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A little background. Sir John Weir.

Before we start examining the principles of homoeopathy in-depth, this historical overview is worth noting.

The institute is a research organisation and as such, many thousands of documents are in our possession with many more having passed before our sight. To this end, we are in a position to post Hahnemann’s own words and his colleagues of the time from cited writings.

After reading, what do you understand about Disease, Hahnemann’s abilities and the principle of treating the disease with medicines?

 

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Samuel Hahnemann and his Influence on Medical Thought. By Sir J0HN WEIR, K.C.V.O., M.B., Ch.B.668

The other statement will be found in Tract. iii, cap. 4, page 63 in the 1540 edition and page 67 in the 1556 edition, and runs as follows :—

quae maculæ et alia visa fuerunt ab antiquissimo ac doctissimo Hyppocrate, in diversis tum temporibus, tum etium epidemicis constitutionibus.”

I have always believed that it was to Sydenham we owed the combination of words ” epidemic constitution.” The idea conveyed by the words is, without doubt, to be found in Epidemics I and 111 of the Hippocratic Collection. Guillaume de Baillou, who closely followed the method and phraseology of Hippocrates in his Epidemiorum et Ephemeridum Libri Duo, published some years after 1616, the year of his death, and probably written at least twenty years before, does not use the term ‘ epidemic constitution.” Perhaps a search amongst the works of other writers of the sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth century would reveal the use of the word elsewhere.

Addendum.—Since writing the foregoing note I have found that unless he was relying on second-hand information, Sydenham had read Massa’s book. In Sect. 11, Cap. 11 of the Observationes Medica circa Morborum, etc. (page 106 of Greenhill’s Latin edition, published by the Sydenham Society), he refers to Massa and twelve other writers as being in favour of venesection in the plague. References to the subject in Massa’s book will be found on pages 35b, 49b and 66b in the first edition, and pages 37b, 52a and 70b in the second edition.

A STUDY of the historical background of Hahnemann’s time explains much of his reform work in medicine. And it is interesting that present-day changes in medical ideas were foreshadowed, a century ago, by Samuel Hahnemann.

He was born in Saxony in 1755. Many talents and strong urgings went to his make-up, including the ” glorious gospel of discontent ” with all that was senseless, useless, harmful, inept—which practically sums up the medicine of his day. He was a great linguist— master of many languages (including Arabic) at a very early age. At twelve years old he was already teaching the rudiments of Greek. His knowledge was voluminous, as was his memory. More than once in his early years he was in charge of, or closely associated with, large and important libraries (Hermanstadt and Dresden) ; and his erudition was commensurate with his opportunities.

At Leipsic ” the Saxon Athens ” in 1812, in order to obtain permission to lecture, he had to deliver a speech of qualification ” from the Upper Chair. This he delivered in Latin; it was entitled ” Dissertatio historico-medica de Heleborismo veterum.” In this speech, we are told, he was able to quote verbatim and give the location of the passages from manifold German, French, English, Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic medical writers, and he could examine their views—either in disagreement or in extension. He quoted from fifty more or less known doctors, philosophers, and naturalists.

In chemistry, his methods of chemical analysis and some of his discoveries are still in daily use among us—among them his mercurius solubilis “—the black oxide, and in Crell’s Annals (1793) Hahnemann was already mentioned as the famous analytical chemist.”

In the treatment of the insane Hahnemann was amongst the great pioneers. Already in 1792 (in Pinel’s time) he advised humane treatment of the insane. He never allowed any insane person to be given painful bodily chastisement. There could be no punishment for involuntary actions; these patients deserved nothing but the pity and were always made worse and not better by such treatment. He even went further than Pinel, in advising psychotherapeutic measures.

One of his peculiarities was that he could do with very little sleep ; indeed it is recorded of him that for 40 years his custom was to sit up one night in four, studying. He was a prodigious worker ; was only one year short of 90 when he died, and in the course of his long life (according to Ameke) he published 116 large works and about 120 pamphlets. He was always ” filling gaps in his education ” as he expresses it, as when he studied botany, or ” took small journeys to learn mining science and metallurgy.” He was not only a chemist but a good musician and an astronomer, and he was versed in every branch of knowledge connected with medicine. Ameke says, ” When Hahnemann came out with his new system of medicine he was universally spoken of with respect and even reverence, but with regret for his folly. But, after a year or so, he was denounced as an ignoramus and a scoundrel.”

But his great work was in the field of therapeutics . He was, above all, a born physician and reformer. His great idea of similia was first communicated in 1796 in an essay on ” The new principle for ascertaining the curative powers of drugs,” and some examinations of the previous principles.

His three classical works are (1) his Organon of Medicine: In this, he justifies his position, and teaches how, and what to prescribe, and why; (2) his Materia Medica Pura, which embodies exhaustively the answers of the healthy human body to the assaults of morbid agencies or drugs: that is to say, the exact symptoms produced when drugs are tested on the healthy, in order to apply them, with assurance, for the healing of the sick of like symptoms ; (3) his Chronic Diseases—almost too much in the past, for even his keenest disciples and followers— is assuming new importance in the light of the discoveries of today. Those who study these works discover, with amazement, that Hahnemann—-in his views of disease, in his conception of the all-importance of vital resistance to disease, in his teaching that disease can only be cured by stimulating the resistance of the patient— is a modern of the moderns, abreast, always—when he is not ahead—of science, and that what he has to give us is exactly what medicine, all the world over, is now waking up to demand. One feels that Hahnemann is, at long last, coming into his kingdom.

The medicine of Hahnemann’s day was based on the assumption that sickness was caused by humours that had to be expelled from the body by every method that could be devised: expelled, not only by the natural organs of excretion, which were taxed to the limit but also by artificial and unnatural methods of excretion.

Exutories, cauteries, setong, moxas, fontanels, are meaningless names to our generation : of interest only to the historian of medicine. We can have no conception what a torture chamber was the medicine of Hahnemann’s day when all these barbarities were designed to provide ” new organs of excretion.”

The cautery.—Here iron at white heat, or some chemical agent, was employed to dig deeply these ‘ new organs,” into which dried peas were introduced, and compressed by means of a bandage. These wounds were given their daily supply of peas.

The seton.—Here the flesh was• pinched up, and an incision made by means of which a skein of cotton or silk was inserted. When the wound was dressed the skein was drawn out, and the part saturated with discharge cut off. The seton was applied to the back of the neck to drain foul humours from head, eyes, etc. ; to the region of the heart to ” clean and polish it up,” or to other parts of the body, to draw some organic derangement from liver, lung, joint, or for a dropsy.

The moca was a cone of some combustible material applied to the skin when its apex was set on fire. ” Here,” we are told, ” as the flame advances, the heat becomes more intense; the skin crackles and shrivels—turns brown—and is scorched till nearly black.”

