Homeopathy4health

26 August 2010

Edzard Ernst Exposed

H:MC21 (Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century) report that Professor Edzard Ernst the leading ‘authority’ on homeopathy, and perhaps its most referenced critic, has no qualifications in homeopathy.

William Alderson of HMC21 also claims that Ernst’s book Trick or Treatment? shows Ernst to be unreliable as a researcher into homeopathy. He outlines 11 mistakes made by Ernst which can arise from ignorance of the principles of homeopathy, and which can seriously affect the reliability of randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses of homeopathy.

He says ‘We believe that it is time to recognise that opposition to homeopathy is largely based on the opinions of individuals who are unqualified or unwilling to judge the evidence fairly.’

20 February 2009

Remedy snippet of the day – Diamond (Adamas) by Peter Tumminello

Filed under: Homeopathy — homeopathy4health @ 11:55 pm
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CB108154
From Twelve Jewels. With thanks.

“What can compare to the negative state of Diamond? The diamond is the ego destroyer, dismantling all that stands between self and Self. He has a distinct negative state expressed in being hard on himself, locking into negative thoughts, experiencing an endless stream of physical or emotional obstacles, feeling undeserving of love or being unable to control his emotions.  He is dark, angry and down.

Many are experiencing the Diamond state now, in the their day-to-day lives. It is a raw and often brutal human experience, fraught with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, awful heart-break, total disasters, severe self-abuse and extreme violence; the sorts of experience about which people say ‘I will never get over that’ or ‘I will never recover from that’. They include the death of a child, the loss of the most precious possession, which can be a deeply loved ideal, a person or a thing; severe and cruel abuse; being the subject of shocking violence. They invoke a a dark night of the soul experience.”

12 March 2008

Joining the homeopathic dots. Rajan Sankaran, remedy families and vital reaction

In my last post I talked about my growing confidence in the clinical homeopathic data recorded in modern repertory books and databases. I have also written about how gaps in the data are being filled through extrapolation of well-tested homeopathic principles by the work of homeopaths such as Jan Scholten on mineral remedies.

Similar work is being undertaken by the very experienced Indian homeopath Rajan Sankaran on understanding the remedies from the plant kingdom.  Plants are the source of many homeopathic remedies but relatively few of them have been fully proved and clinically used.  Sankaran has used the MacRepertory database to look at the similarities and possible remedy pictures of plant remedies in his books ‘Insight into Plants Vols I, II, III’.

Here is Jan Scholten’s comment in his foreword of the books:

“In the beginning of February 2002 I attended the Mumbai seminar. It was a great inspiration.  As I was listening to the new approach of Rajan Sankaran in handling cases and finding remedies in the Plant Kingdom I got more and more excited.  Here were great new possibilities to look at and solve difficult and till now unsolved cases.

Sankaran developed the possibility to analyse which plant is indicated.  The first step is to find the botanical family that’s indicated.  This is done by comparing the basic sensation of the patient with that of the family.  The next step is to differentiate the members of the family by ‘miasms’. Sankaran developed 9 miasms, that signify a way how they feel about a problem, how it is handled.  An example by Sankaran can make the approach more clear.  A young woman feels lost in the world, as a plane in the sky, without direction. this feeling of being lost is common to the family of the Magnolianae; it’s an expression of the vital sensation of “strangeness” in that family.  The woman feels desperate and wants it to be solved immediately, she needs direction from other people.  The desire for help from others and to get it immediately as a relief is typical for the “typhoid” miasm.  The remedy in the typhoid miasm in the Magnolianae is Nux moschata and that remedy cured the patient.

The approach looks very much that of the group analysis in “Elements”, where series and stages are “crossed”.  Here Families and miasms are crossed.  The concept of miasms has to be taken “relative”. Miasm is used in many different ways in homoeopathy.  Sankaran uses it for a way of feeling and reacting to a basic sensation.

This approach is bringing homoeopathy again more into the second scientific stage, the stage of classification, categorisation and grouping.  It gives homeopathy the strength of predicton.  His approach makes it possible to extend the pictures of little known remedies, so that they become full and meaningful pictures.”

I have succesfully used the methods and thoughts in the books to justify my choice of plant remedy with excellent results.  21st century homeopathy is greatly enriched by the inspiration of Jan Scholten and Rajan Sankaran.

11 March 2008

Storing, updating and referencing the homeopathic data 21st century style. James Tyler Kent to Frederik Schroyens

As I say on About Homeopathy4health, James Tyler Kent (1849-1916) spent 20 years carefully cataloguing all the symptoms both produced by remedies in provings and cured by remedies in clinical use in his considerable experience.  This catalogue became his ‘Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica’ (shown in the picture in the header above) which became the most valuable homeopathic reference book of his time until the late 20th century.

