A.Vogel plant encyclopaedia

Ferrum phosphoricum

Iron Phosphate


Ferrum phosphoricum - Iron Phosphate

The word iron derives from the Celt-Iberian word isarno. The Gothic isarn meant «solid metal» in contrast to soft bronze. It appears related to the Latin ira, which means «wrath», and would thus mean «wrathful, powerful metal». In Old English, the words «iren» and «isern» were both used. In the astrological sign language customarily used to designate substances in antiquity and in the Middle Ages, iron had the sign for Mars, a circle with an arrow pointing toward the upper right   today also the symbol of maleness. In 1814, the Swedish chemist Berzelius gave iron the abbreviation Fe, from the Latin ferrum.

Phosphoricum is derived from the Greek phósphoros, which means «light-bearing». Phosphorus does not occur in pure form in nature, but always in compounds. Elemental phosphorus is a wax-soft, white, translucent mass with a characteristic odor. Freshly-cut surfaces are yellowish. Exposed to the air, it oxidizes to phosphorus pentoxide, accompanied by chemolumenescence (light generated by chemical processes, also called phosphorescence) and the generation of heat. Above 50° C, phosphorus combusts spontaneously, so it is stored under water. There are at least three allotropic modifications, each with its own color. Phosphorus, symbolized with a P, was discovered in Hamburg in 1669 by the alchemist Hennig Brand while distilling from urine mixed with sand. Lavoisier recognized phosphorus as an element. Ferrum phosphoricum is one of the twelve original   tissue or function salts in the biochemical healing method developed by the homeopathic doctor Wilhelm Schüssler between 1872 and 1898.

Physical characteristics

Iron phosphate is a yellow-whitish, tasteless, water-insoluble powder with the molecular formula FePO4 and a molecular weight of 222.88.


Iron is probably the earth's most common element and occurs in many granites and sediments. Due to its high ability to react, phosphorus is never found in pure, elemental form, but rather in stable phosphates such as apatite, phosphorite, etc. [1].


Iron phosphate is produced by pouring together 10 weight units of a 1% solution of iron chloride, 10 weight units of a 1% solution of sodium phosphate, and 20 weight units of water. The resulting precipitate is washed until the runoff can no longer be turbided with silver nitrate solution. Then it is dried at room temperature on clay plates.

The homeopathic potencies are produced according to the HAB 1 by trituration with lactose. Fluid potencies are dynamized manually.

Properties and action

Iron is an important trace element, essential for human, animal, and plant organisms. It is required in the formation of hemoglobin and for the respiratory and oxygen-related processes of living tissue. The body of a 70 kg adult contains about 4.2 g of iron, of which about 70% is bonded in hemoglobin. About 4% is found in myoglobin (red muscle pigment) and smaller amounts in the enzyme catalase, in ferritin, transferrine, myosin (muscle protein), and cytochrome [1,2].

Mixtures of diverse hydrogenated iron salts and hydrogenated iron oxides are used prophylactically and therapeutically in allopathy (conventional medicine) for iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia often results from severe loss of blood (for example, cue to ulcerous or tumorous gastro-intestinal diseases, menorrhagias, metorrhagias, hemorrhoids), poor nutrition, pregnancy, or parasitical infections, and, seldom, malabsorption. Vegetarians who drink large amounts of pekoe tea are often subject to iron deficiency due to the formation of insoluble iron (III) gallotannate complexes. Although the organism responds relatively quickly to ingested iron, long-range success depends on eliminating the causes of the deficiency [2].

Phosphorus is an essential mineral in the formation of tooth and bone substances, for the transmission of nerve impulses, for muscle activity, and as a buffer substance in blood and tissue fluids. It is a building block of the nucleic acids and some vitamins, including Vitamin B1 and B6.

In homeopathy, Ferrum phosphoricum is considered an outstanding tissue salt. It strengthens the cell walls of the blood vessels. Freely circulating, oxygen-rich blood is decisive for health. Treatment with Ferrum phosphoricum should thus always be considered [3].

It is indicated in general weakness, after the cessation of bleeding, and in the tendency to feverish respiratory tract catarrhs, especially with initial feverish and inflammatory conditions [5].

Indications / Traditional uses

Proven indications
The areas of indication correspond to the homeopathic medication profile.

This includes: feverish, inflammatory diseases of the respiratory organs; bleedings and their consequences; rheumatic diseases of the spine and shoulder joints [6].
Traditional uses
Inflammatory conditions such as meningitis, pleuritis, peritonitis, inflammations of the oral mucous membrane, middle ear inflammations; menstrual colics and bleedings such as nosebleeds; diarrhea, summer diarrhea, vomiting; incontinence [5]. In the therapy of anemic conditions and geriatric complaints [3].

Official designation

Ferrum phosphoricum (Hom.)



Ferroso-Ferric Phosphate