The essential features
Barium sulphuricum is the remedy to try in a Sulphur case that does not respond, where the patient looks timid, confused, and is closed in on himself, with an amelioration in the open air. This remedy should also be thought of in a case that looks like Baryta, where the patient is much more critical than you would expect a Baryta patient to be, though the criticism is internal – the patient is averse to discussing such matters, so does not voice her criticism.
Barium sulphuricum derives very few of its symptoms from the Barytas; many of its characteristics come from its other component: Sulphur. We do of course see the aversion to mental work, the confusion of mind particularly in the morning or evening, the weak memory, especially for words while speaking, the difficulty in concentration and the general tendency towards imbecility which we recognise from the Barytas. But these elements do not suffice to give the true picture of this remedy. The keynotes are the withdrawal and sense of being closed in, the aversion to or even fear of communication, although inwardly we see the tendency to be very critical of others.
The Barium sulphuricum patient is utterly withdrawn into herself, with an internal life of her own which she is unwilling to share with anyone. She can be fearful when in the presence of many people, have aversion to others keeping her company, and may be anthropophobic. The nervous system appears to be in a constant state of stress. In the early stages this stress may manifest as a slight involuntary motion of the head; the head feels loose and falls to the side leant on. Later stages can bring convulsions and epileptic fits.
It is quite understandable that such a closed in person who is unable to express herself will suffer from hysterical fits after a deep disappointment or grief. The patient cannot express her emotions in a normal way, and the loaded feelings eventually explode in an uncontrollable, hysterical outburst, without however showing aggression towards others.
This remedy is suitable in cases of epilepsy where the patient looks totally withdrawn into herself, avoiding people, avoiding society, with fear of starting a conversation or fear of being involved in any conversation. She is not stupid, and does not lack opinions of her own, but she simply does not want any contact, she is fearful and shy, much like Bryonia.
Other particular characteristics of Barium sulphuricum are a strong tendency to fainting spells, a fearful sensation after siesta as if she had not entirely come back from sleep, which is a keynote, and a sense of insecurity which always makes her want more than she needs. The patient is suspicious, suffers from anxiety before midnight, anxiety during heat or with fever, anxiety about the future. She has fear of death and evil in the evening, and talks in her sleep.
Impatience and irritability are very marked. Barium sulphuricum is always in a hurry, and irritable, worse in the evening. They can also be indifferent, indolent, bashful, with loss of will power. All mental symptoms are ameliorated in the open air.
Other symptoms include skin eruptions, especially on the head, with swelling of lymphatic glands, especially the submaxillary. The glands in general are inflamed, swollen and indurated. You may see exophthalmic goitre with trembling of the whole body, of head and hands. It is useful in cataract when the general symptoms agree, and has cured opacity of the cornea. There is painless paralysis, one-sided, mostly right, and paralysis of organs.
The symptoms of this remedy appear mostly in the morning and at night, after midnight. Symptoms come on during and after eating. There is a general amelioration from the open air.
There is a marked physical anxiety.
Flabby feeling in hard parts. Relaxation of muscles. Faintness and the muscles become flabby. Single parts become numb and prickle.
Sensation of external constriction.
Jerking in muscles.
Tension felt all over body.
Pulsation all over the body. Pulse feeble on motion.
Distension of blood vessels.
Tearing pain in glands.
Stiffness of muscles and joints.
Complaints from suppression of foot perspiration.
Takes cold easily; there is a lack of vital heat.
Symptoms come on before and during menses.
Weakness after eating; during menses; while walking.
Aversion to motion.
Heaviness and lassitude. Desire to lie down.
Desire for open air and walking in open air ameliorates.
Many symptoms show themselves or are worse on exertion and ascending stairs. Motion, walking, physical exertion aggravate.
Generally worse from bathing; in a close room.
Ailments after eating to satiety; from cold air; from becoming cold; from cold wet weather.
Pressure aggravates the pain and many symptoms.
Rising up aggravates; ascending aggravates; standing aggravates.
Vertigo; objects turn in a circle; when standing; when walking.
Pain in the evening; better in the open air; better while walking in the open air. Pain in the head worse from coughing; after eating; from becoming heated; from a jar; when lying; moving head and eyes; from pressure; shaking the head; after sleep; from sneezing; when stooping; in the summer; from heat of the sun; violent; when walking; worse in a warm room.
Pain in forehead in the evening; worse on the right side; in the sides of the head; in the temples; boring in forehead and temples. Jerking pain in head.
Sore-bruised pain in head.
Stitching pains in head.
Electric shocks in head.
The head is sometimes cold; there is marked hyperaemia with cold feet.
Empty feeling in the head.
A feeling of looseness of the brain.
A sensation of motions in the head.
Eruptions on the scalp; crusts; moist; pimples.
Itching of the scalp. Formication of the scalp and the hair falls out. Perspiration on scalp.
Inflammation of the conjunctiva, of the lids.
The eyelids are stuck together in the morning.
Dryness of eyes.
Redness of eyes.
Protrusion of eyes.
Pupils dilated and insensible to light.
Itching and lachrymation.
Pain in eyes on exertion of vision; worse from light; aching; burning on using eyes; burning in canthi; pressing; pain as from sand; tearing. Paralysis of optic nerve.
Black spots; specks and flies before the eyes.
Bloody discharge from ear.
Eruption behind ears.
Formication of ears.
Itching in ear, stitching in ear; twitching of ears. Noises in ears; ringing; roaring.
Pain in right ear; behind ear.
Pulsation in ear.
Constant inclination to blow the nose.
Fluent coryza with cough.
