Heavy Metals


Provings on the healthy are found: Hahnemann, Chronische Krankheiten, 2 Aufl. Bd. 3, S. 212 (there also the first cupr. acet. provings of Franz: Arch. f. hom. Heilk. Bd. 3, S. 166 and a smaller number of symptoms of cupr. sulph. are found in Hahnemann’s Fragmenta de viribus, etc.

A greater part of the symptoms in Hahnemann’s writings are taken over from copper poisonings.


The use like iron in chlorosis and secondary anemia is almost as limited in homoeopathy as in older medicine. It is said that copper should be employed in chlorosis when iron has failed or after the misuse of iron. Furthermore copper has fewer symptoms of excited state of the circulation than iron. Pale cachectic appearance of the face and blue livid lips repeatedly come into expression. The provings and intoxications available in respect to the effectiveness on the red blood cells have already been mentioned.


A considerable lack of clarity in the picture of copper arises from the fact Grauvogl perceived copper as the chief remedy of the carbonitrogenous constitutional type. He came to this conception by mixing the Rademacherian conception with his idea of the three chronic miasms of Hahnemann. For Rademacher copper was the third of his universals, that is, remedies which were adapted for primary maladies of the entire organism. Since the two universals were given for the two other constitution of Grauvogl and ferrum for syphilie of Hahnemann or the oxygenoid constitution of Grauvogl, only copper remained for the psora of Hahnemann which was placed equal to the carbonitrogenous constitution.

But it by no means proceeds from what we know of copper that it especially promotes the carbon and nitrogen retention processes nor on the other side that it is able to balance them. Likewise the theoretic explanation of Grauvogl that copper is able to effect an improvement of such processes through increased oxygen intermediation, cannot be correctly maintained. At least it is not apparent why the still more marked oxygen carrier iron would not be a remedy for the same constitutional type. On the contrary we could count copper just as well as iron to the constitutional type which is characterized by excessive oxygen influence, namely the oxygenoid. This agrees throughly with the entire neuropathic drug picture which can be counted to the psora of Hahnemann is the clinical report that copper (just as zinc) is suitable for such maladies (in particular nervous) which can be traced back to the suppression of eruptions and secretions. And this report again goes back to Rademacher. That Hahnemann including copper amongst his antipsoric remedies states nothing since this finally happened to all drugs with persistent effects.

Of the trends of a carbo-nitrogenous constitution which today come near arthritism, practically nothing is found in copper. Moreover the reported aggravation in hot weather has no support from the provings protocols. (Moreover this aggravation appears in the oxygenoid constitution as well as the carbo-nitrogenous.) From the reports of Rademacher in which copper was of use under purely empirically obtained circumstances one cannot recognize in general any characteristic trends for the copper picture.


The accepted action of copper arising out of the provings as well as from use shows distinctly the chief trend on the nervous system. The outstanding trend is the general state of spasms: spasms recurring at irregular intervals in the voluntary nerve muscle system as well as in the fields of the vagus. The convulsive manifestations go from localzed twitchings of single muscles up to the most severe tonic-clonic spasms.

To begin with the general spasms: the severe epileptic attacks particulary nocturnal, when the aura rises from the knees, spasms from the hands and feet go upward; at first the thumb flexes then finally the hand becomes spastic and then the tonic-clonic spasm becomes general. The usual piercing scream which precedes the attack suggests a spasm of the larynx and esophagus. An excited state with disconnected babbling is observed at times clinically as the precursor of an attack. The same has been reported in cases of poisoning with cuprum aceticum, where, indeed, it amounted to a maniacal state. Great restlessness and fear of death are further warnings, considerable vertigo with loss of vision (on looking upwards), confusion, a heavy head, severe paroxysmal headaches, worse from contact and pressure also belong to this picture. The tendency to severity and to malignity is also taken over from the psychic picture of epilepsy. After the attacks the exhaustion is said to be great. Sleep in copper is very deep or restless from dreams and with twitching.

The convulsions in copper do not show epileptic nature alone, but also the hystero-epilepsy, particularly before the menses; in spasmodic dysmenorrhoea and uremic spasms (there usually cuprum arsenicosum) it is recommended, when the attacks have the above described course. Also spasms from dental origin or worms in children and other states of brain irritation (hydrocephalus acutes) can give occasion for thinking of cooper for the attack itself while other remedies as calcarea and chamomilla are preferred for the underlying situation. In worms one has also to think of the lethal action of large doses of copper. Moreover the symptoms of brain irritation from suppressed eruptions (measles, scarlet fever) are to be remembered.

Partial spasms appear particularly in the field of the vagus: spasmodic constriction of the esophagus with difficulty in swallowing, “fluids roll audibly through the pharynx spasms of the bronchi with attacks of spasmodic coughing; a very severe constriction in the region of the xiphoid or a cutting transfixed pain from the xiphoid process to the vertebra (probably a spasm of the diaphragm) with failing or piping voice, “the patient must compose himself in the agony of death.”

After this description the old formulae of copper in whooping cough becomes understandable. As in all convulsions here also, the cyanosis is characteristic. Squinting, twitching, cough so that the child loses its breath or vomits spasmodically, afterwards lies down for a long time as if dead, then breathing gradually recurs again-the description of a severe copper whooping cough. Drinking cold water may abort the attack at the beginning (likewise other severe spasmodic coughs with suffocative attacks).

The nocturnal aggravation also holds for whooping cough. Spasmodic dyspnoea, accelerated, short, labored breathing, spasmodic asthma with rales in the chest are similarly characteristic indications for copper.

The spasmodic character of copper extends itself to the maladies of the abdominal organs: spasmodic constrction in the stomach or abdomen, spasmodic vomiting, board-like rigidity but very sensitive abdominal wall, intermittent gastric spasm or intestinal colic of the most severe type, tenesmus as well as constipation as well as choleriform, gushing, watery, green diarrhoes. The picture of cholera in the convulsive state will be completed by cold, cyanosis, precordial anxiety, tendency to collapse and particularly the very suggestive cramps in the calves in copper. The comparison of copper with cholera has been previously mentioned. For Hahnemann and his contemporaries in any case copper was one of the most important remedies for cholera (besides veratrum and camphor). Fortunately we lack experience. In any case the tendency to intermittent spasms, collapse through diarrhoea is important for copper, particularly in children.

The intermittent, paroxysmal spasmodic character goes through the entire picture of copper. The spasms are general or localized, the general tonic-clonic, the local cramps in the calves tonic. Fear is mentioned as particulary giving occasion to the attacks.


1. General and partial spasms in the voluntary and spasmodic states in the vegetative nervous system.

2. Connection with blood formation.


Worse at night, before the menses, from contact, cough from cold air.

Better from cold drinks (whooping cough; also colic, vomiting and spasmodic swallowing).

Causative factor: suppressed eruptions; fear?


The metal has proven useful in the D 6 butalso in the D 30; the salts are usually employed in the lower and middle potencies.


Silver stands close to copper chemically and pharmacologically. The so-called oligodynamic actions were first observed by Naegeli 627 with these two metals. The contraction of the bands of chlorophyll in the plasma membrane of the alga, spirogyra, was the indicator of these actions. From many investigations which have since been concerned with this problem, it proceeds with certainty that the metallic silver in distilled water such as conductivity water goes into solution, and indeed in an amount which corresponds to the D 5 P 0 dilutions is explained in all probability that metal particles are absorbed by the glass walls and are slowly given off again into the water so that after repeated rinsing of the vessel there is still a dilution of the metal in the D 6-D 7. This shows distinctly depressing and lethal effects on bacteria.

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,