Synonym. Mercurius Vivus. Common names. Quicksilver. Mercury. Mercuries Solubilis Hahnemanni. Precipitated back oxide of Mercury, with Nitric Acid and Ammonia.[* I have,in accordance with the usual custom, embraced both these preparations under the one head their similarity being so great that no distinction is usually made in practice. Most of the symptoms are obtained from the Solubilis; and, in order to facilitate the student’s knowledge, I have as far as possible designated those obtained from both preparations by a double asterisk. On account of the varying and doubtful composition of the solubilis, the vivus is usually considered the more reliable remedy, and has replaced the former to a great extend since Hahnemann’s time, and even by Hahnemann himself in the latter years of his practice]. Preparation. Triturations of either of the above preparations are employed.
Mercurius acts profoundly upon the entire organism, affecting both the functions and the substance of every organ and tissue of the body. Pre-eminently it operates upon the vegetative system, altering its functional power, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and decomposing and destroying its organic constituents. The blood corpuscles are destroyed, the albumen and fibrin of the blood are lost, and consequently the coagulability of the blood is diminished. Secretion and absorption are both increased, and the secretions, loosing their plasticity, become thinner and more fluid, and at the same time acrid and excoriating.
On the organic system Mercury acts more especially upon the mucous and serous membranes, the glandular system, the parenchymatous organs, the fibrous and osseous tissues and the skin. The first condition produced in one of excitation, swelling and inflammation, soon followed by reaction and subsequent weakness and exhaustion, which betokens commencing organic decomposition. The tissues above mentioned become the seat of destructive ulcerative processes, suppurations and puriform collections, while there is at the same time a tendency to the deposition of new products, according to the character of the tissue involved Thus we see that mercury penetrates the entire organism, and permeates every tissue, acting upon these tissues by virtue of its presence in them. In some instances the inflammatory and ulcerative processes mentioned are lacking, and there occurs instead nervous phenomena such as paralysis agitans, epilepsy, chorea, neuralgia and melancholia. Its special action upon each we may clearly comprehend by a careful study of the characteristic effects as given below. The most essential feature of the action of Mercury is its remarkable resemblance to the effects of the syphilitic poison, though it should be noted that Mercury attacks the long bones, while in syphilis the flat bones are attacked. The chief characteristic of Mercury is an aggravation of all the symptoms at night, and from warmth of the bed.
Mind Weakness of memory(Agn.,Ambr., Anacardium, Kreosotum,Lachesis, Natr.mur., Nux moschata, Phos ac.); and will-power lost. Great anxiety, restlessness (Arsenicum), and apprehension, especially in evening and at night (Aconite, Arsenicum, Calcarea c., Rhus tox.). Answers questions slowly (Phosphorus,Phosphorusac.). Intellect weak; imbecile. Imaginary fears of dying, or of losing reason (Can ind.). Low muttering delirium (Agaricus, Alianth., Belladonna, Hyos). Delirium like that of delirium tremens. Wretchedness, and dejection of spirits. Inclined to sopor, coma. Morose and suspicious. Irritability and ill-humor. Hurried and rapid talking (Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Lachesis, Stramonium).
Head Vertigo. Confusion in morning on awaking. Weakness in head like a dullness, as if there was a vibration in forehead and turning about in a circle. Head feels as if bound around with a cord (Gelsemium, Mercurius bin., Natr. Mur., Nitr.ac., Pulsatilla, Sulphur). Head feels as if it would burst with fullness of the brain (Aconite, Bryonia,Cinchona, Natr.mur.). Aching just beneath scalp, as if heavy and tight. Pressive pain in left temple. Pressure outward in forehead, and pain in bone beneath eyebrow, worse on touch. Tearing or drawing pains or stinging on one side of head, extending to the ears, teeth and neck. Constant rotary motion of the head, even when lying. The scalp is painful to touch (Cinchona, Natr., mur., Nitr.ac.,); worse when scratching, which is followed by bleeding. Itching of the scalp day and night. Moist eruption on the scalp (Hepar s., Graphites, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Nitr.ac.), which eats away the hair; yellow running scabs and excoriation. Falling out of the hair (Graphites, Nitr. ac., Phosphorus, Sepia). Tearing and stinging in the bones of the skull. Sutures open; large head; precocious mental development. Exostoses on hairy scalp, with feeling of soreness when touched; worse at night in bed.
Eyes Eyes inflamed, with swollen inverted tarsi (Borax), and very sensitive to the light. Heat, biting as from horseradish, burning, redness, and pressure in the eyes (Aconite, Arsenicum, Sulphur). Pupils dilated. Lachrymation profuse, burning excoriating. Chronic conjunctivitis, with fine injection around cornea. Lids spasmodically closed (Hepars.), red inflamed, swollen; agglutinated in the morning (Alumina, Calcarea c., Lycopodium, Pulsatilla, Silicea, Sulphur). Sensation as if a cutting substance were beneath left upper lid. Eyes forcibly drawn together on attempting to look at anything; cannot see distinctly. Inability to open the eyes well, as if agglutinated to balls. Dimness of vision; fog before the eyes (Kali carb., Lachesis); also black points, flies, etc. (Agaricus, Cyclamen, Phosphorus,Sulph.). Intolerance of light and fire-light (Aconite, Belladonna, Sulphur).
Ears Inflammation of internal and external ear, with stinging,tearing,and cramp-like pains (Belladonna, Pulsatilla); bloody, offensive discharge(Calcareac.,Hepars., Graphites, Lycopodium). Stitches deep in ears with burning. Ringing and roaring in the ears (Cinchona, Sulphur,Silicea). Stoppage. Soreness and excoriation of the ears. Hardness of nearing, with obstruction; sounds vibrate in the ears; obstruction momentarily, better after swallowing, or blowing the nose.
Nose Nosebleed during sleep; during cough. Coryza; fluent, corrosive, with much sneezing; offensive odor; nostrils blessing, scurfy;nose red, swollen, shining (Arsenicum, Arum., Pulsatilla). Nasal bones swollen and painful to touch (Alumina, Aurum, Bryonia, Hepar s.).
Face Paleness of face. Sallow. Swollen. Face earthy colored, puffy(Arsenicum, Pulsatilla). Coldness. Internal swelling of the upper lip (Belladonna). Corners of the mouth ulcerated and painfully sore (Antim crud., Graphites). Fissures. Lips dry, cracked and ulcerated (Arsenicum); painful to touch. Masseter muscles contracted so that speech was difficult. Periostitis of lower jaw. Necrosis (Phosphorus).Caries. Atrophy and exfoliation of alveolar processes. Tearing in lower jaw towards evening. Spasm and immobility of the jaws.
Mouth Teeth feel loose, fall out (Mercurius cor.), become black; carious (Staphysagria); denuded of gum;painful on touch of tongue. Dirty discoloration. Pulsating jerking toothache, extending into ear and head; worse at night (Antim crud., Belladonna), and from warmth of bed (Clem.). Aching at night , then general chilliness, with swelling of gums and salivary glands. Gums painful to touch and on chewing; swollen, spongy, receding from the teeth (Carb. v., Nitr. ac.); edges whitish; bleeding; foetid odor from the mouth (Arnica, Hepar S., Iodi., Kali nit., Nitr.ac., Kreosotum); ulcerated; suppurating; Tongue red and swollen (Belladonna); ulcerated; black, with red edges (Arsenicum); swollen, coated white (Ant.crud., Bryonia, Nux v.); Moist with intense thirst; swollen, flabby (Natr.ars.); showing impress of teeth on margin; movement difficult; speech difficult on account of trembling of mouth and tongue; stammering (Causticum, Hyoscyamus, Stramonium). Gray patches on edges, dirty-yellow coat on upper surface. Aphthae in the mouth (Borax, Helleborus, Hydras.,Iodi.); bluish-red and spongy; ulcers spread without penetrating the flesh. Stomatitis. Inflammation and superficial ulceration of the mucous membranes of the mouth (Nitr.ac.). Salivary glands swollen and painful. Profuse salivation (Aconite, Cinchona, Euc., Iodium,Nitr.a.); saliva foetid or tastes coppery. Taste sweetish (Arsenicum, Bryonia, Coccus, Sulphur); especially bread; salty (Natr. mur.); metallic (Aesculus, Coccul., Coccus, Naja, Osm.,Sulph.); Slimy or putrid (Arnica, Rhus tox.).
