Materia Medica

The Life Of Calcarea Carbonica

Written by Elaine Lewis

What is the essence of our dear friend, Calc-carb?

When I started getting votes for Calc-carb. in our “What Remedy Is Homer Simpson?” quiz, I knew I had some ‘splaining to do!  Everyone got that Calc-carb is lazy and so is Homer Simpson, but that’s where the similarity pretty much ends.

First we have to find out what Calc-carb. is!  It’s the oyster shell.

So to understand Calc-carb, we have to get to know the oyster, and that should explain everything!

What is an oyster?  It’s a pale, damp blob!  It’s clammy, shapeless, soft, it doesn’t do much but eat (and have sex), it doesn’t go anywhere–its shell is anchored to a rock!  So you can surmise, based on this fact, that Calc-carb is sluggish, sweaty, cold and clammy, unrefined, lethargic, plodding, worse from exercise, worse from motion (motion sickness), gets out of breath easily, slow to catch on, slow to finish anything, slow to start anything, perfectly happy to just be in one place in familiar surroundings…. Without its shell, the oyster is totally vulnerable; so, you can imagine that to a Calc-carb, his home (shell) means everything to him!  He’d rather be at home with his family than anywhere!

Adventure doesn’t suit Calc-carb!  There’s no “desire to travel” here, like with Calc-phos.  Remember that the oyster goes nowhere!  So anything that forces Calc-carb out of his comfort zone is met with resistance.  This could be anything!  They may resist going to school, camp, college, graduate school, to work, to a new job, a promotion….  In fact, these are people who might never reach their potential.  The kids ask if they can come home from camp.  They get homesick.  They drop out of college (too much work, deadlines, pressure), they take menial jobs (averse to competing), they keep the same job their whole life (too stressful to interview or take tests for a new job), offered a promotion they refuse it (anything new is viewed as overwhelming).  They may live in their parents’ house after college and may never marry or pursue a career!

Especially if Dad is a professional?  Calc-carb is content to be his “assistant” for life!  You know who’s Calc-carb?  Have you seen the cartoon “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”? His son, Ben, is a Calc-carb.

Note that Ben Katz is a 24 year old child, who is still living at home with his father; he’s still eating children’s cereals for breakfast, in fact, here he is now eating his little boy cereal from his little boy bowl.

He does nothing of value all day; note his loose clothing because Calc-carbs cannot wear tight clothes–too much pressure!  Again, the “pressure” theme, they cannot and will not be pressured!  If you try to hurry them up, they just get slower, they will dig in their heels! Very stubborn!  “Stubborn” is a big word in Calc-carb! 

Now, Dr. Katz, himself, is probably a Calc-carb because he’s too easy-going, solicitous and deferential to others (his receptionist gets away with murder!)

and this is the worst kind of parent a Calc-carb child can possibly have!  The Calc-carb child will do nothing on his own in the absence of a stern task-master of the Arsenicum variety who will tolerate no nonsense!  Calc-carb is not a self-starter.  He will not make the well-known pearl without that irritating grain of sand–that no-nonsense teacher, tutor or coach who will provide step-by-step persistent prodding, structure and guidance!  Well, this is certainly not the laid-back Dr. Katz!  So Ben is basically still a child and will surely be a child all his life, will probably never marry and never have a job–though Dr. Katz does try to talk to him about it, but, he never gets tough with him.

What else do we know about Calc-carb?  They tire easily, both mentally and physically. What takes most people 2 hours takes Calc-carb all day!  They have a big issue with getting started!   Starting anything is a major ordeal!  You might as well ask them to climb Mt. Everest!  Whether it’s starting the dishes, mowing the lawn, starting their homework, making an important phone call, whatever it is, it’s a major roadblock for Calc-carb!  To anyone else, none of these things would be seen as an ordeal.

Here’s what Calc-carb does: He knows he has this thing he’s supposed to do.  He starts by worrying about it.  In the time he’s taking to worry about it, he could have had it finished already!  He might convince himself that this isn’t a good time to do it, that he should do something else first, some sort of preliminary thing, like if he has to mow the lawn, maybe he should do the weeding first or he should have something to eat first so that he’ll be fully nourished before he starts; or maybe he should get a good night’s sleep first; whatever he does, whatever the preliminary thing is, it so tires him out that he can’t get to the real thing he was supposed to do!  He is the King of Procrastination!  And do you know what?  Calc-carb isn’t even in the “Procrastination” rubric in The Repertory!  It horrifies me to have to say that.  Now, who is our Calcarea in Chief?