APRIL—HIST. OF MED. 2 *

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Prolonged blisterings with cantharides at times led to the loss of a limb: wounds were powdered with arsenic, often with fatal results. One would think, in reading of these things, that the devil was responsible for medicine in the days of Hahnemann.

Purgation, emesis, sweatings and salivation were also resorted to to an unmerciful extent, while ” issues ” were not only established but maintained for years. Above all, bloodletting, to an incredible degree, was in favour. Leopold of Austria, Count Cavour, the ” saviour of Italy,” and our own Princess Charlotte, were among the illustrious victims; while Raphael, Lord Byron, Mirabeau and a host of celebrities were, we are told, seriously injured by bleedings; and Goethe in his 82nd year, having had a serious hæmorrhage, was bled to the extent of two more pounds.

Hahnemann protested against these brutal and unnatural methods, which weakened the patients to the verge of incurability.

Granier, a French doctor, who wrote in 1858, contrasting homæopathy with the medicine that obtained even in his day, says: If it be not true that diseases can escape by cauteries, it is at least certain that they can enter the system by this means. It is really a new organ of absorption.”

Hahnemann denounces, in particular, the common idea that venesection draws off only the bad blood; that continual purging evacuates only the depraved humours ; and that a vesicating agent can select, collect and remove only injurious humours.

Against such practices, and against Broussais, who carried the custom of the times to a ridiculous length, earning for himself the nickname of ” the medical Robespierre,” and of whom it was said ” he had shed more French blood than Napoleon ” Hahnemann fulminated his thunder. It must •have required not a little courage to break away from what was deemed on all hands to be essential, and to treat acute inflammatory conditions with his small doses of aconite (which obtained the name of ” the homoeopathic lancet “), and to confess, as he did in 1833, that for forty years he had not ” drawn a single drop of blood, opened one seton, used pain-producing processes, etc. had never weakened patients by sudorifics, or scoured them out with emetics and laxatives, thus destroying their organs of digestion.” And this, while surrounded by anxiously watching adversaries, ready to pounce at the slightest mistake and his followers, seeing his results, and joyfully following in his steps, were unmoved even when haled into the Courts and prosecuted for not practising phlebotomy; and when even the great Hufeland, so just to Hahnemann, amid all the injustice and persecution• that he experienced, nevertheless was saying in 1830 that ” anyone who neglected to draw blood when man was in danger of suffocating in his own blood ” (that was the idea in regard to inflammatory fevers) ” was a murderer by omission.”

In regard to the necessity for bleeding in acute fevers, Hahnemann wrote, Anyone who has felt the tranquil pulse of a man an hour before the rigour that precedes an attack of acute pleurisy, will not be able to restrain his amazement if told two hours later after the hot stage has commenced, that the enormous plethora. present urgently requires repeated venesections. He will naturally enquire by what magic power could the pounds of blood that must be drawn off have been conjured into the blood-vessels of this man, which but two hours previously he hid felt beating in such a tranquil manner. Not a single drachm more of blood can now be circulating in those vessels than when he was in good health, not yet two hours ago.” He contends that “the sole true causa morbi is a morbid dynamical, inflammatory irritation of the circulatory system, as is proved by the rapid and permanent cure of general inflammatory fever by one or two inconceivably minute doses of aconite juice, which removed such irritation homoeopathically.”

One must admire his enormous courage—the courage of strong conviction— which, if it did not procure sudden, universal recognition for his system of medicine, at least civilized, and that speedily, medicine in general; not only by putting to

the

shame its degrading barbarities, but by proving that they were wholly unnecessary.

That this was so, we have curious evidence. In 1852 we find Professor Allison of Edinburgh broaching the famous theory that inflammatory diseases, which it had hitherto been necessary to treat by bloodletting and debilitating treatment, now no longer required that—but an utterly opposite—mode of treatment, because they had changed their type,” and were no longer what they used to be. He confessed that he was led to adopt the new treatment—or rather to abandon the old—chiefly from the report of physicians who had ” witnessed the practice of homæopathic hospitals on the Continent.”

Mark Twain—himself once a Mississippi pilot—in nautical phraseology pays his tribute to homoeopathy, for the purifying work it has accomplished in medicine.

He says:—

” So recent is this change from a three or four thousand year twilight to the flash and glare of open day that I have walked in both, and yet am not old. Nothing today is as it was when I was an urchin; but when I was an urchin, nothing wag much different •from what it had always been in this world. Take a single detail for example—medicine. Galen could have come into my sickroom at any time during my first seven years—I mean any day when it wasn’t fishing weather, and there wasn’t any choice but school or sickness—and he could have sat down there and stood my doctor’s watch without asking a question. He would have smelt around among the wilderness of cups and bottles and phials on the table and the shelves, and missed not a stench that used to gladden him two thousand years before, nor discovered one that was of later date. He would have examined me, and run across only one disappointment—I was already salivated; I would have him there; for I was always salivated, calomel was 80 cheap. He would get out bis lancet then; but I would have him again; our family doctor did not allow blood to accumulate in the system. However, he would take a dipper and ladle, and freight me up with the old familiar doses that had come down from Adam to his time and mine; and he would go out with B wheel-barrow and gather weeds and offal, and build some more, while those others were getting in their work. And if our reverend doctor came and found him there, he would be dumb with awe and would get down and worship him. Whereas if Galen should appear among us today, he could not stand anybody’s watch; he would inspire no awe; he would be told he was a back-number, and it would surprise him to gee that that fact counted against him, instead of in his favour. He wouldn’t know our medicines; he wouldn’t know our practice; and the first time he tried to introduce his own, we would hang him.”

(And after giving many examples of the ancient practice, with its crude ideas, its horrible mixtures, etc., he concludes by declaring) :—

” When you reflect that your own father had to take such medicines as the above and that you would be taking them to-day yourself but for the introduction of homoeopathy, which forced the old-school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business, you may honestly feel grateful that homoeopathy survived the attempts of the allopaths to destroy it, even though you may never employ any physician but an allopath while you live.”

Hahnemann found himself in conflict too with the system, or rather want of system, in the prescription of medicines in his day. Here all was imagination, tradition, hoary authority. Of science, there was none. ” The life and health of’ human beings were made dependent on the opinions of a few, and whatever entered their precious brains went to swell the materia medica.” The god-like science, practical medicine,” had become a ” degrading commerce in prescriptions—a trade that mixes the disciples of Hippocrates with the riff-raff of medical rogues, in such a way that the one is indistinguishable from the other.”

Polypharmacy flourished to an unbelievable extent. We are told that the largest number of ingredients recorded in one prescription was four hundred. The famous Venice Treacle ” contained sixty-five ingredients: and I have before me a world-famed prescription of the ” mithridate,” of fifty ingredients, which was actually in the Pharmacopæia of 1785, at the time when Hahnemann was beginning his fight for purity and simplicity in medicine. ” Nature,” says Hahnemann, ” likes simplicity and can perform much with one remedy while you perform little with many. Imitate nature! ” And as early as 1797 he wrote, ” May I be allowed to confess that for several years I have never prescribed more than one medicine at a time, and I have never repeated the dose until the effect of the previous one had been exhausted.” He says that thus he has successfully cured patients, and has ” seen things he would not otherwise have seen.”

