I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.
CLASSIFICATION Fluorine is the lightest member of the halogen group of elements [group 17 of the periodic table, formerly group VIIa], along with bromine, chlorine, iodine, and astatine. It is so active that it is not found free in nature, but in the combined state. It occurs chiefly in minerals as fluorspar [calcium fluoride], fluorapatite, and cryolite [sodium fluoroaluminate], but is rather widely distributed in very small quantities in various rocks. Fluorine also occurs as fluorides in seawater, rivers, and mineral springs. It is the 17th element in order of abundance in the crust of the earth. The relative abundance of fluorine in interstellar space may be linked to processes initiated by supernova explosions.
PROPERTIES Fluorine is the most electronegative and reactive of all elements. It is a pale yellow, corrosive gas, which reacts with practically all organic and inorganic substances. At room temperature, finely divided metal, glass, ceramics, carbon, and even water burn in fluorine with a bright flame. Upon cooling, fluorine becomes a yellow liquid. Its boiling point lies at -188o C, its melting point at -219.62o C. Fluorine combines rapidly and violently with whatever it touches except its own compounds. Treating material to form a tight surface coating of fluoride solved the problem of containing it. Fluorine is difficult to isolate from its compounds, and in fact it is impossible to free it by chemical means. No other element is powerful enough, as an oxidizing agent, to replace it.
USES Until World War II, there was no commercial production of elemental fluorine. The atom bomb project and nuclear energy applications, however, made it necessary to produce large quantities. Fluorine and its compounds are used in producing uranium [from the hexafluoride] and more than 100 commercial fluorochemicals, including many well-known high-temperature plastics. Elemental fluorine has been studied as a rocket propellant as it has an exceptionally high specific impulse value. The fluorine industry is intimately related to the production of aluminium. Aluminium is made by electrolysis of bauxite [aluminium oxide] in a bath of molten cryolite, either artificial or the natural mineral.
|Fluoricum acidum effect|
COMPOUNDS Hydrofluoric acid is extremely corrosive and must be preserved in lead or steel containers. It is extensively used for cleaning metals and for polishing, frosting, and etching glass. Hydrofluoric acid has the property of dissolving glass; this property is used in a common test for the presence of a fluoride. The chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs], odourless and non-poisonous liquids or gases such as Freon, are used as a dispersing agent in aerosol sprays and as a refrigerant. The discovery that CFCs reach the stratosphere and destroy the earth’s ozone layer has led, after 1995, to a ban on the manufacture and use of CFCs in North America and many European countries. Elemental fluorine, often diluted with nitrogen, reacts with hydrocarbons to form corresponding fluorocarbons in which some or all hydrogen has been replaced by fluorine. Great stability, chemical inertness, high electrical resistance, and other valuable physical and chemical properties usually characterize the resulting compounds. Liquid fluorinated hydrocarbons, derived from petroleum, are useful as highly stable lubricating oils. Useful plastics with non-sticking qualities, such as Teflon, are made from unsaturated fluorocarbons. Teflon is very resistant to most chemical action; it is widely used to make such products as motor gaskets and dashboard accessories in the automobile industry. It is also used as a coating on the inner surface of frying pans and other kitchen utensils to reduce the need for fat in cooking. Boron trifluoride is used as a catalyst in making benzene for detergents and polymers for adhesives. Sodium fluoride is a paint preservative, gives enamels an opaque colour, and is used in primary metal and ceramic industries. Also, it is used as a water treatment agent, sterilant, and an insecticide.
