Dr Ajit Kulkarni
May I begin with three interesting stories of Mercurius (Romans), “hydrargium” (Latin), “liquid silver” (Aristotle), “Silver water” (Dioskorides), or “quicksilver” (Latin)?
The name of the first story is ‘ The lake of the mountain spirits.” Russian scientist I.A Efremov has presented this story. There was a lake famous for “evil spirits” as anybody who visited the lake in a sunny weather died. It was regarded by the people living in the area that the lake was inhabited with evil spirits who hated all visitors. Some scientists decided to find out the cause of death. When they reached the lake high in the mountains, they were amazed to learn that the lake contained not only water, but also native mercury. The “evil spirits” were nothing but mercury vapour; in hot water they rose above the surface of small and large mercury pools surrounding the lake. The inhalation of mercury vapour resulted in respiratory collapse and death.
The second story is funny one. At the beginning of a last century a scientist tried to obtain gold from mercury by passing powerful electrical discharges through mercury vapour. The scientist had put in much time and effort and finally the first traces of gold appeared in mercury. The scientist’s joy knew no bounds. But lo! It was the ‘elusiveness’ of mercury. The scientist soon realized that the gold he found in mercury had peeled off the rims of his own glasses. Touching his glasses with his hand on which tiny droplets of mercury had settled, the scientist transferred gold in the form of amalgam from his fingers to the mercury he was studying.
The third story is about Hahnemann’s son and hence more interesting. Friedrich Hahnemann brought out many of the symptoms of Mercury proving. He was extremely restless and always on the move. He finally travelled to U.S.A. and then disappeared without trace as if to depict the personality of Mercury.
These stories depict three grand characters of Mercury – destructiveness, elusiveness and restlessness. The potentized dynamic effects depict the same to meet acute and chronic cases, to meet all miasms in its coverage.
The drugs in the Merc group are listed below.
Name of drugs Abbreviations
1. Mercurius Solubilis Merc
2. Mercurius aceticus Merc-a
3. Mercurius auratus Merc-aur
4. Mercurius biniodatus Merc-I- r
5. Mercurius bromatus Merc-br
6. Mercurius corrosivus Mer-c
7. Mercurius cum Kali Merc-k-i
8. Mercurius cyanatus Merc -cy
9. Mercurius dulcis, calomel Merc-d
10. Mercurius iodatus flavus Merc-I-f
11. Mercurius Methylenus Merc- meth
12. Mercurius Nitrosus Merc-ns
13. Mercurius Oxydatus Merc-pr- r
14. Mercurius phosphorus Merc-p
15. Mercurius pracipitatus albus Merc-pr-a
16. Mercurius pracipitatus flavus Merc-pr-f
17. Mercurius Sulphocy- anatus Merc-s-cy
18. Mercurius Sulphuratus niger Merc-sul-n
19. Mercurius Sulphuratus ruber Cinnabaris
20. Mercurius Sulphuricus Merc-sul
21. Mercurius tanicus Merc-tn
22. Mercurius vivus Merc-v
23. Mercurialis perennnis Merl
Merc-i-r = Mercurius biniodatus = mercurius iodatus rubber
Merc-c = Mercurius cor = Mercurius sublimates
Merc-k-i = Mercurius cum kali = Mercurius biniodatus cum kali iodato
Merc-pr-r = Mercurius Oxydatus = Mercurious precip. ruber
- Congestive. Catarrhal. Exudative. Ulcerative. Suppurative. Destructive
- Glandular. Scrofulous. Scorbutic. Anemic. Rheumatic. Offensive
- Sensitive. Tremulous. Dropsical . Agile. Chaotic. Debilitated. Syphilitic
1. Congestive: Merc is basically inflammatory group of remedies. Every inflammation begins with congestion and Merc has it forcefully in its pathogenesis. This congestiveness has to be differentiated from Aco, Bell or Ferr-ph. These three drugs have congestion in their first stage of inflammation. Merc presents a furtherance of activity where suppuration has supervened. An abscess in Merc is of spreading congestion-more red, more painful, more throbbing, and with adjacent lymphadenopathy.
2. Catarrhal: Merc causes inflammation of mucous membranes resulting in profuse, thin, slimy, acrid, burning, foul or thick greenish-yellow discharges. Merc covers simple to malignant catarrhs in its pathogenesis.
3. Exudative: Exuding the ichorous fluid, pus etc. through affected lesions like boils, abscesses, carbuncles, sinuses, fistulae etc. is the characteristic of Merc. The exudation is usually offensive in nature.
