A related symptom is the evacuation of prostatic fluid at stool. Furthermore weakness up to paralysis of the male sexual functions, decrease or loss of libido, importance, nocturnal seminal emissions and painful erections.

Let us now complete the picture from the side of the centripetal nerves. There are many paraesthesias: feeling of tension, a peculiar sensation on the face or on other uncovered areas as from dried egg or spider web (as borax!). These sensations are so disturning that the patient seeks to rub the part constantly. The extremities go to sleep on sitting or from light pressure; a numbness of the heels develops on standing, pain in the soles of the feet on stepping as if they were too soft and swollen, a band sensation on the body or about a part, the prover cannot hold objects (observed with alumen), sticking and burning in the back and a pain as through a hot iron had been pressed through the lowest vertebra, drawing and beating pains in the back like electric shoks through the body, contractions of the extremities, lancinating pains. All these symptoms are more or less common in the course of posterior columns degeneration in tabes. If one considers the disturbances in coordination and the motor paretic phenomena, it is not surprising that since v. Boenninghausen, alumina is held as the chief remedy in tabes. Naturally expectations should not be placed too high and it is not surprising if later authors saw no results in completely developed tabes. I saw a strikingly favorable result in undoubted tabes some years ago.

The cerebro-spinal stimulus conduction is retarded in alumina, the prick of a needle will be felt with delay, and all senses are reduced in this way; impressions reach consciousness only slowly and this proceeds up to a dullness and inertia of understanding. Here again the above described mental status is included.


A series of symptoms in the skin and mucous membranes from alumina can be perceived as trophic disturbances. It is well known that this appears usually with partial injuries of sensory nerves (not so much with smooth section). Whether or not one assumes special trophic nerve fibres in any case there is an irritation of the sensory paths as seems to occur in degenerations, usually combined with an impairment of power of resistance of the tissue, which leads to dystrophies particulalry in the skin. One thinks of the irritative phenomena of the posterior nerve roots in tabes dorsalis with tendency of the skin to become ulcerated with preceding cornification (mal perforant) or the thickening of the skin with malformation, hyperkeratosis, ulceration in syringomyelia. The slighter grade of lowered resistance of the skin of a neurogenic type expresses itself in defective elasticity of the skin, dryness, desquamation, vesicular formation, glassiness and brittleness of the nails, falling of hair. This type of nutritive disturbance of the skin, according to all appearances of a neurogenic type, is described in alumina. The senile alterations in the skin show a similar picture to this nutritional disturbance. Alumina adapts itself particularly for withered, emaciated, decrepit persons. The skin is dry, withered, of sluggish reaction, does not perspire, becomes hot and itches from too many coverings but does not sweat; the action of cold is much suppressed, moreover fissures appear readily, thickening, hardenings, vesicles and ulcers occur; especially observed are cracking and ulcerations on the tip of the nose; above all an itching, worse, from the warmth of bed is characteristic in that no eruption appears; the patient scratches until the part bleeds and then has relief. The same happens in pruritus senilis. The skin is dry, rough, wrinkled and itching. The hair and eyelashes become dry and fall out; the nails brittle and broken. The appearance of ulcers with a hard base is favored. Therein lumina has found use in chancroid and lupus.


The disturbances of the mucous membranes are for the most part to be compared wtih those of the skin. The mucous membranes are dry and covered with tenacious deposits or crusts; thus in the nose where the crusts are offensive the picture of a chronic atrophic catarrh occurs. It is the same in the posterior nasal or pharyngeal space where dryness, burning, tenacious mucus and crusts, stitches as from splinters on swallowing, stitches towards the ears on swallowing, suggest the chronic retro-nasal and pharyngeal catarrh. A sensation as if the uvula were too long or as if a membrane hung down from the soft palate which compels constant clearning the throat is noted in particular. There is constant difficulty with the throat and the easy chilling signifies an ever-recurring exacerbation. The headache of alumina, dullness and constriction, better on lying down depend partly on the constipation, partly on the chronic catarrhs.

