Category Archives: Sensation Method

Please do the job properly or leave the room.

phrenThere is a great need for humility in the practice of Homoeopathy. So many of our colleagues who are medical Doctors, display an unmerited high estimation of their homoeopathic prowess with very little REAL understanding of the therapy they espouse to believe in. At the same time, many non medical practitioners show disdain for medical knowledge and rely on a faulty school taught methodology that is fraught with inaccuracy and dangerous practices.

This Institute and its entire faculty, would like to offer the following advice to any student or practitioner who practices under the title “homoeopath” today.

  • Do NOT rely on a thematic concept of Materia Medica. This also applies to Essences. Apply all your reasoned intellect to a real study of the symptoms of the Materia Medica as extracted under proper proving conditions by the Masters of Old. If you do this, it will be made clear to you that the essences and themes you so heavily rely on in practice, do not exist as taught to you, and are responsible for a lot of the failures in practice that have been experienced.
  • ·  Keynote prescribing will NOT replace accurate comparison of the patients exhibited Symptoms and the matching of symptoms produced by a medicine.

Many who have been taught and practice Essence prescribing, have little or NO knowledge of the reality of proved Symptoms as recorded in the Materia Medica. In our experience, Essence prescribing is based on very poor psychology which denigrates both Mental Medicine and Homeopathic principles.

  • Ignoring physical symptoms of necessity, and relying on the latest new fad of mentalising the patients problems, is dangerous and borders on criminal behavior when dealing with health issues. A homoeopath cannot ignore the basics of the therapy as outlined in the writings of Hahnemann.
  • If a practitioner uses the title “Homoeopath” and has not studied his medicines, or relies solely a one sided understanding of homoeopathy, it becomes difficult to accept them into the ranks of being a homoeopathic Physician.

To place a person that lays claim to the title homoeopath (who does not have a basic understanding of Hahnemanninan homeopathy) and put them into a local medical clinic, you will witness the actions of an individual who cannot differentiate between Chronic and Acute illness, between a state of pathology and a functional disorder, between a miasmatic (infectious) problem and and a non infectious problem. To compound this, a lack of knowledge of similar and dissimilar disease states, miasmatic merged diseases or one sided disease, a good similar remedy, or a partially indicated remedy, and a total inability to comprehend a medicinal aggravation versus a worsening of the case.

And the most frightening thing of all is that the individual involved will tell you with all sincerity that the fragmented form of bastardized homoeopathy that he or she practices, is of the highest calibre.

I have witnessed individuals looking for a deeply hidden psychological central delusion state to match with a medicine. After noting the type of medicines that are chosen for these core delusion interpretive forms of treatment, it has to be concluded that they are nothing more than an inverted form of the doctrine of signatures, something which Hahnemann exposed as being less that useful or scientifically plausible over 200 years ago!  The main problem with this method, is that it totally overlooks the “full picture of the disease state” by ignoring obvious signs and symptoms on a physical level which are right in front of the physician eyes and do not require anything else but careful observance to see.

Whatever.

Sankaran’s ‘Sensation Method’- Homeopathy Crippled by Lack of Basic Scientific Awareness

Chandran Nambiar

What-Mental-Illness-Did-Howard-Hughes-HaveCorner-stone of ‘Sankaran Method’ is classifying drugs into ‘animal’, ‘plant’, and ‘mineral’ kingdoms. Then each kingdom is related with particular group of ‘vital sensations’. Plant remedies are used for individuals having ‘vital sensations’ belonging to the group of ‘sensitivity’, animal remedies are used for those having ‘viatal sensations’ belonging to the class of ‘survival instincts’, and mineral remedies for ‘structural consciousness’.

First, we have to analyze the concept of ‘remedy kingdoms’. Medicinal properties of any remedy are determined by the chemical structure and properties of the individual chemical molecules they contain. Because, it is individual drug molecules that act upon biological molecules, produce inhibitions, molecular pathology and associated symptoms. During potentization, it is the individual drug molecules that undergo molecular imprinting, and as such, it is the individual molecular imprints that act as therapeutic agents. In the absence of this molecular perspective of our medicinal substances, we fall prey to all sorts of unscientific theories that misguide us gravely.

Let us consider a particular remedy belonging to plant kingdom. The molecular composition as well as chemical and medicinal properties of the particular drug sample will be decided by various factors. It will contain kingdom-specific, family-specific, species-specific, variety specific, plant-specific and environmental-specific chemical molecules. Part of plant from which the drug substance is extracted is also a decisive factor. Nux vomica tinctures prepared from seeds, fruits, flowers, leaves, bark or root of nux vomica plant will have different molecular composition and medicinal properties. Some molecules will be common to all samples from a particular plant. Certain other molecules will be common to all samples from a particular species. There will be some molecules common to family, as well as some common to plant kingdom as a whole.  Plants belonging to same family will have some common genes, which would produce some similar proteins and enzymes, that would lead to similar molecular processes and synthesis of similar molecules. There would be kingdom-specific, family specific, species specific, variety specific and individual specific and tissue specific chemicals in a plant drug.

As per this perspective, medicinal properties of a given drug substance of ‘plant kingdom’ will be decided by the collective properties of organ specific, plant specific, variety specific, species specific, family specific and kingdom specific chemical molecules contained in them. It is obvious that it is wrong to think that medicinal properties of a drug substance could be assumed by the ‘kingdom’ to which it belongs.

This is applicable to all drugs belonging to mineral as well as animal kingdoms.

When animal or plant substances are disintegrated or divided into individual molecules, they become similar to mineral drugs at molecular level. There are many drugs which could not be included in any particular kingdom. Petroleum is a mineral, but it is the product of disintegration of animal and vegetable matter under ocean beds. Acetic acid is a mineral, but it is prepared from vegetable products. How can we say lactic acid, prepared from milk is plant remedy or mineral remedy? All of us consider calc carb as mineral drug, but exactly it is the ‘middle layer of oyster shells’, and as such, is an animal drug. Kreasote is combination of phenols prepared from wood, and how can we say it is ‘plant’ or ‘mineral’?

At molecular level, the dividing line between ‘plant, animal and mineral’ kingdoms is irrelevant. It is the molecular structure and chemical properties that decide the medicinal properties. To be more specific, it is the functional groups or moieties that act as decisive factor. Classifying drugs on the basis of ‘kingdoms’ and assigning certain ‘mental level sensations’ to them is totally unscientific and illogical. It illustrates the pathetic level of scientific awareness that rules the propagators of ‘sankaran method’.

Rajan Sankaran’s ‘sensation’ method is based on the concepts of ‘deeper level vital sensations’ and corresponding ‘remedy kingdoms’. This method has nothing in common with classical homeopathy, where symptoms belonging to mentals, physical generals and particulars, with their qualifications such as causations, sensations, locations, modalities and concomitants decide the selection of similimum.

According to this theory, ‘structure’ is the basic sensation of ‘minerals’, ‘sensitivity’ is the basic sensation of ‘plants’ and ‘survival’ is the basic sensation of ‘animals’.

According to this methods, case taking involves an inquiry into ‘deeper levels of consciousness’, by prompting the patient to introspect from ‘symptoms’ into ‘deeper, deeper and still deeper’ levels so that his basic ‘vital sensation’ is explored. Then this ‘vital sensation’ is used to decide the ‘kingdom’ to which the patient  belong. Remedies are selected from these ‘remedy kingdoms’.

The most dogmatic part of this theory is the relating of ‘vital sensation’ with ‘remedy kingdoms’. On what basis Dr Sankaran says ‘sensitivity’ is the ‘vital sensation’ of ‘plants’? Any logical or scientific explanation for this relationship? If we go through materia medica of various drugs, we can see many ‘animal’ and ‘minerals drugs’ having sensitivity of high order. How can anybody claiming to be a homeopath ignore the whole drug provings and materia medica to declare that ‘sensitivity’ is the ‘vital sensation’ of ‘plants’ only?

When a homeopath says ‘sensitivity’ is the ‘vital sensation of plants, it means all plant remedies have produced such a characteristic sensation in healthy individuals during drug proving. To say ‘animal drugs’ have ‘vital sensation’ of ‘survival instinct’, a homeopath should be capable of showing examples from materia medica to justify that statement. Same with ‘vital sensations’ of mineral drugs. Our materia medica does not show that only ‘plant drugs’ produced ‘sensitivity’ in provers.  We can see many ‘animal’ and ‘mineral’ drugs with high order of ‘sensitivity’.  If not from materia medica, where from Dr Sankaran ‘invented’ that ‘vital sensation’ of ‘sensitivity’ is the basic characteristic of ‘plant kingdom’?

See the rubric ‘sensitive’ in ‘mind’ of kent repertory:
[Kent]Mind : SENSITIVE, oversensitive:- Acon., Aesc., Aeth., Alum., Am-c., Anac., Ang., Ant-c., Apis., Arg-n., Arn., Ars., Ars-i., Asaf., Asar., Aur., Bar-c., Bell., Bor., Bov., Bry., Calc., Calc-p., Calc-s., Camph., Cann-s., Canth., Carb-an., Carb-s., Carb-v., Cast., Caust., Cham., Chin., Chin-a., Chin-s., Cic., Cina., Clem., Cocc., Coff., Colch., Coloc., Con., Crot-h., Cupr., Daph., Dig., Dros., Ferr., Ferr-ar., Ferr-p., Fl-ac., Gels., Gran., Hep., Hyos., Ign., Iod., Kali-ar., Kali-c., Kali-i., Kali-n., Kali-p., Kali-s., Kreos., Lac-c., Lach., Laur., Lyc., Lyss., Mag-m., Med., Meph., Merc., Mez., Mosch., Nat-a., Nat-c., Nat-m., Nat-p., Nat-s., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Ph-ac., Phos., Plat., Plb., Psor., Puls., Ran-b., Sabad., Sabin., Samb., Sanic., Sars., Seneg., Sep., Sil., Spig., Stann., Staph., Sulph., Tab., Teucr., Ther., Thuj., Valer., Verat., Viol-t., Zinc.

In this list, 46 remedies belong to ‘mineral kingdom’: alumina, ammo carb, antim crud, arg nit, ars, ars iod, aur, baryta, borax, calc, calc phos, calc sulph, carb sulph, causticum, cupr, ferr, ferr ars, ferr ph, fl acid, hep, iod, kali group, mag mur, mercury, natrum group, nit acid, phos acid, phos, platinum, plumbum, sanicula, silicea, stannum, suplh, zinc

12 remedies are from ‘animal kingdom’: Apis, cantharis, carb an, crot h, lac can, lach, med, moschus, psorinum, sep, theri.

Remaining 56 remedies are of ‘plant kingdom’.

On what basis sankaran says ‘sensitivity’ is the ‘vital sensation’ of plant kingdom? How can anybody say persons who are ‘sensitive’ at the deeper’ level need ‘plant remedies only? How can this theory be called homeopathy?

Similarly, if we examine various rubrics belonging to ‘survival’ instinct, or ‘structural’ sensations, we can see they are not limited to animal or mineral remedies only. Many ‘plant remedies’ have such symptoms.

According to Rajan Sankaran, FEAR is the indication of VITAL SENSATION of ‘survival instincts’ which need an ANIMAL KINGDOM drug. Based on which materia medica  Dr Rajan Sankaran says ‘vital sensation’ of ‘fear’ indicates only ‘animal kingdom remedy’?

Please see the MIND rubric FEAR in Kent Repertory:
[Kent]Mind : FEAR:- Absin., Acet-ac., Acon., Aeth., Agar., Agn., Aloe., Alum., Am-c., Anac., Ang., Ant-c., Ant-t., Arg-n., Ars., Ars-i., Asaf., Aur., Bapt., Bar-c., Bar-m., Bell., Bor., Bry., Bufo., Cact., Calad., Calc., Calc-p., Calc-s., Camph., Cann-i., Cann-s., Caps., Carb-an., Carb-s., Carb-v., Cast., Caust., Cham., Chin., Chin-a., Chlor., Cic., Cimic., Coca., Coc-c., Cocc., Coff., Coloc., Con., Croc., Crot-h., Cupr., Daph., Dig., Dros., Dulc., Echi., Elaps., Eupho., Ferr., Ferr-ar., Ferr-p., Form., Gels., Gent-c., Glon., Graph., Hell., Hep., Hydr-ac., Hyos., Hyper., Ign., Iod., Ip., Kali-ar., Kali-br., Kali-c., Kali-i., Kali-n., Kali-p., Kali-s., Lach., Lil-t., Lob., Lyc., Lyss., Mag-c., Mag-m., Manc., Meli., Merc., Merc-i-r., Mez., Mosch., Mur-ac., Murx., Nat-a., Nat-c., Nat-m., Nat-p., Nat-s., Nicc., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Onos., Op., Petr., Phos., Phyt., Pip-m., Plat., Psor., Puls., Ran-b., Raph., Rheum., Rhod., Rhus-t., Rhus-v., Ruta., Sec., Sep., Sil., Spig., Spong., Squil., Stann., Staph., Stram., Stront., Stry., Sul-ac., Sulph., Tab., Tarent., Thuj., Til., Valer., Verat., Zinc.

See. 75 drugs belong to PLANT KINGDOM! 54 are MINERAL drugs! Only 9 ANIMAL drugs! How Rajan Sankaran say only ANIMAL drugs are indicated for ‘vital sensation’ of ‘survival instincts’? By this approach, the practitioner who looks only ‘animal’ drugs is actually deprived of a large number of drugs belonging to other ‘kingdoms’, one of which may be the real similimum.

There may be many patients ‘sensitive at deeper levels’ who may require ‘animal’ or ‘mineral’ drugs if we select drugs using homeopathic method of totality of symptoms. Limiting all ‘sensitive’ patients to ‘plant kingdom’ remedies may be detrimental in such cases.

Rajan Sankaran says FEAR is the expression if ‘vital sensation of survival instincts’ which the ‘theme’ or quality of ‘animals’. As such, sankaran method uses only ‘animal remedies’ for people exhibiting ‘deep seated’ fear.

Homeopathic understanding of medicinal properties of drug substances are based on symptoms produced in healthy individuals during drug provings. Those symptoms are listed in our materia medica and repertories. Similimum by comparing symptoms of patients with symptoms of drugs, which is the basis of our therapeutic principle ‘similia similibus curentur’.

Please go to KENT REPERTORY> MIND > FEAR: Aconite, Argentum Nit, Aurum, Bell, Borax, Calc Phos, Calc, Carb sulph, Cicuta, Digitalis, Graphites, Ignatia, Kali Ars, Lyco, Lyssin, Nat Carb, Phos, Platina, Psor, Sepia and Stram are the drugs listed with THREE MARKS under FEAR.

As per homeopathic method of similimum being selected on the basis of our materia medica, these are the prominent drugs to be considered in patients with characteristic sensation of FEAR.

But, according to Sankaran, FEAR indicates ‘vital sensation’ of ‘survival instincts’, which needs ‘animal remedies’ only. Only animal remedies found in above list are Lyssin, Psorinum and Sepia. Homeopaths practicing Sankaran method will obviously ignore all other drugs in this list, since they are not ‘animal remedies’. Does this approach strengthen homeopaths, or debilitate them?

I would like to know, from where Dr Snkaran got the idea that only ‘plant remedies’ have ‘fear’ and ‘survival instincts’? Which drug proving? Which materia medica? A person cannot claim to be homeopath by ignoring all available homeopathic literature on materia medica, and producing materia medica and symptoms from his fancies.

Some people claim, Sankaran’s concepts are based on his ‘observations’.
Did he conducted drug provings of all drugs and ‘observe’ their symptoms? Did he prove the symptoms given in our materia medica are not reliable? Which proving showed him sepia, lyssin and psorinum has more ‘fear’ than phos, bell, stram or arg nit?

