ACETICUM ACIDUM – Homeopathic Remedy – Materia Medica Viva George Vithoulkas
English: Glacial acetic acid; ethanoic acid
French: Acide acetique
Acetic acid [CH3 COOH] is an acid anhydride and the most important of all carboxylic acids. It is a product of the oxidation of ethanol and the destructive distillation of wood. It is prepared by air oxidation of acetaldehyde, which is gotten from either the hydration of acetylene or dehydrogenation of ethanol. Animal and vegetable fats are sources for Acetic acid. The dilute aqueous solution of Acetic acid is also known as vinegar.
Mode of preparation: Distilled water is used for attenuations Ix and I; very dilute spirit for 3x and up to 4; rectified spirit for 5 and higher.
The essential features
You must think of acetic acid when you see a case with profound anemia, with progressive loss of weight, anorexia, leading to emaciation and cachexia. If you add to this picture nightsweats, excessive pallor of face, great debility, burning thirst, a chronic hacking cough, chronic diarrhea, vomiting and profuse urination you will have quite a good picture of the pathogenesis of this remedy.
It is easy to see that this remedy is very much indicated in wasting diseases like tuberculosis, hypoproteinaemia, diabetis melitus, pernicious anemia, hemorrhages from anywhere, ulcerative colitis but most of all the AIDS syndrome, cancer cases, particularly of the stomach, and also cases of old habitual opium users. Its pathogenesis makes this remedy a very interesting one in our times.
Kent wrote almost 90 years ago: “This is a deep acting, constitutional remedy and when well studied will be very useful”. This is another remedy that has been neglected and seldom prescribed. It does seems however to fit such cases extremely well. But the whole picture should fit the case before it can act.
There follows the mental/emotional picture of the remedy, to enable you to visualize the psychopathology of Acetic acid. Acetic acid develops its mental pathology mostly because of its physical pathology.
This means that most of the mental problems arise when Acetic acid cases find that they are starting to lose weight and are easily exhausted, when they see that their appetite is diminishing. These observations make them feel that something is wrong with their health. The more they lose weight the more they think something serious is going on. If they should develop some kind of pain in the stomach – a definite probability in this remedy – they immediately become convinced they have cancer.
Actually this type of constitution can develop cancer of the stomach, and Acetic acid will help with the excruciating burning pains in cancer of the stomach in patients who are debilitated, waxy, lean and irritable.
They cannot get over the fact that something is wrong with their health, they worry and worry and complain about it in a negative and peevish way. If there is no problem, the Acetic acid case will discover one in order to complain.
They also start worrying about others, and particularly about their own children. The idea is: what will happen to the children if they themselves die. They become easily alarmed at everything that takes place around them. Their nervous system is on edge. They fear something bad will happen. They become very irritable and any emotional excitement makes them feel worse. There is no emotional stamina. Their memory weakens, and they cannot remember what has happened. They feel especially irritated if they have a headache.
Sexually, Acetic acid people are almost impotent, although they usually have a strong desire; the cause is sheer exhaustion and debility. Male patients’ semen dribbles during stool.
They develop fears, especially fear of people, fear of strangers coming near them, fear that something calamitous will happen, fear of water. They may suffer from attacks of anguish, during which they feel unable to breathe. Sighing.
At other times Acetic acid cases may feel low, depressed, dull in their intellect; they cannot perform, they are averse to working mentally, their memory declines, they cannot remember persons, forget what has recently happened, make mistakes in speaking, at work.
Eventually they are short of ideas, the intellect feels clouded, they can hardly express themselves, a kind of confusion prevails, and then they become dull and indifferent to everything.
This mental picture must be coupled with a general waxy appearance, a wasting of the flesh, debility etc.
In some cases you will observe a hysterical element coupled with weakness due to anemia; the person has easy and frequent fainting.
These patients will have consequences from grief and vexation.
In acute cases, in fever we may see a kind of confusion in which the patient may not recognise anybody, not even their own children. There is stupor which is interrupted only by delirious talking. You may have convulsions so severe that the patient jumps out of bed like a madman, and crawls on the ground, howling with pain.
Children are pining, without appetite, pale, irritable, they will not let you touch their head. They are peevish, complaining and want to be carried like Chamomilla. Chronic diarrhea in children who are emaciated.
This is definitely a hemorrhagic remedy, hemorrhages from nose, stomach, rectum, lungs, ulcers, therefore one that could be useful in tuberculosis. Diabetes with or without sugar in the urine.
It is interesting also that Acetic acid does not develop a very high fever but rather a hectic one with coughing and night sweats pointing to a tubercular diathesis and of course to the Aids syndrome.
Excessive wasting and debility
Anemia with waxy pallor of face. Anemia of nursing women.
General aggravation from cold and sleeping on his back.
