Heavy Metals

of neuralgia such as sciatica and lumbago. Loffler, 666 a pupil of Rademacher, employed zinc successfully in delirium tremens and here placed it at the side of opium.


Zinc provings have been published.

1. Franz: Stapf’s Archiv. f. d. hom. Heilkunde, Bd. 6, Heft. 2, S. 152, 1827, with 8 provers (with the C1 and C3).

2. Hahnemann: Chr. Krankheiten, 1 Aufi., Bd. 3, S. 254, 1828; 2 Aufl., Bd. 5, S. 428, 1839, contains the provings of 1 and increased by the results in 4 more provers.

3. Hartlaub und Trinks: Reine Arzneimittellehre, 2 Bd., 1838.

4. Buchner: Hygea, Bd. 14, S. 481, 1841, 7 provers (zinc oxide).

5. Schreter: Neues Archiv., Bd. 3, 1846.

CHIEF TRENDS ———— H. Schulz collected the symptoms which one obtains by the proving on the healthy with small doses of zinc oxide given continuously over a period of time. It thereby appears that the drug picture is concerned not only with the chief trend upon the nervous system with influence in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves, but also has a second trend upon the vascular system and finally shows manifestations u=in almost all organs. On the one side the vascular actions proceed with an increased pulse rate with attacks of palpitation, alternating showers of chills and febrile sensations, congestion to the head, on the other side, with manifestations of stasis in the venous system. It is precisely the latter which have gained some significance as homoeopathic indications and permits zinc to appear as one of the so- called venous remedies. A third trend, at the same time dependent upon the second, is the effect observed on the mucous membranes, salivary glands and skin, but it possesses slight significance. Of the organs the kidney seems to be subjected as the result of zinc poisoning.


The manifestations on the nervous system are in the foreground. Zinc actions do not consist of either “depression or stimulation.” The time factor and the dose are decisive in this respect. It is precisely an interweaving of excitation and weakness, which is characteristic. For the acute action of massive doses the above reported personal investigation of Rademacher is descriptive: great fatigue, but at the same time restlessness and excitement up to nausea. The employment in excessive fatigue as well as in diseases which tend to manifest a desire for sleep and delirium at the same time in spite of the massive dose in the school of Rademacher is entirely homoeopathic. The symptoms of weakness, lassitude, fatigue and disturbance of sleep which zinc has in common with so many other remedies is characterized primarily by the symptoms of excitement of the cerebro-spinal nervous system. Weakness, heaviness, lassitude, dullness, inability to think, difficult comprehension, aversion to work, vertigo, waves of faintness, great sleepiness during the day (worse after eating), depressed, dreary, and melancholic disposition (worse at evening) up to lethargy and stupor-these characterize the depressive state. The indication of Rademacher: “melancholia which has to do with fear and evil” in the proving with zinc oxide by Werneck 667 has the symptom: “mental unrest as though he had committed a crime,” as a mirror image. The simultaneous exciting action which in no way can be separated merely in primary and secondary action from the sedative without arbitrariness embraces trembling and twitching of single muscles or over the entire body and particularly characteristic is the restlessness of the feet, which is described in the urge to stretch and extend the legs. The extreme state which approaches a type of delirium is evident in the disturbances of sleep. The night sleep is unrefreshing with much twitching, dreams, and crying out; restlessness and nausea prevent sleep. For insomnia with great unrest in the extremities, zincum valerianicum is often preferred. As already mentioned the central irritative manifestations can increase to convulsions. The following symptoms obviously owe their details primarily to clinical observation: convulsive phenomena in children with pale face, when the eruption in infections diseases (scarlet fever) does not come out or when irritative cerebral manifestations appear as from worms or teething; the child rolls the head from one side to the other or bores the head into the pillow and grinds the teeth. Thereby one thinks of an irritative state like that of hydrocephalus or meningitis. The connection of exanthems which do not develop with the cerebral irritative manifestations has good observations underlying it. Taken together with Rademac- her’s observations (somnolence, delirium), the actions of zinc give a noteworthy indication in different potencies should be tried repeatedly. How far the old indication in chorea and epilepsy), particularly when the finer signs speak for zinc, has not been sufficiently elaborated. It must also be stressed on the grounds of clinical observation that the child with spasms or with the convulsive cough places the hands on the genitalia when zinc is indicated.

