Picricum acidum is a remedy of the mineral kingdom. The main theme of an acid is struggle followed by collapse; exertion and exhaustion. The struggle is constant. It is an effort that, the person feels, has to be made in a particular direction. At some point in this constant struggle, the patient is so exhausted that a small setback like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, leads to a state of collapse.
In Picricum acidum we see a tremendous effort in the direction of intellectual achievement. The main delusions in Picricum acidum are: “Delusion, arms reach the cloud when going to sleep”, “Delusion, tongue seems to reach the clouds when going to sleep” and in the original proving we have “Forehead seems to extend towards the clouds”. What do these delusions represent?
The forehead is for thinking, the hand is for writing and the tongue is for speaking. These are the three organs of intellectual activity and they feel stretched to the limit, extended right up to the clouds. Thus the main feeling in Picricum acidum is: “I feel that my intellectual capacity and organs used to express it are stretched far beyond their limits. So I now need to rest and bring them back to health.”
The situation of Picricum acidum is one where a man has extended his intellect beyond his limit, has used these organs beyond their limit so that they are stretched beyond the clouds and now he needs to shut up, cut off and take rest. To help him do this, he gets increased sexual thoughts; the opposite to the intellectual activity.
Thus in the failed state of Picricum acidum we see dullness, sluggishness, inability to think long, mental work becomes impossible. Such a state is reached usually in a person who had made a tremendous mental effort and is now exhausted – brain-fatigue. This may be seen, for example, in students preparing for highly competitive exams.
o Concentration difficult, studying, reading, etc., while.
o Dullness, think long, unable to.
o Prostration of mind, writing, after.
o Work, aversion to, mental.
o Fear, examination, of (Phatak’s Repertory).
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: http://hoacuoidep.info/homeopathy-papers/soul-of-remedies/