The Remedies of the Mineral World
Since the earliest days of homoeopathy the relationships of remedies has been investigated very closely. These relationships include homogenous remedies of the same family as well as complementary relationships to other minerals, plants and animals. In order to carry out this research the homoeopath begins by studying the nature of the three kingdoms and their remedies. The minerals are the foundation of the structure of the earth and all organic living things on Gaia. For this reason the mineral constituents inherent in a plant or animal remedy deeply affect the nature of the provings and clinical confirmations. Farrington confirms this in his description of the animal remedies.
"Medicines derived from the animal kingdom act energetically and rapidly. They vary in intensity from the fatal snakebite to coral, sponges, etc., which are more or less modified by their mineral constituents".*
*Comparative Materia Medica, in Lachesis and other Allied Remedies, starting page 317.
The animal remedies in general are energetic and rapid in their actions. The most violent are the animal poison remedies taken from the Opidians. On the opposite end of the spectrum there is the animal remedy, Calcarea Carb/Ostr., which is usually listed with the mineral remedies. This remedy is known for its deep slow action and its cold, torpid, slow functions and stagnations rather than energy or violence which is represented by its acute complementary, Belladonna, a member of Solanaceae family. A snake moves quickly across the land while an oyster stays in the same place on the bottom of the sea. The high calcium content in the oyster shell is the responsible for the mineral symptoms observed in this mollusk. Nevertheless, one can not completely understand the nature of Calcarea Carb/Ostr. unless one studies the animal's marine habitat and life cycles.
The first homoeopathic materia medica was Hahnemann's Materia Medica Pura, which appeared in six parts from 1811 to 1821. This grand work was based on the provings of the First Provers Union that formed around Hahnemann in Leipsic. The 'Pura' contains 63 remedies which can be subdivided into 15 minerals, 46 plants, and 2 animal remedies. Even during these early years the Founder was studying the nature of what he called 'miasmic animalcule' and their relationships to acute and chronic diseases.
Hahnemann experienced great success in the treatment of acute diseases, but as early as 1816 he noticed the general constitutional health of his patients was slowly declining regardless of his treatment. Of these chronic cases he lamented "their beginning was promising, the continuation less favorable, the outcome hopeless." As the Founder pondered the nature of this continual deterioration, he began to search for the underlying cause of these chronic maladies. For 12 years Hahnemann quietly investigated the nature of the chronic diseases that were resisting his homoeopathic treatment.
The Chronic Diseases
The outcome of Hahnemann's research was published in 1828 in the first edition of The Chronic Diseases, their Peculiar Nature and their Homeopathic Cure. This work made public for the first time Hahnemann's doctrine of the Psora and the chronic miasms as well as the anti miasmic remedies. The miasm theory was then integrated into the 4th edition of Organon in 1829 which is the philosophical counterpart of the 1st Chronic Diseases. These publications led to the first major schism in the homeopathic school. With the introduction of the Psora theory and the 30c potency, Hahnemann went too far for some of his more conservative followers. They were more secure with the homoeopathy that Hahnemann taught in his early years and could not adapt to the new territory into which it was expanding.
As Hahnemann investigated these degenerative disorders he found that certain remedies covered the complete syndrome underlying chronic disease whereas others were only suitable for various injuries, traumas, crises, acute diseases and miasms, and the acute-acerbations of a chronic miasms. This led to the classification of homeopathic remedies into the two grand categories, psoric or anti miasmic remedies, and the apsoric or non miasmic medicines. In the Chronic Disease Hahnemann introduced his new miasmic remedies because they had potential to remove the fundamental causes of chronic diseases rather then treating one or another of its symptom complexes.
A deep understanding of the pathology and symptoms of the miasms is necessary to apply Hahnemann's advanced methods. Many modern homoeopaths do not understand how to use the miasm theory in a practical manner. Without this knowledge the homoeopath is practicing in the same manner as Hahnemann did in the early period (1805-1816). It was through the miasm theory that the principles of constitution, heredity, susceptibility, infection, suppression, primary, latent and secondary states, layers and obstacles to the cure were developed. Knowledge in these areas is essential to being a full homoeopathician.
