Arsenic Album 30 is the most commonly used remedy in homeopathy. It is so famous in treating common fever to anxiety and cancer patients. This article which appeared in the “Homeopathic Recorder” by W.Lees Templeton is an example of his excellent, clear description of homeopathic facts. When I was beginning to try out homeopathy in the simple regular cases which come to the clinic, the acutest like the common cold, it was Templeton’s small booklet on the homeopathic treatment of Influenza that gave me the inspiration and confidence to sit in the clinic. Paying a tribute to this great homeopath and writer-Dr Wales’ Templeton.
"If there ever was a drug which one might consider suitable for demonstrating the truth of the fundamental laws of homeopathy, then surely ARSENICUM ALBUM is that drug. It is known to the medical world for its uses in ruder, than uses, to the criminologist for its illegal use in murder, than which there is no more popular poison, and to the laity for the publicity which crime has given it. There is indeed few today who do not know that weed killer and fly paper are the most common sources of this deadly but easily recognized poison. Arsenic Album is a poison in crude form with a lot of side effects but it's potency in homeopathy brings a lot of l.ife saving benefits for human beings.
Arsenic Album Homeopathic Remedy Personality
And yet how rarely, comparatively speaking is ARSENICUM used in orthodox medicine except in the so-called specifics against syphilis and in the “blunderbuss” tonics of the other school.
My first example will be taken from Marshall Hall’s famous cases and refers to the Sedona murder, the first case in British courts where chemical evidence of the nature and direction of poisoning were admitted as fact by the president judge. The description runs:
“Miss B was taken ill and the family physician who was called found her to be suffering from acute diarrhea and sickness.”Here we have our first symptom.
“As the days went by Miss B. got worse. Certain chemical fly-papers were used to destroy the flies which buzzed in large numbers round the bed of the invalid attracted by the pungent odor of the sick room.” Note the “pungent” odor of the sickroom and one might say of the patient.
“She was a troublesome patient and would not take her medicine” The prosecution did not see the significance of this symptom nor was it mentioned as being one of the symptoms of arsenical poisoning. But it is and reads, “ The patient feels so ill, is so sure that she is dying that it seems useless to take the medicine.” This is not the refusal of Hyoscyamus or Kali from. Where the patient refuses the medicine because he is suspicious that it has been poisoned!
So though these symptoms were not produced as evidence of arsenical poisoning they were indeed very good proving of the drug; vomiting, diarrhea, prostration, weakness, offensiveness, fear and anxiety.
The weakness of ARSENICUM is GENERAL, not like PHOSPHORUS and STANNUM in the chest, nor like SEPIA, IGNATIA, NUX, and SULPH, where it is often located in the stomach.
The following cases are described as examples of homeopathic prescribing in a wide and varied range of symptoms.
Case number 1: Pulmonary congestion
Mrs. E 30 Shivered yesterday. Very bad headache moving the eyes and WEAKNESS, No strength to sit up in bed, feels as if she has been ill for a week. A cough hard. Thirsty for sips of cold water often! Pain in the eyes is worse after sleep, on first opening the eye. The physical signs were those of decreased respiratory movement at the right base. Temperature 101, pulse 100.
When a patient with fever desires sips of water frequently one immediately thinks of ARSENICUM. It is as important a symptom in fever as the shirtlessness of GELSEMIUM and PULSATILLA.
The only other outstanding symptoms were those of the head and eyes.Pain moving the eyes has Ars., Berb., Bry., Calc.s., Carb veg., chin.,cupr., Gels., Hep., Kali nit., spigLac .d., Mang., Nat m., sleep: Puls., RW spin, sulfur.
Pain opening the eyes sleep: Ars., Hydr., Led.
Arsenic Album 10 M was prescribed three-hourly and next day the temp was 99, pulse 88. All symptoms improving shortly! Recovery was uneventful. The chest signs cleared in a few days.
This case I look on as aborted pneumonia."
Case number 2: PleurisyMrs. K., age 10 years, caught a cold. Now a bad cough and PAIN IN THE RIGHT CHEST, going through to the back about the level of the upper and middle lobes,, T.101.6 , back ,Pulse 120 THIRST FOR SMALL DRINKS OFTEN. Looks very flushed. BELLADONNA which also has a desire for small drinks oft was prescribed but without much effect.
It was then that one looked up the repertory for pain in the right lung and found that was a typical ARS pain and situation, particularly the direction of the pain tback,like KALI BICH.
ARS ALB was prescribed and next day the pain was very much improved, the temperature had dropped and recovery was speedy. The guiding symptoms here were the thirst and the site of the pain.
