Monthly Archives: May 2014

Henry N. Guernsey, M.D. A case

The following article on clinical cases was originally published in “The Hahnemannian Monthly” Volume 6,   August 1870.

Clinical Experience

By Henry N. Guernsey,M.D.

Case 1.  Mrs. A., of Delware, called on me a few weeks since, complaining of what she termed dyspepsia. Upon asking her to relate her symptoms in the order of their severity as it seemed to her, she replied, that a feeling of emptiness or goneness in her stomach discomforted her more than anything else, but she thought it of no account, as she vomited all her food soon after taking it, and she would naturally feel emptiness and goneness from want of food. I desired her to state merely facts, and I would draw my own conclusions. She replied: “It is a fact that I vomit nearly all my food; I have a painful sensation of emptiness in my stomach all the time; my sleep is broken and does not refresh me, my bowels are very costive, the stools being knotty and very difficult, and they have scarcely been moved for two years without an injection, and I do not think they would be moved now at all without an injection; my urine is cloudy and offensive, and a hard crust settles, that it is difficult to scrape from the vessel; I am very weak and miserable, have spent over two hundred dollars during the past two years for medicine, and despair of becoming any better; but I was compelled by my husband to consult you.”

I always prescribe sepia when a train of symptoms like the above in italics occur in a single case. In this case I gave the patient a few pellets of Sepia 55 m, dry on her tongue, and three packages containing twelve powders each of sac.lac.; one to be taken every night; and enjoined upon her that she should on no account resort to any more injections or other measures for the relief of her bowels, or of other symptoms, and to report to me in forty days. She thought she would not live to see me again if she were to leave off taking injections.

A few days ago she reported that she had not vomited since seeing me, her vowels had become regular very soon, and that she had no need of injections; indeed, she said, she got well so fast her husband was frightened. He was coming to the city that day on business, and he wished her to come and ask particularly what had been the matter, as she had been so sick so long, and now had gotten so well so soon. He did not understand it.

Sepia 55m, a single dose, always produces similar results in similar cases, if plenty of time is allowed the single dose to act. I do not give my experience hastily, nor base it on a single case. I only delineate my path where it has been well trodden; that others may follow it is safety.

 

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CASE OF EPILEPSY BY T. F. ALLEN, M. D., BROOKLYN, N. Y.

These cases were published in article “Cases Of Epilepsy” by T. F. Allen, in American Homeopathic Review, Vol III, New York, November, 1862. No 6. – See more at: http://consulthomeopathy.blogspot.in/2011/10/case-of-epilepsy-by-t-f-allen.html#sthash.HP0g6OaC.dpuf
These cases were published in article “Cases Of Epilepsy” by T. F. Allen, in American Homeopathic Review, Vol III, New York, November, 1862. No 6. – See more at: http://consulthomeopathy.blogspot.in/2011/10/case-of-epilepsy-by-t-f-allen.html#sthash.HP0g6OaC.dpuf

These cases were published in article “Cases Of Epilepsy” by T. F. Allen, in American Homeopathic Review, Vol III, New York, November, 1862. No 6. – See more at: http://consulthomeopathy.blogspot.in/2011/10/case-of-epilepsy-by-t-f-allen.html#sthash.HP0g6OaC.dpuf

These cases were published in article “Cases Of Epilepsy” by T. F. Allen, in American Homeopathic Review, Vol III, New York, November, 1862. No 6. – See more at: http://consulthomeopathy.blogspot.in/2011/10/case-of-epilepsy-by-t-f-allen.html#sthash.HP0g6OaC.dpuf
These cases were published in article “Cases Of Epilepsy” by T. F. Allen, in American Homeopathic Review, Vol III, New York, November, 1862. No 6. – See more at: http://consulthomeopathy.blogspot.in/2011/10/case-of-epilepsy-by-t-f-allen.html#sthash.HP0g6OaC.dpuf

CASE OF EPILEPSY

BY T. F. ALLEN, M. D., BROOKLYN, N. Y.

Mary F., aged nine, fair complexion, large deep blue eyes, large head, very fond of books and music.

September 19th, 1861. For nine months has had severe epileptic fits, generally one every two weeks. The morning before the attack plainly indicates that the dreaded paroxysm will overtake her before nightfall, she rises with a severe boring pain in the crown of the head, which extends to the occiput, and in an hour or two a most severe pain in the pit of the stomach also arises. This last pain is so severe that she bends double, lays herself across anything hard and resorts to all kinds of postures to relieve herself. Generally about six, p.m., the spasm sets in attended with unconsciousness; convulsions of the head and limbs; rolling of the eyes, especially so, as to appear “cross-eyed,” both eyes being drawn inwards; foaming at the mouth; grating the teeth; biting the tongue, and invariably opisthotonos so that two men could not keep her body straight. These fits last about two hours, when she falls into a deep sleep, from which she wakes the next morning with severe pain across the forehead, severe retching and vomiting, and for a few days her evacuations consist of clear water covered on the top by white flakes. She is gradually becoming more and more dull and stupid, inclined to sleep a great deal; her sleep being full of startings up from dreams of falling into the water. I prescribed Nux vom200 every other day for two weeks.

October 19th. No fit until today, about four weeks, which was attended with the same severity of symptoms. I repeated the remedy.

November l1th. Another fit; no change. Nux vom 30

November 12th. Another fit; no change. Bell. 30

November 24th. Another fit; has been better; has ceased to dream of water and has seemed brighter. Bell.200 once.

November 30th. Another fit; seems worse again. Hyos.30

December 6th. Had a slight fit; is every way much improved; no more retching and vomiting; evacuations more natural; seems brighter. Hyos.30 twice a week.

