“Carbonate of Barium Ba CO3, with which are included symptoms of Baryta acetica – Barium acetate Ba(C2H3O2)2. (I follow Hering and Hahnemann in combining the two, as I agree with Hering that “there is hardly any difference between the two, and certainly none in the symptoms cured.”) Solution of acetate; trituration of carbonate.” Clarke.
English: Carbonate of Barytes; Carbonate of Baryta
French: Baryte carbonatée; sous-carbonate de baryte
German: Baryt; Schwererde
Mode of preparation: Crystallized chloride of Barium, well pulverized, is to be boiled for two minutes with six parts of alcohol, in order to free it from the chloride of strontium, which might be mixed with it; the powder is then to be dissolved in six parts of boiling distilled water and precipitated by carbonate of ammonia; the precipitate is to be repeatedly washed with distilled water and then dried. The attenuations are to be first prepared by three triturations, like those of the minerals.
The essential features
Like all polychrests, Baryta carbonica is used in all age groups and in a wide span of disorders. The old homeopaths’ observation of Baryta carbonica is most interesting however: they found that most patients who required Baryta carbonica were either very young or very old, and that the elderly patients who needed Baryta carbonica were generally those who had fallen into their “second childhood”.
It is a fact that Baryta carbonica is very useful in treating old patients whose behaviour becomes childish as well as children whose behaviour is far behind their age, but this does not exclude patients of all ages.
Some authors have used the term “dwarfishness” in describing the Baryta carbonica state, and this quality is most certainly an aspect of this remedy as will be seen later in this chapter. However, a more apt characterization may be found by employing the term “immaturity”.
This immaturity is seen on all levels. The whole body or single organs, such as the testicles, or the penis, or the uterus, or the head, or the toes, or the fingers etc. remain small; they fail to develop like the rest of the body, and do not reach maturity. The same can be seen with the mind or certain functions of the mind which fail to develop fully. The critical faculties for instance remain undeveloped, the memory weakens or loses the power to retain facts and it is a great effort for the patient to combine or associate complex ideas.
But you do not have to have all these symptoms combined in one case. A child for instance may be very intelligent on certain levels and the teachers will be satisfied with his progress, yet on other levels immaturity will be apparent. He may be insecure when left alone at school and may need the company and support of his family in order to feel at ease. He will also probably show signs of underdevelopment in the body or in some organ.
The emotions are the last and the least to be affected. The emotions become minimal: Baryta carbonica individuals cannot tell whether they love somebody or not, as their emotions are not strong enough to make an impression on their mind so as to be able to describe them.
The desire for protection
The only thing of which the Baryta carbonica patient is fully aware is the desire for protection. This symptom is almost universal with this remedy. That is why, for instance, if a husband is providing enough protection the wife will attach herself totally to him, no matter whether she loves him in an erotic way, or whether she is just tolerating him. For these patients the most important thing is their insecurity; if this is covered then everything else is of secondary importance and can be tolerated.
It is interesting to note here that the insecurity is such that the patient often wants to lean on to somebody else physically. For instance, on walking down the street, the Baryta carbonica patient will want to lean on or be supported by the person accompanying them. When alone, such a patient may worry about feeling dizzy and seek out a place to hold on to, regardless of whether they are in the street or in a building. Their dizziness leads them to a fear that they will faint. If they are left alone in the street they start to panic. In a young woman this symptom was so strong that she was afraid to go out in case there was no place to hold on to should she feel dizzy. Fear of fainting has to be added to the repertory.
I should mention at this stage that the overwhelming majority of the patients needing this remedy in my experience were female. I imagine that the Barium carbonate affects the female hormonal chain more easily than the male. As we shall see from the following description of the pathology Baryta carbonica accentuates what we can term “the female traits.” A young boy is so sweet and placid and non-aggressive that he reminds one of a girl (I do not want to imply, though, that there is a tendency to homosexuality); yet you may find that after having suppressed his anger he needs an outlet and will curse and swear when alone.
As one traces the different stages of Baryta carbonica, one sees the theme of immaturity repeated in many forms. Immaturity is of course proportional to the chronological age of the patient; i.e. , at age five the child acts as if he were two or three, at age thirty he acts as if twelve, or sixteen etc. etc.
Kent writes “You will have patients to treat, where this slow development manifests itself in girls 18 to 25 years of age, who do things they did when they were children, and say things as they said them when they were children… They have not come to womanhood. They are late in taking on the activities and uses of the woman. They lack the prudence of the woman.. They have not become circumspect and say things just as a boy or just as a little girl would say them. That is the dwarfishness of the mind.”
Sometimes you will see cases where the patient herself will tell you most emphatically that she does not want to grow up, that she wants to remain as a child, or even a baby in the protection of the mother’s lap. The world with its complications and society’s complex demands scares these patients to death; they do not want to go out there and fight. They really feel like children in the midst of grown-ups and do not know how to protect or defend themselves.
A tremendous anxiety neurosis may develop out of this state, especially if the person is pushed by his family or society to go out and act. This can be accompanied by inability to retain food, or to swallow solid food, by tremendous inexplicable fear, constant weeping and the desire to be protected and stay at home. They have no desire to go to the cinema or to social events. Any kind of enjoyment or amusement is unthinkable in their condition. They cannot bring themselves to laugh; the problem takes on a serious dimension in their mind, they can think of nothing else. You may wonder how they can exaggerate a small problem to such proportions. The more their mind dwells on the problem, the bigger it becomes. They will sit in the house in a corner and brood and bite their nails. If they leave the house and go out into the open they immediately develop anxiety. The anxiety may also occur at night in bed, they become restless and want to uncover. The anxiety can revolve around business, domestic affairs, relatives and friends and is usually sudden in its appearance. It is a negative attitude towards life, denying the natural evolution that is normal for human beings, all without any serious reason.
