Materia Medica

So, You Think You Know Phosphorus?


Phosphorus materia medica and complete drug picture of homeopathy remedy Phosphorus. Learn all the signs and symptoms of homeopathic Phosphorus by Mati Fuller and Elaine Lewis.



I read your book, Beyond The Veil of Delusions, and I must say, I’m struck by your chapter on Phosphorus, because I think we all thought Phosphorus was the nicest person in the Materia Medica (and I’m sure he or she is) but we always forget to look for the “Shadow Side” of these remedies, don’t we?  Your chapter on Phosphorus has been quite an eye-opener for me, I’ve gained insight into a lot of the people I now realize are Phosphorus. Here’s what you say in your book:

When the relationships in Phosphorus’ life don’t work out, it affects her deeply because it brings up her original feeling of being unloved and isolated.  She is a very emotional type who experiences strong feelings of fear, disappointment, grief, despair, jealousy and hatred, especially towards the men in her life. Phosporus feels jealous if she isn’t the most beautiful person in the room, which reminds me of the Evil Queen in Snow White. As long as her magic mirror tells her she is the most beautiful woman in the land, she feels wonderful, but when Snow White becomes more beautiful than she, she orders the huntsman to take her out into the woods and kill her!

I hate it when people do that!  Mati what is it about Phosphorus, the substance–the “signature”, you might say–that translates into “isolation” in its “spirit” form?

Jan Scholten could answer this question a lot better than I can, but, the one thing I do know about Phosphorus is that it is a very volatile substance.  If you expose it to oxygen it bursts into flames and burns itself out. The remedy also reflects this property.  She is volatile emotionally and she tends to put out so much energy that she burns herself out and gets sick as a result.  In other words, she can be very emotionally intense.  Her emotional intensity and volatility makes her unpredictable, and when someone becomes unpredictable, the people in their lives tend to keep a safe distance; therefore, she gets a sense of isolation, and a feeling that nobody truly loves her.

A good explanation!  I must confess I had a lot of trouble envisioning the bubbly, fun-loving Phosphorus as potentially “evil”.

Elaine, Phosphorus doesn’t want to think of herself as evil; but, as an example, I had one Phosphorus client who wouldn’t honor anything I told her to do!  If I told her to take one dose of a remedy, she took 5; if I told her to wait a week before her next dose, she would wait until the next morning and then take 3 doses more.  In addition, she was using the most horrible allopathic medicines as if they were candy, which made it absolutely impossible to manage her case.  I finally told her I couldn’t work with her anymore, which turned out to be what every healer she had ever dealt with in the past told her as well!  She instantly turned so angry and ugly that within 5 minutes she had me in tears!

Mati, why wouldn’t she honor your dosing instructions?

I think it has something to do with her core feeling. She feels unloved in the family, and there is also the delusion of being stranded on a distant island. She feels very isolated. This is why she is a master at making friends, to compensate for the pain and loneliness she feels inside.  Another way to get rid of the pain and loneliness is to use drugs.  There are lots of drugs that can put you to sleep, numb your inner pain and calm your fears. (Remember, phosphorus is afraid of all kinds of things, especially in the dark or when they are alone).  So, if friends aren’t available, but drugs are, she can easily get addicted.  (I’m feeling better, give me more!) This is how she compensates for the unresolved feelings she came in with.

Homeopathic remedies don’t always work like allopathic ones.  They don’t always make you feel better right away.  Sometimes you get aggravations which even make you feel worse!  So, naturally, she is more attracted to her allopathic medicines, even if she knows the effect is only temporary.  She just can’t imagine that a few more pills would hurt anything, even if she does want to try homeopathy, too.  The temptation is simply too great!  But, unfortunately, it makes it almost impossible to manage the case when she mixes so many different medications at the same time.  How can you tell if the homeopathic remedy is working, or if she is only feeling better because she took a drug?


And then, if you decide you can’t work with her when she mixes all these different medicines, she will feel so totally abandoned and unloved that she becomes furious.  She simply can’t handle any kind of rejection because it always triggers her core feelings of being unloved.

So, the reason why Phos tends to use too many allopathic medicines has to do with two things, a desire to suppress her inner pain and also a desire to get attention (overdosing always creates a lot of attention).  Or, if sickness creates the attention she wants, what is the point of getting well?  I saw one Phosphorus woman who had developed terminal cancer.  She called on all her friends to come and help her, and she finally got so much attention from everyone that she would rather die than give up the attention she was getting — so that is what she did.  This is because attention equals love to Phosphorus, and therefore, they are addicted to attention and will basically do whatever it takes to get it.