January 15th. A slight convulsion with no previous symptoms and slight subsequent ones. Medicine discontinued.

Since that time has had no more fits; her mind is rapidly improving and she is going to school.

 

Why EVERYTHING has to be researched and checked.

March, 1833, Dr Boenninghausen:

I was attacked with ileus [an obstruction of the bowel accompanied with colic pains]. The seat of the painful trouble was in the right lower part of the abdomen (typhylitis) [i.e., appendicitis]. The disease lasted two weeks. In the middle of the fourteenth night, which was one of unspeakable torment, I had the luck to hit upon the right remedy myself, one never before given in this disease. It was Thuj. and the symptom leading to it, sweat only on uncovered parts, while covered parts were dry and hot. One globule Thuj. 30 relieved the pain in five minutes; after ten minutes, a copious stool, followed by sound sleep from which I awoke next morning feeling as if newborn. Con. and Lyc. completed the cure.

This was an English translation I picked up on the web. I generally always do a check on the prescribing SX before posting……..

SX 566: As soon as he falls asleep at night an agreeable warm sweat breaks out on all the covered parts, which goes off an waking and this occurs frequently during the night. [Gss.]

So at some stage I need to go find the original German document and check it and see if a translation error has occured or something else. Perhaps if any German speaker has the original document they might quickly check for me….?

Understanding the disease.

Case 1.

From the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital
One has seen that in one extreme case, in especial, the sort of case one does not forget, and which one quotes to show what Carbo veg. can do in the most desperate conditions, where the symptoms agree. It was a small girl with heart disease, and an acute exacerbation supervening that was abruptly ending her young life. She had a pneumonia with pleural effusion. An endocarditis with pericardial effusion, and one morning, when the Physician was going his round accompanied by several other doctors, she was found lying forward on the supports that had to be provided, because she could not rest otherwise, cold, white, unconscious; just alive, because she was still giving the infrequent sharp gasps of the dying. Carbo veg. (I think 200) was quickly administered, while one of the doctors of wide experience exclaimed, “I’ll eat my hat if that child lives!” But before the ward round was finished she had regained warmth and consciousness — death had passed on! And, under Kali carb. (the complementary remedy, by the way!) she got well, so far as the damaged heart would permit. It is such experiences that have gained for Carbo veg. the name “corpse reviver.”
(Dr. Margaret Tyler, Homeopathic Drug Pictures)

Case 2

From the practice of Dr. E. B. Nash
I once had a case of very severe gastralgia caused by suppression of eczema on the hands. I knew nothing of the suppression, but prescribed Arsenicum because the pains came on at midnight, lasting until 3 a.m., during which time the patient had to walk the floor in agony, and there was great burning in the stomach. She had but one slight attack after taking Arsenicum, but, said she, when I visited her, “Doctor, would that remedy send out salt rheum?” Then I found out about the suppression which had been caused by the application of an ointment, and told her that she could have back the pain in the stomach any time she wanted it, by suppressing the eruption again. She did not want it.
(E. B. Nash, M.D., Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics)

Case 3

From the practice of Dr. E. B. Nash
This remedy [Colchicum autumnale] has one of the most positive and reliable characteristic symptoms in the whole Materia Medica, and one which cannot be accounted for from any pathological standpoint that I know of…

“The smell of food cooking nauseates to faintness.”

To illustrate the value of this symptom I will give a case of my own practice; it was also my first experience with a potency as high as the 200th. Patient was a lady, seventy-five years of age, who was suddenly seized with icy coldness at the stomach and vomiting of blood in large quantities; then bloody stools followed, which were at first profuse, then became small and of bloody mucus. There was great tensness and pain in the bowels. Aconite, Mercurius, Nux vomica, Ipecacuanha, Hamamelis and Sulphur; all tried as well as I knew how to select them at that time, but no relief came, and at the end of twelve days my patient was rapidly going down and it looked to me as though she must die. She had become so weak that she could not lift her head from the pillow. By actual count the number of stools passed on cloths in the bed was sixty-five, in twenty-four hours, the pains, number of passages and all symptoms were aggravated from sundown to sunrise.
Now during all this sickness this patient had been so nauseated and faint at the smell of cooking food that they had been obliged to keep the doors closed between her bedroom and the kitchen, which was two large rooms away. I was not so well acquainted with Materia Medica then as now, and while I did not overlook the symptom did not know of any remedy that had it. But I had my Lippe textbook of Materia Medica in my carriage and I went out and got it and sat down by the bedside; determined to find that peculiar and persistent symptom and “fight it out on that line if it took all summer.” I began at Aconite, and looked at the stomach symptoms of every remedy, until the first time I remembered ever having noticed it, there it stood in plain English under Colchicum. Then I looked in my medicine case for the remedy. None there, and I was four miles from home. I had a box of Dunham’s 200ths under my carriage seat that had been there for over a year, but which I had never used for want of confidence in high potencies. It was the best I could do for the present, so I dissolved a few pellets in a half-glass of cold water, and directed to give one teaspoonful after every passage of the bowels. On my way home I stopped my horse two or three times to turn around and go back and give that poor suffering woman some medicine. I felt so guilty, but I said to myself this is Lippe’s Materia Medica, and these are Carrol Dunham’s potencies, and here is a clean-cut indication for its administration, and the other symptoms do not counter-indicate. Well, I got home. But I started early the next morning to try and make amends for my rashness (if the patient was not dead) of yesterday. Imagine my surprise as I stepped into the sickroom when my patient slowly turned her head upon the pillow and said, with a smile, “Good morning, Doctor.” I had been met with a groan several past mornings. I felt faint myself then. I dropped into a chair by the bedside and remarked, “You are feeling better.” “Oh, yes Doctor.” “How much of that last medicine did you take?” “Two doses.” “What!” “Two doses; I only had two more stools after you left.” “Don’t you have any more pain?” “Pain stopped like that” (putting her hands together) “and I feel well except weakness.” She took no more medicine, quickly recovered, and was perfectly well for five years after, and finally died at eighty years of age. I never got over that surprise.
(E. B. Nash, M.D., Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics)

