The mineral Arsenic lies between Phosphorus and Bismuth in the Periodic Table. I found that in this group, which also includes Antimony, there is a feeling of insecurity, of loneliness, of being isolated, and of not belonging. Phosphorus tries to make up for this feeling by excessive friendliness and sympathy. In Arsenicum, it manifests as fear and insecurity.
The Arsenicum patient sees the world as threatening, chaotic. He feels that he is old, weak and defenseless, and that there are thieves all around him, ready to take advantage of his weakness. He needs people and is dependent on them because of his weakness, yet feels that they cannot be trusted, that they are interested only in his money.
However he cannot do without them, and hence is very careful that he should not offend them, lest they leave him and go away. He is mistrustful and suspicious, cautious and anxious in all matters: money, relationships, even health.
The Arsenicum person has a hypochondriacal anxiety; he fears that he will lose his health unless he exercises regularly and will avoid many things which he feels are harmful. He will not eat out in restaurants, etc., and will impose many restrictions on himself in diet and other matters.
His life is full of anxiety. He is extremely fearful that he will lose what he has, unless he is extremely cautious. This makes him both restless and conscientious. The restlessness drives him from place to place, he cannot rest till things are in place; anything that seems out of place troubles him.
The patient will show you his hands and ask you to look at both of them. “Doctor, he will ask, do you see that the veins on my left hand are more prominent than those on the right hand? Why is this so?”
The conscientiousness and carefulness is manifest as an almost compulsive need for order, making Arsenicum extremely fastidious and hence a remedy of the cancer miasm. I have also seen that the Arsenicum concern for health and security can extend to others, so that these patients can be caring for the health and security of others as well. I have found that they write very precisely in very small writing, fitting in much as possible in a very small space.
- Delusion, sees thieves at night.
- Delusion, that the house and space under the bed are full of thieves.
- Delusion, about criminals.
- Delusion, others conspire to murder him.
- Delusion, is about to receive injury.
- Delusion, that she is being watched.
- Company, desire for, alone, while, aggravates.
- Fear, alone of being, lest he die.
- Delusion, friend has been offended.
- Company, aversion to whom he imagines he has offended.
- Desires more than she needs.
- Rest cannot when things are not in proper place.
- Anxiety for others.
- Anguish driving from place to place.
- Corrugated nails.
- Taste bitter for water.
- Desires fat.
- Thirst: small quantities for, often.
- Cracks: feet soles.
- Agony, cannot rest in any place.
- Craves condiments.
- Dust aggravates.
- Walk, impulse 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: