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ANTHRACINUM (1894,1895)
Some people have an aversion to using things that are filthy because they can only think of the material substance; generally think of them as eating them. Rest assured that when an individual is about to die, the idea of it being filthy goes out of his mind. This medicine comes in and stands between life and death. This remedy is made from the bloody serum of spleen from cattle with anthrax.

Much of interest involved in the study of this nosode; it destroys sheep, cattle, and horses. Anthracinum, a zymotic disease, a blood poison having in its nature qualities resembling diphtheria, erysipelas gangrene; scarlet fever tending to gangrene. We get effects on human beings by vaccinations. Malignant carbuncles, malignant pustules in man are similar to the Anthrax disease in man. You will see the analogy of the symptoms but not of the pathology when reading of them in animals and viewing the diseases. We have symptoms but no provings of it; but as we have studied from diseases it has been from the dynamic plane and not that of nutrition. Simply retain the symptoms and throw away the pathology and you have the disease.

Smarting, burning, stinging accompanied the pathology, burning like a core of fire. In thinking of the carbuncle, we think of the pathology; in thinking of the burning, we think of the symptoms. Gangrenous state in cattle and blackness of parts. Eruption in parts, carbuncle, fistulous oozing, burning like fire; bloody pus; oozing of bloody watery flow. This gives us some idea of the dreadful effects of this dreadful disease.

Blood poisoning from vaccination, inocculous from poisonous hives; malignant pustules appear and the man soon dies. Anthracinum will cure the disease in a large number of instances. Black circle around the carbuncle; burning like fire; the part itself dead like a saphacelus; slough black, dead, hard like dried beef, burns like a core of fire, such a state from blood poisoning; conditions where the whole economy is overwhelmed; dies from being benumbed.

In a gangrenous limb where there is good and healthy reaction, the gangrenous part is separated by slough, a line of demarcation, this requires reaction, if reaction does not come it means that the whole economy is benumbed, the gangrene spreads towards the center. Natural healing is attended by a suppurative process.

Intense heat which destroys cell life and vital force, that burns out the internal cavity. When pus cavities form, there is a tendency to reaction; it is an evidence of health. When inoculated from the sheep tendency to carbonize all over the body, small vesicles at the beginning, black, and followed by chill. Nothing else looks like this, malignant pustule and looks only like Anthracinum. This is a specific poison, a kind of its own, with a tendency to produce carbuncles. Little knotty dead formations, no bigger than the end of finger, black and dead, burning like coals of fire, black filled with blood dried down. You wonder how a piece of tissue can die so suddenly. Chill, rigor, it seems as if he would die; no line of demarcation about the dead tissue. Anthr. CM was given; reaction followed and he recovered.


Carbuncle that begins at base of brain or on the back near spine, over shoulders, nape of neck; it spreads, burns, opens with multiple openings or does not open at all , patches as large as your hand. Rigors come on, threatened with unconsciousness, fever, symptom of septicemia, heart failure; others appearing, such is the kind of a case that Anthracinum will snatch from the grave. When poulticed, when slashed with a knife, they all die; none recover. On the back, carbuncular mass the size of a saucer, black, dead like dried beef, no sensation in the part but burning about it like core of fire. The mind of the instructed physician sees it only in its internal, in its simple substance. Anthrac. will snatch from the grave. If such places are cut they all die. No man should die of carbuncle except in last stages of phthisis or diabetes. This peculiar action, worthy of a good deal of study because we have no remedy that seems to conform to this need.

Many of the symptoms are clinical. It is singular that a peculiar form of plague runs through our domestic animals and man is affected in the same way. Deep seated low states; zymosis. Pustule, carbuncle, abscess burning like coals of fire. Dreadful exhaustion, rigors, nervous prostration coming suddenly. Again pustules spreading and crusting, cadaveric odor. Blebs form in the neighborhood or over carbuncular inflammation, and when the blister breaks, permeates the house with the odor of a cadaver. Again inflammation that you would presume might be benign, changes suddenly, repeated rigors, burning. This particular case where lungs were involved; expectorating bloody serum, and bad odor.

Ought to be useful in the worst form of erysipelas, great feebleness; lack of reaction; erysipelas parts are black, burn, withered; great weakness. Erysipelas that starts from a center. Induration of glands, hardness, tendency to break down. The febrile state during all this is likely to run high. Chill and sweat likely to intermingle. Pulse and temperature out of proportion at times (Pyrogen). Sometimes intense heat, at others little heat.

Ought to be indicated in sore throat; when tonsillitis becomes gangrenous, oozing of watery blood; great weakness. When suppuration is marked then it would not indicate this remedy. Suppuration and evidence of reaction would NOT indicate this remedy.

