Impure Calcium Carbonate. CaCO3.
Includes symptoms of Calcarea acetica and Calcarea ostrearum, for which Hahnemann also made provings. Koch’s provings were made from carbonate of lime precipitated from a solution of chalk in hydrochloric acid. Trituration of the middle layer of oyster shells.
The essential features
The remedy picture of this great polychrest needs to be introduced with a few preliminary remarks.
Calcarea carbonica is a remedy which covers all stages of life, from infancy to old age, and all stages of pathology: on the physical level from the common cold to malignant tumours, and on the emotional/mental levels from simple anxiety to manic depression and schizophrenia.
One intriguing observation I have noted in the course of my clinical experience is that a disproportionately high percentage of babies, perhaps 40%, require Calcarea carbonica in the beginning of their lives, while this remedy is indicated much less frequently in adults. Why then, may we ask, do we not see more Calcarea adults?
The explanation is not obvious, nor easy to perceive, and is a function of the developmental process, from baby to adult. In babies and young children, the need for calcium is tremendous. It is the main element necessary for the development of the skeleton and teeth and the quantities required at this young age are enormous. If there is even the smallest disturbance in the absorption of calcium it becomes apparent through a certain group of symptoms, which are identified as belonging to Calcarea carbonica. This explains the applicability of this remedy to young children. As the child grows and the need for calcium decreases, one of the following takes place:
The disturbance is automatically corrected and the person grows into health;
The absorption problem is not corrected and is accompanied by new layers of disease disturbance; or The absorption problem is not corrected and no new layers are created.
In (b) the absorption problem is not corrected and the patient slowly progresses along the road to chronic disease. As he encounters various stresses in the course of his life, his symptomatology changes in accordance with each new layer of disease disturbance that is superimposed upon the original
layer of disease predisposition.
For example, grief superimposes a layer of Ignatia and Natrum muriaticum on a constitutional Calcarea case. A vaccination further superimposes a Thuja (or Morbillinum) layer. Then influenza adds a layer of Influenzinum. In such a case you will not cure the patient unless you follow the exact reverse sequence in prescribing that is, in my example: first Influenzinum, then Thuja, then Natrum muriaticum, then Ignatia, and only finally Calcarea Carbonica. The exact sequence and time frames are determined not by theoretical speculations, but only from the symptomatology of the patient. This is the concept of ‘layers of disturbance’ referred to in my earlier writings, and this is also the idea underlying the theory of the miasms.
In (c) the problem is not corrected, yet the stresses mentioned above do not create new layers. They serve to only exacerbate the Calcarea symptoms and shift the pathology to a deeper level. The patient retains his Calcarea symptomatology and, in this case, remains a Calcarea case throughout his life. His case is not complicated; there is only the Calcarea layer and no others. It is for this reason that I have said that if we find an older individual whose symptomatology calls for Calcarea carbonica, that person tends to have quite a strong constitution. In these instances it does not matter how severe or malignant the case may be; the possibility for a cure is great.
The Calcarea state itself, according to my experience, is one which is seldom added as a new layer, but is, rather, a more basic, ‘ground-level’ disturbance. These persons are usually relatively healthy and well balanced; their solidity and stability is not easily undermined. Finally though, when their vitality is compromised through some stress, such as excessive allopathic drugging, the Calcarea state of pathology surfaces.
For instance one often finds that elderly patients who have received Calcarea carbonica for lumbago again require Calcarea carbonica when they develop another pathology, e.g. bronchitis. This need not always be the case because, at other times, an acute remedy such as Belladonna, Rhus toxicodendron, etc. may be required without the subsequent necessity to return to Calcarea or to any other deeply acting remedy.
In response to our question, in today’s world only a small percentage of those we see have constitutions strong enough to retain the Calcarea layer throughout their lives. Therefore, in our practices, the majority of cases fall into the second category. This means that even those adults who might have begun as Calcarea babies will usually have at least one additional layer that masks this underlying one. This is why, relative to babies, we see so few cases of Calcarea carbonica in adults.
Some orientation points
Calcarea carbonica is such a huge remedy with vast symptomatology, that the student can get lost in it. He might think that every case is a Calcarea case or that none of his cases have all of these symptoms. For the sake of the novice student and in order to provide clarification for those who are experienced, I will present my observations regarding the symptoms that usually point to this remedy.
I have separated the indications into two categories: the keynotes of Calcarea during physical ailments and the keynotes during mental disturbances. Ninety percent of the cases of Calcarea have been recognised because they exhibited all or some of the following symptoms. During physical pathology we usually observe: a general aggravation from cold and wet weather. The patients are chilly, cannot get warm, especially their feet which are cold and at the same time may have a slight clammy sweat. They need to wear socks in bed and cannot go to sleep unless they feel that their feet are warm.
a tendency to be overweight and obese, and to sluggishness;
perspiration during sleep, around the neck; desire for sweets and soft-boiled eggs; vertigo in high places.
During mental pathology we most often see:
that patients have numerous fears, such as a fear of the dark, of ghosts, of thunderstorm, of high places, of mice, of dogs, of infections, etc.;
a prevailing fear of insanity;
a particular fear that others will observe and perceive their mental confusion;
despair of recovery; an overwhelming anxiety about health, especially the fear of cancer.
If the cause for the pathology is exhaustion after physical or mental exertion, then the case is further confirmed.
The practitioner should not get lost in the vast array of symptoms but should look for these main keynotes of the remedy. Of the above ten symptoms, at least four or five should be found in a Calcarea case. The following observation regarding Calcarea is particularly important:
The characteristic constellation of physical symptomatology may change and/or diminish as the mental pathology becomes more prominent. For example, during the stage of initial fears where the patient fears heights, the characteristic perspiration and aggravation from cold and wet weather and from dampness are present. However, when the case deepens in pathology to the point where fears dominate his life – fear of cancer or heart disease, fear of insanity, etc. – the physical symptomatology and the earlier fears often subside, and the prototypical picture of Calcarea is lost or becomes unclear. For example, in such cases it is possible to find that the person is no longer chilly, or that the usually cold feet of the Calcarea subject are neither cold nor damp. Also, the desire for eggs might disappear. At this stage, therefore, it becomes easy to confuse Calcarea carbonica with other remedies, such as Arsenicum or Phosphorus.
In addition, the development of pathology in stages must always be considered when looking for ‘guiding symptoms’ in a case. For this reason, the practitioner must not refer to the above list of symptoms as an unvarying, stereotypical guide. It is there to provide a guideline by which to identify the remedy which is valid for the majority of Calcarea cases. It is, for obvious reasons, impossible to enumerate all the aspects and combinations of symptoms that a Calcarea case can assume.
Flabbiness and obstinacy
Calcarea has a unique and characteristic type of polarity: the ideas of flabbiness and obstinacy. This may relate to the physical body (flabbiness of muscles vs. hardness of tissues) and/or to the mind and emotions (which may also be ‘flabby’ and / or ‘hardened’). To simplify matters, we might say that the pathology in Calcarea patients develops from a calcium imbalance, either a lack of calcium or an excess. Cases that evolve from a lack of calcium far outnumber those from excess. A caution, however, to remember is that this is merely a generalisation. Not all cases of Calcarea can be classified into such simplified patterns.
In the cases of calcium deficiency, where the organism does not absorb or metabolise enough calcium, the result is softness in places where the natural state is hardness. There is softness in the bones and teeth, and flabbiness of the muscles, especially the muscles of the heart. On the other hand, wherever an excess of calcium develops, the result is excessive deposits of calcium in segments within individual bones, deformities of the bones, excessive hardness of the nails, scrofulous swelling of the muscles and hard swelling of the lymphatic glands. In the realm of mind and emotions, this translates into an inflexibility in thinking and into obstinacy.
There is also the possibility of uneven or irregular nutrition of bones: As Nash explains: ‘One part of a bone, the vertebrae for instance, is nourished, while the other is starved.’
As stated above, it is typically the idea of softness and flabbiness that prevails in Calcarea Carbonica. The word ‘flabbiness’ implies more than just ‘weakness’: patients are weak and soft; the element that gives stamina, strength and support to their tissues is missing; their mental and muscle tone is deficient. The general flabbiness ultimately leads to disintegration where the organism feels that it will soon collapse, mentally and physically. In addition to knowledge of physiology the perceptive faculties must be at a keen and functioning level in order to understand what occurs in a system that cannot absorb this element so basic to its existence. What you will observe is how the lack of stamina and strength, which result from the malabsorption, affect all the levels: physical, mental and emotional. Any small exertion can trigger a state of exhaustion. The patient has a sensation of inner trembling; all kinds of fears prevail. His mind can deal only with trivial matters; it cannot address the more essential, important and useful things because this would require an effort, and call on reserves of power and stamina that he does not have. His mind does not have the power to overcome difficulties, to endure, nor to concentrate and so, ultimately, the Calcarea subject feels compelled to give up. He then either withdraws and stays homebound or gives himself over to medical care.
This trait, the fixation on little ideas, is characteristic of the remedy, but the degree to which it is evident may vary and depends upon the stage of the mental pathology. It is peculiar to see how, under the pathology of Calcarea, a mind that used to be sound and whole, becomes fixated on little things. In its mildest form this keynote may appear as a simple inflexibility of thinking. At a later stage it becomes a striking obstinacy in daily life, and ultimately, a preoccupation with trivial ideas that amounts almost to psychosis.
By the time Calcarea has degraded to a relatively serious condition, his mind loses its perspective and gets obsessed with little ideas. It is not merely that the Calcarea patient pays attention to trivialities and details; these minor concerns prevail and actually dominate his life and mind. This kind of inflexibility of mind, the fixation on minor issues, makes it impossible for him to think about anything else. He does not even seem to realise that his focus is on small, insignificant things, and that he is overlooking the essential. Kent describes this state graphically:
‘When the Calcarea patient begins to relate to his friends how he feels they all naturally say to him, ‘Why don’t you put that aside; that doesn’t amount to anything,’ but to him it is a big thing, and he cannot put it aside; all these little things combine to convince him that he is going crazy.’
While in this state, Calcarea patients may talk endlessly about these little things that are of no interest to anyone else. Kent asked some of his Calcarea patients why they behaved this way, and he generally got an answer like: ‘I tried a good while to stop it, and when I could not I just kept right on at it, for it seemed to do me good.’
This type of rigidity of thinking may be coupled with a laxity of the mind, as the underlying polarity of Calcarea suggests. As a result, the affected subject loses his ability to think deeply and consistently. Kent relates that there is also a particular inability to calculate: ‘He cannot add and subtract even in the simplest forms… He may have been a philosopher, and he has lost his ability to think out things in philosophy. He has lost his mental depth.’
Obstinacy may combine with flabbiness of the intellect to form wishful thinking, as Kent’s lucid remarks concerning this trait illustrate:
‘He forms conclusions out of his emotions rather than from his intelligence. He forms conclusions about things as he wants them to be. You would almost think he wants to grow crazy, he keeps talking about it so much. He is unable to accept any sort of argument, and this grows worse and worse. He is unable to accept the assurance of his physician, in whom he has always had confidence. It is no use, it seems, to try to reason with him; yet he is not so far gone but he can reason about other things except his own mental state.’
A Calcarea patient may say, ‘I am restless on a mental level. I like to be stimulated intellectually, philosophically; this is, perhaps, where my restlessness lies’, as was the case with one Calcarea patient I had. However, this kind of ‘philosophical interest’ does not represent an ability to think deeply, nor does it at all resemble the genuine involvement with philosophical matters that we see in Sulphur patients. On the contrary, it arises from his fear of dying. This fear of death is at the core of what stimulates the patient to ask questions such as ‘Is there a God? What kind of God?’ Worrying about salvation is a striking symptom in Calcarea persons. This point will be elaborated upon further in the chapter on Calcarea children, where this kind of religious inquiry is most frequently seen.
The fixation on little things is also the feature that is responsible for the well-known obstinacy of Calcarea, especially in children. If their mind is stuck on an idea, they cannot set it aside. Their desire must be satisfied and this takes on great importance for them. They must gratify their need in order to stay balanced and even seem to derive strength from it.
Calcarea people tend to be very attached to their work. They are industrious, conscientious and hard-working, and they also have a fear of poverty. Their industriousness compels them to push themselves, which in turn contributes to a growing sense of being over-exerted. They feel exhausted, but ignore this and push themselves further despite their exhaustion. In these cases of overexertion (which may, ultimately, result in a breakdown) we see different stages:
In the first stage, they are easily irritated. They become irritable, even from trifles. The patient is easily riled, and a few words are enough to make him fly into a temper, especially if he feels that demands are being put on him. He feels fatigued after far less exertion than was previously required, and begins to complain about his workload, etc. He is easily offended and tends to take everything negatively. He is easily excited and tends to break out in a sweat when a situation seems too much for him. His emotions are easily excited and as easily prostrated.
Vertigo and confusion are often present, as Calcarea’s circulation tends to be disturbed. The patient has palpitations, quivering, inner trembling, and physical exhaustion. It is, in particular, in cases with nervous irritability and excitement that we see patients who tremble easily: from fear and anxiety, after coitus, when waking up at night, after frightful dreams, from any mental or physical exertion. It is as if the muscles cannot take any exertion. Their quivering creates the sensation of internal trembling.
The Calcarea person is unable to apply himself to anything that requires an effort. Focusing his attention becomes increasingly difficult; his mind wanders when he attempts to concentrate. His brain becomes ‘paralysed’ when he makes the effort to speak. Words get mixed up and confused; he tend to make mistakes and slips of the tongue. He feels confused and is unable to remember the subject of the conversation. His memory is weak. His confusion while reading is such that he has to stop and try to remember where he was. Due to the weakness of mind and difficulty of thinking, his self-confidence disappears; he is easily overwhelmed by his work.
This mental exhaustion predisposes the patient to have an apprehensive, anxious disposition with a tendency to worry about the future, about his health and about salvation (as mentioned before). He feels restless anxiety. He is easily frightened and his agitation prevents him from resting and may even bring on palpitations, ebullition of blood, and shocks or jerks felt in the pit of the stomach. His fear tends to rise up from the stomach. During this phase, in which Calcarea individuals begin to break down and to develop anxiety, they are often troubled by sleeplessness, especially after 3 a.m. They may sleep well for hours, but then awaken around 3 a.m., and cannot fall asleep again.
In the next stage the patient enters a period where even the least responsibility looms over him as a tremendous responsibility, so large he no longer feels able to cope. He feels overwhelmed; situations and problems seem insurmountable. He becomes averse to his work and in fact dreads it and the responsibilities and demands made on him by others. His indisposition to any kind of work, aversion and loathing of work, is accompanied by a general mood of tremendous irritability and a heaviness in his lower limbs. Anxiety and the ‘fear that something bad is going to happen’ are evident.
He feels a very great urge to leave his business, yet he stays on.
If, at this stage, some additional stress is encountered (e.g. a grief or an acute illness complicated by allopathic drugging), the patient will progress to a far deeper state of pathology. He will develop a tremendous anxiety about his health and, consequently, a very pronounced fear of cancer or a fear of insanity. The intensity of these two fears – that of cancer and that of insanity – tend to have an inverse relationship; that is, if the fear of cancer is quite strong, the fear of insanity is minimised and vice versa. The patient also has the disconcerting impression that other people can, simply by looking at him, perceive his insecurities and read his mind. These fears will be discussed further in the sections ‘Fear of Insanity’ and ‘Despair of Recovery’.
Calcarea persons are able to endure this state of overexertion for a long time. Eventually they arrive at a stage where they cannot continue with their business, and, therefore, quitting of business due to over-exhaustion is a keynote of this remedy. Kent describes this situation in the following way: ‘A Calcarea patient sometimes takes an aversion to work, and quits work. He will quit a most thriving business, and go home and do nothing, after being fatigued in carrying on the business until it reaches a most thriving condition. He says business is not good for him. He is tired of business, and when he goes to his business again it seems as if it would drive him crazy. He does not want to see it, he does not want to know anything about it. Of course, you can readily see that it is not so much in the Calcarea patient that he is driven to weakness and fatigue from distress in business, although it has that, but that which I am speaking about is that he has overworked until he has given out, and right in the midst of his success he quits his business and goes home, and leaves all-it looks just as if he were lazy.’
And he adds an important differentiation: ‘It is not such persons as were born that way, born lazy, never would work; but those that become lazy.’ This is the symptomatology that has given Calcarea the reputation for curing cases that are in a state of breakdown, from prolonged overexertion and worry.
Fear of insanity
This third stage, in which the mental condition is the main problem, is much more severe and disturbing than the previous one. The general condition of the patient is one in which he has the feeling that he is really breaking down mentally and does not believe that he can function under the present circumstances. His mind is weak, and he forgets important things. His thoughts are occupied with a lot of small things, while the main and important issues remain unresolved. He is unable to concentrate, nor solve business problems. All the while the stress continues. He may or may not have left his business, yet the expenses keep accumulating and he has to pay the bills. As a consequence, he despairs.
Against this background the patient begins to develop a very pronounced fear of cancer, or to develop a fear of insanity. In this section we will focus on the latter.
The Calcarea patient usually keeps to himself the secret that he feels he may be going insane. He conceals it for a long time, because he fears that were he to admit it, others might think that he is really psychotic and commit him to a mental institution. He dwells upon his state of mind day and night and cannot sleep. This is a fear that, in time, becomes overwhelming, and the more he continues to endure stress, the more the fear develops. Eventually, the mind is constantly occupied with this fear.
At this stage, the practitioner may experience clinical situations such as the following: A patient comes to your office and relates different ailments. While you are listening to them, paying close attention, a breakdown suddenly occurs. He or she begins to cry; tears trickle down the face and despair becomes apparent. You ask him or her why they are so desperate. After some hesitation they finally confess their fear of going crazy. If they do start telling their real problem, they will eventually confess everything that is happening to them.
Apart from the fear that they are going crazy, Calcarea also has a fear that others can recognise their mental confusion. They feel they are being observed suspiciously by the people in their environment, that they can be ‘looked through’ or ‘seen’ by them. As Kent puts it: ‘He thinks people look at him suspiciously, and he looks at them suspiciously, and he wonders why they do not say something to him about it.’ Similar to the above situation, this information is not volunteered by the patient, but if you suspect that the case is Calcarea carbonica and start inquiring, especially about these matters, he will confess his fear to you with some relief.
This is a condition bordering on delusion, and it may truly be accompanied by delusions, especially when closing the eyes, even during the daytime. They see horrible visions and must open their eyes immediately and try to persuade themselves that they are not crazy, that what they are experiencing is only a trick of their mind. This is a far cry from a healthy mind, as we can easily perceive, but it is not yet real psychosis, as they are still able to control themselves in their dealings with others. However, at this stage, Calcarea people definitely feel that they are quickly approaching insanity.
They also might confess to you at this time that they are talking to themselves. When in the presence of others they are able to maintain their self-control, but once they are alone in the house they start carrying on a conversation with themselves. This is particularly true in cases of prolonged grief. We can picture the case of a woman whose husband has not been faithful, and she has suppressed her anger and emotions against her husband for a long time. She then starts talking to herself, and says a lot in these ‘conversations’ without a partner. It is a state of confusion, weakness, and breakdown of the intellect.
Such a state eventually transforms into real psychosis. The Calcarea psychosis usually assumes a passive form. Calcarea patients have numerous delusions which develop very quickly, such as the person seeing horrid visions upon closing the eyes, grotesque faces, etc. We also find delusions such as the impression that clothing hanging over the back of a chair is really a person sitting there or that someone is walking beside her (similar to Petroleum or Silica). In Hahnemann’s proving, we find the example of an illusion: ‘she heard a rumbling and clattering over her bed, which made her shiver’.
Concerning Calcarea’s behaviour when in company, they mostly sit and do nothing, or else they do strange little things like play with their fingers all the time, break sticks or cut little pieces of paper. Margery Blackie reports a case where the patient open and shut her handbag the entire time she was with her.
The general idea in Calcarea psychosis is a passive state with delusions, coupled with the motif of fixation on little things, which was discussed earlier. The delusions may also come on quickly in serious fever cases, as in cases of pneumonia or pyelonephritis. Two examples from Hering’s Guiding Symptoms are: ‘Mania; sees many curs [dogs] crowding around him; fights them off’, ‘Sees and plays with cats and other animals in delirium.’ In these more acute states, we see a greater degree of restlessness and activity. Another example from Hering is: ‘Feels as if she would like to run up and down and scream.’ Kent comments: ‘Feels as if she could not help it, she must scream. That occurs in persons overwrought, dreadfully excited from a loss in the household by death.’
During an acute exacerbation of this chronic psychosis, a pronounced aggression might surface. Then conditions resembling the following description by Hering ensue: ‘Throws herself forcibly about, rolls on ground, tries to catch hold of bystanders’ clothing, which she puts into her mouth, bites and spits, makes a loud barking noise, all with open, dull eyes.’
This condition does not assume the extent and the intensity that occurs in Belladonna or Stramonium, whose delirium is much more characterised by activity, desire to bite, spit and so on. On the whole, Calcarea tends to passivity in delirious and delusional states.
I must note here that the differential diagnosis between remedies is often a function based on the degree of severity of the symptoms, as the symptomatology, especially in acute states, is often quite similar.
Fear and phobia
In 1976, during an international seminar in Athens, I heard Dr. Paschero, the renowned homeopath, say that Calcarea has all the fears of the materia medica, and that unless the patient was full of such fears you could not prescribe this remedy, or that if the patient had a lot of fears then the remedy was most probably Calcarea. Though it is true that Calcarea has a lot of different fears it is equally true that not all Calcarea persons have fears. Some of them actually have none! (I shall discuss this point in the Calcarea Child section, because it is especially in younger children that we often do not see any fear.)
It is equally important to realise that the fears should be evaluated according to their intensity and severity. A fear in a mild form may accompany some physical ailments, while at other times, the same fear becomes overwhelming and the physical complaints disappear. There are certain fears in particular that point to the remedy when they prevail and totally overwhelm the patient.
An overwhelming fear of thunderstorms, for example, would not lead one to conclude that the remedy is Calcarea, though Calcarea has this fear. An overwhelming fear of insanity, without any other accompanying symptoms, indicates Mancinella rather than Calcarea. However, when one of these fears is coupled with an overwhelming fear that others will observe their mental state, it points exclusively to Calcarea. It is a strong enough keynote that, if the patient has this symptom, even without additional fears or physical ailments and modalities, Calcarea is the indicated remedy. One of the fears that in Calcarea can grow to tremendous intensity is the anxiety about health and the fear of death (thanatophobia). When physical ailments prevail, this fear can be of mild intensity, and the Calcarea patient will not pay much attention to it. This anxiety, however, is capable of increasing to such a degree, and the fear of death can be so overwhelming, that the patient lives in an inferno; his life is totally destroyed by it. In this case, the fear dominates and is the first thing of which the patient complains. The most common forms of this fear are: fear that he will die from cancer or heart disease, or that he will lose his reason. The fear can become the main pathology. In contrast, the fear that he will catch or has caught some contagious disease, is often to be found in Calcarea persons, but I have never seen it as the main pathology in mental cases. The symptom, anxiety about health, will be discussed in further detail in the next section.
Another tremendous source of anxiety is a guilty conscience. The patient develops it to such a degree that neither reasoning nor logic can pacify him. The guilt develops over little things that would have been ignored by another person, but in Calcarea, due to the focus on ‘little things’ the problem is so exaggerated that it overwhelms the whole person and his life becomes intolerable.
Fear of high places or vertigo in high places is one of the main ailments that accompanies most cases of Calcarea carbonica. They may really freeze with fear when they go up a ladder, even three steps above the ground. This fear is so great that many times they dream that they are standing in a high place and feel vertigo. Calcarea cannot even tolerate somebody else standing close to the brink of a high place; they shout to the person not to go so close to the edge of the balcony for fear they will fall. They are also afraid to descend stairs, especially if they are stairs without a railing. Calcarea has a strong fear that a misfortune will happen to him or to others or that bad news will come. A fear of being alone is also often evident. A special time for their fears is when evening draws near, as was confirmed by Hahnemann.
Other fears that appear often in Calcarea subjects are the fear of: thunderstorms, supernatural things, ghosts, infection and microbes, poverty, mice, insects, spiders (arachnophobia), leaving the house, public places (agoraphobia), narrow places (claustrophobia). There is also an anxiety or anguish that is excited by listening to cruel stories.
In the early stages, these fears and anxieties aren’t usually overwhelming and typically accompany physical ailments. Calcarea patients may have many of these fears, but sometimes they have only a few or even only one.
If we compare Phosphorus with Calcarea carbonica during the stage of fear of thunderstorms and of the dark, we see that Phos. is much more open than Calcarea, and that the Phos. fears are much more accentuated. The fear of thunderstorms is terrible in Phos.; they express a desire to hide under a table during a storm. Calcarea people would never communicate their fear in such a strong manner. Phos. persons also manifest their anxiety about health in earlier stages than does Calcarea. In Calcarea the anxiety about health develops in association with a pervasive anxiety about life and the future. Phos. could be called a thin Calcarea, with more accentuated fears and with a great desire for cold water. The perspiration in Phos. is less than Calcarea, while their vitality tends to be higher. Phos. is also more responsive than Calcarea.
Despair of recovery
The anxiety about health can assume high intensity, even when there are no signs of physical illness. One proving illustrates: ‘She thinks she is sick to death, hypochondriacally, but she couldn’t complain about anything.’ Calcarea patients can have a fear of any type of disease-heart disease, liver or intestinal disease, etc.-but the fear of cancer is the most prominent. Their anxiety drives them to visit one doctor after another. Sometimes all it takes is a slight colitis or a slight feeling of pain that originates in the abdomen, for the patient to become totally preoccupied with this little discomfort. It is a state of unbearable anxiety, coupled with inner trembling and palpitations that only serve to exacerbate the anxiety. They go to the specialist who can find nothing wrong with their colon, and this, instead of pacifying them, only makes things worse. They are now certain that they have cancer and that it will be discovered too late.
While engrossed in their suffering, Calcarea is quick to conclude that nothing can be done in their case, nothing can save them. They become desperate and believe that no one can help them. They despair of their recovery. This tremendous despair overwhelms them and they cannot be pacified. You see the despair in their expression, their utter hopelessness. In this symptom, despair that they will never recover, Calcarea, together with Arsenicum, leads the entire materia medica.
This despair may not be revealed during the first homeopathic interview; the Calcarea patient may think the practitioner is his last chance and, consequently, waits to see what can be achieved. If Calcarea isn’t given after the initial visit, however, he will, during the second visit, express his despair. If the practitioner tries to persuade the patient that his case is not that serious and that, in all probability, something can be done for him, his words fall on deaf ears. The patient reiterates that there is no hope for him and that he cannot be cured; he knows this for a fact.
These cases can be confused with those of Nitricum acidum. Both remedies possess great anxiety about health, and both have a desire for sweets and salt. Where they differ is that in Calcarea the desire for sweets is stronger than that for salt, while in Nit-ac. the reverse is true.
Depression from grief
Calcarea many times has a depression so severe that it recalls the Aurum state. However, the suicidal disposition is never as strong as in Aur. The Calcarea depression is accompanied by despair and physical fatigue; the patient is unable to do anything; there is no stamina, whether mental, emotional, or physical; and the world looks altogether black for them. They may just sit around and say absolutely nothing. People surround the Calcarea patient and talk, but he or she doesn’t want to do anything, doesn’t want to enter into a conversation and even refuses to speak. When Calcarea persons are alone in such a state, though, they may talk to themselves, as was mentioned earlier.
These patients are tired of life; they do not want to continue living. They have suicidal thoughts, although, as previously mentioned, this symptom is not strong as, for example, in Aurum. A characteristic modality is that both anxiety and the tendency to commit suicide are especially strong during perspiration. They think of stabbing themselves as a means of finishing their lives.
The melancholy and despondency may be coupled with a kind of anguish. They feel dejected and moody and have a strong, irresistible tendency to weep. Weeping may be brought about by admonitions or by trifles, and they are inclined to complain and grieve about offences long past. The patients moan and whine, weep and whimper. They feel forsaken and pity themselves and do not want to be consoled. Consolation even tends to aggravate their state.
