Homeopathy: Homeopathy is a perfectly simple system of medicine remaining always fixed in its principles as in to practice, which like the doctrine whereon it is based , if rightly apprehended will be found to be complete. – (S. Hahnemann).
Homeopathy asserts that there are principles which govern the practice of medicine. It may be said that, up till the time of Hahnemann, no principle of practice of medicine were recognised- (J T Kent).
1 Totality of symptoms. In this incomparable method of cure, there is no necessity of any violent attack on the organism for the eradication of even the inveterate disease of old standing. Hahnemann stressed that the “similar “condition was a reliable therapeutic guide only when seen in terms of “totality of symptoms.” The similar condition must be seen not only in terms of clinical disturbance, but also in constitutional, psychological and emotional traits of the patient as a whole. In correct prescribing this symptom totality of the patient must be matched against the symptom-totality of the medicine, and Hahnemann has warned that this symptom totality should not be a multitude of irrelevant details but a certain basic pattern, significant to the total functional unit. This empirical observation points to the fact that in the multitude of observable details certain expressions, notably the mental and general symptoms, are representative of the wholeness of a disturbed organism; they subordinate almost automatically and logically, the “particular” changes applicable only in certain parts and organs.
Based on a different conception of the Totality of Symptoms there are different repertorization methods. The four major influences in the art of repertorization are Hahnemann, Kent, Boenninghausen and Boger. Each of them emphasizes different aspects to form the totality of a case, yet they all have their origin in the Organon. “It is possible to obtain the needed correspondence in a great variety of ways and degrees, and one practitioner will find it in one way and another in another”. It is important for a homeopath to be familiar with these subtle differences so that he may apply them depending upon the prescribing data elicited from the patient. Each case is to evaluate as a whole in order to see which of these repertorization methods is best suited to the case in hand.
Hahnemann’s followers, namely Kent, Boenninghausen and Boger, all placed emphasis on the totality of symptoms, the prime importance of peculiar, uncommon and striking symptoms as well as the symptoms of the Mind. A case may be workable by any of the methods, but the arrangement of the reportorial syndrome will be different due to their different approach in the evaluation of symptoms. Kent emphasizes Mentals, Boenninghausen points out the Modalities and Concomitants. Generals (physical, pathological, mental) Boger tells us.
Since the mental symptoms are of determining and overruling importance in establishing the pattern of totality, the conclusion is justified that they must also be a major factor in its formation. Personality traits frequently serve as a keynote for identifying the therapeutic medicine in physical illness, i.e., psychosomatic disorder, and vice-versa when physical sufferings cause mental disorder known as soma-psychic disorders.
Kent and Vithoulkas go from mental to general and Locals. Boenninghausen and Boger go from locals to general and mentals. Jahr would go from characteristic symptoms to the common symptoms.
Guernsey practised on key-note symptoms. Guernsey would choose one of the most pivotal symptom of the case and prescribe on that.
2 Characteristics: In aphorism 153, uncommon symptoms however are peculiar or particular to a patient or a remedy. They cannot be explained by physiology, pathology and anatomy. The stranger the symptom is the more valuable it becomes because it makes the patient unique. They are graded by their uniqueness and rarity accordingly. “The truly characteristic symptoms of the patient exist exclusively outside of the pathological groups of symptoms of the discerned disease; no more, they are symptoms which never necessarily belong to the disease or any form of it, but which appear as absolutely accidental.
Further Hahnemann says that in comparing the collective symptoms of the natural disease with drug symptoms for the purpose of finding the specific curative remedy, “the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the case are chiefly and solely to be kept in view; because it is more particularly that these very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected remedy must correspond to, in order to constitute the most suitable to effect a cure. This is sufficiently clear what Hahnemann wanted to convey to us homeopaths! Kent says that Aphorism 153 is one of the best teachings of Hahnemann. But even then many homeopaths are confused and are lead astray. It is a pity that the differences should arise among us when we have so perfect a truth to bind us together.
Brief description of the above point:
Peculiar symptoms are unique to the individual that do not occur in most patients. Homeopaths make note of peculiar symptoms because they often help to determine the remedy. The symptoms that cannot be explained are often very peculiar.
Mental and emotional symptoms are important general symptoms that inform the physician about the patient’s total experience of the disorder. Dreams are so closely allied to the mental state.
Other general symptoms are physical symptoms felt throughout patient’s body, such as weakness, tiredness, and changes in appetite or restless. All the things that are predicated of the patient are general. The Menstrual gives us a general state. Things that apply to all the organs may be predicated of the person himself and relate to the general state.
Particular symptoms are localised in the body; they include such symptoms as nausea, skin rashes, or headaches, etc.
Miasms (Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis): Hahnemann has taught that miasms are serious disturbances of the patient’s vital force or homeostasis that are inherited from parents at the time of conception and give rise to score of mental and physical derangements singly or in combination. They complicate the present case and may inhibit the action of selected remedy. Beside the said miasms are some acute miasms as small-pox, vaccination and cortisone preparations, and major tranquilisers and antibiotics. Constitutional prescribing evaluates the person’s current state or miasmic picture, and selects a remedy intended to correct or balance that state. The homeopath may prescribe a different remedy for each miasmic layer over time, but gives only one remedy at a time directed at the person’s current state. The basic principle governing the prescription of each successive remedy is the law of similars, or “like cures like.”
3 Expert Prescribing: This has been taught and frequently used by George Vithoulkas in practice. The first symptom in the list is written down, and all remedies shown in that rubric including the grading of each remedy. Then second symptom is written down, but this time only those medicines contained in the second rubric as well in the first are written down. Drugs which are not present in the first rubric but present in the second are eliminated. Next, the third symptom is noted, and only those remedies included in this one as well as the previous rubrics are recoded. Finally, at the end of this method, only few remedies should remain after the full elimination has been completed. These remedies are then intelligently studied and compared in the Materia Medica.
Caution: This method is no-doubt easy but requires a skillful understanding of evaluation of symptoms especially in fist hand noting of symptoms, otherwise it will lead to a wrong remedy. Only a homeopath of quite good knowledge of Materia Medica should attempt at this method.
4 Boennighausen’s Therapeutic Pocketbook.-Boenninghausen’s famous Therapeutic Pocketbook was devised primarily to deal with just such cases. The materia medica contains a great number of incomplete symptoms. Until Boennighausen’s time this constituted one of the greatest obstacles to successful homoeopathic prescribing. Boenninghausen first conceived the idea of completing these symptoms partly by analogy, and partly by clinical observation of curative effects. He discovered that many if not all of the modalities of a case were general in their relation, and were not necessarily confined to the particular symptoms with which they had first been observed. The “aggravation in a warm room” of Pulsatilla, for example, might first have been observed as applying to a headache. Boenninghausen assumed that this modality applied to all the symptoms to the patient himself, in other words; and that this modality, once discovered in relation to any particular symptom of Pulsatilla, might be used to complete all other symptoms of Pulsatilla which, up to that time, had been incomplete in respect to their modalities. Experience proved this to be true.
5 Prescribing for the Hereditary Tendencies (Hahnemann): 1. Dr Samuel Hahnemann
- SAMUEL HAHNEMANN has referred hereditary diseases (Now Genetic Disorders) in aphorism 84, footnotes 76 and 164 to sections 78 and 284 respectively. He was farsighted, intuitive and had the analytical mind to discover that the chronic miasms in the mother were responsible for hereditary disorders in the child when he was in the intra-uterine state, and these could be treated by the homeopathic remedy. The fact that the homoeopath takes cognizance of symptoms per se, whether indicative of any known disease or not, enables him to correct the condition before definite disease results; and still more important, he is able to combat new diseases that have never been heard before, e.g., genetic disorders, anatomical malformations, congenital diseases, auto-immune diseases with different medical jargons.
6 What to do when there is paucity of guiding symptoms; one ought to have a disease picture the patient presents with. In such cases all the symptoms of the patient would be included in the remedy picture, including those of temperament and personality, which are not symptoms of the disease, like the person tends to hurry, or is impatient or slow. These are not necessarily imbalances but tendencies. Temperament will not change from homoeopathy; it is the nature of the patient. Only the abnormal aspects of temperament will be normalized to their genetic potential. We include all symptoms of temperament because the symptoms of temperament indicate a certain disposition relating to certain remedies. To a lesser degree we would include symptoms of morphology and physiognomy, e.g. what the person looks like physically, like color of the hair, skin etc. Why do we include these symptoms and why to a lesser extent than the symptoms of temperament and personality? Because, everything is an expression of life. But the color of your hair is not a symptom; it is only characteristic. Morphology will usually correspond to the last remedy you need, because here we talk about the genotype, something that is fixed forever. No doubt we cannot change the color of the hair or skin or body, but if you are sure it is the last layer or the remedy the person needs, the morphology becomes important.
7 Essence Prescribing: This method is advocated by Roger Morrison.
Essence: is Soul of the remedy. It is an exact idea of the remedy, and the true Totality of the remedy.
The essence is a concept that was very much misunderstood, when it was first presented. Essence is not mystical nor is it difficult to practice.
Causation: For Natrum muriaticum part of the causation is grief, so this goes into the Essence.
For Staphysgaria, part of causation is suppression, so this goes into the Essence.
Tempo: In Alumina the symptoms develop very slowly, and in Aconite symptoms develop suddenly, the tempo of this remedy is very important in the Essence of a remedy.
Centre of Pathology: In Nux vomica one thinks of mostly of gastro-intestinal system. In Argentum nitricum one thinks mostly of nervous system+ gastro-intestinal system. Again Natrum muriaticum the Essence is emotions+headaches.
Each remedy has certain locations where it works. Each remedy will affect characteristic organ system as well as this goes in the Essence of the medicine.
Physiognomy: We see a tall, lean, bright-eyed patient where we think of Phosphorus. On seeing a plump, heavy, solid wrinkle appearance – Calcarea Carb comes to mind.
In Lycopodium the Essence is cowardice but with understanding what it means in Lycopodium.
The difficult thing is that often no Essence appears in a case.
Totality: Totality of symptoms including Personality Features + Physical Features:
Keynotes: Homeopathic Materia Medica has key notes for medicines as Sulphur puts feet out of bed at night; Psorinum wears a fur coat in summer even. Nux Vomica wants to be covered in every stage of fever and so on so for.
A keynote must be something strange, peculiar and rare.
Family History and Past illnesses: Hereditary or Genetics; Miasmatic tendencies.
Past History of Drug Use if any:
Focus: A homeopath has to recognise where the focus of the case is.
Confirmation: It includes many things:
The physical temperature: heat or cold; the effect of weather, and the position of sleep.
8 Genetic Constitutional Prescribing: This method has been taught by Prafull Vijayakar. It is quite a lengthy subject but very much according to the Organon. It is not apart from the methods explained above but quite in agreement with totality of symptoms.
Keeping in view the limited space of this paper a brief account of this method is given below:
Genes, as it is known, is mother of our existence. Our map of genetic code or ‘genome’ is responsible for our physical make-up, mental make-up and general make-up. All these three arise of out of same genetic map or genome. Hence it is but natural to conclude that looks, features and built of an individual have relation with this nature. The following aspects are essential in finding the simillimum by the said method:
Physical features including make-up.
Height, weight, stature.
Facial, feature and shapes.
Hair (description and distribution)
Neck; Extremities; and shape of the trunk.
Mental make-up includes Will, Morals, and Intellect. Outstanding Natural-Traits; Emotions as reactions; Sensitivity, and attachments.
General make-up (Energy, speech type (fast/slow or stammering), tolerance or ill-tolerance. Hot, chilly or ambi-thermal, appetite, craving or aversions. Thirst. Sexual Functions. Organs susceptible. Characters peculiar to that person. Modalities. Time-season effect.
Causes/Ailments from; Types of disease and symptoms of disease.
All the above are due to respective miasms, Psora; Syphilis; and Sycosis single or in combination and.
Caution: There cannot be a right simillimum without consideration of miasm.
- Hahnemann S., Organon of Medicine: B Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
- Kent J.T., Philosophy of Homeopathic medicine and lesser writings: B Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
- Vithoulkas G., Science of Homeopathy: B Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.
- Morrison Roger, Classical Lecture on Materia Medica
- Close Stuart, The Genius of Homeopathy
- Rober H.A, Art of Cure by Homeopathy
- Saine Andre, Psychiatric Patients
- Predictive Homeopathy, Vols I, II, and III by Prafull Vijayakar