Author: Jan Scholten
Another name for Mercurius is quick silver. The ordinary metal is called Mercurius vivus in homoeopathic circles, vivus indicating that is is ‘alive, i.e. it is fluid at room temperature. But the most commonly used homoeopathic form is Mercurius solubilis, a combination of mercury, ammonium and nitrate, invented by Hahnemann, its chemical formula is 2(NH2Hg2)NO3.H2O. Hahnemann invented this compound in his pre- homoeopathic years as a substitute for the more aggressive mercury compounds which were used in allopathic medicine at the time. It was quickly taken up by his contemporaries and soon replaced the other mercury compounds. However, Hahnemann preferred to use Mercurius vivus as a homoeopathic medicine: ‘One small globule, moistened with the dilution of hydragyrum purum is the appropriate dose of this very medicinal metal for all suitable cases (MM page 146).
Geukens (seminar Wageningen) was of the opinion that their was no noticeable difference between the different mercury compounds and that Mercurius solubilis was sufficient to treat all cases. But during the course of my practice I have discovered that there is indeed a difference between the various mercury substances and that it is useful to try and differentiate between them. Clarke (Vol. 2 page 438) doesn’t differentiate between Mercurius solubilis and Mercurius vivus.
I must say that the difference between the two can be quite subtle, but the relationship to fat and butter seems to me to be due to the nitrate component of Mercurius solubilis.
Mercurius is named after the Roman God Mercurius, the God of trade and science. The planet Mercurius is named after the same God. Mercurius is sometimes called hydrargyum, ‘watery silver’. Its shine and colour are very similar to silver, but mercury is a fluid at room temperatures. The name quick silver is a translation of hydrargyum, where the word quick describes its tendency to scatter away in all directions.
The droplets have a tendency to conglomerate to one big mass, but on being shaken they fall apart into countless little droplets again. It is used to ignite explosives, like mercury fulminate, the explosive character is one of its general themes.
Mercury dissolves gold, silver, natrium and Kalium. It is used in amalgam fillings (a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and zinc). It is also used in mercury switches,-aligner and -batteries, as well as in barometers, thermometers, blood pressure gages, lights and ultra violet lamps.