Alumina or the oxide of Aluminium, is a form of pure clay and is known as argilla.
According to Hering, the symptoms which Hartlaub obtained are not pure, because he simply washed his preparation
of clay, while Hahnemann subjected his to a red heat.
Alumina acts best in aged persons of spare habits, who are rather wrinkled and dried-up looking, or in girls at puberty, especially if they are chlorotic, and also in delicate or scrofulous children, particularly children who have been artificially fed — that is, nourished by the many varieties of baby foods with which the market is glutted. Such children are weak and wrinkled; nutrition is decidedly defective. The bowels are inactive. This constipation is characteristic. There is a great deal of difficulty in voiding the stool even though the faeces be
soft, showing you at once that the inactivity of the bowels is the main influence at work in its causation.
The Alumina patient is very low-spirited and inclined to weep, like Pulsatilla, and this low-spiritedness is worse on awakening, here resembling Lachesis, Pulsatilla, Sepia, etc. At other times, you find the patient troubled with an apprehensive state of mind, a fear that he will go crazy, and this is an exact counter part of Calcarea ostrearum,
Another peculiarity that may be present, particularly in hysteria, is suicidal tendency when the patient sees blood, or a knife, or something of that kind.
Men in whom Alumina is useful are hypochondriacal. There is a great deal of lassitude and indifference to labor or work. An hour seems to them half a day. They are exceedingly peevish and fretful; and here you find Alumina rivalling Nux vomica and also Bryonia.
We find it indicated in anaemia, and also in chlorosis, especially in young girls at puberty, when the menses are pale and scanty, and there is an abnormal craving for certain indigestible articles, such as slate pencils, chalk,
whitewash, etc. The leucorrhcea to which they are subject is usually transparent, and quite ropy and tenacious, or else is composed of yellowish mucus, which is profuse, sometimes running down the limbs to the feet. This exhausts them very much, because it is rich in albumen.
Now in nervous affections. Alumina has been used in nervous affections of a very grave character. Boenninghausen used the metal Aluminium for the following symptoms in that dreaded disease, locomotor ataxia: frequent dizziness; objects turn in a circle; ptosis, diplopia or strabismus; inability to walk in the dark or with the eyes
closed without staggering; feels as if walking on cushions. There is formication, or sensation as from creeping of ants in the back and legs. The nates go to sleep when sitting. The heels become numb when walking. A feeling in the face as though it was covered with cobwebs, or as though the white of an egg had dried on it. Pain in the
back, as though a hot iron were thrust into the spine.
You have at once the key to its dyspepsia, nasal catarrh, sore throat and constipation. There is dryness of the mucous membranes. After a while, there is formation of mucus, which is thick, yellow, and very difficult of detachment. Let me show you a few illustrations of this. In the eyes, for instance, it will be indicated in blepharitis particularly, with great dryness of the conjunctiva. The lids feels stiff and they crack,
so dry are they. The nearest analogue here is Graphites, which has the same symptoms, only it has more bleeding than has Alumina.
Alumina is useful in asthenopia from irritated conjunctiva; also in granular lids and chronic blepharitis.
In nasal catarrh you will find Alumina indicated in children with great dryness of the nose, formation of scabs and remotely, thick, tenacious yellow phlegm or mucus, which is difficult of removal.
The cough indicating Alumina is dry and spasmodic. It is worse in the morning when the patient coughs until he detaches a small amount of tightly adherent mucus, which relieves for a while.
You find it indicated in disease of the throat, in a relaxed condition of the mucous membrane, just that condition you meet with in clergymen’s sore-throat. The throat is very dry on waking with husky, weak voice. It is dark red, the uvula elongated. The patient is better from hot drinks. Hoarseness appears worse in the morning,
with a feeling as of a splinter in the throat when swallowing.
There is a feeling of constriction along the oesophagus when swallowing food. The patient is always worse from
eating potatoes; that is a good indication for Alumina. There is aversion to meat and a craving for indigestible substances. The liver is sensitive to touch, and there are stitching pains in that organ, as under Bryonia. You find the constipation with urging to stool already described, even though the stool be not dry and hard. Piles itch and burn, and are moist.
Ref: Materia Medica lectures by Farringtom