|Liquid pitch oil|
It’s pitch, sex. Once you touch it, it clings to you.
Beechwood Creosote. Creasote. Liquid pitch oil.
SUBSTANCE There are three kinds of creosote. Wood or beechwood creosote is an oily liquid obtained by destructive distillation of wood-tar, a process discovered by the chemist Reichenbach in the early 19th century for the flavouring and preserving of meat and fish. According to Clarke, Reichenbach not only discovered creosote, he also introduced it into medical practice, and there was, as usual, a rush for the new remedy, which for a short time was used extensively as a panacea. The creosote distilled from wood tar is a mixture of phenolic compounds. A somewhat similar liquid is obtained from coal-tar; it is a complex mixture of organic compounds, largely polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and widely used as a wood preservative. The third kind of creosote comes from the resin of the creosote bush. Creosote bush, Neoschroetera tridentata, belongs to the Zygophyllaceae. [Members of this family used in homoeopathy include Guaiacum and the hallucinogenic Peganum harmala.] The name creosote derives from the Greek words kreas, flesh, and soter, saviour, from sozein, to save, in allusion to its preservative properties.
WOOD CREOSOTE Almost colourless or yellowish, very refractive, oily liquid with a characteristic smoky odour and a caustic, burning taste. It begins to boil at about 230o and at least 90% by volume distils between 203-220o. Does not solidify at -20o. Soluble in 150-200 parts of water, in glycerol, glacial acetic acid; miscible with alcohol, chloroform, ether, and oils. Incompatible with albumin, acacia; cupric, ferric, gold and silver salts. 1 The liquid has some perfumery uses, i.e. to impart to the fragrance an aspect of ‘burnt’, ‘leather’, or ‘smoke’.
MEDICINE Beechwood creosote was at one time employed as a disinfectant, as a laxative, as a local anaesthetic in dentistry, and in the treatment of coughs, pulmonary tuberculosis and lung abscesses, but it is rarely used today. The major chemicals present in beechwood creosote are phenol, cresols, and guaiacol. Medicinal use of wood creosote may result in chronic toxicosis – characterised by gastroenteritis and visual disturbances – from continuing gastrointestinal absorption. Animals fed large amounts of wood creosote had convulsions and died, while those fed lower levels had liver and kidney problems.
TOXICOLOGY Wood creosote, especially beechwood, has a toxicity similar to but less than phenol. Concentrated phenol is extremely corrosive and may cause oral, oesophageal, and gastric burns following ingestion. Ocular or dermal contact may result in severe burns. Parenterally administered phenol caused respiratory distress, cardiovascular collapse, shock, ventricular tachycardia, and coma in one adult. Systemic manifestations of toxicity may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dyspnoea, haemolytic anaemia, pallor, profuse sweating, hypotension, dysrhythmias, pulmonary oedema, agitation, lethargy, seizures, and coma.
ACTION “According to its chemical composition and medicinal actions, kreosote stand between wood charcoal and carbolic acid, the simple phenol. … Like all phenols this mixture has a markedly irritating up to destructive cell action through protein coagulation. Its antiseptic property approximates that of phenol, the corrosive action is less. Since the introduction of kreosote into the therapy of tuberculosis by Reichenbach in 1830, it has long been erroneously considered as an internal antiseptic. In this respect it is indeed impossible, without manifestations of severe poisoning to obtain the concentration of kreosote or guaiacol in the organism which is necessary to depress the growth of tubercle bacilli or indeed to kill them. At the same time guaiacol is rapidly split in the body, made harmless through conjugation with sulphuric acid, and excreted as ethyl sulphuric acid. In animal experiments all of the many kreosote and guaiacol preparations with which the market is flooded, have shown themselves inactive in experimental tuberculosis. If still a favourable action in tuberculosis is observed from kreosote or guaiacol, such as the improvement of appetite and the state of nutrition, lessening of cough and the night sweats, then this can be explained only as an indirect action on the economy of the organism. Since kreosote is also excreted in small amounts through the respiratory passages, for it is easy to note in the odour of the exhaled air, one may presume a mucous membrane stimulus as an intermediate factor. Through this the accompanying bronchitis and the mixed infection could be favourably influenced. At times kreosote and guaiacol have been employed in putrid bronchitis. On the other hand the late stage of tuberculosis with greater destruction and tendency to haemorrhage is held as a contra-indication, a distinct proof that the dose selected is too strong for these cases. On the other hand it is exactly in homoeopathy when the destructive processes in the respiratory passages are present, the late stages of phthisis with fever, night sweats and cachexia, which are considered suitable for kreosote. On the whole the clinical indications and the contra-indications and the so-called untoward actions in kreosote, as always are very instructive. On the one side it can, as many related benzol compounds [for example, salicylic acid], reduce the fever even by application to the skin; but the chill can be followed by very high fever. On the one side there is the stimulation of gastric function which can be compared to the bitters, on the other one sees the impairment of gastric function from prolonged use and therefore sought aid in guaiacol compounds which are not split in the stomach, but only gradually destroyed in the intestine, entirely overlooking the acute irritative manifestations in the gastrointestinal canal as burning, pains in the epigastrium, nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea. All this divergence of action is solved when one takes consideration of the quantity, the repletion of the dose and the sensitivity of the patient. Even from the local application of kreosote in carious teeth, there readily arises inflammation of the surrounding tissue, indeed a severe stomatitis. It is exactly in dental pains from caries with inflammation of the neighbouring tissue that the homoeopathic use of kreosote has often proven itself. … The excretion of sugar in the urine is not found in the symptoms of intoxication or untoward actions. However in homoeopathy kreosote is held as one of the best remedies in diabetes. We should recall that adrenaline just as guaiacol, is a pyrocatechine derivative, and, as is well known, has a prominent role in sugar metabolism; moreover its artificial introduction produces hyperglycaemia and glycosuria.”2
TAR Homoeopathy employs several remedies derived from tar products and cyclic carbon compounds. These include Pix liquida – a product of dry distillation of various conifers; Ichthyolum – a distillation product of bituminous deposits with fossil fish inclusions; Naphtalinum – a hydrocarbon obtained from coal tar; Carbolicum acidum – phenol, an acid produced from coal tar; Kresolum – a phenolic compound from tar and creosote; Eupionum – a volatile distillation product of wood; Oleum animale – an empyreumatic oil obtained from bone-black; Terebinthina – a viscous resin of conifers; Petroleum – mineral oil containing a mixture of hydrocarbons.
