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Date posted: March 6, 2012

Dr Satheesh Kumar P K

Homoeopathic Medicines made out of Ferrum compunds their preparation, properties and clinical indications

Ferrum is one of the prominent constituents of the animal body, being present in considerable quantity in the blood and hence iron has great importance in human nutrition.
The body of an adult human contains 3-4 gm (4.2gm) of iron and 75% of this amount found in the blood. Small part of iron is also present in myoglobin (muscle protein). Iron also exists in combination with iron storage protein as ferritin and hemosiderin in the macrophages seen in the muscles, liver and bone marrow.

Iron is considered as a trace element. (Trace elements are those minerals required by the body in micro quantities. WHO Expert Committee on Trace Elements in Human Nutrition – considered 14 elements as being essential for animal life. They are Copper, Cobalt, Chromium, Iron, Iodum, Fluorine, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Selenium, Silicon, Tin, Vanadium and Zinc).

When iron given excess to man or animal, its first effect is increase the amount of iron in the blood, stimulate the appetite and augment the heartbeats and the bodily vigour.
The infant liver contains large amounts of iron, which is used up in the first 3 months. After third month infant should have added amount.

Sources: Iron is widely distributed in foodstuffs.

Animal sources:
Liver, kidney, meat, fish and eggs. (Animal sources are not only important sources of readily available iron, but they also increase the absorbability of iron in plant food at the same time. Iron from animal food is absorbed well than that from vegetable sources)
The iron content of milk is low in all mammalian species.

Plant sources:
Cereals, pulses, vegetable especially green leafy vegetable, onions and grapes (Vegetables are the most important sources of iron in the diets of large majority of Indian people)
Other vegetable sources are nuts, oil seeds, jaggery etc. Even though plants are good sources of iron, the bio availability of iron from plant food is low owing to the presence of phytates and oxalates, which interfere with iron absorption.

Other sources:
Significant amount of iron may be derived from cooking in iron vessels.

Absorption:
Iron absorption takes place in the duodenum and upper small intestine. Animal protein and vitamin C enhance iron absorption while phytates and phosphates retard it.

Iron losses:
Major routes of iron loss are –

  1. Loss through the haemorrhage
  2. Excretion through urine, sweat and bile.
  3. Loss of integumental tissues (skin)
  4. Loss of nail and hair.
  5. Women loss a considerable amount of iron during menstruation and childbirth. (Menstrual loss of iron in women has been found to average 1mg per day.  There fore women needed more iron than male).
  6. Hookworm infestation and malaria.

Deficiency:
Iron deficiency result in hypo chromic, microcytic anaemia. (It is generally believed that anaemic subjects are more prone to infection than are non anaemic. Recent reports indicate that iron deficiency interfere with both cell mediated immunity and bactericidal activity).

Iron deficiency anaemia occurs most commonly in
1. Growing children,
2. Menstruating and pregnant women and
3. Those who are suffering from parasitic diseases such as hookworm and malaria.

Requirements:

  • Adult man — 24 mg/ day
  • Woman — 32-mg/ day
  • Children — 20- 25 mg/day
  • Pregnancy—40 mg / day.

Iron poisoning:
Initial features are epigastric pain, nausea and vomiting. Haematemesis is frequent and may cause shock. These symptoms may settle after few hours and may then be a quiescent period lasting for up to several days, suggesting that all is well but then frequent black and offensive stool may passed. Followed by acute encephalopathy and circulatory failure. Most death occurs in this second stage. But even if the patient survives acute liver and renal failure may develop later and both carry a high mortality, particularly in children. 2to 6 week after ingestion stricture formation may occur in the upper gastrointestinal tract, especially in the pyloric antrum with vomiting and other features of high intestinal obstruction.

Iron distribution in the body:
Iron distribution in the body as—
1. Iron porphyrins—in haemoglobin and myoglobin
2. Iron enzyme – in catalase, cytochrome and peroxidase and
3. Non-iron porphyrins—in transferring, ferritin and haemosiderine.

Function:
Iron is component of haemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochromes, catalase, peroxidase and certain other enzyme system. As a part of these haeme complexes and enzymes, the function of iron in the body is oxygen transport and cellular respiration. Iron deficiency may also impair immune response.

Ferrum has 7 special centers of action (otto lesser)
1. Blood: Iron has a specific action up on the blood producing a decrease of the albumin and an increase of the water in the serum and at the same time diminishing R.B.C.

2. Temperature: raise the temperature when the disease lowers it or when under a given dose, the temperature ceases to rise. Iron even in healthy man raises temperature above the normal standard.
3. Spleen: Producing atrophy and rendering it unable to perform its function in the process of sanguinification resulting anaemia.
4. Digestive organs: Promote the appetite and invigorate the digestion. Stomachic tonic by increasing disposition for food. Hence when it is given in a healthy state or when administered for too long period in disease, the gastric gland becomes exhausted by over stimulation and then it is said the iron disagrees.
5. Teeth: Destruction of enamel.
6. Kidney: Fatty degeneration and albuminuria.
7. Elimination: Through the intestinal mucus membrane.

FERRUM GROUP OF MEDICINE

  • Ferrum (Ferrum met)
  • Ferrum aceticum
  • Ferrum ars
  • Ferrum brom
  • Ferrum carb
  • Ferrum cit
  • Ferrum colloidal
  • Ferrum cynatum
  • Ferrum form
  • Ferrum fluoratum
  • Ferrum gluconicum
  • Ferrum glyc. phos
  • Ferrum iodatum
  • Ferrum lacticum
  • Ferrum magn
  • Ferrum muriaticum
  • Ferrum nitricum
  • Ferrum oxal
  • Ferrum oxydatum rubrum
  • Ferrum phos
  • Ferrum per nitricum
  • Ferrum phos. hydricum
  • Ferrum picricum
  • Ferrum pomatum
  • Ferrum protoxalatum
  • Ferrum pyrophosphoricum
  • Ferrum reductum
  • Ferrum sulphuricum
  • Ferrum silicum
  • Ferrum siderum
  • Ferrum tartaricum
  • Ferrum valerianum

Emperical Use

  • Ferrum met— In its crude form used in old school for anaemia and for the bad effects of over dosing of quinine.
  • Ferrum pernitricum— Used by old school practitioners with good effect in the diarrhoeas of India, diarrhoea of phthisis, diarrhoea in feeble and nervous female and diarrhoea in scrofulous children with enlarged glands.
  • Ferrum ammonium sulph
  • Ferrum mur As astringent and styptic.
  • Ferrum sul
  • Ferrum ammonium sulph – otherwise known as iron alum or ferric alum.
  • (Astringent is an agent causing contraction of the tissues, arresting secretion and control bleeding. Styptic—having an astringent or haemostatic effect. Used externally to stop the flow of blood.)
  • Ferrum citricum— Used in anaemia.
  • Ferrum glycerol phos— Used as tonic and source of iron.
  • Ferrum oxydatum rubrum— Used as a colouring material for preparation designed for application to the skin.
  • Ferrum phos— Used as a feed and as a food supplement.
  • Ferrum brom— Used in the treatment of chorea.
  • Ferrum sulph— Deodorant and disinfectant.

GENERAL FEATURES OF FERRUM
Suited to weak, anaemic persons with irregular distribution of blood and great pallor of lips and mucous membrane.

(Consequently great fatigue and breathlessness and every motion will set up the symptoms)
Anaemia under the mask of plethora and congestion.

Blood anaemia: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met

  • Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos Ferrum acet
  • Ferrum .c Ferrum cit Ferrum rub
  • Ferrum. o. r Ferrum pic

Haemolytic anaemia: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met
Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos Ferrum sulp

Anaemia due to nutritional imbalance: Ferrum. met and Ferrum. Phos
General weakness: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met
Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos

Mentally suited to anxious people with great irritability and anger.

  • Anxiety Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. metFerrum. mur Ferrum. Phos
  • Anxiety after eating: Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos
  • Anxiety with fear:   Ferrum. ars Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Anxiety future about: Ferrum. acet Ferrum. Phos
  • Anxiety at night: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Physical anxiety:     Ferrum. ars Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos Ferrum iod
  • Anger:  Ferrum. ars Ferrum. mag Ferrum. metFerrum. mur Ferrum. Phos
  • Contradiction from: Ferrum. ars         Ferrum. met
  • Vexation from:  Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Violent anger: Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos

General depression and sadness.Fer. ars Fer. iod Fer. metFer. mur Fer phos
Ferrum group of medicines has depression when alone which is aggravated in evening hours.

Specific action over the glandular system and hence suited to scrofulous constitution.
Fer. iod Fer. met Fer. mur
Fer phos Fer sul

Most of them are right sided.

  • Fer. iod: Pain abdomen drawing from above navel down right side. Pain in right breast. Painful drawing in tendons and back of right hand. Rheumatic pain- right side.
  • Fer. phos hydricum: Dull right sided headache. Painful smarting in edges of right eyelids. Sticking in right ear as from large pointed stick on going to bed.
  • Fer. mur: Mainly a right sided medicine, causing neuralgia and headache of the right side of the face and head. Rheumatism of right shoulder.
  • Fer phos: Affection of right shoulder. Right-sided headache. Heaviness of eyelids especially right. Right-sided facial neuralgia. Throat affection right sided.
  • Fer sul: Pain shooting down right side of back. Rheumatism and semiparalysed condition of right arm and shoulder.
  • Fer picricum:  Pain in right side of neck and down right arm.

Easily bleeding tendency or haemorrhagic diathesis.

  • Haemorrhage of many kinds-
  • Causations—from over fullness of blood vessels or
  • From vasomotor paralysis or
  • From delicacy of the vessels.
  • Bleeding general: Fer. ars Fer. iod Fer. met
  • Fer. mur Fer phos
  • Blood does not coagulate: Fer. met Fer. mur Fer phos
  • Thermal reaction –Ferrum group medicines are predominantly chilly.
  • According to Gibson Miller Ferrum met and Ferrum ars are chilly and Ferrum iod –hot.

According to Synthesis Repertory 

    CHILLY    GRADE     HOT    GRADE
   Ferrum met       3     Ferrum met       1
   Ferrum ars       2     Ferrum iod        1
   Ferrum phos       1     Ferrum phos        1

All types of menstrual irregularities

  • Frequent too early too soon: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod
  • Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos     Ferrum acet
  • Too late: Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Profuse: Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur
  • Ferrum. Phos     Ferrum rub Ferrum. sulph
  • Amenorrhea: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos
  • Blood usually bright red or dark: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. metFerrum. phos

Restless sleep from frightful, unpleasant and anxious dreams.

  • Ferrum met: Anxious tossing of numerous dreams.
  • Ferrum iod: Dreams of thieves and fighting with them. Dreams that he has grown very large.
  • Ferrum mag: Dreams immediately after lying down and waking with a start.
  • Ferrum phos: Restless sleep with anxious dreams. Dreams of quarelling.
  • Anxious dreams: Ferrum. ars   Ferrum. met Ferrum. phosFerrum iod
  • Eyes half open during sleep.Fer. met Fer. mur Fer phos
  • Edema : both internal and external.
  • External: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Internal: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos

General aggravation at night.

  • Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. metFerrum. Phos
  • Intolerance of egg (Aversion to egg) or aggravation from egg.Ferrum met and Ferrum mur.
  • Initially Ferrum promote the appetite and invigorate the digestion.
  • Increased hunger: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met
  • Ravenous hunger: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. metFerrum. Phos
  • Later gland become exhausted by over stimulation and then there is loss of appetite
  • Loss of appetite: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod  Ferrum. metFerrum. Phos

15. General paralytic weakness with difficulty of movement and relaxation of the muscle.

  • Ferrum met: Great lassitude and general weakness (almost paralytic) produced even by speech, often alternating with anxious trembling of the whole body.
  • Ferrum mag: Paralytic weakness with trembling in the legs and arm.
  • Ferrum iod: Rheumatic, bruised, paralyzed feeling in right upper arm and shoulder.
  • Ferrum mur: Paralytic tearing in shoulder joint, arm, clavicle and muscle making it impossible to lift arm. Ferrum ars

16. Rheumatism of shoulder joint – particularly right shoulder joint

  • Rheumatic pain in shoulder: Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met  Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos
  • Ferrum met: Shooting tearing pain in the shoulder joint. Cracking in the shoulder joint.
  • Ferrum phos: Acute rheumatism of right shoulder joint. Red swollen and very sensitive. Rheumatism of wrist.
  • Ferrum picr: Rheumatic arthritis. Pain right side of neck and down right arm.
  • Ferrum iod: Rheumatic bruised, paralyzed feeling in right upper arm and shoulder.
  • Ferrum mur: Paralytic tearing in shoulder joint, arm, clavicle and muscle making it impossible to lift arm. Acute inflammatory rheumatism of right shoulder joint. Pain deep in socket preventing motion.
  • Ferrum sul: rheumatism and semi paralyzed condition of right arm and shoulder.

17.  Hyper pyrexia of various types

  • Dry heat: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. phos
  • Intermittent: Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos
  • Chronic intermittent: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met
  • Rheumatic fever: Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Typhoid: Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur
  • Tuberculosis infection: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. mur  Ferrum. Phos Ferrum acet
  • Ferrum met:  fever with shivering of short duration. Shivering in the evening or night with violent thirst. Chill with thirst and red-hot face. Dry heat stage with inclination to throw off all covering. Followed by copious perspiration.
  • Ferrum phos: All catarrhal and inflammatory fevers- first stage. Chill daily at 1 pm.
  • Ferrum ph. Hydr: Heat and dryness of face and palm while sitting.
  • Ferrum ars: Continued fever with enlarged spleen. Face flushed and sweats during fever. But during intermission the face is pallid. No thirst during any stage of fever.
  • Ferrum mur: Cold in a warm room about noon. Heat 3to 4 pm.
  • Ferrum mag: Shivering and cold in the side opposite to that on which the patient has lain.

18.  Specific action over the liver and spleen and causes for their enlargement.

  • Spleen enlarged: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod         Ferrum. met
  • Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos Ferrum acet
  • Liver enlarged: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met   Ferrum. phos

19. Vomiting after eating or drinking and vomiting of pregnancy

  • Vomiting (general) Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Food: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. phos
  • Drinking after: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Eating after: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos

20. Aversion to meat and aggravation from meat

  • Aversion to meat: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod   Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur Ferrum. Phos
  • Aggravation from meat: Ferrum. ars Ferrum. iod Ferrum. met Ferrum. Phos
  • Aggravation from fat Ferrum. ars Ferrum. met Ferrum. mur
  • (Desire for meat: Ferrum. met and Ferrum mur)

21. General aggravation from rapid motion and amelioration from gentle motion
Ferrum met Ferrum mur Ferrum phos

22. Profuse cold perspiration from slightest exertion and perspiration aggravate the general weakness.
Ferrum met Ferrum ars Ferrum iod
Ferrum phos

Dr Satheeshkumar.P.K  BHMS,MD(Hom)
Medical Officer, Dept. of Homoeopathy, Govt. of Kerala

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