Would Sankaran say a homeopath cannot cure a patient having ‘survival instincts’ and ‘fear’ using phosporous or stramonium, if they turn out to be similimum on the basis of totality of symptoms. Should we avoid phos, since it is not an ‘animal drug’?

Please see following rubrics:
[Kent]Mind : FIGHT, wants to:- Bell., Bov., Hipp., Hyos., Merc., Sec.

[Kent]Mind : QUARRELSOME:- Acon., Agar., Alum., Ambr., Am-c., Anac., Anan., Ant-t., Arn., Ars., Aster., Aur., Bar-c., Bell., Bor., Bov., Brom., Bry., Calc., Calc-s., Camph., Canth., Caps., Caust., Cench., Cham., Chel., Chin., Con., Cor-r., Croc., Crot-h., Cupr., Dig., Dulc., Elaps., Ferr., Ferr-ar., Fl-ac., Hipp., Hyos., Ign., Ip., Kali-ar., Kali-c., Kali-i., Lach., Lepi., Lyc., Lyss., Merc., Merl., Mez., Mosch., Nat-a., Nat-c., Nat-m., Nat-s., Nicc., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Olnd., Pall., Petr., Ph-ac., Phos., Plat., Plb., Psor., Ran-b., Rat., Rheum., Ruta., Seneg., Sep., Spong., Stann., Staph., Stram., Stront., Sul-ac., Sulph., Tarent., Thea., Thuj., Til., Verat., Verat-v., Viol-t., Zinc.

According to sankaran, ‘quarelling’ and ‘fighting’ indicates ‘survival instincts’, which require ‘animal remedies’.

Under the rubric “Mind : FIGHT, wants to”, not a single ‘animal remedy’ is seen, except hipp.

Under ‘quarrelsome’, ambra, asterias,cantharis, cenchris, corralium, crotalus, elaps, hipp, lach, lyssin, psor, sep, spong, and tarent are the animal remedies.

Would you say, all remedies other than these ‘animal remedies’ should be eliminated while selecting a similimum for this patient?

According to sankaran, JEALOUSY is a ‘vital sensation’ of ‘ANIMAL KINGDOM’.

See this rubric:
[Kent]Mind : JEALOUSY:- Anan., Apis., Calc-p., Calc-s., Camph., Cench., Coff., Gall-ac., Hyos., Ign., Lach., Nux-v., Op., Ph-ac., Puls., Raph., Staph., Stram.

LACHESIS and HYOS are 3 marks drugs for this symptom. Only APIS, CENCHRIS, and LACHESIS are ‘animal’ drugs’. Anan, Camph, Coff, Hyos, Ign, Nux, Opium, Puls, Raph, Staph and Stram are ‘plant remedies’. Calc P, Calc S, Gall ac and Phos ac are mineral drugs.

We  have to eliminate HYOS when searching a similimum for a person with jealousy as a prominent symptom, if we follow Sankaran method!

Homeopathic materia medica or repertory does not support Sankaran’s theory that persons with ‘vital sensation’ of ‘jealousy’ would require ‘animal drugs’ only.

Sankaran says LACK OF SELF CONFIDENCE indicates a vital sensation of ‘structural consciousness’, which is a MINERAL quality. Only ‘mineral drugs’ have to be considered for patients exhibiting ‘vital sensation of LACK OF SELF CONFIDENCE.

See this rubric in kent repertory:
[Kent]Mind : CONFIDENCE, want of self:- Agn., Alum., Anac., Anan., Ang., Arg-n., Aur., Bar-c., Bell., Bry., Calc., Canth., Carb-an., Carb-v., Caust., Chin., Chlor., Dros., Gels., Hyos., Ign., Iod., Kali-c., Kali-n., Kali-s., Lac-c., Lach., Lyc., Merc., Mur-ac., Nat-c., Nat-m., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Olnd., Op., Pall., Phos., Plb., Puls., Ran-b., Rhus-t., Ruta., Sil., Stram., Sul-ac., Sulph., Tab., Ther., Verb., Viol-t., Zinc.

Only ANACARDIUM is 3 marks drug for this symptom. It is a PLANT REMEDY!

24 drugs- Agnus, Anac, Anan, Ang, Bell, Bry, Carb v, China, Dros, Gels, Hyos, Ign, Lyc, Nux V, Oleand, Opium, Puls, Ran b, Rhus t, Ruta, Stram, Tab, Verb and Viol t are PLANT REMEDIES.

5 drugs- Canth, Carb an, Lac can, Lach and Ther are ANIMAL DRUGS.

23 drugs- Alum, Arg Nit, Aur, Bar c, Calc, Caust, Chlor, Iod, Kali c, Kali n, Kali s, Merc, Mur ac, Nat c, Nat m, Nit ac, Pall, Phos, Plumb, Sil, Sul ac, Sul and Zinc are MINERAL DRUGS.

Materia medica or repertories no way justify Sankaran’s theory that LACK OF SELF CONFIDENCE would require only MINERAL REMEDIES. How can a person claiming to be homeopath make a theory and method of practice totally ignoring our whole materia medica and drug proving?

Sankaran’s reputation, experience or vast followings should not prevent us from asking genuine questions. We need answers for these questions, since Sankaran claims to be a homeopath.

Sankaran’s method will result in gravely disabled in incapacitated homeopathic practice, preventing homeopaths from utilizing the unlimited potentials of our materia medica.

Obviously, the basic dogma of ‘sensations-kingdom’ relationship on which ‘Sankaran’s method’ is built up lacks the support of logic or materia medica.

Anybody can make any theories. But it is wrong to say it is homeopathy.

As part of our mission to evolve and promote scientific homeopathy, we have to discuss and analyse various existing theories about homeopathy . We have to analyse and expose each and every ideas, concepts and methods in homeopathy that hinder scientific transformation of homeopathy.

Without criticizing and exposing wrong ideas and wrong practices, we cannot evolve and promote right ideas and right practices in homeopathy.

Some friends have expressed their apprehension that criticizing wrong theories and practices happening in homeopathy in public will harm the good will and reputation of our community and our therapeutic system.

I do not subscribe to that view. All these ‘wrong things’ in homeopathy are done and promoted by their propagators in public, without any concern about the harm they are doing, through articles, books, interviews and seminars all over the world, making homeopathy a topic of unending mockery before the scientific community. All these things are already known to general public better than homeopaths themselves.

These people have already done enough damage to homeopathy through their unscientific theories and nonsense practices. They supply arms and ammunition to skeptics to attack homeopathy.

If homeopathic community continue let these people go like this, we cannot even dream about making homeopathy a scientific medical system, and get it recognized as such even in a far distant future.

It may help in creating an aura around the teacher, which would attract people to seminars. That is not a silly thing, where money matters above homeopathy!

In his Homeopathic Links interview, Vithoulkas says: “Sankaran alone has done more harm to homeopathy than all the enemies of homeopathy together.”

Andre Saine writes on his website: “Sankaran demonstrated several basic errors of methodology and reasoning in his example of how he ‘discovers’ a remedy”

How would the followers of Sankaran respond to these statements?

Collect all mentals, physical generals and particular symptoms of your patient, with all qualifications such as causations, sensations, locations, modalities and concomitants. Then grade the symptoms into uncommon, common, mental, physical general and particulars. Then repertorize. Compare the materia medica of drugs coming top in repertorization, and decide a similimum. That is the simple way of homeopathic practice- and the most successful way.

If a drug is similimum according to totality of symptoms, it does not matter whether that drug belongs to animal, mineral or plant kingdoms. It does not matter to which ‘sub kingdom’ or ‘family’ the drug belongs. Such knowledge does not make any difference in our similimum.

Chandran Nambiar. Kerala
Email : similimum@gmail.com

As it is.

blind_leading_blindSo, from the pages of this blog, you can see all the wonderful stuff going on the world of conventional medicine. You will never hear, “we are sorry” or”We dont know what we are doing”. No, you will just see deception, and lies and self promotion. I am sickened in spirit reading of the deliberate choices made by pharmacies for profit, in the knowledge that the medicines they release into the marketplace (sic) are not good for cure.

And what about Homoeopathy? Does the therapy offer better choices for healthcare?

Sadly for Homoeopathy, the therapy is being reduced to a worthless and ineffective form of treatment, that is of no use to anyone. For the most part, and mainly in the Western world, the tenets and usage of homoeopathy is so far removed from how it should be practiced, that I am surprised when a person gets benefit from treatment at all.

The modern gurus of homoeopathy, have propounded theories,with their own fanciful spiritual leanings and incorporated into the framework of teaching, so much so that Hahnemannian homeopathy, the Therapy, no longer is taught. It is virtually impossible to pass any college exam without knowing the practice methodology of Sankaran and Scholten.

This, in itself, and by itself, has removed any vestige or usefulness of the medical practice. Homoeopathy proper, is not known to the advocates of the methods. People seeking urgent medical aid will need to go elsewhere for treatment. Sankaran has turned a medical practice into a quasi psychological evaluation based on supposition and speculative theories, that are not even very good models to use in any therapy. It has complicated a very sound scientific principle with defined parameters into a search for something that cannot be observed clinically, and is totally dependent upon the practitioners own spiritual belief, comprehension ability, emotional involvement, and speculative diagnosis. No two Sankaran practitioners would come to the same conclusion for a prescription in general.

Homoeopathy was designed to match observable symptoms of disease. The search for the ‘inner’ cause, was addressed by Hahnemann in great detail throughout his writings, and is the very first thing mentioned in his Organon of Medicine.

§ 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.

 Im sure that for those that practice in the manner described above, exception and issue will be taken with these comments. Sadly for them, and for the patients they see, confirmation of Hahnemanns words are evident in the paucity of cures effected. Practitioners of the Sankaran method are NOT effective in treating medical problems of either an acute or deeper illness conditions. There comes a time when success has to be measured by a majority of cured cases in your clinic, not the occasional ‘amazing’ cure, no.. it has to be the coughs colds, traumas, fevers etc etc that leave the clinic with a curative response in evidence. It has to be done QUICKLY both in the evaluation of the disease symptoms and the choice of prescription based on sound reasoning and reality. This is real world medicine, as practiced by Hahnemann and others and there is NO room for anything but sound medical training and analysis. Anything other is Quackery.

Without strict adherence to the methodology of the application of the medicines, Homoeopathy cannot and will not stand up to scrutiny in the public arena. It fails every time simply because the people practicing under the banner of homoeopathy, are misleading themselves and the public. I have watched the decline of the reputation and of the therapy of homoeopathy in the last few years with a sense of acceptance simply because the therapy cannot and will not survive in the absence of clear principles, and in the presence of so much erroneous teaching.

Much of the homoeopathic literature written in modern times, is less than useful. Most of the prominent names in homoeopathy today, have nothing of value or use to offer to the therapy. Whilst enriching themselves, for cult status has its benefits, the progress of homoeopathy proper has been stunted, if not destroyed. Can the blame for the present state of the therapy be placed solely at their feet? No. It takes supporters to elevate an individual to guru like status. People who are too invested in hearing what they want to hear, listening to things that satisfy their spiritual leanings, and who are too indolent to open the writings of Hahnemann and check whether or not the teachers are teaching truth.

How many times has P & W heard from a person giving up the practice of homoeopathy because its is “too difficult”. One person who practiced Sankaranism, recently told Vladimir Polony that she was quitting because she was not getting any results.. he commented that perhaps her methodology was at fault to which he was told ” Oh No! the methodology is fine.. it must be me!” It has reached the point where if success is not achieved by following a fallacious protocol… its the practitioners fault because they must have done something wrong!  Now that is good brainwashing.

The Hahnemann Institute in Sydney, and the P & W Institute have independently studied myriads of original documents in various Institutions from around the world who hold them. It has involved P & W staff traversing the USA from Library to Library, Medical faculties and Museums. The Hahnemann Institute staff has traveled thousands of miles from Australia to Europe in their search for original literature. All this to ascertain truth and certainty as to what Homoeopathy really is and how to practice the therapy as devised by Samuel Hahnemann. Out of this research, has come very clear and precise knowledge with comprehension of WHY homoeopathy (the therapy) has to be practiced in a certain way to achieve success.  If the proper methodology is employed in case taking and case analysis, and adherence to the protocols of giving the medicines, then indeed, the therapy of homoeopathy could replace at least 70% of therapeutic treatments in mainstream medicine today.

The modern homoeopathic self appointed leaders, dont know that they dont know, and furthermore, they dont really care to know. They could know, if they bothered to read the literature. However, that would cramp their style, their status, and their income producing ability. It is better to reach out to peoples emotional and spiritual nature to encourage the belief that medicine can be practiced by anyone on non medical grounds and by a form of interpretive analysis…. sorry people, it doesnt work like that. As a physician, you would last only 5 minutes if you didnt produce results.

I would urge each person in practice, or in training, or indeed contemplating a career in homoeopathic medicine, to just READ the Organon of medicine (Dudgeons edition) without the overlay or interpretation of anyone. Do NOT read it as a Bible. Read it as a medical text book without a spiritual tone. Read it with the knowledge that it is a man searching for a better medical practice based on pathology and understanding of a disease process and how to use more defined signs and symptoms to elicit the problem and effect a cure using medicines.

I have no hopes for the therapy in the West. Governments seemed determined to stamp out all practices that are at odds with allopathy. Sadly homoeopathy cannot put up a defence scientifically as it is practiced today. Sadly, Sankaran et al, have destroyed homoeopathy as a useful mainstream therapy for this generation. It is down to individuals who have taken the time time to study and learn what the real practice is, that will be of localised usefulness to their patients. Sankaran and Scholten et al will merely shake their heads and lament its passing claiming that they enriched the world with their brilliance and comprehension of disease and treatment thereof, and be content.

History will record the story of the demise of the most effective therapy in the world, as being diluted to uselessness for the sake of greed and ego.

It could be solved so easily just by reading the literature. But then, Most people dont let the facts stand in the way of their prejudices.

Who is to blame for the decline of Homoeopathy?

When asked the question, who is to blame for the decline of homoeopathy? one immediate response is: ” The scientists. The scientists because they dare to use science to try to explain homeopathy”. One other response is “The Pharmaceutical industry, and the reason they are against Homoeopathy is because homoeopathic treatment and remedies are cheaper than allopathic drugs”. The final general response is “The Government. They do not believe Homoeopathy is safe”.

While all of these statements contain elements of truth, and truth is what we are searching for, we must examine each and every criticism and see what is valid and what is not factual.

The most common arguments that the profession of Homoeopathy uses in protection of itself, is that:

Allopaths and scientists

Allopaths or scientists cannot fathom the hidden essences of homeopathic remedies because the effects of the remedies are so infinite and subtle that they cannot be measured in conventional testing or be subject to current evaluation methods. The reality and sad truth is, that homeopathy cannot be understood by science simply because homoeopathy, as taught and promoted today by modern teachers is a dysfunctional, subjective and unscientific collection of nonsense. All traces of science have been carefully eliminated and replaced by quasi spiritual and bad psychological evaluation that have no basis for inclusion in the practice of Homoeopathic medicine. Because of this, homoeopathic remedies no longer follows a scientifically repeatable method of application due to unscientific prescriptions that will deliver objective results, even when compared and tested against placebo.

 The Pharmaceutical industry.

While it is a very obvious truth, that pharmaceutical industry is a profit-oriented business, (just like homeopathic teachers have their own profit-oriented business of delivering expensive, captivating, yet completely useless lectures – Rajan Sankaran’s seminars being a shining example), The pharmaceutical industry is subject to some form of accountability in production of a drug. Recent news reports show a shocking trend for circumventing these ‘safeguards’ in the pursuit of profit, and in some cases, apparent government collusion is involved. Be that as it may, each and every drug is sold with a long list of effects produced by taking that product. The prescribing physician is responsible for knowing the tested results and expected outcome of a patient using the drug.  (we can argue about side-effects, long-term efficiency, etc.), but truth be told if you talk to most homeopaths today, even they will usually recommend allopathy for a life threatening condition.

