Magnesium carbonicum is a sycotic remedy. This salt represents the essence of the Magnesium group of remedies. The Magnesium feeling is that the person doesn’t get the care, protection and nourishment that he needs. It is the state of an infant dependent on the mother for nourishment, care, security and support, but who has been abandoned by his parents. It is the feeling of an orphan. Kent’s famous example of treating orphaned children without any results, until he discovered Magnesium carbonicum should be read from his “Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica”.
This feeling like that of an infant, i.e. dependent for care, nourishment, security and support, is very deep in Magnesium carbonicum. In the adult, this feeling seems so out of place that it is not expressed at all at a conscious level; it is repressed so that the patient is unaware of what he actually feels. These repressed emotions can be manifest in the form of a tremendous causeless anxiety, especially anxiety or fear that something will happen to the people the patient is close to. This anxiety usually involves the person on whom he is dependent for care and nourishment, and can be so great as to cause sleeplessness. It could be acute enough to be compared with the anxieties of remedies like Rhus toxicodendron, Stramonium, Argentum nitricum, etc. But such an anxiety or fear is found only in some cases of Magnesium carbonicum. In most Magnesium carbonicum patients there is a total repression – they feel that they should not make any demands on anyone, should not ask anyone for help. In this way, they may seem to be independent. They seem not to need any care from others, and in fact can be quite caring. But they are generally only superficially friendly, and don’t make emotional contact.
I have seen such patients to have low emotional experience and to be placid. They speak in a plain, impersonal manner – sometimes almost like a newsreader. Another aspect of Magnesium carbonicum patients is that they can become very reserved, indisposed to talk, and develop a very repulsive mood when they avoid people. They usually deny any sort of anxiety or tension but they may have many physical symptoms, or pathology that comes up for no obvious reason. For example, they may have psychosomatic conditions like ulcerative colitis or lichen planus, though there seems to be no major tension in the patient’s life.
Their repressed emotions can also be expressed in the form of dreams and these usually give the strongest confirmation of Magnesium. Magnesium patients have plenty of dreams. Often these dreams are symbolic, i.e. the real meaning of the dream is not clear. There may be dreams of houses, weddings, fruits, etc. Some of the dreams that recur in Magnesium patients are those of falling, of water, of dead relatives and of the death of relatives.
Some Magnesium patients, I have noticed, may have dreams of dangerous situations, without any feeling of danger in the dream. For example, they may dream that they are standing near a flood of water but they feel nothing – they are just watching it.
Another feature of the dreams of Magnesium is that in many of these, there is a feeling of being alone, of having to face a problem alone. Another theme is that of being left behind. Quite a few Magnesium patients that I have treated had the dream of being left behind, alone on the railway platform while the train departed with all their relatives in it. Among the pleasant dreams that Magnesium patients get are those of being with people, of going on a picnic with relatives, of meeting friends and relatives, and of being with relatives who are actually dead.
An interesting difference between Magnesium carbonicum and Magnesium muriaticum is that while Magnesium muriaticum has dreams of being lost in a forest, i.e. outside the house, Magnesium carbonicum has dreams of being lost in his own house. This means that whereas the Magnesium muriaticum person can find a home outside of his house if he makes the effort, the Magnesium carbonicum situation is such that despite being in his own house he is homeless, and no effort is going to help. This contributes to the placid feeling one gets with a Magnesium carbonicum patient.
Conversely some Magnesium patients will say that they do not dream at all. This is also a strong indication of Magnesium. A total absence of dreams indicates that there is a strong barrier between the conscious and the subconscious parts of the mind – a very severe repression. Patients who do not have any dreams usually have the most severe pathology. In such patients you may see two other indications, the first is a sleeplessness without any apparent cause, the second is an exhausted, unrefreshed feeling on waking in the morning, as if the mind had been active all night. This latter phenomenon, may also be seen in patients who do remember their dreams. They will say to you: “I dream so much that I am completely exhausted in the morning.” This is an almost clear confirmation of Magnesium.
o Chilly patients, though their feet may get warm, they have to be uncovered.
o Desires: fruits, meat and vegetables; also, aversion to vegetables.
o Unrefreshing sleep, more tired on waking than on going to sleep.
o Perspiration sour smelling, leaves indelible yellow stains on clothes.
o Menses: black as pitch, indelible stains.
o Children have a tendency to develop boils recurrently and in rapid succession (Phatak’s Repertory, p. 54).
o Fear, happen, something will.
o Besides oneself, being, anxiety from.
o Sleeplessness: causeless.
o Forsaken: beloved by his parents, wife, friends, feels is not being.
o Dream: Bathing in boiling water, child is.
o Dream: Graves, being thrown into.
o Dream: Lost, home, at.
o Dream: Embarrassment.
o Desires meat.
o Desires fruits.
o Desires bread and butter.
o Sleep, unrefreshing, awakes tired.
o Children disposition to boils.
o Constipation, mental shock, nervous strain, from.
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/soul-of-remedies/