Baryta Carbonica | Materia Medica by J. T. Kent
Baryta carbonica is an interesting study, because it is fully proved and a constitutional remedy. Such remedies are always more interesting than the short-acting, superficial ones. They take hold in deep-seated, long-lasting, miasmatic troubles. This remedy looks towards the development of the young. You will see in the text commonly expressed under this medicine, “dwarfishness.” That does not always mean small in stature as it is spoken of in this remedy. Dwarfishness in body and mind; mental dwarfishness, and dwarfishness of organs. You realize what precocity means; young persons who are unusually brilliant; well advanced mentally. We say they are beyond their years. They are precocious. Get this in mind first, and think what it means; and then in the Baryta carb. constitution we have the very opposite state. That is what we mean by dwarfishness. Children are late coming into usefulness; or activity; late with their studies; late learning to talk; late learning to read; late learning to make the combinations that enter into life; late learning to take in images, and form perceptions; to take on their activities; to do their work. We say sometimes that CALC. CARB. is late in learning to walk, but Baryta carb. is also late learning to walk, although it has an entirely different cause. To express it in a common, old-fashioned way, Baryta carb. is late learning how to walk, even with pretty good limbs. CALC. has miserable, weakly limbs, flabby muscles, poor bones, and hence he is late learning to walk. “Late walking” is CALC. “Late learning to walk” is Baryta carb. It competes also with BORAX and NATRUM MUR. All three of these medicines have a peculiar kind of tardiness in the development of the brain, so that they are late learning to do things; late in developing. But Baryta carb. leads them all in this late coming into the activities and uses of life.
You will have patients to treat, where this slow development manifests itself in girls 18 to 25 years of age, who do the things they did when they were children, and say things as they said them when they were children. ”Childish manner of doing things, and childish behavior. Playing with dolls and saying foolish things.” They have not come into womanhood. They are late in taking on the activities and uses of the woman. They lack the prudence of the woman. They have not become circumspect, and say things just as a boy or just as a little girl would say them. That is the dwarfishness of the mind. To appreciate that late development, and to see it in Baryta carb. from all of its symptoms and peculiar features, leads to a strong grasp of the remedy. There is some of this found in such remedies as GRAPH., SULPH. and CALC, but nothing compared to this remedy. This seems to suspend the development that makes the child into a man or a woman. It is not a small person that makes me think of Baryta carb., but the dwarfishness that is mental, and that is of organs. Organs, as it were, become paralyzed, or one organ does not develop. It stops, and the others go on. That would make me think of this remedy. A single organ fails to mature, and the others go on; one-sidedness, a partiality of development.
The next grand feature of this remedy is its affinity for the lymphatic glands all over the body. The glands all over the body enlarge and indurate; the glands of the neck, the glands of the groin, the lymphatics in the abdomen are all affected—knotty chains form in the neck. With a few other things that we will put together shortly we will see in this patient a peculiar figure. It has emaciation—gradual dwindling in persons who have been fat, who have been well nourished. It has an enlarged abdomen. It has been found suitable in marasmus, for children with enlarged glands, enlarged abdomen; emaciation of the tissues, emaciated limbs and dwarfishness of mind; you have there the whole Baryta carb. marasmus.
The patient himself is chilly: sensitive to cold; wants to be well wrapped. Marked weakness with feeble pulse is a strong feature and he must lie down; he is worse standing and sitting. The weakness is worse after eating. His pains are better from motion and in the open air. His complaints are aggravated by cold. The enlarged glands take on tenderness and congestion from being exposed. The tonsils gradually increase. The glands of the neck increase in size, and in hardness, from every cold and from becoming chilled.
“Swelling and induration of glands. Inflammation of glands with infiltration.” Infiltration belongs to the remedy. The glands become harder and harder. Ulcers become indurated in their base. Open surfaces become indurated in their walls. When a child has almost any disease, measles, scarlet fever, mumps, or even a bad cold, or a malarial attack, the development ceases and dwarfishness results, a state in which he was not born, but a state that he has acquired, arrest of development. It brings on emaciation and dwindling of the whole body, except the abdomen, which gradually enlarges. These are phases not to be overlooked in the very beginning, because the symptoms only help to establish this basis and these troubles and tissue changes come on as ultimates.
