It is preeminently a scrofulous medicine, corresponding to gross constitutions with tendency to rough scaling skin with horny patches. With these horny patches is great tenderness, the patient can hardly bear to walk on them. Analagous to these horny excrescences are warts.
We find mental symptoms that are quite prominent. It is frequently used in children when they are cross and peevish. They will not even permit themselves to be looked at. If an adult, the patient is sulky or sad.
In some cases, there is a slightly erotic condition of mind, connected with sexual erethism. The patient becomes ecstatic and fancies that some beautiful female is the object of his sentimental love.
In children, this peevish mental state is associated with nausea, hot and red face and irregular pulse. The child is particularly cross when washed in cold water, but not so much in warm water. Now, the symptoms often occur in children in association with those of the stomach.
The gastric symptoms of Antimony are very well marked. It is suited to gastric catarrh, whether it be developed from cold or from improper food. In the first place, the tongue is coated white, and this coating is apt to be spread uniformly over the whole dorsum of the tongue. It has well been compared to a coat of whitewash. The tongue may be dry. Sometimes, we find this white coating assuming a slightly yellowish tinge, especially on
the back part of the tongue. At other times, you will find the borders of the tongue sore and red; often, there is an accumulation of yellowish mucus in the pharynx. There are nausea and vomiting; the latter is very prominent, and occurs as soon as the child eats or drinks.
Antimonium crudum is especially useful in vomiting from overloaded stomach; from eating indigestible substances; after the abuse of fat
food, acids, sour wines, vinegar, etc., or from the excessive heat of summer. The vomited matters contain food; or, in the case of very young children, they consist of curdled milk. The appetite is impaired.
There may be colic, in which case there is almost always a deposit of lithic acid in the urine. The bowels are affected also; there is often diarrhoea; the stool is watery and contains little lumps of faecal matter. This diarrhoea is made worse by vinegar and other acids, by
cold bathing and by being overheated. If there is constipation, as is often the case when vomiting predominates, the stools will consist of
white, hard and dry lumps that look like undigested curd. In older persons, particularly in the aged, for Antimonium crudum suits both
extremes of life, we have an alternation of constipation and diarrhoea: the stool, in constipation consisting of hard, dry lumps; that in diar-
rhoea, of water mixed with faecal lumps.
Antimonium crudum acts upon the skin, producing thick, horny callosities in this tissue. It is often indicated in eczematous eruptions, when the skin is of this character.
It also has a marked action on the nails, causing deficient growth. If, after an accident which has split the nail, the latter does not heal
readily, but grows cracked and thick, Antimonium crudum will make it grow as it should. I have also used the drug successfully in treating a split hoof, in the case of my own horse.
Children who need Antimonium crudum often have an eruption, consisting of crusts which are of a honey-yellow color. They are thick, just
as we have seen with the callosities. The affected portions of the skin crack readily. This is particularly well-marked about the nostrils and
corners of the mouth.
The eyes are inflamed. They are worse from any bright glare, as the sunshine, or the glare of a bright fire.
On the female genital organs Antimonium cntdum has some action. It is useful in prolapsus uteri when there is constant bearing-down feeling, as if something were pushing out of the vagina, and tenderness over the ovarian region, particularly when the menses have been suppressed by cold bathing. The leucorrhoea is watery and contains little lumps.
There is one more use of Antimonium crudum to mention is in adults who are tormented with gout. It is especially useful when gout has become constitutional. There will be gouty nodes in many of the joints. It here helps, provided the gastric symptoms characteristic of the remedy are present, but not otherwise.