Tag Archives: Boenninghausen

C. v. BÖNNINGHAUSEN.Münster, 9th September, 1831

v.      Considering the innumerable surprising cures wrought through Homœopathy, in both acute and chronic diseases, this method of healing would doubtless find many more disciples in the medical world if its practices were not subject to some difficulties far from trifling. It is not only a time-absorbing, but also a troublesome business, to investigate carefully into all the characteristic features and peculiarities, and to gain perfect information concerning the present state of mind of the patient in every individual case of sickness, whether belonging to an epidemic or to the diseases sufficiently designated by name; and then the choice of a suitable remedy, on the principle of similars, according to its pure action, offers again new difficulties, and we are often entangled in such a mass of difficulties that it is not surprising if the less experienced homœopath, not to speak of the beginner in this method of healing, is not able to extricate himself. Without doubt, on this account, and also on account of the unsuitable selection of the remedy which frequently follows therefrom, is to be seen the reason why the latter does not accomplish the desired result. Every beginner will probably at times have seen, what in the case of experienced and observant homœopaths is recurring more and more rarely, that, even with very careful selection and apparent adaptability of the remedies, success does not always come up to the expectations, and at times no action at all or even an aggravation of the patient’s troubles ensues. In such cases we may safely depend upon it, either that the remedy given has been formerly misused in allopathic doses and on that account its symptoms have become habitual and very manifest, or that, on account of the oversight of one or more symptoms of the disease which would contra-indicate the remedy, its choice was a mistake and therefore without effect. In the former case there will be, as a rule, an increase in the patient’s sufferings, in the latter no noticeable

vi.     change will be observed; in the former case there must then be made an attempt to destroy the old drug disease by homœopathically selected antidotes, and in the latter case by a careful examination of the disease image, and by a circumspect selection of the remedy, the previous mistake should be rectified. It would betray a great want of logical sequence and would denote a contradiction in itself if one, from such experiences, were to form conclusions concerning the unreliability of the homœopathic foundation principle (similia similibus). For apart from the fact that almost everyone has ultimately had the opportunity to convince himself of one or the other of the above-named causes, there would still remain to be explained away the much more frequent cases in which such rapid and lasting cures are accomplished that they frequently surpass the expectations even of the physician himself. One would be obliged to set up the contention that there existed in nature no sound therapeutic principle, a contention which probably nobody would like to defend.

         Accordingly we would expect that to all physicians, honestly seeking after the truth, every labour, be it ever so trifling, must be welcome, if it serves to advance this (as the honorable Hufeland[1]terms it) “solely direct curative method,” namely, the homœopathic, and assists in the selection of the proper remedy. The compiler of the following tables has not hesitated therefore to consent to the many requests of homœopathic physicians, and even the urgent demand of the worthy founder of this science of cure, to make them known through the press, after having been kindly revised by Hofrath Hahnemann, and after making some changes and improvements on the form in which they had already been communicated in manuscript to the nearest homœopathic friends. Without laying a great value upon the work, which contains no more than a tabulation of that which is already known, it is intended to afford an easier comprehensive survey of some peculiarities of the remedies which have hitherto been proved on healthy persons, and to facilitate the work of those homœopaths who recognize the great importance of such a compilation. We need scarcely be reminded that in several reme-

vii.    dies, and especially those only partially and imperfectly proved, many uncertainties exist, and doubtless mistakes have occurred which only by further proving can be discovered and corrected. In the meantime only that could be used which we possessed, for Homœopathy never allows of hypotheses and suppositions, and never borrows from the realm of opinions,[2] but understands the art of securing out of the realm of reality the pure truth.

         The similarity which must exist between the natural disease and the pure effects of the homœopathic remedy, in order that the latter may be able to eradicate the former, must be complete in every respect. It is, therefore, not sufficient to have found a remedy which is able to excite similar sufferings to those about which the patient complains, and much less if this similarity be confined merely to general names (such as headache, toothache, bowel complaint, cramps and so forth), as some very ignorant persons indeed are not ashamed to falsely attribute to Homœopathy. If the selected remedy is to prove reliable and successful, its pure effects must be adapted to the entire group of symptoms present, the conception of the totality of the disease symptoms, and, therefore, not only the sensations and pains, but also the aggravation and amelioration of the symptoms according to time and circumstances and the mental condition of the patient must correspond to all these in the remedy with the greatest possible similarity. Only when the totality of the symptoms has been obtained with completeness and exactness and when among the proved remedies one is found which corresponds to the whole in similarity, or at least is in no way contra-indicated, may we be sure of the desired success, provided that the remedy has not been already misused in massive doses, and that now only so much is given, as, according to experience, is sufficient to accomplish the object.

         Those who are already acquainted with Homœopathy and have seen its wonderful effects in diseases of the most diverse kind need, in order to appreciate the preceding, only think of the

viii    peculiarites of the Küchenschelle (Anemone pulsatilla) and the Brechnuss (Strychnos nux vomica), the knowledge of which we must attribute to the immortal founder of the art. Out of the numerous symptoms of these two excellently proved polycrests a great number of disease images may be formed, corresponding as strongly to the one as to the other. Even that which we know as especially characteristic of both is nowhere so sharply demarcated as to prevent many symptoms from manifesting quite a similarity or even contradicting each other. If then without reference to the predominating peculiarities of each remedy a selection is made, it may not infrequently happen that the improper remedy is chosen, because according to a few fragmentary symptoms it seems to correspond more nearly to the present case of sickness. The mistake lies, not in the principle of the homœopathic method nor even in the manner of selection itself, but in beginning with an insufficient conception of the totality of the symptoms of the disease and the totality of the symptoms of the remedy. The Küchenschelle (Pulsatilla) has not a few symptoms in the morning, in the open air, and while moving, just as the Krähenaugen (Nux vom.) has several in the evening, in the room and during the rest of the body

[physical rest]

. If we then confine ourselves, unintentionally, only to these symptoms, we will find that we have selected an unsuitable remedy and cannot, therefore, see the hoped-for success. It is consequently of the utmost importance to become thoroughly acquainted with the characteristics and peculiarities of every remedy, and especially of the antipsorics. All of these possess the power to eradicate the sad conseqences of one and the same miasmatic evil foundation, and have, therefore, for the most part the same sphere of action, and there is between them a very great similarity in their effects. Notwithstanding each of them has its own peculiarities, just as the other medicines have, and never can one be used instead of another with the same favorable results. In the most surprising manner was this shown during the present year in the frequent intermittent fevers, which were for the greatest part apparently of a psoric nature, and could, therefore, in most cases be permanently and safely cured only by antipsoric remedies [3] Nearly

ix      all the antipsorics known up to the present time were then used, according to the similarity of their symptoms, without the possibility of giving a preference to one over the other, and, when a proper selection was made, especially based upon the symptoms occurring during the apyrexia, their great curative power demonstrated itself not only by the rapid disappearance of the fever and other symptoms of the disease, but also by the fact that every patient was cured, and of all those homœopathically cured not a single one suffered a relapse, a condition which most generally prevailed after the allopathic use of Peruvian bark.

         Of course to obtain a complete characteristic picture of the remedies, with the elimination of every uncertainty and half truth among the pure effects of the same, when it is often so very difficult to distinguish the primary effects from the after effects, can only be the result of united efforts and mutual communications, and, without a separate homœopathic hospital under the protection of the state, in which nothing but true facts may be gleaned and confirmed, the science can only progress slowly.[4] But until the time that the young science, which is even now rendering such great results, will see its most fervent wishes fulfilled, its disciples must not sit idle, but everyone is under obligation to contribute according to his abilities to its upbuilding, so that suffering humanity may become a partaker so much the sooner of the blessings of those discoveries which have already proven curative in manifold ways, and which promise immensely more.

