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Arsenicum Album - General symptoms - Hahnemann

Arsenious Acid, Arsenic, Arsenicum, Ars. Alb, Ars Alb, Arsenic alb, Ars.

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HPUS indication of Arsenicum Album: Vomiting
Common symptoms: Vomiting, Worry, Chills, Diarrhea, Bruises.

Below are the main rubriks (i.e strongest indications or symptoms) of Arsenicum Album in traditional homeopathic usage, not approved by the FDA.

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(The semi-oxide of metallic arsenic in diluted and potentized solution.)

As I write down the word Arsenic, momentous memories seize upon my soul.

When the All-merciful One created iron, the granted to mankind, indeed, to fashion from it either the murderous dagger or the mild ploughshare, and either to kill or to nourish their brethren therewith.

How much happier, however, would they be, did they employ His gifts only to benefit one another! This should be the aim of their life; this was His will.

So also it is not to Him, the All-loving One, we must impute the wickedness practiced by men, who have dared to misemploy the wonderfully powerful medicinal substances in diseases for which they were not suitable, and besides this in doses so enormous, guided only by frivolous ideas or some paltry authorities, without having subjected them to any careful trial, and without a well-grounded selection.

If now careful prover of the effects of medicines arise, they inveigh against him as an enemy to their comfort, and do not refrain from the most dishonest calumnies.

The ordinary medical art has hitherto employed the most powerful medicines, such as arsenic, Argentum Nitricum nitrate of silver, corrosive sublimate, Aconite aconitum napellus, Belladonna belladonna, Iodium iodine, Digitalis Purpurea digitalis, opium, Hyoscyamus Niger hyoscyamus, etc. Homoeopathy cannot employ stronger substances, for there are none stronger. Now, when ordinary physicians employ them, they evidently vie with one another who shall prescribe the largest possible doses of these drugs, and even make a great boast of their mounting to such enormous doses. This practice they laud and approve in their fellow practitioners. But if the Homoeopathic medical art employ the , not at random, like the ordinary method, but after careful investigation, only in suitable cases and in the smallest possible doses, it is denounced as a practice of poisoning. How partisan, how unjust, how calumnious is such a charge made by men who make pretensions to honesty and uprightness!

If Homoeopathy now make a fuller explanation, if she condemn (as from conviction she must) the enormous doses of these drugs given in ordinary practice, and if she, relying on careful trials, insists that very much less of them should be given for a dose, that where ordinary physicians give a tenth, a half, a whole grain, and even several grains, often only a quadrillionth, a sextillionth, a decillionth of a grain is required and sufficient, then the adherents of the ordinary school, who denounce the Homoeopathic healing art as a system of poisoning, laugh aloud, abuse it as childishness, and declare themselves convinced (convinced without trial?) that can do nothing at all, and can have no effect whatever, is, indeed, . They are not ashamed thus to blow hot and cold from the same mouth, and to pronounce the very same thing to be inert and ludicrously small, which they had just accused of being a system of poisoning, whilst they justify and praise their own enormous and murderous doses of the same remedies. Is not this the grossest and most wretched inconsistency that can be imagined, invented for the very purpose of being shamelessly unjust toward a doctrine which, they cannot deny, possesses truth, consistence and agreement with experience, and which practices the most delicate cautiousness and the most unwearied circumspection in the selection and administration of its remedies?

Not very long ago a highly celebrated physician spoke of pounds of opium being eaten every month in his hospital, where even the nurses were allowed to give it to the patients according to their fancy.

Opium, mind! a drug that has sent several thousands of men to their graves in ordinary practice! Yet this man continued to be held in honor, for the belonged to the dominant clique to which everything is lawful even if it be of the most destructive and absurd character. And when, a few years since, in one of the most enlightened cities of Europe almost every practitioner, from the physician of lofty title down to the barber's apprentice, prescribed arsenic as a fashionable remedy in almost every disease, and that in such frequent and large doses in close succession, that the detriment to the health of the people must have been quite palpable, yet this was held to be an honorable practice, though not one of them was acquainted with the peculiar effects of the semi-oxide of this metal (and consequently knew not what cases of disease it was suited for). And yet all prescribed it in repeated doses, Which of these two opposite modes of employing medicines best deserves the flattering appellation of a "system of poisoning" -the ordinary method just alluded to, which attacks with tenths of grains the poor patients (who often require some quite different remedy), or Homoeopathy, which does not even give a little drop of tincture or Rheum rhubarb without having first ascertained whether rhubard is the most suitable, the only appropriate remedy for the case.

