Spagyric Medicine vegetable/mineral/metallic

By Patrick Rivière

Translated in English from French publication by Mezarek,1999

La Médecine Spagyrique


We are proud to present this synthetic study of the Spagyric Medicine from PARACELSUS,unfortunately not well know by the public.

No one was best placed than our old friend Patrick Rivière to cover up this deficiency and bring to the neophyte the keys allowing him to follow up Paracelsus footsteps.

Do not expect from that book that all arcanum be disclosed ,neither from another one.

The Spagyric medicine ,application of alchemic principles to medecine itself , is a whole initiatory way. And if the alchimists were impassioned and are still impassioned by metal transmutation and perfection, the main subject of their researches was first the quest and the knowledge of laws and mysteries that govern life and condition sickness or health.

Because most of the alchemists were first spagyric doctors ,concerned by the humbly contribution they could give to relieve the troubles of human condition through the holy science.

Paracelsus is totally placed in this hermetic line.

More than his predecessors he gave to the alchemic research a medical trend and he particulary developed the spagyric medicine that owes its name. Like Prométhée who carried off the sacred fire from the Olympus gods ,he brought to men the basis of a new medicine, different in its wide principles from the medicine of Hypocrates and Galien.

Famous for the numerous successes he had in curing illnesses considered at that time as very difficult to cure ,Paracelsus work remained however, misunderstood.

Hahnemann himself pretended to take inspiration from Paracelsus medicine in the elaboration of his homeopatic theory. He got totally lost in his interpretation,but this takes nothing away of the importance of his discoveries.

Like a flame burning under the bushel ,the spagyric medicine came nevertheless to us,maintened by the unselfish and laborious work of a handful of researchers.

Rhumelius,Van Helmont brothers,Tollius ,Kerkring ,Von Bernus and today P.Rivière are these men.They are all in the line of Paracelsus ,himself dignified heir of the famous B.

Valentin, who has been in our opinion, the greatest Master, unequalled as of today.

The latter turned his spagyric researches into the mineral kingdom and was the first to establish the antimoniated therapeutic ,which remained used until the beginning of the 20th century.But only the spagyrists were able to use conveniently, on the therapeutic grounds ,the metalloïd king (regulus) with all the necessary fineness and subtlely.

With regards to laboratory works ,the searchers that were more specifically concerned by the metallic transmutation are laudable too. We cannot at this stage forget to mention the names of our old master E.Canseliet and Fulcanelli, and we cannot acceptthat they are calumniated by modern pseudo-alchemists, not very srupulous, and without any restraint.And to our dear men of science who estimate that modern Science and Tradition are incompatible, we would like to remind that Fulcanelli, "Violet Gentleman "was precisely at this crossing. Reputed scientist of the end of last century, he nevertheless remained famous through his alchemic works, which gave him incontestably the title of greatest philosopher by the fire (philosophus per ignem)of that time.

But leaving behind these digressions, if we had to define shortly Paracelsus Medicine, we could say that it is a traditional holistic medicine as much as a philosophy which considers man as being a microcosm inseparable from his macroscopic environment and in total interference whit it.

Each illness appears therefore like a vibratory disharmony, a dissonance necessitating, when the auto-cure process is outdated, appeal to quintessenced preparations able to restore the harmony and contribute to the return on the recovery ground. In this way the spagyry presents a certain relationship whit homeopathy (and other holistic medicine).

Nevertheless,it alienates from it in other areas and precisely to find out some common basis with galien herbal medicine, ancestor of the current allopathy.

In fact, more than located between these two big blocks which venomously compete and fight against each other since two centuries(medicine of consideration and of contraries /medicine of tiny and of resemblance), the spagyric medicine exceed these dilemmas to better integrate and make the synthesis of them. Some will hurry up to pretend that these are partisans and crimp statements. We want to endeavor in the area granted to us to demonstrate that they mistake.

Hahnemann refers to the notion of pathogeny, around which is built the homeopathic theory. Paracelcus refers, as far as is concerned, to the theory of similar,based on a system of analogical correspondences between man and universe, inside a cosmogonic vision governed by astrology or rather astrosophy (science of astral signatures).

Like that, blood illness have, according to Paracelcus approach, a planetary signature of Mars.

