Materia Medica


Written by Joy Lucas


When comparing remedies within any particular group it is important to emphasise that one doesn’t lose sight of each and every individual symptom picture of each remedy within the group and its application to individual clients. Each and every one has its own special application within the search for the simillimum – and that is what is important. Having said that, I hope the following is interesting.

The name and number of ‘group 8’ hardly does justice to the group of minerals that I call the ‘lusty’ or ‘sexy’ group of minerals.

In this group we have:-

Ferrum metallicum (iron) – lustrous and volatile, excitable, capacious yet sensitive.

And for our purposes we would have to also take into consideration –

Ferrum aceticum – restless, excess and depletion, lungs and blood

Ferrum arsenicosum – weakness, enlargement and emaciation, spleen and liver

Ferrum bromatum – heaviness and anxiety, uterus and head

Ferrum citricum – anxiety about the future

Ferrum cyanatum – weakness and neurotic, brain and bowels

Ferrum iodatum – debility and bearing down and pushing upwards sensations, glands

Ferrum magneticum – weak and dejected with feelings of self importance, abdomen, skin and muscles

Ferrum muriaticum – sexual activity painful, bowels and blood

Ferrum phosphoricum – loquacious or quiet, excitable anger or apathy, circulation and blood

Ferrum sulphuricum – weak and hot, bowels, gallbladder, teeth, muscles

Ferrum tartaricum – sensations of heat, heart and stomach.

And then on to

Osmium metallicum (precious metal) – precious, lustrous and brittle, gives up easily but impatient and morose, frequent erections, thoughts of accidents.

Plutonium metallicum (actinoid, star shaped) – suppressed and explosive energy, feels heavy, disintegration, feels threatened, multiple personalities (like Platina), shape shifting, sexually aggressive or obligated.

Plutonium nitricum – suppressed and buried, sexually aggressive or servile, threat to humanity, threatened relationships.

Naturally, these groups will leak into other groups of minerals, namely Osmium which is part of the platinum precious metals group which includes:-

Platinum (group 10) – excessive sexual desire fused with contempt.

Iridium (group 9) – very heavy but gets carried away by rainbows, romantic, iridescent.

Palladium (group 10) – egotistical, in love with the self, impotence, soft and ductile, used in watch springs.

Common to all these remedies in this group is MOVEMENT of some kind that is characterised by ENERGY, HEAT and EXCITATION or ANXIETY. On the upper level, with Ferrum, this energy is volatile, restless, driven by anxiety and sensitivity until DEPLETION takes over. Then it becomes heavier and we have the uncontrolled and reckless energy of Osmium, refractory but lazy and then heavier still until we come to Plutonium where it is either suppressed and threatening or explosive and disintegrating.

The ‘sexual energy’ theme in this group of remedies is identifiable via this polarity of energy versus depletion. It becomes a thing of survival and endurance signified by the struggle to continually exist – the survival of the species. In the Ferrum group Scholten calls this PERSEVERANCE. I call it sexual energy because the species cannot survive without this.

Initially, in this group of Ferrum (1), Osmium (2) and Plutonium (3) we have:-

Restless weakness (1) – impatience (2) – oppression (3)


Blood (without which we cannot survive) (1) – preciousness, sexually flaunting but cannot sustain (2) – survival of the species (3)


Problems with self identity, feeling small and the need to assert (1) – confusion (2) – dominating and threatening or die and be buried (3).

FERRUM has a powerful influence on the blood. It causes anaemia and this is where the weakness and sense of depletion come from. This weakness is mingled with excitation, irritability, moroseness and sadness and this compounds into general anxiety. Scholten describes one vital aspect of Ferrum as being that of PERSEVERANCE. It needs to hold on and keep all the excitation together else they will lose it, i.e. become depleted. This is where the ‘capacious’ level of Ferrum comes into play – expanding with the excitation and depletion with the moroseness and sadness.

Leading rubrics for the emotional and mental aspects of Ferrum would be

Delusion, surroundings seemed large, surroundings are capacious.
Excitation after menses.
Morose after menses.
Irritability from noise, such as crackling of newspaper, drives him to despair. (This is very similar to Asarum and Kali arsenicosum).

