The Carbon

One can represent the influence of colloidal carbon on the cell colloids in a similar manner. With the size of the particles which again may be compared to the 5-6 potency, they will occlude the membrane pores of the healthy cell, prevent gas exchange, depress and alter the diffusion of ions in a definite way. This comes under consideration primarily in the red blood cells. A defective oxidation of the blood and organ cells will result and surcharge of the blood and organ cells will result and surcharge of the blood with the metabolic end product carbon dioxide cause the blood to become venous. One can also think of this important action of colloidal carbon as occurring in that the cell membrane, perhaps the red blood cell, is finely coagulated through adsorption, which prevents the normal metabolic exchange. Now it is exactly the ratio of the carbon dioxide in the blood which offers the best proof for the fact that with small doses the reverse occurs as from large doses. With excessive carbon dioxide pressure the blood becomes decidedly and finally permanently incapable of metabolic exchange, and suffocation is the final result. On the other side it is exactly a moderate amount of carbon dioxide in the blood which is the physical stimulus to the red blood cells to increased function, to more animated movement and increased gas exchange. The activity of smaller amounts and smaller fragments of carbon than those which provoke defective oxidation in the healthy can be considered directly as the stimulus which the finest and diffusible carbon particles in the cells effect on cell function or thereby take the intermediation of the slight increase of carbon dioxide into consideration or both act as a stimulus at the same time-but in any case there is no difficulty in comprehending the stimulating action of smallest doses of carbo vegetablis in morbid venous states.


A similar alteration of the metabolism in the epithelial cells, depression of the oxidative and predominance of the fermentative process, must be taken into consideration in the development of carcinoma from many types of carbon substances. The same has already been shown for the related silicic acid. In the now rare but common 150 years ago, chimney sweeps cancer, which usually involved the scrotum and extended to the testes, but still showed little disposition to extensive metastasis, the constant injury by soot was in any case an important condition. Even if trauma and traces of arsenic in the soot might have cooperated still the experiences on industrial and experimental tar, paraffin, and aniline cancer show that the products of coal distillation favor the development of cancer. And it is indeed no accident that these same impure carbon products ever recur in antiquity in the external and internal treatment of cancer. Wood and animal charcoal have not only proven themselves in respect to deodorizing adsorption action in sloughing ulcers, but from the internal use of animal charcoal, noteworthy results were obtained over 100 years ago in carcinoma of the uterus. 522 For the further explanation reference should be made to the studies of W. M.Sykow and A. Sticker 523 who have observed depression of growth of carcinoma and sarcoma cells from these carbon materials. Homoeopathic experience in any case has steadily treasured plant and animal charcoal as a worth-while cancer remedy.



1. Hahnemann: Reine A.M.L., 2 Aufl., Bd. 6, p. 120, and Chr. Kra- nkh., 1 Aufl., Bd. 4, p.1.

2. C. Wesselhoeft, Trans. of Amer. Inst. of Hom., p. 198, 1877.


The characteristic in the drug picture of carbo vegetabilis is the metabolic depression with particular stress on the defective oxidation and tendency to venous stasis. Thereby even the wood charcoal itself is a product of incomplete combustion. A connection between the direct property and the indirect actions is clear here.

Out of the metabolic weakness the following general symptoms are derived: great fatigue, often up to faintness; early in bed or on beginning to walk the extremities go to sleep readily; general lassitude of the extremities soon after arising from bed, rapid sinking of the power. The faint-like weakness in which the patient is cold, with pale or blue skin, almost pulseless, indeed is covered with a cold sweat and even the breath is cool and associated with the desire to obtain air, is the extreme expression of the frailty which occurs in carbo vegetabilis. Such a collapse often leads to the choice in the course of acute diseases (in the older therapies usually called asiatic cholera), still often in emaciated, cachectic, particularly in old people, when incomplete recovery follows some preceding disease. In general all complaints in carbo vegetablis show a tendency to chronicity. The special action on the co-existing cardiac weakness in carbo vegetablis is perhaps to be attributed to the admixture of kali carb. The symptoms of weakness from any exertion even from arising in bed indicates what a deep disturbance in metabolism is present.