4. Ulcerative: Merc has ulcerations; of the mucous membranes, esp. of mouth and throat. The syphilitic miasmatic dimension is responsible for recurrent and non-healing ulcerations; ulcers based on deep pathologies, or metabolic basis. Syphilitic phagadenic ulcers.
5. Suppurative: Inflammation in Merc doesn’t stop at the level of congestion. Inflammatory action is intensely acute and violent and rapidly tends to septic disorganization. It is as if little resistance is offered by the system. Defective mesenchymal system and phagocytosis turns the condition into suppuration. Merc has tendency to pus formation and the pus is thin, green, putrid; streaked with blood. Suppuration in glands, ulcers or even internal vital organs like lungs (e.g. empyema) or kidneys (e.g. peri-nephric abscess or pyelonephritis) comes within the range of Merc.
6. Destructive: Merc transforms healthy cells into decrepit, inflamed and necrotic wrecks. Merc is destructive both at body and mind levels. Its lesions resemble those of syphilis. Merc’s action is similar to that of the toxins of infectious diseases. Inflammations of malignant types, and prostration. Appropriate Merc salt can be thought of in cases where perforation threatens.
7. Glandular: Merc has increased glandular activity, esp. of salivary and mucous glands. Lymphatic system is esp. affected with all the membranes and glands. Merc has concomitant lymphadenopathy with skin lesions like boil, abscess, ulcer etc. Syphilitic miasm is responsible for even malignant glandular affections and fevers. Based on scrofulous diathesis, it also covers tubercular glandular affections. Chronic suppurating glands; cold abscesses are dealt with Merc.
8. Scrofulous: Tuberculous disease of lymphatic nodes and of bone, with slowly suppurating abscesses. Merc decomposes the blood, producing a profound anemia. It thus affects the nutrition and prepares a ground for scrofulous affections. Syphilitic activity further leads to cachexia.
9. Scorbutic: Merc has spongy and bleeding gums. When the general condition is impaired and metabolism affected because of malnutrition, scorbusis may get developed. Scorbusis may be a precursor of metabolic diseases like DM.
10. Anaemic: Merc through decomposition of blood, and through bone-narrow depression causes profound or aplastic anemia. Hemorrhages, metabolic disorders, hepatic and renal toxicity cause anemia. Hence Merc constitution is emaciated, pale with dark ring around eyes.
11. Rheumatic: Rheumatic diathesis is one of the features of Merc group. It has both acute and chronic dimensions. Mercs are sensitive to both heat and cold – human barometers and they come down with acute joint swellings and pains consequent to weather changes. ‘Redness’ indicates Merc.
12. Offensive: Merc is filthy, mentally as well as physically. All discharges smell horribly; the decomposition, the debris, the slough, the suppuration; smell emanates from the body. Mercs are, hence, recognized to an observant physician.
13. Sensitive: Mercs are very sensitive to weather changes, hence termed as ‘human barometer’. The inflamed part is very sensitive and depicts all characters of inflammation. The reactivity pattern is exhibited well. Sensitivity attracts environmental stimuli; hence modalities or sensory stimuli / inputs are usually available. Sensitivity is also present at mind level.
14. Tremulous: ‘Trembling’ is a marked characteristic of Merc. Paralysis agitans – Parkinsonism -come under pathogenetic action of Merc. Syphilitic expressions with a lot of pathologies at nerves, spinal cord, and brain resulting in inco-ordination are responsible for tremulousness.
15. Dropsical: Dropsy due to anemia, hepatic, renal or cardiac affections are covered by Merc. Edematous swellings in the affected parts characterize Merc.
16. Agile: Merc is basically an‘active’ group. We get rapid development of symptoms leading to destruction. When active disease processes are present, Merc group is indicated. It is less indicated for remnants or for exhaustion stage. That work is allotted to other groups like Carbon etc. Usually full-blown acute or chronic diseases are found in Merc group because of increased sensitivity and susceptibility.
17. Chaotic: The aberrant immune response as expressed in autoimmune disorders give the character of chaos. Under severe infection, the system becomes prey and behaves in an eccentric way. Tubercular miasma actively dominates the scene. The agile character allows the system to go into chaos.
18. Debilitated: The sway of disease processes under tubercular and syphilitic miasmatic activities depletes the energy. The system can’t continue for long and succumbs. Anemia, malnourishments add to the state of debility. Discharges produced do not ameliorate and further deplete the energy.
19. Syphilitic: Merc and syphilis are knot together since antiquity. Merc has in its pathogenesis all stages of syphilis-primary, secondary and tertiary. Low states and phagadenic condition from syphilitic poison. Destructive effects on nerves. It covers both acute and chronic phases. Discharges which system develops as defense do not help and syphilitic march is continued.
