Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Fundamentals of Therapy
GA 27

XX. Typical Therapeutic Substances

We shall now describe and explain the efficacy of a few of our typical medicaments. They are designed for the typical disorders, and in so far as a pathological condition is typical, our medicament will represent the necessary means of bringing about a therapeutic action in the sense explained in this book. A number of our medicaments will be described from this point of view.

I. “Scleron”

Scleron consists of metallic lead, honey and sugar. Lead works upon the organism in such a way as to stimulate the catabolic action of the ego-organization. If we introduce it into the organism where this action is deficient, it will therefore stimulate it, if administered in sufficiently strong doses. If the doses are excessive, hypertrophy of the ego organization results. The body destroys more than it can build up and must disintegrate. In sclerotic illness the ego organization becomes too weak; it is not itself sufficiently catabolic. Therefore destruction only occurs through the astral body. The catabolic products are precipitated out of the organism and cause reinforcement of those organs that exist in salt substances. In appropriate dosage, lead takes back the catabolic process into the ego-organization. The catabolic products are eliminated and do not remain as hardened areas in the body. All healing of sclerosis can only consist of opening up the way out of the organism of salt forming processes which otherwise remain in the body.

Through the lead the direction of the processes of the ego organization is determined. Further it is necessary that these processes in their course, remain transient to a certain extent. This is accomplished by adding honey. Honey brings the ego organization to the state where it can exercise the necessary mastery over the astral body. Therefore, it takes from the astral body its relative autonomy in sclerosis. Sugar works directly on the ego-organization. It strengthens it in itself. Our remedy, therefore, has the following effect: lead works catabolically in the manner of the ego-organization, not the astral body. The honey transfers the catabolic action of the astral body to the ego-organization and the sugar places the ego-organization in a position to fulfil its specific task. It can be observed that the initial stages of sclerosis express themselves in that the quickness of thought and precise command of memory cease. Applied in this early stage of sclerosis, our remedy will prevent the advanced stages. It proves effective, however, in the later stages too. (Instructions are included with the preparation.)

2. “Bidor” as a Remedy for Migraine

The head-organization is so constituted that the internal white portion of the brain (the white-matter) represents physically the most highly advanced part of the human organization. This portion of the brain contains a sensory activity, which comprises the other senses and into which the ego and astral body work. It participates also in the rhythmic system of the organism, into which the astral body and the etheric are working, and it also participates, though to a very small extent, in the metabolic and limb-system in which the physical and etheric work. This part of the brain differentiates itself from the surrounding periphery, the grey matter, which in its physical organization contains far more of the metabolic and limb-system, somewhat more of the rhythmic system, and least of all of the nerves-and-senses system. If now the central brain is impoverished as to nerve-sense activity and richer in metabolic activity because of a repressed activity of the ego-organization, i.e. if the centre becomes more like the peripheral brain than in the normal state, migraine arises. Its cure will, therefore, depend upon: 1. A stimulation of the nerve-sense activity; 2. A transformation of the rhythmic activity from one that inclines to the metabolism, into one that inclines more to the breathing process; and 3. A restraint of the purely vegetative metabolic activity which forgoes regulation by the ego-organization. The first of these results is attained by the use of silicic acid. Silica, in combination with oxygen, contains processes equivalent to those that take place within the organism in the transition from the breathing to the nerve-sense activity. The second result is to be achieved by sulphur. This contains that process whereby the rhythm inclining to the digestive system is transformed into a rhythm inclining to respiration. The third is achieved through iron, which immediately after the (digestive) process guides the metabolism into the rhythms of the blood, which leads to suppression of the metabolic process itself. Iron, sulphur and silicic acid (processed) in an appropriate form must therefore be therapeutic in migraine. This has been confirmed for us in countless cases.

3. A Remedy for Tracheitis and Bronchitis—Pyrites

We will now discuss a remedy which owes its existence to the knowledge which can relate the processes in substances to the processes in the human organism in the right way. In this connection we must bear in mind that a substance is really a process brought to a stand-still, a frozen process, as it were. Properly speaking we should say, not pyrites, but pyrites-process. This process, which is arrested as if frozen in the mineral pyrites, represents what can result from the working together of the iron and sulphur processes. Iron, as we saw in the previous section, stimulates the circulation of the blood, while sulphur mediates the connection of the circulation and the breathing. The origin of tracheitis and bronchitis, and of certain kinds of stammering, lies just where the circulation and the breathing come into a relationship. This process between the circulation and the breathing is also the process whereby the corresponding organs are created in the embryonic period, and continuously renew themselves again during life. This process can be taken over, if it is not working normally in the organism, by the iron-sulphur substance introduced into the body. Starting from this perception, we prepare a remedy for the above forms of disease out of the mineral pyrites; and in preparing the remedy, the mineral is so transformed that its forces can find their way through an internal indication into the diseased organs. We must, of course have knowledge of the paths which the processes of certain substances will take within the body. The iron-process is led from the metabolism as far as the circulation of the blood. The sulphur-process passes on from the circulation into the breathing.

