The pathogenesis of Mercury is found in the provings of Merc. viv. and Merc. sol., two slightly different preparations, but not different enough to make any distinction in practice.
Mercury is used in testing the temperature, and a Merc. constitution is just as changeable and sensitive to heat and cold. The patient is worse from the extremes of temperature, worse from both heat and cold. Both the symptoms and the patient are worse in a warm atmosphere, worse in the open air, and worse in the cold. The complaints of Mercury when sufficiently acute to send him to bed are worse from the warmth of the bed, so that he is forced to uncover; but after he uncovers and cools off he gets worse again, so that he has difficulty in keeping comfortable. This applies to the pains, the fever, ulcers and eruptions and the patient himself.
He is an offensive patient. We speak of mercurial odors. The breath especially is very foetid, and it can lie detected on entering the room; it permeates the whole room. The perspiration is offensive; it has a strong, sweetish, penetrating odor. Offensiveness runs all through; offensive urine, stool and sweat; the odors from the nose and mouth are offensive. When Merc. is used in large doses and the patient is salivated he gives off these odors. One who has once smelt a salivated patient will remember the mercurial odor. I remember when I was a student, almost every room had the mercurial odor. Mercury was given till the, gums were touched and salivation was produced. That odor is often an index to the use of Merc.
He is worse at night. The bone pains, joint affections and inflammatory conditions are all worse at night and somewhat relieved during the day. Bone pains are universal, but especially where the flesh is thin over the . bones. Periosteal pains, boring pains, worse at night and from warmth of the bed.
The glands are inflamed, and swollen; the parotids, sublinguals, lymphatic glands of the neck, groin and axilla are all affected; the mammae swell and there is inflammation and swelling of the liver. It is pre-eminently a glandular remedy. Induration is also a general; inflamed parts indurate. If the skin is inflamed it is hard. Inflamed glands are hard. There is induration with ulceration.
A tendency to ulcerate runs through the remedy. Ulcers are found everywhere, in the throat, nose, mouth, and on the lower limbs. Ulcers sling and burn and have a lardaceous base, an ashy-white appearance looking as if spread over with a coating of lard. It looks like a diphtheritic exudate, and Merc. has diphtheritic exudations on inflamed surfaces. Ulcers in the throat have this appearance. The mucous membrane sometimes inflames without ulceration, but with exudation, and hence it is useful in diphtheria. It has the same condition in ulcers; when the system is run down they exude a grey lardy or ashy deposit. Chancres take on that form, a whitish cheesy deposit on the base. When you realize that the complaints of Merc. are worse at night, and think of the bone pains, periosteal inflammations, etc., it is not surprising that Merc. sometimes cures syphilis. It is wonderful that the allopath hit upon it for this disease, and he cures or suppresses enough cases by similarity to justify its continued use. When given suitably it cures.
Another marked feature is the tendency to the formation of pus. With inflammation there is burning and stinging and the rapid formation of pus and the part is aggravated by both warmth and cold. Abscesses burn and sting; inflammation of joints is attended with pusformation; in inflammation of the pleura the cavity fills up with pus. The discharges of pus are yellow-green. The Merc. gonorrhoeal discharge is thick greenish yellow, with stinging and burning in the urethra.
Rheumatic inflammation of joints and catarrhal inflammation of mucous membrane are features running through the remedy, and these are attended with sweat, and an astonishing feature is that the sweat does not relieve, and there is even an aggravation while sweating. Rheumatism in old syphilitic, gonorrhoeal and gouty patients. It is similar enough to relate to some cases of psora, syphilis and sycosis. It partakes of the nature of all three miasms.
After a prover has taken Merc. a long time he emaciates. This is seen in old mercury takers and in syphilitics who have been mercurialized. It is a great remedy in this condition steady emaciation with trembling, worse at night and from the warmth of the bed, great restlessness, can’t find peace in any position. These miserable wretches, who are breaking down, are great sufferers, whether psoric, syphilitic or sycotic.
A strange feature is repeated swelling and abscess formation with: out any heat. An abscess or swelling in a joint forms, and he sweats from head to foot, is worse at night, loses flesh, trembles and is weak, but there is no heat while the abscess goes on. Abscesses form when the life force is so low that there is no tendency to repair; a slow and prolonged pus formation, no irritability in the abscess, no tendency to granulate, it opens and keeps on discharging and seems dead. Merc. will warm it up, stop the sweat and favor granulation.