It is noteworthy that in the life of such persons there is usually no adequate stress to account for their pathology. Everything seems to be going smoothly and unobstructedly and the patient herself will confirm it. Yet this tremendous anxiety will arise. If you investigate the case properly, you will find that the reason for this anxiety is not a prominent single grievous event in their life, but rather a continuous feeling of inadequacy that pervades their existence, and that all of a sudden, with minimal stress, erupts into an annoying pathology.
The nature of our remedies is such that different kinds of stresses produce different symptomatology, while each remedy can be said to be sensitive to a particular kind of stress. The general idea prevalent in allopathic medicine that all stress gives out anxiety is not only grossly oversimplified but also untrue.
For instance, Aconitum is very sensitive to a sudden fright that is momentarily life-endangering, while Natrum muriaticum will show no reaction to such a shock, but will on the other hand be extremely sensitive to the stress of a love disappointment, particularly in case of a possibility that he may be ridiculed. Baryta carbonica or Aconitum will not be affected at all by such types of stress. A financial ruin or stress will affect Aurum, Psorinum or Bryonia deeply while Ignatia or Natrum Muriaticum will remain unaffected. A stressful situation in an Arsenicum patient will produce anxiety about health, fear of having cancer and tremendous fear of death. The same stress will make a Hyoscyamus patient cut off his emotions and feel dead emotionally. These are but a few examples to illustrate my point.
The type of stress and the kind of effect it has upon an organism become therefore extremely important in the differential diagnosis of a case.
Thus, I have never so far seen a Baryta carbonica case develop pathology because of a love disappointment. I do not mean that such a thing could never occur, but it is rare, and it is probable that in such a situation another remedy and not Baryta carbonica is indicated.
You will see cases of Baryta carbonica where, with extreme application, the patient has become an architect, lawyer, doctor, psychologist etc, but who lacks the inclination or the courage, once the studies are completed, to go out and work or open an office. The inner inclination of this patient will be: “let me remain in the house protected by my own people, without demands, without responsibilities”. They themselves are bothered by such thoughts but cannot help it. The general idea that Baryta carbonica hinders one from becoming a scientist due to the fact that the memory and critical faculties are minimised is totally wrong. Actually most of the cases of Baryta carbonica which I have treated successfully were either scientists in their younger years or seniles in old age.
Of course only in cases where the patient has the means to afford to do so will such behaviour manifest itself; in cases where the person really needs to go out and work in order to survive you will see a different attitude, although the inner pressure will still be tremendous and the main idea under such pressure will be the same. These cases will prefer positions of little or no responsibility. They will remain unoticed in their professional group, though every one will like them because they very seldom object to or quarrel with their superiors or others.
The fear of responsibility
Another aspect of this remedy, associated with the fear of responsibility, is the fact that these patients do not want to have a child. The idea that a woman should have the responsibility of a child is totally intolerable to her; she herself feels like a baby and does not want other babies in the family. There is such a fear of pregnancy that the Baryta-carbonica woman fears she may become pregnant even through erotic play, without any actual contact. It is an irrational thought for an educated woman, yet for all that she will have the fear.
The Baryta Carbonica child
Baryta carbonica children have a characteristic appearance which includes an enlarged belly — they are not fat but have a marasmic appearance like Calcarea carbonica. Baryta carbonica is famous for glandular swellings, and often in these children the tonsillar enlargement is so large as to make the swallowing of food difficult, and to force them to breathe through their mouth. This open-mouthed expression gives them somewhat of a “stupid” look which is at the same time rather serious and rather vacant, as if they can never quite figure out what is happening around them.
If you have a child who looks marasmic, has tremendously swollen cervical glands, with frequent tonsilitis, very swollen tonsils, and you see the child does not have the development of a normal child for his age, you almost certainly have a case of Baryta carbonica, even though the parents may tell you how intelligent the child is.
There is always a tone of immaturity, especially in the voice and mode of talking which resembles that of a baby, and you will surely see some other aspects of Baryta carbonica in them.
Yet if the mind is primarily affected you will see that they are backward children. They are very timid and shy. They do not grasp the situations in which they find themselves, and therefore feel very insecure. For instance, if they want a drink of water, they will go and whisper in their mother’s ear. On the first day of school the child cries, clings to its mother, and does not want her to leave. When left at school it throws a fit, and this is repeated every day for months. They feel particularly threatened and fearful with strangers. When strangers are present, they cling to their mother or hide behind her or the furniture. They peek out for a little while at the doctor and then withdraw again. The child may go and hide for he thinks that all visitors laugh at him. The presence of strangers aggravates to such an extent that the child may start coughing in their presence. These children will be resistent to gentle coaxing, remaining hidden behind their mother. If one goes to them and takes them by the hand or gives them a forceful command, they either emerge in a fearful state or they start crying. In the interview one rarely hears these children speak a word. One gets the information primarily from gestures or subtle signs, and even that with difficulty. When one tries to physically examine such children, they withdraw, resist and if you force a bit they cry. Baryta carbonica children don’t like interference from strangers, although they are very docile and obedient where their own parents are concerned.
The mother will notice that her child seems to suffer from a lack of concentration. When he plays with a toy, he seems to pay only superficial attention and then loses interest. He seems unable to concentrate or apply his mind. Often the child may sit without playing at all. He has no interest in the toys around him and just sits staring, inactive. This child is also late learning to talk and walk. One may stand him on his feet to encourage him to take a few steps, but he does not seem to comprehend that he is supposed to put one foot in front of the other. This mental inefficiency will create difficulties when another child comes into the family. The Baryta carbonica child feels inferior to other children and responds with a type of jealousy. This jealousy is not overt but is displayed by a variety of physical disorders such as loss of energy, enuresis, hair loss, periodical fevers and embarrassed nail biting. The Baryta carbonica child can also be rather fearful.