Case 4

From the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (a “spoilt” case with commentary”)
  I have always regretted, and never forgotten, a spoilt Lachesis case — spoilt for want of (then) knowledge. It was a huge cavity in a woman’s calf: one of those big excavated ulcers one used to see so often in student days. Lachesis was her remedy, and was prescribed. The second time she appeared, there was most amazing healing in the ulcer. But instead of waiting to let the vital reaction carry on towards cure, it was interrupted, by repetition of the remedy. When she came again, it was much worse — and then she came no more. It was a tragedy. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Work is not always easy: but the spoiling of good work is easy and deplorable. When things are going well, past all expectation, let them get on with it. Solomon says, “there is a time for everything.” But the time of rapid and extraordinary improvement is not the time to “butt in.”
(Dr. Margaret Tyler, Homeopathic Drug Pictures)

Desires Refreshing things-What do you mean?

I present this post  originally posted by Vera Resnick on her blog.

One of the things Vladimir Polony and myself try to do, is explain what we learned when researching the meaning of words in the Therapeutic Pocket Book during translation to English. The meaning of words have change tremendously since the 19th century. Vera did some research on the word erquickendem and gives her finding below. I would also like to add one description that was found in our research, and that was “nervous stimulation”. In itself it means nothing but when combined with other phrases, a rounded comprehension of the meaning can be deciphered. We also refer to each remedy noted in the rubric, and see how the symptom is described, and compare with the other remedies.

*************************************

A refreshing cuppa char!

A refreshing cuppa char!

Yesterday I was working on a case of a 17-year-old girl who has an eating problem . She does not seem to be anorexic, but has difficulty with eating.

–   She does not get hungry – she gets stomach cramps which is how she knows she must eat. She also gets a “mouth” sensation that she wants something “with a lot of taste”, but when questioned it turned out that some of the foods she likes that fall into this category include pasta with olive oil and mild flavouring, cheese Danish, and similar. Her concept of “a lot of taste” did not mean highly spiced or strongly flavoured.

–   After she has eaten a small amount, she feels both full and disgusted with the food she has eaten.

I mentioned this case to Gary, and he asked “have you considered the rubric for desires refreshing food?”

Remedies for this rubric: Carb-an, Caust, Cocc, M-art, Ph-ac, Phos., Puls., Rheum, Valer.

The word “refreshing” has always put me in mind of watermelon, cucumber salad, chilled fruit juice, or (like the Brit I am), a strong cup of tea. But however much I love a really good shepherd’s pie, I have never considered it “refreshing”. However Gary’s question got me thinking: what does “refreshing” mean? And are the foods and drinks that come under this definition more or less objective – or is it an issue of why the patient requires a food (to refresh himself), rather than the nature of the food itself?

In this particular case I had considered remedies such as Lyc, Calc and Puls – which I had given to the patient on several occasions but which had never quite touched this symptom.

I did some research. The original German word is “erquickendem”, which a German linguist informed me is probably connected to Middle English terminology of “the quick and the dead”. Looking at thesaurus options for the word “refreshing”, I came across words such as “revive”, “restorative”, and I found myself remembering soporific events which people attended lured in by the hallowed words “refreshments will be served”… which often were far from refreshing in the sense I had understood it, unless insipid tea and dry buns fit the description.

I’m also reminded of the way my father would say  sitting back in his chair after eating something substantial that he had really enjoyed, “that was fit to revive the dead…”.

Back to our (refreshing?) onions…
I took two rubrics in this case:
Hunger and Thirst, Desire, Refreshing (306)
Hunger and Thirst, Hunger, Appetite without (274)

screenshot refreshing post

These rubrics led me to Rheum, a remedy I had not considered at all in this case. The Materia Medica Pura includes these symptoms, amongst others, and in general Rheum reads very well for many of the other symptoms in this case.

49. Great appetite, but the food though tasting nice soon becomes repugnant. [Gss.]
50.  Whilst he loathes certain things (such as fat, insipid food), appetite for a variety of things, but he cannot eat much of them, for they immediately become repugnant. [Gss.]
51. The food does not taste right, and soon becomes repugnant, though he has tolerable appetite. [Gss.]
52. Anorexia.
53. Hunger, but no appetite.
54. He feels qualmish (squeamish, loathing and inclined to vomit).

There are two issues that I wanted to highlight in presenting this case:

1. Our understanding of remedies and symptoms are inevitably complicated by nuance of language, by the way the sensations are literally lost in translation, first from the sensation itself into spoken language, and second from one language to others. This applies both in the way our patients report their symptoms, and in the way the symptoms of the provers were reported as presented in the Materia Medica. It emphasizes the need to look at older meanings of words we may think we understand when using the repertory and when reading provings on which the repertory was based. And it also means that we have to use the question “what exactly do you mean by that” frequently in our case-taking.

2. The repertorization is not intended to summarize the case in two rubrics, and in this example, not even to identify all the most important aspects of this case. It is really a tool,  intended to find some essential salient elements that will point a guiding finger towards relevant remedies that we need to look at in the Materia Medica.

Jeremy Hunt asked medical chief to look at studies backing homeopathy

The Antagonism continues……………

Health secretary passed studies funded by homeopathic firm to Prof Dame Sally Davies, emails show
Jeremy Hunt

Medics raised questions about Jeremy Hunt’s apparent backing for homeopathy when he was made health secretary. Photograph: Neil Hall/PA

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, asked the chief medical officer to review three industry-funded studies in favour of homeopathy, emails released under freedom of information laws have revealed.

