Kali metallicum has not been potentised yet, because, just like Natrium, it reacts immediately with both water and sugar. This rather violent aspect of Kalium, as we shall see below, is not very well known, possibly because so far we have only studied the various Kali salts, not the metal itself.
The themes of Kali are not essentially different from the ones described in ‘Homeopathy and Minerals’, although the optimistic aspect was perhaps a little over-emphasised, while its depressive tendencies are in fact just as strong as in the Natriums. This depressive tendency could be partly explained by the pressures of our present day society, where work and duty are more valued than making personal contact: ’don’t talk, just do’.
Kali was also considered to be a closed remedy. But here we can also discern some different nuances. In the final stages they are definitely closed, but in the beginning stages they only appear closed. The fact that their answers are not very forthcoming is not because they are closed, but because to them things are just the way they are. It is all purely a matter of fact and they are not used to thinking deeply about their thoughts and feelings.
While I was teaching in India I discovered that they consider the central themes of Kali to be ‘the family’, ‘fear of disease’ and ‘alone’. The theme of duty had not been so obvious. But in India the duty towards the family is considered to be the most important duty and is rather taken for granted. Furthermore the themes of ‘fear of disease’ and ‘alone’ have been derived from Kali carbonicum and we now know that they are both very strong Carbonicum symptoms. Similarly the irritability towards the family in Kalium carbonicum can be seen as a form of falling back on the family, where the family element is also a Carbonicum symptom. They have outgrown their family and relations and have started work, but when things go wrong at work they can always fall back on the family. The irritability towards the family is more a secondary symptom, a reaction to the problems they are experiencing while finding a place in the larger community, the village.
The word Kali is derived from the Arabic ‘kaly’, meaning ash. Another name for Kali is Potassium, from pot-ash, the remains of burned vegetable matter.
This ash contains large amounts of Kalium. It was discovered in 1807.
It is the 7th most common element on earth and it is slightly radioactive. Kali is used in the manufacture of glass that is difficult to melt. In many products that contain Kali its presence is not actually determinant for the properties of the product. For instance, in gunpowder (Kali nitrate) the effect of the substance is largely due to the properties of nitrate rather than Kalium.
It is also a component in artificial fertilisers.
Kali is found mainly inside the cells, whereas Natrium is not.
The presence of these two elements on opposite sides of the cell membrane plays a role in the conduction of nerve impulses.