The essential features
Caladium has come down to us as a remedy for implications mainly in the sexual sphere and more specifically, impotency and problems arising from that sphere, described very graphically by Kent who says:
“It is indicated in old debauches who are unable to perform the marital act. He has the most tantalizing craving for the opposite sex with no ability to perform coitus. Lascivious ideas. Such men stand on the street corner and feast upon the forms of passing girls and their semen dribbles away; a state also found in Picric acid and Selenium.”
My experience is that if you wait to find a case where the patient will tell you that his semen is dribbling when looking at a woman most probably you will never prescribe this remedy. Yet Kent is right for he is describing a stage of the remedy, which is the sexual deterioration, but it definitely does not describe all the other stages before this state arises. We could not expect to see this state in all Caladium cases. I made this mistake myself in the beginning, and I missed the remedy for many years in a lot of cases.
Another misunderstanding about this remedy is the emphasis by different writers that the symptomatology is due to sexual excesses or to masturbation. This is not the whole truth. There is an exhaustion prominent in the remedy but this exhaustion can come from other causes as well- suppression of sexual passion for instance which is exactly the opposite of overindulgence, or from overworking mentally or physically, or from suppressed eruptions, or from excessive tobacco smoking. There is a further misunderstanding concerning tobacco and Caladium. It says in the texts that Caladium can stop or temper the craving for tobacco. This is not true, or if it happens, most probably there is a suppression.
In Caladium cases, cigarette or cigar smoking is disastrous for the organism . The organism has a special sensitivity to tobacco smoking and will be greatly aggravated by it. If the person insists smoking despite the warnings from the organism, most probably there is a going to be permanent damage. There is a constant reaction on the part of the organism with coughing, aggravation in sleep, palpitations, and an easy tobacco poisoning to the person who insists on smoking. If the patient continues to smoke, there is going to be permanent damage in the lungs or elsewhere, mostly the memory, the heart and the circulatory system. A burning sensation may stay in the lungs for years after heavy smoking; it is a sensation that the lungs are almost exposed, unprotected and raw to the air breathed. Caladium will help such cases of smokers that have deteriorated their health, their lungs, their memory, their vascular system and their ability to function normally in marriage due to smoking.
Another misunderstanding is the impression that “the remedy always has an insane craving for sex.” This is true only for the state described by Kent which is a rather advanced state of deterioration of the health in all three levels, mental emotional and physical,
but not in stages before. Frequently we see an indifference to sex, or an infrequent desire, though when the desire is there it can be very strong.
Caladium suits individuals with an organism that is of a weak hereditary disposition. In the first stages, the young people can be very excitable in general, and in particular about sexual matters. There may be sexual excitement-even in a casual contact there is an inordinate excitement, and an orgasm can come quite soon. They do not have a strong erection that lasts, even in young men. This sexual excitability will lead them to frequent masturbation, and ailments from masturbation in men; violent sexual desire but the penis is soft or he may have strong and painful erections in the morning on waking but no desire. When the desire is most marked he has no ability. He has lascivious thoughts and ideas. Many times he will remain awake all night with lascivious thoughts. The excitability is such even in the young that they cannot hold back the orgasm and it seems there is dribbling out in spite of their efforts to hold it back and so the sperm runs out without much pleasure.
This is similar to Lycopodium and Selenium where premature ejaculation results after excesses in sexual contacts. In Caladium, there is over-excitability but no potency. They cannot perform the sexual act in a natural way and therefore they will seek and find other ways of satisfying the excessive desire. This can go on for years and will never reach the state described by Kent unless they are of the type of degenerated human beings that go full speed for sexual pleasures, and think of nothing else. Lascivious and lustful ideas and thoughts; nymphomania in women.