Homoeopathy which, by unwearied, multiplied experiments, discovered that it is only in rare cases that more than a decillionth of a grain of arsenic should be given, and that only in cases where careful proving shows this medicine to be the only one perfectly suitable? To which of these two modes of practice does then the honorary title of "thoughtless, rash system of poisoning" properly apply?

Marcus, of Bamberg.

On how high a stage of lack of art must the medical art of our whole continent be, when in a city they are as yet in such a state, which city nevertheless has hardly an equal in all other departments of human knowledge!

* *

There is yet another sect of practitioners who may be called hypocritical purists. If they are practical physicians, they, indeed, prescribe all sorts of substances that are injurious when misused, but before the world they wish to pose as patterns of innocence and caution. From their professional chairs and in their writings they give us the most alarming definition of poison.

to listen to their declarations it would appear unadvisable to treat any imaginable disease with anything stronger than quick-grass, Taraxacum dandelion, oxymel and raspberry juice. According to their definition, poisons are absolutely (, under all circumstances, in all doses, in all cases) prejudicial to human life, and in this category they include (in order to prejudice against Homoeopathy), as suits their humor, a lot of substances which in all ages have been extensively employed by physicians for the cure of diseases. But the employment of these substances would be a criminal offence had not every one of them occasionally proved of use. If, however, each of them had only proved itself curative on only one occasion -and it cannot be denied that this sometimes happened- then this blasphemous definition is at the same time a palpable absurdity. Absolutely and under all circumstances injurious and destructive, and yet at the same time salutary, is a contradiction in itself, is utter nonsense. If they would wriggle out of this contradiction, they allege, as a subterfuge, that these substances have more frequently proved injurious than useful. But did the more frequent injury caused by these substances come from these substances themselves, or from their improper employment, from those who made an unskillful use of them in diseases for which they were not suitable? These medicines do not administer themselves in diseases, they must be administered by men.

and if they were beneficial at any time, it was because they were at one time appropriately administered by somebody.

it was because they might always be beneficial, if men never made any other than a suitable use of them. Hence it follows that whenever these substances were hurtful and destructive they were so merely on account of having been inappropriately employed. Therefore all the injury is attributable to the unskillfulness of their employers.

These narrow-minded individuals further said "Even when we attempt to tame arsenic by means of a corrective, by mixing it with an alkali, it still often enough does harm."

Nay, I reply, the arsenic must not be blamed for this.

for, as I before observed, drugs do not administer themselves, somebody administers them and does harm with them. And what can the alkali do as a corrective? Is it merely intended to weaken the arsenic, or to change its character and covert it into something else? In the latter case the neutral arsenical salt produced is no longer arsenic proper, but something different. If, however, it be merely made weaker, then surely a simple diminution of the dose of the pure solution of arsenic would be a much more rational and effectual mode of making it weaker and milder, than leaving the dose in its magnitude and by the addition of another medicinal substance endeavoring to effect some, nobody knows what, alteration in its nature, as takes when a pretended corrective is used. If you think one-tenth of a grain of arsenic too strong, what is to prevent you from diluting the solution and giving less, a great deal less, of it?.

"A tenth of a grain," I hear some one say, is the smallest quantity the etiquette of the profession allows us to prescribe. Who could write a prescription to be made up at the apothecary's for a smaller quantity without making himself ridiculous?"

So, indeed! a tenth of a grain sometimes acts so violently as to endanger life, and the etiquette of your guild does not allow you to give less, very much less. Is it not an insult to common sense to talk in this way? Is the etiquette of the profession a code of rules to bind a set of slaves without rationality, or is it the rule among men having a free will and intelligence? If it is the latter, who hinders them from giving a where a greater might be injurious? Obstinacy? the dogmatism of a school? or what other dungeon of the intellect?

