The purest plumbago is a sort of mineral carbon, and the small contents of iron are probably to be viewed merely as an admixture not essential to the nature of plumbago, which is further confirmed by the fact, that Davy has fully proved the actual transition of diamond into plumbago by treating the same with metallic potassium.
The first thought of the medicinal use of plumbago was given to Dr. Weinhold by the fact, that during his journey in Italy he saw workmen in a mirror factory in Venice use it externally for driving away herpes.
He imitated them, and described the result in a little work ; Der Graphit als Heilmittel gegen Flechten (Plumbago as a remedy for herpes), (2d ed., Meissen, 1812). He prescribed its external application either with saliva or with some fat, or the rubbed in the ointment, or applied a plaster of plumbago. He also administered it in several cases internally, as a confection or in pills, not without success.
We go somewhat further, and administer graphites as a very serviceable antipsoric remedy, and this, whether herpes be present in the (non-venereal) chronic disease or not, provided that the present (and previous) symptoms of the patient are found to be homeopathically as similar as possible to the pure symptoms below adduced, which are peculiar to graphites, and caused by it in the healthy body.
Graphites has a lengthy period of action.
Graphites has proved itself especially useful, in chronic diseases where it is otherwise appropriate, in curing the following symptoms :
Feeling unhappy ; apprehension in the morning ; anxiety ; anxiety during sedentary work ; peevishness ; dislike of work ; feels as if intoxicated on rising from bed ; chaotic feeling in the head ; fatigued by scientific work ; buzzing in the head ; tearing pain in the side of the head the teeth and the glands of the neck ; the falling out of hair, even on the sides of the head : itching on the head ; scab head ; perspiration of the head when in the open air ; pressive pain in the eyelids, as from a grain of sand ; pressing, shooting and lachrymation of the eyes, dry pus on the eyelids and eyelashes ; everything becomes black before the eyes on stooping ; the letters in reading run together ; flickering before the eyes ; the eyes fear the daylight ; dryness of the internal ear ; flow of pus from the ear ; bad smell from the ear ; porrigo behind the ears ; hardness of hearing ; singing and ringing in the ears ; humming in the ears ; thundering rumbling before the ears ; hissing in the ears ; bad smell from the nose ; dry scabs in the nose ; swelling of the nose ; flying heat in the face ; semi-lateral paralysis of the face ; freckles in the face ; humid, eruptive pimples in the face ; falling out of the hair of the beard ; ulcerated corners of the mouth ; ulcers on the inner side of the lips ; nocturnal toothache ; shooting toothache after drinking something cold ; swelling of the gums ; dryness of the mouth in the morning ; hawking up of mucus ; sensitiveness of the throat, in the region of the larynx ; almost constant sore throat, during deglutition ; nocturnal pain in the throat, as if a plug were lodged in the throat, or as if the food filled the gullet all the way up ; painful lumps on the lower jaw ; repugnance to cooked food ; voracious hunger ; eructation ; nausea in the morning ; nausea after every meal ; weakness of the stomach ; pressure in the stomach ; nocturnal pinching in the stomach and digging in the chest ; heaviness in the abdomen ; hardness in the hypogastrium ; tapeworm ; painfulness in the groin ; inflation of the abdomen ; inflation after meals ; accumulation of flatus ; obstruction of flatus ; excessive discharge of flatus ; chronic constipation ; with costiveness and hardness of the hepatic region ; insufficient stools ; long-continued, excessive softness of stools ; discharge of mucus from the rectum ; pains in the varices of the anus ; pains as from excoriation of the varices of the anus after stool ; burning, painful fissure between the varices of the anus ; large varices of the anus ; micturition at night ; quiescent sexual desire ; uncontrollable sexual desire ; lack of morning erections ; almost involuntary emission of semen, without erection ; too scanty voluptuous sensation in coitus ; excoriation between the lower limbs, on the pudenda ; delayed menses ; menses retarded, with severe colic ; menses too scanty and too pale ; pains during the menses ; cramps in the abdomen, with the menses ; pain in the chest, with the menses ; weakness, during the menses ; leucorrhœa, like water ; profuse leucorrhœa, before and after the menses.
Stoppage of the nose ; troublesome dryness of the nose ; flow of mucus from the nose ; daily coryza, when becoming cold ; the voice in singing is not clear ; scraping in the throat ; cough ; nocturnal cough ; asthma ; oppression of the chest ; spasm of the chest ; pain in the sacrum as if it was bruised or broken ; contractive pains in the back ; pain in the nape ; cramp in the hand ; horny callosities in the palms ; knotty, arthritic fingers ; constant excoriation between the fingers ; pain as from a sprain, in the joint of the thumb ; excoriation between the legs ; restlessness in the lower limbs ; numbness of the thigh ; herpes on the thigh ; herpes on the houghs ; stitches in the heel when treading ; coldness of the feet in the evening in bed ; burning of the feet, swelling of the feet ; horny skin on the toes ; eroding blisters on the toes ; suppurating toes ; thick, crippled toe-nails ; cramp in many places, e. g., on the nates, the calves, etc. ; drawing in the limbs ; tendency to strains ; the outside of the chest, the arms and the legs go to sleep ; tendency to take colds ; chronic lack of bodily perspiration ; perspiration on slight exertion ; excoriation of the skin on the bodies of children ; the skin does not heal easily, is apt to ulcerate ; herpes ; difficulty in falling asleep ; when going to sleep, suffocating tightness of the chest ; light slumber at night ; starting from sleep ; nocturnal pains, sensible while asleep ; sleep full of ravings ; drowsy slumber in the morning ; anxious, frightful dreams ; anxiousness at night, forcing him to get up ; night-sweat.
Where chronic constipation and menses, delaying several days cause trouble, graphites is often indispensable. It is not often repeated to advantage, even after intervening remedies.
Reference: The Chronic Diseases, their Peculiar Nature and their Homœopathic Cure. by Dr Samuel Hahnemann