It was the chemists who, perceiving that the hope of their gains must vanish with the advent of homoeopathy, fought the iconoclast; got laws enacted to restrain him from preparing and dispensing his medicines, and drove him from city to city. No wonder that Hahnemann thundered, ” Away with this excessive mixing of medicines, this prescription tomfoolery! Down with the apothecaries’ privileges! Let the doctor have the freedom to make his own medicines and administer them to his patients. We cannot be shown the correct way by a deluding tradition.”

Hahnemann says that in his day, in order to decide on something positive in regard to the instruments of cure, the powers of the different medicines were inferred from their physical, chemical and other irrelevant qualities; also from their odour, taste and external aspect, but chiefly from impure experiences at the sickbed, where, in the tumult of morbid symptoms, only mixtures of medicines were prescribed for imperfectly described cases of disease.” (Dudgeon.)

Can one wonder that in his earlier days Hahnemann revolted not only against the senseless cruelty but the utter uncertainty of lawless medicine? He says:—  My sense of duty would not allow me to treat the unknown pathological state of my suffering brethren with these unknown medicines. If they are not exactly suitable (and how could the physician know that, since their specific effects had not yet been demonstrated) they might with their strong potency easily change life into death, or induce new and chronic maladies, often more difficult to eradicate than the original disease.

The thought of becoming in this way a murderer or a malefactor towards the life of my fellow human beings was most terrible to me; so terrible and disturbing that I wholly gave up my practice in the first years of my married life, and occupied myself solely with chemistry and writing.”

Then, in the anguish of impotence when one of his own children was ill and suffering terribly from the treatment she underwent, he set his soul to discover, as he expressed it, ” if God had not indeed given some law, whereby the diseases of mankind could be cured.”

Where,” he cried, in that hour of agony, can I obtain certain and sure help with our present knowledge ?—based as it is on vague observations, hypothetical opinions, and the arbitrary views of disease in our pathologies.”

In this labyrinth, he avers, a man can only remain complacent who is ready to accept assertions in regard to the healing powers of medicines because they are printed in a hundred books.

He knew from experience what help was to be got from the methods of Sydenham and others—Boerhaave, Stoll, Quarin, Cullen.

Can it be,” he asks, ” that the nature of this science (as great men have said) is incapable of certainty? Shameful, blasphemous thought !—that Infinite Wisdom should be unable to create the means of assuaging the sufferings of His creatures. Surely there must be a reliable way of regarding disease from the right angle, and for determining the specific, safe, and reliable use of medicines.”

It was useless, as he had discovered, to ” seek the means of healing in arbitrary opinions—false conclusions “—or on the authority of ” highly celebrated men of delusions. ” Let me seek it,” he cried, ” where it may be near at hand, and where all have passed it by, because it did not seem artificial or learned enough, and was uncrowned with laurel for its system, its pedantry, or its high-falutin’ abstractions.”

It is curious that Lord Horder has recently re-echoed this cry of Hahnemann, after voicing the uncertainties of medicine. Speaking of ” the present painful pause in therapeutic advance,” Lord Horder said, ” From what part of the scientific horizon the light will come, it is not possible to say. The sky must be scanned in every quarter. Perhaps some promising direction has been overlooked. Has the physicist, or the chemist, or the biologist, perchance, something that would help them? Or will the lamp again be lighted by that strange and inexplicable flash of genius—the genius which scouts all science, because it is itself the mother of science? ”

To the patient seeker after Truth and Law come, sooner or later, revelation. And so with Hahnemann. The Law that he sought came to him as a flash of inspiration, as we shall see, and, once it was grasped, the rest followed, surely and faultlessly, so that no one, in all these hundred years, has been able to add to, or to take from, our legacy from Hahnemann. Once his eyes were opened, it was merely a question of devoting a long life to the elucidation of the Law, and establishing it as a practical basis of therapeutics.

Homoeopathy, the ” pathy of likes,” is said to date from Hippocrates: and, indeed, Hahnemann quotes the celebrated similia similibus curentur from ” the reputed writings of Hippocrates,” and he also shows, by his usual careful quotations, how the idea had been foreshadowed in the writings of half a dozen doctors in various countries, who ” had presentiments that medicines, by their power of producing analogous morbid symptoms, would cure analogous morbid conditions.” Thus ” Boulduc,” he says, recognized that the purging quality of rhubarb is the cause of its power to allay diarrhoea; Detharding conjectures that colic in adults is mitigated by infusion of senna, by virtue of its analogous effect of producing colic in the healthy; Bertholon confesses that electricity deadens and annuls, in disease, pain very similar in kind to that produced by electricity; Thiury testifies that positive electricity, though it accelerates the pulse, nevertheless retards it when it is accelerated by disease; Von Stoerck suggests, ‘ If the thorn-apple (stramonium) deranges the mind and produces insanity in the healthy, might it not, by changing the current of ideas, restore soundness of mind to the insane? ‘ Stahl, a Danish military physician, has expressed his conviction on this subject most distinctly. He says, ‘ The rule accepted in medicine to cure by contraries contraria contrariis ” is entirely wrong ‘: he is convinced on the contrary, that diseases vanish and are cured by means of medicines capable of producing a similar affection (similia similibus). Thus burns are cured by approaching the fire, frozen limbs, by the application of snow or very cold water, inflammation and contusions, by distilled spirits. In this manner, he is in the habit of curing habitual acidity of the stomach by means of a very small doge of sulphuric acid, in cases where quantities of absorbing powders have been used in vain.”

So near had this great truth sometimes ” been approached,” says Hahnemann, yet hitherto none had taught this homoeopathic method of cure; no one had put it in practice.” Still, he argues, if the truth is only here to be found, one would expect to find its traces in all ages, even though it remained unperceived for thousands of years.

Adams, in his Genuine Works of Hippocrates, says, ” There is nothing new in the Doctrine of Similars.” He goes on, ” The treatment of suicidal mania appears singular—give the patient a draught made from the root of mandrake, in a smaller dose than will induce mania. He ” (Hippocrates) ” then insists in strong terms that, under certain circumstances, purgatives will bind the bowels, and astringents loosen them: and he further makes the important remark that, although the general rule of treatment be contraria contrariis curantur, the opposite rule also holds good in some cases, viz., similia similibus curantur. The principles both of allopathy, and of homoeopathy, it thus appears, are recognized by the author of this treatise. In confirmation of the latter principle, he remarks ‘ that the same substance which occasions strangury will, sometimes, put a stop to it by removing its cause, and so also with cough.’ He estimates successful and unsuccessful practice according to the rule whether the treatment was rightly planned or not. For, he argues, what is done in ignorance cannot be said to be correctly done, even if the results are favöurable. ”

It was in 1790 when translating Cullen’s Materia Medica., and disagreeing with the author’s dictum that Peruvian bark owed its antipyretic power to its tonic effect on the stomach, that Hahnemann, as he says, made his first pure experiment with cinchona bark upon himself, and thereby discovered its power of exciting the familiar symptoms of intermittent fever.

