The Carbon

Indeed one can imagine that with a certain grade of dispersity and with a certain amount of the particles, the cells will be enveloped by a foreign layer of absorption and thereby the metabolism depressed; that on the other hand by a high grade dispersity and lesser amounts the particles act directly on the cells to which, for example, graphites particles have a special affinity by virtue of their charge and their peculiar surface, and thus are able to promote or intermediate very directly (Catalytically) in the gas exchange or the general metabolism. In the one case a cell damage is found, in the other an elective cell excitation to increased function, by the same element, but in varying state of division.

Surface reactions on colloids, absorption catalysis, play a major role in the organism in carbon dioxide assimilation, respiration and fermentation. It is no accident that in carbon materials we find the chief trend of action on the gas exchange, on the fermentative process. Since O. Warburg 506 has demonstrated the preponderance of the fermentative processes over the oxidative in the cancer cell, we also understand the influence of carbon materials on carcinoma much better.


Provings of graphites are found:

1. Hahnemann: Chron. Krkht., Bd. 2, p. 147; 2 Aufl., Bd. 3, p. 291.

2. Buchner: (Eine kurze Bemerkung uber eine Selbstprufung Storks, zit., Allg. hom. Ztg., Bd. 47, p. 40).

3. Piper: Allg. hom. Ztg., Bd. 18, p. 125.

The monograph of H. Goullon, Jr. (Leipzig, 1872), is purely clinical and to be judged only with great caution. According to the results of provings on the healthy the drug picture of graphites has its basis in defective internal metabolism which expresses itself in slowing of all functions, particularly those of the skin and intestine.


As general symptoms we find in the provings: chilliness, easily chilling, fear of open air and drafts, coldness of the feet, in the evening offensive sweating of the feet in bed, often offensive sweating on the least exertion, night sweats, great desire for sleep, drowsy morning sleep, anxious alarming dreams, “going to sleep” of single parts, pallor of the face. Great emaciation is also reported as well as, from the other side, a fat, pasty habitus. Moreover the last is more characteristic because in general graphites shows a greater depression of dissimilation and in approximation to charcoal more stasis in the venous circulation in comparison to silicic acid. In American literature graphites is characterized as “fat, chilly and constipated.”

A number of other general symptoms such as constant pulsation in the entire body, aggravated by each movement, transient facial heat, rushes of heat, circumscribed burning at the vertex, sudden jerks in the heart, the rush of blood to the head are probably not from graphites itself but may be ascribed to the admixture of ferrum.

As far as the mental state is characteristic for graphites, it is a melancholic disposition: indecision, inconsolable grief with much crying, anxious unrest, fear of disaster; more rarely irritability and ill humour. The manner of psychic reaction, corresponding to the relaxed type, is sluggish. Definite headaches are not present in the general state of depression conditioned by graphites; constriction and tension in the occiput is mentioned.

FEMALE SEXUAL ORGANS ——————– Closely connected to these general manifestations are the characteristic constitutional symptoms in women. The menses are too late, too scanty, too pale; added to these is the clinical indication: sterility with delayed menses. Sensation of coldness in the vagina, aversion to coitus strengthen these indications. Many complaints are worse during and after the menses, particularly the constipation. The reports vary concerning the leucorrhoea of graphites: watery thin, as well as white, acrid, profuse, gushing leucorrhoea is reported. The watery, profuse and at the same time acrid leucorrhoea seems to be the most characteristic. For the explanation of this leucorrhoea there is the erosion of the cervix, because such fissuring is characteristic of graphites.


