James Tyler Kent describes the symptoms of the homeopathic medicine Phosphorus in great detail and compares it with other homeopathy remedies. …

The complaints of Phosphorus are most likely to arise in the feeble constitutions, such as have been born sick, grown up slender, and grown too rapidly.

Its complaints are found in such as are emaciated, and in those who are rapidly emaciating; in children who are going into marasmus, and in persons who have in them the foundation of consumption fairly well laid. Delicate, waxy, anemic and emaciated subjects. In persons who are vehement, irascible.

This expresses the person’s disposition somewhat as well as his internal constitutional state. Internally he is in a turmoil. Subject to violent pulsations, complaints from electric changes in the atmosphere; violent palpitations and orgasms. In chlorotic girls who have grown too rapidly and have suddenly taken on weakness, pallor, green sickness, with menstrual difficulties. Ebullitions and congestions. Hemorrhagic constitutions.

Blood: Small wounds bleed much; the prick of the needle will bubble forth much bright red blood.

Hemorrhage from small wounds, from the nose, from the lungs, from the stomach, from the bladder and from the uterus. Bleeding from ulcerations. False granulations that bleed. Purpura hoemorrhagica. Black and blue spots.

Blood settles beneath the conjunctiva, or beneath the skin anywhere.

Bloody saliva; evidences of disorganized blood, or that the blood seems to become fluid. Small bruises take on broad blue spots. Blows much blood out of the nose. Petechiae all over the body, such as are found in typhoid fever, low forms of continued fever with hemorrhages. Fungous growth. Fatty degeneration is a marked feature of Phosphorus, and can be found in the liver, heart or kidneys.

General dropsical condition. Bloating of the hands and feet, especially dropsical conditions after scarlet fever. The mucous membranes are all pale, such as is found after bleeding or in low forms of disease. A marked state of anemia and relaxed condition of the muscles. Muscles flabby. Fatty degeneration of the muscles.

The genitals hang down. In the woman, relaxation of the pelvic organs, prolapsus and other displacements. Stiffness is a marked feature of Phosphorus. Stiffness on beginning to move. Limbs stiff like a foundered horse, especially in the morning. Rheumatic stiffness in all the limbs. Phosphorus has tearing, drawing pains in the limbs. Drawing, tearing pains in affected parts. Phosphorus complaints are worse in cold weather.

The patient himself, generally considered, is sensitive to cold. All his complaints are worse from cold and cold applications, and better from beat and warm applications, except the complaints of the head and stomach, which are ameliorated from cold as will hereafter be described. Phosphorus has been very useful in weak, relaxed conditions of the joints following sprains, when the symptoms agree.

Necrosis is another feature of Phosphorus, especially of the lower jaw, but may be useful in necrosis of any of the bones. Exostoses of the skull with tearing pains. Tearing, boring pains, especially at night. Phosphorus has cured polypi of the nose and cars. Scrofulous and glandular swellings. Glands enlarge, especially after contusions like Bellis.

Glandular affections of weak, pale, sickly individuals, such as suffer from diarrhea, such as suffer from exhaustive conditions, abscesses, fistulous openings, with hectic fever. Abscesses with copious discharge of yellow pus. Malignant growths are greatly restrained by the use of Phosphorus, when the symptoms agree. Burning pains are observed everywhere. Burning in the brain, burning in the skin. Burning in the stomach, in the chest, and in various parts.

The Phosphorus patient is very sensitive to all external impressions slight odors, noises, touch. Slight causes lead to exhaustion of either body or mind. Trembling throughout the body from slight causes, using the bands, from slight exertion, from debility, from coughing. Weakness prevails in a marked degree, finally becoming paralysis or paralytic weakness such as occurs in most forms of typhoid fever, with sliding down in bed, trembling and jerking of the muscles. Paralysis with formication and tearing in the limbs.

Paralysis that comes with apoplexy. Jerking and twitching of the muscles such as has been found in paralysis. Spasms of the paralyzed parts. Tearing, drawing, burning pains throughout the body.

