SILICIA AND CALCAREA CARB A COMPARATIVE STUDY

   JOSEPH L.KAPLOWE,M.D.

 

To the superficial observer, Calcarea carb. and Silicia are very similar, yet closer study reveals differences which clearly demarcate the remedies. Calcarea has a double origin; one in the animal or organic world, the other in the mineral kingdom. Though chemically alike both have varying actions on the living organism when potentized, perhaps due to a difference in the atomic structure of the molecular unit, demonstrating the phenomenon of tautomerism. The middle layer of the oyster shell is the source of Calcarea-hence the name ostrearum.

Both remedies act profoundly on the vegetative system, producing a state of perverted nutrition. In affecting the processes of assimilation, Calcarea resembles the three great disorders of nutrition, scrophula, tuberculosis and rickets, and in the treatment of these conditions in their varying manifestations, Calcarea carb. often finds a place. It stimulates secretion and absorption, favors a deposit of earthy salts, and acts so deeply on the blood as to alter its composition, producing anaemia. It disturbs the functions of various organs, but its chief action centers on the lymphatic system.

Silicia affects more prominently mucous surfaces, glandular structures, bones and joints, and like Calcarea carb., the conditions it produces resemble the dyscrasias of scrophula and rickets. The outstanding power of Silicia is the production of a suppurative process with fistulous channels, in the soft tissues, the periosteum of in the bone itself. In its general action, too,. Silica produces irritability and hypersensitivity of the nervous system, being comparable in this respect with Nux vomica. The spine is sore, and pressure on it causes reflex pain in distant parts, the irritable sphincters are spasmodically closed, painful parts are sensitive to touch, and must be wrapped up warmly.

The Calcarea type is of the leukophlegmatic temperament, fat, skin chalky white, torpid mentally and sluggish in its movements. The child is slow in learning to walk or talk growth is irregular so that the large head does not harmonize in its proportions with the rest of he body. The fontanelles, especially the anterior, remain open along after the time for normal closure; the abdomen protrudes like an inverted basin; the features are rather large, and the lips, especially the upper, are oedematous. There is tardy dentition; the teeth decay and crumble; the mouth is so during dentition; the gums become eroded or eaten away, the exposed bones being covered with callous membrane. The teeth ache when cold air enters the mouth or on eating or drinking cold things. Like Silicia, the entire Calcarea patient is sensitive to cold air.

In its action on the osseous system, the nutrition and on the mind, Calcarea shows its power as a deep antisyphilitic: forgetfulness with vanishing of thoughts; the mind is confused so what is read or heard is not understood; thinking is difficult; the intellect is dull. It appears from this description that the cretin, or the analogous condition in the adult known as myxoedema, would often call strongly for Calcarea.

Instead of the fat Calcarea patient, there may be the opposite extreme of emaciation, where the skin hangs flabby and in folds as in marasmus, yet in spite of this loss of flesh, the abdomen still remains abnormally large.

As in Calcarea, the Silicia child is imperfectly nourished, not from lack of food or deficient quality, but from defective assimilation. Here too, the head is disproportionately large, the fontanelles are open, nut unlike Calcarea the body of the child is small and emaciated; it is never fat and plump. The full, round abdomen stands out in contrast with the shrunken limbs, and is due to a diseased mesentery as is often the case in scrophulous children. The entire head of Silicia, including the scalp, neck and face is covered with an offensive sweat; the pale, waxen or yellowish face gives an extremely sick appearance. The bones and muscles are poorly developed, and for this reason the child is slow in learning to walk, as in Calcarea, This latter remedy has profuse sweating of the head also, but here the perspiration is limited to the scalp chiefly.

The deformed sweating heads in both remedies show strongly the syphilitic taint; intermingled is psora, giving the numerous sensations. When psora exists alone, the skin is dry and there is absence of all deformity, since the manifestations of psora are all in the functional sphere only. A pure miasm rarely if ever exists alone. The profound effects on the nutrition is again evidence of syphilis; this miasm deforms not only by destroying apparently healthy tissue, but also by causing faulty development from the start.

