DRUG STUDIES FOR BEGINNERS

CARBO VEGETABILIS

By Sidgwick R M.

 

ONE of the leading symptoms of this medicine is indifference. The patient does not seem to react in a normal way to the circumstances of his life. His affections are dulled. Unpleasant happenings, or things which would normally please him, leave him more or less unmoved. This sluggishness is not only mental, for it affects him physically. His circulation is poor, and his veins relaxed slowly, and he is inclined to be lazy. The capillary circulation is affected, and Kent says that if a number of people are drinking wine together the Carbo veg. patients can be picked out by their flushed faces.

Carbo veg is one of the remedies which has burning as a prominent symptom. Burning and itching skin; burning in the veins. Chilblains often need Carbo veg. Ulcers burn. But coldness is equally prominent. The coldness of collapse when the breath is cold, and the patient is covered with cold sweat. Yet the patient wants to be fanned for he is hungry for air. And though he is so cold he does not like warmth.

The headaches needing Carbo veg. are generally occipital. But the pain may involve the whole head. The patient complains that his head feels full and heavy. He does not want to move and any jar or slight shock aggravates the pain. The head may feel hot and nose bleeding may be seen. These headaches sometimes come on when the discharge from a chronic catarrh dries up. The patient needing Carbo veg. often suffers from catarrh. The scalp is often sensitive to the pressure of a hat.

The eyes have burning itching pains. The ears may have evil smelling discharges and ulceration.

Carbo veg. is one of the flatulent remedies. Kent says “If I were going to manufacture a Carbo veg. constitution I would commence with his stomach. If I wanted to produce these varicose veins and the weak venous side of the heart, this fullness and congestion and flatulence, this disordered stomach and bowels, and head and mind troubles sluggishness of the economy I would begin and stuff him. I would feed him with fats, puddings, pies and sauce, and all such indigestible trash and give him plenty of wine then I would have the Carbo veg. patient”.

Burning in the stomach, distended stomach, continual belching up of flatulence. Belching relieves the Carbo veg. patient. This is not the case with China and Lycopodium. The Carbo veg. patient has abdominal distension and flatulence, but Lycopodium is more often needed for abdominal flatulence. The abdominal flatulence in Carbo veg. cases often becomes incarcerated and it forms a lump or swelling in the abdomen. Putrid smelling flatulence is characteristic.

The respiratory organs have many symptoms. The typical Carbo veg. coryza begins in the nose with a watery discharge and sneezing. Then hoarseness and rawness in the larynx with coughing and, when the chest is affected, the expectoration is thin, then yellowish green. Whooping cough may need Carbo veg. Difficult respiration with much wheezing. The patient cannot breathe and he wants to be fanned.

The limbs have a variety of drawing and burning pains. Cramp, torpor and ulceration. Carbo veg. may be needed in senile gangrene beginning in the toes and spreading upwards. Indolent varicose ulcers on the lower limbs often require Carbo veg.

I have met homoeopaths who looked upon Carbo veg. as an excellent remedy for flatulent dyspepsia, and for little else except perhaps as a remedy for collapse who was it called it the “homoeopathic corpse reviver?” It is, however, a remedy of many uses but not always an easy remedy to spot.

Here is a case where Carbo veg. was indicated. The patient was an elderly woman whose face with its slightly congested appearance suggested Carbo veg. She complained of violent dyspeptic attacks usually at night some hours after her last meal. There was much belching and flatulence which relieved the gastric symptoms. She was worse lying down which is a Carbo veg. symptom. Her digestion was slow and she was chilly and suffered from chilblains with burning and smarting worse in bed. All this Carbo veg. and Carbo veg. 6 made a new woman of her.

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