Homeopathic Materia Medica by Farrington
Carbo animalis and Carbo veg. do not follow each other well. They are so far inimical that one may not be given with benefit after the other. They are too nearly the same. Carbo animalis contains some phosphate of lime. Carbo animalis is complementary to Calcarea phosphorica especially in affections of the glands.
Carbo animalis is suited to old persons and to those who are greatly debilitated by disease, particularly when there is a predominance of what is known as venous plethora. You find such patients particularly inclined to blueness of the skin. The hands and feet readily become blue, with distended veins showing through the skin. They become ill from very slight causes. The cheeks often get bluish. Both it and Carbo veg. are indicated in decomposition in certain parts of the body, as in gangrene and ulceration of the surface or of internal parts, with putrid discharges. Both, too, are indicated in weakness of the digestive organs, both are indicated for the bad effects of loss of animal fluids, particularly during lactation.
Now as a general distinction between the two drugs, you may remember this: Although both drugs act on the glands, the predominance is in favor of the Carbo animalis for glandular affections. For instance, we find it indicated in induration of glands, of the axillary glands and of the glands in the groin, particularly in syphilitic or gonorrhoeal patients. These buboes are hard like stone; Carbo animalis is especially useful when these have been opened too soon, and when there is a gaping wound which has partly healed leaving the surrounding tissues of an almost stony hardness.
BADIAGO rivals Carbo animalis in just these cases, particularly in indurated buboes that have been maltreated.
Again, we find Carbo animalis indicated in cancer more frequently than Carbo veg.; particularly is it useful in cancer of the breast or of the uterus. In mammary cancer, you have the gland indurated in little nodes; a small circumscribed portion of it is as hard as a stone. Later the skin around the induration becomes bluish and mottled, thus showing you the characteristic effect of Carbo animalis in producing venous stasis. The axillary glands on the affected side become indurated and there are burning drawing pains through the mammae. In the case of cancer of the uterus, there are induration of the cervix, metrorrhagia, and burning pains extending down the thighs, and thin, offensive vaginal discharge.
In affections of the digestive organs, Carbo animalis differs from Carbo veg. in this: We find that under Carbo animalis, there is goneness and empty feeling in the pit of the stomach, not relieved by eating, and in this respect it is very similar to SEPIA.
We find these symptoms indicating Carbo animalis preferably to Carbo veg. in the weakness of nursing women; we notice that every particle of food taken, distresses the stomach, just as we found under Carbo veg., but with Carbo animalis there is coldness about the stomach which is relieved by pressing firmly with the hand or by friction over the abdomen, thus showing you the weak debilitated condition in which the patient is, who requires this remedy. Carbo veg. has dragging heaviness about the stomach to distinguish it. Both remedies have piles with this weak digestion, but there is oozing of a thin inodorous fluid from the rectum in Carbo animalis which does not exist markedly under Carbo veg.
Both drugs meet again in affections of the chest. We find them both indicated in the' late stages of pneumonia, bronchitis, or of phthisis pulmonalis, when there is destruction of the lung tissue and decomposition of the fluid which is expectorated. It is just here that you are most liable to make a mistake in selecting one drug for the other. Carbo animalis has this symptom to distinguish it, suffocating hoarse cough producing shaking of the brain as though the brain were loose in the head. There is a cold feeling in the chest. BROMINE has that sensation also.) Expectoration is green, purulent and horribly offensive, and comes generally from the right lung, in which, you will find by examination, a cavity. As soon as the patient closes his eyes, he feels as if he were smothering.
The Carbo veg. cough is spasmodic, with deep rough voice or else with aphonia. There is decided burning in the chest and expectoration is profuse, particularly in the bronchitis of old people. It is yellow and very foetid, more so than in Carbo animalis. The patient has dyspnoea, worse on turning over in bed and on dropping off to sleep. There is a great deal of rattling in the chest.
Carbo animalis is more useful than Carbo veg. in constitutional syphilis, and for this reason: While both may be indicated in constitutional or tertiary syphilis, after the abuse of mercury, particularly when the glands are affected, and there is great emaciation, Carbo animalis is indicated more by these symptoms: It has coppery-red blotches on the skin, particularly on the face. That you know to be the characteristic hue of syphilitic eruptions. In this respect it resembles MERCURIUS BIN., NITRIC ACID, and BADIAGO, more than it does Carbo veg.
In debility, we find Carbo veg. always superior to Carbo animalis. We find very few characteristic symptoms indicating the latter as a remedy in the last stages of typhoid fever, pneumonia, and scarlatina. The only difficulty you will have in deciding between the two drugs will be in the debility attendant upon lactation.
In affections of the ears we find Carbo veg. and Carbo animalis again meeting. Thus, we find both drugs causing otorrhoea. The discharge is thin, ichorous, bloody, and excoriating in both remedies. With Carbo animalis there is also associated a swelling of the periosteum behind the ears over the mastoid process. Here it is similar to NITRIC ACID, AURUM, and CAPSICUM. With Carbo veg. we find this otorrhoea particularly as a sequel to exanthematous diseases, as measles and scarlatina. There is no swelling of the periosteum back of the ear. Both remedies are indicated in deafness. Carbo animalis has this peculiar symptom: They cannot tell whence sound comes. Carbo veg. is indicated in deafness when the ears are too dry from the absence of the cerumen or wax, or when there is discharge of offensive cerumen.
In eye symptoms we find Carbo animalis indicated when the patient is far-sighted; while walking along the street objects seem to him to be far off. The eyes seem as if they were loose in their sockets. This feeling is due to relaxation in the connective tissue similar to that found in the brain. Old people have dimness of sight on attempting to read, but this is relieved by rubbing the eyes.
Carbo veg. is indicated when the patient is near-sighted; objects have to be placed near to the eye to be seen: This symptom is worse after exerting the eyes or after using them steadily for any length of time.