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বৃহস্পতিবার, ৩১ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১৫

Understanding Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a medical system that uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances to stimulate a person's immune system and body's natural defenses. Homeopathic remedies are named for the plant or animal ingredients they are made from. Homeopathy not only offers relief from temporary disorders but, can provide long term healing of a person due to its individual and "wholistic" approach. This often leads to a complete recovery from the dis-ease, as well as, providing an improved understanding of the patient's situation. This type of healing makes it easier and possible to avoid recurrence or relapses in the future and, homeopathy stimulates the body's natural defense system by reestablishing normal immune system and cell functioning.

Homeopathics are created by taking the remedy: a plant, mineral, chemical, or animal substance, diluting it in water and shaking it vigorously. The more it is sequentially diluted and shaken, the more potent the medicine. This is why minuscule doses are used.

"Like cures Like". Here are some perfect examples:

* A full strength dose of Ipeca will cause vomiting.
In a very diluted dose, it becomes a remedy to control nausea and vomiting.

* Coffee before bed will generally cause a sleepless night.
In an infinitesimal dose, it is used to treat insomnia.

*A large dose of sodium sulfate will characteristically provoke diarrhea.
An infinitesimal or homeopathic dose can cure that same type of diarrhea.

In general, the first session with a homeopath is for him/her to get to know your genetic heritage, lifelong health history, body type, psychological type, and present symptoms. The homeopath will ask many questions which seem out of the norm from a conventional doctor, but you must remember, his job is to consider your "whole" person.

He will ask questions like:
1. What time of day is your energy highest and lowest?
2. What type of weather or temperature do you love, hate?
3. How are you affected by being in the mountains, seashore?
4. What foods do you crave, are averse to, irritated by?
5. What position do you sleep in?
6. What dreams do you remember?
7. How does motion or lying down affect you?

There are hundreds of remedies with homeopathy as well as other modalities that employ the same theory called the Doctrine of Signatures. Start by looking at Avoiding the Antidotes. These are the contraindications when taking homeopathic remedies. Check Determining Dosage to understand how to take homeopathic remedies. Match Signs and Symptoms in order to choose the Best Homeopathic Remedy. Homeopathy is a profound and great integrative therapy that can be used in conjunction with many other forms of health care.

Homeopathic remedies can complement conventional drugs. There are no contraindications and no known side effects.

 Avoiding the Antidotes
Homeopathic remedies are powerful remedies but they work in such small doses that they can easily be compromised! According to Classic Homeopathy, the following antidotes should be avoided:

Avoid heat, light, moisture.
Keep homeopathic remedies tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. The steam in your bathroom may not be a safe place for them. Consider an area outside of the medicine chest.

Refrain from mint.
Mint or peppermint toothpaste, mint in your ice tea or mint chocolate chip ice cream should all be avoided during the time you are using homeopathic remedies.

Avoid Aromatics.
Menthol, camphor, tiger balm and perfume can neutralize homeopathic remedies.

Don't touch.
Pour the remedy pills from the bottle into the cap. Then pour them under your tongue. The oil from your hands can affect them.

Not with meals.
Take one half hour before eating or one to two hours after.

Don't chew or swallow.
Dissolve homeopathic pellets under the tongue. They absorb quickly into the bloodstream this way. Homeopathic drops can be taken the same way or in a glass of water.

Avoid stimulants.
Avoid smoking, coffee and caffeine especially within 30 minutes of taking homeopathic remedies.

Determining Dosage and Dilution

Whenever possible, take a remedy at bedtime, as the body is at rest. During the day try to take the remedy away from meals, at least 1/2 hour before eating, and at least one hour after eating because while the body is busy digesting food there can be a digestive upset with certain remedies. In an acute case, such as an injury, take the remedy immediately no matter when you have eaten. The mouth should also be free of any strong tastes. You may drink liquids shortly before and after taking a remedy. If you are taking a remedy several times a day, try to schedule some of the doses before bed, upon waking and during the day.

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

Read the recommended dosage for each remedy, which usually is to be taken before meals unless indicated otherwise. Homeopathic remedies are comprised of natural ingredients and will cause no harm if you take too much.

Purposely taking more than the prescribed dosage will not result in an enhanced effect. If you take too little, or miss a dose, just continue on as normal with your next scheduled dose. Missing dosages will only result in the remedy being less effective.

Homeopathic drops should be placed onto the tongue so that they are directly absorbed by the mucous membranes. Should the taste be too strong, a few drops of water may be added.

What is a dilution?

A homeopathic medicine is obtained by using the process of successive dilutions of a mother tincture in order to achieve the maximum benefit for a particular symptom. The mother tincture is created by breaking a substance down and then dissolving it in alcohol or water, depending on the substance.

Homeopathic dilutions are made by dissolving 1 part of an active ingredient, for example Apis, with 9 parts of an inactive ingredient such as water or alcohol. This 1:9 ratio is referred to as a "D" dilution. Each time the mixture is diluted, called a succession, it has to be shaken by hand in a certain way to achieve the desired effect.

By combining one part mother tincture with 9 parts alcohol/water, we reach D1 dilution (expressed as 1x in the product description). Each dilution factor has different properties and affects different symptoms. Homeopathic medicines may have different dilutions of the same mother tincture depending on the desired effects. If you read 'Apis 4x' on our label, it means one part Apis was mixed with 9 parts of alcohol/water, resulting in Apis 1x. One part Apis 1x was then added to 9 parts alcohol/water in order to get Apis 2x (D2) which combined with 9 parts alcohol/water gives us Apis 3x (D3). One more succession brings us to Apis 4x (D4).

