Phosphorus - General symptoms - NashPhosphurus, Phosphorous, Phosphor, Phosphur, Phosph, Phos.
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Below are the main rubriks (i.e strongest indications or symptoms) of Phosphorus in traditional homeopathic usage, not approved by the FDA.
Tall, slender, narrow-chested, phthisical patients, delicate eyelashes, soft hair or nervous, weak persons who like to be magnetized. Waxy, half anaemic, jaundiced persons.
Anxious, universal restlessness, cant stand or sit still. worse in dark or when left alone, before a thunder storm.
Burnings prominent in every place, as in mouth, stomach, small intestines, anus, between scapulae, intense, running up spine, palms of hands, heat begins in hands, spreads to face.
Craving for cold things, ice cream, which agrees, or cold water, which is thrown up as it gets warm in the stomach. Must eat often or he faints. Must get up at night to eat.
Sinking, faint, empty feeling in head, chest, stomach and whole abdominal cavity.
Cough, worse twilight till midnight, worse lying on left side, better on right side. Right lower lobe most affected.
Diarrhoea, profuse, pouring out as from a hydrant; watery with sagolike particles or dysenteric, with wide open anus.
Apathetic, unwilling to talk, answers slowly, moves sluggishly.
Constipation faeces slender, long, dry, tough and hard like a dog's; voided with difficulty.
Haemorrhagic diathesis; slight wounds bleed profusely, haemoptysis; metrorrhagia worse; vicarious, from nose, stomach, anus, urethra in amenorrhoea.
Cannot talk; the larynx is so painful; cough, going from warm to cold air, laughing, talking, reading, eating lying on left side (Drosera Rotundifolia Dros., Stan.).
As a general characteristic, Burning is almost as strong under Phosphorus as under Arsenicum Album Arsenicum and Sulphur Sulphur. There is no organ or tissue in which it may not be found, from the outer skin to the innermost surface of every tract or parenchyma. It may be subjective only without actual rise of temperature, or it may attend organic changes in malignant diseases, with great rise of temperature. The sensation of burning in an intense degree should always place Phosphorus in the front rank for consideration. Again, there is perhaps no remedy having stronger action on The Nervous System. It attacks it in its very citadel of strength, the brain and spinal cord, producing softening or atrophy with all its attendant symptoms in their order, as prostration, trembling, numbness, and complete paralysis. It does this in both acute and chronic form of disease.
Its action at the first may be characterized by a burning heat in various parts, and especially in the skin, with restless moving and anxiety, especially at twilight. Over-sensitiveness of all senses, such as external impressions; light, odors, noises, touch, etc., and later when organic changes have taken place the other extreme, of loss of motion, sensation, and sensitiveness obtains.
Then again Phosphorus attacks the bones in the form of necrosis. It is so especially of the lower jaw, but is also true of other parts, as the vertebrae; and I once cured a very extensive and long standing case of caries of the tibia with it.
Fatty degeneration of heart, liver and kidneys, with the characteristic anaemic condition, should call attention to Phosphorus. General emaciation, rapid or slowly progressing like atrophy in children, also comes under its tissue destroying power.
And so we find it to be a remedy of wide range and great power. But it is never enough for the homoeopathist to know simply the action in general upon any organ or set of organs. He must know how it acts differently from other remedies when acting upon the same tissue or organs. Now while Phosphorus acts upon the mind, to cause, "great anxiety and restlessness" as in other remedies, Aconite Aconite, Arsenicum Album Arsenicum, etc, it must be remembered that it is the anxiety and restlessness that precedes another state.
It belongs to a stage of irritation in the brain and nervous system which if not checked will go on to organic changes, which will be attended with a very different set of symptoms such as come for instance from actual brain softening in which appears apathy, sluggishness.. There is one particular symptom worthy of note the patient fears to be left alone.
There is no remedy that covers a greater variety of mind symptoms arising from brain trouble than Phosphorus. No remedy produces greater vertigo, with a longer list of various connections. I have found it one of the best and oftenest indicated for vertigo of the aged. Chronic congestion to the head is characteristic, and the sense of burning in the brain is prominent; the heat and congestion seems to come up from the spine. .
Heat running up the back is more characteristic of this than any other remedy. Deafness is prominent, and is peculiar, in that it is especially deafness to the human voice, a common symptom in the aged. The most frequent use I have made of the remedy in nose affections is in a chronic catarrh, in which the patient frequently blows small quantities of blood from the nose; the handkerchief is always bloody.
As I said when writing upon the tissues, the face of Phosphorus is characteristically pale and bloated around the eyes, but in pneumonia we often find circumscribed redness of the cheek upon the side of the lung inflamed. This is also true with Sanguinaria Nitrica Sanguinaria. About the mouth and tongue I do not know anything particularly characteristic. It has a peculiar symptom of the throat. The food swallowed comes up immediately as if it had never reached the stomach. This is supposed to be due to spasmodic stricture of the oesophagus.
