Last modified on January 8th, 2019


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

      Synonym – Zincum Metallicum. Common names – Zincum met. Spelter. Preparation – Triturations.


Acts profoundly upon the cerebro-spinal system, producing a condition of erethism in the brain, medulla oblongata and spinal cord, characterized by delirium, spasms, neuralgia, tremors, extreme hyperaesthesia, followed by cerebral depression, and an exhaustion of the nerve-centers (paralysis) which latter is its most important homoeopathic application. In the blood it produces marked anaemia (deficiency of red corpuscles.).


Mind. Weak memory (Anacardium, Kreosotum, Lachesis, Mercurius, Nux moschata); forgets what has been accomplished during the day. Fretful, despondent, sullen mood, especially in the evening. Easily offended; sobbing from vexation. Anxiety. Mental operations difficult (Gelsemium, Nux v., Phosphorus ac., Thuja); loss of thought, and a soporous condition of the mind (Nux moschata, Opium). Aversion to work (Cinchona, Nux v., Phosphorus ac.).

Head. Vertigo in the occiput, with falling to the left when walking. Frequent attacks of vertigo, preceded by sharp pressure at root of nose, and a sensation of drawing together of the eyes, as if by a cord, followed immediately by excessive nausea, faintness and trembling of the hands. Pressure on root of nose, as if it would be pressed into the head (Kali bichromicum). Sharp pressure on a small spot in forehead, evening. Hemicrania; worse after dinner; tearing and stinging. Pain in sinciput, with dullness, extending into the eyes. Headache from drinking even small quantities of wine (Nux v., Rhododendron). Drawing, pressing, tearing on top of head. Tearing stitches in right temple. Sensitiveness of vertex to touch, as if ulcerated; worse evenings. Heaviness and dullness in occiput. Hair falls out on vertex, causing complete baldness (Baryt c.), with sensation of soreness.

Eyes. Inflammation and redness of conjunctiva; worse in inner canthus; pains worse evening and night, as from sand, with frequent lachrymation (Arsenicum, Causticum, Pulsatilla); also during menses. Much burning in the eyes and lids, in the morning and evening, with feeling of dryness and pressure in them (Alumina, Arsenicum, Sulphur). Itching, biting and tickling, especially in right eye; as from dust; photophobia and lachrymation; worse evenings. Itching and stitching pain in inner angles of eyes, with cloudiness of sight. Pressure on margin of lower lid, near inner canthus. Burning of lids as if too dry. Upper lids heavy as if paralyzed (Causticum, Gelsemium). Agglutination of lids at night (Causticum, Graphites, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Rhus tox., Pulsatilla, Sulphur), with pressing, sore feeling. Dim vision. Photophobia (Aconite, Belladonna, Mercurius, Silicea, Sulph).

Ears. Frequent, acute stitches in right ear, near tympanum.

Nose. Nose feels sore internally. Cutting, crawling in evening, then sneezing. Severe pressure on root of nose. Stoppage of nose (Nux v., Silicea).

Face Pale; alternating with redness (Aconite). Tearing and sore pain in the facial bones. Sudden stitches from right zygoma, to upper margin of orbit, deep in bone, in evening, then soreness. Lips dry an cracked (Arsenicum, Bryonia).

Mouth. Drawing, tearing, jerking pains in teeth. Gums bleed on slightest touch (Carb. v., Mercurius, Nitr. ac., Phosphorus). Blisters on tongue. Copious secretion of saliva, with crawling on inner surface of cheeks. Sticking, biting on palate close to and in the root of incisors.

Throat Dryness of the throat, with accumulation of mucus, especially from posterior nares; with inclination to hawk. Sore throat. Tearing, drawing pains, more on posterior sides of pharynx; worse between acts of swallowing than on empty swallowing.

Stomach Salty taste in the mouth (Mercurius, Natr. mur.). Voracious appetite and insatiable hunger (Bryonia, Ferrum, Iodium, Lycopodium). Aversion to sugar; to wine and brandy. Loss of appetite (Alumina, Arsenicum). Thirst, with heat in the palms; in afternoon. Sour, empty eructations (Cab. v., Nux v., Phosphorus). Heartburn after eating sweet things. Hiccough. Nausea and vomiting (Ant. tart., Ipecac., Lobelia). Retching of bloody mucus. Tearing stitches in and beneath pit of stomach; from both sides towards each other. Burning in the stomach and epigastric region (Arsenicum, Cantharis, Iris). Pain and pressure in pit of stomach.

