The Nitrogen


A tendency to bleeding goes throughout the entire picture of phosphorus. The reduction of coagulability of the blood with diminution of the fibrinogen and the involvement of the capillaries up to fatty degeneration of their walls in poisoning shows this trend in the end effect. The striking reduction of CO2 content of the blood and the nonoxidation of the otherwise so oxygen avid phosphorus in the arterial blood gives the bright red color to the hemorrhage although a perfectly satisfactory explanation is not obtained thereby. In hemorrhagic diathesis, particularly purpura hemorrhagica, phosphorus is an important remedy. Easy bleeding from wounds, bleeding from the nose, lung, stomach, intestine, kidney, uterus, from granulations, ulcers, tumors and polypi, into the skin, mucous membranes and serous surfaces as petechia and suggillations are indications of phosphorus which, because of their final character, are naturally indications only in conjunction with other signs of therapeutic value.


Phosphorus in homoeopathy has always been considered an important remedy for spinal cord diseases. With the great number of subjective symptoms one does not know whether they are to be ascribed to general weakness in the neuromuscular system or to the domain of organic disturbances of the motor and sensory centers. In this respect one need not expect any action when column degeneration is completed but only in the beginning, the stage of development, can it be considered therapeutically. In this same sense the following sensory and motor irritative and paretic manifestations can be evaluated only as the fleeting transition from functional to organic disturbances: the bodily and mental exhaustion proceeds up to the highest grade of paralytic weakness, which the arms and legs show particularly, trembling on the slightest occasion; can hardly hold objects; the gait is trembling, uncertain, stumbling; numbness and formication up to complete anesthesia, especially in the finger tips, increasing motor and sensory paresis in the fingers and toes. Muscle trembling and tendon contractions are also mentioned by Lewing as precursors of the paralysis. How far the external pains of various types are referable to neuralgias may be left undecided, but in any case they are aggravated by cold and relieved by warmth, details which will be noted in contrast to the head and gastric symptoms. The neuralgias associated with the teeth are likewise improved by warmth. Beginning bony processes in the alveoli may cooperate here.

The nervous symptoms are worse from mental and bodily effort and fear, and the great sensitivity of the psychical symptoms toward many fine influences has previously been mentioned. In the field of spinal cord action also falls the sexual irritation and weakness so far as they are not psychically conditioned; moreover; some symptoms from the sphincters, as the sensation of the anus being open, paralytic weakness of the bladder. Clinically, phosphorus is given for most diseases of the spinal cord, in particular progressive spinal paralysis, tabes, myelitis and multiple sclerosis. It is self-understood that by employment based merely on a diagnosis, only very little success may be expected and further in individual selections only where the symptoms of the system disease itself indicate possibilities of regulation. In respect to the cord degeneration of pernicious anemia, phosphorus is to be seriously considered by virtue of the similarity to the total disease.


Phosphorus is an important remedy for internal diseases of the eye. That phosphorus physiologically plays a similar role in the retina as in the central nervous system may be concluded from the previously cited phosphorus excretion from the frog retina through illumination. In homoeopathic materia medica, the color vision, particularly red and green vision, is mentioned. In retinitis and glaucoma, phosphorus is especially indicated, and in retinitis albuminurica the nephritis adds itself in a confirmatory manner. Gray and foggy vision and improvement of vision at twilight have given occasion for employment in beginning cataract, in turbidity of the lens and choroiditis. Rapid increase of shortsightedness at puberty is a constitutional indication.

Auditory paralysis is observed in phosphorus poisoning. As characteristic for the indication in internal auditory diseases is the difficulty in heating the human voice, the echoing and droning of the patient’s own voice, and that of others, as though the ears were stopped.


As the important action of phosphorus on the respiratory organs we found from pathologico-anatomic sections at autopsy relatively little point of departure. In older animal investigations (cited by Sorge, l.c.) hepatization and tubercle-like formations are described. On the nasal mucous membrane old catarrhs with painful dryness, frequent, sneezing and easy bleeding are described. Clinically, bleeding nasal polypi are reported. In blepharo-conjunctivitis phosphorus is frequently the choice.

