Heavy Metals

The body iron belongs for the most part to the red blood cells and in them is bound to the hemoglobin. This role of easy absorption of oxygen to oxyhemoglobin and the yielding of it according to the partialpressure of the milieu is universally known. Iron is bound to the coloring material (hemin, that is the HCI ester of haematin) in the red blood corpuscles, and this is chemically closely related to the green coloring material of the higher plants chlorophyll. Now it is worthy of note that chlorophyll also needs iron for its formation. If iron is lacking in the nutrition of the green plants, then they become “chlorotic” that is, they show a deficiency in chlorophyll. However iron is not a constitution of chlorophyll. But an intermediate reaction with iron is obviously necessary in its formation. According to one conception 588 iron inactivates calcium in favor of magnesium which is known to be the essential constituent of chlorophyll. Accordingly one might also consider for hemoglobin that iron is not merely passive as a coloring substance but it actively necessary for its formation. The form of iron for this task can be variable.

For illustration of the amounts involved of iron metabolism, the report of Warburg may serve: the cell iron in the tissues of higher animals contributes a few tenths of a milligram per gram of cell substance (that is, about the D 4). The physiological iron requirement per day in adults is about 1-10 mg.

It was long held that absorption of iron which was present in the natural foods could not occur because at first it seemed as though a quantitatively complete excretion through the intestine followed. But since experience has shown clearly the effectiveness on blood formation, an attempt has been made to find a suitable explanation. Finally it was demonstrated that soon after the administration of iron chloride, it could be found microscopically in the intestinal mucosa and chemically in the lymph of the thoracic duct and the absorption from the intestine was demonstrated. The iron was absorbed in an ionized form. It is worthy of note that the capacity of absorption of the intestinal wall for iron is very rapidly paralyzed. 589 Lewin cites the old report that absorption occurs with a 1 Percent iron citrate solution introduced into the stomach, but in a 4 Percent it does not. There also exists an optimal concentration for absorption.

From the intestine the iron passes to the liver and is deposited in it, further in the spleen and bone marrow and is available for the body cells. To this is added the iron arising from the destruction of the erythrocytes, which again becomes useable iron. This reserve iron is stored chiefly by the reticulo-endothelial system. The excretion of the finally used iron occurs largely from the lower bowel, only a small part going through the kidney. Thus may there be the appearance after the marked use of iron as though the iron introduced was quantitatively (as one formely believed without absorption) excreted again through the intestine. The use of iron in metabolism is constant and in the state of hunger the excretion through the kidneys is largely independent of the introduction of iron. With increased blood destruction as in pernicious anemia, the excretion of iron in the urine is considerably increased.

Since excretion does not cease with deficient introduction, one might conjecture that the iron excreted is in another used state than that introduced, because otherwise there would be complete retention and reutilization of the iron by the organism. In fact the normal and pathologic iron metabolism is, perhaps, one of the best examples of how little the quantitative conception states about the actions and how outstanding the chemical and here the physical form is.


It has long been known that the inorganic iron salts are distinguished from the organic preparations in that they also posses the capacity for promoting the formation of hemoglobin in the growing animals by a iron rich diet. Moreover if sufficient the iron is offered a s a building material of hemoglobin through the organic compounds along have a stimulating influence of the new formation of hemoglobin. This activity is also associated with the iron form and the strongly ionized (divalent) ferro-compounds prove much more active than the (trivalent) ferri- compounds. Moreover it has also been proven in the test- tube that the iron of the healthy animal or a man dead from an acute disease accelerates certain chemical reactions catalytically, while the iron from the liver of a patient dead of pernicious anemia does not have this catalytic property. It is not known whether the activity here is joined to a definite chemical compound or to the physical structure of iron.

Starkenstein and Weden see the difference exclusively in the manner of chemical combination. Simple ferri-compounds which have been introduced into the organism from without are always inactive according to their report. They will be taken up by the spleen and indeed only by this in unaltered form, stored and then again excreted; on the other side reduced to the inactive ferrous iron in the liver, this is the hemoglobin building stone, but not available for the catalytic processes. Active ferro iron is also dissociated in the organism and it circulates long in the organisma nd is introduced from the blood into all organs outside of the spleen. It is oxidized to the ferri form in the blood, in which the iron is bound complexly in the anion. This differs however fundamentally from the directly introduced ferri-compound, in so far as they remain unaltered for a long time in the blood. The activity of this ferri iron, which enters the cell, consists of its biologic O2 yield, whereby it is reduced to the catalytically inactive ferro iron. This inactive divalent iron is deposited in the liver and can then (as it is concerted there into the ferri form) serve as a building stone. Ferro and ferri forms on introduction into the organism act in entirely different forms. If Starkenstein ascribed no pharmacologic actions to the simple ferri-compounds but only local toxic actions, because they precipitate proteins, then this holds only for large amounts introduced by injection. And also with the deposit of simple ferri-compounds in the spleen and its subsequent excretion is not ultimate proof of its medicinal inactivity, since all ferri iron need not take this way. Experience contradicts such an assertion.

But how important the physical sate of iron is for the therapeutic purpose is shown by Baudisch and Welo. They proceed from the well-known fact that where mineral springs appear on the surface they have very special effects and that the healing power of the fresh mineral water gradually diminishes and disappears. In many springs can this old folk experience be explained scientifically by the proof of radio-activity, and most strikingly in the iron containing waters. Only the iron water freshly appearing from the earth show catalytic properties. Chemical differences cannot be made responsible for this.

One knows chemical parallels; only freshly precipitated ferrous bicarbonate is able to activate the oxygen of the air so that oxidizable compounds present at the same time as oxidized. Brief existence without the presence of air makes ferrous bicarbonate inactive, although it takes up oxygen avidly on subsequent access of air, but is not activated. Such “active” properties of chemical substances in the statu nascendi are indeed known of many other substances. But this capacity is only very transient in preparations in the test tube. In the natural mineral springs the active or better activated state is more prolonged (some hours). And finally for the benzidine test on the blood the presence of H2O2 is well known, so that something

is contained in the blood (namely its iron compounds) which is colored by perioxidase action, that is, oxygen activation of H2O2 which colors benzine blue.

As Baudisch and Bass have shown, even light is able to accelerate the aging of mineral water and thereby it must be concerned with an involvement of the ferrous bicarbonate, while on the other hand potassium ferrocyanide solution is converted from its catalytically inactive state into an active form by radiation with sun light.

That also without alteration of the chemical composition. the physical form of an iron compound as iron oxide is decisive for the properties, one knows from magnetism. Baudisch and Welo proved with iron oxide, FeO3, that the artificially prepared magnetite, FeO Fe2O3, would oxide in an oxygen stream by heating. At 300o there develops a strongly magnetic red powder Fe2O2 which on heating to 550o goes over without external alteration into an almost non-magnetic Fe2)3. Through x-ray interference photography it is shown that the magnetic Fe2O3 has cubic structure while the more highly heated Fe2O3 has a rhomboid structure. Only the magnetic cubic Fe2O2 is active iron while the non-magnetic rhomboid iron is biologically in-active.

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,