It’s you, Charlie Brown!

First of all, there’s that big round head Calcarea is so famous for.

Here is a video called “A Book Report on Peter Rabbit”.  (Actually, youtube took the video down!  Copyright issues, no doubt.  But I managed to find just Charlie Brown’s part.  Here he is agonizing over starting his book report, making excuses for why he should wait ’til tomorrow—the other kids have finished theirs already!)

Charlie Brown procrastinates, he worries, he talks about being too tired and being under pressure and how he hasn’t eaten; the assignment is just too much for him, you can see how worried and anxiety-ridden he is.  “How do they expect us, to write a book report, of any quality, in just two days?”

I went back and looked at my quiz answers from 3 years ago, and it’s funny! Everyone got the elements of the case right, but no one knew it was Calc-carb! 

Kelly said:

“Charlie Brown is Phosphoric acid.  He procrastinates, keeps saying his thinking is, “not very good”.  Can’t seem to get started; pessimistic and fearful.  Seems apathetic, nervous and insecure.  Pacing/fruitless activity.”

All these things are correct!  They are procrastinators par excellence!  They know their thinking is “not very good”.  They’re fully aware of their intellectual limitations and rarely talk in a group.  They won’t ask a teacher for clarification either and are usually behind the rest of the class.  They can’t start their homework, they’re pessimistic and fearful.  Apathetic–yes!  Nervous and insecure–yes!  Fruitless activity–yes!  This is what they do instead of getting started!  Kelly found all the right elements but didn’t know they went for Calc-carb!

And what about Nonda?  Here’s what she wrote:

“Charlie Brown is a Pulsatilla because he seems “soft” and is eating peanut butter.”

In fact, Nonda, Calcarea does desire peanut butter, but, guess what?  One more thing that’s not in the Repertory!  Catherine Coulter says that Calc-carb desires peanut butter but is it in the Repertory?  Nooooooo!  What else does Calc-carb like?  Sweets and carbs!  Bread and butter, ice cream, pasta, cheese…and yes, this type tends to be overweight.  (But hold on, they can be thin too!)  You might say they have a “weight problem”, either way.  Also, Calcarea is very soft too as Nonda said!  Literally as in soft skin, soft musculature; but also, soft-hearted.  So soft that an impression made on Calcarea is made forever!  If you offend Calc-carb, he may never speak to you again!  Oh no, he won’t cry, and there will be no recriminations, he will just withdraw.  That’s what they do.  They don’t complain, they just resign themselves, they accept that this is how it is, and go off to be by themselves, they go back into their shell.

Think about Charlie Brown for a minute.  He’s slow, slow to catch on, often confused, the last one to know–he’s a target for bullies!  Lucy torments him, he’s never figured out how to deal with her.  Catherine Coulter says that Calc-carbs are naive, unworldly and easily, repeatedly, duped!  (“Constantly duped but still trusting.”  Portraits of Homeopathic Remedies, page 43.)  Is that not what Lucy does to him?  She repeatedly convinces him that she will hold the football steady so that he can run and kick it, and every time she pulls the football away!  How does she get away with it?   Because Calc-carb is hopelessly trusting!

On Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown never gets a valentine!  (“I know nobody likes me, why do we need a holiday to emphasize it?”)

His baseball team has never won a single game!  It’s all a part of the “failure” theme of Calcarea.  They worry about failing, so they don’t even try.  They might drop out of college, they don’t aim for a career.

But let’s move on then.  Calc-carbs make wonderful wives and mothers!  Why? They are very nurturing and hospitable, they love their home (their shell), so they bring all kinds of people and things into it!  A whole brood of kids–5 or 6 maybe–pets: a dog, a cat, a bird, a lizard, a hamster, turtles.  The dog, the cat and the younger children all sleep with the parents.  Calc’s elderly mother has probably moved in.  It’s a permissive household, and people come and go as they please.  (Only if you’re late coming home, Calc-carb will get very anxious and assume you’ve had an accident!)

Philip Bailey says of Calc-carb, “The image of the matronly inn-keeper’s wife, extending hospitality to all, keen to gossip and not above bawdy fun….If they trust you, they are likely to be chatty and pally… Unlike Natrum, Calc usually feels worthy of love and happiness and is able to receive as well as give.  Family life comes naturally.” (Homeopathic Psychology, page 51)

Calc loves to chat, but it won’t be about world affairs!  It will be about the child’s soccer team, the coach, the neighbor and her husband and why they’re getting a divorce…. It’s always small things and they’ll tell anybody who’s willing to listen!