He seems to have realized instantly the enormous importance of the discovery, which subsequent observations and experience with other drugs never failed to confirm. ” With this first trial,” he says, broke upon me the dawn that has since brightened into the most brilliant day of the medical art, that it was only by their power to make the healthy human being ill, that medicines can cure morbid states : and, even so, only such morbid states whose symptoms the selected drug can itself produce in the healthy.”

An episode with belladonna in a scarlet fever epidemic was also illuminating, in this connection, to one who knew the extraordinary similarity between the symptoms of scarlet fever and those of belladonna poisoning: the burning skin, the dry sore throat, the red rash, the dilated pupils, and the delirium.

In a family of which several members were attacked by scarlet fever, one, a child, whom he was treating with belladonna for some other ailment, remained immune. He thereupon gave this ” providential remedy ” to other children, who remained well, even when subjected to the greatest risk of infection. Here Hahnemann made his first successful experiments in homoeo-prophylaxis.

From his day onwards belladonna has been used by homoeopaths all the world over to protect from or to modify and to cure scarlet fever. And besides our minimal mortality, it has been the unfailing observation that cases so treated do not exhibit the sequelæ which are often the serious feature of attacks of scarlet fever.

Expressions of agreement from contemporaries as to the value of belladonna in scarlet fever are to be found in Hufeland’s Journal for May, 1812, etc. : and that Hufeland (the one big figure in medicine in his day) himself published in 1825 a work entitled The Prophylactic Effect of Belladonna, ascribing this efficacious remedy for scarlet fever to Hahnemann. And in the year 1838, the Prussian Government ordered the doctors of the country to use belladonna in small doses against the epidemics of scarlet fever which were prevalent at that time.

Claud Bernard, the founder of modern experimental medicine, said that it must develop along lines of clinical observation and experiment. But Hahnemann was before Bernard. Clinical observation had shown him the importance of the principle of similars, and he at once started his great work of experimentation and elucidation. Those who have called Hahnemann a mystic forget his great experimental work in the proving of medicines on healthy individuals, which is the scientific basis of homoeopathy.

Hahnemann realized that if the Law of Similars was ever to be practical it was imperative to test, or ” prove ” medicines as to their powers of vitiation human health, in order to have them at hand for curative purposes.

And here began a life-time of proving medicines, on himself first, then presently on a large circle of disciples and friends. ” At first,” he says, ” I was the only one who made the proving of medicinal powers the most important of all his duties ;

since then I have been assisted in this by a number of young men who have made experiments on themselves, and whose observations I have carefully reviewed.”

With what extreme care these experiments were conducted, checked, and registered, we are told. The drugs were put up in milk-sugar powders. The prover never knew what drug he was taking, and had no idea when the proving began. This, to eliminate unobserved symptoms, peculiar to the prover.

Provers had to bring their day-books to Hahnemann, who questioned them regarding observed symptoms, to get the verbal expression of their sensations and sufferings as accurately as possible, as well as the exact conditions under which the symptoms occurred. Their mode of life and diet were strictly regulated during a proving, so that alterations in health should be absolutely due to drug action.

Hahnemann says, ” Medicines should be distinguished from each other with scrupulous exactness with regard to their powers—and true effects upon the healthy body. For upon the accuracy of this proving depend life and death, sickness and health of human beings.”

And in regard to materia medica, he lays it down that ” a true materia medica will consist of a collection of genuine, pure, and undeceptive effects of simple drugs ‘ and that such a materia medica ” should exclude every supposition—every mere assertion and fiction: its entire contents should be the pure language of Nature, uttered in response to careful and faithful enquiry.”

By his provings, Hahnemann introduced an entirely novel and scientific method of studying drug-action. He demonstrated the effect of drugs on the living human being— surely a method far superior to the study of their toxic effect on animals! Even if drugs did affect animals in precisely the same way that they affected all other animals and humans—which is not the case !—what animal could initiate us into the suicidal impulses of aurum—the terror of death of aconite and Arsenicum—the terrors of anticipation (even to diarrhoea) of Argentum nitric, and gelsemium—the indignation and the effect on health of the bottled-up sense of injury of staphisagria —the fear of knives for the impulses they suggest of nux and Arsenicum—the shamelessness in mania and delirium of hyoscyamus—the indifference to loved ones of sepia and phosphorus ? These, and such symptoms, have led to the most brilliant curative work, and they can only be found by provings on sensitive men and women.

Hahnemann insisted that what a drug can cause, that, and that only, it can cure, whether in the mental or the physical sphere ; that its curative powers depend entirely on vital reaction to drug-stimulus; that the stimulus must be only suffcient to evoke reaction in organs rendered hypersensitive to disease; that reaction must be respected, and allowed to run its course before a repetition of the stimulus (should it be called for).

It is only when modern ideas are wandering into the realms of homoeopathy, with vaccines, that they begin to trade on the reactions of vitality—the essential teaching of Hahnemann, on which all our work has been based for 100 years. But even here dominant medicine seems to think that the dose should be the largest tolerated and that its repetition is a mere matter of opinion, or of individual practice, or of experience drawn from many experiments (at the expense of many patients), or of authority, when someone whose name is prominent lays down the law.

It has yet to grasp the idea, which we owe to Hahnemann, that there is law in all these things. Illustrations and corroborations come from all sides. The Arndt Law shows that the same poison, to the same cells, may be lethal, inhibitive, or stimulating, according to the largeness or the smallness of the dose : while Professor Bier endorses Hahnemann, as to the infinite Rensitiveness of diseased parts to the vital stimulus.

Hahnemann showed that: ” Homoeopathy is absolutely inconceivable without the most precise individualization.” The names of diseases should never influence the physician, who has to judge and cure diseases, not by names, but by the signs and symptoms of each individual patient. That, since diseases can only express their need for relief by symptoms, the totality of the symptoms observed in each individual case of disease can be the only indication to guide in the choice of the remedy.

Hahnemann ” knew no diseases, only sick persons.”

He taught that all parts of the body are intimately connected to form an invisible whole in feelings and functions ; that all curative measures should be planned with reference to the whole system, in order to cure the general disease by means of internal remedies. (Even an eruption on the lip, he says, cannot be accounted for, without assuming a previous and simultaneous diseased state of the body.”)