The Phosphorus patient wants to be rubbed. He is generally better after sleep. Always wants to rest. Always tired. The Phosphorus patient undergoes great excitement. Tremulousness. Wild thoughts. Excitability, keeping him awake at night. Violent imaginations.

Mind: Excitability even to ecstasy and clairvoyance.

The mind may be overactive or may be extremely passive with loss of memory. Irritability of mind and body and great prostration of mind after slight mental effort, and of the body afar slight physical exertion.

Anxiety, gloomy forebodings. Fear that something will happen. Anxious at twilight. Anxious when alone. Apprehensiveness. Apprehensive during thunder storms, which brings on many complaints; palpitation, diarrhea and trembling. Trembling of the whole body.

Attacks of indigestion from fear. Fear in the evening, fear of death. Fear of strange old faces looking at him from the corner. Full of strange, insane imaginations. On the border land of insanity. Inability to sustain a mental effort. Fear of apoplexy. Reflecting brings on headache and difficult breathing associated with apprehensiveness or sinking at the pit of the stomach. His fear seems to begin ‘at the pit of the stomach.

Apathy or indifference; indifferent to his friends and surroundings. Indifferent to his children. Answers no questions, takes no notice of his family and things about him, answers slowly, thinks sluggishly, seems dazed or in a stupor. Everything looks dark, he is weary of life, gloomy and says nothing.

Dejected; a most marked case of hypochondriasis. Weeping, sad, hysterical; will uncover the body and expose his person. Violent, loquacious; delirium. Delirium of low forms of fever, or delirium of mania a potu.

Maniacal attacks come on during sleep with fury and extreme violence, so that no one dares approach him, and this progresses to imbecility, silliness, weak brain, idiocy. Brain fag from mental overwork and constant strain of eyes. Vertigo is a very common symptom throughout all of the complaints of Phosphorus. Staggering while walking as if intoxicated. Vertigo when in the open air; vertigo after eating; vertigo in the evening. Heaviness and confusion in the head and things go round; great weakness of the head.

All of these mental symptoms are worse in the dark; worse when alone; sometimes worse from music; worse from excitement; worse from playing the piano.

Head: The headaches of Phosphorus are congestive and throbbing.

The blood mounts to the head. The headaches are ameliorated from cold and worse from heat, worse from motion, and better from rest, worse lying down. The patient is often compelled to sit upright, with great pressure upon the head and cold applications. The face is flushed and hot; burning in the brain.

The warm room, warm surroundings, warm food, putting the hands into warm water will increase the headache. The complaints of the head like the complaints of the stomach are worse from heat, warm applications and from warm food, and better from cold things; while the complaints of the body are better from warmth and, worse from cold.

The headaches are most violent and are often attended with hunger or preceded by hunger; headaches with vomiting, red face, and scanty urine; uraemic headaches; violent neuralgic pains darting, tearing, shooting through the head; pressing pains in the head. Periodical headaches, headaches brought on from mental exertion.

Great heat in the head and stiffness in the muscles of the face and jaws. This is sometimes attended with coldness in the back of the head. Shocks through the brain. The headaches are worse from noise, from light; apoplectic congestion of the head. It has cured acute hydrocephalus and hydrocephaloid symptoms.

Chronic inflammation of the meninges of the brain; softening of the brain; imbecility; insanity. Violent head pains; atrophy of the brain; medulla oblongata. The scalp is covered with dandruff; the hair falls out in patches, leaving bald places here and there. Great heat in the scalp; tension in the scalp and face and forehead as if bound by a bandage. Scaly eruptions on the bald places of the head; exostoses on the skull.

The complaints of the head are brought on from becoming overheated. Sensation as if the hair were pulled; great soreness of the scalp; must let the hair hang down during headaches.

Eyes: The eye symptoms are very numerous; burning, redness, congestion, enlargement of the blood-vessels.

Objects look red and often blue in the field of vision, or objects sometimes look green and gray as is observed in incipient cataract. Colors, also, appear black before the eyes. Vision is vague; the eyes give out while reading; sees better in the morning, in the twilight.

