Native sulphide of Antimony SbS2
The essential features
Antimonium crudum is a seldom-prescribed remedy which should be used more frequently in practice. The following is a description of the constitutional Antimonium crudum patient, the type of person who will in the course of his lifetime develop the symptomatology of this remedy.
Antimonium crudum preferentially affects the emotional level. These patients display an unbalanced emotional state, the emotions vacillating between an extreme sentimentality, which is expressed, and a very closed, withdrawn state of moodiness and sulkiness. Antimonium crudum is one of the most emotional, most sentimental remedies of the materia medica, their behavior possessing a mellow or, at times, melodramatic quality. This remedy has spells of sighing and can be confused with Ignatia when this condition is present.
The sentiments can be overwhelming in Antimonium crudum. With but slight provocation, these persons swell with emotions, and physical swellings erupt in an analogous manner. A characteristic of this remedy is the ready production of physical indurations; ie, the development of lumps, callouses, warts. The extent of these patients’ emotionality is excessive, their sentimentality pathological. It is also a sentimentality that lies hidden within these individuals. Everything seems to make a deep impression on them. They will observe outside events in a silent manner; however, these events make a tremendous impression upon them.
These individuals are not extroverts. Argentum nitricum, by way of comparison, is also sentimental, but in an impulsive, very expressive manner, and quite extroverted.
Antimonium crudum’s sentimentality is internal and is expressed only in specific circumstances, and it reflects a painful sensitivity to the outside world. These are refined, oversensitive individuals with great weaknesses in the emotional sphere. They possess a vacillating temperament – a lack of steadiness of the emotional body, which can be contrasted with a steady, constant suffering of the physical body, focused in the stomach area.
Were one to consider the solar plexus as the seat of the emotions, then one would not be surprised to observe that the Antimonium crudum patient always suffers from affections of this area. With every upsetting emotion, with every stress, in every complaint that concerns his health, this area is affected. Cramps and cramp-like pains are often the first signs. The solar plexus seems to be oversensitive and the first area to receive the impact of any stress. In the first stages the patient will complain of a stomach neurosis; later however, he will develop more advanced pathology – gastritisdyspepsia, gastritis, or duodenal ulcers. Kent says,
“It does not matter much what kind of complaints he suffers from, the stomach takes part in it.”
The sentimentality of Antimonium crudum is expressed in two different ways. On the one hand, in situations where the individual feels free to express his emotions, he exhibits an inordinate level of melodramatic sentimentality that is intensely romantic, quite out of place, and bears little relation to reality. On the other hand, after such “romantic” experiences, he is prone to undergo painful emotions. The important concept to remember in Antimonium crudum is that circumstances which evoke reactive and sensitive emotions – situations which “touch” the emotions – often prove painful.
The emotions are so easily and excessively stimulated that Antimonium crudum patients cannot control them. The emotions are neither violent nor brutal, but rather refined and of a romantic, mellow flavor. It is difficult to describe this kind of sentimentality which, in constitutional Antimonium crudum patients, will be very similar to what we often see in persons who have drunk a little too much wine: they become a little drunk and start talking very emotionally about themselves and their feelings, revealing a soft, sentimental nature that looks a bit ridiculous to the sober, but always induces sympathy in their listeners. It is a state in which they lower their guard and allow their innermost feelings expression in an utterly sentimental and often ridiculous way; such as, talking in rhymes or reciting poetry. To be sure, later they will regret their folly, and here we see the second phase of the emotionality of Antimonium crudum – upon experiencing painful emotions they become sulky and withdrawn.
There is a kind of emotional immaturity in Antimonium crudum. This immaturity will be frequently seen in children. In this respect Antimonium crudum looks like Baryta carbonica, and sometimes complements its action. The remedy is also often indicated in the elderly, like Baryta carbonica. In my experience, though, Antimonium crudum is more often indicated for children than adults. When you see an immature child with redness and inflammation of the eyelids, cracks in the corners of the mouth, and a pustular eruption on the cheeks or chin, then you have a case of Antimonium crudum.
The Antimonium crudum sentimentality can be precipitated by other stimuli, particularly fever and the menses. Fever of any type can evoke tremendous sentimentality in children or adults. In women, sentimentality is greatly accentuated before or during the menses. In such cases, their sentiments obfuscate their perception of reality; they easily fall in love and unrealistically fantasize love affairs. Not surprisingly, during this unguarded period of emotionality, these women are hurt very easily, shifting then to the other extreme. They close up and do not want to speak to anybody, not even their closest friends. In this latter state they become easily depressed, ruminating upon the things that have happened to them, unable to get over them. They become peevish, morose, dissatisfied, and irritable, but never aggressive. They are passive people. They want to disappear from the face of the earth; so they withdraw and brood and sulk.
