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Materia Medica by Kent



SILICA

(sil)

The action of Silica is slow. In the proving, it takes a long time to develop the symptoms. It is, therefore, suited to complaints that develop slowly. At certain times of the year and under certain circumstances peculiar symptoms will come out. They may stay with the prover the balance of his life. Such are the long-acting, deep-acting remedies; they are capable of going so thoroughly into the vital order that hereditary disturbances are routed out. The Silica patient is chilly; his symptoms are developed in cold, damp weather, though often better in cold, dry weather; symptoms come out after a bath.

 

The mental state is peculiar. The patient lacks stamina. What Silica is to the stalk of grain in the field, it is to the human mind. Take the glossy, stiff, outer covering of a stalk of grain and examine it, and you will realize with what firmness it supports the head of grain until it ripens; there is a gradual deposit of Silica in it to give it stamina. So it is with the mind; when the mind needs Silica it is in a state of weakness, embarrassment, dread, a state of yielding. If you should listen to the description of this state by a prominent clergyman or a lawyer, or a man in the habit of appearing in public with self-confidence, firmness and fulness of thought and speech, he would tell you he had come to a state where he dreads to appear in public, he feels his own selfhood so that he cannot enter into his subject, he dreads it, he fears that he will fail, his mind will not work, he is worn out by prolonged efforts at mental work. But he will say that when he forces himself into the harness he can go on with ease, his usual self-command returns to him and he does well; he does his wofk with promptness, fulness, and accuracy. The peculiar Silica state is found in the dread of failure. If he has any unusual mental task to perform, he fears he will make a failure of it, yet he does it well. This is the early state; of course there comes a time when he cannot perform the work with accuracy and still he may need Silica.

 

Another case is illustrated in a young man who has studied for years and is now nearing the end of his course. He dreads the final examinations but he goes through them all right, then a fatigue comes upon him and for years he is unable to enter his profession. He has this dread of undertaking anything.

 

Irritable and irascible when aroused; when let alone he is timid, retiring, wants to shirk everything; mild, gentle, tearful women. The Silica child is cross and cries when spoken to. It is the natural complement and chronic of PULS. because of its great similarity; it is a deeper, more profound remedy. Religious melancholy, sadness, irritability, despondency. LYCOPODIUM is stupid, the dread of undertaking anything is from a general knowledge of inability. In Silica it is imaginary.

 

Silica is not suitable for the irritability and nervous exhaustion coming on from business brain-fag, but more for such brain-fag as belongs to professional men, students, lawyers, clergymen. A lawyer says, "I have never been myself since that John Doe case." He went through a prolonged effort and sleepless nights followed. Silica restores the brain.

 

The remedy produces inflammation about any fibrinous nidus and suppurates it out. It acts upon constitutions that are sluggish and inflames fibrous deposits about old imbedded missiles. Slow nutrition; if the individual receives a slight injury it suppurates and the cicatrix indurates, is hard and nodular. Along the track of a knife-cut, is a fibrinous deposit due to inferior and slow nutrition. An old ulcer heals with induration. Where cicatricial tissue forms, it is indurated, shiny, glassy. If Silica is given in such cases, it will throw out abscesses in these cicatrices and open them out. It will open up old ulcers and heal them with a normal cicatrix.

 

In ordinary people if a splinter lodges in the tissues, a suppuration will slough it out, but in these feeble constitutions a plastic deposit takes place about it and it remains. This is not the highest state of order. Suppuration takes place about a bullet and pushes it out, that is the best state that can be asked for.

 

Silica, therefore, hastens the formation of abscesses and boils. It suppurates out old wens and indurated tumors. It has cured recurrent fibroids and old indurated tumors.

 

If there is a deposit of tubercle in the lungs, Silica establishes an inflammation and throws it out, and if the whole lung be tubercular a general suppurative pneumonia will be the result; hence, the danger of giving such remedies and the danger of repeating them in advanced stage of phthisis. Not only Silica but many other remedies have the power to suppurate out deposits, the result of poor nutrition.

