IODUM Medicine

IODUM symptoms of the homeopathy remedy from Plain Talks on Materia Medica with Comparisons by W.I. Pierce. What IODUM can be used for? Indications and personality of IODUM…



      “The element Iodine exists in nature only in the combined state. Sea water is the great source of it, whence it is appropriated by marine plants and animals. It is contained in cold-liver oil to the amount of.03 or.04 per cent.” (Am. Hom. Phar.).

Our strongest solution or tincture (really the 1st) contains one per cent. and must be kept in a glass-stoppered bottle.

Hughes, while not questioning the value of an easily- digested animal oil as an article of food, asks if the presence of Iodine in cold-liver oil does not give it a medicinal value as well?

Hahnemann, who first introduced Iodine into our materia medica, says: “Even in the higher and highest degrees of dynamization” (referring to the 30th) ” Iodine is a very heroic medicine, which calls for every precaution of the good homoeopathic physician; when misapplied in allopathic hands, Iodine is frequently seen to cause the most fearful destruction of the body and life of patients” (Chr. Dis.).

You must keep mind that our study to-day of Iodine is necessarily incomplete, as it should include its chemical combinations with Calcarea, Potash, Mercury, etc., the symptomatology of these salts having much in common with that of Iodine, modified more or less by the various bases.


      Iodine affects nearly every organ and tissue in the body. It causes an acute catarrh of all mucous membranes, especially of they eyes and nose. It at functions and increases the secretions of all glandular structures, causing hypertrophy, to be followed later by atrophy, especially of the testicles and mammae. It produces general emaciation and the more emaciated the patient the more is Iodine indicated.

“It is particularly important to observe,” says Allen, “that it controls inflammations (with high temperature) of many, if not all parenchymatous structures, particularly the lungs, when the indications permit its exhibition.” Iodine inflammation is accompanied, in particular, with plastic exudation (120).

Cases requiring Iodine, when not febrile, are apt to have great appetite (119) but rapid emaciation. The appetite is ravenous and while many of the symptoms read better after eating (174) it is only a temporary relief and the hunger especially soon returns. In spite of the amount of food taken, they lose flesh rapidly, or as the laity express it, “it makes them poor to carry it,” and Iodine is of especial value for emaciation ending in marasmus (129), and particularly, emaciation of glandular tissues, breasts, testicles, (188) etc.

It is indicated in numerous wasting diseases, especially in scrofulous patients, with all that the word scrofula implies. The lymphatics are large, hard (82) and usually painless, and, as Farrington points out, with the exception of the mental condition, “torpidity and sluggishness is a characteristic of Iodine.” In persons of a scrofulous diathesis, Iodine is especially to be thought of for those with dark hair and eyes (88).

Mentally, the Iodine patient is despondent, apprehensive and restless and “may feel,” says Talcott, “that the brain is stirred up, and that he must keep in constant motion, or go insane;” but during fevers and wasting diseases we often find excessive irritability and sensitiveness to real or fancied wrongs.

It is a valuable remedy in tubercular meningitis (133) and in hydrocephalus (119).

Iodine is to be thought of in persistent headaches, associated with vertigo on active exertion, and for congestive headache, with sensation of a band around head (105) and with dizziness, and noticed especially in old people.

In the ears it is useful in chronic deafness, with adhesions in the middle ear or with glandular enlargement; or in deafness with chronic catarrh of the Eustachian tube (63) and roaring in the ears (65) and usually with inflammation and swelling of the tonsils.

In inflammation of the tonsil of the tonsils it is of especial value for acute conditions, the combinations of Iodine being more frequently indicated in chronic enlargement or hypertrophy (192).

It is valuable for acute fluent coryza (37), with profuse hot discharge (39) making the nose sore. In these coryzas there is fever, lachrymation, sneezing, etc., more or less stoppage of the nose at night (40) and profuse flow in the open air (37) and with headache at the root of the nose or over the frontal sinuses (95).

It is to be thought of in syphilitic iritis (74) and in syphilitic and mercurial (139) ulceration of the throat, with swelling of the lymphatics.

Iodine is very valuable in goitre (83) or bronchocele and especially so in t he beginning or when the tumor is soft. It is also of value later on, Hering saying: “Inveterate cases of goitre; the harder they feel, and the more other symptoms are wanting, the better indicated.”

