The Nitrogen

With the yeast and mold fungi similar conditions exist. Marked dilutions of arsenic (1:40,000) promote fermentative capacity of yeasts. Through small doses of sodium arsenite, not only fermentation but also the inversion property of yeast cells limited or removed and finally the yeasts are killed. Fungi are remarkably insensitive to arsenic and single forms have the capacity to convert solid arsenic compounds into gaseous forms, as is recognized by the garlic-like odor. These types also seem to be affected in respect to the vital activities precisely by large amounts of arsenic.

The effect of reciprocal play between arsenic and the cell is also not dependent simply upon the elected dose, but essentially upon the peculiarity of the cells. Naturally we have as yet no view regarding the chemical basis of these differences. Perhaps the phosphate content of the cell has significance.


Especially important for chemotherapy is the action of arsenic on protozoa. Here rapid killing is found with great doses, with moderate doses growth but death after a longer time, in markedly dilute solutions (1:10-20 million), on the contrary, increased growth. We will do well not to consider according to a simple schema; stimulation, depression, death but the reciprocal play between living organisms and poison should be considered as a struggle under definite conditions, in which now the living organism and now the poison is victorious. The stimulating stimuli can be understood as an over-reaction to a damage, just as perhaps the excessive new formation of bone in arsenic poisoning; one cannot as yet say that this is a stimulation, an increase of vital activity. For example it can be doubted whether the cells stimulated through the smallest doses of arsenic have the same duration of life and functional capacity as would occur under the usual conditions of life.

Likewise among the protozoa it seems that single types are especially sensitive to arsenic and indeed the trypanosome. Naturally in experiments with arsenic that one does not kill the trypanosome intra corpus, but they diminish in the blood only transiently.

An improvement of parasitotropic actions has been sought as is well known by means of the organic compounds of arsenic. Arsenic is contained in these in a non-dissociating form which reduces the toxicity for body cells. At least it takes longer in the cells to liberate arsenic from an organic compound than an inorganic or dissociable form. Moreover, it is assumed that the distribution of such organic arsenic compounds in the various cells is different than with the inorganic and that they can reach other cells before they are split so that an enrichment is obtained which would not be possible with an inorganic arsenic compound because the latter would produce an acute action on the body cells. The question is simply, how far the union to the parasites (spirochetae, recurrent spirilla, trypanosomes) is obtained a still undecided question.

The cacodylate (a secondary aliphatic arsenic compound) has indeed quantitatively less toxic action than inorganic arsenic, but qualitatively the same and seems otherwise to possess no therapeutic advantage. Atoxyl (that is, the sodium salt of pamino-phenylarsinic acid, also a benzol compound) has proven effective against trypanosomes and certain spirilla diseases although it has no action on these organisms in vitro. A participation of the organism (perhaps a conversion into another compound) must occur. The alterations in the direction of effect express themselves in a stronger injury to the central nervous system, in particular of the optic nerve and retina (blindness), ataxia, loss of reflexes, furthermore, in the previously mentioned degenerative blood picture (poikilo-and anisocytosis). The related arsacetin (acetyl-p- aminophenylarsenic acid) is supposed to be less toxic, but more effective in trypanosomiasis and recurrens. Spirocid or stovarsol (acetyl ester of p-oxy-m-aminophenylarsinic acid) is supposed to have the advantage of a good spirocheticidal action by oral administration, but is extolled particularly for injection in Plaut-Vincent angina. Finally most used is salvarsan (besides its compounds, neosalvarsan and silver salvarsan and neosilver salvarsan). Ehrlich obtained these products by the reduction of phenylarsinic acid because he assumed only from such a reduction of phenylarsinic acid compounds in the body a parasitotropic action is obtained. Salvarsan is the dichlorohydrate of dioxy-diamino-arsenobenzol.