         The following three tables contain a comparative survey of the action of all remedies, up to this time, proved with a certain degree

x       of perfection on healthy persons, according to the time of day, the position and circumstances and according to the conditions of mind excited by them. In all three the order of their rank is denoted by the first five letters of the alphabet, so that the letter a designates the most decided, predominating and manifest action, having nothing contradicting it; the letter cindicates that the remedy has an equal action with reversed time or circumstances, and the letter ethe last or most subordinate place. The letters b and ddenote the intermediate state, so that b approaches to the highest rank and dto the lowest. When no letter is given, it signifies that nothing has been found in the pure effects pertaining to that modality. This arrangement of the different degrees of value appeared to the author the most serviceable and comprehensive, and the number of the same entirely sufficient to denote the degrees properly.

         The compilation of the first table, which contains the aggravation or amelioration of the suflerings according to the time of day, gave us the most trouble, because the divisions of the day are not capable of being sharply defined and because there is a want of expressions in the general usage of language to define the various terms and limits. Especially is this the case in regard to the morning and the evening, whose limits are not uncommonly extended unreasonably, and then frequently a part of the night as well as fore- and afternoon is included in them. Without doubt, therefore, this table will consequently have to undergo the greatest number of improvements and corrections.

         The second table, which contains the action of the medicines in exciting (and aggravating) or ameliorating (and removing) their symptoms according to circumstances, could in the most of instances easily he arranged according to sure and clearly defined data. It was found soon after its compilation, that here, as well as in the first table, not every symptom without distinction could he taken into consideration, but that a selection had to be made among them, with the omission of that part of them which would have given incorrect results. The main rule for this selection was deduced from what the honorable founder of Homceopathy teaches in that connection in the prefaces to Kriihenaugen (Nux vomica), Ki2chensclzelle (Pulsatitla), Zaunrebe (Byronia), and Wurzelsumach (Rh us), compared with the symptoms of the remedies which con-

xi      firm. For this reason only the symptoms of the head, eyes, teeth, respiration and chest, limbs, and the general sufferings, night sufferings and fevers, were taken into account in the first two tables, and the other regions were only considered when, either on account of the small number or on account of a want of clearness, doubts remained. It is still necessary to note that under the word “Touch,” the heading of the second column of Table II., are also included scratching, rubbing, pressing, etc , and that the modality “Agg.” expressesboth the excitement [initiation] of a symptom and an aggravation, and by “Amel.” a ceasing as well as amelioration of the sufferings is meant. The rest of these two tables needs no further explanation.

         In the third table, which contains a comprehensive view of the various states of mind produced by the remedies, the first five letters of the alphabet have the same meaning as in the two preceding tables. In the rubrics the author has endeavored to observe the most suitable psychological order so as to facilitate comparison thereby as much as possible.

         In giving the names of the medicines in alphabetical order the systematic tabulation of Dr. Rückert, which probably no homœopath is without, is followed, excepting that the acids are always classified immediately according to their bases, both to denote their close relationship in therapeutic respects and because the finding of the former seemed thereby to be facilitated.

         In view of the use of these tables, it is scarcely necessary to remark that they are in nowise intended to introduce a generalizing method into homœopathic treatment. According to the almost unanimous contention of the most distinguished medical authors and practitioners much mischief has been wrought in allopathy just in this way, and consequently Homœopathy would have cause enough to avoid it even if its entire system did not already consist in the strongest individualization. Therefore, if we wish to proceed conscientiously these tables should only be consulted after the case of sickness has been carefully examined, and has been compared with the competing remedies, and then as it were to solve some still remaining difficulties, or as a test for the correctness of the choice made. The tables can in nowise

xii     give the most suitable remedy, but they will assist in the choice of the same and prevent the likelihood of an unsuitable remedy being selected.