Many cures have been made with infinitesimal doses of this remedy and many a mineral spring has made its reputation for the cure of goitre from the minute amount of Iodine that it contained. Allen warns us against the local application of Iodine to the goitre, saying that while the tumor has been reduced, there have followed alarming pulmonary symptoms. Salivation (163) is prominent under Iodine and Hughes speaks of it “in the salivation of mercury as well as in that of pregnancy” (155). It is to be thought of in enlargement of the spleen (173), due to liver troubles, and accompanied by salivation. It is of value in diseases of the pancreas (149) both acute and chronic, with salivation, a nd in acute conditions with fatty diarrhoea.

Iodine is useful in jaundice (122) after the abuse of mercury (139) or from cirrhosis of the liver, and of especial value for tabes mesenterica, or a tubercular degeneration of the mesenterica glands (83), found particularly in children of a scrofulous diathesis, with distention of the abdomen, enormous appetite yet rapid emaciation, a nd exhausting diarrhoea (58), stools frothy (59), foamy, “whey-like” (Hering).

In diabetes (56) Iodine would be of value where we had canine hunger, yet rapid emaciation, and especially when due to some diseases of the pancreas.

It is to be thought of in incontinence of urine in old men (199), with hypertrophy of the prostate (155). It is of value not only in atrophy of the testicles (188) but also when they are swollen (188) and hard, usually without pain, and it has cured many cases of hydrocele (119) when taken internally.

In the female sexual organs we often find as accompanying indications, atrophy of the breasts and ovaries. There may be amenorrhoea, or the menses “may be too early and too profuse”(Minton) (135), and we frequently have a chronic excoriating leucorrhoea (126) “most abundant at the time of the menses” (Hering). Uterine haemorrhage is common, sometimes after every stool, and it is a remedy useful in chronic metritis and cancer (202).

Of the ovaries, the r. is more apt to be affected (147) and besides atrophy, it is of value in inflammation (148) and for cysts of the r. ovary. A characteristic sensation of this remedy in female sexual troubles is a pressing, wedge-like pain from the r. ovary down towards the uterus (148).

The cough of Iodine is hard, dry and croupy, with sawing respiration (25). It is of value in true croup (52), and in those cases where there is inability to swallow you need not fear about getting equally good results by olfaction; so put some Iodine in the steam-kettle and let the patient inhale the vapor. To quote directly from the Handbook: “A large number of cases of ‘membranous’ croup have been cured by the lower dilutions; our experience is that it is indicated in the early stage with more or less fever, with dry skin and a very dry cough, great difficulty in respiration; it follows closely after Aconite; if Aconite has been given and the patient is not the cough, the patient is still dry and hot and the cough is still croupy, then give Iodium; it is, however, rarely useful after the febrile excitement has disappeared or if the patient perspires freely.”

In whooping cough it would be indicated when there was rapid emaciation and great Aconite.

In pneumonia (150) Iodine is one of our most valuable remedies. Like Bryonia, it is indicated after the Aconite stage has passed, although the fever is still high, and hepatization has taken place; but unlike Bryonia, it lacks the sharp, cutting pains, and instead of perspiration, the skin is dry.

It is particularly valuable in the pneumonia of scrofulous subjects, or in those having a tendency towards phthisis, and in pneumonia at the apex. A thought that we can keep in mind is, that Iodine has an especial affinity for the apex and Phosphorus of the base of the lung.

“It was formerly supposed,” says Allen, “that left-sided pneumonia indicated Iodium; but it is now known that it is equally useful in pneumonia of either side.”

In phthisis it is of value with the rough voice, dry skin, emaciation and night-sweats (185); also remember it in the last stage of phthisis (149), where it seems to act, more or less, as a tonic.

Iodine is of value in pericarditis complicating pneumonia or rheumatism (162) and it is one of the remedies useful in hypertrophy of the heart (110). While occupying a minor position in Hahnemann’s Chr. Dis. and in Allen’s Encyclop., Hering raises to the highest place the symptom, sensation as if the heart were being squeezed (113).

Iodine is useful in articular rheumatism, with nightly aggravation, the joints hot, shiny and swollen and very painful. The pains are shifting (149) or wandering, attack the meninges of the brain and finally the heart (162).

It is useful in gonorrhoeal rheumatism (161), in affections of the joints following mercury or syphilis or due to scrofulous affections, and in synovitis of the knee-joint (125), housemaid’s knee.

I use Iodine in the tincture.

Willard Ide Pierce
Willard Ide Pierce, author of Plain Talks on Materia Medica (1911) and Repertory of Cough, Better and Worse (1907). Dr. Willard Ide Pierce was a Director and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Kent's post-graduate school in Philadelphia.