Last modified on January 10th, 2019


Symptoms of the homeopathic medicine GRAPHITES from A Text Book of Materia Medica and Therapeutics by A.C. Cowperthwaite. Find all the symptoms of GRAPHITES

      Synonyms. Plumbago. Carbo Mineralis. Common name. Black Lead. Preparation. Triturations.


Acts especially upon the skin, the lymphatics, the digestive system and the sexual organs. Its characteristic action being upon the skin, where it produces a moist, scabby eruption. (Dry and scaly, Lyc; thick, hard scab. Mez.; scab easily torn off, leaving raw, bleeding surface, Hepar). It also acts upon the sexual system, more especially upon the ovaries and testes.


Mind. Sad and despondent (Ignatia, Phosphorus, Natr. mur.); thinks of nothing but death (Aconite, Arsenicum). Much inclined to grief; sad and weeping (Ignatia, Pulsatilla). Apprehensive with inclination to weep (Natr. mur.) Hesitates; unable to make up her mind about anything. Absent- minded; forgetful (Anacardium, Lachesis, Nux moschata).

Head. Feeling of intoxication in the morning on rising (Cinchona, Nux v.). Vertigo during and after stooping (Belladonna). Confusion and vertigo in the morning on awaking. Headache in the morning on awaking. A pain as though the head were numb and pithy. Pain as if constricted, especially in the occiput; extending to the nape, which pains as if broken on looking up. Violent headache, with eructations and nausea during the menses. Stitches in left temple. Pressive pain in the head. Pain in the occiput. Itching of the scalp. Falling off of the hair (Natr. mur., Nitr. ac., Petrol., Phosphorus, Sulphur) Eczema capitis of entire scalp, forming massive dirty crusts, which mat the hair together (Viola); painful and sore to touch. (Lycopodium, Mercurius, Mez., Nitr. ac., Psorinum). Itching of scalp.

Eyes. Intolerance of light; with redness of the eyes and lachrymation (Aconite, bell., Euphr., Mercurius, Sulphur). Heat, burning, and biting in the eyes (Arsenicum, Mercurius cor.). Light dazzles the eyes (Aconite, Belladonna, Mercurius); sunlight causes lancinating pains., Lachrymation (Arsenicum, Euphr., Mercurius cor.). Dry mucus in the lashes. Inflamed margins of lids (Bad., Mercurius cor., Sulphur); also external canthi; inverted; also from wild hairs. Tiredness of the eyes (Ruta).Things turn black before the eyes when stooping. Vision vanishes during menstruation. Ulcers or pustules on cornea. Thin, acrid discharge from the eyes, or pus-like discharge. In the lids; heaviness, dryness, pressure, heat (Aconite). Agglutination of the lids in the morning (Alumina, Lycopodium, Natr. mur., Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Zincum met.). Styes on lower lid, with drawing pain (Lycopodium, Pulsatilla).

Ears. Cracking in the ears when moving the jaws (Baryta). Humming, roaring, cracking sounds in the ears (Cinchona) Loss of hearing, with dryness of the ears. Stitches in the ears (Coni., Kali carb., Pulsatilla) . Moisture in the ears. Discharge from ears; bloody; thin, watery, offensive; gluey, sticky pus (Aurum, Bovis., Hepar s.). Moist and sore places behind both ears (Calcarea c., Hepar s., Petrol.): spread over cheeks and neck. Swelling of the glands beneath the ear. Sensation of a large body, large as an egg, behind the ear.

Nose. Sense of small too acute (Aconite, Agaricus, Aurum, Belladonna, Colchicum, Hepar s., Lycopodium); cannot tolerate the smell of flowers. Nose sore and painful internally (Mercurius, Nitr. ac.). Dry scabs in and on the nose, with sore, cracked and ulcerated nostrils (Alumina, Antim crud., Aurum, Kali bichromicum, Nitr. ac., Pulsatilla). Bloody mucous discharge from the nose (Hepar s) Purulent, offensive secretion (Thuja.); comedones (Sulphur) Dryness of the nose (Belladonna, Kali bichromicum); swelling of the nose.

