Arsenicum album

Dr. S.R. Phatak describes the clinically confirmed symptoms of the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum Album in his Concise Materia Medica, published in 1977….


      A very deep acting remedy, affecting every organ and tissue. MENTALLY the patient is extremely nervous; restless and anxious. Discharges of MUCOUS MEMBRANES are ACRID, THIN and SCANTY; coryza, saliva, sweat etc. Blood is disorganized causing pernicious type of anaemia and severe septic conditions. Haemorrhages, black, offensive. Weakness and emaciation is rapid. The prostration seems to be out of proportion to the rest of his illness. Pains are maddening, BURNING LIKE FIRE; hot needles or wires better heat. Pains are even felt during sleep; awake the patient. Pains cause shortness of breath or chilliness. Pains alternating between head, stomach or body. It acts on the nerves producing inveterate neuralgias and multiple neuritis better heat. Frequent fainting. Trembling, jerking, convulsions and choreic twitchings. Sudden intense effects; SUDDEN GREAT WEAKNESS from trivial causes. VERY RESTLESS; restless even in affected part; even stupor is interrupted by fits of restlessness, with anxious moaning. Low vitality. Gradual loss of weight. PUTRID CADAVERIC ODOURS. Emaciation. Paralysis. Destructive process_carbuncles, gangrene, cancer; malignancy. Dropsy; pale, puffy, baggy, SWELLING. Spleen is enlarged in malarial fever, kala-azar. Child better when carried about quickly. Ill effects of eating ices; poor diet, fruits esp watery, tobacco, quinine, sea bathing and travelling, mountain climbing. Care, grief, fright, ptomaine poisoning, dissecting wounds. It is a prophylactic for yellow fever. Acute and chronic burns. Epilepsy; suddenly becomes unconscious with convulsions. Restlessness; then becomes drowsy.


      PERIODICALLY; MIDNIGHT; after midnight; After. 2 A.M.; 14 days; yearly. COLD; ICES, DRINKS; COLD FOODS; Cold air, cold and damp. VEGETABLES. Watery fruits. DRINKING LIQUIDS, ALCOHOLISM. Infections. Bad meat, food. Eruptions undeveloped or suppressed. Quinine. Lying on affected part. EXERTION. Tobacco, chewing. Sea shore.


      HOT; APPLICATIONS (Dry); FOOD; drinks. Warm wraps. Motion. Walking about. LYING, with head elevated. Sitting erect. Company. Sweating. Open air.


      Oversensitive. Anxious. Fastidious. Fault finding. ANGUISH; despair of recovery. EXACTING. AGONISING FEAR OF DEATH; yet tired of living, worse night. Fear; of death, from starvation; of financial loss. VIOLENCE; self torture, pulls her hair, bites her nails, tears his own body. Suicidal; impulses, mania Restless, changes place continually, wants to go from one bed to other; children are capricious, want to be carried; want to go from father to mother, to nurse. Melancholy. Sees vermin; throws away bugs by handfuls. Suspicious. Fear of being left alone, lest he do himself bodily harm. Fears he has murdered somebody. Miserly, malicious, selfish. Lacks courage. Irritable; increasingly. Sensitive to disorder. Delirium tremens. Dotage. Fixed ideas, hallucinations. Imagines house full of thieves; jumps and hides. Hasty. Sees ghosts day and night. Groans, moans and weeps, during menses. Her desire exceeds her needs. Does not want to meet his acquaintances, thinks he has offended them.


      Ache, congestive better cold, Restless head, it is in constant motion.Pain over left eye. Hemicrania, with icy feeling. Vertigo; with loss of consciousness, during coughing fits, in asthmatics, before epilepsy. Scalp very sensitive; cannot brush hair. Hair becomes grey early; falling of hair. Dandruff. Chronic eruptions filled with pus. Pain alternates between head or stomach or body worse by people’s talk. Walks with head thrown backwards.