Merc group is an active group and hence must be considered in all inflammatory processes characte- ized by suppuration. But once Merc action has been over, (for example in a case of an abscess), it is better to follow with either a constitutional remedy or a nosode. Sul is a liaison remedy to complement Merc.
Merc group resembles Acid group as far as inflammation and destruction is concerned. But Acid group is more debilitated. ‘Struggle followed by exhaustion’ is the theme with Acid group. In Merc group struggle is an active process. Fight is the theme and it is continued till decomposition occurs. But if this state appears, better to go to Carbon group of remedies.
Merc group should be compared with Spider group. This group is slyer, nervier and has more loss of control.
Previously Merc was used for all and sundry as a medicine. Now antibiotics and steroids are used. Now we do not get Mercurialised constitutions to treat homeopathically. But it is necessary to note that modern man is using Mercury more than his predecessors. And it needs to be antidoted by our potentised Mercury.
In this article an endeavor has been made to focus on essential features, analogical relations and evolution of Merc group through transitional phases.
3. ANALOGICAL RELATIONSHIP
1] A poor conductor of heat but a fair conductor of electricity.
2] Atom shows the unstable quick reaction; changes its physical state quickly and possesses extraordinary mobility.
3] Low melting and boiling point; reacts to changes of temperature and atmospheric pressure.
4] Mercury has affinity for the liquid sphere and left to itself it assumes the form of any liquid, the drop, which at the slightest instance, due to lack of adhesion and liability of inner coherence separates into innumerable droplets, restlessly moving about in every direction.
5] Solubility of mercury is directly proportional to availability of NaCl; NaCl enhances Mercury solubility.
6] Mercury is heaviest of all known liquids, weighing 13.6 times as an equal volume of water (1litre bottle of Hg weighs more than a bucket of water).
7] Its power of cohesion is extremely great but its adhension to its surroundings is poor. Neither grasped like a solid and doesn’t stick like liquid and retains its own shape.
8] Takes up and dissolves all metals such as gold, silver, tin etc. with the exceptions of iron in solutions called amalgams.
9] A bizarre substance; cold and elusive, always restless; but when still, it is better than a mirror to see into.
10] Due to its solubility in lipids, Mercury has a tendency to concentrate in nervous tissue and particularly the brain which is extremely sensitive to mercury.
11] Mercury switches are used in automatic control and measuring instruments as they ensure instantaneous opening and closing of electrical circuits.
12] Hg dissolves metals as water dissolves salt.
Interpretation in MM
1] Present erratic pattern of disease process. Established pathologies run rapidly.
2] Unstable mind and body, imaginations run riot. Exaggeration of complaints. Wants to travel.
3] Human Barometer. Increased susceptibility and sensitivity. Changeability. Vacillating.
4] Unstable at maintaining relations. Restless. Can go to any extreme under emotional dominance.
5] Both Mercury and Natrum salts are related to ‘liquid state’ and hence catarrhal.
Mercury is furtherance of Natrum presenting suppuration and thick discharges.
Merc compliments Natrum and is an acute of it. Mentally Nat anger may go into Merc rage.
6] Heavy to deal with both from personality and disease point of view. Presents deep acting, syphilitic pathogenesis. Discharges are thick and suppurating.
7] A leader who coheses the mass but can’t maintain close I.P.R. (Inter-personal Relationship) of harmony owing to elusive, detached and chameleon attributes.
8] Odd, clumsy, restless and difficult to unfold; full- blown disease portrait helps click the remedy.
9] Presents “Mercurial erethism”- profound and characteristic disturbance of nervous system and mind.
10] Instantaneous, quick to act. A trifle can provoke out of proportion response. When open; aggressive, dictatorial; when closed; timid, shy, easily embarrassed.
11] Mercury almost dissolves the personality of others with its dictatorship, divide and rule policy.
4. EVOLUTION OF MERC: TRANSITIONAL PHASES
One requires a special eye to spot Merc constitutionally. The use of Merc salts more for acutes; more for pathological states has definitely overshadowed the personality structure of Merc. But it is possible to evolve the portrait out of messed-up components. Mercs are full with diversity. Ultimately they are powerful, deep – acting constitutional anti-syphilitic and hence replete with negative and perverted traits.
Born oversensitive. There is a definite pattern of sharp consciousness. The child exhibits a ‘ reactive’ pattern. An active child. Beneath this activity lies restlessness. The child is fidgety, constantly moving; never lies still and sleep of the child is only solace to the parents. Even during sleep, he is restless and tossing. A problem child. Intellectual, cunning, mischievous and capricious. Wants the things in his own way. Obstinate. A tantrumy child. Ready to hit others. Aggressive. Offensive. Can’t tolerate contradiction and may react with rage. Hits mother, shouts loudly, screams and drives everyone crazy. Mother expresses the child as a ‘devil’ one, born to give troubles. The child can’t be controlled, has absurd demands and if unfulfilled absurd behavior. One often gets feeling as if the child is amoral and has no emotional attachment.
