Bromine – Br. Solution in distilled water
THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES
In order to gain a greater understanding of Bromium, I think it is best to examine the different pathological states which can be cured with this remedy and compare Bromium to other remedies with which it can be confused.
The first thing to strike in this remedy is the inflammation, infiltration, enlargement and finally hardening of the glands. The glands that inflame eventually become enlarged and hard. This process is one of petrification. The glands generally remain hard for very long periods and very seldom suppurate. All the glands can be affected: ovaries, testes, submaxillary, sublingual, parotid, thyroid, mammary and prostate glands may enlarge and harden. The thyroid may bulge at one side, and may be so hard, as to restrict the movement of the head, and yet there may be no other symptoms.
The inflammation process is slow, and the swelling increases over a long period of time without ever reaching suppuration. This is one of the differential points with Belladonna, a remedy with which Bromium could be confused.
Bromium has symptoms such as emaciation, infiltration of glands, general weakness and perspiration. Therefore we may expect it to be curative in conditions like tuberculosis and cancer and palliative in AIDS. Cancerous infections of the body, especially of the mammae, may respond to this remedy. The mammae become as hard as stone with an irregular surface, as if there were hard knots tied together in a mass. In such conditions you should not only think of con. or calc-f. but of Bromium as well.
As the legs become weak and tremble with growing prostration, with tremulous weakness, fainting and infiltration of glands, the case may resemble chronic fatigue syndrome. Here you may find a similarity with Gels.
Another important symptom for Bromium is asthmatic attacks, particularly asthmatic respiration in sailors as soon as they go ashore. Here the remedy should be compared to Medorrhinum, as the difference between being at sea and on land is tremendous. The condition is much better at the sea-side or travelling by sea. Thus Bromium is the exact opposite to Natrum mur., Mur-ac. or Mag-m.
You will also find asthmatic respiration at night, after measles. The attacks are characterised by difficulty in breathing, where the patient cannot inspire sufficiently and the breathing feels obstructed when swallowing.
There is spasmodic closing of the glottis. Breathing is impossible when lying down and is difficult in the mornings, before menses and during palpitation. With every breath the patient feels he is inhaling sulphur fumes or as if there was dust in the bronchial passages. Respiration is very short and the patient is obliged to gasp and catch his breath. Respiration is rough and sawing, and made better by walking and motion. Bromium is also indicated in pneumonia for suffocative attacks when the patient cannot expectorate.
Bromium predominantly affects the upper respiratory tract, particularly the larynx and trachea. Another condition for which you will find Bromium very useful is laryngeal diphtheria, or croup, where the inflammation starts from the larynx and spreads upwards.
Kent’s is the best description:
‘Bromium is one of the routine medicines. It is one of the medicines that the neophyte will make use of for every case of diphtheria and croup and laryngitis he comes across; and when it does not work he will “try something else”. All who prescribe on the name use Bromium as one of their routine medicines; but Bromium is so seldom indicated that most homeopaths give it up as a perfectly useless medicine. The reason is that they do not take the symptoms of the case and prescribe in accordance with the individualising method. They do not prescribe for the patient, but for the disease. You may see very few cases of diphtheria calling for Bromium; but when you see a Bromium case you want to know Bromium.
There is one underlying feature of the Bromium conditions; they are found especially in those individuals that are made sick from being heated. If there is a diphtheria epidemic and the mother bundles up her baby until she overheats it, and keeps it in a hot room, and it happens to be a child that is sensitive to being wrapped up, and one whose complaints are worse from being wrapped up, look out. You are going to have a Bromium diphtheria. It is also indicated in complaints that come on in the night after a very hot day in the summer.
Now, this is as near as you can come to being routine in croups and diphtheria. If the mother has the baby out in a dreadfully cold, dry day, and also towards midnight, and it wakens with spasmodic croup, you know that it is more likely to call for Aconite than any other medicine. But if the mother has had the baby out in a hot day in the summer, and that baby has been overheated, with too much clothing, and it is a plethoric child, and towards midnight you are called up, and the child has a red face, and your examinations reveal a membrane in the throat, we will see, as we study the remedy, that this may be a Bromium case.
‘Hoarseness coming on from getting overheated. Loss of voice coming on from getting overheated.’ A turmoil in the whole economy; with headaches, coming on from getting overheated.That runs through Bromium.
So it is in the hot weather, and being confined to a hot room, and after going from the cold into the heat. But after the complaint comes on, no matter where it be, he is so sensitive to cold that a draft of cool air freezes him; but he cannot be overheated without suffering.’
A very good description of a typical acute attack, whether of croup or diphtheria, is the following: ‘violent suffocative breathing, accompanied with dry, obstinate and croupy cough. High fever and flushed face; during a coughing paroxysm the face and lips would become purple and eyes congested with much lachrymation. Coldness of feet, very restless at night, tossing and pitching about most of the night. Pulse quick, feeble and tremulous. Hoarseness and almost entire loss of voice.’
In croup Bromium is rarely indicated in the early stages. A symptom running through many Bromium ailments is palpitation. You will find palpitation with nausea, palpitation with headache, palpitation with anxiety, with premenstrual disorders or various kinds of nervous excitement. Hypertrophy of the heart and palpitation may be present, with pain of the heart going up to an axilla.
You may confuse Bromium with Belladonna, particularly in states when, after exposure to the cold from being heated, the patient comes down with fever, with hot head and cold extremities. The points to note here are that the face is not as red and the fever does not develop as fast or run as high as in Belladonna Moreover Belladonna does not exhibit so much restlessness during the high fever period.
Catarrhal infections are accompanied by a more or less important membranous formation. Membranous exudate is a natural course of events. A natural feature of the mucous membrane is infiltration, so that the mucous membrane appears to exude little greyish-white vegetations, and beneath them is induration. An ulcer will form upon the mucous membrane and eat in, and build beneath it a hardened stratum of tissue. These catarrhal states are accompanied by febrile conditions.
Cystic tumours, atheroma, steatoma and gangrenous wounds are all conditions for which you should think of Bromium.
There is a premenstrual syndrome that is characteristic of Bromium. The patient complains of a fullness in the head and chest, with difficult respiration and headache and an indescribable strange, ill-feeling all over, which makes her feel depressed or low-spirited. She says, “l do not feel as I generally do, but can’t say why.’’
The Mental-Emotional picture of Bromium
The process of swelling and induration of the glands described earlier is mirrored within the Bromium patient’s mind and emotions; in the same way that the glands lose their ability to function and are unable to clear the impurities of the blood, so we see a process of petrification taking place in that portion of the mind that is concerned with the clarifying processes.
The mind loses its flexibility and becomes as immovable as a stone and quite unable to function. The patient then enters an indescribable state of paralytic anxiety. She cannot say what is wrong with her; a queer, ill-feeling prevails which makes her so low spirited and depressed that she has no desire to do anything. This condition may be accompanied by some pain somewhere, although the patient is incapable of determining whether the pain is the reason for her mental state. Her depression resembles Pulsatilla She is despondent, sits alone in her room without doing anything without saying anything and constantly looks in one direction.
A question about her condition will only elicit this type of answer: “I am not at all myself, there is something wrong with me but I do not know what it is”. She is in a state of deep depression, caused by a loss of elasticity of the emotions. The emotion have ceased to function: they do not allow her to understand what is going on and to describe or react to it.
One may describe this condition as being somewhere between the Aurum and the Pulsatilla depression. A few points may serve here to differentiate the various types of depression. The Bromium depression does not drive the patient towards self destruction, as is the case in Aurum, where the patient knows that he wants to bring an end to the suffering. Neither is the Bromium sufferer lost in the state of ‘non-existence’ unable to move, eat or speak – that characterises the final stage of a Pulsatilla depression. The Bromium patient is very tired and sad and has an aversion to any kind of work, to reading and to speaking, but will still function somewhat, whereas Pulsatilla has to be forced to eat and will refuse to speak, neglecting all duties.
In this remedy most complaints are accompanied by anxiety. Anxiety is produced with bodily symptoms such as violent coughing spells and pain in the abdomen. It may originate from the heart or lungs; an anxious feeling about the heart with constriction in the chest; after evening meal a feeling of an impending attack of apoplexy; oppression at heart brought about by exertion; apprehension in the evening with oppression of the heart and headache. An anxious state of mind may bring about a fear of ghosts or visions in the dark, as well as fear of being alone in the dark, and of someone being behind him. There may also be a state of anxious delirium.
The Bromium fever can bring about delusions. Things appear to jump off the ground before her; she thinks people are looking over her shoulder and that she would see someone on turning; she feels as if spectres would appear in the evening. Many of the delusions are similar to Belladonna: the patient sees dead persons, images, phantoms; thinks that she is on a journey; has visions in the evening; thinks another person is in the room.
The patient’s mood is capricious. On waking, they may be cheerful, happy and lively, or quarrelsome and fretful with irritability. Generally they are displeased and dissatisfied. A desire for mental labour may be preceded by an aversion to her own profession. The patient is morose in the afternoon after siesta, or very low spirited with pain in the left iliac region. Concentration is difficult, with confusion of mind while writing, also at night on lying down. She is disinclined to read and has difficulty in fixing thoughts; there is a loss of ideas and forgetfulness. In general the patient is subject to intellectual weakness and melancholia. Hysterical or manic behaviour may include crying, howling, barking and lamentation with a hoarse voice. The patient is subject to hysterical attacks with fits.
The Bromium Child
Bromium is mostly prescribed for acute disorders and for children. It is especially suitable for children with thin, white, delicate skins, with very light hair and eyebrows, who are in general puny and sickly looking, and also for scrofulous children with enlarged glands. Dark haired children may also be affected. The children desire to be carried, particularly during croup, and nosebleed accompanies many conditions. Bromium mostly affects the left side, particularly the left side of the head, though not exclusively; it also affects the right side, and can go from left to right.
Generalities of Bromium
Bromium is very close to Pulsatilla in that both these remedies are very much aggravated by heat and the sun. They both have reactions from heat, and exposure to the sun causes allergic reactions. Bromium patients are described as ‘Fair, blond, light haired people with lax fibre, especially children with thin, white, delicate skins, with very light hair and eyebrows.’
Tremulous weakness at night on waking; after breakfast, in diphtheria, before or at the beginning of menses. The patient is weak and easily overheated, then sweaty and sensitive to draughts.
Diphtheria which begins in the larynx and runs upwards; faintness with diphtheria.
A peculiar symptom, characteristic of this remedy, is loud emissions of air from the vagina.
A peculiar vertigo with a sensation deep in brain as if vertigo would come on with a tendency to fall backward which is worse at the sight of running water or stepping on to a bridge. The nose tends to bleed with the vertigo. Nose-bleed accompanies many infections, especially of the chest. Affects mainly the left side, particularly the internal head. There are spasmodic attacks, usually one sided, during whooping cough.
Migraine chiefly left sided, worse stooping and after drinking milk.
Sore bruised pain in the evening on sitting. After evening meal sensation as if he will have an attack of apoplexy.
Pressing internal pain or pain as from a load; as if scraped.
Boring and gnawing in the bones; burning in the blood vessels and glands.
Painful varicose veins and suppressed gonorrhea.
Acridity, excoriations, with moist blackness of external parts.
Aversion to cold drinks; onions.
Desire for oysters.
Feeling of dust in internal parts.