The Silicia child is nervous and excitable in contrast with the sluggish calcarea type. The mind and nervous system of Silicia reflect psora, whereas Calcarea accentuates syphilis in the mental sphere. Silicia is weak and weary, showing strongly the psoric desires to lie down. There is nervous debility with exhaustion, coming on after exertion of body or mind, yet he has the power to go on by the force of his will.

The restlessness and starting at the least noise show the oversensitivity of the nervous system; he is anxious, yielding and ready to give up easily, or the opposite state of being obstinate and headstrong may exist, where the child cries even when spoken to with kindness. Thus through Calcarea runs constantly the thread of indolence, sluggishness and stupidity, while irritability, sensitivity to the extreme, and restlessness characterize the Silicia makeup. In fact, sluggishness in nervous affections will always contraindicate Silicia. The senses are morbidly keen; the brain and spinal cord cannot tolerate even ordinary concussions or vibrations; the sensitivity of the body to touch is comparable with the Lachesis state, and serves to differentiate Silicia not only from Calcarea, from all the other closely allied lime salts.

The coldness of Silicia and Calcarea is a point of similarity. Silicia does not produce sufficient vital warmth; he is cold even when working vigorously; cannot get warm at night even when working vigorously; cannot get warm at night even thought well covered; an icy cold shivering often creeps over his body, and even though near the fire he cannot get warm.

It is almost always a general coldness whereas the Calcarea coldness may be general or of single parts. Calcarea may feel a sort of inward coldness; icy coldness in and on the head; sensation in the feet and legs as if she had on damp cold stockings; there are occasions when a flush of heat comes over the body with inclination to uncover, differing in this respect from Silicia.

Rushing of blood to various parts, particularly the head and chest, is common; the hot, burning feet may have to be uncovered at night; in these congestive states and burning sensations, Calcarea becomes allied with Sulphur. There are also chronic congested states, manifesting themselves in the haemorrhoidal conditions, distended veins, and varicose veins especially in the lower extremities.

Silicia, unlike Calcarea, cannot tolerate uncovering in general or of a part, and takes cold easily in the open air, especially on uncovering the head or feet. Wrapping the head warmly gives silicia great comfort; as in Psorinum it is a means of supplying by artificial methods the heat in which he is naturally deficient. Calcarea to is sensitive to the open air; sweats easily and in consequence takes cold easily; the least cold air goes right through; great sensitivity to and aggravation from cold damp air is especially characteristic of Calcarea; Ailments arising from working in water and even washing n water frequently yield to this remedy.

Partial sweats are common to both drugs, the most prominent places being the head and feet; the sweat is offensive, especially in Silicia, causing soreness between the toes and on the soles of the feet. Calcarea may have this soreness and rawness of the skin, but not as commonly as in Silicia. The outstanding keynote of Calcarea is the profuse sweat on the large heads of open-fontanelled children.

Sweating in special localities is more marked in Calcarea than in Silicia; besides the scalp, other favorite localities for the Calcarea sweat are the male organs, the nape of the neck, the chest, axillae, hands, knees and feet. Calcarea sweats easily on the least exertion, even in the cold open air; morning sweat is marked, there may be CLAMMY night sweats only on the legs, or a cold sweat in general with a coldness of the body night sweats are very common especially on the head, neck of chest.

More often than in Silicia, Calcarea has flushes of heat and trembling; heat and ebullition of blood to the head; frequent flushes of heat with anxiety and palpitation of the heart; the skin may be hot, especially evenings and nights when it is covered with sweat and threatens to exhaust the child more and more; hot dry skin after getting wet is common, or the skin may be hot followed by cold, clammy sweat; there may be hot sweating, and finally in striking contrast with silicia, as mentioned before, there are flushes of heat, with inclination to uncover the part or the body in general. Silicia has occasionally short flushes of heat, chiefly in the face head, or violent general heat in the evening and all during the night, yet during these orgasms there is never a desire to uncover. Silicia has sour, intolerable carrion-like odor of the feet even without perspiration; in its offensiveness it exceeds by far the odor of the Calcarea foot sweat.

Both remedies rank high in aggravation from suppression of foot sweats, whether the suppression results from getting the feet cold or from medicinal preparations. Silicia because of its hyperirritability is especially prone to suffer from suppression; convulsions and other serious spinal troubles may follow unless such a sweat is restored and cured by the homoeopathically indicated remedy.