Many times, though not always, following an experience of grief, the Calcarea patient may enter a kind of hysterical state where weeping alternates with spells of wild laughter. Then they can enter into a peculiar state of such excitement that they want to scream and to shriek in order to get it out of their systems. Violent screaming spells may occur; they feel that if they do not scream they will go crazy; it is as if they have to compensate for the hysteria. They feel tremendous restlessness; they walk up and down in the room and feel as if they should do something. Kent provides a vivid picture of this kind of excitement after grief:
‘The mother loses her child, or husband; or a young girl loses her intended. She is broken-hearted, and greatly excited. It is a hysterical state. And yet I have seen the same in men. I remember one. It came upon him from business cares. He had that same feeling; he would walk up and down the house, he said he felt as if he must fly or jump out of a window, or do something. That is analogous to the mental state found in hysteria, or a great state of nervous excitement.’
Mental and emotional symptoms
The anxiety is, as was said, often worse in the evening. Some modalities of the anxiety states from Hahnemann’s proving are:
‘anxious thoughts in the evening, coming and going, with delusions and fear of dark, tries to look into lighted areas; all disappearing after passage of flatus. Anxiety and oppression of chest after stool. Anxious waking at night, after midnight, often from anxious dreams. Great anxiety with palpitation of the heart. In his anxiety states, he may make a nuisance of himself, tormenting those around him day and night.’
The provings also report, as a polarity to the aggravation of anxiety and fears in the evening, an amelioration of the mental state in the evening: ‘Vexed and peevish in daytime, in the evening bright and inclined to conversation.’ ‘First part of day anxious, last part of day cheerful and satisfied with himself.’ The abundance of thoughts and liveliness of mind in the evening, however, may make it difficult to fall asleep; the patient cannot sleep before midnight. Lazy sitting around makes him peevish and sleepy, and he becomes averse to everything. He feels better when occupied; mental occupation ameliorates a headache; he feels better when his attention is engaged. On the other hand, many symptoms, including nervousness, are aggravated by mental exertion and are better from lying down and closing the eyes. Exertion of the mind may bring on hyperaemia of head; chorea; or trembling spells.
Calcarea has a special sensitivity to fright. These patients startle easily, including from noise or shrill sounds. ‘The day before the menses, disposed to fright; a trifle may give her a great fright.’
Excitement and irritability
Emotional influences can also affect the menstrual cycle. Menses can disappear after a fright. Excitement brings on dysmenorrhoea; the least excitement endangers the return of catamenia, or causes metrorrhagia.
Anger and indifference
Thoughts of offences or vexations long past can provoke anger, or can bring on grief and complaint. Calcarea may develop an irritable mood and peevishness with anger, sometimes without any apparent cause; anger and vexation about trivia may bring on ailments like vertigo and sleeplessness.
The anger can become really violent.
They behave with excessive mischievousness, with obstinacy; they are intolerably bad tempered, especially in the morning when they are sleepy and have a headache.
Calcarea can become peevish, morose, very cross and indifferent to most important matters, doing everything reluctantly and, as it were, under compulsion. They feel a weakness of will, and yet have a feeling of power. Calcarea is averse to everything and feels great annoyance.
They are taciturn and indisposed to talk. They feel aversion, loathing and disgust towards most other people. On the other hand, Calcarea can have the symptom: ‘solitude is annoying, with coldness of face, hands, and feet.’ (Hahnemann)
Obstinacy in children
Obstinacy is found in children who are inclined to grow obese; they are fretful and stubborn. Calcarea children are sensitive; they become depressed and think constantly about death and dying or about religious matters. They become anxious upon closing their eyes at night because of night terrors; may be frightened of everything they see.
In Calcarea the muscles become very flabby. As an obvious consequence obesity and flabbiness are the dominant characteristics of this remedy. We can, however, find a variety of appearances, especially in adults, where not all of them are overweight. In fact, some Calcarea individuals are quite skinny. In these instances, the skin of these lean Calcarea individuals has a peculiar texture, which is rather thick and coarse. Their faces may be very wrinkled with fine but deep lines, which criss-cross the face dividing it into small squares. This wrinkling, together with the anxiety presented by Calcarea, may give these patients’ faces a somewhat care-worn expression.
The Calcarea child
We will follow the image of Calcarea carbonica as it is develops from infancy through adolescence.
The typical picture of the Calcarea baby, is that of a white, overweight, flabby child with a prominent belly, the flabbiness being the principal feature. Their bones, lack sufficient calcium and are soft. The cranial fontanelles feel soft and many times are open (similar to Calcarea Phosphorica). Calcarea babies may also be under-fed, as Calcarea can affect the absorption and assimilation of nutrients. If the child is undernourished, it tends to have a large head, big belly and emaciated body. These children are pale-skinned, but flush easily. A further complementary symptom is the development of hard, swollen cervical lymph nodes.
A third option is possible. If there is an excess of calcium, rather than a deficiency, the baby or child may have indurations and exostoses, hardening in the wrong places, and calcium deposits in single parts of the body.
Retarded dentition is characteristic of Calcarea. Children become weak and languid during dentition, and have a sickly complexion.
Later, at the age of twelve to seventeen months, the disturbance in the calcium balance becomes evident through bones that are soft, that break easily and aren’t firm, nor stable enough, to allow the infant to stand at the proper time. Therefore, there is a weakness when walking or standing, and Calcarea children are late to walk.
A striking characteristic of Calcarea babies is moaning and groaning, or whining as if something were wrong, often without any definite problem being apparent. For example, it can happen after vaccination, that the child begins to develop these first signs of disturbance. For Calcarea to be indicated, though, additional accompanying symptoms must also be evident.
Don’t expect Calcarea babies to be cold. They are usually warm at this age, and have a tendency to become overheated. They become restless and kick off the covers during the night like Sulphur or Pulsatilla. It is later, after the age of about seven, that these children begin to manifest the usual chill of Calcarea.
In babies, perspiration of the scalp appears, often enough to soak the pillow; this tendency to perspire is irrespective of the ambient temperature. Calcarea children perspire profusely and easily in the cervical and occipital regions, especially when in bed and in the first part of their sleep. Their feet may be cold and clammy. The perspiration generally smells sour, as does the stool. Calcarea babies may vomit milk, actually vomit, as opposed to simply spit up the milk. They may lose their appetite and refuse to feed well.
Children’s organisms have an amazing ability to select what they need by developing desires and aversions. Almost all Calcarea children have a definite desire for soft-boiled eggs, which Hering says may come on ‘in sickness or reconvalescence, even before they are able to swallow’ (!). It is important to emphasise soft-boiled eggs here because, should the child desire hard-boiled eggs, the remedy, most likely, is not Calcarea carbonica. It seems that the calcium or nutrients that the organism needs to extract from eggs is destroyed through over- boiling.
It is due to paying attention to these kind of small details that the experienced homeopath has a higher percentage of success than the inexperienced one who always gives Calcarea when he hears the symptom ‘desire for eggs’. As few as one out of every ten children is Calcarea if they desire hard-boiled eggs; the remainder of the children are remedies such as Pulsatilla, Causticum or others.
These children also have a strong desire for sweets and especially for sugar. The desire for chocolate is not as strong as the desire for sugar in a concentrated form.
Calcarea children, approximately seven to ten years of age, still display the whining, moaning, and whimpering of the earlier years. The anxiety states consistent with later phases of the Calcarea pathology are not yet apparent. The typical Calcarea obstinacy will most likely be seen and physical pathology will predominate. There may be a tendency to contract frequent upper respiratory infections. Children who get frequent colds need this remedy almost as often as they need Tuberculinum.
On the whole, children with a Calcarea constitution tend to be weak and tire easily. When playing with a group of children, they will be the first to quit playing and to sit down to rest. They quickly become breathless, flushed, and sweaty after only a little exertion. Calcarea carbonica’s circulation is not optimal; this is why, as the pathology progresses a little further, these children may suffer from very strong palpitations if they are forcefully wakened during the night. Calcarea’s being flabby, however, does not always imply that they are weak. In fact, they can be quite strong and can possess an agility which is surprising.
Calcarea children at this age can also possess a number of fears. In particular, they dislike the dark and have a fear of the dark. They experience many nightmares, may awaken screaming and be unable to return to sleep. A comment that is frequently heard is that one cannot give Calcarea unless the patient is fearful. This is a misconception. Fears tend to appear later in the course of development of the Calcarea pathology, but they are by no means necessary, at this age, in order to prescribe Calcarea.
Calcarea children, from approximately seven to fourteen years of age, frequently display an intriguing mental characteristic: they develop a peculiar religious turn of mind. They inquire about God, angels, and the afterlife. They have a desire to learn all that they can about such matters. They may become very religious, bordering at times on fanaticism. As they age they pass beyond this stage of religious preoccupation; but it is possible to see this kind of ‘philosophical’ questioning again in adulthood, as was described in the section on ‘Little Ideas’.
Kent comments upon this condition in his ‘Lectures’:
‘It is a strange thing to see a bright little girl of 8 or 9 years taking on sadness, melancholy, and commencing to talk about the future world, and the angels, and that she wants to die and go there, and she is sad, and wants to read the Bible all day. That is a strange thing; and yet Calcarea has cured that. Ars. has cured that state, and also Lachesis. They are a little inclined to be precocious, and they have attended the Sunday-school and they have
taken too seriously the things they have learned.’
Calcarea children usually have to be quite ill before they lose their ability to concentrate and their capacity for mental work. They are generally quite brilliant and do well in school; their performance is typically above average. They tend to be quite determined in their studies, work hard and are well organised. Their ambition and competitiveness causes them to push themselves too hard, to overexert themselves to the point that their mental stamina is lost and their capacity for concentration is undermined. At this point they may become restless and want to leave school. Overwork is well known to be one of the precipitating causes of Calcarea carbonica states of pathology.
After puberty, at the ages of 14, 15, or 16, Calcarea children begin to develop a fear of high places and vertigo from heights. They may not even be able to tolerate watching someone else on a height without feeling excited and fearful. This fear is so strong that they can have dreams and nightmares about high places. Prior to this age it is unusual to encounter this symptom, so frequent in adults. Fear of heights is a strong keynote in both Calcarea and Sulphur.
Pulsatilla children can often be confused with Calcarea children. Puls. may enter a similar state of inquiry towards religion and the after life. Their constitutions possess similarities; the physiques can be the same, and Puls. can have a desire for soft-boiled eggs (It should be added to the Repertory for this desire.) Puls. children, however, are much softer emotionally and more prone to cry easily. In contrast, Calcarea children are more assertive, at times to the extent that they are obstinate. Their personalities are very strong, their desires are definite, and their determination to obtain their wants is pronounced.
Ailments from impaired nutrition:
As Boericke points out, impaired nutrition is the keynote that expresses Calcarea’s chief action on the physical level of the organism. The pathology can involve any system of the body, but the musculoskeletal system and the lymphatic system are two areas that are especially affected. Whenever the skeletal and lymphatic systems are involved simultaneously, Calcarea should be considered. Glands are often swollen, perspiration is increased, generally, as well as locally, and there is a tendency to tubercular and rachitic conditions.
The bones often suffer faulty development. The bony tissues develop slowly, and this is often coupled with lymphatic enlargements. The fontanelles remain open for an unusually long time. The bones are very soft and the extremities become crooked and deformed. Curvature of the bones, especially of the spine and the long bones are prevalent. Deficiencies of calcium appear as: rachitis; caries of bones; necroses; osteomyelitis. On the other hand, there are also exostoses and swellings of bones.
Injuries of bones are slow to repair. Injuries to the periosteum, e.g. when a hammer strikes it through the muscles, may be cured by Calcarea, as may boring, stinging or pulsating sensations in the bones.
The joints are often affected: they crackle and crepitate, as if they were dry; there appear arthritic nodosities, accompanied by stiffness of the joints. Calcarea has joint affections like hip-joint disease or rheumatic and gouty conditions of the joints.
Calcarea suffers from complaints from difficult dentition. In babies the teeth are slow to come through, while older patients have problems with wisdom teeth.
Fragile fingernails are another characteristic of Calcarea; one can expect to see this symptom in most Calcarea patients unless the case suffers deeply on the mental level. The nails can also have white spots.
Kent describes the bone conditions of ‘natural lime cases’, i.e. Calcarea, in the following:
‘Born with an inability to digest the lime that is in their natural food, and they grow fat and flabby, and produce deficient bones. There is a greater proportion of cartilaginous material in the bones than lime, and the bones bend, and take on diseases and destructive troubles. Deficient teeth, or no teeth at all. The bones simply stop growing, and the patient goes into marasmus.’
He then gives an account of the wonderful curative effects that follow these cases after a single dose of Calcarea: ‘All at once the teeth begin to grow; the bones begin to grow, and the legs become stiff enough for him to begin to walk, and they will hold him up. You will see within months or six weeks after giving a solitary dose of the sufficiently potentised remedy the nails that were corrugated and uneven and spotted and irregular will form a margin and will grow out smooth. You will see the ugly little crowns upon the teeth, distorted, and black things as they come up out of the gums; but when they have been under the suitable homeopathic remedy you will see them form a margin line, and from there on the teeth look healthy, and from there on the little body of the tooth is smooth and round; just as if the child had had an impulse to grow better teeth.’
Glands, tumours and exostoses that is, hardness where softness ought to be, results from an excess of calcium, the complementary feature to the prevailing lack of calcium. Exostoses is a symptom for which Calcarea is well-known. This excess may also lead to swollen cartilage or tumours, especially those of an encysted kind. Those suffering from these ailments are usually the thin Calcarea patients. In contrast to the more prevalent Calcarea personality, these people can be quite active and can also have very positive temperaments.
An especially marked feature of Calcarea carbonica is its tendency to attack glands. It affects particularly the lymphatic glands: the glands of the neck, of the groin, and those found in the abdomen. There is often atrophy or emaciation of the body along with glandular swelling, especially in tubercular subjects. The lymph nodes can become hard, inflamed, and painful; nodular swellings appear under the skin and are often large, the size of a hickory nut.
Ulcers may also be cured by Calcarea, especially when they are indurated. Kent remarks: ‘It is useful in indurations in ulcers, and the base of ulcers, and round about ulcers, hence its wonderful use in palliating and restraining the growth of malignant ulcers, as malignant ulcers always have an indurated base In cancerous affections that would kill in sixteen months the patient will live five years with Calcarea, if Calcarea is indicated. That is something, and many times that is all that can be expected in a cancerous growth.’
Another kind of growth that is often produced in Calcarea subjects is polypus. Polypi develop in the nose, in the ears, in the vagina, in the bladder, in the rectum and so on.
Obesity and emaciation:
An important polarity in Calcarea is that it can cause obesity and emaciation. These states are often coupled with anaemia.