Nightmares are very frequent in Baryta carbonica; the child may awaken terrified and in a panic. However, he does not seem to understand why he has awakened nor why he is afraid. In this aspect there can be a similarity to Stramonium.
When this child reaches school age, his problems become more visible. It is not unusual to hear that a Baryta carbonica child has repeated several school years. His memory is very poor; he cannot remember what he has just heard or read. The mind breaks down even to the point of forgetting words (Ph-ac.). Consequently, he does very poorly at school, even though he applies himself. He willingly sits with the parents and studies his lessons. With their guidance he seems to be able to repeat the lesson almost word for word, but by the next day his knowledge seems to evaporate as he goes in for his test.
Baryta carbonica children tend to be rather passive. They do not make friends nor play with other children. They prefer to stay passively at home. They can sometimes suffer an irritability which may lead them to break their own favorite possessions. Normally, though, they are shy and easily repressed. Adults also occasionally exhibit anger, but at the same time will display a degree of cowardice. This anger can also be malicious. They may be furious at trifles, exemplifying the immaturity and narrow-mindedness of Baryta carbonica. There will sometimes be spells of great despondency and grieving over the merest trifle, where the patient goes off alone and sobs and cries as though he had no friends in the world.
The antisocial streak remains throughout all the stages of Baryta carbonica.
Children and adults alike prefer to stay home in familiar surroundings. They may fear to stay alone, and yet they are averse to company. They feel better when alone. When in company they can be very critical of others but will never voice criticism. In general Baryta carbonica does not talk much, or may prefer not to talk at all.
However, a keynote for this remedy is extreme talkativeness during pregnancy or during menses.
They often become very attached and cling to close family members. This attachment explains why Baryta carbonica people can have anxiety about others — they are fearful of losing their protectors, the people to whom they cling for help and advice.
In a case of mild pathology, the Baryta carbonica individual may finish school without real difficulty, the tendency for mental decay remaining dormant. If the pathology is centered on the physical body alone then you may even have a briliant student.
In a non constitutional type needing this remedy as a first prescription, we may for instance give Badiaga to a child who, while doing very well at school, suddenly and without apparent reason stays behind and has difficulties in comprehending and remembering his lessons, and where in general one sees clearly a backward movement. Baryta carbonica will be needed in cases of autistic children who present the following picture: muscles lacking in tone so much so that they cannot stand even for a few seconds without support. The head falls to the side. The fingers cannot close upon an object placed in her hand. Vacant eyes turn and move about incessantly, never resting for a second upon any object. The child obviously does not recognise anything. Lack of response to your attempts to bring bright objects to his attention, or to your shouts. This is a perfect picture of total passive retardation with very little action apart from a general restlessness, especially of the eyes. You will have difficulty in differentiating such a state from Cicuta.
The sexual behaviour and the maternity
Finally the time will come when the person becomes involved in their first love affair. Often one may see a Baryta carbonica person becoming romantically involved for the first time only very late in life; perhaps, instead of at eighteen or nineteen years of age, she may first become involved at age twenty-five or thirty. When she finally does fall in love, she gives herself up to the man in the same way as, previously, she had trusted her mother, and clings tenaciously to him. She can tolerate anything in order to maintain the relationship. The amount of insult and repression these women can tolerate from their husbands is amazing. This is true to such an extent that Staphysagria will often be prescribed in cases of Baryta carbonica.
The sexual demands of Baryta carbonica are simple and easily satisfied as long as the patient is provided with security and protection. You will very seldom see a married woman having an extra-marital affair. Not only because the insecurity this can produce is intolerable, but also because such a woman will not attach herself to anybody without preliminary security.
The sexual drive in Baryta carbonica can be very easily suppressed. If she becomes disappointed by her sexual relationship, she can easily turn to masturbation and feel comfortably fulfilled. Or she may not need the desire for sexual intercourse. She seems to need little stimulation.
Often one may find a sort of narrow-minded morality in Baryta carbonica. She can become very upset by any “bad” comment or even subtle reference to her sexual conduct. A Baryta carbonica woman cannot have an extra-marital love affair because if she is recognized with her lover by someone, she will become overwhelmed by the thought that she was discovered, and not because of the larger moral issues such as “why did I accept the marriage in the first place?” or “was this marriage right for me?” or “why did I start another affair?” She will not be the type of person who says, “If this man is right for me I will divorce my husband and change my life.” She is preoccupied with a superficial morality instead.
Finally, as a consequence of the continual suppression suffered in the course of the relationship, her mind breaks down. She was previously well-compensated, but now she becomes very childish, her faculties dwindle. She says silly, childish things, things she knows better than to say. For example, she may see a rooster and childishly ask, “Oh, can he also lay eggs?”
This emotional and mental behaviour is connected to the fact that the genitalia have not developed fully. The uterus is small and looks like a child’s and the menses start late and are easily suppressed. There is a hypotonic function in this area that is characteristic for this remedy. The Baryta carbonica woman will not be fit to bear a child, not only because of the small uterus but because she actually perceives that she cannot go through with a pregancy and refuses to undertake the responsibility of having a child. As mentioned earlier, she feels that she is a child herself and does not want to grow up; for a child, the thought of rearing another child is unbearable. Such is the physico-psychic state of a Baryta patient.
Of course, it is easy to understand that a person with this type of mentality can become very indecisive. The Repertory indicates this by listing Baryta carbonica in capitals under the rubrics: “Irresolution, in acts, in projects, for trifles.” For example, the Baryta carbonica woman and her husband may be looking for a house. They find a well-located house which suits all of their needs and is being offered at well below the market value for a quick sale. The husband is enthusiastic, and he asks his wife, “What do you think?” It is a moment for decision, and yet at that point the woman becomes afraid of the decision. Consequently, she begins to make silly objections, “Yes, but that mountain by the house is so big it may block off all of the air. And the road is full of potholes etc etc.” The indecision is so great that a professional woman, who was looking for an office building to settle her practice for four years without being able to decide on any, would probably never have decided to take one unless she was given this remedy, after which she had her office within a few months.