Abdomen. Cramp-like pains in the hypochondria, with dyspnoea and oppression of the chest after eating. Sticking in right hypochondrium (Arsenicum, Bryonia, Cinchona, Mercurius, Sulphur); in spleen. Enlarged liver. Pain after a light meal, with tympanitis. Pain as from an internal induration in a spot beneath navel. Great fullness and distension of the abdomen. Pressure and tension of the abdomen, after eating (Carb. v., Cinchona, Nux v.). Flatulent colic, especially in the evening; loud rumbling, gurgling and rolling (Aloe, Lycopodium, Sulphur); frequent emission of hot, foetid Flatus (Aloe, Bryonia). Severe stabbing pains in the abdomen. Griping after breakfast or cutting after dinner.

Stool and Anus. Itching in the anus (Sulphur). Crawling in the anus as form worms (Sepia, Spigelia). Burning in anus during stool. Obstinate constipation; stools small, hard, dry and crumbling (Ammonium mur., Natr. mur.); insufficient; difficult; expelled with much pressure (Sulphur). Diarrhoea.

Urinary Organs Pressure in region of left kidney. Violent pressure of urine in the bladder. ACute drawing in forepart of urethra and in penis. Urine turbid, loam-colored in the morning. Can only pass water while sitting bent backward. Involuntary urination while walking, coughing and sneezing (Causticum, Natr. mur., Puls).

Male Organs. Long-lasting and violent erections. Drawing in the testicles, extending up to the spermatic cord (Reverse, Berberis, Hamamelis, Mercurius, Pulsatilla). One or the other testicle drawn up. Easily excited; the emission during an embrace is too rapid, or difficult and almost impossible. Emissions at night, without lascivious dreams. Copious discharge of prostatic juice without any cause.

Female Organs. Irresistible sexual desire at night; desire for onanism. Menses too early. Suppressed or painful menstruation. Discharge of large clots during the menses; when walking. Leucorrhoea of thick mucus; bloody mucus (Alumina); excoriating after the menses (Pulsatilla).

Respiratory Organs. Hoarseness. Burning and sore pain in the chest. Dull stitches in the right side of chest. Stitches in a spot in left side of chest, with feeling as if corroded an bruised. Burning inside of chest. Tightness and oppression of the chest. Tightness in evening, with sticking an pressure in middle of sternum; small, rapid pulse. Roughness and rawness in chest. Dry, spasmodic cough (Hyoscyamus, Sepia, Silicea, Sulphur); with bloody expectoration; before and during the menses; morning and evening.

Heart. Tension and stitches in the praecordial region. Stitches at apex. Palpitation without special anxiety. Rapid pulse.

Neck and Back. Stiffness and pain in cervical and upper dorsal muscles. Tearing in right side of neck. Nape of the neck feels weary, from writing, or any exertion. Bruised pain and weakness in small of back, when walking. Pain in region when walking, often forcing him to stand still, better on continuing to walk. Pressive tension beneath the right scapula. Sticking pain in back and small of back, when sitting and walking. Burning pressure upon spine above small of back.

Limbs. Stiffness of the joints, with sharp, lancinating pains above the joints, always transverse, not lengthwise of the limb. Drawing in middle of almost all bones, so that they had no steadiness. Weakness, weariness and bruised feelings in the limbs. Coldness of the extremities. Drawing, tearing pains in all the limbs (Bryonia, Cold., Pulsatilla, Sulphur). Violent itching in all the joints.

Upper Limbs. Burning in left forearm at night. Weakness and trembling of the hands when writing (Natr. mur.); also during menses. Tearing near left shoulder. Tearing in first joints and phalanges of the fingers.

Lower Limbs. Varices in the legs (Hamamelis, Pulsatilla). Rheumatic, drawing pains in right lower limb. Legs oedematous (Apis, Arsenicum, Rhus tox.). Itching of thighs and hollow of knees. Heaviness of the lower limbs. Uneasiness in lower limbs at night. Burning pain in the tibiae. Stitches in tibiae to back of foot. Tearing in calves. Drawing in right tendo-Achillis. Weakness of the legs; worse when walking. Erysipelatous inflammation of the tendo-Achillis. Nervous, fidgety moving of the feet (Natr. mur.); after retiring and during sleep. Tearing in margin of right foot, with tension. Paralysis of the feet; weakness and trembling; worse mornings in bed, better from rising and walking. Ulcerative, boring pains in heels (Pulsatilla); worse when walking than when sitting. Painful chilblains on the feet (Agaricus, Nitr. ac., Pulsatilla). Profuse sweat on the feet (Nitr. ac., Sepia,Silicea, Sulphur). Stitches in toe- joints. Sprained pain in bends of toe-joints.

Generalities. Twitching and jerking in various muscles (Agaricus, Cicuta). Pain seems to be between the skin and the flesh. Great heaviness, weakness and lassitude; mornings in bed. Jerking through the whole body (Gloninum, Pulsatilla). Formication on the skin.

