Arsenic Album 30 Homeopathy – Arsenicum Album Materia Medica

  • Mentally restless but physically too weak
  • Rapid prostration, out of proportion to disease
  • Worse after midnight
  • Burning thirst for sips of cold water at short intervals
  • Burning pains, better heat

Source: Mineral kingdom

Synonyms: White oxide of arsenic, Arsenious oxide, Arsenic trioxide

Prover: Dr Hahnemann

Duration of Action: Short acting remedy, it may act for over 30 days in chronic conditions

Miasmatic Background: Psora, syphilis and sycosis

Temperament: Very fastidious

Diathesis: Scrofulous

Thermal Relationship: Chilly patient

Introduction and History: Arsenic is known to the world as a medicine from ancient times; in olden days it was used as a medicine in China and India. Arsenic is always compared with a race of horses for its restlessness. It is very poisonous when taken in fatal doses. It is one of the most frequently used remedies in both acute and chronic diseases.

Description: It is a white and transparent amorphous lump or crystalline powder, odourless but stable in air. It is slowly soluble in water. The amorphous variety is more soluble than the crystalline variety. It is sparingly soluble in alcohol and completely soluble in glycerine. It may be obtained by roasting certain Arsenic ores. Being poisonous, it is not sold to common people.

Constitution and Physiognomy: Patient is very fastidious and debilitated, weak, lean and thin, has a restless, sunken face. Skin is dirty and waxy.

Ailments From: Tobacco chewing, insect bites, grief, fright, shock, ptomaine poisoning, by taking ice cream, decayed food, by drinking alcohol.

Seat of Action (Pharmacodynamics): Mind, heart, nerves, lungs, respiratory system, lymphatic glands, spleen, liver, digestive system, mucous membrane, skin, blood, etc.

Physiological Action

  1. It is poisonous and proves fatal when taken in physiological fatal doses, but acts as a medicine when prepared homeopathically.
  2. Applied to the skin, arsenic acts as a caustic and produces violent inflammation with sloughing of parts. When small doses are taken internally it has a tonic effect upon the nervous system and circulation, increasing the flow of saliva and gastric and intestinal juices, stimulating peristalsis and improving digestive and nutritive functions.
  3. Toxic doses produce violent gastroenteritis with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea; dryness of the mouth and throat with burning in the stomach.
  4. The heart becomes irritable and weak; fatty degeneration of the heart muscles ensues
  5. Red corpuscles of blood are decreased in number and the blood becomes less coagulable.
  6. The urine becomes scanty, albuminous and bloody; the skin is dry and scurfy. This is followed by herpetic, eczematous or urticarious eruptions, bronzing and exfoliation.
  7. Hair and nails may fall.
  8. The nervous system is also profoundly affected with disorders of motor and sensory functions and depression of the respiratory centers, tremors and multiple neuritis.
  9. Toxic doses increase the body temperature, although the extremities are cold.
  10. Death from arsenical poisoning follows exhaustion and collapse.
  11. The poison is found in the urine, saliva, tears and sweat.
  12. Fatty degeneration in general, affecting kidneys, liver, stomach, heart and muscles particularly.

Physio-pathological Changes (Pathology)

  1. It acts on the mucous membrane of the alimentary canal and produces cholera-like symptoms.
  2. It acts on lymphatic and other glands, producing induration, suppuration; also causes inflammation and swelling with burning pain.
  3. Acts on skin and produces burning, itching eruptions and ulcers. It acts as a caustic and produces violent inflammation with sloughing of parts.
  4. Acts on blood producing ecchymosis, slight haemorrhage and sometimes septic changes.
  5. Due to it’s action it causes sudden emaciation; skin is pale and waxy with general anasarca.
  6. Acts on joints producing swelling and burning pain.
  7. Heart becomes irritable and weak. Fatty degeneration of the heart muscles starts. Red corpuscles of blood decrease in number and the blood is rendered less coagulable.
  8. Urine becomes scanty, albuminous and bloody.
  9. In small doses it increases the flow of saliva, gastric and intestinal juices, stimulating peristalsis, improving digestive and nutritive functions.
  10. The nervous system is profoundly affected with disorders of motor and sensory functions and depression of respiratory functions.
  11. In almost all organs, fatty degeneration sets in.
  12. Toxic doses produce violent gastroenteritis with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Characteristic Mental Symptoms (Psychology)

  1. Patient is mentally restless, very anxious and anguished.
  2. Great fear of death when alone, fear of going to bed at midnight.
  3. Patient is extremely fastidious, wants everything neat, clean and in order. Hence, Arsenicum is known as ‘a gold headed cane patient.
  4. Thinks that he is going to die because his disease is incurable and there is no use in taking medicines.
  5. Weakness of memory, sad and awful.
  6. Patient picks up bedclothes because he sees all kinds of worms in bed.
  7. Determined to commit suicide, fears he will have to murder someone.
  8. Aversion to people, does not wants to mix with people, thinks that he has offended them.
  9. Hallucination of sight and smell.
  10. Patient is very melancholic, depressed and fearful.
  11. Dreams of thunderstorms, death, fire and darkness.
  12. Religious insanity, in delirium and during sleep; he weeps and screams due to pain.
  13. Cannot find rest anywhere, changes place continuously. Wants to go from one bed to another.
  14. Patient is too weak to move.
  15. He is very selfish, lacks courage.

