Last modified on January 10th, 2019


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

      Synonym. Mercurius Sublimatus Corrosives. Bi-Chloride of Mercury. Mercuric Chloride. Common name. Corrosive Sublimate. Preparation. Corrosive sublimates dissolved in Alcohol, one to ninety-nine, making the 2x dilution. Subsequent dilutions with alcohol. Triturations from the salt.


The general action of Mercurius cor. is essentially the same as of other Mercurial preparations, yet it offers peculiarities of its own, which are found in no other. It is, as the name indicates, a highly corrosive, irritating poison, acting pre- eminently upon mucous membranes with destructive energy, producing and intensely acute inflammation, rapidly tending to softening and gangrenous disorganization. Its irritant influence also extends to the serous membranes, especially to the peritoneum. The most essential feature of Mercurius cor. is the phagedenic tendency of all inflammatory conditions.


Mind Depressed; low spirited (Ignatia, Pulsatilla). Ill-humored (Bryonia, Chamomilla, Nux v.). Weakness of the intellect; stares at persons who talk to him, and does not understand; stares at persons who talk to him, and does not understand them. Stupor and delirium. Coma (Belladonna, Opium).

Head Congestion to the head and face, with burning of the checks (AConium, Belladonna). Violent frontal headache (Pulsatilla, Sanguinaria). Pain, like a drawing in the periosteum of the skull.

Eyes Pupils contracted (Physos.) and insensible(OP.). Excessive photophobia and acrid lachrymation (Arsenicum, Euphr., Ledum). Redness of the conjunctiva. Pains behind the eye-balls, as if they would be forced out. Lids everted, swollen, red, excoriated, burning, and smarting; edges covered with thick crusts or pustules (Mercurius, Sulphur). Tearing pain in bone and over left eye, near root of nose, and in other parts of bone.

Ears Violent pulsation in the ears.

Nose Swelling and redness of the nose (Belladonna, Mercurius). Fluent coryza rawness and smarting in the nostrils (Ammonium mur., Cepa, Hydras.). Frequent nosebleed.

Face Countenance pale; anxious; as if exhausted. Face flushed; red; swollen; puffy. Lips blacks; excessively swollen and tender; dry and cracked (Arsenicum); incrusted with a dry secretion. Stiffness of the jaws; soreness. Oedematous swelling of the face; paleness albuminuria.

Mouth Teeth loose; pain and fall out (Mercurius). Sordes. Soreness in teeth and gums; aching at night. Gums swollen and spongy;bleed easily;d detaches from teeth (Carb. v., Cistus Mercurius,Nitr. a.); ulcerated. Tongue coated with thick white mucus (Antim crud.), or dry and red (Belladonna, Rhus tox.); excessively swollen and inflamed (Belladonna); red with black coat; covered with a grayish white crust; moist edges, red; pale dirty-yellow posteriorly and edges. Mouth inflamed; dry burning and parched, as if scaled (Apis). Exudations and ulcers on the mucous membranes of mouth and throat. Accumulation of tenacious saliva, expectorated with difficulty (Kali bichromicum). Ptyalism. Salty (Ant.crud.,Sulph.),or every bitter taste. Swallowing not so painful as depressing the tongue.

Throat Throat intensely inflamed and swollen, preventing swallowing and threatening suffocation (Belladonna). Violent burning pain in throat and oesophagus (Arsenicum, Cantharis, caps.); aggravated by slightest external pressure. Dryness of fauces. Dark-red color. Constriction. Difficult painful swallowing, even of fluids. Uvula swollen, elongated (Mercurius) dark-red. External throat and glands of throat enormously swollen. Spasms of oesophagus and stomach on attempting to swallow a drop of liquid. Burning in oesophagus.

Stomach Violent unquenchable thirst for cold water (Aconite, Arsenicum, Bryonia). Drink frequently regurgitates through the nose. Painful retching and vomiting. Incessant green bilious vomiting (Iris). Streaks of blood in matter vomited. Burning in stomach. Great distension and sensitiveness in the epigastric region (Arsenicum, Belladonna, Bryonia, Nux v., Lycopodium) to the slightest touch or pressure.

Abdomen. Stitches in the hepatic region (Aconite, Arsenicum, Calcarea c., Chelidonium, Cinchona, Kali carb., Mercurius, Natr., Nux v., Sepia, Sulphur). Abdomen distended and very painful to least touch (Aconite, Belladonna, Cuprum). Bruised pain in abdomen (Ferrum, Mercurius), especially in coecal region and over transverse colon.

Stool and Anus Constant burning in rectum and anus (Arsenicum, Cantharis); during stool. Corrosive ichor oozes from anus, excoriating the parts(Carb. v.). Very distressing, persistent tenesmus and cutting colicky pains; after stool burning and tenesmus of rectum and bladder; stools frequent,scanty, nothing but mucus tinges with blood (Cantharis). Stool pasty, dark-green , bilious, blackish. Offensive (Arsenicum). Constipation; tenacious faeces.

