Vision is definitely affected by glasses, esp. after they have been filled and emptied several times.
Stibnite. Antimony trisulphide. Black Sulphide of Antimony.
CLASSIFICATION Antimony is a brittle, silvery, bluish-white metalloid in group 15 [formerly 5A] of the periodic table. It has a flaky texture. It doesn’t often form in its elemental state and is far more common in sulphides and sulphosalts such as stibnite, tetrahedrite, and jamesonite. The chief ore stibnite occurs in massive forms in gneiss and granite. It is also found in limestone, presumably deposited by hot springs. This steel-greyish mineral has a brilliant metallic lustre.
DISTRIBUTION In units of ppb [parts per billion] in terms of weight antimony is found in crustal rocks [200 ppb], in carbonaceous meteorites [120 ppb], in water streams [2 ppb] and in the sun [1 ppb]. It occurs in large amounts in the Black Forest and Harz Mountains of Germany. It is rare in North America. The biggest producing countries are China, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Italy, and France.
OCCURRENCE Group 15 consists of nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth. The range in chemical properties is wide within this group: nitrogen and phosphorus are nonmetals, arsenic and antimony are metalloids [displaying both metallic and non-metallic characteristics], and bismuth is a metal. Though sulphur is its main associate, antimony is also found in compounds containing small amounts of arsenic, iron, lead, copper, and silver. In terms of form, it is mostly found mammilary, stalactitic, massive, radiating, and as crusts. Stibnite consists of 71.38 antimony and 28.62% sulphur. Stibnite may have fine crystal clusters and long curved crystals. The slender curved metallic blades resemble Arabian swords. The curving of the long bladed crystals is due to twinning where one twin plane bends the crystal one direction and another twin plane bends it in the other direction. These crystals possess the remarkable property of bending without breaking.
FEATURES Because it is a poor conductor of heat and electricity, antimony tarnishes only slightly in dry air, but it is gradually converted to an oxide if the air is moist. When it is heated in air, it burns with a brilliant blue flame and gives off white fumes of the trioxide Sb2O3. Antimony dissolves poorly in water. It melts at 630.5o C. The melting point is considerably lowered by the presence of even small amounts of other substances. Under ordinary conditions antimony is stable and not affected by air or moisture, but when it is heated it can be oxidized easily by oxygen, sulphur, and the halogens.
PROPERTIES “Antimony is inclined toward sulphur not only because it occurs mainly as a sulphide, but by its very nature. It is only half a metal, the other half being sulphurous. … It is seldom found as a pure metal. … To be sure, the metal is fairly dense, but it is easy to melt, easy to vapourize, even easy to burn. … A drop of the melted metal falling on parchment scatters quicksilver-like into droplets, which, while still burning, scorch all sorts of curves into the surface. The white oxide smoke of its combustion precipitates upon cool surfaces like hoar frost or ice flowers on a window. … Like quicksilver, it alloys readily with almost any metal, lending hardness and brittleness to the mixture. Unlike iron, antimony is aloof to magnetism; placed between the two poles of a horseshoe magnet, it does not lie in a straight line between the two poles, but diagonally. It is diamagnetic, in contrast to such paramagnetic metals as iron, nickel, and cobalt. But it is not only passive toward magnetism; it also rejects electrical forces in a curious way. When electrolytically refined from a solution of chloride of antimony, it precipitates on the cathode as a metal in the form of a blackish powder. When scratched, rubbed, or heated, this powder changes with ‘thunder and lightning’, i.e. , with radiations of heat and light and small explosive noises, back into the normal antimony form. This explosive antimony is less formed and also lighter than the normal metal. It has retained certain forces of heat, light, and levity by which it defends itself against the gravity of the world of matter as well as against the sub-material world of electricity.”1
USES “In its pure state antimony has no important uses, but, when combined physically or chemically with other substances, it is an extremely useful metal. Because some antimony alloys expand on solidifying [a rare characteristic that they share with water], they are particularly valuable as castings and type metal; the expansion of the alloy forces the metal to fill the small crevices of casting moulds. Moreover, the presence of antimony in type metal, which also includes lead and small amounts of tin, increases the hardness of the type and gives it a sharp definition. Even when added in minor quantities, antimony imparts strength and hardness to other metals, particularly lead, with which it forms alloys used in plates of automobile storage batteries, in bullets, and in coverings for cables. Combined with tin and lead, antimony forms antifriction alloys called babbitt metals that are used as components of machine bearings. Antimony compounds [esp. the trioxide] are widely used as flame retardants in paints, plastics, rubber, and textiles.”2 Antimony is also used in the manufacture of enamels; in the manufacture of matches, fireworks, and percussion caps; and as a dye to colour glass, pottery and ceramics. A major use of antimony is for the safety match. The head of this match consists of a mixture of antimony trisulphide and an oxidizing agent such as potassium chlorate. The tip of the match, above the head, contains red phosphorus.