Merc child has an attractive face. There is a definite tinge of cunningness expressed in the eyes. With manipulation and blackmailing, the child tries to achieve his demands. He will use all the techniques like sweet tongue, no communication and finally violence to get his way. The child is very impatient and hurried. He wants his demands to be fulfilled just now and he hates late response in a sulky way. The child learns well that aggressiveness and dictatorship are the dependable means, the weapons to become a warrior. He uses these weapons while playing with inmates. He quarrels with friends, often takes the role of a leader and oppresses others. Childhood delinquency. Some Merc children are born with criminal tendencies. The parents often seek the help of a psychiatrist.
A precocious child, born under syphilitic miasmatic activity. Born with deformities like ASD, VSD, Spina bifida etc. Family history of major illnesses like Ca, Stroke, IHD, TB, Epilepsy, Psychosis, AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhea etc. This stock makes the child vulnerable, the susceptibility tampered with to attract noxious stimuli. The mesenchymal system, the reticulo – endothelial system, the defective phagocytosis tell upon the economy. The child is especially prone to strepto / staphylococcal, bacterial, E-coli, parasitic, amoebic and viral infections. These get reflected at respiratory, GIT, genito-urinary and skin level. Inflammatory response with or without infection characterized by congestion- exudation- suppuration- fibrosis- necrosis- granuloma may be observed as per the intensity of process. With illness, the child becomes more cranky, more ill – humored and peevish.
Mercs are also indicated for Autism, mentally retarded children, and cerebral palsy and also for puny children. Merc childhood passes more through sickness; diarrheas and dysenteric stools are common as also recurrent throat infections esp. tonsillitis. Frequent use of the antibiotics alters already fragile flora to thrive the organisms.
The child carries forward the traits and in the adolescence phase we get typically boyish ones (Mercs are indicated more for males due to masculine element). The youths appear more immature, detached and as if in their own world. They are sensitive but unpredictable. They are always hurried, restless and almost running. While watching TV, they will go on changing the channels so frequently that the very purpose of watching TV is lost. They become bored easily and they must be kept busy. They will go on playing video games or with mobile sets constantly pressing buttons. Their speech is hurried and one has to carefully listen to what they say. There is a penchant for violent movies and rap / pop music. They enjoy dancing with loud music. They may go in pub with the group or alone. Dancing, however, is clumsier and orderly rhythmic Tarn dance they are unable to perform. Early sex awakening leads Merc to indulge in sex. Mercs are sensual and they are more guided by ‘id’ than ‘super-ego’. Hence they enter into danger zone to contract sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, AIDS, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum etc. Homosexuality is a feature of Merc.
What worries parents is youth’s neutrality. He doesn’t maintain close, amicable relations neither at home nor at school. In addition, being non-routinist, they pick up new fashions, new cloths, new cassettes, new influences, new friends and these new things soon become old. Being capricious, their demands are diverse and unending. Some Merc youths are excited and lively. Being intellectual, they are able to influence others, being cunning they are able to manipulate others and being destructive they are able to harass others. They are quick and hence some intellectual Mercs grasp the subject readily. They do their study work fast and they do not like to repeat the work. Mercs do not like to sit in one place for a long time and in a boring class, they become very restless. They attend the school/college infrequently and yet they get good marks. They are intuitive and recall in the nick of the time the precise words and sentences. However, tempting forces distract mature youths and their journey then marches towards non-idealistic path.
Merc youths do not like the advice of elders and they can’t tolerate contradiction. They take everything contrary and go to extreme. They prefer to remain alone and outside home and get addicted to wine, women, and drugs. Many Mercs become robbers and murderers. They start spending time in jail from an early life. The journey towards perversion begins in early life and now they need monitoring, counselling and treatment.