FLUORIDATION An important use of fluorine in some countries is in the fluoridation of drinking water in the interest of dental health. The presence of fluorine as a soluble fluoride in drinking water to the extent of 2 ppm may cause mottled enamel in teeth, when used by children acquiring permanent teeth; in smaller amounts it is thought to prevent dental cavities. No public health-related issue will have raised such controversies as fluoridation has done and still does. Both sides seem to exaggerate the effects. Proponents come out with studies documenting positive effects of fluorides, claiming, in the process, greater benefits than are justified by the current data. Opponents present as many studies documenting hazardous effects of fluorides, sometimes putting it rather boldly. Of the latter, Dr. Exner contends “that industrial pollution of air and water with fluoride provided a strong motive for promoting fluoridation of water supplies” to get rid of the fluorides. He considers it a deliberate lie to make people believe “[a] that water is the chief source of fluorine; [b] that fluorine from other sources is unimportant; [c] that the body needs more fluorine than it can get without fluoridation; and [d] that the effects are governed by the concentrations of fluorine in the air or water rather than concentration in the tissues.”1 Others do not believe in a “conspiracy in the usual sense of the word” but rather consider fluoridation “a colossal blunder.” “Some fifty years after the United States began adding fluoride to public water supplies to reduce cavities in children’s teeth, declassified government documents are shedding new light on the roots of that still controversial public health measure, revealing a surprising connection between fluoride and the dawning of the nuclear age. … Fluoride was the key chemical in atomic bomb production. Massive quantities of fluoride – millions of tons – were essential for the manufacture of bomb-grade uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons throughout the Cold War. One of the most toxic chemicals known, fluoride rapidly emerged as the leading chemical health hazard of the U.S. atomic bomb program – both for workers and for nearby communities. … Much of the original proof that fluoride is safe for humans in low doses was generated by A-bomb program scientists, who had been secretly ordered to provide ‘evidence useful in litigation’ against defence contractors for fluoride injury to citizens. The first lawsuit against the U.S. A-bomb program were not over radiation, but over fluoride. … Human exposure to fluoride has mushroomed since World War II, due not only to fluoridated water and toothpaste, but also to environmental pollution by major industries from aluminium to pesticides. Fluoride is a critical industrial chemical. … Much of the proof of fluoride’s safety in low doses rests on the post-war work performed by the University of Rochester, in anticipation of lawsuits against the bomb program for human injury. … This marriage of military secrecy and medical science bore deformed offspring. … The bomb program needed human studies, as they had needed human studies for plutonium, and adding fluoride to public water supplies provided one opportunity. … Of the original classified version of a fluoride safety study by bomb program scientists, a censored version was later published in the August 1948 Journal of the American Dental Association. Comparison of the secret with the published version indicates that the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission did censor damaging information on fluoride, to the point of tragicomedy. This was a study of the dental and physical health of workers in a factory producing fluoride for the A-bomb program, conducted by a team of dentists from the Manhattan Project. The secret version reports that most of the men had no teeth left. The published version reports only that the men had fewer cavities. The secret version says the men had to wear rubber boots because the fluoride fumes disintegrated the nails in their shoes. The published version does not mention this. The secret version says the fluoride may have acted similarly on the men’s teeth, contributing to their toothlessness. The published version omits this statement. The published version concludes that ‘the men were unusually healthy, judged from both a medical and dental point of view’.”2
POLLUTION Pollution of air and countryside with fluorine fumes and fall-out is an industrial hazard in the manufacture of aluminium, steel, copper, uranium, and superphosphate. Additional sources of fluorine emissions are the production of fertilizer, glass, ceramics, and bricks, as well as beryllium, antimony and petroleum industries, and power stations using brown coal for energy production. After the compounds of nitrogen and sulphur, the compounds of fluoride rank third among the air pollutants. The American ‘Toxicological Profile for Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride and Fluorine’ states that “According to the Toxic Release Inventory, an estimated total of 12,934,848 pounds of hydrogen fluoride were released into the environment from manufacturing and processing facilities in the United States in 1987 … not all facilities that have reported release data have done so … the TRI does not list sodium fluoride. Fluoride can also enter the atmosphere from the manufacture and use of pesticides such as sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, barium fluorosilicate, and cryolite particularized in the form of dusts and sprays.” [see below]
PHYSIOLOGY As fluoride, fluorine is known to be present in trace amounts in the bones, teeth, thyroid gland, and skin of animal and human tissues. Functions of fluoride are not known with certainty. The skeletal tissue retains about 60-80% or more of the ingested fluorine. The remaining fraction of fluorine is distributed in other tissues including teeth and soft tissues or is excreted. The body retains more fluoride during childhood than in the adult state. Adult males excrete more fluorine than females. A fraction of the ingested fluorine is excreted daily. The principal route of fluoride excretion is via the urine. Some excretion takes place through sweat and faeces, and fluoride also appears in saliva. Fluoride crosses the placenta; it rarely seems to be excreted in milk to any significant extent.