The lack of self-confidence
In all of these characteristics one can see a great lack of self-confidence. This lack of self-confidence will be most apparent of course in their professional life. Most of the cases that I have treated with Baryta carbonica were cases of professional people with a tremendous inferiority complex. It is so great and bothersome that it leads them to the psychologist and later to the homeopath.
They will always feel inferior to their colleagues, they feel that they are inadequate for their jobs, that they do not know enough to compete with others. They have a strong tendency to compare themselves with others and the conclusion is always that they are inferior. I must insert here an observation of mine, for what it is worth. I have noticed that people with inferiority complexes at one time or another study psychology books trying to find solutions. With the Baryta carbonica patients I have never encountered this inclination in spite of the fact that their inferiority complexes are almost the worst in the whole materia medica, short perhaps of Anacardium.
This lack of confidence is manifested repeatedly in various other traits as well. For example, Baryta carbonica patients may develop an extreme preoccupation with their appearance. They fear that they are not good looking, and they will dwell on the “bad” quality of their face, or the shape of the eyebrows which are not what they should be, there is excess fat in their belly, their nates are too obese etc. They become very attached to their bodies and their appearances; they may become completely preoccupied by some aspect of their body such as their characteristically small testicles or an obese part in their gluteal region. It is also true that the Baryta carbonica woman will indeed have a tendency to excess fat on and around the abdomen and gluteal region. It is characteristic for them also to be repulsed by what they may see as disharmonious appearance in the body of others. They seem not to be able to perceive the deeper aspects of the human being and the appearance becomes all important.
This lack of self-confidence may be very evident also in family relationships. The Baryta carbonica patient often feels that brothers or sisters are superior to him. He feels overwhelmed by the other family members even if he is better educated or has more impressive credentials. He feels he is not strong enough to resist. He constantly observes how the parents treat their brothers or sisters and will always reach the conclusion that they are treated with much more sympathy and appreciation than themselves. For instance, a woman may not like to have her sister at home when entertaining people because she feels the sister is overshadowing her.
Another element is that they cannot be aggressive under any circumstance. No matter what they feel inside, even if someone is very nasty towards them, they cannot fight back. They become cowed, apologetic, and are prone to self-reproach.
The anxiety about health
Baryta carbonica patients can be very anxious about their own health and especially about cancer. These patients will complain constantly, as if life were a tremendous burden for them. They will visit the physician several times to be examined for a supposed cancer of the breast. A typical reaction of a Baryta carbonica case in follow-up interviews, after a few remedies have been wrongly prescribed, is to say at once that they feel better, while continuing to relate the same symptomatology all over again. In the end you wonder to what extent they feel better and you decide on another remedy. And so the story is repeated until you see this lawyer, this doctor, this architect you are treating to be a small and pitiable and fearful individual who so perfectly fits the Baryta carbonica picture. Give the remedy in high potency and wait, wait for several months, before you hear from the patient that he is really better now. And you will see that this time the changes are deep and lasting.
There are patients who will tell you immediately about the changes and you can assess and easily evaluate the situation; Baryta carbonica is not one of them. This anxiety will frequently revolve around let us say a characteristically enlarged cervical gland. When a doctor informs these patients that the enlargement is not pathologically significant, they are readily reassured. However, after one month they seem to forget this reassurance and return to the doctor for another examination of the very same gland, and so on month after month.
It is tremendously bothersome for the homeopath to see such cases of anxiety as these patients will plague the doctor with complaints that are undefined and confused. Their attitude is helpless, wretched, miserable, pitiable, distressed but always soft and non aggressive, as though they were afraid to make the doctor cross, or to make him shout at them. So in their constant complaining they try to be nice and sweet and not overburden the doctor.
For instance a woman will sit up the whole night, not moving at all, in order to prevent a brain stroke which she thinks is coming on just because she ate too much at dinner. She will not dare phone the doctor during the night and she will wait until the morning to visit him.
In such anxiety states they are afraid of everything, of being alone, of the dark, of ghosts, of flying by airplane, of going out from the house, of going crazy, of staying in the house alone, about the future, etc. They can make the life of the persons they live with a misery, but still due to their “mild characters” are easily tolerated by others. All these fears seem to have no ground as such but are rather the side effect of their insecurity and immaturity.
If you do not perceive the general attitude of the patient, the insecurity and immaturity that are behind all these fears and anxieties, the fear of crossing a bridge, fear from noise in the street, fear of strangers, fear while walking, you will be inclined to give Calcarea carbonica. But the fears of Calcarea are really strong and bothersome, whereas the fears of Baryta carbonica do not seem so deep, or substantial.
I have seen cases living for years in such a state and everybody around is used to such conduct but after the remedy they assert themselves and then a commotion arises around them. All of a sudden everybody starts talking about their change and how “assertive” and “domineering they are!”
Another aspect of Baryta carbonica pathology is an inability to think or act independently. Today many cases of Baryta carbonica are missed and other remedies are prescribed instead because of a misconception according to which, in order to administer this remedy, we had to be confronted with a quasi imbecile patient. I have often myself mis-read a Baryta carbonica case for several years before being able to see the real picture of lack of self confidence, of inferiority complexes, naiveté and immaturity lying beyond the phenomena. The Baryta carbonica of today, who is often a scientist, can conduct herself in a such a manner as to mislead one completely, and only these subtle deviations from the norm are left for the contemporary homeopath to discover.