      Sunken or protruding. Burning in eyes, with acrid lachrymation. Oedema around eyes. Intense photophobia. Lids granulated. Spasms of the eye lids. Everything appears green; sees as through a white gauze. Conjunctiva; injected; yellow. Scrofulous ophthalmia. Eyelids red and ulcerated. Falling of lashes. Eye lids oedematous.


      Thin, offensive, excoriating discharge. Roaring in ears, during pain. Hard hearing, to human voice.


      Thin, watery, excoriating discharge. Nose feels stopped up, with fluent coryza. Nose colds descend to chest. Cold sores; in nose. Sneezing, without relief. Can not bear the sight or smell of food. Hay fever. Knotty swelling of the nose. Nose pointed. Acne of nose. Nose bleed, after fit of passion or vomiting. Dyspnoea felt in nose. Sneezing, with biting watery coryza.


      PALE; anxious, sunken, haggard or distorted, hippocratic, covered with cold sweat. Old look; in children. Oedematous swelling of face. Burning, stinging pains as from red hot needles. Lips; black, livid. Eruptions on lips. Cancer of lips. Black dots, acne.


      Tongue; dry, clean and red; bluish white. Edge of tongue red, takes imprint of the teeth. Burning pain in tongue. Tongue; burning, trembling; stiff; coated, white, yellowish; brown, black. Swelling about the root of the tongue. Neuralgia of teeth; feel long; better heat; worse night. Swollen bleeding gums, painful to touch. Grinding of the teeth in sleep. Bites tumbler while drinking. Dryness of mouth. Aphthae in mouth. Fetor oris. Gulping up of burning water. Taste; bitter to water; after eating and drinking; sour, foul, saltish, sweet in morning. Bloody saliva. Speech rapid, lisping.


      Swollen, oedematous, constricted, burning, unable to swallow. Everything swallowed seems to lodge in oesophagus.


      Can not bear the sight, smell or thought of food. INTENSE, UNQUENCHABLE, BURNING THIRST; DRINKS LITTLE AND OFTEN; CRAVES ICE COLD WATER, WHICH DISTRESSES THE STOMACH AND Is VOMITED IMMEDIATELY. Loss of appetite; with thirst; with nausea. Nausea, retching and vomiting, after eating and drinking. Anxiety felt in the pit of stomach. Burning pain in stomach better by sweet milk. Heart burn, gulping of burning water. Vomiting and purging. Hiccough; frequent; also when fever ought to have come; with eructations. Aversion to sweets, butter, fats, meat. Gastritis. DRINKS LITTLE AND OFTEN, eats seldom and much. Qualmishness. Desire for sour things, brandy, coffee, milk. Gastralgia, from slightest food or drink. Black vomit.


      Induration and enlargement of spleen and liver. Violent pains in abdomen, with anguish. Has no rest anywhere, rolls about on floor and despairs of life. Epigastrium sore, tender. Stools; rice water, foul, small, involuntary, acrid, burning, black, mucus, lienteric worse cold drinks, with much prostration. Ulcer above navel. Dysentery, cholera, in children. Anus, red and sore, burning Acute prolapse of anus. Prolapse of piles, with burning better hot application. Itching and eczematous eruptions around anus. Peritonitis. Ascites.

Urinary Organs

      Urine; scanty, burning, involuntary. Feeling of weakness in abdomen after urination. Atony of bladder, in old persons. Uraemia. Albuminuria. Diabetes. Retention of urine, as if the bladder were paralyzed, after parturition. Urine black as if mixed with dung. Dysuria.


      Scrotum oedematous. Emissions during diarrhoeic stools. Erysipelatous inflammation of scrotum. Syphilitic ulcers; with burning, stitching.


      Profuse acrid, yellowish, thick leucorrhoea worse standing, passing flatus. Cancer of uterus. Burning in ovarian region. Pressive, stitching pain in ovary, into the thigh, which feels numb and lame worse motion or bending. Menorrhagia, with black blood. Burning in mammae better motion. Increased sexual desire at menses. Menses suppressed, in weak, tired careworn women. Stitching in rectum during menses. Dysmenorrhoea better heat.