FOOD Fluoride-rich foods include tea, gelatine, cereals, skin of chicken, and kidneys. Tea leaves accumulate more fluoride [from pollution of soil and air] than any other edible plant. Ocean fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and codfish, contain fluoride concentrations that range from about 6 to 27 ppm. “Fluoride contaminated phosphate is used as fertilizer, as a supplement in pet food, and as ingredient or additive in foods and vitamins. … Current intake [of fluoride] is approaching 8 mg/day – not just from tap water, but toothpaste and other dental products, beverages, processed foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, Teflon coated cookware, vitamin and mineral supplements, teas, air [from contamination by many industries], etc. etc.”3
TOXICOLOGY Because of their high activity elemental fluorine and the fluoride ion are highly toxic. The free element has a characteristic pungent odour, detectable in concentrations as low as 20 parts per billion, which is below the safe working level. Contact of liquid fluorine with skin causes irritation and damages similar to cold burns. Fluorine entering the body rapidly moves to the hard tissues. It is a cumulative bone-seeking mineral that causes progressive skeletal changes. According to the natural course of the disease, skeletal fluorosis may be classified into the following phases: preclinical, muscoskeletal, degenerative and destructive, crippling fluorosis, and complications. In addition, fluorine is known to bind calcium in the body, causing ionic calcium to decrease; this, in turn, causes secondary hyperparathyroidism. Renal stones, reported to be common in endemic fluorosis areas, are capable of accumulating considerable amounts of fluorine. Eye irritation is the first noticeable effect of hydrogen fluoride, e.g. in eye irritating smogs. Proctor and Gamble, toothpaste manufacturers, have acknowledged that a family size tube of fluoridated toothpaste “theoretically contains enough fluoride to kill a small child.” [A poison warning is placed on all fluoride-containing toothpastes in the US.] Research by Moolenburgh in Holland found that up to 4% of people using fluoridated water experience health problems. These problems range from gastrointestinal disorders to mouth sores to rashes to headaches to forms of arthritis to more serious concerns such as cancers and neurological complaints. Studies dating back to the 1950s have shown links between Down’s Syndrome and natural fluoridation. Rapaport4 also showed how the age of women bearing Down’s Syndrome children decreased in direct relation to the increase of fluoride in the water supply. The more fluoride that was in the water, the younger the age of the women bearing Down’s Syndrome children.
ACUTE POISONING Initial symptoms of acute poisoning, such as salivation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, are secondary to the local action of fluoride on the intestinal mucosa. Systemic symptoms are varied and severe. There is increased irritability of the nervous system, consistent with the calcium binding effect of fluoride, hypocalcemia, and hypoglycaemia. The blood pressure falls, owing to central vasomotor depression as well as direct cardiotoxicity. Respiration is first stimulated and later depressed. Death usually results from respiratory paralysis or cardiac failure. Practically all the organs and systems are affected in acute fluoride poisoning. The manifestations include vomiting [sometimes blood-stained], diffuse abdominal pain of spasmodic type, diarrhoea, cyanosis, severe weakness, dyspnoea, muscle spasms, pareses and paralyses, cardiovascular disorders, convulsions, and coma.
FLUOROSIS Fluorine compounds are added to toothpastes and mouth rinses; usually in the form of sodium fluoride, sometimes as calcium fluoride. Water may be fluoridated. The consumption of 10 to 45 mg of fluoride per day can cause a condition called fluorosis. The first sign of fluorosis is mottling of the teeth, caused when the chalky-white irregular patches on the surface of the enamel [mainly of the incisors of the upper jaw] become infiltrated by yellow or brown staining. Prolonged high intake of fluoride may result in skeletal fluorosis and calcification of muscle tissue and spinal ligaments. This shows that excess of fluoride elevates calcium absorption and deposition within the body. In addition, appetite decreases and nerve disturbances may occur as a result of the changes in the spinal column. Elevated fluoride levels are also found in the kidney and aorta. Recent studies indicate that fluoride may increase the rate of hip fractures in elderly men and women. In cattle and sheep grazing on land contaminated with fluoride-containing dust both teeth and skeleton are affected. Sometimes bony outgrows appear, as well as weakness and reduced milk yield. Calves exposed to fluoride were found to be stunted and lame.
OTHER EFFECTS The ill effects caused by fluoride were first recognized among aluminium workers in the 1930s by the Danish health officer Dr. Kaj Roholm. The reference work Fluoridation the Great Dilemma lists the following effects: chronic fatigue not relieved by extra sleep or rest; headaches; dryness of throat and excessive water consumption; frequent need to urinate and urinary tract irritation; arthritic aches and stiffness in muscles and bones; muscular weakness; involuntary twitching; tingling sensation in fingers [especially] and feet; gastrointestinal disturbances; pinkish-red or bluish-red spots [like bruised, but round or oval] on the skin that fade and clear up in 7-10 days; skin rash or itching, in particular after showers or bathing; mouth sores; loss of mental acuity and ability to concentrate; excessive nervousness; depression; dizziness; tendency to lose balance; visual disturbances, in particular temporary blind spots in field of vision and diminished ability to focus.
