TYPICAL Silica crawls nervously in, or is dragged in on his mother’s hand , and you can hardly miss him. He is the most homoeopathic drug you can imagine! Read the black type only in Allen’s Cyclopedia, and see how extraordinarily suggestive the provings are in regard to tuberculosis, especially abdominal; to pustules, boils and abscesses; to effects of splinters, stings and abrasions; to lack of reaction against injury and disease. Silica, they say, lacks, grit-needs sand. And doses of Silica stimulate mightily these weaklings who are going under, to put up a fight, mental and physical. You look up, as poor little Silica is dragged reluctantly in. He is listless; not interested; not frightened. You see a pale, sickly, suffering face; and you realize at once that there is something deeply wrong here; no mere ailment- DISEASE. Now for the mother’s story-in Allen’s black type- for they are identical: “He doesn’t get on, he doesn’t. He doesn’t thrive. He doesn’t learn; he doesn’t eve play. He is irritable and grumpy. He is always at the bottom of everything, and his teacher can’t make nothing of him; she writes, see!-`he shrinks from effort, from the least responsibility, and is utterly lacking in self- confidence and self-assertion.’ Doesn’t seem to have no `go’ in him. He doesn’t seem to be able to think! He can’t fix his mind. He can’t read or write. And yet he’s always worried to death over little things he’s done wrong. That’s it: he’s so odd, and so unlike the others. “He gets violent attacks of headache, she says, and complains that the back of his head is cold. That’s where the pain is, but it goes all over his head. He says his head will burst. He wants it tied up tight. He wants it warm. Warm and tight, that’s what his head has got to be-when he gets one of his attacks. “And a funny thing she has noticed, he’s always ill with the new moon! “And he’s got a shocking cough, pore little mite. He spits up awful stuff with it-lumpy and yellow, or greenish, it is; and it sinks to the bottom of any fluid, and smells horribly. It’s more like `corruption’ (matter). “And he’s all wrong somehow, all over, he is! Look at his nails- rough and yellow; and feeling as if he had got a splinter in his finger. Or gets a red swollen finger that throbs and feels like a felon. Or look at that finger, how it is swollen, and the bone feels big. he wakes crying, and says his hands have gone to sleep. “And then his skin won’t heal., He’s an awful boy for knocking bits off of himself, or falling and scratching his knees; and every little scratch and hurt fester and ulcerates, and they won’t never heal. And in every sore he gets sticking pains or burning pains. He is so thin; and such a lot of sore places. “Boils, too!-such a boy for boils as you never see. A boil on his chin; then boils on his neck; pustules or boils anywhere on his body. To her mind he has never been right since vaccination. “And the child is so cold; never seems to be warm. Chilly with every movement. Why, he seems extra chilly in a warm room! That ain’t natural in a child! Cold up to his knees, he is. Can’t sleep for cold feet. “And then with all his coldness, he’s awful one for sweating! He’s just drenched at night; with no appetite; and so tired always! “So weak and tired. Always wants to lie down. Going into a decline, that’s what she thinks he is, if you ask her. At night he’s a terror one way or the other. Feels as if he was all sore on the side he lies on; yet if he turns over, shifting the clothes and moving makes him more cold. And then his dreams- frightful! “Sometimes it’s only his head that perspires, and in sleep. But that’s not all; it’s the awful smell of the perspiration of his feet not only smells enough to turn you, but it makes his poor little feet that sore! Sore between the toes, they are, till he can scarce shuffle along. In his armpits too, there’s a very smelly sweat. “If he runs, he goes deathly white. “Oh! and she had forgotten that. He seems always wet about the back passage; and he seems to have a lot of pain there, as if it was tight closed. And he always seems to be wanting to pass something, though as often as not it is only a little jelly stuff. But he has horribly offensive stools; often hard and difficult. He has to strain that awful, it makes his whole stomach wall sore; and sometimes when the motion is half out, why, it slips back again. (Were this mother an American doctor, she would describe it as a `bashful stool’.) “Oh, and she had forgotten that, too, his stomach is so hard. and swollen, and big. He seems to have an awful lot of wind, and it awful smelling. And that don’t seem right somehow. “And-such a funny thing for a boy!-one nipple seems to be swollen and painful, it almost seems as if it was gathering; and he says he has shooting pains in the other. All his pain are like splinters; or stitching pains; or pains; like a gathering.” That is Allen’s black type. What is your diagnosis, before you put a finger on the child? Is it not all graphic? You would expect a T.B. abdomen-a T.B. dactylitis-a T.B. family history. Not the acute phthisis type- he cannot even put up an acute tuberculosis- he is just-Silica. And Silica and Tub. bov. may make a man of him yet. No wonder Silica, with such a proving should be a drug to think about in abscesses, whitlows, unhealthy skin, smelly feet, mammary abscess, mammary cancer, wounds that refuse to heal, tubercle of skin, bone, abdomen. But the old homoeopaths say, “Use Sil. with caution in pulmonary phthisis.” It has a well- known trick of ulcerating out foreign bodies and breaking down scar tissue. It may liberate tubercle. Do not use it high in tuberculosis. Its great sphere is connective tissue. We know now, since Old School experiments with colloidal Silica, that it not only breaks down scar tissue, in potencies, but, in poisonous doses has produced cirrhosis of liver and kidneys, etc.
BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS
And a few very important italic symptoms given in brackets. Sensitive to noise. (Most excessive scruples of conscience, about trifles frequently.) (Great difficulty in firing the attention. Thought difficult.) HEADACHE rising from nape of neck to vertex. (The most violent headache.) Tearing in the whole of the head, starting from the occipital protuberances and extending upward and forward over both sides of the head. (As if head would burst) relieved by binding the head tightly. Pressive pain in occiput, relieved by warm wrapping up of the head soon followed by stitches in the forehead, with chilliness nape of neck and back. The head was sore to touch externally . The itching spots on head are painful, as if sore after scratching. Swelling in the region of the right lachrymal gland and sac. Painful sensitiveness of the ear to loud sounds. The gum is painfully sensitive on taking cold water into the mouth. Sensation of a hair lying on forepart of tongue. Inflammation and suppuration of salivary glands. ABDOMEN hard, tense. Very offensive flatus. Moisture in the ANUS. Haemorrhoids painfully sensitive. STOOL remedies a long time in rectum. Cutting in rectum. Stinging in rectum. Tension in the anus. Pain in the anus as if constricted during stool . Burning in anus after a hard, dry, stool. Frequent desire for stool, but discharge of only mucus, with chilliness of the body. Constant but ineffectual desire for stool. Horribly offensive stools. Stool of hard lumps evacuated only with great effort. Stool scanty, difficult: after great urging and straining until the abdominal walls are sore, the stool that has already protruded slips back again. Very hard stool, followed by burning in anus. Very hard, nodular stool like clay-stones, evacuated only with great effort. Very hard, unsatisfactory stools, with very great effort. Fissura ani and fistula in ano. EXPECTORATION thick, yellow, lumpy. Purulent expectoration when coughing. The right BREAST is hard, painful, and swollen at the nipple-it feels as if it were “gathering.” Darting and burning pain in left nipple. Aversion to mother’s milk: if child nurses, it vomits. Stiffness nape of neck, with headache. The COCCYX is painful, as after a long carriage ride. Stinging in the os coccyx, which is also painful to pressure. Weakness of all the LIMBS. Falling asleep of the hands at night. Finger nails rough and yellow. Sensation as if the tips of the fingers were suppurating. Pain in the left index finger as if a panaritium would form. Whitlow extending to tendons and bone. Weakness of lower extremities. Pain in hips. The knees is painful, as if too tightly bound. intolerably bad, carrion like odour of the feet, without perspiration, every evening. Offensive perspiration on the soles and between the toes; they become quite sore while walking. Offensive perspiration on the feet. Every morning perspiration which sometimes was very profuse. Sense of great debility; she wants always to be lying down. Great weariness. Great weakness. Internal restlessness and excitement. Sensitiveness to cold air. He took cold very easily. Takes cold easily and has a cough. Bruised feeling over the whole body after coition. The whole side of the body on which he is lying is painful, as if ulcerating, with constant chilliness on the slightest uncovering; with intolerable thirst, and frequent flushes of heat in the head. The whole body is painful as if beaten. Most of the symptoms of Silica occur at the new moon. Pain aggravated by motion. Small wounds in the SKIN heal with difficulty and easily suppurate. Variola-like pustules on forehead, occiput, sternum and spine: they are extremely painful, and at last form suppurating ulcers. Several boils come out on different parts of the body: with stinging pain when touched. A boil on the nape of the neck. Some boils on the posterior portions of the thighs. Frequent ulcers about the nails. A large corrosive ulcer, with violent itching, on the heel. Sore, painful scabs below the septum of the nose, with sticking pain when touched. Itching suppurating scabs upon the toes. Pressive-stinging pain in the ulcerating part of the leg. Sticking in an ulcer on the leg. Restless sleep. Frightful dreams. Dreams of his youth. Very CHILLY all day. Chilliness on every movement. Chilliness in the evening. Distressing sensation of chilliness in the afternoon– in a warm room. He feels very chilly even in a warm room. Cramp-like chill in the evening in bed, so that he shivered. Icy-cold shivering frequently creeps over the whole body. Coldness of the legs, as far as the knees, in a warm room. Icy-cold feet in the evening, even in bed. Icy-cold feet during the menses. Cold feet in the evening in bed, preventing sleep. FEVER with violent heat in the head. Febrile heat all night, with violent thirst and catching respiration. Heat of the head. General sweat at night. Profuse PERSPIRATION every night, towards morning. Profuse general nightsweat. Profuse perspiration every night, with loss of appetite and prostration, as if he would go into a decline. Perspiration of a strong odour. Sweat on the head. Sweat only on the head, running down the face. Offensive perspiration on the soles and between the toes; they become quite sore while walking. Offensive perspiration on the feet. We will now let NASH speak in general to Silica. Weak, puny children, not from want of nourishment taken, but from defective assimilation. Sweaty-headed children, over- sensitive, imperfectly nourished. The Silica child is not larger than natural except in its “big belly”, which is due to diseased mesentery. Its limbs are shrunken and its face pinched and old- looking. It does not increase in size or strength, learns to walk late: everything seems to have come to a standstill so far as growth and development are concerned strains and strains, the stool partly protruding and then slipping back (Sanicula, Thuja). Or bowels very loose in spite of abundant nourishment, goes on emaciating and growing weaker until it dies of inanition, unless Silica checks this process. Many such cases have I saved with this remedy, and made them healthy children. (I have always used the 30th and upwards.) Inflammations tending to end in suppuration or refusing to heal : becoming chronic. Coldness, lack of vital warmth, even when taking exercise; must be wrapped up, especially the head. Suppressed sweat, especially of feet, which is profuse and offensive. Weak, nervous, easily irritated; yielding, giving up disposition, “grit all gone”. Worse from cold or draught, motion, open air, at new moon: better in warm room, wrapping up head. Disease caused from suppressed foot-sweat; exposure head or back to any slight draught of air : from vaccination (Thuja), dust complaints of stone-cutters, with total loss of strength. Unhealthy skin: every little injury suppurates. Ulcers, a curious symptom: Mercury has “shivering in abscesses”, Silica has “a sensation of coldness in ulcers”. Promotes expulsion of foreign bodies from the tissues : fish- bones, needles, bone splinters. And among NASH’S TIPS we find : “In the marasmus of children we may have to choose from among remedies such as Silica, Abrotanum, Natrum mur., Sulphur, Calcarea and Iodine. “Under all these remedies we may find emaciation of the rest of the body, while the abdomen is greatly enlarged. “Again, under every one of them the child may have a voracious appetite, eat enough, but grow poor all the time. It is a defective assimilation.” “There are strong points of resemblance between Baryta carb. and Silica, namely: Offensive sweat on the feet. The head is disproportionally large for the body. Both suffer from damp changes in the weather and both are sensitive to cold about the head. “But Silica has the important diagnostic difference–profuse swear on the head (equal to that of Calc.), which Baryta has not. And there is not that weakness of mind in Silica that is found in Baryta: on the contrary the child is self-willed and contrary.” GUERNSEY says :- “Feet perspire very much and smell very offensively; feet become sore and blistered between the toes. Head perspires very much in the evening on going to sleep. This looks like Calc. but in Silica the perspiration extends lower down the neck and is apt to have an offensive smell. “Worse from getting the feet wet :- when single parts are cold : – from uncovering the head.” HUGHES, writing of rickets, says, “I am accustomed to prescribe it (Silica) in the earliest manifestations of the diathesis, which are generally unhealthy evacuations, sweats of the head, and tenderness of the surface; with the best results. He gives the classical uses of Silica :- its power over suppurations, once established or long-enduring: for external or internal ulcers. Of its effect on brain and cord, “affecting the centres of nutrition”: in children not able to stand or walk. Of its importance in the treatment of lachrymal fistula-house-maid’s knee-suppressed foot-sweat, and ailments therefrom. To abate the pains of cancer, etc. etc. And Hughes quotes Dunham, re the Silica mentality: “Silica cannot possibly do a thing!’ but when urged to the doing, goes off in a paroxysm of overdoing.” Clarke says :- “A curious symptom, and one of great value, is this: ‘Fixed ideas: the patient thinks only of pins, fears them, searches for them, and counts them carefully.’ This symptom helped me to make a rapid cure of post-influenzal insanity in the case of a man of bad family history, one of whose sisters had become insane and drowned herself, another sister being affected with lupus. The patient’s wife told me one morning that he had been looking everywhere for pins. Sil 30 rapidly put an end to the search for pins and restored the patient to his senses. “Silica has another link with insanity in its aggravation at the moon’s phases; epilepsy and sleep-walking are worse at the new and full moon.” Silica is one of the great medicines to be thought of in epilepsy — and in petit mal–in the Silica patient. One has lately had news of a girl–a pale and feeble young epileptic of many years ago–who used to come to Hospital, and improved so much with Silica that (as one hears now) she “has never had another fit.” It is “curses and chickens”– and bad prescriptions–“that come home to roost”!