Just as Silicia finds so much in common with Pulsatilla, so Calcarea and Belladonna through their relationship become complementary remedies; in fact Calcarea is the chronic of Belladonna, especially in affections of children, in brain troubles and during dentition. There is a relationship between the product and its origin.; the soil gives of itself to the plant, as manifested in the powers of the potentized Belladonna which grows luxuriantly in earth rich in the salts of lime.

In acute cases where there is hot head, dilated pupils, flushed face, starting in sleep, and Belladonna relieves but relapses occur, Calcarea is very often the remedy to cure by removing the chronic underlying miasm. In children of calcarea temperament, with head sweats and continual dilatation of the pupils, Calcarea when administered is life saving, for these children deprived of the remedy must eventually develop pulmonary tuberculosis, showing that the combined latent miasms of psora and syphilis have sprung to the surface in active form.

A point in common with Belladonna and Calcarea cab. is that the patient has visions of persons and objects on closing the eyes; the images may be frightful, and disappear as soon as he opens his eyes. Cinchona has this symptom also. Calcarea has fear of going insane, or that people will observe her and suppose her to be crazy; talks about fire and murder; imagines someone is walking beside her, and even though alone, believes that someone is in the same room. In the provings of silicia their imaginations are brought out also; quite striking is the imagination that he is in two places at the same time.

Inability to go stairs and exhaustion from it; weakness on walking followed by exhaustion are Calcarea symptoms. All exertion whether mental or physical, aggravate the patient; for days after coition there is great weakness and a sick feeling. Calcarea strains himself easily; pain in the small of the back come after lifting anything heavy, showing in his respect a relation ship to Rhus tox. Silicia has a bruised pain in the whole body, especially prominent after coition; or the bruised pain may come on at night with a sensation as though he had lain in an uncomfortable position.

Both remedies find an image of themselves in epileptic states; convulsions including those of the epileptic type originating after vaccination or suppressed foot sweat are cured by Silicia, Calcarea epilepsy is caused by fright, suppression of a chronic eruption and excesses in venery. The aura which precedes the attack in both remedies, but especially common in Calcarea, originates in the solar plexus and moves upward, the patient being at once thrown into convulsions.

Nux vomica and Bufo have in their pathogenesis this type of epileptic seizure also. The aura in Calcarea often takes the form of a sensation as though a mouse were running up the arm; at other times the aura may go from the epigastrium down into the uterus or into the limbs,. Sulphur also has the sensation of a mouse creeping up the arm before the attack; Calcarea is particularly indicated if Sulphur does not cure, or if the pupils do not dilate after the use of Sulphur. The convulsive manifestations of Silicia show a periodic tendency, occurring often at the time of the new moon, Calcarea too has aggravation at the new moon, but its epileptic attacks show no tendency to be affected by planetary influences.

Vertigo is a prominent symptoms of Silicia, occurring on rising from the recumbent position, from stooping, when sitting or walking and on looking upward; in fact all motion aggravates the vertigo. The vertigo rises from the dorsal region through the nape of the neck into the head; with the vertigo there is an inclination to fall forward or to the left. The vertigo is so severe he is in constant fear of falling, and with it there is a constant state of nausea.

The cerebrospinal headaches may be periodic and they too, look the vertigo, ascend from the nape of the neck to the vertex, and are often right sided as in Sanguinaria, There the vertex and are often right sided as in Sanguinaria. There may be violent boring an tearing in the head, and a sensation of heaviness and fulness as though there were an excess of blood in the head. The tearing in the vertex is so severe the head feels as though it might burst. Instead of the headache there may be a cold feeling rising from the nape of the neck.

The headaches occur after mental exertion, is decidedly aggravated by mental or physical labor, by quick movements of the head which convert the dull aching pain into sharp stabs; there is also aggravation from light and noise. Relief comes on lying down in a dark quiet place and by wrapping the head warmly. This relief from warmth runs through Silicia from beginning to end. Concomitant with the headache there is pain in the eyes when the globes are revolved laterally in the orbits, together with chilliness, nausea and vomiting; sensitivity of the scalp to touch, and an exalted sense of hearing-probably sympathetic, characteristic of the hyperacuity of psora. The headaches reveal the psoric miasm in Silicia, coming during the day, during the day, ameliorated lying down and from warmth in contrast with the syphilitic type which is aggravated at night, aggravated lying down and finds relief from cold or cool applications.