Diptheria; parotid glands and throat dusty blue and dark; breath very foul; oozing of watery blood from mucus membranes of mouth and nose.

In animals there is extensive swelling of the glands about the neck; hard and black; blood vessels shrunken and withered; as if gangrenous; this state belongs to the disease, such a condition has been called "Anthrax quinsy."


That which resembles a malignant pustule does not always come from vaccination or inoculation of the poison. It comes sometimes without actual inoculation but from susceptibility. They may occur and cause death without inoculation; it may come from contagion like any other disease; anyone who has had a malignant pustule from inoculation would infest anyone who had susceptibility.

We have no knowledge of disease on animals except in captivity; if wild animals are sick are to be sick they are provided with cravings which lead them to take what is needed. So cats want catnip; animals crave things that keep them in health. If the animals were to reason as to whether these things were good for them they would lose their instinct, for this is what happened to man, he lost his perception (instinct) and hardly knows what is good for him.

It has been supposed that the spleen was at fault in anthrax, and in epidemics among animals, the spleen is found to be affected like Peyer's patches in typhoid. Spleen in gangrenous state; greatly affected; like Peyer's glands in typhoid. In the malignant pustule in man , there is but one pustule in man; (in animals many). The pustule is as large as a pinhead and a quarter of an inch across whole base, black and burns like fire. As the pustule dries down (withers) it is apparently lost and you see only a little hard, black mass. This is supposed to be the seat of inoculation.

Tanners who have manipulated old hides become sick with malignant pustule; it has been argued that they must have vaccinated themselves or injured themselves; the pustule may come on the face or lips or some parts of the body that were probably not exposed; often on margin of mucus membrane and skin. It is likely that they take it without actually to be inoculated by it. Abscesses may open and discharge bloody pus; ichorous. All at once in the wall of an abscess comes a dreadful burning; the opening will not close; becomes erysipelatous, burning like fire, oozing a bloody pus or bloody water; two remedies (neither of which have been proved ) were resorted to: Tarent-cub. and Anthrac. To a great extent has gathered action of Tarent-cub in 12 th potency.

Syphilitic cases; bubo in groin; instead of suppuration, it burns like fire, is very hard; black color; patient has a chill and is greatly exhausted; Anthrac. will cause a reaction : will either suppurate the bubo or absorb it.

Felons with this black ugly erysipelatous appearance. Gangrene with lack of reaction. Any fluids that form about these gangrenous parts are extremely offensive; ooze. The collapse is very much like that of the feeling of the beginning of death; the sinking is dreadful; the prostration; no reaction; appearance that of anxiety. Before we had Anthrac. we had to give Ars. and it was not always similar enough. Many died. Finally Hering proved Lachesis and it had something of the nature.


Blood black, thick, like tar; decomposes rapidly. Ecchymoses. Blood oozing from mouth and sexual organs. These are symptoms of the animal to a great extent. Hemorrhagic exudations; not a chronic condition; rather it is very acute; course run with great rapidity; great suddenness; you must reach the case early or nothing will be done. It has not a very extensive use, yet is a remedy that stands alone in having an individual use. ( Compare Crot-h -Editor)

One of the most dreadful things that you can do is to suppress even partially a carbuncle; (for example by using a remedy to save the life and putting a hot poultice). The patient will recover from the carbuncle; but as an invalid will never get well. A perfect full reaction with the spirit of health with it may never be looked for. The complaints that you produce by this kind of treatment will baffle your skill and you will never have a complete picture of anything.. An hysterical girl will have additional hysterical manifestations. Diphtheria which has been suppressed will prove this. Children who have never been well since they had diphtheria will give you more trouble than any others; indifferent success.

You may have on the cheek or lip a little hard papule; next day pustule filled with bloody water. This spreads and becomes mummified, like little bullet driven in the skin. Next it becomes ichorous; rigors; aching in the bones; soon dies. Anthrac. stops this state; drives away the pustule. In pustule, carbuncle, abscess, burning like coals of fire; great exhaustion; nervous prostration; rigors. Pustules form with a crust; crust peels off and bleeds a bloody ichorous cadaverous in odor. Blebs form in neighborhood or over carbuncles; inflames; when the blister is opened or breaks it fills the house with a horrid odor; odor of death; odor of cadaver.

Repeated rigors; burning; gangrene of the lungs; expectoration putrid; watery; like bloody water. Pleurisy that starts as if benign; fails to yield to proper remedies; then repeated rigors; bloody serum in the pleural cavity; great prostration; sinking. You can see how closely related it is to Ars. which enters into this kind of a constitution; rapid gangrenous course as if whole body would turn into gangrene.

