Tag Archives: Remedies

The choice of remedy.

The Choice of the Remedy
— C. V Boenninghausen

Address delivered before the Meeting of the Homeopathic Physicians of Rhineland and Westphalia, at Dortmund, July 28, 1859.

The choice of the remedy in any concrete case of disease can not be made too carefully or too cautiously. No less in the healing art than in morals, the motto holds good: “Bonum ex omni parte, malum ex quorumque defectu.” Many failures occur, especially with unpracticed beginners, because in examining the symptoms the one or the other was overlooked. Even with the older and more experienced homeopathic physicians, especially such as are very busy, such an occurrence occasionally takes place.

This cannot, however, prove either the insufficiency of Homeopathy in general nor the inadequacy of the small and rare doses, and the experienced practitioner, who always looks with suspicion on such excuses, will in such cases first of all subject the image of the disease which he has formed to a new revision, and look for the lack of his success in his medication first in this direction.

It is not, indeed, my intention to offer anything new here to the practiced and experienced physicians. But it does seem to me as if an incidental warning to such as are about to enter on this field might not be altogether superfluous, and I consider it on that account allowable to introduce a case that happened lately, and which will put what I desire to say into its proper light. I do not intend to speak here of curing merely by the name of the disease, the so called “Medicina nominalis”, which is altogether a different matter, and which is still doing untold mischief, for such a treatment is very acme of irrational and unconscionable routine, and warning against such a practice would justly be considered an insult even by the youngest of our colleagues.

Merchant Ph. M., thirty years of age, had caught a cold last winter while traveling; he did not at first pay any attention to it, but the increasing ailment demanded medical assistance. Treatment by an allopath had remained without effect; in fact, during this treatment, lasting three months, nearly all the symptoms had grown considerably worse, so that now, as is so frequently done, the homeopath was called for aid. The following symptom formed the image of the disease:

For the last three or four weeks there has been a hollow, dry cough with hoarseness and much toughness in the larynx, most violent during night. Constriction of the chest with stitches in the left side while lying on that side. Internal heat, without thirst. Severe exhausting perspiration. Striking timidity. great drowsiness, but restless sleep, waking up frequently, while an internal anxiety prevents his going to sleep again. The face pale and collapsed, with a circumscribed redness of cheeks. Pressure in the stomach after eating especially after eating, especially after milk, often with vomiting, first of ingesta and then of gall. Augmented, watery urine. Extraordinary emaciation. He prefers warmth, and it agrees best with him. he feels better in moderate motion than in continuous rest. He had never been unwell much, and had never been actually sick He could take a deep breath without any trouble, and frequently he felt impelled thereto. I could not find out anything about the allopathic remedies which he had used.”

After careful consideration and a protracted comparison of all the symptoms present with our matera medica, every homeopath will agree with me that Phosphorus seemed most indicated of all the remedies, and this so decidedly that none of the other remedies could at all compare with it. I, therefore, felt no hesitation at all to give to my patient my usual dose (a high potency 200c) of this very efficient remedy, and to direct its administration in the usual manner (dissolved in water), recommending to him the usual diet, and directing him to report to me in person in two weeks.

But I was cruelly and painfully disappointed when the patient after this period appeared before me, for he was not improved in any respect; on the contrary, his sickly appearance and the threatening redness of the cheeks had increased and the feverish symptoms had been suspiciously augmented. In the meantime the remedy had been used exactly according to my directions, and nothing had been overlooked either in diet or in his mode of life. What then had been the reason for my total failure? Under such circumstances the only reason could be the defective or incorrect examination of the symptoms, so I went over them again carefully, one by one.

The mistake then appeared in the feverish symptoms, which were only superficially indicated, and which in the patient had an unusual and, therefore, unrecognized form, which was at the same time very characteristic. For while sleeping he was suffering continually from  a dry, burning heat, which on his waking up immediately passed into a very profuse perspiration, which continued without interruption while he was awake, until he fell asleep again, when at once the dry heat reappeared.