The patients of soft fibre, have a tendency to be obese and rather sluggish. Their head and features are large, and their skin is pale and has a chalky appearance. The tendency to put on weight and to grow flabby and weak is often one of Calcarea’s first noticeable symptoms – the more weight, the more weakness.
In the emaciated state, in children we see a big belly, an increase in glandular and fatty tissue, whereas the neck and limbs are emaciated. Kent says: ‘Calcarea corresponds in a very high degree to the chlorotic and anaemic, pale and waxy; and in spite of this plump. It has both fat, flabby and pale patients, and it has emaciated states, too. Muscles emaciate. Emaciated about the neck; emaciated about the neck and from there downwards.
Anaemic conditions; pale, waxy, sickly; pale lips; pale ears; pale fingers; pale and yellowish. It produces most pernicious anaemia.’
When these obese and anaemic patients have a flushed face, they look much like Ferrum cases. If such a patient exerts himself he will come down with a fever, or a headache. The difference between these two remedies lies in the fact that Ferr. has a circumscribed flush in its cheeks while Calcarea’s entire face is red. In these cases differential diagnosis between Ferr., Belladonna and Calcarea will be difficult. Weakness: The weakness and exhaustion of Calcarea is a major characteristic. The patient moves slowly and awkwardly. The female Calcarea tends to fall easily and is clumsy and awkward, especially during pregnancy. The feature peculiar to the weakness is that Calcarea tires quickly from every kind of bodily exertion. Calcarea ought to be one of the first remedies to come to mind when one is confronted with a patient who complains of dyspnea from the slightest exertion.
The effort of climbing hills, stairs, etc. is a special obstacle for Calcarea. They may quickly become breathless and fatigued from climbing. When a patient tells you that he can’t go upstairs because he is so weary, his legs are tired and that he immediately gets out of breath, this points strongly to Calcarea carbonica. Walking in the open air may also bring on a great loss of power, especially in the lower limbs, along with an exhausting sweat. Hahnemann relates that the contrary also exists. There are the occasional states of weariness that are ameliorated by continuous walking or by inspiring fresh open air.
Talking weakens the organism. The patient must stop talking because of exhaustion. Coitus, too, can be very fatiguing. Many of these patients will be aggravated after coitus; they may experience fatigue for several days thereafter. However, don’t be misled by this statement into thinking that all Calcarea patients are weak. Most of the time they are quite vital sexually and tend to be healthy in the sexual sphere.
Weariness and exhaustion may be felt first thing in the morning, following a deep sleep. This confused and sleepy condition may continue even after the patient has risen; fatigue, weariness, and sleepiness may even extend throughout the whole day.
Aggravation after every kind of exertion is very typical of Calcarea carbonica. Due to their lack of stamina, they are unable to endure any serious effort. Complaints from lifting are often seen in this remedy, as are complaints from the sudden suppression of perspiration, similar to Belladonna. ‘If he gets into a sweat, and stops long enough to be comfortable, the perspiration will stop so suddenly that he will have a chill, or he will have a headache.’ (Kent)
Calcarea has spells of fainting in the street. They come on with a sensation of something rising from the stomach to the head. The person feels he is about to die. These attacks are then followed by bewilderment. The fainting may occur in the evening, with blackness before the eyes; during the menses, there may be drawing, pressing pains with stitches, now here, now there, with restlessness severe enough to cause fainting, or in the morning, after rising, there is a dizziness along with the feeling that he will fall down unconscious. The fainting spells can be coupled with chill, indistinct vision and large drops of sweat on the face.
The ability to convalesce from illnesses is also impaired; Calcarea has easy relapses, does not continue to convalesce.
The muscles become lax and flabby and are easily injured and strained. Muscular atrophy can be found; muscles of the back and limbs can be wasted. Children are late to walk due to muscular weakness. Kent provides us with an interesting differentiation here. The Calcarea child ‘is not late learning to walk, but it is late walking. It knows how to walk, but it can’t walk. Natrum muriaticum has brain trouble, in which the child is late learning to do things.’
Calcarea has a pyaemic state that results in abscesses in the deep muscles: in the neck, in the thighs and in the abdomen.
Another characteristic, which may be present in Calcarea cases from the ages of 35 to 40 years onward, is cramping in different parts of the body, especially in the calves when they lie down at night. These cramps can draw on the limbs, and, in particular, contract and twist the fingers and toes.
Calcarea is prone to many rheumatic complaints, musculoskeletal aches and pains that are generally ameliorated by warmth and dryness; they are primarily aggravated by dampness and also by cold. Generally, Calcarea is aggravated by cold bathing and ameliorated by hot baths. Many of the pains are aggravated by lying down, similar to Rhus toxicodendron. Calcarea suffers from muscular rheumatism. With the rheumatic pains hard welts are to be felt in the muscles.
One of the principal areas of weakness in Calcarea carbonica is the lumbar region. The lumbar area feels very weak, with the peculiarity of this weakness being that it prevents these persons from sitting up straight for long periods of time. The back feels strained and weak, and they have a propensity to slump. Soon after sitting a Calcarea patient tends to slouch in his chair and it is not unusual for him to end up in a half lying position. As his back feels too weak to sustain the weight of his body while sitting, he takes such a position to relieve the weight and pressure. Calcarea not only covers lumbago and sciatica, but also arthritis and gout. Even severe pathologies like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are within the sphere of action of Calcarea.
It is important to know that if severe or systematic diseases, such as rheumatism, present a clear picture of Calcarea carbonica, they are most probably curable. In order for it to be a Calcarea case, you must expect to see the typical constitutional symptoms: the cold feet, the aggravation from cold and damp weather and especially when these two are combined in weather conditions, the sensitivity to cold air and to draughts, and a dread of cold winds. These people are sensitive to the coming of a storm and, in general, to weather changes, especially from warm to cold. When such a change occurs, it seems impossible for the patient to keep warm, though warmth ameliorates his symptoms a great deal. Calcarea suffers because their system has difficulty adapting to changes of weather.
With regard to Calcarea pains we can add that they are most generally felt while lying in bed or while sitting. They are also felt in those parts upon which the body has been lying for a time. They express themselves as neuralgic pains in the limbs, which feel as if beaten, bruised, or sprained. Nervous Ailments:
Twitching, trembling, spasm, and convulsion are a prominent feature of Calcarea carbonica. We see muscular trembling, twitching and jerking. Chorea, which sometimes is only one-sided, comes on from fright or in second dentition. There are convulsions in teething children, hysteric spasms, clonic spasms and epileptic paroxysms. Convulsions may come on after mortification, vexation, fright, masturbation, suppression of a chronic eruption or from getting wet. Letting the legs swing may also provoke convulsions. After the attack, a ravenous hunger can come on.
Calcarea may be indicated in epilepsy. Hering relates a case of epilepsy of three years’ standing with eight to ten fits daily, worse from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. , that was cured by this remedy. In his ‘Chronic diseases’, Hahnemann relates that epileptic fits at night, at the time of the full moon, with screaming may be an indication for Calcarea, and Hering adds that epilepsy is worse during solstice. Calcarea is one of the main remedies to cure epilepsy that is stimulated by children playing a lot with video games.
Calcarea carbonica patients may experience an epileptic aura in the solar plexus which is very promptly followed by convulsions. The aura spreads outward or upward from the solar plexus. This symptom is similar to Indigo and Lycopodium. In Lyc. the sensation was described by a child as if something evil were arising from his stomach and overtaking him. In Cicuta the origination of the aura is from lower in the abdomen. Another aural symptom in Calcarea is a feeling as if a mouse is running up the arm or down the epigastrium to the uterus or lower limbs.
An unusual symptom sometimes encountered in Calcarea carbonica patients, when they are fatigued, is the sensation of levitation. They feel as if they are floating or leaving their body. Some persons may experience this sense of levitation spontaneously. Disturbances of the Circulatory System:
Disturbances of the circulation often manifest in the form of congestion. Let us follow Kent’s description here: ‘Calcarea is full of congestions, determination of blood to the head; cold feet; hot head; congestion of the chest. Ö The head is sometimes congested; and it is hot to the touch; but it often feels cold to him. His scalp feels as if it were cold. But the body is nearly always cold to the touch and he feels cold, and he wants plenty of clothing.’
This peculiar combination of congestion and coldness is a keynote of Calcarea. Kent puts it another way and says: ‘the more marked the congestion of internal parts, the colder the surface becomes.’
The flabbiness of Calcarea applies to all tissues of the body, but especially to the blood vessels where we see great relaxation. ‘Great relaxation in the tissues everywhere; relaxation of muscles; relaxation of veins; relaxation of the walls of blood-vessels to such a great extent, especially in the lower limbs and anus, that there are marked haemorrhoidal manifestations or marked varicose veins in the legs. Distended veins, burning in these varicose veins. Burning and smarting. Bleeding and oozing.’ (Kent) Heat Flushes:
Congestion and ebullition of blood may also be accompanied by flushes of heat. Calcarea experiences a warm rush of blood from the pit of the stomach to the head, frequent flushes of heat, with anxiety and palpitation, or she feels as if hot water were being poured over her. There are also violent palpitations accompanying the anxiety states or a throbbing of the heart and veins from a dry cough at night. These sensations typically coincide with the stage in which Calcarea weeps because of feelings of despair and depression.
Circulatory disturbances also take the form of a tremulous pulsation of the heart, which is worse after eating and at night. There are also violent palpitations with the anxiety states, throbbing of the heart and veins from a dry cough at night. A nocturnal ebullition of blood coincides with restless sleep, especially during menstruation. Sensitivity to Cold:
On the whole, Calcarea is a chilly patient. He has an aversion to the open air as the least cold air goes right through him. In spite of his sensitivity to cold, he cannot bear the sun.
His hands and feet tend to be very cold. We have to mention here that the feet provide a valuable clue to Calcarea patients. Most patients complain of having cold feet; upon going to bed they often put on socks. Later in the night their feet usually become warm, and so they remove their socks.
Sometimes their feet can become so warm in bed (especially the soles) that they stick them out of the covers.
In cases which suffer from very frequent colds Calcarea is one of the major remedies to consider, along with Sulphur, Psorinum, and Tuberculinum. Calcarea can be aggravated by aspirin; the aggravation can be general or can pertain to the symptoms for which the aspirin was taken. Perspiration, Discharges and Eruptions:
Calcarea can be recognised by the type of perspiration they have. Patients sweat easily and profusely, after the slightest exertion of body or mind. The sweat is often cold and clammy. Perspiration may be general or partial, especially on the head, the nape of neck, the chest, the hands and the feet, and it increases during sleep. Perspiration on the palms renders the hands cold and clammy; the handshake of many a Calcarea patient is unforgettable – flaccid and moist. The feet likewise perspire, but not to the degree of other remedies such as Silica, Nitric acid, Graphites, and Lycopodium. The perspiration tends not to be offensive.
Sourness is characteristic of Calcarea. The discharges are sour: the sweat, the stool, the urine. The body smells sour. Calcarea has a sour taste in the mouth, or of food, has sour vomit (especially in children during dentition), also has sour diarrhoea, which accompanies disorders of the mucous membranes.
Eruptions appear behind the ears, especially in cracks that are located behind the inferior aspect of the ear, level with the earlobe. This eruption is seen primarily in children. The other main remedy for an eruption in such a location is Graphites; however, the Graph. eruption will ooze a sticky, honey-like fluid.
The Calcarea sleep is restless and disturbed, with waking at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. , cannot return to sleep. Nocturnal anxiety states are frequent. Children have nightmares; they wake at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. screaming and cannot be made to understand that it was merely a dream. In the morning, however, they remember nothing of it. A keynote is ‘horrible visions upon closing the eyes‘. The patient has anxiety before going to sleep or falling asleep; also ‘when the evening draws near’ (Hahnemann). Lachrymation:
Lachrymation is a keynote for Calcarea. This lachrymation occurs typically in the right eye and can be triggered both indoors and outdoors. It is provoked relatively easily by mere exposure to a small amount of open air. ‘Lachrymation of eyes, in the open air or in the morning.’ (Hahnemann) Stomach and Desires:
There is a peculiar empty sensation or ‘sinking feeling’ in the stomach which can cause these people to eat despite an absence of appetite. It is a form of nervous eating. Other remedies experience a similar emptiness (Phosphorus, Sulphur, Sepia), but at specific hours. In Calcarea the emptiness is constant.
Calcarea has a desire for sweets, salt and farinaceous food, especially pasta, and of course, a desire for eggs, especially soft-boiled eggs. This feature is a well-known keynote of the remedy. Calcarea can also have an aversion to eggs. However, were the patient to be aggravated by eggs, it would be a very strong contra-indication of Calcarea. An aversion to fat is also characteristic, and patients frequently do not like slimy foods.
Calcarea children, two to four years of age, may attempt to eat anything, digestible or not. In infants Calcarea is the first remedy to consider for aphthous stomatitis. Constipation:
Constipation frequently accompanies the picture of Calcarea. An interesting observation about the constipation, when it appears in children, is that they often feel better while they are constipated. This characteristic is usually lost by the time they reach adulthood.
In chronic conditions, Calcarea carbonica and Bryonia are inimical. One should be very circumspect about following Calcarea with Bry. To illustrate: a Calcarea patient, treated for a chronic condition, subsequently suffers a relapse. Upon examining the case it becomes apparent that the patient’s state is no longer the same as it was previously. His thirst is increased, his mouth is dry, and he is not so chilly. It is decided that Bry. is indicated. Even though it appears to be the correct remedy, one should be very wary of giving Bry. in such a case, as it will more than likely induce either a full relapse or a disruption. If, on the other hand, the new situation involves an acute disorder, such as an influenza or a bronchitis, and the acute disorder clearly shows the symptomatology of Bry., then it can be prescribed with confidence.
Belladonna and Rhus toxicodendron are complementary to Calcarea. Frequently when acute illnesses arise in the Calcarea Carbonica patient, Bell. will be the indicated remedy.
Calcarea suffers from the ill effects of: alcohol, loss of vital fluids, sexual excess, masturbation, strains, over-lifting, suppressed sweat, eruptions, menses, and fright. They have ailments from anger, grief, rudeness, fright, worry, egotism or bad news.
Calcarea is pre-eminently a right-sided remedy, with the exception of problems with the cervical musculature and chest troubles; these exceptions tend to be more left-sided. Sciatica also tends to occur more on the left side.
It has sensations as if parts of the body would burst, are pressed asunder, or as if cold, damp stockings were on the feet.