Today we do not frequently see such cases as described by Kent, though you may meet some in the years of practice. Eventually this over-excitability stage passes and there comes a state that can best be described as lack of enthusiasm. It looks like indifference or sadness but it is not really because the person can still be stimulated either mentally, or emotionally or sexually and in such a case again they react in an overexcitable manner. The problem is that nothing excites him any more and he lives for years in that state of joylessness, which becomes worse every year, and only occasionally comes out of it through stimulation from the outside environment, mostly in intellectual discussion or emotional erotic stimulation. It is not a very painful state either, like the one is described in Phos-acid or Aurum, it is a state where the feelings of joy and enthusiasm have gone but have not been replaced by negative feelings, it is a neutral situation. It is bordering on depression or indifference but it is not so painful.
Caladium produces a state in which it seems as if the emotions and the thinking processes, like the reflections, are almost closed up and dried in the same way the pathways of sexual pleasures are closed and there is a lack of sexual enjoyment. The patient seems to be just passing the time without interest, without joy, without sexual pleasure. He cannot fall in love, once the first excitement is over is rather bored and disinterested, and there is no mental emotional or sexual energy left to continue a long and erotic relationship. Sometimes they appear to be heartless and bold, fearless or excessively courageous, but this is a false courage, only an appearance on the surface and it is there only when this neutral state is present. Everything around him just happens it seems that he is not in control of any situation, he has energy to initiate things but not to carry them through.
He is in a mental confusion. He loses his memory and has to sit and think for a long time to remember if certain events actually occurred during the day. He forgets to do things that he should have done during the day but things come to mind during the time his sleep is interrupted. He suffers from insomnia, cannot get enough sleep. He cannot fall asleep if there is any noise in the room and then becomes more and more irritable and may stay awake the whole night. Sometimes he is afraid to go to sleep, and doesn’t know why. Otherwise will fall asleep very easily. Sleeps for three or four hours and then wakes up and cannot sleep for two or three hours, and during that time he remembers all things that he forgot during the day. After this time he will fall again in to a deep, unrefreshing sleep.
He has a very heavy sleep, nothing can wake him up in the first two or three hours, he snores tremendously and also moans and groans during sleep. It is an intensely frightening sleep for those who sleep in the same room. Angry, irritable and depressed mood; he feels irritable in the morning after coition. He weeps when he is ill or from vexation. There is an underlying hurried feeling all the time, especially if he gets excited. Everything has to be done in a hurry but there is no energy, or perhaps because there is no energy feels that he must finish quickly everything he undertakes.
The state of joylessness comes along with a deterioration of the memory in a particular manner which is described by Kent in a unique way, which I have confirmed in practice:
“An individual puts his mind to bear upon something which seems to have taken place during the day, but he is not quite sure whether it took place or not; he thinks the matter over, and yet he cannot be really sure whether it took place or not, until he actually goes and puts his hands upon the object thought about; proves to himself by actual contact and observation that his vague impression was so, that it was true, then he goes away and again he is undecided as to whether it was so or not. This relates to things that actually happened. ‘Very forgetful, he cannot remember,’ etc. This led to the use of Caladium for a good many different kinds of mental affections, loss of memory where there is that vague state of mind. It might be bordering upon imbecility, it might be the borderland of insanity.
All day long he finds himself looking into the things that should have been done; they have simply escaped from his mind; he has forgotten them. Forgetfulness in persons who are mentally and physically prostrated from sexual excesses or from tobacco poisoning. So the mind is worn through in places. A state of absentmindedness. It may come on in an acute state, with unconsciousness. There is a good deal of congestion of the brain, more or less excitement, but more important is prostration of the mind, weakness of the mind: feeble-mined; inability to perform intellectual work, it is impossible. He cannot think; the more thought he puts upon a thing the more fatigue he has and the further away that thing seems to be; the more he attempts it the less concentrated is the mind upon a subject. It is not strange, then, that the powers themselves were unable to put these ideas into speech so as to give us an intelligent idea of proving.”
Caladium will be suited to persons who have Alzheimer’s disease after a life full of sexual pleasures and mental over-activity.