Another grand feature in this remedy is the application of these things to more advanced years. We say this is a childhood state, this is the state of youth and arrested development. Now it does not matter whether we have this arrested development in youth, in childhood, or at the advanced age of fifty. From some strange circumstance which we are not able to fathom we say the individual is taking on the appearance of old age. We call it premature old age. Baryta carb. has cured lingering complaints that have resulted from malaria, overwork, mental or physical, prolonged mental strain, when the appearance of premature old age was a prominent feature. Old age creeps upon him too soon. There is but little difference between childhood and old age, and hence old age is called second childhood; but we always regret to see a man under seventy becoming childish, and yet we do see many becoming simple and childish. It does not mean merely imbecility, but childlike behavior. Doing and saying things like a child. So in premature old age these symptoms lead us to think of Baryta carb.
Baryta carb. has cured fatty tumors, encysted tumors, lupus, outward growths of tuberculous character, sarcoma; and it has mitigated the pains and sufferings, and has prolonged life in cancerous affections.
Mentally it is worthy of careful study, and we will see cropping out in the mental symptoms all of the phases intermingled with tissue changes. The Baryta carb. child will be seen hiding behind the furniture when strangers come in; will hide as for shame of something, or as if afraid. It imagines all sorts of strange things, that it is talked about, or laughed at. It does not seem to advance. It does not seem to do any good to teach it, for it does the same things over and over and remains untrained. They either cannot comprehend, or they cannot memorize, or they cannot maintain a thought, and you go over it and over it, and the mother wonders if that child is ever going to learn something, and the teacher reports that the child lacks capacity. The teacher cannot comprehend it, the mother cannot comprehend it, but “The homeopathic physician should know all about it at once. If he knows his Materia Medica he should be well up in the development of a feeble child; those who are going towards rickets, who are feeble, who are always depending on somebody, fitted only for menial places. The homeopathic physician does well when he trots the little Johnnies and the little Susies on his knee and takes a good, fair observation of their ability, and of what they lack, and understands how to build up what is lacking. Is not that in itself worth working for? It requires all of the potencies that have ever been made to master constitutions. Some will require medium potencies, some very low, some very high. Let us not deprive our little ones of anything they need. Only so we look forward to the highest use, to develop them into their fullest capacity.
There is an expression here in the text, “Want of clear consciousness.” Do we not see from what I have said what that must mean in this remedy, and that it is different in this remedy from what it is in a good many others ? And yet if you had read that symptom first you would not have appreciated it. “A want of clear consciousness.” Especially in old age has that been useful. It is not that confusion of mind that we know to be dizziness. But he is not clear in his intellect. We see how this medicine takes hold of the intellect. It takes hold of his memory. It begins with a feeble state, and it gradually travels toward imbecility. You press it to its extreme and it has imbecility, and up to this we have degrees all along the line from the very beginning, from a mere matter of cloudiness in his thoughts to imbecility.
When the Baryta carbonica babies appear in the clinic they will keep the hand up over the face and peek out through the fingers. Bashful. Timid. Easily frightened. Afraid of strangers. Other remedies have similar features, but it is a strong feature of this medicine. Withered face. Sickly countenance. It is the idea of hiding, the idea of timidity. The child does not want to play, and it sits in the corner. Does not pay any attention to its hammer, if it is a boy; or its doll, if it is a girl. Sits and sits. Does not seem to be thinking; a lack of ability to think. Children grow up without any distinctiveness, without any ability to perceive, and therefore fail to develop. Always borrowing trouble. Like CAUST., fear of something going to happen. Full of imaginations; imaginary cares and worries. Hatching up all sorts of complaints and grievances that may happen. A good deal like ARS. Children in a constant whining mood; always whining. Running through the complaints will be the sufferings of the parts, or the mental symptoms. “The more he thinks about the complaint the worse it gets.” If he thinks about his troubles, his sufferings, they at once grow worse. Premature old age and brain fag from prolonged mental work.
