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You are viewing: Homeopathics - Hekla lava - Contemporary - Level 3
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Hekla lava

Brought to you by:
Dr. S Mohamed Asleem
(Click link for original article)
Hekla lava
(The volcanic expression)

Brought to you by:
Laila Alberts
(Click link for original article)
Hekla lava
(The Story of Harry)


Brought to you by:
Dr. S Mohamed Asleem

Hekla lava
(The volcanic expression)

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.

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 signatures.

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 clinker. 
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".

Volcanic 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 very gentle.

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.

Other 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 osteosarcoma case.

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.

Results 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.

Materia 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:

Shock, indignation; suppression of emotions, esp. anger; head injury with lesions in head; injury to bone; tooth extraction and other dental surgeries.

Mental 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.
Sensitive to admonitions and injustices done to self and/or to others.
Feeling of helplessness.
Sensation as if a volcano erupts from deep within.

Symptoms come suddenly and go suddenly.
All symptoms are violent in nature.
Intense burning.
Tumours and exostoses.
The discharges are thick, viscid and ashy in colour.
Ashy, fragile crusts.

Rapidity, Violence and Burning.

Related Remedies:
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, Sulphur, Syphilinum.

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.

1. 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


Brought to you by:
Laila Alberts
Hekla lava
(The Story of Harry)

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 his groin.

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 chew steak.

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.

Harry was 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.

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 with Phos.

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 father?

Magnesium is apparent as suppressed anger (towards father and mother) out of fear of losing the business and his house.

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.

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. 

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.


Hekla's cloak (cloud)
Hekla's cloak (cloud)

Hekla, Iceland volcano
Close up of Hekla

Hekla on Icel;andic map
Hekla on map of Iceland

 Volcanic lava
Volcanic lava

Volcanic cloud
Volcanic cloud

Kingdom: Mineral
Latin Name: Hekla lava
 Comman Name: Lava Scoriae from Mt. Hecla  Homeopahtic: Hekla lava


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