Throat Uvula swollen and elongated. Syphilitic ulcers in throat and mouth. Painful dryness of the throat, with mouth full of saliva; pressure on swallowing. Suppuration of tonsils, with sharp, sticking pain in fauces when swallowing(Hepar s., Nitr. ac.). Angina, throat and fauces of a coppery-red color and swollen. Sensation as if something (an apple-core) were sticking in the throat. Throat constantly dry; pain as if tight posteriorly; with pressure on swallowing, yet constantly obliged to swallow, because the mouth is always full of saliva. Inability to swallow liquids, which return through the nose (Lycopodium). Glands swollen (Arum., Aurum, Baryta c., Calcarea c., Silicea).
Stomach Excessive hunger or complete loss of appetite; appetite only for bread and butter;aversion to butter. Violent empty eructation (Ipecac., Phosphorus, Veratrum alb.). Extremely violent thirst(Aconite, Arsenicum,Bryonia). Hiccough. Nausea when coughing. Water collects in mouth, causing nausea and vomiting or a bitter substance. Pit of stomach burns; swollen and sensitive to touch. Weak digestion,with continues hunger. The stomach feels replete and constricted.
Abdomen Stitches in hepatic region, interfering with breathing and eructations (Aconite, Arsenicum, Chelidonium, Cinchona, Kali carb., Nux v.) Region of liver swollen, sensitive, cannot lie on right side (Bryonia, Chelidonium). Abdomen hard, distended and painful (Arsenicum, Calcarea c, Cinchona). Chronic atrophy of the liver,with emaciation and desiccation of the body. Complete icterus (Chelidonium, Nux v.). Pressive pain in abdomen, as from a stone (Arsenicum, Bryonia). Bruised feeling of intestines (Ferrum, Nux. v.); cannot lie on right side. Violent colic, with cutting and stinging pains, as if caused by knives (Coni.),principally at night or in cool of evening; colic from cold (Dulcamara, Nux v.). Boring pain in right groin. Inguinal glands swollen or suppurating (Calcareac., Nitr.ac., Thuja); circumscribed redness. Bubo.
Stool and Anus Ineffectual urging to stool every moment, with tenesmus in the rectum; with protruding, painful sore haemorrhoids. Prolapsus ani. Burning pain in anus with soft stool. Weakness after stool. Griping in abdomen with constant desire for stool, but little is evacuated (Nux v.). colc; burning cutting and tenesmus before, during, and after stool; chilliness between stools (Rheum). Colic and diarrhoea caused by evening air. Stools green or green mucus (Argentum nit., Arsenicum, Belladonna, Ipecac., Sulphur); bloody; mucous and bloody (Cantharis, Nitr.ac.); slimy; brownish; whitish-gray; acrid and burning faecal matter (Arsenicum, Sulphur); excoriating anus. Discharge of ascarides and lumbrici (Ferrum, Spigelia, Sepia).
Urinary Organs Burning in the urethra (Aconite, Arsenicum, Cantharis, Coni.). Frequent to urinate, with scanty discharge (apis, Coloc., Digit.), worse at night. Sudden irresistible urging to urinate, passing large quantities (Kreosotum). Urine dark-red, turbid; deposits a sediment; acrid; dark-yellow, albuminous, mixed with blood. Gonorrhoea; with phymosis; chancroids; green painless discharge; worse at night (Mercurius cor.).
Male Organs Total loss of sexual power (Agn., Argentum nit., Camph.). Emissions at night mixed with blood. Ulcers on the glans with cheesy base(Hepar s., Nitr. ac.), like raw meat, caseous coat on base, margins everted. Painful inflammation and testes and spermatic cord (Berberis). Feeling of coldness in the testicles (Berberis, Caps., Sulphur). Testicles swollen, hard and shining.
Female Organs. Menses too profuse, with anxiety and conc. Leucorrhoea always worse at night; greenish discharge; smarting, corroding, itching, burning after scratching (Alum, coni., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla). Inflammation of the vagina, and still more of the external genitals, with rawness, smarting and excoriated spots (Carb.v.). Itching of the genitals (Cantharis, Coni.), worse from the contact of the urine. Prolapsus of the vagina. Mammae swollen, hard with ulcerative pains; suppuration (Coni., Hepar s., Phytol., Silicea).