PROVINGS ••  Syrbius – 8 [male] provers, 1837; method: few doses of 1-2 drops.
••  Wahle – 7 provers [5 females, 2 males], 1837; method: manner not stated, but none of the provers took more than 1 drop of pure kreosote; ‘5 to 10 drops of 1st dil. caused noteworthy symptoms; some experiments were made with the 2nd and 3rd dils., which also caused symptoms’.
••  Eichhorn – self-experimentation, 1857; method: ‘took kreosote from February 15th to April 20th, with few interruptions; began with 3x, then 2x, which produced hardly any effect, then he took 1x, 5 to 50 drops pro dosi, once or several times a day.’
 Merck Index.  Leeser, Textbook of Hom. MM, Inorganic Medicinal Substances.
MUCOUS MEMBRANES [DIGESTIVE TRACT; gums; stomach; abdomen; female genitals; uterus]. BLOOD. Teeth. * LEFT SIDE.
Worse: DENTITION. Pregnancy. Rest. Cold. Eating. Lying. Summer. During menses. 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Standing [leucorrhoea]. Touch. Washing or bathing with cold water.
Better: Warmth. Hot food. Motion. Sitting [leucorrhoea]. Sneezing.
M FEAR of coition, fear [and dreams] of rape.
• “Anxious dreams, she is followed by big men who want to ravish her.” [Hughes]
[Kreos. has a lot of problems around the menstrual period.]
M Every emotion is attended with THROBBING [pulsations] all over body.
And Tearfulness. [Kent]
Weeping from music.
• “At music or anything that excites emotion, she feels a tightness about heart, and cannot help weeping.” [Hughes]
M Vanishing of thought.
• “Stupid in head, she looks straight before her, she does not know why, and hears and sees nothing and is quite without thought. … When she wants to do something and has walked about a dozen steps, she stops and knows not what she wanted to do.” [Hughes]
• “Thoughts leave her easily, they fly away. Weakness of memory, her thoughts leave her.” [Hughes]
M DISSATISFACTION; IRRITABILITY. [cf Cham.]
Dissatisfied with everything.
• “Ineffectual urging to stool and anxious uneasiness through whole body, so that the sweat of anxiety breaks out on her, with ill-humour, so that she feels inclined to quarrel with and beat someone; when these attacks take place while she is seated she must rise up and walk about, when the pains go off; this state lasts 4 days.” [Hughes]
• “Kreosotum or Creasote – comes from the Greek meaning ‘flesh preserver’. … It is one of the several substances we use in homoeopathy that in its material form preserves dead organic matter and has the opposite effect on living matter. … The main characteristics of the remedy are a tendency to haemorrhages and destruction of tissue. … So what we have here are two extremes, ‘flesh preserver’ and ‘flesh destroyer’. … I was interested to try and understand what Sankaran calls the ‘situational materia medica’ of this remedy. What I discovered, and this needs verification on a larger scale, was that in each case that I had used it successfully, the patient was in a situation where they were having to draw deeply on their survival instincts. What I perceived as a result of studying these cases together with the repertory, materia medica, and the provings was a theme of self preservation. My patients were all women and in two cases struggling single parents in very insecure positions with great burdens of responsibility. One had ulceration of the cervix with haemorrhage and the other had arthritis of the left thumb which is a keynote of this remedy. … There is something that supports this idea of being overburdened and in a survival situation. Some of the sensations from the provings: As if a load resting on the pelvis. As if sternum crushed in. As if a heavy burden on the crest of the ileum. Sensations of internal and external constriction. Sensation of a tight band. As if small of back would break. The other fear the remedy has, which like the fear of coition is a single symptom, is fear of fasting and also in the picture is worse from fasting. Related to this is also the symptom arrested development from nutritional disturbances. … What I am suggesting is that the remedy will be required either: In situations where the flesh is being destroyed with the classic acrid putrid discharges, bleeding and ulceration and so on. Or, in situations where flesh is being preserved in the figurative sense, think of the expression ‘to save one’s skin’ which means to save one’s life. Perhaps also the expression ‘by the skin of one’s teeth’ is relevant. Situations of self preservation.1
G Feeling of falling.