"Arsenic," "they protest, would still be hurtful, though given in a smaller quantity, even if we should be willing to descend to the ridiculous dose of a hundredth or of a thousandth of a grain, a minuteness of dose unheard of in the posologics of our materia medica. Even a thousandth of a grain of arsenic must still be hurtful and destructive, for it remains an uncontrollable poison, as we supposed, affirm, conjecture and assert."

Even if this convenient asserting and conjecturing should here for once have blundered upon the truth, still it is evident that the virulence of the arsenic cannot increase but must decrease with every further reduction of the dose, so that we must at length arrive at such a dilution of the solution and such a diminution of the dose as no longer in any way possesses the dangerous character of your regulation dose of one-tenth of a grain.

"Such a dose would, indeed, be a novelty! What kind of a dose would it be?" Novelty is indeed a capital crime in the eyes of the orthodox school, settled down upon her old lees, a school which subjects its reason to the tyranny of hoary routine.

But what pitiful rule should hinder the physician, who ought by rights to be a learned, thinking, independent man, a ruler of nature in his own domain -what in the world should hinder him from moderating a dangerous dose by diminishing its size?

What should hinder him, if experience should show him that the thousandth part of a grain is yet too strong a dose, from giving the hundred-thousandth part, or the millionth part of a grain? And should he find this last too violent in many cases, (as medicine itself is nothing but a science of experience), what should hinder him from reducing the millionth to a billionth? And if also this prove too strong a dose in many cases, who could prevent him from diminishing it to the quadrillionth of a grain, or a smaller dose still? Methinks I hear vulgar stolidity croak out from the quagmire of its thousand-year-old prejudices Ha! Ha! Ha! A quadrillionth! Why that's nothing at all!

Why ? Can the subdivision of a substance, be it carried ever so far, bring forth anything else than parts of the whole? Must not these portions, reduced in size to the very verge of infinity, still continue to be -something substantial, a part of the whole, be it ever so minute? What man of sound reason could contradict this?

And if this (quadrillionth, quintillionth, octillionth, decillionth) continue still to be really an integral portion of the divided substance, as no rational man can deny, why should even so minute a portion, seeing that it is really , be unable to do , considering that the whole was so tremendously powerful? . It belongs to experience alone to determine if this small portion has become too weak to avail anything against diseases, too weak to remove the disease for which this medicine is in general suitable, and to restore the patient to health. This is a matter to be settled not by the dictatorial dictum from the study, but by experience alone, which in this case is the only competent arbiter. But experience has already decided this question and continues to do so daily before the eyes of every unprejudiced person.

But when I have done with the wiseacre, who ridicules the small doses of Homoeopathy as a nonentity, as effecting nothing, and who never consults experience, I hear on the other side the hypocritical stickler for caution, with as little investigation and with the same recklessness, still inveigh against the danger of even the small doses used in homoeopathic practice.

A few words then shall be added here for him.

If arsenic in the dose of a tenth of a grain be, in many cases, a dangerous dose, must it not become milder in the dose of a thousandth of a grain? And, if so, must it not become still milder with every further diminution of dose?

Now if arsenic (like every other very powerful medicinal substance), can, by merely diminishing its dose, be rendered so mild as to be no longer dangerous to life, then all we have to do is merely to find by experiment how far the size of the dose must be diminished so that it shall be small enough to do no harm, and yet large enough to fully effect its office as a remedy of the diseases for which it is suitable.

Experience, and experience alone, not the pedantry of the study, not the narrow-minded, ignorant dogmatism of the schools, which does not prove anything practically, can decided what dose, of such an extremely powerful substance as arsenic, is so small that it can be taken without danger, and yet remains so powerful as to be able to effect all that this medicine (so invaluable when sufficiently moderated in its action and selected for a suitable case of disease) was from its nature ordained to do by the beneficent Creator. It must, by dilution of its solution and diminution of the dose, be rendered so mild that the strongest man can be freed by such a dose from a disease for which it is the appropriate remedy, while this same dose will be incapable of altering perceptibly the health of a healthy infant. This is the grand problem that can only be solved by thousandfold experiments and trials, but not settled by the sophistical dogmatism of the schools with its guessing, its assertions and its conjectures.

