Heavy Metals

In chlorosis, then, it is necessary to activate the disturbed iron content, to improve the utilization of iron. Large amounts of iron are not needed for this, in case sufficient regard is taken for the chemical and particularly for the physical form. As stimulative therapy with small doses the iron therapy of chloros- is would still not be homoeopathic. It would be only if the excessive or too long continued introduction of the iron stimulus in the healthy provoked symptoms similar to those of chlorosis. And this is to a vast extent the case as we shall see from the results of drug provings. We should not be surprised particularly in this respect if we have liberated ourselves from the much too narrow consideration of quantity. The disturbances in the drug proving with iron show that the usual cell functions for the utilization of iron are no longer sufficient and they are signs of a relative over-demand in an artificially induced situation.

In chlorosis the otherwise normal demand for functional iron in the red blood cells is already excessive. In both cases entirely similar manifestations. If in the same period a sufficient supply of oxygen is to be obtained by the tissues in the presence of decreased amounts of hemoglobin then the velocity of the stream must be accelerated in the vessels. Actually in chlorosis the gas exchange is not reduced, but the circulation velocity is increased and therefore many symptoms of excited circulation with irregular blood distribution. Other less important vital events as maturation and menstruation will become irregular or entirely neglected.

If on the other side the previously normal iron containing cell begins to fail under the continuous stimulus of iron, then this signifies that the limits of possible functional increase have been surpassed, and the reduction of function may be avoided by a blockade of active iron. Actually in certain concentrations the ferrous salts are able to transform oxyhemoglobin into the functionally incapacitated methemoglobin.

The solution of the apparent paradox also lies in that the regulation of iron economy by the cells constantly using it, employs the same trends and ways if the physiologic breadth of iron utilization is not exceeded on any side. Thus iron therapy can be used in many cases where there is an excess of iron in the body but its utilization fails. There the symptoms similar to “iron disease” will appear and the therapeutic stimulus of active iron help to overcome the blockade in iron economy. Likewise in chlorosis there is finally no deficiency in material, but only inability to utilize it.

The employment of iron in the school occurs essentially in respect to chlorosis and the secondary anemias. In the other states of weakness one depends upon its so-called roborant and tonic action. The explanation as a stimulant to oxidation in the cells is still necessary. In drug attempts the improvement of the general well being is observed as a primary action.

TOXIC ACTIONS, UNTOWARD ACTIONS, CONTRA-INDICATIONS The local protein precipitating, astringent or corrosive action of soluble iron salts in large amounts can be overlooked since they are not characteristic of iron but common to all heavy metal salts. The use of iron chloride for the arrest of non-arterial bleeding may be merely mentioned. But in regard to the tendency to bleeding in the drug picture of iron it is noteworthy that the ferrous salts in vitro as well as in vivo can reduce the coagulability of the blood while the protein precipitating ferric salts precipitate and dissolve the red blood cells. Of slight interest for us are the manifestations or intoxication from intravenous administrations: soluble, ncn-protein precipitating iron compounds (as ferrous salts) prove extremely toxic in animals when introduced directly into the blood. In frogs there is an initial increase in reflex excitability, then motor paralysis consequent to depression of the central nervous system; in mammals lowering of the blood pressure and inflammatory manifestations in the stomach and intestine with diarrhoea. Nothing similar is observed in man although the amounts of iron introduced in any from the digestive canal probably are not too small. It can only be that the iron is for the most part, made harmless in the intestine and only a little is absorbed. After the oral administration of massive doses, inky taste, dark discoloration of the teeth (by iron sulphide or iron tannate), injury to the teeth, gastric pain and a series of dyspeptic symptoms as offensive eructations, nausea, vomiting moreover persistent constipation and colic are observed as so-called unto- ward actions.