 

Warty growths on the skin, moist eruptions, pimples, pustules, abscesses. Suppurating cavities. It establishes healing in old fistulous openings with indurated margins. Catarrhal suppurations; copious muco-purulent discharge from the eyes, nose, ears, chest, vagina, etc.

 

Complaints from the suppression of discharges; suppressed sweat. These suppressions produce a state in the economy that threatens what little order is left. An offensive foot-sweat ceases after getting the feet wet, and is followed by chills and violent complaints. Silica cures long lasting foot-sweat when the symptoms agree, or complaints that have lasted since the suppression of a foot-sweat. Thick, yellow catarrhal discharges. They say, "I have had this discharge so many years," and when you investigate, you find that there has been some shock, a cold, that suppressed the foot-sweat and it has not appeared since. Silica will bring back that sweat, cause the catarrhal discharge to cease and in time cure the foot-sweat. Catarrhal discharges from the nose and other places, indurations, tumors, chronic gastritis, brain-fag, all dating back to the suppression of foot-sweat or otorrhoea, or to the healing up of a fistula.

 

Chronic sick-headache attended with nausea and even vomiting. Headache commencing in the back of the head in the morning or towards noon going to the forehead, worse towards night, from noise; better from heat; supra-orbital neuralgias; better from pressure and heat and attended with profuse head-sweat. Cold, clammy, offensive sweat on the forehead. When a Silica patient exerts himself he sweats on the face, the lower part of the body is dry or nearly so. It requires great exertion to produce general sweat. A striking feature is the sweat about the upper parts of the body and the head. Headache once a week (GELS., LYC, SANG., SULPH.). Headache up through the back of the neck and especially to the right side of the head. Resembles SANG. Weight in the occiput as if it would be drawn back, with a rush of blood to the head, like CARBO VEG. and SEPIA. Headache worse from cold air. PSOR. wears a fur cap even in summer. MAGN. MUR. is better from wrapping up the head but still wants to be in the air. RHUS sweats on the body; the head is dry. PULS. sweats on one side of the head.

 

Vertigo to fainting; with nausea; vertigo creeping up the spine into the head.

 

It is especially necessary for the Silica patient to avoid the cold air, must have the head well wrapped up, especially the part that is painful and this part perspires copiously.

 

"Headache worse from mental exertion, excessive study, noise, motion, even jarring from foot-steps, light, stooping, pressing at stool, talking, cold air, touch."

 

Moist, scaly eruption on the scalp, eczema capitis.

 

Silica is suited to the phagedenic ulcers of syphilis, eating and spreading ulcers on the scalp. Inflammatory conditions between the scalp and skull, tumors forming, filled with a grumous fluid; as in infancy, it will remove blood tumors. Cephalatoma neonatorum, enchondroses. Silica is especially of use in the treatment of affections of the cartilages, growths about the joints, about the fingers and toes.

 

The complaints of Silica are associated with hardened glands, but especially about the neck, the cervical, salivary, and particularly the parotid glands; large, hard parotids. The parotids enlarge from every cold and get hard. (BAR. CARB., CALC, SULPH.)

 

PULS. suits the acute inflammation of the parotid, but Silica is indicated in the more chronic forms due to psora, "scrofulous glands."

 

Many inflammations and conditions of the eyes. Ulcers on the cornea ; pustules on the lids, falling of the lashes, suppuration of the margins of the lids with burning, stinging and redness. Intense photophobia in all eye complaints. Scrofulous cases with sore eyes; the most inveterate and chronic cases; suppuration; thin, watery, copious discharge, or bloody, thick and yellow like pus, with ulceration. Syphilitic iritis. "Perforating or sloughing ulcer on the cornea. Spots and cicatrices on the cornea. Fungus haematodes. Eyes inflamed from traumatic causes; foreign particles have lodged in the eyes; abscesses; boils around the eyes and lids; tarsal tumors, styes. Affections appearing in the angles of the eyes; fistula lachrymalis; stricture of lachrymal duct." This is a general survey of the eye affections in Silica.

