Arsenicum Album

[Arsenic trioxide]

Know Your Source

Arsenic is a mineral with well-known highly poisonous properties. It was used in the past to make wallpaper, flypapers and as rat poison. It's use as a coloring medium for wallpaper sometimes resulted in accidental poisonings when dampness produced an arsenic vapour. It was proved by Hahnemann and published in his Materia Medica Pura (1821-34)

Key Symptoms

  • Anxiety about health
  • Restlessness and exhaustion
  • Chilliness
  • Thirst for small sips of water
  • Burning pains that are better for warmth

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Arsenicum Keynotes

[H C Allen]

Great prostration, with rapid sinking of the vital forces; fainting:

The disposition is: a - Depressing, melancholic, disparing, indifferent.    b - Anxious, fearful, restless, full of anguish.    c - Irritable, sensitive, peevish, easily vexed.

The greater the suffering, the greater the anguish, restlessness and fear of death.

Mentally restless, but physically too weak to move; cannot rest in any place: changing places continually; wants to be moved from one bed to another, and lies now here now there.

Anxious fear of death; thinks it useless to take medicine, is incurable, is surely going to die; dread of death, when alone, or, going to bed.

Attacks of anxiety at night driving out of bed, < after midnight.

Burning pains; the affected parts burn like fire, as if hot coals were applied to parts (Antr.), > by heat, hot drinks, hot applications.

Burning thirst without special desire to drink; the stomach does not seem to tolerate, because it cannot assimilate cold water; lies like a stone in the stomach. It is wanted, but he cannot or dare not drink it.

Cannot bear the smell or sight of food (Colch., Sep.).

Great thirst for cold water; drinks often, but little at a time; eats seldom, but much.

Gastric derangements; after cold fruits; ice cream; ice water; sour beer; bad sausage; alcoholic drinks; strong cheese.

Teething children are pale, weak, fretful, and want to be carried rapidly. Diarrhoea, after eating or drinking; stool scanty, dark-colored, offensive, and whether small or large, followed by great prostration.

Haemorrhoids: with stitching pain when walking or sitting, not at stool; preventing sitting or sleep; burning pain < by heat; fissures make voiding urine difficult.

Breathing: asthmatic; must sit or bend forward; springs out of bed at night, especially after twelve o'clock; unable to lie down for fear of suffocation; attacks like croup instead of the usual urticaria.

Rapid emaciation: with cold sweat and great debility (Tub., Ver.); of affected parts; marasmus. Anasarca, skin pale, waxy, earth-colored (Acet. ac.).

Excessive exhaustion from least exertion.

Exhaustion is not felt by the patient while lying still; when he moves he is surprised to find himself so weak.

Symptoms generally worse 1-2 p. m., 12-2 a. m.

Skin: dry and scaly; cold, blue and wrinkled; with cold, clammy perspiration; like parchment; white and pasty; black vesicles and burning pain.

Bad effects from decayed food or animal matter, whether by inoculation, olfaction or ingestion. Complaints return annually (Carbo. v., Lach., Sulph., Thuja).

Relation. - Complementary: Allium s., Carbo. v., Phos., Pyr. Ars. should be thought of in ailments from: chewing tabacco; alcoholism; sea bathing; sausage poisoning; dissecting woulds and anthrax poison; stings of venomous insects.

Aggravation. - After midnight (1 to 2 a. m. or p. m.); from cold; cold drinks or food; when lying on affected side or with the head low.

Amelioration. - From heat in general (reverse of Sec.) except headache, which is temporarily > by cold bathing (Spig.); burning pain > by heat.