Last modified on January 9th, 2019


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

      Synonyms. Oleum Petrae. Naphtha Montana. Common names. Rock Oil. Coal Oil. Preparation. A tincture is prepared by dissolving one part of the crude oil in ninety-nine parts of Alcohol, which corresponds to the 2x dilution.


Acts especially upon the skin and mucous membranes, producing irritation and the usual secondary conditions, as indicated in the following pathogenesis. Allen says the action is “very complex and not easily defined.”


Mind. Violent, excitable, irritable, easily offended (Caps., Nux v.). Quarrelsome. Great fearfulness; easily frightened (Nux v., Opium). Loss of consciousness. Very forgetful, and disinclined to think. Delirium, thinks another person lies alongside of him, or that he is double, or one limb is double.

Head. Vertigo on stooping or on rising (Belladonna). Confusion after eating a little. Dullness and heaviness of the head; as if enveloped in a fog. Headache from anger, or after fasting in the morning. Dull, pressive frontal headache. Heavy headache in the morning. Neuralgic headache, beginning in occiput and extending forward. Occipital headache extending to vertex, with vertigo. Stiffness of neck, swelling of muscles; rapid motion of the hands seems to relieve. Vertigo in the occiput, with general feeling of numbness, stiffness and nausea. Occipital headache, with nausea, especially in seasickness. Pressure and heaviness, like lead, in occiput. Dull, pulsating pain in the occiput. Pinching in occiput. Falling off of the hair (Graphites, Nitr. ac., Phosphorus, Sepia). Moist eczema, worse on occiput (Lycopodium, Sepia). Moist, itching eczema; sore after scratching (Graphites, Lycopodium, Mercurius).

Eyes. Burning and pressure in the eyes and on exerting them dimness. Conjunctivitis and blepharadenitis. Inflamed swelling in inner canthus, like an incipient lachrymal fistula, with dryness of right side of nose. Inflammation, with itching and stitching in the eyes. Weakness of vision; veil before the eyes (Causticum, Pulsatilla). Itching of the lids; he is obliged to rub them .

Ears. Inflammation and painful swelling of meatus auditorius. Hardness of hearing. Roaring, ringing and cracking in the cases (Belladonna, Cinchona). Redness behind the ears, with rawness, soreness and moisture. Eruption on outer ear.

Nose. Bleeding of the nose (Aconite, Belladonna, Bryonia, Hamamelis(. Ulcerated nostrils; and stopped catarrh. Much mucus in nose. Itching on tip of nose.

Face. Pale. Papular eruption at corners of mouth.

Mouth. Swelling of the gums. Pustule above a hollow tooth, like a fistula. Painful soreness on chewing. Tongue coated white (Antim crud., Bryonia, Nux v., Pulsatilla). Bad odor from the mouth (Hepar s., Iodi., Nitr. ac., Mercurius, Nux v.). Taste slimy, sour, bitter (Arsenicum, Bryonia, Pulsatilla). Accumulation of mucus in the mouth (Iodi., Mercurius).

Throat. Swelling of the submaxillary glands (Baryta c., Calcarea c., Natr. carb., Rhus tox.). Rawness in pharynx on swallowing. Tickling on swallowing extending to the ear. Dryness and burning in pharynx.

Stomach. Ravenous hunger, but speedily satisfied after a stool. Violent thirst for beer (Coccul., Pulsatilla). Hot, sharp, sour eructations, tasting like bad eggs (Arnica). Heartburn toward evening. Incessant nausea and qualmishness in the morning, with accumulation of water in the mouth; from motion of carriage or boat (Coccul., Nux moschata). Violent vomiting (Ant. tart., Ipecac.). Feeling of great emptiness in stomach (Hydras., Ignatia, Sepia, Sulphur). Heaviness and pressure in stomach (Nux moschata).

Abdomen. Distention. Violent, cutting colic, with nausea, retching and diarrhoea; as from taking cold; evenings; colic better from bending double (Coloc.).

Stool and Anus. In anus burning itching; pressure. Weakness of rectum. Diarrhoea, preceded by colic, only during the day. Stools difficult and hard; slimy, profuse mucus; bloody mucus; bloody mucus; violent, involuntary.

Urinary Organs. Constant dribbling of urine after micturition (Causticum, Stramonium). Involuntary micturition. Frequent, scanty urination. Discharge of mucus with the urine. Burning pain in the urethra. Urine bloody and turbid; offensive; it deposit a red, slimy sand that adheres tightly to vessel; urine contains albumen, hyalin and granular casts; covered with a glistering film and with red sediment.

Male Organs. Reddish eruption on glans, with itching. Itching and moisture on scrotum (Silicea).

Female Organs. Itching, soreness and moisture of external parts. Menses too early; the discharge causes itching. The nipples itch, and have a mealy coating.

