Ferrum metallicum

Proving Symptoms of homeopathy medicine Ferrum Metallicum, described by Richard Hughes in his book, A Cyclopedia of Drug Pathogenesis, published in 1895….


Including various preparations of iron, chiefly F. aceticum, iodatum, metallicum and phosphoricum.


1. HAHNEMANN, Mat. Medorrhinum Pura, vol. ii of original, vol. i of translation. Contains 261 symptoms from self and 3 others, mainly obtained by the acetate, with 37 from authors.

2. The preparation (Liquor Ferri Actea) used. The following provings was made by precipitating the oxide from a solution of the chloride by means of caustic ammonia, and dissolving the precipitate in concentrated acetic acid. Four oz. of blood were drawn form each prover before commencing his experiment and the same quantity after its conclusion.

T. BETRUSCHKY, aet. 21, robust, blooming complexion, from July 12th -26th, 1850, took doses increasing from 4 to 24 dr. 4 times a days (3viss in all). The following is th result of examination of blood on 9th and 26th. 1000 parts of blood gave Before iron was taken Afterwards. Serum 465.2 427.8 Dry residuum 57.9 37.9 Ashes 8.2 8.6 Coagulum 498.0 552.5 Dry residuum 167.7 184.1 Ashes 27.9 34.5 Red sediment 36.8 19.7 Fibrine 2.13 2.17 Water 758.4 789.6 Dry residuum 239.5 208.3 Fat. 4.02 1.76 In 100 parts of ashes Salts soluble in water 8.1. 9.5 Oxide of iron 0.8 0.9 Phosphate of lime 0.4 0.6 Before iron was taken blood bright red, showed few and small colourless corpuscles, a very large number of elementary corpuscles; it coagulated i 5′ 54”; serum was bright yellow, clear, alkaline; clot firm and dense. After proving, blood appeared dark red; red corpuscles very intensely coloured and their outlines very sharply defined; many and large colorless corpuscles perceptible, but almost not elementary bodies. Blood coagulated in 8′ 54”; serum was clear, alkaline, dark yellow; clot hard and elastic.

2 b. On 12th and 13th, immediately after taking doses sensation of warmth and fulness in region of stomach. After 2nd dose on 13th sense of weight in head, compression of frontal region and pressure in both temples. These symptoms increased after 3rd dose, with sense of congestive fulness in head. The disagreeable pressure in temples was diminished by lying quietly; cold had no effect. Symptoms were in full force when he went to bed. 14th. -Slept well. On waking frontal region felt freer, but pressure in temples continued. After 4 dr. at 6 a. m., feeling of fulness in head increased; all around him appeared larger and more majestic, he felt inclined to attach great importance to small thins, and disposition was grave and serious. No more medicine was now taken the day, and head became much better after a siesta, and well next morning Medicine that day produced no symptoms. On 16th, 6 dr. at 6, 10, 2 and 6. Till 7 a. m. quite well; after that head became always fuller and heavier, and every heart-beat was felt in temples. Joined to this was tickling in urethra, especially navicula fossa, and, p. m., urinary tenesmus. Otherwise quite well, indeed stronger than usual, with very great appetite. 17th. – Same doses. Sleep last night disturbed by very lively an anxious dreams; head little relieved in morning General feeling of strength, with ravenous appetite, increased in course of day to desire to destroy things, though heaviness in head increased; urgency to urinate, with tickling in urethra extending to neck of bladder, continued, and about noon some oppression of chest occurred. Bathing in river, evening removed pressure in head, but it returned more violently afterwards. 18th. – 8th dr., 4 times. Head and urinary symptoms station, but chest affection increased. Felt need to breathe deeply; slight stitches through lungs; tension in cardiac region; pulse 61, tense. Percussion and auscultation discovered nothing amiss. 19th. -10 dr.4 times. As yesterday, only that a sense of heat was again felt in stomach. 20th -12 dr. twice. Increased sense of energy, still felt yesterday, is no more felt on waking this morning; it is succeeded by sense of relaxation in limbs. In head feeling of pulsation continues, with slight shootings; appetite is still considerable, but after each meal, be it ever so small, pressure in stomach ensues (a symptom prover had never before experienced, even after the most hearty meal) 21st. -14 dr. 4 times. Slept well; after rising, head pretty free; feels well, except a little weakness, which increased in course of day; urgency to micturate continues; after each dose fulness and warmth in stomach pressure in stomach after every meal. 22nd – 16 dr. 4 times. Head and chest almost fore; same vesical tenesmus; clear tongue, but little appetite; pressure in stomach after food and medicine, with constant sense of heat there, but no pain on touching it; the great redness of complexion and fulness of face perceptibly diminished; pulse 55, not large but full and tense. 23rd. – 18 dr. 4 times. Weight in limbs, and the gastric affection as before, increasing after dinner to disagreeable drawing in stomach; no stool. 24th. -20 dr. 4 times. Appetite very much diminished; tongue furred, yellowish grey; no stool. 25th. – 22 dr. 4 times Same symptoms increased. 26. – 24 dr. twice. Pulse 54, small, tense; on waking in morning painful irritation sensation in larynx, causing him to cough and hawk, increased by pressure on it, towards noon going off and succeeded by similar sensation behind upper third of sternum in hawking and coughing he expectorates frothy viscid mucus, mixed with black blood, – this often occurs till 4 p. m.; auscultation reveals nothing but a mucous rale behind manubrium sterni and sharper impulse of heart; head is constantly mazy; diminished strength is betrayed in deportment and countenance. 27th. – Pulse 60, somewhat fallen, but still tense; air – passages fee, but some twitching in trachea, felt mainly on inspiration and causing hacking; mental and bodily depression; tongue furred; taste insipid; little appetite; firm stool; towards evening attacks of drawing pain through abdomen. 28th. – As yesterday, save that griping in bowels is greater and lasts all day; soft stool. 29th – Pulse 67, still tense; after rising, severe epistaxis, which relieves head; much mucous sediment in urine; general prostration; gripes moderate but constant; hard stool. 30th. – Pulse 68, less tense; gripes almost gone; head nearly free; weakness and heaviness in limbs continues;copious and soft stool. 31st. – Decrease of weakness; increase of appetite; tongue not yet clean August 1st. – Pulse 70, pretty full and soft; feels perfectly well. 2nd – Pulse 75, normal amount before proving.

