This is a look at the delusional clouds that hang over the Ammonia group of remedies – Ammonium Aceticum; Benzoicum; Bromatum; Carbonicum; Causticum; Iodatum; Muriaticum; Nitricum; Phosphoricum; Picricum; Sulphuricum; Valerianicum.
Chemistry preamble – these are mere snippets which might pertain to the homeopathic pictures.
Ammonia is also called volatile alkali. Ammonia is a transparent, colourless and consequently invisible gas. This gas has an exceedingly pungent smell well known by the old name of ‘spirits of hartshorn.’ An animal plunged into it speedily dies. It extinguishes combustion but being itself somewhat combustible, the flame of a taper immersed in it will enlarge before going out. By exposing this gas to very low temperatures it can be liquified. It has a very acrid taste. Water condenses it rapidly. Ammonia expands during condensation with water. Water is capable of dissolving easily about one third of its weight of ammoniacal gas, hence, when placed in contact with a tube filled with this gas water rushes into it with explosive velocity. When mixed with oxygen it also explodes with electric spark. The alkaline nature of ammonia is demonstrated by its neutralising of acid and changing vegetable reds to purple or green. Sal ammoniac was originally fabricated in Egypt, the dung of camels and other animals constituted the chief fuel used from which the original soot is formed.
From this we can extract the following:-
There is a volatile nature but it is transparent and virtually invisible. It is pungent and attacking, can kill. It both extinguishes combustion but also aids it. Its state can easily be altered. It is very acrid. It has an intimate relationship with water and other liquids. It is expansive and also dissolving, it is explosive and yet neutralising. It has an affinity to the digestive system!!
And from this we have:-
An angry temperament that tries to be suppressed but if let loose can really attack. They are closed and held in but they try hard to dissolve or escape the disappointments in life but generally fail. Mood changes. Acrid and acid risings. Has an affinity to water or liquids in a variety of symptoms and modalities. There are many swellings and other states of ‘being large’ which includes obesity.
AMMONIUM ACETICUM – has a cooling sweetish taste and the compound was formerly called the Spirit of Mindererus. It was used medicinally as a febrifuge sudorific. So the cloud that hangs over this remedy is that of fever and an outpouring of liquid in the form of perspiration and urine (diabetes is common). They are bathed in sweat. Heat emanates from the abdomen, skin and face. The head hangs heavy with this cloud accompanied with a scraping sensation in the throat.
AMMONIUM BENZOICUM – the cloud hanging over this remedy is one of heaviness and a need to enlarge and then escape.
The head is heavy and they feel stupid and gloomy. Many parts of the body become swollen or bloated, especially the eyes, lids, face, tongue. Escape comes in the form of rising warmth from the stomach which turns into eructations which can be acid. There is mucous in the throat with a need to spit it out (an escape), there is an urgent need for stool to escape. Urine though is retained and scanty and there is an unusual symptom with the urine – it is smoky – this might be a connection with original soot of the ammonia.
The Benzoicum brings to this remedy a gouty constitution, usually just right sided. Gout is all about retention and accumulation of crystals and stones – emotionally with the ammoniums it is disappointments. The Benzoicum also dwells persistently on the past – they hear voices that might be connected to the past – they want to be carried, cuddled and nursed (protected).
AMMONIUM BROMATUM – the delusional cloud here is guilt, again with a need to escape. The guilt is accompanied with nervousness and fear. The nervousness makes them restless and bite their nails. They want to be on their own, afraid of people coming, especially strangers; they fear they might be strangled, suffocated or killed in some other manner. They are so nervous with this guilt they even misspell words and numbers in their haste. The nervous state can lead to epilepsy. Consequently they adopt a timid, hiding and thoroughly discouraged outlook on life.
There are physical counterparts to this sense or fear of being strangulated – the head feels bound up, there is a nervous and constant cough which makes them feel as if they will be strangled with it, mucous sticks in the throat which aggravates this sensation. Whooping cough.
Strange symptoms include the mouth hanging open due to the heat in the throat and lungs, the mouth is the door through which this can escape; and sneezing (which is also thought of as spirits escaping), when they raise their arms.
There are a number of symptoms to do with the eyes – SAI sand in the eyes; SAI right eye bathed in water; vision is clouded (an attempt to alter their delusion).
AMMONIUM CARBONICUM – the clouds here are of fear, anxiety, excitement and abuse. They awake in the morning burdened with guilt, this anxiety rises to fear later in the morning, as if some misfortune will take place, then back to more anxiety in the late afternoon. By evening they are dwelling on all the things that others have done to displease them until finally they become abusive and angry at someone. Scholten says it is the father. Sometimes the father has died and they can do nothing about an unresolved problem with the relationship and this is why they harbour the past and have delusions of dead people. A lack of love can certainly be the aetiology.
Whether it is the father or not, there is grief, guilt and blame all combusting inside until it comes out as hate. Sometimes this hate is sublimated into various other outlets – sadness, extravagance, a refusal to speak, chaos, confusion (this remedy also makes a lot of calculating errors), insanity, laziness, heedless daring, they reveal their secrets during sleep, they take to a religion for solace. On the physical plane an outlet is provided by haemorrhage.
Quite a heavy cloud then. In fact, cloudy days make them so much worse, but neither can they tolerate the shaking up of a storm. They are under oxygenated, they need a breath of fresh air, they are trapped inside the test tube of ammonia in distilled water. They refuse to wash and become unclean – cannot bear to be near the water or mixed with it. They are lazy (you might mistake then for Sulphur), the most they can manage is stretching the limbs as a way of extending themselves out of the test tube. Constricted in this way it is understandable that heart symptoms prevail and oppressed breathing, the nose gets blocked and they snore. Because of the lack of oxygen they are always sleepy and chilly. When cold and damp there is collapse and when hot and fiery they are expansive.
One can recognise a typical teenager – heedless and disobedient, morose and ill humoured, rebellious, disorganised, blames others, hates washing, wants to escape the family, resentful, discontented, desires junk food, envy (feel they have had a raw deal).
A curious symptom – there is a SAI the teeth are loose when walking.
AMMONIUM CAUSTICUM – the cloud here is one of timidity which activates a driving restlessness especially at night.
Again we see the action of this remedy on the upper digestive system where there are lots of burning and caustic symptoms and the timidity shows itself in the form of a weak and low voice, they find it difficult speaking at all sometimes. The face carries an expression of extreme suffering, very easily frightened, will faint with fear, get excited with fear, cannot breathe and they have to gasp for air. This ammonium will tolerate water, in fact they have an intense thirst, trying to put out the burning pains in the oesophagus.
The need to escape comes as a strange sensation in the brain, as if it is trying to expand out of the skull – SAI brain protruded at the centre, forward, on both sides and the skull was quartered (sounds like Frankenstein!). Swellings, haemorrhages and rheumatism also prevail.
AMMONIUM IODATUM – the cloud here is again disappointment, they are only ever partially relieved of their oppressive symptoms, whether it be laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, oedema of the lungs. Disappointment and the lungs are intimately linked.
Meniere’s disease is common and it is often thought that this is due to an excess of endolymph triggered by stress – the stress being any of the exciting causes that belong to the ammonium group.
As with many of the ammoniums this one also carries the burdens with a heavy head, dull headaches and a stupid feeling and look. A young person’s remedy?
AMMONIUM MURIATICUM – the hanging cloud here is the enemy. The enemy is either under the bed or above with a sword swinging. A fear of darkness develops.
This time Scholten says it is the mother who is the enemy (Muriaticum) and we see this in ‘antipathy to certain persons.’
Very similar to ammonium carbonicum – prostration, obesity, burnings, swellings, chilly, sluggish and obstructed, constantly feel tired and sore, all this physically as well as mentally.
They react to the enemy somewhat like Nat mur – there is a lot of grief and they want to cry but they can’t. They hold it in reserve and will show it either as fear and anxiety, heedless indifference or sulky and taciturn. Very generalised symptoms but I think you will recognise the sad, gloomy, disappointed but also angry and taciturn Ammonium Mur when you see one.
Often teenagers, they boil up inside (boiling sensation) and don’t really want to tell you their problems, they don’t want to eat (very conscious about their weight), they might come to see you because of respiratory problems or sinus problems – anything that doesn’t involve too much intimacy, and nine times out of ten you will prescribe Nat mur first.
AMMONIUM NITRICUM – they live under a cloud of confusion, and that’s as good as it gets. What more could you expect from a combination of the closed, disappointed, sulky and angry ammonium and the expanding, explosive nitricum. Which way to turn??
AMMONIUM PHOSPHORICUM – the cloud here is one of being trapped, of being paralysed, of being too heavy to move or breathe. Even a slight draft of air affects them profoundly.
Dominated by gout, bronchitis and facial paralysis, the most they can muster is sneezing (as with other ammoniums) and this provides an outlet for the spirits.
AMMONIUM PICRICUM – a cloud of bitter bile, bitterness dominates this remedy. Whatever has gone wrong in their life it has made them very bitter and sour in their outlook. Affects the liver (obviously), there is periodicity, violent headaches rising from the occiput, congestion about the brain and spinal cord. They cannot function due to a wild feeling this creates. Might be a history of whooping cough (common with the ammoniums). Generally right sided.
AMMONIUM SULPHURICUM – clouds of jealousy.
Scholten now says this is against the partner, sealing the triad of mother, father and now partner within the ammonium group.
Someone requiring one of the ammoniums is always going to be disappointed in some way and when you add the sulphur aspects of haughtiness, jealousy, volcanic temper, etc., then the partner is in for a hard time themselves. Sulphur also has a poor relationship with water as do the ammoniums, so I imagine their physical appearance will be a big clue.
AMMONIUM VALERIANICUM – clouds of disappointment find their way to the nerves and heart and establish a suffering of insomnia, pains around the heart, headaches and excessive nervous stimulation. Weak but also wild.
IN SUMMARY – clouds of grief which tend to be internalised but show as anger and abuse or sulky and morose discontent.
The head and neck are nearly always effected, always burning and acid digestive disorders and there is always a need for escape, on the physical level as well as the mental and emotional, if there can be no escape then symptoms take on a ‘trapped’ nature – as in trapped wind, swellings, wildness, internal combustion and sensations of ‘largeness’, thus making nearly all the ammoniums obese.