They don’t like change!  Change is very threatening to them!  In fact, Charlie Brown has a song called, “It Changes”:

“Just when you’re sure and you’re safe and secure, that’s when it happens to you, it changes.”

To sum up then, what can we say about Calc-carb, what are the Calc-carb words and phrases?



Easily overwhelmed











Worse exercise

Worse motion

Trouble getting started

Once started, must be allowed to finish, can’t be interrupted, can’t start anything new


Worries about their security

Worries about their family

Loves to eat–especially eggs, sweets, carbs and ice cream; so, may have a weight problem

Chilly, loves warmth, warm rooms, the fire, warm drinks



Sensitive to cruelties


Tires easily, trouble going upstairs


Afraid something bad will happen


Fear or dislike of school

Is bullied, accepts it with resignation





Pressure aggravates


Always late


Chatty about little things








Innocent, sincere

The end!

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and


  • very informative &very impressive way to make one understand Calcarea Carb person thanks

  • Great article! One notable Calc rubric you never mentioned is MIND, FEAR, Observed, of her condition being. This relates to Calc carb’s feeling of vulnerability that you mentioned , and the fear that others may perceive the soft blobbiness behind the protective social shell.

  • Excellent information about Calc. Carb. I have never ever read any where, this information on Calc. Carb.

    Many Many thanks

  • Nice way of presenting the characteristics of the remedy for easy learning, through deliberations of characteristics of the root matter, and also emphasizing the same through certain model Character in the TV Serials etc. Thanx,
    Pankaj Jain

  • very nice presentation of calcarea carb. The person who reads this article will never forget the charecteristic symptoms of calcarea carb. thank you for the efforts to make us understand easily.

  • “Gee, I don’t know if I can ever top this article! (Maybe I should just retire now…)”

    ELAINE, you are our SILVER girl!

    Silver: (5th row – 11th column)
    Main theme – to maintain your standard
    “I will be appreciated only if I perform
    I must keep up my standard in every performance”

  • Sir !
    Very useful to get more information about the activities or rubrics of the homeopathic patients by which we can judge who he is. i.e. one patient can be referred by name homeopathy drug

  • Hello,
    Does these features
    “He is sluggish, sweaty, cold and clammy, unrefined, lethargic, plodding, worse from exercise, worse from motion (motion sickness), gets out of breath easily, slow to catch on, slow to finish anything, slow to start anything, perfectly happy to just be in one place in familiar surroundings. Without its shell, the oyster is totally vulnerable; so, you can imagine that to a Calc-carb, his home (shell) means everything! He’d rather be at home with his family than anywhere!”

    remain even after treatment of the patient (calc carb personality) with calc carb?

  • thank u so much for this great work……………it will help me out to find a similimum

  • This article was awful. While you might have got your point across, the way you wrote it was offensive. Dropping out of college does not immediately make you an unsuccessful loser. Living with your parents doesn’t make you an unsuccessful loser. Being laid-back and not competitive definitely does not make you an unsuccessful loser. There are many ways to write an article like this, and being rude is not one of them.

    • Huh? She said nothing like this!
      Simply explained the remedy.
      How come you take this personal? It is supposed to be read in an objective state of mind. And she placed no judgement whatsoever. Just facts of this remedy!
      Please relax!

  • Hold on, let me guess. You dropped out of college, you live with your parents and you’re not competitive. Roxanne, I went back and reread my article and I never used the word “loser” anywhere. I love Calc-carbs, as I think I said, they’re the nicest people, nurturing, trusting, sincere, indulgent, sensitive to cruelty; and Charlie Brown? Who doesn’t love Charlie Brown?

  • Oh, and Roxanne, I forgot to mention. Do you know who else is a calc-carb? Me! How do you think I know so much about it? I’m the one who got homesick every summer at camp! I’m the one who could never get started doing anything, whether it was doing my homework or mowing the lawn, making that important phone call…! I’m the one who’s never traveled anywhere; I’m the one who never leaves the house! And I’ve always taken in people with no place to stay, stray animals, etc….and, yes, always get taken advantage of, because I always believe people’s sob stories and promises. “Easily and repeatedly duped.” Oh, and what am I doing right now? Boiling eggs, of course!

  • After reading this, Im insulted that my homeopath believes Im a cal carb. No wonder it hasnt worked! Im nothing like this. He wants to give it another few weeks… is convinced its me. I feel like he is wasting my time and its irritating me no end.
    So stubborn can many homeopaths be. I now get why people switch homeopaths a lot.