This is the most moody, the most sulky remedy of our materia medica. It is “overtly” sulky, one can say. Their sulkiness shows; they cannot hide it. It is immediately noticeable. When moody, when hurt, everyone around knows they are in a mood. The feeling that others get from them is: “Do not touch me! Do not come near me! I do not want any interference.” They do not want any contact. They wear a long face. They want no one to approach them when in such a state, much less touch them. The mere look of another person irritates them. The spouses of Antimonium crudum patients will say that if these patients are hurt, they become moody and sulky and stay like that for days at a time.
When in such a sullen state, the Antimonium crudum individual finds physical or emotional touch painful. He is a miserable, “touchy” person, one who finds it very difficult to live in this “brutal” world, or so he thinks. No doubt those around him will think differently – that they cannot live with him.
Referring to the Repertory, Antimonium crudum is one of the four bold remedies appearing in the rubric “aversion to being touched.” Each of these remedies possesses this symptom for different reasons and under different cicumstances. In Antimonium crudum, framed within the sentimentality and emotionality of the remedy, the aversion to being touched is seen as a function of the psychological state primarily. Antimonium crudum children can reach a point at which even the look of another person becomes as unbearable as being touched physically; therefore, they do not want to be looked at or touched.
Sometimes such a state as that described above will arise for no apparent reason, especially in children. At times, the condition can border on hysteria. One might think that such states belong more to women, but Antimonium crudum is indicated mostly in men.
It is exasperating to witness a previously pleasant boy go into an Antimonium crudum acute state during a fever or a common cold. He is worse than a Chamomilla child, and, of course, much worse than Calcarea phosphorica. The child cries and screams; he is peevish and impossible. The mother will say his behavior is driving her to despair. He does not want to sit or lie down, to play or talk, or anything. The whole day, without pause, the child cries and screams and scolds and strikes out if he is addressed, talked to or touched. He hardly goes to sleep before he is awake, and once again weeping and moaning. Anything that catches his attention does so only for a few seconds, and then this inner state of torment returns, and he resumes crying and shouting. If the child has a high fever, it may evolve into anything, any illness. If you suspect the remedy, you should make a point of asking what the child likes to eat, or, if you are lucky, the mother will give you the information that the child keeps asking for cucumber. This, then, is a case of Antimonium crudum. It matters not whether this initial fever will develop into mumps, scarlatina, chicken pox, pneumonia, or anything else. You need not hesitate. However, if you lack the information about the desire for cucumber, the child will probably be given Chamomilla, Calcarea phosphorica or Cina, etc., but with no effect, of course.
The child is not aggressive; it does not attack others or hit like the Cina child, or even worse, the Curare child, who has the impulse to hit like Stramonium and Tuberculinum children.
There are Antimonium crudum children, however, who do not behave so extremely as described above, especially if they are not constitutional patients, but only need this remedy during an acute. In these cases you will not see such a dramatic change in their character, but only withdrawal, a sulkiness or moodiness, and the same underlying sensitivity, though much reduced and less expressed.
Continuing with our description of the younger constitutional Antimonium crudum patient, we note the following picture: when a young boy, the Antimonium crudum child’s romantic feelings come alive in his imagination. He falls in love much like the Natrum muriaticum boy; he experiences strong emotions, imagining many romantic scenes, making up stories, and living these fantasies intensely. He does not dare tell his sweetheart about his love for her, but at night in bed he melts away from love and romantic emotions. Natrum muriaticum, Staphysagria, and Antimonium crudum are somewhat similar in this respect.
Our understanding of this emotional state is further expanded and qualified by additional information provided in our texts: “goes into ecstasy while walking in the moonlight,” “weeps when he hears the sound of bells,” “is affected by the stained windows of the church.” Though you will very seldom hear your patients say that they “go into ecstasy in the moonlight,” you will, if you ask, definitely hear that such circumstances affect them. It is a fact that most Antimonium crudum cases will confess that they are especially influenced by the moonlight, especially that of the full moon. It evokes certain strong emotions of which the patient is aware. As our young boy grows up, he eventually experiences his first love encounter, and, as reality usually differs from the imagination, he is very vulnerable to being deeply hurt. Antimonium crudum is one of our main remedies for love disappointment. He is almost certain to be disappointed and hurt in love; furthermore, he is equally certain to come down with stomach cramps or headaches as a result.
In my experience, Antimonium crudum suffers from the consequences of grief far more often than is indicated in the Repertory. It should be upgraded in the rubric, “ailments from disappointed love.” In Antimonium crudum, the consequences of grief usually occur in the stomach, as in Natrum carbonicum.
After experiencing such a grief, our young man goes to the opposite extreme – he becomes closed and sulky; he refuses to communicate, to talk with others. His emotions remain however, not deadened but strong. The difference now is that his emotions are of a negative quality.
Ultimately his emotional balance becomes unstable: he swings from the one extreme of sentimentality, expressed in somewhat of an artistic or poetic manner, to the other extreme of withdrawal, depression and sulkiness.
The Antimonium crudum person usually feels that he has been badly treated by others and that he deserves better, but such sentiments are passively felt and not talked about. He will not complain; he is reluctant to discuss a disturbing situation, to offer his point of view. He feels that he will not be understood and, consequently, that discussion is a waste of time.
When the Antimonium crudum individual attempts to initiate amorous contact with another person, his overtures are always so sentimentally couched and intense that the other recoils from them, often reacting as if something were wrong with her suitor. Antimonium crudum perceives this repellence and is deeply hurt.
If he goes out into a moonlit night with his girlfriend, the moonlight has a tremendous effect upon his emotions. He feels inspired by the moonlight; his emotions are brought to such a height that he can hardly control them. He will then express himself in a poetic or artistic way. This inclination is so strong that he will do it inspite of his suspicions that his behavior is not going to be understood by his girlfriend and that he may be ridiculed. At this point others will think of him as being a bit “crazy.” Do not anticipate that the Antimonium crudum patient will tell you during the consultation that he becomes sentimental in the moonlight, as if it were a symptom, for he thinks that this behavior is natural.
After such an incident, he will go home and not stop thinking about it; recurring thoughts of the incident keep him awake at night. He becomes depressed, miserable, and he does not want to live in this world any more. At this point he will be bothered by stomach cramps or pains. His hemorrhoids or headaches may also flare up, and all this physical suffering adds to his misery. He thinks he is not fit to live in today’s world, that he should have lived a century ago when people were more romantic and sentimental. He wonders what is going to happen to him, where he will end up. He becomes anxious about his future.
After many such events as the above he comes to loathe life, and the actual desire to die surfaces. As he goes to bed, his mind becomes constantly fixated upon the idea of shooting himself. Sometimes these thoughts are so tormenting, so persistent that he has to get out of bed and walk up and down the room in order to get rid of them. Sometimes he will get up and walk while still asleep.
This pacing at night should not lead one to mistake Antimonium crudum for a restless remedy. It is a remedy that can easily become prostrated; it can be weak, but not restless. Such weakness is similar to that of Stannum, not Arsenicum album. Arsenicum is very restless while Antimonium crudum is not.
Remember that once this intensely sentimental individual is overwhelmed by his feelings, he cannot control them; the emotions are too powerful. Great excitement arises during the night while lying in bed. He may be lying in bed with a high fever when he is overtaken with an irresistible desire to talk in rhymes, which makes him look ridiculous to bystanders.
Considering the strong connection between sexuality and the emotional sphere, it should not be surprising that the sexual sphere in Antimonium crudum is quite strong. Antimonium crudum’s sexuality can reach nymphomaniacal proportions in women. They get so involved emotionally, so out of control of their emotions, that they may act foolishly.
In the Antimonium crudum male the primary state of sentimentality and romanticism is associated with increased sexuality. He has a strong desire and need for sex.
He is easily excited, with easy erections, and although he is a highly-sexed individual, he will never be aggressive.
However, when he enters the state of sulkiness, depression and withdrawal, his sexual power recedes and the strength of his erections is diminished, even to the point of impotence. His genitalia may even seem to dwindle and become shrivelled; both the testicles and the penis seem to be atrophied. He loses his virility and feels as if he has aged suddenly. In this state excessive irritability may surface, and it is then that you may see some signs of aggressiveness. Actually, Antimonium crudum can be indicated in old people, people who feel this way not only because of their age, but also because of their pathology.
So, in Antimonium crudum we see an individual who is quite unbalanced and who vacillates between one emotional extreme and the other, whose solar plexus, stomach or entire digestive tract is affected by his frequent emotional upheavals.
As mentioned, the first organ affected will be the stomach. Remedies that may complain of stomach problems after grief in descending order of frequency are: Antimonium crudum, Natrum carbonicum, Nux vomica, Ignatia, Colocynthis, Staphysagria, Robinia, etc. The differential diagnosis of each of these remedies must be based upon an intimate knowledge of materia medica. For instance, when we see a patient suffering from a duodenal ulcer, our mind goes immediately to Nux vomica because we know that of all our remedies, Nux vomica has the stongest tendency to disorder the duodenum. Or when you see constant and intolerable heartburn, your mind goes to Robinia. Similarly, the personality of your patient suggests one or another remedy. If you know the materia medica, you cannot give Nux vomica to an Antimonium crudum patient. Nux vomica is irritable; his irritation, even if latent, is perceptible. Antimonium crudum creates altogether another picture: the person is sweet, sentimental, and careful not to be hurt or to hurt others; such a personality coupled with a stomach affection arising as a consequence of a severed love affair or grief should bring this remedy to mind.
There is also another advanced pathological state of Antimonium crudum which affects the nervous system; in this instance we see spasmodic contractions in the extremities and face. The facial contractions affect the mouth primarily and are associated with respiratory problems, which can progress to suffocation and subsequent convulsions. Chorea may be seen, also jerking all over and moaning during sleep.