EYES In its sulphide compound antimony had been known since ancient times. Middle Eastern women used it to darken their eyes and eyebrows, in order to increase their seductiveness. There are several references to this practice in the Bible, the best known involving the notorious Jezebel, who ‘painted her eyes and adorned her hair, and stood looking down from a window’. 3
PHYSIOLOGY Although antimony has no known function in living organisms, it is present in all human tissues with the highest levels in the lymph glands [0.34-0.43 mg per g], the hair [0.34 mcg per g], and the lungs [0.29 mcg per g]. Blood plasma levels vary from 0.52 to 5.2 ng per ml. Levels in human dental enamel also show variation from 0.005 to 0.67 mcg per g. Tissue antimony levels can be effected by illness; levels are elevated in the heart muscle of uraemic patients and in injured heart tissue from patients with coronary thrombosis. 4
INTOXICATION Antimony poisoning resembles arsenic poisoning. It has resulted from drinking acidic fruit juices containing antimony oxide dissolved from the glaze of cheap enamelware containers. Antimony has similar properties as arsenic, the main difference being that antimony has less affinity with oxygen than arsenic. Exposure to antimony can cause metallic taste, nausea, sore throat and irritation of the air passages. Skin contact causes an itchy rash. Repeated exposure may cause headaches, poor appetite, dry throat, loss of sleep, as well as damage to the liver and the heart muscle. Use of antimony near acid or acid mist can cause release of a deadly gas, stibine. “In poisoning by antimony vapours stupefaction and frontal headache appears, then chest symptoms, severe painful cough, partly dry, partly with tenacious sputum difficult to evacuate, and piping and rales in the chest. Then the gastrointestinal symptoms, pustules on the genitals were observed, finally great prostration, decrease of sexual potency and swelling of the testes. … Soon after an intravenous injection, there are muscle pains, particularly drawing pains between the shoulders, in the upper arms, in the back muscles, with a feeling of stiffness in the entire musculature, even in the muscles of the jaw. This sensation may persist 1-2 days and impair movement.”5
MEDICINE The alchemists felt antimony to be strongly present in the sulphurous, less so in the mercurial, and having lost its power in the realm of salt. The famous English alchemist and Franciscan monk Roger Bacon [c. 1220-1292] considered Antimony to be “a heavenly medicine to prevent and to cure all kinds of disease and ailments of the human body.” He recommended it in the treatment of gout, leprosy, apoplexy, dropsy, epilepsy, catalepsy and analepsy, hectic, pest, and fever. His description of its effects in leprosy reminds of Hahnemann’s concept of psora. “To begin with the patient is given six drops on an empty stomach. And arrange it so that the unclean person is alone without the company of any healthy people, in a separate and convenient place. For his whole body will soon begin to smoke and steam with a stinking mist or vapour. And on the second day his skin will start to flake and much uncleanness will detach itself from his body. He should then have three more drops of the medicine ready, which he should take and use in solitude on the fourth day. Then on the eight or ninth day, by means of this medicine and through the bestowal of Divine mercy and blessing, he will be completely cleansed and his health restored.”6
ALCHEMY Possibly because of its low melting temperature [it fuses easily even in the flame of a match], antimony was a favourite material of the alchemists. It had its own symbol: a circle topped by a cross, representing the intellectual soul alive with all its virtues and faculties.* The medieval alchemists occupied themselves extensively with its mysteries. They regarded salt, mercury, and sulphur as the three forms of earthly substantiality. The salt condition represented the contractive force in nature [crystallisation, condensation], while the sulphuric principle stood for the expansive force in nature [dissolution, evaporation] and mercury exhibited the integrative force, interweaving and balancing that of the salt and sulphur [circulation, dynamic equilibrium]. To the alchemists, antimony was not the metal itself but stibnite. Metallic antimony was extracted from its ore [stibnite] by heating it with charcoal or some other mild reducing agent. The metallic antimony sinks to the bottom and this is what the alchemists called the regulus of antimony. Properly purified in this way, antimony forms long and slender crystals. During cooling the crystals in turn form triangular branches around a central point, taking on the aspect of a silver star. “For the purification of gold [king] the impurities were alloyed with antimony, which was added to the melt. As antimony attracted and swallowed impurities, it was called the ‘philosophers’ magnet’, the ‘wolf of metals’, the ‘fiery dragon’ or the ‘bath of the king’.”7
NAME Its name is derived from Gr. anti, against, and monos, alone, in reference to it being an element rarely found alone. Another possibility is that the name comes from Gr. anthemion, the diminutive of anthos, a flower, after the form of the crystals. The explanation that it derives from anti-monakhos, anti-monk, involves a nice story about the 15th-century abbot and alchemist Basil Valentinus. “One day after work Valentinus is said to have emptied some crucibles containing antimony out of his cell window. This was eaten by pigs, which then became sick. When the pigs recovered they ate vast quantities to make up for their lost weight. But because they were pigs, and lived up to their name, they ate far too much, rapidly putting on excess weight. Valentinus seized upon this as an excellent way of fattening up the monastery pigs for Christmas. Then he decided to go one step further. As abbot, he felt the monks in his charge were also in need of a little fattening up for Christmas, so he covertly introduced some antimony into their diet. Unfortunately, many of the ascetic monks had bodies so weakened by fasting that they died before they could fatten themselves up. The substance they had eaten became known as ‘anti-monakhos’ [anti-monk, thence antimony]. A likely story. Sadly, spoilsport modern commentators have pointed out that the name antimony was mentioned a few centuries prior to the legendary Valentinus, by Constantine of Africa in his translation of Avicenna’s pharmacopoeia.”8
ANTHROPOSOPHY “When we have to deal with a patient of an hysterical type, we seek to strengthen the ego and the astral body in their upper currents, and this we can do with Stibium. Antimony, which crystallizes in fine radiating needles, has a form-giving capacity particularly with regard to proteins. It can also act in the organism like the ego, so that it can for a while act as a substitute for the ego, thus allowing the ego itself time to recover its strength.”9
PROVINGS ••  Hahnemann – 4 provers; method: unknown.
* A cross inscribed within a circle, was the sign for “green” and denoted the vegetative soul or the physiological world. A cross placed below a circle was the sign for Venus and corresponded to instinctive behaviour or the base urges.
 Pelikan, The Secrets of Metals.  Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Strathern, Mendeleyev’s Dream.
 Melvyn, Vitamins and Minerals.  Leeser, Hom. MM, Inorganic Medicinal Substances.  Bacon, Tract on the Tincture and Oil of Antimony.  Roob, Alchemy and Mysticism.  Strathern, ibid.  Bott, Anthroposophical Medicine.
STOMACH. DIGESTIVE TRACT. MIND. SKIN. Soles. Changing sides. * Left side.
Worse: COLD [BATHING; dampness; WATER – on head]. OVEREATING. Acids. Sweets. HEAT [SUMMER; of sun; overheating; radiated]. After eating. Extremes of cold and heat. Ascending stairs. Sour wine.
Better: Open air. Rest. Warm bath. Prolonged vomiting.
