Jan Scholten

The Ferrum group

The Ferrum group is different from the previous groups of remedies. In chemistry it is called ‘the group of transition elements of the fourth period’. These are the elements with atomic number 22 to 30: the metals Titanium, Vanadium, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper and Zinc.

Although these are all different elements, there are certain similarities between these metals, both from a chemical and from a homeopathic point of view.
We could apply a kind of group analysis to this group, a group analysis which differs from the one we have used so far. Until now we have used the group analysis on a series of different combinations of the same element. Now we will use it on a series of related but different elements.
We can see the similarities most clearly in the three best known metals of this group: Zincum, Cuprum and Ferrum. But the same characteristic traits can also be found in the other metals in this group.

The most obvious common trait is the forceful aspect of these remedies. They all have the feeling that they have to do something, they have to comply with some sort of rule. This is more than a sense of duty. It is a compulsive feeling that they have to fulfil some sort of task, driven by an outside, but later on also by an inner, force.

They are not allowed to listen to their own feelings, thoughts and wishes, they have to comply with the wishes of someone else. This leads us to the second characteristic trait of this group: suppression. They easily let their own emotions be suppressed by outside forces. On the physical level we can see this happen in the neurological complaints following suppressed eruptions, as in Zincum and Cuprum.

Having to live up to something, having to fulfil some sort of task, can also result in a feeling of having failed, or having done something wrong. This is expressed in the delusions: ‘being pursued by the police’, having committed a crime’, 'having neglected their duty’. These feelings come up again in their dreams: they are being pursued, not so much by animals or robbers, but usually by the police. The police represents the law, and their delusion is that they have committed a crime. Cobaltum has a particular delusion that he is a criminal, and that everyone knows this.

Anxiety of conscience
They suffer from great feelings of guilt and anxiety of conscience. This guilt can be totally out of proportion to the so called ‘crimes’ they have committed. They usually have very high moral standards and even very minor faults may be seen as major misdeeds.

Because they feel hurried and persecuted, their behaviour tends to be restless. They can’t sit still and do nothing. In zincum we see this restlessness in the continuous movement of their feet, especially when they aren’t doing anything, or in the evening when they have gone to bed.

The above-mentioned symptoms are all linked to the same basic feeling: anxiety of conscience. As soon as one of these symptoms is known in any one remedy, the rest of the picture can be built up by careful analysis.

DD Bromatums: The feeling of guilt in the Bromatums is different, it is more the result of their passions and their instinctive actions. In the Ferrum group the guilt is a result of the fact that they haven’t been able to fulfil their task, they have failed. The persecution is therefore of a different kind: the Bromatums are being chased by God, the Ferrums by the police.
DD Kali's: The duty consciousness of the Kali resembles that of the Ferrum group. But in the Kali's the impetus comes from within themselves, they just carry out what they see to be their task. The Ferrum group has to fulfil a task that has been forced upon them by someone else. That is why they feel as if they are being censored, as if they are being chased.