Face. Paleness of the face (Arsenicum, Carb. v). Constant sensation as if a cobweb were on the face (Alumina, Baryta c., Borax., Caladium). Soreness and cracking of the lips and nostrils, as from cold (Antim crud., Arum.) Itching pimples on the face, moist after scarlating (Hepar s., Lycopodium). Erysipelatous inflammation and swelling of the face (Rhus tox.). Moist eczema on the face, especially on chin and around the mouth (Calcarea phos., Lycopodium). Swelling of submaxillary glands; painful to touch.

Mouth. Lancinating toothache, especially after drinking anything cold (Antim crud., Staphysagria, Sulphur); worse at night with heat in face; also drawing pains. Swelling of the gums (Arum, Belladonna, Mercurius). Eruptions in corner of mouth (Antim crud., Lycopodium, Mang.). Excessive accumulation of saliva mornings. Burning blisters on the lower side and tip of the tongue (Mercurius, Nitr. ac.). Bitter taste in the mouth (Arsenicum, Bryonia, Pulsatilla), with eructations (Cinchona, Nux v., Sulphur).

Throat. Sensation, when swallowing, of a lump in the throat (Belladonna, Lachesis); on empty swallowing, a constrictive retching from oesophagus up to larynx. Glands in side of throat down to shoulder are swollen and painful, on bending neck to one side or lying upon it, as if tense or stiff.

Stomach. Aversion to animal food (Alumina, Arnica, Carb. v., Ptelea trifoliata, Pulse.); to salt things; sweet things are disgusting and nauseous. Frequent eructations, tasting of the ingesta (Antim crud., Carb. an., Calcarea c., Phosphorus, Pulse., Cinchona). Rancid heartburns. Hiccough after meals. Ineffectual eructations. Nausea, especially in the morning (Calcarea c., nux v.), with weakness and trembling; during menses. Nausea,with griping in stomach and constant spitting, as from abdomen; worse mornings and for several hours after eating, with contractive pain below umbilicus, and much mucus in throat. Vomiting of all food taken (Ipecac.). Pain in stomach all day; better from lying and warmth of bed, returning on rising. Pain in pit of stomach all forenoon, better from eructations. Insipid, sickening sensation in stomach, with good appetite. Constrictive, griping pain in stomach; flatulence. Periodical gastralgia, with vomiting of the food immediately after eating. Chronic gastralgia, with thirst, especially after the abuse of alcoholic drinks. Chronic catarrh of stomach, with frequent eructations.

Abdomen. Burning in left hypochondrium. Great distension of the abdomen; hardness (Arsenicum, Baryta, Calcarea c., Mercurius); rumbling. Full abdomen, as from incarcerated flatus (Carb. v.). Passage of much offensive flatus (Aloe, Bryonia, Colchicum). Griping before emission of flatus. Cannot endure anything tight about the abdomen (Carb. v., Calcarea c., Lachesis) after eating. Glandular swelling in the groins (Calcarea c., Mercurius). Herpetic eruption in groins.

Stool and Anus. Stool very thin, like a round worm; dark-colored, half-digested, of an intolerable odor; much white mucus with the stool; blood; lumpy, united by mucous threads, hard, with much urging and sticking in the anus. Mucus remaining in the anus after stool (Antim crud.). Itching in the anus (Alumina, Arsenicum, Cina., Chamomilla, Sulphur); stitching, smarting, sore pain in the anus after wiping it. Prolapsus of rectum, with the varices, as if paralyzed. Hemorrhoids of the rectum with burning rhagades at the anus. Anal Fissure; severe, sharp, cutting pain during stool, followed by constriction and aching for several hours.

Urinary Organs. Urging to urinate, with scanty discharges (Aconite, Apis., Cantharis, Coloc., Digit.); with dribbling after. Frequent micturition (Apis., Argentum met., Cepa., Phosphorus ac.) Nocturnal enuresis (Arnica, Cantharis, Cuprum, Pulsatilla). Biting in urethra after micturition. Thin stram, as if the urethra were contracted. The urine becomes turbid (Chelidonium, Cina., Digit.), and deposits a white (Calcarea c., Cantharis, Coloc.) or reddish sediment (Belladonna, Carb. v., Kreosotum, Sepia); clear, but after four or five hours becoming covered with iridescent film.

Male Organs. Dropsical swelling of prepuce and scrotum. Vesicles and blisters on prepuce. Immoderate sexual excitement (Agaricus, Baryta c.); violent erections. No ejaculation follows coition. Itching and moist eruption of scrotum (Hepar s., Rhus tox.).

