The Nitrogen

The vessel widening of upper part of the body is associated with an increase of the skin temperature and an increase of heat radiation. Consequently the internal temperature falls. In normal rabbits the decrease in body temperature is only slight. But when the temperature is made febrile by heat puncture, then amyl nitrate evokes a very distinct decrease. Here we have the same demonstration as with the antipyretics with central action, that the fall in temperature first comes distinctly to expression in disturbed temperature equilibrium.

To use the nitrites as antipyretics, where the radiation from the skin (without central involvement) is also desired, has experimental support. The increase temperature of the body surfaces determines this relationship according to the simile rule. Another is also the methodic indication from the symptoms to the therapeutic result; another, the possibility of explanation of the demonstrated result. If the direct result is the surest for the prospective way, then the indirect observation of the intermediate process is necessary or desirable for the retrospective explanation.

In connection with the nitrite headaches (obviously through vessel widening), the yellow vision (often with violet borders) seems to me worthy of note. This is a manifestation by no means rarely observed in migraine. Besides cina, which has this symptom of yellow vision as a very prominent one, a nitrite (or nitrate) is to be considered in those cases with this symptom.

Moreover, the action on the eye has been experimentally demonstrated. Filehne found in the frog eye the visual purple supply accumulated by a sojourn in the dark was not altered through nitrite poisoning. But the replacement of the visual red used by light is decidedly damaged under the influence of massive poisoning and the material provided is unstable. Atkinson asserts that sodium nitrite in small doses mildly widens the veins as well as the arteries of the retina, while after large doses a distinct narrowing is observed.

The relaxing action of nitrites on smooth muscle is known from the action on vessels but has also been demonstrated experimentally on other parts of organs, naturally not in general on the organs from nitrite inhalations. In this respect the use of nitrites, by inhalation as well as orally, in bronchial asthma depends on relaxation of the smooth muscle of the bronchi. The burning, of the well-known Charta nitrata also acts as nitrites which develop from the reduction of nitric acid. However, Trendelenburg found that sodium nitrite in Ringer’s solution produces a distinct increase in tonus on the surviving bronchial muscle. Such seeming contradictions are naturally riddles for those who do not take into consideration the method of introduction and the dosage associated with it. The demonstrations above satisfy us that under certain conditions nitrites act as tonus-increasing, under other conditions tonus- decreasing also on the bronchial muscle. The cases of asthma perhaps suitable for such medication will be selected not merely according to the viewpoint of muscle relaxation or constriction, but according to the totality of the immediately observable symptoms that, is the symptom dependencies (the modalities).

An action of nitrites has been experimentally demonstrated also on voluntary muscle. The direct influence of nitrite vapors on the resting frog muscles provokes a prolonged hardening with transition to rigidity. Leech found that in a solution of NaCl containing sodium nitrite (1:5000) a suspended muscle remained able to contract only for two hours and that amyl nitrite was just as damaging to it.

The end actions of amyl nitrite poisoning have little significance in this place. Chiefly they are the formation of methemoglobinemia with the accompanying glycosuria and asphyxia, with depression, weakness, and lethargy and the lethal ending affected through the blood alterations. Direct toxic actions on the central nervous system as they appear in the frog, as descending paresis, are not observed in mammals and man.

The nitrites of alkali metals (NaNO2 and KNO2), according to the studies of several investigators in general, are the same as amyl nitrite, only the salts orally are more persistently effective and they act more slowly. In particular the time of development and the duration of the blood pressure lowering are found to be greater. The headaches in man should be affected more easily than through the nitrite esters, because the circulatory alterations last much longer.

There is usually one impression which one generally gains: the compounds with organic fractions are more volatile than the inorganic compounds in which the action appears more slowly but is maintained longer.