A medicine homoeopathically chosen, a medicine capable of producing a morbid condition very similar to the disease to be cured, touches only the diseased side of the organism, therefore just the most excited, extremely sensitive part of it. Therefore its dose must be so small as only to affect the diseased part just a little more than the disease itself did. For this the smallest dose suffices, one so small as to be incapable of altering the health of a healthy person, who has not such points of contact sufficiently sensitive for this medicine, or of making him ill, which only large doses of medicine can do. See , §277-279 and at the beginning of the

No rational physician can acknowledge any such limitation to this treatment as would be dictated to him by the rusty routine of the schools, which is never guided by pure experiment combined with reflection. His sphere of action is the restoration to health of the sick, and the countless forces of nature are given to him unreservedly by the Sustainer of Life as implements of healing.

nothing being excluded. To him whose calling it is to vanquish the disease that brings its victim to the verge of corporeal annihilation and effect a kind of recreation of life (a nobler work than most other, even those most vaunted of mankind), to him the whole broad expanse of nature with all her creative powers and substances must be available in order to enable him to perform this curative act, if we may so call it. But he must be at liberty to employ these agents in the exact quantity, be it ever so smaller or ever so large, that experience and trials show him to be most adapted to the end he has in view.

in any form whatever that reflection and experience have proved to be most valuable. All this he must be able to do without any limitation whatsoever, as is the right of a free man, of a deliverer of his fellow creatures, and a restorer of life, equipped with all the knowledge pertaining to his art and endowed with a god-like spirit and the tenderest conscience.

From this God-serving and noblest of earthly occupations let all hold aloof who are deficient in mind, in the judicial spirit, in any of the branches of knowledge required for its exercise, or in tender regard for the weal of mankind and a sense of their duty to humanity.

in one word, who are deficient in true virtue! Away with that unhallowed crew who merely assume the outward semblance of health-restorers, but whose heads are full of vain deceit, whose hearts are stuffed with wicked frivolity, whose tongues make a mock of truth and whose hands prepare disaster.

The following observations are the result of doses of various strength on persons of various sensitiveness

An intelligent homoeopathic physician will not give his medicine, even in its minimum dose, before he is convinced that its peculiar symptoms have the greatest possible similarity with those of the disease to be healed. But if this is the case it will surely cure. But if in any case, from human fallibility, he should not have made his selection appropriately, smelling once or several times of Ipecacuanha Ipecacuanha, or Hep Sulph Calc Hepar sulphuris calcareum, or Nux Vomica Nux vomica, according to the circumstances, will remove the ill effects.

Such a use of arsenic has shown its curative powers in numberless acute and chronic (psoric) diseases, and has then also at the same time healed the following symptoms if present

heaviness in the forehead.

headache after dinner.

scurf on the hairy scalp.

. drawing and stitches in the face here and there.

ulcers like warts on the cheek.

tumor-like swelling in the nose.

eruptions on the lips.

bleeding of the gums. fetid odor from the mouth.

vomiting of brownish matter, with violent colic.

. pressure in the stomach.

. induration of the liver.

. abdominal dropsy. ulcer above the umbilicus.

swelling of the inguinal glands.

burning evacuations, with violent colic.

green, diarrhoeic stools.

constipation. paralysis of the bladder.

dysuria. strangury. swelling of the genitals.

menses too copious, ailments of various kinds during menstruation.

acrid, corrosive discharge from the vagina.

stoppage of the nose. coughing of blood.

suffocative fits, in the evening after lying down.

tightness of the chest, on ascending an eminence.

angina pectoris. stitches in the sternum.

pressure in the sternum.

drawing and tearing, at nigh, from the elbow to the shoulder.

whitlows on the tips of the fingers, with burning pains.

tearing and stitches in the hip, the thigh and the groin.

tearing in the tibia. pain as of a bruise in the knee-joint.

itching herpes in the hough.

old sores on the legs, with burning and stitches.

weariness of the feet.

ulcers in the soles of the feet.

. pains as from soreness on the balls of the toes, as if rubbed open from walking.

varicose and swelled veins.

. drowsiness in the evening.

at night, slow in going to sleep again, after waking up.