From vertigo [when turning quickly].
From full, heavy feeling in occiput [as if she will fall backward].
From rush of blood to forehead on stooping [as if she will fall forwards].
Dreams of falling from a height.
G Ailments from too RAPID GROWTH.
• “Especially for the dark complexioned, slight, lean, ill-developed, poorly nourished, overgrown – very tall for her age.” [Allen]
G Lot of problems AROUND the MENSTRUAL PERIOD.
[excitement, restlessness, headache, noises in ears, impaired hearing, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, itching of vagina and labia, leucorrhoea, perspiration on back, constant chilliness]
G < AFTER MENSES. G CORROSIVE, HOT, FOUL discharges. G Rawness. BURNING, like fire. [eyes, ears, bowels, genitalia, back, lower abdomen, chest, small of back] G Profuse haemorrhages from small wounds. Bleeding after coition. G Malignant affections [e.g. cancer]. P Headache extending to teeth. Or: Toothache extending to head [face and temple]. P Difficult DENTITION. GUMS very painful, swollen. And Acrid diarrhoea: soreness and excoriation between nates and thighs. • “Never forget Kreos. in cholera infantum which seems to arise from painful dentition, or in connection with it.” [Tyler] • “Child exceedingly irritable, peevish, wants this or that and becomes angry when refused or when offered, petulantly rejects it.” [Mathur] Child screams the whole night. • “Child won’t sleep at night unless CARESSED and fondled all the time.” [Guernsey] P Early DECAY of teeth. Black teeth. P Acrid, burning, terribly itching LEUCORRHOEA, giving yellow stains. Burning and swelling of the external and internal labia. Scratching doesn’t >, but inflames the parts.
And Great WEAKNESS, particularly of the lower limbs.
Peculiar odour of leucorrhoea: green corn.
P Cold drinks relieve menstrual pains.
P Nocturnal ENURESIS, esp. in the first part of the night.
Difficult to waken the child.
Very offensive urine.
Dreams of urinating.
 Logan, Tarred with the same brush; The Homoeopath, No. 51 1993.
Anger,throwing things around . Desires death from despair . Delusions, as if someone calls, waking her from sleep [1H], all parts are in motion, during rest [1/1], body is smaller , things grow taller . Excitement, before menses , from music . Fear at thought of coition, in a woman . Restlessness, before menses , must constantly move .
Felt in vertex .
Falling of hair at temples [1H]. Pain, > coffee [1H], > spirituous liquors , extending to teeth . Sensitiveness, to brushing of hair .
Lachrymation, from bright light . Pain, burning, from bright light .
Colours, everything looks dark blue . Feathery .
Noises, buzzing, before menses . Pain, during menses .
Impaired, before menses , during menses .
Pain, extending to ear , eye , to face , to temple .
Eructations, on motion . Vomiting, after meat , before menses ; of undigested food two or three hours after eating ; sweetish .
Contraction, umbilicus, as of a hard twisted ball [1/1].
Flatus, offensive, like rotten eggs, during menses [1H].
Pain, during urging to urinate .
Menses, cease, while sitting [1/1]; > cold drinks [1/1]; copious < lying ; only when lying ; > motion . Metrorrhagia, after coition .
Constriction, heart, when listening to music . Sensation as if milk were flowing in breasts [1/1].
Pain, coccyx, extending to rectum and vagina .
Sensation of balls in soles of feet in morning on walking .
Waking, as from a call , with paralyzed feeling .
Being pursued for rape . Of urinating .
Constant, during menses . Motion > .
* Repertory additions [H] = Hughes.
c The symptom “Sensation as from coition between sleeping and waking” has been listed erroneously under both MALE GENITALIA / SEX and FEMALE GENITALIA / SEX. The correct symptom can be found in Hughes’ Cyclopaedia, Vol. 3 p. 77, and is: “In the morning, between sleeping and waking, a desire for coitus, which she had not had for years.”
1 This symptom stands under Palpitation of heart when listening to music. Allen mentions it as “Music, or anything else that caused emotional excitement, she took very much to heart …”; while Hughes has: “At music or anything that excites emotion, she feels a tightness about the heart …”
2 The repertory, following Allen’s Encyclopaedia, connects this sensation to the heels, whereas the symptom is this, according to Hughes: “Tearing-drawing and shooting pains from heels through soles, out at toes in evening. On waking the next morning, the soles felt like balls when she trod on them.”
Aversion: : Cooked food. : Meat.
Desire: : Alcohol; meat; smoked food. : Meat, smoked; sour; tobacco; warm drinks.
Worse: : Cold food. : Fruit; meat; sour; vinegar.
Better: : Hot food. : Warm food.