Mental retardation may be met with Antimonium crudum. Imbecility is a more frequent eventuality than insanity; idiocy. This remedy may benefit retardation in children in whom the fontanelles remain open for a very long time.
In this remedy we may observe a state similar to that of Pulsatilla in its progressed mental state – total passivity, without any reaction or response to any stimulus. Antimonium crudum can appear close to such a state, though without such extreme passivity.
In Antimonium crudum, the patient will not leave her bed, will not speak unless asked, and demands neither food nor drink; however, she will gladly eat if hungry and food is offered. She may be seen to repeatedly pull at a napkin tucked into her shirt at the collar, or fold and unfold a cloth over and over. Neurological sensation may be so impaired that she may develop bedsores at several locations, due to contact with fecal matter, without seeming to feel them and without complaint.
It is interesting to connect the internal overactivity of the emotions with Antimonium crudum’s intolerance of external heat.
External heat will aggravate, especially radiant heat as from an open fire, as well as warm rooms and the heat of the sun. Kent says: “The open fire is wholly against the Ant-c. patient. A child with whooping cough will cough more after looking in to the open fire. Such things are queer; they are so strange that there is no philosophical hypothesis to explain them, no theory that looks towards an explanation, but they are facts which we must accept.”
There is an aggravation from alcoholic drinks, especially wine, and sour wine in particular. It is almost as if the alcohol creates internal heat which in turn aggravates the emotional state producing maudlin sentimentality, laughter, etc.; later, the next day or even the next hour, headaches or stomach pains appear as a consequence of imbibing the alcohol. In this depressed state he is likely to feel old, exhausted, and emotionally and physically drained. At this point his problems are intensely aggravated; the stomach pains, the headaches, the hay fever, the arthritic conditions etc.
He must not drink any wine in this condition for it will greatly aggravate the whole situation, both on the physical and emotional levels. Anything sour – whether wine, vinegar or pickles – which the patient frequently craves, can upset his organism enormously. His stomach pain, hemorrhoids and headaches are aggravated.
There is no remedy in our materia medica that can be so upset by sour things as Antimonium crudum; it should be elevated to capitals in the repertory.
Paradoxically, there is also an intolerance to cold bathing. Cold bathing will provoke symptoms such as headaches, arthritic pain, stomach pain, etc, like Belladonna. The child does not want to have his usual bathing; he is averse to it as if he understands that the bathing will aggravate him. You will be liable to confuse Antimonium crudum with Sulphur, Belladonna, or Glonoinum. Also, the problems of Antimonium crudum usually arise in the evening and upon going to bed – the depression, the suicidal thoughts, the anxiety, the excitement, etc; whatever is characteristic of your specific Antimonium crudum patient is liable to be intensified at night in bed.
The idea of the emotions swelling outward – the generation of emotions – can be extrapolated to the physical level, namely in the generation of either headaches or high blood pressure or discharges: discharges from the vagina, from the stomach, the rectum, the nose, etc. It is a catarrhal state with increased mucous discharges which can be provoked by taking sour things or sour wine or by getting a cold.
The pathology of Antimonium crudum gives one the impression that the diseased state is seeking an outlet through an abundance of discharges. The discharges are generally very profuse. The general idea of “lumps” should come to mind when contemplating this remedy. You will see watery stool with lumps of fecal matter mixed with it, lumpy leucorrhea, and many lumps under the skin. Also, there is a strong tendency for callouses to form, especially very tender ones on the soles of the feet.
There is an aggravation from loud noise; noise aggravates the psychological state, headache, pain, etc.
There is another element seen in Antimonium crudum – metastasis. What is meant by this is a tendency for one given condition to transform itself into another pathological state; for instance, headaches will be replaced by stomach pains, or stomach pains may pass only to be succeeded by arthritic pains. Kent writes: “The whole gouty nature of the case seems to change so suddenly that you wonder where the more exterior symptoms have gone to, for all at once in a night, or a day, the patient commences to vomit and you have persistent vomiting lasting days and weeks, until the gouty symptoms come back into the extremities. It is wonderful how quickly this old fashioned metastasis will come on.. ” Here Kent points to a subtle characteristic of Antimonium crudum, namely the dramatic change from one group of symptoms to another.
When the patient’s history is given, there will often be a story of headaches persisting for a period of time, then stomach aches, then headaches recurring as the stomach pains subside, then rheumatic pains (often gouty) replacing the headaches, and so on in a shifting pattern of metastasis. (Abrotanum)
Reiter’s syndrome is covered by this remedy; Antimonium crudum produces all three conditions of the syndrome – arthritic conditions, conjunctivitis and urethritis – sequentially, or, we might say, metastatically.
One will frequently see headaches associated with stomach problems. The patient may have a chronic periodic gastritis, and each time the gastritis is exacerbated headaches also arise. There is an immediate association between headaches and gastric symptoms, or there may be alternation of the two conditions. Throughout all of the variations of the head, gastric and rheumatic symptomatology it will be readily apparent in these patients that the primary disorder is in the stomach. Obesity mostly in the young age group and children.