Though call to pass urine was much more frequent, quantity was scarcely above normal. In last day of taking medicine it became reddish; sp. gr. increased to 1025; it had always an acid reaction, less marked towards lat. ( Zeitschr f. Erfahrungsheilkunde, 1847.)

3. a. F. LOFFLER, aet.31, robust, healthy, save for tendency to bronchial catarrhs. June 21st – July 16th took 3j 3iij of Liq. Ferri Acet. Following is analysis of blood drawn June 17th and July 16th: Serum 465.2 425.4 Dry residuum 44.7 37.8 Ashes 5.6 7.3 Coagulum 510.8 531.2 Dry residuum 189.8 190.3 Ashes 29.4 33.3 Red sediment 64.4 43.4 Fibrine 2:65 1.9 Water 767:25 783.0 Dry residuum 230:10 215.1 Salts soluble in water 4.7 12.0 Oxide of iron 0.8 0.7 Phosphate of lime 0.4 0.3 Before taking iron blood was darkish red, and showed many moderately coloured red corpuscles, but few and relatively small colourless corpuscles. Serum was bright yellow, alkaline; coagulum compact and elastic. After taking iron blood deep and dark red; very deeply coloured red corpuscles, many and large colourless ones; serum dark yellow, alkaline; clot hard.

3 b. He began proving June 21st with 10 dr. 3 times in 24 hours, and increased till 26th by 5 dr. a dose, talking thereafter for 3 days 30 dr. 4 times a day. After 4 days pause, on July 4th he began again with 1 dr. 4 times a day, increasing daily each dose by 1 dr. The first doses caused feeling of fulness and heat in stomach, that lasted scarcely 10 morning after taking them. But on 2nd day this no loner occurred. Save for pressing sensation in one or other temple, with occasionally occurred for a morning or so, and slight confusion of head that rapidly went off on taking exercise, his health till the 26th was not only not disturbed, but he felt mentally and corporeally more energetic, and even long walk did not fatigue him. Appetite was increased to extraordinary degree; he often ate twice as much for supper as usual without satisfying it. On 27th, however, he woke with painful pinching and rumbling in belly, along with insipid state, dryness of fauces, and some nausea; touching abdomen did not pause pain, and symptoms disappeared later after copious evacuation of bowels; appetite that evening greater than ever. 28th. – After quiet sleep woke again with same colicky pains, which were relieved by passage o much flatus, and especially by a plentiful motion; but all day there remained slight traces of the pain, aggravated transiently by each dose; appetite excellent notwithstanding. 29th. After uninterrupted sleep for 5 hours, woke with rumbling and pinching in abdomen, which was full and tense; similar attack every 10-15 morning, each time relieved by emission o flatus; marked relief from large stool, an bellyache was only troublesome while he was seated, but disagreeable tension and fulness remained all day. Appetite not diminished, but taste slimy, tongue furred white, and discomfort increased soon after taking any kind of food. first dose to – day excited repugnance, though medicine had never done so before; furlong doses made him sick, though he diluted them with much water at same time he experienced heaviness in legs, general debility, and disinclination for bodily and mental exertion; pulse 62. He now left off medicine, and in 2 days. all symptoms went off; pulse rapidly increased in frequency, and on July 3rd was 73. On that day also faeces, hitherto greenish black, became again brown; and nothing but great appetite remained to remind him of the action of the iron.

Richard Hughes
Dr. Richard Hughes (1836-1902) was born in London, England. He received the title of M.R.C.S. (Eng.), in 1857 and L.R.C.P. (Edin.) in 1860. The title of M.D. was conferred upon him by the American College a few years later.

Hughes was a great writer and a scholar. He actively cooperated with Dr. T.F. Allen to compile his 'Encyclopedia' and rendered immeasurable aid to Dr. Dudgeon in translating Hahnemann's 'Materia Medica Pura' into English. In 1889 he was appointed an Editor of the 'British Homoeopathic Journal' and continued in that capacity until his demise. In 1876, Dr. Hughes was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the Organization of the International Congress of Homoeopathy Physicians in Philadelphia. He also presided over the International Congress in London.