The Carbon


But the action of silicea on the skin is in no way limited to typical scrofulous manifestations. Acne and furuncles appear but here the agents of the sulphur group are superior. The behavior of the sweat is typical for silicea: it is offensive or acid smelling, appears especially profuse on the feet making the toes sore, the skin between the toes and fingers desquamates but there may also be suppuration or vesicles on the fingers, toes and heels; severe itching on the soles or burning in the tips of the fingers announces the eruption. But silicea is most valuable for the results of suppressed foot sweats. Not only the persistent annoying coldness of the feet but also diverse disturbances involving the entire body can be correctly traced to this. This sweat will obviously again reappear after the administration of silicea and the equivalent, perhaps recurrent catarrh or asthma, disappears.

The close connection between silicic acid and the skin and its appendages particularly the connective tissue parts, its capacity to stimulate fibroplastic processes makes still another series of indications, necessarily infrequent, understandable. Influences on the keratinization of the skin are observed in the provings in the bunions and painful hard callosity on the soles deserves a trial with silicea. The new excitation of old scars, known from the provings, leads to its employment in excessive granulations as keloids. Even the complaints from old scars in the internal organs after operations or other trauma at times have shown striking improvement after silicea. But also connective tissue tumors, fibroma, lipoma and enchondroma and moreover elephantiasis-like states of the subcutaneous connective tissue in conjunction with phlegmasia alba dolens, indeed, even hydrocele are cited as clinical indications, in which naturally one will proceed without excessive expectation in silica. The appearance of ganglia on the hands which has been observed three times from silicea is peculiar. 502 The report: funnel shaped retracted nipples recalls that silicea is to be considered in malignant tumors. After the above discussion one ought not to restrain trying a remedy so little toxic in sarcoma, particularly since Stauffer has reported a result from it.

Silicea is often mentioned as a remedy in turbidity of the lens. Therein it is to be recalled that silicic acid is found in the lens and this hydrophilic colloid will not be without significance for its state. That in the cataract of Indians, more silicic acid is found than in those of America 503 has been attributed by Kobert to the vegetarian diet followed in India. In the provings one can find many reports such as fiery spots and black spots before the eyes, short attacks of blindness which might make one think that silicea also plays a role in the vitreous humor.

The appendages of the skin are disturbed in their growth with silicea; the hair falls out easily, the nails are brittle, contain white spots, pulverize on cutting.


In the silicea picture the persistent failure of the mesenchymal defense system with its fixed and monable cells of the lymphatic apparatus and the skin functions is again reflected. From this alone a marked involvement of the general state in the sense of defective vitality or indeed a chronic illness can be understood. But in addition there is a failure of metabolism, predominantly in its assimilative phase, in the utilization of the energy introduced by the food. Digestion is slowed. The tonus of the gastro-intestinal canal and at the tense; colic and gurgling in the abdomen, worse from pressure and better from heat. The stool remains in the large intestine for a long time. In persistent constipation the symptom of weakness of expulsion is characteristic: the stool occurs only with great effort and then returns to the rectum; it is delayed, laboriously evacuated with much pressure and in hard dry masses. To this may be added pain from a fissure, or burning from anal eczema. More rarely diarrhoea with tenesmus appears consequent to the decomposition of the long retained stool which then may exert a sudden marked stimulus to the intestinal mucous membrane. However the type of constipation described prevails. As a special indication holds: before and during the menses, the sphincter is sensitive; naturally the provings give no special basis for this. As the result of the impaired digestion and resorption there is aversion to fish and cooked foods; milk is also borne badly and in nursing mothers milk may be vomited. In general anorexia exists, yet often great thirst and occasionally ravenous hunger may also be encountered. Slow digestion causes a series of disturbances in the stomach although naturally not characteristic of silicea: pressure pain after eating, fullness, eructations, sour stomach, even nausea and vomiting. The great desire for sleep after eating is striking and a sign of the strong general occupation with digestion.


The nutritional energy is also deficient and thus the silicea type has “deficient body warmth”; he needs artificial warmth; all his complaints are relieved by warmth. This also holds for the very characteristic headache. It passes from the neck over the vertex to the forehead, often unilaterally and is aggravated by wind and drafts and relieved by warm coverings. General chilliness may accompany the headache. Mental effort readily provokes it. It may also involve a periodic migraine (especially over the right eye) with nausea, sensation of faintness and dimming of vision; here also the improvement from warmth is decisive. In Schussler’s reports are found “headache with small nodules of the size of a pea on the scalp.” Obviously indurative headache is meant by this. That silicea has a connection to connective tissue swelling in the scalp, is comprehensible; the improvement from warmth will also guide the choice here.

The defective vitality furnishes many other signs of lessened capacity for nerve performance. On nearsight the visual pictures swim before the eyes. Vertigo is not rare, especially in the morning and on looking back and is said to increase from back of neck to vertex, at times being associated with nausea and with a tendency to fall forward or to the left. Indeed epilepsy has been included in the effect domain of silicea on the recommendation of v. Boenninghausen, an indication which is also found in the writings of Paracelsists. The aura is said to arise from the solar plexus. If one may assume that old scar processes in the meninges play a role, then one may attack silicea with greater confidence.

The reduced capacity for performance and reduction in power of resistance expresses itself in many partly body, partly nervous- psychic general symptoms: heaviness and paretic malaise of the extremities, trembling from slight exertion, diverse sensations up to pains, proceeding particularly from the vertebrae, excessi- ve reaction to external impressions, especially sudden noises and contact, cardiac palpitation and pulsation from alarm and exertion. The profound exhaustion from bodily and mental effort is expressed by inability to concentrate the thoughts and impaired power of attention. Through this, the mental attitude becomes depressed, irritable, anxious and confidence is lost. Coitus also aggravates the symptoms of nervous exhaustion. On the one side the desire for sleep during the day exists and then again restlessness and anxiety which disturbs the night sleep and causes restlessness from alarming, frightening dreams. In an ani- mated fashion Kent pictures that silicic acid supports the nervous system and psyche just as it gives stability and support as to plants.


With this the constitutional type of silicea is carried to the side of lymphatic trend which results from a poor ability in the mesenchymal defense system to react to infections. Moreover, on the other side the failure of the skin and intestinal functions deeply affects the energy and metabolic exchange which has general and chronic results in the entire psycho-somatic impulse and frequently on the reciprocal relation between the excretory processes and the manifestations of internal illness, as is characteristic for the “psoric” remedies. The conception of carbo-nitrogenous constitution covers this only imperfectly. Because the failure in silicea lies more in the assimilative phase than in the dissimilative. Indeed Paracelsus regarded silicic acid as a remedy in stone diseases and in the herbivorous silicic acid causes the formation of stone in the urinary passages; likewise silicic acid containing plants are often prized in folk medicine as teas for stone and gravel; the promotion of diuresis which is also observed in the provings may have a share in this. However in homoeopathic use the rheumatic-lithemic trend lies in the background although reference is made to the gouty-neuritic symptoms (for example, old facial neuralgias) by many.

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,