The superficial ulceration is inclined to spread and become phagedenic; it is not deep but grows larger. These open ulcers are especially seen in old syphilitics; lardaceous base; not much irritability, they are even numb, and if pus is discharged it is greenish-yellow; false granulations appear. Mere. car. is a greater remedy for the superficial, eating, phagedenic ulcer. At times Merc. takes on a gangrenous condition. This may be seen anywhere, but especially on the lips, cheeks and gums. Cancrum oris. Gangrenous chancre, foetid and black; a sphacelus forms in the chancre and the part sloughs off. All these conditions are aggravated by heat. A patient with a typical Merc. abscess rebels at times against the poultice, for it makes the trouble worse.
Trembling runs through the remedy, quivering all over. It has been used with benefit in paralysis agitans. Tremor of the hands so that he cannot lift anything or eat or write. Merc. is a great remedy in children with epileptiform fits, twitching and disorderly motions. It will help children to grow out of these incoordinate angular movements of the hands and feet. Jerking, twitching and trembling. The motions of the tongue are disorderly and the child cannot talk. Convulsions. Involuntary motions which can be momentarily controlled by volition. The restlessness is extreme.
The trembling, weakness, sweat, foetor, suppuration, and ulceration, the aggravation at night and front heat and cold, give the earlier impressions of the remedy.
The mental symptoms, which still more deeply show the nature of the medicine, are rich. A marked feature running all through is hastiness; a hurried, restless, anxious, impulsive disposition. Coming in spells, in cold cloudy weather, or damp weather, the mind will not work, it is slow and sluggish and he is forgetful. This is noticed in persons who are tending toward imbecility. He cannot answer questions right off, looks and thinks, and finally grasps it. Imbecility and softening of the brain are strong features. He becomes foolish. Delirium in acute complaints. From his feelings he thinks he must be losing his reason. Desire to kill persons contradicting her. Impulse to kill or commit suicide; sudden anger with, impulse to do violence. She has the impulse to commit suicide or violent things, and she is fearful that she will lose her reason and carry the impulses out. Impulsive insanity, then, is a feature, but imbecility is more common than insanity. These impulses are leading features. The patient will not tell you about his impulses, but they relate to deep evils of the will, they fairly drive him to do something. Given a Merc. patient, and he has impulses that he tries to control, no matter what, Merc. will do something for him. During menses, great anxiety, great sadness. Anxious and restless as if some evil impended, worse at night, with sweat.
All these symptoms are common in old syphilitics, broken down after mercurial treatment and sulphur baths at the springs, with their bone pains, glandular troubles, sweating, catarrhs and ulcerations everywhere.
Merc. is suitable to rheumatic troubles of the scalp, and neuralgias and brain trouble when there are burning, stinging pains and pains affected by the weather, and when there are head troubles that have come on from suppressed discharges, such as suppressed otorrhoea after scarlet fever, or when there are head troubles in scarlet fever. Think of Merc. if you are called to a child with sweating of the head, dilated pupils, rolling of the head, and aggravation at night, who has had scarlet fever or a suppressed ear discharge. Merc. cures lingering febrile conditions analogous to the typhoid state, but caused by suppressed ear discharge. I have cured cases that were due to packing the ear with borax, iodoform, etc., the patient having first a remittent and later a continued fever. This would go on for five or six weeks and be relieved only when the discharge returned after a dose of Merc. I remember a case of this type. It was called cerebro-spinal meningitis; the head was drawn back and twisted and held to one side. It began as an otitis media with discharge which was suppressed. Two or three doctors were called and could do nothing. In the night I went to the bedside and got the history and symptoms of Merc. Merc. re-established the discharge in twenty-four hours, the torticollis passed away, the fever subsided and the child made an excellent recovery. I can recall many such cases.
There is a tension about the scalp as if it were bandaged. Nervous girls have headache over the nose and around the eyes as if tied with a tape, or as if a tight hat were pressing on the head. Pressing, tearing pain in the eyes. Burning pains in the temples ameliorated by sitting up and moving about, worse at night. Periosteal pains worse in cold, damp weather, in rheumatic and gouty constitutions, with sensitiveness in the eyes and ears, sore throat and glandular swellings. Headaches in old mercurialized syphilitics; they become barometers; sensitive to the weather. The catarrhal headaches are very troublesome; headache in those suffering from chronic catarrh with thick discharge. The thick discharge becomes watery and the pain in the forehead, face and ears very distressing. These headaches are violent. Chronic rheumatic headache from the suppression of a discharge from any part, or from foot sweat suppressed; alternation of foot sweat and headache. When the foot sweat is gone he has pain and stiffness in the joints. Silicea has that also. Sil. and Merc. do not follow each other well, when well selected; but if crude Mercury has been taken for a’ long time, Silicea, like Nitric acid, is a good remedy to eliminate it when the symptoms agree.