One must be careful in what one tells such a patient for she may follow the physician’s advice quite literally in a very naive way; she may use no discrimination in following instructions. For example, a young woman goes to the general practitioner and complains that her husband dominates her, that she is afraid of him. The doctor advises her to try and free herself from the husband, to live her life more as an independent person. He may even jokingly suggest that she see another man. But this patient could not discriminate, and “at the doctor’s orders” she tried to have an affair with the psychiatrist whom she visited after the general practitioner. It is a foolish sort of behaviour, very naive, very childish. This story was told to the homeopathic physician who prescribed Baryta carbonica, and perhaps spared her from a lot of trouble. Along similar lines, these patients may be rather superstitious.
Remember these basic concepts must dominate, color and underlie the case before you can prescribe this remedy. There are always many aspects to a remedy that indicate or point to the same basic concept or idea, but it is not possible for all of them to be described in a materia medica. The student must use his judgement where these matters are concerned.
The cautiousness and mistrust
A characteristic of Baryta carbonica is a lack of trust and tendency to secretiveness; they never show that they are depressed or in a bad mood. Nobody can understand or should understand the bad mood in which they live, not even their closest relatives or husband.
The patient becomes mistrustful, cautious, reticent with people, and he goes out less and less. He is afraid to meet people. He feels inefficient and thinks people find him stupid or incompetent. He can be over-sensitive and “touchy” such that even little criticisms cause him to withdraw and sulk. As the pathology progresses, the patient’s faculties, and indeed the patient himself, seem to dwindle, to become small, and to enter a marasmic state mentally and physically. The patient may say: “I used to be outgoing and have strong interests. Now I am becoming isolated, and my mind is less active.”
Baryta carbonica can, therefore, produce a type of paranoia in which the main characteristic is that she is being watched by others who are talking about her, making fun of her, criticising her and laughing at her. She may have other kinds of delusions, a few examples being delusions of fire, of every noise being a cry causing her to tremble, a delusion that a beloved friend is sick and dying, or a delusion that her legs are cut off and that she is walking on her knees.
Here is a typical case: A patient has delusions that she hears voices that try to confuse her or harm her. A female voice is constantly audible, as though from far away, trying to confuse her. Voices communicate between themselves. They give advice, tell jokes and at times ridicule and laugh at her; they try to harm her or harm relatives or friends. She says she does not want to die. Sometimes she swears at the voices, telling them to “go to hell”. The voices talk about sexual matters, but she is too shy to give details. She is mistrustful of even the closest friends or relatives. She is jealous, suspicious. At times she is closed and remote, at others open and loquacious. Suddenly she grows wild, has a wild look and retreats to her bed, but she never attacks.
Baryta carbonica was prescribed with long lasting success in this case due to the fact that many of the themes running through this remedy were present in her symptomatology.
The senility and old age
The idea of the dwindling of the faculties is more markedly apparent in elderly Baryta carbonica patients. Just as there is atrophy of other organs, it seems that the mental powers and the brain itself begin to atrophy. In fact, Baryta carbonica is one of the main remedies used in organic brain syndromes with actual cerebral atrophy and imbecility. These are the senile patients who become childish in their behaviour, playing with dolls or tying ribbon in their hair.
It is important for the right prescription of the remedy that the patient should have this childish behaviour. Simple imbecility will not necessarily require Baryta carbonica. But we must understand that these patients who are now senile may have needed the remedy many years ago, and that at that time the picture may have been quite different. They had probably started losing their memory and their comprehension was possibly somewhat affected but still nobody would have noticed the difference, only they themselves knew. Yet the element of inferiority must have been there in one way or another. Therefore we must perceive the remedies as developing in pathology, which goes deeper and deeper, accompanied by analogous manifestations.
Sometimes these older patients may sit and give a feeble, helpless sort of moan. When they attempt to write the size of the letters is very small, so small as to be difficult to read.
Old people needing this remedy may present cardiac, vascular and cerebral problems, enlarged prostate glands, indurated testes, weakness with palpitations, need to lie down, chilliness, loss of memory and aversion to meeting strangers.
They don’t really say what is bothering them but instead just continue whining. Treatment with Baryta carbonica may bring these people several more useful years before their degeneration begins again. In these senile states these patients may even take on a childish appearance. The face is practically free of wrinkles, as if they have lived life only superficially. The feelings have not been sufficiently intense or deep to leave their mark on the face.
Baryta carbonica particularly affects the lymph glands. It produces hypertrophy of the parenchyma of the tonsils with chronic ulceration of the glandular system and atony of the lymphatic system. Its other main focus of action is on the cerebral and ganglionic nervous systems, irritating and depressing them and thus producing a condition resembling mental and physical decay.
There is also a characteristic action on muscular tissue in that it prolongs the contraction of a muscle, both smooth and striated, when it is stimulated. Tendency to aneurism and arteriosclerosis.
You will prescribe this remedy with certainty when you see children who are backwards and scrofulous with a tendency to marasmus who grow very slowly, have enlarged glands, constantly swollen tonsils, who take colds easily and have a pot-bellied abdomen.
Baryta carbonica could also be prescribed in inflammation of the glands with infiltration. The glands become harder and harder. Ulcers become infiltrated at the base. In general all glands can be swollen and indurated, the tonsils, the testes, the parotid, the prostate, the mesenteric glands, the axillary glands, the cervical glands etc. Swelling of glands after scarlet fever. Sensitiveness of glands. Baryta carbonica (and Baryta muriatica) are often indicated in infectious mononucleosis when the lymph nodes have become swollen and very hard. Cystic tumors, fatty tumors. Lipomas that appear in different parts of the body but especially on lids and external ears. Baryta carbonica should be thought of without fail in the swollen and indurated prostate glands of old men.
It should be used in suffocative bronchial catarrh of the old where we see great accumulation of mucus in the lungs like in Antimonium tart. and where there is threatened lung paralysis. These two remedies may complement each other in cases of bronchitis or pneumonia. When in such cases of catarrh you have given Ant -t., and it has not cleared up you can perhaps complement its action with Baryta carbonica and vice versa. The chronic cough of Baryta carbonica reminds one of the tubercular constitution with the swelling of glands with night sweats.
