Symptoms of the homeopathic medicine CARBO VEGETABILIS from A Text Book of Materia Medica and Therapeutics by A.C. Cowperthwaite. Find all the symptoms of CARBO VEGETABILIS…

      Common name. – Vegetable Charcoal. Preparation. – TRituration of charcoal made from birch or beech wood.


Acts upon the blood and nervous system, devitalizing the former and exhausting the latter; but its most important action is upon the mucous membranes, especially of the digestive tract, where it has the power of increasing the secretions, rendering them impure, and causing an excessive accumulation of gas in the stomach and bowels, which latter is the chief characteristic of the drug.


Mind. Anxiety and oppression. Peevish, irritable and inclined to anger (Bryonia, Chamomilla). Indifference to everything he hears or sees (Berberis, Phosphorus). Ideas flow slowly. Periodic want of memory.

Head. Confusion of the head, which makes thinking difficult (Ammonium carb., Kreosotum); in morning after rising, better after lying down. Vertigo; had to hold on to something; also when stooping (Aconite, Belladonna). Head feels heavy as lead (Lachesis). Pain in temple. Tearing in spot near temples. Headache, as from contraction of the scalp. Painful throbbing in the head during inspiration. Pressive headache in the forehead, just over the eyes. Dull headache in the occiput. Drawing and tearing in the left side of occiput. Pressive pain in lower portion of occiput. Head painfully sensitive to pressure, especially of hat (Nitr. ac., Mez.); sensation remains after hat is taken off, as if bound up with a cloth. Hair falls out; worse on back of head.

Eyes. Heavy weight seems to rest on the eyes (Causticum, Coni., Gelsemium); must make exertion to distinguish letters when reading. Black, floating spots before the eyes. Muscles of the eyes pain when looking up. Itching on the margins of the lids (Calcarea c., Sulphur). Short-sighted, from over taxing the eyes.

Ears. Ringing in the ears (Aconite, Belladonna, Cinchona, Sulph). Something heavy seems to lie before the ears; seem stopped (Chelidonium), but hearing not diminished. Heat and redness of left ear every evening. Discharge of thick, flesh-colored offensive moisture from right ear.

Nose. Severe nosebleed, several times daily for weeks; face pale before and after every attack. Frequent sneezing, with constant and violent crawling and tickling in the nose. Drawing in root of nose; dry coryza.

Face. Face very pale (Arsenicum), grayish-yellow color; Hippocratic (Veratrum alb.). Soreness of facial and maxillary bones (Hepar s., Kali bichromicum, Nitr. ac.). Drawing in the upper and lower face. Tearing in left cheek (Pulsatilla). Swelling of the upper lip an cheek, with jerking pain. Jerking, tearing in right upper maxillary. Twitching of the upper lip.

Mouth. Easily bleeding gums (Mercurius, Nitr. ac., Phosphorus). Gum boils. Drawing, tearing pain in molars. Gums boils. Drawing, tearing pain in molars. Gums become loosened from the teeth, and retracted. Gums painfully sensitive when chewing (Causticum, Mercurius). tongue coated white (Antim crud., Bryonia, Mercurius, Nux v., Pulsatilla); yellowish brown mucous coat. Tongue sensitive and raw (Nitr. ac.). Mouth hot, with rawness and dryness of tip of tongue. Increase of saliva. Aching in posterior part of palate. bitterness in palate; dry tongue. Bitter taste before and after eating (Bryonia, Nux v., Pulsatilla).

Throat. Much hawking of mucus. Scraping, rawness and burning in the throat (Ammonium carb., Causticum, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla). Tearing in muscles of throat. Swallowing, coughing or blowing the nose causes pain in posterior nares and fauces, as if sore. Sensation of contraction in pharynx (Belladonna, Caps., Hyoscyamus).

Stomach. Aversion to meat (Alum, Arnica, Graphites), and fat things (Pulsatilla); to milk, which causes flatulence (Cinchona, Sulphur). Violent almost constant eructations; sour (Ambr., Nux v., Phosphorus, Sulphur), rancid or empty (Pulsatilla). Waterbrash. Nausea in the morning with qualmishness in stomach. Feels acidity in stomach while lying on the back and when walking. Burning in stomach (Arsenicum, Camph., Cantharis, Lobelia, Sulphur). Stomach feels tense and full. The simplest food distresses. Griping in pit of stomach as from flatulence. Contractive cramp, extending into chest, with distension of abdomen. Epigastric region very sensitive (Antim crud., Arsenicum, Belladonna).