The Antipsoric Medicines
Hahnemann wished to include a repertory of the anti-miasmic remedies in the Chronic Diseases. Unfortunately, he was unable to accomplish this goal. Baron von Boenninghausen came to the aid of the Hofrath by publishing a Repertory of Anti-Psorics (1832), The second edition was published in 1833 with a preface by Samuel Hahnemann. In this work the Baron introduced the gradation of remedies in numerical values and set the standard for all future repertories. This miasmic repertory specialized in only those chronic remedies which were fully antipsoric, antisycotic and antisyphilitic.
This work was soon followed by Boenninghausen's, Repertory of Medicines Which Are Not Antipsoric in 1835. The non miasmic repertory was composed of remedies which were for traumas, acute diseases and disorders as well as acute intercurrents while the miasmic repertory was for chronic degenerative diseases. Since Hahnemann's time no one has followed up on his plan to produce a specialized repertory for the chronic miasms. Boenninghausen then complemented these twin repertories with The Therapeutic Pocketbook in 1845. This completed the trinity of the Baron's repertories.
Of the 48 anti miasmic remedies in the Chronic Diseases (1828), 33 are minerals, 13 plants, and 3 animal remedies. The Materia Medica Pura contained 63 remedies of which only 15 are minerals, 46 plants, and 2 animal remedies. So we can see that the mineral remedies are at the core of the treatment of chronic miasms and their inherited diathetic constitutions. The relationship of the minerals remedies to the miasms and the other remedies in the three kingdoms was stressed by Hahnemann. Vide the Chronic Diseases, the Theoretical Part, page 244.
"As a rule it was developed from their pure symptoms, that most of the earths, alkalies and acids, as well as the neutral salts composed of them, together with several of the metals, cannot be dispensed with in curing the almost innumerable symptoms of Psora. The similarity in nature of the leading antipsoric, Sulphur to Phosphorus and other combustible substances from the vegetable and mineral kingdoms led to the use of the latter, and some animal substances naturally followed them by analogy, in agreement with experience."
Hahnemann was the first to study the similarity of the minerals to miasmic states as well as their complementary relationships to the remedies of the three kingdoms. This is witnessed in the three cardinal antipsorics, Sulphur (mineral), Calcarea (Mollusk) and Lycopodium (Fern Ally) which are complementaries. In the Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy Herbert Roberts M.D. notes the following when discussing the carbon family remedies.
"In Boenninghausen's list [of antipsorics published in 1832] we find Ammonium carb., Baryta carb., Calcarea Carb., Carbo animalis, Carbo veg., Graphites, Kali Carb., Magnesium carb., Natrum carb., Sepia; all these have the characteristic carbon influence, even though associated with another element. It may seem strange to the casual student of materia medica to include Sepia in this list, but to the homoeopathician Sepia is the animal carbon."
The Founder mentioned the importance of 'analogy' and 'experience' in studying the relationships of remedies of the three kingdoms. The relationship of the carbons to Sepia is one such observation. If homoeopaths work by analogy and experience the relationships within homogenous families and the greater materia medica can be uncovered. This is how the range of the provings is expanded and new potential symptoms and clinical applications may be discovered.
Roberts points out that of the 33 minerals on the antipsoric list 30 are within the atomic weights of the elements contained in the human organism. The nutritional remedies act predominantly on the psoric and pseudo-psora TB miasm. The only remedies in the anti psoric list that have an atomic weight heavier then the body's constituents are Baryta, Platinum and Aurum. These remedies have proven themselves to be more commonly used for the effects of the venereal miasms with or without psora.