         A diligent study of the pure effects of the remedies must ever remain the principal thing, but, as the beginner especially needs a “guiding string,” we hope he will not seek it altogether in vain in these tables. One may especially find in them, the author hopes, an aid in becoming more familiar with those medicines which vie with each other for preference in given cases, and especially the antipsorics, and to group them according to the similarity of their effects. …

         Finally, with the same intense desire after perfection that is everywhere so plainly seen in all disciples of the homœopathic healing art, it is as much to be expected as to be hoped for that the present effort may be closely examined in its details, be purified of unavoidable mistakes and errors, and thereby acquire the reliability which the subject itself deserves.


Homoeopathic case of respiratory issues from the clinic.

Dates still open for IHM personal training course with Gary Weaver.



Dates available:

July 26-29

August: We can accommodate your choice of days in August as is the major holiday month in Seville. Normally we are time framed in Thursday to Sunday, however in
August we can have any selection of 4 days. Let us know what days suit you and we will check our calendar.

September 6-9

September 20-23


Teaching courses.

One of the reasons you have not heard from us for a while is that we have been busy with sorting out our teaching courses.

Seville Spain Seminars with the IHM.


Conducted in English, with Spanish translation if required, we have set aside Thursday to Sunday inclusive every week for a 4 day training Seminar. We offer to medical and non medical practitioners, a stimulating intensive background to Hahnemanns requirements for homoeopathy using the Therapeutic Pocket book to analyse cases quickly adhering to all the protocols to ensure an accurate prescription. The course is arranged so that the learning is incremental from the historical nature of the therapy viewed through many cases, to understanding the correct viewpoint regarding Miasms, potencies, Using the Therapeutic Pocket book and working with LM or Q medicines.

We offer a huge discount on the SYNOPSIS software to students.

The IHM will offer membership of the Register to suitable course attendees subject to approval by the officers of the IHM.


  • 4 days intensive training at our Seville North Clinic.
  • All refreshments and meals during the day attendance.
  • Free Book version of the Repertory.
  • Input from officers of the IHM and Materia Medica discussions with Vera Resnick.

We prefer a minimum of 2 students per seminar.

The cost per student:

  • Solo student. €1000.
  • 2 Students, €900 each.
  • 3 Students €850 each
  • 4 to 6 €800 each.
  • 7 or more €700 each.

A €120 non returnable deposit will be asked via PAYPAL, and the balance paid in cash at the Seminar.

Our teaching room will hold 10 comfortably, with A/C and heating. Coffee, Tea, soft drinks and snacks available at all times, with our restaurant next door for meals and Spanish Tapas.

Flights from Europe direct to Seville are cheap. International flights go to Madrid, where a direct Madrid-Seville train operates.

We can advise regarding hotels and transport. One hotel is door to door bus service, and the other is a 10 minute walk from the clinic. 

Seville is a beautiful city with much to see. Some students arrange a family holiday and come for the seminar and then spend time exploring and visiting other cities in the region.




Contact us at: education@instituteforhomoeopathicmedicine.com



We posted this in 2012: Polarities.

4 years ago, P & W implemented a polarities feature into the Therapeutic Pocket book for trialing and testing. The results of our findings led us to conclude that the inclusion of the polarities model was detrimental to a homoeopathic  prescription.

In the entire writings and case examples of Boenninghausen, NO  WHERE do we see the numerical value of a rubric used as an arbiter for prescription.

The grading of the symptom rubric defines the occurrence or reliability or clinical observation of its usefulness for consideration, NOT its intensity or absoluteness in a symptoms presence.

A value of 1 or a value of 4, does not negate a choice of a lesser “value” symptom if the Materia Medica indicates that the remedy with the smaller numerical value is the most similar.

In short, a medical proving of a substance either shows the production of a symptom or it does not. An absence of a symptom is NOT included in a repertorization analysis, and should have no bearing on the choice of medication. Neither should a “lesser value” be taken into consideration as the combination of rubric choices should lead to a study of indicated remedies in the Materia Medica for sole selection of a similar.

The inclusion of the Polarities table, in our researched conclusion, is detrimental to the homoeopathic prescription. It is flawed from the beginning by making the Therapeutic Pocket the instrument of remedy choice rather than using the book as defined by Boenninghausen as a guide to the Materia Medica.

We would encourage every physician to concentrate on accurate case taking and learn to use the T.P.B. as intended for accurate, precise and repeatable good prescribing.

Below is a research trial documented, which concludes that the use of the polarities is efficaceous. We would point you to a single telling insertion in the study, which we believe is the weakness of the whole premise:

The study, being a rigorous clinical test of homeopathy, also unmasked weaknesses of the method. Due to a low percentage of initially correct prescriptions the suspicion arose, that parents do not report symptoms precisely. Analysis of 100 unsuccessful prescriptions in children who finally improved with another homeopathic remedy, enabled identification  of  misleading  symptoms.  Frequently  these  were sensations and mind symptoms, while modalities  (especially aggravations) and polar symptoms usually proved to be reliable information for repertorisation. The exclusion of unreliable symptoms led to an improvement of results,but also often resulted in oligosymptomatic cases, i.e., cases with only few usable symptoms. This problem was resolved by an experimental reintroduction of (pathognomonic) perception symptoms into repertorisation, which again improved our positive treatment results significantly.

The prescribers in this single paragraph, indicate a telling lack of knowledge of how to use the T.P.B. There is a singular and collective mixing of unrelated symptoms based on a lack of correct application to the case. The whole reason for initial case failure is contained therein.  This is not a criticism of individuals, just a scientific observation of their own findings.

[gview file=”http://www.heinerfrei.ch/downloads/Downloads%20Publikationen/DL_13_YHOMP474.pdf” cache=”0″]




P&W book edition – reviewed

By Vera Resnick

v11I recently received my copy of P&W’s book version of the Therapeutic Pocketbook. And I must admit, it was love at first sight, and second, and third…

I must own up to being old fashioned. However much computers may have helped us in referencing many books, in finding correct rubrics, in the process of repertorization – it has reduced us to a bunch of small-screen addicts with heavy-duty tunnel vision.

One of the central flaws of science, replicated in the use of a computerized repertory, is that we determine what we’re looking for, and we look for it. Peripheral vision becomes irrelevant. Apart from synonyms, which can sometimes be useful, either what we’re looking for is there – or it isn’t. Anything interesting that may be lurking in the background becomes effectively invisible. Our gaze is honed in to what we’re looking for, what we find, and then to a search for alternative expressions of what we’re looking for.

I invite you now, if you will, to put down the mouse (or take your finger off the touch pad) and pick up the nearest book (no, no, a Kindle absolutely does not count). Flip through the pages without even looking for anything. Do you notice some ideas as you do so, some words that just jump out at you? If you’re doing this with a homoeopathic text, or something that interests you, you may even find yourselves noticing things you want to go back to, look at in more depth. It’s true – this can happen on the computer, but it’s a much easier process when you know what you’re looking for is sitting in your hand within the pages of the book you’re holding, and is not something you’re going to have to hunt through your browsing history to get at.

Tunnel vision is considered a problem because we are hard-wired to give importance to peripheral vision, although as a race we seem hell-bent on destroying any abilities we have in that area. We are programmed to notice something that is moving which should be still, something that has a different colour, a different shape, and our brains process a tremendous amount of information beyond that which lies in our direct focus.

The new P&W book allows us to do both. On the one hand, the book is quite large in terms of page size and lettering, and all sections are very clearly presented. When I’m looking for something specific, it’s very easy to find it. On the other hand – as I leaf through the Cough section looking for sweetish expectoration, I cannot help but notice all the other forms of expectoration appearing on the page. As I take a broader look at the page, I cannot help but notice how frequently Phos and Puls seem to stand out in their four point bold capitals, and notice the incidence of other remedies in these rubrics too. Looking at the page on Leucorrhea, I find myself wondering why I’m seeing much less of the Sepia I expect, and more of Mercury and other remedies to think about.

