The Carbon


In contrast to the mixture of phenols and phenol derivatives of kreosote, pure phenol possesses a marked capacity for penetration into the cells. Thereby not the antiseptic property but the corrosive action is increased. And since the resorption occurs rapidly, in phenol there soon appears central nervous system effects. A natural mixture of the less strongly split plant products as kreosote, on the other hand acts more steadily on the receptive organs. But this is an advantage for securing persistent therapeutic actions. We encounter here the same regularity which has such great significance for the relation of the entire plant to its “pure” constituents (alkaloids, glucosides, etc.) in therapeutics.

Even in the corrosive action on the skin, the property of rapid penetration of phenol is revealed in the anesthesia which follows the initial burning pain and proceeds into a dry gangrene as it occurs in the prolonged influence from an application.

After absorption of large amounts of phenol the intoxication soon involves the nervous system with loss of consciousness, sensory and motor paralysis, collapse followed by death. Convulsions may occur. The milder poisoning causes a stupefaction like intoxicat- ion, vertigo, headache, often ear noises, fainting, vomiting. Ga- stro-enteritis, at times icterus, irregular respiration with small pulse may follow. In acute cases the body temperature falls considerably with cyanosis, cold sweat, and collapse, while, on the other side, in prolonged poisonings there is the so-called septic fever, indeed consequent to the cell destruction. The excreted phenol sulphuric acids, in particular the transformation product, hydrochinone sulphate, makes the urine brown-green to black, so- called carboluria. If the pairing with sulphuric acid and the absorbed phenol does not keep pace, then nephritis results.


Intoxications with acidum carbolicum are very numerous. Intentional provings are found:

1. Hoyne: Carbolic acid, Chicago, 1869 (see Journ. of the Hom. Mat. Medorrhinum, vol. 5, p. 329, 1872. Allg. hom. Ztg., Bd. 68, p. 166 ff. 2. Price: Amer. Hom. Observer., Bd. 8, p. 148.

3. Lilienthal: Trans. of N.Y.State Hom. Soc., vol. 8, p. 232,1870.

4. Haeseler: Hahn. Monthly, vol. 5, p. 166, 1869.

5. Danion: Rechrches sur Vacide phenique, Strasbourg, 1869.

6. Mitchell: Amer. Journ. of Hom. Mat. Medorrhinum N.S.vol. 1, p. 354 (use in carious teeth).

7. Hale: New Remedies, 4 Aufl., vol. 1, p. 151, 1875 (1 and 6 are found here).

8. Norton: Public. of Mass. Hom. Soc., vol. 4, p. 285 (of phenol vapors).

9. Williamson: Trans. of Penns. State Hom. Soc., vol. 1, p. 180, 1870 (phenol vapors).

10. Declat: Traite de l’acide phenique, Paris, 1854.

GENERAL ——- Acidum carbolicum stands very near to kresote in its actions. However it acts more acutely, raches the central nervous system more rapidly and seems to condition vasomotor-trophic disturbances more strongly and centrally. But for these reasons the field of action is narrower than that of kreosote. Acidum carbolicum is therefore infrequently employed.

In acidum carbolicum septico-putrid and gangrenous processes on the tissues are also the most frequent substrate, the acrid secretions are corrosive and at the same time offensive; but these processes lead sooner to trembling, sensation of numbness, mental confusion, chills, cold and clammy sweats, and manifestat- ions of collapse.

Pains in the most diverse severe fields, in particular in the right supraorbital, appear and disappear suddenly; numbness, cold less of sensation are the warnings of the trophic disturbances. Disinclination to per-form any mental work proceeds into stupefaction and confusion. Headache as if from a tense elastic band around the head, particularly in the forehead and an acute olfactory sense have some value as special symptoms.