 

There is no deeper remedy than Silica in eradicating the tubercular tendency, when the symptoms agree; most tubercular cases are worse from cold, wet weather; better in cold dry weather.

 

The most inveterate cases of catarrh of the ear; old offensive, thick, yellow otorrhoea; following scarlet fever; all sorts of abnormalities in hearing, even to deafness. Roaring in the ears associated with many diseases and hardness of hearing; hissing, roaring like steam; like a train of cars, many times from mechanical cause and other times from a condition of the nerves. It is commonly the beginning of a dry catarrh of the middle ear; the remedy is especially useful when, in catarrh of the middle ear and Eustachian tube, the deafness goes on for some time and the hearing returns with a snap, due to the escape of the accumulation of fluids somewhere and described by the patient as a snap or report. Sudden reports in the ear like a cannon, distant noises with return of hearing. "Otorrhoea, offensive, watery, curdy, with soreness of inner nose and crusts on upper lip, after abuse of MERCURY, with caries." Caries of bone in any part of the body, but especially of the small bones of the ear, nose and mastoid process. "Scabs behind the ears." Rupture of the drum of the ear. Catarrhal conditions of the internal ear and Eustachian tube, with "feeling of sudden stoppage in the ear, better by gaping or swallowing."

 

Especially with ear troubles, there will be associated indurated parotid glands.

 

Accumulation of hard crusts in the nose, loss of taste and smell; epistaxis, thickening of the mucous membrane; most vicious catarrh with discharge of bone from the nose. Horrible, foetid ozaena, old syphilitic cases where the nasal bones are destroyed and the nose becomes a flabby bag, is sunken in or ulcerated away, leaving an opening. Silica may cure and an artificial nose be made afterwards.

 

HEPAR competes with Silica in syphilitic nasal catarrhs where the parts are phagedenic; HEPAR, MERC. COR. and ARS., are the principal antisyphilitics when there is phagedenic ulceration of the nose. Babies suffer from bloody nasal discharge. This is often CALC. SUL.

 

The aspect of the Silica face is silky, anaemic, waxy, tired. Pustular and vesicular eruptions spread over the face, the wings of the nose crack, the lips easily fissure; crusts form on the margin between the mucous membrane and the skin; eruptions and crusts, indurations form under the crusts, they peel off and there is no healing. These indurations are the same kind of inferior tissue that is found under lupus and epithelioma, a low tissue formation, a low state of eczema that favors infiltration. The small blood-vessels that lead to them become thicker and thicker until they become gristly. There is a tendency to make the soft tissues harder and the hard tissues harder.

 

In childhood the bones become softer and even necrose or there is an inflammation of the periosteum and a consequent necrosis. Caries of the shaft of the long bones, the head of the bones and the cartilaginous portions; abscesses in cartilages, enchondromata. Bones break down and form fistulous openings. Necrosis of the jaw, the joints, the hip-joint, the tibia, necrosis of the spine, of the vertebrae, so that there is curvature of the spine, lateral especially. The homeopathic physicians may treat these affections of the bones with the help of accessory contrivances or supports.

 

The Silica patient has rough lips, they crack and peel; rhagades. Scaly appearances at the margins of the lips, fissures in the corners of the mouth that indurate. There is often a line of fissure about the margin of the crust. Little crusts like epithelioma form upon the wings of the nose and when picked off leave a raw surface with no tendency to heal. Crusty formations upon the ears.

 

The teeth break down, lose their enamel surface; the dentine is made up largely of the silicate of lime and the surface of the tooth becomes rough, loses its shiny appearance and caries sets in. This often takes place at the margin of the gum; ulcers form on the tip of the fangs. The teeth suffer when it is cold or damp; toothache in wet weather, and the teeth are yellow, decay rapidly, and the gums settle away from them. All the neuralgias and toothaches are better in a warm room and from hot drinks. Abscesses about the gums and face, better by warmth. Severe pain in the jaw, rending, tearing at night, better from heat; these pains often end in abscesses about the teeth. Sometimes relieved by pressure unless the part is extremely sore from inflammation.