Hypertension is a strong feature in cases of adults who need this remedy.
Weary, as with sleepy eyes during the whole day. After eating, so tired that she cannot raise the hands; she is too weak to masticate. Generally these are chilly patients who have a desire for open air but open air aggravates certain of their complaints. They suffer with lack of vital heat. Taking a part out of the covers like the hand or the feet makes them feel worse (Hep-s.). Cold bathing and cold wet weather aggravates them. Aggravation from lying on painful side; from thinking about their complaints. There is also a strong tendency to take cold.
They often have an aversion to sweets, and Baryta carbonica is one of but a few remedies with an aversion to fruit, especially to plums, but also to bananas. Aversion after eating a little food, sudden aversion while eating. Finally, a peculiar symptom which might lead one to consider Baryta carbonica is the sensation that smoke is being inhaled when, in fact, the air is clean.
Emaciation in old people, premature ageing.
Marasmus of old people.
Convulsions with sexual excitement.
Strong sensation of heat on waking.
Weakness after eating in old people, emissions with weakness; paralytic weakness.
Sensitive during perspiration. Offensive perspiration on left side. Sensation as if forced through a narrow opening. Fainting at night, in crowded room, after eating.
Seminal emissions from lassitude.
Numbness of upper half of body.
Kent writes “The Baryta carbonica patient is often sensitive to the extremes of heat and cold. Hot weather will bring on complaints. Hot weather will cause the blood to mount to the head, and favors apoplectic conditions. It has many complaints of the head like unto the stupor of apoplexy. It has some of the paralytic conditions analogous to the complaints in old apoplectics, and it has been very useful in re-establishing the supply and flow of nerve force along the nerves. It parallels Phos. and it is an excellent remedy for old paralytic conditions that have come from a rupture of a blood-vessel, and therefore pressure upon the nerve supply.”
In vertigo we have several keynotes that may guide you to the remedy like vertigo at night in bed, from motion of arms, on reaching up with hands, from sneezing, walking along a narrow path, walking over a narrow bridge. Vertigo in old people [Ambr., Cupr., Rhus-t., Sin-n.].
The typical Baryta carbonica patient will usually complain that there is an excess of grease in the scalp, that the hair is falling out, that there is itching of the scalp, that there are tensions, pressures and stitches in different parts of the scalp, and in general they will complain a lot with symptoms centered in and around the head. Nondescript pains and sensations that are very bothersome, but she cannot say whether they are inside or outside the head, making her life miserable. When I see these weak nondescript symptoms, that are so bothersome, I do not like them at all, as they indicate that the vital force is not strong enough to give out clear signals. Such cases will relapse again and again before you can make any real progress.
Young people frequently go bald and young women have very scanty and thin hair. When this is the case in a young woman we also see a reduction in, or even total lack of, sexual desire. There is no overt aversion to sex but she is totally disinterested.
The falling of the hair in this remedy is gradual and over a long period of time. Alopecia, where the hair is lost suddenly and in patches, does not belong to the typical pathology of this remedy.
Epidermal cysts in scalp.
There is a sensation of looseness in the head as if the brain were falling from one side to the other, or was rising and falling. A sensation of motion of the brain when moving the head right or left. The brain seems to follow the motion of the head, shifting to the direction the head moves in. The head feels moist.
For swollen glands of occiput Baryta carbonica stands almost alone. Eruption, eczema on head.
Headache from becoming heated by a fire or a stove [Ant-c., Glon.] and ameliorated from open air. Pain from stooping; from exposure to sun. Pressing pain, as if in a vise. Pressing pain outward in forehead. Pressive sticking on the vertex which extends through the whole head, whenever he stands in the sun. Wens.
Thickening of the eyelids, thickening of all the membranes and tissues about the eyes.
Eyelids are agglutinated in the morning on waking.
Ulceration of cornea.
Styes in left eye.
Pain from light [Chin., Con.].
Pupils dilate and contract quickly.
Dazzling vision [Con., Dros., Kali-c.,] .
Fiery sparks in the dark.
Opacity of the cornea.
Itching of the eyes.
Dim vision in old people as if looking through fog or smoke. Foggy vision; in the morning or after eating. Pressure felt deep in the eyes better looking downwards.
There are a lot of different noises in the ears in accordance with an early arteriosclerosis that is a prominent feature in this remedy. Cracking or flapping noises worse when swallowing and chewing, better lying down [Ph-ac.]. Rushing sounds in the ear when breathing. Noises reverberating when blowing nose [Hep.].
Glandular swellings and eruptions about the ears.
Scabby eruptions behind ears [Graph., Lyc., Sil.]. Eruptions on lobes of ear. Pain below ear.
Swelling of glands below ears [Caps.].
Impaired hearing. Impaired hearing from paralysis of the auditory nerve.
Painful dryness inside nose. Sensation of dryness when blowing it.
Epistaxis from blowing the nose mostly before menses.
Swelling of nose and upper lip during coryza in children.
Acute smell. Smells pine smoke.
Coryza worse in the morning [Nux-v.].
Coryza with crusts and thick yellow mucus.
The face has a foolish expression with open mouth much like Bufo, purple and puffed sometimes. In some other cases the face looks old, marasmic, withered. Swollen, indurated and painful submaxillary and parotid glands especially on the right side. Swelling of upper lip, bluish discoloration of lips with deep redness of the whole face.
Lips dry and cracked.
Cannot close the lower jaw without great pain in the articulation.
Exanthemata after swelling of parotid gland [Brom.].
There is a peculiar sensation of cobwebs in the face as if from the white of the egg much like Graph. Scurfy eruptions.
Bleeding of gums. Frequently recurring abscesses of gums [Caust.].
Foul taste in the mouth every morning.
