Heavy Metals

Most remedies which are used locally as astrigents yield proving symptoms of an inflammatory nature on the mucous membranes. This also is true of zinc on the conjunctiva, especially at the inner angle of the eye. Thereby it is assumed outside of the generalized local corrosive or astringent capacity on the conjunctiva that zinc produces a certain degree of diversion “from within” in this mucous membrane reaction.

The second trend of zinc effect on the vascular system, in particular on the venous system, is of much less importance than that on the venous system. H. Schulz ascribed a broad extent to this trend of action and explained the related and many other mucous membrane and organ actions in this way. Of more theoretic than practical interest here is the fact that the symptoms cited have a great similarity to those of mercury: amongst them are inflammation of the oral mucosa, salivation, bloody diarrhoea and nephritis. However all these actions are toxicologically established and only in the second or third line. If we did not have a much more directly effective remedy in mercury in stomatitis, dysentery and nephritis in the group chemically aderelated to zinc, then perhaps these indications of zinc would play a greater role with us. In the school of Rademacher this was actually the case with dysentery. thereby one ought not to forget that this involved large doses as was common in the practice of Rademacher.

As homoeopathic indications from the side of the venous system there are, though not outstandingly: cramps in the calves of the legs and in the external genitals (in particular after the use of pulsatilla). Also the earl appearance of frostbites or freezing of the peripheral parts, mentioned by H.Schulz, belongs here; again the tendency vessels; but bloody vomiting and blood in the stool is also cited.


Of the zinc preparations, zincum metallicum is used most often. Zincum valerianicum is preferred in neuralgias (particularly ovarian pains), and nervous insomnia. Zincum aceticum has retained the old Rademacher indications. Zincum oxydatum (not the most frequently used as Schulz believed) as zincum picricinicum and zincum phosphoricum, should be adapted more to the nervous sequella of sexual excesses. Zincum cyanatum is said to be suited especially to meningitis and other severe central nervous system diseases, zincum sulfuricum more in eye symptoms and, according to Loffer, to dysentery.


Trends of Action: Nervous System:

Great fatigue and weakness with excitation and motor unrest. especially in the legs. Insomnia. Trembling and twitching. Hydro- cephaloid and epileptic states. Irritative brain symptoms after suppressed exanthems or excretions.

Headache over the root of the nose, pressing inward. Neuralgias. Ovarian neuralgia, nervous dysmenorrhoea; paraesthesias, paresis weakness of sphincter. Backache on sitting (last thoracic or first lumbar) “spinal irritation.”

Mucous Membrane:



Nausea and vomiting, worse from movement, eating, and use of wine.

Urinary Passages:

States of irritation and disturbance of micturition.

Venous System:

Varices, frostbites, tendency to bleeding.


Worse from use of wine; after eating.

Worse from suppressed eruptions, or secretions.

Worse from sitting, at rest, at night.

Better from appearance of secretions (for example, menses).


Zincum met. metallicum is usually prescribed in the lower and middle potencies (D 2-6), but in chronic central nervous system maladies has also proven itself in the D 30. The zinc salts are generally prescribed in the lower potencies, for example, zincum valerian, D 3.


Cadmium must be considered in conjunction with zinc because it stands at the transition of zinc to mercury Likewise as the sulphate or the carbonate cadmium almost always appears in common with zinc.

The first trial with cadmium sulphate (not cadmium sulphide as most homoeopathic encyclopedias report, which is the cadmium yellow CdS) was made by Burdach 669 in Finsterwalde: “When in complete health at 10 o’clock in the morning he took about 1/2 grain of this preparation which had a peculiar metallic taste. At 11:00 there developed a copious collection of saliva which had to be continuously expectorated, about 12:00 there was severe retching, which recurred every 2-5 minutes and much tenacious mucus was evacuated with great effort. This state continued until severe vomiting with retching appeared and recurred about 4:00 when severe pains were felt in the region of the stomach and umbilicus with an urge to defecate. The food eaten together with much sour mucus and bile was emptied by the vomiting. Outside of some lassitude nothing further occurred on that day since the nausea and other symptoms disappeared. On the following day Burdach had some pain in the throat muscles, probably the result of retching and efforts at vomiting.”