This same Phosphorus woman (not the cancer patient) also had a Pulsatilla friend who was there for her anytime she needed anything.  Once she had someone’s allegiance like that, she would call her day and night–anytime she needed company, a ride somewhere, or whenever she needed someone to bring her groceries or take care of her pets.  A truly high maintenance relationship if ever there was one!

I once had a friend who used to call me so often with an “emergency”, I started to feel like I was under attack every time the phone rang!

Yes, “emergencies”– eventually, it became such a drain on Pulsatilla that she finally told her she needed a break from all the “emergencies” Phosphorus had.  She was tired of being awakened at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning and being asked to go look for some pet that had run away, or whatever. So Pulsatilla told her she just needed some time for herself and her family, that was all.  Phosphorus became furious!  So furious, in fact, that she wasn’t just nasty to Pulsatilla on the phone, she hit her with her fist one day in the post office, pretending she was just giving her a friendly “How are you doing?” bump, but Pulsatilla said it was harder and more aggressive than just a friendly bump.  Then she started leaving Pulsatilla ugly, scary messages on her answering machine, leaving curses and wishing Pulsatilla and her family ill.  For weeks this went on until Pulsatilla felt so disturbed that she was afraid to leave her house, and she ended up having to change her phone to an unlisted number!

Yikes, what a story! 

There was also another Phosphorus client of mine who got upset with me for some stupid thing that happened and turned me in to the Colorado Board of Mental Health for doing “psychotherapy”.

She knew they didn’t have any jurisdiction over homeopaths, so she had to make me into a psychotherapist instead!

Good grief!

She lied and told them she came to see me for psychotherapy, and she said I had diagnosed her and made a treatment plan for her. I also heard that she got a local chiropractor, who used to be a friend of mine, to back up her complaints.  And, of course, she told everyone in town that I was useless so nobody would come and see me.  It took the Colorado Board a year of hassles and investigations to sort it out, and nothing ever came of it! This woman also told me that she went to court and sued some poor guy for money she felt that he owed her. She won the case, but after the case was over, the judge took her aside and asked her, off the record, if she would accept payment in installments from the guy, since he obviously didn’t have much money.  Because the judge asked her off the record, she thought his behavior was despicable and instantly filed a complaint against the judge!!!

You must be kidding!

So, if you think Phosphorus is always sweet and friendly, you must not have stepped on any of their toes yet, because they can turn on a dime.  From now on, if anyone seems even remotely like a Phosphorus to me, I won’t even say hello until they’ve signed my release form!


It is very simple. All she wants is love.  If you show her, in any way, that you don’t love her, or that she is not the center of attention anymore, she’ll do what she can to take you “out of the picture” (like the Evil Queen in “Snow White”).

Phosphorus is friendly, and Phosphorus does have a lot of friends, but this is just half of the picture, and we always need to look at the whole picture.  One of the delusions that Phosphorus has is that she is unloved by her family (that is why she has to find friends instead.  I think what happens is that her family tends to tell her the truth, and because she doesn’t like what she hears, she won’t speak to them again).

She has basically become an expert at finding friends, as a way to compensate for lack of family connections. She is friendly, bubbly, happy, sympathetic and generous, and she puts out an enormous amount of energy towards others.

The problem is, she also has the delusion that she is stranded on a distant island.  In other words, she has a hard time connecting with people on a deeper level.  She wants to have fun and doesn’t like it when things get too heavy or serious.  So, even though she is surrounded by friends, she still feels isolated, lonely and unloved inside. This makes her feel insecure, so she needs a lot of reassurance from her friends, all the time.  “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”  Her friends are her mirrors.  This is why she creates high maintenance relationships.  Her friends have to keep proving to her, every day, that she is loved!  (So, if you refuse to talk to her on the phone, even just once, you are not proving that you love her, and she will get even with you!)

She gives a lot to her friends, so she expects just as much to come back to her, constantly.  In other words, Phosphorus gives love to get love back, and if she doesn’t get what she expects, she turns evil.

Mati, when you say she puts out an awful lot of energy towards others–to receive love– can she become a “Welcome Mat”? 

Look at the words you just used, a “welcome mat”!  A welcome mat is only useful when you walk in the door and wipe your feet on it.  Once you are inside, that is another story.  (I think you picked a very descriptive word!)

She becomes a welcome mat for everyone at first, and then it changes as the friendship develops. The more comfortable she feels with someone, the more she will eventually take the person for granted and become demanding.  So, this is basically a process that happens over time.