The point I’m trying to make is that while you can turn every computerized repertory search into a learning experience if you choose to do so, a hard copy book search will bring things to your attention just by looking through the book’s pages.

Another plus of the book is that it brings the Concordances section into focus and allows for clearer study and use of that section in repertorisation and case management.

The editors have kept their intervention to a minimum, and thus I know what I hold in my hands is faithful to Boenninghausen’s 1846 Therapeutic Pocketbook. To quote from the editor’s introduction:

“…We translated from the original German of the published first edition and had use of the handwritten printer’s edition in Boenninghausen’s own hand. We translated each rubric to bring it into modern English but retained the original meaning of each word and sentence…” P&W’s Synopsis program also has the original German edition, so it is possible to check back to the original rubrics as desired…”

Since I wrote most of the above, my software was knocked out by my antivirus gone rogue. Until I worked out the problem, which ultimately was easy to resolve, I was dependent on the book – and extremely relieved that I had it at hand. I think that for those of us who work constantly with computer software, having a hard copy which offers a faithful non-electricity non-computer dependent version is crucial for those days when nothing is working properly.



The book is available from ed@instituteforhomoeopathicmedicine.com

Drop an email and he will invoice you via PAYPAL for $85 plus delivery, usuallyabout $10.


Sepia, storytelling and delusional seductions

fairy story

By Vera Resnick

Now you tell me, which of the following is more interesting:

“Sepia is suited to tall, slim women with narrow pelvis and lax fibers and muscles; such a woman is not well built as a woman… the remedy seems to abolish the ability to feel natural love, to be affectionate… she may even be estranged and turned aside from those she loves. This is on the border land of insanity… (Kent’s lectures)”


Sepia is suited to all men and women who exhibit symptoms pertaining to that remedy, to be determined first with reference to the proving and subsequently to other materia medicas. (VR et al, 2015)

Continue reading

The Rationale behind the P&W Therapeutic Pocket Book

The P&W TPB is primarily an English language facsimili of the original 1846 edition of the aid to Materia medica as designed by Boenninghausen.

Vladimir Polony and Gary Weaver translated the German text into English utilising Medical Dictionaries of the time period. Vladimir, although fluent in German, also was ably helped by NATIVE German speaking colleagues to define language nuances and changes in meaning of words over a 200 year gap. Once the old German was translated into new German, but retaining the meaning of the original intention, we were then able to translate into English. Continue reading

Homoeopathy? Easy peasy…

Pulsatilla, anyone?

Pulsatilla, anyone?

“If it’s so easy, why isn’t everyone working this way?”

I was asked this question at a seminar I gave several years ago. This is a question that frequently puzzles us at the IHM. Because it is easy.

True, a lot of hard work is needed to get expertise, and then to improve expertise. To read, re-read, and analyze materia medica. To read and discuss cases. To comb the Organon and Hahnemann’s other writings for better understanding of the underpinning of homoeopathy – essential for prescription and case-management; for case-taking clues; for accurate work with remedies.
It’s not always easy to get rid of our preconceptions regarding remedies, to learn to be able to prescribe Pulsatilla on prescribing symptoms whether the patient is a sumo wrestler or a petite, sweet blonde. It’s not always easy to focus on absolute, presenting symptoms when our learned “knowledge” is giving us all kinds of useless hints regarding constitutionals, core delusions, sensations and similar.

Jewish tradition records a story of someone who came to a venerable Rabbi and asked him to explain the entire teachings of the law while standing on one leg.

Well here’s homoeopathy on one leg. Take your case. Take only what has changed and is presenting for prescribing, against the backdrop of the patient’s life and habits. Only use symptoms you could swear to in a court of law. Use symptoms which show the individual expression of illness in your patient.  Look for a remedy that can produce similar symptoms in the healthy, and thus create a similar, slightly stronger, artificial state in your patient. Find the core of that information in the proving. Prescribe.