Calcarea is worse from: cold in every form (water, washing, damp air, wet weather), mental or physical exertion, during the full moon, in the evening and in the early morning, going upstairs, dentition, constriction and tightness of clothes, standing, milk, smoked meats, and indigestible foods. Calcarea is better from: a dry climate, sneezing (pain in the head and nape of the neck), lying down quietly in the dark. Calcarea has a great desire to be mesmerised, which may translate into a desire to be touched and stroked gently; this generally has an ameliorating effect on the patient. Calcarea usually prefers to lie on the left side.
Calcarea is famous for the vertigo it produces, especially vertigo in high places. Actually, ‘high’ does not have to mean a really high place; even climbing on a chair to fix a lamp can cause vertigo in Calcarea. These persons are not even able to go near a really high place, for example, a cliff.
When Calcarea people even just see someone near a cliff or the edge of a balcony, they are attacked by vertigo. They become hysterical and nothing can persuade them that the balcony is actually very safe. ‘Vertigo on climbing upstairs; vertigo on climbing into high places, e.g. on a roof‘ (Hahnemann). The vertigo may also be stimulated by a dream of high places. A symptom from the proving is having a ‘frightening dream of falling or being thrown downwards’.
Kent points out that in Calcarea we see vertigo ‘on almost all occasions, intermingled with all sorts of symptoms.’ He notes that vertigo results from every stirring up of the emotions or from mental exertion: ‘If he becomes shocked, or has bad news, or has any mental excitement or chagrin, this vertigo will come out,’ namely a vertigo with blood rushing to the head. One symptom from the proving is dizziness all evening long from vexation about trifles.
Vertigo also comes on when quickly turning the head, when walking in the open air (she feels as if she might tumble), after walking, while standing and looking around (she feels as if everything is turning around with her).
The vertigo may be accompanied by headache, nausea, and vomiting. A special indication is ‘chronic headache with vertigo, worse ascending stairs, in anaemic women with profuse menses’ (T.F. Allen).
The morning before breakfast is not a good time for Calcarea persons; then they can feel dizzy and trembling.
The headaches of Calcarea typically have their onset after exertion. Other causative factors are: rainy weather, exposure to the cold and damp, as well as draughts of all kinds, catching a cold (especially when the nasal discharge decreases), over-lifting and straining the back, coitus, and emotions, such as grief. Great mental exertion (‘over-studying’) may stimulate hyperaemia and pain of the head and provoke a ‘school children’s headache’. Mental occupation, however, may also have an ameliorating effect.
Walking, noise and talking will aggravate the headache. The pain is better from lying quietly in a dark room, especially on the left side (which is often the painful side), the side preferred by Calcarea people. Amelioration also comes from gentle pressure and rubbing. There is a drawing pain that appears in the occiput, on the side to which the head is tilted, that disappears from sneezing. Some important headache symptoms are:
Stupefying, pressive pain in the forehead, with confusion of the senses and fogginess of the whole head while reading; has to stop reading and doesn’t know where he was.
Extreme pressive aching in the forehead, as in vertigo, on all occasions, whether in motion or at rest.
Head very sensitive to cold, which creates a headache that feels as if a board were lying on the head and pressing on it. The body feels chilly. A throbbing or hammering headache, especially in the occiput.
Heaviness in the forehead, worse from reading or writing.
Stitches in the head, especially on the side of the head, above the temple.
Tearing headache from above the eyes down to the nose, with nausea. Kent comments that this headache sometimes feels as if a great wedge is lodged there. ‘This headache continues to grow worse during the day until, in the evening, it becomes so severe that it is attended with nausea and vomiting.’
Brain feels as if it is squeezed and relaxed alternately.
Headache begins in the occiput and spreads to the top of head. They are so severe that she thinks her head will burst, and that she will go crazy.
Concussive, stitching, pulsating pains in the head, as if it would split, with cough.
Frequent one-sided headache, always with a lot of empty eructation.
Sick headache on the left side, with scanty menses; on the right side, with profuse menses.
Headache every seven days, or headaches once in two weeks; periodic headaches.
Congestion to the head is a strong feature. The head feels full, dull, confused or stupefied and this may be accompanied by heat in the head and face.
The face may be red and puffy, or else the head is hot and heavy with a pale face. The hands and feet are often very cold.
On the other hand, icy coldness within and on the head is a keynote. The coldness may also be described as a feeling of numbness, a cold as if the head is made of wood. This feeling can occur together with congestion. Kent says that the feature ‘the more marked the congestion of internal parts, the colder the surface becomes’ is so strong that it is almost a general condition. There is burning in the vertex with coldness of the forehead, or the whole head may feel cold except for a burning spot on vertex. The burning in the vertex may come on after grief, as described by Hering. In children the bones of the head do not develop well, and a characteristic feature is a large head with open fontanelles; fontanelles do not close on time. Head sweats and enlarged lymph nodes often accompany this condition. Chronic hydrocephalus may also be an indication of Calcarea. Head sweats are very characteristic, in both children and adults. There is copious nocturnal sweating of the head in children, wetting the entire pillow. The sweat may roll down the face in large, bead-like drops. The perspiration tends to smell sour.
Calcarea produces copious exhausting sweat, particularly at back of the head and nape of the neck, even in cold air. ‘You would naturally think that a person going into a cold room would stop his sweating, but sometimes the Calcarea patient will break out in a sweat, upon the head, and upon the feet, in a cold room’ (Kent).
There is perspiration of the head in the evening.
On the scalp, there is a biting, burning and crawling itching, which spreads from the back part of the head, and becomes worse in the evening from being warm in bed. Scratching the head creates lumps and a bloody eruption on the head, which forms turns into scales.
Eruptions on the scalp are frequently seen: eczema; tinea favosa, thick scabs covered with thick pus. Crusta serpiginosa and herpes circinatus during dentition. Crusts on the head in nursing children.
The hair is dry and looks like flax, with much dandruff, yellowish-white scales, on the scalp. It tends to fall out easily, sometimes leaving bald patches.
An interesting symptom that is emphasised by Hering is an impatient scratching of head on awakening or when roused from sleep; it was observed e.g. in cases where the chief complaint was coxalgia or paralysis.
The eye symptoms are generally aggravated by straining them during reading, writing, or by looking steadily at one thing, and also by bodily exertion. Bright sunlight also worsens eye conditions, and if the patients catch a cold from exposure of the feet to water, from exposure to wind or from cold, damp weather, this easily settles in the eyes and causes eye troubles.
Ophthalmia appears: in new-borns, as a result of taking cold, from a foreign body entering the eye. The lids are red, swollen, painful and itching. Corneitis and conjunctivitis.
There is great photophobia, which is worse in the evening (in artificial light).
A symptom that has repeatedly been produced and cured by Calcarea is agglutination of the lids in the morning. In Hahnemann’s proving, we find the symptoms: ‘The lids of the watery-looking eyes are agglutinated with gum in the morning, and the eyes pain when he looks into the light’, and: ‘Swelling and redness of the lids, with nightly agglutination; during the day they are full of gum, with sensation of heat, smarting pain, and lachrymation.’
Lachrymation in the open air or in the morning is also a keynote. Lachrymation also comes on from exertion of the eyes, for instance when writing. Obstruction of the lachrymal duct. Fistula lachrymalis; thick yellow pus in canthus; itching, humid eruptions.
The pupils are chronically dilated.
While reading the movement of the eyes causes tension in the ocular muscles. The eye muscles become weak; the eyeballs seem stiff and difficult to move; there is involuntary nystagmus.
There are painful sensations in the eyes, as if a foreign body had entered them, or as if a grain of sand were under the upper eyelid.
The pain may be pressing or stitching. In the inner canthi stitches and burning can be noticed; the stitching may alternate with pulsating. Pain is worse when reading by candlelight in the evening.
There is itching in the eyes; in the margins of eyelids; in the canthi.
The lids can twitch, with a feeling as if the eye was moving by itself.
Cataracts. Margery Blackie reports: ‘It is astonishing how often the old books claim that cataracts can be cured by Calcarea carbonica. I am quite sure of that, when they are getting dim vision. I had two cases where the eye specialist and I were quite sure that both were beginning a cataract, and both reported that he could not find it after Calc. had acted.’
Maculae and ulcers on the cornea. Fungus haematodes with opacity of the cornea. Pustules on the cornea.
The eyesight becomes weak, especially for things near the patient; the patient has dim vision, cannot thread a needle.
Hemiopia. From Hahnemann’s proving: ‘It seemed as though a shadow came before the eyes, with very dilated pupils, so that objects seemed to her as if dark and invisible from one side; she saw, for example, on persons only one eye.’
Sudden blindness after a meal. ‘Sudden blindness, immediately after lunch; unable even to see the table by which he sat; with anxious sweat and nausea, and at the same time like a bright shining before the eyes; after an hour of sleep it had disappeared.’ (Hahnemann).
Mist or smoke appears before the eyes when looking keenly at something or when reading. Black spots appear before the eyes; also when reading or on physical exertion. Glittering or bright luminous spots appear before the eyes, with severe vertigo. Dimness of vision along with the desire to close the eyes (but without sleepiness).
In Calcarea many perversions of hearing occur: noises; a feeling as if something is lying in front of the membrana tympani, which may come on spontaneously or upon blowing the nose. There is a humming, roaring, thundering, and buzzing in the ear, which may be coupled with hearing loss; swallowing or chewing may excite noises like cracking, snapping, and ‘squelching’ (a noise like a foot in a swamp); singing, followed by crackling (as of paper) is also noted in the proving, as well as hissing noises near the ear.
There is a strong sensitivity to noise in the evening upon going to sleep; loud sounds cause a sensitivity in the brain.
Impaired hearing has often been cured by Calcarea: deafness from working in water; hearing loss after abuse of quinine for suppression of intermittent fever; also from Eustachian catarrh. Cold and damp weather easily bring on ear troubles, very often together with headaches; the tremendous sensitivity to cold and draughts also pertains to the ears. Inflammation and swelling of the outer and inner ear.
Otorrhoea, which is mucopurulent and affects principally the right ear, with enlarged glands. The parotis may also be affected, as is any gland in Calcarea persons; parotitis in scarlatina, with ichorous discharge; parotitis, more often on the right side. Polypi are also apt to occur in Calcarea subjects; ulceration, then granulation, then polypi, with a great stench is an indication emphasised by Hering.
Pulsating and throbbing in the ears.
Stitches in the ears; in the ear and temple, disappearing while at rest with the eyes closed.
A feeling of heat is also to be mentioned: Heat in the internal part of the ears, like hot blood; heat that seems to stream out of the (left) ear; burning pain in the region around the ear. We also see, however, frequent chill externally, at the ears, as is consistent with the Calcarea congestion. Behind the ears, there are frequently moist eruptions and cracks in the skin, often level with the earlobe; these cracks often appear in new-born babies. There are boils and tumours in front of and below the ears. Hahnemann also mentions something like an exostosis in his proving: like a swelling of the bone behind the left ear, that itches and smarts as if it is ulcerated from touch.
The nostrils are sore and ulcerated; sometimes ulcerated in spots, which are covered with crusts. The nostrils are sensitive to touch.
The patients are extremely sensitive to colds, especially to cold and wet, catching a cold every time the weather changes. They often suffer with troublesome and chronic nasal catarrh which is changeable: sometimes there is an annoying dryness of the nose, and then again it is plugged up with yellow, offensive pus. Thick or yellow nasal discharge irritates the upper lip and swells the nose. Red, itching pustules appear on the upper lip and cheek. Fluent coryza is also to be seen, with profuse secretion, clear like water, and which has a salty taste. ‘Dry nose at night; moist in daytime’ (Hahnemann). Alternatively, he breathes through his nose part of the night, and then it clogs up so he breathes through the mouth. ‘In the morning he blows out enormous blackish, bloody chunks’ (Kent). The coryza can be accompanied by headaches. According to Kent, nasal catarrhs can go on for such a long time and may be so deep-seated in Calcarea, that the bones and cartilages of the nose are infiltrated and break down.
Coryza alternates with abdominal colic. This curious symptom has been observed in the provings: ‘Severe coryza that disappeared after two days and transformed into violent cutting in abdomen for several days.’ (Hahnemann)
Nasal polypi are an indication of Calcarea, and sometimes are with a loss of smell. Kent has experienced that some weeks after a correct prescription of the remedy, without knowing that there were polypi, patients came back ‘with a gelatinous looking tough thing in a handkerchief’ and said:
‘Doctor, look there at what came out of my nose.’
Swelling of the nose and upper lip, especially in children, is also a keynote. This swelling of the nose, particularly at its root, can frequently disappear and recur. There is a snotty swelling on ridge of nose.
Epistaxis occurs easily, frequently, and profusely, sometimes almost to the point of fainting. In obese children there is an inclination to nosebleed.
Frequent sneezing, with or without coryza; in the morning.
The patient has the sensation of a very offensive smell in the nose; stench in front of the nose as from putrid eggs or gunpowder.
The face can have different appearances: In many cases it is pale, with blue rings under the eyes; a pale, lean face, with deep-set eyes; cathectic, sallow, cold and sickly looking. The pale colour can also remain when there is congestion to the head and the head feels hot and heavy.
Chill can also alternate with heat, and in the heat stage, with the rushing of blood to the head, the cheeks sometimes become hot and red. The face looks old and wrinkled, with many fine lines dividing it into squares.
Especially in children, we see a puffed or bloated face, often with a swollen upper lip; in adults, the upper lip can also be swollen in the morning. Very characteristic, though, is the easy and very profuse perspiration of face, which is often cold. Sweat appears at the slightest exertion and perspiration on the forehead at night.
The lips are often chapped, cracked, and bleeding, and the corners of the mouth may be ulcerated.
Calcarea has baggy swellings in the face, which are in a constant state of inflammation and frequently suppurate.
The submaxillary glands tend to painful swelling with induration, painful tension on chewing and stitching pain on being touched.
There is chronic prosopalgia, especially in obese people with cold, damp feet and in women with profuse menses. Drawing and tearing pains in the face, which are worse in damp weather.
Eruptions in the face with violent itching compelling the patient to scratch frequently. Scurfy pimples at the margin of the red portion of lower lip. A crusty eruption on the right cheek with itching and burning, which was worse after washing the face, was cured with Calcarea carbonica (Archiv für Homöopathische Heilkunst, 17/2). Urticaria that disappears in cool air.