Dr. Haehl, of Stuttgart, in the preface to his Life of Hahnemann (1922), says :— At no other period has medical science, in reality, come so near to the fundamental ideas of homoeopathy as it does at the moment. A complete change of front in opinions is coming to the fore. An uninterruptedly progressive turn in science moves from an obsolete mechanical mode of observing the life-processes, to a biological and vitalistic one ; the development of sera, organotherapy, and prophylactic therapy, are irrefutable proofs of it. The names of Arndt, Behring, August Bier, Lewin, Hans Much, Krehl, Karl Ludwig Schleich, Hugo Schulz, H. Driesch and others, represent a number of directing points in this evolution which is taking place. Tuberculin, diphtheria serum, the various organ preparations and their mode of employment, the attention given to mental symptoms, to special bodily constitutions, and tendency to disease, show, in detail, how far this change has already been accomplished. And so to-day modern medicine is almost imbued with homoeopathic ideas and habits. Hahnemann’s teachings, which have destroyed the fundamentals, have acted for a whole century as a ferment in medical science, disintegrating, dissolving, remoulding and reconstructing. Traditional ideas, customs and methods have been overthrown and rendered unstable by this despised teaching of the much-ridiculed and persecuted innovator.”

I wonder if we are losing our path in homoeopathy….

Added: Depending on how you view this article, you will need to decide whether the IHM is in favour of this approach or not.

Cancer


Elizabeth Thompson discusses how integrated care can make all the difference to cancer patients

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be a very frightening experience and many people remember the exact moment of hearing this difficult news. The experience can cause shock and anxiety and the feeling that one’s life is spiralling out of control. The person can often feel like their body has let them down by developing such a serious ill­ness and they can lose confidence in themselves and their future. There is often a desire to look more deeply into their health in general and to find mean­ing in their lives as a whole.

Many supportive approaches such as psychological procedures exist to help people during this difficult time of adjusting to a life-threatening illness. Complementary and alternative medi­cines (CAM) can also offer an important avenue of support with an underlying philosophy that the individual experi­ence is important and connections that a person may make in their life and health are important. CAM also honours the idea that the body has its own innate healing potential which can be strength­ened in various ways. A preparation of Mistletoe would be an example of a complementary medicine which has been shown to stimulate the immune system and when given alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy can reduce fatigue and improve quality of life.

We are very fortunate here in Bristol to run a complementary cancer care service that is integrated into the rest of the acute Healthcare Trust where the hospital is sited, University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust. We see about 250 patients a year with many referrals coming directly from healthcare pro­fessionals within related cancer services and research suggests patients want their treatment choices valued and approved by their oncologists. We have a close rela­tionship with the breast care nurses work­ing with the surgical team in the north of Bristol and the team at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.

Supportive role
Sometimes it is the simple things that seem to help and one of the things that we offer at the hospital is continuity of care. If a patient comes to us they stay with us throughout their five-visit pack­age of care which involves one hour-long consultation and four 20-minute follow-ups. A common reason for referral is for women with breast cancer who are suff­ering side-effects of their treatments such as hot flushes with Tamoxifen or joint pains with Arimidex. Other problem symptoms might include anxiety, mood and sleep disturbance. This constella­tion of symptoms associated with oestro­gen withdrawal has few in the way of conventional treatments and HRT is now contra-indicated in women with breast cancer as it could increase their risk of recurrence. Sometimes women do not want to go on conventional med­ication such as antidepressants, which is another orthodox treatment for these symptoms, because they feel they have had enough drugs and they want to approach it with gentler, non-pharma­ceutical approaches. We also see men with prostate cancer, who have similar symptoms of hot flushes, sleep distur­bance, anxiety and loss of confidence associated with their hormonal cancer treatment.

We see people coming at different points in their diagnosis. Some patients are often coming after all their cancer treatments have been carried out, but they are suffering from the ongoing side-effects of their treatments. Sometimes we see people who from the moment of diagnosis want to use homeopathy to support them through their surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Often they can be people who have used homeopathy regularly for themselves and their families and it is a natural choice to continue to do so alongside conventional treatments.

Sometimes it is the point of being told one has recurrent or advancing dis­ease that might encourage someone to come and have homeopathy and engag­ing hopefully with someone can be very important at this time of crisis.

Alison’s story
In September 2005, Alison was diag­nosed with aggressive breast cancer, one year after the birth of her baby boy, Owen, and the news was totally shock­ing. Suddenly she was a disease and not a person and she became very, very frightened and incapable of managing her life. Only one year before, she had had extensive tests on a breast lump that didn’t feel normal to her, but as she was breastfeeding and had experienced a degree of mastitis, specialists at Weston Super Mare PCT first diagnosed a per­manently blocked milk-duct. The lump was re-checked by biopsy when Owen was one and out of the blue, Grade III cancer was diagnosed which had by then spread to nearby lymph nodes. She was immediately told to stop breastfeeding and urged to take a course of coun­selling. In the space of a couple of days she was told she would have a mastec­tomy followed by radiotherapy and months of chemotherapy. She was also told that the treatment would mean that is was very unlikely she would ever have any more children.

Alison comments: “I think I went to pieces. I just couldn’t cope with the news. I became very irrational about every­thing. My husband and family basically took over and managed all my appoint­ments and took care of my son. Of course, I had to give up teaching.”

Alison was concerned about aspects of the planned treatment. As a violinist, she wanted to reduce any chance of lym­phodema as permanently swollen arms would have made it difficult to play again. She transferred to Frenchay Hospital where Simon Cawthorn had an excellent track record for avoiding lymphodema, as well as an excellent rep­utation as a breast care surgeon. She had surgery within weeks.

The counselling she received had proved necessary and effective. “I was so angry and scared and I needed to find balance for my emotions in order to function properly.” She attended a three-day course at Penny Brohn Cancer Care, a wonderful holistic centre previously known as the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. “Going there saved me from a kind of madness as I had felt like an anomaly before. There were mothers of young children, like me, and even a woman who was pregnant when diag­nosed. I decided to book on to a five-day retreat at the centre during my chemotherapy.”

The chemotherapy treatment took nine months, during which she felt very sick, was crushingly tired and lost her hair. Her days on retreat had helped her calm down and look at herself more objectively. Always an open-minded per­son, she was now determined to use everything and anything to get better. So when her oncologist Dr Braybrook suggested homeopathy, she agreed to go to the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital.

Homeopathic care
Alison was referred to the Comple­mentary Cancer Care Service via her oncologist and began a course of treat­ment to help with the side-effects of chemotherapy, to help her come to terms with her condition and to try and ensure no relapse of the cancer.

“If I had to single out one comple­mentary treatment that I really felt helped me the most,” comments Alison, “it would be homeopathy. Dr Thompson was fantastic; she spoke to me as a per­son, she really wanted to know how I ticked. She didn’t focus on my symp­toms but she focused on me as a person, how I was emotionally coping and how she could help ease the emotional pain I felt.

“I remember her asking in one sess­ion how I was and telling her that I did not think it was possible to feel more emotional pain than I felt – I said ‘I feel like my heart is breaking’. Much of this pain was associated with the devastat­ing news about my fertility and coming to terms with the fact that I would never have any more children. The remedy she prescribed changed me utterly and I turned a corner.”

Alison also has regular acupuncture, takes Chinese herbs, osteopathy and massage to keep her arms mobile and has changed her diet in line with advice from the Penny Brohn Centre, so that now she eats an almost vegan diet, avoiding meat and dairy products.

There are still difficult moments: Alison was put on a drug which brought about an early menopause, including all its symptoms. She said it “made me feel very tired and old! – older than my years, dragged down and heavy” but a repeat of her homeopathic remedy in a differ­ent potency took those symptoms away. She has had scares too – she was recalled after a mammogram, which turned out to be clear in the end. She says she is lucky to have a loving and close family, a great GP, a group of excellent com­plementary therapists and a wonderful homeopath.

Alison recognises how far she has travelled. “When I was diagnosed I was one person. I know that I left that per­son behind when I started on my jour­ney to recovery. Homeopathy played a huge part in that. I was able to find out what really mattered in life.”

Alison adds, “I am really angry about the way some of the press ridicules home­opathy. Choosing your treatment is a per­sonal thing and the right kind of treatment is different for different sorts of people, so different treatments need to be on offer so that you can make that choice. All I know is without my wonderful son, the love and support of my family and friends and the homeopathic treatment, I don’t think I could have done it.

“My homeopathic remedy is like my crutch – I seriously feel as if I can’t live without it. I don’t know what I would do without Dr Elizabeth Thompson and the Bristol NHS Homeopathic Hospital.”

Prescribing for Alison
There is always an uncertainty when prescribing homeopathic medicines par­ticularly when we are trying to individ­ualise remedies. Along with Mistletoe injections, I also prescribed X-ray 30c on the morning of radiotherapy, along with Belladonna in the afternoon, both of which have been shown in one placebo-controlled trial to reduce the inflam­mation of the skin and deeper tissues that is caused with radiotherapy.

The remedy that really seemed to create the turning point for Alison, was Stannum muriaticum. This is a remedy from the mineral kingdom and is a salt of tin. We think of tin as rather a dull metal but it is part of the silver series which we associate with people who are musicians, talented in performance and creative by nature. In order to gain accuracy with our prescribing we are learning to understand the mineral kingdom in terms of the structure of the Periodic Table: which row does someone need a medicine from and which column is most suitable? Stannum is found in the silver series or row 5 of the Periodic Table in column 14 and Stannum patients can feel a lot of anxiety around performance as if they are somehow failing.

Someone who needs Stannum has an inner experience that their performance is no longer admired and they can feel discarded and on the sidelines. Alison had said: “I am a performer and I like to perform. I am a violinist but I did lose a lot of confidence. I was so anxious, I would vomit prior to a performance.”

My initial remedy Kali arsenicosum did help with the nausea but her anxi­ety over the coming months if anything got worse and when Alison realised that she could not have any more children this was a huge grief to her. I asked her about this and she said, “I feel crushed, I have always managed to achieve, but I feel like God is a puppeteer. I feel I have lost out.” This feeling, like a puppet, is also known in the inner experience of Plumbum which again is in the same col­umn as tin but Plumbum is found in the gold series.

There was also another element to Alison’s story which would match the experience of the chloride – muriaticum – element, in row 3, column 17 of the Periodic Table and one of the halogen group. The chloride element has a rela­tionship with mothering and being mothered and there can be the experi­ence to feel that one does not get the attention and reassurance one has needed and this leads to disappointment and feelings of being let down. When the halogen state is felt strongly it can make one feel hot, restless and caged, with an anxious desire to escape or get away. Both of these substances, Stannum and muriaticum relate to physical prob­lems as well. Stannum has a relationship with cancer and with voice problems, with a loss of voice or stammering or a sense of weakness with the voice and hollowness in the chest with a hard, deep, painful cough, better for holding the chest. The stomach can feel weak and empty and there can be problems with the ovaries. Alison had a knife-like pain in the ovary at ovulation and the silver series can relate to the testes and the ovaries. The chloride, muriatic, element can often have a physical rela­tionship with the sinuses and with nasal discharge and post-nasal drip andthere can be pain in the sinuses or tenderness in the breasts which can sometimes be related to the menstrual cycle.

Great thinkers in homeopathic practice have helped us understand these medicines and be able to predict how an unknown remedy might appear. Stannum muriaticum is not a well-known remedy and yet seemed to be a good match for Alison as an individual. Nothing replaces a proving, as often the emergent properties of a substance in nature and the symptom picture that emerges through a proving, cannot be predicated, but there are many remedies we would not be able to prescribe whilst waiting for provings to be carried out.

Cancer care
I have been offering homeopathy now for 12 years in the cancer setting and it has always brought me great joy to help people at any stage of their journey through this difficult illness. The joy has been watching people get back in con­trol, manage difficult situations for themselves and sometimes transforming entirely as an individual. Many have described cancer as a wonderful oppor­tunity to do things differently, to grow and learn about oneself. There is always sadness as well as I have lost patients along the way who had become an inspi­ration to me in my busy working day.

I have learned to be flexible within this challenging area of integration and allow people to make choices that feel right for them and always to see home­opathy as just part of a wheel of healing approaches that people explore and con­nect with to support them. At the moment we are developing a business plan to try and increase the number of complementary therapies delivered into the Oncology Centre, so they might be seen as an integral part of someone’s care rather than the icing on top of the cake. I would like to see more integration in the future, a greater awareness of the wisdom of the body, the part each indi­vidual plays in their own recovery plus the role CAM has to help empower peo­ple and adjust to living with a cancer diagnosis.

Elizabeth Thompson BAOxon MBBS MRCP FFHom is Lead Clinician for a thriving outpatient service from the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital with a team of twelve doctors. There is an active research and audit programme and Elizabeth is Academic Director for a seven-year academic teaching programme.

The problem with JT Kent and homoeopathy.

Hempel and Wilkinson were early bridge-builders between homeopathy and Swedenborgianism, but the principal catalyst for this conjoining of ideas was James Tyler Kent, professor of materia medica at Hering Medical College and Hospital in Chicago. He constructed a uniquely Swedenborgian approach to Hahnemannian medicine in his Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy (1900) by providing a full description of Swedenborgian philosophy and spelling out such relevant Swedenborgian ideas as a human being’s interior and external worlds, the influx from the internal to the external, and the dependency of the whole on the Divine.