Lots of ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Fear’ rubrics.
Confusion of mind, motion >>>
Moods alternating – so you will find Ferrum in opposing rubrics such as ‘Haughty’ and ‘Indifference’, ‘Morose’ and ‘Laughing immoderately’, ‘Sadness when alone’ and ‘Averse to company’, ‘Tranquility’ and ‘Excitable’ etc.

Lots of ‘Restless’ rubrics.

With blood in mind, blood that is always on the move, Ferrum is always flushed and yet cold. Ferrum needs this movement but it is better if it is slow movement. Pallor can alternate with flushing, as if there is no blood at all. It is a haemorrhagic remedy. The pulse if full yet soft. Ingestion of food usually stirs up the blood and provides heat and so Ferrum will always have problems with the digestive sphere, and iron is present in so many foods. Limbs cold, head and face hot. Toothache is >>> for icy cold water. Ferrum is a real mixture of heat and cold = energy and depletion.

Other related remedies include Rumex (contains iron); Graphites; Manganum; Cuprum.

OSMIUM is reckless, driven mainly by impatience, but they cannot sustain effort, they quit. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a contiguous nature to the ailments – pains and sensations seem unrelated to the point of origin. It has a special affinity to the eyes, respiratory tract and trachea, the latter being interesting because they tend to scream – the respiratory tract being the organ where this force is expelled. Osmium is also one of the ‘smelly’ remedies.

Perhaps, because the eyes are involved, their vision of life is distorted and this is why they become reckless and susceptible to accidents. The vision is iridescent, they see rainbow colours (Iridium?). There is Glaucoma, Herpes within the eyes, Conjunctivitis, Photophobia, supra and infra-orbital neuralgia, violent pains in the eyes with lachrymation.

As well as being ‘smelly’ – urine smells like violets; sweat smells like garlic; belchings smell like radishes; the substance itself has an odour like chlorine (hence the affinity to the respiratory tract); the remedy produces an intolerance of particular odours such as cocoa, coffee and tobacco.

The entire respiratory tract has ailments: pain the trachea and larynx; bronchitis; colds and coughs that are noisy, dry, spasmodic and hard. It can be so violent that it shakes the whole body and they dread having to breathe in and open air <<<.

Strange sensations are as if he had swallowed broken stones and as if insects are crawling on the back and shoulders. This causes an itching that drives them crazy.

Leading rubrics for Osmium would include

Impatience from itching
Confusion – makes mistakes in speaking
Weeping or screaming during cough.

Related remedies include: Argentum nitricum; Selenium; Manganum; Iridium; Tellurium; Thallium; Platina; Palladium; Chlorine and Bromium.

PLUTONIUM METALLICUM has extreme gravity, fatigue and exhaustion. Feels constantly under threat and in fear of disintegration. Whereas in Osmium it is recklessness, in Plutonium it is a deep and pressing constraint that requires enormous effort to clear.

Again, just as in Ferrum and Osmium, we see the need for perseverance in the effort required. Ferrum cannot sustain this due to depletion and weakness and Osmium cannot either due to impatience.

The fatigue in Plutonium can be paralysing and by shape shifting or a change of identity the individual is able to ‘cheat’ this threat of paralysis. Multiple personalities can form to serve this purpose (as in Platina). This is the beginning of the decay or disintegration. There is an obligation to persevere, the powerful force is working against them so they can become aggressive in their need to survive. Either aggressive, deeply religious, philosophical, overly responsible or servile. Fear and panic also dominates.

Understandably, depression and other deep seated disease states develop, such as asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, anorexia, hypertension, bone diseases, psychosis, gastro-enteritis, sacralgia.

The very essence of survival is threatened and there is emotional pain and physical pain. Relationships are threatened or disturbed. Terrible chaos and accidents occur. We have a hint of this in Osmium.

PLUTONIUM NITRICUM brings in the characteristics of Nitricum, one of these being a sense of abundance and expansion which links in with the capaciousness of Ferrum. Nitricum needs space else it will explode and as explosion is the main threat behind Plutonium this creates a twofold terror.