Mars, god of war, is traditionally associated to the red color, color of blood, of anger, of emotions...Well then, iron, traditionally connected to Mars, especially on the basis of the red color of its oxide, appears to be a fundamental element of the blood haemoglobin, making it the prestigious treatment of the shortage aneamia. Ancients did not know, neither explain concretly the foundation of the relationship existing between iron and blood ;nevertheless they had felt, by analogy, the importance that could have the iron in some blood illnesses (anaemia), were there was a shortage of Mars (paleness, aesthenia, rapid and fluid pulse...)

In the vegetal kingdom, the adepts of Paracelcus medicine have also tried to establish analogical correspondences between medicinal plants and their therapeutic properties. St John's wort was particularly appreciated for its haemostatic virtues.

As its sleeves, says to us Leclerc, are pierced of holes and its flowers let exude a blood-red sap, the adepts of the medicine of signatures did with it a specific of all the injuries bringing on a solution of continuity with loss of blood.These surgeons from Montpellier used it like a woundwort not similar to any one else " .

Some doctors begin to be sensitive to this type of medico-philisophical approach . P.Franchomme, in his striking book " Aromatherapy exaclty ",establishes further to his pharmaco-clinic experience a correlation between the level of action of the plant (nervous system,rhythmic system, metabolism and reproduction)and its color.

Like this, violet and blue essential oils, with negative molecules,high mobility, appear to be quieting, appeasing,where as red essentials oils,with positive molecules and reduced mobility appear generally with tonic and stimulating properties. In between the two extremes of the sun spectrum are all the intermediaries.

This modern approach of the pharmacopoeia through the plants as envisioned by Franchomme, is totally in accordance to Paracelsus'one.The latter distributes medicinal plants in seven groups,each group being governed by one of the seven planets, and each planet being in relation with one of the seven colors of the rainbow.

The color was an important criterion in the attribution to a plant of a planetary signature but not the only one.Other criterion had their importance :the form of the plant,its smelling its biotope.

We are far away from the system of similar and the pathogeny of Hahneman.It is true that this system is attractive on the intellectual ground, but it is very easy to be lost in it, even for a confirmed homeopath.

The big dilemma, center of homeopath discussions,is to know if we have to privilege or not a high dilution rather than a low dilution. It is wiped out, as far as Spagyry is always turned to the composed and asserts that it is not necessary to dilute a substance to the infinite (cf. Korsakov dilution 1/10 puissance 1000) to increase its field and depth of action. The spagyric experience demonstrates that easily.

To finish, this bring us to raise an issue that takes us particularly to heart, the one of mineral elements, which are present as traces in spagyric tincture. The presence of these micro nutrients or trace elements (area of the composed) flow directly and specifically from the spagyric way of preparation. Micro-nutrients(Cu, Zn, Si, Mg...) have a considerable action as modifier or corrector of the field, as well on a structural point of view as plastic material, as on a functional point of view as bio-catalyst of enzymatic reaction necessary to any life (1).

Before the fashion phenomenon takes possession of this issue, Von Bernus had intuitively the feeling of its importance.

To better understand, we will take only one example, the one of horsetail. The incorporation in the tincture of soluble and insoluble salt contribute to considerably enrich its content in mineral salts (especially silica) and therefore it mineralizing power.

As a matter of fact, the vegetal spagyric elixir (from the arabic el iksir,the essence)is characterized more than any other galien or homeopathic pharmaceutical preparation by the extend of its range of action, which is located at three different levels :

1° symptomatic level (sulphur) :

· Area of action of the herbal medicine and aromatherapy (allopathy)

· Short time effect and with limited duration, in relation with the presence of active principles (alkaloid, flavonoid, terpenes, etc).

Here,it has to be noted the importance that spagyrists give to the problem of " vaporization of salt ", formula that constitute in the modern chemistry, a total nonsense, by virtue of the steady character that is peculiar to the saline compound. The processes of salts vaporization constitute in the microcosm spagyrico-alchemic, a major arcanum, preciously guarded. Any alchemist by dry way knows the importance of the nitrous and volatile salt of dew, that Altus, in the light of the precious comments of E.Canseliet, reveals charitably the process of fabrication.The analysis of this compound reveals the presence of sulphur inhibited with aerial niter. This sulphur increases the flux qualities of the salt in the melting pot, and adds in the medico-spagyric area removing toxicity properties to the vascular dilatation and cardio-tonic properties.