Hahnemann set the standard for the anti-venereal powers of the heavy elements by declaring Mercury as the cardinal remedy for the syphilitic miasm. Remedies toxic to the human body like Argentum, Aurum, Cadmium, Osmium, Iridium, Mercury, Nitric Acid, Platina,, Plumbum, and Radium are known for deep destructive processes that mimic venereal diseases as well as many chronic degenerative disorders. Nevertheless, these trends only represent tendencies as many of the nutritional minerals have multi-miasmic actions as do the heavier elements.
The list of psoric symptoms in the Chronic Diseases (1828) is the miasm theory in a seed state. In the introduction to Hempel’s translation of the Organon, Hering confirms that Hahnemann introduced a new miasm called pseudo-psora. The Founder divided the venereal diseases into sycosis and syphilis early in his career. Later he also separated the symptoms of psora from those of pseudopsora. In the first symptoms list in the Chronic Diseases (1828) Hahnemann unknowingly mixed the symptoms of Psora with the TB miasma, Pseudopsora. The Hofrath also included a few sycotic symptoms in the psora list.
As the Hofrath gained experience he noticed that he was observing two distinct non venereal miasms and began to reclassify their symptoms. He shared this information with Hering who was in America at the time. The Founder also told Boenninghausen that he was doing a detailed study of sycosis and would share his new symptoms list when finished. Unfortunately, Hahnemann was unable to finish this work before he left for his Heavenly Abode in 1843. We have yet to uncover his original miasmic notes although they may still exist.
The following therapeutic hints are offered as a commentary on the materia medica. The mineral family symptoms included are those observed by the author in the clinic and confirmed in materia medica studies. The brackets ( ) contain examples of mineral families or remedies known for the symptoms mentioned. I have not proposed any radical new concepts nor tried to develop the themes beyond my practical experience. There are, however, many interesting analogies and correspondences to be drawn between the mineral characteristics and the symptoms of the materia medica. Such insights often add greater understanding but they should not replace provings and clinical confirmations. Perhaps as our knowledge of the mineral world expands we can comment on this subject.
The minerals have a deep action on the metabolism and organic structures of the human organism. The elemental remedies have the potential to produce every disease known to the orthodox pathologist but each in their own characteristic way. For this reason the homoeopath studies each elemental family and their known relationships. In this quest we are assisted by the periodic table of the elements and knowledge of chemistry.
Minerals and Constitutions
Many mineral remedies are similar to well known constitutional types. James Kent once remarked on how a homoeopath begins to recognize certain constitutional remedies by observation of their mind/body make up. This collection of essential constitutional signs is then confirmed by the characteristic symptoms.
"A great deal is presented that can be seen by looking at the patient, so we say this looks like a Nat Mur. patient. Experienced physicians learn to classify patients by the appearance."
The physical constitution and mental temperament of many polychrest minerals (Nat-m., Calc-c., Ferr., Phos., Ars., etc.) have well recorded constitutional portraits. With experience the homoeopath recognizes many such objective signs on first sight. Each mineral type is predisposed toward certain diathetic constitutions and psychological traits. The mineral remedies also have a close relationship to the Hippocratic natural temperaments and the Mappa Mundi. Nitric acid is suited to the yellowish, brown, thin, dry, irritable, choleric temperaments that are angered easily and hold grudges. Calcarea Carbonate is suited to the white, cold, sweaty, slow, flabby, leucophlegmatic temperament. Ferrum is suited to the reddish, pseudo plethoric sanguine temperament that appears vital but underneath is pale, restless, and weak. Arsenicum is suited to the blue-black, nervous, fastidious, nervous melancholic temperament. There are many more remedies, symptoms and temperaments but this should offer the reader the basic idea.
Minerals and Miasms
The minerals have a deep action on the rational spirit, intellect, intelligence, and memory (Geist). They are known for gradual onsets, long progressive actions, and deep pathologies. The minerals are known for their multi-miasmic and the ability to treat several layers without changes of remedies. The nutritional mineral remedies have slow onsets, the heavy elements are insidious and more progressive, and the poisons are violent and destructive. The heavier the atomic weight the more rapidly destructive the element is on the intellect and intelligence. The nutritional minerals tend to treat psora and the pseudo psora while the heavier metals are useful in removing the venereal miasms. These categories, however, are not exclusive titles as the minerals have multi miasmic powers.
The mineral remedies affect the organic structures of the human organism corroding the neuro-endocrine system, organs, tissues and fluids. The mineral complexion is discolored with various hues (yellow, white, red, blue, brown, gray, etc.) showing deep seated dyscrasias leading to cachexia (a mixture of sickly colors showing multi miasmic pathology). The plants cause similar colors but are acute and brighter in hue while the animal remedies reflect violent colors related to animal poisons, toxins and venoms. The minerals corrupt the spirit, emotional disposition, brain, nerves, organs, glands, blood, nutrition, digestion, tissues, fluids and bones in a chronically progressive manner. The pains of the minerals are miasmic, deep, progressive and increase over time until they become unbearable. The psoric and pseudo-psoric remedies tend to be worse < in the day while the venereal remedies are worse < at night.
Slow Decline in Spirit, Intellect and Intelligence
The minerals have a great power on the rational spirit, intellect and intelligence (Geist). Their concentration progressively becomes more difficult, their memory declines, and they feel dullness with prostration of mind (Argentums, Ammoniums, Aurums, Bartyas, Calcareas, Kalis, Mercuries, Natrums, Phosphates, Platina, Silicas, Zinc, etc.). The minerals often begin with much activity but they end in exhaustion (Acids, Alumina, Arsenicum, Aurum, Ferrum, Murates, Nitrates, Phosphates, and the Sulphates). When the minerals become aware of their slow decline they try to hide it from others by trying harder to prove themselves. This usually ends in total exhaustion and failure, and in some cases, a decline into imbecility (Acids, Argentums, Arsenicum, Bartyas, Calcareas, Carbons, Kalis, Mercuries, Natrums, Phosphates, Silicas, and Sulphates).
Need for Organization and Structure - Conflict between Stability and Freedom
The mineral temperament tends to need stability, solid bonds, good partnerships and desires organization and structure (S Block-Natrums, Kalis, Magnesiums, Calcareas) or they destroy organizations and structures to prove their independence (P Block- Fluorides, Murates, Nitrates, Iodums, Phosphates, Sulphates). The combination of the S and P block elements makes up a good number of polychrest remedies with well known constitutions and temperamental portraits (Calc-c, Calc-f., Calc-m, Calc-i., Calc-p., Hep, Kali-b., Kali-p. Kali-i , Kali-s., Nat-c., Nat-m., Nat-p, Nat-s, Mag-c., Mag-m., Mag-p., Mag-s., etc..) Some of these remedies reflect being caught between the need for solid bonds and independence. In the beginning they desire fulfilling relationships and good partners, but as the disappointments mount, they become more resentful and need to prove that they can be independent. Some wish to have it both ways so they stay in dysfunctional relationships, although they wish for independence, and do not make changes rapidly.
Restlessness, Driven, Exhausted
The mineral remedies deeply affect the emotional disposition (Gemuet) with irritability and anxiety mixed with fear and tendency toward sleeplessness with anxious dreams. The mineral temperament is restless, experiences deep anxieties, and gradually grows exhausted (Argentums, Arsenicums, Calcareas, Cuprums, Ferrums, Iodum, Kalis, Mercuries, Plumbum, Silicates, Sulphates, etc.). Their anxiety is worse < in the evening sometimes driving them from the bed at night (Argentums, Arsenicums, Bismuth, Carbons, Causticum, Ferrum, Magnesium, Natrums). This restlessness may be due to emotional as well as physical pains. In the functional state their inner drive gives them strength but as they become more neurotic it transforms into a restless, driven, obsessive compulsive personality. This constant psychological strain leads toward exhaustion and eventual collapse.
Repressed Emotions and Fixed Personalities
Although the mineral temperament is quite intellectual they are affected deeply by emotions which are repressed by the rational mind only to reappear as compensation like hardness (Ammoniums, Arsenicums, Cuprums, Kalis, Natrums, Nitrates) or mildness (Alumina, Arsenicums, Aurum, Borax, Calcareas, Kalis, Natrums, Nitrates, Phosphates, Platina, Plumbum, Silica, Stannum, Sulphur, Zinc). The minerals are restless and driven and find it difficult to adapt psychologically to new circumstances or make personal changes. The presence of their shadowy emotions is apparent to others but they think they are still in control of the situation. If this control is lost they may become destructive and violent (Ammoniums, Aurums, Calcareas, Carbons, Iodum, Kalis, Natrums, Nitrates, Platina, Sulphates, Zinc, etc.).
Need for Recognition, Respect and Appreciation
The minerals like to be seen as prominent members of their peer group or family (Argentums, Arsenicums, Ferrum, Kalis, Paladium, Platina, Sulphates) although they have a difficult time in the office (Graphites, Mercuries, Natrums, Nitrates, Sulphates) and the home (Arsenicums, Calcareas, Kalis, Nitrates). If they do not acquire their goals in life they suffer as they wish to be looked up to by others (precious metals-Argentums, Aurum, Palladium, Platina) and can be very ego centered (Aurums, Causticum, Ferrum, Palladium, Platina, Silicates, Sulphates). A mineral temperament is confident when healthy, offended when criticized, resentful when hurt, and destructive when unforgiving.
Trouble Resolving Conflicts and Feeling Safe
The mineral temperament has a long memory for those with whom they find fault and have trouble forgiving and forgetting past offenses (Acids, Ammoniums, Aurums, Calcareas, Manganese, Natrums, Nitrates,). If they do not get what they think is right they feel betrayed and have a hard time resolving conflicts. They worry and fear misfortune especially when they think their security is threatened and become paranoid (D Block-transition elements, Manganese, Ferrum, Cobalt, Nickel, Cuprum, Zinc, Paladium, Platina, Argentum, Aurum, Mercury, etc..). The mineral temperament has delusions that criminals, suspect individuals, and bad people are about (Alumina, Ammoniums, Carbons, Causticum, Ferrums, Mercuries, Natrums, Nitrates, Silicates, Strontium, and Sulphates). They may project their fear and aversions on to certain persons, the opposite or same sex, or different ethnic groups and religions.
Discontented and Dissatisfied with Self and Others
The minerals become deeply discontented, displeased and dissatisfied if they perceive themselves as failures, disrespected, or miss attaining their goals. (Ammoniums, Antimonies, Calcareas, Cuprum, Kalis, Mercuries, Natrums, Palladium, Platina, Silica, Stannum, Sulphates). They tend to dominate domestic affairs which is carried out by either control (Arsenicum, Ferrums, Kalis, and Natrums) or being over liberal with themselves (Fluorides, Phosphorus, Nitrates, and Sulphates). They are prone to holding others to their own standards and tend to be critical in their opinions (Alumina, Ammoniums, Arsenicum, Aurum, Bartyas, Bromium, Calcareas, Graphites, Kalis, Mercuries, Phosphates, Platina, and Sulphates). If they can't control their environment they become irritable, morose, cross, fretful, ill humor, peevish and quarrelsome causing them to scold and lecture.
Withdrawal and Abandonment
If the minerals do not get their way they have a tendency not to talk about the situation and would rather be alone (Acids, Bartyas, Carbons, Ferrums, Magnesiums, Natrums, Palladium, Phosphates, Selenium, Stannum, Sulphates). If they do not get what they desire they have delusions of being deserted, betrayed, abandoned, and forsaken (Argentums, Aurum, Carbons, Bartyas, Kalis, Magnesiums, Natrums, Platina). The mineral temperament has a tendency to withdrawal into their own 'element'. They will fill their time with work or distractions to stay away from those they consider a problem especially their family (Ammoniums, Aurums, Calcareas, Fluoric Acid, Iodums, Kalis, Mercuries, Natrums, Phosphates, Platina, Plumbum). They have aversions to certain persons they have never seen or those who have offended them in the past. (Ammoniums, Aurum, Calcarea, Causticum, Natrums, Nitrates, Selenium, Stannum). The constant decline of the spirit and emotional disposition coincides with withdrawal from reality and the abandonment of all healthy relationships. Their ultimate withdrawal is suicide and the abandonment of life itself.
