Picric acid, a poisonous substance prepared from carbolic acid, nitric acid, and sulfuric acid, forms the basis of the homeopathic remedy picric ac. This poisonous substance was discovered way back in 1788. Picric acid has a potent action on the liver resulting in weight loss and jaundice. The homeopathic remedy derived from this poisonous substance was approved about a century later in 1868 and used to cure mental exhaustion and the spinal cord's degenerative conditions.
In its natural state, picric acid is an extremely potent acid that is used in explosives. In homeopathy, it is used as a medicine for treating ‘burn out' or exhaustion. When used as a remedy for neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion), picric acid is beneficial for people enduring pernicious or fatal anemia as well as exhausted conditions wherein the other symptoms are equivalent. In addition, in homeopathy, picric acid is effective for treating hackneyed minds of the students and business persons, particularly when the overused condition precipitates a headache. In such conditions, the headache is usually on the top of the head or behind the head and has the possibility of spreading out into the eyes.
When people undergo such types of headaches, their mental condition becomes somewhat indifferent accompanied by absence of determination or will power. In addition, as soon as one starts working, they feel exhausted and only after performing little task, they are unable to do more and need to stop working. Besides, such people also find it difficult to get their thoughts together. Some of the patients may also experience intense thirst. Men suffering from such headaches may have a high libido or desire for sexual activity, which may eventually disturb their sleep. This condition may also make it difficult for the patients to fall asleep or feel restless when they are awake. Exposure to fresh air aids in relieving the exhaustion. In addition, the patients get comfort when they are lying on their back quietly. On the other hand, the symptoms worsen when the patients need to climb stairs. Such people are very susceptible to heat, especially exposure to the sun, while their symptoms deteriorate when they are exposed to chill.
The homeopathic remedy picric acid is commonly prescribed to treat prolonged mental fatigue (brain fag), debility and pain in the back, muscular weakness, prostration (extreme mental or emotional depression), myelitis (inflammation of the bone marrow) accompanied by spasms, neurasthenia (physical and mental exhaustion) and writer's palsy (writer's cramp or spasms). Symptoms that may be effectively cured using picric acid include fatigue, pins and needle sensation in extremities and a heavy feeling. Patients requiring this homeopathic remedy usually feel better when they are exposed to cold air; drink cold water and endure tight pressure. Symptoms deteriorate when they wake up after sleep; are exposed to wet weather; during summer and having the minimum exertion, particularly mental.
The preparation of picric acid involves a chemical reaction of nitric acid on carbolic acid or phenylic, salicine, indigo, silk and other substances. Alternatively, this acid may also be obtained from Australian gum or coal tar. Precisely speaking, picric acid is obtained following the action of creosote on nitric acid or, alternately, by dissolving pure crystallized carbolic acid in sulfuric acid and treating the resultant product with sodium nitrate or nitric acid.
Picric acid is distinguished by its light yellowish gleaming scales and when added to any other substance, it imparts a yellow color to the solution. This toxic acid is soluble in water, alcohol and also in ether and possesses an extremely astringent taste.
Picric acid is basically a poisonous substance that is mostly used in dyeing as it produces a yellow pigment or when it is blended with indigo or Prussian blue, the acid produces a green color. The salts of picric acid easily form crystals and they also detonate violently when they are exposed to high temperatures. Hence, it is advisable that chemists should try and avoid handling such hazardous compounds by trituration (pulverizing) since it generates substantial heat.
By nature, picric acid is crystalline and possesses a pale yellow color. As aforementioned this poisonous acid is bitter to taste and easily dissolves in water, alcohol and ether. At the same time, picric acid sublimes with no putrefaction and blows up when heated. It may be noted that the sodium and potassium salts are very unsteady for being used in medicine preparations as they are violently explosive salts. In such a situation, ammonium salt is the only one that is commonly used for this purpose.
Picric acid works as a nauseating depressant. When taken in excessive or poisonous doses, picric acid not only reduces the temperature of the patient, but also the blood pressure and results in superficial breathing; fast, but weak action of the heart; extreme debility, excessive diarrhea accompanied by stomach pain and bowels. Some may also collapse. In addition, in a number of instances, there are convulsions which may lead to eventual death.
This poisonous acid provides color to the blood serum, increases the white corpuscles materially and also modifies the disposition of the red blood cells. The action of picric acid as a homeopathic remedy is taken into account in the action of ammonium picrate (an ammonium salt of picric acid).
While using picric acid as a homeopathic medication, in a number of instances, the solution is just swept over the affected or burnt skin surface very carefully. Subsequently, gauze is placed on the affected surface and a light bandage is tied for a few days.
Stains caused by the application of picric acid can be removed using alcohol, any strong soap or even a solution of boric acid.
The main use of the homeopathic remedy picric acid is for curing acute mental exhaustion following protracted mental tension that results in an indifference as well as absence of will power accompanied by a helplessness to take on new things or think and even talk clearly. Generally, people enduring such a health condition may also experience a burning and numbing sensation all along the spinal cord. This medical condition is quite common among students who study continuously for hours prior to any examination. The patients also experience a common feeling of weightiness all throughout the body. Such cases of mental exhaustion may be associated with headaches and boils in the external part of the ear. The acute mental exhaustion may also be caused by grief or misery.
In addition, several prominent homeopathic medical practitioners use this homeopathic remedy for treating shallow or superficial burns. However, using picric acid to treat widespread or deep burn is not advisable since there may be a risk of poisoning. The treatment procedure for burns with picric acid involves soaking sterilized gauze with 5% solution of the homeopathic remedy which is applied all over the burnt surface. Subsequently, a light dressing is placed on the injured area and the entire thing is held in place by applying a light bandage. Three days after applying the bandage, it is completely dampened using a solution of picric acid since it becomes very dry. It is safe to remove the bandage after it is moistened and the affected area is somewhat hydrated with the acid solution. In case the burn injury has not healed substantially, a second dressing with picric acid may be applied in the same process as was followed in the first instance. The homeopathic remedy picric acid is known to alleviate the pain to a great extent and, at the same time, facilitate the healing process. When the wound no longer exudes pus and granulation begins to form, a simple dressing may be used instead of the dressing with picric acid and the covering bandage.
Picric acid is a poisonous substance prepared chemically using nitric acid, carbolic acid and sulfuric acid.
- From Dr. Saif
- Never ever smell the pure picric acid; it may lead to its proving sooner or later and may degenerate the spinal cord, etc.