Homoeopathy, the Therapy, under the influence of modern teachers, has become a useless tool that can “heal” you if you believe in it, or if your condition is a psychosomatic problem. What we usually hear from people studying under these teachers is a recommendation to take the allopathics and once the patient is healthy, they give some homeopathic medicine to “clean up” after the allopathics. That’s right, homeopathy has been degraded to a position of a “complementary” treatment that does not work if the patient is actually sick.

 Governments

Governments have assumed the right and obligation to be seen to regulate the pharmaceutical and medicinal field to ensure that sick people get modern scientifically validated drugs according to the protocol of accepted science. Given that this is their stance, (albeit an increasingly corrupt one) it is no surprise that they are on a path to ban the modern practice of homoeopathy as taught today.

Why is this? There is no longer a scientific and repeatable and uniform method of practice in the Therapy. Every current Guru teaches something completely different. The only thing in common they share is the dismissal of the input and research of the founder of the therapy.

Can you blame the governments for attempting to ban this travesty of a therapy trading under the guise of Homoeopathy?
Some examples are Rajan Sankaran teaching meditation techniques, in order to take a case. Years ago, a colleague attending a clinic of Rajan Sankaran, watched him fall asleep during a case taking. It would appear that he has found a method of being able to do so now with no attendant criticism!

The teachers of modern Homoeopathy. have collectively turned the medical practice of Homoeopathy into a dangerous therapy, under the guise of it being a safe alternative in the face of conventional medicine. In not following the guidelines and modus operandi, Homoeopathy fails the patient during an actual sickness

Who is to blame?

We could say, that it is the modern teachers, the modern gurus, that are responsible. This would not be the complete truth. Although they are responsible for the non medical, non scientific, non rational quasi spiritual nonsense that they produce, they can only exist through the support of the community. There has been no concerted effort to study the Therapy or methodology for years. The credibility that these gurus appear to have, would easily be dismissed if people actually studied homoeopathy and not accept the false methodologies that is destroying the profession. Who is then to blame? If you were aware of this problem even before you read this article, simply look into the mirror and you will see the guilty party straight away. The rise of the modern teachers was made possible because of complacency of existing homeopathic teachers and homeopathic community. It was possible because not enough people were willing to stand in a direct opposition and persevere regardless of how popular the modern teachings were. Most of the homeopathic community either ignored the nonsense of modern teachings or simply adopted them because it brought profit. There are only a handful of teachers and homeopaths who actively point out the discrepancy between scientific homeopathy as taught by Hahnemann and “homeopathy-like” teachings of modern teachers.

So, when you see the next wave of seminars taught by the “modern masters”, spend a moment thinking about the effects this is going to have on all of us. Especially think about the patient who is not going to benefit in anyway from attending a homoeopathic consultation. And also reflect on the fact that a lack of application to studying real homoeopathy, will allow the removal of homoeopathy as a therapy in every country.

Francis Bacon “neither man nor his style should be the primary object of the audience’s concentration because ‘doctrines should be such as should make men fall in love with the lesson and not with the teacher’…”

Polony and Weaver. info@homeopathyonline.org

Another response to the letter posted in J.A.I.H. 2002 from Morrison et al.

 

 

Saturday 25 May 2002

Dr. George Guess

Editor,

Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy

USA

Dear Sir,

It seems remarkable that the repeated observations of Hahnemann regarding particular medicinal effects leading to his induction of a general healing principle of similarity, are themselves not sufficient to teach our profession that scientific method is itself paramount and forms the consistent basis for discovery. Hahnemann was clear in detailing the need for a rational and methodical approach to determining the curative properties of medicines,[1] based not upon some ‘essential’ quality inferred through a greater or lesser knowledge of their physical, chemical, or imagined properties,[2] but solely upon methodical experiment and observation on the healthy organism.[3]

Have homœopaths learnt nothing of this very method, spoken of by Francis Bacon,[4] and consistently applied by Hahnemann? It is on pure observation[5] alone that Homœopathy continues to exist (despite much opposition), since simple “logic” cannot explain why a substance capable of producing symptoms is equally capable of removing similar symptoms (Similia), just as logic cannot explain the reason why two bodies, each with a mass, exert a force of attraction towards each other (gravity). Yet these phenomena are measurable, and their theories useful in generating specific predictions, which may then be verified (or refuted) through careful testing. It is this purely scientific method[6] of applied Homœopathy which remains unsurpassed by any other therapeutic approach, and which method gave rise to Hahnemann’s observations of OMOION[7] (Lat. Similia), and from which it derives its very name. The observance of this Similia principle is central to a ‘homœopathic’ application of medicines,[8] but what must be impressed here is the method which revealed this principle, which method also forms the mechanism of its continued application and proper evolution.

That the practice of Homœopathy[9] necessitates the application (in disease) of a remedy which is (most) similar in its observed (health) effects, should not need iteration.[10] But what seems unclear to a significant number of prescribers who have voiced their opinions within the annals of our profession, is the requirement for a factual basis upon which such similarity may indeed be established.[11] By this is meant uninterpreted data obtained through careful observation of effects in methodical[12],[13] proving trials.[14] Whosoever prescribes according to an imagined or a priori similarity which is unsupported by the evidence of proving data,[15] whilst showing their interest in the idea of a homœopathic approach, cannot claim to effect such an application since there is no proving data upon which to verify that the requirements of similars has been satisfied.[16] An example of this is seen with Rajan Sankaran,[17] who himself told me without reservation (during his 1994 Sydney visit), that provings are unnecessary in Homœopathy – that the essential qualities of a substance or thing may be inferred, and matched to those of a patient (similarly inferred).[18] Whilst postulates such as these may be intriguing,[19] they nonetheless cannot be placed within the boundaries of Homœopathy, pure or applied.[20]

We do accept that each practitioner has a right to think and practice the way they wish, and there is nothing wrong with imaginings, ideas, postulates, hypotheses, theoretical constructs, insights, etc. – as long as they are taught as being simply that – indeed, they are vital for our future development, since, when properly treated, they are truly the mother of invention. The real problem comes when such ideas begin to be built upon, further and further gathering momentum, until their lack of substance is forgotten, and they assume a position of “fact”.[21]

I would only add my concern that solid factual research does not receive the same degree of attention as the recent commotion on this present topic. I myself wish more homœopaths would focus on even the most basic of topics; as understanding the development of repertory, from Hahnemann through Bönninghausen, to Kent, etc.; on extracting and translating many of the valuable provings scattered throughout the homœopathic periodicals of the last century which have yet to find their way into our materia medica texts; on understanding precisely the criteria used in the grading of remedies within our repertories, and how these must be considered towards a more effective use of such tools in the clinical situation; or perhaps on correcting the many many translation errors which are clearly evident within our most basic and fundamental works on philosophy, materia medica, and repertory.[22]

Let us spend less time theorising[23] on the possible effects of a substance, or preparing subjects (provers) for anticipated or pre-conceived effects on one or other functional system, and instead, let us use our time in conducting and recording clear and properly conducted provings,[24] which must be offered openly and without interpretation in a pure, organised record (a Materia Medica Pura[25]), and from which an image may then be forged by individual homœopaths who can study these effects at their leisure. This is the way forward. For myself, and for my colleagues at the Hahnemann Institute in Sydney, such basic research topics are always in mind, and our work steadily continues with constant and repeated reference to our slowly increasing library of (copies of) original sources in the German and the English language – which work I must say has proven most rewarding in terms of its application to practice.

Yours in Homœopathy,

 

George Dimitriadis

Homœopath

 


[1]     Hahnemann states (Essay on a New Principle…, HLW263) “In order to ascertain the actions of remedial agents, for the purpose of applying them to the relief of human suffering, we should trust as little as possible to chance; but go to work as rationally and as methodically as possible.”

[2]     This is the doctrine of signatures which Hahnemann condemned. I should herein set the record straight – Roger Morrison, in his letter Against Divisiveness, was incorrect to state that the “doctrine of signatures” in the days of Hahnemann referred “simply and only” to the outward shape of a substance being used to infer its healing qualities. Both in his Essays on a New Principle… (Hahnemann’s Lesser Writings [HLW] 249-303), and Examination of the Sources of the Common Materia Medica (HLW664-694), Hahnemann is clear in denouncing not only the use of physical appearances as an inference of healing properties, but also the chemistry (HLW250-252; 673-677), the taste (HLW254; 671), the odour (HLW672), even the simple physiological action (HLW254) of a substance, all of which were commonly used to infer their medicinal action. But I was more surprised to read Roger Morrison’s assertion: “But nowhere does Hahnemann criticize the idea that the source of the remedy has a bearing on the symptoms it produces.”, since this could not have been made had the writings of Hahnemann been first consulted. I again quote from Hahnemann in the same essay (HLW257­8):

“… yet my conviction compels me to give this warning, that, be the number of genera ever so many whose species resemble each other very much in their effects, the lesser number of very differently acting species should make us distrustful of this mode of drawing inferences …*

*   Conclusions relative to similarity of action betwixt species of a genus become still more hazardous, when we consider that one and the same species, one and the same plant, frequently shows very varied medicinal powers in its different parts. How different the poppy head from the poppy seed; the manna that distils from the leaves of the larch from the turpentine of the same tree; the cooling camphor in the root of the cinnamon laurel, from the burning cinnamon oil; the astringent juice in the fruit of several of the mimosæ, from the tasteless gum that exudes from their stem; the corrosive stalk of the ranunculus from its mild root.

[3]     Refer Essay on a New Principle… “Nothing remains for us but to experiment on the human body” (HLW258); “Nothing then remains but to test the medicines we wish to investigate on the human body itself.” (HLW263).

[4]     Francis Bacon (1561-1626) clearly wrote (refer Advancement of Learning, Second book, and Novum Organum, First book, esp. §§14,19,20,105,106) that the process of induction upon repeated observation of particulars must be put to the test of an attempt to find instances which are contradictory, prior to drawing any definite general conclusions – not, as was the custom of “logicians” in his day, to draw conclusions or models based upon unobserved, imagined principles which are existing and general.

[5]     I refer the reader to The Medical Observer (HLW724-8), wherein Hahnemann describes with great clarity, the process of pure observation.

[6]     The “Scientificity of Homœopathy” has been dealt with in my 1989 essay of that title, but the four basic conditions to be satisfied in a modern scientific method may be here repeated as: observability, reproducibility, predictability, testability. If a postulate or hypothesis is untestable for verification or refutation, then it is neither sustainable nor scientific, even though it may be appealing.

[7]     This is precisely the capitalised Greek form of the perhaps more familiar “omoion” (omoion, pronounced “omeon” with emphasis on the first ‘o’ [the “oi” combine to form a single sound – diphthong), used by Hahnemann to generate the composite term of Homœopathy (“omoion paqoV” as given by Hahnemann himself [refer Nota Bene for my Reviewers, HLW660, footnote]), and which forms the sole basis of everything homœopathic. This holds true to such an extent that Hahnemann subsequently coined the term “allopathy” (Gr. alloV [allos] = other than) to refer to all (medicinal) practices which rely on a therapeutic approach other than the homœopathic (similar) one.

[8]     That is, according to the single fundamental principle of applying the principle of Similia (Gr. omoion) as determined by experiment and observation, upon both the healthy (provings) and the sick (patients), in each and every case.

[9]     I would here point out to our American colleagues, that the spelling of Homœopathy is improperly rendered “Homeopathy” even if it be done for the sake of phonetic consistency with the rest of their language, for in this special case, the diphthong (œ) is significant in that it indicates the source of the term from the Greek “omoion” (omoion; Latinicised as omœon or omœo as a prefix = similar [Similia in the Latin]). To replace the prefix homœo with homeo removes its etymological connection to the foundation stone of it existence, the “Law of Similars.” We must retain the diphthong within the term Homœopathy – how would it be for psychiatry to be written as syciatry (which would similarly remove any connection to its etymology from the Greek “yuch” (psychy [=soul])); or physics (Gr. fusikh [physics, physical]) where the “ph” informs the scholar of its Greek root, as “Fisics” (itself suggesting a Latin root); taxonomy (Gr. taxiV [class] as tacsonomy, etc. These few familiar examples should serve as ample evidence that the roots of specific terms must not be removed if we are to retain their fullest meaning and therefore a sense of connection, especially for future generations, to our inheritance.

[10]    The reader who cannot accept this single point is ignorant of Hahnemann’s defining moment giving rise to the birth of Homœopathy as a system of medicinal therapeutics, and must be considered in no position to argue on matters ‘homœopathic’.

[11]    Hahnemann states (Essay on a New Principle…[HLW263]) “In order to ascertain the actions of remedial agents, for the purpose of applying them to the relief of human suffering, we should trust as little as possible to chance; but go to work as rationally and as methodically as possible. We have seen, that for this object the aid of chemistry is still imperfect, and must only be resorted to with caution; that the similarity of genera of plants in the natural system; as also the similarity of species of one genus, give but obscure hints; that the sensible properties of drugs teach us mere generalities, and these invalidated by many exceptions; that the changes that take place in the blood from the admixture of medicines teach nothing; and that the injection of the latter into the bloodvessels of animals, as also the effects on animals to which medicines have been administered, is much too rude a mode of proceeding, to enable us therefrom to judge of the finer actions of remedies. Nothing then remains but to test the medicines we wish to investigate on the human body itself.”

[12]    Hahnemann states (Contrast of the Old and New Systems of Medicine, HLW723) “Now it is not merely one single observation, but all experiments and observations carefully conduced demonstrate in the most convincing manner (to every sensible individual who will be convinced) that among medicines tested as to their pure effects, that one alone, which can produce in the healthy individual a similar morbid state, is capable of transforming a given case of disease, rapidly, gently, and permanently into health, indeed, that such a medicine will never fail to cure the disease.”

[13]    Accidental provings or other poisonings, if accurately recorded may also yield a useful record for the homœopath, but the methodical and carefully conducted proving trial is by far the most effective and consistent method of observing the effects of a substance.

[14]    For provings to be objective and determinate, provers must not be aware of the medication or its preparation/potency, nor must they be told in advance the area or function of their normal state of health they should observe. To prepare an observer in this way is to add a possible bias, influencing the actual reporting of phenomena – a prover “primed” to look for effects on a particular region or function (dreams, emotions, desires/aversions to food & drink, digestive or sexual functions, menstruation, etc.), will be more likely to infer such effects in their eagerness to actively participate. Moreover, the “breaking of the code”, whereby the symptoms are related to the referee, must be done in isolation of other provers, such that no interpretation is available or influence exerted between the provers. The referee themselves should have no knowledge of the remedy or potency/preparation being proved, in that way, their own influence shall not weigh in at the point of collection of data. There are other reasonable safeguards which must be built in to a properly conducted proving if it is to provide an accurate and certain record of pure (uninterpreted) effects, which record may later be studied to generate an interpretative image by each and every homœopath who wishes to do so. The record thus remains pure forevermore, yet the image may be subject to change according to experience (coupled with a review of the original record). It is quite surprising and at the same time disappointing to learn that such safeguards are not even considered in many of the (so-called) provings in recent times, and this probably stems from a lack of a basic understanding of (I prefer to think not from a disinterest in) the need for proper methodology in such important endeavour.

[15]    Even the most beautifully constructed and intricate models, which are still in abundance today, can never be acceptable until their actual similarity is demonstrated through provings.

[16]    The success of a prescription in any given case of illness is itself no proof of its homœopathicity, since almost every other (i.e. allopathic) therapy can claim and even show individual successes.