A chewing motion of the jaws can be observed in sleep, and also before epileptic attacks.
There is a persistent sour taste, and food becomes sour in the mouth. Sour saliva collects in the mouth and the patient constantly spits it out. A foul taste as from indigestion of the stomach, a bitter taste, or a metallic lead-like taste have also been observed during the proving; these symptoms occurred mostly in the morning. ‘Cold water is the only thing which has a good taste’, Hering remarks.
The tongue is often dry, especially at night and in the morning, and can be moved with difficulty, so that talking may be difficult and speech seems clumsy; he does not like to talk. Rough streaks are to be found in middle of a dry tongue. An excess of saliva in the mouth is also prominent in the remedy picture. These two states can alternate. ‘Catarrhal inflammation of mouth and fauces, when salivation alternates with dryness of mouth and lips.’
The tongue may be coated white, or it can be red and raw, or dirty, with a nasty taste.
The sublingual glands can be swollen; and there may be pain beneath the tongue on left side, behind the hyoid bone, on swallowing. There is also a burning pain on the tip of the tongue, as if it were sore; the prover couldn’t take anything warm into his mouth because of the pain.
Vesicles form on the tongue, also on the inside of the cheeks, and they burn. They open and form ulcers. The mucous membranes of the cheeks swell, and ache with a drawing, tearing pain.
Difficult and delayed dentition is a keynote of Calcarea Carbonica.
The teeth are very sensitive and cannot endure any draft of air or cold. ‘Toothache in all teeth (as from fine needle-like stitches), aggravated by intrusion of cold air into mouth’ (Hahnemann).
There is a stitching, boring, tearing, or gnawing toothache that extends up into the head, to the nose, the ears, or the eyes. The teeth feel as if the roots were being torn out. The teeth are badly developed and crumbling from decay; caries are present at the edge of gums; the teeth have an offensive smell.
The teeth may feel loose when biting on them together or chewing.
Swelling of the gums, with pulsation; bleeding of the gums, even at night. Bleeding of the gums after suppressed menses. ‘Inclination to chattering of teeth, as in chill’ (Hahnemann).
Inflammatory swelling of the tonsils, with elongation of the uvula and a feeling when swallowing as if the throat were too narrow. The tonsils and the whole pharynx and throat are extremely susceptible to colds; has hardly time to get over one before he catches another. Swelling and inflammation of the palate; uvula dark red and full of vesicles. There are red patches in the throat, extending up to the roof of the mouth, and a constant dry, choking feeling in the pharynx. The throat is greatly inflamed and aphthae appear on the tonsils and roof of the mouth. Roughness of the pharynx, with painless hoarseness. The throat feels swollen, more so on left side, and the swelling extends up to the ears. There is much pain upon swallowing, especially stitching pain, and also upon speaking. The stitches extend to the ear.
A spasmodic narrowing of the oesophagus is characteristic. It may be described as a sensation of a lump in the throat or as though the food were stuck in the oesophagus and can’t reach the stomach. The ‘foreign body’ feeling may incite an incessant urge to swallow, but may also impede swallowing.
The throat can be rough and burning with a feeling as if the whole length of oesophagus, down to the cardia, were raw and sore. There is much mucus in the pharynx or throat, sometimes tasting of iron or of salt, which has to be hawked up. Goitre.
Painless hoarseness so that can scarcely speak, especially in the morning, or a rough voice in the morning, which is improved by hawking. Hoarseness with oppression of the chest can also appear after a walk in the open air.
In general, talking debilitates greatly, and aggravates headache and cough.
The larynx feels raw, especially in the morning, and there is pain on swallowing. Chronic laryngitis. Ulceration of the larynx.
The keynote in the field of respiration is: Shortness of breath after going up the slightest ascent.
Shortness of breath or pressure on the chest is also frequently experienced while walking or after a walk in the open air. In other words, it is aggravated by walking in the wind and then going indoors and taking even only a few steps; from stooping; at night while lying down, awakes after midnight, breathing heavily; after stool, with anxiety; during coryza. Anxiety felt in the chest. The oppression and anxiety can be so severe that the patient almost suffocates.
On walking, difficult and loud breathing through the nose has been observed; this symptom has been emphasised especially by Hering, who observed it also in cases of tuberculosis that benefited from Calcarea.
The difficult breathing may be relieved by bending the shoulders back.
Oppression of the chest as if it were too full and full of blood, often with palpitation, restlessness, and thirst at night.
Feeling of tightness and tension in the chest; sometimes relieved by raising the shoulders.
There is a frequent desire to take deep breaths; the lungs seem unable to expand enough. With these deep inspirations, stitches in the chest occur, and also in the abdomen; stitches go through the abdomen to the back or through the heart, with the catching of breath.
Sobbing or snoring respiration in sleep.
Constriction of the chest, with anxiety; alternating with pain in the abdomen. Weakness in the chest after speaking loudly.
A raw or sore feeling in the chest occurs especially on inspiration, but also after much talking, after walking (‘movement of feet’, as Hahnemann puts it) or coughing.
Stitches in the chest and the sides when moving; when lying on the side affected; in the left side on bending to the left; ameliorated by rubbing the chest. There are also gnawing, cutting, and drawing pains.
In pulmonary disorders, the upper and middle portions of the right lung tend to be the most affected.
Abscesses in the lungs of children, especially on the left side; ulcers in the lungs, with purulent expectoration; tuberculous consumption; pleuro-pneumonia in tuberculous types.
Hering gives the indication: Threatened paralysis of lungs in scarlatina; loud rattling in windpipe, the breath is hot; praecordial anguish; no cough; rattling mostly during expiration.
The chest is very sensitive to touch, percussion or pressure.
Cramp in the (left) intercostal muscles, has to bend to the side quickly to get relief.
Mucus in the chest, but often without a cough or, at least, without the need to expectorate the mucus. Rattling of mucus in the chest or in the trachea on expiration; worse when lying down and in the evening.
Night cough during sleep. Evening cough in bed. Morning cough. The cough tends to become worse in the morning on rising and in the early evening, i.e. at the start and end of the day.
Tickling irritation in the trachea, bringing on a hacking cough; also, a tickling cough, as from feather-down. Constant tickling under the middle of the sternum causing a hacking cough; worse from talking and moving.
Cough from eating; from playing piano, ‘every note she struck seemed to vibrate in her stomach’.
Prickling in the larynx, with severe night cough, concussive and fatiguing; rattling cough, with little expectoration; prevents sleep; irritated by cold drinks.
Very violent cough, first dry, later with frequent, salty expectoration, with pain as though something were being torn loose in the larynx. The cough often affects the head: ‘From every attack of cough, the head receives a painful jar, as if it should burst.’ A raw pain in the chest can also accompany the cough.
The cough is often dry, especially at night. If there is expectoration, it is often yellow and offensive. It may also be sweetish, and sometimes blood is coughed up: after choking, on fast motion, or after drinking. ‘Cough dry before midnight, loose after; hurts chest; worse from walking; sputa yellow and thick (after variola)’ (Hering). Or: ‘Dry cough after midnight, that heart and veins were throbbing‘ (Hahnemann).’Cough with expectoration in daytime, but with none at night.’ (Hahnemann).
Cough may be accompanied by vomiting, with a sweetish taste to the vomit.
Cough after measles and variola; whooping cough, attacks worse in the morning; during dentition.
Habitual laryngeal diphtheria in tubercular children during dentition; sequelae of laryngeal diphtheria.
Bronchial catarrh in teething children. In bronchial catarrh, there is copious mucous secretion, which is weakening and emaciating.
Anxious sensation about the heart. Anxiety is often coupled with palpitations. Flushes of heat with palpitation and praecordial anxiety. Tremulous, anxious heart beat.
Palpitation with arrhythmia; with fear that he has an organic heart disease; with tremendous anxiety and restlessness, oppression of the chest and pain in the back; after a meal, feels his heart beat without having to put his hand on his chest; before falling asleep, with anxiety; at night, with a cold feeling; after suppressed eruptions. Palpitation on going up a hill after lunch. Audible beating of the heart.
Spasmodic contraction in the region of the heart, impeding respiration, followed by some violent heart beats. Stitches in the heart so that the breath stops, leaving a pressing pain in the heart.
Aneurysm, particularly of the aorta.
Fatty degeneration and calcification of the blood vessels.
Gouty heart and hypertrophy of the heart from overexertion.
Calcarea patients feel their emotions in the stomach: fear, anxiety, apprehension, excitement. ‘Anxiety as if from stomach, while sitting, with hot burning in abdomen; soon disappearing on walking or standing.’ (Hahnemann). Pulsation and trembling in the region of the stomach. A strange feeling as if something were rising from the pit of the stomach to the head was also observed. This sensation may presage an epileptic attack. The appetite may be ravenous or else completely lost.
Ravenous hunger, with a weak stomach is a keynote. Eats a great deal and yet loses flesh. Calcarea, in general, can eat a great deal yet stay emaciated or tends to obesity.
The appetite may be increased in epilepsy, before an attack; or there is ravenous hunger in the morning. Giddiness and trembling before breakfast, and if the person does not have breakfast at the proper time, a headache will develop. A ‘sinking sensation’ in the stomach may bring on a nervous appetite, e. g. immediately after he has eaten, without real hunger.
Appetite increases spasmodically, alternating with the loss of appetite, or there is a loss of appetite, but when the meal comes, he relishes it. Loss of appetite with constant thirst, especially for cold drinks and particularly at night.
The list of Calcarea desires is led by the well-known desire for eggs, which is essentially a desire for soft-boiled eggs, as I have pointed out above.
‘Longing for eggs, particularly with children, in sickness or during reconvalescence, even before they are able to swallow‘ (Hering).
Other desires: for sweet things, ice cream, lemonade, even pure sugar; for salty things; for farinaceous foods, foods that contain starch, like pasta; for indigestible things, chalk, coal, etc.
A general aversion to boiled food and to hot dishes has been observed by Hahnemann. In particular, Calcarea patients don’t like meat and are averse to fat. There is also an aversion to slimy foods.
Milk may be liked or disliked, but it often disagrees with the stomach and elicits nausea, vomiting, water-brash, and sour eructation. There is a general tendency for food to become sour and taste sour. Drinking water will cause nausea, but not if the water is iced.
The digestion is weak in general; eating tends to leave a feeling of tumefaction and fullness. After eating or drinking, sweat may occur, and sometimes also an irresistible desire to sleep.
Occasional acidity of the stomach.
Frequent eructation, generally sour, but sometimes also empty or tasting of the food eaten, with burning from the epigastrium upwards. This belching can continue throughout the whole day or come on at certain times: in the morning on waking; at night, after eating. ‘Being scarcely half-satisfied at lunch, he becomes nauseated; the food he has eaten rises up to his mouth, with nauseous taste, and he suffers from continuous belching, for three hours’ (Hahnemann).
Rising of tasteless fluid, like water, into the mouth.
From suppressing eructation, uneasy movements in the entire body can ensue.
Much empty belching often accompanies one-sided headaches.
Frequent hiccups, sometimes throughout the whole day.
Burning from the epigastrium to the throat after every meal, especially after hard, dry food.
Nausea comes on especially in the morning, often with giddiness and trembling. There is also nausea after vertigo; after drinking milk or water (with the exception of iced water); nausea with a feeling as if food were stuck in the oesophagus.
The vomiting is, of course, also frequently sour. Sour vomiting during dentition. Nausea with an inclination to vomit, with sour water running from the mouth, or vomiting of sour water at night. Black vomiting; vomiting of a sweetish substance, of bitter slime. Vomiting after epileptic attacks. The stomach region tends to be swollen, bloated, full of gas, and tight clothing is intolerable in this region. The epigastrium is painful to the touch. A very characteristic symptom is ‘pit of stomach swollen like a saucer turned bottom up; painful to pressure.’ (Hering). A swelling of epigastric region which is situated more on left side has also been repeatedly caused and cured by Calcarea.
Stomach cramps: from gases in the stomach; after eating, but also when fasting; with nausea, belching, and yawning, followed by sweat all over; cutting and compressing.
Pressing pain in the stomach is frequently to be seen; it may continue throughout the whole day and be felt even without the person having eaten anything. Pressure transversely across the stomach. The pressing pain may have a quality of a heavy load or lump in the stomach, even if the (evening) meal was only moderate; this will be worse from motion and better from lying quietly on the back. If the pain occurs at night, the opposite modality can also be seen: ‘Severe pressing in stomach, like a cramp, for two hours; could not remain lying in bed, but had to get up.’ (Hahnemann) Pressing pain in the stomach on coughing has also been observed.
The abdomen becomes hard and distended. There is incarcerated flatus, and tension in the abdomen with the bloating, and the surface is painful to any touch or pressure. Tight clothes about the hypochondria are unbearable. A strange symptom is a visible distension of the abdomen on walking in the open air. Emotions may also bring on this symptom, e.g. a grief or mortification.
There is a tendency to great increase in adipose tissue in the abdomen. Even if patients are emaciated elsewhere, the abdomen looks thick and bloated.
Besides the fatty tissues, the glandular tissues are also inclined to swell, as is consistent with the Calcarea action upon the glands. Mesenteric glands in children are hard and swollen; the abdomen feels as if it were full of stones. The inguinal glands also suffer from painful swelling and induration.
The flatulence is accompanied by continuous gurgling in the abdomen. Sometimes a rumbling on inspiration and expiration is to be heard.
The abdominal pains of Calcarea are generally relieved by warmth. They are usually shooting, tensive or pressive.
Colic in the intestinal canal. Hahnemann observed an important symptom here: ‘Frequently violent spasm in intestinal canal, particularly, however, in evening and at night, with coldness of the thighs.’ A sensation of coldness in the abdomen may also accompany such spasms. There are frequent attacks of colic after the disappearance of coryza. Cutting and griping in the abdomen in the afternoon, with vomiting of the food eaten for lunch.
Cramp-like, twisting feeling around the navel.
Drawing in the abdomen, and uneasiness therein, in the morning on waking.
Sensation of contraction in the abdomen, upward to the chest, first thing in the morning. Contractive pain in the abdomen, extending to the small of the back; in the epigastrium, forcing her to walk bent over, particularly excited by deep breathing; in the hypogastrium, extending to the uterus, with the discharge of bloody slime along with the stool.
Pinching pain in the abdomen, with or without diarrhoea; deep in the hypogastrium, in the region of the bladder, with pain at every step, as if the internal parts were dragged down by a weight.