Nitroglycerin, our glonoin (a shortening of glycerin, O.N.O) has clinically and experimentally almost the same action as the nitrites, nevertheless it is a nitrate and indeed the trinitrate of glycerin, the most simple of the trivalent alcohols, CH2.OH- CH.OH-CH2.OH, in that each OH group is replaced by a NO3 (more exactly O.NO2) group, that is C3H5(NO3)3 – (not, however, the impossible triglyceride of nitric acid, as it has entered homoeopathic literature through an error of H.Schulz). The extensive agreement of action with the nitrites is explained in that in the body the nitrites are formed from nitrates.

It has been shown by Hay that nitrites are formed in the blood from nitrates, which gives occasion for the formation of methemoglobin. Even in the test tube through alkali two thirds of the nitrates are reduced to nitrites. After small doses nitroglycerin appears chiefly in the form of nitrites in the urine, after, greater, for the most part unaltered.

To be noted as a minor deviation from the action of amyl nitrite is the feeling of heat in the larynx and in the throat and that the arteries in the neck pulsate especially strong. An exact description of the subjective head symptoms which undoubtedly are connected with the vessel widening are evident from the first American provings by Hering

Provings of glonoin are found in:

(1) C. Hering: American Arzneiprufungen, Bd. 1, 1857 (provings collected since 1847).

(2) Lembke: Zeitschr.f.hom. Klin, Bd.,2 1853.

(3) Eichhorn: Zeitschr. d. Verbascum hom. Aertze Oesterreichs, Bd. 2 p.18 1857.

(4) Demme: Schweiz. Zeitschr. f. Heilk., Bd. 1, 1862.

(5) Allg. Hom. Ztg., Bd. 63 pp. 119 and 128 1862; (Wood and Colby, according to the Brit. Jour. Hom., 1861.

(6) Leibinger: Deutsch. Zeitschr. f. Hom., p.194, 1926.

Soon after the discovery of glonoin in the year 1847 by Sobrere, C.Hering introduced this remedy into medicine. The provers observed: sensation of enlargement of the head, the chin seemed too long, the neck swollen, pressure in the eyeball, spots and flashes before the eyes, letters of a book became small on reading, well-known streets seemed strange. The headache was severe, there was a feeling of fullness with pulsation; movement, bending back and particularly shaking the head aggravate; mental work is difficult.

The acceleration of the pulse and lowering of blood pressure occurs (after about 1 mg.) later than after inhalation of amyl nitrite but also lasts considerably longer(2-3 hrs). If one perfuses nitroglycerin through the vessels of a frog, then, even in a dilution of 1:1 million, it increases the speed of perfusion considerably and one can recover nitrites from the fluid emerging from the veins even after the use of a solution of nitroglycerin 1:100,000. The vessel-dilating action is much more distinct in warm-blooded animals than in the frog. The severe toxic actions in man are nausea and vomiting, later delirium, loss of consciousness and coma.

There is a great individual difference of susceptibility for nitroglycerin and in persistent employment a strong, tolerance is established which is soon lost again after discontinuance of the medication.

GLONOIN IN ANGINA PECTORIS It should now be considered on the basis of the symptoms of the provings whether or not and how far the therapeutic use of nitroglycerin in angina pectoris is homoeopathic. Homeopathic authors, for example Dahlke and Stauffer and Bernauer (the last in Deutsch. Zeitschr.f. Hom, H. 3, p. 12, 1926) consider the non- homoeopathicity merely on the grounds that large doses, that is, about one milligram, widen the coronary vessels which would be characteristically the the opposite of the coronary narrowing in angina pectoris. I cannot recognize this argument as valid because the similarity or nonsimilarity in the homoeopathic method refers not to such intermediary processes and pathologic anatomic foundations, but to the symptomatic manifestations.

Now we find in the American provings of glonoin; constriction of the chest, restlessness, anxiety. Cardiac palpitation with pulsation in the carotids, unrest in the arms, numbness and fatigue in the left arm; the pulse is felt in the fingertips. One prover describes after one-third of a drop of the saturated alcoholic solution (three doses): “the activity of the heart proceeded laboriously with a peculiar sensation of oppression. I went into the open air and after a short time the severe symptoms diminished and there remained only a feeling of heaviness and an unpleasant sensation about the heart”.

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,