Dr Weeks’ Comment: We had an iron age in medicine (the past 300 years) and now we are in grave need of a healing, corrective copper age. It is past time to appreciate copper as the guardian of all our energy production in all mitochondria, as the metal which liberates toxic iron stored in tissues, as the metal which enzymatically catalyses the more life-giving and detoxifying action in our human body than any agent save perhaps magnesium. Here you can study the biochemistry of copper as a treatment for iron deficiency anemia and fatigue, but below is a more poetic treatise – a reflection -on copper inspired by Goethe, Steiner and Wolff. This report is for your right brain and what follows below for your left brain – but both are for your health!
In occult wisdom, which many smart people today consider but a fairy tale, we understand the origins of metals on earth to be the condensation of vapors inherent initially to spiritual, cosmic beings all of whom now exist remotely as orbiting planets. Remember how when you take a shower the steam will condense on the wall and form droplets of water? So too in the beginning, only breath (vapor) existed in the universe and this breath was expressed as word (“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” – John prologue Bible). Qualities of this original breath differed and these qualities eventually congealed out of vapor into solid planets but here on earth some residual “vapors” of what eventually become planets was trapped in earth matter and those residua are what we call metals. Gold is residual Sun vapor condensed and orphaned on earth. What about silver? You are not surprised to learn that silver is condensed moon now marooned here on earth. Iron is what Mars left on earth, Tin harkens to Jupiter, lead to Saturn, Copper is remnants of Venus and Mercury of course, is from Mercury. Get it? If not, check your calendar. How did the days of the week get named? Sun-Day, Moon-Day, Mars-Day (french “Mardi”); Mercury Day (Mercredi in french), Jupiter Day (jeudi in French) Venus Day (french Vendredi) and Saturn Day.
“There is no material, and certainly no living substance that does not possess an underlying spirituality, which in its trying is just as differentiated as the material.’ (Anthroposophical Medicine and its Remedies by Otto Wolff, M.D. 1988 page 8) appreciating that this penetrating gays into the essence of matter allows us to acknowledge connections between specific plants, minerals or metals, and the human physiology specifically organs and processes related to organs. Thus we grow to appreciate that it is not simply coincidence that certain plants like dandelion benefit the liver and stinging nettle (being rich in iron) helps the bile. Deficiencies in certain physiological organs can be replenished or reinforced by using corresponding plants as remedies.
Let’s celebrate copper, God’s paintbrush and a ruler of kidney function as well as a healer for inflammation (SOD).
The name “Copper” (cuprum) derives from Cypress the Mediterranean Island sacred to Venus which is where the Greeks obtain their copper.
Primarily, copper has an affinity to flow, motion, circulation in the body and, not surprisingly, more than other metals, to water itself. Unlike many ores, most copper ores contain some water. Malachite is 9% water, azurite 6%, aspirolith -a copper silicate – contains as much as 29% water. Copper supports circulation in the body and is featured in kidney function. (“What?” you exclaim! Well, taking Steiner’s indications a bit further, we can appreciate that the metal lead (from Saturn) is featured in the spleen, tin (from Jupiter) is featured in the liver, iron (from Mars) we find its forces in the gallbladder, quicksilver (from Mercury) refines the lungs, silver (from the moon) holds dominion in the brain and of course, gold (from sun) characterizes the heart. Now is the time to relax the analytic mind and open up your receptive imaginative mind perhaps last accessed in kindergarten, and appreciate that all Forum is arrested flow and that before there was matter there was energy. Not only did energy create matter, but it remains inherent within the matter as its particular force. Most of the metals are active in the human physiology as a dynamic organizing force-field. As you know, only a few metals such as iron and copper, in addition to applying a force, also manifest down into the material realm. In this manner, we can easily quantitate physiologic levels of copper and iron whereas gold and silver are barely discernible in our blood and, of course, lead, mercury and tin are typically only measured when present in toxic amounts. Nonetheless, even these last three “toxic’ metals have potential remedial action when administered homeopathically.
You have graciously indulged me by reading the foregoing intriguing and seemingly unverifiable thoughts, so let me push my luck and reward you with Otto Wolff’s discussion of copper. “Copper stands on the anabolic side of metabolism. It’s significance however it does not lie in the creation of living substance – this is the task of the silver process – but rather in its “ripening”, so that the matter can be soul-enlivened and the spirit can make use of it. The substance, which has been enlivened by the liver, yet only “vitalized”, must still be changed in a way that enables it to take up impulses of a soul and spiritual nature. This occurs through the activity of the kidney system – the organ corresponding to copper. Through the copper process, working via the kidney system, the living substance ripens and becomes sensitive. Man is thereby able to shelter a soul body in himself.’ ’ (Anthroposophical Medicine and its Remedies by Otto Wolff, M.D. 1988 page 36)
Copper is closely bound up in all growth and regenerative or vegetative processes. We treat cut flowers with copper to prolong their life, and once dead, to preserve them. For that reason, we place copper coins (pennies) in vases.
Copper itself, per the Doctrine of Signatures, is plant-like in its form.
Malachite for example has veins and leaf-like surface patterns. Pure copper in its natural state manifests as tiny leaves or trees and in Michigan, “flow copper” can be found in nature ready to take home- no mining required.
Copper is highly conductive and accepts and radiates warmth. Electricity is generated by the relationship of copper and iron (Mars and Venus).
Unlike gold, which is a remote noble metal that avoid co-mingling with other elements, copper is quite promiscuous and, like the goddess of love Venus herself, literally combines with most other substances. Avogadro’s law states that individual elements combine only in simple and multiple proportions, resulting in simple molecular formulae. But copper often seems to contradict this law by forming so-called complex salts. For example, copper combines with ammonia, with the alkaline salts of organic acids, and with sugar and all the carbohydrates to form groups of substances that still present unsolved riddles. She seems too do it “for art’s sake”.
Copper cares little about the logic of chemical laws. Its activity favors the unpredictable where changes and surprises are indulged. Where copper is fickle, iron is steadfast, gold is indifferent, silver restless, tin angry, mercury always in motion and lead sclerosing. Each metal has its therapeutic potential. Copper rules the kidneys.
We see the pure, red metallic copper appearing when copper is desiccated, separated from the fluid element and reduced to the pure metal. This is why artists often depict Venus draped in a blue cloak and a red spirit. For example, we find Botticelli’s painting his sea-born Venus with hair of shining red as she floats on a shell arising from the blue-green ocean waves. On a more reverent note, Raphael’s Sistine Madonna is also cloaked with blue but radiates red beneath.
Even the flame of copper displays this striking color phenomenon, for when copper burns we witness a shining blue green fire but here also dances a red tipped flame.
From Rudolf Steiner.
“That is copper; that is a constituent of the earth.” At that time such a thing would have been inconceivable. Copper was no constituent of the earth for these ancient peoples, but the deed of Venus in the earth which revealed itself as copper.”
For example, one finds that oxide of copper has the greatest imaginable effect upon the Ego-organization of man; it really strengthens it. So, if one gives oxide of copper to a person suffering from Graves’ disease, the effect is that one creates a strong Ego-organization that dominates the stiffened astral body; the oxide of copper comes, as it were, to the rescue of the Ego, and the correct balance is thus restored.
We must start with the fact that the ego-organization needs to be strengthened and the over-activity of the astral body lowered. The former is attained by selecting a remedy that is suitable to support the weakened ego-organization in the digestive tract. Such a remedy is to be found in copper.
And if the activity you find here lies more toward the inside, in the digestive processes beyond the intestinal wall, you will assist this enveloping process by applying copper. This leads us to the ways of using copper, which is included among our remedies. It is generally used in connection with a form of malnutrition manifesting outwardly in disturbances of the circulation that are consequences of the malnutrition. If we are dealing with circulatory disturbances that cannot be regarded as results of malnutrition, then we give gold; if circulatory disturbances are connected with malnutrition, we use copper.
The Anthroposophical Approach to Medicine by Husemann/Wolff volume II. Page 168-173
Substances come to be related to life and death through the polarity of silver and lead, the greatest opposites among the seven metal processes. The merely living substances must be carried so far they can take up soul-spiritual impulses; this uniting element was described as the Mercury process. The transformation of the substances renders them capable of sensation, and it has brought about by the copper process. Inman, it most closely resembles ripening outer nature; the same force is that is active in both. Here, a living substance is subjected to a new kind of transformation that does not entail continuous growth and a new formation of living substance. Rather, it’s transformation and reshaping is necessary for new qualities – color, fragrance, taste, etc., – that can arise as an expression of ripeness. These are signs of an astral impulse and for it to be active, substances must be prepared and made receptive, and this is the task of the copper process.
This is a matter of the opening, yielding and receptive component, which in ancient times was seen as a world force and given the name of Venus. Opposing Venus is Mars, representing the active side, the iron process. The interaction between these two polar processes is much closer than that of the polarity of silver and lead (life and death), and they differ less.
One of the manifold activities of copper is the translation of living substance into blood, in which the ego lives in a special way. Yeah, copper works especially on the Venus side in being more subjected to vegetative life. Relative to the stream of life, the transition from the lymph – glandular realm into the blood takes place here, and the stream of nutrition must also pass through this transformation. The organ in which this occurs is the liver. It takes up the Venus portal blood and is the organ most rich in copper. It’s copper content makes it possible to transform living substances in such a way that they can take up soul-spiritual impulses. Considered physiologically, this is the transition of the liver function into the goal process, that is, the working together of copper and iron. (That the formative impulse of the liver corresponds to the Jupiter tin process is not related to the liver process described here.) This is the basis for the constructive effect of copper therapy which is indicated because of its characteristic effact of furthering the blood formation and ensouling it, in contrast to the silver therapy that vitalizes “only” in the vegetative sense.
In lymphatic children the vitality is congested and improperly permeated by the soul – spiritual. This can be an indication of a disturbance in the Mercury process. In so far as there is also a relative malnutrition and inadequate astralization, copper is also indicated. After puberty, which is a physiologic astralization, this condition often improves. With the help of the corresponding constitutional therapy the situation can be transformed before puberty. Copper occurs earlier in organic evolution than iron. Although the mollusks and other lower animals utilize hemocyanin, which contains copper, in respiration, the higher animals and man have replaced copper with iron. Nevertheless, copper prepares the place in which iron can be active in them. Copper hands over the metabolism to the forces of iron, making room for them, so that an astralization is made possible. Nice, copper is also therapeutically effective in the formation of blood. Certainly, it cannot replace an iron deficiency, but it may well improve conditions so that iron can find its “place”. Rush, all hypochromic anemias are an expression of a disturbance in the copper process. Experimental and clinical evidence have confirmed the significance of copper therapy that was earlier recognized by homeopathy in these forms of anemia.
Copper also stimulates hydrochloric acid production in the stomach to produce conditions better suited to iron obstruction. These forms of a possibly genuine iron deficiency are, however, disturbances of the copper process and therefore can be approach therapeutically with copper. Copper is not always specific enough, however. What is needed is copper that has been changed in the direction of iron, that is cobalt, who’s organic compound, vitamin B 12, is more specific in pernicious anemia than copper.
In nature, Coble often occurs in the company of arsenic as a mineral – smaltite and cobaltite. The astral body is addressed by arsenic and is led into the blood forming realm by cobalt. Here there are certainly still many untried possibilities for therapy.
The genetic priority of copper is also shown in embryonic development. The continuous increase of serum copper during pregnancy corresponds to the rise of blood copper level in the embryo up to the fifth or sixth fetal month. Then the iron forces, whose place of activity has been prepared by copper in the build-up of blood cells, begins to predominate. From what has been said, it will be understood the copper predominates in the constitution of women as compared to that of men.
Special mention should be made of the relationship of copper to warmth and life. As can be directly experienced, the element of warmth is connected with expansion, a greater capacity to absorb, etc. Thus, the copper process affords a foundation that stimulates warmth formation and distribution. Cuprum per Melissa or Melissa Cuprum Culta especially work this way by distributing and forming warmth. The activity of light in the organism, is connected with the formation of color and the metabolism of pigments, is also a copper process. Here, however, the coworking of iron can hardly be separated. Firstly, through their working together the human color the Inkarnat develops. The production and distribution of melanin, particularly in its preformed stages, and disturbances such as vitiligo, are subject to the copper process (melanin develops with the participation of copper and iron as catalysts). Plus, brunettes are more amenable to copper therapy and iron is more frequently indicated in blondes; this however is only a general rule. In brunettes, and astral impulse can often not be taken up properly, which resulted in secondary disturbances.
Has been described how the copper process makes possible the correct interaction of the astral body by creating the basis for its action and opening substances and organs to it. This provides the indication for the use of copper in all kinds of cramping states. A cramp is based on the intervention of the astral body with the wrong dynamics, in a manner inappropriate to the organ or function. Because the astral body is unable to work into the metabolism of the substances, it secondarily attacks in the wrong way, that is, with the dynamics of the nerve-sensory system, which in the metabolic region leads to a contraction, a cramp.
Copper therapy extends particularly to the transformations and changes of chronic states, less so too cute states, and it is for this reason that it is indicated in stomach and pyloric spasms, leg cramps, pertussis, asthma, spastic constipation, epilepsy, etc. it can be applied locally as an ointment, but above all Melissa Cuprum Culta is purposeful at first; this can be followed by Cuprum prep.
Chamomillam cuprum cultum particularly enhances the anti-spasmodic affect of chamomile; that is, the dampening of the excessively strong kidney radiations. Nicotianum cuprum culta is especially interesting. Nicotiana is a plant in which a strong astral activity becomes substantial in the formation of nicotine. Through this preparation, the anti-spasmodic effective of copper is brought to activity, especially in the metabolism.
Because of its connection with the venous system, and also in its antispasmodic affect, copper is indicated in edematous swellings, venous thromboses, crural ulcers, flat feet, hemorrhoids and in peripheral vascular problems or circulatory disturbances. It maintains blood in the living flow.
It is possible to guide the copper process with various compounds. Copper sulfate enhances the constructive processes and is also active in the intestinal region in spastic constipation, for example. Cuprum aceticum is especially indicated in pertussis and asthma. In order to work inward, the carbonates are indicated such as malachite D6 trit. which is naturally occurring copper carbonate, and as an injection to treat ventricular and duodenal ulcers. Silica compounds such as dioptase, which is a natural copper silicate, work on the periphery, the skin, sense organs and nervous system and are therefore helpful in nervous elements which until spasms such as myoclonias (D30). The combination of arsenic and copper, olive night, works particularly on the astral body and leads it into the copper region, hence into the venous circulation and the kidney system. Therefore, it is especially indicated leg cramps, status vericosus, hypogenitalism, and cryptorchidism. Natural copper mineral also containing mercury and antimony is tetrahedrite (fahlor), which has an ordering (Hg, Sb)and anabolic Cu) action on glandular metabolism as a salve (0.4% and trit. D3).
And untransformed astral impulse that has not been taken up properly is also present when there is an excessive sensitivity to the world of the dead, that is, if a connection with a person who has died does not continue properly. This can result in cramp like abdominal pains and an ulcerative colitis, but such pains can also have other causes. Copper ointment applied to the region of the stomach, and also Cuprum D6 can bring about a healing effect.
An expression of a natural body that is working excessively strongly and cannot be received and transformed properly by the organism is the basis of hyper-thyroidism or Graves’ disease. With the rising basal metabolism and the increased warmth, there is also a rise in serum copper. This rice is not an expression of the illness, but in attempt of the organism to help itself in dealing with the fundamental disturbance. Copper is able to detoxify thyroxin, that is, to limit the breakdown of thyroxin. In addition, along with hypothyroidism there is an excessive sympathetic tonus. The ergotropic, destructive forces are predominant. Call Per, however, works Paris sympathetically, so that there is an antagonism between thyroid activity and the copper process.
In thyroid toxemia, and Graves’ disease, the copper processes best stimulated by Cuprite D3, which is copper oxide. This is indicated more in light skinned and blonde individuals, while the sulfur combinations Chalkosin D3 – D6 are indicated for dark skinned brunettes. Cuprum sulfuricum D6 can also enhance copper buildup. Thereby, the breakdown activity of the thyroid is counterbalanced and the excessively strong shooting of the astral forces into the organism is diminished. Furthermore in by far most cases, and elevation of the copper serum level is not a pathological symptom, but in attempt at self healing by the organism. So, for example, and abnormal elevation of the copper level can be found in schizophrenia, manic depression, multiple sclerosis, carcinoma, etc. Characteristically, and carcinoma the iron values frequently behave reciprocal. The elevated copper values point to the organisms attempt to permit a more proper working of the astral body and iron. A therapeutic complement to copper is magnesium. Both substances show a polar relation to iron and have a spasmolytic action, stimulating or protecting the ether body.
The system is formed from the forces of the Venus copper process. It’s task is to switch the breakdown impulses of the nervous system into a guided constructive stream that is equivalent to an astralization and ensoulment of the living substance. This is then actually the task of a copper process and is the reason why copper is of central importance for kidney therapy. These conditions are presented in detail in the chapter on the kidney.
Finally, vitamin B1 can be considered a carrier or mediator of the copper process (as has been presented in detail by Wolff, O (Beitr. Erw. Heilkst 1955 p 26).
In the fullest meaning of the word, the copper process mediates constructively taking over of the astral body into the ether body. This is exactly the function of the kidney, and it is therefore formed by and built from these forces. Since the air element is the carrier of the astral body, and the water is element is that of the ether body, it can be said that bringing air in water together and thus producing foam occurs through activity of the copper process.
Times the past, these relationships were represented in picture form. The copper forces were experienced as a reality of the world and the names Venus or Aphrodite were given to them. They are realm of activity was in the interaction of air and water, and they were seen as having been born from the form. They were most strongly experienced on the island of Cyprus. The name Cuprum or copper reminds one of that and the metal can also be found on that island.
The Anthroposophical Approach to Medicine by Husemann/Wolff volume II. Page 251-297
The renal and genital systems are placed symmetrically in the organism, something that is unique in the region below the diaphragm. It has been shown how the outer form of the human organism is symmetrically structured, and how internal symmetry can be found only in the nervous system. Asymmetry rules the metabolic system and is related essentially to the nature of life. The structures of the inner organs for many steps in the transition from the symmetry found in the nervous system to the asymmetry of the organs below the diaphragm. Here, however, the urogenital system is an exception. It is symmetrically structured, which shows that even though it’s organs are part of the metabolic system, they originate from another region than the neighboring organs. The nervous system.
The one hand the kidneys are the typical metabolic organs. On the other, they continue to show their dynamic connection to the nervous system. They are also located extra pair of Taneli and actually belong not in the region below the diaphragm but above it. In the formation of the kidneys one gets the impression that the idea for them comes from the nervous system but their material is formed from the metabolic system.
Cortisol is the main cortex hormone approximately 70%. The peculiarity of the substances consists in the fact that they are clearly connected to the astral body but are yet active anabolically.
In the adrenal gland the anabolism of the cortex and the catabolism of them to Doula come into contact in the most intimate way and in the smallest space. The anatomical structure shows that the catabolic pole is encompass by the anabolic, the substance of which also predominates. Touch the adrenal gland is a predominantly anabolic rather than catabolic organ. Nevertheless when the catabolic effect of the astral body is led by way of the nervous system into the of the organ, it can be understood in terms of its entire structure that the principally destructive impulse is to be overcome by anabolism and to come to an end.
The human form never comes about by pure catabolism or anabolism, but anabolism must always be preceded by catabolism. This is a distinguishing characteristic of the way of life of unsold organisms.
Through its plant like function the liver formed primarily carbohydrates glycogen but the impulse four protein formation stems from the kidney system which transmits the samples to the liver via the adrenal cortex.
As regards to chronic stress animals will die of uremia that’s the pathological condition of these animal’s kidneys can be seen to be similar to that of human kidneys in shock. Definite damage to the kidney can be caused by psychogenic shock. Here the catabolic astral impulse does not penetrate merely to the adrenal medulla but right through the kidney.
Embryo logically the male gonads differentiate earlier, whereas those of the female remain longer in an undifferentiated state. The corresponding correlate to this great attention is the descent of the testes which makes possible the strong emphasis on the nerves and system.
This polar connection is well known, especially in the animal realm. The atlas of the deer remains of the lions in the more colorful feathers are male attributes. In antlers, also, many gonadal hormones have been found. With the testes of the deer are destroyed by injuries normal growth of antler ceases…. In Man there is no external correlate, like antlers. It is in the nature of man to restrain what occurs organically in the animal. He does not permit it to develop so that the formative forces not used in the organic realm become free and accessible for the unfolding of the spirit. For this reason the development in the male leads to a more differentiated structuring of the nervous system in a much more acute but narrower object oriented thinking.
Since contemporary thinking always precedes linearly and contemplation of polarities as represented by God to remain foreign to this thinking, the attempts to understand biological events almost always consider only bodily regions. Thus, there has been a plethora of explanations of ritual circumcision as hygienic prophylaxis. That may be one aspect, but ritual acts of earlier times were never restricted to biological aspects. One can see an enhancement of the out of the genital area in circumcision; this also intensifies the tension between it and the nervous system in terms of enhanced intellectualism. Thus the union with the earths forces becomes evermore enhanced and strengthened.
Kidney polar processes
What occurs here on the physical plane has its correlates in the polarity of avariciousness and wastefulness, joy and sadness, excitement and dullness etc. in the psychological realms. The entire life of the soul is structured in polarities that are the transformations of the arc typical polarity of sympathy and antipathy. As a member of man’s being, it is the astral body that lives in these polarities. In the kidneys is the polarity of excretion and absorption, dilution in concentration, in which the activity of the astral body is obvious and manifest.
Potassium is the substance through which the etheric (life) forces can become active in water, while sodium makes it possible for the astral (death?) forces to rule over the water organism. The interaction of the astral body in the water organism does takes place in the kidneys – more exactly through the cortex of the adrenals by way of aldosterone and sodium.
Tests for your doctor to order are: CBC and differential, serum copper, ceruloplasmin, serum zinc, serum retinol, serum 1,25 OH-vit D, serum iron, Total iron binding capacity(TIBC), serum ferritin, serum transferrin, plasma zinc, red blood cell (RBC) magnesium.
Best book on Copper is CU-re: your fatigue. how balancing 3 minerals and 1 protein is the solution that you’re looking for. By Morley M. Robbins