Aggravated by: inhalation of smoke; milk, onions, oysters, hot weather, becoming warm, change of weather from cold to warm, damp weather, summer solstice, walking over running water or seeing and hearing running water, lying on the left side. Time of aggravation is evening until midnight.
Ameliorated by air at the sea shore, by shaving, by violent motion, after drinking coffee or wine, lying on the right side, riding a horse, riding in a car, running, walking fast.
Vertigo when crossing a bridge or when walking over running water.
Anxiety with vertigo. Feels dizzy from seeing rapid motion in front of him.
Vertigo in damp weather.
Dizziness ameliorated when followed by epistaxis.
Vertigo in the morning on waking, in the evening in bed, on lying down, during menses with a tendency to fall backwards.
Smoking, sunlight and heat causes dizziness and warm rooms aggravate.
Heaviness in the occiput and the forehead in the heat of the sun; goes away in the shade, and is ameliorated by darkness. There is a sensation as if everything would fall out of the forehead.
Heat of head in occiput; the head feels congested and he fears a stroke.
Damp weather or the heat of the sun will cause pain in the occiput; pain in left side, ameliorated when lying on right side with the hand over the head.
Fullness in head before menses.
The head is sensitive to cold air and there is a sensation of numbness in the forehead.
The brain feels sensitive.
Tickling and formication felt in the forehead and the occiput.
Pain is ameliorated in darkness and after a nosebleed, when leaning against something or when riding in a car over rough ground.
Headache at commencement of menses, from smoking tobacco or in damp, cold weather.
Headache worse from drinking milk; from stooping.
Drinking milk will cause pulsating pain, which is further aggravated by stooping and causes pain in the temples. The pain is felt on one side and occurs in the afternoon from 3-4 p.m. The pain extends to the eyes.
Headache alternating with pain in back and in the stomach.
Pain in forehead alternating with pain in small of back.
Pain before and during menses. The pain extends to cheeks; to lower jaw; and to the tip of the nose.
The pains in the forehead are of different kinds, including pressing both inward and outward with a feeling as if the brain would come down and out, at the root of the nose, ameliorated in the open air.
Stitching pain in forehead extending to chest and lower jaw.
Headache when lying on right side; pain felt deep in the crown with palpitation; over the left eye. The scalp feels tender.
Malignant eruptions, crusts, scabs on the head; offensive eruptions and eczema.
The eyes appear protruded with swollen conjunctiva and lachrymal canal.
The conjunctiva are wrinkled.
Spasmodic closure of the eyes and lachrymation of the right eye, with coughing. The pupils are dilated.
Cutting and stitching pain in canthi, especially in the right canthus.
Pressing and stitching pain when moving the eyes, aggravated by pressure and by stooping.
Stitches through the left eye.
Pulsation in eyes.
Flashing and lightning in the eyes. Points before right eye, moving with eye. Loss of vision in the evening while reading; objects seem grey.
Noises in the ears, especially the right ear. Rushing distant noises, ringing in the right ear and rustling in the left.
Swelling and hardness of the left parotid gland, feeling warm to the touch. The swelling remains hard and unyielding.
Suppuration of the left parotid wiih watery and excoriating discharge.
Discharges after scarlet fever.
Pain in left, then right ear, in the afternoon.
Pain in right ear on swallowing and about the
Aching pain in left then in right ear.
Aching and burning in the ear in the evening; burning in the meatus, especially the right side.
Pressing pain about and above the ear in the morning after rising.
Stitching pain in right ear.
Itching behind ear, scratching ameliorates.
Sensitive to inhaled air wiih coldness inside the nose when inhaling.
Severe coryza with the right nostril stopped up and sore throughout, with violent sneezing, afterwards the left nostril is affected.
The whole nose is sore, and the wings of the nose swollen; a scurf forms in it, with pain and bleeding on wiping it.
The area under the nose and around the margins of the nose become extremely sore and corroded from the continuous and obstinate coryza. Crusts and scabs form inside the nose which leave the nostrils raw and bleeding when detached, until others form.