. shivering in the evening, with twisting of the limbs and anxious restlessness..

The inclusion of Arsenic among the antipsorics seems to have been an afterthoughts, as it comes in the original German edition, at the end of the alphabetical list of medicines, instead of appearing in its proper place -to which in this translation it has been restored. Arsenicum Album's pathogenesis had already appeared in the , where it contains, 1,079 symptoms, of which 697 are from Hahnemann himself and seven fellow-observers, and 382 from authors. Of the two additional contributors mentioned here, "Hartlaub u. Trinks," stand for some cases of poisoning, the symptoms of which they had extracted, in the first and third volumes f their.

and "Hering," for a number of aggravations and medicinal symptoms occurring in leprous patients taking the drug (., XI., 2, 19). These account for 112 out of the 202 additional symptoms recorded here.

the remainder are Hahnemann's, obtained in his later manner, and Wahle's (eighteen in all) -a prover unnoticed in the preface, but whose name frequently occurs among the second series of the Master's followers. .


Eber's observations are to be found in part 3, p. 46, and part 4, p. 3, of this volume. Effects of arsenite of potash in ague patients. This symptom not found.

Poisoning of a woman. For p. 172, read part I, p. 149.

Poisoning of adults. For "LIX" read Book IV., Ep. 59, §§3, 5, 6, 7, 8.

From the vapor.

Poisoning of adult. For Obs. 211 read "." C. 4.

Symptoms observed in a fever patient after taking arsenite of potash.

( note). From drawing solution of A. into nostrils for coryza; add. Dec. 3, . 9, 10, C. 220. (To Neue Med., etc.) Not accessible. (To .). Poisoning of girl by black oxide.

Poisoning of a whole family by Ars.

Poisoning of a woman by orpiment. This symptom is not found.

From application of Ars. to a diseased breast. With vomiting. Add p. 143.

Not accessible.

Poisoning of adults.

(For BUETTNER). Poisonings. Add p. 179.

Not found. -Hughes.

A woman took Ars. with a suicidal purpose. The calmness was rather mental, owing to her determination, than physical.

Result of suppression of ague by Ars.

Doubtful how much is ague, and how much Ars.

Poisoning of adult. -Hughes.

Poisoning of adult. -Hughes.

Same case as Myrrhen's (Sympt. 14).

Insanity. first headache, excessive anguish, noise before the ears, as of many large bells, and when the opened his eyes, he always saw a man who sometimes before had hanged himself in the garret of the house, and who incessantly motioned to him entreatingly that he should cut him down.

the ran there with a knife, but as he could not cut him down, the grew desperate and wished to hang himself.

being hindered in this, the became so restless that he could hardly be kept in bed.

the lost his speech, though with full understanding, and when the wished to express himself by writhing, he could only make unintelligible marks, whereat he trembled, wept, and with the forehead covered with the sweat of anguish, knelt down and raised his hands entreatingly.;.

Poisoning of a youth. This symptom not found. -Hughes.

Effects of arsenite of potash in an epileptic. -Hughes.

Poisoning of adults with black oxide. After antidote. -Hughes.

Not found.

(For THOMSON) Poisoning of a woman. (For SENNERT) From inhaling realgar.

From black oxide, in an adult. Add., 7, 8.

Not accessible.

(For JACOBI) From suppression of ague by Ars in a young man. (For Rau) From application of Ars. to scalp. (For KNAPE) From powdering hair with Ars.

As sympt. 98.

General statement from authors.

Effect of Ars. sprinkled on hair.

Should be "of the veins." It occurred after violent vomiting.

Effect of dressing pustular scalp with mixture of Ars. and cinnabar.

From powdering hair with Ars.

From the vapor, mingled with that of tobacco.

Frequently recurring.

As in symp. 160.

The eyelids also were made sore.

General statement. The symptom not found.

Poisoning of adult.

Or "eyes distorted in a horrid manner."

Poisoning with Ars., realgar and orpiment.

With Sympt. 73.

As Sympt. 81.

With headache and vertigo.

With headache and vertigo.

Not found in THOMSON.

From smoke of wax tapers impregnated with Ars.

Symptoms observed in miners.

