Read before the December 1935 Meeting of the Chicago Homoeopathic Medical Society.
Common Name-Chlorine. Atomic Weight-35.5.
CHLORINE is one of the elements, but does not exist free in nature. It occurs in saline springs and in sea-water in combination with sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium and in the solid form there are found in the earth vast deposits of sodium chloride or common salt.
Preparation. Chlorine is produced when a chloride is decomposed by an acid in the presence of some body whose attraction for the hydrogen of the acid is greater than that of chlorine. Inorganic bodies which easily part with their oxygen are used for this purpose. Hydrochloric acid and granulated manganese dioxide when heated together give off chlorine readily: the reaction is shown by the following equation: (H Cl)4 +Mn O2 = Mn Cl2 + (H2 O20 + Cl2.
The gas is obtained more continuously when a mixture of two equivalents of sodium chloride, two of sulphuric acid and one of the manganese dioxide are heated together in a flask. The reaction is exhibited as follows: (NaCl)2 + (H2SO4)2 + Mn O2 = Mn SO4 +Na2 SO4 + (H2 O)2 + Cl2. The process is conducted as follows: the materials are placed in a flask standing in sand- bath over a gas furnace. The cork of the flask is provided with s safety-tubes as well as a delivery tube.
From the delivery tube passes of the long bottle containing a few inches of strong sulphuric acid through which the gas bubbles as it comes over and by which it is rendered dry. From the bottle it is brought by another tube to a long receiver where it simply accumulates by its specific gravity, displacing the air; or if chlorine water be needed the gas is led into a partially closed receiver containing cold distilled water. The saturation of the water with the gas will be known by closing the bottle or receiver tightly and agitating it; until saturation is effected a partial vacuum is produced by the shaking.
Properties. Chlorine is a yellowish-green gas possession a peculiar suffocating odour and an astringent taste. It is wholly irrespirable. Its specific gravity is 2.46. At IIC. (51.8F.), one volume of water dissolves nearly three volumes of the gas. This solution is known as chlorine water and has essentially the properties of the gas. Chlorine water is a greenish-yellow, transparent liquid, which upon exposure to light begins to undergo decomposition, hydrochloric acid and oxygen being produced.
Chlorine decomposes many organic matters by its strong affinity for hydrogen, and secondarily, by the oxidizing power of the oxygen liberated at the same time; these facts explain its powerful action as a bleaching agent and it strong disinfecting properties.
Tests. As it should only be used for homoeopathic preparations when absolutely fresh, it is not necessary to offer any tests of its purity. If the gas has been made from hydrochloric acid some of the latter may have come over in the process. A small portion of the chlorine water may be shaken with mercury in excess as long as the Odour of the chlorine can be detected, when if hydrochloric acid be present blue litmus paper will be reddened by the liquid which remains.
It was first proven by Dr. Hering.
Preparation for Homoeopathic use. The freshly prepared chlorine water, according to above formula, contains about three per cent. of chlorine gas; we take one part of it by weight and mix it with two parts by weight of distilled water.
Amount of drug power, 1/100.
Dilutions must be prepared as directed under Class V-B.
This element has been proved in form of chlorine water and tested clinically.
Clarke says, “it produces spasms and convulsions, coryza and catarrh”. Its most specific action is on the larynx producing great difficulty in exhaling. Inspiration is easy, but the air cannot be exhaled in the likeness of a typical chlorine attack.
Clinically this remedy has cured severe cases of aphthae, asthma of a specific type, catarrh, chlorosis, colds, convulsions, croup, complaints of dentition, diphtheria, gastritis, haemoptysis, impotence, laryngismus, phthisis, pleurisy, sore throat, typhus and ulcers.
Rapid emaciation is a general condition observed in the provings, also a change in the character and number of the red blood cells is produced; convulsive attacks while cutting the eye teeth, inflammation of mouth and gums rapidly going to ulceration is a feature. Acute rheumatic pains have been cured. Extreme sensitiveness of the skin with various forms of eruptions, inflammations and even ulcerations are produced and cured with this remedy. Malignant pustule, carbuncle, nettle rash with fever; skin becomes dry, yellow and shrivelled. Some striking mental states have been noted.
Fears he will go crazy; or that he will be unable to earn a living; cannot remember names of people he sees, or if he sees the names cannot remember the persons to whom they belong; apprehension and irritability to anger. Weakness and restlessness are marked symptoms in the more serious cases of sickness; also coma and fainting with cold viscous sweats.
Catarrhal inflammations everywhere but especially in the respiratory tract is a strong characteristic of the remedy.
Painful aching of the head in the vertex and down left side with inclination to lie down. Warm sweat breaks out on forehead while coughing.
Eyes: lachrymation aggravated in the open air; suddenly numerous fantastic images appear before the eyes, disappearing with lighting like rapidity.