 

The tongue takes on inflammation of gouty character; inflammation with threatening abscess, it fills the whole mouth; rending, tearing pains, worse at night and better from heat.

 

In the throat and neck we have inflammation and swelling of all the glands, external and internal, all at once or singly. Quinsy with great pain in the tonsils, one or both; threatening suppuration. Inflammation of the parotid, sublingual and much less frequently the submaxillary and cervical glands; painful, tumid and hard, with pain in the neck, shoulders and head, even in acute inflammations. But then we have the opposite state of affairs. In an old chronic case broken down with suffering the symptoms are worse after a bath, he wants warmth, dreads the cold, is always shivering. But when in the neck there is an acute inflammation the very opposite is present; he suffers from flushes of heat, an irregular, flushing fever, cold extremities while the upper part of the body is hot, sweat about the head and neck, sensation of heat and suffocation in a warm room. This will be present in quinsy and abscesses of the glands of the neck, if acute. Silica here shows its relation to PULS. The latter in its chronic manifestations is overburdened with heat, but in an acute trouble is chilly. They are reversed as to their acute and chronic states. PULS. in the beginning is chilly and sweating.

 

Silica is full of throat symptoms but is seldom indicated in acute forms because its pace is too slow; it comes on after there has been a series of colds, such colds as are ameliorated a number of times by BELL. or other acute remedies, but still continue to settle in the tonsils and in the glands of the neck. Silica breaks up the tendency. There is a catarrhal state in the throat that is roused up by every cold into an increased flux, with hoarseness, settling back into the chronic state again; chronic catarrhs of the pharynx. It competes with NATRUM MUR. in inveterate sore throat.

 

Silica disturbs the stomach, causes hiccough, nausea and vomiting; disturbs the liver. All these symptoms are connected and are hard to separate. Decided aversion to warm food, desires cold things, wants his tea moderately cold, he is willing to have his food cold, dislikes warm food. Sometimes there is a decided aversion to meat, but if he does take it, he prefers cold, sliced meat. He likes ice cream, ice water, and feels comfortable when it is in the stomach; it is sometimes impossible for him to drink hot fluids, they cause sweat about the face and head and cause hot flushes. (BAR. C.)

 

Silica is disturbed by the extremes of heat and cold, easily affected in changes even of a few degrees; he has complaints from being overheated ; he gets overheated easily, sweats easily from a slight change in the temperature and comes down with a cold.

 

Case: A physician waiting on an obstetrical case, had a little difficulty in the last stage and he became overheated; putting on his overcoat and hat he went out on the porch to cool off and was taken down with asthma, violent cough, copious expectoration with gagging and vomiting which lasted him for months. The acute remedies he had taken only palliated, but a dose of Silica cured him almost as quickly as he was taken down; he could not tolerate a warm room; the acute complaints of Silica are often worse in a warm room and from heat.

 

Silica has an aggravation from milk. Many times the infant is unable to take any kind of milk and, hence, the physician is driven to prescribe all the foods in the market if he does not know the right remedy. NATRUM CARB. and Silica are both useful when the mother's milk causes diarrhoea and vomiting. The routinist is likely to give such medicines as AETHUSA, entirely forgetting Silica. The latter, as well as NATRUM CARB., has sour vomiting and sour curds in the stool. "Aversion to the mother's milk and vomiting." "Diarrhoea from milk." Put these two together.

 

Although the patient has an aversion to hot things and desires to eat cold things, yet in chest complaints cold water, ice cream and cold things in general, increase the cough to gagging, and then the retching is dreadful; violent, retching, gagging cough. Retching from an endeavor to expectorate is usually controlled by CARBO VEG., but Silica has it.

 

"Water brash, with chilliness, with brown tongue; nausea and vomiting of what is drunk, worse in the morning; water tastes bad; vomits after drinking."

 

The Silica stomach is weak, in a do-nothing state; old dyspeptics that have been vomiting a long time, especially those who have an aversion to hot food, who cannot take milk, are averse to meat, where the mental and bodily symptoms agree.