There is a general dryness of the skin with cracking; cracks will be especially apparent at the nostrils, the mouth, and any juncture of mucous membranes and skin. There is also a peculiarity seen on the fingers: cracks appearing on the skin next to the fingernails (cuticles). There are eruptions on the cheeks with discomfort (pain, irritation, itching, suppuration etc) from exposure to open fire.
Periodicity; symptoms return every three weeks.
Symptoms on left side only or crosswise, right upper and left lower.
Worse: Damp and cold; cold bathing ; sour food, vinegar, sweets, bread, pork; moonlight; touch ; heat of summer ; heat of an open fire, of the sun; being looked at; overeating and over-drinking.
Better: In open air and at rest, lying down.
The head is sensitive to both extremes of temperature, as if the Antimonium crudum patient cannot tolerate much stimulation from external or internal changes in temperature. He develops headaches from exposure to the sun, to the heat, to internal heat (as with alcohol) and from becoming cold, catching cold, chilliness etc. You will see headaches that can begin after a cold bath; that is, a person suffers from headache after chilling from a cold bath. However, sometimes the headaches will be ameliorated by cold applications.
The combination of headaches from heat, alcohol and cold bathing is one to which only Antimonium crudum conforms.
If the headaches are also accompanied or followed by pains in lower limbs, you have a definite confirmation of this remedy.
Antimonium crudum will always be better while walking in the open air, especially when the air is cool, and a very special amelioration occurs while walking in the cool night air in the moonlight.
Kent writes ” Neuralgia in the head, crashing pains and dreadful sickness at the stomach with vomiting…. comes on from taking cold, which slacks up the thick discharge in to a dryness of the nose….. sometimes these troubles pass off after an intense vomiting spell; sometimes they do not, but the headache may remain for days, not relieved by vomiting or relieved after prolonged vomiting.”
One should be aware to differentiate Antimonium crudum from Pulsatilla here, as there is a strong resemblance at this point.
There is a connection between the head and the stomach, whenever the one is upset or painful the other is affected.
During headache the child becomes irritable and sulky and does not want to eat anything, leaves the table and goes to bed. Total loss of appetite during headache. Stupefying headache with an anxious sweat breaking out while walking in the open air. Headache after suppressed discharge from nose; headache after suppressed eruptions. Headache as if the forehead will burst open. Rush of blood to the head. Congestion in head with high blood pressure and nosebleeds in fat people with red face. Itching of the scalp with falling of hair.
There is redness and inflammation of the eyelids and of the conjunctivae, especially the lateral conjunctivae. The outer canthus is especially affected, being cracked, burning and sore. There is suppuration, nightly agglutination and morning photophobia. Pustules on the margins of lids. Ophthalmo-blenorrhea; chronic blepharophthalmia in children. (Other remedies that correspond to subacute inflammation of the margins of the eyelids are Tuberculinum, Clematis, Graphites, Euphrasia, Chrysarobinum etc). Inflammation of lacrimal gland and ducts. Lids red with fine stitches in eyeball. Little, humid spot on the outer canthus, which pains severely when perspiration comes into contact with it.
Stuffed nose worse at night in bed, worse in a warm room; as soon as he enters a warm room the nose is blocked. There are scabs in nostrils which are sore and cracked; chapping of both nostrils with formation of crusts. Eczema of nostrils. Sensation of soreness in nostrils on inspiration. Nosebleeds with vertigo.
In cases where the disturbance is not a deep one but appears on the surface – on mucous membranes and skin – an Antimonium crudum child may be easily recognised by looking at his face.
Skin eruptions are frequent with such children and appear on the eyelids, that are red, inflamed or with pustules, the cheeks or chin, which have a pustular (yellow crusted) suppurating eruption, the affected portion of the skin cracks easily, the lips are dry, the corners of the mouth are cracked or with eruptions, the nostrils are chapped with scabs and the outer canthi of the eyes are more inflamed and cracked. Such is the appearance of a typical Ant-c child.
You may also see a similar picture in adults, but very seldom will an adult in the Western world allow such a condition to appear for more than a few days on his face without using Cortizone creams to suppress it. It is likely that he will come to you after such suppressions, with arthritic or gouty conditions, stomach problems or headaches, if not with psychological symptoms.
Such skin eruptions can still be seen in India or other undeveloped countries, where the population is much healthier in general than in the West. In Western populations we see that diseases have penetrated the interior of the organism to a much greater extent.
Concerning skin eruptions, the homeopath should learn to recognise the localities in which the different remedies prefer to manifest their particular kind of disturbance. Sometimes the solution of the correct remedy will come from those very observations. Pimples and boils on face.
There is a great keynote seen in the mouth – a thick white coating on the tongue as if there is snow on it. Kent says: “the mucous membranes have a tendency to throw out a milky white exudation or deposit, and it is especially noticed on the tongue.”