During the excited state, he will have anxiety, apprehensions and fears. His fears are worse in the evening or just before he goes to sleep. He is in such a state of nervous excitement that he jumps when a door is slammed or from the rattling of a newspaper. He becomes anxious whilst shaving and fears that he might cut himself. This is a state of anxiety mixed with excitement and a hurried feeling. Afraid of the future. Has anxiety about his health, he is very careful about it, very meticulous about a medicine you are going to give him. He will ask you several times of the effect it might have upon him. He is afraid that he may catch a contagious disease, washes his hands every time he touches a cat or a dog. All this symptomatology comes along with the excitable state during which he is full of enthusiasm and enjoyment of the pleasures of life, especially the sexual pleasures. But if the state of joylessness or lack of enthusiasm prevails then he will not care about such things as if the fears and apprehensions are deeply hidden inside and will not bother him. He will not care about his health , does not care to fix it, cannot be bothered. Actually becomes careless about his well-being. There is no energy left to care about anything.
During this state of indifference or whatever he chooses to call it he is wholly incapable of appreciating danger. He will go into any sort of danger without thinking. Others will say that this is a foolish boldness. It is not that he is not afraid, it is rather a miscalculation because the mind is too lazy to think about the possibilities of the danger. Often this is a kind of stimulation for his dead feelings. If others admire him for that courage or indifference to danger then he likes it.
In the morning he wakes up with an erection but if he has coition he feels depressed afterwards, cannot enjoy it. Mental states bordering on insanity; transient unconsciousness; “spacey and disconnected and forgetful with trouble concentrating”.
Strong desire to be left alone.
The whole nervous system is in a state of excitement. Has an intensely irritating effect on the mucous membranes and skin, and produces many burning sensations. There is sensitiveness of the skin. Crawling, creeping. He has the spiderweb sensation. Sensation of a fly crawling on the face. The perspiration is sweetish, and if he is in a room with others, while perspiring, the flies will all land on him.
Nervous fantastic things run through the remedy showing its relation to neurasthenic and hysterical patients. Eructations. Headaches and mental states in smokers. This remedy has a special action on the genitalia of both sexes. It causes intense pruritus vulvae in women. Extremely nervous women who suffer from pruritus vulvae, keeping them awake at night.
Intestinal worms find their way into the vagina and irritate which induces masturbation and even nymphomania.
Has a dread of motion and wants to lie down all the time, but if he does make the effort to move and do something he actually feels better. He experiences attacks like fainting after writing or thinking; when lying down or when rising.
Catarrhal asthma where the mucus is difficult to raise but the patient feels better for doing so, or asthma alternating with an itching rash. Sometimes both conditions are present as if the organism does not have the strength to bring out to the surface al1 the disturbance. Dry feeling in parts of the body which would normally be moist. Coldness of single parts of the body.
Very thoughtful, very absent-minded. There is delirium in acute states, excitement of mind, unconsciousness, stupefaction.
The patient in general is aggravated by warmth and the warm room, and ameliorated by cool open air. Yet he wants warm drinks in the stomach. Symptoms are worse from sexual excess, from motion, from sudden noises, from tobacco, from warmth, from lying on the left side.
Ameliorated by cold air, after sweating, after a short sleep during the daytime.
Caladium is especially indicated in cases of fever that is aggravated in the evening, the patient may fall asleep during the paroxysm, and wake up after it is over. There is an earlier start to the fever, at around 6 p.m.
Another characteristic state that Caladium produces and is not mentioned in any of our books is a peculiar momentary relaxation-not to call it paralysis- of the sphincters of the body. The sphincters of the urethra are relaxed and if there is urging the urine dribbles while the patient has the impression that the sphincters are very weak and cannot hold back the urine. In the night and in the first sleep the food regurgitates as easily as if there was no barrier and as if the esophagus was an open pipe. In the same way, stool can pass unnoticed if there is some unusual pressure on the abdomen. Worst time is 9 to 11 p.m.