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

 

Why Hahnemann did not repeat medicines when they acted.

Aphorism 245 and 246 of the 5th edition were combined in the 6th edition to make clear the following principle.

§ 246 Sixth Edition
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. 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).

Hahnemann first says that any noticeably progressing and strikingly increasing improvement during treatment excludes the repetition of the remedy because the cure is already hastening to take place.

This means that any time a single dose, or a series of doses, causes a strikingly progressive improvement any repetition is counter indicated for the time being. This is because the vital force is moving toward the cure at a maximum rate and any more doses will only slow down the cure.

Then the Founder takes up the subject when a single dose only causes a “slow, continuous improvement” that may take over 50, 60, or 100 days to complete the cure. In these cases the split-dose of the medicinal solution may speed the cure to 1/2,1/4, or less the time it takes the single static dry dose.

This goal may be accomplished under five conditions.

  1. The remedy must be a true homoeopathic simillimum.
  2. The remedy should be administered in medicinal solution.
  3. It must be administered in the smallest of doses.
  4. The medicinal solution should be repeated at suitable intervals.
  5. Each dose should be succussed prior to administering the dose.

This is the basis of Hahnemann’s advanced posology that teaches the practitioner when to wait and watch as well as when to act according to circumstances. This is what Hahnemann called the middle path approach to posology.

Homoeopathy is a system of flexible response in which the methods of adjusting the dose are central to case management.

The LMs act smoothly for their remedial powers considering their potency actions. For this reason, the LMs are far more suitable than the 200c and 1M for a good number of patients.

The large gaps between the 30c, 200c, 1M and 10M Centesimal are too large for many constitutions and chronic conditions. This Kentian system only offers 7 potencies while there are 30 different micro tonal LM potencies.

These individuals usually do very well on the LMs when they are given properly. If they take 200c or 1M (esp. the dry dose) it causes unproductive aggravations and accessory symptoms.

These are some of the differences. The LMs are safe and effective when the potency, succussions, and dose are individualized and the patient is not over-medicated.

 

By carefully reading the 6th Organon and the Paris casebooks much more information has come to light.

This situation is finally starting to change as homoeopaths experienced in the 4th Organon method take up experiments with the revisions introduced in 5th (1833) and 6th editions (1842).

The method of the Organon is an artistic method that must be individualized to the patient. There are no preconceived schedules that can guide one. The daily dose or alternate day dose may be correct for one person while one dose a week, month or year is sufficient in another.

Any time one gives too many doses one sees the side-effects of over medication. What a homoeopath learns is when to wait and watch as well as when to act to speed the cure.

Comments by David Little…

I cannot repertorize mental symptoms with the T.P.B!

This is a common complaint from people who move from Kents repertory to the stressed_tired_drTherapeutic Pocket Book.

In our advanced practitioner course, we spend time showing people the correct way to analyse a case and how to use ‘states’ that reflect the altered disposition of the patient, as opposed to personality symptoms that are not signs of pathology.

The patients original condition was vertigo which came on without obvious causation. It was treated with two remedies which removed 95% of the Vertigo and relieved other symptoms experienced. However and again for no observable reason, an internal anxiety arose and has become the focus of the problem. The patient said that the type of anxiety experienced was something observed before over 40 some years ago, but not troubled overmuch by these symptoms after that.

Briefly, here is a recently received patient note and the analysis of the same.

…..Started feeling a building up of uneasiness. It feels like coldness inside the body. Inside the arms and sometimes the abdomen chest and head. Then apprehensiveness that something isn’t right, something’s going to happen. It keeps on coming, I have to work to relax.  Then slight wooziness began which in turn increases the cold sensation.
At times the tingling in the buttocks as well (explained he felt the anxiety in his body and currently is in buttocks.)
Have to lie in the chair and concentrate on relaxing, which helps, but is very difficult it it gets too bad. My wife had to leave to do some errands, I would rather she had stayed, made me more nervous to have her gone.
It seems like this comes from the body coldness sensation first, then the apprehension with no definite thoughts, then wooziness, then everything seems to excite more nervousness.