These symptoms from the oral ingestion appear exactly after copper or zinc sulphate, only the single dose of 0.03 gram is less than for the emetic action of zinc or copper sulphate (in which decigrams are necessary). Similar symptoms were noted in two non-fatal cases of poisoning with cadmium bromide which Wheeler 670 reported, only here the pulse was hardly palpable at times (with 0.25-1 gram).

TOXICOLOGY ———- Apart from phenomena varying from inflammation to ulceration of the gastro-intestinal canal in animals, vertigo, vomiting, diarrhoea, slowing of the pulse and respiration, loss of strength, loss of strength, loss of consciousness, spasms and death are observed. According to Marme in general the heart remains active longer than the respiration. 671 The same author reports about chronic poisoning from continuous small doses of cadmium in rats: disturbed digestion, emaciation, death; pathologic-anatomic findings are gastro-enteritis, at times subpleural ecchymosis and partial collapse of the lungs, frequent fatty degeneration of the liver and heart muscle and diffuse inflammation of the kidneys.

Schwartze and Alsberg 672 found cadmium chloride about 8-9 times as emetic as zinc sulphate in cats which should correspond approximately to the situation in man. But with the introduction in fluids the action is stronger than in concentrated solutions. In studies with chronic feeding in cats with doses which do not excite vomiting, outside of the anorexia, and emaciation, an epidemic of sneezing and coughing was observed, which did not cease until the cadmium was discontinued so that the cadmium must be considered as a predisposing factor for the disease. The storage of cadmium by the kidney, liver and spleen was demonstrated and it was found that cadmium is excreted in the urine.

In other long continued cadmium feeding experiments on growing rats 673 it was seen that food intake diminished with increasing doses of cadmium and the growth was affected in a corresponding way. Daily doses of about 1/2 mg. per day did not permit any cumulative effects to be observed. A double daily dose in males led to death within 50 days, in females much later (in one case not after 280 days).

Athanasiu and Langlois 674 made similar studies of chronic poisoning with cadmium in dogs. They also found digestive disturbances, emaciation, and finally death. Cadmium sulphate was about twice as toxic as zinc sulphate.

Severi 675 fed rabbits one large dose of cadmium salts. The animals showed hypersecretion of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory passages and died after 5 and 11 days with severe nephritis.

Schwarz and Otto 676 found in cats after a longer introduction of smaller amounts of cadmium salts by mouth, apart from the emaciation, also a marked secretion from the upper respiratory mucous membrane and the conjuntiva. In the dead animals the gastric mucosa was usually reddened and swollen corresponding to the vomiting and diarrhoea of progressive poisoning. In single animals soon after the beginning of the study the hemoglobin fell as did the red cell count, the lymphocytes increased at the cost of the polymorphonuclears.

According to Koelsch, 677 Legge observed 3 cases of cadmium vapor poisoning in men with symptoms similar to those of zinc fever. Stevens 678 found considerable amounts of cadmium in the liver in chronic poisoning.


Cadmium sulphate was formerly employed in eye diseases, 679 in opacity of the cornea with still active chronic inflammation, in pterygium, 680 in conjunctival inflammations like zinc sulphate. In recent times cadmium has been used in place of mercury in syphilis, but usually in combination with salvarsan and bismuth, so that no sure decision on the value of the remedy is possible.


In homoeopathy only cadmium sulphate, CdSO4, is used. Apart from the first proving of Burdach with a single large dose, in homoeopathic literature there also exists a symptom report by Petroz. 681 If one adds the scanty provings to the results of animal investigation then the chief trend of action seems to be upon the gastro-intestinal canal and the mucous membrane of the gastro- intestinal canal and the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory passages, in particular the nose and the ocular conjunctiva.

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,