2° energetic level (mercury) :

· Area of action of homeopathy.

· Variable term of action.

· In relation with the vibratory quality of the product and the receptivity of the patient.

3° structural and biocatalyst level (salt) :

· Area of action of micro-nutritionist medicine (micro-nutrients).

· Durable and in depth correction of the field.

· Long term effect (several months).

· Reconstitution of the mineral reserves of the organism (Mg,Si,Mn,Cu,Zn,Co,...) necessary to the life due to their structural and biocatalyst action.

This tripartition of sulphur,salt and mercury principles on the basis of Paracelsus pharmacopoeia, is also the foundation of the holistic approach of the patient. Because if the spagyry is interested by the illness as a nosologic entity, it does not neglect to be interested like we have seen in the field that was favorable for the emergence of the illness.

Develop that kind of concepts is not our purpose here, but we invite the reader of this study to consult, for his benefit,Paracelsus's Medicine (2), Patrick Riviere, and to let himself be driven along the winding sandy paths taken by lady Nature...


Patrick Riviere,Paracelcus's Medicine, Editions Traditionnelles Paris,1988.


Dear friend reader,

This little book of a relative simplicity, is for everyone, sick or healthy, therapist or modest " curious of science " that we all are when talking about health.

Who of us has never experienced illness ?

Who will dare to deny that the most precious good that life has given to us is physical, moral and mental health?

Therefore,why is disease existing, this earthly testing which has mercy only on a few of us ?Has disease a meaning, an aim ?

Therapists should be able to help us to find an answer to this question, in order to put in place at the best recovery forces that are in each of us. Disease is not related to destiny or to chopper of fatality, it can be defined as the consequence of an offense (or disobedience) to the laws of Nature. This conception of the medicine is sincerely different from what is taught nowadays !

Nevertheless this current impulse for natural medicines reflects the deep and sincere need to return to sources of life from which man feels to be cut off.

Then, how to find again these curing forces of natural or medical Nature, that were so venerated by ancients.

Where are these virtues (translate today this word by :specific vital energy) of natural remedies whose active principles of our modern chemists are no more than cadavers not very digestible by our suble organism, and that have numerous and often dangerous consequences ? There are named secondary effects,precautions of use, counter-indications...and everybody knows them.

Of course doctors are every day more conscious of the risk and a number of them are progressively coming to homeopathy and energetic or holistic medicines, what is fundamental and in line with the primum non nocere - first not cause damage - prescribed by Hypocrates, undisputed father of medicine.

Today, we are lucky that some searches, like the writer of this book, have taken the action of " knowledge " of ancients and give us their secret : the Spagyric Medicine.

Here is therefore the revelation of a curing method, in total identity with Nature, whose goal is to cure the deep cause of disease and not the apparent effects named symptoms. This science is part of the tomorrow's progresses just as much as it has been secretly guarded in the past.

Nothing new under the sun says tha adage. Man only has changed and we have unfortunately lost since a couple of centuries the notion of a world not perceptible to the sense organs.

Nevertheless, modern technology demonstrates to us the permanent reality of subtle energies : who should dare to contest the existence of transmission of images and sounds in the air whereas television is entered into daily life ?

Of course ancients hadn't television nor any computer, spaceship, scanner...but they had an inside understanding of Life that allows to go a lot farther than all our modern technology.Nothing prevents us to unite the ancients Knowledge with the today's technology !...

To come back to spagyric medicine, we will discover that is PARACELSUS, during the XVI° century, who indicated its principles, its preparation and action rules.

Likewise, he composed the word Spagyry, contraction of two dynamic verbs apparently contradictory in greek : separate and unite !

The objective of this book is to open our eyes and understand beyond our intellect, that Life forces are within our reach for the happiness and health of all.

Also, I would like to express my gratitude and my admiration for this work that realizes Patrick Riviere, as much in his laboratory of research than in his work.

He is bearing a message of hope for the future, thanks to this progressand the experience he acquired in the labyrinth of Knowledge, and he gives us its fruits to share,in the light of Nature according to PARACELSUS expression.