As with Plutonium metallicum we have again suppression, threat and endangerment of survival of the species and this threat is either faced with aggression or servility. Depression, fear and panic is observed. The individual ceases to be important in the survival of the species so there are issues around confusion of identities. Accidents feature again, often in dreams. Once more, relationships are threatened. Because the Nitricum aspect cannot be contained in a small space there will be terrible fears accompanied by a need to escape. Interestingly a fear of cancer is a strong keynote and one could define cancer as an ‘expansive’ disease.

Physically you can expect to see congestion, swelling, respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma, allergies, ailments of the spinal column and chronic fatigue syndrome, headaches that feel as if the head will explode, acute illnesses that have taken on a sub chronic state, such as tonsillitis, nausea, diarrhoea.

Such is the threat with Plutonium I believe some practitioners have noted bizarre accidents occurring just by having the remedy on the premises!

In summary


Ferrum is the blood supply for life and energy. Osmium is reckless with that energy, is ambitious but cannot sustain and Plutonium has so much gravity and oppression one either disintegrates, becomes dead and buried or survives through aggression.


Once upon a time in the year of 1737 and in the land of Sverige, a young man came across a hexagonal crystal formation that was later discovered to be an ingredient of a tough, silver white transition metal which he named Cobalos (Cobaltum or Kobeolt).

Kobe is a hut or a cage, some structure that holds and stores, maybe where stolen goods could be stashed. Olt refers to a spirit, a gracious spirit and Cobalt is in silver ore where it was believed to have been placed by silver stealing goblins who were trying to cover their tracks by replacing the silver with this dangerous, radioactive substance.

Stealing can never really been seen in a gracious light but the good intention was there and thus Cobaltum metallicum has, at the focal point of its symptom picture ‘DELUSION HE IS A CRIMINAL AND OTHERS KNOW IT’ + full of self reproach, guilt and no self esteem – an emotional holding or storage of damaging feelings.

This sense of guilt leads to constantly changing moods – on the one hand, vivacious, cheerful and happy with a strong feeling of exhilaration and clearness of the mind and on the other, indolence, confusion, restless nervousness, impotence and sadness – the impotence being replaced with self satisfaction and lots of sexy dreams. This alternation almost represents a healthy letting go that is soon replaced by the hoarding of guilt, just like the guilty goblins replacing the silver ore with Cobalt.

Open or shut and empty or full is another way of viewing this – the abdomen has an empty feeling at the navel; there is a disposition to keep the jaws shut tight; vertigo with a feeling that the head grows large; teeth feel too long; water from the stomach rises up. Even the brain feels like it is going up and down.

Letting go on the physical plane is seen as a need to hawk mucous which >>>; haemorrhages (constant dropping of blood from the anus); lachrymation; sweaty feet; discharge of se-men without erection; green discharge from urethra.

But the most dominant physical symptom is felt in the back. There is severe backache that can find no relief from sitting or standing but lying or walking about can help. The knees are weak and they just won’t straighten up, always bent and trembling. This could be because there is pain in the liver region that shoots downwards to the thighs, but being weak in the knees could also be the result of all those guilty burdens being carried around.

It is a colourful remedy – the tongue is coated white; the skin can become anything from yellow, brown, red, blue or purple.

Cobalt has an affinity to cancer, although this is more prominent in Cobaltum nitricum. Cobalt 60 is the radioactive isotope used in allopathic treatment of cancer.

Cobalt is an important trace element and so has dietary relevance.

It is also very interesting that the theme of ‘holding on’ is linked to the fact that Cobalt is also used in the making of magnets.

Thanks for reading.

Joy Lucas RSHom

About the author

Joy Lucas

Joy Lucas"™s interest in homeopathy began in the early 1980's but she didn't complete her formal training until 1993, when she graduated from the North West College of Homeopathy in Manchester. She now has a busy practice in Saddleworth, North West England (UK).
Joy Lucas works from home and also takes long distance cases. When not busy taking cases she writes material for her website and other publications and is involved in conducting the Proving project. She also supervises students and other Homeopaths with their cases.

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