Ways of Seeing: The Art of Prescribing and Study of Materia Medica

The following essay is extracted from a new book, Comparative Materia Medica: Integrating New and Old Remedies. It explores how to study materia medica  and the art of remedy study and differentiation. An example of one remedy is taken from the book which shows how the remedy knowledge and differential comparison is categorized into three themes: intrinsic, compensated and decompensated, which are identified with the three main miasms: psora, sycosis and syphilis.

In Aphorism 3 of the Organon of Medicine, Hahnemann states that in order to cure disease, we must know what is to be cured in disease, what is curative in medicines and how to adapt the medicine to the person who has the disease. It sounds simple enough and yet this proves to be challenging for all homeopaths. Let us initially look at the first part of this aphorism, that is, what is to be cured in disease.

What is to be cured in disease is a big question for homeopaths, as it not only means the most apparent symptoms of disease but also requires a detailed and in-depth analysis of the whole person. As any disease does not exist separate from the person experiencing it, the homeopath is forced to undertake a comprehensive review of the whole person in order to not only get to the fundamental cause of a condition but simply to get the information needed to find the correct remedy.

Homeopathic prescribing requires many skills and the utilization of information from many sources. Some prescriptions are given based on one keynote, others on unusual dreams or on strange food desires. Some are based mostly on the emotional and mental disposition of the patient and some are based on observation of the body typology and basic demeanor of the person. Experienced homeopaths tune into the person intuitively, picking up the more ephemeral qualities of the patient and integrating this into the total symptom picture. Part of what a homeopathic teacher does is to explore this “demeanor” of a patient with students – to reveal the smell, taste and nuances of behavior that characterize the person and the remedy image. This is the artistic expression of the homeopath, a journey into the subjective synapses of consciousness, tapping into reservoirs of knowledge and understanding that are hard to rationalize but which synthesize the art and science of homeopathy.

What is being revealed in the homeopathic interview is the nature of a person, aspects that express their most basic personality qualities and the issues that stem from this which we classify as homeopathic symptoms. The homeopath is attempting to put the specific condition and symptoms of a person into a holistic context and in so doing getting to the roots of the situation. It is not enough to simply prescribe on the immediate symptom picture most of the time, although there is nothing wrong with prescribing on a couple of keynotes. But a thorough analysis of the person, including their health and personal history usually needs to be achieved, if only to give a context to the homeopathic case.

One question that can often be asked in case taking is: what changes in a person and what remains the same? One cannot change the basic temperament and physical attributes of a person (although knowing what is normal and what can change is not always obvious) but a homeopathic remedy can change any imbalance or what is “stuck” in a person, both in physical and psychological patterning that limits health. Sometimes as homeopaths we can get this mixed up, thinking we can change things we cannot.

Homeopathy has taken the art of the mind-body connection to a fine level. This term is commonly used in holistic circles to explain the fact that the mind and body are interconnected and one cannot treat one without taking into consideration the other, at least most of the time. This is a central tenet in holistic medicine and very much with homeopathy.

In modern “classical” homeopathy there has been an increased focus on and treatment of significant mental/emotional symptoms/states in prescribing and less treatment of overt physical pathology or focus on physical keynotes. As stated by Hahnemann in Aphorism 211 and further reiterated by Kent when he states, “every government is from the center to the circumference”, the predominant mental and emotional qualities of a person can most clearly reveal the central aspects of a person’s identity and therefore symptom picture. This perspective has encouraged a focus on mental/emotional symptoms to determine the remedy, and while this makes sense in many cases, it can obscure the fact that the body can equally express the central state or constitution, especially when basic functions have deviated from the norm, producing symptoms and sensations on the physical level; for example, the condition of nails, skin, hair and functional symptoms such as menses, time modalities, food preferences, sleep patterns and position, etc. The most confident prescriptions are mostly made when a combination of mental/emotional and corresponding physical symptoms are included, especially when treating at a root or constitutional level. All symptoms are part of the whole. An undue focus on either dimension tends to create an imbalanced analysis. The whole is seen in each of the parts if we can only identify it. Also, the body doesn’t lie so easily. Mental symptoms can be fraught with subjective interpretation from both client and practitioner. Therefore, in both case taking and study of materia medica, it is important that all characteristics of a patient are looked at, and not to focus too much on any one area.

A discussion is given in this book to the term constitution and what it means in homeopathic prescribing. It is important to know at what level one is prescribing and whether the given remedy is based on a constitutional analysis or not. This will help in the choice of symptoms taken in the case, the most important task of the homeopath after “Taking the Case”. Also, the terms “essence”, “core delusion” and more recently “vital sensation” and “source” have been used to describe a process of getting to the deepest possible understanding of a case and this approach can be said to be an extension of Kent´s approach of seeing all important expressions of a case stemming from a central idea or theme.

Which case-taking route to follow?
While not wanting to debate the merits of any one method, it is an example of the challenges we face as homeopaths as there are many ways to get to the remedy image. In our attempt to simply find the ¨right remedy¨ we have to explore many areas, and the information we may need can be found in any area of the body or mind and on any level. One of the things to be constantly aware of in case taking is not to get stuck in any one methodology. Case taking is a delicate dance between client and homeopath, a balance between the subjective experiences of both and the objective rationalization needed to find the correct remedy. We need to be able to find our own way and to be able to “dance” with the patient, while staying true to our goal of finding the image and information necessary to make a remedy choice. As mentioned, one small keynote may do it, while in other cases, leading patients to a deep “unconscious” expression of their state may reveal the picture of the disease.

There are times in which the patient is lead to even describe the remedy, the “source” of the substance they need as a homeopathic remedy, whether it is a mineral, animal or vegetable. Some of these examples can be impressive in being able to express what the patient needs by letting the patient state it by bypassing the conscious mind. This may be easier to do with some people than others and also depending on the remedy they may need. It may be harder if a patient needs something that no-one has ever heard of than say a substance/thing that is more commonly known. It may also be easier if the remedy needed is from the animal world, which at least shares a basic self awareness or consciousness that the inanimate world of elements does not and the vegetable world has less of. This method of getting to the source is also fraught with potential error and misinterpretation and yet at times it may lead to a remedy than cannot be seen in any other way and by conventional analysis.

Characteristic symptoms and qualities
What is more important in analysis is not in always finding the so-called central theme or essence but in simply identifying what are the most characteristic symptoms or qualities in the case. It is this and the unique combination of key characteristics in any given case that leads to the remedy. The key characteristics may or may not be what is most limiting to a person or the most intense symptoms. While mental/emotional symptoms can often give vital information, they need to be strong to be useful or the homeopath needs to know how the unique combination of psychological observations and mental/emotional symptoms fits into the overall case. An overemphasis on mental/emotional symptoms can lead to the avoidance of more important physical characteristics. It has been demonstrated by many approaches that the core of a case can be found through exploring the deepest experience of a physical symptom, looking at the language and experience of the whole person through a specific physical symptom. If we approach each symptom as if it were part of a hologram, then we can still look for the most complete comprehension of a symptom and how it is connected to the whole.

