Last modified on January 10th, 2019

A.C. Cowperthwaite

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

      Synonym. Hydrogen Nitrate. Aqua Fortis. Common name. Nitric Acid. Preparation. One part of Nitric Acid, sp. gr. 1.42, to nine parts of water makes the 1x dilution. The 2x dilution is made with distilled water; the 3x dilution with dilute Alcohol; subsequent dilutions with Alcohol.


Acts upon the blood, the mucous membranes, the glands, the bones and the skin, its special action being upon the muco-cutaneous outlets of the body, the mouth, the rectum and anus and the vagina. Intense irritation is produced, resulting in inflammation and destructive ulceration of the parts, even to gangrene. The whole action of Nitric Acid points to a violent dyscrasia or poison, resembling either the syphilitic, scrofulous, or mercurial miasms.


Mind. Nervous, excitable, easily startled and frightened (Kali carb.). Irritable, peevish, vexed at trifles (Aconite). Anxiety about his disease, with fear of death (Arsenicum, Aconite, Cimic.); depressed, despondent mood; discontented; inclined to weep (Ignatia, Natr. mur.,Pulsatilla, Rhus tox.). Weakness of memory (Anacardium, Lachesis, Nux moschata,Phosphorus); aversion to mental exercise (Phosphorus ac., Nux v.).

Head. Vertigo in the morning, on rising (Alumina, Bryonia, Phosphorus, Lycopodium), with weakness, must sit down. Congestion to the head, with much heat in it. Headache in the morning on waking (Natr. mur.), disappearing on rising. Tension. Headache as if the head were tightly bound up; as if in a wise (Gelsemium, Kali Iodium, Mercurius, Sulphur). Feeling of fullness and pressure in the head, especially forehead and over the eyes on vertex. Drawing and stitching pains in the temples; pressive and drawing bone-pains in left temple, even in teeth and meatus auditorius. Profuse falling off of the hair (Graphites, Hepar s., Mercurius, Lachesis, Natr. mur., Lycopodium, Petrol., Phosphorus, Sepia, Sulphur). Scabby, moist,itching eruption on scalp (Graph). Offensive scurf on the scalp. Tension of skin on forehead. Painful sensitiveness of the scalp (Aconite, Baryta c., Cinchona, Mercurius, Natr. mur.), even to the pressure of the hat. (Carb. v., Silicea).

Eyes. Double vision of horizontal objects (Aurum, Belladonna, Cyc., Stramonium). Obscuration of sight while reading; short-sighted. Iritis, which continually relapses; also old cases spoiled by Mercury. Inflammation of the eyes, after syphilis, or the abuse of Mercury. Pressure and stinging in the eyes. Spots on the cornea (Euphr., Silicea, Sulphur). Paralysis of upper lids (Causticum, Gelsemium, Plumb.); especially mornings. Biting and stitches in the eyes. Lachrymation.

Ears. Hardness of hearing after the abuse of Mercury (Staphysagria). Swelling of the glands beneath and behind the left ear, with stitches and tearing extending through the ear. Offensive purulent discharge from the ear (Aurum, Graphites, Hepar s., Mercurius). Stitches in the ears (Coni., Graphites, Kali carb.). Roaring. Cracking in the ears when chewing (Natr. mur.).

Nose. Violent coryza, with soreness and bleeding of the nose (Bromium); at same time stopped, with difficult breathing. Tip of nose red (Belladonna, Rhus tox.); nostrils ulcerated and sore (Alumina, Antim crud., Aurum, Graphites, kali bi., Pulsatilla). Dry coryza, nose obstructed, throat dry. Itching in nostrils. Offensive yellow matter is blown from the nose (Pulsatilla). Nosebleed; morning, at night. Stitches, as from a splinter in the nose, on touch. Large, soft protuberances on alae, covered with crusts; syphilis.

Face. Yellowness of the face (Hepar s., Natr. mur., Sepia), about the eyes, with red cheeks. Suppurating pustules, with broad red circumferences, forming crusts; syphilis. Bones of the face painful (Carb. v., Hepar s., Kali bichromicum). Cracking of jaws when chewing and eating. Lips are swollen and itch. Eruption of pimples on the face. Dark freckles on the face (Natr. carb.).

