Inactivity of the rectum; even the soft stool requires great straining. Anæmia in women, who are hungry for starch, chalk, rags, charcoal, cloves and other ridiculous unnatural; things; potatoes disagree, profuse leucorrhœa. Great heaviness in lower limbs, weak, has to sit down; numbness of heels; sense of hot iron thrust through back.
The chief characteristic leading to the use or this remedy is found in its peculiar constipation. “Inactivity of the rectum, even the soft stool requires great straining.” Like Bryonia, there is no desire for stool and the constipation seems to depend upon dryness of the mucous follicles. Again it is adapted to dry, spare subjects. There are other points of resemblance between these two remedies and they complement each other well. There are both excellent in infantile constipation, which is often a very obstinate affection to treat. Anacardium, Sepia, Silicea and Veratrum album are nearest of kin in this lack of expulsive power in the rectum.
Alumina is one of our remedies in chlorotic conditions. The patient is pale, weak, tired, must sit down to rest. The menses are scanty, delayed, and are pale colored when they come, and after the menses the patient is exhausted and pale. (Carbo an. and Cocculus.) Then, again, there is profuse leucorrhœa sometimes running down to the heels if she does not wear a cloth. (Syphilinum.) It is as profuse as the menses ought to be. These anæmic patients are often hungry for starch, chalk, rags, charcoal, cloves and other ridiculous and unnatural things. Alumina is a great remedy in such cases. The Natrum mur. chlorotic couldn’t eat bread, or had an aversion to it. The Alumina patient can’t eat potatoes; they disagree. Pulsatilla can’t eat fat food, pastries, etc. Alumina resembles Pulsatilla in chronic nasal catarrhs, and both are of tearful temperament, but the constitutions are different. Alumina being dry and thin, Pulsatilla phlegmatic. One thing I forgot to mention under stool and rectum, viz., Alumina is one of the best remedies for hæmorrhages of the bowels in typhoid fever. The blood comes in large clots looking solid like liver. This remedy is also very efficacious in chronic sore throats, like clergyman’s sore throat. There is “soreness, rawness, hoarseness and dryness.” This dryness excites a continual disposition to hawk, and after a long time the patient raises a little thick, tough phlegm. This kind of throat is temporarily relieved by warm food and drinks. The remedy nearest to this is Argentum nitricum, but in Argentum there are wart-like excrescences or granulations in the throat. Both remedies have a sensation of a splinter in the throat, as do also Hepar sulphuricum, Dolichos and Nitric acid.
Alumina has also a sensation of constriction in the throat and œsophagus. It hurts to swallow. Alumina is recommended for the following symptoms, which often appear in locomotor ataxia: “Great heaviness in the lower limbs; can scarcely drag them; while walking staggers and has to sit down; in the evening.” “Inability to walk except with the eyes open and in the day time.” Numbness of the heel when stepping.” “Excessively faint and tired, must sit down.” “Pain in the back as if a hot iron were thrust through the vertebræ.” I give these on the authority of others, for I have never verified them.
I will add here the value of Alumen.