Catarrh of the nose with discharge bloody; thick; yellow, offensive.
Epistaxis on blowing the nose. Dryness in the nose.
The nose is often obstructed.
The nose is swollen.
Smell is acute.
The face is cold, pale or red.
The face is red and hot while the extremities are cold.
Drawing pain in face; in submaxillary gland.
Convulsive twitching of face.
Swelling of face; of parotid gland; of submaxillary gland; painful swelling.
Eruptions on the face: acne; boils; crusty; eczema; herpes; pimples.
The lips are dry and cracked.
The gums are detached from the teeth, bleeding, swollen.
The tongue is coated white.
The tongue burns.
Burning vesicles in mouth and on tongue.
Offensive, even putrid odor from mouth.
Taste is bad, bitter or sour.
Pain in teeth worse from cold things; cold drinks; after eating; from warm things.
Constriction in throat.
Dryness and roughness in the throat.
Sensation of a lump in throat.
Enlarged, swollen tonsils with suppuration.
Liquids are forced into nose.
The membrane of throat is covered with exudate and throat is full of viscid mucus.
Pain in throat on empty swallowing.
Spasms of the esophagus on swallowing.
Appetite is variable; wanting; diminished; ravenous; easy satiety. Aversion to food.
Thirst in the evening; unquenchable.
Heat felt in stomach.
Sensation of coldness in stomach.
A sensation of emptiness.
Pressing pain after eating; tenderness.
Eructations; after eating; bitter; empty; sour; watery; waterbrash.
Fullness in stomach even after eating a little.
Weak and slow digestion.
Nausea in the morning.
Vomiting; bile, mucus, sour, watery.
The abdomen is distended with flatulence and feels full.
Abdomen large and hard; the mesenteric glands are enlarged.
Pain in abdomen in the morning, after eating; during menses; on motion; on pressure; after stool. Pain in inguinal region; cramping; cutting; before stool.
Constipation; inactivity of rectum; difficult stool; unsatisfactory stool; hard, knotty stool.
Constant or frequent ineffectual urging to stool.
Pain during and after stool; pressure; soreness; stitching; tenesmus.
Diarrhea; worse at night from taking cold; yellow watery stools.
Crawling and itching in rectum and anus.
Constant moisture at anus.
Retention of urine.
Urging to urinate; constant; frequent; sudden, must hasten to urinate or lose it. Urination frequent at night.
Involuntary during the night, copious.
Discharge from urethra gleety; purulent.
Genitalia – male
In the male there is no sexual desire and erections are wanting. Induration of testes. Sweat on the scrotum.
Seminal emissions nightly.
Genitalia – female
In the female desire is also absent.
Leucorrhea: smarting; copious; acrid, excoriating.
Menses scanty; suppressed.
Burning of the vulva.
Catarrh of the trachea with copious mucus.
Voice is hoarse; rough; lost; weak.
Respiration is accelerated; asthmatic; difficult at night and on ascending; rattling.
Cough in the morning after rising; in cold air, in damp cold air; asthmatic; worse talking; from tickling in larynx and trachea; tormenting; whooping cough. Expectoration in the morning and evening; difficult.
Catarrh of chest with marked constriction and oppression.
Pustules on the chest.
Itching of chest; of mammae.
Palpitation: at night; anxious; tumultuous.
Itching of the back.
Feeling of weight in the back.
Pain in the back, before and during menses; while sitting.
Pain in lumbar region in evening and before and during menses. Drawing pain in lumbar region; in the sacrum. Pulsation in lumbar region.
Weakness in lumbar region.
Burning in spine and in lumbar region. Stitching in back, in cervical and lumbar regions. Stiffness in the back; in cervical regions.
Tension in back.
Cold hands and feet.
Cracked hands and fingers. The hands are very dry.
Perspiration of hands, of palms.
Offensive sweat of feet; suppressed foot sweat.
Painful eruptions on the limbs; pimples.
Heaviness of limbs.
Itching limbs; thighs.
Jerking of the lower limbs.
Numbness of the upper limbs; hands; fingers.
Tearing pain in all the limbs.
Bruised limbs and joints.
Stitching: in knees; forearm; wrist; lower limbs; thighs; legs; feet.
Painless paralysis of upper limbs.
Tension of thighs.
Cramps in the calf.
Ulcers on legs; weakness of lower limbs.
Falling asleep late.
Sleepiness after dinner.
Dreams; anxious; frightful; of misfortune; vivid.
Fever evening and night; alternating with chilliness; burning heat; flushes of heat.
Shaking chills; one-sided chill; generally left-sided.
Chilliness in the open air; in the least draft.
Coldness in bed; external coldness; daily spells of coldness.
Perspiration after midnight; cold; while eating; offensive; on single parts; during sleep; on waking.
The skin is very sensitive.
Burning skin at times; otherwise coldness; cracked skin, dry. Pale skin; red spots.
Eruptions: burning, with yellow moisture; dry; worse after scratching, place bare after scratching; eating; scabby; smarting; stinging; suppurating; nodular. Tubercles; herpes; ringworm; pimples; rash.
Vesicular eruptions; vesicles after scratching.
Moisture of the skin after scratching.
Stitching in the skin after scratching.
Excoriation of the skin.
Itching at night; itching, stinging; in a warm bed.
Small wounds slow to heal and often fester.
Small stinging warts.
Skin eruptions. Swelling and induration of lymphatic, submaxillary, parotid and prostate glands. Exophthalmic goitre. Paralysis, one-sided, mostly right; of organs. Painless paralysis of upper limbs. Cataract. Opacity of the cornea. Hysterical fits.
From 6x to the highest.