Female Organs. Profuse leucorrhoea of very thin, white mucus, with weakness in the back; profuse when walking. First menses delayed (Pulsatilla). Leucorrhoeal discharge occurs in gushes day or night. Menses too late; too scanty; too pale (Pulsatilla). Pain in epigastrium during menses, as if everything would be torn to pieces. Painful pressure toward the pudenda. Swelling and induration of left ovary with stony hardness; pain on touch, inspiration or hawking with stitches in ovary, general sweat and sleeplessness. Itching of the pudenda (Caladium, Angust.) before menstruation. Painful sore nipples (Phytolacca). Morning sickness of pregnancy or during menses (Kali. c., Nux moschata, Pulsatilla, Sepia). Hard cicatrices remaining after mammary abscess.

Respiratory Organs. Scraping in the throat. Tickling in larynx; worse evening in bed, causing hawking and short cough. Hoarseness every evening. Raw pain in chest, like raw flesh. Cough at night, caused by deep inspiration.

Neck and Back. Glands on the side of neck down to shoulders swollen and painful, when bending the neck or lying, as if tense and stiff. Tearing, cutting pain in nape of neck. Stiffness in nape of neck. Bruised pain in loins.

Limbs. Weakness; paralyzed sensation of all the limbs. Limbs “go to sleep.”

Upper Limbs. Violent sticking and tearing in left shoulder. Skin of hands hard and cracked in places (Hepar s.). Arthritic nodosities on the fingers. Rheumatic tearing in hands and fingers. Raw, moist places between the fingers. The finger nails become thick.

Lower Limbs. Excoriation between the legs; between toes. Smarting soreness between the nates (Mercurius). Herpes in the hollow of knees. Numbness and stiffness of the thighs. Restlessness in the legs. Bruised pain in knee at night. Cramp in the calves (Calcarea c., Camph., Ferrum, Nux v.). Heat and crawling in the heels, worse mornings in bed. Rheumatic tearing in the feet and toes. Thick and crippled toe nails (Antim crud.).

Generalities. Weak, exhaustion of the whole body (Arsenicum, Cinchona, Phosphorus). Great emaciation (Arsenicum, Iodi., Natr. m.), especially of suffering parts (Ledum). Sudden sinking of strength (Arsenicum, Camph., Secale c.). Violent pulsation of blood in the whole body. Tremulous sensation through the whole body. Burning pain in old cicatrix. Symptoms disappear when walking in the open air. Swelling and induration of the glands (Calcarea carb., Baryta c.).

Skin. Itching eruption, from which oozes a corrosive, watery, sticky fluid, in many parts of the body (Clem., Petrol., Rhus tox.). Itching over various parts of the body (Rhus tox., Ruta., Sulphur). Excoriation of skin, especially in children (Hyoscyamus, Ignatia). Unhealthy skin; every injury tends to ulceration (Borax., Hepar s., Silicea, Sulphur). Old ulcers, with foetid pus (Carb. v.), proud flesh, itching, stinging (Silicea). Skin dry, inclined to crack. Old scars from ulcers.

Fever. Chilliness in the morning, in bed. Sweats from slightest motion; very sour, offensive, perspiration. Offensive foot sweat (Silicea).

Sleep. Great agitation at night, with anxious, frightful dreams (Arsenicum). Sleepiness during the day; after mid-day meal.

Conditions.] Especially8 adapted to persons inclined to obesity, particularly females with disposition to delayed menstruation.

Compare. Arsenicum, Calcarea c., Carb. an., Carb. v., Hepar s., Kali. bi.,, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Natr. m., Nitr., ac., Petrol., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Sepia, Silicea, Sulphur

Antidotes. Aconite, Arsenicum, Nux v., Vinum.

Graphites Antidotes. Arsenicum, Iodi., Rhus tox.