Spirochetes and trypanosomes can surely be diminished in the blood by salvarsan, but for how long, is another question. Moreover increased salvarsan fastness of the parasites must be considered, therefore treatment in the early stage has rich prospects. On the therapeutic results and the possible injuries from salvarsan I cannot enter here; I can, however, from personal experience contradict the report that no blindness occurs in salvarsan in contrast to atoxyl. The social hygienic value of salvarsan therapy in syphilis however ought not be questioned.

Malaria, recurrens, lues, particularly in the primary stage with phagedenic ulcers represent a field of employment for arsenic also in homoeopathy. The meaning of organic compounds perhaps may be conceived in the different combinations of arsenic effects by the organism. And “another binding”, however, is probably associated with an alteration in the amount, the concentration and the frequency of doses and thus permits the great diversity of possibilities of influence with arsenic to be understood.


The uses still in vogue in the school today are blood diseases, states of weakness with emaciation and skin disease representing merely a limited and insufficiently definite section out of the great domain of action of this polycrest. The doses of water cures (5th-6th potencies) do not differ considerably from those in homoeopathy.

The paths and type of actions of arsenic in the human organism are known through thousands of poisonings even if the effect mechanism is dark in single details. The provings of the healthy with various potencies have only the meaning of improvement and refinement of the symptomatic picture; first for improvement of the early symptoms, which especially arise in the vegetative, regulatory, vasomotor-trophic disturbances, the modalities, among which the well known symptoms of arsenic appear from the poisoning.


Intentional provings of arsenicum album are found:

1. Hahnemann: Materia Medica Pura, 3 Aufl. Bd. 2, p 41, 1833, and Chron. Krankheiten, 2 Aufl. Bd.5, 1839.

2. Imbert-Gourbeyre: L’Art Medorrhinum, Bd. 17 p.433.

3. Robinson: Brit. Journ of Hom. Bd. 25, p. 320.

Of Natrium arsenicosum:

1. Trans. of Penns. State Hom. Soc. II, 186 (according to Allen’s Encyclopedia, vol. 6, p.473).

2. Imbert-Goubeyre: L’ Art Medorrhinum Bd. 17, p 440.

Of Arsenicum iodatum:

1. Beebe: U.S. Medorrhinum and Surg. J. vol. 1, p.339.

2. Blakeley: Hahne. Monthly, vol. 3, p. 265.

3. Thomson: Lancet, 1838/39, p 176 (Allen Encyclopedia, Bd.1).

4. Hale: New Remedies, 4, Ed., p 372 1875.

Of Cuprum arsenicosum:

Hale: New Remedies, 4 Aufl. p. 74, 1875.


In the domain of arsenic action various steps can be differentiated. The most crude local necrotising action of the cell poison corresponds to the malignant septicogangrenous and embolic processes, phagedenic ulcers with offensive, often cadaverous, acrid secretions, ulcers which bleed easily and possess the general characteristic of the remedy, the burning pain. At another step stands the blood destructive action resembling a pernicious anemia and the general cachexia. A further section is designated by the capillary poison effect which stands very close to phosphorus. It is from the poisonings which run acute and subacute courses that all the acute inflammatory manifestations on the mucous membranes and parenchymatous organs with the final result in fatty degeneration are embraced. The organic heart and vessel damage represents the severe cardiovascular syndrome at this step. The neuritic and trophic disturbances correspond to a more chronic course. Finally there are the vegetative and vasomotor symptoms and allergic states which characterize a grade of special arsenic sensitivity and which appears only at times in the beginning of chronic action or in a sufficiently fine intentional proving. The accompanying psychic symptoms can in any case show all stages of the most profound melancholia, greatest unrest and anxiety of the acute intoxication and excessive sensitivity.

In the most severe general diseases, malignant tumors with cachexia and pernicious anemia, arsenic belongs to the similar but still only rarely helpful remedies. From antiquity ever again one returns to arsenic, obviously, because occasionally good was obtained from it in such dubious cases. In spite of improvement of the knowledge of indications the homoeopathic method has often employed it in these destructive processes but the situation is so dubious that convincing results are rare. In malignant lymphoma arsenic is likewise generally used. One may see a temporary result from arsenicum iodatum D 3.

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,