Seeing the Pattern
However, often the most important key in finding a remedy is in recognizing a pattern in the selected totality of characteristic symptoms chosen – a fear here, a dream there, an etiology perhaps and suddenly a remedy picture emerges. This ability to select and then recognize a pattern in symptoms is often the key to finding the right remedy.

When taking a case, we explore issues that reveal the most important dimensions of a patient’s life, questions pertaining to one’s purpose in life, what gives meaning and value and what obstacles may be in the way. By understanding the basic nature of a person – their template – one can gain an understanding of the health issues and struggles they may face as they are usually intimately connected. However, one must generally avoid prescribing on a vague concept of personality characteristics only. It is only in the qualitative totality, the unique relationship of both mental and physical symptoms that gives us the necessary confidence in prescribing. Some of the most important qualities can be seen in the body type, the areas of the body involved and other more objective characteristics of the person’s basic character. Less analytical and simpler observations by experienced practitioners can sometimes lead to the correct remedy in a direct and simple way. For example, the qualities described in a Sulphur-type person, or Calcarea carbonica or Phosphorus have been verified thousands of times by homeopaths throughout the world. This knowledge of polychrest remedies is tried and true and a good homeopath knows how to make distinctions between these remedies and can identify the need for these remedies very simply. This is why, sometimes, one can see a remedy for a person merely by looking at them and perhaps speaking for a few minutes. The truth is the truth. This knowledge and experience can also help in seeing when a less common remedy is indicated through a process of remedy elimination.

However, there are cases in which the mental or physical etiology of the case is the most important information needed and one ignores the basic story and personality of the person, and other constitutional physical attributes. Every case demands its own analysis and approach. The goal of the homeopath is to recognize this and know which symptoms are important for each case.

One of the goals of this book is to attempt to distinguish when a polychrest remedy is needed, based on traditional information, and when a less well-known or new remedy may be indicated. This knowledge most often comes with experience and a homeopath of many years will be able to make that distinction. However, given the increasing number of remedies and methods of exploring possible remedy pictures, it is worth further study of our remedies to see where we are going.

Knowledge of Medicines
The second part of Aphorism 3 states that we must know what is curative in medicine. Traditionally, this knowledge has come from homeopathic provings and been corroborated in clinical practice. The combination of knowledge from these two areas has formed the backbone of our materia medica, from Allen´s Encyclopedia, which focused on proving symptoms, to Hering´s Guiding Symptoms, which incorporated more clinical data. However, we are also aware of the limits of this information. Many provings are incomplete and inaccurate and also clinical data is not always true unless it has been corroborated by others. There have been systems of thinking that have sought to add to our knowledge base of medicines; systems of classification such as the periodic table and botanical classifications and also direct study of the nature of the substance itself. These systems incorporate some of the basic knowledge of a substance but there are other ways in which knowledge of a substance can be obtained. While the use of the Doctrine of Signatures is often criticized, if the study is comprehensive it goes much further than this doctrine, which historically has been a very loose basis for obtaining knowledge. The shape of a plant does not necessarily tell us very much indeed about its possible medicinal use (although it may be enough for basic categorization), yet the detailed study of a plants’ behavior can give valuable information about its nature and possible homeopathic use. This is even more the case studying animal behavior as the complexity of animal life is easier to see parallels in human conditioning e.g., milk remedies, as well a physiological study of the animal part used, such as snake venom, may give us valuable information about its use as a homeopathic remedy. This information cannot be ignored and by studying deeply the source of a substance as a remedy, be it mineral, animal or vegetable, it can add greatly to our knowledge of its possible use as a remedy. However, it is finally only in clinical practice that the validity of any of this information is confirmed.

As we gain a  more comprehensive idea of the  knowledge of medicines found in nature, it can give us  a deeper understanding of the human condition and to perceive what is be cured, conforming to Hahnemann’s declaration in Aphorism 3, needing  a knowledge of both disease and of medicines. The two criteria stated by Hahnemann are therefore inextricably linked. The language in our materia medica allows us to translate the language of the patient more clearly. In theory, one doesn´t need any knowledge of materia medica to take a good case, but in practice, this knowledge acts as a map for homeopaths, as long as we can be objective in our experience and not project our knowledge onto the client´s story. This is the delicate dance involved in homeopathic case taking but in our attempt to truly understand the human condition and to find remedies to suit, developing our knowledge of materia medica gives us a clearer map.

New Thinking and New Remedies
Some of the newer remedies being explored are not based on any provings at all, and also have incomplete clinical confirmation at this point. For example, there is little known about remedies within the Lanthanides and Actinides group and what information we have is achieved through a “system” based analysis, which while fascinating, tends to be somewhat generalized and “archetypal” in nature. There are few traditional homeopathic symptom pictures and keynotes etc., requiring a shift in one’s methodology and analysis. While it may allow insight into cases that wouldn’t have happened without this knowledge, it can also lead to justification for these remedies based on a rather vague and metaphorical analysis. These remedies may be very useful in prescribing, but it is not possible to use them according to traditional methodology and is open to projection and speculative theories about their suitability in cases. Also, given the lack of proving for these remedies, accumulative clinical data from many practitioners becomes even more important.

However, to be able to see the possibility of prescribing these remedies, or for that matter, other remedies such as gems or some bird remedies we do have to be able to use a different thought process and analysis. Instead of simply focusing on specific symptoms, we have to stand back a bit and look at a broader theme or template of a person, seeing in a general way the challenges and limits to their life. While this can seem like falling into the simplistic over-generalized approach discussed earlier, if applied according to a more systematic analysis and seeing a characteristic theme in a story, it may help us see a pattern in the case. Any physical symptoms are mainly used to support the broad theme or situation of a person´s life. If one doesn´t do that, then it is more difficult to identify one of these remedies.

Another way of putting it is that it is not possible to see anything new unless we leave room for it. If we interpret every case only based on what we already know then we can only give known remedies. However, that forces us to be as honest as possible about our own process and not to make subjective projections onto a person based on what we want to see. That is easy enough to do even if we know remedies well. It is even easier if we are not sure of what we are doing.

Therefore in this book we are taking our study of materia medica from the known and verified remedies and including possibilities of other remedies so that the process of analysis and comparison can be made as systematic as possible. We have 200 years of experience with some remedies and less than one year with others. We don´t want to leave anything out, but we don´t want to discard what we already know.

In order to clarify the process of analysis in homeopathic cases including the classification of symptoms and the broader study of materia medica, it is first of all important to define and understand certain concepts. These include ideas of constitution, miasms and the use of nosodes, layers in prescribing, the role of etiology, relationship of remedies, symptom patterns and the use of various systems of thinking in helping us find appropriate remedies.

As the process of materia medica comparison is a challenging process, each remedy in this book is categorized according to two to three stages, identified as Intrinsic, Compensated and Decompensated, which are correlated with the three major miasms, Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis. Using a miasmatic categorization here, we are adopting a more metorphorical description of nosodes than purely disease related. Other homeopaths have used similar models of remedy classification but here it is used mainly as an aid to remedy comparison.

The intrinsic/psoric stage relates more to constitutional and often permanent characteristics of person, including body typology, basic mental/emotional qualities and other physiological characteristics and patterns, including food and weather modalities, sleep and dreams, menses, etc. The compensated/sycotic stage relates to symptoms that mostly reflect an exaggerated state of the basic intrinsic pattern, symptoms that usually motivate a person to see a homeopath. Most constitutional prescriptions are done using a combination of both intrinsic and compensated states and we have a good knowledge of this information in all the polychrest remedies. The decompensated/syphilitic  stage relates to the pathological limits of a remedy, the structural changes seen in some remedies with corresponding broken down mental/emotional states. Most of the strong syphilitic remedies reveal most of their symptomatology in this level, whereas psoric remedies tend to have more of their symptoms in the first two stages.

Each remedy in the book is classified according to these three levels, with remedies compared at each level. As any one person only presents with a thin slice of the totality of symptoms in any remedy and often is focused predominately in one or two stages, then identifying the key patterns at each stage can be helpful in seeing the remedy and which others are similar at that stage.

The following remedy description is an example of the layout of materia medica study in the book. Not all details written in the book are covered here due to the amount of information given.

Aurum metallicum
Idea: It is very important that I fulfill all my responsibilities, duties, ambitions and goals to feel absolved of my guilt, shame, grief and loss. I feel under great pressure to do this.

Keynotes:
Duty, responsibility.
Industriousness, workaholic.
Seriousness, heaviness.
Religiousness.
Loss of money, property, value.
Guilt, shame, mortification, remorse.
Grief, loss.
Worse at night.
Forsaken, all alone.
Depression, sadness, despair, suicidal anguish.
Anger, rage, explosions.
Torment, suicidal with pains.
Congestion, blood, high blood pressure, hypertension.
Heart issues: congestive heart disease.
Testes, ovaries.
Eyes, iritis, syphilitic conditions.
Bone pains.

Intrinsic state:
Duty, responsibility.
Idealism.
Industrious.
Seriousness.
Rigidity, conforming to order.

Compare: Actinides, Adamas/Diamond (gems), Carcinosin, Causticum, Ferrum, Ignatia, Kaliums, Lanthanides, Natrums, Nux vomica, Sulphur.

Compensated state:
Heaviness, burdened.
Brooding, sulky.
General sadness.
Fear of high places.
Censorious, dictatorial, aversion to being criticized.
Feeling under much pressure – headaches, high blood pressure.
Testicular and ovarian problems.

Compare: Argentum metallicum and nitricum, Aurum – muriaticum, – muriaticum natronatum, – sulphuricum, Causticum, Gems, Ferrum metallicum, Lycopodium, Naja, Nux vomica, Palladium, Platina, Sulphur, Thuja (conifers).

Decompensated state:
Depressed, sad, despair.
Great overwhelming grief.
Forsaken, all alone in their anguish.
Anger, rage, violent thoughts.
Suicidal thoughts.
Heart problems.
Bone pains.
< night.

Compare: Actinides, Arsenicum album, Bismuth, Dioxin, Iridium, Kali bromatum, Lanthanides, Mercurius, Natrum sulphuricum, Syphilinum, Thallium.

Progression: Intrinsically there is often the presentation of seriousness and responsibility with the feeling as if a weight is being carried around in life. However when still in the intrinsic phase, it is not all heavy. Things can still be fun. There is a capacity to keep it all together for a long time, but as the pressure builds up, there is initially more compensation, with intolerance to being contradicted and increasing anger. The need to maintain high standards and to fulfill duties and responsibilities is crucial and taken very seriously, even from a young age. As the emotional pressure builds there can be a tendency to high blood pressure and other heart symptoms. Any unforeseen circumstances like financial loss or other loss or grief, which challenges one’s position and purpose in life is a shattering event, which leads to a breakdown on both intellectual and emotional levels, with depression, grief, guilt, suicidal tendencies, violent impulses and thoughts, and great anguish, and physically to heart and joint pathology.

Seriousness, Duty:
As with many syphilitic remedies, the intrinsic state is very mixed in with the compensated and decompensated states. One cannot separate them so much as there is little psoric influence in these remedies. However, when one sees an Aurum patient, the qualities that often prevail are a person who is serious, dutiful and industrious, who feels the weight of responsibility and carries that weight heavily. They often have strong ideas of what is right and wrong, similar to the Kali family. They may be attempting to live up to a standard imposed on them by parents or colleagues and initially they simply strive to do their best. In children this remedy can be found when the child is too serious, beyond their years, bound down by some need to their best at all times, often at the expense of play and child-like qualities. It can be as a result of being given too much responsibility too young, perhaps due to death or divorce of one parent which forces responsibility early onto them, or it could even be grief and loss experienced in their parents or grandparents which they take on. The feeling is one of being burdened and being too responsible. It can sometimes be that the Aurum patient is attracted to positions of great responsibility. They take this on themselves, as if they have to prove something to themselves and others.

The grief of Aurum is one of the strongest aspects of the remedy. It is tied strongly to the other qualities of the remedy, the strong sense of responsibility, duty, morality and the guilt, depression and ultimately suicidal depression of the remedy. Grief is often the strongest symptom the Aurum person presents with. The grief may be due to an actual event, such as a death or a disappointed love, or as an accumulation of events in life as the weight of responsibility wears the person down.

The words morality, duty and religious affections are qualities often used to describe Aurum. This gives the impression of the person’s being quite conservative and perhaps traditional in the work they do and life they lead. However, this is not always the case. The basic qualities of feeling burdened by the pressure of taking on too much can express itself in many different types of people. Not all people needing Aurum have religious affections. In previous eras, the feeling of burden and aloneness was often expressed in religious terms; the person feeling he has lost his connection to God. Today, that is not how the person may express himself. He may just say he feels unable to live up to his own and others expectations and if pushed may reveal that this makes him feel hopeless etc. In the old days, the feeling of being forsaken was often expressed in religious terminology whereas today it is different.

Aurum is a good remedy to understand from the perspective of levels of expression, whether intrinsic, compensated or decompensated. Not all people needing Aurum are suicidal. Many are little, if at all, depressed. Most however, feel a weight, a heaviness or burden around them, and as mentioned are industrious and responsible, even if only holding up their own ideals. In the compensated stage they feel burdened and feel more resistance, producing anger and difficulty in controlling emotions. But they are still holding it together. It is in the latter stage that one sees the classic broken down despairing picture of the remedy.

The most commonly compared remedy is Natrum sulphuricum. Both can present as serious and closed, and become extremely depressed and suicidal. As often stated in materia medicae, Natrum sulphuricum will be suicidal but not do it, whereas Aurum is more likely to do it. Aurum may not mention how depressed they are, but then may commit suicide, to the surprise of people. However, in the clinic, this distinction may not be clear. The differences may have to be seen in the physical symptoms, generalities, personal and medical history. Any history of head injury in the past can help indicate Natrum sulphuricum. This question may have to be asked directly.

As mentioned above, when duty and seriousness are strong, the Kali remedies need to considered. Kali carbonicum perhaps is the most obvious one but in more anguished cases, Kali arsenicosum and Kali bromatum will also be strongly considered. The former will also be thought of when anxiety and anguish are focused on the fear of heart disease, which Aurum and its salts can also have.

One other aspect of Aurum that at times can distinguish it from other remedies is the anger and lack of emotional control that Aurum shows. It is found in the rubric Mind, anger at contradiction, and when this presents itself, it is a very intense, explosive anger and can be compared with Ferrum, Lycopodium, Nux vomica etc (Mind, anger, contradiction, at).It indicates a stage in the Aurum pathology where they are feeling intense pressure, and resent the fact that their high standards or simply their efforts are being challenged. Normally, they can control their frustration and anger. This level of anger is not seen characteristically in Natrum sulphuricum or some other remedies being compared with Aurum.

Responsibility, Disappointment, Loss, Grief, Mortification
The grief and mortification in Aurum is often seen in relationship to a feeling of lost responsibility and profound disappointment. This may be in relation to the internal hight standards they hold for themselves, which they feel they are unable to sustain or to similar qualities they impose on others, include loved ones or children. They can feel deeply let down by others, a feeling of emotional betrayal after everything they have given. They reproach both themselves and others (Mind, reproaches, himself; others).

Natrum muriaticum is also another remedy commonly compared with Aurum. This will happen in an earlier stage in the pathology of Aurum, before serious depression is a factor. The common ground is the sensitivity to feelings of grief, along with a serious, responsible, over-industrious quality. Both are serious about their work and show a sensitive and sympathetic nature. In children that are over serious, these remedies will need to be compared. Both remedies can feel guilty and can dwell on matters, although Natrum muriaticum is more likely to be unable to forget things that have upset them (Mind, dwells on past disagreeable events). Natrum muriaticum may show a greater emotional sensitivity than Aurum and may have more of a tendency to weep involuntarily or be unable to weep when wanting to do so. Aurum weeps when in a state of despair, whereas with Natrum muriaticum and also Natrum sulphuricum, it may occur from general sadness and suppressed grief. Also, with Natrum muriaticum, it can happen for no reason, or for the least sentimental reason, reflecting the lack of emotional integration and the emotional awkwardness often seen in the remedy. (Mind, weeping involuntarily; Mind, laughing, serious matters, at). Although Aurum is listed in the involuntary weeping, it is more often seen in Natrum muriaticum, and at times for no apparent reason, whereas for Aurum, it is usually when the grief and loss are being expressed.

Causticum is another remedy to be compared with Aurum. This occurs when Causticum is in a broken down state, leading to a state of despair and anguish. The history of a serious, sympathetic nature is common in both. It is not uncommon to mistake Aurum for Causticum in a person who shows a sympathetic sensitivity to injustice. Aurum may be indicated in such situations when people become depressed as a result. Natrum muriaticum and other natrums may also be considered in such situations. However, with Causticum, in the intrinsic stage, there is usually much less industriousness and more basic sympathy and openness. They do not have the fundamental weight of duty and responsibility that Aurum feels. They are more sensitive in the intrinsic stage and although both can be idealistic Causticum shows more vulnerability on an emotional level. The grief and loss they feel is that of a wound, a rawness that they experience. Aurum do not feel this sensitivity in the earlier more intrinsic stages. On the physical level, Causticum and Aurum may also be compared when degeneration in the joints is seen. Causticum tends to have a much greater sensitivity to cold and damp than Aurum or Natrum muriaticum. Both Aurum and Natrums tend to be more aggravated by heat.

Ignatia is another remedy that can look like Aurum, although one is likely to see much more emotional sensitivity in Ignatia. As mentioned, Aurum does lose emotional control, with anger, anguish and despair, but the feelings of Ignatia are more on the surface. With Aurum, one feels a heaviness, weight and burden. What is similar is the idealism, disappointment, grief and ultimately suicidal thoughts. Ignatia is likely to only think about it and the grief is most likely to be due to disappointed love whereas in Aurum it may also be due to the grief from guilt and personal disappointment. Both remedies may have the anger and volatility though and also express a brooding, sulky quality.

Naja is one other remedy to consider with Aurum. The feelings of depression, along with a sensitive, brooding nature and perhaps grief may create confusion.

High standards, Ambition, Haughtiness
Platina is also to be considered with Aurum. Both have high standards, may be ambitious and found in positions of responsibility and authority. Platina is however, much more concerned with their personal image. They are concerned about how they are seen and have more vanity around this. They may have issues around sexuality (Mind, lascivious, amorous, amativeness), although Aurum can have a high sexual expression as well. Both remedies though have an affinity for the ovaries, uterus and testes. Also, both remedies may present as being haughty, critical and also may feel forsaken. Platina tends to express more haughtiness, often felt as contempt. The haughtiness of Aurum is often more around competency and intolerance of those unable to perform, whereas in Platina it is often more sexually expressed, the ice queen syndrome and there is more hysteria in Platina.

Mercurius can also be confused with Aurum. Both are heavy metals and can be serious, introverted, ambitious and suspicious. When at a deeper state, both can become suicidal. Mercurius is more likely to express a suicidal tendency through impulsive thoughts, especially on the sight of a knife and less with the feeling of despair and loneliness. Both remedies are strongly syphilitic and can have bone pains at night, along with the anguish of the syphilitic miasm. Both can have ulcerations and destructive tissue changes.

