Homeopathic Materia Medica by Farrington
(bar-c)Barium and strontium are very closely related to each other chemically. Of the elements themselves we have no provings. The carbonates of these have, however, been proved, as have also the Muriate and Sulphate of Baryta. Baryta is somewhat of a poison. There are not many cases of poisoning by it on record, because it is rarely used in domestic practice.
Baryta carb. has Antimonium tartaricum as its complement, particularly in the complaints of old people.
Animals poisoned with Baryta carb. exhibit some irritation of the abdominal organs, resembling great inflammation there, with increased peristaltic action of the bowels. The heart, too, is affected by it, the animal apparently dying from paralysis of the cardiac muscle. This paralysis happens in systole. Its action is here very much like that of Digitalis. So much for the toxic action of Baryta.
In all its symptomatology, we find Baryta corresponding to the extremes of life, age and childhood; to old age, when there are mental symptoms and bodily weakness, and to children, when there is in addition, scrofula. The child to whom we may give Baryta effectively, is almost an imbecile. He, very unnaturally, shows no desire to play; he sits in a corner doing nothing. He cannot remember well, and is slow in learning to talk, to read, and to understand. This slowness in learning to talk does not come from defect in the apparatus of speech, the tongue, for instance, but it is the result of mental weakness. The child is rather emaciated, with the exception of the abdomen, which is large. The face, also, is bloated. He may have a voracious appetite, but food is not appropriated by the system, because of the diseased condition of the mesenteric glands. Adults, especially old people, have a rather peculiar aversion to strangers, and shun the approach of any unfamiliar face. They seem to have a fear of the presence of others. They imagine that they are being laughed at. They are easily angered and suffer from cowardice. You all have seen similar symptoms to those in persons of a half-imbecile state of mind from disease, whether in old age or in early life.
You may use Baryta carb. for old people when they suffer from paralysis, particularly paralysis following apoplexy. Very frequently in old people, the brain shrinks and, as the skull does not yield, there would be a vacuum formed, were it not that an effusion of serum takes place. This is followed by a more or less severe paralysis. You will find in such cases, that the patient is childish, and has loss of memory, trembling of the limbs, and well-marked paralysis of the tongue. Baryta carb. is one of the few remedies that cause positive paralysis of the tongue. You will see these paretic symptoms shown also in children of this half-imbecile character of which I have spoken. The mouth is kept partly open and the saliva runs out freely. The child has a silly, vacant look, showing at once that it is NON COMPOS MENTIS.
Both the Muriate and the Carbonate of Baryta may be used in multiple sclerosis of the brain and spinal cord. This is not an uncommon disease in infants and children.
When associated with the symptoms just enumerated, you may use Baryta for non-development of the brain in early childhood. The Chloride of Baryta has been used by old school physicians for this sclerosis, and with more or less success.
The remedy which most resembles Baryta here, is CAUSTICUM. The use of Baryta in catarrhs demands attention. It is one of the best remedies we have for the tendency to tonsillitis, particularly in scrofulous children. Every little exposure to damp or cold weather awakens anew the inflammation of the tonsils. This is not a simple sore throat, a swelling up of the mucous lining of the fauces with trouble in swallowing, but it is an actual inflammation of the tonsils with formation of pus. In these cases you will find enlargement of the glands in the neck, under the jaw, and behind the ear. It is one of our remedies to prevent the return of this catastrophe. It changes the constitutional tendencies of the patient. It is thus more the remedy for the effects of the trouble than for the acute symptoms. The local symptoms for the throat are principally these: The right side of the throat is worse than the left, just as you find under Belladonna; the throat feels worse from empty swallowing. In reference to tonsillitis, I frequently use the same prescription that I employ in diphtheria, namely, a gargle of alcohol and water. This seems to remove the accumulation of phlegm from the throat.
Baryta may also be used in children who, in addition to this tonsillitis, have post-nasal catarrh. Scabs form in the posterior nares. The upper lip and nose are swollen, just as you find in CALCAREA, but the mental symptoms are different.
Baryta is also called for, for a chronic cough occurring in strumous or scrofulous children with swollen glands and enlarged tonsils; Every little exposure to cold or damp causes headache, backache and diarrhoea. Here Baryta is similar to DULCAMARA.
We find Baryta also indicated in old people who have what is known as suffocative catarrh, with orthopnoea. I think you can understand this when you remember the influence of Baryta on the voluntary and involuntary muscular fibres. It paralyzes them. In old people, the chest is very much weakened. They get a catarrh, which is not so severe, but appears suddenly in the night. There is difficulty of breathing, and blueness of the face, etc. Baryta carb. is one of the remedies that come in after the failure of ANTIMONIUM TARTARICUM.
We also find Baryta carb. of use for the fatty tumors which occasionally appear here and there over the body. It is very easy to remove these with the knife. But it is much better to cure them by medicine, if you can do so.
In tabes mesenterica, Baryta is indicated when there are present, in addition to the foregoing symptoms, the following : Food when swallowed, seems to pass over sore spots in the oesophagus. There is always pain in the stomach after the child eats. The stool is sometimes undigested. With this, you find the abdomen hard and swollen, and an offensive sweat on the feet, just as you find in Silicea.
Now, there are remedies which may be compared with Baryta in this form of disease. IODINE is similar to Baryta in that it is suitable in torpid cases. The complexions of the patient in the two remedies are different. The Iodine patient has a dark complexion, dark hair and eyes, and sallow skin. There is, too, extreme hunger. If you observe the child carefully, you will find it anxious and fretful, until he eats, which relieves him for the time being ; and yet he grows thin despite the quantity of food consumed. Then there is a mental symptom which is almost always present when you find Iodine indicated in tabes mesenterica, and that is intolerable crossness, which is even worse than that belonging to ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM.
CALCAREA PHOSPHORICA is indicated in children who are weak-minded, who cannot walk, although they are old enough to do so, who are anxious and restless in their manner, and who suffer from defective osseous growth. The bones are thin and brittle.
Like Baryta, the SILICEA patient suffers from damp changes in the weather. He also has offensive sweat and general emaciation with the exception of the abdomen. The difference between the two remedies lies principally in the mental symptoms. The Silicea child is obstinate and self-willed, and, too, his head is disproportionately large to the size of the body.
CALCAREA IOD. is similar to Baryta in some cases with enlarged glands, particularly when there are enlarged tonsils which are filled with little crypts or pockets.
CONIUM is suited to enlarged tonsils without any tendency to suppuration.
LACTIC ACID has copious sweating of the feet, but it is not offensive.
For the offensive foot sweat, compare SILICEA, THUJA, NITRIC ACID, KALI CARB., GRAPHITES and CARBO VEG.