Yellow discoloration of tongue; edges of the tongue red and sore. Cracks in corners of mouth or boils; dryness of mouth at night. Severe bleeding of the gums. Salivation and odor of the mouth resembling mercurial salivation. Must draw quantities of thick yellowish mucus from posterior nares and spit it out.
Kent writes ” He takes a cold bath at night on going to bed and gets up in the morning voiceless, cannot speak a word. This has come on in an apparently painless manner; he does not know that it is present until he attempts to speak in the morning”.
Aphonia – painless – from getting overheated, better after rest. Hoarseness or loss of voice from a cold bath, from becoming overheated. Sensation as if a foreign body had lodged in the throat with constant desire to swallow.
The stomach, as we have said, is the weakest spot of this remedy, and it will be the first to be upset, deranged or cramped. The typical Antimonium crudum patient will feel a spasm or tightness in the area of the stomach all their life. Severe pains, cramp-like, in paroxysms, driving him to despair and to the determination to drown himself. Cannot tolerate much food and can be easily disordered by overeating, acids, wine etc. There are, as stated, all manner of symptoms in the stomach, especially stomach pains coupled with nausea and headaches.
Cramp-like pains, gastritis, duodenal ulcers. Constant nausea, a feeling as if he had eaten too much all the time though he may not have eaten at all. Eructations that taste of the food ingested.
Stomach feels distended; constant discharge of wind up and down; prolonged retching, nausea and vomiting. The vomiting does not relieve. Sour things and heat aggravate the stomach; there is also an aggravation by sweets. There is an especially peculiar food craving – cucumber. You may see a child very ill with fever, peevish, vomiting, and wanting only cucumber to eat. You may think that it is a Chamomilla child, but the desire for cucumber confirms Antimonium crudum. During fever or any kind of gastric disturbance this desire for cucumber may arise.
Antimonium crudum is a good eater, and he puts on weight easily. But you may see the opposite also, especially in children, who will be thin, eating sparingly and choosing their food carefully. They will not try any new food easily, they insist that they do not like it even if they have never tasted it. This lack of appetite leaves the child exceedingly thin, looking sick, without stamina.
There is a possibility that during gastric disturbances or fever he may develop an aversion to the sight or smell of food; food can provoke nausea. Bread and pastry can cause nausea and colicky pains. Though Antimonium crudum may have desire for sour things, pickles etc the stronger characteristic of the remedy is an aggravation from sour.
A feeling of a lump in the stomach, as if a lot of food were sitting there undigested, is often seen in Antimonium crudum. Vomiting may not relieve this sensation. Violent thirst with dryness of mouth and lips.
Diarrhea alternating with constipation may suggest this remedy, especially if this occurs in persons who are quite exhausted and appear prematurely aged (or actually are elderly). Diarrhea may occur after sour food and wine.
Abdomen distended after eating much, but there can also be a flat abdomen with distention of the stomach only.
Gurgling in the abdomen, as when air bubbles rise in water. Loud rumbling in the hypogastrium. Flatus forms immediatetly after eating and moves about audibly.
Violent pains in abdomen, burning, cutting with much distention. Fulness of abdomen.
Kent writes; “Violent abdominal pains, burning, great distention; there appears to be an increasing distention as if by a screw, gradually forcing down upon something, gradually increasing the tension. We find this state in the tympanitic condition of typhoid fever, we find it in cases of flatulence, we find it in summer diarrheas. It will be associated with gastric symptoms and the white tongue, especially if such disturbance had been brought on by drinking sour wine, by taking a cold bath…..” Pinching pain and a sensation as if diarrhea will come. Pinching, as if rhythmically with the pulse in a small spot on the left side of the abdomen, quite low down. Sensation of emptiness in the bowels, better after eating. Inflammation and hardness of liver. Pain in the region of gall bladder.
Diarrhea after deranging stomach from overeating; after acids, sour fruits, vinegar; after cold bathing; after drinking wine; after nursing; in old people; in summer, after being overheated; with nausea and vomiting; with colic; with much belching. Watery stools mixed with lumps.
Stool first normal, then several small, but hard stools with violent straining in the rectum and anus until all is over. It seems to take very long to empty the bowels. Very thin stool. Pappy frequent stool.
Stools entirely of mucus. Continuous mucous discharge from anus. Mucus comes out from discharge of flatus. Inflammation of the rectum. Catarrhal proctitis. Hemorrhage; discharge of black blood. Protrusion of rectum during stool. Troublesome hemorrhoids.
There is a peculiarity in the genito-urinary system – urinary frequency, with scanty urine and with painful erections. Frequent urination with much mucus, intense burning in urethra and backache during emission. Cutting in the urethra while urinating. Involuntary urination on coughing. Profuse urination.