Natural medicine which pays particular attention to the " vital principle in all things ", Spagyry is a valuable help to the ones who make the effort of penetrating its principles, in order to keep or acquire a good health.

It is of considerable interest for the official medical science, because it alloys the natural substance from a vegetal or mineral origin, to a harmonious treatment in order to elaborate nutritious complements and vital medications.

No synthetic chemistry can reproduce such medicinal preparations. Only a technology adapted to the requirements of Nature can allow obtaining these dynamic products which have beyond all doubt a great therapeutic value.

Not well known because often not understood, these processes of elaboration have nevertheless crossed a lot af eras, before arriving to us.

So, nowadays, we can still put into practice these processes, coming from the old ages, which all the more are ,thanks to the technical progress, opened to improvement.

We are at a time when we evoke energizing Medicine as much as holistic Medicine,envisioning man in his global dimension, and use field therapy to prevent and cure illnesses.It is more than necessary to be deliberatly oriented toward the harmonious and natural Spagyric medicine, that offers prospect of a healthy and balanced organism, thanks to a constantly adapted mineralizing therapy.


Spagyry is a natural medicine from which results, as we have just seen, an adapted pharmacopoeia, and this term of Spagyry (Spagyria) has been used for the first time by the famous Renaissance doctor: Théophrast Bombast de Hohenheim-so-called PARACELSUS(1493-1541) (Cf.Patrick Riviere:Alchemy and Spagyry:from the Great Oeuvre to Paracelsus Medicine,ed.De Neustrie 1986.Paracelsus Medicine,Editions Traditionnelles 1988)

The originality of the work of this out of ordinary figure figure makes no doubt. The love that his father Willhelm von Hohenheim-doctor and instructor at mines school of Villach-had for Nature was certainly beside it.

Indeed,long hikes often led them both above the Etzel, until villages located on the borders of the lake of Zurich.They should have wander more then once through old forests of larches marking out the Bleiberg road, on the Doberatch slopes, in order to observethe different aspects of ores.

So, the young Theophrast - future PARACELSUS- was very early in contact with what he will call later on the great laboratory of nature...

Following his studies at Ferrare University as well as at Bâle Univesity and far to be satisfied with his first observations, he started travelling a lot in Europe,Germany and, Hungary, Denmark, Suede, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

He didn't hesitate to write on this subject: "A doctor must be a traveler because he has to investigate the world. The experiences are not enough.Experience must verify what can be accapted or not. Knowledge is the experience".

"Illnesses wander all over tthe earth, don't stay at the same place. If a man wish to understand them, he has to wander too. Travels instruct more than immobility at home".

These are the travels that permitted him to be familiarized with the operative alchemy of ancients, science that has been so much decried since then, because of the caricatured image of gold makers.

The young doctor had moreover already begun some works going in that way, with alchemists,from Sigismond Fuger to Schwatz.

"Alchemy-he said -does not consist in making gold and silver; its goal is to produce sovereign essences and to employ them to cure illnesses.

Peter Ramus wrote on this purpose:

"Paracelsus entered into the deepest nooks of the nature, explored them and knewhow to see,through their shapes the metals powers, their origins, with a so fine penetration, that he knew how to extract new remedies".

It is how he was brought to apply laws of alchemy in the medical area under an innovative generic term: Spagyria (spagyry) to designate the wole alchemical therapies.

And it is thanks to this revolutionary medicine, far from the ones of HIPPOCRATES and GALIEN, that PARACELSUS widely contributed at his time to arrest a number of curses like pest, nervous diseases, epilepsy, hysteria,etc...(Paracelsus wrote a number of books during his life, like the Paragranum, the Paramirum, About Epilepsy,About invisible illnesses and their causes...also Archidoxes of Alchemy Book, etc...).So, it can still be red on his grave:

"The one who made disappear by his marvelous art cruel wounds, leprosy, gout, dropsy, and other incurable illnesses".

"Qui ira illa vulnera :lepram,podagram, hydropisin,aliaque, insanabila corporis contagia mirifica arte sustulit".

During all his life, he didn't stopped astonishing - and even shocking - the Faculty of Medicine, especially Bâle's one,upsetting most of the doctors by the originality of his works and his conclusions,which is, in itself, not much surprising.