Modern homeopaths have continued to update this data and add in new remedies as and when they are proved and newer up to date repertories have been produced.  I now use Frederik Schroyen’s ‘Synthesis’ which has considerably more pages than my ‘Kent’ and the print is also considerably smaller to squeeze in as much as possible on a page.  Helpfully, Schroyens has reorganised and updated Kent’s 18th century language and added in many cross-references so that symptoms can be found using more modern descriptions.

With the increasing use of personal computers, several homeopathic computer packages have been developed from the new repertories, which are automatically updated by internet link when new provings and clinical data is available.  I was impressed to find recently that some remedies had been crossed out against a symptom on my RADAR database because a double-check had been carried out and the data found to be incorrect.  It was helpful and reassuring to see that the correction was visible and hadn’t just disappeared.

Here is a symptom from RADAR:

STOMACH – COLDNESS

abrot.bro1,k,tl1 absin.a1,k acon.k agar.a1,k alum.a1,b4.de,bg2,k alum-p.k2 Am-br.a1,k am-c.a1,bg2,k Ambr.h1,k amph.a1 arg-n.a1,k ARS.a1,b4.de,b4a.de,bg2,k,ptk1 ars-s-f.k2,vh arund.a1,k bar-c.a1,b4.de,bg2,k bar-s.k2 Bell.a1,k berb.a1,bg2,k bol-la.k bov.a1,b4.de,b4a.de,bg2,bro1,k cadm-s.k cain.k Calc.bro1,k calc-sil.bro1,k2 CAMPH.a1,bg2,bro1,k,ptk1 cann-i.a1 cann-s.h1,k CAPS.a1,b7.de,b7a.de,bg2,k,ptk1,tl1 Carb-an.bg2,k Carb-v.k,mtf33,tl1 carbn-s.k Castm.k cham.a1,k chel.a1,bg2,k CHIN.a1,bg2,bro1,k,ptk1 chinin-ar.k chinin-s.vh Cist.a1,bg2,k,mrr1,ptk1 clem.a1,k,ptk1 coc-c.a1,k cocc.tl1 Colch.a1,bg2,bro1,hr1,k,tl1 coloc.a1,k con.a1,b4.de,b4a.de,bg2,k crot-c.a1,k crot-h.k,tl1 elapsbg2,br1,bro1,k,mrr1 germ-met.srj5 graph.a1,b4.de,k grat.a1,k helon.a1,k HEP.xyz61 Hipp.a1,bro1,k ign.a1,b7.de,b7a.de,bg2,k kali-ar.k Kali-bi.a1,k,tl1 kali-c.a1,bro1,k kali-i.a1,k kali-n.a1,b4.de,b4a.de,bg2,k kali-p.k kali-s.k kali-sil.k2 Kreos.bro1,k Lach.a1,b7a.de,bg2,k Lact.a1,k laur.bg2,k lepi.a1 lyc.ptk1 lyss.k mag-c.a1,b4.de,k mag-m.h2 mag-s.a1,k meny.bro1,ptk1 Nat-m.a1,b4.de,bg2,k nit-ac.a1,b4.de,bg2,k nux-m.bg2 ol-an.a1,bro1,k,ptk1 op.a1,k ox-ac.bro1 Petr.bg2,k ph-ac.a1,bg2,k Phos.a1,b4.de,bg2,k phyt.a1,k podo.fd3.de pyrusbro1 rhus-t.bg2,k sabad.a1,b7.de,b7a.de,bg2,bro1,k sec.a1,k sep.a1,k Sil.k spig.a1,k spong.a1,bg2,k Sul-ac.a1,b4.de,bg2,bro1,k sulph.a1,b4.de,bg2,k tab.a1,bro1,k Tarax.k tub.jl2 verat.bro1,k verin.a1 vesp.a1,k zinc.b4.de,bg2

There are 101 remedies which have the symptom sensation ‘coldness in the stomach’.  The remedies in RED have the symptom to a strong degree, those in BLUE have it in a moderate degree, and it may sometimes be found remedies in small type.  The pink references refer to the codes of authors who have reported the symptom.  For example, ‘k’ stands for Kent and ‘ptk’ for Phatak.

Before the use of homeopathic software, symptoms had to be cross-referenced by hand to find the remedies which were most common to all the symptoms.  This could take several minutes or hours.  Now the computer does it instantly and produces charts like this simple one I produced from RADAR:

Sum of symptoms  -  Sum of symptoms  -  Intensity is not considered

 1

1234

1 

MIND – ANXIETY – night – children; in

 29 

2

1234

1 

GENERALS – FAINTNESS – headache; during

 23 

3

1234

1 

GENERALS – FOOD and DRINKS – milk – aversion

 128 

4

1234

1 

THROAT – PAIN – raw; as if

 185 

5

1234

1 

STOMACH – COLDNESS

 101 

6

1234

1 

EXTREMITIES – COLDNESS – Feet – night – bed agg.; in

 26 

   

calc.

carb-v.

ars.

sil.

sulph.

zinc.

bell.

chel.

kali-c.

lyc.

 

6

6

5

5

5

5

4

4

4

4

1

2

1

3

-

-

1

1

1

1

-

2

2

1

1

2

2

-

-

-

-

1

3

2

2

1

2

2

1

1

-

1

1

4

2

2

1

1

2

2

3

1

1

3

5

2

2

3

2

1

1

2

1

1

1

6

3

1

-

1

1

1

-

1

-

-

(I know the headings are out of sync but you get the idea, the most likely remedies are across the top and the presence and strength of the symptom is shown below). 

Once a short-list of remedies is determined, it is a matter of checking against the descriptions of remedies in materia medica books such as the factual, detailed and straightforward ‘Phatak’s Materia Medica’ (left brain oriented) and the simultaneously mythical, referential and scientific Frans Vermeulen’s Prisma (right and left brain oriented) to ensure the most appropriate one is given according to the patient’s symptoms, personality and characteristics.  These and many other books are now electronically accessible by other homeopathic software packages allowing homeopaths to cross-reference many more books than they can keep on their already heaving bookshelves.

6 March 2008

Filling in the gaps. Classic Homeopathic Authors: Jan Scholten

When I first contemplated becoming a homeopath over 10 years ago, a concern I had was what I perceived to be the gaps in the homeopathic literature.  If homeopathic remedies could be made from all kinds of substances, animal, vegetable or mineral, and not all substances in the world had been proved then it was likely that at some time I would encounter a patient who needed a remedy from an unproven substance. 

In the last 10 years several homeopathic authors have been working very hard to fill in the gaps in the homeopathic materia medica, one of whom is Jan Scholten, author of ‘Homeopathy and the Elements’, which proposed a way to determine a mineral remedy based on principles outlined in his previous study of mineral remedy characteristics in  ‘Homeopathy and the Minerals’.

He says: ‘This book is about the elements in the periodic system and how we can use them in homoeopathy.  So far we are only using a fraction of these elements and the aim of this book is to explain how we could apply the remainder of these elements.  It is the story of the opening of a whole new world, the world of the periodic system, which had always brought up lots of questions in my mind: why were there so few remedies that we really knew well, remedies like Aurum or Argentum nitricum for instance?  What about Hafnium or Krypton or any of the others?’

He gives themes to each row in the periodic table which he calls ‘series':

Row 1: Hydrogen Series  Theme: Being               Age: Foetus

Row 2: Carbon Series       Theme: I                   Age: Child

Row 3: Silicium Series      Theme: Other             Age: Teenager

Row 4: Ferrum Series      Theme: Work              Age: Adult

Row 5: Silver Series          Theme: Ideas           Age: Middle Age

Row 6: Gold Series            Theme: Leadership    Age: Ripe

Row 7: Uranium Series     Theme: Magus           Age: Old Age

Within each series he describes up to 18 stages each of which correspond to a stage in a cycle describing ‘the rise, the success and the fall of any undertaking, project, business or kingdom’.  Each element in the periodic table then corresponds to a series and a stage of individual development and each may be combined to represent a mineral. 

For example ‘the mineral Natrum bromatum has never been proved but it still possible to get a general idea of the remedy by means of the group analysis’.  Here is the simplified analysis.

Natrum metallicum:

Silicium series: Relationships, family, other, love and hate. communication, language and learning, presentation, play, teenager
Stage 1: simple, impulsive, spontaneous, natural, naive, alone, immature

Group analysis: impulsive relationships, changing contacts, vulnerable, lack of perserverance, withdrawn, alone, lonely, reserved silent

Bromium:

Ferrum series: Task, work, duty, ability, perfection, routine, order, rules, failure, guilt, crime, adult
Stage 17: exit, end, letting go, holding on, demanding, climax, condemned, exiled, escaping

Group Analysis: Terminating work, redundancy pension, forced labour, guilt fault, passion aggression, fleeing, antisocial

Natrum Bromatum

Alone with their guilt.
Depressed by their aggression.
Withdrawing when they feel guilty.
Restricting themselves to avoid guilt.
Aggression held in check.
Withdrawing when they make a mistake.
Withdrawing makes them feel guilty.

