Homeopathy4health

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.

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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.

3 March 2008

Walk the walk, talk the talk. Fruit acid or milk for heartburn?

 

I’ve been suffering from acidic heartburn all day today which I get from time to time.  I took a constitutional remedy the other day and have had a whole range of symptoms returning and subsiding including the heartburn today.  So rather than take another remedy for the acute symptoms of heartburn and potentially undermine the constitutional prescription I thought of what else I could use at home to get relief.

My first thought was drink milk because that’s what I used to do.  It would relieve for a while then would come back soon after, so I’d drink more milk and so on.

My second thought was, my diet has been poor of late I should eat more fruit, and although the thought of fruit acid on top of the heartburn made me wince I ate some grapes and an orange. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/blepere/2204792914/ 


One hour later: no heartburn.  Similia similibus curentur (Like cures like)  Dilution not always required.

28 February 2008

History of Homeopathy in Britain

An interesting article on the history of Homeopathy in Britain by the Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis which also details some of the developments, changes in and disputes over prescribing approaches. Contemporary homeopaths are trained in choosing the appropriate prescribing approach for the patient and their symptoms:

“The Early Years
Homeopathy came to Britain relatively late. Although the Organon was published in 1810 it was not until 1832 that the first full time practitioner established himself in London. During this period many British aristocrats, such as the Marquess of Anglesey, and the Duke of Beaufort crossed the Channel for treatment by Hahnemann. Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV, was a patient of Dr. Stapf and was visited by him at Windsor Castle. A letter published in the Lancet in 1834 demonstrated the effect of the Queen’s interest upon Sir Henry Halford, President of the Royal College of Physicians and dubbed the ‘eel backed baronet’.

The Duke-Royal Homoeopthicism
Dear Dr. Turner,
I am exceedingly annoyed at the Queen’s not commanding my professional attendance, as it would give me an excellent opportunity of playing an important political game at this crisis. The last accounts I have received from the Pavilion mentions that her Majesty is still persevering in the homoeopathic system and she supposes she has derived advantage from it…
Her Majesty’s confidence in the absurd system arose from one of her maids being put under it when they were in Germany. Her brother, the Duke, sends her these invisible pills from Germany and they are such atoms that a quill filled with them lasts her Majesty a couple of months.
Her Majesty has also an extraordinary bottle which she smells whenever she wants a movement in her royal bowels and my correspondent tells me that the effect of smelling the bottle is so immediate that her Majesty is obliged to leave the room at a moments notice
H.H.”
[Lancet: vol1, 1834-5, p359]

Homoeopathy became increasingly popular among the upper classes and pressure grew for a suitable doctor to be available in London. Dr. Frederic Hervey Foster Quin was practising in Naples when Dr. Neckar in Rome first introduced him to the method. He became physician to Prince Leopold, later King of the Belgians but Quin left his service after two years to study with Hahnemann. His aristocratic friends and patients wrote regularly to him, asking him to move to London, which he finally did in 1832.

Quin’s parentage is unknown but he had the entree to all the great houses and numbered royalty, and aristocrats among his friends and patients, as well as Dickens, Landseer and many others from artistic society. Inevitably his practice was at first restricted to the upper classes. He tried unsuccessfully to open a dispensary for the poor but after that concentrated upon the foundation of a hospital. He formed the British Homeopathic Association, a lay/medical society to collect the necessary funds. The hospital was eventually opened in 1850 in Golden Square, Soho, London.

Opposition to homoeopathy was marked from the moment of Quin’s arrival. The Royal College of Physicians had the ancient power to control all medical practice within seven miles of the City of London, although it had not exercised this right for a century. It called upon Quin, an Edinburgh graduate, to take the college examination. He ignored the summons and eventually the College lost its nerve and desisted. But he was not forgotten. When he was proposed for membership of the Athenaeum, an exclusive gentlemens’ club, the then President of the RCP publicly called him a quack. This slur was only retracted on pain of a duel, but the College still mobilised its supporters to ensure that Quin was blackballed.