In a case where ambition is a very strong theme, then Aurum has to be considered (Mind, ambition increased; competive, fame for), and will mostly be compared with other heavy metal remedies and also gem remedies, although Nux vomica and Veratrum album are strongly indicated. Gem remedies also have the despair and hopelessness similar to Aurum and are described below. The nature of extremely strong ambition can be an expression of the syphilitic miasm, the need to be someone and to find oneself as a compensation for an underlying despair about life. The underlying feeling may not even be conscious but the intense or fanatic obsession on imposing one’s will on life mostly comes from the sycotic and syphilitic miasm. In the sycotic miasm, the desire to be seen and appreciated is important, whereas in the syphilitic miasm, it is the need to either be the best or simply take things as far as one can go, especially as the alternative state is a hopeless one. Platina expresses a more syco-syphilitic aspect of ambition, driven both to be seen to be great and to be the best above others. Aurum is guided more by the need to do their best to quell the underlying (and at times unconscious) despair and futility of life.

Industrious, Anger, Contradiction
One other remedy that often should be thought of with Aurum is Nux vomica. Both show an industrious nature, can be very critical and intolerant. However, Aurum has more concern for others and responsibility based on a sense of moral imperative. Nux vomica is generally concerned with his own immediate concerns and efficiency and is more volatile and reactive, especially in the intrinsic stage. Both have anger and are averse to being criticized. Nux vomica and Aurum can both show extreme anger and if associated with depression and a tendency to being industrious, it can be difficult to distinguish. Both have suicidal tendencies, from pain and from sadness, although Nux vomica is more likely to just have suicidal thoughts. Nux vomica is black type in the rubric, Mind, suicidal, thoughts, but lacks courage. Both also can be sensitive, sympathetic types that are burdened by responsibility. Both find it difficult to say no to demands, and can get overwrought and burnt out from them (Mind, sympathetic). Nux vomica just feels they can’t say no and responds impulsively to situations whereas Aurum feels personally responsible. Physically though, there are many differences between the two. Temperature modalities are usually opposite. Nux vomica shows more characteristic stomach, mucous membrane and nerve affections. It does not go so deep into physical pathology as Aurum, which tends to affect the joints, bones, heart and genitalia. Nux vomica also tends to be more sensitive to external things such as food, drink, drugs and the environment. Also, as mentioned, in the early stages Aurum will mostly present as being much more controlled emotionally and less volatile, impatient and on edge. They will not tend to have as many addictive qualities as Nux vomica although a tendency toward alcoholism can be seen in both remedies.

One other remedy to be considered is Kali bromatum. Both remedies can show depression as a result of guilt from feeling too responsible. Kali arsenicosum may also be thought of when considering Aurum, with characteristic fear of heart disease, guilt and responsibility.

Bismuth can look very like Aurum metallicum. The mental picture can be virtually identical, the main difference being that Bismuth feels more insecure and becomes dependent on other people. Bismuth is looking for an authority figure, someone to support them through their problems. Aurum is much more likely to totally isolate himself. The rubric that this is found in Bismuth is Mind, holding, mother’s hand, child constantly holding. This is actually more of a general state of the remedy than merely a specific symptom of a child’s behavior. It may be seen more in the desire to have the support of one person in particular.

Because of the deeply syphilitic aspect of this remedy, the nosode Syphilinum has often to be compared with Aurum and also with all the nosodes may be used to complement the other remedies indicated. The despair, anguish, torment, which is much worse at night are key characteristics of both remedies, as are the intense bone pains, which make the person feel suicidal. Serious OCD type symptoms can also be found in both remedies, but more so in Syphilinum.

Aurum salts
Therefore, Aurum can express itself in many different ways and different remedies will be compared with it depending at what level of the remedy the person is expressing. The other Aurum salts are important to compare with Aurum metallicum as has been well described in Terje Wulfsberg’s book, “Three Pieces of Gold.” Common to all Aurums is the theme of seriousness, duty and pressure, although Aurum muriaticum natronatum is found in the rubric, Mind, laughing at serious matters, along with Natrum muriaticum. In more depressed states, other predominant, remedies like Aurum muriaticum,Aurum muriaticum natronatum, Aurum arsenicosum and Aurum sulphuricum are important.. One considers these remedies when either the case has specific keynotes of one of the salts or when there is a more of a synthetic analysis, where distinct features of the salt are found along with the Aurum qualities. The metallic quality of a remedy has a more definitive and clear reflection of the element/metal, whereas with a salt, it can feel rather softer and not so defined an image. The distinction may be subtle but one to be aware of. In fact, Aurum muriaticum and Aurum muriaticum natronatum can be used nearly as much as Aurum metallicum.

Aurum arsenicosum has been suggested to be a significant remedy in the treatment of Lyme disease, especially in Germany. In his book called “The Homeopathic Treatment of Lyme Disease”, Peter Alex makes the case that a morphogenetic field of the German psyche resonates with this remedy and that Lyme disease is an expression of this susceptibility. Clinically he has found Aurum arsenicosum very commonly indicated for chronic Lyme disease symptoms, a type of genus epidemicus for the disease in its chronic expression. Lyme disease is spread through spirochete bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted through ticks. Although ticks have been vectors for this disease for hundreds of years, it was only in the 1970´s that the disease exploded onto the world, first being found in acute inflammatory joint conditions in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Its initial acute phase continued but also more chronic, degenerative conditions began to be found and subsequently associated with the original infection. Significantly for homeopathy and for the use of a remedy like Aurum arsenicosum, there is a strong syphilitic component to the disease, with much destructive tendencies, both physically and psychologically.

One analysis is that as antibiotics have been used to treat syphilis effectively since the 1940´s, the “energy” of syphilis seeks another avenue for expression and diseases like Lyme disease and AIDS become channels for the destructive forces of the syphilitic miasm to be expressed, Also the bacteria of Lyme Disease, Borrelia Burgdorferi, is a spirochete, similar to that of syphilis – Treponema pallidum, and Borrelia is a nosode that can be used as a prevention against Lyme Disease and also at times in its treatment.