c GROUP 15 [NIT-AC.; PHOS.; ARS.; ANT-C.; BISM.] – COMMON SYMPTOMS
Headache < motion. – Epistaxis. – Sour taste in mouth. – Empty or foul eructations. Sensation of fulness [stomach] after eating. – Heaviness stomach. – Pain stomach after eating. – Extreme thirst. – Vomiting after drinking. – Vomiting of bile or food. – Sleep position on back. – Starting from sleep. – Sleepiness after eating. – Left side. Main symptoms M Idealism [romantic love and artistic beauty; sensitivity]. [The regulus of antimony: a silvery radiating star.] versus Rejection of contact/connection, insensitivity, and hardening [comp. skin] – arranging oneself across the lines of force, defending oneself against the gravity of the world of matter. Or: Refusal to share one’s own capacities with others. M < Being LOOKED AT, touched or washed. [Aversion to being looked at; = crying]. • “Sulky children who do not wish to speak or be spoken to; angry at every little attention.” [Mathur] And Hot and red face; chapped cheeks. And Indigestion. [Vomiting occurs as soon as the child eats or drinks.] And Chronic blepharitis; red inflamed lids, itching in the canthi causing rubbing of the eyes. M SENTIMENTAL and ECSTATIC. • “Continuous state of enthusiastic love and ecstatic longing for an ideal woman, which quite filled his fantasy; more while walking in the pure, open air than in the room; disappeared after several days with a seeming diminution of the sexual impulse.” [Hahnemann] • “In some cases, there is a slightly erotic condition of mind, connected with sexual erethism. The patient becomes ecstatic and fancies that some beautiful female is the object of his sentimental love.” [Farrington] • “It is suited to the mental condition of some young person passing through the critical pubescent period, whose growing interest in the opposite sex tends to centre unhealthily in some bright Prince Charming, or in some idealized, and perhaps self-created maiden. Has amorous longings, not for any living creature, but for some unseen seraph.” [Talcott] • “Hysterical girls who suffer from unrequited affections; dreamers.” [Mathur] • “Nervous, excitable hysterical girls that are overcome by mellow lights, and as a result there is an outburst of affection, as is observed in the sick, and those who are suffering from the effects of disappointed affection.” [Blackwood] • “We see the Antimonium feeling of being let down and disappointed by others, and therefore the need to narrow one’s circle, to isolate oneself. Also present are the Sulphur symptoms of theorizing and fantasizing. These combine to make Ant-c. a person who has narrowed himself down, and who starts fantasizing. The patient finds the world around him so disappointing that he simply shuts it out, and conjures up an illusionary world that he starts living in.” [Sankaran] Sentimental and romantic. Emotions make her sick to her stomach. Anorexia / bulimia from disappointed love. Suicidal disposition from disappointed love by drowning or shooting. 1 M Anxious dreams. • “As if he would be wounded; he jumps up from sleep and struggles with hands and feet.” • “Horrible dreams of mutilations of men.” • “Dreams of his own family at home, with whom he quarrelled; disturbs his night’s rest.” • “Vexatious dreams, full of quarrels with relatives, rouse him at night from sleep.” [Hahnemann] M • “Ant-c. children are very interesting. They are always fat, rather over-weight, usually pale and they have a very marked tendency to redness round the eyes, and moist eruptions behind the ears. Mentally they are interesting because they are such an apparent contradiction. They are irritable children, peevish, and they get more and more peevish the more attention they get; the kind of child that will cry if anyone looks at it and the more you attempt to soothe it the worse it gets. The Ant-c. child has night terrors, and is cross and irritable; and the more the mother attempts to nurse it the worse it becomes. Walking it up and down drives it nearly distracted. Then, in contrast to that, they are very impressionable children, sensitive, easily upset emotionally, very liable to burst into tears from any emotional stress if their feelings are touched at all; and under stress they become pale and liable to faint.” [Borland] G Hydrogenoid constitution; young people that grow fat, and can’t bear cold water. G Changeable symptoms: gouty symptoms on extremities suddenly stop, followed by gastric symptoms; symptoms go from one side to the other; they change locality. Gouty affections alternating with DIGESTIVE DISTURBANCES. G Ailments from sunburn; overheating; warm weather. EXHAUSTION during WARM WEATHER. And Tendency to gastrointestinal troubles. Aphonia from overheating. < Heat and cold. CANNOT TOLERATE RADIANT HEAT. c Aggravation from radiant heat is analogous to aggravation from being looked at or spoken to; both are direct. The amelioration from moonlight has its analogue in the fact that moonlight is indirect [reflected light.] G GROSS FEEDERS [desire to eat LARGE quantities of food]. And Gastric, mental and skin symptoms. [Boger] • “When an individual presents certain animal characteristics, Antimonium crudum is not infrequently the gross, scrofulous [scrofa, a sow] rough and thick-skinned swine. This is broad generalization, but sometimes useful in a prescription.” [Shedd] Or: Chronic loss of appetite. And Constant sensation as if the stomach were overloaded. G Strong DESIRE FOR ACIDS, cucumbers and pickles. Yet acids <. G < Sour or sulphuretted wine. [headache; gastrointestinal disturbances] < Sweets [= disordered stomach, in children]. G Violent thirst. [Also at night or only at night.] But water, even in small amounts, will be vomited. Vomiting doesn’t relieve but only exhausts the patient. G Perspiration from slightest exertion. G Lumpy stools, leucorrhoea, skin, nails, etc. G < Room full of people. P Headache from taking cold, or from alcoholic drinks. And Deranged digestion. Headache from suppressed eruptions. > Discharges [vomiting, diarrhoea, coryza].
Stoppage of the nose especially in the evening; with dryness when walking in the open air, scarcely permitting him to talk.
Coryza, with sore, cracked crusty nostrils; dry or fluent, especially in the morning.
The nose stuffs up at night, particularly in an overheated room, can hardly breathe.
P THICKLY COATED, WHITE TONGUE; like whitewash or milk.
Ailments and milky WHITE coating on tongue.
P Gastric and intestinal disturbances from bread, pastry, acids, vinegar, cold bathing; overheating; hot weather.
P Extreme sensitiveness of soles of feet [due to callosities].
Walking difficult and painful.
P Horny or SPLIT NAILS.
1 Illustrative case in Homoeopathic Links 1/95: The Case of Princess Daisy.
“The theme of the novel [Princess Daisy, by Judith Krantz] is about an unfortunate child who was not loved by her parents. She is a handicapped and princess Daisy has to look after her. Princess Daisy is very blond and beautiful and takes a lot of care for her sister. Daisy falls in love, gets disappointed and her life is shattered. She wanted to shoot herself as she can’t fulfil her fantasies. The boyfriend leaves her, she goes to America and finds a job in a cosmetic firm, where she has to draw and paint landscapes, which she is very good at. She also writes romantic poems and love-letters to her boyfriend whom she still loves very much. She comes back to England very rich and gets married to the same guy. She looks after her sister in the best possible way she can.” [Sudhir Baldota]
Anger when touched . Answers snappishly [2; Cham.; Staph.]. Delusion someone calls [1; Plb.]. Ecstasy when walking in moonlight [3/1]. Grief causing stomach trouble . Love, lovesick . Sentimental during diarrhoea [2/1]; before menses [2/1]; in moonlight [3/1]. Suicidal thoughts, drive him out of bed [2/1]. Aversion to being touched . Makes verses .
On ascending stairs [1; Calc.], and pain in forehead , and pain in vertex .
Pain, after candy [1/1]; from becoming heated ; from exposure to sun . Shaking sensation during menses .
Lachrymation when looking at the fire . Photophobia from snow [1; Ars.].
Eruptions, acne, with stomach complaints [2; Carb-v.; Nux-v.]; itching pimples when warm . Twitching of corners of mouth [1; Bry.; Chel.; Ign.; Op.].
Grinding of teeth in morning as soon as awake . Pain, before menses , > walking in open air . Sensitive, cannot bear dental operation .
Ravenous appetite in morning . Disordered after acids . Nausea from amorous caresses [1; Sabad.], after being overheated [2/1].
Attacks of increased sexual desire in the moonlight [2/1].
Menses absent, molimen only ; copious from cold baths [1/1].
Voice, hoarseness after a cold bath [2/1], from being overheated ; lost, from being heated , in a warm room ; > using voice .
Tension dorsal region, between scapulae, on stooping [1/1].
Bubbling sensation in nates , while standing [1/1]. Nails do not grow [2/1]; split nails .
Sleepiness during hot weather . Waking from hunger [1; Lyc.].
Native country . Feasting . Solemnities [1/1]. Being wounded .
Eruptions, urticaria after meat [3/1]. Warts, horny ; smooth .
Faintness from summer heat . Exertion in sun < [3/1]. Weakness during headache ; < warm weather . Food Aversion: : Drinks; vinegar. : Bread; fat; mother’s milk; pork; smell of food; wine. Desire: : Cucumbers; drinks; pickles; sour; vinegar. : Beer; bread; fat; indigestible; pickled meat; pork; raw food; spicy; vegetables. Worse: : Bitter; sour; vinegar. : Bread; cold drinks; cold food; fruit; fruit, sour; milk; pork; pungent; sweets; water. : Alcohol; butter; cider; drinks; fat; food, sight of; food, thought of; juicy fruit; pancakes; pastry; rich food; stimulants; strawberries; wine. Better: : Vinegar. : Hot food; milk.