Hekla Lava, the remedy is seldom used
in practise, Dr.Mohamed Aleem, an eminent physician, based at
Chennai brings these remarkable expressions and applications. He is
a well-known speaker and also presented many articles in leading
journals. He works with Dr. S. P. Koppikar, a world renowned
Homoeopath for some twenty years. He was the Editor of Homoeo Pulse
and has been honoured with awards in many functions.
Introduction Hekla is an active volcano in southern Iceland 110 km east of
the capital Reykjavk and has erupted 14 times between 1104 and 1970, with major eruptions
occurring in 1300, 1766, and 1947; the 1766 explosion caused great
loss of life. Hekla stands 4,892 ft above sea level and was known
from early times as the Mountain of Hell,
A Volcano is any vent in the crust of the
Earth from which issues molten rock, pyroclastic debris, and steam.
Although Volcanoes figure prominently in the mythology of many
peoples who have learned to live with such eruptions science was a
late comer in recognising the importance of volcanism in the
evolution of the Earth. One major 18th-century school of thought
held that molten rock and volcanoes were simply accidents caused by
burning coal seams. Geologists today agree that volcanism is a
profound process resulting from the thermal evolution of planetary
bodies. Heat does not easily escape from large bodies by conduction
or radiation. Instead, partial melting and buoyant rise of magma are
major contributors to the process of heat flux from the Earths
interior. Volcanoes are the surface manifestation of this thermal
process, which has its roots deep inside the Earth and which hurls
its ashes high into the atmosphere. These facts reflects its
homoeopathicity when studied on the basis of the law of
Lava is the magma (molten rock) poured
out onto the Earths surface at temperatures from about 700 to 1,200
C (1,300 to 2,200 F). The viscosity ranges from about 100,000 times
that of water to the point that the lava can scarcely flow at all.
The surface of lava is mostly exceedingly rough, covered with a
layer of partly loose, very irregular fragments commonly called
Hekla lava was introduced to
homoeopathy by Dr. Garth Wilkinson. His observations of the effect
of Hekla lava, while traveling in Iceland, is the basis of the
homoeopathic prescriptions given to date. A beautiful account of Dr.
Garth Wilkinson's observations are given by Dr. Clarke in his
"Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica".
Expression In this article I have tried to bring
out another dimension of Hekla lava as emerged from my rxperience of
clinical cases treated with Hekla lava. I had been using Hekla lava
in low potencies like 3x and 6x empirically in cases of bone
pathology and dental pathology with or without beneficial effects
since I started my practice. My understanding of the real
personality of Hekla lava started however with a case of
osteosarcoma of the proximal end of right tibia. This male patient
had undergone three surgeries but as the condition kept recurring he
wanted to try homoeopathy. This is the case with which first I felt
the rhythm of Hekla lava. He gave the following story when asked him
how the problem first started:
The Defining Case
Case 1 - Osteosarcoma One day he was
walking along a main road in Colombo with his elder brother.
Suddenly a group of people carrying guns came from nowhere and
started shooting his brother. Within a wink of time his brother
dropped down dead. Mr. X. was terribly shocked. He felt a sort of
volcano erupting deep from him. But he was absolutely helpless. That
was the time first he felt an excruciating pain in the upper part of
the right leg. Given the situation he was in he paid no attention to
its significance and within a few days of this incidence he forgot
the pain completely.
A few weeks after this incidence, he
happened to get into a heated argument with one of his family
members. When one of his points was objected to and contradicted by
the other person he again felt a similar volcano like emotion
erupting from deep inside him. At the same time he also felt an
excruciating pain in the upper part of the right leg and he fainted.
After few days of this incident, he observed a swelling there. He
then he went to the hospital in Colombo and orthopedicians advice
was sought when the diagnosis osteosarcoma was established.
