouble where Causticum is indicated there is a tendency to paralytic weakness, either general, or, more often, of single parts. The patient is usually anaemic, apprehensive, anxious, and has neither disposition or ability to make any physical or mental exertion.