The Phosphorous Constitution

phosphorous constitution in horses

In homeopathy, a horse’s symptoms often reveal their constitutional remedy.  A constitutional remedy describes a pervasive state of being, including personality traits, physical tendencies, and appearance.

This type of treatment can fortify your horse in times of stress, if symptoms are within its sphere of influence. Other cases are considered acute and would have symptoms that are uncharacteristic of the animal’s typical state of being.

Phosphorous is a polychrest, which is a remedy with a broad sphere of influence. Lily (pictured above) is a beautiful example of the phosphorous constitution. Her long legs and neck give a delicate appearance to her otherwise sturdy body. This is seen in other ways throughout the remedy. The phosphorous constitution is hardy with hidden weaknesses that can emerge suddenly or overwhelmingly in an otherwise resilient picture.

The cycle of phosphorous is as follows:

  1. Desire to connect, desire for protection
  2. Energetic, open, bubbly
  3. Overdo and burnout (weakness)
  4. Closing off (stricture, tightening, congestion)
  5. Loneliness/isolation (shutting down, insecurity)
  6. Anxiety/worry (fearful, reactive)

Lily’s owner sought treatment for her over-reactivity and a sudden buckling of the knee joints when walking, particularly downhill. She had a history of swelling and inflammation of the joints, especially in her knees, and frequent abscesses, seemingly related to sidebones.

Lily’s owner described her personality in the following ways:

  • Very trusting
  • Would go anywhere she was asked
  • Compliant about treatments
  • Appreciates recognition
  • Curious and smart
  • Fidgets when bored and when processing information
  • Friendly, loves people
  • Learns quickly, gets bored quickly
  • Very willing, responsive, likes to move and explore

These observations relate to the first few pieces of the cycle. The phosphorous personality loves people, is easy to influence and also easily reassured. This horse can be visually excitable, have bright eyes, and express a sense of openness and connection that is easy to recognize. The senses are acute and the horse is very impressionable.

Too much connection can lead to closing off and constriction. Lilly’s examples included swelling, hardening, ossification and weakness of the knees. This led to anxiety. She was described as: “Anxious about mounting…reactive to completely unglued”.

The Materia Medica offers these correlated descriptions: “Joints suddenly give way…heaviness in hollows of knees…stumbles easily…balance problems.” Also relevant are “suddenness of symptoms, sudden prostration…hard swellings…a great tendency to start…oversensitivity to external impressions.” Lily had a history of sudden inflammation and extreme weakness and collapse prior to her present symptoms.

The remedy addressed both main concerns. Lily’s knees stopped buckling and she became calm, focused and easy to handle. In the future, her constitutional remedy can be repeated during times of stress, if necessary, to effectively address emerging symptoms that are characteristic of the phosphorous state.


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