This remedy has only been partially proved, and comes to us now as Hahnemann left it. The mental symptoms and symptoms of some portions of the body and particulars have not been fully brought out. The remedy really needs reproving with high potencies upon sensitive provers that the finer shades may be understood.
I would not speak of it but for the fact that it relates to a class of cases so very important that you will not be able to get along without it. It is related to the older and deeper psoric sickness. It is deep acting and long acting and permeates the economy as thoroughly as Sulphur.
Some of the most striking general features are: Amelioration from motion; desire for open air, yet very sensitive to cold air; wants to be covered during all stages of fever; daily evening fevers; symptoms recurring every twenty-one days. Sensation of heat and even sweat from eating and drinking warm things; evening thirst.
Like other Magnesia it has most violent neuralgic Pains, pains along the course of nerves, pains so violent that he cannot keep still and he moves about and is relieved by motion. The provers felt these pains mostly in the head and face, but clinical experience has demonstrated that it has violent neuralgia everywhere. We are justified, from the proving, in considering it as especially related to the left side of the face; neuralgia in the night; driving him out of bed, keeping him in constant motion. As soon as he stops moving the pain becomes very severe, shooting, tearing and cutting.
It has varied eruptions upon the skin; dry, scaly, dandruff-like eruptions upon the skin, very unhealthy hair and nail. Particularly does it affect the teeth and roots of the teeth. In every change of the weather the roots of the teeth become violently painful, burn, shoot and ache continuously. Toothache before and during menstruation. During pregnancy she suffers all the time with toothache, tearing pains side of the face, although the roots of the teeth are perfectly sound. The hollow teeth are unusually sensitive, and painful. The teeth are so sensitive that they cannot be manipulated by the dentist. This is like Ant-c., but Magnesia carb. especially affects the roots of the teeth, while Ant-c. affects the dentine more particularly. Sensitiveness of the teeth, so that he cannot bite upon the teeth, and the teeth feel too long. Magnesia carb. and China, when no other symptoms are present, are prominent remedies among the affections of the teeth during pregnancy.
There is a kind of marasmus that you will puzzle over if you do not know this remedy. If we analyze the remedy in general, we will see that it produces a state of the body like that prior to tuberculosis. He does not undergo repair, he loses flesh, and the muscles become flabby as if some serious disease were coming. In children of tuberculous parents there is that tendency to go into marasmus. The child’s muscles are flabby, the child will not thrive in spite of feeding and medicines. It seems to be laying the foundations for some serious trouble. Finally, it emaciates and the back of the head begins to sink in, as if from atrophy of the cerebellum. The appetite increases for milk and meat and animal broths, and yet they are not digested, and when the milk is taken it continually passes the bowel in the form of white potter’s clay, or like putty. The stool is soft and of the consistency of putty. If you go through a china factory where the men are forming with their hands, in such wonderful manner, all sorts of beautiful dishes, and molds, you will see that the original clay, as they are manipulating it, is white. It is a perfect picture of the Mag. carb. stool, composed of putty-like undigested milk.
I have observed, especially among illegitimate infants, those that have been conceived by clandestine coition, that they have a tendency to sinking in the back of the head. The occipital bone will sink in, and the parietal bones jut out over it, and there will be a depression. That is not an uncommon thing in children that go into marasmus. They are very likely to have a potter’s clay stool. It does not run, and it is not hard. The white, hard stool is quite another symptom, and the soft, semi-fluid white stool leads to another class of remedies, but this pasty stool, looking as if it could be moulded into any kind of shape, is a Magnesia carb. stool. I once had in charge an orphanage, where we had sixty to one hundred babies on hand all the time. The puzzle of my life was to find remedies for the cases that were going into marasmus. A large number of them were clandestine babies It was a sort of Sheltering Arms for these little ones. The whole year elapsed, and we were losing babies every week from this gradual decline, until I saw the image of these babies in Magnesia carb., and after that many of them were cured.
The Mag. carb. baby smells sour like the Hepar baby. Wash it as you will and it smells sour; the perspiration is sour, and the whole baby smells sour. It is not especially the stool. The stool smells strong and pungent, putrid, and very often the whole child has a pungent odor, like an unclean baby, though it be well washed.
The Magnesia produce inactivity of the rectum and anus – a paresis. The stool is large and hard, requiring great straining to expel. It is dry, hard and crumbling. The stool will remain partly expelled and then crumble, breaking up in many pieces. Another stool that is laid down in the books as a most striking condition of Magnesia carb. is green; it is the diarrheic stool, and the green part floats upon the watery portion of the stool. The stool is often lumpy, and liquid. The lumps lie in the bottom of the vessel, but floating upon the liquid portion of the stool is the green like the scum of the frog pond. This is recognized as one of the most striking features. “Stools green, like scum on a frog pond; sour, frothy; with white floating lumps like tallow, bloody, mucous.” Floating like lumps of tallow, is more characteristic of Phosphorus, and many a time has Dulcamara cured it.
The face of the chronic adult case is pale, waxy, sickly and sallow, and you wonder why this patient will not right up, and will not thrive. She has a sickly countenance, her muscles are lax, she becomes so tired and sweats upon little exertion. She is disturbed in every change of the weather, and is worse at the beginning of menstruation. She seems to take cold whenever menstruation is coming on. She says: “I know my menstrual period is coming on, because I have a cold in my head.” Magnesia carb. has coryza every month before the monthly period. These patients take on an appearance as if going into decline, and yet they go on year after year unable to do anything, not able even to keep house, have a violent craving for meat and an aversion to vegetable food, grow thin and increasingly flabby, muscles relaxed, and with tendency to prolapsus. The walls of the abdomen have a tendency to fall down and to be relaxed, and the rings favor the formation of hernia. That is the kind of relaxation. The nerves are painful, and the muscles are tired. When you have such a case and have prescribed, and they persist in spite of every remedy, you know that the case does not well indicate a remedy, that the conditions are latent and there is a tendency to some grave internal disorder. The organs are threatening to break down; the kidneys, the heart, the lungs, or the brain are about to undergo organic change.
We have a catarrhal state in this remedy, but it is a dry catarrh, not much discharge. An old ulcer will dry up and become shiny and discharge almost nothing. The nose is dry and the eyeballs are so dry that the lid stick together and it is difficult to open the eyes. The skin becomes dry and itches and burns. Tendency to dryness of the mucous membranes and dryness of the skin. Dryness is a marked feature of this medicine.
“Inordinate appetite for meat in children.” The stomach is a trouble some organ. The Magnesia carb. patient is always complaining of a sour stomach; sour eructations. Food comes up sour. There is nausea and coming up in the throat of sour food. Pains in the stomach after eating an ordinary amount of food; bloated after eating; much flatulence after eating. The stomach digests the food slowly and it becomes sour.
This remedy is especially useful if the history has been a tubercular one. Losing flesh and craving for meat in those who are tubercular or in those that are from tubercular parents. Patients suffering from a dry cough. Dry cough before the evening chill like Rhus-t. . There are persons who have simply this tendency who go along year after year in this withered state, with the little hacking cough, not rousing up into much. Finally some favorable circumstance arises and the tuberculosis comes on rapidly after it has remained in a sluggish state for a long time. There are a few remedies more likely to be associated with that condition than any others, Arsenicum, Calc-c., Lycopodium, Magnesia carb. and Tuberc. They fit into the lingering state, this prelude to active phthisis. They sometimes set a patient thriving, but, mind you, these cases are hard cases to manage. They are difficult to find remedies for. Their trouble is so Latent, the symptoms do not come out, and sometimes you have to read between the lines. They are the one-sided cases spoken of by Hahnemann.
In addition to this dry, tickling cough, which is not mentioned in the books, we find “Cough, spasmodic at night from tickling in the larynx.” “Sleepiness during the day and sleeplessness at night.” When you have seen many of these cases that are threatening to go into phthisis, you will notice that it is a general feature with all of them. “Doctor, I am so tired in the morning; while I sleep some in the night, in the morning I feel as if I had not slept.” Always tired and relaxed. Most of these subjects are cold and chilly. This state has not been brought out yet in the remedy, but clinically it relates to cold and chilly patients. Patients who say that they have not much blood.