Heavy Metals

In the cerebral sclerosis the still to be mentioned mental and intellectual symptoms complete the picture. If the sclerosis whether of the aorta, the coronary or the cerebral vessels, is of luetic origin, then there is even more basis for the selection of a gold preparation (perhaps aur. iodat). Alcohol and nicotine are also important etiologic moments for aurum. In particular for the damages from nicotine in the cardiac manifestations, vertigo, diplopia and aurum is to be recalled in those from alcohol and the old indication of liver cirrhosis with ascites. Not rarely the flashes in the climacterium with high blood pressure and the corresponding mental symptoms form a good field for aurum, especially when it is concerned with a pre-sclerotic stage. Naturally other remedies are often indicated in the climacteric circulatory disturbances.


The vascular panel prevails in the aurum picture even in the type; it is the habitus apoplecticus, full blooded, corpulent man with red face, with the tendency to take everything hard, to look upon the dark side; in general people of advanced age are suitable for gold and moreover especially for those who have suffered from syphilis or mercury. A Stiegele has characterized the type in the following manner: “the aurum patient is heavy blooded, heavy mentally and heavy in motion and habit.” This does not suggest that gold is a remedy in the constitutional sense but it is determined distinctly by the organotrophy to the vascular system.


Mixed with the vascular diseases and luetic affections are the gold indications on the sense organs. The differentiation from the neighboring and related mercury is not easy here. Often one will give preference more subjectively to the slowly acting aurum when the process tends to have a more chronic evolution.

On the eyes many symptoms refer to congestion: a marked feeling of tension with lessening of visual power, spasmodic pressure in the orbit, sensation of pressing together, redness, burning pain and itching of the lids, a feeling in the eyes on looking as if from marked heat. Transient loss of vision, fiery spots before the eyes, veil before the eyes, double vision, have led to the use of aurum in internal diseases of the eye as glaucoma, and chorio- retinitis. An observation of darkening of the upper half of the visual field (from Hermann in Hahnemann’s proving, as with most other internal ocular symptoms) has given special occasion for use in detachment of the retina. Especially in luetic eye diseases, keratitis interstitialis, iritis with severe cutting pains in and around the orbit, diplopia from cerebral lues can furnish the link with aurum. But this does not state that scrofulous eye diseases such as are aided by mercury, cannot be favorably influenced by aurum. Also the pannus of trachoma with marked development of the vessels is reported. Still all these clinical diagnostic indications must be considered with the usual reservations.

On the ears the vasomotor symptoms with the diminution of heating have already been mentioned. The syphilitic processes are also included here whether the auditory nerve or the middle ear bones (with foetid suppuration) come under consideration. The same holds for the ozaena and the caries of the nasal bones with nocturnal pains, when mercury is without result or has been previously misused. Foul odor in the nose is a proving symptom of gold. A vasomotor early symptom may be the increased sensitivity of smell. A special site of predilection seems to be the nasal orifices and the tip of the nose. Redness and swelling of the nose, red nodular nose, has been observed many times since Hahne- mann; among others it occasioned the unbelieving student Hering to take gold trituration. A few days later he was compelled to aviod the room because he had a frightfully swollwn red nose. Acnerosaces, rhinophyma, copper nose, has given occasion for the use of gold.


Mercury-like oral inflammations were observed more than a century ago from the gold inunctions into the tongue. Offensive breath or foul offensive odor of the mouth and saliva are present. For luetic affections of the palate gold may come into question under certain conditions. Here we recall that even Avicenna used gold against bad breath. For the luetic bone affections, so far as they are suitable for aurum, the nocturnal aggravation is decisive.

In any case a slighter role is played in the aurum picture in hardened lymph glands than with mercury. The tumors of the uterus, myoma and scirrhus, also ovarian tumors, are also indications borrowed from old empiric use. Redness, heat, swelling of the vulva and vagina, thick white leucorrhoea pains pressing downwards are lesser points of departure from the provings which have given occasion for the use in enlarged and prolapsed uteri and in chronic metritis.

More distinctly the affinity to the male sexual glands is determined by the symptoms. The rejuvenating influence of gold, cited from antiquity, refers perhaps to the increase of sexual impulse, which proceeds also from the provings. Also a psychic excitation, improvement of humor with desire for conversations and self satisfaction, greater mental mobility and desire for work, improved power of thinking and better memory may be connected with this as the first action of gold. This general elevation and excitation also struck the auralists of the French school a century ago. As later actions in this respect are the inflammatory and degenerative alterations in the testes: painful swelling, chronic induration and finally atrophy. Also for the tuberculous inflammations of the epididymus aurum, particularly aurum iodat., is suitable. Swellings as hydrocele corresponding to ovarian enlargements may be included in the field of indications of gold.


With the degenerative phase of action in the sexual glands and on the arteries one may bring into association perhaps the depressive melancholic chief action of gold in the psychic life. Moreover an immediate action on the cerebro-spinal system is not improbable. Cerebral sclerosis, lues are often combined with severe depression. Coronary sclerosis more with anxious unrest. The depressive influence of degenerative processes on the sexual glands is sufficiently well known. But it is not to be understood that the melancholia with a tendency to suicide of the aurum picture is only a secondary manifestation of these organ alterations. Much more the disturbances of circulation and the sexual hormones are to be brought into parallel to a certain extent in the second phase of gold action and to the melancholic phase of mental life without one being able to say what is the primary and what the secondary site of involvement. The mental weakness, the irritability, impetuosity, anxiety and restlessness in any case are often accompanying symptoms of sclerotic diseases which in themselves are suitable for gold. The gold indication “melancholia” known since antiuity often comes to expression symptomatically in the proving picture: “he believes nothing is right in the world and therefore seeks for death on which he dwells with inner pleasure. Great increasing anxiety proceeding even to suicide, with spasmodic contraction of the lower abdomen, disgust for life, thoughts of suicide. He is downcast and seeks solitude. If one leaves him alone, he sits silently by himself, in melancholy in a corner; the slightest contradiction however brings him into violent rage, he responds at first with fight and many words but later says only a few broken words.” Thus and similarly read the reports of the provings.

In any case the presence of these deep melancholic behaviors has proven an important guiding symptom in homoeopathic use. When some report that music acts as a sedative, but fear increases the irritability, perhaps it may be useful for differentiating from other remedies in melancholia. When the severe melancholic, depressive mental symptoms appear in arteriosclerosis, in luetics, after the misuse of mercury, in women at the menopause and not perhaps in the mild pulsatilla type, but accompanied with excessive irritability and tendency to suicide, one will first think of aurum.


The already mentioned association with the skin, which is more expressed in the organic preparations, combined with sulphur, has given occasion in homoeopathy for the use of gold outside of acne rosacea also in lupus, particularly in erythematodes, occasionally also in psoriasis.

The symptoms on the respiratory organs are not so marked as to make a special affinity of gold to them probable. If intravenous injections have had occasional favorable results in pulmonary tuberculosis, so this can involve a less specific treatment, perhaps even protein split products which can be obtained through copper as well as other metals. In any case it is not known that the oral use of gold has proven useful in lung tuberculosis.

The gastro-intestinal symptoms in the provings of gold are even less characteristic. Therefore they have not obtained any practical significance.

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,