Schüssler cell salts, also called tissue salts, were developed by Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Schüssler, who was born in Zwischenahn, Germany in 1821. Dr. Schüssler was born and raised at a time when the conflict of material science and natural science was at its peak.
During his medical studies in Berlin (~1853), Schüssler was exposed to the teachings of Justus von Liebig, a chemistry teacher. Von Liebig developed the understanding of the law of minimum, also called Liebig’s law, which states that growth is controlled not by the total of resources available, but by the scarcest resource (limiting factor).
Dr Schüssler was also influenced by Rudolf Virchow, the founder of cellular pathology, who taught that all illnesses are based upon a change in function or condition of cells in the body. He continued his studies in Giessen where he attained a doctorate. After this promotion he continued to study in Prague, since this was a location well-known for its homeopathic teachers (Altschul, Hofrichter).
Dr. Schüssler was granted permission to practice as a homeopathic doctor in 1858. This came about after 309 citizens of Oldenburg petitioned the doctor’s association to have a homeopathic doctor permitted to practice. As Schüssler was exposed to both the homeopathic teachings as well as material science and the biomedical workings of the organism, he was in the unique position to take both sides into consideration.
Another big influence in his life were the teachings of Jacob Moleschott (1822 -1893) who taught physiological chemistry. His prime focus was the totality of all biochemical processes that run in the body or cell, with all their intermediate steps within the metabolism. Moleschott was a materialist in his approach.
In 1874, Schüssler’s “Abridged Therapeutics, founded upon histology and cellular pathology,” was printed and released. Here we find his understanding of the role of the cell salts, and their place in the system of Heilkunst explained.
At the time, Dr. Schüssler undertook studies to see which mineral elements would remain after a person or animal had died. He burned cadavers and examined the contents, establishing that 12 minerals would remain and depending on the state of health of the cadaver before its death, certain minerals would be lacking.
The 12 minerals are Calcium flouraticum, Calcium phosphoricum, Calcium sulphuricum, Ferrum phosphoricum, Kalium muriaticum, Kalium phosphoricum, Kalium sulphuricum, Magnesium phosphoricum, Natrum muriaticum, Natrum phosphoricum, Natrum sulphuricum and Silicea.
Dr. Schüssler used the idea of diluting (and succussing or dynamizing – on the decimal or 1/10 dilution scale) these minerals, as he had learned from homeopathy, but with the understanding that the Law of Similars was not being used. He knew that the body requires time to break down crude minerals, as this is accomplished through the digestive tract, but if the minerals have already been partially assimilated they are in a state such that the blood can transport them quickly and easily to each cell. Dr. Schüssler refered to these as “coarse minerals” and “fine minerals,” respectively.
The advantage of the “fine minerals” is that they are absorbed much faster and more efficiently than the coarse/crude minerals, which can take up to three months before a difference is noticed in the organism.
The diluted minerals that Dr. Schüssler used to treat conditions or malfunctions of the physical body mimic the state of the fine minerals in our body, and have the same advantage as the fine minerals our organism produces naturally (which are also dynamised by the digestion, absorption and assimilation functions). Upon ingestion, they are rapidly transported into our bloodstream and from there into the cells that require nourishment. Hence, shifts and changes in acute situations are quickly noticed.
From this we can conclude that the key to the “fine minerals” is the fact that they have been de-natured in terms of their crude aspect, and dynamised by the life force of the organism through the process of digestion, an important aspect of the dynamic physiology of Heilkunst. We can further see that the action of the cell salts, as prepared according to Schüssler’s directions, themselves influenced by Dr. Hahnemann’s teachings on pharmacodynamics, is dynamic in nature and not due to any crude matter left in the particular dose.
Chronic conditions require replenishment of not only the fine, but also of the coarse minerals, and by their very nature, improvement in such conditions will take longer.
Our organism uses these salts on a daily basis to provide the proper balance within, to guarantee organ function and the elimination of toxins, oxygen transport, fighting inflammation etc. so that we can stay healthy. Each of these minerals has a certain job within the organism and the prescription of the salts depends on the symptoms observed. These are the functions of the minerals and where they have their main action in the organism. The list is by no means complete, and provides only an overview.
Calc fluor is used to promote elasticity to connective tissue and skin. It also gives form to bone and all surfaces of the organism.
Calc phos is found in bones, muscles, blood, dentin, spine, nerves. Its main function is to process protein.
Calc sulph acts upon the liver, gall bladder, spleen and testicles. It loosens mucous, is acid-reducing and acts on hardening processes in the organism.
Ferr phos is the oxygen transporter into the body and is found in the blood, in all vessels and in the intestines.
Kali mur is the fuel for the glands. It binds toxins but does not eliminate them, and its main action is on the mucous membranes, connective tissue and glands.
Kali phos is an energy carrier. It builds new cells, regulates metabolism in muscles, has an antiseptic function, binds with some toxins, prevents cell break down and is found in muscles, tissue and nerves.
Kali sulph facilitates the conversion of oxygen from the blood into the cell. It eliminates deposited toxins and has its main action in the spleen, liver and GI tract. It is also found in the skin and mucous membranes.
Mag phos excretes through the kidneys, activates enzymes, binds gases and helps to eliminate them. Its main action is on all involuntary functions of the organs (all hollow muscles). It is a great nerve remedy, and for cramping pain in general.