Despair, Hopelessness, Isolation
One of the key aspects of Aurum is profound despair, hopelessness and depression. As such, it is often the first remedy to be considered when someone is expressing these emotions. However, as with many polychrests, it is too easy to prescribe based on a couple of general symptom states and not on a more nuanced analysis. In order to justify Aurum in states of deep depression and hopelessness, one has to understand the whole case and how the person got there. As mentioned, in Aurum it begins with duty, responsibility, seriousness, a heavy burden they are carrying and then feel they cannot continue. Grief may be the catalyst also for an Aurum state to emerge but one has to see the whole progression. Many remedies can express similar qualities and Aurum has been given far too often based on a superficial understanding. One other remedy that can be compared to Aurum is Germanium. Only proven in 1995 (See J. Sherr’s proving), Germanium has similar qualities, with feelings of powerlessness, failure, worthlessness, self-hatred and forsaken feelings. They can feel their lives are a pretense and although they can have perfectionist qualities (similar to Aurum), they are unable to come through and feel it is all a cover. (Mind, delusions, wrong, he is doing something; has done). They can feel deeply isolated and alienated from others (it has been speculated to be good for refugees) and there can also be dreams of violence, especially of war situations. This all can look like Aurum but the specific dreams of war may be a keynote of Germanium, along with remedies such as Ferrum and Platinum. Physically, Germanium has an affinity for the joints, nervous system, with toxicological studies showing serious nerve damage, similar to multiple sclerosis and arthritic conditions, and also an affinity for the liver and kidneys. Mentally, it shows weakness in intellect in comprehension and making mistakes in spelling. They lack confidence and feel easily mocked and criticized and are very sensitive to the opinion of others. They feel easily isolated and alone and can feel as if they are a castaway (Mind, delusions, alone being, castaway is).

The sense of isolation often felt in Aurum can be extreme. This is especially when in a depressed state, where they can feel hopeless and as if they have neglected their duty, have let themselves and others down. In such states they feel profoundly alone and forsaken (Mind, forsaken) and feel they have even lost the affection of friends (Mind, delusion, friend, affection of, has lost the).

Gems
Other newer remedies to be compared with Aurum are Adamas (diamond) and Diamond immersion. These are two distinct remedies, with obviously similar overlapping symptom pictures. The Diamond immersion picture comes from Peter Tumminello of Australia and written up in his book “Twelve Jewels” and Adamas from  J. Sherr, P. Sankaran and others. The main qualities to consider and compare with Aurum are perfectionism, ambition and a sense of wanting to be the top and a subsequent fall from grace, leading to depression, despair etc. These remedies should be studied when Aurum is one consideration but perhaps does not totally cover the case. Given the nature of the substance, it is not too much to consider that themes of purity, clarity, hardness, seeing many sides, flawless, hardness and also brittleness can be themes and images to consider in a person needing Adamas. Anything that threatens that purity, that would compromise this pristine image would be too much and so a person needing this remedy would likely be sensitive to criticism and any obstacle or challenge. (See also the Graphites chapter – Burnt out Carbon for more perspective and also the proving of P. Sankaran and J. Sherr).

Diamond immersion (the gem remedies Tumminello makes are immersed whole into water as opposed to triturated) is one of a number of gem remedies that have been studied by Peter Tumminello in his book. The other ones are Amethyst, Black Opal, Emerald, Golden Topaz, Lapis lazuli, Morion, Pearl, Quartz crystal, Rhodonite, Ruby and Sapphire. There have been other provings of some of these gems and stones, including Amethyst (Seideneck), Lapis lazuli (Schadde), Ruby (Azar and Marlow-Fries) and Sapphire (Sherr). The proving of Emerald was interesting in that it compared a traditional proving with a meditation proving and also the use of Emerald as a Gem Therapy. A correspondence was seen with all three. According to Tumminello there are some common themes to these remedies as well as specific criteria for them. There can be a common presentation of depression, hopelessness and despair of the current situation, with at times a reactive anger, violence and feelings of betrayal. To quote Tumminello:

I have found that the deepest energetic perception of the gems is a sense of imprisonment, which is often expressed as such, or ‘as if in a grave’, ‘shackled’, ‘trapped’, ‘hidden’ or ‘locked away’ with no hope of escape. This inner feeling or sensation has a direct correlation with the signature of the gems in that they have been locked away in the underworld since time immemorial with no seeming way to express the joyous glory of their color, power and presence. When released by nature or the hand of man all its expressions are exposed and illuminated. There is a clear correlation on the mental plane here with depression as an expression of a hopeless existence or situation.

There is a powerful urge to reconcile the source of this angst, whether it be due to a specific history of physical and emotional abuse or entrapment, (Morion, Emerald), fear, panic and terror (Pearl, Golden Topaz), ego identification – positive and negative (Quartz crystal), emotional trauma leading to a hardening of the heart in love and relationships (Sapphire), the breaking down of family connections and family dysfunction (Amethyst, Golden Topaz, Lapiz lazuli, Black Opal and Ruby) etc. He states that there is often a strong spiritual yearning in these remedies, at times a conflict between spiritual and material life, making one compare with Platina. The gems have a noble and precious quality to them and have powerful symbolic influence as well as a history of healing properties in their own right. Therefore, it makes sense to explore their homeopathic potential, especially if other remedies have not worked completely. Elementally, many are made from combinations of Silicea and Alumina and with Silicea especially, comparisons with gem remedies can be made. Amethyst, for example is made from Silicon dioxide and may present as a more angry looking Silicea, the anger coming from a deep disquiet and frustration with their inner spiritual path and meaning in life.

Tumminello identified the following themes to the gems: Instinctual v. enlightened attitude; familial alignments; yin and yang polarities; crystalline belief systems; ego and exclusive rights; transformation and alchemy; abuse, betrayal, violence and protection; beauty; boundaries and light; faith; geometry, order and structure; heat, pressure and passion; imagery and symbolism; intellect and memory, focus and concentration; out of the body/grounded; elemental affinities; color (see Ulriche Welt’s book Color in Homeopathy). (These themes are summarized in the online journal Interhomeopathy, in February 2011).

As gems are made over many thousands of years and under great pressure and heat, and are mined from the earth’s interior, Tumminello feels they are suited to help the integration of the deepest levels of the human experience, the roots of the unconscious mind and the continuing struggle between instinctual and enlightened impulses. As with any of these remedies, one has to begin to recognize when a gem remedy is needed by a thematic analysis, one that looks beyond specific surface symptoms in order to see a larger totality with greater depth.

The idea of many gems as remedies has to therefore encompass themes of needing to present themselves under a lot of pressure, the need to organize and structure their life so that they will be able to perform and present themselves in a positive light. Underlying issues of insecurity may be seen or be unconscious motives, with feeling of not getting enough support, appreciation and acknowledgement. Given the powerful symbols that gems have for humans as adornments of beauty, status and wealth, the dynamics of their use as homeopathic remedies may well encompass some of these themes. Ideally this should be confirmed with some keynotes of some of the provings of gems, the most important ones to study perhaps being Adamas, Amethyst, Emerald, Lapis lazuli, Ruby and Sapphire. It is worth cross referencing some of the symptoms of provings to see if there are common themes to be found. It may be that the colors people identify with may help in distinguishing between gems but that also is fraught with subjective interpretation. This is one of the challenges of incorporating these remedies in the materia medica.