He described himself as a very calm and
poised person but when provoked he could burst into a violent
temper. Once he got the angry he could not control himself. He used
to shout at others whosoever they were and often used words that
offended them He also confessed that on few occasions he had beaten
up those who offended him. He was aware of his shortcomings but felt
absolutely helpless to correct them. Physically he was well built in
spite of his malignant disease. He spoke with soft tone and looked
His repeated expression "as if a
volcano erupts from deep within myself," reminded me that a
volcano itself may be the possible remedy for him and the
established bone pathology gave me the confidence to prescribe Hekla
lava 30 with the instruction to take 2 pills once
every 3 hours till the pain subsided. Three days later and still
taking the pills he reported his pain was very much better at which
time he stopped taking all his other painkillers.
He left India with sufficient stock of
Hekla lava 30 to be used as S.O.S. Since this time I have lost track
of him, though I instructed him to keep me informed about the state
of his health, and consequently I do not know whether he is still
improving or not. The fact that he had initial improvement showed me
that the medicine acted on him. This case to me symbolically
represens the qualities of a volcano.
What are the qualities of a volcano? A
Volcano usually looks gentle, but once eruption starts it behaves
very violently and blasts out a blaze of hot lava destroying and
damaging all around it. The same behaviour was expressed by this
patient. Though Hekla lava was not a well-proved remedy, the law of
signature of Paracelsus helped me establish the homeopathicity of
Hekla lava. I have already provided the reader with features of the
Mount Hekla Volcano in my introduction from which you
can synthesise their own symbolic symtomatology.
Cases Case 2 - Cracked Skin Later I had
a case of cracked facial skin which appeared overnight with an
intense burning pain. The cracks ran in all directions and were
covered with an ashy, fragile crust. The man was tall and well
built, had a gentle in disposition and was highly sensitive to
admonitions, criticisms and injustices done to him and to others
which frequently resulted in irritability. He could become violent
when provoked an emotion he strove to suppress. Once in a while when
his anger gets beyond his control he becomes violent. With Hekla
lava 30, the burning pain came down within five days and the cracks
disappeared completely within two weeks. This case confirms the
observations and symbolic expressions of Hekla lava in the previous
Case 3 - Duodenal
Ulcer A schoolteacher who was an over zealous
disciplinarian suffering from duodenal ulcers with burning pain
which came and went suddenly, < in empty stomach but > for
eating. All her three episodes were precipitated by severe
confrontations with her husband who was a drunkard. She used to
quarrel with her husband and many times became hysterically violent,
throwing hings like books, plates, and etc. at him. Medicines like
Staphysagria and Proteus gave no relief. Hekla lava 30, repeated
doses, helped in her recovery.
Case 4 -
Scabies Hekla lava 30 cured a case of scabies in
a boy. The eruptions first started on the buttocks and within three
days spread all over the body. He was highly restless suffering from
intense burning pain. The burning pain came in bouts. He was not
able to give any modality but said that the pain used to come at any
time and disappear at any time. His parents said he was always
stubborn and highly irritable and could not withstand any
contradiction. For outsiders he looked very gentle but at home he
was very abrupt and violent in his behaviour.
Summary As a result of these cures I have
recently been treating many cases of sinusitis, fistulas, weeping
eczemas, etc., on the indications:
Thick and viscid
discharge forming fragile crusts with intense burning pain
which comes and goes suddenly.
The symptom is well described in
Vermeulens Concordant Materia Medica thus:
Polypoid growth commencing in the
maxillary sinus and from thence encroaching upon the adjacent
structure so as to deform face, forcing the eyeball upward and
obstructing the nostrils downward into mouth so that breathing and
mastication were seriously impeded with epistaxis and headache.
This symptom description helped me in
treating many cases of polyp in maxillary sinus with better result.
I was fortunate to cure one such case with Hekla lava after a
partial relief with Calcarea flourica.