In 1844 Quin formed the British Homoeopathic Society, the forerunner of the present Faculty, with the half dozen homoeopathic doctors then in the country. It was this society that was attacked in its turn by the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association, later the BMA. Membership was forbidden to all homoeopathic doctors and members of the PMSA were not to co-operate in any way with homoeopaths.

Unfortunately the homoeopathic profession was not united at that time. Why there was a division is not clear. It may have been due to different attitudes to Hahnemann’s theories but more probably was the result of Quin’s attitude to his colleagues. Certainly his insistence that only members of the British Homoeopathic Society could be appointed to the staff of the hospital in Soho played a part.

In 1835 Mr Leaf, a well to do merchant and supporter of homoeopathy, invited Dr. Paul Curie in 1835 to come from Paris as medical officer to a dispensary, which he founded in Finsbury Square, London. Curie, the grandfather of Pierre Curie of radium fame, was regarded as a brilliant homoeopath and teacher. Unfortunately he had been a follower of Broussais who regarded all disease as deriving from the gastrointestinal system. He believed in strict dieting. A scandal arose when one of Curie’s patients died apparently from starvation. However this did not stop Curie who founded the first school of homoeopathy in Britain. In 1850 several doctors including Curie founded the Hahnemann Hospital in Bloomsbury, London, with its associated medical society the Hahnemann Medical Society and its lay counterpart the English Homoeopathic Association. Unfortunately Curie caught typhus from a patient and died in 1853 and the hospital closed shortly afterwards. This led to the unification of the homoeopathic medical profession.

Cholera
Although the London Homoeopathic Hospital in Golden Square, Soho, was ready for patients in October 1849, this was too late for the cholera epidemic of that year. In 1854, when another epidemic threatened, the Governors of the hospital decided to devote the hospital solely to cholera, for the duration of that epidemic. As a result 90 patients were treated. In addition Camphor was distributed free to the local population with instructions for its use as a prophylactic and as a first stage treatment.

The Board of Health had issued strict instructions for the notification of all cases of cholera and of diarrhoea together with details of treatment and of the outcome. The homoeopathic hospital duly submitted its returns, but to its surprise its results which were far superior to those of conventional hospitals, were omitted from the official report on the epidemic when published in 1855. The area of London where the hospital was situated was one where the epidemic was at its worst. It was the site of Dr. John Snow’s famous efforts to remove the handle of the pump in Broad Street, resulting in an immediate reduction in cases. Patients from this area went to only two hospitals, the Homoeopathic and the Middlesex. For the 90 cases treated at the Homoeopathic Hospital there was a death rate of 19%. [Of the 61 cases, the subject of the complaint to the House of Commons, see below, the rate was even lower at 16.4%.] In contrast the death rate at the Middlesex was 52.35% and elsewhere it was as high as 65%.

The British Homoeopathic Society sought the help of Lord Robert Grosvenor, a Member of Parliament sympathetic to homoeopathy. Following a question asked by him in the House of Commons, the homoeopathic results were published, demonstrating the superiority of the system of treatment.

The Expansion of Homoeopathy
In that same decade pressure mounted for the registration of medical practitioners. Opponents of homoeopathy hoped to preclude its supporters from registering and therefore from practising. The Registration Bill was drafted in such a way that any degree granting body could refuse graduation to anyone whose views it disliked. Dr. Robert Dudgeon discovered this only two days before the bill was to go through its final stages. He was a polymath, editor of the British Journal of Homeopathy and a prolific writer on the subject. Together with Lord Robert Grovesnor, by then Baron Ebury, and another peer, he was able to draft a clause, which limited the power of colleges. This appeared so innocuous that it went through on the nod. Sir James Y Simpson, the Scottish obstetrician who introduced Chloroform, was homoeopathy’s leading opponent at the time; although sitting in the public gallery he was quite unaware of what had happened.