Amelioration from lying on abdomen. This remedy has an ability to affect the kidney and produce dropsical affections. Burning in inner and outer parts.
It antidotes bad effects of chloroform – mother tincture rubbed in the mouth.
Effects from chloroform. Orgasm of blood with internal pulsations. Weakness after coition.
Headache from abuse of narcotics, tobacco, coffee, alcohol but especially opium and chloroform. Headaches that date since the time of narcosis.
A nervous annoying headache that irritates tremendously.
Shooting pains through the temples.
Child does not want its head touched.
Dull headache in forehead, in right frontal eminence and then in left.
Blood rushes to head during delirium.
Temporal vessels distended.
Red patches on scalp, crusts between hair.
Pale, waxy, emaciated, with bluish lips, sometimes the face is cold on one side and hot on the other.
Eyes sunken, surrounded by dark rings.
Bright red flush on both cheeks and spots of perspiration on forehead. Epithelioma of lips.
Cheeks hot and flushed.
In convulsions the face has a wild expression and the pupils are dilated.
Croupous inflammation of conjunctiva. Pupils dilated, great flow of tears.
Tongue is discolored, pale and flabby with diminished appetite and no thirst.
Scorbutic ulcers on gums. Pain across root of tongue.
Extreme, insatiable, burning thirst but only for water, other kinds of drinks are repelled. Child shrieks at night calling for water.
Aversion to salty things. Aversion to cold drinks, if he does drink them he is much aggravated with heaviness in the stomach, oppression in chest or a feeling of a lump in the throat. Also they can produce a pressing pain in stomach. Vegetables, bread and butter also disagree.
Has the feeling that there is an extreme fermentation in stomach.
Vomits after every kind of food. Vomiting of blood with all the contents of the stomach.
Epigastric tenderness. Hot, sour eructations. He fancies there is an ulcer in the stomach.
Cancer of stomach. Violent burning pain in stomach and chest, followed by coldness of skin and cold sweat on forehead.
Distension of abdomen with flatulence and colicky pains. Abdomen is sore to touch.
A sensation as if abdomen is sinking in while lying on back. Ascites.
Diarrhea with great thirst, they can drink apparently large quantities without side effects, but not cold water. Chronic diarrhea in patients with tubercular diathesis. Chronic constipation. Ascarides
Hemorrhage from bowels, ulcerative colitis.
Copious watery urine.
Genitalia – male
Sexual passion, but feeble erections.
Weakening emissions; semen passes at stool.
Male parts flush and sweat.
Genitalia – female
Hemorrhages after labor.
Breasts painfully enlarged, distended with milk. Milk impoverished, bluish, transparent, sour. Anemia of nursing mothers.
Hoarseness with pale mucous membranes. Difficult breathing.
Chronic hacking cough in those tubercular patients with edema of the lower limbs, diarrhea and dyspnea. Coughs when inhaling.
Membranous croup, hissing respiration with rattling in the throat; lining membranes of the windpipe is found covered with fibrinous membrane, exactly as in true croup. laryngeal diptheria.
Children thirsty but swallow with some difficulty, even a teaspoonful of water. Hemoptysis.
Pain in back is ameliorated only by lying on abdomen.
Weakness and lameness of the extremities. Impaired muscular power of the legs. Paralytic sensations in wrists and hands.
Convulsions in right leg. Swelling of foot, (phthisis). Emaciation. Edema of feet and legs with diarrhea.
Impossible to sleep on back because of a feeling as if abdomen is sinking in.
Hectic fever with emaciation, cough, night-sweats, diarrhea, dyspnea and troublesome swelling of the feet and legs. Red spot on left cheek.
Profuse night sweat. Cold perspiration.
Pale, waxen, edematous.
Burning, dry, hot skin or bathed in profuse sweat.
Effects of chloroform, of narcotics. Anemia. Debility. Phthisis. Croup.
Diarrhea. Dyspepsia. Stomach cancer. Diabetes. Hemorrhages from nose, lungs, stomach, bowels and uterus.
Compare: Apis mellifica, Arsenicum, Ammon-acet., Benzoin oderiferum, Carbolic acid, China, Digitalis, Lac-defloratum, Lactic acid, Liatris, Uranium nitricum. It complements China.
It aggravates the effects of belladonna, Mercury, Arnica and Lachesis.
It disagrees when given after Borax, Causticum, Nux vomica, Ranunculus bulbosus, Sarsaparilla.
It is antidoted by: Magnesia or Calcarea either as fluid magnesia or lime water.
It antidotes: Anesthetics, Aconitum, Asarum, Coffea, Euphorbium, Ignatia, Natrum muriaticum, Opium, Plumbum [colic], Sepia, Stramonium, Tabacum.
Dosage: From mother tincture to the highest potencies.