Headaches are present in every proving of zinc and are extraordinarily diverse. A characteristic from is the pain at the root of the nose as though the nose was pressed back into the head. But also pain in the occiput and at the side of the head, even severe migraine, perhaps trigeminal neurarable nausea and dimming of vision, vertigo with the tendency to fall to the left are reported. The headaches seem to be of a congestive type evidenced by the redness of the face after large doses of zinc. It seems particularly characteristic for the brain and the head symptoms that they are increased by the least use of wine. The concordance of two irritant remedies to the brain makes this plausible. This also holds for the aggravation from nux vomica which was given for the symptoms of zinc in the older provings.

To the irritant manifestations of the central nervous system we must also count the neuralgias. The pains are jerky. We learned about dental neuralgias and sciatica as Rademacherian indications. To this belongs the left sided ovarian neuralgia with boring pain before the menses so that the patient cannot remain at rest; the pain is relieved by pressure and ceases as soon as the blood flows. The symptoms of the female genitalia particularly should

be accompanied by restlessness, depression, coldness, spinal irrtation, restlessness of the feet. Here we are confronted by the picture of a nervous dysmenorrhoea. A spermatic cord neuralgia with painful retraction of the testes corresponds for the male organs. Furthermore a neuralgia after herpes zoster is reported. Perhaps as a symptom of old spinal irritation, in addition to burning along the spine, there is also a pain in the last thoracic or the first lumbar vertebra. This pain is worse on sitting. Moreover an increase in sexual iritability is noted.

But the cerebro-spinal zinc goes farther. The pathologico- anatomic affinity to the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord, which was mentioned above, gives a point of departure for the basis of other symptoms. We may mention trembling in the muscles as the first irritative manifestation, crawling and numbness in the hands, calves and feet, fingers soon go to sleep, these merging into weakness, paresis and stiffness and finally to para- lysis. This is noted particularly in the eyelids: eyelids heavy as paralyzed, ptosis of the bladder sphincter muscle is also mentioned: voiding of urine on walking, coughing or sneezing. A spasm in the pharynx or esophagus is also mentioned, furthermore hysterical laughing from zinc oxide. Trials with zinc in diseases as bulbar paralysis, paralysis agitans and multiple sclerosis are well founded in the symptomatic picture. Naturally the employment in milder disturbances as writer’s cramp is more successful.


With zinc there is also a spasmodic dyspnoea with a sense of constriction, which is worse after eating and which is said to be better after the expectoration appears. The bloody and blood streaked sputum in spasmodic cough is explained by the easy rupture of vessels which is frequently noted in zinc. The spasmodic dic symptoms can also invole the heart, a spasmodically irregular cardiac beat with impact in the heart, with single heavy beats, is reported. Moreover in the older textbooks of materia medica attacks of stenocardia are given as indications. A finer symptom “as though a cap rested on the heart” was considered by Hering

668 as an affection of the spine.

As far as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea appear dependent upon cerebral irrtation, we encounter them in the actions of zinc. The gastric symptoms: nausea which is produced or aggravated by every movement, but again, especially after the least wine, vomiting of bitter mucus, vomiting immediately after the ingestion of any food, allow one to think of the crude action of zinc sulphate on the stomach which can be considered indicated when centrally conditioned.

For the present the bladder and urethral symptoms stand to one side and have been studied less: voiding of blood after painful urination, persistent urge to urinate, burning in the urethra, cutting pain in the orifice of the urethra, moreover frequent urge to urinate and marked pressure from the urine in the bladder. The report: “can urinate only in certain position, for example, bending back” refers to disturbances in innervation.

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,