The emails show the health secretary asked Prof Dame Sally Davies to look at three studies funded by Laboratoires Boiron, the world’s biggest producer of homeopathic products.

When he was appointed health secretary in 2011, medics raised questions over Hunt’s previous comments about the value of homeopathy, which is considered by scientists to be medically ineffective. In a letter to a constituent in 2007, he said homeopathic care was “enormously valued by thousands of people” and suggested it should continue to be offered by England’s health service.

The emails, first reported by BuzzFeed, show Hunt wrote to Davies in December 2013 asking her to review the reports and a letter from his office to a third party said it was “important we do not discount different methods of treatment if they prove to be effective”. However, the chief medical officer replied that it was “difficult to draw useful conclusions” from two of the trials and a third had problems with its scientific method.

Sources close to the health secretary said Hunt had simply been passing on the reports to the chief medical officer after they were given to him by an MP. “He does not express an opinion on homeopathy and he is not an advocate,” one source said. “An MP gave Jeremy these reports and asked him to look into them. Because he does not have an opinion, he passed them on to the chief medical officer and asked her to look into them. He was just the conduit. He expressed the chief medical officer’s opinion when he wrote back to the MP.”

NHS trusts are free to fund homeopathic treatments if they wish, although use of the alternative medicine has been widely discredited. Last month, a study by Australian scientists concluded that homeopathy was no more effective than a placebo.

The draft paper by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council assessed research into the effectiveness of the alternative medicine on 68 health conditions and found was “no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective”.

Homeopathy is claimed to “let likes cure like” by using highly diluted forms of the ailment it is treating. “No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than a substance with no effect on the health condition (placebo), or that homeopathy caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment,” the report’s summary said.

An older Post revisited.

I was looking through the archives and came across this post. It holds true today as it did 2 years ago. Worth another read.

Killing the Goose.

alternative-medicine-wide

The I.H.M. presents a personal view of the present and future state of Homoeopathy as a medical therapy. Written by Vladimir Polony MSc. A homoeopathic practitioner with deep clinical experience in Slovakia and California, A Computer Engineer and program designer, one half of the P & W research team delving into the writings of Hahnemann and colleagues and presenting them in the original texts in the SYNOPSIS computer Repertory program.

With this background of extensive knowledge, and with hands on experience with the methodologies discussed in this article, Vladimir has presented a compelling and though provoking argument for the abandoning of false practices under the banner of Homoeopathy.

Rest In Peace Homeopathy

The current practice of homoeopathy is in an appalling state. Therapists call themselves “homoeopaths”, or even “classical homoeopaths” without the slightest adherence to homeopathic principles as outlined in Samuel Hahnemann’s Organon of Medicine. Any trace of empiric scientific methods that gave peer reviewed credibility to homeopathy is gone and has been replaced by the “transcendental” teachings of modern gurus.

The purpose of this commentary is to trace how we got from a very rational empirical science based on researched facts, to a collection of theories and teachings that are so absurd, that anyone in their right mind would not give credibility to homeopathy as a medical science.

I will especially reference the people responsible for this sorry state of homeopathy – the modern homeopathic gurus. Gurus, who claim to have a more precise and “transcendental” knowledge of homeopathy than the founder of homeopathy who practiced and researched medicine his whole life. These gurus make the claim to have seen the ultimate truth, to be able to see behind the symptoms, to perceive the elusive “essence” of homeopathy and essence of homeopathic remedies. They claim it is so simple, that even YOU can learn it very easily. It will be via an expensive training session of course. The sad thing is that once learned, it is less than useful in a homoeopathic medical clinic, and will fail you at every prescription.

You might be asking yourself, ‘who is this person to judge homoeopathy’? Apart from having been through an intensive and researched oriented University training and hold a Master’s Degree, I spent the first five years of my homoeopathic training learning the philosophy of, and working with the methods of Rajan Sankaran, Jan Scholten, Jeremy Sherr, Misha Norland and Peter Chappell. With Peter Chappell, I even purchased his self made remedies and prescribed on his indications. The net result was that I became VERY disappointed in the therapy and was considering giving it up as a career. Please note. Like many people in this position, I was listening to these modern guru “classical homoeopaths”, and even though I applied their teachings and methods religiously and followed accurately, I was not having success in my prescriptions. I concluded that Homoeopathy was too difficult and not accurate, and ultimately, if these were the best teachers, a failure of modern medicine.

I stopped seeing new patients. At this time I met Gary Weaver who was working in Florida in a medical faculty. We discussed homoeopathy and I discovered that he only used the works of the old Masters, especially Hahnemann and Boenninghausen. He presented me with a few cured cases to work out the prescriptions, and I applied my learning to them, and came up with remedies like Carcinosinum, the AIDS nosode, etc. I would then look at his prescribing notes and see that one or more of the old everyday remedies had been given for some deep conditions and had cured.

I then shared some of my cases with him, in which all the prescriptions were failing. He would look into his old Repertory from one of the early homoeopaths, and then cross check in an early edition of Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura or Chronic Diseases, and prescribe a remedy from there. I reluctantly would follow his prescription for the patient, I say reluctantly because it was not a new modern medicine, in the main it was just a standard old polychrest remedy. However, the patient would react well to the medicine and either be cured or had another remedy to finish the case!

I became fascinated with his approach and started studying the old masters of homeopathy – Hahnemann and Boenninghausen. I spent months translating the old writings, and reading through original texts. With the help of Gary I have finally abandoned the modern transcendental theories and started practicing the original science based homoeopathy.

My success rate has increased from roughly 20 % to 85 – 95 % (first prescription). When using the precise homeopathic teaching and tools left by Hahnemann, I have a confidence that even if the remedy is not absolutely correct, it is still close enough to produce a change in the patient that will allow me to discover the correct remedy more easily.

 Cause of a disease – necessity or an empty speculation

Samuel Hahnemann was the founder of homeopathy, his works are essential to understanding and practicing homeopathy. Among the most important works are, the Organon of Medicine (all versions but especially the 6th edition), Materia Medica Pura and Chronic Diseases. In terms of defining what homeopathy is, there cannot be a more important book than the Organon of Medicine. In this work, Samuel Hahnemann has very precisely defined homeopathy as a science and all the necessary steps leading to prescription of correct remedies, methods of discovering their actions, regimen for the sick as well as manufacturing of medicines and their administering.

In the 1800’s when the physicians were trying to find the CAUSE of the disease and prescribing on a speculative and unproven postulation, Hahnemann proposed a radical new approach. Instead of looking for this elusive cause, the physician should use his senses (empirical approach) and determine the CURRENT STATE of the disease in the patient. The physician’s role is not to determine the cause of the disease, but to heal the patient.

Organon of Medicine by Samuel Hahnemann – Aphorism 1:

 The physician’s high and ONLY mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed. 1

1 His mission is not, however, to construct so-called systems, by interweaving empty speculations and hypotheses concerning the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate in the interior of the organism, (whereon so many physicians have hitherto ambitiously wasted their talents and their time); nor is it to attempt to give countless explanations regarding the phenomena in diseases and their proximate cause (which must ever remain concealed), wrapped in unintelligible words and an inflated abstract mode of expression, which should sound very learned in order to astonish the ignorant – whilst sick humanity sighs in vain for aid. Of such learned reveries (to which the name of theoretic medicine is given, and for which special professorships are instituted) we have had quite enough, and it is now high time that all who call themselves physicians should at length cease to deceive suffering mankind with mere talk, and begin now, instead, for once to act, that is, really to help and to cure.

 In the first few aphorisms, to define what homoeopathy is, Samuel Hahnemann dismissed EVERYTHING that the modern homeopathic gurus are doing. Their teachings consist solely of empty speculations, trying to discover the “essences” behind the homeopathic remedies, and have produced a spiritual transcendental approach to the medical science.

In aphorism 11 Hahnemann wrote:

“When a person falls ill, it is only this spiritual, self-acting 
(automatic) vital force, everywhere present in his organism, that is 
primarily deranged by the dynamic influence upon it of a morbific agent 
inimical to life…”

In short, Hahnemann has described a perfectly empirical definition of a disease. We know that there is a cause of the disease which is some dynamic force, but with certainty we can only use the information collected by our senses (our observation). Anything else is a pure speculation. However, the modern homeopathy is full of these speculations.

 Causes of diseases as described by some of the modern gurus:

 Rajan Sankaran – The diseases are caused by some delusions that the patient has about the reality.

 Peter Chappell – The diseases are caused by the “CEED” – Chronic Effects of Epidemic Diseases.

Jan Scholten – The cause of the disease is described as coming from desires, disappointments and fears arising from them.

Notice that, in each individual approach, the empirical principle is non-existent and application has once more moved from observation to speculation. The modern gurus seem to be able to peer behind the veil of reality and give us their unique insight into the causation of disease. However, from the empirical standpoint it remains a pure speculation, and a return to the dark days of the 1800’s medical system pre Hahnemann.

Interesting fact is, that in order to cure the disease using homeopathy, we do not need to know this transcendental causation. All we need to know are facts gathered by our senses (physical observation, tests, patients medical history, present exhibition of symptoms) and through the homeopathic principle (like cures like), we can observe the effects of homeopathic remedies on healthy subjects and prescribe the remedy that causes the similar symptoms in the healthy person.

Why do these modern gurus then insist on “discovering” the “true nature” of disease ? The answer is quite simple. Money, Power and Adoration. It requires that a new method of “science” be created in order to market classical homoeopathy in a manner that makes a lot of income, is copyrighted and keeps an individual in the Public focus. There are no facts involved in this presentation, just ideas and concepts.

Case taking – symptoms, essences, vital sensations

The real damage to homeopathy does not come from empty speculations regarding health and disease or from deliberations on the causes of diseases. It comes when they apply their foolish nonscientific, non-proved speculative theory to the process of case taking.

Samuel Hahnemann has clearly stated that:

The unprejudiced observer … takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind … which can be perceived externally by means of the senses … he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual… (Aphorism 6)

 Symptoms are the language of the disease and we take note of only the symptoms themselves as they can be perceived by our senses (including lab tests and disease knowledge) but always noting the individual expression of a disease state as the patient expresses them. This is again a perfect example of homeopathy being an empirical science – we use only the data we can gather through our senses, we do not make deductions or rationalizations. In empirical science, there is no room for abstractions, speculations or deductions.

Let’s have a look at the Rajan Sankaran’s system of “vital sensations”. Vital sensations push homeopathy deeper into the realm of empty speculation by disregarding all the symptoms and by using the mental observations as devised by one person – Rajan Sankaran.

In his system, he separates the remedies into “kingdoms” such as plant, animal, mineral, nosode, etc. Based on his speculations, he attributes to each “kingdom” some “vital sensations”. These vital sensations have nothing to do with the drug provings and with the symptoms of remedies. He looks at the original substances and sees how they behave or feel like and then makes a deduction, that since the original substances have certain properties, then the homeopathic remedies must have the same properties.

There are a few problems with this approach. First of all it ignores the data from drug provings that were gathered using scientific methods and replaces them with observations of one person.

Secondly, it overly generalizes by using deductions and speculations that have not been tested or proved.

Thirdly, all interpretations of the vital sensations are by definition subjective and change from observer to observer – this means that objectivity in observation which was so strictly applied by Hahnemann and which makes homeopathy scientific has been removed. This makes any result speculative, subjective and not reproducible. Totally poor and bad science.

The question arises how it is possible that such a non-scientific approach can be so easily accepted by the homeopathic community. The roots of this lie in the acceptance of the “doctrine of signatures”. Doctrine of signatures originally taught that substances (plants) that resemble various parts of body can be used to treat them. Snakeroot was used to treat snake bites, Liverwort was used to treat liver, etc. In homeopathy this was again generalized further and expanded to include all other substances as well. Modern gurus such as Frans Vermeulen and Peter Chappell teach us, that if a person looks like something or in our mind resembles something, the remedy prepared from this will be the similimum.

I have heard multiple stories of patients that came to the homeopath wearing green and brown colors being prescribed plant remedies, because they resemble plants. Those wearing red aggressive colors got prescribed animal remedies because animals are aggressive and even cases when people wearing striped shirts leaving with a remedy prepared from Zebra. It does not stop here. The speculations have no end. People working as pilots get only remedies make from birds, people working with earth such as gardeners get only plant remedies and if you are unfortunate enough to have a hobby such a playing football and being a goalkeeper, you will get a remedy prepared from a web-weaving spider.

As you can see, the ideas presented in “vital sensation” method by Rajan Sankaran are by no means new. They have been around for a long time and all he has done is to create a framework for them so that they can be perceived as a new and exciting concept, copyrighted of course, and marketed for lots of money.

Another good example of this is Jan Scholten. He pushes the idea of non-scientific abstraction and speculation to a new level. In his system he looks at the periodic table of elements and deduced that elements in the same groups and periods share the same “essences”. Then the intersection of the group and period will make it possible to “explore” even the remedies which were never proved.

Just to give an example how simplistic this method is, let’s have a look at some of the remedies:

Ferrum Metallicum (Iron) – Iron is used to create tools, so according to Scholten theme of this remedy is “Worker, Task, Duty”. Since peasants work with iron or use iron, the region is “Village” and philosophy is “Practical”.

Argentum Metallicum (Silver) – Silver is a precious metal, so “logically” theme is “Artistic, Queen, Scientist” and philosophy is “Aesthetics and Beauty”.

Aurum Metallicum (Gold) – Gold is used as currency and is valuable, so of course themes are “King, Leader” and philosophy is “Politics”.

The gist of this “system” is to ignore any provings that were done using the scientific methods described by Hahnemann in the Organon. This unfortunately means, that people start prescribing remedies that have not been proven, using just one generalized indication.

When I started studying homeopathy, I was prescribed 4 remedies based on this system by an expert in this method and needless to say all of them failed. It was not until I was treated by a homoeopath using the Hahnemannian protocol of matching real symptoms with proven medicines that I was cured.

 Provings – from Science to Speculation

Homeopathy as described by Samuel Hahnemann in the Organon of Medicine a scientific method of discovering effects of remedies. The main principles of a scientific proving are: objectivity and empiric approach. This means, that provings need to be conducted in a way that would remove all speculations and in a way that would assure objectivity of a proving. Needless to say the principle of a double blind trial is necessary to assure that the provers or conductors of the proving to not distort the information gained by provings.

The scientific proving should be conducted based on these simple rules:

  1. Provers cannot know the remedy being proven.
  2. Provers cannot know whether they are taking the remedy or placebo.
  3. Conductor of the proving cannot know the remedy being proven.
  4. Conductor of the proving cannot know which people take the placebo and which ones take the remedy.
  5. Provers should write down any deviations from their normal state in their diary.
  6. The provers must be healthy.
  7. After the proving is finished all the information gathered by the provers that were taking the placebo must be erased.

Unfortunately even proving methodology has not escaped the creativity of the modern homeopaths.

Let’s start with the dream provings and meditational provings. Dream provings are conducted by most of the modern gurus and involve multiple modalities. The prover either does not take the remedy but places it under his pillow and goes to sleep and then records the dreams he had. The contents of the dreams are then considered to be the essence of the remedy.

Other modality involves a group of provers taking the remedy with a group of “psychics” dreaming in the room adjacent to the room with the provers. Again, the people dreaming and recording their dreams have not taken the actual remedy.

Meditational proving is very similar. A group of people makes the remedy from the 3rd potency and records ideas they had during making the remedy. Then they meditate on this and record their thoughts. Again, no scientific method and no objectivity.

Even provings that are conducted following a “scientific-like” method are compromised for instance by provers knowing that they are taking the remedy and even which remedy they are taking (as an example I would like to use the proving of Latex Vulcani by the School of Homoeopathy). Two of the provers knew the remedy and their “symptoms” were similar to the symptoms of the other provers, so they were recorded in the proving. By symptoms I do not mean physical symptoms of course, these are mental “symptoms”. I think it is reasonable to question the fact that these 2 provers could have influenced by their interactions the rest of the group and lead the proving towards the desired results. And again, since this was probably the case, the themes of the condom proving are what the thoughts and “themes” that you would get if you would think about everything related to a condom – separation, bubble, fear of diseases, etc.

In other provings this is even more evident where proving information includes also information by people who have not taken the remedy, but were given a placebo, because “they were influenced by the remedy regardless of taking it”.

Other provings blatantly skip the whole double blind trial aspect and declare that everyone is taking a particular remedy and even what is the remedy made of. So, if the proving is about a remedy made from bear’s blood, everyone will feel like a bear.