Polarities, Power, Despair, Death, Decay: Lanthanides and Actinides
A similar challenge exists in looking at remedies from the Lanthanides and Actinides group. The Lanthanides have been explored mostly by Jan Scholten and are a group of elements that are a sub-group of “Stage 3 of the Gold Series” of the periodic table. They have not been proven. The Lanthanides are more common elements than initially thought, but are not obvious as they are chemically bound with other elements or salts and don’t occur pure by themselves. Also, chemically, it is very hard to distinguish them, but their electrical patterns are very different.

The themes of these elements, according to the ideas of Scholten are to do with trying, searching, experimenting, focusing inward to investigate and discover what power means to them. The common themes presented as Lanthanides qualities are to do with Autonomy, Power and the Shadow. They are less motivated by conventional success and power but work in more subtle ways. Inner work may be more important for them and they may choose to live outside the mainstream culture or in alternative communities or lifestyles. There is a need for independence and there may be issues with conventional authority. There may be ego issues, similar to other remedies in the gold and silver series. They may seek recognition but can feel criticized and are not recognized for what they do. They seek recognition but not in a conventional way. There is an understanding that true recognition has to come from a deeper understanding and recognition of the inner processes of human consciousness (the shadow) and they make a choice to do this in a more autonomous and independent way. However, they are aware of the dynamics of power and influence, which they may seek to engage in, but for the more common good, the larger perspective. One other theme expressed is the ability to see the big picture, to be self-observant and self aware of their process and their own motivations and not to get stuck in the same egotistical behavior that they see happening in the mainstream world.

On a physical level, it has been suggested that these remedies are useful in autoimmune conditions, relating to a confusion of real meaning and spiritual integration, which is a challenge in these remedies. Certain diseases including arthritis, colitis and Crohn’s disease and even AIDS cases may indicate these remedies. Also, for those people who are very sensitive to electro-magnetic fields, such as cell phones and computers, a Lanthanide may be indicated. One of the challenges is not only in deciding which Lanthanide may be indicated for a particular condition but which salt to attach to the Lanthanide. Scholten makes some suggestions in this regard.

These remedies may express qualities seen in other remedies in the silver and gold series: serious, responsible, disciplined, theoretical, ambitious, thoughtful, sympathetic, independent, religious/spiritual/philosophical interests, censorious, averse to criticism, sensitive, mortified, indignant, desire to be alone, averse to consolation, self-doubt, egotistical, seeking appreciation, neglected, isolated etc. In this regard, other remedies such as Palladium, Argentum, Platina, Aurum and Barium would be considered, as well as bird remedies, gems and Actinides. For a more in-depth study of these substances, the work of Jan Scholten should be studied.

The challenge is to be able to identify one of these remedies by a broader, more generalized and thematic picture, as much a “situational understanding” as it is a specific individual analysis with conventional keynotes and psychological individuation. This is not easy and requires a shift in perceptive understanding. Scholten feels that many homeopaths need a remedy from the Lanthanides family, given the dynamics of attraction and life circumstances that often are experienced by homeopaths working within a society that does not truly recognize the profundity and subtlety of homeopathy.

A similar challenge exists in looking at the remedies in the Actinides group. The most well-known substance in this group is Plutonium nitricum, which has had a homeopathic proving, as well as Uranium nitricum and Radium bromatum. On a thematic level, the Actinides may show similar qualities to the Lanthanides, yet the stakes are higher, the issues more intense, the threat of destruction and decay more imminent. The use of these substances as homeopathic remedies makes all the more sense since the use of nuclear weapons fifty years ago and the increase in radioactivity on the planet, used both destructively and for medical diagnosis and treatment. We have unleashed the plutonic forces, a profoundly symbolic act, and one that has affected the consciousness of humanity. Therefore, it makes sense to consider the homeopathic use of these substances.

The themes of the Actinides are to do with the extreme polarities of life, including the awareness of imminent death, of the shadow side and the dark forces within the human condition. People needing Actinides may feel they are grappling with situations that have nothing to do with them but which are part of the collective story of ancestors, culture, nations and the unspoken legacy of the human condition and suffering. It is the unleashing of deeply suppressed psychic/spiritual phenomena. Interestingly, the use of the remedy X-ray has to do with the deep suppression of physical conditions leading to the breakdown of the body, including cancer. It has been suggested that X-ray is a remedy for any condition that has been suppressed for a long time, especially any skin condition. The mental picture of X-ray also shows a strong violent theme, with a desire to kill with great rage. There may be a deep misanthropy and hatred of people. It is a remedy for wounds that refuse to heal (similar to radiation burns). As a metaphor of the remedy, the feeling is of a person who never forgets and then seeks revenge, a dark states of mind, Radium bromatum also has a great affinity for the skin and the joints. Any skin condition that occurs as a result of X-rays should be a consideration for Radium bromatum. It is also a remedy to consider for chronic and intense acne, or consequences of the suppression of bad acne. It is also indicated for moles, nevi and forms of cancer, especially as a result of X-rays. Mentally there can be depression with a desire for company, and a fear of being alone in the dark different to the Aurum mental state. There is a restlessness, a feeling of their being too much energy running through them. There can be a weary sense of despair, a feeling as if they are dying with severe achiness in the body.  They can have electric shocks throughout the body, including during sleep, similar to Argentum metallicum. There is great tension in the body, leading to the electric shock feelings. Physically the Actinides will affect areas similar to the Lanthanides and gold series remedies – the bones, nerves, mind, with destructive conditions, such as cancer, auto-immune conditions and mentally with profound despair, isolation, suicidal ideation, rage, violence etc. Radium bromatum also has a dry burning heat, as if on fire, leading to a craving for open air.

In the picture of Plutonium nitricum, we can see a person who feels as if they are living under a huge pressure, forcing them to live a certain way, which is suppressing their deepest nature. There is a sense of profound conflict with very powerful pent up feelings, threatening to be unleashed, leading to chaos and destruction. Hence there is a strong impulse to try and keep everything in order and in control, to keep a tight lid on things. Alternatively we can see a person feeling extreme responsibility and duty and/or feeling they have to be very powerful in what they do in order to achieve things. Either way, they feel under great pressure. There can often be a feeling of great threat, but often it is not known what it is, just a threat of something bad or terrible and there can also be a great deal of aggressive, violent impulses. There can be great seriousness in all things, concerned or obsessed with the violence or trauma in the world, or with spiritual and existential issues. There is a very heavy demeanor and the person can even feel as if their body feels very heavy. It can feel so heavy that the back collapses, forcing the person to walk double or on all fours. The feeling is as if the body is decaying or growing old much too fast.

