Heavy Metals

Moreover the therapeutic use for decades has shaped the selection among the many symptoms and evaluated them by the test of clinical use. (The probings with high potencies of Berridge 619 are not yet evaluated.)

The animal experiments cited in the Austrian journal of homoeopathy give us the best confirmation for the crude symptoms known from toxicology. Convulsions and paralysis have been observed repeatedly in the severe intoxications of animals.


In the industrial poisoning (according to Drysdale) that fat and light haired people are especially susceptible to kali bichromicum, which can serve as a constitutional sign. Likewise in these workers in chrome factories the modality of aggravation of many symptoms in hot weather was observed.


Very distinctly developed, both from the intentional as well as accidental poisonings with kali bichromicum, is the chief trend on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory passages. The tenacious stringy mucous is especially characteristic. The exuda- tes at times seem to be pseudo-membranous and even purulent- bloody discharges are observed. At first the nose is the chief point of attack. Even Arneth correctly stressed that one cannot arrive at an explanation of this affinity with the conception of a local action of chrome dust or vapors on the nasal mucous membrane, because the inflammatory manifestations also develop after the internal administration of the substance. The first stage is a coryza with considerable clear water and much sneezing a coryza which is said to be aggravated from cold air. Moreover the watery discharge also appeared in the proving in hot weather. (In this regard the catarrhal symptoms of the upper air passages with aggravation from hot weather, which is particularly characteristic for the gastro-intestinal symptoms, seem to be exception.)

The further course of the mucous membrane inflammation yields still better indications. Next come the most diverse sensations of dryness, tickling and burning in the nose, then pain and sensitivity of the nose, often nose bleed, outpouring of thick mucus, then, in the chronic industrial poisonings, tenacious, elastic, gummy plugs whose removal is painful. This refers to the lesion on the mucous membrane which is degenerating into the perforating ulcer of the septum. The perforation itself seems to progress fairly painlessly. SImilar circumscribed ulcers “as if punched out” also arise in the course of inflammation of the palate and throat. Their similarity with syphilis should be stressed. The already mentioned skin and mucous membrane affections and certain pains which one refers to the bones, especially on the head and the tibia, increase the similarity on the head and the tibia, increase the similarity. But without connection with this similarity and from the non-homoeopathic side, in France about 1850 kali bichromicum was used in secondary syphilis by Robin and in Germany as well, though today the chromate preparations in syphilis is again considered obsolete therapy. Recently again in homoeopathic literature a mercury com- pound of the chromate (merc. oxydulat. chromate.) has been suggested as a remedy in syphilis. It is to be considered in the cases where a differential diagnosis between mercury and kali bichromicum cannot be made and has repeatedly proven valuable to me in severe ulcerative processes of syphilis in the throat. The chronic kali bichromicum poisoning of the nose does not happen exactly as in syphilis for only the upper part of the cartilaginous septum is destroyed.

Also when ulcer formation occurs the nasal mucous membrane is persistently involved. This is signified by the loss of smell which seems to outlast the usual coryza; but the soreness of the nose is associated with an offensive odor of which the patient himself is aware. This degenerative mucous membrane symptom is

the occasion for the use of kali bichromicum in rhinitis atrophicans, the ozena of syphilitic as well as scrofulous origin.

The coryza with a thick tenacious secretion (which is like that of hydrastis) can also cause symptoms of nasal occlusion, especially painful pressure at the root of the nose which can also be conditioned by involvement of the frontal sinus. Moreover the thick secretion, like that of hydrastis, may fall into the posterior pharynx. An occluding coryza in fat plump nurslings is said to be especially suitable for the remedy.

Many sensations of pain in and around the nose in the proving protocols refer to this site as one of predilection. Very similar are the inflammatory manifestations in the throat, which, with redness of the throat and soft palate, with difficulty in swallo- wing and oedema of the uvula may go on to the already mentioned ulcers. For the chronic catarrh, pharyngitis, the tenacious stringy mucus is characteristic. Indeed as the initial symptom of the chronic mucous membrane affection besides the often mentioned sensation of dryness, scratching and sticking of the provings, there is the ever repeated symptom “feeling of a hair at the root of the tongue and the soft palate.” It is, so far as I know, described only by one prover (Norton) as the early warning of an ulcer in the throat. In spite of the solitary nature of his report I do not see little value in such a detail but decisive in this respect is the question of whether or not it has proven a practical indication for kali bichromicum. And this seems to be the case.

Hoarseness, tickling and painfulness in the larynx and the trachea, especially in the region of the bifurcation, stitches under the sternum going to the back, irritative cough and oppression of the chest, labored breathing and chest pains are frequently observed, but particularly characteristic for the laryngitis, tracheitis and bronchitis is the repeatedly mentioned tenacious expectoration and moreover the morning aggravation of the cough. The pseudo-membranous deposits on the mucous membranes of the throat, the larynx and the trachea which has also been found in animals has led to the proven use of kali bichromicum in severe diphtheria. Here also the structural participation of the mucous membrane is essential.

In close connection with the inflammatory manifestations in the upper air passages stands the ocular inflammations of kali bichromicum. Here also then itching, burning, redness, swelling, lachrymation photophobia is the usual but not characteristic picture. The tenacious, yellow secretion or the pseudo-membranous deposit speaks first for a conjunctivitis in the direction of kali bichromicum. But also a torpid keratitis with ulcer of the cornea without great pain and photophobia (indeed on the industrial poisonings) is found in the drug picture of kali bichromicum; more-over iritis with punctiform deposits in Descemet’s membrane; here also the relatively slight pain with severe inflammation is guiding. However it is not apparent on what clinical observations these indications are supported.


If one proceeds according to the frequency of the symptoms observed under kali bichromicum, if the value of symptoms is to be statistically conceived, then the gastro-intestinal complaints must have precedence over those of the respiratory passages. But according to all experience this is not the case. That nausea and vomiting appeared in almost one half the provers is still not decisive for a special affinity of the remedy for the stomach. Because it is to be considered that this defense manifestation is something quite common, when, as it happens here, a different drug is administered in fairly massive doses. A preferential organotrophy would be made probable first in that such symptoms were not only locally conditioned and rapidly transient but also appeared as persistent actions after the absorption of smaller doses. In such cases the symptoms also have finer differentiatio- ns and characteristics become evident.

The gastric disturbances of kali bichromicum show all the steps from functional disturbances to inflammation to ulcer: poor appetite, especially in the morning, thick yellow coated tongue, aversion to food, especially against meat, acid eructations or eructations of air, after eating an uneasiness in the stomach, gastric activity seems suppressed, nausea and vomiting appear suddenly. Finally kali bichromicum is cited on the basis of pathologic-anatomic findings of a sharply circumscribed ulceration of the mucous membrane as a remedy for ulcer of the stomach and duodenum. For this are single observations of improvement of gastric complaints after eating included. For the gastric disturbances in the direction of kali bichromicum the morning aggravation between 2 and 5 in the morning (perhaps also the aggravation of the nausea on moving around) speaks, moreover the aggravation of the nausea from drinking water, though great thirst is often present. Moreover the desire for beer is stressed This was repeatedly noted by one prover (Prof.v.Zlatarovich). However one also finds it repeatedly stressed in the materia medica that beer is not well tolerated and from this association it has said that kali bichromicum is particularly suitable for the gastritis of beer drinkers But it was precisely the prover named who felt better after beer. 620 Riedlin 621 also reports an aggravation from beer, but he avoided it as it was “too cold.”

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,