 

Silica was one of the greatest remedies for the chronic diarrhoea in the soldiers of our Civil War. It cured a fair percentage of those sick from sleeping on damp ground, eating all sorts of food until the stomach and bowels were prostrated, from long marches, from going into the South from the cold North, from becoming overheated. It is like SULPHUR in these symptoms.

 

Silica has some pain in the stomach and bowels, but there is more soreness to pressure; colic and flatulence and tenderness to pressure; a chronic soreness in the stomach and if it goes on too long, a tubercular state comes on. Abdominal pain relieved by heat; distension of the bowels with flatulence and rumbling. Enlarged abdomen in children and adults (BAR. C.); tightness across the abdomen. Disturbed by the pressure of the clothes and worse after eating; the decided feature is the amelioration from heat.

 

Constipation from inability of the rectum to expel the faeces. It is seldom that the stool lies in the rectum without urging like ALUMINA; there is much urging to stool but inability to expel. The stool may be in small balls or large and soft or large and hard, but there is much straining and sweating about the head and great suffering while straining ; the rectum becomes impacted, he strains until he is weak and exhausted, THE STOOL SLIPS BACK; and he gives up in despair. The only way he can relieve himself is by some mechanical method. Great straining at stool belongs to many remedies, but especially to ALUMINA, ALUMEN, CHINA, NATR. MUR., NUX VOM., NUX MOSCH., and Silica.

 

Silica has removed tape-worm, when the symptoms agree (CALC., SUL.).

 

It has also cured fistulous openings. Patients who have a tendency to phthisis are subject to abscesses about the region of the rectum, that break inside or out and form complete or incomplete openings. These seem to take the place of what would otherwise come, and if healed by operation or other external means, the tendency is to end in chest trouble, either in form of a fixed catarrh or tubercular infiltrations. Silica is one of the remedies that turns the constitution into order and in one to five years the opening ceases to be necessary and it will heal. Surgeons heal it up at once, and for a time the patient is comfortable, but in a few years he breaks down.

 

CAUST., BERB., CALC. C, CALC. PHOS., GRAPH., SULPH., etc., are suitable in such cases. Silica here follows THUJA well.

 

Suppurative conditions in the urinary tract, catarrh of the mucous membranes; old inveterate catarrh of the bladder with pus and blood in the urine; copious, stringy deposits in the urine. Prostatitis, suppuration, thick, foetid pus from the urethra. Gonorrhoea, pus, or puslike discharge from the urethra, slight, shreddy discharge, bloody, purulent discharge. It is sometimes thick, or is curdy; this is from any mucous membrane.

 

Abscesses along the penis, in the perineum, prostate gland, testes. Chronic inflammation and induration of the testes with much pain; testes feel as if squeezed, sensitive, painful. Hydrocele in boys or adults.

 

In the male, impotence, weakness of the genitals after coition, easily exhausted, lacks power; exhausted if he has coition with anything like ordinary frequency; it takes him a week or ten days to rest up (AGAR.). Much sweating of the genitals with exhaustion, tired out in the spine, weak back.

 

Involuntary discharge of urine at night; enuresis in little boys and girls.

 

In women a prostrated condition of the sexual functions. Serous cysts in the vagina, fistulous openings and abscesses about the vulva, which heal with hard nodules or do not heal at all; little oozing fistulas, offensive, cheesy discharge. They heal in little nodules and then break out again in the same nidus. Women who are subject to these abscesses.

 

Bloody discharge between the periods. In Silica there is very easy flow of blood from the uterus; a haemorrhagic flow comes on before the menses from excitement, and especially when nursing; when the child is put to the breast a flow of blood starts. Notice the distinction between CALC. and Silica. CALC. has a tendency to flow during lactation, but not when the child is put to the breast.

 

Silica cures hydrosalpinx and pyosalpinx, with copious, watery discharge from the uterus. Sometimes a woman has a lump on one or the other side of the uterus, which steadily increases and all at once there is a flooding of watery, bloody, purulent fluid and the lump disappears, soon to fill up again and empty in the same way in a gushing flow. Such are the manifestations of hydrosalpinx and pyosalpinx.