This image makes one consider Aurum and other heavy metals but the feeling is even heavier and more intense, with more suppression and pressure and the threat of greater destruction, violence and break down. The syphilitic qualilities are clear to see. Granitum (made from Granite stone from Ireland) has similar symptoms, including the back issues and on a mental level, the ability to be blunt and rude without any remorse or aggressive feelings. It also has a tendency to introversion and a kind of misanthropy, losing interest to connect to others. There is an indifference and suspiciousness of other’s motives. There can be a great weakness and heaviness, both physically and mentally, along with a passive type of hopelessness.  Other remedies to compare would be Carcinosin with the suppression of the self and intense need for control and order and Syphilinum because of the overall syphilitic nature.

The thread of some kind of violence will often be seen in most Actinides, even if it is in a person attracted to violent situations, who thrive on living on the edge and who may seem motivated by some form of unconscious impulse to bear witness for personal or collective conscience. As is seen with the syphilitic miasm, there is a movement away from social norms, to become more anti-social in all regards. As this impulse becomes pathological, we see the extraordinary violence of the world through warfare, nuclear bombs, genocide, terrorism etc. This expression of the human condition is something people needing Actinides may be affected by, concerned or even fascinated with. Therefore there is often a heaviness attached to a person needing an Actinide remedy. This is not a person concerned about the simple, mundane things in life and petty emotions. They may be highly motivated and again look like Aurum, Bismuth, Plumbum, Thallium and similar remedies and share the angst, isolation and despair of these remedies. Intense isolation is a key symptom of the syphilitic miasm and seen clearly in Aurum as well as in Plutonium nitricum. However, one contrast is that in Plutonium and other Actinides they may not be so attached to how they are seen in the world and their position. They may be living somewhat beyond that level of concern, and be only concerned with grappling with the darker, more destructive elements that they find they are attracted to or simply dealing with in their own mind and body. As mentioned, the realm of death and other dimensions may feel close to them, which could include having clairvoyant powers and interests.

Syphilitic pains, bones, joints, head, heart
Physically, the Aurum pathology focuses on the joints, the bones and the heart. The pains of Aurum are of the syphilitic type – intense, tormenting pain, all worse at night. It is indicated in severe arthritic conditions in which there is great pain with the inflammation. Joint pain may alternate with heart symptoms. In these cases one has to be very careful, as there may well be heart pathology involved. Rheumatoid arthritis is seen in this remedy, with wandering pains and again worse at night, and worse from heat. Psoriatic arthritis is also seen. Inflammation of the sternum bone can be found in Aurum. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, with characteristic intensity of the pains, Aurum will be most compared with other syphilitic remedies such as Asafoetida, Calcarea fluorica, Causticum, Guajacum, Mercurius (and its salts), Phytolacca, Stillingia, Syphilinum and Thallium. Differentiation will mainly be in the overall picture and to feel confident, one would want some of the generals and mentals of Aurum. If all one sees is the severity of physical symptoms with characteristic intense violent pains, especially worse at night, then some of the “smaller” remedies should be considered.

Aurum has very strong head pains, with both bone type pains and from congestion of blood to the head, often along with hypertension. If the pain feels in the bones and is worse at night, then Aurum is strongly indicated, along with Hepar sulph, Mercurius, Nitric acid and Syphilinum, although many other remedies are in the rubric Head, pain, bones. It is also in the rubric, Head, pain, rheumatic, along with Head, pain syphilitic, indicating also remedies such as Kali iodatum, Mercurius, Nitric acid, Phytolacca, Stillingia and Thuja. Aurum also has strong congestion to the head, with pulsations and pressure, a feeling as if the head would explode. This is often connected to high blood pressure but also can be a result of emotional upset, especially anger. The face may be red and hot. If head pains are coming specifically from emotional upset, then Aurum should be compared with Argentum metallicum and nitricum, Ferrum metallicum (and salts), Lachesis, Natrum muriaticum and Nux vomica (Head, pain, excitement, emotions of).

Given its syphilitic nature, one sees this remedy needed when there are caries of the bones, whether it’s in the mouth and upper palate (Mouth, caries, palate), the nose, (Nose, caries), or other bones (Extremities, caries). The aforementioned syphilitic remedies should be compared, along with Fluoric acid, Hecla lava, Lachesis, Mezereum, Phosphorus, Phosphoric acid and Silicea. Caries and curvature of the spine also reveals many of the same remedies, (Back, caries, curvature). Caries of the ear and mastoid is another key area of Aurum pathology (Ear, caries, threatened; mastoid).

Heart
Along with its tendency to congestion of blood, the heart is a major area of symptomatology in Aurum, with all kinds of heart pains, palpitations, arteriosclerosis of the heart and heart valvular problems. This is one of the main remedies indicated in serious heart pathology and prescribing in such cases should be very careful. A clear diagnosis should be made in any heart pathology case, especially if Aurum seems to be indicated. Aurum cases can tend to suffer from sudden severe heart attacks, through a combination of syphilitic, destructive tendencies influencing the case and suppression of intense emotions (Chest, palpitations, excitement, after; exertion after). The two features go together. The remedy justification will mainly be based on the whole case, not just the heart symptoms, but the main symptoms are all forms of palpitation, which is worse for emotions and a feeling as if the heart has stopped (Heart, ceases, as if heart had ceased), followed by tumultuous heart beat.

It is also one of the first remedies to consider in any forms of angina pectoris, especially when there are violent intense pains, which are worse at night. Aurum here will have to be compared with more specific heart remedies, such as Cactus, Crataegus, Digitalis, Kalmia, Latrodectus mactans, Lycopus virginicus, Naja, Oxalic acid, Spigelia and Tarentula. Obviously there are many more remedies also to be considered. Aurum is also indicated in all inflammatory conditions of the heart including endocarditis, pericarditis and rheumatic conditions (Heart, inflammation, endocardium, rheumatic; pericardium). In more acute endocarditis, with pain and great anxiety, Aurum will be compared with Aconite, Arsenicum, Cactus, Convallaria, Digitalis, Kalmia, Lachesis, Naja, Spigelia, Spongia and Tabacum etc. Kalmia in particular is a remedy to compare with Aurum in all sorts of heart conditions, especially associated with rheumatic affections and Crataegus can have a similar mental state, being irritable, cross, melancholic and despairing, along with many heart symptoms.

Genitalia
One other area of affinity for Aurum is the genitalia. It is a common remedy to consider for orchitis (Male, inflammation, testes), both in children and adults. Pathology may be found in either testis and the affected testis is often very hard. It is also indicated in epididymitis (Male, inflammation, testes, epididymis). It may also affect the prostate gland. In females, there can be ovarian tumors, and indurations or ulceration of the cervix or uterus. Aurum muriaticum natronatum is one of the keynote remedies for tumors in the uterus. (Female, tumors, uterus)

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