Mouth. The teeth become yellow or loose; pain on chewing (Carb. an., Mercurius). Stitching, tearing, or boring pains in teeth, when touched by anything cold or warm. Gums white, swollen, bleeding (Carb. v., Kali nit., Mercurius, Phosphorus). Blisters and ulcers on the tongue (Borax., Nux v., Sepia, Thuja.); and on its margins, with burning pain when touched (Mercurius). He bites the tongue when chewing; and cheeks (Ignatia). Tongue sensitive, even to soft food, which causes smarting (Carb v.). Ulcerated spots on inner surface of cheeks, with sticking pains, as from a splinter. Corners of mouth ulcerated (Antim crud., Graphites, Lycopodium); with stitches. Foul odor from the mouth and fauces (Arsenicum, Cantharis, Caps., Mercurius cor.). Mucous membrane of the mouth and throat swollen and ulcerated; with pricking pains; after abuse of Mercury. Profuse flow of saliva (Iodi., Ignatia, Kali iod., Mercurius). Saliva bloody in morning (Sulphur). Saliva has foul odor. Sour taste in the mouth (Calcarea c., Cinchona, Mag., carb.). Tongue coated; yellow, sometimes white in the mornings; green, with ptyalism.

Throat. Heat and dryness in the throat. Much mucus in the throat posteriorly. Sore throat on swallowing, as if swollen; raw and ulcerated. Swelling and inflammation of tonsils, uvula and fauces. Prickling as from a splinter in the throat (Alumina, Argentum nit., Hepar s.), worse when swallowing. Stitches in throat and fauces. Cracking in maxillary articulation when chewing. Diphtheritic patches on tonsils and fauces, extending to mouth, lips, nose (Mercurius iod., Phytolacca). Swallowing very difficult, as from constriction of the pharynx (Belladonna). Submaxillary glans swollen and painful.

Stomach. Loss of appetite (Arsenicum, Calcarea c., Cinchona, Natr. mur., Sulphur). Great hunger; with weariness of life. Violent thirst (Aconite, Arsenicum, Bryonia, Sulphur). Stomach and abdomen tense after a moderate meal, clothes seem too tight (lyc.). Eructations before and after eating; sour, empty. Nausea and vomiting of mucus and food; of tenacious, purulent and bloody mucus (Phosphorus). Nausea after eating with heaviness and dullness of the head. Stomach and abdomen tense after a moderate meal, clothes seem too tight (Lycopodium). Stitches in pit of stomach.

Abdomen. Abdomen distended, with flatulence (Carb. v., Cinchona), very tender. Stitches in hepatic region, worse from motion. Pressure in left side of abdomen. Rumbling and uneasiness. Cutting and pinching pains in abdomen (Coloc.); in morning; in bed; at night; before stool. Incarcerated flatulence, worse mornings and evening. Inguinal hernia; also of children (Alumina, Nux v.). Swelling and suppuration of inguinal glands (Calcarea c., Mercurius, Thuja.).

Stool and Anus. Haemorrhoids; protruding; swollen; bleeding; painless or burning. Itching in the anus and rectum (Sulphur, Silicea). Moisture and soreness about the anus. Burning sensation in rectum and anus (Arsenicum, Cantharis). Sticking in rectum, and spasmodic constriction in anus during stool; fissures (Natr. mur., Phytolacca). Pain as if rectum would be torn asunder during stool. Inactivity and inability to evacuate faeces. Constant ineffectual desire, not relieved by stool. Stools dysenteric; bloody, with tenesmus (Mercurius); black offensive blood (Arsenicum); mucous; pseudo-membranes, with straining and burning in rectum. Painful constipation; stool evacuated in hard masses (Alumina, Bryonia, Sulphur).

Urinary Organs. Cutting, smarting and burning in the urethra during and after urination (Aconite, Arsenicum, Cantharis, Coni.). Discharge of bloody mucus and pus from the urethra (Natr. mur., Mercurius cor.), of prostatic fluid after a difficult stool. Orifice of urethra swollen and dark-red. Needle-like stitches in the orifice of the urethra. Frequent urging to urinate, with scanty discharge (Apis., Coloc., Helleborus, Mercurius); at night. Urine is cold when passed. Micturition in a thin stream, as from stricture. Urine scanty, dark-brown; smelling intolerably strong (Benz. ac.), like horse’s urine (Absinth., Natr. carb.); turbid, offensive.

