To understand the action of acid remedies in Homeopathy, let us first understand the basic principles of acids and their mode of action. An acid is a hydrogen containing substance that is capable of donating a proton (positive ion) to another substance. Their basic features include being sour in taste, corrosive by nature and good conductors of electricity. They are identified by their capability of turning blue litmus paper red and have a pH below 7. On reacting with metals, they produce hydrogen gas.
There are majorly two types of acids-
Mineral and Organic. Mineral acids are strong and corrosive by nature and have a majority of use in industrial settings, while organic acids are naturally occurring and serve various purposes.
In Homeopathy, acid remedies have a few common characteristics which have been listed below:
- Over sensitivity: Acids are quick at reacting and have rapid chemistries. This is seen in Acid remedies as well. They are usually hyperactive as well except in cases of debility and states of weakness. This extends to their mental sphere too.
- Halitosis: Since they are syphilitic remedies, internal breakdown and disintegration leads to a state of destruction and rotting which causes a significant symptom of halitosis accompanying almost all the acid remedies.
- Burning Sensation: Acids on reaction tend to burn, it is hence no surprise that this sensation accompanies complaints in these remedies.
- Thirst for Cold Water: There is a persistent thirst for cold water throughout the remedies, perhaps to counter the acidic nature of their constitution.
- Diabetes: The acid group makes good remedies for Diabetes as they have a common theme of destruction (of pancreas included) and a common symptom of increase in urination, increased thirst and lack of proper assimilation of food causing ailments and weakness.
- Nausea or Water brash: This is again a commonly seen symptom in the acid remedies. Stomach produces gastric acid which naturally gets amplified in these remedies resulting in acidity and water brash along with tendency to ulceration.
- Heat Aggravation: Acids on reaction produce burning and scarring, this requires heat to be given off. Acidic remedies are similarly worse by heat because of their constitution being hot itself such as Acidum Aceticum, Acidum Fluoricum, etc. Acid Phosphoricum is a chilly remedy as its complaints arise from a loss of vital fluids. It should also be remembered that Phosphoric acid is comparatively a weak acid so much so that it is added to even food products for its fruity taste.
- Rheumatism: Another condition after Diabetes commonly seen in Acid remedies is of Rheumatism. It should be remembered that rheumatism is also a result of destruction of the synovial fluid between the joints or erosion of bony structures, conditions that are results of syphilitic constitutions.
- Relief by wearing Tight clothes: The best way to remember this symptom is to consider that acids are often kept closed in tight lids to prevent them from reacting with their surroundings. This keeps them at ease similar to how acid remedies feel better on wearing tight clothing that keeps them constricted.
- Indifference towards loved ones: Acid remedies are said to be hateful and vindictive. Rather the emotion arises from a lack of affection towards loved ones and an attempt to evade responsibilities towards them. This makes them seem selfish and egoistic when in fact it is a lack of being able to form a warm bond. Acids can make very dutiful family members, being good children in childhood, and providing for their families efficiently as adults but the emotion it comes from is not affection but a sense of responsibility which in pathological states they begin to detest and dislike.
- Hemorrhages: Corrosive nature of acids runs deep and leads to disorders that can cause bleeding and hemorrhages. It is another syphilitic trait.
- Night Aggravation: Like all syphilitic remedies, it is expected that acid remedies would also get worse at night unlike in the day time.
- Growths: Acid remedies have a rapid action in carcinomatous growths such as is seen in epithelioma of lip in Acetum Acidicum or as in Acidum Lacticum in case of lump in vocal cords.
- Dislike for Meat: Acid remedies in general have a lack of appetite but a dislike for meat is commonly seen too.
- Desire for Stimulants: There is a desire for alcohol or tea or coffee or for smoking but mostly these are intolerable, i.e., cause a worsening of symptoms since they are already sensitive patients.
These are some of the commonly running themes seen in acid remedies.
It should however be remembered that the totality of symptoms supersedes the specific symptoms and a good Homoeopath should always prescribe based on totality.
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