Troublesome headaches. “Pressure in the brain.” A feeling of looseness in the brain, as if the brain fell from side to side or was rising and falling. A sensation of motion in the brain when moving the head or from sudden jar. Seems as if the brain moves to and fro to correspond to the motions of the head when the head is turned from side to side, “Pressing headaches.” Headaches ameliorated in fresh air, in the open air, and aggravated from heat. That is the opposite of its general state. The Baryta carb. general state is aggravated from cold: he is sensitive to cold, and his complaints come on from becoming cold; but his headaches are ameliorated in cool air (ARS). The Baryta carb. patient is often sensitive to the extremes of heat and cold. Hot weather will bring on complaints. Hot weather will cause the blood to mount to the head, and favors apoplectic conditions. It has many complaints of the head like unto the stupor of apoplexy. It has some of the paralytic conditions analogous to the complaints in old apoplectics, and it has been very useful in re-establishing the supply and flow of nerve force along the nerves. It parallels PHOS., and is an excellent remedy for old paralytic conditions that have come from a rupture of a blood vessel, and therefore pressure upon the nerve supply, The headaches are congestive, pressive headaches; a feeling of pressure in the brain.
These puny infants, such as we have described, have eruptions upon the head; eczema upon the head; and those who are born for better things have the eruption driven back by ointments and applications. “Moist crusts upon the scalp,.” “Dry eruptions upon the scalp, Falling off of the hair, Baldness,” Head complaints and a dwarfish state of mind, an intellectual defect, as results of suppressed eruptions.
It is full of eye symptoms. “Granular lids. Thickening of the eyelids; thickening of all of the membranes and tissues about the eyes. Opacity of the cornea.” Infiltration of the various coverings. It has cured cataract, it has cured various kinds of dimsightedness, but especially in those that have a hazy cornea, a slight opacity of the cornea (BAR. IOD.) so that things look hazy, “looking as through a fog, or through smoke.” Ulceration of the cornea. Little white spots, causing defective vision. “Lids agglutinated in the morning.” Styes. “A sensation of weight in the upper lids.” A sensation of weight in the brow with headaches as if the forehead was pressing down over the eyes. Like CARBO VEG., CARBO AN. and NATR. MUR. The patient will often grasp the whole forehead with the hands, and say, “I feel as if the forehead was pressing down over the eyes.”
It has many noises in the ears, but especially cracking and flapping when breathing, swallowing and chewing; better while lying. It affects the right ear most. Rushing sounds in the ears when breathing. “Eruptions about the ears. Glandular swellings and eruptions about the ears”. Inflammation of the parotid glands, with hardness. First it may be called swelling, but it is finally a permanent enlargement and induration, and it means a great growth sometimes. Other glands about the neck are affected in association with the ear troubles. Knots of lymphatic glands down the neck under the ear (BAR. M., TUB.). Sometimes the sub-maxillary gland is affected, being enlarged and indurated. Sometimes the tonsils enlarge and indurate. All these glands inflame and become sensitive, and get a little larger, after any exposure to cold, and from sudden changes of the weather. It is a wonderful medicine for the cure of enlarged glands. Clinically it is laid down in the books for suppuration of these glands, but all my life I have failed to find it a good remedy for suppuration. The inflammation is more likely to turn into an increased infiltration. It is laid down in the books here for suppuration of the tonsils, but from long experience it is one of the last remedies I would think of for suppuration of the tonsils. It may have done so, but it has not been my observation that it runs that way, and I am very much in doubt about the great value and high marking of that observation. But it certainly has infiltration gradually increasing from becoming cold. The enlarged tonsils will redden up and inflame and become painful, and the acute inflammation and pain will subside, but the tonsils are a little larger than with the last cold. In that way the tonsils keep growing. In children these are often cut out. There are instances in which I might admit it was necessary to cut them off, when there is a wonderful superabundance, creating much disturbance in swallowing and in speaking. Two or three times I have absolutely failed to cure with remedies selected to the best of my ability, and they have gone to the surgeon and he has cut them off; but I believe these tonsils ought to be all cured. One thing in Homeopathy taught in Hahnemann’s Organon is that unless there are symptoms to indicate the remedy, no great things should be expected from the administration of the remedy. The enlargement of the tonsils alone is not a symptom upon which a remedy can be selected, and it necessitates guessing a dozen times, and perhaps not hitting at all. That is the worst sort of practice, guessing at a remedy; yet there are children having enlarged tonsils that appear to us without any symptom whatever to select a remedy by. The symptoms to prescribe on are such as represent the patient, not the glands; not the changed tissue. We must always regret that the surgeon must come in, for in cutting off anything it may be done to the constitutional detriment of the patient. Yet there are things that have to be done that we know are to the constitutional detriment of the patient. We have to keep servants on their feet to earn their living, and operations have to be performed upon them, because they cannot lie up a year or two to be cured. The surgeon will always have a place withus, but let us do our part as physicians first.