The Stages of Life
The minerals have a great effect on babies, youths and adolescents (times of great growth) as well as the middle age when the miasms begin to become more pathological. They must be used carefully during old age due to their deep actions and potential for unproductive aggravations. When the individual is in a functional state, the mineral temperaments provide support to others, and are stable personalities in the community and home. They have brilliant intellects and strong emotions and are often leaders among their peers. They work hard yet know how to enjoy themselves and are often successful. They have pride in their accomplishments and wish to be appreciated by people.
When the mineral temperament is placed under continual strain they become more controlled, resistive to changes, and have trouble adapting to stress. The second stage is full of struggle, strife, and contradictions as they fight to regain their former identity. The more they attempt to control their circumstances, the more they become anxious, frustrated and angry. As they become less successful in enforcing control their outbursts become more violent..
The third stage begins when the mineral temperament realizes that their intellect is degenerating causing loss of emotional control. This makes them feel less confident and more fearful, paranoid and depressed. This leads toward dark forebodings, feelings of failure, loss, gloom and melancholia (Alumina, Arsenicums, Ammoniums, Bromium, Calcareas, Carbons, Ferrums, Iridium, Kalis, Manganese, Mercuries, Murates, Natrums, Nitrates, Platina, Plumbum, Selenium, Stannums, Sulphates, and Zincs).
As the fourth stage proceeds the exhaustion, melancholia and delusions make them feel doomed (Arsenicum, Aurum, Kalis, Natrums, Platina, Sulphates). As their intellect continues to decline they feel they are losing their hold on life which makes them think of suicide (Alumina, Antimonies, Aurums, Calcareas, Mercuries, Natrums, Sulphates, Zinc). When they lose control of their repressed subconscious material they may become truly insane (Antimonies, Arsenicums, Aurums, Bartyas, Calcareas, Cuprums, Kalis, Mercuries, Natrums, Phosphates, Platina, Sulphates, etc.).
The decline of the intellect (Geist) and the emotional disposition (Gemuet) are progressive and slowly increasing undermining the very organic structure of the brain and psyche. Hahnemann noted the difference between a miasmic mental illness and a psychological disorder in the Organon. A miasmic mental illness becomes worse < by psychological treatment while the emotional disorders are ameliorated (¤ 224). Severe crisis must be treated with acute intercurrents until ameliorated and then followed by remedies for the fundamental causes associated with the chronic miasms.
The above represent some of the main symptoms I have noticed running through a great number of cases for which the mineral remedies were suited. Due to their essential role in building organic tissue, the mineral remedies are closely related to inherited constitutions, temperaments, miasms, and predispositions. They are useful in deeply complex miasmic diseases confounded by suppression and drug toxicity. The relationship of the minerals to complementary remedies within the plant, mineral and animal kingdoms is an essential study. The homoeopath often finds that a family of homogeneous remedies suits most of the circumstance and symptoms which arise during the course of treating a long lasting chronic disease. This includes the acute intercurrents, the anti-miasmic genus remedies, the chronic intercurrents, and the constitutional remedies found among the three kingdoms. The homoeopathician must learn when and how to apply all these remedies.
Coming part in the Genus Materia Medica are
1. MM, Part 3 will highlight the character and symptoms of the botanical remedies.
2. MM, Part 4 will highlight the character and symptoms of the zoological remedies.
3. MM, Part 5 will highlight the character and symptoms of the nosode remedies.
4. MM, Part 6 will be a comparative of the mineral, plant, animal and nosode group symptoms.
Now is the time to begin collecting the material necessary to study the mineral families of the remedies in detail. Everyone needs the periodic table with some explanation of its meaning.