Oh, I see! Let me see if I’ve got this straight.  She needs friends so she will be very nice and solicitous in the beginning.  As time goes on, she’s less and less concerned about the friend’s feelings and needs.


Do friends of Phosphorus often say, “I felt like I was stabbed in the back…I was completely taken off guard, I was in shock!” etc.?

Of course they do!  It is a big surprise when someone you thought was a friend all of a sudden turns on you and stabs you in the back or turns you into the authorities without warning. (Boy, even as I am writing this, I can think of more and more people I know who must be Phosphorus!)

And here we can also compare Phosphorus and Arsenicum.  Arsenicum will bend over backwards to please anyone they need, especially if that person gives them money or security in some way. Phosphorus does the same thing to get love and affection, but once she feels safe with someone, she stops putting out the effort, and not only that, she wants to get back the energy that she put out in the first place. That is why she becomes demanding. So the energy she originally put out, wasn’t really a gift, it was only a loan, and eventually she wants it back, with interest. And if you don’t pay up, she’ll get furious, and if that doesn’t work, she can easily take you to court or turn you in to the authorities.

The biggest problem is this: When what the loved one gives is not unconditional, the other will feel the underlying expectation and resist giving love back. So, in Phosphorus’ story, she never gets the love she desires, simply because she expects too much!  (Not because she has a horrible mate!  And not because her mate is abusive or cheats on her, perhaps he is just looking for a way to escape from her demands!)  Besides, the lesson she is here to learn is how to find her inner source of love and to stop expecting it to come from others, but if you tell her that, I can’t guarantee the outcome!

So, yes, the normal picture of Phosphorus still applies, happy, cheerful, bubbly, affectionate, but the other side of the coin, “the dark side,” is also part of the Phosphorus picture. (And, remember, all the remedies have dark sides, not just Phosphorus and Arsenicum.)

So, you may wonder, what is the point of describing the dark side of Phosphorus?  It wasn’t until I described the dark side to you that you immediately recognized people you knew as Phosphorus.

If you meet another Phosphorus tomorrow, is there going to be any doubt about what remedy she needs?  You should be able to easily recognize this picture now, both the light side and the dark.

The core delusions of a remedy only show you WHY people do what they do, but the patterns that result from the core delusions create a picture that is much easier to spot in case-taking than to go digging for the underlying core delusion right away.  So, don’t worry about what the underlying delusions are – just look for the behavior patterns, and they will show you the way.

I knew a certain naturopathic doctor who may well have been a Phosphorus.  He is no longer practicing and has gone back to anesthesiology.  I was told that the reason was because he had actually reported a lay homeopath to the authorities for “practicing medicine without a license” and received a reprimand from one of our famous homeopaths for having done so; so, he closed down his naturopathy practice without a word!  His patients felt abandoned.

Elaine, think about it:  What’s the main remedy for “Ailments From Anesthesia”?

Oh my God, Phosphorus!

What did the Evil Queen in “Snow White” do?

She put Snow White to sleep!  Mati, you are amazing!!!!  What insight!

Remember, Phophorus is the Evil Queen.  She has to stay in power, no matter what.  If an affectionate, bubbly and cheerful personality work, all the better, but if you don’t cooperate with her, you will be punished, for sure!  “Off with her head!” cried the queen.

Mati, the above-mentioned naturopath was presumed to be a Lachesis by the homeopath he worked with, probably because of vindictive behavior, stalking, spying, etc.; so, I just wonder how many presumed Lachesis patients are, in reality, Phosphorus?  I note that you say in your book:

Phosphorus perceives reality as if she were someone of high rank, someone important, distinguished, rich (nobility comes to mind). She can be proud, critical or dictatorial in her views if she feels that she isn’t being appreciated or supported enough in the right way.

And Phosphorus simply loves sleeping pills, Elaine.  They have so many uses – the main one is that they can make people really nice to you (if you overdose on them, that is).  What is the easiest way to get sympathy from others?  Create a crisis – that gives you the excuse you need; so, they become experts at creating one crisis after the other.

If she had been a Lachesis as you thought, she would more likely have battled until the other person was “finished.”  She would have attacked rather than disappearing!  Different strategies for different remedies!

That’s a very informative distinction between the two remedies.  Lachesis would not want to be defeated, Lachesis would fight!

Exactly. Animal remedies will fight for their survival.

Mati, I can’t tell you how valuable your book has been to me in terms of clarifying remedy images, and I’d just like to add, it makes a great holiday gift!

Then you might be interested to know that I’ve completely re-edited my book!  It used to be two volumes.  I’ve now condensed the material into one volume and cut the price in half!  I have also given it a new cover, new size and new sub-title. Click here to see it: .

You can order it from:

I love the new format, and I would just like to remind our readers that if they haven’t already read “You Try Living With Arsenicum!”, they will surely find it a great companion to this article:

You Try Living with Arsenicum!

Come back soon!

Thank you, Elaine.


Mati H. Fuller, DIHom (Pract)


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

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

About the author

Mati Fuller

Mati H. Fuller, DIHom (Pract) was born and raised in Bergen, Norway and came to the United States in 1985. She lives and practices in Colorado and is author of "Beyond the Veil of Delusions, Understanding Relationships Through Homeopathy." [email protected]


  • The people you are describing sound like they have borderline personality disorder. I’m not a homeopath, but I can assume that to make an assumption that all phosphorus people will “turn evil” if not getting what they want, is likened to labelling a person with a personaliy disorder in the first place. I think it is an over generalization and is not fair to judge and expect all phosphorus people To behave the same. As a homeopath I think it’s is your duty, not to place people into boxes and I feel in this article that is what is being done.

  • Thank you for sharing this. I think it’s quite accurate and a very misunderstood aspect of phos… But you should mention this is Phos. in its syphilitic state, not when it is psoric or sycotic. This is not the way every phos will show up or even necessarily become, even under stress. But you’re right about the rage and love…They are “easily vexed” and struggle a great deal with abandonment as does pulsatilla, lycopodium, sulphur, cyclamen and others.

  • I think the author is right about phosphorous being generally misunderstood. However, the only point that is missing is that this “outrageous rage” is a characteristic of phosphorous in a more syphilitic state. Not every phosphorous has it. Other remedies are equally driven by a need for love, a sense of being forsaken, or the fear of being alone.

    The best answer is always: take the case.

  • hi! That’s a great work n i liked it very much,im also a homeopath n was only knowin one bubbly aspect of phosphorus,bt this one’s also true.i also agree wid judith’s view dat nt all phos people r the same n it happens in the syphillitic state.thanks a lot for lettin me so much knowledge ,grt job.

  • It seems that the homeopath has very strong reactions too! Phosphorus is not in the cruelty rubric, not in the cynical rubric, not in the deceitful/ sly rubric, not in the hard hearted rubric, not in the jealousy rubric. Omissions?

  • Hello everybody! Mati has asked me to post the following reply to the above posts:

    When I talk about the shadow side of Phosphorus, or any other remedy for that matter, I am talking about unconscious potential, not conscious reality. If someone is stressed enough, how do they react? What is their deepest, darkest potential? It is important to be able to recognize these deep dark sides because you may see them in a case here and there. But, this doesn’t mean that a normal, happy, bubbly Phosphorus will display these evil qualities on a regular basis. I see the shadow side as a sleeping dragon – we all have one! If you ever attend serious therapy, such as enounter groups, you’ll see for yourself. We all have an inner psycho killer, or inner evil king or queen, capable of doing horrible things. These are sides of ourselves that we normally suppress and refuse to admit. Maybe we don’t even know that they’re there! But, if you put someone under the right kind of stress, the shadow can rear its ugly head and do something unthinkable.
    As homeopaths, we deal with people who are out of balance in one way or another. This imbalance can show up as physical ailments, but it can just as well show up as a mental/emotional imbalance. When someone is mentally/emotionally out of balance, and the homeopath only knows about the positive side of a remedy, how are they going to be able to recognize the right remedy?
    I am sure that it will be hard for someone who is Phosphorus to read this description. They are instantly going to say “I am not like that! I wouldn’t do that!” and this is totally understandable. A Phosphorus may never encounter this side of himself/herself in a whole lifetime, but that doesn’t mean that the potential isn’t there. The potential that I am describing is simply unconscious patterns that may or may not come to the surface, but as a homeopath, I find it valuable to know what this potential is, so I can recognize it if it does appear in a case. Does that make sense?

    • Same goes for a pulsatilla constitution you get the extreme ying and yang black and white. In the same person 👍🏼

  • Great post. I am not a homeopath, but helped myself a lot with homeopathy with great results. I love the articles written by Mati and especially this one is very important to me as, I encountered something similar with someone very close to me. After reading this article, I am sure that this person would benefit from Phosphorus. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • which other remedies have the need to be the prettiest, and get jealous if other girls are receiving all the attention…….

  • With regard to this client pursuing a formal complaint in Colorado, this sounds to me like a misdiagnosis, and much more nit-ac than phos. Nit-ac wants to destroy people and take them down. Not phos.