Despite this opposition homoeopathy spread steadily throughout the country. By 1880 every major town had its dispensary while in many there was a hospital. Homoeopathic hospitals varied in size from the ‘cottage’, with 3 or 4 beds, to the major hospital of 100 or more beds and provision for surgery and the other specialities.

Supporters of homoeopathy were originally the aristocracy but later in the 19th century it was the rich upper middle classes who provided the funds and the political support. Some of the larger hospitals were provided by businessmen. Thus, the Liverpool Hahnemann Hospital was built and paid for by Sir Henry Tate, a millionaire sugar importer. The hospital in Bristol owed its existence to the tobacco manufacturers, Wills.

Royal patronage always played a part. Although, as mentioned Queen Adelaide used homoeopathy, neither Queen Victoria nor her son, King Edward VII, favoured it. This is surprising since Frederic Quin was a personal friend of Edward. However the Duchess of Cambridge, sister in law of William IV was converted and employed Quin as physician to her household. Her granddaughter Princess Mary of Teck became Queen Mary, when she married King George V. He appointed Dr. John Weir as royal physician and later knighted him. Thus homoeopathy was passed to the present Royal family.

The ‘Scientific Homoeopaths’
As the century progressed the attitude of British homoeopaths to Hahnemann’s theories changed; they increasingly refused to accept the psora theory and were very suspicious of high potencies. Robert Dudgeon and later Richard Hughes led the profession in low potency prescribing. There were of course exceptions, notably JHC Clarke and Compton Burnett who remained ‘classical’ homoeopaths. But as early as 1853 Dudgeon gave lectures which decried the idea of dynamic increase of power with dilution and succussion. While these doctors had to accept the 30th potency and even the 200th, they regarded as nonsense the M potencies that were being produced in America.

Alternation of potencies became commonplace. In the clinical records of the London Homoeopathic Hospital, which have fortunately been preserved, Bryonia is frequently shown as being alternated with Aconite or Arsenicum in acute cases, usually in the 1x or 3x potency. Quantity also played a part and if a satisfactory action was not obtained with one globule per dose (usually given every 2 or 3 hours) then two or three might be given before a change of remedy was considered.

These doctors wanted to be united with the conventional profession. They were sympathetic to the new scientific developments of the time and made use of pathological advances as they arrived. Many medicines such as Aconite and Belladonna, which they used in potency, were absorbed into the conventional pharmacopoeia. As a consequence some doctors found it avoided trouble if they ceased to call themselves homoeopaths while continuing to use the remedies. Those who remained loyal had no compunction about prescribing conventional medicines such as Morphine and Iron, although in the latter case this might, illogically, be given in low potency for anaemia.

The Arrival of Kentian Philosophy
All this was to change early in the twentieth century with the arrival of the ideas of James Tyler Kent from America. Within little more than a decade there was a complete alteration in prescribing methods. Instead of low potencies, single doses of M potencies were used, after repertorisation; previously the repertory was almost unused. There was less concern for the conventional profession, for pathology and other medical advances. Dr. Richard Hughes, the great man of the late nineteenth century, was dismissed as a ‘pathological prescriber’ unworthy of consideration. Homoeopathy became a small isolated sect cut off from mainstream medicine, and supported in the main by a cadre of ‘homoeopathic families’ who provided both the doctors and the patients.

But the homoeopathic medical profession had to provide a full medical service. For example at the turn of the century tuberculosis was a major fatal disease. James Compton Burnett claimed to have discovered Tuberculinum, as a treatment for it, fifteen years before Koch introduced Tuberculin. Homoeopaths used Tuberculinum in the form of Bacillinum for their cases with limited success. It seemed to work in acute cases but was of little use in caseous lung disease. However it proved successful in associated conditions such as tonsils and adenoids.

