Marvin A. Custis, M.D., Washington, D.C.
The kali bichromicum individual, as an infant, is a fat, shortneck, so-called “chubby’’ baby; as an adult we find a fat person, with light hair, tendency to baldness, and possibly a pale yellowish complexion, particularly if such person is subject to scrofular or catarrhal diseases. Mentally we find him lowspirited and gloomy, with disinclination for work of any kind, mentally or bodily. He is always tired and feels weak, with continual desire to lie down. He is irritable, ill-humored and peevish, particularly after any annoyance.
The pains of Kali bichromicum are apt to be in small spots, which can be covered with the point of the finger; they appear and disappear suddenly as do the pains of belladonna, and like the pains of Pulsatilla they rapidly shift from place to place. Symptoms alternate; as for instance the gastric and rheumatic.
Kali bichromicum shows affinity for the mucous membranes. These it violently infiames, causing an excessive secretion of mucus, which is characteristically tough, viscid, ropy, capable of bieng drawn out into threads, with tendency to the formation of false membranes. This character of the mucus we find characteristic of all the discharges.
In nasal catarrh we have first great dryness, with ticking in nose and sneezing, particularly on going into open air, followed by discharge of very fluent, clear, watery mucus, which excoriates the nose and lip, which, in turn, is followed by the characteristic tough, stringy, ropy mucus, and finally we have plugs or “clinkerss.” These collect in both the anterior and posterior nares. We have hawking of these plugs, generally green and possibly bloody from posterior nares. Particularly in the morning. With this coryza we have pressure and tightness at root of nose, which is worse in the evening and in the open air. Ulceration of septum narium. Caries of nasal bones, with great fetor of the breath. Bones of nose feel loose when blowing it. With theses catarrhs we may have shooting pains from the root of nose along left orbital arch. Frontal headache, usually over one eye. Headache in small spots, darting and aching pains shifting about. Bones of skull feel sore and bruised. Kali bichromicum is one of our best remedies for chronic cases of nasal catarrh, ozaena, and, in fact, catarrh of the whole respiratory tract. With the above symptoms. Kali bichromicum becomes the all important remedy in diphtheria, when the exudation is over the uvula, tonsils, roof of mouth and extends into throat. The membrane is grayish, yellowish, “pearly” color, is tough, stringy and well organized, with redness of surrounding parts and great fetor. The uvula relaxed with sensation of plug in throat, not relieved by swallowing. Posterior wall of pharynx is dark, glossy, puffed, showing ramifications of pale red vessels. Putting tongue out aggravates pain in throat. Burning in throat. Solid cause pain when swallowed, and leave sensation as of something remained behind. Pain shoots up to ear and down neck of affected side on swallowing. Sharp, shooting pain in left tonsil extending toward ear, relieved by swallowing. The tongue coated thick yellow, deges red and full of painful ulcers or else dry, smooth, red and cracked. A yellowish membrane with clean tongue is a good indication for this remedy. Sensation of a hair on back part of tongue, not relieved by eating or drinking. When the exudate extends to larynx; also when we have tendancy of formation of membrane on distant mucous surfaces.
In true membraneous or diphtheritic croup, particulary in fat, fair-haired, chubby children. In the early of formative stage, insidious approach, worse 2 to 3 a.m., unrefreshing sleep, with frequent starts; awakens with dyspnoea, wheezing, then cough, which compels him to sit up, bent forward; sense of choking on lying down. Hoarse voice, constant cough at intervals; cough up casts of elastic, fibrinous nature.
In bronchitis, pharyngitis and inflammations of the respiratory track, characterized by the discharge of tough, thick and tenaceous mucus, which sticks or teeth, mouth and lips, with dyspnoea, you will find Kali bichromicum a curative remedy.
The cough of this remedy is excited by tickling in the air passages, or accumulation of mucus in the larynx. Cough, with pain from mid-sternum to back. Sharp pain through apex of left lung to shoulder blade. Cough with rattling in lungs; sounds loose, but cannot expectorate. Cough with the characteristic tough, stringy expectoration. Dyspnoea, aphonia, hoarseness. Sense of constriction at bifurcation of bronchia. Pressure in chest. Cough worse after eating, while undressing, and in morning, and better from warmth of bed. With the above symptoms you will find Kali bichromicum curative in acute capillary bronchitis. Pneumonia and phthisis, particularly in those who were formerly fleshy.
In asthma when aggravated after midnight, awakens with wheezing, must sit up and bend forward; relief only after expectorating this tough, stringy mucus. We find headches, with sore feeling of the bones of the skull. Blindness followed by headache, but the sight returns as the headache increases. Soon after dinner a dull, heavy throbbing above eyes as if the head would burst, relieved by lying or pressing the head against something, or in open air; worse stooping and moving about. Neuralgia which come on at same hour every day.
In Kali bichrom. We find an excellent remedy for dyspepsia, gastritis, ulcer, and catarrh of stomach, particularly in those addicted to excessive use of malt liquors, especially beer; when with the above head symptoms we have a feeling of load in stomach after eating, as if digestion was suspended; fetid eructations, bloated abdomen, can’t bear tight clothes, stitches through abdomen, cutting as from knives after eating; vomiting of clear, stringy mucus. Tongue broad, with imprints of teeth; coated thick yellow; ulcer on tongue. Saliva viscid, capable of being drawn into threads.
Periodic dysentery every year, in the early part of summer. Diarrhoea or dysentery after rheumatism. Stools brownish, bloody, jelly-like, chapped up blood and mucus, aggravated in morning, with dry, red, smooth and cracked tongue. Stools watery, gushing in the morning, awakes with urgent desire; diarrhoea followed by violent tenesmus.
Upon the sexual of man we find absence of sexual desire, particularly in fleshy people. In gonorrhoea or gleet, with the stringy discharge; with burning in back part of urethra after urination. Sensation as of one drop had remained behind, with unsuccessful effort to avoid it. Stitch in urethra. Chancres ulcerating deeply as if cut with punch; over-hanging edges upon the female sexual organs we have the menses too soon, with vertigo, headache and nausea. Leucorrhoea is yellow, ropy and tenacious, with soreness and weakness of back. Itching of vulva with soreness and rawness of vagina. Prutitus of vulva. Prolapsus and subinvolution of uterus. Climateric flushes of heat.
Upon the eye we have scrofular and syphilitic inflammations or ulcerations of an indolent type. It is characteristic of Kali bichromicum in eye trouble to have no photophobia, no redness, little or no pain, little or no discharge; if so, it will be stringy.
In rheumatism, which alternates with gastric symptoms, or which comes regularly once a year at the same time. Soreness of all the joints, pains wander from place to place and in small spots.
In diseases of the heart we find a cold sensation about the heart, with pricking pains; frequent, irregular pulse.
It causes the skin to become hot, dry, and red, with burning, stinging pains. We have violent itching of whole body. Dry eruptions like measles. Small pustules over whole body like small-pox. Is of great service in all pustular disease of the skin.