Calcarea, while having many head symptoms, does not portray the psoric type of headache. There is heavy aching and pressing pain as from a board in various parts of the head, always worse in the open air, by reading and stooping, in fact stooping produces a bewildered sensation. Great heat in the head with red face and cold extremities or a feeling a congestion may alternate with a sensation of icy coldness in the head. Calcarea may prefer the left side of the head the sensation of coldness in the head may be unilateral; hemicrania, however is not as pronounced a future as in Silicia; the latter too has congestions to the head with heat and redness of the face The Calcarea vertigo comes when walking in the open air, on sudden motion of the head, on ascending and on looking upward, and as in Silicia there is the sensation as if he will fall especially on turning the head.

The action of Calcarea on pus formations in the body, such as abscesses, is remarkable. While Silicia, Sulphur and Phosphorus hasten suppuration, Calcarea when indicated favors resorption of pus and encourages calcareous formation in the parts. Foreign bodies are dislodged from the system by Silicia through its power to produce suppuration. There are occasions when silicia is indicated, yet must not be given, for example when the internal location of an abscess would be followed by spreading of the circumscribed area of suppuration. Here surgical measure apply, as in pyosalpinx, suppurative appendicitis with abscess formation, empyema and allied conditions. If, however, Calcarea were indicated in such conditions it could safely be given, because of its power to absorb pus, to concentrate and to contract tissues.

On cellular tissue Silicia produces inflammation which progress to suppuration, then ulceration, then finally induration. The suppuration is chronic; the tonsils suppurate and refuse to heal; boils and furuncles recur in crops, do not heal and continue to discharge a thin watery and ichorous pus; occasionally the pus is thick.

The indurated cicatricial areas remaining after inflammation and suppuration have healed are readily absorbed under the action of Silicia. Its power to absorb indurated surfaces is comparable with Graphites.

Silicia is often useful in scrophulous children where the long bones are carved or where there is a lateral curvature of the vertebral column. Calcarea has similar indications in bone diseases, the curvature being usually in the dorsal region in children who are slow in learning to walk and talk, and whose weak ankles cause inversion or eversion of the foot in walking depending on the muscles involved. Weakness of the ankle joint is a syphilitic trait.

In all forms of ulcers Silicia is useful, especially in ulcers from bone diseases; such ulcers occur in tuberculous hip joint disease and in the back from vertebral caries, usually connecting with fistulous tracts. Ulcers of the cornea are common; these slough and perforate the cornea like those of Nitric acid, are not vascular as are those of calcarea, and therefore not much infiltration of surrounding tissue follows. The lids are swollen and covered with suppurating styes.

Calcarea produces ulcers, which are deep carious and even fistulous, but its ability to do so is not nearly as prominent as it is in Silicia. Unlike the latter, the ulcers on the cornea are very vascular and threaten to destroy that membrane, and on healing leave pronounced corneal opacity; no remedy excels Calcarea in the latter condition. In the optical disorders of Calcarea, artificial light in particular is dreaded, although on first waking in the morning the child complaints of an aggravation from the daylight. In its eye troubles, Calcarea acts better after Sulphur than before, being suited to advanced sluggish cases which do not react to Sulphur. Hahnemann noticed that Calcarea followed Sulphur well when there was a tendency to chronic dilatation of the pupils. Another remedy which holds a relation to Calcarea in scrophulous and tubercular ailments is Nitric acid, which remedy is often indicated if the corneal ulcers progress and threaten to perforate or destroy.

Calcarea subjects are prone to eruptions on the skin, especially eczema, which appear on the scalp with a tendency to spread downward over the face, forming thick crusts, often bleeding, and appearing white like chalk deposits. The hair falls out. leaving bare spots on the scalp. An offensive moisture exudes from the eruptions. Silicia also has patches of eruptions on the posterior portion of the scalp, which are SCABBY, scaly, offensive and moist. These eruptions, like the ulcerations, are further proof of the power of these remedies in eradicating the miasm of syphilis.