He goes on to suggest physical symptoms that are combinations of the characteristic of the well known remedies Natrum Muriaticum and Bromium.

Homeopaths worldwide now make good use of the suggestions in the book, helping to flesh out the clinical use of previously little-used or unproven remedies, and having successfully used the methods outlined in the book, I am confident that I will be able to find a suitable remedy for many more patients.

26 February 2008

Classic homeopathic authors: Rajan Sankaran

Homeopathy has benefitted greatly through the further development of homeopathic philosophy from the practice and study of contemporary Indian homeopath Dr Rajan Sankaran.

In ‘The Spirit of Homeopathy’ (1991) Sankaran describes how rather than analysing cases in a mechanical rule-bound manner he found that a “remedy represents a particular situation and that each patient’s state comes from a particular situation in the past, in which the components of his present state were necessary”.

Chapter 6: Health and Disease: Psychological and Philosophical Considerations

“Disease consists of two parts: generalised disturbance of the whole organism and localised problems. It can be seen that generalised disturbance (which includes physical, general and psychological changes) precedes localisation of the problem.  this generalized disturbance is probably what Hans Selye (the authority on stress) described as the General Adaptation Syndrome.  The whole of this generalized disturbance or change can be understood as a posture of adaptation for survival in a particular situation.  It is obvious that if the situation does exist or is intense enough, such an adaptation would ensure survival and therefore, cannot be treated.  Conversely, if such a situation does not exist, or is not proportionately intense, this general adaptation would be a maladaptation and needs to be corrected.

 Disease as a posture

 In sum, disease is a posture, a state of being, which is suitable and appropriate in a particular situation, a situation that does not exist at present.  Disease originates from severe situations which demand this posture or state of being for survival. This state leaves an impression which we call a root which gets activated later on.

Disease sets up several conditions for feeling OK.  When we imagine a lion is chasing us we will not feel OK unless we are running. In the same way, if your disease originated in the situation where you needed to achieve in order to be loved or to survive you will not feel OK unless you achieve.  These conditions restrict your being in the present and your reacting to the situation appropriately.  The miser’s constant need is to check his purse.  He will do this even when visiting the Taj Mahal, rather than admiring its beauty.

Disease is a restriction of vision, it is a narrow way of looking at things. Only awareness of this delusion can remove it, just as light removes darkenss.  Delusion disappears only with awareness. 

All this talk may sound esoteric and theoretical unless the reader looks at himself in the light of what he has understood so far.  If you honestly look at yourself, you will see how you feel uncomfortable in many situations and how you cling to certain roles in which you feel OK.  These situations in which you feel OK fulfil your conditions for feeling OK.  You are compelled to act in a particular way even though some other type of action is appropriate. In most situations you have the option of deciding how to react, but always you almost choose to react in just one or two ways, no matter what the situation is.  This fixed type of reaction, compulsion, comes from the fixed way you view yourself and the situation in front of you (obsession).  Both the obsession and the compulsion come from the perception you have of yourself in the situation; this is your basic delusion.

Somewhere in the past or in earlier generation you will find that somebody had gone through a situation which necessitated this kind of behaviour.   You may find more often than not that you were conceived when one of your parents was exactly passing through such a state of being, or such a situation might have originated sometime in your childhood, especially from the circumstances in your own family.”

‘The Spirit of Homeopathy’ was followed by ‘The Substance of Remedies’(1994) and  ‘The Soul of Remedies’ (1997) which conveyed the innermost feeling of remedies which he had observed and confirmed in his own practice.  Here is a short part of his description of Arsenicum:

“The Arsenicum patient sees the world as threatening, chaotic.  He feels that he is old, weak and defenseless, and that there are thieves all around him, ready to take advantage of his weakness. He needs people and is dependent on them because of his weakness, yet feels that they cannot be trusted, that they are interested only in his money.  However he cannot do without them, and hence is very careful that he should not offend them, lest they leave him and go away.  He is mistrustful and suspicious, cautious and anxious in all matters: money, relationships, even health.”

Dr Sankaran has continued to develop his observations of the central disturbance and the determining characteristics of groups of remedies and are read with interest by homeopaths world-wide.

24 February 2008

Classic homeopathic authors: Herbert A. Roberts M.D.

My favourite book on the philosophy of homeopathy is ‘The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy – A Modern Textbook’ by Herbert A. Roberts (1936).