The eye symptoms, like Phosphorus in general, have amelioration after rest. Momentary blindness like fainting; seems to suddenly become blind; paralysis of the optic nerve; blindness after electric shocks, or after a stroke of lightning. It has cured glaucoma. It has cured inflammation of the retina in Bright’s disease.

It has cured opacity of the vitreous humor. It has cured paralytic weakness of the various muscles of the eyes. It has cured paralysis of the third pair of nerves where there is falling of the lids; sub-acute inflammation of the eyes.

Burning, redness, and smarting ameliorated from cold applications. The eyelids twitch and tremble; swelling of the eyelids; dropsical swelling of the eyelids; great darkness around the eyes; great circles around the eyes. It is a very useful remedy in malignant growths involving the eye, restraining very much the progress of the disease.

The eye symptoms like the head and mind symptoms are such as often come on in brain workers; working under a bright light causing much determination of blood to the head in which the eyes as well as other parts suffer.

Ears: Phosphorus has a peculiar deafness.

One of the most striking features of Phosphorus is inability to understand the articulations of the human voice. Hearing is difficult. He sometimes feels as if there were something over the ears; as if the ears were covered, obstructing the waves of sound.

Violent itching in the ears; congestion of the external ear; itching, tearing, throbbing, burning pains within the ear, It has cured polypi in the ears.

Nose: The nose symptoms are also very numerous; inveterate nasal catarrh.

He takes cold in the nose, but the most common seat of the Phosphorus cold is in the chest, and most of his difficulties begin in the chest, but Phosphorus cures nasal catarrh and coryza.

There is painful dryness in the nose; constant sneezing and running from the nose of bloody water.

Frequent alternations of fluent and stopped-up conditions of the nose; coryza with sore throat; stoppage of the nostrils; much sneezing and stopping of the nose alternating with dryness of the nose in scarlet fever; nostrils filled with green mucus; a copious nasal discharge of greenish-yellow, blood-streaked mucus, worse in the morning; bad odor from the nose; frequent blowing of blood from the nose; copious hemorrhage from the nose of bright red blood; swelling of the nose, redness and shining; very sensitive to touch; necrosis of the bones of the nose.

It has cured polypi of the nose, especially bleeding polypi. Fan-like motion of the nose, like Lycopodium.

Face: The Phosphorus patient presents a sickly face, earthy, sunken and pale, such as we find in consumption and those about to go into consumption those suffering from deep-seated constitutional conditions; haggard, anemic.

The color is changeable; swollen, oedematous face; puffed under the eyes; lips and eyelids swollen. Again, red spots upon the checks, which appear in hectic fever; the hectic blush. Tension of the skin and of the face; tearing, shooting pains all through the face and about the eyes, from the temples and vertex down to the zygoma. Jerking, tearing pains in the teeth.

The pains of the teeth are often ameliorated by warmth, while those of the head are ameliorated by cold. The pains of the teeth are worse when talking and eating, and worse after eating It has violent neuralgias of the face involving the jaw and temples, with hot, bloated face, worse from talking and from eating.

It has caries of the lower jaw, with great heat, burning and fistulous openings. Neuralgia of the face and teeth; has to be wrapped up at night; worse in windy weather.

The countenance is sickly, sunken, declining, as if a serious sickness was coming.

The lips are parched, dry and bleeding. The lips become black, brown and cracked as in low forms of fever, and with necrosis of the lower jaw. Inflammation of the parotid gland, especially when it suppurates or there are fistulous openings. Rapid decay of the teeth. The gums bleed and settle away from the teeth.

Phosphorus is very useful for the bright red hemorrhage after the extraction of teeth. The tongue is swollen and speech is difficult. It is difficult to articulate. The taste in the mouth is bitter or sour, especially sour after taking milk; sometimes salty or sweetish; bitter after eating.