Tuberculin was similarly limited in success and, because it was toxic, the dosage was progressively reduced so that eventually it was being utilised in homoeopathic doses. Homoeopaths started to use Tuberculinum first, but if that failed they turned to Tuberculin. It is difficult to make any real estimate of its efficacy because it became superseded by sanatorium treatment. As this happened, fewer and fewer cases were referred to homoeopaths, the patients’ disposal being controlled by the Public Health regulations.

The advent of Kentian ideas can be said to have been almost solely due to Dr. Margaret Tyler. She induced her parents, who served on the committees of the London Homoeopathic Hospital, to provide money for scholarships enabling doctors to study in Chicago under Kent. She qualified in medicine in 1903 at the age of 44 and served on the staff of the hospital until her death forty years later. She specialised in retarded children but her great contribution was teaching. She lectured, she ran a correspondence course, and edited a journal which could be used as a textbook. But she is best known for her ‘Drug Pictures’, which simplified the materia medica for students.

However she did not entirely succeed in keeping British homoeopathy tied to the Swedenborgian mysticism of Kent. C.J.Wheeler and others accepted his method of selection of the remedy while moving away from his philosophy. But the idea of the single constitutional remedy has remained the norm to this day.

The Faculty of Homoeopathy
In 1943 the British Homoeopathic Society reformed as the Faculty of Homoepathy. It developed an academic organisation and started a diploma in homoeopathic medicine. This became the basis of full membership. The examination increased in difficulty so that it became a specialist qualification. It is now forming the basis of a proposed European qualification. More recently, owing much to the work of the Scottish branch of the Faculty, a new qualification has been introduced for GPs who are interested but do not wish to go on to full specialist training.

Within a short time of its formation the Faculty was faced with the question of how homoeopathy, and particularly the homoeopathic hospitals of which five remained in existence, was to be integrated into the new National Health Service. After protracted discussions with the Ministry it was agreed that these hospitals would be treated in the same way as conventional hospitals. Equally important, it was agreed that homoeopathic remedies would be prescribable by all NHS doctors.

Recent Developments
This agreement did not, unfortunately, cause the conventional profession to view expenditure upon homoeopathy as justified. Of the five hospitals, three have been reduced in size. The Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, which moved to its present site in Great Ormond Street in 1859, was replaced the end of the 19th century with a purpose built hospital with state of the art medical and surgical departments. It survived as an independent hospital in the NHS but was starved of funds for years. It lost its surgical departments and has had to offer other forms of complimentary medicine in addition to homoeopathy. In contrast the Scottish hospital, by a sustained effort of teaching, research and by demonstrating its value for money, has succeeded in obtaining the funds necessary to have a new building constructed.

But another factor has affected the situation. In the last ten years, the demand from the general public for homoeopathy has noticeably increased. In addition the conventional medical profession is taking a much more favourable view. While some managers seek to employ non- medically qualified practitioners, because they are cheaper than doctors, the risks of so doing have been explained to them. (In Britain, anyone without any training whatever can practise medicine provided there is no claim to be a doctor or attempt to prescribe dangerous drugs.). The future for homoeopathy itself seems secure.”

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.”

4 January 2008

Treating flu symptoms with homeopathy

It’s that time of year again… « WhiteCoat Underground : ‘Over the last two weeks, I’ve seen dozens of people drag themselves in to the office or the clinic with high fevers, muscle aches, cough, and looking like absolute hell.  Some have been admitted to the hospital.  I’ve sent flu tests on some of them, and lots of them are coming back positive.’

As I have said before (https://homeopathy4health.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/forced-vaccinations-because-conventional-medicine-is-not-effective-in-treating-infectious-disease/), Doctors recommend vaccines because they have no means of treating the symptoms of acute diseases.  They have defined the disease and the virus and have a test but no treatment.