Urinary Organs Tenesmus of the bladder (Cantharis, Caps., Colchicum); urine suppressed (Aconite, Hyoscyamus, Stramonium). Frequent urination;passed in drops with much pain (Aconite, Belladonna, Cantharis). Urine scanty; bloody; albuminous (Osm., Phosphorus, Phytolacca, Plumb.) containing filaments, flocks or dark flesh-like pieces of mucus; epithelial cells of the tubule uriniferi in state of fatty degeneration. Gonorrhoea, at first thin, afterward thick, greenish, worse at night (Mercurius), burning, smarting urination (Can. sat.).

Male Organs Penis and testes enormously swollen (Arsenicum). Chancres assuming a phagedenic appearance, and secreting a thin, ichorous pus.

Female Organs Intense inflammation of the vulva. Painful glandular swelling about the nipple.

Respiratory Organs Hoarseness or aphonia, burning,cutting and stinging in the trachea; tightness across the chest; influenza (Osm.) Difficult respiration. Spasm of the glottis when swallowing. Cough, with expectoration of mucus tinged with blood. Stitches shoot through the thorax (right side).

Pulse Small, intermittent,irregular (Kali carb.,Natr. mur.);rapid.

Limbs Lassitude in all the limbs; trembling. Stitches in hip-joint, better on motion.

Generalities Lies on the back with knees bent up. Great debility; trembling (Calcarea c., Cinchona). Convulsive twitchings and contractions (Cicuta, Ignatia). Glandular swelling Baryta, c., Calcarea c., Graphites, Iodium). Drawing pains in periosteum ( anasarca (Arsenicum, Apis, Apocynum).

Sleep Frequent yawning and stretching Sleepless at night; starting from sleep (Arsenicum, Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Stramonium)

Fever Chilliness from slightest exertion (Calcarea c., Hepar s., Lycopodium, Phosphorus, Silicea).Surface cold and covered with profuse perspiration, especially on forehead (Camph., Veratrum alb.). Great anxiety, preventing rest. Clammy, cold perspiration (Arsenicum, Camph., Mercurius); offensive, toward morning.

Aggravation In evening and at night; in open air; from fat food; from motion.

Amelioration While at rest.

Compare Aconite, Arsenicum, Belladonna, Bryonia, Cantharis, Cepa, Lachesis, Natr. mur., Nitr.a., Sulphur

Antidotes. Hepar s.,, Silicea To large doses: white of an egg.


Mercurius cor. is mostly used in the treatment of acute inflammations, especially of mucous membranes, characterized by great violence. It is valuable in inflammatory conditions of the eye and lids. Ophthalmia, catarrhal, scrofulous, syphilitic or gonorrhoeal, characterized by intense inflammation and swelling, extreme pain and photophobia and acrid lachrymation. Ophthalmia neonatorum, with acrid discharges; caused by syphilitic or gonorrhoeal Leucorrhoea. Blepharitis scrofulosa. Phlyctenulae; deep ulcers on the cornea. Iritis, especially if syphilitic; pains severe; worse at night. Keratoiritis. Episcleritis. Retinitis albuminurica ;also with tearing in the eyebrow; bones tender. Retinitis haemorrhagica. Choroiditis. Sclerotitis. Hypopyon occurring in abscess of cornea or Iritis. Fluent coryza with excessive rawness, smarting and burning, acrid mucous discharges, nose swollen and very sore. Ozoena, gluey discharge; drying up in posterior nares; much burnings ulceration; perforation of septum. Facial neuralgia. Inflammation of the gums, purple color, spongy, ulcerated, gangrenous tendency. Violent glossitis, tongue excessively swollen, so that it cannot be protruded. Stomatitis with intense burning pain. Pharyngitis, intense, throat dry, swollen, dark red, violent burning pains, difficult swallowing, constriction, suffocation. Oesophagitis, burning pains. Diphtheria, intense, rapid, destructive, burning. Chronic dyspepsia, with distension and soreness of epigastrium, burning pains. Hepatitis. Useful in various forms of partial peritonitis, with tendency to the formation of an abscess, sore, burning pains, etc. Colonitis, especially of transverse and descending colon, burning pains. Typhlitis. Proctitis. Periproctitis, abscess about to form. Mercurius cor. is the remedy oftenest indicated and most useful in what might be termed a typical dysentery, characterized by scanty stools of pure mucus tinged or streaked with blood, and extreme persistent tenesmus and burning pains, and frequently also great tenesmus of the bladder. The drug may also be useful when the stools are of a different character, as noted in the pathogenesis, if the violent tenesmus is present, which is the chief indication. A very useful remedy is severe cases of cystitis with violent tenesmus and burning, resembling Cantharis Acute nephritis, urine scanty and albuminous; with violent cystic symptoms. Aluminuria; after diphtheria or in Bright’s disease; acute early stages. Gonorrhoea, with thick, greenish discharge, and intolerable burning and smarting during urination. Venereal ulcers in both sexes, assuming a phagedenic appearance, and secreting a thin, ichorous pus. Intense inflammation of the vulva, with violent burning, destructive tendency. Pelvic peritonitis, especially pelvic Cellulitis, abscess about to form. A very useful remedy in catarrhal hoarseness and aphonia. Violent influenza, with burning, stinging, cutting pains in larynx and trachea, tightness across the chest. Bronchitis. General dropsy especially from kidney disease. Glandular swelling. May be useful in disease of bones, characterized by rapid destruction of tissue forming abscesses, with the usual symptoms indicating the drug. Condylomata. Ulcers which perforate and become phagedenic.

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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