Know Your Remedies: Graphites (Graph.)
Common Names: Pencil lead; graphite; plumbago.
Graphites (Graph.) is a remedy for anxiety, uncertainty, and types of skin complaints. The type of person who does well with this remedy is often chilly, prone to obesity, dislikes sweet things – especially sweet things with meat, and prefers chicken. Symptoms (mental- emotional or physical) may be worsened by cold, hunger, and first waking in the morning. Physical symptoms tend to be worse on the left side, pains may move to the part being lain on, and, in spite of the person feeling chilly, symptoms worsen in warm rooms. Sensations of numbness or deadness may be experienced.
- Slow thinking. Irresolution. Difficult concentration.
- Full of doubts. Finds it hard to make a decision.
- Lack of confidence and anxious – expects things to be difficult.
- Excitable and upset by small, inconsequential things.
- Weeps easily and may weep to music. Feels better by expressing emotions.
- Brain feels numb.
- Psoriasis of scalp, especially on the back of the head.
- Cracks or eruptions behind the ears.
- Sticky discharges from eruptions – like honey – that dry into golden crystals.
- Itchy eruptions that must be scratched to the point of bleeding.
- Sensitive to light. Photophobia.
- Gastritis or gastric ulcers – pains relieved by eating or drinking milk.
- Eruptions on upper, inner thighs or genital herpes.
- Loss of erection during intercourse.
- Unhealthy skin – excoriated, thickened or coarse, lumpy scars, warts, callouses, scales, cracks and fissures, tinea, hives, or herpes.
- Cracks or fissures occur in the angles of fingertips, eyes, nostrils, mouth, anus – where skin and mucous membranes meet.
- Thickened, hard, or deformed nails.
Where do I find it?
Graphites (Graph.) is available from our online store as a single remedy in either pills or liquid, and as part of the following Complexes (combination remedies): Cold Sores (Oral Herpes); Dandruff; Nails (Soft or Brittle); Styes; Warts.
While above self-limiting or acute complaints are suitable for home treatment also contact your healthcare provider during emergency situations or if symptoms worsen or fail to improve. Chronic or persistent complaints, which may or may not be mentioned above, require a different treatment and dosage protocol so are best managed by a qualified homeopath for good results.
Dosage Instructions (suitable for babies to adults)
For the home treatment of acute and self-limiting complaints take one pill or five drops of the remedy every 1 minute to 4 hours (1 minute for intense or emergency symptoms (plus seek emergency help), 4 hours for milder ones). Once an improvement is noticed, stop dosing and repeat the remedy only if symptoms return. If there is no improvement at all by three doses, choose a different remedy or seek professional guidance.
Note: Chronic symptoms or complaints require a course of professional treatment by a qualified homeopath to manage the changes in potencies and remedies that may be required.
Guidelines on which potency to use
From Past Masters
Homeopathy is a 200-year system of medicine. Early medical homeopaths recorded initial provings, remedy relationships, and their early experiences with each remedy in great detail.
These writings were then shared with others to advance homeopathic knowledge and practice.
Today, these same writings give a fascinating insight into the symptoms and clinical conditions for which each remedy was used.
The following extract, with minor editing, is one example.
Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics by E. B. NASH M.D.
Eruption on the skin, oozing out of thick, honey-like fluid.
Mucous outlets; eyelids inflamed, with pustules; ears discharge, moist sore places behind ears; mouth cracked in corners; anus, eruptions, itching, fissured.
Nails grow thick, cracked, out of shape.
Constipation; stools knotty, large lumps, united by mucous threads.
Diarrhśa; stools, brown fluid, mixed with undigested substances, and of an intolerably fśtid odor.
Sad and desponded; inclined to weep; thinks of nothing but death.
Especially adapted to persons inclined to obesity; particularly females who delay menstruation.
Hears better when in a noise; when riding in a carriage or car; when there is a rumbling sound.
Sensation of cobweb on forehead; tries hard to brush it off.
* * * * *
The chief leading characteristic of this remedy is found in its skin symptoms.
Hoyne had expressed it nearly right. “Eruptions oozing out a thick, honey-like fluid.” It may be found on any part of the body, but is especially found on or behind the ears, on head, face, genitals, or eyelids. I once treated a case of eczema of the legs which was of twenty years’ standing. It was in an old obese woman, and, by the way, that is the kind of subject in which this remedy is found most efficacious.
I gave her, on account of much burning of the feet, a dose of Suphur c. m. In two or three weeks an eruption was developed all over the body which exuded a glutinous, sticky fluid. One dose of Graphites c. m., dry on the tongue, cured this as well as the eczema of the legs and left her skin as smooth as that of a child. This was years ago. Erysipelas sometimes takes this form, and in such cases recurs again and again. It will naturally occur to the physician that, because of this recurrence, there is some psoric taint which must be met by Sulphur. But we must not make the too common mistake of thinking that Sulphur is the remedy on account of its great antipsoric powers, or on the often misleading indication “when seemingly indicated remedies don’t act,” because Sulphur is not the only anti-psoric and where Graphites is indicated is not at all the anti-psoric for the case in hand. In short, we must not prescribe for psora (which is only a name after all) without indications any more than we would prescribe for the name scarlatina or diphtheria. Graphites is a powerful anti-psoric, as are also Psorinum, Lycopodium, Causticum and many others. Symptoms must decide here, as elsewhere. In order to still further show the wonderful anti-psoric powers of this remedy I will give another case from practice.
A child three years of age had eczema capitis. Under allopathic local treatment the eczema disappeared; but soon entero-colitis of a very obstinate character set in. Then the regulars could not “do” that as they had the eczema, and after they had given up the case, pronouncing it consumption of the bowels, the homśopath (myself) was called in on the ground that he could do no harm if he could do no good (so they said).
Case. -Child greatly emaciated, little or no appetite, very restless, and “stools brown fluid mixed with undigested substances, and of an intolerably fśtid odor.” Taking into the account the history of the suppressed eczema I prescribed Graphites 6m. (Jenichen) and in a short time a perfect cure was the result. Psorinum has a similar stool as was present in this case, but the eruptions of the two remedies are different and this one corresponded to Graphites, hence Psorinum was ruled out. If this case of so long standing had not had the eruption I might have thought of China on account of the extreme weakness from long-continued drain or loss of fluid, for China is another remedy that has brown, loose, fśtid stools. So we must take into consideration all the case, psora and all. In chronic cases, in which Graphites is likely to be the remedy, we may look for affections of the eyelids, of the same eczematous character as that found on the head, behind the ears, etc.
Notice. -Eczema of lids, eruptions moist and fissured margins of lids covered with scales and crusts. In Sulphur lids the margins are very red. All the orifices under Sulphur are very red. Graphites leads all the remedies for eczematous affections of the lids, Staphisagria stands next, but of course special indications, local or general, or both, must decide.
Graphites is one of our best anal remedies. We have given the kind of loose stool characteristic of the drug. This is, however, exceptional, for it generally tends to constipation instead of diarrhśa. The stools are knotty and large, the lumps sometimes united by mucous threads and mucus often follow the stool. There is often eczema around the anus, and it is one of our best remedies for fissura ani. There is in these cases apt to be much pain after stool, and much soreness in anus on wiping it. Now if all this should occur in subjects of this tendency to sticky eruptions, we should not hesitate to give Graphites with expectations of success.
Another very characteristic calling for this remedy is found in the nails. Both finger and toe nails become thick, grow out of shape. Never forget Graphites when you find this state of nails present. Again, Graphites has cracks or fissures in the ends of the fingers (Sarsaparilla), nipples, labial commissures, of anus, and between toes (Petroleum). It is one of our best remedies for wens found in persons of herpetic dyscrasia. Old, hard cicatrices soften up and go away under its action, especially those left by abscesses of the mammć. Lumps in the breast of suspicious appearance also go away under the action of this remedy. In menstrual troubles it resembles Pulsatilla, but there are plenty of points to differentiate them. In temperament it resembles Calcarea ostrearum; but in Graphites the menses are mostly scanty and delayed, in Calcarea too soon and too profuse; Graphites cures complaints of many kinds when you have present two things:
1st. The peculiar tendency to obesity.
2d. The characteristic glutinous eruptions.