Heavy Metals

Splinter-like pain (throat, urethra).

Hoarseness from straining the voice (argentum metallicum). Radiating gastric spasm (gastralgia, ulcer).


Diarrhoea, green slimy, worse from sugar, from drinking.


Progressively emaciating. Pale, grey, wasted.

Guiding Symptoms:

Weakness of the entire left side, which is preferred in respect to symptoms.

Sensation of enlargement.

Splinter-like pain (argentum nitricum).

Desire for sugar which is badly tolerated (argentum nitricum).


Mental effort aggravates many complaints particularly the nervous.

Chief time of aggravation for argentum nitricum at night, for argentum metallicum morning and towards 11 A.M.

Special modalities, see above.


Argentum metallicum and argentum nitricum are employed between the D 3 and D 30. In gastric maladies D 5 and D 6 have proven useful for me, in central nervous maladies also the D 30.

(The lower potencies up to D 4 of argentum nitricum must be prepared freshly with distilled water.)


If one reads an old herb book, perhaps the “Hortus sanitatis” of Peter Schopfer written in 1485, then he finds: “the virtue of gold is heat and drying in the temperament, no master reports a degree of it because its virtue exceeds all herbs, roots, spices and metals.” Here we have also lying at the base, the Galenic theory of four elements and their degrees, which was useless for explanation of observations because it was purely speculatively conceived.

Then follows a series of empiric reports with the remark of the author: “The master Serapio states that to rub gold to powder and eat it, leprosy is consumed and all members of man become strong. A wound in which gold has been placed will not become foul. The great master Halyx states that gold filings strengthens the heart more than all other drugs and allows no decomposition in the body. Gold scrapings remove the trembling of the heart which prevails from the earthy moisture, called melancholia. Avicenna states that gold removes the melancholia of man and likewise evil dreams and phantasies from sleep. The wounds in which gold is placed heal without harm and no foul flesh grows therein. Those who carry gold in the mouth have good breathing. Platearius: gold helps heart trembling and removes the sandess and is good for those who speak to themselves and make phantasies. Avicenna (in the book de viribus cordis) states that gold more than all other drugs makes the heart strong and makes good rejoicing blood.”

In these empiric reports we have already the chief indications of the homoeopathic school (melancholia and cardio-vascular action) and the most recent of school medicine (lepra, bacteriocidal action) before us. Also the fine division by trituration, even if not yet in another vehicle, was obviously known as necessary for the effectiveness. Pre-scientific empiricism remains valuable so far as the above directions are correct and give the newer observations the historical background.


Let us now go to the current stand of experimental clinical investigation on the action of gold. It appeared as parenteral therapy without any connection with earlier epochs of gold therapy. For a long time under theoretical conceptions, men have tried to kill the tubercle bacillus in the body by gold (and copper) or at least severely injure them. The task was to synthesize a compound of gold which had the highest possible therapeutic index, that is, a great distance between the dose injurious to the host and that which is healing (the therapeutic quotient = t:c = dosis toxica to dosis curativa).

In the original investigative field of tuberculosis (Moellgaard) the hopes set upon gold preparations (such as sanocrysin) have not been fulfilled. On the other hand in spirocheta (organ syphilis and recurrens) and streptococcus infections, gold preparations (as solganal and solganal B of Feldt, organic compounds of gold with sulphur) have proven curative in animal experiments. The exciter was destroyed. But not in the sense of a direct therapia sterilisans magna, that is, by a direct chemical influence of the agent on the exciter, but indirectly through an increase of the defense power of the host. This mechanism has been adopted today for all other chemotherapeutics with the exception of salvarsan. For gold preparations in particular it may be concluded from this, that their depressing or even lethal influence on the exciter in a test tube requires concentrations which are much larger than are necessary for the cure of an infected animal. Also an intravital alteration of the preparation permits a strong bacteriocidal compound to be excluded. From animal investigation alone it can be seen that the healing effect which goes up to the destruction of the exciter rests upon an influence, an activation, of the natural defense process of the host.

One postulates the chief site of organismal defense in the mesenchyme, in the vascular connective tissue, in particular in the reticulo-endothelial system. This holds on the one side as the site of natural defense actions, as the formation of antibodies, on the other side the storage also of the chemotherapeutic agent. Thus it may be assumed that particularly in this system the metallic catalysors, such as gold, activate the natural defense process.

The comparison of the knowledge of gold preparations obtained from homoeopathy to the newer gold therapy is difficult because today there are almost no simple gold preparations used, but mos- tly organic sulphur compounds. However it is reported of the 0.1 Percent gold chloride solution that it works exactly as good as the many organic preparations, indeed, that it is better born. Moreover it is cheap. The principle of optimal dose has not been worked out in parenteral gold therapy but nevertheless one knows that this therapy involves a stimulation of the defense function, particularly in the reticulo-endothelial system. In spite of the therapeutic animal investigation the indication the indications in sick mankind remain uncertain; almost all infections were occasionally found suitable for gold therapy; but the results are extremely variable without one being able to demonstrate in detail why the result lack of result occurred.

Chronic infectious arthritis, chronic septic states, lipus erythematosis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, lepra, vaccinia recurrens (in the treatment of progressive paralysis) and syphilis are at present the field of application of gold preparations.

For the situation of the spirochetal diseases the already mentioned animal investigations still furnish the best point of view. Since the external manifestations of syphilis at first react with an increase of inflammatory manifestations after the injection of gold preparations, there can be little doubt of the stimulating character of this treatment. But it may be questioned whether the great doses (for example 0.25-0.5 grams solganal) of organic gold preparations are optimal. If they are proven as necessary then there may be weakening of the specific stimulative action as the result of the organic gold compound. In favor of this is the fact that only 1-10 mg. of gold chloride is necessary. But the height of the dose can also lie in the slight degree of relationship of gold to syphilis in man. Only then when the stimulative index, that is, the relation of the stimulus does for the exciter to the stimulus dose for the defensive function is considered, can one say anything about the degree of specificity. Because the grade of specificity and the dose optimum always stand in opposed dependence. In human tuberculosis many small doses (0.0001 grams, that is D 4) of the gold preparation have yielded favorable results. But the school does in general still stands under the old maxim of going up to the limit of tolerance on the basis of the still existing conception of a direct damage to the exciter.

The so-called untoward actions of the organic gold preparations show a special connection to the skin. Universal erythema with fever, measles-like and scarletini-form exanthems, isolated keratosis and desquamating infiltrating eczema and-by overdoses of the preparation called aurophos-an eruption like that of pityriasis rosea is observed. It is doubtful whether these skin manifestations are due to the chemical compounds, for example with sulphur. These “untoward” manifestations are so diverse that the usefulness of gold preparations in many diseases which are preferably manifested in the skin (in lupus erythematodes, leprosy, psoriasis, erythema nodosa, erythema exudativum, multiforme, erysipelas, lues II) can be considered as organotrophic from the homoeopathic viewpoint. Also within school medicine the conception gains ever more basis than the exanthems provoked incidentally are exactly as important for the skin. If the irritant treatment of the skin organ today is considered as an essential factor in the therapy of lues (for example by Buschke), then this is covered by the laic conception that the good appearance and the promotion of eruptions are favorable for healing.

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,