With all headaches there is much heat in the head. Bursting headaches, fullness of the brain, and constriction like a band. Vise-like pressure. He is sensitive to the air when he has headache. This is true of Merc. all through. He is relieved in the room, but worse in a warm or cold room, and violently worse from a draught. He wants to be covered but is worse from heat. The hoop-like sensation is worse at night.
Merc. is a wonderful remedy to ward off acute hydrocephalus after measles and scarlatina; the child rolls the head and moans, and the head sweats. It is closely related to Apis, which is also a great remedy after scarlet fever to ward off or cure hydrocephalus.
Exostoses in old syphilitics. Lacerating, tearing pains in the pericranium. The whole external head is painful to touch. The scalp is tense and sore. Foetid, oily sweat on the head. Children have moist eczema, an excoriating, offensive eruption.
Merc. is a wonderful eye remedy, especially for “colds.” Every cold settles in the eye in gouty and rheumatic patients. Catarrh of the eyes worse from looking into the fire or rather from sitting close to the fire; the radiated heat causes smarting. Eyelids forcibly drawn together as if long deprived of sleep. Fog or mist before the eyes. Merc. cures iritis in syphilitics. The rule now-a-days is to use a mydriatic in iritis to prevent adhesions. I have treated many cases and I have no desire to dilate the pupil. I believe it is unnecessary. The homoeopathic remedy will stop the iritis speedily so that no adhesions will form, and if they have begun the remedy will remove them. Pains tearing and burning around the eyes, in temples, etc. Tension of the scalp as if it were a tight fitting cap, or tension as from a tape. Ulceration and inflammation of the cornea. Vascular appearance of the cornea; inflammation, especially confined to the cornea, sometimes pustular, sometimes diffused. There is copious lachrymation with all eye symptoms, and the tears excoriate, causing a red line down the cheeks. Greenish yellow, or a green discharge. Lids spasmodically closed. Great photophobia. In inflammatory conditions of all the tissues of the eye lids, conjunctiva and deeper structures. Colds settle in the eye like Dulc.
Sometimes you will see a little fine growth on the iris, growing across the pupil and attached by a pedicle. It is really a syphilitic condyloma. Merc. cures it in a few days. Inflammation of the retina and choroid and of the optic nerve. All sorts of disturbed vision. It is useful in purulent ophthalmia, with swollen lids. Two kinds of constitution need it, the syphilitic and the rheumatic or gouty. He cannot open the eyes; they are spasmodically closed, and there is great tumefaction.
Ear troubles. Horribly stinking greenish discharge. Green, thick, acrid pus from the ears like the discharge from the nose and other parts. Stinking otorrhoea. In otitis media with ruptured drum, Were. is a frequently required remedy. In Spring after a long, cold Winter, the cold, damp weather causes many cases of otorrhoea; it is almost endemic in large cities. The ear drum heals like any other place if the patient is put in good condition by the remedy. If not well treated a hole will be left. Ears inflamed, with cramp-like pains. Mere. has stinging pain like Apis. All routinists will give Apis for stinging pains, and yet it often is Merc. that the patient needs. Purulent, offensive otorrhoea. Enlargement of the parotid and cervical glands with all inflammations of the ears. Parotids sore and enlarged, neck stiff, and head sometimes drawn back. Furuncles in external canal. Fungous excrescences and polypi.
The nose troubles would take a long time to describe. Old syphilitics, with nasal bones affected, thick, greenish, yellow, acrid, stinking discharge. Nosebleed and bloody discharge from the nose. Coryza acrid, watery, with pressure through the bones of the face, worse from heat or cold, worse at night; sensitive to every draught; must get up and walk the floor. It has coryza with much sneezing with an opposite state, ameliorated lying, not at all during the night while lying in bed, only in the daytime while up and about. The inhalation of hot air feels good to the nose, but the heat aggravates the body. Incessant sneezing. Bleeding, scurfy, red nostrils. Old catarrhal smell in the nose. Rawness, burning and swelling. Inside of the nostrils smarting and burning. Aching, tearing and pressure in the bones. Bones of the face painful, feel as if pressed outward, and he wants to press, but it is painful.