Male Organs. Superficial ulcers, like chancres, on the glans and prepuce (Hepar s., phyt.), looking clean, but exuding an offensive moisture (Mercurius). Ulcers deep, fistulous, irregular, ragged; edges often raised, lead-colored; bleed easily when touched; syphilis. Chancres after Mercury, especially with exuberant granulations. Secondary syphilis; condylomata; phymosis. Sycotic excrescences on the glans (Staphysagria, Thuja.); bleeding when touched; exuding an offensive moisture. Vesicles on the prepuce; becoming covered with small, dry scabs. Sharp stitches in the prepuce. Itching of the prepuce; of scrotum. Violent erections at night (Graphites). Sexual desire too strong or absent.

Female Organs. Itching on the pudenda (Mercurius, Natr. mur., Sulphur). Ulcers in the vagina, burning and itching (Coni., Sulphur); covered with yellow pus. Leucorrhoea offensive; green mucus; cherry-colored; flesh-colored; after menstruation. Excrescences on cervix uteri.

Respiratory Organs. Hoarseness (Aconite, Hepar s., Phosphorus). Loss of breath, palpitation and anxiety on ascending steps. Empyema with considerable muco- purulent sputum. Cough more during the night, or when lying down during the day. Cough causing anxiety and vomiting of mucus and food. Rough, dry cough before midnight. Whistling inspiration with rales. Stitches in the right side of chest (Bryonia, Kali carb.). Purulent, yellowish expectoration with the cough. Congestion to upper part of chest. Oppression, tightness and fullness in chest. Catching at every attempt to breathe.

Neck and Back. Stitches in and between the shoulder blades. Stiffness of the nape of the neck. Drawing in lumbar region, as if stiff. Pain in back, and small of back. Swelling of the glands of the neck and axillae (Baryta c., Calcarea c., Iodium, Staphysagria). Pain between the scapulae.

Upper Limbs. Drawing pain in both arms. Bruised pain in arm. Pressive pain in the shoulders. Cold hands. Offensive sweat in axillae. Falling asleep of the hands.

Lower Limbs. Bruised pain, as from excessive fatigue (Cinchona, Calcarea c.). Digging, gnawing pains in the flesh and bones. Tensive pain in right hip-joint. Tearing in lower extremities, especially at night. Violent cramp in calf at night (Calcarea c., Nux v., Sulphur) Chilblains on the toes (Agaricus, Pulsatilla, Zincum met.). Offensive, profuse perspiration on feet (Baryta c., Sepia, Silicea), causing soreness, with sticking pains, as if he were walking on pins. Constant coldness of feet. Stiffness and stitches in the knees. Cracking in the ankles while walking.

Generalities. Excessive emaciation (Arsenicum, Ferrum, Graphites, Iodium, Phosphorus, Natr. mur.). Much inclined to take cold. Jaundice, with constipation. Pains in bones. So weak almost constantly obliged to lie down (Silicea). Frequent drawing pains in almost all parts of the body, suddenly appearing and disappearing. Epileptic attacks after midnight, beginning like a mouse moving up and down left side, then loss of consciousness. Stitches and sticking pains as form splinters, especially on touch, in all parts of the body. Glands inflamed, swollen, suppurating (Hepar s., Graphites)

Skin. Skin dry and scaly (Arsenicum); yellowness of the skin. Rhagades, deep, bleeding. Dark freckles. Comedones. Ulcers, with stinging and pricking pains, as of splinters; edges irregular; exuberant granulations; after Mercury, or in secondary syphilis. Condylomata moist, like cauliflower, hard, rhagadic, or in thin pedicles.

Sleep. Difficulty of going to sleep in evening; wakens too early in morning, or difficult waking. Sleepiness during the day. REstless, disturbed sleep, and frequent waking with a start. Anxious sleep, with throbbing. Anxious dreams.

Fever. Chill afternoon and evening, on lying down (Nux v.). Flushes of heat, with perspiration on the hands. Dry heat, especially at night, with excessive thirst. Frequent heat in face and hands. Profuse, offensive night sweats, every other night. Perspiration in the morning (Calcarea c., Cinchona, Rhus tox.).

Aggravation. In evening and at night; from change of temperature or weather; while walking; on rising from a seat; on lying down.

Amelioration Most symptoms disappear when riding in a carriage (Graphites; reverse, Coccul).