Eruptions upon the face. The face is sickly, often purple, red and bloated, or lean and emaciated, looking old and withered. The infant looks like a little old person, like the state we find in NAT. MUR. and CALC. With face troubles, with teeth troubles, and especially with throat troubles, enlarged glands under the jaw and down the neck. Ear diseases following scarlet fever Enlargement and induration of the parotids and of the submaxillary glands after scarlet fever. Scarlet fever often stirs up much trouble in the economy, especially when it has not been properly treated, when it has been treated by the allopath, or by a nervous homeopath. A nervous homeopath is one who does not wait for his own convictions to be ultimated, does not wait for his remedy to work, and he gives another and another, and by the time the scarlet fever runs its course the patient becomes dreadfully sick, ends up with ear troubles, enlarged glands and sometimes kidney affections. When it runs into ear troubles and enlarged glands of the neck this is one of the several remedies to be studied.
“Paralysis of the tongue in old people (CAUST). Weakness of the tongue in old people. Hardness of the tongue in old people.” Premature old age and giving out of muscles.
There is a catarrhal state in this remedy, an accumulation of mucus in the nose, throat, larynx and trachea. It is very suitable for old people who have rattling in the trachea. On every cold change of the weather, and on every exposure to the cold, he gets an additional aggravation of the rattling. Rattling respiration. There are a few remedies that have, in such high degree, this coarse rattling in the chest of old people, that it is well to emphasize it. Baryta carb. is one of them. SENEGA, AMMONIACUM and BARYTA MURIATICA should be compared. When there is coarse rattling in the chest all the time in an old person, an octogenarian, who is pretty comfortable in summer, but miserable all winter from the coarse rattling in the chest, and there are no other sypmtoms, AMMONIACUM will keep him comfortable.
The sore throat in this remedy has numerous symptoms. “Inflammation of cellular tissues of fauces and tonsils.” This remedy is one in general catarrhal symptoms of the throat. Granulations of the throat, so that the pharynx looks shiny, studded with coarse granules becoming inflamed with, every cold spell, or from being chilled. Every cold change inflames the tonsils, and in children they very soon enlarge. Children with enlarged tonsils, and with enlarged glands in other places, somewhat dwarfish intellectually, slow to learn—Baryta carb. will cure the enlarged tonsils. But these, you see, are constitutional symptoms. You are not selecting the remedy purely on enlarged tonsils. “Inflammation of the tonsils.” The inflammation is not so violent as that which comes in BELL., it does not come on in a night, it does not go on rapidly to suppuration; but it is a very sore throat, has come on slowly after many days of exposure and there is gradual growth and gradual development. That is the character of the Baryta carb. tonsilitis; while that of BELL, comes on with great rapidity. HEPAR is also rapid and goes on to suppuration. There is a remedy for inflammation of the tonsils where the ear is involved and is ameliorated by heat, that very few use, but it is of great value; it is CHAMOMILLA, and it is especially indicated if the patient is irritable. The pain is ameliorated by heat and comes on with great violence. It might be mistaken for a BELL, inflammation, but CHAM. cures it permanently. “Sensation of plug in the throat;” that is, the tonsils are so large they feel like a great ball or great lump in the throat. They change the character of the voice, cause difficulty. “Much burning in the throat. Inability to swallow anything but liquids.” This irritation keeps up a constant choking and spasmodic constriction in the throat; contractions, and drawings, and crampings in the throat. It also has a spasm in the oesophagus when swallowing, especially in old nervous, or prematurely broken-down people. “Spasm in the oesophagus. Difficulty in swallowing.” The bolus of food goes down a little way, and then causes spasms, and he gags and chokes. This gagging and choking with a little food is a very strong feature in KALI C, GRAPH, and MERC. COR. This is also a strong feature of Baryta carb., but much stronger in MERC. COR.