The combination with venous stasis gives symptoms such as chilliness and coldness of the body, thirst during the chill, full puffy face, blue skin, cold knees, especially at night on awakening, coldness from the knees, downward, cramps in the soles of the feet, pallor of the face, sluggishness, slowness in every- thing, slow thinking, weakness of memory, sudden failure of memory being characteristic. During the day there exists great sleepiness, at night consequent to bodily unrest sleep occurs late; insomnia or alarming dreams. Offensive sweating of the feet as it appears in other carbon compounds and silicea. The head is full and heavy, headache from heat; pressing and dullness occur in the occiput, moreover a spasmodic tension in the head which is sensitive to external pressure for example from the hat, the eyes ache from efforts to see, dark spots move before the eyes. Likewise there is vertigo from the least movement of the head or it may occur after sleeping. Anxiety and restlessness prevail in the disposition, particularly evenings (aversion to dark) and there is marked irritability.

Further signs of the depressed gas exchange and the venous state of the body are: tendency to relaxed veins, varices passive, dark, thin, prolonged bleeding and involvement of the tissues on slight cause. Such people are easily chilled. Burning at various places in the skin indicates the beginning of the venous state. As a result of the varices the patient wishes to sit with the legs elevated. Bleeding occurs readily and there are foul ulcers with burning pain and abundant foul pus. The ulcera cruris are usually flat with bluish surroundings; frostbite may also be suitable for the remedy. Bluish hemorrhoids appear, pain, itch, burn or bleed and with every stool there is bleeding or itching and burning; evacuation of sticky acrid moisture, particularly at nighr. Varices also appear on the vulva and provoke itching and burning as well as soreness and aphthous ulceration. From a similar alteration from venous stasis in the internal sexual organs perhaps arises the thick, yellow-green offensive corrosive leucorrhoea, as far as it is not conditioned by carcinomatous ulcerated surfaces. Menses in general appear too early, are too copious and last too long, the menstrual flow is pale and at times the blood spots the parts from one period to another in a way resembling carcinoma. Burning in the back or in the hands and soles of the feet during the menses, weakness and relaxation of the lower abdominal organs are further indications. Often persistent daily nose-bleed with pale face is present and may be associated with varicose alterations. the gums also bleed readily, are sensitive and loose. As with so many remedies, one finds here also reports on alveolar pyorrhoea for whose avoidance the external application of finely powdered linden charcoal is worthy of mention. The tongue is sensitive, and especially noteworthy are aphthous sites on the glossal mucous membrane.


The slight vitality of the organism and the slowed circulation prepare the soil for bacterial action and self intoxication. Septic and gangrenous trends in the drug picture refer to the defective defensive power in the blood. The secretions are all offensive. The ulcers, for example the varicose, are unhealthy, and there is burning pain. In inflammations, phlegmons, which take on a gangrenous or septic form, in ulcers with marginal gangrene, carbo vegetablis comes into consideration, as well as in senile gangrene which begins in the toes. In many less stormy cases of sepsis carbo vegetablis comes to mind. Ecchymoses and bleeding from the mucous membranes are in this group. Also severe inflammations of the parotid and metastasis to the testes are reported. To these belong the malignant tissue injuries which may involve other glands, for example the breast, and show a tendency to ulceration. More frequently however wood or animal charcoal is considered in cancer of the digestive passages while in uterine carcinoma the related creosote accomplishes more.

Otto Leeser
Otto Leeser 1888 – 1964 MD, PHd was a German Jewish homeopath who had to leave Germany due to Nazi persecution during World War II, and he escaped to England via Holland.
Leeser, a Consultant Physician at the Stuttgart Homeopathic Hospital and a member of the German Central Society of Homeopathic Physicians, fled Germany in 1933 after being expelled by the German Medical Association. In England Otto Leeser joined the staff of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. He returned to Germany in the 1950s to run the Robert Bosch Homeopathic Hospital in Stuttgart, but died shortly after.
Otto Leeser wrote Textbook of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Leesers Lehrbuch der Homöopathie, Actionsand Medicinal use of Snake Venoms, Solanaceae, The Contribution of Homeopathy to the Development of Medicine, Homeopathy and chemotherapy, and many articles submitted to The British Homeopathic Journal,