The foreword gives the following biographical information: ‘We know he was born in 1868 and was still living in 1954, that he was a pupil of Stuart Close, that he practised in Connecticut, that he was Chairman of the American Federation for homoeopathy and Head of the Department of Philosophy at their post-graduate school, that he was at one time President of the International Hahnemann Association, that he was editor of the Homoeopathic Recorder, and that he was also the author of the The Principles and Practicability of Boenninghausen’s Pocket Book, Sensations As If, and Rheumatic Remedies. ‘

Here he introduces the study of homeopathy:

“If a physician would successfully practice medicine he must know, first, what is curable by medicine, and second, what is curative in drugs.

The physician must know something of the history of the development of the drug action; of the gradual experiments with the remedial substance upon healthy human beings and the data gathered therefrom over a long period of careful observations, which have been checked and verified again and again, both in experimental provings and in clinical use.  The basis upon which this knowledge of drug action is built is a profound and a basic element of homoeopathic procedure.

By the time the physician has become somewhat acquainted with these guides he is in a position to go forward and erect the structure of his future medical career upon a basis that is immovable, that does not change with every new theory that arises upon the medical horizon.  If we look thoughtfully at medical literature over a period of years we find it one kaleidoscopic panorama of ever-changing theory and practice.

Homoeopathy, on the other hand, is ever capable of development, while the principles remain the same.  Homoeopathy is founded upon principles that are again founded upon natural laws.  These natural laws are basic, they are more eternal than the hills, for these laws were formulated before the hills came into being.

 If a man follows where homoeopathy leads he must be able to follow those laws and to hold close to them, regardless of pressure or influence.  On the other hand, the very principles which he follows stabilise him and make him sure in his work.  This stability can be maintained equally well in chronic work, in acute cases or amidst the panics of epidemics of unknown origin, such as influenza, poliomyelistis; outbreaks of such conditions as encephalitis; for here, as in all other manifestations of illness, the fundamental laws remain firm and intact, and they are sufficiently basic to provide a sure guide to health.”

23 February 2008

Classic homeopathic authors: Catherine R. Coulter.

Catherine R. Coulter is well known and respected in homeopathic circles for her three volumes of ‘Portraits of Homoeopathic Medicines.  Psychophysical Analyses of Selected Constitutional Types’, the first being published in 1998.

Here she defines constitutional remedy:

“In homoeopathy the expression, “constitutional remedy”, signifies the medicinal substance which encompasses the sum total of the individual’s physical, emotional, and mental picture.  Homoeopathy denies any inherent or qualitative distinction between these, assuming that all processes within the organism are interdependent.  Physical illnesses (apart from accidents and injuries) have a mental aspect, while mental illnesses have a physical aspect, and the prescription of medicines must be based upon a consideration of both categores of symptoms.  A patient is said to be a Phosphorous, a Silica, a Pulsatilla or some other type, according to the constitutional remedy which most closely approximates his total picture.  To find this constitutional remedy the physician not only records painful sensations, symptoms, pathology, and the like, but also how the patient looks and behaves when in health, what he says, how he responds, his temperament and disposition, strengths and weaknesses.  After collection, arranging and evaluating these characteristics, he matches them to the remedy which most expresses this “wholeness” of the patient.  Espousing this truly holistic approach, each chapter of this work describes the relationship between a given type’s physical emotional and mental patterns when viewed in their dynamic interaction.”

In the book her observations of each constitutional type is expanded over many pages but here is my very brief summary of her ‘prominent characteristics’ of Lycopodium:

“The following analysis will focus on four prominent Lycopodium characteristics: his resilient self-esteem, his unshakeable viability, his imperturbable detachment and the Achilles heel of this highly capable individual – his tendency to deceive himself.

Self-esteem
The first striking Lycopodium characteristic is self-esteem.  It is seen in the quiet air of one who is self-possessed and obviously has a good opinion of himself.  He has confidence in his own judgment, believing that he knows best at all times.   He considers himself an example of moderation and reasonableness others would do well to follow.  He is convinced the world would be a far, far better place if it contained more right-thinking and right-acting persons like himself.

Viability
Lycopodium‘s viability (enormous tenacity for survival) stems from his resolute yet conforming nature which permits him to adapt to fluctuating times and circumstances while pursuing his own policies.  He likes wielding power and even while wanting to please everyone, needs to be honored or acknowledged as a leader.

Detachment
Lycopodium needs to feel detached at almost all times and at almost any cost. Aloof from the turmoils of earth, he likes to float somewhere above struggling humanity, unruffled and unperturbed, regarding it from the lofty perspective of his detachment.

Self-Deception
Lycopodium’s fourth prominent characteristic, self-deception is the natural outgrowth of his self-esteem, viability and detachment. To preserve these three, the individual may resort to deceiving himself.  Few types are so adept at blanking out undesirable realities and concealing from themselves what they do not want to admit.”

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