By Alexander C. Hermance, M. D., Rochester, N. Y.
The phosphate of magnesia is best known to us all as one of the important tissue remedies of Schuessler. Owing to the fact that we have no direct proving of the drug we must rely upon clinical symptoms in the application. These are sufficient, however, to allow us to use it with satisfactory results in many cases. According to the biochemic theory it acts chiefly upon the white nerve fibers of the nerves and muscles, using albumin and water to form a white transparent fluid which nourishes these tissues, hence a deficiency of this salt in the fiber allows it to contract, producing spasms, cramps, convulsions, etc. When this contraction takes place there is pressure on the sensory nerves, which causes darting, neuralgic pains in any part of the body. However, be that as it may, clinically speaking, Magnesia phos. is essentially a neuralgic remedy, particularly of the face and head. The pains are violent and may affect any nerve, sometimes localizing itself and becoming worse and. worse so that the patient becomes frantic with the pain. It is my experience that it is particularly indicated in thin, emaciated persons of a highly nervous temperament. But this is not an essential characteristic.
Neuralgias from exposure to cold, raw winds or riding in cold, damp weather. Troubles produced from damp and wet exposure, this would make us think also of Dulcamara and Rhus tax. Neuralgias of the face coming on at night; pains so violent drives patient out of bed; pains darting, shooting, maddening, from exposure to cold north wind—”amelioration from heat and pressure.” These are the keynotes for this remedy in neuralgias. Pains return when becoming cold or going into cold place. Hot liquids ease toothache similar to Nux vomica and Moschus, (opposite to Bryonia), aggravated from cold water (opposite to Coffea, Calcarea carb. and Spigelia). Neuralgias relieved by heat and pressure; patient presses painful parts which relieves. Its power to debilitate and cause irritation of the nerve and muscular tissue makes it particularly useful it stiffness, numbness and deadness of nerves from long use, such as writers’ cramp; cramps in fingers from long piano practice typewriting, etc., in every form of over-exertion producing, cramping, stiffening from overuse; fingers suddenly give out refusing to perform their work. A workman’s hand will suddenly cramp and become almost useless—to be thought of in all kinds of overexertion.
Schuessler prescribes it in all nervous conditions, but we can only use it to advantage upon its special indication,—in dysentery with violent paroxysms of sharp pain ameliorated by heat and pressure with aggravations front cold, cold bathing, cold winds, cold weather, violent attacks of headache, ameliorated by hard pressure, heat and in the dark. He wants the head bandaged “tightly,” to be in warm room, and is greatly aggravated by cold, Violent pain in acute rheumatism relieved by heat and rest. The least motion bringing them on (Bryonia).
Kent says: “The mental symptoms of Magnesia phos. have not been brought out to any extent. It has been used clinically when diarrhoeas have ceased suddenly and brain troubles have come on. The guiding symptoms give this. peculiar mental symptom,—talking to herself constantly or sitting still in moody silence or carrying things from one place to another and then back again.” Kent also says: “It is a wonderful remedy for spasmodic hiccoughing, and cures cases where you can get no other symptoms to prescribe on.” I like Magnesia phos. Colocvnth has a facial neuralgia relieved by pressure, alio colic relieved by bending forward and pressure, but it has not the marked relief from “heat.” Arsenicum has nightly neuralgia relieved by warmth, but not by pressure. It is very much like Hypericum in its nerve pains, but has not the traumatic history.
Menyanthes—pains are also relieved by hard, firm pressure but not by heat. Headaches relieved by firm pressure or bandaging had tightly. May also be found under Bryonia, Gelsemium. Ignasia, Nux vomica. The characteristics which particularly indicate this remedy are in neuralgias—amelioration from heat and pressure—aggravated by cold. In colic–amelioration from bending double and warmth—from pressure.