Excessive salivation even during sleep. Offensive smell.
Dryness of mouth in morning. Dryness with thirst [Bry., Nat-m.].
Cracked tongue with burning pain.
Tongue coated, as if fuzzy.
Smarting, burning pain in the tip of the tongue.
Crusts on the palate, behind the base of the uvula.
Paralysis of tongue in old people. Speech wanting after apoplexy [Nux-v.] Whole mouth filled with vesicles especially inside the cheeks.
The buccal cavity feels numb.
Toothache before menses with pale red swelling of the gums and of the cheek.
The throat presents a strong seat of action for Baryta carbonica. There are two important states that point to this remedy: a. difficulty in swallowing solids [Bapt.].
- enlargement and induration of tonsils [Bar-mur.] with recurrent inflammation.
Impossible to swallow due to constriction of esophagus [Phos.].
Cannot swallow her own saliva.
We see that old people can only swallow liquids because of a kind of spasm in esophagus.
There are spasms of esophagus on swallowing [Bapt., Merc-c.] and sensation as if food lodged in esophagus. Stricture of esophagus [Ars., Bapt., Nat-m.] Swelling and infiltration of cervical glands in external throat. Knots of lymphatic glands down the neck under the ear.
You will see a child suffering with recurrent tonsilitis every three or four weeks, with high fever. The tonsils become bigger and bigger with every attack and eventually you will notice that the child is not growing, but is losing weight, and some cervical glands have appeared and are hard and his face has taken on a marasmic aspect. Tenacious mucus.
Burning pain in the throat at night [Nux-v]; on empty swallowing.
Raw pain at night; when swallowing [Arg-m., Stann.]. Fatty tumors in external throat.
The stomach troubles are characterised by indigestion, or better by weakness of digestion.
There is pain or distension or different kinds of disagreeable sensations after eating. Waterbrash, eructations.
Pain after swallowing even a little bit of food.
Sensation of stone in stomach which is ameliorated by eructation.
Extreme weakness after eating.
In an anxiety state the stomach feels so upset that she does not want to eat, though she feels hungry, from fear that she will vomit. She gags and cannot swallow any solid food.
Child is very picky concerning food, will eat only certain kinds. Loss of appetite especially if the child is upset because of jealousy, it eats very small amounts. Aversion to food after eating a little. Aversion to food with hunger [Cocc., Nat-m., Nux-v.].
Sudden aversion to food while eating [Ruta].
Aversion to fruits.
Bread aggravates and warm food aggravates.
Desire for salty things and eggs.
Pain while fasting.
Abdomen is hard, distended and painful. Enlarged abdomen in children [Calc., Sil.]. Pot-bellied children; flabby protruding abdomen in adult women. Abdominal muscles are sore to touch.
Hardness of mesenteric glands [Calc.].
Swelling of inguinal glands.
Constipation, inactivity of rectum, difficult stool.
Ineffectual urging and straining with insufficient stool in old people. Hard, knotty stool.
Hemorrhoids protruding during urination is a strong key note [Bar-m., Kali-c., Mur-ac.]. Hemorrhoids protrude when passing flatus [Phos.]. Hemorrhoids protrude during stool [Calc-p., Rat.].
Formication in anus.
Moisture in anus.
Frequent urination in the aged.
Frequent night urination with prostate enlargement [Calc., Con., Dig., Puls.].
Senile enlargement of prostate gland [Dig., Sel.].
Frequent urination every other day.
Genitalia – male
Baryta carbonica diminishes the sexual passion [Agn., Graph., Lyc., Sil.] to such an extent that it can easily be suppressed or diverted to masturbation. Baryta carbonica also diminishes the size of the genitalia (penis small and cold [Agn., Lyc.] and testes small and indurated).
Increases the size of the prostate gland which is hard.
Erections are wanting, incomplete or delayed.
He falls asleep while having coition before the emission has taken place.
Troublesome erections in the morning on waking [Pall.].
Troublesome erections in the evening with shivering and great desire. Premature seminal emissions.
Genitalia – female
Sexual passion diminished or totally lost. No interest in having sexual intercourse though she can tolerate it. Aversion to sexual intercourse but likes to be caressed. The uterus is very small. The mammae diminish in size, as do the ovaries. Menses are diminished: scanty, feeble, of short duration. Sterility.
In short you will observe that the sexual function is minimised, and the organs which are used to “commune” become smaller and smaller. The natural sexual function slowly disappears, and with it the elimination process which in a normal state takes place through emotional expression, while the person becomes more and more cautious and withdrawn. This absence of an elimination process extracts a reaction from the organism, which enlarges the lymphatics to cope with the toxins. It seems that the poisonous effect which the suppression of the emotions has upon the organism is taken up by the lymphatic glands, which in order to fulfill their cleansing function grow larger and larger.
Passive leucorrhea discharge, whitish thick, persistent. Toothache before menses.
This remedy will frequently be indicated when you see old broken down people with chronic bronchitis, with a lot of mucus that is expectorated with difficulty. The chest feels full but there is no power to expell. You will observe that they are nice little old men with no personality left, they are cute but weak and helpless as a child, heavily dependent on you, with no initiative whatsoever.
Aphonia from constitutional weakness and paralysis of the vocal cords. Voice is entirely lost.
Low deep voice.
Catarrh in larynx and trachea in old people [Seneg.].
Chest is full of mucus but cannot expectorate.
Suffocative cough better lying on abdomen. Impending paralysis of the lungs. The idea here is that the person seems to battle to take out the mucus but the lungs seem to have no power to expell it, they seem too weak. There is a sensation in the larynx as if inhaling smoke or sulphur fumes [Ars., Brom.].
At other times there is copious expectoration in cases of chronic bronchitis of old people [Ammc., Ant-t., Ars., Kreos.]. A lot of mucus in larynx, hoarseness of voice because of mucus [Samb., Sel.]. Asthmatic respiration in old people [Ars.].