Abdomen Hypochondria painful to touch; clothing oppresses him and is unendurable (Calcarea c., Lachesis, Graphites). Tension and stitches in liver (Bryonia, Kali carb., Cinchona, Nux v., Sepia). Colic from flatulence; abdomen full to bursting; worse form lest food; better from passing flatus (Coloc., Lycopodium, Cinchona, Sulphur). Abdomen greatly distended; better form passing wind up or down (Sulphur). Abdomen feels as if hanging heavily; walks bent. Flatus collects here and there in abdomen, under short ribs in hypogastrium etc. (Lycopodium); causing a pinching pain. Dragging or griping in abdomen after stool. Offensive flatus; dragging toward sacrum and thence toward abdomen. Paralytic drawing, extending from abdomen into left leg, as after taking cold; as form lifting or a sprain, as soon as she lies on side, especially left side. Bruised pain in the liver. Pain in the hypochondria on touch. Tension in region of the liver. Hypochondrium oppressed by clothing which is unendurable.

Stools and Anus. Acrid, corrosive moisture from rectum (Mercurius cor.). In rectum: gnawing, crawling; tenesmus. Ineffectual urging in rectum, only wind passes with pressure. Glutinous, musty exudation from the anus at night. Soreness in perineum at night, with painful itching and moisture. Bleeding from anus. Much offensive flatus (Aloe, Bryonia, Colchicum, Mez., Silicea). Burning in anus after stool (Arsenicum, Cantharis, Caps.). Sticking, stitching soreness in anus. Even soft stool passed with difficulty (Alumina, Nux moschata). Stools: mucous with much urging; cadaverous, putrid, offensive, involuntary (Arsenicum); enveloped by filamentous, yellowish mucus.

Urine. Red sediment in urine (Belladonna, Lycopodium, Kreosotum, Sepia). Urine dark- red, as if mixed with blood (Aconite, Cantharis). Wetting bed at night (Causticum, Pulsatilla)

Male Organs. Onanism during sleep. Seminal discharge too soon during coitus. Prostatic discharge while straining at stool.

Female Organs. Menses too early and too profuse (Ammonium carb., Arsenicum, Calcarea c., Nux v.,); blood too thick and of a strong odor. Leucorrhoea thin in morning on rising, not through day; milky; excoriating (Arsenicum, Coni., Kreosotum). Red, sore places on pudenda; aphthae; itching; sore and raw during leucorrhoea (Mercurius). Vaginal fistulae, burning pains. Debility from nursing (Cinchona). Lumps in mammae, with induration of axillary glands, and with burning pains, anxiety, want to breath (Carb. an.)

Respiratory Organs. Great roughness in the larynx, with deep rough voice, which failed if he exerted it (Causticum, Cinchona, Kali bichromicum, Phosphorus). Hoarseness and rawness, worse evenings; aphonia, mornings (Causticum, Phosphorus). Difficult breathing, fullness of the chest, and palpitation on slightest motion. Desire to be fanned; must have more air (Arsenicum, Baptisia). Cough, spasmodic, hollow; involuntary, rough, caused by roughness and crawling in throat; caused by itching in larynx; in evening in bed; in morning on rising. Expectoration: mucous; yellow green; tenacious, salty (Ambr., Lycopodium, Phosphorus, Sepia). Sensation of weakness and fatigue of the chest (Stannum). Burning in the chest as from glowing coals; rawness, soreness. Oppression of the chest with wheezing and rattling (Ant. tart.), after disappearance of coryza; on waking with weakness of chest. Pressive pain in upper chest. Stitches in left side of chest extending into short ribs. Oppressive tearing in left chest.

Heart and Pulse. Pulse thread-like; weak and faint (Aconite, Arsenicum, Camph.). Palpitation of the heart. Cheyne-stokes breathing in organic heart disease.

Neck and Back. Cervical glands swollen and painful (Baryta, Calcarea c.); especially those near the nape. Tearing in cervical muscles. Rheumatic drawing pains in neck and back, extending to head; with nausea and salivation. Burning in right shoulder blades. Severe pain in small of back;she was unable to sit, then felt like a plug in back, had to put a pillow under it. Pressive, sore pain in coccyx and lower spine.

Limbs. Numbness in all the limbs; go to sleep while lying on them. Drawing and tearing pains in all the limbs (Bryonia, Coloc., Lycopodium, Mercurius). All the limbs feel bruised.

Upper limbs. Burning on right shoulder. Bruised pain in both elbow joints. Drawing, tearing in left forearm, from elbow to hand. Drawing pain in arm when lying on it and night. Fine itching on the hands. Tearing in either wrist. Tearing in fingers of left hand.

Lower Limbs. Drawing pain in hip joints, extending to thighs, worse when walking. Stiffness of legs, unsteady when first attempting to walk. Left lower leg feels paralyzed. Itching on thigh near scrotum. Paralytic, drawing pain from abdomen to left leg. Cramp in soles of feet (Silicea); evenings after lying down (Sulphur). Numbness of the feet.