Bodily exertion brings on a pressure in the hypogastrium; when sitting after exertion, a tension develops in the abdomen. Pressure in the abdomen, from the pit of the stomach downwards.
The liver is often affected in Calcarea persons. It may be enlarged and indurated, or else it is atrophied. Gallstone colic, with terrible darting pains, profuse sweat, and intolerance to garments around the waist, has been cured by this remedy. There are pressive and tensive pains in the hepatic region, as if a swelling were there and as if it might burst open; pressure is felt at every step. Hahnemann’s main symptom in this region is ‘Stitching in the hepatic region during or after stooping.’
Hering emphasises, though, that the abdominal pains tend to prefer the left side in general, and that they are especially felt under the left hypochondrium; tearing, stitching pains from the left chest to the hypochondrium.
There is a tearing pain or a stitching from within outward, in the abdominal muscles, which is worse on inspiration. The muscles may be tense when bending backwards, with pain on touch, as if the skin were sore.
Soreness of the navel; a moist excrescence like proud flesh from the navel of infants.
Calcarea has both a peculiar diarrhoea and a stubborn constipation. Both disorders of digestion have a marked tendency to undigested, lienteric stools in common, and the stool will often look whitish or altogether white.
Diarrhoea with sour smell in teething infants. Diarrhoea with undigested stools. Profuse diarrhoea, watery, slimy, with bits of coagulated milk, and a sour smell. Kent says: ‘In infants living on milk, the milk passes through in an undigested form; the stool is so sour that it is pungent. It excoriates the parts’
Diarrhoeic, clay-like stools, smelling sour or foetid. An offensive smell as of putrid eggs has been noted. Whitish, watery diarrhoea.
Looseness of the bowel makes her feel weak for a long time; the tendency to diarrhoea is worse in the evening.
On the other hand, there is stubborn constipation, often with continuous, ineffectual urging. This urging can also come on during the menses. When there is stool, it is often large, hard, dry, knotty, and difficult of passage. Hard, undigested stool of a light colour or chalky appearance. Stool hard, white, and egg-shaped, pass with great straining.
A peculiarity of the Calcarea constipation is that the patient often feels fine when badly constipated, whereas he tends to be irritable before passing a stool.
White stool streaked with blood, with very ill humour and liver pain.
A useful symptom that was observed in the proving and often has led to the successful prescribing of Calcarea is: Frequent discharge of first hard, then pasty, then liquid stool.
During a stool, the anus tends to prolapse. There may be a burning pain, or pain as if the rectum were torn open, even when the stool is not hard.
Afterwards, there may appear a drawing and cutting sensation in the rectum, with a feeling of heat.
Swelling of haemorrhoids, which protrude and make stool painful, even if not hard; painful when sitting, with bleeding; also painful on walking. When bleeding from haemorrhoids is checked, the head is affected.
Discharge of blood (or bloody mucus) from the rectum. This can coincide with nasal catarrh; or with the determination of blood to the head.
Moisture, smelling like herring brine, drips from the anus.
Worms tape worms, also in babies and children. One symptom from the proving is a crawling sensation in the rectum, as from worms. A long-continued spasm in the rectum, pinching and stitching, with great anxiety, could not remain sitting, hard to walk about.
Burning in the anus, also during a nap; violent itching at the anus.
An inflamed, burning, grape-like eruption at the anus. Soreness at the anus, between the thighs, and between the buttocks.
Inflammation of the bladder; tumours and fungoid growths; polypi and varices of the bladder.
Frequent urination, particularly at night. Sometimes only a little urine is passed each time, but there is often pollakisuria with profuse urination.
Polyuria; abundant urine all day.
The bladder might be called an ‘irritable bladder’. When busily occupied, she has to run and pass a few drops of urine. Spasms of the bladder, both hysterical and hypochondriacal. During the menses, there may be an involuntary discharge of urine upon every movement. Bed wetting in obese children.
Chronic strangury from standing on cold pavement.
The urine tends to smell sour. It may be very dark-coloured, without sediment; dark brown and foetid, with white sediment; or clear and pale, but all the same with a pungent, foetid odour.
Bloody urination and bleeding from the urethra.
Albuminuria; also after variola. Diabetes.
Burning in the urethra during urination.
Stitches in the female urethra. Cutting stitches in the urethra, with an ineffectual desire to urinate. Pain in the urinary passages after the feet became slightly wet.
Calcarea carbonica increases the sexual desire and provokes emissions, but unusual weakness follows indulgence.
An impressive example from Hahnemann’s proving: ‘Violent sexual desire, arising only from sexual fantasies, wherewith the penis failed in erection, which he only succeeded to enforce by cuddling; scarcely had he penetrated when semen was emitted; this was followed by excessive weakness and great excitability of nerves; he was discontented and angry, and the knees seemed to break from weakness.’
This weakness after coitus or masturbation can even last for several days: ‘Very weak and sick for several days after coitus.’ Other ailments from sexual activity: pressing pain in head and back; weakness and trembling of lower limbs, especially above and below the knees; easy sweating, debility and trembling of the hands; spasms, chorea, epilepsy; palpitations.
Functional disturbances may consist of weak or incomplete erections; ejaculatio praecox; but also tardy emission, so that semen is not ejaculated at the moment of orgasm but ‘just runs out afterwards, as it were’, as Hahnemann puts it. Emission may also fail completely, or there is a proper emission of semen, but no orgasm.
Impotence has also been caused and cured by Calcarea carbonica.
Frequent nocturnal, involuntary emissions; especially in tuberculosis.
Coitus may be painful, with stinging and burning in the male parts during ejaculation. Itching and burning of genitals is frequently seen. Cutting pain in the tip of the penis.
Aching of the testicles, with spasmodic retraction to abdomen; painful to the touch. Induration of the testicles. Scrotal swelling, with scaly spots. Spermatic cords are painfully swollen; aching as if contracted. Hydrocele in children.
Inflammation of prepuce and frenum, and orifice of urethra, with a little yellow pus between the frenum and the glans penis. Chronic gonorrhoea, which has been suppressed. Fig warts, often smelling like old cheese or herring brine. Dry and copper-coloured eruptions on the genitals of children.
The characteristics of increased sexual desire and great lassitude after coitus or masturbation also apply to the female Calcarea carbonica patient.
Voluptuous sensation in female parts (in the afternoon, without provocation) with orgasm, afterwards great weariness.
The menses are strongly influenced by Calcarea carbonica; in most cases they are too early, too profuse, too long. Hahnemann comments: ‘If the menstruation usually sets in several days before four weeks are over, and if the flow is then excessive, Calcarea carbonica is often indispensably useful, and the more so, the more blood is discharged. But if menstruation always sets in at proper time or later, Calcarea will almost never benefit, even if the flow is not scanty.’
The word ‘almost’ has to be noted. There are cases where the flow is late, scanty, or suppressed, where Calcarea acts curatively, as the materia medica shows (see below), but these are an exception.
Profuse menses may be membranous and dark-coloured; too frequent, with consequent anaemia. Menses last two weeks, with an interval of two weeks.
The least excitement brings on a return of profuse catamenia, dysmenorrhoea, or metrorrhagia.
Suppression of menses from working in water; from fright; in plethoric women, or: Menses late, at times scanty, with bloating (observed in cases of goitre).
Complaints as if menses would set in: pain in the lumbar region and in the ossibus iliacis. Voluptuous dream the night before the menses start.
Before menses: headache; aching of the hips and back; breast pain and swelling; chills; leucorrhoea; feels very sick and is easily frightened, a trifle frightens her very much.
At the onset of menses, there is painful cramping; membranous dysmenorrhoea. Other complaints during menses: determination of blood to the head, with heat in the head; agglutination of the eyes in the morning, head feels heavy, difficult thinking; nausea and vomiting, with ineffectual urging for stool; drawing pressing pains, with stitches in the abdomen and here and there, and restlessness amounting to faintness; contracting, pinching abdominal pain when the flow stands still; involuntary urination on every movement.
Metrorrhagia; profuse and bright red; with leucorrhoea, during climacterium. Prone to uterine haemorrhages; tendency to miscarry; Calcarea may be indicated in patients inclined to miscarriage, who have profuse menses. Sometimes the flow continues in the first month of pregnancy, with much pain. Milk-like leucorrhoea, itching and burning. The fluor may come on before or after menses, but it sometimes also intermingles with the menstrual flow; often it is mainly discharged during micturition. Frequent leucorrhoea between profuse and too early menses. Fluor in fits and starts; worse after exercise; very debilitating; with stinging in the os uteri and aching in the vagina; with burning in the cervical canal; with accumulation of mucus between the labia and thighs.
Burning and itching of the genitals is a marked feature, as in the male patient. Terrible itching of parts toward evening, or after going to bed. Ovarian or uterine pains, right-sided, extending down the thighs; worse from reading or writing. Constant aching in the vagina.
Sense of weight and soreness in the uterus.
Prolapsus uteri with sensation of pressure on the uterus. Bearing down, as if prolapsus would occur, and internal organs would pass out, hence difficulty in standing.
Ulcers, or polypi, or cancer of the uterus.
Warts on the os uteri.
Vaginal polypi and fistula.
Sterility, particularly when the menses are too early and profuse.
Pregnant women who are clumsy, awkward, and fall easily; tired from a short walk, from a general feeling of lameness in the pelvis. False labour pains, running upward.
Lochia last too long, or have a milky appearance.
Lactation disturbances are prominent. Secretion of milk too abundant; galactorrhoea. Excessive lactation; also hectic and sweat; weakness as a consequence. Or: Breasts distended, milk scanty; she is cold, feels cold air very readily; want of vital activity to secrete milk. Or: Milk disappears in a nursing woman (observed in the proving). The milk is often disagreeable to the child, who refuses it, does not thrive on it, even when secretion is great.
Mammae painful as if ulcerated, especially to the touch. Nipples cracked, ulcerated, and very tender. When nursing, severe internal stitching, as if arrows were forced through the breasts.
Calcarea patients strain the back quite easily, and there are numerous complaints from over-lifting, including stiffness and rigidity of the nape of the neck, with head pain. This stiffness in the neck can also be felt on stooping or as a result of catching a cold. Sacral pain, from over-lifting but also as if from over-lifting.
The back feels so weak that he slides down in his chair while sitting; cannot sit upright. Or there is pain in the small of the back, so severe that he can hardly rise from his seat. Weak feeling in the back, worse from mental annoyance.
Painful stiffness of the spine in the morning on waking and after rising, with weariness and heaviness of the lower limbs; afterwards there is a rush of blood to the head and chest.
A kind of back pain as if sprained or wrenched is often experienced, particularly in the sides of the back. The spine is painful on bending backwards. Swelling and incurvature of the vertebrae of the neck and back. Tabes dorsalis.
Spina bifida of the new-born.
Inflammation of the spinal cord.
Painful jerking in the right side of the back on breathing, with chill.
Coldness and numbness on the side of the back that is lain on.
At the neck, the lymph nodes tend to be swollen and painful. This may be accompanied by an eruption on the hairy portion of the scalp.
On turning the head, there is a sudden pain at the neck as if sprained, or else a pain as if a tumour might protrude there. Burning pain from the nape of the neck to the occiput; all day; ceasing only upon going to sleep. Perspiration at the nape of the neck in sleep is a keynote.
Pain is often felt between the scapulae. Pressure between the scapulae, on motion, with the catching of breath. Also cutting or drawing pain at this place, or a pinching contraction.
‘Low back pain‘ is very often seen. Lumbago. Sciatica.
Pressing pain in the region of the kidneys.
Aching in the lumbar and kidney region on riding in a car.
Paralytic pain as if bruised in the small of the back (and also in the long bones of lower limbs) on motion; also when sitting or standing. Pain in the spine, in the kidney region, from stretching.
Griping in the small of the back during menses.
Pain in the small of the back with incarcerated flatus.
Continuous dragging from the small of the back to the rectum.
Rheumatism of the lumbar vertebrae, with violent boring, tearing, burning pain, extending downward, with the inclination to move. Drawing and tearing pinching in the coccyx.
Heat around the coccyx.
Weakness and fatigue in all limbs is a general feature of Calcarea carbonica. Mostly, this comes on after any exertion be it ever so slight, in the evening before going to bed, in the morning after waking, or from catching a cold. It is more marked in the lower limbs, especially in the feet. An indication for Calcarea carbonica by Margery Blackie is ‘persistent weakness in sprained or fractured limbs.’
The joints are easily affected by rheumatism and rheumatic pains, which is often worse after a change in weather to damp and cold (‘damp’ being the most important modality). Cold bath aggravates, while warm bathing tends to ameliorate. Often, the pains are also made worse by lying down, in bed. There is stiffness in all the joints upon beginning to move.
Gouty disorders of the joints, with enlargement and swelling of the joints; gouty conditions especially of the small joints, of the fingers and toes. Gouty nodes on the hand and finger joints. Rheumatoid arthritis.
‘Shooting pains throughout the limbs, both upper and lower; he began to imagine that he was going to have rheumatic fever’ (from Robinson’s proving). Drawing pressure in the joints. Tearing in the joints of the arms and lower limbs; also tearing-sticking or drawing-sticking pains. Exertion aggravates these joint pains.
Curvature and deformation of the long bones is a pathology that often responds to Calcarea, as is consistent with the general influence of Calcarea on the bony tissues.
Paralytic disorders of the limbs, cannot be moved or movement is restrained, with ‘paralytic pain’, often as if bruised or beaten. When climbing stairs, a pain as if bruised in the middle of the long bones occurs (upper arms and thighs). Pain as if sprained in the joints with weakness is also often seen.
The limbs easily become numb and ‘go to sleep’, especially hands, fingers, and feet, but also other parts: arms, hips, thighs, etc. Cramps in different muscles: forearms, hands, calves, toes; cramps that draw limbs crooked.
Strange jerking and trembling motions of the limbs are frequent: Single involuntary motions and twitching in the right thigh, in the left shoulder and the left arm; painless twitching of single limbs; twitching pains in muscles of the arms; jerk-like drawings in the wrists and up the arms; stitching jerk in the right leg, so that it suddenly jerks upward; choreatic trembling of the upper and lower limbs in spells.
Coldness and perspiration of the hands and feet, particularly at night.
Nightly drawing and tearing in the arms. Nocturnal pains in the back and arms. Sudden lassitude of the arms, as if paralysed.
Sensation of a mouse running up the arm before an epileptic attack.
Restlessness and anxiety in arm and hand joints.
Stitches in the left shoulder joint, all day. Arthritic pains in the right shoulder. Shoulder joints become stiff at night, on beginning to sleep; has to put arms over head.
Arms painful as if bruised or beaten, on motion or touch.
Burning paralytic pain in the entire right arm, from the finger joints to the shoulder.
Cramp in the whole arm, left or right, for a quarter of an hour.
The arm he lies on goes numb, with pain.
Weakness and a kind of paralysis of the left arm; has difficulty moving or raising it; the arm is then inclined to fall down again by itself.
Cramp-like tearing pain at the outside of the forearm, from the elbow to the carpus, as soon as he grasps something with his hand. Cramping pain at forearm, below the elbow joint.
Pain as if luxated in the right wrist, or as if something was sprained or dislocated.
An example observed by Keller and published in Klassische Homeopathie 36 (1992) 5, Page 189: ‘Tennis elbow for months. After extensive handicraft activity, pain and impeded mobility at the left outer epicondylus and the right wrist. Elbow pain impedes the lifting of objects with the arm stretched and pronated; the wrist is sometimes painful when he supports himself with the hand or when exerting the hand, with pain as from a dislocation or sprain. Three weeks after taking Calcarea carbonica, a catarrhal condition set in, and two days later, the arm pains disappeared completely. Swelling of radius and crusts on skin, smelling like cheese.
Cramp in the hands, at night, lasting till he rises in the morning.
Trembling of the hands, for several hours, in the afternoon.
Perspiration of the hands. Perspiration of the palms, on moderate movement of the body.
Cold, white hands; also from a slight fright.
Painful swelling at the carpus, and itching when touched. Swelling of the hands.
Eruption of vesicles on the back of the hand, filled with clear fluid; turning into urticaria after scratching. Warts on the arms, hands and fingers. Psoriasis palmaris.
The fingers go numb; index, middle, and ring finger going numb, white, and cold, which is preceded by a slight drawing in them.
‘The finger joints became much swollen‘ (from Berridge’s proving). Also: ‘Pain of finger joints, as if they were swollen, on waking from (evening) sleep, without visible swelling’ (Hahnemann).
Rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers.
Cramp-like contraction of the muscles and tendons of the fingers; when stretched, they feel as if they were tense and indrawn, as if they were glued together.
Brittle finger nails. Nails become distorted and produce deep-seated panaritia.
Painful weariness of the lower limbs, especially the thighs, as from exertion while walking. Lower limbs ‘go to sleep’, in the evening when sitting.
Paralytic pain as if bruised or beaten in the long bones and joints of the lower limbs on motion; muscles are painful to the touch.
Extreme lassitude of the lower limbs on walking; in the evening; after coitus; so severe that they seem unable to support the body any longer, knees seem to give way. May be felt in the thighs, knees, ankles, feet, everywhere.
Great restlessness in the lower limbs; in the evening, cannot keep them still; sometimes with much belching.
Children are very slow to walk, or forget how to walk.
Viscous night sweat only on the lower limbs.
Drawing and shooting pains in the hips; coxalgia with drawing stitches, or tearing, or cutting. A drawing pain as if luxated in the hip joint, on walking.
Hip-joint disease, with contraction or dislocation.
Sciatic pain caused by working in cold water, which extends down into the limbs and keeps them in constant uneasiness.
Numb feeling on the right hip and thigh, as if these parts were brittle and as if they are short and small.
Fatigue, like a tension in anterior muscles of thighs, in the morning, on beginning to walk. Emaciation of the thighs and paralysis of the extensor muscles of the thighs.
Itching on the thighs.
Fistular openings and ulcers at the thighs.
Gouty swelling of the knees.
Stitching in the knee on standing and sitting; drawing on sitting and walking; stitches from the patella to the hip-joint on stepping, when beginning to walk.
Leg pain in the calf on walking and stepping, also on touch or on bending of the foot.
Violent cramps in the calf at night. Cramps in calves and hollows of knees when stretching leg, relieved by bending it, but returning on stretching it again.
Varices painful and painless in the legs.
Much itching of the legs and feet.
Itching beneath both calves.
Red stripe on the shin, consisting of miliary grains, with severe itching and burning after rubbing. Violently itching, biting eruptions on the lower limbs, compelling to scratch, bleeding on scratching, which at the margins merges into an urticarious eruption.
Pain in ankle as if broken or luxated, especially on walking and stepping.
Osteochondritis, with severe pain on the insides of both heels, legs chilly to the touch and soaking wet with sweat.
Cramp in the sole of the foot.
Sweating of the feet, especially in the evening and at night. Offensive sweat making soles raw. Cold damp feet. Sensation in the feet and legs as if she had cold damp stockings on. Coldness and numbness of the feet, especially in the bed at night, but also burning in the soles of the feet, especially later in the night, when they get warm.
Cramp in the toes.
Big toe is very sensitive on walking; feels numb on bending; worse at night.
The sleep is often disturbed, which tends to contribute to the weakness of the system. Kent says, ‘He can’t sleep so that the body rests or the mind rests. He is disturbed in his sleep with horrible dreams. His sleep is a restless one.’
Calcarea carbonica persons very often have difficulties falling asleep. They are sensitive to noise in the evening, on falling asleep. Vivacity of mind and a rush of thoughts that involuntarily come to their mind keep them from sleeping for a long time. These thoughts may be partly sexual and partly vexatious, and they simply cannot get rid of them; often they continue in their dreams and even haunt them after they awake in the morning. Or the same disagreeable idea constantly comes to their mind and arouses them as often as they fall into a light slumber.
The effect of these disturbances is that they are often unable to fall asleep until 2 or 3 a.m. Again, once they fall asleep, they tend to wake up after a short time, or awake frequently, and 2 or 3 a.m. is also a time when they often awake from sleep and are unable to sleep any more. ‘Sleep only from 11 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m.; then she cannot sleep any more and is wide awake’ (Hahnemann).
Has frightful visions before falling asleep, immediately on closing the eyes, is a well-known symptom of Calcarea carbonica. Horrible or anxious dreams frequently come on once the patients fall asleep, often continuing the whole night. They start from sleep, screaming, anxious, and with difficult breathing. Children may awake after midnight screaming and cannot be pacified.
Dreams of sick persons and corpses bother them. Margery Blackie reports, ‘…dream the very constant Calcarea carbonica dream of seeing corpses. It quite worries me at times to hear a child say that she saw dead bodies lying all round the room. Adults may also say they can smell the corpses. They do really have dreams bad enough to make them shriek out in the night.’ They frequently even cannot rid themselves of the dreams when they awake.
The characteristic fear of insanity also disturbs the Calcarea sleep. ‘At night, fear as if she were or became psychotic; then shaking chill for some minutes, followed by a sensation of annihilation in body, as if beaten all over’ (Hahnemann).
No wonder, then, that the sleep of Calcarea persons is restless. The patients are troubled with cough all night; palpitations; frequent urination; cramps of the calves and hands; tearing and drawing pains in the arms; cold clammy feet; determination of blood to the head, with heat; and so on. Throw themselves about continuously. Respiration may be short, asthmatic, snoring and sobbing. Perspiration, especially of the head and nape of the neck, often accompanies the restless sleep. One symptom from the proving that shows how weakness and sleepiness can exist simultaneously with sleeplessness is: ‘At night, stupefaction in head, which awakens him and continues to aggravate almost to fainting, followed by trembling of limbs and prolonged lassitude, so that he cannot fall asleep again.’
In the morning patients have difficulty becoming fully awake. ‘Very exhausted on waking from deep sleep in the morning, the drowsy condition continues even after rising.’
On the other hand, we see a marked sleepiness during the day. All day very tired and sleepy; falls asleep several times during morning. Stretching and frequent yawning, sometimes followed by pulsations in the head, abdomen, and chest, which shake him, with severe heat in the face. An irresistible urge to sleep after a meal, especially after supper, is also frequently seen.
As previously mentioned, Calcarea people tend to be chilly people with a great predisposition to ailments from exposure to cold and to catching a cold.
A feeling of great internal chill is often seen, but even more characteristic is a coldness of the surface even when there is congestion of internal parts. Coldness of single parts: head, face, hands and feet; coldness of the body and cold sweat during palpitations accompanied by anxiety; cold and white tongue, lips, and hands, cold forehead and face from a fright; coldness of the body with indistinct vision during an attack of faintness. Chill may come on in the evening, for several hours; after walking, with fatigue and thirst; on rising from bed; cold air or draught is not tolerated easily and makes them shudder, with goose-flesh on the thighs and legs. The feet grow numb, as if dead. Working and washing in water aggravates all symptoms.
Inward chill alternating with flushes of heat.
Chill at 2 p.m. begins internally in the stomach region.
Sudden flushes of heat are also often seen. Frequent attacks of sudden, universal heat, as if hot water were poured over her, with despair of life and a most dreary mood. A warm stream of blood is felt from the pit of the stomach to the head. Flushes of heat and trembling.
At night, an internal heat particularly in the feet and heads can come on, with a dry tongue and external heat in the head in the morning, without thirst. Burning of the soles of the feet, especially when they get warm later at night, whereas they are frequently very cold in the first part of night.
The well-known profuse, cold and clammy sweat of Calcarea carbonica has been already mentioned. Some characteristic perspiration symptoms are: Profuse perspiration, both during the day, on walking, and at night in bed. Sweat during the day from the slightest motion.
Profuse perspiration during the day, with the air being cold.
Night sweat with cold legs.
Profuse morning sweat, every morning.
Night sweats particularly on the head and nape of the neck, in children so profuse that the pillow is wet all around.
General sweat. Partial sweats of the head, chest, nape of neck, palms, feet, often with cold limbs and very cold feet.
Skin hot, then cold, clammy sweat.
Repeated episodes of perspiration over and over after violent stomach cramps.
Perspiration generally aggravates the patient’s symptoms.
Hectic fever: with alternate chills and heat; frequent attacks of flushes of heat, with anguish and palpitation of the heart, or constant shuddering in the evening, with red cheeks. Evening fever, with burning heat in the belly and thirst for water the whole night long.
Paroxysmal fever at 11 a.m. every day.
Intermittent fever after the abuse of quinine; with chill commencing in the stomach and a sensation of agonising weight, increasing with chill and disappearing with it; in people who work much in cold water.
The skin is generally unhealthy, and even small wounds tend to suppurate and do not heal well. It looks pale and flabby or dry, shrivelled and yellow. A bloated appearance has also been noted. The skin often feels cold to the touch.
Rough and dry skin, with an appearance like a miliary eruption; or a bran-like coating of the skin.
Chapped or fissured skin, especially in those who work in water.
A visible quivering in the skin, from feet up to the head, followed by dizziness.
Outbreaks of itching and burning eruptions on various parts of the body; the itching is worse in bed on becoming warm, and particularly towards morning.
Itching vesicular eruption over the whole body, especially above the hips.
Chronic form of urticaria, mostly disappearing in cool air.
Erysipelas in repeated attacks.
Milk-white spots on the skin, with dark borders.
Eruptions of white spots and some scattered red patches, on the wrists, the back of the hands, thighs, legs and ankles, with violent irritation. Spots glistening through the skin.
Eczema, thin moist scabs upon the head, with swollen cervical glands; eczema behind the ears. Acne indurata or punctata.
Blisters that leave raw spots, or are converted into ulcers, especially on the elbow, on the upper arm and forearm; accompanied by a bloated, florid and scaly appearance of the face, and a scabby condition of the feet.
Old ulcers, deep, fistular, and carious, with throbbing pain and tearing around them, and a stench as from rotten eggs. Round swellings, which appear in different places on the joints of the upper limbs, lower legs, feet and breasts. Needle-like stitches in the skin.
Warts. They appear, itch, bleed, and disappear; or become inflamed, with stinging, suppurate and form ulcers.
Suppression of eruptions may bring on different kinds of pathology, like epilepsy, localised migraine, nervous palpitation of the heart.
Abdomen, large. Acidity. Alcohol, effects of. Anaemia. Ankles. weak. Appetite, depraved. Beard, sycosis of. Bone, disease of. Bronchial neuralgia. Breasts, painful. Bronchial glands, disorders of. Calculus. Caries. Cataract. Chilblains. Chorea. Cold. Consumption. Corpulence. Coryza. Cough. Coxalgia. Laryngeal diphtheria. Crusta lactea. Debility. Delirium tremens. Dentition. Diabetes. Diarrhoea. Dropsy. Dyspepsia. Ear, disorders of. Epilepsy. Epulis. Eyes, disorders of. Fever, intermittent. Fistula. Gall-stones. Glandular swellings. Non-specific urethritis. Goitre. Gonorrhoea. Gouty swellings. Headache. Hernia. Herpes. Hydrocephalus. Hypochondriasis. Hysteria. Impotence. Joints, disorders of. Lactation, defective. Leucocythoemia. Leucorrhoea. Lupus. Masturbation. Melancholia. Menstruation, disorders of. Milk-fever. Miller’s phthisis. Miscarriage. Molluscum contagiosum. Naevus. Nervous fever. Neuralgia. Night terrors. Paralysis. Parotitis. Peritonitis. Perspiration. Plethora Polypus. Pregnancy. Prosopalgia. Psoriasis palmaris. Ranula. Renal colic. Rhagades. Rheumatism. Rickets. Ringworm. Sciatica. Scrofula. Skin, disorders of. Sleep, disorders of. Sleeplessness. Smell, disorder of. Spinal disorders. Stone-cutter’s phthisis. Strains. Sycosis. Sycosis menti. Tabes mesenterica. Tapeworm. Taste, disordered. Teeth, carious. Toothache. Trachea, disorders of. Tuberculosis. Tumours. Typhoid. Urticaria. Uterus, disorders of. Varices. Vertigo. Walking, late. Warts. Whitlow. Worms.
Compare: Aqua calcar. (Lime-water); Calc-caust.; Calc-brom.; Calc. calcinata.; Calc. lactic; Calc. lacto-phosph.; Calc. mur.-Calcium chloratum; Lyc.; Sil.; Puls.; Cham.
Complementary: Bell.; Rhus.; Lyc.; Sil.
Calc. is useful after Sulph. where the pupils remain dilated. When Puls. failed in school girls.
Antidotes: Camph.; Ip.; Nit-ac.; Nux.
Incompatible: Bry.; Sulph. should not be given after Calc.