So here we have a pathological ‘state’ combined with a vertigo. The anxiety is out of proportion and has also spread into any thought that he has where something has not gone correctly as it should have. For example: “….I bought too much meat at the market and now I have bag it and freeze it…aargh!”

Rather than get into the  minutiae of his words and try to do a psychological evaluation, I just looked at the expression of his ‘state’ and went to the repertory.

Firstly the symptoms are aggravated by vertigo. He is aggravated, vexed by little things and they produce an anxious state. He becomes restless and feels anxiety in the body. There is a sensation of coldness internally. He desires to not be alone and the presence of someone else is comforting.

This is the entire picture of the pathology experienced. I repertorised in this way.

casevertigo

 

 

He had already had Lycopodium which removed the vertigo symptoms, and a quick read of Arsenicum confirmed that this indeed was the remedy to give at this point.

….thanks Gary, I just took it. Seems to be relaxing. I’ll try to go back to bed if I can.

Two things. One in particular.

A successful homoeopath relies on two things that enables him or her to be a good physician.

The first is knowledge of the principles and practice of Homoeopathy.

This implies the following:

  • A comprehensive study of the writings of Hahnemann.
  • Understanding of how the law of similar works.
  • Understanding what a proving is and how to elicit essential symptoms for prescribing from them.
  • How to take a case.
  • How to manage a case.

The second thing required to be a successful homoeopath is using good medicines.

This is the issue that is being addressed here in detail

The IHM uses and recommends LM or Q potencies in practice. Individually we have our own medicines for use.

A few months ago I requested a medicine to be made from a local pharmacy in the LM potency, and was shocked to receive the medicine in large globules. I asked if there had been a mistake. ‘No mistake’ I was told, this is how we prepare medicines for the patients in Spain. Needless to say, I requested a change to the poppy seed granules.

Further investigation uncovered other remedy manufacturing issues. For example, Hahnemann in aph 270 (Organon of the Chronic Diseases 6th edition) indicated:

 But if only one such globule be taken, of which 100 weigh one grain, and dynamize it with 100 drops of alcohol, the proportion of 1 to 50,000 and even greater will be had, for 500 such globules can hardly absorb one drop, for their saturation.

remedy-bottleThe medical container that the remedies are dispensed to the practitioner in Spain are usually of this size and contain about 200-270 poppy size globules. My experience with pharmacies all over world, is that in the main, they medicate the one bottle at a time with a drop. Too much!

It concerns me that this is happening. Our reliance on the medicines is all encompassing. We need to be sure that the medicines are made properly.

In discussions with the IHM colleagues, we set out to find a pharmacy that complied with the Hahnemannian directions. Eventually, a small but well equipped local facility was found and we went and had a discussion with the pharmacist. We discussed the preparation concerns, and he was extremely amenable to changing his methods after being shown from the Organon. Pharmacists usually religiously adhere to the pharmacopeia instructions plus local methods and do not have much knowledge of the Organon. We were shown his well equipped hermetically sealed prep room and I proceeded to show him the difference in medicating 500 poppy seeds as opposed to 200. He acknowledged that it took up to one hour to let the alcohol dry from a 200 seed infusion of one drop, and was surprised to see a 5 minute evaporation and dry time from the 500 hundred plus one drop infusion. One test I used to do to check if all the grains had been coated was to use a simple alcohol meter and see it register on one poppy seed.

We discussed where he purchased the medicating potencies from for starting the LM scale. Having been to both pharmacies and seeing the preparation work there, I was more than happy with the sources. Where a medicating liquid cannot be sourced, we will make our own.

The IHM and the pharmacy are working together to produce a “Boenninghausen” LM remedy kit of the remedies in the Therapeutic Pocket Book.  This will be available once we have satisfied ourselves with the manufacture (hand made) and the price. I have had opportunity to test one of the medicines (Arnica) due to a cracked rib and can attest to the efficacy of that medicine.

There is no point in making a good prescription for a medicine if the medicine is not prepared properly.

Note to Homoeopathic pharmacies..

Dear Pharmacies…. We put our trust in you for preparing our remedies. The photo below shows a remedy recently purchased in Spain. It is an LM potency.

P1050838

Now I happen to know that the medicating potency was made painstakingly by IBERHOME in Zaragoza. I know the pharmacy there. I have toured the premises and have seen the laboratory and medicine preparation. I trust the medicines. I have used the medicines and seen them work powerfully.

However, the pharmacy (NOT IBERHOME-they prepare their medicines using poppy seed granules.) that sold me this remedy, did not medicate the correct tablets. Does it matter? Well I am afraid it does. Very much so. There is NO EXCUSE for not medicating the correct tablets. A pharmacy has the instructions how to make and medicate AND how many tablets to medicate per drop. Selling a tablet that fits a certain type of dispenser or to please a customer is not an excuse.Below is a photo of the most common type of tablets available. The MIDDLE poppy seed size is the medium as specified by Hahnemann. 500 to be wetted by one drop of medicating tincture.

lm-granules-unmedicated-25802-p

Small arent they? Yet the curative power is such that only ONE poppy seed is used in preparing the dispensing dose… ONE.

So I am sat here, slightly irritated, buzzing with an aggravation from the medicine simply because the SIZE (surface area) of the tablet and therefore volume of the dosage was larger than required or specified.

I enclose the footnote from aphorism 270 to anyone who needs to know how the preparations are made.

One-third of one hundred grains sugar of milk is put in a glazed porcelain mortar, the bottom dulled previously by rubbing it with fine, moist sand. Upon this powder is put one grain of the powdered drug to be triturated (one drop of quicksilver, petroleum, etc.). The sugar of milk used for dynamization must be of that special pure quality that is crystallized on strings and comes to us in the shape of long bars. For a moment the medicines and powder are mixed with a porcelain spatula and triturated rather strongly, six to seven minutes, with the pestle rubbed dull, then the mass is scraped from the bottom of the mortar and from the pestle for three to four minutes, in order to make it homogeneous. This is followed by triturating it in the same way 6 – 7 minutes without adding anything more and again scraping 3 – 4 minutes from what adhered to the mortar and pestle. The second third of the sugar of milk is now added, mixed with the spatula and again triturated 6 – 7 minutes, followed by the scraping for 3 – 4 minutes and trituration without further addition for 6 – 7 minutes. The last third of sugar of milk is then added, mixed with the spatula and triturated as before 6 -7 minutes with most careful scraping together. The powder thus prepared is put in a vial, well corked, protected from direct sunlight to which the name of the substance and the designation of the first product marked /100 is given. In order to raise this product to /10000, one grain of the powdered /100 is mixed with the third part of 100 grains of powdered sugar of milk and then proceed as before, but every third must be carefully triturated twice thoroughly each time for 6 -7 minutes and scraped together 3 -4 minutes before the second and last third of sugar of milk is added. After each third, the same procedure is taken. When all is finished, the powder is put in a well corked vial and labelled /10000, i.e., (I), each grain containing 1/1,000,000 the original substance. Accordingly, such a trituration of the three degrees requires six times six to seven minutes for triturating and six times 3 -4 minutes for scraping, thus one hour for every degree. After one hour such trituration of the first degree, each grain will contain 1/000; of the second 1/10,000; and in the third 1/1,000,000 of the drug used.* Mortar and spatula must be cleaned well before they are used for another medicine. Washed first with warm water and dried, both mortar and pestle, as well as spatula are then put in a kettle of boiling water for half an hour. Precaution might be used to such an extent as to put these utensils on a coal fire exposed to a glowing heat.

