Tag Archives: proving

The power of our medicines. Lycopodium.

 

lycopodium_clavatumThe following experience with overdosing of Lycopodium, are narrated here for the purpose of seeing the effect of the substance on the economy, even in tiny doses.

Lycopodium was prescribed for a physical problem in the potency of LM 0/1. It was taken once a day for 4 days. In the event, it proved to be 3 doses too many.

From the patient:

“ I am currently in a change of life phase, with many things going on in and around me, and it can get a little stressful at times. The reality is that for the last 3 years, I have been facing a huge change in my life with friends, circumstances and location.

In taking the Lycopodium, an impact was felt on the problem prescribed for. Instead of waiting for the dose to complete its action I repeated the medicine 3 more times.

auccayvms1xgl-9v2ly9zgThe first and strongest symptom that appeared, was an absolute PHYSICAL anxiety in the epigastric fossa (scrobiculus Cordis). It gnawed away day and night. Like everything was wrong and I could not get relief from it.

I became irritable and snappy with everyone. An anger would just spring up in my mind and a hot flush of irritation would spew out of my mouth. I found tears in my eyes for no reason and incredible sadness. I began to distrust people with whom I had made plans to do things in the future with. My mind closed into a small room of thoughts bouncing around the thought of having made a big mistake in life and that no one really liked me for me and what I thought was a reality was really yet another cruel trick played and that my reality was loneliness forever and yet another step in the wrong direction of life.

Physically, I developed a rash in both axillae. I am prone to these for which bathing and drying and a little talcum powder clears up in 2 days. These have persisted for a week now with no sign of abating.

The mental symptoms reduced after 2 days and each day get better. Im still not sure if plans made will continue but the intensity of the feeling is much less.  I have yet to establish the reality of decisions made a while or so ago and if the status quo remains the same because of the crazy notion that everything changes when people have to deal with lifes other challenges. There was a huge loss of self respect and worth at the height of the proving. Suicidal almost.”

Symptoms in LYCOPODIUM proving. Hahnemann Chronic diseases.

he feels unhappy

Melancholy, in the evening.- Melancholy ill-humor, sad thoughts.

He weeps and cries, at first, about the past, then about the coming evils.- Great oppression in the scrobiculus cordis from vexation.-

Great anxiety, as it were, in the scrobiculus cordis,

Extremely distrustful and suspicious.- Despairing and inconsolable.

He has trouble to conceal his internal obstinacy and vexation.- Excessive excitement and apprehension.- He smiles without being merry, capricious. Obstinate, self-willed, refractory, passionate, angry.- Very violent and irritable.- Violent mood.

Cannot bear the least contradiction, and at once gets beside herself for vexation.- Angry fury, partly against himself, and partly against others.- Easily excited to vexation and anger.- He quarrels in mind with absent persons.-

Strangely enough, there is not much regarding the rash in axillae. I am presuming it is an aggravation of a recurring symptom rather than a proving symptom and and as such was used in conjuction with other symptoms to move on to the next indicated medicine.

Lycopodium is a very powerful medicine. Be sure to use it carefully and sparingly. Hahnemann states its effects can last up to 50 days on a single dose.

NOTE:

Lycopodium powder is also sometimes used as a lubricating dust on skin-contacting  goods, such as condoms and medical gloves.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Viewed through proving: the not-so-serene Chamomilla

By Vera Resnick

As practitioners reading this blog will confirm, we often learn the most valuable lessons from our patients.

A patient mentioned to me that recently she found herself irritable and snappy, and didn’t quite know why. It turned out that since she stopped drinking coffee on a previous homeopath’s instructions, she had been drinking large amounts of chamomile tea. Continue reading

Restrictions during homoeopathic treatment – in Hahnemann’s words

By Vera Resnick

 

han2Reading Hahnemann is often a bracing experience. When I read his thoughts, which he expresses so succinctly and sharply, I find myself looking at my practice and wondering… Hahnemann’s introduction to China offers many expressions of the bracing sort… This particular subject, relating to medications and lifestyle of the patient while in treatment , appears in Hahnemann’s notes on his proving of China. Continue reading

Viewed through proving: Opium aggravates

Most of Opium’s proving symptoms can be summarized very simply in the following words: Opium aggravates.

The best overview of this remedy is that which Hahnemann gives in the introduction to the proving – so here it is. Go on, read the whole thing. You know you can do it. For those who get bored quickly, look for an important prescribing tip in the text relating to how to prescribe Opium effectively homoeopathically for pain relief.

