Harry, 53 years of age. Symptoms: Fistula in the back for 5 months. Harry has been suffering from an infected pustule on his back. His general practitioner has opened the pustule up several times and even placed a drain, all without result as the pustule keeps returning. Pustules and infected tissue also regularly occur in his armpits. His groin region also used to get affected by these pustules, but this hasn’t happened for some years now. Harry was hospitalised on holiday quite some years ago, with symptoms that made the doctors suspect appendicitis. He was unable to do anything whatsoever. Harry describes the pain as being stabbed in the stomach with sharp knives. On further investigation it turned out that the appendix was not the cause of Harry’s pain, though his abdomen was filled with smelly pus. He is afraid of dying from a serious infection. Harry wears dentures top and bottom and also suffers from infections in his mouth. The bottom dentures are fixed in place with pins and strong magnets; this was also the case with the top ones, but Harry removed these fixtures himself as they got infected. His jaw pressure is such that he is unable to wear normal dentures: he tends to bite them in half, hence the reason that he now wears steel dentures. Even without his dentures Harry is able to chew steak.
Further complaints are: Hypertension, for which he takes medication; hyperlipidaemia. Occasional loss of voice when stressed (painless). Hearing is bad, right side 40%, left side 60%. Appetite is very good. Harry enjoys life to the full. He eats and drinks more than deemed healthy for him. Desires: meat+++, Chinese take-away, salt, wine. Aversion: salad and vegetables. Thirst +++, drinks cold mineral water throughout the day. Coffee: 10/day. Reduced from 30 cups a day! Perspires over his whole body ++ especially during exertion. Otitis, sinusitis. History: Harry was adopted, and has known about this since he was 9 or 10 years of age. He was the result of a casual fling, fathered by a serviceman and unwanted by his birth mother. He believed he was put up for adoption soon after his birth, though does not know this for a fact as his adoptive parents refused to talk about this. In the back of his mind Harry always suspected his adoptive father to be his birth father, and this suspicion was confirmed about 1 year ago, after the death of his father. This revelation caused him to lose his voice for 3 weeks. His foster mother kept this from him during all those years, as she was afraid of gossip. Harry’s foster parents had been married for some years, and he was conceived out of wedlock. Harry’s father was known to sleep around and have regular girlfriends, amongst them Harry’s biological mother. His mother did not want to keep him after his birth; his father however was willing to take him on, because he was a boy. Harry subsequently found out that his father fathered a further 6 children, his half-sisters, by various mothers. Harry has 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 starting work for his father in the family business, which he subsequently took over. 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 family business. Character: His neighbours think Harry a striking personality. He lives in a well-to-do area, where at first glance he doesn’t seem to belong or fit in. Harry is a big guy with a potbelly and a walrus-like moustache. He rides a Harley Davidson bike and is always dressed in jeans and leather jacket sporting the Harley logo. He looks like a Hells Angel, but with a friendly air about him. His foul mouth causes great merriment at neighbourhood parties. In particular his stock phrase “Get tits!” when he finds something strange, always goes down well. If he spots John, my husband, he calls out to him “Hey prick!” or “I’m taking my fuck (his wife) to Laren for some pancakes”. To his wife this is perfectly normal, she’s not bothered about it one bit. Even one of his daughters once said to him: Hey tache, can you ask the old bag how I can get that stain out of my T-shirt? Harry is very sensitive to injustice, especially when it concerns himself, his family or close friends. If someone betrays his trust it’s over as far as he’s concerned: “I’ll rip their heads off and shit down their necks!” In his own words: “If someone’s fucked me about once it won’t happen again. I have to stay out of their way, or I’ll be tempted to run them down, as I’m not in control of my emotions. I could kill my wife with a 3 kg ashtray when I’m angry. If she told me she’s seeing someone else, I’d cut her throat! She can leave me, but not to be with someone else. If she left me, that’s it. I wouldn’t give a damn about anybody else any more. I’ll have hair to my arse, a big dick and fuck the world. ”Harry himself is a very sensitive and reliable guy. He’s always there for you if you need him. He also intensely sympathises with people he’s fond of. He lives in a big house with a lot of land around it. He used to use this land to store caravans. He also regularly used to sell cars. Harry drives a 4x4 pick-up truck, with lots of stainless steel and a lorry horn. He sometimes uses his wife’s car, a Daihatsu Move (the Japanese changing room on wheels), which he fills with his 100kg frame. If we call out comedy capers, we annoy him intensely, though Harry himself has given all the neighbours nicknames, and not always nice ones either! Harry likes to brag about sex, but if he gets too much female attention he shies away. He prefers his wife’s knitted knickers he says. Harry is foul mouthed, he swears a lot, using all kinds of slang for both male and female private parts.
