Phosphorus is a homeopathic remedy used primarily for coughs, headaches, heavy hair loss and bleeding but is useful for so much more. It is another homeopathic essential but not a common remedy for your homeopathic first aid kit.
Phosphorus is an element with a variety of forms. The form used here, which is yellowish in colour but called white phosphorus, is both poisonous and highly flammable prior to being made a homeopathic remedy. On contact with air, this element ignites in a brilliant white flame and as a result is usually kept in alcohol or water.
Much of the food we eat contains phosphorus in the form of phosphate and prior to the nineteenth century it was used medically, before it was discovered just how poisonous it was.
A phosphorus patient will often have nervous exhaustion and be prone to feeling cold and heavy, where extremities are ice cold. Sleep makes them feel better and so will massage. Often, these people can be anxious and may need company. They can be jumpy, sensitive to light and pain, as well as generally, and tend to be irritable. They are not always the most communicative of people but tend to be sympathetic and affectionate.
General symptoms tend to include anaemia, bleeding (where relevant) is bright red and profuse. Complains from changes in weather, especially if they get chilled. Face can be red in spots, any discharges will be blood-streaked. Thirst will be unquenchable, heavy feeling, hot flushes, hair loss, taste – mouth will taste sour. Haemorrhages (where applicable). This person will like and want cold drinks, cold food, spicy food, milk, ice-cream, chocolate, salt. They will feel better for a sleep or a massage, as well as cold drinks. They will feel worse for cold, before eating, changes in weather, wind, during the evening/morning.
Phosphorus can be used to treat any of the following issues, if the symptoms have the accompanying symptoms - where exhaustion is not nervous, paralytic or accompanied with a fever, then this is not the right remedy for this case.
Backache – where pain is between the shoulder blades or in lower back and feels as though it has been broken or is burning. This type of pain eases when massaged or rubbed and is worse when standing from a sitting position.
Bleeding gums – where resulting from tooth being pulled out.
Common cold – where the nasal catarrh is blood-streaked, nose runs profusely (or can be blocked) and one-sided, as well as dry. Sense of taste/smell is lost and this is often accompanied with a sore throat and/or hoarseness.
Cough – where breathing is difficult and fast, the cough is dry at night, during a fever, will be hacking, irritating, racking, tickling, tight and can be violent as it tickles larynx. It will often wake the person at night and they will need to sit up. Larynx will be raw as a result of this and the mucus will taste sweet; salty; transparent; white; yellow; green; copious; bloody. This can also be accompanied with chest pains, which are burning and may result in sweating. These symptoms are usually better for heat.
Croup – as above
Diarrhoea – where the stools are blood-streaked, frequent, painless, profuse and watery. Person will also have ice-cold hands and feet. Abdomen tends to be bloated and gurgles. This person will feel better after cold food and worse from getting chilled and during the morning.
Exhaustion – when exhaustion is nervous, paralytic or accompanied with a fever. It is worse for slightest exertion, or walking. Usually result of acute illness, such as a high fever, diarrhoea.
Fever – where there is an increase in appetite and heat. The heat will be dry, burning at night, on one side, and tends to be on the right side. Unquenchable thirst may accompany this fever.
Hair loss – where the hair falls out in handfuls. This tends to be the result of acute illness.
Headache – where hunger occurs before or during headache. Pain will be in the forehead, sides of head, burning, bursting, pressing, throbbing. The head feels heavy and eyes will water is cold air. Sense of smell can be acute. Head feels better as a result of sleep, for cold/cold compresses, fresh air, getting up, massage or walking. It is worse when getting cold, coughing, daylight, hot drinks, in stuffy rooms or when head is wrapped up. The most common cause of this type of headache is a thunderstorm or nervousness.
Hoarseness – where it is painful. This is resultant of over-using the voice.
Indigestion – where pains are in the stomach and tend to be burning, sore and feel bruised. Worse after eating.
Injuries – in cuts and wounds where they bleed freely, bright-red and are slow to clot.
Insomnia – where the dreams are anxious and vivid, and are accompanied with sleepiness. Person wants to sleep on right-side and cannot fall asleep if on left side.
Nausea – where the stomach/belly feels empty and the belches are sour. Hot drinks, drinking water and hands being in warm water all make this nausea worse. Empty feeling in belly not eased by eating.
Nosebleeds – where blood is bright red and bleeding is persistent. Accompanied with sweating. Blowing nose makes it worse.
Sore throat – where the pain is raw, sore. Tonsils will be swollen and the voice will be hoarse. Larynx may feel irritated and tickly. Breathing in makes it worse, as does coughing, pressure and talking, and it tends to be worse during morning/evening. Usually accompany a cold.
Voice loss – in singers, painless.
Vomiting – where there are burning pains in the stomach, or a bruised soreness. The vomit is bile; mucus; bitter; yellow and vomiting is violent. Drinking/eating will make this worse – even in tiny quantities. Often a result of a stomach bug or when very, very emotional.
This remedy is another first aid kit must have, as you can see from the sheer number of issues it can treat but is dependant on the general symptoms. Given that this is from a ‘poison’, it should only be taken under the instructions of a fully qualified, professional homeopath.
Source: The Complete Homeopathy Handbook by Miranda Castro