We can rightfully ask the following question:


The signification given by the etymology of the word spagyria is the following:extract (spao) and combine (ageiro). But what's exactly the matter? What shall we separate and combine, and following which metod?

To try to answer to these basic questions, it is fitting to approach hereafter the major theories of the old alchemists:


In the nature, each manifestation is expressed under a biopolarity: male and female, active and passive(+) and negative (-) (the poles of the two conductor wires),fix and volatile. ...

It is the YIN-YANG representing the androgynous egg in the eastern traditions. No value being absolute, the masculine bears in itself traces of feminity and vice versa. It is the same for light and obsurity for the makeup of darkness.


Ancients enjoyed themselves in veiling these "two natures" under the appearence of the Sun and the Moon, or under the mythological aspect of Mars:god of war, or Venus:goddess of love.


In the modern physico-chemistry, a hundred of elements are taken into account, methodically classified in Mendéleïeff table (of periodic classification); but what are like that qualified elements, are in reality only atomic components following an analytic conception, nothing else!

It does not remain less true that we always consider three fundamental states of the Material:solid,liquid and gaseous. This does not fail to be akin to the thinking of ancients on the generic appearance of the elements:

EARTH,WATER and AIR to which is to be added FIRE which allows to go from one to another.

Therefore, when warming a liquid (water element), it becomes vaporized (air element).

It is the same for metallic ores, which, during the fusion, are going from the Earth element to the Water element, before cooling of ore extracted from its matrix.

Solids can therefore be liquefied; liquids can be vaporized and become gas, and gas concentrate into liquids.

According to "Alexander epistle":

"Everything that was of warm quality has been called by ancients:fire;what was dry and hard,earth;what was humid and fluid,water;cold and subtle,air."

The four elements were represented according the following graphs:


(Earth and Water are considered as fixed; Fire as volatile).


In the conception of ancients,the Elements were not only related to physical state of the Material,but also to qualities:warm,cold,humid,dry.

"Warm and dry generate fire;

warm and fluid(or humid) generate air;

cold and fluid generate water;

cold and dry generate earth".

As for establishing a correspondence with the 4 seasons,there was only one step,which the alchemists have crossed cheerfully.Spring nature is humid and warm,in relation with Air element,summer hot and dry, in relation with Fire element ,autumn dry and cold, in relation with Earth element and winter humid and cold, in relation with Water element.


But to these 4 basic ELEMENTS was added a fifth one: the QUINTESSENCE ,the most subtle essence:the fifth one,extracted from the four purified elements.


Paracelsus defined it as follows:

"The quintessence is a certain material extracted from all things that Nature has produced, and from each thing which has a corporial life in itself, a material cleaned of any impurity or mortality in the most subtle way, and separated from all elements. From this, it is evident that the quintessence is, to say everything, a nature, a strength, a virtue, and a medicine at the same time, in fact, enclosed in all things, but from now on, free from any residence and any outer oncorporation"- Fourth book of Archidoxes.

The whole problem therefore consists in extracting this subtle essence.

But how to proceed?

To liberate this Quintessence, it is fitting to approach now the matter of the 3 Spagyric Principles,obscurely raised by ancients (They did deliberatly,to better veil the elaboration of the famous "Philosopher's stone") and so clearly raised by PARACELSUS? like we are going to see.


The alchemist Bernard le Trévisan who echoed the ancients had against these 3 principles hermetic talks:

"Like this is Trinity in unity, and unity in Trinity, because there are bodies; spirit and soul. There also is Sulphur, Mercury and Arsenic (Salt)." (In la parole délaissée)

Like that he evidenced the spiritual analogy between:

The metaphysical conception : Spirit, Soul, Body and the 3 principles linked to material : Mercury, Sulphur, Salt

Of course,we are not talking about metallic mercury (quicksilver), neither common sulphur, nor cooking salt, but 3 PRINCIPLES.

Being specified that these 3 principles were confined inside the 4 elements, the alchemist Michel Sendivogius expressed, as for him, his mind, more concrete:

-with regards to Mercury "Mercury is a ventilated and rare spiritual solution, swollen with a little bit of Sulphur, and the nearest instrument of the natural warmness ..."