– often one hears of one’s very best work only accidentally, years afterwards,–or never. And now a few more gleanings from Kent. “The action of Silica is slow. In the proving it takes a long time to develop the symptoms. It is suited, therefore, to complaints that develop slowly. The long-acting, deep-acting remedies are capable of going so thoroughly into the vital disorders that hereditary disturbances are routed out. “The mental state is peculiar. The patient lacks stamina. What Silica is to the stalk of grain in the field, it is to the human mind (Farrar’s shining siliceous sheath.’). When the mind needs Silica it is in a state of weakness, embarrassment, dread, a state of yielding. A prominent clergyman or lawyer will tell you that he had come to a state where he dreads to appear in public, he feels his own self-hood, so that he cannot enter into his subject, his mind will not work but he will say that when he rouses and forces himself into harness he can go on with ease, his usual self-command returns to him and he does well-with promptness, fullness and accuracy. The peculiar Silica state is found in the dread of failure. “It is the natural complement and chronic of Puls. because of its great similarity; it is Puls. only more so, a deeper, more profound remedy. “A lawyer says,’I have never been myself since that John Doe case.’ He went through a prolonged effort and sleepless nights followed. Silica restores the brain to its tone. “It produces inflammation about any fibrinous nidus and suppurates it out; acts on constitutions that are sluggish, and inflames fibrous deposits about bullets, etc. It will throw out abscesses in old cicatrices and open them out.* Cyclopedia of Drug Pathogenesy, one reads, among the re-provings of Silica: Girl of 17. Has several enlarged cervical glands, one of which has suppurated and discharged some years previously. After taking two doses of the 21st. dilution, the gland recommenced to discharge yellow matter. This continued while trying other dilutions, viz. the 12th,4th and 1st. While taking the 4th she got a cough with scraping in throat and mucous expectoration. The cough lasted about a fortnight, the discharge for over a month. (He warns against the use of Silica therefore where the whole lung is tubercular since Silica establishes an inflammation about tubercles– as other foreign bodies, and throws them out; and in such cases it may lead to a general septic pneumonia.) “Complaints from the suppression of discharges–suppressed sweat-foot sweat. Silica cures long-lasting foot-sweat when the symptoms agree, or complaints that have lasted since the suppression of a foot-sweat. “There is no deeper remedy than Silica in eradicating the tubercular tendency, when the symptoms agree; most tubercular cases are worse from cold, wet weather; better in cold dry weather. “Silica has an aggravation from milk. Many times the infant is unable to take any kind of milk and, hence, the physician is driven to prescribe all the foods in the market as he does not know the right remedy. Natrum Carb. and Silica are both useful when the mother’s milk causes diarrhoea and vomiting. The routinist is likely to give such medicines as Aethusa, entirely forgetting Silica. The later, as well as Nat. Carb. has sour vomiting and sour curds in the stool. ‘Aversion to mother’s milk and vomiting.’ ‘Diarrhoea from milk.'” In skin troubles Kent says, “There is a tendency to make the soft tissues harder and the hard tissues harder. Indurations, cracks and fissures. Crusty formations.” Abscesses-fistulae. One remembers a doctor with whom one was working suddenly exclaiming, “If you wore a cap, I’d put a feather in it.” He said that for months he had been trying to cure a case of fistula ani with Silica low, and a dose of the cm had finished it. But of course Silica is one of the polychrests, one of the drugs of many uses; affecting especially mucous membranes, skin, with nails, connective tissues, glands, in a Silica patient-i.e. chilly, easily perspiring, with want of self-confidence, of grit;-to build up and give backbone to the weaklings. By the way: Silica is one of the remedies of ANTICIPATION. These are not all collected into one rubric in Kent’s Repertory, but we will give them, so far as discovered; there may be more. They are:- ARG. N., Ars., Carb. v., GELS., Lyc., Med., Pb., Phos. a., SIL., (?Thuja), viz. Complaints from anticipation (p.4)-Arg. n., Ars., Gels., Lyc, Med., Phos. a. Anxiety, anticipating an engagement (p. 5)-ARG. N., Gels., Med. Anxiety when anything is expected of him (p.6.)-Ars. Timidity appearing in public (p.89) -Carbo veg., GELS., Pb., SIL. Diarrhoea after anticipation (p.6II)-Arg. n., Gels., Phos. a. Diarrhoea from excitement, as before a theatre (p. 612)-ARG. N. Diarrhoea from excitement-ARG. N. Gels., Phos. a., Thuja, and a few in small type.