Volume 4 Summer 1983


Evolution of Parachemistry

Formerly Known as Alchemy

Parachemistry represents an important ray in the spectrum of the healing arts of the future. It includes both pre-classical and contemporary chemistry, as well as procedures that might be considered futuristic. At the same time, its principles are so fundamental that they are present in all aspects of daily living. Everyone engages in a natural kind of parachemistry without being aware of it. Through a combination of one's own efforts and the influences outside of oneself, life unfolds in a meaningful and purposeful direction. Parachemistry is analogous with evolution. All forms of matter are everchanging and in the process of becoming. As examples, the transmutatation of a caterpillar to a butterfly is a parachemical process and the digestion of sustenance for our bodily needs is also a spagyric transmutation.

Yet, this process is not easily understood and the knowledge of the spagyric treatment of mineral and herbal substances is relatively unknown. The reason for this will be explained later. First, a description of the history of the ancient process will make it easier to comprehend.

The spagyric process deals with "essence." The original meaning of the phrase essence is the "essential" or the "main contents."The term has it's roots in Greek philosophy. Aristotle (834-322 B.C.) used the expression "quintessence" with the above meaning. Later, the word essence was applied in a practical sense to name pharmaceutical substances. Theophrastus of Hohenheim, the famous physician known as Paracelsus (1493 - 1541) was one of the first to apply the term essence in a spagyric way. According to him everything nature brings forth consists of three essences. Paracelsus maintained that these three essences or principles could be separated in physical form, each representing its own particular properties.

Paracelsus called the three essences salt, sulphur and mercury. However, these archalc names are symbolic and not to be confused with modern terminology.

The word "spagyric" has been in use since the 16th centuery. It is derived from two Greek words "spao" (to separate) and "ageiro" (to combine). This may seem somewhat paradoxical, however, this term accurately describes the actual process. It consists of separating the three essences and recombining them after their purification. This purification, which is not explicitly contained in the word "spagyric" plays a major role in the process.

The techniques of manipulating a substance in the spagyric way are certainly more complex than the above representation may imply. Also, the process, can be applied in varying degrees of perfection. The separation for instance, may be more or less conducted with a greater or lesser degree of dexterity.

Let us look at an example: a medicinal herb is macerated in one hundred-ninety proof alcohol. After the oily substance in the plant is dissolved the alcohol, it takes on a dark color. In spagyric terminology, the oil represents the essence of sulphur (not to confused with common brimstone). Active ingredients are present in this tincture, and by further treatment they can be purified. Ethereal oils are an example of such ingredients. Active ingredients are contained within many pills, drops and tinctures found in pharmacies today. Thousands of allopathic remedies have their origin in natural substances such as herbs.

The Spagyric process has many facets, and a simple tincture is only the beginning. Another essence is the "salt," represented by the mineral salts to be found in a plant. It was only, in recent years that with the addition of vitamins that the importance of trace elements have been recognized by modern medicine.

Finally, the third spagyric essence is the biological energy or the life force of the plant. This is generally, deposited during its growth in the form of starch and glucose. This essence referred to as mercury (not to be confused with metallic mercury), can be released through fermentation in the form of alcohol, which for centuries has been used medicinally.

According to its definition, a spagyric product should contain all essences. While the simple herbal extract is still an official part of today's pharmacopoeias, comparable, but more sophisticateed spagyric preparations are hardly known in our time. There are a few pharmaceutical companies in West Germany offering spagyrically prepared products at this time. Some of these companies have been in existance since the early part of this century. The success of these remedies has been documented and under certain conditions, they are much more effective than simple extracts.

So far, only the relationship of the spagyric process to plants has been described, but minerals and metals can also be treated in the same way.

Paracelsus was the first to introduce such preparations to medicine. He started an era, which historians call iatrochemistry, a term which is still being used in the twentieth century. The term iatrochemistry means the use of chemistry in medicine which was unheard of before Paracelsus. He put his main effort into spagyrically prepared chemicals, which apparently was one of the reasons for his legendary success as a physician.

Why is it that we know so little about these processes today, which made Paracelsus, who lectured on the subject at universities and treated the nobility with spagyric preparations, the most famous physician of this time. We may not be able to fathom all the reasons, but two facts are especially prominent in this respect:

1. Most of the literature which relates to the spagyric matter is in German, which was the predominant language of science and medicine at that time and for many years. This explains to some extent why, especially, in North America, the spagyric process is still somewhat obscure.

2. The spagyric field is complex. The writings of Paracelsus and of others who have dealt with the matter after him, are difficult to understand. Basically they contain a theoretical background and a technical terminology hardly known today. It is not that today's theories and terminologies are any simpler, but we are used to them and educated to work with them. Special training is necessary in order to study the spagyric process in depth.

These difficulties have very recently led to the formation of a special scientific field called Parachemistry, which is dedicated to the investigation of the spagyric process. The healing potential of the spagyric technique has been demonstrated for hundreds of years. However, this potential needs to be further validated by, clinical and laboratory research in order to be accessible to the healing professions. In addition, more education is needed to enable health professionals to understand and apply these principles, as well as to use these powerful substances in their practices. The spagyric process has quite a heritage. Now it is up to our time to reveal all of its aspects for the benefit of mankind.
- E.W.