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.
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
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
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.