The disturbances in metabolism begin in the assimilative phase but more markedly involve the dissimilative. On the gastro-intestinal canal, the digestive symptoms are almost word for word those of silicic acid. In the middle of the intestinal actions stands the persistent constipation; just as with silicea there is reported in graphites “effort even from soft stool” though this is concerned with the transient action from large amounts. The report: undigested stool soon after eating one may well ascribe to the admixture of iron. In constipation the evacuation results after great effort, then it appears in single lumps covered with mucus. Defective assimilation, poor gas exchange, predominance of retention processes express themselves as follows: abdominal distension after eating, so that the hypochondria are sensitive to the pressure of clothes; aversion to cooked foods, hot drinks and meats, against salty and sweet foods; fullness in the abdomen accumulation of gas, excessive emission of offensive flatus, pressure in the abdomen. Similarly as with silicea there may be at times excessive hunger and marked thirst. Morning nausea and vomiting, however, is an exception. Burning in the stomach which necessitates eating is reported; it may be that this symptom is to be traced to the admixture of iron or arsenic. Nocturnal cramp-like gastric pain accompanied by dyspnoea is also said to be relieved by eating and by the drinking of warm milk. In this respect graphites is to be considered in pyloric and duodenal ulcer. Perhaps it acts on the cicatricial formations. The taste in the mouth is reported as bitter or acid, by another as foul; in any case it is not characteristic.

The stasis in the gastro-intestinal canal in graphites involves the portal circulation more than with silicea but not to the extent of charcoal. Large hemorrhoids appear with soreness so that sitting is hardly possible; to this may be added burning fissures between the hemorrhoids which we have already learned are typical of graphites. The external application of graphites D 1 prepared with an ointment base may support the action. Itching eruptions about the anus likewise belong to the skin actions of the remedy.


Graphites acts especially prominently on the skin and its appendages. We are not closely informed on the connection of the skin manifestations to the defective general metabolism and the depression of intestinal functions; and we know just as little about why the functional disturbances localize with preference in the skin. One may conjecture here as with silicic acid that foreign colloidal particles which escape from the gastrointestinal canal are removed through the activities of the skin. The chemically inert though purest form of carbon has a special affinity for this mode of excretion. The skin manifestations of graphites are considerably dryer and less purulent than with silica.

Most characteristic in graphite is the persistent dryness of the skin and lack of moisture, tendency to rhagades and unhealthiness of the skin. Outside of fissured dry eczema moist crusted eruptions also appear with preference on the flexors of the extremities or behind the ears, moreover on the sites of transition from skin to mucous membranes and the vicinity of the genitalia. The secretion should be honey-like, coagulated, acrid and offensive; the itching is worse from heat and the warmth of the bed. (Here the similarity to sulphur which is the outstanding mobilizer in retention processes is distinct.) The nasal orifices are particularly involved, so that the nares are sore, fissured, crusted, ulcerated and the nose is swollen; its secretion is offensive, purulent, crusted. The usefulness of graphites for the avoidance of recurrent erysipelas is explained by the favorable action on rhagades. Likewise the localization on the border of the lids in the form of a blepharitis is frequent and the lid borders are thickly covered with crusts; also cited are: scabby eruption on the chin and about the mouth, soreness of the nipples with vesicles thereon, soreness between the fingers and the toes, itching on the hairy scalp, moist, scabby eruption on the scalp, the hair falls out also on the side of the head; the hair is stiff and brittle; the nails on the fingers and toes are thickened, distorted and split.

From the predominantly dry character of the skin symptom of graphites, one will not neglect this remedy in psoriasis. Goullon sees a special indication for graphites in the herpetic-like eruption.


The skin manifestations described suggest that graphites, like silicea, must be taken into consideration as a remedy in scrofula, particularly since it is a remedy in scrofula, particularly since it is a remedy with a prolonged effect and has outstanding suitability for the chronic case. Hahnemann, indeed, counts it amongst his “antipsoric” remedies. In addition also to graphites is ascribed the tendency to swelling and hardening of the glands, many symptoms in the eyes and ears as well as in the upper air passages, these providing many similarities to the symptoms of scrofula; inflammation of the sclera with burning, sore readily bleeding angles of the lids, photophobia; inflammation from inwardly growing eyelashes, trichiasis, moreover offensive discharge from the ear which smells like herring brine, either from the middle ear catarrh or an eczema of the external auditory passage; dryness of the nose, itching in the larynx. In this respect one must state that while graphites as well as silicea is to be counted to the outstanding remedies for scrofula, still it is suitable only for definite phases. The selection is primarily according to the constitutional view-point as well as from the type and localization of the skin manifestations.

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,