Pondering Views On Miasms


dr p n varma

An article on miasmatic approach to chronic recurrent leucorrhea reminded me of two aspects :
a. Strongly induced faith on miasms during study.
b. Lack of prioritization between miasm, simillimum, constitution and modalities.

John Paterson (BHJ, Oct. 1953), while accepting the presence of controversy regarding what Hahnemann did or did not say about miasms has stated ‘that the controversy began as soon as he published The Chronic Diseases and it would seem that the controversy still goes on.’ He refers to an article in ‘Discounting Hahnemann’s Theory of Miasms. ‘However, personally he believed the theory of miasms.

To quote Dr Hering,‘ What influence it can have whether a physician adopts or rejects the psoric theory, so long as he always selects the most similar medicine possible.’ Similarity of drug or the simillimum has a priority over miasmatic approach. However, it would be the best if both matched.
Having raised the issue I will have to write more to put the scientifi c prospective clear as it stands now (2009).
Father of Experimental Pharmacology gave to the medical science the
theory of vital force (read biological response, autoregularization, homeostasis, immune modulation), provings on healthy living beings (read
experimental pharmacology, toxicology) and potentization (read dilution, threshold dosage). All these are valid today. But please try to get something of the statement ‘Chronic diseases are caused by dynamic infection with a chronic miasm.’ I confess I get nothing out of it. Miasm stands for infectious or noxious vapors. Some genetic causes act as obstacles to cure. In case of chronic diseases, these obstacles were
termed as ‘miasm’ in ‘Chronic Diseases’ published in 1828. According to
it, eighty per cent diseases are due to psora, twenty per cent due to sycosis and syphilis.

Dr Kent amplified this and divided drugs as psoric (Sulphur, Natrium muriaticum, Calcarea carbonica, Arsenicum album, Lycopodium clavatum, Phosphorus, Mezereum, Graphites, Causticum, Hepar sulphuris, Petroleum, Silicea terra, Zincum metallicum and Psorinum) on top; sycotic (Thuja occidentalis, Staphysagria, Medorrhinum, Acidum nitricum,
Argentum muriaticum or nitricum, Kalium sulphuricum, Natrium sulphuricum, etc.); and syphilitic (Syphilinum, Arsenicum iodatum, Aurum mur natronatrum, Aurum muriaticum, Kalium iodatum, Mercurius corrosivus, Mercurius iodatus ruber, Mercurius iodatus fl avus, Phytolacca
decandra, etc.).

These do help in practice but absence of Aconitum napellus, Belladonna,
Nux vomica and Rhus toxicodendron posses questions like whether these
are miasmatic remedies or not. Do they not cure chronic diseases? The
conclusion comes close to doubting the validity and need for verifi cation
of miasms. Are these drugs superremedies not needing a miasmatic
approach? Since 1950, tuberculosis and cancer have developed as new
miasms of greater relevance. From Von Grauvogl–hydrogenoid (sycosis),
carbo-nitrogenoid (psora), oxygenoid (syphilis) to Nobel, Bernard to Morrison, everyone has his way of explaining constitution and miasm. Don’t you think the whole concept needs reformatting?

Contemporary homeopaths have to decide these in a contemporary
context–creative criticism is healthy. I believe in miasms. I am reminded of
my father, a staunch homeopath (he did not even permit any vaccination
on me), used to classify patients as psoric, sycotic or syphilitic from their
look. The patient’s constitution and drug picture made the task of selecting
a simillimum easier from a set of drugs; he has only to look. He never
prescribed a Sulphur patient Aurum or Argentum even if the ‘mentals’ were
strongly indicating these remedies.

Things change with time. In light of modern concept, body cells must produce or create a situation to eliminate the toxic agent / bacteria / virus / chemicals or the triggers. It has to push the pathology to normalization. All vary in the degree of production (the skin has highest and the plasma the lowest). The degree is lowered in presence of unwanted chemicals from toxic drugs, stimulants, tobacco, etc. To understand homeopathy one should study ‘immunity and immunemodulation’ in detail. Surprising conclusions may come of minor ailments of skin, nasal membrane as preventive to serious diseases which pass on to chronicity.

Having said so much on miasms, how can we ignore the scientific results
with proof and reproducibility of DNA / RNA, their role in protein synthesis in the cells as required, and gene-expression to fight diseases.
What needs to be done is to relate homeopathic action with gene-expression.

A much deeper understanding is now available about life, disease and
cure. In the era of stem cells creating vital organs of the body, much stress
on miasm is ridiculed. The origin of diseases as nonvenereal
as psora and veneral as sycotic or syphilitic postulated in 1828 is
crude and outdated. It is a tool for homeopaths to practice, not a scientific
tool for research. One should have high immunity to ward off even the mutated forms of bacteria and viruses. H1N1 is in the news. Swine fl u is killing. According to the government, it is killing for only those who have other medical problems. It is in line to the homeopathic concept of ‘sickness prior to illness’. One is sick prior to getting the infection.

The other news today (10.8.2009) is – ‘Thousands are dying of cerebral
malaria in Bihar. It is time we stretch homeopathy to preventive and health promotive aspects apart from its similia based therapeutic aspects. If homeopaths too use the known preventive care tools and the known health promotive care (role of micronutrients, vitamins, probiotics, etc.), the medical care imparted by him will have wider dependability and coverage. Spread the wings to fly.