Characteristic Physical Guiding Symptoms

Prostration: Great prostration, weakness and restlessness with sinking of vital force.

Burning: Internal and external burning all over the body; affected parts burn like fire, burning pains relieved by heat, hot drinks and hot applications.

Anxiety: Anxiety with restlessness and fear of death.

Thirst: Burning and unquenchable thirst for small quantities of cold water at short intervals followed by vomiting.

Periodicity: Complaints returns periodically; for example, everyday, every third day, every fourth day, every fortnight, very week, etc.

Putridity: Discharges from the body are foetid and of cadaveric odour.

Acridity: All secretions and excretions are acrid and excoriate the parts; even their touch produces redness and burning.

Dryness: Internal and external parts become very dry. Skin becomes rough; even the lips are dry and cracked due to dryness.

Shrivelling: Pale face, wrinkled skin, prematurely old looking.

Bleeding: Bleeding from nose, lungs, boils, uterus, kidneys, throat, etc.; every part bleeds very easily,

Dyspnoea: Difficult breathing; asthma, also dyspnoea; aggravation at night. Suffocation with anxiousness.

Sensitiveness: Patient is very sensitive to all noises, light, talking, touch, smell, etc.

Violence: Sudden inflammation; violent and sudden erysipelatous inflammation; parts suddenly become gangrenous followed by marked, sudden weakness.

Irritability: Stomach is very irritable, everything comes out after taking it in, even water is vomited though the patient drinks only sips of Water at frequent intervals.

Right-sideness: It is a right sided remedy; complaints generally start from the right side, because the right side is predominantly affected.

Puffiness: Odematous swelling of the eyelids, face, lower extremities, glands and general anasarca; skin is pale and waxy.

Fear: Great fear of death, thinks that he suffers from an incurable disease and there is no use in taking medicine; so refuses take any medicine.

Emaciation: There is rapid and sudden emaciation of the body parts.

Faintness: Nausea and faintness from the odour of fish, meat and eggs.

Diarrhoea: Diarrhoea after taking cold drinks, ice cream, cold food, etc.

Restlessness: Patient is very restless, too weak to walk physically. It is one of the Nash’s Trio of Restlessness.

Important Characteristic Features

Asthma: Asthma worse at midnight. Burning in chest, suffocative catarrh. Cough worse after midnight, worse lying on back. Expectoration scanty, frothy. Darting pain through upper third of right lung. Burning pain all over; for dry cough; haemoptysis; complaints with restlessness and prostration; unable to lie down, fear of suffocation.

Fever: High temperature. Periodicity marked with dilemma; septic fever; paralysis incomplete, with marked exhaustion. Hay fever, cold sweat, complete restlessness, great heat at about 3 am. There is a total image of death during fever – eyes are sunken; lips, mouth and tongue are cracked, black, sore, even the teeth and gums bleed during fever.

Diarrhoea: Gastric derangement from cold food, ice cream, ice water, sausages and alcoholic drinks. Stools are watery, acrid, scanty and offensive with vomiting and burning in the abdomen; enlargement of liver with diarrhoea and vomiting. Dysentery – dark, bloody, very offensive. Due to diarrhoea, skin around anus is excoriated. All complaints are associated with fear of death.

Cholera: It is a very good medicine for cholera. Main causes include consuming decayed food, ice cream, ptomaine poisoning, sour beer, etc. Cholera stools are rice watery in colour, having a very offensive smell, marked restlessness and anxiety with great prostration and weakness; diarrhoea worse at night 12-2 am. Sometimes, the colour of stool is blackish; patient is very fastidious with an intense thirst for cold water in small quantities at short intervals. Much anxiety with fear of death; burning sensation all over the body except head.

Thirst, nausea and vomiting: In Arsenicum there and burning and unquenchable thirst for cold and small quantities of water at short intervals. Patient drinks sips of cold water very often. Even the smell of food causes nausea and vomiting; patient takes cold water but as there is irritability of stomach it causes immediate vomiting. Patient is very restless with anxiety.

