Author: Jan Scholten
Homeopathy and the Elements
2.15.1 Ammonium causticum
In homoeopathic language ordinary ammonia is called Ammonium causticum because of its ‘caustic’ action. Its chemical formula is NH3 and when it is dissolved in water it becomes alkaline NH4OH. The Ammoniums are made up of NH4+, which behaves more or less like any other cation with a single positive charge, and a negatively charged anion. The Ammoniums have already been described in ‘Homeopathy and Minerals’. The themes are the same as the ones discussed previously, but we now know more about the relationship between Nitrogen and Hydrogen.
To get an idea what the Ammoniums feel like just imagine yourself taking a breath of ammonia. You’ll quickly shrink back and screw up your face in revulsion.
In the old days the Egyptians used to make ammonium carbonate by burning camel dung inside tall chimneys and then scraping the residue off the walls. The word caustic means burning or biting (as in caustic soda or Natrium hydroxide) and is also used metaphorically to mean sarcastic. Another word that describes this property of the ammoniums is ‘lye’. All the Hydroxides are lyes or alkali, but in homeopathy we know very little about this group. Natrium oxide and water turns into Natrium hydroxide: Na2 + H2O -> 2Na(OH)2. The alkali are related to soaps, which are considered to be a weaker form of alkali. So the alkali are associated with the hydroxides, which are the opposite of the acids (well known in homeopathy). Acid + alkaline gives water: H+ + OH- -> H2O. The alkali are the opposites of the acids, but they are very similar in their burning and biting properties.
Unity Symbiosis Assertiveness
Total Real Enthusiasm
Eternal Tension Congestion
Active Lively Fresh Sociable Enjoying life
Apathy Stocks fat
Fear of narrow spaces
Total idealism: idealising
Exhausted in idealism: disappointment.
Exhausted through idealism: rancour.
Actively unforgiving: critical.
Isolation through loss of assertiveness.
Unforgiving and isolated.
Picture of Ammonium causticum
Essence: Idealism followed by rancour.
Total idealism: idealising
Idealising too much often results in disappointment. The Ammoniums tend to make everything bigger and better in their minds. They are so keen for everything to be perfect that they are inclined to overlook the negative sides, at least in the initial stages.
Exhausted in idealism: disappointment
Sooner or later they get disappointed as the reality can’t always live up to their ideals. Or rather, their ideals get such a battering from reality that in the end there is nothing left. That is when the disappointment hits them.
Exhausted through ideals: rancour
Their disappointment in life turns to discontent accompanied by bitterness and resentment. Rancour and resentment are key words in the Ammonium pathology. They harbour a deep grudge towards the object of their disappointment. From then on they won’t trust anybody as far as that is concerned.
It is as if they go into something as far as they can go and when they find the bottom there is nothing left but a feeling of emptiness.
Actively unforgiving; critical
Their resentment expresses itself in an extremely critical attitude towards life. Nothing can escape their criticism. They may call it humour, but all it amounts to is a cynicism that kills everything. Their sarcasm labels everything as negative, suspect, corrupt, shitty etc.
Isolation without assertiveness: closed
But usually they keep their feelings to themselves, especially in the later stages. They simply don’t understand how other people can carry on as if nothing is the matter. Can’t they see that it is all lies, that the world is totally corrupt? They don’t say much but when they do it is in the form of a cutting and very cynical remark.
Fears: vague (2!), unknown (!), life, strangers, future, travelling, flying, open spaces, crowds, failure, disease, operations, cancer, death.
Dreams: a large building (space, Hydrogen) where they get lost and can’t get out of. (being stuck, Nitrogen).
Irritability: Irritable, resentful (3!), angry, cynical, sarcastic.
Mood: timid, uncertain, indecisive, -> support, listless, meaningless, disappointed (3), gloomy, suicidal.
Mental: confused, slow, orientation problems, lack of concentration, forgetful, dementia.
Religion: magic, obsessive.
Contacts: reserved, closed, think long before they speak, don’t say much.
Causes: neglect, abuse, incest, parents absent, addicted or weak, loss of parents and protectors.
Build: obese or thin.
Weather: cold, < cold, < outside.
Time: < 3 am.
Desires: coffee (2), chocolate (2), sweet, salt, sour, tobacco, alcohol, beer, bread, cold drinks.
Aversion: meat, milk.
Food: > eating; < potatoes, alcohol, fasting, hot drinks.
Physical: lying down, massage; < stretching.
Pains are biting and burning.
Discharges are acrid and can cause ulceration. Often watery and yellow.
Exhaustion. Strictures and stenosis.
Lung problems, emphysema.
Sciatica. Inflammation of joints and contractions.
Skin and mucus membranes bright red, swollen with burning pains.
DD Nitricums: are more focused on material pleasures. The Ammoniums look for a more mental or spiritual enjoyment, which shows in their idealism. They want to enjoy the ideal situations.
DD Acidums: are also aggressive, but much more openly so. The Ammoniums are more closed and express their resentment via sarcasm and cynicism.
DD Causticum: is also disappointed and embittered about the injustice of it all, but particularly about social injustice.
DD Natriums: they are closed and can be quite gloomy too, but there is much more hurt than resentment. We can clearly see the difference when we compare Natrium carbonicum and Ammonium carbonicum: Natrium carbonicum is refined and dignified, while Ammonium carbonicum is usually full of resent-ment and quite blunt about it.
DD Magnesiums: can be aggressive too, but are usually more open. When they hold back their aggression it is not so much from a sense of resentment but more because they are afraid of losing others.
DD hate and resentment: There are some alterations we could make in the repertory under the rubric ‘hatred’. Ammonium carbonicum and Ammonium muriaticum are only printed in plain type. They could really be upgraded to italics or bold type like the other Ammoniums. And although Nitric acid is correctly graded as bold type, I do not agree with Natrium muriaticum also being there in bold type. In my opinion this is too strong and plain type would be sufficient. Natrium muriaticum doesn’t have so much hatred: it is more a remedy of sadness and bitterness.