 

Entire absence of the menses for months; amenorrhoea.

 

Serous cysts in the vagina as large as a pea or an orange, projecting from the vagina or projecting upwards and flattened out in conformation with it. Many little cysts like hickory-nuts grouped together. RHOD. and Silica have cured these even when there is a paucity of other symptoms.

 

"Leucorrhoea, profuse, acrid, corroding, milky, preceded by cutting around the navel, causing biting pain, especially after acrid food; during urination; in gushes; with cancer of the uterus. Hard lumps in the mammas."

 

Threatened abscesses of the breasts. If the remedy is given in time, it will abort the entire trouble. Where the remedy has come too late and suppuration is inevitable, Silica comes in for its share. There may be throbbing, tenderness, and weight, yet the remedy controls the pain, hastens the conclusion, and the opening comes naturally, discharges little and closes at once. As sure as an anodyne is given, a hot poultice applied, you will fail with your remedies. There is too much blood in the part, and the application of a poultice increases the trouble; it causes an increased determination of blood to the part, and if suppuration takes place it causes more breaking down of tissue. Instead of a thimbleful of pus you will have cupfuls for days and half of the gland is destroyed.

 

Women who are so weak they tend to abort, or no conception takes place. It would seem if the organs were tired out and unable to perform their functions

 

The infant has all sorts of troubles. It grows up sickly; cannot tolerate its mother's milk or indeed any kind of food; vomiting and diarrhoea. A healthy child will digest even unwholesome milk.

 

The Silica cough is a dangerous one; the remedy suits the early stage of phthisis, when the lung is not extensively involved; it suits a cough of catarrhal character when the symptoms agree. If there is a small abscess in the lung with no tendency to heal, it brings about repair, causes contraction of its walls. Inveterate cases of catarrh of the chest with asthmatic wheezing, overexertion. After violent exertion and overheating, gets in a draft, or takes cold from a bath, becomes chilled. Humid asthma, coarse rattling, the chest seems filled with mucus, seems as if he would suffocate. Especially the asthma of old sycotics, or in children of sycotic parents. It competes with NATR. SUL. in such cases. The patient is pale, waxy, anaemic, with great prostration and thirst.

 

Asthmatic attacks from suppressed gonorrhoea, with liability to develop complaints from over-exertion and over-heating, as in most sycotics.

 

Dry, teasing cough with hoarseness, threatening tuberculosis of the larynx, peculiar cracked voice from thickening of the laryngeal mucous membrane or tubercular involvement; soreness of the chest threatening miliary tuberculosis, with aggravation from cold and amelioration from warm drinks. Pulmonary affections in stone-cutters. The fine dust causes chronic irritation. Silica establishes a suppuration and throws off these particles of stone.

 

Expectoration profuse, foetid, green, purulent; only during the day; viscid, milky, acrid mucus, at times pale, frothy blood.

 

Chronic tendency for colds to settle in the chest and bring on asthmatic symptoms. Chronic bronchitis; inflammation of the lungs with suppuration. Silica especially suits the later stages of pneumonia and the old, chronic complaints following pneumonia. Slow recovery after pneumonia (LYC, SULPH., PHOS., Sil., CALC). Flushes, rattling in the chest. Flushes in the face during the day (SULPH., SEP., LACH.), rattling like ANT. TART., flushes like SULPH. and LYC.

 

Phthisis; thick, yellow, green, foetid sputa, more pronounced coldness than CALC, and head sweat, pains in the lungs, sore lungs, stitches.

 

In the extremities we have inflammation of the periosteum. Corns (ANT. CR., GRAPH.). Ingrowing toe-nails. Rheumatism of the soles of the feet. Cannot walk (ANT. CR., MED., RUTA, Sil.).

 

Begins to sweat as soon as he falls asleep (PULS., CON.).

 

Epilepsy; aura in the solar plexus creeping into the chest and stomach.

 

Complementary to CALC, PULS., and THUJA.