Heavy Metals

In five of the six provers there was observed a tickling sensation in the urethra and increased urgency to urinate. In one prover it amounted to a tenesmus vesicae to which a tenesmus recti was added. The nervous (neuralgiac as Loffler expresses it) nature of these events becomes obvious in that they appeared only during the day, were increased when the urge was yielded to and disappeared as soon as the urge was conquered by walking. An increased secretion of mucus in the urine was observed only twice.

Also the provings of Hahnemann (Reine Arzneimittlehre, 3 Aufl., Bd. II, S. 119, 1833) was arranged for the most part with ferrum aceticum, only a few symptoms arising from ferrum metallicum.

Ferrum aceticum was also proven in the 15, 9, and 3C potencies by Alb (Ztschr.d.Vereins d. hom. Aerzte Oesterreichs, Bd. II, S. 213, 1857).

Ferrum phosphoricum was proven by Morgan (Amer. Journ. of Hom. Mat. Medorrhinum, Bd. IX, p. 308, 1876), and Moffat (New Amer. Journ. of Hom., vol. 37, p. 218).

Ferrum iodatum by F. Muller (Allg. hom. Ztg., Bd. 50, S. 97, 107, 115, 1855) and Boissiere (Gaz. Medorrhinum deparis, 1842, p. 830).

From these provings as well as other actions known from the untoward effects, the drug picture of iron is derived as it is presented in the following. An exact proving of metallic iron is very desirable for the improvement of our knowledge on the pure effects of iron.


With a substance necessary to life as iron which appears bound to the nucleus in all cells, which participates essentially in growth, regeneration, metabolism and securing of energy and blood formation, we may expect it to be a constitutional remedy in a narrow sense. The constitutional type of iron may be described as follows: a thin, graceful, irritable person, usually feminine, with irritable circulation, delicate transparent skin and widened veins. In ferrum aceticum there is excessively rapid growth, pallor, easy exhaustion in children. Ferrum metallicum is used more often as a remedy for the female puberal period. There exists a tendency to rushes of blood in which the face changes from pallor to a fiery red on the slightest occasions, thereby the mucous membranes are pale, the extremities, especially the legs are cold and the feet swell easily; tendency to bleeding, particularly from the nose and lung, in conjunction with congestion to the headache or chest, palpitation or superficial breathing; danger of transition into chronic tuberculous processes; great lassitude and weakness even up to fainting repeatedly necessitate lying down, the irritability of the circulation and the symptoms dependent upon it are better from prolonged moving around. Heat and cold in general have little influence, in spite of chilliness in the ordinarily cold extremities, rushes with sudden sensation of warmth to the head and the febrile state. Many complaints are worse at night and on sitting, the nocturnal restlessness occasions the moving around, but the weakness ever compels lying down. From the irritability in the evening which may lead to an increase of temperature, sleeping is impaired, and restlessness and sweating may appear. The congestive, pressing, hammering, beating and pulsating headache, especially in the front and temples is relieved at times by lying down, but also by counter-pressure); cough, bending, in general sudden movement, moreover alarm aggravates the headache. Application of cold does not relieve it (in contrast to the hyperemic congestion of Belladonna which is also aggravated by lying down). The headaches of ferrum tend to recur periodically.

Perhaps the constitution in its change between the irritability in the circulation in its change into weakness, is to be designated best according to the division of v. Grauvogl as the oxygenoid. The attendant hyperesthesia is indeed not particularly stressed (it exists chiefly toward noises) and the further signs of v. Grauvogl, the aggravation before rain and storm and the improvement after the appearance of them have not been noted particularly in the picture of iron. But that the type described is particularly susceptible to the influence of oxygen, permits the best characterization of its nature. Iron as an activator of oxygen and the oxidation process in metabolism physiologically is standard for this constitution. (Also in the syndrome of anemia more oxygen is used than corresponds to the functional capacity of the organism, namely the blood.)

Thus the drug picture of iron in many trends goes to the anemic chlorotic picture of disease. Moreover it is also striking that the too long continued use of iron again striking that the too long continued use of iron again aggravates the condition. Outside of the signs already mentioned there are: a vertigo with suffusion of the face, swishing in the head, ear noises, sensations of faintness, worse on looking downward, on looking at flowing water.

FEMALE SEXUAL FUNCTIONS ———————– In conjunction with the chlorotic syndrome stands the functional disturbances of the female sexual organs in the picture of iron. Most characteristic are the intermittent menses or the amenorrhoea and the delayed menstruation with anemia, moreover irregular menorrhagia with marked excitability of the circulation, fiery red face, ear noises, copious discharge of now fluid, now clotted blood with labor-like pains in the pelvis and the abdomen, an increased nocturnal bleeding. Also to be mentioned is the marked appearance of varices and of acne during the period. The menses are exhausting and accompanied by considerable headache. A catarrh of the mucous membrane with watery or milky leucorrhoea occurs. Anesthesia during coitus and the decided sensation of pain in the so uteriexternum is the indication for iron as a remedy for sterility.

CIRCULATION ———– The excitability of the circulation is quite irregular. Cardiac palpitation and palpitation in the pit of the abdomen readily in the from nervous causes. The pulse varies markedly in the frequency as well as the tension. The congestion to the head and the chest, the irregularity of blood distribution have been mentioned. The rushes to the chest lead to oppression “With desire to breathe deeply, or to respiratory action with almost invisible movement of the chest and great expansion of the nasal orifices on expiration,” that is, a superficial respiration. The respiratory limitation corresponds to a pseudo-plethora which is relived by moving about. All these symptoms are worse while resting quietly. Thus the following report is also to be understood: “nocturnal oppression at the pit of the stomach, worse on rest and lessened by mental or bodily occupation.” Stitches in the chest occur occasionally.


A sudden congestion of the respiratory mucous membrane lies at the basis of the dry cough with bloody expectoration. The tendency to pulmonary bleeding, considered in school medicine as a contra-indication, is exactly an indication of homoeopathic suitability and dosage under certain conditions. A prover in Loffler’s experiment reports: “in the morning on awaking a painful sensation in the larynx with cough and rasping, which increased up to pressure in it but which diminished towards noon and a similar sensation under the upper third of the sternum. On hawking and coughing pale, tenacious but blood stained sputum was expectorated which often repeated up to 4 in the afternoon. In Hahnemann’s protocols bloody expectoration is reported many times.


The symptoms of iron on the digestive canal are best known as untoward actions in the usual treatment of chlorosis and also from the so-called Stahl baths. Thereby it is not sharply separated as to what belongs to the chlorosis and what to the iron, since the dyspeptic symptoms may be so similar: after eating many eructations of the food eaten or a taste as from rotten eggs; the food lies in the stomach for a long time and is rejected in the middle of the night; the appetite is very fickle and irregular, now ravenous hunger, now anorexia and there is an aversion to meat and particularly marked gastric pressure after eating meat; desire for stimulants such as brandy; pressure in the stomach after all foods. After the oral administrations of larger doses, the stools are green-black and there is constipation; after injection of iron preparations into the circulation diarrhoea may occur. The exact proving has brought out a type of vegetative diarrhoea: watery or undigested painless stools, soon after or during eating or at night. (These stools, called “lienteric” by the older physicians, are similar to those reported for china which is related in other respects as well). The colic and tenesmus and the hard dry stools from the Loffler proving are much less characteristic indications.


On the contrary deserving of greater esteem from this proving is the old observation of irritation in the urethra up to the neck

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,