Merc. is not deep enough to cure the whole constitution in psoric cases that are constantly taking cold. It cures the cold at once, but implants its own nature and the patient catches cold oftener. It should not be given often, not oftener than twice in a winter. Kali iod. is better for the same burning in the face, running coryza, and aggravation from heat and warmth of the bed, and it will cure the coryza in a night when apparently Merc. is indicated. It is also an antidote to Merc. Don’t give many doses of Merc. in psoric cases; look for a deeper medicine.
It has syphilitic eruptions and neuralgias of the face with or without catarrh. It is a great medicine for mumps; it is a routine remedy for this condition, which shows that it must be frequently indicated. It cures where the symptoms agree.
Scorbutic gums in those who have been salivated. Rigg’s disease; purulent discharge from around the teeth. Toothache; every tooth aches, especially in old gouty and mercurialized patients. Looseness of the teeth. Red, soft gums. Teeth black and dirty. Black teeth and early decay of the teeth in syphilitic children, like Staph. Copious salivation. Gums painful to touch. Pulsation in the gums and roots. Gums have a blue red margin, or purple color, and are spongy and bleed easily. Gums settle away, and the teeth feel long, and are elongated. Teeth sore and painful so that he cannot masticate. Abscesses of the gums and roots of the teeth.
The taste, tongue and mouth furnish important and distinctive symptoms. As the tongue is projected it is seen to be flabby, has a mealy surface, and is often pale. The imprint of the teeth is observed all round the edge of the tongue. The tongue is swollen as if spongy, and presses in around the teeth and thus gets the imprint of the teeth. Inflammation, ulceration and swelling of the tongue are strong features. Old gouty constitutions have swollen tongue; the tongue will swell in the night and he will waken up with a mouthful. The taste is perverted, nothing tastes right. The tongue is coated yellow or white as chalk in a layer. Offensive mouth; putrid odors from the mouth especially the mercurial odor of the salivated patient. The tongue becomes clumsy; difficulty in talking; his speech is hardly intelligible. Awkwardness of the tongue as in persons intoxicated. Ulcers flat; eating ulcers; holes are eaten through the check. Eating away of the soft palate and the bone of the hard palate is often eaten away. Purulent formation in the antrum of Highmore and fistul from the mouth to the antrum. Fluoric acid and Silicea are more frequently indicated in these fistul, especially if the bone is involved. Copious flow of foetid saliva. Sore mouth of children and nursing mothers; little aphthous patches with the mercurial odor and flabby, spongy appearance of the mucous membrane and tongue. General diffused inflammation of the mouth. The whole mucous membrane is sensitive and painful, burning, stinging and smarting; dryness with or without aphthous patches. Thrush of children. Scorbutic gums.
Sore throat. It is a remedy for inflammation of the throat, with spongy appearance, general diffused tumefaction, swelling of the parotids, fullness and stiffness of the neck. Lardaceous base in ulcers; flat ulcers, spreading ulcers. Great dryness in the throat. The swelling impairs the motion of all the muscles that take part in swallowing. Swallowing is attended with difficulty, pain and paralytic weakness, and the effort to swallow forces the bolus up into the nose, and liquids come out through the nostrils. The mercurial odor is a strong feature, but Merc. often cures when that odor is not perceptible; it has .such an affinity for the throat. It has chronic throat troubles and syphilitic ulcers and patches. The inflammation extends upwards and downwards, red and pale patches, the red looking as if they would suppurate or ulcerate. The red spots become quite purple, but the more purple they are the more they are like Lach. Tonsils dark red with stinging pains. Quinsy, after pus has formed. It is useful in diphtheria, and most cases are diffused, extensive patches or patches here and there, with spongy appearance, but no ulceration. Tumefaction; and the exudations are upon a tumefied base. Stiff neck. Erysipelatous inflammation of the throat. Dark, sloughing, eating, corroding ulcers in the throat. He has aversion to meat, wine, brandy, coffee, greasy food, butter.
Milk disagrees, and conies up sour. Sweets disagree. He is turned against his beer. The stomach is chronically disordered; eructations, regurgitations, heartburn, etc. Sour stomach; it is foul. He has nausea with vomiting and regurgitation of food. In such a stomach food is like a load. Bad taste; bitter mouth; he tastes the food; it comes up sour. With all this the saliva constantly runs from the mouth. It does not improve as digestion goes on. The half-digested substances are vomited. It is like the state in persons who have destroyed their stomach from crossing liquors, beer, wine and whisky.