The pharnygeal catarrhs of phosphorus have tenacious, light colored mucus; the;mucous membrane is dry and glistening. The larynx is very sensitive to contact and cold air; painful burning occurs in the larynx on speaking or there is severe prickling. The huskiness is worse evenings, also after use of the voice. In milder cases there is a sensation in the larynx “as if stuffed with cotton or velvet”. The peculiar inflammation makes speaking impossible through rawness, dryness and pain, or occasions inaudible speech. Thereby a constant stimulus to cough exists in the larynx and there is a hard, dry, painful cough. Phosphorus is also frequently employed in laryngeal tuberculosis. Since this is usually secondary, the same indications hold as exist for the use in pulmonary tuberculosis.

Inflammation and dryness in phosphorus have a tendency to descend into the trachea and bronchi.

Through the entire symptoms of the upper air passages goes the aggravation from cold air; aggravation from speaking and laughing in the cough. The cough is aggravated by going from the warm into the cold. The hard, dry, painful cough may arise from the larynx as well as the upper air passages or from sensations at the pit of the stomach. The expectoration is slight, tenacious, is detached with difficulty and at times is bloody.

Cough belongs to the nervous component of phosphorus; cough provoked by strong odors or by the appearance of strangers, cough from confusion. As so frequently we find here also the crude symptom from the receptive organs simultaneously sublimated again in the reflex symptoms.

Congestion is characteristic for the lungs and this may be of an active (direct capillary effect) or passively conditioned from the right heart. An important symptom is the oppression, the feeling of heaviness as from a heavy weight on the chest, constriction as if from a firm bandage, with feeling of anxiety and weakness, burning pains and heat rising to the head. Another characteristic is sticking in the left chest, better only lying on the right side. The aggravation from lying on the left side is generally considered as an indication for phosphorus, particularly in pneumonia. Phosphorus is a leading remedy in all types of pneumonia. Thereby one need not go so far as Fleischmann from the Austrian homoeopathic school for whom phosphorus was the sole remedy in pneumonia. It is reported that it is suitable especially in the stage of hepatization, but it may be used at resolution of lobar pneumonia. The typhoid form of pneumonia is especially suitable for phosphorus when dusky facies and delirium are present. Phosphorus is also suitable for infarct and pleuro-pneumonia, the frequent sticking pain being a special indication.

The phosphorus cough in lung affections is so severe that it shakes the entire body, and the patient must hold the chest with his hands. The thirst for ice cold water is characteristic.

The suitability of phosphorus for pulmonary tuberculosis proceeds even from its predisposing constitutional type. To this is added the tendency to hectic fever and the bleeding. The euphoria of phosphorus poisoning may be compared with that of severe tuberculosis.

Phosphorus is often in place even in persistent catarrhs of the respiratory passages when they recur at each chilling and tuberculosis is feared especially as arising, after acute diseases. Always characteristic for the cough is the occurrence on going from the warm into the cold. If a florid tuberculosis is in progress, then extreme caution with the doses of phosphorus is in place. I myself believe in many still afebrile cases a hemoptysis must be brought into association with the first phosphorus medication even with high potencies and I now use more of the phosphate in the form of calc. phosphor.

Many of the chest symptoms cited perhaps belong to the cardiac action. That an action occurs on the cardiac muscle is indeed shown in the final fatty degeneration. In this as well as in myocarditis phosphorus is to be placed alongside of arsenic. Affections of the right heart and the disturbances in pulmonary circulation arising out of it come into special consideration for phosphorus. The subjective symptoms have already been mentioned in the lung affections: pressure in the cardiac region, severe palpitation, worse from movement and lying on the left side, worse evening or the patient awakens at night with it; congestion to the chest, feeling of suffocation, the more severe symptoms of stasis with rales, dyspnea, anxiety bloody expectoration. Modalities, as thirst for very cold water, thereby can guide to the remedy. By other suitable symptoms phosphorus may be considered in endocarditis in the course of febrile diseases. Accidental cardiac murmurs during puberty and with rapid growth makes the entire type suitable for phosphorus. The close connection of phosphorus to the thyroid also explains the use in goiter heart and in vegetative cardiac disturbances.

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,