Still standing here…

The thing is, once you drop the theories, the speculations, once you move away from trying to be clever and insightful, you start looking at what is in front of you. You work with the information the patient gives you about his state of illness (morbid state) – not with your speculations about his personality, or information about whether he’s always loved chicken, or whether he played with Barbie dolls as a child. You work with what you can know about remedies – information contained in the provings. You work with some information gleaned from poisoning and clinical work.  Some of this information was chosen by Hahnemann for inclusion in his provings.   This information should only be taken from the most reliable practitioners (in case you didn’t get it, at the IHM we focus mainly on Hahnemann and Boenninghausen’s work). You put it together and prescribe.

Aphorism 3, my friends. And as the learned Rabbi is reputed to have said, now go and learn the rest…

Viewed through proving: Sepia has left the gym…

exercise sudoku“… It is a sluggish state of the body which requires exercise, and violent exercise to keep it in a state of comfort. …The … symptoms are … better from exercise in the open air…”

What remedy does this describe? Sepia, of course. We all know that Sepia is better for lots of exercise. Don’t we?

This is where it gets interesting. In the proving, for the most part when any physical exertion is mentioned, it’s actually a cause for aggravation. Not amelioration. Walking is mentioned over 90 times in this proving. Around 7 instances are in the introduction, and amelioration from walking appears around 8 times in a proving containing 1655 symptoms. All the rest – approximately 75 mentions of aggravation from walking by my count. Around 21 on these mentions relate to walking in the open air, and Sepia provers did note sensitivity to cold, but that still leaves us with over 50 instances where walking aggravated.

The opening sentences are quoted from Kent’s lectures – most of those reading this probably first met Sepia through Kent. We met this unfeminine female, who is cold, angular, depressed, worn out, and needs violent exercise to keep her human. Add to that the image of the ink-spitting cuttlefish, attacking with sudden sarcasm and retreating – it all gets very picturesque, so to speak. The problem with all these images is that they stick so firmly in memory that even once you know they are fallacious they are very difficult to dislodge. I remember a live case where the homoeopath pointed at the patient, who shrank back in dismay, and declared in tones that brooked no argument – “behold Sepia, fix the image of this patient in your memories!” Needless to say (after such an intro) Sepia didn’t work…

It gets even more interesting however when we look at the therapeutic pocket book, where Boenninghausen included Sepia in amelioration from physical exertion – in 4 points. This brings us to the issue of the grading in the TPB, which is often erroneously considered to reflect the intensity of the symptom. The significance of the grading relates to the extent to which that symptom was verified in clinical use. A symptom appearing in 1 point is a completely valid remedy symptom – just one which has been used less and therefore verified less in the clinic. Sepia in 4 points in amelioration from physical exertion means that Boenninghausen saw this amelioration over and over again, sufficiently so to include it in his carefully and meticulously crafted TPB. Sepia also appears in the TPB under different expressions of aggravation from physical exertion, but only appears in one, two or three points.

So we have the proving – pointing to aggravation from physical exertion, repeated over and over again by provers and by Hahnemann himself in his introduction to the proving. And we have Boenninghausen’s TPB weighting the balance in the direction of amelioration from physical exertion. What’s the “take home” from all this?

I’d suggest the following:

1. Blank out the Kentian “image” (and those presented by other homoeopaths before and since). This image is not helpful for accurate, focused prescribing.

2. Amelioration from physical exertion was presented by Boenninghausen – a master clinician. This strengthens a modality which only found moderate expression in the proving. There is nothing to negate the symptom, and many clinical cases, together with Boenninghausen’s grading in the TPB, to support it.

And possibly most importantly:

3. If Sepia looks like a good fit but the patient is not ameliorated from physical exertion, or is even aggravated by it – don’t rule out Sepia. If it looks like the best remedy for the case, give it. Even if the patient is fair, round, has blue eyes, and is a 15 year old boy…