Generalities. Vital forces nearly exhausted (Caps., Laur.); cold surface, especially below knees to feet; lies as if dead; breath cool; pulse intermittent, thready; cold sweat on limbs. Great debility and weakness as soon as he makes the least exertion. Attacks of faint-like weakness. Burning pain in various places. Tearing, drawing pains in various parts of the body. Sepsis, sunken features, sallow complexion, hectic typhoid symptoms. Blood stagnates in capillaries, causing blueness, coldness; ecchymosis. Anaemia after summer complaint; feeble; pallid, white skin. Atrophy, body cold, lies as if dead, yet conscious. Lymphatic glands swollen, indurated, or suppurating; burning pains. Most symptoms appear when walking in the open air.

Skin. fine moist rash, with burning at spots where there is no eruption. Ulcers; bleeding easily (Asafoetida, MErc.); putrid with burning pain (Arsenicum).

Sleep. Great sleepiness and yawning during the day; sleepless at night; from uneasiness. Night full of dreams.

Fever Shivering in evenings,, with weariness. Chill, generally with thirst, cold hands and feet; mostly evenings. Fever generally without thirst (Pulsatilla). Hectic fever. EXhausting sweat (Cinchona, Phosphorus ac.)

Conditions. In persons whose vital powers are low, venous system predominant; especially old people; children after exhausting disease.

Compare. Arsenicum, Calcareac., Carb. an., Cinchona, Ferrum, Graphites, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Kali carb., Mercurius Nux v., Phosphorus, Phosphorus ac., Secale, Sepia, Sulphur, Veratrum alb.

Antidotes. Arsenicum, Camp., Coffea, Lachesis, Sp. nitr. d.

Carbo Vegetabilis Antidotes. Cinchona, Lachesis, Mercurius


On account of its powerfully devitalizing influences upon the blood Carbo vegetabilis is indicated in diseases where there are profound blood changes, with the symptoms already enumerated; purpura; scorbutic affections; pyaemia; typhoid conditions; hectic fever; intermittent fever; yellow fever; haemorrhages of a low type, flow passive, persistent, dark, fluid blood, long continued, with coldness, collapse; also in collapsed stage of various exhausting diseases; vital forces nearly exhausted; body cold, skin bluish; breath cool; thready, intermittent pulse; cold sweat on limbs. Anaemia after summer complaint; pernicious anaemia; chlorosis; debility from nursing or from sexual excesses. Gangrene (senile). Ulcers putrid, easily bleeding, burning pains. Varicose veins, with tendency to ulceration. Ulcerating scirrhus. Carbuncle, parts blue and livid, discharges offensive, burning pains. Abscesses, offensive discharges, slow reaction. Swelling, induration and suppuration of glands, offensive pus; especially mammary glands. Eczema. Carbo veg. is an excellent remedy in various diseases of the digestive system; dyspepsia, low type, resulting from dissipation, excessive indulgence in right foods, luxurious wines, etc., especially after Nux vomica has failed. Great flatulence; aversion to meat, fat food and milk, the latter always causing flatulence; constant acrid eructations; heartburn; sensitiveness and burning in stomach. Gastralgia, with similar symptoms. Diarrhoea. Constipation. Haemorrhoids. In the female organs it is useful for uterine haemorrhage; leucorrhoea, excoriating; varicose veins, etc. Often an invaluable remedy in certain respiratory troubles such as laryngeal and bronchial catarrh, when hoarseness and aphonia predominate, with rawness, burning and soreness. Cough hollow, spasmodic, suffocative, especially in old people; also asthma, with oppressed breathing, wants to be fanned, other symptoms agreeing. Haemorrhage of the lungs. In phthisis and last stages of pneumonia, with similar symptoms and exhausted vitality as already described. Ailments from quinine, especially suppressed chills and fever. Ailments from abuse of mercury; from salt to salt meats; from putrid meat or fish, or rancid fats.

A.C. Cowperthwaite
A.C. (Allen Corson) Cowperthwaite 1848-1926.
ALLEN CORSON COWPERTHWAITE was born at Cape May, New Jersey, May 3, 1848, son of Joseph C. and Deborah (Godfrey) Cowperthwaite. He attended medical lectures at the University of Iowa in 1867-1868, and was graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1869. He practiced his profession first in Illinois, and then in Nebraska. In 1877 he became Dean and Professor of Materia Medica in the recently organized Homeopathic Department of the State University of Iowa, holding the position till 1892. In 1884 he accepted the chair of Materia Medica, Pharmacology, and Clinical Medicine in the Homeopathic Medical College of the University of Michigan. He removed to Chicago in 1892, and became Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College. From 1901 he also served as president of that College. He is the author of various works, notably "Insanity in its Medico-Legal Relations" (1876), "A Textbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics" (1880), of "Gynecology" (1888), and of "The Practice of Medicine " (1901).