* These are the three degrees of the dry powder trituration, which if carried out correctly, will effect a good beginning for the dynamization of the medicinal substance.
2 The vial used for potentizing is filled two-thirds full.
3 Perhaps on a leather bound book.
4 They are prepared under supervision by the confectioner from starch and sugar and the small globules freed from fine dusty parts by passing them through a sieve. Then they are put through a strainer that will permit only 100 to pass through weighing one grain, the most serviceable size for the needs of a homoeopathic physician.
5 A small cylindrical vessel shaped like a thimble, made of glass, porcelain or silver, with a small opening at the bottom in which the globules are put to be medicated. They are moistened with some of the dynamized medicinal alcohol, stirred and poured out on blotting paper, in order to dry them quickly.
6 According to first directions, one drop of the liquid of a lower potency was to be taken to 100 drops of alcohol for higher potentiation. This proportion of the medicine of attenuation to the medicine that is to be dynamized (100:1) was found altogether too limited to develop thoroughly and to a high degree the power of the medicine by means of a number of such succussions without specially using great force of which wearisome experiments have convinced me.
But if only one such globule be taken, of which 100 weigh one grain, and dynamize it with 100 drops of alcohol, the proportion of 1 to 50,000 and even greater will be had, for 500 such globules can hardly absorb one drop, for their saturation. With this disproportionate higher ratio between medicine and diluting medium many successive strokes of the vial filled two-thirds with alcohol can produce a much greater development of power. But with so small a diluting medium as 100 to 1 of the medicine, if many succussions by means of a powerful machine are forced into it, medicines are then developed which, especially in the higher degrees of dynamization, act almost immediately, but with furious, even dangerous violence, especially in weakly patients, without having a lasting, mild reaction of the vital principle. But the method described by me, on the contrary, produces medicines of highest development of power and mildest action, which, however, if well chosen, touches all suffering parts curatively.* In acute fevers, the small doses of the lowest dynamization degrees of these thus perfected medicinal preparations, even of medicines of long continued action (for instance, belladonna) may be repeated in short intervals. In the treatment of chronic diseases, it is best to begin with the lowest degrees of dynamization and when necessary advance to higher, even more powerful but mildly acting degrees.
* In very rare cases, notwithstanding almost full recovery of health and with good vital strength, an old annoying local trouble continuing undisturbed it is wholly permitted and even indispensably necessary, to administer in increasing doses the homoeopathic remedy that has proved itself efficacious but potenized to a very high degree by means of many succussions by hand. Such a local disease will often then disappear in a wonderful way.
7 This assertion will not appear improbable, if one considers that by means of this method of dynamization (the preparations thus produced, I have found after many laborious experiments and counter-experiments, to be the most powerful and at the same time mildest in action, i.e., as the most perfected) the material part of the medicine is lessened with each degree of dynamization 50,000 times yet incredibly increased in power, so that the further dynamization of 125 and 18 ciphers reaches only the third degree of dynamization. The thirtieth thus progressively prepared would give a fraction almost impossible to be expressed in numbers. It becomes uncommonly evident that the material part by means of such dynamization (development of its true, inner medicinal essence) will ultimately dissolve into its individual spirit-like, (conceptual) essence. In its crude state therefore, it may be considered to consist really only of this underdeveloped conceptual essence.

Pharma vs. Homoeopathy?

Is Pharma Trying to Eliminate the Homeopathic Competition?
By Larry Malerba, DO

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For the full article with references, click here

Homeopathy is a thorn in the side of Pharma because of the fact that its unique medicines are FDA regulated, safe, inexpensive, and can’t be patented.

Now that the deadline for public comment at FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has officially come to a close, supporters of homeopathy are waiting to see what steps, if any, will be taken to further regulate the marketing of homeopathic medicines. In light of these developments and other recent events, some believe that there is an organized effort under way to discredit this venerable medical art and science.

Homeopathy is a 200 year-old holistic system of healing with a remarkable safety record and a reputation for yielding excellent results. It employs small doses of naturally occurring substances, which are prescribed in accordance with the principle of similars: A treatment is chosen on the basis of a homeopathic medicine’s ability to closely mimic the symptom pattern of the sick individual.

However, FDA and FTC actions in the U.S. along with similar developments in the U.K., Australia, and Canada have homeopathic supporters wondering.

Although homeopathy has been part of the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) since 1948, recent pressure by anti-homeopathy activists has led to a decision by the Dept. of Health to review the status of NHS funding for homeopathy.

One U.K. homeopathic physician, Dr. David Fitton, noted,

“It’s quite respectable in all European countries, and it’s well integrated at the consultant level, but for some reason in the UK there’s a big anti-homeopathy attitude, a campaign almost.” (1)

Meanwhile, in Canada, a University of Toronto professor’s efforts to conduct research on the homeopathic treatment of children with ADHD have also met with resistance. A group of scientists led by well-known anti-holistic medicine activist, Joe Schwarcz, of McGill University, sent a letter to Univ. of Toronto questioning why it would sanction a study based on a therapy like homeopathy. A response from U. of T. stated that,

“Rigorous research into these products and therapies—including the research conducted by Professor Boon and at the Centre for Integrative Medicine—helps patients and their caregivers make informed treatment choices.” (2)

Coincidentally—or not—a recent review conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Australia concluded that, “there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.”

This rather sweeping and surprisingly bold condemnation of homeopathy contradicted a prior review sponsored by the Swiss government, which came to the opposite conclusion. That study vindicated homeopathy, calling it effective, safe, and cost-effective. It recommended that homeopathy be included in Switzerland’s national health program.

The American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP) responded to the Australian review:

“The AAHP considers their conclusion to be a blanketed and unfounded generalization about the therapeutic effects of all homeopathic medicines. This overreaching announcement is a disservice to patients and health care systems around the world.” (3)

A Homeopathy Research Institute critique of the Australian study pointed out…

“… deep flaws in how the NHMRC had analyzed the evidence on homeopathy. This raises questions … leading to serious concerns about the conduct of this governmental body.” (4)

Homeopathic supporters are familiar with the standard arguments lodged by anti-homeopathy activists who like to call themselves “skeptics.” They insist that there is no scientific evidence to support homeopathy. They repeat this unfounded claim in spite of a growing body of evidence to the contrary.

It has recently come to light that a well-known skeptic organization, Sense About Science, which actively campaigns against homeopathy in the UK, was reportedly accepting money from Coca-Cola to spread disinformation downplaying the dangers of sugary drinks. Coca-Cola’s Chief Science & Health Officer immediately “retired” from her position after the Associated Press exposed the scam. (5)

Iris Bell, MD, PhD, is a Stanford University School of Medicine graduate and Director of Research for the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. In response to critics’ claims that there is no scientific evidence to support homeopathy, Dr. Bell noted that such claims…

“…rely on a small selection of methodologically flawed, highly criticized meta-analyses of homeopathy while ignoring the specific peer-reviewed published scientific evidence from multiple independent laboratories that homeopathic medicines are biologically active on gene expression, immune modulation, and biological signaling effects. It also ignores data showing that homeopathic medicines can have beneficial effects in individual patients and in animals different from placebo effects in a number of studies.”

Psychiatrist and homeopathic physician, Bernardo Merizalde, MD, states that the skeptics have got it wrong,

“The claim that there is no evidence is not true. Two hundred years of history and thousands of practitioners is evidence in and of itself. Five meta-analyses have found a significant number of high quality trials proving that homeopathic medicines have biological effects that cannot be explained as placebo.”

In the U.S., homeopathy has been regulated by the FDA ever since the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed in 1938. The ostensible reason given for FDA’s regulatory review has been a surprising surge in sales of homeopathic OTC medicines. While FDA estimates this number to be $2.9 billion, the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists reported that the figure was closer to $800 million. This is a paltry drop in the bucket compared to the $374 billion spent on conventional drugs in 2014.