4. Effects of Antimony Compounds

Antimony has an extraordinarily strong affinity to other bodies, e.g. sulphur. It thus reveals that it will readily accompany sulphur on the path which the latter takes through the organism, for example, into all the breathing processes. A further property of antimony is its tendency to cluster forms of crystals. Here it shows how easily it obeys certain radiations of forces in the earth's environment. This property becomes more evident when antimony is subjected to the Seiger process. Through this it becomes filamentous. Still more significantly this appears, when antimony is brought into the process of combustion and its white vapour develops. This vapour is deposited on cold surfaces and forms the very characteristic flowers of antimony. Now just as antimony gives itself up to the forces that work upon it when it is outside the human organism, so too, it obeys the form giving forces when it is within. In the blood, there is, as it were, a state of equilibrium between the form-giving and form-dissolving forces. By virtue of its properties above described, antimony can carry the form-creating forces of the human organism into the blood, if the way is prepared for it by combination with sulphur. The forces of antimony are therefore the very forces that work in the coagulation of the blood. To spiritual science the process appears as follows: the astral body is strengthened in those forces leading to the coagulation of the blood. For we must recognize in the astral body forces similar to those of antimony, working in the human organism centrifugally from within outward. These antimonizing forces oppose the forces directed from without inward, which liquefy the blood and place the liquefied blood plastically in the service of the formation of the body. The protein forces are also working in this direction. The forces contained in the protein process perpetually hinder the coagulation of the blood. Take the case of typhoid fever; it is due to an excess influence of the albuminizing forces. If antimony is administered in very minute doses to the organism, the forces that give rise to typhoid fever are counteracted. It must, however, be borne in mind that the effect of antimony is quite different whether it is given internally or externally. Administered externally, in ointments and the like, it weakens those centrifugal forces of the astral body which express themselves for instance in the symptoms of eczema; internally administered it counteracts the excessive centripetal forces which manifest themselves in typhoid fever.

Antimony is an important remedy in all diseases accompanied by a dangerous lowering of consciousness (drowsiness). Here the formative centrifugal forces of the astral body, and hence also the processes of the brain and of the senses, are to some extent excluded. If antimony is administered, the deficient astral forces are engendered artificially. We shall always observe that the absorption of antimony strengthens the memory, enhances the creative powers of the soul and improves the inner poise and composure of the soul. From the strengthened soul the organism is regenerated. In older medicine this was felt. Antimony was thus regarded as a universal remedy. Even if we do not take such an extreme stance, we must see a versatile remedy in antimony as can be concluded from the above.

5. Cinnabar

We have been able to identify an important therapeutic substance in cinnabar. This is especially a substance that offers an opportunity to study the much defended and much attacked relationship of quicksilver to the human organism. Quicksilver is that solidified process which stands in the middle between those processes of reproduction which, themselves working within the organism, detach it almost entirely from its being (the regenerative processes which, working within the organism, detach themselves almost entirely from its existence). The forces of quicksilver have the peculiar property that they can bring back those detached forces to be re-absorbed into the whole organism. Quicksilver, therefore (in the finest dosage), can be used everywhere as therapy where separating processes develop in the organism which have to be brought back into the dominion of the whole organism. All catarrhal processes are included in this. They arise when one or other tract within the organism is torn away by some external agency from the dominion of the whole organism. This is the case, for example, with tracheitis and other catarrhal symptoms in the same region. Mercury forces, conveyed to this part of the body, will have a curative effect. We have referred already to the characteristic property of sulphur, which makes its influence felt in that domain of the organism where the circulation and the breathing processes border on each other, that is to say, in all that proceeds from the lungs. Cinnabar is a compound of mercury and sulphur; it is an effective remedy for all catarrhal symptoms in these regions.

6. “Gencydo ” as a Remedy for Hay Fever

The pathological symptoms of hay fever represent an inflammatory condition of the mucous membranes of the eyes, the nose, the throat and upper respiratory tract. The past history of the hay fever sufferer generally indicates that in childhood there were pathological processes which may be included in the term “exudative diathesis”. These indications point to the etheric body and to the behaviour of the astral. The forces of the etheric body are dominant, while the astral body withdraws and shows a disinclination to take proper hold of the etheric and physical. The catarrhal symptoms result from the fact that in the diseased parts the regulated influence of the astral body—and hence, too, of the ego organization—is disturbed. The astral body and ego-organization become hypersensitive and show themselves in this way, also in the convulsive reactions to sense-impressions: to light, to heat and cold, to dust etc. A healing process for hay fever must therefore come to the assistance of the astral body, helping it to enter in and intervene properly in the etheric. This can be done by the aid of the juices of fruits that possess a leathery skin or rind. Observation shows in such fruits how strongly they are subject to form-creating forces of the kind that work from without inwards. By applying the juices of such fruits externally and internally, we can stimulate the astral body and urge it in the direction of the etheric; in the mineral constituents of the fruit-juices (potassium, calcium and silica, for example) this influence receives further support from the side of the ego-organization (cf. Chapter XVII). In this way, a real cure of hay fever is effected. Detailed instructions are included with the preparation.