Signs and Symptoms

Modalities are the modifying influences and circumstances which either ameliorate (influences, which make the symptoms feel better), or aggravate (influences, which make the symptoms worse). Modalities include many factors and stimuli as perceived by the patient. Modalities may have to do with temperature, weather, climate, movement, activity, time, right and left side, sensations, physical contact, foods, drinks, etc. They are the sensory manner and mode of how the symptoms are felt by the individual, and they are a most important criterion in choosing the right remedy.

Best Homeopathic Remedies

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader.


Absentmindedness, poor memory, fatigue and a feeling of being "spaced out " can occur with prolonged stress or overwork. Taking homeopathic Nux Moschata 30X (derived from the common nutmeg) twice a day can sharpen your memory and have you feeling like yourself again.


Anxiety after an upsetting event may be expected, but we can still seek relief with homeopathy. Anxiety, apprehension and worry can often be relieved by homeopathic Kali Phosphoricum.


Feelings of anxiety during labor and delivery can occur with both new and experienced moms. Aconite 30C taken every 30 minutes can have a profoundly calming effect and help to promote a healthy delivery.


Kali Carbonicum is often considered for symptoms of arthritis; pain in the lower back, shoulder blades or knees; wakefulness between 2 and 4 a.m.; sensitivity to cold weather and feelings of anxiety felt in the stomach or solar plexus. Someone needing this remedy may have a conservative nature.


Blister formation can be caused from heat or repetitive irritation to the skin. Soak the area in Calendula, let it air dry, and take homeopathic Cantharis every few hours.


Arnica will relieve breast pain during nursing, especially if Arnica was not given directly after childbirth. The homeopathic remedy Conium will be helpful, especially if the breast pain goes from left side to right side. Take the 30C potency twice a day as needed.


Nails which break or split easily should be protected from harsh detergents and from over washing. Use a good pair of rubber gloves while washing dishes, and take Homeopathic Alumina 30x as the label directs.


A lack of vitamin C or K can make us more prone to easy bruising. Consider Ledum 30c four times a day for bruised areas that feel cold to the touch, or for bruises that seem to last quite a long time. Ledum also speeds the healing of a black eye.


Chemotherapy for cancer. This medical treatment can result in a variety of side effects, the least of which is fatigue and hair loss. Homeopathic Cadmium Sulphuricum 6C, twice a day, can help to minimize the side effects of potent chemotherapy drugs and so ease the burden on the body.

Children can be excited and anxious for the holiday break from school. Often this makes it hard to keep their minds on homework and exams. Giving Homeopathic Anacardium 30x twice a day will help them stay focused and make the wait a little easier.


The herpes simplex virus is the infectious cause of cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, so do not touch the eyes or genitals after touching a cold sore. Symptoms may last from three to seven days. To help quickly destroy the virus, use Rhus Tox 12c four times a day for five days. Also helpful is a cream made from the amino acid L-lysine, and the avoidance of peanuts and chocolate.

In homeopathy, longstanding constipation is seen as a continual problem requiring treatment by a homeopathic physician. For temporary or mild symptoms, Nux Vomica 30x taken every few hours can relieve the unproductive urging that can include chilliness, irritability or impatience.


A small amount of salt can be part of a healthy diet, but too much has negative health consequences. Homeopathic Natrum Muriaticum, taken once a day for 7 days, can moderate a strong desire for salt.


The flaking and itching of the scalp can be due to eczema, psoriasis or a simple fungal infection. Sulphur 30x twice a day can relieve these symptoms. Use a gentle shampoo without mint, menthol, eucalyptus or tea tree oil.


A 'dry socket' is an occasional complication from a tooth extraction. Often painful, this condition is worse for touch or pressure and better for warmth. Homeopathic Hypericum 30C and a liquid tincture of Salvia Officinalis as a mouth rinse can speed healing. If you are having a tooth pulled, be careful about rinsing the mouth too vigorously or sucking too hard on a straw as these things can contribute to the development of dry socket.


Nux Vomica is a useful homeopathic remedy for the side effects of prescription drugs, and for vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and nausea. It can ease the withdrawal effects from alcohol, tobacco and even sugar.

When considering natural treatment for erectile dysfunction, consider Homeopathic Avena Sativa which can offer help for this condition. In one study, 90% of men in the trial showed evidence of enhanced libido and increased sexual performance.


Moderate, odorless perspiration is quite normal, but excessive perspiration can be a nuisance. This condition can occur even in winter, perhaps in extreme quantity, mild odor and/or staining of clothing. Homeopathic Mercurius 30C, taken once a day, can alleviate this problem.


Too much reading, studying or computer work can result in eyes that ache or burn. Difficulty in focusing or headaches can also be present with eye strain. Use Homeopathic Pilocarpus 30c at the first sign of irritation.

College students work hard. Mental fatigue during studies and then putting in a double shift at work. Homeopathic Carbo Vegetabilis can have a reviving effect on mental and physical energy after long hours of work and study.

A fear of receiving an injection at a doctor's office is common in children. When this fear is present in an adult, and includes a fear or hyper-awareness of other sharp objects such as acupuncture needles, pins and knives, we can look to homeopathy for assistance. Take homeopathic Silicea as the label indicates.

FEVERS (Periodic)

For weakness and fevers that go up and down with regularity, give Cina 30C every 4 hours. This is also a great remedy for flu symptoms accompanied by cyclic fevers.


Whether your a pet owner who may have pets with flea problems or are dealing with a flea problem from another source, you can take Pulex Irritans 30X three times a day for 3 to 5 days.

Grinding the teeth, known as bruxism, may require a dental visit for an adjustment of the bite or even for a bite guard to protect the teeth. Homeopathic Arsenicum Album 30x is used for this condition that occurs during sleep. Give one dose at bedtime for five nights.


Hay fever in many areas of the country makes its appearance in late summer and can continue until mid autumn. Sabadilla 30x suits symptoms including burning or red eyelids, spasmodic sneezing and runny nose, watery eyes on going out of doors, and itching or tickling sensation in the ears.


Impotence can occur as a side effect of medication taken for high blood pressure. Instead of taking yet another drug with potentially dangerous side effects, take Homeopathic Lycopodium 30C once each day. This will help in treating impotence problems.


Early mornings before breakfast are a good time to examine the tongue for general signs of health. If you notice imprints from the teeth on the sides of the tongue, this is a sign often observed in someone who would benefit from the homeopathic remedy Mercurious Solubis.


When intestinal flu spreads, we experiences weakness, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Take normal precautions (wash the hands constantly) to prevent the spread to family members, and take Homeopathic Veratrum Album 30X three to four times a day to relieve the symptoms.


We utilize Chamomilla for irritable young children, but what about older children and teenagers? Look for symptoms such as restlessness, wanting to be left alone and feeling worse for comfort. Homeopathic Cina 30X can calm these storms and help older children and teens to feel much better.


Kidney stones can be made of calcium and other minerals and should be checked by your medical practitioner to prevent future occurrence of this very painful condition. For emergency use, Homeopathic Berberis 12c every 20 minutes can offer relief.


Sometimes these cramps, or "charley horses," can be caused by a calcium or magnesium deficiency, or may be related to poor circulation. Homeopathic Magnesium Phosphoricum 30x, or Mag Phos for short, can bring quick relief with a few doses taken five or ten minutes apart.

Lower back pain can be caused by a variety of situations such as too much or improper lifting, bending, sports activities and misalignments of the vertebrae of the spine. Homeopathic Bellis Perennis 30X is thought of as "Arnica for the lower back" and can bring relief when taken as the label directs. If relief is only temporary, or if lower back pain keeps recurring, see your chiropractor, osteopath or physical medicine specialist.


There are many types of menstrual pain. If menses pain extends down into the legs, the most common treatments for pain may not be helpful. Homeopathic Sabina is specific for this type of pain and will also be effective for lower back pain experienced during menses.


Mental confusion can occur along with illness, stress, and advanced age. In early stages, homeopathic Alumina can help reverse this process and restore mental clarity.

People who suffer with chronic sinus conditions often have nasal polyps as well. These polyps may exacerbate the sinus condition and may or may not lead to bleeding. Homeopathic Phosphorous can be an effective treatment.

Morning sickness is most common during the second and third months of pregnancy, and not just in the morning. Homeopathic Ipecac 30x suits symptoms that are worse when lying down, includes watering of the mouth and may include diarrhea or vomiting. Take Ipecac every hour until relief is obtained.


Swelling of the eyelids on waking can occur from a variety of causes - allergy, illness or tearfulness from the night before. Apis Melifica 30X taken every half hour for three to five doses can quickly relieve the swelling.

A sore or sensitive scalp is sometimes a problem for small children. Even combing the hair can be painful for sufferers of sensitive scalps. Homeopathtic Cinchona Officinalis will relieve the sensitivity and discomfort, making it easier to care for your child's hair.


Sinusitis with pain that feels worse on the left side may best respond to homeopathic Spigilia. This remedy can relieve pain that may be sharp, that worsens with warmth or with bending the head forward, and that's alleviated with a cold application.

Sleepwalking is more common in children between the ages of five and ten, and yet can occur in adults and older children. Homeopathic Kali Bromatum 30c can quickly solve this problem when given once before bed for seven consecutive nights.If someone is sleepwalking, gently guide him or her back to bed without attempting to wake him. A gate at the top of stairs can give a parent peace of mind regarding a sleepwalking child.


A spinal injury can occur very quickly, for example after a fall on the ice onto the tailbone, or a whiplash injury from a car accident. If you are experiencing sharp pain after a fall, or numbness and tingling after any injury, Homeopathic Hypericum 30X taken twice a day will soothe irritated nerve tissue. In addition, Arnica 30X can be taken for general trauma.

If a splinter can't easily be removed with tweezers, or if a small amount is left behind after removal, Silica (Silicea) 30x four times a day for 3-7 days will help. The homeopathic Silicea helps to promote expulsion of foreign bodies through the skin. This remedy should not be given, except by a homeopathic physician, to a person with a pacemaker or other implanted medical device.

Podophyllum 30X taken every 2 hours as needed can relieve cramping abdominal pain that's accompanied by rumbling sounds in the abdomen and feelings of weakness.


A reader with a heart condition asked what she could take for swollen ankles. Homeopathic Lycopodium 30X, twice a day, can relieve the pain and tightness from this condition.


The same organism that causes vaginal infections is responsible for thrush infection in infants. White patches can be present on the throat or tongue and you might notice drooling or an offensive odor. Homeopathic Borax 30c given twice a day for up to seven days can clear this condition. See your healthcare practitioner if this infection persists or occurs repeatedly.


Tooth pain that radiates to the ears may be relieved by homeopathic Mercurius. This type of pain is often aggravated by cold air, night air, and biting. A great deal of salivation will accompany a Mercurius toothache.


Vomiting along with diarrhea can occur together in cases of abdominal flu or food poisoning. Homeopathic Veratrum Album taken as the label directs will relieve these symptoms and hasten recovery from the cause.


Most of us think of taking homeopathic Arnica at any sign of injury. If you should suffer a whiplash injury as a result of a car accident, consider taking Hypericum following your dose of Arnica. Hypericum will assist the healing of nerve tissue that has been damaged and will help to reduce pain and inflammation.