The liver furnishes much trouble. Our forefathers for years took blue mass every Spring to regulate the liver. They physicked themselves with it and tapped their liver every Spring with it, and as a result they had worse livers than they would have had if the doctors had stayed at home. Constipation, bilious habits and disordered stomach. The fullness in the region of the stomach, coming in spells, worse in cold, damp weather and warm, damp weather, worse in the Spring, jaundiced condition, disordered stomach, the aggravation at night and from the warmth of the bed, nightly feverishness and foul mouth, will give you the Merc. state. Stitches in the liver. Liver symptoms worse lying on the right side. Many complaints of Merc. are aggravated by lying on the right side. The lung symptoms and cough, liver, stomach and bowel symptoms are all worse while lying on the right side.
In the abdomen we find colic, rumbling, distension, aches and pains, stinging and burning. It has a great variety of stools, of diarrhoea and constipation. It has a well-defined dysenteric condition. Slimy, bloody stools with much straining, he feels as if he could never finish, even when no more is passing, a “never-get-done” feeling. This is the very opposite of Nux and Rhus in dysentery. These are relieved if a little stool is passed, but Merc. and Sulph. will sit and strain, and all the salts of Merc. have the same state. Merc. cor. has a more violent attack, with violent urging to stool and to urinate, and intense suffering, with burning in the parts and the passage of pure blood.
Merc., Ipec. and Aeon. are frequently indicated in epidemic dysentery that comes in hot weather, and Ipec., Dulc. and Merc. are frequently indicated in the dysentery of cold weather. You should go to the bedside of a case of dysentery with the repertory or go home and send medicine. Your first prescription should cure in epidemic dysentery, and if you work cautiously you will cure every case. It is a very simple condition to cure, but a very bad thing to get mixed up. Do not give Arsenic just because it conforms to the dysenteric condition, for if it does not cure it will mix up the case. Hesitate about giving Ars. in dysentery until you are perfectly sure it is indicated. A few days ago I saw a patient who could not lie down because of pain in both hypochondria; he had incessant vomiting, inflammatory rheumatism of the ankles, hands, arms and shoulders, he had purpuric spots on the arms and legs, he had inflammation of the stomach, and was a perfect museum of diseases. He had had Phos. and Ars. and many remedies very high, all supposed to be well selected, but Cadmium sulph. put him to sleep in fifteen minutes. The point was that he wanted to keep perfectly still, and hence it was unlike Ars., although all the other symptoms were like Ars. That is a strong feature of Cadmium. sulph.; he wants to keep as still as Colch. and Bry. For many years I have used it for such cases. I saw another case of cancer with coffee-ground vomit, and Cadmium sulph. stopped her vomiting, and she ate quite well until she died six weeks later. The doctor in charge had given her Ars. and Phos. and Morphine till she could take no more.
The urine burns and smarts. Frequent urging to urinate, dribbling a little; bloody urine, great burning. Haemorrhage from the urethra. Itching worse from the presence of urine. Gonorrhoea which has existed for some time; discharge thick, greenish-yellow, and offensive. Smarting and burning in the urethra when urinating. Loss of sexual power. Lascivious excitement with painful erections. Ulcers on the prepuce and glans, making it suitable in chancre and chancroid. Flat ulcers; ulcers with lardaceous base. Inflammation of the inner surface of the prepuce. Balanitis, offensive pus. In chronic balanitis when pus forms behind the glans and under the foreskin, gonorrhoeal or psoric, consult Jacaranda caroba.
The woman has much tribulation. Burning, stinging in ovaries. Screaming from pain. Stinging, tearing, cutting pains in the ovaries; patient covered with sweat Copious, excoriating leucorrhoea, parts raw, sore, inflamed and itching. Stinging, itching and boring pains in the uterus. Pains in the uterus and ovaries at the menstrual period. Milk in the breast of the non-pregnant woman at the menstrual period. Milk in the breasts instead of the menstrual flow. I once had a freak in a sixteen-year-old boy, who had milk in his breasts. I cured him with Merc.
Menstrual flow light red, pale, acrid, clotted, and profuse or scanty. The menses are sometimes suppressed. Women who have been in the habit of taking mercury for biliousness remain sterile. (Coffee drinkers often remain sterile also and you must stop their coffee.) Amenorrhoea with ebullitions. Chancres on the female genitals. Aged women have denuded genitals, rawness, soreness and false granulations, which are always bleeding. Burning, throbbing and itching in the vagina. Itching of the genitals from the contact of the urine; it must be washed off. In children, boys or girls, the urine burns after urinating and they are always carrying the hands to the genitals. Little girls have acrid leucorrhoea causing burning and itching and much trouble. Phlegmonous inflammation of the genitals. Boils and abscesses at the menstrual period ; little elongated abscesses along the margin of the mucous membrane and skin, painful, aggravated by walking, forming during the flow and breaking after the period. This, with itching, causes great suffering.
