This remedy is an antipsoric and antisyphilitic. It has been used very extensively by the old school as an antisyphilitic, but in the very large doses which they used it became to a great extent allopathic to the disease, because of the tremendous effect it produced upon the economy, and implanted its own miasm, and thereby in a measure it suppressed many cases of syphilis. The medicines that are the most powerful substances are really those that sustain a homeopathic relation to the disease in general, and of these the very smallest dose will cure when similar. When the remedy is not similar enough to cure in such a form the increasing of the dose does not make it homeopathic. There is an idea in vogue that increasing the dose makes the remedy similar. That is going away from principle. If the remedy is not similar there is no form of dose that can make it similar.
It affects the glandular structures and the periosteum after the manner of syphilis. It produces catarrhal inflammations. It is a deep-acting medicine and closely related to Mercurius. It has ulcerations and catarrhal states and glandular affections like Mercurius. It is similar in its action to Mercurius and is an antidote to it.
The old subjects who have always been taking Calomel or Blue Mass for their bilious complaints will in time become subject to frequent coryzas, constipation, pains and aches, and disturbance of the liver, and disordered stomach, and must have another dose of Mercury. Some of these cases need this remedy. If you practice medicine in a neighborhood where there is a very poor homeopath you will find that he is giving the Biniodide, or sonic other preparation of Mercury, for almost all of the colds or sore throats. This establishes upon all of these patients an over-susceptibility to the weather changes, and they keep taking these red mercurial powders. Some of them carry them around in their pockets. But the more they take of these red powders the more frequently they have sore throats and colds. Many times they will not get over these troubles without Kali iod. in potentized form, or Hepar. Hepar and Kali iod. are the two principal medicines that such patients need. Individuals with this susceptibility to colds and sore throats and weather changes, that is, from the effects of Mercury, who have been led into a Mercurial state, run two ways. Those who are invariably shivering and cold, and want to hover around the fire, and cannot keep warm, will need Hepar, and those that are always too warm, that want the covers off, and want to be in constant motion, extreme restlessness, very tired when keeping still, will have their Mercury antidoted by Kali iod. The Mercurial state will be antidoted, but it some times takes several prescriptions and sometimes a series of carefully selected remedies. The psora, that is, his chronic state, will not manifest itself until you have lifted off this miasmatic state, which has been caused by Mercurius. It is astonishing what a great number of men, women and children are bowed down by the miasm that Mercury produces, and yet those prescribers go on giving this form of Mercury and say it is practicing Homeopathy. I am led to remark that there is yet much to be learned about the art of prescribing.
This remedy has a peculiar mental state. There is a very strong degree of irritability, cruelty, and harshness of temper. He is harsh with his family and with his children; abusive. It will take all the sense of refinement out of his mind and then he will become sad and tearful. Extremely nervous, and must walk and be on the go. If he remains in a warm room he becomes weak and tired, and feels as if he could not stir, does not want to move, and does not know what is the matter with him. He is worse in the warmth of the house, but as soon as he goes into the open air he feels better, and as soon as he begins to walk he feels still better and can walk long distances without fatigue; goes into the house again and becomes weak and tired and exhausted. A nervous and mental exhaustion comes on from resting.
The head manifests some peculiar things, such as we sometimes see in syphilis, which the remedy controls when the other symptoms agree. Bi-parietal head pains of nerve syphilis, old, long standing cases. Pains through the parietal bones, through the side of the head, as if crushed in a vise; awful crushing, pulsating, pressing, rending pains on both sides of the head. These are worse in the house, and better from warmth and from motion, better walking in the open air. All through the head there are pains like knife stabs, like nails driven in; lancinating pains, cutting pains in the scalp, in the temples, over the eyes, through the eyes. The pericranium becomes sensitive and filled with nodules. The scalp breaks out with nodular eruptions, tuberculous eruptions, syphilitic eruptions. "Scalp painful on scratching as if ulcerated." "Great disposition for hair to change color and fall out." Coldness of the painful parts.
In watching a syphilitic case, there is often noticed disturbance of vision, and finally iritis. They can be treated homeopathically. I have seen syphilitic iritis of the most severe character cured with Staphisagria, Hepar, Nitric acid, Mercurius, Kali iod. and many other remedies. The inflammatory process stops at once, there are no adhesions, no deformity, and no troubles remaining behind. If you consider that a case of inflammation must run its course, and will be associated with fibrinous exudations, and adhesions most probably follow, of course you must adopt the plan of dilating with Atropine, and hold the iris so until the disease has run its course. But the disease does not run its course after a proper remedy, and as that is the last symptom to appear, it will be the first to go, and you may expect the eye symptoms to disappear within twenty-four hours after the administration of the homeopathic remedy.
This remedy has marked conjunctival trouble, with green catarrhal discharges from the eyes. This green character applies whenever you can find discharges. There is copious, thick, green expectoration, green discharges of mucous-pus from the nose, from the eyes, from the ear, thick, greenish leucorrhoea, green discharge from ulcers. These thick green or yellowish green discharges are sometimes very fetid.