A Lesson on Homeopathic “Medicine” and Why the Remedies Aren’t Harmless

Written by Dr. Clay Jones
In the late 18th century, German physician Samuel Hahnemann faced a complex problem. He was dissatisfied with the conventional medicine of his day, which was reasonable considering that pre-scientific medicine was more likely to cause illness and injury than to cure it. He began a search for a better way to treat his patients and eventually had a great idea. That great idea was clear, simple, and also completely wrong. That idea was homeopathy.
What is homeopathy?
Trying to explain what homeopathy was when first invented, versus what we know it to be today through its two centuries of evolution is a bit challenging.
As originally conceived, homeopathy consisted of one basic principle: the Law of Similars. Based on personal observation, and an emotional bias that sprung from his dedication to uncovering the grand mysteries of the human condition, Hahnemann believed that the effects of a substance on a healthy patient were a clue to the condition that substance could cure. That’s right – the side effects that a substance had on a healthy person were equated to the substance’s ability to cure symptoms of the same kind in an illness.
So if ingesting cinchona bark makes you feel like you have fever, chills, and achy joints, as it did one fateful day when Hahnemann consumed some, it would therefore cure the same symptoms if you had malaria. Confused? Don’t worry, so is everyone else. It’s the exact opposite of sound logic.
Hahnemann recruited healthy friends and family members to help him “prove” what symptoms a substance might cure by having them log each and every mental or physical change they experienced after taking a variety of them. There were no controls for bias or outliers, there were no medical backgrounds for these individuals, and it was under no circumstances the equivalent of what would be considered peer-review in today’s modern scientific environment. Using this substance-trying process with people he knew, Hahnemann pieced together a compendium of substances and side effects which to this day help practitioners of homeopathy decide what remedy best fits the complaints of their patient.
Why is this pediatrician practicing newborn medicine in the year 2015 writing about it?
The answer to this question is easy, though mind-boggling. Hahnemann’s idea was eventually revealed to be impossible by our advanced scientific understanding of the universe, and considerable negative research has showed beyond a reasonable doubt that it is ineffective for any human ailment. Yet we hear about it today because it still remains one of the most popular approaches to health in countries around the world.
Consider an example with your own child, who might have a viral infection known as hand, foot, and mouth disease. According to the CDC, this infection is characterized by:
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Lack of desire to do anything/malaise
  • Sore throat
  • Mouth ulcers/blisters
  • Skin rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; it may also appear on the knees, elbows, buttocks or genital area
  • Dehydration if unable to swallow enough liquids
A homeopath might, after an hour of asking a variety of questions about your child’s symptoms, behavior, and personality, prescribe a remedy like borax. Borax, or sodium tetraborate is a naturally occurring substance produced by evaporation, and most of us know it as a gentle but common household chemical used for home cleaning, laundry washing, and as an insecticide. When ingested, it’s considered harmful, and according to the NIH it can produce symptoms including, but not limited to (you may be able to guess this):
  • Fever
  • Lack of desire to do anything/malaise
  • Ulcers/blisters
  • Skin rash
  • Less urine output (via dehydration)
Borax might be preferred by a homeopathic specialist over another potential remedy for this condition because of the child’s refusal to speak due to their sore throat and mouth blisters, and their dry mouth from dehydration. But as referenced above, it causes the very symptoms it’s purported to treat.
What is the difference between homeopathy and taking an herbal remedy?
One might reasonably point out that they’ve understood homeopathy to be no different than taking an herbal supplement. And aren’t herbs the same as pharmaceutical drugs in that they can change the physiology of our bodies, and thus might ameliorate a symptom or even cure a disease? Using the Borax example, since it’s a naturally occurring alkaline compound, isn’t it supposed to promote health when used in extremely small doses, as a range of herbal/homeopathic sites purport? Could proponents of homeopathy have stumbled onto a successful remedy every now and then even if their rationale is pre-scientific nonsense?
There is a nugget of truth to this. The key difference, however, is that prescription and over-the-counter drugs consist of isolated active chemicals that have been tested and regulated for safety and efficacy in specific doses, rather than the less precise and unsupervised use of whole plants or plant parts. In the case of many so-called herbal remedies, the potential active ingredient is unknown and often unproven.*
To be clear, homeopathy at its origin was no different than herbal medicine. But it is very different in its current state, today. What would come to be known as the second law of homeopathy renders arguments connecting the two moot. And why that is, might surprise you.
Why homeopathy is not the same as medical treatment, or herbal medicine
After his invention of homeopathy, Hahnemann “discovered” what would come to be known as the Law of Infinitesimal Doses. Worried about the side effects of his remedies when taken in large amounts, he experimented with increasingly diluted doses. He noticed that dilution reduced the side effects and that the patients seemed to get better more quickly, This is a perfectly plausible outcome considering the substances were causing symptoms, and likely because a lack of those adverse symptoms allowed for more significant placebo effects to occur.
Hahnemann took this to ridiculous extremes, and many homeopathic remedies are so diluted that all of the molecules of the original substance have been removed. Often, when you are taking a homeopathic remedy from a homeopathic specialist, you are literally taking nothing at all.
It can be quite comical to apply this to the real world. The commonly prescribed 30C dilution is so diluted for example, that a suffering patient would have to ingest all of the atoms in the solar system in order to be certain that they get even one full molecule of the original substance! In response, proponents have resorted to claiming things involving “water memory” and quantum mechanics. Hahnemann, who practiced before we could figure such things out with actual science, is off the hook for the lack of sense of this practice, but modern practitioners have been forced to hide behind blatant pseudoscience to support their practices.
It’s no wonder that homeopathy isn’t effective because its two core principles violate fundamental laws of physics and chemistry! Even without the piles of negative studies (too numerous to list here), which have wasted millions of dollars of taxpayer money, the plausibility of homeopathy is as close to zero as is allowed in science. Homeopathy is, when you think about it, belief in magic.
How has homeopathy evolved over the years?
Depending on where you live, you can still schedule a visit with a practicing homeopath and go through their lengthy process of figuring out what remedy best matches your complaints. In the United States, the vast majority of homeopathy happens in the form of over-the-counter products bought at the local pharmacy. Instead of an intense session where the ideal concoction is prescribed, parents can simply self-diagnose their child and pick up a corresponding treatment by just reading a package label.
There are hundreds of these products available for stressed out parents. They focus on common, and usually self-limited, concerns such as infant colic, teething, and cold symptoms to name just a few. All are equally unhelpful beyond placebo effects but are allowed to be labeled as effective because of a legal loophole protecting homeopathic remedies from regulation since the 1930s. Some may be safe if they’re made along the diluted framework mentioned above, and some may not be, depending on if a parent takes them into their own hands and attempts to concoct a remedy themselves. Above all, they’re not harmless, however. Anything that might lead to a delay in the appropriate evaluation of an ill child can result in a bad outcome.
*Editor disclaimer: natural supplements and cures such as using peppermint for stomach upsets, or eating more vitamin-rich foods for certain types of anemia, as recommended by your M.D. or D.O. is not the same as “herbal remedies” purporting to cure ailments that require medical supervision, attention, or intervention.
Clay Jones, M.D. is a pediatric hospitalist practicing at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, MA. He primarily cares for healthy newborns and hospitalized children, and devotes his full time to educating pediatric residents and medical students.
Dr. Jones first became aware of and interested in the incursion of pseudoscience into his chosen profession while completing his pediatric residency at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. He has since focused his efforts on teaching the application of critical thinking skills and scientific skepticism to the practice of pediatric medicine.
Dr. Jones is a contributor to Science-Based Medicine, a collection of healthcare professionals devoted to the exploration of issues and controversies in science and medicine. He can also be found on Twitter as @skepticpedi.
Dr. Jones has no conflicts of interest to disclose and no ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Now as the condition of the organism and its healthy state depend solely on the state of the life which animates it, in like manner it follows that the altered state, which we term disease, consists in a condition altered originally only in its vital sensibility and functions, irrespective of all chemical or mechanical principles; in short it must consist in an altered dynamical condition, a changed mode of being, whereby a change in the properties of the material component parts of the body is afterwards effected, which is a necessary consequence of the morbidly altered condition of the living whole in every individual case… These active substances and powers (medicines) which we have at our service, effect the cure of diseases by means of the same dynamic power of altering the actual state of health, by means of the same power of deranging the vital character of our organism in respect of its sensations and functions, by which they are able to effect also the healthy individual, to produce in him dynamic changes and certain morbid symptoms, the knowledge of which, as we shall see, affords us the most trustworthy information concerning the morbid states that can be most certainly cured by each medicine.

In much contemporary literature we find the emergence of a more complete understanding of what a potentised remedy actually is. In my understanding this is brilliantly given in the work of Dr Rajan Sankaran. As all homoeopaths true to the discoveries of Samuel Hahnemann have done Dr Sankaran recognises the importance of the mental/emotional aspects of both the person and also the state of suffering a remedy produces in a person. It is in his work we find the idea of a remedy as being a feeling, as producing a feeling or very particular set of feelings. For him, to give a remedy that is homoeopathic is to give a remedy that produces the same feeling to that which is observed to be, in the suffering person. Therefore somehow suffering is related to feelings. Concerning this Dr Sankaran observes that in suffering people are living the experience of feelings that seem to have little to do with their present circumstances. He calls this the delusion of the person and he very much considers delusions as being something which are experienced as feelings. To be in delusion is to have feelings about oneself, other people around, and situations, that have nothing very much to do with what is actually going on in the present. His work is full of descriptions of states of suffering and the underlying feelings, and they are the basis of everything written here.

To more fully understand what Rajan Sankaran has discovered and to realise what is happening in the homoeopathic process of cure we need to understand what is taking place in sickness and suffering, and what feelings have to do with this.
Underlying all sickness and suffering are feelings and it may be said of these feelings that they are healthy. They are part of the person’s self. What is taking place in suffering is the process of suppression and non-integration of certain feelings. In chronic suffering these feelings find their origin somewhere in the past and it is due to their being suppressed that they continue to assert their influence on the present.

The attempt to distance oneself from the feelings of self is what creates stress and is the most significant origin for all pathology. Whether someone is suffering from an acute ailment, an infectious disease or a chronic illness, it is the feelings that have emerged before or with the affliction, which give the person the true information within the core of their being. When an ill person goes to the depths of themselves and accepts what is underneath they can integrate the information of the feeling and in this the expression of sickness has to a lessening extent no weakening of the integrity of self to remain manifest. What Samuel Hahnemann calls "our Vital Force" includes the process of our very being wanting to heal and it needs us to not resist our feelings as an enemy and rather to accept them as a friend. This is exactly what the homoeopathic process of cure helps brings about. Homoeopathy is the giving of a minute dose of the medicinal energy of the feeling that is being suppressed by the person in suffering. The state of suffering of each remedy in the materia medica is the description of the non-integration of certain feelings, which can take a particular form of an illness.
Because the medicinal properties of a remedy can be realised by their ability to produce suffering upon being proved Dr. Hahnemann named this medical art Homoeopathy which means ‘similar suffering’. It is acknowledged that Samuel Hahnemann also considered a potentised remedy to be something inherently morbid in nature. This was a natural conclusion following on from all his experiences with substances in their crude form and then what he observed during the proving of a potentised remedy. Samuel Hahnemann began experimenting with smaller and smaller sized doses because he needed to better apply the homoeopathic method. What is produced through the process of dilution and succussion is that the energy of the feeling of the original substance is translated from that substance to the water or alcohol. This energy when utilised homoeopathically brings about an integration of the feeling that is suppressed in the suffering person. The biggest obstacle to realising this has perhaps been through not understanding what is taking place when a person proves a potentised remedy. The prover rather than being effected by something that is inherently harmful is instead going through a very similar process to someone in more normal suffering. During the proving of a potentised remedy the person is not integrating the energy of the feeling that has temporarily become a part of their self, and as such they begin to suffer and exhibit symptoms just like when the feeling emerges in normal circumstances.