Under appetite and thirst we have some very valuable indications for Phosphorus.
Hunger is one, must eat often or he faints; right after or soon after a meal, is hungry.
The thirst is also peculiar. He wants cold things, like Pulsatilla Pulsatilla, but as soon as they get warm in the stomach they are vomited.
Some people have an abnormal craving for salt, or salt food, and eat too much of it. Phosphorus is a good remedy to counteract the bad effects. (Nat Mur Nat. mur.).
We have many kinds of vomiting under Phosphorus, but nothing characteristic except the one already mentioned.
We have already spoken of the hungry, faint feeling in the stomach. Sometimes this is described as an empty, gone feeling, and here again we think of such remedies as Ignatia Ignatia, Hydrastis Canadensis Hydrastis, Sepia Sepia and others; but Phosphorus does not stop here with this sensation, but extends through the whole abdomen. No remedy has this feeling in the abdomen so strong as Phosphorus. Under stool and rectum occur some very characteristic symptoms also, for instance Stools profuse, watery, pouring away as from a hydrant, with lumps of white mucus, like grains of tallow. Stools bloody, with small white particles like opaque frog-spawn. Stools involuntarily oozing from a constantly open anus, or dysenteric stools with wide-open anus and great tenesmus. Constipation.
Phosphorus powerfully excites the sexual appetite in both sexes. It is almost irresistible, and leads the patient into a mania in which he will expose himself. This is succeeded by the opposite extreme of impotence, though the desire remains after the ability to perform is gone. Of course, these sexual symptoms are accompanied with concomitant symptoms of the drug.
In bronchitis the cough is tight, worse from evening to midnight, also from speaking, laughing, reading aloud (Argentum met.), cold, and lying on left side. The patient suppresses the cough with a moan just as long as he can, because it hurts him so. The whole body trembles with the cough.
It has great oppression of breathing in both acute and chronic affections of the lungs. There is heaviness, as of a weight on the chest. In pneumonia, for which Phosphorus is one of our best remedies, it attacks by preference the lower half of the right lung. It is apt to be indicated by the symptoms, either at the beginning of the stage of hepatization, when it puts a stop to the further progress of the disease, but its more frequent application comes in where the stage of hepatization is past and we want to break it up and promote absorption or resolution. Here it has no equal, as I am fully convinced by abundant experience.
Now, do not misunderstand and give the remedy blindly on a pathological indication only. If you do you will sometimes fail, and ought to. But I repeat, Phosphorus will oftener be found the indicated one here than any other. After the hepatization begins to break up, other remedies like Tartar emetic, Sulphur Sulphur and Lycopodium Lycopodium will come in.
In pleuritis you will find stitches in the left side increased by lying upon the left side. Remember in both affections Phosphorus is characteristically increased by lying upon the left side.
In tuberculosis, it is oftenest indicated in the incipient stage with symptom of cough, oppression and general weakness already mentioned; but I have often found it indicated in the later stages, and if given very high and in the single dose and not repeated have seen it greatly benefit even incurable cases. If given too low and repeated it will fearfully aggravate.
One of the most characteristic symptoms of Phosphorus is, "feeling of intense heat running up the back." Again the burning may be in spots along the spine. Also it has intense heat burning between the scapula (See also Lycopodium Lycopodium.) These, like the rest of the burning of Phosphorus, often occur in diseases of the spine and nervous system, but not necessarily so. Like Zincum Metallicum Zinc, these burnings may be purely subjective, but are none the less valuable as therapeutic indications.
Another very characteristic symptom of Phosphorus is burning of the hands. It is as strong as the burning feet of Sulphur Sulphur, and is found both in acute and chronic diseases; cannot bear to have the hands covered. The flashes of heat all over (which Phosphorus has) begin in the hands and spread from there even to the face. It now remains to call attention to the Constitution of Phosphorus.
1. "Tall, slender persons of sanguine temperament, fair skin, blonde or red hair, quick, lively perception and sensitive nature."
2. "Tall, slender phthisical patients, delicate eyelashes, soft hair."
3. "Tall, slender women disposed to stoop."
4. "Young people who grow too rapidly and are inclined to stoop."
5. "Nervous, weak persons who like to be magnetized."
Now, in number four there is not the tendency to grow fat, like Calc Carb Calcarea carbonica, but tall, and you will notice that the Phosphorus element in Calc phos Calcarea phosphorica takes away the fat producing property of the Calc Carb Calcarea element.
Now, in closing, we desire to say we have only touched upon the wonderful virtues of Phosphorus, which must be studied in its entirety. Enough, however, we trust to convince of its great value.