– TESTE A, GROUP REMEDIES, GROUP XIII, LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM
– Crude antimony, protosulphuret of antimony.
– This mineral exists in great abundance in nature; it is the principal constituent of the gangue from which the metallic antimony is extracted.
– It is of a dark blueish-gray color, crystallises in long needles that are united in compact masses, and is less shining, lighter and weaker than antimony.
– Fire decomposes it by disengaging from it sulphurous vapors, and reducing it to the condition of oxyde.
– With water, it forms a fire-colored hydrate.
– It is this native sulphuret that was formerly employed in medicine under the name of antimony.
– But, inasmuch as it is only imperfectly purified by melting, (for after melting it twice, traces of arsenic are still found in it,) it is best to use for medicinal purposes, the artificial protosulphuret of antimony, which is obtained directly, by melting together two parts and a-half of antimony, and one of sulphur.
– Empirical applications.
– Few drugs have made as much noise in the medical world as antimony.
– It was known in the remotest antiquity.
– Hippocrates, Galenus, Plinius and Dioscorides mention it;* Basile-Valentin, ranks it among the heroic drugs* in the fifteenth century.
– From the arcana of Paracelsus, it was afterwards transferred into common use as an almost universal panacea, and, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, became the object of such violent disputes among doctors, that parliament was obliged to interfere, and to interdict the use of this drug.
– This interdiction remained in force from the year 1566, until the 16th of April, 166, when it was revoked at the instance of the Medical Faculty of Paris, one hundred and two members of which, at last united to give their assent to the use of antimonial preparations.*
– It is to be remarked, that the idle and noisy discussions which were carried on at this period on the subject of antimony, did not throw any light on the therapeutic properties of this drug.
– The only result was, that it was registered as a purgative in the Codex of 1677.
– At a later period, it was transformed into a stomach-strengthening drug, a sudorific, a cleansing medicine, a dissolvent, and lastly, an emetic, although the chemical physiologists of our time, only account for the power which this sulphuret possesses, of exciting vomiting, upon the ground that the crude antimony is decomposed by the gastric fluids.
– Crude antimony has been lauded in scrofula and glandular obstructions, intermittent fevers, convulsions, certain chronic affections of the skin, such as favus, lichen, scald-head, ulcers in the face, metastatic ophthalmia, bronchial catarrh, gastric derangement, colic, dropsy, worm-affections, dysentery, gonorrhoea, etc. *
– A number of authors, among whom I may mention Knuckle, Hermann and Fr. Hoffmann, * consider crude antimony an heroic remedy for rheumatic pains and gout.
– According to Merat and Delens, crude antimony is endowed with a faculty of making people fat; this, at least, is the effect which they say it produces in animals, especially swine, which it cures of the measles.
– The same authors relate, without guaranteeing the correctness of their statement, that Kunckel cured himself of marasmus which had reached the highest point of development, by means of the tablets that bear his name, and of which the sulphuret of antimony constitutes the principal ingredient. *
– Modern alloeopaths have abandoned the use of crude antimony almost completely.*
– Homoeopathic applications.
– Antimony is particularly indicated by the following symptoms.
– Loathing of life; sadness, with weeping and impressibility; rush of blood to the head; gnawing pain on the top of the head, apparently in the periosteum; fatiguing itching of the head, with falling off of the hair; redness and inflammation of the eyelids; chronic blepharophthalmia, (of children;) crusts and cracks of the nostrils; suppurating and longlasting eruption on the cheeks; cracks at the corners of the mouth; gnawing pain in the carious teeth; after every meal; loss of appetite, for a long time; habitual sensation in the stomach, as if over-loaded; eructations, tasting of the ingesta; loathing, nausea and desire to vomit; cutting colic, with loss of appetite; bread and pastry particularly occasion nausea and cutting colic; aggravation of gastric symptoms by wine, even when diluted with water; constant discharge of flatulence by the mouth and rectum, which is reproduced as soon as discharged, for years; alternate diarrhoea and constipation; hard, difficult stool; constant secretion of a yellowish-white mucus at the anus; frequent and profuse emission of urine; chronic catarrh of the bladder.
– Stuffing of the nose; chronic angina, with sensation as if a foreign body had lodged in the throat, which gives rise to a constant desire of wallowing empty; cough and oppression on the chest; rheumatic pains at the nape of the neck and loins; painful inflammation of the tendons, elbow, with intense redness, and contraction fo the arm; arthritic pains in the fingers; numbness of the legs during rest and while sitting; pulling pains in the lower limbs; callosities at the soles of the feet; sensitiveness to cold; quotidian or tertian intermittent fever, with loathing, nausea, vomiting, cutting in the bowels and diarrhoea; obesity; emaciation.
– Hep. sulph. Calc. and Merc. sol. are said to antidote Antim. crud.