Conditions. Especially useful in dark-complexioned persons; old people.

Compare Aurum, Calcarea, Graphites, Hepar s., Iodium, Kali bichromicum, Kali iod., Lycopodium, Mercurius, Mez., Acid Muriaticum, Silicea, Thuja. Nitric acid follows well after Calcarea c., Hepar s., Kali carb., Natr. carb., Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Thuja. After Nitric Acid are often indicated Calcarea c., Pulsatilla, Sulphur

Antidote. Calcarea, Camph., Hepar s., Mercurius, Mez., Sulphur To large doses: Alkalies, Soap, Magnesia, etc.

Nitricum Acidum Antidotes. Calcarea c., Digit., Mercurius


Nitric Acid is a valuable remedy in syphilitic and sycotic diseases and in Mercurio-syphilitic affections, in which latter it is the chief remedy, and only second to Hepar s. in the abuse of Mercury in non-syphilitic subjects. A valuable remedy in catarrhal and other conditions of mucous membranes, especially of the muco-cutaneous outlets of the body, mouth, lips, eyelids, nostrils, vulva and anus. It should be remembered that all the secretions and exudations under Nitric Acid are offensive and corrosive, frequently purulent, dirty, yellowish-green, not laudable. The characteristic pains are like splinters sticking into the parts. Nitric Acid is a valuable remedy in skin diseases, especially when resulting from syphilis or sycosis. Eczema. Deep, bleeding rhagades. Crusta lactea. Ulcers, with sticking pains, exuberant granulations, readily bleeding, etc. condylomata on muco-cutaneous outlets. Warts on hands. Bleeding warts. Carbuncles. Urticaria. Said to remove freckles. A valuable remedy in affection of bones and glands, especially of syphilitic or mercurial origin. Noting the more special affections in which Nitric Acid is useful in the usual order: Syphilitic iritis; old cases spoiled by Mercury; frequent relapses; syphilitic ophthalmia; ulcers of the cornea; opacities of the cornea. Herpetic pannus. Fistula lachrymalis. Chronic inflammation of the middle ear, Eustachian tubes obstructed, auditory canal nearly closed, especially after abuse of Mercury. Caries of the mastoid process, and of the bones of the face, especially of the malar bones, syphilitic or mercurial. Syphilitic ozoena, nostrils ulcerated. Nasal catarrh. Especially useful in diseased conditions of the gums, teeth, tongue and mouth in general, resulting from the abuse of Mercury; characteristic ulcers, etc., as described in pathogenesis. Tonsilitis or pharyngitis with splinter-like pains. Syphilitic ulceration of throat, diphtheria, also involving the nose with very offensive excoriating discharge; terrible foetor; intermittent pulse; swollen parotids. Dyspepsia. Chronic enlargement of liver, clay-colored stools; jaundice. Frequently a valuable remedy in dysentery with symptoms noted in pathogenesis. Diphtheritic dysentery. Ulceration of rectum with sticking pains; also after dysentery, from irritating local treatment. Haemorrhoids, old pendulous. Fissures in rectum. Ulcers in urethra, bloody, mucous or purulent discharge. Oxaluria. Cystitis. The urine usually has a very strong odor (Benz. ac.). Haematuria. Syphilitic ulceration of the genitals of sexes; superficial chancre-like, or deep and ragged; bleeding easily; chancres after Mercury, with exuberant granulations. Condylomata, exuding an offensive moisture. Phymosis. Herpes of the prepuce. Inflammation and ulceration of vulva and vagina. Cervicitis. Erosions and ulcerations of cervix. Watery excrescences in cervix. Tendency to uterine haemorrhages. Cancer of uterus, profuse, brown, offensive discharge. Cough from secondary syphilis. Empyema with profuse muco-purulent expectoration. Laryngeal phthisis, with extensive ulceration, in syphilitic subjects. Pneumonia of old people, pain suddenly abates, but pulse becomes smaller and quicker. Phthisis, hectic fever, bright-red haemorrhages; dyspnoea; exhausting diarrhoea; offensive, purulent, expectoration. May be useful in typhoid fever, with offensive, purulent, bloody stools; ulceration; great prostration; intermittent pulse; sometimes threatened paralysis of the lungs. Chronic intermittent fever, liver diseased, patient anaemic; general cachectic condition.

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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