Taste of hydrogen sulphide in the morning. The tongue is coated like fur; sometimes chalky-white, sometimes yellow; dry, cracked and bleeding; sordes on the teeth. Crusts form upon the mucous membranes of the mouth, gums, lips and tongue. The tongue is swollen and the papillae are engorged.

Throat: Dryness of the mouth and throat; sore, excoriated mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.

The mouth may be covered with thrush, as in nursing sore mouth; bloody erosions of the mouth; nursing sore mouth. Much watery saliva and bloody saliva flows from the mouth. The saliva is copious, tasting sweetish, saltish or foul. The mucous membranes of the throat are like those of the mouth. Great dryness, roughness, rawness, excoriation, bleeding, and inflammation of the tonsils; inflammation of the throat; sensation of cotton in the throat; sensation of velvet in the throat.

The tonsils are much swollen. Intense pain in the throat and burning in the throat that extends into the oesophagus. Inability to swallow any nourishment because of paralysis of the oesophagus or acute inflammation of the mucous membranes of the throat and oesophagus; constriction of the oesophagus.

In Phosphorus there is violent hunger and very soon after eating the hunger returns again. Must eat during the chill. Must get tip in the night to eat. Feels faint and is driven to eat. Ravenous hunger during headache; he knows that the headache is coming on because of his violent hunger; in periodical headaches.

The hunger is often spasmodic, because at times there is aversion to food. Again, he wants to eat and as soon as the food is offered he does not want it. Thirst is one of the most constant features of Phosphorus.

In acute and chronic complaints there is violent thirst; thirst for ice-cold drinks. Wants something refreshing; is ameliorated momentarily by drinking cold things, but the thirst appears as soon as the water gets warm in the stomach. Vomiting comes on as soon as the water becomes warm in the stomach, but there are many conditions where the ice-cold water agrees.

Unquenchable thirst. When the water is vomited there is always unquenchable thirst. He wants cold food as well as cold drinks; refreshing, spicy things, juicy things; desire for wines and sour things. Phosphorus often cures the violent’ longing in inebriates for alcohol.

It simply resembles the congestion of the mucous membrane of the stomach. Aversion to sweets, to meat, to boiled milk, to salt fish, to beer, to puddings, to tea and coffee.

Many of the complaints of Phosphorus are ameliorated by eating. The nervous symptoms of Phosphorus drive the patient to eat and he feels better for a little while, and then he must eat again or the nervous symptoms will come on. Often he can sleep better after eating and cannot go to sleep until he eats something.

Stomach: The stomach symptoms are numerous: pains, nausea, vomiting, burning.

The stomach symptoms are ameliorated by cold things and aggravated by warm things. The nausea and vomiting are brought on by putting the hands into warm water, from being in a warm room, from warm things and from taking warm things into the stomach. The nausea of pregnancy is cured when the woman cannot put the hands into warm water without bringing on vomiting. Another marked feature of Phosphorus is eructations of food.

The food is eructated by mouthful until the stomach is emptied of the last meal. Constant nausea except when something cold is in he stomach. As soon as water becomes warm in the stomach it comes up. This very much resembles the vomiting and nausea of Chloroform, and Phosphorus is a great friend to the surgeon because he can nearly always antidote the stomach affections of Chloroform by Phosphorus. Vomiting of blood and violent vomiting of sour fluids; vomiting of bile and mucus; vomiting of black substances, coffee-ground substances. Awful sinking, gone feeling in the stomach.

This sometimes comes at 11 o’clock like Sulphur. Pressing pains, burning pains, tearing pains in the stomach; pain in the stomach after eating; sensitiveness in the pit of the stomach; inflammation of the stomach. It has been a very useful remedy in cancer of the stomach, with coffee-ground vomiting and burning; coldness, as if freezing, in the pit of the stomach; paroxysms of knife-like pains in the stomach.

The pains in the stomach are ameliorated by ice-cold things for a moment; spasmodic contractions of the stomach; hemorrhage from the stomach; vomiting of great quantities of clotted blood; long-standing dyspepsia; much flatulence; regurgitation of food; distended stomach and abdomen; ulceration of the stomach.