Morning sickness. A woman, while pregnant, has oedematous swelling of the genitals. Diffused inflammation, soreness and fullness of the genitals and pelvis, causing difficulty in walking, and she must take to bed. In pelvic cellulitis in the early months of pregnancy Merc. is an important remedy. Repeated miscarriages from sheer weakness. Merc. is a wonderful strengthener when properly used. Prolonged lochia. Milk scanty and spoiled.
Merc. is one of the best palliatives in cancer of the uterus and mammae. It will restrain and sometimes cure epithelioma. I knew one case cured by the Proto-iodide, an ulcerated, indurated lump in the breast, as large as a goose egg, with knots in the axilla, blueness of the part, and no hope. The tooth attenuation, given as often as the pains were very severe, took it away and she remained well.
The effect observed on the nose is not all of the Merc. coryza. Most Merc. cases begin in the nose and travel down the throat, creating rawness and scraping of the larynx, and rawness and soreness in the chest; laryngitis, tracheitis and bronchitis. Loss of voice, complete aphonia. The course of the Merc. cold is downwards, even going on to pneumonia, with sweat, restlessness and aggravation from the warmth of the bed. Of course many of the colds remain in the nose.
There are various conditions in the chest. Coughs; colds that remain in the chest, lack of reaction and tardy recovery. The colds finally settle in the bronchial tubes; the chest feels as if it would burst and the cough is worse lying on the right side. I Iook back over many cases of patients who took cold from exposure and now look sickly and sallow, with a dreadful cough and rattling on the chest; every change of the weather gives them a new cold, and they cannot lie on the right side; their tendency is to go into mucous phthisis or quick consumption. The cough is worse in the night air. There are many pains in the chest. He has a rheumatic constitution, is always sweating, worse while sweating and from the extremes of heat and cold. Stitching, stabbing, rheumatic pains in the chest with night sweats. Bloody, thick green expectoration. Suppuration of the lung, great quantities of pus form. Tremendous orgasms, bubbling and flushes of heat in the chest. With many complaints there is sore throat and rheumatism and stiffness of the neck; stiff neck with swollen glands and goitre. Stiff neck with every cold; stiffness of the side and back of the neck, Induration and soreness of the cervical glands along with other complaints.
Merc. especially affects the joints; inflammatory rheumatism with much swelling, aggravated from the heat of the bed and from uncovering. It is difficult to get just the right weight of clothing. Rheumatic affection with sweat, aggravation at night, from the warmth of the bed and while sweating, with sickly countenance. It especially attacks the upper limbs, but is also found in the lower.
Tremulous condition of the extremities, like paralysis agitans. Trembling of the hands with great weakness. Paralysis of the lower limbs, and twitching, jerking and quivering of the paralyzed parts. Arg. n., Phos., Strain., Secale and Merc. have twitching of the muscles of the paralyzed limb.
Soreness between the thighs and genitals. Ulcers on the legs; abscesses. Oedematous swelling of the feet. Cold perspiration. Copious sweat during sleep. Pain and sweat come on when comfortable in bed; bone pains. He covers up because he feels cold, but when he becomes warm the pains are aggravated.
Merc. is full of fever. Very seldom, however, has it a true, idiopathic, continued fever. It stands very low for continued fever alone, but it is especially indicated in surgical fevers, at first remittent, but later continued, such as come on from the suppression of discharges. The Merc. patient about to go into a chill is chilly even when the chill has not yet come on; sensitive to the moving air in a warm room; violently sensitive to a draught. Cold hands and feet. The sweat is profuse and offensive. The complaints in general are worse while he sweats, and the more he sweats the worse he is. He sweats copiously and his greatest sufferings are in the sweat. Merc. does not have a clear intermittent. Between the paroxysms he has liver disturbances, diarrhoea, fever. In surgical fevers, bilious fevers, worm fever in children, and remittent fevers there is much aching in the bones, great sensitiveness to the air, aggravation at night in bed when the fever runs highest, mercurial breath and sallow skin. The fever does not go so high and the skin is not so hot as in Bell. The loaded tongue and the bilious fevers fade out after Merc. It is useful in hectic fever in the last stages of consumption, and in exhausting diseases with hectics, and in cancer when there is the aching, foul sweat, etc.