Swelling of axillary glands. Pain in the glands of axilla is a keynote. Encysted tumors under the arm-pit. Hidradenitis axillaris.
Palpitation on exertion, palpitation while lying on left side [Cact., Nat-m., Phos., Psor., Puls.] sudden and very strong palpitation [Mang., Stry.], palpitation on thinking about it [Arg-n., Aur-m., Gels., Lycps., Ox-ac.]. Aneurysm in large arteries [Calc., Lyc., Spong.].
There is a lot of pain, stiffness or tension in the different parts of the back. Sometimes this tension is felt like a weight or heaviness. Tension and stiffness in cervical region and in the shoulder blades more so in sharp, cold weather, stiffness in cervical region on waking. The symptoms are similar to Cimic. Stiffness in sacral region.
Tensive stiffness in the loins aggravated very much in the evening, so much so that patient cannot get up from the chair.
It is characteristic of the remedy to have a pulsating feeling in the back, the lumbar region [Lac-c., Sep., Sil.], between scapulae [Phos.] in sacral region [Nat-m.].
Emotional excitement brings on pulsation upon the back.
There is another keynote of this remedy in the back: a sense of restlessness in lumbar region which is ameliorated by passing flatus. Burning pain in dorsal region, left scapulae at night ameliorated by walking.
Drawing pain in sacral region in the evening and on bending backwards. Swelling of glands in nape of neck.
Fatty tumors on neck is another keynote for this remedy [Calc., Thuj.].
Kent writes: “A number of times a patient has said,”Doctor, did you intend to take away that fatty tumor I had on my back?”. The chances are that I did not know he had one. That is generally the way such things appear in the practice of the homeopathic physician, for he does not prescribe for the tumor, and the chances are he thinks little about the tumor in his prescription, he gives the constitutional medicine and they often disappear after a while, and then the patient thinks the doctor has done a wonderful thing. He gets more glory and more credit for curing a wart than he does for curing the patient. The doctor who prescribes correctly turns the vital state in to order.”
These remarks by Dr. Kent could not have been more accurate and more to the point, yet I would like to add that if in a case we have some symptoms pointing to, for instance, Bar-c., and the patient mentions during the interview that he has a fatty tumor in his neck then this physical local symptom can become a confirmatory symptom for your prescription. Any local keynote can become a major point in the analysis of a case, yet local symptoms by themselves are of very little value. I do not think that Dr. Kent would have had any objections to these clarifying remarks of mine.
To evaluate correctly all the information you have about your patient is an art needing more than just knowledge of the materia medica. I would say that it also needs “the advice of experience”.
Fetid foot-sweat, with callosities on the soles which are painful on walking. Soles feel bruised at night, keeping one awake, after rising and walking.
Another peculiar symptom belonging to Bar-c. is a numb feeling creeping up from the knees to scrotum and penis, disappearing as soon as he sits down. The most peculiar symptom affecting the extremities is that the hands are so dry they feel as if they have a dry membrane on them. Scleroderma. Warts on hands and fingers.
Perspiration of feet acrid, cold, offensive, causing rawness between the toes. Itching of thigh [Calc., Sulph.].
Swollen axillary glands with pain in upper limbs.
Trembling of the feet on standing and of hands while writing.
Drawing pain in lower limbs.
Tearing pain while extending lower limbs downwards, tearing pain in knee. Contraction of muscles and tendons.
Formication, numbness of fingers and limbs.
Intolerable itching and tingling over the whole body at night.
Excoriation and oozing in several parts of the skin.
Injuries heal slowly.
Fatty tumors, lipomas, warts, cysts, corns, sarcoma.
It is useful in conditions of malnutrition in children when there is imperfect development of mind or in diseases that have a tendency to slow degenerative changes, like scrofulous glandular indurations of various sorts. It is an extremely valuable remedy in degenerative changes in coats of arteries, aneurism, arterial fibrosis, in apoplexy as the result of senility, etc. Fatty tumors, particularly about neck and back. Paralysis of old people.
In children mental weakness, approaching idiocy. Mental impairment, as a result of masturbation, irresolute, memory lost, no confidence in himself. Senile dementia, with loss of memory.
Apoplexy of old people. Wens. Crusta lactea, with moist crusts, falling of the hair, especially with swelling of the glands. Cataracts.
Deafness, the result of impairment of the auditory nerve, especially in old people. Suppurative inflammations of the middle ear, especially in connection with suppurating tonsils.
Coryza, with great swelling of upper lip.
Paralysis of tongue in old people.
Submaxillary glands swollen, indurated, especially those glands posterior to parotids. Quinsy (it seems to remove the predisposition to quinsy). For suppurating tonsils from every cold; indicated when the tonsils are inflamed with swollen veins, in persons who have habitual sweat of the feet.
Habitual colic of children who do not thrive, who seem hungry but refuse food. Enlarged mesenteric glands, the abdomen is hard and swollen, the swallowing of food is painful, in scrofulous children [Calc-c.]
Constipation, with hard knotty stools [Mag-m.]; hemorrhoids, burning and soreness.
Diminished sexual desire and premature impotency. Enlarged prostate.
Chronic aphonia in scrofulous patients. Capillary bronchitis, suffocative catarrh of old people. Palpitation and distress in region of heart, etc. See Bar-mur. Tendency to sweat of the feet.
It complements Dulcamara.
Remedies that follow well: Ant-t., Con., Chin., Lyc., Merc., Ac-nit., Psor., Puls., Rhus tox., Sep., Sulph., Tuberc. Compare: Digitalis, Radium, Aragallus, Oxyt., Astrag.
Complementary: Dulc., Silica, Psorin.
Antidote for poisonous doses: Epsom salts.
The highest potencies from 200 to CM are the most effective but in very old people 12 or 30 could be tried.