Respiratory Organs. Hoarseness (Carb. v., Causticum, Phosphorus, Sulphur). Dry cough at night (Coni., Hyoscyamus, Pulsatilla, Sulphur). Oppression of the chest at night.

Heart. Feeling of coldness about the heart (Graphites, kali nit., Natr. m.).

Neck and Back. Heaviness and pain in nape of neck. Pain in the back and loins. Painful drawing extending from nape to occiput. Coccyx painful on sitting.

Upper LImbs. Great weakness in the arms. Bruised pain in finger nails when touched. Tips of fingers rough, cracked, fissured, with sticking, cutting pains. Hands cracked and rough. Salt-rheum, red, raw, burning; moist or covered with thick crusts.

Lower Limbs. Itching, burning, moist eruption on legs, Stiffness in thighs on walking, with heaviness. Stiffness in knees, legs and ankles. Heel painfully swollen and red, with stitches; blisters; chilblains (Agaricus, Nitr. ac., Zincum met.). Burning and stitching in corns. Eruption between the toes (Calcarea c., Camph., Nux v., NItr. ac., Sepia). Profuse perspiration on feet (Silicea). Foetid perspiration of the feet with tenderness. Cramp in calves, thighs and feet all day. Cramp in the soles at night (Sulphur).

Generalities. Limbs go to sleep and become stiff. Cracking and arthritic stiffness in joints. A version to open air. (Aurum, Coccul., Nux v., Sepia, Silicea). Takes cold easily. Weakness in morning in bed.

Skin. Unhealthy skin; small wound s ulcerate and spread (Borax, Chamomilla, Hepar s., Graphites, Silicea, Sulphur). Chronic moist eczema; parts seem excoriated (Graphites). Painful sensitiveness of skin of whole body; clothing painful (Belladonna). Ulcers, with stinging pain and proud flesh (Carb. v., Nitr., ac.) often deep ulcers, with raised edges.

Aggravation. Before or during a thunder storm; from riding in a carriage or slip.

Amelioration. At noon; in the open air.

Compare. Belladonna, Bryonia, Calcarea c., Chamomilla, Coccul., Colchicum,Graphites, Ignatia, Lycopodium, Nux v., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox., Sepia, Silicea, Sulph ., Tabac.

Antidotes. Coccul., Nux v.

Petroleum Antidote. Lead Poisoning.


The chief use of Petroleum is in the treatment of diseases of the skin, especially eczema and herpes, upon any part of the body, but more especially in and about the ears, on the occiput and on the hands. In eczema there is a raw, moist surface over which thick scabs form, or the eczema may first appear as a vesicular eruption, forming a thick crust and oozing pus. The herpetic conditions calling for Petroleum are very important and often met with. The affected part become fiery-red and almost entirely raw and oozing a thick gelatinous fluid, with violent itching and burning. This is most liable to attack the perineum and scrotum. Herpes zoster. An important condition of the skin indicating Petroleum, and which is often present with eczematous eruptions, is where the skin is dry, rough and chapped, and frequently, especially on the tips of the fingers, bleeding fissures from which are very sore, always worse in cold weather. The skin is unhealthy, sight wounds ulcerate and spread. Ulcers with stinging pains and proud flesh. Intertrigo. Psoriasis of the hands. Has been found useful in the eruption of secondary syphilis. Blepharitis marginalis. Inflammation of the lachrymal canal when suppuration has commenced and a fistula has formed. Catarrh of the middle ear. Often valuable in chronic nasal catarrh and ozoena where scabs and purulent mucus are discharged, and the posterior nares obstructed, nose sore and nostrils cracked. Tendency to the formation of dental fistula. Catarrhal pharyngitis, rawness on swallowing, with pain and tickling which extends along the Eustachian tube to the ears. Has been found useful in the morning sickness of pregnancy. Sea-sickness. Acid dyspepsia with nausea and attacks of vertigo, better after eating. Gastralgia, with sharp, cutting pains and feeling of great emptiness in stomach. Haemorrhoids and fissures in anus. Diarrhoea, containing undigested food; also with other symptoms described in pathogenesis; from taking cold; from eating cabbage or saurkraut, with offensive stools, nausea and offensive eructations. Catarrh of the bladder. Atony of the bladder, dribbling after urination. Haematuria. Chronic Bright’s disease. Sprains of joints, especially in old rheumatic patients. Rheumatism with great stiffness of the joints, especially knees and neck; cracking sounds when moving the head, due to roughness of the muscular fiber. A popular domestic remedy in rheumatism (externally), in which it undoubtedly possesses curative virtues not yet understood. Has cured intermittent fever with the characteristic occipital headache. Is given in typhoid fever and other low fevers, when the patient imagines that another person lies alongside of her, or that she is double or that one limb is double (Baptisia). In child bed the patient imagined that there were two sick babies in bed with her, and that she could not take care of both.

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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