Heavy Metals

Congestive headache and vertigo, nose bleed, febrile state, congestion to head, palpitation and oppression, hemoptysis.

2. Digestive disturbances.

Lienteric and nocturnal diarrhoea, nocturnal vomiting. Aversion to meat. Very variable appetite.

3. Urinary organs.

Frequent urge and impaired continence.

4. Rheumatic-neuralgiac complaints, especially in the deltoid.

Leading Symptoms: Worse at night and on sitting and lying, but again the need for lying: during and after eating; periodic.


China (in quinine cachexia as a curative agent). Special preparations, see above.


Usually the iron preparations are recommended in the D 6, though many cases of anemia seem to react only to material doses. Ferrum phosphoricum is often given in the D 12 as well as the D 6 and I have seen results from D 3 in the bladder weakness described.


Cobalt which is usually with its neighbors, iron and nickel, is less well known and used in its medicinal actions, and in school therapy, not at all. At most solutions of cobalt cyanide.

After the introduction of any cobalt salt the inflammation of the stomach is said to occur. Moreover Lewin reports nephritic alterations after the chronic subcutaneous introduction of cobalt.

The urine is said to be colored darkly by cobalt. Occasionally one finds spasms and central paralysis noted in cobalt poisoning in animals.

The Schneeberger bronchial cancer in workers in the cobalt industry in any case has no relation directly to cobalt but is probably to be ascribed to admixture of arsenic and even radium.

Cobalt was proven by Hering and Lippe (1850 and 1851) on the healthy. 598

Of the 314 symptoms reported there, only a few have been confirmed by clinical use, so that the sphere of action of cobalt is almost completely dark. Practice has not yet yielded any selection. The best acknowledge symptom is a pain in the back, in the lumbar and sacral region, which is worse on sitting, better on standing walking around and lying down; moreover weakness in the knees, trembling in the extremities, also pains in the legs on sitting. These symptoms are said to be associated with frequent seminal emissions and deficient erection and impotence has been reported.

Headache worse on bending over, accompanies the sexual-neurasthenic state, likewise the sleep is disturbed by virtue of sensual dreams. Toothache with the feeling as if the “teeth were too long” is also stressed and pains in the region of the liver and spleen (similar as with manganese), itching from the warmth of the bed, white coated tongue.

A summarized picture for clinical use which would be furnished by comparison with the related remedies, cannot be given at present.


The close kinship of nickel with iron and cobalt is revealed in the frequently repeated meaning and also approaches copper in a further (horizontal) relationship and is separated from it with difficulty in the earth.

In modern chemistry nickel sponge is employed (similarly as palladium) as a catalytic carrier of active hydrogen. From nickel vessels nickel is dissolved by plant, acids, vinegar, also lactic acid, in noticeable amounts on heating and cooking acid, in noticable amounts on heating and cooking acid containing foods. Therefore many foods become colored in nickel vessels, for example milk becomes bluish. These small amounts are considered as harmless because the intestine poorly absorbs nickel.

For the usual standards of toxicology this consideration of non- toxicity in any case is correct (as also with other metals which go into solution in slight amounts when foods are cooked, for example, aluminium). But whether the chronic introduction of such traces may not still be injurious, although they do not produce severe toxic symptoms and therefore are not easily recognized, is still not a determined fact. Naturally here also a special sensitivity of individuals comes into prominence.

Theoretic discussion in this respect and in this question of hygiene do not lead any farther and a nickelophobia is just as untenable as an aluminophobia. Only when such metal salts have produced injuries in special individuals and after removal of the presumed cause the disturbances again gradually diminish, would one be able to decide this question. For the validity of such a presumption naturally the better knowledge of the chronic action of such metal salts, as they are present or are strived for in homoeopathy must be obtained. With nickel this knowledge is still lacking as we shall now see.


The local corrosive action of the nickel salts scarcely enters our problem. Likewise the acute poisonings are not able to give us much help. That one can produce vomiting, diarrhoea and marasmus in dogs, with larger doses nausea and vertigo in man, contains nothing characteristic; nor does that smaller amounts given subcutaneously in man cause vomiting and in animals aid; outside of the intestinal symptoms, central nerve disturbances as trembling, twitching, stupor, paralysis are observed. In the chronic feeding of a nickel salts to dogs, outside of vomiting and diarrhoea, there is also lowering of body temperature, weakness and impaired cardiac work. Nickel is found enriched in the liver (analogous to Cu and Fe; the liver is probably an important site of storage of all heavy metals).

The nodular and vesicular eczema on the hands and forearms of workers who are concerned with nickel plating of objects is apparently not to be ascribed to nickel alone, but much more to the participation of alkalies in co-existing skin injuries. There is no doubt in regard to the local corrosive action, for example, of nickel sulphate.


A single proving of nickel arises from Nenning. Hering believed that the nickel was not free from cobalt 599 and states that it is exactly the extensive similarity of the results obtained by Nenning with nickel with his own with cobalt which speaks against the usually conceded doubtful merit of observations by Nenning. Nenning’s proving is found in Hartlaub and Trinks, Annalen de hom Heilkunst, Bd.3, p. 353.


With nickel the crude material of the results of proving are still too slight and the selection by practical use is still insufficient to delineate are periodically (14 days) recurring migraine which begins on the left (eventually passing over to the right, so severe that the patient cries out, worse 10-11 in the morning, diminishing to ward evening) (similarly as platinum which has the migraine more on the right); for nickel sulphate, the periodic neuralgia on a malarial basis also has a similarity with the iron indication for old malaria.

A survey over the symptom register of nickel, which is still insufficiently studied, permits even now a close connection to the effect picture of iron with the modification that in nickel, as is always true of non-physiologic metals the central nervous actions are more strongly stressed.

The erethism of the vascular system is characterized by symptoms as sensation of heat in the entire body, always more warm than cold sensation, great unrest and heat at night, heat, heaviness and fullness in the head (forehead) with vertigo, pressure on the vertex, as if from a hand or as from a nail, with improvement in the open air. The periodic 14-day headache is a precision from practical use. An asthenopia (eyes very weak, particularly evening, lachrymation on use) is brought into association with it and a peculiar symptom of macropsia: enlargement of remote objects (in contrast to the micropsia of platinum).

To these symptoms which all can ascribed to altered vessel tension are added the usual dyspeptic symptoms: nausea, pressure in the stomach, tendency to constipation or faeces evacuated only with great effort even though they are not hard, of diarrhoea after drinking milk. A special note is sounded by the symptom: gastric distress as from emptiness but still no appetite.

Various disturbances of the menses are reported: too late and too early and intermittent, thereby weak. They induce great weakness. Of the leucorrhoea it states, that it is watery and appears especially after urination.

The throat symptoms recall to some extent those of manganese: huskiness and a dry cough from tickling in the throat, roughness in the throat which is relieved by coughing. The throat pains are said to be characterized by the fact that the involved side is very sensitive to touch. A severe cough may necessitate sitting up and holding the head with the hands.

All these symptoms offer an uncertain selection for therapeutic attempts in the future. The characterization of Hering that the drug is useful for mental workers with periodic headaches who are also weak, asthenopic, who have a weak digestion, who are constipated, who find themselves worse in the morning on awakening, can only be suggestive.

OSMIUM According to the available insufficient reports osmium seems to have an entirely different action sphere than the other platinum earths with which it appears in common in nature. This is perhaps to be traced to the fact that the symptoms described particularly on the respiratory passage, skin and eyes are not of the metal, but erroneously from the so-called osmic acid, OsO4. In a finely divided state, osmium oxidizes rapidly in the air to this step. The symptoms of osmium oxide are mixed with those of the metals in homoeopathic literature, for the metal never occurs without the oxide.

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,