  • Anne, what complaint did you ask for help with? Maybe the Rx had nothing to do with personality but something physical; or maybe something specific like excessive worrying about the safety of family members. Calc-carbs are big worriers. But, I always explain to my clients why I chose their remedy, often I show them the repertorization chart. He should be willing to make a case for his remedy selection.

  • Hi, Thank you, that is helpful and interesting. The cal carb, although not a match for my personality does cover a lot of physical symptoms. Severe psoriasis, ocd/tics, adrenal exhaustion, chronic fatigue, candida, psoriatic athritis, allergies to animals, feels worse if damp and cold, highly sensitive, struggles to keep warm, thirsty, dislikes sweet and salty foods, dislikes dairy and eggs, athsma, sinus infections, chest infections, tinnitus, always sleep on right side cannot sleep any other way,

    Just in case you’re curious, the personality:
    I love thunderstorms, get upset over cruelty, dont fit in this harsh world as Im too caring, feel lonely and unloved, crave freedom and adventure, hate being tied or restricted, need my own space. Crave company, cry deeply all the time, depressed at having suffered for so long and cant see a way out. Like spicy and warm foods, and cold water, grounded and reliable yet flexible and relish a challenge. I do worry a lot, very sensitive to the energies of others and places, love learning, intelligent, burn out easily, very independant and has a lot of interests/hobbies that fill my time. I dislike wasting a day, always doing something.

  • sorry I also meant to add: My worst nightmare would be a good little housewife and mother, in a routine of subservience. I would be happier as a gypsy, leaving my loved ones to themselves while I live my own free life. I do like security, as a base but not as a routine. I love my close ones dearly but need space from them; that’s why I dont agree Im cal carb… Im a bohemian, fiercely independant middle age woman with no ties and run away if anyone tries to make me settle down. Im the Witch, who would love to live alone in the woods and travel around using that as my base.

    • Anne, if anything, this sounds like a Carcinosin case to me! First of all, Calc-carb loves eggs and sweets and dairy. Calc carb is NOT sensitive! Just the opposite, they are HYPO-sensitive. “Caring, hates cruelty, reliable and loves thunderstorms”–that’s Carcinosin. Also what goes for Carcinosin is that you seem to have total system collapse! If you look in the repertory–I believe the rubric is “many symptoms”–I’m trying to find the exact wording but can’t get the program to open! So, you’ll have to take my word for it. But, yeah, look up Carcinosin. And if you decide to try it, don’t buy a high potency if you’re hypersensitive. A low potency, in water, 2 succussions before each dose. I hate to tell people to manage their own cases because they’re not trained to do that, so, at least read the FAQ section on my website

      • Hi
        I think you mean Polychrest… Cal carb is a polychrest remedy. I looked at Carsinosin, and it definately not me either. But thanks though

        • What did you mean by “I think you mean polychrest, calc-carb is a polychrest remedy.” Also, what did you mean by, “I looked at Carcinosin and I’m not Carcinosin either.” Is this not a case characterized by innumerable symptoms? Is this not a case of collapse of the immune system? This is the essence of your case and it’s the essence of Carcinosin.

  • Calc-sil. is a very small remedy, not prescribed much. Your best bet is to buy the book “Soul Of Remedies” by Rajan Sankaran. He has a chapter on Calc-sil. I would think of Calc-sil. as a thin Calc-carb. The big keynote of this remedy is dreams of talking to dead relatives. You can also think of it as a cross between Silica and Calc-carb.

  • Yes..I read this in book by Liz.but do u have an article written on it.if yes, pls do share the link

  • No, I would never expend time on a remedy that’s hardly ever used, unless I had an actual case of Calc-sil, which might be educational; but, I have never had a Calc-sil case. My time is much better spent reporting on remedies that people will see in their practice again and again, like Calc-carb–and recently I did an article on Lachesis: People have to learn to recognize these common remedies.

  • This is a great way to learn remedies, esp for someone like me who is a ‘visual’ person…I am sure a day will come, and I will see ‘Charlie Brown’ pop up in my mind when I consult with my first Calc Carb patient! Thank You.

    • You might find that they suffer from homesickness, don’t like to leave home, go on vacations, go away to college….They might be in a “safe” job, maybe doesn’t pay too well but doesn’t stress them out; or they might be working in their father’s company, might be a stay-at-home mom or working from home; might be slow, sluggish, lethargic; a real procrastinator, who hates to have to do anything outside of their regular routine.