Respiratory Organs Hoarse, rough voice; burning rawness in larynx; fluent coryza and sore throat. Shortness of breath, on ascending or walking (Aconite, Ammonium c., Arsenicum, Calcarea c.); with suffocation. Asthma. Short, dry, fatiguing cough, principally in bed, in the evening or at night; caused by tickling in upper part of chest (Hyoscyamus, Phosphorus). Cough which sounds and feels as if everything in the chest were dry; with pain in chest and small of back (Belladonna, Bryonia, Phosphorus).Stitches in the chest (Aconite, Bry, Kali carb., Phosphorus); right side, extending through to the back on sneezing and coughing (Sulphur); on stooping constricts the chest. Bloody sputum in tuberculosis. Burning in chest extending to throat. Rush of blood to the chest. Sensation of dryness in the chest. Suppuration of the lungs after haemorrhages, or after pneumonia. Constriction of the chest. Emphysema of the lungs.
Heart Palpitation on slightest exertion (Staphysagria).
Neck and Back. Swelling and inflammation of the glands (Baryta c., Belladonna, Calcarea, Iodi.). Indurated lymphatics. Bruised pain in back and small of back. Sticking in small of back on breathing.
Limbs Trembling of all the limbs (Coccul.,Coni., Gelsemium,Stramonium),especially of hands and feet. Involuntary jerking in the limbs. Weakness and weariness in all the limbs; unusual heaviness. Drawing and tearing in all the limbs (Bryonia, Colc., Ledum, Lycopodium, Sulphur), worse at night, in the warm bed; with profuse sweat, which no relief. Cold hands and feet.
Upper Limbs Tremor of the hands, with weakness; could neither feed nor dress himself. Cramp-like contraction of the hands and fingers. Scaling off and exfoliation of the finger bails. Moist itch- like eruption of the hands, with nightly itching; bleeding rhagades.
Lower Limbs Burning in the nates. Soreness between the thighs and genitals (Graphites). Swelling of the backs of the feet. Tearing in hip- joint and knee, worse at night; beginning suppuration. Heaviness. Weakness and giving way in knees, could scarcely stand. Boring in periosteum of tibiae. Drawing pain in tibia.
Generalities Great weariness and prostration; trembling. involuntary of the voluntary muscles, hands, tongue, etc. Hastiness in all motions. Breath and whole body smell foul (Iodium). PAralysis agitans. All discharge acrid. Oedema of face, hands and feet, with anemia. Whole body feels bruised, with soreness in all the bones (Arnica). Peritonitis, then necrosis. Pains return in evening on going to be banish sleep (Colchicum, Iodium, Nitr. ac., Plumb.). Restlessness and anxiety towards evening, could not remain sitting or in any one posture. Boring pains in the exostosis at night ; bone pains (Aranea). Excitability and sensibility of all the organs (Cinchona). Glandular swelling with or without suppuration (Help.s., Graphites, Nitr. ac.). Cannot lie on the side (Reverse, Phosphorus).
Skin Skin dirty-yellow (Ferrum,Iodium); jaundice (Cinchona). Itching all over, worse at night when warm in bed (Alumina, Clem., Mez., Pulsatilla, Psorinum, Sulphur). Eruption of watery vesicles. Ulcers bleeding readily (Asafoetida, Hepar s., Mez., Sulphur), base lardaceous; margins like raw meat. Ulceration very superficial and widespread. Flat, painless ulcers, pale, covered with phlegm- like pus; on the scalp, skin of penis, etc. Primary and secondary syphilis (Nitr. ac.); round, coppery, red spots shining through the skin. Herpetic and pustular eruptions, forming dry, scaly spots or yellow crust and acrid discharges.
Sleep Excessive sleepiness day and night. Sleeplessness (Cimic., Cinchona, Coffea).
Fever Chilliness in open air; between diarrhoeic stools; in morning or in evening after lying down, as from cold water poured over one; not relieved by warmth of stove. Alternations of chilliness and heat (Calcarea c., Coccul.). Attacks of heat at night (Cinchona,Phosphorus).