Each of Kent’s medicines had a “personality” that corresponded to the constitution of the patient. Rather than treat the specific organ or lesion, Kent aimed his medicines at the pattern exuded by the patient’s soul. Kent’s grouping of patients by type was an echo of Swedenborg’s description of the spiritual realms, where he described communities of angels gathering according to their personality and function to form the organs of a vast Universal Human that made up the whole of the heavens. In his writings, Swedenborg characterized spirits as, for example, “angels of the kidneys” or “angels of the lungs,” ascribing these souls of the deceased with characters and functions that corresponded with those organs.

Doctrine of degrees: The greater the number of dilutions (in this case, on a scale from 1 to 200), the greater the potency of the homeopathic medicine; likewise, the higher the level of spiritual rarefaction (from the physical world to heaven), the closer one moves to the Lord.

Kentian homeopathy spread abroad, attracting Margaret Tyler and John Weir in Great Britain, Pierre Schmidt in Germany, and Denis Demarque in France. Nevertheless, the Kentian penchant for the constitutional (whole-person) prescribing of word-pictures to characterize medicines became almost a high art form and quickly fell into the hands of lay practitioners who popularized them even more. Today, due in no small measure to Swedenborg’s influence, homeopathy has become a bifurcated healing system with one faction looking wistfully at a more disciplined and reductionist process, seeking to fulfill a complementary role alongside mainstream medicine, and the other, enthralled by a vision that calls attention to the body’s essential harmony with the unseen forces of the universe.

International I.H.M. Seminar in Bangkok Thailand.

 

An I.H.M. case taking seminar is focused on two things.

#1 Examining the directives of Hahnemann.

#Putting them into practice with the patient.

In the 21st century, Homoeopathy as a therapy has moved away from its scientifically rooted origins, and turned into a quasi-psychological/spiritual practice. The benefits of homoeopathy have been reduced by an incorrect application of the methodology in the clinic and thus a high success rate is negated.

It is our experience that the key to a successful practice is the act of following Hahnemann’s directions precisely in ascertaining the symptoms of the disease, to match with the requisite substance that can produce a curative reaction. It is that simple and that difficult.

In the first tentative moments of using homoeopathy, for example, Arnica for bruising, we were amazed at the results, most of us thought the application of applying a remedy for a condition was so simple and truly effective, and as we applied other remedies for other acute conditions, our faith grew in the system.

Then when we entered medical school or an establishment for teaching, we found that the approach we started with suddenly became a little more difficult for chronic cases, and a Kentian overlay on Hahnemann’s directions, introduced a religious/philosophical element regarding life and viewpoints of disease.

Hmm.. gotta work at this

The I.H.M. directors, beginning in 1986, with a background in Kentian homoeopathy, decided to devote time to research, and as such delved deep into the archives of history and collated the original teaching of Hahnemann, and weighed everything that is ‘accepted’ in our therapy against Hahnemanns own words and examples to see if we strayed off the path, or indeed if we missed some key points in practice.

The teachers at the I.H.M., Antonio, Manuel, Guillermo, Vera, Arden, all are independent practitioners with their own practice and teaching faculties. Yet we all share the same core research and information distribution in individual ways. (About us)

On June 20th to the 23rd, there will be a four day special seminar aimed specifically at advanced students and practitioners. This seminar will examine the basis of case taking according to Hahnemann, and how to follow his methodology exactly, and in the process removing all the incorrect additions that have been added over the years from practitioners of his time until today.

We will cover the following.

  • Rationale and reasoning on Aphorisms §5 and §6. Eliminating the common mistakes that lose the case understanding.
  • Utilising the instruction of §153 with the completed case taken with §6 directions.
  • What is a prescribing symptom?
  • What to ignore in a case taking and why.
  • Do we treat the man or the disease?
  • Examining the theory of Miasms in the light of modern disease knowledge, and how useful are miasms in prescribing?
  • How to obtain the necessary information accurately to formulate a prescription in the shortest time possible.
  • The importance of using only well proved remedies.
  • How to read a remedy.
  • Are there keynotes in a remedy?
  • Which repertory to use?
  • How to use a repertory properly.
  • Case management.
  • Potency and how to give a remedy.
  • Repetition of remedies.
  • And much more. Much more includes questions like, how important is Herings law of cure? I’ve never seen it… How long can I keep a person on a remedy? Dry dosing vs water dosing. Why do my patients aggravate all the time? Should I use LM’s? Are they good?
  • We will be examining remedy action through cases, live and paper.

The next international Seminar will be held at:

The Acantus Wellness Centre, หมู่ที่ 3 59/323/1 ซอยแจ้งวัฒนะ-ปากเกร็ด 29 Chaeng Watthana Rd, Pak Kret District, Nonthaburi 11120, Bangkok Thailand.

 Email: acantusclinic@gmail.com   Tel: 02-9829922, 081-4982618   Line ID: Acantus

On the 20th-23rd June 2019.

Flights from Europe start at £380. Hotel accommodation is cheap, Food is very cheap.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Seminar Acantus Bangkok June 2019 (2)



Homeopathy Saved my Son’s Life

471px-Roger_Daltrey_(2008)

says Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who

In May, 2008, 64 year old Roger Daltrey – lead singer from rock band The Who– told The Times newspaper in England how homeopathy had saved his infant son from life threatening gastro-intestinal problems.

“I had a very, very dramatic experience with my son when he was nine months old. He had gastro difficulties, started throwing up, could not keep any food down and turned into skin and bone. At the hospital, they did every test to him, and in the end they just handed him back to me. My wife and I were in bits. My poor baby. The kid was dying. It was terrifying.”

Having heard of homeopathy, Roger searched the Yellow Pages and consulted a local homeopath who prescribed a remedy for his son.  Roger then described how within two days his son began to show improvement, and, “Within two weeks he was putting weight on, keeping the food down. The trouble recurred periodically for a couple of years, but he’s now 27, a fit and healthy young man.”

“The bizarre thing is that I’ve got a chiropractor friend in LA whose baby landed up in exactly the same state. He thought he was about to lose him. But I recommended homoeopathic remedies, and he recovered too. That’s God’s honest truth. Now I bet doctors would say, ‘Oh, they’d have got better anyway’. But I can’t believe that.”

Whilst a guest speaker in May, 2009, at The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, First Annual Conference, held in London, Daltrey once again spoke about how distressing his son’s illness had been and the relief that came with homeopathic treatment.

Daltrey praised Prince Charles’ work as a supporter of complementary health therapies, and encouraged him to continue despite those who attempted to demean and detract from his efforts. He jokingly advised: “Don’t let the b*****ds grind you down!”

Roger Daltrey is among a long and distinguished list of musicians and singers who have spoken positively about homeopathy, from Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann to the more recent Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Jon Faddis, Dizzy Gillespie, Shirley Verrett, Pete Townshend, Bob Weir, Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Cher, Tina Turner and Axl Rose.

Short notice training seminar October 4th-7th. You know you want to….

We are conducting a 4 day Hahnemannian training Seminar in Seville.

