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Materia Medica by Kent
(carb-an)Carbo animalis is one of the deep-acting, long-acting medicines. Suitable in complaints that come on insidiously, that develop slowly, that become chronic and often malignant in character. Complaints in anaemic, broken down constitutions. Vascular conditions. The CARBONS affect the veins more or less, relaxing, paralyzing. This one has its own peculiar feature of infiltrating little veins. Just as sure as an organ in the Carbo animalis patient becomes congested it becomes hard and purple from infiltration, and has a tendency to remain so. In an inflammation of a gland the veins become weak and infiltrated, the gland itself becomes hard and sore, the tissues around it indurate, and the skin over it becomes purple. The glands of the throat and axillae grow purple and indurated with no tendency to soften. Some of these medicines, after infiltrating a gland, will hurry up the inflammatory action, produce sloughing, rapid breaking down, with pus — like HEPAR, MERCURIUS and SULPHUR. But this medicine paralyzes and infiltrates the little veins in the inflamed part, and there seems to be no tendency to suppuration.
We see that the economy of this patient is in a sluggish state; there are no rapid changes; but everything is slowed down. Even the inflammatory process is a passive one. Very often a slow quasi-erysipelatous inflammation comes on, the part becomes purple and will pit upon pressure. Just think what a contrast this is to BELLADONNA. BELLADONNA will inflame all the glands, they will swell, become hot and so sensitive that they can hardly be touched; at first bright red, then purple, with a tendency to resolution if let alone. But the Carbo animalis inflammation comes on slowly, its progress is slow, and there is no tendency to repair. Enlargement of veins here and there over the body, varicose veins. There is intense burning in the part inflamed, which is indurated and purple. The glands of the throat burn. Sluggish buboes in old broken down constitutions, in early stages of syphilis, inflame, become enlarged, purple, hard and burn. Lumps in the mammary glands. A purple lump the size of a hen's egg will form in the mammary gland. It does not go on to suppuration, as you would expect it to, it just stays there. It does not enlarge much, but it is hard.
The woman has so much burning in the vagina that she persuades the physician to make a more careful examination than he has done. He will probably find the whole cervix inflamed, purple and somewhat enlarged. She says it burns like coals of fire.
Carbo animalis eventually produces ulceration of the tissues in various parts, especially in glands. After a while — but not early in the case — an ulcer forms, and perhaps after ulcerating for a time it comes to a standstill; it has become a sluggish ulcer. Indurated ulcers. A bubo breaks down and forms an ulcer. All at once it stops suppurating and around about the tissues become hard and purple. The laudable discharge ceases, a bloody, ichorous discharge takes its place, and the surrounding parts burn. Now in ulcers and fistulous openings, where the walls become hard and burn, and the discharge becomes acrid, Carbo animalis is frequently the remedy.
It is not surprising that this remedy has been one of the most suitable for old, stubborn cancerous affections; for cancerous ulcers. They all burn, they are all surrounded by infiltrated, hardened, dark-colored tissue, and they all ooze an acrid ichorous fluid. It has cured these troubles in old feeble constitutions with night-sweats and much bleeding. It has relieved in incurable cases, and has apparently removed the cancerous condition for years, even though it comes back afterward and kills. This remedy is often a great palliative for the pains that occur in cancer, the indurations and the stinging, burning pains. Of course we do not want to teach, nor do we wish to have you infer, that a patient with a well-advanced cancerous affection, such as scirrhus, may be restored to perfect health and the cancerous affection removed. We may comfort that patient, and restore order at least temporarily, so that there is freedom from suffering in these malignant affections. Most patients that have cancer are really in such a state of disorder that only a temporary cessation of "hostilities" can be expected; and anyone who goes around boasting of the cancer cases he has cured ought to be regarded with suspicion. Do not dwell upon the cancer, for it is not the cancer but the patient that you are treating. It is the patient that is sick, and whenever a patient is sick enough to have a cancer his state of order is too much disturbed to be cured.
The proving of Carbo animalis presents the appearance of a broken down constitution. It brought out in the provers just such symptoms as occur in old, feeble constitutions, with poor repair and lack of reaction. Hence the medicine has been a great palliative for patients suffering from malignant infiltrations and indurations; suspicious indurations round about and under the bases of ulcers; suspicious indurations in glands. A gland becomes inflamed, hard and remains so. Carbo animalis stands at the head of the list of remedies that have that condition.
All through the remedy there is hypertrophy. Tissues pile up here and there into hard nodules; tissues pile up in glands and in organs. The economy has lost its balance, and the result is a disorderly distribution of material. Great prostration, want of energy, associated with palpitation, anxiety and disorders of the pulse. Weak pulse, rapid pulse, irregular pulse. Beating in blood vessels. There is turmoil in the economy, sometimes described as heat. A rushing of heat as though the body was full of steam. Awful sensation through the chest and in the head, like some great earthquake taking place. These are due to abnormal conditions of the venous side of the heart. Flushes of heat; pulsations here and there. Haemorrhages. And of course the woman is more likely to bleed than the man; hence we have menses too early, too long, too copious. Prostration with every menstrual flow. The Carbo animalis woman sinks down at every menstrual period as if she would die. Such striking weakness is not at all accounted for by the quantity of the flow. Chronic induration, with enlargement of the uterus, which gradually grows from year to year (AUR. M. N). Induration of the cervix and the whole uterus. Copious flow of the leucorrhoea. Offensive uterine discharges. Ulceration of the uterus, going gradually toward the malignant state. The menses are black and offensive. Finally this poor, feeble woman, who has been plodding along for years with this condition, goes into malignant ulceration of the cervix, which burns, bleeds constantly and oozes a foetid watery flow. The burning pains in the uterus extend down to the thighs.
Whenever this patient puts the child to the breast she has a sensation of emptiness in the stomach, sinking in the pit of the stomach, and she must take the child away.
There are many uterine troubles, with burning, stinging, smarting, a yellow brown saddle over the bridge of the nose, something like the mottled yellow saddle of SEPIA. All sorts of disordered conditions of the uterus.
Surging of blood upward to the head, rousing up in sleep, with horrible dreams. This poor mortal is suffering from troubles in the base of the brain, has tearing pains in the head, and especially of the occiput, growing increasingly sensitive to cold, increasingly chilly, increasingly waxy, until we have phthisis or cancer, with varicose veins and all the conditions that I have described.