Read on! Continue reading

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…

Hahnemann nails the argument…

By Vera Resnick

Thinking-Man-RodinIn his preface to the proving of Arsenicum Album in Chronic Diseases, Hahnemann really nails many of the arguments we face in our own, modern allopathically brainwashed societies today. Rather than comment, here is Hahnemann in his own pithy, erudite, and very sharp words. I’ve highlighted some words in bold. This is only an excerpt. There’s more. Go read.

“ARSENICUM ALBUM.

“As I write down the word Arsenic, momentous memories seize upon my soul.

“When the All-merciful One created iron, He granted to mankind, indeed, to fashion from it either the murderous dagger or the mild ploughshare, and either to kill or to nourish their brethren therewith. How much happier, however, would they be, did they employ His gifts only to benefit one another! This should be the aim of their life; this was His will.

“So also it is not to Him, the All-loving One, we must impute the wickedness practiced by men, who have dared to misemploy the wonderfully powerful medicinal substances in diseases for which they were not suitable, and besides this in doses so enormous, guided only by frivolous ideas or some paltry authorities, without having subjected them to any careful trial, and without a well-grounded selection.

“If now a careful prover of the effects of medicines arise, they inveigh against him as an enemy to their comfort, and do not refrain from the most dishonest calumnies.

“The ordinary medical art has hitherto employed in large and frequently repeated doses the most powerful medicines, such as arsenic, nitrate of silver, corrosive sublimate, aconitum napellus, belladonna, iodine, digitalis, opium, hyoscyamus, etc. Homoeopathy cannot employ stronger substances, for there are none stronger. Now, when ordinary physicians employ them, they evidently vie with one another who shall prescribe the largest possible doses of these drugs, and even make a great boast of their mounting to such enormous doses. This practice they laud and approve in their fellow practitioners. But if the Homoeopathic medical art employ the same drugs, not at random, like the ordinary method, but after careful investigation, only in suitable cases and in the smallest possible doses, it is denounced as a practice of poisoning. How partisan, how unjust, how calumnious is such a charge made by men who make pretensions to honesty and uprightness!

“If Homoeopathy now make a fuller explanation, if she condemn (as from conviction she must) the enormous doses of these drugs given in ordinary practice, and if she, relying on careful trials, insists that very much less of them should be given for a dose, that where ordinary physicians give a tenth, a half, a whole grain, and even several grains, often only a quadrillionth, a sextillionth, a decillionth of a grain is required and sufficient, then the adherents of the ordinary school, who denounce the Homoeopathic healing art as a system of poisoning, laugh aloud, abuse it as childishness, and declare themselves convinced (convinced without trial ?) that such a small quantity can do nothing at all, and can have no effect whatever, is, indeed, just the same as nothing. They are not ashamed thus to blow hot and cold from the same mouth, and to pronounce the very same thing to be inert and ludicrously small, which they had just accused of being a system of poisoning, whilst they justify and praise their own enormous and murderous doses of the same remedies. Is not this the grossest and most wretched inconsistency that can be imagined, invented for the very purpose of being shamelessly unjust toward a doctrine which, they cannot deny, possesses truth, consistence and agreement with experience, and which practices the most delicate cautiousness and the most unwearied circumspection in the selection and administration of its remedies?

Not very long ago a highly celebrated physician [Marcus of Bamberg] spoke of pounds of opium being eaten every month in his hospital, where even the nurses were allowed to give it to the patients according to their fancy. Opium, mind! a drug that has sent several thousands of men to their graves in ordinary practice! Yet this man continued to be held in honor, for he belonged to the dominant clique to which everything is lawful even if it be of the most destructive and absurd character.

And when, a few years since, in one of the most enlightened cities of Europe almost every practitioner, from the physician of lofty title down to the barber’s apprentice, prescribed arsenic as a fashionable remedy in almost every disease, and that in such frequent and large doses in close succession, that the detriment to the health of the people must have been quite palpable, yet this was held to be an honorable practice, though not one of them was acquainted with the peculiar effects of the semi-oxide of this metal (and consequently knew not what cases of disease it was suited for). And yet all prescribed it in repeated doses, a single one of which, sufficiently attenuated and potentized, would have sufficed to cure all the diseases in the whole habitable world for which this drug is the suitable remedy.

