Elementary carbon on the other hand, similarly as silicium dioxide, SiO2, is for the organism a firm chemically unattackable substance. Through its physical properties when it is placed in a suitable state, such a chemically inactive substance can enter into reciprocal actions by virtue of its surface properties with an organism so that it is a quite universal drug. In SiO2 these physical powers indeed find physiologic utilization.

Chemically bound carbon is the structural and functional material of the organism. Indeed, as we saw, the simple oxidation product of carbon, namely, the anhydride of carbonic acid or carbon dioxide, CO2 as the final split product plays an important role in the regulation of ion equilibrium. Also the poisonous CO appears in slight amounts in the blood, probably developing as an intermediary step in the splitting of sugar. No characteristic drug can be made from either of the gaseous forms of the material, however.

The animal organism must obtain its organic fuel material in a highly complicated form; it requires the preliminary labor of green plants which alone have the ability to build the still so mineral like CO2 with the assistance of the sun’s radiant energy through photosynthesis to higher carbon compounds. These organic preparations are then nutriment for the animal organism as it has implements, agents and ways to gain utilizable energy through the destruction of these materials and to assimilate them. But if a short circuit occurs in this complicated and highly subtle physical chemical fabrication process then they attain poisonous, or in corresponding direction, a medicinal action. This short circuit may arise from the nutrient material being introduced parenterally in a nonphysiologic way, or by leaping over the normal processes and ways intentionally; or it may arise when the intermediary elaboration is imperfect and leads to poisonous substances or intermediate products not detoxified with antagonistic actions; or the usual physiologic processes may fail in respect to the carbon compounds introduce, which, in the metabolism of certain plants and animals form characteristic compounds (alkaloids, glucosides, toxins, animal secretions); or the compounds of so-called organic (better -carbon) chemistry can be artificially synthesized in the laboratory for a definite effect on the organism. Whether by these artificial products a parenteral introduction and a leaping over physiologic limits is obtained or not, still the attempt always goes utterly one-sidedly and equivocally in the direction of action and for the avoidance of untoward actions. The artificial elaboration of such constructed compounds in an extremely narrow path is worthy of remark as an accomplishment of homo technicus. Still all these compounds carry the stamp of one-sidedness, brief palliation, indeed a restraint of a few vital functions. Such a type of action serves a medicinal method which is oriented only to a slight extent to the extreme adaptation of natural vital processes and the use of their reaction powers. And so it happens that in homoeopathy these artificially constructed preparations play only a very subordinate role in contradistinction to the materials from the great laboratory of nature. For this reason we shall speak of the carbon drugs only briefly in an appendix to the mineral drugs.

Thereby we step over the limits of mineral substances in the narrow sense. But this limit is by no means sharp in nature. In metabolism definite organic compounds pass over into mineral (the organic carbon compounds to CO2, the organic sulphur compounds to sulphates) and reversely mineral compounds to the organic (NH4 salts to urea, iodine enters thyroxin and then again becomes free); then too numerous compounds are partly inorganic and partly organic (for example, salts of inorganic cations with organic anions, or the compounds of anions as phosphates with alcohols to form esters). And even if one assumes with Wiechowski that the differentiation is to be made according to the type of union and only unions directly on the C or over N to C as organic and those which are united through the intermediation of H or O as inorganic, still a division of the inorganic materials cannot be made without some arbitrariness. The inorganic type of compound is characteristic for compounds which furnish ions in a watery solution through dissociation whereas in the organic type of union the splitting into ions is possible only after complete oxidation.

In our materia medica we can include the simple carbon compounds untroubled by the type of union to minerals. The limit between the synthetic drug preparations which have a minor significance for us and the natural or artificial derivatives from the plant or animal kingdom can also be left vague. We shall therefore include single definite organic preparation from the plant and animal kingdom as carbo vegetablis and carbo animalis, creosote, petroleum and also such preparations which are available from artificial synthesis and plant destruction, as benzoic acid and salicylic acid, as an addition to the minerals since their inclusion with the plant or animal medicinal substances seems less logical.


The fourth basic substance, nitrogen, N, in its elementary form as it occurs in air as a diluter of oxygen, is like elementary carbon in that it is not utilized by the higher organisms. As a gas, no medicinal powers can be imparted to it through an alteration of physical state as can occur in the cases of the solid carbon. The animal organism can utilize nitrogen only in combined forms and this happens almost exclusively through the organic union to carbon. Indeed traces of NH3 or the ammonia cation NH4 occur as an end-product of nerve and muscle metabolism and somewhat larger amounts are liberated by the kidneys under certain conditions, when the regulation of buffer capacity of the urine the reserve in fixed alkalies must be spared. Otherwise nitrogen appears physiologically but still constantly as a companion of carbon in metabolism with which it is bound obligatorily in the synthesis or splitting of proteins. Inorganic ammonium introduced into the organism is so foreign and poisonous to the body that as soon as it reaches the liver it is detoxified.


to urea, CO That nitrogen metabolism is much -NH2.

less intensive than carbon metabolism is evident from the fact that nitrogen is present only in proteins and not in carbohydrates or fats. The ratio of C:N is always positive in the body, and only in the urine can it become occasionally negative, because the greater part of the carbon oxidized to CO2 is excreted through respiration while the nitrogen is excreted through the urinary passages. Indeed the lightest representative of Group V, nitrogen in its bound form, is always very convertible and very accessible to reduction and oxidation, but the affinity for hydrogen predominates distinctly and it cannot approximate carbon with its central position either in respect to the lightness of the H and O compounds or in the capacity for combination with itself.

The utilization of elementary nitrogen is also impossible for green plants and the derivation of simply bound nitrogen from mineral is made difficult by its inaccessibility (NO is formed through atmospheric discharges and is carried to the earth with rain; ammonium chloride is formed in traces in the lithosphere and ammonia may arise out of the decomposition of organic material). Here of assistance are the lower organisms, the bacteria which are able to carry out the inert nitrogen to NH3 unions. The plant protein on which the animal organism lives likewise for the most part has the presumption of a preliminary work of other organisms. And where the slow work of nitrification of the soil bacteria is not sufficient to cover the requirement for bound nitrogen, there the artificial nitrogen synthesis occurs as a supplement. Reversely, through the life of higher organisms and also many lower organisms, a part of the bound nitrogen again becomes free and with it life on earth is again lost.

Plants can at least utilize the oxidized nitrogen, in the NO3 form through reduction while this is not possible to any great extent in animals; it is found already reduced in plants in the amino form (-NH2) of reduced nitrogen.

So to animal metabolism the mineral nitrogen, as well as the ammonium and the nitrate form, remains essentially foreign. But both forms have their actions on the organisms which make them poisons and drugs. The regulatory equimolecular mass action of the ammonium cations at the end of the metabolic processes, when it is involved, spares the fixed alkalies in the neutralization of excessive acid excretions but still is not to be imitated medically. But on the way to detoxification to urea, NH3 or the cation NH4 unfolds irritant actions which can be used medically, and the nitrate form goes through the body without a trace. However, according to all appearances, they also do not remain entirely untouched. The animal organism obviously shows a residue of reduction ability for nitrates, for example, through the enzyme of milk (perihydridase) or the tissues (xanthinoxydase) it reduces nitrates to nitrites, nitrates becoming hydrogen acceptors. This more or less rapid passage into nitrites from the various nitrates occurs distinctly in the medicinal action of these preparations (nitroglycerine, alkali nitrates, nitric acid).

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,