On the electropositive side of the periodic system we found on the other hand in Groups I and II, the tonic, form-giving elements. If the alkali and earthy alkali metals, Na, K, Mg, Ca as cations determine the drug picture, then they shape it as hydrogenoid, cold, sensitive to cold, relaxed torpid lymphatic constitutional types stigmatized along the side of the parasympathetic system. Seen from an endocrine side, they tend toward the hypothyroid side, the function of the lymphocytic apparatus (thymus) is increased. The neuromuscular tension is altered in such a way that they show a generally prolonged way of reaction with paroxysmal discharges, tetanoid states.

Between these two chief directions stands silicium with the closely related mineralic carbon compounds in the middle as the amphoteric Group IV of the periodic system. These materials act as negatively charged colloids foreign to the body. They impede chemical metabolism, assimilation as well as dissimulation. Where silicium is form-giving, cell function is reduced to a minimum. The drug picture of these materials represents constitutional types which, to some extent but not universally, correspond to the carbonitrogenous constitution of Grauvogl. Defective metabolic exchange with the outer world, primarily failure of skin and intestinal function (in carbo vegetablis and animalis, especially defective gas exchange), and on this basis of stagnation, tendency to suppuration and septic processes characterize the special constitution picture when it can only imperfectly correct common assaults. The anoxybiotic metabolism seems to be predominant over the oxidative; thereby this drug picture seems to hang together with the tendency to carcinoma. Arthritism, venosity, carbonitrogenous constitution fit this type only in a limited way. Much more the conception applies to the sulphur type in which imperfect oxidation is a basic item.

The structural elements and their physiologic roles are the milestones for enlightening the orientation in the vast field of medicinal actions. From them we proceed with advantage when we peruse the materia medica according to the single groups of the periodic system. Thereby we will discover and ever again confirm that the natural affinities of the elements also come to expression in activity on the human organism even when the elements themselves in the medicinal substances, are followed out as independent energy carriers with definite actions. The consideration on the basis of the periodic system has proven itself very fruitful for the understanding of drug effect pictures. If it is correct that homoeopathy with its subtle method, with its inclusion of drug proving on the healthy, can actually improve our knowledge of the actions of materials on the organism so it will also be shown that such a materia medica can discover the natural order of substances better than a methodically imperfect pharmacology.


If the group members of the physiologic elements are able to suppress their chemical neighbors from their functional sites (for example bromine by chlorine, barium by calcium), then this reveals most distinctly how restricted the sphere of action of the material foreign to the organism is in comparison to the natural substances. With the narrow range within which the functions are held in equilibrium, damages from these foreign substances arise easily and more distinctly in case these substances enter into intermediary reciprocal actions. The greater the distance is from the normal structural materials and the easier such materials are able to appear in reciprocal actions with the power systems of the organisms, the more toxic they are. For individual foreign elements it is entirely individual to what extent they add or subtract to the influence of these two conditions. The ease with which they enter into reciprocal actions with the organism is, indeed, not only a qualitative matter, a chemical affinity, but is determined to a high degree by the state of form of the substance and then also by site of application. So for example mercury, Hg, and lead, Pb have a high toxicity by virtue of their capacity for penetration under ordinary conditions while gold, Au, and platinum, Pt, show their toxicity only after special preparation and a special mode of application.

From the position of the elements in the periodic system, the classification of the medicinal substance for the seven vertical groups is yielded without further discussion. It is advantageous to proceed from the structural element in each group, and then study group members themselves in their similarities and characteristics. But the group relationships do not lie so simply in the accessory groups of the periodic system.


The accessory Groups I a to VII a with their center which is designated as VIII we may consider in a great class as heavy metals. But here the elementary affinities no longer follow the strict lawfulness of the chief groups. In the last we have seen that their affinities rest on the equality in chemical valences, that is, on the number of electrons in the outer most track of electrons. This division-grouping principle, however, fails, decidedly in the accessory group. Its elements vary markedly in their valences; one element frequently has different valences in the same direction as is true of ferrous-ferric mercuric and mercurous compounds, among others. This signifies that chemical affinity in the vertical series has less significance. For this an approximation of these elements comes into expression in their horizontal series. If we accept the progressive development of the elements from hydrogen to uranium over an infinite period of time, then the younger generations of material, once between the chief Groups IV and V in the fourth horizontal period, a sister group of elements existed. The cleft which yawns between Groups IV and V is filled out with ten elements per period. The narrower, to some extent, the distance between the elements therein included, the closer they approach each other in their physical structural properties. The chemical valence affinities are less but the physical and nuclear affinities more significant. We can call this affinity with an analogous biologic appellation, which naturally needs to serve only as an example, a sisterly relationship, and designate the chief group in this comparison with a genealogic tree as the ancestral series. In this respect if we have a still closer sister affinity in the latter inclusion of fourteen rare earths, still they stand even closer in their physical-chemical properties. The elements of this sister group have not attained medical significance, unless in the case of cerium, at least up to the present. Therefore they need not be considered in detail. Finally there is another internal physical relationship in the periodic system, namely, that of the final, radioactive elements. In these elements with highest atomic weight we can observe a fragment of change in form of material qualities in the proportionately brief time given to man. Naturally, however, of the change we perceive only the retrogressive phase of decomposition of elements of high atomic weight which convert themselves through the extrusion of nuclear charges into elements of lower weight. In this horizontal series we have at present before us to a certain extent only element variations whose change is the source of the well-known physical radiant actions. This is a field so large and independent that an extensive treatment can find no place within the limits of this materia medica. If we would designate the horizontal members of the radioactive elements also as the first order, then the rare earths would be the second order and the heavy metals which have outstanding interest for us would be the horizontal third group.

In the accessory Group VIII one finds a special compression of elements. This place which otherwise is filled by one element contains three elements in each period, Fe, Co, Ni, then Ru, Rh, Pd, and finally Os, Ir, Pt. These triads are more closely related to each other on the basis of horizontal membership than is otherwise the case with heavy metals.


From the accessory group, iron is the sole element which has an important physiologic role in the vertebrate organism. Therefore we will go out from it in the discussion of the accessory group and thereby also discover at the same time the drug pictures of the vertical and horizontal members of elements. Now it is significant that iron acts physiologically as a catalyzer. Catalysis means nothing else than that the presence of minimal traces of the substance is sufficient to bring into existence or accelerate a chemical reaction, and under certain conditions also to depress it. Thereby the catalyzers do not appear in the endproducts of the reaction, they are not used up, but are only intermediators. This catalytic property we will constantly encounter in other heavy metals in a highly dispersed state, in a colloidal state, and in a ionic form, and understand their medicinal actions by it. In the test tube as well as in chemical technic one employees many heavy metals as catalyzers or inorganic ferments as Bredig calls them. This capacity is known on living objects as the so_called oligodynamic action from the work of Naegeli. It is concerned with traces of metals which still in an amount of 10-7 – 10-8 (7th and 8th decimal potencies) still act damaging on lower organisms. The same catalytic properties have been used by Walbum in his experimental metal salt therapy. He sought to utilize the catalytic stimulation on living reactions so that only the defense reactions of the organism concerned were increased or accelerated, for example, antitoxin formation. Therein he succeeded with slight concentrations which actually belong to the domain of high potencies of homoeopathy.

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,