MEDICINE Fluoroquinolones are synthetic antibiotics, including the broad-spectrum agents ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, norfloxacin, acrosoxacin and pefloxacin, and the narrower-spectrum drug used in urinary tract infections, cinoxacin. The drugs concentrate in many tissues, particularly in the kidney, prostate and lung. Aluminium and magnesium antacids interfere with the absorption of fluoroquinolones. The main clinical uses of fluoroquinolones are: complicated urinary tract infections; gonorrhoea; bacterial prostatitis; cervicitis. Unwanted effects consist mainly of gastrointestinal disorders and skin rashes. Arthropathy has been reported in young individuals. CNS symptoms – headache, dizziness – have occurred and, less frequently, convulsions. Photosensitivity and hypersensitivity reactions have been seen, as have renal disorders. 5
CANCER Research done by Dr. Takeki Tsutui and co-workers, of the Nippon Dental College in 1984, documenting the mutagenic characteristics of fluoride, demonstrated that fluoride can transfer normal cells into cancerous ones. Fluorides have been linked to an increase in uterine cancer. From 1945 to 1972, when the Okinawa Island were under U.S. administration, fluoride was added to the drinking water supplies in most regions. A significant positive correlation was found between fluoride concentration in drinking water and uterine cancer mortality in 20 municipalities. In 1981, Dean Burk, for many decades head chemist at the National Cancer Institute, testified at congressional hearings, reporting that at least 40,000 cancer deaths in 1981 were attributed to fluoridation. 40,000 cases that could have been prevented simply by not putting industry waste into the public water supply. 6 The drug 5-fluorouracil is employed as an antineoplastic for gastrointestinal neoplasms and breast cancer; side-effects include alopecia, mucositis, myelosuppression, diarrhoea and vomiting, hyperpigmentation, and cardiac symptoms ranging from mild precordial pain to severe hypotension and atrial fibrillation.
THYROID In the 1930s, Leeser already suspected a possible link between fluorine and goitre – “the halogen nature in any case would give occasion for the attempt.” In the 1940-50s Mezger substantiates this supposition; he points out that an increase of blood iodine levels, as in Basedow’s disease, is accompanied by a decrease of blood fluoride levels, and vice versa. In addition, he indicates that his Calcarea fluorica proving evoked thyroid-related symptoms in provers. This fluorine-thyroid connection has been comprehensively confirmed by later research. “It is well known that [fluorine-containing] pesticides can be a cause for thyroid cancer. Cryolite is 54.30% fluorine and is found on apples, raisins, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, peaches, as well as most berries. … Other studies found an increase in thyroid follicular cell tumours as a result of increasing levels of fluoride in drinking water. … Fluorides have been given specifically in the past to reduce thyroid action in hyperthyroid patients. In the 1930s authors in Germany reported having successfully treated 1,158 hyperthyroid patients within 6 years with either sodium fluoride or fluorothyrosine. … The antagonistic relationships between fluorine and iodine, being at opposite ends in the halogen group, has been described in many studies, almost ever since Wagner von Jauregg began a mass iodine-supplementation program in Austrian areas endemic with goitre. It is also known that the effects of fluorides on the thyroid can differ from country to country. Gordonoff wrote already in 1964 that the effects are as such, citing research by Goldemberg and Eugster. He said that in certain areas no skeletal fluorosis can be seen while there are effects on the thyroid, but in other areas there are no thyroid effects, but there is skeletal fluorosis. … Fluoride is not just ‘briefly’ picked up by the thyroid gland. Fluoride is also stored in the thyroid gland. Fluoride does interfere with thyroid function. … Countless studies exist in the field of veterinary medicine on the effects of fluoride on the thyroid gland. … Cattle afflicted with fluorosis developed hypothyroidism, anaemia, and eosinophilia of leukocytes. … It is also known that fluorides can increase the uptake of radioactive iodine [I-131] especially when accompanied by iodine deficiency. In one study on 26 men in the former German Democratic Republic suffering from chronic fluorosis, the mean thyroidal uptake was significantly higher than in the controls, who already had a higher uptake due to a known prevailing iodine deficiency. … The results from a 1985 study in Russia led to a conclusion that excess of fluorine in drinking water was a risk factor of more rapid development of thyroid pathology.”7
ADHD “Learning disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD] did not knowingly exist before the fluoridation of public water supplies began. In the 1950s ADHD spread rapidly among school children and gained much exposure in the medical science and health literature. In 1963 the US PHS listed dozens of symptoms associated with hyperactivity and officially changed the name to ‘minimal brain dysfunction’. By the 1970s some leading authorities noted that this disorder appeared to lie at the root of nearly every type of childhood behaviour problem, and had become the most commonly diagnosed illness by childhood counsellors. In 1987 the American Medical Association acknowledged that minimal brain damage had become the leading disability reported by elementary schools, and ‘one of the most common referral problems to psychiatry outpatients clinics.’ Many studies on thyroid hormones have shown that attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorders in children are linked to changes in the levels of thyroid hormone in the blood, and that irritability and aggressive behaviour are linked to thyroid hormone levels and hypothyroidism. Behaviour disorders have been associated with thyroid function for over 100 years. In 1997 Aronson and Dodman wrote, ‘the hypothyroid human patient has been reported to show a wider range of behavioural symptoms. Particularly in the early stages of the disease reduced cognitive function and concentration together with impaired short-term memory may be confused with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and in one study 66% of patients diagnosed with ADHD were found to be hypothyroid. Supplementing their thyroid levels was largely curative. Visual and auditory hallucinations may result from altered perception and have been misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or psychosis. Other behavioural symptoms have included fear – ranging from mild anxiety to frank paranoia, mood swings and aggression.’ Many psychoactive drugs including Prozac, Paxil and Luvox [Littleton] are fluorinated medications. Rohypnol, the infamous date-rape drug, is fluorinated Valium, which is about 20-30 times more potent than Valium alone. In essence, these drugs effect enzyme functions in certain areas of the brain to achieve the desired effect. Thyroid hormone disorders may induce almost any psychiatric symptom or syndrome, including rage. A study published this year on endemic goitre occurrences in the absence of iodine deficiency again showed higher goitre rates in high-fluoride areas in South Africa. Could it be that the world-wide ‘iodine deficiency’ is actually fluoride excess? … Another thyroid/fluoride connection can be seen in Jennifer Luke’s data which has shown that fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland and inhibits its production of melatonin. Luke showed in test animals that this inhibition causes an earlier onset of sexual maturity, an effect already reported in humans as well in 1956, as part of the Kingston/Newburgh study. In fluoridated Newburgh, young girls experienced earlier onset of menstruation than girls in non-fluoridated Kingston.”8
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM “Using an animal model developed for the study of dental fluorosis, we expected rats drinking fluoride-treated water would behave the same as matching controls. They did not. The scientific literature led us to believe that rats would easily tolerate 175 ppm fluoride in their drinking water. They did not. Reports in the literature indicated that fluoride would not cross the blood brain barrier. But it did. Prenatal exposure to fluoride was not supposed to permanently alter behavioural outcome. It did. Like walking into quicksand, our confidence that brain function was impervious to fluoride was sinking. Our 1995 paper in Neurotoxicology and Teratology was the first laboratory study to demonstrate in vivo that central nervous system function was vulnerable to fluoride, that the effects on behaviour depended on the age at exposure and that fluoride accumulated in brain tissues. The behavioural changes common to weanling and adult exposures were different from those after prenatal exposure. Whereas prenatal exposure dispersed many behaviours as seen in drug-induced hyperactivity, weanling and adult exposures led to behaviour-specific changes more related to cognitive deficits. Brain histology was not examined in this study, but we suggested that the effects on behaviour were consistent with interrupted hippocampal development [a brain region linked with memory]. … Soon thereafter we learned of two epidemiological studies [Fluoride, 1995-1996] from China showing IQ deficits in children over-exposed to fluoride via drinking water or soot from burning coal. A recent review [International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 1994] listed case reports of CNS effects in humans excessively exposed to fluoride, information that spans almost 60 years. A common theme appeared in the reported effects: impaired memory and concentration, lethargy, headache, depression and confusion. The same theme was echoed in once classified reports about workers from the Manhattan Project. In all, our rat data seem to fit a consistent picture.”9
PROZAC Halogens are psychoactive; compounds of bromine, chlorine, or fluorine have been used, or are still used, as psychoactive drugs. Bromides have a history of use as hypnotics to induce sleep and soothe. In the early 1900s bromide dependency became a problem; their use has now been largely abandoned. Chlorine’s history as a neuroleptic continues to this very day. Chloroform was principally administered as an anaesthetic since its discovery in 1831; Queen Victoria took chloroform for the birth of Prince Leopold on 7 April 1853 and recorded in her journal that ‘the effect was soothing, quieting and delightful beyond measure’. In 1869 chloral hydrate came into medical use as a sleeping potion, and chloral addicts became familiar sights in private nervous clinics. In the early 1950s chlorpromazine was synthesized; it soon became the treatment of choice for schizophrenia. In the 1960s, chlordiazepoxide, marketed as Librium in 1961, and the chemically related compound diazepam, introduced under the trade name Valium in 1963, became instant bestsellers as minor tranquillizers; Valium is still one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. Chlorpromazine became the prototype of a group of antipsychotic drugs, now numbering in the hundreds. A new class of drugs, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRI], has been introduced in recent years. SSRIs are used in a variety of psychiatric disorders, as well as in depression, including anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The current SSRIs marketed in the USA include fluoxetine [Prozac], sertraline [Zoloft], paroxetine [Paxil], and fluvoxamine [Luvox]; all of these are fluorinated, except for sertraline, which is chlorinated. The best known of the fluorinated SSRIs is fluoxetine [Prozac]. Within five years of its introduction in 1987 eight million people had taken Prozac. The reason for its success seems that it supposedly makes people feel ‘better than well’; the drug adds something extra – a general ‘feel-good factor’ which makes patients taking the drug assert that they have never felt better. Even healthy, non-depressed people have been taking Prozac to give them this ‘sunny feeling’. The drug produces feelings of confidence and self-esteem, effects attributed to the fact that Prozac [and other SSRIs] compensate for a lower than normal amount of serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5HT] in some areas of the brain. Although fluorine may not be the sole active principle of Prozac, it is still interesting to compare the therapeutic use of the drug and its unwanted effects with the homoeopathic drug picture of Fluoricum acidum, most notably regarding the buoyancy, self-esteem, dominance, and increased activity. The buoyancy is comparable to the ‘feel-good factor’ and ‘sunny feelings’, as is the following statement by Dr. Peter Kramer in his book Listening to Prozac: “Prozac seems to give social confidence to the habitually timid, to make the sensitive brash, to lend the introvert the social skills of a salesman. Prozac was transformative for patients in the way an inspirational minister or high-pressure group therapy can be – it made them want to talk about their experience.” Prozac is a controversial drug. Stone and Darlington, for example, claim that it is a “relatively safe drug, even in large doses; there are cases of patients taking up to 100 times the recommended dose and surviving; the side effects are few and relatively mild in most people.”10 Keltner and Folks, on the other hand, list a multitude of side effects, the most common being “behavioural activation, which is characterized by motor restlessness, insomnia, and disinhibition. Other side effects include abdominal pain, heartburn, diarrhoea, and decreased appetite. There have also been reports of suicidal ideation and self-injurious behaviour.” The following side effects are mentioned: Central Nervous System: Anxiety [9.4%], nervousness [14.9%], insomnia [13.8%], drowsiness, headache [20.3%], tremor, dizziness, fatigue. Peripheral: Nausea [21.1%], diarrhoea [12.3%], dry mouth [9.5%], anorexia [8.7%], rash, pruritus, acne, alopecia, urticaria, infection [7.6%], nasal congestion, hot flashes [1.8%], palpitations, dysmenorrhoea [2%], ear or eye pain, photophobia, tinnitus, asthenia [4.4%], viral infection [3.4%]. 11 In a study on male monkeys living in a colony, two scientists at the Neuropsychitaric Institute of the University of California have tried to establish a correlation between dominance, ‘feeling good’, and Prozac. “They discovered that the dominant male had more 5HT [serotonin] in its brain than other monkeys, but that if the animal were displaced from its position of dominance, the level of 5HT fell and the animal’s behaviour came to resemble that of a depressed human, with a subdued and withdrawn attitude, a slowing of movements and a loss of appetite. The researchers then found that if they removed the dominant male of a colony and administered Prozac to another animal, that monkey invariably became the new dominant one. These observations suggest that the ability to become dominant depends on the amount of 5HT in the brain. If we allow ourselves to extrapolate from monkey to Man, it is possible that the popularity of Prozac is due to its producing similar feelings of confidence and self-esteem in people.”12
SILICA “Active fluorine in the form of fluoric acid, HF, has an extraordinary capacity for destroying silicates. This is due to the fact that the fluorine is charged negatively to such an extent that even hydrogen is withdrawn from firm compounds. Use of the destruction of silicates through fluorine is made technically in glass etching. It is the sole halogen hydrogen compound which also attacks the generally indifferent silicic acid compounds. Thereby is the possibility given for the mobilization of silicium in the organism through fluorine. This would show us the way to the first understanding of the extremely striking similarity of acidum fluoricum and calcium fluoricum with that of silicea. If the indicated silicea fails in its action, perhaps, because of overdosage, then according to homoeopathic experience the fluorine compounds render good service; one knows this type of therapeutic relationship in which two similar agents follow each other well, in homoeopathy as a complementary relation. But only extremely rarely are the numerous complementary drug relations chemically so well established as in this case.”13
PROVINGS ••  Hering – 14 provers [13 males, 1 female], c. 1845; method: smelling at acid; potencies used: 1st to 5th dils., as well as 6th and 30th dils., manner not stated.
••  Berridge – self-experimentation; method: one dose of 2000c.
 Exner, Waldbott and Porty, The American Fluoridation Experiment; New York, 1961.  Griffiths and Bryson, Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb; July 1997.  Andreas Schuld, The Thyroid Gland and Truth Decay; Salon Magazine, February 17, 1999.  I. Rapaport, Nouvelles recherches sur le mongolisme; Bull. Acad. Nat. Med. [Paris], 143, 1959.  Rang et al., Pharmacology. [6-7] Schuld, ibid.  Andreas Schuld, Green Tea, Fluoride, and the Thyroid; Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children, Vancouver, BC, Canada.  Mullenix, Central Nervous System Damage from Fluorides; September 14, 1998 [webpage].  Stone and Darlington, Pills, Potions and Poisons.  Keltner and Folks, Psychotropic Drugs.  Stone and Darlington, ibid.  Leeser, Textbook of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Inorganic Medicinal Substances.
• Scientific data with respect to the issue of fluorides and fluoridation can be found in:
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ‘Toxicological Profile for Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride and Fluorine,’ TP-91/17, April 1993.
FIBROUS TISSUES [VEINS; skin]. Bones. Mastoid. * Right side.
Worse: HEAT [warm room, warm air, covering, warm food, warm drinks]. Night. Alcohol; wine; red wine. Sour food. Delayed micturition.
Better: COLD WASHING. Open air. Cool room. Rapid motion. Short sleep. Bending head backward. Eating. Micturition [> headache].
M Uncommon BUOYANCY of MIND; fears nothing and is SELF-SATISFIED.
• “Feeling of perfect happiness. … Feeling of an interior happy state, never experienced before, next morning after the remedy. … Feeling of highly enjoying everything. … All nature seems to smile, in the morning. … Satisfaction, he desires no better state of things; all is right.” [Allen]
• “Pleasant sensation as though the eyelids were opened wider, or eyes more prominent, whereby circle of vision became enlarged, the sight clearer and he feels a luxurious enjoyment in looking at the same things he is accustomed to see every day.” [Allen]
M Can be DOMINANT; “tend to take over the interview”.
M LIBERTARIANISM [love of liberty, freedom], even LIBERTINISM [takes much liberties, esp. sexual].
Avoids COMMITMENT, shuns RESPONSIBILITIES.
Doesn’t want to be restricted.
Delusion betrothal must be broken; must drive children out of house; must dissolve marriage; indifference to loved ones and animated to strangers; dreams of death of relatives, death of friends.
• “Great disposition, when alone, to repulsive fantastic imaginations, particularly with regard to persons with whom he stands in near relations, or with whom he is connected; it seems, for example, as though he must get rid of all the servants, children must go out of the house, a betrothal must be broken off, a marriage should be dissolved, etc.” [Hering]
• [curative action] “A lame and imbecile old lady dismissed her nurse, without which she could not get along at all, quarrelled with her nieces, could not bear the sight of them, and tormented, without cause, the whole house. After two doses, 30th, evening and morning, she had a running from the eyes, and was immediately patient and cheerful, and remained so.” [Hering]
No real or deep contact with other people. Superficial relationships.
• “Fickle Fluoric Acid. Casanova. A charming, fickle butterfly, the man about town who ogles women in the street, the ‘one-night-stand’ young man with a yen for variety and a great love of strangers. It is a male remedy, or one for mannish women, for the debauchee, trying to prove his manhood through lecherousness and variety. Elated, buoyant, gay, as Phosphorus or Tuberculinum can be, yet more vital than they. All his geese are swans. Compelled to move about energetically, to walk fast, fearless of misfortune, flickering like a fluorescent light. Compulsion for long walks to let off steam.”1
• “In the coped-up state, however, the effort and the struggle are in the direction of not letting the relationship break. … The opposite pole of Fluoricum acidum shows a sense of responsibility and guilt, and also of caring for their loved ones.” [Sankaran]
• “He dreams of the sudden death of his little son, and also of the son of one of his friends; thinks that in both cases he has been to blame, because he has neglected physical examination and mechanical remedies; reproaches himself very much and weeps bitterly, and on waking is very happy that it is not true.” [Hering]
• “Very irritable towards people, even to the greatest hatred, which he does not hesitate to give vent in words, but as soon as he sees them everything is forgotten and he has an entirely different opinion of them. This does not arise either from hypocrisy or cowardice, but it is a suddenly altered view.” [Allen]
M Focused on MATERIAL world, not deeply interested in spiritual development.
• “A more difficult comprehension of philosophical works; on the other hand all facts appear clearer to him.” [Hering]
• “Sensation as if dangers menaced him, but without being afraid, particularly during the pressure in the occiput, the staggering, the pains in the bladder, etc.” [Hering]
G Lots of ENERGY.
Increased ability to exercise his muscles without fatigue.
Continued motion >; rapid motion >.
• “In summer, or in the cold of winter, he is able to perform with the greatest facility, his usual daily walk of several miles, which every day previously he thought very fatiguing and annoying; indeed he takes the same walk once again afterwards, and is still inclined to take exercise which is not at all required; he can use the same or other groups of muscles, as it may happen, without being at all fatigued, and without noticing it.” [Allen]
G WARM-BLOODED. [One of the hottest remedies.]
Sensation of HEAT.
> COLD bathing.
Burning heat in palms and soles; sweaty hands and feet.
• “The first evening, and still more during the next morning, a sensation of greater warmth, with inclination to uncover; cold bathing is more than ordinarily agreeable, especially repeated washing behind the ears and on the nape of the neck.” [Hering]
• “Sensation as if a burning vapour was emitted from the pores of the whole body.” [Allen]
G Cannot bear the extremes of heat and cold in summer and winter.
< COLD and HEAT. G Profuse perspiration; offensive odour. Anxiety = perspiration. • “A disposition to anxious ideas, frequently to such a degree that perspiration broke out.” [Hering] • “A perspiration in the palms of the hands, even in cold dry weather, and with the backs of the hands dry and cool, the palms being constantly so moist that everyone who shook hands with him observed it, which remained after Lobelia; disappeared on the fourth day of the Fluoric acid proving.” [Allen] G Desire for SPICY and PUNGENT food. G > SHORT sleep.
• “A short sleep suffices and refreshes him.” [Hering]
Afternoon nap >; short sleep >.
G Strong SEXUAL DESIRE, even libertinism. Frivolous, flamboyant.
G > WALKING in OPEN AIR.
G ACRID discharges, cause itching; acrid, eroding sweat, excites itching.
G Violent pains like streaks of lightning to a small spot.
P Rapid CARIES of teeth; < at roots. Thin enamel. P Diarrhoea < warm drinks [e.g. coffee, tea]. P • “Varicose veins in women who have borne many children.” [Mathur] P Deformed nails. P Roughness and harshness of skin, with great itching in spots. < Warmth. > Cold.
1 Wright Hubbard, Mental Portraits of Remedies Familiar and Unfamiliar; Homoeopathy, Jan.-Febr. 1984.
Anxiety, when walking rapidly, which makes him walk faster . Aversion, to family members but talks pleasantly to others [1/1], to his wife . Buoyancy . Cheerful, when walking in open air and afterwards . Desire for company , feels < when alone . Delusions, betrothal must be broken [1/1], body is brittle , could walk forever [1/1]. Fancies, repulsive, when alone . Fear, of suffering . Fearless, in spite of danger [1/1]. Hatred, of absent persons, better on seeing them [1/1]. Desire to leave home . Indifference, to loved ones, and animated to strangers [2/1]. Lascivious, looking at women on the street . Mannish, women . Mistakes, in localities ; in speaking, using wrong words, putting right for left or vice versa . Optimistic . Self-satisfied . Sensitive, to noise, in morning [2/1]. Feels unfortunate . Head Hair, baldness , brittleness , dryness , falling, in spots , lustreless , tangles easily . Heaviness, > profuse urination .
Sensation as if wide open .
Large field of vision . Lightnings .
Acute, in morning [2/1]. Impaired, > bending head backward [2/1], for the human voice .
Coryza, fluent in sleep [2/1], sudden attacks . Sudden copious watery discharge from eyes, nose and mouth [3/1].
Heat, fter talking , after wine . Sensation, when looking in the mirror, as if his face had suddenly become old [1*].
Taste, like ink, when chewing [1*].
Clothing, tight clothes > [1/1]. Pain, > tightening clothes [1/1].
Emptiness, > tightening clothes [2/1]. Pain, > bandaging .
Diarrhoea, after coffee , after eating salmon [2/1], < warm drinks . Male Coition, extreme enjoyment . Erections, continued, at night . Perspiration, pungent smell . Respiration Difficult, > bending backward , in a warm room .
Sensitive nodules in mammae during pregnancy [2/1].
Heat, burning feet, uncovers them . Nails, brittle, fingernails ; rapid growth ; stunted ; thick ; thin . Numbness, upper limbs, side not lain on . Perspiration, feet, excoriating .
Sleepiness, sudden, after wine [1/1].
Cicatrices, itching , become painful, sore , become red , become red around edges [2/1], surrounded by vesicles [2/1]. Hard, like callosities .
Continued motion > . Sensation of strength , of muscular strength . Weakness, > walking in open air .
* Repertory additions [Hering].
Aversion: : Refreshing; sour. : Coffee; pungent; spicy; wine.
Desire: : Coffee; marinade; pungent; refreshing; sour; spicy. : Alcohol; brandy; cold drinks; cold food; lemonade; whisky; wine.
Worse: : Fish; peaches; wine. : Chocolate; coffee; coffee, smell of; cold food; herring; melons; sardines; sour; stimulants; sweets; red wine; salmon; tea; warm drinks.
Better: : Cold drinks. : Coffee.