This is the place to glance at the so-called bio-chemistry (commonly called biochemic therapy) of Schussler. For the originally homoeopathic physician, W. Schussler, the decisive impression was that the mineral substances natural to the body must have an especially substances natural to the body must have an especially unique position. With grotesque onesidedness he limited his entire therapy to twelve so-called cell or tissue salts: ferr. phosphor., magnes. phosphor., calc. phosphor., kali phosphor., kal. chlorat., kal. sulfur., natrum muriat., natr. phosphor., natr. sulfur., calc fluorat., silica, calc. sulfur. The last was later struck out and it should be noted that silica, the anhydride of silicic acid, is not a salt. The election of tissue remedies or physiologically functioning agents as Schussler originally and suitably called them was based to some extent arbitrarily on the basis of the ash analysis of the organism available at that time (1873) in Moleschott’s book, The Circulation of Life, which was the totality of physicochemical knowledge for Schussler. Likewise, the followers of Schussler, there being only a few physicians among them, have not altered Schussler’s system, except that here and there recently iodine is mentioned as a physiologic agent but without the indications being given. It is remarkable at least that sulphur appears only in the form physiologically inactive (so far as known) the sulphate; likewise of the physiologic role of iron in the phosphate form, nothing is known. With these temporarily conditioned errors of refinement one might be satisfied. If Schussler, opposite to the homoeopathic method, had brought actual improvement or progress on a scientific basis, then one could follow him in his small partial field. But unfortunately, this is not the case. Moreover, in any case retrogression predominates when he took over the indications of the remedies previously employed homoeopathically, although he emphasized the value in a few positive reports of previously not or only rarely used drugs. In place of the effect picture of homoeopathy in all its extensive details as obtained by studies on the healthy, Schussler prescribes according to a deficient compend, to a certain extent only by inscriptions: the tissue or organ on which the agent concerned should act and to this a series of clinical diagnoses. likewise the crude anatomic and pathologic conception circumvented by homoeopathy is in no way original and is again brought to light and all differentiating peculiarities in the symptomatology, all individuality, constitutionality thereby falls into discard. Only for a few previously little used and unproven salts are single new indications given by Schussler and which have proven themselves useful. Considered in general, such a sad section from the enormous factual material of the homoeopathic materia medica could be nothing more than an ephemeral episode if such a simplification and compression of medical knowledge had not met the desires of many who could prepare themselves with a few tools and sketchy thoughts.

Now it is still to be considered whether Schussler has not promoted the scientific basis of medicinal action of substances normal to the body, at least to some extent. This too, cannot be affirmed. His general theory consists in the tissue salts balancing a deficit arising in a disease. From Schussler’s own discussion it cannot be said with certainty whether or not the deficit and its balance occurs entirely materially, that is, quantitatively. However, it must be noted that his minimal doses of drugs which he took over from homoeopathy would never be sufficient for this. Many places in his Abgekurzte therapy permit one to suppose that he was thinking more of a functional deficiency of the material in the cell. The general presentation proceeds along the ground that disease has it basis in a disturbance of molecular movements of a salt; from this a deficiency in these salts occurs in the cells; the cure by means of this salt consists in a balance of the deficit. This eventually allows room for the acceptance of the idea that he considered healing as a functional excitation of the disturbed molecular movement which can the n lead indirectly to a balance of material deficits and that he did not have a direct substitution therapy in mind. In any case Schussler does not give any actual details on the how nor could he do so on the basis of the physiologic knowledge available at that time. The adoption of so general an idea as a preliminary working hypothesis, moreover has to little productiveness for it to serve as the sole basis for a therapeutic procedure. To sacrifice drug proving on then healthy as a means of assistance is certainly not progress. Much more Schussler retrogressed to methods which utilized intermediary physiologic chemical actions of a substance, not only for explanation of therapeutic effects, as is correct, but as the sole justified guide in therapeutic management. Such a motivation of use of drugs remains dependent upon the current partial knowledge of intermediary processes and theories built thereon. Actually Schussler’s theoretic foundations raise hardly more than a claim to validity. So remains of his system only that which he took over from homoeopathy for the most part, independent of all theory in respect to useful indications and transmitted according to his manner. All the rest is overwhelmed by the physiologic chemistry of Moleschott on whom he supported himself. Also to some extent arbitrary is the prescription of the sixth or twelfth decimal potency as the only dose.


Naturally, with this critique on the claims and theoretic foundations of Schussler’s system, nothing is rejected relative to the therapeutic utility of his tissue remedies. Homeopathy has always maintained the medicinal effectiveness of materials natural to the body. This does not refer to disturbances provoked by injection into the blood stream or by oral administration in enormous amounts of such substances as sulphur or sodium chloride. Much more it has and does assert that regulating and healing effects of these substances can also be observed by smallest amounts under definite circumstances; indeed, such an action may even be obtained in the healthy under suitable conditions of investigation and symptoms produced by small amounts of such physiologic substance. If we assume these considerations which have remained uncontested within homoeopathy are correct, then we must still question how such actions are possible. To this explanation belong obviously certain presumptions on the part of the organism, particularly special sensitivity to the material involved. By drug provings on the healthy it is exactly these symptomatic sensitivities which are developed as signs of the constitutional type which is named after the substance. And again in the therapeutic use the totality of morbid symptoms indicates by its similarity with these known to us from provings that the sensitivity probably lies in the direction of this substance. These presumptions on the part of the organism obviously are not sufficient for the desired explanation. Because the substance is introduced daily in the food in an amount at least equal (with calcium for example the daily utilization by the organism amounts to one gram!) so that the minimal amount medicinally introduced must seem to be superfluous. If, however with the potencies of such substances, characteristic effects can be obtained, then the basis for this may lie in the drug having another form, than that in which it appears in the food. With solid drugs the method prescribed for preparation requires, even up to the dilution of 10, trituration with sugar of milk and indeed for one hour with each step in the dilution(today decimal dilutions are usual, that is, one part to nine parts of the vehicle). Our ideas today proceed from the thought that the alteration in the size of the particles signifies an entirely new state of form which is made responsible for the new possibilities of action. Up to a certain step we can appeal by comparison to the known peculiar actions of the colloidal state. How far beyond this the state of form attained by the prescribed preparation differs from the usual molecular solutions in their possibility of action, we can only form provisional general ideas; so for example that by definite states of division of the material, new ways open up in the organism, perhaps equally to cell groups which reflexly regulate the threshold for the material concerned. Experimental points of attack are present for a closed circle of effects, by alteration of the ion milieu in the vegetative nervous system and receptive cells to again balance alterations in the ion milieu. These are encountered later in this book (Loewi’s study: vagus irritation, which can also be effected through potassium preponderance, produces alterations in physiologic perfusion fluid through the heart muscle which can also act on a second nerve-heart muscle preparation in the sense of a potassium stimulus). So the thought lies near that an altered unusual state of form can be responsible for a new unusual way and rhythm in the effects of ordinary daily used materials.

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,