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Homeopathic Materia Medica by Farrington



PETROLEUM

(petr)

This is a highly carbonaceous oil but it is not a pure carbon. Medicinally, it stands somewhat between Sulphur and Phosphorus on one hand, and Graphites and Carbo veg. on the other. We find that those who work in coal oil are subject to eruptions on the skin. Thus a wheal appears across the face or body looking like a hive, and this itches and burns. Then, again, a vesicular eruption appears there which develops into a perfect picture of eczema, forming thick scabs and oozing pus. The skin soon grows more harsh and dry, and there form deep cracks and fissures which bleed and suppurate. These symptoms make Petroleum an excellent remedy for eczema wherever it may appear. We find it useful in rhagades, particularly when they occur in winter, when the hands chap, crack and burn, and itch intolerably. Sometimes ulcers develop.

Again, Petroleum has been used in sprains of joints, especially in old rheumatic patients. It is particularly indicated in rheumatism, when the knees are stiff, this stiffness being associated with sharp sticking pains in them and with stiffness of the neck and cracking sounds when moving the head, owing to roughness of the muscular fibres.

Next we find Petroleum to be remembered in diseases of the mucous membranes. It may be used successfully in ozaena. Here the discharge is quite in agreement with the character of the eruption. Scabs and purulent mucus are discharged from the nasal cavities. The nose is sore and the nostrils are cracked as in Graphites. The post-nasal space is filled with purulent mucus, causing hawking of phlegm.

Then, too, we find the eyes affected under Petroleum. It is especially useful in blepharitis marginalis. It is also indicated in inflammation of the lachrymal canal, when suppuration has commenced and a fistula has formed. This tendency to the formation of fistula is also seen in the gums.

 

The cough of Petroleum is also to be remembered. It is a dry teasing cough which comes on when lying down at night. We often find that cough in children.

Next, we find Petroleum affecting the sweat itself, producing profuse offensive sweat in the axilla and on the soles of the feet.

The only chest symptom of Petroleum is cold feeling about the heart. This symptom is strong under NATRUM MUR., which has it very well-marked, especially when exerting the mind. It is also found under KALI CHLORICUM, GRAPHITES and KALI NITRICUM.

Next we look to Petroleum in its action on the stomach and bowels. It produces nausea and vertigo with vomiting of bile, worse in the morning, worse from riding in a carriage and worse during pregnancy. Then, too, Petroleum is useful in sea-sickness.

Petroleum produces a diarrhoea which is somewhat akin to that of SULPHUR. The stools are offensive and watery, and often contain undigested food. They come early in the morning and are associated with emaciation of the body. They differ from Sulphur in coming on also during the day. We have another diarrhoea curable by Petroleum, and that is a diarrhoea with disordered stomach made worse by the use of cabbage, sauer-kraut and cole-slaw. There is offensive stool with great flatulence, and belching of gas, tasting of cabbage.

Petroleum also acts as a nervous remedy. We sometimes find it indicated in typhoid fever, when there is slight delirium. It also produces forgetfulness. The patient loses her way in well-known streets. If this symptom has been produced by exposure to great heat, then you should give GLONOIN.

Another mental symptom curable by Petroleum is she imagines that she is double, or that somebody is lying beside her. This symptom has been utilized in this way: A lady in childbed, imagined that she had had two babies, and she was very much concerned as to how she could take care'of them both. Petroleum cured her.

Petroleum has also been used as an antidote to lead poisoning.