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Understanding Variations of Kali Carbonicum Through Clinical Experiences

“Homeopathy refuses to reveal its secret to the casual inquirer”

Dr.  M. L. Dhawale

Understanding how to study materia medica has been a difficult subject since its origin. Dr. H. C. Allen stated , “The way to study the materia medica is to study it. The way to teach it, is to teach it. If we can remember the time when we tackled algebra or geometry or German, we will remember that we had to do more than merely read it before we mastered it. The facts of the materia medica are there and can be mastered only by study, and we must each do it in our individual method of work.”

Here through three individual cases we will try to study clinical expressions and implications of the great salt of potash, Kali carbonicum.

Case 1

Name:         Mr. K T                Age: 59 years old           Occupation: Retired govt. officer.  Date of case: 1st December, 2011

Chief Complaints:





RS, NoseThroatSince 4 days



Coryza, Watery+ à Cough, Minimal Expectoration, Breathless ness+, Burning+, Hoarseness of voice+Heaviness+A/F: Change of weather< Draft+++< lying down+++

< cold


O/E: Generals: NAD     RS: AEBE, no harsh sounds.  Oral: Mild congestion+

Diagnosis: URTI – Laryngitis

Totality:      A/F Change of weather           Draft aggravation

Lying down aggravation                   Dry cough

Head, heaviness with cough

Arsenicum Alb was in my mind and I prescribed it in 200 potency TDS.

The next day the patient showed no improvement. He shared that he had marked aggravation at 4 AM. and cannot lie down hence.

Referring to Boger’s Synoptic Key, Nux Vomica and Kali Carbonicum were coming up. But Nux Vomica did not cover the aggravation on lying down. So, Kali Carb 200 TDS was prescribed and the very next day he was relieved from all the complaints.

Case 2

Name: Mrs. S       Age: 34 years                 Occupation: Housewife

Lumbar backRight sidePara-spinal region

Insidious onset


Since 6 – 7 days


Pain, severePulsating A/F:? Exertion< lying on painful side++< pressure+++

< forward flexion++

< morning++

< Exertion+++

< standing

Only > while lying on opposite side+++, otherwise pain in all position
not > by pain killers

App: decreased+


O/E: Generals: stable,   Right lumbar para-spinal tenderness, forward bending-painful. Spine: NAD

Group of remedies: Kali carb, Nux vomica, Natrum Muriaticum, Platina, Spongia.

She shared that she had on and off backache since delivery of her last child. Kali Carbonicum 200 BD was given and in little time she registered the amelioration. Total relief achieved within three days.

Case 3

Name: Mrs. B J    Age:  47 years      Occupation: House wife

Education: B. A. Religion/cast: Hindu/Brahmin Vegetarian  Address: R

Chief complaints:

Bil. KneesLeft > RightSince 1 1/2 year

On and off


Swelling, mild

< raising up from sitting< up stairs< exertion physical

< squatting

> Warm application


Associated complaints:

HeadPain+++, throbbingCold++ to touchPerspiration+< while constipated+++< MILK+++< fermented food++Restlessness+
Integumentary system, SolesCracks+++< winter

The patient :

Appearance: Fair, Obese+    Wound healing: normal

Hunger: cannot tolerate, Feels internal trembling, has to attack food, especially in the evening; feels weak while hungry. Cravings: tasty foods, ice cream+, chocolates+

Perspiration : moderate, no staining Menses: regular cycle     flow: moderate

Pain++ in abdomen at commencement of menses          Staining++   offensive++

Thermal: Dislikes Summer+++, Bath: Tepid in all seasons except winter

Cover: not otherwise, one in winter. Fan: summer & monsoon- Full, winter – slow

Sleep:  Dreams:  of the dead++

Mental disposition: expressive and talkative. Anxious if any family member is ill. Irritable+

O/E: P- 78/min    BP: 124/78 mm              No pallor

RS: AEBE            GIT: NAD            CNS: NAD           CVS: NAD

Right knee: Tenderness+, swelling+, no redness, no heat

Left Knee: Tenderness++, Swelling+, no redness, no heat

Diagnosis: Bilateral OA Knees

Group of remedies after studying the case:  Graphites, Kali Carb, Iodum, Pulsatilla

Final remedy: Kali Carbonicum covers all generals and characteristic modalities also.

Follow up:

17/10/11Case takingKali carb 200 single dose
30/10/11Much better, now no constant pain in knees, can able to upstairs without pain. Characteristically Hunger aggravation is relieved markedlySac lac
14/11/11Knee pain increased due to exertionKali carb 200 single dose
23/11/11Better but still not much improvement, as there is continuous exertionKali carb 200 single dose
29/11/11Improved in general. Since last night URTI. Thirst increased, Body ache+, Fan aggravationArsenicum Album 200 BD for two days followed by Sac Lac
6/12/11ImprovedKali carb 200 single dose
16/12/11Absolutely no complaints. No knee pains, no headache, constipation and hunger aggravationSac lac



The remedy must be adapted to the patient, not the patient to the remedy. In taking your case and hunting through your repertories and materia medicas, don’t make the mistake of getting a remedy too firmly fixed in your mind or you court disaster. No remedy is a fixed thing. It is capable of producing many different kinds of action in different people. For instance, in one person it produces liver disturbances, in another cutaneous and in yet another mental. All the same remedy, but variations of its action. This is plainly shown in our provings.” – Boger  (Read at the A. F. for H. Post Graduate School, June 1931.

In ‘The Study of Materia Medica’ Master Boger mentioned “The true physician is the man who knows how to make the best cures, and the most expert healer is the man who knows best how to handle his materia medica.” Homeopathy requires lifelong learning, through action based experiences and letting them correct our interpretations. It is often quite opposite to the experience of other fields, as homeopaths feel more energetic and younger, case by case, patient by patient. Probably that’s why Master Hahnemann was eager to publish his improved opus (5th edition of Organon) at age of 78 years. Hail Hahnemann!


Boger C M, Collected writings, The study of Materia Medica, page – 118

Boger C M, Collected writings, Vital Energy, page – 51

Dhawale M L, Principles & Practice of Homoeopathy, Homoeopathic Physician, page – 15

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