The troubles of eating and drinking and appetite and stomach can all be run together. THERE IS WEAKNESS OF DIGESTION. All sorts of disorders and disagreeable sensations in the stomach after eating. Sometimes gastralgia; sometimes distension. “Stomach aches after eating.” Extreme weakness after eating. Abdomen hard and tense. “Mesenteric glands swollen and hard; with a big belly; abdominal muscles sore to touch.” It has cured, in the early stages, tabes mesenterica. It has cured the enlarged abdomen of children, when there was emaciation of the limbs, emaciation everywhere, knots of enlarged glands and a dwarfed intellect.
Baryta carb. has an inveterate constipation. “Difficult, knotty-stools. Stool hard, and insufficient.” A lack of action in the rectum, and haemorrhoidal protrusion during stool and urination.
Of the male sexual organs we have some strange features. This medicine takes away all sexual desire and ability, leaving the genitals relaxed, and in a state of impotency. “Relaxed penis. Impotence. Diminished sexual desire. Hypertrophied prostate. Atrophied testicles.” It cures old gleety discharge from the urethra. An old, painless, whitish, gleety discharge that has been in existence a long time. It is an offensive discharge and there is no inflammation. “Numbness of the genitals.”
The female has many troubles. Sterility. Dwindling of the ovary, Dwindling of the mammary glands, and yet the lymphatics become enlarged and infiltrated. A passive leucorrhoeal discharge, whitish, thick, persistent, often copious, worse about a week before the menstrual period.
With some a constitutional weakness takes hold of the larynx; a paralytic weakness. Voice entirely lost. Or, “hoarseness and huskiness.” Low, deep voice. Aphonia from constitutional weakness, and from paralysis. Feeling in the larynx all the time as if inhaling smoke, or pitch, or sulphur fumes, or dust. With the hoarseness there is a chronic dry, hoarse, barking cough; not a hard cough, but it comes every night. Suffocative cough of old people. It says here, “impending paralysis of the lungs.” That is in keeping with the general nature of the remedy. Chest full of mucus, but unable to expectorate it. You observe from the effort made in the cough that there is a weakness somewhere, a lack of power. It is not a strong effort. “Night cough, with asthmatic breathing.” Cough excited by irritation in the larynx and trachea. There is a cough in Baryta carb. where he coughs and coughs, and gets no relief until he lies on the abdomen; and so long as he lies on the abdomen he is free from cough. Palpitation from slight exertion when lying on the left side when thinking about it, with anxiety and orgasm of blood, with strong pulsation in the head, rapid pulse. Palpitation in chlorotic girls.
“Tension in the muscles of the back. Swelling of the glands of the back of the neck.” Swelling of the cervical glands. “Fatty tumors upon the back.” A number of times a patient has said, “Doctor, did you intend to take away that fatty tumor I had on my back?” The chances are I did not know he had one. That is generally the way such things appear in the practice of the homeopathic physician, for he does not prescribe for the tumor, and the chances are he thinks little about the tumor in his prescription; he gives the constitutional medicine, and they often disappear after a while, and then the patient thinks the doctor has done a wonderful thing. He gets more glory and more credit for curing a wart than he does for curing the patient. The doctor who prescribes correctly turns the vital state into order. He cures the patient, and the patient, being in a State of order, commences to repair his body, and the tissues go through a general house cleaning, and such” things as are not needed are dispensed with; and the physician is considered a wonderful man. So this remedy cures tumors and warts. Warts upon the limbs, and upon the back, and upon the hands.
The pains are of a gouty, rheumatic character, worse from becoming cold and from cold weather. Paralytic weakness and trembling and numbness of the feet. Offensive perspiration of the feet which causes soreness of the soles, ulcers on the feet, checked foot sweat. Trembling of the feet while standing and tottering while walking. Tearing, drawing pains in lower limbs. Sudden sharp pains in knees.