If you are in Europe, most plane tickets are 200 Euros or less. Hotels are 30 to 50 Euros a night.

It is our experience that a practitioner who has learned the accurate knowledge of the medical practice as defined and proven by Hahnemann, is a practitioner that has surety in his ability to follow the principles and directives that will lead to success in his or her prescribing.

A Prescriber utilising the Boenninghausen developed methodology, based on Hahnemanns logic and thinking, will have a far greater understanding of the remedies and what they are capable of and be able to manage the case through to a successful conclusion.

There has been no beneficial advances made in recent years to enhance the logical and accurate methodology as defined by Hahnemann. The reverse sadly is true.

An IHM trained clinician usually is able to collect the required data for analysis in less than one hour, and extract the essential prescribing symptoms quickly.

  • overview the Organon, The Chronic Diseases, and selected writings.
  • We will then focus on select areas pertaining to casetaking,
  • case management,
  • how to select prescribing symptoms,
  • how to use LM potencies and centesimal potencies,
  • when to stop medicating, when to change potency or change the prescription,
  • How to know when to change the remedy and why.
  • The differences between Chronic and acute prescribing,
  • Miasms,
  • how to read and understand remedy provings.
  • How to use the Therapeutic Pocket book.
  • How to select rubrics from patients language.
  • How to compile a complete symptom that accurately represents the patients complaint.
  • And much more.

contact us at: education@instituteforhomoeopathicmedicine.com

 

Invest in yourself.

If you have completed a training course in homeopathy, and want to become the best practitioner you can, take a look at this video.

 

August September 2018 training courses.

A Repost: Killing the Goose

Killing the Goose.

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

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

Rest In Peace Homeopathy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Cause of a disease – necessity or an empty speculation

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

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

Organon of Medicine by Samuel Hahnemann – Aphorism 1:

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

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

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

In aphorism 11 Hahnemann wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case taking – symptoms, essences, vital sensations

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

Samuel Hahnemann has clearly stated that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Provings – from Science to Speculation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Conclusion

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

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

Be careful about conclusions.

A very interesting two part interview with David Little has arrived on the net.  part one can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9NN0fqdvrQ

Fascinating to hear of the journey one man took to discover Hahnemanns methodology in practice. David uncovered a lot of the falseness of the homoeopathy that is taught today and observed how Kent did not practise in the manner Hahnemann insisted on. David laid out a lot of the differences and showed how in some cases the differences were actually dangerous to the patient, especially in volume of dose given.

Here at the IHM, we encourage and enjoy talking with homoeopaths that know their subject. FACTS supersede opinion and FACTS are the bedrock of practice.

Over the years we have come to realise that FACTS are subject to defined conclusions and herein is where issues start to arise in practice.

David carefully presented the differences between the Organon instructions regarding practice and showed how practitioners who give medicines according to the 4th edition, the 5th edition and the 6th edition all have success in curing the patient. For us at the IHM, we noted this many years ago and after examination of the FACTS, concluded that it is the similarity of the MEDICINE to the disease that is the curative element, and that potency is a fine tuning to the organism.

We also noted that Hahnemann was continually searching for a method to eliminate some of the strong medicinal aggravations that occurred with the application of a medicine in potency and the manner and vehicle of how the dose was given.

So several FACTS emerged.

  • Size of Dose is important.
  • Potency is important.
  • HOW the medicine is given is important.
  • Medicinal reaction depends on the above criteria.

David discovered that Hahnemann in his last years, used both the Q potencies and the Centesimal potencies in treating patients. The FACTS show that Hahnemann gave the different scales utilising the same methodology, in water and not repeating whilst a medicinal action was observed. David concluded that Hahnemann thus intended to use the centesimal scale for acutes and the Q potency for chronics. He rationalised that the scales harmonised with the nature of the two types of diseases.

We at the IHM have a slightly different take on the conclusion drawn by David.

Firstly, Hahnemann was still experimenting with the Q potencies. He was observing the action of the two scales on patients and had already applied a protocol of giving both scales in water. Remember this whole scenario was to find a medicinal application to obviate some of the excesses of aggravation, and also to shorten the time between giving doses to speed up the process of healing.

By coincidence, I too received my first LM (Q) kit from the same pharmacy as David did, in 1986. Because Hahnemann repeated his warning regarding the repetition of any medicine during AMELIORATION, I also noted that he called the new potency scale “new altered but perfected method”.

On this basis after reading § 246 and § 271, I completely moved over to the Q or LM scale. My pharmacy consisted from that day- LM potencies.

§ 246 Sixth Edition
(Hahnemann admonition for not repeating) Every perceptibly progressive and strikingly increasing amelioration during treatment is a condition which, as long as it lasts, completely precludes every repetition of the administration of any medicine whatsoever, because all the good the medicine taken continues to effect is now hastening towards its completion.

(Indicating use in ACUTE diseases} This is not infrequently the cause in acute diseases, but in more chronic diseases, on the other hand, a single dose of an appropriately selected homoeopathic remedy will at times complete even with but slowly progressive improvement and give the help which such a remedy in such a case can accomplish naturally within 40, 50, 60, 100 days. This is, however, but rarely the case; and besides, it must be a matter of great importance to the physician as well as to the patient that were it possible, this period should be diminished to one-half, one-quarter, and even still less, so that a much more rapid cure might be obtained. And this may be very happily affected, as recent and oft-repeated observations have taught me under the following conditions: firstly, if the medicine selected with the utmost care was perfectly homoeopathic; secondly, if it is highly potentized, dissolved in water and given in proper small dose that experience has taught as the most suitable in definite intervals for the quickest accomplishment of the cure but with the precaution, that the degree of every dose deviate somewhat from the preceding and following in order that the vital principle which is to be altered to a similar medicinal disease be not aroused to untoward reactions and revolt as is always the case1 with unmodified and especially rapidly repeated doses.

1 What I said in the fifth edition of the Organon, in a long note to this paragraph in order to prevent these undesirable reactions of the vital energy, was all the experience I then had justified. But during the last four or five years, however, all these difficulties are wholly solved by my new altered but perfected method. The same carefully selected medicine may now be given daily and for months, if necessary in this way, namely, after the lower degree of potency has been used for one or two weeks in the treatment of chronic disease, advance is made in the same way to higher degrees, (beginning according to the new dynamization method, taught herewith with the use of the lowest degrees).

The IHM do not legislate what potency scale a practitioner should use. We do however point out that Hahnemann himself recommended the use of LM or Q potencies to obviate the reactions to the artificial disease state caused by strong medicines in the living organism.

Gary Weaver has exclusively used the LM scale in his clinic for 25 years in both acute and chronic cases. He sees rapid resolution of acute diseases if the prescription is correct. He sees amazing curative responses in Chronic disease.

Something to consider.

 

Curative reaction in 2 weeks using LM potency. Patient had been treated in hospital for a long time using Steroids and other strong medicines.