The other provings are even less scientific, the whole groups of provers know that they are taking a particular remedy and they know which remedy it is. Therefore they make an image in their mind of the symptoms they should have and they WILL experience them. This is no different to a brainstorming session.

These “provings” only prove one thing – the fact that they are worthless and that any scientific credibility the homeopathy had is lost.

 Conclusion

The problems outlined here only demonstrate the decline of homeopathy from a controversial, but nevertheless empirical science to a strange spiritual nonsense. The scientific methods gave way to transcendental speculations and the scientific credibility homeopathy had is lost.

The only thing left to say is “Rest in Peace homeopathy”. In the current state how it is taught by Rajan Sankaran, Jan Scholten, Frans Vermeulen, Peter Chappell, Jeremy Sherr and all their followers. If this is to be the new face of homoeopathy, I can only hope, In its present form that the practice is banned before too much damage is done.

Burn and Scald.

Boenninghausen.

Please repertorize.

Vol. 81, p. 196.

Theresa Sch. in Gl., a girl 18 years of age (whom I did not see), scalded her foot and leg with boiling water, three days ago, and had first treated the parts burned with domestic remedies, and then with Unguentum Basil, and thereby had so much aggravated the burn that she could not rest day or night for the burning and formication in it.

Feb. 3, 1852. 1, 2 , Arsenic., 2, Canthar. 200, 4 §. One powder every other evening, the foot to be kept dry.

Only on Feb. 21, I received the report, that the burn had healed up in a week, but that she now had an eruption on the face, and here and there pustules with matter, and that her skin in general was unhealthy.

1, Caustic. 200, 2-4 §, one powder every third evening.

This also improved quickly and she remained quite well, until Sept. 17th, 1853, when her suppressed menses caused an aberration of mind, with restlessness, anguish, and a tendency to suicide.

This also was cured in a few days by one dose of Pulsatilla 200, and a dose of Sulphur 200.

 

Sailors Fever.

Yes you can look for the answer in The writings of Boenninghausen, or you can repertorise it yourself and learn something that will be of benefit for a life time.

Merchant Ph. M., thirty years of age:

   had caught a cold last winter while travelling; he did not at first pay any attention to it, but the increasing ailments demanded medical assistance. Treatment by an allopath had remained without effect; in fact, during this treatment, lasting three months, nearly all the symptoms had grown considerably worse, so that now, as is so frequently done, the homoeopath was called on for aid.

The following symptoms formed the image of the disease:

  • For the last three to four weeks there has been a hollow, dry cough with hoarseness and much toughness in the larynx,
  • most violent during the night.
  • Constriction of the chest with stitches in the left side while lying on that side.
  • Internal heat, without thirst.
  • Severe exhausting perspirations.
  • Striking timidity.
  • Great drowsiness, but restless sleep,
  • waking up frequently,while an internal anxiety prevents his going to sleep again.
  • The face pale and collapsed, with a circumscribed redness of the cheeks.
  • Pressure in the stomach after eating,
  • especially after milk, often with vomiting, first of the ingesta and then of gall.
  • Augmented, watery urine.
  • Extraordinary emaciation.
  • He prefers warmth, and it agrees best with him.
  • He feels better in moderate motion than in continuous rest.
  • He had never been unwell much, and had never been actually sick. He could take a deep breath without any trouble, and frequently he felt impelled thereto

I could not find out anything about the allopathic remedies which he had used.After careful consideration and a protracted comparison of all the symptoms present with our Materia Medica, every homoeopath will agree with me that Phosphorus seemed most indicated of all the remedies, and this so decidedly that none of the other remedies could at all compete with it.

I therefore, felt no hesitation at all to give to the patient my usual dose (a high potency) of this very efficient remedy, and to direct its administration in the usual manner (dissolved in water), recommending to him the usual diet, and directing him to report to me in person in two weeks.

But I was cruelly and painfully disappointed when the patient after this period appeared before me, for he was not improved in any respect; on the contrary, his sickly appearance and the threatening redness of the cheeks had increased and the feverish symptoms had been suspiciously augmented. In the meantime the remedy had been used exactly according to my directions, and nothing had been overlooked either in diet or in his mode of life.

What then had been the reason of my total failure? Under such circumstances the only reason could be the defective or incorrect examination of the symptoms, so I went over them again carefully,one by one.

The mistake then appeared in the feverish symptoms, which were only superficially indicated, and which in the patient had a unsual and, therefore, unrecognized form, which was at the same time very characteristic.

  • For while sleeping he was suffering  continually from a dry, burning heat,
  • which on his waking up immediately passed into a very profuse perspiration, which continued without interruption while he was awake,
  • until he fell asleep again, when at once the dry heat reappeared.

Thus the conundrum was solved. This symptom is found only in XXXXX while in Phosphorus just the opposite is found. Since all the other symptoms coincided my patient received at once a dose of the high potency I usually employ, and the result was then so complete that in two weeks he was freed from all his ailments and felt as well as ever before

Alcoholism and Homoeopathy

I present for the student of the I.H.M a treatise from Boenninghausen regarding the treatment of alcohol problems using remedies. Now that everyone is back on track and focused, we will discuss this in full next week.

The Greeks of old denoted by Philoposia pretty much what we call mania for drinking, and they distinguished between it and between drunkenness and thirst. The Latin tongue, however, has no similar expression, and has to use, like the French language, a circumlocution. Is it possible that they had no knowledge of it? We may well presuppose that a brief communication on this subject may deserve a place in this Journal, since the subject itself is of considerable importance and of general use, and no one can deny that the mania for drinking is a real disease, and therefore its cure must fall in the province of the physician and of science. We refrain from describing this passion which occurs only too frequently, as well as the frightful consequence which it inflicts not only on the drunkard himself but also on his whole family. Every one knows from examples from his own proximate surroundings the one as well as the other, and he knows how rare are the cases where even in the twelfth hour after the loss of health and of property a salvation generally too late has been effected.

