Author: Jan Scholten
Oxygen is an interesting remedy. It is present in many compound remedies. Remedies such as the Carbonicums, Nitricums, Silicatums, Phosphoricums and Sulphuricums all contain Oxygen, although one couldn’t guess from the names alone and it isn’t easy to detect a specific oxygen theme in these remedies. Alumina, Silica and Arsenicum album also contain oxygen, in fact they are pure oxides, although their name once again doesn’t indicate this fact.
When we analyse the remedy pictures of Alumina, Silica and Arsenicum album we see a common theme emerging, based on words like ’avarice, selfish, greed, egotism, fear of robbers, dreams of robbers and envy’. These words, as we shall see, all play a large part in the general theme of oxygen. And although the picture may initially seem to a bit negative, we know from experience that the more we get to know a remedy, the more this initial negative impression gets balanced in a broader overall picture.
The name Oxygen means acid, ‘oxy’, forming, ‘genesis’. The oxidisation of metals creates oxides, which are little used in homeopathy except in remedies such as Arsen alb. Some oxides dissolve in water to form acids. One example of such a compound is Nitric acid, which is created out of nitro-dioxide and water. Another example is carbon dioxide which dissolves in water and becomes a light acid.
Other oxides dissolve in water to become alkaline (also called causticum in homoeopathic literature). Oxides formed of metals in the left half of the periodic table, like Natrium, Kali and Calcium, dissolve in water and become alkaline.
Oxides from metals in the right half of the periodic table, like sulphur and nitrogen, usually turn into acids when dissolved in water.
The theme of water and fire is very much a part Oxygen. Oxidation means a reaction with the oxygen in the air, which produces fire and heat. This burning process frees the energy which was stored up in the original substance. But oxygen and hydrogen form the substance that quenches the fire, i.e. water. The theme of water and fire is often used symbolically to denote the theme of giving and taking, or male and female.
Oxidation is a key process in all forms of life. It is a slow internal process: there is no actual fire to be seen. It is a necessary process for remaining alive and at the same time it means the end of something, a sort of death. It is the theme of eating and being eaten, and here we see the connection with the theme of aggression.
Oxidation contains the essence of change and transformation. The exchange is a necessary prerequisite for change and therefore experience. Note also the importance of free radicals and anti-oxidants in this respect.
16% of the air we breathe consists of oxygen gas. It is the most common element on earth: 50 % of all matter consists of oxygen.
It is a gas and therefore very elusive, in contrast to the fact that you can’t do without it!