Kali bromatum has been proved, but the greater part of the pathogenesis is made up of symptoms observed in allopathic overdosings, to which are added symptoms cured in the practice of homeopaths.
In old-school practice K. bro. has been given in epileptic and other convulsive affections rather with the idea of overwhelming disease than of curing it. The effect has been in numberless cases to reduce or prevent the recurrence of tits at the expense of keeping the patient constantly under the influence of the drug and producing a state of mental hebetude or actual imbecility, “decreasing the excitability and power of the motor cells of the brain” (Alberton). Along with this it has produced a great variety of skin eruptions. At the same time, K. bro. has a decidedly specific relation to epilepsy and the epileptic state, and in its own cases will cure in the attenuations.
K. bro. has a very profound action on the generative organs and the mental side of the generative sphere: sensual, lascivious fancies; satyriasis and nymphomania and finally impotence and wasting of the sexual organs. The cases of epilepsy in which it is curative are chiefly those associated with sexual excess or abuse in men; and those in which the fits occur during or near the menstrual period in women.
The power of K. bro. over the sexual sphere is very great. In my allopathic days I have often known a few grains of the salt given at bedtime permanently relieve youths who were troubled with erections and sexual excitement on going to bed. It might have acted as well in the attenuations, but it could not have done better. It is indicated also in cases of epilepsy occurring at the new moon; and when headache follows the fit. In spasms from fright, anger, or emotional disturbances in nervous, plethoric persons; during parturition, dentition, whooping-cough, in Bright’s disease. One of the most troublesome “accidents” of the allopathic use of K. bro. is the production of eruptions of many kinds, but most notably acne. Acne has a very definite relation to the sexual organs, being especially noticeable at puberty and, in women at the menstrual period. I know of no remedy of such universal usefulness in cases of simple acne as K. bro. 30. It has produced moist eruptions and pityriasis of the scalp. The sebaceous follicles are particularly affected, which should give it a place in seborrhœa. Erythema nodosum was observed in some patients under its influence. The moral and intellectual faculties are greatly disordered. The memory is lost: forgets how to talk; aphasic, has to be told the word before he can speak it. Depressed, melancholic; uncontrollable weeping. “Feel as if they would lose their minds.” Restlessness and sleeplessness from worry. Staggering gait; ataxia; numbness and tingling in legs and spine, with increase in sexual appetite. “Fidgety hands”; fingers must be playing with something; twitching of fingers; cannot sit still. Night terrors in children from over excitability of brain; from worry; during dentition. Cholera infantum with hydrocephalic symptoms. Drowsiness is one of the notes of the drug: “Drops asleep in his chair, and if aroused falls asleep again immediately.” The deep sleep may be broken by a start, though waking is very difficult. Confused dreams. Benumbed sensation of brain. Reflexes are diminished, and there is general loss of general sensibility, and also of certain parts, particularly fauces, larynx, and urethra. This depressed state has another side to it in the curious restlessness and fidgetiness. In the lungs pulmonary œdema or suffocative bronchitis may develop; the patient may become cachectic and the condition resemble typhoid fever (Amory Hare).
Wenzel Heyberger has recorded (H. R., ii. 215) a case of diabetes in a lady, 68, cured with K. bro. The patient had been ill five months and was reduced to a skeleton. She first noticed a remarkably good appetite but after meals had heartburn and eructations. Then there was polyuria and frequent disturbances at night to pass water. Weak in the head, confused, memory impaired. Vision almost gone. Rushing and roaring in ears. Tormenting thirst. Stools difficult and delayed. Powders medicated with K. bro. 2 were given, one every six hours. The first night the patient slept without disturbance and the quantity of urine and proportion of sugar diminished. After about six-weeks the improvement seemed to stop and K. bro. was given in allopathic doses, but this aggravated the condition. K. bro. 2 was resumed, and the case went on to a cure. Hale cured with K. bro. many cases of cholera infantum, and one case of “violent periodic umbilical colic, leaving tenderness on pressure.” The characteristic hour of recurrence is 5 p.m.
Another feature of the K. bro. action is in relation to new growths. A number of cases of ovarian cyst have disappeared under its action, also fibroids and fatty tumours. The acne-producing property of the drug shows its relation to sebaceous secretions, and it has removed sebaceous cysts and wens. In connection with ovarian tumours or other affections, or independently, there may be uterine hæmorrhage─metrorrhagia or menorrhagia. It may arise from reflected irritation and may be accompanied with sexual excitement. But that is not necessarily the case. “Flooding, especially in young women,” is Hering’s indication.
Burford has used it extensively in such cases and generally in attenuations approaching the crude. K. bro. is more particularly adapted to persons inclined to obesity; to children; to nervous women.
More symptoms have been noted on the right side than on the left.
Among the remarkable sensations are:
“Parts feel as if growing large.”
“Paroxysms of numbness; feels as if needles were pricking him.”
A marked periodicity appears in the symptoms (which itself relates the drug to epilepsy); symptoms recur paroxysmally. Every 2, 3, or 24 hours. Twice a week; fortnightly; at new moon.
Urticaria in winter.
Most symptoms are < at night. < 2 a.m. regularly. There is chilliness in a hot room; and itching during high temperature. < In hot weather; < in summer. Skin > in cold weather. Vertigo is < by stooping. Cough < lying down. The old-school contra-indications for the Bromides are: General asthenia and feebleness of the nervous system; post-typhoidal and post-puerperal insanity; senile softening of the brain; and when the gastro-intestinal mucous membrane is irritated (Hare). These are keynotes for K. bro. in high attenuations.