The ability of Calcarea to grow polypi is marked; in subjects who need this remedy or who are poisoned through its action, polypi grow in the nose, ears, vaginal tact, or bladder; in fact any mucous surface may furnish the site for such a growth. These polypi are sycotic calcarea also causes the formation of exostoses, which deformity is the product of syphilis,, causing defective nutrition of the bone, resulting in the irregularity in the distribution of lime.

Typical of the Calcarea sluggishness,the stomach is slow in action; food remains here too long; milk disagrees and causes sour vomiting in these syphilitic children. Silicia has a great aversion to its mothers milk, and vomits after taking it. As in silicia, the aversions to warm food is somewhat contrary to the constant desire for warmth. The strong psoric craving of Calcarea for eggs, especially during convalescence, is a strong feature the craving for indigestible things such as chalk, is no doubt due to the defective assimilation of lime, and manifests the desire of the organism for the acquisition of the element in which it is deficient.

Calcarea has a hard, chalky white stool which he expels with difficulty; Silicia partly expels his stool, when due to defective expulsive power, the fecal material recedes into the rectum. Silicia often comes in to cure diarrhoea after vaccination; fissures and fistulas of he anus are common representing the existence of a latent tubercular diathesis; the basic miasms often become active after surgical treatment of fistulas, so that without the exhibition of the remedy, the condition of pulmonary tuberculosis shortly after the suppression, springs into active manifestation, Calcarea like silicia, has diarrhoea especially during dentition, yet strange as it may seem, the patient is improved in every respect when constipated; he passes tapeworms and ascarides with his stool.

Calcarea seems especially adapted to the female constitution. At adolescence it may be indicated in girls when the menses are delayed in making their appearance. Though apparently plethoric and robust, suffering from congestions to the head and chest, causing palpitation, dyspnoea and headache, the blood is actually in a state of anaemia.

The menstrual flow may be too profuse, may come too soon, and last too long. The Calcarea type is usually sterile. Silicia produces uterine haemorrhage or small bloody flow between the menstrual period; this is noticed most often at the time of the new moon. The menses are irregular, and there may be menstruation during lactation. Amenorrhoea follows the suppression of a foot sweat. At puberty too, Calcarea is indicated when tuberculosis of the lungs threatens, as evidenced by the dyspnoea, palpitation especially on ascending and even haemorrhages from the lungs; dry cough at night which becomes loose in the morning;the fever is < at night, with partial sweat and soreness of the chest to touch, especially beneath the clavicles.

Even late in phthisis, when large cavities have formed, Calcarea is useful; its chief action centers on the middle third of the right lung. In its tubercular state, Calcarea shows strongly the syphilitic aversion to animal food especially meat emaciation progresses, sweat increases and in the female organism a state of amenorrhoea arises. Silicia, in advanced phthisical conditions, is dangerous and therefore contraindicated, silica unlike Calcarea it stimulates the formation of pus, rather than the absorption of purulent matter.

In summarizing these great polychrests, we can most accurately describe the Calcarea state as one of sluggishness, which feature is especially true in the mental sphere and in the nervous reactions. Silicia, however, even in its state of exhaustion and depression, is hyperirritable, as evidenced by spasms which occur during a state of muscular exertion with fatigue, manifested by the sensation of weakness and cramp in the feet at night and when walking;the sensation of weakness of the hand, together with simultaneous spasm of that organ when writing, and the sensation of paralysis in the rectum and the spasm of the sphincter ani during defecation; always a condition of erethism and stimulation conjoined with the state of exhaustion, paralysis or depression. NEW HAVEN, CONN.

Arnica, Rhus and Calcarea often follow one another this way: A sprain in joint, bruised condition of muscles, would be well covered immediately by Arnica. The injury does well for a time, but after a week or two there is still some weakness and pain. Now Rhus is also similar, but belongs to a later period. So Rhus takes up the case, carries him comfortably on for some months, when he suddenly finds its power over the condition gone, and that he has a rheumatic stiffness in the strained joint coming on after cold, damp weather.

Now Calcarea is indicated and will finish the case.

In such conditions the needled remedy seems to go deeper and deeper, and to eradicated the remaining vestiges of excited psora-J.T.KENT, M.D., 18876.

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