In short, on the surface he resembles Phos (sympathetic, thirsty, short-tempered) but also contains 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. I have given him Phos at different potencies, without results. After Hekla Lava he was like a sieve, all those old scars were oozing pus, it seemed like it was never ending, Harry tells me. After 3 days his energy levels were up and his mood swings were much improved; his joint pains had also 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 someone who practises Eastern massage techniques, who massaged the pus from this fistula. 3 months after the 1st Hekla, during one of his massage sessions, a drainage tube some 3 cm long emerged from the fistula, and after this the fistula finally healed. Now, some 2 years later, Harry’s infections have not returned. He has cut down on his alcohol intake, has lost quite some weight and feels very well indeed.
The substance of Hekla is the ash of the Hekla volcano in Iceland. This ash has to be collected at some distance from the volcano itself. The ash close to the volcano is inert as it consists of silica, alumina, chalk, magnesium and iron oxide. Some eruptions also contain high levels of fluoride, which causes the cattle grazing at the bottom of the volcano to die. The symptoms that manifest in these animals are partly consistent with the ones described in the Materia Medica for this remedy, therefore we can conclude that fluoride-rich ashes were probably used in the preparation of this remedy. The first person to write about Hekla was Chris Wilkinson, who describes the symptoms mainly through observation of sick sheep. He does not describe the mental picture. According to some texts Hekla is the Icelandic word for Cloak. It’s Iceland’s most notorious volcano, sometimes referred to by the natives as the Gate or even Gates of Hell. According to Chris Wilkinson, a homeopath who published a proving on the Internet, Hekla comes from the German word Hexe, which means witch. The worst eruptions were in 1104 and 1766, and more recently in 1991 and 2000. The craters are normally covered in snow and surrounded by clouds. A Hekla eruption starts with an explosive phase, which lasts for several hours, followed by huge amount of lava flowing down for several weeks. 1970: After lying dormant for 22 years the volcano became active once more, and spat out a cloud of ash up to 1500 metres high, covering an area of 40,000 square kilometres in ash.
Due to the high concentration of fluoride (800-2000 ppm) in this ash, more than 7000 sheep were poisoned. Their symptoms were exostosis and necrosis of the jaws and they stopped producing milk.
Symptoms according to Frans Vermeulen
Quiet, well balanced people who, when provoked, can explode with menacing anger which they cannot control. They can be very insulting to all and everyone. Gentle people, with great sensitivity to admonition, criticism and injustice, which causes them to get very agitated. They suppress their anger until such time as they can no longer control it, and then turn violent. Ailments form shock, indignation, suppression of emotions and especially anger. Volcanoes usually look gentle, but once they start erupting they behave very violently, blazing and blasting the hot lava, damaging and destroying everything around. Tendency to infections and fistulae. Periodontitis, periosteitis, osteitis, chronic gingivitis, abscesses, swollen bones and neuralgia following tooth extractions. Swollen glands, induration. Exotosis of the jaw and tibia. < rest, commencing movements. Symptoms suddenly come and go, severity. Intense burning. Accommodation of the left eye disrupted. Mastoiditis/necrosis mastoid. Hallux valgus.
Case 1 by Mohammed Aleem
The information used by Frans Vermeulen was largely taken from an article published in Links in 1994 by Mohammed Aleem, called The Rhythm of the Volcano. Mr. X., 32 years of age, had pain and swelling to his right leg, just below the knee. Approximately seven years previously he developed intense pain and swelling to the upper part of his right leg. He went to a leading hospital and there his condition was diagnosed as osteosarcoma of the proximal end of the right tibia. The tumour was surgically removed, three times over because it kept recurring, causing great pain. The story of Mr. X. :One day, Mr. X. was walking along a main road with his elder brother, when suddenly a group of people carrying guns appeared out of nowhere, shooting his brother, who died instantly. Mr. X. was terribly shocked, and felt as though a volcano was about to erupt from deep within him, which is when he first noticed the pain in his leg. A few weeks later, he happened to get into a heated discussion with a member of his family. When this family member objected and contradicted one of the points argued about, Mr. X. felt the familiar volcano-like emotion bubble up inside him. At the same time he had excruciating pain in the upper part of his right leg causing him to faint. Aleem describes a further 3 cases reacting positively to Hekla. The first case, a patient suffering with sudden cracking of facial skin, with cracks running in all directions accompanied by burning pain (I imagine the earth splitting open due to a volcanic eruption). Like the previous case, he was gentle in disposition but used to become violent when provoked.