[17]    I cannot comment on others with whose practices I am not personally familiar, but I can offer my observations on the practice of Rajan Sankaran, having spent a number of weeks in Rajan’s clinics in Bombay (both at his private clinic and at the teaching hospital) during 1987 & 1989. These comments are given without disrespect of Rajan as a person, whom I acknowledge as a great thinker (it was I who organised his Sydney Seminar in October of 1994), but as a statement of fact which the doubtful reader may confirm with Rajan himself.

[18]    Rajan Sankaran often seeks to apply remedies by virtue of his “perception” that their essential “nature” matches that of the patient’s illness. During his Sydney seminar for example, he simply inferred the similarity between one patient and the essential qualities of humanity (as he understood it) – suggesting that Lac humanum (completely unproven at that time), would have been the appropriate homœopathic remedy should a medicine have been required.

[19]    Francis Bacon eloquently discusses this subject in his Novum Organum (First Book, §20) “…for the mind is fond of starting off to generalities, that it may avoid labour, and after dwelling a little on a subject is fatigued by experiment.”

[20]    Whilst the “homœopathicity” of a therapeutic agent (medicine) is determined solely upon the (observation-based, untestable-theory free) similarity of its symptoms with those of the presenting illness, the test of a homœopath is less rigorous, being determined only on their intent to give the most similar remedy in each case (with the proviso that such intent is pivoted upon solid observational provings phenomena). All of us must admit of occasional (though diminishing with experience) mistakes in our homœopathic diagnosis, i.e. in selecting the most homœopathic remedy to the case at hand, but this does not mean that we were not homœopaths in that case – so long as our intent to give the most similar remedy was clear and always in mind.

[21]    That this also happens too frequently within the mainstream scientific community is confirmation that such tendencies are fairly commonplace, even amongst people of the most rigorous training which seeks to avoid such occurrences.

[22]    This in itself is a significant problem, and our own research has revealed our English language literature has frequent and significant errors of typography and translation, omissions, arrangement (repertories) etc. Who amongst us will add to the development and perfection of Homœopathy through their efforts at rectifying some of these deficiencies?

[23]    This situation is not new to the endeavour of learning, as can be seen in the statement of Francis Bacon (Novum Organum, First book, §112) “For men have hitherto dwelt but little, or rather only slightly touched upon experience, whilst they have wasted much time on theories and the fictions of the imagination.”

[24]    Hahnemann, on the problem of the physician ascertaining the curative effects of drugs, states (Contrast of the Old and New Systems of Medicine, HLW723) “This problem he cannot solve by any speculative a priori research, nor by any fantastic reveries – no! he can only solve this problem also, by experiments, observation, and experience.”

[25]    Hahnemann again emphasises (Organon, §144): “From such a materia medica everything that is conjectural, all that is mere assertion or imaginary should be strictly excluded;…”

Drawing a Line in the Sand: Homeopathy or Not Homeopathy? (Response to attack on Hahnemann)

by Dr. André Saine, D.C., N.D., F.C.A.H.
Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, June 2002

 

“What is to become of an art (to which the charge of human life has been committed) if fancy and caprice are to have the upper hand in it?” (1)
– Samuel Hahnemann

“If our School ever gives up the strict inductive method of Hahnemann we are lost, and deserve to be mentioned only as a caricature in the history of medicine.” (2)
– Constantine Hering

“We have nothing to do with the man [misrepresenting homeopathy], we have to correct errors taught and disseminated, and we shall expose these errors which must lead our school astray, without fear or favor.” (3)
–Adolph Lippe

There is an old saying in medicine, Experimentia ac ratio, meaning that the practice of medicine is sound as long as it is based on pure observation and correct reasoning. Dr. Morrison’s response (click here to read the letter) (4) to my article entitled Homeopathy Versus Speculative Medicine – A Call for Action* (5) challenges the values of pure observation and correct reasoning which are at the very heart of pure homeopathy as developed by Samuel Hahnemann.

*This article was a response to a letter signed by twenty-one prominent teachers of homeopathy, which was published in Homeopathy Today, May 2001; 21 (5): 21-22. To read the letter of the twenty-one cosigners, click here.

To begin with, let’s clear up a point of confusion in Dr. Morrison’s letter. He starts by rebutting charges supposedly made against him and the cosigners. In this debate, it must be made clear that what is being questioned is not people, but their teachings and practices. If Dr. Morrison would read my article carefully, he would find that no charges are made against the cosigners personally but against their teachings and practices that misrepresent homeopathy. He would also find that the initial points made at the beginning of that article were about the numerous new trends in homeopathy in general, and not specifically about the teachings and practices defended by the twenty-one cosigners in their letter to the editor. (6)

On the other hand, Dr. Morrison categorically rejects direct criticism of the teachings and practices defended by the cosigners. He denies, “that we are promoting speculative treatment not based upon observation. In fact all of the cosigners of this letter are rigorous in thought and practice. We have not promoted speculation but have shared observations made during our clinical practices of many years.” (7)

Dr. Morrison claims rigor in thought and practice. I would invite the reader not to take this for granted, but rather to carefully examine the evidence presented before us.

The doctrine of signatures
Dr. Morrison continues to insist that the use of the doctrine of signatures made by the cosigners and others they support is not contrary to the practice of homeopathy. First, he repeats that, “At the time of Hahnemann the ‘doctrine of signatures’ meant simply and only that the shape or color of a plant could be used to determine the organ the plant was likely to help.” (8) For a second time, I am sorry to say that this assertion is absolutely incorrect. In Hahnemann’s time, as well as for time immemorial, the doctrine of signatures meant looking for therapeutic meaning in all “sensible external signs,” (9) “sensible properties,” (10) “external properties,” (11) “appreciable by the senses” (12) or through “any characteristic feature of a substance.” (13)

Hahnemann made his point very clearly regarding the use of any signatures. He said, “With all our senses together, employed with the utmost care, in the examination of a medicinal substance with regard to its external properties, do not give any, not even the slightest information respecting this most important of all secrets, the immaterial power possessed by natural substances to alter health of human beings.” (14)

Second, Dr. Morrison says, “This is exactly the point made in our group letter. Hahnemann argued agait the superficial concept of using external signs as a basis for prescription. This is specifically not what we propose.” (15) I am sorry again to say that this is also absolutely incorrect. Hahnemann never argued against the value of “the superficial concept of external signs.” To the contrary, he emphasized that all that is perceptible by all the senses simply means everything that is perceptible. He couldn’t have been clearer on this point.

Hahnemann uses the same expression regarding examination of the patient. In Chronic Diseases, he urges examining the chronic disease “according to all the symptoms perceptible to the senses,” (16) or as he explains further in the Organon, “the physician sees, hears, and observes with his other senses what is altered and peculiar in the patient, he writes everything down exactly” (17) that can be noticed about the patient, including “behaviors,” (18) “his activities, his way of life, his habits,” (19) “day-to-day activities, living habits, diet, domestic situation, and so on.” (20) He concludes, “The totality of these perceptible signs represent the entire extent of the sickness; together they constitute its true and only conceivable form.” (21)

Furthermore, Hahnemann never limited his opposition only to the “superficial concept of using external signs as a basis for prescription.” On the contrary, he clearly argues against the introduction of any “preconceived notions and desultoryclassifications,” (22) “mere conjecture” (23) or “blind guesswork, preconceived ideas, extraordinary notions and presumptuous fiction.” (24) He requires the homeopath to be “independent of all speculation,” (25) free from prejudice in the development of the materia medica and in the examination of the patient. Instead Hahnemann argues that,

  1. The true medicinal and healing power… can only be observed when it is taken internally, acts upon the vital functions of the organism! (26)
  2. The manifestation of the active spirit of each individual remedial agent during its medicinal employment on human beings can alone inform the physician of the sphere of action of the medicine, as regards its curative power. (27)
  3. This improved healing art, i.e., the homœopathic, draws not its knowledge from those impure sources of the materia medica hitherto in use, pursues not that antiquated, dreamy, false path we have just pointed out, but follows the way consonant with nature. It administers no medicines to combat the diseases of mankind before testing experimentally their pure effects; that is, observing what changes each can produce in the health of a healthy man—this is pure materia medica.
  4. Thus alone can the power of medicines on the human health be known; thus alone can their pure importance, the peculiar action of each drug, be exhibited clearly and manifestly, without any fallacy, any deception, independent of all speculation. (28)

Third, Dr. Morrison writes, “Thus the multiple pages written by Dr. Saine regarding Hahnemann’s views toward the doctrine of signatures do not apply in the least. We specifically maintained that instead of looking at the external features of a plant or animal remedy, we must look at its adaptive behaviors and habits if we would connect the remedy source to the symptoms it produces. This concept was never criticized by Hahnemann because it was never proposed in his time.” (29)

This repeated assertion that in Hahnemann’s time the adaptive behaviors and habits of a plant or animal remedy were not included in the doctrine of signatures is, again, absolutely incorrect. For anyone familiar with the history of the doctrine of signatures, it is well known that people making use of signatures didn’t impose limits to signatures such as only to the “shape or color of a plant;” (30) instead signatures meant “any characteristic features.” (31) For instance, Paracelsus (1493-1541) introduced Helleborus niger, also known as Christmas flower, into European pharmacy. He recommended it to his patients over fifty years of age for its rejuvenating power, revealed by its signature of blossoming in wintertime. (32)

Signatures, for Paracelsus, Culpeper (1616-1654) and many others, often needed elaborate interpretation unrelated to physical properties but tied to other characteristic features such as astrological associations. For instance, because syphilis was a disease acquired from venal girls it was “signed” by Mercury, the god of the market. (33) As a metal’s name also pointed to the same god, this signature was the indication for mercury as the cure for syphilis. Similarly, gold, connected to the sun, was signed to be used in heart disease as the sun ruled the heart and circulation. (34)

Further, the main expounders of the doctrine of signatures clearly contradict Dr. Morrison’s assertion that in the time of Hahnemann the adaptive behaviors and habits of a plant or animal remedy had not been proposed as being part of the doctrine of signatures.

Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), in The Signature in All Things, writes,

  1. Therefore the greatest understanding lies in the signature, wherein man may not only learn to know himself, but therein also he may learn to know the essence of all essences; for by the external form of all creatures, by their instigation, inclination, and desire, also by their sound, voice, and speech which they utter, the hidden spirit is known.
  2. And now observe, as it stands in the power and predominance of the quality, so it is signed and marked externally in its outward form, signature, or figure; man in his speech, will, and behaviour, also with the form of the members which he has, and must use to that signature, his inward form is noted in the form of his face; and thus also is a beast, an herb, and the trees; everything as it is inwardly, in its innate virtue and quality, so it is outwardly signed. (35)

And Oswaldus Crollius (1560-1608), in his Treatise of Signatures of Internal Things, writes,

  1. The occult properties of plants; first, those endowed with life, and second, those destitute of life; are indicated by resemblances; for all exhibit to man by their signatures and characteristisms, both their powers by which they can heal and in the diseases in which they are useful. Not only by their shapes, form and colours, but also by their actions and qualities, such as their retaining, or shedding their leaves. They indicate what kind of service they can render to man, and what are the particular members of his body, to which they are specially appropriate. (36)

Therefore, plants exuding gums were considered to be good for the treatment of purulent conditions, and the leaves of the poplar or quaking aspen were used for shaking palsy. In short, the peculiarities noted in the actions of plants were supposed to give hints as to their effects on the human body. Sterile plants such as fern, lettuce, and willow were believed to lead to sterility, while fecund plants weresaid to promote fertility. Evergreen trees and plants and those that lived long were supposed to increase bodily vigor and so induce longevity. Heliotrope and marigold were prescribed so that subjects might “learn their duty to their sovereign;” King Charles mentions that “the Marigold observes the Sun more than my subjects have done.” (37) Goats, allegedly skilled in the choice of herbs, were said to never be afflicted with ophthalmia, due to their practice of browsing on certain plants that other animals refused, and so the liver and the gall of the goat were used in eye troubles. (38)

All these concepts about signatures, which clearly include “actions and qualities” (or Dr. Morrison’s “behaviors and habits”) and more, are known to anyone familiar with the history of the doctrine of signatures. Hahnemann had all this in mind as he categorically rejected all speculations, including all signatures, as a way to divine the inner healing properties of medicines, throughout nearly fifty years of teaching. On the other hand, this should not be confused with the fact that similitude can exist between the symptoms of the proving and the properties of the original source of medicines. The point, which needs to be made absolutely clear here, is that the attempt to guess the symptoms or indications for prescribing from the properties of the original substance is unreliable, unscientific and absolutely contrary to the homeopathic methodology.

This should also not be confused with the post hoc associations sometimes made by lecturers on materia medica between the symptoms of the proving and characteristic features of the original substances. At best, these post hoc associations make studying the materia medica quaint and colorful, but should never be confused with a priori postulations used for prescribing accordingly to the doctrine of signatures. The admittance of the doctrine of signatures into homeopathy defended by the cosigners is not only a vain attempt at falsification of history but, even more grave, a misrepresentation of homeopathy.

How much more clear could Hahnemann have been that it is absolutely fundamental to homeopathy that medicines must first be proved on the healthy and then confirmed in the sick, and this without introducing any interpretation or speculation whatsoever? In paragraph 108 of the Organon he writes, “There is no other possible way of correctly ascertaining the characteristic action of medicines on human health—no single surer, more natural way—than administering individual medicines experimentally to healthy people.” (39) In paragraph 144 he writes, “All conjecture, everything merely asserted or entirely fabricated, must be completely excluded from such a materia medica; everything must be the pure language of nature carefully and honestly interrogated.” (40)

And in his 1830 preface to the Materia Medica Pura he writes, “He who has understood this will perceive that if a work on materia medica can reveal the precise qualities of medicines, it must be one from which all mere assumption and empty speculation about the reputed qualities of drugs are excluded, and which only records what medicines express, concerning their true mode of action in the symptoms they produce in the human body. Hence the practitioner will rejoice to find here a way in which he can remove the maladies of his fellow-creatures surely, rapidly, and permanently, and procure them the blessing of health with much greater certainty.” (41)

Speculation and other misrepresentations of homeopathy
Dr. Morrison says that he and the cosigners have not promoted speculation. If using signatures is not speculation, then what is it? Speculation and misrepresentation of homeopathy can be found throughout their teachings and practices.

Speculation on materia medica
Scholten
A most clear demonstration can be found in the speculative materia medica of Jan Scholten as reported recently in Homeopathic Links:

  • Recently Jan has been investigating the Lanthanides, elements 58 through 71. These elements extend the Gold series by 14 elements, they all have an aspect from stage 3 Lanthanum, thus they seem to fill a gap between the silver and gold series. Based on his understanding of the periodic table and guided by the physical properties of these substances, Scholten explained how he is building his knowledge of these new remedies. He used physical and mythological data as well as meditation proving information to extrapolate the first layer of his understanding, then as more provings are done and cases present themselves the remedy pictures slowly become more solid.

    In the Lanthanides the general theme is one of having to use creativity. Scholten draws a parallel between the series of tasks given to Hercules and the learning that occurs in the stages of the Lanthanides series. Hercules had to perform an increasingly arduous series of tasks alone in order to gain his freedom. His work benefited the greater good not by design but as byproduct. In the remedies we see the themes of working hard and working alone. People are good at what they do and they like to work alone. (42)

Obviously, such a materia medica has nothing to do with the strict inductive method of Hahnemann. Another example from Scholten demonstrates that besides developing themes from signatures, the end result has little to do with the original proving, as in his description of Ferrum metallicum:

  • Signature: It has been used since prehistoric times, since the Iron Age to be precise. It has traditionally been used for the manufacture of both weapons and tools and these two words are exactly the words we can use to describe the main themes of Ferrum, i.e., fighting and performing your task.
  • Ferrum is the ideal material for the construction of tools; machines, vehicles, furniture, bridges, nails and screws. We couldn’t imagine our present day technical society without iron. It has been combined with all sorts of elements in more than a thousand different alloys which are all called ‘steel’ of some form or another. Concepts:
    • Stage 8: Perseverance, maintaining, force, heavy pressure, resistance opposition, calculating, planning, concentration.
  • Ferrum series: task duty work, craft use, ability perfectionism, routine order rules, control exam, observed criticism, failure guilt crime, pursued tried, adult, village. Essence: Persevering in your job: firm. (43)

Herrick
Nancy Herrick’s teachings appear to be similar, as we can read in a report in Homeopathy Today:

  • Nancy began her presentation by inviting the group to focus on the breast as an organ of nourishment and protection. The breast is soft, warm, yielding, and nourishing. Mother, who offers the breast, is associated with protection, guidance, and nurturing. Mother is also associated with the abundance of love as well as the potential to withhold love. Nancy suggested that the main feelings in mammal remedy provings will be related to the idea of mother and all her essential qualities. A person who needs a mammal remedy will have issues about their mother or mothering. An adult will project these feelings upon the world at large. All the issues around taking and digesting nourishment and feeling adequately nurtured will be features of the mammal remedy picture.
  • Mammals represent a pure state of living ecology, and they communicate the state of our planet through the milk provings, according to Nancy. Information from the provings may reflect how we are caring for the planet; when animals are in danger of becoming extinct. Nancy suggests that this comes out as pathology in the provings.
  • Lac lupinum (wolf milk): has the theme of “death is all around us.” A related theme is children in danger and dying. Finally the state emerges where one is preoccupied with ideas of mortality and immortality.
  • Mammal remedies are probably needed more frequently than many homeopaths realize. People who need these remedies do not display the loud or striking characteristics of some animal remedies, such as the snakes, but they do have their own quite distinct themes which can easily be recognized. (44)

Van der Zee
And what shall we think of Harry van der Zee’s teachings on the themes of the cucurbitaceae botanical family as published in Homeopathic Links?

  • Delusion of shortage
    In general there is a feeling of lacking something, of being short of. Based on this there is a strong tendency to hold on to what is important to them (like the cucurbitaceae hold on to other plants).
  • Productivity
    As a compensation for the feeling of shortage, the cucurbitaceae are very productive. The more fruits you pick from them, the more they will grow. These fruits are so heavy in most of them, that even though the plant can climb, they stay on the ground, and reach a length that in vertical position would be equal to a tree. The texture can vary from rather dry to very watery, like the watermelon, which in a dry and hot desert offers beverage to the thirsty. They are willing to share their savings with others, and can look at it as an investment for the future, when their generosity or hard work will be rewarded.
  • Investment
    To be active, busy and productive is an important issue as a result of the feeling of need. It is an investment made to assure the realization of the desired commodity. The huge fruits and/or roots represent this storage for future need. In their tendency to save and accumulate we could call them bankers.
  • Storage
    The harder their exterior, the longer they can be put aside for times of hardship and shortage, like the pumpkins that are stored for the winter. Just like they store the nutritional value and sweetness of life for future usage, they store the bitterness of their deception and indignation. The extremes of the cucurbitaceae go from bitter via almost tasteless to sweet. They can bottle up like Staphysagria and can have all kinds of physical symptoms due to repressed anger, mainly expressed in pain. Pain from the despair from the pains. Ailments from anger, indignation, vexation, disappointment, mortification and grief is their domain. The storing of their emotions is expressed in the size of their fruits (e.g. Cuc-m, Cuc-c which contain large amounts of water (representing emotions), in the high pressure inside of the fruit (Elat), or in the intense bitterness (Bry, Coloc). (45)

Misrepresentations regarding case taking and case analysis
Many of the cosigners apparently do not limit their speculative approach only to the materia medica but extend it also to the examination of the patient.

Herrick
What shall we think of Nancy Herrick’s analysis of a case for which she reports prescribing Lac dolphinum?

  • First of all this looks like an animal remedy case; a strong personality, very vivid and attention getting, attractive behavior.
  • Secondly she looks like a cetacean [a member of the whale family]. (46)

Collins
And what shall we think of the teachings of Deborah Collins as reported in Homeopathic Links?

  • As a world first, and we are delighted to have been so honored, Deborah introduced us to the work she and her husband, Bert Esser, have been jointly developing. On the one hand, Deborah is a normal homeopath in having her fair share of failed cases, by conventional methods, that is on the other, Bert is a talented past-life regression therapist.
  • Deborah then produced two cases of debilitating weakness in adult women. Each, when regressed, was firmly convinced of a past life as a Jewish child who had perished in the gas chambers of World War II. The remedy hydrocyanicum acidum brought symptomatic and constitutional relief.
  • This is a very nice addition to Rajan Sankaran’s concepts of roots and states, and to the theory of miasm’s in general.
  • Objectively used in this perspective, Hydrocyanic acid becomes far more easy of recognition and application. (47)

Sankaran
What about the teachings of Rajan Sankaran about case taking as he recently reported in Homeopathic Links?

  • For many years I have advocated taking cases with virtually no questions, I believe that asking questions limits what we hear to only what we want to hear. In the process we lose the individuality of the patient and often a more exact remedy. (48)

Misrepresentations regarding provings
Scholten
Or the teachings of Scholten on provings recently published in Homeopathic Links?

  • The whole point about provings is that they will never get reliable results.
  • The more precisely that you follow the rules of doing provings, the less precise the results; the more precise the results you want to have, the less rigidly you must follow the rules. (49)

Sankaran
Or Rajan Sankaran’s teachings on provings as can be read in his article A Protocol for Provings?

  • Then distribute the proving dose to the provers—it is possible that some of the group may decide not to take the dose. These persons should also observe and write their symptoms during the period of the proving. We found that those who do not take the dose often get some effects of the proving. [Symptoms experienced by these non-provers are, incidentally, also mentioned as potential symptoms of the proving. A.S.]
  • Even the persons whom the prover met or was impressed by, the kind of movies or books that attracted him, his dress style, his talking and working styles and all such phenomenon are to be noted, even if the prover thinks it is a part of him or his own nature.
  • Now the name of the remedy proven is revealed and further discussion ensues with reference to what is already known about the natural substance or the remedy. [Doesn’t revealing the medicine being proven in the midst of a proving defeat the purpose of a blind proving? A.S.]
  • The provers meet once again the next week to see if any more phenomena occurred or if the proving is over, and also to share any further thoughts about the proving.
  • We found that usually all provers get symptoms. Coming together in a group certainly is much more powerful than individual provings.
  • When the individual provers relate their experiences there will be many vast differences between the provers’ experiences. These will be like pieces of jigsaw puzzle. We have to realize that all these phenomena related to the proving and all stem from one source. It is the task of the leader to put all the pieces of the puzzle together so that they make a picture and we understand the meaning of the picture. This he can do if he is open and also listens deeply to the various provers.
  • Initially, I thought that it is better if the leader does not take the proving dose—but often I found that the leader develops the state anyway—and it may be more helpful if he does take the dose and willingly experiences the phenomena.
  • In my experience even if one is under treatment, he can prove a remedy because usually the proving gets over in ten weeks.
  • Giving placebos to some provers may not serve the purpose as, according to my experience (group consciousness) most persons in the group get symptoms irrespective of whether they take it or not. (50)

What shall we think of the proving of Bacillinum conducted by Sankaran in 1993? He reports as part of the proving 1) symptoms of a number of people who had not taken the remedy (“Provers” F, I, J, N, O and Q); 2) symptoms already developing one week prior to the beginning of the proving (“Prover” I); 3) the flu-like symptoms of one person who could not participate in the proving “(Prover” N); 4) the symptoms of the mother of one of the provers (“Prover” J); 5) and the symptoms of a child of one of the provers who was acutely sick and living at a distance (“Prover” O). Sankaran concludes, “This proving is especially significant as it showed the phenomenon of a person developing the symptoms without taking the proving dose…” (51)

Does anyone notice something fundamentally incompatible with science and Hahnemann’s pure homeopathy? Let me repeat what Dr. Morrison writes, “In fact all of the cosigners of this letter are rigorous in thought and practice. We have not promoted speculation but have shared observations made during our clinical practices of many years.” (52) The evidence so far reviewed appears to be to the contrary.

Generalizations in relation to remedy families
Fourth, Dr. Morrison keeps insisting on the value of generalization in relation to groups or families of remedies. He notes, “that patients who require animal remedies are often quite consumed with competition;” “creeping plants and vines often produce desire to, or dreams of traveling in their symptomatology;” “we try to see (through provings and cured cases) common threads running, for example, through all the nitric remedies—craving for fat, tendency for fissures, splinter-like pains, an imminent sense of threat or danger;” “virtually all animal remedies have the symptom of jealousy;” “almost every remedy of the Kali family has waking somewhere between 1, 2, or 3 AM—it is a general characteristic of the group;” “the remedies of the Papaveraceae family of plants have sensations of excruciating pains and often make reference to words like ‘torture’ and the almost frantic desire to find relief from pain (most of these remedies are known anodynes).” (53)

Even though the above generalizations are said to be the fruits of much observation by many for many years, they are, at the very best, hypotheses. Here we must be careful on the following two points: first, not to confuse the fruits of pure observation from constructs of the mind, and second, not to assume that the number of observers plays a major factor in the validation of an observation. Reliability of the observer is the key to validation, as Dunham judiciously pointed out when he said, “The significance of a fact is measured by the capacity of the observer.” (54)

Some of the dangers of making generalizations are well illustrated by Dr. Morrison’s own examples. For instance, how can the assertion about all the nitric remedies be taken seriously, when only Nitric acid and Argentum nitricum fulfill the four characteristic symptoms mentioned by Dr. Morrison, namely, “craving for fat, tendency for fissures, splinter-like pains, an imminent sense of threat or danger”? Kali nitricum does not have splinter-like pain, Glonoine has only the sense of impending misfortune but none of the three other symptoms and Amyl nitricum, Benzinum nitricum, Natrum nitricum, Nitri spiritus dulcis, Nitrogenium oxigenatum, Nitro muriatic acidum, Strontium nitricum, and Uranium nitricum have none of the four characteristic symptoms.

What shall we think of the assertion that “virtually all the animal remedies have the symptom of jealousy,” when by consulting the last version of the Complete Millennium Repertory (55) we can find in the jealousy rubric only eight of the sixty-two animal remedies represented?

What shall we think of the assertion about the 1, 2, or 3 AM waking of “almost every remedy of the Kali family,” when we find that only Kali carbonicum, Kali nitricum, and Kali bichromicum wake at at least one of these hours, while Kali aceticum, Kali arsenicosum, Kali bromatum, Kali chloricum, Kali chlorosum, Kali cyanatum, Kali ferrocyanatum, Kali iodatum, Kali manganicum, Kali muriaticum (Kali chloratum), Kali oxalicum, Kali phosphoricum, Kali picricum, Kali sulphuratum, Kali sulphuricum, Kali tartaricum, and Kali telluricum don’t wake up at any of these hours?

The assertion that “the remedies of the Papaveraceae family of plants have sensations of excruciating pains and often make reference to words like ‘torture’ and the almost frantic desire to find relief from pain” is also unfounded. Only six members of this plant family have been proven, namely, Adlumina fungosa, Chelidonium majus, Corydalis cava, Fumatia officinalis, Opium and Sanguinaria canadensis. Only Sanguinaria canadensis has been found to have excruciating pains and the single reference to the word “torture” is in symptom 608 of Opium listed by Hahnemann in his Materia Medica Pura, “Sweet, delightful phantasies, which she prefers to all known happiness, chiefly when she had previously been tortured with pains.” (56) Notably, here the word torture is related to pains experienced prior to taking crude doses of opium, and has nothing to do with being characteristic of Opium.

Opium is certainly one of the best known of these six Papaveraceae, and it happens that Hahnemann directly contradicts Dr. Morrison’s assertion that “remedies of the Papaveraceae family of plants have sensations of excruciating pains.” Hahnemann writes in the introduction to Opium in his Materia Medica Pura that,

  • The painful diseases of acute and chronic character can (whatever the whole worldful of antipathic and allopathic physicians may allege to the contrary) only be cured and altered into health of a permanent character by a medicine which, besides corresponding in similarity in its other primary effects to the symptoms of the morbid state, is at the same time able to excite pains very similar in kind to those observed in the disease. If such a medicine were selected then pain and disease disappear together in a marvelously rapid and permanent manner, when the smallest dose is administered, as is taught in the Organon of Medicine, and as experience will convince every one.
  • But most striking was the abuse which all physicians over the whole world down to the present time have made of opium, in prescribing it as a powerful remedy for pains of all sorts, be they ever so old and deeply rooted. It is obviously contrary to common sense, and is almost equal to the folly of a universal remedy, to expect from one single substance the cure of all pains which differ so infinitely among one another.
  • Seeing that the various kinds of pains in diseases differ so much from one another in their seat, in the time and the conditions of their occurrence, recurrence, increase and diminution, etc., it might be supposed that the Creator would not fail to create a large number of different medicines for their cure; for every finite thing can only have a finite, limited sphere of action. But opium is precisely not one of those pain-allaying and curing remedies. Opium is almost the only medicine that in its primary action does not produce a single pain. Every other known drug, on the other hand, produces in the healthy human body each its own kinds of pains in its primary action, and hence is able to cure and remove (homeopathically) similar pains in diseases, especially if the other symptoms of the disease correspond in similarity to those observed from the administration of that medicine. Opium alone is unable to subdue homeopathically, i. e. permanently, any one single pain, because it does not cause in its primary action one single pain, but the very reverse, namely, insensibility, the inevitable consequence (secondary action) of which is greater sensitiveness than before, and hence a more acute sensation of pain. (57)
  • Making use of the above hypothetical generalizations contradicts two fundamental principles of homeopathy. First, the materia medica must be kept free from all hypotheses and “conjectures, everything merely asserted.” Second, in homeopathy we individualize at all times, even though our human nature will always entice us to generalize. Didn’t Hahnemann and his true followers clearly teach us to always individualize each case and each remedy, and warn us against the fatal error of generalization? Constant individualization is the trademark of pure homeopathy, while generalization is a consistent feature throughout conventional medicine. History teaches that physicians who succeed in individualizing consequently succeed in curing, while the ones who generalize fail.

Misrepresenting Hahnemann on miasms
Another blatant example of misrepresentation of Hahnemann’s teachings is demonstrated when Dr. Morrison writes,

  • The first person to try to find common themes in groups of remedies was of course—Hahnemann. Yes in 1828, Hahnemann published his work, Chronic Diseases. In it he outlined three groupings of symptoms—Miasms as he coined the term. Each of these groupings of disease symptoms had specific remedies assigned to them. These assignments did not come directly from the provings but were rather based upon Hahnemann’s overview. He understood the groups and was able to categorize the remedies. (58)

For Hahnemann, chronic diseases sprang from the “only three known chronic miasmatic diseases” or chronic states of infection (or infestation). (59) If this is what Dr. Morrison means by “overview,” then this was Hahnemann’s overview, which was not an arbitrary hypothesis but, as he says, the discovery of the nature of chronic diseases induced from the facts he had at hand. It was the result, as Hahnemann says, of “unremitting thought, indefatigable inquiry, faithful observation and the most accurate experiments. (60)

Dr. Morrison says Hahnemann’s classification of remedies for chronic diseases is based upon Hahnemann’s “overview,” but not “directly from the provings.” This is another astounding statement. In Chronic Diseases we read just the opposite:

  • I have often been asked by what signs a substance may beforehand be recognized as antipsoric? But there can be no such external visible marks in them; nevertheless while proving several powerful substances as to their effects on the healthy body, several of them by the complaints they caused showed me their extraordinary and manifest suitableness for homœopathic aid in the symptoms clearly defined psoric diseases. Still only those remedies have been acknowledged as antipsoric whose pure effects on the human health gave a clear indication of their homœopathic use in diseases manifestly psoric, confessedly due to infection. (61)

If Dr. Morrison’s misinterpretation is not leading students astray, then what would? Didn’t Hahnemann clearly demonstrate how rigor in thought, observation and experimentation is absolutely necessary to be successful in homeopathy? Why would anyone then insist on identifying their teachings and practices with homeopathy when their methodologies are so contrary to the fundamental principles of homeopathy? Has what homeopathy is become so confused that it can be that easily identified with its antithesis? An article, entitled Defining a Different Tradition for Homeopathy, recently appeared in Homeopathic Links. Its author, Jörg Wichmann, states that homeopathy should not be classified as scientific, but as “hermetic,” “in the line as shamanism and alchemy,” and homeopaths should come out of the closet like other oppressed groups, and claim our human rights as proud practitioners of “witchcraft;” “Yes, homeopathy is as much witchcraft as you ever suspected it to be.” (62) Why would anyone persist in associating homeopathy with traditions, methodologies and practices completely different from it?