At times when you examine the conjunctiva it seems to puff out as though water were behind it, a chemosis. Iodide of potash produces that state. "Chemosis, purulent secretion." In olden times when I used to give Iodide of potash to rheumatic patients, according to the prevailing craze, I would notice, after a day or two, chemosis coming into the eyes and the patient beginning to ache in his bones all over, while the rheumatism of the joints would disappear. An allopathic effect was taking root upon that patient which would last for years. I have noticed that a large dose of Kali iod. in syphilitics would make the patient get up the next morning with difficulty in opening the lid, and upon opening the eyes the conjunctiva would form water bags, as though water were behind them and they were bagged out. Kali iod. also produces edema of the lids and injection and tumefaction of the conjunctiva. The mucous membrane becomes red, raw and bleeding. The vessels are enlarged and the surface is very sore, inflamed and smarting. He is compelled to hold the eyelid during winking; the winking is painful and causes scratching, as from sand. Acute conjunctivitis, especially when it occurs in patients who have rheumatism, who have been abused with Mercury, or those afflicted with syphilis. Syphilitic and rheumatic affections of the eye.
Old gouty subjects who must keep in motion, and must keep in the open air, who are always too warm, and cannot endure any degree of warmth in the room, who suffer more from their gouty pains when keeping quiet, those who are fatigued when keeping quiet and can walk and move without fatigue in the open air, especially when it is cold, with enlarged joints, with restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, harshness of the temper and great irritability, alternating with weeping. This relief from motion will make the routinists give Rhus in many instances, but Rhus would have no relation to the case whatever. Remember, Rhus is a cold patient, who is always shivering and wants to be by the fire, whose complaints are better by the heat, he is better in a warm room and becomes fatigued from motion, whereas Kali iod. does not become fatigued from continued motion.
The nose comes in for much trouble. In old syphilitic catarrhs they blow out great crusts and pieces of bone; syphilitic ozaena; the bones of the nose are very sensitive to touch and become necrosed, and the nose flattens down and becomes soft. It is deprived of the bony framework that holds it in shape and settles down flat, leaving only the red tip. Extreme pain at the root of the nose like Hepar. Thick, yellowish-green, copious discharge from the nose. Every change of the weather brings on catarrhal states. He is constantly taking cold, sneezing continuously. Copious, watery discharge from the nose, excoriating the passage, and causing burning in the nose. This coryza is worse in the open air, but all the rest of the patient is better in the open air. Consequently, when a patient has two such conditions that operate against each other he suffers much, because he cannot find quarters for relief. In a warm room his nasal catarrh, or his coryza, is better, but in the open air he feels better as to the rest of his complaints. "Repeated attacks of violent, acrid coryza from the least cold." With the coryza the frontal sinuses become involved, and there is great pain through the forehead; pain in the eyes, pains through the cheek-bones.
In the throat, as you might suppose from its relations to syphilis and Mercury, there is much trouble. Deep ulcers in the throat, old syphilitic ulcers; perforating ulcers, eating away and destroying all the soft tissues, the uvula and the soft palate. Ulceration upon the tonsils; enlarged tonsils; very painful sore throat. Knots and knobs in the throat upon the mucous membranes. "Dryness of throat and enlarged tonsils." "Terrible pain at the root of the tongue at night." The whole pharynx, larynx, trachea and bronchial tubes suffer from catarrhal conditions. Inflammatory conditions with greenish discharge.
While all the external symptoms and the rest of the body symptoms are relieved in the cold air and by the contact of external cold, internally cold things aggravate. Cold milk, ice cream, ice water, cold drinks and cold food, cold things in the stomach aggravates all the symptoms. Though he has an excessive thirst and will drink large quantities of water, if very cold it will make him sick.
Kali iod. has all the flatulence and belching of Carbo veg. and Lycopodium.
The glands all over the body become tumid, enlarged and hard. It has cured enlargement of the thyroid gland; it may take this from Iodine.
Very characteristic is the chronic inflammation of the urethra, following gonorrhea, where the discharge is thick and green, or greenish-yellow, without pain. Inflammation of the testicles, syphilitic in character.
Pain and rawness in the larynx, with hoarseness; awakens from constriction of the larynx. It is very useful in phthisis of the larynx. Cough from constant irritation in the larynx. Dry, hacking cough, hoarse cough with copious greenish expectoration. Catarrhal phthisis with thick, copious, greenish expectoration. Pleuritic effusion. Fluttering of the heart. Palpitation on slight exertion or when walking. Rapid pulse.
Not only in old gouty troubles, but in patients threatening phthisis, and in old malarial troubles this medicine will be of great service.
It cures sciatica when the pain is sharp from the hip down, worse lying sitting or standing and better walking.
You may go to the bedside of a patient who is suffering from what she calls "hives;" you will find she is covered from head to foot with an eruption that forms great nodules; she is fairly burning up from head to foot. She cannot endure any covering; the heat of her body is intense, yet she has no rise of temperature. Rough nodular manifestations all over the skin; a condition that will go away in a few hours, but in a few days, weeks or months come back again. A single dose of a very high potency of Kali iod. will turn things into order in persons subject to these hives and they will not come again.