      • They might be in a “safe” job, maybe doesn’t pay too well but doesn’t stress them out- so silicata part of calcarea silicata, does not allow them “doesn’t pay too well” feature

          • she is not skinny but not even as healthy as calcarea carb and has all the features mentioned by you “You might find that they suffer from homesickness, don’t like to leave home, go on vacations, go away to college….They might be in a “safe” job, maybe doesn’t pay too well but doesn’t stress them out; or they might be working in their father’s company, might be a stay-at-home mom or working from home; might be slow, sluggish, lethargic; a real procrastinator, who hates to have to do anything outside of their regular routine.” except job thing

  • Nice Comparison Elaine..
    Although I was given the calcarea carb..medicine & it somehow worked for me..
    But a lot characteristics are not related to me..I am quite versatile, over-achiever at school and hard-worker..
    I was topper in my class and aced in sports too..
    I am always ahead of everyone in my work..but I take time to carefully plan out every detail..and I don’t think its procrastination
    but yea somewhere I am hypersensitive and don’t like negativity existing in people..
    so I stay with my parents..
    I think at my worst situation..I turn into a calcarea carb
    Note:I think the insecure quality…made u write so lowly about calcanea carb..when u urself are one..
    I would have appreciated if u would also highlighted the good qualities of calcarea carb..

  • I have one calc carb. patient that did beautifully on the remedy, but does not fit the profile in the way described (I have more than one, really–a lot are overachievers! But this one gives a different “take” on the classic symptom descriptions). Yes, she’s partial to staying in, still lives in the house she grew up in (with mom and sister, dad died when she was a teen) and she even has the physical appearance that is usually characteristic…but, she’s completed several advanced degrees and is an expert in her field–she also figured out very early in life how to make what she wants come to her so she doesn’t have to go out to get it, and she feels she doesn’t need to compete (so she does a lot of consulting and contract work and research, and people seek her out for her skill. She’s rarely been without work). She’s got lots of the other characteristic mental and emotional states–lots of concern about health (in fact her degrees are all in the area of law, medicine, and administration) and she’s also quite empathetic, loving, caring, and patient. There is no laziness there, but there is a love of “treating one’s self” with travelling to nice places to enjoy good foods, good music, culture, nature, pampering with beauty treatments, beautiful things–all pleasures she likes to share with good friends and family members, with whom she is very committed and close.

  • Really fascinating! Thank you.
    I identify with much of the above (procrastination, friendly, like home and family, food, weight issues, anxious and fearful), but I am a perfectionist and achieve well with whatever I try to do. I also love travel (been around the world 4 times) and adventure (again, within my limits!).

    So I guess I feel calc carb is half of me, (especially more prevalent in the older, current me) competing with a more adventurous, ambitious other half of me!
    Is that possible? Or would I not be calc carb at all and should look elsewhere.
    Thank you!

    • Kate, I can’t come to any conclusions based on what you’ve written. I don’t know if “worrying, anxious, procrastinating, friendly, weight issues, loves home and family…” is enough to say, “Yes, this is calc-carb!” I take online cases, and a complete case would have to be taken here. You can write to me at [email protected].

  • Is calcarea arsenicosa same as calcarea carb as you mentioned they need arsenicum masters to do the task…. Calcarea arsenicosa does not display the feature of being sluggish

    • I said without a stern task-master like Arsenicum album, Calc-carb will never make the oyster’s “pearl”. But by no means is Calc-ars the same as Calc-carb. Calc-ars. is a small remedy, and I don’t think I’ve ever prescribed it. I seriously doubt it has a proving or that we know much about it. But you can presume that if you see a typical Calc-carb who has a fear of being alone, fear of germs, fear of disease, very fastidious and controlling, you might think, “Maybe this person needs Calc-ars.”

    • Honey, you asked the same question a year ago. You’re asking if you’re a calc-ars, will Calc-carb or Arsenicum work on such a person. Is that right? Why not just order Calc-ars? I don’t know if Calc-carb or Arsenicum will work separately. They might work partially. You’ll only know by trying.

  • Thank you for your advice.I did try it. Ma’am,any article on conium by you.If not, request you to share the same.

  • Hello There, hope you are doing good. I am here again requesting you to write /share an article on Graphites. Please do share insight.

  • HR Arndt first lesson,headache within outward feels heat and coldness in head alternately.PF Curie,headache beat mid of brain.excited easily has diarrhea so feel comfortable constipated.Calc Carb is acidity producer makes milk sour but are lucky born with silver spoon compared to Mag Carb acidity producer feels abandoned orphan.

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