From Essentia Magazine Winter 1981 Vol.2
The Wonders of Antimony
By Frater Albertus
Antimony in its natural form displays an exceptional external appearance. Its ray-like extension in every direction impresses us as a manifestation of energy from a core of enormous potency. There is no metal known that appears in nature like antimony. Several minerals have similar characteristics (uranium ore, for example, which is known to contain enormous amounts of energy, sometimes has an antimonial appearance) but no mineral displays the outstanding spear-like luster of antimony.
However, to the average person antimony is of little significance. One may have heard of it as an elemental metal, being of a poisonous nature, like arsenic, but beyond this usually little is known. As to any medicinal value of this poison, even less emerges. What, then, is so wonderful about antimony?
The ancients knew about antimony, praising it very highly for its hidden medicinal virtues. During medieval times, a rediscovery of these virtues by Basil Valentine and the "father" of modern medicine, Paracelsus, caused considerable renewed interest. Both found antimony to be of extraordinary curative potency and wrote extensively about it. Valentine called antimony one of the Seven Wonders of the World, praising it as the best blood-purifying agent available. He claimed to have used it for the cure of many diseases, including cancer. These claims were substantiated by Dr. Kerkring of Holland about two hundred and fifty years later when he prepared and used antimonial tinctures in his medical practice. Since that time, the Latin translation of Basil Valentineís Triumphal Chariot of Antimony by Dr. Kerkring and subsequent publication in other languages including English have caused considerable interest in antimony and its therapeutic virtues. Unfortunately, attempts to reestablish and confirm these early claims have proven fruitless for a hitherto unexplained reason.
Failure has stalked modern attempts to verify the medicinal potency of antimonial tinctures because of insufficient knowledge of the original alchemistical terminology and symbolism used by Valentine and Paracelsus. When modern chemistry replaced some of the archaic sounding names and symbols with terms that conformed to modern chemical theory, the modern researcher was not able to fathom the true meaning of the original concepts and hence was unable to duplicate the procedures so clearly outlined by Valentine. It is here where the controversy begins, (This does not mean that in former times there were no misconceptions about antimony. On the contrary, ignorance as to how to purify antimony of its powerful poisonous nature so that it could be safely used as a medicine was even in medieval times a stumbling block for those who failed to carefully follow the instructions of the alchemists.)
Contemporary research has established the fact that to unravel some of the alchemistical jargon requires a deep insight into the thought-world of the former alchemists. Only when the meaning of their wording and terminology has been uncovered, a difficult task as there are often great differences from presently established nomenclatures, is it then possible to begin making interpretations and verifications of those results claimed by the alchemists. Those who have made sincere and diligent efforts to establish the validity of the ancient claims about antimony are literally amazed by the diversity of the procedures involved and their results. Then one appreciates why Valentine calls antimony one of the Seven Wonders of the World and states that one personís life is not long enough to explore all the wonders of the substance.
Nevertheless, the claims made by those who say they have accomplished the freeing of the potencies inherent in antimony give rise to many questions. First of all, why is so little known about antimony if it was once so famous? If it has great curative powers, where are the results of these investigations? If antimony preparations do exist, why is more not known about them? Why is this medicine not used to prove its efficaciousness?
There is sufficient literature available about antimony to fill many bookshelves but, unfortunately, modern interest has concentrated on the commercially profitable metallurgical exploitation of this substance. Very few people have made attempts to probe beyond the poisonous characteristics of antimony and master the proper formulation necessary to reveal its medicinal qualities. Evaluations can only be made after the substance to be tested is sufficiently available and there is hardly enough to be had for this serious clinical evaluation. So it is not surprising that so little is known about the wonders of antimony.
For several decades Paracelsus College and its predecessor, The Paracelsus Research Society, have placed considerable emphasis on the preparation of antimony for therapeutic evaluation. Experiments and tests have shown that careful contemplation is required before any laboratory attempts are undertaken. As statements by former alchemists do not find substantiation in modern textbooks and appear from the outset as impossible because of linguistic misunderstandings, modern researchers understandably face difficulties and even shy away from such an undertaking. Nevertheless, considerable progress has been made. Efforts being made continue to produce gratifying evidence and further substantiation of the methods advocated by former alchemists for the production of antimonial tinctures and essences.
To produce medications that have their formerly inherent toxins removed so as to become harmless places a tremendous strain on the novice who wishes to enter into this field of research, particularly when no previous alchemistical studies under competent guidance have been completed. If it was not for the evidence at hand that this can be done, at least to a certain extent, the frustration of present-day researchers would be even greater.
However, if the potencies in antimony are so profound, why has modern medical science not made greater efforts to find out more about it, particularly when small quantities of antimonial tinctures have become available for clinical evaluation? The fact is that attempts to place these tinctures into the hands of those legally qualified to test them have failed because authorities such as the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have no testing reports to pass judgement upon. Such required testing involves enormous amounts of money and time extending over years. Unless other ways and means become available, it looks like the wonders that are hidden in antimony will remain concealed even though Dr. Kerkring proved in his medical practice that much of the suffering of mankind can be alleviated by antimony.
However, modern medical science considers that the cures claimed by Dr. Kerkring are impossible. This prejudice, and the alchemistical connotations of the work of Valentine and Paracelsus, have prevented serious contemporary scientists from researching the area of antimony as a medicinal substance. Whatever the case may be, there is sufficient evidence on hand to prove that non-toxic and beneficial essences and tinctures can be prepared from antimony. What is lacking is only appropriation and approval by those qualified to legalize medicines. Only in such a way can the Wonders of Antimony be made available to suffering mankind.