If you prefer not to vaccinate there are several useful homeopathic remedies to counteract the symptoms of flu depending on nature of the symptoms and are well described here: http://www.holisticonline.com/remedies/Flu/Flu_homeopathy.htm

And here is some information about homeopathic treatment of flu in the early 20th century: http://www.nesh.com/main/nejh/samples/winston.html by Julian Winston.

“The following is an extract from an article entitled “Homeopathy In Influenza- A Chorus Of Fifty In Harmony” by W. A. Dewey, MD that appeared in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1920.

Dean W. A. Pearson of Philadelphia collected 26,795 cases of influenza treated by homeopathic physicians with a mortality of 1.05%, while the average old school mortality is 30%.

Thirty physicians in Connecticut responded to my request for data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%. In the transport service I had 81 cases on the way over. All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment. One ship lost 31 on the way. H. A. Roberts, MD, Derby, Connecticut.

In a plant of 8,000 workers we had only one death. The patients were not drugged to death. Gelsemium was practically the only remedy used. We used no aspirin and no vaccines. -Frank Wieland, MD, Chicago.

I did not lose a single case of influenza; my death rate in the pneumonias was 2.1%. The salycilates, including aspirin and quinine, were almost the sole standbys of the old school and it was a common thing to hear them speaking of losing 60% of their pneumonias.-Dudley A. Williams, MD, Providence, Rhode Island.

Fifteen hundred cases were reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia with but fifteen deaths. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%.-E. F. Sappington, M. D., Philadelphia.

I have treated 1,000 cases of influenza. I have the records to show my work. I have no losses. Please give all credit to homeopathy and none to the Scotch-Irish-American! -T. A. McCann, MD, Dayton, Ohio.

One physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew anything better than what he was doing, because he was losing many cases. “Yes, Doctor, stop aspirin and go down to a homeopathic pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies.” The Doctor replied: “But that is homeopathy.” “I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I have nursed have not lost a single case.” -W. F. Edmundson, MD, Pittsburgh.

There is one drug which directly or indirectly was the cause of the loss of more lives than was influenza itself. You all know that drug. It claims to be salicylic acid. Aspirin’s history has been printed. Today you don’t know what the sedative action of salicylic acid is. It did harm in two ways. It’s indirect action came through the fact that aspirin was taken until prostration resulted and the patient developed pneumonia. -Frank L. Newton, MD, Somerville, Massachusetts

Aspirin and the other coal tar products are condemned as causing great numbers of unnecessary deaths. The omnipresent aspirin is the most pernicious drug of all. It beguiles by its quick action of relief of pain, a relief which is but meretricious. In several cases aspirin weakened the heart, depressed the vital forces, increased the mortality in mild cases and made convalescence slower. In all cases it masks the symptoms and renders immeasurably more difficult the selection of the curative remedy. Apparently aspirin bears no curative relation to any disease and it ought
to be prohibited. -Guy Beckly Stearns, MD, New York

Three hundred and fifty cases and lost one, a neglected pneumonia that came to me after she had taken one hundred grains of aspirin in twenty-four hours. -Cora Smith King, MD, Washington, DC

I had a package handed to me containing 1,000 aspirin tablets, which was 994 too many. I think I gave about a half dozen. I could find no place for it. My remedies were few. I almost invariably gave Gelsemium and Bryonia. I hardly ever lost a case if I got there first, unless the patient had been sent to a drug store and bought aspirin, in which event I was likely to have a case of pneumonia on my hands. -J. P. Huff, MD, Olive Branch, Kentucky.

In reading the accounts of the epidemic it seems that most of the deaths were caused by a virulent pneumonia that was especially devastating to those who depressed their system with analgesics-the most common being aspirin.

The Physician from whom I first learned homeopathy, Raymond Seidel, MD, HMD, said that he decided to be a homeopathic doctor during the flu epidemic when he was working as a delivery boy for a homeopath in New Jersey. Raymond Seidel told me that he decided to become a homeopathic doctor when he was a ten-year old delivery boy for a local homeopath. He said, “I saw that the people who were taking aspirin were dying, about half those who were drinking a lot were dying, and those that received homeopathic remedies were living.”