We have seen the sharp consciousness of Merc child with aggressiveness and self-centeredness. In the adolescence, picking up captivating influences and getting carried away by them. Changeability is a marked fixed character and he has no fixed personality of his own. All this projects Merc’s fluid state. To describe life of Merc the better expression will be ‘fluid consciousness’. This personality is not fragile like Sil. One may get an apparent opinion that they are strong people. Given their intellect and cunningness they are able to manage themselves; they come out of difficult periods but through resorting to low means. Mercs are ambitious and in order to fulfill their aspirations, they know well how to deal with people. They know the weakness of people and keep them in their memory box to utilize later at proper time. This behavior resembles Lach. But Lach is passionate and has no fluid personality. Mercs oscillate between extreme poles and the powerful, influencing force pulls them. This force could be moral or amoral. It is the influence that matters. It is like pulsating with wind. But it is not like Puls. Puls has no say of her own because of absence of self-righteousness. Puls clings to others for her emotional dependence. Mercs are independent, fixed though for the time being. It is like fixity with changeability. They do not exhibit lack of confidence. It is a state of ‘always on the move’, shifting from one issue to another.
The changeability and attraction for new makes Merc mistrustful, unfaithful. Merc comes in the life of a woman and goes, without being loyal to her feelings. It is the opportunism and Mercs are clever in exploiting the opportunities. Their trades are also with many wrongdoings. Mercs flourish their trades through political-criminal nexus and may kill the persons who come in their way. It is not that he has lust of power but it is more fascination, thrill and strangely it is not associated with emotionalism.
Many Mercs enjoy literature. They have fascination for words and they enjoy writing, making poems or be comedians. They are also quick readers. Detective, sensual and violence literature are the favorites. Stories of dictators attract them. Intellectual Mercs have a good amount of information on various subjects. During discussion, they forcefully put their arguments. Being sharp and quick, their comprehension is good and opinions correct. Merc mind is fast and they do not like indolent talk. This is about a rational Merc. But an irrational Merc is more ambiguous and silly too. This perverted perception often goes contrary.
Mercs are domineering types and they enjoy dictatorship. They have experienced oppression during their childhood and they are not the fellows who will quietly tolerate the injustice. Some Mercs are detached since childhood – parents are divorced or father is alcoholic and not paying attention to family, mother is away attending the parties or there is criminal set-up in the family and Mercs have received the learning to be so. Poor family ties and unaffable family set-up have kept Mercs detached and they have not experienced the real joy of family as a unit. Hence they are unable to understand the feelings of others. They use the domination quickly if the quarrel occurs and they do not like long arguments in a quarrel. They will end up the issue by giving the result in the form of non-compromising statement or a hit. They may resort to lying and no conscience will bite them. They will speak lie without being affected emotionally. They will remain silent and deceive others.
Mercs enjoy travelling, hotelling and hi-fi life. To enjoy such a life, one requires a fluid state and Mercs have it. The modern mantra of life is ‘use and throw’ and Mercs imbibe it fully. They may go on travel with any one, alienating their families. They just enjoy, abuse their bodies, satisfy needs and move…
This ‘use and throw’ attitude of Merc makes the life of wife miserable. Is it the Merc instinct transmitted through generation where women are regarded as sensual subjects of lust? Merc look upon his wife through his gratification and he is not concerned with the feeling of wife. This strains the relations. Merc uses this as an excuse for outgoing. He contracts STD and gives it to wife. Low value system coupled with detachment ruin the family life. Many Mercs consume alcohol at home and go on abusing wife and children hours together. Merc. can not balance himself between his inner desires and outward life. He can’t understand the reality of life, as he wants to live the life in his own way.
Abusing body over a long period pay-off ! The body has withstood the agile life for long. The life has been lived as a wild animal in the jungle of men. An anarchist life, a chaotic life, a life governed more by animal instincts. The delusion is persistent ‘ money is not enough’. They have been squanderers. The detached behavior followed ever since a long time, now indeed alienates them. They are now neglected, repudiated. They were offensive bodily and mentally and now they emanate a disgusting smell. Their breath, sweat, saliva, the whole body gives out a bad odor. (It is said that spiritual masters or sadhus emanate a sweet odor). Their previous charm has vanished. Teeth crumbled, eyes lusterless, hands and the body tremors, stammering speech, salivation dribbling, the skin has wrinkled, the vital organs are crying, grievancing, rebelling against the chronic suppressions and injustice. Mercs have acted in life, now life compels to act as rebound. Now the life is a dictator. Mercs have regarded themselves as heroes but now turning as zeroes. Incidentally it must be noted that Mercury was regarded as the semen of Lord Shiva.
‘Despair’ is the best expression to present the mental state. Life is not to be dealt with frivolously is the lesson but Mercs, though aged are not able to take the role of learners. Life has been only lived hedonistically. Loathing with suicidal disposition and insane behavior characterize Merc’s old age. They remain as dotards, rogues, and scoundrels and pass away in agony. Mercs are born syphilitic and die also in a syphilitic way. Hats off syphilis! It will never disappear from the earth!! And Merc will never go into oblivion from the armamentarium of homoeopathy in view of its great potentiality!!!