Throughout his writing’s Samuel Hahnemann frequently revisits the subject of what is taking place within the Homoeopathic process of cure and in his later years we find him even more wanting to know and explain what is happening. He discusses the matter in aphorism 28 to aphorism 46 of the 6th edition of the Organon of Medicine. In his preface to the 4th edition of The Chronic Diseases he writes “It is, therefore, quite natural, that in presenting the Homoeopathic Therapeutics I did not venture to explain how the cure of diseases is effected by operating on the patient with substances possessing the power to excite very similar morbid symptoms in healthy persons. I furnished, indeed, a conjecture about it, but I did not desire to call it an explanation, i.e., a definite explanation of the modus operandi" and further on "I write the present lines, not in order to satisfy those critics, but in order that I may present to myself and to my successors, the genuine practical Homoeopaths, another and more probable attempt of this kind toward an explanation. This I present, because the human mind feels within it the irresistible, harmless and praiseworthy impulse, to give some account to itself as to the mode in which man accomplishes good by his actions". For someone who is so forthright and clear in expressing his thoughts of what he knows to be right it is clear Dr Hahnemann is not satisfied with his own speculations. There was something about Homoeopathy Samuel Hahnemann knew he didn’t understand and he did not like his own explanation as to how Homoeopathy cures, this is what he is telling us.
At the same time the conception of ‘like for like’ as helping the person return to the place of self being suppressed is not in any way an original idea. We find Homoeopathy described as such throughout the literature. In his essay titled Spirit of the Homoeopathic Doctrine of Medicine, published in 1813 by Dr Hahnemann.

"But as the human organism even in health is more capable of being affected by medicine than by disease, as I have shown above, so when it is diseased, it is beyond comparison more affectable by homoeopathic medicine than any other (whether allopathic or enantiopathic), and indeed it is affectable in the highest degree, since, as it is already disposed and excited by the disease to certain symptoms, it must now be more liable to be deranged to similar symptoms (the homoeopathic medicine) - just as similar mental affections render the mind much more sensitive to similar emotions" -; (Lesser Writings).

The last phrase here describes Homoeopathy as integration exactly and is perhaps the first expression of the principle underlying healing in medical literature.

Near the end of his introduction to the 6th edition of the Organon of Medicine Dr. Hahnemann discusses the ‘physical powers’ of beneficial action in relation to the beneficial nature of ‘dynamic action’ of homoeopathic medicines. In a passage on Isopathy and Homoeopathy he writes “In like manner, a hand scalded with boiling water would not be cured isopathically by the application of boiling water, but only by a somewhat lower temperature, as, for example, by holding it in a vessel containing a fluid heated to 160 (degrees) which becomes every minute less hot, and finally descends to the temperature of the room, where-upon the scalded part is restored by Homoeopathy.” What Dr. Hahnemann is describing here is a process to do with feeling. When someone scalds their hand they experience the feeling of extreme heat which makes them pull their hand away. In applying quite hot water to the scalded hand, as hot as helpfully possible, keeps the hand close to the feeling of the injury, that of extreme heat, and in so doing keeps the person close to the feeling of the injury.
In the writings of other Homoeopathic physicians there are many descriptions of this same idea. On page 268 of his Clinical Materia Medica Earnest Farrington when referring to Opium writes a sentence, finishing it in bold letters “Now gentlemen, let me ask, is it rational practice to assuage pain with a substance which paralyses and so relieves by taking away, not the disease, BUT THE ABILITY TO FEEL THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF SUFFERING?”. Dr. James Kent was always heading towards this understanding of Homoeopathy. Catherine Coulter throughout her 3 volumed work Portraits of Homoeopathic Medicines frequently equates the action of remedies with integration. She writes in her essay on Sulphur "the Homoeopath repeatedly finds how by 'unblocking' one member with a constitutional remedy, the dynamism of the whole family is affected for the better". And George Vithoulkas in the books Talks on Classical Homoeopathy sums up a passage on health and disease by saying "I believe that if we could make all of our emotions positive, we would go away from this world immediately. At that stage we will fly to the angels". Jan Scholten in his book Homoeopathy and Minerals describes a main characteristic of the single element remedies to be ‘no integration’.

I will now attempt to illustrate this idea with examples of remedies and what is written of them in the Materia Medica. If we begin with the remedy of Arnica. The feeling of Arnica is perhaps like the hurt of shock and fright in being injured. If we imagine someone having been in some kind of accident and is feeling just like this, like what Arnica produces. To the extent they feel this kind of hurt they will not enter any suffering in the dynamic sense. If the person however cannot or does not take such good care of themselves and resists being hurt they could begin to develop symptoms of distress corresponding to Arnica. That is, symptoms that are also produced during provings of Arnica. James Kent explains the non-integration of the hurt of Arnica like this, "He is full of dreadful anguish, but finally he comes to himself, lies down and goes off into a sleep of terror, jumps up again with the fear of sudden death and says: 'Send for a doctor at once'. This is repeated night after night in persons who are fairly well in the daytime, who have no sympathy because there seems to be no reality in their sickness, only a mental state. It is also seen in persons who have gone through a railroad accident, or through some shock, who are sore and bruised, with an expression of terror: the horrors they really went through are repeated” (Lectures).
In suppressing the feeling the person becomes separated from the process of healing and the suppression becomes a suffering of its own.

Some characteristic processes of suffering

One very outstanding feature of suffering is the desire to get as far away from the feelings being suppressed as possible. With the state of Cuprum Metallicum for instance the person instead of feeling insecure (the universal feeling of row 4 of the periodic table) and unvalued (the common feeing of column 11 of the periodic table) very much tends towards wanting or needing to become someone who is secure and valued. As Rajan Sankaran writes of Cuprum in his book The Substance of Homoeopathy “At the same time we also have in Cuprum the need to perform, for example, we have the rubrics “Delusion he is an officer; Delusion he is a great person; Del he is a person of rank” and “Del he is a general”. On the other hand we have single symptoms of Cuprum like “Delusion he is selling green vegetables” “Delusion he is repairing old chairs”…Then I understood that selling green vegetables and repairing old chairs indicate very ordinary occupations and the Cuprum needs to be much more than that…”

This wanting or needing to be different to that which is suppressed leads to the process where the person alternates between two very opposite poles. These being on the one hand a distorted expression of the underlying feeling itself (distorted due to its not being accepted) and an expression of the very opposite of the feeling. With Silicea for example, in not integrating the feelings of being unconnected to another person, or others (row 3) together with feeling unsure about what to do (column 14) the person is instead needing or wanting to be someone who is connected with others and who is very sure about what they are doing. Thus in Silicea the person is yielding to be connected and obstinate to prove they are sure about what they are doing. Catherine Coulter captures the not-connectedness of Silicea (and of the whole row of Silicea) where she says ‘Patients may complain of a feeling of “disconnectedness” of being divided from, and not quite belonging to the human brotherhood…’, and in a footnote to the same discussion she quotes as a very Silicea like attitude, "Most persons whom I see in my own house, I see across a gulf! I cannot go to them nor they to me" (Portraits).
With the state of Calcarea Carbonica the suppression of feeling insecure (row 4) that they don’t belong (column 2) (Calcarea), together with feeling unseen (row 2) and unsure what to do (column 14) (Carbonate) all comes together in the proving symptom ‘she is afraid people may notice the confusion in her head’ (The Chronic Diseases). Earnest Farrington writes that Constantine Hering knew Calcarea-carbonicum to also contain Phosphorus. The feeling of the Phosphorus column which includes Nitrogen and Arsenic is like that of being treated like you are inferior, like less than no-one, hence the expression recorded by Samuel Hahnemann in The Chronic Diseases, ‘Exaltation of the sense of common brotherhood’. Magnesium Carbonicum in feeling unconnected, and that they don’t belong, (Magnesium), together with feeling unseen and unsure what to do (Carbonicum) comes together in the expression ‘Dazed feeling, packs and unpacks her clothes, without consciousness of having done so’ (S R Phatak). Jan Scholten very much describes one expression of feeling unseen in the Fluorine remedies where he says, ’One could describe the world of Fluor in short as one of ’glamour and glitter’…people who want to take part in the bright life. What is important is the shiny, glittery’ (Homoeopathy and minerals). This feeling of being ‘unseen’ by others around them, the central feeling common to all the elements of row 2 is directly related to the most outstanding expression this feeling becomes, which is the impression of being in danger. All the Carbonicums Calcarea-carbonicum, Natrum-carbonicum, and Argentum-nitricum, Nitric acid, Borax, Fluoric Acid etc all have this sensation of being in danger.

In suffering the person is temporarily ameliorated (mentally) when they are far away from that which is now suppressed and they are aggravated (mentally) the closer they return. In describing the mineral states as being ‘performers’ Dr. Sankaran is very much observing the means through which the person attempts to be someone different externally (the exact opposite) to what is suppressed. In suffering, rather than to feel unvalued the person instead wants to become someone who is valued. Rather than to feel insecure they want to become someone  who is secure. It is this overcoming externally what is denied internally that makes the suffering corresponding to the mineral states seem more considered to what we find in the plant states.
Underlying the state of Cuprum Metallicum is the feeling of insecurity and of being treated without any value. In the non-integration of this feeling is created the need or wanting to become someone who is secure and of value. And yet there is also always present the desire for the expression and integration of what is being experienced. George Vithoulkas describes the dilemma of this in the following description of the state of Cuprum.

