Argentum (Silver) belongs to the second line of metals in the Periodic Table, where it lies between copper and gold. Like other metal remedies, Argentum metallicum sees his survival in performance and defence. The metals of the second line are concerned with show. Silver is a showy metal, a shiny metal, a showpiece of human society. A good orator is called silver-tongued. Funnily enough Argentum metallicum has the symptom: “Tongue has a silver coating”. It is said “Silence is golden, speech is silver”. Silver is not the noble one but always the showy one.
There is a strong intellectual component in Argentum metallicum. Kent says it singles out mainly the intellectual faculty, it scarcely affects the emotion. The Argentum metallicum situation is one where the person has to perform intellectually and express himself through speech, singing, writing, etc., and also has to defend himself by intellect, speech and words. In Argentum metallicum, one of the most important symptoms is aggravation from using the voice, aggravation from speaking, singing, mental exertion. He can argue and fight very strongly and hard, not only for himself but also for others. He has the ability to convince others and win over the opposition with intellect; hence, the Argentum metallicum person would make a very good lawyer or salesman.
He sees himself as a weak person internally who will be attacked and finished unless he defends himself strongly, often intellectually. The situational Materia Medica of Argentum metallicum is that he has been forced by his parents to perform, to be a performer, to demonstrate his intellect, his skill, his talents, his brain power. The parent expects the child to show the world how talented he is and the child feels this as the condition for acceptance by his parents. Given this kind of expectation, the person tries his best – talks, sings, preaches. But at a point, he cannot do it any longer and collapses: the voice is lost, power is gone, he can’t live up to the expectation any longer. So, he alternates (like Aurum alternates between “I am highly moral” and “I am highly immoral and have sinned away the day of grace”) between “I am a high performer” and “I am not good enough, I can’t perform anymore, I am useless”. Either his intellect is highly developed or he can’t remember, is confused, has loss of mental power. Everything in Argentum metallicum is about mental power. The child is expected to have high mental power and to demonstrate it, show it, express it. Constant need to show by using his mental power, and by speech.
When he feels forced to perform, there is both anger and fright; it shares this with Argentum nitricum which has anxiety before performance. In anger there is rage and when provoked he can react with striking; it has the symptoms cough from anger or jerking from anger. He can go out of control, he loses his balance and control. Slowly, over time, the mind and body give up the struggle and go into deep-seated degeneration. He develops vocal cord nodules, and can hardly sing or speak. His cartilages and condyles become thick and so he cannot move freely; the limbs feel powerless, become tired and weak, emaciated, he loses his mental power and becomes almost insane. The organs that he requires for performance and show are the ones chiefly affected. Writer’s cramp is also an expression of an ailing Argentum metallicum. In this failed state, he has no control over his mind, voice or movement, and even does unaccountable things.
Argentum metallicum make good public speakers, clergymen, preachers – persons who lecture using logic and intellect, rather than what they really felt or experienced. Musicians, singers, writers, novelists are also required to do the same, use their intellect and showing off their talent of expression or expertise. They argue well, because they rationally and logically analyze things, and also present their arguments articulately. Being good speakers, they are often quoted. One might consider as examples Winston Churchill and Norman Vincent Peale.
There are two opposite sides in Argentum metallicum. On the one hand he has great inclination to talk, his mind is very clear and he argues with facility, is inclined to laughter and loquacity, and on the other hand you have the opposite: “In society is indisposed to talk”. Also, you have the symptom: “Paralytic weakness”, or “Much inclined to move, feels as if she had more power”.
He can experience himself as very small and sometimes feels pursued by something huge. Here it can be compared to Argentum nitricum. Argentum metallicum bears a close resemblance to Medorrhinum, Palladium and Lachesis.
With Medorrhinum it shares the feeling of inner weakness, which he is trying to cover up with egotism. Both have anticipatory anxiety as in stage fright. Both Palladium and Argentum metallicum have showiness and longing for the good opinion of others. It shares with Lachesis its emphasis on speech and communication and its egotism. The difference between the two is that Argentum metallicum is concentrated exclusively in the field of intellect whereas Lachesis is a jack of all trades.
As an observation, I have seen that Argentum metallicum either has great love for gold or total contempt for it, sometimes referring to it disparagingly as the “Yellow Metal”.
- Electric shocks.
It also has thickening of the cartilages and symptoms that are deep and penetrating. The closely related remedies are Alumina, Mercurius, Selenium and other metals. All these remedies have in common deep, penetrating processes with sudden acute exacerbations, violent impulses and manifestations.
- Loquacity: changing quickly from one subject to the other
- Talk, indisposed to, desire to be silent, taciturn
- Exertion, from mental, aggravates
- Prostration of mind
- Ideas, abundant, clearness of mind
- Work, mental, impossible
- Hawk, disposition to.
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: