Germanium Metalllicum - a Third Remedy from the Periodic Table for the Time of Covid.
Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Germanium Metallicum, like Cuprum Metallicum and Vanadium Metallicum, is plotted in the Ferrum series of remedies from the Periodic Table and was originally proved by Jeremy Sherr.(1) This series of remedies is connected with duty, work, perfection, routine, order, and control, as well as failure.
Germanium Metallicum in its homeopathic form complies with stage 14 which concerns ‘powerlessness’ and ‘discarded feelings’, as well as ‘putting on a facade’. Vanadium Metallicum complies with stage 5, which is about ‘preparation’ and ‘doubt’, whereas Cuprum Metallicum, at stage 11, is more about ‘protection’ and ‘expansion’. (2)
It is no coincidence that all three are Metallicum remedies, signifying a marked level of weakness in the picture. I would speculate that, out of these three remedies, Germanium is the one presenting this with the most marked manifestation in its disabling effects. This, I feel, is brought about through the emotional state which has been worn down by the pressures which have been brought to bear on the patient. This is felt more acutely in this remedy picture than the other two remedies already outlined. One could account for this due to the stage of breakdown reached (according to this model).
I have found all three of these remedies to be poorly represented in the repertory, even though they each have a very distinctive remedy picture. The lockdown has brought about an intensification of vulnerability in each presenting patient and, in the case of Germanium Metallicum, it plays into their low self-confidence and tendency for self-reproach. Perfectionism drives them often to hide behind a mask, this in itself taking considerable energy from the presenting individual. The sense of isolation already experienced by this patient is profound and, of course, that is compounded by the restrictions placed on society at this time.
As a reflection of what is being inflicted on society, there are feelings in this remedy picture of:
someone entering their territory or being trapped
Delusions are of:
being a prisoner
the world is shabby
Dreams convey a similar reaction through images of:
Fixated remedies such as Kali Carbonicum and Thuja could easily slip into the Germanium mindset given the extraneous stresses which have slipped into society beyond the individual's control. After all, my experience is that many patients across the board have found the collective trauma created by continued lockdowns and negative media reports have forced them to plummet to levels of darkness they have not previously experienced or are able to express.
In fact, I would go so far to state that the effect of lockdowns after nearly a whole year, has plunged many into a set of feelings matching those listed under stage 14. This would indicate the relevance of this particular choice of prescription for any presenting patient regardless of their constitutional remedy. Thus, Germanium Metallicum may come into its own given the stage of breakdown it represents. In the series, it is a significant remedy which stands out as one of the most indicated polychrests derived from the Periodic Table at this time. Of course, it is yet to be realised how much deeper will be the toll of lockdowns if they persist.
Mental health has become an issue across swathes of the population already and it is increasingly difficult for this to be picked up on in order for the appropriate professional support to be accessed. (3,4) The disturbing effects described here of the lockdowns at this point have become the ‘maintaining cause’. This shows why a very nihilistic remedy like Germanium may currently be indicated along a trajectory of mental breakdown.
Confusion can result in the Germanium Metallicum patient, leading to mistakes in speaking or writing. Dyslexia is a known symptom of this remedy picture. This compounds the conviction the patient may well have of being a failure and guilt arising from this false belief. Children who under normal circumstances would acquire the appropriate support in school have been sidelined. This, in turn, compounds the fundamental learning difficulty which probably pre-existed and would have originally presented in a less overt way. So, a remedy such as Causticum may have been given prior, whereas now a deeper remedy needs to be given. A remedy with the picture of Germanium can dig deep and excavate the underlying and protracted distress contributing to the worsening decline at a time when so much of society has been stripped away.
In conclusion, I would describe this as a ‘hollowed out’ remedy for the ‘hollowed out’ feelings and circumstances which now prevail. I wonder whether Mendelev - the creator of the Periodic Table - would ever have conceived of its enduring applicability for future times as dystopian as those we witness today. I pay tribute to Jan Scholten’s vision to translate the model into pictures describing homeopathic remedies and their interconnectedness, which can provide the rudder as we enter increasingly ‘uncharted territory’. (5)
Murphy, R., N.D., 2005, Homeopathic Clinical Repertory, Third Edition, Lotus Health Institute.
Scholten, Jan, 2008, Element Theory, Stichtung, Alonissos.
Swerling, Gabriella, 12.1.21., Third Lockdown Has Triggered an Unprecedented Crisis in Mental Health, www.telegraph.co.uk.
Townsend, J., Princes Trust, 19.1.21, One in Four Young People Feeling ‘Unable to Cope’ as Lockdown Takes Toll on Mental Health, https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/news-views/tesco-youth-index-2021.
Scholten, Jan, 1993, Homeopathy and Minerals, Stichtung, Alonissos.
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