Yellow-orange crusts in coryza.
Coryza with sneezing and sneezing from inhaling and from dust. Afterwards the nose is obstructed and the nostrils stick together.
Obstruction, first right then left nostril.
The nostrils itch inside, first the left, then the right.
Twitching in right side with tickling and smarting as from cobwebs.
Swelling of wings of the nose; swelling of left side of nose when pressed.
Constant, fan-like motion of the wings of the nose.
Hot unpleasant feeling in the face and below the nose, with a tickling-smarting sensation as from cobwebs, especially on moving the nose.
Haggard appearance, with a greyish, earthy complexion.
The face seems drawn to a point, the forehead wrinkled.
Bluish discolouration in croup or red face during fever.
Strong hard swelling of the glands, especially on the lower jaw and throat.
Heat first in the right gland, then in the left.
Pain in and hard swelling of submaxillary gland, especially left.
Bleeding lips with herpes, vesicular eruptions or fever blisters on the lips.
Burning pain in the upper lips.
Eruptions on nose, bleeding when touched.
Cracking in jaw when chewing; pain in the jaws, on articulation.
Shaving ameliorates cold sensation in larynx and trachea.
Burning from the mouth to the stomach, with heat in the mouth and the oesophagus.
The mouth is dry and parched or produces excessive frothy mucus. Acrid or astringent taste.
Water tastes salty in the morning and the mouth aches.
Sensation of elongation of teeth when chewing.
Toothache ameliorated when biting teeth together.
Teeth sensitive to cold water.
The gums are indurated and painful in the morning.
Yellowish-brown discolouration of tongue with burning under the surface of the tongue; burning on the tongue extending to palate and the stomach.
Pimples on tongue with stitching pain on the tip.
Tongue has a sensation of dryness and cannot be protruded.
The mouth is open during sleep.
Scraping in the throat and a rough deep voice; inflammation of the throat with net-like redness of dilated blood vessels and corroded places.
Hoarseness coming on from being overheated.
Swelling of the mucous membranes of the fauces and pharynx.
Elongation and inflammation of the uvula.
Tonsils swollen and deep red.
Membrane on the left side, extending to the nose.
Diphtheria begins in the larynx and runs upwards.
Pain when bending head forward.
Pressing pain in cervical glands in throat pit. The glands are stony hard and swollen.
Pressing pain in oesophagus.
Catarrh in throat which is loose and rattles with the breathing and when coughing, but does not cause choking.
The mucus is frothy.
Dryness in the evening.
Erosion in spots.
Pain in left side of throat.
Pain in throat when touched; on the left side; on turning the head; extending to the ear on swallowing. Swallowing liquids more difficult than solids. Spasms and tension in the throat.
Sensation of sulphur vapour in throat during coughing.
Tickling in the trachea during inspiration. Touching external throat aggravates.
Fullness in the throat with heat in oesophagus.
Cystic tumours in side of external throat.
Sharp burning from the tongue to the stomach.
Pressure in the stomach like a stone, aggravated by pressure. Heavy feeling and inflammation in the stomach. Nausea, retching, empty feeling and cramping stomach pain ameliorated after eating. Violent and ineffectual retching.
Nausea after palpitation and after smoking.
Vomiting of bloody mucus and coffee grounds.
Eructations like spoiled eggs with vomiting of much mucus.
Pain in stomach alternating with pain in head. Pain ameliorated after coffee, but hot drinks generally aggravate pain. Or warm drinks ameliorate pain; food aggravates.
Pain in stomach extending to the navel and the oesophagus.
Thirst in the afternoon.
Desires oysters but suffers pain afterwards.
Desire for sour things which aggravate the symptoms and cause diarrhoea.
Appetite lacking during menses; aversion to onions, water and cold water.
Tympanitic distension of the abdomen and passage of much wind.
During menstruation, pain in the abdomen gradually moving downward into the small of the back, with the passage of much flatus.
Distension of the abdomen during the menses.
Fermentation and rumbling in the abdomen with sensation of fullness in the
hyponchdria; a feeling of a ball in the left hyponchdrium. Pulsation in the hypochondria; in the evening. Walking ameliorates the pain in the hypochondria. Pains come on from sitting bent forward, from pressure; pains on the right extend to the left.
Stitching pain from right hypochondrium to left; after eating.
Enlargement and induration of the spleen.
The abdomen is sensitive to clothing. Liver feels as though it has a lump in it and is sensitive to pressure.
Pain in liver when riding on a bumpy road and on coughing.
Pain in and above umbilicus, comes and goes slowly, extending to bladder and to rectum.
Pain after speaking; after tobacco, extending to spermatic cord.
Pain two hours after eating; on expiration; during inspiration; on motion. ameliorated by pressure.
Dragging, bearing down pain in the inguinal region and in the glands, from coughing and while walking.
Pain in crest of ilium.
Cramping, griping pain after smoking, before the menses, on inspiration, on motion, ameliorated by pressure.
Stitching pain, ameliorated while lying crooked, before the menses and extending to the bladder and rectum along the spermatic cord.
Stitching pain in inguinal region during and after menses and in the crest of the ilium.
Pressing pain during stool.
Frequent urging with passage of more flatus than stool.
Intensively painful haemorrhoids, worse during and after stool, worse from the application of cold or warm water; ameliorated by wetting with saliva.
Blind or internal haemorrhoids aggravated by walking, ameliorated by cold.
Pain in the rectum aggravated by warm bathing.
Eruption at the perineum; vesicular and itching pimples. With the diarrhoea of black, liquid stool there is severe pain in the blind haemorrhoids.
Slimy, yellow, mucous stool, worse after every meal. The stool looks membranous; like the scrapings of intestines.
Diarrhoea after oysters, after acids, and from tobacco.
Diarrhoea ameliorated after eating, from coffee.
Stool hard, brown and glistening like sheep dung.
Sudden urging to urinate, patient must hasten or urine will escape. Urination is difficult with involuntary dribbling afterwards.
Constant itching in meatus as if urging to urinate.
Pressing pain in prostate gland while walking, aggravated by walking.
Clear or chronic gonorrheal discharge from urethra.
Stitching pain in meatus extending backwards.
Pulsation in urethra.
Ammoniacal odour of urine with an adhesive reddish sediment which is hard to wash off or a white adhesive sediment.
Genitalia – male
Swelling and induration of the left testis, with sore pain or sensation of coldness; inflammation of the testes from suppressed gonorrhea; coldness from the scrotum. Swelling of scrotum with chronic gonorrhea.
Stitching pain in the testes. Hard painless swelling of left testis; painful when driving.
Stitching pain in penis extending to glans; pinching pain in the penis.
Pressing pain in spermatic cords.
Erections from 3-8 a.m. with quick discharge of seminal fluids immediately after erection.
Sexual passion lacking with coldness of scrotum.
Genitalia – female
Loud flatus from vagina during menses.
Hardness and induration of the ovaries, especially the left side. Boring pain and aching in the ovaries, worse on the left, extending to the groin and hips.
The ovaries are swollen before and during the menses.
Enjoyment of coitus absent, with insensibility and inflammation of the vagina during coitus. The vagina feels sore and tender. Orgasm delayed.
A few days before the menses a queer, ill feeling is experienced.
Low spirited before the menses.
Menses too frequent, every 14 days and too profuse. Bright red blood with passive flow and accompanied by much exhaustion. Violent contractive spasm before or during the menses, lasting hours and leaving the abdomen sore. Pain in the abdomen and small of the back.
Membranous dysmenorrhoea and metrorrhagia.
Tumours in the mamma with stitching pain, worse on the left.
Dropsy of uterus; fibroid tumours.