Which of these two opposite modes of employing medicines best deserves the flattering appellation of a “system of poisoning” -the ordinary method just alluded to, which attacks with tenths of grains the poor patients (who often require some quite different remedy), or Homoeopathy, which does not even give a little drop of tincture or rhubarb without having first ascertained whether rhubarb is the most suitable, the only appropriate remedy for the case? Homoeopathy which, by unwearied, multiplied experiments, discovered that it is only in rare cases that more than a decillionth of a grain of arsenic should be given, and that only in cases where careful proving shows this medicine to be the only one perfectly suitable ? To which of these two modes of practice does then the honorary title of “thoughtless, rash system of poisoning” properly apply ?

There is yet another sect of practitioners who may be called hypocritical purists. If they are practical physicians, they, indeed, prescribe all sorts of substances that are injurious when misused, but before the world they wish to pose as patterns of innocence and caution. From their professional chairs and in their writings they give us the most alarming definition of poison; to listen to their declarations it would appear unadvisable to treat any imaginable disease with anything stronger than quick-grass, dandelion, oxymel and raspberry juice.

According to their definition, poisons are absolutely (i. e., under all circumstances, in all doses, in all cases) prejudicial to human life, and in this category they include (in order to prejudice against Homoeopathy), as suits their humor, a lot of substances which in all ages have been extensively employed by physicians for the cure of diseases. (sounds familiar? vr)But the employment of these substances would be a criminal offence had not every one of them occasionally proved of use. If, however, each of them had only proved itself curative on only one occasion -and it cannot be denied that this sometimes happened- then this blasphemous definition is at the same time a palpable absurdity. Absolutely and under all circumstances injurious and destructive, and yet at the same time salutary, is a contradiction in itself, is utter nonsense. If they would wriggle out of this contradiction, they allege, as a subterfuge, that these substances have more frequently proved injurious than useful.

“But did the more frequent injury caused by these substances come from these substances themselves, or from their improper employment, i. e., from those who made an unskillful use of them in diseases for which they were not suitable ? These medicines do not administer themselves in diseases, they must be administered by men ; and if they were beneficial at any time, it was because they were at one time appropriately administered by somebody ; it was because they might always be beneficial, if men never made any other than a suitable use of them. Hence it follows that whenever these substances were hurtful and destructive they were so merely on account of having been inappropriately employed. Therefore all the injury is attributable to the unskillfulness of their employers…”.

Ignatia’s sore throat: Hahnemann’s prescribing notes

By Vera Resnick

The following are some of Hahnemann’s prescribing notes on Ignatia’s sore throat, to be found within the proving.  All I’ve added are some font changes (and perhaps a comma or two):

Symptom 157:
Stitches in the throat, when not swallowing; when swallowing feeling as if swallowing over a bone, during which it jerks (aft. 3 h.).

Hahnemann’s note:” If there is an alternating action of Ignatia where it produces a sore throat with shooting when swallowing (though I have never observed such a symptom), it must be of very rare occurrence, and hence of very little use from a curative point of view.

“Consequently I have never been able to cure a sore throat with Ignatia, even when the other symptoms resembled those of this drug, in which there was shooting only when swallowing.

“But, on the other hand, when stitches in the throat were only felt when not swallowing, Ignatia cured, and that the more certainly, more quickly and more permanently when the other morbid symptoms could be covered by similar Ignatia symptoms.”

And a word on the famous Ignatia lump in the throat, which does feel worse on swallowing:

Symptom no. 164.
Sore throat, like a lump or knob in the throat, which pains as if excoriated when swallowing. (aft. 16 h.).

Hahnemann’s note: ” The Ignatia sore throat, in which there is felt, when not swallowing, internal swelling of the throat, like a lump, is generally attended by only sore pain in this lump when swallowing.

“The sore throat must be of this description which Ignatia (when the other symptoms correspond) will remove, and under such circumstances it will be rapidly and certainly cured by Ignatia.)”

So on the one hand we have:  a sore throat with shooting pain.  If the shooting pain is only felt when not swallowing, if the other symptoms fit, Ignatia will cure.  Note – Hahnemann doesn’t rule out Ignatia curing if there is shooting pain with and without swallowing, but he does say that he has not cured where there is shooting pain only with swallowing.

And on the other hand – we have the Ignatia lump in the throat – according to Hahnemann’s note, felt when not swallowing, but only painful when swallowing.

Enough to make one want to swallow the strong stuff and know no pain  – but that’s Ignatia for you!