The chief use of Graphites is in the treatment of skin diseases, especially moist eczematous eruptions, which may occur upon any part of the body, more especially the scalp, face and genitals; tinea capitis; herpes zoster; impetigo; ulcers; excoriations; has removed old cicatrices after ulcers and abscesses; skin, especially on back of hands, becomes dry, hard, thick and fissured; unhealthy skin, injury tend to ulcerate (Hepar s); sometimes useful in vesicular erysipelas. Rhus poisoning. A clinical indication for Graphites in skin disease is that the itching remedy in the enlargement of the lymphatic glands of the neck and axillae, and also of the inguinal and mesenteric glands. From this prominent action upon the skin and glands may be inferred the value of Graphites in scrofulous affections. It is especially useful in scrofulous ophthalmia, particularly when, with the inflammatory condition, there exist pustules or ulcers on the cornea and conjunctiva; thickening and inflammation of the margins of the lids, especially at the external canthi, which are covered with scurfs or scales; there is always great photophobia, agglutination of the lids, and dryness, burning and itching; styes; tumors; especially on margins of lids; ectropion and ectropion. Purulent discharges from the ears, with humming and cracking in the ears, and moist eczema about and especially behind them. Nasal catarrh in scrofulous subjects; nose sore, cracked and painful, nostrils ulcerated, covered with dry scabs, purulent discharge. Frequently in scrofulous patients the nails become thick, hard and fissured, for which Graph, is the remedy. Inflammation of the roots of the nails, with tendency to exuberant granulations. Sore throat, with swollen painful glands, sensation of a lump in throat; worse on empty swallowing. Often a remedy for chronic catarrh of the stomach; chronic gastritis of drunkards; gastralgia, periodical coming on some hours after a meal, always immediately after eating; better from warm milk, worse from cold drinks; always more or less heartburn, rancid eructations and nausea, with the gastric troubles, very much resembling Pulsatilla. Complaints from fat food (Pulsatilla). Useful in intestinal catarrh characterized by excessive mucous discharges; constipation, faeces lumpy and covered with mucus; or containing shreds of mucus, especially with fissures, cracks and ulcers in the anus. Nocturnal enuresis in children who have eczema; urethritis, with burning and biting in urethra, and a gluey, sticky discharge. In the male genital system, in addition to the characteristic eczema of the organs, Graphites has been used in hydrocele, and also in impotence, want of sensation during coition, and no ejaculation. In its action on the female genitals Graphites again resembles Pulsatilla. It has been found useful in scanty and delayed menstruation, especially in scrofulous subjects who are inclined to obesity, and who have eczema; frequently with a profuse thin, white mucous leucorrhoea, occurring in gushes, which sometimes take the place of the menses. Nausea and weakness during menses. Membranous dysmenorrhoea. Enlargement and induration of left ovary, very hard and sensitive. It is claimed that Graphites has cured ovarian cysts. It is also recommended for follicular and cystic disease following a laceration of the cervix. May be useful in local indurations about the cervix. Has cured cauliflower excrescences, with severe lancinating pains. Also useful in tumors of the mammae. An invaluable remedy, both locally and internally, for sore nipples, cracked, bleeding and painful. Morning sickness of pregnancy. Farrington recommends Graphites for anteflexion and anteversion. It is sometimes a useful remedy in chlorosis with the characteristic menstruation and leucorrhoea just mentioned, and when pimples break out on the face. A useful remedy at the climacteric, especially in women who have grown fat rapidly. Has been termed the “Pulsatilla of the climacteric.” An important differentiating symptom between Graphites and Puls, is that with the former constipation is the rule with nearly all menstrual troubles, while with Pulsatilla the opposite is more often the case. Neither has Pulsatilla the skin symptoms and other evidences of dyscrasia.

About the author

A.C. Cowperthwaite

A.C. Cowperthwaite

A.C. (Allen Corson) Cowperthwaite 1848-1926.
ALLEN CORSON COWPERTHWAITE was born at Cape May, New Jersey, May 3, 1848, son of Joseph C. and Deborah (Godfrey) Cowperthwaite. He attended medical lectures at the University of Iowa in 1867-1868, and was graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1869. He practiced his profession first in Illinois, and then in Nebraska. In 1877 he became Dean and Professor of Materia Medica in the recently organized Homeopathic Department of the State University of Iowa, holding the position till 1892. In 1884 he accepted the chair of Materia Medica, Pharmacology, and Clinical Medicine in the Homeopathic Medical College of the University of Michigan. He removed to Chicago in 1892, and became Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College. From 1901 he also served as president of that College. He is the author of various works, notably "Insanity in its Medico-Legal Relations" (1876), "A Textbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics" (1880), of "Gynecology" (1888), and of "The Practice of Medicine " (1901).

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