It acts wonderfully in catarrhal fever, grippe, etc., and when colds extend to the chest and there are the copious discharges everywhere. It is suitable in quasi-typhoids that have come out of remittents, symp tomatic typhoids, when the patient is icteric, low, prostrated, tremulous, with quivering muscles, great exhaustion and continued fever.
There are many skin symptoms; scurfy eruptions, vesicular eruptions, eruptions discharging pus. Vesicles burn and smart, with excoriating discharges, especially on the head. Much itching of the skin, violent, in all parts of the body, as from fleas, especially when warm in bed at night. Copper-colored eruptions as in syphilis, and mucous patches. The scurfy eruptions are especially marked. Ulcers on parts where the skin and flesh are thin over the bones. Offensive forms of eczema. Most eruptions are moist with copious oozing. It cures shingles. The skin is sallow. Excoriating wherever two parts come together. Rawness between the thighs and between the scrotum and thighs. Eruptions in such places. It has fissures at commissures, at the corners of the mouth and eyes; rawness and bleeding of the perinaeum rendering walking difficult.
This furnishes a basis for the Salts of Mercury.
THE SALTS OF MERCURY.
After studying Merc., corrosive mercury, the proto-iodide and the bin-iodide, we may from some specific symptoms in the case say that we prefer one of the salts of Mercury. When we go to rheumatic and gouty cases with the aggravation from sweat, aggravation from the warmth of the bed, the mercurial odor, etc., we can commonly say that one of the Mercurius will cure this case.
Merc. cor. has more excoriation and burning, more activity and excitement. Merc. is slower and more sluggish. Merc. cor. is violent and active in its movements, it takes hold and runs its course with greater activity. So with a mercury base we have often to prefer this salt.
In the eye symptoms there is more excoriation. The pains, burning, smarting, etc., in the eruptions and ulcers are more violent. In Merc. we have slow spreading ulcers, but in Merc. cor. there is great eating; it will spread over an area as large as your hand in a night. He has the mercurial odor and sweat, and he is sallow; he needs mercury, but a more active preparation than Merc. viv.
Merc. cor. has decided symptoms of its own, but they are limited.
You cannot tell the ptyalism, or the lardaceous ulcers apart. In sore throat, if it is a Merc. case, the ulcers are spreading rapidly and burning and smarting like coals of fire, you would say that Merc. is not so intense as this. You need Merc. cor. for the violence, the intense burning, and the rapid spread. The throat is enormously swollen, the glands are swollen, and the thirst is insatiable.
In dysentery there is more violence; copious bleeding; great anxiety, can scarcely leave the stool a second, great tenesmus of rectum and bladder; urging to urination and stool is constant; great burning in the rectum. It is a violent case of dysentery. I would prefer Merc. in ordinary Merc. cases, but if this patient is not relieved he will not live, and Merc. cor. is needed here.
In the urinary organs the symptoms are violent. Albuminuria is more marked in Merc. cor. than in Merc. It is one of the most frequently indicated remedies in the albuminuria of pregnancy and a very useful remedy when gout is present.
From slight irritation of the foreskin of the male organ, the mucous membrane and skin contract and phimosis takes place. Merc. cor. relieves the itching and burning, and causes the purse-string to let up. It is seldom indicated in gonorrhoea, but is called for when there is greenish yellow or bloody watery discharge, with violent burning and urging to urination and to stool, and violent painful erections. Chancres spread with great rapidity.
Stitching, rending, tearing pains, here and there, especially in the chest.
Given a Merc. base and diphtheria, when the membrane is greenish and inclined to spread through the nose and involve a large surface, the Cyanide of Mercury is needed. It has exudation more marked than any other form of Mercury. Malignant forms of diphtheria, rapidly forming, and with phagedenic ulceration.
MERCURIUS IODATUS FLAWS.
(Proto-iodide of Mercury.)
There are sore throats that especially call for the proto-iodide. When in sore throats the inflammation and pain predominantly affect the right side, and there is a tendency to remain on the right side, or if the Merc. state is present and the sore throat goes from right to left, it is the proto-iodide you want. The patient that needs this remedy for constitutional troubles will be worse during rest and from a warm room and better in the open air.