Blisters form on hand from handling axe or tool; blister fills with black or bloody serum; burns; becomes black and hard; threatened with gangrene; Ars., Anthrac., Lach. If dried mummified like a piece of dried beef shriveled no remedy as good as Anthrac. Gangrenous portions slough. Typically: in an Anthrac. case the gangrene spreads rapidly and there is no time for this line of demarcation; but at times it is not contra-indicated if sloughing does not take place with oozing of offensive matter. Vitality low; but if there is great burning and shriveling there may be sloughing; discharge at line of demarcation is very offensive.

Pus cavities and serous cavities filled with bloody water; odor terrible; the very lowest kinds of septic infection.


Malignant pustule; blebs on other parts of body, feet, limbs, inside of thigh, back, back of neck; fill with a dark bloody fluid. When there is bleeding from ulcers we get black offensive blood.

Blood from ulcers; black offensive blood. Bleeding from nose in malignant scarlatina or diphtheria; great rapidity; black clots form on denuded surfaces. Radiation of purple lines from a purple mummified spot.

Another grand feature; crepitation of tissues around carbuncle; edematous aspect; mottled in the center; cloudy edema; mottled red spots; the hard black mass with crepitation mummified; burning like coals of fire. Poultice it if you will and cut and open and the patient will die. Ars. was generally given and will save life but patient will get up crippled; never well afterwards. Poulticing is a vicious practice.

Cellulitis: tendency to centralize involving veins with rigors. Don't forget this remedy because it belongs to violent disease which tends to death. Common thing in these states is that when the proper remedy is given there results a copious diarrhea. Do not be afraid of this or of a copious flow of urine even if it is involuntary and floods the bed. It only shows the action of your remedy

Quinsy, which all at once takes on an extreme state of violence. Tonsils become gangrenous. Cadaveric odor from the mouth. Sinking. Rigors. Only a short time that we have the mental symptoms, so rapid is the progress of disease. Patient is likely to go into coma. You might see a Bryonia condition, or Belladonna; but they do not have the nature of this horrible malignant which is about to come on. When a patient has a carbuncle and the patient is unconsciousness in from 24 to 48 hours, you know that it is a serious thing and means death.

Suppression of urine. In small-pox if suppression of urine has come on Homeopathy or anything else will not cure him.

There may be a tendency to open; more vitality in such a case and the patient may recover without treatment. The case with no tendency to open is worse; the patient dies in the first stages of it; death under poultices at end of 2 to 3 weeks. Round about a carbuncle may spread and become a typical erysipelas with large blebs with horribly offensive oozing; if you call it a malignant pustule on the first day you must call it erysipelas on the next.

Induration of lymph glands all over the body; tendency to break down.

Febrile state likely to run high and to be changeable; child. Fever and sweat intermingle; pulse out of proportion to the heat; either very low or very high; a mere quiver.


Tendency to centralize; great burning; great debility; violent attacks; tendency to spread.

It is a common thing when the remedy begins to act to have a copious diarrhea or a copious flow of urine; a good sign.

Quinsy may take on a malignant state; violent; gangrenous; tonsils become black; rigors; cadaverous odor; bloody water from the mouth.

In these horrible states coma is apt to come on soon after; short delirium. Bryonia cannot become in the economy such a thing as we see before us; delirium might be wild enough with Bell., but that is not deep enough for this horribly malignant case. These cases likely to soon go into state of unconsciousness; everyone knows that coma in connection with carbuncle means death; so also is suppression of urine in carbuncle, and surely in smallpox.

We go into the home of disease itself for products that are evil enough to be similar.

These zymotic diseases are so different that it is most difficult to find a remedy which has the nature of these conditions. And if partially cured or suppressed become fixed with the remains of diphtheria and complicates with psora. Diphtheria in itself would either end in death or recovery. It is not so bad with scarlet fever. Carb-v has much in it which is of the nature of scarlet fever and badly treated measles. But when it comes to diphtheria it is very hard. Carbuncle leaves an impression on the system which is hard to see in the nature of a remedy. In Anthrac. we see something wholly unlike other remedies. Having nothing else which has sudden violent action as this. Must have others before we can master these troubles when they have been wholly or partially suppressed.

This is one chapter from a forthcoming book: Kent's Unpublished Materia Medica; Edited by Ahmed N. Currim, MD. It contains lectures in Materia Medica that Kent gave in 1894,1895, and 1902. This material was discovered by Dr. Currim in his various travels. Because of the threat of bioterrorism this lecture is offered to save life

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