Carcinosinum: A Clinical Materia Medica

By Philip M. Bailey, MD, MB, BS, MDHom.                                                                                            Published by Philip M. Bailey 1998, West Australia                                                                         Paperback ISBN 0646359975 106 pgs.

Reviewed by Myra Nissen, RSHom(NA), CCH

Dr. Philip Bailey was trained as a medical doctor at Westminster Hospital Medical School. He studied at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital and with Greek homeopath George Vithoulkas. He has experience in gestalt, Jungian therapies, as well as Primal and breathwork therapies.

I have read another one of his books, Homeopathic Psychology: Personality Profiles of the Major Constitutional Remedies and enjoyed the way he brought remedy pictures to life in an enjoyable and memorable format unlike others where there are lists of symptoms. I picked up this book because I was curious about his thoughts on Carcinosinum.

The usual discussions I hear about Carcinosinum is to consider it a miasmatic layer, dyscrasia, or a remedy to be used to address a predisposition to cancer. Dr. Bailey not only sees Carcinosinum as a constitutional type, but the most common constitution of all in the late twentieth century, at least, he qualifies, in Australia, where he practices. However, as I read the book, I realized that it is common where I practice in CA as well.

There is a thorough analysis of the characteristics of the Carcinosinum constitution. The development of the Carcinosium picture is contrasted with a differential diagnosis of 29 remedies including, Lachesis, Kali Carbonicum, Medorrhinum, Mercurius, Nux Vomica, Sulphur, Staphysagria, and the Natrums, complete with photos of physical characteristics. Dr. Bailey admits that before he discovered the constitutional traits he was commonly mis-diagnosing his patients as Natrum muriaticum, Sepia and Medorrhinum with so many mental features that it was difficult to recognize a clear picture.

Using Carl Jung’s system of personality analysis based on the elements of air, earth, fire, and water, Bailey deduced that Carcinosinum has earth and water predominating making them emotionally down to earth, like Calcarea Carbonica, Pulsatilla, Graphites, Kali Bichromicum and Sepia (p. 2).

His analysis of Carcinosinum is somewhere between a Sepia and Natrum as far as emotion and sensitivity. A healthy Carsinosinum is a good balance between introvert and extrovert. They are generally warm and affectionate, although occasionally needing some time alone.

Carcinosinum is the “Earth Mother,” naturally attuned with the earth with the intuition of Phosphorus, preferring to live in the country where their spirit can be continually refreshed by nature. Their sensitivities can lead to codependency and messy relationships. They tend to be in relationships as the caretaker due to a tender heart, low self-esteem and emotional neediness. There is a tendency to have a history of an unhappy childhood where their needs were not met and a sense of self was not fostered. This shaky sense of identity leads to a “lost and lonely” quality (p. 15). Empathy and intuition makes Carcinosinum types gifted healers.

On the other end of the spectrum are individuals who are more aware of themselves and what life has to offer. Many artists and visual artists are Carcinosinum. The Carcinosinum artist tends to be bohemian and hedonistic. Bailey cites Madonna as a Carcinosinum.

Bailey lists many cases where Carcinosinum has improved people’s sense of boundaries. I, too, have had similar feedback when I have given the remedy as an intercurrent. On more than one occasion at the follow-up appointment a client would state that they have decided to shore up the boundaries around the relations with employees at work. Several others decided to take a firm stand against something their spouse or other family member was doing that made them unhappy. These are statements that seem to come out of the blue and are not part of the central case. It is not surprising if one considers that the remedy is made from cancerous tissue. Cancer cells have lost their differentiation. Growth is unregulated. The body’s defenses are inadequate. An analogous description of the mentals would be similar.

The difference between Thuja and Carsinosinum can be seen in the reaction to stress. Thuja will tend to react to stress by running away, avoiding difficult topics with clever mental gymnastics. Carcinosinum tends to react to stress by becoming anxious and gradually emotionally shutting down while Thuja responds by suddenly switching off.

The book offers abundant of information on mental/emotional, physical, and physical-general characteristics including color photos of a variety of individuals who Bailey has labeled as having Carsinosinum constitutions. “The tough pixie” (p. 51) was one of the most striking Carsinosinum-types described. Think of an elfin Sepia, Bailey encourages the reader. Their features are pixie-like, with bright, sharp eyes, possessing an angular, elfin face with high cheekbones, medium straight brown hair, thin with lots of moles and freckles. The Carsinosinum pixie is down to earth, discusses sexual matters with ease. An outdoors adventurer who can push herself to face her fears, I can immediately envision many people I have encountered who would fall into this type.

By the time I finished reading I had a clear idea what the characteristics were for the Carcinosinum constitution. I concur that this picture is abundant in my practice. I may have to change some remedies before I am through.


Myra Nissen, RSHom(NA), CCH is a graduate of the Pacific Academy of Homeopathy, CA. She practices homeopathy in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in Walnut Creek and Benicia. Her website is and can be reached at