Genitalia – male
Great sexual excitement with fantasies of a romantic type. Uneasiness and restlessness of the whole body from sexual excitement, cannot sit still for a minute. Nightly emissions with or without voluptuous dreams. Lascivious dreams. Lascivious thoughts with erections at night while lying in bed that keep him very awake. Sexual organs small, shrivelled, atrophied with loss of sexual desire. Impotence.
Genitalia – female
Ailments from suppressed menses. Premenstrual tension, toothache with boring into temples. The ovaries of hysterical girls are easily affected by their emotional states, especially in the case of over-imaginative girls in love affairs.
Excessive sexual desire from suppressed menses. Menses suppressed from a cold bathing with tenderness in the ovarian region. Dark menses. During pregnancy gastro-intestinal and hemorrhoidal affections. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea during pregnancy. Discharge of acrid watery leucorrhea from the vagina, which causes smarting down the thighs. Watery leucorrhea containing lumps.
In the womb, pressure as if something will come out; it seems as if the contents of the pelvis will be expelled or fall out. Manifestation of skin eruptions during pregnancy.
Dry, hacking spasmodic cough; cough is aggravated by looking into the open fire.
Coughing on entering a warm room from open air, with a burning sensation on chest. Coughing in paroxysms worse in the morning after rising. The first attack of cough is the most severe; the others then diminish in severity.
Kent writes “The first paroxysm occurs with great violence, racking his whole frame, and lasting a longer or shorter period, to be followed by one with less violence and another with less violence; perhaps after a dozen or less paroxysms of diminishing violence, he ends up with a dry, hacking cough which is not a paroxysm. When this first cough shakes the whole body, whether it is bronchitis or whooping cough, and the tongue is white, and there are more or less gastric disturbances, Antimonium crudum is the remedy. It will change the whole aspect of the case at once.”
Dyspnea; short heavy breathing; difficult breathing after eating, after supper, associated with stomach problems. Heart palpitates violently; pulse irregular. Constriction of chest almost to suffocation; suffocating asthma. Convulsions associated with difficult, suffocative breathing. Severe itching upon the chest continuing the whole day. Violent itching on the chest wakes him at night, and he feels pimples in various places.
Rheumatic pains in nape of neck and loins. Swelling of cervical glands. Spasmodic stitches in right scapulae, when sitting. Violent itching on back.
Gouty or arthritic complaints. Arthritic nodosities on finger joints. Symptoms change with the changes of weather. Worse from cold bathing, from wet weather, cold weather and better with a hot bath. Drawing pains in arms, fingers, knees, heels and joints. Inflammation of the elbow ligaments. Paralytic trembling of hands with every motion and when writing. Paralytic pain in the muscles of the upper limbs, in bending the arms, as if they were overly contracted or weakened by this exertion. Spasmodic contraction of the arms and hands and of the muscles of the face. Muscular twitchings. Numerous horny warts on hands and fingers. Horny wart under nail. Nails grow slowly; out of shape; thick; split; are discolored.
Corns, indurations, painful callosities on soles. Large horny places on soles, close to toes. Great sensitiveness of soles while walking.
Sleepiness during the day. Waking frequently at night as from fright. Horrible dreams about the mutilation of men. Anxious dreams as if he were to be hurt. Dreams of quarreling. Voluptious, with seminal discharge. Children shriek and grind their teeth.
The skin is sensitive and has a tendency to become hard, thick and sore whenever it is under constant pressure like in the soles. A relatively light pressure will produce a callosity. Horny excresences. There is a strong tendency in this remedy to develop hard, indurated and sore places in the skin. Urticaria with white bumps and red areola with violent itching. The skin is ulcerated. Dry gangrene. Pustular eruptions with an inflamed base that is red and sensitive. If he becomes overheated, boils with perspiration. Perspiration so profuse that it causes the finger tips to soften and wrinkle. Eczema with stomach derangement. Pimples suddenly appear in an eruptive manner.
Copious, exhaustive sweating from slightest exertion; night sweats. Unhealthy hair.
Arthritic conditions, gout. Digestive problems with emphasis in the stomach area; diarrhea. Catarrhal proctitis; prolapsus of rectum. Pustular skin eruptions; eczema; urticaria. Impotency. Chorea, spasmodic contractions. Aphonia. Callosities; warts.
Compare with Pulsatilla, belladonna, Baryta carbonica. Ammonium muriaticum, Graphites, Variolinum, Chamomilla, Sulphur. Followed well by Pulsatilla, Mercurius, Sulphur.
Disappointed love, emotional stress, getting overheated, cold bathing, sour food, suppressed eruptions.
From the lowest to the highest.
- In the summer of 1964, I was called to visit Miss S.V. S, a girl aged 10, the daughter of an income tax officer in Bombay. When I arrived at the house, I found her lying in bed with a temperature of 104. The history narrated to me by the father was as follows:
About two months earlier the girl had an attack of fever. The fever continued for 6 or 7 days. It was suspected as enteric fever and she was put on chloromycetin.