The hoarseness of signers and speakers with tickling in the larynx has been mentioned above because it gives more the impression of a weakness of the innervation of the vocal cords. Chronic, dry hacking cough and tormenting attacks of coughing in the morning with the ultimate evacuation of a little tenacious mucus can appear in a chronic pharyngitis as well as laryngitis. The dryness of the mucous membrane is characteristic. As on the nose, ulcerative processes may also occur at times in the pharynx and result in yellow brown, offensive secretions and bleeding; the slowly appearing tissue alterations are said to make the tonsils stony hard. Lupus and scirrhous carcinoma are also added as clinical indications for the mucous membranes. The internal and external use of alum in tongue and uterus carcinoma is ancient.

On the eyelids the symptoms suggest a chronic granular conjunctivitis and blepharitis: dryness, lids as if stuck of the eyeball, itching, agglutination of the eyelids, photopobia, itching, burning falling out of eyelashes; thickening of the mucous membrane and ectropium as resultant manifestations.

On the mucous membranes of the female genital organs a tenacious, acrid egg white-like or yellow leucorrhoea is worthy of note. It is persistent and so copious that it runs out upon the thighs. Aphthous ulcers in the vagina, ulcerated and hardened os uteri, indeed even scirrhus of the portio from the chief indications. Noack recalls that Hufeland warned against the continuous use of alum in excessive menstruation and metrorrhagia because it brings about induration and scirrhous uteri. Indurations of the breasts are also cited for alumina and alumen.

The menses are scanty but exhausting, bodily and mentally. Kent recommends alumina in women at about 40 with a pain in the pelvis and a beating down sensation consequent to relaxed ligaments; likewise in delicate women with gonorrhoea who are improved by palliative measures but show recurrences.

Similarly the recommendation in male chronic gonorrhoea has been maintained since the first proving (Hartlaub) up to Kent and thereby the painless discharge of small drops of material remaining yellow, not the usual milky-white discharge, should be associated with ulceration of the urethra.

For completeness there are some reports on the digestive organs. Gastric complaints with nausea and sour stomach, aggravated by potatoes, is an oft-repeated symptom. On must naturally remember however that it came from the prover Nenning whose reports, according to Hahnemann, should always be taken only with care. But the modality “aggravation from eating potatoes” seems to have been clinically proven. Perhaps the dryness of the mucous membranes and the difficulty in swallowing are responsible for it. Furthermore aversion to meat and smoking, desire for indigestible things as chalk, charcoal, etc, is reported. The aggravation from stimulants obviously refers to the nervous symptoms. Otherwise the gastric and intestinal symptoms, except the functional weakness of the rectum, are scarcely characteristic. Clinically gastric and intestinal ulcer as well as enterocolitis as reported.

Since antiquity alum has been used as an antidote in lead poisoning, and thus alumina is also held as suitable to prevent sensitivity to lead. According to the general manner of action, and particularly according to the type of constipation the homoeopathic adaptability is easy to understand, particularly since alumina is chiefly mentioned in colic (better from warmth) with retraction in the umbilical region.


Cold sensitive remedy.

Acts slowly and on chronic processes, must be given a long time.

Chief Trends:

1. Central nervous system:

Psychic: disturbances in the sphere of ideas and judgment, compulsive ideas and impulsive acts, confusion up to disturbance of the ego.

Disturbances of coordination, paralysis, paraesthesias.

Trophic disturbances in the skin and mucous membrane up to ulcerative processes and indurations.

2. Chronic catarrhs of the mucous membranes (with dryness)

Leading Symptoms and Modalities:

Early morning aggravation for the psychic and spinal cord symptoms as well as for the symptoms of chronic catarrh.

Otto Leeser
Otto Leeser 1888 – 1964 MD, PHd was a German Jewish homeopath who had to leave Germany due to Nazi persecution during World War II, and he escaped to England via Holland.
Leeser, a Consultant Physician at the Stuttgart Homeopathic Hospital and a member of the German Central Society of Homeopathic Physicians, fled Germany in 1933 after being expelled by the German Medical Association. In England Otto Leeser joined the staff of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. He returned to Germany in the 1950s to run the Robert Bosch Homeopathic Hospital in Stuttgart, but died shortly after.
Otto Leeser wrote Textbook of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Leesers Lehrbuch der Homöopathie, Actionsand Medicinal use of Snake Venoms, Solanaceae, The Contribution of Homeopathy to the Development of Medicine, Homeopathy and chemotherapy, and many articles submitted to The British Homeopathic Journal,