Sankaran’s “discovery” of the theme of a remedy
What shall we think of Rajan Sankaran’s explanation of how he discovers the theme of a remedy? He gives as an example the discovery of Hura braziliensis. He writes,

  • Question: How do you discover the central state of the remedy? What is the method you use to understand the remedy?
    This can be best illustrated with a remedy which I have never used, because then we will be looking purely at Materia Medica and trying to understand it from the symptoms recorded in the provings alone rather than in terms of what we have seen in clinical practice. We will take the remedy Hura braziliensis of which I have never read any cases. Not only is there no clinical experience from my side, but hardly any clinical experience available. (63)

Sankaran goes on enumerating mental symptoms of Hura braziliensis found in the repertory as the first step in discovering the theme of a remedy. It is important here to note three points regarding the methodology used by Sankaran in reading the repertory to understand a remedy, and specifically as it applies to Hura braziliensis, the example he uses to demonstrate his approach. First, the only known source for the mental symptoms of Hura braziliensis in the repertory is from the original proving published by Benoist Mure in 1849. (64)

Second, a single mental symptom, experienced only once by only one prover, can be found in many rubrics in the repertory leaving the mistaken impression, if one reads the repertory without consulting the proving, that this symptom is a recurrent theme in this remedy. To illustrate, in the case of Hura braziliensis, symptom 275, “He feels rejected and abandoned by his family” (“Il se croit repoussé et abandonné des siens”), is represented in four rubrics, namely, Delusion of being despised, Delusion he is repudiated by relatives, Delusion of being deserted, forsaken, and Forsaken.

Third, some symptoms of the proving have been stretched to fit certain rubrics in the repertory. For instance, in symptom 275 just mentioned, the feeling rejected was apparently stretched to fit the rubric Delusion of feeling despised. It is obvious how it would be misleading to rely only on the repertory without consulting the proving, as one can feel rejected without feeling despised.

From a list of only mental symptoms found in the repertory, Sankaran proceeds to “discover” for us the central state of the remedy or the understanding of the remedy. He writes,

  • If we study all these symptoms of Hura we find a lot of concentration on forsaken feelings. There is a specific feeling of forsakenness, which is a delusion that she is about to lose her friend. Delusion that her friend had lost affection of her. Delusion people are casting her away, they don’t want her. Therefore, she is alone in the world; she is not liked, she is despised andhated. (65)

This part of the theme is essentially developed from three symptoms out of 870 symptoms in the original proving of Dr. Mure, namely symptom 275, “He feels rejected and abandoned by his family” (“Il se croit repoussé et abandonné des siens”), symptom 484, “She thinks she will lose someone who is dear to her” (“Elle pense qu’elle va perdre quelqu’un qui lui est cher”), and symptom 822, “She thinks she is left alone in the world and without hope of recovery” (“Elle pense rester seule au monde et se croit perdue”). (66), (67)

Then Sankaran goes on to discover the rest of the theme. He writes,

  • Why has this happened? Because of bad luck. She is unfortunate—this feeling is strong. “It is my bad luck that something has happened to me because of which I have lost my friend and they have started hating me.”

    Now, when I think about this I ask myself what is the situation in which these feelings are justified? Here is the situation of a man who had lost the affection of his friends. All his friends and relatives now hate him and don’t want him, they have cast him away, and so he feels left out, forsaken, isolated and feels unfortunate.

    The rubric ‘Despair of Recovery’ means that it is difficult for him to recover from this position. The chances of getting back to the original position are slim; so there is sadness and mental depression. He becomes quite frustrated and bored (ennui). He can get destructive, even destructive of himself. He gets angry with himself, bites himself, feels unfortunate and reproaches himself. (68)

Problems with Sankaran’s approach
Several major difficulties arise from such an approach. First, is the introduction of inferences about the causes of these symptoms, second is the interpretation of the symptoms, and third is the starting assumption that there is a common theme or a central delusion in disease. He writes, “One thing is sure, that all symptoms of a remedy are based upon delusions—every single symptom without exception. Because delusion is disease and since symptoms are an expression of disease, they can be expressed as delusions.” (69) All of this is speculation, which is again totally contrary to the fundamental principles of homeopathy. There is a book about the history of scientific mistakes entitled Je Pense Donc Je Me Trompe (I Think Therefore I Am Wrong), (70) and similar to the examples contained in this book, Sankaran demonstrated several basic errors of methodology and reasoning in his example of how he “discovers” a remedy.

First, nowhere in the proving is there anything about being despised or hated, or of having a friend lose affection for her.

Second, Sankaran writes, “When I got this idea you can imagine my joy when I went through Clarke’s Dictionary and found that Hura has been proved and it has brought out the best symptoms in people who had leprosy in the past, and Hura is a known remedy for leprosy… He [Hura] feels like a leper, feels cast away and hated and no chance of coming back. This is the theme of Hura… I am not saying that Hura should be used in leprosy, but what I am saying is that leprosy could have been one of the original situations in which the Hura state must have been produced.” (71) There were only four provers in the proving of Hura braziliensis, two who had previously developed leprosy and in whom Hura didn’t bring out better symptoms than in the two others who had no history of leprosy. As a matter of fact, symptoms 275 and 822, the two key symptoms from which Sankaran builds the theme of Hura feeling “like a leper, cast away and hated and no chance of coming back,” were both provided by the two provers who had not had leprosy.

Third, Hura braziliensis was never really known as a remedy for leprosy, it was merely believed to be. Mure reported in 1849 that a man who had been affected with leprosy had been cured after ingesting considerable quantities of the juice flowing from the trunk of the Hura tree; after the president of the local province informed the imperial government of this observation, this juice became “very generally used by leprous patients without, however, curing them.” (72) Is this old belief still sufficient to sustain the following thesis by Sankaran? “Hura has features that place it exactly between the tubercular and the syphilitic miasms. This is the leprosy miasm. The main feeling in the leprosy miasm is similar to the tubercular miasm, only much worse. The feeling is that even with intense, rapid, hectic activity to come out of this destructive process (leprosy), there is very little hope.” (73)

Fourth, Sankaran writes the following in continuing his “discovery” of the central theme of Hura braziliensis,

  • Various possibilities occur—maybe he has committed a big crime. If that was the case “Anxiety of conscience” and “Delusion he is a criminal” should have been there but they are not. What is available is unfortunate feeling, some misfortune has happened. So, what could the misfortune be that has made his relatives hate him, misfortune from which he cannot recover? When I got into this feeling I get a strong impression of leprosy. A leper is a man who through a stroke of bad luck comes into a position where all his friends have ditched him, they hate him, despise him, lose affection for him and however much he tries, he cannot compensate. The old feeling cannot return, once a leper, always a leper. (74)

In this deductive process of “discovering” the materia medica, one wrong assumption most likely invalidates the conclusion. In this context, it happens that symptoms 127 and 128 in Mure’s proving are, respectively, “He reproaches himself with everything bad he has done, even the least trifles, and considers himself very guilty for having done them” (“Il se reproche toutes les mauvaises actions qu’il a pu commettre, se reproche les moindres choses, et se croit bien coupable de les avoir faites”), and “During the nervous attack, he is anxious about his eternal salvation” (“Préoccupation de son salut éternel pendant la crise nerveuse”).

To start with, Sankaran assumes that there is no anxiety of conscience, when in fact there is. He then rests his deductive process on the symptoms of feeling unfortunate, hated, despised, and the lost affection of a friend, when in actuality, none of the last three symptoms are present in the proving.

Fifth, what shall we do with the other peculiar mental or physical symptoms not included in Sankaran’s theme? Some examples are symptoms 126, “During and after the fainting-spell disposition to love everybody, especially those surrounding you. He often thinks of death, but he is not afraid of dying; he even feels as though he would die without regret;” 537, “Since taking the drug, the least thing irritates her; at such times she feels oppressed, with desire to cry, she blushes, sighs a good deal, several times a day;” 491, “At nine in the morning, her feelings are excited and she cries a good deal;” 571-573, “At nine in the morning, oppression on the chest. She sighs a good deal. Internal trembling;” 679, “At half past eight, desire to weep, the least trifle makes her sad; she starts when hearing a door opened suddenly;” 580, “Nervous laughter which causes her to shudder;” 626, “At eight in the morning, with the desire to laugh, followed by shuddering in the head and legs;” 823, “Weeping without cause, followed by nervous laugh;” 452, “She cannot walk, without fearing to fall;” 485, “She cries every moment and, for several days past imagines she is seeing the dead person before her eyes;” 321 and 322 “Absence of mind, he makes many mistakes, mistakes one month for another, for several days. He mistakes the street twice;” 432, “Sensation as if she were falling to the ground;” 448 “Sensation as if dogs had bitten her where the pain is felt.” Where do the above symptoms fit in this scheme, as well as a number of other peculiar symptoms?

What shall we think of this approach? Are we really talking of discovery, or is it the creation of an active imagination? Who would ever want to use such an approach “in the most important work which one man can perform for his brother—a work whereon life and death, nay, sometimes the weal or woe of whole families and their descendants depends…?” (75) Would such an approach, in the end, tend to guide or misguide unfortunate and often too naïve students in search of new and “advanced” techniques? The answer to these questions is crystal clear to those who have thoroughly studied and understood the work of Hahnemann. As for others, each must follow his own path and this freedom must be respected, however it is not a license to call one’s own vagaries homeopathy. A very great number of people calling themselves homeopaths are currently misrepresenting the profession. Unfortunately, this has been the case in homeopathy for a very long time and we are reminded that for a very long time the majority of professed homeopaths have showed great lack of knowledge of the teachings of Hahnemann. When will we learn from the mistakes of the past?

In summary
The errors so far demonstrated in the teachings and practices supported by the cosigners are often the result of generalization, poor methodology, or incorrect observation and reasoning, and are all the antithesis of science and pure homeopathy. It is therefore very difficult to understand how Dr. Morrison denies “that we are persons who lead students astray by failing to teach the principles of the Organon. In fact, the Organon is always taught at our schools and nothing we teach, promote or practice is in any way contrary to the teachings of Hahnemann. That we are persons who spread false doctrines …” (76) In fact, most, if not all, the teachings and practices so far examined are totally contrary to the teachings of Hahnemann. The image of Socrates making the following remarks regarding the sophists is here difficult to avoid, “Can you name any other subject in which the professed teachers are not only recognized as teachers of others but are thought to have no understanding themselves and to be no good at the very subject they professed to teach? When people are so confused about a subject can you say in any true sense that they are teachers?”

Dr. Morrison refutes that we are persons who “falsify our follow-ups of cases ‘to demonstrate our cleverness.’ In fact not one of the cosigners would condone falsification of results for any purpose.” (77) In my previous article, I only addressed this problem as a general remark. That Dr. Morrison claims that none of the cosigners have been involved in such things forces me to address this very touchy but important issue once more. I have heard many allegations of falsification of cases committed by one of the cosigners. Although I have not personally witnessed these episodes, they have been described by apparently reliable observers who witnessed them personally. A better forum is urgently needed to address this issue. The questions are the following: what actions shall be taken regarding these allegations? And what actions shall be taken if these allegations are found to be true? Also it is surprising how many witnesses of these allegations have decided to remain silent and not take a stand. How is the profession served by putting our heads in the sand? Cheating once in medicine as in science is once too many and carries its own condemnation; what teachings, writings, or provings from such a person could ever be considered serious and trustworthy?

The development of the materia medica without provings
The development of materia medica primarily from cured cases, as is part of new teachings supported by the twenty-one signers, is also a very questionable approach. Again, this approach bypasses a fundamental principle of homeopathy—the obligation to first prove a medicine on the healthy. Hering wrote in his Analytical Repertory of the Symptoms of the Mind,

  • Being aware that these two kinds of symptoms, namely those produced and those cured, are essentially different, we still have, after long and matured consideration, decided to give both without marks of distinction. The marking of such different origin, should always be done with the utmost care in the monograph of the materia medica; it should there be considered as a matter of highest importance, never to mix indiscriminately, symptoms reported as cured (not having been observed on the healthy), with the symptoms produced by the drug. Hahnemann’s warning must never be forgotten, see Chronic Diseases, Volume 2, second edition, note to Alumina. Hahnemann was right, when he advised us not to be ruled by former cures, but always by the symptoms produced. (87)

In the passage referred to by Hering, Hahnemann writes that cured symptoms “only serve to furnish occasionally a little confirmation of the correct choice of the homœopathic remedy, already found out from their pure peculiar medicinal effects, as indicated according to the similarity of the symptoms of disease of the special case under consideration.” (79)

Dr. Morrison also refers to experimentation that I made more than twelve years ago with the use of potentized sarcodes in incurable and defective cases with organ failure: this had nothing to do with Hahnemann or any of the basic principles of homeopathy, and I never claimed or taught that it did. However, when patients present with irreversible lesions, it is common sense for the homeopath to use other approaches that Hahnemann called adjuvants. Of course, the use of such adjuvants would be unacceptable in the homeopathic method for patients presenting with curable dynamic disease.

The bottom line
In conclusion, the issues discussed here go far beyond a dispute over what constitutes pure observation and sound thinking. Assuming that we can all agree on what is a fact versus what is speculation, a thought, an idea or a hypothesis, then in the end, it comes down to what homeopathy is and is not. Dr. Morrison and the cosigners are supporting teachings and practices clearly contrary to the fundamental principles of homeopathy. To be consistent with themselves, the least that is requested of them is to recognize their misrepresentation and stop suggesting that these teachings and practices represent Hahnemann’s homeopathy. As has been said so many times, homeopathy without Hahnemann is like staging Hamlet without Hamlet himself.

Over one hundred years ago, Pemberton Dudley, the editor of the second English translation of Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases, judiciously said:

  • In the development of therapeutic art Hahnemann’s position is more than merely transitional. He proclaims both an epoch and an era; he represents both discovery and progress. Today, as a hundred years ago, he holds in one hand the past, in the other the future of medical achievement. The future historian, crossing the chasm between the medicine of speculative hypothesis and that based on observation of clinical and pharmacodynamic phenomena, will unfailingly recognize Hahnemann’s agency in bringing about that remarkable transformation in medical thought and practice. (80)

The twenty-one cosigners and their followers have taken a giant step away from pure homeopathy and hopefully will understand that they have to stop dragging homeopathy with them to the other side of the chasm referred to by Dr. Dudley. Hahnemannians will always denounce the ones wanting to bring homeopathy into “the domain of shadows, where knowledge and observation cease, whilst imagination deceives us into accepting dreams as truth; where we, in short, abandoned by the guiding of plain experience, grope about in the dark, and with every desire to penetrate into the inner essence of things, about which little minds so presumptuously dogmatize, we gain nothing by such hyperphysical speculations but noxious error and self deception.” (81) With their obvious misrepresentations, the cosigners have no mandate to represent homeopathy, much as visitors cannot claim to represent their host.

It is one thing to say you don’t agree with Hahnemann’s method and want to use other methods. This is fine, but those other methods should not come under the umbrella of homeopathy. People wanting to explore other ways to apply the law of similars, as in the use of speculation such as the doctrine of signatures, themes and essences, have no license to call their teachings and practices homeopathy.

On one hand, we have Hahnemann’s strict inductive method and materia medica pura, and on the other hand, we have the speculative materia medica, based on signatures, generalizations, themes, essences and “synthetic prescribing” (i.e., prescribing Calcarea nitrica for a patient presenting with symptoms of Calcarea carbonica and Nitricum acidum). It is high time for an honest recognition that such teachings and practices are antithetical to pure homeopathy, and should cease to be called homeopathy. Such a request is consistent with homeopathy and Hahnemann’s request to keep homeopathy pure, and is in no way a slight against authors and users of these other practices.

Some will say that we should unite, not divide. Anyone familiar with the history of homeopathy will recognize that movements to reconcile have been detrimental to homeopathy and the sick, who justly demand standards of practice, and have only profited the authors and practitioners of misrepresentations. Others will advise more tolerance, and argue that it is just a question of bad science and a need to correct the methodology. In this instance, it is more than just a case of bad science when the fundamental principles of science are ignored and when there is no expressed intent to recognize and correct errors.

By demonstrating such poor knowledge of and/or regard for the Hahnemannian method, by ignoring the fundamental principles of homeopathy and of science, and by persisting in practices which are contrary to these, Dr. Morrison and the cosigners only invite condemnation of their lack of science. The least that Hahnemannians can do to honor the legacy we have received is to continue denouncing and rejecting any misrepresentation of homeopathy “without fear or favor.” (82) Long term tolerance for misrepresentation is not, and has never been, an option for Hahnemannians. As Goethe said so well, “Tolerance ought in reality to be merely a transitory mood. It must lead to recognition. To tolerate is to affront.”

History clearly teaches that the more one understands Hahnemann’s teachings the greater the clinical achievement. Disciples like Lippe, Bœnninghausen and Hering acted as apprentices to Hahnemann. They revered him as the teacher and master who had perfected the art and science of healing. Their relationship was similar to the apprentices of a great master of an art demanding perfection in all aspects of execution, as an example, in the making of a Stradivarius, where any change, insignificant as it may seem, would likely spell failure. The testimony of Hahnemannians has overwhelmingly confirmed Hahnemann’s teachings to their utmost delight and satisfaction. Today the situation is different. We have self-proclaimed masters who have not done their homework, as well as followers who in great numbers don’t know better than to be falsely led. Common sense admonitions indicated here would be to not fix what is not broken, and be mindful to first master the art before thinking of perfecting it and certainly of teaching it. From the evidence presented, it appears that the twenty-one signers have little understanding of Hahnemann’s homeopathy, let alone mastery.

We do not plead with Dr. Morrison and the cosigners to adopt Hahnemann’s teachings, but simply ask them to recognize that their teachings and practices contradict fundamental principles of Hahnemann’s homeopathy. The least they can do is respect Hahnemann’s request and stop usurping the name of homeopathy. Hahnemann and his true disciples rejected the doctrine of signatures and magical thinking and instead embraced Experimentia ac ratio for matters of health and disease. Unreliable observations and incorrect reasoning, as demonstrated by the cosigners, have no place and no usefulness whatsoever in homeopathy, as Hahnemann mentioned in paragraph 143 of the Organon,

  • Lately, unknown people have been commissioned to do provings of medicines at some distance away, for the purpose of publication. But in this way the all-important work meant to be the only true basis of the art of healing and requiring the greatest moral certainty and reliability unfortunately becomes ambiguous and uncertain in its results, therefore useless. Any of the false statements to be expected from such procedures which are later accepted by homeopathic physicians as the truth will certainly lead to most harmful consequences for patients. (83)

Keep homeopathy pure: our only option
On the other hand, by keeping homeopathy pure, we can participate in the progress of our science, and ultimately help in the achievement of the mathematical certainty predicted by Hahnemann when he wrote,

  • In the beginning (some forty years ago) I was the only one for whom proving the pure powers of medicines was the most important occupation. Since that time I have been helped by a few young men who have made tests on themselves and whose observations I have examined critically. And since then some valid work in this field has been done by a few others. But what will we not be able to achieve in therapy throughout the endless field of disease when numbers of careful and reliable observers will have earned the merit of enriching this only true materia medica by careful self-provings! The healing art will then approach the mathematical sciences in certainty. (84)

In order to assist Hahnemann in this most noble objective of mathematical certainty, there is no known path of success other than using the method he honed so well, which demands the greatest care in its application, as he wrote in the Medical Observer,

  • In order to be able to observe well, the medical practitioner requires to possess, what is not to be met with among ordinary physicians even in a moderate degree, the capacity and habit of noticing carefully and correctly the phenomena that take place in natural diseases, as well as those that occur in the morbid states artificially excited by medicines, when they are tested upon the healthy body, and the ability to describe them in the most appropriate and natural expression.
  • In order accurately to perceive what is to be observed in patients, we should direct all our thoughts upon the matter we have in hand, come out of ourselves, as it were, and fasten ourselves, so to speak, with all our powers of concentration upon it, in order that nothing that is actually present, that has to do with the subject, and that can be ascertained by all the senses, may escape us.
  • Poetic fancy, fantastic wit and speculation must for the time be suspended, and all over-strained reasoning, forced interpretation and tendency to explain away things must be suppressed. The duty of the observer is only to take notice of the phenomena and their course; his attention should be on the watch, not only that nothing actually present escape his observation, but that also what he observes be understood exactly as it is. (85)

Thus, Hahnemann insisted that the reliability of the observer is key to homeopathy. Following his precise method gives permanent value to work which otherwise is done in vain. Material from unreliable observers always remains of questionable value and useless unless proven otherwise. Isn’t it our duty as homeopaths to deepen our understanding of homeopathy by constantly studying the works of Hahnemann and the great Hahnemannians, to practice accordingly to what has been demonstrated to be true, and to continue to report our reliable observations in order to perfect the art and science of pure homeopathy? Yet, for undefined reasons, so many look up to teachers of new trends as if seeking medical enlightenment or knowledge not otherwise accessible to them. Many seek these teachers as one would seek a guru, and worship them with great naivete, depleted of objectivity and incapable of criticism, and often bordering on idolatry. Some have listened to these guru-like teachers for over twenty years, which, strangely, is often longer than some of these teachers have ever practiced.

Initiators of these new trends have demonstrated little or no understanding of the fundamental principles of Hahnemann’s method. Who benefits from and who pays the price of these new trends? To begin with, we have teachers cashing in on the naivete of students in constant search of short cuts, formulae and schemes to make practice easy. Then these students try these new trends for one or two years. They find themselves experiencing more failures than before, and feel more inadequate. They think, for example, “perhaps I haven’t applied properly what was learned; perhaps I should persist for another one or two years.” Confusion is joined by disappointment and disillusion but only until the next new and more promising trend comes along, and the cycle continues. But the one who pays the last and most bitter bill is the innocent patient who comes to receive homeopathy pure and simple but ends up deceived. A physician who had followed some of these new trends recently told me, “Morally, I should refund the money of all my cases of the last few years.” He felt that he had been fooled and in turn had fooled his patients. The image of homeopathy can only be tarnished with all of these misrepresentations.

A legitimate question arises. Who among our modern teachers has thoroughly studied the teachings of Hahnemann in order to master homeopathy? Seminars won’t do it; and to learn from a teacher who is supposed to have studied the work of Hahnemann but, in fact, has not won’t be sufficient, regardless of how learned that teacher appears to be. Many who have adopted these new trends say that it was in answer to failures in their practice. Therefore, another legitimate question arises. How many of these had done their homework, applied themselves like the masters of the past had done in thoroughly studying all the writings of Hahnemann related to the practice of homeopathy and had practiced accordingly? How many could demonstrate failure on more than rare occasions with full cases as evidence when they applied the method of Hahnemann accurately and meticulously? Who among these teachers claiming failures with the method of Hahnemann had first demonstrated real mastery of the art and science of healing as taught by Hahnemann?

To all the above, a literal answer is not expected, as enough nonsense has been demonstrated and responded to so far. Concrete actions are needed. The bottom line is that homeopathy is the system Hahnemann developed on a solid scientific base and well defined by its fundamental principles, and is not a free for all on how to apply the law of similars. Historically, Hahnemann and Hahnemannians have asked that teachings and practices not complying with these fundamental principles not be called homeopathy. Therefore, authors of teachings and practices which are contrary to the fundamental principles on how to conduct provings, on how to develop the materia medica, and on how to conduct the examination of the patient, and who consistently employ incorrect reasoning, are consequently asked to simply be honest and stop calling their teachings and practices homeopathy. Why would anyone in such a position not do otherwise?

Following the recent rapid growth of our profession, a debate over the standards of practice and ethics seems inescapable and urgent. Others who care about homeopathy now need to be involved in this vital debate of our profession; board members of homeopathic institutions, editors of our journals, teachers, historians and those in positions of authority now need to step in and take a stance on these issues.

What is homeopathy
We are assuming that everyone agrees on the following two premises:

  1. Homeopathy is the art and science of healing named and developed by Samuel Hahnemann.
  2. Homeopathy is greatly defined by its fundamental principles.

Some of the fundamental principles of homeopathy
The question then becomes one of identifying some of these fundamental principles of homeopathy. As there are many, some of which require complex definitions, let us now enumerate those most relevant to the common issues of usurping the name of homeopathy:

  1. The physician’s main objective is to help the sick recover his health. “It is not to weave so-called systems from fancy and hypotheses about the inner nature of the vital processes and the origin of diseases … Nor does it consist of trying endlessly to explain disease phenomena and their proximate cause … Surely by now we have had enough of these pretentious fantasies called theoretical medicine.” (86) All personal ambitions and the desire to impress others must be set aside.
  2. “The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles.” (87)
  3. Medicines must first be proven on the healthy. “There is no other possible way of correctly ascertaining the characteristic action of medicines on the human health—no single surer, more natural way—than administering individual medicines experimentally to healthy people…” (88)
  4. The development of the materia medica must be free from all speculation. “All conjecture, everything merely asserted or entirely fabricated, must be completely excluded from such a materia medica; everything must be the pure language of nature carefully and honestly interrogated. (89)
  5. The examination of the sick must be free from all speculation. (90) “The totality of these perceptible signs represent the entire extent of the sickness; together they constitute its true and only conceivable form.” (91)
  6. The totality of the symptoms of the patient is the basis for choosing the most similar remedy.92 This means that the physician must conduct a thorough examination of the patient and gather all the subjective, objective and circumstantial symptoms.
  7. “The only medicinal disease agent meriting attention and preference in any case of disease is always the one that is most similar to the totality of the characteristic symptoms and that no petty bias should interfere with this serious choice.” (93)
  8. The remedy must be given singly, (94) and in the optimal potency and repetition. (95) (This principle has been very often disregarded by many professed homeopaths throughout the history of homeopathy.)
  9. The homeopathic physician constantly seeks to individualize the patient, the medicine, and its potency and repetition.
  10. Palliative treatments, regimes or approaches are not compatible with the homeopathic treatment of patients presenting with curable dynamic diseases.

Questions responsible members of the profession need to answer:

  1. What shall be our attitude toward teachings and practices within homeopathy clearly at variance with the fundamental principles of homeopathy and the scientific method?
  2. To which standards must homeopathy adhere to remain a true science and to reach Hahnemann’s goal of certainty in medicine?
  3. What steps should be taken to assure the required peer review in homeopathy?
  4. What shall be done with teachings and practices misrepresenting homeopathy?
  5. Shall allegations of falsifications of results be investigated and adjudicated for the good of the profession?

Time to take a stand
Committed people who care about the future of homeopathy must now come forward and stand up for the good of the profession. Modern day homeopathy will be remembered as a caricature unless we turn events around. Commitment is what is needed.

Let’s make sure that our profession aims for excellence and that work done in the name of homeopathy is scientific and of permanent value, thus characterizing our endeavors with the departing words of the wise Hahnemann, Non inutilis vixi.*

* Non inutilis vixi , or “I did not live in vain,” is the inscription Hahnemann asked to have written on his tombstone.