-with regards to Sulphur "Sulphur is a fat and oily principle that links the other principles,completly different..."

-with regards to Salt "Salt is a things substance and a fixed principle comparable to the element of the earth.It nourishes Sulphur and Mercury which act on it".

The following graphs have been chosen to represent these 3 principles:




It has been necessary to wait until the inspired PARACELSUS to obtain more information regarding these 3 principles and especially their way of extraction specialized in the three kingdoms.

Underlining the universality of these principles and identifying them to three kinds of substance,Paracelsus indicated:

"In this experience,these three substance are discovered,whatever the nature, the property or composition is,everything that is contained in all this world(...)And to find them in man, we must first know them and all their properties(...)Art cut them off and render them visible, and like that:

-what burns is sulphur;

-what rises like smoke is mercury;

-what breaks up into ashes is salt".

Paracelsus specifies in his "Traité des Trois Essences premières"the nature of these substance:

-"one is a solution, it is mercury,

-the other is an oil (oleitas), it is sulphur

- the third one an alkali,it is salt".

Paracelsus adds in other respects as for the extraction method:

"From unity extract the ternary number and bring back ternary to unity".

Which means in other words that it is necessary to:

1° extract the three substances;

2° purify them separately;

3° join them harmoniously.

This is what gives all its meaning to the word Spagyry:




As for the processes of extraction, they will be of course variable depending on the material used;because it is quite easy to extract sulphur (oil) from plants, but from ores, it is obviously an other thing!


Paracelsus provides also an old method for a partial extraction in his "Book of Archidoxes"

"...Herbs and their similar have to be taken first, and to be macerated and digested in spirits, during one month.Then, distill them in a bain-marie during one month adding plants, and separate them: you have a magisterium of the herb you wish to".

All the same the question was to distinguish the alcoholic distill inducing the volatile essential oils, from the oily residue of the plants which stays in the distillation retort.

The modern operator has at his disposal, for his part, equipment more adapted which he generally uses to obtain tinctures composed of the following plants:

-or from an extractor type Soxhlet

-or from an extractor type Kumagawa

In fact, he can operate with another method, longer and less profitable, but with no doubt more efficient, and obtain the two products of the Tincture perfectly separated.

For this, it is necessary to operate in two steps:

1° Steam and distill the chosen plant, to extract the vegetal oils(sulphur)

2°Put the residue of the above plant through fermentation, to extract the alcohol (mercury).(In the second method, the clear and volatile distill obtained after fermentation can contain various substances like primary or secondary alcohol, generally turning around C4, that can be free or esterified.ketones, particulary methyl ones, aldehydes, as well as some residual terpenes, can also be present, without talking about the low quantity of water that comes inevitably in addition. Regarding distillation with steam,it contains ketones, aldehydes, esters and especially is never free, not partially nor in totality, of its terpenes, contrarily to what is sometimes done in aromatherapy, to refine the essences smell, increase the intensity of their perfume and improve their solubility in alcohol.These compounds reckon in aliphatic carbides and their derivatives (alcohol, aldehydes, ketones, esters), aromatic carbides and phenols,absolutly necessary to the elaboration of the spagyric elixirs and that have to be conserved.)

In the first method evoked above and in which an extractor intervenes, the alcohol used as solvent (menstruum) is obtained from a good spirits (grape preferably) enough rectified to allow creating an alcohol near to 96°. It is not of any alcohol we are talking about!

In the second method, of course a lot longer, the residue of the plant from which oil has been extracted is put trough a slow fermentation, at a soft temperature, in a drying oven, during some weeks. Before this,non-refined sugar or natural yeast to favor the fermentation is to be added to the compound. The alcohol obtained will be very weak: 6 to 9°, no more.It will then be necessary to rectify it to go up to 90° and more if needed.

It is therefore possible to proceed following various manners; the most important is to obtain dark tinctures, strongly colored, with the oil not stuck-in its fragility-to the balloon of distillation walls.

We can mention for reference two other methods:

-The one of Dr. C.F .Zimpel- inspired by the work of Glauber- who at the end of last century,elaborated at the pharmaceutical factory of Göppinger in Germany a number of Spagyric preparations.Dr Zampel let ferment fresh plants in presence of brewer's yeast, without having first extracted oils;then,he distilled slowly the fermentation product like were traditionally distilled spirits. Therefore, in this alcoholate process, the separation between the two principles oiland alcohol was not clear, because distill had carry along with it some some volatile essential oils and not the whole sulphur portion of the plant.

-The one of Baron Alexander von Bernus, founder in 1921, in Germany also, of Soluna laboratory (ex.Stift-Neubourg),which used the preliminary fermentation only to Spagyricly open the vegetal substances containing toxic alkaloids (celandine, digitalis, for example).Ordinary, a simple maceration of the plant in an alcohol adjusted to 5° for example,with a little bit of acetic acid ,was enough to to extract after, by slow distillation the Mercury (alcohol) of the considered plant.The residue of the distillation containing the Sulphur (oil) of the plant was next slowly evaporated. This last process had the merit to evidence more clearly than in the previous method, the oil (Sulphur) of the plant.

Now, with regards to the extractions of the Salt, Spagyric alchemist d'Eyrfurt, monk Basile Valentin, give us the general process as follow:

"Take an herb you have chosen,reduce it in ashes, wash it with warm water, make the wash coagulate and the salt stays in the fund. Dissolve the salt in the spirit of wine by distillation and dissolve as much as necessary until the salt becomes pure and limpid and does not let any residue; then it is ready".

But here again,it is possible to work in defferent ways, depending on the temperature at wich ashes whiten, and depending on the desire of the operator to obtain the totality of the salt or only soluble ones. As a matter of fact, what generally the spagyrists tries to obtain, are white ashes so that later on they are able to bear at the best tinctures.But depending on the case, this calcination at white is obtained more or less easily. The minimum temperature,which does net exceed 300°,allows sometimes, depending on the vegetal used-rose's petals for example- to collect immediately white ashes (or very pale grey). But very often,this preliminary calcination (between 200 and 300°C) will be confirmed as being insufficient, ashes staying black. It will therefore be necessary to calcine in two steps:a first time at black,then,after having pulverized the residue in a porcelain mortar,bring the ashes to fire at approximately 600°C, in a very resistant cupel to calcine , where they will finish to become gradually brighter. Indeed, at about 500°C, some organic compounds are still stable, but as soon as we exceed 600°C, they do not resist a long time to calcination.

If the spagyrist is interested only in soluble Salts, he therefore will place black ashes ( obtained around 300°C) in a solution of water out of minerals (or distilled water).Then, after having warmed and turned up the whole, he will filter and submit to a very slow evaporation the solution obtained. The soluble salts will progressively crystallize and become transparent.

It has to be noted that to favor the solubility of salts- without denaturing the spagyric preparation-he is free to add to Salt principle a little bit of acid (preferably acetic in order to obtain acetates).Add some drops on the warm ashes before doing their lixivation and filter the wole is enough.

A point need still to be underlined here, it is the one of salt volatilization so common among ancients.

By a simple spagyric process, without intervention of any technical and artifice of alchemy, the operator could arrive at opening salts thanks to a particular cohobation and to render them able to sublimate themselves.

This volatilization was generally raised regarding scale (bitartrate of Potassium) and also ragarding the volatile salt of dew- that we have ourselves isolated in its time- but this could be adapted to a lot of other saline compound.

Van Helmont undelined this fact, as well as his disciple Starkey, in a number of his writings related to the volatilization of the Alkalis. The essential oils of a number of plants (heavy in vegetal sulphur) constitute generally a good viaticum to realize this typically Spagyric operation of volatilization by cohobation.

We are obliged to note, and the fact is more than striking, that-in the classic medicine- in allopathy and even in homeopathy-mineral salts extracted from plants are not used, although they have a prime interest and should perfect naturally the mother tinctures extracted from the vegetal.

We can only regret the above. The current knowledge of the plants called anorganica (containing a lot of mineral salts) (1) that act as remineralizr producing an exchange of element in human body, should have allowed a deep study of the prime importance of the salts that constitute the mineral substance of vegetal.

The great german spagyrist baron Alexander Von Bernus, wrote on this subject, in his fascination book: Alchemy and Medicine (ed. Dangles,Paris):