The mental symptoms of Spongia show that it is a heart remedy. When a remedy produces the anxiety, fear, and dyspnea found in Spongia, it will most likely turn out to be a cardiac remedy, unless these conditions are connected with irritation and inflammatory diseases of the brain. In this drug we find without any cerebral symptoms, marked anxiety, fear of death, and suffocation, associated with palpitation and uneasiness in the region of the heart.
It is especially related to cases where there is pain and a sense of stuffiness and fullness in the cardiac region, in the chest, with dyspnea, anxiety, fear of death, fear of the future, fear that something dreadful is going to happen. Wakens at night in great fear and it is some time before he can rationalize his surroundings Aesc., Lyc., Samb., Lach., Phos., and Carb-v.).
Spongia is closely related to Aconite, which also excites the heart, brings on anxiety, fear, and restlessness, fear of death, predicts the hour of death, but this is associated with a marked febrile excitement. Spongia has febrile excitement in a minimum degree. It is much deeper in its action than Aconite. Its cardiac diseases tend to develop slowly, with actual tissue changes, enlargement of the heart, it takes on a steady growth and the valves become changed, do not fit, hence, there are blowing and whizzing sound, regurgitation with the mental symptoms. The two are similar in croup, but Spongia is deeper, slower in onset, taking several days for its development. Aconite from exposure to a dry cold wind takes a cold today and, of course, comes down with croup to-night in the first sleep. Before midnight has a dry spasmodic cough; hoarse cough; Spongia has taken a cold yesterday or the day before. First there is roughness and dryness of the mucous membranes, sneezing. Both remedies have croup before midnight with dry, hoarse, barking cough, sawing respiration and dry air passages. They are so similar that when Aconite only partially controls the condition and it returns the next night, or lasts on beyond midnight, Spongia becomes its natural follower. Spongia comes in because it was probably the remedy in the beginning. Cases that Brow worse each succeeding night, hoarse barking and crowing before midnight, though it also has a croup after midnight. It is a deep-acting remedy though its complaints sometimes come on suddenly.
Hepar is worse at night and in the morning. And when Aconite has apparently controlled, but the croup returns the next morning, Hepar comes in. Or if it comes on again the next evening with rattling Hepar will also be suitable. Dry, with no rattling is Spongia. If the child wants to be covered or says that it is chilly, Hepar. If it says the room is too warm and kicks the covers off, it needs Calc-s.
The Spongia patient is worse from a warm room, from heat. Wants to be cool like Iodine, but is better from warm drinks, like Ars., Nux, Lyc.
The tendency to affect the gland is striking. As a matter of fact all the gland are affected; they gradually enlarge and become increasingly hard. Glands that have undergone inflammation and are increased in size become hard, or they take on hypertrophy. Hypertrophy of the heart (Kalmia, Sepia, Naja). Spongia has cured endocarditis, cardiac croup and many other inflammatory diseases of the heart resulting from rheumatism. Hypertrophy of the thyroid, goitre, when the heart is affected and the eyes protruding. Cervical glands enlarged; inveterate cases of enlarged testes; orchitis from a suppressed gonorrhea, a cold or other causes; gradually increasing hardness.
The whole respiratory apparatus is acted upon; cardiac dyspnea and the most severe forms of asthma. Dryness of the air passages with whistling and wheezing, seldom rattling, must sit up and bend forward; at times after great dyspnea, white, tough mucus forms in the air passages, difficult to expectorate; it comes up and often has to be swallowed (Arn., Caust., Lach., Kali-c., Kali-s., Nux-m., Sep., Staph.).
Dyspnea worse lying down. The modality is common to its other complaints; violent, basilar headache forces him to sit up in bed and keep still. Holding the head in the upright position relieves the dull pressure in the occiput.
There are many headaches. In the occiput, in the forehead, congestive headaches, but most of them are associated with goitre, cardiac affections and asthma; they are due, probably, to sluggish circulation in the brain.
Face distressed in croup; anxious; livid; pale and bloated; blue, pale with sunken eyes; red with anxious expression; alternating red and pale; cold sweat. These symptoms are the natural effects of difficult breathing and are, therefore, not essential in the selection of a remedy. As primary symptoms, they would probably indicate Ars., but when due to cardiac difficulties, they are unimportant.
“Sore throat worse after eating sweet things. Thyroid gland swollen even with the chin; at night, suffocating spells, barking cough, with stinging in the throat and soreness in the abdomen.” Enlargement of the tonsils. Difficult swallowing.
Spongia is the remedy when dyspnea and cough arc relieved by warm food; may be better from warm drinks.
Laryngeal troubles with great hoarseness, in individuals tending towards phthisis, with tubercular heredity, cachectic aspect, weak lungs, but no deposit of tubercle. But all at once hoarseness sets in. There is a tendency for the larynx to become involved in phthisical patients that need Spongia. This patient takes an acute cold and it settles in the larynx with hoarseness. Look out for that patient, for there is a tendency for tubercles to deposit where there is inflammation, and the infiltration instead of being fibrinous may become tubercular. Tendency for the larynx to be first involved in phthisical patients.
In Spongia do not look for the exudative, but the infiltrative form of croup.
Hoarseness with loss of voice, great dryness of the larynx from a cold; coryza, sneezing, the whole chest rings, is as dry as a horn; voice hissing, croupy, nose dry. There is very little accumulation of mucus, but at a late date ulceration begins and then there may be a copious expectoration of mucus. In proportion to the extent of rattling, this remedy is decreasingly medicated. Hepar has the coarse rattling with much mucus.
At times an adult takes cold and rawness of the larynx and trachea is the result. On going to bed she is taken with a spasmodic constriction of the larynx. Laryngismus stridulus is commonly found in women. Ign., Gels., Lauroc. and Spongia. Ign. and Gels. will cure eight out of ten cases.
The larynx is sensitive to touch in croup, etc., like Phos.
Dry, spasmodic cough, troublesome cough; cold things taken into the stomach aggravate. ( Veratr. is better from cold water, but the cough is worse.) If the room becomes too warm, there is a dry, tickling, teasing, croupy spasmodic cough.
In cardiac and asthmatic troubles it resembles Lach., in the rousing up from sleep in suffocation; after the sleep the dyspnea is worse.
The Phos. dyspnea is often increased after sleeping, with suffocation. Lach. has it in a marked degree; in phthisis when the patient is about to die, there is sweat on going to sleep; dyspnea on going to sleep and on waking. Lach. palliates and must be repeated.
Cardiac affections accompanied with thick, green or yellow expectoration like pus and dyspnea on falling to sleep so that he must keep awake as long as he can, fear of sleep in advanced chest troubles. Grindelia robusta , will palliate such a case and if the condition is only catarrhal and not tuberculous, it will cure.
Study especially the cardiac symptoms. “The symptoms of circulation are worse; from mental lassitude, from coughing, from lying on the right side, before menses, after lying down, sitting bent forward, from smoking, from going up stairs. Awakens in fright and feels as if suffocating. Falling asleep early at night, suffocation awakens.” I have mentioned these symptoms, but read them for emphasis.
Ebullitions, distended veins; dropsy in cavities of the body. Especially suits young persons of tubercular parents, who remain weak, are pallid and do not thrive. Tubercular diathesis.
Itching but no eruption. Seems always ready for an eruption to appear. Has only simplest herpetic eruptions. Itching all over and no visible eruption.
In acute endocarditis, the principal remedies are Spongia, Abrot., Sepia, and Kalmia. Naja in valvular diseases.