References

  1. Hahnemann S. On the value on the speculative systems of medicine (1808), in The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann, edited and translated by R. E. Dudgeon. New York: William Radde, 1852: 501.
  2. Hering C. Apis. North American Journal of Homœopathy 1880; 29: 31.
  3. Lippe A. The last departure of homœopathy in the physiological livery. Cincinnati Medical Advance 1876; 4: 40-44.
  4. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  5. Saine A. Homeopathy Versus Speculative Medicine. Simillimum, Fall 2001; 14 (3): 34-53.
  6. Ibid
  7. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  8. Ibid.
  9. Hahnemann S. Essay on a new principle for ascertaining the curative powers of drugs (1796), in The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann, edited and translated by R. E. Dudgeon. New York: William Radde, 1852: 254.
  10. Hahnemann S. Examination of the common sources of the Materia Medica (1817), in The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann, edited and translated by R. E. Dudgeon. New York: William Radde, 1852: 670.
  11. Ibid, 672.
  12. Hahnemann S. On the value of the speculative systems of medicine (1808), in The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann, edited and translated by R. E. Dudgeon. New York: William Radde, 1852: 502.
  13. Definition of signature. Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary, 25th ed. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1974.
  14. Hahnemann S. Examination of the common sources of the Materia Medica (1817), in The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann, edited and translated by R. E. Dudgeon. New York: William Radde, 1852: 672.
  15. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  16. Hahnemann S. The chronic diseases, their peculiar nature and their homœopathic cure. Translated by Louis Tafel. Vol. 1, Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1896: 2.
  17. Hahnemann S. Organon of medicine, 6th ed. Translated by Jost Künzli, Alain Naudé and Peter Pendelton. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1982: paragraph 84.
  18. Ibid, paragraph 84.
  19. Ibid, paragraph 5.
  20. Ibid, paragraph 94.
  21. Ibid, paragraph 6.
  22. Hahnemann S. Examination of the common sources of the Materia Medica (1817), in The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann, edited and translated by R. E. Dudgeon. New York: William Radde, 1852: 673.
  23. Ibid, 673.
  24. Ibid, 673.
  25. Ibid, 694.
  26. Ibid, 672.
  27. Ibid, 676.
  28. Ibid, 694.
  29. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  30. Ibid.
  31. Definition of signature. Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary, 25th ed. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1974.
  32. Pachter HM. Magic into science. The story of Paracelsus. New York: Henry Schuman, 1951: 80.
  33. Ibid, 80.
  34. James TS. An introduction to the doctrine of signatures. Ibiblio: http://www.ibiblio.org.london /herbal-references/ LYSATOR-ftpsite/medicinal/ uses/signature_doctrine, 1995.
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  37. Thompson CJS. Magic and healing. New York: Bell Publishing Company, 1989: 94-95.
  38. Ibid, 118.
  39. Hahnemann S. Organon of medicine, 6th ed. Translated by Jost Künzli, Alain Naudé and Peter Pendelton. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1982: paragraph 108.
  40. Ibid, paragraph 144.
  41. Hahnemann S. Materia Medica Pura, translated by R. E. Dudgeon. Vol. 1, Liverpool, London: Hahnemann Publishing House, 1880: 3.
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  43. Scholten J. Ferrum, excerpt from Homeopathy and the elements. Simillimum Fall 1997; 10 (3): 103-10.
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  52. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  53. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  54. Dunham C. Homœopathy the science of therapeutics. American Homeopathic Review 1862; 3: 210.
  55. Van Zandwoort. Complete Millenium Repertory. Version 2.3. November 2001.
  56. Hahnemann S. Materia Medica Pura, translated by R. E. Dudgeon. Vol. 2, Liverpool, London: Hahnemann Publishing House, 1880: 315.
  57. Ibid, 284-290.
  58. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  59. Hahnemann S. The chronic diseases, their peculiar nature and their homœopathic cure. Translated by Louis Tafel. Vol. 1, Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1896: 97.
  60. Ibid, 5.
  61. Ibid, 144.
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  63. Sankaran R. The spirit of homœopathy. Bombay: Self published, 1991: 217.
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  65. Sankaran R. The spirit of homœopathy. Bombay: Self published, 1991: 218.
  66. Mure B. Doctrine de l’école de Rio de Janeiro et pathogénésie brésilienne. Paris: A l’Institut Homœopathique, 1849: 163-200.
  67. Hempel C. Benoist Mure’s Materia Medica. New York: William Radde, 1854: 65-101.
  68. Sankaran R. The spirit of homœopathy. Bombay: Self published, 1991: 218.
  69. Ibid, 219.
  70. Lentin JP. Je pense donc je me trompe. Paris: Editions Albin-Michel, 1994.
  71. Sankaran R. The spirit of homœopathy. Bombay: Self published, 1991: 218.
  72. Hempel C. Benoist Mure’s Materia Medica. New York: William Radde, 1854: 65-66.
  73. Sankaran R. The soul of remedies. Bombay: Homeopathic Medical Publishers, 1997: 94.
  74. Sankaran R. The spirit of homœopathy. Bombay: Self published, 1991: 218.
  75. Hahnemann S. Examination of the common sources of the Materia Medica (1817), in The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann, edited and translated by R. E. Dudgeon. New York: William Radde, 1852: 673.
  76. Morrison R. Homeopathy Today 2002; 22 (4).
  77. Ibid.
  78. Hering C. Analytical repertory of the symptoms of the mind. Second edition. Philadelphia: American Homeopathic Publishing Society, 1881: 12-13.
  79. Hahnemann S. The chronic diseases, their peculiar nature and their homœopathic cure. Translated by Louis Tafel. Vol. 1, Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1896: 187.
  80. Dudley P. Editor’s preface. The chronic diseases, their peculiar nature and their homœopathic cure by Samuel Hahnemann. Translated by Louis Tafel. Vol. 1. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1896: 97.
  81. Hahnemann S. Materia Medica Pura, translated by R. E. Dudgeon. Vol. 1, Liverpool, London: Hahnemann Publishing House, 1880: 304.
  82. Lippe A. The last departure of homœopathy in the physiological livery. Cincinnati Medical Advance 1876; 4: 40-44.
  83. Hahnemann S. Organon of medicine, 6th ed. Translated by Jost Künzli, Alain Naudé and Peter Pendelton. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1982: paragraph 143.
  84. Ibid, paragraph 145a.
  85. Hahnemann S. The medical observer. In the Materia Medica Pura, translated by R. E. Dudgeon. Vol. 2, Liverpool, London: Hahnemann Publishing House, 1880: 40-42.
  86. Hahnemann S. Organon of medicine, 6th ed. Translated by Jost Künzli, Alain Naudé and Peter Pendelton. Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1982: paragraph 1.
  87. Ibid, paragraph 2.
  88. Ibid, paragraph 108.
  89. Ibid, paragraph 144.
  90. Ibid, paragraph 83.
  91. Ibid, paragraph 6.
  92. Ibid, paragraph 147, 153.
  93. Ibid, paragraph 258.
  94. Ibid, paragraph 147, 153.
  95. Ibid, paragraph 3.

Teachers band together against Hahnemann

This letter was Published in Homeopathy Today 2001; 21 (May); 21-22.

It was signed by several prominent teachers of homeopathy who promote and teach non Hahnemann methods of treatment. Tomorrow we will publish a response by Andre Saine to the contents.

 

Dear Editor,

It was with a heavy heart that we read the latest edition of Homeopathy Today. The editorial attacks on the ideas of Rajan Sankaran, Jan Scholten, Nancy Herrick, Todd Rowe and others are unwarranted. While it is very clear that Mr. Winston has a great love for and desire to protect homeopathy, his sweeping use of the editorial position to advocate his personal beliefs has become a detriment to the National Center. Many people have dropped their membership in the NCH because of the increasingly divisive tone in the newsletter. No good to homeopathy can come from one person or group trying to impose their idea of what is “good homeopathy” upon others. Let ideas and clinical results speak for themselves. Thus this letter has been examined, co-edited, and co-signed by a large number of concerned and prominent homeopaths who wish to raise their voices against intolerance and divisiveness. We have much important work ahead of us; we cannot allow ourselves to be sidetracked by partisan bickering.

Especially pernicious is the oft-repeated technique of proposing a “straw man” case to show that one set of ideas is unworkable. In one glaring example of this technique, Dr. Shepperd presents a case of Anacardium which he uses to criticize Sankaran’s concept of kingdom. Two of the main elements of the case described were extreme sensitivity and feeling offended which are hallmarks of what Sankaran describes as belonging to the plant kingdom. In fact, Dr. Shepperd shows such a superficial understanding of the concepts being criticized that it appears he has not bothered to actually read Sankaran’s books before publishing his opinion.

All homeopaths try to find the simillimum using every possible clue Our materia medica and repertory are the bedrock of practice and each of the writers attacked are expert with these tools. If we had a perfect set of information to work with, no innovation and no new remedies would be needed. Unfortunately that is not our situation. The majority of our remedies are poorly proven– pitifully less than the fine provings of Ms. Herrick that Mr. Winston criticizes. Our repertories are contradictory and mistake ridden, Even old remedies that are clearly described in our literature are not available from any pharmacy. We do not know everything–in fact we know very little. Many times we miss seeing cases which are staring us in the face if we could only open our minds to the patient and see in a different way. Is there any among us so arrogant as to believe he cures every case? Can’t we admit our many failures? Every homeopath (including Dr. Gypser and Dr. Sheppard we feel certain) has dozens–no hundreds–of failures that arrive at the doors of his colleagues. Not one of us holds “The Answer.” What is needed is tolerance to hearing new ideas and techniques without ever loosening our grip on the basics–the materia medica and the repertory.

What is most concerning, however is the effort to make serious people sound ridiculous, unthinking or superficial. Mr. Winston seems to feel capable of judging whether or not something is or is not homeopathy. He states that Jan Scholten’s work is not homeopathy because there are no provings–thus ignoring some dozen provings reported in Scholten’s book. He states that there are insufficient cases of Ms. Herrick’s remedies to place them in the repertory thus ignoring multiple cases reported in journals throughout the world. Ms. Herrick’s careful exploration of the nuances of new remedies need to be supported and improved upon rather than criticized. Is it impossible to believe people of good faith when their ideas conflict with our own? Indeed, by the criterion set by Mr. Winston (supervisors, placebo controls, etc.), most of the remedies in our materia medicas would be thrown out–even those proved by Hahnemann. What are we to make of the fact that 95% of the time Dr. Gypser prefers remedies proved from before 1864? Is this a valid way to determine the simillimum? Do provings become valid simply because they are old?

Mr. Winston and Dr. Sheppard also criticize Sankaran’s concept of the “central delusion.” But what does Sankaran’s search for a central delusion mean? In practice it is nothing more than the attempt to look deeply into the mind and heart of our patient to find the suffering–call it “symptoms” if you prefer–of the individual in front of us. This is not theorizing; it is listening to phenomena in exactly the way Goethe spoke. When Sankaran uses a dream it is not by “interpreting” the dream or “theorizing” as suggested by Dr. Sheppard and Mr. Winston. Rather the only question asked about the dream is how the patient felt in the dream. This is a simple technique for accessing the suffering the patient feels–his “state” as Hahnemann put it.

Mangiolavori speaks of the general themes of a plant family; Sankaran speaks of themes of the kingdoms, Vithoulkas speaks of an essence; Herrick speaks of the behavior of the animal whose milks she has proved; Scholten speaks of similarities of symptoms in related chemicals. When all of these fine homeopaths write of their ideas, it is to add to our current understanding. None of them asks us to throw out our repertories, rather they say, “When you find yourself with a patient for whom repertorization does not lead to a clear remedy try looking at the case from this perspective to see if it may shed some light.” If some misuse the work, should we throw out the concept? Do some people carry these ideas too far? Yes, but let’s us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. We are not a science that knows every answer. Rather we are like a family working together on a jigsaw puzzle. One new piece can be found and grouped with another piece, even if we do not see at the moment how this discovery fits into the whole puzzle.

Perhaps coincidentally a letter by Steven Olsen is also published in this issue. This letter objects to the “Doctrine of signatures ” It is true that Hahnemann disparaged this doctrine. At the time of Hahnemann the “doctrine of signatures” meant simply and only that the shape of a substance could be used to determine the organ the plant was likely to help (for example a bean-shaped leaf applies to kidney ailments). This rudimentary doctrine was criticized by Hahnemann. But nowhere does Hahnemann criticize the idea that the source of the remedy has a bearing on the symptoms it produces. Why are nine of our snake remedies listed for fear or dreams of snakes? Why do numerous plant remedies have their aggravations at the exact hour when the species opens its flower (Pulsatilla at sunset, etc.). Why are so many of our remedies made from creeping plants found to have dreams or desire to travel? Is this coincidence or is it possible that the life struggles and habits of the remedy source do influence the feelings of the provers? We cannot explain how this might take place but why should this concept be so implausible? Is it inconceivable to Mr. Olsen that the physiology of the plant or animal from which a remedy is taken will have a bearing upon the symptoms produced in the proving? And if the physiology of the remedy source can give us clues, why would we ignore the possibility of using these hints? Would any responsible homeopath use only this type of data in formulating a remedy decision? Decidedly not.

We hope we are wrong in supposing that all of these articles indicate a strong editorial conviction against and intolerance to hearing new concepts. It seems that Mr. Winston has developed a clear image of what he believes is “Good” homeopathy and that Dr. Gypser ranks high in his concept. We can see this in many articles and reviews in recent issues of Homeopathy Today: He criticizes the text of Dr. Rowe; he takes the unusual step of re-reviewing Ms. Herrick’s book (not liking the earlier favorable review); his recent monthly columns have strongly criticized several other authors. We do not believe Mr. Winston is taking Homeopathy Today in a heartily direction but rather using it as a bully pulpit to voice his own personal views. Perhaps Mr. Winston no longer feels able to represent the homeopathic community?

We are not suggesting that Mr. Winston does not have a right to express his opinion. However the most recent issue is given almost entirely over to this intolerant viewpoint. We want to be certain that Mr. Winston’s personal opinion is not allowed to speak for our whole community. One immediate way to reassure the many staunch homeopaths who are concerned about this editorial leaning is to allow others in specific fields to review new books. For example, allow someone who has actually done a proving to review a work on provings; allow someone who is involved in the actual teaching of constitutional homeopathy to review books on education; allow someone who is an actual homeopathic practitioner to review books about homeopathic practice; and so forth. Homeopathy Today is one of the major voices of our community. Mr. Winston should feel proud that he has made such a contribution to this newsletter and the community owes him much. It would be a shame to allow this newsletter to devolve into partisanship and divisiveness which will only wound the community it exists to serve.

 

  • Roger Morrison, MD, Author, Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms; President, Hahnemann Medical Clinic; Instructor, Hahnemann College of Homeopathy
  • Jonathan Shore, MD, DHt, Instructor, Hahnemann College of Homeopathy; Past editor, Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy
  • Nancy Herrick, PA, Author, Animal Minds, Human Voices; Instructor, Hahnemann College of Homeopathy
  • Dr. Rajan Sankaran, Author, Spirit of Homeopathy and System of Homeopathy
  • Steven King, ND, Past president, International Foundation for Homeopathy; Course coordinator, IFH professional course
  • Ted Chapman. MD, DHt, Clinical Instructor, Harvard and Tufts University Medical Schools; Past President, American Institute of Homeopathy; President, Council on Homeopathy Education
  • Mitchell Fleischer, MD, Instructor, National Center for Homeopathy
  • Ed Kondrot, MD, Instructor, Desert Institute of Classical Homeopathy
  • David Riley, MD, Editor in Chief, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; Medical Director, Integrative Medicine Institute; Co-founder, Integrative Medicine Education Associates
  • Duncan Soule, MD, Director, Fulcrum Institute; Instructor, Hahnemann College of Homeopathy
  • Declan Hammond, RSHom, Directors Irish School of Homeopathy
  • Jeff Baker, ND, Director, Maui Academy of Homeopathy
  • Deborah Gordon, MD, Instructor, Hahnemann College of Homeopathy
  • Melissa Fairbanks, RSHom, Director, Four Winds Seminar
  • Corrie Hiwat, RSHom, Editor of Homeopathic Links
  • Harry van der Zee, MD, Author, Miasms in Labor; Editor Homeopathic Links
  • Andrew Bonner, ND, Hahnemann College of Homeopathy
  • Rebecca Reese, MD, Hahnemann College of Homeopathy
  • Richard Moskowitz, MD, Past President, NCH; Reviewer, Homeopathy Today; Author, Homeopathic Medicines for Pregnancy and Childbirth, etc.
  • Eric Sommerman, PhD, RSHom (NA), Director, Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy
  • Deborah Collins, MD, RCHom, International lecturer
Video

Vera discusses the sensation method

Video

Priscilla presents her case.

What is “The Sankaran Sensation Method?” as defined by its advocates.

Deborah Olenev C.C.H., RSHom (NA)

 

The Sankaran Sensation Method

04 Feb 2010 |

There has been a wonderful revolution in homeopathic thought in the last two decades with many homeopaths the world over doing research to further our understanding of remedies, the natural world, and the application of these remedies to sick people in search of healing. Rajan Sankaran has been one of the foremost teachers in the evolution of homeopathic thought. My feeling is that the Sensation Method, which he developed over the last decade, and wrote about in his book called Sensations in Homeopathy, which was published in 2005, has done more to put homeopathic prescribing on a scientific and practical basis than any other homeopathic researcher.

The concepts behind the Sensation method are truly beautiful. Sankaran teaches that the task of the homeopathic prescriber is to do the following four things:

1) Determine whether the patient needs a remedy from the animal, plant, mineral, bacterial, fungal or viral kingdom.

2) Determine the miasm that the patient falls into. The word miasm is a broad word that describes the following things: the miasm is the pace of the illness; the intensity with which the patient feels his symptoms; the patient’s attitude toward his chief complaint; various genetic factors, and possibly even the illness itself, such as malaria and the malaria miasm.

3) Determine the potency that the patient needs by determining the depth of the illness and evaluating the patient’s vital force.

4) Determine the remedy for the patient, which should sit at the cross point between the kingdom and miasm. For example if it is determined that the patient needs a mineral remedy of the sycotic miasm, the homeopath will examine the mineral remedies, figure out which row and column from the periodic table of the elements most closely fits the patient’s symptoms, and also fits into the sycotic miasm. Then he or she will study the material medica of the remedies in the final elimination and choose one for the patient. In this example Silica would be a remedy that could be considered for this patient as it is a sycotic remedy and a third row mineral.

I am greatly indebted to Rajan Sankaran for developing this system as it has helped to improve my prescribing tremendously, and given me the confidence to tackle more challenging cases. Please let me know if you would like to make an appointment and experience the case taking process Sensation Method Style, and reap the rewards of a well-chosen remedy.

via The Sankaran Sensation Method | Homeopathy for Health.