Respiratory organs

      SHORTNESS OF BREATH; unable to lie down, must sit up; worse odours, laughing, ascending, turning in bed, or receding eruptions, better coffee or sweet water. Whistling, wheezing breathing. Asthma, worse taking cold, in mid summer. Cough alternating dry and loose, dry at night better sitting up worse drinking. Expectoration scanty, frothy. Great dyspnoea; in nose; face cyanotic, covered with cold sweat, great anxiety. Aphonia. Emphysema. Pulmonary oedema. Burning or coldness in chest. Cough excited by smoking. Sensation as of vapours of sulphur in larynx. Cough, with bloody sputum. Haemoptysis; burning all over or with pain between scapulae; in drunkards; suppressed menses. Gangrene of the lungs. Darting pain through upper third of the right lung. Yellowish spots on chest.


      Weak, trembles. Palpitation, with anguish worse lying on back, ascending stairs, with slight causes. Heart pains into neck and occiput, with anxiety, difficult breathing, fainting spells. Angina Pectoris. Pulse more rapid in the morning. Hydro- pericardium. Palpitation, with tremulous weakness after stools. Beats audible. Visible pulsations.

Neck and Back

      Stiffness of the back ascends from coccyx to nape. Cold creeps on back. As if warm air streaming up spine to the head. Bruised pain in small of back. Weak lumbar region.


      Twitching, trembling, violent starting, during sleep. Drawing pain from elbow to axilla. Weariness of limbs. Trembling of hands, of limbs. Tingling in fingers. Fingers cannot be extended. Nails; blue, discoloured. Ulcers on finger tips, with burning pain. Feet; weak, weary and numb, oedematous. Ulcers on soles and toes. Wooden feeling in soles. Sore pain in ball of toes, while walking. Uneasiness in lower limbs, must move feet constantly or walk about. Toes bend downwards. Peripheral neuritis. Cramps in calves. Swelling of feet. Limbs heavy. Restless feet. Sciatica better walking and hot applications. Paraplegia, with atrophy. Paralysis, with contraction of limbs.


      Disturbed, anxious, restless. Shocks on dropping to sleep. Dreams; of death, full of care, sorrow, and fear. Sleeps with hands over head. Yawning, with stretching of limbs. Sleeping sickness. Talks in sleep. Awakened by pains.


      Externally COLD, with internal burning heat. Coldness, in spots. Sensitive to cold, yet better in open air. Chills irregular, shaking; craves hot drinks during chill; dyspnoea during chill. Heat as of hot water in veins; or they burn like lines of fire. High fever, hectic fever. Sweat, with great thirst, dyspnoea or exhaustion. Sweat cold. Waves of icy coldness in blood vessels or intense boiling heat. Intermittent fever, yellow fever.


      Dry, rough, scaly, dirty, shrivelled. Looks seared Eczema. Acuminate eruptions. Free desquamation. Hives worse eating shell fish. Ulcers; chronic, with burning, with cutting pain and bloody discharge. Gangrene. Phagedena. Carbuncles. Psoriasis. Skin, like parchment. Skin symptoms alternate with internal affections. Spots; blue, black, white. Pimples, vesicles, burning violently.


      Sul-ac; Veratrum


      All-s; Carb-v; Lach; Nat-s; Phos; Puls; Sulph; Thuja

S.R. Phatak
A pioneer of Homoeopathy in Maharashtra, Dr Shankar Raghunath Phatak was born on 6th September, 1896. He did his MBBS from Grant Medical College, in 1924. Started his practice but somehow not satisfied with Allopathic Treatment.

He was convinced about Homoeopathy while going through Sir William Osler's writings on 'History of Medicine' so switched over to an entirely Homoeopathic Practice in 1932. He also started working on Homoeopathic literature along with his Practice.

He has contributed immensely to homoeopathic literature. He was an ardent follower of Dr Boger. His Repertory is based on Boger's ''A Synoptic key to Materia Medica'.