A.Vogel plant encyclopaedia

Kalium bichromicum

Potassium dichromate


Kalium bichromicum - Potassium dichromate

Chromium (Cr) was discovered by Vauquelin in 1797. The name chromium comes from the Greek word, chroma, meaning "colour". Large deposits of the most important chromium ore, chromite or chromium iron ore can be found in India, South Africa, Russia, New Zealand and Turkey.

Potassium dichromate is produced synthetically and was at one time used at dying plants as an oxidising agent for aniline dyes, as a bleaching agent used during the tanning of leather; for paints such as chrome yellow, chrome orange, red and green; it was used to produce bichromate elements in batteries but also in photography. Potassium dichromate was used medicinally as an astringent, an antiseptic, a cauterising agent in the treatment of warts and as an antiperspirant foot-powder. Use of this highly toxic substance lead to cases of poisoning, which were accompanied by infections of the nasal mucous membrane and its disintegration, painless perforation of the nasal septum, increased salivation characterised by ulcers on the tonsils, the throat, the uvulae and along the entire digestive tract as well as neuralgic pain.

Heavy, pale-haired people working in English factories were particularly susceptible to potassium dichromate. The number of cases of bichromate of potash poisoning in industrial environments came to the attention of a homeopath, Dr. J.J. Drysdale. He conducted tests on this substance and introduced it to homeopathic medical annals in 1844. Austrian homeopath Arneth's "Physiological Examination of Potassium Dichromate" including 14 examiners and potencies ranging from D1 to C12 conducted in 1847 still forms the basis of what we know about the medicine today.

Physical characteristics

Potassium dichromate, which has the molecular formula K2Cr2O7, forms large bright orange-red, odourless, prismatic crystals. These crystals dissolve slightly in cold water, much better in warm water but not at all in alcohol. The watery solution has a slightly acidic reaction. It is a strong oxidising agent. The toxicity of the substance should be particularly emphasised: a dose of  between 0,5 to 1 g is fatal. Its molecular weight is 294,2.


Potassium dichromate does not occur naturally. It is produced  electrolytically by a reaction of a sodium dichromate solution with potassium chloride according to the formula Na 2Cr2O7 + 2 KCl = K2Cr2O7 + 2 NaCl.


A.Vogel/Bioforce uses a homeopathic tituration in accordance with the actual HAB made from pure potassium dichromate.

Official designation

Kalium bichromicum



Bichromate of potash

Potassic dichromate

Potassium bichromate

Red chromate of potash