When asked about FDA’s actions, Ronald Whitmont, MD, President of the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH), noted that,

“Homeopathic medicines have been used for more than two hundred years and have an excellent safety profile. The majority of OTC homeopathic products are in compliance with FDA guidelines. The AIH continues to work with other homeopathic organizations to assist the FDA in their review process.”

On the legal front, in September 2015, a judge dismissed a class action suit against twelve homeopathic products made by Hylands Inc. Using language similar to that used by skeptic groups, pla intiffs failed to discredit homeopathy by claiming that it is a “pseudoscience.” It took the jury less than a day to reject plaintiffs’ claims. (6)

Given the fact that homeopathy has met with resistance simultaneously on multiple fronts, many are wondering if this is an organized effort. Dr. Larry Malerba, who has practiced homeopathic medicine for more than 25 years, says that he has never witnessed this level of antipathy toward holistic medicine before:

“When one considers the broad array of recent anti-homeopathy activities that cross international borders, it would be naïve to think that there wasn’t a common motivating influence. One has to wonder who stands to gain the most from this witch hunt.”

Homeopathy, in particular, is a thorn in the side of Pharma because of the fact that its unique medicines are FDA regulated, safe, inexpensive, and can’t be patented. Malerba asked the question,

“Could it be that the media is missing the larger story here, that a powerful medical monopoly is seeking to destroy one of its most successful competitors?”

In India, where homeopathy enjoys tremendous popularity, there are an estimated 250 thousand homeopathic practitioners. Indian homeopath, Dr Sreevals G Menon, seems to agree that there is something fishy going on. He recently wrote:

“The renewed and more vigorous attack on the efficacy of homoeopathy as a curative therapy picked up internationally by the media is nothing but a sinister pogrom by the powerful pharmaceutical corporations the world over.” (7)

Media activist and former CBS News correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson, addressed the issue of media manipulation in a recent TED talk. She used the term “astroturfing” to describe fake grassroots movements that are funded by corporate interests in order to control and distort media messages.

Homeopathic supporters have long suspected that Pharma is secretly funding skeptic organizations. It appears that Pharma astroturfs by taking advantage of skeptic organizations that have strong anti-holistic medicine beliefs, encouraging them to spread false information about homeopathy.

But questions remain. Does this constitute an anti-democratic assault on freedom of medical choice? Are media outlets that have been manipulated by corporate medical interests feeding false information to consumers? Why is an increasingly popular medical therapy known for its long track record of safety suddenly receiving so much negative attention?

Unlike some drugs that have been taken off the market after doing a great deal of damage, homeopathy has caused no such harm. Many believe that corporate stakeholders are conspiring to deprive satisfied consumers of their freedom to pursue the therapy of their choice. Perhaps the truth may only be found by connecting the dots.

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)”

or:

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

Sulphur and the art of map-reading

By Vera Resnick

Sulphur is a huge remedy. With 1969 symptoms listed in the Chronic Diseases proving, it is unwieldy to “just look at”.

You can work with provings just as you would use maps to get to know a new city. Perhaps Sulphur is an ideal proving to show the importance of this way of working. When visiting a place you have not been before, it’s often interesting to get to know it on foot, with no prior information, absorbing the sights and sounds and getting interestingly lost. Continue reading

What’s in a name? Hahnemann’s warning to beware of disease names

By Vera Resnick

shaHahnemann’s warning to prescribers – beware of disease names…

Treating fibromyalgia? pneumonia? asthma? cancer? gingivitis? diptheria? meningitis?

In his introductions to provings, Hahnemann often gives a list of diseases where the remedy in question has been helpful. Many seem to see this as a clear therapeutic indication for the diseases named. It is noticeable that Hahnemann himself, a very prolific writer, did not write any form of therapeutic catalogue. 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…