    • Not true. Even Elaine has experienced first hand how Phosphorus can turn on you, and I have seen it in several people who actually responded well to Phosphorus. So, I’m just sharing with you my understanding of the potential shadow side of Phosphorus. If you don’t see it that way, it is up to you…

  • For the degree of imbalance described, what dosage is recommended?
    Also interesting comment about BPD. I’ve found Phosphorus to help tremendously (particularly with some of my anxious and paranoid symptoms), as well as bring more of my regular “brightness” back, and I’m curgently completing a course on DBT.

  • ML Tyler clarified when there is fatty degeneration of both liver kidney there is dropsy with diarrhoea is brights disease one must check albumin blood in urine as phos is constitutional bleeder.bengal street homeopathic doctors catch one issue do brain storming, in phos that is bladder full urine but absence of urge to pass urine means nerves numb not able to excite urination,they employ drug as a tool as after surgery due to anesthesia nerves do not regain power,numb fingers use homeo phos is baba homeopathy.other side is David Lilley type saints who say light of ego false self sense of superiority complex numbs ones nerves so when fall down comes Phos high potency will act as torch light to understand inner self but big guns when blown out seek treatment in Malaysia American hospitals.some evil queens who want to remain in power many prefer BABA treatment for that India stands at front.

  • As others have commented, the characters described here sound like they are not only very, very unwell but also very low consciousness. You talk about “shadow sides”–do you really understand how they work and how they fit into the context of the bigger picture? Not only in one individual spirit but also the greater whole of humanity? This whole rendition is very dark, turbulent, chaotic and syphilitic… It just screams dis-ease and disrepair. Not every individual requiring Phosphorus is like this, not nearly so, even at their worst.

    That being said, you hit the nail on the head that some lower-consciousness Phosphorus types do indeed have a fuzzy sense of reality, are easily led astray and carried away by great emotional whims (both positive and negative), and don’t have that strong sense of center to tell them what’s right, what’s good and just; to motivate them to do good by their fellow human, to be genuinely selfless, even if that means facing unpleasant realities about themselves (facing the shadow side). But that last part describes nearly every human being who does not have the will and the courage to stand in truth, and who does not possess the willingness to surrender every dark and all-consuming shadow side at least eventually to the lighter part of themselves… to grow. To grow because it’s what feels right–that is the mark of the truly conscious person. One who is motivated to be real. Even Phosphorus types who experience that hallmark confusion of who they are can be so sincerely loving, and will sacrifice so much to ensure the welfare of others… It is the mark of an evolved soul, however much they may currently be suffering.

    Call me critical, but my problem with this publication is that it puts Phosphorus in a box. If you wish to describe one aspect of the Phosphorus constitution, which indeed does not describe people themselves but temporary states of their spirits, then why not be clear that this describes only some people needing Phosphorus? (Notably, “low consciousness” people often unconsciously live in a delusion for their entire lives, typified by just one or a few constitutions, due to their lack of growth, within the context of the ebbs and flows of life; conscious people, alternatively, will move through many constitutional states in their lifetime, because they know themselves, they push boundaries, they explore, they don’t settle–and they don’t cling to dis-eased states they pretend represent their true selves.) The fact that you say, “…From now on, if anyone seems even remotely like a Phosphorus to me, I won’t even say hello until they’ve signed my release form!” is just bizarre and judgmental. It sounds like you are projecting onto this energy profile… And you don’t have the full understanding of this energy signature, from darkness to light, to write about it. This notably takes more than a lifetime to grasp, in the case of all remedies… However, those who accept their ignorance as practitioners, as students of the human condition, are already ahead of the game.

    This rendition is not humble. That’s the problem. Whenever people write truly disturbed, niched, narrow and pigeon-holed descriptions of the characters types, I wonder what their deeper motivations are. This is just too fractionated and angry. If you don’t like the lame characterizations written heretofore about Phosphorus regarding his/her simply lovely nature and wonderful personality, that’s understandable. So let’s arrive at some real truth then.

  • This article is so very helpful for understanding Phosphorus. I’m not a professional homeopath, just someone who uses homeopathy for myself, my family and friends, (and their dogs) and didn’t know there were two sides to this remedy. A friend of mine seems to fit the profile. She has gone from fun and bubbly to shutting the door on others. I thought she had simply become depressed but the key does seem to be that others (including myself) simply didn’t show her enough love and attention. She’s not an “Evil Queen” but seems to be protecting herself from those who don’t show her enough attention. Anyway, keep up the good work, Mati and Elaine! I really enjoy reading your “conversations” on homeopathic remedies. And, Mati, I have your excellent book. If you write another one I’ll be buying it, too.

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