Fear: In Arsenicum there is great fear of death. Patient is very worried about his illness. He thinks that his illness is incurable and there is no use in calling the doctor and taking medicines because he is not going to get cured at all. Hence, refuses to take medicines. Master Kent said, dread of death when alone, on going to bed, he jumps out of the bed with fear, thinks that he is going to die or suffocate. Sometimes fear drives him out of bed; he hides in a closet. He is violent, increase of fear and horror in the dark. Many complaints come in the evening as darkness approaches. Arsenicum patient is very restless and anxious, too weak to walk. The patient becomes very irritable and sensitive. (In Aconite also there is fear of death, but the patient tells the exact date and time of death; he also thinks that he can be cured by taking medicine).

Restlessness: This is one of the Nash’s Trio of Restlessness. Mentally restless, but physically too weak to move, cannot rest in any place. Changes place continuously, wants to be moved from one bed to another. The greater the suffering the greater the anguish, restlessness and fear of death; every movement is followed by exhaustion. Thus, an Arsenicum patient is restless, both mentally and physically. The other medicines of Nash’s Trio of Restlessness are, Rhus toxicodendron where the patient is restless physically and Aconitum where the patient is restless mentally.

Burning: It is one of the Nash’s Trio of Burning medicines. Burning is very peculiar-burning pains, the affected parts burn like fire, as if hot coals were applied to parts, better by heat, hot drinks and hot application. Burning pain in eyes, nostrils, mouth, throat, stomach, bowels, haemorrhoids, bladder, urethra, ovaries, genitalia especially in breasts, chest, about the heart, spine, back, veins, ulcers of skin, cancer, carbuncles, etc.

General Modalities

Aggravation: By cold wind, cold bathing, cold food and drinks, lying on affected side, after midnight and midday that is 12-2 am/pm, by walking fast.

Amelioration: Rest, from heat in general, hot drinks, hot application, from eating, lying with head high.

Remedy Relationships

Complementary: Carb-v, Phos, Pyrog, Nat-s, Thuj.

Follows well: Bell, Arn, Acon, Lach, Chin.

Antidoted by: Camph, Carb-v, Chin.

Antidotal to: Graph, Chin, Carb-v, Hep, Lach, Nux-v, Verat, Ferr, Merc.


Boy’s complaints after using tobacco: Ars, Arg-n, Verat.

Cannot bear the smell or sight of food: Ars, Colch, Sep.

Burning pain of carbuncles: Anthraci, Ars, Tarent.

Cholera, when vomiting predominates with great prostration: Ars, Bism, Verat.

Aphthae, prevents child from nursing, with hot mouth, dryness and thirst: Ars, Borx.

Desires very hot drinks, unless boiling, stomach will not retain them: Ars, Chel, Casc.

Diarrhoea while eating or nursing: Ars, Arg-n, Crot-t.

Morbid fear of cholera: Ars, Nit-ac.

Burning in every organ or tissue of the body: Ars, Phos, Sulph.

Diarrhoea from ice cream, cold drinks or cold foods: Ars, Bry, Puls.

Great restlessness, anxiety and apprehension: Acon, Ars, Rhus-t.

Burning as if sparks of fire falling on the patient: Ars, Sec.

Vomiting worse by drinking: Ars, Verat.

Diarrhoea with cold sweat on forehead and prostration: Ars, Tabac, Verat.

Anxiety at night: Ars, Puls.

Censorious (critical): Ars, Sulph.

Despair of recovery: Ars, Calc, Psor.

Warm drinks ameliorate: Ars, Nux-V. Rhus-t.

Potency: 3x, 6x, 12x, 30, 200, 1000. Lower potency can be used in malignant cases.

Arsenic Album Dosage

Lower potencies are used in malignant tissues and blood diseases; for example, anaemia, leukaemia, cancer, malarial cachexia, psoriasis, etc.

Higher potencies are used in nervous and mental ailments.

Highest potencies act brilliantly when the general and keynote characteristic symptoms are present.

It should not be used in patients with very low vitality even if the characteristic symptoms of the remedy are present as it may produce rapid death without pain.

Repetition: The remedy may be repeated frequently in rapidly developing diseases; like in cholera, low potencies of Arsenicum may be repeated every 10 minutes till the condition improves.

Therapeutic Value: Abscess, Anaemia, Anasarca, Asthma, Cancer, Cholera, Cough, Diarrhoea, Dropsy, Fever, Gangrene, Gastric ulcer; Gout, Headache, Heart disease, Kidney disorders, Measles, Menstrual disorder; Nausea, Otorrhoea, Piles, Pleurisy, Pneumonia, Rheumatism, Skin diseases, Vomiting, Whooping cough, etc.

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