Sweat profuse at night (Cinchona,Phosphorus, Sulphur) on every motion (Calcarea c., Phosphorus, Hepar s., Silicea); cold and clammy (Arsenicum, Camph.); fatty and oily (Bryonia); offensive (Arsenicum, Arsenicum, Carb. an., Silicea); stains linen yellow (Carls.). Sweat with all complaints, but giving no relief.
Aggravation In the evening an at night; from heat of bed; during perspiration; in wet weather; in cold evening air; in fall, with warm days and damp, cold nights; during exercise; from lying on right side.
Conditions Young people affected more than old.
Compare Ammonium mur., Ant.tart., Ant.crud., Argentum met., Argentummit., Arsenicum, Aurum, Belladonna, Calc c., Cinchona, Coni., Graphites, Hepar s., Iodi., LAch., Lycopodium, Mez., Natr.mur., Nitr.ac., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Silicea, Staphysagria, Sulphur, Tellur., Thuja. Mercurius follows well after Belladonna, Hepar s., Sulphur, LAch.; after Merc, follows Belladonna, Cinchona,Dulcamara, Hepar s., Nitr.ac.,Sulph. Mercurius and Silicea do not follow each other well. Hering.
Antidotes Asafoetida, Aurum, Belladonna, Carb. v., Cinchona, Hepars., Iodi., Kali. Lachesis, Lycopodium, Mez., Nitr. ac., Staphysagria,Sulph., Electricity.
Mercurius Antidotes Ant.crud., Arsenicum, Aurum, Calcarea c., Cinchona, Cuprum, Mez.,Sulph.
The therapeutic range of Mercury is so great, including, as it does, to greater or less degree, almost every diseased condition to which flesh is heir,it would be impossible to give a complete list of the individual pathological states in which it may be useful. It most important uses are quite clearly outlined in the foregoing pathogenesis. It is a valuable remedy in syphilitic affections. Primary syphilis for the so-called soft chancre or chancroid, the ulceration is superficial, with raw everted edge and a lardaceous or cheesy base. The drug may also be used in secondary syphilis, providing its use has not been abused in the primary. In this connection it should be remembered that Mercury affects only the long bones, and as syphilis affects only the flat bones, the drug is rarely useful in syphilitic bone diseases, though it is an excellent remedy for the nightly bone pains. Valuable in syphilitic rheumatism. Chronic and subacute rheumatism, of non-syphilitic origin when the pains are aggravated at night from the warmth of the bed and sweat which affords no relief. Rheumatoid arthritis. Diseases of bones,especially periostitis of the long bones. Exostoses. An extremely valuable remedy in glandular swelling,with or without suppuration, but especially is suppuration is profuse (Silicea); in the former case dissipating the swelling and preventing suppuration, in the latter checking the suppurative process. Cold swelling;slowly suppurating abscesses. Inflammations. Valuable in the first stage of suppurative conditions in general after Belladonna has failed to dissipate the local inflammation and pus is about to form; it may absorb thee products of inflammation and bring about resolution. Dropsical conditions, with emaciation; from organic diseases of the liver (Ascites); after scarlatina. Anaemia. General tremors. Paralysis agitans. Convulsions. Chorea. In all neuroses, especially chorea, Mercurius may be indicated by the general cachexia and constitutional symptoms rather than by the nervous condition. Neuralgia, especially of the face, from cold, tearing pains, worse at night. Rheumatic catarrhal inflammations with disposition to sweat. Often useful in catarrhal conditions of the respiratory tract. Acute coryza, with much sneezing, fluent corrosive discharge, etc. Chronic nasal Catarrh, acrid, offensive discharge of green mucus, bones of nose swollen and painful. Syphilitic ozoena. A valuable remedy in catarrhal or follicular tonsillitis or pharyngitis. Ulcerated throat. Syphilitic sore throat. Seldom useful in diphtheria. Chronic hoarseness. Aphonia, catarrhal or syphilitic. Chronic laryngitis. Laryngeo- tracheitis. Chronic bronchitis. Pneumonia, especially with hepatic symptoms. Lobular pneumonia of infants. Phthisis. Asthma. Valuable in many forms of eye disease. Catarrhal or scrofulous ophthalmia. Purulent ophthalmia. Ophthalmia neonatorum. The pains are always worse at night, and the discharge excoriating. Ulcers of the cornea, vascular and surrounded by grayish opacity; tendency to slough; pus between the corneal layers, or in thee anterior chamber. Ciliary blepharitis or retinitis caused by working over fires or forges. Blepharitis. According to Allen (op.cit.o.701), the drug “is rarely useful in syphilitic inflammation of the eyes, as it has no power whatever to affect the iris, “but is has been recommended by Hering and others for syphilitic iritis. Choroiditis. Keratitis. Episcleritis. Sclerotitis. Inflammation and ulceration of meibomian glands. An invaluable remedy in catarrhal inflammation of the ear, both internal and external; also of the tympanum, involving the Eustachian tube; discharges offensive, purulent, excoriating; deafness; ringing, roaring and buzzing sounds in the ear; pain worse at night, etc. Catarrh of the ear from cold, momentary obstruction, better after swallowing or blowing the nose. Inflammation of the auditory canal, herpetic suppuration or ulceration, violent, worse at night. Polypus in external meatus; also furuncles. Especially valuable for parotitis. Mercurius is an important remedy in diseases of the digestive sphere. It is the chief remedy in dental periostitis; teeth feel sore and elongated, pain worse at night, carious teeth; they turn black, become loose, the gums become soft and recede from the teeth, nightly pains. Unhealthy. Swollen, spongy, suppurating gums; gums bleed easily. Ulcers on gums; scorbutis. Glossitis. The most often used remedy in aphthous stomatitis; especially indicated when there is salivation and foetid odor from the mouth. Pain, swelling and ulceration of salivary glands. Ptyalism. Chronic gastritis, with burning pain. swollen and sensitive to touch. Exceptionally valuable in diseases of the liver. Acute and chronic hepatitis. Chronic atrophy of the liver. Jaundice gall- stones or duodenal catarrh. Enlarged. Bilious colic. In most liver diseases the region is painful and sore, worse when lying or the right side, and frequently the characteristic tongue and other symptoms of Mercurius are present. Gastro-enteritis. Catarrhal enteritis, with characteristic symptoms. Peri-typhlitis. Subacute colitis. Catarrhal diarrhoea from taking cold with colic, tenesmus, and acrid green mucous stools (Green mucous stools without tenesmus, Mercurius Dulc). Green stools is teething children with colic and straining. Bilious diarrhoea. Dysentery, stools green or bloody mucus, violent tenesmus and burning pain, chilliness between the stools. Autumnal dysentery. Worms. A valuable remedy in nephritis; urine albuminous, mixed blood, bruised pain in small of back, worse at night. Albuminuria of pregnancy with other Mercurius symptoms. Chronic cystitis. Gonorrhoea, green, painless discharge, worse at night. Nocturnal enuresis. Importance. Spermatorrhoea. Orchitis. Buboes. Venereal ulcers, having the peculiar Mercurius characteristic. Herpes praeputialis. Vaginal catarrh, rawness and smarting,green, corrosive leucorrhoea, worse at night. Ulcers, especially venereal, on external and internal genitals. Prolapsus of vagina. Pruritus of vulva. Menorrhagia. Subacute ovaritis. Pelvic peritonitis and pelvic cellulitis, after Belladonna, pus about to form. Morning sickness of pregnancy. Mastitis, breasts hard, swollen with ulcerative pains; suppuration; favors evacuation of pus. Cancer of mammae, raw, sore feeling. Useful in a variety of skin disease. Moist eczema. Vesicular eruptions. Herpes. Herpes zoster. Moist intertrigo. Impetigo. Prurigo. Ulcers superficial and widespread, readily bleeding, cheesy base, everted edges like raw meat. Varicose ulcers. Erysipelas, simple and phlegmonous; of new-born, scrofulous or syphilitic children. Variola, stage of maturation, with dysenteric symptoms. May be useful in scarlatina or measles with general Mercurius symptoms. Catarrhal and bilious fevers. Yellow fever. Intermittent and remittent fevers. Hectic fever. especially of children; irritative fevers. An important characteristic of Mercurius in fever as well as in other diseases is that there is usually free perspiration, but it affords the patient no relief; rather aggravates. According to hering, Mercurius is “contra-indicated in typhoid fever, except for marked icteroid or scorbutic symptoms.