Medica Hekla lava may be prescribed not only for
the bone and dental disorders but like any other polychrests may be
prescribed for the organic and functional disorders of any organ and
tissue of our body. Hekla lava has its own personality which is
reflected by the symbolic expression of the volcano itself. The
materia medica given below is compiled mostly from the cases that I
treated. Due to constraint of space I have not given the
various particulars available in other materia medicas. Dr. Clarkes
Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, Dr. Vermeulens Concordant
Materia Medica and Dr. Murphys Lotus Materia Medica all give a good
account of various particulars of Hekla lava. The following materia
medica of Hekla lava is based on my own experiences:
Aetiology Shock, indignation;
suppression of emotions, esp. anger; head injury with lesions in
head; injury to bone; tooth extraction and other dental
Symptoms: Generally gentle but highly
irritable when provoked. Violent anger, hurts others by words
and by physical inflictions. In other words, wounds others mentally
and physically. Stubborn. Sensitive to admonitions and
injustices done to self and/or to others. Abrupt. Feeling of
helplessness. Sensation as if a volcano erupts from deep
Symptoms come suddenly and go suddenly.
All symptoms are violent in nature. Intense burning.
Tumours and exostoses. Ulcers. Cracks. Fissures.
The discharges are thick, viscid and ashy in colour. Ashy,
Essence: Rapidity, Violence and
Alumina, Belladonna, Calcarea
carbonica, Calcarea fluorica, Carcinosin, Cinnabaris and other
Mercurial preparations, Ferrum metallicum, Hydrastis, Kali
bichromicum, Magnesia carbonica, Mezerium, Nitric Acid and all other
acids, Proteus, Silicea, Staphysagria,
Just few case studies cannot help in
constructing the whole materia medica of Hekla lava but from the
foregoing it is evident that the symbolic expressions of Hekla lava
must at least form a part of the total symptomatic expression for
Hekla lava to be indicated. I request all my reader friends to try
Hekla lava wherever the above picture presents and communicate to me
both your successes and failures.
Mohamed Aleem, The Rhythm of Volcano, Homoeopathic Links, No. 1-Vol.
7, 1994. 2. William Boericke, Pocket Manual of Materia Medica
with Repertory. 3. John H. Clarke, Dictionary of Practical
Materia Medica. 4. John H. Clarke, The Cure of Tumours. 5.
Constantine Hering, Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica. 6.
Robin Murphy, Lotus Materia Medica. 7. Frans Vermeulen,
Concordant Materia Medica. 8. Frans Vermeulen, Synoptic Materia
Medica II. 9. Encylopaedia Britannica 2002 Deluxe Edition CD
ROM 10. Multimedia World History
you by: Laila
Alberts Hekla lava (The Story of
Background Harry was 53 years of age and
suffered from an infected vesicle in his back which had been drained
several times with only temporary improvement. Additionally from
time to time similar vesicles appeared under his arm pits and around
He also suffered from aphthae and wore dentures
(top and bottom) which were fixed in place by steel pins. The reason
for this was that his jaw pressure was so great that ordinary
dentures would be snapped in half. Even without dentures Harry could
Harry enjoyed life to the full and had a huge
appetite eating and drinking to excess, Chinese take away, plenty of
salt, wine and generous helpings of meat. Aversions were salad and
vegetables. His thirst was practically unquenchable with unlimited
cold mineral water throughout the day plus 10 cups of coffee
(recently reduced from 30).
Harry was a larger than
life 100Kg character and to his neighbours appeared a striking
personality even though, at first glance, he didnt appear to fit
into his affluent surroundings. He sported a pot belly, handlebar
moustache, rode a Harley Davidson bike and looked like a friendly
type of Hells Angel in his jeans and leather jacket with Harley
logo. He also owned a large 4 x 4 pick up truck complete with very
loud lorry klaxon.
His foul mouth and braggadocios
stories of his sexual exploits were a constant source of amusement
and hilarity to his friends. In particular his stock phrase Get
tits! when he found something strange, always went down well. Such
antics did not disturb his wife in the least however as she knew
that beneath the bravura lay a sensitive soul who was intensely
sympathetic to those he knew. He would not tolerate injustice,
especially when it concerned himself, his family or close friends.