So also we would only in passing mention in a few words what every Homoeopath knows or has to know; namely, how a drunken person is to be treated. Concerning this subject I have given more particular directions in my “Domestic Physician.” Even if this name had not been handed down to us from antiquity, and is, therefore, to be considered classic, it would yet have to be acknowledged, since it is customary and permitted to create learned designations by compounding Greek words, while this is not customary with Latin words (or only exceptionally, as in the objectionable word: abiturient).

The quickest and surest relief from Intoxication:

(a) When caused by beer, supposing this beer to have been pure and not adulterated and poisoned with medicinal substance;

  • the abundant drinking of Chinese tea
  • and afterwards according to the indications, either Rhus or Nux vom.

(b) When caused by drinking brandy;

  • drink salt water and later take Pulsatilla.

(c) When caused by wine;

  • first a bitter almond,
  • and afterwards Nux vom.,
  • unless after wines containing acids: Antimonium crud. better corresponds to the indications.

 Only in the case where the drunken person is lying with a dark red face, staring eyes and twitching in the muscles of the face;

  • in such a case give every quarter of an hour in alternation Opium and Belladonna until he recovers, and then whatever the symptoms call for.

In the same way will be found in the before mentioned pamphlet more in detail the treatment of delirium tremens,

  • in which first Hyoscyamus, Opium, Nux vom. and Stramonium,
  • but in other cases also Anacardium, Aurum, Belladonna and Thuja will be found suitable and useful.

Different from all the preceding is real philoposia, i. e., that disease, the essence of which lies in the moral and physical necessity of a new falling into the vice of drunkenness, as soon as the previous intoxication has passed off, and a relaxation of mind and body has come on, which obliges the drunkard irresistibly to a renewal of the use of spirituous liquors, as experience has taught him that only thus can he, though only temporarily, gain a relief from his wretched and unbearable state. In this desire for drink, which has with him become a real passion, is found the greatest difficulty of curing this philoposia; since in spite of all warnings and all better knowledge it has finally become impossible to him to endure the state of sobriety, and at the same time the power of the will is paralyzed, which might enable him with courage and firmness to bring those initial sacrifices, without which it is impossible to attain his end. The physician, therefore, in this case has to solve the double problem of first improving the bodily condition, and then causing an antipathy to spirituous liquors in general.

With respect to the first problem, i. e., the cure of the bodily mania for drinking, there is no doubt that

  • Poppy-juice (Opium) stands at the head of all the remedies of this class.

The resultsof the provings of this very vigorous substance give us an image of this disease with respect to both the body and to the soul, such as no other medicine affords. With incipient drinkers the repeated use of this remedy alone will give great results, as in such cases it is sufficient of itself to extinguish not only the ill effects of intoxication, but also to induce a sort of repugnance to spirituous liquors in general.

The Orient furnishes us with a striking proof of the truth of Homoeopathy. For here among the numerous opium eaters and opium-smokers we never find a man who is given to the use of spirituous drinks. On the contrary, all testify the most pronounced aversion, although they are lavish enough in the use of sharp spices of all kinds as condiments to their food, so that this aversion is not merely dependent on their overstimulated palate.

The author of this article has in consequence succeeded in delivering several persons, who could already be numbered in the class of habitual drunkards, by merely giving them

  • two or three drops at a dose of the Tinctura Opii, while they were unconscious of it, since such persons are mostly averse to taking medicine this dose was administered in their morning cup of coffee.

This remedy, however, leaving out of view the disadvantage which the continued use of such powerful medicines would unfailingly produce, is not of lasting or even of long continued use, and, therefore, least of all in the case of persons who, in company of other friends devoted to drink, are continually anew seduced to the use of spirituous liquors. Even if the Poppy-juice at the first relapses in their vice might still prove of use, its beneficent effects would-as is the case in all such remedies-gradually grow ever weaker and more transitory, and in the end it would cease entirely, and this even if the doses should continually be increased.

Under such circumstances, which are by on means rare, we have to take our refuge in a dietetic remedy, and one, indeed, which continued for a length of time, continually increases the aversion to spirituous drinks, without in the least injuring the health. This remedy is milk!

Every Homoeopath knows, or ought to know, that every remedy which has aversion to spirituous liquors among its indications also shows aversion to milk or troubles from its use, and vice versa. We know this experimentally and with certainty of

  • Arnica,
  • Arsenic,
  • Bovista,
  • Bryonia,
  • Calcarea,
  • Carbo veg.,
  • China,
  • Ignatia,
  • Lachesis,
  • Mercurius,
  • Natrum mur.,
  • Nuxmosch.,
  • Nux vom.,
  • Pulsatilla,
  • Rhus,
  • Sepia,
  • Silicea,
  • and Sulphur. ac.,

and as to others we have a good reason to suppose it. It is with this as with the peculiarity of some diseases which do not bear the use of certain otherwise quite unmedicinal and therefore quite harmless articles of food and drink, and which show quite considerable aggravations from their use. We would only mention here bread, meat, eggs and vegetables of various kinds, potatoes, pulse, and even pure water, which can not be borne by some patients, while healthy persons and even those sick of other diseases do not feel the slightest ill effects from them.

This might be called a sort of idosyncracy in a more extended sense, which, indeed, has no relation to the greater or less degree of danger in the disease, but the knowledge of which is of the greatest use to the physician, who knows how to make use of such indications, especially in cases where other usable symptoms are lacking