1 January 2008

A homeopath’s view of health

Conventional medicine tends to concentrate on disease – definition of symptoms, labelling (often purely a latin description of the symptoms), cause (often declared ‘unknown’ or attributed to infection with a ‘germ’).  It can take a long time for medicine to agree that a particular ‘disease’ actually exists and treatments often come much later and can be ineffective or cause side effects.

Homeopaths work from the starting point of health.  ‘That’s easy’ you might say: ‘health is a lack of symptoms’, but we would disagree.  Health is being able to react appropriately to circumstances and to be able to adapt and recover.

Reaction starts with reflexes, thoughts and emotions.  If something dangerous occurs to you it is important to be able to make sense of the situation quickly and react appropriately to save yourself.  It is necessary to have self-judgement and self-reliance to take these steps independently.  After a stress and its corresponding physiological symptoms does the mind and body recover easily and continue as normal or do they suffer from the effects for a considerable time?  These effects are an expression of ill-health or disease (dis-ease, i.e. not at ease) and can be in the forms of anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance as well as physiological effects in the organs of the body.  Mental disturbance disrupts normal life activities of work, rest, play and relationships and sleep disturbance affects immune sytem function.

Homeopathy is a holistic therapy, the ‘hol’ in holistic referring to ‘whole’.  Homeopaths look at whether a person has a full (whole) range of appropriate mental processes and emotions as well as physical functions: can the patient make sense of the world, get angry and defend themselves, can they show upset and get emotional support from family members and friends, do they have times of joy, happiness and sadness?  Inbetween times, do they recover to a neutral state of relative contentment?  If not content can they work out ways of reducing the discontent by confronting the problem and finding a solution, getting away from the problem or coming to terms with it? 

In reality the effects of society and upbringing results in many people finding one or more emotional states difficult or impossible to express.   These suppressive effects can have been in place over several generations in a family to the extent that its members become unaware of its absence.  Where there is emotional suppression a corresponding emotion becomes uppermost: with the absence of anger comes resentment, with the absence of support comes vulnerability.  These states can become quasi-normal states of being and lenses through which people perceive the world, and the source of compensating behaviours such as self-medication with drugs, alcohol and food, and personality disorders.  Wars, epidemics and difficult living conditions weaken health and their effects can be noted from one generation to the next in the type of symptoms to which we are susceptible.

A key word is ‘appropriate’.  Does the patient react appropriately to events in their lives? Some people overreact becoming easily angered or upset and affecting their confidence, work and relationships: others don’t react at all to the most severe provocation, putting themselves at risk of abuse and unable to reach their potential.  At the simplest level, if it is hot: to sweat and to seek shade and cool; if in danger: to escape, fight, hide or flee; if tired: to rest and recuperate;  if hungry: to seek food;  If thirsty: to seek water.   How many of us trust and act on our natural instincts? How many of us are still able to? How many side-effects of conventional medicine interfere with these natural functions?

 At the heart of homeopathic treatment is the desire to move the patient towards a state of physical, emotional and mental health, to smooth out over-reactions, to generate appropriate reactions where before there were none, to encourage independence of action and thought so that above all the patient can know their limits, trust their natural instincts, reach their potential and take care of their own health.

Happy New Year

with thanks to Sheilagh Creasey for her inspiration for this blog.

28 December 2007

Sleep medication to treat a sleep-like state – treating like with like

The word ‘homeopathy’ is derived of two words: homeo denoting ‘similar’ and ‘pathy’ denoting ‘suffering’. Its principle is that of giving a substance which causes you to suffer from similar symptoms to your ailment, which you react against and cancel out your own symptoms.  It is reported this week that sleep medication has been found to rouse patients in a coma: it may be a simple case of homeopathic action.

Sleep medication offers hope to families of comatose patients « Health Sense

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