Case 2 by Mohammed Aleem
The second case, a woman with a duodenal ulcer accompanied by burning pains. Her husband was a drunkard with whom she used to quarrel, causing her to become hysterical and violent on many occasions, resulting in her throwing books, plates etc., at him (non-responsive to Staph and Proteus).
Case 3 by Mohammed Aleem
The third case, a boy with scabies accompanied by intense burning pains. His parents described him as a very stubborn and highly irritable boy, unable to withstand any contradiction. To outsiders he seemed very gentle, but at home he was very abrupt and violent in behaviour.
Proving Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson has done some meditation provings with Hekla MK. He himself, his wife and 9 year old daughter, all held the Hekla MK in their hands and Chris noted their feeling and associations. Below you will find a summary of their responses: rawness plus Staphysagria sensitivity.
There may well be some element of quirkiness, something eccentric and sensitive, maybe more like SulphurWind, cold wind, rushes through the land, a settling of fine dust permeates and disturbs. It’s sort of pphhhffff! It feels like plastic when it’s been in the sun (sun has warmed the bottle up?). Earthy, very earthy. A pyramid. As if I am looking up to the point. It is pale, sky blue with white speckles which are air rushing past. The pyramid is like an icicle, all dropping down, not stable. It has a (red?) rose inside, facing me. A lion. Yellow raindrops. Dusty, lots of little bits. Brown speckly dust, coming out of something like a grinder, though that was the periphery of my vision. It was going around in a spiral, like when Tinkerbell throws her magic dust and it sweeps around (in an arc) and slowly settles. Total eclipse. It’s got lots of images of the total eclipse. Expansive and contractive at the same time. Contracting in abdomen but expanding outward. Caught in a vortex of energy.
Discussion Hekla lava
Though these descriptions were not really of use to me, the following was: on talking to Diane Murray (a colleague from Bristol), themes around eating and isolation came up. Mount Hekla is very isolated, and uninhabited, unlike other volcanoes such as Stromboli with its greenery, vegetation and people living half way up the mountain. Many of the physical signs focus around the jaw and teeth. There is also the aspect of the drying up of the milk, which led me to connect this to a sense of not feeding. The not being feed is felt at a deep level, the baby, jaw, necrosis, isolation, non-verbal. These are the mental signs of suppressed emotions, and I wonder if this may be related to the emotions of a neglected or deserted child. These themes, the food, neglect and suppressed emotion, all feature in my case study. To Harry, eating is very important. He is not fussed about the quality of the food, as long as it comes in huge quantities. The inflammation of the jaw, being abandoned by his mother, being kept on a very short leash by his father, the anger he kept within, especially towards his father and (step) mother, all contributed to him regularly having physical eruptions (fistula, pus), and occasionally mental eruptions. Because Harry’s wife is familiar with the way Harry reacts, she normally makes sure that problems are dealt with to spare Harry from having these emotional reactions. Harry lets off steam by cursing and swearing at his wife; she in turn went to see the enemy being almost just as verbal as Harry himself would have been, but without the added fight.
Symptoms related to fluor: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 infections (teeth), fistula (silica) and pus are also related to fluoride.
Aluminium: Confusion about his stepfather, i.e. was he or wasn’t he his real father?
Magnesium: Suppressed anger (towards father and mother) out of fear of losing the business and his house.
Ferrum: Sensitivity to criticism, and the subsequent irritation this causes 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 being misused (Iron oxide). Hekla: Friendly looking guy, almost too old to be a Hells Angel, a dormant volcano waiting to erupt and obliterate at a moment’s notice.
Hepar, Calc, Sulph, Calc-s, Silica, Fluoride, Merc, Phos, Fl-ac, Staph. Conchiolinum, mother-of-pearl, pearlescent, osteitis, starting in the diaphyse of the bone. Amphisboena, a snake-like lizard, a substance that also has a considerable affinity with jawbones. Lastly, a case study of Eduard van den Boogaard, a removal man who had to move a large piece of furniture for an old, grey-haired lady. Inside this piece of furniture he found a big dildo, which took him by surprise. The lady responded: There may be snow on the mantelpiece, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no fire in the fireplace.
Thoughts on Hekla Lava, Chris Wilkinson
The Rhythm of Volcano, Mohammed Aleem
Keywords: hekla lava
This article was originally published in www.interhomeopathy.org