With the undoubted favorable action of iron preparation in many cases of chlorosis many believe that numerous unpleasant untoward actions must be anticipated. Recently very large doses of ferrum reductumhave been recommended in refractory cases of anemia. Lewin 596 places the blame for certain untoward effects on too great dosage and refers to that fact that on older times the special effectiveness of smallest doses of iron was stressed. Also worthy of note is a further remark by him: there are individuals who react to the smallest doses of any iron preparation with congestions. “Other well nourished people after longer use have an anemic people, even children, show an unexplainable intolerance towards certain iron preparations.” Moreover “in the febrile patient the body warmth and febrile symptoms will be increased by iron.” Apart from this, previously present digestive disturbances show an aggravation or some other type of unpleasant untoward action which is apparently associated with an abnormally increased absorption of iron from the intestine. Lewin also refers to the characteristic experience of other observes on the aggravation of disease by iron: with an existing tendency to atheroma of the vessels, plethora, in certain forms of gout; moreover the acceleration of a beginning tuberculosis under the picture of chlorosis in young girls by iron; the contraindication in patients who have previously had tuberculosis, in whom the skin is fine, transparent and the veins are visible as blue viol- et structures. The inhalation of powder, vaporized liq. ferri sesquichlorat after hemoptysis can readily excite renewed bleeding. A deeper significance lies at the basis of most of these aggravations and contra-indications than merely signs of a special sensitivity to iron.


Rademacher made extensive use of iron usually in the form of ferrum aceticum. For him iron was one of the three universal remedies, that is, agents which acted on the entire organism. In his method arranged for testing which involved the experiences from case to case with special consideration for the epidemic factor, some few indefinite diagnostic or symptomatic signs for the selection of iron can be unraveled. One indication should be the alkaline reaction of the urine. Many times Rademacher employed iron in febrile diseases, in scarlet fever, in acute rheumatism, pleuropneumonia, recurrent sore throats, but also in skin and mucous membrane hemorrhages, menstrual disturbances and sciatica. A leading motive outside of the scant indication of Rademacher on the state of the urine cannot be found.



His follower Loffler has published (in the Ztschr. Fuir Erfahrungeseilkunst, Bd. 1, 1847, H. 2, p. 62, and H. 3, p. 39), an investigation on himself and 5 (unfortunately exclusively male provers) with liquor ferri acetici containing 8 Percent iron. Increasing doses of this, on an average of 2-3 grams daily (about 0.15-0.25 grams of iron), were taken for 2-4 weeks. The studies were directed primarily toward the blood, and for this reason before and after a bleeding of 120g was done. The findings of the characteristic elements correspond to the state of the existing technique of blood investigation and naturally are not conclusive. A more marked color of the blood cells and a darker color of the blood was constant in 5 provers after the use of iron (in the sixth the behavior was different but he was not healthy; a spongy state of the gums and a tendency to bleeding was removed after the use of iron and his previously dark red blood became much lighter afterwards).

The slowing of the pulse which stands in opposition to other reports from earlier or later times was most striking. (For example Lewin states: Even after very small amounts the increase in cardiac activity can be significant. Perhaps in the investigation of Loeffler, the preceding bleeding played a role) Moreover the pulse tension increased under the use of iron.

In agreement with all other reports stands the observation of congestion to the head, relieved by quiet, lying down and sleep, not relived by cooling; a sensation of heaviness, pressure and excessive fullness in the head.

In the first period of use of iron in small doses there was an increase in strength, later, on the contrary, a general fatigue, a feeling of weakness, of heaviness and lassitude in the extremities of aversion to bodily or mental activity, lassitude, and overpowering tendency to sleep. Moreover an increase of appetite up to ravenous hunger was observed; however soon there was an unpleasant sensation in the gastric region and considerable digestive disturbances were noted; at first a feeling of increased warmth in the gastric region and with large doses a sense of constriction in the mouth and esophagus, annoying pressure in the abdomen, distension and colic in the epigastric region; with doses over 20 drops colic-like pains, nausea, eructations and tendency to vomiting. The gastric region was sensitive to external pressure and the tongue became coated white. The disturbances which in themselves were not long maintained were relieved or minimized by bodily movement after the onset. Apart from the green-black discoloration appearing in the stools (formation of iron sulphide) which was observed from the doses of iron, which were not small, it was noted that the stools became drier, more solid and heavier, at times with urgency for stool, with large doses the consistency of thin paste.

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,