Coryza with headache, violent sneezing in the morning, nose smoky or sooty, corrosive feeling in corners of nose. Sudden running from nose in drops of sharp corroding fluid with tears in the eyes, with dry tongue, palate and fauces of thin coryza soon changing to yellow copious mucus, loss of smell; these local symptoms with weakness and coldness, followed by burning heat might easily place this in our group of flu remedies.
The face is swollen with protruding eyes; this symptoms taken with the increased action of the heart might suggest its use in certain cases of exophthalmic goitre. Also the face may take on a greenish colour.
The teeth become black and are very sensitive as if injured by acids, enamel becomes thin and even disappears, leaving the teeth black and sensitive.
Tongue is black and feels as if burnt, very acid saliva, aphthae, putrid odour from mouth.
Throat dry, sore from uvula to bronchi; choking sensation, inability to swallow.
Acid stomach and other gastric troubles in workmen exposed to the fumes of chlorine and who eat chalk for it. Desire to vomit without nausea when coughing.
Stool: diarrhoea in the morning, with dry mouth, after the eruption appear in typhus; stools of bright blood, haemorrhage in typhus, blood black, coagulated or thin and smelling like carrion.
Sudden impotence and aversion to sexual intercourse in the male.
In the respiratory organs are found the most profound and striking symptoms produced by this remedy; aphonia, especially from damp air; great difficulty in articulating or breathing. Spasms of the glottis, air enters easily but cannot be expelled. Feeling as if rima glottidis were stiff, as if composed of an iron band of ring; sudden tightness of chest. Any attempt to cough bring on spasm of the glottis.
Desire to cough from tickling and sensation of rawness behind the thyroid cartilage, but the cough is abortive, as he cannot expel the air from the chest. A continuous little dry cough; at each cough a spot in the chest region of right bronchus feels sore, as if the cough jarred and hurt it. Phlegm raised with difficulty soon collects again; cough with spitting of blood and with pleuritic pains; sensation of warmth in respiratory organs, sensation in lower and inner third of right lung as if it were ruptured and as if air escaped from lung into the pleural cavity at each inspiration.
Rales frequent, sibilant and loud.
Hearts action much increased.
Fever; chilliness and crawls, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. burning dry heat with anxiety and raving. Genial glow all over, with night sweat.
Cold sweat; viscous sweat in typhus.
The symptoms of the remedy are worse from midnight to 7 a.m., especially the spasms of the glottis. Lying down aggravates nasal complaints, yet inclined to lie down with the headaches. Restless yet aggravation from walking up and down. Sitting with the sun shining on back causes shuddering. Open air relieves the chest symptoms but aggravates and causes lachrymation, damp weather aggravates loss of voice.
This remedy is an antidote to hydrocyanic acid and sulphuretted hydrogen and in turn is antidoted by sulphuretted hydrogen and albumen.
Lycopodium antidotes the state of impotency produced by it; Plumb. acet., the blood spitting and pleurisy; it follows phos. well.
Such is the fragmentary Homoeopathic proving of this searching element.
Like the other halogens this is a valuable croup and diphtheria remedy in the gravest cases after other apparently well indicated remedies fail.
In the west, where much alkali dust at times permeates the air, in severe cases of croup, Spongia will frequently fail, but this remedy will save life if given in a potency not too low. It is a banner remedy in the laryngeal types of diphtheria, a condition wherein we have developed by far too few remedies to meet such a serious condition.
The provers did not note any urinary symptoms but at times when our water supply was heavily charged with chlorine gas many doctors reported numerous cases of cystitis, many quite severe with blood and albumen in the urine.
The marked increase in heart and kidney disease, coincident with the almost universal use of chlorine in the water supply of our country, suggests that this highly irritating substance might be a big factor in this increase of kidney and heart conditions noted by the various boards of vital statistics. And our old school friends who at one time lauded this substance as a splendid germicide and disinfectant against all forms of disease have concluded that its efficacy as a germicide is unsatisfactory because if used in sufficient strength to make it effective, it is dangerous and deleterious to those subjected to its influence. Hence at present it is rarely if ever used either as a disinfectant or remedy.
I have observed as a disinfectant in my practice during the period when water chlorinization was carried on in an intensive way in Chicago that may be helpful to other physicians.
The cases of asthma, heart, kidney and gastro-intestinal disease will respond very slowly if at all to treatment until you substitute distilled or spring water in their drink and diet for the chlorinated water they are ordinarily compelled to use.
While some acute conditions of disease may have been mitigated by chlorinization of water it has indisputably increased to an alarming degree many forms of chronic sickness, including the more alarming and difficult conditions such as Brights disease and cancer.
For proof of the aforementioned statements we need only cite the reports of the various boards of vital statistics, State and Federal, showing the alarming increase of those diseases.
Any substance that changes the vital processes and brings about even blood and tissue changes in a relatively short time and when taken in very minute, even infinitesimal doses, if given over longer periods in more material dosage, must necessarily produce serious harm in a large majority of those using such a substance.
The system may become immune to a degree to a poison if given in small graduated doses so that immediate death or even much inconvenience may not be price of weakened body resistance and damaged vital organs.