If someone betrayed his trust it was over as far as he was
concerned: To quote him Ill rip their heads off and shit down their
necks! and put another way If someones fucked me about once it wont
happen again. I have to stay out of their way, or Ill be tempted to
run them down, as Im not in control of my emotions.
an adopted child a fact of which he became aware at the age of
9 or 10 years. He was the result of a casual fling, fathered by a
serviceman and unwanted by his birth mother. In the back of his mind
Harry always suspected his adoptive father to be his birth father, a
suspicion which was confirmed about a year after the death of his
father. This revelation caused him to lose his voice (painless) for
3 weeks. His foster mother kept this from him all those years,
as she was afraid of gossip. Harrys father was known to sleep around
and have regular girlfriends, amongst them Harrys biological mother.
His birth mother did not want to keep him so his father took him on,
because he was a boy. In addition to Harry his father had sired 6
further half sisters by various mothers.
Harry worked in the
automotive industry since he was 14 years of age. He started off
working at a garage, where he met his wife, before commencing to
work for his father in the family business, which he subsequently
inherited. He lived rent-free, was paid little money and kept on a
tight leash. If, occasionally, he was given something extra, he
would hear about it for years on end. Harry felt cheated,
particularly by his father, who used him as cheap labour for years.
Harry was officially adopted when he turned 18. His father first and
foremost wanting to make sure he was worthy of his inheritance and
the family business.
Analysis The symptoms of Hekla are
the composite of its composition. Heckla ash is collected some
distance from the volcano itself and comprises the lighter smaller
particles. The ash close to the volcano is heavier and inert with a
high silica content.
On first impact Harry resembled Phos
(sympathetic, thirsty, short-tempered) with some Fluorine elements.
His sensitivity to injustice and his sharpness could also be Caust
influenced. The painless hoarseness could be suited to both Phos and
Caust, though the tendency to infection is more likely to be seen
Fluorine is represented by preoccupation
with sex, excessive talking about sex, wanting to pose with a big
car and motorbike, not bothering about what other people think
(dress sense, bad language) and living life to the full. The
physical problems, like infected gums (teeth), fistula (silica) and
pus are also related to fluoride.
Aluminium traits are represented by
confusion about his stepfather, i.e. was he or wasnt he his real
Magnesium is apparent as suppressed anger
(towards father and mother) out of fear of losing the business and
Finally Ferrums symptoms are expressed in
the sensitivity to criticism, and the subsequent irritation this
caused him. The continuous opposition of his father, who tested him
first to make sure he was worthy of being legally adopted as his son
and continuously abused him
All these elements are
represented in Heklas composition which when taken in the round
together with Harrys constitutional appearance of a gentle giant of
a Hells Angle (ie a dormant volcano waiting to erupt) all point
towards the appropriateness of this remedy.
Discussion Hekla also has the
symptom of reduced lactation or drying up of mothers milk from which
one may be led to a sense of under nutrition and retarded
development resulting in deep suppressed emotions within the young
infant of neglect, isolation and desertion. The theme of food takes
a significant place in Harrys symptomology. To Harry eating was very
important. He was not fussed about the quality of the food, as long
as it came in huge quantities. The inflammation of the mouth (jaw),
the being abandoned by his mother, the being kept on a very short
leash by his father, the anger he kept within, especially towards
his father and (step) mother, could all contribute to him regularly
having physical eruptions (fistula, pus, verbal abuse), and
occasionally mental eruptions (temper, destruction). Because Harrys
wife was familiar with the way he reacted she normally made sure
that problems were dealt with to spare Harry from these emotional
repercussions and understood the necessity of Harry letting off
steam by cursing and swearing.
Result After Hek-l he was like a
sieve. All the old scars oozed pus which seemed like it was never
ending, After 3 days his energy levels went up and his mood swings
much improved and his joint pains lessened. It took some 14 days for
the fistulas to stop producing pus, apart from the fistula on his
back, which was producing more pus than ever. Harry saw Eastern
massage practitioner who massaged the pus out of this fistula. 3
months after the 1st Hekla, during one of his massage sessions, a
drainage tube some 3 cm long emerged after which discovery healing
was complete. Now, some 2 years later Harrys infections have not
returned. He has cut down on his alcohol intake, lost quite at lot
of weight and feels very well indeed.
Close up of Hekla
on map of Iceland
Mineral Latin Name: Hekla lava Comman Name: Lava Scoriae from Mt.