Viewed through Proving: Iodine – the Purple of Remedies


Lately I have been working on an Iodine case which has led me to delve deeper into a remedy I have not prescribed frequently in the past. In fact, my most recent prescription of Iodine prior to this case was for a wiry bike-rider in his fifties, with a very fast metabolism and a very short fuse (or in polite BritSpeak, a tendency to fisticuffs). The remedy was helpful but the case in no way prepared me for my current Iodine patient, who is very different. I plan to report more details of this case at a later time. My initial hesitation in prescribing a remedy that has so far proved to be clearly and dramatically curative in this case was the result of the bike-riding prejudice – let this be a warning to you! Do not hold “images” or “essences” in your mind when reviewing remedies – they will hinder the prescribing process.

To get the Iodine ball rolling, so to speak, let’s just look at Hahnemann’s recommendations for prescribing Iodine as presented in the introduction to the proving:

“Iodine has been of service especially when the following states were at the same time present: Dizziness in the morning; throbbing in the head; excoriation of the eyes; humming before the ears; hardness of hearing; a coated tongue; mercurial salivation; bad, soapy taste; sourish eructation, with burning; heartburn after heavy viands; voracious hunger; nausea; incarceration of flatus; inflation of the abdomen; constipation; micturition at night; delay in the menses; cough; inveterate morning cough; difficulty in breathing; external swelling of the neck; weariness of the arms in the morning, in bed; the fingers go to sleep; curvature of the bones; dryness of the skin; night-sweats.”

Symptoms relating to chronic problems with digestion make up an important block of symptoms within the proving – around 20% of the total deal with stomach, abdominal symptoms, and elimination. In addition, a further 20% or so of the symptoms deal with musculoskeletal issues. These two areas are also where most blocks of the “bold” symptoms are to be found. These symptoms in bold relate, amongst others, to thirst, ravenous hunger, weakness of digestion, eructation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhoea, burning in the rectum, trembling of limbs, cramps, subsultus (a starting, twitching, or convulsive motion) of the tendons, lassitude in the limbs and weakness of muscles.

Because of the connection between Iodine and the thyroid gland – let’s look at some of the symptoms of thyroid disease:

Hyperthyroidism:   Weight loss, eating more than usual, rapid or irregular heartbeat or pounding of the heart, anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, trembling in hands and fingers, increased sweating, increased sensitivity to heat, muscle weakness, more frequent bowel movements, less frequent menstrual periods with lighter than normal menstrual flow, weak, brittle bones.

Hypothyroidism: weight gain, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, muscle weakness, joint or muscle pain, depression, fatigue, pale dry skin, puffy face, hoarse voice, excessive menstrual bleeding

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go through the proving, and look for these symptoms.

Does this mean Iodine should be prescribed in every case of thyroid disease? Absolutely not. Prescription must always work with the patient’s presenting symptoms, working based on principle. But where thyroid disease has been diagnosed and Iodine symptoms are present, if the remedy has found its way to your shortlist it seems a good idea not to ignore it… And since you’re wondering – my current Iodine patient does have a history of thyroid disease…

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