"In these people you will notice that an idea comes suddenly to their minds and it is so forceful. It comes right out of the blue. It is so forceful that it might create a kind of spasm in the body. A thought which is not agreeable will not be handled by the intellect. It seems that the intellect has lost its power and it cannot be processed. It will think, “Oh, I didn’t do this right!,” and nobody can understand. But in a Cupr. Patient, if that idea comes in, you will see a kind of cramping in his body and you may see spasm.
Question:   Do you mean a self-critical idea?
George:    Yes. Mostly self-critical. For instance, there was someone yesterday whom I did not greet, and I said, “Oh, my God.”
This “Oh my God” does not stay in the mind, but it goes through the nervous system and produces a convulsion - a jerk… This is a stimulus that instead of being processed here goes through to the spinal cord. They feel that their mind is not made to work. It is in a kind of spasm or cramping situation. They let loose, and say, “Oh, nobody minds, so forget about it.” And then the idea which they have goes through to their physical body. As long as they can process the ideas, they are forcing of the mind to process the ideas, they do not allow the stimulus to go to the nervous system. How this condition is produced? We have the preparation of a Cupr. Patient… They imagine themselves expressing what they feel. The moment they get terrified there is a cramp. You may get a child with all these vivid sentimentalities, and emotionalities who will be cramping within one day after a shock…So, with these intense emotions you can understand that there is a feeling of fright and guilt inside them. They feel that what they are thinking and feeling is bad. There is a great sense of guilt in this Cupr… I told you how cramped they are and they look terrible. Sometimes the look is frightening. Behind the look there is great guilt, without reason. They are nice people. They have done nothing at all. They thought that at a moment in their life that what was inside them was not right or moral. That is what is wrong. That is what they have done wrong. And they go into spasm. It is listed under anxiety of conscience as a one"
(Talks on Classical Homoeopathy).

In the suffering corresponding to the remedies derived from plants the dynamic is seemingly slightly more straightforward. Here the person wants to be someone who doesn’t have certain feelings and therefore they are very sensitive to being reminded of them. In Arnica, the person is wanting the feeling of hurt to go away, to not be there. With Stamonium the person is resisting feelings of being very alone lost and frightened. In Arnica the person alternates between feelings of frightening hurt of injury and its opposite, that of being courageous and ‘not hurt’.

With the remedies of the Liliflorae family the suffering seems to correspond with the desire to be included. To be included is the opposite to the feeling of being left out and excluded, the primary sensation for the remedies here. With this, the person can tend toward wanting the right job, the right friends etc. They have the desire to be important because they maybe instinctively think to be important means you are more likely to be included. Verat-album even has the delusion of being in communication with God (person’s with whom they perceive as being central and important).

The main feeling of the Labitae family is sadness. The suffering that corresponds with remedies of this family finds its origin in the suppression of various kinds of sadness. In the provings of these remedies is the very prominent sensation of excitement. This is the desired and exact opposite feeling created due to the suppression of feeling sad. The excitement here although it is desired also ends up being aggravating and contributes to pathology because ultimately it is not a true excitement, it is a reaction to not feeling sad.

The main feeling of the Ranunculaceae family is that of mortification, like being humiliated, or somewhere between these feelings. In the provings and descriptions of the remedies here we find repeated the person having the sensation of themselves being great, having the sensation of greatness. In Helleborous this has been proved ‘Delusion as if he could do great deeds’ (Dr Chawla), while Staphysagria has ‘Delusion humility of others while he is great’ (Dr Chawla). Didier Grangeorge describes one expression of this where he writes about Aconite, ‘an insufferable know it all. They must plan everything in advance, know everything there is to know’. Alfred Pulford also writes of the Aconite state ‘Thinks much of fine clothes…’ (Key to the Materia Medica). This might be like a desire to be grand. Pulsatilla has the underlined rubric 'Boaster squander through ostentation' (Dr Chawla). To be great is the opposite of humiliated, mortified.

It is interesting to note that the substances we know of as narcotics produce an effect that is the opposite alternating state to the primary state of that substance when proved as a potentised remedy. Rajan Sankaran shows this dynamic in his schema where he gives the primary sensations of Cannabis as being ‘compressed, heavy, pressing, load, limited, dragging, fixed and confined, closed, shut in’, and he gives the ‘opposite is’ as ‘lightness, flying, expanding, free, enlarged, floating’. The effect of cannabis when taken in its substance form is to take the person into the ‘opposite’ state to the actual feeling inherent within the plant, it produces the secondary opposite state. We find the same phenomenon throughout all the remedies also known for their effect as narcotics. The main feeling of the Papavaraceae family for instance, is that of shame. The suffering for which the remedies of the Papavaraceae correspond is in the non-integration of the feeling of shame. With Opium the narcotic effects at the two levels of feeling and sensation are those of shamelessness (feeling) and painlessness (sensation), which is how the effect of Opium is described when proved as a crude substance. This also means that the remedies of Papavaraceae are indicated for the state of shame, the state of suppressed shame and the corresponding sensations of torturous pain. Opium it seems is very much like the feeling of frightening shame.

Another remedy significant in this regard is Coffea. The primary emotional state common to all remedies of the Rubiaceae family is something close to the feeling of apathy. A kind of not wanting to do anything. Dr. Sankaran gives the outstanding sensation of the remedies here to be that of stimulation or ‘overstimulated’. This is similar to George Vithoulkas when referring to China as a ‘nervous erethism’. This over-stimulation or nervous erethism is the opposite to apathy. Coffea of course is known for its effects as a stimulant. I think what this means is that the suppression of feelings we have leads us into an opposite state to the primary feeling, which is comparable to the artificially induced effects of taking substances for their secondary reaction, an effect that is also the opposite to the actual main feeling of the substance.

David Quinn
Categories: Theory
Keywords: homoeopathy, medicinal healing principle, disease, Rajan Sankaran, delusion, our Vital Force, Earnest Farrington, Samuel Hahnemann, Catherine Coulter, George Vithoulkas, Jan Scholten, arnica, labitae, coffea, cuprum, liliflorae, verat-album, ranunculaceae, Chawla, Didier Grangeorge, Alfred Pulford, aconite, cannabis, papavaraceae, rubiaceae, china, silicea, calcaraea, Constantine Hering, cuprum metallicum, calcarea carbonica, Phatak, stamonium

Gazi Saiful Islam, at Hatirjill, dated 31-12-2015

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