This is especially true when the patient needs Merc. prot. in neuritis of the right arm that comes on in writers. The arm then is very painful when writing, from passive motion, from rubbing, from pressure, from both heat and cold, but better from walking in the open air. Complaints are nearly all worse on the right side of the body.
MERCURIUS IODATUS RUBER.
(Bin-iodide of Mercury.)
Again, if in a Merc. patient with diphtheria, tonsillitis, etc., the inflammation and pain begin on the left side, and incline to remain there or spread to the right, the bin-iodide is indicated.
These two iodides have more rapid and greater induration beneath ulcers and chancres than Merc., and in old syphilitics the iodides are sometimes more useful.
(Sulphate of Mercury. Turpeth mineral.)
Merc. sulph. will sometimes help, when you have a case of hydro-thorax with quick, short breathing, etc., and burning of the chest. If you go to an old case of hypostatic congestion, with dropsy, or a case of dyspnoea from hydrothorax, when the Merc. base is present, you will be astonished at the action of this sulphate.
(Red Sulphide of Mercury.)
The symptoms are worse at night from warmth of the bed, and when perspiring, like Mercurius. Worse from both heat and cold. Catarrhal inflammation. Fig warts (Thuja). Ulcers. Many complaints from eating. Syphilis in all stages. Suppurating glands; chancres. It is best to study this remedy as a form of Mercurius, which has a few cunning phases of its own. It is a deep acting remedy in sycosis. The patient desires to be alone. Aversion to mental work. Forgets things which he intended to do. Mind crowded with thoughts preventing sleep.
The pains in the head are violent; worse after eating; better by heat, and pressure. Fullness in the whole head. Constriction. Pain in the cold forehead, which is ameliorated by heat. Tearing in the forehead before the menstrual flow. Pain in the forehead and vertex in the morning, worse lying on the left side and back, ameliorated lying on the right side, and it passes off after rising. Shooting pains in the left side of the head with flow of saliva and copious urine. Headache with nosebleed. Sensitive scalp and skull. Supra-orbital neuralgia.
Stitching, and dull pains in the eyes. Inflammation of the conjunctiva; worse at night. Red, congested lids. Ptosis. Weak vision. Iritis of syphilitic origin. The symptoms are worse at night. Sharp paroxysmal pains from the warmth of the bed. Roaring in the ears after eating. Itching in the ears.
Cold spot on root of nose. Pressure on the bones of the nose. Coryza with dirty yellow mucus drawn from posterior nares. Epistaxis; pains in back and limbs. The symptoms of the teeth are similar to Mercurius.
Tongue coated white every morning. Taste putrid, metallic and bitter. Sore ulcerated mouth. Salivation. Inflammation of mouth and throat with great thirst, worse at night. Dry mouth, and viscid mucus in the throat. Fullness in the throat, with constant desire to swallow. Dryness of the throat.
Aversion to food. Eructations, and vomiting. Tenderness of the stomach. Syphilitic buboes. Dysentery, worse every night; bloody mucous stools; much straining. Diarrhoa with greenish stools, worse at night. Protrusion of anus during stool.
Copious urine. Pain as from an ulcer in urethra when urinating; it wakes him also at night. Albumin in the urine. Inflammation of glans penis with profuse secretion of pus. Increased sexual desire. Swelling of prepuce with much itching.
Warts on the prepuce and fraenum, bleeding when touched. Chancres on the prepuce of gangrenous odor. Inflamed and swollen chancres, hard, discharging pus. Indurated, or neglected chancres.
Gonorrhoea, of yellowish green discharge, much pain during flow of urine. Symptoms worse at night, and from the warmth of the bed. The patient is sensitive to both a warm room, and to cold air. Induration of testes.
Syphilitic Iaryngeal ulcers in a tubercular patient. Hoarseness in the evening. Pulse fast in the evening and night. Stiff neck with pains shooting to occiput. Stitching pains each side of spine in dorsal and lumbar regions, worse on deep breathing.
Pain in the limbs at night. Sensitive to sudden changes in the weather. Lame, bruised and stiff in all the limbs. Pains worse from motion. Syphilitic nodes on tibia. Pain in tendo Achillis and os calcis after walking. Numbness in the feet. Cold feet, day and night. Wandering gout.
Burning itching of the skin, worse scratching. Itching all over. Redness, and red spots on the skin. Pustules. Gangrenous ulcers. Elevated ulcers. It is antidoted by Hepar and Nitric acid. It is closely related to Thuja.
Written by James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) and published first in his book "Materia Medica" (1905) James Tyler Kent was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy.