External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Stannum Metal Foil Mirror

Kind of substance


Guiding principle for the application

Stannum carries formative qualities into the life processes of the human organism. It gives form to watery swelling tendencies and reintegrates that which has fallen into heaviness and hardening back into the organism’s vital formative processes (*Girke, p. 109). Stannum has an inherent affinity for the liver, which has an organization perfused with liquid, and whose metabolic processes carry structuring and formative powers that constitute the inner milieu of the organism.
Stannum accompanies the treatment of inflammatory and structure-dissolving conditions, as well as sclerosing diseases that lead to both liver ailments (e.g., cirrhosis) and osteoarthritis (with and without joint effusion).

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Chronic osteoarthritic changes in the joints (see example case)
  • Articular effusion
  • Liver disease
  • Pain in connection with degenerative processes (see example case)


Place the foil with the fabric side directly on the predetermined place, which the patient can usually do on his own after being shown how.

Well-proven in many patients
Start with 1 x daily for 10 min., then increase depending on symptoms and doctor’s prescription
Onset of effect
Possible after the first application, very individual
Length of therapy
Depends on the symptoms and doctor’s prescription; long-term treatment is possible

Case example

There have been many successful cases of treating osteoarthritis in the joints with Stannum metal foil, especially in cases where nocturnal pain has prevented sleeping through the night.
In the following we present a case in which the effect of this treatment was perceived by the patient as being too strong.

Example case
A 56-year-old female patient had been suffering from increasing soft-tissue rheumatism for approx. 10 years.
As a child she had experienced a difficult family situation. Her father was an alcoholic and he was violent.
She recently separated from her husband.
She describes herself as being without joy or any goal in life. She cries easily.
Her physical complaints and restrictions are becoming harder to deal with.

She had already been applying farmer’s cheese compresses to her knee at home. In the clinic a Stannum metal mirror foil was prescribed. This was discontinued after the second treatment, as the patient experienced a strong warming and pulsation of the knee, which she found unpleasant.
She was satisfied with being able to apply farmer’s cheese compresses again herself. She wondered if the strong effect could have been caused by the metal in her implant and the stannum of the metal foil.
Because of the problem in coming to terms with the pain the doctor was unable to determine whether the reaction to the metal foil really was due to the juxtaposition of the two metals, or whether we were seeing the emotional side against the background of various anxieties and insecurities.


MM, Red.


  • Girke M. Innere Medizin. Berlin: Salumed Verlag; 2012. English translation: Girke M. Internal medicine. Foundations and therapeutic concepts of Anthroposophic Medicine. 1st ed. Berlin: Salumed; 2016.
  • Merkurstab, 69. Jahrgang, Heft 3, 2016.