Sleep. Unrefreshing sleep; disturbed by frightful dreams; with screaming and startings; limbs and body jerk.

Fever. Febrile shivering down the back. Shaking chill in the evening. Heat all night, with sweat. Night sweats.

Aggravation Most symptoms appear after dinner and towards evening. From wine (Nux vomica); during rest; while sitting; in open air.

Amelioration From camphor; on walking; while eating; from sweat.

Compare Argentum, Belladonna, Carb. v., Cuprum, Ignatia, Nux v., Plumb., Pulsatilla, Stramonium Zincum met. is followed well by Ignatia, but not by Nux v., which disagrees.

Antidote. Camph., Hepar s., Ignatia

Zinc Antidotes. Baryta c., Chamomilla, Nux v.


Zinc is a valuable remedy in the neuroses, and for various diseased states, resulting from profound disturbance of the nerve-centers of the brain and spinal cord, especially exhaustion. A valuable remedy in chronic headaches and hemicrania, with symptoms above mentioned. Neuralgic headache form brain-fag, with blurred vision; school children who have been over-taxed, threatening meningitis. Hydrocephalus. Hydrocephaloid, following cholera infantum. Meningitis, from suppressed exanthemata, or during teething. Cerebral exhaustion. Softening of the brain; paralysis; chorea, caused by fright or suppressed eruptions, great depression of spirits and irritability. Beginning of locomotor ataxia, when lightning, like pains are marked and intense. Epilepsy, especially in young children. Convulsions from suppressed eruptions, suppressed menses or from fright. General paralysis. Neuralgia. Spinal irritation. Spine sensitive to touch; especially in lower dorsal region. Neuralgia after zoster, better from pressure. Zinc is often useful in melancholia, and other forms of insanity, resulting from softening of the brain or other cerebral disease. The patient is usually lethargic, stupid, paralytic feelings in the limbs, sometimes convulsions. Sometimes there is a suicidal tendency and great apprehension and fear, especially of being arrested for crime. Anaemia of teething children, with hydrocephaloid symptoms. Brain exhaustion, and nerve weakness so that in children they are not able to develop exanthemata. It is therefore indicated in exanthematous diseases, especially scarlet fever, when the eruption develops slowly and imperfectly, and cerebral symptoms are manifest, or profound exhaustion, with rapid, almost imperceptible pulse. In all such cases the patient at once improves if the eruption appears. It is characteristic of Zinc that relief comes from the appearance of discharges or eruptions. The patient always suffers less during menstruation, the chest symptoms are relieved by expectoration, the abdominal and head symptoms by diarrhoea, all symptoms, but more especially head symptoms, by the appearance of eruptions. zinc is a valuable remedy for varicose veins. On this point Allen says (Opium cit., p. 1152) the remedy is “extremely valuable, especially in the sub-acute or chronic condition which underlies and determines the development of the disease. It works well when associated with Pulsatilla; the two drugs should never be given together, but consecutively; Zinc follows Pulsatilla, acting better after Pulsatilla has relieved some of the acute symptoms; neither of these drugs, however, is often indicated in acute phlebitis.”

Eczema, Erysipelas, especially of the head and face, with brain symptoms. Catarrhal conjunctivitis, worse at inner canthus (outer canthus, Graphites) Granular lids after ophthalmia neonatorum. Corneal opacities. Pterygium. Blurred vision with cerebral exhaustion, especially brain-fag. Earache, chronic especially in children (Pulsatilla). Gastric derangement from drinking wine or from eating too many sweets. Atonic dyspepsia, with flatulence and “gone” feeling in stomach before noon (Sulphur). Lead colic. Enteralgia. Flatulent colic, especially evenings. Liver enlarged and sore. Enlarged spleen. Cholera infantum with hydrocephaloid. Chronic dysentery. Vermicular affections. Reflex symptoms from floating kidney. Paralysis of the bladder. Occasionally useful in Bright’s disease. Sexual weakness, with erethism; seminal emissions; hypochondriasis. Spermatorrhoea; emissions without dreams, face pale, sunken, blue rings around the eyes. Orchitis, from a bruise. Neuralgia of the testicles, worse when walking. Useful in various disorders of menstruation; menorrhagia, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea. Vicarious menstruation. Leucorrhea. Pruritus vulvae, causing onanism. Unnatural sexual excitement. Asthma. Bronchitis with asthmatic symptoms and constriction of the chest. Intercostal neuralgia. Sometimes useful in rheumatism, especially affecting the lumbar region, hips and thighs. Sciatica, with nervous restlessness of the feet. Has proved curative in somnambulism, with general Zinc symptoms.

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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