Author: Dr P N Varma

Source: The Homoeopathic Heritage, January 2010.

Dr. P.N. Varma, an Indian homoeopath and a scientist has made significant contributions to homoeopathy – the studies of learning and motivation, scientific aspects, professional practice and unique books on the subject. Dr. P.N. Varma was born in 1937 at Patna. He remained there as he grew up. Very few know this fact about him being born in a family of homoeopath Dr. A. L. Varma (DALVAR). His father was an active leader for the development of homoeopathy and is credited for the establishment of first homoeopathic manufacturing unit and a homoeopathic medical college in 1928-29 in the state of Bihar. After Bengal, Bihar was hot with activities for Government recognition of homoeopathy. The activities and efforts materialized in 1953 by an enactment called Development of Homoeopathic System Act, 1953 of which his father was an active leader. He represented India at International Homoeopathic Congress in London, as back as 1950, and founded an association for research in Homoeopathy. He read about the status of homoeopathy in India carried in Britain Homoeopathic Journal October 1950 issue. This Dr. P. N. Varma re-enacted by representing Govt. of India at International Homoeopathic Congress 1990 at Barcelona (Spain).

Always on the Top
Dr. P.N. Varma had done his B. Sc from Patna University and secured the top position with a gold medal followed by M.Sc (Tech) Pharmaceutics from the University of Kolkatta. He also topped his post graduate level of the old homoeopathic course.

Hon’ble Health Minister Jagdambi
Prasad during a visit to Dr. Varma’s
office (File photo)

Starting a Career in Homoeopathy
Though he belonged to a family of Homoeopaths, Dr. P.N. Varma’s full interest in homoeopathy only developed after he met Dr. B. K. Sarkar in Kolkatta who inspired him to devote himself to homoeopathy. Dr. B.K. Sarkar considered an authority on homoeopathic philosophy was the first chairman of Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia Committee; it was him who made Dr. Varma a member of the Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia Committee. The committee included Dr. K. G. Saxena, Dr. G. S. Bhar and Dr. P.N. Varma along with Drugs Controller of India and Experts. The aim of the committee was to formulate the standards of homoeopathic drugs for the first time in India. The first Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia of India was published in 1971 that contains the standards of homoeopathic drugs, which attracted the attention of the government. The Government then offered to set up a drug standardisation unit under Dr. Varma’s supervision. Dr. Varma’s decision not to leave Patna during that time made the government take a decision of setting up the unit at Patna itself, provided with a pharmacognosist, pharmacologist, chemist and a homoeopath. Thus with the efforts of Dr. P.N. Varma and some more people, homoeopathy was brought under the purview of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

Dr. Varma with Mr. B.K. Shrestha
and other prominent manufacturers
during formation of Federation of
Homoeopathic Manufacturers
of India (2001)

Dr. Varma when young got ample interaction with the then stalwarts working for development of homoeopathy in India. With such legacy, it was not difficult for him to get M.D. Homoeopathy in early 50’s. In mid fifties in a small book on Family Guide, he had highlighted about the deficiency of vitamins, minerals as cause of many suffering and listed the vitamin contents of different food items which could be suggested along with homoeopathy. In 1962, his three papers on Hygrophilla were accepted by the Indian Science Congress. Immediately followed another paper “Scientific basis of Homoeopathy”. It was carried by all the leading homoeopathic Journals. He came in focus for his ability to interpret homoeopathic concepts with modern technology, trends and practices. His background with university top career, gold medal, and unique combination of a homoeopathy and pharmaceutics HMD (the then postgraduate degree in homoeopathy) M.Sc.(Tech) Pharma of Calcutta University paved his credibility as a consultant both in industry and profession. Disturbed with the then prevailing quality of homoeopathic medicines, he wrote to the Government of India and others for urgent need for Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India and statutory controls. He was made a member of the Working Group with Dr. B.K. Sarkar, Dr. K.G. Saxena and Mr. Bhar to expedite release of pharmacopoeia in 1967 (where he was retained till he retired in 1995) and later the responsibility of establishing Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory in 1975 and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy in 1979. They are the two apex bodies of Govt. of India for quality control and research respectively.

Irrespective of political changes
taking place at Union Cabinet level,
Dr. Varma successfully promoted
homoeopathy and its expansion plans.
Here, explaining details to attentive
Hon’ble Minister, Mr. Alam.

Rightly called the Grandmaster of Homoeopathy (the title conferred upon him jointly by ten homoeopathic associations in the year 1989), Dr. P.N. Varma, his knowledge on homoeopathic medicines with their pharmacological aspects is amazing. I haven’t met any other homoeopathic doctor (with due respect to all homoeopaths) who can most clearly or explicitly talk about the scientific aspects of homoeopathy. His authority over scientific basis of homoeopathy cannot be debated upon. When we talk of scientific homoeopathy, we talk of Dr. P.N. Varma. Dr. P.N. Varma has changed the way that many have looked upon homoeopathy by giving it a scientific bend, yet clearly unexplained so far.


About Author

Dr Abha B.H.M.S is an alumni of Bharati Vidypeeth Deemed University's Homoeopathic Medical College, Pune. She has more than 10 years of clinical experience into practising homeopathy. Currently, she is Editor, The Homoeopathic Heritage and www.homeopathy360.com.

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