But the temperature continued and after a few more days she developed a few scattered rashes which seemed like measles but no one was sure. Then suddenly on the 10th day in the evening the temp. shot up to 107. The parents were upset, even the attending G.P. was worried. So a consultant was called in. He felt that possibly it was a case of measles with recession of the rash. He advised an ice pack and one tablet of aspirin every hour the whole night. He opined that if the temperature was not controlled her life was in danger.
The parents passed an anxious night but fortunately by morning the temp. subsided somewhat and in 2 or 3 days she seemed quite well. Everyone was relieved and happy. About 15 days later, for no apparent reason at all, one night the child developed temp. again and in 24 hours, by the next night, it shot up to 107. The G.P. was non-plussed and so the consultant was called in. The same opinion was given, same treatment prescribed and in 2 or 3 days the child was “well” again. After about two weeks the same episode recurred all over again and the same procedure was followed!
By this time the parents had become tired and rather skeptical about the treatment given. So this time, when the child got temp. again they called me.
On examination I found nothing except a coated tongue. I now asked the mother “Can you please think out and tell me, if you can, what brings on the fever every time?” “O yes,” the mother replied at once. “This is an easy question. I know it. I have found out that every time she gets fever it is because she has eaten something sour. If only she will avoid eating sour things, I am sure she will never be ill. But she is so crazy after them, she eats them when my back is turned and suffers. I told the other doctors about this but they did not take any notice.”
I now asked the mother how the child liked bathing. She replied “That is a funny thing too! Since the first attack of fever, the girl is avoiding a bath somehow or other. This was never the case formerly. She was always a clean child.”
I further discovered that the child was thirstless in spite of the fever and this clinched the drug.
I now gave her Ant-crudum 1M, four doses to be taken every 4 hours till the temp. touched normal. With the second dose itself, the fever disappeared and never returned.
Now it is more than one year she is well.
The Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy Vol. 58 No. 7-8, p. 215, July -Aug. 1965.
Observation: The case is interesting because of the excessive reaction of the child to the sour food, though I believe that a deeper predisposition for an intermittent fever was lying there all along, triggered by some circumstances that we do not have information about. How can we explain otherwise the fact that the child was probably eating sour food before without causing the fever to appear…
In such a case it would be interesting to know of the changes that took place later, like whether the desire for sour food was diminished, or whether she would still eat sour food etc.
In the case of a certain child there had been noticed from his birth an occasional whistling sound during respiration, which usually occured after waking from sleep, but also during the waking hours, and was always accompanied by loss of breath. At the sixth month, the symptoms were: General convulsions; spasmodic contraction of the arms, hands and feet, of the muscles of the face and eyes; then coma and trembling of the hands, followed by restlessness of the arms and head with staring of the eyes.
These attacks came on suddenly every hour and lasted several minutes. He had a large head and open fontanelles. Ignatia 30 relieved these attacks at last. When the child was 15 months old, the whistling sound during breathing, already mentioned, came on more frequently and breathing was interrupted for a longer time. This showed itself after each waking from sleep and after every mental excitement. The child is backwards in every sense of the word. Fontanelles still open. The attacks are nearly constant and take the following form: Spasmodic contraction in closing the mouth firmly ; stertorous breathing with danger of suffocation. After going to sleep it jerks all over and moans constantly, and has a croupy respiration. Hepar, Calcarea, Sulphur, Ipec., Belladonna, Tartar emetic were given without relief. Basing the prescription upon the whole history of the case Ant-cr, 2 was given twice a day with immediate improvement and a final cure. Dr. Parsenow.
“Allg. Hom. Zeitg.” iii, p. 124
Observation: This is an interesting case because it shows the kind of retardation that Ant-c. has coupled with convulsions and associated respiratory problems. A lot of information is missing especially concerning the deeper long term action of the drug in the retardation.
F., aged four years, passes large quantities of urine which is as clear and odorless as distilled water; much of it passes involuntarily; drinks often and much at a time; eyes are both inflamed -conjuctiva quite red, cornea dim- they are very dry and he keeps them closed; nostrils are very sore; mouth is very dry; emaciated to a skeleton; keeps the bed and sleeps much during the day; craves sour food; exceedingly irritable;-strikes and scolds; no sugar in urine. Ph-ac., Natr-m., Lyc. and Sulph. of no use. The mother says the boy cannot bear to be looked at. Ant-c. 6 cured.
Choudhuri’s Materia Medica, page 45.
Observation: The case is interesting because of the quality of the urine which has not been recorded at all before.
A student, 17, had twenty three warts on right hand and thirty four on left, mainly on backs and fingers but a few on interior surface of fingers. In addition rednesss and inflammation of the eyelids. Cured in seven weeks with Ant-c. 200x.
Dr. M. Jousset has recovered a severe case of chorea which resisted all the usual remedies and was cured with Ant-c. prescribed on the digestive symptoms particularly the characteristic white tongue.
The last two cases are quoted in:
The Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, J.H. Clarke, pp. 121-122.