The liver furnishes us many symptoms of Phosphorus. Congestion of the liver, fullness, pain, hardness, fatty degeneration of the liver, hyperemia of the liver. Phosphorus is one of the most useful liver remedies; hard, large liver. With the stomach and liver symptoms there is commonly jaundice.

Abdomen: Very sensitive abdomen, painful to touch, rolling and rumbling.

Sensation of emptiness in the abdomen; sunken feeling in the abdomen. The abdomen feels as if relaxed; hanging down sensation and sensation of great weight in the abdomen. Tympanitic abdomen such as occurs in typhoid fever.

A marked feature in Phosphorus is the peculiar gurgling which begins in the stomach and gurgles along down through the intestines, attended with involuntary stool. This occurs in typhoid fever. The gurgling that occurs in Arsenicum is down the oesophagus.

Flatulence; colic; rending, tearing, cutting pains throughout the abdomen; stitching pains in the abdomen; violent neuralgic pains in the abdomen; inflammation of the bowels, of the peritoneum; appendicitis. Yellow, brown spots on the abdomen; petechiae over the abdomen during typhoid fever.

Phosphorus is rich in symptoms of the rectum and stool; involuntary discharges from the bowels; copious emission of fluids; foetid, gushing stools; horribly offensive, yellow, watery stools. The patient lies as if dying, the stools passing involuntarily; stools of white mucus; stools of slime intermingled with little specks like tallow; involuntary oozings from the constantly wide open anus.

Hemorrhage from the bowels in typhoids, in low forms of disease; bloody discharges like meat washings, involuntary, on every motion. Burning in the rectum during stool. Protrusion of the rectum; protrusion of hoemorrhoidal tumors. Sharp, stitching pains from the coccyx up the spine to the base of the brain drawing the neck backward, and this symptom occurs during stool. It has occurred during involuntary stool.

After stool painful cramps in the rectum; burning in the anus; violent tenesmus; sinking feeling in the abdomen; obliged to lie down; exhaustion and fainting. The copious diarrhea is like the profuse flow of water from a hydrant. It is useful in cholera times and in cholera morbus. It is a useful medicine for chronic diarrhea with soft, thin stools. It has been a very useful remedy in cholera infantum. It has also cured dysentery with bloody mucus, scanty stools with violent tenesmus. It also cures inveterate constipation.

The stool is hard, long, and slender, described in the books as like that of a dog. Alternating diarrhea and constipation in old people. Spasms of the rectum. Paralysis of the bowel, so that it is impossible to strain at stool, Hemorrhage from the bowels. It has cured polypi of the rectum; inflammation of the rectum. It has many times cured bleeding, protruding hemorrhoids; hemorrhoids that burn. It has cured fissures of the anus. Among many of these bowel symptoms the anus feels as if wide open.

Kidneys: Phosphorus is a useful remedy in diseases of the kidneys, especially diabetes, with sugar in the urine when there is great thirst for ice-cold things and ice-cold water. Gradual emaciation; gradual weakness; considerable heat of the head; coldness of the extremities, and sugar in the urine. Phosphorus will cure fatty degeneration of the kidneys. Renal calculi. No desire to pass urine though the bladder is full.

There is a paralytic weakness which resembles the paralytic weakness throughout all the muscles of the body. He is unable to strain to pass the urine because such straining increases pain in the region of the bladder.

Profuse, pale, watery urine; frequent and scanty or completely suppressed urine. Turbid, whitish urine; curdled like milk. Albuminous urine. Involuntary urination during sleep.

Tearing in the urethra; twitching and burning in the urethra. Periodical sick headaches sometimes are preceded by scanty urine and sometimes by a copious watery flow of urine.

Men: The male sexual organs furnish many symptoms of Phosphorus.

Violent sexual desire driving him frantic. Erections frequent and painful day and night. Seminal emissions at night even without lascivious dreams. Sexual debility from the inordinate use of table salt. Impotence after excessive excitement and secret vice, preceded by over-excitement of the sexual organs.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.