See Sympt. 185.

With violent vomiting.

During vomiting.

In Eph. Natrum Carbonicum Nat. Cur. the phrase is "face livid and lurid."

Not accessible.

Effects of arsenite of potash in ague patients.

Not accessible.

General statement.

Not accessible.

(For KOPP). Poisoning of adult.

From a plaster of Ars. applied for a quartan.

Poisoning of a boy.

Effects in a patient with scirrhous breast.

Effects of realgar.

Not found.

Not found.

Effects of arsenite of potash in ague patients.

Not to be found at reference.

Poisoning by cobalt, "fly-powder," a mixture of metallic arsenic with arsenious acid.

Not found.

As sympt. 267.

Literally, "Vomiting of greenish matter at night, of whitish stuff next morning.

Poisoning of a girl of twenty.

From orpiment.

Reference should be KAISER, [left] c.

Cited from CARDAN.

Poisoning of two women. For "pains" read "anxieties", anxiety.

Add "returning later with great violence."

Goertz should be GOERITZ.

Not found at reference.

Not found.

Poisoning of an adult.

, indescribable, is in the Latin "inexplicabilis."

Poisoning of adult.

Add "p. 260".

"Abdomen was also painful."

Not found.

Instead of tearing more literally in the original "lancinating."

Not found.

The Latin is "tormina circum umbilicum."

In Rau's case, "for four days."

Observations on a patient.

Not found.

Not found.

Instead of "tallow," we may translate "falt."

"Sometimes," FOWLER says

but of §623, he says, "often."

but of §623, he says, "often."

From inhaling sublimated Ars.

Effects of applying solution of Ars. for itch, in two men.

The "Brand" mortification, is . Poisoning of two adults.

It was the scrotum, not the testicles, that was swollen.

* * * * *

As sympt. 81.

As sympt. 267.

See sympt. 625.

Literally, "breathing difficult, and often interrupted by sighs.

For a long time.

Latin is"anxietates pectoris."

Both these are SCHLEGEL'S, see §183.

Both these are SCHLEGEL'S, see §183.

In self, from inhaling vapors.

Latter part of symptom should be "With much lassitude and oppression in breathing in walking."

Same case as MYRRHEN'S (see S. 14), and same symptom as S. 740.

Not found.

Observations on miners in Ars.

For a long time.

From carrying Ars. in the pocked.

As sympt. 183.

As in symp. 183.

Not found.

Poisoning of a woman.

As sympt. 183.

General statement from authors.

As sympt. 183.

"Bluitigem Eiter" (bloody pus), is "ichorose stoff" in the original; , ichorous matter.

No reference for Gabezius, and he cannot be traced.

Arsenicum Album recurrence took place once only.

With vomiting.

As symptom 81.

As symptom 81.

With symptom 987.

As symptom 81.

From application of ars. to a fungus on the head.

As symptom 81.

As symptom 81.

Convulsive paroxysm.

at first she struck outwards with the arms, then she lost all consciousness, lay like a dead person, pale, yet warm, turned her thumbs inward, turned her clenched hands, slowly drew up her arms and then slowly laid them down.

after 10 minutes she drew the mouth hither and thither, as if she waggled her jaw.

at the same time no respiration could be perceived.

after a quarter of an hour the fit ended with a jerk throughout the whole body, like a single thrust forward with arms and feet, and at once her full consciousness returned, only great prostration remained.

As sympt. 183.

As sympt. 183.

As sympt. 183.

Poisoning of a girl of 20.

Not accessible.

Statement that author knows a woman so affected by ars.

Cited from CARDAN; same symptom as 888.

Not found.

Not accessible.

From rubbing ars. into head.

Not found.


In a refiner of ars.

Should be "in bed" and not "in sleep", and "after 12" and not "36" hours.

After opium had been taken as an antidote.

Reference ought to be.

Not accessible.

Latin, "exaestuatio."

Stated as effect of antidote, (aniseed).

With violent vomiting. (See S. 19 and 268).

As sympt. 81.

Not found.

Not found.

Latin "exaestuatio" as in S. 1171.

Not found.

Pulse was "irregular," not "intermittent."

Pulse had not been previously counted.