Case number 3: Exophthalmic ophthalmoplegia
Patient of age 62 for a year prominence of both eyes increasing. Began right and then left. Sight is failing. Edema of both sides, mostly the inner. Investigated at the London hospital W.R negative, X-ray negative for enlargement sella turcica. Papilloedema both discs. No tachycardia. No tremor. Various drugs were given without result. A more detailed record of symptoms was then taken:
VERY FADDY; PARTICULAR IN HIS WAYS. HIS COLLAR FIDGETS HIM. HE CANNOT STILL FOR LONG; HAS NO PATIENCE TO SIT STILL AND READ, e.g. MUST BE DOING SOMETHING, RESTLESS HANDS, AND FEET.HE IS ANGRY WITH HIS DAUGHTER BECAUSE SHE IS NOT TIDY.
Very fond of fat; very fond of vinegar and pickles.
HE WAS THE TYPICAL FASTIDIOUS ARSENICUM TYPE. I often find that this type is fond of fat and fond of pickles. The confirmation of a choice by what are perhaps trivial likes and dislikes is often very helpful.The desire for vinegar and pickles in SEPIA also one find useful. They are not the first choice symptoms but confirmatory.
Arsenic Album 1M was given and over a period of nine months the exophthalmos has decreased rapidly and the last report of the oculist was that there was no papilloedema and vision was 6/ 6 in both eyes.
The result here is very good, particularly as the only suggestion made at the other clinics was to have a decompression of the orbit!
This is an example of the choice of the remedy on the drug type.There is no one method of choosing a remedy. One cannot make bricks without straw. But using the material one has it is often possible to make a successful choice, it may be on history, on heredity, on acute symptoms or even in appearance.One should try if possible to get the complete picture and then to obtain the SIMILIMUM, but the complete picture,t hough often sought for is not always obtained.
CASE IV Gastric ulcer, verified by x-rays.
Mrs.L , pain, and vomiting. The pain is acute and COMES ON WHEN EATING AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER.Few other symptoms were elicited except local symptoms such as that the pain was burning another symptom of ARSENICUM.
The time after eating is important, not only for diagnosis but also as being typical of certain remedies, eg ., the vomiting of PHOSPHORUS,( This is often true of the vomiting of Appendicitis) which occurs after cold water but only when the water has become warm in the stomach perhaps about 7 to 10 minutes or of NUX VOMICA when the pain comes on often about one-half hour after eating.
Arsenic Album was given to this case with beneficial results.
Case number 4: Gastric ulcer, verified by X-raysMrs. G age 46 pains and vomiting, pain better for vomiting, THE PAIN IS FELT MORE ACUTELY ON TAKING A DEEP BREATH.She is so tender that she is nervous of people, touching her. She was chilly. Depressed; better with people. Irritable TERRIBLY WEAK, more than is justified by exertion. It is too much trouble to do anything. She admits to being FADDY AND OVERTIDY. She is FOND OF FAT and likes hot food. The peculiar symptom, pain deep breathing appears under Arsenic Album, CAPS, LYC, PU-LS.
Here as in most outpatient work, t is necessary to combine facts with experience. The general trend of the general symptoms led to ARS with its tidiness as the outstanding feature then the peculiar symptom was present and confirmed the choice ARS ALB was given with great benefit.
Case number 5: Asthma
Mrs. M age 32. Subject to colds asthma last year during the fog AS SOON AS LIES DOWN; MUST SIT UP.SHE IS BETTER UP and walking about. The cough is tight and FROTHY. She had hay fever this year only. She is chilly. Nervous coming to hospital.shy; depressed .sympathy irritates her. Appetite is good. She is fond of fat. She bleeds easily. Her breathing is better at the seaside.
The combination of hay fever and asthma always makes one think of ARSENICUM. Frothy sputum is also Arsenicum album. The improvement in breathing ON SITTING UP is another good ARS symptom. So also is the restlessness which whatever the condition is improved by yielding to the restlessness. In asthma this must rank as a peculiar symptom. ARS. is chilly, very chilly, is fond of fat and bleeds easily.ars. is worse at the seaside, but this does not cancel the choice out.
ARS ALB .helped the patient considerably.
Case number 6: HeadachesMrs. P age 53. Headaches getting worse for 18 months. Pain is terrific .Can’t lay down. WANTS TO MOVE FROM CHAIR TO CHAIR.WRINGS HER HANDS. EVERYMONTH and lasts at least a day. SHE IS CHILLY, FUSSY AND LIKES FAT. She preferred the classical symptoms of the Arsenicum. Temperament, Restlessness, MOVES FROM CHAIR TO CHAIR OR BED TO BED.WRINGS HER HANDS, showfs anxiety. The headaches are periodical which are often true of Arsenicum. Chilly, fussy and desire for fat clinched the tentative choice. Ars.alb cleared the headaches completely.
Case number 7: Heart failure:
G.H., aet 65 .Difficuty in breathing for six months,< if walking against a cold wind.Now swelling of feet.cough with FROTHY, sputum, feels the cold; feels weak. Sleeps poorly.The heart was enlarged. B.P 180/120.There was edema of the shins .he is chilly. Wakes early. Cannot lie on his back. He IS VERY PRECISE IN ALL HIS HABITS.
Edema is one of the prominent symptoms of Ars.Weakness is another . so also is frothy sputum; < walking against the cold wind is an Ars symptom. His chilliness and fussiness confirmed the choice.It would often seem as if in outpatient work that the local symptoms are the first choice, but it is not always so. Often when the patient is relating his symptoms one picks up the prominent symptoms of the disease or the peculiar ones there is a trend toward such and such a remedy and one automatically seeks to confirm this trend or otherwise by seeking the Generals.
Arsenic Album was prescribed for this case with satisfactory results.
CASE IX: Chronic dyspepsia
X-ray negative for ulcer, retching and belching with occasional vomiting of food, about one and onehalf hours after meals.chilly mortal.PAIN IS < DEEP BREATH (cf .CASE V) WORSE COLD WEATHER, nervous, IRRITABILITY IN SMALL MATTERS, WORRIES ABOUT DETAILS.TIDY FOR A MAN. CONSCIENTIOUS ABOUT TRIFLES. DISORDER ANNOYS.
ARS ALB relieved considerably.during treatment he developed rodent ulcer at the outer angle of the eye.He went of on his own and had it removed. The connection between ARS. and malignant states is undoubted and there are cases on record where ARS has cured at least local cancer such as rodent ulcer.
This patient’s mother had died of cancer. This was a case of prescribing on the constitution and it is a pity that he did not leave the rodent ulcer alone since it had appeared whilst under treatment with Arsenic Album. The symptoms of ulcer without x-ray evidence of of frank ulceration are suspicious of a possible malignant condition of the stomach even if only in a very early stage. The presence of the rodent ulcer proved that the constitution was prone to malignant change.
CASE X : Exophthalmic Goitre.
Mrs .L.aet 42 Tachycardia; tremor; enlargement of thyroid for about a year following upon mother’s removal to the hospital with melancholia. Is very ANXIOUS about heart.EXCITABLE.WORRIED..about mother still.Irritable.Unreasonable(unusual admission in a woman!) Temper about trifles;i f cannot get work done at the time.Magnifies trifles.FUSSY ABOUT HERSELF. Quick mentally and physically.ANXIOUS ANTICIPATION.
Her chief mental symptom is summed up in her anxiety about trifles: ANAC, ARS, BAR.C., BOR., CALC.,CAUST, CHIN, COCC., CON, FERR. GRAPH., SIL.,
Another prominent symptom was anxiety on anticipation: ARGN. ARS, GELS, LYC.,MED.,PH.AC.
The mental state beginning to end was ANXIETY, and this is essentially ARS. ARS.ALB helped a great deal. Things which had worried her no longer did.
A footnote: today a coincidence happened! A lady who works as the janitor in our department called me home to see a cousin of hers.he is an elderly man, lost his wife about a month ago. Since past 6 years has been having pain in the knee joint which has slowly progressed to a paralyzing weakness in both legs. As we entered his room I noted everything is spic and span, and the room appears to have been perfumed. He sat on a bed .on both the sides of the bed there were pillows. Near his bed stood a bottle of water.He offered me a large file of investigation papers.he was not diabetic,h is a renal function also is in order it seems. He told me “I have burning pain over my buttocks, it is as though it is on fire!”. why there are pillows on both ends of the bed ?? : his daughter said, “ since mother died he has been changing position sleeping sometimes this end up sometimes the other end up. During the daytime, he sleeps in another room which is cooler.” Any worries? “ since the last several years he has been trying to retrieve a loan of one and a half lakhs,w hich the person refuses to payback when he used to go to his place and ask for money the person would say “I will hang myself if you pester me for money” and he would come back. His daughter says he loses a lot of sleep worrying oaboutthe money. About the bottle of water he said he drinks 50ml at a time from time to time.I did not ask any more questions I had got the symptoms I needed to prescribe.
CASE XI Rheumatoid arthritis.
Mrs.H ., aet.53 . Generalized pain,< in fingers which are swollen and tender and in the hips and shoulders.Afebrile.She has a cough and sputum yellowish and lumpy. The bones feel as if bruised. (Eup.Per.) She was chilly, worse in the morning.FADDY ABOUT MOST THINGS. Worse for wet weather.Had an aversion to fat and to sugar.Appetite was poor.
Running these symptoms through Kent’s repertory ARS ALB. Came through most, the others noted being MERC.SOL..PHOS., NUX., SULPH.
ARS .ALB was given with very marked improvement,b both in joints and general condition.
CASE XII .Carbuncle of the neck.
F.C., aet65. Carbuncle for three weeks.Incised at another hospital, but has been too ill since to attend further. He has temeperature and the pain is unbearable and BURNING. T.102.4, Pulse 100. He looks ill, An ANXIOUS and RESTLESS. In addition he is THIRSTY and DESIRES SIPS OF WATER OFTEN.
ARS.ALB was given with cessation of the temperature and pain and healing commenced almost immediately
CASE XIII . Postoperative pneumonia.
H.O. Acute appendicitis.on operation appendix found to be gangrenous. T.100 next day with cough; next day T.102,P ulse 110.Diminished Respiratory movement at right base with some ronchi.He was RESTLESS ,LOOKED ANXIOUS, and THIRSTY FOR LITTLE DRINKS OFTEN. ARS. ALB was given. Temperature was down next day and the physical signs began to disappear immediately.
CASE XIV Post operative fever
Mrs. R.,aet 30 .Operation for acute obstruction found to be due to inoperable carcinoma of the colon. Next day she was very ill.Looked DISTRESSED and ANXIOUS. FELT SHE WANTED TO MOVEwhich eased her and though it was too painful to move her body she moved her head continuously.RHUS TOX, was prescribed without much effect.SHE LOOKED AS IF SHE WOULD DIE.she was now THIRSTY FOR SMALL DRINKS OFTEN but so WEAK spoke only in a whisper.ARS.ALB 10M was given and next morning she was reading the newspaper.This is always a good sign and shows a returning interest in life.
CASE XV Peripheral neuritis
Mrs.U., aet.35 . On waking one morning she had the most excruciating pain in both arms, a BURNING pain with the most intense NUMBNESS in the hands. The fingers felt puffy like small sausages.THE BURNING PAINS WERE RELIEVED BY HEAT ; She laid them on hot water bottle for relief. ARS . ALB was given and next day the pain was very much eased but the numbness and inability to distinguish the size and shape of objects did not return for a week or so. She did not receive any drug but ARS., but recovery was complete.
CASE XVI Retroperitoneal sarcoma
Mr.B., aet. 60. Ailing for some months .Laporotomy showed an inoperable retroperitoneal sarcoma in the upper abdomen. He was given one month to live.He was CHILLY,FUSSY, FADDY, NOTHING WAS RIGHT. It was difficult to get a nurse to stay with him more than a week or so and some endured him for no longer than a day or so.He grumbled every day and all day about little things not being in order,h is bedclothes,h is handkerchief,h is beatable; EVERYTHING HAD TO BE JUST SO.
He was VERY WEAK physically, could scarcely walk a few steps without exhaustion. After stool, he took hours to recover.
Now ARS.ALB. has very close relationship to malignant processes.On infrequent doses of ARS.ALB., rising from the 30th to the CM ., this patient lived for nine months and faded out without pain or intense discomfort and even without realization of his impending end.Of course, something was lacking to clinch the cure, for the actual tumor decreased amazingly, but what it is still eludes us, possibly something lacking in the diet or the absence of some factor as in pernicious anaemia.
CASE XVII. Pneumonitis.Mrs. V., aet.70. Suddenly chill; face flushed; stitching pain left side where fine crepitations could be heard. THIRSTY FOR SIPS OFTEN, MOUTH PARCHED AND DRY.White frothy mucus.Temp.101.P. 100 .she looked anxious.BELLADONNA was given but with no effect.
The voice was now husky and weak. The pain in the side was worse. She was terribly thirsty still, and still for small drinks.Temp. 102.4,P.110 . Rales at both bases but more marked at the left.ARS ALB was given with marked improvement.T.99.8.P.96 next day.
She was slow to clear but SULPH hurried this along. SULPH is often a follower of ARS. where restitution and resolution are slow.
Recapitulating the prominent symptoms of ARS. ALB. As demonstrated in the preceding cases:
Burning : pain, tears, nasal discharges.
Burning lips, dry mouth.thirst for small quantities.
Burning in the stomach.pain and vomiting as soon as eaten.
Burning anus (cf .sulph) excoriating diarrhea
Burning and acidity , but burning better for heat!
Midnight aggravation .(asthma and angina)
Periodicity ,e very seven and forteen days.
Restlessness and anxiety (cf.aconitebut the condition is usually a more serious one than aconite)
Sensitiveness leading to fastidiousness and worry.
Weakness .no desire to live.it is not worthwhile trying.
----: “the homeopathic tonic .deep in action ; deep in cure.”