ORGAN SYMPTOMS ————— Outside of paresthesias and anesthesias on the skin there are all stages from itching to vesicles and pustular eruptions to necrosis decubitus and gangrene, as in kreosote, those on a diabetic basis find the most frequent use. From the necrotic processes in the throat comes the clinical recommendation of phenol in malignant scarlet fever and even more in septic diphtheria when the widespread membrane extends to the nose and mouth, there is a strong odor and symptoms of collapse indicate the malignant course. From the stomach and intestine come the same inflammatory, ulcerative and carcinomatous processes as were mentioned under kreosote. Morning vomiting as well as nausea have led to the recommendation in hyperemesis gravidarum and still more, because of the regurgitation, stupefaction and confusion, to the morning vomiting of drunkards. Desire for alcohol and tobacco are cited but they are not found in the provings, and from smoking aggravation as well as improvement is observed. Much is said of the fermentative processes, accumulation of gas in the stomach and intestine. The emissions here too are said to be offensive. Ulcerative processes in the intestine with fever have also given occasion for the use of acidium carbolicum in typhoid and dysentery with a malignant course. In carcinoma of the gastro- intestinal canal and of the uterus phenol, from a practical stand point, is inferior to kreosote. The leucorrhoea is also characterized just as in kreosote. In puerperal fever a foul discharge, vomiting and meteorism should make one think of carbolic acid.

Frequent copious micturition has also been cited as an indication for acidum carbolicum in diabetes. The nephritis which appears in carbolic acid poisoning is scarcely suitable as a therapeutic indication. Inflammatory destructive processes in the urinary passages require considerable doses of acidum carbolicum for effectiveness. Even from this one may conclude that it is less suitable than, for example, the related benzoic acid. And if, from the provings, stiffness and diverse pains in the muscles and joints suggest a certain rheumatic component in carbolic acid effects, then these are far less important than in the benzoic and salicylic acid actions.

SUMMARY ——- Chief Trends:

Septic-gangrenous processes, acrid, corrosive, offensive discharge.

Participation of the central nervous system, particularly the vasomotor-trophic centers.

Paraesthesias, anesthesia; states of confusion; collapse.

Frequent neuralgias, coming and going suddenly.

Headache as from a band around the head. Acute olfaction.

Skin: itching, necrosis, gangrene.

Throat: malignant diphtheria with extensive membranes.

Gastro-intestinal: ulcers (also typhoid and dysentery) carcinoma.

Vomiting of pregnancy. Gastritis of drunkards.

Uterus: Ulcerative processes with foul leucorrhoea. Puerperal fever.


It is given in potencies from D 3 to D 30.


Salicylic acid, o-oxy-benzoic acid with its numerous derived preparations (aspirin, diplosal, salol, salipyrin, etc.) is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world today. Compounds of salicylic acid appear in various plants, for example, types of willows (salix), gaultheria procumbens, spiraea ulmaria. Indeed the very ancient use of such plants, particularly as fever remedies depends upon this constituent; however the chemically simple and synthetically prepared substance should be mentioned here because of its close relation to phenol and benzoic acid the carbon compounds discussed.

Salicylic acid was prepared by Piria in 1838 from the glucoside salicin of the willow (salix alba). Chemical synthesis was obtained by Kolbe and Lautemann 527 and with this was given the basis for the scientific and industrial attempt then instituted to explain salicylic acid (indeed first by Stricker 528 as a specific for acute rheumatic fever. This opinion long remained unconsidered.


It is worthy of note to remark that Ehrlich 529 considered the action of salicylates in rheumatism had an antiseptic basis, were “specific,” that is, “etiotropic.” His there prerequisites for the recognition of chemotherapeutic-etiotropic action: 1, strong depressant or destructive action on the excitor in a test tube; 2, relative harmlessness for the host; 3, antiseptic action in the organism are indeed, even the second (relative harmlessness), not proven for salicylic acid in rheumatism, and even if placed in analogy with the streptococci, at least highly improbable; all findings speak against this conception.

If the non-discovery of the excitor of polyarthritis rheumatica makes direct proof of the etiotropic action impossible, then at least the probability of bacterial depression or destruction should be proven to hold for salicylic acid. But the bactericidal properties of salicylic acid and even if its salts are much less evident outside the organism than of carbolic acid; in weak solutions of salicylic acid, molds develop for example. The percentages for the depression of bacterial growth of solutions of salicylic acid move around 0.1 Percent. (Moreover the greatest concentration of salicylic acid occurs in the blood.) Accordingly the concentration of salicylic acid would never be attained in the organism which has been found necessary for the depression, not to mention the death of the bacteria.

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,